Fibre optics, telemetry receivers, transmitters, transceivers - Expert commentary

Live-streaming mobile surveillance takes cameras to the action
Live-streaming mobile surveillance takes cameras to the action

Video surveillance across the world is growing exponentially and its major application is in both public safety and law enforcement. Traditionally, it has been fixed surveillance where cameras provide live streams from fixed cameras situated in what is considered strategic locations. But they are limited in what they can see given by their very definition of being "fixed." The future of video surveillance includes the deployment of more mobile video surveillance with the benefits it offers. Instead of fixed cameras, this is the ability to live stream from mobile devices on the move such as body-worn cams, drones, motorbikes, cars, helicopters and in some cases, even dogs!Sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters Advantages of mobile surveillance The advantage of mobile surveillance is that the camera can go to where the action is, rather than relying on the action going to where the camera is. Also, sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters. The ability to live stream video from cars and helicopters in high-speed pursuits can be used to take some of the operational issues from the first responders on the ground and share that “life and death” responsibility with the operational team leaders back in the command centre. This allows the first responders in the pursuit vehicle to focus on minimising risk while staying in close proximity of the fleeing vehicle, with direction from a higher authority who can see for themselves in real time the issues that are being experienced, and direct accordingly. In addition to showing video live stream from a pursuit car or motorcycle, by using inbuilt GPS tracking, the video can be displayed on a map in real time, allowing a command chief to better utilise additional resource and where to deploy them, through the use of displaying mapping information with real time video feed. It allows police chiefs to make better informed decisions in highly-charged environments. The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively Application in emergency situations The same is true of first responders in many different emergency situations. Mobile surveillance opens up a new area of efficiencies that previously was impossible to achieve. For example, special operations can wear action body-worn cameras when doing raids, fire departments can live stream from emergency situations with both thermal and daylight cameras, and paramedics can send video streams back to hospitals allowing doctors to remotely diagnose and prepare themselves for when patients arrive at the hospital. How can special operations and emergency first responders live stream video from a mobile camera with the issues of weight, reliability and picture-quality being considered? H265 mobile video compression Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively. The issue of course is that 4G is not always reliable. Soliton Systems has mitigated this risk of low mobile quality in certain areas, by building an H265 mobile video compression device that can use multiple SIM cards from different cellular providers simultaneously. H265 is the latest compression technique for video, that is 50% more effective than conventional H264, and coupling this with using multiple “bonded” SIM cards provides a highly reliable connection for live-streaming high-quality HD video. The 400-gram device with an internal battery can be connected to a small action cam, and can live-stream simultaneously over at least three different cellular providers, back to a command centre. Latency is typically less than a second, and new advance improvements are looking to reduce that latency further. Encrypted video transmission What about security? Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain, i.e. AES256.What about integration into existing video infrastructure at the command centre? It is not untypical for a police force to have an existing video management system (VMS) at their command centre such as Milestone System’s Xprotect. The Soliton range of products are ONVIF-compliant, a standard used by video surveillance cameras for interoperability, allowing cameras and video devices that are ONVIF-compliant to simply “plug&play” into existing video management systems. These mobile transmitters are deployed with law enforcement and first responders across the globe. Their ability to provide secure, full HD quality and highly-reliable video streaming within a small unit, and to enable it to be integrated into the current eco-system that is already installed at the receiving end, has made them a favourite choice with many companies and government agencies.

Why live video streaming is critical for safer and smarter cities
Why live video streaming is critical for safer and smarter cities

The term “smart city” gets thrown around a lot nowadays, but as different technologies that strive to be defined in this way are adopted by different countries globally, the meaning of this phrase gets lost in translation. The simplest way to define a “smart city” is that it is an urban area that uses different types of data collecting sensors to manage assets and resources efficiently. One of the most obvious types of “data collecting sensor” is the video camera, whether that camera is part of a city’s existing CCTV infrastructure, a camera in a shopping centre or even a police car’s dash camera. The information gathered by video cameras can be used with two purposes in mind, firstly: making people’s lives more efficient, for example by managing traffic, and secondly (and arguably more importantly): making people’s lives safer. Live streaming video all the time, everywhere In the smart and safe city, traditional record-only video cameras are of limited use. Yes, they can be used to collect video which can be used for evidence after a crime has taken place, but there is no way that this technology could help divert cars away from an accident to avoid traffic building up, or prevent a crime from taking place in the first place. However, streaming live video from a camera that isn’t connected to an infrastructure via costly fibre optic cabling has proven challenging for security professionals, law enforcement and city planners alike. This is because it isn’t viable to transmit video reliably over cellular networks, in contrast to simply receiving it. Video transmission challenges Transmitting video normally results in freezing and buffering issues which can hinder efforts to fight crime and enable flow within a city, as these services require real-time, zero latency video without delays. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of any scene where cameras are present to support immediate decision making and smart city processes. The information gatheredby video cameras can beused to make people’s lives more efficient, and to make people’s lives safer There are many approaches to transmitting video over cellular. We’ve developed a specialist codec (encoding and decoding algorithm) that can provide secure and reliable video over ultra-low bandwidths and can therefore cope when networks become constrained. Another technique, which is particularly useful if streaming video from police body worn cameras or dash cams that move around, is to create a local wireless “bubble” at the scene, using Wi-Fi or mesh radio systems to provide local high-bandwidth communications that can communicate with a central location via cellular or even satellite communications. Enhanced city surveillance Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means that video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control centre and matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. Identifying known criminals This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city centre where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police. Facial recognition technology captures and streams live back to a control centre, matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns In an ideal world where the police had an automated, electronic workflow, the police officer nearest to the location of the incident would be identified by GPS and would be told by the control room where to go and what to do. Most police forces aren’t quite at this technological level yet, and would probably rely on communicating via radio in order to send the nearest response team to the scene. As well as this, shopping centres could create a database from analogue records of known shoplifters to identify criminals as soon as they entered the building. This would be even more effective if run co-operatively between all shopping centres and local businesses in an area, and would not only catch any known shoplifters acting suspiciously, but would act as a deterrent from shoplifting in the first place. Live streaming for police As mentioned above, live streaming video from CCTV cameras can help the police fight crime more proactively rather than reactively. This can be enhanced even further if combined with live streaming video from police car dash cams and police body worn cameras. If video was streamed from all of these sources to a central HQ, such as a police operations centre, the force would be able to have full situational awareness throughout an incident. This would mean that, if need be, officers could be advised on the best course of action, and additional police or other emergency services could be deployed instantly if needed. Incorporated with facial recognition, this would also mean that police could instantly identify if they were dealing with known criminals or terrorists. Whilst they would still have to confirm the identity of the person with questioning or by checking their identification, this is still more streamlined than describing what a person looks like over a radio and then ops trying to manually identify if the person is on a watch list. The smart, safe city is possible today – for one, if live video streaming capabilities are deployed they can enable new levels of flow in the city. With the addition of facial recognition, cities will be safer than ever before and law enforcement and security teams will be able to proactively stop crime before it happens by deterring criminal activity from taking place at all.

Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment
Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment

In 2017, DITEK saw how power surges from the many natural disasters that took place damaged many businesses. In a natural disaster, or even everyday business operations, a facility’s entire investment in security, life safety and surveillance systems technology can be disabled or rendered useless in a few seconds. Surge protection solutions can mitigate those risks and protect security investments. Proactive approach to risk mitigation Throughout 2017, we also witnessed a change in how enterprises view surge protection, which included how investments are being made in surge protection to protect valuable security, life safety and surveillance systems, while also reducing downtime, manpower costs, liability vulnerabilities, and possibly compliance issues that can force businesses to actually cease operations. Effective security management is about mitigating risks. But risks cannot be mitigated without a proactive approach. Enterprises and integrators, who take the time to assess risk and to develop a strategy to incorporate effective detection, deter and response criteria to protect physical assets will be successful in 2018. 2018 and beyond That strategy includes designing surge protection into new security systems, while also adding surge protection to existing systems. Enterprises and security integrators who implement a surge protection strategy during security planning processes – or after – will be exercising prevention and mitigation, and they will be successful in 2018 and beyond.  Surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise surveillance and security systems In 2017, Ditek continued to offer security end users a solid surge protection solution. We also successfully educated system integrators, who are seeking value-added products or services to incorporate into their portfolios, on the importance of surge protection devices. Educating security integrators We believe that surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise video surveillance and security systems, because they can and do meet safety and security challenges that have been rarely identified in the past. We are looking forward to 2018, when we will continue to develop new surge protection products – including a new product engineered to protect up to twelve individual fuel dispensers, which is critical to the financial operation of convenience stores. We will also continue to educate security integrators about the importance of including surge protection in the design/build RFP, to not only secure an enterprise’s valuable security equipment, but also to help integrators to differentiate their capabilities and knowledge from the competition.

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Quanika tech available through NIT makes security and corporate systems integration easier for Middle East and Africa projects
Quanika tech available through NIT makes security and corporate systems integration easier for Middle East and Africa projects

IT and security systems integrators across the Middle East and Africa can now deliver more efficient, off-the-shelf integration of complete corporate systems - including access control, visitor management, security and building management - following a distribution agreement between Quanika and NIT, an Ingram Micro Company. Quanika’s modular, ready-made approach is designed to make integration straightforward, even for the most complex, multi-site projects, enabling organisations to adapt their on-site operations quickly to meet rapidly changing circumstances, and run them efficiently from a single interface. A1001 and A1601 controllers The company works with systems integrators, consultants, and end-user enterprises globally to leverage seamless integration with Axis Communications’ A1001 and A1601 controllers for unlimited doors and users, network cameras and audio devices. Quanika also allows integrators to scale up AXIS Camera Station VMS to encompass more cameras and cover multiple sites as well as giving them the extensibility choice of Milestone’s powerful XProtect for video management. Quanika’s portfolio of solutions is designed to eliminate the inefficiencies of siloed solutions Quanika’s portfolio of solutions is designed to eliminate the inefficiencies of siloed solutions to enable more productive connections between people, physical infrastructure, and corporate systems. Quanika Compact is a practical and affordable choice for small-to-medium applications in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, logistics and similar locations, giving users the ability to tie together and flexibly manage multiple sites. Visitor management solution Quanika Enterprise is designed for larger scale facilities and corporate enterprises, including multi-purpose buildings, hotels, transportation hubs, hospitals, and universities, giving organisations complete control and situational awareness across their entire estates globally. The Quanika VisitorPoint visitor management solution streamlines and automates operations. Delivering a frictionless and contactless experience, Quanika VisitorPoint is becoming essential during the COVID-era to minimise interaction and risks to frontline staff and reduce contact with doors and surfaces, while acting as a force multiplier for the efficient management, control and tracking of visitors and contractors access and movements throughout facilities. Building management systems As well as providing new technology application routes for security systems integrators, the distribution agreement opens up extensive project options for NIT’s customer base of IT systems integrators, allowing them to deliver modular, commerical off-the-shelf (COTS) security and safety solutions with an extensive choice of third-party systems - everything from intruder alarms, fire, and building management systems to individual, operations-specific business management databases, systems, or devices. Welcoming the deal, Bassel Al Fakir, Managing Director NIT, an Ingram Micro Company, said that Quanika’s solutions are expected to make it easier for NIT customers to deliver solutions with a single, intuitive, security and safety management interface. Integrators and consultants Our customers will be able to use Quanika’s off-the-shelf solutions and 24/7 support to integrate best-in-class technologies" “NIT’s distribution agreement with Quanika will provide major opportunities for ICT integrators and consultants across the Middle East and Africa,” he said. “Our customers will be able to use Quanika’s off-the-shelf solutions and 24/7 support to integrate best-in-class technologies and deliver new levels of insight and control.” Quanika Managing Director, Leo Cook, said the agreement would also help integrators and their customers improve operational efficiency and meet the unprecedented challenges now facing them. Seamless operational efficiency “It’s never been more important for organisations to be able to manage their operations efficiently, and to let their people to work safely, flexibly and securely,”  he said. “Quanika is already helping customers globally to meet today’s rapidly evolving challenges." "We are helping organisations to pivot their operations, including managing their people and networks more efficiently, and improving the way they use their buildings. We now look forward to working with NIT customers across the region to deliver seamless, advanced solutions here.”

Security Industry Association discloses the winners of the 2020 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship
Security Industry Association discloses the winners of the 2020 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has selected 12 recipients for the inaugural SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship – a program developed by the SIA Women in Security Forum designed to further educational opportunities and promote advancement for a diverse security workforce. Through this new scholarship – open to SIA members and student members – each awardee will receive $6,650 to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, conferences or webinars, SIA program offerings, repayment of student loan debt and/or other academic or education programs. “The SIA Women in Security Forum continues to break new ground, inspire me and many others and provide unique opportunities for the widest spectrum of people possible to thrive in this field through initiatives like this new scholarship offering,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “We congratulate this talented and historic first class of SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship winners and look forward to celebrating their many accomplishments to come.” 2020 Scholarship winners The winners for the 2020 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship are: Ryane Burke, Partner Marketing and Events Manager, Identiv Margurie Evans, SIA student member; Event Security Lead, Phoenix Suns Antoinette King, Key Account Manager – end-user, Axis Communications Kavya Madhusudhan, Senior Project Engineer, Allegion Erin Mann, Customer Experience and Strategy Marketing Manager, Multifamily, Allegion Canada Inc. Daphne Navarro, SIA student member Sheethal Rao, Mechanical Engineer, Allegion Jenna Rolfe, SIA student member; Junior Readiness and Security Policy Officer, Global Affairs Canada Joneka Russell, Security Offer, Allied Universal Holly Sanson, Marketing Manager, ADT Commercial Kerri Sutherland, Human Resources Business Partner, Axis Communications Rachel Wyatt-Swanson, Director of Business Development, Cherokee Nation Security & Defense These honourees were selected with the help of SIA’s Scholarship Selection Committee – a group comprised of volunteers from the SIA Women in Security Forum and SIA’s Human Resources Committee. SIA thanks the scholarship committee and its chairs for their work in evaluating the 2020 scholarship applications. The leadership of women SIA’s Women in Security Forum works to engage all security professionals to promote the leadership of women SIA’s Women in Security Forum works to engage all security professionals to promote, recruit and cultivate the leadership of women for a more inclusive and diversified industry. The forum’s key efforts and activities – in addition to the scholarship – include the SIA Progress Award, which celebrates individuals who advance opportunities and pave the way to success for women in the security industry. Activities also include quarterly virtual education series; collaborative projects with other organisations that seek to empower women in the security and technology fields; sponsorship of the Women in Biometrics Awards. Biometric identity and security industry The initiative recognises distinguished females in the biometric identity and security industry; thought leadership opportunities; and engaging networking and professional growth events. The SIA Women in Security Forum is open to all employees of SIA member companies. The 2020 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship is generously supported by Diamond Level donor Axis Communications; Emerald Level donors Alarm.com, Allegion, Altronix and BCD International; Ruby Level donors Integrated Security Technologies, Brivo and Securitas. Donors Also, Sapphire Level donors Maureen Carlo, director of strategic alliances at BCD International, Ted Curtin, president of Repworks, Martha Entwistle, Women in Security Forum member, SIA CEO Don Erickson, John Gallagher, vice president of marketing at Viakoo, John Nemerofsky, chief operating officer at SAGE Integration, GSA Schedules Inc. Additionally, also supported by SAGE Integration, Security Specifiers, SoundSecure and Imperial Capital; and scholarship program affiliates SDM, SecurityInfoWatch, Security Matters, Security Sales & Integration and Security Systems News.

Security Industry Association announces the winners of the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase Awards
Security Industry Association announces the winners of the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase Awards

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the 2020 winners of the SIA New Product Showcase Awards, the flagship awards program in partnership with ISC West recognising innovative security products, services and solutions. Top among the winners – who were recognised on July 9 during a virtual awards show – was Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, receiving the 2020 Best New Product Award. Since its inception in 1979, the SIA New Product Showcase has been the security industry’s premier product awards program. New products are reviewed by a panel of judges with extensive industry experience, and in 2020, following significant deliberations, the 30 judges presented awards for technologies covering 23 product and service categories. Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, received the Best New Product honour for its 3D Surveillance with Leica BLK247, submitted in the Emerging Technologies category. Building security The 3D Surveillance with Leica BLK247 is “a first-of-its-kind reality capture sensor for building security and operations,” said Leica Geosystems. “It is the latest product in the company’s BLK product line, a collection of reality capture, scanning and photogrammetry hardware and software. The BLK247 offers continuous, 24/7 LiDAR-based 3D monitoring and change detection within spaces. It does this using LiDAR, 3D digital fencing and continuous scanning to monitor buildings and spaces 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” The prestigious Judges’ Choice Award was presented to Suprema Inc. for the Airfob Patch product, submitted in the Access Control Devices & Peripherals Hardware – Wireless category. “Airfob Patch is the world’s first mobile-to-RF-card signal translator, enabling mobile phones to communicate with the existing RF card readers,” said Suprema Inc. “Wire, batteries nor construction is required for installation. Airfob Patch charges itself by using the existing RF field signals transmitted from the RF reader. It transforms the RF fields into its own power source.” New Product Showcase Merit Award SIA is proud to present John Spooner with the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase Merit Award" Additionally, John Spooner – executive vice president at Alarm Detection Systems and an active volunteer judge in the SIA New Product Showcase program. Spooner received the New Product Showcase Merit Award, which recognises an individual or company who, through their support of the New Product Showcase, demonstrates a commitment to the vision and mission of the program, contributes to its success and promotes the advancement of SIA and the security industry overall. “SIA is proud to present John Spooner with the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase Merit Award; John has not missed a single SIA New Product Showcase event since he began as an active volunteer judge in the program 17 years ago,” said Chris Grniet, chair of the SIA New Product Showcase Committee. “He has always been a fair and honest participant and has never hesitated to jump in and help whenever we need him. He has been exemplary in his commitment, participation and ability to help the group reach consensus.” Services and contributions “Following hours of panel-driven judging and technology demonstrations, SIA is thrilled to recognize the 2020 winners of the SIA New Product Showcase Awards for their innovative products, services and contributions representing the best new offerings in the market,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA applauds all the honourees who received awards in 2020 and particularly Leica Geosystems and Suprema Inc. for standing out in this highly competitive field of entrants to earn the Best New Product and Judges’ Choice distinctions. Additionally, we congratulate John Spooner on receiving the 2020 New Product Showcase Merit Award in recognition of his many valuable contributions to this premier program.” Award winners The 2020 SIA New Product Showcase winners are: Best New Product Award Winner – Leica Geosystems, Part of Hexagon: 3D Surveillance with Leica BLK247 Judges’ Choice Award Winner – Suprema Inc.: Airfob Patch New Product Showcase Merit Award Winner – John Spooner, executive vice president, Alarm Detection Systems Category Awards Access Control Devices & Peripherals Hardware – Wireless Winner – dormakaba: BEST Switch™ Tech Access Control Software, Hardware, Devices & Peripherals – Wired Winner – Swiftlane: Swiftlane Access Control Honourable Mention – Altronix Corporation: Tango Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection and Biometrics Winner – Gibraltar Perimeter Security: G-1441 Ultra-Shallow Bollard Winner – IDEMIA: VisionPass Commercial Monitoring Solutions Winner – IronYun Inc.: AI NVR Edge Analytics Communications and Networking Solutions Winner – Axis Communications, Inc.: AXIS C8210 Network Audio Amplifier Convergence and Integration Solutions Winner – Blue Light: Blue Fusion Design, Diagnostic and Installation Tools Winner – Alarm.com: On-Site Wrap Up Emergency Communication Systems Winner – Verint: NowForce Emerging Technologies Winner – BioConnect: BioConnect’s Unified Mobile Access Solution Winner – IPVideo Corporation: HALO IOT Smart Sensor 2.0 Fire/Life Safety Winner – Kidde: Kidde Optica Smoke Detectors Hosted Solutions/Managed Services Winner – SiteOwl: SiteOwl Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions (Physical) – Wireless Winner – Alula: Slimline Touchpad Honourable Mention – Cartell: CW-SYS Wireless Driveway System Lock and Key Solutions Winner –Medeco: All Weather Padlock Honourable Mention – Abloy Oy: ABLOY® BEAT Mobile Solutions (Connected) Winner – CloudScann: Visual Intelligence Control Centre (VICC) With VisualC3 Mobile Honourable Mention: Rapid Response Monitoring: rapidSMS Smart Home Solutions Winner – Alarm.com/Building36: Smart Water Valve+Meter Threat/Risk Management Software Applications Winner – Splan Inc.: SIVI™ – Splan Intelligent Visitor Insights Video Surveillance Advanced Imaging Technologies Winner – Axis Communications, Inc.: AXIS Live Privacy Shield Video Surveillance Cameras (HD/Megapixel) Winner – Bosch Security and Safety Systems: MIC IP Ultra 7100i Honourable Mention – Hanwha Techwin: PNM-9085RQZ Video Surveillance Data Storage Winner – Dragonfruit AI: Dragonfruit LiveArchive Video Surveillance Hardware and Accessories Winner – EIZO Inc.: FDF2711W-IP Video Surveillance Management Systems Winner – Airship Industries, Inc.: Airship EMS v5.4.5 During the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase virtual awards ceremony, in addition to the presentation of the overall and category-specific awards, attendees enjoyed hearing insights from New Product Showcase judges into innovations driving product advancements in the security industry.