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The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 has seen 323 mass shooting incidents as of November 28 in the United States. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016 (more statistics are available here), with “mass shooting” defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. While definitions of mass shooting vary with organisations in the US, the count of over 300 incidents per year, or about once per day on average, is simply alarming. It raises public safety concerns, ignites debates and protests, which in turn lead to public unrest and potentially more violence, and increases costs for governments from the regional to federal level. Most importantly, the loss of lives demands not only improvement in post-incident handling and investigation, but also new prevention technologies. Gunshot detection solutions AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting There are several gunshot detection solutions in the security market, commonly used by law enforcement agencies to detect and locate gun fires. These systems function based on acoustic recordings and analyses and often in combination with signals detected by sensors of the optical flash and shockwave when a gun is fired. However, gunshot detection by nature dictates that the law enforcement can only react to a shooting incident that has occurred. With fast action, law enforcement can prevent the incident from escalating, but lives that are lost cannot be recovered. With the development of artificial intelligence in object recognition, AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognise firearms in different shapes, sizes, colours, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing cameras systems, analyse the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Comparison of the advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies Legacy gunshot detection using sensors AI weapon detection Reactive measure: detect after guns have been fired Proactive measure: detect before guns are fired Time to action: within 1 second Time to action: within 1 second Unable to provide visual data about shooter(s) Can provide data about shooter(s) based on the camera recording: clothing, luggage (backpack, handbag, etc.), facial features, vehicle Unable to track the location of the shooter(s) before and after shooting because of the lack of sound Can track the shooter(s) using AI Person & Vehicle Tracking, AI Face Recognition, and AI License Plate Recognition False detection caused by similar sound such as fireworks and cars backfiring Minimal to no false detection, as AI can distinguish different types of handguns and rifles from normal objects (umbrella, cellphone, etc.) Require physical deployment of gunshot detection sensors Can be used with existing camera systems, do not require special hardware Complicated to deploy, require highly trained professional Easy to deploy as an add-on to existing video surveillance system - Can integrate with gun-shot detection to create a “double knock” audio and video active shooter alert system Gun-shot detection advantages In addition to advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies, this type of visual-based pre-incident detector has three-fold advantages for the public: Save lives by spotting the shooter before the shooting event. Minimise the chaos entailing an incident: panic and chaos caused by a shooting incident often adds to injury, as people run, fall, trample on others… With an AI weapon detector, when a gun is spotted, the system sends an alert to security staff, who can quickly control the situation in an organised manner and apprehend the intending shooter. Can be added as a SaaS (Security as a Service) component to small business and home surveillance systems, e.g., intrusion detection alerts (home invasion incidents with firearms number over 2500 per year nationwide). For a complete active shooter detection system, video-based AI detector can operate in conjunction with gunshot detectors for enhanced security. Traditional X-ray based weapon detection or metal detection entrance systems are complicated and expensive; with AI video technology, active shooter detection system can be cost-effective, and after all, what price tag can one put on a life? Written by Paul Sun and Mai Truong, IronYun
ARST is a public transportation company in Cagliari, Italy. The company operates a massive fleet of about 800 public buses throughout the island of Sardinia. During the vehicle modernisation process, the company decided to deploy new centralised CCTV systems to enhance the security level of passengers and drivers. First of all, the low-definition images captured by the original surveillance equipment cannot meet the company’s advanced monitoring needs. Second, the bus driver could not achieve point-to-point communication with the command centre in real time. In addition, in case of an accident, there was no emergency button on the bus before to report the emergency to the command centre. Customised mobile solution To help ARST revamp its bus security system, a customised Dahua mobile solution consisting of more than 3,000 cameras and 750 MXVRs, Panic Buttons, DSS integrated platform as well as other accessories was employed. The data collected from the front-end cameras is integrated in the control room via DSS4004, where emergency calls, geo-localisation of vehicles and statistics can be managed. Each bus is equipped with a penta-hybrid video recorder MXVR6212, 4, 6 or 8 HAC-HDBW2241F cameras Each bus is equipped with a penta-hybrid video recorder MXVR6212, 4, 6 or 8 HAC-HDBW2241F cameras and panic buttons. The main features of the systems are: data encryption, people counting, hot spot, router 3G/4G, dynamic management of the LCD monitor on board and geo-localisation via DSS app. As the first mobile XVR adopting HDCVI/AHD/TVI/CVBS/IP signals, MXVR6212 can achieve 1080P high-definition real-time recording. High performance sensor It supports real-time vehicle location tracking and monitoring, and all information such as GPS and video can be uploaded via wireless network - 3G/4G/WIFI. In addition, the device can also support connection of various accessories, such as card readers, fuel sensors, and emergency buttons. Furthermore, it has passed EN50155/ISO16750 to meet the requirements for mobile use. Other than city bus, this device can be used in various applications, such as school bus, taxi, police car, train, truck, etc. The 2MP HAC-HDBW2241F-M-A mobile camera is designed with a shock-proof compact case, which makes it convenient to be installed and adaptable to various applications. Boasting the strengths of the Dahua self-developed HDCVI technology, the camera offers high quality images and ensures real-time transmission. Also, it adopts a high performance sensor to provide incomparable performance even under extreme lowlight environment. Manage mobile devices The Dahua mobile solution with high-definition monitoring performance reduces theft and robbery on buses The Starlight feature allows capturing of more details and recognising accurate colours at night or in scenes with limited illumination. At the control room, Dahua DSS platform was utilised to control and manage the mobile devices deployed on the bus. It displays real-time location, speed, direction of mobile device, playback device’s history location, and supports alarm for over-speeding, entering and leaving the E-FENCE. Aside from central management, the Business Intelligence feature of Dahua DSS platform also allows the user to export Heat Map reports and people counting statistics, helping operator companies to optimise driving route to generate more profit. High-definition monitoring With upgraded Dahua system, the command centre can communicate with every single vehicle of ARST Bus Company in real time, enabling them to deliver instructions to the driver, allowing the driver to report immediately to the command centre in case of an emergency through the panic button, and ensuring the safety of passengers and drivers. The Dahua mobile solution with high-definition monitoring performance reduces theft and robbery on buses, and enables bus companies to collect accurate information about traffic flows and automatically download data to assist efficient and profitable operation. The Dahua mobile solution mounted on board has been proven to be highly efficient and reliable, which were also applied in two other Italian bus companies: AMAT Bus Company in Taranto and AMTAB Bus Company in Bari.
Since the spread of COVID-19 started in Denmark, the Danish government has closed all restaurants, bars and other business areas. In order to comply with the back-to-business policies of the government, Arkaden Food Hall, a popular food court located in Odense, needs to keep the number of guests within a specific limit per square meter – 308 people in their case. Being responsible for their customers and staff, the Food Hall deployed the People Counting and Flow Control Solution from Dahua Technology, to ensure a smooth and safe reopening after the pandemic. People count solution With 14 food stalls and 2 bars, the Food Hall has two entrances. The people count from these two entrances needs to be combined and displayed on screens to determine if there is any more room for customers to enter or will have to temporarily wait at the door. The solution consists of: 2 Entrances with 5 Series IPC (HDW5442E-ZE) 2 DPB18-AI 2 DHL32-F600 1 DSS Pro License 64 Channels + BI Module People counting and flow control The Dahua AI-powered people counting camera can automatically and accurately calculate the real-time number of people entering the restaurant, avoiding congestion and helping to mitigate the spread of the pandemic. The DSS PRO platform with People Counting and Flow Control, together with monitors and DPB18A helps send different videos/pictures and editable content for guests to see. When the number of guests exceeds the set value, the platform and monitors will notify and display ‘the limit is reached’ on the digital signage at the entrance of the Food Hall, reminding incoming customers to wait at the door. In addition, the people counting cameras are simple and easy to install, which allowed the installer to complete the entire project in just 1 day. Enhancing the safety level The People Counting solution has given us statistics and data about the behaviour of our customers" “The People Counting solution has given us statistics and data about the behaviour of our customers, which saves us a lot of resources since we do not have to physically count the number customers at the door. Furthermore, we can provide them with important information at the entrance using the monitors. We are very happy with our cooperation.” “There seem to be lots of innovative solutions out there that we would be more than happy to try out since we feel this will benefit us to be smarter and more efficient in many ways,” said Sanne Brigsted, Business Development Manager of the Food Hall. Faced with the impact of COVID-19, the Dahua People Counting and Flow Control Solution enhances the safety level and competitiveness of business establishments like Arkaden Food Hall, while creating a comfortable dining environment for their guests. Restaurant management efficiency Most importantly, it has helped the restaurant to successfully achieve its primary task of reopening its food hall by allowing an operator to monitor the customer traffic in real time so that timely security measures can be taken before the place becomes packed with customers. With this smart system, no additional employees are needed to count customers manually at the door, which can significantly reduce labour costs and improve restaurant management efficiency. Moreover, its monitor can serve as a notice board to inform customers or as a multi-purpose advertising screen with event marketing and planning based on the DSS Pro's intelligent data analysis, providing a platform with huge expansion potential and creating business opportunities for the restaurant.
Paxton Access Ltd. (Paxton) has announced new additions to their renowned Net2 access control product line, helping installers make their customers’ buildings more COVID-secure. The latest version of Net2 – v6.04 has been in rapid development since May 2020 and is now ready for installers to download. Net2 – v6.04 The latest version features Net2 Occupancy Management, which allows enterprises to limit the number of people in any given area, either barring access or sending an email or text to the building manager when a space nears capacity. It works across multiple areas of a site and can be set to operate a one-in, one-out system to support social distancing measures. In addition to this update, installers who want to use thermal scanning to help limit the spread of the virus can do so with three new thermal scan integrations. Making buildings more COVID-secure We understand the important part that access control plays in managing the flow of people around a building" Adam Stroud, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Paxton Access Ltd. stated, "We understand the important part that access control plays in managing the flow of people around a building in order to support a hygienic environment. In addition, controlling the density of people in any given area is a valuable tool to help businesses of all types to become 'COVID-secure'." Adam adds, “Net2 is one of the best-selling access control systems and so we have developed the new Occupancy Management feature to meet this specific need. For new and existing Net2 customers we hope that this new functionality helps the efforts that we are all making to observe social distancing and keep people safe." Occupancy Management with Net2 v6.04: Ensure users maintain a safe social distance by setting and controlling the maximum number of people in any given area. Real-time visual reports - see live occupancy levels in a clear, web-based visual report from smartphone, tablet, PC or widescreen wall display. Dynamic control of entry permissions - set alerts and prevent user access when maximum capacity is neared or reached. Simplified area management - set and manage multiple areas simultaneously, with specific occupancy levels per area. Support continuous flow of people movement with one-in-one-out user access when people numbers are high. Thermal scan hardware Paxton has also tested a range of thermal scan hardware and the company’s free 45-minute webinars will take installers through what is available and how to apply it. Paxton references solutions from Hikvision - Face Recognition Terminal (Minmoe), Dahua Technology - Thermal Temperature Station and ZKTeco – SpeedFace to help ensure health and wellbeing in high security areas and identify people that could be at risk, quickly. Net2 integrations with Hikvision, Dahua, and ZKTeco solutions Paxton has validated Net2 integrations with Hikvision, Dahua, and ZKTeco Paxton has validated Net2 integrations with Hikvision, Dahua, and ZKTeco. However, Net2 can work with most thermal devices that utilise a Wiegand output. Paxton has been running their ‘Guide to COVID-secure Buildings’ webinars to help get the U.S. back to work safely. Installers receive a live 45-minute webinar that will take them through the CDC and OSHA guidelines, as well as a free end-user guide to help their customers understand the access control solutions available when updating their buildings. ‘Guide to COVID-secure Buildings’ webinars Gareth O’Hara, the Chief Sales Officer at Paxton Access Ltd. said, “We’ve had a great response from customers so far, with hundreds joining us in the first couple of weeks. The webinar provides installers with practical access control solutions that businesses need now.” He adds, “The new Occupancy Management feature in Net2 has been eagerly anticipated and we are looking forward to getting it out there to help with social distancing on sites around the world. We are continuing to develop Net2 in line with installer feedback to provide even more flexibility for COVID-secure buildings, so watch this space.” Paxton’s latest webinar, the Guide to COVID-secure Buildings with Net2 started on June 30 and runs twice weekly.
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