James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in e...
Spectra Logic, a global pioneer in data storage and data management solutions announced a partnership with StorMagic, a company that simplifies storage and security from the edge to the core, to deliver a complete end-to-end active archive for video surveillance and digital evidence management. The joint storage solution combines StorMagic’s ARQvault, the first active intelligent repository to manage and retrieve digital assets using powerful analytics, and Spectra Log...
As global demand for produced goods continues to climb, manufacturing organisations are facing new challenges in meeting customer demand and elevated safety concerns along the supply chain due to a backlog of goods in transit. New technology offered by smart cameras can help to alleviate some of these pain points by providing an entirely new way of monitoring and controlling safety measures and optimising operations within manufacturing plants – benefiting both businesses and customers....
LENSEC, the provider of IP-based video surveillance management, announces the release of its perspective VMS Version 4.4.1 that will provide users access to integrations with intrusion, access control, and video surveillance companies and the ability to pair critical video data with input sensors from access control and intrusion detection platforms. In consecutive months, LENSEC has released Version 4.4.0 and 4.4.1 to allow customers access to a broad array of new features and integrations wit...
At ISC West 2021, on booth#13053, Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, will showcase the latest version of Security Center (v5.10), the company’s open-architecture platform that unifies video surveillance, access control, automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), communications, and analytics. The company will also showcase new operational solutions for a safe return to the office, and upd...
Hanwha Techwin has strengthened its ‘affordable’ Wisenet QVGA resolution thermal camera range with the introduction of 2 medium distance models designed to help provide perimeter protection of large open sites. The TNO-3050T with a fixed 35mm lens is able to detect vehicles at a distance of up to 4,472m and people at 1,750m, whilst the Wisenet TNO-3040T has a fixed 19mm lens and detects vehicles at up to 2,428m and people at 950m. Weatherproof thermal cameras The 2 new IK10/IP66 r...
Easy to integrate, highest voice quality and now also in a SIP-based version: voice INTER connect expands its intercom module series for the fast and cost-effective development of individual communication devices with vicCOM IP. The platform is targeted at system houses and OEM manufacturers and is suitable for a wide range of operating and communication applications, from building automation and information systems to medical technology and emergency call units to the industrial intercom in plants and commercial vehicles. vicCOM IP provides high voice quality, flexible interfaces and easy configuration via web interface. Evaluation kits are ready to ship. Intelligent audio networks IP-based communication units are the basis of intelligent audio networks and enable communication and information, hands-free operation, and control in numerous application areas. At the same time, each application has individual requirements for user interfaces and peripheral devices to be connected. To meet these requirements, vicCOM IP features a wide range of interfaces and I/Os. To meet these requirements, vicCOM IP features a wide range of interfaces and I/Os The power supply for the electronics, of only 130 mm x 96.4 mm size, can be provided via Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) or by means of an external power supply unit. Additional PoE devices, e.g. cameras, can also be supplied via the PoE+ interface. For easy and flexible configuration and quick start-up of functional samples and prototypes with vicCOM IP, only peripheral devices need to be connected and the application configured via the web GUI. Duplex audio communication Access - provided via a standard web browser - is enabled as soon as the electronics are connected to the network via Ethernet cable. No programming knowledge is required to set up the desired functions and to configure the parameters. Preset parameters for common applications further simplify setup. Password protection and various user levels shield against access and manipulation by unauthorised persons. In addition to plug&play setup, vicCOM IP is particularly characterised by its high voice quality. The full-duplex audio communication with digital signal processing ensures crystal-clear hands-free quality and thus also meets the requirements in safety-critical areas and for use in industry. In addition to voice INTER connect’s patented hands-free algorithms for improving hands-free quality and for noise and echo suppression, the platform has a proprietary SIP framework for internal audio and media processing. Hygienically sensitive applications Another advantage of the IP-based vicCOM IP solution is the use of a uniform network for all endpoints In addition, other comprehensive software functions are already integrated, for example for contactless operation with voice-controlled target calls. Solutions with these features offer barrier-free operation and a high level of usability and are especially suitable for hygienically sensitive applications, such as in laboratories, care facilities and medical technology. Another advantage of the IP-based vicCOM IP solution is the use of a uniform network for all endpoints. With the final shut-down of ISDN at the latest, users will be forced to successfully convert their previous ISDN endpoints to All-IP anyway. With vicCOM IP, integrators and OEM manufacturers can operate communications and data services over a unified network and benefit from remote monitoring and maintenance, a wide range of configuration options, and digital value-added functions. Typical requirements for quality of service, resilience and protection against cyberattacks are met by the solution. Digital speech transmission The vicCOM IP platform extends the product portfolio of voice INTER connect Due to its simple integration and configuration, it requires significantly less specialised knowledge than other solutions. In addition, voice INTER connect supports users and system partners during migration and with consulting services. This stepwise approach addresses special needs and existing customer systems and supports a stable and gradual transition to the All-IP world. The vicCOM IP platform extends the product portfolio of voice INTER connect, which within the vicCOM family already offers modules for analogue and digital speech transmission as well as via GSM. For the customer-specific development of prototypes, products and their series qualification, the company offers interdisciplinary services related to development, testing and production – from the individual design of voice user interfaces to software and hardware development. As a result, companies can use the OEM platform to create individual intercom units and solutions in the shortest possible time and at reasonable development costs. The platform optimally adapts to a wide number of applications and use cases.
Altronix, the provider of power and data transmission products for the professional security industry, announces that their recently introduced NetWay4BT and NetWay8BT 802.3bt 4PPoE managed midspans are UL294 listed for access control systems. The UL294 listing reaffirms the high quality and performance of these solutions that end users, architects, and security consultants demand for mission critical access control applications. Data transmission solutions “Our new NetWay midspans provide the precise power for the latest 802.3bt compliant IP devices,” said Ronnie Pennington, Director of Sales for the Americas at Altronix. “Now UL294 listed, these versatile power and data transmission solutions provide the added assurance for optimum performance and reliability for access control applications. In addition, these units support high-powered surveillance devices such as IP cameras and illuminators.” Altronix NetWay8BT 8-port 802.3bt compliant managed midspan provides up to 90W per port (480W max). NetWay4BT is a 4-port version that also provides up to 90W per port (360W max). These new UL294 listed midspans pass data at 10/100/1000 Mbps, include a built-in battery charger, and embedded LINQ™ Technology to monitor, control, and report power and diagnostics from anywhere over the network. Altronix products are manufactured in the U.S.A. and backed by a lifetime warranty.
Thermal imaging specialist Thermoteknix has been awarded a contract to supply the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) with its ClipIR XD-E Thermal Clip-on systems (TCOS). The first phase of units, in excess of £3 million, will be delivered within the next 12 months under the TCOS program with options to procure additional units over the life of the contract. Provides situational awareness The ClipIR XD-E systems will deliver enhanced situational awareness and increased threat detection capabilities at low light or no light situations to dismounted British ground forces. Enhanced surveillance solution ClipIR XD-E provides a 40-degree field of view to detect targets at distances of up to 500m The miniature clip-on infrared thermal imager from Thermoteknix converts an existing monocular or binocular night vision device into an enhanced surveillance solution. The fused combination of thermal and night vision technologies provides superior tactical advantages compared to standard night vision or thermal imaging alone. ClipIR XD-E provides a 40-degree field of view to detect targets at distances of up to 500m allowing the user to view a target without being detected. Thermal imaging technology "We are delighted that our state-of-the-art thermal imaging technology will play a crucial role in equipping British forces in the most challenging of environments.” “We look forward to working with the MoD to deliver world-leading battlefield technology to British troops, designed, engineered, and manufactured here in the UK," explains Thermoteknix Managing Director, Dr. Richard Salisbury. MoD contract "Our success will translate into the creation of more UK jobs and provide a boost to the local economy, while also driving British exports to worldwide markets. We are delighted to have been awarded a contract with the MoD during a challenging year for British business suffering from the effects of COVID."
Calipsa, a market provider of deep-learning-powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, announced Sirix, a Canadian remote monitoring station operator, is using its False Alarm Filtering platform. Calipsa's artificial intelligence-based analytics reduce false alarms by more than 90%. Video analytics software Quebec-based Sirix offers public and private organisations solutions for remote video monitoring, cloud-hosted access control, remote intercom response, alarm video verification, and infrastructure uptime monitoring. Calipsa's video analytics software is deployed in the Sirix operations center, providing an added layer of intelligence to protect its customer's sites. Improves response efficiency Calipsa's cloud-based analytics use deep learning technology to focus on human or vehicle movement within live video feeds Calipsa's cloud-based analytics use deep learning technology to focus on human or vehicle movement within live video feeds. Nuisance factors, such as wind-blown foliage, are filtered out, significantly reducing false alarms and improving Sirix agents' response times to genuine security threats while improving their overall efficiency. AI engine reduces false alarms "After evaluating and testing the different solutions on the market, we found the Calipsa AI engine was the most powerful but also simple and intuitive," said Daniel Cyr, chief executive officer, Sirix. "Even though almost all cameras connected at our operation center have built-in advanced analytics, Calipsa was able to reduce multiple false alarms, which allows our operators to be even more efficient in their work. It was important for us to get the best AI technology on the market and we have that with Calipsa." Integrated video monitoring "Sirix became a leader in the Canadian video monitoring market by constantly looking to integrate state-of-the-art technology that exceeds industry standards," said Brian Baker, chief revenue officer, Calipsa. “We're excited to help support Sirix's growth and I'm confident we'll have a successful partnership for years to come."
With a length of only 127 mm and a diameter of 48 mm, these ultra-compact cameras complement the current product portfolio of explosion-proof cameras, and cannot only be installed easily but are also cost-effective – making SAMCON a full-stack supplier. Due to the easy integration into existing video management systems and the fact that cameras can be combined flexibly, Samcon's portfolio virtually covers all CCTV applications for hazardous areas. Whether an only 700g weighing thermal camera, a high-speed system with electronic zoom and focus lens, or a high-speed dome camera is required – Samcon offers secure surveillance for all applications and areas. Benefits of the ExCam ultra-compact systems The new camera line is suitable for temporary and semi-fixed applications, too. The waterproof IP68 housing is resistant to chemicals as well as to oil and can be installed in locations where larger equipment does not fit or an installation is difficult due to restricted space. Compact design with sensors The HDTV resolution and the high-performance varifocal lens master all surveillance tasks and create safe areas The ExCam IPP1275 can easily keep up with larger models regarding performance and resolution, even exceeding competitor models in certain functional areas. For example, the camera's progressive scan allows providing high-resolution pictures of moving objects without motion blur. The HDTV resolution (1920 x 1080) and the high-performance varifocal lens master all surveillance tasks and reliably create safe areas. The ExCam IPP1275 is a modularly designed ATEX network camera and consists of an ultra-compact sensor unit for image capturing as well as the main unit, processing the image. Integrated into the main unit are the network as well as power connection and a storage card slot. Thermal camera with night vision Apart from the ExCam IPP1275, Samcon also presents with the ExCam IPP1280 its first own thermal camera. Its most outstanding feature is that even in complete darkness, it can still deliver pictures so that no external light sources are necessary. Just as the ExCam IPP1275, also the ExCam IPP1280 consists of an ultra-compact sensor unit for capturing the thermal image as well as the main unit for processing it. Multi signal camera In addition to that, an analog AHD camera completes the portfolio: The ExCam miniTube is an analog multi-signal camera with very high light sensitivity in combination with an ultra-compact housing and a fixed focal length. This camera also is designed for applications in hazardous areas, meeting the requirements of guideline 14/34/EU ATEX and IECEx. Due to its ultra-compact size, it is particularly suitable for process observations. Just as all models of the ExCam Series, also the ultra-compact cameras have been certified according to the European (ATEX) and international guidelines (IECEx). Suitable for difficult to access areas The ExCam IPP1275 as well as the ExCam IPP1280 and the ExCam miniTube are real lightweights and so easy to handle that they can be installed by a single person. This is, for example, an advantage in the chemical industry or on oil rigs with confined spaces and not much freedom of movement. The easy power supply via PoE makes a separate power line superfluous and contributes, apart from the low weight, to an easy installation. Close to processes or mounted to very small sight glasses, not only the ExCam IPP1275 always finds its place, for example: At sight glasses located between pipe installations for monitoring the flow rate Small mixing containers (e.g. for colors or chemical substances) A small laboratory size reactors and freeze-driers and in compact industrial machines Enables surveillance and efficient monitoring They help to detect problems, can be used for surveilling machines and production runs The compact design and its low weight minimize vibrations and allow sufficient space to even place an additional light next to the camera. The cameras are of a rather inconspicuous design and allow, for example, reliable surveillance of plant filling stations, general plant areas, or vehicles such as tank and lift trucks or cranes. They help to detect problems, can be used for surveilling machines and production runs, and secure the functionality of components by monitoring them. Just like all other cameras of the ExCam Series, also the ultra-compact cameras are certified according to ATEX and IECEx to guarantee extensive explosion protection. The ex-protected housing covers ATEX groups II and can be used in zones 1, 2, 21, and 22 including the explosion groups IIC / IIIC.
It is the end of the line for analogue phone systems, which can leave alarm companies hanging out to dry, trying to figure out if they need to replace costly alarm panels. With the impending shutdown of the analogue telephone network, alarm monitoring companies nationwide need to come up with a game plan. It is more important than ever for security companies to equip themselves with the knowledge of what new technology solutions are available in the marketplace, in order to help offset the costs of transitioning away from analogue. Technology transformation With the biggest transformation facing alarm companies being technological advances in communications, everyone can agree that the traditional analogue telephone network is on its way to a complete shutdown. Whenever a major technology, especially one with a long history of regulation, approaches the end of its life, being prepared and ready for the transition is the key to success. With any technological disruption comes major change, but alarm companies need to be able to adapt quickly to survive and thrive in the ever-changing world of technology. In the past, traditional phone lines used circuit switching technology delivered over a copper line to send the alarm and data communication signals to the alarm monitoring company. Over the last couple of decades, technology-specific services have been migrating to packet switching over the public Internet, in the form of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) VoIP is a telecommunication service that takes analogue audio signals and converts them into digital data VoIP is a telecommunication service that takes analogue audio signals and converts them into digital data that can be transmitted over standard internet connections. While this transition has provided the opportunity for tremendous cost savings and more reliable connections, VoIP protocols have been designed with voice service in mind. This means that traditional alarm panel and modem protocols are seen as no longer compatible with these technological improvements. These changes are sweeping across an array of industries including security installers, fire monitoring, field medical monitoring, and alarm monitoring. As the analogue network is growing closer to becoming obsolete, alarm companies are facing a myriad of challenges. The ever more rapid advancement and adaptation of new technologies has left a gap in legacy communication systems. Ethernet-based VoIP systems E1/T1 and analogue POTS lines are increasingly being replaced by Ethernet-based VoIP systems, leaving alarm companies left with modem-based technology that can no longer work within the new infrastructure. With most telephony connections moving to VoIP, it can be costly for alarm companies to replace existing modems and alarm panels. Most are looking for a simple solution to help make a seamless transition without having to change their entire infrastructure. Replacing existing analogue infrastructure Time is of the essence for alarm companies nationwide that rely heavily on equipment and endpoint devices that use modems to communicate. In most cases, these modems cannot be replaced due to the high costs associated with replacing the existing infrastructure. With new requirements for fire alarm control panels, the pressure is on them now more than ever to react quickly and find a cost-effective solution. With limited options out there, one company has done their due diligence and launched a revolutionary solution that offers a clear path forward for the industry. Voice, video, and fax and data communications VOCAL Technologies has been leading the way, since 1986, in the design of software and hardware solutions VOCAL Technologies has been leading the way, since 1986, in the design of software and hardware solutions, under licence for voice, video, and facsimile and data communications. The company develops and applies advanced technologies for superior voice, video, fax and data communications. With a broad range of innovative design solutions that yield the highest quality communications at a lowest cost and an insight into the technical challenges of the telecommunications industry, it was natural for them to develop a unique solution, in order to help navigate companies through the VoIP revolution. As the security industry continues to evolve and face many challenges with the move from analogue to VoIP phone lines, VOCAL Technologies knew it was the right time to develop a combined software and hardware solution. Their goal was to throw out a lifeline to help alarm companies transition easier and more efficiently. VOCAL SIP Analogue Modem Server With cloud-based modems now a firm reality, the VOCAL SIP Analogue Modem Server, or SAMS, is a unique IP-based software solution for inter-operating with legacy modems, without the need for modem banks with E1/T1 connections. This Virtual Modem Server allows a business to deploy a server in the Cloud, which can work with the modern VoIP phone network infrastructure based on SIP and RTP, instead of using T1/E1 lines to connect to the PSTN. Virtual Modem server The Virtual Modem server contains true soft modems and not just an AT command set on a TCP socket pretending to be a modem. This allows the server to connect to true voice band modems deployed on the PSTN, and thus, does not require installation of additional equipment on the far end of the security system. Alarm monitoring centres are not left out of these significant advancements in communication infrastructure. Supporting industry standard alarm protocols, including Ademco Contact-ID, Sonitrol, DC-03/FSK, Pulse, and SIA-2000, the modem server can also act as a virtual replacement for physical alarm receiver equipment. Modem over IP (MoIP) solution SAMS provides a true Modem over IP (MoIP) solution and can support a broad range of remote endpoints SAMS provides a true Modem over IP (MoIP) solution and can support a broad range of remote endpoints. Bringing in expertise from numerous industrial market sectors, such as Utility Metering, Point of Sale (PoS) payment processing, SCADA, Out of Band management, among others. SAMS is a perfect choice for alarm companies. Even when traditional ISDN and POTS lines remain available, Alarm Receiver and Remote Access Server (RAS) equipment like the AS5350 has reached end of life and these vital business systems are left in a state where failure is imminent and quick repair or replacement are no longer options. This can happen with servers interacting with alarm systems and security panels. M2M applications rely on data modems Countless M2M applications rely on data modems to accomplish their task and VOCAL has launched a few solutions to allow these applications to adapt to the changing infrastructure. VOCAL servers come in a variety of configurations, which cover the full range of ITU V-series modems, as well as many other industry standard modulations. This allows it to fit easily into existing systems and flexibly meet the needs of already deployed infrastructure and applications. VOCAL continues to customise all solutions for customers and can meet specific system requirements, when necessary. IP switchover When it comes to end-of-life modem products, VOCAL’s SAMS software is a great replacement solution for Cisco’s Access Servers (2500 series, AS5350), Cisco PVDM Digital Modem Modules (PVDM2-12DM, PVDM2-24DM, PVDM2-36DM), modem server banks, alarm receivers, and groups of individual hardware modems. VOCAL is helping alarm companies that are currently using ISDN for PSTN access to their modem servers as SIP-based VoIP will be the replacement for ISDN. The cost savings brought on by switching from expensive ISDN and analogue lines to VoIP has made the IP switchover a desirable transition instead of a painful requirement. Integration with SIP infrastructure Integrating the modem infrastructure and the SIP infrastructure has become more and more necessary Integrating the modem infrastructure and the SIP infrastructure has become more and more necessary. Ideally, running modems on the cloud server, connected to a SIP infrastructure would be the best scenario. Using a Cloud Modem Server, such as VOCAL’s SIP Analogue Modem Server (SAMS), allows alarm companies to get the benefits of the SIP infrastructure, without having to replace the legacy pieces of their alarm panels which can be costly. Remote modems The server can run in the data centre, where all of the company’s other network facing services reside, which can save money and facilitate changing business models that are moving away from physically located hardware and into remote virtual working environments. As the controlling application, the SAMS server is seen the same way as any other modem. The remote modems can call the SAMS server from the PSTN (or be called) as they always have. The SAMS server behaves as a bank of modems connected to ISDN would, all while running on off the shelf hardware or any standard virtualised environment. Analogue Modem Adapter (AMA) In addition to their software solution, VOCAL also introduced an Analogue Modem Adapter (AMA) to the marketplace, which is a device that enables analogue modems and alarm panels to securely transmit data over digital networks. The AMA connects legacy alarm, POS, voice, fax and other analogue devices to IP networks including mobile, radio, and satellite networks. This is a great option for alarm companies that have analogue and modem-based equipment but no longer have phone lines available and want a secure connection. Open line of communication An AMA provides a modular phone jack and an Ethernet port where an analogue device, such as a Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT), can be connected to the modular jack to transmit directly over IP network. This eliminates the need for telephone landline connections. An AMA supports telephony features such as dial tone, device power, ringing and standard telephone signaling to communicate with the local modem. Combines with SAMS server installation VOCAL’s AMA software is part of a fully integrated and highly configurable VoIP software solution Combined with a SAMS server installation, VOCAL’s AMA creates a novel approach to bypassing the data and alarm protocol issues that are introduced by last mile IP connections and line emulation devices utilised in VoIP infrastructure. VOCAL’s AMA software is part of a fully integrated and highly configurable VoIP software solution with a network stack, SIP stack, secure communications, and full-featured telephony software with a comprehensive data modem software library. Making the VoIP transition VOCAL continues to work with alarm companies nationwide to help make the VoIP transition a smooth one with a combined hardware and software solution that is second to none. It is important for alarm companies to research the options available to them and continue educating themselves as the end of the line grows closer for analogue phone systems. In the past, the security industry has always been on the forefront of adopting new technologies and with VOCAL on their team, the paradigm shift to VoIP can take place seamlessly. By bringing together a combined software and hardware solution, VOCAL has taken a technical disruption and turned it into a graceful transition for alarm companies that will keep the lines of communication open now and well into the future.
The UK government recently announced a doubling of the Safer Streets Fund to £45 million, as it seeks to reassure the public that safety is a top priority, as the night-time economy makes a return. More than just surveillance While this funding increase is much needed, it’s vital that the government and local councils use the money strategically, or risk missing out on a great opportunity to deliver real change and enhance safety across the United Kingdom. One of the main strategies cited by the government is to increase the current vast number of CCTV cameras installed across the country, despite the fact that the UK is already one of the most surveilled nations in the world. Investing in video analytics London alone has around 700,000 cameras, but to effectively monitor them all would be an incredibly inefficient use of manpower and require a huge number of staff. Therefore, I believe the clearest and most cost-effective way for this project to succeed in its overall mission, is by investing in smarter technology, such as video analytics. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution This technology offers a more efficient use of resources, faster response times and enables more informed, time-critical decision making, when reacting to unfolding events in real time. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution, as the technology enables legacy assets, such as analogue CCTV cameras, to become more than just after the fact evidence gathering tools and instead be used to help enhance real-time responses to unfolding incidents. Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions are trained using vast datasets of images and video footage, in order to better understand people, objects and vehicles that are captured on film, and they continue ‘learning’ and improving, while in use. The system’s algorithms analyse and prioritise input from video data to decide which inputs are of value, automatically classifying the footage and notifying security personnel accordingly. This reduces response times by notifying CCTV operators of an incident, as it happens, meaning law enforcement and security personnel can react faster and intervene in an ongoing situation. Edge technology and real-time video streaming A key consideration should be choosing a technology that can operate at the edge and deliver real-time video streaming, even at the lowest bandwidths, so it isn’t limited to use in areas with good connectivity, which would exclude most remote areas. Quality really does matter and technology that can operate over low bandwidths is crucial for allowing operators to zoom in on areas of interest, such as a car number plate or face, and retrieve full-resolution images that can make a real difference in ongoing investigations. Analytics-based security approach Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime. Research conducted by the UK’s Labour Party recently found that the annual cost of crime reached a staggering £100 billion. While statistics show that crime rates in general have been fairly stable over recent years, experts point to the increase in specific types of violent crime, such as knife crime which rose by over 20% during 2020. Implementing smart analytics-based technology Implementing smart analytics-based technology would help maintain staffing costs, as the system can identify incidents without an operator’s input, as well as reducing the cost of managing crime, as more incidents will be intervened in before they escalate too far. This dramatically reduces the burden on staff and allows a single surveillance operator to monitor many more cameras. On the other hand, this level of automation also reduces false alarm fatigue and operator overload, which can quickly sap efficiencies and reduce operator alertness, if left unchecked. Data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention Procurement officials should avoid the common mistake of simply doubling down and throwing more staff and security assets at the problem to bring results. Instead, they should take a more data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention by leveraging technologies that can enhance response and preserve their existing investments in cameras. The smart use of real-time video analytics could make the difference by preventing dangerous situations from escalating into serious incidents.
Organisations faced a number of unforeseen challenges in nearly every business sector throughout 2020 – and continuing into 2021. Until now, businesses have been on the defensive, reacting to the shifting workforce and economic conditions, however, COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalisation plans. This is now giving decision-makers the chance to take a proactive approach to mitigate current and post-pandemic risks. These long-term technology solutions can be used for today’s new world of social distancing and face mask policies and flexibly repurposed for tomorrow’s renewed focus on efficiency and business optimisation. For many, this emphasis on optimisation will likely be precipitated by not only the resulting economic impacts of the pandemic but also the growing sophistication and maturity of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), technologies that are coming of age just when they seem to be needed the most.COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalisation plans Combined with today’s cutting-edge computer vision capabilities, AI and ML have produced smart cameras that have enabled organisations to more easily implement and comply with new health and safety requirements. Smart cameras equipped with AI-enabled intelligent video analytic applications can also be used in a variety of use cases that take into account traditional security applications, as well as business or operational optimisation, uses – all on a single camera. As the applications for video analytics become more and more mainstream - providing valuable insights to a variety of industries - 2021 will be a year to explore new areas of use for AI-powered cameras. Optimising production workflows and product quality in agriculture Surveillance and monitoring technologies are offering value to industries such as agriculture by providing a cost-effective solution for monitoring of crops, business assets and optimising production processes. As many in the agriculture sector seek to find new technologies to assist in reducing energy usage, as well as reduce the environmental strain of modern farming, they can find an unusual ally in smart surveillance. Some niche farming organisations are already implementing AI solutions to monitor crops for peak production freshness in order to reduce waste and increase product quality. For users who face environment threats, such as mold, parasites, or other insects, smart surveillance monitoring can assist in the early identification of these pests and notify proper personnel before damage has occurred. They can also monitor vast amounts of livestock in fields to ensure safety from predators or to identify if an animal is injured. Using video monitoring in the growing environment as well as along the supply chain can also prove valuable to large-scale agriculture production. Applications can track and manage inventory in real-time, improving knowledge of high-demand items and allowing for better supply chain planning, further reducing potential spoilage. Efficient monitoring in manufacturing and logistics New challenges have arisen in the transportation and logistics sector, with the industry experiencing global growth. While security and operational requirements are changing, smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye, but have a significant impact on the overall customer experience. Smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye. Video analytics can assist logistic service providers in successfully delivering the correct product to the right location and customer in its original condition, which normally requires the supply chain to be both secure and ultra-efficient. The latest camera technology and intelligent software algorithms can analyse footage directly on the camera – detecting a damaged package at the loading dock before it is loaded onto a truck for delivery. When shipments come in, smart cameras can also alert drivers of empty loading bays available for offloading or alert facility staff of potential blockages or hazards for incoming and outgoing vehicles that could delay delivery schedules planned down to the minute. For monitoring and detecting specific vehicles, computer vision in combination with video analysis enables security cameras to streamline access control measures with license plate recognition. Smart cameras equipped with this technology can identify incoming and outgoing trucks - ensuring that only authorised vehicles gain access to transfer points or warehouses. Enhance regulatory safety measures in industrial settings Smart surveillance and AI-enabled applications can be used to ensure compliance with organisational or regulatory safety measures in industrial environments. Object detection apps can identify if employees are wearing proper safety gear, such as facial coverings, hard hats, or lifting belts. Similar to the prevention of break-ins and theft, cameras equipped with behaviour detection can help to automatically recognise accidents at an early stage. For example, if a worker falls to the ground or is hit by a falling object, the system recognises this as unusual behaviour and reports it immediately. Going beyond employee safety is the ability to use this technology for vital preventative maintenance on machinery and structures. A camera can identify potential safety hazards, such as a loose cable causing sparks, potential wiring hazards, or even detect defects in raw materials. Other more subtle changes, such as gradual structural shifts/crack or increases in vibrations – ones that would take the human eye months or years to discover – are detectable by smart cameras trained to detect the first signs of mechanical deterioration that could potentially pose a physical safety risk to people or assets. Early recognition of fire and smoke is another use case where industrial decision-makers can find value. Conventional fire alarms are often difficult to properly mount in buildings or outdoor spaces and they require a lot of maintenance. Smart security cameras can be deployed in difficult or hard-to-reach areas. When equipped with fire detection applications, they can trigger notification far earlier than a conventional fire alarm – as well as reduce false alarms by distinguishing between smoke, fog, or other objects that trigger false alarms. By digitising analogue environments, whether a smoke detector or an analogue pressure gauge, decision-makers will have access to a wealth of data for analysis that will enable them to optimise highly technical processes along different stages of manufacturing - as well as ensure employee safety and security of industrial assets and resources. Looking forward to the future of smart surveillance With the rise of automation in all three of these markets, from intelligent shelving systems in warehouses to autonomous-driving trucks, object detection for security threats, and the use of AI in monitoring agricultural crops and livestock, the overall demand for computer vision and video analytics will continue to grow. That is why now is the best time for decision-makers across a number of industries to examine their current infrastructure and determine if they are ready to make an investment in a sustainable, multi-use, and long-term security and business optimisation solution.
Like most industries, the fields of security, access and safety have been transformed by technology, with AI-driven automation presenting a clear opportunity for players seeking growth and leadership when it comes to innovation. In this respect, these markets know exactly what they want. They require solutions that accurately (without false or negative positives) classify and track people and/or vehicles as well as the precise location and interactions between those objects. They want to have access to accurate data generated by best-of-class solutions irrespective of the sensor modality. And, they need to be able to easily deploy such solutions, at the lowest capex and opex, with the knowledge that they can be integrated with preferred VMSs and PSIMs, be highly reliable, have low install and maintenance overheads and be well supported. With these needs in mind, camera and computer vision technology providers, solutions providers and systems integrators are forging ahead and have created exemplary ecosystems with established partnerships helping to accelerate adoption. At the heart of this are AI and applications of Convolutional neural networks (CNN), an architecture often used in computer vision deep learning algorithms, which are accomplishing tasks that were extremely difficult with traditional software. But what about 3D sensing technologies and perception? The security, safety and access market have an additional crucial need: they must mitigate risk and make investments that deliver for the long-term. This means that if a systems integrator invests in a 3D sensing data perception platform today, it will support their choice of sensors, perception strategies, applications and use cases over time without having to constantly reinvest in alternative computer hardware and perception software each time they adopt new technology or systems. This begs the question - if the security industry knows what it needs, why is it yet to fully embrace 3D sensing modalities? Perception strategy Intelligent perception strategies are yet to evolve which sees designers lock everything down at the design phase Well, one problem facing security, safety and access solutions providers, systems integrators and end-users when deploying first-generation 3D sensing-based solutions is the current approach. Today, intelligent perception strategies have yet to evolve beyond the status quo which sees designers lock everything down at the design phase, including the choice of the sensor(s), off-the-shelf computer hardware and any vendor-specific or 3rd party perception software algorithms and deep learning or artificial intelligence. This approach not only builds in constraints for future use-cases and developments, it hampers the level of perception developed by the machine. Indeed, the data used to develop or train the perception algorithms for security, access and safety use cases at design time is typically captured for a narrow and specific set of scenarios or contexts and are subsequently developed or trained in the lab. Technology gaps As those in this industry know too well, siloed solutions and technology gaps typically block the creation of productive ecosystems and partnerships while lack of commercial whole products can delay market adoption of new innovation. Perception systems architectures today do not support the real-time adaptation of software and computing engines in the field. They remain the same as those selected during the design phase and are fixed for the entire development and the deployment stage. Crucially, this means that the system cannot deal with the unknowns of contextually varying real-time situations where contexts are changing (e.g being able to reflex to security situations they haven’t been trained for) and where the autonomous system’s perception strategies need to dynamically adjust accordingly. Ultimately, traditional strategies have non-scalable and non-adaptable competing computing architectures that were not designed to process the next generation of algorithms, deep learning and artificial intelligence required for 3D sensor mixed workloads. What this means for industries seeking to develop or deploy perception systems, like security, access and safety, is that the available computing architectures are generic and designed for either graphic rendering or data processing. Solutions providers, therefore, have little choice but to promote these architectures heavily into the market. Consequently, the resulting computing techniques are defined by the computing providers and not by the software developers working on behalf of the customer deploying the security solution. Context…. we don’t know what we don’t know Perception platform must have the ability to adjust to changes in context, thereby improving the performance post-deployment To be useful and useable in the security context and others, a perception platform must have the ability to adjust to changes in context, can self-optimise and crucially, can self-learn, thereby improving the performance post-deployment. The combinations of potential contextual changes in a real-life environment, such as an airport or military base, are innumerable, non-deterministic, real-time, often analogue and unpredictable. The moment sensors, edge computing hardware and perception software are deployed in the field, myriad variables such as weather, terrain as well as sensor mounting location and orientation all represent a context shift where the perception systems’ solution is no longer optimal. For example, it might be that a particular sensor system is deployed in an outdoor scenario with heavy foliage. Because the algorithm development or training was completed in the lab, the moving foliage, bushes or low trees and branches are classified as humans or some other false-positive result. Typically, heavy software customisation and onsite support then ensue, requiring on-site support by solutions vendors where each and every sensor configuration needs to be hand-cranked to deliver something that is acceptable to the end customer. A new approach for effective perception strategies Cron AI is building senseEDGE, which represents a significant evolution in the development of sensing to information strategy. It is a 3D sensing perception and computer vision platform built from the ground up to address and remove the traditional deployment and performance bottlenecks we’ve just described. senseEDGE is aware of the user application reaction plan indication to trigger an alarm or turning on a CCTV camera The entire edge platform is built around a real-time scalable and adaptable computing architecture that’s flexible enough for algorithms and software to scale and adapt to different workloads and contexts. What’s more, it has real-time contextual awareness, which means that the entire edge platform is, at any time, aware of the external context, the sensor and sensor architecture and the requirements of the user application. Furthermore, when it produces the object output data, it also aware of the user application reaction plan indication, which could be triggering an alarm or turning on a CCTV camera when a specific action is detected. This approach turns traditional perception strategies on their head: it is software-defined programmable perception and computing architecture, not hardware-defined. It is free from the constraints imposed by traditional CPU or GPU compute dictated by hardware architecture providers and not limited to the perception built defined during design time. And, being fully configurable, it can be moved from one solution to another, providing computation for different modalities of sensors designed for different use cases or environments, and lower risk of adoption and migration for those developing the security solution. Future perception requirements senseEDGE is also able to scale to future perception requirements, such as algorithms and workloads produced by future sensors as well as computational techniques and neural networks that have yet to be invented. Meanwhile, latency versus throughput is totally software-defined and not limited by providers of computing architecture. Finally, contextually aware, it is fully connected to the real world where the reflexes adapt to even the subtlest changes in context, which makes all the difference in time and accuracy in critical security situations. This is how CronAI sees the future of perception. It means that security and safety innovators can now access and invest with low risk in a useable and scalable perception solution that can truly take advantage of current and future 3D sensor modalities.
The boundaries between the smart home market and security market at large are narrowing. Amidst a wave of expansion, suddenly everything is becoming digital. Home automation has been around for close to 30 years but hasn’t really hit it big because integration hasn’t been that simple. Now that the Internet of Things has stepped into the market, home automation is really taking off. As technology in the smart home market advances, the gap between the residential and professional security markets is growing smaller. Additional revenue for security industry There will continue to be more opportunity for interoperability, and home automation will continue to grow and eventually become a norm. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions, have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras and other products suffice for their security. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. Data capture form to appear here! Residential security solutions Growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that" The trend has no doubt accelerated in the last couple of years. New collaborations are being made between audio-video (AV) suppliers and security solution providers. The clientele of high-end AV products is becoming increasingly concerned with home security and property protection. So, in recent months, the requirement for residential security solutions has been increasing as technical solutions can go hand in hand with AV installers’ capabilities and client base. “One of the big mistakes many make is that they assume – based on some of the hype and big market investments – that the smart home market is set to explode,” says Michael Philpott, Senior Practice Leader, Consumer Services at Ovum. "This is not the case – growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that, rather than expecting some rapid ramp up simply because some big names have entered the market.” Pressure to upgrade security standards Surprisingly for what has historically been something of a grudge purchase, in the context of home automation, security is seen as a solution some consumers are looking for. Another security aspect of home automation is cyber security, in particular how it applies to various IoT devices in the home. Now as connected devices gather personal information from realms long considered private and protected – the bedroom, the kitchen counter, the nursery – the risks are higher than ever. All of the data that various devices and sites have collected can be combined, shifted and then exploited by marketers or even stolen by hackers. Both manufacturers of smart home products and the companies that install them are feeling pressure to upgrade security standards. They are moving to set policies that will regulate who has access to data and how it is used. Ease of installation Advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies A recent revelation that some “smart TVs” might be listening to conversations and transmitting them to "third parties" caused an uproar. These sets have voice activated features that enable users to change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the internet by speaking to the screen or remote. The fine print in privacy policies contains warnings that general conversations are also being heard, and one company even told owners to turn off this function if they were concerned. Another impact of smart homes on the security marketplace is to raise expectations about the capabilities of commercial systems. Products made today for residential applications are very high quality, easy to install (do-it-yourself, or DIY), and have very rich feature sets. End users expect their commercial solutions to have a similar ease of use and ease of installation. Geofencing in commercial applications The quality of video that people are seeing at home is motivating some legacy commercial customers to finally move to IP video from lower resolution analogue cameras. A higher percentage of commercial customers use mobile applications to view integrated video and access control data. People’s experience with smart thermostats has them asking for geofencing in some commercial applications. In short, advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies. Read part two of our smart home mini series here.
The healthcare market is rife with opportunity for security systems integrators. Hospitals have a continuous need for security, to update their systems, to make repairs, says David Alessandrini, Vice President, Pasek Corp., a systems integrator. “It’s cyclical. Funding for large projects might span one to two years, and then they go into a maintenance mode. Departments are changing constantly, and they need us to maintain the equipment to make sure it’s operating to its full potential.” The experience of Pasek Corp. is typical of the opportunities available for security integrator companies in the healthcare vertical. A single large hospital system can supply a dependable ongoing source of revenue to integrator companies, says Alessandrini. Hospitals are “usually large enough to provide enough work for several people for an extended length of time.” Healthcare customers in Pasek’s service area around Boston provide the potential for plenty of work. “We have four major hospitals, each with in excess of 250 card readers and 200 cameras, in the Boston area,” Alessandrini says. One appeal of the healthcare market for North Carolina Sound, an integrator covering central North Carolina, is the breadth of possible equipment they can sell into the healthcare market, including access control and video, of course, but also other technologies, such as audio-video systems in a dining room. North Carolina Sound has also installed sound masking in some areas with waiting rooms to protect private patient information from being overheard. Locking systems on pharmaceutical doors are another opportunity. Data capture form to appear here! IP based networked video systems A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network Among North Carolina Sound’s customers is Wayne Memorial Hospital, Goldsboro, N.C., which uses about 340 video cameras, with 80 percent or more of them converted to IP. The hospital is replacing analogue with IP cameras as budget allows, building network infrastructure to support the system. The healthcare market tends to have a long sales cycle; in general, sales don’t happen overnight or even within a month or two. In fact, the period between an initial meeting with a healthcare facility and installation of a system could stretch to a year or longer. A lot happens during that time. Healthcare systems involve extensive planning, engineering, and meetings among various departments. Physical security systems that involve the information technology (IT) department, as do most systems today, can be especially complex. Installation of networked video systems based on Internet protocol (IP) requires deep and probing discussions with the IT team about how a system fits into the facility’s network infrastructure. A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network. Compatible with the network They must vet the technology to ensure the devices and solutions will be compatible with the network, and must sign off on technology choices. And even more important is determining if the security system will adhere to cyber security requirements of the facility. A complete solution that integrates nearly any system that lives on or uses a facility’s network is ultimately what the healthcare vertical is moving toward, says Jason Ouellette, General Manager – Enterprise Access Control & Video, Johnson Controls. Healthcare security professionals are early adopters of technology, implementing the best technology available” “We are hearing more and more from customers across industries that they want to be able to use their security systems and devices for more than just security: they want added value,” says Ouellette. Many want to use access control, video surveillance and other data sources to assess their business operations and/or workflows with the goal of improving efficiency. Upgrade cost-effectively Historically, three factors have prevented many organisations from moving forward with new technologies: lack of money, proprietary systems, and the need to “rip and replace” large parts of the installed systems, says Robert Laughlin, CEO and Chairman, Galaxy Control Systems. "Today, while funding is almost always a limiting factor at some level, the progression of industry standards and ‘open’ systems has made a big positive impact on the ability of organisations to upgrade cost-effectively,” he says. Despite any obstacles, healthcare customers generally welcome new innovations. “I would say healthcare security professionals in general are early adopters of technology and like to implement the best technology available,” says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Johnson Controls/Tyco Security Products. “For most, rapid implementation is limited by budgets and available funding." Read parts one and three of our heathcare mini series here and here.
The next chapter of the Pelco saga began in May when Pelco Inc. was acquired by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm, from Schneider Electric. Since the acquisition, Transom Capital has been working with Pelco’s management and employees to define and direct that next chapter. “The more time we spend with the company, the more excited we are about the opportunity,” says Brendan Hart, Vice President, Operations, Transom Capital Group. In addition to his position with Transom, Hart has taken on an interim line role at Pelco as Vice President of Product and Strategy. After helping to oversee Pelco’s rebuilding phase, he expects to step away from daily involvement over time. “We have gained an appreciation for nuance [since the acquisition closed],” he said. “The channels, the relations, how people buy in this industry are very nuanced. Who’s gone where and who’s done what? The interplay of hardware and software. We have gained appreciation for the nuance. And we need to be surrounding ourselves with people who know the industry, who know the multi-dimensional areas.” Transition from analog to IP systems We have to focus on who our customers are specifically and understand their needs” It’s a “transformative moment in the industry,” says Hart, given industry changes such as price erosion and the transition from analogue to IP systems. “We are about to go into the world of added intelligence. It’s an interesting time to buy a security company.” Hart says the Pelco brand still has value: “The market is rooting for us.” There is also a strong portfolio of people and products to build from. Pelco maintains its headquarters in Fresno, Calif., and has a presence in Fort Collins, Colo., near Denver, and a sales office in the New York area, not to mention many global employees who work remotely. A new CEO is being recruited; otherwise, “we have a great executive team” in place, including Brian McClain, COO and President, says Hart. “In defining the new company, we have to decide first and foremost what we want to be,” says Hart. “What can we provide customers? We have to focus on who our customers are specifically and understand their needs and use cases.” Part of defining the new company is to become more aligned with a specific set of verticals that fit with Pelco’s capabilities (although they are not saying which verticals those are yet). However, “we can’t ignore what we are today as we make the transition,” says Hart. Innovation in products We want customers to see innovation in products to a point when people will say ‘this is Pelco’" “We have to let the products and experience speak for themselves. We’re focused on getting our ducks in a row and going in a new direction, but actions speak louder than words,” he says. The changes will be “more organic;” don’t expect to see a big announcement. “We want customers to see innovation in products and customer support and get those things to a point when people will say ‘this is Pelco,’” says Hart. Although not exhibiting at GSX, I found Pelco occupying a meeting room near the show floor. The room gave the company a chance to respond to integrators and consultants at GSX who had questions about what was going on with the acquisition. “Everybody is rooting for us, and we wanted the ability to get out and say ‘we’re here, we’re doing things, and we’re excited about the future,’” said Stuart Rawling, Pelco’s Vice President, Market Strategy. “This is a time for people to come and see us who maybe haven’t seen us in a while.” By ISC West in the spring, Pelco expects to have a clear message of who they are and where they’re going, he says. Aligning needs of end user “We are excited about the work we are seeing internally,” which includes “aligning resources in the right way,” says Rawling. “The fruits of the labour are being seen internally now. We will be launching new products in the next eight months, although there will not be a defined moment in time when we say ‘this is it.’ It will just be happening. Next year will be an exciting time industry-wide, and product-wise, and Pelco will have a strong voice. Brendan and team have kept us extremely busy,” says Rawling, who also was part of Pelco in the “glory days” before the acquisition by Schneider Electric. We’re so optimistic, when you combine the people and the brand and what’s happening the market” “The work product has been so transformative mindset-wise for the employees. Everybody has had the opportunity to talk to the [new] owners about what type of company we are. We can set our own vision and get reenergised and get back to the core belief of what Pelco was and what it should be. We are the master of our own destiny, aligning needs of end user with the products we can deliver. We are putting the right processes in place that work for this market. It is an exciting prospect.” In the new era, Rawling expects to target marketing more toward end-users, because they have more influence on product selection than ever before, he says. End users often learn about new products online, so Pelco will be looking to target its marketing toward educating various vertical markets about available technologies and their use cases. “We’re so optimistic, when you combine the people and the brand and what’s happening the market,” says Hart. “We have to do the work. We’re excited about what we are seeing internally.”
When Care Protect wanted to upscale its operations in healthcare safety and monitoring services to a large private provider, it turned to Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, in combination with offsite cloud video storage from Manything Pro. Care Protect is an innovative organisation. It was created to promote excellent, sustainable and consistent care delivery in health and social care settings. That innovation is reflected in the way the company integrates technology into the very heart of its care provision services. It uses the latest camera and audio technology, alongside the latest secure cloud-based video storage services, with a team of health and social care professionals reviewing and assessing around the clock. Social care environments Because of this diligence in monitoring, high levels of independent scrutiny can be guaranteed. The result is that through this transparency, reassurance is available for residents and their families, knowing that vulnerable adults and children are better safeguarded and protected. In all cases, system use is with the prior consent of residents and relatives or next of kin only. Care Protect was established to help address public concerns over incidents of poor care or malpractice Care Protect’s independent monitors are very well qualified, with years of relevant health and social care experience, together with all necessary Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and Security Industry Authority (SIA) licencing. Collectively they offer a high level of sector knowledge and expertise essential to assist and advise those with responsibility for safeguarding and quality and clinical governance. One of the key reasons that Care Protect was established to help address public concerns over incidents of poor care or malpractice in health and social care environments, some of which have seen wide media coverage. Private healthcare provider As a result, sound and motion detection alarms and infrared filming is utilised so immediate alerts can be raised if an incident is seen or heard or there is a connectivity or maintenance issue. Video recordings also include the use of privacy settings to block any agreed zones or areas of view as required. With video footage playing such a crucial role in Care Protect’s service, it is of pivotal importance that the system in place to manage the viewing of that video is stable, reliable and effective. One of Care Protect’s clients is a large private healthcare provider, for which Care Protect monitors bedrooms and communal areas of child and adult wards in hospitals nationwide throughout England. Care Protect also monitors elderly care homes for several different providers. Offsite video storage Care Protect also monitors elderly care homes for several different providers Care Protect’s IT & Systems Director, Andy Johnson, said Care Protect Directors have a background in the care industry, which has informed the monitoring system the company utilises. “We’ve developed a system based on the reviewing of recorded footage by social workers and nurses to advise, initially, on the quality of practice,” Johnson explains. “The contract with the large private healthcare company saw our operation change to caring for patients who pose a high risk to themselves for self-harm. Because of the importance of this monitoring in ensuring the patients’ wellbeing, it was critical that we were able to efficiently manage that video, both in terms of live monitoring and offsite video storage.” Cloud video storage The new focus required an upscaling of Care Protect’s operational office in Belfast (the company’s head office is in Yarm, Cleveland). A key element of this upscaling was the use of Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, which needed to be able to deliver high quality images to a Samsung multi-screen video wall for real-time monitoring. Resident and patient rights to privacy remain at the core of Care Protect’s operations Video management via HikCentral at Belfast is critical, as is the offsite cloud video storage provided by Manything Pro, as Care Protect is careful to ensure there is no local recording of video onsite at the customer’s facilities so that it cannot be tampered with. Resident and patient rights to privacy remain at the core of Care Protect’s operations, and they ensure they comply with and exceed all relevant legislation and guidelines, including the Data Privacy Act and Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Intelligent surveillance platform HikCentral is a comprehensive, intelligent surveillance platform. The newly improved HikCentral delivers data and intelligence via a pre-installed VMS on standard, off-the-shelf servers, and contains advanced functions including advanced live view and playback, thermal imaging, queue detection, low bandwidth adaptability, video linkage with access control, enhanced alarm management and smart wall operation – as in use at Care Protect. HikCentral manages the cameras, the smart wall monitors, and the video decoders that drive the images to the multiple screens in the Belfast hub. These screens cover 21 separate hospital sites for Care Protect’s private health provider customer. “One of the key features of HikCentral for us was the new smart wall functionality,” Johnson says, “Allowing us to manage multiple screens from the one place, rather than having software to run an application to then put it on the screens.” Network mini domes We use Smart Maps within HikCentral for interactive floor plans for the hospitals we monitor" Care Protect also makes good use of HikCentral’s Smart Maps function. “We use Smart Maps within HikCentral for interactive floor plans for the hospitals we monitor,” Johnson explains. “We have a selection of the communal cameras live on the maps, and our reviewers can click into the relevant area and get an overview without having to further interrogate those floor plans.” The appeal of this VMS, he says, was down to both the newly mature and advanced functions of the latest version of HikCentral, as well as its very competitive pricing compared to its rivals. Care Protect uses 500 HikCentral licences and a variety of Hikvision cameras are deployed across the customer’s facilities, predominantly unobtrusive 4MP and 6MP high resolution network mini domes. Hikvision Smart functionality on those cameras also proves extremely useful, Johnson says. Smart camera functions “The use of Hikvision Smart events on the cameras helps our reviewers to know how many people are in a room or a designated zone at a particular time,” he says. “These sorts of Smart features can greatly assist our reviewers, allowing us to be more efficient and effective in responding to the needs of patients.” Those in-built Smart camera functions are complemented by the use of audio analytics Those in-built Smart camera functions are complemented by the use of audio analytics. In some cases this audio software is used to trigger cameras so that potential incidents can be automatically viewed and assessed by a Care Protect reviewer. The results of utilising this technology, according to Johnson, have been highly successful. “We have been able to upscale our operation to 27 screens, to accommodate 21 hospital sites for our biggest customer, to great satisfaction from their end as it is safeguarding the vulnerable patients that they care for,” he says. Poor network conditions In addition to monitoring the live streams for certain hospitals, Care Protect’s independent monitors are tasked with reviewing all recorded video to ensure that the quality of care provided meets the required standards. For this they utilise the services of Hikvision cloud video technology partner, Manything Pro. Care Protect have almost 3,000 cameras recording video to the Manything Pro platform. All video is stored offsite in the secure Manything Pro cloud and can be accessed via the Manything Pro app and website. Manything Pro software runs on Hikvision cameras and is constantly monitoring the bandwidth conditions on each site. If necessary, the software will dynamically adjust the video bit rate to ensure recorded events are sent to the cloud even in poor network conditions. “We use Manything Pro for our cloud storage, so any recorded footage goes up to them, and we review through their website,” he says. “Some providers that we work with aren’t part of the live streaming through HikCentral in our Belfast monitoring centre. For these sites we also use the Manything Pro app and website to view the camera live streams.”
Hanwha Techwin a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions announced that We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort has selected Hanwha cameras for its new state-of-the-art video surveillance system. First established as a bingo-hall style building by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in the early 1990s, the facility received approval to be revamped into a fully-fledged gaming facility in 2017. To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, this also included a new video surveillance system. Quality cameras When it came time to build the new facility, the Tribal Regulatory Agency, having learned from its earlier attempts, knew they had to find a vendor that wouldn’t let them down. Explains Lee Brown, Lead Surveillance Technician for the Fort McDowell Tribal Regulatory Agency, “We were looking for a manufacturer that had a variety of camera offerings to give us what we wanted and that also had a good reputation for quality.” They found what they were looking for with Hanwha Techwin. Camera coverage The cameras available from Hanwha Techwin enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation The number of cameras available from Hanwha Techwin was a key differentiator for the We-Ko-Pa Resort as it enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation. The range of options was especially important when it came time to design camera coverage for the slot floor in the new facility. This area proved to be challenging in part because it was designed to be flexible and modular. The new design allows the Casino to be dynamic in terms of where they place machines. The challenge then was how to ensure coverage of every machine even as they move around daily. Flexible 4k cameras They initially considered attaching cameras to the ‘cloud’ ceiling so that they could be moved as the configuration changed. But, because it floats below a concrete ceiling, this was not possible. The Casino decided instead to use the higher resolution P series 4K cameras and place them strategically throughout the space. Says Brown, “We had to give very careful consideration to where we placed our cameras. We wanted high quality and flexibility to avoid having to reconfigure and reinstall cameras all the time. The image quality with the Hanwha Techwin cameras gave us the edge we needed to work within our ceiling constraints.” WDR technology The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models. According to Brown, their favorite feature is the quality they deliver at low bitrates. He says, “The majority of our cameras face intense and volatile lighting changes against a backdrop of complex scenery with many moving objects. Hanwha Techwin cameras and their advanced WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology can easily be configured to accommodate these conditions without sacrificing quality or producing obnoxious data streams.” Wisenet wave VMS While part of the interest in Hanwha Techwin was based on the build and image quality of the cameras and variety of the offerings, the Casino was also drawn to the Wisenet WAVE VMS (Video Management System). Says Brown, “We were attracted to the WAVE VMS because our virtualised server and client operating systems are 100% Linux based, and the WAVE client and server applications are well supported on Linux. It works exceptionally well with the Hanwha Techwin cameras and other devices, like HDMI encoders and third-party cameras.” Live central monitoring WAVE also helps operators with live monitoring. As part of their daily routines, operators at the Casino have to actively watch a variety of events and occurrences, including deliveries and vendors on site. Says Brown, “The layout system in WAVE makes it easy for us to organise our cameras into groups. So, when an operator follows someone through the Casino, rather than thinking in terms of which camera covers which machine or specific area, they think more in terms of the geography of the location.” Motion detection To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording Every casino must comply with strict retention requirements in part because forensic examination and maintaining a clear chain of custody are extremely important. At the We-Ko-Pa Resort, they have a one-week minimum retention rate with some cameras keeping video for 30 days. Currently, We-Ko-Pa has 500 terabytes (TB) of redundant ZFS-based network storage. To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording. Explains Brown, “We use motion detection to save on storage. If no motion is detected in a frame, the camera is set up to record at very low quality and low frame rate. If the camera detects motion, then the recording automatically shifts to high-quality mode.” Video surveillance system Moving forward, the Casino is excited about future possibilities for their system, including people counting and using their WAVE VMS to make data-driven decisions. The Casino and Tribal Regulatory Agency aren’t the only ones who recognise the outstanding features and functionality of their new Hanwha Techwin system. The Arizona Department of Gaming, which provides specific mandates for gaming operators in the state, is also impressed. According to Brown, “We have even received compliments for our video surveillance system from the state inspector who was quite impressed with the image quality and the smoothness of the recordings.”
GNP (Grupo Nacional Provincial) is one of the largest insurance providers in Mexico. The company has several offices throughout the country and primarily provides insurance policies for life, medical, automobile, home, and business. The organisation was relying on analog CCTV technology that was unreliable and outdated. GNP wanted to modernise from its outdated system and deploy a new IP surveillance solution to improve security and take advantage of enhanced features. Network barriers Several network barriers needed to be addressed before the organisation could deploy the new IP security solution. A Coax infrastructure supported the existing CCTV system in each of the company’s locations. A Coax infrastructure supported the existing CCTV system in each of the company’s locations The customer had initially thought about ripping out the existing Coax-based infrastructure in each location and using fiber-optic cabling to extend connectivity beyond the 328ft (100m) reach limitation of standard Ethernet switches. However, this strategy would be extremely costly, disruptive, and time-consuming. GNP was also concerned with the potential business disruption and negative operational impacts as a result of the construction work needed to overhaul the network. The organisation required an innovative solution to achieve its digital transformation objectives. NVT Phybridge EoC Given the customer’s modernisation challenges, Logen, the reseller partner, recommended NVT Phybridge EoC (Ethernet over Coax) innovations. Logen had used NVT Phybridge products in the past for many other projects and was confident in the technology. GNP was excited about the potential solution and organized a proof-of-concept to test the technology in one of its locations. CLEER24 switch After a few simple setup steps, the NVT Phybridge CLEER24 switch transformed the customer’s existing and proven Coax-based infrastructure into a power-packed IP backbone. The CLEER24 switch delivers power and data over a single Coax cable up to 6,000ft (1,830m), which’s 18-times farther than a standard Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch. GNP was impressed with the results and decided to move forward with the project using the CLEER24 switch. The customer avoided traditional rip-and-replace strategy, leveraging the existing Coax infrastructure to achieve results Simple and quick installations GNP was delighted with the entire experience, using the CLEER24 switch to deploy more than 250 IP cameras across several locations. “Installing the CLEER24 switch was simple, quick, and did not require any special tools,” said Mario Gomez Alvarez. “The NVT Phybridge team provided excellent technical support and training materials.” The customer was able to avoid the traditional rip-and-replace strategy, leveraging the existing and proven Coax infrastructure to achieve incredible results. Simplify and accelerate the deployment by 40% Reduce total infrastructure costs by 50% Prevent service outages and operational disruption during the upgrade Eliminate IDF closet requirements Maintain a physically separate network for the new IP security devices Allocate infrastructure cost savings towards more IP devices and applications GNP took full advantage of the CLEER24’s feature set. The switches are stacked and configured for power redundancy. Unused ports are locked for enhanced security. All equipment is centralised in one location for better system control.
A large US grocery store chain needed to stop paying costly service charges to maintain its outdated TDM PBX voice system. The organisation wanted to implement a new IP-based communication solution across all locations. However, the customer was very concerned with the potential disruption and high costs to rip-and-replace the existing CAT3 voice network. Limitation of standard switches The customer was relying on an aging, analog phone system and wanted to upgrade to a Unified Communications platform across all new and existing stores. However, like most businesses, the analog phones were supported with CAT3 wiring infrastructure, with many cable runs going well beyond the 328ft (100m) reach limitations of standard Ethernet switches. The customer was experiencing several challenges and was concerned with high costs & time requirements The customer was experiencing several challenges and was concerned with: The extremely high cost and time requirements needed to remove and replace the existing, yet reliable CAT3 infrastructure Loss of revenue and business disruption during the modernisation process IDF closet requirements to support the new IP phones in all areas of the grocery stores, given the limited reach of standard Ethernet switches The grocery store chain was unsatisfied with traditional LAN design and delayed the project to search for an alternative solution. NVT Phybridge PoLRE® switch The customer learned about the award-winning NVT Phybridge PoLRE® (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) managed switch and engaged with one of their digital transformation experts to learn more. The PoLRE switch delivers Ethernet and PoE over a single-pair UTP wire with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach – that’s four times the reach of standard Ethernet switches. The customer was excited to see the solution in action and organized a no-obligation proof-of-concept to test the solution in their environment. IP infrastructure changes In just a few simple setup steps, the PoLRE switch transformed the customer’s existing voice infrastructure into an IP backbone with more than enough bandwidth to support the new IP phones. PoLRE’s extended reach capabilities ensured that the new IP phones were deployed exactly where the customer needed them without the need for multiple IDF closets along the way. “The customer was impressed with the switch’s ability to deliver PoE over the existing single-pair UTP cable at distances up to 1,200ft instead of the usual 328ft. The customer also found the security features and intuitive web GUI of the switch very attractive,” said Darragh Hogan, Product Support Manager at NVT Phybridge. Reduced costs and complexity With NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch innovation, the customer was able to reduce network readiness costs By leveraging the NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch innovation, the customer was able to reduce network readiness costs, deployment time, and complexity associated with infrastructure requirements. After the successful implementation at the first location, the customer modernised the remaining locations using the PoLRE switch to achieve incredible results. Achieved over $5 million in infrastructure cost savings Leveraged the existing and proven voice infrastructure to create a physically separate and secure IP voice network Significantly reduced the deployment time, accelerating the return on investment Eliminated business disruption as no construction was required Repeatable, predictable, and scalable The existing voice infrastructure topology at every store is the same, point-to-point. By leveraging this proven and reliable infrastructure, the customer was able to simplify its modernisation with a repeatable, predictable, and scalable deployment experience across every location. The customer was able to significantly reduce the deployment time and save over $5 million, thanks to the NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch.
The Palmetto Plaza Shopping Mall, an iconic shopping center located in Cali, Colombia, opened its doors in 2004 thanks to the support of a group of entrepreneurs from the region who dreamed of a place where local residents and tourists can find a wide range of commercial services and entertainment offerings. Need for a video surveillance solution To ensure a safe environment in the shopping center, mall officials sought a comprehensive video surveillance solution that can monitor the areas in and around the mall, including its square, corridors, parking lots, and the surrounding roads. Dahua Technology, in cooperation with its partner in Colombia - Fortox Security Group - a security consultant with a nationwide presence, jointly designed an AI-enabled Smart Retail Solution that replaced the shopping mall’s old CCTV analog system. Addressing the challenges The migration project from the analog CCTV to a networked system began with the design and implementation of structured cabling – using both fiber optics and copper – until the right and suitable CCTV solution is determined. The Palmetto Plaza Shopping Mall entrusted Fortox as its security consultant tasked to search for a technology that can facilitate the important steps toward the optimization and operation of the mall in the service of the city. Dahua’s AI-based portfolio Dahua offers AI applications within its portfolio, which allowed to transcend to a system dedicated to security & control " "When conducting the evaluation of the solutions offered in the market, we decided to work with Dahua because the company offers artificial intelligence applications within its portfolio, which allowed us to transcend from a system dedicated solely to security and control, to a system which will also contribute to other areas of the shopping center, integrating the Smart Retail solution into the circuit, and offering BI statistics to the mall for further analysis.” “In addition, we integrated the temperature monitoring solution and visualisation control into the system using a Dahua video wall,” explains Mr. Efren Mauricio Matabanchoy Romo, Project Engineer at Fortox Security Group. IP, dome, and PTZ cameras Dahua Technology provided 111 pcs of high-resolution IP cameras, panoramic cameras, dome cameras, and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras with 30x optical zoom capability for the project. The Dahua cameras were installed in strategic locations to provide comprehensive security for employees and customers. The video feed, which is transmitted to the central monitoring stations inside the mall through a private network, can assist the security personnel in identifying emergencies, vandalism, and other situations where a quick response from the security team is necessary. Real-time monitoring solution The video surveillance system was designed to capture high-quality HD images, combined with advanced technologies to support embedded intelligence functions, such as sending an alert to the monitoring center when it detects abandoned or missing objects, unauthorised entry into a prohibited area, as well as facial recognition and other defined activities. The cameras support multi-streaming that allows images to be recorded and monitored with real-time high resolution The cameras also support multi-streaming that allows images to be recorded and monitored with real-time high resolution so that operators can have a clear and well-defined view of both live and recorded footage. IP video surveillance system Dahua Technology and its dedicated engineering team carried out the construction of this design by utilising its high-quality hardware and software products, with a great focus on solving the pain points of the shopping center and generating an added value to its visitors and internal customers. Mr. Chao Wu, General Manager of Dahua Technology Colombia, said, "As a result of excellent teamwork, we were able to implement more than an IP video surveillance system. We designed a solution with the latest technology and artificial intelligence unique in the city of Cali, which allows the Palmetto Plaza to provide greater security to its visitors and trade merchants.” 24/7 monitoring features In terms of security, through the Dahua equipment installed by Fortox, the Palmetto Plaza is now able to perform 24/7 monitoring and intelligent data analysis. "Likewise, through the Dahua Smart Retail Solution unique in the city of Cali, we generate added value to the merchants who have placed their trust in Palmetto Plaza. Smart Retail is not only a solution that guarantees maximum security for customers in the shopping centre.” “It is also a revolutionary new tool for Big Data statistics that is suitable for the mall´s management, allowing them to make efficient and correct decisions depending on the situation”, Mr. Wu added. Security management The Dahua Smart Retail Solution has significantly improved the security management of the Palmetto Plaza Shopping Mall. By increasing the resolution of the cameras, the visual records of the CCTV system are now optimised and strengthened. By increasing the resolution of the cameras, the visual records of the CCTV system are optimised & strengthened The updated network system provides video recordings with HD resolution, allowing operators to better control and manage the entire system. It also offers artificial intelligence analytics such as face recognition focused on security, business intelligence focused on real-time statistics of the number of shoppers in the mall, and monitoring of behavior within its facilities. CCTV network system In addition to its video surveillance products, Dahua Technology also contributed to the system migration project of the Palmetto Plaza, transforming its analog CCTV system to a CCTV network system with higher resolution cameras, 360-degree views, and artificial intelligence analytics. Dahua Technology also provided complete technical support and commercial services that include training operators and managing configuration settings. “We had devices that already completed their useful life. These devices did not meet our security needs due to their low resolution and constant failures,” says Mr. Juan Diego Guzman, Security Director of Palmetto Plaza Shopping Mall. Surveillance capability For Sandra M. Navas P, General Manager of the Palmetto Plaza Shopping Mall, this technology has generated more confidence among visitors and merchants. "The beginning of this system implementation has put us at the forefront of Colombian retail in terms of video surveillance capability, and has also allowed us to achieve a level of satisfaction in terms of security higher than 92%." Furthermore, this system has allowed Fortox as a security company to integrate into a single technology the requirements requested by the client, successfully delivering the required services needed in the shopping centre.
Videoloft is bolstering its presence in the United States by hiring new U.S.-based sales staff and integrating with established brands in the US market, including Digital Watchdog, exacqVision, Vivotek, and Lorex. Cloud surveillance systems Videoloft focuses on transforming traditional professional surveillance systems into cloud-connected solutions via the Videoloft Cloud Adapter. The company was born from the innovative technology created for the Manything app in 2012, which turned old smartphones and tablets into ad-hoc DIY home-monitoring cloud cameras, and now boasts over 1 million+ user. Cost-effective cloud solution The versatile and highly cost-effective Videoloft cloud solution can serve either as a backup to local recorders or as a primary recording method, sending video footage direct to the cloud at up to 8MP resolution. Videoloft end-users have remote access to its cloud video surveillance system via the Videoloft mobile app or web-based VMS The solution employs rigid security protocols to ensure all video is transmitted and stored securely in the Videoloft cloud, which is hosted on Amazon's AWS. Videoloft end-users have remote access to their cloud video surveillance system from anywhere and at any time via the Videoloft mobile app or web-based VMS. It makes security systems highly proactive and personalised and instantly upgrades legacy systems with new features. Remotely installed Videoloft’s partner pricing is extremely competitive and is approximately 8 to 10 times less expensive than other cloud providers. The platform is compatible with leading brands, has an impressive feature set including video analytics and remote installation, as well as a proven ability to send video to the cloud over real-world uplink speeds. VSaaS solution Selling predominantly via the channel, Videoloft’s cloud-based VSaaS solution is rapidly being adopted by professional security dealers and systems integrators who add the Videoloft cloud to their customers’ surveillance systems. The solution is being used with exceptional results by a wide variety of users ranging from homeowners to restaurant chains, and healthcare facilities to cannabis growers and dispensaries. Available versions Videoloft offers two white label versions of their platform, with over 150+ white label solutions already deployed by national distributors and integrators. Videoloft users span 160+ countries and generate the equivalent of 25 years of video monitored by the Videoloft cloud every day.
Round table discussion
Cybersecurity continues to be a major theme in the physical security industry, but effective cybersecurity comes at a cost. Higher cost is contrary to another major trend in the market: lower product pricing, which some have characterised as a ‘race to the bottom’. Chinese manufacturers, whose products tend to have lower prices, have been the target of cybersecurity concerns and even a government ban. So what is the overall impact of cybersecurity on pricing trends in video products? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Are cybersecurity concerns slowing down the ‘race to the bottom’ (i.e., the dominance of lower-cost cameras)?
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
In the analogue era, videotape was the storage media of choice for CCTV systems. Since the advent of digital video, and of IP-based systems, a variety of other storage formats have come to the fore, including hard drives, flash drives, SD cards and others. Now we are in the age of the cloud, which offers new opportunities to store vast amounts of video and presents challenges such as bandwidth and cybersecurity. For a current perspective on storage, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How are new developments in video storage impacting the video surveillance market?