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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.

Building Security: How Audio Tells the Whole Story
Building Security: How Audio Tells the Whole Story

Every building starts with the entrance. A solid enterprise risk mitigation and security strategy include protecting that entrance. Often, risk mitigation strategies protecting the entrance have included high-resolution video surveillance cameras, video management systems, and access control solutions. But that strategy and set of security solutions only tells part of the story. Imagine a security guard who is protecting a facility after hours, when an individual approaches the entrance and seeks to gain access. The security guard can pull up the video surveillance feed and see the individual and his movements, which appear to be suspicious. But he also needs to hear him in order to decide the next decisions and actions. Does he escalate the situation, calling for backup and for first responders’ response, or does he allow the individual access to the building because he works there and is authorized to enter?   Meet high-definition voice What the security guard needs is to be able to hear and to communicate with that individual. All enterprise security systems need three primary components in order to successfully protect the entrance and to mitigate risk – access control, video surveillance, and the ability to hear and communicate. Each component plays an integral role in supporting a unified security system, and without all three, the security system is not complete. Access control can be thought of as the brains of a security system by holding data and permissions. It serves as the arms and hands of the system; it can either keep someone out or invite them in. IP video allows a security team to remotely position a set of eyes anywhere an IP camera can be placed on a network. With a video management system, security teams can see what is happening and decide how to respond. However, with remote viewing, the event may be over by the time security physically responds.  Audio adds interactivity That three-component enterprise security system – comprising IP video, access control, and high-definition voice working together mitigates risks and provides value. It also means that security is interactive. Security teams talk and listen to the person that’s seen on a video surveillance system, no matter where the location or how remote. If the person is lost or simply needs assistance, security personnel can talk to them and provide direction and reassurance. Even more, in an emergency, an interactive solution becomes a critical life-saving tool, as it provides data that can be shared between security, police, emergency services, and more. Audio can also detect voices, noises, breaking glass, or other sounds that are not within direct view of a video camera. An interactive security system creates an informed response, by providing real-time situation awareness management. Post-event, it supports forensics and investigations to mitigate future security incidents.  Audio and COVID-19 We are living in extraordinary times. As businesses begin to reopen and stay open, they are looking for any tools that can help them overcome the enormous challenges they face. In buildings and facilities, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new security perimeter, one that demands contactless access with entry and exit, and that has also created a new duty of care for security professionals. Now more than ever is the need to interact and communicate with individuals moving in and out of doors and spaces without physical intervention. Intelligent communications, integrated with contactless access control, can help a business to comply with pandemic safety guidelines and ultimately, reopen for business and stay open.  COVID-19 has also increased the need for clean-room isolation and quarantine spaces, sometimes in areas not originally intended for that use, where risk of infection is high, and equipment must be easily disinfected between patients. Here, purpose-built cleanroom intercoms, providing clear touchless communications despite the noisy environment, have emerged as critical tools for enabling patient care while reducing the need to enter the contaminated space. For example, voice communication can enable hospital staff to verify identity and to communicate with patients without entering the isolated and infectious environment, which can save on personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce the amount of exposure to the virus. In non-emergency healthcare facilities, such as medical centers, voice can effectively relay information to building occupants and visitors for screening purposes. Visitors can be seen and heard. For example, a patient who seeks access to a medical center for an appointment can hear important instructions from a nurse via the intercom solution. Seeing the person that you talk to is one thing but hearing them conveys a much better sense of closeness, making it possible to maintain a high level of security and customer service.  The whole story Today’s security systems should no longer simply involve video surveillance cameras generating feedback and images to a security guard. Instead, a new ecosystem for enterprise security and risk mitigation has emerged, and it’s one that involves video surveillance, access control, and high-definition voice. That ecosystem can ensure well-rounded and responsive information management and security platform, all communicating with each other and offering actionable insight into risks and potential physical breaches. Audio is the new value hub of the connected and intelligent school, campus, building, correctional facility, and more. Simply put, a silent security system cannot be an effective security system. In every situation, it is crucial for all security professionals to mitigate risk, no matter what they are protecting. This emphasizes the need to hear, be heard, and be understood in virtually any environment.  

Thermal screening: The Technology That Will Lead Us Out of Lockdown
Thermal screening: The Technology That Will Lead Us Out of Lockdown

Across the world, the impact of the current pandemic has majorly disrupted how we function in our everyday lives, as a society, and the ways in which we do our jobs. Throughout, our personal safety and wellbeing, as well as that of our families, neighbours and colleagues, has been paramount - and adapting our day-to-day lives to meet social distancing measures has been a learning curve for us all. As we start to reassemble normal life, precautionary measures will continue to be put in place to achieve the universal aim of mitigating the spread of the virus as much as possible. As different countries reach new stages of this process, some parts of the world continue to live and work in lockdown, while some are beginning to open up. This means governments, as well as businesses and organizations, will need to think beyond one-way systems and sanitation stations to contain the risk of infection as more people begin to return to the outside world. Tracing the spread of COVID-19 Of course, this will need to be driven by higher-level support from leaders in government, healthcare and technology to develop innovative ways of tracking and tracing the spread of COVID-19. From contact tracing solutions, to self-reporting apps and thermal screening cameras – governments and businesses across Europe have a new responsibility to seek and reinforce the most effective ways to ensure people’s safety. These measures are particularly pertinent to those reopening their doors as lockdown eases, and those returning to a daily routine of commuting to and serviced office spaces. As more and more people begin to move through public and commercial areas, we will rely more on technology to run in the background to ensure safety and wellbeing is monitored - much like that of the everyday CCTV camera. Thermal temperature screening cameras One piece of technology that we can expect to see as more commonplace is the thermal temperature screening cameras and monitoring system. An example of this kind of device, is D-Link’s recently launched all-in-one, intelligent fever screening kit – which includes a dual-lens thermographic camera, blackbody calibrator, as well as integrated management software. Governments, as well as businesses and organizations, will need to think beyond one-way systems and sanitation stations to contain the risk of infection The premise of temperature screening cameras like this one, is to harness thermal imaging technology coupling it with AI to identify if a person is experiencing elevated temperatures, and raise the alarm automatically when someone at risk of spreading is detected. To monitor the progression or depletion of COVID-19, technologies such as AI facial recognition will play an important role in mitigating the risks of the virus spreading. Thermal cameras that use AI can easily capture and manage employee’s temperature and stop their entrance if a fever is detected. For this reason, such devices are normally installed in a doorway or entrance to a building to quickly detect and identify those displaying symptoms before entering a building. This type of surveillance will be detrimental to the management of COVID-19 in the world of a ‘new normal’ – as companies feel their way out and learn as they go along with people’s health and wellbeing continuing to be center of the mind. Just as lockdown has had an impact on physical as well as mental health, so too will the adjustment to living life post-pandemic. Not only in getting used to and dealing with the emotional and mental pressures of life on the ‘outside’ as they leave lockdown, but they also face the very real risk of contracting the virus and the worries they may have of spreading it. Appropriate installation of temperature screening Companies and organizations have a responsibility in these times to play a supportive role towards employees, such as allowing them to continue working from home until they feel comfortable to work in an office setting. Equally, as restrictions ease, employers have a duty to make the workplace a safe place that is able to uphold the wellbeing of staff, which is where, as we wait for a vaccine, we must make use of the available technology. However, in the case of the thermal camera, in order for it to deliver effective results, it must be installed appropriately. To support this, we have outlined some key points to consider when deploying a temperature screening camera here: Choose a solution that features a blackbody calibrator – a vital part for any temperature screening device. A blackbody calibrator is the basis for accurate calibration of infrared thermography devices and allows the device to accurately detect a fever. Check for facing windows or doorways and heat sources such as radiators as these increase the risk of stray heat or cold sources throwing off readings according to the ISO standard associated with this type of equipment Be wary of weather and changes in climate as the device will need time to acclimatise – in order for readings to be clear individuals coming in from outside must wait five minutes before being screened When mounted, the camera must face individuals head-on and in parallel with their face to capture the inner eye area which is crucial for temperature reading Consider an option using AI which will automatically recognize individuals based on photos in the system Check applicability and legality of temperature screening cameras before deploying There’s a long way to go before life will fully return to normal. In the meantime, and to help everyone along the way, it’s essential that the right measures are in place to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of those we are responsible for. For anyone who is exploring options, know that there is help out there to provide guidance and expertise on the solutions that will be right for you and your business - now, as we go through the remainder of lockdown, and as we slowly move back into everyday lives.

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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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