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CCTV observation systems & accessories - Expert commentary

Lessons Learned with AxxonSoft: How have you adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Lessons Learned with AxxonSoft: How have you adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about an unprecedented crisis for businesses and individuals. It has also created a new normal, notwithstanding the disruption to our lives, ultimately changing life as we knew it. However, our resilience as humans will ensure that we survive and become better, stronger, and more determined than ever before. As I mentioned, both businesses and individuals have struggled significantly to balance the need for safety versus survival. But at AxxonSoft, we remain committed to keeping our people safe, while ensuring that our support and commitment to our clients are not compromised. Ensuring business continuity At AxxonSoft, our vision has always been to ensure business continuity through enhanced safety and video surveillance offerings. Adhering to the COVID-19 regulations, we are prescribing to social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. As such, we are utilising this time to ensure that our service offering is optimised to afford our clients the ability to repurpose and extend their remote working viabilities. As an essential service provider, we have ensured that we are providing the right tools to our clients to comply with regulations. Our video analytics and face recognition services have no reliance on on-site control rooms and, therefore, clients’ security solutions and personal safety are not compromised. Innovation reimagined During these precarious times, our focus remains on support and service. Our development team continues to work tirelessly to ensure that you can use our software during the lockdown and have accelerated innovation to this end. While we must maintain social distancing, we can and will still be of service to our community Therefore, we are proud to present version 4.11 of the Intellect PSIM, which offers our clients a neural network-based analytical tracker which recognises specific types of objects, such as humans and vehicles. We have also equipped this version with video wall management interface, automatic object tracking and a web reporting subsystem. Behavioural analytics generates data by detecting specific postures, like crouching, shooting or any potentially dangerous scenario. Our surveillance software operates on a three-pronged approach: calibration, detection and measurement, offering a comprehensive bird’s-eye view to clients. This upgrade also upholds mandated social distancing measures and keeps any face-to-face meetings to a minimal. The silver lining is that you can even use this technology when the pandemic is over. Now that’s what I call experiencing the next with AxxonSoft! Finding solutions to the challenges Our specialist technology and frontline technical support staff will ensure that your business is protected during and post-lockdown. We will continue to ensure that we provide solutions to the new challenges that the coronavirus brings, ensuring that our clients can emerge stronger and more responsive to any changes in the future. Our surveillance software operates on a three-pronged approach: calibration, detection and measurement While we must maintain social distancing, we can and will still be of service to our community. After all, change is not just about technology but about mastering mindsets. The COVID-19 disaster has demanded that businesses embrace tech disruptions as early as possible and apply technology in imaginative ways to define the new world of work. Until next time, stay safe!

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.

Video analytics trends: Security and business intelligence
Video analytics trends: Security and business intelligence

In the physical security space, video analytics have historically over-promised and under-delivered, often leaving end users sceptical about their capabilities. However, increased integration with security solutions and other business systems, as well as developments in deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI), have given video analytics a significant boost in recent years. Here, we take a look at the key trends putting video analytics in the spotlight, and how this opens up new opportunities for increased security and business intelligence. Deep learning and AI will enhance video analytics capabilities At the start of 2018, our security industry experts commented on how deep learning technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) would extend to the video surveillance industry, allowing security professionals to gain very specific insights into human behaviour. Our experts predicted that this would permit organisations to reduce risk, enable efficiencies, reduce costs, ensure compliance and provide faster access to stored video. With AI-enables video systems, video analytics are set to perform more complex applications at a higher level of accuracy. Image processing developments allow intelligent analytics  According to Ambarella’s Chris Day, advancing chip technology combined with the neural network approach to computer vision is game changing for video analytics. Since the problem of higher resolution has already been solved, the key differentior for video surveillance systems will be the ability to add computer vision in parallel with image processing and high-resolution encoding – ideally in a chip that is low-power. Integration with security systems increases video analytics value Video systems produce an immense amount of data that is often wasted, says Bosch Security Systems’ Sean Murphy. When video analytics alerts are integrated with other security systems, video events can trigger responses from other parts of the security solution. For example, cameras with video analytics can initiate intrusion detection system events initiate intrusion detection system events, prompting the panel to take action by alerting the central station or sending video to security personnel.   Video analytics add value with actionable business intelligence Adding network video to the current generation of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provides actional value beyond situational intelligence for security purposes. With increasingly intelligent sensors, interactions between business systems are becoming more sophisticated, providing a value greater than the sum of the parts. Organisations can use smart applications to reduce energy consumption, allocate workspace, and reduce operating costs. In a retail environment, analytics are now capable of assessing a scene for occupancy and crowd control, even generating reports of trends over time. Video analytics detect abnormalities to predict incidents Camera-based video analytics can go beyond assessing a current scene to predicting potential risks before they occur, explains Pelco’s Jonathan Lewitt. Based on predetermined factors or analysis of prior events, systems can collect all available information to determine the level of severity of a situation and whether an action needs to be taken. At the same time, systems can correlate data from video and other sources to help analyse similar occurrences in the future. Video analytics increasingly supplemented with audio analytics Audio analytics are often overlooked, notes Hanwha Techwin’s Paul Kong, perhaps due to differing privacy laws from video surveillance. However, audio analytics processed in a camera can help provide a secondary layer of verification for events, as well as identifying gunshots, screams, or other sounds indicating an incident is taking place. This makes audio analytics ideal for dealing with active shooter events at schools and campuses. As Louroe Electronics’ Richard Brent explains, audio analytics software can detect rising levels of human aggression, as well as recognising firearm discharge. This can trigger alerts to ensure incidents are dealt with swiftly.

Latest ComNet Europe Ltd. news

Vanderbilt & ComNet announce release of an Online Events and Learning resource page on their website
Vanderbilt & ComNet announce release of an Online Events and Learning resource page on their website

ACRE brands, Vanderbilt and ComNet have announced the release of an Online Events and Learning page on their website. The launch of this new resource is in response to the current postponement of tradeshow events amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Outlining what visitors to the Online Events and Learning page can expect, Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications, Vanderbilt Industries explains “Our commitment is to make the customer’s security journey the best possible experience and that is what this Online Events and Learning page primarily focuses on. By taking a customer-first approach, we aim to highlight all of our customer-first value adds, such as our free online training services, multilingual customer service support, and free product demonstrations”. Award-winning security solutions He adds, “On top of this, we will also be hosting a series of webinars based on some of our most innovative solutions. These will be delivered by our in-house experts and will be a great opportunity for our customers to engage directly with some of the top minds behind these products in our company.” The Online Events and Learning approach by Vanderbilt and ComNet is built on a foundation of customer-focused core values such as empowerment, collaboration, and high performance. The current fruits of these core values will be on display for visitors to the Online Events and Learning page to see. For instance, detailed and engaging webinars on Vanderbilt’s award-winning products will include cloud-based solutions ACT365 and SPC Connect, plus intrusion system SPC and access control system, ACTpro. ACTpro access control system ACTpro, in particular, embodies the customer-first and high-performance approach being talked about ACTpro, in particular, embodies the customer-first and high-performance approach being talked about. It is a product that has continued to evolve based on customer requirements from the field, with its latest features including a “best-in-class” rules mapping engine and PoE Ultra controllers, plus Bluetooth readers and Biometric fingerprint readers that were recently added to the portfolio.  “Our drive to become all-around solution companies has seen us harness numerous tools to complement a buyer’s journey from start to finish," Wilks said, adding "One prominent aspect of this strategy, which visitors to our Online Events and Learning page can also explore for themselves, is our webshop platform. This value-add has been available to our customers for less than a year, but already it has proved to pack a considerable punch in bringing about customer satisfaction to our base." Centralised Asset Management System The webshop optimises the goal to serve customers 24/7. Accessed through Vanderbilt’s main website, the webshop presents a simplified, intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and use. How-to videos assist with any questions that may arise, and an improved product hierarchy and centralised Asset Management System (AMS) ensure all support materials are relevant and up to date. Upcoming webinars include: Vanderbilt CPD Event - Electronic Security (16-04-2020) Port Guardian & Implementation in Solutions (28-04-2020)

Vanderbilt webinar demonstrates the most recent developments in card cloning and reader hacking
Vanderbilt webinar demonstrates the most recent developments in card cloning and reader hacking

In the first of Vanderbilt and ComNet’s upcoming webinar series, the ACRE companies will be tackling the topic of card cloning and reader hacking in access control. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 22 April, at 10 am (CET) and will last 45 minutes. The host of the webinar is Andrew Fulton, Director of Business Development for Access Control at Vanderbilt. “During this webinar, I will discuss and demonstrate the issues surrounding card cloning and reader hacking in the access control world today. I’m sure that some attendees will be shocked as to how easy even some of the more secure products can be compromised,” outlines Fulton. Access Control I look forward to you joining me on Wednesday morning for this in-depth discussion" “I will cover the latest threats and techniques, as well as solutions to the problem - some simple and low cost, others more complex and complete solutions. I will also make recommendations on the type of cards and readers that you should use to ensure you end up with the most secure offering today, and not something that you soon realise has been compromised.” Andrew Fulton, Director of Business Development for Access Control, Vanderbilt. “I look forward to you joining me on Wednesday morning for this in-depth discussion,” Fulton concludes. Electronic security industry Andrew Fulton is an experienced senior leader in the electronic security industry. As a co-founder of CEM Systems, he has over 30 years’ experience in access control products sold into the most complex situations worldwide. During this time, he has covered a broad spectrum of roles including software and product design, sales, and CEM Managing Director (before its acquisition by TYCO.) After continuing in global access sales in TYCO for 14 years, he has spent the last three years at Vanderbilt - initially as head of product management for access control before moving internally to Director of Business Development for Access Control. With in-depth valuable knowledge, particularly within aviation, gaming banking, and infrastructure security systems, Andrew has a great insight into the changing needs of current access control products, including secure credentials. Card and reader cloning Takeaways attendees can expect: Get the latest updates in card and reader cloning and hacking. Know what cards and readers are most secure going forward. Understand how to make the transition from insecure to secure cards and readers simple. When: Wednesday, 22 April at 10 am (CET) Duration: 45 minutes

Vanderbilt & ComNet partnership slated to take off in 2020, as per ACRE President, David Sullivan
Vanderbilt & ComNet partnership slated to take off in 2020, as per ACRE President, David Sullivan

Globally renowned ACRE brands, Vanderbilt and ComNet began to operate in unison, as part of a strategic move by their parent company to streamline and cement the international divisions of the business. Following on from the initial integration, David Sullivan, ACRE International President, has claimed that the strategic alignment is now well-positioned for a successful 2020 partnership. "No matter what experience I've had in the past with integrating businesses, you end up with a few bumps and challenges. Combining Vanderbilt and ComNet under one umbrella was no different. But now that we are through the learning curve, we're already starting to see better results," Sullivan states. Vanderbilt and ComNet partnership We're seeing better technical support, and are beginning to see a better understanding of the ComNet portfolio" David Sullivan, President of ACRE International, said “We're seeing better technical support, and are beginning to see a better understanding of the ComNet portfolio on the customer service side. Because of this, the ComNet customers are enjoying something they didn't have before, in-language customer service and technical support from our various offices around Europe.” David adds, “That's a significant advantage, and we've had a lot of customers come back and say that the supply and reliability of the supply has improved significantly.” Deepening of product portfolio In addition, ACRE has installed Iain Deuchars as the General Manager of the ComNet business, a move Sullivan states is already reaping positive effects. With 30 plus years' experience in the transmissions industry, Deuchars' knowledge and understanding of the market and the product portfolio on offer, has helped explicitly. The integration of both brands has also deepened each other's product portfolio, and this has seen more opportunities open up throughout the marketplace. Expansion in Middle East, India and Nordic regions Sullivan said, “In 2020, we're going to see more traction between the two sides of the business. We already have great opportunities that are developing in the Middle East where we are combining both the ComNet portfolio and our access control solutions.” He adds, “We're finding a lot of traction in India between both portfolios, and I think we're going to see it in the Nordic region as well. There are spots in our marketplace where we're seeing a lot of synergies associated with the Vanderbilt and ComNet working together.” Next phase of SPC wireless devices One of the big releases for Vanderbilt customers in 2020 is the release of the next phase of SPC wireless devices While the quarter has been a positive one, as President, Sullivan is always looking further down the line and strategising where the company will be positioned at the end of the year and beyond. One of the big releases that Sullivan is appetising for Vanderbilt customers in 2020 is the release of the next phase of SPC wireless devices. David said, "The essential thing for our customers right now is their interest in understanding where we are with our wireless sensors for our intrusion portfolio. It's been a phased release over the last two years, and the two critical elements to that portfolio are the PIR cam and the Wireless keypad.” New software releases and system upgrades He adds, “Those have been a little bit long in getting out, but they'll be coming out this year. I think that's going to change people's interest in our wireless portfolio radically. It's probably one of the most significant releases that we'll be having.” David concludes, “Clearly, we're going to be having a lot of different software releases and upgrades to the systems, but of the most significant, that's probably the one that people have been waiting for the most."