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Dome cameras - Expert commentary

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 behaviors. 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 locationsThis 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! 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.

ISC West 2019: what's new in physical security's biggest global tradeshow?
ISC West 2019: what's new in physical security's biggest global tradeshow?

ISC West continues to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of the security marketplace. In 2019, there will be 200 new exhibitors, 100 new speakers and an expanding mix of attendees that includes more end users and international attendees. The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Among the more than 200 new exhibitors on the show floor will be Dell Technologies, Resideo, SAST (a Bosch IoT startup), Belkin International, NetApp, Lenovo, Kingston Technology and many others. The event continues to see more and more solutions in the area of IoT/connected security, a surge in barrier/bollards exhibitors, an increased number of start-up companies, and an emphasis this year on stadium/major events security. Plus, the new exhibit area of ISC West, Venetian Ballroom, will include a mix of solutions from mid-sized domestic and international companies, and is the home of the Emerging Technology Zone – back for its second year with 50-plus start-up companies expected.  The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas “ISC West is no longer just about video cameras, access control systems and alarms,” says Will Wise, Group Vice President, Security Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions, which produces and manages ISC West. Embracing and stimulating the market dynamic of comprehensive security for a safer, connected world, solutions on display at the show reflect convergence across physical security, IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology). The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home, Public Safety & Security, Connected Security, Unmanned Security Expo and the Emerging Technology Zone. Plus, complimentary education sessions in the Unmanned Security Expo theatre will include topics such as drones, counter-drone solutions, ground robotics and regulations/policies that support autonomous technology. This year’s event will feature more than 1,000 products and brands covering everything from video surveillance, access control and alarms/alerts, to IoT, IT/cybersecurity convergence, AI, embedded systems, drones and robotics, smart homes, smart cities, public safety and more. The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home and the Emerging Technology Zone  Elevating the Keynote Series  Over the past few years, ISC West has elevated its Keynote Series (open to all attendee types) to include more speakers and dynamic content covering relevant topics. Attendees should be sure to head to the Keynote room Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. before the expo floor opens at 10 a.m.  Relating to attendance, ISC West continues to diversify and grow the attendee universe by attracting additional enterprise government end-users across physical and IT/OT responsibilities. The show also continues to attract and grow the channel audience, and there will be an increasing number of International attendees.  “Years ago, ISC West was known exclusively as a dealer/integrator/installer show, but not anymore,” says Wise. “Today, the demographic mix continues to evolve as the event diversifies its product and educational offerings, embracing the current market reality of collaboration among integrators/dealers/installers, end-user decision-makers, and public safety and security professionals.”  When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities Within the SIA Education@ISC West conference program, there are over 100 new speakers. Through ISC West’s strong partnership with the Security Industry Association (SIA, the Premier Sponsor of ISC), the SIA Education@ISC West program has expanded and become increasingly dynamic and diverse over the last three years. In addition, ISC West and SIA are hosting a Women in Security breakfast on Friday morning April 12th.  Women in Security is a new track for the education program.    “Our attendance data reflects the demand for a mix of physical security integrator and end-user content, a balance of technical and management/strategic topics, and diverse topics incorporating IoT and cybersecurity/physical security convergence, and analytics expertise,” says Wise. “Last year was a record year for conference program attendance, and 2019 will yet again set new benchmarks.” Mobile apps, information desks and ease of registration ISC West is also focusing on the attendee experience. Need advice on what exhibitors are a fit for your business needs and interests? The Information Desk adjacent to the main expo entrance will provide customised recommendations based on the information attendees provided during the registration process.  Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website to research exhibitors and product categories, receive exhibitor recommendations that best fit business needs, review complimentary educational opportunities as well as 85-plus sessions from the paid SIA Education@ISC program.  There are many networking opportunities being offered at the show this year. When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities.  Whether attendees want to network with peers or customers at an awards ceremony (Sammy Awards, Fast 50, New Product Showcase Awards), Charity event (AIREF Golf Classic, Mission 500 Security 5K-2K Run/Walk), or an industry party (SIA Market Leaders Reception, ISC West Customer Appreciation Party at Tao), there are a variety of special events offered, all designed to help you make new connections. Make sure to check out the ISC West website for all the Special Events taking place at ISC West.

Latest Tamron Co., Ltd. news

Tamron unveils high-fidelity, high-sensitivity Standard Vari-Focal Lens with 4K/8-Mega-Pixel resolution
Tamron unveils high-fidelity, high-sensitivity Standard Vari-Focal Lens with 4K/8-Mega-Pixel resolution

Tamron Co., Ltd, globally renowned manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announced the market launch of a 4K/8 mega-pixel resolution 1/1.7" 3.8-17mm F/1.4 Standard Vari-Focal Lens (Model:M117VG3817IR) that delivers outstanding high-fidelity images over the entire visual and near-IR bandwidth spectrum. High-fidelity surveillance The need for high-fidelity surveillance in 4K/8 mega-pixel resolution is growing in the surveillance camera market The need for high-fidelity surveillance in 4K/8 mega-pixel resolution is growing in the surveillance camera market. In addition to high-fidelity, high sensitivity is also a mandatory feature in a lens. Tamron, addressing this growing market need, announces the release of a 1/1.7" 3.8-17 mm F/1.4 Vari-Focal Lens compatible with 4K/8-mega-pixel resolution, high-sensitivity, NIR- bandwidth, and CS-mount cameras. The new lens offers distinguished values in both high resolution and high sensitivity. Key features High optical performance compatible with "4K/8 Mega-Pixel" resolution - Use of an aspherical lens element, special LD (Low Dispersion) glass material, an XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) lens element combined with state-of-the-art optics design technology assures unrivalled image fidelity compatible with 4K/8 mega-pixel and 5 mega-pixel cameras. High sensitivity enhanced by F/1.4 aperture - The F/1.4 wide aperture renders high sensitivity that enables night-time surveillance in 8 mega-pixel resolution. Conformance to the widely used focal length of 3.8 - 17mm with the horizontal FOV (Field of View) angle of 121.2° - High-fidelity 4K/8 mega-pixel resolution is provided over the most widely-utilised focal length range of 3.8 - 17mm*. A wide-angle focal distance of 3.8mm supports a full range of high-fidelity imaging in outdoor installations. * For 1/3": Corresponds to the focal distance of 2.5 - 11.2mm High-fidelity 5-Mega-Pixel resolution is available, even in the NIR bandwidth - Integration of state-of-the-art optics design, choice of lens glass material, and enhanced engineering precision achieves outstanding improvement in CAS* compensation, NIR performance, and corner resolution, resulting in unprecedented high-fidelity 5 mega-pixel resolution in the NIR bandwidth. *CAS: Chromatic Aberration and Spherochromatism Substantial reduction in chromatic blur, ghosting, and flare - State-of-the-art optics design suppresses chromatic aberration to the bare minimum, rendering images without chromatic blur. Extensive use of advanced design and validation engineering eliminates unnecessary light reflection on the lens surface, while flare and ghosting are suppressed to the minimum by employing Tamron's multi-coating technology. Adoption of a metal mount for higher reliability - A newly adopted slip-mount mechanism assists the lens/camera integration for easy installation. Adoption of a metal mount achieves substantial improvement in reliability.

Tamron releases MP2030M-GS camera module for video surveillance
Tamron releases MP2030M-GS camera module for video surveillance

Camera modules, aka block cameras, are devices with an integrated image sensor, lens optics, video output and control electronics. With their easy integration in imaging systems, camera modules are widely used in a range of photography and video applications globally, e.g. in video surveillance and industrial automation. With the MP2030M-GS, Tamron Co. Ltd is advancing this product species to an unseen level so as to improve existing and enable new applications, featuring an industrial grade CMOS Global Shutter image sensor, Full-HD resolution at 60 fps, 30x optical zoom, and compatibility to the interface of many other camera modules in the market. Whenever a camera and its captured objects are moving relative to each other, the resulting video images are subject to motion blur. Typical scenarios are video captures of cars on a highway or recordings of cameras mounted on flying drones. This motion blur is especially severe at CMOS sensors with rolling shutter, where the pixels are read-out line by line. As automatic image processing algorithms can hardly cope with such artifacts, true machine vision applications require blur-free frames of CMOS sensors with global shutter technology, where exposures are started and stopped at the same time for all pixels of the sensor.Thanks to its high dynamic range, the video images bring out rich details of dark and bright image areas in the same scene Low-light surveillance Tamron’s 'newest eye for industry', the MP2030M-GS, is the first camera module with a CMOS Global Shutter sensor and integrated optical zoom going into series production. Its industrial grade color image sensor provides Full HD (1920 x 1080) video at 60 fps. Thanks to its high dynamic range, the video images bring out rich details of dark and bright image areas in the same scene. A low readout-noise combined with near-infrared sensitivity enable clear captures even under low-light conditions. Traffic surveillance to research Above all, the MP2030M-GS, features a Tamron signature lens with electronically controllable 30x optical zoom and a field of view between 60° and 2.5°. Comfort functions like auto-focus, auto-iris, auto-white balance, noise reduction, digital defogging, and digital vibration compensation are also included. This camera module is 56 x 61 x 124 mm small, weighs approx. 360 g, and its digital control/video-output interface is compatible with many other camera modules on the market. Thus, the MP2030M-GS is both, a value-adding drop-in replacement of discontinued camera modules in existing installations and an enabler of all-new applications in Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS), manufacturing automation, airborne aerial surveillance, entertainment, and research.

Tamron announces new shutterless thermal camera module
Tamron announces new shutterless thermal camera module

Tamron Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, has announced the development of a thermal camera module. Stable thermal images In general, a thermal camera module needs to periodically acquire reference data by actuating a mechanical shutter approximately every 2-3 minutes to achieve accurate temperature and stable thermal images. However, when the shutter closes some noise is generated by the shutter and the video will momentarily stop; and furthermore, there is a concern for the mechanical shutter's durability. Now Tamron has developed a "Shutterless Thermal Camera Module" by adopting an amorphous silicon thermal sensor that has excellent temperature reproducibility during temperature changes. Product features Since thermal camera modules can measure temperature and capture image in complete darkness, it enables "Observation" of patients and provide nursing care without disturbing sleep, "Human Detection" without requiring any illumination for security applications, and "Abnormal Temperature Detection" for equipment monitoring, and such applications. Since it is shutterless, it is possible to realise "Observation", "Human Detection", and "Abnormal Temperature Detection" without any shutter noise or stoppage in video.