The idea of touchless systems has gained new levels of prominence during the last year, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless systems have been part of the industry’s toolbox for decades, while technologies like facial and iris recognition are finding new uses every day. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are embracing touchless, contactless systems and why?
NAPCO Security Technologies is pleased to introduce its new Gemini Commercial Mobile App for its powerful, popular GEMP1632, GEMP1664, GEMP3200, GEMP9600 and GEMX255 Hybrid Control Panel Series. Customisable for dealers The all-new portrait-style, Gemini Commercial App provides smart multi-tier controls for business accounts of all sizes, on all NAPCO Gemini Security &/or Integrated Access Control Systems, 8 to 255 zones. And, it’s customisable for dealers to easily upload their own...
Active Witness Corp., a provider of artificially intelligent, cloud-based visitor management solutions introduces its SIMA multi-factor access control system that stops unauthorised access and redefines how access control is deployed. Conventional facial recognition systems require a person to present his/her face, then search a database and present the closest match and identity. That process is slow and can lead to incorrect identity authorisation and privacy concerns. Quick identity identif...
School is out for the summer, but as the new school year approaches and students return to the classroom, the need for streamlined security solutions has never been greater. Not only are the typical procedures needed to protect against physical security threats, but the increase of demand for touchless solutions also plays a significant role in educational facilities reopening in a post-COVID society. Currently, over 90% of public schools are already using some type of access control and video...
With a combination of duty of care, valuable equipment and personal data, the education sector presents one of security’s biggest challenges. Choosing the right access control solution is critical. Could going wireless be an option? The ideal access control solution for a school, college or university should provide control without complexity — and make security management more streamlined and user-friendly in the process. It should save every institution both time and money. Secur...
3xLOGIC, Inc., a globally renowned provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, is introducing its Gunshot Detection solution, which features a reliable dry contact that allows it to be easily integrated into existing security systems. Gunshot Detection solution Rather than utilising microphones, infrared sensors, or complex analytics, the self-contained device relies on affordably simple concussive force recognition sensors to detect gunshots. When a gun is fired, the bullet create...
When the University of Arizona (UA) was chosen as a COVID-19 vaccine point of dispensing (POD), they wanted to put in place a distribution process to get the vaccines out to as many people as possible as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do this, they turned to Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, and Route1 Inc., a data-centric systems integrator. ALPR technology “We had already heard about how ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) could be used for tolls and monitoring traffic flow, and we were eager to see if the ALPR cameras could help us automatically track vehicles entering and exiting our POD,” said Jim Sayre, Director of Operations – Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Arizona. Cloud-based service solutions To build a solution that would not only offer valuable insights about their POD operations but would also be affordable and easy to set up, UA chose to implement the Genetec AutoVu™ Managed Services (AMS) solution with four ALPR cameras installed throughout the POD. This was paired up with the Genetec Traffic Sense™ Travel Times module within Security Center for added insight and functionality. Since the entire solution is hosted in the cloud, the university can use the software for as long as the POD remains open Having mounted the poles and set up the cameras beforehand, the actual setup was completed in under two hours on opening day. Because the entire Genetec solution is hosted in the cloud, the university can use the software for as long as the POD remains open without draining budgets. Reliable data management Using AutoVu, the UA operations team can see exactly how long it’s taking vehicles to get through the POD and for people to get vaccinated, and then identify what they can do to get them through faster. All ALPR data is sent back to Security Center, where the Travel Times module automatically analyses data and delivers insights the UA team can act on. This helps them immediately identify if there are random delays or potential issues that need to be further investigated. The solution complies with HIPAA As a healthcare-related operation, UA made sure the Genetec solution complies with all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements. According to Sayre, “The cameras don't know who the driver is, or the people in the vehicle. And we’ve made it clear that we're not running this against a motor vehicle database or anything like that, so we’re ensuring privacy.” Due to the Genetec solution, the UA team discovered early on that various team leaders had different processes for appointment check-ins. When UA standardised those processes, they could consistently get vehicles through the POD faster and maximise the number of vaccinations. Adaptability The team also noticed that on certain days of the week, cars were taking longer to get through certain points in the POD. After an initial inquiry, they realised those days often had mostly new volunteers who were still learning the ropes. The UA team was then able to adapt the volunteer schedule to ensure experienced personnel was always onsite to assist newbies and keep the throughput of vehicles high. Easy to deploy modules “This AutoVu™ and Traffic Sense™ Travel Times module within Security Center built by Genetec and Route1 has helped us make the vaccination process more efficient and was so easy to deploy. We’ve been able to increase the number of vehicles through the POD in the same amount of time, and consequently, we've given out more vaccinations. And that’s what this is all about— helping our community get vaccinated against COVID-19,” concluded Sayre. Resourceful security systems “We never cease to be impressed by our customers’ ingenuity, resilience, and resourcefulness,” said Stephan Kaiser, AutoVu™ General Manager at Genetec, Inc. “The University of Arizona is another shining example of how our customers are using their security systems as strategic tools to fight against the pandemic and go beyond traditional applications to deliver more value.”
Along with administering vaccines, face masks have become another important way to keep one safe. In public areas like airports, hospitals, schools, offices, people are complying with mask rules. Security industries had to think of a way to ensure safety of individuals and to also keep up their business during the pandemic. And the solution was face recognition devices with mask and temperature detection features. Demand for face recognition devices has increased to 124% in the past year. Deep learning algorithm Anviz as a provider in the security industry introduced FaceDeep Series to meet the global demands. FaceDeep Series are the new AI-based face recognition terminal equipped with a dual-core Linux based CPU and the latest BioNANO® deep learning algorithm. According to Mr. Jin, the R&D director of Anviz, in FaceDeep Series the facial mask recognition rate increased to 98.57% from 74.65%. Next Step for Anviz is adapt facial recognition to iris algorithm and try to raise the accuracy rate to 99.99%. Since 2001, Anviz continuously updates its independent BioNANO algorithm, improves the fingerprint, facial, iris recognition technologies. In this global pandemic environment, they are doing their best to provide customers with a more integrated, convenient and efficient smart solution.
A top London security firm boss, whose bodyguards protect the rich and famous, has stepped in to support the Northumberland primary school which set him on the road to success. A former Major in the British Army Reserve, Bob Morrison, owner of Mayfair-based Sec-Tech, now provides close protection for VIPs from the UK and abroad and advises on personal and corporate security. Sponsoring breakfast But over the years he has also kept a watchful eye on his former school, Lynemouth Country Primary School, now named Bishop’s Primary School-William Leech Campus, which operates as part of Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT). And, when he learned it had applied to the Greggs Foundation Breakfast Club, which provides a nutritious pre-school breakfast for primary pupils, he stepped in to help, providing two years’ worth of sponsorship. Bob, whose father Jim Morrison ran the Post Office at 47 Albion Terrace from 1958 until 1987, attended Lynemouth County Primary School from 1963-69 before moving, at age 10, to King Edward VI Grammar School, Morpeth. Taking initiative He said, “I received a great education at Lynemouth CP School and it has served me well throughout my life. It’s helped me achieve many things: 22 years with the Territorial Army in the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Logistics Corps, a commission at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and even an Honours Degree in International Business Studies with French and German for which I am eternally grateful.” The opportunity to sponsor the Breakfast Club at my old school is simply a wonderful way to say thank you" “For me, the opportunity to sponsor the Breakfast Club at my old school is simply a wonderful way to say thank you and it was also a pleasure to work with the Greggs Foundation, which made the whole process really easy.” “I know that there are other schools that could benefit, and I really hope more businesses will get on board and support this fantastic initiative.” Importance of breakfast Amy Thompson, Head of Campus at Bishop's Primary School - William Leech Campus, added, "We have been completely blown away by Bob's generosity toward our school. As the cost of living has gone up recently, as COVID-19 has seen more and more people go without a full-time regular income, many of our families have found it increasingly difficult to fund their children’s place at breakfast club.” "Breakfast is such an important meal for kick-starting children's metabolism and making sure that they're properly 'awake', so being able to ensure that all of our pupils have eaten well before they begin their lessons each day is fantastic. It improves their attention span and their levels of concentration and also their overall behaviour in the classroom.” "On behalf of all of the staff and pupils, I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Bob and his team at Sec-Tech, as well as the team at the Greggs Foundation, for helping to make this possible." Collaborative efforts Lynne Hindmarch, Greggs Foundation, Breakfast Club Manager, said the company currently supports 620 breakfast clubs nationally. “The need is even greater due to COVID-19 as families who have always just about managed now find themselves in difficult circumstances asking for help for the first time,” she said. “As part of Greggs Pledge, we hope to have 680 schools open by the end of 2021. We cannot do this alone and by working collaboratively with 106 wonderful partners such as Sec-Tech, we are able to support 40,000 children each school day access a FREE nutritional breakfast that otherwise might go without.”
Organisations around the world sent an unprecedented number of people home during 2020 to work and attend school remotely, many of them with Chromebook laptops whose shipments more than doubled year over year. HID Global, identity solutions company, is helping organisations bring these people and their Chromebooks back to a hybrid work and classroom environment using its HID HydrantID Account Certificate Manager (ACM) digital certificate management offering. Seamless connections According to the market research firm Canalys, “Chromebooks set record shipment volumes, reaching 11.2 million units in Q4 2020, a remarkable 287% increase over Q4 2019, bringing the full-year 2020 total to 30.6 million units.” HID HydrantID ACM and its new Chromebook Certificate Enrollment Extension (CEE) feature enable organisations to issue and manage the digital certificates for bringing these devices back to physical work and study settings, ensuring they can connect to networks seamlessly and securely without passwords. Easy, cloud-based approach “The traditional walled-fortress IT security posture isn’t feasible as we transition to hybrid remote and in-person work and study environments using a growing variety of computing devices and operating systems,” said By Mrugesh Chandarana, Senior Product Manager, Commercial CA and PKI Services with HID Global, Identity and Access Management. “The huge influx of Chromebooks is here to stay and HID HydrantID ACM with its CEE feature is the first solution to provide an easy, cloud-based approach to digital certificate management that enables these devices to authenticate to enterprise networks in a passwordless, Zero Trust network access environment.” Digital certificate lifecycle management The solution offers automated digital certificate lifecycle management with tracking, installation, and renewal HID HydrantID ACM with the CEE feature offers automated digital certificate lifecycle management with tracking, installation, and renewal. It enables users of any Chromebook to make or model to be securely up and running on the network by simply plugging in their devices and seamlessly deploying certificates for passwordless authentication without any user intervention. Early adopters of the HID HydrantID CEE solution for Chromebooks include a large financial institution with a sizable remote workforce, as well as high schools and colleges where Chromebook usage grew substantially during the 2020/2021 academic year. Passwordless authentication The CEE feature is especially valuable for users as it allows them to have passwordless authentication while seamlessly navigating between remote connectivity and direct connection to the in-office network. For organisations that do not have an internal Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS) infrastructure, the CEE allows them to implement a seamless experience for their users while freeing up Help and\or Service Desk resources. By implementing the CEE using HID HydrantID Managed PKI-as-a-Service, organisations eliminate operational complexity and dramatically reduce costs related to operating and deploying an organisational private PKI.
Actuate, the globally renowned provider of automation and intelligence software for smart security camera systems, has announced that it has closed its Series A financing of US$ 8 million to expand the capabilities of its computer vision technology and build on the company’s growing portfolio of customers. The funding round was led by Tribeca Venture Partners and joined by Scribble Ventures, OCA Ventures, and Context Ventures, with additional support from existing investors, including Bling Capital, Upside Partnership, and Tensility Venture Partners. Critical layer of intelligence About 90% of organisations have security cameras, yet many cameras are unmonitored and most data goes unused, which can endanger lives and lead to significant economic losses. Actuate is adding a critical layer of automation and intelligence to support data-driven security decisions and enhanced vigilance. The company’s AI-powered computer vision software turns any security camera into an intruder- and threat-detecting smart camera that dramatically reduces the time it takes for security teams and law enforcement to respond to issues. AI-powered computer vision technology The Actuate solution integrates with any existing security camera without additional hardware The Actuate solution integrates with any existing security camera without additional hardware, providing organisations with safer, cost-efficient and end-to-end security automation. The software identifies safety and security threats in real time, reducing false positives by as much as 99%. When threats are detected, alerts are issued automatically, in order to help security teams respond quickly to gun presence, intruders, social distancing violations, loitering, and other security events. Security management solutions Actuate’s analytics are trusted by hundreds of customers nationwide and deployed at over 1,000 sites, including schools, offices, military facilities, construction sites, affordable housing, high-end residential buildings and industrial facilities. “We unfortunately live in a world where active shooter events and public safety threats continue to make headlines year after year, pointing to the critical need for faster, more accurate, and privacy-conscious security management solutions,” said Sonny Tai, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Actuate. End-to-end security automation Sonny Tai adds, “Actuate empowers security staff at the places we live, work, shop, and depend on with end-to-end security automation, helping them to do their jobs better and improve safety outcomes. As we culminate a year of exponential growth, this support from our investors will be instrumental in driving the adoption of our security management platform and growing the range and accuracy of our privacy-conscious AI.” In leveraging the new funding to expand its solution’s capabilities, Actuate is enhancing its behaviour detection technology, which allows the software to detect adverse events or accidents, such as slip-and-fall incidents, and is also further developing its all-in-one security management platform. Real-time video analytics and automation With its unique AI software, Actuate is bringing physical security into the age of automation" “With its unique AI software, Actuate is bringing physical security into the age of automation,” said Brian Hirsch, Managing Partner of Tribeca Venture Partners, adding “Actuate’s end-to-end platform, powered by unique IP, solves a myriad of security and building management challenges, across organisations through real-time, video-based analytics and automation.” “With professionals and students returning to offices and schools, we see a huge opportunity for Actuate’s solution to help manage social distancing concerns, while cost-effectively protecting against security and safety events that can not only hurt the bottom line, but also puts lives at risk. We’re proud to support the company in its mission to ensure a safer, more peaceful future for all.” Security monitoring service “We started deploying Actuate’s AI models this year and the difference in both accuracy and technical support has been palpable, so seeing Actuate’s venture funding success comes as no surprise,” said Blake Ballard, Director of Operations for Louisiana-based security company, Global Monitoring Solutions. Blake Ballard adds, “Security teams rely on technology and tools that work proactively to ensure safety at all times. Utilising Actuate’s exceptional platform and top-notch team has enabled us to provide a much more reliable security monitoring service to our customers, making them the only solution we’d work with.”
SALTO access control hardware has achieved a huge milestone in having its SPACE readers and controllers certified to EN 60839 standard. This important standard provides guidelines for those responsible for establishing and planning an electronic access control system (EACS) both in terms of levels of protection and levels of performance necessary to provide the degree of physical access (entry and exit) access control and protection considered appropriate for an installation. Products certified Driven by SALTO’s factory-based Certification Department, the XS4 2.0 reader and XS4 2.0 control unit products – specifically the CU4000 series, CU4000 expansion board, Panel reader and Mullion reader have achieved grade two level EN 60839-11-1 for alarm and electronic security systems (electronic access control systems) and EN 50131-3 alarm systems (intrusion and hold-up systems). Standards must be met Ramesh Gurdev, Managing Director SALTO Systems UK, says “Standards play an ever increasingly important part in the specification and construction process framework. From carbon status to quality management and sustainability to the Internet of Things, standards must be met to ensure businesses remain regulatory aligned and competitive.” “The EN 60839 standard is becoming requested more frequently and in some cases is mandatory in tenders where the access control platform must be installed together with the alarm system, so it is excellent news for potential SALTO customers that our SPACE readers and controllers are now certified to this standard.”
As the vaccine roll-out proceeds, people across the UK are counting the days until we can get back to some kind of ‘new normal’. Just as we’ve seen in education and healthcare, the return to the workplace and other public spaces will be accompanied by enhanced sanitisation and social distancing measures. To make the return as swift and safe as possible, those of us involved with managing, building and constructing buildings should consider how we can help facilitate and support those measures. Regardless of how rigorously we impose social distancing measures, there will always be some areas where we can’t help coming into contact with each other. Sanitising door handles Doors, for example – and door locks and handles in particular – are shared by nearly everyone in a building. Even in large, open spaces, we all need to pass through a single entrance. We all use the same door handles and locks – and they provide ideal surfaces for bacteria to breed and transfer. Another solution is for staff to regularly sanitise door handles and locks One solution to this problem is to provide hand-sanitiser dispensers at each door and insist on their use. But this can be difficult to manage in larger buildings where there may be multiple doors and entrances used by both staff and visitors. People could ignore the sanitisation rules too. Another solution is for staff to regularly sanitise door handles and locks – but this is a resource intensive option and, again, is dependent on everyone maintaining good practice. Potentially harmful chemicals A longer-lasting way to deal with the risk of locks and door handles spreading disease is to treat them with an anti-viral coating. These coatings come in various forms. Some, for example, slowly release anti-bacterial chemicals, while others have antiviral properties actually built into the material or the coating. Those coatings with built-in antiviral properties tend to be longer-lasting and more effective, and also avoid the issue of releasing potentially harmful chemicals into the environment. A number of different solutions with built-in protection are currently in development, and some already available. Northumbria University, for example (as reported in last Month’s PSB Magazine), is working on a ‘super-hydrophobic’ coating for use on high-contact areas such as handrails and trolleys. Optional antiviral coating Codelocks is working on a coating that attaches biocides to nanoparticles Another British company, Smart Separations, is working on a coating that attaches biocides to nanoparticles, and can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces. While these anti-viral coatings are either still in development or only available to large corporate clients, others are already readily available. Access control solutions provider Codelocks, for example is currently offering an optional antiviral coating with all of its products. Clean by Codelocks is clear coating that uses nanotechnology that can kill bacteria in a matter of minutes. Clean by Codelocks utilises a process called photocatalytic oxidation. The surface of the coating reacts with light and converts harmful bacteria and germs into a non-toxic compound, resulting in a clean and hygienic surface. Chemical cleaning products The coating has been proven to eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) from surfaces within minutes and is resistant to chemical cleaning products, humidity, and UV exposure – all issues that can cause problems for traditional slow-release type coatings. It’s been said that COVID-19 has been a great technology accelerator. This has been proven true, not only in the areas of vaccine research and development, or in cloud and digital technology but even in everyday objects that we take for granted such as locks and door handles. By building anti-bacterial protection into access control solutions, we can make schools, surgeries, workplaces, leisure centres and other public spaces safer for all.
With pupils in the UK set to go back to school on 8 March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students, and school communities. The first lockdown and closure of schools brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fired a “warning shot” for education facilities managers, forcing head-teachers to re-examine school safety standards. Now that a third lockdown is here and schools have been shut down for a second time, anyone behind the curve with the benefits of smart technology should get on board now before children return to the school environment. And with the ever-changing variants of the COVID-19 virus, schools can’t afford to be “late to class” when it comes to health and safety. Preventing the spread of disease Some schools in the US have been using smart technologies for a while to measure utility consumption and efficiency, streamline maintenance and enhance general school safety. These technologies are playing a significant role in keeping school buildings healthy and preventing the spread of disease. Let’s take a look at how smart technology can help schools to become safer, as well as more energy-efficient and cost-effective. Thermal detection cameras Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing. These cameras provide medically-accurate, real-time temperatures of individuals in real-time. If a high temperature is detected, the software sends an instant alert to the relevant party. It can also be set to deny access to those with high temperatures or to people not wearing masks. Safer water As the coronavirus continues to sweep through the world’s population, healthcare providers should also be on heightened alert for Legionnaires’ disease, another potential cause of pneumonia with similar symptoms. Legionella is a potentially deadly bacteria that can infect a school’s water supply and cause an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. It’s a school's duty of care to prevent Legionella infection by monitoring the risk of the bacteria proliferating. Particularly as schools reopen and previously stagnant plumbing and cooling systems return to use, additional Legionella cases could rear their ugly head to emergency departments in the coming months. Traces of Legionella were recently found at a Worcestershire school. The school was forced to remain shut while treatment and testing took place. Automated flushing and temperature testing Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters The Health and Safety Executive advises, “If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease… If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.” Typically, managing the risk of Legionella includes running all outlets for two minutes, taking and recording the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s not conducive to Legionella growth. This is a time-consuming process, which is why schools are looking for automated water temperature monitoring systems. This smart system with automated flushing and temperature testing reports and records water temperature data in real-time. Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters. Cleaner air Advisers say that improving air filtration and ventilation in schools can help mitigate the potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. Strategies include: Increasing outdoor air ventilation Filtering indoor air Using portable air cleaners with HEPA filters Smart building technologies such as advanced HVAC controls can help facilities managers promote cleaner air with less hassle. For example, smart HVAC systems use sensors to remotely monitor and control variables such as: Humidity Temperature Indoor air quality The level of carbon dioxide and other pollutants The technology is also energy-efficient and cost-effective. While these solutions may be key to the reopening of schools in the era of COVID-19, they also bring long-term benefits. Although COVID-19 may have accelerated the adoption of smart technology, many of these solutions are focused on health, wellness, and security in general; which have been needed in school systems for a long time.
For decades, the nature of global safety has been evolving. From physical security threats like large-scale terrorist attacks and lone actor stabbings to chemical threats such as the Salisbury poisonings and even microbiological threats such as COVID-19, new challenges are constantly arising and the threat landscape we operate in today is constantly changing. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks. With the economic downturn, there is the traditional rise in theft, violence and other crimes. Compound this with unmanned businesses and work-at-home staff, and there is a perfect storm for a rise in security threats. Artificial intelligence (AI) and specifically the branch of AI known as machine learning (ML), was already causing widespread disruption in many industries, including the security industry. AI has been a driving force to replace labour-based business models with integrated data and actionable intelligence that is context-aware. It has become apparent that AI will play a big part in the ongoing fight against both pandemics such as COVID-19, as well as other threats that we may face in the future. With all of this in mind, 2021 is poised to be a big year for AI growth. While AI is going to continue to impact our lives in dozens of ways, from smart sensors to face mask compliance detection, the following reflects a few top trends and challenges that I have my eye on for 2021 as we close out this year. The rise of smart city investments One such example is the increasing development of smart cities and how AI can be leveraged to build safe communities. To date, we’ve seen an increase in the number of smart city programmes around the globe; cities that are beginning to deploy innovative technologies for the management and ease of life services. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks Typical development of a city includes standard infrastructure - roads, schools, power, water, transportation. Now, internet, data and AI capabilities are part of the standard infrastructure requirements for all new developments. AI promises to deliver increased efficiencies with the infrastructure that will accommodate growing populations while reducing our impact on the environment, resources, and communities. Global cities now account for more than half of the world’s population, and the United Nations projects the number to balloon to 68% by mid-century. Owing to both demographic shifts and overall population growth, that means that around 2.5 billion people could be added to urban areas by the middle of the century, predicts the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). With an increase in population has come an increase in global spending on smart city initiatives to drive down the impact of growing urban concentration. Global spending on smart city initiatives is expected to total nearly $124 billion this year, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide, while Singapore, Tokyo, London and New York as the big spenders - expected to spend more than $1 billion in 2020. Using AI-driven technology to create safer public and private spaces Today, security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments to protect the population in a more efficient, and accurate manner. As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new AI technology can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. One such deployment is the use of video object recognition/computer vision software that can be integrated into existing video monitoring security (VMS) systems. These enhanced VMS systems can be deployed both inside and outside of buildings to identify risks and flag threats, such weapons, aggressive behaviours, theft, and safety compliance. This helps to minimise the impact of a breach by an early alert to onsite security in real-time to the location and nature of the potential threat, allowing them to intervene before a loss occurs. These same AI-enabled video solutions can similarly be used to provide advanced business operations in retail, logistics, and manufacturing organisations. Multi-sensor security solutions Also, targeted magnetic and radar sensor technologies, concealed in everyday objects like planter boxes or inside walls, can now scan individuals and bags entering a building for concealed threat objects. Using AI/machine learning, these two sensor solutions combined can identify metal content on the body and bag and match the item to a catalogue of threat items, such as guns, rifles, knives and bombs. Security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments Without this advanced multi-sensor solution, it becomes nearly impossible to discover a weapon on a person's body before it appears in an assailant’s hands. This multi-sensor solution allows for touchless, unobtrusive access to a building, but allows for immediate notification to onsite security when a concealed threat is detected. The hidden technology thus empowers security staff to intercept threats before they evolve into a wider scale attack, while also maintaining the privacy and civil liberties of the public, unless, of course, they are carrying a concealed weapon or pose a physical threat. With the advent of sophisticated surveillance and technological innovation, a level of caution must be exerted. Despite the ongoing global debate, there remains little regulation about the use of AI technologies in today’s physical security space. One thing is certain; it must be deployed in the right place, at the right time, with the right privacy and civil liberty protection objectives. People don’t want to be protected by omnipresent, obstructive and overbearing security systems that infringe on their privacy and civil liberties. They want a proper balance between security and their current way of life, one that must be fused together. Technology and tracing COVID-19 Machine learning-based technologies are playing a substantial role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the key purpose of surveillance systems has been to detect and deter threats, including the detection of visible and hidden weapons and abnormal behaviour. While this, of course, remains a primary focus, today we are seeing how surveillance systems defend against new invisible threats, as well as rapidly automate the process of contact-tracing to capture and contain a virus before it spreads. Again, the ability to track and trace through parsing algorithms that can manage through enormous amounts of data provides a highly scalable and rapid response mechanism to control the spread of threats. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact Although the threat may not be visible, it is just as destructive. By incorporating AI into existing technologies, government, healthcare and security professionals can monitor public spaces and environments through the combined use of digital and thermal video surveillance cameras and video management systems); just one of the solutions being explored. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact. By Using AI-powered video analytic software, businesses can monitor face masks, social distancing and large gathering compliance and also detect elevated body temperature. Critically, technology must be capable of both identifying and tracking the virus but also be unobtrusive. An unobtrusive system that is adaptable enough to be deployed across a range of environments where the public gathers in enclosed spaces is necessary to be effective. Security in 2021 Technology has proven itself to be a valuable ally in times of crisis. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI/machine learning technologies will help optimise security solutions in areas that are brimming with potential. As we look ahead to the future of security in a world that is impacted by such a wide range of threats, from physical to chemical to microbiological, it’s clear that new technologies, specifically AI can dramatically improve the effectiveness of security systems and help us to better defend against a wide spectrum of threats. Technology has a huge role to play in making our communities safe in 2021 and beyond, but for security systems to be effective, they must not be oppressive or obstructive. This will ensure they have the full support of the public - the key to success.
The cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. Video and access control as a service provides a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. This article will look back at our articles in 2020 about the growing popularity of cloud solutions for physical security, with links to the original content. Product offering While most people agree on the definition of “cloud,” there are several points about the terminology that may require clarification. Private cloud or public cloud? VSaaS or unlimited storage for video? Beyond the basics, the terms become foggy, reflecting a variety of notions about how cloud services fit into the broader physical security marketplace. As cloud usage becomes more popular, it’s important that marketers be precise in their terminology, and that integrators and end users be diligent in understanding the specifics of available product offerings. Different meanings “The cloud has many different possible connotations, depending on the context,” says Yu Hao Lin of Rasilient Systems, one of our Expert Roundtable panelists. For example, corporate CIOs will more likely understand the cloud to be a private cloud platform. As such, the public cloud is a ubiquitous term while the private cloud is more specified. Cloud system security Security of cloud systems is an ongoing discussion in the industry, especially how cloud system cybersecurity compares to that of on-premise systems. Our Expert Panel Roundtable weighed in on this question. “While both kinds of security systems serve their purpose, it can be argued that the streamlined updates that are commonplace with cloud-based solutions may put them at more of an advantage when it comes to data security,” says panelist Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. “Also, most reputable cloud-based solutions are running in secured data centers by companies such as Google, Microsoft or Amazon, so you also get to take advantage of all the security layers they have protecting your data.” Hybrid cloud video security solution A growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security There are several relatively new companies pushing cloud in a big way. Verkada is fast-growing company currently currently focusing to deliver an all-in-one hybrid cloud video security solution powered by edge processing inside the camera. The growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security. Combining AI and cloud video One company investing in the cloud is Eagle Eye Networks, which has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to finance the realisation of their vision to combine AI and cloud video. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end-users,” says Ken Francis, President. Eagle Eye offers an application programming interface (API) to enable the integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. Eagle Eye is also investing in its own AI development and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution and MobilisID smart mobile physical access control solution. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. Advantages and disadvantages Advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, when supporting staff The advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide-ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. 5G supporting cloud-based applications 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Increasing use of IoT Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate.
As security embraces IT-centric solutions, it can provide business value over and above security. Now in charge of managing a variety of data – e.g., from video platforms – a company’s security function has access to a range of new metrics. While security may use video to analyse a security event, machine learning can analyse the same data for other business capabilities, such as quality control or when a policy has been breached. “It’s the same camera, but with dual purpose,” says Matt Kushner, President of STANLEY Security. STANLEY Security, one of the largest integrators with a global footprint, has positioned itself at the centre of the industry’s transformation by information technology (IT) and the Internet of Things. “Security will become an expanded business partner with corporations,” Kushner comments. In response to the trend, STANLEY is hiring more IT-oriented technicians and salespeople within the IT community and who can “speak at the C-level”, Kushner comments. Sonitrol is the most recognised brand by law enforcement for verified response Data centres, higher education and logistics STANLEY manages very large, multi-national clients. As a consequence, the STANLEY security organisation has some of the best and brightest minds for enterprise-class security. To maintain that level of talent, STANLEY is committed to education. “We bring them into the family and focus on education, such as IT and IoT training. That’s critical in a world where unemployment is less than 3%. Finding good people, growing good people, and retaining good people – we do that exceptionally well at STANLEY,” says Kushner. STANLEY’s strong vertical markets including data centres, higher education, and logistics. They are also strong in multi-location installations (such as banking.) STANLEY has a big footprint throughout North America and Europe. PACOM access control and 3xLOGIC cloud-based solutions In addition to STANLEY’s core integrator business, the company also manages several manufacturing brands such as PACOM access control and 3xLOGIC cloud-based solutions.Mergers and acquisitions have been commonplace in the integrator space Beyond its company-owned integrator locations under the STANLEY brand, the company also owns Sonitrol, the strongest brand in the market for verified response with 65 franchises in North America. Sonitrol is the most recognised brand by law enforcement for verified response. Mergers and acquisitions have been commonplace in the integrator space, and Kushner says that STANLEY is “open and actively looking for properties that fit our commercial growth strategy”. He notes that STANLEY focuses on the commercial side of the market, where there are good margins and continuing growth. They pay less attention to the residential side which is “being heavily disrupted”. Strong partnerships with manufacturers STANLEY has strong partnerships with several manufacturer partners, through which they bring new breakout technologies to market from emerging companies. An example is Evolv Technology, a manufacturer of gun and bomb detection technology. “We see them as a leading provider of the technology, and they are, in my mind, a very disruptive provider,” says Kushner. STANLEY is also collaborating with a company – to be announced – that provides a unique gunshot detection technology, he says. STANLEY is also cooperating with dormakaba to implement Switch Tech, a Bluetooth wireless core that can replace any standard mechanical lock core. Existing locks can be transformed into electromechanical locks in minutes. STANLEY is also developing a tight integration with Lenel’s mobile credentialing system. STANLEY is also cooperating with dormakaba to implement Switch Tech GSX 2019 and ISC West 2020 At the recent GSX 2019 show in Chicago, Kushner says STANLEY heard a lot about cybersecurity, especially customers wanting to make sure they are investing in cyber-hygiene and who are looking to expand into providing cyber protection. “In concert with cyber-hygiene, they are looking for health monitoring or assurance that network devices are operating properly,” he says. “They want to ensure their security platforms are cyber-secure and up to date with the latest software versions.” STANLEY is also a big proponent of cloud offerings, and Kushner hints at a big announcement at the upcoming ISC West show in Las Vegas of additional cloud offerings and/or partnerships. “There will be a variety of new solutions to be introduced, including hosted solutions and applications that benefit both security and that add new value to businesses overall.”
The task of protecting shared spaces, such as offices and schools, has become increasingly complex, particularly with ever-rising political tensions and the difficulties of assessing threats for schools, workplaces and law enforcement. Given the randomness of when and where a violent person may strike, those who manage facilities need an emergency plan, as well as robust training, detection and awareness. To gain more insights into dealing with such threats, we interviewed John Torres, President of Security and Technology Consulting, Guidepost Solutions. Guidepost Solutions is a global team of investigators, security and technology consultants, and compliance and monitoring experts. They provide security design and consulting, investigations, and compliance and monitoring leadership for critical client needs. Torres has extensive investigative and security experience. Previously, he served as the Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. His background includes more than 27 years of experience providing investigative and security management for the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, including serving as the Acting Director and the Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Q: Why is it difficult for schools, workplaces and law enforcement to assess threats of violence? How can they differentiate between a threat and a non-threat? Torres: With mobile technology and social media, threats are more than just physical. Schools are often not screening student social media accounts and are restricted in what they can and cannot monitor due to privacy laws. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcement, providing training and increasing awareness of potential threats or abnormal behaviour. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcementEmerging tools include software that allows monitoring of students’ school-issued email and file storage accounts. Communications software and apps provide real-time notification of emergency messages to students, parents, employees and the community to provide critical instructions during an emergency. The combination of training and new tools has enabled trends and threatening language to be identified and appropriate authorities notified. Q: What tools and/or insights can Guidepost Solutions add to the mix? What are the elements of a “comprehensive risk assessment?” Torres: Comprehensive risk assessments include adopting a tiered approach to assessing the school or office and the surrounding environment. A typical approach includes site perimeter review, identifying gates, fencing, vehicle barriers etc., the parking lot, building exterior, interior paths of travel and individual classroom measures. Review and observation of systems including mass notification, video surveillance, access control, intrusion and visitor management, etc. are critical to ensure that they are equipped to maintain functionality in the event of power loss etc. As an insight, always engage with people, they have the knowledge of each unique facility. Elements we can add to the mix include assessments, physical security improvements and mass notification systems, as well as emergency response training, operational policies and procedures, and behaviour analysis. Q: How can the elements of a risk assessment be translated into recommendations of specific technologies or processes (such as video surveillance and/or access control)? Torres: Risk assessments often drive and identify the need for technologies to be implemented into the security programs of schools, business or places of mass gathering, such as stadiums, convention centers and houses of worship. Risk assessments often drive the need for technologies to be implemented into places of mass gatheringRisk assessments help identify weaknesses in security procedure and then often support phased security enhancement programs as funds become available for investment. Each entity is different, and stakeholders should be included. For example, video surveillance may be a priority at one location but controlling the main point of entry may be more important at another. Technology and process recommendations must meet the operational needs and support the goals of the security team and operational managers. Q: How can the risk of an incident be mitigated and lives protected? Torres: While multiple steps are helpful, all of them in combination are key to implementing a comprehensive security plan. They include: Assessments – physical, cyber and procedural Physical Security Improvements – visitor management, fencing and barriers, locks and cameras Emergency Response Training – law enforcement coordination; muscle memory response Mass Notification Systems – current software, clear concise directives, testing Operational Policies and Procedures – termination, evacuation, communication, intervention Behavioural Analysis. Q: What are the elements of behaviour analysis? Torres: They include things like changes in appearance and behaviour, including social media behaviour, and isolation from family or friends. They also include studying or taking pictures of potential targets, and real or perceived bullying. An individual may advocate violence or hate, and/or consume violent extremist information/propaganda. He or she may talk about traveling to places that sound suspicious, and/or have an obsession with weapons. Q: What is the role of training? Torres: Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schools, be it a fire drill, earthquake, lockdown, active shooter situation, etc. Training and drills educate those present, including employees and staff, with information about actions that may save lives and reduce casualties in a real emergency. Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schoolsTraining should hold people responsible and set standards for acceptable behaviour. There should be a plan that is implemented, including practice and drills. You should also provide training and communication skill building classes. Develop intervention strategies. Work with HR and legal (and others as appropriate). Finally, document everything. Q: What challenges still remain? Torres: Cultural and behavioural change remains at the forefront of schools and businesses when addressing safety and security measures. A large percentage of violent acts may be preventable if a bystander shares his/her concerns with the proper authorities. According to the FBI, perpetrators exhibited behavioural indicators in 93% of incidents. And bystanders had prior knowledge in 81% of school attack incidents and 80% of terrorist-inspired behaviours or activities before an attack. Q: What progress are you seeing? Torres: With each tragedy that occurs, leaders are engaging with safety and security head on. There is a shift in schools and businesses to engage with professionals that can help them understand what they do not know. Simple things such as improved communication and enforcement of policies and procedures can have a tremendous positive impact on an organisation’s security posture. Assessments and technology upgrades are important and effective, but it all starts with acknowledging the need to provide and maintain safe and secure environments for students, employees and the community.
Phipps Houses is the oldest and largest not-for-profit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing in New York City. Its social services affiliate, Phipps Neighbourhoods, provides children, youth, and families in low-income neighbourhood’s the opportunities they need to thrive through comprehensive education and career programs and access to community services. Together they are changing lives in New York City. To provide perspective, since it was founded in 1905, Phipps Houses has developed more than 6,000 affordable apartments, valued at over $1 billion, providing homes to more than 15,000 people in communities across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Affordable housing portfolio The organisation has an active pipeline of new development projects totalling 1,400 units. Including its own property, Phipps manages an affordable housing portfolio of nearly 10,000 apartments throughout New York City. Phipps Neighbourhoods serves over 12,000 children, teens, and adults annually in more than 30 programs. Phipps manages an affordable housing portfolio of nearly 10,000 apartments throughout New York City Community-based programs include Pre-K; after-school programs; summer camp; STEAM programming; college prep; career readiness and job training; resident support; and community programs for children and adults. Affordable housing developments, coupled with community-building human services and high-quality property management, create communities that assist residents and their neighbours realise their dreams and fulfill their potential. In a city that never sleeps, bustling communities require unique consideration when protecting residents, staff, and volunteers 24x7. Video security system While Phipps Houses had a video security system in place, it was complex and only accessible to a few highly-trained security professionals within the organisation. This meant if an incident occurred outside of regular working hours, it would either go undetected or have a delayed and reactive response putting residents, staff, and volunteers at risk. Phipps Houses required a simple solution that: Easily works with existing systems and video surveillance hardware, enhancing already-installed readers, door sensors, and cameras with smart technology. Is accessible to non-security professionals on staff. Both security operators and staff receive a more efficient and confident experience protecting Phipps Houses communities. Plus, deploying new or expanded systems is effortless; using the cloud offloads the usual burden from security Delivers 24x7 proactive security. Ava’s AI capabilities and powerful video analytics make even Phipps Houses’ existing surveillance cameras accessible through the cloud to provide ubiquitous video security coverage, a necessity for truly real-time, proactive security. AI-powered video analytics Phipps Houses turned to integrated security experts New York Security Solutions Inc. (NYSS), Ava, and Feenics to deliver a complete and simple intelligent video security solution. Specific elements of the Phipps Houses new intelligent video surveillance solution include: Proactive security - Powerful AI-powered video analytics allows events to be visually captured as they happen - simplifying operations. Connecting the dots with alerts - If a door, for instance, is propped open or authorisation fails, a map view shows the location and image in real-time. Finds things fast - Real-time forensic searches across all Phipps Houses locations and neighbourhoods reduces the burden on security teams and staff alike. Modern remote management - Now, operators can monitor access control and physical security events remotely from any web browser or device, providing true 24x7 visibility—critical in the city that never sleeps. Scalable - Phipps Houses’ new solution addresses all of the non-profit organisation’s needs across its many properties. Plus, Phipps Houses didn’t have to replace its current cameras. It was able to integrate Ava’s cutting-edge video management system, Ava Aware, with the existing infrastructure to make its current cameras smart. Open - Ava Aware integrates seamlessly with Feenics’ access control solution to provide 24x7 monitoring, including proactive alerts in the event of a failure. Integrated video security The simplicity of the system meant anyone on Phipps staff can jump in and resolve an issue With more than 15,000 people living in Phipps housing across the Greater New York area, the number one priority is the safety, security, and overall well-being of the residents. Seconds matter when protecting a community of this size. The new video security solution provided by Ava allowed Phipps Houses to proactively investigate incidents quickly, 24x7. The simplicity of the system meant anyone on Phipps staff can jump in and resolve an issue — not just their trained security personnel. “A non-profit like Phipps Houses doesn’t have extra bandwidth or resources to expend on costly infrastructure changes. We chose an integrated video security and access control solution for Phipps because it provides the level of security needed while also addressing the housing community’s unique requirements." "Added bonus, by partnering with Ava and Feenics, we were able to leverage existing cameras allowing us to be good stewards of Phipps Houses resources,” said Gregory Keeling, New York Security Solutions, Inc.
ISONAS Inc., a globally renowned IP access control and hardware solution provider, and part of the Allegion family of brands, has announced that the ISONAS Pure IP access control solution has been deployed at a school district in the southwest suburb of Chicago. With six buildings within the district, they wanted to be able to manage access at all buildings on one unified platform. Remote access The school district had three main priorities for the upgrade, which included controlling the flow of traffic during after-hour events, eliminating the need for keys to manually lock and unlock doors and finally have the ability to utilise remote access. Safety was a huge priority at the school district, which included keeping students and staff safe and secure in all six buildings. Without being able to control unauthorised visitors at all entrance ways, there was no way to effectively protect everyone district-wide. ISONAS Pure IP access control solution Upon a strong recommendation from the school IT Director, ISONAS was awarded the project after the school put the project out for bid. The school district believed in the power of the ISONAS Pure IP solution and knew it was the right cloud-based technology to overcome all their current challenges. With the recommendation from the IT Director and a strong relationship with Advanced Wiring Solutions, the school district was ready to move forward with the security upgrade at high speed. Advanced Wiring Solutions is a Chicago-based premier low-voltage electrical contractor, who has handled structured cabling, security, access control, AV and CCTV camera installations for over 20 years. ISONAS RC-04 reader controllers installed It’s been a pleasure working with ISONAS from the onset of this project to completion" The project was on a tight timeframe and included installing 188 ISONAS RC-04 reader controllers, in under three months, on every access point within the six buildings that made up the school district. “It’s been a pleasure working with ISONAS from the onset of this project to completion,” stated Michael Sanfratello, President at Advanced Wiring Solutions. Michael adds, “From when we were in the bidding stage to deploying the access control system, ISONAS worked closely with the architects, engineers and the school district to develop specifications for the design and installation in order to make it a perfect deployment.” Remote monitoring of controlled doors “We are extremely happy that the school district selected the ISONAS solution to successfully secure each entrance way and no longer had to rely on keys for access, making it a safer environment for everyone,” said Jonathan Mooney, ISONAS Sales Leader. The school district can now easily monitor all controlled doors remotely and set access schedules for regular school hours and after hours when special events and activities were taking place. With cloud-based access control systems in place, schools across the country can get a clearer picture of who is actually entering their grounds day and night, while not having to physically be on the premises.
Gujarat Medical and Education Research Society is an initiative taken up by the State Government of Gujarat to improve the Human Development Index in the state by establishing new medical colleges. This, in turn, will increase the availability of qualified doctors and ensure the spread of health care services and medical knowledge. GMERS Ahmedabad is also one such initiative. Spread across five buildings, the campus has a hospital setup with a capacity of 720 beds. Challenge faced Centralised monitoring and management - Being aware of the various security challenges that an education hub faces, GMERS Ahmedabad had already installed 400+ cameras to secure the campus. However, they faced difficulty while centrally monitoring the entire system. Also, since the campus is divided into five buildings, it was challenging to manage all at once. Real-time security - Due to the large area, it was difficult to extend quick and real-time security to various parts of the campus. Being a medical college, they needed a technically sound system that could provide notifications in real-time during critical situations. Matrix VMS VMS allowed the flexibility of incorporating other brand’s cameras and integration with other security systems Matrix offered SATATYA SAMAS as the solution. It is a video management software that provides a common platform for all the existing security systems. Existing 400+ cameras were configured in the software and thus, could be centrally monitored from a dedicated room. Apart from this, VMS allowed the flexibility of incorporating other brand’s cameras and integration with other security systems as well, like Fire Alarms. User-control Moreover, with the availability of user-based control, it was ensured that the surveillance system is being managed by the right security personnel. For example, the security guard was restricted to viewing rights, and only the IT personnel was given administrator rights. This assures data security. SMS and Email alerts for notification were also configured to provide prompt support in case of urgency. Furthermore, features like E-Map enabled swift notifications about the health status of cameras and devices. Results Unified platform for centralised control Instant aid during urgency The flexibility of future expansion
Remark Holdings, Inc., a global technology company with leading artificial intelligence ("AI") solutions and digital media properties announced that its KanKan AI business has installed its Smart Campus system in more than 200 elementary and secondary schools in China. The system allows for seamless attendance management, epidemic prevention and control, energy management, campus access control, and notification of risky behaviors. Smart Campus system During the ongoing battle with COVID-19 and its variants, the Smart Campus system, with its epidemic prevention and control functionality, has been designed to assist school staff by: Recording body temperature before students enters the campus, thereby allowing staff to begin monitoring health status before students enter classrooms and other buildings. Controlling access to campus using a pre-generated QR code as well as KanKan's computer vision technology to identify whether persons trying to enter campus are authorized and are healthy. Reducing manual tasks by automating student attendance management and health screening of students and staff. Using a mobile app to allow for reservation of and touch-free access into private study rooms, classrooms, laboratories, activity rooms, and other functional areas. Reducing electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Maintenance-oriented monitoring KanKan AI's Smart Campus system is customisable to meet the needs of each school among other criteria "In addition to the practicality of the product, KanKan AI's Smart Campus system is customisable to meet the needs of each school regarding the size of the campus, several students, and building and entrance locations, among other criteria," noted Kai-Shing Tao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Remark Holdings. "Our product engineers followed up throughout the installation process and the after-sales team trained school staff regarding product use, while our operations team conducted ongoing, maintenance-oriented monitoring to ensure data accuracy and provide customers with an outstanding experience." Customer-oriented services The Smart Campus system and its customer-oriented services have quickly taken root in the campus security market. Given the initial success of Smart Campus, KanKan AI will continue its expansion into other provinces. Official media such as the Zhejiang Daily and Hangzhou Daily strongly affirmed the vital role that KanKan AI's Smart Campus system played in the resumption of primary and secondary schools in Xihu District, Hangzhou City, during the epidemic. As a successful model for smart campuses, Hangzhou Arts and Science Primary Schools have been publicly praised by the Education Bureau of Xihu District and have become the learning center for school principals from other provinces and cities. Energy savings "Our system freed teachers and staff from repetitive tasks and allowed them to focus on what they do best: teaching and caring," noted Mr. Tao. "I am also pleased that our dedication to ESG efforts has been rewarded. The energy management function of our Smart Campus system has proven efficient at a few schools with which we worked closely. Though the amount of energy savings might seem minor now, we believe that no effort is too small when we talk about saving Earth's resources.” “As more schools are seeing both the social and economic benefits of our systems, we believe that our continuous dedication to the environment will translate to long-term results for our partners and shareholder value for our investors." Reduction in CO2 and SO2 emissions KanKan calculated the Smart Campus system in a total of 104 classrooms yields a reduction of CO2 & SO2 emissions According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") calculations, the 4.48 kilowatt-hour of electricity saved per day per classroom by KANKAN AI's Smart Campus System, each kilowatt-hour of electricity saved per day per classroom by the Smart Campus system is equivalent to eight miles driven by an average vehicle, or a savings of 0.357 gallons of gasoline consumed, or other activities in the diagram below. Utilising data provided by five partnered schools in the city of Hangzhou, KanKan calculated that the application of its Smart Campus system in a total of 104 classrooms yields an annual reduction of 63.9 tons of CO2 (a greenhouse gas) emissions and 1.9 tons of SO2 (a toxic gas) emissions. At the current rate, 2,556 tons of CO2 emissions and 76 tons of SO2 emissions could be eliminated with KanKan AI's Smart Campus system within partnered schools.
McKinney ISD relied on an aging analogue phone system that was out-of-date, end-of-life, and no longer supported. The school district wanted to upgrade to an IP communication solution across 37 separate buildings. The school board already had a Fibre backbone that connected each of the buildings. However, the IP devices would also need power, meaning every classroom would require an MDF closet. This solution was not viable due to high costs, network complexity, network security, and safety concerns. Additionally, many endpoint locations were well outside the 330ft (100m) reach limitation of standard switches. McKinney ISD considered laying new cable, but the $1.1 million price tag was far too high, the deployment times too long, and the project’s return on investment in jeopardy. The school district needed an innovative solution to modernise communication within the defined budget and time frame. Solution NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch delivers Ethernet and PoE over a single pair of UTP wire with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach Due to the school district’s challenges, Cisco suggested the PoLRE switch to overcome the digital transformation barriers. The NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch delivers Ethernet and PoE over a single pair of UTP wire with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach, which is four times the reach of standard switches. Cisco was confident in the PoLRE switch and coordinated with NVT Phybridge subject matter experts to present a tailored solution to the customer. McKinney ISD registered for a free, no-obligation proof-of-concept to test the PoLRE switch in its environment. After a few simple setup steps, the PoLRE switch transformed the existing single-pair UTP cabling infrastructure into a power-packed IP backbone with more than enough bandwidth to support the Cisco IP devices. The school district was impressed with the solution and told its technology provider, CDW, to incorporate the PoLRE switch into the proposal. Result McKinney ISD took a proactive approach to find new and better ways to achieve its digital transformation goals without high costs, complexity, or disruption. CDW used the NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch to deploy over 3,300 phones without ripping and replacing the existing and proven voice infrastructure. Deploying across the 37 locations was quick and straightforward thanks to the PoLRE switch’s repeatable, predictable, and scalable deployment methodology, which further increased time and cost savings for the customer. Authority Comments The PoLRE switch allowed to modernise without having to deal with the construction “Deployment was quick and simple for the installation team,” said Jeannie Newman, Central US Sales Manager, NVT Phybridge. “Our Technical Support Team did an amazing job assisting with configuration over the phone.” “The installation was really smooth,” said David Spann, CIO, McKinney Independent School District. “The PoLRE switch allowed us to modernise without having to deal with construction. We did our homework. Re-using our existing cabling and turning it into a more secure transmission model was a huge win for us and a huge win for our taxpayers. This really was a win for everyone.” McKinney ISD used the PoLRE switch to achieve incredible results: Reduced infrastructure costs by more than $1.1 million Reduced the total deployment time by three years Avoided putting IDF closets in the classrooms Prevented over 10 tons of cabling e-waste
Ways to manage visitors and improve communications, while keeping doors to the Congregation Beth Jacob’s sanctuary and school locked. Aiphone IS Series video intercom Aiphone IS Series video intercom mounted just outside the main entry allows visitors to buzz one of four master stations. “Emergency communications and procedures are now embedded in our daily operations,” said Greg Sterling, Past President of the Congregation Beth Jacob. Enhancing safety against active shooters In recent years, houses of worship have become an all‑too‑common target for active shooters, burglars and vandals The Congregation Beth Jacob provides a house of worship, pre-school and attached K-7 religious school for the Redwood City, California’s Jewish community, in the heart of the famed Silicon Valley. In recent years, houses of worship have become an all‑too‑common target for active shooters, burglars, vandals and a host of other criminals. Founded in 1930, Congregation Beth Jacob has a rich history as the first Jewish institution built between San Francisco and San Jose. Since an earlier sanctuary was destroyed by a suspected arsonist in 1979, Congregation Beth Jacob has taken security of its members, students and employees very seriously and regularly updates its systems and procedures. Managing visitors and improving communications Congregation Beth Jacob’s security integrator, Oakland-based HighCom Security Services, was asked for ways to manage visitors and improve communications, while keeping doors to the sanctuary and school locked throughout the day. Requirements for the Congregation Beth Jacob included: Sanctuary employees had to be able to remotely see and speak with visitors before opening an exterior door. Employees needed to be able to easily communicate between the 12 classrooms and offices in the sanctuary and school. The solution had to be easy for employees, congregation members and visitors to use. “Emergency communications and procedures are now embedded in our daily operations,” said Greg Sterling, Past President of Congregation Beth Jacob. Fences and gates installed Fences and gates now guide visitors from the street to a rear parking lot and a double-door entry to the main facility. This and all other exterior doors are kept locked. An Aiphone IS Series video intercom is mounted just outside the main entry, allowing visitors to buzz one of the four master stations located on the desks of the Executive Director and Receptionists and in the common areas of the main and school offices. Colour LCD monitors on the IS Series master stations allow office staff to see and speak with visitors, before remotely unlocking the door. Keypads at the door let employees open the door by entering a code. Wall-mount audio intercoms Aiphone speakers and horns were added to share emergency messages in the school play area Wall-mount audio intercoms have been provided in each classroom. Teachers can communicate hands-free with the main or school offices, and other classrooms. They can also choose to use the intercom’s handset for more private conversations. Before the intercoms were installed, teachers had to leave the classroom and walk to the office for help. Aiphone speakers and horns were added to share emergency messages in the school play area, two patios, front entry, sanctuary, social hall and main dining room. Surveillance cameras installed Surveillance cameras set to view the parking lot, school entry and the street fronting Congregation Beth Jacob. Sanctuary staff can view live video from monitors in the facility’s main and school offices. Panic buttons were installed in each classroom, the social hall and kitchen. Pushing a button generates a code phrase intended to start an immediate facility lockdown without overly frightening the students.
Round table discussion
During the coronavirus lockdown, employees worked from home in record numbers. But the growing trend came with a new set of security challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the transition to remote working/home offices on the security market?
Video storage has been a challenge since the days of VCRs and videotape. Storing images is a central need for any video systems, especially one that is focused on the forensic and investigative aspects of video. Today, digital video is stored on hard drives and even in the cloud. Increasingly, video is considered “data” that drives a variety of video analytics and even artificial intelligence (AI) applications. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities in video storage?
School shootings are a high-profile reminder of the need for the highest levels of security at our schools and education facilities. Increasingly, a remedy to boost the security at schools is to use more technology. However, no technology is a panacea, and ongoing violence and other threats at our schools suggest some level of failure. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have security solutions failed our schools and what is the solution?