In the Biatta family, the craft of producing excellent wines is passed from generation to generation. Back in 1985, Giovanni Biatta, the forefather of the Le Marchesine operation, purchased the first three hectares in the area of Franciacorta, but the family has dedicated itself to a single passion for at least five generations: Excellence in wine-making. Heir of an ancient family from Brescia, the great-grandfather of Giovanni, Camillo Biatta, was a negociant eleveur, a noble and ancient trade inherited from father to son, all the way to Giovanni.

Le Marchesine agricultural success

Born as a small and innovative firm in Franciacorta, Le Marchesine is today one of the most prestigious agricultural success stories in this well-endowed region of Lombardy; from the three original hectares the company has grown to cover 47 hectares of vines, all registered in the Doc and Docg, and managed directly by the heir of Giovanni, Loris, who manages the wine cellar and the vines together with son Andrea and daughter Alice.

Presently production hovers around 450 thousand bottles per year, of which 230 thousand of Franciacorta Brut and Extra Brut, 40 thousand of Rose’ vintage, 40 thousand of Franciacorta Saten, 30 thousand of Vintage from only the best years, in addition to 10 thousand of Secolo Novo cru vintage, 15 thousand of Curtefranca Bianco, and 15 thousand of Curtefranca Rosso. Starting from the Fall of 2012, two new wines were added to the Le Marchesine production, the Franciacorta Brut Giovanni Biatta Secolo Novo, of which 5,700 bottles were produced, and the Franciacorta Brut Blanc de Noir with 6,700 bottles.

Pilot project in wine making sector

Loris Biatta, presently the owner of the farm but also a gifted entrepreneur and technology enthusiast, had long expressed the desire to showcase the beauty of the farm and the care with which the wine is produced to customers residing outside Europe, even on other continents; an ambitious and innovative idea that was not met with a positive response, in terms of feasibility, when proposed to some of the technicians in the market. The solution was provided by Informatica Lombarda, a company located in Rovato that specialises in integrating computer and technology systems.MOBOTIX provides the solution as the only video camera capable of guaranteeing high quality images that can be accessed in real time

"When we were contacted by Le Marchesine we immediately accepted the challenge”— according to Fulvio Baresi, the general manager of Informatica Lombarda. “This was a new idea, that would start a pilot project in the wine making sector; a project with a far-reaching outlook, that would provide the opportunity to fully exploit the great potential of the technologies we are implementing".

Implemented in the span of only three months, the project included the installation of a MOBOTIX video security system integrated with an open VOIP infrastructure (based on an Asterisk switchboard) and a wireless network based on antennas built by Meru Networks.

MOBOTIX video security system

The integration of the entire installation on the Asterisk switchboard provided many opportunities for development in the project, including during the implementation, both in relation to the integration of new technologies and – no less important – controlling costs.

"My main objective - which has been a lifelong dream of mine - was to be able to show in live images, especially when shipping products abroad, and not just in photographs or brochures, the beauty of our land - the Franciacorta - the elegance of our wine cellars, and the care with which we produce and store the wine, which stands for quality even for less pretentious customers", says Biatta.

Integrated hardware and software

"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart...", said Saint-Exupery in the famous novel The Little Prince.

In this project there is a lot of heart: The love of our land, the love for our company and the family it belongs to, the love of a craft, that when is done with the heart produces notes and flavours that preserve the taste of artisan passion and skill. When the hearts are far away, MOBOTIX provides the solution as the only video camera capable of guaranteeing high quality images that can be accessed in real time thanks to the software integrated on each device: A video security system where the hardware and software are integrated into a single product.

MOBOTIX HD video guards Le Marchesine winery in Italy
Images recorded by the cameras can be viewed by means of the MOBOTIX application installed on an iPad

"Thanks to MOBOTIX we were able to exploit the high quality of the images and the power of the free proprietary application, which, in our capacity as the system integrators, allowed us to develop truly state of the art projects. Not least important, thanks to the software integrated in the device, which is a unique technology in the world, the MOBOTIX decentralised system is able to provide the possibility of managing the images recorded by the video cameras remotely and in real time, when necessary, or when the client on the other side of the world has special requirements", added Baresi.

Securing outdoor and indoor facilities

The advantages of the MOBOTIX decentralised concept are also evident in other terms. In fact, the video cameras do not leverage an external PC – or the efficiency of the connection – the analysis of the recordings and images are already scaled by the software on board. Today there are 11 MOBOTIX eyes pointing outdoors, to the vines and indoors, to the production facilities and the wine cellars of the well-known wine producer, not only because of security, but also and most of all within the scope of the commercial and marketing promotions of the company and its products.

Wherever they may be, the business associates of Le Marchesine are able to view the images recorded by the video cameras by means of the MOBOTIX application installed on an iPad. In case of issues of lighting as a result of time zones on the other side of the globe, they are able to remotely turn on the lights directly from the video camera by selecting an icon on the application.The T25 video door intercom is provided with an RFID reader that manages access control for authorised personnel

"The saying ‘see it to believe it’ has never been more appropriate for me, in the sense that until I tried the system I did not believe that it was possible! The project also received the same positive responses from our traditional clients and potential buyers, who were often incredulous at what they were seeing thanks to MOBOTIX", says Biatta.

Tracking annual and multi-year statistical trends

Shortly, a pole will be installed in the vines, which, thanks to solar panels, will power a weather station, which will be in turn connected to a MOBOTIX video camera. The objective is to allow Le Marchesine to remotely broadcast in real time the data concerning the humidity and the level of acidity of the soil, the presence of potential bacteria, the colour of the leaves, the state of ripening of the wine, etc. – activities that until today were carried out manually by the agronomists, who will now be able to base their manual activities on precise data and measurements carried out at periodic intervals. The objective of this new system is to track both annual and multi-year statistical trends, which will allow Le Marchesine to evaluate the production of a particular type of wine in a given vintage and make predictions about the years to come.

The results obtained by Le Marchesine went well over the expectations, preserving the standards of quality and excellence the owners first of all require of their own products, providing much more than a simple video security installation.

MOBOTIX T25 video door intercom 

The new 5 megapixel MOBOTIX video cameras installed – 3 M15 Day&Night models for monitoring the vines, active round the clock, 3 D15 models for remotely monitoring and viewing the wine cellars, 2 Q25 models installed in the production facilities, and 1 T25 video door intercom – are integrated with the VoIP switchboard and allow authorised parties to directly connect with a complete mobile wireless solution.

Moreover, the T25 video door intercom is provided with an RFID reader that manages access control for authorised personnel, an application that provides the best results, especially in the harvest season, when external personnel is brought on the premises during periods of large volume.

"The project implemented for Le Marchesine is the feather in the cap for informatics in Lombardy and represents the true meaning of ‘automation’, a term that is sometimes overused and often utilised in the wrong - and restrictive - manner with respect to what it really means. In order to implement true automation it is not enough to improvise, select what is available on the market, and install it.

It is important to understand the technology on which each product is based and the capability to interconnect them. I am completely convinced that 70 percent of the success of a system integration project resides precisely in the evaluation and design stage before the implementation. Obviously, as in most things, it is not necessary to know everything, but to be able to discern the best; and for us in this case MOBOTIX is certainly in first place", concluded Baresi.

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2018 FIFA World Cup Russia integrates safety, security and service
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia integrates safety, security and service

The 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament is bringing 32 national teams and more than 400,000 foreign football fans from all over the world to 12 venues in 11 cities in Russia. Fans are crowding into cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan. Given continuing global concerns about terrorism, security is top-of-mind. Protection of the World Cup games in Russia is focusing on an “integrated safety, security and service approach,” according to officials. Combining the term “security” with the terms “safety” and “service” is not an accident. An aggressive security stance is necessary, but at the end of the day, fan safety is paramount, and a service-oriented approach ensures a positive fan experience. Medical responders will be working side-by-side with police and antiterrorism personnel. Risk management best practices We asked Sean T. Horner and Ben Joelson, directors of the Chertoff Group, a global advisory firm focused on best practices in security and risk management, to comment on security at FIFA World Cup 2018. Although not involved in securing the 2018 World Cup, the Chertoff Group is experienced at securing large events and enterprises using risk management, business practices and security. Integration is another important aspect of protecting the games, says Horner. The use of multiple resources, including Russian military, intelligence and law enforcement, will be closely integrated to provide the best security for the large-scale event in each of the host cities, he says. The approach will be centralised and flexible, with resource deployment guided by effective situational awareness. Primary security and emergency operations centres will be dispersed throughout each host city “There is a unified command structure at the Russian Federation level, and they will keep resources in reserve and shift them as needed to various events and venues based on any specific intelligence, in effect deploying resources where threats are greatest,” says Joelson. “There will also be some regional commands, and resources will incorporate a spectrum of police and military personnel ranging from the ‘cop on the beat’ to the Spetsnaz, the Russian ‘special forces'.” Primary security and emergency operations centres will be dispersed throughout each host city, and additional forces can be shifted as necessary, he notes. Role of law enforcement In Russia, the lines of separation between law enforcement and the military are not as stark as in the United States, for example, where military forces are restricted from deployment for domestic law enforcement by the Posse Comitatus Act. In Russia, there is no such restriction.  A broad range of technology will play a role at the World Cup, Horner and Joelson agree. Technology will be used primarily as a force multiplier and a decision-support tool for security personnel. There are robust CCTV systems in many Russian cities, and mobile CCTV systems, such as camera towers or mobile security centres on wheels, will also be deployed. Technologies will include infrared cameras, flood lights, and ferromagnetic screening systems to scan hundreds of individuals as they walk by. In some locations, facial recognition systems will be used, tied into various intelligence, military and law enforcement databases of known bad actors. Behaviour analytics will be used as a decision-support tool. In addition to security in public areas, private CCTV systems in hotels, at transportation hubs, and inside the venues themselves will be leveraged. Video analytics and detection will help personnel review live view of people who may be acting suspiciously or who leave a bag unattended. In some locations, facial recognition systems will be used, tied into various intelligence, military and law enforcement databases of known bad actors Rigorous anti-terrorism measures A Fan ID card is required to enter the 2018 World Cup Tournament, even for Russian residents. The Russians have an aggressive stance against domestic terrorism, which will also help ensure the safety of the World Cup games, say Horner and Joelson. Terrorist group ISIS has promised “unprecedented violence” at the games, but they make similar threats at every major global event. Russia has been an active force disrupting ISIS in Syria, and experts suggest that losing ground geographically could lead to addition “asymmetric” terrorist attacks. However, Russia is leveraging all their intelligence resources to identify any plots and deploying their security apparatus to disrupt any planned attacks, experts say. Russia’s rigorous anti-terrorism measures include a total ban on planes and other flying devices (such as drones) around the stadiums hosting the World Cup. Private security In addition to military, intelligence and law enforcement personnel, private security will play a have a high profile during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Private security personnel will be on the front lines in hotels and in “fan zones.” They will operate magnetometers at entrances, perform bag checks, enforce restrictions on hand-carried items, etc. Private security will be especially important to the “guest experience” aspects of protecting the games. Private security will be especially important to the “guest experience” aspects of protecting the games Another private security function at the World Cup is executive protection of dignitaries and high-net-worth individuals who will be attending. Executive protection professionals will arrive early, conduct advanced security assessments before VIPs arrive, and secure trusted and vetted transportation (including armoured cars in some cases.) VIPs will include both Russian citizens and foreign (including U.S.) dignitaries attending the games. Private security details will be out in force. Aggressive security approach Overeager and outspoken fans are a part of the football culture, but Russia will deploy a near-zero tolerance policy against hooliganism and riots. An overwhelming force presence will take an aggressive approach to curbing any civil disturbances, and offenders will be removed quickly by Russian security forces. Strict restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol will be enforced in the venue cities before and after the matches. Officials will also be cognisant of the possibility of a riot or other event being used as a distraction to draw attention from another area where a terrorist event is planned. It will be a delicate balance between deploying an aggressive security approach and preserving the fan experience. Joelson notes that freedom of speech is not as valued in Russia as in other parts of the world, so the scales will be even more tipped toward security. “The last thing they want is for things to get out of control,” says Horner. “The event is putting Russia on the world stage, and they want visitors to walk away safely after having a great time and wanting to go back in the future.” Attendees should also have good situational awareness, and keep their heads up, scanning crowds and identifying unsafe situations" Precautions for World Cup attendees Attendees to the World Cup in Russia should take some basic precautions, Horner and Joelson agree. For example, Russia requires a translated, notarised letter explaining any prescription drugs. The country has a more aggressive foreign intelligence environment, so visitors cannot depend on their data being private. Joelson recommends the usual “social media hygiene” and privacy settings. Visitors should not post information about their travel plans or locations, and it’s best to travel with a disposable mobile phone that does not contain personal information. Location tracking should be deactivated. Travellers should also beware of talking and sharing information with others, or of saying anything derogatory. “They should also have good situational awareness, and keep their heads up, scanning crowds and identifying unsafe situations,” says Joelson. “If you bring a personal electronic device, you should expect that it has been compromised,” says Horner. Text messages and email will not be private, and he suggests creating an email address used only for travel. Don’t leave drinks unattended. Travellers from the U.S. should register at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) operated by the U.S. State Department. “Plan before you travel and before you get to the airport,” says Horner.

The benefits and challenges of in-camera audio analytics for surveillance solutions
The benefits and challenges of in-camera audio analytics for surveillance solutions

Audio is often overlooked in the security and video surveillance industry. There are some intercom installations where audio plays a key role, but it’s not typically thought about when it comes to security and event management. Audio takes a back seat in many security systems because audio captured from a surveillance camera can have a different impact on the privacy of those being monitored. Audio surveillance is therefore subject to strict laws that vary from state to state. Many states require a clearly posted sign indicating audio recording is taking place in an area before a person enters. Analytic information derived from audio can be a useful tool and when implemented correctly, removes any concerns over privacy or legal compliance. Audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Focused responses to events Audio analytics processed in the camera, has been a niche and specialised area for many installers and end users. This could be due to state laws governing audio recording, however, audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Processing audio analytics in-camera provides excellent privacy since audio data is analysed internally with a set of algorithms that only compare and assess the audio content. Processing audio analytics on the edge also reduces latency compared with any system that needs to send the raw audio to an on-premises or cloud server for analysis. Audio analytics can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritise responses from police and emergency personnel. Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialised features, and for audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparison Microphones and algorithms Many IP-based cameras have small microphones embedded in the housing while some have a jack for connecting external microphones to the camera. Microphones on indoor cameras work well since the housing allows for a small hole to permit sound waves to reach the microphone. Outdoor cameras that are IP66 certified against water and dust ingress will typically have less sensitivity since the microphone is not exposed. In cases like these, an outdoor microphone, strategically placed, can significantly improve outdoor analytic accuracy. There are several companies that make excellent directional microphones for outdoor use, some of which can also combat wind noise. Any high-quality external microphone should easily outperform a camera’s internal microphone in terms of analytic accuracy, so it is worth considering in areas where audio information gathering is deemed most important. In-built audio-video analytics Surveillance cameras with a dedicated SoC (System on Chip) have become available in recent years with in-built video and audio analytics that can detect and classify audio events and send alerts to staff and emergency for sounds such as gunshots, screams, glass breaks and explosions. Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialised features. For audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparison. The camera extracts the characteristics of the audio source collected using the camera's internal or externally connected microphone and calculates its likelihood based on the pre-defined database. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS Configuring a camera for audio analytics Audio detectionThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Installers should be able to enable or disable the noise reduction function and view the results to validate the optimum configuration during setup Noise reductionA simple threshold level may not be adequate enough to reduce false alarms depending on the environment where a camera or microphone is installed. Noise reduction is a feature on cameras that can reduce background noise greater than 55dB-65dB for increased detection accuracy. Installers should be able to enable or disable the noise reduction function and view the results to validate the optimum configuration during setup. With noise reduction enabled, the system analyses the attenuated audio source. As such, the audio source classification performance may be hindered or generate errors, so it is important to use noise reduction technology sparingly. Audio source classificationIt’s important to supply the analytic algorithm with a good audio level and a high signal-to-noise ratio to reduce the chance of generating false alarms under normal circumstances. Installers should experiment with ideal placement for both video as well as audio. While a ceiling corner might seem an ideal location for a camera, it might also cause background audio noise to be artificially amplified. Many cameras provide a graph which visualises audio source levels to allow for the intuitive checking of noise cancellation and detection levels. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly Messages and eventsIt’s important to choose a VMS that has correctly integrated the camera’s API (application programming interface) in order to receive comprehensive audio analytic events that include the classification ID (explosion, glass break, gunshot, scream). A standard VMS that only supports generic alarms, may not be able to resolve all of the information. More advanced VMS solutions can identify different messages from the camera. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.

How important is packaging in the commercial security market?
How important is packaging in the commercial security market?

High-quality products are the building blocks of successful physical security systems. How they are packaged may sometimes be seen as an unimportant detail or an afterthought. But should it be? Effective packaging can serve many functions, from creating a favorable customer impression to ensuring the product isn’t damaged in transit. Packaging can also contribute to ease of installation. On the negative side, excess packaging can be an environmental concern, especially for customers who are sensitive to green factors or to minimising waste. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is packaging of products important in the commercial security market? Why or why not?