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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 Siqura B.V. news

TKH Security provides VMS with Siqura cameras for the wet infrastructure sector
TKH Security provides VMS with Siqura cameras for the wet infrastructure sector

The road network is under increasing pressure due to the sheer weight of traffic, and its bridges and water locks are no exception. In view of the importance of free-flowing traffic and the safety of such structures, they undergo continuous modernisation. One such modernisation is CCTV: by incorporating video surveillance into a security system, end-users can monitor and anticipate upon what’s happening at a certain location in real-time. This increases the efficiency and safety of such objects. Video management system Operators are continually fed the latest information through the video management system, allowing them to effectively anticipate any situation that may arise. This makes it possible to guarantee an optimum flow of vehicles and ships and to better respond to changing traffic situations in critical environments. TKH Security is specialised in video management systems in combination with Siqura cameras, thereby meeting the stricter laws and regulations governing the wet infrastructure sector. Motion detection Robin de Neve, International Sales Manager: “At TKH Security, we have been involved in wet infrastructure for many years and therefore know like no other how, in conjunction with installation engineers, to provide support to end users in the challenges they face in the sector. Thanks to the latest compression techniques and dual streaming, motion detection has become very efficient in terms of storage. Among the great advantages to operators is the fact that the system is very user friendly, it records only what is needed and it is exceedingly reliable thanks to failover functionality.” Easy-to-use high tech De Neve goes on to say: “Custom configurations can be made for individual operators, with panels to review images, for instance, control elements for third-party systems, HTML browsers and maps. The system has an open architecture and is API and ONVIF compatible, making installation and integration very easy. Using a powerful macro engine, customers can determine how the system responds given specific situations. Our video surveillance solution is scalable from a few to a few thousand cameras. Thermal cameras detect people on structures in all weather conditions, including rain, fog and low sun. In such cases, a signal is sent automatically to the control room so that operators can immediately respond if necessary.” Cameras with existing cabling Many structures such as bridges and water locks currently still use analogue solutions, and replacing existing cabling to enable an IP solution is often considered to be too expensive. TKH Security has special hybrid cameras that feature both analogue BNC connectors and SFP slots in addition to a regular network connection, making it possible to link them to several SFP modules: the Siqura 920 series. It is therefore not necessary to replace existing cabling, which considerably reduces costs. The hybrid cameras make it possible to use old-fashioned coaxial/analogue networks and still be able to migrate to IP cameras.

Siqura and TKH Security integrates surveillance and access control system for Sheikh Khalifa Central Hospital
Siqura and TKH Security integrates surveillance and access control system for Sheikh Khalifa Central Hospital

Siqura and TKH Security realised a fully integrated surveillance and access control system in the Sheikh Khalifa Central Hospital. This new hospital is located at the eastern edge of the emirate of Fujairah and will provide better 24/7 health services to citizens on the Eastern coast. The hospital consists of 11 specialised departments, a 32-bed emergency ward, a 3-storey rehabilitation building and more than 700 parking spots. Integration of multiple systems This hospital required a complete surveillance solution integrated with healthcare applications. The project combined access control and video management from TKH Security with cameras from Siqura. "We worked closely with our partners to comply with the solution which conforms to the new guidelines in Fujairah” says Tariq Anwer, Sales Director – Middle East & West Asia with Siqura. “The video surveillance component consists of around 700 different Siqura cameras, working with VDG Sense video management software and storage from TKH Security. The iProtect access control system, also from TKH Security manages around 400 doors with card and pin authentication. iProtect security management system is able to flawlessly fulfil the set of complex requirements demanded by this client.” Security management system healthcare facility For Siqura Middle East & West Asia and TKH Security, Sheikh Khalifa Central Hospital in Fujairah is a prestigious project in the healthcare segment. The integration of multiple systems under one roof combined with the integration of healthcare applications provided an extra challenge. Tariq Anwer: “The scope of the project involved an integrated security management system consisting of Siqura cameras, VDG Sense VMS and iProtect access control." "These are all managed at an upper level by iProtect security management system. Among others, some of the following features are implemented: managing visitors on-site and mustering system for emergency evacuation. This is in addition to the integration option with third party systems, for example baby-monitoring.”

Milestone Systems Device Pack 10.1a offers firmware support for partners and customers using XProtect video solutions
Milestone Systems Device Pack 10.1a offers firmware support for partners and customers using XProtect video solutions

Milestone Systems, the number one global provider of open platform networked video management systems, has released Device Pack 10.1a for partners and customers using Milestone XProtect video solutions. The latest Device Pack offers new firmware support for partners Axis, FLIR Systems, Hanwha Techwin, Honeywell and MOBOTIX. New features include support for SRTP (Secure Real-time Transport Protocol), a feature that ensures that camera video streams are received via secure end-to-end encrypted transportation method only by authorised clients, for an increased number of Axis devices. Driver Command with Response Also, Device Pack 10.1a carries implemented support for ‘Driver Command with Response’ on all Axis drivers, as well as bugs-fixing of issues with connecting through HTTPS and appropriate handling of the speaker device of M1065-LW. Device Pack 10.1a has implemented support for thermal events for MOBOTIX M16 Series and new driver support for SonyGenXDevice Pack 10.1a has implemented support for thermal events for MOBOTIX M16 Series and new driver support for SonyGenX, including bug-fixing for failure on Edge retrieval for SNC-VB630 and Multicast Settings issues for Sony G7. The new Device Pack offers support for the ONVIF specification 18.06. This includes a number of major enhancements and minor clarifications for better interoperability among ONVIF conformant clients and devices. Support for the ONVIF specification 18.06 With the release of Device Pack 10.0a in late 2018, Milestone Systems now supports new logic for Inputs/Outputs for Axis audio device driver. The device pack also has implemented support for variable bitrates for Bosch, support for additional analytic events for Vivotek, as well as for Siqura. The Device Pack 10.0a also supports ONVIF-based cameras for partners Mobotix and Arecont Vision, both of whom released their first ONVIF-based cameras in 2018.