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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.

Latest IDIS news

IDIS announces new staff announcements and hires to expand business in the U.S. market
IDIS announces new staff announcements and hires to expand business in the U.S. market

IDIS, one of Korea’s largest in-country video tech manufacturer, is pleased to announce several new staff appointments and hires at IDIS America. Andy Cruz has been named Area Sales Manager for the Houston, Texas region. Cruz brings over fourteen years of security industry experience spanning systems integration, sales, and distribution. Mark Creighton has come aboard as Area Sales Manager for the Southern California territory. A retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, Creighton has been a valued resource in the security industry for over twenty years and brings extensive technical expertise to managing the network video and security sales markets in the Western United States. Security industry experience Jason Burrows now serves as IDIS America’s Regional Sales Director in charge of all sales operations in the Western half of North America. With over twenty-eight years of security industry experience, Burrows has held key positions with the largest brands in video surveillance manufacturing and distribution. Throughout his career, he has worked closely with integration firms and large-scale end-users including military, education, cruise lines, theme parks, shipping ports, Metro transit, and major municipalities. Jeff Montoya has been named Regional Sales Director for the Eastern U.S. region. He brings twenty years of industry experience working for manufacturers, as well as in distribution and integration in the video surveillance and access control markets. With experience handling national account level clients providing sales, service and project coordination, Montoya will also support sales and marketing initiatives for selected vertical markets. Wider global marketing programs IDIS has also recently welcomed several new manufacturer’s rep firms to support its continued growth Leo Choi is responsible for Marketing and Demand Creation of IDIS video tech across North America. Previously working in senior international marketing positions for LG Electronics, Choi has already been instrumental in liaising with IDIS’ sales, marketing, and product planning teams in South Korea to bring new products and technologies to meet the specific needs of the U.S. market. Cydney Higgins serves as IDIS’ Marketing Specialist and has taken on an expanded role to include overseeing wider global marketing programs and communications as well as local marketing and providing sales administration support. IDIS has also recently welcomed several new manufacturer’s rep firms to support its continued growth and expansion in the U.S. market. Deep learning announcements “These new hires bring additional sales capability backed by an extensive tech team and positions IDIS for continued growth into existing and new markets,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. “The company has some exciting tech launches planned over summer that will further build out our end-to-end solutions for the residential, commercial office space, education and retail sectors. Customers can also expect some exciting deep learning announcements as well continue to bring to market technology that enhances safety and security as well as delivering significant operational efficiencies.”

IDIS eyes more Middle East and North Africa video projects, as part of banking, education and retail sector expansion plan in the regions
IDIS eyes more Middle East and North Africa video projects, as part of banking, education and retail sector expansion plan in the regions

Globally renowned video surveillance and technology solutions firm, IDIS is targeting video projects in resilient Middle East market sectors, including banking, grocery retail, and education, as it looks to build on recent successes, delivering compliance-driven solutions. Despite continuing disruption and uncertainty in the world economy, the company says the outlook is positive in the region as it supports its systems integration partners to focus on both resilient sectors and markets showing continued growth. Video tech projects in the education sector The Korean video technology solutions provider, which is known for its end-to-end solutions, highlights opportunities for video tech projects in the education sector, where it already has successful deployments in the Middle East countries of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The education sector continues to expand through investment from private equity firms and government funding" “The education sector continues to expand through investment from private equity firms and government infrastructure funding, as well as international higher education institutes expanding their presence in the Middle East and North Africa regions,” said Jamil Al Asfar, Senior Sales Manager, IDIS Middle East & Africa. IDIS video technology in banking sector In the banking sector, major investments in more robust video surveillance infrastructure, over the last three years, have been largely driven by compliance pressure, as more and more banks look to meet ever more stringent government standards. IDIS video technology has already been deployed to protect more than 3,000 bank branches and ATMs for the National Commercial Bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was chosen to secure the Central Bank of Jordan. Both projects demonstrated the benefits of robust, cyber-secure technology and proved how compliance can be delivered at good pace, even on a challenging scale in difficult environments. Video technology expansion in financial and retail sectors With IDIS video solutions fully compliant with requirements in the financial sector, including the gold-standard Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) regulations, upgraded projects are driving strong activity for the company and its integration partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA),  Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan. In the grocery and retail sector, Carrefour’s recently reported expansion across the Middle East, and its choice of IDIS video tech, has paved the way for further opportunities, including for projects in hypermarkets. In-depth experience in retail sector Alongside our integration partners, IDIS has in-depth experience of retail applications globally" IDIS Middle East & Africa, Senior Sales Manager, Al Asfar stated, “Alongside our integration partners, IDIS has in-depth experience of retail applications globally and we are focusing on continuing demand for not just affordable video, but for scalable solutions that offer advanced analytics and deep learning tools. These will help stores compete in the current tough trading conditions and into the future too.” SIRA certification for IDIS cameras and NVRs Al Asfar adds, “In addition, Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) certification for the latest range of IDIS cameras and NVRs also means we are gaining momentum in commercial, residential and government sectors across the UAE. In Dubai, we have seen construction and re-development rapidly bounce back, and all these new facilities need compliant, cyber-secure and resilient video tech to ensure public safety and security.” “Despite the undoubted economic challenges in some sectors, we are still seeing strong demand for video solutions that combine low total cost of ownership (TCO), high performance, and robust cyber security standards, and that meet compliance needs,” said, Ahmad Shanawani, Managing Director, Ametrad Technology Services. Ahmad adds, “We are now seeing how much IDIS end-to-end solutions and the company’s collaborative approach are suited to the growth projects we are working on.”

IDIS supports integrators in building a new European economy and resilient sectors that offer opportunities to diversify
IDIS supports integrators in building a new European economy and resilient sectors that offer opportunities to diversify

IDIS is working with systems integrators across Europe to identify and secure video projects in post-COVID growth sectors, including hyperscale and co-location data centres, residential construction, logistics and healthcare. Integrators affected by project delays or cancellations in their established markets are looking to diversify their customer portfolios says the company. In the latest analysis released online it highlights sectors that will offer significant prospects for new video installations and system upgrades, as customers look to expand, to drive efficiency, or to introduce COVID-safe site control measures. Data centre market “After a number of project successes across the UK, mainland Europe and the Middle East we are seeing opportunities in some exciting areas,” said James Min, Managing Director, IDIS Europe. “For example, there is currently extraordinary growth in the co-location (co-lo) data centre market. Even before the push-effects of COVID-19 this sector was already set to double by 2024 compared to 2018, and that now looks likely to be an underestimate.” Businesses concerned with becoming infection hotspots are looking to increase site monitoring He said there was similar buoyancy in the logistics sector, which continues to be boosted by the rise of e-commerce, and in healthcare where some major video projects are being accelerated, including roll outs for a large NHS Trust due to be completed over the summer. AI video capabilities Businesses concerned with becoming infection hotspots are looking to increase site monitoring, whilst pressures to drive efficiency are pushing other businesses to leverage the latest AI video capabilities, with new systems and upgrades. “Yet without sector experience these growth markets can be difficult to access,” he added. “So, systems integrators in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands are positioning themselves by partnering with the right vendors, including IDIS.” Seamless technical support House building and residential developments are also seeing strong activity in several areas, with recent government interventions providing a stimulus. IDIS will continue to develop its relationships with main contractors to capitalise on resilience in new build projects - one major development in South East London, making extensive use of IDIS video tech, is due for completion later this month. IDIS already has strong references in these sectors and is encouraging its integration partners to capitalise on emerging opportunities. The company is structured to collaborate closely with systems integrators and end-users, offering benefits including lower total cost of service (TCS) for integrators. Advantages of the single-supplier model include improved sales planning, seamless technical support for end-to-end solutions, and reduced training requirements. New safe working practices IDIS is a very effective collaboration partner, helping to identify upgrade opportunities and new business" Among the companies benefiting from the diversification is systems integrator ISD Tech, which is involved in IDIS projects in the UK and mainland Europe. Managing Director Nicky Stokes commended IDIS’s approach to the market, and to working with partners to support customers long term, which he says is very different to the ‘box shifting’ distribution model: “IDIS is a very effective collaboration partner, helping to identify upgrade opportunities and new business. As well as giving our existing customers solutions that let them adapt to new safe working practices, we are also developing opportunities in new market sectors where IDIS already has a strong presence.” Face mask policy compliance Looking ahead, James Min, Managing Director, IDIS Europe, said the company would be further supporting integration partners by building out solutions to help businesses enforce safe working practice in Q3. “We will be helping them meet new government and industry guidelines with competitive video solutions for applications including building occupancy and density control, social distancing compliance and face mask policy compliance,” he confirmed.