The security industry is booming. Whether technical high-end solutions or highly professional services - almost all sectors reported an increase in turnover last year. "These are the best preconditions for Security Essen 2022,” Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen is pleased to say. "We offer the industry a top-class platform to present new solutions compactly and efficiently to decision-makers, buyers and other experts. Security Essen covers the complete range of the security industry, an...
According to the latest report by Omdia, a global market research firm, Suprema ranks first in global market share, excluding China in the field of biometric readers. Suprema is a provider of access control solutions, including biometric terminals. Biometric technology Omdia said in their Access Control Database 2021 Analysis that Suprema recorded a global market share of about 13% in the field of access control devices using biometric technology such as fingerprint and facial recognition, win...
Air travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels. COVID and its aftermath have added new compliance and operational concerns for airport security, and social and political volatility around the world emphasises the need for constant vigilance. A range of new technologies are enhancing airport security, not to mention providing new tools to simplify processes throughout the airport. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: Which technologies are transforming airport security?
Matrix Comsec, the manufacturer of telecom and security products, was conferred with the prestigious 46th ELCINA Award for Excellence in Research and Development for the year 2020-21 at the glittering Award Ceremony held in New Delhi on 22nd October 2021. The award highlights Matrix’s commitment to R&D and its track record of launching innovative and cutting-edge products. Cutting-edge solutions Commenting on the achievement, Ganesh Jivani, Chief Executive of Matrix said, “We...
Vision-Box, a pioneer in biometrics seamless travel, automated border control, and digital identity solutions, spotlighted Portugal’s tech capabilities at Portugal’s Pavilion during Expo 2020 in Dubai as part of promotional events around the concept - Portugal is on the map of the global TICE suppliers. During the seminar, Pedro Pinto - Head of Global Business Development at Vision-Box, discussed Vision-Box’s experience in doing business in the Middle East, has led high-profil...
How AI and humans can work together is a longstanding debate. As society progresses technologically, there’s always the worry of robots taking over jobs. Self-checkout tills, automated factory machines, and video analytics are all improving efficiency and productivity, but they can still work in tandem with humans, and in most cases, they need to. Video analytics in particular is one impressively intelligent piece of technology that security guards can utilise. How can video analytics he...
Ava Security, a unified service provider of cyber and video security, announces it has selected Raleigh, North Carolina as the location for the company’s new Americas headquarters. Ava will be investing in the region, creating new jobs, and adding to Raleigh’s rich tradition of innovation. Raleigh joins Uxbridge (London) as the company’s two global headquarters. The new Raleigh headquarters is located at 208 South Wilmington Street, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27601. “The Americas is Ava’s fastest-growing geography, representing more than 50% of our global business,” said Rick Hill, VP and General Manager, Ava Americas. Spanning cloud computing “We chose Raleigh for our new headquarters because it will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us continue to innovate the way organisations approach security - both physical and cyber - for years to come.” Raleigh was recently named one of the most resilient tech hubs by both LinkedIn and Indeed Raleigh boasts one of the highest concentrations of tech talent in the nation -- spanning cloud computing, security, fintech, and healthcare. Long associated with innovation thanks to both corporate tech giants like IBM and Cisco and a rapidly growing local startup community, Raleigh was recently named one of the most resilient tech hubs by both LinkedIn and Indeed. “Raleigh is at an exciting crossroads, leading the country on nearly every measure of economic success,” said Adrienne Cole, CEO, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Expanding career options “We are honoured that Ava Security selected Raleigh for its Americas headquarters. The company joins an elite mix of global technology leaders here in the region while expanding career options for our local tech talent pool.” In a 2021 study by Wake County Economic Development (WCED), comparing the Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with the top 100 largest MSAs across the United States, Raleigh came out No. 1 in several critical areas, which shaped Ava’s decision to select the Triangle region for its Americas headquarters. Specifically, in comparison to the 100 largest MSAs, Raleigh ranked number one in talent, the cost of doing business, and future thinking. “We are thrilled to have Ava Security as a new tenant in downtown Raleigh, especially since this will be their Americas headquarters,” said Andrew Stewart, President of Empire Properties. Unified security company Ava is the only unified security company to provide a complete solution (cyber and physical security) “It is always exciting to bring new technology innovation into the region and Ava does that with its unique cyber and video security solutions. They are a welcome addition to the diverse workforce in downtown Raleigh.” Ava is the only unified security company to provide a complete solution (cyber and physical security), giving organisations full visibility into potential multi-faceted security attacks. Ava helps organisations address this growing problem with machine learning-powered cyber and video solutions that give security professionals access to quality, timely data and insights that can be shared across the security organisation for actionable insight. Diverse industry offering “The world has clearly caught on to the fact that Raleigh is one of the most educated cities in the U.S. and has an incredibly diverse industry offering, allowing companies from across the globe like Ava, to locate here and find long-term success,” said Kyle Touchstone, Raleigh Economic Development Director. Over the past year, Greater Raleigh saw its highest amount of company expansions in history, with almost 6,000 new job announcements and more than $3.8 billion in investments. Ava officially celebrates its Americas Headquarters with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for October 21 at 3:00 p.m.
STid, a creator of the world’s most awarded access control reader, announced the release of its new SPECTRE nano reader, which is expected to set a new standard in perimeter access control and simplified visitor management. The multi-technology reader quickly recognises employees, visitors, vendors, and their vehicles - simultaneously – for smooth, hands-free access control without compromising security. A great solution for facilities like car parks, industrial sites, campuses, and any other secured environment where a mix of people and vehicles need to be identified to enable instinctive, smooth yet very secure access control. Easy to use, “all-terrain” reader It reads windshield tags, key fobs, cards, smartphones, or wearables using UHF and Bluetooth® This next-generation hands-free reader increases the speed of entry for anyone - or anything - on two feet, two wheels, four wheels, or a whole fleet. It reads windshield tags, key fobs, cards, smartphones, or wearables using UHF and Bluetooth® to leverage end-user preferences for easier adoption. It is also part of the STid Mobile ID® ecosystem, which turns smartphones into virtual cards for both vehicle and pedestrian access control. Easily integrated with customised options Compatible with all access control systems worldwide, STid designed SPECTRE nano for easy integration regardless of managers’ tech expertise. The outside packaging is as rugged and durable as the technology to ensure the reader can stand up to harsh environments – everything from shock, heavy rain, and dust, to salt, frost, and fire. SPECTRE nano offers customised branding options to fit in at a bus station, corporate office, or private community, and is able for use in high-security industries. A cost-effective solution, the new reader can be installed and (almost) forgotten, with no maintenance or batteries required. Long-range UHF mobile reader The SPECTRE nano reader is the missing link between vehicle identification and smart identification of people" “The SPECTRE nano reader may be small in size, but is a full-blown long-range UHF reader combined with the Bluetooth technology that is used in our powerful and versatile STid Mobile ID solution,” said Vincent Dupart, CEO of STid. “It is the missing link between vehicle identification and smart identification of people. There no longer is a need to install multiple readers at entrances where employees, visitors, contractors, and their vehicles enter the facility.” “It can easily be integrated with any access control system or parking management system. This means that any perimeter entrance can now be equipped easily with our STid Mobile ID solution and our vehicle identification solution. And since it supports both solutions simultaneously, it is now also possible to identify the vehicle, using UHF, and the driver, using STid Mobile-ID. This prevents the car from being used as a modern-day Trojan Horse.” EAL5+-certified solution Designed for global customers, SPECTRE nano uses OSDP™ and SSCP® protocols and has EAL5+-certified storage. Data authenticity and confidentiality are ensured using encryption methods recommended by worldwide organisations, e.g., ANSSI- & FIPs-compliant. Encrypted, signed credentials provide anti-cloning and anti-replay protection and managers can quickly erase security keys, when necessary. SPECTRE nano will be available by the end of the year to help speed car park access control.
To mark European Cybersecurity Month 2021, 2N, the global pioneer in IP access control systems, has strengthened its guidance to help consumers and building managers prevent cyber-attacks. The move is a response to evidence that the threat of cyber-crime is increasing, and that access control remains a common area of vulnerability. Increased spending on cybersecurity Earlier this year, Hiscox published its Cyber Readiness Report 2021. It was based on a survey of more than 6,000 companies based in the US, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, and Ireland. The report confirmed that spending per business on cyber security has more than doubled in the last two years as a direct response to growing threat levels. Almost half of the respondents said that they felt their organisation had become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks since the start of the pandemic, rising to 59% among businesses with more than 250 employees. 28% of the businesses surveyed who had suffered attacks were targeted on more than five occasions last year. One in six of the companies that had been victims of cyber-crime said that a cyber-event threatened the viability of their business. Identity and access management 2N has strengthened its guidance to help consumers and building managers prevent cyber-attacks Hiscox went on to assess firms’ maturity across six different areas which comprise the elements required to install, run, manage and govern an effective security system. One of those six areas was ‘Identity and access management’, and, across all the companies surveyed, it came to the second bottom of the list. In response to these findings, 2N has strengthened its guidance to help consumers and building managers prevent cyber-attacks which were first published during European Cybersecurity Month 2020. Two new pieces of advice have been added: Pursue compliance with a proven security control framework. Two of the most respected are ISO 27001 and SOC 2. These guide companies in creating secure systems and processes. Make sure the access control system includes the use of encryption and multi-step authentication. This protects communication between devices, controllers, and mobile devices, and ensures no back doors for ‘maintenance purposes’. Strengthening cybersecurity and access control Tomáš Vystavěl, 2N's Chief Product Officer, said, “We felt that it was necessary to strengthen our cybersecurity guidance partly because the threat is increasing, but also because many companies are still playing ‘catch up’ when it comes to cybersecurity in access control.” “This matters because if the access control system is compromised, the daily operation of the building – and, consequently, its residents – is immediately at risk. Attitudes are changing, but they need to change even faster.”
Master Lock, the American security super brand currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, unveils the heavy-duty Bluetooth ProSeries Extended Shackle Padlock – ideal for businesses applications at construction sites to hospitals, factories and more. Featuring a 62mm wide Zinc lock body with complete rubber bumper for durability and security when used outdoors, the 9mm diameter and 70mm high shackle is made of boron alloy, offering maximum resistance to cutting and sawing. Ideal access control Furthermore, its weather cover provides enhanced weather resistance against snow, rain and temperature extremes. The Bluetooth ProSeries Extended Shackle Padlock is the ideal access control for applications such as: - Construction sites Storage containers Logistic warehouses Transportation Hospitals Factories The new padlock incorporates the Master Lock Vault Enterprise IOS and Android apps, and web interface, designed for business applications working with many locks and many users. This means there are no keys to lose, nor combinations to forget and there is no risk of unauthorised key duplication. Manual code entry The user can choose to grant access to one or many users by selecting a specific time and date window The user can either open the padlock with the Vault Enterprise App or the easy-to-use 10-digit keypad for manual code entry. Moreover, the user can choose to grant access to one or many users by selecting a specific time and date window. The Master Lock Vault Enterprise system is designed to support many locks and many users with unmatched security, simplicity, and accountability. Administrators control individual or system-wide lock access with the convenient web interface, while users enjoy simple, secure access to assigned locks or lock boxes. The padlock also comes with an easy-to-replace CR123A battery (that can last three years on an intensive use) and produces a low battery notification and reminder on both the padlock itself and the app. Hiding padlock keys There is even the option of sharing access to the padlock with others, both temporarily and permanently. Master Lock is celebrating its 100th anniversary year and this new padlock is yet another innovative launch from the company. Innovation has been the key to success since the start with Master Lock’s founder Harry Soref helping legendary escape artist Harry Houdini learn to break free from handcuffs back in 1925. Soref even advised Houdini on places to hide padlock keys between his fingers and under his tongue during stage shows. The Bluetooth ProSeries Extended Shackle Padlock will be available from a variety of retailers.
Road planners, traffic regulation enforcement authorities, and police are now able to take advantage of AI technology to identify the make, model, and colour of vehicles, as well as recognise car number plates. The Wisenet Road AI edge-based solution which runs on-board selected Wisenet P series 4K cameras uses AI video analytics to identify over 600 vehicle models manufactured across 70 brands. ANPR and MMCR technologies Wisenet Road AI combines Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and Make, Model, Colour Recognition (MMCR) technologies to provide local authorities and law enforcement agencies with data that can be used to accurately identify vehicles involved in traffic infringements. Police can use the make, model, and colour search criteria to cross-reference against reports of stolen vehicles With eyewitness accounts quite often being inaccurate or incomplete, and particularly so about vehicle license number plates, the ability to search for vehicles by make, model, and colour is likely to be of great help to investigating teams when looking to find the video of a vehicle involved in an incident. Similarly, with criminals frequently swapping the license number plates on vehicles to avoid ANPR identifying that they are stolen, police can use the make, model, and colour search criteria to cross-reference against reports of stolen vehicles. Graphical user interface A smart search feature, which is used via the Wisenet Road AI’s intuitive graphical user interface, is supported by Wisenet WAVE, Wisenet SSM, and other VMS from leading software developers such as Genetec and Milestone. As such, operators can quickly search recorded video for vehicles that may have been stolen or involved in an accident. Key features Wisenet Road AI can recognise most UK and mainland European number plates, as well as those on Canadian, US, and Russian CIS vehicles. Alert notifications are generated when vehicles on blacklists are detected, whilst access to car parks can be restricted to whitelisted vehicles. Open API for integration. Application of Wisenet Road AI The solution’s dashboard provides an overview of key statistics such as the number and type of vehicles Wisenet Road AI can also be used to conduct surveys to gain a greater understanding of road usage, with planners being able to take any trends into account when the widening of roads or the creation of new bus and cycle lanes are being considered. In this respect, the solution’s dashboard provides an overview of key statistics such as the number and type of vehicles, e.g. cars, buses, and trucks, identified per day or week in pie charts and other display formats. Cameras used The 3 Wisenet P series cameras which support Wisenet Road AI are as follows: PNV-A9081RLP dome camera: Coverage of 2 traffic lanes when vehicles are moving at up to 45mph (70km/h) PNO-A9081RLP bullet camera: Coverage of 2 traffic lanes when vehicles are moving at up to 45mph (70km/hr) PNB-A9001LP fixed camera: Coverage of 2 traffic lanes when vehicles are moving at up to 90mph (140km/h) AI video analytics “Wisenet Road AI is an excellent example of how we are developing new, innovative solutions which deliver real-world practical benefits to users, whilst creating new business opportunities for system integrators and our business partners”, said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. “With highly accurate AI video analytics at the heart of this solution, system designers can rest assured their end-user clients will be able to take full advantage of the ultra-high resolution video captured by the 4K cameras”.
Four out of every ten (41%) of England-based medium and large-sized businesses, which are running CCTV systems, have already deployed facial recognition analytics in their systems, in order to capture human faces and compare images to human face databases, with a view to identifying matches for access control, event security or for public safety purposes. Facial recognition analytics One in six (16%) of CCTV system owners admitted to having access to this capability on their system, but not yet going live with it. Over a third of CCTV system owners (36%) in businesses, with over 50 employees, had already deployed some event or behavioural recognition analytics. Examples given include spotting loitering or highlighting abandoned bags (bags with no person in close proximity). A further 22% believed that they had this capability in their systems, but had not yet turned it on. ANPR and video motion detection technology Just over a third (34%) of CCTV system owners questioned had already deployed ANPR Just over a third (34%) of CCTV system owners questioned had already deployed Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, to capture number plates at perimeter barriers, for example, and the same number of system owners (34%) had deployed Video Motion Detection (VMD), to help reduce their system’s video storage requirements, by only recording when motion is detected, in front of a camera. One in five (20%) business owners claimed to have access to ANPR analytics in their systems, but have not yet turned it on. A further 27% claimed to have Video Motion Detection (VMD) capability in their systems, which they have not yet activated. Objection Detection or Object Classification Exactly a third (33.33%) of CCTV system owners in England claimed to have deployed object tracking technology, which is a relatively new capability that enables security teams to track individuals, from camera to camera, through a large site in ‘Auto Track’ mode. Nearly a third (32%) of business owners had deployed Objection Detection or Object Classification, in order to help the video security system distinguish between humans, vehicles, animals, swaying trees, shadows, rain, luggage, water, roads, and etc. 23% of these business owners confirmed that they had this capability in their systems, but had not yet activated it. Deploying Directional Detection analytics Only marginally less (31.6%) CCTV system owners claimed to have already deployed Directional Detection analytics, so as to detect which direction an object or a person is moving over a line. A further 28% of business owners claimed to have this capability at their disposal, but not to have turned it on as of now. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) analytics heavily used to read the identification numbers on parcels and other goods in transit has been deployed by 31% of England’s businesses, as per NW Security’s recent business survey. A further 35% of CCTV system owners claimed that they already had this capability in their systems, but had not yet put it to work. Business intelligence-led video analytics Business intelligence-led video analytics was not far behind, in terms of adoption by businesses in England Business intelligence-led video analytics was not far behind, in terms of adoption by businesses in England. For example, heat mapping, which is commonly used to detect crowds forming before events or analyse the busiest areas of a shop, has already been deployed by 28% of CCTV system owners. Nearly another quarter (23%) claimed to have this capability at their disposal, but had not yet configured it or made it live. 28% of CCTV system owners had turned on people counting analytics on their systems. NW Security discovered that some of these people had adopted this capability, in order to monitor room capacity levels, owing to COVID-19 safety reasons. Nearly as many, 26% of businesses in England, thought they had people counting analytics available in their system but had not yet made it live. Facial detection and traffic monitoring analytics Over a quarter (27%) of CCTV system owners recorded that they were using facial detection analytics and a further quarter (25%) of businesses had deployed traffic monitoring analytics in their systems. While 22% of CCTV system owners recorded making crowd density analytics live on their systems. Even higher numbers (24%) of businesses in England have confirmed that they had access to crowd density measurement analytics, but had not yet deployed it. Video analytics at the edge We have been surprised by the level of adoption, of even fairly sophisticated video analytics, across CCTV system owners" Frank Crouwel, the Managing Director of NW Security, commented “We have been surprised by the level of adoption, of even fairly sophisticated video analytics, across CCTV system owners. That said, more and more camera vendors are offering analytics at the edge. Many video analytics types are present in over half of existing systems and 7 different types of analytics have already seen over 30% adoption, across our total base of over 152 CCTV system owners of medium and large-sized businesses across England.” Josh Woodhouse, Lead Analyst at Novaira Insights, a UK-based video surveillance market research company and publisher of the ‘World Market for Video Surveillance Hardware and Software’ market report earlier in the year, stated “Basic features like motion detection and virtual tripwire have been embedded in most cameras for many years. However, it is an ongoing trend, where more analytics workload can be achieved at the edge.” Cameras with advanced analytics Josh Woodhouse adds, “An increasing number of new cameras sold feature more advanced analytics like event or behaviour recognition. It is estimated that 43% of all professional grade network security cameras, shipped in the world in 2020, featured these more advanced analytics. This is forecast to nearly double to 81% by 2025, leading to cameras having the functionality for advanced analytics, such as object detection or facial recognition, as standard capabilities.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is only accelerating the expansion of Automation, Robotics, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and changing how people live their daily lives. This expansion leads the way with technologies that are developed to solve problems, improve operations, streamline processes and assist people, to focus on learning new skills, creativity, and imagination. Transformation of the physical security industry One of the latest industries to be permanently transformed is physical security. The era of utilising security cameras is slowly changing into more advanced and more efficient technological applications - security robotic solutions. SMP Robotics is a California-based company, which is a pioneer in developing robotic technologies, powered by AI, to assist, improve and deliver on new expectations in today’s world. One of their services is smart surveillance systems. This represents a proactive approach to security. The company, SMP Robotics’ Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Leo Ryzhenko, stated “Autonomous robotic technologies will become a driving force in future security solutions.” Robotics and AI in autonomous security solutions The robots can patrol 24/7, counteracting intrusion and communicating via voice message with guards The company uses robotics and AI technology to implement autonomous security solutions, which reduce liability and overhead, as well as improving the quality of services. Robotic guards are capable of patrolling all types of facilities, in both urban and rural contexts. The robots can patrol 24/7, counteracting intrusion and communicating via voice message with guards. The inspection robots, deployed by SMP Robotics, are easily integrated with many existing security technologies, armed with obstacle avoidance and anti-collision measures, automatically recharge, and can recognise faces up to 50 metres. As the world grows increasingly complex, technology like this is essential to ensure safety for all. AI-enabled autonomous video monitoring ground vehicles The advancements in technological breakthroughs of SMP Robotics position the company and its AI-powered, autonomous video monitoring ground vehicles, to be the most adaptable to any industry, cost-effective for clients’ business needs, in providing various types of services from public safety, crime prevention, to asset protection and physical security. SMP Robotics continues to implement new innovative solutions and groundbreaking technologies in its latest generation of autonomous models. Currently, many were already deployed or in a process to be delivered to a number of key clients, in various industries throughout the globe, from oil & gas, nuclear power plants to data centers, healthcare facilities, and amusement parks. Smart security robots Tal Turner, the Vice President (VP) of Business Development and Partnerships, SMP Robotics, said “We provide autonomous, artificial intelligence, all-weather, all-surface, smart security robots that are turnkey and operate independently on their own, using real-time obstacle avoidance, face recognition, and other cutting-edge technological advancements.” According to Coherent Market Insights, the Robots as a Service (RaaS) market direction will grow by 15.9% by 2028 and reach the threshold of 41.3 billion dollars. SMP Robotics stands at the forefront of the security robotic revolution, making an impactful change to make the world a safer place.
Recently, the European Parliament called for a ban on police use of facial recognition. In the US, too, some cities have restricted police use of facial recognition. The first question that comes to mind is - why ban police from using technology that is allowed to private companies? Point of difference The key difference between the way police use facial recognition and the way commercial facial recognition products work is that: The police get a picture of a suspect from a crime scene and want to find out: "Who is the person in the picture?" That requires as wide a database as possible. Optimally - photos and identities of all the people in the world. Commercial facial recognition products such as those used by supermarkets, football stadiums, or casinos answer different questions: "Is the person in the picture on the employees' list? Is the person in the picture on a watch-list of known shoplifters?" To answer these questions doesn't require a broad database but rather a defined list of employees or a watch-list of specific people against whom there is an arrest warrant or a restraining order. Use of facial recognition AnyVision helps organisations leverage facial recognition ethically to identify known persons of interest "Facial Recognition Apps Should Be Provided to the Police with an Empty Database". This is exactly the subject of the open letter sent by AnyVision, to the British Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Prof. Fraser Sampson, titled: "Facial Recognition Apps Should Be Provided to the Police with an Empty Database". AnyVision recently raised $235M from Softbank and another leading VCs is a visual AI platform company that helps organisations across the globe leverage facial recognition ethically to identify known persons of interest, including shoplifters, felons, and security threats. Ethical use of facial recognition AnyVision CEO Avi Golan wrote, "The ethical use of facial recognition is a thorny one and requires a nuanced discussion. Part of that discussion has to explain how facial recognition works, but, just as important, the discussion must also involve how the technology is used by police departments and what checks and balances are built into their processes.” “We recommend building their watchlists from the ground up based on known felons, persons of interest, and missing persons. Some facial recognition solution providers have scrapped billions of photos and identities of people from social networks, usually without their consent." "Unfortunately, this method of facial recognition has justifiably angered privacy groups and data protection agencies around the globe and damaged the public trust in accuracy and reliability of facial recognition systems.” Preventing invasion of citizen’s privacy We believe an unjustified invasion of citizens' privacy can be prevented, false arrests can be reduced" “We believe that lists of suspects should be limited and justified. In this way, unjustified invasion of citizens' privacy can be prevented, false arrests can be reduced and public confidence in technology can be increased.” Golan added: "AnyVision is willing to share its industry insights and best practices from our vast research experience with leading global players, including name-brand retailers, global hospitality and entertainment companies, and law enforcement agencies from around the world.” Balancing public order and crime prevention “If the regulations set forth by Surveillance Camera Code of Practice are committed to the principles outlined above, then law enforcement agencies can strike the right balance between the need to maintain public order and prevent crime with the rights of every person to privacy and non-discrimination before the law." Recently Clearview AI CEO told Wired; the company has scraped 10 billion photos from the web - 3 times more than was previously known.
Intrusion alarm systems are currently facing a growing number of potential error sources in the environment. At the same time, alarm systems must comply with increasingly demanding legal requirements for sensors and motion detectors. As a future-proof solution, detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion technology raise the level of security while reducing the risk of cost- and time-intensive false alarms. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Sensor Data Fusion technology. Anti-masking alarms A cultural heritage museum in the South of Germany for decades, the installed intrusion alarm system has provided reliable protection on the premises. But suddenly, the detectors trigger false alarms every night after the museum closes. The system integrators are puzzled and conduct extensive tests of the entire system. When they finally identify the culprit, it’s unexpected: As it turns out, the recently installed LED lighting system in the museum’s exhibition spaces radiates at a wavelength that triggers anti-masking alarms in the detectors. Not an easy fix situation, since a new lighting system would prove far too costly. Ultimately, the integrators need to perform extensive detector firmware updates and switch to different sensor architecture to eliminate the error source. This scenario is by no means an isolated incident, but part of a growing trend. Need for reliable detector technology Legal requirements for anti-masking technology are becoming stringent in response to tactics by criminals The number of potential triggers for erroneous alarms in the environment is on the rise. From the perspective of system operators and integrators, it’s a concerning development because every false alarm lowers the credibility of an intrusion alarm system. Not to mention steep costs: Every false call to the authorities comes with a price +$200 tag. Aside from error sources in the environment, legal requirements for anti-masking technology are becoming more stringent in response to ever more resourceful tactics employed by criminals to sidestep detectors. What’s more, today’s detectors need to be fortified against service outages and provide reliable, around-the-clock operability to catch intruders in a timely and reliable fashion. Sensor Data Fusion Technology In light of these demands, one particular approach has emerged as a future-proof solution over the past few years: Sensor Data Fusion technology, the combination of several types of sensors within one detector – designed to cross-check and verify alarm sources via intelligent algorithms – holds the keys to minimising false alarms and responding appropriately to actual alarm events. This generation of detectors combines passive infrared (PIR) and microwave Doppler radar capabilities with artificial intelligence (AI) to eliminate false alarm sources without sacrificing catch performance. Motion detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion technology present a fail-proof solution for building security “It’s not about packing as many sensors as possible into a detector. But it’s about including the most relevant sensors with checks and balances through an intelligent algorithm that verifies the data for a highly reliable level of security. The result is the highest-possible catch performance at the minimum risk for erroneous alarms,” said Michael Reimer, Senior Product Manager at Bosch Security Systems. Motion detectors with sensor data fusion Looking ahead into the future, motion detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion technology not only present a fail-proof solution for building security. The comprehensive data collected by these sensors also unlock value beyond security: Constant real-time information on temperature and humidity can be used by intelligent systems and devices in building automation. Integrated into building management systems, the sensors provide efficiency improvements and lowering energy costs Integrated into building management systems, the sensors provide the foundation for efficiency improvements and lowering energy costs in HVAC systems. Companies such as Bosch support these network synergies by constantly developing and optimising intelligent sensors. On that note, installers must be familiar with the latest generation of sensor technology to upgrade their systems accordingly, starting with a comprehensive overview of error sources in the environment. Prominent false alarm triggers in intrusion alarm systems The following factors emerge as frequent triggers of false alarms in conventional detectors: Strong temperature fluctuations can be interpreted by sensors as indicators of a person inside the building. Triggers range from floor heating sources to strong sunlight. In this context, room temperatures above 86°F (30°C) have proven particularly problematic. Dust contamination of optical detectors lowers the detection performance while raising susceptibility to false alarms. Draft air from air conditioning systems or open windows can trigger motion sensors, especially when curtains, plants, or signage attached to the ceilings (e.g. in grocery stores) are put in motion. Strong light exposure directly on the sensor surface, e.g. caused by headlights from passing vehicles, floodlights, reflected or direct sunlight – all of which sensors may interpret as a flashlight from an intruder. Extensive bandwidth frequencies in Wi-Fi routers can potentially confuse sensors. Only a few years ago, wireless routers operated on a bandwidth of around 2.7GHz while today’s devices often exceed 5GHz, thereby catching older detectors off guard. LED lights radiating at frequencies beyond the spectrum of visible light may trigger sensors with their infrared signals. Regarding the last two points, it’s important to note that legislation provides clear guidelines for the maximum frequency spectrum maintained by Wi-Fi routers and LED lighting. Long-term security But the influx of cheap and illegal products in both product groups – products that do not meet the guidelines – continues to pose problems when installed near conventional detectors. For this reason, Sensor Data Fusion technology provides a reliable solution by verifying alarms with data from several types of sensors within a single detector. Beyond providing immunity from false alarm triggers, the new generation of sensors also needs to comply with the current legislature. These guidelines include the latest EN50131-grade 3, and German VdS class C standards with clear requirements regarding anti-masking technology for detecting sabotage attempts. This is exactly where Sensor Data Fusion technology provides long-term security. Evolution of intrusion detector technology Initially, motion detectors designed for intrusion alarm systems were merely equipped with a single type of sensor; namely passive infrared technology (PIR). Upon their introduction, these sensors raised the overall level of building security tremendously in automated security systems. But over time, these sensors proved limited in their catch performance. As a result, manufacturers began implementing microwave Doppler radar capabilities to cover additional sources of intrusion alarms. First step detection technology In Bosch sensors, engineers added First Step detection to trigger instant alarms upon persons entering a room Over the next few years, sensors were also equipped with sensors detecting visible light to catch flashlights used by burglars, as well as temperature sensors. In Bosch sensors, engineers added proprietary technologies such as First Step detection to trigger instant alarms upon persons entering a room. But experience in the field soon proved, especially due to error sources such as rats and other animals, that comprehensive intrusion detection demands a synergetic approach: A combination of sensors aligned to cross-check one another for a proactive response to incoming signals. At the same time, the aforementioned bandwidth expansion in Wi-Fi routers and LED lighting systems required detectors to implement the latest circuit technology to avoid serving as ‘antennas’ for undesired signals. Sensor data fusion approach At its very core, Sensor Data Fusion technology relies on the centralised collection of all data captured by the variety of different sensors included in a single detector. These data streams are directed to a microprocessor capable of analysing the signals in real-time via a complex algorithm. This algorithm is the key to Sensor Data Fusion. It enables the detector to balance active sensors and adjust sensitivities as needed, to make truly intelligent decisions regarding whether or not the data indicates a valid alarm condition – and if so, trigger an alarm. Advanced verification mechanisms The current generation of Sensor Data Fusion detectors, for instance from Bosch, feature advanced verification mechanisms, including Microwave Noise Adaptive Processing to easily differentiate humans from false alarm sources (e.g. ceiling fans or hanging signs). For increased reliability, signals from PIR and microwave Doppler radar are compared to determine whether an actual alarm event is taking place. Additionally, the optical chamber is sealed to prevent drafts and insects from affecting the detector, while the detector is programmed for pet and small animal immunity. Sensor cross-verification Further types of sensors embedded in current and future generations of Sensor Data Fusion detectors include MEM-sensors as well as vibration sensors and accelerometers. Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that the cross-verification between sensors serves to increase false alarm immunity without sacrificing the catch performance of actual intruders. It merely serves to cover various indicators of intrusion. Protecting UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in China Intelligent detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion are protecting historic cultural artifacts in China from theft and damage. At the UNESCO-protected Terracotta Warriors Museum site, one hundred TriTech motion detectors from Bosch with PIR and microwave Doppler radar technology safeguard the invaluable treasures against intruders. To provide comprehensive protection amid the specific demands of the museum site, the detectors have been installed on walls and ceilings to safeguard the 16,300-square-meter museum site. To ensure an optimal visitor experience without interference from glass walls and other barriers, many detectors are mounted at a height of 4.5 meters (15 feet) above ground under the ceiling. Despite their height, the detectors provide accurate data around the clock while exceeding the performance limits of conventional motion detectors, which clock out at a mere 2 meters (6 feet) catchment area. Integrated video systems The site also presents additional error sources such as large amounts of dust that can contaminate the sensors, as well as visitors accidentally dropping their cameras or mobile phones next to museum exhibits. To distinguish these events from actual criminal activity, the intrusion alarm system is integrated with the museum’s video security system. This allows for verifying alarm triggers with real-time video footage at a fast pace: In the case of an actual alarm event, the system alerts the on-site security personnel in the control room in less than two seconds. Added value beyond security Sensor Data Fusion technology provides a viable solution for the rising number of error sources in the environment As of today, Sensor Data Fusion technology already provides a viable solution for the rising number of error sources in the environment while providing legally compliant building security against intruders. In light of future developments, operators can leverage significant added value from upgrading existing systems – possibly without fundamentally replacing current system architecture – to the new detector standard. Added value how? On one hand, the detectors can integrate with access control, video security, voice alarm, and analytics for a heightened level of security. These synergetic effects are especially pronounced on end-to-end platforms like the Bosch Building Management system. On the other hand, the data streams from intelligent detectors also supply actionable intelligence to building automation systems, for instance as the basis for efficiency improvements and lowering energy consumption in HVAC systems. New backward-compatible detectors Bosch will release a new series of commercial detectors by end of 2021, based on the latest research on risk factors for false alarm sources in the environment and line with current legislation and safety standards. Throughout these developments, installers can rest assured that all new detectors are fully backward compatible and work with existing networking/architecture. With that said, Sensor Data Fusion technology emerges as the key to more secure intrusion alarm systems today and in the future. TriTech detectors from Bosch For reliable, fail-proof alarms the current series of TriTech detectors from Bosch relies on a combination of different sensor data streams, evaluated by an integrated algorithm. These Sensor Data Fusion detectors from Bosch combine up to five different sensors in a single unit, including: Long-range passive infrared (PIR) sensor Short-range PIR sensor Microwave sensor White light sensor Temperature sensor Equipped with these sensors, TriTech detectors are capable of detecting the most frequent sources of false alarms; from headlights on passing cars to a mouse passing across the room at a 4.5-meter distance to the detector. What’s more, TriTech detectors provide reliable performance at room temperatures above 86°F (30°C) while fully guarding against actual intrusion and sabotage attempts from criminals.
The trend of video customers moving to the cloud has reached a tipping point. At the same time, artificial intelligence (AI) is being adopted on a massive scale. Combining the two trends adds a higher level of value than either component individually. Merging the power of AI and the cloud is a driving force behind cloud surveillance company Eagle Eye Networks’ acquisition of Uncanny Vision, an AI and video analytics company headquartered in Bangalore, India. Expensive AI resources Cloud systems empower customers to leverage AI without having to install and program complicated and expensive hardware, in effect stripping away the barriers to entry that customers face when seeking to embrace AI. The cloud also enables customers to share expensive AI resources. One of the key components is ease of deployment – click, click and turn on the AI for any camera" Simplicity of implementation is crucial to the combined value proposition of Eagle Eye Networks and Uncanny Vision. “One of the key components is ease of deployment – click, click and turn on the AI for any camera (in a cloud system),” says Dean Drako, Eagle Eye Networks CEO. There is also a benefit of having AI systems networked, enabling 25 banks to perform facial recognition of customers from a single cloud-based system, he adds. A transition is also under way in the perception of AI. Video surveillance applications While previously it was seen as an add-on to surveillance systems, now it is seen as a very desirable feature on any system. “Centralised management of the cloud benefits the AI database,” says Drako. “In a project built around licence plate recognition (LPR), for example, all the data goes up to the cloud into a single database, and the customer can get a mobile view of everything going on across the world. You can’t do that without the cloud. And AI for LPR is more accurate.” Uncanny Vision’s targeted focus on AI for video surveillance applications was one factor that attracted Eagle Eye Networks to make the acquisition, says Drako. In contrast, some other companies have embraced broader applications of video AI. Uncanny Vision also has more customers using their system in real-world applications than competitors. Finally, the acquisition will help to expand Eagle Eye Networks’ presence in the LPR market, where Uncanny Vision is especially strong. Improving business operations The 60 employees at Uncanny Vision are mostly engineers and programmers Uncanny Vision’s deep learning algorithms enable recognition, identification, and prediction, improving business operations, customer service, and site safety. Applications include smart parking, retail, smart cities, ATM monitoring, worker safety and perimeter security. The 60 employees at Uncanny Vision are mostly engineers and programmers. “These guys understand how to translate AI algorithms to run very efficiently on various types of hardware,” says Drako. “They optimise how they get the code to run so we can implement in the cloud cost-effectively. They do it at a modest cost to make it more accessible. They understand how to deploy software for high performance on low-cost hardware.” For Uncanny Vision, the new ownership provides more reach. “We have a huge channel and a huge brand,” says Drako. “They are strong technical guys who need a sales and solution channel.” Video analytics solutions Even in light of the acquisition, Eagle Eye Networks will continue to provide a selection of third-party AI and video analytics solutions to customers. Use of AI and video analytics is specific to the application and business needs of each customer. Use of AI and video analytics is specific to the application and business needs of each customer In addition to AI functionality, systems need a ‘business logic’ component that drives how that capability is integrated into a system. System needs vary widely by vertical market, and many third-party vendors are focused on a specific vertical and how AI can benefit that market. Recurring monthly revenue “Third parties can provide analytics and the business logic, which is different for a factory, an office building or for a drive-thru restaurant,” says Drako. “The market is looking for many solutions, and one company couldn’t own a majority of them.” To ensure flexibility, Eagle Eye Networks will accommodate third party solutions, deploy their own analytics, or leverage analytics embedded in cameras. For Eagle Eye Networks’ dealer and integrator customers, the expansion into AI presents a new opportunity for recurring monthly revenue (RMR) and provides greater value to customers. Drako says the impact of the acquisition will be global as AI applications grow in popularity worldwide.
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex. Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera AI performance and integration to multi-imager and single-imager IP cameras. Both of these SoCs are manufactured in the ‘5 nm’ manufacturing process, bringing performance improvements and power savings, compared to the previous generation of SoCs manufactured at ‘10nm’. CV5S and CV52S AI-powered SoCs The CV5S, designed for multi-imager cameras, is able to process, encode and perform advanced AI on up to four imagers at 4Kp30 resolution, simultaneously and at less than 5 watts. This enables multi-headed camera designs with up to four 4K imagers looking at different portions of a scene, as well as very high-resolution, single-imager cameras of up to 32 MP resolution and beyond. The CV52S, designed for single-imager cameras with very powerful onboard AI, is the next-generation of the company’s successful CV22S mainstream 4K camera AI chip. This new SoC family quadruples the AI processing performance, while keeping the same low power consumption of less than 3 watts for 4Kp60 encoding with advanced AI processing. Faster and ubiquitous AI capabilities Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions" “Security system designers desire higher resolutions, increasing channel counts, and ever faster and more ubiquitous AI capabilities,” explains John Lorenz, Senior Technology and Market Analyst, Computing, at Yole Développement (Yole), a French market research firm. John Lorenz adds, “Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions for meeting the growing demands of the security IC (integrated circuit) sector, which our latest report forecasts to exceed US$ 4 billion by 2025, with two-thirds of that being chips with AI capabilities.” Edge AI vision processors Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S edge AI vision processors enable new classes of cameras that would not have been possible in the past, with a single SoC architecture. For example, implementing a 4x 4K multi-imager with AI would have traditionally required at least two SoCs (at least one for encoding and one for AI), and the overall power consumption would have made those designs bulky and prohibitively expensive. By reducing the number of required SoCs, the CV5S enables advanced camera designs such as AI-enabled 4x 4K imagers at price points much lower than would have previously been possible. “What we are usually trying to do with our SoCs is to keep the price points similar to the previous generations, given that camera retail prices tend to be fairly fixed,” said Jerome Gigot, Ambarella's Senior Director of Marketing. 4K multi-imager cameras “However, higher-end 4K multi-imager cameras tend to retail for thousands of dollars, and so even though there will be a small premium on the SoC for the 2X improvement in performance, this will not make a significant impact to the final MSRP of the camera,” adds Jerome Gigot. In addition, the overall system cost might go down, Gigot notes, compared to what could be built today because there is no longer a need for external chips to perform AI, or extra components for power dissipation. The new chips will be available in the second half of 2021, and it typically takes about 12 to 18 months for Ambarella’s customers (camera manufacturers) to produce final cameras. Therefore, the first cameras, based on these new SoCs, should hit the market sometime in the second half of 2022. Reference boards for camera manufacturers The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK" As with Ambarella’s previous generations of edge AI vision SoCs for security, the company will make available reference boards to camera manufacturers soon, allowing them to develop their cameras based on the new CV5S and CV52S SoC families. “The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK that is already available on our previous generations SoCs, which makes the transition easy for our customers,” said Jerome Gigot. Better crime detection Detecting criminals in a crowd, using face recognition and/or licence plate recognition, has been a daunting challenge for security, and one the new chips will help to address. “Actually, these applications are one of the main reasons why Ambarella is introducing these two new SoC families,” said Jerome Gigot. Typically, resolutions of 4K and higher have been a smaller portion of the security market, given that they came at a premium price tag for the high-end optics, image sensor and SoC. Also, the cost and extra bandwidth of storing and streaming 4K video were not always worth it for the benefit of just viewing video at higher resolution. 4K AI processing on-camera The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm. By enabling 4K AI processing on-camera, smaller objects at longer distances can now be detected and analysed without having to go to a server, and with much higher detail and accuracy compared to what can be done on a 2 MP or 5 MP cameras. This means that fewer false alarms will be generated, and each camera will now be able to cover a longer distance and wider area, offering more meaningful insights without necessarily having to stream and store that 4K video to a back-end server. “This is valuable, for example, for traffic cameras mounted on top of high poles, which need to be able to see very far out and identify cars and licence plates that are hundreds of meters away,” said Jerome Gigot. The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm Enhanced video analytics and wider coverage “Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S SoCs truly allow the industry to take advantage of higher resolution on-camera for better analytics and wider coverage, but without all the costs typically incurred by having to stream high-quality 4K video out 24/7 to a remote server for offline analytics,” said Jerome Gigot. He adds, “So, next-generation cameras will now be able to identify more criminals, faces and licence plates, at longer distances, for an overall lower cost and with faster response times by doing it all locally on-camera.” Deployment in retail applications Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once Retail applications are another big selling point. Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once (e.g., in a mall), to provide not only security features, but also other business analytics, such as foot traffic and occupancy maps that can be used later to improve product placement. The higher resolution and higher AI performance, enabled by the new Ambarella SoCs, provide a leap forward in addressing those scenarios. In a store setup, a ceiling-mounted camera with four 4K imagers can simultaneously look at the cashier line on one side of the store, sending alerts when a line is getting too long and a new cashier needs to be deployed, while at the same time looking at the entrance on the other side of the store, to count the people coming in and out. This leaves two additional 4K imagers for monitoring specific product aisles and generating real-time business analytics. Use in cashier-less stores Another retail application is a cashier-less store. Here, a CV5S or CV52S-based camera mounted on the ceiling will have enough resolution and AI performance to track goods, while the customer grabs them and puts them in their cart, as well as to automatically track which customer is purchasing which item. In a warehouse scenario, items and boxes moving across the floor could also be followed locally, on a single ceiling-mounted camera that covers a wide area of the warehouse. Additionally, these items and boxes could be tracked across the different imagers in a multi-headed camera setup, without the video having to be sent to a server to perform the tracking. Updating on-camera AI networks Another feature of Ambarella’s SoCs is that their on-camera AI networks can be updated on-the-fly, without having to stop the video recording and without losing any video frames. So, for example in the case of a search for a missing vehicle, the characteristics of that missing vehicle (make, model, colour, licence plate) can be sent to a cluster of cameras in the general area, where the vehicle is thought to be missing, and all those cameras can be automatically updated to run a live search on that specific vehicle. If any of the cameras gets a match, a remote operator can be notified and receive a picture, or even a live video feed of the scene. Efficient traffic management With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself Relating to traffic congestion, most big cities have thousands of intersections that they need to monitor and manage. Trying to do this from one central location is costly and difficult, as there is so much video data to process and analyse, in order to make those traffic decisions (to control the traffic lights, reverse lanes, etc.). With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself. The camera would then take actions autonomously (for example, adjust traffic-light timing) and only report a status update to the main traffic control centre. So now, instead of having one central location trying to manage 1,000 intersections, a city can have 1,000 smart AI cameras, each managing its own location and providing updates and metadata to a central server. Superior privacy Privacy is always a concern with video. In this case, doing AI on-camera is inherently more private than streaming the video to a server for analysis. Less data transmission means fewer points of entry for a hacker trying to access the video. On Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S SoCs, the video can be analysed locally and then discarded, with just a signature or metadata of the face being used to find a match. No actual video needs to be stored or transmitted, which ensures total privacy. In addition, the chips contain a very secure hardware cyber security block, including OTP memory, Arm TrustZones, DRAM scrambling and I/O virtualisation. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to replace the firmware on the camera, providing another level of security and privacy at the system level. Privacy Masking Another privacy feature is the concept of privacy masking. This feature enables portions of the video (say a door or a window) to be blocked out, before being encoded in the video stream. The blocked portions of the scene are not present in the recorded video, thus providing a privacy option for cameras that are facing private areas. “With on-camera AI, each device becomes its own smart endpoint, and can be reconfigured at will to serve the specific physical security needs of its installation,” said Jerome Gigot, adding “The possibilities are endless, and our mission as an SoC maker is really to provide a powerful and easy-to-use platform, complete with computer-vision tools, that enable our customers and their partners to easily deploy their own AI software on-camera.” Physical security in parking lots With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot One example is physical security in a parking lot. A camera today might be used to just record part of the parking lot, so that an operator can go back and look at the video if a car were broken into or some other incident occurred. With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, first of all, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot. Additionally, it will be able to detect the licence plates of all the cars going in and out, to automatically bill the owners. If there is a special event, the camera can be reprogrammed to identify VIP vehicles and automatically redirect them to the VIP portion of the lot, while reporting to the entrance station or sign how many parking spots are available. It can even tell the cars approaching the lot where to go. Advantages of using edge AI vision SoCs Jerome Gigot said, “The possibilities are endless and they span across many verticals. The market is primed to embrace these new capabilities. Recent advances in edge AI vision SoCs have brought about a period of change in the physical security space. Companies that would have, historically, only provided security cameras, are now getting into adjacent verticals such as smart retail, smart cities and smart buildings.” He adds, “These changes are providing a great opportunity for all the camera makers and software providers to really differentiate themselves by providing full systems that offer a new level of insights and efficiencies to, not only the physical security manager, but now also the store owner and the building manager.” He adds, “All of these new applications are extremely healthy for the industry, as they are growing the available market for cameras, while also increasing their value and the economies of scale they can provide. Ambarella is looking forward to seeing all the innovative products that our customers will build with this new generation of SoCs.”
The city of Baltimore has banned the use of facial recognition systems by residents, businesses and the city government (except for police). The criminalisation in a major U.S. city of an important emerging technology in the physical security industry is an extreme example of the continuing backlash against facial recognition throughout the United States. Facial recognition technology ban Several localities – from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, from Oakland, California, to Boston – have moved to limit use of the technology, and privacy groups have even proposed a national moratorium on use of facial recognition. The physical security industry, led by the Security Industry Association (SIA), vigorously opposed the ban in Baltimore, urging a measured approach and ‘more rational policymaking’ that preserve the technology’s value while managing any privacy or other concerns. Physical security industry opposes ban In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most" “Unfortunately, an outright ban on facial recognition continues a distressing pattern in which the clear value of this technology is ignored,” said SIA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Don Erickson, adding “In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most.” At the national level, a letter to US President Biden from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coalition asserts the need for a national dialogue over the appropriate use of facial recognition technology and expresses concern about ‘a blanket moratorium on federal government use and procurement of the technology’. (The coalition includes Security Industry Association (SIA) and other industry groups.) The negativity comes at a peak moment for facial recognition and other biometric technologies, which saw an increase of interest for a variety of public and business applications, during the COVID-19 pandemic’s prioritisation to improve public health hygiene and to promote ‘contactless’ technologies. Prohibition on banks, retailers and online sellers The ordinance in Baltimore prohibits banks from using facial recognition to enhance consumer security in financial transactions. It prevents retailers from accelerating checkout lines with contactless payment and prohibits remote online identity document verification, which is needed by online sellers or gig economy workers, according to the Security Industry Association (SIA). At a human level, SIA points out that the prohibition of facial recognition undermines the use of customised accessibility tools for disabled persons, including those suffering with blindness, memory loss or prosopagnosia (face blindness). Ban out of line with current state of facial recognition Addressing the Baltimore prohibition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reacted to the measure as ‘shockingly out of line with the current state of facial recognition technology and its growing adoption in many sectors of the economy’. Before Baltimore’s decision to target facial recognition, Portland, Oregon, had perhaps the strictest ban, prohibiting city government agencies and private businesses from using the technology on the city’s grounds. San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban the technology, with Boston, Oakland; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Berkeley, California, among others, following suit. Police and federal units can use biometrics Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses, but targets private uses of the technology. It also includes a one-year ‘sunset’ clause that requires city council approval for an extension. The measure carves out an exemption for use of biometrics in access control systems. However, violations of the measure are punishable by 12 months in jail. The law also establishes a task force to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of surveillance tools. Transparency in public sector use of facial recognition Currently, the state of Maryland controls the Baltimore Police Department, so the city council does not have authority to ban police use of facial recognition, which has been a human rights concern driving the bans in other jurisdictions. A measure to return local control of police to the city could pass before the year lapses. SIA advocates transparency in public-sector applications of facial recognition in identity verification, security and law enforcement investigative applications. SIA’s CEO, Don Erickson stated, “As public sector uses are more likely to be part of processes with consequential outcomes, it is especially important for transparency and sound policies to accompany government applications.”
There is a saying that ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas,’ and the Dallas police department fits the bill. The Dallas Police Department is the ninth-largest municipal police force in the U.S., with 3,099 sworn officers and 598 non-sworn staff. It is led by Chief of Police Edgardo (‘Eddie’) Garcia. In the last several years, the Jack Evans Police Headquarters building (named after the 53rd mayor of Dallas) has been upgrading its physical security using a layered approach to ensure the safety of officers and visitors 24/7. The most recent addition is a brand-new fence line fortified with vehicle gates and Boon Edam Turnlock full height turnstiles to control pedestrian access into secured parking areas. Isolating potential hazards The Jack Evans Police Headquarters building was built in 2003. The six-floor facility has 358,000 square feet and is spread over a three-acre site, with a separate 1,200 car parking garage and a two-acre, open parking lot for additional police and visitor parking. In an average month, there are 5,000 public visitors to the Jack Evans building The Headquarters building was under construction when 9/11 terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Buildings in New York. Therefore, security was a concern in its original design. Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant – McClaren, Wilson, and Lawrie Architects of Phoenix, AZ – to help design the building to resist a terrorist attack and isolate potential hazards. The building also needed to control visitor traffic and access. In an average month, there are 5,000 public visitors to the Jack Evans building. Conducting security assessment After midnight on June 13, 2015, a 35-year-old male placed a duffle bag with a remote-controlled bomb to detonate later between cars in the parking lot of the headquarters building. The suspect then began shooting continuously at the lobby windows with a rifle. Officers responded to the scene, a vehicle chase began, and the incident ended outside the city. Fortunately, officers in the lobby took cover and were not injured. Following that incident, the Dallas Police Department conducted a security assessment of the building, and also at seven patrol stations throughout the city. The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weapons. Gensler Architects and Guidepost Solutions, LLC developed the solutions and plans. Paul M. Schuster, Senior Corporal/Facilities Management, was responsible for managing the implementation of the security upgrades. Present outright attack The police officers and staff only want a place that is safe and where they can do their good work" “The police tend to be a symbol of government and some citizens see that as a visible target to lash out at,” says Schuster. Police officers are trained to expect the routine types of calls, such as domestic violence, traffic accidents, and other crimes. “Yet they must be flexible to anticipate the non-routine that can be dangerous and change in a heartbeat. Yesterday we were concerned about handguns, today we are worried about rifles, and the idea of terrorism is always present with outright attacks or bombs. The police officers and staff only want a place that is safe and where they can do their good work.” Public records service Layer 1 – Upgrading the Building’s Lobby Security with Detection and Prevention - In 2016, funding of $1.3 million was approved to upgrade the lobbies of the seven patrol stations to withstand rifle rounds, and $1.9 million to improve headquarters lobby security, and to upgrade an aging security system. In 2016, funding of $1.3 million was approved to upgrade the lobbies of the seven patrol stations Turner Construction Company and Convergint Technologies, LLC conducted the renovations and security technology integration. The headquarters’ lobby was initially built as a two-story glass-walled structure, with an information desk and public records service windows. Visitors could freely enter the lobby and were only screened in an open area to the side if going to the upper floors. Upgrading lobby security “The challenge in upgrading lobby security was the two-story lobby entrance glass. The glass was not bullet rated, due to budget constraints. Changing the front of the building to support ballistic rifle-rated glass would have caused extensive time, exposed the inside of the lobby to weather, and would not have solved all of the security issues. In addition, there were concerns about keeping an ‘open’ and friendly service concept in mind and ensuring that the lobby would not resemble a ‘fortress’,” Schuster said. The solution was to retain the original, two-story glass exterior but add a layer of security inside once a person enters the lobby – a new separate security screening room. A new interior wall with bullet-rated glass and solid bullet-resistant wall materials was constructed inside the lobby to channel visitors to the room. Security revolving door The door will reject both users and they must request permission from the guard Now, all visitors must pass through a metal detector and have their belongings x-rayed prior to entering the original lobby. The room itself also has bullet resistant walls to enable containment of any violent disruption or shooting inside. Once a visitor has been cleared, they exit the screening room into the main lobby via a Boon Edam Tourlock 180 security revolving door which is set to allow only one-way traffic into the lobby. The Tourlock is the most advanced security revolving door in the Boon Edam product range for its ability to prevent tailgating by unauthorised users. If more than one person tries to enter a compartment, the door will reject both users and they must request permission from the guard to pass through again, one at a time. Overhead police helicopter At the end of their visit, visitors will exit the building via the lobby through a separate Boon Edam Tourlock 180 that leads into the front vestibule where they first entered the building. The Tourlock is set to allow public visitors to exit only and will reject attempts at re-entry. The first layer of security was completed inside the Headquarters building However, any police officer or staff can present a credential and use the door to enter the lobby with a valid credential. In this manner, the first layer of security was completed inside the Headquarters building, while keeping the best aspects of the lobby design, including the antique police car, and the overhead police helicopter. Western access points Layer 2 – Upgrading the Headquarters’ Perimeter Security with Protection and Deterrence - In 2021, the Headquarters building implemented its next, planned security layer to deter crime and violence in the outer ten acres of the property complex, which consists of the three-acre building site, a two-acre, open parking lot, a five-acre garage and an access street between those. This phase was financed by a $1.2 million bond in 2017. Surrounding the north, south and western access points around the facility is a brand new, Impasse II heavy-duty steel palisade fence by Ameristar in a black powder coat finish. The fence is comprised of individual steel pales secured vertically to a framework of specially formed rails and I-beam posts. The pales bend outward at the top to deter climb-over attempts by intruders. Pedestrian entry option Close by is a Public Transit Light Rail station which some officers use to and from work At the north and south entrances located on an access road behind the Headquarters building, HySecurity and Lift Master motorised gates are positioned to allow only authorised police officers and staff to access the exterior secure areas by car. Adjacent to each of these vehicle gates are Boon Edam Turnlock 100 full height turnstiles to allow pedestrian police officers to enter the parking area and walk into the headquarters building. Close by is a Public Transit Light Rail station which some officers use to and from work; and some officers choose to park their personal vehicles outside the secure area; therefore, the Turnlock 100’s provide a discrete, pedestrian entry option that safeguards users who otherwise might walk through the vehicle gates and risk injury or allow unauthorised vehicles to enter. Outdoor weather conditions The Turnlock 100 turnstiles were selected for their ability to stop tailgating and also for their rugged construction that can withstand outdoor weather conditions. Their full height structure deters climb over attempts and a black powder coat finish was selected to match the adjacent fencing perfectly. The Turnlock 100 turnstiles were selected for their ability to stop tailgating On the west side of the property, adjacent to the quartermaster’s building, is a public parking lot for visitors. Another Impasse II fence separates this parking lot from a staff-only, side entrance into the Jack Evans headquarters building. The fence forces all public visitors to walk on the sidewalk to the front of the building to enter via the main entrance and screening room. Police fleet parking However, any police officers that are walking across the lot from the quartermaster’s building can use their badge to access the staff-only, side entrance to the Headquarters building by entering through a third, Boon Edam Turnlock 100 turnstile. The exterior fencing around police fleet parking and the Headquarters building improves the safety of officers, staff and the building itself by keeping potential threats out at a distance. Police facilities, and particularly police headquarters, are subject to incidents ranging from ‘random’ violence on individual officers to large protests related to local or national incidents. “While usually peaceful, we have noticed that as the groups disband or move to other protest sites, groups of individuals will test site security by pulling on exterior entrances to see if they can gain access and potentially be disruptive to operations,” stated Schuster. Police facility design Separation of the public from the movement of prisoners is at the core of good police facility design “A concern is if one person can open the entry, others will follow and outnumber responding officers. The one-at-a-time access granted by the Turnlock 100 turnstile allows police to better control and separate individuals that might be disruptive or who might follow officers accessing the secure area.” Police facilities are usually designed to provide enclosed areas to move arrested persons from vehicles to holding or processing-controlled environments. If these staging areas are overflowing, officers may park their vehicles in the fleet area and walk the prisoner into the building. Separation of the public from the movement of prisoners is at the core of good police facility design. Open parking lots “There have also been incidents nationally, where officers are beginning their shift and walk to their patrol vehicles to secure their work gear and are attacked by pedestrians walking through open parking lots. If you think of patrol vehicles as ‘mobile offices’, it is easy to see that officers can become distracted as they begin their shifts and not always aware of their surroundings until they leave the property. Securing these fleet areas should be the practice everywhere,” says Schuster. These areas are often directly adjacent to the building and are therefore a concern because of threats Every facility must also contend with deliveries, and medium to large facilities usually have loading docks and trash recycling. These areas are often directly adjacent to the building and are therefore a concern because of threats such as vehicle bombs or incendiary items in trash dumpsters; for the police headquarters it made sense to secure these areas from public access. Physical security plan “Securing the private access road to the Jack Evans Police Headquarters has always been a desire, and now the addition of the steel fencing, the vehicle gates and Boon Edam turnstiles has created a barrier of safety that protects all of our people and assets to the very edges of our property,” states Schuster. “This new deterrence layer makes our officers and staff feel safer and it protects our fleet of vehicles and the back sides of the building from random attacks, bombings or shootings. We are very glad to have this second phase of our long-term physical security plan completed.”
Alcatraz AI has announced that they are bringing the Alcatraz AI Rock facial authentication solution to BrainBox AI’s offices. BrainBox AI is at the forefront of building automation and a renowned company in the green building revolution. Identity and facemask verification solution As BrainBox AI’s office recently re-opened with limited capacity, the company is taking proactive steps, through Alcatraz AI’s robust identity and facemask verification solution, in order to keep employees safe. As one survey showed, two-thirds of employees have safety concerns, regarding the return of on-site operations. Considering these statistics, health and safety must be top priorities for businesses, as they re-open. BrainBox AI is keeping its employees’ safety at the top-of-mind, by installing Alcatraz AI’s Rock solution, before they return, to ensure greater safety and security. Alcatraz AI’s Rock facial authentication solution Alcatraz AI’s Rock facial authentication solution combines advanced AI and 3D sensing technologies Alcatraz AI’s Rock facial authentication solution combines advanced AI and 3D sensing technologies, to provide facilities with enterprise-grade identity verification, which is needed to create secure spaces. Rock’s state-of-the-art security features include touchless access, multi-factor authentication, video at the door and intelligent tailgating detection. Alcatraz AI’s access control solution, the Rock, effectively detects tailgating and sends ‘real-time alerts’, if an unauthorised person enters, and sends real-time notifications to ACS/VMS. BrainBox AI, leading the green building revolution “BrainBox AI is leading the green building revolution, and we are looking forward to bringing frictionless, multi-sensor technology and a touchless authentication feature to the office,” said Tina D’ Agostin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alcatraz AI, adding “By utilising the Alcatraz AI Rock, we’ve helped BrainBox AI’s offices re-open smoothly and safely.” “BrainBox AI is excited to announce its partnership with Alcatraz AI. Our employees’ safety is always our top priority. We are confident The Rock’s touchless authentication and the frictionless security system will give each BrainBox AI employee peace of mind, when returning to the office,” said Jean-Simon Venne, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of BrainBox AI.
Security at healthcare premises has never been higher on the agenda. Patients expect safety and privacy. Yet many medical locations must be open and accessible around the clock. The protection of drugs, vaccines, equipment and data makes it critical to know who accesses where, and when. Mechanical lock-and-key security was not designed to meet these challenges. Wireless locking devices provide the easiest upgrade or replacement for any access system based on mechanical or magnetic locks. Smartcards, programmable keys or secure mobile keys stored on a smartphone can replace cumbersome physical keys. Online locking systems When access control extends throughout a hospital, healthcare professionals waste less of their valuable time searching for the right key. A personalised credential is pre-programmed to open every door, lock or store they need to access. A personalised credential is pre-programmed to open every door, lock or store they need to access For building managers and healthcare agencies, wireless devices make it cost-effective to add electronic control to many more areas of a building. With online locking systems, facility managers monitor and manage premises in real-time, viewing the status of doors, medicine cupboards and server racks from one software interface. Physical key management Example #1: Upgrading to intelligent physical keys - Physical key management can hinder patient care, as pharmacy nurses at the UK’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham discovered. An older, mechanical system made it difficult to find who held the right keys for medicine stores. Nurses were wasting valuable time searching. Managers identified a better solution: CLIQ® electromechanical locks. With CLIQ, power to each access control lock is supplied by a standard battery inside every key. No wires are required, so this is an easy retrofit solution for doors, cabinets and drug trolleys. Each employee carries one programmable key to open all authorised locks. “The message from nursing staff is that patients are getting medicines much easier and in a more timely fashion,” says Inderjit Singh, Chief Pharmacist at QE Birmingham. “For us, the key return on investment is the quality of service we’re providing.” Swapping mechanical lock The hospital added secure doors without excessive installation or operating costs Example #2: Integrating hardware to extend access control - Swapping a mechanical lock for a battery-powered device can link another door to an existing access control system. It instantly upgrades security for sensitive offices and drug stores. At the Haute Savoie region’s new hospital, managers selected Aperio locking integrated online with an ARD security system. Because Aperio locks are wireless and integrate easily with any access system, the hospital added secure doors without excessive installation or operating costs. Staff no longer waste time hunting down keys. “Having just a single badge — and not having to carry around heavy keys — has been a major advantage,” says Béatrice Dequidt, Health Executive at CHMS. “We have implemented internal HR management procedures, creating badges that are automatically integrated into ARD's operating software,” adds Alain Gestin, CHMS’s IT Systems Architect. Access control system Example #3: Mobile keys to reducing shared touchpoints - Multiple key systems; varied openings including fire doors, glass doors, offices, pharmacies, car parks and lifts; hundreds of workers and contractors whose access permissions constantly change. Faced with these challenges, Hospital MAZ, in Zaragoza, upgraded their mechanical locking to a new SMARTair Wireless Online electronic access control system. Because SMARTair Wireless Online updates in real-time via communications hubs, security managers handle everything from the central system. Staff and contractors carry a single smartcard ID, programmed with individual permissions Staff and contractors carry a single smartcard ID, programmed with individual permissions. At any time, hospital managers can upgrade to SMARTair Openow mobile access without changing lock hardware. This option offers contactless entry for employees, who keep mobile keys updated on their own smartphones. "We have achieved all our objectives with the installation of the system,” says Miguel Angel Hernández Jerez at Hospital MAZ. Electronic PIN lock Example #4: Door security without software - In any busy medical facility, it is easy to leave a door unlocked. With expensive equipment or controlled drugs on the other side, any opening invites opportunists. Installing a Code Handle® electronic PIN lock takes the worry away — without the need for any complex installation or software activation. In Spain’s Basque Country, Fylab chose this simple solution for three consulting-room doors. “I am no artist or handyman, but I managed to fit the handles within 10 minutes,” says Fylab founder, Borja Saldias Retegui. Their Code Handle devices secure both wooden and glass doors, keeping equipment and personal belongings safe.
IOTICS is creating a digital twin of Portsmouth International Port as part of an ambitious 1.5m project to demonstrate an achievable modular green hydrogen generation system within the Port. The Shipping, Hydrogen & Port Ecosystems UK (SHAPE UK) project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. Carbon neutral port Portsmouth International Port is the UK's largest and most successful municipal port, operated by Portsmouth City Council, and is one of the sites of the new Solent Freeport. It is committed to becoming the first carbon-neutral UK port by 2030 and the first zero-emission port by 2050. “As a port operating in the heart of a major city, and that is owned by the people of Portsmouth, we must do everything we can to minimise our impact as we continue to grow in the coming years,” said Jerry Clarke, Senior Project Manager at Portsmouth International Port. Virtualising activities Connected Places Catapult and Portsmouth University will leverage data to enhance and optimise operations IOTICS and its partners will create a digital twin of the port, interoperating with existing and emerging data from the port infrastructure and its activities as well as gathering data from the working hydrogen electrolyser. The IOTICS-enabled semantically defined digital twins, interoperating with data sources uncovered by KnowNow and deployed by Barter4Things will be an amalgamation to virtualise both dockside and offshore activities. Connected Places Catapult and Portsmouth University will leverage data from the digital twins within the port ecosystem to enhance and optimise operations with decision-support tools. Digital twin approach The digital twin approach will create a scalable model that is translatable for other ecosystems, use cases, and locations, offering a flexible foundation for further development. Sophie Peachey, Head of Customer Success at IOTICS said, “This project gives us many options to showcase the value of a digital twin approach by reusing data across different use cases." We will be looking at the business benefits for deploying renewable and clean fuels" "We will be looking at the business benefits for deploying renewable and clean fuels as well as the logistics of refuelling onshore equipment and sea-going vessels in a busy port. We’ll also be setting up the foundations of ways to look at environmental impacts of switching to clean fuel sources." Reducing carbon emissions Dr. David Hutchinson, a Reader in Environmental Innovation and Innovation and Impact Development Manager for the Faculty of Technology at the University of Portsmouth, said, “The Government has a very ambitious environmental target within the maritime sector." "SHAPE UK represents a milestone in the move to innovative low-cost green hydrogen generation and storage systems that bring significant reduction in carbon emissions and air pollution in and around Portsmouth and other UK ports.” He added, “The port is keen to act as a living lab so there will be a great student experience element, which will be particularly relevant for students in our Faculty of Technology, such as those on the renewable energy degree.”
Starr Corporation, located in American Falls, Idaho, United States, needed a way to track people’s time for time cards for a project that was to last a year long. It contacted Anviz for assistance. The customer, a food manufacturer, saw what they were doing for the construction site and wanted to have all subcontractors use the system, as to date there are 10,000 users and 200 some companies using the system. The challenge: For about a year-long length of the project, who comes to the construction site and who leaves. At any moment pull up a report of who is on-site ordered by the company. There are 200+ contractors and subcontractors on this project. The solution: It organised it so that company was the project name; departments were the various companies working on that project. Key benefits: Accuracy of capturing people and ability of reporting. Comments “The monthly attendance hours that CrossChex Cloud report to me took me 20 minutes to prepare to the bill while it typically takes me 2 hours without it,” said Brad Shroeder Pocatello, Idaho Manager.
Truline Industries is a specialty machining business located in Chesterland, Ohio, United States. Founded in 1939 Truline is built upon integrity both in work and in life. An AS 9100 / ISO 9001 certified facility, Truline makes use of the latest technology to fabricate fuel pump bearings for the aircraft industry as well as other high-tolerance precision machine parts. Challenge Truline Industries has been using Gallagher physical access control systems for their office building. However, the traditional access control is no longer satisfying; the client looked for an outdoor touchless face recognition access control solution with mask-wearing detection. Touchless recognition system Users who have been using RFID cards will still be able to keep using them on FaceDeep 5 RFID module Anviz reliable and stable touchless face recognition FaceDeep 5 (temperature detection optional) offers the client a good outdoor solution to get access to their office building without touching the reader, and wearing a mask. In addition, users who have been using RFID cards will still be able to keep using them on FaceDeep 5 RFID module, due to Protech Security with the Gallagher Controller integration. 10pcs FaceDeep 5 was installed in their office building outdoor and indoor, all devices are controlled centrally by software, very convenient to check access records, manage users, etc. Project partner Protech Security, with more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. Customer comments Anviz FaceDeep 5 is a very nicely designed and sturdy device, the recognition is very fast and precise even under outdoor strong sunlight, Truline Industries is very happy about this upgrading, which definitely brings the employees a safer and touchless access experience. Therefore, Protech Security provides excellent services and support; "we will surely recommend Anviz and Protech Security to our business partners."
Round table discussion
Facial recognition is a mature technology that continues to change and evolve. New innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) are expanding facial recognition capabilities, even as privacy concerns, though often misguided, undermine wider acceptance in the market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new developments in facial recognition?
Since the advent of the physical security industry, access control has been synonymous with physical cards, whether 125 kHz ‘prox’ cards or the newer smart card alternatives. However, other credentials have also come on the scene, including biometrics and even smart phones. Some of these choices have distinct cost and security advantages over physical cards. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How soon will the access control card become extinct and why?
Cost is a reality to be managed. No matter how powerful or desirable a technology may be to a customer, the sale often comes down to the basic question: Can I afford it? And affordability extends not just to the purchase price, but to the cost of technology over its lifespan. In addition to advances in technology capabilities, the security industry has also achieved inroads to make its offerings more worth the cost. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the physical security industry doing to make more affordable and cost-effective technology solutions for end users?
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12 questions to ask your access control providerDownload
Providing frictionless cloud Video Storage as a Service (VSaaS)Download