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 Bosch Security Systems news

Global MSC to debate on the ability of AI to handle live incidents at their virtual event
Global MSC to debate on the ability of AI to handle live incidents at their virtual event

Global MSC Security will debate the ability of artificial intelligence to help Security Managers and Surveillance Camera Operators improve how live incidents are handled. Experts in facial recognition, criminal behaviour will participate in the Developing Smart Surveillance Operators free-to-attend online broadcast on 16th March at 13:00 (GMT). Keynotes will be presented by Dr. Craig Donald, Professor James Ferryman, and Tony Porter QPM LLB, with the broadcast, also featuring an in-depth Q&A panel with technology companies - Genetec, Bosch Security & Safety Systems, and Hanwha Techwin. Automatic visual surveillance Tony Porter is the former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and recently joined the facial recognition company Corsight AI as its Chief Privacy Officer, where is focused on the technological, legislative, and ethical aspects of a technology. James Ferryman is a Professor of Computational Vision at the University of Reading. He will discuss the computer analysis behind CCTV images, focusing on the latest research into automatic visual surveillance of wide-area scenes, using computational vision. Providing insight into the human factors involved in security technology integration will be Dr. Craig Donald, an esteemed organisational psychologist, with a specialist involvement in crime behavioural analysis and detection. Video management systems Technology such AI is placing intelligence in cameras and video management systems" “AI technology has the potential to support operators in making smarter decisions,” comments Dr. Craig Donald. “However, as we move to world where cameras are capable of learning, then both the camera and the operator will need good teachers, to ensure they understand crime behaviour, strategy, and dynamics.” Managing Director of Global MSC Security, Derek Maltby, states: “We are not talking about replacing operators, but enabling them to harness technology that is available right now to work smarter. Traditionally cameras have provided the lens through which operators observe, monitor, and respond to behaviours and actions. However, technology such AI is placing intelligence in cameras and video management systems, enabling them to not only see, but understand, interpret and guide the operator on the appropriate course of action.” Video analytics data A Q&A panel will provide insight into the latest technologies that enable smart surveillance operators. The speakers will be joined by Christian Morin, Vice-President of Integrations & Cloud Services at Genetec who will demonstrate how its Security Centre provides a single intuitive unified interface that enables operators to make sense of complexity. Bosch Security and Safety Systems will be demonstrating how video analytics data and alerts can be optimised by machine learning to support operators with better situational awareness, and Hanwha Techwin will explain how new technologies can enable operators to work smarter not harder. The Global MSC Security ‘Developing Smart Surveillance Operators’ Special Online Event is free-to-attend and takes place on 16th March at 13:00 (GMT).

Bosch releases a new version of AIoT video software solution supporting safe social distancing
Bosch releases a new version of AIoT video software solution supporting safe social distancing

The latest release of ‘Intelligent Insights’ from Bosch offers a software widget update that supports safe social distancing. Intelligent Insights is an ‘AIoT’ video software solution – which combines the connectivity of physical products with the application of artificial intelligence (AI) – that gives customers the power to predict based on live and historical data. Intelligent Insights taps data from Bosch video cameras with built-in AI and pulls it into a single dashboard to support informed decision-making before a potential situation occurs. Minimising coronavirus spread One of the most notable changes caused by the current pandemic is social distancing. Maintaining a precise distance and upholding a maximum threshold of people in gathering areas such as workplaces, shopping centers, and train stations has become critical to minimise coronavirus spread (COVID-19). In light of the challenges imposed by this situation, Intelligent Insights supports social distancing regulations with its latest software widget update. Intelligent Insights supports social distancing regulations with its latest software widget update The new Area fill level traffic light widget offers an intuitive graphical interface that helps users comply with social distancing regulations. The widget visualises the current and maximum number of people allowed in a particular area at a specific time. It illustrates three different states – normal, serious, and critical – as green, yellow, or red, along with corresponding info text, so the user instantly knows when to take action. Traffic light widget Users can opt to live stream the Area fill level traffic light widget on a monitor at an entrance to a supermarket or grocery store, for example, to inform customers whether they may enter the store. When a threshold is reached, the widget can activate and trigger a connected device that will inform visitors with a public announcement, simple alert, or message displayed on a monitor. Intelligent Insights uses built-in AI from Bosch cameras to interpret video images and captures camera metadata from situations involving moving objects, people counting, and crowd detection. The software tool then collects, aggregates, and displays this information using a series of pre-defined widgets enabling users to visualise and evaluate a complete scene from a simple overview screen. Intelligence beyond security Users can select the needed widgets to provide the required information to help predict unwanted situations The dashboard enables users to quickly understand what they see, which helps them respond before a potential situation occurs and delivers business intelligence beyond security. For detailed post-analysis and to help users adjust and alter future actions, Intelligent Insights offers a report function. Intelligent Insights comes with a series of intuitive dashboard widgets that enable users to evaluate a complete scene to support security, safety, and well-being in varying applications. Depending on the application, users can select the needed widgets to provide the required information to help predict unwanted situations or uncover new opportunities. Object positioning widget Area fill level, Occupancy counting, and Crowd detection offer the ability to monitor and detect crowds accurately and count individuals and objects. The user can specify the desired occupancy rate of an area by determining the maximum number of people allowed to be in that area within a given time. Intelligent Insights also offers Object counting and People counting to count objects or people accurately such as when entering or leaving a building. These widgets help identify peak and low times on specific days or over an extended period. Intelligent Insights uses only anonymous data from cameras, ensuring people’s privacy is protected at all times. With the Object positioning widget, users can get a real-time overview of all objects moving in a specific area. Based on their GPS position, which can be determined by cameras that feature built-in AI, the objects are plotted onto a map and classified with icons. Video management system Intelligent Insights, an AIoT video software solution from Bosch, supports social distancing regulations, helps customers respond before a potential situation occurs, and delivers business intelligence beyond security. Intelligent Insights is not only a powerful standalone software package but also designed for seamless integration with other software solutions like the video management system of Bosch (BVMS).

Bosch secures Granarolo plant at Soliera with their Intelligent Video Analytics system
Bosch secures Granarolo plant at Soliera with their Intelligent Video Analytics system

Situated near the picturesque small town of Soliera in northern Italy, the dairy plant of Italian food company Granarolo is anything but small: More than 600 farmers, 70 trucks for the collection of milk and 720 vehicles handle 850,000 tons of milk every year. Its dairy products such as milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and lately also ham and pasta, supply several million Italian families every day. The plant’s huge production capacity is reflected in the size of the perimeter: The Soliera facility stretches out over 45,000 square metres. Furthermore, it is located near a wooded land which is important when it comes to designing a security system aimed at protecting the plant against intrusion. Video surveillance system Granarolo wanted to replace an old analogue video surveillance system by a digital one as its security challenges exceeded the limits of the old installation. The project posed several challenges. The most significant being the vast area of the factory itself, as well as the location of the perimeter near an area that can only be poorly overseen. Since the factory is located in a heavily wooded area, building an appropriate video security system is more challenging because it needs to be safeguarded against false alarms, triggered by ever-changing lights, shadows and the constant movement of trees and plants. Tackling these challenges, Naples-based Bosch partner Gruppo Sirio worked out the modernisation of the plant’s security system, with Bosch cameras featuring built-in Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) at the heart of the system. Detecting suspicious objects Bosch provided a video surveillance system with 48 cameras of the Dinion series With the help of the security cameras’ integrated video analytics, virtual lines were drawn around the area to be protected against intrusion. When these lines are crossed by intruders, the programmed rules automatically generate alarms, alerting on-site security personnel to intervene. Whether the cameras are tasked with detecting suspicious objects or unusual movements in daylight or night-time, constant surveillance with a special focus on sensitive areas ensures security. In total, Bosch provided a video surveillance system with 48 cameras of the Dinion series. The system, which is managed on one central platform, is completely autonomous and entirely separate from any other system or network in the plant. This ensures maximum security even in the event of potential failures of other systems on site. Perimeter protection solution As a result of the modernisation process, Granarolo can now rely on a system specifically designed for its needs. The newly established, digital video surveillance and perimeter protection solution supports the security personnel in maintaining maximum levels of security through the entire area. It also guarantees that food safety standards in the protected facility are guarded against outside influences. Ultimately, the system allows the staff to fully focus on keeping the production running at all times, thereby contributing to secure the sensitive chain of the Italian food supply against interruptions.