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 Vanderbilt Industries news

What is the role of manufacturers in providing after sales support?
What is the role of manufacturers in providing after sales support?

Traditionally, dealer-installers and/or integrators provide the front line of support to end user customers after a sale. Because integrators assemble and provide the “solution” – often using products from multiple manufacturers – they are most familiar with the total system and can troubleshoot any problems. However, manufacturers may be better equipped to deal with specific problems after a sale and also to provide a variety of resources to end-users. It’s a delicate balance, and the best approach may be dependent on the product or even the market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of manufacturers in providing support to end user customers after the sale?

Vanderbilt adds Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection to the access control portfolio
Vanderbilt adds Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection to the access control portfolio

Vanderbilt, a provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announces the induction of Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection by ZKTeco into their access control portfolio. These products are touchless technology that enables skin temperature measurement and masked individual identification during facial and palm verification at access points. They interface with Vanderbilt’s ACTpro on-premise and ACT365 cloud-based access control solutions, and communicate with the systems via a Wiegand output. Introducing mandatory requirements “Through this touchless technology, skin temperature acts as the credential, thus making this a crucial addition to the Vanderbilt portfolio during the current pandemic,” cites Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications at Vanderbilt. “Additionally, as countries begin to introduce mandatory requirements for citizens to wear masks, this touchless technology can detect if someone is or isn’t wearing one.” Paul McCarthy, Product Manager at Vanderbilt, outlines the technical strengths of the products. “They have a read range of 0.6 F / 0.3 C accuracy at 18 inches,” says McCarthy. Facial recognition capability Ultimately the goal of adding these terminals to the Vanderbilt portfolio is to help tackle hygiene concerns “The terminals have a straightforward, intuitive interface to set temperature thresholds and collaborate with the environment around it. Protocols can be set to prevent access if a mask isn’t being worn, or if the temperature of the visitor is above the threshold.” McCarthy further explains that facial recognition capability has reached a new height in the biometrics technology industry. For example, the Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection contains a maximum of 30,000 facial templates and up to 5000 palm templates, depending on the model selected, and a recognition speed of less than 0.3 seconds per face. Ultimately the goal of adding these terminals to the Vanderbilt portfolio is to help tackle hygiene concerns. Facial recognition terminals “For instance,” cites Andrew Fulton, Director of Business Development for Access Control at Vanderbilt. “A hospital can check when a staff member has their mask fitted and is not above the normal skin temperature limit before granting them access. This feature makes it not only an ideal product for hospitals, but also factories, schools, commercial buildings, airports, stations, and other public areas.” The addition of the Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection into the Vanderbilt portfolio allows the company to continue providing its customers with smart and reliable strategies to help create a safer environment for staff and visitors during this unprecedented time.

Smart R Distribution upgrades access control systems at Northern & Shell Building to enhance public security
Smart R Distribution upgrades access control systems at Northern & Shell Building to enhance public security

A landmark building located on the north side of the River Thames, has seen its security upgraded with Smart R Distribution and systems integrator, Isecurity Systems Limited, working in partnership to ensure tenants are protected by the latest advances in Access Control technology. The Northern & Shell Building at 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3 which offers dramatic panoramic river views, has an on-site restaurant, a 10 storey glazed atrium and glass wall climber lifts. Among its tenants, Northern & Shell Group occupies approximately 110,000 sq. ft. spread over the ground, 4th, 9th and 10th floors. Single software platform As part of a phased office refurbishment programme, the owners of the building reviewed the tools available to the security personnel to enable them to maintain a safe and secure environment for approximately 5,000 people who work in the building, as well as contractors and visitors. “The existing Geoffrey Access Control system had been in use for over 20 years and although it was still operating effectively, its functionality was limited compared to more modern solutions,” said Russell Morgan, Project Manager for Elsenham, Essex based Isecurity Systems, who have had a long term association with Northern & Shell Group. “A decision was made to invest in the latest generation Vanderbilt Security Management System (SMS) which enables users to efficiently manage alarms, lifts, visitors and the photo ID badging process, from a single software platform.” Magnetic stripe readers The Comelit video entry system integrates seamlessly with the SMS control system Russell and his colleagues at Isecurity Systems worked with the Smart R Distribution team to supply a Vanderbilt SMS access control system and they also in the process of replacing the 140 aging magnetic stripe readers with new CIDRON access control readers which support securely encrypted DESfire EV2 contactless Smart Cards from Cambridge UK based Authenticard. Smart R Distribution also supplied a new Comelit ViP video entry system, comprising 8 door stations and 2 control desk positions, which has been installed by Isecurity Systems to allow operators within the building’s 24/7 control room, to communicate and remotely open doors for contractors and couriers who need to gain entry via, for example, to a basement entrance. The Comelit video entry system integrates seamlessly with the SMS control system. Efficient access control solution “We now have a highly efficient Access Control solution which helps us to manage the smooth movement of large numbers of people through turnstile controlled speed lanes located in our reception area and it also enables us to control who can gain access to other restricted areas within the building,” said Dave Wratten, Facilities Manager for Northern & Shell Group. “Isecurity Systems and Smart R should be applauded for working in partnership to ensure that all the equipment was delivered to site exactly when it was needed and then installed to our complete satisfaction.”