The sensor solutions provider, HENSOLDT supports the association Lachen helfen e.V., a private initiative of German soldiers to help children in war and crisis areas. HENSOLDT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thomas Muller handed over a symbolic cheque for a donation of 8,000 Euros to the Chairman of Lachen helfen e.V., Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Roderich Thien. Since 2018, HENSOLDT has been a supporting member of Lachen helfen e.V. with an annual donation of 10,000 Euros. Under the patron...
The introduction of 8 and 16 channel Wisenet X Series NVRs makes it cost-effective, for even small businesses to take advantage of the licence-free Deep Learning AI video analytics, built into Wisenet AI cameras. As is the case with the 32 and 64 Wisenet X NVRs introduced in 2020, by reading the AI metadata captured by Wisenet AI cameras, the new NVRs are able to help users to quickly and accurately search video for objects and the attributes associated to them. Deep Learning AI video an...
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex. Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera...
The city of Baltimore has banned the use of facial recognition systems by residents, businesses and the city government (except for police). The criminalisation in a major U.S. city of an important emerging technology in the physical security industry is an extreme example of the continuing backlash against facial recognition throughout the United States. Facial recognition technology ban Several localities – from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, from Oakland, California, to Boston &n...
Hanwha Techwin, a global supplier of IP and analogue video surveillance solutions, has expanded and updated its line-up of P series AI cameras with five new 2 MP HD models. A follow-up to the premium 4K P series AI cameras announced in 2020, the new cameras present a cost-effective entry point into the powerful world of AI-based camera technology. Hanwha P series AI cameras Hanwha P series AI cameras include licence-free video analytics based on deep learning that can detect various object typ...
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerised systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this we...
As vaccination rates for COVID-19 continue to rise, the global business community is advancing the conversation about returning to work. Employees that were housed in large private and multi-tenant office spaces in major urban and suburban centres are being presented an array of options, many of which include a part-time return to an office environment that prioritises spaces for collaboration over desks, at which individual employees sit and work. The redrawing of workspaces for this new elastic workforce presents challenges and opportunities for facilities and operations staff. While there may be fewer individuals in the office on any given day, the spaces in which they gather must be conducive to face to face interactions, while adhering to current health and safety regulations. Next-gen smart cameras New generation of smart cameras is providing enhanced security and safety functionality to building staff Technology is the key to this transition. A new generation of smart cameras is providing enhanced security and safety functionality to building tenants and staff. At the same time, these same cameras also handle return to work measures, where required — monitoring adherence to social distancing, face mask requirements or corporate occupancy management policies. These cameras, which operate on an open platform from Security & Safety Things GmbH (S&ST), are capable of running a variety of different apps, much like a smartphone. When equipped with AI-enabled video analytics, these cameras help facility operators to more efficiently manage day-to-day operations, automate staff intensive processes and optimise the usage of space. Optimised building traffic flow with analytics Data provided by these devices assists security managers, landlords and building managers in analysing foot traffic with people counting or flow detection applications. These analytics can improve building or lobby flow, by identifying the cause of bottlenecking or other choke points, during busy morning and evening walk-in/walk-out hours. Conversely, as many businesses are considering adopting a longer-term virtual workforce model, smart security camera applications can help facility managers evaluate facility usage for space utilisation or real estate decisions. Enhancing facility maintenance Smart cameras are also helpful in basic facility maintenance, by identifying open work and meeting spaces with sufficient space for social distancing and assessing the cleanliness of each area or recording the last time the area had been sanitised. Additionally, they’re able to identify if conference room lights or devices have been left on or notify personnel of stock items needed in office break rooms. Smart surveillance prioritises building safety One additional benefit is how smart cameras play an important role in fire and safety prevention One additional benefit is how smart cameras play an important role in fire and safety prevention, through the early detection of flames, smoke or spills in buildings. Video analytics, combined with AI and other current technologies, can detect such incidents in an early state and trigger alarms faster, and more reliably than humans. This prioritisation of building safety can lead to a decrease in insurance risk and high premium costs, as costs of property insurance correlate with risks from fire or water damage. Future of IoT in buildings Smart video analytics can help to manage buildings more easily and efficiently. Now is an ideal time for landlords and operators of commercial buildings to invest in this new breed of smart security cameras, which can be flexibly equipped and re-equipped with many different video analytics applications from an application store. With this model, cameras are powerful, intelligent edge sensors that can be used for dynamic healthy workplace concerns and in the future, could be repurposed to improve building safety and visitor experience. The key is to invest into this technology today, in order to have the flexibility when it will be needed.
Senstar, a world pioneer in perimeter intrusion detection and video management solutions highlights its Senstar LM100 perimeter intrusion detection and deterrence system securing sites around the world. Since its introduction to the market in 2017, this innovative and versatile product has quickly gained momentum. It is currently protecting sites of all sizes – from small independent businesses to large international facilities to critical infrastructure. Perimeter intrusion detection solution “Using Senstar’s innovative accelerometer technology, the Senstar LM100 is first and foremost a perimeter intrusion detection solution detecting attempts to cut, climb or lift the fence fabric; triggering warnings and alarms; and cueing up camera systems,” said Product Manager Todd Brisebois. “Add high performance LED lighting that provides instant, visible deterrence by enabling or strobing light in the immediate area of the intrusion attempt, and you have a cutting-edge product that detects and deters intruders all while they remain outside the protected area.” Wireless network technology The LM100 reports intrusion attempt locations to the site’s security management system Consisting of luminaires mounted along the fence, the Senstar LM100 uses wireless self-healing mesh communication network technology to relay intrusion information enabling the system to operate in a coordinated fashion and resulting in robust site-wide security. When networked, the LM100 reports intrusion attempt locations to the site’s security management system to enable a directed response. Surveillance optimisation Optimised for use with camera surveillance systems, the Senstar LM100 provides localised, uniform lighting along the fence line. Uniform coverage lets cameras operate with a higher dynamic range, ensuring objects and people are illuminated while avoiding the generation of dark silhouettes in front of bright backgrounds. Suitable perimeter security system The Senstar LM100 is an ideal perimeter lighting solution for customers who require low-light pollution products. Senstar can accommodate requirements for International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) approved products with its IDA option. The Senstar LM100 is easy to install and maintain, environmentally friendly, and is suitable for sites of all sizes as a standalone or complimentary perimeter security system.
Ping Identity, the Intelligent Identity solution for the enterprise, has centralised Identity Access Management (IAM) for over 300,000 DB Schenker employees, contractors, partners, and customers. The successful project, conducted in partnership with iC Consult, streamlined the management of critical security policies and enhanced secure access and authentication to business applications. Secure authentication service DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading global logistics providers, with 2,100 locations and more than 76,900 employees across the world; it supports the exchange of goods through land transport, worldwide air, and ocean freight. After identifying the need for a more secure and modern authentication service, DB Schenker saw an opportunity to accelerate a digital transformation initiative and provide more streamlined access to resources for its workforce, partners, and customers. Expanding IAM “The goal was to extend our existing identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure to secure employee access and take advantage of the cloud,” said James Naughton, Head of Identity Management at DB Schenker. “In the past, we needed to invest significant time and resources to develop integrations, but now we simply configure the system and can deliver technically complete interaction in 30 minutes, decreasing effort by 75%.” Centralised identity management DB Schenker used Ping Identity to deliver a consolidated and centralised identity management service Working closely with iC Consult, IAM consultant, and systems integrator, DB Schenker used Ping Identity to provide the authentication and authorisation capabilities needed to deliver a consolidated and centralised identity management service. The project utilised PingFederate, PingAccess, PingID, PingOne, and PingDirectory, impacted over 300,000 identities, and involved the migration of 50 business applications to the new authentication service. Two-step authentication “DB Schenker’s identity team can now centrally manage critical security policies and control access and authentication to their applications,” Naughton explained. “The addition of FIDO2-enabled risk-based two-step authentication allows us to provide an even higher level of security for access to the DB Schenker IT landscape, creating peace of mind for both our team, partners, and customers.” Identity journey “This is only the beginning of the identity journey for DB Schenker,” said Emma Maslen, VP, and general manager of Ping Identity, EMEA & APAC. “We will continue to seek new ways to push the boundaries of identity and provide MFA to every employee to improve workforce productivity.”
Just like other industries around the globe, the patience of parking operations management has been tested, as the usage of parking facilities in urban and suburban settings fluctuated widely over the past year, due to local health and safety, and occupancy restrictions. As the overall industry looks to spring back from the COVID-19 levels, it is also simultaneously looking to transition from traditional analogue and on-premise managed operations to solutions that digitise parking operations and provide a more contactless experience. Digitisation of parking management Investments in digital tools, such as platforms that employ computer vision technologies are one solution helping to speed up this digitalisation through better management of parking lot occupancy levels, eliminating paper ticketing systems, parking barriers and other traditional physical elements of commercial parking. One area in particular that is gaining steam is the deployment of smart cameras, which can perform functions from licence plate recognition (LPR) to traffic flow detection, and speed as well as a host of other utilities. These capabilities are particularly useful in surface lots and parking structures in environments, such as airports and sporting venues, to large retail or corporate parking areas. Migration to sophisticated technologies Peter Park has helped many parking operations begin to migrate to more sophisticated technologies Munich-based Peter Park, a software developer of parking management solutions, has helped many parking operations begin to migrate to more sophisticated technologies, by connecting different digital services, such as payment apps, e-charging systems, and navigation providers to further increase the security and automation. The company operates in more than 50 different sites throughout Germany and logs more than 25,000 transactions every day. Peter Park’s cloud-based offering is based on the use of automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR), which often requires specialised licence plate recognition cameras to identify a specific vehicle, detect the duration of stay, and integrate with online payment systems for a fully digital parking experience. Smart cameras with intelligent onboard analysis Instead of LPR cameras, the company is using new smart cameras with powerful microprocessors to fuel intelligent onboard analysis, via multiple video analytics applications on the camera. Based on an open IoT platform from Security & Safety Things GmbH, these cameras can be equipped and flexibly re-equipped with a variety of applications, including licence plate recognition, analytics to detect the presence of smoke, fire, ice, and spills or other hazards within the parking environment, and other ready to install applications that fit the most pressing needs of parking management. “We cannot only use the best application for the computer vision task, but we can also pick and combine the best camera types of different suppliers for each setup, taking full use of the broad spectrum of different camera features such as zoom control, as an example,” said Maximilian Schlereth, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of Peter Park. Smart vehicle routing Cameras outfitted with parking management apps can help to direct traffic flow The reduction or elimination of parking gates and ticketing machines can have positive impacts on staffing levels within parking management and drastically reduce hardware purchase, and maintenance costs of the parking gates and ticketing devices. Additionally, cameras outfitted with parking management apps can help to direct traffic flow, by analysing the queue of vehicles waiting to enter the facility and pairing them to available spaces or recognising when a particular parking area is full. They can also assist in controlling the flow of traffic at peak times, in order to prevent jams and long waits at exits or identify the vehicles of VIPs or season ticket holders at an event venue and route them accordingly, to the appropriate parking lot. Parking lot monitoring and incident detection Smart cameras can also help to manage people, providing valuable security and visitor management functions. Crowd detection analytics can detect the formation of a crowd in the stadium parking lot, before it escalates into a post-game brawl and people counting analytics can detect the number of occupants within each vehicle entering a parking area, to better determine anticipated attendance of an event or daily occupancy level of a corporate office location. Analytics can also detect individuals holding weapons and selectively transmit related imagery to help remote operators or on-site security personnel assess and address the situation.
Johnson Controls, a global company for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced that its chairman and CEO George Oliver has been invited by U.S. President Joe Biden to participate in the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate. Addressing climate crisis The summit will bring together leaders of the world’s major economies and other vital partners for an urgent and open dialogue on ways to strengthen collective efforts to address the climate crisis. President Biden has made tackling climate change a top national priority since taking office and is urging other world leaders to attend the summit to discuss how their governments will help drive the goal of limiting global temperature rise. Roadmap to a low-carbon economy Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy is an opportunity to build back better, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic “I am honored to accept President Biden's invitation to join him and other world leaders calling for urgent climate action. It is especially important to establish a roadmap to limiting the rise of global temperatures as we get closer to the COP26 climate conference scheduled for November in Glasgow,” said George Oliver, chairman, and CEO, Johnson Controls. “Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy is an opportunity to build back better, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing clean, sustainable, and energy-efficient solutions creates jobs while building strong, resilient, global economies.” Clean energy economy According to the White House, a major theme of the summit will be the broad economic benefits of climate action, with a strong focus on job creation. This will explore both the economic benefits of green recovery and long-term decarbonisation and the importance of ensuring that all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy. Representing Business Roundtable and Johnson Controls, Oliver will address these topics in a session on April 23 as well as the role buildings can play to slash both emissions and costs. Promoting eco-friendly future Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies. Oliver was named chair of the Business Roundtable Energy & Environment Committee in January 2021. The Committee is dedicated to advancing policies that encourage innovation and support an environmentally and economically sustainable future. Reducing carbon emissions The vast majority of Business Roundtable’s 223 member CEOs have made public commitments to reduce their companies’ greenhouse gas emissions/carbon footprints, are making serious progress, and reporting on it publicly. Nearly half of those commitments are for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner. Business Roundtable members are playing a significant role in driving ambitious climate action and the policy needed to spur low-carbon economic growth. Last September, the organization endorsed the goals of the Paris Agreement and proposed aggressive policies to achieve those goals. Commitment to cut emissions Johnson Controls believes its OpenBlue platform for optimizing building sustainability will be central to fulfilling its goals Johnson Controls' own ambitious emissions reduction targets were recently approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative – an independent organization that assesses corporate sustainability claims. As part of its environmental sustainability commitments, Johnson Controls aims to cut operational emissions by 55 percent and reduce customers’ emissions by 16 percent before 2030. Johnson Controls believes its OpenBlue platform for optimizing building sustainability will be central to fulfilling these goals and ultimately creating an environment for healthy people, healthy places, and a healthy planet. The climate pledge The company also recently joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and is a signatory to The Climate Pledge, an initiative of business leaders co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories to the pledge commit to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement goal.
Globally renowned sensor solutions specialist, HENSOLDT has successfully passed the Factory Acceptance Test of its new airborne multi-mission surveillance radar, PrecISR. In an online demonstration conducted, the PrecISR 1000 airborne multi-mission surveillance radar proved its capabilities to the customer, QinetiQ GmbH, an international provider of airborne special missions operations, based out of Möchengladbach, in Germany. PrecISR 1000 airborne multi-mission surveillance radar The radar data is controlled and displayed by a HENSOLDT EuroNav7 mission system Approximately a year ago, HENSOLDT was awarded a contract to deliver the PrecISR 1000 multi-mission surveillance radar to QinetiQ GmbH for installation in a radome underneath a Pilatus PC-12 modified to a special mission aircraft, without significant modifications at the air frame. The radar data is controlled and displayed by a HENSOLDT EuroNav7 mission system, which is already in operation. PrecISR translates latest achievements in active array and digital receiver technology into a scalable high-performance sensor which can be installed aboard helicopters, UAVs and fixed-wing mission aircraft. Efficient object detection, tracking and classification Due to its software-defined radar modes and electronic beam steering, the PrecISR airborne multi-mission surveillance radar can fulfill a range of different tasks virtually, at the same time. It is able to detect, track and classify thousands of objects and thus, literally find the ‘needle in a haystack’. Because of its compact design and the fact that all its parts are located outside of the airframe, the airborne platform integration of PrecISR is simplified significantly, when compared to other radars in the market. The radar's superior precision and target accuracy make it the sensor of choice for surveillance of large sea and coastal areas, against the threat of piracy, trafficking or illicit intrusion activities.
The UK government recently announced a doubling of the Safer Streets Fund to £45 million, as it seeks to reassure the public that safety is a top priority, as the night-time economy makes a return. More than just surveillance While this funding increase is much needed, it’s vital that the government and local councils use the money strategically, or risk missing out on a great opportunity to deliver real change and enhance safety across the United Kingdom. One of the main strategies cited by the government is to increase the current vast number of CCTV cameras installed across the country, despite the fact that the UK is already one of the most surveilled nations in the world. Investing in video analytics London alone has around 700,000 cameras, but to effectively monitor them all would be an incredibly inefficient use of manpower and require a huge number of staff. Therefore, I believe the clearest and most cost-effective way for this project to succeed in its overall mission, is by investing in smarter technology, such as video analytics. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution This technology offers a more efficient use of resources, faster response times and enables more informed, time-critical decision making, when reacting to unfolding events in real time. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution, as the technology enables legacy assets, such as analogue CCTV cameras, to become more than just after the fact evidence gathering tools and instead be used to help enhance real-time responses to unfolding incidents. Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions are trained using vast datasets of images and video footage, in order to better understand people, objects and vehicles that are captured on film, and they continue ‘learning’ and improving, while in use. The system’s algorithms analyse and prioritise input from video data to decide which inputs are of value, automatically classifying the footage and notifying security personnel accordingly. This reduces response times by notifying CCTV operators of an incident, as it happens, meaning law enforcement and security personnel can react faster and intervene in an ongoing situation. Edge technology and real-time video streaming A key consideration should be choosing a technology that can operate at the edge and deliver real-time video streaming, even at the lowest bandwidths, so it isn’t limited to use in areas with good connectivity, which would exclude most remote areas. Quality really does matter and technology that can operate over low bandwidths is crucial for allowing operators to zoom in on areas of interest, such as a car number plate or face, and retrieve full-resolution images that can make a real difference in ongoing investigations. Analytics-based security approach Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime. Research conducted by the UK’s Labour Party recently found that the annual cost of crime reached a staggering £100 billion. While statistics show that crime rates in general have been fairly stable over recent years, experts point to the increase in specific types of violent crime, such as knife crime which rose by over 20% during 2020. Implementing smart analytics-based technology Implementing smart analytics-based technology would help maintain staffing costs, as the system can identify incidents without an operator’s input, as well as reducing the cost of managing crime, as more incidents will be intervened in before they escalate too far. This dramatically reduces the burden on staff and allows a single surveillance operator to monitor many more cameras. On the other hand, this level of automation also reduces false alarm fatigue and operator overload, which can quickly sap efficiencies and reduce operator alertness, if left unchecked. Data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention Procurement officials should avoid the common mistake of simply doubling down and throwing more staff and security assets at the problem to bring results. Instead, they should take a more data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention by leveraging technologies that can enhance response and preserve their existing investments in cameras. The smart use of real-time video analytics could make the difference by preventing dangerous situations from escalating into serious incidents.
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyse more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analysed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analysing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as licence plate reading, behavioural analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fibre-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
Facial recognition continues to be a political football and a target of privacy activists in the United States. For example, San Diego has suspended its use of facial recognition scanners by law enforcement after a campaign by civil rights groups. The San Diego Tactical Identification System (TACIDS) programme included a database of facial recognition scans shared by 30 local, state and federal agencies. A California law, passed in the fall, puts a three-year moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition technology. A proposal in Congress would prohibit use of biometric recognition technology in most public and assisted housing units funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), thus protecting the more than two million public housing residents nationwide from being “over-surveilled.” The “No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act” is supported by the NAACP, the National Housing Law Project, National Low-Income Housing Coalition, National Action Network, Color of Change, and the Project on Government Oversight. The problems of Facial Recognition "Studies that show that facial recognition systems may misidentify many individuals including women and people of colour" A letter from seven members of Congress to HUD Secretary Ben Carson questioned the use of facial recognition in federally assisted housing because it “could be used to enable invasive, unnecessary and harmful government surveillance of…residents.” The letter cites studies that show that facial recognition systems may misidentify many individuals including women and people of colour, thus “exacerbating vulnerabilities that marginalized groups already face in life.” In June, Somerville, Mass., became the second U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces. The first was San Francisco. A coalition of organisations and trade associations has issued a letter to Congress outlining concerns with “blanket prohibitions” or moratoriums on facial recognition technology and listing beneficial uses for public safety, national security and fighting fraud. The Security Industry Association (SIA) is part of the coalition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. A letter from seven members of Congress to HUD Secretary Ben Carson questioned the use of facial recognition in federally assisted housing Facial recognition technology has benefited Americans in many ways, such as helping to thwart identity thieves" The letter says: “While polls consistently show that Americans trust law enforcement to use facial recognition technology responsibly, some groups have called for lawmakers to enact bans on [the] technology. While we agree that it is important to have effective oversight and accountability of these tools to uphold and protect civil liberties, we disagree that a ban is the best option.” Development and guidance As alternatives to outright bans, the letter proposes expanded testing and performance standards, develop of best practices and guidance for law enforcement, and additional training for different uses of the technology. “Facial recognition technology has benefited Americans in many ways, such as helping to fight human trafficking, thwart identity thieves and improve passenger facilitation at airports and enhance aviation security,” says Don Erickson, CEO of SIA. “SIA believes this advanced technology should be used in a safe, accurate and effective way, and look forward to working with Congress to help the U.S. set the example on how to ethically and responsibly govern this technology.” SIA has produced a document called “Face Facts: Dispelling Common Myths Associated with Facial Recognition Technology.”
While security salesmen are touting megapixels and anti-passback features, they are missing an opportunity to communicate the role of technology in the broader context of risk management and incident response – and in saving lives. That’s the message of Gerald Wilkins, PSP, Vice President of Active Risk Survival. Incident response is at the core of how an enterprise reacts to risk and is a standardised approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response. Effective incident response requires integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organisational structure. All the elements must work together to achieve the desired outcome – to mitigate a risk using countermeasures. Capabilities of systems during emergencies I want to see us have more meaningful conversations with security directors and emergency operations planners"Equipment such as CCTV, access control and mass notification systems can provide effective countermeasures, but salesmen in the physical security market are not ‘connecting the dots’ between equipment specifications and its capabilities as part of the broader incident command system. “Historically, purchases of security technologies have not been considered in that context,” says Wilkins. “Rather, the industry’s sales pitches have been about features and capabilities – pixels or communication distances or intelligence – not about how those capabilities are useful in the specific context of emergency response.” “My goal is to change the industry,” says Wilkins. “I want to see us have more meaningful conversations with security directors and emergency operations planners.” Focusing on the Emergency Operations Plan “We are in the life safety business, and we need to have more conversations about where technology fits into the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). When was the last time you [as a security salesman] asked a client to look at their Emergency Operations Plan? No one knows the technology better than we do.” What’s missing, however, is attention to how technology is applied to risk management and response“There are so many folks in our industry who are technology gurus, who ‘get’ the technology, and are good at selling it,” he says. What’s missing, however, is attention to how technology is applied to risk management and response. “As an industry, even guys who have been in the business a long time have never heard about incident command,” says Wilkins. “How are we weaponising technology to maximise the outcome? We don’t talk about it. We want to talk about megapixels and wide dynamic range. But when are we going to talk about how we can apply that technology to mitigate our tangible and intangible risks?” Importance of security equipment In the wake of each active shooter or other incident in the news, Wilkins looks back to consider the missed opportunities and how security equipment could have saved lives. “What technology did we have to help first responders – video, access control and paging – but they weren’t used?” he asks. An example is the San Bernandino shooting in 2015, when police officers were heard asking “has anybody found that access control card?” In effect, a law enforcement officer was asking for technology that should have been included as part of the emergency plan. Situational awareness, such as that provided by video systems, can help responders judge which areas are safe fasterSituational awareness, such as that provided by video systems, can help responders judge which areas are safe faster and provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel more time to save lives. However, video is not being viewed in that light as a part of the broader life-saving mission. “Our industry needs to sit down with a security director or operations manager and ask: How are you using technology as a resource tool that will become part of your critical response?” says Wilkins. Understanding how equipment works Technology is often not being incorporated in emergency planning, even with something as simple as a fire drill. Most fire drills are ‘one size fits all’ – every person knows where they should go and how they should exit. But what if there is a fire in a particular part of the building? Today’s fire alarms operate in zones to communicate the location of a fire, but this capability is not being used to practice a variety of resulting scenarios that could save lives. “We need to understand as an industry how our partners in law enforcement and EMS do their jobs,” says Wilkins. “We can help stakeholders in a building understand how our equipment works every day and how they can use it in a critical incident. We need to understand Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), how incident command works, and how we can help emergency responders.” Security training for salespeople I want to know everything I can know to help guys sell things that can change the outcome if something bad happens"“If a guy wants to talk about his pixels or his anti-passback, he should instead consider having a meaningful conversation with the client about best practices and how to mitigate risk. This creates a different position [for the salesman], and if there is a critical incident, something you said or did might save someone’s life.” When it comes to training and taking a more strategic approach to sales, to some extent, the security technology industry has been a victim of its own success. When business is good, security companies are less likely to look for ways to train their salespeople. “We’re in the life safety business, not in the ‘stuff’ business,” says Wilkins. “I want to know everything I can know to help guys sell things that can actually change the outcome if something bad happens.” Another problem is “we don’t know what we don’t know.”
The phrase ‘eye in the sky’ is taking on a whole new meaning as the concept of home security drones becomes a plausible idea that could be realised in the not-too-distant future. It’s a possibility that came to light recently in the form of a patent that was granted to Amazon for ‘Image Creation Using Geo-Fence Data’. The patent specifies a “geo-fence, which may be a virtual perimeter or boundary around a real-world geographic area.” An unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) may provide surveillance images of data of objects inside the geo-fence. Any video captured outside the geo-fence would be obscured or objects removed to ensure privacy. Detecting break-ins and fires The Amazon patent outlines how its UAVs could perform a surveillance action at a property of an authorised party. It would be ‘hired’ to look out for open garage doors, broken windows, graffiti, or even a fire. The drone would only view authorised locations and provide information back to the homeowner. The idea is to deploy Amazon’s ‘delivery drone’ to provide surveillance of customers’ homes The idea is to deploy Amazon’s previously proposed (but not yet realised) ‘delivery drone’ to provide surveillance of customers’ homes between making deliveries. (One could say the employment situation has truly peaked when drones start taking second jobs!) In a ‘surveillance as a service’ scenario, Amazon’s customers would pay for visits on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Drones would be equipped with night vision and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities. (The microphone aspect seems creepy until you remember that Amazon’s Echo devices already have a microphone listening to what happens inside our homes.) A remaining obstacle for such a plan is the matter of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration regulations that restrict commercial drone operations and even hobbyist or consumer drone flights outside an operator’s line of sight. Drones would be equipped with night vision and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities Amazon company officials have stressed that the plan is still in its infancy and implementation would be in the future. “The patent clearly states that it would be an opt-in service available to customers who authorise monitoring of their home,” Amazon’s John Tagle told National Public Radio (NPR). Although use of drones for security is in the future, the launch of delivery drones appears to be on the nearer-term horizon. Amazon has said it hopes to launch a commercial service in a matter of months. Amazon’s competitor – Alphabet’s Wing – has already been granted FAA approval to make deliveries in the United States. Autonomous drone monitoring Another company, Sunflower Labs, is also working on security drones and has created a prototype that uses an autonomous drone to monitor activity in conjunction with a series of motion and vibration sensors located around the house. The sensors, which can detect footsteps or car engines, are placed around the home to create a virtual map, track objects and guide the drone. The ground sensors would alert a homeowner of something moving around the house. The homeowner could then elect to deploy the drone, which would stream a live video feed to a smart phone or tablet. Smart home technologies are in the process of transforming the home security market Smart home technologies and do-it-yourself security installations are in the process of transforming the home security market. The traditional ‘alarm service’ model is barely recognisable today among all the changes and new products, from home automation to video doorbells to personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa. Technology-loving consumers are looking at an expanding menu of options just as they are embracing new ways to protect their homes. Instead of a call to an alarm company, a consumer today may instead view a video of a burglary-in-progress live-streamed to their smart phone. Amazon and the other Big Tech companies are already playing a role in the disruption. Home security provided by a drone (on its way to delivering a package down the street) may seem like an extreme divergence from the norm. But such is the changing world of smart homes and residential security.
The Yunnan black snub-nosed monkey is an endemic species in China. It lives in dark alpine coniferous forests, ranging from 3,500 to 4,200 metres in height. It is also listed as a national level-1 endangered species and one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world. Currently, more than 70% of Yunnan black snub-nosed monkeys live in and around the Baima Snow Mountain National Nature Reserve, located in Southwest China. 5G digital monitoring system To protect the national rare and endangered species of wild animals and plants, such as Yunnan black snub-nosed monkey, Himalayan bharal, black bear, and taxus wallichiana, the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve joined hands with Dahua Technology in early 2021, to build a 5G digital monitoring system. The Dahua video monitoring system aims to provide accurate observation and research assessment of wildlife, ecological types and biodiversity in the reserve, which can help protect the species living in the area and its ecological balance. Dahua video monitoring solution Recently, Dahua Technology utilised its technological capabilities to help capture the beautiful scenery of fully-bloomed flowers and ecological diversity in the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve. The reserve can use intelligent system to calculate animal population and analyse their activity patterns By utilising technological capabilities over manpower to continuously monitor 62 species of wildlife – including the Yunnan black snub-nosed monkey – under state key protection, the reserve can use intelligent system to calculate animal population, analyse their activity patterns, and understand their living habits. This solution significantly decreases human intervention and improves wildlife protection, while reducing daily difficulties of rangers at the same time. Intelligent monitoring and early warning system In view of the rare and endangered plants and diverse vegetation resources in the nature reserve, an intelligent monitoring and early warning system with full coverage that meets high altitude requirement is constructed through multi-party surveying. This system can help prevent forest fire damage and control the impact of forest pests, and other harmful organisms in time, providing data support for the construction of ecological civilisation. The environment scope of the intelligent monitoring system includes water environment, soil environment, atmospheric environment, noise, etc. The system can perceive in real time, the quality status of various environmental elements and the dynamic changes in pollution, which can help improve the quality and stability of the ecosystem. Automatic identification and detection The solution also enables automatic identification and early warning for illegal activities, such as poaching, illegal logging, overgrazing and illegal collection of forest resources in and around the reserve, to eliminate the influence of human activities and protect the growth of both the animal and plant populations in the wild. It establishes big data of the reserve, and ‘one picture’ management of its environmental protection, which assists scientific decision making and biodiversity research. It also supports the intelligentisation and refinement of the environmental protection in the entire reserve.
A subway system serving Southeast Asia needed to modernise from its aging analog CCTV system to new IP. The subway system includes over 150 stations connected by 135 miles of rail; facilitating over 5 million commuter trips on an average weekday. The passengers have come to expect a high level of quality and reliability as the transit system is one of the most reliable in the world; consistently achieving a 99.9% on-time rate. However, it was becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage passenger security and safety within a transportation network of this incredible size, especially while relying on outdated surveillance technology. The existing analog CCTV surveillance equipment was approaching end-of-life and the organisation wanted to modernise security in their rapid transit subway stations. The organisation decided to modernise to an IP security system, which would provide enhanced capabilities and higher resolution security footage. Infrastructure barriers One of the company’s core strategies is to continuously upgrade its services to meet the needs of its customers. However, the organisation was facing several infrastructure barriers as they planned their upgrade to IP security. Traditional LAN design philosophies would involve ripping and replacing the existing Coax-based infrastructure to support the new IP cameras, leading to concerns of high project costs, long deployment times, and a harsh environmental impact. The organisation was unsatisfied with this approach and required an innovative solution. Change the conversation; improve the outcome The organisation leveraged its existing Coax-based infrastructure using the CLEER24 long-reach PoE solution Due to the organisation's needs, the distributor was confident in recommending Modern LAN design philosophies and the NVT Phybridge CLEER24 PoE solution. Developed by Frost & Sullivan, Modern LAN principles provide new best practices for connecting IP endpoints as organisations expand their network to incorporate IoT devices. Principle #1 suggests designing the LAN using the “outside-in” approach by first identifying the endpoint characteristics to determine the best-supporting infrastructure. Another principle is to consider new Power over Ethernet innovations to support IoT initiatives and simplify LAN design/requirements. By applying these principles, the organisation determined that they could leverage their existing and proven Coax-based infrastructure using the CLEER24 long-reach PoE solution. CLEER24 switch The customer was excited about the new solution but wanted to test the capabilities in their environment. NVT Phybridge assisted the customer in organising a no-obligation proof of concept. After a few simple setup steps, the CLEER24 switch transformed the existing Coax-based infrastructure into a robust and reliable IP backbone for the new surveillance system. The customer was also pleased with the ability to connect IP devices up to 6,000ft (1,830m) away from the application using existing infrastructure – with zero IDF closets required along the way. Environmental responsibility Protecting the natural environment is an important core value of the organisation, as they aim to become one of the most resource-efficient and ecologically sustainable railway companies in the world. The organisation has implemented LEED green building standards and continuously strives to reduce energy and resource consumption in all railway operations. Aligned with their existing sustainability programs, Modern LAN design helped the organisation: Reuse their existing physical infrastructure; which prevented over 10 US tons (20,000 pounds) of Coax cable from ending up in a landfill Avoid extensive construction and renovation work; reducing material and energy consumption Eliminate the need to install additional IDF closets thanks to the CLEER24’s long reach capabilities; reducing ongoing energy consumption Reduce the deployment time by 9 months; ensuring minimal disruption to passengers Using an innovative analytical tool to measure environmental impact, the subway system received the highest rating, 5 stars, for their environmentally responsible modernisation to IP. A better return on investment The customer took a proactive approach to support their IP modernisation objectives in a responsible manner The customer took a proactive approach to find new and better ways to support their IP modernisation objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative switch technology, the organisation was able to: Reduce infrastructure costs by more than $500,000 Deploy over 500 new IP cameras with no disruption to passengers Prevent over 10 US tons (20,000 pounds) of cabling e-waste from entering a landfill Reduce the overall deployment time by 9 months Simplify deployment and ongoing network management Build a cyber-secure and robust IP platform for their new security solution
82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months. Video monitoring systems The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months. Safe-specific video analytics Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months. Contactless access control The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months. However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months. Reduced VMS costs The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Smarter, easier to use video systems There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’ Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Cloud on the horizon 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration. Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimising their video monitoring systems looking forward. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’. Third-party cameras While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China. A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.' A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Latest analytic capabilities An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and colour searching’. Balance of power The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing. According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic. Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimising the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Cloud Connector Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
Meeting a challenge is what business is all about. Challenges are beneficial to any company, providing a valuable learning opportunity and a means to demonstrate expertise, skill, and an approach to solving a problem in a unique or innovative way. Working in partnership with Oslo Airport to install the RTT110 EDS system presented Rapiscan Systems with not just one, but two unique challenges. Challenges faced by Rapiscan The first was creating a proprietary water cooling system that worked in tandem with the airport’s green initiatives, and the second a ‘Level 4’ review option running in parallel to the traditional baggage screening process. Both would be challenges enough for a well-established technology, but the Oslo Airport project came at a formative time in the RTT’s history. A key step for RTT110 “We had a machine that was very much in its infancy, that still had its fair share of teething problems,” explains Craig Chitty, Head of International Aviation Programmes. “It was a big undertaking at a very early stage of our experience installing the RTT out in the field.” Steve Revell, Senior Director of Aviation CT at Rapiscan explains that the Oslo Airport project was a key step for the RTT. “The first major airport in Western Europe to take on the RTT was Oslo Airport. It’s a very prestigious and forward-thinking airport, and the operators were not afraid to take pioneering risks.” Eco-friendly system Rapiscan's water-cooling solution would allow the RTT to integrate with Oslo’s eco-friendly concept The standard throughout the industry is for EDS and baggage scanning systems to employ Air Conditioning to cool machinery and manage the thermal load. However, as a result of Oslo Airport’s commitment to environmentally responsible construction (the first Oslo Airport terminal was considered the greenest in the world at the time construction finished in 2017), Rapiscan was tasked with designing an entirely unique water-cooling solution that would allow the RTT to integrate with Oslo’s eco-friendly concept of operations – to think outside the ‘cooling box’. “The curveball was that ordinarily, you would use air conditioning, but Oslo wanted to use chilled water to help reduce carbon emissions,” Steve Revell explains. Integrating water cooling system This was a challenge that sent the Rapiscan design team back to the drawing board, as Craig Chitty recalls. “We had to work with our supplier to come up with a solution that met the airport’s requirement to use reclaimed snow, which is melted down and pumped around the airport. We had to design a method of integrating this water cooling concept into our system, meeting some very stringent criteria that the airport set.” “It was incredibly challenging because the original design of these water-cooled AC’s needed a specific pressure and temperature, which the airport couldn’t provide us with as their supply fluctuated too much. We had to go back to the drawing board, to redesign our system to make it more robust.” World’s first RTT system Rapiscan's flexible RTT technology became the world's first such technology This innovation put Rapiscan at the forefront of flexible RTT technology, resulting in a world-first; “To this day we are the only company who can provide the RTT as an externally water-cooled system, or an internally cooled air-conditioned system,” Steve Revell summarises. This example of NRE, or ‘Non-Recurring Engineering’, was not the only instance of Rapiscan’s commitment to working alongside partners to develop bespoke solutions to the challenges of each application. Oslo not only necessitated an original approach in terms of product design but also process implementation – recurrent Level 4 image analysis. Security screening for baggage As baggage travels through an airport, it is subjected to multiple levels of security screening and imaging, both by human operators and computer algorithms. Baggage that is deemed to contain a potential security threat is escalated to higher levels of scrutiny by multiple operators, balancing the consistent throughput of baggage and passengers against ensuring constant levels of safety. Oslo required an extra level added to the normal ‘flow’ of screening. “If a bag is rejected by a Level 3 operator it goes into a Level 4 area within the BHS (Baggage Handling System) of the airport”, explains Craig Chitty. “It shows up on a screen. It is a concept of operations that we don’t employ in any other airport even now; it is still very unique to Oslo.” Concept of operations Rapiscan’s Director of Business Development for EDS, Martin Zborovjan, explains further, “We had to do some development to allow that concept of operations to happen. They decided they wanted to re-screen baggage for a second time using the same machine.” “Usually this would rely on a machine decision, but in this case but the operator sees the second image automatically, right next to the image from the first screening, and the machine does not make a decision. It’s a very unusual concept.” Benefits of Level 4 function The Level 4 function enabled processing bags more quickly and more correctly Steve Revell is quick to identify the benefits the Level 4 function provides both the airport and the passengers, “We were the first to establish a Level 4 system in Oslo. If technology is able to produce a machine decision very quickly, and if that’s a reject decision to get that image off to an operator very quickly, the only two things it can do are to process bags more quickly and more correctly.” “By default, more bags are getting onto the right airplane, people are standing in queues for less time and the airside customer experience is much improved.” Going an extra mile While many companies will consider a project as ‘job done' when equipment is installed and running, for the Rapiscan team the Oslo project was a committed partnership from the initial tender phase, through the design process, and on into the future. “Oslo was effectively our first competitive tender,” Martin Zborovjan explains. “We were willing to listen to Oslo and to go the extra mile. This behaviour was the underlying theme of the interaction with Oslo”. The project was more than just a sales opportunity; “Complex projects allow us to learn something.” Forming a partnership The working partnership between Rapiscan and Oslo is something Steve Revell is very proud of. “It [was] and is a very long-established partnership; from the start of engaging with us at contract award, through to going operationally live was just under three years,” he explains. “There was lots of testing, analysis, and development, lots of joint agreements with the government. We agreed on the final solution which we very much wanted to do as a partnership.” Delivering a successful project “There were also problems, which gave us an opportunity to showcase our most important tool which is how we behave when things are going wrong. We never shied away from our responsibilities, we took every problem presented to us and worked together to find the solution.” “A strong working partnership developed; we were always on the end of a phone with the Oslo team, or on a plane for face-to-face meetings. This partnership continues today and is the backbone to delivering this complex but successful project,” Revell summarises. Adopting new technology The aviation industry thrives on partnerships, on service providers working to meet challenging requirements through innovation and cooperation. Taking a technology that was, at the time, still in its infancy and working to adapt this technology to a stringent set of requirements is a clear example of Rapiscan’s dedication to working with its partners – a commitment the company makes to every project, both now and into the future.
FLIR was selected to provide intelligent dual-vision cameras with embedded Automatic Incident Detection (AID) to be installed in the new Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels in Norway. The cameras alert tunnel operators on a variety of possible traffic incidents, including stopped vehicles, lost cargo, and pedestrians, allowing emergency services to react fast. The Ryfast project Norway has complex geography. The many fjords, glaciers, and mountains make traveling without natural obstacles a challenge, which is why the country has so many tunnels. The Ryfast project is one of the country’s most recent additions in tunnel infrastructure, running from the city of Stavanger to the municipality of Strand. It is also Norway’s largest road project to date. The Ryfast project consists of three tunnels. The 14.4 km Ryfylke tunnel, running from the village of Tau to the isle of Hundvåg, was opened in December 2019. The 5.5 km Hundvåg tunnel, from Hundvåg to Stavanger, was opened in April 2020. The latter tunnel connects with the 3.7 km Eiganes tunnel, which runs beneath the city of Stavanger, as part of the E39 coastal highway. Safety in dense traffic Trafsys again selected FLIR Systems to deliver the AID camera technology When the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) and tunnel contractor were looking for a reliable tunnel safety system for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels, they intended to uphold the same high safety standards the organisation is known for. This is especially critical given the dense traffic situation in the twin-bore tunnels - 10,000 and 35,000 daily vehicles for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels respectively. For both tunnels, Nordic system integrator Trafsys was selected to supply the Traffic Control & Monitoring system, video surveillance (CCTV), and Automatic Incident Detection (AID), among other things. Trafsys again selected FLIR Systems to deliver the AID camera technology, based on both companies’ many years of experience in tunnel safety projects. FLIR’s detection systems “We were already convinced of the stability of FLIR’s incident detection systems because we have been using them in previous tunnel projects,” says Knut-Olav Bjelland, Department Manager at Trafsys, AS. “FLIR’s powerful detection algorithms on visual traffic cameras have proven their performance in tunnel projects worldwide. With FLIR’s dual-vision cameras, we were able to combine the company’s proven video analytics with the power of thermal imaging.” Visual and thermal in one camera In total, 332 FLIR cameras have been installed in the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels combined Trafsys chose FLIR’s ITS Series Dual AID cameras, which combine a thermal and visual camera with FLIR’s advanced video analytics. In total, 332 FLIR cameras have been installed in the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels combined. With the thermal imaging camera, the FLIR ITS Series Dual AID provides critical information on traffic incidents, including stopped vehicles, sudden speed drops, wrong-way drivers, pedestrians, fallen objects, and starting fires. Operators also use the high-resolution (640 x 512 pixels) thermal image to verify the incident and to see where the incident took place. The use of thermal imaging cameras has especially proven valuable for tunnel entrances and exits. There, shadows or direct sunlight could obstruct the view of the visible-light camera and therefore disturb traffic detection. Because they detect heat, not light, thermal cameras have no issues with these phenomena and as a result, they can detect traffic 24/7, in all weather conditions. Detection and performance “When you look at the complex topography of the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels, a camera system like the FLIR ITS Series Dual AID is the most efficient technology choice,” says Knut-Olav. “And with the many bends and turns in both tunnels, you need appropriate detection systems at many different positions.” “The cameras’ daily performance is excellent,” says Anders Helle, Construction/Maintenance Manager at NPRA. “We can clearly see the detected incidents on the thermal image in our control room, which reduces the time to understand the situation and speeds up our decision-making process. Based on the system’s reliability, performance, and low unwanted alarm rate, we would definitely recommend the FLIR dual-vision camera for automatic incident detection.” Providing safety in tunnels “We are honoured to be selected for this major tunnel safety project,” says Sukhdev Bhogal, Business Development Director at FLIR Systems. “It is the first time that our FLIR ITS Dual AID cameras have been deployed in such large numbers, and we are looking forward to making more tunnels in the region a safer place to travel through.” Safety is critical, given the dense traffic situation in the twin-bore tunnels - 10,000 and 35,000 daily vehicles for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels respectively. Early fire detection The dual cameras’ fire detection functionality demonstrates the early detection capability within seconds “Apart from the great detection performance we are used to from FLIR, having a combined visual and thermal camera from one vendor has nothing but benefits,” says Knut-Olav. “Combining both cameras into one detection unit makes it a very compact solution, and cabling is also much simpler.” The dual cameras’ fire detection functionality has also been switched on to demonstrate the early detection capability within seconds of the appearance of visible flames. This could be crucial for tunnel operators to close the tunnel fast and take the necessary decisions in the case of a fire. The thermal technology from FLIR ITS also allows seeing through the smoke. This allows operators to detect the presence of pedestrians and vehicles in a smoke-filled traffic tunnel. The fire detection functionality was already demonstrated when a car caught fire in the Hundvåg tunnel in July 2020. The FLIR ITS Dual thermal AID camera picked up the fire within 7 seconds after visible flames appeared, following its first alert for a stopped vehicle and pedestrians.
The city of Arnhem has chosen Nedap to regulate vehicle flows and to provide a seamless vehicle access experience in its city centre. Due to the increase in the number of vehicles in the city centre, it was a challenge for Arnhem to ensure that the traffic flow runs smoothly and safely, to keep the historic and tourist centre accessible and livable. Vehicle identification solutions With the implementation of Nedap’s vehicle identification solutions, authorised vehicles and drivers can access the city in a safe and seamless way. The combination with Nedap’s MOOV City Access software ensures that vehicle access in the city centre easily can be regulated. The city of Arnhem wants to regulate vehicle access to the centre and ensure only authorised vehicles can enter The city of Arnhem is located in the east of the Netherlands. Because of the historical centre, cultural sights and a wide range of entertainment facilities, it is also an attractive city for tourists. To ensure that the city centre remains traffic and pedestrian friendly, the city of Arnhem wants to regulate vehicle access to the centre and ensure only authorised vehicles can enter. MOOV City Access platform By limiting traffic flows, the narrow streets in the historic centre of Arnhem turned into an attractive and safe public place for pedestrians and cyclists, creating a livable city. The city of Arnhem has chosen Nedap for its MOOV City Access platform combined with its advanced solutions for automatic vehicle identification, based on long-range RFID (Radiofrequency Identification) and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology. Authorised vehicle access in specific zones The solution is supplied and installed by Nedap’s partner - ST&D. Nedap’s MOOV City Access platform is implemented to control vehicle access in specific zones. With this, Arnhem ensures that only authorised vehicles can enter these zones and only if they have permission to do so. With the implementation of RFID readers and ANPR cameras, vehicles can be identified from a long distance, ensuring automated and safe vehicle throughput. Nedap’s long-range RFID solution, TRANSIT will be used to ensure that local residents, emergency vehicles, licenced taxis and municipal services have easy access to the city centre, without compromising on safety. TRANSIT long-range RFID solution Authorised vehicles equipped with a RFID tag will have fast access at vehicle entrances TRANSIT is a proven technology that enables highly secure identification and tracking of vehicles and drivers, up to a distance of 10 metres. Authorised vehicles equipped with a RFID tag will have fast access at vehicle entrances, without the need to stop. The all-in-one licence plate camera, ANPR Lumo will grant access to vehicles based on their license plate number. Licence plate recognition is a perfect solution for specific user groups or situations, in which vehicles require access temporarily or incidentally to the city centre. For example, retail delivery trucks can be given access at pre-defined locations, assigned days and time zones, regulating vehicle access to the city by reason. Digitisation of city access “By choosing and implementing Nedap’s MOOV City Access platform in combination with Nedap’s licence plate recognition solution, we have taken a major step in the further digitisation of our city access in Arnhem,” said Hans ten Barge, Chain Director Parking at the Municipality of Arnhem. Nedap Identification Systems is a specialist in Automatic Vehicle Identification and Vehicle Access Control solutions, for over the past decades. Nedap has developed a unique portfolio of proven long-range RFID and ANPR solutions that enable seamless third-party system integration. Vehicles and drivers are identified automatically, securing a free-flow yet highly secure vehicle access experience. MOOV City Access is Nedap’s vehicle access control solution, specifically designed for regulating vehicle flows in inner cities. MOOV’s hardware and software are compatible with Nedap’s RFID readers and ANPR cameras. This complete solution ensures a livable and safe city.
Round table discussion
In the past few weeks, the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel has brightened, providing new levels of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Dare we now consider what life will be like after the pandemic is over? Considering the possible impact on our industry, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies will be most useful in a post-pandemic world?
Contact tracing has been more than a buzzword during the coronavirus pandemic. In some cases, it has been an issue of life and death. Tracking who an infected person has been in contact with is an important tool to minimise disease spread, and technology from the physical security industry claimed a role in contact tracing early on – and continues to provide benefits as companies seek to reopen. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can the security industry enhance contact tracing?
An eruption of violence at a church in Charleston, S.C., this June has increased awareness of the potential for such incidents at our houses of worship. On June 17 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in downtown Charleston, a 21-year-old attacker wielding a Glock 41 .45-caliber handgun took the lives of nine people. But it was far from the first security breach at a house of worship. In fact, since 1999, more than 500 people have died a violent death on church or faith-based property. That number is close to, if not slightly ahead of, the number of violent deaths at our schools. Seeking answers, we asked this week’s Expert Panel: What security solutions could help them remain secure? Can houses of worship remain as open as in the past?