Browse Access control systems & kits

Access control systems & kits - Expert commentary

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.

We Need To Talk About Intelligent Enclosure Protection
We Need To Talk About Intelligent Enclosure Protection

Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data center world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.

We Have The Technology To Make Society Safer – How Long Can We Justify Not Using It?
We Have The Technology To Make Society Safer – How Long Can We Justify Not Using It?

While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras  Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organizations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centers or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognize individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analyzing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable.   Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognize. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the center of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.  

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.”

Related white papers

Four Areas to Consider in Frictionless Access Control

Physical Access Control In Higher Education

11 Considerations For Embedded System RFID Readers