PROMISE Technology, an enterprise storage solutions provider, is forecasting massive growth for large data storage, green technology and data compliance following surveillance trends unveiled at the International Security Conference (ISC West) 2021, held in Las Vegas recently. At ISC West, PROMISE Technology noted that the focus was very much on Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence, mainly as a result of the ‘new norm’ brought along by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has bro...
Videonetics, world’s AI & DL powered Unified Video Computing Platform (UVCP™) development company, announced that its AI-powered Intelligent VMS 3.0 (IVMS) is now ONVIF Profile ‘Q’ Compliant that allows easy set-up mechanism and basic configuration of IP cameras over the network, directly from the IVMS. It also supports Transport Layer Security (TLS), a secure communication protocol, that allows ONVIF devices themselves to communicate with clients across a network in...
CARRIDA Technologies, a globally renowned provider of ALPR software solutions, has appointed Pedro Bento as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) to lead the International Sales and Business Development. The company also launched a new website to showcase its state-ofthe-art ALPR software engine and solutions, as well as ALPR Edge Devices. CARRIDA ALPR engine Special to CARRIDA Technologies is the unmatched CARRIDA ALPR engine that can be flexibly deployed as OEM library, web-GUI solution for easy startup...
Quantum Corporation has announced an agreement to acquire the video surveillance portfolio and assets of Pivot3, a pioneer in hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and a renowned company in the field of intelligent software solutions for the security and surveillance markets. The acquisition brings a diverse portfolio of video surveillance appliances, network video recorders (NVRs), and management applications, along with a scale-out hyper-converged software platform, which going forward will al...
Quantum Corporation announces an agreement to acquire the video surveillance portfolio and assets of Pivot3, a pioneer in hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and a provider of intelligent software solutions for the security and surveillance markets. The acquisition brings a diverse portfolio of video surveillance appliances, network video recorders (NVRs), and management applications along with a scale-out hyperconverged software platform, which going forward will all be offered under the Quant...
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex. Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera...
Users of secure credential technologies increasingly want more choices so they can meet the specific needs of a growing variety of applications. Continuing its commitment to providing these options, HID Global, the provider of trusted identity solutions, announces the most feature-rich implementation of the latest MIFARE DESFire EV3 credential. Identifying data protection “Our credential based on NXP MIFARE DESFire EV3 delivers this technology’s full range of advanced security and privacy capabilities and reinforces them with HID’s powerful model for identity data protection,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. “This latest addition to our portfolio underscores HID’s commitment to continually expand our credential offering with solutions that are easy to customise, deploy and maintain. It helps organisations further streamline security through a simple framework that supports multiple form factors and communication protocols.” Random unique identifier The credential works with readers based on MIFARE DESFire EV1 and EV2 products HID’s credential based on MIFARE DESFire EV3 implements the technology’s full range of capabilities including AES128 encryption, a secure channel for protecting card data from man-in-the-middle attacks, and a random unique identifier (UID) for protecting user privacy. The credential works with readers based on MIFARE DESFire EV1 and EV2 products and is interoperable with HID® Signo™, iCLASS SE®, and multiCLASS SE® readers. In addition to choosing standard or custom security profiles to meet their specific needs, users can take advantage of HID’s Secure Identity Object™ (SIO®) model that protects a credential’s identity data through key diversification, authentication signatures, and encryption. Secure credential technology Users can create multi-technology cards with HID’s credentials based on NXP MIFARE DESFire EV3 to provide a smooth migration path from vulnerable legacy, low-frequency 125 kHz-based systems to modern and secure credential technology. “The MIFARE DESFire EV3, with its enhanced feature set and multi-application support, reflects NXP’s continued commitment to secure, connected and convenient contactless smart city services.” said Philippe Dubois, Vice President and General Manager Secure Edge Identification at NXP. “We are happy to provide faster and secure contactless access solutions together with HID.”
CARRIDA Technologies, a provider of leading ALPR software solutions, has appointed Pedro Bento as CSO to lead the International Sales and Business Development. The company also launched a new website to showcase its best-in-class ALPR software engine and solutions as well as ALPR Edge Devices. CARRIDA ALPR engine Special to CARRIDA is the unmatched CARRIDA ALPR engine that can be flexibly deployed as an OEM library, a web-GUI solution for easy startup and configuration of edge devices, or with the CARRIDA App for any Android device. On top of that, the company offers validated platforms and matching components that enable easy, quick, and cost-effective development of individual ALPR applications. International sales and business development Pedro Bento joined CARRIDA as Chief Sales Officer. In his new role, he will lead the international sales and business development of the ALPR software provider and strengthen its growth in applications such as access control, fleet management, and parking, safety and law enforcement as well as traffic management, smart city, and tolling projects. Pedro has in-depth experience in the mobility industry and has held several Management level positions previously, e.g. in Verra Mobility as Vice President Europe, A-to-Be (part of Brisa Group) as Chief Sales Officer, and Q-Free as Vice President for Europe and Latin America. AI and deep learning CARRIDA offers the most advanced ALPR software with the latest technologies such as AI and Deep Learning" Pedro Bento on his appointment, “CARRIDA offers the most advanced ALPR software with latest technologies such as AI and Deep Learning. A lot of applications ranging from traffic management to smart cities can benefit from our solutions. I’m looking forward to supporting many projects to get the most out of the CARRIDA offerings and to take the lead in their markets with our developments.” Fast and easy website New website presents extensive solutions portfolio along with Pedro Bento’s introduction CARRIDA launched its new website. It shows the extensive CARRIDA software solutions portfolio, ranging from a powerful OEM library for ALPR and make/model recognition, to CARRIDA Edge, a web-GUI solution for easy startup and configuration of edge devices, and the CARRIDA App for Android devices. Beyond software, it also shows the CARRIDA validated platforms and components that enable developers to setup their own ALPR devices faster and easier as ever before.
As lockdown restrictions ease and public mobility increases, new research reveals three-quarters (75%) of people have health, safety, and security concerns when visiting their nearest city, signaling a need for new security innovations and greater public reassurance on their return to UK cities. Following high profile cases such as the disappearance of Sarah Everard, the London Bridge terror attack, and recent road cyclist deaths, the public has a heightened awareness of the safety and security issues cities present, according to a new report into public perception of smart cities by video management solution provider Milestone Systems. Security concerns in the city Despite ONS reporting a total crime reduction of 4% in England and Wales in the 12 months ending in June 2020, more than a third (37%) of the British public cited petty crime, such as mugging and pickpocketing, as a security concern when in a city setting. One in four (25%) Britons stated vandalism is a primary concern for them, and a similar proportion (24%) listed pedestrian safety as a worry when navigating their nearest city. Terrorism threat Although the UK's terrorism threat level was downgraded from "severe" to "substantial" in February 2021 by Home Secretary Priti Patel, following a "significant reduction" in the momentum of attacks in Europe, terrorist activity remains a worry for almost a fifth (17%) of the public. Terrorism was of markedly less concern to those over 65 than any other age group (8% vs average of 17%), but for all other safety concerns, there was a surprising consistency across both age groups and genders. Improving safety and security The existence and benefits of smart technology in cities needs to be better communicated to the public To mitigate these concerns, smart technology is already being deployed in cities across the world to improve safety and security. Increased bandwidth afforded by the rollout of 5G and the internet of things has given local authorities new tools to improve public services such as crime-fighting. In Glasgow, for example, there is an effective multi-faceted state-of-the-art traffic and public safety management system that uses data and video analytics to improve responses to issues in the city, but Milestone’s research suggests that the existence and benefits of smart technology in cities needs to be better communicated to the public. Smart city technology Neil Killick, UK General Manager at Milestone Systems said, “Many local authorities have been investing heavily in recent years in cutting-edge smart technology to improve public services and tackle safety and security concerns highlighted by our report. However, the research found that less than a third (29%) of people say that they believe smart city technology could contribute to enhanced safety and security.” “This demonstrates a need for more public education around how smart technology improves safety in cities and also suggests that local authorities need to continue to find new ways to improve day to day life for their city’s residents and visitors.” “The sector is advancing rapidly and products are available to tackle a wide range of city-based safety concerns so it is important to improve understanding so that citizens give their full support to smart city technology and feel safer and more confident when in urban areas.” Public awareness Increasing the public’s awareness of technology advancements for safety purposes must be done in a way that demonstrates its benefits. Developments such as limiting video network blind spots, improving poor-quality images, and supplementing visuals with data collected from interconnected devices, give law enforcement more reliable and thorough data to use in investigations. Thus, enabling instances of theft and civic disturbances to be monitored, reacted to more rapidly, and prevented, curbing the safety concerns of the public. Traffic management systems Department for Transport figures reveal the vast majority of accidents occur in towns and cities Also among the top five concerns for the public when returning to UK cities was driver safety (17%). Department for Transport figures reveal the vast majority of accidents occur in towns and cities, with 2,881 accidents per 1 million people happening in the capital city region, higher than any other region. One in six (14%) Britons cite cyclist safety within their top concerns when returning to the UK’s busy cites, supporting London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans for 160 miles of 'safer cycle routes. However, London’s low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) have come under criticism from the emergency services who state the new traffic management systems have reduced response times. This suggests that alternatives are needed to balance the needs of the public and of emergency services, such as smart sensors and cameras that collate real-time data to detect the quickest and most traffic-free route for emergency vehicles to take. Smart video and sensor technology Neil Killick continued, “As well as helping to protect the public in the context of crime, smart video and sensor technology can be used to manage traffic and roads within cities, reducing congestion and providing local authorities with constant, real-time analytics, as seen in Glasgow.” “This enables relevant authorities to identify potential danger spots, manage roads and bike lanes within a city and plan optimal emergency service routes. The use of interconnected devices, sensors, and video technology allows for a deeper understanding of how the city is being used so that necessary improvements can be implemented based on data-driven decisions to better public safety.”
AI (Artificial Intelligence) chipmaker Hailo announced its partnership with Lanner Electronics, a global pioneer in the design and manufacturing of intelligent edge computing appliances, to launch groundbreaking AI inference solutions for real-time computer vision at the edge. High-performance, compact devices Hailo has combined its Hailo-8™ AI acceleration module with Lanner's edge computing boxes to create high-performance, compact devices to support the demands of emerging AI applications at the edge. Smart cities, retail, and industrial operations require hundreds of cameras generating video streams that need to be processed locally, quickly, and efficiently with minimal latency. Scaling AI to meet this challenge requires ultra-high performance and easy to deploy solutions, which this joint offering provides. Real-time applications powered by AI Lanner's LEC-2290 edge box pairs an x86 CPU with the Hailo-8 AI module to produce a solution capable of optimising demanding edge workloads and accelerating time-to-market for AI deployments. Both solutions process multiple video streams in real-time on a single device with robust network connectivity Lanner's low-footprint LEC-7242 industrial wireless gateway integrates the Hailo-8 into a fanless, efficient appliance for real-time applications powered by AI at the edge. Both solutions process multiple video streams in real-time on a single device, while securely transmitting curated metadata and insights with robust onboard network connectivity. Mission-critical applications Lanner's modular approach to network appliances provides a clear path for engineers looking to optimise neural processing workloads. Integrated with Hailo's AI module, Lanner's fanless Edge AI computers enable mission-critical applications such as video analytics, traffic management, access control, and beyond. Vision-based solution "Our expertise in creating effective purpose-built hardware platforms, combined with Hailo's unparalleled AI module performance, will provide industries with a reliable vision-based solution that is low power, low latency, and cost-effective," said Geoffrey Egger, VP, and GM of Lanner Intelligent Edge BU. "We are confident that together, our vision inference solutions will enable industries ranging from smart retail to smart cities to push computing to the edge." Enhances privacy Hailo-8™ AI acceleration module delivers unprecedented performance to edge devices Hailo's specialised Hailo-8™ AI acceleration module delivers unprecedented performance to edge devices. Featuring up to 26 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS), the module is built with an innovative architecture that enables edge devices to run sophisticated deep learning applications that could previously only run on the cloud. Its advanced structure translates into higher performance, lower power, and minimal latency, enabling enhanced privacy and better reliability for smart devices operating at the edge. Scalable and cost-efficient solutions "Lanner's hardware platforms bring proven reliability, with a purpose-built design that can withstand the distinct challenges of the industrial edge. Combined with the Hailo-8 AI module, the joint solution provides unmatched AI performance that is more powerful, scalable, and cost-efficient than competing solutions," said Orr Danon, CEO, and Co-Founder of Hailo. "We look forward to seeing the positive impact that our collaborative platform will have on rapidly evolving sectors including smart cities, smart retail, industrial IoT, and beyond."
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.
One of the most practical ways that the growing convergence of AI and IoT, or AIoT, will impact everyone’s lives in the near term is interaction with the world, from unlocking doors, to entering an office building, to checking in at an airport, to elder and in-patient care. Integrating AI with 3D sensing IoT devices are getting smarter through the integration of AI that obtains insights from data. At the same time, when immediate actions are required from an IoT device, the user experience is determined by how well the AI algorithm works, which is dependent on being trained by large amounts of quality data. Unlike facial recognition, with its vast set of available data, most other applications lack the required data pool to provide effective AI results. By combining AI and 3D sensing, companies can create endpoint systems that interact intelligently with people So how can this be improved? By combining highly efficient edge AI processing and 3D sensing, companies can create endpoint systems that interact intelligently and unobtrusively with people. Methods to use the latest tech In this webinar, they discuss market trends and the technology demands of real-world deployments, taking a deep dive into smart building systems that combine multiple 3D sensing modalities with image sensors to create vastly improved outcomes for a variety of use cases. The webinar will include straightforward methods for achieving these next-generation systems using reference designs employing the latest RGB-IR image sensors, 3D sensing, and edge AI vision systems on chip (SoCs). Highlights of the webinar Join to learn how to take full advantage of: Structured-light sensing for high resolution 3D biometric identification 4K RGB-IR CMOS image sensor technology for camera-based smart building systems Occupancy sensing using imaging or 3D sensing The combination of edge AI vision processing and 3D sensing for the real world
Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption. Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalisation bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models. Digital transformation While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment. Yet, with more organisations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximise the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge. Improved access control in smart environments These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimising resources and increasing citizen engagement. Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems, using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. Frictionless access control During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity. Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimising the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customised and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful. Barriers to adoption Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant. Many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space. Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature. The importance of cyber hygiene Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks. Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited. Cyber security considerations Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognised cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security. The future of access control There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organisations by their association. The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world. Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies. As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor. The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.
With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritising Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks” Businesses and organisations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using mobile credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organisations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organisations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalisation and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organisations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organisations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.
The UK government recently announced a doubling of the Safer Streets Fund to £45 million, as it seeks to reassure the public that safety is a top priority, as the night-time economy makes a return. More than just surveillance While this funding increase is much needed, it’s vital that the government and local councils use the money strategically, or risk missing out on a great opportunity to deliver real change and enhance safety across the United Kingdom. One of the main strategies cited by the government is to increase the current vast number of CCTV cameras installed across the country, despite the fact that the UK is already one of the most surveilled nations in the world. Investing in video analytics London alone has around 700,000 cameras, but to effectively monitor them all would be an incredibly inefficient use of manpower and require a huge number of staff. Therefore, I believe the clearest and most cost-effective way for this project to succeed in its overall mission, is by investing in smarter technology, such as video analytics. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution This technology offers a more efficient use of resources, faster response times and enables more informed, time-critical decision making, when reacting to unfolding events in real time. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution, as the technology enables legacy assets, such as analogue CCTV cameras, to become more than just after the fact evidence gathering tools and instead be used to help enhance real-time responses to unfolding incidents. Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions are trained using vast datasets of images and video footage, in order to better understand people, objects and vehicles that are captured on film, and they continue ‘learning’ and improving, while in use. The system’s algorithms analyse and prioritise input from video data to decide which inputs are of value, automatically classifying the footage and notifying security personnel accordingly. This reduces response times by notifying CCTV operators of an incident, as it happens, meaning law enforcement and security personnel can react faster and intervene in an ongoing situation. Edge technology and real-time video streaming A key consideration should be choosing a technology that can operate at the edge and deliver real-time video streaming, even at the lowest bandwidths, so it isn’t limited to use in areas with good connectivity, which would exclude most remote areas. Quality really does matter and technology that can operate over low bandwidths is crucial for allowing operators to zoom in on areas of interest, such as a car number plate or face, and retrieve full-resolution images that can make a real difference in ongoing investigations. Analytics-based security approach Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime. Research conducted by the UK’s Labour Party recently found that the annual cost of crime reached a staggering £100 billion. While statistics show that crime rates in general have been fairly stable over recent years, experts point to the increase in specific types of violent crime, such as knife crime which rose by over 20% during 2020. Implementing smart analytics-based technology Implementing smart analytics-based technology would help maintain staffing costs, as the system can identify incidents without an operator’s input, as well as reducing the cost of managing crime, as more incidents will be intervened in before they escalate too far. This dramatically reduces the burden on staff and allows a single surveillance operator to monitor many more cameras. On the other hand, this level of automation also reduces false alarm fatigue and operator overload, which can quickly sap efficiencies and reduce operator alertness, if left unchecked. Data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention Procurement officials should avoid the common mistake of simply doubling down and throwing more staff and security assets at the problem to bring results. Instead, they should take a more data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention by leveraging technologies that can enhance response and preserve their existing investments in cameras. The smart use of real-time video analytics could make the difference by preventing dangerous situations from escalating into serious incidents.
Imagine a world where video cameras are not just watching and reporting for security, but have an even wider positive impact on our lives. Imagine that cameras control street and building lights, as people come and go, that traffic jams are predicted and vehicles are automatically rerouted, and more tills are opened, just before a queue starts to form. Cameras with AI capabilities Cameras in stores can show us how we might look in the latest outfit as we browse. That’s the vision from Panasonic about current and future uses for their cameras that provide artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities at the edge. Panasonic feels that these types of intelligent camera applications are also the basis for automation and introduction of Industry 4.0, in which processes are automated, monitored and controlled by AI-driven systems. 4K network security cameras The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications Panasonic’s 4K network security cameras have built-in AI capabilities suitable for this next generation of intelligent applications in business and society. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications. The AI engine is directly embedded into the camera, thus reducing costs and Panasonic’s image quality ensures the accuracy of the analytics outcome. FacePRO facial recognition technology Panasonic began advancing AI technology on the server side with FacePRO, the in-house facial recognition application, which uses AI deep learning capabilities. Moving ahead, they transitioned their knowledge of AI from the server side to the edge, introducing i-PRO security cameras with built-in AI capabilities last summer, alongside their own in-house analytics. Moreover, in line with the Panasonic approach to focus more on collaboration with specialist AI software developers, a partnership with Italian software company, A.I. Tech followed in September, with a range of intelligent applications, partially based on deep learning. Additional collaborations are already in place with more than 10 other developers, across the European Union, working on more future applications. i-PRO AI-capable security cameras Open systems are an important part of Panasonic’s current approach. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable cameras are an open platform and designed for third-party application development, therefore, applications can be built or tailored to the needs of an individual customer. Panasonic use to be a company that developed everything in-house, including all the analytics and applications. “However, now we have turned around our strategy by making our i-PRO security cameras open to integrate applications and analytics from third-party companies,” says Gerard Figols, Head of Security Solutions at Panasonic Business Europe. Flexible and adapting to specific customer needs This new approach allows the company to be more flexible and adaptable to customers’ needs. “At the same time, we can be quicker and much more tailored to the market trend,” said Gerard Figols. He adds, “For example, in the retail space, enabling retailers to enhance the customer experience, in smart cities for traffic monitoring and smart parking, and by event organisers and transport hubs to monitor and ensure safety.” Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems Edge-based analytics Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems. On one hand, there are monetary benefits - a cost reduction results from the decreased amount of more powerful hardware required on the server side to process the data, on top of reduction in the infrastructure costs, as not all the full video stream needs to be sent for analysis, we can work solely with the metadata. On the other hand, there are also advantages of flexibility, as well as reliability. Each camera can have its own individual analytic setup and in case of any issue on the communication or server side, the camera can keep running the analysis at the edge, thereby making sure the CCTV system is still fully operational. Most importantly, systems can keep the same high level of accuracy. Explosion of AI camera applications We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications" “We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications,” said Gerard Figols, adding “However, it doesn’t mean the hardware is not important anymore, as I believe it’s more important than ever. Working with poor picture quality or if the hardware is not reliable, and works 24/7, software cannot run or deliver the outcome it has been designed for.” As hardware specialists, Figols believes that Panasonic seeks to focus on what they do best - Building long-lasting, open network cameras, which are capable of capturing the highest quality images that are required for the latest AI applications, while software developers can concentrate on bringing specialist applications to the market. Same as for smartphones, AI applications will proliferate based on market demand and succeed or fail, based on the value that they deliver. Facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line technologies Panasonic has been in the forefront in developing essential AI applications for CCTV, such as facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line. However, with the market developing so rapidly and the potential applications of AI-driven camera systems being so varied and widespread, Panasonic quickly realised that the future of their network cameras was going to be in open systems, which allow specialist developers and their customers to use their sector expertise to develop their own applications for specific vertical market applications, while using i-PRO hardware. Metadata for detection and recognition Regarding privacy, consider that the use of AI in cameras is about generating metadata for the detection and recognition of patterns, rather than identifying individual identities. “However, there are legitimate privacy concerns, but I firmly believe that attitudes will change quickly when people see the incredible benefits that this technology can deliver,” said Gerard Figols, adding “I hope that we will be able to redefine our view of cameras and AI, not just as insurance, but as life advancing and enhancing.” i-PRO AI Privacy Guard One of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard Seeking to understand and appreciate privacy concerns, one of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard that generates data without capturing individual identities, following European privacy regulations that are among the strictest in the world. Gerard Fogils said, “The combination of artificial intelligence and the latest generation open camera technology will change the world’s perceptions from Big Brother to Big Benefits. New applications will emerge as the existing generation of cameras is updated to the new open and intelligent next generation devices, and the existing role of the security camera will also continue.” Future scope of AI and cameras He adds, “Not just relying on the security cameras for evidence when things have gone wrong, end users will increasingly be able to use AI and the cameras with much higher accuracy to prevent false alarms and in a proactive way to prevent incidents." Gerard Figols concludes, “That could be monitoring and alerting when health and safety guidelines are being breached or spotting and flagging patterns of suspicious behaviour before incidents occur.”
Growth is accelerating in the smart cities market, which will quadruple in the next four years based on 2020 numbers. Top priorities are resilient energy and infrastructure projects, followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation. Innovation in smart cities will come from the continual maturation of relevant technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) and edge-to-cloud networking. AI and computer vision (video analytics) are driving challenges in security and safety, in particular, with video management systems (VMSs) capturing video streams and exposing them to various AI analytics. Adoption of disruptive technologies “Cities are entering the critical part of the adoption curve,” said Kasia Hanson, Global Director, Partner Sales, IOT Video, Safe Cities, Intel Corp. “They are beginning to cross the chasm to realise their smart city vision. Cities are taking notice and have new incentives to push harder than before. They are in a better position to innovate.” “Safety and security were already important market drivers responsible for adoption of AI, computer vision and edge computing scenarios,” commented Hanson, in a presentation at the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) 2021. She added: “2020 was an inflection point when technology and the market were ripe for disruption. COVID has accelerated the adoption of disruptive technologies in ways we could not have predicted last year.” Challenges faced by cities Spending in the European Union on public order and safety alone stood at 1.7% of GDP in 2018 Providing wide-ranging services is an expanding need in cities of all sizes. There are currently 33 megacities globally with populations over 10 million. There are also another 4,000 cities with populations over 100,000 inhabitants. Challenges for all cities include improving public health and safety, addressing environmental pressures, enabling mobility, improving quality of life, promoting economic competitiveness and reducing costs. Spending in the European Union on public order and safety alone stood at 1.7% of GDP in 2018. Other challenges include air quality – 80% of those living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed World Health Organization (WHO) limits. Highlighting mobility concerns is an eye-opening statistic from Los Angeles in 2017: Residents spent an average of 102 hours sitting in traffic. Smart technology “The Smart City of Today can enable rich and diverse use cases,” says Hanson. Examples include AI-enabled traffic signals to help reduce air pollution, and machine learning for public safety such as real-time visualisation and emergency response. Public safety use cases include smart and connected outdoor lighting, smart buildings, crime prevention, video wearables for field agents, smart kiosks and detection of noise level, glass breaks and gunshots. Smart technology will make indoor spaces safer by controlling access to a building with keyless and touchless entry. In the age of COVID, systems can also detect face mask compliance, screen for fever and ensure physical distancing. 2020 was an inflection point when technology and the smart cities market were ripe for disruption, Kasia Hanson told the MIPS 2021 audience. Video solutions Video workloads will provide core capabilities as entertainment venues reopen after the pandemic. When audiences attend an event at a city stadium, deep learning and AI capabilities analyse customer behaviours to create new routes, pathways, signage and to optimise cleaning operations. Personalised digital experiences will add to the overall entertainment value. In the public safety arena, video enables core capabilities such as protection of people, assets and property, emergency response, and real-time visualisation and increased situational awareness. Video also provides intelligent incident management, better operational efficiency and faster information sharing and collaboration. Smart video strategy Intel and Milestone provide video solutions across many use cases, including safety and security Video at the edge is a key element in end-to-end solutions. Transforming data from various point solutions into insights is complicated, time-consuming and costly. Cities and public venues are looking for hardware, software and industry expertise to provide the right mix of performance, capabilities and cost-effectiveness. Intel’s smart video strategy focuses around its OpenVINO toolkit. OpenVINO, which is short for Open Visual Inference and Neural network Optimisation, enables customers to build and deploy high-performing computer vision and deep learning inference applications. Intel and Milestone partnership – Video solutions “Our customers are asking for choice and flexibility at the edge, on-premises and in the cloud,” said Hansen in her presentation at the virtual conference. “They want the choice to integrate with large-scale software packages to speed deployment and ensure consistency over time. They need to be able to scale computer vision. Resolutions are increasing alongside growth in sensor installations themselves. They have to be able to accommodate that volume, no matter what causes it to grow.” As partners, Intel and Milestone provide video solutions across many use cases, including safety and security. In effect, the partnership combines Intel’s portfolio of video, computer vision, inferencing and AI capabilities with Milestone’s video management software and community of analytics partners. Given its complex needs, the smart cities market is particularly inviting for these technologies.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a buzzword. AI is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and a vital tool in the physical security industry. In 2020, AI received more attention than ever, and expanded the ways it can contribute value to physical security systems. This article will revisit some of those development at year-end, including links back to the originally published content. In the security market today, AI is expanding the use cases, making technologies more powerful and saving money on manpower costs - and today represents just the beginning of what AI can do for the industry. What it will never do, however, is completely take the place of humans in operating security systems. There is a limit to how much we are willing to turn over to machines - even the smartest ones. Beyond video analytics "Apply AI to security and now you have an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to operate proactively rather than reactively," said Jody Ross of AMAG Technology, one of our Expert Roundtable Panelists. AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics. However, now there are many other applications, too, as addressed by our Expert Panel Roundtable in another article. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide useful tools to make sense of massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) data. By helping to automate low-level decision-making, the technologies can make security operators more efficient. Biometrics with access control Intelligent capabilities can expand integration options such as increasing the use of biometrics with access control. AI can also help to monitor mechanics and processes. Intelligent systems can help end users understand building occupancy and traffic patterns and even to help enforce physical distancing. These are just a few of the possible uses of the technologies - in the end, the sky is the limit. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry, and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right. You can look into the future. Smarter perimeter protection Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognise a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreasing the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customisable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Meeting urban needs Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyse it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. In smart cities applications, the challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. Optimise security solutions As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimise security solutions. In sports stadium applications, AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back after the COVID pandemic is huge, through capabilities such as social distance monitoring, crowd scanning/metrics, facial recognition, fever detection, track and trace and providing behavioural analytics. Technologies such as AI-powered collaboration platforms now work alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. AI surveillance software In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. AI surveillance software, when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Fighting illicit trade Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioural anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Revolutionary AI-driven technologies can help to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, for example, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents - often billions of pages of documents - in a short period of time.
Situated at an altitude of 5500 feet above sea level, Namchi (means Sky High) is one of the famous and biggest tourist destinations in Sikkim, a state of northeast India. Surrounded by the spectacular view of the mountains, emerald, and green forest, Namchi is well-known for its old monasteries, sacred temples, and annual festivals such as Namchi Mahotsav. Smart Cities Mission Namchi was selected to be part of the Smart Cities Mission, an ambitious programme of Govt. of India. Under this programme, the city aspires to be a ‘world-class’ tourist destination and simultaneously maintain ecological balance with a vibrant community, offering an enriched quality of life supported by a robust local economy. In recent years, the city infrastructure has also shown rapid growth and welcoming thousands of tourists each year, hence, making the city vulnerable to threats driven by overcrowding, chaotic traffic, haphazard parking in addition to other law & order issues. In the first phase of the project, Namchi Smart City Limited wanted to cover its citizens as well as tourists with a robust surveillance system with proper traffic management without disrupting the normal day-to-day activities. The solution Videonetics designed a modular and scalable unified solution, based on its Intelligent VMS and AI & DL powered Video Analytics After a thorough assessment of the requirements and consequent discussions with the officials of Namchi Smart City Limited, Videonetics designed a modular and scalable unified solution, based on its Intelligent VMS and AI & DL powered Video Analytics, aimed to ensure continuous monitoring, efficient traffic monitoring, quicker response times and faster access to evidence in case of investigations and law & order management. Eyeing on every corner of the city A group of over 120 IP Cameras has been installed at the important locations to monitor the entry and exit points connecting to the city, public ways, transport hubs, tourist attractions, markets, streets, traffic junctions to name a few. Now, security operators can easily view and manage citywide deployed IP cameras with the intuitive interface of Videonetics Intelligent VMS, having complete situational awareness, and can respond smartly to critical situations. Moreover, the smart navigation feature of Intelligent VMS allows simultaneous viewing of the life and the recorded videos in the same interface, which helps in prompt investigation of past activities without taking their eye off from the current incidents. Parking and directional analytics Namchi being a hilly terrain has narrow roads with the limited scope of turning it into broader ones, the authorities used to manage the traffic by declaring some of the roads as a one-way carriage. Frequently, the city faced chaotic traffic congestion and accidents, due to unauthorized parking and wrong-way driving. The unified solution empowers command control operators to receive real-time insights and predict unusual behaviour To address such concerns, Videonetics Artificial Intelligence-powered video analytics including No Parking Detection and Wrong-Way Movement Detection were deployed to detect such situations. Operators are notified as soon as any vehicle is parked in a restricted zone and if any vehicle moves in the wrong direction. The Videonetics unified solution empowers command control operators to receive real-time insights from the city and upon recognition or prediction of unusual behaviour, they receive an immediate alert and notify the authorities. Centralised view of the city Videonetics Intelligent VMS and Video Analytics application are seamlessly integrated with Namchi Operations Center (NOC), an Integrated Command Control Center (ICCC), to simplify the response coordination between stakeholders and speeding up incident resolution. Working in conjunction with city administration, control room operators can switch from camera to camera using dynamic maps, which empowers them to obtain critical event information as well as manage emergencies by alerting respective stakeholders for quick action. And when necessary, Videonetics's unified solution makes it possible to share forensic videos across departments, facilitating more collaborative and successful response efforts. Open architecture solution The sagacious collaboration between Videonetics, Astrikos Consulting, and Namchi Smart City Ltd, has become an exemplary model for other cities. AI-Unified Solution has exceeded the city administration’s expectations in terms of its intuitive functionalities Videonetics Unified Solution has exceeded city administration’s expectations in terms of its intuitive functionalities, identifying suspicious activities, and ensuring smooth traffic movements. And the solution’s open architecture allows the seamless addition of more cameras and integration with other security systems as the city continues to grow and identify more needs. It signifies future development potential with maximum impact on people. Situational awareness Furthermore, the integrated solution has been extremely helpful for the city authority in aggregating and visualising the video data collected over time, to deliver critical statistical information such as directional traffic data, traffic flow insights, hotspots of public gathering, etc. Eventually, increasing the situational awareness, standardising response protocol and implementing SOPs at the city level and enhancing collaboration across various departments/bodies emphasising “the citizens come first” mindset of Namchi city.
The developer of innovative behavioural recognition systems for real-time video intelligence, has recently deployed a new installation in the city of Eilat, Israel to detect, predict and analyse events of interests in real-time and alert authorities of crowding, violent/suspicious activity, traffic or crowd congestion, and more. Deployment of the unique behavioral analytics solution was fast-tracked in preparation for the large number of tourists who typically flood the city during the Passover and upcoming holiday season. viisights behavioural analytics are integrated into the city’s extensive surveillance system, which includes over 300 cameras that are monitored at a centrally located command and control centre. viisights can monitor hundreds of cameras in real-time, and upon recognition or prediction of unusual behaviour a command centre operator receives an immediate alert and can notify the authorities. Latest advancements in imaging technology viisights behavioural analytics employ AI to autonomously detect, analyse, and understand actions and events Eilat is the first city in Israel to advance Israel’s smart city “City without Violence” initiative. Avinoam Nahari, Director of the city’s information methods and systems division in charge of the project, stated that the viisights behavioural analytics solution enables the city to quickly and efficiently address abnormal events for the benefit of its residents and visitors’ safety and security. Maya Scheyer, VP of Global Business Development and Sales at viisights, stated that the company’s innovative behavioural analytics leverage the latest advancements in imaging technology to deliver new benchmarks in video intelligence that transcend traditional real-time surveillance monitoring and forensics by providing actionable intelligence to minimise liabilities and prevent incidents from escalating. Unlike conventional video analytics that use old pixel technology to recognise static objects and classify objects, viisights behavioural analytics employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) to autonomously detect, analyse, and understand actions and events. This unprecedented level of video understanding is based on a unique implementation of deep neural networks capable of analysing and defining specific activities using video streams from conventional security cameras. Maintain the public’s safety and security Eilat deployed the viisights solution to autonomously increase situational awareness and generate alerts on events of interest such as crowding events in areas and locations where COVID-19 guidelines are not being followed, predicting gatherings by monitoring traffic and people’s movement towards a certain location, and more. We’re proud of this innovative system which will enable us to maintain the public’s safety and security" Eli Lankri, Deputy and Acting Mayor of Eilat leading the Israel’s Smart City program said, “As a city that ranks high in Israel’s smart cities index, we’re proud of this innovative system which will enable us to maintain the public’s safety and security, and its health under the current COVID-19 pandemic”. Prevent the spread of COVID-19 Asaf Birenzvieg, viisights CEO added, “We’re proud to take part in this national effort and provide a critical component of the “City without Violence” project to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and get life back on track while maintaining the COVID-19 guidelines. Given Eilat’s status as one of Israel’s most popular tourism cities, we are extremely proud to be part of this national effort.” In addition to adding to Eilat’s image as pioneering the country’s smart city initiative, the municipality is a “living lab” for new technologies in various fields. Examples include a renewable electricity system that handles 70% of daytime power needs, smart transportation, travel technologies, smart lighting and gardening systems, environmental monitoring technology with sensors located throughout the city to detect radiation, air and noise pollution, and more.
Genetec Inc., a globally renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced how commercial real estate provider, Westminster Property Ventures has made innovative use of a range of Genetec solutions to make each of its premises safe from COVID-19 virus spread for staff, tenants and visitors. Westminster Property Ventures’ buildings house critical businesses, such as international banks, law firms and consultancies who can be assured that amidst a global pandemic their offices remain highly secure and equipped for their return. Genetec Mission Control The newly introduced processes and technologies make smart use of Westminster Property Ventures’ existing video and access control infrastructure. For example, using the Genetec Mission Control collaborative decision management system, Westminster Property Ventures is collecting and qualifying data from thousands of sensors and security devices, before guiding security operators in their response to routine and unanticipated situations. Among other current and critical capabilities, this helps ensure the seamless transition of out-of-hours monitoring between Westminster PV’s in-house security team and security provider, Wilson James’ monitoring centre, ensuring comprehensive levels of security at all times. “Our clientele continue to expect the highest level of security and service from us whether or not they are currently choosing to work inside our buildings,” said Andrew Forbes-Jones, Facilities Manager, Westminster Property Ventures, adding “We’re grateful to Genetec and Wilson James for keeping us at the forefront of innovation and compliance in all aspects of our security and operations.” Security Center Synergis access control system COVID-19 has created new challenges for Westminster Property Ventures’ security and operations teams in maintaining a secure and safe environment for both home and remote workers, as well as those still working inside the facilities. Using the Genetec Security Center Synergis access control system, Westminster Property Ventures is taking advantage of many COVID-19 specific features, developed over the last year, to help them directly address the challenges of the global pandemic. Synergis Proximity Report Westminster Property Ventures has deployed the Genetec’s ‘Synergis Proximity Report’ Along with the system’s new occupancy management capability, Westminster Property Ventures has deployed Genetec’s ‘Synergis Proximity Report’, first deployed at McCormick Place in Chicago, North America’s largest convention center that was repurposed as a COVID-19 field hospital in spring of 2020. Drawing data from the Synergis access control system, the solution allows Westminster Property Ventures to quickly identify individuals visiting one of their buildings, who may have come in contact with someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19 infection. Efficient protection against COVID-19 virus “I’m constantly impressed by the ability of our partners and end users to adapt quickly to changing requirements and bring the latest innovative solutions online to address them,” said Paul Dodds, Country Manager UK at Genetec, Inc. Paul adds, “Westminster Property Ventures’ rapid response to the challenges of the pandemic mirrors our own and validates our investments in technologies that can help make our workplaces safer, healthier and more secure.”
Johan Cruijff ArenA will utilise innovative video analytics to improve visitor flow, optimise parking utilisation and offer fans an anonymous way to provide feedback about the stadium experience, among other uses. The Security & Safety Things IoT platform for smart cameras will integrate into the ArenA’s operational software to provide key insights into stadium operations and ongoing health and safety measures, especially useful since the pandemic. The partnership will provide a potential model for other organisations looking to deploy technology solutions to safely reopen. IoT platform for smart cameras Security and Safety Things GmbH and the Johan Cruijff ArenA are partnering up and will deploy S&STs IoT platform for smart surveillance cameras to enhance overall fan experience, optimise ArenA operations and increase visitor security and privacy. The ArenA is home to AFC Ajax and the internationally renowned Amsterdam Innovation ArenA (AIA), a living lab established by the ArenA and the City of Amsterdam to enable development and testing of innovative stadium and smart city solutions. Security & Safety Things IoT platform S&ST IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software The Security & Safety Things (S&ST) IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software to provide information and analysis for safety and security as well optimisation of stadium operations and visitor engagement. “Every technology selected for our innovation environment is strategic because of the potential benefits not only to our ArenA, but to the City of Amsterdam and other stadiums and large event venues seeking technological solutions to help to re-open safely and operate their facility more intelligently,” said Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA. Sander van Stiphout adds, “The unique flexibility of the Security & Safety Things approach enables us to simultaneously deploy COVID-19 health and safety analytics along with business optimisation tools and easily re-equip the cameras with other analytic applications as our needs change.” AI-enabled video analytic applications A series of smart cameras on the S&ST IoT platform are installed in key areas throughout the stadium. Using specialised, Artificial Intelligence-enabled video analytic applications from the S&ST Application Store that run directly on each camera, each device will provide the ArenA with valuable operational insights. When the stadium reopens, crowd detection analytics will monitor social distancing compliance and visitor flow around entrances and food or merchandise kiosks. License plate recognition cameras will assist with real-time occupancy monitoring for parking and traffic flow optimisation. Queue detection applications Queue detection applications can be employed to reduce visitor wait times by directing fans to less busy areas and by providing the insights required to optimise staffing levels at peak times. In one specific area, a camera also provides the ability for visitors to provide feedback about their stadium experience in an anonymous and contact-free way by detecting the visual of a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ from a visitor, collecting only the rating without disrupting people flow. Smart camera platform We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner" “The flexibility of our smart camera platform and the ArenA’s mission of innovation are very well matched to produce the intelligence necessary to address real world issues of privacy, health and safety but also new and creative ideas for stadium and event management,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Security & Safety Things GmbH. Hartmut adds, “We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner and to help them provide a seamless and safe visitor experience.” Smart surveillance camera system The camera system and how it is used complies with all European and Dutch privacy regulations. Furthermore, there are various advantages to this camera system, when it comes to privacy. These cameras are equipped with powerful processors that analyse the images directly on the camera, reducing the need for a constant video stream to be passed on to a central location, where it can be monitored or further processed. Instead, the cameras can be configured to send only the information about relevant events such as when a long queue is forming, groups of people gather too closely, or individuals are not wearing face coverings as required. Only then will respective images be passed along. This reduces the processing of visitors’ personal information to an absolute minimum as opposed to a traditional set-up where all footage is transmitted and centrally processed at all times.
Global MSC Security announced that it has been appointed by the City of Edinburgh Council to consult on a planned upgrade of its video surveillance system from analogue to IP, as Edinburgh progresses towards its vision to become one of the world smartest capital cities. Working with the Council, Global MSC Security will use its public sector expertise to oversee the preparation of a tender specification of a fully integrated public space surveillance operation. Upgrading public realm CCTV surveillance system The appointment of Global MSC Security follows the announcement that the City of Edinburgh Council is investing over £1 million in its public realm CCTV (including housing blocks, transport network and Council buildings) and has also secured £712,000 from the 'Scotland's 8th City, the Smart City' European Regional Development Fund Strategic Intervention in support of an upgrade to its CCTV infrastructure, as part of its smart city programme. Global MSC Security has a wealth of expertise in public space surveillance, having consulted on dozens of local authority CCTV surveillance projects, including The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Central Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Herefordshire, North Somerset, Barnet, Bristol City, Dorset, Neath and Port Talbot, Mid Devon and Maidstone and Luton Councils. Installing new IP cameras, VMS and encoders Global MSC Security will ensure the City of Edinburgh Council is able to upgrade its public space cameras, VMS and encoders Global MSC Security will ensure the City of Edinburgh Council is able to upgrade its public space cameras, video management system (VMS) and encoders, with the right technology at the best price and implemented smoothly. Global MSC Security’s Managing Director, Derek Maltby stated “We offer a wealth of experience in specifying public space surveillance systems for local authorities. Global MSC Security is proud to be involved in what is a major initiative not only for the City but Scotland and its position as a leader in smart services and society.” Resilient and secure city surveillance system He adds, “This important and essential infrastructure upgrade represents a significant investment, and the resulting system will provide the Council with a function-rich, future-proof, highly resilient and secure surveillance system.” Derek further stated, “However, for any organisation making the switch from analogue to IP, it is vital that the transition is managed in the correct way, to maximise resources and optimise system performance. That begins with a robust tender specification, which is where our expertise lies.” The tender specification is expected to be released by the City of Edinburgh Council in February 2021 and the contract awarded in September.
The new CCTV system installed by WLS at Vauxhall City Farm, is according to its Chief Executive, Monica Tyler, being used to its full potential to ensure that the 50,000 visitors who visit the farm every year, are able to safely enjoy all its facilities. “Our previous CCTV was well past its ‘use-by’ date. Although it was still working, it lacked the functionality we needed to ensure around the clock security of our animals and property, as well as ensuring compliance with our health & safety procedures,” said Monica. Central urban farms “The new CCTV system, generously donated and installed by WLS, has transformed our working lives by providing us with peace of mind in knowing we can monitor every area of the farm, including our recently opened eco-garden, without any blind spots.” “The quality of the images captured by the Dahua cameras enable us to see close up detail of any activity or incident, whilst I and other colleagues are able to use an app running on our mobile phones to remotely keep an eye on the farm when it is closed and if there is an alarm event.” Located within earshot of Big Ben, Vauxhall City Farm is one of the oldest and most central urban farms in London. Local and wider communities The farm was established in 1976 when a group of architects began working on a vacant plot of land The farm was established in 1976 when a group of architects began working on a vacant plot of land and made it available to local residents for them to grow vegetables and care for livestock. From those humble beginnings, the farm has continually grown and is now the home for over 100 animals, a riding centre and a cafe, and with the enthusiastic support of a large team of volunteers, conducts dozens of education and youth projects. As a registered charity, the farm’s main objectives are to enhance the health, well-being and life chances of children and disadvantaged people, as well as create enjoyment and recreational opportunities for those from our local and wider communities. Intruder detection systems WLS’s connection with Vauxhall City Farm spans over 15 years, during which it has installed and maintained the farm’s fire and intruder detection systems, as well as the now superseded CCTV system. Alison Ewen, the wife of WLS’s managing director, also has a close bond with the farm. Having been a volunteer for over 20 years, Alison has been appointed a trustee specialising in Riding for the Disabled activities. “As a company which has enjoyed considerable success installing a great number of electronic security solutions across London, we believe we have a corporate responsibility to give something back to the community,” said Jeremy Ewen. “We have welcomed the opportunity to do so by supporting a charity which we have such high regard for, in respect of the support, education and enjoyment it gives to so many people.”
Round table discussion
Our Expert Panel Roundtable is an opinionated group. However, for a variety of reasons, we are sometimes guilty of not publishing their musings in a timely manner. At the end of 2020, we came across several interesting comments among those that were previously unpublished. Following is a catch-all collection of those responses, addressing some of the most current and important issues in the security marketplace in 2021.
The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analysed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the physical security challenges of smart cities?
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