Dahua Technology, a front-runner video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, is proud to announce that the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Centre is now available to its global customers. By demonstrating its latest technologies, products and solutions through an online virtual showroom, the centre can support customers in designing excellent security systems. Due to the drastic impact of COVID-19, people are having difficulties in gaining access and experiencing the development of p...
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way one lives their lives and the way one does business. Restrictions have been implemented to protect ones health, affecting one as individuals and the operations of the healthcare systems, companies, organisations and schools, as well as public and private institutions. Many new behaviours, such as physical distancing, virtual meetings and improved hygiene measures, will most likely linger as one gradually gets back to normal. With smart solutions, on...
The events of 2020, combined with technological advances and the adoption of cloud and artificial intelligence for video surveillance, will make 2021 a transformational year for the industry. Eagle Eye Networks, the front-runner in smart cloud video security, shared the trends that will have the biggest impact on video surveillance, security, and the use of analytics to drive business intelligence and improvement in 2021. Customers are asking for the cloud; Advanced analytics will transform vi...
Technology has always stepped in to shorten distances between individuals. Whether through using electronic communications, such as email or video messaging, it has united people across different geographical locations and circumstances. Recent events have presented a unique challenge, where the ability to observe people and events in person has been restricted. This has had a knock-on effect on a variety of sectors, including healthcare, sports and education. Broadcast cameras have offered a...
The cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. Video and access control as a service provides a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. This article will look ba...
Interface Security Systems, a front runner in managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, shared its top predictions for the physical security industry. 2021: Slow beginning followed by biggest demand shock 2021 could prove to be almost as turbulent for the security industry as 2020. In the earlier part of the year, every one expected the industry will continue to grapple with the fallout from...
MOBOTIX has been a pioneer of intelligent edge video technology for 20 years. The company has shaped the industry with its modular solutions. After opening the MOBOTIX7 platform for new, innovative software solutions last year, MOBOTIX is now even more flexible. The new M73 and S74 camera systems with three and four sensor modules per camera contribute to this. They can also set new MOBOTIX standards in terms of image quality, performance, and efficiency. With high quality Made in Germany, enormous flexibility makes the MOBOTIX video systems interesting for numerous industries during the pandemic and beyond. Artificial intelligence and deep learning Artificial intelligence and deep learning processes are drivers of the MOBOTIX7 video solution platform. The many special video analysis apps provide users in all industries with intelligent and cost-effective tools to cover relevant and current requirements, specifically in their everyday work. Solutions that do not yet exist can be redesigned to suit individual requirements. Thus, the platform is explicitly open for self-developed apps from MOBOTIX partners and customers -which means that new solutions are constantly being created to meet even the most innovative requirements. Helpful technology In the Corona pandemic context, MOBOTIX video systems provided effective hardware and software applications with its back-on-track solutions, which help keep life in business, trade, healthcare, and education as normal as possible. For example, anomalies in body temperature can be detected so that the persons concerned can undergo medical examinations. The thermal solutions are already being used, for example, by hospital visitors or hotel guests. The intelligent systems can also detect the wearing of mouth and nose protection. In retail stores or ski resorts, automatic announcements can be triggered if the MOBOTIX camera detects people without masks. Overcrowding situations can also be detected, and social distancing can be supported. Flexible systems retaining value MOBOTIX offers video systems with valuable benefits even beyond the pandemic through simple conversions While many of the technology solutions used to combat COVID-19 are used exclusively on a case-by-case basis, MOBOTIX offers video systems that offer valuable benefits even beyond the pandemic -through simple conversions. For example, reliable, object-based recording of customer flows and the most frequented areas on the sales floor can provide retailers with important information on customer behaviour or product placement (detection of hotspots). Pre-installed apps The 22 apps already installed in the video systems serve the requirements of numerous key sectors such as industry & manufacturing, energy & utilities, retail and healthcare, education, transport and mobility, and the public sector. Future-oriented technology "The success of our products and solutions -even during the Corona pandemic -has confirmed that we have developed a future-oriented technology with our open, flexible, and at the same time cyber-safe video solution platform. We can implement individual requirements quickly and securely with our video systems," explains Thomas Lausten, CEO of MOBOTIX AG. "As self-sufficient IoT cameras, both the M73 and the S74 only transmit securely encrypted images to the network when relevant events occur: that is intelligent cybersecurity Made in Germany.” “With the possibility of developing completely new, individual apps, the MOBOTIX 7 system platform also offers the ideal technological basis for solutions that we don't even know we will need one day. MOBOTIX 7 is already thinking about the future," says Lausten enthusiastically. Relying on a cooperation network With MOBOTIX7, MOBOTIX offers its global technology partners the ideal platform for developing their own creativity. The partners can implement unique solutions for their customers, which can also be certified by MOBOTIX, in conjunction with the intelligent MOBOTIX camera systems. Cybersecurity confirmation "We are ready for any technological challenge that may arise in a company or institution," explains Hartmut Sprave, CTO of MOBOTIX AG. "Our certification also confirms the cybersecurity of the new apps," says Sprave. "This opens up completely new revenue models for our partners. An individual challenge can develop into a solution that is profitable for the broad market and can be marketed worldwide via MOBOTIX."
Eagle Eye Networks, the global front-runner in smart cloud video security, has appointed David Barr as Enterprise Sales Manager for Europe to build the Enterprise Market Segment throughout the region. David has 30 years of experience in the security industry, joining Eagle Eye Networks after 17 years with Xtralis ADPRO, which in recent years was acquired by Honeywell. Responsibilities In his new role, David will work with Eagle Eye Networks global and EMEA end users and partners to develop their strategy, as the security market transitions from an on-premise recorder market to a true cloud market for video surveillance. Hybrid on-premise and cloud solution “This change isn’t happening overnight, but the great thing about Eagle Eye Networks is the possibility to start with a hybrid on-premise and cloud solution where clients can immediately see benefits of the cloud without investing in new hardware,” said David. “Eagle Eye Networks works with more than 3,500 existing analogue or IP cameras, and even DVRs can be directly connected to the cloud." "This is a gamechanger for companies that want to upgrade their video surveillance, migrate to the cloud for additional cybersecurity, and better manage their operations in a multi-site environment.” API integrations and open platform capabilities Rishi Lodhia, Managing Director for the region, added, "The creation of this new role and the experience David brings to Eagle Eye Networks illustrates the company’s continued commitment and growth to support Enterprise customers within the region.” “Enterprise customers are transitioning rapidly to the cloud due to our easy API integrations and open platform capabilities."
AVIOTEC's front-line technology offers flame and smoke detection for locations with no light. Thanks to separate additional infrared illumination unlit applications can be monitored with video-based fire detection delivering pin-sharp images. During the daytime, the device shows coloured pictures and shifts to monochrome night mode when visibility drops below a pre-defined level. When daylight returns it automatically switches back to colour mode. The video-based fire detection AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 is now delivered with the new firmware. Existing installations can be upgraded to the new technology by a free firmware update. Flame and smoke detection Video-based fire detection is now also an option for applications where there is no lighting available. Due to infrared illumination less, light sources need to be installed e.g., for nighttime surveillance reducing the fire load and energy costs noticeably. In environments with no light AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 working in monochrome mode can now perform both: fire detection and remote optical verification. Integrated day and night switch Day/night switch ensures reliable fire detection and video surveillance and provides time to solve the failure of light sources If the visible illumination fails, i.e., in tunnels, it is important to ensure that video-based fire detection is working uninterruptedly and that staff members in monitoring centers still have all the necessary insights into the situation. The integrated day and night switch ensures reliable fire detection and video surveillance. It gives operators enough time to solve the failure of light sources. This saves time-consuming and error-prone human investigation. Full redundant 24/7 illumination is not required anymore. Unobtrusive video surveillance with IR During night-time, burglars cannot spy on possible intrusion targets due to missing visible light or light sources while fire detection can be ensured. No visible illumination is used and helps to prevent burglary and arson. Combined intelligent video analytic rules also allow to track down intruders without visible light. Next to 24/7 fire detection, the new AVIOTEC version enables 24/7 intelligent video analytics for comprehensive safety solutions.
By providing an open platform and access to documentation, software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs), individual developers and partner organisations can explore the full potential of Axis products and solutions. And by doing so, creating advanced applications that bring new and compelling use cases to market. Long-time Axis Communications (Axis) partner, Citilog has been developing traffic management analytics applications alongside Axis for more than a decade. Citilog’s Vice-President Jean-Marie Guyon helped understand the benefits that the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP) brings to the company’s business. Axis ADP Program Axis Communications is a company that truly believes that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts' Axis Communications is a company that truly believes that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’. Through the Axis Developer Community, which is open to all developers, whether already working within an Axis partner company or not, and the Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) Program, the company provides a wealth of resources that connect the ecosystem around Axis products and technologies. In doing so, and particularly in giving early access to new technology, innovation is accelerated, and connections are made that bring benefits to partners and customers alike. Within the ADP Program and through the Axis Developer Community, partners and developers gain access to the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), which specifically allows for the development of applications that sit within surveillance cameras themselves (and an increasing number of other products). As the capabilities of Axis surveillance cameras increases and particularly, cameras are now available, which includes a Deep Learning Processing Unit (DLPU). ACAP represents a place where some of the most cutting-edge innovation is taking place. A fundamental change to the business The partnership between Axis and Citilog, a specialist in advanced traffic management analytics applications, began in 2009, at around the same time that ACAP itself was created (and well before Citilog was acquired by Axis in 2016). Jean-Marie Guyon, Vice President at Citilog, talks about how the first possibilities of developing in camera analytics would fundamentally change their business. He explains how the company immediately saw the opportunity in ACAP when it was first announced. He said, “Citilog had already been an Axis partner for a number of years when the capacity of the camera processors became sufficient to port our applications on the edge.” Jean-Marie adds, “But, as soon as we saw the possibilities for developing analytics applications that were integrated into surveillance cameras themselves, we knew it would fundamentally change our business, even if it took longer for customers to realise the potential!” Decreased need of bandwidth with rise of edge analytics By analysing the video within the camera, we only need to transfer the data that matters rather than everything" Prior to the ability to develop in-camera analytics applications, often known as ‘edge analytics’, the analysis of video took place on centralised hardware and servers, either housed within the customer’s own premises or within a data centre. This meant the transfer of huge amounts of video footage from the camera to the data centre, with associated demand for bandwidth and the inevitable cost. Jean-Marie continues, “We immediately saw the opportunity to remove a significant proportion of the bandwidth demands through in-camera analytics. Put simply, by analysing the video within the camera, we only need to transfer the data that matters rather than everything. For cameras that are monitoring roads 24 hours a day, seven days a week for incidents that can be relatively rare, it’s obvious to see what a difference this could make.” Market slow to respond But as Jean-Marie mentions, while Citilog’s developers immediately saw the potential, the market was, as usual, slower to respond. He stated, “Over the past decade we’ve done a lot of promotion and evangelising of the benefits of in-camera analytics. It takes time for sectors to change and adapt new approaches, and not least when it requires a change in hardware and the first few years were tough going.” Jean-Marie adds, “However, persevering has been worth it, and today more than 70% of our business is based on ACAP. More than that, in the past few years we’ve seen the majority of tenders demanding in-camera analytics.” Change in capabilities of in-camera analytics At its heart, ACAP is a platform for innovation and Citilog is always looking towards the future. Deep learning represents the next area of innovation. Jean-Marie expands on this by stating, “With the combination of our current deep learning-based solution (CT-ADL: Citilog Applied Deep Learning) and the evolution of the in-camera processing capabilities, it feels like we’re on the cusp of a real step-change.” Jean-Marie adds, “With the AXIS Q1615-LE Mk III, we have the first Axis camera in the market that includes a deep learning processing unit (DLPU) which combined with the CT-ADL makes it the first operational DL-based solution running on the edge. It’s difficult to overstate the scale of the step forward that this represents.” Deep learning (DL) But deep learning is something that requires huge amounts of processing power Deep learning (DL) is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In very simple terms, in relation to video analytics on the edge, the primary benefits relate to much greater accuracy in the detection, identification and classification of all types of object - a generic ‘vehicle’ becomes a car, lorry, bus, or motorcycle and critically, objects that aren’t relevant can be safely ignored. But deep learning is something that requires huge amounts of processing power and while this was previously only available through the use of remote servers, it’s now accessible in the camera itself. Reduced number of false alarms In a sector such as traffic management, the ability to differentiate between a greater number of objects is critical, as Jean-Marie explains, “One of the biggest issues for any surveillance operation is the cost of false alarms: alerts being triggered that required attention and prompt action, but which aren’t actually materially important.” He adds, “In traffic management, as an example, traditionally one of the most common causes of false alarms is shadows and rain puddles. These can often be mistaken as a vehicle, and if they’re in the fast lane of a motorway, will create an alert. The power of deep learning reduces these false alarms substantially. In fact, that’s an understatement as we’re typically finding that the number of false alarms is reduced by a factor of 10.” Reduced need for hardware These ‘lighter’ solutions are therefore easier to maintain and further reduce operational costs Such a substantial reduction in false alarms is one obvious benefit to customers, but the switch from processing power in the server and data center to the camera also means a reduced need for hardware. These ‘lighter’ solutions are therefore easier to maintain and further reduce operational costs. They also open up new use cases for in-camera analytics where lack of available bandwidth would have previously made it impossible. High potential for deep learning edge analytics While Citilog’s focus remains on traffic management and through that, using the analytics and data created to deliver on the vision for smart cities, the potential for deep learning edge analytics is there for every industry sector and use case. Harnessing the creative power of the largest number of people has always been at the heart of the Axis ethos. Through the Axis Developer Community, Axis ADP and ACAP, the opportunities for all developers and partners to learn, experiment and innovate are infinite.
Axis Communications announces a new 5-year product warranty at no extra cost. This increase from the previous 3-year warranty is a result of the company’s commitment to providing high-quality products and cost-efficient, trouble-free ownership. Axis has long offered an excellent hardware warranty service covering defects in design, workmanship, and material under normal use for 3 years from the date of purchase, depending on the product. Now customers can take advantage of a 5-year Axis warranty service free of charge. Valid for purchases shipped from Axis to the original purchaser on or after 1 April 2020, this new warranty ensures additional years of added peace of mind. Key features 5-year product warranty Trouble-free ownership Better control of overall costs Enhanced RMA support First-class quality and support The 5-year Axis warranty covers most Axis products, it’s free of charge and there’s no action required.
2N’s wide range of intercoms are now available in the Axis Camera Station video management software, allowing customers to integrate a 2N intercom into their full video surveillance solution. 2N offers a large portfolio of high-quality intercoms for secure and comfortable communication. With various models - from stylish intercoms designed to blend into residential environments to tougher intercoms made for industrial use - 2N’s intercoms are designed to be easy to install and operate, providing clear camera identification and two-way communication. Features and functions Upon installation, the 2N intercom will be automatically detected as a device in Axis Camera Station and is therefore easy to add to the existing system. Operators receive instant notification of an incoming intercom call in the PC user interface or mobile app, and can then identify and talk with visitors in addition to opening the door. The intercom’s camera can also be used for traditional surveillance like any other IP camera in the system. All 2N intercoms running on firmware 2.30 can now be used in an Axis Camera Station system. An Axis Camera Station Core license to connect the device and a 2N enhanced video or Gold license are also needed.
The optical speed lane and turnstile sector of the security market has had a very busy 2017. Growth in commercial construction has provided more opportunity. Innovations in technology have given speed lane manufacturers an opportunity to deliver a better product. Orion sales increase and company growth Orion Entrance Control, Inc., had a great 2017 as sales increased and our company grew. We attribute our success to the unique approach we have taken since day one: providing customised products that offer customers more than a “one-size-fits-all” solution. We offer the line of turnstiles that you would expect from any reputable manufacturer in the marketplace, but we know that when dealing with lobby security or entrance control, one size definitely does not fit all. By providing various options to supplement our core line, we give our customers a solution that best suits their needs.The ability for security technologies and their manufacturers to work together is becoming increasingly more important to our customers One area that we will continue to build upon in the development of our products is in technology integrations. The ability for security technologies and their manufacturers to work together is becoming increasingly more important to our customers. The manufacturers that can future proof their products to allow the addition of new technologies and to protect a client’s investment from obsolescence will be the big winners in 2018 and beyond. Integration in entrance control Orion ECI’s products are built with technology and designs that have this vision for the future. For example, we work with the leaders in biometrics and Point of Sale (POS) solutions to integrate these systems into our entrance control products. Oftentimes, with just a wave of the hand or the right credential, approved users can enter with no hassle or even ring up a purchase. From a business standpoint, Orion ECI experienced a year of continued process improvement and design in 2017. We reached record sales revenues as we continued to receive orders from our existing enterprise clients and new customers. For 2018, we plan to add personnel in key growth areas. This will include additional inside and outside sales positions and product production and engineering roles.
Cultural and hospitality venues are attractive targets for terrorists due to their public accessibility Over the past 40 years there have been numerous attacks carried out against cultural and hospitality venues in the furtherance of religious, ideological, criminal or political beliefs. By default, cultural and hospitality venues are attractive targets for terrorists due to their public accessibility, the volumes of visitors and guests or because of what the venue represents; in short because they are ‘soft targets’.Examples of such attacks include the destruction of the Buddha’s of Bamiyan in Afghanistan by Mullah Omar, the 2015 attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis, the coordinated attacks in Mumbai through to the recent attack on a Berlin Christmas market where an articulated lorry was used as a weapon.So how can we protect these venues from terrorist attacks without making them a fortress or detracting from their main functionality?Understanding terrorist threatsWhen implementing protective strategies, the first thing I need to understand is what threats exist and what risks they pose to the organisation or individual being protected. In this case the threat source is terrorism. What is terrorism? There are many different definitions of terrorism but the one that I have used for over 30 years is: “The unlawful use, or threat of violence to achieve political or ideological aims.” This differs from organised crime which may use terror but is concerned with financial reward and gain. I define a terrorist as “Somebody who knowingly takes part in, supports or assists an act of terrorism.When implementing protective strategies, the first thing I need to understand is what threats exist and what risks they pose to the organisation" The next stage is understanding the ways in which the threats can impact the organisation and the risks that exist from known, or anticipated attack methodologies. Whilst the threat from traditional attack methods continue; car bombs, grenades, firearms etc., these are by no means the only threats that should be considered. The 9/11 attacks used aeroplanes, a boat was used against the US Cole and in 2016 a lorry was used to devastating effect to kill 86 and physically injure over 400 civilians during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France.Introducing protective security measuresOnce understood, the risks and vulnerabilities that exist for each attack method can be assessed and categorised. This allows protective security measures to be introduced that reduce the likelihood or impact of any attack that takes place. For ease, I categorise the protective security measures in one of four ways: Physical measures Operational (procedural) measures Technical measures Educational measures These measures should be overarching and work collaboratively with each other to create defence in depth and increasing resilience and robustness. The idea being to provide a means of protecting assets and deterring, detecting and delaying attackers, whilst increasing response capabilities. Once understood, the risks and vulnerabilities that exist for each attack method can be assessed and categorised Museums, hotels, bars and restaurants are places where people go to for relaxation and pleasure. Therefore, the implementation of security measures must be carefully considered so that the organisation is still able to function without destroying or negatively impacting the customer experience. Understanding an organisation’s risk appetite and tolerance levels are almost as important as the security measures that are introduced to protect them.Physical security optionsPhysical security measures include barriers, fences, secure doors and windows. They can also include security personnel and the creation of stand-off and vehicle mitigation measures. CPTED methodologies and design practices are a great means of preventing certain attack types and creating better response capabilities. In some countries, security personnel can be armed, but not in all. During the 2017 New Year celebration attack at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul an armed police officer and 35,000 on duty police could not prevent the attack that resulted in 39 deaths.Although technical security measures may not deter or really delay terrorist attacks (unless used as part of a physical security measure) CCTV, search equipment and access control systems do provide an ability to identify pre-attack activity including surveillance and penetrative testing.Security education for staffAn organisation’s operational practices and procedures are a great protective security resource. Levels of alertness, introduction of surveillance detection programmes involvement of all staff in the security programme, correct search procedures and robust access control to reduce the target attractiveness of the venue.Security education can enable 100 people to be involved in a surveillance detection programme instead of just the security team Security education is often either forgotten or not considered by many as a fundamental security measure. Security education allows staff to understand the security measures that exist, why they exist, the actions they are to take and the part that they can play in protecting themselves, visitors and venues from attack. Security education can enable 100 people to be involved in a surveillance detection programme instead of just the security team and help staff understand suspicious activities and reporting practices. Security education helps deliver and maximise the effectiveness of each of the other security measures that are introduced. Proactive planningAn organisation has to be realistic in its approach to protection from acts of terrorism. The likelihood of preventing a terrorist attack is low, fact. Unless intelligence was available or surveillance detected the first a venue would know about it would be the attack itself. However, there is still an ability to make a significant impact in protecting visitors, staff, physical assets and reputation. These include: Proactive immediate response planning Establishing a recovery plan Providing welfare and medical support to victims. Indirect victims may include first responders, crisis and emergency management teams and families of direct and indirect victims I still find organisations and venues that do not have emergency or crisis management plans that are specific and fit for purpose. Not only is it critical that a plan exists but also that senior management know and understand the actions that they need to take. Plans should be exercised so that the operational, tactical and strategic elements are being tested and where vulnerabilities are identified steps are taken to reduce or mitigate them.Recovery planning is a vital part of your crisis management practices. Is there a fall-back location, can there be partial opening, what systems are operable and will they function off-site? The sooner an organisation or venue can normalise operations the speedier the recovery will be. The longer it takes to recover, the increased risks to an organisation’s operations, finance and reputation.Welfare and medical support is not just about those directly impacted by the terrorist attack it also includes the indirect victims; first responders, crisis and emergency management teams, families of direct and indirect victims. Consider counselling, establishing outreach programmes, town hall meetings and lessons learnt. Consider the welfare benefits of senior management visiting the scene, speaking with victims and being there to reopen the venue. Often it is not the physical effects that impact an organisation but the psychological effects and trauma suffered, often over many months or years by staff.It has to be remembered that governments spend billions of dollars on counter terrorist programs but they are not able to thwart all attacks Creating a security cultureTo conclude, the chances that your organisation or venue will become the victim of a terrorist attack are very slim and will normally depend on two factors; what you are doing and where you are doing it. It has to be remembered that governments spend billions of dollars on counter terrorist programmes but they are not able to thwart all attacks; neither can you.Implementing sensible, risk based security measures means that resources are not being wasted unnecessarily. Including as many members of staff as possible in educational and detection programmes helps create a ‘security culture’ that everybody buys into.“Failure to plan, is planning to fail!” Is a saying that has stuck with me since the early 1980’s. Whilst you may not be able to prevent terrorist attacks, by ensuring your venue has appropriate plans to respond in a proactive manner the greater the opportunity to reduce the risks and resuming activities in a timely manner.
Hoteliers don't give security a high enough priority Security is not as high on the hotel agenda as it should be according to Michael Hartmann, Senior Vice President for Hospitality Solutions with Siemens Building Technologies. Here he looks at the reluctance to invest in the latest security systems, the different levels of security typically employed and the benefits of an integrated approach. The contribution to profit, or the perceived lack of it, is one of the major reasons why security is often seen almost as an afterthought by hoteliers. Because security is not profitable, investors and hotel operators are reluctant to invest in safety and security.Despite numerous bomb attacks, thefts and break-ins, most hotel operators are unwilling to spend more money on security for their properties. Investors stonewall whenever the subject is raised. As security experts we can sometimes only shake our heads over such poor risk awareness given that what is ultimately at stake, in the worst case scenario, are the lives of guests and staff. Add to that the issues of property integrity, protection of security processes and avoidance of long-term damage to a hotel's image and it is easier to appreciate the consequences of inadequate security measures.‘Passive', ‘Active' and ‘Hard' securitySecurity experts make a distinction between different types of "passive" security systems, which have to do with fire and life security (detection, evacuation, fire extinguishing and danger management processes). The public authorities of each country dictate the requirements for implementing, using and maintaining these types of systems, which is why investors and hotel operators must comply with them. The second level, known as "active security components", include video surveillance (CCTV), access control, intrusion detection systems and X-ray machines at the hotel's main entrances. Hotel operators interested in these systems already do so on a voluntary basis. A third level covers "hard" security systems, which can help avert or manage serious threats such as terrorist attacks. The right measures must be taken in order to identify and fill the existing security gaps in hotels In the hospitality business, most people invest only in the first level, the passive security systems required by law. Almost no one invests voluntarily in extra security precautions and processes.Every year I talk to numerous international hotel chains and often find what they tell me sobering. International hotel operators usually have higher standards than those prescribed by law for their passive security systems. This high level generally includes standards for CCTV, intrusion detection and higher-level security processes. Unfortunately, investors or owners of a hotel property often ignore these chain-specific security standards for cost reasons and provide budgets that cover only the minimum required by law. For hotel operators, this attitude is particularly dangerous, given that a serious security breach can significantly damage a hotel operator's brand name. Since the only asset owned by many hotel operators today is their brand - and no real estate - this scenario is particularly risky.Security cameras in the hotel lobby, coded access cards - that's it In reality the security measures employed by the majority of hotels is very simplistic: security cameras in the lobby or other public areas and coded access control cards for elevators and rooms. This is an approach which is pretty typical today. At best, larger properties - usually international hotels with many VIP guests - set up a type of command and control centre, which often looks like a concierge's room with three screens. From this ‘hub', areas such as underground garages and delivery docks are monitored, with reports logged from fire alarms or perhaps false attempts to use coded room cards.However, most hotel chains and investors have little interest in anything more. Highly intelligent security systems that give staff electronic instructions and control all relevant building automation systems in an emergency, such as turning off the air conditioning systems, opening fire doors, opening smoke extraction vents for smoke-free stairwells, activating emergency lighting, activating CCTV systems for locating the sources of danger, individual and logged evacuation announcements, detailed information for rescue services on action already taken etc., are rejected for cost reasons - even in VIP hotels. A lack of appropriate security processes is the main hurdle We have highly sophisticated danger management systems today, particularly at airports, elements of which could be implemented in large hotels or connected to professional expert systems via remote security service centres. However, only owners/investors from the United Arab Emirates appear to be thinking along these lines. The rest of the world is largely uninterested. Outside of "classic trouble spots" such as the Middle East, people have a false sense of security. Interest in security has always been event-driven. We therefore find it astonishing that demand is not on the increase given the frequent and high profile attacks on international hotels in recent years.Regulatory rather than voluntary investment Any improvements in security made by hotel owners and operators are usually only on a small scale. When companies offer to upgrade passive systems - regulated by law - interest does indeed rise. For example, sprinkler systems are becoming more advanced and extinguish fire with concentrated mist instead of water. Detectors can now distinguish between smoke from a fire and cigarettes. And fires in computer rooms can be extinguished using liquid gas. All of this helps to protect material assets, processes and, of course, guests.However, the vast majority of hotel operators are reluctant to make additional voluntary investments. Even insurance companies have not really taken up the opportunities presented. Any reductions in policy premiums are based only on passive systems and do not reward commitment to active systems, even though such systems can dramatically reduce the financial repercussions of a claim following a serious incident.Security systems and processes should work together The differentiation between so called decreed and additional security systems is just one criteria of effective security. The main hurdle is the lack of appropriate security processes. In other words in a case of a guest being harassed, for example, there are usually no people professionally trained to handle such situations, even if certain tasks are outsourced to security professionals. The effective interlink between security equipment and security processes to protect persons and assets in real time is the main issue. Hotels may be concerned about the costs of higher-level security systems but criminal activity could cost a hotel its reputation If I were a GM of a hotel, I would set up an exercise where a person infiltrates a regular hotel operation with the specific brief to initiate security relevant situations to gauge the response. The results would be an effective way of identifying serious security gaps and then taking measures to overcome any shortcomings. In any case, hotel security should not be overlooked or taken for granted. Hotels may be concerned about the costs of higher-level security systems but criminal activity could cost a hotel its reputation and not to mention, a person his or her life. Basic security which only meets the minimum standards required by the law is not enough to reduce the number of security breaches occurring in hotels around the world.Regulatory rather than voluntary investment Any improvements in security made by hotel owners and operators are usually only on a small scale. When companies like Siemens offer to upgrade passive systems – regulated by law – interest does indeed rise. For example, sprinkler systems are becoming more advanced and extinguish fire with concentrated mist instead of water. Detectors can now distinguish between smoke from a fire and cigarettes. And fires in computer rooms can be extinguished using liquid gas. All of this helps to protect material assets, processes and, of course, guests.However, the vast majority of hotel operators are reluctant to make additional voluntary investments. Even insurance companies have not really taken up the opportunities presented. Any reductions in policy premiums are based only on passive systems and do not reward commitment to active systems, even though such systems can dramatically reduce the financial repercussions of a claim following a serious incident. Michael HartmannSenior Vice President for Hospitality SolutionsSiemens Building Technologies
HID Global, a pioneer in trusted identity solutions announced that qiiosk Ltd. uses its HID NFC Tags to meet skyrocketing demand from restaurants and diners for its product Menu Tile, to give a completely contact-free dining experience. HID NFC Tags With HID NFC Tags, qiiosk was able to respond quickly to the demand for solutions capable of addressing the “new normal” of contactless dining, takeout, and delivery. The company’s enhanced solutions enable restaurant-goers to securely access current menus, place orders, and submit payment simply by scanning a QR code or tapping an embedded NFC tag with an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet. End-user experience High-quality HID NFC Tags facilitate end-user interactions with qiiosk’s products, providing restaurants and other hospitality venues with robust hardware and best-in-class software for touch-free ordering and payment. High-quality HID NFC Tags facilitate robust hardware and best-in-class software for touch-free ordering and payment “HID NFC Tags now solidly underpin our Menu Tile product and others in development,” said Justin Clark, Director at qiiosk. “We chose the solution due to our experience and confidence in the tags after significant and fierce field trials. We are confident in HID products and use them not only within our organisation, but also in organisations we support.” “Fire-and-forget” solution Of particular importance to the Menu, Tile product was the adhesive quality, read rate, and ruggedness of HID NFC Tags, which allowed the company to equip its customers with a “fire-and-forget” solution to address rapidly evolving regulations in the hospitality sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased attention on food allergen issues. Cost-effective With HID NFC Tags, qiiosk was able to quickly upgrade their physical product and produce enough tiles to supply customers. This positioned the company to maintain its high growth by delivering a high-quality product capable of enduring the harsh conditions of bars and restaurants leading to cost savings and reliability. Touch-free opportunities “We are pleased that qiiosk has leveraged the power of HID NFC Tags to deliver an improved product that provides exceptional results during a time of high demand and great uncertainty,” said Jean Miguel Robadey, Vice President of Industrial Smart Components, Identification Technologies with HID Global. “By integrating HID NFC Tags into its solutions, qiiosk was able to deliver to its customers more touch-free opportunities and the ability to immediately communicate menu changes and even possible COVID-19 exposures to protect their staff and diners.”
Domino's Pizza is one of the largest and fastest growing food service company in India with a network of 850+ restaurants in more than 200 cities. The Pizza delivery expert is a renowned provider of the organised pizza market with 70% market share in India. With its most famous half an hour delivery strive, Domino's Pizza marks the importance of communication and time growing towards its vision of exceptional people on a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world. Today's retail supply chain executives are moving more products farther and faster than ever before. Communication is a critical parameter when it comes to the Pizza industry as it directly affects, delivery on time, order noting, supply chain relationship and most importantly food management process. In the era of fast life, demanding consumers putting pressure on the supply chain process, Domino's Pizza required all its branches to work in synchronisation managing food delivery on time. Advanced communication system The major challenge was to connect multiple branch offices with headquarters for day-to-day communication. Following it, Domino's Pizza also required 30+ lines as a trunking solution for voice calling at all the branch offices with minimum infrastructure cost. Products And Solutions Offered: Matrix and its channel partner Sun Line Communications Systems worked together and provided an IP enabled PBX solution - ETERNITY GE for all multi-site telephony needs of Domino's Pizza. ETERNITY GE is an advanced communication system offering convenient features and flexible functionalities in line with the changing needs of organisations. The reliable architecture and easy to use platform delivers the unmatched performance to meet the needs of controlling costs and managing operational expenses. ETERNITY GE supports any combination of TDM, IP, GSM PRI trunks and subscribers along with networking of multiple systems across locations. Centralised management of IP-PBX System With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices Peer-to-Peer connectivity over IP between IP-PBX at HO and 15+ ETERNITY GE located in branch offices for seamless connectivity. With installation of 15+ ETERNITY GE at branch offices, Matrix connected all the locations with head office over IP to provide seamless integration all over India for Domino's employees for quick connectivity. With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices. IP telephony feature of ETERNITY GE provides simple 3-digit dialling, call transfer, conference, voice mail access and other call management features for inter-branch communications With the requirement of 30+ trunks at every branch location for voice calling, PRI acts as a perfect network to not only save telephony cost but also saves cabling cost as 30 channels are offered on a single line. Unified communication for workforce With the web based Remote Management feature, all the systems can be centrally managed by the IT administrators from a single location without visiting any branch offices. Innovative SPARS M2S - Mobile Softphone application enables supervisors to carry office extensions wherever they go. They can reach each other by simply dialling an extension number or browsing through the corporate directory. Enhanced collaboration with video calling, instant messaging and presence sharing, voice mail features. Results : Unified Communication for workforce collaboration and better customer responsiveness Low terminating cost of PRI lines as compared to analogue lines for each user Reduced call traffic as high as 40% Future-proof solution with scalability for further expansion plans
Interface Security Systems, a renowned managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, announced that El Pollo Loco, one of the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant chains that specialises in fire-grilled chicken, is relying on Interface's managed video verified alarms and intrusion alarm monitoring to reliably detect intrusions and minimise false alarms. With Interface, El Pollo Loco saves several thousand dollars in annual false alarm penalties across 198 restaurants. When Louis Burke, Senior Manager, Safety & Loss Prevention, joined El Pollo Loco, he had to contend with numerous alarm management protocols as El Pollo Loco had half a dozen vendors for intrusion alarms. Every vendor had different terms of engagement and there was no way to hold anyone responsible even when the alarm systems failed. Security alarm system “When I first started, I received a call from a restaurant about their missing safe. When I called the large well-known alarm company, I was told that they had stopped receiving signals from the alarm system at the location for over six months. Apparently, we had not signed up for a separate add-on service that would have ensured the communication channel between the alarm and the monitoring center was working." We untangled ourselves from the maze of alarm vendors and work with a company that understood our needs" "All along, we were paying service charges with no one monitoring our location and no communication from the alarm company." This incident marked a turning point in El Pollo Loco’s approach to loss prevention and paved the way for a complete review of how intrusion monitoring was implemented. “We decided to untangle ourselves from the maze of alarm vendors and work with a company that understood our needs and was willing to take ownership for the service. That’s why we decided to hire Interface,” said Burke. Alarm monitoring systems The service scope included replacing outdated alarm systems with a state-of-the-art new system along with Interface’s 360 Alarm Maintenance Service that ensured all maintenance issues with duress buttons, connectivity, and the alarm panels were proactively addressed along with a comprehensive yearly technical inspection to ensure the alarm systems remain operational at all times. The revamped managed alarm service by Interface became the gold standard for El Pollo Loco, as Burkes team insisted on following a similar engagement model and protocol with other service providers as well. Once El Pollo Loco streamlined the basic alarm monitoring systems, Burke set his eyes on rolling out cameras to the remaining 40% of restaurants that still did not have a video in place. However, the team wanted to effectively demonstrate ROI on the proposed investment first. Video verified alarm service As Burke was reviewing the security operations, the hefty false alarm fines that added up to several thousands of dollars every year stood out. Working with Interface, El Pollo Loco piloted a video verified alarm service at a few of their restaurants where cameras were already installed. The results of the pilot project were eye-opening. Every time a restaurant location had an alarm event, Interface’s remote monitoring team would verify if the alarm required a call to the local law enforcement or not. Only 5% of the alarm events actually required police intervention. The rest were all false alarms. The pilot project paved the way for the installation of security cameras at all El Pollo Loco locations. Interface’s video verified alarm was then made available in all the locations and directly contributed to thousands of dollars in savings per year as El Pollo Loco cut down false alarm penalties and associated costs by 95% across their corporate-owned restaurants. Eliminating false alarms The Interface Command and Control Center identified the burglary in progress and immediately dispatched police “In addition to the direct savings associated with eliminating false alarms, our store associates are happy as they are no longer being woken up at odd hours with a false alarm. Every time they receive an emergency call from Interface, our associates know that they have a verified event,” says Burke. The custom-built video verified alarm solution is also helping to prevent crime at El Pollo Loco. Recently, a serial burglar attempted to make off with a significant amount of cash stolen from the smart safe at a Los Angeles-area location. The Interface Command and Control Center identified the burglary in progress and immediately dispatched police. The burglar was arrested on the scene. Convert alarm panels Interface is currently in the process of working with El Pollo Loco’s IT department to also eliminate expensive POTS lines and convert their alarm panels to help them reduce costs for all their locations. According to Burke, “The biggest advantage of working with Interface is not just the value for money, it’s the robust, process-oriented culture, the willingness to listen to customers, and the ability to creatively solve problems keeping the interest of the customer in mind.”
Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, one of the most innovative and technologically advanced airports in the world, has selected Genetec, Inc., a foremost technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions to enhance and upgrade its security system. The three-year project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will see Genetec™ Security Centre, a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface, underpinning the airport’s security operations, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract was awarded to Genetec following a rigorous competitive tender process. “Increasingly, our airport customers are understanding the deep business insights Security Centre is capable of delivering, its ability to inform and create value for multiple areas of an airport business operation and improve the overall passenger and employee experience,” said Giovanni Taccori, Commercial Lead Transportation, APAC at Genetec, Inc.
Security monitoring, intrusion detection, parking management, one installation of Hikvision technology can do all this, and more. Discover how the 2000 Hotel in Kigali is using Hikvision technology to make operations more secure and efficient on every floor of its luxury four-star accommodation. The 2000 Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, is known as the ‘highest hotel in Kigali’, offering captivating views over the city and the mountains. Guests enjoy the hotel’s four-star luxury facilities for work and leisure, taking advantage of its central location in the heart of Rwanda’s bustling capital city. Security of hotel guests has always been paramount, and so soon after the hotel was built, the management team installed security cameras throughout. However, over time it turned out that the imagery captured simply wasn’t clear enough to be useful in many situations. Underground parking lot Unfortunately, we started to notice that goods were going missing in the supermarket, as well as in the warehouse" What’s more, there were further security issues following the opening of a new supermarket on the hotel’s second floor. “Unfortunately, we started to notice that goods were going missing in the supermarket, as well as in the warehouse,” explains Miao Zhang, the Managing Director, 2000 Hotel. “Sometimes we noticed cash was missing from the registers, too.” In addition to this, the hotel was seeking a more efficient way to manage its underground parking lot. “The hotel was using a guard to let people in and out of the parking lot, and to calculate payments. But with more than 500 spaces to look after, this took time, often causing traffic jams as visitors waited to leave. Plus, the parking fees were sometimes incorrect,” explains Jaden. “Consequently, the team decided to explore how technology might be able to help.” Intrusion alarm system The 2000 Hotel chose a complete Hikvision solution, featuring 70 security cameras, a 60-channel intrusion alarm system for the supermarket, and an entrance/exit and payment system for the parking lot. In the corridors of the hotel and in the supermarket, the team installed Hikvision Dome Network Cameras (DS-2CD2145FWD-I). These discreet cameras offer high quality images, even in low light conditions. In the hotel lobby, the stairwells and in the supermarket, the team installed Hikvision Bullet Network Cameras (DS-2CD2T45FWD-I5), with extended zoom and infrared capabilities that are ideal for these larger spaces. At the supermarket checkouts, the team installed Hikvision Varifocal Bullet Network Cameras (DS-2CD2645FWD-IZS), which feature a motorised varifocal lens for close monitoring of this busy location. Varifocal IR bullet cameras Meanwhile, Hikvision Varifocal IR DarkFighter Bullet Cameras (DS-2CD5A26G0-IZS) were installed at the main entrance of the hotel and the supermarket. These feature a wide dynamic range, ensuring clear images even when the cameras are facing strong light. To protect the supermarket outside of opening hours, the 2000 Hotel installed a complete Hikvision intrusion alarm system. The alarm system contains a PIR sensor (DS-PD2-D15AME), which is installed near the window of the supermarket. If someone intrudes in from the window at night, the system will be triggered and an alarm will be issued. Not only that, there is also a panic alarm station (DS-PEA1-21) in the control room of the supermarket. If an emergency occurs, people can use the tool to realise alarm aid at the first time. ANPR video unit The 2000 Hotel is managing the whole solution through Hikvision IVMS-5200E software Finally, at the entrance and exit of the underground parking lot, the hotel installed the Hikvision ANPR Video Unit (DS-TCG227-A), along with barriers, a card station and an integrated payment system, also from Hikvision. The 2000 Hotel is managing the whole solution through Hikvision IVMS-5200E software. Thanks to the high quality Hikvision technology, live review is very clear, making it ideal to support the investigation of any security incidents. However, since cameras were installed, there have been fewer incidents to deal with. What’s more, the supermarket team are better equipped to respond in the event of an out-of-hours breach. “If an intruder triggers the alarm, the duty manager gets an instant alert on their phone with quick access to relevant footage. This gives them real peace of mind,” says Jaden Huang, the Project Manager from Hikvision. “Indeed, it’s possible to view the status of the whole hotel system from a laptop or phone.” Parking management solution Down in the basement parking lot, the Hikvision parking management solution is working effectively. “Parking has become faster and more automated. For example, barriers will open and close automatically when customers take or insert a card, and parking charges are automatically calculated. And there are no more jams on exit,” confirms Jaden. The 2000 Hotel team are working on a new building in Kigali, with construction almost completed. The plan is to use Hikvision technology here, too. Miao says “Hikvision has provided the 2000 Hotel in Rwanda with world-class video technology that solved a host of our security and operational challenges. They also offer excellent support in one centralised location. We fully appreciate their professional service, and look forward to continuing our working relationship.”
A networked surveillance system has been installed at Petwood Hotel in Lincolnshire, the former home of members of 617 Squadron, more famously known as The Dambusters, during World War 2. The hotel, situated in the village of Woodhall Spa, was originally built in 1905, as a country house for a wealthy Baroness, and after serving as a military convalescence hospital during World War 1, was converted into a hotel in 1933. Located among magnificent lawns and landscaped gardens, the Grade II-listed hotel has 53 bedrooms, a Squadron Bar filled with World War II memorabilia, a restaurant and terrace bar, and function rooms. Dahua Smart PSS viewing platform The system at the Petwood Hotel comprises 12 HFW5431-ZE bullet cameras, four HDBW5431-ZE dome cameras, and 13 HDBW2421R-ZS mini dome cameras. Images are recorded and processed on to a central server, while viewing is managed by a Dahua Smart PSS viewing platform. Some 29 Dahua bullet, dome and mini-dome network cameras have been installed by Videcom Security around the hotel. Externally, cameras monitor the car parks, where previously there were incidents of damage to vehicles. With the new system, however, the source of any damage can be quickly located, so helping with guests’ insurance claims. Other cameras are positioned so that the hotel’s management has coverage of the entire perimeter. Perimeter protection Inside, cameras are located in public areas such as reception, the bar area and function rooms Inside, cameras are located in public areas such as reception, the bar area and function rooms. They are designed to help resolve payment discrepancies and to deter any unwarranted behaviour. Images from the cameras go back to a secure room in the hotel’s separate office block, while staff at reception is able to view live images. “The Dahua system delivers all the benefits we were looking for,” said George Kane, General Manager at the Petwood Hotel. It is reliable, easy to use, and provides excellent quality recorded images, which can be accessed quickly and easily. The cameras are discreet and sensitively installed in and around the listed building. Video surveillance system The technology is great and Videcom Security have handled the project well and sensitively, considering the building is more than 100 years’ old and the hotel remained open throughout the period of installation. “The new surveillance system has been brilliant. The high image quality will enable us to resolve any liability issues in the car parks, while the system reassures guests and staff about internal and external security,” said Danny Harsley, Northern Engineering Manager at Videcom Security. Danny adds, “The Dahua equipment was ideal for this project and, as we have found on many other projects, was easy to install and commission. It’s also a great system to use.”
Round table discussion
Meeting a customer’s expectations is a key component of success for any business, including the physical security market. However, understanding customers’ expectations is a big challenge, which is made even more difficult because those expectations are a moving target. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are customer expectations changing in the physical security market? Their wide-ranging answers highlight elements from technology expectations to adaptability to change.
We asked this week’s Expert Panel: What are the limitations on where video cameras can be placed because of privacy? With hundreds of new cameras installed every day, the likelihood increases exponentially that a camera will be placed in a location where it violates privacy. In fact, threats to privacy are often among the largest objections when video surveillance is proposed, whether in a public area or in the workplace. Allaying fears about undermining privacy is a basic requirement to make such systems acceptable to the public. It’s a touchy subject, but one our Expert Panel is willing to address.
The evolution of IP video has placed a lot of attention on the resolution of video, as measured in the growing number of pixels in a frame. But another variable, receiving less attention, is the number of frames captured per minute (fps). We inherited the idea of “full-frame-rate” video from the analogue world, but increasing numbers of pixels (and more data!) have sometimes led to use of slower frame rates. We asked our Expert Panel: What is the value of “full-frame-rate” video? Absent specific compliance requirements, what might suffice as an acceptable frame rate (i.e., less than 30 frames per second [NTSC] or 25 frames per second [PAL])?