Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the perf...
Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS), the global video wall and visual display providers, has expanded into a new HQ and demo facility in response to customer demand. The facility, close to the M65 near Burnley and in walking distance of the rail network, provides a larger, upgraded showcase for UVS and its technology partners’ integrated solutions. Security system integrators Since opening the new location last month, UVS has already had a record number of visitors, including police forces,...
IP audio and control innovator Barix announces the opening of a new research and development centre for next-generation, intelligent audio technologies. Based in Aveiro, Portugal, the Barix Innovation Centre focuses on “what’s next” for the company, including audio analytics, anomaly detection, predictive maintenance, and environmental sound monitoring. Barix Founder and CTO Johannes Rietschel identified Aveiro as the ideal location given its proximity to the University of Ave...
IP Communications enabler Softil announces that its BEEHD technology has been selected by Fujitsu Spain to build the ARCONTE Trial Recording System. The multilingual, secure, modular and adaptable digital recording system will allow courts to work more quickly, transparently, and cost-efficiently. The system also ensures compliance with strict mandatory data requirements across Europe, Middle East, India and African (EMEIA) jurisdictions where courts are legally required to record and store lega...
IP audio and control interface innovator Barix is heading to the ISC West 2020 security industry trade show with a wide range of powerful yet cost-efficient new hardware innovations and third-party integrations. The company will exhibit in booth 19140 at the event, taking place from March 17 to 20 at the Sands Expo and Conference Center in Las Vegas. SIP Audio Endpoint hardware A centerpiece of Barix’s new product demonstrations will be the North American debut of the SIP Audio Endpoint...
Drones are commonly known for flying in the sky, but a new breed is rolling around on the ground and swimming in the ocean. Now, in an alliance straight out of science fiction, two CT-based drone companies are joining forces to take on the task of protecting our planet using both airborne and amphibious drones by automating operations in security, environmental and even military fronts, globally. Harford based Aquiline Drones (AD), a premiere Cloud and drone solutions company,...
EZVIZ Inc., the global smart home security brand, is sharing the news that it launches the Full HD Wi-Fi Outdoor Turret wall-mounted camera in the UK. With full HD 1080p resolution video, the camera delivers crystal clear monitoring all day and super night vision so that images still remain visible in full clarity no matter the time of day. The Outdoor Turret Camera also uses active defence including a strobe light, customised voice alerts and 100db alarm for full peace of mind when away from the home. It is available now for £99.99 from Argos. Adjusting motion detection sensitivity Users can set protected areas by drawing specific zones of interest through the EZVIZ app The easy to setup EZVIZ Outdoor Turret camera professionally and reliably safeguards outdoor areas of homes or businesses with high quality 1080p full HD images and night vision (up to 30m/98 feet) providing clear images and clips of any unwanted or unusual outside activity. Not only useful for recording clips and images, users can set protected areas by drawing specific zones of interest through the EZVIZ app and adjust motion detection sensitivity as well as making these apply only during specific times (e.g. during the night). If an unwanted intruder does enter the property, the Outdoor Turret camera has an active defence system with both light and sound to deter them including customisation. The camera will flash a warning light and play a sound to drive them away whilst sending a push notification to the user’s smartphone so they can view what has happened and take appropriate action. Video compression technology It is also possible to create three 10-second audio recordings through the EZVIZ app so that the protection of properties can be personalised and unique to the homeowner. The built-in strobe light and 100db alarm is an effective combination to deter any suspicious activity. Using the latest H.265 video compression technology, the videos are clearer and smoother whilst reducing the need for bandwidth and data storage space such as microSD cards and the cloud, thus saving users money. It is easy to talk to visitors through the app when these notifications occur Durable and with 24/7 all season protection, the outdoor wall-mounted camera is secure in any weather. Due to its IP66 enclosure rating, it is resistant against rain, snow, and also dustproof so can keep recording and looking after homes comfortably year after year. Using the app, EZVIZ provides motion detection alerts through notifications to smartphones no matter where the user is. With the two-way talk function, it is easy to talk to visitors through the app when these notifications occur. Anti-interference capabilities Able to have clear conversations through the camera and app, it is integrated with a professional de-noising algorithm to filter background noise for enhanced voice quality and the internal MIC is also waterproof and supports audio pickup within five metres. Clips and recordings can also be viewed live as well as historical videos held on the app for users to access at a convenient time with the ability to use an up to 8x zoom. The Outdoor Turret Camera features dual antennas for enhanced connection and includes wall-penetration and anti-interference capabilities so the Turret stays online more securely. The two built-in antennas ensure a robust and reliable Wi-Fi connection. In order to store recordings, the EZVIZ Outdoor Turret offers multiple solutions. The camera can hold a microSD card (up to 256GB) for local continuous storage upon each detection or, alternatively, there is the option to sign up to their Encrypted Cloud Storage system (EZVIZ Cloud) for additional back-up.
PSA, the internationally renowned security and systems integrator consortium, and the Security Industry Association (SIA), global trade association for global security solution providers, has announced CyberTEC powered by SIA, an exclusive cyber security track for PSA TEC 2020. CyberTEC will feature sessions on cyber-attack risk mitigation, cyber security managed services, cyber hygiene compliance and more. PSA TEC 2020 PSA also announced TEC 2020 keynote speaker Alec Ross, a New York Times best-selling author and former senior advisor for innovation with the U.S. Department of State. The keynote address will be presented by SIA and take place on Wednesday, April 22, at 7:30 a.m. in the Plaza Ballroom. We are thrilled to work together with SIA in developing our cybersecurity education for PSA TEC 2020" “We are thrilled to work together with SIA in developing our cybersecurity education for PSA TEC 2020 and presenting Alec Ross as our keynote speaker,” said Anthony Berticelli, vice president of operations for PSA. “SIA’s team has invaluable connections in the industry, and partnering with them has raised the bar for the CyberTEC track. Likewise, the insight that Mr. Ross can provide will be thought provoking for all security industry professionals.” CyberTEC track Ross is one of America’s renowned experts on innovation, having worked with the US State Department during the Obama administration on goals of maximising the potential of technology and innovation in the service of America’s diplomatic goals. He advanced the State Department’s interests on a range of issues including internet freedom, cyber security, disaster response and the use of network technologies in conflict zones. Ross’ best-selling book, The Industries of the Future, explores the technological and economic trends and developments that will shape the next decade, from cyber security and big data to the commercialisation of genomics to the code-ification of money, markets and trust. Security and audio-visual markets event PSA TEC 2020 will be held April 20- 23 at the Sheraton Downtown in Denver, Colorado, and is the premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. This year’s conference will feature over 125 education sessions, workshops and certification offerings from top industry experts and partner organisations categorised into dedicated learning tracks focused on job function. Attendees will leave TEC with ways to improve operational efficiencies and add additional value to their businesses The educational content includes sessions for systems integration professionals with a desire to stay relevant and thrive in changing markets through personal and professional development. Attendees will leave TEC with ways to improve operational efficiencies, add additional value to their businesses and their customers’ journeys and support emerging market trends from their own vantage points. A complete list of the sessions can be found here. Spreading awareness of cyber security “SIA and PSA have worked effectively together to improve the industry’s awareness of cyber security. The CyberTEC track powered by SIA reinforces the commitment both organisations have made to ensuring the industry has access to the training it needs to reduce cyber risk and open doors to new business opportunities,” said Don Erickson, CEO, SIA. “We’re also very happy to sponsor TEC keynote speaker Alec Ross; we believe his message perfectly captures the spirit of innovation that PSA operators and SIA members deliver in their businesses and security technology solutions.” SIA is the globally renowned trade association for global security solution providers, with over 1,000 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. PSA is the international systems integrator consortium made up of the most progressive security and audio-visual systems integrators in North America.
KBC Networks will be present at ISC West 2020 with their industrial transmission and remote power solutions on booth 29093 from March 17th – 20th. Well known in the industry for their trusted fiber transmission solutions, KBC will highlight their broad range of fiber products, including their direct replacements for the discontinued IFS and Fiber Options legacy products. KBC’s fiber optic range offers multimode and singlemode solutions for static and PTZ cameras; industrial data systems including RS-485, 232 and 422 telemetry; single and multi-channel contact closure and Ethernet media conversion including Power over Ethernet. Digitally encoded video transmission Both the Mobile and Fixed Base Surveillance Systems are fully compatible with KBC industrial transmission products Solutions include simple point-to-point transmission links, self-healing ring, daisy chain and BUS to custom-build, multi-interface modems with provision for up to 128 real-time video signals plus other signals over a single fiber. The range supports video, audio, data, Ethernet, telephone, contact closure, DVI, HD-SDI, 3G-SDI and USB, and features 8- or 10-bit digitally encoded video transmission. Designed for faster installation and to maximise product density, KBC fiber products are available in compact, wall-mount, DIN rail, 19” rack and cards for 3U or 4U chassis. Built to perform in non-conditioned environments, they are housed in industrially hardened casings and have extended operating temperatures. Mobile Surveillance Systems Also on display this year will be the newest Mobile Surveillance Systems (MSS). After successfully introducing the MSS at ISC West last year, KBC will debut a fixed base unit available for stand-alone design or multiple unit installations. This custom configured solution is ideal for applications requiring semi-permanent or mid to long term video, audio and data security. Both the Mobile and Fixed Base Surveillance Systems are fully compatible with KBC industrial transmission products, including the gigabit wireless and ThruLinkTM hardware-based VPN device.
Hanwha Techwin enhances its premium Wisenet P series with the addition of three new 4-channel multi-sensor cameras, designed to provide a cost-effective solution for detecting and tracking objects over wide open areas. The 8MP Wisenet PNM-9084QZ features motorised varifocal lenses for precise control of focal length, angle of view and zoom of each of its sensors, as do the 8MP PNM-9084RQZ and 5MP PNM-9085RQZ, which are also equipped with built-in smart IR illumination for each sensor. This illuminates objects at a distance of up to 30m by focusing the beam in line with zoom. Motorised PTRZ gimbals All three new H.265 multi-sensor cameras are equipped with motorised PTRZ gimbals All three new H.265 multi-sensor cameras are equipped with motorised PTRZ gimbals which reduce on site times as they enable installation engineers to remotely pan, tilt, rotate and zoom the lens’ positions in order to set the camera’s field of view. “These new models, which enable operators to choose from a broad range of customisable angles and zoom settings per sensor, offer cost savings for both system integrators and end users,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. “This is because multi-sensor cameras use less cable, conduit and mounting hardware compared to what would normally be required to enable up to four separate cameras to do the same job. They also need fewer VMS licenses as only a single IP connection is required.” Digital Image Stabilisation Key features Advanced Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), which performs at up to 120dB to accurately produce images in scenes that simultaneously contain very bright and very dark areas. True day/night camera functionality with a removable infrared cut filter (ICR). Digital Image Stabilisation (DIS), which reduces motion blur caused by wind or vibration and ensures the capture of sharp, stable images. Support for H.265, H.264 and MJPEG compression, as well as WiseStream II, a complementary compression technology unique to Wisenet cameras. Built-in Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA), including Tampering, Loitering, Directional Detection, Defocus Detection, Fog Detection, Virtual Line, Enter/Exit, Appear/Disappear, Audio Detection, Face Detection and Motion Detection. Sound Classification: An audio analytics feature which recognises critical sounds such as raised voices, screams, broken glass, gunshots and explosions, and generates an alert to enable security personnel to quickly react to any incidents. IP66, IK10, and NEMA4X ratings for protection against water, dust, and mechanical impact, makes the three multi-sensor cameras an ideal choice for outdoor applications. Motorised-varifocal lenses The model numbers of the new Wisenet multi-sensor cameras are as follows: Wisenet PNM-9084QZ: 2MP x 4 channels with 3~6mm motorised-varifocal lenses. Wisenet PNM-9084RQZ: 2MP x 4 channels with 3.2~10mm motorised-varifocal lenses. Built-in smart IR illumination. Wisenet PNM-9085RQZ: 5MP x 4 channels with 4.13~9.4mm motorised-varifocal lenses. Built-in smart IR illumination.
Alertus Technologies, a globally renowned company in unified mass notification, is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a webinar to showcase the many benefits of its audio-visual notification device—the Alert Beacon. The webinar will take place on Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. EST. Alert Beacon For more than a decade, the Alert Beacon has proven itself to be a reliable notification device when it matters the most. This wall-mounted versatile device serves as an in-building emergency notification system for campuses, military bases, and other large facilities. In the event of an emergency, Alert Beacons capture the attention of building occupants from a distance with bright strobes and clear emergency tone sounders. They can also display a custom message about the emergency and how to respond appropriately. During the webinar, Instantly Improve Facility Notification with the Audible-Visual Alert Beacon, attendees will discover how Alert Beacons can easily get the right information to the right people, the Alert Beacon’s key features and capabilities, and how the Alert Beacon can help satisfy numerous codes and mandate such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. In addition, attendees will get a chance to see a demonstration of how the Alert Beacon would function in an emergency.
Adept Audio® announces that it is launching its innovative new line of architectural and surface-mount speakers for security dealers who install residential and commercial sound systems. Adept will be conducting loudspeaker demonstrations using choice high resolution music videos at ISC West, March 18-20 at booth number 32069 in the Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas. ISC West is the largest security industry trade show in the United States, attracting more than 30,000 security professionals. “We’re excited to launch our new brand at ISC West,” said Keith Marshall, President of Adept Audio. Business offering for security dealers “Security installing dealers who stop by to see us will immediately understand that our focus is on sonic performance, industrial design and ease of installation. Given this, we believe Adept is a smart business offering for security dealers, putting great sounding, well designed and easily installed speakers at their fingertips from their local security distributor. Adept’s aim is to provide multiple product lines that will resonate with what our dealers hear and see.” Adept delivers wider dynamic range and can hit much higher sound pressure levels Adept begins shipping its comprehensive line of home theater, whole-house and indoor/outdoor speakers starting in March 2020, to include: nine in-ceiling speakers, two dual-woofer in-wall speakers and eight indoor/outdoor models. Whether playing high resolution music from premium streaming audio services or hi-res movies and programming from Cable or Satellite TV broadcasts, Adept delivers wider dynamic range and can hit much higher sound pressure levels than possible with wireless speakers. Better listening experience The result is a far better listening experience by comparison. All Adept speakers are painstakingly voiced by some of the most experienced architectural loudspeaker engineers in the industry, experts who have been designing speakers for many of the top brands. In addition, Adept utilises the latest 3D software to develop its design language of highly differentiated visual cues found throughout the brand’s speaker line. Adept speakers are feature packed to make installations happen faster, easier and more secure. For example, Adept’s mount-in-minutesTM in-ceiling speakers are designed to save time and avoid headaches. The brand’s Trim-RingTM is a tool-free mounting system which allows its in-ceiling speakers to be quickly and securely installed with a simple push-up-twist-click-lock action.
It amazes me how in a few short years security systems have gone from simple, dumb cameras witnessing events to intelligent eyes, ears, speech and touch solutions that boost situational awareness far beyond human capabilities. It seems the only senses missing from the equation now are smell and taste. And who knows, someone might be working on those in a lab somewhere right now. But what’s really fascinating to me is how the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened a world of possibilities for transforming security technology into something new yet again. With IoT we’re able to push and pull nuggets of intelligence from sources we never considered before: environmental sensors, pressure plates, door lock timers and much more. It’s helped us break through the constraining mindset that security systems are strictly single-purpose. With interconnectivity at the core, we’re starting to imagine myriad ways to apply these tools to challenges outside the realm of security. Here are just a few examples. Flood management assistance Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate remotely As recent hurricanes and floods have shown, water damage can be devastating to a community. That’s why some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem. Water sensors collect data from multiple sources such as rain gutters, sewer systems and pump stations, in order to monitor fluctuations in water levels and water quality. If an alert triggers, having a network camera in proximity to visually verify the situation helps responders determine the best course of action. For instance, if multiple water detection sensors trigger alerts simultaneously or sequentially over a large area it’s probably due to natural runoff from recent rainfall. But without eyes on the scene, how can you be sure? Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely. It might be a fire hydrant spewing water, a water main break or even a chemical spill. With video streaming live to the command center, staff can remotely inspect the area, determine the cause of the trigger and decide whether remediation is required, thus avoiding the expense of dispatching an investigative crew to a non-event. Some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem Environmental control assistance Data centers house the lifeblood of a business so it’s no wonder why companies work hard to protect them. We’re all familiar with the integration of network cameras with access control systems to visually verify who is actually using the credentials. Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely But there’s another aspect to protecting data centers and that’s environment control. Data centers need to maintain optimum humidity and temperature for the racks of electronics. When environmental sensors in the facility detect out-of-norm ranges technicians can remotely command a network camera to zoom in on the gauges and help them determine whether remediation might be necessary. Coupling network cameras with other sensors in the data center can provide visual confirmation of other conditions as well. For instance, every time a data rack door-open-close sensor detects an event it can trigger the camera to pan to the location and stream video to security. Some data centers employ weight sensors at the doorway to weigh personnel and equipment as they enter the room and when they exit to ensure no additional hardware is being taken out of the facility or left inside without permission. Any discrepancy would trigger the camera to zoom in for a close-up of the individual’s face and send a visual alert and ID information to security. Roadway management and parking assistance Network cameras have long played a part in city-wide traffic management. Adding video analytics and integration with network sensors, makes those cameras that much smarter and versatile. They can detect cars driving in bike lanes or driving in the wrong direction and capture license plates of offenders. Their ability to detect anomalous traffic flow patterns can be integrated with car counting sensors, networked electronic road signs and traffic light systems to automatically redirect vehicles to alternate routes. They make great, intelligent parking lot attendants, too. Working in conjunction with weight sensors network cameras can count vehicles coming into and leaving a lot or garage and verify when the facility has reached capacity. License plate recognition and video analytics can be used to ascertain that a vehicle entering a reserved parking space doesn’t match the credentials and vehicle attributes in the database. With the addition of noise sensors and audio analytics, network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds – breaking glass, car alarms, gun shots, and aggressive speech – and triggering a visual alert to first responders. Network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds and triggering a visual alert to first responders Shopper experience assistance In the early days of online shopping, e-tailers designed their sites to replicate the in-store customer experience. In an ironic turn of events, today brick-and-mortar stores are trying to mirror the online shopping experience. To do so, they’re turning their security systems into adjunct sales assistance. With network video and audio system automation they can recognise and acknowledge loyal customers with personal greetings. Retailers are applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service With heatmapping analytics they can measure how much time a customer spends in a specific department or observe how they walk through the aisles of the store. They can track shopping behaviors such as items looked at that made it into the cart or didn’t, or whether a customer actually checked out or left the merchandise behind. By capturing these shopping patterns and trends retailers can shape a more positive, more profitable customer shopping experience. For instance, integrating video analytics with point of sale systems and RFID sensors on merchandise tags can result in timely alerts to sales associates to recommend additional merchandise. This is a case of emulating how e-tailers let the customer know that other customers who bought X often also purchased items Y and Z. Or to avoid disappointing customers due to stock outages, retailers are linking weight sensors and video analytics to make sure their shelves are well-stocked and if not, quickly alert associates to what items need to be restocked. Capturing business intelligence Retailers are also using video cameras to monitor checkout queues and trigger automated announcements over the public-address system, closed system such as smartphones or other wireless communications devices that checkers are needed rather wait for a person to call for backup. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs They’re applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service. While retailers will always use their surveillance camera for loss prevention, they’re finding that integrating traditional technology in new ways can yield even bigger returns. Linking network video surveillance, video analytics, network communications system and sensors with point-of-sale systems and customer loyalty databases, retailers are capturing the business intelligence they need to get back in the game and make brick-and-mortar a greater overall experience than online shopping. A natural cross-over technology This trend towards integration has forever changed how organisations view their investment in security technology. The intelligence and versatility of a tool that can see, verify and analyse what’s happening in real-time is spurring users to tap its cross-over potential for a host of other tasks that could benefit from more astute situational awareness – everything from manufacturing and equipment maintenance to logistics, inventory control and beyond. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs. How we capitalise on that connection is only limited by our imagination.
There are many aspects to consider when developing a retail security strategy, including loss prevention, physical security, asset protection, risk management, and IT. All these areas could be the responsibility of just a few people working to secure a handful of stores or each of these areas could be entirely separate departments, as is often the case for major retailers with locations throughout the country. Regardless of the size of the retailer, there are many different technologies that can be used within a retail store to improve security and loss prevention, yet none should be used in a silo. There are tremendous benefits to integrating security technologies and communications systems together, including enhancing overall safety and security, reducing shrink, and improving operations. There are many different technologies that can be used within a retail store to improve security and loss prevention As the existing security infrastructure is evaluated and plans for the future are developed, the team responsible should consider some of the following questions. Are there areas of the store that require greater security? Are there notifications or other technologies that could improve the efficiency of personnel and the safety of shoppers? Are there other departments within the organisation that could benefit from the data gathered by the security technology? Understanding current pain points within the stores and how integrated security solutions can address these is the key to implementing the best solution. Here are a few “hot spots” within a typical retail store that easily demonstrate the power of integrated solutions. Point of sale terminals Whether it’s loss through sweet hearting or other fraud, point of sale terminals present a significant shrink risk for retailers. Integrated systems enhance security at these locations. Video recording of HD or megapixel cameras integrated with point of sale data makes it easy to locate video associated with transactions and exception reporting. This allows for visual verification of each transaction when needed.There are tremendous benefits to integrating security technologies and communications systems together Other risks like robbery not only result in loss, but also impact the safety of employees and shoppers alike. Panic buttons or bill trap sensors connected to the intrusion detection system ensure silent alarms are issued when employees are at risk. When the intrusion detection system is integrated with the video system, pressing a panic button or pulling the bill from the sensor can automatically trigger a video snapshot to be sent to the monitoring station to provide verification of the alarm and more information for law enforcement when they are dispatched. Adding audio integration to the intrusion system can also result in a message sent to the store security personnel’s two-way radio when a panic button is pushed, or a bill trap sensor is activated. If no security guard is onsite, video monitoring services can allow the monitoring centre to intervene through audio, alerting the perpetrator that his or her actions are being monitored and that the authorities have been contacted. This may cause the offender to flee the area, helping to mitigate the safety risk as well as the potential for loss. Panic buttons or bill trap sensors connected to the intrusion detection system ensure silent alarms are issued when employees are at risk High value displays Protect high-value or frequently-stolen items such as electronics, using video analytics integrated with audio communication Protect high-value or frequently-stolen items such as electronics, using video analytics integrated with audio communications. For example, a person standing at a display for longer than a pre-defined time or touching items on display can trigger a video snapshot to be sent to the store manager and an audio message to play through a nearby loudspeaker, such as: “Thank you for your interest in our smartphone selection; an associate will be there soon to assist you.” This not only alerts potential offenders that their actions are being watched, it also serves to improve customer service for legitimate shoppers – as a retail floor associate is notified that a customer may need assistance. Cash office An access control reader at the door to the cash office restricts access to only authorised individuals. Integrating video can automatically capture an image of the person requesting access for verifying an employee’s identification prior to granting access or for retrospective analysis in the event of a theft. Exit doors If an employee props open a back door – either for easy re-entry after a break or to allow access to another person with intentions of theft – integration of the intrusion detection system to the video and audio system can significantly reduce risk of loss. For example, the intrusion detection system can monitor doors for abnormal conditions, even when the system is disarmed.Loss can also occur when a cooler or freezer malfunctions or when the door is accidentally left open A door left open for longer than a pre-defined time can cause an alarm on the intrusion panel, which can trigger a nearby camera to send a snapshot of the open door to the store manager and trigger the public address system to play a pre-recorded message through a nearby speaker. This prompts the employee to close the door, reducing risk of theft. Coolers and freezers Loss isn’t just about theft. Loss can also occur when a cooler or freezer malfunctions or when the door of one of these units is accidentally left open. The same concept for monitoring exit doors can also apply to doors for coolers and freezers to prevent spoilage. A cooler or freezer door monitored by the intrusion detection system can trigger an alert or chime to play in the area to remind an employee to close the door or to alert the store manager to the issue. While providing surveillance of the cash register area, the camera's video analytics can be used to trigger an alert in case the queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold Serving a dual purpose Retailers can use the metadata from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store While the technology solutions described above positively impact loss prevention in a retail store, they can also extend beyond security to improve health and safety and enhance customer service as well as customer engagement and sales. For example, while securing a store’s main entrance with IP cameras featuring on-board video analytics, retailers can use the metadata from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store. This data can help them understand peak days and times when making decisions about staffing. Or while providing surveillance of the cash register area, the camera's video analytics can also be used to trigger an alert in case the number of people in a queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold. At this point, the same public address system and loudspeakers used to play background music to enhance the shopping experience could be activated to broadcast a message to request another cash register to be opened, improving store operations. For security and loss prevention purposes, video analytics can also be used to ensure that no one enters or leaves the retail shop using the emergency exit. To address health and safety issues, these same cameras can also trigger an alarm if that emergency exit is blocked by an object – improving the safety of customers and employees. When systems are used to deliver data for purposes beyond security, other departments may be willing to contribute toward the cost Metadata generated by the cameras can also be used to gather information that when processed with sophisticated algorithms in the cloud can show trajectories of the paths that shoppers take as they travel throughout a store as well as heat maps indicating where they walk, stop and dwell – all while protecting the privacy of individual shoppers. This information can be used by merchandisers to evaluate the success of displays and store layouts, which directly impacts customer engagement and sales. When systems are used for and deliver data for purposes beyond security, other departments may be willing to contribute toward the cost of the system. This provides an added benefit by relieving some of the cost burden from security or other operational budgets. Product selection Integration is becoming easier using standards and expanding industry partnerships. However, in some cases, choosing systems from a single vendor that are designed to work together can help to speed and simplify installation, while also reducing system costs for both the integrator and the user. Regardless of the products chosen, it will be important for a retailer with many locations to have consistency in the type of equipment installed at each site. This makes support easier and enables a more uniform response to incidents that happen at various stores. As many retailers already understand, there is no silver bullet to reducing loss. However, a combination of the right technologies working together to prevent shrink and improve investigative capabilities can result in smarter and more effective loss prevention.
In the physical security space, video analytics have historically over-promised and under-delivered, often leaving end users sceptical about their capabilities. However, increased integration with security solutions and other business systems, as well as developments in deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI), have given video analytics a significant boost in recent years. Here, we take a look at the key trends putting video analytics in the spotlight, and how this opens up new opportunities for increased security and business intelligence. Deep learning and AI will enhance video analytics capabilities At the start of 2018, our security industry experts commented on how deep learning technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) would extend to the video surveillance industry, allowing security professionals to gain very specific insights into human behaviour. Our experts predicted that this would permit organisations to reduce risk, enable efficiencies, reduce costs, ensure compliance and provide faster access to stored video. With AI-enables video systems, video analytics are set to perform more complex applications at a higher level of accuracy. Image processing developments allow intelligent analytics According to Ambarella’s Chris Day, advancing chip technology combined with the neural network approach to computer vision is game changing for video analytics. Since the problem of higher resolution has already been solved, the key differentior for video surveillance systems will be the ability to add computer vision in parallel with image processing and high-resolution encoding – ideally in a chip that is low-power. Integration with security systems increases video analytics value Video systems produce an immense amount of data that is often wasted, says Bosch Security Systems’ Sean Murphy. When video analytics alerts are integrated with other security systems, video events can trigger responses from other parts of the security solution. For example, cameras with video analytics can initiate intrusion detection system events initiate intrusion detection system events, prompting the panel to take action by alerting the central station or sending video to security personnel. Video analytics add value with actionable business intelligence Adding network video to the current generation of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provides actional value beyond situational intelligence for security purposes. With increasingly intelligent sensors, interactions between business systems are becoming more sophisticated, providing a value greater than the sum of the parts. Organisations can use smart applications to reduce energy consumption, allocate workspace, and reduce operating costs. In a retail environment, analytics are now capable of assessing a scene for occupancy and crowd control, even generating reports of trends over time. Video analytics detect abnormalities to predict incidents Camera-based video analytics can go beyond assessing a current scene to predicting potential risks before they occur, explains Pelco’s Jonathan Lewitt. Based on predetermined factors or analysis of prior events, systems can collect all available information to determine the level of severity of a situation and whether an action needs to be taken. At the same time, systems can correlate data from video and other sources to help analyse similar occurrences in the future. Video analytics increasingly supplemented with audio analytics Audio analytics are often overlooked, notes Hanwha Techwin’s Paul Kong, perhaps due to differing privacy laws from video surveillance. However, audio analytics processed in a camera can help provide a secondary layer of verification for events, as well as identifying gunshots, screams, or other sounds indicating an incident is taking place. This makes audio analytics ideal for dealing with active shooter events at schools and campuses. As Louroe Electronics’ Richard Brent explains, audio analytics software can detect rising levels of human aggression, as well as recognising firearm discharge. This can trigger alerts to ensure incidents are dealt with swiftly.
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.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 saw 323 mass shooting incidents as of November. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016, with ‘mass shooting’ defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. A variety of gunfire detection solutions and other technology approaches seek to address the problem. ShotSpotter SiteSecure and ShotSpotter SecureCampus provide critical outdoor infrastructure protection against active shooter attacks. SiteSecure delivers critical information such as the number of shots fired, a detailed map of the airport or transportation facility, with the shooting location clearly identified. SiteSecure also provides law enforcement and transportation facility management with real-time information that can be useful to identify and address false alarms and reduce mass panic. Gunfire detection and precise shooter location Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, ShotSpotter SecureCampus provides gunfire detectionShotSpotter SecureCampus is a gunfire detection system designed to provide outdoor coverage at university and school campuses. Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, SST SecureCampus provides gunfire detection, precise location, and number of shooters to first responders and school personnel, enabling faster response to an incident. Data capture form to appear here! Gunshot detection can offer tremendous benefits in mitigating active shooting incidents occurring in a public facility or commercial environment. Data shows that active shooter attacks often begin outside a building and then progress indoors. Thus, the first line of defence for security professionals lies outside a facility, in a zone of protection surrounding it or comprising the entire outdoor area of a larger facility of many buildings. Audio solutions for perimeter security Video cameras are effective surveillance tools in the event of a shooting incident, but they are not able to capture everything. Deploying audio solutions can automatically flag incidents not caught on camera, as well as alert central station guards of what surveillance zones need to be closely monitored. Audio analytics solutions for aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. They are the next generation of monitoring; equipping security teams with critical information and enhancing perimeter security. End users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognising duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. As a result, end users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen. Artificial intelligence to detect weapons A gunshot detector recognises firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification through a designated VMS. Security staff can then verify the alert, effectively reducing the reaction time of first responders. With the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in object recognition, AI weapons detection offers an efficient alternative to gunshot detection to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognise firearms in different shapes, sizes, colours, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing camera systems, analyse the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Audio analytics, processed inside a video camera, are another approach that can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritise responses from police and emergency personnel. Detecting audio levels and alerting operators Operators can be notified of abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measuresThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom-configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.
School shootings, especially in the United States, present an ongoing tragedy and a challenge to the security industry. We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand (as reported in Education Week). “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Role of early detection Early detection of weapons in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence Early detection of weapons – and their users – in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence. For example, ZeroEyes is an intelligent video analytics platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to detect weapons and recognise faces in real time. The company’s goal is to provide school administrators and decision-makers with a simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage. Data capture form to appear here! An emerging tool in campus security is audio analytics: Aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the campus security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognising duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. A gunshot detector recognises firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification. Emergency response technology CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role. For example, physical security company Sielox has adapted the idea of using a colour scheme to characterise an emergency situation into its electronic security system. CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution that uses a variety of colours to designate the emergency conditions in various parts of a school building – red to alert to a crisis condition and green to designate "safe/secure". Colours are displayed on a schematic of the building, and new colours have been added, too, such as yellow for “unaccounted individual", orange for “disturbance” and blue to designate a medical emergency. CLASS offers five different alert levels and eight different colours that are configurable to denote a wide variety of emergency or non-emergency situations (such as maintenance or homeroom check-in status). Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role Non-lethal methods to suppress active shooters in schools are also emerging. For example, one remotely deployed threat suppression system drenches a perpetrator with a repulsive water-based solution, thus impairing their ability to enact violence. The solution irritates eyes, throat, lungs and skin, but does not cause permanent injury. Cleanup is easy using water and detergent. The solution is manually deployed in predetermined zones, which limits the affected areas in a building. Touch-screen control enables rapid deployment, which can also be integrated with Threat Alert buttons and/or gunshot detection. ShotSpotter gunfire tracking Gun violence is also an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located Beyond the schools themselves, gun violence is an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located. ShotSpotter, Inc. released data tracking gunfire in and around public K-12 school communities within ShotSpotter coverage areas during 2017. The data revealed more than 4,800 gunfire incidents occurred during school hours within a one-half mile radius of public K-12 schools and within the coverage area. There are 2,320 public K-12 schools and over 1,079,700 students within ShotSpotter coverage areas in 77 cities in the United States. The ShotSpotter study tracked and analysed data on the number of gunfire incidents that occurred at or near those schools across the time period from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. local time, Monday – Friday, including summer and holidays. On a positive note, awareness of high-profile school violence has prompted action. Schools and universities are most certainly safer than ever before. High-profile incidents, especially active shooters tragedies, have increased collective security awareness. Heightened awareness leads to safer practices, improved emergency preparedness and security technology innovations. Collaborative efforts that involve stakeholder groups, such as administrators, responders and students, are the key to a safer learning environment. Investing in technology advances in 1) access control (e.g. electronic access, visitor management) and 2) communications (e.g. duress capabilities, mass notification) is the most effective way to protect people.
The Supreme Court is the highest and final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Formed in October 2009, it replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the UK. At the time of writing, it has heard over 835 appeals and hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance. The building is located on Parliament Square, just opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The judges of the Supreme Court, known as Justices, have the final say on the biggest legal issues. For example, the Court recently heard the high-profile Brexit prorogation-related judicial review case of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister which sought to investigate the legality of the prorogation of parliament in Summer 2019. Live streaming and media coverage Westminster location were each equipped with four Panasonic HN130s, a RP150 camera controller "As the highest court in the land, any decision here is binding and final," explains Brian Shek, Senior System Administrator & Commercial Officer at the Supreme Court. The policy of the court is to record and broadcast hearings, in keeping with their commitment to transparency. Since its creation, all cases have been archived on their website ensuring fair and open access to all. "The reason we added live streaming and media coverage is because the justices wanted the court to be fully accessible to all members of the public," adds Brian. Shots of high production value Three court rooms at the Westminster location were each equipped with four Panasonic HN130s, a RP150 camera controller and NewTek Tricaster to efficiently record the high-profile cases. “We need PTZs because it’s not practical in a court room to have an operator manually controlling the cameras,” explains Dan Money, a technical architect and IT Manager at the Supreme Court. “You need a constant shot of the Justices bench, a back and front shot, and both a wide and close up shot to gain an understanding of what is going on in the court. PTZs are the least intrusive option that guarantees transparency in the courtroom but they also give the camera operator the right level of control and ensure shots of high production value,” highlights Dan. Panasonic PTZ camera The Supreme Court installed PTZ cameras as part of their initial set up in 2009 but were in need of an upgrade that could enable them to achieve better quality recordings. “Our first requirement was updating the camera output from SD to HD,” explains Dan. “The IT team wanted to implement a system that could do everything the original system could, but make the overall image quality look better with an intuitive system that we could understand.” For the upgrade, the IT team at the court required NDI-based PTZ camera technology. They wanted to use their own technical networking expertise to maintain the system themselves. The team were able to take the NDI IP connection from the Panasonic PTZ camera and convert it to fiber using existing runs in the building. From there, the stream was converted back to IP and into a NewTek Tricaster. Professional video output Being IP-based has made camera technology far more straightforward for individuals" “We are also planning to have the audio from all court rooms also over NDI in the future so that we can have networked video and audio over the existing building infrastructure. Being IP-based has made camera technology far more straightforward for individuals like ourselves to get to grips with providing a professional video output,” explains Dan. The communications team also wanted a HD output to enable the hosting of any events. The Supreme Courts broadcast contractor were engaged to support the Supreme Court with their broadcast operation needs and provide audio/visual engineers to operate the equipment. The first big test of the system was the high-profile Brexit prorogation-related judicial review. The case of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister investigated the decision to prorogue parliament in September 2019. 1080p network-based stream “We had originally planned to sign off the system during the recess period over the summer months – however, the case was scheduled two weeks before the system was scheduled to be implemented meaning that we had to push the project forward and deliver early to stream this case,” explains Dan. To deliver the streaming services, the team used Microsoft’s Azure Media Services platform. “This is what prompted us to implement the NDI architecture in the first place as the NewTek Tricaster is on their recommended equipment list. We had to work with the lead developer of Azure Media Services to tailor the platform to our requirements to run a 1080p network-based stream on the platform," says Dan. Two access points The R (Miller) v The Prime Minister case attracted widespread media interest and news agencies including both the BBC and Sky used the court’s live stream as part of their reporting. Two access points were installed at both the front and rear of the Supreme Court to take the camera streams accessed in the control room back to the broadcasters via an OB truck. PTZ cameras provided the correct combination of cost-efficiency, quality and service “This meant that if anything was to happen to the live stream on Azure, we had the redundancy in place so broadcasters would still be able to output video from the court room themselves,” explains Dan. This proved to be beneficial as the stream did get momentarily overloaded with an audience of four and a half million at its peak and ten million for the day. Cost-efficiency, quality and service Panasonic PTZ cameras provided the correct combination of cost-efficiency, quality and service that tended to the court’s needs. “From a feature perspective, we needed a system that was cost-effective in terms of an initial outlay but also to maintain and receive support as and when we need it. We wanted a long-term relationship, and with Panasonic we know that we’d get that. "We were very pleased with the feedback we have received on the picture quality, not only from those around the courts but also from feedback on the stream and the broadcasters too!" concludes Dan.
Video walls installed in Bristol City Council’s “world class” security operations centre by visual display experts Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS) have completed 25,000 hours of continuous operation. The three video walls are each made up of 55-inch 24/7 grade LCD displays with narrow bezels and are part of a multi-purpose centre which brings together some of the city’s critical support services and acts as a control centre in the event of a major emergency. The Operations centre, which has been operating since February 2017, houses what used to be the council’s Emergency Control Centre, Traffic Control Centre and Community Safety (CCTV) Control Rooms together in a single space for the first time. Live CCTV images It also installed a conference/incident video wall made up of four display These teams provide essential public safety services that utilise around 700 CCTV cameras in the city. UVS installed a curved video wall made up of 12 displays for monitoring a wide range of data including mapping, traffic monitoring and live CCTV images. It also installed a conference/incident video wall made up of four display, with access to the same data, and a smaller police incident monitoring video wall. Peter Anderson, Head of Connected City Service at Bristol City Council, said, “Having a high-quality and resilient monitoring wall is essential in providing a world class service that’s help keep the city safe, moving and healthy. The monitoring wall provides the technology and framework for effective public space surveillance which is an integral element to provide first class images which can be used to help bring offenders to justice.” Problem-free operation UVS Managing Director Steve Murphy said the ability to provide high quality displays which have operated problem-free was key. He said, “The control centre was hailed as world class when it opened and obviously seamless 24/7 operation is of paramount importance. We are delighted to have hit the 25,000 hours milestone and to be part of such an important project, helping to keep the people of Bristol safe.” As well as the video walls UVS also installed two video wall controllers and inputs to allow operational staff and visitors to display tablet and mobile device data on the displays. It also provides an annual maintenance contract. Synectics Synergy VMS platform All video wall control is fully integrated to the Synectics Synergy VMS platform" Steve Murphy added, “The project was won after very detailed technical and commercial evaluation by the end client and their consultants (IBI) including detailed demonstration of the required system functionality. All video wall control is fully integrated to the Synectics Synergy VMS platform. UVS have worked closely with Synectics during the past 12 years, which ensured the seamless integration.” UVS, formerly eyevis UK, is based at Business First Burnley Business Centre and provides video wall displays and audio visual solutions to a range of clients across the UK. It is led by four senior colleagues who, between them, have more than 70 years’ combined Audio Visual, Control Room and Visual Solutions experience. Providing turnkey solutions It has also opened a new London demonstration venue at Woburn Place, a short walk from Euston Station, to cope with increased demand for its technology. eyevis UK changed its name to Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS) last September following the acquisition of eyevis GmbH by the Leyard group. The rebranding has allowed the company to offer an expanded range of products and services and remain at the forefront of providing turnkey solutions for all types of audio visual and visual display applications.
For one installer, Hikvision’s range of Turbo HD PIR-equipped cameras has had a dramatic impact on his business, allowing him to more efficiently monitor and secure construction sites and other valuable locations during vulnerable out of hours periods. Paul Hookings, Managing Director of Hampshire-based security installation firm Forward Securities, had a problem. His company had built a solid reputation for, amongst a variety of other services, securing building sites, notably the important materials and equipment left overnight and unattended in the site compound. Building site compounds, Hookings explains, can include any number of super-valuable and enticing materials for potential thieves. “Diesel, copper, tools, cabling, right down to bricks, breeze blocks, agricultural fuel, road diesel, even the metal gates,” he says. “Thousands and thousands of pounds worth of stuff is stored there overnight.” Forward Securities would use traditional PIRs – passive infrared detectors – to raise an alert Intrusion detection To monitor these compounds for intruders, Forward Securities would use traditional PIRs – passive infrared detectors – to raise an alert when the compound perimeter was breached. The problem had to do with the PIRs, Hookings explains. “On critical sites like these, where there’s a lot of activity during working hours, people are able to move those PIRs in the daytime when they’re off,” he says. “And come night-time, they’re then able to return and rob the place without being picked up by the detectors, and then move the PIR back to where it was previously. Then it’s down to the security company, who end up scratching their heads, thinking: why didn’t that go off?” Passive infrared detectors As a result, Hookings was on the lookout for a solution, something which would counter that potential for tampering and provide a more effective deterrent to potential thieves. Then he noticed that Hikvision had released a new range of Turbo HD PIR cameras. “These are lovely little products,” Hookings said. “When Hikvision brought them out, I binned our separate PIRs. With a PIR camera, during the armed period, if someone moves into its field of view, there’s an alarm. If someone covers it up, it goes into alarm. If someone moves it into another direction, it goes into alarm. So I’ve binned the products we were using previously and now I exclusively use Hikvision.” Turbo HD PIR cameras The Turbo HD PIR camera range uses advanced video surveillance technologies to improve alarm accuracy and prevent intrusions. Video verification of alarms means a rapid response from a manned guarding service can be achieved. The camera’s built-in PIR detector captures infrared light given off by human bodies and distinguishes it from other visual ‘noise’. It can be ‘double knocked’ with Hikvision’s Turbo HD K series DVR’s motion detection to reduce false alarms caused by moving targets without human body IR emission. This way, filtering false alarms reduces storage space and costs, and it also means more efficient post-event footage search. Supplemental lighting The camera also produces a flashing white strobe light that serves as a warning signal to stop intruders The camera also produces a flashing white strobe light that serves as a warning signal to stop intruders. And the white light serves as supplemental lighting, enabling the camera to capture clear images of suspects as evidence when the alarm is triggered, even in extremely dark environments – such as the construction site compounds. “When we have an alarm triggered on one of our sites, we basically get a guaranteed guarding response,” Hookings says. “Because the combination of PIR detection and video serves as proof that the assailants are there. It’s a confirmed signal going to the monitoring station, and as a result we always get people apprehended.” PIRL bullet cameras The model Forward Securities prefers to use is the DS-2CE12H0T-PIRL, a 5MP bullet PIR bullet camera referred to as the ‘PIRL’. They offer 2560 x 1944 pixel resolution, smart infrared illumination up to 20m, and Hikvision’s own ‘up the coax’ technology, which allows cameras to be controlled over a coaxial cable from the DVR and also to transmit the alarm signal to DVR. They’re also IP67-rated for external use, so they’re tough and suitable for the sorts of environments, like construction sites, where they’re most needed. As an example of how he uses the Hikvision PIRL cameras, Hookings points to the example of one specific construction site currently being protected by Forward Securities. Hikvision 4K cameras and hybrid DVRs We use six PIRL cameras, as well as additional 4K Hikvision cameras running analytics and thermal cameras" “We’re securing the main compound, along with any remote sites,” he says. “We use six PIRL cameras, as well as additional 4K Hikvision cameras running analytics and thermal cameras, and they all sit on the same server, recording to a Hikvision Hybrid DVR, with alarms and images sent to our monitoring station.” Other site setups can include an audio warning system, particularly for very high value equipment. “That’s another place we’d use a PIRL,” Hookings says. “If someone, out of hours, walks up or even climbs the fence of the compound, the monitoring station is alerted to that by the PIRL camera, and they can immediately broadcast an audio warning, real time and live. That’s transmitted through the Hikvision DVR, to an amplifier and speakers.” Crime prevention and effective video surveillance “If the intruders persist despite the warning, we then get a guarding response. It’s not just big construction sites where the Turbo HD PIR cameras are effective, I do use them on other high value projects as well.” “Ultimately, the Turbo HD PIRL cameras are incredibly effective,” Hookings says. “They pick up suspicious activity, including thefts and attempted thefts, three to four times a week across all of our sites. That means they’re actively helping to prevent the thefts of materials worth hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of pounds.”
He is man’s best friend, but the bad guys’ worst enemy. That is why technology-based security specialist Safer Scotland backed up its state-of-the-art crime prevention precautions at a troublesome site in West Lothian recently with a canine capability which has sent the local predators packing. The Paisley-based company brought in what Safer Scotland Director Ryan Clark said is the ‘last line of defence’ – a trained dog handler and his German Shepherd companion – to police the challenging housebuilding site. And since the guard dog took up station on site, it has enjoyed its first weekend without incursions in two months. Audio warnings to deter intruders Ryan said: “Normally, on an extensive construction site such as this, we would secure everything with closely-monitored CCTV cameras backed up by voice warnings to deter intruders. However, this was a particularly challenging arena. The site was within the bounds of a difficult area which had been widely troubled by anti-social behaviour. It was also adjacent to a ‘hang-out’ area for local teenagers. Audio warnings were deployed, with a satisfactory deterrent effect and a significant minimising of damage" “In the space of one month, we had to call the police out to no fewer than 20 incursions. Audio warnings were deployed, with a satisfactory deterrent effect and a significant minimising of damage.” However, Safer Scotland, in consultation with its client and the Scottish Police, took the view that, with lighter nights, hotter weather and the school holidays, the number of incursions might well escalate. It took the decision increase the level of presence at the site with a licensed, professional dog handler whose Alsatian dog used to work with the police. Securing high value assets in remote locations Ryan said: “He took up station at 5pm on the Friday and, about 9.45pm, a large group of late teens came on site. The handler escorted them off the site and detailed to them the risks that they were at trespassing onsite. Since then, there has been no trouble.” Safer Scotland has created a niche in a competitive business environment by its emphasis on reliable technology which allows corporate clients to secure high value assets in remote or temporary locations. It is expanding this year into the North of England under the trading name Safer England.
NiskhamSWAT, a charity that provides hot meals and everyday essentials to homeless people in the UK, has partnered with Videx Security, to overcome their access control and entry challenges. The charity, which was established in 2009 in West London, now serves disadvantaged communities in Oxford, Reading, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Slough, Windsor and Lancashire as well as London. It’s run by volunteers and the charity currently has 1,300 volunteers across the country, serving those who need it the most. Need of a convenient access control solution We needed a more flexible and convenient access control solution that still provided a high level of security too"Randeep S. Lall, Global Operations Director at the charity, said: “We provide 3,000 meals per week to those in need which means our main warehouse in London is extremely busy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Security and appropriate access and entry are so important." “Although we have a secured electric gate that drivers have to report to in order to gain entry, it meant someone had to permanently stay at the warehouse to grant delivery and collection vans access. This wasn’t sustainable given we are a completely volunteer led organisation. We needed a more flexible and convenient access control solution that still provided a high level of security too.” NiskhamSWAT, who have recently won a Queen’s Award for voluntary service, worked with leading access control and door entry distributor, ADI to overcome their entry challenges. GSM audio kit with code lock Joseph Davies at ADI explained: “We recommended a GSM access control system to NiskhamSWAT to help solve their entry issues. After researching which solution would work best, we advised that the charity used a Videx two-way GSM audio kit with code lock and proximity access control in a 4000 series style panel.” The GSM system we’ve donated to them enables people to answer calls to their front door or gate from mobile phone" Neil Thomas, National Sales Manager at Videx, continued: “When ADI contacted us, we were more than happy to help provide a system that could solve NiskhamSWAT’s access problem. The GSM system we’ve donated to them enables people to answer calls to their front door or gate from their mobile phone or landline, so they never have to miss that important visitor and are made aware of who has visited even when they are not there.” Easy programming of the entrance panel For NiskhamSWAT, this means that no one is required to remain at the warehouse 24/7 to authorise access. If a van arrives for a collection or delivery and no one is there, the system will call the designated number for access and has the facility to divert to another number if the first call is not answered, with a maximum of up to four numbers per button. Programming the entrance panel can easily be carried out either by SMS or dialling into the system using a telephone without a keypad. Randeep at NiskhamSWAT added: “Huge thanks to ADI and Videx for the donation and free installation from Image Security too. It’s helped us out massively as it meant no one has to stay at the warehouse, freeing up precious volunteering time that can be put to better use elsewhere. It’s so much more convenient to receive a call when someone is asking for access. I can verify the caller and swiftly authorise or deny access.”
Located in the South East of England, Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in the county of Hampshire. With Basingstoke as its largest town, the area is known for family-friendly living and is home to over 175,000 people. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council consists of 60 elected members who discuss local politics, municipal budgets and taxes at regular meetings. For full transparency with the members of their constituency, the council streams live video of all its meetings, including public votes, on their YouTube channel. Automatic camera control To ensure a high level of video production, the Borough Council decided to upgrade their conference system. After discussing their requirements with Andover-based system integrator VP Bastion, a fully IP-based DICENTIS Conference System from Bosch was installed. The system meets the council’s key priorities by offering the highest audio quality, full integration of live voting, built-in automatic camera control and direct streaming with speaker-name indication. Council members wanted the freedom to sit anywhere in the council chamber during council sessions Additionally, council members wanted the freedom to sit anywhere in the council chamber during council sessions – while still being automatically identifiable on camera – and the installation needed to accommodate for the limited desk space and cabling voids. The system includes 63 DICENTIS Discussion devices with touchscreens (to support the required voting and identification capabilities for council members), nine DICENTIS discussion-only devices for guest speakers, and automatic camera control software. High directive microphones All the discussion devices are mounted on raised brackets to maximise desk space and are equipped with high directive microphones to deliver crystal-clear audio. Council members have the freedom to sit at any seat in the meeting room, as the system automatically registers their presence at a specific location thanks to the NFC (Near Field Communication) card registration on the discussion devices. When a speaker activates its microphone, the system’s automatic camera control points the camera towards their location, zooming in and displaying their image on the big screen. Additional features were added to the installation thanks to DICENTIS’ compatibility with third-party software. Two companies – Arbor Media, European market leader in conference recording and streaming services, and MVI Engineering, expert in creating conference software solutions – worked together to create a webcasting and conference control software package that was integrated with the DICENTIS system. Integrated conference system The new DICENTIS system has supported a seamless and transparent democratic process This solution helped to fulfil all the Borough Council’s requirements, including report generation via live image feed and identification by name and party affiliation on the council’s YouTube channel. In addition to displaying the DICENTIS-enabled voting results on the council chamber’s big screen, it is now possible to share the voting results on the YouTube Live feed. Since the installation, the new DICENTIS system has supported a seamless and transparent democratic process at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. “Having a fully integrated conference system with audio-video feeds from meetings automatically streamed to the council’s YouTube channel was a must,” says Iain Steele, Director of VP Bastion. Behind the scenes, via the third-party MVI Engineering application, the system automatically upgrades to the latest software versions. These centralised updates save time and operating costs. With the potential to increase the system’s functionality and size in the upcoming years, the council has a future-proof and expandable conference solution from Bosch, which already supplies around 50 percent of councils in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Round table discussion
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?
The end of the year is a great time to take stock of one’s accomplishments during the year, and to reflect on successes and failures, where we are and where we’re going. 2017 brought a lot of change to the physical security market, but were the changes positive or negative? Our Expert Panelists tend to be a thoughtful and reflective group, so we wanted to get their thoughts and insights at year-end about 2017 in the security market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Was 2017 a good year or bad year for the physical security industry -and why?
Once again, ISC West has come and gone. The show continues to please exhibitors and attendees. Reviews are generally glowing and enthusiastic. For all its successes, however, there is a certain repetition from year to year – a lot of the same players, the same technology trends (not to mention the same venue every year, but who doesn’t like Vegas?) But even among the repetition, there is usually at least one element that is surprising. Perhaps it’s the unexpected elements that keep us all coming back. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What surprised you most at ISC West in 2017?
Audio surveillance: Manufacturers & Suppliers
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Genetec to host its first virtual tradeshow Connect’DX 2020 to connect with physical security professionals