Hanwha Techwin, a global security solution provider, and Azena, an IoT platform provider, have announced a collaboration with KT Corp, Korea’s largest telecommunications provider, to provide AI video analytics solutions to the Korean market.
AI video analytics apps from Azena’s marketplace that run on Hanwha Techwin cameras will enable Korean cities, businesses, and organisations to leverage the latest AI technology for security, safety, and beyond.
Adopting AI analytics
A new generation of smart cameras from Hanwha Techwin will run the operating system from Azena. Users of these devices can download and install apps in minutes from the nearly 100 apps in Azena’s Application Store, the world’s largest open platform for AI smart camera apps.
By making these solutions available in Korea, Hanwha Techwin and Azena fast-track the adoption of edge AI analytics in that market. KT Corp will provide a 5G MEC platform to support both a 5G network for enhanced wireless connections and hybrid computing services for back-end AI processes that require high computing capacity. “Expanding our presence into Korea with our partners taps into a market already progressive and mature in their use of AI technology,” said Hartmut Schaper, chief executive officer, Azena. “We are looking forward to working with not only Hanwha Techwin and KT Corp but also the Korean community of edge AI application developers.”
Seamless hardware-software integration
Cameras from Hanwha Techwin are globally recognised for quality and are in use all around the world. Models will integrate seamlessly with the apps from the Azena Application Store.
Cameras can operate in the same user customisable way due to the open architecture and ecosystem from Azena
This makes the new models more valuable in a range of uses as customers can at any time add or change functionality — from traditional security and safety use cases to apps that enhance operational intelligence or drive automation and other process improvements — all while using the same hardware, much like a smartphone.
Cameras can operate in the same user customisable way due to the open architecture and ecosystem from Azena.
Benefits of an open platform approach
“We are cultivating a flexible landscape to benefit all. App developers can rely on best-in-class hardware, and system integrators can select best-in-class apps from Azena’s app market to provide a custom solution to end-users,” said KiChul Kim, Head of Sales & Marketing at Hanwha Techwin Headquarters and Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA®) Board Member.
The open platform approach from Azena and Hanwha Techwin decouples software from hardware. KT Corp’s 5G MEC platform enables flexible deployment and provides highly scalable hybrid computing resources while reducing the TCO and lead time. This allows KT Corp’s customers to harness technological advancements in edge AI video analytics as they become available in the future.
“I believe that Hanwha Techwin and the Azena AI application platform powered by KT Corp 5G MEC technology allow us to make state of the art AI technology with 5G MEC available to a wide range of businesses and organisations across Korea,” said Yoonsung Park, Leader of 5G MEC TF at KT Corp.
The 5 new Wisenet P series AI NVRs (Network Video Recorders) launched by Hanwha Techwin are able to apply AI metadata to images captured by most non-AI Wisenet cameras, allowing users to quickly and accurately search for people, and vehicles.
Deep Learning AI video analytics
The licence-free Deep Learning AI video analytics onboard the NDAA-compliant NVRs offer a wide range of search criteria, including, for example, looking for people of a certain age group or gender, as well as whether they are wearing glasses or carrying a bag. Similarly, a search for vehicles can be narrowed down to those of a particular colour and whether they are a bicycle, bus, car, motorbike or truck.
The Network Video Recorders can also be set up to trigger real-time alarm notifications, if an object is detected.
Support for wide range of cameras
The new devices are able to support all the features built into the Wisenet P series AI cameras
Selected bullet, fixed, PTZ, 360° fisheye, multi-directional and thermal cameras from the Wisenet X, P, Q and T series, are among the long list of cameras that are supported by the new Wisenet P series AI NVRs. In addition, as is the case with 32 and 64 channel Wisenet X NVRs, the new devices are able to support all the features built into the Wisenet P series AI cameras, including the classification and detection of faces and licence plates.
Operators can take full advantage of the Network Video Recorders’ functionality, with the help of UX 2.0, a brand-new user interface that offers zoom in/out and drag & drop support, and a timeline preview feature, as well as enabling all event settings to be edited in a single window.
Wisenet P series AI NVRs
Other key features shared by the Network Video Recorders (NVRs), include the following:
Up to 400Mbps network camera recording, at up to 32MP recording resolution
Up to 16 SATA HDD bays, each offer 10TB storage data capacity. RAID-5 and RAID-6 support
Dual 4K and 1080p HDMI outputs
Simultaneous playback across all channels
Dynamic event support, including e-mail alerts, PTZ preset control of PTZ cameras, control room buzzer and monitor
Support for Wisenet AI and 8K cameras, and improved compatibility with all Wisenet PTZ, multi-directional and thermal cameras
ONVIF Profile S conformant
WiseStream II complementary compression technology
The NVRs feature WiseStream II complementary compression technology, which improves bandwidth efficiency by up to 75%, in comparison to current H.264 technology, when combined with H.265 compression. The ability of the NVRs to support cameras, which are dual streaming video at different resolutions, can further reduce bandwidth requirements.
The Network Video Recorders’ SATA HDDs are supported by Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T)
The Network Video Recorders’ SATA HDDs are supported by Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T), which detects and alerts operators, to any possible imminent hardware failures. Offering N+1 failover support, the NVRs also feature Automatic Recovery Back-up (ARB), to provide continuity of recording and remove the risk of video evidence being lost.
Automatic Recovery Back-up (ARB) facilitates the transfer and seamless storage of the images stored on a camera’s SD card, if communication between one of the Network Video Recorders and a Wisenet camera is disrupted. In addition, the new PRN-6405DB4 NVR is equipped with a dual switched-mode power supply (SMPS), to provide continuity of recording for mission-critical applications.
GDPR compliance support and easy configuration
Security personnel can apply bookmarks, in order to prevent the important video from being overwritten, with the NVRs programmed to automatically delete the bookmarked video, after a defined time period, so as to ensure compliance with GDPR.
The installation time of the new Network Video Recorders is minimised, by the ability of engineers to remotely connect to the NVRs. This is achieved via a smartphone or tablet, without having to set up a complex network, by using P2P and unique QR product codes. Furthermore, the NVRs can be easily configured to match an end user’s requirements, with the help of an intuitive interface and installation Wizard.
The new Wisenet P AI network NVRs are as follows:
PRN-1605B2: 16 channel AI NVR. Up to 8 channels providing AI support. 2 HHD bays
PRN-3205B2: 32 channel AI NVR. Up to 16 channels providing AI support. 2 HHD bays
PRN-3205B4: 32 channel AI NVR. Up to 16 channels providing AI support. 4 HHD bays
PRN-6405B4: 64 channel AI NVR. Up to 32 channels providing AI support. 4 HHD bays
PRN-6405DB4: 64 channel AI NVR. Up to 32 channels providing AI support. Dual switch mode power supply (SMPS). 4 HHD bays
Powerful detection tool
“The accuracy of the Deep Learning AI video analytics incorporated into these new NVRs provides security personnel with a powerful tool to detect and track people, or vehicles that may be involved in criminal activity,” said Uri Guterman, the Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe.
Uri Guterman adds, “By eliminating false alarms, which can occur when standard motion detection technology or sensors are being used to detect activity, the NVRs significantly reduce time wasting and allow security personnel to focus on responding to real incidents and emergencies.”
PSA, the consortium of professional systems integrators, announces the addition of viisights to its approved technology partners. viisights adds behavioural recognition systems for real-time video intelligence to the PSA offerings.
“PSA is excited to be able to offer such an in-depth and advanced AI service to our integrators,” said Chris Salazar-Mangrum, PSA’s vice president of technology partners.
Video surveillance systems
“viisights is providing a technology that takes video surveillance to the next level and allows our integrators to advance their clients’ video analytics results. Our partnership with viisights is an example of how we aim to elevate the industries we serve through our relationships with industry-leading products and solution providers.”
viisights is providing a technology that takes video surveillance to the next level"
viisights developed technology that allows video surveillance systems to provide information on what subjects in the captured video feed are doing. Its system analyses real-time data to determine unique information for behavioural results of objects. These results assist in reviewing past and harmful activity as well as help to predict potential risks and hazards. viisights’ products and solutions have been utilised in a wide variety of markets such as smart cities, transportation hubs, enterprise and educational campuses, critical infrastructures and banking and financial sectors.
Affordable video analytics
“Partnering with PSA is a very important step to expand and establish our US presence,” said Pat Aiello, viisights’ Vice President of sales and business development in North America. “With PSA, we will quickly introduce to the market highly advanced, complete and affordable video analytics for helping with daily security, safety and environmental challenges.”
A benchmark in video intelligence, viisights' behavioural analytics provide systems integrators with a new and unique selling proposition for existing and potential customers that will lead to business growth. viisights personnel will be at ISC East in November to discuss these opportunities in one-on-one meetings with potential technology partners and systems integrators.
Video intelligence systems
viisights leverages artificial intelligence to facilitate human-like pattern prediction"
The company offers extensive support for integrators including project registration, price protection to protect and secure bids, engineering, design and implementation support, installation documentation and setup tools, training and certification for technical staff, application consulting for specialised projects, software demo licences and more.
“viisights leverages artificial intelligence to facilitate human-like pattern prediction, creating fully autonomous video intelligence systems,” said Asaf Birenzvieg, CEO at viisights. “We go further than simple object recognition by analysing full-motion video for objects and their behaviour in the context that they operate in. Our real-time behavioural analytics transform video streams into actionable insights by autonomously recognising behaviours that demand immediate attention, allowing customers to be more proactive.”
Protecting public privacy
In this first phase, viisights will be offering PSA integrators to resell its flagship product, viisights wise, which is sold for on-premises configuration. Later in 2022, viisights is planning to release wise fully as a SaaS product.
It is important to note that viisights technology protects public privacy by only analysing general behaviour patterns of individuals, groups, vehicles and traffic-flows. It does not identify faces or licence plates.
Eagle Eye Networks, the globally renowned company in cloud video surveillance solutions, has announced the acquisition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics and solutions company, Uncanny Vision Solutions (Uncanny Vision), accelerating the company’s leadership in providing AI and analytics, in order to make customers’ businesses more efficient and the world a much safer place.
Uncanny Vision Solutions acquisition
The acquisition of Uncanny Vision Solutions also includes research and development (R&D) capabilities, and a new regional office located in Bangalore, India.
It didn’t take long for us to conclude that Uncanny Vision is the clear leader in surveillance AI"
“After evaluating more than a dozen AI companies, we began working with Uncanny Vision in 2020. It didn’t take long for us to conclude that Uncanny Vision is the clear leader in surveillance AI,” said Dean Drako, Eagle Eye Networks’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO), adding “Their award-winning AI technology is deployed across thousands of locations, including Fortune 500 customers.”
The deal accelerates Eagle Eye Networks’ plan, announced in November 2020, when the company raised funds from venture capital firm, Accel, to dramatically reshape video surveillance.
Deep learning algorithms
Uncanny Vision’s deep learning algorithms enable recognition, identification, and prediction, improving business operations, customer service, and site safety. Uncanny Vision’s award-winning AI is used in multiple applications currently, including:
Dean Drako said, “Uncanny Vision’s tools for training, building, and optimising models, and its infrastructure for managing and storing training data are superior. This is a key component that we’re excited to add to the Eagle Eye Networks platform.”
Expansion of Bangalore base office
All 60 Uncanny Vision employees will be retained and Eagle Eye Networks plans to expand the Bangalore office. Eagle Eye Networks is committed to supporting Uncanny Vision’s current customers and will continue to build its global infrastructure, so as to provide the very best 24/7 support to its valued customers, around the world.
Uncanny Vision Solutions’ Co-Founders, Ranjith Parakkal and Navaneethan Sundaramoorthy, have joined the Eagle Eye Networks’ leadership team. Ranjith Parakkal said, “We share the Eagle Eye team’s vision to deliver advanced, cyber-secure AI cloud video surveillance offerings that transform video surveillance for businesses, around the globe.”
“The economic model of delivering subscription-based AI on a per-camera basis, through a global cloud infrastructure, will ignite growth for security integrators, who are otherwise challenged with how to build a financially stable business,” said Alper Cetingok, the Managing Director and Head of the Security & Safety Practice, at Raymond James.
Cyber threats hit the headlines every day; however digital hazards are only part of the security landscape. In fact, for many organisations - physical rather than virtual security will remain the burning priority.
Will Liu, Managing Director of TP-Link UK, explores the three key elements that companies must consider when implementing modern-day business surveillance systems.
1) Protecting more than premises
Video surveillance systems are undoubtedly more important than ever before for a huge number of businesses across the full spectrum of public and private sector, manufacturing and service industries. One simple reason for this is the increased use of technology within those businesses.
Offices, workshops, and other facilities house a significant amount of valuable and expensive equipment - from computers, and 3D printers to specialised machinery and equipment.
As a result, workplaces are now a key target for thieves, and ensuring the protection of such valuable assets is a top priority. A sad reality is that some of those thieves will be employees themselves.
Video surveillance system
Of course, video surveillance is often deployed to combat that threat alone, but actually, its importance goes beyond theft protection. With opportunist thieves targeting asset-rich sites more regularly, the people who work at these sites are in greater danger too.
Effective and efficient surveillance is imperative not just for physical asset protection, but also for the safety
From this perspective, effective and efficient surveillance is imperative not just for physical asset protection, but also for the safety of colleagues as well. Organisations need to protect the people who work, learn or attend the premises.
A video surveillance system is, therefore, a great starting point for companies looking to deter criminal activity. However, to be sure you put the right system in place to protect your hardware assets, your people, and the business itself, here are three key considerations that make for a successful deployment.
2) Fail to prepare, and then prepare to fail
Planning is the key to success, and surveillance systems are no different. Decide in advance the scope of your desired solution. Each site is different and the reality is that every solution is different too. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all solution and only by investing time on the exact specification can you arrive at the most robust and optimal solution.
For example, organisations need to consider all the deployment variables within the system’s environment. What is the balance between indoor and outdoor settings; how exposed to the elements are the outdoor cameras; what IP rating to the need?
A discussion with a security installer will help identify the dangerous areas that need to be covered and the associated best sites for camera locations.
After determining location and coverage angles, indoors and outdoors, the next step is to make sure the cameras specified are up to the job for each location. Do they have the right lens for the distance they are required to cover, for example? It is not as simple as specifying one type of camera and deploying it everywhere.
Devices that can use multiple power sources, Direct Current, or Power over Ethernet well are far more versatile
You have to consider technical aspects such as the required level of visual fidelity and whether you also need two-way audio at certain locations? Another simple consideration is how the devices are powered. Devices that can use multiple power sources, Direct Current or Power over Ethernet as well are far more versatile and reliable.
Answers to these questions and a lot more need to be uncovered by an expert, to deliver a best-of-breed solution for the particular site.
3) Flexibility breeds resilience
Understanding exactly what you need is the start. Ensuring you can install, operate and manage your video surveillance system is the next step. Solutions that are simple to install and easy to maintain will always be favoured - for example, cameras that have multiple sources of power can be vital for year-round reliability.
Alongside the physical aspect of any installation, there is also the software element that needs to be considered. The last thing organisations need is a compatibility headache once all their cameras and monitoring stations are in place.
Selecting cameras and equipment with the flexibility to support a variety of different operating systems and software is important not just for the days following the installation, but also to future-proof the solution against change.
Easy does it
Once the system is up and running, the real work of video surveillance begins. Therefore, any organisation considering deploying a system should look to pick one that makes the day-to-day operation as easy as possible to manage. And again - that is all about the set-up.
Cameras can also provide alerts if they have been tampered with or their settings changed
The most modern systems and technology can deliver surveillance systems that offer smarter detection, enhanced activity reporting so you learn more about your operations, and also make off-site, remote management easy to both implement and adjust as conditions change.
For example, camera software that immediately notifies controllers when certain parameters are met - like motion detection that monitors a specific area for unauthorised access. Cameras can also provide alerts if they have been tampered with or their settings changed without proper authorisation.
Remote management of HD footage
What’s more, the days of poor quality or unreliable transfer of video are long gone. The high-quality HD footage can be captured, stored, and transferred across networks without any degradation, with hard drives or cloud-based systems able to keep hundreds of days of high-quality recordings for analysis of historical data.
Finally, the best surveillance solutions also allow for secure remote management not just from a central control room, but also from personal devices and mobile apps. All this delivers ‘always-on’ security and peace of mind.
The watchword in security
Modern video surveillance takes organisational security to the next level. It protects physical assets, ensures workplace and workforce safety, and helps protect the operations, reputation, and profitability of a business.
However, this is not just an ‘off-the-shelf purchase’. It requires proper planning in the form of site surveys, equipment and software specifications, as well as an understanding of operational demands and requirements.
Investing time in planning will help businesses realise the best dividends in terms of protection. Ultimately, that means organisations should seek to collaborate with vendors who offer site surveys - they know their equipment best, your needs, and can work with you to create the perfect solution.
Technology based on the cloud has become a popular trend. Most IT systems now operate within the cloud or offer cloud capabilities, and video surveillance is no exception: virtually every major hardware and software vendor offers cloud-based services. Users benefit from the cloud due to its numerous advantages, such as ease of implementation, scalability, low maintenance costs, etc.
Video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) offers many choices, so there is an optimal solution for each user. However, what about integrators? For them, VSaaS is also a game-changer. Integrators are now incentivised to think about how they can maintain their markets and take advantage of the new business opportunities that the cloud model provides.
Hosted video surveillance
The cloud service model has drastically changed the role of an integrator. Traditionally, integrators provided a variety of services including system installation, support, and maintenance, as well as served as a bridge between vendors and end-users. In contrast, hosted video surveillance as a service requires a security system installer to simply install cameras and connect them to the network, while the provider is in direct contact with each end-user.
The cloud service model has drastically changed the role of an integrator
There is no end to on-premises systems. However, the percentage of systems where the integrator’s role is eliminated or considerably reduced will continue to increase. How can integrators sustain their markets and stay profitable? A prospective business model might be to become a provider of VSaaS (‘cloud integrator’) in partnership with software platform vendors.
Some VMS vendors offer software VSaaS platforms that form the basis for cloud-based surveillance systems. Using these solutions, a data centre operator, integrator, or telecom service provider can design a public VSaaS or VSaaS in a private cloud to service a large customer.
The infrastructure can be built on any generic cloud platform or data centre, as well as resources owned by the provider or client. So, VSaaS providers have the choice between renting infrastructure from a public cloud service like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud or using their own or clients’ computing infrastructure (virtual machines or physical servers).
Gaining competitive advantage
When integrators purchase commitment use contracts for several years, they can achieve significant savings
As an example, a telecom carrier could deploy VSaaS on their own infrastructure to expand their service offering for clients, gaining a competitive advantage and enhancing profits per user. Using a public cloud, a smaller integrator can host the computing infrastructure immediately, without incurring up-front costs and with no need to maintain the system. These cloud services provide scalability, security, and reliability with zero initial investment. When integrators purchase commitment use contracts for several years, they can achieve significant savings.
Next, let’s examine VSaaS options available in the market from an end-users point of view. With hosted (or cloud-first, or true-cloud) VSaaS solutions, all the video feeds are transmitted directly from cameras to the cloud. Optionally, video can be buffered to SD cards installed on cameras to prevent data losses in case of Internet connection failures.
Dedicated hardware bridges
There are many providers of such services that offer their own brand cameras. Connecting these devices to the cloud should only take a few clicks. Firmware updates are usually centralised, so users don’t have to worry about security breaches. Service providers may offer dedicated hardware bridges for buffering video footage and secure connections to the cloud for their branded and third-party cameras.
Service providers may offer dedicated hardware bridges for buffering video footage
Typical bridges are inexpensive, basic NVRs that receive video feeds from cameras, record on HDD, and send video streams to the cloud. The most feature-rich bridges include those with video analytics, data encryption, etc. Introducing a bridge or NVR makes the system hybrid, with videos stored both locally and in the cloud. At the other end of the spectrum relative to hosted VSaaS, there are cloud-managed systems.
Video management software
In this case, video is stored on-site on DVRs, NVRs, video management software servers, or even locally on cameras, with an option of storing short portions of footage (like alarm videos) in the cloud for quick access. A cloud service can be used for remote viewing live video feeds and recorded footage, as well as for system configuration and health monitoring.
Cloud management services often come bundled with security cameras, NVRs, and video management software, whereas other VSaaS generally require subscriptions. Keep in mind that the system, in this case, remains on-premises, and the advantages of the cloud are limited to remote monitoring and configuring. It’s a good choice for businesses that are spread across several locations or branches, especially if they have systems in place at each site.
All that needs to be changed is the NVRs or VMS with a cloud-compatible model or version
All locations and devices can be remotely monitored using the cloud while keeping most of the existing on-site infrastructure. All that needs to be changed is the NVRs or VMS with a cloud-compatible model or version. Other methods are more costly and/or require more resources to implement.
Hosted VSaaS helps leverage the cloud for the highest number of benefits in terms of cost and technological advantages. In this case, the on-site infrastructure consists of only IP cameras and network equipment. This reduces maintenance costs substantially and also sets the foundation for another advantage of VSaaS: extreme and rapid scalability. At the same time, the outgoing connection at each site is critical for hosted VSaaS. Video quality and the number of cameras directly depend on bandwidth.
Because the system does not work offline, a stable connection is required to stream videos. In addition, cloud storage can be expensive when many cameras are involved, or when video archives are retained for an extended period.
The hosted VSaaS is a great choice for a small broadband-connected location
The hosted VSaaS is a great choice for small broadband-connected locations and is also the most efficient way to centralise video surveillance for multiple sites of the same type, provided they do not have a legacy system. Since it is easy to implement and maintain, this cloud technology is especially popular in countries with high labour costs. Using different software and hardware platforms, integrators can implement various types of VSaaS solutions.
Quick remote access
For those who adhere to the classic on-premises approach, adding a cloud-based monitoring service can grow their value proposition for clients with out-of-the-box capabilities of quick remote access to multiple widely dispersed sites and devices.
For small true-cloud setups, there is a possibility to rent a virtual machine and storage capacity in a public cloud (such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft) and deploy the cloud-based VMS server that can handle dozens of cameras. In terms of features, such a system may include anything from plain video monitoring via a web interface to GPU-accelerated AI video analytics and smart search in recorded footage, depending on the particular software platform.
Optimising internet connection
Hybrid VSaaS is the most flexible approach that enables tailoring the system to the users’ needs
High-scale installations, such as VSaaS for public use or large private systems for major clients, involve multiple parts like a virtual VMS server cluster, web portal, report subsystem, etc. Such systems can also utilise either own or rented infrastructure.
Some vendors offer software for complex installations of this kind, though there are not as many options as for cloud-managed systems. Finally, hybrid VSaaS is the most flexible approach that enables tailoring the system to the users’ unique needs while optimising internet connection bandwidth, cloud storage costs, and infrastructure complexity.
It’s high time for integrators to gain experience, choose the right hardware and software, and explore different ways of building systems that will suit evolving customer demands in the future.
The evolution of smart video technology continues at pace. As in many other industries, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic expedited timelines and the artificial intelligence (AI) video world is continuing its rapid evolution in 2021.
As video demand and the use of AI to make sense of the visual data increase, the number of cameras and subsequent data produced are growing rapidly, and these are forcing the creation of new edge architectures.
Cameras and AI in traffic management
‘Smart factories’ can leverage AI to detect flaws or deviations in the production line in real time
In addition, a new generation of ‘smart’ use cases has developed. For example, in ‘smart cities’, cameras and AI analyse traffic patterns and adjust traffic lights, in order to improve vehicle flow, reduce congestion and pollution, and increase pedestrian safety.
‘Smart factories’ can leverage AI to detect flaws or deviations in the production line in real time, adjusting to reduce errors and implement effective quality assurance measures. As a result, costs can be greatly reduced through automation and earlier fault detection.
Evolution of smart video
The evolution of smart video is also happening alongside other technological and data infrastructure advancements, such as 5G. As these technologies come together, they’re impacting how we architect the edge. And, they’re driving a demand for specialised storage.
Listed below are some of the biggest trends that we’re seeing:
Greater volume means greater quality
The volume and variety of cameras continue to increase with each new advancement, bringing new capabilities. Having more cameras allow more to be seen and captured. This could mean having more coverage or more angles. It also means more real-time video can be captured and used to train AI.
Quality also continues to improve with higher resolutions (4K video and above)
Quality also continues to improve with higher resolutions (4K video and above). The more detailed the video, the more insights can be extracted from it. And, the more effective the AI algorithms can become. In addition, new cameras transmit not just one video stream, but also additional low-bitrate streams used for low-bandwidth monitoring and AI pattern matching.
Smart cameras operate 24/7
Whether used for traffic management, security or manufacturing, many of these smart cameras operate 24/7, 365 days a year, which poses a unique challenge. Storage technology must be able to keep up.
For one thing, storage has evolved to deliver high-performance data transfer speeds and data writing speeds, to ensure high quality video capture. And, actual on-camera storage technology must deliver longevity and reliability, critical to any workflow.
Real world context is vital to understanding endpoints
Whether used for business, in scientific research or in our personal lives, we’re seeing new types of cameras that can capture new types of data. With the potential benefits of utilising and analysing this data, the importance of reliable data storage has never been more apparent.
Considering context when designing storage technology
As we design storage technology, we must take the context into consideration, such as location and form factor. We need to think of the accessibility of cameras (or lack thereof), are they atop a tall building or maybe amid a remote jungle?
Such locations might also need to withstand extreme temperature variations. All of these possibilities need to be taken into account, so as to ensure long-lasting, reliable continuous recording of critical video data.
Chipsets are improving artificial intelligence (AI) capability
Improved compute capabilities in cameras means processing happens at the device level, enabling real-time decisions at the edge.
New camera chipsets deliver enhanced AI capability
We’re seeing new chipsets arrive for cameras that deliver improved AI capability, and more advanced chipsets add deep neural network processing for on-camera deep learning analytics. AI keeps getting smarter and more capable.
Cloud must support deep learning technology
Just as camera and recorder chipsets are coming with more compute power, in today’s smart video solutions most of the video analytics and deep learning is still done with discrete video analytics appliances or in the Cloud. To support these new AI workloads, the Cloud has gone through some transformation. Neural network processors within the Cloud have adopted the use of massive GPU clusters or custom FPGAs.
They’re being fed thousands of hours of training video, and petabytes of data. These workloads depend on the high-capacity capabilities of enterprise-class hard drives (HDDs), which can already support 20TB per drive and high-performance enterprise SSD flash devices, platforms or arrays.
Reliance on the network
Wired and wireless internet have enabled the scalability and ease of installation that has fuelled the explosive adoption of security cameras, but it could only do so where LAN and WAN infrastructures already exist.
5G technology aids camera installations
Emerging cameras that are 5G-ready are being designed to load and run 3rd party applications
5G removes many barriers to deployment, allowing expansive options for placement and ease of installation of cameras at a metropolitan level. With this ease of deployment comes new greater scalability, which drives use cases and further advancements in both camera and cloud design. For example, cameras can now be standalone, with direct connectivity to a centralised cloud, as they’re no longer dependent on a local network.
Emerging cameras that are 5G-ready are being designed to load and run 3rd party applications, which can bring broader capabilities. Yet with greater autonomy, these cameras will need even more dynamic storage. They will require new combinations of endurance, capacity, performance, and power efficiency, to be able to optimally handle the variability of new app-driven functions.
Paving the way for the edge storage revolution
It’s a brave new world for smart video, and it is as complex as it is exciting. Architectural changes are being made to handle new workloads and prepare for even more dynamic capabilities at the edge and at end points. At the same time, deep learning analytics continue to evolve at the back end and the Cloud.
Understanding workload changes, whether at the camera, recorder, or the Cloud level, is critical to ensuring that new architectural changes are augmented by continuous innovation in storage technology.
Video is an enormous wellspring of unstructured data in the enterprise environment. Finding new ways to use video data requires easy access for analysis. Gone are the days when video was recorded just to be played back later.
New computer capabilities can analyse video to provide business intelligence and trends, all of which requires that a lot of unstructured data be captured, stored and kept immediately accessible. It's a driving force for companies specialising in video storage such as Quantum, which is focused on storing and managing unstructured data, including video, photos, music and sound.
Managing various analytics
“Unstructured data is driving the massive growth in storage today, and video surveillance fits right in there,” says Jamie Lerner, CEO and President, Quantum. As data multiplies in business, matters of storing and accessing the data take on a larger profile. Especially challenging is meeting the need to store and access expanding amounts of unstructured data, such as video.
Video is also part of a changing end-to-end architecture in the enterpriseWhereas 10 years ago, video surveillance was all about recording and playback, now the emphasis is much more on an end-to-end approach. In addition to capturing and playing back video, systems have to manage various analytics, archival and data retention aspects as well as recording. Video is also part of a changing end-to-end architecture in the enterprise, including hybrid, cloud and on-premise storage.
Video surveillance industry
Historically, structured data, such as financial information, was stored to allow future analytics. The same trend extends to unstructured data, such as video analytics. Quantum has expanded its video storage capabilities with acquisition this year of the video surveillance business of Pivot3, provider of a hyperconverged system that provides recording, analysis and seamlessly archives data on a converged platform that is less expensive and easier to manage.
In acquiring Pivot3, Quantum is refocusing the smaller company on the video surveillance industry. “We are now focused 100% on surveillance and having the highest quality while being very cost-effective,” says Lerner. “The industry is ready for an IT-forward solution that is totally focused on surveillance. You can’t make a platform all things to all people.”
Traditional security customers
There is overlap in large stadiums and theme parks, where Lerner sees even more opportunity to expand
Pivot3 will also help to expand Quantum’s customer base. The larger company has a history of serving customers in entertainment, movies, television and sports production. The addition of Pivot3’s 500 new customers in large surveillance, transportation and critical infrastructure markets will expand the mix. There is overlap in large stadiums and theme parks, where Lerner sees even more opportunity to expand.
Pivot3 also helps to bridge the gap between traditional security customers and the information technology (IT) department. “Pivot3 has a reputation as simple to use,” says Lerner. “My belief is that physical security can run separately [from IT] until you reach a certain size, then IT has to be involved. Pivot3 gives IT people in the security space a product that is well formed and fits into an IT strategy. They are not undertaking a piece of equipment that will be a burden.”
Physical security presence
Customers expect their infrastructure vendors to provide systems that allow them to “Set it and forget it,” says Lerner. It’s one of the big advantages of cloud computing and also central to Quantum’s approach with their traditional products. “At the end of the day, you want to run a hospital, for example, so you want your systems to be easy to use,” says Lerner.
The Pivot3 acquisition will also allow Quantum to expand their physical security presence more broadly and globally. Previously, the geographic reach of Pivot3 was limited by the high cost of placing personnel in diverse locations. Under Quantum, which has been serving global companies for 40 years, the problem disappears. “Quantum has global support on all continents and in more countries,” says Lerner. “It’s a higher level of support, given size and legacy of our organisation.”
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex.
Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera AI performance and integration to multi-imager and single-imager IP cameras. Both of these SoCs are manufactured in the ‘5 nm’ manufacturing process, bringing performance improvements and power savings, compared to the previous generation of SoCs manufactured at ‘10nm’.
CV5S and CV52S AI-powered SoCs
The CV5S, designed for multi-imager cameras, is able to process, encode and perform advanced AI on up to four imagers at 4Kp30 resolution, simultaneously and at less than 5 watts. This enables multi-headed camera designs with up to four 4K imagers looking at different portions of a scene, as well as very high-resolution, single-imager cameras of up to 32 MP resolution and beyond.
The CV52S, designed for single-imager cameras with very powerful onboard AI, is the next-generation of the company’s successful CV22S mainstream 4K camera AI chip. This new SoC family quadruples the AI processing performance, while keeping the same low power consumption of less than 3 watts for 4Kp60 encoding with advanced AI processing.
Faster and ubiquitous AI capabilities
Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions"
“Security system designers desire higher resolutions, increasing channel counts, and ever faster and more ubiquitous AI capabilities,” explains John Lorenz, Senior Technology and Market Analyst, Computing, at Yole Développement (Yole), a French market research firm.
John Lorenz adds, “Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions for meeting the growing demands of the security IC (integrated circuit) sector, which our latest report forecasts to exceed US$ 4 billion by 2025, with two-thirds of that being chips with AI capabilities.”
Edge AI vision processors
Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S edge AI vision processors enable new classes of cameras that would not have been possible in the past, with a single SoC architecture. For example, implementing a 4x 4K multi-imager with AI would have traditionally required at least two SoCs (at least one for encoding and one for AI), and the overall power consumption would have made those designs bulky and prohibitively expensive.
By reducing the number of required SoCs, the CV5S enables advanced camera designs such as AI-enabled 4x 4K imagers at price points much lower than would have previously been possible. “What we are usually trying to do with our SoCs is to keep the price points similar to the previous generations, given that camera retail prices tend to be fairly fixed,” said Jerome Gigot, Ambarella's Senior Director of Marketing.
4K multi-imager cameras
“However, higher-end 4K multi-imager cameras tend to retail for thousands of dollars, and so even though there will be a small premium on the SoC for the 2X improvement in performance, this will not make a significant impact to the final MSRP of the camera,” adds Jerome Gigot.
In addition, the overall system cost might go down, Gigot notes, compared to what could be built today because there is no longer a need for external chips to perform AI, or extra components for power dissipation.
The new chips will be available in the second half of 2021, and it typically takes about 12 to 18 months for Ambarella’s customers (camera manufacturers) to produce final cameras. Therefore, the first cameras, based on these new SoCs, should hit the market sometime in the second half of 2022.
Reference boards for camera manufacturers
The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK"
As with Ambarella’s previous generations of edge AI vision SoCs for security, the company will make available reference boards to camera manufacturers soon, allowing them to develop their cameras based on the new CV5S and CV52S SoC families.
“The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK that is already available on our previous generations SoCs, which makes the transition easy for our customers,” said Jerome Gigot.
Better crime detection
Detecting criminals in a crowd, using face recognition and/or licence plate recognition, has been a daunting challenge for security, and one the new chips will help to address.
“Actually, these applications are one of the main reasons why Ambarella is introducing these two new SoC families,” said Jerome Gigot.
Typically, resolutions of 4K and higher have been a smaller portion of the security market, given that they came at a premium price tag for the high-end optics, image sensor and SoC. Also, the cost and extra bandwidth of storing and streaming 4K video were not always worth it for the benefit of just viewing video at higher resolution.
4K AI processing on-camera
The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm. By enabling 4K AI processing on-camera, smaller objects at longer distances can now be detected and analysed without having to go to a server, and with much higher detail and accuracy compared to what can be done on a 2 MP or 5 MP cameras.
This means that fewer false alarms will be generated, and each camera will now be able to cover a longer distance and wider area, offering more meaningful insights without necessarily having to stream and store that 4K video to a back-end server. “This is valuable, for example, for traffic cameras mounted on top of high poles, which need to be able to see very far out and identify cars and licence plates that are hundreds of meters away,” said Jerome Gigot.
The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm
Enhanced video analytics and wider coverage
“Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S SoCs truly allow the industry to take advantage of higher resolution on-camera for better analytics and wider coverage, but without all the costs typically incurred by having to stream high-quality 4K video out 24/7 to a remote server for offline analytics,” said Jerome Gigot.
He adds, “So, next-generation cameras will now be able to identify more criminals, faces and licence plates, at longer distances, for an overall lower cost and with faster response times by doing it all locally on-camera.”
Deployment in retail applications
Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once
Retail applications are another big selling point. Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once (e.g., in a mall), to provide not only security features, but also other business analytics, such as foot traffic and occupancy maps that can be used later to improve product placement.
The higher resolution and higher AI performance, enabled by the new Ambarella SoCs, provide a leap forward in addressing those scenarios. In a store setup, a ceiling-mounted camera with four 4K imagers can simultaneously look at the cashier line on one side of the store, sending alerts when a line is getting too long and a new cashier needs to be deployed, while at the same time looking at the entrance on the other side of the store, to count the people coming in and out.
This leaves two additional 4K imagers for monitoring specific product aisles and generating real-time business analytics.
Use in cashier-less stores
Another retail application is a cashier-less store. Here, a CV5S or CV52S-based camera mounted on the ceiling will have enough resolution and AI performance to track goods, while the customer grabs them and puts them in their cart, as well as to automatically track which customer is purchasing which item.
In a warehouse scenario, items and boxes moving across the floor could also be followed locally, on a single ceiling-mounted camera that covers a wide area of the warehouse. Additionally, these items and boxes could be tracked across the different imagers in a multi-headed camera setup, without the video having to be sent to a server to perform the tracking.
Updating on-camera AI networks
Another feature of Ambarella’s SoCs is that their on-camera AI networks can be updated on-the-fly, without having to stop the video recording and without losing any video frames.
So, for example in the case of a search for a missing vehicle, the characteristics of that missing vehicle (make, model, colour, licence plate) can be sent to a cluster of cameras in the general area, where the vehicle is thought to be missing, and all those cameras can be automatically updated to run a live search on that specific vehicle.
If any of the cameras gets a match, a remote operator can be notified and receive a picture, or even a live video feed of the scene.
Efficient traffic management
With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself
Relating to traffic congestion, most big cities have thousands of intersections that they need to monitor and manage. Trying to do this from one central location is costly and difficult, as there is so much video data to process and analyse, in order to make those traffic decisions (to control the traffic lights, reverse lanes, etc.).
With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself. The camera would then take actions autonomously (for example, adjust traffic-light timing) and only report a status update to the main traffic control centre. So now, instead of having one central location trying to manage 1,000 intersections, a city can have 1,000 smart AI cameras, each managing its own location and providing updates and metadata to a central server.
Privacy is always a concern with video. In this case, doing AI on-camera is inherently more private than streaming the video to a server for analysis. Less data transmission means fewer points of entry for a hacker trying to access the video.
On Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S SoCs, the video can be analysed locally and then discarded, with just a signature or metadata of the face being used to find a match. No actual video needs to be stored or transmitted, which ensures total privacy.
In addition, the chips contain a very secure hardware cyber security block, including OTP memory, Arm TrustZones, DRAM scrambling and I/O virtualisation. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to replace the firmware on the camera, providing another level of security and privacy at the system level.
Another privacy feature is the concept of privacy masking. This feature enables portions of the video (say a door or a window) to be blocked out, before being encoded in the video stream. The blocked portions of the scene are not present in the recorded video, thus providing a privacy option for cameras that are facing private areas.
“With on-camera AI, each device becomes its own smart endpoint, and can be reconfigured at will to serve the specific physical security needs of its installation,” said Jerome Gigot, adding “The possibilities are endless, and our mission as an SoC maker is really to provide a powerful and easy-to-use platform, complete with computer-vision tools, that enable our customers and their partners to easily deploy their own AI software on-camera.”
Physical security in parking lots
With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot
One example is physical security in a parking lot. A camera today might be used to just record part of the parking lot, so that an operator can go back and look at the video if a car were broken into or some other incident occurred.
With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, first of all, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot. Additionally, it will be able to detect the licence plates of all the cars going in and out, to automatically bill the owners.
If there is a special event, the camera can be reprogrammed to identify VIP vehicles and automatically redirect them to the VIP portion of the lot, while reporting to the entrance station or sign how many parking spots are available. It can even tell the cars approaching the lot where to go.
Advantages of using edge AI vision SoCs
Jerome Gigot said, “The possibilities are endless and they span across many verticals. The market is primed to embrace these new capabilities. Recent advances in edge AI vision SoCs have brought about a period of change in the physical security space. Companies that would have, historically, only provided security cameras, are now getting into adjacent verticals such as smart retail, smart cities and smart buildings.”
He adds, “These changes are providing a great opportunity for all the camera makers and software providers to really differentiate themselves by providing full systems that offer a new level of insights and efficiencies to, not only the physical security manager, but now also the store owner and the building manager.”
He adds, “All of these new applications are extremely healthy for the industry, as they are growing the available market for cameras, while also increasing their value and the economies of scale they can provide. Ambarella is looking forward to seeing all the innovative products that our customers will build with this new generation of SoCs.”
Imagine a world where video cameras are not just watching and reporting for security, but have an even wider positive impact on our lives. Imagine that cameras control street and building lights, as people come and go, that traffic jams are predicted and vehicles are automatically rerouted, and more tills are opened, just before a queue starts to form.
Cameras with AI capabilities
Cameras in stores can show us how we might look in the latest outfit as we browse. That’s the vision from Panasonic about current and future uses for their cameras that provide artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities at the edge.
Panasonic feels that these types of intelligent camera applications are also the basis for automation and introduction of Industry 4.0, in which processes are automated, monitored and controlled by AI-driven systems.
4K network security cameras
The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications
Panasonic’s 4K network security cameras have built-in AI capabilities suitable for this next generation of intelligent applications in business and society. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications.
The AI engine is directly embedded into the camera, thus reducing costs and Panasonic’s image quality ensures the accuracy of the analytics outcome.
FacePRO facial recognition technology
Panasonic began advancing AI technology on the server side with FacePRO, the in-house facial recognition application, which uses AI deep learning capabilities. Moving ahead, they transitioned their knowledge of AI from the server side to the edge, introducing i-PRO security cameras with built-in AI capabilities last summer, alongside their own in-house analytics.
Moreover, in line with the Panasonic approach to focus more on collaboration with specialist AI software developers, a partnership with Italian software company, A.I. Tech followed in September, with a range of intelligent applications, partially based on deep learning. Additional collaborations are already in place with more than 10 other developers, across the European Union, working on more future applications.
i-PRO AI-capable security cameras
Open systems are an important part of Panasonic’s current approach. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable cameras are an open platform and designed for third-party application development, therefore, applications can be built or tailored to the needs of an individual customer.
Panasonic use to be a company that developed everything in-house, including all the analytics and applications. “However, now we have turned around our strategy by making our i-PRO security cameras open to integrate applications and analytics from third-party companies,” says Gerard Figols, Head of Security Solutions at Panasonic Business Europe.
Flexible and adapting to specific customer needs
This new approach allows the company to be more flexible and adaptable to customers’ needs. “At the same time, we can be quicker and much more tailored to the market trend,” said Gerard Figols.
He adds, “For example, in the retail space, enabling retailers to enhance the customer experience, in smart cities for traffic monitoring and smart parking, and by event organisers and transport hubs to monitor and ensure safety.”
Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems
Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems. On one hand, there are monetary benefits - a cost reduction results from the decreased amount of more powerful hardware required on the server side to process the data, on top of reduction in the infrastructure costs, as not all the full video stream needs to be sent for analysis, we can work solely with the metadata.
On the other hand, there are also advantages of flexibility, as well as reliability. Each camera can have its own individual analytic setup and in case of any issue on the communication or server side, the camera can keep running the analysis at the edge, thereby making sure the CCTV system is still fully operational. Most importantly, systems can keep the same high level of accuracy.
Explosion of AI camera applications
We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications"
“We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications,” said Gerard Figols, adding “However, it doesn’t mean the hardware is not important anymore, as I believe it’s more important than ever. Working with poor picture quality or if the hardware is not reliable, and works 24/7, software cannot run or deliver the outcome it has been designed for.”
As hardware specialists, Figols believes that Panasonic seeks to focus on what they do best - Building long-lasting, open network cameras, which are capable of capturing the highest quality images that are required for the latest AI applications, while software developers can concentrate on bringing specialist applications to the market. Same as for smartphones, AI applications will proliferate based on market demand and succeed or fail, based on the value that they deliver.
Facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line technologies
Panasonic has been in the forefront in developing essential AI applications for CCTV, such as facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line.
However, with the market developing so rapidly and the potential applications of AI-driven camera systems being so varied and widespread, Panasonic quickly realised that the future of their network cameras was going to be in open systems, which allow specialist developers and their customers to use their sector expertise to develop their own applications for specific vertical market applications, while using i-PRO hardware.
Metadata for detection and recognition
Regarding privacy, consider that the use of AI in cameras is about generating metadata for the detection and recognition of patterns, rather than identifying individual identities.
“However, there are legitimate privacy concerns, but I firmly believe that attitudes will change quickly when people see the incredible benefits that this technology can deliver,” said Gerard Figols, adding “I hope that we will be able to redefine our view of cameras and AI, not just as insurance, but as life advancing and enhancing.”
i-PRO AI Privacy Guard
One of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard
Seeking to understand and appreciate privacy concerns, one of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard that generates data without capturing individual identities, following European privacy regulations that are among the strictest in the world.
Gerard Fogils said, “The combination of artificial intelligence and the latest generation open camera technology will change the world’s perceptions from Big Brother to Big Benefits. New applications will emerge as the existing generation of cameras is updated to the new open and intelligent next generation devices, and the existing role of the security camera will also continue.”
Future scope of AI and cameras
He adds, “Not just relying on the security cameras for evidence when things have gone wrong, end users will increasingly be able to use AI and the cameras with much higher accuracy to prevent false alarms and in a proactive way to prevent incidents."
Gerard Figols concludes, “That could be monitoring and alerting when health and safety guidelines are being breached or spotting and flagging patterns of suspicious behaviour before incidents occur.”
Ipsotek, an Atos company and a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence-powered video analytics, has announced the fulfillment of its contract with Sydney Trains, the operator of rail services across the metropolitan Sydney area, to increase security capabilities at 13 railway stations.
Following a competitive tendering process, Ipsotek was selected by Sydney Trains, to deliver an AI-based video analytics solution. This has seen the train operator, Sydney Trains, integrate a range of Ipsotek’s AI-powered video analytics solutions with its security cameras, to identify incidences of tunnel and track intrusion at its 13 stations, located across the metropolitan Sydney area.
AI-based video analytics solution
Ipsotek’s AI solutions are at the core of Atos Computer Vision Platform, a unique end-to-end computer vision platform that offers pre-trained & customisable AI models, powered by the BullSequana server range, enabled by NVIDIA GPUs and enriched by worldwide expert labs.
Mark Edmonds, the Manager of Security Capability for Transport at Sydney Trains, commented “Sydney Trains chose Ipsotek, after an extensive comparison of a number of products. Ipsotek’s proven track record in the AI Video Analytics space, its partnership with Genetec and its work with Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) for railway-focused AI applications, made it a well-deserved choice.”
Enhancing security at Sydney Trains’ stations
The project with Sydney Trains is the second transportation project in the region for Ipsotek
Chris Bishop, Sales Director APAC & Marketing Director at Ipsotek, said “As a British SME, competing against some of the industry’s big-named companies, we are delighted to have been chosen by Sydney Trains, to deliver this project. It represents a welcome validation of our expertise within the transportation and more specifically, the rail sector and we are proud to have supported Sydney Trains with its commitment, to delivering enhanced security practices across its network.”
The project with Sydney Trains is the second transportation project in the region for Ipsotek, which is working with accelerated computing solutions firm, NVIDIA on implementation.
Ipsotek, member of NVIDIA Metropolis partner group
Ipsotek is a member of the NVIDIA Metropolis partner programme, which brings together a computing platform and extensive ecosystem of specialists, to help create smarter spaces and solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, which involve operational efficiency and public safety.
Sudarshan Ramachandran, the Country Manager, Enterprise, ANZ at NVIDIA, commented “As an NVIDIA Metropolis partner, Ipsotek delivers incredibly valuable capabilities, solving deeply challenging video-analytics problems using AI and the NVIDIA GPU accelerated computing stack.”
AI video analytics for public transport
Ipsotek’s project with Sydney Trains follows the company’s previous success in delivering an initial programme of work via the Innovate UK SBRI initiative, for the development of AI video analytics, to enhance the rail experience for passengers and staff in the UK.
Four out of every five (82%) of existing CCTV and video monitoring systems are set to be extended to help keep schools and colleges ‘COVID Safe’, found a new education sector study of 91 education organisations based in the UK, US, Sweden, and Norway, carried out by video security as a service (VSaaS) provider AVA Security in March 2021.
Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems to support COVID safety measures. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 6 months.
Adopting video monitoring/CCTV technologies
The AVA Security Education Sector Trends Report 2021 just out, provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic.
Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 6 months.
New COVID Safe-specific video analytics
29% were using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances
Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the 6 months.
Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels inside retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 6 months.
Mask and face recognition systems
Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 6 months.
However, the Education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22% of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double to 29% over the next 6 months.
The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely before the end of 2021.
Cybersecurity becomes a key IT priority
There has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources
As IT, operations, and security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few months, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack that led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there.
Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’.
Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’.
VSaaS selection criteria
For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection.
Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS in 2021, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’
Reduced costs and ease of use
The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people.
While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said the provider needed not to be headquartered in mainland China.
Integration with existing camera systems
A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important
A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.
A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’.
An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and colour searching’.
Workspace management technologies
Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimising the risk of COVID infection.
For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps.
Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation.
Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection
Education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection"
Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging."
“There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.”
Video security solutions
Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.
Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
IDIS end-to-end video is protecting a new, purpose-built visitor centre at Canterbury Cathedral, part of a $34 million renovation project transforming one of the UK’s most important UNESCO Heritage sites. The seven-year program, preserving and safeguarding the fifteen-centuries-old masterpiece of English Gothic architecture – and mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion - includes the addition of a new, purpose-built welcome centre for visitors.
The centre, housing retail facilities, a viewing gallery, and community studio exhibition space, is protected with a best-in-class video solution which combines discrete monitoring with high-performance image capture.
Real time monitoring
Specialist systems integrator Hall & Kay Security Engineering was tasked with delivering a solution that would be affordable, easy-to-use, and allow for comprehensive real time monitoring, while ensuring reliable recording without data loss. And because this was part of a much wider project, the video technology also had to be fast and easy to install – essential for avoiding project overruns in this complex, multidisciplinary construction environment, and preventing any delays to the new welcome centre’s opening.
This IDIS Korean-made tech also gives Canterbury assurance of trusted manufacturing origin
Based on previous experience, Hall & Kay had no hesitation recommending IDIS end-to-end tech, incorporating cameras, recorders VMS, and essential peripherals. This IDIS Korean-made tech also gives Canterbury assurance of trusted manufacturing origin and high-level cybersecurity protection, with its inherent, multi-layered encryptions and proprietary protocols to safeguard sensitive video data.
Variable lighting conditions
To give high-definition video coverage of the Welcome Centre’s entrances, retail area and exhibition spaces, Hall & Kay installed IDIS Full HD DC-4223WRX IR dome cameras. These vandal-resistant models come equipped with varifocal lenses, true WDR and IR LED to deliver crisp, clear images even in challenging and variable lighting conditions.
They connect to three 16-channel DD-1216 NVRs to handle recording and deliver 480ips live view with no visible latency. Easy plug-and-play allowed for seamless and rapid connectivity and mutual two-factor authentication of devices streamlined cybersecurity measures, the cornerstone of IDIS DirectIP® solutions.
Specific user permissions
The IDIS cameras, NVRs and VMS discretely blend with the centre’s architecture
The licence-free IDIS Centre VMS gives the cathedral Constable and his security team complete visual awareness and easy control tools for efficient management, plus the ability to configure specific user permissions to give senior staff and system administrators timely access to video footage.
The IDIS cameras, NVRs and VMS discretely blend with the centre’s architecture without detracting from the visitor experience, while providing effective real-time monitoring. “The solution is now protecting property, enhancing safety for visitors and staff, and providing a complete record of events at one of the UK’s busiest and most important heritage sites,” says David Stokes, Divisional Director, Hall & Kay Security Engineering.
Compelling business case
“The IDIS end-to-end solution allowed us to present this important customer with a compelling business case, with no up-front or ongoing licencing fees, extended warranties and a low total cost of ownership. The solution is also highly flexible and scalable, thanks to long-term hardware support and forward- and backward-compatibility, which future-proofs the cathedra’s investment.”
“The choice of IDIS video for this most sensitive of sites is testament to the reliability, quality and cybersecurity of our Korean-made tech,” adds Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director, IDIS Europe. “This is just one of many projects we are working on with Hall & Kay in-line with the IDIS philosophy of building sustainable strategic partnerships with integrators and end user customers.”
Hanwha Techwin a supplier of IP and analogue video surveillance solutions, announces that Round1 Entertainment, a multi-entertainment facility offering bowling, arcade games, billiards, karaoke, and other activities in an indoor facility complex has chosen Hanwha cameras, NVRs and WAVE VMS to secure several of its US-based facilities.
Until recently, security at Round1 centres in the US focused mainly on internal and external theft. As the company began building more sports challenge zones, however, it started seeing an increase in litigation from visitors making claims about injuries.
Physical security system
To protect the company against false claims, Round1 decided to increase data retention requirements at their facilities to store footage for two years to allow staff to go back and review incidents to determine the validity of any claim made against the company.
Round1 implemented a remote storage solution featuring a 124 TB NVR from Hanwha Techwin
To help design a physical security system that would meet the new retention requirements, Round1 implemented a remote storage solution featuring a 124 TB NVR from Hanwha Techwin that performs continuous back-ups to ensure that the data is secure. This NVR is then supported by an outside server. The total storage for the facility is 528TB, which enables them to comply with the two-year retention requirement.
Protecting against liability requires capturing and storing wide-angle, high-resolution video. To achieve this, a total of 77 cameras were deployed from Hanwha Techwin, including the XNV-6011 with a fisheye lens and the PNM-7000VD. With these cameras placed throughout the centre, the security system is able to capture 360° views of key areas.
One of the challenges in using fisheye lenses and dual-headed cameras is the size of the video files. These cameras are capturing high-resolution 360° images that are data-heavy and require a lot of bandwidth. Finding the right VMS to compress video and manage bandwidth is crucial. This is particularly true if you are interested in implementing long-term storage.
Optimising motion capture
Hanwha’s Wisenet WAVE VMS is helping Round1 at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Georgia manage bandwidth
Hanwha’s Wisenet WAVE VMS is helping Round1 at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Georgia manage bandwidth. In addition to using H-265 and WiseStream II compression technology to reduce file size, they’re also using motion detection to help reduce the amount of video they capture.
“Wisenet WAVE offers Round1 everything we need to meet our retention goals. And, from an operations perspective, the day-to-day usage of the cameras is just so far superior to anything else on the market,” said Matthew Strawn, Director of Loss Prevention at Round1. They have also set the sensitivity of their video cameras to optimise motion capture so that flashing lights and other background elements don’t trigger the sensors.
Pertinent video footage
The facility at Cumberland was completed in 2020, and their security system is already yielding results. The centre had an alleged injury on the skating rink that was reported long after the date it was said to have occurred. Using WAVE, Strawn was able to retrieve the pertinent video footage from the remote storage and then isolate the relevant images.
To date, Round1 has migrated seven locations to WAVE. Strawn is pleased with the outcome, saying “We have had zero issues and the coverage has been great. We haven’t had to make any adjustments and the system completely satisfies our retention needs.” And he’s not alone in his appreciation of the new system. The project at the Cumberland Mall and the migration of seven other centres to WAVE have been so successful that Round1 hopes to upgrade more in the future.
A new generation of security professional is waiting in the wings. They will be faced with unprecedented challenges, as they seek to transform the security marketplace to the ‘next level’. Technology changes ensure the market will be very different 10 years from now and the fresh labour pool will need to be able to meet the host of new challenges.
We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What exciting career opportunities in the security industry await the next generation?
Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics.
Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerised systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting critical infrastructure?