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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 Canon Europe Ltd news

nuPSYS 3D-Advanced Mapping integrated with Milestone-Canon VMS as plug-&-play 3D-plugin
nuPSYS 3D-Advanced Mapping integrated with Milestone-Canon VMS as plug-&-play 3D-plugin

nuPSYS—a pioneer in Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for physical security, infrastructure, and networks—is pleased to announce its 3D-Advanced Mapping integrated with the Milestone-Canon Video Management System as a plug-&-play 3D-plugin, which was shown live at Intersec 2019. nuSIM is a visual 3D-mapping solution that allows assets, cameras, sensors, alarms, partitions, and critical points to be accurately plotted onto a 3D mapping surface. This integration will enable operators to graphically view multilayer live video overlays within the Milestone-Canon VMS user interface. Key features include: 3D advanced mapping Integrated 3D view 3D representation of assets, cameras, sensors, & access control Generates a real-perspective view for operators – enhances efficiency manifold Interactive and dynamic operations Pragmatic 3D virtual presence Customisation dashboard per use case Dashboard provides simultaneous 3D view, streaming view and sensor view CONTEXT AWARE: immersed in the 3D physical environment SCALE: Single light pole (or single smart infrastructure) to a full smart city-scape SPEED: Real-time KPI IMPROVEMENTS: Enhanced efficiencies compared to maps and icons overlay nuPSYS' 3D-Advanced Mapping functionality provides system operators with a unique experience for viewing video and managing devices within the Milestone-Canon Video Management System. Operators can navigate to see cameras and sensors using a 3D model of the facility and grounds, providing a unique simple-to-deploy 3D-plugin for Milestone-Canon VMS.

Agent Vi signs VAD agreement with Canon Marketing Japan to provide security solutions
Agent Vi signs VAD agreement with Canon Marketing Japan to provide security solutions

Agent Video Intelligence (Agent Vi), a global provider of video analytics solutions, has announced the signing of a Value-Added Distributor (VAD) agreement with Canon Marketing Japan, the marketer and provider of Canon Inc. products and solutions in Japan. Canon Marketing Japan will operate as a VAD throughout Japan for Agent Vi’s savVi on-premise video analytics platform, which features real-time event detection, video search and business intelligence applications. Already representing other leading vendors in the Japanese market, Canon Marketing Japan will be able to offer a best-in-class solution by combining savVi video analytics, Axis Communications IP cameras, and the Milestone XProtect video management system (VMS). Agent Vi’s savVi video analytics platformEnd-users will benefit from automated video analysis tools to get the most out of their video" savVi allows users to achieve optimal value from their video surveillance networks by automating video analysis to detect and alert for events of interest, expedite search in recorded video and extract statistical data from the footage captured by surveillance cameras. Mr. Ariel Frischoff, VP Sales EMEA & APAC, Agent Vi, said, “It’s our honour to be working with an illustrious partner like Canon Marketing Japan. Adding Agent Vi’s comprehensive video analytics capabilities to their current offering will allow Canon Marketing Japan to promote an end-to-end solution that suits a wide range of vertical markets. End-users will benefit from automated video analysis tools that really leverage the surveillance system to get the most out of their video.” “Canon Marketing Japan is excited about establishing a partnership with Agent Vi, which is a leading global provider of video analysis solutions, and about adding savVi to our portfolio,” said Koichi Mikami, Vice President and Group Executive for Visual Solutions Headquarters for Canon Marketing Japan. “We believe savVi can be offered to various industries and meet various customers’ needs. Having such a comprehensive portfolio of video analysis capabilities enables us to provide more innovative solutions to end-users.”

Canon releases ME20F-SHN low-light network camera for critical surveillance operations
Canon releases ME20F-SHN low-light network camera for critical surveillance operations

Canon Europe, a provider of imaging solutions, has announced the launch of the ME20F-SHN, a low light network camera with remarkable performance. As a sister product to the ME20F-SH, the ME20F-SHN, which now features network capability, further enhances Canon’s Multiple Purpose camera line-up with a solid proposition in producing full colour and Full HD resolution images in limited light scenarios. Perfect for critical surveillance operations, the ME20F-SHN packs incredible low light performance, network capability and built-in video analytics into a lightweight and compact body. Incredible low-light performance Equipped with a 2.26MP Full Frame 35mm CMOS sensor and DIGIC DV 4 processor, the ME20F-SHN delivers sharp, low noise, Full HD colour video in extreme low light conditions. The sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry use Canon’s proprietary technologies to achieve both reduced noise and exceptionally high sensitivity. With a maximum ISO in excess of 4 million (+75db), which delivers amazing low-light sensitivity, the ME20F-SHN can capture subjects illuminated with less than 0.0005 lux. Even greater detail can be captured in low-light environments by removing the IR cut filter when shooting in infrared mode. Much like Canon’s Cinema EOS range, this network camera offers Canon Log and Wide DR from the Custom Picture menu, which enables a wide dynamic range of up to 12 Stops (800%), delivering high-quality images across a range of lighting scenarios. The Custom Picture menu has been upgraded, with the addition of the Crisp Img function, which obtains sharp images in well-lit environments and low noise image under low light conditions. These features are invaluable for users needing to capture clear and accurate images. The ME20F-SHN packs low light performance, network capability and built-in video analytics into a lightweight and compact body Enhanced network capability Featuring Ethernet, 3G/HD-SDI and HDMI ports, the ME20F-SHN caters for a plethora of video outputs based on users’ application requirements. For local monitoring, the ME20F-SHN has 3G/HD-SDI and HDMI ports; while an Ethernet connection enables remote operation of camera settings, monitoring and recording via web browsers, mobile devices or other video management software. The microSD card slot supports record and playback directly from a microSD card. For unmanned and cost-efficient surveillance, the 6 built-in video analytics functions and Alarm I/O interface enables automated recording and output to external devices triggered by video motion detection and alarm input. With the Area-specific Data Size Reduction (ADSR) function, the ME20F-SHN enables users to capture absolute detail in selected areas of interest while reducing bit-rates in the other areas of the image to save network bandwidth. For ease of integration into existing video surveillance systems, the ME20F-SHN supports a wide range of video management software through Canon WebView and ONVIF protocols. Flexible installation capabilities Operators can select the ideal lens for each shooting and equipment scenario, taking aspects such as angle of view and level of brightness into account. Featuring an EF mount with Cinema Lock, the ME20F-SHN is compatible with a broad range of lenses across the Canon line-up, including zooms, primes and selected Cine Servo lenses for greater control. With PoE+ support, the data transmission via Ethernet and power supply are provided with a single LAN cable, which facilitates simple and rapid installation of the camera. The compact body and lightweight design are invaluable for users needing both a fixed and portable camera. ME20F-SHN key features Sharp, low noise colour video in extreme low light Network capable remote configuration and monitoring Supports a wide range of surveillance applications High-quality Full HD output Flexible installation 

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