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IP Dome cameras - Expert commentary

How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages
How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analogue, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behaviour. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

The post-pandemic mandate for entertainment venues: Digitally transform security guards
The post-pandemic mandate for entertainment venues: Digitally transform security guards

As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behaviour. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behaviour, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organised campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behaviour Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behaviour, particularly when they are the targets of that behaviour. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labour, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditised business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labour-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practice since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.

Physical access control: Critical steps to ensure a smarter future
Physical access control: Critical steps to ensure a smarter future

Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption. Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalisation bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models. Digital transformation While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment. Yet, with more organisations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximise the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge. Improved access control in smart environments These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimising resources and increasing citizen engagement. Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These 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. Frictionless access control During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity. Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimising the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customised and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful. Barriers to adoption Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant. Many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space. Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature. The importance of cyber hygiene Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks. Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited. Cyber security considerations Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognised cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security. The future of access control There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organisations by their association. The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world. Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies. As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor. The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.

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Axis to showcase smart city solutions at Smart City Expo World Congress 2019
Axis to showcase smart city solutions at Smart City Expo World Congress 2019

Axis Communications will be using its presence at Smart City Expo World Congress 2019 to showcase solutions in public safety, mobility and environmental monitoring. Alongside key partners, Axis will demonstrate several real-world examples in the three areas, regarded as key pillars in city liveability and desirability. Axis will be exhibiting in Pabellón 2, Stand B215 at the event, which takes place at Fira Barcelona Gran Via, November 19-21 2019. Real-world examples Andrea Sorri, Director, Business Development, Government, City Surveillance and Critical Infrastructures at Axis, commented: “Smart City Expo World Conference is a chance for global businesses working toward a smarter, safer future to come together and share ideas and insight on the key challenges faced by modern cities, and the solutions available to address these issues." Axis will be joined by partners to demonstrate how these three pillars can be addressed "This year we will focus on three key areas of paramount importance: public safety, mobility and environmental monitoring. These three factors can have a substantial effect of a city’s desirability, which in turn is linked to economic prosperity and growth.” Axis will be joined by partners to demonstrate how these three pillars can be addressed by exhibiting a range of solutions, along with live presentations throughout the event featuring real-world examples of how the solutions are already being used. Single command centre The use of a unified security, connected data and intelligence approach between public and private organisations can help make cities safer. For example, the City of Atlanta, Georgia’s Police Department has launched Operation Shield, a video integration initiative that pulls video resources from private and public entities into a single command centre. The City of New Orleans is also taking a similar approach, using smart sharing and integration of data – from cameras, licence plate readers and the 911 dispatch centre – to help the Police to more efficiently prevent, detect and investigate crime. Traffic management solutions Cities not only benefit from improved mobility, but also safer roads and happier commuters A city’s traffic massively impacts the environment, which in turn affects the perception of quality of life. Video-based traffic management solutions, such as smart traffic cameras, can analyse traffic patterns so authorities can optimise traffic flow in real-time and gather data that can be used as the basis of long-term improvements. By deploying such solutions, cities not only benefit from improved mobility, but also safer roads and happier commuters. Understanding the effect city initiatives have on the environment means authorities can ensure the well-being of their residents and the global impact they are having. Further, environmental monitoring can lead to better planning. Smart city technologies Using solutions such as smart cameras and sensors, authorities can gather data on their city’s environment for a range of applications, from detecting weather changes to predicting potential issues that could be caused by the storms, right through to air quality analysis to reduce pollution. Axis partners with a range of specialist companies to bring future smart city technologies to life. Axis will be joined by 12 partners so visitors can visit the booth to hear more about integrated solutions for safe cities, mobility and the environment. Unified security platform We are in a robust position to jointly lead cities towards a safer and smarter future" Christian Chenard-Lemire, Team Lead for Intelligent Transport Systems at one of the key Axis partners, Genetec Inc., explained why and how Genetec and Axis are working together to create smart, safe road solutions: “In order for citizens to benefit from a ‘Smart City’, it must also be a ‘Safe City’. For any urban environment, safety, security, and the flow of people and goods have always been a critical factor, driving the need for new, innovative technology.” “Through the open-architecture, unified security platform in Genetec™ Security Center and the full integration with Axis Communications sensors and cameras, we are in a robust position to jointly lead cities towards a safer and smarter future.” This year Eric Toffin, CEO of Citilog, and Axis company, will be speaking on ‘Intelligent Transport Systems: Towards Less Congested and Safer Cities’. Eric’s talk will take place on Wednesday, November 20 at 12:20-13:10. Other companies who can be found at the Axis booth are: Canon, BriefCam, Tenevia, WaterView, Siklu, Parquery, Libelium, ViNotion, 2N, Aximum, SAP and Signify.

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.”

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