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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 VIVOTEK news

VIVOTEK upgrades security at South Africa's BP Manor Garage Gas Station
VIVOTEK upgrades security at South Africa's BP Manor Garage Gas Station

Providing a safe and secure environment to drive into the lane and fuel up vehicles is a key factor in ensuring improved customer satisfaction for a gas station. To offer better service to the customer, VIVOTEK the global pioneering IP surveillance provider has assisted BP Manor Garage Gas Station, located in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, to upgrade their existing security system. Most of the existing cameras on-site at the BP Manor Garage Gas Station, installed about four years ago, were adequate for the customer's current requirements. The BP Manor Garage Gas Station did not want to replace most of the older cameras, meaning that retrofitting was an essential aspect of the project. However, major updates were required. Some of the older cameras were damaged because their seal had worn out, allowing water to enter. On the storage side, the user needed to retain recorded footage for four months while enabling remote viewing from a location that was about 5kms away. IP surveillance systems BP Manor already had a strong and positive history of using VIVOTEK complete IP surveillance systems, including network cameras, network video recorders (NVR) and video management software. This long-term partnership and trust ensured that the company continued to choose the same brand. A total of 50 cameras were installed, covering areas from driveways to cash points, the shop floor, pump islands, and staff rooms. VIVOTEK began the project by replacing the damaged cameras with IB9360-H and IB9388-HT. These bullet cameras deliver high-quality images and are weather-proof with an IP66 rating and vandal-proof with IK10-rated housing. In order to meet the unique demands of the gas stations, a mini fisheye camera with a 360-degree surround view can cover the shop floor, while box and fixed dome cameras cover an indoor cashpoint, and weather-proof and vandal-proof bullet cameras protect outdoor driveways. Network video recorders The result has meant that BP Manor can continue to grow its business intelligently The transformation also included three existing network video recorders (NVR) were replaced with a single 128 channel, 16 hot-swappable HDD bays NVR, the NR9782-v2. The whole system was connected and managed by VIVOTEK's state-of-the-art video management software VAST 2, empowering the customer to control the footage better with smart search, video analytics report, and third-party data source with Data Magnet functionality. Data Magnet The Data Magnet enables importing PoS data into VAST 2, providing rapid access to the recorded data while supporting the simultaneous display of sales transaction information during live streaming. The result has meant that BP Manor can continue to grow its business intelligently. Their customers can be assured of their safety and security as they return to this trusted brand, just as BP Manor has returned to VIVOTEK. "Ever since 2010, we have been supplying and installing VIVOTEK's IP surveillance system and offering them to our customers as a premium option. They provide unparalleled quality and performance. We remain loyal to the brand and can vouch for the product's durability and performance,” stated Azam Paruk, Azrea Installations, Managing Partner.

VIVOTEK provides a rigorous surveillance system for Peyrelongue Chronos to prevent robbery and safeguard surroundings
VIVOTEK provides a rigorous surveillance system for Peyrelongue Chronos to prevent robbery and safeguard surroundings

For the jewellery business owner, ensuring the highest level of security has always been a top priority. VIVOTEK, the IP surveillance provider, has built up a rigorous surveillance system for Peyrelongue Chronos, a well-known luxury boutique offering high-end jewellery in Mexico, to monitor their precious products without any blind spots and to prevent robbery or theft. Peyrelongue Chronos has recently remodelled its facilities, including an overall of the video surveillance system. In search of the best solution to meet demands for both outside and inside the store, Peyrelongue Chronos found all of its requirements met by the wide range of VIVOTEK cameras. Harsh outdoor environment The 180-degree multi-sensor MS8391-EV was mounted on the facade of the boutique to maximize the field of view with 12-megapixel high-quality images and reduce the number of cameras required, thus cutting down installation costs. The camera is also ideal for the outdoors because of the robust housing that resists rain, dust and protects it from vandalism or tampering. The 180-degree multi-sensor MS8391-EV was mounted on the facade of the boutique To enhance the outdoor security of the building, two FD9360-H cameras were added to monitor the avenue in both directions and provide clear night views despite the harsh outdoor environment. Inside the Peyrelongue Chronos store, two of MS9390-HV, the most efficient panoramic network camera, were installed in the jewellery area to surveil all displays as well as all movements within them. Receiving alarm notification With its unique and stylish dual-sensor design, the MS9390-HV offers a 180-degree field of view and range of up to 20 metres, and is capable of maintaining a higher field of view (FOV) than traditional multi-sensor panoramic cameras using four sensors. Within the spacious and comfortable luxury watch area, two 12-megapixel fisheye cameras, the FE8191 and FE9191 were chosen to monitor the product showcases, delivering blind-spot-free 360-degree surround imaging of wide areas. Further enhancing performance, the FE9191 features AI-powered Video Content Analyses - Smart 360 VCA, including intrusion detection, crowd detection, and loitering detection, which enables the security staff to receive alarm notification for any notable event. Finally, for the shared area, such as aisles, entrances, and exits, the ability to capture high-quality images both in low light and high-contrast environments is a critical issue when selecting surveillance cameras. Providing quality service The most remarkable thing when working with VIVOTEK is technical support" The 5-megapixel and 2-megapixel dome cameras, FD9189-HM and FD8166A-N, were chosen precisely for this reason. The FD9189-HM is equipped with 30 metres range IR illuminators for enhanced night vision, and the FD8166A-N is armed with invisible 940nm IR illuminators and capable to see up to 6 metres in total darkness, making it a sure bet to meet all the surveillance requirements in transit zones within this renowned boutique. “Thanks to VIVOTEK’s high-level security system, we are confident that we can guarantee our clients the best experience from the moment they walk in. Peyrelongue Chronos feels secure with VIVOTEK’s surveillance solution while servicing clients,” pointed out Ana Lucía García, Marketing and PR Manager of Peyrelongue Chronos. “The most remarkable thing when working with VIVOTEK is technical support. They assisted me both pre-sale and post-sale to provide quality service to our customers. No matter what types of security issue my clients may have, I know I can solve it with VIVOTEK’s technology,” remarked Serafin Sanchez, Automatisation Server Manager and Integrator Certified by VIVOTEK.

VIVOTEK collaborates with Chiyu Technology on integrated access control and IP surveillance solution
VIVOTEK collaborates with Chiyu Technology on integrated access control and IP surveillance solution

VIVOTEK, the globally-renowned IP surveillance solution provider, has in recent years been committed to offering comprehensive solutions through multiple strategic alliances. Integrated access control  Partnering with Chiyu Technology, one of the most experienced access control system provider in Taiwan, VIVOTEK rolls out the latest integrated access control and IP surveillance solution, an one-stop shopping, seamless integration, and easily managed solution to meet the market's demand. Traditional access control system requires time, budget, and third-party partners to adopt and integrate the intelligent IP surveillance technology with it. This new integrated solution, however, can be adopted in various fields at once and establishes a considerably higher level of security. Equipped with facial recognition and video tagging With facial recognition and video tagging, the new solution can accurately verify who is entering a specified area With facial recognition and video tagging, the new solution can accurately verify who is entering a specified area and then subsequently track where visitors go once they have entered. VIVOTEK also provides a wide selection of versatile network cameras to deliver high-quality imagery in diverse and changing environmental conditions. More importantly, security staff can easily manage both IP surveillance and access control systems through VIVOTEK’s VAST 2, user-friendly, intuitive video management software. All of these advanced features combine to provide an enhanced user experience while simplifying procedures of device setting and management. IP surveillance and access control integration “The integration of IP surveillance and access control has become a growing trend for Smart Security Systems. I believe this cooperation with IP surveillance pioneer VIVOTEK will build a mutually beneficial partnership, making us more competitive in the global industry,” said Eric Chang, General Manager of Chiyu Technology. From network cameras, and access control systems to backend software, VIVOTEK provides one-stop shopping solutions to create a new standard of customer service. Strategic partnership “It is our pleasure to team up with Chiyu Technology. With their profound expertise in the industry, we can reinforce our solutions' capability and realise the potentials of our products. We will be relentlessly devoted to offering more comprehensive and compatible IP surveillance solutions to unlock new possibilities for different applications and vertical markets,” said William Ku, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK Brand Business Group.