IP cameras - Expert commentary

The increased role of video surveillance technology in our changing environment
The increased role of video surveillance technology in our changing environment

Today’s environment has evolved into something that according to some may seem unexplainable. But in the context of video surveillance, this is something that we understand. Allow me to shed some light and understanding in terms of security and why it truly is a necessity. Security is not a luxury, it is a necessity. An essential practice now peaking the interests of all businesses small and large. A video surveillance system is a cost effective option that does not require monitoring fees. As business slows, temporarily shuts down or closes, an increase in vacant properties is inevitable. This pandemic will continue to put severe pressure on many businesses around the country. With so many considered non-essential, it is really sad to see how many must shutter their doors and lay off employees. Keeping an eye out for suspicious activity using a commercial grade surveillance system that supports advanced analytics, may end up saving your potential customers thousands of dollars down the road. Demand for video surveillance and security products We can certainly draw on the conclusion that security is a “need” more so than a “want”. Times like this just further cement that thought process. In today’s economic spiral, people aren’t actively looking for lighting controls or home theaters. What they look for is a way to keep their loved ones safe, protect their homes, businesses and property. Video surveillance technology provides added security for you, your family and your business In my opinion, you will see video surveillance and security product sales skyrocket in the coming months and years. It has been reported that response times for first responders may be impacted as a result of COVID-19, leaving those with bad intent more time to ransack a property knowing that law enforcement may be slow to respond. Criminals will always take advantage of the situation. All we can do as a community is use common sense, stay vigilant through these odd times and watch out for one another. For some of us that may mean mitigating risks with technology. Affordable video monitoring solutions Having a solution that can quickly and securely share video footage may be the difference between identifying a perpetrator and becoming a victim. Ella, a video search platform developed by IC Realtime, makes every second of video instantly searchable and shareable, either with the authorities or your neighborhood social apps. Plus it is compatible with any RTSP streaming device. To wrap this up, it’s not about pointing out the obvious, it’s really about bringing awareness as to how technologies can be implemented to provide peace of mind without breaking the bank. Video surveillance technology is a way to do that and provide added security for you, your family and your business.

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

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.

Optimising large-scale event security and operations with intelligent video surveillance
Optimising large-scale event security and operations with intelligent video surveillance

Large event venues spend significant resources on physical security, and the vast majority invest in video surveillance systems as a way of monitoring public areas such as parking lots, garages and seating, as well as “backstage” areas such as loading docks and offices. Even though the camera footage is often preserved for investigating incidents, for the most part, video footage goes untapped because – realistically – security staff cannot constantly and efficiently monitor cameras in real-time or review the high volumes of archived video. Video analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence Increasingly, event venues are overcoming this challenge and maximising this video data by investing in intelligent video surveillance. In this article, I will explore how the combination of traditional surveillance and groundbreaking video content analytics enables event venues to not only optimise physical security and safety, but also improve customer service, streamline operations, and gather valuable business intelligence. Deep learning and artificial intelligence-based video content analytic systems detect, identify, extract, and catalog all the objects that appear in video footage based on classes and attributes such as gender, appearance similarity, color or size. This – along with behavioral detection, such as object interactions, dwell times, and navigation paths, as well as face and license plate recognition – enables searchable, actionable and quantifiable analysis of video. The technology makes it easy for users to accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights from video data. Accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights Accelerating investigations Where there are crowds, it’s not uncommon for medical or criminal incidents to transpire. In the aftermath, security teams must quickly understand the scene and, by making video searchable, video analytics helps them efficiently gather information or evidence from multiple camera. Whereas a manual search of video footage would require hours, if not days, of valuable time and staff resources – while being subject to human error – a video content analytics system enables effective multi-video search using a variety of filters, so that post-incident investigations can be focused and, thereby, accelerated. For instance, if witnesses claim that a man in a yellow shirt caused a disturbance and then drove away in a blue pickup truck, security could filter video to review instances where people or vehicles matching those descriptions appeared, and then focus their investigation on relevant video evidence. For the same example, if the perpetrator was still at large in the venue, security managers would want to track the person’s movements and, ultimately, apprehend him. Using the same cataloged metadata that drives video search, intelligent video surveillance accelerates real-time response to developing situations from threats and suspicious behaviors to emergencies, or even any behavior that requires closer monitoring or intervention. Something as mundane as an unwieldy queue forming at a concession stand can alert logic that increases operators’ situational awareness and ability to effectively intervene. By understanding developing situations in real-time, they can respond more quickly to prevent or solve a problem. Rule-based real time alerts Users can configure rule-based real-time alerts, based on specific scenarios – such as when people counts in the defined space next to the cashier are higher than the specified threshold, indicating a queue, or when vehicles are detected dwelling in a no-park zone or sensitive security area. In the case of the offender in the yellow shirt, security could configure alerts to notify for appearances of men in yellow shirts or blue pickup trucks within the event complex. If they’re able to extract the perpetrator’s face or license plate from the video search, security officers can also identify and track the specific person and vehicle of interest. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” Object recognition is helpful for tracking specific, identified threats, but it can also be leveraged for locating missing persons or vehicles or offering VIP services to guests who comply. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” – that include persons of interest, such as past agitators, recognised criminals or terrorists, missing persons or VIPs – to be alerted when matches for these faces appear in video. Face recognition can also be used to differentiate recognised employees from visitors that are not authorised to be in certain spaces in order to prevent security breaches. Because camera conditions aren’t always optimal for “in the wild” face and license plate recognition – where lighting conditions or camera angles don’t always allow for a pristine face or plate capture – it is critical to have a comprehensive video content analysis tool for triggering alerts based object classifications and non-personally-identifiable parameters. Optimising operations based on business intelligence While having real-time situational awareness is crucial for proactive intervention to developing situations, understanding long-term activity and trends can be equally important for an events venue or stadium. With video analytics, video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence, trend reports, and data visualisations for operational intelligence. This capability transforms video surveillance from a siloed security tool to an intelligence platform with broad value for business groups across the organisation. Marketing departments can gain visitor demographic information for targeted advertising and product placements. On-site retailers can uncover how visitors navigate their stores and the products or spaces that draw the most attention. Property management can follow heatmaps demonstrating where visitors dwell and the durations they stay at certain exhibits or areas, to base rental and leasing fees on actionable and quantifiable intelligence. Operations managers can more effectively plan and hire staff for events, by analysing visitor traffic trends, entry and exit points and occupancy statistics.   Video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence For these reasons and more, event organisations that already rely on CCTV networks should consider how to better leverage those existing investments to deliver substantial value across the organisation. By making video searchable, actionable and quantifiable, intelligent video surveillance empowers event managers to enhance public safety and physical security, while also streamlining operations and improving customer service.

Latest Hanwha Techwin Europe news

Hanwha Techwin introduces Face Mask Detection application to support the businesses reopening during COVID-19
Hanwha Techwin introduces Face Mask Detection application to support the businesses reopening during COVID-19

Coinciding with the recent launch of the Occupancy Monitoring application designed to help implement social distancing rules, Hanwha Techwin has also introduced a Face Mask Detection application which will further help businesses operate in a COVID-19 affected world. Wearing a mask is believed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has already been adopted as a safety measure in many workplaces. However, the availability of the Face Mask Detection application could not come at a better time with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now recommending the use of face masks wherever social distancing is difficult. The UK government is also making it compulsory to wear a face covering when visiting or working within healthcare facilities and when using public transport. Innovative video analytics An Alarm Out feature can also be used to turn on a device such as a warning beacon The UK is not alone in introducing regulations to ensure the wearing of face coverings. In Germany, for example, it is necessary to do so when on public transport and while shopping, and in Spain everyone older than six, has to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when it is not easy for people to keep more than two metres apart. The Face Mask Detection application developed by Hanwha Techwin’s technology partner, a2 Technology, runs on open-platform Wisenet X Series cameras and uses innovative video analytics to detect if a person entering an area is not wearing a mask. This will trigger the playing of a customisable audio message such as ‘please wear a face mask’. Fixed lens cameras The audio message is generated via an audio support feature built into Wisenet X cameras, negating the need for a PC or a separate audio storage device to be installed nearby. A short cable is all that is required to connect a speaker to the camera. An Alarm Out feature can also be used to turn on a device such as a warning beacon. The application, which simultaneously detects and analyses up to 4 people and can detect people at a distance up to 5 metres from a camera, is not affected by glasses, hats or scarfs, is also able to detect if a mask is not being correctly worn. A digital zoom-in function, which is designed to be used with fixed lens cameras, assists installers to configure the application so that it focuses on a specific region of a camera’s field of view if it is considered to be too wide. Edge-based solution The Face Mask Detection application can be ordered pre-loaded on selected Wisenet X models as an out-of-the-box solution. These are: XNB-6000/MSK Network box camera XNO-6080/MSK Network IR bullet camera XND-6010/MSK Network dome camera XNV-6011/MSK Vandal-resistant network dome camera As is the case with all Wisenet X Series cameras, these models are equipped with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory slots, enabling images associated with incidents of people not wearing masks or not wearing them correctly, to be stored locally. There is also the option for the images to be stored on an FTP server. Video Management Software We fully understand our responsibilities in terms of offering solutions which are fit for purpose" A web-based interface enables users to receive alerts via a desktop PC. The application has also been integrated with the Wisenet WAVE 4.0 Video Management Software (VMS) platform which, with its ‘Layout-as-an-Action’ feature, enables a predefined screen layout to be automatically opened when an event occurs. This makes it even easier for operators to verify there has been an infringement of mask wearing rules. “The Face Mask Detection application is an excellent example of how video surveillance technology is able to help people safely go about their every-day business,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Occupancy Monitoring applications “With lives sadly at stake, we fully understand our responsibilities in terms of offering solutions which are fit for purpose, such as the Face Mask Detection and Occupancy Monitoring applications." "Over the coming weeks we will therefore continue to work in-house and with hand-picked technology partners to develop additional practical solutions which will robustly assist offices, factories, hospitals, art galleries and museums, places of worship, transport facilities and many other types of businesses and organisations, to safely open their doors to the public.”

Hanwha Techwin unveils Wisenet P Series AI cameras-compatible, edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application solution
Hanwha Techwin unveils Wisenet P Series AI cameras-compatible, edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application solution

Help is immediately on hand for businesses who are urgently seeking to safely re-open their doors following the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. Hanwha Techwin’s licence-free Occupancy Monitoring application provides retailers, places of worship and museums, as well as leisure facilities, pubs, clubs and restaurants, with highly accurate data on the number of customers on their premises at any particular time. Edge-based Occupancy Monitoring Compatible with the recently introduced Wisenet P Series AI cameras, the edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application simultaneously counts the number of people entering or leaving a building. When the maximum permitted number of people has been reached, the application generates alarm outputs to control automatic doors or a traffic beacon, as well as ‘wait’ or ‘enter’ messages that can be displayed on a monitor. Serverless solution The Occupancy Monitoring application has the power to aggregate and process data from multiple cameras The Occupancy Monitoring application has the power to aggregate and process data from multiple cameras and is therefore, ideal for buildings with multiple entrances and exits. As a serverless solution, it negates the need for system integrators to spend time configuring complicated server-side software. It also significantly reduces the capital cost of a project as the end-user does not need to incur the cost of buying a server. Deep Learning AI built into cameras With the support of Deep Learning AI built into the cameras, the Occupancy Monitoring application offers the additional benefit of being able to accurately count people even when a camera is wall mounted. Unlike less accurate people counting solutions which use conventional video analytics, the camera does not have to be mounted on a ceiling to provide an overhead field of view. This means, the camera can be simultaneously used for security purposes and people counting, and users are also able to take advantage of a host of additional video analytics applications which can be run onboard the camera, including heat map and intrusion, loitering and people/object detection. The new Wisenet Occupancy Monitoring application is compatible with the following cameras: PNB-A9001 - 4K AI box camera PNO-A9081R - 4K AI bullet camera PNV-A9081R - 4K AI vandal-resistant dome camera with built-in IR illumination PND-A9081RF - 4K AI flush-mount dome camera with built-in IR illumination PND-A9081RV - 4K AI dome camera with built-in IR illumination Time and cost savings The dome cameras have a four-part magnetic modular design, which makes them extremely easy to install The dome cameras have a four-part magnetic modular design, which makes them extremely easy to install. The ability to prefigure IP network settings without the need to remove the camera modules from their packaging also reduces the time an engineer has to spend on site, thereby enabling companies with multiple sites to rapidly roll-out the application with minimal disruption to their business. Wisenet P Series AI cameras The high-performance and feature-rich Wisenet P Series AI cameras will continue to deliver significant benefits beyond the immediate requirement to support the Occupancy Monitoring application during COVID-19. In addition to being used to detect and monitor any criminal activity, they can easily be redeployed to capture valuable business intelligence and help companies improve productivity. Retailers, in particular, can analyse the impact of any marketing activities on footfall and by identifying a store’s busiest times, better manage the peaks and troughs of customer flow at checkouts. Integrated with Wisenet Retail Insight (v2.0) In this respect, the cameras are supported by Wisenet Retail Insight (v2.0), a business intelligence solution, which utilises people counting, heat mapping and queue management applications to display statistical analytics on a centralised dashboard, along with other practical information such as weather reports. With the help of AI algorithms onboard the Wisenet P Series AI cameras, Retail Insight is also able to display an estimated age and gender of store visitors. Hanwha Techwin has always been able to rapidly respond to changing market demands" Licence-free solution “At this most challenging of times for our communities and the economy, we are proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the efforts being made to recover from the effects of COVID-19 by offering the Occupancy Monitoring application as a licence-free solution,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Uri adds, “With the security budgets of many businesses being stretched, we have felt a social responsibility to offer the application licence-free and in doing so, help maximise the number of end-users who are able benefit from it.” He further said, “Hanwha Techwin has always been able to rapidly respond to changing market demands and with countless businesses extremely eager to re-open, we have yet again been able to rise to the challenge. This rapidly deployable, innovative and highly effective solution can offer peace of mind by assisting the implementation of social distancing rules at any building open to the public.”

Security and Safety Things GmbH reshapes video analytics and computer vision with IP cameras
Security and Safety Things GmbH reshapes video analytics and computer vision with IP cameras

Security & Safety Things GmbH (S&ST) is set to reshape innovation in video analytics and computer vision with the commercial availability of a number of new smart IP security cameras, from a variety of vendors, that leverage the Security & Safety Things open and secure IoT platform. This new generation of security cameras will operate using the free S&ST camera operating system, which enables the cameras to run multiple AI-enabled applications in parallel. The apps automate the analysis of video data to produce valuable operational intelligence for business optimisation as well as provide easy to deploy tools that can aid in re-opening measures from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic health and safety mandates “Organisations of all sizes around the world need flexible, easy to deploy solutions that enable compliance with constantly changing pandemic health and safety mandates and provide future value to ramp up and optimise their ongoing business operations,” says Hartmut Schaper, chief executive officer, Security & Safety Things. Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps" “Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps from our Application Store, to detect the absence of facial coverings in a retail environment. Tomorrow, the same camera can help that same retailer to optimise merchandise placement based on store foot traffic, in one store or throughout the enterprise, along with further optimisations.” IP-based surveillance footage Qisda/Topview will be the first camera manufacturer to launch a camera running the S&ST OS in May, followed in quick succession by AndroVideo, who will also start shipping their S&ST enabled cameras in Q2. Bosch is making their INTEOX camera line available as of July followed by camera firms Vivotek and BSTsecurity who plan to ship a bit later in Q3. The first devices from Hanwha Techwin that run the S&ST OS are expected to be commercially available in Q4. Security & Safety Things, Hanwha, Vivotek, Bosch, Qisda/Topview, and AndroVideo are also all proud members of the OpenSecurity and Safety Alliance (OSSA). The free Security & Safety Things OS is built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It leverages the expanding processing and analytic power of modern IP cameras to exponentially increase the amount of operational intelligence that can be mined from traditional IP-based surveillance footage. Drone threat detection It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners The applications that can be installed on these cameras, both in an on-premise as well as a remote setting, are created by highly specialised third-party developers and are available through the platform’s open Application Store. It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners, with more than 30 additional apps expected to hit the store soon. In addition to pandemic applications, use cases include detection of weapons, behavioural analysis, payment systems for parking garages, drone threat detection and even identifying objects presented for purchase in a cash register transaction for cashier-free retail environments. Security & Safety Things, together with some of its camera and system integration partners are already running projects in a live setting. These projects use, for example, heat mapping and queue analysis in retail stores and automated payment processing and license plate recognition for barrier free traffic. These types of applications are running in pilots with the parking management solutions provider Peter Park as well as with the mobility provider SIXT.

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