IP cameras - Expert commentary

Edge computing, AI and thermal imaging – the future of smart security
Edge computing, AI and thermal imaging – the future of smart security

Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. With 4K-compliant cameras projected to make up over 24% of all network cameras shipped by 2023 – there is a fast-growing desire for reliable storage on-board security cameras. The question for businesses is: do they look to break up their existing smart video network, by separating and compartmentalising cameras to handle data requirements, or do they increase its storage capabilities? As some people begin to venture out and return to work following initial COVID-19 measures, we are also seeing demand for thermal imaging technology increase. New technology like this combined with more of these always-on systems being rolled out, means organisations will need to carefully consider their smart video strategy. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data and there are some key trends you can expect to see as a result of this evolution. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyse it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. Edge computing and smart security As public cloud adoption grew, companies and organisations saw the platform as a centralised location for big data. However, recently there’s been opposition to that trend. Instead we are now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. There is one main reason for this change in preference: latency. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data Latency is an important consideration when trying to carry out real-time pattern recognition. It’s very difficult for cameras to process data – 4K surveillance video recorded 24/7 – if it has to go back to a centralised data centre hundreds of miles away. This data analysis needs to happen quickly in order to be timely and applicable to dynamic situations, such as public safety. By storing relevant data at the edge, AI inferencing can happen much faster. Doing so can lead to safer communities, more effective operations, and smarter infrastructure. UHD and storage AI-enabled applications and capabilities, such as pattern recognition, depend on high-definition resolutions such as 4K – also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD). This detailed data has a major impact on storage – both the capacity and speeds at which it needs to be written, and the network. Compared to HD, 4K video has much higher storage requirements and we even have 8K on the horizon. As we know, 4K video has four times the number of pixels as HD video. In addition, 4K compliant video supports 8, 10, and 12 bits per channel that translate to 24-, 30- or 36-bit colour depth per pixel. A similar pattern holds for HD — more colour using 24 bits or less colour using 10 or 12 bits in colour depth per pixel. Altogether, there is up to a 5.7x increase in bits generated by 4K vs. 1080 pixel video. Larger video files place new demands on data infrastructure for both video production and surveillance. Which means investing in data infrastructure becomes a key consideration when looking into smart security. Always-on connectivity Whether designing solutions that have limited connectivity or ultra-fast 5G capabilities, most smart security solutions need to operate 24/7, regardless of their environment. Yet, on occasion, the underlying hardware and software systems fail. In the event of this, it is important to establish a failover process to ensure continued operation or restore data after a failure, including everything from traffic control to sensors to camera feeds and more. Consider the example of a hospital with dozens or even over a hundred cameras connected to a centralised recorder via IP. If the Ethernet goes down, no video can be captured. Such an event could pose a serious threat to the safety and security of hospital patients and staff. For this reason, microSD cards are used in cameras to enable continuous recording. Software tools – powered by AI – can then “patch” missing data streams with the content captured on the card to ensure the video stream can be viewed chronologically with no content gaps. Thermal imaging Health and safety is the number one priority for all organisations as people return to work and public spaces. Some organisations are deploying thermal imaging to help screen individuals for symptoms as they return. Organisations that operate with warehouses, depots and assembly lines will traditionally have large amounts of cameras located outside of the entrance. With thermal imaging smart video in place, these cameras can now serve a dual purpose as a screening device. The thermal imaging technology is capable of detecting elevated body temperatures, with 10-25 workers being scanned in one shot, from one camera – making it an efficient and accurate process. This way, staff can use the information to help identify people who may need further screening, testing, and/or isolation before returning to work. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices While this may not increase data storage requirements, it can change your retention policies and practices. Smart security today is about utilising AI and edge computing, to deliver an always-on, high-resolution video provision that can help keep people safe 24/7. These trends increase the demands and importance of monitoring, which means requirements of the supporting data infrastructure improve to match that, including the ability to proactively manage the infrastructure to help ensure reliable operation. Companies need to make sure they have considered all the storage and policy challenges as part of their smart security strategy for the future.  

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. 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 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.

Latest Ernitec A/S news

GJD perimeter surveillance technology to be exhibited at Rochdale Online Business exhibition
GJD perimeter surveillance technology to be exhibited at Rochdale Online Business exhibition

GJD will also exhibit Clarius LED illuminators designed to work with CCTV cameras and safety-critical applications GJD, an award winning British manufacturer of intruder detection products and security lighting solutions for the CCTV and security sectors has recently announced its attendance at the Rochdale online business exhibition. The event will take place at Rochdale Town Hall from 4pm until 7pm on the 23rd of September. Meeting point for business owners and general public Neil Hennessy, GJD’s Technical Sales Manager will be on hand to discuss the versatile benefits of the company’s detectors and illuminators. Hennessy commented: “The Rochdale Online annual business event is a fantastic opportunity to meet local businesses owners and the general public from across Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton”. GJD will be showcasing market leading perimeter surveillance technologies including the company’s external D-TECT range of wired and wireless detectors. Offering the very latest quad and dual PIR technology, advanced IP solutions and anti-masking detectors, the D-TECT range can be relied upon for the most demanding security situations. Integration with leading VMS providers Latest additions to the D-TECT range include 4 new IP detectors, which offer seamless integration with major VMS providers and CCTV systems. Bosch VMS, Milestone Xprotect, Mirasys, SeeTec Enterprise and Probox are to name a few of the supported VMS software providers. Supported cameras for direct control include Axis, Bosch, Ernitec, Hikvision and Sony. Others will soon be added. Other state-of-the-art products being showcased include the company’s Clarius® LED illuminators. Available in Infra-Red and White-Light, Clarius® units are specifically designed to work in conjunction with CCTV cameras and safety-critical applications to significantly enhance image quality.

GJD D-TECT IP range of advanced intruder sensing technology
GJD D-TECT IP range of advanced intruder sensing technology

The external perimeter protection industry is continuously evolving to meet dynamic security requirements. GJD, a world leading British security manufacturer of external detector equipment and LED illuminators has quickly adapted to the digital era by creating advanced IP and digital solutions. Suitable for big and small security projects GJD has recently announced its D-TECT IP range, being suitable for both big and small security projects. The advanced intruder sensing technology includes PIR, microwave and anti-masking. Such reliable sensors coupled with IP connectivity makes GJD’s IP range of detectors well suited for intruder monitoring, CCTV surveillance and other alarm warning requirements. Key benefits include increased detector alignment and set up options, genuine alarm capture and exceptional resistance to false or ‘nuisance’ alarms. Another major benefit is remote diagnostic control of the perimeter boundary detection systems. Mark Tibbenham, GJD’s Managing Director commented: “Our new D-TECT IP detectors provide real-time remote access to enable remote monitoring and programming from anywhere and at any time”. Integrates with third party VMS providers The D-TECT IP range integrates with third party VMS providers and CCTV systems. Bosch VMS, Milestone Xprotect, Mirasys, SeeTec Enterprise and Probox are to name a few of the supported VMS software providers. Supported cameras for direct control include Axis, Bosch, Ernitec, Hikvision and Sony. Others will soon be added. All of the IP detectors use Power over Ethernet connectivity providing powerful security solutions, which enable cameras to be instantly directed to the location of intrusion; whilst security personnel are alerted with detailed alarm information. Also offering flexible monitoring, the detectors can be adjusted to suit different customer requirements including adjustable field of view, which helps avoid boundary overspill, saving both energy and costs.

EET Group signs an agreement with Milestone to provide Milestone XProtect IP video offerings
EET Group signs an agreement with Milestone to provide Milestone XProtect IP video offerings

EET Group will now be able to provide Milestone's IP video surveillance software in more countries in Europe Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), and IT distributor EET Group have signed a distribution agreement to provide Milestone XProtect IP video offerings in 16 European countries. EET is already established as a successful distributor of Milestone IP video surveillance software in the Nordics, and with the new agreement the two companies now expand the partnership to cover many more countries in Europe. "Based on our many years of successful collaboration with EET in the Nordic market, it was a natural next step for EET and Milestone to take this proven template to other European markets. EET’s expertise in the IP video surveillance field and harnessing the many advantages of the Milestone open platform will help fuel the rapid growth of transition from analog to IP-based solutions in these regions," says Lawrence de Guzman, Director of Sales Operations at Milestone Systems. The agreement ensures that EET’s dealers in Europe can offer Milestone IP video surveillance software to support the strong, high-end camera brands EET carries, such as Axis, IQinVision, Sony, Pelco, Mobotix, and Ernitec. The distribution includes the following markets: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, England, Belgium, Austria and Czech Republic. "Our ambition is to become the largest distributor of IP video surveillance in Europe, so I am very excited that we can now support our dealers in Europe with Milestone’s market leading software," says Michael Kragh, Director of Security and Video Surveillance at EET. "Milestone is one of the most well-reputed companies in the industry and our dealers have directly requested that we start selling Milestone open platform software in the rest of Europe. We want to work with the industry’s top manufacturers. Milestone solutions span a full spectrum of needs, and we see a big market for additional products to integrate, such as license plate recognition and Point-of-Sale to prevent loss in retail businesses." Video surveillance accounts for 24 million Euro of EET Group’s annual revenue. Within the next three years EET expects its video surveillance income to reach almost 53 million Euro, with particularly high expectations for strong business in England, Germany and Switzerland.

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