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Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, discusses the business benefits from merging video surveillance and access control technologies as demand for ACaaS grows. The big question facing businesses today is how they will use the data that they possess to unlock new forms of value using emerging technologies such as the cloud, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Some data is better utilised than others: financial services were quick to recognise the competitive advantages in exploiting technology to improve customer service, detect fraud and improve risk assessment. In the world of physical security, however, we’re only just beginning to understand the potential of the data that our systems gather as a part of their core function. Benefits of ‘Integrated access control’ The first thing to look for is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functionsWhat many businesses have yet to realise is that many emerging technologies come into their own when used across multiple sources of data. In physical security, for example, we’re moving from discussions about access control and CCTV as siloed functions, to platforms that combine information for analysis from any source, and applying machine learning algorithms to deliver intelligent insights back to the business. ‘Integrated access control’ then looks not just to images or building management, but to images, building management, HR databases and calendar information, all at the same time. And some of the benefits are only now starting to become clear. The first thing to look for, of course, is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functions. For example, by combining traditional access control data, such as when a swipe card is used, with a video processing platform capable of facial recognition, a second factor of authentication is provided without the need to install separate biometric sensors. CCTV cameras are already deployed in most sensitive areas, so if a card doesn’t match the user based on HR records, staff can be quickly alerted. Making the tools cost-effective In a similar vein, if an access card is used by an employee, who is supposed to be on holiday according to the HR record, then video data can be used to ensure the individual’s identity and that the card has not been stolen – all before a human operator becomes involved. This is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalisation of a vital business functionThese capabilities are not new. What is, however, is the way in which cloud-based computing platforms for security analytics, which absorb information from IP-connected cameras, make the tools much more cost effective, accessible and easier to manage than traditional on-site server applications. In turn, this is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalisation of a vital business function. With this system set up, only access control hardware systems are deployed on premise while the software and access control data are shifted to a remote location and provided as a service to users on a recurring monthly subscription. The benefits of such an arrangement are numerous but include avoiding large capital investments, greater flexibility to scale up and down, and shifting the onus of cybersecurity and firmware updates to the vendor. Simple installation and removal of endpoints What’s more, because modern video and access control systems transmit data via the IP network, installation and removal of endpoints are simple, requiring nothing more than PoE and Wi-Fi. Of all the advantages of the ‘as a service’ model, it’s the rich data acquired from ACaaS that makes it so valuable, and capable of delivering business benefits beyond physical security. Managers are constantly looking for better quality of information to inform decision making, and integrated access control systems know more about operations than you might think. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lightsRight now, many firms are experimenting with ways to find efficiencies and reduce costs. For example, lights that automatically turn off to save energy are common in offices today, but can be a distraction if employees have to constantly move around to trigger motion detectors. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lights depending on exactly who is in the room and where they are sitting. Tracking the movement of employees Camera data has been used in retail to track the movement of customers in stores, helping managers to optimise displays and position stocks. The same technology can be used to map out how employees move around a workspace, finding out where productivity gains can be made by moving furniture around or how many desks should be provisioned. Other potential uses of the same data could be to look for correlations between staff movement – say to a store room – and sales spikes, to better predict stock ordering. What makes ACaaS truly exciting is it is still a very new field, and we’re only just scratching the surface of the number of ways that it can be used to create new sources of value. As smart buildings and smart city technology evolves, more and more open systems will become available, offering more ways to combine, analyse and draw insights from data. Within a few years, it will become the rule, rather than the exception, and only grow in utility as it does.
With the recent news headlines about store closures and the collapse of well-known chains, alongside clear adjustments in business strategy amongst established high street favourites, there is no denying that the UK retail industry is under huge pressure. A recent report suggests growing issues are leading some retailers to increase risk-taking in the supply chain. But here, Steve Bumphrey, Traka UK Sales Director, looks at ways to help retailers embrace the storm, including paying attention to security, management processes and efficient customer focus. Challenges plaguing retail industry It’s been an awful year to date for UK retail if you believe the cacophony of negative headlines about the health of the UK economy and the confidence levels of the UK consumer. The sector is facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing The sector is undoubtedly facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing. Further concerns include an unwillingness of policymakers to address the changing retail environment and how business rates and general business taxation and regulation is making a difficult situation worse. Supply Chain Risk Report According to the latest Global Supply Chain Risk Report, published by Cranfield School of Management and Dan & Badstreet, those under pressure, are now facing increased exposure to risk if they are forced to cut costs in their supply chain. The report cites data for the retail sector that shows increased levels of risk-taking since Q4 2018, with retailers reporting high levels of dependency on suppliers and indicating a propensity to off-shore to low-cost, high-risk countries where suppliers are more likely to be financially unstable. In-store technology revolution The underlying evolution of technology taking hold of the retail industry and consequential changing consumer behaviour is what is really forcing the industry to step up and act. This is not only in the shift to online and smart mobile purchases, but also with the increased use of technology in store. Self-scanning and checkouts In a bid to enhance the physical shop experience, especially in supermarket outlets across the UK, retailers are increasingly giving customers autonomy with self-scanners and checkouts and need to be able to trust them to ensure an honest transaction. And for the shoppers, this dependency on technology and not human interaction to complete a shop means scanners must be instantly available and ready for use. Many different underlying competing challenges impact the retail industry Compensators At the recent British Retail Consortium’s ‘Charting the Future’ conference, looking at retail crime and security, Dr Emmeline Taylor, a criminologist at the City University of London identified in self -service shops, several new types of ‘offenders’ such as so-called ‘compensators’ including the atypical ‘frustrated consumer’ who, “fully intended to pay but were unable to scan an item properly”, adding to the security challenge. There are clearly many different underlying competing challenges impacting the retail industry. Arguably, the increase in technology and autonomous shopping, where less staff are present (or staff cuts planned) throws up more vulnerabilities, such as the opportunity for store theft. Use of body cameras Staff needs emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and keep employees safe Furthermore, staff may need greater use of emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and help keep employees safe. In essence, prevention is better than cure, and it’s certainly cheaper. Whether combating crime physically or online, or looking to find ways to counter the high street trends, working together, sharing information and taking a more holistic approach will help the development of a shared language between retailers. Retail banking It is also here where common approaches can help to deliver on efficiencies, in time, resource and budget that can serve to operate right through the supply chain, and minimise, or even negate the need to take any risks. It can even serve to enhance the customer experience, increasing confidence in the shopping environment. Of course, when discussing the high street, it is not just the department stores and chains that are feeling the impact. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street, with customers (especially younger generations) demanding a more efficient service than ever before. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street Asset protection Leading the way is Nationwide, globally renowned building society, which prides itself on being one of the largest savings providers and mortgages provider in the UK, promoting itself as running purely for the benefit of its customers, or ‘members.’ Richard Newland, Director of Branch & Workplace Transformation at Nationwide said, “Even more than getting a good ‘deal’ from a building society, the quality of our welcome, or our renowned level of service, we make sure our members feel safe with us, enough to trust us with their greatest assets. We are doing everything we can to evolve our business and focus our efforts on providing the best and most secure services that people value.” Key management systems Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems So committed to its branch network, it has pledged to its 15 million members that every town and city with a Nationwide branch, will still have one for at least the next two years. A bold statement in today’s climate. Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems, moving its branch network into a more digital system. Keys no longer need to leave site and the audit trail capability has helped to remove the manual paper recording, allowing status of keys to be established instantly, at any time. Changes in retail market This example, together with Traka’s portfolio of high street brands and globally renowned department stores that cannot be named for security reasons, demonstrates the need for retailers to embrace the need for change, both from a product offering and operational running perspective to achieve aspirations of resonating with customers. They also prove the opportunities for success, in an unquestionable difficult market environment. If retailers can listen to customers and respond accordingly, taking into consideration staff safety and security, alongside an ability to respond quickly to personalised enquiries and expectations. This way, perhaps, the current environment can be seen as an opportunity to innovate and embrace technology to form the high street of the future.
Where are video surveillance cameras headed? At the core of next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are advanced chips with artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge, enabling cameras to gather valuable information about an incident: scanning shoppers at a department store, monitoring city streets, or checking on an elderly loved one at home. Thanks to advanced chip technology, complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras —professional to consumer — fueling the democratisation of AI in the IP camera market. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras Expanding the global IP camera market The video surveillance equipment market grew to $18.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase this year, according to IHS Markit. The latest research points to video everywhere, edge computing, and AI as the top technologies that will have a major impact in both commercial and consumer markets in 2019. Computing at the edge means that the processors inside the camera are powerful enough to run AI processing locally, while still encoding and streaming video, and are able to do it all at the low-power required to fit into the limited thermal budget of an IP camera. New SoC chips will be able to perform all of the processing on camera and provide accurate AI information, with no need to send data to a server or the cloud for processing. Instead, data can be analysed right in the camera itself, offering high performance, real-time video analytics, and lower latency — all critical aspects of video surveillance. This new AI paradigm is made possible by a new generation of SoCs, a key driver behind the market growth of IP cameras. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras to fuel the advent of AI in the IP camera market Micro-processor-enabled video analytics Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time Microprocessor-enabled analytics allow users to more easily extract valuable data from video streams. How about an insider’s view into retail customer behavior? Consider video cameras at a department store, monitoring shoppers’ behavior, traffic patterns, and areas of interest. Next-generation cameras will recognise how long a shopper stays in front of a specific display, if the shopper leaves and returns, and if the shopper ultimately makes a purchase. Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time, so retailers will be able to adjust product placement accordingly. Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly. By understanding customers’ behavior, retailers can determine the best way to interact with them, target specific campaigns, and tailor ads for them. Cue the coupons while the shopper is still onsite! Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly Fast processing for rapid response at city level City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations such as loitering, big crowds forming, or cars driving the wrong way.Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyse traffic situations Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyse traffic situations, adjust traffic lights, identify license plates, automatically charge cars for parking, find a missing car across a city, or create live and accurate traffic maps. Real-time HD video monitoring and recording When it comes to home monitoring, what will next-generation video surveillance cameras offer? Real-time monitoring and notification can detect if a person is in the back yard or approaching the door, if there’s a suspicious vehicle in the driveway, or if a package is being delivered (or stolen). Advanced video cameras can determine when notifications are and aren’t required, since users don’t want to be notified for false alerts such as rain, tree branches moving, bugs, etc. Next-generation video camera capabilities can also help monitor a loved one, person or pet, helping put families at ease if they are at work or on vacation. For example, helpful analytics may be used to detect if someone has fallen, hasn’t moved for a while, or does not appear for breakfast according to their typical schedule. City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations Next-gen IP cameras When evaluating next-generation IP cameras (cameras on the edge), look at the brains. These cameras will likely be powered by next-generation SoCs chips. Here is what this means to you: Save on network bandwidth, cloud computing and storage costs. There is no need to constantly upload videos to a server for analysis. Analysis can be performed locally on the camera, with only relevant videos being uploaded. Faster reaction time. Decisions are made locally, with no network latency. This is critical if you need to sound an alarm on a specific event. Privacy. In the most extreme cases, no video needs to leave the camera. Only metadata needs to be sent to the cloud or server. For example, the faces of people can be recognised in the camera and acted upon, but the video never reaches the cloud. The cameras can just stream a description of the scene to the server “suspicious person with a red sweater walking in front of the train station, has been loitering for the last 10 minutes, suggest sending an agent to check it out.” This could become a requirement in some EU countries with GDPR rules. Easier search. Instead of having to look through hours of video content, the server can just store/analyse the metadata, and easily perform searches such as “find all people with a red sweater who stayed more than five minutes in front of the train station today.” Flexibility/personalisation. Each camera at the edge can be personalised to work better for the specific scene it is looking at, compared to a generic server. For example, “run a heat map algorithm on camera A (retail) as I want to know which sections of my store get the most traffic; and run a license plate recogniser on camera B (parking lot) as I want to be able to track the cars going in/out of my parking lot.” No cloud computing required. For cameras in remote locations or with limited network bandwidth, users have the ability to perform all analytics locally, without relying on uploading video to a server/cloud. Higher resolution/quality. When AI processing is performed locally, the full resolution of the sensor can be used (up to 4K or more), while typically the video streamed to a server will be lower resolution, 1080p or less. This means more pixels are available locally for the AI engine so that you will be able to detect a face from a higher distance than when the video is streamed off camera. AI at the edge Professional-level IP cameras capable of performing AI at the edge are coming soon with early offerings making their debut at this year’s ISC West. As we enter 2020, we will begin to see the availability of consumer-level cameras enabling real-time video analytics at the edge for home use. With rapid technology advancement and increased customer demand, AI is on the verge of exploding. When it comes to image quality and video analytics, IP cameras now in development will create a next-generation impact at department stores, above city streets, and keeping an eye on our loved ones.
Amthal has been awarded a new support contract with global technology leaders Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V, to upgrade and maintain security solutions at its UK Head Office, and across its regional UK offices. As one of the world’s leading names in the manufacture and sales of electrical products and systems, Mitsubishi Electric has eight regional offices, including its UK Head Office in Hatfield, supporting over 700 staff members. New contract details The new contract with Amthal covers the provision of support and maintenance across each of Mitsubishi Electric’s sites, to ensure security arrangements, including CCTV, intruder alarm and access control, are maintained to the highest level and upgraded quickly where required. Karen Kelsall, Mitsubishi Electric Business Services Team - Facilities Coordinator said, "Each of our UK office locations has its own security arrangements that must be maintained on a regular basis. We needed to source a reliable company that could not only achieve this requirement but also ensure we continue to offer our staff and visitors complete peace of mind at their place of work. Amthal proved themselves even before the contract was signed, responding to several different site requests quickly, with true technical capability and professionalism. Plus, being a local company to our head offices makes a difference to ensuring an efficient and sustainable supplier service that we look forward to building." Highest levels of operational excellence This contract award is extremely significant for Amthal, not only to be associated with such a global brand, but also to demonstrate our commitment to our customers" Jamie Allam, Commercial Director Amthal Fire & Security added, "This contract award is extremely significant for Amthal, not only to be associated with such a global brand, but also to demonstrate our commitment to our customers, both new and existing the team’s knowledge, experience and expertise together with an ability to react quickly and get the job done, contributed to our appointment. And as per our core mission, vision and values, that run through everything we do, we will continue to work in partnership with Mitsubishi Electric to deliver the highest levels of operational excellence and continuity of service, both on a local basis to its main offices and regionally, across all sites." Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end-user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire and security solutions, including intruder, Fire, Access and CCTV systems. Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE.)
Safe Cities will be a central hub within IFSEC to shape future of urban security, civil welfare & disaster management IFSEC International, organised by UBM Live, is excited to announce development plans for the leading global security event in June 2015. Following the phenomenal success of the 2014 show, IFSEC International 2015 is in high demand with 92 per cent of the floor plan already sold out. Big name sign-ups and stand out new exhibitors include DELL, Mitsubishi Electric, Dorma UK, Capita IT Services, Hanbang Technology, Commax, DVTel plus many more. With a huge 29 per cent increase in end user and international visitors in 2014, there is a big focus around developing an even broader international attendance for 2015. Feedback demonstrated that 74 per cent of the audience recognised IFSEC International as the most prestigious worldwide event in the security industry and to support this, the international pavilions will welcome a Spanish pavilion for the very first time. Declared by exhibitors as the “biggest security show in Europe”, business generated per exhibitor reached £362,000 which hit a year on year increase of more that £200,000. In 2015, IFSEC International will be united with FIREX International. As the security and fire industries continue to integrate, the need has been recognised for these two shows to be united side by side and visitors will be able to have an even more joined up events experience. Gerry Dunphy, Event Director for IFSEC & FIREX International said: “We’re hugely excited for the shows in 2015 already. We have taken on board all of the customer feedback and introduced features on the show floor in response to this. Incorporating FIREX alongside is a big asset to visitors who manage systems integration of intelligent buildings and we will be releasing more detail on the cross over features shortly, so keep an eye out!” Brand new features for 2015 include the Innovation Zone, which will showcase the latest products to market in a unique environment, responding to demand from visitors to see future technology, trends and innovation live on the show floor. Safe Cities will also be a central hub within IFSEC International to shape the future of urban security, civil welfare and disaster management. Safe Cities at IFSEC International will demonstrate how traditional and new security solutions can be interconnected, interoperable and future-proofed to play a vital role in the advanced security architectures of the future. This initiative will provide insight into stronger resilience, greater security and a safer environment for the next generation. "Incorporating FIREX alongside is a big asset to visitors who manage systems integration of intelligent buildings" Security & Fire Installer Live is going to be back in a big way in 2015 following its launch in 2014. Business advisers will be on hand to give guidance on the most effective methods for company expansion, as well as giving the opportunity to try products before purchasing. Experts will be giving live demos and testing kit to the extreme so visitors can see for themselves the limits products can be pushed to. The IFSEC & FIREX Global Meetings Programme will be back following the huge success of 2014. More than 490 tailor-made meetings were set up to ensure valuable business connections were made. “The Global Meetings service has been an essential tool for the success we had at IFSEC International 2014. Thanks to this service, we were able to better prepare our participation as well as to better target and invite key people to our booth. The quality of Global Meetings service as well as the quality of contacts is much appreciated it really saves a lot of time and effort. This service made an important difference on the success at IFSEC International 2014 for us and we cannot wait to make use of it again for next year´s show,” said Isabel Tinoco, Business Development Specialist, fortem.
The event registered attendance of 40,869 held between 31st Jan to 2nd Feb The AV and electronic systems integration industry received the best possible start to 2012, after Integrated Systems Europe broke all records. A total of 825 exhibitors occupied 11 halls of the Amsterdam RAI, and were rewarded for their commitment to the event by a total registered attendance of 40,869 over the three show days of Tuesday 31 January to Thursday 2 February. Both numbers are the highest ever achieved by ISE, with the exhibitor total representing a 15% jump on 2011, while the attendee increase was just over 17%. The show also broke new ground in other areas, with net floor space exceeding 30,000 square metres, and the number of people registering for ISE's conference, education and pre-show event programme passing the 2,000 mark for the first time. "ISE is now clearly established as the best-attended event of its kind anywhere in the world," comments Mike Blackman, Managing Director, Integrated Systems Events. "To be able to post record numbers in every key area against an uncertain economic backdrop is a fantastic achievement, not just for ISE but for the industry it serves." "Beyond the statistics, the sheer excitement generated by so many professional people converging on a show full of dynamic new technologies created an atmosphere unsurpassed by any previous ISE." ISE 2012's exhibitor total included almost 200 companies new to the show. Sam Verellen from one of them, Totem Acoustic, reported seeing "a strong range of new faces together with existing customers, all of them of good quality - we will definitely be returning in 2013". ISE's ability to build new business connections among its many stakeholders has come to the fore once again. Alun Williams of Future Automation enthused: "This was our sixth year here and we are still meeting new people. It's been a lovely show with a very high quality of visitors to our stand." The space-rebooking process for ISE 2013 began on the second morning of the 2012 show, and resulted in a total of 28,300 net square metres of exhibit space being reserved for next year - a 5% increase on the equivalent figure 12 months ago. Many companies have chosen to enlarge their stands, with Samsung, Sony, Digital Projection, Sennheiser, Barco, AVC Group and Optoma among those taking the opportunity to ‘size up' in 2013. Mitsubishi Electric's AC Ter Meulen summed up the mood of the event when he said: "ISE is always a busy show for us but this year has been particularly so. Our stand was the largest we've ever taken, but I have no hesitation in saying that the decision to expand our presence at ISE has been proved right. We've seen more people, and had more kinds of conversation, than ever before. This is a measure of how the show itself is growing and broadening its appeal."
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- March Networks provides video surveillance solutions at Leon Medical Centers
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