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Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter And Magnus Ekerot On Smart Technology, "AIot", And Plans For 2021
Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter And Magnus Ekerot On Smart Technology, "AIot", And Plans For 2021

Q: Mr. Seiter, Mr. Ekerot, you both joined Bosch Building Technologies’ business unit Video Systems & Solutions as Senior Vice Presidents in March 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic was just beginning. How did your business unit get through 2020? Magnus Ekerot: The crisis was also felt at Bosch. At the same time, demand has risen for solutions that keep businesses open and protect people's health. We offer corresponding video solutions that can make a significant contribution to containing the pandemic.  Michael Seiter: Overall, we managed the past year well despite the challenges and have been growing again since the third quarter compared to 2019. We see good opportunities for further growth in 2021. Q: Has the Corona crisis again accelerated the development of smart technologies in the security technology market, and does the security market in contrast to most industries benefit from the crisis more than it suffers? Michael Seiter: The Corona crisis has definitely demonstrated that the future lies in data-driven solutions. Thanks to our product development strategy already being based on this, we at Bosch were very quickly able to develop new products for the ‘New Normal’ and to expand existing products accordingly. To give one or two examples: in cooperation with Philips, we very quickly developed a people counting solution for retail operations – smart Philips displays in conjunction with smart cameras from Bosch that provide protection for staff and customers. The In-Store Analytics software solution was also implemented with additional features. Shop owners can now make decisions based on customer movement data such as “Where do we position products to avoid queues or crowds?” HTD involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature  The latest highlight is the Bosch Human Skin Temperature Detection solution, in short HTD. This involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature at control points in offices, factory floors, or airports. The benefits of previously existing solutions on the market are sometimes called into question. Competitors are often unable to deliver what they promise because, for example, the measured temperature of the skin does not correspond to the core temperature of the person, or fluctuates, due to environmental influences. Therefore, we developed a software-based solution that, in compliance with GDPR, first allows people with potentially elevated body temperatures to be filtered out, and in a second step, allows medical personnel to perform a more targeted fever measurement. Q: You see a lot of potential for the video security industry in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. What specific opportunities do you mean, and how are you leveraging these technologies at Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: Bosch has committed itself fully to an “AIoT” – AI meets IoT – strategy. The development of AI algorithms and software, in general, is at Bosch significantly driven in the security space.  By AIoT, we specifically mean the networking of physical products and the deployment of artificial intelligence. With AI we aim to enable clients to understand events at an ever-deeper level and predict them in the future – the keyword being predictive – so that they can act proactively. This is particularly important for health and safety. An example is the Intelligent Insights solution where the user can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area. Q: From your point of view do you have an advantage over other suppliers when it comes to AI-based products in the video arena? Michael Seiter: The analysis and utilization of video data have long been front and center with us. Since 2016 we’ve been following the strategy of offering AI applications in the form of integrated intelligent video analytics as a standard in our network cameras. Data such as color, object size, object speed, and direction are all measured. Simply put, you can say this is seeing and understanding – which is the principle behind smart security cameras. Today it’s much more a question of intelligent, data-based solutions than collecting high-quality pictures and storing them for the record. Bosch has been investing heavily in AI for years, from which we can benefit greatly in our area. In the first quarter, for example, we will launch a vehicle detector based on deep learning that is already running on our cameras. This will create significant added value for our customers in the area of intelligent traffic control. Q: Mr. Ekerot, what advantages do customers have in AI-based video security from Bosch? Magnus Ekerot: A key advantage is strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms A key advantage is our strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms. Take the example of Camera Trainer, a machine learning software that can be directly uploaded to Bosch network cameras. The camera is thus trained up on recognizing objects and situations – tailored to the specific needs of our customers. If the camera detects the defined scenario, it performs a predefined action in real-time – for example, a count or an alarm. The latest example is our new camera platform Inteox. As a completely open camera platform, Inteox combines Bosch's intelligent video analytics with an open operating system. This allows programmers to develop specific software applications - or apps - for various application purposes. These can then be loaded onto cameras – the same principle as an app store for smartphones. To sum up, Bosch AI applications support customer-specific needs related to data analysis while enabling totally new applications within and beyond the video security market. Q: Can you name a specific current project where Bosch has deployed an AI-based solution? Magnus Ekerot: A current ground-breaking project using our smart cameras is being implemented as a pilot in the USA. Smart Ohio enables users to configure more intelligent traffic flows and thus ensure mobility, safety, and the efficient use of roads today and tomorrow. The new vehicle detector mentioned by Mr. Seiter also plays a central role here. Our overall goal is to provide connected smart sensor solutions for public and private transportation agencies to enable them to operate their roads safely and efficiently. The Intelligent Insights can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area Q: Mr. Seiter, you have been involved with the topic of mobility for some time. What experience from your previous job in the automotive business of Bosch might help you when it comes to further develop the video portfolio of Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: There's a lot to tell. First of all, the development of core algorithms for video-based solutions, whether for autonomous driving, for vehicle interior monitoring, or for our Bosch Building Technologies video systems, all come together at Bosch's Hildesheim location. This gives us considerable synergies and allows us to bring R&D results to market faster and more flexibly. Essentially, assisted driving systems use AI algorithms that process ever-increasing volumes of video data. Attempts are being made to imitate the human being and enable the vehicle to understand better the surrounding environment with its ‘eyes’. This predictive capability is especially critical with autonomous driving. For example, key questions include: “How should the car respond and what could potentially happen next?” “What kind of environment does it find itself in?” etc. There are many activities in this area at Bosch that in my new role in security we can also strongly benefit from. I am now bringing a lot of this experience and existing R&D achievements to Bosch Video Systems & Solutions, which also results in further synergies with our mobility division: At Stuttgart Airport, autonomous driving is already being implemented together with Mercedes-Benz and the parking garage operator Apcoa as part of the "Automated Valet Parking" project, or AVP for short, in which intelligent video systems from Bosch Building Technologies are making a significant contribution. Mr. Ekerot, you have a lot of experience in the video security area. Where do you position Bosch Building Technologies now in this market and what specific goals are you pursuing? Magnus Ekerot: Our clients are looking for reliable partners and products. We are a strong brand; you can rely on Bosch products. Bosch is a thought leader in video and a pioneer in AI applications in this field since 2016. Data security is everything to us: Our products conform to the EU’s GDPR regulations. Beyond that, we have an extensive camera portfolio that complies with the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for video security devices. This enables our portfolio to be deployed for example within US government buildings. We are planning to conclude more software maintenance agreements with our clients in 2021. These deliver investment and future security for our customers and include for example a ‘patch guarantee’ along with regular updates with new functionalities. This is the first step in a comprehensive plan to access new revenue channels for us and our partners delivering the best technology and excellent service to the end-user! Overall, many new products will be launched this year and this trend will intensify. Our goal is to establish new product families that follow a simple principle: “The development and delivery of disruptive, predictive video solutions that every user can trust because of the underlying sustainable forward-thinking mindset.” It’s been much discussed of late that Bosch is one of the very first companies globally that operates on a CO2-neutral basis. How does sustainability impact your business? Magnus Ekerot: IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection Our IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection. For example, our cameras are sustainable in that they remain up-to-date through software updates and needn’t be constantly exchanged for new ones. Our systems demonstrate sustainability also operationally as they can be managed remotely. System integrators don’t need to be physically present, thus avoiding unnecessary travel with its accompanying emissions. All in all, Bosch Building Technologies develops ways to accompany and support our clients in reaching their climate goals via new technologies. This can be done, for example, through improved energy efficiency, the total cost of ownership models, organizing and simplifying the supply chain, and helping our customers meet their social responsibilities. The Power of Bosch helps us here to leverage company-wide research to be two steps ahead, a shade faster, when it comes to new technologies and initiatives that our and future generations will benefit from. I should also say that I am personally very proud to work for a company that set an ambitious climate goal for itself and achieved it! Can you already share a preview of your technology innovations in 2021? Michael Seiter: We see great market potential for our cameras that use artificial intelligence and can be updated flexibly throughout their lifecycles. I have already mentioned the deep learning-based vehicle detector in our cameras. More such solutions – also for other applications where object and person recognition are important – will follow in the course of the year. And the best part is: with AI, the more data we collect and the more intelligently we use it, the better the solutions become and the more added value they bring to the customer. This will revolutionize our industry! Another example is our cloud-based solutions, for example for alarm monitoring. Here, we can now also integrate third-party cameras and, building on this, offer and jointly develop our intelligent software-based solutions. This gives our customers more opportunities to take advantage of the opportunities created by AI. The trend towards integration of the various security technologies seems to be driven mostly by the rapid progress in software development. Does this affect full-range suppliers such as Bosch and what specific plans for fully integrated security solutions do you have for the future? Michael Seiter: Naturally, this suits us as a full-scope supplier. Bosch solutions are deployed in many cross-domain client projects. We have experts for the different domains under one roof and a strong brand with the same quality promise for all areas. Nevertheless, it is always also about specific domain excellence. Only when you master all different areas and have profound and proven expertise in each of them you can succeed in integrated cross-domain projects. The respective business units craft their future strategies and innovation roadmaps with this in mind – as we do in the field of Video Systems & Solutions. Our business unit offers fully integrated Bosch video solutions that can be extended and operated on open systems. This is why we drive open platforms such as Inteox, to offer customers from a wide range of industries the right solutions. Our Bosch Integration Partner Program that we launched in 2012 is also heading in this direction – every product can be integrated into multiple other systems and VMS solutions. In summary: At Bosch, we are both a one-stop-shop, but also an open-system, meaning we offer customers maximum flexibility in their choice of products and services.

Surveillance In 2017: 360-degree Cameras  A Primary Device For Total Situational Awareness
Surveillance In 2017: 360-degree Cameras A Primary Device For Total Situational Awareness

The physical security market continues to experience growth as users look to capitalize on the promises of emerging technologies and because of this, 2017 proved to be a great year for Oncam. In fact, this year was the best year in Oncam's history in terms of sales, as 360-degree fisheye cameras have gone from being a “specialty” camera used only in certain applications to a primary device for enabling total situational awareness. Today, many of our customers leverage 360-degree cameras exclusively to provide extensive coverage inside a facility or in a large outdoor area, with traditional narrow field-of-view cameras used only at “choke” points. Increase In Cybersecurity Threats And Breaches At the end of 2016, we predicted a major trend this year would be an increase in cybersecurity concerns for users of physical security systems, and we were right. An increase in cybersecurity threats and breaches have put organizations on watch. Based on this and the adoption of more IT-centric infrastructure and protocols, there is significant collaboration between IT and physical security, and true “convergence” is finally starting to happen. The adoption of video analytics also continued to increase this year, as most video surveillance projects involved the use of some form of analytics and data analysis. Demand For Safeguards As we move into 2018, the trends of 2017 will roll over, and cybersecurity will continue to be a major issue. Suppliers of hardware and software will put an even greater emphasis being cyber secure and end users will increasingly demand safeguards. Additionally, the deployment and use of advanced analytics based on newer artificial intelligence-based technologies will continue to increase. It will be the technology providers that find ways to allow users to capture additional value from the information collected by security systems that will accelerate growth. Oncam made significant investments in new products that leverage analytics and cloud technologies. In 2018, we will continue to invest in the development of new products, with a focus on solutions for particular applications across industry segments. Beyond our technology advancements, we've invested significantly in boosting our sales force in the Americas and adding industry experts to ensure sustained customer and partner success with our solutions. From our vantage point, Oncam is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities for growth in the coming year.

Connected, Cyber-secure Solutions Will Lead The Security Market In 2018
Connected, Cyber-secure Solutions Will Lead The Security Market In 2018

2017 was quite an interesting and eventful year for the physical security industry. The economy has been robust and technology has become progressively sophisticated—with interactive services, cloud computing and network-based solutions taking charge to provide new insights to installers and their end-user customers. The Internet of Things is creating increasingly integrated solutions, with a heightened emphasis on total connectivity. Changing Security Expectations World events have also put the spotlight on the need for comprehensive security at public events, tourist attractions and schools and campuses. Security is an expectation and systems integrators are becoming trusted advisors to their customers, who are looking to them to solve problems or issues. Residential systems are more robust and now, are migrating to the commercial side of the business. There’s a blurring of the lines of technology—many of the products that come to the security industry originate from the consumer side. This proposition is also changing expectations by both residential and commercial customers, who want common, easy operation from their smartphone or user interface. Unexpected was some of the biggest deals in the industry, including acquisitions by dominant companies who grew even larger and continued ongoing consolidation on the manufacturing side. Those who remain will need to be progressive and step up their game with the latest proven technologies. Selling hardware isn’t the end game any longer. It’s providing solutions that generate revenue for security dealers and offer a solid return on investment for the end-user. In addition, solutions need to be easier for the user, and integrate many different systems and components across the enterprise. Cybersecurity Safeguards End users want to get the most out of their solutions—and they want to be able to have more than safety and security. They are looking for the types of products that yield insights into system performance and give them the data the need for greater control and to proactively address any challenges or problems before they occur. Downtime is not an option and therefore, there’s an increased emphasis on consistent power so solutions are always on and running reliably. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines Cybersecurity is a dominant conversation in the security industry these days and that buzz will continue into 2018. Because solutions are increasingly network connected, they have vulnerabilities that will have to be addressed by service providers and manufacturers. Manufacturers will need to take the upper hand in providing hardened products—testing and certifying for cybersecurity safeguards. That is not an easy task and can be expensive, but it needs to be done. Because cybersecurity is in constant evolution, many will go the route of outsourcing this component of their manufacturing to third parties well-versed in threat detection and hardening. Hardened products will also need to evolve with new emerging attacks. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines. Intelligent Access Control Solutions Manufacturers no longer operate in silos. They are working with systems integrators to more fully understand their needs and those of the end-user. Manufacturers are also partnering with technology providers—bringing in the expertise of others so their solutions are comprehensive and holistic. We will continue to see integration of formerly disparate components, open systems and open APIs. There will also be strong migration to access control systems with edge intelligence and power over Ethernet, leveraging existing cabling for network connectivity. The winners will be those who take the lead in providing cyber secured and hardened products, as well as companies who partner with others to bring best of breed solutions to market. The losers will be those who continue to develop proprietary, closed systems and fail to recognize the importance of network connectivity for real-time, proactive reporting. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7 Ongoing Partner Success LifeSafety Power® has been working consistently and diligently on elevating the status of power from unintelligent hardware device to network-connected component that yields rich data for the user and allows the installer to provide remote monitoring and managed power services. We have changed the paradigm of power but there’s additional work to do to get people to understand the new, critical role power plays in comprehensive enterprise and campus security. Now, security installers can help the end user know what’s happening with locks, access control, gates or other connected solutions and fix problems before they happen. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7. We have also had continued, ongoing successes with our many partners in the access control community and that’s where we will further focus our efforts in 2018—working with leading security solution providers to present the best technologies and solutions that are reliable, certified and present the types of insights security dealers need to offer customers to provide the highest levels of service. This will also help security dealers and integrators differentiate themselves and compete more effectively in the crowded marketplace.

Latest Aiphone news

Aiphone Provides Their IX Series Video Intercom For A Better Communication Link Between Truck Drivers At The Quarries
Aiphone Provides Their IX Series Video Intercom For A Better Communication Link Between Truck Drivers At The Quarries

A Southeastern U.S. company operating rock and asphalt quarries required a reliable, simple, and cost-effective way for truck drivers and dispatchers to communicate — often while in different states. Aiphone IX Series IP video intercoms provide an instant sight-and-sound connection via the company network. After loading their trucks at one of 10 Southeastern U.S. rock and asphalt quarries, drivers are required to stop at scales, weigh their loads, and check in with quarry dispatchers. Not all quarries had onsite dispatchers, sometimes the nearest dispatcher might be more than 100 miles away. Networked communications system For years, the quarries used IP-based video cameras to allow dispatchers to record license plate and other truck information and landline telephones to talk with drivers. But some drivers new to a quarry didn’t see the phone and would sit and wait as the lineup to use the scales grew longer. The almost constant line of trucks also made it difficult for a dispatcher to step away from the desk, even for a few minutes. Noise from the trucks’ diesel engines made communication difficult Noise from the trucks’ diesel engines and nearby quarry operations made communication difficult. And dispatchers required additional phone lines in order to talk with one another. Connect truck drivers and dispatchers with an easy-to-use, networked communications system that could stand up to an often harsh, and always noisy environment. Requirements of the Quarries were as follows. An intuitive system simple for all drivers to use, including those making their first visit to a quarry The ability to connect drivers with any currently available dispatcher on the company network A system able to operate outdoors in extreme heat and cold while delivering powerful, clear audio Several telephone lines “The same Aiphone IX Series system intercoms are used to connect the dispatchers to each other, alleviating the need for several telephone lines. Our customer hadn’t even asked for that.” Rex Free Owner, Amber Video & Audio Service. “From my standpoint, there is nothing more pleasing than working with a company that supports you. The fact I can pick up the phone and talk to somebody that knows what I do, is great. If it’s an intercom, it’s Aiphone, period.” Rex Free Owner, Amber Video & Audio Services. Necessary communications link The Aiphone IX Series video intercom provided the necessary communications link The Aiphone IX Series video intercom provided the necessary communications link. Dispatchers gained additional video information, while accepting or initiating calls to walk drivers through the weigh-in process. Calls from a quarry can now be handled by any dispatcher on the network — no matter how far away. Before leaving their desks, dispatchers can set stations to transfer calls to another office to avoid delays in processing drivers. To overcome ambient noise, the quarries’ systems integrator, Amber Video and Audio, added an amplifier and horn speaker to the first installed IX Series intercom. Handling intercompany communications However, the extra equipment was eliminated from future installations as the intercoms provided sufficient volume on their own. Also, the stainless steel IX Series models stood up to the rugged environment including limestone dust, extreme temperatures, and even the occasional grazing from a truck sideview mirror. As an added plus, the integrator suggested dispatchers use the IX Series intercoms to communicate with one another, resulting in the elimination of several costly telephone lines. The systems have performed so well there are plans to add more locations to handle intercompany communications.

Aiphone Provides IX Series Video Intercom To Enhance Visitor Management System For Littleton Public Schools
Aiphone Provides IX Series Video Intercom To Enhance Visitor Management System For Littleton Public Schools

Keeping out unwanted visitors is a major task in a district with 16,000 students, 2,500 employees and 2,100 regular volunteers. Aiphone’s IX Series and a visitor management system work together to control and protect each school’s single visitor entry. “The mission of anything we do in security must enhance the ability for teachers to teach and students to learn,” said Guy Grace, Director of Security & Emergency Preparedness, Littleton Public Schools. Littleton Public Schools (LPS) operates 24 campuses in suburban communities within the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. Increasing entry security Keeping out unwanted visitors is a major task in a district with 16,000 students, 2,500 employees and 2,100 regular volunteers. Many campus security issues begin at the front door. The LPS security team works diligently to keep out unwanted visitors. However, this is a major task in a district with 16,000 students, 2,500 employees and 2,100 regular volunteers. Protect the entries at 13 elementary, 5 middle, 4 high school campuses, and 2 charter schools Enable security and other trained district staff to clearly see and speak with visitors before remotely unlocking a door Unify multiple systems to increase entry security Visitor management system Employees enter through assigned doors using an access control card All exterior doors at elementary and middle schools remain locked 24/7. Security officers are assigned to the two entries on each high school campus that remain unlocked during parts of each school day. Employees enter through assigned doors using an access control card and reader or a personal identification number entered on a keypad. An Aiphone IX Series video intercom, three security cameras, and a visitor management system protect each school’s single visitor entry. Visitors pushing the intercom call button gain the attention of a staff member using a master station in the school office. A trained employee can see and conduct a two-way conversation with the visitor before remotely unlocking the door. Intercoms are also installed at delivery bays and the front doors of 13 school-age childcare centers. Video management system The intercoms can be locally monitored and operated on campus or by security officers in the district’s unified command center. In fact, the Littleton Public Schools Security team keeps the Aiphone camera and microphone on 24/7. The district also uses 190 Android™ tablets equipped with the IX Series Mobile App. These tablets allow district staff to leave the office and interact with children, while still maintaining control of the entry intercoms. The intercoms and security cameras provide live video to eliminate piggybacking The intercoms and security cameras provide live video to eliminate a practice known as piggybacking, in which additional people enter a door along with an approved visitor. The district’s video management system (VMS) records all IX Series audio and video for later review of incidents. Inside the school building, staff requires visitors to present a government-issued ID card which gets swiped through a visitor management system. Local criminal databases The card’s data will be compared to online federal and local criminal databases and sex offender registries. Approved visitors receive an adhesive ID badge to be worn while on campus. THE RESULTS Aiphone’s IX Series video intercoms are now a vital part of the district’s successful entry-control plan. Two to four video intercoms are installed at each district school. The units have helped staff keep non-custodial parents from gaining entry. “Let’s say we have a disgruntled, non-custodial parent show up at an elementary school – and this has happened more than once,” said Guy Grace, Director of Security and Emergency Preparedness, Littleton Public Schools. Valuable security equipment The units are always monitored including nights, weekends, and holidays “We don’t want that person in the building; he or she may be a potential threat. The Aiphone IX Series intercoms provide us with the information we need to get a sense of the person’s state of mind. That’s why I think this is one of our most valuable pieces of security equipment.” The ability of staff to communicate with people at school entries has helped break up fights and deter vandals. Students feeling threatened while on school property are instructed to use the intercoms to reach a security officer. The units are always monitored including nights, weekends, and holidays and can act as emergency ‘blue phones’ for people who use the school grounds. Remotely provide access The IX Series intercoms also let security officers remotely provide access to community groups, such as scouts, using school buildings after hours. It also helps the district to ensure that the facility user is following the after-hours facility use agreements. Aiphone’s IX Series video intercoms are now a vital part of the district’s successful entry-control plan. The IX Series intercoms also let security officers remotely provide access to community groups, such as scouts, using school buildings after hours.

Aiphone Secures Racine Unified School District With Their AX Series Exchange Based Video Intercom
Aiphone Secures Racine Unified School District With Their AX Series Exchange Based Video Intercom

Secure schools while safely permitting appropriate individuals into buildings. Install Aiphone’s AX series exchange‑based video intercom to provide reliable communication and to control access points. “When they see how easy the system works, and the minimal effort involved, they become dependent on the system,” said George Kadamian, Supervisor of Operations, Racine Unified School District. Located in the state of Wisconsin, the Racine Unified School District is an urban school district comprised of 37 buildings and covers over 21 square miles. Providing reliable communication The district operates three senior high schools, five middle schools, two middle/ high school alternative schools, four ancillary buildings, and 23 elementary schools. Secure schools throughout the entire district while safely permitting appropriate individuals into buildings. Secondarily, supply a system that did not cause personnel to feel daunted by a complicated interface. Install the AX Series, an easy‑to‑use exchange‑based video intercom, to provide reliable communication and to control access points. Supports up to 8 master stations and 120 doors/sub stations in a single system Easy homerun wiring with dedicated Cat-5e cable Integrates with CCTV systems for a broader view Convenient remote door unlocking Keyless entry with embedded card reader stations Providing quality education A secure school means everyone inside can concentrate on the subject matter at hand The importance of school security cannot be understated. A secure school means everyone inside can concentrate on the subject matter at hand, which is providing quality education. Sometimes the school staff, who are often in charge of operating certain aspects of the security system, feel they are being imposed with yet another duty. However, they usually find that having a reliable security system makes their job easier. George Kadamian is the Supervisor of Operations for the Racine Unified School District. “One of my primary goals is asset and facility protection during unoccupied hours, including the maintenance and upgrade of all district security systems,” says Kadamian. “I work closely with our security provider, response team provider, and local law enforcement agencies.” Good sound quality As with many school districts, security has been heightened since the tragic loss of lives witnessed at schools like Columbine and Virginia Tech. Over the last eight years, the Racine Unified School District has systematically installed Aiphone intercom units so buildings can be locked down while still providing access to parents and visitors. “In addition to being an urban district, there is a need, especially in the elementary schools, to prevent non-custodial parents or relatives from entering the buildings and removing children,” Kadamian explains. “An Aiphone unit was used 15 years ago in an application,” he continues. “Minimal repair and good sound quality of this sole unit resulted in me staying with Aiphone through the years, especially with the introduction of the integral camera/communicator units several years ago.” Features of AX Series Visitor screening with crisp audio and clear video Normal or priority call levels Hands-free or push-to-talk communication All call between master stations Selective call between master stations and from master stations to door stations PC programmable with a variety of settings Electronic access control It integrates with CCTV, electronic access control and transfers calls to a telephone line Presently, the Aiphone AX Series is being installed at the schools. This system compliments the existing security in place. It integrates with CCTV, electronic access control and transfers calls to a telephone line. The AX Series supports up to 8 master stations and 120 door stations all wired on Cat-5e cable. It is PC programmable for easy system set up. The master stations include a bright 3-1/2” color TFT LCD while the system utilizes open voice communication with both Push-to-Talk and VOX communication over two talk channels. Other features include: call transfer, priority calling, private communication, selective contacts for door release, scan monitoring, selective call, and master-to-master all call. Embedded card reader audio-video door stations are available for an all-in-one solution and are ideal for keyless entry. Door strike portion Centec Security of Waukesha, WI has performed all of the Aiphone installations over the years for the Racine School District. “The nature of the building (high school vs. elementary), itinerant staff, and designated visitor/parent entrance will dictate the number of units required,” states Kadamian. “Generally we try to limit access to three doors in any one building and in all applications two internal monitors/ strike controls are installed in each office area.” Centec coordinates well with their lock shop sub-contractor so that the installation is seamless" The installation in most cases is completed within two days. “This installation is based on the mapping of wire runs, penetrations if applicable, wire mold runs and interior station locations,” explains the supervisor of operations. “Centec coordinates well with their lock shop sub-contractor so that the installation is seamless.” Centec Security sub-contracts with a lock shop in Madison, WI to perform the door strike portion of the installation. Sturdy master stations The AX Series is easy to install for the professionals at Centec. The AX Series’ intuitive programming not only saves time but saves on costs as well. A wide variety of door and sub stations, combined with sleek and sturdy master stations provide a system that is versatile, comprehensive, and simple for the user to operate. Kadamian agrees, describing the system as: outstanding, extremely reliable with minimal repairs needed. “Picture and sound quality are good,” he adds. There is a comfort level achieved by the school staff when they know that the students, as well as they themselves, are more secure. While at Racine the intercom units are used mainly to control the entrance of visitors and to prevent the unwanted removal of children by non-custodial/placement parents, school officials are aware that they can depend on the system to do much more if need be. Video output feature The video output feature allows composite video to be recorded or seen on a larger screen For example, the video output feature allows composite video to be recorded or seen on a larger screen. With the Paging feature, one can broadcast important announcements and the telephone transfer feature allows them to contact roaming guards. Master stations have the ability to use all call and group call features between other master stations. “Secretaries and clerks when advised that systems are being installed complain because they view it as just another job,” quips Kadamian. “However, when they see how easy the system works, and the minimal effort involved, they become dependent on the system. In those rare instances where repairs have been needed, the secretary or clerk is quick to contact me so that repairs can be affected.” As the person in charge, Kadamian uses one word to describe the AX Series: “Great! We won’t use anything else,” he comments. “The district is in line to receive a significant grant for CCTV and access control. Aiphone will continue to be our vendor of choice for visual/controlled access of specific entrances in all district buildings.”

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