Ho Chi Minh City takes its place at the centre of Asia’s security world this week, as a record 380 exhibitors aim to catch the attention of trade buyers at the 12th edition of Secutech Vietnam. Displaying best-in-class products in the fields of safety, security and fire, the trade fair takes place at the Saigon Convention and Exhibition Centre from 14 – 16 August 2019. According to Ms Regina Tsai, the Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, the fair has adapted to accommodate emerging vertical markets: “Thanks to the traction of Industry 4.0, a new wave of IoT adoption is taking place in Vietnam. With this in mind, we have introduced the ‘Smart Factory Conference’ to the fair’s fringe programme. This adds to what is already an exciting exchange platform for the smart city and smart building markets.” 11% rise in number of exhibitors As the market for security products in Vietnam has matured, exhibitor participation has risen for six consecutive yearsBy further easing the process of doing business in Vietnam, the fair continues to gather support from both industry associations and new exhibitors. In fact, as the market for security products in Vietnam has matured, exhibitor participation has risen for six consecutive years. In celebration of the fair’s expansion, Ms Tsai added: “This year we are delighted to be recording an 11% rise in exhibitor numbers. Last year, the fair attracted 13,800 trade visitors, and at the coming edition we are anticipating yet another strong turnout from system integrators, distributors, consultants and related trade buyers.” Solution providers from 21 countries and regions will showcase their products across 11,000 sqm of exhibition space at the fair, including the likes of Avigilon, Bosch, Hanwha Techwin, Hitron, KPS, LILIN, PHUC BINH, Nha An Toan (a distributor of Hikvision and ABB products), and ZKTeco. Demand for energy efficient solutions In the smart building sector, demand for connected IoT products can be broken down into four main categories: smart homes, smart apartment buildings, smart commercial buildings and smart factories. Security applications are a key demand, but buyers also seek solutions for energy savings and management efficiency. With this in mind, Secutech Vietnam’s concurrent SMABuilding Vietnam event provides a sourcing hub for related products such as building management platforms and energy-saving systems, as well as access control systems, biometrics, IP surveillance solutions and intercoms. Connecting with suppliers of smart building The Pavilion will provide destination for buyers to connect with suppliers of smart building and security technologyOne of numerous highlights of the event is the Singapore Pavilion. As a leader in cloud services and IoT technology, Singapore is home to some of the world’s premier digital solution providers. The Pavilion will provide a one-stop destination for buyers to connect with suppliers of smart building and security technology, including ASME, Force 21, Kedacom, Multron, Servo Dynamic, Ubergard, and Worldtags. Another cluster of international brands is the Shenzhen Pavilion. Organised by the Shenzhen Circular Economy Association and the Shenzhen Municipal Commerce Bureau, the pavilion gathers more than 20 leading suppliers to showcase up-to-date solutions not only for smart building and smart home, but also transportation. In addition to excellent product variety, trade visitors will be able to gather relevant industry information at the fair. In fact, a series of conferences and seminars ensure that visitors will leave with up-to-date market intelligence in the areas of smart factories and fire & safety. Implementing appropriate fire systems The sector draws demand from a variety of different verticals, including high rise buildings, factories and industrial parksIn collaboration with Houselink JSC, the new Smart Factory Conference has been introduced to meet the needs of contractors, consultants, investors, end users and other related stakeholders from Vietnam’s expanding smart factory sector. Shining a spotlight on Industry 4.0, topics will include security solutions for industrial zones, factory automation management as well as the implementation of appropriate fire systems for industrial premises. Bringing the full fraternity of regional fire safety stakeholders together is the concurrent ‘Fire Safety and Rescue Vietnam’ event. International exhibitors will be trying to capitalise on the high demand in the Vietnamese fire safety sector, as rising awareness has raised demand for higher standard equipment. The sector draws demand from a variety of different verticals, including high rise buildings, factories and industrial parks. Thanks to the current construction boom, real estate developers in particular are investing in high standard products for their latest projects. Fire safety products at the event Products that can be located at the event include fire trucks, personal protection equipment and sprinkler systemsThe Korea Fire Institute and the Japan Pavilion are two international pavilions offering a wide selection of quality products including fire extinguishers, alarms, rescue equipment and first aid kits. The pavilions join a total of 28 exhibitors, both domestic and international, such as Akao, Hatsuta, Jinwoo, Kobayashi, Masteco, Rezontech, and Shilla Fire. Other products that can be located at the event include fire trucks, personal protection equipment and sprinkler systems. Supplementing the event is the ‘Fire and Safety Seminar’, which will provide information about new technologies and best practices for disaster prevention in factories and buildings. To help visitors navigate Secutech Vietnam’s wide range of products and solutions, a business matching service will run throughout the three days of the fair. Based on vertical markets, or specific products of interest, catered tours will ensure that trade buyers connect with the most appropriate suppliers for their business needs. Visitors can pre-register for the service online, or visit the business matching centre during the fair.
SnapAV, a provider of A/V, surveillance, networking and remote management products for professionals, and Control4 Corporation, a provider of smart home solutions, announce the successful completion of their merger. Unified into a single organisation, Control4® becomes a professional smart home brand in the company portfolio, SnapAV continues to bring technology professionals a trusted, end-to-end partner that invests relentlessly in growing the industry and helping their businesses succeed. Delivering fantastic experiences Our team shares a passion to deliver fantastic experiences to homeowners and businesses" "The smart home industry is poised for massive growth, and much of that growth will be driven and satisfied by professionals. Our team shares a passion to deliver fantastic experiences to homeowners and businesses,” said John Heyman, chief executive officer of SnapAV. "Through this combination of industry leaders, we have organised ourselves around delivering a unified and integrated company that gives dealers one place to go for the best and broadest selection of products, greatest technical support, most rewarding sales programs, robust training resources, and more.” The combination of these two companies brings together a robust product catalogue of in-house brands and third-party products, backed by highly-experienced product engineering teams, award-winning customer service, education and training programs, and in-field technical support. Together they have the resources and logistics infrastructure to be a one-stop shop that drives value added services for technology professionals across the industries they serve. Great living experiences The SnapAV product development team led by Charlie Kindel as chief product & technology officer envisions a roadmap that blends deep innovation with simplicity, interoperability, and quality. “We know this to be true: the number of connected devices in the home will continue to increase. Homeowners want help removing complexity so they can enjoy life at home more and manage technology less,” says Charlie. “We’re focused on the vision of making end-customers rave about our fantastic products and the great living experiences our dealers create with those products. Through this merger, we will fulfil the true promise of the smart home.” Together the combined company offers a broad product portfolio. Adding the award-winning Control4 Smart Home OS, an operating system specifically designed for the modern, pro-installed smart home, gives SnapAV one of the most connected product portfolios with interoperability across nearly 14,000 devices from hundreds of manufacturers. International expansion The merger feels like a game-changer for my company, and for the industry" Control4 will continue to be available only through Control4 Authorised Dealers, and the high standards required for dealer certification will not change. All brands in the combined product portfolio – including Pakedge® and Araknis®, OvrC® and BakPak®, Triad® and Episode® – continue to be supported today, and dealers can use the solution that best fits their business needs. Bryan Naquin, owner of Acadian Home Theater and Automation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is enthusiastic about the merger. “The merger feels like a game-changer for my company, and for the industry. As one company, it means more help with all my installation needs which would simplify my business, and make it much easier to support my customers,” Naquin said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the combined company will evolve.” Dealers can expect to see continued investment in both local and international expansion. Broad industry growth Ordering products will remain the same for now, but over time, the combined portfolios will be made available through easy and convenient online ordering, shipping, and local pickup. SnapAV intends to invest further into the international markets Control4 has established including the UK, Ireland, China, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland. SnapAV is committed to investing relentlessly in the success of its dealers" “Today is day one of this journey, and we are just getting started. SnapAV is committed to investing relentlessly in the success of its dealers and fuelling broad industry growth to better serve our shared customers. We believe in the importance of professionally installed systems, and we are laying the groundwork to ensure those businesses succeed long into the future,” concluded Heyman. Additional executives With a combined 1,200 employees, SnapAV CEO John Heyman will lead the merged teams as chief executive officer, while former Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn joins the board of directors of SnapAV’s parent company. Jeff Hindman joins the executive team as chief revenue officer, while former Amazon Alexa executive and Control4 SVP of products & services Charlie Kindel is named chief product & technology officer. Mike Carlet will serve as the chief financial officer. Additional executives of the combined company include Jeff Dungan, G Paul Hess, JD Ellis, Barrett Schiwitz, Bryce Judd, Carmen Thiede, Graham Jaenicke, and Wally Whinna. The company will have headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Salt Lake City, Utah, with offices and local facilities around the world.
Globally renowned property protection provider Orbis Protect has joined forces with E.ON, one of the UK's top energy suppliers, to support its drive to tackle the UK’s housing shortage by bringing empty homes back into use. Orbis-E.ON partnership Orbis Protect is partnering with E.ON on the scheme and will provide specialist clearance and cleaning of any empty properties, externally and internally. With 605,000 empty homes in England – more than 200,000 of which have been declared long-term empty properties – the scheme is offering help to owners with properties that haven’t been lived in from anywhere between six months to 10-15 years. Guy Other, CEO of Orbis Protect, said, “There are a number of reasons why private property owners leave homes empty and there are varying conditions and states of repair that we can help with. Sometimes people feel there is too much to do, they don’t have the time or the skills to bring the property up to standard. With our level of expertise, we can tackle anything from major clearance and cleaning, to vital safety checks.” Through our work, we’ve seen first-hand the impact empty homes can have on the communities around them" Enhancing home property security Andrew Angus, Housing Solutions Manager at E.ON, said, “Although we have been doing this for many years working, within the social housing and commercial sectors, it’s a skill we are easily able to transfer to private properties and we are really pleased to be working with E.ON and the council on this pilot scheme.” Andrew adds, “Through our work, we’ve seen first-hand the impact empty homes can have on the communities around them and this service can help support them and bring much-needed homes back to use. We hope to be able to offer this solution to other local authorities across the country over the coming months.” Safe and secure access Following stringent checks, the dedicated Orbis team will also make sure the properties are safe and accessible for other service providers in order bring the houses back to a decent standard. Orbis Protect has a skilled and experienced team already working with a number of social housing providers and deals with 100,000 empty properties each year. This service has not been undertaken effectively for privately-owned properties before now. E.ON offers a free survey to private owners of empty properties to establish what is needed to bring the property back up to standard and once complete, can fully manage the refurbishment work to ensure the property is once again habitable.
The 2019 editions of Shanghai Intelligent Building Technology (SIBT) and Shanghai Smart Home Technology (SSHT) will be held from 3 ‒ 5 September at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). Spurred by the fast development of China’s intelligent building, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) sectors, the two exhibitions are close to capacity as there has been strong demand from exhibitors to participate at the shows. Smart neighbourhoods The total exhibition space is also expected to reach a record of over 28,750 sqm The concurrently held trade fairs are expected to attract over 280 renowned businesses from China and overseas, and welcome a similar number to last year’s 29,423 professional visitors. The total exhibition space is also expected to reach a record of over 28,750 sqm. Fairgoers to SIBT and SSHT will not only be treated to the usual array of smart home and building technologies and solutions, but will once again be able to visit the returning Parking China fair, while a debut ‘Shanghai Smart Office Technology’ (SSOT) feature zone will add yet another element to these growing group of exhibitions. Covering key topics such as IoT, AI, big data, robots, smart offices, smart parking, home security, HVAC, energy conservation, 5G, smart neighbourhoods and smart cities, fairgoers and exhibitors alike can benefit from a one-stop market and purchasing platform which positively bring together multiple different industries. Smart parking industries On the development of SIBT, Ms Lucia Wong, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Co Ltd said: “As SIBT welcomes its 13th edition, I must express my sincere gratitude for the unwavering support from the industry. Devoted to demonstrating cutting-edge technology and innovative products, we are looking forward to highlighting new market trends and welcoming fairgoers this September.” Ms Wong also shared her optimism on the fifth edition of SSHT, stating: “The fairs have grown alongside the market. By exploring advanced technology and top-tier products, we strive to promote the widespread implementation of smart homes.” In line with recent policies implemented by China, green building and renewable energy initiatives are being promoted in different parts of the country, while intelligent buildings have also become a common sight across cities. China’s IoT capabilities are also developing rapidly which extends to the smart building, smart office and smart parking industries. Cross-industry cooperation Over 280 exhibitors from multiple sectors will congregate at the shows As 5G and AI technology continue to improve, smart home is now more than a fictional concept but a lifestyle that is gradually taking over traditional homes. Full smart home implementation are expected to soar in popularity with sensors becoming the epicentre of smart homes. With the rapid development of 5G technology and the enhanced applicability of AIoT and IoT operation systems, the future of home industry will be brimming with exciting possibilities. With both fairs placing a strong emphasis on ‘AI+IoT’, SIBT and SSHT will work in synergy to bring together IoT and smart building suppliers, encouraging cross-industry cooperation and communication. Over 280 exhibitors from multiple sectors will congregate at the shows including Schneider, Hisense, Ezviz, Ave Leelen, ANJUBAO, Dnake, Legrand China, SUREN, ORVIBO, Baiwei, FANTEM, HaiLin, Shuncom, KNX, EnOcean, Crodigy, A-OK, wistarmotor, HDL, Grandland, Daming Laffey, UIOT, Eastsoft, Savekey, Wintom Sun-shade, Auxdio, Sonos, aminasound, D&M, Cinemaster, Levoice, Elite, Changsha Yidai, Ningbo Hope, Bao Feng Cinema, WTi Group, ALCATEL, Dongguan Taitron, and more. Smart control systems Selected exhibitors and their innovations include: HDL - HDL showcases integrated smart control systems, one-stop solutions and equipment. New products on display include the multipurpose S10 touch screen and other smart panels. Ezviz - Concentrating on the safety-related aspects of smart living and technology, the company will demonstrate its intelligent air quality sensor with remote access and history function, as well as its video recorder with internet-connection, 360° high-speed rotation, intelligent human detection, acoustic location, and other functions. Legrand China - Legrand China will offer visitors a multitude of new smart home appliances and systems, including intelligent switches for window blinds, switch modules, gateways, smart plugs, wireless IR transmitters, controllers, and door and window detectors. FANTEM - The latest upgrade to its home system, OOMI3.0, is a stability solution for wireless connections in mansions and duplexes. Targeting the needs of families and those that require large-scale systems, it supports scenario settings with the use of multiple gateways. CTTL-Terminal Labs summit forum envisions smart living Every edition of SIBT and SSHT introduces cutting-edge industry technology through a diverse programme of concurrent events. This year, SIBT will be collaborating with CTTL-Terminal Lab under the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) to present forums on smart cities, neighbourhoods and buildings. Under CAICT, CTTL-Terminals Lab specialises in ICT development research, product standards and testing, and new ICT development research, offering all-round support for related industries. Led by the lab, this year’s forum will introduce a number of renowned speakers to discuss their latest research on industry trends and innovative new technology. Smart office solutions A new ‘Smart Office’ zone will debut this year to explore the growing market demand for smart office solutions. The zone will highlight a number of technologies and solutions that provide optimal performance for office facilities using IoT and connected technology. The show will explore improved urban parking resource management and better parking eco-systems in buildings The smart parking sector will also be under the spotlight as the Parking China fair will once again be held concurrently to provide a high-level international platform for smart parking solutions in cities. To help the industry thrive, the show will explore improved urban parking resource management and better parking eco-systems in buildings. SIBT is organised by Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd, Shanghai Hongshan Exhibition Service Co Ltd, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade – Shanghai Pudong Sub-Branch, and The Intelligent Engineering Branch of China Exploration & Design Association. Building technology exhibitions The organisers of SSHT are Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd, Shanghai Hongshan Exhibition Service Co Ltd, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade – Shanghai Pudong Sub-Branch, and China Smart Home Industry Alliance. The two fairs will be held from 3 – 5 September 2019 at Shanghai New International Expo Centre in China. SIBT and SSHT are both headed by the biennial Light + Building event in Frankfurt, Germany. The fair will be held once every two years. The next edition will be held from 8 -13 March, 2020. Messe Frankfurt also organises a series of light and building technology exhibitions in Asia including Guangzhou Electrical Building Technology, Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition and Shanghai International Lighting Fair. The company's light and building technology fairs also extend to markets in Argentina, India, Thailand, Russia, the UAE and other countries and regions.
There’s no question that the popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security and home automation products is on the rise. The reasons for the growth in DIY sales are numerous, including increased awareness of home automation products, fast set-up, limited (if any) installation costs, and interoperability with other smart security products. In fact, with the parallel rise of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home, many people are opting to attempt the set-up of smart home devices without any professional assistance. According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates and Security Sales & Integration magazine, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. Let’s look at a few of them. Increase in revenue for dealers With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchaseThere are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Wireless, connected smart locks For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for new security installations And they can do all this from a prime, convenient location – the front door, as well as other points of entry like the side or back doors. Plus, smart lock conversion kits like Kwikset Convert let homeowners easily bring home automation capabilities to their door without altering the aesthetics of the entry. Connected smart locks can allow homeowners to set up their home with custom scenarios, right before they step inside. For example, residents can program their lock so that every time they unlock the door, a foyer light goes on, temperatures begin to rise to a set level – even connected coffee makers can begin to make a cup. Portfolio of home automation products One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatileSmart locks are just one example of the potential of DIY products to spark a homeowner’s interest in a wide range of other home automation devices, many of which would benefit from professional installation. One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatile and offer a complete portfolio of home automation products. The larger the home automation offering, the more devices there are to sell and install, the larger the installation required, the greater the need for professional installation. Many homeowners who feel like they have a certain level of handiness will start by trying to do it themselves with a DIY product. But things don’t always go as planned, especially if they are attempting to set up a robust home automation system. First off, just because a product is DIY doesn’t mean that the old products that are being replaced are going to easily make way for the new. A DIY thermostat or smart lock might require that the old equipment (and possibly wires) get tugged out of the wall. Messy holes might need to be filled. Advantages of professional installation Even after the old system has been removed, homeowners planning on setting up a connected system may soon realise they don’t have the electrical skills or technological know-how to install and connect all devices, get a system programmed correctly, and get everything up and running smoothly. Professional installers have learned from experience; there’s very little that they haven’t seen before. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home and how to create a custom smart home experience Do-it-yourselfers might be able to solve problems by searching the internet and finding videos. But, then again, they might not. After going the DIY route once, many full-home automation system enthusiasts are beginning to realise that the best way to get things done right the first time is to leave the installation and set-up to a professional. Professional installers can and should bring an extra level of experience and guidance to the process. Their services should go beyond tech installation and also include interface design. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home – how to create a custom smart home experience that doesn’t make the user feel less than smart. Selling additional home automation products If a problem arises due to installation error, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakesResidential security dealers who offer professional installation should be willing to embrace the DIYer who has attempted to do a self-install but has not been able to complete the process successfully. With an open mind to this scenario, they can save the day for the DIYer, as well as create an opportunity to sell additional home automation equipment that the DIYer may not have known to be available. The disparity between DIY and professional installation also brings to light the fact that there are no ‘satisfaction guarantees’ and no ‘installation/labour warranty’ available when a home automation system is installed by a DIYer. If a problem arises with either the equipment connectivity due to installation error, or if a piece of equipment is installed incorrectly, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakes. This may not be as critical if a DIYer installs a minor piece of equipment, but with something as critical as securing and protecting their home with a home automation and security system, most people want full peace of mind that everything has been installed correctly. Reduces connection instability According to a 2017 study by the analyst firm, IHS Markit, “The quality of the equipment is usually higher in professionally installed systems, and professional configuration and setup greatly reduces the potential for connection instability…” This is an issue that DIYers may come to realise over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognise right away, especially if they are attempting to connect multiple devices, is that the connectivity may be inconsistent. Professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity IHS Markit explains that, “DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues. Some of the sensors can become unrecognisable to the system, requiring intervention from the user. In contrast, professional wireless systems rely on UL- or EN-certified equipment to operate on the basis of proprietary frequency, enabling them to work with the control panel much more seamlessly.” In other words, professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol, even an open-source protocol like Z-Wave, might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity, and fewer headaches. Not everyone is a DIY customer There are customers who want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain themThere’s no doubt that there’s a segment of the security and home automation market that loves to spend their free time doing their own home improvement. They are watching videos, reading how-to books and manuals, and enjoying every minute. There’s also a segment of the market whose top goal is to save money up front. For these customers, there’s no getting around the joy of saving money with the lower cost of many DIY products. But there are also a great number of prospective customers out there for whom DIY is of absolutely no interest. These consumers do not want to be their own IT department. They want expert help: they want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain them. The IHS Markit study points out what many home automation dealers already know: that the elder and aging-in-place markets are an ideal destination for the security and convenience of home automation products. The study says, “Many senior citizens are not tech savvy enough to install a DIY system by themselves, so they tend to rely on professionally installed systems that are usually maintained by a family member.” Along with the senior citizens market, there are many other market segments out there that still desire worry-free professional installation. Installers should offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products Producing complete and custom solutions Perhaps the best way for dealers and installers to stave off that feeling of doom that they might have about DIY is to tackle the problem head on and be creative. Offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products – consider the DIY product a great entry point for a more comprehensive system. Play up the peace of mind that comes with professional installations and support that pitch with flexible monitoring contracts and service plans. Share what you do and why; relay your passion for producing complete and custom solutions and communicate how you add value to any and every sale. No one, not even the most tech-savvy consumer, wants to install their own products if the end result is that the product doesn’t work the way it should. That’s where the pros can, should and will always come into play.
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
It’s not surprising that people are nervous about the security of newer technologies, many of which are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). While they offer greater efficiency and connectivity, some people still hesitate. After all, there seems to be a constant stream of news stories about multinational corporations being breached or hackers taking control of smart home devices. Both of these scenarios can feel personal. No one likes the idea of their data falling into criminal hands. And we especially don’t like the thought that someone can, even virtually, come into our private spaces. The reality, though, is that, when you choose the right technology and undertake the proper procedures, IoT devices are incredibly secure. That said, one of the spaces where we see continued confusion is around access control systems (ACS) that are deployed over networks, particularly in relation to mobile access, smartcards, and electronic locks. These technologies are often perceived as being less secure and therefore more vulnerable to attacks than older ACS systems or devices. In the interest of clearing up any confusion, it is important to provide good, reliable information. With this in mind, there are some myths out there about the security of ACS that need to be debunked. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter Myth #1: Mobile credentials are not secure The first myth we have to look at exists around mobile credentials. Mobile credentials allow cardholders to access secured doors and areas with their mobile devices. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter about the security of credentialed information. There is a persistent belief that Bluetooth is not secure. In particular, people seem to be concerned that using mobile credentials makes your organisation more vulnerable to skimming attacks. While focusing on the medium of communication is an important consideration when an organisation deploys a mobile credentialing system, the concerns about Bluetooth miss the mark. Bluetooth and NFC are simply channels over which information is transmitted. Believing that Bluetooth is not secure would be the same as suggesting that the internet is not secure. In both cases, the security of your communication depends on the technology, protocols, and safeguards we all have in place. So, instead of wondering about Bluetooth or NFC, users should be focused on the security of the devices themselves. Before deploying mobile credentials, ask your vendor (1) how the credential is generated, stored, and secured on the device, (2) how the device communicates with the reader, and (3) how the reader securely accesses the credential information. When you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS Myth #2: All smartcards are equally secure The question “how secure are my smartcards?” is a serious one. And the answer can depend on the generation of the cards themselves. For example, while older smartcards like MiFARE CLASSIC and HID iCLASS Classic offer better encryption than proxy cards and magstripe credentials, they have been compromised. Using these older technologies can make your organisation vulnerable. As a result, when you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS. In this way, you will be protecting your system as well as your buildings or facilities. Some traditional readers and controllers can also pose a serious risk to your organisation if they use the Wiegand protocol, which offers no security. While you can upgrade to a more secure protocol like OSDP version 2, electronic locks are a very secure alternative worth considering. It is also important to understand that not all smartcard readers are compatible with all smartcard types. When they are not compatible, the built-in security designed to keep your system safe will not match up and you will essentially forego security as your smartcard-reader will not read the credentials at all. Instead, it will simply read the non-secure portion—the Card Serial Number (CSN) —of the smartcard that is accessible to everyone. While some manufacturers suggest that this is an advantage because their readers can work with any smartcard, the truth is that they are not reading from the secure part of the card, which can put your system and premises at risk. Using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication Myth #3: Electronic locks are more vulnerable These days, there are still many who believe that electronic locks, especially wireless locks, are more vulnerable to cybercriminal activity as compared to traditional readers and controllers. The concern here is that electronic locks can allow cybercriminals to both access your network to get data and intercept commands from the gateway or nodes over the air that would allow them access to your buildings or facilities. The reality is that using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication. Additionally, because many of these locks remain operational regardless of network status, they provide real-time door monitoring. This means that many electronic locks not only prevent unauthorised access but also keep operators informed about their status at all times, even if a network goes down. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks When it comes to deploying electronic locks, it is important to remember that, like any device on your network, they must have built-in security features that will allow you to keep your information, people, and facilities safe. Be prepared to unlock future benefits Ultimately, the information in your IP-based ACS is at no greater risk than any other information being transmitted over the network. We just have to be smart about how we connect, transmit, and store our data. In the end, maintaining the status quo and refusing to move away from old technology is not a viable option. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks. The reason it is so important to debunk myths around ACS and, at the same time, get people thinking about network security in the right way is that network-based systems can offer an ever-increasing number of benefits. When we deploy new technology using industry best practices and purchase devices from trusted vendors, we put ourselves and our networks in the best possible position to take full advantage of all that our increasingly connected world has to offer.
A video analytics system that provides ‘behavioural understanding’ can yield more meaningful and actionable data for a range of applications. In public safety and security, such a system can alert on violent or suspicious behaviours, such as people fighting, vandalism, people with weapons, etc. In advanced traffic surveillance and monitoring, it can provide alerts to vehicle collisions (accidents), traffic hazards or vehicle that aren’t using the road properly, such as a car that stops in the middle of the junction. For enterprise and campus security, it can provide advanced anti-tailgating and detect unauthorised activity. Video surveillance infrastructure viisights was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses These uses are among the benefits of viisights’ video analytics technology based on behavioural understanding of video content. “It means we can extract more meaningful data from the huge amount of video content that is captured, and we can transform that data to actionable insights that eventually justify the massive investment in video surveillance infrastructure,” says Asaf Birenzvieg, CEO of viisights. Their behavioural understanding systems for real-time video intelligence leverage artificial intelligence technology. viisights was founded by a group of serial entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses. The Israeli company’s founders recognised a growing global need for intelligence to make physical and virtual public areas safer – and realised the role that smart video understanding technology can play. Developing artificial intelligence technologies viisights is committed to developing artificial intelligence technologies that facilitate human-like video understanding, which in turn serves as the basis for fully autonomous video intelligence systems powered by pattern prediction technology. “Behavioural recognition is the future of video analytics and the next generation of the object classification analytics systems that hold the majority of the market today,” says Birenzvieg. viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing “To date most video analytics systems still base their product features on static analysis of objects from images using image recognition, even the ones that use ‘AI analytics.’ Products built using such object classification technology are extremely limited.” For example, object classification analytics cannot recognise behavioural events in a video such as people fighting or a car collision because such behaviours can’t accurately be concluded in large scale from analysing a single static image/frame. Video understanding technology viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing. The technology can process live video feeds. In addition to recognising a particular object (e.g., person) and its attributes (e.g., red shirt), the system can understand an object’s actions, interactions with other objects (events), the scene being viewed (i.e., crowd is gathering, riots) and the context (a car is driving on the road or on the sidewalk). The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security “Basically, we are able to extract more meaningful data from a live video feed and therefore create actionable insights and greater ROI,” says Birenzvieg. The company focuses mostly on security and safety use-cases. The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security, security guard companies and transportation hubs. The company is working on a new product for in-vehicle monitoring mostly for security, safety, vehicle protection and proper vehicle use; it monitors passengers’ behaviour inside a bus, train, or taxi. The product will come to market next year. Video management system viisights’ video analytics offering is currently optimised for server-side deployment, and the integration architecture is similar to most video analytics systems. From one side it is integrated with the video management system (VMS). They are a Milestone verified partner and soon will be part of Milestone's marketplace. From the other end, it is connected to a command-and-control system for processing the data and presenting the alerts to the end-user. The analytics company makes most sales through system integrators. They have partnerships with big system integrators like Motorola Solutions and NEC and are also working with smaller ones. They are looking to expand their system integrator network, mostly in the USA and Europe. Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse Cloud video surveillance “We will continue to invest in performance and accuracy, meaning higher recall and lower false positive rate,” says Birenzvieg. “Since our major value proposition is in behaviour recognition, behaviour events many times are not clearly defined, which is very different from object classification. Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse.” An example is a simple behaviour like a person falling on the floor. A person can fall on the floor in many ways, but the challenge is to ignore similar behaviours that are not a person falling and that confuse the system, such as a person bending over to tie his shoelaces. With cloud video surveillance becoming a trend, viisights is also looking into offering some of their advanced functionalities in a video-analytics-as-a-service-model.
After a period of rapid international expansion, the next step for Ajax Systems is to set deeper roots in each market and become more sustainable. The manufacturer of wireless security equipment will continue to extend the range of Ajax products and capabilities by responding to local requests. Smart home management options and automation scenarios will be a significant focus for the next year. Wireless security equipment The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air Established in 2011 in Kyiv, Ukraine, Ajax Systems produces wireless security equipment for end users and small-medium-sized businesses. Ajax is a complete eco-system. The devices are ready to work out of the box. There are 24 devices for protecting residential and commercial properties from intrusion, fire, and floods as well as a set of automation modules. Users treat them as gadgets that make their homes smarter. Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers as well as for security companies, according to Ajax. The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air, and can be easily expanded to cover premises of any size. IoT-based security systems “Our IoT-product approach to security systems, gadget-like industrial design, and user-friendly interfaces disrupted the market in 2016,” says Valentine Hrytsenko, Chief Marketing Officer at Ajax Systems. “After receiving global recognition in the security market, the company grew 80-fold.” Today, Ajax IoT-based security systems protect more than 200,000 people in 80 countries around the world from break-ins, fires, leaks and other threats. “Our mission is to reshape security and make it a common attribute of every household,” says Hrytsenko. Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers Ajax smart technology Ajax smart technology features a combination of reliable hardware and intelligent software. A proprietary Jeweller two-way radio protocol allows placing devices at a distance of up to 2000 meters from the hub in an open space. The system is encrypted, resistant to jamming and code grabbing. Ajax detectors feature false alarm-preventing algorithms: Haze Flow, ZOE, LISA, SmartDetect. The hubs run on a real-time operating system, Malevich OS that processes the commands and sends the alarms. Ajax Cloud service helps to control the system from anywhere in the world using native apps. Easy and seamless installation Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights"Easy installation facilitates Ajax on-boarding. The company says 67% of Ajax users purchase additional security devices within the first six months. And an average system configuration consists of nine items. “We focus primarily on the residential, small and medium-sized businesses,” says Hrytsenko. “In the residential segment, Ajax covers the needs to detect break-ins, prevent fires and floods. Ajax devices are visually appealing to fit any home and business interior seamlessly. For the small and medium-sized business, Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights, informative notifications, professional maintenance software, as well as integration of the security camera streams for centralised monitoring.” Route-to-market approach Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold. First, they develop strategic partnerships with the local professional security equipment distributors in each country. From the distributors, Ajax equipment goes to the installers, system integrators, security companies, etc. In addition, Ajax seeks to build brand recognition and actualise the concept of security by weaving it into the daily routine of a general audience. “We form a good understanding of their security needs,” says Hrytsenko. As with any new technology, there is an adoption curve for both B2B and B2C clients. Thus, the educational challenge is persistent for Ajax from country to country. Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold Wireless security systems “On a professional market, new products are often met with understandable suspicion,” says Hrytsenko. However, a huge misconception is that user-friendly equipment is either hard to customise or unreliable. Not true, he says. After testing in five accredited laboratories, Ajax devices successfully earned Grade 2 certification for compliance with the requirements of the international standard EN50131-1:2006. Grade 2 is the highest reliability grade a wireless security system can get.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding the capabilities of license plate readers and vehicle identification systems. Within a smart/safe city scenario, automatic license plate reader solutions are used to help analyse real-time video streams for site surveillance, inspection and public safety, and to offer actional information through a network of connected camera systems. Outside of law enforcement, this can include other public safety initiatives such as traffic tolls, car counting, and parking security. Vehicle recognition systems Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries Using AI to enable video cameras, Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries. Applications include security and surveillance, public safety, electronic toll collection, brand loyalty, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, and traffic management. AI allows Rekor’s products to recognise and read license plates, while also providing information about each vehicle, including colour, make, year, and model. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software, an AI-based solution that enables any IP (internet protocol) surveillance camera to scan license plates and provide vehicle data including tag number, make, model, and colour in real time with 99% accuracy, according to the company. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software Integrated solutions “Rekor's software started as an open source project, and we have done our best to keep the commercial software as open as possible,” says Rod Hillman, Chief Operating Officer, Rekor Systems. “One of the challenges we see with others in our space is a tendency to ‘close off’ and ‘silo’ their solutions. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible to deploy, integrate, and ultimately use.” Rekor has numerous application programming interfaces (APIs) and ways the solution can be integrated into partners' solutions with a software development kit (SDK). Rekor solutions can be purchased directly or through a worldwide partner network of integrators, wholesalers, and within integrated solutions such as Nokia's smart city platform. Electronic toll collection Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets While many systems are hardware-based, Rekor’s software-as-a-solution offering can turn an IP camera into an automatic license plate reader. Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets, including law enforcement, security and surveillance, electronic toll collection, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, traffic management, and customer experience. “Rekor offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional LPR systems with a much higher accuracy rate at 99% allowing more cameras to be present and active at any given time,” says Hillman. “Traditional LPRs need someone to go through hours of footage to find what they are looking for while Rekor’s technology will send alerts in real time, resulting in much quicker response times.” Move Over Camera mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles to capture ‘Move Over’ violations Two-part authentication Rekor’s products include: NUMERUS, a cloud-based solution for high-volume vehicle recognition, designed to reduce costs and increase efficiencies for the electronic toll collecting industry. Two-part authentication instantly identifies the vehicle’s make, model, colour and body type along with the license plate read. Machine-learning-enabled software recognises license plates from all 50 U.S. states, in addition to plates from more than 70 countries on six continents. Edge, an all-in-one camera and vehicle recognition system that instantly reads vehicle license plates, along with the vehicle’s make, model, colour and body type. Move Over Camera, which mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles (police, tow truck, etc.) to capture ‘Move Over’ violations. ‘Move Over’ laws state that vehicles must move over one lane and/or slow down if they cannot move over to avoid incident while roadside workers are in the shoulder lane. The camera can detect what lane vehicles are in and how fast they are moving. Violators are flagged in the system for law enforcement’s review.
Comelit has ensured future residents at Kebbell Homes’ new luxury Aubury Place development can experience smart door entry with the installation of its latest Mini Handsfree monitors. Set in Chiswick, London, Aubury Place is a new gated community of nine four, five and six bedroom homes. Every element of the design is focussed on creating an exceptional first impression, right from the bespoke touch screen entrance panel. Comelit’s Specification team, together with chosen installers Wheeler Electrical, was involved with Kebbell from the initial design process, through the works programme to project completion. Door entry requests Kebbell was instantly impressed with the capability of newly launched Mini Handsfree Wi-Fi Monitors Whilst originally, Comelit’s stylish Icona monitors were considered, Kebbell was instantly impressed with the capability of newly launched Mini Handsfree Wi-Fi Monitors. The new Comelit system would enable new residents to respond to door entry requests from any compatible mobile and benefit from video memory, to record missed calls. Says Andrea Fawell Sales and Marketing Director at Kebbell Homes: “The aim with Aubury Place, as with all our developments, was to offer families spacious home options in prime locations. The ideals of luxury, convenience, comfort and understated elegance were all of paramount importance, and seeing everything from our resident’s point of view, to ensure our homes allow natural flows in tune with daily living.” Mobile connected lifestyle “Every small detail has been carefully considered and this is where Comelit latest options for door entry fitted our requirements. It means our residents can benefit from the latest technology, seamlessly installed, enabling them to instantly respond to door entry requests, with video, from wherever they are. And we can achieve this without compromising on the style, look and feel of this beautiful collection of homes.” Kebbell Homes is well-known for meticulously planning and creating homes of exceptional quality" Ed Wheeler, Director from Wheeler Electrical added: “Kebbell Homes is well-known for meticulously planning and creating homes of exceptional quality. When it came to door entry at Aubury Place, Comelit was the specification of choice and the new Mini Handsfree Monitors exceeded expectation, even over an initially approved specification. It has proven itself more cost effective and a better fit for today’s increasingly mobile connected lifestyle choice.” Powerful security solution Each home at Aubury Place has been fitted with a Mini Handsfree monitor complete with integrated WiFi, operating through Comelit’s innovative VIP system. At the striking gates to the development is Comelit’s premium stainless steel flush mounted 316 Touch entrance Panel, branded to Kebbell Homes. The system enables new residents to grant access through the vehicle gates or adjacent pedestrian gate using the 4.3” internal monitor or a dedicated mobile app. And up to fifteen smart devices can be connected to each and every property’s individual WiFi monitor. Daniel Wood, Southern Sales Manager at Comelit UK concluded: “Comelit worked closely with Kebbell Homes to ensure the door entry system installed, achieved the desired balance between timeless style and latest technology. The combined solution, completed using our very latest app enabled monitors, provides aspiring residents with a powerful security solution and the convenience of audio and visual communication, together with ease of use in everyday life.”
e-shelter security has installed over 2,000 smart Sony network cameras to monitor high-security buildings and critical infrastructure at data center locations in Europe. Integrated security solutions expert The Frankfurt-based system integrator builds and operates integrated security solutions for mission-critical environments The Frankfurt-based system integrator builds and operates integrated security solutions for mission-critical environments, where customer applications must be available around the clock. As well as offering necessary hardware and infrastructure redundancy, the centers must also be protected against virtual and physical attackers. To prevent unauthorised access to servers and other infrastructure without creating unnecessary barriers, e-shelter security is making increasing use of intelligent, self-learning security systems. Physical security is supported by Sony SNC-EB632R infrared and SNC-WR632C dome cameras that are used for perimeter surveillance at the data center locations, together with SNC-EM600 minidome cameras that are used for indoor surveillance. Sony Video Security dome cameras Key criteria for the choice of cameras were very high image quality - even in challenging environmental conditions - and extreme reliability. “Another decisive factor for us was our long-standing cooperation with the Sony Video Security team” says Kai Friedrich, Head of Application Engineering and IT at e-shelter security. “Their expertise helps us to think in terms of not just products but about entire solutions. Equally, they have provided us with very sound technical advice and support throughout the entire project.” Cayuga video management system The Sony cameras are controlled and managed using SeeTec’s Cayuga video management system The Sony cameras are controlled and managed using SeeTec’s Cayuga video management system. All cameras are connected to e-shelter security’s certified emergency call and service centers, allowing appropriate intervention to be initiated in the event of an incident. As well as ensuring the physical security of the data centers, the cameras also provide protection against cyber-attacks on customers’ assets. High levels of integral security prevent hackers from using the Sony cameras as an entry point into the customer’s own network. Due to the positive experience gained during more than three years of cooperation on data center projects, e-shelter security is also using Sony cameras in logistics centers, consulting/finance industry office buildings and smart building projects where the company combines innovative security technology with new digital technologies.
Kwikset brand of Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware & Home Improvement Division, announces that its SmartCode 888 Deadbolt Lock was chosen to become part of the new Home is Connected smart home system from D.R. Horton, Inc. The inclusion of Kwikset’s SmartCode 888 in the system was based on its value (great functionality at an entry-level price), reliability, and high degree of security. Incorporating the latest Z-Wave 500 chipset, the SmartCode 888 offers keyless entry through a convenient, easy-to-use touchpad. Kwikset’s patented Home Connect technology enables the lock to wirelessly communicate with other devices in the home through a third-party smart home controller, as well as to remotely check the door lock status, lock or unlock the door and receive notifications. Innovative program D.R. Horton’s Home Is Connected system is included in the base price of each new home from the company’s family of brands D.R. Horton’s 'Home Is Connected' system is included in the base price of each new home from the company’s family of brands. The system includes a robust central hub by Qolsys that controls the smart home features, including a home alarm and automation platform by Alarm.com, Honeywell Home thermostat from Resideo, smart switches by Eaton Corporation, video doorbell by SkyBell and hands-free, voice-first experiences with Amazon Alexa. “We are pleased to be part of such an innovative program created by the nation’s largest volume homebuilder,” said Dave Seeman, Director of National Builder Accounts, Kwikset and Baldwin, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware & Home Improvement Division. Convenience of keyless entry “We are confident that buyers of D.R. Horton homes will not only appreciate the security and convenience of keyless entry that our SmartCode 888 provides, but also the endless benefits of whole home automation. To be a part of a system that includes such well-known, reputable brands indicates to us the high level of trust D.R. Horton puts in our products.” Brad Conlon, Vice President of National Accounts for D.R. Horton, said, “We are pleased to work with Kwikset to provide this essential component to D.R. Horton’s new Home is Connected smart home system. We know our customers will appreciate the peace of mind that comes from Kwikset’s SmartCode 888 lock and the Home is Connected system overall.”
Wilson James has appointed SmartTask as preferred technology partner and awarded it a deal for the supply of a mobile patrol and electronic smart form solution for a new security contract with National Museums. Under the agreement, the company will now roll out the SmartTask workforce management software to 10 sites including the Natural History Museum, V&A and Science & Industry Museum. This follows a successful trial that achieved significant time savings by removing paperwork and streamlining operational processes. The new partnership between Wilson James and SmartTask will replace an incumbent supplier agreement that no longer met the business and operational requirements of the security, construction logistics and business services provider. Identify potential benefits In particular, the retender process for the security contract with National Museums required a single provider of a highly-configurable mobile patrol and electronic smart form solution. An initial trial at the Natural History Museum focused on use of electronic forms via SmartTask-enabled smartphones to reduce administration and increase productivity of operational staff. The trial highlighted the clear benefits of using the SmartForms, most notably around confiscated items and vehicle forms It was designed to identify potential benefits based on the precise requirements of the customer as well as create a suite of seven SmartForms and reports that could deliver standardised data capture and analysis. This included confiscated items and vehicle check SmartForms, scenario testing and incident reporting. The trial highlighted the clear benefits of using the SmartForms, most notably around confiscated items and vehicle forms. Required monthly reports Confiscated items, following bag searches carried out at point of entry, historically required between 10-15 minutes to complete and during that time the security officer was away from the floor resulting in lost productivity. Following the adoption of SmartTask, reports can now be created automatically using highly-accurate data, while paper usage and printing requirements have been dramatically reduced. The time savings achieved at the Natural History Museum by the Wilson James team have led to higher productivity, greater capacity to carry out bag searches and increased visibility of security staff. Management time saving have also been realised in production of required monthly reports, as well as administration savings of 12-hours per week for the Security Duty Managers. Ease of deployment Don McCann, Technology Systems Consultant at Wilson James commented: “SmartTask provided significant support throughout the contract bid and contributed to the successful re-signing for a further five years.” SmartTask has also handled a separate project for Bradford Science Festival, which further demonstrated the flexibility of the system" “The solution is now fully operational at five locations – Natural History Museum, National Science & Media Museum, National Railway Museum, Science & Industry Museum and a Wandsworth storage site – with the Science Museum and V&A to follow shortly. SmartTask has also handled a separate project for Bradford Science Festival, which further demonstrated the flexibility of the system, ease of deployment and its suitability for the security sector.” Enhance customer satisfaction Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask said: “This latest agreement demonstrates our ability to work closely with our customers to develop advanced workforce management solutions that support business development, customer retention and quality service delivery. We are now partner of choice for a growing number of security organisations based on our proven track record helping to tackle some of the most common and difficult operational challenges they face.” SmartTask is an advanced and simple-to-use employee scheduling and mobile workforce management solution that enables security companies to better plan and manage their workers, so they are at the right place, at the right time. The cloud-based software solution combines intelligent rostering, live monitoring and integrated proof of attendance across both static and mobile teams, making it the ideal tool to improve operational control, enhance customer satisfaction, and support duty of care to staff.