Body worn video cameras
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Limited announces intelligent video solutions that can help the NHS, and key businesses in the UK supply chain, to protect front-line staff and property as part of the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. High-temperature is one of the primary symptoms of COVID-19. Konica Minolta’s low-cost and easy-to-install thermal detection systems (part of its Intelligent Video Solutions) are able to quickly, unobtrusively and accurately detect elevated body temperature, enabling swift action to be taken, which could help to prevent the spread of infection. Warehouse and distribution facilities Steve Doust, Director of Sales and Marketing at Konica Minolta states, “Our Intelligent Video Solutions can play a key role in helping to protect front-line staff and property, especially within the NHS, which is currently experiencing the most strenuous of challenges.” Konica Minolta’s Intelligent Video Solutions can be used by organisations to supplement existing safety measures during these unprecedented times. Ideal applications include protecting those caring for others affected by the Coronavirus but also span the UK supply chain, to include logistics, warehouse and distribution facilities. Array of thermal detection Konica Minolta’s Intelligent Video Solutions can be set-up remotely Steve adds, “Our solutions are already being deployed by cruise companies, food manufacturers as well as retail and media organisations to better protect their staff and customers. We hope they will be used to help a vast number of organisations across many industries during the current crisis.” With minimal installation required, Konica Minolta’s Intelligent Video Solutions can be set-up remotely, removing the need for unnecessary physical human interaction. No dedicated servers or recording software licenses are required and the whole system can be scaled quickly to meet changing requirements. The Konica Minolta team is on hand now to help any organisation or business requiring urgent assistance with its security needs during these challenging times. Please refer to Konica Minolta’s website for further information on an array of thermal detection, access control, image & process monitoring and surveillance solutions to meet the needs of the organisation today, and in the future.
Axis Communications, recognised for decades as an international provider of network video, has announced its first body worn camera solution designed for use by law enforcement and private security. The solution – including the robust camera, docking station and system controller – has been designed on an open system architecture, which will allow for integration with a broad range of video management systems (VMS) and evidence management systems (EMS), making the solution the world’s most flexible, and enhancing existing software investments. Video surveillance technology Benefits of body worn cameras are recognised in the law enforcement sector and private security industry The benefits of body worn cameras in capturing evidence, deterring criminal behavior and training of officers and security personnel, are well-understood in the law enforcement sector and increasingly recognised in the private security industry. As both a pioneer and provider of video surveillance technology, with more than 30 years of experience in developing solutions for almost every imaginable scenario, the move by Axis to create a body worn solution is a logical one. The Axis body worn camera solution is the result of extensive research and development, including the methodological approach Axis takes to the creation of new solutions refined over decades of experience, and numerous interviews with law enforcement and private security organisations. One critical aspect of the solution that was highlighted by potential customers was the need to maximise their existing investments in VMS and EMS software, hence the open architecture. End-to-end solution The Axis body worn solution can be used with a third-party VMS and EMS, on-premise or in the cloud, allowing for integration with other video surveillance data. It can also be delivered as an end-to-end solution, using AXIS Camera Station, the company’s own VMS software. Fredrik Andersson, Global Product Manager, New Solutions Initiative at Axis Communications, explains: “When we’re in the process of developing a new solution, we’re always committed to deliver the best possible quality of video and audio within the constraints of the specific form factor. For the body worn camera, obvious challenges relate to finding the optimum combination of size, weight, the need for robustness and maximising battery life. To get all these elements right, our research and iterative design process included numerous conversations with customers, multiple product prototypes and a number of early-stage pilot projects.” Holistic view of customer requirement Wide dynamic range technology is employed to guarantee image quality in even the most challenging light conditions" “The same level of thoroughness has been applied throughout the solution, not just the camera unit. We took a holistic view of the customer requirement, from video capture in the field to presentation of evidence in the courtroom. This is where the openness became imperative – customers didn’t want to be forced into a specific VMS and EMS – and also drove key aspects related to security and ensuring the integrity of evidence.” The new Axis body worn camera system features three main hardware components: the camera itself; the camera docking station (8-bay or 1-bay); and the system controller. The camera captures video up to 1080p @30fps and audio through dual microphones for noise suppression capabilities. Wide dynamic range technology is employed to guarantee image quality in even the most challenging light conditions, while Axis Zipstream for body worn reduces the demands for storage. Single integration and management point Battery power is designed to cover a ‘full shift’, with 12 hours of normal usage and the capability for charging in-car or from a power bank. The docking station and the system controller are separate units. The system is easy scalable for large and cost-efficient body worn systems. The system controller provides a single integration and management point, and allows for fast and reliable video offloading (100Mbit per camera). All data is encrypted both at rest and in transfer using AES256 and TLS. In addition, video data can be fully end-to-end encrypted with specific integrations. The camera also features built-in: GPS/GNSS receiver for location tracking Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1 IEEE 802.11b/g/n 6-axis gyro and accelerometer Storage and analysis of the video captured The AXIS Body Worn Assistant mobile application allows users to review footage and add categories, descriptions and notes. As Andersson explains, ease of use has been a focus throughout the solution design: “It’s essential that body worn cameras are simple to use in the field by officers and security personnel who may be in stressful situations, poor weather conditions or badly-lit areas. But we were keen that the same ease of use was evident throughout the solution, for operators responsible for the offloading, storage and analysis of the video captured.” The Axis body worn solution will be available through Axis distribution channels in Q2 2020.
Cheshire, UK, based Anekanta Ltd (Anekanta) and New York, USA, based GT Digital (GT) announced that they are working together to progress GT’s patent-pending, innovative, cognitive intelligence platform MediaMaestro. Through its advanced military-grade proprietary algorithms, MediaMaestro can automatically predict emerging threats before they happen, enable fast mitigating action and provide continuous updates to a rapidly evolving scenario. In a society where the threats to the safety and well-being of the individual are ever increasing, whether in public spaces, borders, critical infrastructure, the workplace, at home or at leisure, there is an increasing demand for better situational awareness which enables effective decision making by authorities and business leaders to keep people safe. Low threat visibility Current technology in the marketplace is hindered by the limited ability to access Many situations appear to evolve at a lightning pace, yet evidence may be building up days, weeks and months ahead and may also involve groups of people working together. Visibility of an evolving threat is often low. The challenge to the stakeholders is that the situation may already be live by the time action is taken and by then it may be too late. Often the evidence isn’t discovered and connected until post event. Current technology in the marketplace is hindered by the limited ability to access, converge, analyse and extract meaning from millions of sources. It can only provide a perspective based on the snapshot of information available at the time. Situational awareness GT Digital's innovation is a form of artificial intelligence which by Connecting the Dots, combines and analyses any data source, including images from video surveillance, body worn, drone and satellite cameras, building sensors, GPS sensors, any externally accessible data and media source, and predicts intent using its patent pending algorithms. GT’s innovation creates a halo of protection through its dynamic all-round situational awareness surpassing anything on the market currently. Anekanta solves problems and adds entrepreneurial value to technology-focused organisations with an interest in artificial intelligence, video surveillance and safety domains. The team brings specialised strategic knowledge and expertise to the GT proposition aiming to further define the target customer and refine the solution. Through its corporate consultancy it will also act as a catalyst to enable the business to lay down the early stage financial foundations, build the corporate structure and help the business move forward to piloting the platform. Cognitive intelligence platform GT Digital Ltd correlates video and data from any source, in any format" Pauline Norstrom CEO and Founder of Anekanta Ltd “My interest in artificial intelligence in the security domain, is rooted in putting technology to good use in order to benefit society as a whole. GT Digital Ltd’s innovative cognitive intelligence platform aims to do exactly that by preventing acts of disruption before they happen." "I am delighted to be working with Gary Olson, Len Fertig and the team to help them develop the proposition and move the business forward to the next stage.” Gary Olson CEO and Co-Founder GT Digital Ltd “We are excited to have Pauline Norstrom working with us on our goal to help prevent some of the disruptive events in the security domain, protecting lives and property.” Artificial Intelligence solution “CONNECTING THE DOTS - No Human analyst can process or manage the overwhelming amount of digital information efficiently and effectively to initiate preventive action without an Artificial Intelligence solution. We correlate video and data from any source in any format.” Len Fertig CFO and Co-Founder GT Digital Ltd “GT Digital is in the “plot prevention” business thanks to ground-breaking technology that alerts security experts before events happen, foiling or at least mitigating the damage to people and property. Not only does this represent a great market opportunity but also a critically important social good.”
Sepura has hired Victor Rodrigues as Strategic Account Director for Southern Europe, confirming the company’s ambition to continue growing business in the region. Victor has extensive experience in global sales from an initial spell with Sepura, having provided TETRA radios to national police forces that are still in use across Southern Europe, a testament to the radios’ durability. Public safety organisations Victor latterly headed up Sepura’s South American sales team, establishing the company as a major presence in the regional critical communications market, and securing business with both public safety and commercial organisations in the region. This included providing radios and networks to support the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, as well as regional police forces in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. Victor’s experience and contacts in the market will be crucial to continue developing Sepura’s presence" Before returning to Sepura in 2020, Victor was based in Barcelona, supplying technology including body worn cameras and Tasers to police and other public safety organisations in Southern Europe. TETRA radios Speaking about his return to Sepura, Victor said, “I see tremendous potential in the Southern European market with upcoming opportunities to provide Sepura’s newest generation of TETRA radios to critical communications users. I’m looking forward to working with our partners and customers to ensure that Sepura continues to be the radio of choice for public safety in Europe.” Sales and Marketing Director Terence Ledger added, “For Sepura it is vital to have the right resources in region. Victor’s experience and contacts in the market will be crucial to continue developing Sepura’s presence, and ensuring that our customers have best-in-class solutions to support their operations. We are delighted to welcome Victor back as part of our great team at Sepura.”
With the recent news headlines about store closures and the collapse of well-known chains, alongside clear adjustments in business strategy amongst established high street favourites, there is no denying that the UK retail industry is under huge pressure. A recent report suggests growing issues are leading some retailers to increase risk-taking in the supply chain. But here, Steve Bumphrey, Traka UK Sales Director, looks at ways to help retailers embrace the storm, including paying attention to security, management processes and efficient customer focus. Challenges plaguing retail industry It’s been an awful year to date for UK retail if you believe the cacophony of negative headlines about the health of the UK economy and the confidence levels of the UK consumer. The sector is facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing The sector is undoubtedly facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing. Further concerns include an unwillingness of policymakers to address the changing retail environment and how business rates and general business taxation and regulation is making a difficult situation worse. Supply Chain Risk Report According to the latest Global Supply Chain Risk Report, published by Cranfield School of Management and Dan & Badstreet, those under pressure, are now facing increased exposure to risk if they are forced to cut costs in their supply chain. The report cites data for the retail sector that shows increased levels of risk-taking since Q4 2018, with retailers reporting high levels of dependency on suppliers and indicating a propensity to off-shore to low-cost, high-risk countries where suppliers are more likely to be financially unstable. In-store technology revolution The underlying evolution of technology taking hold of the retail industry and consequential changing consumer behaviour is what is really forcing the industry to step up and act. This is not only in the shift to online and smart mobile purchases, but also with the increased use of technology in store. Self-scanning and checkouts In a bid to enhance the physical shop experience, especially in supermarket outlets across the UK, retailers are increasingly giving customers autonomy with self-scanners and checkouts and need to be able to trust them to ensure an honest transaction. And for the shoppers, this dependency on technology and not human interaction to complete a shop means scanners must be instantly available and ready for use. Many different underlying competing challenges impact the retail industry Compensators At the recent British Retail Consortium’s ‘Charting the Future’ conference, looking at retail crime and security, Dr Emmeline Taylor, a criminologist at the City University of London identified in self -service shops, several new types of ‘offenders’ such as so-called ‘compensators’ including the atypical ‘frustrated consumer’ who, “fully intended to pay but were unable to scan an item properly”, adding to the security challenge. There are clearly many different underlying competing challenges impacting the retail industry. Arguably, the increase in technology and autonomous shopping, where less staff are present (or staff cuts planned) throws up more vulnerabilities, such as the opportunity for store theft. Use of body cameras Staff needs emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and keep employees safe Furthermore, staff may need greater use of emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and help keep employees safe. In essence, prevention is better than cure, and it’s certainly cheaper. Whether combating crime physically or online, or looking to find ways to counter the high street trends, working together, sharing information and taking a more holistic approach will help the development of a shared language between retailers. Retail banking It is also here where common approaches can help to deliver on efficiencies, in time, resource and budget that can serve to operate right through the supply chain, and minimise, or even negate the need to take any risks. It can even serve to enhance the customer experience, increasing confidence in the shopping environment. Of course, when discussing the high street, it is not just the department stores and chains that are feeling the impact. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street, with customers (especially younger generations) demanding a more efficient service than ever before. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street Asset protection Leading the way is Nationwide, globally renowned building society, which prides itself on being one of the largest savings providers and mortgages provider in the UK, promoting itself as running purely for the benefit of its customers, or ‘members.’ Richard Newland, Director of Branch & Workplace Transformation at Nationwide said, “Even more than getting a good ‘deal’ from a building society, the quality of our welcome, or our renowned level of service, we make sure our members feel safe with us, enough to trust us with their greatest assets. We are doing everything we can to evolve our business and focus our efforts on providing the best and most secure services that people value.” Key management systems Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems So committed to its branch network, it has pledged to its 15 million members that every town and city with a Nationwide branch, will still have one for at least the next two years. A bold statement in today’s climate. Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems, moving its branch network into a more digital system. Keys no longer need to leave site and the audit trail capability has helped to remove the manual paper recording, allowing status of keys to be established instantly, at any time. Changes in retail market This example, together with Traka’s portfolio of high street brands and globally renowned department stores that cannot be named for security reasons, demonstrates the need for retailers to embrace the need for change, both from a product offering and operational running perspective to achieve aspirations of resonating with customers. They also prove the opportunities for success, in an unquestionable difficult market environment. If retailers can listen to customers and respond accordingly, taking into consideration staff safety and security, alongside an ability to respond quickly to personalised enquiries and expectations. This way, perhaps, the current environment can be seen as an opportunity to innovate and embrace technology to form the high street of the future.
Facial recognition has a long history dating back to the 1800s. To track down criminals, such as infamous bandits Jesse Woodson James and Billy the Kid, law enforcement would place “Wanted Alive or Dead” posters advertising bounties and soliciting public cooperation to help locate and even apprehend the alleged criminals. In addition to the bounty, these posters would include a photo and brief description of the crime, which would then be circulated to law enforcement agencies around the country and displayed in every US Post Office to speed up apprehension. Facial recognition Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology have led to the widespread use of computerised facial recognition Today, technology such as social media, television and other more specialised communication networks play a more influential role in the recognition process. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology, including the development of Machine Learning capabilities, have led to increased accuracy, accessibility and the widespread use of computerised facial recognition. The significance of this means that facial recognition can occur on an even larger scale and in more challenging environments. This article will explore key milestones and technological advances that have resulted in the modern incarnation of facial recognition, before discussing the capabilities of cutting-edge “one-to-many” technology which is increasingly being used by counter-terror defence, police and security forces around the world. Technology inception and developments The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour, which was considered very impressive at the time The 1960s marked the start of computerised facial recognition, when Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe developed a way to classify faces using gridlines. Bledsoe’s facial recognition still required a large amount of human involvement because a person had to extract the co-ordinates of the face’s features from a photograph and enter this information into a computer. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour (each face took approximately 90 seconds to be matched) which was considered very impressive at the time. By the end of the 1960s, facial recognition had seen further development at the Stanford Research Institute where the technology proved to outperform humans in terms of accuracy of recognition (humans are notoriously bad at recognising people they don’t know). By the end of the century, the leading player in the field was a solution that came out of the University of Bochum in Germany – and the accuracy of this technology was such that it was even sold on to bank and airport customers. From this stage on, the facial recognition market began to blossom, with error rates of automatic facial recognition systems decreasing by a factor of 272 from 1993 to 2010 according to US Government-sponsored evaluations. The aim for facial technology is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware Modern usage of facial recognition Fast-forward to the modern day and facial recognition has become a familiar technology when using applications such as the iPhone X’s Face ID capability or MasterCard Identity Check, passport e-gates at airports and other security and access control points. These solutions implement a consensual form of identity verification, as the user has a vested interest in being identified. This is a “one-to-one” facial recognition event, one person in front of the camera being compared to one identity either on a passport or the app. In these scenarios, the hardware is specifically developed for the application at hand, therefore technically much easier to accomplish. Facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments The safety and security world brings a much more complex problem to solve – how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve. It’s even more challenging when the aim is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware. And unlike in the 1960’s where identifying a face every 90 seconds was acceptable; the safety and security market requires near instant feedback on who a person matched against a watchlist is. Security and safety applications The idea behind all facial recognition technologies is broadly the same: you start with an image of a person’s face (ideally a high quality one, although machine learning means that to a point we can now even use video without reducing accuracy). A fully front facing image is best, think a passport photo, but machine learning and new software has made this more flexible. An algorithm converts this image into a numeric template, which cannot be converted back to an image and so represents a secure one way system. Every numeric template is different, even if it started out as an image of the same person, although templates from the same person are more similar than templates from different people. The accuracy of facial recognition continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments What happens next sounds simple although the technology is extremely complex: templates of people’s faces are taken in real time and compared to those in the database. The technology identifies individuals by matching the numeric template of their face with all the templates saved in a database in a matter of seconds or milliseconds. To put this into perspective, imagine you are at the turnstiles of a busy train station looking for a person on the run. Today’s facial recognition technology would be able to identify that person should they pass in view of a CCTV camera, as well as notify the police of any additional persons of interest, whether they are a known terrorist or missing vulnerable person on an entirely separate watch list. Because of technical progression, facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments, from identifying barred hooligans attempting entry at a football stadium or helping self-excluded gamblers at casino to overcome addiction. Real-time assessments The latest evolution of facial recognition pits the technology against an even more challenging application – directly matching individuals from body worn cameras for real time recognition for police officers on the beat. This capability equips first responders with the ability to detect a person from a photo and verify their identity with assurance. The broader implication for this means that every interaction, such as stop and search or arrest, can be supported by real-time facial recognition which will see cases of mistaken identity driven down on the streets. First responders can now for the first time be deployed and furnished with the ability to identify wider groups of people of interest with a degree of accuracy that previously relied only on the fallible human memory. As the accuracy of the technology continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments, its ability to support government initiatives and law enforcement means the debate about the lawful and appropriate use of facial recognition must be addressed. Facial recognition should not be everywhere looking for everyone, but when used properly it has the potential to improve public safety and we should make the most of its potential.
By 2020, video surveillance using fixed, body and mobile cameras is expected to capture an astounding 859 PB of video daily. Increasing retention regulations and higher resolution cameras, are forcing the video surveillance industry to reassess its approach to data storage. Large capacity primary storage tends to be expensive to procure and costly to implement – especially without a sound architecture that can balance storage performance levels with the speed of access needed to recall video footage. Active archive strategy These challenges are thrusting storage tiers to the forefront of system design. Storage tiers in video surveillance had previously meant simply using a separate archive or attaching add-on capacity directly to network video recorders. Many of the new storage options designed for video surveillance are pulling together different storage tiers into a single storage architecture Many of the new storage options designed for video surveillance are pulling together different storage tiers (and in some cases storage media) into a single storage architecture, such as an active archive solution. This balance can be achieved with an active archive strategy that automates migration of data between different storage types, to ensure the data is on the correct storage type at the correct time to meet performance and retention requirements without blowing the budget. This approach also ensures ease of access while automatically moving content from more expensive tiers of storage to more cost-effective long-term tiers of storage. This allows for greater efficiencies in how recorded footage is treated throughout its lifecycle. In some cases, it includes moving data from edge devices to centralised storage, and then to the public cloud. Scalable video storage solutions As storage demands have increased, video management vendors have turned to storage specialists for solutions that can accommodate large numbers of high-resolution video files, metadata associated with the footage for easy searching, along with much needed scalable solutions. In terms of video management software, this means the integration of video content from different storage types, tiers and physical locations is required, and which considers the performance profile of each storage type. With an active archive solution, video content is searchable and accessible directly by the end users regardless of where it is stored. Deploying an active archive solution enables surveillance users to reduce the complexity and costs of managing data for long term retention As seen in many product categories, camera and storage vendors continue to provide extremely competitive offerings. But, storage-specific solutions for video surveillance have lagged behind the roadmaps for video equipment and, as more and more cameras have entered the market, less attention has been placed on video storage capacities. Tiered storage strategy The surveillance industry has evolved considerably from the days of the 8mm video recorder; however, enterprise storage solutions will be forced to evolve further to cope with changing storage retention requirements. Video storage is quickly becoming one of the most expensive parts in a surveillance solution, but there is hope. Deploying an active archive solution will enable surveillance users to reduce the complexity and costs of managing from terabytes to petabytes of data for long term retention. By finding a storage solution that delivers the ability to implement a tiered storage strategy, users can adhere to regulation requirements to retain video footage and meet their safety and security objectives, while also significantly reducing storage costs and operational expenses.
Axis Communications has introduced a body-worn camera solution, which the company says represents a natural extension of their corporate vision, business strategy and core competence. The new body-worn cameras and other elements of the system will provide Axis new opportunities to grow by tapping into existing and new customers. The fast-growing body-worn camera market is an attractive one, and Axis sees opportunities to extend the use of body-worn cameras beyond the current core market of police and corrections officers. Private security applications for the technology include healthcare, education, banking, public venues, retail, logistics, transportation and places of worship. The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind, says Martin Gren, Founder and Director of New Projects at Axis. “We try to make it fit with existing customers.” Deploying and using the system The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind Gren says the system is easy to deploy and use. The Axis W100 camera provides 1080p images, wide dynamic range (WDR) and has dual microphones, operating 12 hours on a single charge. GPS/GNSS global satellite navigation provides location, and a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer offer additional data beyond the video image. For example, sensors might be triggered in some situations to initiate recording. One-bay (Axis W700) or eight-bay (Axis W701) docking stations enable high-speed supervised data offloading and battery charging, and a system controller (Axis W800) provides a central point for integration and management. Use of Zipstream compression technology saves on bandwidth and storage. Video cannot be accessed in the field, but only when a camera has been docked. There are many layers of security, and encryption protects all data used in the system from being accessed by outside agents. The USB interface cannot be connected to an ordinary computer but only to the docking station. Open standards Open standards ensure easy integration with video management systems and/or evidence management systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. At the time of release, the Axis body-worn camera system is already integrated with Milestone XProtect, Genetec Security Center, and Axis Camera Station VMSs. It is also integrated with the Genetec Clearance cloud-based evidence management system. An application programming interface (API) will facilitate additional integrations over time. The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels of distributors, systems integrators and resellers. The camera is part of the Axis “ecosystem,” which includes the company’s familiar network cameras as well as recent additions such as access control, network audio systems (including loud speakers), intercom door stations, a radar detector and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “The more things you integrate, the more value you add to customers,” said Gren. The new body-worn camera systems are core products for Axis; they are not made by another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and merely sold under the Axis label. “When we decided to do body-worn cameras, OEMing was not an option,” said Gren. “Instead we took some experienced Axis engineers and a bunch of new ones to develop this product line to ensure the same Axis quality and compatibility.” Introducing the new product The body-worn camera system was unveiled remotely in a press conference webinar; the original plan was to introduce the new product at ISC West, which was cancelled to minimise spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to announcing the new product, the Axis executives provided commentary and insight into the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “The security industry is a close-knit community that is connected in more ways than one,” said Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Vice President of the Americas. “We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision to address such challenges.” We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision" “There is some disruption in the Axis supply chain, but we have a broad partner-based supply chain when it comes to our sub-suppliers, our seven global CLCs (Configuration and Logistics Centers) and the distributors who keep inventory for integrators,” said Nilsson in the March 18th press call. “There is some stress on some components, but things are working relatively well under the circumstances. We are monitoring it on a day-to-day basis, but so far we have been able to hold things up very well.” Gren offered a comment on the possible use of thermal cameras (which Axis makes) to measure body temperature during the COVID-19 crisis: “When we designed our thermal cameras, that was a common question,” he said. “But in general, it is difficult to use a thermal camera to get an accurate reading. We have one model – the Q2901 – that is a temperature-accurate thermal camera, and if you look straight into the camera, it is accurate to around 1° F. However, there are more efficient ways to [measure temperature]. In general, it’s not a business application I would recommend.”
Whether it is video analytic platforms to monitor traffic patterns or cameras deployed to help law enforcement ensure public safety, many cities are looking at advancements in video technology. Upgrade costs and technology compatibility issues are often front-and-centre when it comes to blending new technology with existing infrastructure. For example, if the city law enforcement officials want to improve video camera image quality, which can improve the evidentiary value of footage in prosecutions, they may look at newer HD or IP-based video systems. Upgrading to a hybrid DVR system Applications include perimeter monitoring, public parking, city transportation, square/town safety To stretch a tight budget, a migration plan to an IP-based camera system could be phased in over time by centering the upgrade on a new hybrid DVR system. This way, both existing analogue and newer IP-based cameras can be hooked into the system. For example, Hikvision’s Smart City Solutions include systems for government services, transportation and traffic management, or any combinations of these. Applications include perimeter monitoring, public parking, city transportation, square/town safety and temporary surveillance. Data capture form to appear here! Heart of City strategy Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, has introduced its ‘Heart of City (HOC)’ strategy, which is in line with the top-level design experience from hundreds of city projects. The strategy is based on the maturity of five technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, IoT and 5G. The combination will enable the evolution of smart city 3.0 and bring great changes to our life, according to Dahua. A 300-plus camera city centre video surveillance scheme in the UK city of Lincoln has been installed and commissioned using Dahua's cameras, monitors and switching equipment A 300-plus camera city centre video surveillance scheme in the UK city of Lincoln has been installed and commissioned using cameras, monitors and switching equipment from Dahua Technology. The design of the new all-wireless encrypted system was based around delivering flexible technology, reducing the total cost of ownership, ease of installation, lower maintenance requirements, smart edge analytics and remote connectivity. Future-proof radio network design Environmentally friendly aspects of the project included specifying lower-energy equipment, integrating remote support and recycling hardware wherever possible. The council employed independent consultants Lever Technology Group to help them ensure they had a robust and future-proof radio network design. The installation of the new IP full HD system and network is part of Lincoln’s smart city strategy – Vision 2020 – which seeks to drive innovation in the city and harness new technologies to improve the lives of citizens. One of the results is the provision of free Wi-Fi in the city, working alongside the Dahua cameras using the same IP wireless network. Wearables for city surveillance Wearables are another new aspect of city surveillance system. For example, FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced FLIR TruWITNESS, a wearable sensor platform designed for city-level security and public safety operations. TruWITNESS combines video, audio, location data, Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, and cloud and management software in one solution, allowing organisations to reach a new level of situational awareness. TruWITNESS is worn on an individual’s body or mounted inside vehicles and is designed for any public safety organisation that requires on-scene, real-time mobile surveillance TruWITNESS is designed for any public safety organisation that requires on-scene, real-time mobile surveillance. Worn on an individual’s body or mounted inside vehicles, TruWITNESS includes visible-video, audio, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer sensors. These sensors combine to send alerts and stream data to a central command centre in real-time to ensure full situational awareness and global event handling. Featuring FLIR Neighbor Aware inter-device connectivity, TruWITNESS acts as an IoT device, triggering nearby TruWITNESS devices, fixed and motorised Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) security cameras, and other connected sensors to act upon an alarm event. TruWITNESS becomes a key component of FLIR Systems’ Video Management System, United VMS, which command centres use to manage video surveillance. United VMS combines video, audio, and other related data and makes it available for real-time situation management and forensic purposes. Video analytics for crowd monitoring Crowd monitoring video analytics solutions monitor vast areas instantly alerting police of any overcrowding areasCrowd monitoring video analytics solutions continuously monitor vast areas instantly alerting police of any overcrowding areas. Qognify’s crowd monitoring video analytics solution was successfully used during the Maratha Morcha in the city of Kolhapur, India, on October 15th, 2016. The system monitored approximately one million protestors through 165 cameras installed across city. Smart threshold alerts were streamed directly into the control room while the crowd was building up, so that action could be taken before the crowd density reached dangerous levels, alleviating crowd safety and stability. At the core of the solution is Situator, Qognify’s advanced PSIM/Situation Management solution, which manages a myriad of security systems and sensors, including Qognify’s video management solution, from a newly built state-of-the-art Command and Control Center. Security operators and officials have advanced situational awareness of what is happening in their city and where. Automated, pre-defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were designed, in the local language Marathi, for handling routine security incidents as well as disaster management, ensuring that the most effective response is initiated, and procedures are executed in a consistent manner. Maintaining law, order and safety Qognify also implemented its Safe City solution in Navi Mumbai, a planned township that was established to handle the population overflow from the overcrowded and ever-growing city of Mumbai, India. Together with CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation, the agency established for managing the new city) and system integrator WIPRO, Qognify designed an integrated and holistic solution that helps Navi police to maintain law, order and safety. Qognify’s Video Management Solution controls hundreds of surveillance cameras As a planned township, Navi Mumbai officials have the benefit of operating in a modern environment, allowing them to maximise Qognify’s Safe City solution. The Qognify Situator is an advanced Situation Management platform, and Qognify’s Video Management Solution controls the hundreds of surveillance cameras throughout the city. Role of standards in smart cities “Standards can assist in successfully deploying a comprehensive [safe cities] system with multiple technologies into a single, cohesive entity,” said Per Björkdahl, Chair of the ONVIF Steering Committee. “With the ability to integrate various sensors and data from many different devices synthesised through one interface, government officials and law enforcement are afforded a more complete picture of their city’s security.” Deployment of facial recognition technology Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high quality This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control centre and matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city centre where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police. Read parts one and three of our Smart Cities miniseries.
The excitement of ISC West 2019 continued until the very end – almost. Exhilarated by the first two busy days of the show, attendees and exhibitors seemed to welcome a slower third day. There were no complaints about booth traffic, and still plenty of thoughtful conversations taking place, everyone determined to maximise the value of face time with customers until the last second. Building an IoT ecosystem in SAST At a show lacking in high-profile new technology announcements, the biggest news is perhaps the possible long-term impact of first-time exhibitor Security and Safety Things (SAST), a Bosch startup. SAST is building a new Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem for the security and safety industry, including an app store, an open and secure camera operating system, a software developer environment, and a portal for integrators. SOCs (system-on-chips inside cameras) are becoming much more capable" Their 1,800-square-foot booth was big for a first-time exhibitor, and the American football theme was well received, as was the substance of the company’s effort to drive innovation in a highly fragmented industry. Seeing actual cameras and apps on display at the ISC West booth is “more real than PowerPoint,” says Hartmut Schaper, CEO of Security and Safety Things (SAST). “For us, seeing is believing,” says Schaper. “It was important for us to show cameras and apps for the first time. People are surprised at how far down the road we are.” “This dynamic will change in the industry,” says Schaper. “SOCs (system-on-chips inside cameras) are becoming much more capable. Soon there will be more processing power on the edge. People will find a way to use the extra processing power.” “Seeing is believing” at the SAST booth at ISC West 2019, where CEO Hartmut Schaper showed several manufacturers’ cameras whose functionality can be expanded using Android apps Developing more apps Several large manufacturers are already involved in the initiative, but there are some holdouts. “We are having ongoing talks with everyone to convince them to join,” Schaper says. “Some of the bigger ones will come around. We are not a camera manufacturer, and not a threat. We are owned by Bosch but are managed completely separately. There will be more and more apps developed, and momentum will increase.” “A year from now we will have successful customers we can talk about, and more camera manufacturers on board,” he says. “This year we are taxiing on the runway, but next year we will have cleared the tarmac and be climbing.” If the approach succeeds, their first appearance at ISC West will be remembered as historic. Future of surveillance cameras Off the show floor, in a nearby meeting room, chip maker Ambarella demonstrated technologies that will be driving the future of video surveillance cameras, including more intelligence at the edge. “People have been using more traditional video analytics approaches, though most of them have been disappointing,” says Chris Day, Ambarella VP of Marketing and Business Development. “What is ground-breaking now is the use of neural networks and real artificial intelligence, which has increased capabilities 100x. "You will see camera products coming out over the next year that are massively better than before. It’s not just incrementally getting better. Cameras will be coming out later this year with analytics that are absolutely amazing based on [the new chips.]” Larry Anderson, editor-in-chief of SecurityInformed.com, talks about Ambarella HDR and Low Light Solutions with Jerome Gigot, Senior Director of Marketing for Ambarella. (Source: Ambarella) New systems-on-chips Ambarella has introduced four new systems-on-chips (SoCs) in the last year, with emphasis on computer vision (video analytics). The newest is the S6LM Camera SoC with 4K imaging technology, unveiled at ISC West. The S6LM includes Ambarella's latest high dynamic range (HDR) and low-light processing technology, highly efficient 4K H.264 and H.265 encoding, multi-streaming, on-chip 360-degree de-warping, cyber-security features, and a quad-core CPU. People shouldn’t forget what a good camera is, and there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff" “With so much focus on AI and computer vision, I’m concerned the industry has taken focus away from low light imaging, wide dynamic range and image quality,” says Day. “You have to see the details in an image. People shouldn’t forget what a good camera is, and there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff, it’s all included in one chip.” From products to systems With a new general manager on board (Daniel Gundlach, formerly of Bosch), FLIR Systems Security Division is continuing its transition from a product company to a solutions provider, removing internal silos to clear the path. FLIR offers a strong end-to-end portfolio for Smart Cities applications, including the TruWITNESS line of body worn cameras and newly acquired Aeryon drones. FLIR’s historical strength as the top thermal imaging provider continues, but today they are much more than a thermal imaging company, offering visible day/night cameras, infrared pan-tilt-zoom cameras, video management systems and other technologies to provide a broader platform. FLIR's Saros security cameras combine multiple security technologies, including thermal sensors, high-resolution visible imaging, IR and visible LED illuminators, onboard analytics and two-way audio and digital input/outputs. Products in critical infrastructure applications In addition to Safe Cities, FLIR installs a range of products in critical infrastructure applications, such as oil and gas and electric utilities. Ports also tend to combine traditional security with an emphasis on perimeter protection, a FLIR strength. Existing perimeter protection applications can open opportunities for the broader platform. For example, installing a complete system in an airport that already uses FLIR’s thermal technology represents “low-hanging fruit” for the company, says Fredrik Wallberg, FLIR Director of Marketing – Security and Intelligent Transportation Systems. Ambarella demonstrates its latest imaging technology for video security during ISC West 2019 (Source: Ambarella) Integrated solutions Bosch's focus At the Bosch booth, there was an emphasis on integrated solutions and the customer experience. A mock retail store setup demonstrated systems such as overhead cameras for people counting and alarm communication to provide an alert if a refrigerator door is left ajar. A wireless panic button generates a silent alarm, communicates with a 2-way radio, and triggers a camera to focus on the area. An AVIOTEK IP camera alarms if there is a fire, based on observing actual flames rather than smoke. A new Bosch fixed dome camera series offers wireless remote commissioning capabilities that reduce installation and set-up time by up to 75 percent. Set-up only takes three steps: install the mounting bracket, connect the cables, and attach the camera module. Commissioning can be done wirelessly or remotely with no need for ladders or lifts. Dahua marks five years in the U.S. An IR illuminator is attached to each lens module to ensure there is always illumination in the field of view Time flies in the security industry, and it has already been five years since the Dahua brand entered the U.S. market. Today the company offers products through ADI and some 20 distributors, and has more than 30 technical consultants and technical support employees and 50 or 60 sales people in the field (including independent rep firms). “We are growing,” says Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA. “It’s exciting for the company.” At ISC West, Dahua introduced a line of Multi-Flex panoramic cameras with lens modules that can be repositioned along an internal track for 180-, 270- or 360-degree views, providing flexibility for integrators. An IR illuminator is attached to each lens module to ensure there is always illumination in the field of view. Cost savings come from ease of installation (one camera instead of four) and only one VMS license (instead of four). AI and night colour cameras Dahua is also emphasising its Night Colour cameras that remain in full colour mode regardless of how dark it gets. There is no IR illumination or IR cut filter – the camera stays in color mode and displays any visible image in colour with as little as 1 lux of illumination. The 2 megapixel version is on display at ISC West, and a 4 megapixel version will come in the fall. A year ago at ISC West, Dahua emphasised its initiatives in artificial intelligence (AI) in order to position the company as a technology leader. This year, the message was more general – ‘Power Through Technology.’ The range of Dahua technologies includes AI, Night Colour, Starlight low-light imaging, fifth-generation HDCVI, and e-POE (Enhanced Power over Ethernet). Dahua USA's Director of Marketing says "the market itself likes AI", and expects more AI applications to follow (Source: Dahua USA's LinkedIn) “When we present AI to customers, they are happy, but when it comes to the budget they don’t have it,” says Shen. “The market itself likes AI, and it’s very much a buzzword. But we still need a proof of concept that it can do something good for end users. We need time to develop broader applications. The ‘smart retail’ market and education are good places to start.” he says. “AI is for project business,” adds Jennifer Hackenburg, Dahua’s Senior Product Marketing Manager. “Projects that are looking at AI haven’t come to fruition yet; they are still in the pipeline. It’s not for your everyday business. They are implementing it, but not as fast.” Access control beyond doors Access control should extend beyond doors. That’s the message I heard at the ASSA ABLOY booth, which displayed a variety of physical locks and intelligent access systems. An example is traffic cabinets, those metal boxes in public locations that could potentially be accessed to invade an internal network. ASSA ABLOY emphasises the need to secure the variety of enclosures, cabinets, drawers and small spaces ASSA ABLOY emphasises the need to secure the variety of enclosures, cabinets, drawers and small spaces throughout an enterprise. The company’s ‘security continuum’ message draws attention to the need for the right level of security for the right opening, using existing infrastructure as well as new electronic technologies. “Customers face a combination of non-traditional access control and questions on how they can secure things that are not doors,” says David Corbin, ASSA ABLOY Director of Access Control Accessories. The security message is resonating beyond the traditional security department to involve other stakeholders in an enterprise, including IT directors. There is new awareness of vulnerabilities that have been there forever, such as traffic cabinets that can be opened with a key purchased on eBay.
NICE announced that a consortium of four UK police forces (Hampshire Constabulary, Thames Valley Police, Surrey Police and Sussex Police), operating as the South East Regional Integrated Policing Programme (SERIP), has signed a contract with NICE to deploy the NICE Investigate Digital Evidence Management Solution (DEMS). SERIP will roll out NICE Investigate to more than 12,000 officers to streamline investigations and address the challenges of growing digital evidence. “Having had the opportunity to pilot NICE Investigate in the four forces, we could see the system in action and realise the benefits for our investigations and investigators. 92% of our officers said it would make their investigation more effective,” said a spokesperson from SERIP. “NICE Investigate will be transformational for us, not only in terms of time savings but also through improved policing outcomes that will ultimately reduce threats, harm and risk to our communities.” Interview recording systems NICE Investigate will also make it much easier for SERIP forces to collect CCTV video for cases Running on the secure Microsoft Azure cloud, NICE Investigate is a one-stop solution for automating manual processes around the collection, management, analysis and sharing of all types of digital evidence. NICE Investigate will seamlessly integrate with the four forces’ records management, body-worn video and interview recording systems so investigators can automatically correlate and gather evidence through a single login. NICE Investigate will also make it much easier for SERIP forces to collect CCTV video for cases. Investigators can instantly pull up a list of cameras within an incident radius and send off a request to registered businesses located within that geographic area. Any uploaded video is automatically transcoded to a useable format and securely stored in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Driving digital transformation “With SERIP now rolling out NICE Investigate, we are providing cutting-edge delivery to an increasing number of forces for their day-to-day digital evidence management and digital transformation, ensuring investigations and evidence sharing are match fit for the digital age,” said Chris Wooten, Executive Vice President, NICE. “NICE Investigate is fast becoming the defacto standard for driving digital transformation in policing across the UK and is gaining momentum around the world.”
Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) are transforming policing and security around the globe, helping to create new connected officers who can stream video, access information and collaborate in real-time enabling them to operate safely and more efficiently in the field. Richie McBride, Managing Director of BWC experts Edesix, says "BWCs are now built for a connected world and are being used by officers on the front line to help prevent both criminal and anti-social behaviour when out on patrol.” Importance of body worn cameras in policing Innovative solutions driving creation of connected officers who can stream and access information in real-time He adds, "Technology has transformed policing and security in recent years. New innovative solutions have driven the creation of new connected officers who can stream, access information and collaborate in real-time. BWC captured footage not only provides greater transparency of interactions with the public, but also significantly increases early guilty pleas and saves officers valuable time as they often do not need to attend court”. Richie further said, "Police officers have always been connected, either to the public and communities they serve, or with their colleagues on the street and in the control room. They have shared information and generated insights to help address common problems and protect those with common vulnerabilities. However, digital technology has now enhanced these connections, enabling officers to feel more empowered, supported and secure." VideoBadges enhance police personnel VideoBadges have been utilised by police forces across the UK for some time now. Police forces, such as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), have utilised our BWCs since 2016 to enhance the security of both officers and the general public, and to improve training and best practice. There are now 2,500 cameras being used by over 7,000 officers covering approximately 173,000 incidents each year in Northern Ireland. The BWCs are being utilised by Local Policing Teams, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Tactical Support Groups, Roads Policing Units, Dog Section, District Support Teams and Armed Response Units. Importance of good video evidence Body Worn Video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers" PSNI Superintendent David Moore adds, "Video evidence puts the victims of crime first. The pilot of this technology in Foyle district demonstrated how Body Worn Video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers and thereby increase the number of offenders brought to justice. Video evidence provides a compelling account of events and enables the raw emotion and action from a scene to be replayed in the courts in a manner that could never be captured in a witness statement.” He adds, "It also supports accountability and transparency, both of which are key elements in increasing public confidence in policing. The introduction of this new technology is the latest example of our commitment to these principles as we continue to work together with the community to keep people safe." Head-mounted cameras Armed response and firearms teams are also being equipped with head-mounted cameras due to the fact that chest-mounted cameras could potentially obstruct an officer's view during firearms use. The Metropolitan Police recently began rolling-out 1000 head-mounted cameras, with West Yorkshire Police and North Wales Police following suit.
New Covent Garden Market is the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable, and flower market in the United Kingdom. Redevelopment work launched in 2015 included a new security monitoring system, as well as a migration from analogue security equipment to an IP solution from FLIR Systems. New Covent Garden Market is a phenomenon in London, to say the least. The world-famous wholesale market provides 40 percent of London’s fresh fruit and vegetables eaten outside the home and serves 75 percent of London’s florists. With more than 175 affiliated businesses, New Covent Garden Market is the largest wholesale market in the UK. IP-based security system Redevelopment construction works started in 2015 and should continue until 2022 When London authorities decided to redevelop the entire site on Nine Elms and Battersea in order to meet future needs, it was clear that New Covent Garden Market was facing a huge operational challenge. Redevelopment construction works started in 2015 and should continue until 2022. In addition to a better road layout, improved waste management, and upgraded parking facilities, the market authorities wanted better security so that employees, tenants, customers and suppliers would feel safer. The organisation wanted to upgrade its legacy analogue CCTV technology to an IP-based security system capable of incorporating future upgrades. Surrey-based company Phoenix Integrated Security Limited, which had been the security solution provider for New Covent Garden Market for years, oversaw the security overhaul, as well. Future-proof system “We designed a security system together with the end customer and the site constructor so that it could meet today’s security standards again,” said Trevor Hearn, Director at Phoenix Integrated Security Limited. “We were looking for a future-proof system that was able to monitor this complex site and that was easy to work with for our security guard personnel. We looked at various manufacturers for this, but FLIR Systems was the only company that ticked all the boxes.” Phoenix opted for FLIR United VMS, which includes FLIR’s enterprise-level software solution Latitude, and a wide range of FLIR IP cameras. At the end of 2018, New Covent Garden Market already had more than 300 IP cameras installed across the entire site it intends to gradually upgrade all analogue systems over a five-year period. Wide range of cameras The image quality of the FLIR IP cameras represents a huge improvement over analogue The site combines a wide range of cameras, including the FLIR Quasar 4K fixed box camera, the FLIR Ariel Quad HD bullet camera, and the Quasar 1080p PTZ camera. The cameras offer high evidentiary detail and discreet, compact form factors. According to Hearn, the image quality of the FLIR IP cameras represents a huge improvement over analogue. Image quality is not the only benefit of using United VMS. Another valued feature is the platforms scalability. From 2016 onwards, New Covent Garden Market has been gradually replacing analogue cameras and storage equipment across the entire site, and Latitude has the flexibility to incorporate an unlimited number of channels. Body-worn cameras Operators have the flexibility to present their video sources on screen where they want and define user profiles to see only specific video sources from a given particular building, for example. “This project is an engineer’s dream,” said Hearn. “The FLIR Latitude system allows New Covent Garden Market to easily expand their camera network whenever they feel the need and to connect with practically any camera they want, including body-worn cameras. The Latitude system is also easy to couple with third-party systems, such as intercom and access control systems.”
More and more police forces in the EU are getting equipped with bodycams. Recently the State Police of Niedersachsen in Germany, the Police of Mechelen in Belgium and the Police in the Czech Republic have signed contracts for the supply of bodycams by Dutch company Zepcam. Body worn video (BWV) and body worn cameras (BWC) Body worn video (BWV) and body worn camera’s (BWC) improve the safety of law enforcement officers Body worn video (BWV) and body worn camera’s (BWC) improve the safety of law enforcement officers, increase transparency and supply video-evidence for criminal investigation purposes. Surveys in the US, where bodycams are used for years now, show that they de-escalate aggression or have a civilizing effect on police-citizen encounters, thus reducing complaints. Also, police forces want to use bodycams as a countermeasure against the public shooting more and more videos of incidents on their smartphones. Unlike public videos, footages captured by law enforcement can be admissible in court. Zepcam, bodycams supplier for police forces globally Zepcam already supplies bodycams to police forces in 15 countries like Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and The Netherlands. The Dutch company is global supplier in Europe, with clients in over 40 countries. It both manufactures and supplies the camera systems and the IT structure which automatically stores and processes the captured footages. Zepcam has seen and enormous increase in the use of bodycams by law enforcement in the past five years The State Police of German State Niedersachsen has ordered 500 bodycams in a 4-year contract. Zepcam has won this tender because its cameras and software platform made the best match with requirements of field users and the central IT department. The region of Mechelen is the first police zone in Belgium to deploy bodycams on a large scale. Zepcam was selected after a test period with 7 different bodycam suppliers. Video management software (VMS) integration The Czech Police in the Central Bohemian Region purchased Zepcam bodycams for law enforcement purposes. Also, the company will assist the police force to expand and integrate the new video management software in the management software that is used in over 80 locations in the Czech Republic. Zepcam has seen and enormous increase in the use of bodycams by law enforcement in the past five years. According to the company the cameras help reduce aggression and allow for better transparency. For instance, because situations tend to de-escalate when people know they are being recorded.
Round table discussion
2019 was a big year for the Expert Panel Roundtable. The range of topics expanded, and we had more participation from more contributors than ever before. In closing out the year of contemplative discussions, we came across some final observations to share. They can serve both as a postscript for 2019 and a teaser for a whole new year of industry conversations in our Expert Panel Roundtable in 2020.
Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?