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End users can add security, safety and business intelligence – while achieving a higher return on investment at their protected facilities – with live streaming video. It can be deployed effectively for IP video, network video recorders (NVRs) and body-worn cameras. The growing use of streaming video is resulting in vast technological developments and high-end software that promotes reduced bandwidth, high scalability and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Here’s how users can add value to security with live streaming video and what they should look for in the procurement of technology solutions. Questions are answered by Bryan Meissner, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of EvoStream. Q: What is live streaming video and how does it apply to physical security? BM: In its simplest and most popular form, video streaming allows users to watch video on PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. According to GO-Globe, every 60 seconds more than 400 hours of video are uploaded and around 700,000 hours watched. The key to effective video streaming is for the platform to be able to adapt to the limits of the internet or network connection so the viewer gets an unbridled experience without buffering or signal loss. Live video streaming in security applications leverages a variety of connected devices, appliances and services including the cloud, mobile platforms, IP cameras and NVRs, becoming an enabling technology for more effective, real-time data capture at the protected premises. It reduces bandwidth costs and infrastructure operating requirements by streaming directly from cameras, mobile devices, drones, body worn units and loT devices to browsers, phones and tablets. The best solutions optimise the experience for the user and permit image capture and retrieval from Android, iOS, browser platforms or directly from cameras or NVRs—streaming to wherever the user desires. Quality live streaming applications provide clear, real-time images and retrieve high-resolution video that can be used for evidence, identification, operations management or compliance regulation and control. The most cost-effective solutions offer minimal hardware requirements, lower overall operating expenses and promote high scalability – even integration with many legacy security management platforms. Q: What are some challenges of live streaming video and how are those being addressed by new technology? BM: Live streaming video can present challenges when a solution isn’t designed specifically for the security infrastructure. End users need to look for forward-thinking software and firmware solutions which offer reduced bandwidth requirements, high scalability and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) or they will be disappointed with the results and costs of maintaining services for end users. The technology is changing rapidly, so only providers who focus on innovation can keep pace and future-proof the user and their facility. To be most effective, video needs to be able to stream consistently and reliably to and from a host of different devices, platforms, browsers and mediums, on-premises servers or the cloud. Video footage needs to be obtained quickly and deliver critical metadata, with built-in cyber safeguards and hardening such as automatic encryption and authentication. The most competent live video streaming lets users integrate with and run on any platform, appliance or device Q: What do end users need to look for in solutions for effective video streaming? BM: Implementing a live streaming video platform should result in greater efficiency and reduced operational costs. Live video streaming to and from a variety of connected devices, appliances and services requires sub-second latency from image capture to delivery. It also needs to be as open and agnostic as possible – spanning multiple technologies, standards and protocols and giving the user enhanced flexibility for their specification. The most competent live video streaming lets users integrate with and run on any platform, appliance or device including standalone servers, server racks, public, private and hybrid clouds and other distribution channels using the same application programming interface or API. Streaming should also support the latest codecs, such as H.264 and H.265 along with widely specified protocols for the distribution of that video. Q: What are some of the trending technological developments in live streaming video applications? BM: Traditional video streaming consumes exorbitant amounts of bandwidth and users pay for video routed through their servers. Some of the latest capabilities, such as peer-to-peer streaming, HTML5 media players, metadata integration and cost-effective transcoding via RaspberryPi enhance overall processing and ultimately strengthen the user experience. Peer-to-peer is a critical, emerging component in effective video streaming. With peer to peer, video does not go through servers but instead streams directly between the camera and the end-user’s phone, for example, eliminating that cost of bandwidth from the platform while still permitting exact control of content. Users stream live from cameras to any device, with the ability to authenticate and approve peering from the back-end infrastructure while enabling low-latency HTML5 without incurring excessive platform bandwidth costs. The explosion of live streaming video in IP video cameras, NVRs and body-worn cameras is driving a new category of high-end software offering reduced bandwidth, high scalability and lower TCO. It prepares users for new technology and the loT, eliminating the largest cost driver of hosted live streaming platforms – bandwidth. Applications that offer peer-to-peer streaming and other feature sets can help future proof the end-user’s investment and strengthen the value proposition for viewing or retrieving live or archived video effectively.
Everybody has been hooked on the discussions about Analogue HD or IP systems, but shouldn’t we really be thinking about WiFi and 5G connectivity, removing the need for expensive cabling? Are wireless networks secure enough? What is the potential range? Even the basic question about whether or not the network is capable of transferring the huge (and growing) amount of data required for High Res Video, which will soon be quadrupled with the advent of 4K and higher resolutions. The future of video surveillance monitors We have seen a massive uptake in 4K monitors in the security industry. While they have been relatively common in the consumer market, they are only now beginning to really take off in the CCTV market, and the advances in Analogue HD and IP technology mean that 4K is no longer the limited application technology it was just a few years ago. Relatively easy and inexpensive access to huge amounts of storage space, either on physical storage servers or in the cloud, both of which have their own positives and negatives, have really helped with the adoption of 4K. Having said that the consensus seems to be, at least where displays are concerned, there is very little need for any higher resolution. So, where next for monitors in CCTV? 8K monitors are present, but are currently prohibitively expensive, and content is in short supply (although the Japanese want to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics in 8K in 2020). Do we really need 8K and higher displays in the security industry? In my own opinion, not for anything smaller than 100-150+ inches, as the pictures displayed on a 4K resolution monitor are photo realistic without pixilation on anything I’ve seen in that range of sizes. The consensus seems to be, at least where displays are concerned, there is very little need for any higher resolution Yes, users many want ultra-high resolution video recording in order to capture every minute detail, but I feel there is absolutely no practical application for anything more than 4K displays below around 120”, just as I feel there is no practical application for 4K resolution below 24”. The higher resolution camera images can be zoomed in and viewed perfectly well on FHD and 4K monitors. That means there has to be development in other areas. Developments in WiFi and 5G What we have started to see entering the market are Analogue HD and IP RJ45 native input monitors. Whilst you would be forgiven for thinking they are very similar, there are in fact some huge differences. The IP monitors are essentially like All-In-One Android based computers, capable of running various versions of popular VMS software and some with the option to save to onboard memory or external drives and memory cards. These are becoming very popular with new smaller (8-16 camera) IP installs as they basically remove the need for an NVR or dedicated storage server. Developments in the area of WiFi and 5G connectivity are showing great promise of being capable of transferring the amount of data generated meaning the next step in this market would maybe be to incorporate wireless connectivity in the IP monitor and camera setup. This brings its own issues with data security and network reliability, but for small retail or commercial systems where the data isn’t sensitive it represents a very viable option, doing away with both expensive installation of cabling and the need for an NVR. Larger systems would in all likelihood be unable to cope with the sheer amount of data required to be transmitted over the network, and the limited range of current wireless technologies would be incompatible with the scale of such installs, so hard wiring will still be the best option for these for the foreseeable future. There will be a decline in the physical display market as more development goes into Augmented and Virtual Reality Analogue HD options Analogue HD options have come a long way in a quite short time, with the latest developments able to support over 4MP (2K resolution), and 4K almost here. This has meant that for older legacy installations the systems can be upgraded with newer AHD/TVI/CVI cameras and monitors while using existing cabling. The main benefit of the monitors with native AHD/TVI/CVI loopthrough connections is their ability to work as a spot monitor a long distance from the DVR/NVR. While co-axial systems seem to be gradually reducing in number there will still be older systems in place that want to take advantage of the benefits of co-axial technology, including network security and transmission range. Analogue technologies will eventually become obsolete, but there is still much to recommend them for the next few years. Analogue technologies will eventually become obsolete, but there is still much to recommend them for the next few years Another more niche development is the D2IP monitor, which instead of having IP input has HDMI input and IP output, sending all activity on the screen to the NVR. This is mainly a defence against corporate espionage, fraud and other sensitive actions. While this has limited application those who do need it find it a very useful technology, but it’s very unlikely to become mainstream in the near future. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Does the monitor industry as a whole have a future? In the longer term (decades rather than years) there will definitely be a decline in the physical display market as more and more development goes into AR (Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality depending on who’s definition you want to take) and VR (Virtual Reality). Currently AR is limited to devices such as smartphones (think Pokémon Go) and eyewear, such as the ill-fated Google Glass, but in the future, I think we’ll all have optical implants (who doesn’t want to be The Terminator or RoboCop?), allowing us to see whatever we decide we want to as an overlay on the world around us, like a high-tech HUD (Heads Up Display). VR on the other hand is fully immersive, and for playback or monitoring of camera feeds would provide a great solution, but lacks the ability to be truly useful in the outside world the way that AR could be. Something not directly related to the monitor industry, but which has a huge effect on the entire security industry is also the one thing I feel a lot of us have been oblivious to is the introduction of quantum computers, which we really need to get our heads around in the medium to long term. Most current encryption technology will be rendered useless overnight when quantum computers become more widespread. So, where does that leave us? Who will be the most vulnerable? What can we do now to mitigate the potential upheaval? All I can say for sure is that smarter people than me need to be working on that, alongside the development of the quantum computer itself. Newer methods of encryption are going to be needed to deal with the massive jump in processing power that comes with quantum. I’m not saying it will happen this year, but it is definitely on the way and something to be planned for.
Today, almost every employee carries with them a smart device that can send messages, capture, and record images and increasingly live-stream video and audio, all appended with accurate location and time stamping data. Provide a way for staff to easily feed data from these devices directly to the control room to report an incident and you have created a new and extremely powerful ‘sensor’, capable of providing accurate, verified, real-time multi-media incident information. You need only to watch the television when a major incident is being reported. The images are often from a witness at the scene who recorded it on their device. It is madness that it has until now been easier for people to share information around the world via Facebook and YouTube etc, in a matter of minutes, than it is to transmit it to those that need to coordinate the response. The public as an additional security and safety sensor In the UK, a marketing campaign designed by government, police and the rail industry is currently running. Aiming to help build a more vigilant network on railways across the country and raise awareness of the vital role the public can play in keeping themselves and others safe, the ‘See It. Say It. Sorted’ campaign urges train passengers and station visitors to report any unusual items by speaking to a member of rail staff, sending a text, or calling a dedicated telephone number. Essentially, the campaign is asking the public to be an additional safety and security sensor. However, with the help of the latest mobile app technology, it is possible to take things to a whole new level and this is being demonstrated by a large transport network in the US. This organisation recognised that the ideal place to begin its campaign of connecting smart devices to the control room as an additional sensor, was by engaging its 10,000 employees (incidentally, this is approximately twice the number of surveillance cameras it has). These employees have been encouraged to install a dedicated app on their mobile devices that enables them to transmit important information directly to the control room, as well as a panic button for their own safety. This data can be a combination of images, text, audio, video and even live-streaming, to not only make the control room aware of the situation but give them eyes and ears on the ground. For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information Combatting control room information overload For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information. For example, if an alert comes in about a fire on platform 3, the operator doesn’t necessarily require any of the information from the other sensors, nor does he need to verify it’s not a false alarm. He knows that the information received has been ‘verified’ in-person (it is also time and location stamped) and that there is an employee located in the vicinity of the incident, who they can now directly communicate with for a real-time update and to co-ordinate the appropriate response. Compare this to a 24/7 video stream from 5000 cameras. It is in stark contrast to the typical issue of sensors creating information overload. The employee only captures and transmits the relevant information, so in essence, the filtering of information is being done at source, by a human sensor that can see, hear, and understand what is happening in context. So, if an intruder is climbing over a fence you no longer need to rely on the alert from the perimeter alarm and the feed from the nearest camera, you simply send a patrol to the location based on what the person is telling you. Furthermore, if the control room is operating a Situation Management/PSIM system it will trigger the opening of a new incident, so when the operator receives the information they are also presented with clear guidance and support regarding how to best manage and respond to that particular situation. Transport networks are using staff and the public as additional safety and security sensors Application of roaming smart sensors To be clear, this is not to suggest that we no longer need these vitally important sensors, because we do. However, one major reason that we have so many sensors is because we cannot have people stationed everywhere. So, in the case of the US transit company, it has been able to add a further 10,000 roaming smart sensors. This can be applied to other industries such as airports, ports, warehouse operations, stadiums, and arenas etc. Now, imagine the potential of widening the scope to include the public, to truly incorporate crowdsourcing in to the day-to-day security function. For example, in May, it was reported that West Midlands Police in the UK would be piloting an initiative that is asking citizens to upload content relating to offences being committed. Leveraging existing hardware infrastructure Typically, when introducing any form of new security sensor or system, it is expected to be an expensive process. However, the hardware infrastructure is already in place as most people are already in possession of a smart device, either through work or personally. What’s more, there is typically an eager appetite to be a good citizen or employee, just so long as it isn’t too much of an inconvenience. Innovations in smart mobile devices has moved at such a pace that whilst many security professionals debate if and how to roll-out body-worn-cameras, members of the public are live-streaming from their full HD and even 4K ready phones. The technology to make every employee a smart sensor has been around for some time and keeps getting better and better, and it is in the pockets of most people around the world. What is different now is the potential to harness it and efficiently bring it in to the security process. All organisations need to do is know how to switch it on and leverage it.
Located in the South East of England, Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in the county of Hampshire. With Basingstoke as its largest town, the area is known for family-friendly living and is home to over 175,000 people. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council consists of 60 elected members who discuss local politics, municipal budgets and taxes at regular meetings. For full transparency with the members of their constituency, the council streams live video of all its meetings, including public votes, on their YouTube channel. Automatic camera control To ensure a high level of video production, the Borough Council decided to upgrade their conference system. After discussing their requirements with Andover-based system integrator VP Bastion, a fully IP-based DICENTIS Conference System from Bosch was installed. The system meets the council’s key priorities by offering the highest audio quality, full integration of live voting, built-in automatic camera control and direct streaming with speaker-name indication. Council members wanted the freedom to sit anywhere in the council chamber during council sessions Additionally, council members wanted the freedom to sit anywhere in the council chamber during council sessions – while still being automatically identifiable on camera – and the installation needed to accommodate for the limited desk space and cabling voids. The system includes 63 DICENTIS Discussion devices with touchscreens (to support the required voting and identification capabilities for council members), nine DICENTIS discussion-only devices for guest speakers, and automatic camera control software. High directive microphones All the discussion devices are mounted on raised brackets to maximise desk space and are equipped with high directive microphones to deliver crystal-clear audio. Council members have the freedom to sit at any seat in the meeting room, as the system automatically registers their presence at a specific location thanks to the NFC (Near Field Communication) card registration on the discussion devices. When a speaker activates its microphone, the system’s automatic camera control points the camera towards their location, zooming in and displaying their image on the big screen. Additional features were added to the installation thanks to DICENTIS’ compatibility with third-party software. Two companies – Arbor Media, European market leader in conference recording and streaming services, and MVI Engineering, expert in creating conference software solutions – worked together to create a webcasting and conference control software package that was integrated with the DICENTIS system. Integrated conference system The new DICENTIS system has supported a seamless and transparent democratic process This solution helped to fulfil all the Borough Council’s requirements, including report generation via live image feed and identification by name and party affiliation on the council’s YouTube channel. In addition to displaying the DICENTIS-enabled voting results on the council chamber’s big screen, it is now possible to share the voting results on the YouTube Live feed. Since the installation, the new DICENTIS system has supported a seamless and transparent democratic process at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. “Having a fully integrated conference system with audio-video feeds from meetings automatically streamed to the council’s YouTube channel was a must,” says Iain Steele, Director of VP Bastion. Behind the scenes, via the third-party MVI Engineering application, the system automatically upgrades to the latest software versions. These centralised updates save time and operating costs. With the potential to increase the system’s functionality and size in the upcoming years, the council has a future-proof and expandable conference solution from Bosch, which already supplies around 50 percent of councils in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
With roots dating back to the year 1948, Italian pharmaceutical company Alfasigma is dedicated to advancing the state of healthcare under the company motto, ‘Pharmaceuticals with Passion’. Headquartered in Bologna, the multinational corporation was created in 2017 by the merger between Alfa Wassermann and Sigma-Tau. As a result, Alfasigma now employs about 3,000 people and markets a wide range of therapeutic drugs in 18 countries including the US, China, Russia and several European countries with annual revenues of EUR 1.06 billion. In order to keep up with the company’s ongoing evolution while emphasising building protection, Alfasigma decided to update the infrastructure of its corporate offices in Milan and Bologna. This large-scale remodelling project also required updating the fire alarm, intrusion detection and video security systems at both facilities to the highest standards. Security cameras for outdoor surveillance On the exterior of the buildings, FLEXIDOME IP starlight 7000 VR cameras were installed to provide 24/7 securityAssuming a long-term perspective, Alfasigma management headed into the project with three key requirements: First, saving cost by refurbishing already installed system components such as intrusion and fire alarm detectors. Second, accommodating for future building expansions and saving additional costs by installing a future-proof and scalable system. And third, adding around-the-clock security to the building’s exterior through modern security cameras built for outdoor use. For this reason, Alfasigma commissioned Bosch as the one-stop provider to equip the Milan office – home to the International Division – as well as corporate headquarters in Bologna with an IP-based solution. The video security set-up includes high-definition DINION IP 5000 HD cameras connected to recording stations and offering 1080p resolution images at 30 fps. On the exterior of the buildings, FLEXIDOME IP starlight 7000 VR cameras were installed to provide 24/7 security. Recording at 1080p and 60fps, the cameras incorporate starlight technology to deliver relevant images even in challenging light conditions. Extremely weather-resistant, water-tight and able to withstand high impacts, the cameras are highly suited for outdoor use, confirmed by IP66, NEMA type 4X and IK10 rating and installation in mission-critical environments such as airports and government buildings worldwide. MAP 5000 installed with LSN detectors The new fire alarm system is interfaced with the voice alarm system Plena via Smart Safety Link“The video surveillance products are excellent and have impressed me the most. We are very satisfied, above all, with the high quality of the products,” said Stefano Borsarini, Facility, Maintenance and EHS Manager at Alfasigma facilities in Bologna and Milan. The cameras are supplemented by the intrusion panel Modular Alarm Platform MAP 5000 installed with LSN detectors – a large portion refurbished from the legacy system – to safeguard Alfasigma’s offices at night. Fire alarm is provided by the Modular Fire Panel 5000 Series with four loops, processing signals from 190 fire alarm detectors and 28 manual call points. The new fire alarm system is interfaced with the voice alarm system Plena via Smart Safety Link thus optimising the operational security via a monitored connection. Successfully installed and customised according to client specifications, the Bosch fire alarm, intrusion detection and video security solution maintains the safety of Alfasigma’s employees and property at both sites. It also fulfils the key customer requirement of accommodating for future expansions in a modular, IP-based system that is able to keep pace with Alfasigma’s rapid evolution as an innovative multinational company.
Decades of experience, innovative ideas, a strong commitment to quality, and a full range of first-class offset printing services: Mohn Media Mohndruck GmbH, a company of the Bertelsmann Printing Group, is one of Europe’s providers of printing and media services. At its facility in Gütersloh, Germany, some 2,000 employees are involved in professionally creating and executing tailored solutions for customers across a variety of industries. To avoid endangering staff and production, the company also has extremely high standards where the plant’s safety and security are concerned. And Bosch has supported the print specialists with advanced technology and services through multiple system generations. Cutting-edge solution The latest new project involved implementing a networked solution to improve fire safety “Again and again, we’ve been impressed by the innovative solutions that Bosch comes up with for us,” says Jörg Naumann, who heads the company’s fire brigade. “Bertelsmann has been partnering with Bosch for over 35 years, and for good reason.” The latest new project involved implementing a networked solution to improve fire safety in the eight-meter-high waste paper warehouses. On average, around 300 tons of paper are stored there at any given time. Problems in waste paper removal would directly impact production. To enable prompt responses to any fire events in these sensitive areas, the Bosch experts planned and implemented a cutting-edge solution. Fire detection system AVIOTEC, the first video-based fire detection system to be certified by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH (the VdS is an independent, renowned institution for enterprise safety and security, and harmonised body for international safety standards) plays a key role in it. Intelligent algorithms directly integrated in cameras reliably detect the first signs of any smoke or flame. This technology detects fires at their source much more reliably than conventional detectors Particularly in challenging large-volume buildings, this technology detects fires at their source much more reliably than conventional detectors, which are not triggered until smoke reaches them. The data generated by the new fire protection solution come together in the Bosch Video Management System. If AVIOTEC identifies a potentially dangerous situation in any of the waste paper warehouses, it immediately alerts the continuously staffed emergency service desk of the plant fire brigade. Building integration system The situation can then be checked on a video screen and appropriate steps will be initiated. The use of this innovative technology permits very early detection of any fires. This prevents major damage and resulting production downtimes, thus saving the company a great deal of time and money. To additionally enhance security and efficiency, all of the integrated on-site systems for fire protection and video security are managed by the Building Integration System from Bosch. As required, the security systems can be centrally or locally monitored and controlled by staff as appropriate. Not only Mohn Media benefits from this, but also all of the other companies of the Bertelsmann Printing Group operating at the same site.
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