Dome cameras - Expert commentary

Securing your business while working remotely
Securing your business while working remotely

It's a very common purchase for people to seek a smart security camera to remotely link them to their home whilst at work. Now the emphasis has shifted, with a lot more people working from home, business owners should consider a surveillance device to deter would-be thieves, protecting valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours.    According to a recent report, police forces are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centres, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, investing in a video security system can save you and your business money – and in more than one way. In addition to preventing loss of property from inside, surveillance cameras also prevent acts of theft and vandalism by outside individuals However, technology, improved mobile connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies has changed the security market and made it easy for anyone to set up a surveillance ecosystem with easy installation and constant round the clock, cloud monitoring. Plus, you can access footage from anywhere in the world via devices and apps – just in case you have to skip the country! The best cameras for SMBs Most good cameras have the much same functionality: excellent video and audio capabilities, remote access and programming, motion and sound detection, and the ability to capture still or video images and audio and save the data to the Cloud. But the burning question is, when you're trying to find a need in a haystack, what will work best for a small to medium sized business? A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours Now you can buy cameras that come packed with features such as integrated night vision, 1080p resolution, microSD card slot for local recording, two-way audio functionality as well as the latest latest 128bit encryption. They also have wide-angle lenses allowing users to see more of their office with a single camera, and some come with free, intelligent AI-Based motion detection. The AI gives users more choices on what is captured by the camera and when they should be alerted. Users can specify what types of motion they would like to detect, such as an intruder as opposed to a dog, an object crossing a defined boundary or into a specific area. They can also define multiple zones, alerting them immediately when movement is detected in particular areas. Easy installation is crucial These security cameras should also be easy enough to install and use that you don't need to fork out for expensive expert installation, and many can work with existing CCTV and CCTV DVR systems you may already have set-up. Many of the business security cameras are Wi-Fi enabled and come with their own apps, so you can view footage on your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are in the world. It means you don't need to pay for a security team to watch the footage at all times (though if you can afford it, that won't hurt), and you can store your videos locally with an NVR on a HD, in the cloud with mydlink or do both with a hybrid NVR/cloud recorder. The apps use Rich Notifications which send a push notification with snapshot to the mobile device the moment activity is detected. Users can react immediately without the need to log into the app by accessing the camera’s live view or calling one of two pre-assigned contacts with a single tap. Any motion-triggered recordings can be saved in the cloud, or locally on a microSD card. Indoor, Outdoor or both? Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the types of external factors each camera has to be able to withstand. While both types of cameras usually come in similar styles and with comparable features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with all types of weather and varying light conditions. Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made of more durable materials, like metal, and may be heavier or even housed in a casing in order to discourage easy removal. Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilise features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures in low light conditions and easy transitions when there is a sudden change in light-changing automatically from colour images in bright light to black and white when it gets darker. When doing your research, features to look out for include: Wide angle lens for optimum room view or full view of the front of your property Full HD 1080p at 30fps   ONVIF compatible - Open Network Video Interface Forum - The forum aims to standardize how IP products within the video surveillance industry communicate with each other. Night vision - look at length of the night vision - 5m is about right Your options will depend on your budget and specific needs, but the above features are a great start when you come to buy.

Face recognition: Privacy concerns and social benefits
Face recognition: Privacy concerns and social benefits

News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence.  Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalisation. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analysing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns  The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralised authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognising people on watchlist and not recognising those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognises faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimise incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimise false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time  One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximise productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place. 

How intelligent video surveillance supports smart mobility
How intelligent video surveillance supports smart mobility

The ease of getting from point A to point B, the effective movement of goods and services, and the flexibility and integration of various modes of transportation are key aspects of mobility today. Smart Mobility has been a key theme in the transportation industry for a while. The idea is to keep traffic flowing and help people to get where they need to be, in a smarter way. To this end, industry players are now innovating and introducing advanced technologies and solutions. Examples include intelligent traffic management systems, free-flow tolls, autonomous driving, smart location solutions, and more.   At the same time, traffic congestion, aging infrastructure, rapid urbanisation, and increasing sustainability demands are also intensifying the need for smart mobility solutions. One way to overcome these obstacles is to use intelligent video surveillance technology for improved traffic management, making the roads safer and more efficient for every user, while also reducing emissions. Perceptive intersections Relying on intelligent video analytics, traffic video cameras identify traffic build ups at intersections by counting numbers of vehicles crossing an intersection and detecting their speed, while also counting the number of vehicles queueing in real-time. Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green. Intelligent optimisation for traffic signals ensures more effective traffic flow. Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green The benefits? Improved safety on the roadways; intersection reconstruction can be avoided; drivers can be advised about the speed of their route, forecasted by traffic signals; reduced wait times and stress for commuters; reduction of harmful emissions; and positive impact on public satisfaction. Road safety Traffic incidents can be disastrous, not merely for causing congestion on the roads but sometimes far worse – resulting in injuries and even fatalities. These incidents have many causes, not the least of which is drivers willfully violating traffic laws. Video technology can aid in detecting all kinds of events – for example, illegal parking, running a red light, wrong-way driving, speeding, and making illegal U-turns can all be detected by smart camera technology.   By using deep learning technology, cameras can recognise these events and traffic authorities can be immediately notified and take necessary actions even before traffic incidents occur. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally. Furthermore, ticketing systems can be incorporated to further regulate driving behaviours. Benefits here include incident prevention, better driver performance, and increased safety on the roads and streets, to name just a few. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally Public information Sharing information is key to keeping city drivers and travelers informed. Intelligent communication about warnings and updates helps everyone save time, avoid frustration, and simplify everyday mobility. This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations, such as congested areas, transportation hubs, shopping malls, and city plazas – or even at your fingertips on your favorite mobile apps! This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations Traffic video cameras generate real-time data of traffic flow and incidents, sending it to a central platform to further fuse with data from third-party systems such as radar and GPS systems. They also disseminate traffic information, including traffic status, warning and advisory notices, as well as parking status.  The benefits are improved public awareness of traffic information, improved travel convenience, overall enhancement of mobility in the city, and more.   The Hikvision practice Hikvision has accumulated sophisticated experience in traffic management both at home and abroad. Product lines offer versatile solutions to resolve multitudes of problems in urban traffic management, traffic incident management, highway management, and more. Going deeper, it’s essential to note that efficient signal control management is dependent on the quality of traffic data, system algorithms, and the hardware devices in use; it is also closely related to the mobile environment, such as road conditions, historical traffic conditions, and urban infrastructure. Because of this, no single solution solves traffic congestion everywhere. Hikvision believes that only by working closely with city authorities, public safety organisations, consultants, even academia and other relevant stakeholders, can applications and operational processes be developed to achieve the best possible outcomes. The possibilities for traffic video data are endless, especially now that it can employ artificial intelligence for advanced functionality. Harnessing its power will make all the difference, but the ultimate goal remains the same: safe and smooth traffic, smart mobility, and improved quality of human life.

Latest Axis Communications news

Videonetics & Axis Communications enhance technology partnership under Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) program
Videonetics & Axis Communications enhance technology partnership under Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) program

Videonetics, the globally renowned AI & DL powered Unified Video Computing Platform (UVCP) strengthens its technology partnership with Axis Communications, the globally renowned company in IP surveillance, by co-creating and delivering numerous integrated solutions under Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) program, to meet growing demands of different market segments. Axis ADP Program The Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) Program is designed to help software vendors streamlining their software integration for Axis range of IP Cameras and other Network system devices. Over the years, the technology alliance has benefited both the companies to expand market penetration and geographical reach, by collaborating with the industry’s largest partner network and providing innovative integrated solutions to partners and design customised solutions for end-users. Solving unique customer challenges Avinash Trivedi, Vice President (Business Development), Videonetics, stated, “We are proud to be part of Axis Application Development Program (ADP), which helped us to create many interesting solutions designed to solve unique customer challenges and also to get optimal value of their surveillance investment.” Avinash Trivedi adds, “Moving forward, I am assured that this technology partnership will give both of us an unparalleled competitive advantage in providing end users, the innovative and unified solutions that they demand.” Building integrated solutions The ADP program helps us to design best of breed solutions to reach the addressable market" According to Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director, Axis Communications – India & SAARC, “At Axis, we strongly believe that opportunities increase when you help others win. That’s why we actively work alongside software vendors to build integrated solutions to expand our market reach.” Sudhindra Holla adds, “We are a global organisation with strong a reputation of innovation, excellence, and partner commitment. The ADP program helps us to design best of breed solutions to reach the addressable market.” Videonetics and Axis technology integrations Videonetics and Axis Communications have successfully completed following integrations: Videonetics Intelligent VMS 3.0 supports AXIS Zipstream technology that reduces the cost of bandwidth, server equipment, data storage systems and lowers the complexity of the video surveillance system, along with the total cost of ownership. Integration with AXIS network speakers allow users to react immediately to suspicious situations by making a live announcement and VMS sends the alert to designated operators to deter potential intruders and they can replay audio clips as and when required. Videonetics Intelligent VMS 3.0 when integrated with AXIS Radar, provides additional visual information of the scene with help of many cameras connected to IVMS, thus providing much needed situational awareness, detects real-time threats or multiple intrusions at the same time, while reducing false alarms. Videonetics AI-enabled Video Analytics has been embedded directly to the AXIS IP cameras ‘on the edge’ enabling each camera to operate independently with real-time detection capabilities, while eliminating the need for additional hardware. Similarly, Intelligent VMS 3.0 integration with edge storage of AXIS cameras, minimise loss of video in the event of connection issues or network failure between recording servers and cameras. Last but not the least, Intelligent VMS 3.0 added a new level of secure integration with cameras from Axis, based on Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP) as a means of hardening surveillance content against cyber-attacks and unauthorised interception.

Uruguay’s Centenario Stadium deploys facial recognition technology by Herta
Uruguay’s Centenario Stadium deploys facial recognition technology by Herta

Violence in sports events is an important social problem in several Latin American countries. Uruguay is no exception, and in recent years there have been numerous serious episodes in the field. Due to this escalation of violence, it is in 2016 that Uruguay's security authority, the Ministry of Interior, asked the Uruguayan Football Association to implement a security system to address this problem. “This is a very important step and a great contribution to football because this system will also be a very important tool for the authorities,” said Wilmar Valdez AUF, President. Intuitive system The system is used by many people of different profiles, technical and non-technical. The challenge was to achieve a user-friendly, intuitive system with appropriate training so that both the operational staff and the police could make the most of the tools. The three stages where this system was implemented are different. The design of the project had to contemplate the Centennial Stadium, built-in 1930 with very little maintenance, the Champion of the Century Stadium, built-in 2016, and the Grand Central Park Stadium, undergoing remodelling and constant works during implementation. This was a very rewarding challenge in the management of the project to be able to meet the objectives of the project and the times committed. Access control requirements The entire system designed should be robust, scalable and in a high availability scheme, the access control system would become a key element in the stadiums' qualification. This is why extreme collections of redundancy and high availability are taken. To meet this challenge, DDBA turned to the integration of technologies from several pioneering companies in the market, such as Axis for cameras, Herta for facial identification, Wavestore as VMS, and Huawei for networking. The main approaches were: - Turnkey and robust system Design of transportable and autonomous mobile units Centralised connectivity Ticket control to reduce access time, according to FIFA regulations Video Management System without blind spots in the stands FIFA. Facial identification platform Herta uses BioSurveillance NEXT in all the cameras of the stadium access doors. This product allows facial identification in crowds with a speed of millions of comparisons per second, which makes it appropriate for the flows of people entering the stadiums. In the cases where the software detects an unauthorised person to access, in addition to the warning on the screens of the monitoring centre, it sends alerts to tablets that are used by the police located at each access door so that they can act immediately and prevent unauthorised access. A central database (BioMaster) located in the Ministry of Interior synchronises the blacklist with all stadiums and mobile stations. This central base also centralises the identification alerts of all the servers of the stadiums and mobile stations Any addition or modification in this database updates all points in real-time. This central base also centralises the identification alerts of all the servers of the stadiums and mobile stations. "The facial identification is done at the entrance of people and then there is an internal camera system that films and can recognise all the spectators who are in the stadium. It is a biometric work and its effectiveness is 99%," said Germán Ruiz DDBA Technical Manager. Forensic Tools Positions for forensic work were implemented to be able to perform subsequent analysis using Herta’s BioFinder and BioCompare. These two tools allow you to search for subjects on recordings (BioFinder) and also on the images taken by BioSurveillance of all cameras (BioCompare). These workstations were placed in the forensic analysis room of the Ministry of Interior, from where all storage servers are accessed. Positive results The system is being used since March 31, 2017. The results have been very satisfactory. Since then there have been highly positive results on four levels: Numerous people have been arrested at the entrance that was already blacklisted. It has been enlisted as subjects to identify in the blacklist people with improper behaviour (violence, flares in stands, etc.) inside the stadium thanks to the quality of the images. Subsequently, several of these people have been arrested while trying to access in later matches. At that time they were identified and the registration was made to the list of Non-Admitted with their complete data, making use of the law of admission. The behaviour within the stadiums has improved substantially and the system has resulted in a disincentive of incidents. The number of police officers assigned to the parties is decreasing. In fact, there have been no incidents of magnitude during 2017 and the number of arrests has fallen by 80% according to figures from the Ministry of Interior (Commissioner Pablo Duarte, Head of the Technology Department of the Ministry of Interior).

How have trade show cancellations impacted the security market?
How have trade show cancellations impacted the security market?

It has been two years or so since the last ISC West trade show, the biggest security show in the U.S. market. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a year’s worth of trade show cancellations, and the trend will continue for a while longer. The absence of trade shows has been transformative for the security marketplace, among others, as companies implemented a variety of alternative approaches, with mixed results. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact has the cancellation of trade shows had on the security industry?

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