Dome cameras - Expert commentary

How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages
How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analogue, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behaviour. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

The post-pandemic mandate for entertainment venues: Digitally transform security guards
The post-pandemic mandate for entertainment venues: Digitally transform security guards

As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behaviour. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behaviour, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organised campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behaviour Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behaviour, particularly when they are the targets of that behaviour. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labour, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditised business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labour-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practice since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.

Safer Streets require real-time video analytics
Safer Streets require real-time video analytics

The UK government recently announced a doubling of the Safer Streets Fund to £45 million, as it seeks to reassure the public that safety is a top priority, as the night-time economy makes a return. More than just surveillance While this funding increase is much needed, it’s vital that the government and local councils use the money strategically, or risk missing out on a great opportunity to deliver real change and enhance safety across the United Kingdom. One of the main strategies cited by the government is to increase the current vast number of CCTV cameras installed across the country, despite the fact that the UK is already one of the most surveilled nations in the world. Investing in video analytics London alone has around 700,000 cameras, but to effectively monitor them all would be an incredibly inefficient use of manpower and require a huge number of staff. Therefore, I believe the clearest and most cost-effective way for this project to succeed in its overall mission, is by investing in smarter technology, such as video analytics. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution This technology offers a more efficient use of resources, faster response times and enables more informed, time-critical decision making, when reacting to unfolding events in real time. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution, as the technology enables legacy assets, such as analogue CCTV cameras, to become more than just after the fact evidence gathering tools and instead be used to help enhance real-time responses to unfolding incidents. Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions are trained using vast datasets of images and video footage, in order to better understand people, objects and vehicles that are captured on film, and they continue ‘learning’ and improving, while in use. The system’s algorithms analyse and prioritise input from video data to decide which inputs are of value, automatically classifying the footage and notifying security personnel accordingly. This reduces response times by notifying CCTV operators of an incident, as it happens, meaning law enforcement and security personnel can react faster and intervene in an ongoing situation. Edge technology and real-time video streaming A key consideration should be choosing a technology that can operate at the edge and deliver real-time video streaming, even at the lowest bandwidths, so it isn’t limited to use in areas with good connectivity, which would exclude most remote areas. Quality really does matter and technology that can operate over low bandwidths is crucial for allowing operators to zoom in on areas of interest, such as a car number plate or face, and retrieve full-resolution images that can make a real difference in ongoing investigations. Analytics-based security approach Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime. Research conducted by the UK’s Labour Party recently found that the annual cost of crime reached a staggering £100 billion. While statistics show that crime rates in general have been fairly stable over recent years, experts point to the increase in specific types of violent crime, such as knife crime which rose by over 20% during 2020. Implementing smart analytics-based technology Implementing smart analytics-based technology would help maintain staffing costs, as the system can identify incidents without an operator’s input, as well as reducing the cost of managing crime, as more incidents will be intervened in before they escalate too far. This dramatically reduces the burden on staff and allows a single surveillance operator to monitor many more cameras. On the other hand, this level of automation also reduces false alarm fatigue and operator overload, which can quickly sap efficiencies and reduce operator alertness, if left unchecked. Data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention Procurement officials should avoid the common mistake of simply doubling down and throwing more staff and security assets at the problem to bring results. Instead, they should take a more data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention by leveraging technologies that can enhance response and preserve their existing investments in cameras. The smart use of real-time video analytics could make the difference by preventing dangerous situations from escalating into serious incidents.

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Pyronix announces the return of the ‘Enforcer on Tour’ to the United Kingdom and Ireland, throughout October and November, 2021
Pyronix announces the return of the ‘Enforcer on Tour’ to the United Kingdom and Ireland, throughout October and November, 2021

Pyronix is delighted to announce that the ‘Enforcer on Tour’ is back to talk to UK and Ireland professional installers, about its latest all-in-one security solution, the new Enforcer V11, with AndroidTablet, HomeControlHUB app and SmartPlug, as well as its extensive support services. Hosted at various distribution centres across the United Kingdom and Ireland (UK&I), throughout October and November 2021, alongside online meetings, Pyronix Account Managers will be highlighting all the innovative new features, added value and up-sell opportunities that the brand-new solution delivers, with attending professional installers also able to claim a FREE £20 voucher (subject to terms and conditions). Enforcer V11 system “We can’t wait to bring the ‘Enforcer on Tour’ back, with our award-winning Enforcer system and the full capabilities that the Enforcer V11 brings, alongside the extensive full-package support that we offer installers through GAP. With the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do this and we’re really excited to bring it back, with such a solution,” said Laurence Kenny, Marketing Director at Pyronix. With Account Managers not only on-hand at selected distributor outlets, across the United Kingdom and Ireland, but also available for one-on-one sessions and Zoom presentations, this is the most accessible ‘Enforcer on Tour’ yet, giving professional security installers unprecedented access to see the latest evolution of the multi-award-winning ‘installer’s choice’ Enforcer system. Security, automation and video in one platform The Enforcer V11 system takes security and control to new heights for homes and businesses Incorporating security, automation and video in one platform, which is conveniently accessed via the tablet interface, the Enforcer V11 system takes security and control to new heights for homes and businesses. Featuring a range of new innovative features, including enhanced installation, Wi-Fi built onboard its PCB, unsupervised zones and occupancy timers on zones, the Enforcer V11 practically covers any installation requirement. The AndroidTablet enables users to surf the web, as well as open the dedicated HomeControlHUB app, for complete control of the Enforcer V11. The installer can also use the interface, as a portable keypad on maintenance visits, while existing ProControl+ and Hik-Connect accounts can be connected, to pull other Pyronix/Hikvision cameras on the property into view via HomeControlHUB. SmartPlug addition for value-added integration Meanwhile, the addition of the new SmartPlug provides value-added integration, thereby enabling users to manage any plug-in appliance, via HomeControlHUB on the AndroidTablet, where they can also access their cameras and security. Laurence Kenny stated, “The Enforcer V11 marks a significant milestone in the development of the Enforcer system, a complete one-platform solution that protects the property, its occupants, the perimeter, vans, elderly relatives and much more, while providing access to camera streams and the controlling of smart devices, around the home.” ‘Enforcer on Tour’ He adds, “The capabilities aren’t going to stop here either, as we’re already working on new innovations that will continue to add value and longevity to the Enforcer V11 system, for both the professional installer and their customers.” By registering and attending one of the tour dates, professional installers can also claim a free £20 All4One voucher (Terms & Conditions apply). The demand to attend and learn about the Enforcer V11 system and claim a voucher will be high, so installers should look to book early, at the ‘Enforcer on Tour’ page, on Pyronix’s official website, in order to avoid the disappointment of missing out.

Hikvision brings AcuSense technology to provide effective security and faster ROI to homeowners and SMBs
Hikvision brings AcuSense technology to provide effective security and faster ROI to homeowners and SMBs

“For the very first time, AcuSense technology from Hikvision is bringing the power of AI security to homeowners and SMBs. That means customers in this important market can now boost their security and respond to incidents faster, while also saving time and reducing their workloads and costs,” says Kevin You, Product Management Director at Hikvision. Most technology innovations are a continuation of what’s come before. This results in products that are smarter, more efficient, or more cost-effective, but basically just a marginal improvement on the previous version. And then there are technologies that change the game. Technologies like AcuSense from Hikvision. Further protecting people By making AI security features available to homeowners and SMB organisations for the first time, AcuSense technology is powering more effective security, more efficiency, and faster ROI for customers in these important markets. Here are 3 key ways that AcuSense technology is revolutionising security for residential and SMB customers: This helps to prevent break-ins in the first place, further protecting people and assets AcuSense technology supports faster, more effective responses to security incidents - With traditional CCTV solutions, end users may not even know an incident has occurred until after the event – when damages and losses have already been incurred. AcuSense changes this with real-time alarms triggered to end users’ mobile devices – allowing them to respond in real-time to minimise the negative impacts of a security breach. As an additional benefit, certain AcuSense-enabled camera models offer built-in sound and strobe alarms to startle intruders when they enter restricted areas, stopping them in their tracks. This helps to prevent break-ins in the first place, further protecting people and assets. Real security threats AcuSense technology delivers major time and cost savings for homeowners and businesses - Another way AcuSense revolutionises home and business security is by differentiating between humans and vehicles, and other moving objects such as animals, falling leaves, or heavy rain. This minimises false positives and ensures that end users are only alerted in the event of real security threats. This is achieved with ‘tags’ added to the video timeline every time a person or vehicle appears With AcuSense technology, homeowners, SMB security teams, and alarm-receiving centres can also find footage of security incidents extremely quickly and easily, with no need to review video manually. This is achieved with ‘tags’ added to the video timeline every time a person or vehicle appears in the camera view – which eliminates the need for time-consuming, expensive, manual video searches. Existing camera investments AcuSense technology is fast and simple to deploy, delivering a truly easy upgrade path to AI - Although AcuSense offers security features that dramatically improve home and business security, the technology is fast and easy to deploy in a range of settings – from residences to factories, warehouses, and other restricted areas. In fact, Hikvision cameras, NVRs and DVRs with AcuSense technology are almost as simple to deploy as regular CCTV cameras and use similar mounting and configuration processes. In part, installation is so easy because the Motion Detection 2.0 function of AcuSense-enabled cameras and DVRs is turned on by default. This means that accurate human and vehicle detection is possible with no configuration necessary. Finally, but equally importantly, residential and SMB customers can deploy AcuSense-enabled NVRs to their existing camera estates to take advantage of new, AI-powered security features. This means that they can still boost their security provision with AcuSense, while also extending ROI on their existing camera investments.

Jashanmal, a Middle East retailer attracts more customers with innovative LED and LCD displays from Hikvision
Jashanmal, a Middle East retailer attracts more customers with innovative LED and LCD displays from Hikvision

To increase footfall in its Dubai Festival City Mall showroom, and to create a winning in-store customer experience, leading Middle East retailer Jashanmal has deployed a unique LED and LCD solution from Hikvision. Attracting customers in competitive retail environments Customers visiting large malls and retail parks can access a world of products in a single location. But while malls attract large crowds, stores need to create unique offers and experiences for customers to maximise footfall and to win a larger share of their overall spend. In this highly competitive environment, innovative commercial display technologies such as LED displays can help stores stand out and gain a significant competitive edge. As well as attracting more customers into the store, commercial displays and interactive screens can be used to provide information about specific brands and products or to order goods that are not available in the store. To achieve these benefits, leading homewares and lifestyle retailer Jashanmal is using the commercial display and LED technologies extensively in its stores. Using LED’s to create a wow factor We understand the benefits of LED's and interactive screens to create a ‘wow-factor' in our showrooms " The retailer exclusively distributes and retails some of the best brands in GCC (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman), and offers a wide selection of products ranging from cookware, tableware, home appliances, travel products, gifts and many more sees these kinds of technologies as a major opportunity to attract more customers and to deliver winning in-store experiences. Dinesh Dhingra, Chief Group Support & Services Officer, Jashanmal says, “We fully understand the benefits of LED displays and interactive screens in terms of creating a ‘wow-factor' in our showrooms. That’s why we decided to create and deploy a captivating commercial display solution at our showroom in Dubai’s Festival City Mall.” ‘Artistic’ LED display with interactive in-store screens Jashanmal worked with consultants from commercial display leader Hikvision to design the solution, which incorporates two unique ‘arch-shaped' LED displays at the showroom entrance. Each of these LED panels is one metre wide, and 15 metres long, reaching up from the floor, over the ‘arched’ entrance to the store. The panels continually show ‘artistic’ content that is perfectly aligned to the Jashanmal brand, creating a welcoming atmosphere for customers and encouraging them to come into the showroom and explore. Interactive LCD screens Customers can use these screens to browse product specifications and colour options In addition to these huge, arched LED displays at the store entrance, the solution includes three 86-inch interactive LCD screens located at the cash register, the ‘homewares’ area of the store, and in the ‘luggage’ area. Customers can use these screens to browse product specifications and colour options. If a product is not available in-store, customers can also use the screens to order them online. To complete the solution, three additional screens broadcast details of products, brands, and offers to customers in-store, helping to inform and inspire them on their buying journey. The digital signage content that is shown on these screens is also replicated on the LCD interactive screens when customers are not using them to browse or buy products online. All of the benefits with the lowest possible cost Although Hikvision consultants helped to design the solution, Jashanmal put out an open tender for the solution rollout. After a competitive bid process, Systems Integrator Magnus Technologies was chosen to deliver the solution, with foundational LED and LCD technologies provided by Hikvision. “Retail is an extremely price-sensitive industry, and we need excellent value across our entire supplier ecosystem,” says Dinesh Dhingra. “With Hikvision, we didn’t just get great technical and design advice. We also met our requirements in terms of cost-effectiveness and best value, which is a critical requirement across all our in-store innovation projects.” Close collaboration for a seamless deployment An artistic LED display attracts more customers into the Jashanmal showroom, boosting footfall in the store " Hikvision and partners collaborated extremely closely on the project with Jashanmal to ensure fast, seamless delivery. Sachin Srinivasan, Hikvision Project Manager, says, “The unique contour of the showroom’s arches meant that we had to work closely with the store and our other delivery partners at every stage of the manufacturing and deployment process. The result was a stunning artistic LED display that attracts more customers into the Jashanmal showroom, boosting footfall in the store and, as a result, conversion as well.” Increased competitive advantage for Jashanmal in Dubai Partnering with all the top brands in the Middle East, Jashanmal already has a winning retail proposition that keeps customers coming back for more. However, by collaborating with Hikvision and Magnus Technologies, the store has also achieved the brand expression it was aiming for to attract more customers than ever into its showroom at Dubai Festival City Mall. “The new commercial display solution delivered by Hikvision has been attracting a lot of attention,” says Dinesh Dhingra. “Our leading products and brands are now backed up by an equally compelling, exciting in-store experience for our highly discerning customers.”

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