License plate capture
Utility, Inc., (Utility Associates, Inc.) announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office issuance of patent 10,812,755 for additional BodyWorn camera technology. Patent for BodyWorn cameras The patent covers mounting a BodyWorn camera in a holster that is embedded inside a body armour vest, duty shirt, winter coat or other garment with the camera lens fastened and aligned to provide a clear field of view through an opening in the garment. Embedding the camera within an article of clo...
Poor driving doesn’t just increase the risk of accident and injury – it also slows down traffic and increases delays for other motorists. To help local authorities to overcome these challenges, Hikvision has created its Traffic Violation Detection solution, which detects traffic and parking violations across the road network in real time and supports fast, automated incident responses and ticketing deterrents. High global cases of traffic accidents According to the World Health Or...
LocoMobi World introduces PassagePass powered by LPR Express, the next generation of parking payments. Parking facility owners and managers can secure their revenue and differentiate their lots/garages by offering the simplest and most convenient parking experience. LPR Express allows customers to opt-in to LPR Express on the PassagePay app. When a customer drives to a LPR Express powered parking lot, the gate scans their licence plate and allows them access - no tickets, fobs, or QR codes requ...
LocoMobi World is pleased to introduce BriskPark, their new parking access and revenue control solution that offers ten new innovative products. First up is the BriskPark Smart Gate. Most parking applications start with a simple gate. As a recognised company in LPR (Licence Plate Recognition) and Payment Technology, they decided to make the gate as smart as all of their products at the best value in the market. BriskPark smart gate solution BriskPark is a slick & quick access gate is ideal...
During the global COVID-19 pandemic spread, businesses have completely shifted their practices with curbside pick-up and drive-thru becoming increasingly essential. Even with the slow opening of brick and mortar retail shops and in-restaurant dining, curbside pick-up and drive-thru remains favourable among consumers and will continue to be as the pandemic rages on. Contactless payment According to Hal Lawton, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tractor Supply Company, “Consumers w...
With the ever-changing world, one can see condominiums, apartments, and gated communities becoming a hub of activity. People are establishing home offices, deliveries are increasing and security becomes more important than ever. Condo living is resort-style living at its best. CondoPark becomes an automated transportation and parking manager while ensuring unwanted people and vehicles are not accessing the user’s garages. CondoPark has unlimited potential and has the flexibility to adapt...
Hikvision’s smart video solutions for logistics parks add several layers of intelligence compared to traditional security cameras, helping operators to enhance personnel management, vehicle management, site management, and goods management. Smart video solutions Global supply chains, the booming online retail market, and rising demand for manufactured goods have driven growth in the logistics industry. An array of materials and goods are constantly on the move by truck, arriving at logistics parks before the last miles of their journey to stores or customers’ addresses. With goods moving 24/7, logistics parks need to work extremely efficiently With goods moving 24/7, logistics parks need to work extremely efficiently to stay ahead of demand, and to ensure that goods are delivered on time. Additionally, security is a top concern for operators, from the moment shipments arrive, to the moment they are delivered to their final destinations. Importance of security cameras in site security When it comes to achieving these goals, security cameras are critical, helping operators to monitor vehicles and people entering facilities, and to track goods leaving the premises. However, next-generation smart video solutions provide a number of additional benefits that help operators to operate more efficiently and securely than ever before. These include: Enhanced personnel management With the latest smart video solutions, such as Hikvision’s Smart Logistics Park Solution, site operators can protect staff more effectively against accident and injury. This is achieved with automatic detection of personal protective equipment (PPE), including eye wear, gloves, ear protectors and more. One example of this is Hikvision’s embedded hard hat detection technology, which triggers automated alerts when team members enter restricted areas without their hard hats on. This enables logistics park operators to significantly improve health and safety, without deploying additional team members to supervise hard hat compliance. Enhanced security with facial recognition technology As an additional benefit, operators can improve security with facial recognition technology, which ensures that only authorised personnel enter restricted areas. Facial recognition technology can also make it faster and easier for employees to move around the logistics park, helping them work more productively, thereby reducing waiting times for staff at park entrances and exits. Improved site management and safety Apart from the access control facilities with face recognition technology, deployed to prevent unauthorised visitors entering in secure areas and the premise, logistics parks need more intelligent perimeter protection solutions to drastically improve security. This is now possible with Hikvision thermal cameras, which provide crystal-clear video recording and footage, even in dim or zero-light environments. Advanced radar and dome cameras can also be combined to detect any unauthorised people or vehicles entering the site, so as to trigger automated alerts for any suspicious movements, and to record clear video evidence of any untoward incidents that occur. High-definition and low-light smart cameras For more efficiency and operation performance, remote patrols can be enhanced with AI technology With high-definition and low-light Hikvision smart cameras, logistics parks can also replace manual security patrols with ‘remote’ patrols. In this kind of a scenario, security teams check images from strategically placed, high-definition cameras, based on a patrol ‘schedule’ and raise alerts if any suspicious movements are observed or noticed. To further increase efficiency and operation performance, remote patrols can be enhanced with AI technology, which enables regular security checks with no need to review video footage manually. In such kind of cases, only video images that identify a potential security threat are sent to site security teams, so as to dramatically reduce staffing requirements and cutting unnecessary costs. Optimised vehicle and dock management With Hikvision’s smart video solutions, site operators can create an optimised vehicle and load management workflow, from truck entry to docking and cargo pickup. Hikvision Smart Logistics Park Solution The Hikvision Smart Logistics Park Solution achieves this with a dashboard that displays the status of each loading dock, thereby allowing vehicles to be directed efficiently, as soon as they register at the park’s security checkpoint. Based on simple red, yellow and green indicators, vehicles can be processed more efficiently and queuing can be reduced. As well as improving the vehicle processing workflow, park operators can improve access security based on vehicle license plate recognition technology. Smart cameras can also be used to monitor the speed of vehicles entering the logistics park, to detect illegal parking, and to send automated alerts to security teams when rules are breached. Secure and efficient goods management With smart video solutions, logistics parks can create an automated, fully traceable goods management process With smart video solutions, logistics parks can create an automated, secure, and fully traceable goods management process. This supports the secure flow of goods at one site or across multiple sites and includes solutions for accurate, secure goods scanning, tracking and delivery. One example of this is the Hikvision Smart Logistics Park Solution, which incorporates all the infrastructure needs for effective and secure goods management, right from monitoring cameras to smart code readers and scanners. Embedded software tools By using embedded software tools, site operators can allocate an ID to every pallet or parcel, and track it through to the final delivery, along with additional features such as easily search and view video footage relating to specific pallets or parcels, and generate daily inventory reports quickly and easily. Finally, logistics park operators can dramatically reduce fire risks in the warehouse with Hikvision. This is achieved by combining thermal cameras and smoke detectors, which alert security teams of potential fires before any damage is done.
While the accuracy rate of traditional rules-based ALPR systems is very good, every false positive still requires human intervention. These service interruptions not only cause customer dissatisfaction but also cost parking operators time, money, and create overall enforcement inefficiencies. To address these issues, Genetec has developed a next-generation machine learning-based engine for Security Center AutoVu™. Optimised to run on current ALPR hardware already used by customers in the field, Genetec AutoVu MLC improves plate-read performance by an additional 5%. To help parking organisations quantify the impact this increase in plate reading accuracy can have on their bottom line, Genetec has developed an ALPR calculator. For parking organisations By simply entering the typical citation amount, the number of days of enforcement per week, the hours of enforcement per day, and the violation rate percentage, parking organisations can use the calculator to discover they can save thousands of dollars a year. “While a 5% increase in plate reading performance may not seem like much initially, it can have a profound effect on a parking operator’s bottom line,” said Michael Bradner, Product Manager at Genetec. “Shift after shift, day after day, and month after month, that cumulative effect adds up to tens of thousands of dollars a year. With the ALPR calculator, customers can clearly see for themselves.” Firmware update The AutoVu MLC is available as a firmware update for new and existing AutoVu SharpVTM hardware from Genetec certified channel partners and integrators. It does not require costly hardware upgrades and can run on AutoVu SharpV and most SharpX cameras already deployed in the field. AutoVu MLC is embedded in the new Genetec SharpZ3, one of the first specialised in-vehicle ALPR systems in the world to be powered by Intel’s latest machine learning and computer vision technology. This brings high-performance data processing and analytics to the edge to enhance deep learning capabilities that extend beyond traditional ALPR.
Security at educational institutions is a highly sensitive issue. No matter whether it is a kindergarten, school, university or private learning institute, concentrated learning requires a harmonious environment to focus on the essentials. High-end video technology can make a decisive contribution to protecting students from any kind of disturbance or untoward incident. Safeguarding schools In the past, schools and universities have repeatedly been the target of active shooter and terrorist attacks. The primary goal of educational institutions, owing to this constant threat, is to prevent ‘unauthorised access’ to the school grounds and to allow only authorised visitors. Further potential danger exists internally, such as cases of vandalism, bullying and violence by or among students, which are issues that may arise sometimes in school life. Of course, early smoke and fire detection are also important components for a safe learning and living environment. MOBOTIX video security solutions MOBOTIX has video security solutions for the education & science sector in its portfolio" In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new health protection requirements into focus. Video technology can provide reliable support in all these scenarios. "MOBOTIX has video security solutions for the education & science sector in its portfolio that makes school, learning and studying safe. These solutions are already in use around the world and have proven themselves to be very effective," said Thomas Lausten, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MOBOTIX AG. With its unique product portfolio consisting of hardware, software, services and intelligent partner solutions, MOBOTIX can precisely map the requirements of various industries. The latest technologies can be used to protect people, facilities and infrastructure in schools, universities or private educational institutions. Access and entry control Video technology from MOBOTIX helps to prevent unauthorised access and regulate access to buildings, or individual areas in a targeted manner. In addition, doors can be opened totally contactlessly, for example using RFID chip cards, access codes and identification of authorised personnel, based on face recognition technology. An overview in real time is possible and also helps in emergency situations, e.g. during evacuations to find out whether and which persons are where. At entrances and parking lots, vehicles can be automatically registered via the license plate and compared with databases. The identifying video technology can thus, efficiently restrict access to authorised vehicles or persons. MOBOTIX 7 open video system platform Using the new open video system platform, MOBOTIX 7, numerous camera apps can be used for intelligent video analysis. Among other things, the applications can register, for example, ownerless luggage, stolen furnishings, can track down suspicious persons, count people, recognise overcrowding situations or alert when one or more virtual blocking lines are crossed for burglary protection. The robustness of the MOBOTIX hardware also protects the video technology of MOBOTIX itself against vandalism. The use of thermal imaging cameras is also recommended in special areas. For example, an email can be sent to the building maintenance department if the system, which reacts to invisible heat radiation, detects increasing overheating in an IT server room before a dangerous fire breaks out. Campus security and perimeter protection The MOBOTIX M16 and M73 offer several simultaneous sensors in a robust, weatherproof design For outdoor applications, the MOBOTIX M16 and M73 offer several simultaneous sensors in a robust, weatherproof design. The wide range of interchangeable sensor modules can be configured to meet the exact requirements of the educational institution in question, with the aim to detect danger or any untoward incident in time and thus, effectively thwart them. For example, a floodlight could automatically shine if an unauthorized person enters the campus outside of opening hours. If desired, this could also be combined with an acoustic warning. Cyber-secure MOBOTIX video technology While the communication infrastructure in the education sector constantly improving, there are usually few resources (personnel, know-how) available for the maintenance of the technology. For this reason, the systems used must be stable and, if possible, maintenance-free and also protected against physical and digital attacks. MOBOTIX video systems are made in Germany. With an above-average ‘Mean Time Between Failures’ (MTBF) of more than 80,000 hours, the follow-up costs of a MOBOTIX system are reduced to a minimum. Resources for technology support can be saved. Due to their durability and robustness, they are predestined for use in education and science. "Particularly in the educational sector, the security of pupils, students, teaching staff, but also of equipment and facilities is of particular importance, real and digital. MOBOTIX has optimal solutions that are robust, reliable and cyber-secure. Solutions that help to make our educational institutions more convenient and secure," concludes Thomas Lausten.
Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analogue video surveillance solutions, announced a line of 4K AI cameras. Part of the Wisenet P series, the new AI-based cameras capture pristine images at up to 4K resolution while including powerful, in-camera deep learning algorithms for advanced object detection, classification and error-free analytics. Utilising object recognition versus motion detection all but eliminates false alarms while also providing valuable business and operations insight. AI cameras analytics “Our new AI cameras have solid performance in both analytics and deep learning applications,” said Ray Cooke, Vice President - Products, Solutions, and Integration, Hanwha Techwin America. “The included, licence-free analytics detect and classify a range of objects including people, vehicles, licence plates, and faces. This technology will provide more reliable edge based intelligence, and open new opportunities in security as well as business and operations intelligence.” Unique attributes of the objects are also stored as metadata alongside the video information including: Colours of people’s clothes for both top and bottom People’s clothing length for both top and bottom People wearing of glasses or not People wearing or carrying a bag Age group Gender Vehicle types Vehicle colours Hanwha’s plugin for Video Management Software This metadata can be read by a VMS server and used in post-event forensic search to significantly reduce time spent investigating specific events. Wisenet P series AI cameras offer integration with Wisenet WAVE and other popular VMSs from Milestone and Genetec using Hanwha’s plugin. As businesses re-open with new policies regarding social distancing and occupancy limits, it’s never been more important to accurately count customers and employees as they enter and exit the premises. Unlike traditional, imprecise methods of people counting with dedicated overhead cameras, the Wisenet P series AI cameras deliver the accuracy with people counting based on the camera’s AI object detection algorithm. Reducing Server bandwidth for analytics Wisenet P series AI cameras are equipped with a ‘BestShot’ feature which ensures that only the most suitable image of classified objects is sent to a backend server. The full video image can be up to 4K resolution to see details of objects, along with tagged attributes metadata. Users have the option to set the image resolution to less than 4K for full video streaming or use BestShot to minimise bandwidth and storage requirements for server-based analytics. Additional key features include: Digital auto-tracking: provides two simultaneous streams of video, enabling operators to see the camera’s full field of view, whilst simultaneously viewing a Full HD digital PTZ auto-tracked image of a person or vehicle Upgraded Business Intelligence: integration with Wisenet Retail Insight providing gender and age group counting 12V DC power supply (50mA max): provides power for external sensors including LEDs, PIR sensors, and glass break detectors, eliminating the need for an additional power supply AI Dome cameras series The new Wisenet P series AI cameras are available in the following configurations: PND-A9081RV – 4K AI dome camera with built-in IR illumination PND-A9081RF – 4K AI flush-mount AI dome camera with built-in IR illumination PNV-A9081R – 4K AI vandal-resistant dome camera with built-in IR illumination PNO-A9081R – 4K AI bullet camera with built-in IR illumination PNB-A9001 – 4K AI box camera
Security & Safety Things GmbH (S&ST) is set to reshape innovation in video analytics and computer vision with the commercial availability of a number of new smart IP security cameras, from a variety of vendors, that leverage the Security & Safety Things open and secure IoT platform. This new generation of security cameras will operate using the free S&ST camera operating system, which enables the cameras to run multiple AI-enabled applications in parallel. The apps automate the analysis of video data to produce valuable operational intelligence for business optimisation as well as provide easy to deploy tools that can aid in re-opening measures from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic health and safety mandates “Organisations of all sizes around the world need flexible, easy to deploy solutions that enable compliance with constantly changing pandemic health and safety mandates and provide future value to ramp up and optimise their ongoing business operations,” says Hartmut Schaper, chief executive officer, Security & Safety Things. Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps" “Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps from our Application Store, to detect the absence of facial coverings in a retail environment. Tomorrow, the same camera can help that same retailer to optimise merchandise placement based on store foot traffic, in one store or throughout the enterprise, along with further optimisations.” IP-based surveillance footage Qisda/Topview will be the first camera manufacturer to launch a camera running the S&ST OS in May, followed in quick succession by AndroVideo, who will also start shipping their S&ST enabled cameras in Q2. Bosch is making their INTEOX camera line available as of July followed by camera firms Vivotek and BSTsecurity who plan to ship a bit later in Q3. The first devices from Hanwha Techwin that run the S&ST OS are expected to be commercially available in Q4. Security & Safety Things, Hanwha, Vivotek, Bosch, Qisda/Topview, and AndroVideo are also all proud members of the OpenSecurity and Safety Alliance (OSSA). The free Security & Safety Things OS is built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It leverages the expanding processing and analytic power of modern IP cameras to exponentially increase the amount of operational intelligence that can be mined from traditional IP-based surveillance footage. Drone threat detection It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners The applications that can be installed on these cameras, both in an on-premise as well as a remote setting, are created by highly specialised third-party developers and are available through the platform’s open Application Store. It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners, with more than 30 additional apps expected to hit the store soon. In addition to pandemic applications, use cases include detection of weapons, behavioural analysis, payment systems for parking garages, drone threat detection and even identifying objects presented for purchase in a cash register transaction for cashier-free retail environments. Security & Safety Things, together with some of its camera and system integration partners are already running projects in a live setting. These projects use, for example, heat mapping and queue analysis in retail stores and automated payment processing and license plate recognition for barrier free traffic. These types of applications are running in pilots with the parking management solutions provider Peter Park as well as with the mobility provider SIXT.
Video surveillance technologies continue to evolve. Salient Systems looks at some of the fastest-growing areas in this sphere, including AI-based video analytics and cloud-based video access and recording. Market awareness will continue to drive interest, which will, in turn, drive available solutions and offerings in 2020 and beyond. Another trend to watch out for is more VMS interfaces offering greater access-to and control-of analytics information and access control systems. This relates to the ongoing trend of consumers moving towards unified video/access/analytics solutions. Consumers will benefit in the coming years from simplified offsite access, automated analysis of security events, and better presentation and reporting of security information. Cloud-based AI Analytics The number of video analytics companies that have come into being over the past three years is tremendous The number of video analytics companies that have come into being over the past three years is tremendous. The growth has accelerated over that time due in great part to the popularity of GPU hardware for applications beyond video games or CAD/ CAM, such as deep learning, computer vision and AI. However, with more sophisticated analytics come significant processing requirements and high server hardware costs. This high hardware cost puts analytics out of reach to most video surveillance consumers. Depending on the analytic being used, how many cameras are analysed, camera resolution, etc., the upfront hardware cost of a deployment designed for processing under a dozen cameras could easily exceed US$ 10,000. As a result, more analytics companies this year have begun offering cloud-based AI analytics. Video analytics and cloud The premise is simple, instead of deploying hardware onsite for processing the analytics, video is streamed to the cloud, where servers with the analytics software are hosted. The analytics software is configured to provide alerts when detection occurs. Upfront hardware costs are replaced with ongoing monthly fees, making the acquisition cost of the technology much more affordable. The downside of this model includes lower scalability and higher ongoing costs. Scalability Scalability is limited by the consumer’s internet connection speed, due to the need to upload video to the cloud for processing. This is not likely to limit adoption for many consumers, because it is not uncommon for only a subset of cameras at a site to require analytics processing. In the event a high number of cameras need to be analysed, many cloud-based analytic solutions can process video at a lower resolution and/or frame rate while still achieving accurate detection. Unified GUIs from VMS platforms Several prominent security product manufacturers have been moving toward providing unified solutions Several prominent security product manufacturers have been moving toward providing unified solutions, as opposed to focusing on a single product area to develop a “best of breed” offering. This move is driving a shift in thinking with consumers, putting more emphasis towards deeper integration of complementary security technologies, and a corresponding need to easily associate security data. As such, consumers want access to all the information in a single interface, which allows for the association of complementary security data. As an example, if a cardholder presents an access control credential to enter an area, the access control system would show the name of the individual associated with the credential that had unlocked the door. Ensuring authorised access The video system would display the person walking through the door. If the live video and the access control records are presented together in the same interface, a security officer would be able to see the person who walked through the door was not the person associated with the access credential. Traditionally, most integrations occur between video and access control systems. Users would view the integrated video and access data in the access control system interface. Technologies such as point-of-sale integration, license plate recognition and video analytics have become more widely used over the past several years. Moving towards single unified interface Data from those technologies are best presented within the video surveillance system, and as such, it makes sense for video management platforms to move towards becoming a unified interface. Several VMS providers have already taken steps in this direction. Either data from a complementary security system can be presented alongside video and other data directly, or add-on components for LPR, Analytics, and the like are purchasable options from such vendors. Hybrid cloud VMS functionality Interest in cloud-based video surveillance deployments continues to grow Interest in cloud-based video surveillance deployments continues to grow. Market awareness and education is high, due in great part to the growing number of available solutions, including those from mainstream VMS Platform providers. However, full Cloud VMS deployments in the professional market are not yet widely utilised as a result of high bandwidth costs, which limit scalability. Bandwidth costs disproportionally affect mid-sized to enterprise-scale consumers, as a result of those consumers having more cameras and therefore requiring more bandwidth. Even so, benefits such as simplified remote access, which is discussed below, and the ability to scale video retention without adding on-premise storage may drive hybrid cloud features in traditional VMS platforms. Video retention and cloud archiving Traditional deployments utilise on-premise servers with fixed amounts of storage. This traditional model lacks flexibility many users seek. As an organisation’s requirements evolve, their video retention requirements may also change. A cloud-archiving service built into a VMS would allow the VMS user to leverage cloud storage for long-term archiving on selected cameras. This capability would remove the need to add additional on-premise storage as retention requirements change. Cloud storage Using cloud storage would allow the user to extend their storage capacity at any time, by simply making configuration changes in the VMS that would correspond to a monthly fee for cloud storage. Another cloud feature that would benefit users of traditional VMS systems is simplified remote access. Users of traditional VMS deployments can set up remote access via the internet using a VPN connection Users of traditional VMS deployments can set up remote access via the internet using a VPN connection or by making the VMS server available via port forwarding on an internet-connected router. Those configurations may involve additional cost, configuration complexity or security risks. VMS-supporting, cloud-based video sharing A VMS-supporting, cloud-based video sharing may allow an administrator to configure remote access by simply checking a few boxes during configuration, causing the VMS to connect securely to a cloud-based server where users can log-in to view selected cameras. This setup removes the need for complex configuration, which would need to be maintained every time there are network changes affecting the VMS servers. Staying ahead of the curve Keeping an eye out for new technologies allows system designers and consumers to identify those which may provide a cost benefit or strategic advantage. With cloud offerings becoming more and more mainstream, new uses for cloud architecture are coming to light in video surveillance. Finally, with technology integrations and video management interface development growing more sophisticated with every passing day, live monitoring practices and security operations centre design may be affected in the coming years.
Video surveillance is commonly associated with security. But in most cases, it's used to record incidents and assist in investigations after the fact rather than prevent undesirable events. Artificial intelligence–powered video analytics is a highly promising trend that fundamentally changes the way things work. Extracting manageable data from a video stream can help recognise risky situations early on, minimising damage and, ideally, completely avoid emergencies. At the same time, AI significantly expands the areas of application of video surveillance beyond security systems. AI significantly expands the areas of application of video surveillance beyond security systems However, the hype around this new, trendy technology prevents the potential user from choosing quality solutions in a wide variety of products. This often leads to over-expectation, followed by a complete let-down. Can AI-powered video analytics really be the key to a technological breakthrough in video surveillance? We'll take a look at what the technology can do, what it can't, and where it can go from here. Technological breakthrough or just another bubble? It's often said that the video management software (VMS) market is becoming increasingly commoditised and widely available. A lot of products with similar features (or, at least, similar promises from the manufacturer) make it hard to choose. As a result, vendor names and reputations are turning into one of their primary selling points. Manufacturers have two choices available: get wrapped up in a price war and rely on cutting expenses, or offer a product that's truly innovative and revolutionary. Manufacturers have two choices available: get wrapped up in a price war, or offer a product that's truly innovative and revolutionary VMS developers who choose the second route are gravitating towards creating products that use artificial intelligence based on neural networks and deep learning. Emerging two or three years ago, the AI video analytics market is experiencing a boom in growth. This new tech wave has stirred the still, stagnant backwaters of the VMS world and gave small, ambitious developers something to be optimistic about. It seems they now have a chance to emerge as market leaders in the next few years. However, the hype around this popular trend is raising reasonable concerns among experienced security industry professionals. These concerns come from clients looking for a solution to their problems, and from suppliers building a long-term development strategy. This largely resembles another tech bubble, like the one built up around pre-AI video analytics and burst when it became clear that the promises around it were pure marketing hype. However, there are factors that indicate that AI-powered video surveillance systems aren't another bubble. The three factors The first — and the main one — comes from systems already in place on customers' sites. They fulfill the same promises made during the previous bubble by hotheads in a rush to teach the computer to analyse events in real time using a classical algorithmic approach. The second is the fact that this new technology has seen investment from not only software and cloud startups, but also established VMS developers. Even giants like Intel, which has presented a full line of neural network accelerator hardware and a set of software tools that streamlines working with them, specifically in the field of computer vision. This new technology has seen investment from not only software and cloud startups, but also established VMS developers The third factor lies in artificial intelligence's abilities. AI plays chess, drives cars, and works wonders in many other fields. Why shouldn't it be applied to video monitoring and analysis? What AI can do Just what can artificial intelligence do in video surveillance systems at this stage of development? It can't quite analyse a sequence of events and understand the "logic" of what's happening in the cameras' field of view. At least not yet. But it's probable that AI will learn to do this in the next few years. But neural network analytics can already detect, classify, and track objects very well, providing high accuracy even in busy scenes. Artificial intelligence can be used in the real world to: Detect smoke and flames for early fire warning at open areas (forest, open warehouse, parking lot, etc.) Distinguish people/vehicles from animals and other moving objects, e.g. to protect the perimeter of a nature park from poachers Distinguish a person in a helmet and protective clothing from a person without them to prevent accidents at a dangerous production facility or construction site Count objects of a specific type, e.g. cars in a parking lot, people in the sales floor, wares moving on a conveyor belt, etc. in non-security-related solutions Those are just a few examples. After training a neural network, it can tackle other, similar tasks, too. Generally, a neural network trained in specific conditions isn't replicable. In other words, it won't work as well under different conditions. On the other hand, developers have learned how to quickly train AI for the needs of a specific project. The most important requirement is having enough video footage. Somewhat apart from that is the use of neural networks in facial and automatic number-plate recognition. This is an example of reproducible neural networks (train once, deploy everywhere), which makes them more appealing commercially. If non-reproducible neural networks have only recently become economically feasible due to the rapid evolution of specialised hardware (aforementioned Intel's product, for example), then the use of AI in facial recognition and ANPR has been well established for a long time. The use of AI in facial recognition and ANPR has been well established for a long time Another kind of AI analytics that we'll explore is behaviour analytics. This function, probably more than any other, is bringing video surveillance systems closer to understanding what's happening on camera. Its potential is vast. How behaviour analytics works From a technical point of view, behaviour analytics combines artificial intelligence with a classic algorithmic approach. A neural network trained on a multitude of scenarios can determine the position of the bodies, heads, and limbs of humans in the camera's field of view. The algorithm outputs an array of data containing descriptions of their poses. Conditions can be set for data to detect a specific pose, such as raised hands, prostrated or crouching persons. Developers can use this to quickly create new detection tools to identify potentially dangerous behavior specified by a government or business client. There's no need for additional training of the neural network. How behaviour analytics can be deployed Someone crouched down next to an ATM could be a technician, CIT guard, or burglar. Bank security should be notified in any of the cases. A person in shooter position, together with a bank employee or cashier with their hands raised could indicate a robbery. The system can be configured to automatically send alerts with a surveillance snapshot to the police so they can assess the threat and take action if needed. It's vital that the police receive the alert, even if the employee is unable to activate the alarm. In many cases, attention should be directed to a prostrate individual. This could be somebody who needs immediate help, or it could be someone sleeping in an inappropriate public place, for example, a 24/7 ATM space. Behavioural analytics can also be used to ensure workplace safety. For example, tracking whether employees are holding the handrails when using the stairs at a manufacturing facility or a construction site. What now? Behaviour analytics can be deployed wherever your clients' imagination takes them. With this feature, practically any pose that indicates potentially dangerous behaviour can be detected. Timely response to an alarm helps avoid material damages or, in other situations, casualties. Practically any pose that indicates potentially dangerous behaviour can be detected An area of potential development for behaviour analytics is the ability to analyse a sequence of poses by the same person or a combination of poses and relative positions of several individuals. That will be the next level of evolution in AI's use in video surveillance: moving from "detecting" to "understanding" behaviour in real time. In its most basic form, this type of analytics can be deployed to detect deviations from the search procedure in correctional facilities when a person being inspected must assume a pre-defined sequence of poses. A more advanced form allows it to detect any kind of abnormal behaviour, such as a brawl breaking out in a public space. Ideally, behaviour analytics can predict dangerous situations based on nearly imperceptible cues gleaned from collected statistics and a Big Data analysis. At the moment, this sounds like pure fantasy, but what seemed like whimsy not too long ago is now a reality with AI. It's already beaten humans in chess and the game of Go (Weiqi). Will artificial intelligence be able to outplay humans at charades one day? It's entirely possible that we'll soon see for ourselves.
Through new technology, applications and analytics, video surveillance systems are helping to make hospitals a safer place Healthcare organisations face many challenges. Federal mandates associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), changing reimbursement models, an ageing population and competition are among the most concerning issues. Unfortunately, so are safety and security. However, video surveillance is helping. Through new technology, applications and analytics, video surveillance systems – and the data storage required to support them – are helping to make hospitals a safer place and providing a positive impact on the quality of care. Security and surveillance trends Security professionals in healthcare settings face many threats. Gang incidents, trespassing, patient outbursts and terrorism are all concerns they must protect against, not to mention drug related crimes and the risk of infant and child abduction. Incidents of violence are real possibilities, which places workplace violence and disorderly conduct at the top of the list of safety concerns. “Violence is a real challenge for us,” said Mickey Watson, Director of Public Safety for the Sarasota County Hospital District in Sarasota, Florida. “We worry about active shooters and people pulling out knives and stabbing people. We have to worry about people driving cars into the crowd in front of our hospital. We see a rising level of violence among the patients in the emergency rooms. Even on the medical floors, we are seeing violent interactions with families, visitors, and other people on our campus.” According to Mickey, “Violence in the hospital and workplace violence have to be priorities for us, and we are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of violence.” Surveillance systems outside hospitals Observation and awareness are important. Security professionals rely on their surveillance system to help them monitor nearby streets, pavements, parking facilities, hallways, entrances, ambulance bays, and waiting areas for suspicious or threatening activity. This is helping to prevent incidents as well as identify vehicles in “dump-and-run” cases. “Violence in the hospital and the workplace have to be priorities – we are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of violence” “Dump-and-run cases—where a car pulls up to the hospital, dumps a patient out at the entrance, and pulls away—happen frequently,” said Mickey. “It’s usually someone who has been shot or stabbed. The first question our law enforcement partners want to know is if we have any video of the car. So we added a license plate recognition camera to take care of that.” Better monitoring helps protect hospital settings. However, healthcare campuses are sprawling and becoming more decentralised. More and more services are being delivered outside the hospital itself, but those environments must still be protected. This is another area where video surveillance is helping. “It used to be that everything happened at the hospital,” said Mickey. “Now we are seeing patient care move more out into the community and across the system. So we use camera technology at the locations where we can’t keep staff all the time. We use virtual patrols and video patrols. We use that to monitor trespassing and those kinds of situations.” Constant observation camera programme The population is ageing, resulting in a growing need for medical services. Thanks to longer life expectancy and the size of the Baby Boomer generation, the number of people aged 65 years or older is expected to reach 72 million within the next 25 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, the CDC expects that nearly 20% of the U.S. population will be made up of older people by 2030, putting a lot of pressure on healthcare facilities. Older patients require more care and are at a higher risk of injury when on-site at a hospital or outpatient facility. Using a camera system eliminates the need to increase staff while ensuring patients are never out of the sight of a caregiver According to Paul Baratta, Healthcare Business Development Manager at Axis Communications, “People are coming into the [healthcare] system at an older age. Falling and other medical emergencies are starting to become more prevalent. As a technology partner, we are trying to help healthcare organisations with fall prevention and not just fall detection.” This is one area where video surveillance is helping improve the quality of care. Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the anchor facility in Mickey Watson’s district in Sarasota, Florida, uses a constant observation system to serve high-risk patients. According to Mickey, “We struggle with patients who are a fall risk. So we have implemented a constant observation camera programme where we actually have clinical professionals in a second control centre observing high-risk patients. We have 200 rooms that have the ability to provide constant observation.” Clinical uses for video platforms Using a camera system eliminates the need to increase staff while ensuring patients are never out of the sight of a caregiver. According to Mickey, constant observation cameras are such a benefit that they plan to include them in all future building specifications. “New rooms will be equipped with constant observation cameras,” said Mickey. “And we are expanding our control center and expect it to double in size this year.” “We implemented a constant observation camera programme where clinical professionals can observe high-risk patients” Healthcare organisations are seeing more and more clinical uses for video platforms. One is the constant observation system mentioned above. Another is the growing trend toward telemedicine, where patients are able to receive care remotely. A third use is the role of video in training clinical staff. According to Mickey, “In my estimation, within the next 3-4 years the number of clinical-based camera platforms will actually exceed the number of security-based cameras that we have across the organisation” and according to Paul, “We [at Axis] really feel [the healthcare industry] is going to see more and more cameras and video and storage needed for clinical applications and training. The traditional security camera systems are going to morph into a larger system of patient quality and care and away from just security.” Storage platform for healthcare organisations Storage capacity in healthcare is growing at 30.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to a report from IHS. At Quantum, we see customers contending with growth driven by the adoption rate of high-definition (HD) cameras, the expanded use of camera systems to improve security, the growth in clinical-based camera applications and longer retention times due to litigation protection and analytics. Meeting the video requirements of today’s healthcare organisations requires a multi-tiered storage platform capable of growing incrementally and integrating into a heterogeneous infrastructure while remaining cost-effective enough to deliver the total capacity needed within the constraints of already tight budgets.
The field of artificial intelligence known as machine learning or cognitive computing has in recent years become highly popular The field of artificial intelligence known as machine learning or cognitive computing has in recent years become highly popular. The meteoric rise of “deep learning” technology over the past several years has been truly dramatic in many industries. Industry giants from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM and many others have been pouring massive amounts of investments in this field of artificial intelligence. The machine learning field has exploded on the scene with the breakthrough in the new “deep learning” technology. Developments in deep learning have ramifications for the physical security industry, too. In video analytics, for example, deep learning has shown promise to improve some difficult problems, although more work is needed. This article will cover the evolving field of deep learning and its potential impact on the security and video surveillance markets. Evolution of deep learning The field of deep learning evolved from “artificial neural nets” from the 1980s. In the early years of this branch of artificial intelligence, the neural nets are modelled after a human’s brain, which consists of over 100 billion neurons. The field of neural networks never really took off in the ‘80s and ‘90s due to many reasons. The key limitations of the earlier systems are the difficultly to train the network; and the hardware CPU technologies were too slow to properly train a neural net that can solve meaningful real-world applications. Over the past several years, real world applications of deep learning now encompass many industries including handwriting recognitionand language translation The 1980s and 1990s were the dark days of neural network research. Since 2000, the research community of neural nets has really started to garner industry labs’ attention from the breakthroughs in deep learning work in academia at the University of Toronto, NYU, Stanford and others. Over the past several years, real world applications of deep learning now encompass many industries including handwriting recognition, language translation, automatic game (chess/Go) playing, object classification, face recognition, medical image analysis, autonomous driving cars and many other fields. One example of the excitement with deep learning technology is the recent breakthrough from Google’s AlphaGo, a computer program that for the first time beat a professional human Go player in October, 2015. The sophistication of the Deep learning based program has astonished many in the field of artificial intelligence due the complexity of the ancient Asia GO game, which is considerably more complicated than chess. Video surveillance applications for deep learning Although deep learning has been applied to many industries with breakthrough results compared to legacy systems, not all applications are suitable for deep learning. In the field of video surveillance, several applications stand out that can benefit from deep learning. Face recognition. Deep learning technology has significantly improved the accuracy rate of face recognition. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has conducted Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) test over the past decade. The improvements over the last 20 years of face recognition error rates have decreased by three orders of magnitude, according to an NIST Interagency Report. Most of today’s top-performing commercial face recognition products are based on deep learning. The accuracy has reached 99.9% for controlled environments like airport immigration face recognition applications, according to research by Facebook and Tel Aviv University. Person and object detection. Person detection and object detection is another area where deep learning has shown tremendous progress. For example, over the past five years, the IMAGENET database has organised the “large scale visual recognition challenge,” in which image software algorithms are challenged to detect, classify and localise a database of over 150,000 photographs collected from Flickr and other search engines. The dataset is labelled into 1,000 object categories. Many deep learning systems are trained with over 1.2 million images from the IMAGENET dataset running on GPU based hardware accelerators. The improvements in accuracy range from 72% to over 90% from 2010 thru 2014. In 2015, all IMAGENET contestants used deep learning techniques. In the field of video surveillance, several applications stand out that can benefit from deep learning Deep learning-based video surveillance solutions A key advantage of deep learning-based algorithms over legacy computer vision algorithms is that deep learning system can be continuously trained and improved with better and more datasets. Many applications have shown that deep learning systems can “learn” to achieve 99.9% accuracy for certain tasks, in contrast to rigid computer algorithms where it is very difficult to improve a system past 95% accuracy. Deep learning has the true potential of significantly reducing false-positive detection events that plague many security video analytics systems The second advantage with deep learning system is the “abnormal” event detection. Deep learning systems have shown remarkable ability to detect undefined or unexpected events. This feature has the true potential of significantly reducing false-positive detection events that plague many security video analytics systems. In fact, the inability to reduce false-positive detection rate is the key problem in video surveillance industry; and has to-date prevented the wide scale acceptance of many vendor’s intelligent video analytics solutions. Open issues with deep learning technology for video Deep learning in its infancy has shown a lot of promise in improving some hard, and difficult video analytics problems. Much more work needs to be done to fine-tune the generic deep learning system to learn and detect domain specific events that are unique to security-oriented environments. The second challenge is that the engineering talent for deep learning is in extreme short supply. Most graduates today come from the top universities and upon graduation are immediately snapped up by Internet giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. The competition for trained machine learning engineers is intense. The third challenge is that not all video analytics algorithms are best applied with deep learning. There are many legacy computer vision algorithms that have been developed over decades that are very well suited and deployed in commercially successful products. For example, license plate recognition performs very well with computer-vision based algorithms. Industry needs to do more research in hybrid systems the combine the best of computer vision algorithms and deep learning. What’s next? Similar to cloud computing and big data technologies, deep learning technology is now emerging as the third wave of rapid advances that have taken over the information industry by storm. Over the next decade, very few areas in the technology sector will not be touched by the advances of cloud, big data and machine learning. For the video surveillance industry, this is welcome news. The industry has been lacking in innovations that can significantly advance the state-of-the art.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding the capabilities of license plate readers and vehicle identification systems. Within a smart/safe city scenario, automatic license plate reader solutions are used to help analyse real-time video streams for site surveillance, inspection and public safety, and to offer actional information through a network of connected camera systems. Outside of law enforcement, this can include other public safety initiatives such as traffic tolls, car counting, and parking security. Vehicle recognition systems Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries Using AI to enable video cameras, Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries. Applications include security and surveillance, public safety, electronic toll collection, brand loyalty, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, and traffic management. AI allows Rekor’s products to recognise and read license plates, while also providing information about each vehicle, including colour, make, year, and model. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software, an AI-based solution that enables any IP (internet protocol) surveillance camera to scan license plates and provide vehicle data including tag number, make, model, and colour in real time with 99% accuracy, according to the company. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software Integrated solutions “Rekor's software started as an open source project, and we have done our best to keep the commercial software as open as possible,” says Rod Hillman, Chief Operating Officer, Rekor Systems. “One of the challenges we see with others in our space is a tendency to ‘close off’ and ‘silo’ their solutions. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible to deploy, integrate, and ultimately use.” Rekor has numerous application programming interfaces (APIs) and ways the solution can be integrated into partners' solutions with a software development kit (SDK). Rekor solutions can be purchased directly or through a worldwide partner network of integrators, wholesalers, and within integrated solutions such as Nokia's smart city platform. Electronic toll collection Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets While many systems are hardware-based, Rekor’s software-as-a-solution offering can turn an IP camera into an automatic license plate reader. Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets, including law enforcement, security and surveillance, electronic toll collection, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, traffic management, and customer experience. “Rekor offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional LPR systems with a much higher accuracy rate at 99% allowing more cameras to be present and active at any given time,” says Hillman. “Traditional LPRs need someone to go through hours of footage to find what they are looking for while Rekor’s technology will send alerts in real time, resulting in much quicker response times.” Move Over Camera mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles to capture ‘Move Over’ violations Two-part authentication Rekor’s products include: NUMERUS, a cloud-based solution for high-volume vehicle recognition, designed to reduce costs and increase efficiencies for the electronic toll collecting industry. Two-part authentication instantly identifies the vehicle’s make, model, colour and body type along with the license plate read. Machine-learning-enabled software recognises license plates from all 50 U.S. states, in addition to plates from more than 70 countries on six continents. Edge, an all-in-one camera and vehicle recognition system that instantly reads vehicle license plates, along with the vehicle’s make, model, colour and body type. Move Over Camera, which mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles (police, tow truck, etc.) to capture ‘Move Over’ violations. ‘Move Over’ laws state that vehicles must move over one lane and/or slow down if they cannot move over to avoid incident while roadside workers are in the shoulder lane. The camera can detect what lane vehicles are in and how fast they are moving. Violators are flagged in the system for law enforcement’s review.
Knightscope’s long-term mission is to “make America the safest country in the world,” says William Santana Li, Chairman and CEO. “The company was started six years ago as we had grown tired and horrified by the ongoing violence in our country and decided to do something about it.” But are security robots the solution to crime and violence in the United States? “There are 2+ million law enforcement and security professionals trying to secure 328+ million people across the 50 states,” Mr. Li says. “The math just doesn’t work, which is why our country pays $1+ trillion in negative economic impact annually – a hidden tax we all pay in blood, tears and treasure.” Robots provide professionals with new tools. “We make really smart eyes and ears that operate 24/7/365 for an affordable price,” says Mr. Li. “We have actually operated more than 700,000 hours in the real world, both outdoors and indoors, across 15 states and are now operating across five time zones – fully autonomous without any human intervention.” Utilising robotics and AI AI helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying peopleKnightscope is a security technology company that utilises self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence to provide security professionals additional eyes and ears to do their jobs much more effectively – as well as provide a consistent around-the-clock physical deterrence to help minimise negative behaviour. Knightscope says its K1, K3 and K5 security robots, and accompanying user interface, the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), continue to make significant contributions to the safety of its client base. Artificial intelligence helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying people, looking up license plates, detecting rogue wireless devices, having a machine-to-human dialogue and, in the future, detecting dangerous objects in a scene automatically. “Our long-term plan is to have the machines be able to see, feel, hear and smell, so advances in sensor capabilities, efforts in sensor fusion, and the future with 5G capabilities will make for profound advances,” says Mr. Li. Facial recognition software at ISC West 2019 was Knightscope’s fourth time exhibiting at ISC West, and they have also exhibited at GSX/ASIS, ISC East, numerous other trade shows, and have hosted some of their own. Mr. Li has seen the reaction to security robots evolve over the years. People are realising that the technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs “At first, it was typically ‘what is that?’ or ‘what does it do?’ But the last 12 to 18 months have been very different. There has been much more meaningful, implementation-focussed dialogue, feedback, requests for new features, etc. Now folks are realising that our technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs.” Their ISC West presence this year highlighted facial recognition software that utilises deep learning to detect, analyse and compare faces. Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif., an existing Knightscope customer, is using the beta format on its K1 security robot platform. Additional benefits of using robots Knightscope has raised over $40 million to develop and deploy its technology and is backed by more than 6,000 family offices, accelerators, funds, private investors and four major corporations, says Mr. Li. As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless" Robots also provide additional benefits beyond security, says Mr. Li, such as branding, community relations and public relations opportunities for clients. “In some cases, our clients have utilised our Concierge feature to allow for human-to-machine customer service interactions,” he says. “We have also been able to showcase and inspire STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students with practical applications of technology for the good of society. And robot selfies have certainly become a thing.” Endless number of applications In terms of vertical markets, in the near term, Knightscope has seen positive scaling and growth on corporate campuses and at logistics facilities, manufacturing plants, hospitals, casinos, commercial real estate and malls. “As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless,” says Mr. Li. They currently drop new software code every two weeks and new hardware typically a couple of times a year. “In my opinion, it is ill advised for early stage technology companies to utilise B2G (business-to-government) sales as the initial go-to-market strategy,” says Mr. Li. “For Knightscope we have been primarily focussed on B2B (business-to-business) sales and actually until 2017 were geographically constrained to California only. What we are doing is technologically extremely difficult as these are effectively self-driving cars. Additionally, despite the never-ending international interest, we are laser focussed on the United States.”
A rapid string of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions as 2018 passed into 2019 suggests the physical security industry may be on the verge of a busy year of companies buying other companies. Observers have noted a large amount of investment capital currently available to be invested in security M&A, and plenty of entrepreneurial companies are looking to be acquired. Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, previously hinted at upcoming M&A activity for his company by the end of 2018, foreshadowing ACRE’s late-year announcement to acquire access control company Open Options, Addison, Texas.The VaaS cloud-based image capture platform includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning Just days later, in the midst of the holiday season, Qognify announced its plan to acquire On-Net Surveillance Systems Inc. (OnSSI) and sister company SeeTec GmbH. Then came an even larger announcement: Motorola has acquired VaaS International Holdings Inc., a data and image analytics company for $445 million. The VaaS cloud-based image capture and analysis platform includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Most recently, ADT announced yet another acquisition, Advanced Cabling Systems, a technology integration company in the South, thus continuing consolidation on the integration side of the business. There are likely to be further mergers and acquisitions in the video surveillance supply base in 2019 Continuation of the trend In the case of the Qognify and Motorola deals, Jon Cropley, Principal Analyst, Video Surveillance & Security Services, IHS Global Limited, sees them as the next chapter in an M&A trend going back several years. “I think this is a continuation of what we have been seeing in recent years of video surveillance software vendors being acquired,” he says. In the face of intense price competition, vendors have found it increasingly difficult to compete based on hardware features" “In the face of intense price competition, vendors have found it increasingly difficult to compete based on hardware features and are looking at software to offer unique competitive advantages.” In short, he sees it as a continuation of a trend that previously saw Canon acquiring Milestone Systems and Briefcam, Panasonic acquiring Video Insight and Tyco acquiring Exacq. “There are likely to be further mergers and acquisitions in the video surveillance supply base in 2019,” adds Cropley. “However, a spree of large-scale mergers and acquisitions is not expected.” Memoori, another market research firm, forecasts that the value of acquisitions could actually decline marginally in 2019 in value terms but increase in number. This observation is based on Memoori’s charting of physical security deals over the last 18 years. Jim McHale, Managing Director of Memoori, says there have been four cycles of increase and decline in activity, often exaggerated by billion dollar deals in one year such as the merger of Johnson Controls and Tyco of $165Bn in 2016. Access control when combined with identity management is punching well above its weight, and this trend has continued Access control to open systems Only time will tell whether the new year pattern of M&A activity is a coincidence or a harbinger of a busy M&A year ahead “It may be too early to make judgements on the future based on the last four weeks, but there are some interesting points that can be made when compared with our 2018 analysis,” says McHale. “Access control when combined with identity management is punching well above its weight, and this trend has continued. "Acre has been a major contributor and has completed some 10 acquisitions. In general, the access control business has been slow to move to open systems, and hopefully we can expect this trend toward openness to continue as it will give additional growth to the business.” For more commentary from Memoori, see their report “Major Trends in the Global Access Control Market 2018”. Only time will tell whether the new year pattern of M&A activity is a coincidence or a harbinger of a busy M&A year ahead. While past trends may provide a glimpse of what’s coming, there are always new variables. It’s a sure bet the overall trend toward consolidation will continue but predicting the pace and timing of individual transactions is almost impossible. In any case, it will be interesting to watch how 2019 unfolds on the M&A front, among other factors in a changing industry.
Security and surveillance systems have become a vital component of a casino management system enabling gaming club operators to monitor and manage security threats in real time. Apart from the original purpose of security measures, it helps raising concerns over card counting, advantage playing, and various other suspicious or prohibited activities. However, a typical casino atmosphere often involves great complexity in its environmental lighting, leading to high noise level in captured video images. Challenges: Inadequate lighting in casino making it difficult for cameras to distinguish colours and movement, resulting in blurry images. Lack of advanced video analytic functions in traditional surveillance systems presents difficulties to an effective monitoring process, with high labour cost needed for scanning live views and recorded footages manually. Access control system Different casino areas require different solutions to fulfill its demand. At gaming tables, it’s critical to capture the subtle movements of each players and dealers. Cameras with higher FPS, 3D DNR and super low lux image sensor gives a neater and brighter image under dim lighting, while 2-way audio provides additional audio information. Casino operations involve a multitude of monetary transactions in critical areas including cages, vaults and offices where cash, chips, and other valuables are circulated. An access control system integrated with facial recognition functions helps operators in strengthening the security level. Exceptional customer experience is the key to good customer loyalty. Facial recognition system Video analytics allows operators to filter videos recording smartly with object attributes With ANPR (Automated Number Plate Recognition) and facial recognition embedded into the management system of carparks and VIP lounges, customer entry and exit can be streamlined minimal interruptions. A modern video surveillance system complemented by top notch IP cameras can improve and simplify the entire operation. Modern video management software possesses features that are not offered by traditional systems. Video analytics such as human object detection allows operators to filter videos recording smartly with object attributes, e.g. colours of customer clothes. The architecture of modern video management provides scalability to accommodate the growing amount of video sources during business expansion. Standardised protocol offers higher interoperability in terms of 3rd party system integration with access control or alarm system. Cameras for centralised management Thanks to the internet, control center is now able to receive and group videos from dispersed cameras for a centralised management. The operators could access to the live views of different casino affiliates and receive real-time notification on mobile devices when specific events are in action.
SL Green Realty Corp., one of Manhattan's largest office landlord, has appointed Sharry to be a technology partner for the One Vanderbilt project scheduled to be opened in September 2020 in midtown Manhattan. Smart, integrated building systems Sharry is a pioneer in the newly emerging market of PropTech (property & technology). The company supplies an ecosystem of smart and integrated functions for premium commercial office buildings and customers in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Recently, Sharry, the PropTech company, announced a new touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings. One Vanderbilt Sharry was appointed by SL Green Realty to be a technology partner for One Vanderbilt in New York" A sky-line defining skyscraper tower, One Vanderbilt will be the epitome of the 21st century workplace space. Developed by SL Green Corp., the 1,401-foot-tall (427 m) commercial office building will be the 5th tallest building in the U.S. TD Bank is signed on as the anchor tenant of the 1.7-million-square-foot property, which is due to open in September of 2020. All users and tenants will be equipped with smart and mobile products delivered by Sharry. “Sharry was appointed by SL Green Realty to be a technology partner for One Vanderbilt in New York,” confirms Michal Cerovsky, Chief Operations Officer (COO) and a Co-Founder of Sharry. The company is headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, EU. Digital solutions for a safer work environment "One Vanderbilt is already an architectural icon in New York, but its completion will open a new era in which digital solutions will provide a healthier and safer work environment," adds Vladimír Mašinský, Head of Business Development at Sharry, who also manages Sharry's partnership with SL Green Realty. Anchoring the modernisation of East Midtown region of New York City, One Vanderbilt will provide tenants with an impressive slate of amenities unrivaled in history of real estate in NYC, including a 30,000-square-foot tenant-only amenity floor with large format meeting spaces, club-style lounge and an extraordinary outdoor terrace. Direct connection to transit network Immediately adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, the building will create direct connections to the surrounding transit network. The building will also include an 11,000-square-foot high-design restaurant from world-renowned chef, Daniel Boulud. SL Green’s unprecedented US$ 220 million private investment to improve Grand Central’s public transit infrastructure has already begun to materialise. Tenants include a star roster of top-tier financial, banking and legal firms that have committed to One Vanderbilt. Integrating individual services and technological systems There are many innovations by Sharry that improve the commercial office building experience “It's a major milestone for Sharry to be a partner of the One Vanderbilt project, a prominent part of the New York City skyline, less than four years after the company was founded. At the same time, it tells us that we were correct in taking the more demanding approach, integrating individual services and technological systems available in buildings into a single platform,” said Josef Šachta, CEO and Co-Founder of Sharry. There are many innovations by Sharry that improve the commercial office building experience. The company brings in a new set of smart features integrated to the building, such as mobile access that allows workers to open doors or turnstiles, just with their smartphones. If the workers drive, a smart camera link recognises their licence plate and opens the gates. Smart parking management Parking management ensures maximal utilisation of parking spots. All users can take advantage of a tenant engagement platform for sharing important building-related news, chatting with other users, or booking shared amenities. Visitors to buildings where software from Sharry is installed can also expect the utmost in convenience. "A guest will receive a meeting invitation with a QR code. They can reserve a parking space, and the system will then automatically let in upon arrival thanks to smart cameras. The guests will then report to the reception using the QR code, just like check-in at airports. The host who invited the guest will then be notified that their visitor is already in the lobby," said Product Manager, Ondřej Langr, in describing another example of the multi-level integration offered by Sharry. Touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings Recently, the company has announced a touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings Recently, the company has announced a touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings as its latest innovation. This anti-coronavirus feature enabling users to control elevators from their mobile phones or smart watches will be presented during Q3/2020 in the Sharry Workplace product line as part of a revolutionary mobile access system. Along with One Vanderbilt, Sharry is completing the implementation of its smart tools ecosystem in several other office buildings on the East coast of the USA. Thanks to these projects, it is firmly placed among the top players in the PropTech segment and especially in NYC, which last year ranked first on the Tech Cities index, which is compiled by the Savills consulting company. “We always wanted our software to be in the best buildings in every city to which we expanded. And New York was our dream destination. I am very proud of our entire team that we can work together here on the iconic building One Vanderbilt will soon be,” adds Josef Šachta.
Haier Group, China’s renowned home appliance manufacturer, has built a new industrial park in Russia to cope with the growing demand in Europe. Covering a total area of about 124.9 hectares, the new site is located in Naberezhnye Chelny, an important industrial city in Tatarstan, Russia. Intelligent system With the gradual completion of its factories in the industrial park, Haier is looking for an intelligent system to realise multiple tasks within the whole industrial park. Firstly, the smart system should be able to prevent theft and timely detect people climbing over the perimeter fence. Secondly, the intelligent security system should provide comprehensive monitoring in the whole industrial park and inside the factory unit, which includes, monitoring of production line and employees’ smoking behaviour during working hours at office areas, efficient employee attendance management, vehicle identification at the entrance and exit areas of the park, and the overall management of all the devices, data report outputs, and other facilities at the industrial park. Total smart solution The Dahua Russia team designed a complete smart solution incorporating AI cameras, perimeter cameras, ANPR system The Dahua Russia team designed a complete smart solution incorporating AI cameras, perimeter cameras, ANPR system, access control, time attendance system, face recognition barrier, DSS PRO platform and EVS storage for Haier’s industrial park. Notably, all of the devices were integrated in one central management platform, making it easier for operators to control and manage the system. In addition, the intelligent system also supports further device upgrade based on customer’s future plan for the next several years. Dahua 5MP WDR IR Bullet AI Network Cameras To help Haier solve the first problem, Dahua 5MP WDR IR Bullet AI Network Cameras were chosen to safeguard the perimeter of the Haier industrial park. Featuring active deterrence, the cameras are able to proactively warn intruders to leave before users take action. Once an intrusion is detected, a white light will turn on, accompanied by a buzzer to warn off the intruder. Additionally, its AI-powered perimeter protection function can greatly reduce false alarms caused by irrelevant objects. AI-powered perimeter protection The combination of advanced AI analytics and real-time alerts to desktop or mobile clients reduces system requirements and resources, thereby improving the efficiency of the surveillance system. The office areas and the interior of the washing machine factory are covered with Dahua 4MP WDR IR Dome Network Cameras, while public areas are monitored by 2MP 25x Starlight IR PTZ Network Cameras. As a member of Dahua Eco-savvy product family, the Dahua 4MP WDR IR Dome Network Cameras adopt upgraded H.265 encoding technology to provide starlight, Smart IR technology, as well as intelligent image analysis techniques. It saves bandwidth and storage, with energy-saving design to enhance monitoring performance of the system. Intelligent Video System analytic algorithm As for public areas, Dahua 2MP 25x Starlight IR PTZ Network Cameras have powerful optical zoom With built-in Intelligent Video System (IVS) analytic algorithm, these dome cameras also support intelligent functions to monitor a scene for tripwire violations, intrusion detection, and abandoned or missing objects. In the future, it can respond quickly and accurately to events in the monitored areas. As for public areas, Dahua 2MP 25x Starlight IR PTZ Network Cameras have powerful optical zoom and accurate pan/tilt/zoom performance that can provide a large monitoring range and rich details. Through the latest Starlight technology, the cameras can achieve excellent low-light performance. In addition, these cameras are equipped with smooth control, high quality image and good protection, which meet the requirements of most industrial parks. Dahua face recognition barriers Dahua face recognition barriers were deployed at the entrance of the Haier industrial park and its office building, allowing quick and touchless passage of registered Haier employees without using employee cards or other identification documents. The system is based on a deep learning algorithm powered by AI, which compares facial images captured by the camera with those stored in the library to verify a person’s identity and grant permission. Access will be denied for unregistered people. 2 Megapixel Full HD AI Access ANPR cameras The industrial park’s entrance and exit use 2 Megapixel Full HD AI Access ANPR cameras to identify entering and exiting vehicles. Boasting a capture rate of over 99%, the cameras can automatically recognise the number plate of a vehicle in low speed less than 40 kmph, and capture vehicle data such as vehicle direction, vehicle size and vehicle color detection (in daytime) based on deep learning algorithm. Aside from these capabilities, the cameras can also control the barrier according to the whitelist set by users and let registered vehicles pass without stopping. Dahua DSS PRO management platform The Dahua DSS PRO management platform integrates all cameras and the stated devices At the management center, all the information collected by font-end cameras will be transferred to a 16-HDD Enterprise Video Storage. With Seagate HDD, the device offers unparalleled capacity performance for users to store massive videos and obtain evidence when needed. The Dahua DSS PRO management platform integrates all cameras and the aforementioned devices, allowing operators to easily control and manage the system. Smart industrial park solution Dahua Technology’s smart industrial park solution has assisted Haier in creating a modern intelligent industrial park in Russia. The up-to-date Dahua AI equipment provides Haier a long-term smart security system with upgraded security level and enhanced management efficiency. “The traditional personnel management system requires manual registering of employee information and cards to enter and exit office areas, which is inefficient and difficult to manage, and often high in cost,” said Zhao Shengbo, Regional Director of Dahua CIS. Upgrading access verification system Zhao adds, “Upgrading the access verification system is crucial for modern companies like Haier in order to increase the security level of its industrial park and office building. We look forward to our future cooperation.” “During the requirement discussion, solution design, and engineering survey, Dahua shows professionalism and excellent communication skills. Haier is satisfied with the first step cooperation and looking forward to the second step of the project,” said Liu Wei, Overseas Regional Project Manager of Haier Group.
Videalert, one of the UK’s renowned suppliers of intelligent traffic enforcement and management solutions, has supplied Wiltshire Council with a new mobile enforcement vehicle (MEV) which is initially being used to enforce residential permit parking in Salisbury. The vehicle is equipped with a complete suite of Videalert software giving it the ability to be used in future for a wide range of safety-related parking applications including bus stops and the enforcement of keep clears outside schools. The council is also deploying Videalert cameras to enforce two bus gates in Devizes. According to Joanne Pattison, Parking Manager at Wiltshire Council, “Videalert has provided the council with a flexible, hosted solution that will help us to significantly increase the productivity of the whole parking team. It will also enable us to cost effectively extend enforcement to other safety-related applications as required and provide a more efficient service.” Peugeot 108 equipped with ANPR cameras Videalert supplied a Peugeot 108 equipped with two roof-mounted ANPR cameras and two colour cameras Videalert supplied a Peugeot 108 equipped with two roof-mounted ANPR cameras and two colour cameras to capture contextual video evidence. The ONVIF-compliant cameras accurately capture reflective number plates at distances of up to 40 metres with capture rates of up to 98%. Importantly, this can be achieved with just a single pass at normal road speeds. Used in conjunction with the latest video analytics, the system delivers the highest productivity at the lowest operating cost in any traffic environment. Wiltshire Council is also installing Videalert cameras to enforce bus gates located at two housing developments in Devizes. These locations, situated next to main arterial routes into the market town, have previously been controlled using rising bollards, which have proved to be increasingly unreliable due to water damage. The first cameras have been installed at the Newman Road bus gate and will provide uninterrupted enforcement around the clock whilst delivering cost savings by eliminating the ongoing maintenance liability of the rising bollards. Hosted digital video platform Images of contraventions are transmitted to Videalert’s hosted digital video platform where evidence packs can be viewed and validated prior to sending to the council’s back office system for the issuance of penalty charge notices (PCN). Videalert’s flexible hosted platform makes it a quick and cost effective process to deploy enforcement as it does not require the installation of any IT at the council’s offices. To reduce the number of appeals, PCN recipients can view still photographs and video footage of the alleged offence over the internet. Tim Daniels, Sales and Marketing Director at Videalert added, “Videalert MEVs have proved to deliver industry-leading capture rates whilst consistently outperforming vehicles from other suppliers. These multi-purpose MEVs give councils greater flexibility to enforce a wide range of moving traffic and parking contraventions.”
The Smart Cities Mission is an innovative initiative by the Government of India to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people. It aims to achieve this by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens. A hundred cities across the country were shortlisted by the government, which were to be promoted as ‘Smart Cities’. Vadodara was selected among those 100 cities to be developed as a smart city in India, to enhance economic growth, and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development, deploying smart solutions and harnessing technology. Optimising city traffic management Vadodara Smart City Limited wanted to heighten safety for its citizens and visitors, along with optimising traffic management With a population of approximately 2.39 million, Vadodara is the third largest city of Gujarat, and a major industrial, cultural and educational hub of western India. The city is compact and crowded, with a vibrant cultural life that draws a lot of traffic. It is vulnerable to situations of overcrowding, road accidents, criminal activity, and natural disasters. Vadodara Smart City Limited wanted to heighten safety for its citizens and visitors, along with optimising traffic management, without disrupting daily lives. To this end, they sought a state-of-the-art, open platform that could expand in phases, in sync with the city’s growth. Unified Video Computing Platform As Vadodara’s expansion plans are underway, so too are discussions about growing the city-wide surveillance system. As part of the initial process, a project team comprising Smart City officials, Videonetics, and technology partners did an extensive research to mark out key areas and traffic junctions across the city. Going a step further, Videonetics developed a solution based on its Unified Video Computing Platform (UVCP) for the entire city, so that its people, property, and assets remain secure. State-of-the-art AI & DL powered Intelligent VMS and Video Analytics to provide continuous viewing and recording, enabling security operators and law enforcement to proactively identify, and effectively respond to, events to mitigate their impact. Specifically, now the law enforcement authorities can automatically detect overcrowding, unattended baggage, and perimeter intrusions, even under the cover of darkness. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system across 15 traffic junctions in Vadodara, to identify suspected/ unwanted vehicles and non-standardised number plates, as well as to generate detailed reports on vehicle movements, and much more. Command Control Centre, to provide a bird’s eye view to operators, about what is happening across the city. From traffic control to citizen security, operators remain alert and ready. With greater situational awareness, municipality officials are proactively responding to incidents such as garbage overfill, incidents of water-logging, traffic congestions, hazardous debris on roadways, illegal parking, and more. Video surveillance systems Videonetics’s solution manages over 550 IP cameras throughout the city of Vadodara Under the project, video surveillance was deployed along public ways, in urban passenger transport stations, municipal buildings, traffic junctions, entry and exit connecting roads to city, and more. To date, Videonetics’s solution not only manages over 550 IP cameras throughout the city of Vadodara, but also proactively identifies and effectively responds to events, to mitigate their impact. Furthermore, the video surveillance system helps in the maintenance of peace in the city, in upholding law and order, and providing better policing services. The key results are: 1. Increased safety and security with 24x7 monitoring of city area, 2. Faster crime investigations, 3. Traffic police having in-depth knowledge on vehicle count and movement, and 4. Swift action by on-site traffic police, as they get alerts on traffic congestion, unwanted/ hot-listed vehicles, and so on. City surveillance Moreover, Videonetics’s solution has also been able to help the police in monitoring celebration of festivals and VIP movement in the city, and building a security net for its citizens. Overall, it has been successful in ensuring the safety and security in the city of Vadodara, and has played an important role in becoming a smart and connected city.
BI-City Tokyo is located in Nur-Sultan (Astana), the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is a high-end residential complex of BI Group – a renowned construction holding company in the Kazakhstan real estate market. At present, three apartment buildings with public areas and more than 400 apartment units have been completed. Aiming to create modern high-end intelligent buildings and residential areas, the BI Group wanted to upgrade the existing analog video intercom system of BI-City Tokyo. Replacing analog intercom system The original analog intercom system in this community is outdated and cannot meet the diverse security requirements of high-end residential areas. First, the original analog intercom does not support retaining images and leaving messages. Second, this system only supports access cards to open doors, which is inconvenient for residents in case they forgot their card. Third, the original system cannot add IP cameras to monitor public areas such as children's playground, fitness areas, etc. Fourth, the cold winter temperature in Nur-Sultan requires high-performance equipment capable of operating in extreme environments. Faced with the abovementioned challenges, BI Group was also looking for a trustworthy brand that can provide not only modern smart system but also technical support and reliable after-sales service. Meeting all the above requirements, Dahua smart residential solution was chosen to be the security solution provider of BI-City Tokyo. Dahua Smart Residential Security Solution The complete solution deployed more than 300 pieces of Dahua equipment, including IP cameras The complete solution deployed more than 300 pieces of Dahua equipment, including Indoor Monitor, Apartment Outdoor Station, IP Camera, Access ANPR Camera, Video Recorder, etc. The solution supports two-way audio intercom, real-time video and messaging feature. In addition, a variety of door opening methods were also implemented: door opening via remote calling, door opening using access card, and remote door opening via APP. Additionally, all the equipment can be visualised and integrated in the Dahua DSS platform for centralised management, operation and maintenance. Moreover, the temperature in Nur-Sultan can reach up to negative 40 degrees in winter season. This requires high-performance outdoor devices featuring dust and water resistance, and explosion-roof capability. In response to this pressing challenge, Dahua apartment outdoor station VTO1210C-X-S1 and access ANPR camera ITC237-PW1B-IRZ that support wide working temperature were installed at the entrance of the apartment building for a more effective visitor and vehicle management. ANPR and IP cameras installed When a visitor arrives at the entrance of the apartment building and dials a resident’s room number through the Dahua apartment outdoor station, the camera installed at the entrance will synchronise the video with the visitor’s image captured in the resident’s indoor monitor. Once the visitor’s identity is confirmed, the resident just needs to press the button on the indoor monitor to open the door remotely. With Dahua app, users can even answer calls and open doors remotely when they are out for work or traveling. As for vehicles, Dahua access ANPR camera ITC237-PW1B-IRZ is designed for extreme temperature environments (temperature range of -40°C to +60°C). With built-in intelligent video analytics, the camera has the ability to detect and recognise moving vehicle's plate number within low speed. Vehicle tracking and identification For both approaching and departing vehicles, the access ANPR camera takes a snapshot of the number plate and vehicle overview picture, as well as records corresponding surveillance videos. By setting a whitelist, the camera can automatically control the barrier or gate to open if a plate number recorded in the whitelist has been recognised. The public areas including children's playground, fitness areas, as well as the lobby are covered by 2MP IR Mini Dome Network Camera IPC-HDBW4231E-ASE, 2MP and 3MP IR Mini-Bullet Network Camera. The Starlight Ultra-low Light Technology of IPC-HDBW4231E-ASE offers industry-leading light sensitivity, capturing colour details under low light condition up to 0.002lux. The camera uses a set of optical features to balance light throughout the scene, resulting in clear images in dark environments. Integrated management platform Dahua smart residential solution provides an integrated management platform for the personnel of BI-City Tokyo Dahua smart residential solution provides an integrated management platform for the management personnel of BI-City Tokyo. It assists in the remote and visual management of the property and improves the services and facilities they offer. Security guard at the entrance is not needed anymore to manage entering and exiting vehicles, which saves labor costs, reduces the waiting time of vehicles and improves traffic efficiency. In addition, the all-round monitoring of the public areas within BI-City Tokyo greatly improves the safety level of the entire community. The video intercom system of the building provides a variety of convenient door opening methods, enhancing the resident’s living experience. IP video intercom solution “We adopted analog solution in the first phase. From the second phase, we replaced all of analog system with Dahua’s IP video intercom solution. We hope that Dahua will help us complete the solution planning of the three, four, five, and six phases,” said Arman Lesbekov, General Manager of BI Group. Dahua Technology is an internationally renowned video surveillance and security solutions provider with more than 6000 professionals in their R&D team, dedicated to providing cutting-edge products in technologies like AI, IoT, Cloud services, video, cyber security, and software reliability with high quality and performance. Video surveillance systems expert Since 2014, Dahua has ranked second in the global video surveillance equipment market according to an IHS report, and in 2017 Dahua ranked third in the A&S International "Security 50". The company believes in investing and building strong R&D capabilities for new technology and innovation.
Round table discussion
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
When it comes to security and to ensuring the integrity of gaming operations, today’s casino market is risk-averse. Regulations direct the required surveillance of table games and slot machines, while modern casinos are often sprawling complexes that have a variety of other risks to be addressed, too. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of the casino market relating to security and surveillance technology?
There is no expectation of privacy in a public space. That’s the premise on which most video surveillance applications are justified. But new concerns about privacy, specifically the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, are changing expectations. And what if a camera must be positioned where a private area happens to be within its range? Fortunately, there are technology approaches to solving these dilemmas, as our Expert Panellists explain. We asked: What new technologies are helping video systems overcome concerns about privacy?