Evolv Technology, a globally renowned provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-based touchless security screening systems, announced the appointment of digital transformation executive Merline Saintil to its Board of Directors. The 20-year technology industry veteran is widely respected for providing world-class innovators and market makers with strategic leadership, insightful guidance and operational expertise to dominate the markets they serve. Saintil has a proven track record of developing...
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
Following the release of FLIR United Video Management System 9.0 (United VMS) in August 2020, FLIR announced the global availability of United VMS 9.0.1 with new advanced features. The latest platform update offers further streamlined access to system status and alarms around the clock for security teams to react to threat activities faster while enjoying improved reporting and cybersecurity functionality. Included advancements The advancements include updates to the FLIR Latitude VMS Softwar...
Technology has always stepped in to shorten distances between individuals. Whether through using electronic communications, such as email or video messaging, it has united people across different geographical locations and circumstances. Recent events have presented a unique challenge, where the ability to observe people and events in person has been restricted. This has had a knock-on effect on a variety of sectors, including healthcare, sports and education. Broadcast cameras have offered a...
Security and Safety Things GmbH announced it will be partnering with Bosch to highlight its open IoT platform for smart cameras at the first ever all digital CES® 2021, to be held January 11 – 14, 2021. Security & Safety Things (S&ST) will showcase their IoT platform, which includes an open operating system for security cameras, a marketplace Application Store, modern device management including digital twins and an app development environment. The company will demonstrate how...
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 power...
Security personnel must be able to quickly detect unauthorised vehicles and individuals at critical infrastructure sites. Without intrusion detection, entities like electrical substations can be subject to physical attacks. 88 percent of substations experience at least one break-in every year and 10 percent see more than 20 intrusions in the same time frame, according to CIGRE, a global electricity industry organisation. To safeguard remote substations from external threats, electric utilities are relying on durable thermal cameras for superior monitoring and protection. Remote substation security The failure of a key substation caused by a security breach would have a debilitating effect on homeowners, businesses and mission-critical infrastructure. While physical security is a top priority for utilities, designing, installing and operating a perimeter system requires skill. Remote location, limited network connectivity, minimal lighting, internal security audits, and compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation are some of the challenges that both substation security directors and system integrators face. Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) Since its arrival on the mainstream security scene a few decades ago, thermal security cameras have quickly become the optimal solution for remote substation perimeter security, due to their ability to monitor perimeters day and night in adverse weather conditions as well as in harsh environments.Thermal cameras measure the minute differences in heat signatures emitted by objects and people to produce high-contrast images and reliable intrusion detection. They enable security personnel to detect an intruder before they ever reach the perimeter for early intervention. Sensor quality FLIR's perimeter cameras offer the widest selection of lenses and detection ranges, adaptable to both large and small deployments As the industry front-runner in advanced thermal technology, FLIR provides the best sensor quality available. FLIR’s total security solution featuring a diverse suite of perimeter cameras offers the widest selection of lenses and detection ranges, adaptable to both large and small deployments. FLIR’s track record of success is just one of the reasons why utilities choose FLIR cameras time and again. Design recommendations When deploying thermal cameras at substations, there are several factors to consider to optimise performance. Here are some tips from the FLIR experts.Identify What One Needs to Protect: Assess the substation’s unique needs, define one's threats, and determine which area one needs to monitor. For rural or small substations miles away from the nearest city, position one's cameras so one has a solid view of the outside perimeter. If anyone approaches, one wants to have ample warning. For substations in urban areas that are next to public lands and walkways, it may not be cost-effective to look out as pedestrians can easily generate nuisance alerts. In these scenarios, thermal cameras that survey the interior of the substation may be the better option. Make the Most of Existing Infrastructure: Thermal cameras must be mounted at a minimum of 12-15 feet above the ground. However, some substation fences are only 6-8 feet tall. In this case, consider mounting cameras on telephone poles or tower structures. Utilising these existing structures instead of digging new trenches can save one both time and money. Select the Right Camera for your Application: For small substations that are less than an acre, deploying a couple of FLIR Elara™ FC-Series ID cameras, which feature onboard analytics, along the fence line will often do the trick. For short to mid-range needs, the FLIR Elara FB-Series is a great, economical option. Install a visible camera or a camera that provides both thermal and optical imagers, like FLIR Saros™ DH-390 Dome at the gate, to monitor general traffic. For larger substations (around two acres) that are high-value sites, consider deploying a mix of FLIR FC-Series ID cameras with the FLIR Saros™ DM-Series to cover the fence line. Additionally, mount a pan-tilt camera with both visible and thermal streams, such as the FLIR Elara™ DX-Series or FLIR Triton™ PT-Series, to look around the perimeter for superior monitoring and threat assessment. Choose the accurate software As a final consideration, choose the right software to streamline management, operations, and functionality. For large applications where customers need to manage surveillance, access control, radar, and other disparate systems on one platform, consider command and control software. For enterprise-level surveillance operations, a video management system is optimal and for small applications using just a few cameras, a network video recorder is sufficient. Regardless of the size of the project, partner with an expert team that can help assess, design, installs and program the right system for one's application.
Permanent video observation is in place at busy traffic junctions in many towns. With the Traffic Enforcement Module on the Dallmeier HEMISPHERE® software platform, public authorities can now capture traffic incidents or offences quickly and simply with an easy-to-use software tool. A precisely definable and adaptable process enables users to evaluate and follow up on incidents efficiently with digital tools – while adhering to the evaluation and data protection regulations. Capture traffic violations Live video surveillance is already performed or under consideration at many car parking facilities and traffic junctions. With the Dallmeier HEMISPHERE® Traffic Enforcement Module, local authorities now have the capability to capture traffic violations and file video sequences of the offences efficiently within these existing surveillance systems. Cloud capability and compatibility The solution provides operators with a user-friendly function set that enables them to perform all of these tasks quickly and intuitively. Local authorities can thus optimise the process of investigating and punishing traffic violations, and so generate additional revenue. Users can implement the system with both Dallmeier cameras or with third-party systems. The HEMISPHERE® SeMSy® components can be operated either on-premise or in public cloud environments such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform. Accurate logging during capture If an operator observes a traffic offence, he can start the recording of the camera live stream immediately. For this purpose, the app features a control centre on a time bar for starting, stopping and cancelling recordings. Backup of the recording is made automatically in the background and can be cancelled if an offence has not taken place After a recording has been stopped again, a backup of the recording is made automatically in the background, and it is saved to an archive together with a timestamp, the name of the camera and the name of the operator. Recordings can be cancelled if an offence has not taken place. For this, the operator must provide a reason either from a dropdown list or in free text. Depending on the requirements applied to a system, selection options with subsequent text input fields can be configured individually. At the same time, all user actions are logged in full. Optimised workflows Besides the actual recording and saving routines, the system also maps the process for follow-up processing of incidents: First, all recorded offences are listed in the module in a chronological overview. Users can filter and search the list by ID, user, violation code, camera name, vehicle registration number, date and time, and processing status. In a processing mode, they can review the items and decide whether a traffic offence has been committed and should be reported. For this purpose, they are then able to access the recording or the offence, additional information or snapshots from the recording, and the exact location of the incident on a map section. Predefined justification If an item is not processed further, because it is evident that an offence has not taken place, this must be confirmed with a predefined justification. All offences which are reported must be collected in detail in a log for subsequent investigation and review. The list can be filtered by data and exported to a PDF file. Additional benefits "Many towns implement video observation systems at busy traffic junctions. With our solution, these systems are given very valuable additional benefits, whereby besides improving safety they also help to relieve the strain on municipal budgets," according to Dieter Dallmeier, Founder and CEO, Dallmeier electronic. "The Dallmeier solution enables the operators to secure evidence for traffic offences intuitively and with maximum efficiency with very low training costs. The subsequent evaluation and forwarding process guarantees compliance and data protection, and all processes are logged in detail."
Johnson Controls, the pioneer in smart and sustainable buildings, and Microsoft Corporation announces a global collaboration to digitally transform how buildings and spaces are conceived, built and managed. Microsoft also announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Digital Twins. As a key partner for Azure Digital Twins, Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Digital Twin is a comprehensive platform that will support the entire ecosystem of building and device management technologies with digital cloud technologies. IoT connected solutions Johnson Controls is a Microsoft partner leveraging several Azure services including Active Directory Services, Azure Data Lake, Access Control and Time Series Insights. Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins is the newest Azure platform service integrated into Johnson Controls OpenBlue platform that aims to enable the creation of next-generation IoT connected solutions that will model the real world. Johnson Control’s platform turns the physical world into computable objects that will enable customers to create detailed digital versions of physical buildings, assets and systems. The use of digital twins plays an important role in helping technicians identify the root cause of issues Digital twins are digital replicas of physical entities capable of providing an in-depth analysis of data and the potential to monitor systems to mitigate risks, manage issues and utilise simulations to test future solutions. The use of digital twins plays an important role in helping technicians identify the root cause of issues accelerating problem solving. Existing building infrastructure Additionally, building managers are able to support COVID-19 safety and security protocols, while ensuring efficient use of energy and other facility resources. Azure Digital Twins enables the creation of knowledge graphs based on digital models of entire environments, whether they are buildings, factories, farms, energy networks, railways, stadiums or entire cities. These digital models empower property managers with actionable insights that drive better products, optimise operations, reduce costs and create breakthrough customer experiences. OpenBlue Digital Twin is a unique platform that is purpose-built with smart buildings and spaces in mind, enabling and unifying all aspects of an intelligent building; security, employee experience, facilities management, sustainability and more. The open platform’s open system seamlessly integrates with existing building infrastructure, regardless of brand, make or model. Analysing large datasets Our partnership with Microsoft is a vital ingredient in our innovation strategy" “Our partnership with Microsoft is a vital ingredient in our innovation strategy, as the company shares our vision of using technology to transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play,” said Mike Ellis, vice president and chief digital and customer officer at Johnson Controls. “Digital twins are playing an increasingly important role in the design, construction and ongoing operation of healthy buildings and spaces, and can be particularly valuable when analysing large datasets and predicting patterns and trends to tell our customers things they don’t yet know. Our OpenBlue digital platform, closely connected with Microsoft’s platform and workplace technologies, represents an unbeatable opportunity to help our customers make shared spaces safer, more agile and more sustainable.” Safe and sustainable campus "We have an incredible opportunity to use advances in cloud and compute capabilities to help customers reimagine the physical world," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI, Microsoft. "By integrating the power of Azure Digital Twins with Johnson Controls OpenBlue Digital Twin platform, our collaboration will provide customers with a digital replica and actionable insights to better meet their evolving needs.” Among the numerous pilots currently under development is an ambitious effort at The National University of Singapore (NUS). As part of the university’s ongoing efforts to create a smart, safe and sustainable campus for students and staff, the new alliance’s complementary products and services are coming together to test the foundations of a Digital Twin-powered operations platform. Integrated building management National University of Singapore (NUS) is excited about using Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins technology" The data-driven platform will enable integrated building management across the campus and serve as the foundation for energy and space optimisation, predictive maintenance, and unmanned operations. “National University of Singapore (NUS) is excited about using Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins technology and Johnson Controls OpenBlue platform, in our digital transformation journey that changes the way we design and manage our buildings and infrastructure, while retaining smart, sustainability and safety principles at the core of the entire campus," said Professor Yong Kwet Yew, senior vice president (campus infrastructure), NUS. Supporting sustainability efforts Working with Microsoft, Johnson Controls will address how people can return to work to maximise space while operating facilities safely, including: Energy Optimisation – optimising energy usage within facilities maintenance with a goal of reducing carbon emissions that save money and support sustainability efforts. Access Control and Safety - addressing physical access and safety using live video analytics and spatial intelligence, combining Microsoft cloud services and Johnson Controls security access controls hardware end points. Collaboration for Facility Managers - integrating facility management workflows with workplace collaboration platforms such as Office 365 and Microsoft Teams to increase productivity and collaboration across remote teams. Workspace Optimisation - maximising the use of spaces by merging building and occupancy data with experiences to create actionable insights for facility managers and the occupants.
Radio Physics is pleased to announce the global launch of Optracon, a stand-off threat detection solution. Optracon is a fully automated multi-sensor fusion solution for detecting concealed mass casualty threats at distances of up to 30m. Harvesting data from state-of-the-art radar, video analytics, LiDAR, machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to produce the world’s leading concealed threat detection solution. Following more than 18 months of development, greatly aided with the support of European Commission funding from a Horizon 2020 SME instrument grant. Performance trials The product has completed successful final trials, held recently at a sports stadium in Warsaw, Poland. Radio Physics is pleased to announce the performance of the technology greatly exceeded expectations and that of previous generation products, and Optracon™ has been released to the general market. Tracking people in crowds Optracon tracks people in crowds by merging modern 3D video analytics and LiDAR technologies Optracon tracks people in crowds by fusing modern 3D video analytics and LiDAR technologies to provide an intelligent multi-sensor digital understanding of groups and flows of people – as a collation of 3D objects with previous and forecast coordinate paths. Threat detection radar This contextual view provides both a human and machine-based view of people that can/should be, or already have been, scanned by Radio Physics mm-wave MiRTLE OM30 threat detection radar sensors. Each radar has its own boresight camera that uses the same video analytic software as the context setting overhead camera(s) to focus on relevant body areas for mm-wave scanning as well as post-scan tagging. If necessary, a direct drive gimbal moves the radar unit through either small or large angular rotations at speed to target and scan individuals within a region of interest. Authority statements Mark Pritchard, CCO said, “We are delighted with the launch of Optracon, it is exciting times at Radio Physics and are looking forward to working with our partners in the coming months on the many already identified opportunities across Europe and globally.” Gary King, CEO added, “We extend our sincere thanks to the European Commission and to our hosts and partners in Poland, without whose financial and logistical support this initiative would not have been possible”.
AVIOTEC's front-line technology offers flame and smoke detection for locations with no light. Thanks to separate additional infrared illumination unlit applications can be monitored with video-based fire detection delivering pin-sharp images. During the daytime, the device shows coloured pictures and shifts to monochrome night mode when visibility drops below a pre-defined level. When daylight returns it automatically switches back to colour mode. The video-based fire detection AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 is now delivered with the new firmware. Existing installations can be upgraded to the new technology by a free firmware update. Flame and smoke detection Video-based fire detection is now also an option for applications where there is no lighting available. Due to infrared illumination less, light sources need to be installed e.g., for nighttime surveillance reducing the fire load and energy costs noticeably. In environments with no light AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 working in monochrome mode can now perform both: fire detection and remote optical verification. Integrated day and night switch Day/night switch ensures reliable fire detection and video surveillance and provides time to solve the failure of light sources If the visible illumination fails, i.e., in tunnels, it is important to ensure that video-based fire detection is working uninterruptedly and that staff members in monitoring centers still have all the necessary insights into the situation. The integrated day and night switch ensures reliable fire detection and video surveillance. It gives operators enough time to solve the failure of light sources. This saves time-consuming and error-prone human investigation. Full redundant 24/7 illumination is not required anymore. Unobtrusive video surveillance with IR During night-time, burglars cannot spy on possible intrusion targets due to missing visible light or light sources while fire detection can be ensured. No visible illumination is used and helps to prevent burglary and arson. Combined intelligent video analytic rules also allow to track down intruders without visible light. Next to 24/7 fire detection, the new AVIOTEC version enables 24/7 intelligent video analytics for comprehensive safety solutions.
iDENT LLC and Limitless Integrations LLC have announced the launch of the patent pending iDENT MODS (Mobile Onsite Detection System) that will include Patriot One Technologies Inc.’s (Patriot One) PATSCAN Multi-Sensor Threat Detection Platform with specific modules for the early detection of weapons and potential-health related threats, such as COVID-19 and other pathogenic viruses. iDENT MODS unit The iDENT MODS (Mobile Onsite Detection System) unit has been designed to be used in key public gathering locations, such as stadiums, arenas, entertainment venues, and other secure facilities. Leaders from the entertainment, professional sports, and events industries have expressed great interest in the iDENT MODS units, and its inclusion of the PATSCAN platform, to ensure a safe and secure environment for their patrons. iDENT MODS (Mobile Onsite Detection System) unit has been designed to be used in key public gathering locations The solution will be showcased over the next several months, with the intent to restore trust and confidence to their customers and allow staff and talent to return to work and play. Health safety solution The iDENT MODS unit was specifically designed in response to key entertainment and professional sports clients who were looking for an all-inclusive physical threat and health safety solution that could be used to re-open their venues safely and securely. The goal was to minimise time and inconvenience for all event goers, and venue staff at onsite security checkpoints, while providing enhanced safety and security at the venue. Touchless and frictionless security screening “These iDENT MODS offer event promoters and venue operators a touchless and frictionless security screening process for up to 1800 people per lane per hour,” explained Albert Reynolds, iDENT LLC’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Co-Founder. Albert adds, “Our two (2) or six (6) lane units offer great options for front of house or back of house screening to ensure customer, staff and talent safety and security as they attend their favorite programs.” Incorporating AI-powered PATSCAN platform The PATSCAN solutions leverage advanced AI capabilities, correlating data from multiple sensing devices By incorporating the PATSCAN platform’s innovative AI-powered threat detection solutions, visitors to event or sports venue can be quickly screened for visible and concealed threats at the outer perimeter of facilities’ plazas, so as to ensure that when they enter the secure area, all are ensured a great and safe experience. The PATSCAN solutions leverage advanced AI capabilities, correlating data from multiple sensing devices, in near-real time, allowing for very high accuracy, and a pre-emptive approach to minimising or eliminating risk. Enhanced threat detection By looking for, and identifying risks first, and then identifying individuals, the solution also protects all attendee’s privacy and civil liberties. If a threat is detected, whether associated with weapons, or health risks, onsite security will be immediately notified, and the individual will be flagged for additional screening before gaining access to the stadium or arena. “Opening up event venues is critical to our communities from both an economic and social perspective,” expressed Peter Evans, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Patriot One Technologies Inc. Mobile onsite detection units Peter adds, “Incorporating our PATSCAN platform threat detection solutions into these mobile onsite detection units not only provides entertainment, hospitality and retail businesses the opportunity to return to work, but it also provides event goers the confidence that they will be safe and secure as they return to their favorite entertainment and sporting events.” The iDENT MODS are constructed from mobile shipping containers The iDENT MODS are constructed from mobile shipping containers, which can be transported from one venue to another, and be quickly deployed. Event attendees, along with the onsite venue staff and talent, simply walk through a mobile checkpoint in 4 simple steps, without the need to empty their pockets of keys, cellphones, wallets, money, loose change or other personal items. These 4 steps include: Step 1: As an event attendee approaches the iDENT MODS unit, the PATSCAN VRS Weapon & Facial Mask video detection solutions identify potential visible threats in real-time. Step 2: As the attendee passes through the unit, the PATSCAN MSG multi-sensor gateway instantly scans for concealed weapons, such as larger knives, guns, sharp objects and rifles. Step 3: As the concealed weapon scan is taking place, the PATSCAN VRS-T solution scans for elevated body temperature, which may indicate a viral threat or extreme motive. Step 4: As the event attendee prepares to leave the iDENT MODS unit, they swipe their event ticket across the contactless ticketing system. Saffire Tix and block chain-based Health Passport from GetChkd Inc. have combined their technologies to create a portable contactless ticketing solution, which can be linked to an at home or on-site point of care test. Venues could require a negative COVID-19 test, health screening questionnaire, proof of identity and a temperature scan before an event goer and staff can attend and enter a stadium or an arena. Threat Detected? If at any time during this 4-step screening process a threat should be detected, then onsite security are notified in real-time, and can move the individual to a secondary screening area for further investigation, prior to providing event access. As highlighted earlier, the unveiling of the iDENT MODS unit will take place over the next few months with iDENT LLC, Patriot One Technologies and senior executives from the entertainment, events and sports facilities. Each potential client will see the working of the iDENT MODS unit and discuss their specific use cases and facility needs to meet their security and screening requirement.
Stadiums around the world are still paralysed from the effects of COVID-19. Fans and spectators in masses have been absent from stadiums since April and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete plan on how or when they’ll be able to return to near capacity. The NBA recently opted to form a bubble philosophy concept in Disney’s facilities, although it’s been a relative success, it’s also been a $200 million temporary solution. This then begs the question: How long can stadiums survive like this without spectator’s present? History tells us that stadiums, venues and sport recover from disasters, so what can stadiums do to speed up the process? This is the catalyst for AI to be integrated on mass level to stadiums around the world. AI is the answer AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back is huge, through capabilities such as: Social Distance Monitoring Crowd Scanning/Metrics Facial Recognition Fever Detection Track & Trace Providing Behavioural Analytics Technologies such as IREX.ai is now working alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. Stadiums around the world are still paralysed from the effects of COVID-19 AI surveillance software such as IREX.ai when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. Crowd metrics Arming stadiums with AI-powered surveillance tools can detect crowd metrics such as “people counting” and “group statistics”. This ensures stadium personnel can monitor social distancing with precision, accuracy and immediately. Alerts can be set up throughout parts of the stadium to alert senior staff members when overcrowding can appear with real-time videos, analytics and photos to their hand-held device, such as a smartphone. Fever detection Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures. What IREX.ai implements is an alert system, coupled with facial recognition of any individual(s) that read an elevated body temperature. This alert system then provides security and health officials with a photo of the individual with the elevated body temperature, meaning staff can react quicker to the situation prevent this individual from entry. Pandemic monitoring by facial recognition Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures Through facial recognition, staff members will be able to locate individuals through simply uploading a photo. It has never been easier to find a person of interest. With masks becoming an everyday part of society, facial recognition has come under scrutiny regarding the accuracy when a mask is worn. Irex.ai still maintains a 96% accuracy with individuals wearing masks and can set up alerts for any individuals not wearing a mask. Another important aspect of facial recognition is finding persons of interest quickly through technology like IREX.ai’s “searchveillance”. The future is here. Designated staff can track a person from when they enter the stadium by simply uploading their photograph. An example of how this can assist stadium personnel is to help relocate lost children inside the stadium with their guardians/parents when they are separated. Another attribute would be any individuals banned from entering the stadium would trigger alerts once they appear under surveillance, a fantastic collaborative tool to use with Law Enforcement. Return on investment With security solutions, one of the biggest issues with any security investment is a lack of an ROI. This is where AI security is breaking the mould. The ability to provide business analytics, consumer/fan behaviours, traffic patterns, etc, allows other departments within the organisation to gain vital information that can assist with their strategies and practices. Stadium security will never be the same in a post-COVID world, so why will its practices stay the same? AI & Stadiums is no longer the future, it’s the 2020 solution.
Facial recognition has a long history dating back to the 1800s. To track down criminals, such as infamous bandits Jesse Woodson James and Billy the Kid, law enforcement would place “Wanted Alive or Dead” posters advertising bounties and soliciting public cooperation to help locate and even apprehend the alleged criminals. In addition to the bounty, these posters would include a photo and brief description of the crime, which would then be circulated to law enforcement agencies around the country and displayed in every US Post Office to speed up apprehension. Facial recognition Today, technology such as social media, television and other more specialised communication networks play a more influential role in the recognition process. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology, including the development of Machine Learning capabilities, have led to increased accuracy, accessibility and the widespread use of computerised facial recognition. The significance of this means that facial recognition can occur on an even larger scale and in more challenging environments. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology have led to the widespread use of computerised facial recognition This article will explore key milestones and technological advances that have resulted in the modern incarnation of facial recognition, before discussing the capabilities of cutting-edge “one-to-many” technology which is increasingly being used by counter-terror defence, police and security forces around the world. Technology inception and developments The 1960s marked the start of computerised facial recognition, when Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe developed a way to classify faces using gridlines. Bledsoe’s facial recognition still required a large amount of human involvement because a person had to extract the co-ordinates of the face’s features from a photograph and enter this information into a computer. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour (each face took approximately 90 seconds to be matched) which was considered very impressive at the time. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour, which was considered very impressive at the time By the end of the 1960s, facial recognition had seen further development at the Stanford Research Institute where the technology proved to outperform humans in terms of accuracy of recognition (humans are notoriously bad at recognising people they don’t know). By the end of the century, the leading player in the field was a solution that came out of the University of Bochum in Germany – and the accuracy of this technology was such that it was even sold on to bank and airport customers. From this stage on, the facial recognition market began to blossom, with error rates of automatic facial recognition systems decreasing by a factor of 272 from 1993 to 2010 according to US Government-sponsored evaluations. The aim for facial technology is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware Modern usage of facial recognition Fast-forward to the modern day and facial recognition has become a familiar technology when using applications such as the iPhone X’s Face ID capability or MasterCard Identity Check, passport e-gates at airports and other security and access control points. These solutions implement a consensual form of identity verification, as the user has a vested interest in being identified. This is a “one-to-one” facial recognition event, one person in front of the camera being compared to one identity either on a passport or the app. In these scenarios, the hardware is specifically developed for the application at hand, therefore technically much easier to accomplish. Facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments The safety and security world brings a much more complex problem to solve – how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve. It’s even more challenging when the aim is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware. And unlike in the 1960’s where identifying a face every 90 seconds was acceptable; the safety and security market requires near instant feedback on who a person matched against a watchlist is. Security and safety applications The idea behind all facial recognition technologies is broadly the same: you start with an image of a person’s face (ideally a high quality one, although machine learning means that to a point we can now even use video without reducing accuracy). A fully front facing image is best, think a passport photo, but machine learning and new software has made this more flexible. An algorithm converts this image into a numeric template, which cannot be converted back to an image and so represents a secure one way system. Every numeric template is different, even if it started out as an image of the same person, although templates from the same person are more similar than templates from different people. The accuracy of facial recognition continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments What happens next sounds simple although the technology is extremely complex: templates of people’s faces are taken in real time and compared to those in the database. The technology identifies individuals by matching the numeric template of their face with all the templates saved in a database in a matter of seconds or milliseconds. To put this into perspective, imagine you are at the turnstiles of a busy train station looking for a person on the run. Today’s facial recognition technology would be able to identify that person should they pass in view of a CCTV camera, as well as notify the police of any additional persons of interest, whether they are a known terrorist or missing vulnerable person on an entirely separate watch list. Because of technical progression, facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments, from identifying barred hooligans attempting entry at a football stadium or helping self-excluded gamblers at casino to overcome addiction. Real-time assessments The latest evolution of facial recognition pits the technology against an even more challenging application – directly matching individuals from body worn cameras for real time recognition for police officers on the beat. This capability equips first responders with the ability to detect a person from a photo and verify their identity with assurance. The broader implication for this means that every interaction, such as stop and search or arrest, can be supported by real-time facial recognition which will see cases of mistaken identity driven down on the streets. First responders can now for the first time be deployed and furnished with the ability to identify wider groups of people of interest with a degree of accuracy that previously relied only on the fallible human memory. As the accuracy of the technology continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments, its ability to support government initiatives and law enforcement means the debate about the lawful and appropriate use of facial recognition must be addressed. Facial recognition should not be everywhere looking for everyone, but when used properly it has the potential to improve public safety and we should make the most of its potential.
Live events at large venues like arenas, stadiums or convention halls – whether they involve wrestlers breaking chairs over each other’s heads, Axl and Slash letting bygones be bygones and reuniting Guns ‘n’ Roses, your favorite NFL team annihilating the opposition 62-3, or a convention involving anything from politics to food to Star Trek – are exciting affairs that channel the camaraderie of the crowd into a powerful collective energy. But they also are vulnerable to threats. Physical security solutions Terrorists and other malefactors have known for centuries that any large gathering of people has inherent vulnerabilities on which they can prey: Crowds make it hard for security to keep track of any single person or spot unusual behavior, and the number of people congregated in one space amplifies the impact of any attack. In recent years, organisers of large events have augmented the security methods they use to protect a venue, using both walk-through metal detectors and hand wands, and deploying K9 and police units to patrol the lines to enter security. But these current methods share a universal flaw: to be caught, evil-doers have to be on the verge of actually entering the venue with hundreds of other people, which means they can still cause a massive amount of destruction. In a survey conducted by Brivo, 50 percent of business security leaders felt they lack adequate budget and financial resources to invest in physical security solutions. Augmented security measures Organisers of large events have augmented the security methods they use to protect a venue, using both walk-through metal detectors and hand wands Security professionals and event organisers are constantly on the verge of finding new methods to implement in order to add an extra layer of security at venues and large facilities. For example, at this year’s Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California, which attracts over 100,000 attendees each year, organisers boosted their security initiatives by adding drones, armed guards, magnetometers and dog patrols. Unfortunately, large entertainment festivals have been a target for ill-intended individuals. Last year, the 91 Route Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada took the lives of more than 50 people and injured over 500. In the United Kingdom, 22 people lost their lives to a suicide bomber at an Arianna Grande concert in the Manchester Arena. Yet, concerts aren’t the only place new security initiatives and technology need to be implemented in, but also sports arena and large facilities. Metrasens partnered with Villa Park, the football grounds for Aston Villa Football Club in the UK, to conduct a trial using FMDS technology, Proscreen 900, to screen fans Current screening methods Conventional walk-through metal detectors are a compromise between effective screening and high throughput, as they successfully detect metal objects, but only can screen about five or six people each minute. They are generally placed 10 to 20 yards from a venue’s front façade, either just outside or just inside, to screen people as they enter the facility. Hand wands are used for anyone that sets off the walk-through detector as a secondary screening method for confirmation. Many facilities also use observational methods to screen, such as drones, CCTV, security officers or police walking the crowd and looking for suspicious behavior, or explosives-sniffing K9 units patrolling the area. Security personnel are aware of these pre-security-screening vulnerabilities around the perimeter of the venue Security method limitations Each of these methods has intrinsic limitations. Observational security methods are just that – observation-based, not detection-based. They rely much more heavily on human factors that introduce greater degrees of error and chance, and positive visual identification of a suspicious threat requires a relatively close proximity to observe the threat. They’re also slow and laborious. Walk-through detectors and wands will catch someone trying to enter a facility with a weapon, but by the time they do, it may be too late – a terrorist will already be well within proximity to do a lot of damage. Bad guys don’t need to actually enter the venue; they just need to get close enough to injure or kill a large number of people. That can happen – and has happened, such as with Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 – right at the security point, where a terrorist will be surrounded by dozens or hundreds of people and 10 to 20 yards away from the critical asset: the interior of the venue. Security personnel are aware of these pre-security-screening vulnerabilities around the perimeter of the venue. What they haven’t had until recently is a way to screen mass amounts of people for weapons of mass casualty as far away from the critical asset as they can, and as far away from densely populated areas as they can, all while not impeding throughput resulting from the requirement for patrons to divest their possessions. Expanding security reach with FMDS The far perimeter of a venue is an ideal place to screen for weapons of mass casualty. Most of the time, a terrorist is trying to get closer to the immediate perimeter of the venue, to inflict the most damage to large groups of people waiting to get in; farther away, event attendees are walking toward the entrance and thus are more dispersed, not standing in clusters or lines. This advance screening is possible using ferromagnetic detection systems (FMDS). The FMDS systems in the trial, Proscreen 900, were placed outside, where individuals were screened for large weapons before they even entered the football stadium Metrasens recently partnered with a football stadium in Birmingham, UK to conduct a trial using FMDS technology to screen fans. The trial took place in March at Villa Park, the football grounds for Aston Villa Football Club. The stadium can hold over 42,000 people. The FMDS systems in the trial, Proscreen 900, were placed outside, where individuals were screened for large weapons before they even entered the football stadium, adding an extra layer of security. FMDS is highly accurate – there is no false alarm rate, because it is programmed to find only what security personnel need to find In the most basic terms, FMDS uses passive sensors that evaluate disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field made by something magnetic moving through its detection zone. Everything else is invisible to it; it doesn’t see people, clothing, backpacks, purses, etc. Nothing can be used to shield the threat, because FMDS doesn’t detect metallic mass; it detects a magnetic signature, down to a millionth of the earth’s magnetic field. It is also highly accurate – there is no false alarm rate, because it is programmed to find only what security personnel need to find (e.g., a weapon). Although it is a passive technology, it is more effective and reliable than using observational security methods to screen a perimeter, because the technology will never miss something the way a human would. Recognising moving magnetic signatures An important point is that the system only works on moving objects. This makes it immune to environmental conflicts such as rebar that would trip up conventional metal detectors and allowing people to be screened quickly and unobtrusively without stopping to divest their possessions as they walk toward a venue – up to 50 or 60 people a minute. FMDS does not need people to be organised into lines or groups; it simply detects a magnetic signature on anything that passes. It runs on batteries – there is no need for an electricity source, as with a walk-through detector – and can be placed on just about any form factor (a pole, a stand, etc.). This gives security personnel flexibility when deploying FMDS, allowing them to create a wide perimeter around a venue without worrying about portability or a power source. Screening can be as obvious or as concealed as personnel prefer for a particular situation, based on the form factor they select. FMDS simply gives the opportunity to add a layer of security where there currently is not an effective solution All of these combine into a solution that creates a way to close a gap in mass screenings at large events, by expanding the secure perimeter and creating a highly accurate way to detect weapons of mass casualty farther away from a critical asset and large crowds. It does not replace screening for smaller items necessarily, and all large venues should use a layered security solution that also deploys tactics like roving security guards, walk-through metal detectors and hand wands. FMDS simply gives the opportunity to add a layer of security where there currently is not an effective solution. Effective mass screening solution Pessimists sometimes muse the world is getting more dangerous with each passing year, and that technology is at least partially responsible for both the breadth and depth of the increasingly creative ways bad guys harm people. But some technologies also are responsible for helping to fight against those threats and make the world safer, and FMDS is one of those. By providing a foolproof method of detecting weapons of mass casualty before terrorists get too close to an event venue, FMDS gives event security personnel a way to better protect large events, making them less dangerous and keeping people safe. Images source: Metrasens
A high majority of Americans (83%) are concerned about a criminal attack causing physical harm at large-scale events such as sporting events or concert festivals. More than one in five (22% of) Americans say they have cancelled plans or considered cancelling plans to attend large-scale public events due to concerns about physical attacks and the safety of their data. Across the pond, three in 10 Britons think twice about attending large-scale events due to data or physical security issues. Although less than half of U.K. survey respondents have changed their plans to attend large events, some 45% are taking extra security precautions. Brits are as afraid of using public Wi-Fi at an event as of a physical criminal attack. These are some of the insights from the 2019 Unisys Security Index survey of more than 13,000 consumers in 13 countries, including 1,000 in the U.S. and another 1,000 in the United Kingdom. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed Security index scores of countries Unisys gauged attitudes on a range of security-related issues and created an index based on survey results. The index is a calculated score from zero to 300 based on concern about eight specific issues within the categories of national, financial, Internet and personal security. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed. In contrast, the U.S. index is now at 165, considered a serious level of concern and the highest among developed countries surveyed. Globally, the index average stands at 175, with the Philippines scoring highest with an index score of 234 and the Netherlands registering the lowest concern ratings with a score of 115. Concerns about misuse of information Privacy is an area where concern is growing. “This year more than half of U.K. citizens expressed concerns about the misuse of their personal information,” says Unisys’ Global Chief Security Architect, Salvatore Sinno. Another 49% expressed serious concerns that intelligence services listen in on them through electronic devices such as mobile phones or smart speakers. The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern. Nick Aldworth, former National Counter Terrorism Co-Ordinator, tells the BBC that the government is not doing enough to ensure venues are secure. He supports a campaign for more rigorous checks at venues in the U.K., named Martyn’s Law, after Martyn Hett, a victim of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. Safety pointers while attending event Salvatore Sinno of Unisys provides the following pointers on keeping safe this summer: If planning to attend a crowded event alone, let someone know. Make sure friends or family know where you are going, when you plan to arrive and when you are expected to return. Plan ahead and check local authorities’ alerts; sign up for any travel or news alerts to receive updates on traffic or news of any disturbances. As soon as you get to an event, survey your surroundings. Make sure you know where the exits are and agree on a meeting place with friends in case you should get separated from the group. Know where stewards and information points are so you can speak to someone if you need to. Be vigilant for suspicious activity at an event. Don’t be afraid to report something you think is unusual, such as unattended baggage or people behaving in a suspicious or threatening way. In an emergency, stay calm and move to the edges of crowds. Try to leave the area quickly and calmly. If you need to, follow the standard police advice of ‘Run, Hide and Tell’. Only buy event tickets from official channels or trusted websites. Update your mobile device with the latest, most secure software and avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks; keep your phone charged and take along a battery charger pack. Don’t make electronic transactions at unofficial event vendors; be careful with contactless cards or making mobile transactions. “Whether it’s your physical security or the security of your data, you can take precautions around major events so you do not make it easy for criminals to take advantage,” says Sinno.
Krowd is an app that connects people together based on geography; that is, if they are at the same place at the same time. Users sign into the app using the local WiFi, identify themselves by username, and are placed immediately in a group chat comprising anyone else at the location who has signed into the app. An enhancement of the Krowd app, known as Krowdsafe, leverages the technology to achieve and promote security and safety. Specifically, Krowdsafe enables users to interact directly with security personnel at a public place to report any crimes or security infractions and to enable rapid response. Think of it as “crowdsourcing” security – the app provides more eyes and ears to keep a venue safer. In effect, it enables each of its users to be an extension of the security presence at a venue or event. Krowdsafe improves crowd resilience. “Crowdsourcing” security – the app provides more eyes and ears to keep a venue safer Krowdsafe security app Krowdsafe also opens a channel of communication for the security team to provide ad-hoc security information reminders or messages. Krowdsafe can be used at a variety of venues, including stadiums, transport hubs, office blocks, retail malls, college campus and major events organisers. The app does not access identities, violate privacy, or track the movements of users. Other app users only know the information fellow users disclose. Still, group chats, one-on-one engagement, and other social media interactions can ensue, whether about a favourite football team or the excitement of a rock concert. The system fosters digital engagement that centers around a physical space. Krowdsafe applies those capabilities to promoting better security. Enhancing crowd safety and management The elements of Krowdsafe beat out 67 competitors to win the Defence & Security Accelerator Competition to Innovate Crowd Safety, launched by the UK Home office after terror events in 2017. Key areas of interest in the competition were to improve the detection of threats from explosives and weapons within a range of crowded places with high footfall and so reduce the chance of future attacks. Krowdsafe provides a prioritised, readily accessible and simple way for members of a crowd to communicate with a security team charged with keeping them safe. The £250,000 government award has helped the product move forward commercially at a faster pace. Krowdsafe app does not access identities, violate privacy, or track the movements of users Krowdsafe users can tap a red button, prominent on the Krowd app, that says “Report.” They may then choose from a listing of common threat types – from suspicious activity or unattended activity to medical emergency or fire services. The list is configurable by venue and corresponds to any specific threat models. The list corresponds to the nature of any situation security wants to address, such as “anti-social behavior” at a football club. Users in the crowd can anonymously report racist chanting, for example. In a children’s sporting event, the app can be used to facilitate lost-and-found children. If a child gets lost, a user can share a photo with the security team, who can alert the “public” (other Krowdsafe users) and find the child within minutes or seconds. Encrypted identifier code A user taps the “Report” button, selects an issue, and an alert goes directly to the security team A user taps the “Report” button, selects an issue, and an alert goes directly to the security team, who can respond because they have the encrypted identifier code from which the message came. For that point, the security team communicates one-on-one with the user, who can then choose to share their current location with the security team to facilitate response. (The “legitimate interest” of knowing the location negates any privacy concerns.) Once location is enabled, the security team can follow the precise positioning of threats on a map, using GPS and other technologies, or even on a three-dimensional digital map of a multi-story building. Another security benefit of Krowdsafe is prevention. Event organisers and venue managers can promote the use of Krowdsafe on posters or in announcements throughout the venue. Additional eyes and ears are the equivalent of CCTV coverage on every inch of a venue and use of the system makes the environment more hostile to mischievous, malicious and/or terrorist activity. In effect, bad guys will go somewhere else. Enhancement to Krowd app Krowdsafe is an enhancement to the Krowd app, which has been around for a couple of years and is available in app stores for iOS and Android. The app approximates in the digital world the experience of being a stranger in the crowd in the real world. Users can join a conversation based on their username, and then disclose to the crowd whatever they wish (or not). Event managers/organisers can promote hashtags to help identify others in the crowd (such as #ManUnited to identify fans of the same football team). In general, users can identify themselves (voluntarily) according to common interests using hashtags. “Krowd is a group chat that connects people together at the same place at the same time in a group, but without anyone having to disclose personal information,” says Geoff Revill, Managing Director, Krowdthink Ltd. “You have a digital presence in the same place with other people at the same time.” Wireless connectivity Users connect initially into the system through WiFi, access to which serves to approximate presence at a venue Users connect initially into the system through WiFi, access to which serves to approximate presence at a venue. Once someone signs in, information about them is merely a grouping of “hash” numbers, which are used to identify them as they communicate with others in the location. However, the “hashing” cannot be hacked to find a user’s location, thus ensuring greater privacy. Because Krowd does not collect personal data (which is a revenue source for most social media companies), the company generates revenue by providing the service to venue owners who wish to interact with and manage a crowd. Data security Location data is considered sensitive under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and tracking locations can help to identify where someone lives, works, who they associate with, etc. By not tracking location, Krowd avoids the related privacy issues. After initially signing in on WiFi, Krowd communications can also use 2G, 3G and other cellular networks in addition to WiFi. Addressing privacy concerns is essential to encouraging involvement in the Krowd app, and in Krowdsafe. “If you want people to participate in keeping the crowd safe, you have to get their trust and respect them, that’s a building block behind the behavioral science,” says Revill. By not tracking location, Krowd avoids the related privacy issues Privacy protection Because Krowd users remain anonymous (except for the information they choose to share), user data is not collected (and/or sold or used for future marketing purposes). Krowd’s paying customers are event venues and public places that provide the Krowd service and can promote their commercial messages or provide other information to their populations while on site. Krowdsafe can provide immediate security benefits to a venue. Even if only 25 staff members use the app in a given location, for example, that’s 25 more sets of eyes and ears to help the security department. In a retail mall, if the staffs of 200 tenant businesses use the app, that’s another 500 or so people watching out for security. Among the general public, use of the app can be promoted in customer newsletters, or by posting group discussions on big screens around a venue. Wide marketing scope It enables members of a crowd to report any broken doors, water leaks or blocked toilets Security is a secondary benefit for some Krowd users, who are drawn to the app because of marketing opportunities, such as the ability to provide discounts or promotional offers to customers while they are on site. The app also encourages social media interaction, while maintaining the venue’s ability to “manage” the crowd by moderating any discussions. The Krowd app also provides management benefits to a venue. For example, it enables members of a crowd to report any broken doors, water leaks or blocked toilets. In general, the app helps to promote a better brand experience for the customer. Incident management One of the UK government’s concerns about Krowdsafe was its possible use by terrorists or other to cause incidents in a public venue. Think of the case of Olly Murs, a U.K. singer, whose mistaken tweets about hearing gunshots caused a brief panic at a department store on a busy shopping day. Might Krowd be uses similarly by a terrorist or other evil-doer to cause chaos or a distraction? No, says Revill, who points to a higher level of control over content exchanged in Krowd versus Twitter, for example. The security team can censor content or limit its propagation. They can also disable or block a user from communicating on the app. Messages containing dangerous or troubling content, such as racist terms, can trigger alerts to enable security teams to respond quickly.
Facial recognition has seen huge breakthroughs since the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) first began testing in 2010. Accuracy has seen massive gains, especially from 2013-2018. In the 2018 test, the most accurate algorithm was 20 times more accurate than the 2013 equivalent. Essentially, 95 percent of the matches that failed in 2013 now yield correct results. Compare that to 2010-2013, when the most accurate algorithm reduced its error rate by 30 percent. This reduction in error rates since 2013 is due to wholesale replacement of the old algorithms with new ones based on deep convolutional neural networks — completely revolutionising the technology. Optimal recognition results SAFR says it delivers optimal recognition results with 99.86 percent accuracy in under 100 milliseconds One entrant in the newly energised market is RealNetworks, whose SAFR for Security is an AI-based facial recognition solution for live video that integrates video management system (VMS) solutions. With 24/7 monitoring, SAFR detects and matches millions of faces accurately in real time, enabling teams to manage a watchlist across any number of video feeds. SAFR says it delivers optimal recognition results with 99.86 percent accuracy in under 100 milliseconds, even in real-world conditions where faces are in motion, at different angles, under poor lighting, or partially obscured. SAFR builds on RealNetworks’ 23-year history in video technologies. Launched in July 2018, SAFR — secure, accurate facial recognition — is enabling new applications for security, convenience, and analytics. Create security responses “We seek to be the world’s most trusted facial recognition platform and are delighted to partner with customers in the security industry and elsewhere to shape a more secure, convenient future worldwide,” says Dan Grimm, Vice President of Computer Vision and General Manager of SAFR at RealNetworks. “Security professionals are asked to keep us safe 24/7, monitoring a burgeoning number of cameras, and we help make them more effective.” SAFR targets facial recognition for live video, identifying camera-unaware faces moving in real-world conditions. In the April 2019 NIST results, SAFR tested as the fastest and most compact solution among algorithms with less than 0.022 False Non-Match Rate — 62 percent faster than the average speed, according to the company. SAFR now provides capabilities such as live video overlays alerting security professionals to events in real time, automatic bookmarks with rich metadata for investigative work, and alerts that can be customised to create security responses. SAFR uses one-sixth the compute power of competing facial recognition solutions Facial recognition algorithms Five years ago, facial recognition algorithms would struggle to match forward-facing people from still images, let alone camera-unaware moving faces from live video with variations in rotation and tilt. SAFR says they have achieved a balance of accuracy and performance for live video. A contributor to this accuracy is consistency across a range of skin tones. The algorithm was trained on a highly diverse global set of over 10 million non-simulated real-world faces. SAFR was optimised for speed and can sample a face multiple times during the same period of time as other algorithms, subsequently increasing its accuracy. SAFR achieves the performance through edge processing. Distributed architecture enables efficient bandwidth consumption, reducing the roundtrip latency of facial recognition speed to under 100 milliseconds. The savings lower total cost of ownership (TCO): SAFR uses one-sixth the compute power of competing facial recognition solutions, equating to $500,000 or so in savings on a 250-camera deployment. Integrated experience SAFR also uses off-the-shelf hardware and is optimised to leverage inexpensive GPUs SAFR also uses off-the-shelf hardware and is optimised to leverage inexpensive GPUs. SAFR can be deployed on premises or in the cloud, and supports Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. When SAFR is paired with a VMS, such as Milestone XProtect or Genetec Security Center, the integrated experience includes 24/7 monitoring to detect and match faces in real-time. Features include live video overlays within the VMS to identify strangers, threats, concerns, unrecognised persons, VIPs, employees, or other tagged individuals in live video. Real-time alerts can be customised for when persons of interest appear on a video camera feed. Additionally, automatic bookmarks with rich metadata make for easier investigative review of security footage. Facial recognition technology is increasingly in demand to improve safety across various industry verticals. Better customer experience Large enterprises with high-visitor flows and heightened security — such as transportation hubs, stadiums, universities, and hospitals — need to know in real time when persons of interest or those on watchlists appear on camera. Sports stadiums could apply facial recognition to deny entry to banned patrons, locate lost children, or recognise VIPs to deliver a better customer experience. Hospitals need access control to restricted areas and pharmaceutical storage closets Hospitals need access control to restricted areas and pharmaceutical storage closets. Airports and transit centres value traffic flows, demographic composition, and dwell times to help improve scheduling. SAFR for Security is available worldwide, and the company partners with VMS providers such as Milestone, Genetec, Digifort, and IPConfigure by Paliton Networks. They are actively working to support additional VMS solutions and have sales teams located in major metropolitan cities around the world. Security professionals “The job of the security professional is critical in today’s world,” says Grimm. “SAFR for Security helps mitigate the challenges of the important work security professionals do to keep us all safe.” In designing and developing SAFR, RealNetworks considered diversity and the uniqueness of each person; Grimm says their massive global training data set is a competitive advantage. SAFR is designed with privacy in mind. All facial images and signatures are AES-256 encrypted in transit or at rest. “SAFR is powerful enterprise-grade software that is continuously improving through innovation and many years of expertise,” says Grimm.
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.
Since its completion in 2017, the Gazprom Arena has served as the home ground stadium for the Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg. And as one of the host stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2021 Euro Football Championship, the Gazprom Arena must also satisfy the strict security regulations of FIFA, UEFA and ESSMA. When selecting the video security system, the managers responsible at Zenit therefore opted for a solution from the German manufacturer Dallmeier. With its patented Panomera multifocal-sensor system, Dallmeier guarantees the security of many stadiums all over the world. The objective was providing coverage with video security technology for the entire area surrounding the stadium, the entrance gate approaches, the rooms below grand stands, and the grand stands themselves in one of the largest video security projects ever undertaken in a football stadium. Video security system Under enormous time pressure, a high-performance system had to be implemented in the stadium with a capacity of 60,000 fans and yet had to remain adaptable and flexible in response to changing customer wishes as the project progressed. One requirement which from time to time presented the greatest challenge was capturing all areas of all the grand stands all of the time, so that unequivocal identification of offenders could be assured in all circumstances. In order to achieve this, the Russian Interior Ministry stipulated two key requirements for the video security system: Firstly, it must capture the entire grand stand area with a "minimum resolution density" of 250 pixels per metre (px/m). This also corresponds to the performance criterion defined in the globally valid standard DIN EN 62676-4 for video security systems for purposes of enabling identification of an unknown person. Minimum resolution density A Dallmeier video security system has already been operating in the Petrovsky Stadium since 2012 And secondly, the image frequency must not fall below a frame rate of 25 frames per second (fps). Because it is typically only the combination of the specified minimum resolution density and a fluid representation of events that can ensure incontestable evidence that is usable in a court of law. In order to meet these stringent requirements, the security managers invited a number of vendors to present their solutions in advance at Zenit's former home ground - the Petrovsky Stadium - to enable them to choose the right solution for the Gazprom Arena. A Dallmeier video security system has already been operating in the Petrovsky Stadium since 2012, and after a thorough evaluation of all the solutions, the operators decided to install a stadium solution from Dallmeier in the Gazprom Arena as well. Multifocal-sensor system Because compared with conventional camera technologies such as megapixel or PTZ cameras for example, the patented Panomera multifocal-sensor system from Dallmeier can guarantee coverage of even the largest expanses with the stipulated minimum resolution density and frame rate. And Panomera systems continuously capture everything that is happening in full resolution and allow high-resolution zooms - both live and in the recording and by several operators at the same time. This enables stadium operators to track and reconstruct relevant occurrences in detail both live and after the fact. Besides the technical superiority of the Panomera technology, another decisive advantage of the Dallmeier stadium solution was the innovative 3D planning approach, with which a digital reproduction of the Gazprom Arena was created. Conventional single-sensor cameras This makes it very easy to fulfil the requirement according to which at least 250 px/m must be assured literally "in every last corner": colour coding in the 3D simulation makes it possible to see exactly where the value has been reached and where a correction should be made, perhaps by setting up in a another position or using a different camera model. An alternative solution would have required a substantial four-figure number of conventional single-sensor cameras A further major advantage of this planning approach is the extreme efficiency of the solution: For example, Zenit St. Petersburg is able to provide security on the terraces throughout the Gazprom Arena with way less than 100 Panomera camera systems, covering all areas with at least 250 px/m and 25 fps. An alternative solution would have required a substantial four-figure number of conventional single-sensor cameras. Minimises uncertainty factors Apart from enormously high infrastructure costs (masts, cables, etc.) this would also have generated a practically unmanageable deluge of images for the video system operators. Another benefit of Dallmeier's 3D planning programme is the automatic generation of "CamCards" - exact configuration documents for every single camera. Armed with this information, installers on site know exactly which camera must be mounted where, how high and at what angle. The big advantage besides the immense amount of time saved consists in the planning reliability: It can be predicted with great accuracy how much labour the installation of the total solution with entail, because this approach minimises uncertainty factors. Total storage capacity Thanks to Dallmeier's unwavering assistance throughout the project, testing by the state technical personnel in Russia was also successful in the subsequent project phases, with the result that the stadium operators were able to begin operating the video security system after final project commissioning in good time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The total storage capacity for the video security system amounts to more than six petabytes Recently, over 1,000 single-sensor cameras have been installed in the Gazprom Arena in addition to the Panomera systems - these safeguard the remaining areas of the stadium. Due to the large number of cameras, the total storage capacity for the video security system amounts to more than six petabytes (equivalent to about 6,000 TB). High-performance recording appliances from Dallmeier are used to process this information. Largest stadium project Authorised personnel from various departments and stakeholders can access the system at 80 workstations. The video security system from Dallmeier has provided ample evidence of its performance capabilities and reliability in the running of the Gazprom Arena, not least during the seven matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On this subject, Karlheinz Biersack, Director Sales Eastern Europe/RUS/GUS at Dallmeier explains: "Of course we were delighted that the security managers of Zenit St. Petersburg also decided to rely on Dallmeier again for their new home, the Gazprom Arena. This success in the largest stadium project we have ever undertaken shows once again that Dallmeier's holistic security and solution approach - above all the patented Panomera technology and our unrivalled project and consulting services represent an immense benefit for our customers."
BBVA Compass Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium located in Houston, Texas, USA and home to the Houston Dynamo, Major League Soccer club (part of MLS in USA). It also is home to the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League and to Texas Southern University Tiger football. It is also going through a major retrofit with its security systems to include a best of breed, open architecture solution. The stadium first opened in 2012, but six years later, Cultris Security Systems of Houston is back upgrading and expanding the current security installation. After spending five years with another security provider, the Dynamo and Dash, who maintains the facility, opted for a completely new solution. Axis cameras integrated with Salient Systems VMS Along with their current Panasonic cameras, stadium officials opted for Axis Communications cameras Along with their current Panasonic cameras, stadium officials opted for Axis Communications cameras. Both camera manufacturers play well with Salient Systems VMS. The result was an image resolution much more enhanced than they had been experiencing. “With all of this equipment brought together, we found it to be easy to use, user-friendly, and supported a very complimentary search function,” said Paul Fisher, Director of Key Accounts at Salient Systems, adding “For those people hired as facility guards, and with a sometime frequent turnover in staff, new people were able to use the Salient software right away and were able to do their job guarding the facility more quickly.” Paul further stated, “An installation like this is a great reference for us, and it is a very exciting security installation. Although there are fewer than 100 cameras, the placement and location of the cameras will allow security to monitor the sometimes over-zealous fans, and with BBVA Compass Stadium officials installing our synopsis video tool, stadium officials will be able to key-map the entire facility, gain analytical data and improve the customer experience.” CompleteView VMS platform Salient also partners with Dell, taking its CompleteView VMS platform into the booming Internet of Things market. The CompleteView VMS’ ability to quickly render and manage video surveillance over a WAN or LAN makes it a compelling offering for solution providers looking to gain a foothold in IoT. The manner through which the video is processed is very efficient, and can render the video and perform forensics on the video rapidly. As more businesses look to video surveillance as an IoT application, the CompleteView VMS platform can be integrated with other software packages will enable partners to work with customers to solve specific problems through big data and analytics capabilities. DSX software installed for secure access control BBVA Compass Stadium officials also switched out the outdated access control software and installed DSX software to complete the upgrade. “We have long known that DSX is a workhorse software solution,” said Jason Smith, President of Cultris Security Systems Inc., adding “It is easy to use and a lower cost to use. These upgrades are exciting for us to be part of because the installation will come in several phases, with the integration supported for years to come.” Open architecture security solutions Cultris technicians almost had a blank canvas to begin their security installation Jason adds, “We also found working with BBVA Compass Stadium staff very easy because they were receptive to open architecture security solutions. Phase Two will begin in 2019, and we’re excited to design the next layer of security at the stadium.” Cultris technicians almost had a blank canvas to begin their security installation. The facility itself is an open architecture facility, so facility managers were very receptive when plans were drawn up for security equipment. Much of the focus was on the stadium concourses, where the bulk of the soccer fans’ traffic is found during a match. 360-degree cameras installed The new master plan now included 360-degree cameras along the concourse, which offered coverage in every direction. The same 360-degree cameras were also placed near the locker rooms, loading docks and service areas. PTZ and fixed lens cameras were upgraded and placed in each corner of the facility where there is a gate for entrance and exit. As imagined, soccer fans are very passionate about their sport and teams, so cameras on the concourse were placed in a planned manner for the guarding staff to be able to know and react quickly if or when a fight broke out among spectators. The 360-degree cameras also enable the security staff to mobilise and reach the incident spot, where they would be required, as quickly as possible. 4K PTZ cameras Stadium security staff is able to view cameras placed in an adjacent parking area Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium has a capacity of 22,039 seats, including 34 private suites, 1,100 club seats, an indoor premium club area, a dedicated supporters/fans stand and a food court. The stadium is designed to accommodate Major League Soccer (MLS) and FIFA standard international soccer, as well as other sports including football, lacrosse, and rugby and live concerts. Stadium security staff is able to view cameras placed in an adjacent parking area, as well as city security cameras (live view only) in order to ensure the safety and security of people coming to the venue and leaving after the match. These cameras have a 4K PTZ quick drive function, which helps establish a clear view of events, if additional security help is needed. As an integrator, Cultris Security has clearly installed a solution that will work properly for BBVA Compass Stadium, and their tenants, who are always looking to strike a goal.
Synectics has secured a competitive public space contract to provide integrated surveillance solutions for a number of prestigious sites across London, the UK's capital. Comprising government properties, heritage sites, and high-profile public event venues, the contract builds on Synectics' reputation as the surveillance solution of choice for London's public space protection. The successful award can also be attributed to the company's ability to deliver tailored, open-architecture solutions incorporating integration to third-party systems such as access control and intruder detection. Control software platform Synectics, which supports more than 70% of London's boroughs, as well as major retail stores and stadiums across the city, will upgrade all sites to its Synergy 3 command and control software platform. Each of these sites falls under our specialism in public space" While the specific locations cannot be named, the sites include listed buildings, high-security 'closed-to-public' assets, and venues with high levels of public footfall. Martin Bonfield, UK Sales Manager, at Synectics commented: "Each of these sites falls under our specialism in public space, but individually they each have unique requirements. That plays to our strengths in terms of the flexible technologies we offer and the broader sector experience we hold, from gaming and critical national infrastructure to city surveillance, retail, and public transport.” Superior incident management "These credentials illustrate our capability at developing and deploying surveillance solutions for projects that must balance high levels of public access with stringent security conventions and superior incident management. Our professional services team is also highly skilled at migrating systems under live operating conditions, which was a specification of the comprehensive brief." "One of the locations included in this tender process was an existing Synectics site operating a legacy Synergy product. The trust in our Synergy solution by the customer meant that satisfaction with the system reliability and user experience was high." Multi-site monitoring The Synergy 3 solution deployed at each site will enable the control room teams to monitor existing cameras The Synergy 3 solution deployed at each site will enable the control room teams to monitor existing cameras — totalling around 500 across the sites — alongside integrated third-party systems such as access control and intruder detection. Linking all locations for eventual multi-site monitoring was a crucial component of the project brief, ensuring the sites continue to support future needs and incorporate the latest camera technology and system features as required. Martin explained: "Synergy 3's power and scalability in terms of integrations and future system consolidation presented a powerful proposition to our customers, combined with our wider London portfolio of projects, partnerships, and supporting closer collaboration with the Metropolitan Police."
Danish Superliga Football Club Brøndby IF has enhanced fan safety by using Panasonic security solutions to prevent banned football hooligans from entering the stadium, whilst maintaining visitor privacy and complying with European Union General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Installing Panasonic’s FacePRO facial recognition system at the entrances to the stadium has helped to more effectively identify those on the banned list. The club had been aware that family attendance had fallen at some of the more high-profile games, such as the local derby with F.C. Copenhagen, due to concerns over hooliganism, illegal use of flares and safety. Family-friendly stadium With an average attendance of 14,000 people per game, and up to 100 registered persons on the stadium blacklist for causing trouble, the football club wanted to find a way to make genuine fans feel even safer at the family-friendly stadium by preventing any problems before they could occur. Up until this point, lists of banned people were distributed to security staff at the entrance gates. They would manually check each person coming into the stadium but the process was time consuming and not always effective. With the use of Panasonic’s security solution, blacklisted offenders can now be automatically identified in the crowd before they attempt to enter the stadium. System operators in the surveillance room double check matches made by the system before sending notification to the stewards at the gates to prevent them from entering. Panasonic FacePro solution Brøndby IF sought approval on its approach to GDPR compliance from the Danish Data Protection Agency The automated procedure at the stadium entrance also decreases congestion at the gates, so genuine fans can get into the stadium faster. As well as improving security outside, the system allows staff more time to focus their attention on creating a safe and entertaining environment for those inside the stadium. Another issue important to address in the implementation was compliance with European Union GDPR. The Panasonic FacePro solution is very flexible and can be configured to delete or store data as required. To meet Brøndby IF’s requirements, data from the camera is encrypted and the data and images of people not on the blacklist are never stored. In addition, the details of banned individuals are encrypted and only stored on a server blocked from the Internet and all other external systems. Brøndby IF sought permission and approval on its approach to GDPR compliance from the Danish Data Protection Agency. Facial recognition system Mickel Lauritsen, Head of Security at Brøndby IF, said: “We can see that we have decreased the amount of flares being used within the stadium during our matches. It has been a success and it’s an absolutely vital tool in order to maintain safety and security.” Gerard Figols, Head of the European security business at Panasonic, commented: “Panasonic’s facial recognition system contributes to a safer stadium environment by alleviating security pressure on the ground, while ensuring that all data is protected from unauthorised external access." "The accuracy and processing capacity of Panasonic FacePRO means that it is ideal for football, and other sporting stadiums around the world, as well as many other venues where security and high visitor numbers are a factor. Besides the pure security factor, our facial recognition system can also help to enhance the customer experience by providing quicker, more streamlined access or tailored services.”
The combination of design, comfort, security, access and services offered by San Mamés stadium, the home stadium of Spain’s the Athletic Club in Bilbao has led the UEFA to classify it as an elite stadium, the highest classification that enables the building to host major national and international football events. In fact, the stadium has been chosen to host the Euro Cup 2020 in Spain. The Stadium of Athletic Bilbao is already a reference point in the football world. With a capacity of 53.332 people, 3.000 premium and VIP seats, and a built-up area of 116.760 square metres, the new San Mamés stadium is more than just a sports location. It is a space with multiple complementary uses: it has a museum, a shopping area, restaurant, cafeteria, event rooms, meeting and conference rooms. MEET IP video door entry system For Fermax, this project demonstrates the high capacities of MEET IP video door entry system For Fermax, this project demonstrates the high capacities of MEET IP video door entry system, which can be integrated into large commercial security projects. The project has 11 single-line MILO panels (ref. 9533) in the stadium's underground accesses, to facilitate access for suppliers, sponsors. All the MILO panels connect to the MEET concierge (ref. 9539) located at the stadium's security control point. The installation of the Fermax product began from end of 2019. San Mamés Stadium has been designed and built in a Design and Construction Management contract format, with the involvement of IDOM, an independent professional services company since the first stages of the project, which continues to evolve. Fermax's MEET IP technology The location of the stadium, overlooking the Bilbao Estuary, makes this infrastructure a unique architectural piece that stands out in the city, integrating itself into the surroundings and giving added value to the area. The incorporation of state-of-the-art technological equipment, such as large windows with LED technology, EFTE panels that make up the stadium's façade or IP video door entry and access control systems such as Fermax's MEET IP technology, have given answer to the club's needs. Since the beginning of the construction, the new stadium’s project has received several awards, including the WAF Award at the 2015 World Architecture Festival in Singapore, the Stadium of the Year Award at the 2015 World Stadium Congress Awards in Qatar, and the first prize in the Long Span Structures category of the 2017 Structural Award, among other prizes.
Round table discussion
When security topics become a part of current events, it is usually in a negative light. Security generally only becomes news when it fails, sometimes in a dramatic, high profile and tragic way. However, security failures can also shed light on lessons learned and opportunities to improve. Working toward better security can translate into the purchase of more goods and equipment supplied by our market. For additional insights into the intersection of security and current events, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Good news or bad news? How do news reports and/or current events influence the general public’s opinion of physical security?
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
Hospitality businesses work to provide a safe and pleasant customer experience for their guests. Hotels offer a “home away from home” for millions of guests every day around the world. These are businesses of many sizes and types, providing services ranging from luxury accommodations to simple lodging for business travelers to family vacation experiences. Hospitality businesses also include restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other venues. Security needs are varied and require technologies that span a wide spectrum. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of the hospitality market?
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