FLIR FC-Series ID: Best-in-class thermal camera with on-board analytics for high-performance intrusion detection
FLIR FC-Series ID: Best-in-class thermal camera with on-board analytics for high-performance intrusion detection

The new FC-Series ID combines best-in-class thermal image detail and high performance edge perimeter analytics in a single device that delivers optimal intrusion detection in challenging environments and extreme conditions. FC-Series ID cameras feature on-board video analytics optimized for FLIR’s thermal sensors. Easy to set up and capable of classifying human or vehicular intrusions, FC-Series ID cameras provide reliable detection with very few false alarm rates, all without human intervention.  High-performance intrusion detection Reliable on-board analytics with a very low false-alarm rate Auto calibration of depth setup, for a simple and reliable configuration. No additional measurement tools are needed, requiring only a single installer on site Allows analytics in corridor mode, reducing the number of cameras and improving the total cost of ownership Manual and automatic masking of area in the scene  Industry-leading image quality Crisp, clean imagery for unmatched video analytics performance & reliability Superior image quality in low-contrast conditions FLIR’s custom AGCs provide unmatched image contrast Dynamic Detail Enhancement (DDE) creates sharp edges and contrast that improve analytics performance  Expanded selection of high-performance lenses Wide variety of lenses for optimal detection ranges in all conditions Choose lenses from 44 degrees (13mm) to 8 (VGA) / 4 (QVGA) degrees (75mm), suitable for any perimeter or open area High performance optics deliver crisp, clean thermal video Optional deicing for use in the most demanding installations High analytic ranges to reduce number of cameras and total cost of ownership (TCO)

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IP cameras - Expert commentary

Blending physical security with convenience is no simple task
Blending physical security with convenience is no simple task

Back in the 1960s a lead engineer working in conjunction with the United States Navy for Lockheed’s Skunk Works team coined the acronym KISS, which translated to the design principle ‘keep it simple stupid’.  The KISS principle embraces the concept of simplicity, stating that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than geared up to be more complicated. When it comes to physical security systems, this concept can also play a key element in its overall success. Secure work environments For years the tug of war in the security industry has pitted the need for a secure environment against the desire for technology that is convenient for users. However, finding a happy medium between the two has often seemed elusive. I believe you can design and have operational convenience at the same time as achieving high security" Jeff Spivey, a security consultant and the CEO of Security Risk Management, has this to say about it, “If there is an understanding of the security-related risks and their separate and/or collective impact on the organisation’s bottom line business goals, a resolution can be reached.” Jeff also does not think that convenience and high security have to be opposing each other. He says, “I believe you can design and have operational convenience at the same time as achieving high security.” Importance of secure access control The premise is that for organisations and spaces to be truly secure, they must be difficult to access. So, by its very nature, access control is designed to be restrictive, allowing only authorised staff and visitors to access a facility or other secured areas inside. This immediately puts convenience at odds with security. Most people will tolerate the restrictive nature of a controlled entrance using badge, card or biometric because they understand the need for security. When that technology gets in the way of staff traversing freely throughout the facility during the course of a business day, or hindering potential visitors or vendors from a positive experience entering the building, they become less tolerant, which often leads to negative feedback to the security staff. Enhancing corporate security Security consultants like Spivey and security directors all stress that understanding the threats and risk levels of an organisation will most likely dictate its physical security infrastructure and approach. All the technology in the world is useless if it is not embraced by those who are expected to use it and it doesn’t fit the culture of the organisation. Once employees and customers are educated about what security really is, they understand that they're not losing convenience, they're gaining freedom to move safely from point A to point B. Converged data and information shape new access options Migration of physical access control systems to a more network-centric platform is a game-changer for security technologies The migration of physical access control systems to a more network-centric platform has been a game-changer for emerging security technology options. The expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), Near-Field Communication devices powered by Bluetooth technology, and the explosion of converged information systems and identity management tools that are now driving access control are making it easier than ever before for employees and visitors to apply for clearance, permissions and credentials. Wireless and proximity readers Advancements in high-performance wireless and proximity readers have enhanced the user’s access experience when presenting credentials at an entry and expediting movement throughout a facility. A user is now able to access a secured office from street-level without ever touching a key or card. Using a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or triggering a facial recognition technology, they enter the building through a security revolving door or turnstile. A total building automation approach adds extra convenience, as well as seamless security, when access technology is integrated into other systems like elevator controls. A total building automation approach adds extra convenience and seamless security How to Meet Security Concerns at the Entry While security managers are charged with providing their facilities the maximum level of security possible, there is always the human element to consider. But does the effort to make people comfortable with their security system ecosystem come at a cost? Does all this convenience and the drive to deliver a positive security experience reduce an organisation’s overall levels of security? And if so, how can we continue to deliver the same positive experience including speed of entry – while improving risk mitigation and threat prevention? Door entrances, barriers Users can slip through the door or turnstile barriers while they are still open after a credentialed individual has gone through Let’s examine some of the various types of entrances being used at most facilities and the security properties of each. With some entrance types, there is the possibility for security to fall short of its intended goals in a way that can’t be addressed by access control technology alone. In particular, with many types of doors and barriers, tailgating is possible: users can slip through the door or turnstile barriers while they are still open after a credentialed individual has gone through. To address this, many organisations hire security officers to supervise the entry. While this can help to reduce tailgating, it has been demonstrated that officers are not immune to social engineering and can often be “talked into” letting an unauthorised person into a facility. Deploying video cameras, sensors Some organisations have deployed video surveillance cameras or sensors to help identify tailgaters after the fact or a door left open for longer than rules allow. This approach is not uncommon where facilities have attempted to optimise throughput and maintain a positive experience for staff and visitors. Security staff monitoring the video feeds can alert management so that action can be taken – but this is at best a reactive solution. It does not keep the unauthorised persons from entering, and so is not a totally secure solution. Optical turnstiles, speedgates Security staff should carefully evaluate its facility’s needs and consider the technology that is built into the door itself Security staff should carefully evaluate its facility’s needs and consider the technology that is built into the door itself. Not all security entrances work the same way. And, there will always be a balance between security and convenience – the more secure the entry, the less convenient it is for your personnel and visitors to enter your facility. For example, it takes more time to provide 2-factor authentication and enter through a mantrap portal than to provide only one credential and enter through an optical turnstile or speedgate. Perimeter protection So, it is an important first step to determine what is right at every entrance point within and around the perimeter. Remember that convenience does not equate to throughput. Convenience is the ease and speed of entry experienced by each individual crossing that threshold, while throughput relates to the speed at which many individuals can gain access to the facility. A more convenient entry makes a better first impression on visitors and is good for overall employee morale. Throughput is more functional; employees need to get logged in to begin their workday (and often to clock in to get paid), and they quickly become frustrated and dissatisfied when waiting in a long line to enter or exit the premises. Considering form and function when designing a security entrance can ensure that those requiring both high-security and convenience are appeased.

Home monitoring at the edge: Advanced security in the hands of consumers
Home monitoring at the edge: Advanced security in the hands of consumers

Imagine a home surveillance camera monitoring an elderly parent and anticipating potential concerns while respecting their privacy. Imagine another camera predicting a home burglary based on suspicious behaviors, allowing time to notify the homeowner who can in turn notify the police before the event occurs—or an entire network of cameras working together to keep an eye on neighborhood safety. Artificial Intelligence vision chips A new gen of AI vision chips are pushing advanced capabilities such as behavior analysis and higher-level security There's a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) vision chips that are pushing advanced capabilities such as behavior analysis and higher-level security to the edge (directly on devices) for a customisable user experience—one that rivals the abilities of the consumer electronics devices we use every day. Once considered nothing more than “the eyes” of a security system, home monitoring cameras of 2020 will leverage AI-vision processors for high-performance computer vision at low power consumption and affordable cost—at the edge—for greater privacy and ease of use as well as to enable behavior analysis for predictive and preemptive monitoring. Advanced home monitoring cameras With this shift, camera makers and home monitoring service providers alike will be able to develop new edge-based use cases for home monitoring and enable consumers to customise devices to meet their individual needs. The result will be increased user engagement with home monitoring devices—mirroring that of cellphones and smart watches and creating an overlap between the home monitoring and consumer electronics markets. A quick step back reminds us that accomplishing these goals would have been cost prohibitive just a couple of years ago. Face recognition, behavior analysis, intelligent analytics, and decision-making at this level were extremely expensive to perform in the cloud. Additionally, the lag time associated with sending data to faraway servers for decoding and then processing made it impossible to achieve real-time results. Cloud-based home security devices The constraints of cloud processing certainly have not held the industry back, however. Home monitoring, a market just seven years young, has become a ubiquitous category of home security and home monitoring devices. Consumers can choose to install a single camera or doorbell that sends alerts to their phone, a family of devices and a monthly manufacturer’s plan, or a high-end professional monitoring solution. While the majority of these devices do indeed rely on the cloud for processing, camera makers have been pushing for edge-based processing since around 2016. For them, the benefit has always been clear: the opportunity to perform intelligent analytics processing in real-time on the device. But until now, the balance between computer vision performance and power consumption was lacking and camera companies weren’t able to make the leap. So instead, they have focused on improving designs and the cloud-centric model has prevailed. Hybrid security systems Even with improvements, false alerts result in unnecessary notifications and video recording Even with improvements, false alerts (like tree branches swaying in the wind or cats walking past a front door) result in unnecessary notifications and video recording— cameras remain active which, in the case of battery powered cameras, means using up valuable battery life. Hybrid models do exist. Typically, they provide rudimentary motion detection on the camera itself and then send video to the cloud for decoding and analysis to suppress false alerts. Hybrids provide higher-level results for things like people and cars, but their approach comes at a cost for both the consumer and the manufacturer. Advanced cloud analytics Advanced cloud analytics are more expensive than newly possible edge-based alternatives, and consumers have to pay for subscriptions. In addition, because of processing delays and other issues, things like rain or lighting changes (or even bugs on the camera) can still trigger unnecessary alerts. And the more alerts a user receives, the more they tend to ignore them—there are simply too many. In fact, it is estimated that users only pay attention to 5% of their notifications. This means that when a package is stolen or a car is burglarised, users often miss the real-time notification—only to find out about the incident after the fact. All of this will soon change with AI-based behavior analysis, predictive security, and real-time meaningful alerts. Predictive monitoring while safeguarding user privacy These days, consumers are putting more emphasis on privacy and have legitimate concerns about being recorded while in their homes. Soon, with AI advancements at the chip level, families will be able to select user apps that provide monitoring without the need to stream video to a company server, or they’ll have access to apps that record activity but obscure faces. Devices will have the ability to only send alerts according to specific criteria. If, for example, an elderly parent being monitored seems particularly unsteady one day or seems especially inactive, an application could alert the responsible family member and suggest that they check in. By analysing the elderly parent’s behavior, the application could also predict a potential fall and trigger an audio alert for the person and also the family. AI-based behavior analysis Ability to analyse massive amounts of data locally and identify trends is a key advantage of AI at the edge The ability to analyse massive amounts of data locally and identify trends or perform searches is a key advantage of AI at the edge, for both individuals and neighborhoods. For example, an individual might be curious as to what animal is wreaking havoc in their backyard every night. In this case, they could download a “small animal detector” app to their camera which would trigger an alert when a critter enters their yard. The animal could be scared off via an alarm and—armed with video proof—animal control would have useful data for setting a trap. Edge cameras A newly emerging category of “neighborhood watch” applications is already connecting neighbors for significantly improved monitoring and safety. As edge cameras become more commonplace, this category will become increasingly effective. The idea is that if, for example, one neighbor captures a package thief, and then the entire network of neighbors will receive a notification and a synopsis video showing the theft. Or if, say, there is a rash of car break-ins and one neighbor captures video of a red sedan casing their home around the time of a recent incident, an AI vision-based camera could be queried for helpful information: Residential monitoring and security The camera could be asked for a summary of the dates and times that it has recorded that particular red car. A case could be made if incident times match those of the vehicle’s recent appearances in the neighborhood. Even better, if that particular red car was to reappear and seems (by AI behavior analysis) to be suspicious, alerts could be sent proactively to networked residents and police could be notified immediately. Home monitoring in 2020 will bring positive change for users when it comes to monitoring and security, but it will also bring some fun. Consumers will, for example, be able to download apps that do things like monitor pet activity. They might query their device for a summary of their pet’s “unusual activity” and then use those clips to create cute, shareable videos. Who doesn’t love a video of a dog dragging a toilet paper roll around the house? AI at the Edge for home access control Home access control via biometrics is one of many new edge-based use cases that will bring convenience to home monitoring Home access control via biometrics is one of many new edge-based use cases that will bring convenience to home monitoring, and it’s an application that is expected to take off soon. With smart biometrics, cameras will be able to recognise residents and then unlock their smart front door locks automatically if desired, eliminating the need for keys. And if, for example, an unauthorised person tries to trick the system by presenting a photograph of a registered family member’s face, the camera could use “3D liveness detection” to spot the fake and deny access. With these and other advances, professional monitoring service providers will have the opportunity to bring a new generation of access control panels to market. Leveraging computer vision and deep neural networks Ultimately, what camera makers strive for is customer engagement and customer loyalty. These new use cases—thanks to AI at the edge—will make home monitoring devices more useful and more engaging to consumers. Leveraging computer vision and deep neural networks, new cameras will be able to filter out and block false alerts, predict incidents, and send real-time notifications only when there is something that the consumer is truly interested in seeing. AI and computer vision at the edge will enable a new generation of cameras that provide not only a higher level of security but that will fundamentally change the way consumers rely on and interact with their home monitoring devices.

The intersection of education and fire and security
The intersection of education and fire and security

Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From kindergarten to university Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognises outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education.  Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customised solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customised solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.

Latest FLIR Systems news

FLIR Systems announces A400 and A700 Thermal Smart Sensor solution to check elevated skin temperatures
FLIR Systems announces A400 and A700 Thermal Smart Sensor solution to check elevated skin temperatures

FLIR Systems, Inc. announces the FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor and Thermal Image Streaming fixed camera solutions for monitoring equipment, production lines, critical infrastructure, and screening for elevated skin temperatures. These highly configurable smart camera systems provide accurate, non-contact temperature monitoring across a wide range of disciplines: manufacturing process control, product development, emissions monitoring, waste management, facilities maintenance, and Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) improvements. Optimising process control The FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor solution initially will be prioritised for those responding to COVID-19. For all applications, the series offers multi-image streaming, edge computing, and Wi-Fi connectivity to help speed data flow and enable faster decisions, improving productivity and safety for professionals.   FLIR designed the A400/A700 cameras with two configurations to better meet application-specific needs. The Thermal Smart Sensor configuration, recommended for measuring elevated skin temperatures, incorporates advanced measurement tools and alarms with edge computing to enable faster critical decisions. The Image Streaming configuration provides multiple thermal streaming capabilities to help optimise process control, improve quality assurance, or identify potential failures that could shut down a production line. Imaging streaming configurations For more than 40 years, FLIR thermal imaging has provided technologies for professionals" Users design their systems by choosing either the Smart Sensor or Imaging Streaming configurations, selecting either the A400 or A700 camera body based on the resolutions they need, and then adding lenses and a range of optional features to fit their application. “For more than 40 years, FLIR thermal imaging has provided technologies for professionals to improve not only their capabilities, but also their safety on the job,” says Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR. “As the world works together to face the global COVID-19 pandemic, given the need for this technology, FLIR will prioritise initial deliveries of this new A-series camera to professionals using it in elevated skin temperature screening as an adjunct to other elevated body temperature screening tools to help to fight the spread of the virus.” Elevated skin temperature screening software Also, FLIR currently is in beta testing for an automated elevated skin temperature screening software solution that is fully integrated with its United States Food and Drug Administration-certified thermal cameras. The solution is designed to rapidly increase the accuracy, ease-of-use, and speed of existing screening procedures. FLIR will share an announcement about its solution in Q2 2020. FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor and Thermal Image Streaming cameras are available for purchase globally from FLIR distributor partners.

What technology buzz will dominate the security industry in 2020?
What technology buzz will dominate the security industry in 2020?

The new year comes with new opportunities for the security industry, but what technologies will dominate our discussions in 2020? Topics such as artificial intelligence (AI) and HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure) became familiar in conversations during 2019, and they are likely to dominate our thoughts again in the new year. But other buzzwords are also gaining steam, such as “blockchain” and “frictionless access control.” Connectivity and the cloud will also be timely technology topics as the industry evolves. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What technology buzz will dominate the security industry in 2020?

FLIR talks about top six perimeter security trends for critical infrastructure
FLIR talks about top six perimeter security trends for critical infrastructure

Airports, power plants, and data centres house mission-critical assets essential to everyday life. Without adequate physical security, these operations are at risk of intrusion and sabotage. The shutdown of any one of these critical infrastructure facilities would affect hundreds of thousands of people. Securing these entities from a physical breach starts by protecting the perimeter. While critical infrastructure sites pose their challenges for perimeter intrusion detection systems, new technologies, and solution integrations are addressing these pain points and enabling better detection, deterrence, and real-time response in the case of a threat. Trending technologies amplifying perimeter security Here are six trending technologies amplifying perimeter security for critical infrastructure: First-class thermal cameras - FLIR thermal cameras continue to remain the industry standard for 24-hour perimeter monitoring and are seeing strong adoption throughout the critical infrastructure sector. Greater thermal resolution, longer detection ranges, sophisticated edge analytics, and ONVIF compliance continue to distinguish premium choice FLIR thermal cameras from low-end options. Radiometric thermal cameras for business intelligence - Thanks to the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, critical infrastructure customers are looking for a return on investment beyond the traditional functionality of their security cameras. Electrical substations, for example, are deploying thermal cameras for intrusion detection and predictive maintenance. These sites are installing radiometric thermal cameras, integrated with temperature trending software, to identify issues with assets before a component malfunctions, overheats, or fails. Being able to prevent even one electrical fire can save the customer thousands if not millions of dollars in damages, liabilities, and insurance claims, well worth the cost of the solution. Radar for redundancy - Critical infrastructure facilities are deploying radar solutions to expand coverage beyond the fence line. Providing continuous coverage, a radar conducts a full 360-degree scan of a property every one to two seconds. Radio waves are undeterred by rain, fog, or other adverse weather conditions that hinder standard surveillance cameras, making them an ideal solution for rugged environments. Users are also increasingly pairing radar with thermal cameras to ensure redundancy and reduce false positives. If both the radar and thermal camera are alerted to the same event, remote operators can see it is likely a true alarm. Cyber-hardened features - Because network cameras and sensors are now standard for enterprise-class deployments, the need for perimeter security has extended beyond physical security to edge devices. In this digital age, it is imperative that cybersecurity precautions are put in place to safeguard the network and devices from cyber breaches. FLIR has focused its research and development in cybersecurity. Today, all new lines of FLIR cameras are built with cyber-hardened features. Standard cybersecure protocols for FLIR cameras include running penetration tests, eliminating backdoor accounts, removing default passwords, and enforcing end-to-end encryption through secured TLS connections. 4K and UHD video - While thermal and radar sensors improve detection, other devices are needed for threat assessment and identification. The emergence of HD, Ultra HD, and 4K cameras offers end users a heightened level of detail, optimal for evidence capture and investigation procedures. Critical infrastructure customers are beginning to upgrade their visible cameras for higher resolution models, and for this reason, are opting for the latest FLIR Quasar and Ariel cameras. These cameras are attractive options, as they offer low predictable bit rate, improved wide dynamic range, and enhanced image stabilisation features that enable crisp video quality, ideal for video analytics and suspect identification. Drones - For critical infrastructure sites like oil and gas refineries, dispatching security personnel to respond to an intrusion alert isn’t always easy, as these sites are often either remote or difficult to access. In order to improve response times, critical infrastructure sites are integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, with their overall security system. Upon a verified alarm, the drone is dispatched to the area of interest to provide additional surveillance. By equipping a drone with both an optical and thermal payload, operators can quickly get eyes and ears on the scene to assess the threat.

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