Zhiyun, globally renowned gimbal brand for cameras and smartphones, has announced its plan to attend at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona. At the Zhiyun booth, visitors can experience Zhiyun’s latest and revolutionary stabilisers the CRANE 3 LAB and WEEBILL LAB as well as a rich assortment of accessories aimed at allowing filmmakers to reach new heights with their footage.
Additionally, Zhiyun is pleased to announce that the WEEBILL LAB has been awarded the prestigious iF Design Award from a large panel of professional judges. This amazing news comes on top of the its latest updates that make it fully compatible with Nikon’s brand new Z6 and Z7 cameras. Finally, Zhiyun’s Smooth 4, with full integrated support in FiLMic Pro, allows smartphone users to shoot movie-quality footage with their phones and Zhiyun’s latest stabiliser.
CRANE 3 LAB – professional DSRL stabiliser CRANE 3 LAB is Zhiyun’s latest stabiliser for DSLRs, and one of the major revolutions on the stabiliser market
The CRANE 3 LAB is Zhiyun’s latest stabiliser for DSLRs, and one of the major revolutions on the stabiliser market. Featuring huge payload support, up to 4.5kg and great compatibility with a huge range of DSLR cameras and lenses, The Crane 3 LAB supports wireless image transmission of the camera’s video via Wi-Fi. Another highlight of the CRANE 3 LAB is its synchronous zoom and focus system, a hardware control system for lenses which can be operated through the control rockers and wheel on the CRANE 3 LAB, or through the ViaTouch Control System on a tablet or smartphone.
WEEBILL LAB – compact camera stabiliser
The WEEBILL LAB is Zhiyun’s new stabiliser created specifically for mirrorless cameras, recognised with the internationally renowned iF Design Award 2019. The WEEBILL LAB excels at ease of use through its Balancing System 2.0 which offers quick lock latches for all axes for quick and perfect setups. The rubber-coated tripod that comes along with the WEEBILL LAB can also be used as an extra handle to use the WEEBILL LAB in underslung mode, which adds immensely to the flexibility of the stabiliser and makes it a great choice for those looking for an ergonomic grip for long days in the field. With new features like Vortex mode, Control Lock, which prevents accidental button pushes when the gimbal is in underslung mode, and support for new camera series like Nikon’s Z6 and Z7, the WEEBILL LAB quickly becomes the default choice for filmmaking enthusiasts around the globe.
Panasonic Business opens the doors to its new Customer Experience Centre in Bracknell, showcasing its range of cutting edge B2B solutions both physically and virtually.
Situated at the new UK headquarters on Western Road, Bracknell, the Customer Experience Centre is experienced as two zones. The first is an immersive 270 degree interactive presentation space, built around eight separate virtual vertical environments, and a demonstration space that allows customers to get hands-on with the latest Panasonic technology. The showcase delivers a ‘blank canvas’ for innovation, designed to spark conversations around how Panasonic can solve business technology challenges.
Daily business challenges
Featuring AV design and integration by Sysco Productions, concept development by AB Creative, and content and physical build by Hart Wilcox, the Customer Experience Centre features over 100 items of technology, with the presentation space squeezing an impressive nine laser projectors in to just 50 square meter in order to achieve a fully immersive feel.
The new Customer Experience Centre provides a platform upon which we can work with our customers to solve their daily business challenges"
Powered by two disguise 4x4pro media servers, the customer’s name is skilfully integrated in to the content in real time, to personalise the experience. “By quietly and reliably powering their capability our technology frees businesses to perform to their maximum,” says Simon Grantham, Managing Director of Panasonic UK on opening the Centre. “The new Customer Experience Centre provides a platform upon which we can work with our customers to solve their daily business challenges.”
Automatic stock monitoring
The Centre focuses on five main topics:
Audio Visual solutions
Next generation surveillance technology
Among other things, the Experience Centre features the latest in Panasonic retail technology, including digital signage displays, electronic price tags and automatic stock monitoring, which uses CCTV analytics to detect low and no stock on shelves. In addition, a fully demonstrable lecture capture system automatically tracks a presenter, giving universities the ability to automate the recording of teaching sessions.
Facial recognition platform
All visitors are handed a 5” Android Toughbook rugged handheld on which a dedicated app allows them to select content of interest, ranging from white papers to brochures and introductory videos, via cleverly integrated NFC tags throughout the experience centre. These case studies are then emailed to the customer for follow-up, back in their office.
The Face Server can identify faces that are difficult to recognise using conventional technology
A smart security section features the latest in modern analytics software. A range of indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras are equipped with an upgraded facial recognition platform which features a ‘deep learning’ core engine that has ranked as the industry’s most accurate in independent testing by NIST. The Face Server can identify faces that are difficult to recognise using conventional technology, including those partially hidden by sunglasses and face masks.
Rugged resistance test
A range of Toughbook rugged notebooks and tablets is also on show, with a rugged resistance test station, which allows water ingress, drop and impact testing of the range. “We are bringing the latest technology for retail, transport, logistics and entertainment in one place. We hope to immerse visitors into our Panasonic world, inspire their creativity and ultimately prove our solutions can strengthen their business in an increasingly competitive landscape,” added Simon Grantham.
The Customer Experience Centre is built around a newly launched B2B brand proposition ‘Freedom through innovation’, which is the belief that the future is about better connected technology. That businesses will succeed if they can simply focus on their customers, in the knowledge that the technology solution delivering their capabilities just works. And works together.
Matrix PRASAR UCS, an Enterprise Unified Communication Server connects internal and external decision makers at multiple locations for effective communication and real-time collaboration. It enables enterprises to enhance business processes by unifying communication mediums to simplify the daily workflow and increase their response time.
Being a pure IP solution, PRASAR UCS is a single box solution, scalable up to 2,100 users, as per future communication needs of the organization. Bring people together anytime, anywhere, and on any device with our integrated collaboration infrastructure for voice and video calling, messaging, and mobility.
Corporate directory integration
Key Features of the Matrix PRASAR UCS include:
Scalable up to 2,100 UC Users
Up to 550 Concurrent Calls
Up to 99 SIP Trunks
248 VoIP Channels
Corporate Directory Integration
Multi Lingual IVR - 128 Auto-attendant Menus
64 Party Simultaneous Conference - 21 Three-party Conference
64 Ports Voice Mail System - Record Conversations
Presence Sharing - BLF Notification
Redundant Power Supply Port
Hikvision USA Inc., global provider of security hardware equipment and software solutions, donated US$ 15,000 and security equipment to the Team 5 Foundation. All funds raised will allow the Team 5 volunteers to assist with natural disasters and medical deployments.
Team 5 is a veteran platinum-rated medical nonprofit organisation that deploys volunteers to dangerous and difficult-to-reach areas around the globe to teach medicine to local health practitioners, run free dental and medical clinics, and support communities after a natural disaster. Team 5 also donates medical supplies, solar lights, and clean water units. Part of the World Health Organisation, the nonprofit is given special permission to enter areas that others cannot.
Hikvision cutting-edge thermal technology We appreciate the partnership with Hikvision and their monetary and technology contributions to the Team 5 Foundation"
“We appreciate the partnership with Hikvision and their monetary and technology contributions to the Team 5 Foundation. Hikvision’s investment will allow us to continue our life-changing campaigns in 2019 and their cutting-edge thermal technology contribution will allow us to be more efficient in our life saving efforts,” said Eric Linder, founder and CEO of Team 5.
Hikvision’s gaming business development manager and U.S. Air Force veteran Scott Bartlett is a Team 5 volunteer. “We perform surgeries and provide basic health services for indigenous peoples and educate the tribes on best practices for general healthcare as well as midwife best practices,” he said.
Thermal PTZ camera
“At Hikvision we have a saying, 'See Far, Go Further,' and this business philosophy beautifully aligns with the Team 5 organisation as a group of dedicated military veterans who are willing to go where other humanitarian organisations will not to help some of the most remote needs on the planet,” said Jeremy Howard, Hikvision vice president of vertical business development.
Hikvision also donated a thermal PTZ camera that will be installed on a Team 5 Toyota Quick Response Vehicle, and Hikvision donated a thermal scope for Team 5's online annual silent auction. Hikvision’s Howard announced the donations at the annual Team 5 fundraiser kickoff dinner in Las Vegas.
There’s almost no installation that goes 100-percent smoothly in the field of video surveillance. Unexpected issues routinely arise that can increase time on the job, cost of the project and frustration. Manufacturers work on the product side to help ensure their products are easy to install and – when troublesome situations do arise – are flexible enough for installers to quickly find a remedy.
Importance of ease of installation Ease of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labour is variable
Ease of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labour is variable and can be very expensive. In some cases, the cost of labour to install a camera can be more than the cost of the camera! If labour costs are high – or are more expensive than a system integrator planned – they can lose a great deal of money on a project.
If a cautious system integrator includes too high of an estimate for labour in a project bid, his overall bid will to high and it could cost him the project. The easier the camera is to install, the lower the labour cost, subsequently achieving higher savings for end-users. Hence it is essential that camera manufacturers develop products that are easy to install or are flexible in the field for system integrators and installers who know that time is money.
Enterprise projects can involve thousands of cameras installed
Simplifying installation of cameras
Camera installation typically involves an electrician, the camera installer and the person who configures the VMS (Video Management Software). Of course, one person can play all three roles, and in many cases, does, but enterprise projects can involve dozens, hundreds or even thousands of cameras with teams of individuals involved in an installation.
The electrician runs conduit with an electrical or PoE (Power over Ethernet) connection to the housing or the backplate of the camera; the installer then installs the camera at that location, hooking it up to power; and then a configurator adds cameras to the network and makes adjustments – renaming the camera, setting the frame rate, enabling WDR (Wide Dynamic Range), and the like.
When it’s a project that involves different players for any of these functions, there is the potential for a bottleneck and delay in project completion. And if a system integrator is paying an electrician, installer and software configurator – and they are all three on site waiting for each other to finish – that’s a system integrator’s worst-case scenario.
Enhancement through modular cameras
Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take different roles
Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take the different roles of electrician, installer and configurator into consideration, allowing them to complete their tasks independently. With a focus on modular design which includes a USB dongle, a device manager, magnetic module and included accessories, the Wisenet X series Plus is one of the fastest cameras to install, service and upgrade – saving installers time and money.
Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a detachable camera module that utilise magnets to lock into the housing for instant configuration. Electricians can run conduit with a single PoE connection to the back plate/housing while the configurator is working on configuring the camera module, allowing security professionals to later snap the camera into place in just minutes. The VMS configurator can then come and add the cameras to the network and program their functionality.
Modular cameras offer flexibility
In the past, an end user might determine after the camera is installed that there aren’t enough pixels on target, or they need certain different functions like video analytics for example, resulting in the time-consuming replacement of the entire camera.
With modular-designed cameras, the camera module can be swapped with a new one without having to focus or replace the camera – even to change the resolution or field of view, also Wisenet X series Plus has optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view and the position of the camera lens.
Making camera adjustments in the field is also now easier and perhaps even safer. Installers have been known to climb a ladder and juggle a bulky laptop to access the network to be able to see video of how the camera is positioned. Or they’ve had to use analogue video output to view the video feed on a separate monitor which provides the field of view, but not megapixel quality. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera
Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a USB port that allows installers to connect it to a small dongle that converts the camera to a Wi-Fi device. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera.
It’s a much easier way to evaluate video while at the camera. Eliminating the second person looking at live view on a computer guiding through a cellphone to the installer to accurately point the camera to the proper position.
If system integrators can do some of the legwork prior to even getting on site, it can reduce cost and improve efficiency. Imagine having 300 cameras ready to send to a project site. To configure those cameras, a system integrator has to take each camera out of the box, plug each into a switch, configure it, take it off of the switch and put it back in the box.
To improve this process, camera manufacturers have now developed packaging that provides access to the camera port without even having to remove it from the box. It’s an innovative solution that saves time.
Modular cameras have optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view
Software programs help in enhancing installation
Whether it’s a one-man show or a team of electricians, installers and configurators, software programs can greatly enhance the installation process. Device managers are important tools in adding multiple cameras to a project. Using that 300-camera project, for example, it’s easier when a manufacturer has a device manager that allows the mass programming and configuration of cameras.
Adding 300 cameras one by one is time consuming and leaves room for error when making so many multiple entries. A device manager should be able to scan the network and locate its devices, allowing them to be grouped, configured and much more.
Every video surveillance camera project is going to have its ups and downs. But camera manufacturers can do their part in the production process to address the many issues known to slow down progress. It’s impressive that many are taking the lead in producing innovations like modular camera design, flexibility in the field and accessible packaging that can truly reduce installation cost and improve efficiency.
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%.
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.)
Constantly optimising deep learning algorithms yields better video analytics performance, even in complex applications such as facial recognition or in scenarios with variable lighting, angles, postures, expressions, accessories, resolution, etc.
Deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence (AI), holds the potential to enable video analytics to deliver on long-promised, but not often delivered performance. Our AI series continues here with part 2.
Adapting existing hardware
Today, low-cost system-on-chip (SoC) camera components enable deep neural network (DNN) processing for the next generation of intelligent cameras, thus expanding the availability of AI processing to a broader market.
AI software can even add learning capabilities by adapting existing hardware to AI applications
AI software can even add learning capabilities by adapting existing hardware to AI applications. Today’s smartphones include cameras, gyroscopes and accelerometers to provide sufficient data to drive AI applications. Software can adapt existing hardware to transform them into AI devices capable of continuous learning in the field. Inside a video camera, real-time deep learning processing can be used to detect discarded objects, issue loitering alarms and detect people or objects entering a pre-defined field.
Data capture form to appear here!
Detect anomalous data
Additional capabilities are applicable to demanding environments and mission-critical applications, such as the perimeter protection of airports, critical infrastructures and government buildings, border patrol, ship-tracking and traffic-monitoring (e.g. wrong-way detection, traffic-counts and monitoring roadsides for parked cars: all vital video security solutions).
IoT is transforming the lowly security camera from a device that simply captures images, into an intelligent sensor that plays an integral role in gathering the kind of vital business data that can be used to improve commercial operations in areas beyond security. For example, cities are transitioning into smart cities. Deep learning enables systems to search surveillance footage, to detect anomalous data, and to shift surveillance from post-incident response to providing alerts during, or even before, an event.
The ability of deep learning for video analytics is much more sophisticated and accurate
Make critical decisions
Deep learning can eliminate previous video analytics limitations such as dependence on a scene’s background. Deep learning is also more adept than humans at discerning subtle changes in an image. The ability of deep learning for video analytics is much more sophisticated – and accurate – than the programmed approaches previously employed to identify targets.
AI is a timely solution in an age when there is more video surveillance than ever. There are too many cameras and too much recorded video for security operators to keep pace with. On top of that, people have short attention spans. AI is a technology that doesn’t get bored and can analyse more video data than humans. Systems are designed to bring the most important events and insight to users’ attention, freeing them to do what they do best: make critical decisions.
Multiple camera streams
AI can reduce information overload to enable humans to work with the data more efficiently
The video benefits reflect the larger goal of AI to amplify human skills. AI can reduce information overload to enable humans to work with the data more efficiently. Another benefit is faster search, and new systems make searching video as easy as searching the internet. AI enables specific people or cameras to be located quickly across all the cameras at a site. Searching can be directed by a reference images or by physical descriptors such as gender or clothing colour.
Consider a scenario of a child missing from a crowded shopping mall: Every second can seem like hours, and artificial intelligence and neural networks can enable a rapid search among multiple camera streams using only one photo of the child. The photo does not have to be a full-frontal passport-type photos; it could be a selfie from a party as long as the face is there.
Intrusion detection scenario
AI can find her and match her face from among hundreds of thousands of faces captured from video, in nearly real time. AI can also continuously analyse video streams from the surveillance cameras in its network, distinguishing human faces from non-human objects such as statues and animals. Privacy concerns are minimal as there is no ID or personal information on the photo, and the image can be erased after use. And there is no database of stored images.
In a perimeter security/intrusion detection scenario, an AI-driven video system can avoid false alarms by easily distinguishing different types of people and objects, e.g., in a region set up to detect people, a car driving by, a cat walking by, or a person’s shadow will not trigger the alarm.
Part three coming soon. If you missed part one, see it here.
Choosing the right server for a video surveillance application comes down to one question: What does the customer expect from the system?
Is it a retail location with two cameras that only needs video stored for 24 hours? Does the system need failover protection? What are the ramifications if a system goes down? Does business have to stop? How fast does the customer need to have access to video? Is it a regulated industry where immediate access is a requirement? How mission-critical is the video system to operations?
Mission critical video surveillance solutions
Such questions can point video system designers to the right technology for an application, and a manufacturer and reseller with a wide product offering ensure that the perfect solution is available and can be shipped quickly. It’s important to remember that this is not a “one size fits all” marketplace.
Questions need to be asked on what an appropriate server solution will provide for the customer
1) JBOD - It stands for "just a bunch of disks" and refers to a collection of hard disks that have not been configured to work together. This approach is typical of stand-alone systems such as a retailer who has one or two cameras recording locally at a remote location, and who have a tolerance for occasionally losing video footage.
2) RAID 5/6 is a redundant array of independent disks in which data is stored across all the disks. The configuration provides more redundancy and reliability, better balance of disk usage, and more throughput and performance.
RAID 5/6 is a redundant array of independent disks in which data is stored across all the disks
3) SAN or storage area network is a type of centralised storage providing enhanced accessibility to disk arrays. SAN provides high performance but is not as easy to expand. It is also less expensive than NAS systems.
4) NAS or network-attached storage is another type of centralised data storage. NAS systems are networked appliances containing storage drives. Benefits include faster data access, easier administration and simple configuration. NAS systems are easier to expand than SAN but provide less performance. NAS systems fit well in situations where customers have massive storage needs (or expect to in the future.) These are applications with lots of cameras and a need to retain high-frame-rate video for 180 days or longer. Typical uses include sports arenas, large cities, universities, corporate campuses and airports.
Immediate access to video
Highly available systems, such as SAN or NAS, are needed in any regulated industry. For example, in the cannabis grower market, an end user might need immediate access to video to show a compliance regulator.
Gaming is another market in which immediate access to video is critical, and, for example, if a video system goes down at a table game, the gaming has to shut down, which is an expensive prospect to the casino. Therefore, reliability is critical.
Video’s benefits beyond safety and security can also help to justify the costs of more expensive system
Importance of video in risk mitigation
In some instances, video is used primarily to manage risk, for example in litigation (or to avoid litigation) in a slip-and-fall claim or other court action. This is referred to as Loss Prevention. The ability to save thousands of dollars (or millions) by averting an expensive legal verdict can go a long way toward justifying the costs of systems.
Video’s benefits beyond safety and security, such as for marketing and business analytics, can also help to justify the costs of more expensive systems.
Identifying the right video server equipment
Offering a variety of choices, and adapting those systems to specific applications, ensures customer satisfaction
“A tradeoff of cost and needed functionality is at the center of decisions when buying server systems for video applications,” says Tom Larson, Chief Technology Officer, BCDVideo. “Identifying specifically what the customer needs from the system, and how important it is to meet those needs, points to the right choice in video server equipment.
"Various technologies have advantages and some downsides, and it is the customer’s need for those advantages (and tolerance for the downsides) that determines which server equipment is right for the job.”
Offering a variety of choices, and adapting those systems to specific applications, ensures customer satisfaction. The systems builder can help integrators analyse the site and project requirements and translate those into the right equipment and networking choices. What does the customer need and how much are they willing to pay for it? The real determination is “how important is the video?”
AI Is currently a buzzword in the physical security industry, and it is also a force that has the potential to transform the industry. Following are the basics of AI (and the related term “deep learning") in part one of our AI series.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the broad computing category referring to intelligence that is displayed by a machine, as opposed to a living creature. Informally, AI refers to machines that mimic the cognitive functions we associate with living creatures, such as learning and problem-solving.
Trends driving growth in AI
Three trends in the computer industry are driving rapid growth in artificial intelligence. The trends are:
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Video surveillance data makes up 60 percent of Big Data, and the amount is rising 20 percent annually Emergence of computer hardware capable of solving complex calculations, specifically graphics processing units (GPUs, which use “parallel processing” instead of “serial processing” used by familiar central processing units [CPUs]). Multiple computations are carried out simultaneously, in parallel rather than in a series. It’s a more scalable approach: Large problems are divided into lots of smaller problems that can be solved at the same time.
Development of programming approaches to “train” systems more effectively, specifically neural networks, which work in conjunction with the parallel processing of GPUs. A neural network is a computing system made up of numerous simple, highly interconnected processing elements, typically organised in layers, with each layer made up of interconnected nodes. As each layer computes a result, that result determines the input for the next layer. There may be more than a hundred layers, which enables processing of large amounts of data into complex classifications.
A proliferation of sensors (including video cameras) that produce a large enough mass of data to enable systems to be “trained” effectively (a.k.a., “Big Data”). The proliferation of “Big Data” ensures there is plenty of data for training. Video surveillance data makes up 60 percent of Big Data, and the amount is rising 20 percent annually. This proliferation of data feeds artificial intelligence and increases capabilities for a range of systems.
Training of an AI-powered system
In a neural network operating on a GPU, learning rules modify the weights (importance) of connections; each layer has a different “weighting” that reflects on what was learned at the previous layer. When presented with a data pattern (such as a video image), the neural network analyses what the pattern might be.
Deep learning involves use of large amounts of data from which the system can “learn” in a neural network
Training involves determining how far the initial answer is from the actual one and making appropriate adjustment in the connection weights. In highly simplified terms, that’s how the system “learns.” There are multiple stages of classification, almost like filters, with each guiding the path to a correct analysis.
Deep learning is part of a broader family of machine learning methods and the concept that is most relevant to the video market. Deep learning involves use of large amounts of data (for example, video images) from which the system can “learn” in a neural network.
Deep learning in video surveillance systems
By being exposed to many instances of data, deep learning systems discern patterns and begin to generaliseThe interconnected processing elements of a neural network, working in parallel on a graphics processing unit (GPU) to solve a problem, are designed to mimic the human brain and its billions of interconnected neurons. This aspect of artificial intelligence, known as deep learning, is the basis for a new family of video surveillance systems offering superior performance to historic systems.
This approach is poised to transform the effectiveness of video surveillance systems. Historically, computers have been programmed using video analytics algorithms. In contrast, deep learning systems are “trained.” If you want to identify a cat, you provide lots of images of cats, data which the system breaks down into smaller components and looks for commonalities. It then “learns” the common characteristics among the examples.
To maximise training, the more data a system is presented, the more refined it becomes – i.e., the more it “learns.” By being exposed to many instances of data, deep learning systems discern patterns and begin to generalise.
From training to inference
Deep learning can achieve super-human pattern recognition accuracy, resist interference, and classify and recognise thousands of featuresWhile a computer programmer might spend months writing instructions to tell a computer what a car looks like, a neural network can “learn” by being exposed to many examples – no additional programming involved. But training a neural network is also time-consuming; it might take hours or days to complete. Training is also computationally intensive.
However, once a neural network has been trained, it can be used to “infer,” for example, to decide whether a new image is a cat. Inference is less computationally intensive, which enables deployment of trained systems on devices such as network video recorders (NVRs) or even in video cameras at the network edge.
Deep learning can achieve super-human pattern recognition accuracy, resist interference, and classify and recognise thousands of features. Those qualities make it especially useful for video analytics applications.
Part two coming soon.
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.
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.”
Most retailers invest in a video surveillance solution to improve security. Many also use it as an investigation tool to help resolve customer disputes, liability claims and reduce losses from theft and fraud.
Intelligent video solutions
Complete Releaf relies on its intelligent video solution for all of those reasons, however compliance with state regulations was the primary objective when CEO and owner Eric Ryant started looking for a video system for his new, 3,000 square foot cannabis dispensary in Lafayette, Colorado.
Unlike many other types of retail environments, cannabis dispensaries must comply with strict rules governing the type of video surveillance equipment used, where cameras and equipment are placed, and how long video evidence must be retained.
Already familiar with the regulations based on his experience operating a second dispensary and a cultivation centre in Lafayette, Colorado, Ryant sourced multiple bids for his new video solution.
In the end, I selected the March Networks proposal. It had everything I was looking for, including POS integration, and additional capabilities"
“Once all the bids were in, I went through the process of analysing each one and ended up narrowing the contenders down to two,” said Ryant. “In the end, I selected the March Networks proposal from our systems integrator, Falcon Networks. The solution had everything I was looking for, including POS integration, and additional capabilities I thought might be useful down the road. It met all of the compliance criteria, and the price was comparable.”
Prior to opening the boutique dispensary in January 2018, Ryant worked with its system integrator to design and install a fully-compliant video solution.
IR dome cameras
Today, IR dome cameras mounted inside the dispensary capture clear 4MP video of all activity at entrances and exits, in storage and equipment rooms, and at each point-of-sale (POS) system. In addition, 360° cameras are installed above the sales floor and in every corner to provide further panoramic coverage. The 360° cameras are also installed on the dispensary’s exterior to capture people entering and exiting, as well as any activity in the surrounding parking lot and back loading area.
The cameras were selected and placed strategically to ensure that the system meets multiple legislated requirements, such as recording all activity occurring within 20 feet of any ingress/egress point, capturing clear video in all lighting conditions, and making sure that the recorded video is sharp enough to identify customer and employee facial features at each POS.
Hybrid network video recorder
At the centre of Complete Releaf’s video solution is a hybrid network video recorder (NVR)
At the centre of Complete Releaf’s video solution is a hybrid network video recorder (NVR). The recorder provides IP and analog video capture and unparalleled reliability through features such as diagnostic LEDs, an internal battery backup, and a customised embedded Linux operating system. All IP channel licenses are included with the recorder, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for the dispensary.
Equally important, the recorder provides Complete Releaf with 32TB of internal storage, so it is compliant with the state’s 40-day video retention requirement.
“Essentially, we need 100 percent coverage with no ‘blind spots’ on our retail floor, and a clear picture of people’s faces. It’s a truly reliable product, and we’ve had no difficulties achieving our 40 days of archived video,” said Ryant.
Searchlight intelligent software
While security and compliance were both top priorities for Ryant, finding a video solution that would also help him run Complete Releaf more efficiently – and profitably – was also important. That’s why he’s so pleased with the March Networks Searchlight for Retail application software he is also using.
The intelligent software enables Ryant and his team to proactively identify and review suspect transactions using integrated video and transaction data pulled from the dispensary’s Green Bits POS system. It provides them with an easy-to-use loss prevention tool that reduces the time it takes to investigate incidents from hours to minutes. It also arms them with strong video and data evidence to support successful prosecutions or recoveries.
Ryant is also testing the Searchlight application in his cultivation facility
“Having video surveillance in our dispensary definitely deters theft,” said Ryant. “Combining the video with transaction data goes a step further and really causes people to think twice before they do something they’ll probably regret.”
Radio Frequency Identification tags
Ryant is also testing the Searchlight application in his cultivation facility, taking advantage of the software’s ability to integrate with data from the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags he is required to add to each plant through the cultivation process as part of Colorado’s Inventory Tracking System (Metrc).
The software would enable Ryant to leverage his RFID investment by making the data searchable in the dashboard and tying it to recorded video. If there’s ever an incident during the cultivation process, Ryant could use the software to easily locate the video footage to see what actually happened and who was involved.
Following the recent successful installation of 360 Vision Technology’s new Invictus ruggedised PTZ camera by a north London borough, the same borough has now rolled-out over 100 Invictus cameras across seven Greater London towns.
With an early success in prosecuting serious crime following the deployment of Invictus, its highly effective night-time HD quality colour video footage proved to be just one of the useful attributes of the UK manufactured camera, when a recent significant impact by a vehicle to a camera column tested its suitability for roadside deployment.
The Invictus camera took the high-speed impact in its stride and showcased its ‘Attack Detect’ feature, automatically resetting to the last viewing position prior to being forcibly moved from its previous viewing direction, and with no damage to the camera or its direct drive PTZ mechanism.
Based on our experience, 360 Vision’s Invictus camera was the obvious choice for us to recommend to this important Local Authority customer"
Importance of ruggedised cameras
Commenting on the broader roll-out of Invictus cameras, DSSL Group’s Works Director, Aaron Stephens, who specified the 360 Vision Technology cameras confirmed: “The importance of selecting a product that is ‘fit for purpose’ when being deployed roadside in a town centre is often overlooked by some companies, who deploy non-ruggedised cameras purely on the basis of cost. If a PTZ camera were to fall from height following an impact, which is a real risk, there would be a substantial public health and safety incident.
“At DSSL, we take a holistic view to consider the surveillance needs at each individual location, to ensure that all aspects of camera deployment are taken in to consideration. Based on our experience, 360 Vision’s Invictus camera was the obvious choice for us to recommend to this important Local Authority customer.”
The expanded installation takes the total number of Invictus cameras to over 100; and allied to wireless links forming a major part of the system’s infrastructure, comment has been made regarding the superb quality of the Invictus camera video over wireless infrastructure.
Simplified surveillance operation
Our close technical partnership with 360 Vision Technology has enabled deep systems integration and control of the Invictus cameras"In a market often dominated by imported Far East products, the integration of Genetec Security Center and high-performance Invictus PTZ cameras has proven the effectiveness of two Commonwealth technology providers.
Commenting on the camera/control technology collaboration, Genetec Country Manager, Paul Dodds said: “Our close technical partnership with 360 Vision Technology has enabled deep systems integration and control of the Invictus cameras. Genetec Security Center unified platform and Omnicast video surveillance has been used to seamlessly blend full Invictus camera menu control, within a single intuitive interface. 360 Vision cameras are a Genetec certified product on our supported device list.
This successful deep integration has simplified the London borough’s surveillance operation and effective management. We value all of our technology partnerships, and especially with manufacturers such as 360 Vision Technology, who offer reliability with their Invictus PTZ cameras, as illustrated here across seven north London towns.”
Reducing carbon footprint
With a focus on reducing carbon footprint, we are continually working towards reductions in camera power consumption"Adrian Kirk, Strategic Account Director at 360 Vision commented on the green credentials of Invictus, which was a factor in the overall decision by DSSL to specify the camera: “With a focus on reducing carbon footprint, we are continually working towards reductions in camera power consumption.
“On larger projects like this, the savings on energy and reduction in associated pollution offers significant advantages over Far East camera alternatives, helping Local Authority end-user system operators to meet their carbon footprint reduction goals.
“With a host of performance and user centric operational benefits, Invictus is well placed to feature extensively in future Local Authority upgrades, as customers look at total cost of ownership and the need to ensure CCTV equipment deployed road side is fit for purpose.”
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions announces that the South Grand Community Improvement District (CID) in St. Louis, Missouri is using the Genetec Stratocast cloud-based video monitoring system to deter license plate theft in its parking lot and provide video access to the local police department to help reinforce security.
License plate theft
One of the services offered by the South Grand CID is free parking. At any time of the day, drivers can park in a central parking lot to visit businesses or residents. While this lot has always been convenient and safe, license plate theft was troubling nearby areas.
Video recordings are sent over a wireless network which connects to the South Grand CID main office
To deter license plate theft in their own community, the South Grand CID board decided to add video surveillance to the lot. Currently, three cameras monitor the entire 90-space parking lot. Video recordings are sent over a wireless network which connects to the South Grand CID main office, just a few blocks away from the lot. With this cloud-based video monitoring system, Rachel Witt, Executive Director at South Grand CID, can quickly and easily view video from anywhere, at any time.
Cloud video system
“Using the cloud video system, I am able to find and view the video in seconds. I can narrow down my search based on dates and time and watch the event unfold with all camera feeds up on the monitor. It’s really that simple,” commented Witt.
Only two weeks after installing the Stratocast video monitoring system, a visitor reported that their license plates had been stolen. “The visitor provided a description of the car, and a timeframe in which the incident likely happened. Using the Stratocast system, I was able to find and view the video in seconds. I could clearly see the suspect enter the lot, remove the plates and leave in his own car. Since the police are very busy here, I was able to bookmark the video recording and then notify them that the video was ready,” said Witt.
View video recordings
Stratocast has made it easy for the South Grand CID to give video access to local police so that when a crime is reported in the district, officers can immediately begin to conduct investigations without leaving their desks.
While the South Grand CID manages and owns the Stratocast solution, officers can log into the system and view video recordings when required
While the South Grand CID manages and owns the Stratocast solution, officers can log into the system and view video recordings when required. This is enabled by the Genetec Federation feature, which gives an organisation access to manage multiple independent Genetec systems as one. A memorandum of understanding was signed so each parties’ responsibilities are clear.
Better sense of safety
“Instead of driving over and picking up a DVD, officers can directly access video from our cameras to see what happened. Not only does it help speed up investigations, it saves officers’ valuable time,” continued Witt. The installation of Stratocast is not only helping to reduce license plate theft but it is also helping residents and visitors feel safer than ever.
“Business owners, residents, and visitors have a better sense of safety when they know cameras are up. But they also need to know that we’re equipped to respond quickly to any disturbance. And that’s what Stratocast helps us achieve. With the addition of Stratocast, we’re able to show everyone that we have strengthened the security in our community,” concluded Witt.
The year ahead holds endless promise for the physical security industry, and much of that future will be determined by which technologies the industry embraces. The menu of possibilities is long – from artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things to the cloud and much more – and each technology trend has the potential to transform the market in its own way. We tapped into the collective expertise of our Expert Panel Roundtable to answer this question: What technology trend will have the biggest impact on the security market in 2019?
Cybersecurity continues to be a major theme in the physical security industry, but effective cybersecurity comes at a cost. Higher cost is contrary to another major trend in the market: lower product pricing, which some have characterised as a ‘race to the bottom’. Chinese manufacturers, whose products tend to have lower prices, have been the target of cybersecurity concerns and even a government ban. So what is the overall impact of cybersecurity on pricing trends in video products? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Are cybersecurity concerns slowing down the ‘race to the bottom’ (i.e., the dominance of lower-cost cameras)?
In today’s global economy, goods are manufactured all over the world and shipped to customers thousands of miles away. Where goods are manufactured thus becomes a mere detail. However, in the case of “Made in China”, the location of a manufacturer has become more high-profile and possibly more urgent. The U.S. government recently banned the use in government installations of video system components from two Chinese manufacturers, presumably because of cybersecurity concerns. A simmering trade war between China and the United States also emphasises other concerns related to Chinese manufacturing. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Should "Made in China" be seen as a negative in the video surveillance marketplace? Why or why not?