Artificial intelligence is more than just the latest buzzword in the security marketplace. In some cases, smarter computer technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) are helping to transform how security operates. AI is also expanding the industry’s use cases, sometimes even beyond the historic province of the security realm. It turns out that AI is also a timely tool in the middle of a global pandemic. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the security market?
The first half of 2020 has been full of surprises, to say the least, and many of them directly impacted the physical security market. The COVID-19 pandemic created endless new challenges, and the physical security market has done our part to meet those challenges by adapting technology solutions such as thermal cameras and access control systems. In the second half of 2020, we can all hope for a return to normalcy, even if it is a “new normal.” In any case, technology will continue to play a big role. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which technologies have the greatest potential to disrupt the security industry in the second half of 2020?
VCA Technology, a globally renowned company in video analytics, announced the release of a new software tool to help retailers manage the monitoring of footfall and occupancy in their stores. The software is able to analyse shoppers’ movements in, out and around the store by simply mapping their gait – or how they walk – which is unique to everyone. Monitoring software tool By mapping this nature of movement, retailers will be able to differentiate shoppers whilst not infringing on their privacy. With retailers needing to manage social distancing within stores for the foreseeable future, this solution enables them to monitor the store and apply rules to trigger alerts. This is especially crucial in queue management, which would need rigorous manual oversight. Alerts, on the other hand, can help focus attention to where it’s needed; thereby keeping staff safe. Need for enhanced retail store safety The technology helps retailers manage this new normal, by integrating with existing software" Kevin Waterhouse, Managing Director, VCA Technology commented, “The COVID-19 pandemic has rewritten the rules of retail, and the social distancing policies we have seen introduced will not disappear when lockdown ends.” He adds, “The technology we’ve created helps retailers manage this new normal, by integrating with existing software yet providing extra value-adds. For example, the one in, one out policy is easy to manage in small shops, yet for superstores with multiple entrances and exits, it is much harder to regulate, without funnelling everyone through one door, creating queuing hazards.” Retail security Kevin further stated, “This pose analysis will help manage this digitally, thereby regulating store occupancy in a more efficient way, allowing for a seamless entrance and exit strategy.” The software can provide the data to create the following information: Queue counting Unique identifiers to prevent double counting Time-in-store analysis Heat maps Time at checkout analysis Staff detection Forensic search by unique ID Walk offs/basket abandonment The technology is already being trialled by a major Spanish retailer with their incumbent cameras and security software, and is available to retailers globally. Waterhouse concluded, “Store layouts will probably change in light of COVID-19, but until then, retailers need technology to be doing the heavy lifting and alerting to potential distancing breaches”. Retailers can use this intelligence to help form store strategies moving forward, to enable a more sophisticated response, whilst also ensuring shoppers’ privacy.
VCA Technology, a UK provider of video analytics, announced the release of VCA Server, an AI Deep Learning based video analytics software suite which provides a key upgrade to the company’s flagship VCA Core platform. Offering simple integration with VMS and NVR manufacturers’ technologies, the new release ensures that sophisticated analytics can be set-up and installed within as little as fifteen minutes, allowing end-users to significantly reduce false alarms with minimal disruption. Central to VCA Server is its Deep Learning Filter which is pre-calibrated to immediately recognise vehicles and people, delivering an ‘instant analytics’ application. Its focus on ‘event filtering’ can, for example, distinguish foliage movement, shadows and changes in weather conditions from suspicious activity, enabling more accurate distinctions between true events and false positives. This makes it ideal for monitoring sterile zones and closed site installations, and managing perimeter protection remotely. Comprehensive meta-data The VCA Core rule and feature sets are still available within the new release, and for high density sites, such as airports and retail shopping centres that require a more comprehensive set up, there is still the option to use ‘Logical Rules’ alongside the extensive calibration features and the Deep Learning Filter. The new release is compatible with both remote and local servers, and can produce basic data or more comprehensive meta-data, depending on users’ requirements. Security providers can now future-proof their business by providing users with intelligent and real-time video analytics" Also available in a rack mounted unit, VCA Server is suitable for projects from four to 64 cameras and is ideal for applications with or without a VMS, where it would be used in conjunction with a local NVR for example. This provides installers with an extremely cost-effective solution and enables them to use VCA Deep Learning analytics at a significantly lower cost than the industry standard. AI-based video analytics Kevin Waterhouse, Managing Director at VCA Technology, comments: “There is a misconception among integrators and installers that AI-based video analytics demands high processing requirements, making it cost prohibitive. However, our technology is compatible with all IP cameras of varying capabilities, as well as the most popular VMS and NVRs, greatly reducing cost and installation time. By quickly and seamlessly incorporating AI and Deep Learning into their existing portfolio, security providers can now future-proof their business by providing users with intelligent and real-time video analytics." “For users, the launch of VCA Server means that there is now a more comprehensive solution that goes beyond just surveillance. With budgets being squeezed and a strained workforce, companies are looking for surveillance solutions that can overcome these industry bottlenecks and do more with less. This is where AI and Deep Learning significantly pushes the boundaries of standard video analytics.”
VCA Technology, a UK video analytics provider, announces its global strategic partnership with camera manufacturer CPRO to integrate its unparalleled, AI-driven security surveillance and analytics solutions. This collaboration brings to market the widest range of analytics cameras currently available from one manufacturer, as well as providing customers with complementary servers, appliances and cloud-based analytics software. The agreement enables both organisations to offer pioneering solutions to facilitate state-of-the-art video monitoring and threat detection for businesses across a diverse range of industry sectors. Minimising false alarms They will also leverage AI-powered deep learning in order to increase quality of image analysis The new cameras will enable greater efficiency by reducing set up time thanks to simplified configuration, which will be applicable across the entire range. They will also leverage AI-powered deep learning in order to increase quality of image analysis, drive precision in detection and minimise false alarms. “This partnership signals our ambition – not only to provide our customers with the premier security infrastructure available, but to significantly grow our business in a fiercely competitive market through our new Secubest VCA brand of products. With a growing demand and need for intelligent analytics which drive value across all areas of the business, this agreement gives our customers that extra edge in terms of security provision” said YS Lee, CEO of CPRO. Widest range of analytics Equally, CPRO will benefit from VCA’s expertise in video analytics and market-leading solutions, with over 450,000 active channels globally. It will leverage VCA’s innovative edge video technology and cloud-based AI detection capabilities to launch the Secubest product line in Europe for the first time Their wide range of cameras complements the range and flexibility of our analytics" Kevin Waterhouse, Managing Director of VCA said: “Partnering with CPRO not only means working with a another major player in the CCTV industry but also strengthens our position as a leading provider of analytics at the edge. Their wide range of cameras complements the range and flexibility of our analytics and their plans to launch in Europe are very exciting. In addition, our Server, Appliance and Cloud based products means that our mutual customers have the widest range of analytics and AI options.” Avoiding false alarms The extensive choice of encoders, sensors, cameras and other CCTV tools will empower customers to select the most appropriate solution, depending on their specific business needs. From a security standpoint, customers will be able to effectively protect external boundaries from potential threats and use calibration to avoid false alarms – typically triggered by wildlife in rural areas, and by high footfall in urban locations. Businesses in the retail sector will be able to track conversion, analyse store traffic by area to improve product displays, and monitor till queues to optimise staff. Finally, in the field of transport, the new solutions can help manage traffic flow and ensure real time alerts for accidents, detect illegal activity, and count vehicles transiting to maximise car park capacity.
Garry has worked within the electronic security industry for almost twenty years Garry Carson has been appointed to the newly created role of UK Technical Manager for VCA, a manufacturer of video analytics solutions. Working closely alongside the UK sales team, Garry will be responsible for ensuring VCA’s fast expanding list of UK customers are provided with the highest level of pre and post sales support. This will include the provision of training to assist end-users in achieving maximum benefit from the video analytics incorporated into all VCA’s own brand cameras and appliances. Electronic security industry experience Garry has worked within the electronic security industry for almost twenty years, during which he has performed technical support roles for Aasset Security, ADT Fire & Security, Vindex Systems, and Xtralis. “Our sales in the UK have grown significantly over the last twelve months and the timing is now right for us to employ a dedicated, locally based technical manager,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA Technology Limited. “Garry is a welcome addition to the VCA team. We will be able to put his extensive technical knowledge, interpersonal skills and enthusiastic approach to customer support to very good use.”
The improvement in detection and reduction in false alarms by the new cameras will enable installers to deploy them on everyday projects Available at a price point not previously seen, VCA claims that for perimeter detection applications, its new Intelligent Thermal IP bullet cameras with on-board analytics offer a compelling cost comparative to the usual method of combining standard surveillance cameras with passive detectors. “We believe we have set a new benchmark for thermal imaging cameras,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA. “In addition to being highly affordable, our new VCA-6500TC and VCA-650LD Intelligent Thermal IP bullet cameras are equipped with the VCA video analytics engine and are packed with added-value features which deliver real-life practical benefits.” “The VCA-650LD, for example, supports tMonitor, a temperature monitoring Application which can be configured to generate alerts if there is a danger of fire due to plant or machinery overheating. It can also be used to improve energy efficiency by monitoring temperature variations in real-time in any building environment.” further explains Waterhouse. Enhanced effectiveness Both cameras are supported by a wide range of leading VMS providers such as Milestone and control room software platforms such as SureView Immix With the introduction of its competitively priced, ONVIF compliant Intelligent Thermal IP cameras, VCA is aiming to change market perception that the cost of installing thermal cameras can only be justified in large, government or utility projects. The substantial improvement in detection and reduction in false alarms offered by the new cameras will enable installers to deploy them on everyday projects and as a result, enhance the effectiveness of a security system without a major increase in cost. Both cameras are supported by a wide range of leading VMS providers such as Milestone and control room software platforms such as SureView Immix. Single device analytics solution By utilising VCA analytics, the VCA-6500TC and VCA-650LD bullet cameras are able to offer a single device solution, providing intrusion detection and alarm verification day or night, whatever the lighting conditions. Designed to detect objects and people that might otherwise be impossible with traditional video surveillance cameras in environmental conditions such as through smoke, snow, heavy rain and fog, they are also ideal for projects where it is not possible to install supplementary lighting, or where there are concerns about light pollution. The VCA-6500TC offers the choice of 640x240 or 320x240 pixel arrays (resolutions), whilst the compact ‘mini’ VCA-650LD delivers a 26x156 pixel array, both with a wide range of lens options.
At the show will be the new thermal bullet IP camera, Bridge appliance, and uTrack solution; which are all equipped with VCA’s analytics software VCA’s credentials as a total solutions provider of video analytics solutions for the electronic security sector will be on show at IFSEC International 2016. VCA will be showcasing three new analytic solutions on stand F1210. Each provide opportunities for users to achieve maximum benefit from their investment in video surveillance and all are equipped with VCA’s highly acclaimed analytics software which has been successfully deployed worldwide in over 350,000 video channels. Thermal bullet IP camera - Whilst thermal cameras have proven to be a highly effective perimeter protection and intruder detection solution, they have previously been too expensive to deploy for the majority of projects. VCA’s new affordable Thermal bullet IP camera is set to change the idea that thermal cameras can only be justified in large, government or utility projects. In addition to being competitively priced, it is packed with technically advanced features included VCA Detect and installation is made easy with DC or PoE options. Bridge: A stand-alone VCA appliance that can easily be retrofitted to instantly add video analytics capability to new or existing IP video surveillance systems. Bridge can be used as a powerful ‘exception’ reporting tool to help identify suspicious activity and when appropriate, to despatch security guards or quickly report the incident to one of the emergency services. uTrack: Unlike easily confused auto-tracking PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras, uTrack takes advantage of VCA’s rules based detection capabilities to offer an industry first, autonomous, 3D predictive tracking solution for unmanned, wide area and perimeter surveillance applications. Depending on the field of view, each uTrack comprises of one PTZ dome camera and up to five fixed cameras. Quick and easy to deploy, uTrack’s edge based architecture ensures minimal latency to provide fast, smooth and accurate tracking of people and objects. Intelligent intruder detection & perimeter protection VCA will be demonstrating how its own brand of cameras offer an opportunity for everyone involved in the supply and service chain to work together to eliminate the time consuming and costly impact of false alarms. In addition to the Thermal Bullet IP camera and uTrack, VCA’s camera range also includes HD fixed, dome, PTZ, 360 degree and pinhole cameras for covert surveillance. “By supplying ‘out-of-the-box’ analytics with VCA branded devices, we are able to directly support installers, systems integrators and remote video monitoring centres and help them generate new revenue streams,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Vice President of Sales for VCA. “One of the ways in which we are doing so is via a new cloud based intruder detection service supported by easy to install analytics cameras and using existing alarm panels and wiring.” VCA will be exhibiting on stand F1210 at IFSEC International 2016, which takes place 21st - 23rd June at EXCEL London.
VCA’s highly acclaimed video analytics engine has been successfully deployed worldwide in over 350,000 video channels VCA, the little known but highly successful OEM analytics solutions provider, is poised to substantially raise its profile within the electronic security sector with the launch of Bridge, an appliance that instantly adds video analytics capability to new or existing IP video surveillance systems. Video analytics for IP cameras VCA’s highly acclaimed video analytics engine has been successfully deployed worldwide in over 350,000 video channels, but very few involved in the procurement of IP cameras will be aware of the company name, as until recently its technology was only available under other manufacturers’ names. With the introduction of Bridge to complement its new range of IP cameras with analytics on board and application software, VCA is looking to firmly establish itself as a solutions provider that can enable users, with minimum disruption to their operational activities, to transform and achieve so much more from their video surveillance systems. VCA Bridge Bridge has been designed to provide an affordable, accurate and effective analytics solution for a wide range of environments such as airports, bus and train stations, bars and clubs, museums, car parks, retail stores, shopping malls, tourist attractions, sports stadia and leisure facilities. A stand-alone Bridge appliance offers a highly cost effective method of introducing analytics to an existing IP network based video surveillance system. It is able to support multiple1080p or VGA channels and has an internal 500GB surveillance grade HDD that enables the storage and review of pre and post event video clips. Users need to simply log into Bridge via a web browser on any Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android device to search, review and download footage, as well as set up customised analytics ‘rules’. Bridge ensures that considerableextra value and return oninvestment can be achieved fromvideo surveillance Exception reporting Bridge detects movement within very small areas of a video image and can provide operators with a powerful ‘exception’ reporting tool to help them identify suspicious activity and when appropriate, to despatch security guards or quickly report the incident to one of the emergency services. Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA said: “Bridge ensures that considerable extra value and return on investment can be achieved from video surveillance. It can act as an ideal intrusion detection and perimeter protection analytics solution for end-users who wish to retain existing IP cameras as it can easily be added to existing systems. “Ultimately, Bridge is more than a match for the challenges of detecting movement in outdoor locations as it will automatically adapt to varying light conditions and can easily be fine tuned to avoid false alarms due to, for example, rustling trees or wildlife. It will even continue to deliver a high level of performance when cameras may be swaying due to windy conditions.” Bridge works in conjunction with analogue cameras via a DVR or suitable Video Management Software (VMS). It can also be deployed as a standalone device or used alongside VMS in support of ONVIF compliant high definition IP network cameras and NVRs. Depending on the capabilities of the VMS, Bridge can be configured to offer real-time analytics alerts, as well as metadata overlay and forensic search capabilities from within the native VMS environment. Save
Andy is a seasoned sales professional who has successfully sold hardware and complex software solutions Andy Frost has been appointed European Sales Manager for VCA’s retail analytics division. Demonstrating at RBTE 2016 Andy is a seasoned sales professional who has successfully sold hardware and complex software solutions to blue chip companies across Europe. Prior to joining VCA, Andy worked for Cybertill, the EPOS and multi-channel retail systems specialist, where he was a Corporate Retail Sales Consultant. VCA over recent years has evolved into a total solutions provider for video analytics solutions with a wide range of affordable and easy to implement Business Intelligence tools, developed with the retail sector in mind. “Andy could not be joining us at a better time, following the recent launch of the uCount.it cloud based people counting and tracking solution, as well as our 3D Imaging People Tracker and ‘Intelligent’ Public View Monitor,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA. “We will be offering live demonstrations of all our footfall analysis and retail business intelligence solutions on stand 641 at RBTE 2016, And we will certainly be putting Andy’s knowledge of the retail sector to good use, as we look to bring our solutions to the attention of leading retailers at RBTE and beyond.” VCA will be showcasing its latest solution at RBTE, taking place on 9 – 10 March 2016 at Kensington Olympia.
The VCA video surveillance system was designed to create an alert for passenger buses, luggage transport and supply vehicles A video surveillance system recently installed at Taoyuan International Airport, presents a sophisticated solution for a common airport problem that could prevent accidents occurring at airports all around the world. Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan is ranked 11th busiest worldwide in terms of international passenger numbers and fifth busiest when it comes to international freight traffic. As airport traffic increased, it became clear to the Airport Authority that action had to be taken to avoid a potential accident occurring where aircraft and vehicles were sharing one passageway. With limited scope for erecting warning signs and structural limitations, the Airport Authority turned to the latest video surveillance technology to provide an effective solution to the challenge of ensuring that employees and passengers lives are not put at risk. Runway Safe Passage video surveillance system selected The Runway Safe Passage video surveillance system was designed to create an alert for drivers of passenger buses, luggage transport and supply vehicles if they are in danger of entering a runaway crossing point when an aeroplane is taking off or has just landed. The system, installed by integration specialists AGNI Systems Ltd, takes advantage of VCA’s video analytics engine to accurately detect the presence of an aeroplane and trigger traffic lights to flash red to warn drivers of the immediate danger. And reflecting the importance of the system, if the drivers do not follow the guide of the traffic lights, they will be fined. A spokesperson for AGNI Systems Ltd said: “It is a common airport problem that airplanes and vehicles can be ‘fighting’ over one passageway, and this can easily cause an accident. At Taouyuan, the additional issue is due to strict regulations and construction limitations, the additional hardware required to solve the problem would have required a re-arrangement of flights, which was understandably deemed unacceptable by the Airport Authority. “The decision was made to explore the option of video analysis interlocked through camera images and we immediately turned to our partner, VCA to provide a solution whereby objects on the runway can be seen through camera videos. As airplanes have priority on the passageway, if one is landing or passing through, the traffic lights are instantly controlled on the drive way and flash to red to warn drivers to stop, avoiding any nasty accidents. The system has also been calibrated against different scenarios to minimise the number of false alarms.” Thermal imaging technology Working with the latest thermal imaging technology to minimise false alarms and enable the system to work effectively 24/7 regardless of the lighting conditions, VCA’s video analytics has been configured to ignore aeroplanes that are in the air. “Airports across the world are getting busier with both freight and passenger traffic and whilst we are all aware of the need for accurate air traffic control it appears that ground traffic control is becoming more critical,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA. “Drivers of course are fully aware of the risk of an accident but there is always the possibility of a break in concentration and particularly so at the end of a shift when they may be tired. The Runway Safe Passage Solution created for Taoyuan International Airport, which can be set up to generate reports of persistent problems at specific zones throughout the airport, has proven to be a safety measure that could potentially save lives.”
VCA, the retail analytics specialist, has introduced a new generation Public View monitor designed to help retailers achieve so much more than just deter would be thieves. VCA has packed its Intelligent Public View Monitor (IPVM) with a long list of impressive features, which offer tangible benefits to retail marketing executives, as well as loss prevention managers. Face detection The IPVM takes advantage of high definition camera technology, supported by facial detection software, to record the faces of everyone entering a store. The face images captured by the built-in Full HD camera which is discretely located within the IPVM’s housing, can be used to verify where individuals have been within the store Business intelligence VCA refers to the IPVM as being ‘intelligent’ because the camera incorporates its highly acclaimed analytics technology. With its people counting and tracking capabilities, the analytics can be utilised to produce heat maps as well as data on how long each customer dwells in specific areas of a store or how long they have queued when used in conjunction with its Ucountit cloud based software. It therefore provides a very powerful multi-purpose business intelligence tool offering a high potential ROI when installed at individual shopping aisles, as well as at store entrances. “Retailers have long understood the value of positioning a Public View monitor at a store entrance to make shoplifters aware that they are on camera,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA. “Our IPVM takes this concept to a much higher level, with built in powerful analytics to allow store management and marketing personnel to gain a greater understanding of customer behaviour.” Reporting The IPVM is supported by uCountit, VCA’s cloud based analytics reporting solution that can be accessed via a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox. As a cloud based solution, it offers users the convenience of access to the Dashboard from any location on the network. This presents the analysed metadata in the form of simple charts, heat maps and reports, allowing regional retail managers to monitor activity at individual stores and make comparisons with other stores, whilst they are on the move. In-house promotions The IPVM is also equipped with a built-in SD card slot for displaying welcome messages and advertisements in support of in-house promotions. The internal SD can hold the messages so each monitor can have different and specific message depending on the location in the store Event detection Using the built in camera and analytics, areas of particular interest can be set up as zones or tripwires and when events occur, the images can be recorded and or sent to a mobile for instant review. In addition, when an event does take place the monitor can instantly switch into live mode to show the real time activity.
Ian will be responsible for developing relationships with key market influencers at VCA VCA has appointed Ian Young to the role of Business Development Manager for the EMEA region. Ian will be responsible for developing relationships with key market influencers, including consultants, specifiers and systems integrators to identify sales opportunities for VCA’s new range of IP network video devices which feature its highly acclaimed analytics technology. Valued reseller Prior to joining VCA, Ian was Commercial Manager for Smart CCTV Ltd, a value added reseller of video analytics, video incident detection systems and high end surveillance solutions for the transport sector. “Ian is a welcome addition to our fast expanding global sales team,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA. “His appointment reflects our commitment to continue to invest in recruiting people of the highest calibre to ensure that we provide customers worldwide with the highest levels of pre and post-sales support.”
The team to help installer and system integrator generate new revenue streams beyond the traditional security sector VCA introduces seasoned security professionals Gary Mercer, Çaglan Dilber and Ami Paz to strengthen its sales team on a global basis and support the launch of its new range of IP network video devices, featuring its highly acclaimed analytics technology. The team Gary Mercer, who will be based at VCA’s UK headquarters, has been appointed UK Sales Manager. His career within the electronic security industry spans almost 40 years and includes spells at Tyco Fire & Security, Norbain and most recently, VidoeIQ, where he was the UK Director responsible for promoting the company’s video analytics solutions. Ami Paz joins VCA as Business Development Manager for Israel. Ami has worked within the electronic security industry since 1997 and during this time has held senior sales, marketing and product management positions at Verint Systems, Vigilant Technology and Risco. Based in Turkey, Çaglan Dilber has been appointed Business Development Manager for the MENA region. His extensive knowledge of video surveillance technology has been acquired over a 20-year period whilst performing senior marketing and product management roles for well-known manufacturers including Pelco, where he was Global Business Development Manager for IP Imaging. Promoting IP network video devices “Ami, Çaglan and Gary are joining the VCA team at a very important point in the company’s evolution. We will certainly be able to put their individual skills, knowledge and expertise to good use as we look to support the growing worldwide network of installers and systems integrators who choose to recommend VCA to their end-user clients,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Executive Vice President, Global Sales for VCA. “VCA has already been successfully deployed worldwide as an OEM solution in excess of 250,000 video channels. Whilst it will continue to be offered as an analytics solution that can be built into other manufacturers’ devices, Ami, Çaglan and Gary will be focusing their energy on promoting our own brand of competitively priced IP network video devices. They will do so by working closely with installers and systems integrators to help them generate new revenue streams beyond the traditional security sector.”
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