Avigilon Corporation, a Motorola Solutions company, announced that it will preview its upcoming high-resolution H4 Thermal camera at the International Fire and Security Exhibition and Conference (IFSEC 2019). The new Avigilon H4 Thermal camera models will combine patented Avigilon technology with heat-sensing capabilities to improve perimeter security in areas with poor visibility, difficult lighting conditions and absolute darkness. The high-resolution H4 Thermal camera will enable users to s...
With 2,365,782 security officers registered – of which over 498,435 are employed by just over 9,000 registered and active security businesses, South Africa has one of the most mature security markets. Over the last 17 years, the number of registered and employed security officers grew by 157% and the number of security businesses by 65% (Source: Annual Performance Plan 2018/2019 of PSIRA – Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority of South Africa). Furthermore, South Africa rep...
The mindset behind a new law to prohibit the use of facial recognition and other security-related technologies by San Francisco police and other city agencies is obvious in the name of the new ordinance: “Stop Secret Surveillance.” Ordinance to stop secret surveillance The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance 8-1 with two abstentions on May 14, and there will be another vote next week before it becomes law. We have an outsize responsibility to regulate the exces...
ISC West 2019 is in the industry’s rear-view mirror, and what a show it was! The busy three days in April offered a preview of exciting technologies and industry trends for the coming year. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What was the big news at ISC West 2019?
Percepto announced that it has launched its all-in-one aerial solution for autonomous security, safety and inspection missions in Australia, following the completion of a series of successful live mission demonstrations in Canberra. The tests were observed in the capital by a delegation representing government, defence and industry organisations from across the country. During the demonstration, Percepto conducted missions to highlight how its autonomous ‘Sparrow’ drones can deliver...
Sonitrol, the provider of verified electronic security, announces the launch of TotalGuard Smart Hub & Wireless Devices that offer a more robust security solution to the small and medium business markets. This new offering includes a variety of wireless sensors that connect to the new TotalGuard Smart Hub, expanding reach and alarm capabilities. Sonitrol’s TotalGuard solution, launched in 2018, targets the small to medium business market by offering affordable, professional security....
In the past, biometrics solutions for access control were often deployed with reduced security thresholds because their imaging technology, which routinely yielded false fingerprint rejections, resulted in long authentication lines at the door. HID Global, a global provider of trusted identity solutions, announced its new fingerprint reader that merges credential excellence with HID’s globally-patented multispectral imaging technology to address this issue and fuel broad adoption of biometrics at the door. The high-performance iCLASS SE RB25F fingerprint reader provides an unrivalled experience by dramatically increasing image capture performance and fingerprint matching in under a second, significantly reducing delays that were previously symptomatic of biometric solutions. Lumidigm multispectral technology The reader is field-configurable over a network, and is designed to ease migration from traditional and existing fingerprint reader solutions"“Driven by increasing threats to an organisation’s security, biometric authentication is one of the fastest growing segments in the access control market,” said Stephen Carney, Vice President of Product Marketing, Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. “The powerful combination of HID’s highly reliable Lumidigm multispectral technology and the reader’s robust construction with IP67 and anti-vandal IK09 ratings now enables customers to deploy fingerprint authentication across a wide range of real-life environments. The reader is also field-configurable over a network, and is designed to ease migration from traditional and existing fingerprint reader solutions.” Real-time validation of fingerprints HID’s multispectral imaging technology captures images from both the surface and sub-surface of the skin so that all types of fingerprints, from people of any age, can be read quickly and reliably in cold, dry, dirty, wet and other challenging environmental conditions. This, coupled with trusted liveness detection for spoof prevention, enables the iCLASS SE RB25F reader to provide real-time validation that fingerprints are genuine and belong to a living person who is physically present at the authentication point. To maximise security, the reader includes built-in optical tamper protection, and it supports the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), as well as HID’s Seos technology for multi-layered authentication between the reader and credentials. HID Biometric Manager The iCLASS SE RB25F can be used with all popular industry-standard high frequency credential technologies Security administrators can download the complimentary HID Biometric Manager, an on-premise software tool for configuring and managing one or many iCLASS SE RB25F readers. Built on a server- and browser-based client architecture, the HID Biometric Manager is ideal for enrolling users’ fingerprints (for both 1:1 verification and 1: N identification modes), assigning access rights and conducting many other functions. The comprehensive tool can also be used to securely log all door events where the readers have been installed and to upgrade readers in the field remotely over a TCP/IP connection. Certified in several major geographies worldwide and available with multiple interface options for various system architectures, the new iCLASS SE RB25F can be used with all popular industry-standard high frequency credential technologies (including HID Mobile Access Mobile IDs, Seos, iCLASS SE, iCLASS, MIFARE DESFire, MIFARE Classic).
In its continued effort to innovate and meet market needs, Axis Communications, the global provider of network video, announced the launch of the 7th generation of their chipset. ARTPEC 7 will bring an array of new capabilities and features to Axis network cameras, namely even better imaging, enhanced security features, powerful compression and ability to run analytics on the edge. Moreover, since the chip is fully developed by Axis, it provides a layer of control that is crucial for effective cybersecurity. “We’re one of only a few manufacturers that develops our own chipset, therefore the creation of ARTPEC 7 is a key differentiator for us and a significant benefit to our customers,” said Fredrik Nilsson, VP, Americas, Axis Communications, Inc. The ARTPEC 7 improves all the signature Axis technologies that have been created to address difficult light conditions “In this generation of ARTPEC we’ve included many important features, such as upgraded security. Also, unlike other chips, it’s not a generic design. Rather, it’s 100% optimised for creating high-quality Axis network video solutions. This launch truly exemplifies our vision to innovate for a smarter, safer world.” Better imaging in low-light conditions Due to a completely redesigned image processing pipeline, the ARTPEC 7 further improves all the signature Axis technologies that have been created to address difficult light conditions. For example: Lightfinder 2.0 will deliver more saturated and realistic colours than ever before in low-light, along with the sharpest images of moving objects even in the darkest areas. Forensic WDR will provide clearer images of moving objects as well as enhanced detail in backlit scenes, or scenes with big differences between the lightest and darkest areas. Increased sensitivity to light also significantly extends the range of illumination for Axis cameras with IR. Enhanced security features Future Axis cameras will let users choose between H.264 and H.265 video encoding depending on what best suits their systemARTPEC 7 enables ‘built-in’ security features for Axis cameras, including signed firmware so only secure authorised firmware can be installed, and secure boot, which prevents booting of unauthorised firmware. Future Axis cameras will also let users choose between H.264 and H.265 video encoding depending on what best suits their system and surveillance needs. Either encoding standard in combination with Axis Zipstream technology will now require even lower bandwidth and storage space without sacrificing image quality. In addition, users are free to re-evaluate their choice of codec at any time if their requirements should change. Real-time object detection engine Finally, this chip features a real-time object detection engine that will make it possible for Axis and Axis partners to develop powerful analytics to automatically detect and differentiate between people, faces and objects. Moving forward, ARTPEC 7 will be the basis for the majority of Axis network video products. One of the first cameras to include this chip is the AXIS P1375, which is set to be showcased at ISC West at booth #14051.
3xLOGIC, the provider of integrated and intelligent security solutions, has announced the availability of its pioneering VIGIL video management system (VMS) in Europe. Already enormously popular in the USA, 3xLOGIC aims to replicate this success and is targeting VIGIL at those who want all the power of integrated video and access control, without the stress and cost of a complex set-up. VIGIL’s enterprise grade VMS is the driving force behind the VIGIL range of network video recorders (NVRs) and power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. Its easy set-up wizard guides installers and end users through the configuration process, helping to define network parameters, system identification information and camera profiles quickly and efficiently. VIGIL Central Management software With 3xLOGIC’s VCM, it is possible to monitor server connectivity, camera status, storage details and server settingsEvents can be viewed via PC or mobile app, allowing users to respond to alarms and view live footage from any location, while SmartSearch functionality enables individuals to quickly identify and review events. With 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL Central Management software (VCM), it is also possible to monitor server connectivity, camera status, storage details and server settings; and 3xLOGIC’s RapidStream technology and SubStream motion detection functionality offers high resolution while substantially reducing bandwidth demands All VIGIL NVRs come pre-configured with VIGIL VMS software and 3xLOGIC PoE-enabled internet protocol (IP) dome, bullet, cube, 360°, thermal imaging, and pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras are designed to suit any application. The easy set-up wizard also provides plug and play capability for easy deployment, so no IP video experience is necessary to start recording or viewing video. Integrated with infinias access control solution Advanced reporting features including heat mapping, restricting and locking video are also possibleUsers can easily narrow down points of interest within larger playback clips by creating a SmartSearch mask over an area of an image, and surveillance data can also be routinely archived without the need to perform the task manually. Advanced reporting features including heat mapping, restricting and locking video are also possible. End users are increasingly demanding integrated VMS and access control. VIGIL can be seamlessly integrated with 3xLOGIC’s cutting edge infinias access control solution, which is designed to easily manage any size of project ranging from a single door to an enterprise-wide installation of hundreds of doors. With no wires from VIGIL to infinias, configuration is carried out through software with an automated, cloud-based programming tool. This offers a cost-effective way to create one intuitive solution where video is automatically linked with access control events and alarms. New revenue stream for installers VIGIL opens up a new revenue stream for installers that work primarily with small to medium-sized enterprises Offering a level of functionality previously only available in solutions designed for larger projects, VIGIL removes the need for expensive technical labour. It therefore opens up a new revenue stream for installers that work primarily with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or who wish to start offering an integration based service. VIGIL is available through the existing PAC channel, with full access to its technical support, meaning that customers can rely on a tried and trusted supply chain that delivers products on time, every time. “The response to 3xLOGIC’s presence in Europe has been phenomenal,” commented David Hughes, the company’s global product manager. “The availability of VIGIL is the next step in our strategy to redefine the way in which security systems are designed, specified and configured across the continent. “Suitable for almost any budget, VIGIL is designed to be fully integrated to provide SMEs with comprehensive, cost effective and state-of-the-art video and access control infrastructures that are easy to manage, simple to install and can scale in line with changing needs.”
Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, showcases a wide range of competitive product portfolios and smart solutions to top security professionals during the International Security Conference and Expo (ISC West) at booth #14039 from April 10th to 12th. Dahua will also celebrate the fifth anniversary of its USA subsidiary on Wednesday evening, showing strong commitment to the local markets. Running with the theme ‘Empowering through Technology’, the Dahua products and technologies exhibited during ISC West are comprehensive from every aspect covering major surveillance market demands with the most advanced technologies. Competitive product portfolios Facial Recognition - Dahua Facial Recognition technology integrates face recognition, blacklist alarm, stranger alarm, VIP recognition, face tracking, face search, metadata search and other functions to offer a series of smart products including the exhibited AI Smart Capture Camera, 4MP Starlight Face Recognition IR Dome AI Network Camera and IVSS series for various scenarios and customer demands. Low - light Technology - Featuring advanced Starlight technology, Dahua starlight+ products are able to provide excellent colourful image and rich details even at night, solving the problem of poor colour reproduction of images under low illumination environment with image colour reproduction, large aperture, ultra-high sensor, white light and other technologies. Dahua Smart Thermal Series Cameras can be widely used for security monitoring, fire prevention and temperature measurementThermal Technology - Through a new integration of visible-light and thermal-light and a variety of AI-enabled intelligent functions, Dahua Smart Thermal Series Cameras can be widely used for security monitoring, fire prevention and temperature measurement. Combined with the back-end storage NVR and DSS PRO, Dahua Technology can provide an all-in-one system with front-ends, storages, and intelligent analytics to meet the requirements of customers. Smart Tracking - Dahua radar system consists of radar and speed dome camera (PTZ). On the basis of traditional CCTV security system, it combines the accurate target tracking performance of the radar products to provide a complete solution with front-end data acquisition, edge computing and back-end storage for a wide range of applications such as prison perimeter, airport runway, industrial park, energy pipeline and other important protection areas. Wide Area Security - The Dahua Multi-sensor Series Cameras can be used for large scene monitoring, target tracking, simple management and multi-service convergence. The Dahua 4x2MP Multi-sensor Cameras possess ground-breaking flexibility that can simultaneously move each sensor module around the internal track for a 180-, 270-, or 360-degree panorama, minimising blind spots for an improved situational awareness, which is ideal for parking lots, supermarkets and intersections, etc. HDCVI 5.0 - The recently launched Dahua HDCVI 5.0 brings five core values: Perimeter Protection, Face Recognition, Metadata Search, Active Deterrence and Starlight & Full Colour. Perimeter protection can identify humans and vehicles while filtering less important objects, face recognition let authorised persons to pass freely and can do immediate action to strangers, with the latest AI technology we make video surveillance more efficient and easy to use. AI-enabled Intelligent Solutions Featuring the above technologies, Dahua Technology also presented integrated solutions for a variety of vertical markets at the Expo. Intelligent Retail Solution - Dahua Smart Retail Solution applies video intelligence technology to specific retail business scenarios. According to the scenarios of large chain supermarkets, we have developed five smart application scenarios including smart entrance and exit, shelf advertising, cashier loss prevention, operation analysis and remote shop patrol to help retailers optimise store layout and product display, improve storage efficiency as well as attract traffic flow. Intelligent Logistics Solution - Dahua Intelligent Logistics Solution takes Dahua video technology as the cornerstone, combine intelligent analysis technology, machine vision technology, big data technology, etc. to further divide into five sub-solutions including machine vision DWS solution, video tracking solution, vehicle entrance solution, park surveillance solution and logistics vehicle solution for different application scenarios. Intelligent Residential Solution - Dahua Intelligent Residential Solution provides an integrated and economic solution with multi-level protection including personal entrance, vehicle entrance, public area, unit security, home protection and control center to make people’s life more convenient, safer and smarter while improving operation efficient and saving energy for property owners. Intelligent Critical Infrastructure Solution - Dahua Intelligent Critical Infrastructure Solution offers an end-to-end solution featuring perimeter protection, thermal measurement, access control, video surveillance and auto-tracking system for electric power stations, oil and gas industries to ensure the safety of their daily operations, timely detection of terrorist threats and fire, quickly and easily viewing station status. Intelligent Education Solution - Dahua Intelligent Education Solution brings a new concept of pre-warning for campus administrators. The solution incorporates important scenario applications empowered by AI technology such as perimeter, entrance, public area, building and classroom to realise threat prediction, effective management of people and vehicles, establishing a secured and smart system for students and teachers while improving operation efficiency. Reliable security solutions Dahua Technology empowers our dealers and integrators to stay at the top of their field by providing the latest security solutions to their end-users" Empowering signifies Dahua Technology’s dedication to promoting customer satisfaction and partner development. While market demands are constantly evolving, Dahua Technology’s offering is also evolving to meet current and future needs, giving partners and end-users the assurance that they’ve selected competitive and reliable security solutions on the market. “Dahua Technology empowers our dealers and integrators to stay at the top of their field by providing the latest security solutions to their end-users,” Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, explained. “In addition, the resources we make available to our dealers ensure that they are up-to-speed on their knowledge of our technology and fully trained on the products.” To further address Dahua Technology’s social commitment locally, a group of the staff from Dahua Technology USA will participate in The Security 5KRun / 2K Walk organised by charity group Mission 500 on the morning of April 11th. With a mission of ‘Enabling a Safer Society and Smarter Living’, Dahua Technology will continue to focus on ‘Innovation, Quality, and Service’, to serve partners and customers around the world.
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that Daniel Gundlach has been named Vice President (VP) and General Manager (GM) of the Security division within FLIR’s Commercial Business Unit. Gundlach will lead all facets of the security business, including strategy development, product innovation, sales and marketing, and operations. Gundlach joins FLIR from Apollo, a United Kingdom-based fire detection company, where he served as VP of Sales and Marketing. Prior to Apollo, he spent nearly 20 years at Bosch, including seven years as the VP of Marketing and Business Development for their Security and Safety Systems business. He served in numerous roles during his tenure at Bosch Security and Safety in both the United States and Europe, including VP of Marketing, VP of Business Development, and Chief of Staff to the President and CEO of Bosch Americas. Security industry expert Daniel brings to FLIR deep security industry expertise as well as impressive sales, marketing, and operational leadership experience"“Our security business is vital to FLIR’s mission to save lives and livelihoods, and I’m excited for Daniel’s contributions to that aspiration,” said Travis Merrill, President of the Commercial Business Unit at FLIR. “Daniel brings to FLIR deep security industry expertise as well as impressive sales, marketing, and operational leadership experience. I look forward to working closely with Daniel on applying his experience and skills for the benefit of FLIR’s customers and partners.” FLIR security products offer an unmatched, integrated end-to-end security system ranging from feature-rich visible cameras to the most advanced thermal security cameras, open-platform software offerings and smarter analytics delivering intelligent, reliable security 24/7. Gundlach has a Master of Science degree in Physics from the University of Hannover, Germany and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Rostock, Germany.
Videotec presents NTX, the new IP68 stainless steel thermal camera, developed to provide an efficient and preventative surveillance system in the most critical environmental conditions. The NTX thermal camera offers temperature detection based on the 4 central pixels of the image, and with the advanced version, the temperature of a specific object can be measured at any point in the image by means of defining a specific area. As well as this, the radiometric functions offer the option to set a temperature limit, beyond which an alarm will be raised. Unwanted intrusions These functions are necessary where fire prevention is required or in applications such as monitoring industrial processes or critical equipment, where the ability to identify something quickly and accurately, thus preventing problems or failures and keeping intervention times to a minimum, is essential. Configuring and controlling thermal image parameters is possible via the ONVIF Thermal Service Standard NTX can export all the data necessary for a centralised management of video feeds, data and alarms, and make it available to VMS via the ONVIF Profile S and Profile Q communication protocols. Also, configuring and controlling thermal image parameters is possible via the ONVIF Thermal Service Standard. NTX allows exploiting fully the features and the advantages offered by the thermal camera. This includes the ability to raise an alarm and initiate immediate actions in order to prevent accidents or unwanted intrusions into monitored areas. Adverse environmental conditions The NTX camera is made entirely from electropolished AISI316L stainless steel and stands out thanks to its compact design and light weight. This, and the fact that it can be connected quickly, makes installation and maintenance easier. The modular support for wall, ceiling or parapet is supplied as standard. The NTX has obtained Lloyd’s Register Marine Type Approval certification for the maritime and naval sector and complies with the standard for railway applications. NTX is exceptionally resistant to corrosion and has a wide operating temperature range (from -40°C to +65°C). Its IP66/IP67/IP68, NEMA Type 4X and Type 6P grades guarantee maximum protection and optimal camera operation in even the most adverse environmental conditions. The fact that the NTX is extremely sturdy and of high quality means it is ideal for the most demanding applications in the marine and industrial sectors, in critical infrastructures, power plants and transport sector, including railways and motorway tunnels.
In my coverage of China Tariffs impacting the security industry over four recent articles, products on the tariff schedules routinely integrated into security solutions included burglar and fire alarm control and transmission panels, video surveillance lenses, HDTV cameras used for broadcast use cases and fiber optic media converters. The general ‘callout’ of ADP (Automatic Data Processing) devices and peripherals technically includes servers, workstations and microcomputers, all of which are commonly used to support security solutions. The underperformance, from June 15 to August 24, of U.S. stocks with high revenue-exposure to China, and that of Chinese stocks with high revenue-exposure to the United States was significant and almost identical at 3.2%, significant losses to some investors already involved in security industry M&A activity. Significant public safety Facial Recognition (FR) vendors leveraging AI expanded their market focus to retail and public safety While it was not apparent that practitioners’ security program budgets kept pace with the growth of the more popular solution providers like video surveillance and cyber security, the ICT industries supporting the security economy continued to expand, especially in wireless and wired infrastructure, including preparations for 5G wireless rollouts. These omnipresent technologies drove significant public safety, smart city and public venue projects in 2018. Facial Recognition (FR) vendors leveraging AI expanded their market focus to retail and public safety. In 2018, virtually every public presentation, webinar and published Q&A on social media monitoring and facial recognition technologies I worked on, involved significant pushback from privacy advocates, almost to the point of alarmism. Massive risk reduction Several solution providers in these areas have made significant strides on data protection, accuracy, powered by AI and documented crime reduction cases; however, this real news is quickly shadowed by privacy advocates, seemingly ignoring massive risk reduction, especially in the case of active assailants and gang-related crime. Will FR become mainstream? The cautious security industry may take a cue from the maverick retail industry, sports venue and VIP verification solution providers that grew in 2018. 2019 trends: presupposition or repudiation; winners and losers. Chinese tariffs have had a huge impact on the security industry, which can be seen from changes to U.S and Chinese stocks Although technology adoption forecasting is inexact, there are definitive opportunities in the security industry born on necessity. With the widespread problem of false alarm transmission and inability for first responders to ‘be everywhere,’ developers of solutions that provide automated verification and alternative security incident detection are expected to become mainstream. Promising detection systems The use of AI, NLP, LiDAR, UAS (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles aka drones) with surveillance and thermal imaging will grow, mostly due to higher acceptance in other industries like autonomous vehicles, rail safety, terrain and post devastation mapping/rescue. However, legacy ‘listing’ or certification organisations will be forced to make an important decision for their own survival: work toward integrating these promising detection systems into acceptance by insurance, licensing and standards development organisations. 2019’s ‘true’ Industrial Philanthropists will be needed to fund early warning tech for firefighters and the presence of active assailants 2019’s ‘true’ industrial philanthropists will be needed to fund early warning tech for firefighters and the presence of active assailants. For these use cases, 5G infrastructure rollouts, FR acceptance, lower cost perimeter detection and long range object and fire recognition by LiDAR and Thermal imaging will all be watched closely by investors. Should public agencies and philanthropical solution providers in the security industry cross paths, we may just yet see a successful, lifesaving impact. Cyber risk profile The ‘Digital twin’ refers to a digital replica of physical assets (physical twin), processes, people, places, systems and devices that can be used for various purposes. Your ‘Security Digital Twin’ has a similar physical and cyber risk profile, either through common threats, similar assets or both. Good news: managing your risk, protecting assets and securing your facilities in 2019 will get easier as security digital twin profiles will grow in maturity, while keeping their data sources private. This will be accelerated by the maturity of AI-based, auto-generated visualisations and image recognition, that happens to also drive the FR solutions. The 5G wireless infrastructure market is emerging as far more of a quantum leap in connectivity, like ‘wireless fiber optics’ performance, than an upgrade to 4G LTE. The 5G infrastructure market will be worth $2.86 billion by 2020 and $33.72 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.9%. Intelligent applications The explosion of ingested voice, video, and meta-data, the interconnectivity of devices, people and places, and the integration of intelligent applications into expanding ecosystems all require faster communications. To be more accurate, 5G rollouts will accelerate in 2019; however, current project funding will include and be impacted by future enterprise security connectivity: 5G and FWA (Fixed Wireless Access). 5G rollouts will accelerate in 2019; however, current project funding will include and be impacted by future enterprise security connectivity Quite simply put, larger solution providers are gently coaxing practitioners into seemingly ‘open systems;’ the negative discovery during an M&A process, audit or integration with a smart city’s public/private partnerships will continue to be revealed, and related industries will force reform. Autonomous things will be enabled by AI and image recognition. With few affordable rollouts of security robots and outdoor unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) that leveraged platforms popular with research and even NASA, the autonomous security robot was mostly MIA from a security practitioner’s program in 2018. Perimeter intrusion detection One platform was even accused of intimidating homeless people in a public place, at a major city. Industries mutually beneficial are often unaware of each other; this will change gradually: one major domestic airport is currently evaluating a UGV platform performing perimeter intrusion detection, runway weather conditions and potential aircraft taxiing dangers. The platform is being used largely in transportation research, yet offers significant opportunities to the security industry. Research firm Gartner estimates that 70% of today’s technology products and services can be enhanced with ‘multi-experience’-based VR/AR/MR The ‘immersive experience’ of virtually any security or threat detection is a twist on virtual/augmented/mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) with additional sensory features. Although VR/AR/MR is well underway in other industries, there are several companies with solutions like VR-based active assailant training that could provide a fighting chance for practitioners, employees, visitors, faculty and children. Research firm Gartner estimates that 70% of today’s technology products and services can be enhanced with ‘multi-experience’-based VR/AR/MR. Security ecosystem members Not necessarily MIA, but of special mention is the need of security and safety practitioners to prioritise communications systems over ‘nice to have’ expansive video surveillance systems for mass casualty threats. This will eventually improve with 5G for Enterprise solution rollouts. At the past GSX and upcoming CES Technology trade shows, a new roundup of technologies is discovered: a wider diversity of protection promise to save ASIS members on their technical security program is realised. With each of the ‘winners,’ (5G, AI, NLP, LiDAR, UAS [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles aka drones], thermal imaging, digital security twins and smart-city-friendly technologies) it is both exciting and challenging work for both security practitioners and solution providers. All things equal and with the necessary technology acceptance testing processes, this is a truly great time for security ecosystem members.
Consolidation persisted in the physical security industry in 2018, and big companies such as Motorola, Canon and UTC continued to make moves. Also among the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) news in 2018 was a high-profile bankruptcy (that ended well), continuing consolidation in the integrator market, and the creation of a new entity called “LenelS2.” Here’s a look at the Top 10 M&A stories in 2018: 1. Motorola acquires Avigilon Motorola Solutions announced in February that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire video surveillance provider Avigilon in an all-cash transaction that enhances Motorola Solutions’ portfolio of mission-critical communications technologies. Avigilon products are used by a range of commercial and government customers including critical infrastructure, airports, government facilities, public venues, healthcare centers and retail. The company holds more than 750 U.S. and international patents. 2. UTC Climate, Control & Security buys S2 Security UTC Climate, Controls & Security agreed in September to acquire S2 Security, a developer of unified security and video management solutions. UTC subsequently combined S2 with its Lenel brand to create LenelS2, “a global leader in advanced access control systems and services” with “complementary strengths.” 3. Costar Technologies acquires Arecont Vision after bankruptcy Arecont Vision, the provider of IP-based megapixel camera and video surveillance solutions, announced in July that the acquisition by Costar Technologies, Inc. of its assets had been approved by the bankruptcy court. After the closing of the sale, the company began operating as Arecont Vision Costar, LLC and is part of Costar, a U.S. corporation that designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes a range of products for the video surveillance and machine vision markets. 4. Allegion acquires access control company ISONAS Allegion plc, a security products and solutions provider, agreed in June to acquire ISONAS through one of its subsidiaries. ISONAS’ edge-computing technology provides access control solutions for non-residential markets. ISONAS' devices – like its integrated reader-controllers – utilise power over ethernet, making them easy to install and cost effective as they utilise existing customer infrastructures. The company is based in Boulder, Colo. 5. HID buys Crossmatch for Biometrics HID Global announced that it had acquired Crossmatch, a provider of biometric identity management and secure authentication solutions, from Francisco Partners. Crossmatch’s portfolio of products includes biometric identity management hardware and software that complement HID’s broad portfolio of trusted identity products and services. 6. BriefCam announces acquisition by Canon BriefCam, a global provider of video synopsis and deep learning solutions, announced its acquisition in May by Canon Inc., a global digital imaging solutions company. The addition of BriefCam to Canon’s network video solutions products portfolio complements the Canon Group’s previous acquisitions of Axis Communications and Milestone Systems. 7. Allied Universal acquires U.S. Security Associates Allied Universal, a security and facility services company, finalised its acquisition of U.S. Security Associates (USSA) in October, further building on its position in the security services industry. This acquisition includes Andrews International (including its Government Services Division and Consulting and Investigations and International Division) and Staff Pro. 8. Johnson Controls acquires Smartvue Corp. Johnson Controls announced in April that it had acquired Smartvue, a global IoT and video provider that empowers cloud video surveillance and IoT video services. The addition of the Smartvue cloud-based video platform will enhance Johnson Controls’ offering of an end-to-end, smart cloud-based solution that can provide superior business data and intelligence to customers and added value to partners. 9. ADT acquires Red Hawk Fire & Security (and others) ADT Inc.’s acquisition of Red Hawk Fire & Security, Boca Raton, Fla., was the latest move in ADT Commercial’s strategy to buy up security integrator firms around the country and grow their footprint. In addition to the Red Hawk acquisition, announced in mid-October, ADT has acquired more than a half-dozen security system integration firms in the last year or so. 10. Convergint Technologies continues to acquire Convergint Technologies announced in August the acquisition of New Jersey-based Access Control Technologies (ACT), bringing further electronic security systems experience to Convergint's service capabilities. Convergint has strategically grown its service footprint across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific through strong organic growth and the completion of 18 acquisitions since early 2016. And it continues: Convergint announced acquisition of SI Technologies, Albany, N.Y., in November and Firstline Security Integration (FSI), Anaheim, Calif., in December. (And Convergint itself was acquired in February by private equity group Ares Management.)
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology overview and early adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations at critical infrastructure sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation and advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New market opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-sensor thermal solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so. Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.
The excitement of ISC West 2019 continued until the very end – almost. Exhilarated by the first two busy days of the show, attendees and exhibitors seemed to welcome a slower third day. There were no complaints about booth traffic, and still plenty of thoughtful conversations taking place, everyone determined to maximise the value of face time with customers until the last second. Building an IoT ecosystem in SAST At a show lacking in high-profile new technology announcements, the biggest news is perhaps the possible long-term impact of first-time exhibitor Security and Safety Things (SAST), a Bosch startup. SAST is building a new Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem for the security and safety industry, including an app store, an open and secure camera operating system, a software developer environment, and a portal for integrators. SOCs (system-on-chips inside cameras) are becoming much more capable" Their 1,800-square-foot booth was big for a first-time exhibitor, and the American football theme was well received, as was the substance of the company’s effort to drive innovation in a highly fragmented industry. Seeing actual cameras and apps on display at the ISC West booth is “more real than PowerPoint,” says Hartmut Schaper, CEO of Security and Safety Things (SAST). “For us, seeing is believing,” says Schaper. “It was important for us to show cameras and apps for the first time. People are surprised at how far down the road we are.” “This dynamic will change in the industry,” says Schaper. “SOCs (system-on-chips inside cameras) are becoming much more capable. Soon there will be more processing power on the edge. People will find a way to use the extra processing power.” “Seeing is believing” at the SAST booth at ISC West 2019, where CEO Hartmut Schaper showed several manufacturers’ cameras whose functionality can be expanded using Android apps Developing more apps Several large manufacturers are already involved in the initiative, but there are some holdouts. “We are having ongoing talks with everyone to convince them to join,” Schaper says. “Some of the bigger ones will come around. We are not a camera manufacturer, and not a threat. We are owned by Bosch but are managed completely separately. There will be more and more apps developed, and momentum will increase.” “A year from now we will have successful customers we can talk about, and more camera manufacturers on board,” he says. “This year we are taxiing on the runway, but next year we will have cleared the tarmac and be climbing.” If the approach succeeds, their first appearance at ISC West will be remembered as historic. Future of surveillance cameras Off the show floor, in a nearby meeting room, chip maker Ambarella demonstrated technologies that will be driving the future of video surveillance cameras, including more intelligence at the edge. “People have been using more traditional video analytics approaches, though most of them have been disappointing,” says Chris Day, Ambarella VP of Marketing and Business Development. “What is ground-breaking now is the use of neural networks and real artificial intelligence, which has increased capabilities 100x. "You will see camera products coming out over the next year that are massively better than before. It’s not just incrementally getting better. Cameras will be coming out later this year with analytics that are absolutely amazing based on [the new chips.]” Larry Anderson, editor-in-chief of SecurityInformed.com, talks about Ambarella HDR and Low Light Solutions with Jerome Gigot, Senior Director of Marketing for Ambarella. (Source: Ambarella) New systems-on-chips Ambarella has introduced four new systems-on-chips (SoCs) in the last year, with emphasis on computer vision (video analytics). The newest is the S6LM Camera SoC with 4K imaging technology, unveiled at ISC West. The S6LM includes Ambarella's latest high dynamic range (HDR) and low-light processing technology, highly efficient 4K H.264 and H.265 encoding, multi-streaming, on-chip 360-degree de-warping, cyber-security features, and a quad-core CPU. People shouldn’t forget what a good camera is, and there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff" “With so much focus on AI and computer vision, I’m concerned the industry has taken focus away from low light imaging, wide dynamic range and image quality,” says Day. “You have to see the details in an image. People shouldn’t forget what a good camera is, and there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff, it’s all included in one chip.” From products to systems With a new general manager on board (Daniel Gundlach, formerly of Bosch), FLIR Systems Security Division is continuing its transition from a product company to a solutions provider, removing internal silos to clear the path. FLIR offers a strong end-to-end portfolio for Smart Cities applications, including the TruWITNESS line of body worn cameras and newly acquired Aeryon drones. FLIR’s historical strength as the top thermal imaging provider continues, but today they are much more than a thermal imaging company, offering visible day/night cameras, infrared pan-tilt-zoom cameras, video management systems and other technologies to provide a broader platform. FLIR's Saros security cameras combine multiple security technologies, including thermal sensors, high-resolution visible imaging, IR and visible LED illuminators, onboard analytics and two-way audio and digital input/outputs. Products in critical infrastructure applications In addition to Safe Cities, FLIR installs a range of products in critical infrastructure applications, such as oil and gas and electric utilities. Ports also tend to combine traditional security with an emphasis on perimeter protection, a FLIR strength. Existing perimeter protection applications can open opportunities for the broader platform. For example, installing a complete system in an airport that already uses FLIR’s thermal technology represents “low-hanging fruit” for the company, says Fredrik Wallberg, FLIR Director of Marketing – Security and Intelligent Transportation Systems. Ambarella demonstrates its latest imaging technology for video security during ISC West 2019 (Source: Ambarella) Integrated solutions Bosch's focus At the Bosch booth, there was an emphasis on integrated solutions and the customer experience. A mock retail store setup demonstrated systems such as overhead cameras for people counting and alarm communication to provide an alert if a refrigerator door is left ajar. A wireless panic button generates a silent alarm, communicates with a 2-way radio, and triggers a camera to focus on the area. An AVIOTEK IP camera alarms if there is a fire, based on observing actual flames rather than smoke. A new Bosch fixed dome camera series offers wireless remote commissioning capabilities that reduce installation and set-up time by up to 75 percent. Set-up only takes three steps: install the mounting bracket, connect the cables, and attach the camera module. Commissioning can be done wirelessly or remotely with no need for ladders or lifts. Dahua marks five years in the U.S. An IR illuminator is attached to each lens module to ensure there is always illumination in the field of view Time flies in the security industry, and it has already been five years since the Dahua brand entered the U.S. market. Today the company offers products through ADI and some 20 distributors, and has more than 30 technical consultants and technical support employees and 50 or 60 sales people in the field (including independent rep firms). “We are growing,” says Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA. “It’s exciting for the company.” At ISC West, Dahua introduced a line of Multi-Flex panoramic cameras with lens modules that can be repositioned along an internal track for 180-, 270- or 360-degree views, providing flexibility for integrators. An IR illuminator is attached to each lens module to ensure there is always illumination in the field of view. Cost savings come from ease of installation (one camera instead of four) and only one VMS license (instead of four). AI and night colour cameras Dahua is also emphasising its Night Colour cameras that remain in full colour mode regardless of how dark it gets. There is no IR illumination or IR cut filter – the camera stays in color mode and displays any visible image in colour with as little as 1 lux of illumination. The 2 megapixel version is on display at ISC West, and a 4 megapixel version will come in the fall. A year ago at ISC West, Dahua emphasised its initiatives in artificial intelligence (AI) in order to position the company as a technology leader. This year, the message was more general – ‘Power Through Technology.’ The range of Dahua technologies includes AI, Night Colour, Starlight low-light imaging, fifth-generation HDCVI, and e-POE (Enhanced Power over Ethernet). Dahua USA's Director of Marketing says "the market itself likes AI", and expects more AI applications to follow (Source: Dahua USA's LinkedIn) “When we present AI to customers, they are happy, but when it comes to the budget they don’t have it,” says Shen. “The market itself likes AI, and it’s very much a buzzword. But we still need a proof of concept that it can do something good for end users. We need time to develop broader applications. The ‘smart retail’ market and education are good places to start.” he says. “AI is for project business,” adds Jennifer Hackenburg, Dahua’s Senior Product Marketing Manager. “Projects that are looking at AI haven’t come to fruition yet; they are still in the pipeline. It’s not for your everyday business. They are implementing it, but not as fast.” Access control beyond doors Access control should extend beyond doors. That’s the message I heard at the ASSA ABLOY booth, which displayed a variety of physical locks and intelligent access systems. An example is traffic cabinets, those metal boxes in public locations that could potentially be accessed to invade an internal network. ASSA ABLOY emphasises the need to secure the variety of enclosures, cabinets, drawers and small spaces ASSA ABLOY emphasises the need to secure the variety of enclosures, cabinets, drawers and small spaces throughout an enterprise. The company’s ‘security continuum’ message draws attention to the need for the right level of security for the right opening, using existing infrastructure as well as new electronic technologies. “Customers face a combination of non-traditional access control and questions on how they can secure things that are not doors,” says David Corbin, ASSA ABLOY Director of Access Control Accessories. The security message is resonating beyond the traditional security department to involve other stakeholders in an enterprise, including IT directors. There is new awareness of vulnerabilities that have been there forever, such as traffic cabinets that can be opened with a key purchased on eBay.
Delivering on high expectations, the first day of ISC West 2019 kicked off with a crowded Sands Expo Center and exhibitors putting forward their best new technologies. Developments seemed more evolutionary than revolutionary, but attendees quickly found plenty of interest. Thermal cameras Hanwha Techwin also showed off a new Android camera that can deploy new apps The largest booth at ISC West, Hanwha Techwin, remained crowded throughout the first day as attendees checked out the company’s eight new thermal cameras offering features such as pan-tilt-zoom, H.265 encoding to minimise storage needs, VGA resolution and detection of temperature changes, all built on Hanwha Techwin’s Wisenet chip. There is also a new 5-megapixel version of Hanwha’s popular 2-megapixel multi-sensor camera, and a new panoramic camera; multi-sensor panoramic cameras ‘stitch’ the images together rather than just aligning them. Hanwha Techwin also showed off a new Android camera that can deploy new apps developed as part of the Korean company’s role as a founding member of Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA). Avigilon's H5 series Avigilon is introducing a new line of cameras — the H5 series — with improved imaging and designed to provide deep learning/neural network processing at the edge. Improvements to video analytics will enable the cameras to track multiple moving objects simultaneously in a field of view and to track objects more accurately. More granularity enables better differentiation among types of vehicles, and the cameras enable more detailed data to be pulled from video. The improved analytics engine will also support better face detection and recognition. Operators can view the dashboard and react to information provided in a more digestible format The new version of Avigilon Control Center 7 (ACC7) software will apply principles of AI to enhance an operator’s ‘Focus of Attention’ when monitoring live video. Video is fed into an AI engine that determines which events in the live footage are most worthy of an operator’s attention. Monitoring live video can be a challenge for human operators, whose short attention spans undermine the best surveillance systems. Automation helps to direct that limited attention span to events most worthy of attention. A ‘dashboard’ displays clusters of cameras that are colour-coded to reflect the types of activity that are detected. Rather than watching video, operators can view the dashboard and react to information provided in a more digestible format. Clicking brings up the live video. Quantum Cloud Storage Platform Video storage is another area of innovation at ISC West. The Quantum Cloud Storage Platform is flexible for video surveillance and industrial IoT applications. The architecture is built from the ground up for video surveillance applications and can scale from five cameras to millions of cameras in a simple deployment model — no settings or configurations needed. Products range from a small ‘mini-tower’ configuration for a retail store or gas station up to rack-mount servers that can accommodate thousands of cameras. We make the storage piece so simple that you don’t have to think about it" Quantum introduced the VS-Series in a range of server choices at ISC West. The hyperconverged and software-defined environment will support a combination of video management systems (VMS), along with access control, HVAC and lighting controls. Quantum worked with Johnson Controls to develop the products. “It’s designed for an installer, not for an IT guru,” says Jamie Lerner, Quantum’s CEO, President and Chairman of the Board. “We make the storage piece so simple that you don’t have to think about it.” Quantum is showing its VS-Series publicly for the risk time at ISC West. S2’s Magic Monitor LenelS2 is a newly coined name in the industry — resulting from a recent acquisition. The combination of Lenel and the acquired S2 is playing out to the benefit of both product lines. For example, Lenel’s Blue Diamond mobile credentialing system can now be used along with the S2 Netbox hardware. Lenel’s OnGuard is being combined into S2’s Magic Monitor unified solution that combines video, access control, and digital messaging. OnGuard is also benefitting from Magic Monitor’s graphics maps. The S2 Cumulus cloud-based service, focused on system health monitoring, is being applied to OnGuard. LenelS2 is also developing a full commercial access control as a service (ACaaS) offering The combined LenelS2 is stepping up with new solutions for frictionless access control, too. A ‘phone as a badge’ approach enables a door to be unlocked by a smart phone, even if it is in a pocket, locked and/or the app has not been opened. Another alternative is a ‘shake to open’ action that sends the credential to the nearest reader. LenelS2 is also developing a full commercial access control as a service (ACaaS) offering, which is being previewed at ISC Show and will be released commercially later in the year. Video surveillance product line Mobotix is expanding its MOVE video surveillance product line with six new models announced at the show and broadening its reach into new vertical markets. A solutions approach offers both end-to-end Mobotix systems and other systems offered in conjunction with technology partnerships displayed in the Mobotix booth. Top of the list of new verticals is education, and Mobotix’s edge-based approach includes programmable logic built in so that ‘technology can take over when the human element is the weakest.’ Automated response is faster and ‘seconds equal lives’ during an emergency. In an education scenario, the Mobotix system acts as an Internet of Things (IoT) device that offers more functionality than other manufacturers’ ‘cameras.’ There are 22 steps involved to ensure the cybersecurity of Mobotix products, reflecting a higher level of cybersecurity commitment Mobotix has thermal products that are also finding uses in a variety of verticals, from oil and gas to manufacturing process control. Mobotix systems that can detect defects in products in the manufacturing process are expanding usage in applications beyond the traditional ‘security’ industry. Cybersecurity Commitment Mobotix is looking at the market in a completely different way, redefining how their products can fit into a variety of scenarios, and with a focus on cybersecurity. There are 22 steps involved to ensure the cybersecurity of Mobotix products, reflecting a higher level of cybersecurity commitment than some other manufacturers. “There are so many features within our solutions, and we want to get the word out to the end users, so they understand the features,” says Thomas Lausten, Mobotix CEO. “There is untapped potential.”
The best route to greater adoption of robotics in the field of physical security is intellectual honesty, says Travis Deyle, CEO and co-founder of Cobalt Robotics. “Robots are not a panacea, so we must be clear and honest about capabilities and use cases,” he says. “If you are dishonest, people will lose faith. We must have clear expectations about what’s feasible today and possible tomorrow.” The robotics tide is turning in the security market, which is notoriously slow to embrace new technologies. “The tone has changed at recent security events,” says Deyle. “Previously, robots were thought of as a science experiment. But now, there are big-name users wanting to discuss proof of concept. It has evolved from being a novelty to now it’s time to give it a serious look. They want us to help them sell the concept up the chain of command. It’s helpful to have conversations with other parts of the company because it has an impact on the culture of the company.” The robotics tide is turning in the security market, which is notoriously slow to embrace new technologies Cobalt’s robots are purpose-built for a specific use case: providing after-hours support and security for corporate locations. Indoor environments, confined and controlled, present fewer navigation challenges for robots, which can quickly become familiar with the surroundings and navigate easily through an office space. Indoor robots can provide benefits beyond security, too, such as facility management, promoting employee health and safety, and emergency response. Cobalt's human-centred design Cobalt’s robots also interact well with people. They are friendly and approachable and make employees feel safe and secure. The human-centered design promotes that interaction, and a real person (located remotely) can enter into any interaction instantly as needed. “We combine machines with people,” says Deyle. “We allow the machine to do what it does best, such as dull and boring activities, and add the flexibility and cultural relevancy of having a person there.” Cobalt’s robots also interact well with people, they are friendly and approachable and make employees feel safe and secure When a robot is deployed, it performs a brief mapping phase (about an hour), in which it moves around and builds up a “map” of its space and develops its patrol route. Over time, it lingers more in areas where it encounters more incidents. There are 60 sensors on the robot, including day/night cameras, high-resolution thermal cameras, a card reader that integrates with the corporate access control system, a microphone, and environmental sensors for temperature and humidity. The robot builds models of what’s normal in its environment in terms of people, sound, motion, open doors and windows, and even leaks and spills. And then it detects anomalies and sends relevant notifications to Cobalt specialists, who respond and manage any events in real time. The machine provides unwavering attention, perfect recall, and accountability. Cobalt robots have been designed to help bridge the problems faced with utilising guards and cameras Accommodating various anomalies The Cobalt robot is designed to blend into a high-end office environment, with flexible fabric and a corporate design aesthetic. It is stable beyond 45-degrees, so it’s hard to topple over. The 5-foot-2-inch robot can see over desks and cubicles. It is designed to bridge the gap between guards, who are expensive and underutilised during uneventful night shifts, and cameras, which are unable to respond to nuanced situations. Cobalt Robotics already has customers in defense, finance and manufacturing, and a handful of Fortune 500 companies are looking at the service Autonomous navigation uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to avoid static and dynamic obstacles. Over time, the robot accommodates various anomalies such as loud machinery noise, and “semantic mapping” adds intelligence to its map. When the robot figures out that a picture on the wall is not a real person, for example, it stores that information for future reference. The technologies enabling robotics in the indoor environment are mature – there have been variations of security robots in operation for decades. What has changed is the costs of the technologies, which are now inexpensive enough to make a robot affordable to businesses. Cobalt Robotics offers an all-inclusive service providing hardware, software, service and maintenance as well as the remote human interface. All together, the service is a third to half the cost of a man-guard, and it bills monthly, says Deyle. Cobalt Robotics offers an all-inclusive service providing hardware, software, service and maintenance as well as the remote human interface Cobalt Robotics already has customers in defense, finance and manufacturing, and a handful of Fortune 500 companies are looking at the service. They are currently operational in the San Francisco Bay area and Chicago and will be in six other geographies in the next three months (in response to customer needs). Uses include offices, museums, warehouses, technology centres, and innovation centres. A former Google employee, Deyle’s experience in robotics goes back to his Ph.D. studies at Georgia Tech, where he worked on developing a robot to deliver healthcare to homebound patients. Deyle and Cobalt Robotics co-founder Erik Schluntz departed Google in 2016 to form Cobalt Robotics. In just 12 months, Cobalt went from the initial idea to paid robot deployments.
Things get hot when pots and pans are polished in the production process at Kuhn Rikon, the number one Swiss brand for crockery and kitchen aids. Dust explosions can easily occur if the temperature rises above a certain threshold, which in the worst-case scenario can lead to significant fire damage and production outages. Initiated by ITES GmbH, MOBOTIX and Hekatron Brandschutz teamed up in a joint project to deliver 360° protection against this risk for Kuhn Rikon. MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras are connected to the fire alarm & extinguisher control centre Integral IP by Hekatron Brandschutz. The cameras monitor the production process for critical temperatures and intervene autonomously in the production process. Not only does the system trigger an alarm in the case of possible overheating, it automatically stops the production machine and starts the extinguishing process where necessary. Requirement of reliable fire protection system In June 2015, overheated polishing plates caused a dust explosion at the Kuhn Rikon main facility in Rikon in the Töss Valley of Switzerland, precipitating a devastating fire that destroyed the production system and parts of the factory building. Together with the associated production outage, the total damages amounted to CHF 5.2 million (€4.6 million). The production outage alone cost the company CHF 1.4 million (€1.2 million). "Luckily no-one was hurt, but the incident made us drastically aware that we urgently require reliable protection of our production processes that exceed the scope of normal fire protection," explains Paul Brunschwiler, production technician at Kuhn Rikon AG. The M16 thermal cameras by MOBOTIX offer outstanding image resolution and enable precise monitoring of all danger zones M16 thermal cameras for precise monitoring Project manager Mathias Stauffacher provided the convincing proposal of connecting the thermal cameras M16 Thermal by MOBOTIX with a fire alarm & extinguishing control centre by the firm Hekatron Brandschutz. The M16 thermal cameras by MOBOTIX offer outstanding image resolution and enable precise monitoring of all danger zones within the Kuhn Rikon production workflow. In addition, the software package for the IP cameras allows tailored programming to suit the needs of the Swiss company. "We programmed all three escalation levels exactly: A warning for critical temperatures, production stop when the threshold is exceeded, followed by immediate initiation of the extinguishing process after the production shutdown to prevent any spread of the fire," adds Stauffacher. Production process boosted by 5% Precise temperature measurement also allowed us to optimise our production process" "The compatibility with MOBOTIX and Hekatron Brandschutz, as well as the user-friendly and low-maintenance system, convinced us 100 percent. Continuous, precise temperature measurement also allowed us to optimise our production process to ensure that we always operate at the ideal temperature and largely prevent any production errors. Overall, we managed to optimise our production process by around 5 percent and in doing so, make the general working atmosphere more pleasant for our employees," reports Paul Brunschwiler. "ITES GmbH is an expert for innovative fire protection and safety technology: Our competency and experience enable us to develop and implement tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for our customers. Our holistic approach offers our customers crucial added functionality," says Alexander Iglhaut, ITES Director of Safety Technology. Smart hard and software solution "MOBOTIX and Hekatron Brandschutz have very similar DNA. Both our companies develop their technology and also manufacture their products in Germany. The clear focus on premium quality hardware, software and services is confirmed in the successful results of projects like this one," emphasizes Christian Heller, Sales Director DACH at MOBOTIX AG. "The Kuhn Rikon project highlights the importance of a smart hard and software solution for fire protection and production optimisation. Our intelligent safety systems make major contributions in other sectors as well, among them waste management or the petroleum and gas industries," says Heller. The MOBOTIX thermal image camera is connected to the fire alarm and extinguishing control centre Integral IP, as well as the smart fire management system Fire protection for technical systems "The incident at Kuhn Rikon plainly shows that fire protection for technical systems is extremely important as a 'life-insurance policy' for the company. Here, protecting the employees and the company's output go hand in hand," stresses Daniel Triebswetter, specialist for extinguishing system control at Hekatron Brandschutz. "The solution for Kuhn Rikon catches the eye with its simple connection of the MOBOTIX thermal image camera to the fire alarm & extinguishing control centre Integral IP, as well as the smart fire management system – from production stoppage to triggering the extinguishing system."
Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), which manages more than 26,000 properties on behalf of Newcastle City Council, is taking an innovative approach to fire safety with a pilot project utilising thermal imaging cameras in tower blocks. The ALMO has installed the thermal imaging cameras in three of its 45 multi-storey blocks across the city in a trial partnership with OpenView Security Solutions, with the project attracting praise from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Mobotix M16 thermal cameras The trial of the Mobotix M16 Thermal Camera sees the cameras installed in bin chute rooms The trial of the Mobotix M16 Thermal Camera sees the cameras installed in bin chute rooms. The cameras detect minute increases in temperature, triggering an alarm in YHN’s central enquiry centre before any fire has had a chance to take hold, meaning within seconds of a possible fire starting the alarm is raised with the fire service. The camera continually monitors the temperature in the room, with information relayed back to the fire service, enabling them to better prepare for responding to the fire. David Langhorne, YHN’s Assets and Development Director, said: “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower have undoubtedly put fire safety in multi-storey blocks under a microscope, but we have been trialling new measures in our multi-storey properties for some time. Faster fire detection “We pride ourselves on being innovative, so it was an easy decision for us to test something that had not yet been adopted elsewhere. The early detection system provided by the camera has many benefits, but, most importantly, the faster response time from the fire service means the potential impact on residents and their properties is minimised and they and their homes are far safer as a result.” “This trial system is one of many fire safety measures currently in place in the blocks we manage across the city, where we also have wet and dry risers, central alarm systems, smoke alarm activated bin chute fire dampers, and bin room sprinklers.” Reducing false fire alarms Alan Robson, Assistant Chief Officer at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said “It’s great that YHN is innovating in this way. Using technology to support the monitoring of storage areas such as this helps improve the information we receive about incidents. This technology can reduce false alarm calls and improve our response to confirmed fires.” The standard CCTV lens provides a live feed for further verification of events OpenView Security Solutions is the UK’S largest privately-owned independent security company and a leading national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services to the public and private housing sectors. Thermal imaging The Mobotix M16 Thermal camera’s lens is triggered when an unexpected heat pattern occurs and automatically sends an alert to the central control room. Images from the thermal lens are automatically presented to operators enabling the exact location of hotspots, such as smouldering fires, to be pinpointed. The standard CCTV lens provides a live feed for further verification of events. YHN’s existing infrastructure, which uses Openview installed equipment in the blocks to link alarms through to its enquiry centre via Jontek, meant the new approach could be easily implemented without any disruption to residents. Innovative fire protection solutions Andy Ward, Sales Director of OpenView Security Solutions, added “This innovative fire protection solution enables housing providers to ensure a safer environment for residents and minimise the incidence of false alarms. It now forms part of our expanding portfolio of fire and life safety solutions, one of the fastest growing areas of our business, and consolidates our leading position in the public and private housing sector.” Commenting on the partnership with YHN and OpenView, Frank Graham, Mobotix Regional Sales Manager, said: “We are very happy to be working so closely with both YHN and Openview in the development and provision of an innovative solution for such a serious issue. Mobotix cameras have inbuilt intelligence to meet all the requirements of integrator and end users alike and we look forward to a longstanding and fruitful partnership with both organisations moving forward.”
HID Global, provider of trusted identity solutions, announces that the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble, France has selected HID’s radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and its patented direct bonding technology for automated handling of biological samples at cryogenic temperatures of 196°C (-321° F) in liquid nitrogen. EMBL Grenoble creates high-resolution pictures and 3D atomic models of biological macromolecules using a specialised imaging process called macromolecular crystallography (MX). These images are useful for studying biological materials, developing highly efficient medicine, and fighting cancer more effectively. Limited storage density The images require molecular samples to be prepared in a crystalised form and frozen The images require molecular samples to be prepared in a crystalised form and frozen. Handling these samples is a complex task: tiny crystals must be grown, harvested, frozen on a sample holder at the tip of a tiny needle, and stored in liquid nitrogen at cryogenic temperatures and identified for further processing while remaining cool. Most current sample holders used in MX imaging offer limited storage density and poor initial crystal-positioning, which affects processing and limits the benefits of automated crystal harvesting systems. As a result, EMBL set out to design a storage and identification solution robust enough to function at extreme cold temperatures, but small enough to facilitate high precision and storage density. It also needed to support high-speed, automated handling by robots. Direct bonding technology “The HID Global technology has proven to be reliable against temperature cycling between room and liquid nitrogen temperatures, and the HID team was very supportive in helping us with our new designs,” said Florent Cipriani, Head of Instrumentation Team, EMBL Grenoble. HID’s direct bonding further allows the secure attachment of antennas to chips without the bulk of added modules Embeddable RFID tags and direct bonding technology from HID were chosen for identification in EMBL’s new sample holders due to the tags’ tiny footprint, proven track record to work in cryogenic environments, and ability to be custom designed to meet the needs of EMBL. HID’s direct bonding further allows the secure attachment of antennas to chips without the bulk of added modules, making the units the smallest HF formats available in the market that deliver uncompromised performance. Reliable sample tracking “HID Global’s proven RFID technology has been used in various cryogenic environments for years,” said Richard Aufreiter, Director Product Management, Identification Technology with HID Global. “It was a natural partnership between HID and EMBL to design a tracking system resistant to frosting and other aspects of extreme cold. Our team worked directly with EMBL engineers to ensure the best tracking system was deployed in their newly designed sample storage solution.” With HID technology, EMBL developed two new sample holders optimised for high throughput, precision, and reliable sample tracking of more than 200 thousand crystals per year. The new RFID-enabled sample holders increase throughput by allowing the crystal harvesting, cryogenic storage, and MX beamline feeding process to be fully automated using robot grippers and specifically designed RFID readers. Available memory space in the RFID tags can store additional information about the samples.
Dundee’s rejuvenated waterfront has breathed new life into the city, and not far from the new V&A Museum building is Foxlake Dundee, an exciting new water sports facility. Taking advantage of the regenerated docks area, Foxlake Dundee offers cable wakeboarding – where boarders are propelled by an electric cable rather than a boat – paddle boarding and Scotland’s first urban Aqua Park. Hikvision thermal video solution Foxlake Dundee was the second Foxlake water park to open, following the very successful adventure park in Dunbar, East Lothian, on the Scottish coast. The Dundee facility, which opened fully in summer 2018, includes a large floating assault course, which has proven hugely popular with visitors, featuring huge obstacles, slides and rafts, and a giant 3.5m inflatable tower known as ‘the Mountain’. Unfortunately, due to its city centre location, the assault course and the wider facility was likely to be something of a magnet for unauthorised activity, primarily of the inebriated variety, explains Zak Hegarty, Foxlake Dundee’s manager. “Because of our location, right in the heart of Dundee city centre, we’re quite near a lot of pubs,” Hegarty adds. “And sometimes a 3.5m floating inflatable tower looks pretty inviting to someone with a quantity of ale in their system – it looks like an irresistible challenge.” Remote HD CCTV monitoringI introduced myself as I saw they were opening and was invited initially to look at a CCTV system" The concern was that accidental or deliberate damage or vandalism to the equipment was a real risk – and along with that came the danger of injury or worse to those attempting to exploit the park, at night, in the dark, unsupervised on the water. Hegarty’s first instinct was to investigate the option of manned guarding: having a security officer on-site during those out of hours periods overnight when the facility was at its most vulnerable. But an approach from Brian Davidson of Webster Security & Fire was to change his mind. Davidson had noticed the development in the docklands with interest. He approached Hegarty to see if Webster Security & Fire might be able to help with securing the site. “I introduced myself as I saw they were opening and was invited initially to look at a CCTV system,” Davidson says. “This then blossomed during further conversations into a proactive, remotely monitored CCTV solution. They were looking at going down the route of employing manned guarding for when the site was closed, but we thought this would provide a cost-effective and workable solution that offered the same level of protection.” GJD motion detectors The challenges presented by the Foxlake Dundee site were not insignificant. The system needed to be remotely monitored and based on some form of movement detection – on a site which itself was constantly moving, due to the changing tidal water levels. Davidson and Webster Security & Fire got in touch with Hikvision in Scotland and together they designed a solution to meet all of Foxlake’s needs. The centrepiece of the system proposed by Davidson and Webster Security & Fire was the use of Hikvision thermal cameras to detect activity on the jetties. This is complemented by the use of GJD motion detectors and Hikvision cameras to pick up movement on approach areas, further Hikvision cameras which monitor the internal office reception areas, and additional Hikvision cameras providing a security, health and safety and management overview of the both the assault course and the paddle and wakeboarding facility areas. A public address tannoy system is also connected to the surveillance solution. Hikvision thermal bullet cameras The Hikvision thermal bullet cameras highlight areas of heat difference in the field of view The Hikvision thermal bullet cameras highlight areas of heat difference in the field of view – so a human body is always visible as hotter than its surroundings, particularly in a marine or waterfront environment. Hikvision’s thermal cameras also utilise behaviour analysis technology, so figures moving into specific zones in the image can automatically generate alarms. The advantage of thermal cameras for a water-based site like Foxlake is that they can operate in all weather conditions – they’re not impeded by fog, mist, heavy rain, snow or other environmental factors, the sorts of conditions which could severely impede even the most advanced of conventional cameras. Hikvision 8-channel DeepinMind NVRs The other cameras in the Foxlake Dundee system benefit from Hikvision’s Darkfighter technology, allowing for video monitoring and recording in even the lowest of light conditions. And the whole solution records to a Hikvision 8-channel DeepinMind network video recorder, which utilises powerful AI technology to learn to filter out false alarms and accurately raise alerts. In the evening, after normal operating hours, the site is locked up and alarms are set. It’s then remotely monitored by the Corps of Commissioners, who are alerted when the thermal cameras or motion detectors pick up any movement on the site. Operators check the live cameras to confirm that intrusion has occurred. If an intruder is detected, they immediately contact Foxlake management via phone, and are also able to contact police if required. At the same time, the Corps operatives can use the PA system to issue warning announcements to allow the intruders to know they are being monitored. The effect is almost instantaneous, Hegarty says. Enhanced intrusion detectionThe overall reception for the video surveillance solution has been extremely positive “We’ve had three incidents since the system was installed,” he says, “and the response by the intruders is pretty remarkable. I’ve reviewed the footage and compared it to the time notification I’ve received a missed call on my phone: you can see the intruder on the video footage hear the warning, and then they’re off. They just leave straight away. It’s amazingly effective.” The overall reception for the video surveillance solution has been extremely positive. “We’re really happy with the system,” Hegarty says. “The video footage quality is very high and we’re glad we haven’t had to go down the manned guarding route, as similar facilities have done. We appreciate that Webster and Hikvision took the time and thought to design something that would work for us in our specific circumstances. Of course, the proof is in the performance, and the fact that a number of intruders have been quickly and effectively warned away is evidence that it is doing the job it was designed for.”
MARSS NiDAR system has been selected to secure and protect a critical national infrastructure (CNI) site in the form of a major dam facility. The NiDAR command and control (C2) system has been selected to integrate a thermal camera and a sonar system to protect the dam from potential underwater and surface approaches. NiDAR is an advanced long-range surveillance system designed to protect maritime and land-based critical infrastructure from air, surface and underwater approaches. Tracking objects in real time NiDAR is sensor agnostic, enabling it to integrate with any existing hardware or systems, and due to its modular design, not only does it meet the current contract needs, but it also offers the flexibility to meet any future expansions or requirements. NiDAR can track, monitor, detect, classify, and respond to multiple objects, 360° in real time NiDAR can track, monitor, detect, classify, and respond to multiple objects, 360° in real time, of over 1000 known and unknown, air, surface and underwater objects thanks to the software algorithms. It can intelligently analyse and rank unknown objects to determine potential threat levels and automatically trigger the appropriate alert. When the user determined warning and alarm zones are breached the system can automatically or manual deploy integrated countermeasures to deter potential approaches and de-escalate threats. Enhanced awareness picture The intuitive C2 interface provides an enhanced awareness picture, in real-time, through a touchscreen user interface and multi touch control. Rob Balloch, Sales Director of MARSS said, “NiDAR was chosen for this critical national infrastructure as it is robust and suited to all environments, however challenging. Its high availability and reliability, low maintenance and cost effectiveness makes it the perfect choice for any future growth, or change of requirements, with minimum disruption.”
Oooguruk drill site (ODS), is an important location for Caelus Natural Resources Alaska, LLC. Over 30 million barrels of oil have already been produced from Oooguruk since 2008, but the drill site in Alaska’s North Slope region is also frequented by polar bears. An intelligent security system helps to spot them. The technology has to recognise the animals as early as possible and function reliably. This entails defying the extreme conditions north of the Arctic Circle in temperatures reaching as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit/minus 40 degrees Celsius and a two-month period of darkness every year. Caelus Natural Resources Alaska, LLC is therefore relying on an innovative security system from Bosch. Exceptional challenge Our ultimate goal is the protection of personnel and the polar bears" “Our ultimate goal is the protection of personnel and the polar bears, and we want to do that in the way that has the least impact on the polar bears”, explains John Hellén, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager at Caelus Natural Resources Alaska, LLC. Bosch solved the exceptional challenge using the MIC IP fusion 9000i camera. It combines robust design with Intelligent Video Analytics and was developed specifically for use in extreme conditions. Eleven of the cameras have already been installed on ODS; five others are at the planning stage. The Bosch-trained engineers performed the uncomplicated installation in the shortest possible time. Difficult weather conditions The intelligent camera is fitted with a solid metal casing and Bosch starlight technology. Even in the most difficult weather conditions and low light, the system produces high-quality images. “Within two weeks of installing the cameras, we recorded two events of polar bears on ODS. The images were crystal clear.” We even have one camera installed 100 feet/30 meters from the ground, and the resolution is shockingly good" “We even have one camera installed 100 feet/30 meters from the ground, and the resolution is shockingly good,” explained Dale Hoffmann, former Land Manager for Caelus Natural Resources Alaska, LLC. Another advantage of the MIC IP fusion 9000i is the built-in Intelligent Video Analytics. The integrated function processes and interprets data directly at the source. Thermal imaging technology Polar bears can be detected early by the cameras thanks to their thermal imaging technology – even when the animals are swimming or are far off in the distance. As soon as a hazard is recognised, the Bosch cameras´ tracking function is automatically triggered and personnel are notified. The necessary safety measures can therefore be put in place quickly and efficiently. Bosch’s innovative solution has increased safety for humans and animals on ODS – regardless of the time, light or weather conditions. Personnel can also be deployed more efficiently: “We no longer need to rely on someone watching the cameras to see the polar bears,” says John Hellén.
Round table discussion
Our Expert Panel is an opinionated group on a wide variety of topics, and we are dedicated to providing a useful and flexible forum to share those opinions. This week, our panelists address a range of opinions about several self-selected topics, culled from the large number of Expert Panelist responses we have collected in the last year. In this Expert Panel Roundtable article, we will share these varied and insightful responses to ensure they are not lost to posterity!
By definition, an edge device is an entry point to a network. In the physical security industry, edge devices are the cameras, sensors, access controllers, readers and other equipment that provide information to the IP networks that drive today’s systems. In the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing refers to an increasing role of edge devices to process data where it is created instead of sending it across a network to a data center or the cloud. In our market, edge computing takes the form of smarter video cameras and other devices that store and/or process data locally. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What’s new “on the edge” of security and video surveillance systems?
Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?