Residential alarm systems
With The Security Event 2021, organised by Nineteen Group, less than two months away, the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is putting in place preparations, to make its exhibition stand at the renowned security event, considered a key destination for the UK commercial and residential security installer/integrator community. The Security Event 2021 The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is delighted to be an official event partner at The Security Event 2021 The National Security Inspecto...
NAPCO Security Technologies, Inc., one of the renowned manufacturers and designers of high-tech electronic security devices, wireless recurring communication services for intrusion and fire alarm systems, as well as a global provider of school safety solutions, has announced that it will be showcasing new products at the ISC West 2021 trade show, which is slated to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from July 19 to July 21, 2021, at the Sands Expo Center. During the ISC West show, NAPCO will be s...
The flexibility and expandability of the Sielox LLC family of access control and its emergency notification layered solutions will be on full display at the ISC West 2021 event in booth 16064. Layered security is a foundation of the Sielox security and safety solutions package, and the company will lead with its Sielox Pinnacle™ Access Control Platform, which is regarded throughout the security industry as one of the most reliable and feature-rich access control system on t...
OPTEX, the global sensing and detection manufacturer, has expanded the offering of its range of award-winning Intelligent Visual Monitoring Solution with the launch of a new 12-channel Visual Verification Bridge in Europe and Africa. The new 12-channel Bridge, powered by CHeKT, enables up to 12 ONVIF-compatible cameras and alarms to be managed through a single device, making it ideal for larger sites such as major depots and warehouses with constant activity 24/7. The choice of a four and now 1...
Infosecurity Europe, Europe’s information security event, has announced that it is postponing the live exhibition and conference due to run at London Olympia in July, following the government’s delay in lifting the final COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, it will deliver a virtual exhibition and conference from 13-15 July 2021, the original dates of the event. The in-person event will now be held in 2022. Event outline Infosecurity Europe 2021 was set to combine both live and online e...
Securitas, an intelligent protective services partner, is awarded a net impact rating of AAA (Prime level) by the Upright Project. The Upright net impact model uses artificial intelligence to go through a database of millions of scientific articles and public statistical databases measuring the net impact of companies on the world. The AAA rating is the highest rating possible and puts Securitas within the top 3% of rated companies. Upright net impact model The Upright net impact model relies...
The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Virtual Experience, presented by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), kicks off Tuesday, June 15 with a packed lineup of education sessions and many opportunities to network with exhibitors and colleagues on a robust virtual platform. The virtual platform is live for attendees to start building out their account profiles, allowing them to connect with fellow attendees and create their personal agendas. Features The virtual event platform has a number of unique features designed for attendee engagement and convenience: All 24 educational sessions delivered by business experts and security professionals will be recorded and available on-demand until September 17. A real-time private and public lobby chat feature will provide attendees with the ability to connect with peers, exhibitors, and industry experts within the virtual platform. Group video networking will be available for attendees to join live video meetings dedicated to specific topics and areas of interest. In these breakout rooms, attendees can ask questions, share their experiences, and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry with fellow attendees, including a special networking event on June 15. An interactive virtual Exhibit Hall will allow attendees to connect with exhibitors through live video chats and a meeting scheduling tool. Security industry to network experiences “Community is at the core of ESX. We are excited to bring together diverse perspectives from all corners of the security industry to network and share best practices, helping our community navigate today’s competitive business environment,” said George De Marco, ESX Chairman.
The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Virtual Experience, presented by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), has announced the lineup for OpenXchange – The Changing Competitive Landscape. ESX Virtual Experience 2021 This main stage presentation, to be held during the ESX Virtual Experience 2021, on Tuesday, June 15, will be an interactive panel discussion on unique go-to-market strategies and the opportunities, and challenges likely to impact dealers, integrators, and monitoring companies, in the years to come. This year, ESX welcomes visionary leaders to the OpenXchange session, including Aaron Emigh, Co-Founder and CEO of Brilliant, Michael Martin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RapidSOS and Mark Zimmerman, the CEO of RSPNDR. OpenXchange forum This forum will provide the audience an opportunity to hear unique perspectives and business experiences Moderated by George De Marco, ESX Chairman and Managing Partner for Deco Ventures LLC, this forum will provide the audience an opportunity to hear unique perspectives and business experiences, and offer key insights on finding new ways to adapt and evolve in the fast-changing and competitive landscape of the electronic security and life safety industry. Aaron Emigh is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of Brilliant, a highly regarded smart home and smart apartment company. He is an accomplished Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur and investor, who served as the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Shopkick. Aaron is an inventor on more than 100 issued patents and has been recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Technology and safety experts speak Michael Martin is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RapidSOS. Michael’s own challenges around emergency communication led him to start RapidSOS in 2013. RapidSOS manages 150 million emergency calls annually with major technology companies, including, Apple, Google, Uber and Microsoft. Michael is a major voice on public safety, personal security and technology innovation, and has presented to federal agencies and industry events, as well as been published in top media outlets, including the Washington Post, TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal. End-to-end security software platform Mark Zimmerman is the Chief Executive Officer of RSPNDR, a renowned end-to-end security software platform for alarm response. In his role, Mark leads a team that is reimagining the alarm response side of the security business. Zimmerman has also held senior sales, marketing, solutions development and innovation roles at Bell and AT&T as well as CIO and CTO roles at MaRS and T4G Ltd. “We are excited to have these visionary leaders speak at ESX this month,” said George De Marco, ESX Chairman, adding “The wealth of business experience on the Main Stage, will give ESX attendees an opportunity to hear about the latest cutting-edge trends from leading innovators and business leaders as they share their perspective on what will impact our businesses and industry.”
Johnson Controls, a global pioneer in smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, and architect of the OpenBlue digital connected platforms is introducing the reimagined web-based client for the Tyco Software House C•CURE 9000 security and event management system. With the addition of enhanced functionality for alarm monitoring to the already streamlined search and filtering capabilities, users are able to perform personnel administration and alarm monitoring for their C•CURE 9000 system from anywhere, using any PC with a web browser or tablet. Adaptive design and interface Featuring a modern web design with an adaptive interface, the new web client has redesigned how C•CURE 9000 users are able to view and process events to include a dynamic visual alarm monitoring experience. With the new event viewer, operators can easily prioritise the most urgent of alarms and recognise patterns and anomalies with analytical event bubble images that are reflected in importance by colour and size. Manual actions and intrusion zones have been designed to handle core alarm management functions for critical infrastructure projects. Optimised control room operations The new web client is also optimised for control room operations with special consideration given for optimal viewing The new web client is also optimised for control room operations, where dark mode is often preferred, with special consideration given to colour brightness to reduce light reflection for optimal viewing. Individual operators can smoothly transition between light and dark modes with the click of a button to fit their individual preferences. Custom web interface System administrators can customise the web-based interface to fit a variety of different users with Web Views, further streamlining productivity and balancing the user’s responsibility and workload. The screen appearance for each web view can be customised to show different tabs, columns, and fields based on the role within the organisation. An operator preview mode, allows admins to see defined roles and responsibilities as it appears to the user, without toggling back and forth between the admin and user logins.
It is the end of the line for analogue phone systems, which can leave alarm companies hanging out to dry, trying to figure out if they need to replace costly alarm panels. With the impending shutdown of the analogue telephone network, alarm monitoring companies nationwide need to come up with a game plan. It is more important than ever for security companies to equip themselves with the knowledge of what new technology solutions are available in the marketplace, in order to help offset the costs of transitioning away from analogue. Technology transformation With the biggest transformation facing alarm companies being technological advances in communications, everyone can agree that the traditional analogue telephone network is on its way to a complete shutdown. Whenever a major technology, especially one with a long history of regulation, approaches the end of its life, being prepared and ready for the transition is the key to success. With any technological disruption comes major change, but alarm companies need to be able to adapt quickly to survive and thrive in the ever-changing world of technology. In the past, traditional phone lines used circuit switching technology delivered over a copper line to send the alarm and data communication signals to the alarm monitoring company. Over the last couple of decades, technology-specific services have been migrating to packet switching over the public Internet, in the form of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) VoIP is a telecommunication service that takes analogue audio signals and converts them into digital data VoIP is a telecommunication service that takes analogue audio signals and converts them into digital data that can be transmitted over standard internet connections. While this transition has provided the opportunity for tremendous cost savings and more reliable connections, VoIP protocols have been designed with voice service in mind. This means that traditional alarm panel and modem protocols are seen as no longer compatible with these technological improvements. These changes are sweeping across an array of industries including security installers, fire monitoring, field medical monitoring, and alarm monitoring. As the analogue network is growing closer to becoming obsolete, alarm companies are facing a myriad of challenges. The ever more rapid advancement and adaptation of new technologies has left a gap in legacy communication systems. Ethernet-based VoIP systems E1/T1 and analogue POTS lines are increasingly being replaced by Ethernet-based VoIP systems, leaving alarm companies left with modem-based technology that can no longer work within the new infrastructure. With most telephony connections moving to VoIP, it can be costly for alarm companies to replace existing modems and alarm panels. Most are looking for a simple solution to help make a seamless transition without having to change their entire infrastructure. Replacing existing analogue infrastructure Time is of the essence for alarm companies nationwide that rely heavily on equipment and endpoint devices that use modems to communicate. In most cases, these modems cannot be replaced due to the high costs associated with replacing the existing infrastructure. With new requirements for fire alarm control panels, the pressure is on them now more than ever to react quickly and find a cost-effective solution. With limited options out there, one company has done their due diligence and launched a revolutionary solution that offers a clear path forward for the industry. Voice, video, and fax and data communications VOCAL Technologies has been leading the way, since 1986, in the design of software and hardware solutions VOCAL Technologies has been leading the way, since 1986, in the design of software and hardware solutions, under licence for voice, video, and facsimile and data communications. The company develops and applies advanced technologies for superior voice, video, fax and data communications. With a broad range of innovative design solutions that yield the highest quality communications at a lowest cost and an insight into the technical challenges of the telecommunications industry, it was natural for them to develop a unique solution, in order to help navigate companies through the VoIP revolution. As the security industry continues to evolve and face many challenges with the move from analogue to VoIP phone lines, VOCAL Technologies knew it was the right time to develop a combined software and hardware solution. Their goal was to throw out a lifeline to help alarm companies transition easier and more efficiently. VOCAL SIP Analogue Modem Server With cloud-based modems now a firm reality, the VOCAL SIP Analogue Modem Server, or SAMS, is a unique IP-based software solution for inter-operating with legacy modems, without the need for modem banks with E1/T1 connections. This Virtual Modem Server allows a business to deploy a server in the Cloud, which can work with the modern VoIP phone network infrastructure based on SIP and RTP, instead of using T1/E1 lines to connect to the PSTN. Virtual Modem server The Virtual Modem server contains true soft modems and not just an AT command set on a TCP socket pretending to be a modem. This allows the server to connect to true voice band modems deployed on the PSTN, and thus, does not require installation of additional equipment on the far end of the security system. Alarm monitoring centres are not left out of these significant advancements in communication infrastructure. Supporting industry standard alarm protocols, including Ademco Contact-ID, Sonitrol, DC-03/FSK, Pulse, and SIA-2000, the modem server can also act as a virtual replacement for physical alarm receiver equipment. Modem over IP (MoIP) solution SAMS provides a true Modem over IP (MoIP) solution and can support a broad range of remote endpoints SAMS provides a true Modem over IP (MoIP) solution and can support a broad range of remote endpoints. Bringing in expertise from numerous industrial market sectors, such as Utility Metering, Point of Sale (PoS) payment processing, SCADA, Out of Band management, among others. SAMS is a perfect choice for alarm companies. Even when traditional ISDN and POTS lines remain available, Alarm Receiver and Remote Access Server (RAS) equipment like the AS5350 has reached end of life and these vital business systems are left in a state where failure is imminent and quick repair or replacement are no longer options. This can happen with servers interacting with alarm systems and security panels. M2M applications rely on data modems Countless M2M applications rely on data modems to accomplish their task and VOCAL has launched a few solutions to allow these applications to adapt to the changing infrastructure. VOCAL servers come in a variety of configurations, which cover the full range of ITU V-series modems, as well as many other industry standard modulations. This allows it to fit easily into existing systems and flexibly meet the needs of already deployed infrastructure and applications. VOCAL continues to customise all solutions for customers and can meet specific system requirements, when necessary. IP switchover When it comes to end-of-life modem products, VOCAL’s SAMS software is a great replacement solution for Cisco’s Access Servers (2500 series, AS5350), Cisco PVDM Digital Modem Modules (PVDM2-12DM, PVDM2-24DM, PVDM2-36DM), modem server banks, alarm receivers, and groups of individual hardware modems. VOCAL is helping alarm companies that are currently using ISDN for PSTN access to their modem servers as SIP-based VoIP will be the replacement for ISDN. The cost savings brought on by switching from expensive ISDN and analogue lines to VoIP has made the IP switchover a desirable transition instead of a painful requirement. Integration with SIP infrastructure Integrating the modem infrastructure and the SIP infrastructure has become more and more necessary Integrating the modem infrastructure and the SIP infrastructure has become more and more necessary. Ideally, running modems on the cloud server, connected to a SIP infrastructure would be the best scenario. Using a Cloud Modem Server, such as VOCAL’s SIP Analogue Modem Server (SAMS), allows alarm companies to get the benefits of the SIP infrastructure, without having to replace the legacy pieces of their alarm panels which can be costly. Remote modems The server can run in the data centre, where all of the company’s other network facing services reside, which can save money and facilitate changing business models that are moving away from physically located hardware and into remote virtual working environments. As the controlling application, the SAMS server is seen the same way as any other modem. The remote modems can call the SAMS server from the PSTN (or be called) as they always have. The SAMS server behaves as a bank of modems connected to ISDN would, all while running on off the shelf hardware or any standard virtualised environment. Analogue Modem Adapter (AMA) In addition to their software solution, VOCAL also introduced an Analogue Modem Adapter (AMA) to the marketplace, which is a device that enables analogue modems and alarm panels to securely transmit data over digital networks. The AMA connects legacy alarm, POS, voice, fax and other analogue devices to IP networks including mobile, radio, and satellite networks. This is a great option for alarm companies that have analogue and modem-based equipment but no longer have phone lines available and want a secure connection. Open line of communication An AMA provides a modular phone jack and an Ethernet port where an analogue device, such as a Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT), can be connected to the modular jack to transmit directly over IP network. This eliminates the need for telephone landline connections. An AMA supports telephony features such as dial tone, device power, ringing and standard telephone signaling to communicate with the local modem. Combines with SAMS server installation VOCAL’s AMA software is part of a fully integrated and highly configurable VoIP software solution Combined with a SAMS server installation, VOCAL’s AMA creates a novel approach to bypassing the data and alarm protocol issues that are introduced by last mile IP connections and line emulation devices utilised in VoIP infrastructure. VOCAL’s AMA software is part of a fully integrated and highly configurable VoIP software solution with a network stack, SIP stack, secure communications, and full-featured telephony software with a comprehensive data modem software library. Making the VoIP transition VOCAL continues to work with alarm companies nationwide to help make the VoIP transition a smooth one with a combined hardware and software solution that is second to none. It is important for alarm companies to research the options available to them and continue educating themselves as the end of the line grows closer for analogue phone systems. In the past, the security industry has always been on the forefront of adopting new technologies and with VOCAL on their team, the paradigm shift to VoIP can take place seamlessly. By bringing together a combined software and hardware solution, VOCAL has taken a technical disruption and turned it into a graceful transition for alarm companies that will keep the lines of communication open now and well into the future.
Ambarella, Inc., an AI vision silicon company, Lumentum, a designer and manufacturer of innovative optical and photonic products, and ON Semiconductor®, a provider of CMOS image sensor solutions announced two new joint reference designs that accelerate AIoT device deployment across verticals, building on the companies’ previous joint solution for contactless access systems. Intelligent 3D solutions By combining the data from Lumentum’s high-performance VCSEL array illuminators and an ON Semiconductor image sensor using Ambarella’s AI SoC, higher levels of accuracy and more intelligent decision-making can be achieved in next-generation AIoT devices for biometric access control, 3D electronic locks, and other intelligent sensing applications. Originally intended for biometric access control and electronic locks, these new reference designs can also address the needs of smart cities, smart buildings, smart homes, and intelligent healthcare. Additionally, the high level of integration provided by these joint solutions significantly lowers system power consumption and thermal design requirements while enabling much smaller product form factors. AI and IoT enabled access systems “Ambarella’s vision is to combine AI processing with 3D and vision sensing to create an ambient intelligent future,” said Fermi Wang, President, and CEO of Ambarella. “This collaboration with Lumentum and ON Semiconductor will further advance the convergence of AI and IoT to enable a new generation of access control systems while inspiring novel categories of ambient sensing products—all powered by the fusion of sensors using AI vision processors that interact intelligently and unobtrusively with people to address their ever-evolving needs.” Enhancing the accuracy of AIoT devices “Our new joint solutions will greatly increase the accuracy of AIoT devices across application verticals—starting with biometric access control and electronic locks—enabling them to recognise people and predict their needs, rather than requiring a direct human interface,” said Téa Williams, Senior Vice President and General Manager, 3D Sensing of Lumentum. The solutions will take advantage of 3D sensing to inject a new dimension of data input for improved decision-making “Many of these applications will take advantage of 3D sensing to inject a new dimension of data input for improved decision-making." "As an example, using higher resolution VCSEL-based spot illumination enables longer sensing ranges and higher accuracy facial recognition. Lumentum’s industry-leading and high-performance VCSEL arrays with zero field failures, used across these joint solutions, are driving new applications and helping realize the dream of AIoT devices with 3D sensing capabilities.” Intelligent sensing devices “Image sensors are the eyes for intelligent sensing devices. Their ability to see farther with more detail provides significantly more information for the AI processor’s decision-making in AIoT devices,” said Gianluca Colli, Vice President and General Manager, Industrial and Consumer Sensor Division (ICSD) group at ON Semiconductor. “Our industry-leading RGB-IR sensor technology, combined with the advanced ISP capabilities of Ambarella’s AI vision SoCs, can bring both visible and IR images into devices simultaneously. For this second generation of our joint solutions, we leveraged customer feedback to quadruple the resolution of our RGB-IR image sensors to 4K (8MP).” Application-specific AIoT solutions The three companies’ new joint AIoT solutions consist of two reference designs and additional 3D sensing development kits, each uniquely configured to address application-specific demands for the combination of AI processing, 3D depth sensing, and vision sensing: Targeted at next-generation biometric access control readers, the Vision+ reference design is the AIoT industry’s first 4K solution to perform single-camera, 940nm structured-light sensing based on RGB-IR technology. It is also the first to leverage a single-chip solution for depth processing, AI processing, and video processing. Based on the Ambarella CV22 CVflow® AI vision processor, it includes single-camera structured-light sensing powered by Lumentum’s VCSEL technology, featuring a range of 2 meters, and a 4K (8MP) RGB-IR CMOS image sensor from ON Semiconductor. Targeted at next-generation smart electronic door locks, or eLocks, for both commercial and residential applications, the Saturn reference design is the AIoT industry’s first to integrate AI processing for both single-camera structured-light sensing and fast-boot video processing. It is based on the Ambarella CV25 CVflow AI vision processor and includes a structured-light camera powered by Lumentum’s VCSEL technology and the AR0237CS 2MP RGB-IR image sensor from ON Semiconductor. Targeted at intelligent sensing applications and with opportunities across verticals, Ambarella’s CV2 series CVflow AI vision processor-based development kits can now be outfitted with ToF sensor adapters that are powered by Lumentum’s leading-edge VCSEL arrays. An optional 4K RGB-IR image sensor adapter is also available for these kits. Easy integration of third-party applications The open software development kit (SDK) for Ambarella’s CVflow AI vision processors allows the easy integration of third-party applications while enabling OEMs to address differing regional requirements with a single platform (for example, using different AI algorithms in different regions). Additionally, this robust, Linux-based SDK expands the capabilities of edge sensing devices, simplifies product development, and speeds time-to-market through: Custom application development capabilities Support for different 3D modalities, including structured light and ToF. Uniquely, a single Ambarella SoC provides 3D sensing processing without the need for a dedicated depth processor or a separate host processor High AI inference capabilities on the camera device to enable multiple neural networks (NNs) to run simultaneously Robust AI tools to support deep neural network (DNN) development and migration Integrated ISP to handle challenging scenes, including high dynamic range (HDR) and low light scenarios Built-in Arm® processors to run customer applications Integrated security hardware, including secure boot, OTP to store encryption keys, and Arm TrustZone technology for secure encryption key comparisons Rich peripheral interface support to simplify system designs Availability These joint reference designs and development kits are expected to be available in June. Additionally, the three companies will present these new joint solutions on June 2, 2021, in a live webinar hosted by Laser Focus World magazine.
Calipsa, a provider of deep-learning powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, announces the compatibility of its false alarm reduction platform with Milestone Systems' XProtect corporate VMS designed for use by organisations such as airports and train terminals. XProtect corporate's enterprise users deploy large numbers of cameras and will benefit from Calipsa's 90 percent false alarm reduction rate. Alarm reduction platform When XProtect corporate receives an alarm from a connected camera, it sends video to a Calipsa cloud-based server where algorithms screen for human or vehicle movement. Calipsa's software filters out false alarms in a process that takes about a second to complete before forwarding genuine alarms to XProtect corporate customers for human verification. Deploying Calipsa's false alarm reduction software to XProtect is quick and easy Deploying Calipsa's false alarm reduction software to XProtect is quick and easy with no hardware required. Brian Baker, chief revenue officer for Calipsa, said integrating Calipsa's false alarm reduction platform with a Milestone VMS is a significant step for the company. Video management software "Milestone Systems is a leading provider of open platform video management software with thousands of installations worldwide," he said. "The XProtect corporate VMS is well entrenched in the enterprise market, an area we've targeted for expansion. We're confident Calipsa's ability to nearly eliminate false alarms removes a major distraction for enterprise video system operators." Calipsa's false alarm reduction software is easily scalable, making it ideal for any growing security operations centre, third-party monitoring station and customer business. A platform dashboard enables users to monitor the software's performance, including detecting idle cameras that may need replacement or repositioning.
Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centres, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or flat. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behaviour which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organisation we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist programme to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behaviour growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioural insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.
There’s no question that the popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security and home automation products is on the rise. The reasons for the growth in DIY sales are numerous, including increased awareness of home automation products, fast set-up, limited (if any) installation costs, and interoperability with other smart security products. In fact, with the parallel rise of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home, many people are opting to attempt the set-up of smart home devices without any professional assistance. According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates and Security Sales & Integration magazine, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. Let’s look at a few of them. Increase in revenue for dealers With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchaseThere are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Wireless, connected smart locks For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for new security installations And they can do all this from a prime, convenient location – the front door, as well as other points of entry like the side or back doors. Plus, smart lock conversion kits like Kwikset Convert let homeowners easily bring home automation capabilities to their door without altering the aesthetics of the entry. Connected smart locks can allow homeowners to set up their home with custom scenarios, right before they step inside. For example, residents can program their lock so that every time they unlock the door, a foyer light goes on, temperatures begin to rise to a set level – even connected coffee makers can begin to make a cup. Portfolio of home automation products One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatileSmart locks are just one example of the potential of DIY products to spark a homeowner’s interest in a wide range of other home automation devices, many of which would benefit from professional installation. One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatile and offer a complete portfolio of home automation products. The larger the home automation offering, the more devices there are to sell and install, the larger the installation required, the greater the need for professional installation. Many homeowners who feel like they have a certain level of handiness will start by trying to do it themselves with a DIY product. But things don’t always go as planned, especially if they are attempting to set up a robust home automation system. First off, just because a product is DIY doesn’t mean that the old products that are being replaced are going to easily make way for the new. A DIY thermostat or smart lock might require that the old equipment (and possibly wires) get tugged out of the wall. Messy holes might need to be filled. Advantages of professional installation Even after the old system has been removed, homeowners planning on setting up a connected system may soon realise they don’t have the electrical skills or technological know-how to install and connect all devices, get a system programmed correctly, and get everything up and running smoothly. Professional installers have learned from experience; there’s very little that they haven’t seen before. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home and how to create a custom smart home experience Do-it-yourselfers might be able to solve problems by searching the internet and finding videos. But, then again, they might not. After going the DIY route once, many full-home automation system enthusiasts are beginning to realise that the best way to get things done right the first time is to leave the installation and set-up to a professional. Professional installers can and should bring an extra level of experience and guidance to the process. Their services should go beyond tech installation and also include interface design. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home – how to create a custom smart home experience that doesn’t make the user feel less than smart. Selling additional home automation products If a problem arises due to installation error, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakesResidential security dealers who offer professional installation should be willing to embrace the DIYer who has attempted to do a self-install but has not been able to complete the process successfully. With an open mind to this scenario, they can save the day for the DIYer, as well as create an opportunity to sell additional home automation equipment that the DIYer may not have known to be available. The disparity between DIY and professional installation also brings to light the fact that there are no ‘satisfaction guarantees’ and no ‘installation/labour warranty’ available when a home automation system is installed by a DIYer. If a problem arises with either the equipment connectivity due to installation error, or if a piece of equipment is installed incorrectly, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakes. This may not be as critical if a DIYer installs a minor piece of equipment, but with something as critical as securing and protecting their home with a home automation and security system, most people want full peace of mind that everything has been installed correctly. Reduces connection instability According to a 2017 study by the analyst firm, IHS Markit, “The quality of the equipment is usually higher in professionally installed systems, and professional configuration and setup greatly reduces the potential for connection instability…” This is an issue that DIYers may come to realise over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognise right away, especially if they are attempting to connect multiple devices, is that the connectivity may be inconsistent. Professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity IHS Markit explains that, “DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues. Some of the sensors can become unrecognisable to the system, requiring intervention from the user. In contrast, professional wireless systems rely on UL- or EN-certified equipment to operate on the basis of proprietary frequency, enabling them to work with the control panel much more seamlessly.” In other words, professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol, even an open-source protocol like Z-Wave, might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity, and fewer headaches. Not everyone is a DIY customer There are customers who want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain themThere’s no doubt that there’s a segment of the security and home automation market that loves to spend their free time doing their own home improvement. They are watching videos, reading how-to books and manuals, and enjoying every minute. There’s also a segment of the market whose top goal is to save money up front. For these customers, there’s no getting around the joy of saving money with the lower cost of many DIY products. But there are also a great number of prospective customers out there for whom DIY is of absolutely no interest. These consumers do not want to be their own IT department. They want expert help: they want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain them. The IHS Markit study points out what many home automation dealers already know: that the elder and aging-in-place markets are an ideal destination for the security and convenience of home automation products. The study says, “Many senior citizens are not tech savvy enough to install a DIY system by themselves, so they tend to rely on professionally installed systems that are usually maintained by a family member.” Along with the senior citizens market, there are many other market segments out there that still desire worry-free professional installation. Installers should offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products Producing complete and custom solutions Perhaps the best way for dealers and installers to stave off that feeling of doom that they might have about DIY is to tackle the problem head on and be creative. Offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products – consider the DIY product a great entry point for a more comprehensive system. Play up the peace of mind that comes with professional installations and support that pitch with flexible monitoring contracts and service plans. Share what you do and why; relay your passion for producing complete and custom solutions and communicate how you add value to any and every sale. No one, not even the most tech-savvy consumer, wants to install their own products if the end result is that the product doesn’t work the way it should. That’s where the pros can, should and will always come into play.
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) has a mission to be the voice of the electronic security industry on issues involving municipal alarm management for the approximately 18,000 public safety agencies in the U.S. and Canada. Specifically, SIAC works to minimise the number of false alarms, which are a costly waste of resources for law enforcement jurisdictions. SIAC works directly with leaders in law enforcement at the national level, such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA); and at the state and local levels to provide expertise and proven strategies to reduce unnecessary dispatches to alarm sites while maintaining the police response taxpayers endorse and deserve. The primary tools for alarm management are education on causes of false alarms and implementation of the Model Ordinance for Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction. SIAC's Model Ordinance SIAC works to minimise the number of false alarmsRecently both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and National Sheriffs’ Association passed resolutions supporting SIAC’s Model Ordinance. This has resulted in dispatch reductions between 40-50% in jurisdictions where all of the model’s recommendations have been followed. Adoption of some version of the Model Ordinance grows each year. It has been adopted nationwide by over a thousand large cities and small towns. Fourteen states have adopted SIAC’s suggestion of a statewide alarm management committee through state associations of chiefs of police. “This enables the industry to work with law enforcement leadership on a regular basis and in a formalised structure to discuss and address issues,” says Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. Fourteen states have adopted SIAC’s suggestion of a statewide alarm management committee SIAC worked with the industry on new alarm panel standards that made it less likely an end user would trigger a false alarm. The overall dependability and sophistication of alarm systems have also helped make them less vulnerable to outside forces that can trigger the system. Video and audio technology are playing an ever-increasing role with helping monitoring centers evaluate whether a crime is in progress before dispatching the police. Dramatic changes in the industry Kirk MacDowell was recently selected as SIAC’s new Chairman of the Board. He is a dynamic industry leader with more than 39 years of experience in the industry. SIAC’s biggest challenge is maintaining strong financial support for its work during a time of dramatic changes in the structure of the electronic security industry. The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) has a mission to be the voice of the electronic security industry SIAC’s biggest challenge is maintaining strong financial support for its work during a time of dramatic changes Some cities require a "verified response" before police officers are dispatched to an alarm. This requirement is problematic for the end-user as it requires a third-party confirmation that a crime is being or has been committed. This creates a significant delay in response to crime victims needing immediate help. Fortunately for citizens, the vast majority of cities have rejected ordinances that require confirmation that a crime has taken place prior to police dispatch – verified response. Over the past 15 years only about 34 of 18,000 public service agencies in the U.S. have adopted some form of verified response and 10 of those cities ended the policy. It is important to note that despite the rejection of verified response in favor of the Model Ordinance, there are still individuals who lobby aggressively to curtail police response without verification. This requires a continued and aggressive education program to get in front of these lobbying efforts which are based on false premises and misleading statistics, says Martin. Despite SIAC’s success, there are a number of important issues that need to be addressed, says Martin. First is the high turnover among law enforcement leaders and elected officials. SIAC has been effective in developing relationships with current leaders in law enforcement as well as the next generation of leaders who are currently rising through the ranks of their departments. SIAC has been effective in developing relationships with current leaders in law enforcement as well as the next generation of leaders Coordinating challenges Another challenge has been the attempt by at least one city (Sandy Springs, Ga.) to fine alarm companies for customer-generated false alarms. SIAC is currently coordinating a challenge of that ordinance in federal court with the state alarm association in Georgia. SIAC is also working on plans for more secure funding and on succession planning so the organisation can continue to move forward aggressively in the future. SIAC, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit Delaware corporation. The Board of Directors has two members from each of the major North American trade associations: Canadian Security Association (CANASA), The Monitoring Association (TMA, formerly CSAA), Electronic Security Association (ESA), and the Security Industry Association (SIA), and an elected official. SIAC is funded by donations from individual companies. There are no memberships dues, and the organisation sells no products or services.
Security’s intersection with consumer electronics is on view at CES 2020, the world’s largest technology event, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The giant show features more than 170,000 attendees, 4,500 exhibitors and 1,100 industry thought-leaders featured on the CES stage. A range of technologies will be on display, from artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, vehicle technology to AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), robotics to home automation. Security plays a prominent role, too.The impact of this event for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy" Smart home market on the forefront The smart home market is a major focus. “For the smart home market at CES this year, we expect to see numerous announcements regarding home awareness,” says Blake Kozak, Senior Principal Analyst at IHS Markit. “This will include brands offering up additional analytics for consumer security cameras with a focus on edge-based solutions.” “The impact of this [event] for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy through cloudless architectures and new electronic door lock approaches,” he adds. An example of cloud analytics is the Resideo Home app, introduced in December, which will make whole-home monitoring possible for four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security. Resideo promises a “simplified and integrated smart home experience.” Video is also prominent at the show. “For cameras, we can expect to see more cameras focused on the outdoor space and possibly new form factors for video doorbells,” says Kozak. Familiar security industry brands exhibiting at CES 2020 include ADT, Ring, August Home and Yale (both part of ASSA ABLOY), Bosch and Alarm.com. Focus on Cybersecurity In 2020, companies will continue to focus on solutions for protecting consumer data" Cybersecurity is an aspect of many of the devices on display at CES. “Device security and data privacy play a key role in the adoption of connected devices,” says Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “Consumer security concerns for smart home products will continue to be a barrier to adoption in the U.S. and Europe, and these concerns can actually intensify with device adoption-71% of U.S. smart home households are concerned about cybersecurity. In 2020, companies will continue to focus on solutions for protecting consumer data. One big area of interest is protection on the network router, providing whole home solutions, which are very appealing to consumers.” “At CES we will see the traditional players introducing new DIY (do-it-yourself) products, as well as new players announcing new product features, services, and partnerships,” Parks adds. Smart access control Smart locks will be among the security products at CES 2020. For example, PassiveBolt, a lock company, will show the Shepherd Lock, a touch-enabled smart lock with enhanced security through sensors and AI. The add-on lock converts existing locksets into touch-activated devices. Another lock manufacturer is Kwikset, whose door locks and door hardware include Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks, Bluetooth-enabled smart locks, keyless and keyway-less locks and connected home technology. Video doorbells, including industry-innovator Ring, have been a hit in the consumer market. At CES, Ring will expand the mission to make neighbourhoods safer by creating a “Ring of Security” around homes and communities with a suite of home security products and services. The “Neighbors by Ring” app enables affordable, complete, proactive home and neighbourhood security. Homeguard offers a range of affordable CCTV solutions for home and small business DIY CCTV demonstrations DIY security systems are another market. Homeguard is a leading DIY consumer brand offering a range of affordable CCTV solutions for home and small business, including wired and wireless CCTV kits, smart cameras, home alarm systems and wire-free HD CCTV kits. Swann Communications is also at the forefront of surveillance and monitoring with new products developments including wire-free HD cameras and doorbells, professional CCTV video surveillance systems, and 1080p full HD systems with “True Detect” heat and motion sensing. AVTECH, and subsidiary YesGo Tech, will demonstrate a compact Wi-Fi home security set, a series of special cameras with face recognition, thermal detection and license plate recognition, customised central management software and a university ID tag that is compatible with access control, OEM and ODM opportunities. Security and automation solutions D-Link’s home networking, security and automation solutions will help consumers connect, view, share, entertain, work and play. SECO-LARM, manufacturer of a Room Occupancy Monitor that shows whether a room is in use, has a line of keypads and proximity readers with built-in Bluetooth for convenient access. Another smart home security solutions provider, Climax Technology, integrates wireless security, home automation, energy management, home emergency monitoring and live visual monitoring. Personal safety mobile application Manufacturers are positioning outdoor cameras as deterrents to theft before a burglary happens" WaryMe designs and develops a personal safety mobile application to improve a user’s security in public places, schools, transports and companies by addressing major risks such as terrorism attacks, intrusion, fire and even industrial accidents. An all-in-one mobile application integrates alerting, crisis management and mass notification features. “Market players are looking to expand beyond established smart home devices like smart thermostats and networked cameras to products like smart water leak detectors, smart pet feeders, and smart air purifiers,” says Elizabeth Parks. “Manufacturers are positioning outdoor cameras as deterrents to theft before a burglary happens. This trend is part of a broader security marketing effort to extend the perimeter of home security beyond traditional home access points.” “Familiarity with smart home devices lags behind familiarity with smart entertainment products; it even lags that of smart speakers, which are quite new in the market,” adds Parks. “In 2020, we will see players working to advance the visibility and marketing around device integration, and specifically focus on use case scenarios around safety, security, and convenience, which have always been the primary drivers of adoption of these types of products.”
The success of smart homes began with professional security providers offering bundled packages, focused mostly on security monitoring. However, due to the cost of professional contracts, consumers began to embrace the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. Despite the challenges and opportunities that come with professional and DIY approaches, the momentum of smart home growth depends on these two approaches working symbiotically. Smart home systems In 2017, there were about 122 million smart home devices shipped globally, according to IHS Markit. The retail channel represented about 62 percent of all device shipments in 2017 and will represent about 70 percent in 2021. Despite the increased demand for professional installation, the “do-it-for-me” approach, most the volume remains with ad-hoc purchases. This includes a consumer video camera or a smart thermostat purchase from a retailer. Data capture form to appear here! When a consumer wants to add devices to an existing professionally installed system, they often will buy products from retail. Flexible service offerings and pricing are already taking shape across smart home offerings. DIY installed smart home systems such as Scout Alarm already offer no contract monitoring. Professional monitoring companies are already offering no contract pricing, and providers such as Comcast are looking to pilot programs for just video monitoring, bundled with Internet for a low monthly fee. Home automation system Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller Options for financing are also going to become commonplace. Smart home equipment is expensive, even when attempting to outfit a modest size home (2,500 square feet). Immediate access to services is becoming more critical. This means consumers should be able to access on-demand service options directly from a mobile device to activate or deactivate professional monitoring. Lastly, pricing still needs to come down for many smart home devices, but there is a threshold. For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to communicate wirelessly with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. Residential security According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. For example, with their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchases. There are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” Full-time monitoring DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchase and installation of professionally installed systems What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Instead of paying for monthly monitoring, homeowners can install a web cam, access from a smartphone or tablet and essentially do their own security monitoring. The downside of this approach is readily apparent. Without full-time monitoring, homeowners can easily miss the break-in or the aged parent who falls and can’t get up. Near-field communication Until they log on and take a look, there’s no central station to send medical aid or call the police. Connecting door locks and other devices to the Internet can also open a door to hackers, if the infrastructure isn’t properly protected. The areas of consumer electronics and security are closely intertwined. For example, Apple recently expanded near-field communication (NFC) support to include the NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format), which will likely accelerate the adoption of smartphones for access control credentialing. In another recent development, Amazon acquired Blink, a home security camera startup that offers wireless home security systems. The acquisition aligns with Amazon’s effort to offer more home devices. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. Traditional security features For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market that want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Missed part one of our smart home mini series? Read it here.
Boon Edam Inc., a global pioneer in security entrances and architectural revolving doors announced that The Cube, a smart commercial building in downtown Berlin, Germany, has installed four Crystal TQ all-glass revolving doors at various entrances around the facility to save on energy consumption and blend in with the glass facade. The brainchild of 3XN Architects, The Cube is an architectural masterpiece and iconic landmark that showcases the most cutting-edge, smart technologies and embraces design and sustainability. A Commercial Office “Work of Art” Built on both sides of Berlin Central Station in the emerging urban district of the Europacity, The Cube was the vision of architects and designers at 3XN with the goal of creating a commercial building that could make a statement in an innovative and show-stopping way. The cubic office building has an all-glass, mirrored facade, with multiple bends in the glass to create facets. The facility is 10-stories high and houses, various tenants, offering features such as a ground-level food market and office lobby, underground parking, indoor gardens, a rooftop terrace, and optional conference areas. The floor-to-ceiling windows throughout provide abundant natural light and ventilation. Sculpted design approach In an interview with ArchDaily.com, Torben Østergaard, a 3XN partner in charge of the project, said, "When we began the design process, our ambition was to create a building that would contribute to the animation of the square. We wanted to engage pedestrians passing by while providing top-notch office spaces.” “We also wanted this project to offer new value to the Berlin skyline while exploring new ways for buildings to interact with their surroundings. Given the location conditions, we proposed a sculpted design approach that would reflect the site's scale and honor its character as an important public space." Revolving doors operate under the “always open, yet always closed,” principle Revolving door entrances to support sustainability Boon Edam was commissioned to install four Crystal TQ manual revolving doors to further complement the energy-conscious philosophy of The Cube. Revolving doors operate under the principle of “always open, yet always closed,” maintaining a constant seal between the exterior environment and interior building lobby. The Crystal TQ manual revolving door is constructed from virtually all glass with only the most minimal stainless-steel components to support the glass drum and door wings. For decades, it has been one of the first choices for both contemporary statement buildings and historical buildings alike. The door is available in 3- or 4-wing configurations and is easy for the public to push through.
Calipsa, a provider of deep-learning-powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, announced that Edmonton, Alberta-based GPS Security Group is using its false alarm filtering platform. GPS, which offers a complete range of security services across Alberta, British Columbia and other parts of Western Canada, is the third Canadian central monitoring station to adopt the cloud-based Calipsa technology. Deep learning technology Calipsa’s software uses artificial intelligence with deep learning technology to recognise genuine alarms caused by human or vehicle movement. More than 90% of notifications resulting from nuisance factors such as animals, lighting, weather or foliage are filtered out, helping operators reduce their response times to genuine threats. We’ve engaged Calipsa as a strategic growth partner to assist with reducing false video alarms" The GPS Security Group’s Fredy Ramsoondar, Corporate Senior Security Solutions Advisor and Private Investigator, said GPS is adopting Calipsa’s AI-powered video analytics across its video surveillance sites to support the sustained growth of its monitoring division. “We’ve engaged Calipsa as a strategic growth partner to assist with reducing false video alarms, allowing our operators to focus on only genuine alarms,” he said. “We anticipate widespread benefits, including improved customer service, operational efficiency and employee morale.” Cloud-based technology Tara Biglari, Calipsa’s Regional Sales Director, Americas, said its false alarm reduction software is easily scalable, making it ideal for any growing video monitoring station. “This is an exciting time of growth for the GPS team and we’re happy to partner with them to provide the highest level of customer service,” she said. “The installation of our cloud-based technology requires no onsite hardware devices and we keep our service always current with remote upgrades.” A platform dashboard enables station managers to monitor the software’s performance, including detecting idle cameras that may need replacement or moving to a better position.
Integrated security manufacturer TDSi announces the new integration of its powerful GARDiS access control range with Thinking Software’s RotaOne Time & Attendance platform. The new integration enables businesses and organisations to incorporate the two market-leading solutions, providing a complete overview of staff movements and the security of facilities. Time & attendance solution Reflecting on the new integration, Gwen Curran, Channel Partner Manager North at TDSi commented, “GARDiS is designed to not only deliver the most secure of integrated access control solutions but also to be highly flexible and adaptable to the needs of our customers.” “As a highly popular Time & Attendance solution, RotaOne is the perfect integration partner for GARDiS, enabling users of both systems to link their technology investments and enjoy the benefits of combining data and having a powerful overview of operations.” Integrated access control TDSi’s GARDiS represents the best-of-breed in access control and working together means ease of benefits to our customers The integration with TDSi’s GARDiS platform was a clear choice for Thinking Software too, as Paul Coombes, Sales and Marketing Director also commented, “No systems developer can specialise in all areas of expertise, so integration is a far better approach than trying to be the best at everything.” “TDSi’s GARDiS represents the best-of-breed in access control and working together means we can both add additional ROI and ease of management benefits to our customers.” Central monitoring Integrating GARDiS with RotaOne enables businesses to mitigate risk by ensuring staff is safe and facilities are secure. It also provides an accurate record of people's movement, which is perfect for the time and cost savings when running a business that employs contracted, casual, and salaried staff on complex or repeating shift patterns. The integrated solution also ensures full monitoring for compliance reporting and safety. Cloud compatibility Integration is backward compatible with existing installations to provide a professional solution for customers For added flexibility and resilience RotaOne can be deployed remotely and hosted in the cloud (either private or securely shared) and is fully scalable - from a small SME team up to a full multi-national enterprise. Integration is backward compatible with existing installations (running the latest updates of both platforms) and both TDSi and Thinking Software offer their solutions through fully trained installation partners, to provide a professional integration solution for customers that can be swiftly implemented. Integrated systems Gwen Curran concluded, “As the world begins to adjust to the complex post-pandemic landscape, integrated systems will be at the forefront of enabling people to get back to work successfully, managing social distancing and reducing the possibilities of cross-infection.” “We are proud that by integrating two solutions that are best-of-breed in their respective spheres, we can help businesses get back to concentrating on their core functions with full peace of mind.”
A new large scale social housing complex, developed by Metroman Ltd, has joined forces with Videx UK to install a state-of-the-art door entry system for its residents. The London based development is split into 11 apartment blocks - Anika House and Jasleen Court - and fitted with Videx’s flagship VX2200 door entry system along with Videx MiAccess access control and hands-free video monitors. Suitable entry system Installer Dave Abrams, who owns DA & Son, was asked to recommend a suitable entry system that not only provided first rate security but was also easy for residents to use and convenient too. As well as meeting residents’ needs, the system also had to meet specific regulations, including Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative for designing out crime to improve the safety and security of where people live. SBD’s product-based accreditation scheme - the Police Preferred Specification - provides a recognised standard for all security products that can deter and reduce crime. The Videx VX2200 system is one product that has the accreditation. Convenient door entry The VX2200 panel is also fitted with Videx’s standalone offline proximity system The VX2200 panel is also fitted with Videx’s standalone offline proximity system, MiAccess which enables the use of remote management of the access control system including adding and removing access key fobs, for example if a fob stops working, needs replaced or a new user needs to be added, a visit to the development isn’t needed. Dave Abrams said: “I recommended the Videx VX2200 as I have installed the system several times before and it’s a great kit for secure and convenient door entry. Being SBD accredited also means that it’s a system that actively deters and reduces anti-social crime such as vandalism. Videx has a long-standing reputation of providing first class products with lifelong support. I know if there’s any issue with the system, it will be quickly and easily resolved through the Videx tech team. The post installation customer support really is second to none.” Maximum-security benefits The VX2200 is a preferred choice for a wide range of residential developments across the UK including social housing because of its ease of use and maximum-security benefits it provides. The VX2200 is a preferred choice for a wide range of residential developments It can cater for a wide range of buildings from 1-way systems to much larger systems that include up to 1,000 apartments making its flexibility a very attractive choice for secure and convenient entry on a large range of projects. Mabs Alam, Regional Sales Manager for London and South East at Videx UK, said: “Not only is the VX2200 a highly versatile entry system, it’s also accredited by Secured by Design, a key police initiative for designing out physical crime meaning it has been tested to the highest of security standards.” Ensuring maximum security “Because of the integrated MiAccess, residents simply need a programmed fob to gain access to their home and if they lose or misplace a fob, it can be reprogrammed remotely with another one easily and quickly by a management team.” “This means the system requires minimum maintenance and there’s no routine software upgrades needed either. What’s more there’s no moving parts, just the video handsets in each of the individual apartments. It’s such an easy to use and effective system and one of our most popular entry choices for residential developments in particular. The addition of MiAccess makes the system even more easy to use and maintain while ensuring maximum security.”
Harris County, Texas, the third most populous county in the U.S., is deploying a new, next-generation security system in its buildings that will help make them more efficient and easier to operate. The new Honeywell system replaces multiple, disparate systems by integrating access control, security cameras, alarms and monitoring across the county's nearly 150 buildings situated over 1,777 square miles in Houston and the surrounding areas. Streamlined security platform Texas-based security integrator, ESI Fire and Security Protection, worked with Harris County to identify its needs and implement a streamlined security platform, using Honeywell's Pro-Watch Intelligent Command security management system to network video recorders, video cameras, thermal readers and thermal cameras. The new system provides detailed, real-time information about alarm events, access and safety across the county The new system provides detailed, real-time information about alarm events, access and safety across the county. “The security and well-being of the Harris County employees, visitors and residents is always a top priority.” said Retired Major Gen. Rick Noriega, Interim Executive Director, Harris County Universal Services. Pro-Watch Intelligent Command system Rick adds, “This project allowed us to improve our systems and gain better insights into the county's buildings to provide a safer environment. The solutions provided by Honeywell and ESI also better set the county up for the future – we can test and actively add technologies to address new needs with this flexible but scalable system.” Before Honeywell's Pro-Watch Intelligent Command system, each county building used different security products that didn't talk to one another, creating an overly complicated network and increased work for employees. Immediate benefits for Harris County will include: Saving taxpayer dollars through better analytics that reduce false alarms and help first responders. Monitoring from a single central control station for improved situational awareness. Creating healthier building environments by leveraging people-counting technologies and analytics to manage health and safety compliance, such as social distancing. Streamlining systems to create operational efficiencies and save the county resources that can be redirected to other critical infrastructure or services. IDEMIA biometrics solutions Harris County Universal Services is looking into deploying next-level biometrics solutions from IDEMIA to enhance access control at the courthouse. Using facial recognition, a camera mounted on the entrance turnstiles will recognise employees and frequent visitors, such as judges and lawyers, using data stored in the ProWatch system without the need to physically scan a badge or remove facial coverings. This frictionless access system will allow employees and visitors to enter the building in an efficient and secure manner. This system can also alert a precinct when a public park is reaching capacity and monitor building occupancy levels to comply with local health regulations. Harris County is actively testing and implementing new features that will add additional capabilities countywide. The upgrades are designed to proactively manage situations and respond faster when required. Enhancing intelligence and transparency Harris County lacked a holistic, real-time view into its various facilities with its previous systems" “Harris County lacked a holistic, real-time view into its various facilities with its previous systems,” said James Humbert, Business Development Manager at ESI Fire and Security Protection. James adds, “We've partnered with the county and Honeywell to create positive change in just about every way the county operates by improving intelligence and transparency, reducing response times and helping to save taxpayers' dollars. We look forward to continuing to work with Harris County and Honeywell in creating an efficient and safe environment for residents and employees that is ready for the future.” Fully customised solution “Through a collaborative effort with the county and ESI teams, we created a more efficient and safer environment for people who work and visit Harris County public buildings,” said Rick Koscinski, General Manager, North America, Honeywell Commercial Security. Rick adds, “With a county as large as Harris County, it was no surprise that they had multiple, disconnected systems put in place over the years which limited efficiency and connectedness. Now, the county has a fully customised solution that is built to evolve with its needs that will not only help increase safety and awareness but also create an improved building experience for its employees and building visitors.” With a population of nearly five million people, Harris County employs more than 15,000 workers to support its residents with services including public safety, jails, law enforcement, courts, library services and licencing facilities. Harris County Universal Services Harris County Universal Services is the solutions centre for the departments and offices of Harris County. It designs, implements and maintains high-quality, innovative and cost-effective technology products and services for its customers. It provides comprehensive support through eight consumer divisions: Business Applications, Business Operations, Customer Service, Cyber Security, Fleet Services, Information Technology Infrastructure, Program Delivery & Analytics and Public Safety Technology.
An intelligent network of 20 Axis EN fire panels from fire and life safety systems manufacturer, Advanced, have been installed at HaDo Centrosa Garden in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. HaDo Centrosa Garden is a 70,000 sq. m development of eight 30-storey luxury residential towers and 115 townhouses, located in the heart of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The upscale condominium complex’s facilities will include a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, fitness centre, rooftop gardens, a park, school, library and commercial centre. System with high-speed networking capabilities Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed A key requirement for this large-scale complex was a system with high-speed networking capabilities, to enable instantaneous sharing of communications between panels. To meet this need, fire protection companies Vietsafe and KP Technology chose 20 Advanced Axis EN fire alarm control panels, alongside 3,000 addressable devices, for installation in the eight residential towers. With many successful installations of Advanced products undertaken by both companies, Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed, while its ease of installation, testing, commissioning and operation would ensure minimal issues once the panels were on site. Axis EN fire alarm control panels installed Le Manh Dung, Director of Vietsafe, said “An Axis EN fire system was the clear choice for a project of this nature. Advanced is well respected in the fire industry, and its solutions are straightforward in terms of installation and operation, thanks to features such as built-in isolators for sequence addressing, which considerably reduces installation time.” Axis EN is EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved and its panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed, multi-loop networks of up to 200 nodes covering huge areas. Advanced’s reputation for ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range make its products customisable to almost any application. False alarm management and reduction Pham Thanh Phong, Director of KP Technology, said “As a key partner to KP Technology, Advanced is a fire system supplier we can trust, to deliver high-performing, high-quality solutions that are easy to install and to use. Features such as Axis EN’s false alarm management and reduction capabilities are extremely useful in high-rise residential sites, such as HaDo Centrosa Garden.” Pham Thanh Phong adds, “Repeated false alarms are not only intrusive, they can also lead to complacency and delayed reactions to real fire alarms. Having the ability to refine and configure protection so specifically, and according to the requirements of specific areas within a building, helps to keep unwanted alarms to a minimum and reduces disruption and risk for residents.” AlarmCalm software and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system, taking advantage of Advanced’s high-speed robust panels and networks to offer a best-in-class solution for managing verification and investigation delays to outputs. It allows the false alarm management strategy for a site to be refined precisely and to take account of occupants’ needs and area usage. It also includes the optional AlarmCalm button, a loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Axis EN fire system Tin Le Than, Advanced’s Sales and Business Development Manager for South East Asia, said “As a modern, vibrant complex for thousands of people living and working in the centre of Ho Chi Minh, the fire protection for the HaDo Centrosa Garden development is a key priority.” Tin Le Than adds, “As an industry-renowned solution, the Axis EN fire system will deliver complete peace of mind to the building owners and residents of the complex. I am pleased to have been able to support our fantastic partners at Vietsafe and KP Technology with the equipment needed to fulfill their requirements.” Global projects Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, protects a wide range of sites across South East Asia including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, University of Macau and Hong Kong Central Library. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day.
Round table discussion
Perimeter security is the first line of defence against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
When technology performs a required task effectively, there is little reason to upgrade to the ‘next big thing’. In this regard, the physical security market is notoriously slow to change. Much of yesterday’s most robust and dependable equipment is still in place at thousands of customer sites, still performing as well as the day it was installed. However, there comes a point when any technology becomes outdated. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies are becoming outdated or obsolete?