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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.
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.
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.
ACRE brands, Vanderbilt and ComNet have announced the release of an Online Events and Learning page on their website. The launch of this new resource is in response to the current postponement of tradeshow events amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Outlining what visitors to the Online Events and Learning page can expect, Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications, Vanderbilt Industries explains “Our commitment is to make the customer’s security journey the best possible experience and that is what this Online Events and Learning page primarily focuses on. By taking a customer-first approach, we aim to highlight all of our customer-first value adds, such as our free online training services, multilingual customer service support, and free product demonstrations”. Award-winning security solutions He adds, “On top of this, we will also be hosting a series of webinars based on some of our most innovative solutions. These will be delivered by our in-house experts and will be a great opportunity for our customers to engage directly with some of the top minds behind these products in our company.” The Online Events and Learning approach by Vanderbilt and ComNet is built on a foundation of customer-focused core values such as empowerment, collaboration, and high performance. The current fruits of these core values will be on display for visitors to the Online Events and Learning page to see. For instance, detailed and engaging webinars on Vanderbilt’s award-winning products will include cloud-based solutions ACT365 and SPC Connect, plus intrusion system SPC and access control system, ACTpro. ACTpro access control system ACTpro, in particular, embodies the customer-first and high-performance approach being talked about ACTpro, in particular, embodies the customer-first and high-performance approach being talked about. It is a product that has continued to evolve based on customer requirements from the field, with its latest features including a “best-in-class” rules mapping engine and PoE Ultra controllers, plus Bluetooth readers and Biometric fingerprint readers that were recently added to the portfolio. “Our drive to become all-around solution companies has seen us harness numerous tools to complement a buyer’s journey from start to finish," Wilks said, adding "One prominent aspect of this strategy, which visitors to our Online Events and Learning page can also explore for themselves, is our webshop platform. This value-add has been available to our customers for less than a year, but already it has proved to pack a considerable punch in bringing about customer satisfaction to our base." Centralised Asset Management System The webshop optimises the goal to serve customers 24/7. Accessed through Vanderbilt’s main website, the webshop presents a simplified, intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and use. How-to videos assist with any questions that may arise, and an improved product hierarchy and centralised Asset Management System (AMS) ensure all support materials are relevant and up to date. Upcoming webinars include: Vanderbilt CPD Event - Electronic Security (16-04-2020) Port Guardian & Implementation in Solutions (28-04-2020)
In the first of Vanderbilt and ComNet’s upcoming webinar series, the ACRE companies will be tackling the topic of card cloning and reader hacking in access control. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 22 April, at 10 am (CET) and will last 45 minutes. The host of the webinar is Andrew Fulton, Director of Business Development for Access Control at Vanderbilt. “During this webinar, I will discuss and demonstrate the issues surrounding card cloning and reader hacking in the access control world today. I’m sure that some attendees will be shocked as to how easy even some of the more secure products can be compromised,” outlines Fulton. Access Control I look forward to you joining me on Wednesday morning for this in-depth discussion" “I will cover the latest threats and techniques, as well as solutions to the problem - some simple and low cost, others more complex and complete solutions. I will also make recommendations on the type of cards and readers that you should use to ensure you end up with the most secure offering today, and not something that you soon realise has been compromised.” Andrew Fulton, Director of Business Development for Access Control, Vanderbilt. “I look forward to you joining me on Wednesday morning for this in-depth discussion,” Fulton concludes. Electronic security industry Andrew Fulton is an experienced senior leader in the electronic security industry. As a co-founder of CEM Systems, he has over 30 years’ experience in access control products sold into the most complex situations worldwide. During this time, he has covered a broad spectrum of roles including software and product design, sales, and CEM Managing Director (before its acquisition by TYCO.) After continuing in global access sales in TYCO for 14 years, he has spent the last three years at Vanderbilt - initially as head of product management for access control before moving internally to Director of Business Development for Access Control. With in-depth valuable knowledge, particularly within aviation, gaming banking, and infrastructure security systems, Andrew has a great insight into the changing needs of current access control products, including secure credentials. Card and reader cloning Takeaways attendees can expect: Get the latest updates in card and reader cloning and hacking. Know what cards and readers are most secure going forward. Understand how to make the transition from insecure to secure cards and readers simple. When: Wednesday, 22 April at 10 am (CET) Duration: 45 minutes
Globally renowned ACRE brands, Vanderbilt and ComNet began to operate in unison, as part of a strategic move by their parent company to streamline and cement the international divisions of the business. Following on from the initial integration, David Sullivan, ACRE International President, has claimed that the strategic alignment is now well-positioned for a successful 2020 partnership. "No matter what experience I've had in the past with integrating businesses, you end up with a few bumps and challenges. Combining Vanderbilt and ComNet under one umbrella was no different. But now that we are through the learning curve, we're already starting to see better results," Sullivan states. Vanderbilt and ComNet partnership We're seeing better technical support, and are beginning to see a better understanding of the ComNet portfolio" David Sullivan, President of ACRE International, said “We're seeing better technical support, and are beginning to see a better understanding of the ComNet portfolio on the customer service side. Because of this, the ComNet customers are enjoying something they didn't have before, in-language customer service and technical support from our various offices around Europe.” David adds, “That's a significant advantage, and we've had a lot of customers come back and say that the supply and reliability of the supply has improved significantly.” Deepening of product portfolio In addition, ACRE has installed Iain Deuchars as the General Manager of the ComNet business, a move Sullivan states is already reaping positive effects. With 30 plus years' experience in the transmissions industry, Deuchars' knowledge and understanding of the market and the product portfolio on offer, has helped explicitly. The integration of both brands has also deepened each other's product portfolio, and this has seen more opportunities open up throughout the marketplace. Expansion in Middle East, India and Nordic regions Sullivan said, “In 2020, we're going to see more traction between the two sides of the business. We already have great opportunities that are developing in the Middle East where we are combining both the ComNet portfolio and our access control solutions.” He adds, “We're finding a lot of traction in India between both portfolios, and I think we're going to see it in the Nordic region as well. There are spots in our marketplace where we're seeing a lot of synergies associated with the Vanderbilt and ComNet working together.” Next phase of SPC wireless devices One of the big releases for Vanderbilt customers in 2020 is the release of the next phase of SPC wireless devices While the quarter has been a positive one, as President, Sullivan is always looking further down the line and strategising where the company will be positioned at the end of the year and beyond. One of the big releases that Sullivan is appetising for Vanderbilt customers in 2020 is the release of the next phase of SPC wireless devices. David said, "The essential thing for our customers right now is their interest in understanding where we are with our wireless sensors for our intrusion portfolio. It's been a phased release over the last two years, and the two critical elements to that portfolio are the PIR cam and the Wireless keypad.” New software releases and system upgrades He adds, “Those have been a little bit long in getting out, but they'll be coming out this year. I think that's going to change people's interest in our wireless portfolio radically. It's probably one of the most significant releases that we'll be having.” David concludes, “Clearly, we're going to be having a lot of different software releases and upgrades to the systems, but of the most significant, that's probably the one that people have been waiting for the most."
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