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Not an afterthought: The significance of security control room aesthetics
Not an afterthought: The significance of security control room aesthetics

Security control rooms should be functional and durable, and their aesthetics should incorporate matching colours that are conducive to a 24/7 operating environment—not too much contrast and easy on the eyes. Another factor driving aesthetics is an enterprise’s desire to create a ‘showpiece’ to demonstrate a commitment to security for shareholders and other stakeholders. “Everyone wants to have a good-looking control room and a cost-effective design,” says Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles. Role of lighting and aesthetics in control rooms “Lighting is a critical factor for operators,” adds Papic. Studies of control rooms have sought to address issues of circadian rhythms (physical, mental, and behavioural changes that a person undergoes over a 24-hour cycle, based on responses to light) and the impact of changing light colours throughout the day. Flexibility is key. Properly adjusted light can increase alertness at 2 a.m.; controlling the colour, tone and intensity of light can increase productivity any time of day. Evans Controls has experts who can do a lighting study of a room as part of construction services and consulting. Evans Controls has experts who can do a lighting study of a room as part of construction services and consulting Aesthetics, depending on the control room, can be very important, agrees Randy Smith, President of Winsted. His company accommodates aesthetics by using a variety of matching laminates, solid (Corian-type) surfaces, and sometimes real wood. They can put in a console with matching work surfaces, a credenza or other furnishings, or can even match existing décor in a facility. Customised tailored furnishing Security control rooms, often operating in glass enclosures, are often used to “make a statement” about the security of a facility, says Smith. Companies want the control rooms to be up-to-date, and have “cool designs.” Sometimes they want to add a company logo to a work surface or side panels, or they want to employ corporate colours in the design. Winsted can customise its offerings to meet any such requirements, says Smith. In too many instances, the control room is an afterthought: They just install furniture that fits with the monitors. How the furnishings are tailored to the operator is often not considered, says Papic. He offers several other considerations: Will the furniture last the lifetime of the control room? How adaptable is a design to possible future changes, whether larger monitors, managing cables, or ability to reconfigure the console? Furniture should not be viewed as a transactional item; there are more issues to address beyond physically housing the equipment, says Papic. Read part 5 of our Control Rooms series here

Mobile communications make the public an additional sensor on the field
Mobile communications make the public an additional sensor on the field

Today, almost every employee carries with them a smart device that can send messages, capture, and record images and increasingly live-stream video and audio, all appended with accurate location and time stamping data. Provide a way for staff to easily feed data from these devices directly to the control room to report an incident and you have created a new and extremely powerful ‘sensor’, capable of providing accurate, verified, real-time multi-media incident information. You need only to watch the television when a major incident is being reported. The images are often from a witness at the scene who recorded it on their device. It is madness that it has until now been easier for people to share information around the world via Facebook and YouTube etc, in a matter of minutes, than it is to transmit it to those that need to coordinate the response. The public as an additional security and safety sensor In the UK, a marketing campaign designed by government, police and the rail industry is currently running. Aiming to help build a more vigilant network on railways across the country and raise awareness of the vital role the public can play in keeping themselves and others safe, the ‘See It. Say It. Sorted’ campaign urges train passengers and station visitors to report any unusual items by speaking to a member of rail staff, sending a text, or calling a dedicated telephone number. Essentially, the campaign is asking the public to be an additional safety and security sensor. However, with the help of the latest mobile app technology, it is possible to take things to a whole new level and this is being demonstrated by a large transport network in the US. This organisation recognised that the ideal place to begin its campaign of connecting smart devices to the control room as an additional sensor, was by engaging its 10,000 employees (incidentally, this is approximately twice the number of surveillance cameras it has). These employees have been encouraged to install a dedicated app on their mobile devices that enables them to transmit important information directly to the control room, as well as a panic button for their own safety. This data can be a combination of images, text, audio, video and even live-streaming, to not only make the control room aware of the situation but give them eyes and ears on the ground. For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information Combatting control room information overload For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information. For example, if an alert comes in about a fire on platform 3, the operator doesn’t necessarily require any of the information from the other sensors, nor does he need to verify it’s not a false alarm. He knows that the information received has been ‘verified’ in-person (it is also time and location stamped) and that there is an employee located in the vicinity of the incident, who they can now directly communicate with for a real-time update and to co-ordinate the appropriate response. Compare this to a 24/7 video stream from 5000 cameras. It is in stark contrast to the typical issue of sensors creating information overload. The employee only captures and transmits the relevant information, so in essence, the filtering of information is being done at source, by a human sensor that can see, hear, and understand what is happening in context. So, if an intruder is climbing over a fence you no longer need to rely on the alert from the perimeter alarm and the feed from the nearest camera, you simply send a patrol to the location based on what the person is telling you. Furthermore, if the control room is operating a Situation Management/PSIM system it will trigger the opening of a new incident, so when the operator receives the information they are also presented with clear guidance and support regarding how to best manage and respond to that particular situation. Transport networks are using staff and the public as additional safety and security sensors Application of roaming smart sensors To be clear, this is not to suggest that we no longer need these vitally important sensors, because we do. However, one major reason that we have so many sensors is because we cannot have people stationed everywhere. So, in the case of the US transit company, it has been able to add a further 10,000 roaming smart sensors. This can be applied to other industries such as airports, ports, warehouse operations, stadiums, and arenas etc. Now, imagine the potential of widening the scope to include the public, to truly incorporate crowdsourcing in to the day-to-day security function. For example, in May, it was reported that West Midlands Police in the UK would be piloting an initiative that is asking citizens to upload content relating to offences being committed. Leveraging existing hardware infrastructure Typically, when introducing any form of new security sensor or system, it is expected to be an expensive process. However, the hardware infrastructure is already in place as most people are already in possession of a smart device, either through work or personally. What’s more, there is typically an eager appetite to be a good citizen or employee, just so long as it isn’t too much of an inconvenience. Innovations in smart mobile devices has moved at such a pace that whilst many security professionals debate if and how to roll-out body-worn-cameras, members of the public are live-streaming from their full HD and even 4K ready phones. The technology to make every employee a smart sensor has been around for some time and keeps getting better and better, and it is in the pockets of most people around the world. What is different now is the potential to harness it and efficiently bring it in to the security process. All organisations need to do is know how to switch it on and leverage it.

Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture
Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture

Technology is changing the look and function of today’s security control rooms. Old-school CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors are giving way to the thinner, flat screen monitors in the control room environment, but the transition is gradual. Randy Smith of Winsted still sees many control rooms that need to make the conversion, which is a boon to his company’s business. Furniture today is designed differently to accommodate the thinner monitors, often with larger screens. Need for integrated rack systems With the increase of IP-based systems comes the need for integrated rack systems that include advanced functionality such as cable management, adds Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Server rooms are environmentally controlled by cooling systems and power systems monitored on the IP network. Low-profile flat screens allow centres to utilise space vertically, thus creating a smaller footprint for the consoles. Additionally, with IP-based systems, workstations will have a smaller footprint because there is less cumbersome equipment. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security, says Coleman. This environment also helps with cable and power management. AFC builds technical furniture racks that adhere to the precise needs of computer network server room operators. The company designs and fabricates LAN workbenches with versatile functionalities, and server room workstation racks that are scalable. There is a complete line of IT workbenches, IT computer racks and computer server rack mounts with flexible mounting options. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security Flexible control room designs Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, says the transition from bulky CRT equipment to flat-screen (lower profile) monitors was a major disruption in control room design; it changed the whole dynamic. Another evolution is the use of IP video streaming, which allows more flexibility in manipulation of audio-video content, and requires more flexible control room designs. Another shift, driven by larger, higher-definition monitors, is a shift to fewer monitors that display more information. Instead of a smaller monitor for each information stream, larger monitors now consolidate that information into “dashboard” displays. Looking ahead, control rooms will need to be more flexible, both in the initial design and the ability to adapt to changing technology, says Papic. Legacy customers who are currently using PCs may be moving to more remote applications. Sit-stand equipment will continue to be increasingly prevalent. “There will be more emphasis on flexibility, technology integration, and the ability to change over the life of the system,” says Papic. Consolidation of multiple operations into a single system A trend in security is consolidation of multiple physical operations into a single system, says Papic. As a result, more customers are taking more interest in alarm management and situational awareness. How is the technology being used in terms of alarm triggers? How can the systems react rapidly and provide information to a larger audience in the control room? These questions impact how control rooms are designed, and Evans Consoles can adapt lessons learned from other markets to these trends in the security arena. Greater use of technology is inevitable, says Coleman of AFC Industries. “It is virtually impossible for humans to monitor all security data at the street level in our cities,” he says. “As computers become more powerful and their programs more all-encompassing, we will see a greater shift to robotic and technology uses that will provide enhanced monitoring capabilities and safety Read our Control Rooms series here

Latest Veracity news

Secutech India 2019 ends successfully following the debut of new smart home zone
Secutech India 2019 ends successfully following the debut of new smart home zone

After a busy three days of business exchanges in Mumbai, the 2019 edition of Secutech India was hailed as a success, with many participants commending the new smart home zone as a welcome addition to the show. A consensus was also reached on the effectiveness of the fair’s fringe events, which updated the market on smart city infrastructure and security technology. Travelling from the subcontinent and beyond, more than 20,000 security industry professionals visited the fair from 25 – 27 April 2019 at the Bombay Exhibition Center. “The new smart home zone and exhibitors of intelligent transportation technology were added to help participants take advantage of the growing market for smart devices and intelligent solutions,” said Ms Regina Tsai, the Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd. “The enthusiastic response to the new additions and the positive sentiments expressed about the fringe seminars demonstrate that the fair remains firmly in touch with the needs of the local market.” Commercial security and fire safety products The fair showcased the very best commercial security and fire safety products from regional heavyweightsOn top of smart home and intelligent transportation solutions, the fair showcased the very best commercial security and fire safety products from regional heavyweights. To the satisfaction of trade visitors, over 200 exhibitors were in attendance at the fair, including brands such as AAAG, Avigilon, Biomax, CP Plus, ESSL and Mantra. Altogether, the fair spanned 15,000 sqm, with the commercial security exhibitors forming the largest section. The applications of AI in video surveillance systems was a hot topic of conversation in the exhibition hall, where exhibitors such as Hikvision and Veracity demonstrated how the technology can be used to support processes such as facial recognition and automatic security alerts. Live demonstrations of threat detection systems also attracted great interest from trade visitors. Ideal occasion to launch new products From the standpoint of many international exhibitors, positive conditions in the domestic security market and a strong turnout of quality buyers, meant that the fair was an ideal occasion to find strategic partnerships and launch new products. A good example of this was the Shenzhen pavilion, which hosted an array of OEMs and ODMs from the smart home and intelligent building sectors. The participating companies at the pavilion were looking to find business partners, distributors and re-selling partners for the Indian market, but the pavilion was also of great interest to system integrators and consultants, who could find an array of security surveillance cameras, smart home devices and access control systems. Detection and alarm systems As part of the fire and safety event, a fire safety volunteer training took place on the third day of the fairAnother success was the concurrent fire and safety event, which returned for its 2nd edition as the destination for buyers to locate the latest firefighting products, emergency response systems and evacuation equipment. With the number of high-rise buildings in India increasing, the event was an important hub for the market to locate the relevant safety solutions, such as detection and alarm systems, emergency lighting and escape ladders.  As part of the event, and in partnership with the Maharashtra fire services, a fire safety volunteer training took place on the third day of the fair, allowing participants to learn about the fundamentals of fire, safety precautions and evacuation drills. Bringing smart city fraternity together In addition to the fire safety training, the organisers of Secutech India, together with knowledge partners PwC India and Mitkat Advisory, formulated two days of seminars and conferences to deliver the most relevant market intelligence for India’s security professionals. Led by high profile industry members and representatives of local government departments, discussion points included the next five years development prospects for India’s smart cities, emergency response mechanisms and cyber security. A speaker at the Secutech Smart City Infrastructure Conference, Mr Samrendra Kumar, the Co-founder and MD of Mitkat Advisory, said that the forum was effective in bringing the regions smart and safe city fraternity together for productive discussions: “You have government officials, policy makers, law enforcement and other government departments in attendance. There are also OEMs and systems integrators. So, this is a great place to interact with a full array of people who are going to make tomorrow’s cities smarter and safer.” AI products and big data analysis This year we are focussed on AI products, deep learning technology and big data analysis"“We provide total solutions in the security and surveillance industry and we have participated at the fair several times since the first edition. This year we are focussed on AI products, deep learning technology and big data analysis. The industry is seeing the arrival of advanced solutions. Not just AI, but also things like big data. In just three days at the fair, we can get a complete picture of the market and an understanding of customer requirements." “It’s also an opportunity for us to exhibit our capabilities and new products. The quality of visitors is improving. A lot of systems integrators are coming in and we see people from different regions such as the South of India. The feedback from visitors has been positive and we will return again next year,” said Mr Ashish Dhakan, Managing Director, Prama Hikvision, India. Innovative LPR system “ESSL has been in existence since 2004 in the field of biometrics and over the years we have become market leaders. Our license plate recognition system, which we call LPR, is new and innovative. There are very few companies that are offering this solution in India. With the maturity that we have reached in this market, Secutech India is an ideal forum to meet up with our present channel buyers, interact with them, showcase our products, and more importantly, get feedback that we can use to make visions for the next year. “Our stand has great visibility and our booth is large with lots of space for customers to spend time with their products of interest. The feedback so far has been excellent, and we are definitely satisfied with the flow and quality of visitors. We will return again next year,” said Mr Roshan Bohra, Director, eSSL, India. UL listed CO2 separation system We specialise in different kinds of gas separation systems for the fire safety sector"“We specialise in different kinds of gas separation systems for the fire safety sector. Our CO2 separation system is a UL listed product. This is our second time exhibiting at the fair. We have returned because the quality of this show is high. Our main objective is to increase our brand exposure and show our presence in the market. “The organisers of the fair are doing a great job of connecting us with end users through the ‘connect’ business matching programme. The visitor quality has been good; it’s not just the numbers but it’s also the type of visitors. We have met decision makers from companies such as Reliance, HPCL, and BPCL, so we are happy with the result,” said Mr Kunal L Zatakia, Director, Swastik Synergy Engineering, India. Learning about the new products “I work for the Meteorological department of India, a Central government organisation in Bombay. This is my first time at the show, and I’m looking for products and solutions that can be used in our offices and buildings, such as biometrics. I have found a lot of new devices which I didn’t know about such as facial recognition products. The show is wonderful with a lot of visitors – it helps us understand the new products that are in the market,” said Mr Sunil G Kamble, Director, Met Department, Govt of India. The quality of exhibitors is good and some of the exhibitors have done a great job at reaching out to customers at the fair"“I am a system integrator from Mumbai, and I’ve been coming to the show for the past five years. I’m searching for new CCTV products and advanced technologies. The fair helps me to research any new solutions that the large companies are offering, and I have been able to learn a lot about new developments. I will definitely return again next year,” said Mr Ronald Rodrigues, Systems Integrator, Classic Network, India. “My company is involved in CRM solutions and I am here at the fair to network with companies from the same field. We would like our company to expand globally and this is a good step to meet others in the industry. The quality of exhibitors is good and some of the exhibitors have done a great job at reaching out to customers at the fair. This is a good place to explore different players in the industry. I will return again next year,” said Ms Pooja Khedekar, Customer Success Manager, Edge CRM, India.

Secutech India 2019 offers networking opportunities for the commercial security, smart home and fire safety sectors
Secutech India 2019 offers networking opportunities for the commercial security, smart home and fire safety sectors

Security industry stakeholders from across the subcontinent have descended upon Mumbai for the 8th edition of Secutech India, which opens its doors today at the Bombay Exhibition Center. Taking place from 25 – 27 April, the fair offers business, networking and sourcing opportunities for India’s commercial security, smart home and fire safety sectors. In addition, plenty of educational value can be gained through the fairs fringe events, which include a fire safety training and two full days of smart city and security technology forums. Ms Regina Tsai, the Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, spoke about the distinguishing features of this year’s fair: “In response to market demands, this year’s show features more exhibitors from the smart home and intelligent transportation sectors. “Exciting products gaining traction in these sectors include home surveillance systems, integrated home networks and vehicle tracking solutions. We have also refined the fringe programme to incorporate the most relevant topics for the Indian market, including smart city solutions, cyber security, and the growing role of artificial intelligence.” Altogether, 100 exhibitors representing over 400 brands are featured across 15,000 sqm of exhibition space Security products on display The ‘Make in India’ initiative has sparked a renaissance among Indian OEMs, with many domestic security and fire safety brands such as ESSL, Mantra, Biomax and AAAG represented across the show floor. In addition to the domestic companies, there is also a significant international presence. Brands Avigilon, Hikvision, Vanderbilt and Veracity, join the fair’s strong exhibitor line-up to display the latest surveillance cameras, access control systems, intrusion alarms, police equipment, and perimeter security systems for the commercial and government sectors. Altogether, 100 exhibitors representing over 400 brands are featured across 15,000 sqm of exhibition space. A highlight of the international contingent is the Shenzhen pavilion, where buyers are able to find security, smart home solutions, components, networking communication systems and peripherals. Shenzhen is one of China’s powerhubs for security manufacturers, and the attending exhibitors were carefully selected to represent a wide array of solutions for visitors seeking OEM opportunities. Smart home zone The new smart home zone features a selection of smart cameras, locks and integrated networksAnother convergence point at the fair is the new smart home zone. Featuring a selection of smart cameras, locks and integrated networks, the zone serves as a hub for suppliers to connect with property developers, architects, system integrators and other related buyers. Elsewhere, the concurrent ‘Fire and safety India’ event is a significant attraction for the fire safety fraternity. The event returns for its 4th edition this year as the destination for visitors to get hands-on with the latest fire detection and alarm systems, firefighting gear, evacuation apparatus and rescue equipment. Whether trying to penetrate the Indian market or further bolster their brand exposure, exhibitors will be aiming to connect with as many trade visitors as possible during the show. Fair organisers are anticipating a similar visitor turnout to the previous edition, which attracted 22,720 trade visitors, including distributors, system integrators, architects and consultants. Smart City Infrastructure Conference On top of being a business and networking occasion, the fair adds even more value to the visitor experience through its fringe programme of forums, seminars and events. This year’s programme is headlined by the ‘Smart City Infrastructure Conference’, which takes place on day one. A panel discussion is set to examine how smart cities will develop in India over the next five yearsAs part of the conference, a panel discussion is set to examine how smart cities will develop in India over the next five years. Other discussions analyse emergency response mechanisms and cyber security in smart cities. In addition, the ‘Security Technology Conference’ takes place on the second day of the fringe programme to explore supply-chain security in e-commerce, as well as AI and its impact on the security industry. Fire safety training to raise awareness On the final day, industry experts will gather for the highly anticipated fire safety training day. As part of the concurrent ‘Fire and Safety India’ event, and run by the State of Maharashtra Fire Service and the Mumbai Fire Brigade, the training aims to raise awareness among corporate professionals and wider society. Important topics to be addressed during the training include the common causes of fire, fire safety precautions, fire drills, evacuation procedures and safety legislation. On top of providing a platform conducive to information exchange, the fringe programme is also a hub to celebrate the achievements of India’s security and fire safety fraternity. The SECONA Shield Awards return this year to acclaim OEMs, system integrators, consultants and end users for product innovations, R&D, successful projects, unique designs and outstanding individual contributions to India’s safety and security landscape. The awards are co-organised with the Security Consultants Association of India, and the winners will be announced on the 26th April.

Veracity to demonstrate VIEWSCAPE integrated command and control solution at Secutech India 2019
Veracity to demonstrate VIEWSCAPE integrated command and control solution at Secutech India 2019

At Secutech this year, on stand C6, Veracity will be demonstrating VIEWSCAPE, the integrated command and control solution developed to meet the needs of complex security applications. VIEWSCAPE is a real success story, now used in many smart cities, retail and critical infrastructure sites. VIEWSCAPE delivers a modular, advanced Command and Control platform with integration to multiple elements of CCTV and security, including video, access control, fire & intruder systems, intercom, building management systems, mapping, reporting and incident management. This provides operators with situational awareness and intuitive control over complex surveillance and security applications. Ethernet and PoE transmission devices Veracity will have the full range of single and multi-channel Ethernet and PoE transmission devices on showDesigned to meet new requirements, and with minimal integration effort needed for legacy systems, anyone with an interest in C3, critical command solutions should get to know VIEWSCAPE. This comprehensive command and control system can be seen on Veracity’s stand C6. As a market leader in IP Transmission, Veracity will have the full range of single and multi-channel Ethernet and PoE transmission devices on show. These will include the HIGHWIRE Ethernet over Coax range, OUTREACH Ethernet extenders and LONGSPAN extreme distance point to point Ethernet and PoE adaptors. Surveillance storage solution COLDSTORE, Veracity’s high-capacity surveillance storage solution, will also be on show. This has been engineered to meet long-term video retention needs with extreme disk reliability and very low total cost of ownership. COLDSTORE’s patented sequential recording technology requires no disk rebuild process, dramatically reduces disk failure rates and consumes very little power. The smallest 2U model, with 112TB maximum capacity, consumes only 40W, whilst the highest capacity 4U model has up to 630TB capacity The smallest 2U model, with 112TB maximum capacity, consumes only 40W, whilst the highest capacity 4U model has up to 630TB capacity and still only consumes 80W, which is only 0.13W per terabyte! UK-headquartered Veracity operates in India with a sizeable team based in its regional office in New Delhi, providing local sales, support and integration services. It continues to experience rapid growth fuelled by the development of strong relationships with many customers and partners across India. Veracity experts will be available throughout Secutech at stand C6 from the 25th to the 27th April 2019 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai.