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Surveillance cameras - Expert commentary

Can CCTV Become A More Effective Tool?
Can CCTV Become A More Effective Tool?

We all know that having CCTV around your home can help to protect you and your family. Without CCTV, you could end up in danger and an intruder could get away with breaking into your house, hurting your loved ones and stealing your possessions. Similarly, without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process. In short, making sure you have CCTV is important for both home and business security. However, it can be improved to become a more effective system so that you’re better protected, and can even deter a potential intruder without having to panic. In our world of ever-changing technology, we’re able to upgrade and enhance our CCTV systems so they can become a monitored system. Remote CCTV monitoring is an ideal way to protect everyone and everything whether you’re at home or at a workplace. What is remote CCTV monitoring? For a long time, CCTV was one of the best ways to keep your home, the office and people safe. But people started to notice that it would only deter people so much of the time and often the cameras were ignored by intruders. They would just cover their faces and hope for the best as they steal from a home, office or any other premises. Remote CCTV monitoring is a system that can loop into your existing CCTV, or come preinstalled with a new system. This technology sends a feed to a control room full of trained operators that are on call 24/7. Within this control room, operators are able to respond to any sort of distress call or unauthorised movement on the property line.  How does it work? Remote CCTV monitoring works by attaching to a live feed of your CCTV system, existing or new, so that the signal and images can be passed to a team of operators. These operators are on hand 24/7 so that if there is a problem, you know that you're safe in the hands of a specialist team. The specialist team has been trained to mitigate the chances of somebody breaking into your home when the system is triggered; similarly they call the local authorities instantly so that the potential intruder has less time to flee the scene. This is especially important if an intruder is already inside your property because they have less time to steal your items and leave. Without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process One of the biggest questions that revolve around remote CCTV monitoring is the idea of operators watching the CCTV at all times. Luckily most remote CCTV monitoring systems will incorporate a motion detection system to accompany your CCTV. Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line. These motion detection systems are state-of-the-art and so, depending on the system that you choose, they can watch over your property from a number of angles. Once the motion detection system has been triggered and the alert has been sent to the control room, then and only then will the operators get involved. This means that until the motion detection system has been triggered, nobody will watch your live CCTV feed. After one of the systems has been triggered, one of the specialist operators will instantly jump into action. This means that they can take different measures to deter any potential intruder and make sure that they do everything in their power to stop any damage or theft from the premises. In addition to the motion detection system and CCTV, you are able to opt for a public address (PA) system too. This means that an operator is able to shout commands through the PA system and potentially scare away any intruder. The intruder will also be warned about the fact that local authorities have already been called to the location.  Remote monitoring versus traditional CCTV Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line Having a monitored CCTV system means that you're able to better protect yourself, your business, employees and even your loved ones. Whether you're at home or in the office, having someone looking over your shoulder protecting your every move is something that can be appreciated by everybody. The biggest problem with just having traditional CCTV, is that it is a reactive system. This means that rather than stopping crime, a CCTV system just records it. While the thought is that having a CCTV camera visible can deter some intruders, there's no real evidence to suggest that it stops anybody; anyone can simply cover their face and carry on breaking into your home, office or even your car. As mentioned, remote CCTV monitoring is going to tackle that problem and make sure that someone is on hand to protect you at all times.

The Digital Transformation Of Modern Access Control Solutions
The Digital Transformation Of Modern Access Control Solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorization and the appropriate credentials. The access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customized and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms powers continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Optimizing Large-Scale Event Security and Operations with Intelligent Video Surveillance
Optimizing Large-Scale Event Security and Operations with Intelligent Video Surveillance

Large event venues spend significant resources on physical security, and the vast majority invest in video surveillance systems as a way of monitoring public areas such as parking lots, garages and seating, as well as “backstage” areas such as loading docks and offices. Even though the camera footage is often preserved for investigating incidents, for the most part, video footage goes untapped because – realistically – security staff cannot constantly and efficiently monitor cameras in real-time or review the high volumes of archived video. Video Analytics Powered by Artificial Intelligence Increasingly, event venues are overcoming this challenge and maximizing this video data by investing in intelligent video surveillance. In this article, I’d like to explore how the combination of traditional surveillance and groundbreaking video content analytics enables event venues to not only optimize physical security and safety, but also improve customer service, streamline operations, and gather valuable business intelligence. Deep learning and artificial intelligence-based video content analytic systems detect, identify, extract, and catalog all the objects that appear in video footage, based on classes and attributes such as gender, appearance similarity, color or size. This – along with behavioral detection, such as object interactions, dwell times, and navigation paths, as well as face and license plate recognition – enables searchable, actionable and quantifiable analysis of video. The technology makes it easy for users to accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights from video data. Accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights Accelerating Investigations and Real Time Response Where there are crowds, it’s not uncommon for medical or criminal incidents to transpire. In the aftermath, security teams must quickly understand the scene and, by making video searchable, video analytics helps them efficiently gather information or evidence from multiple camera. Whereas a manual search of video footage would require hours, if not days, of valuable time and staff resources – while being subject to human error – a video content analytics system enables effective multi-video search using a variety of filters, so that post-incident investigations can be focused and, thereby, accelerated. For instance, if witnesses claim that a man in a yellow shirt caused a disturbance and then drove away in a blue pickup truck, security could filter video to review instances where people or vehicles matching those descriptions appeared, and then focus their investigation on relevant video evidence. For the same example, if the perpetrator was still at large in the venue, security managers would want to track the person’s movements and, ultimately, apprehend him. Using the same cataloged metadata that drives video search, intelligent video surveillance accelerates real-time response to developing situations from threats and suspicious behaviors to emergencies, or even any behavior that requires closer monitoring or intervention. Something as mundane as an unwieldy queue forming at a concession stand, can translate into alerting logic that increases operators’ situational awareness and ability to effectively intervene when time is of the essence. By understanding developing situations in real-time, they can respond more quickly to prevent or solve a problem. Rule-based real time alerts Users can configure rule-based real-time alerts, based on specific scenarios – such as when people counts in the defined space next to the cashier are higher than the specified threshold, indicating a queue, or when vehicles are detected dwelling in a no-park zone or sensitive security area. In the case of the offender in the yellow shirt, security could configure alerts to notify for appearances of men in yellow shirts or blue pickup trucks within the event complex. If they’re able to extract the perpetrator’s face or license plate from the video search, security officers can also identify and track the specific person and vehicle of interest. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” Object recognition is helpful for tracking specific, identified threats, but it can also be leveraged for locating missing persons or vehicles or offering VIP services to guests who comply. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” – that include persons of interest, such as past agitators, recognized criminals or terrorists, missing persons or VIPs – to be alerted when matches for these faces appear in video. Face recognition can also be used to differentiate recognized employees from visitors that are not authorized to be in certain spaces, to prevent security breaches. Because camera conditions aren’t always optimal for “in the wild” face and license plate recognition – where lighting conditions or camera angles don’t always allow for a pristine face or plate capture – it is critical to have a comprehensive video content analysis tool for triggering alerts based object classifications and non-personally-identifiable parameters is critical. Optimizing Operations Based on Business Intelligence While having real-time situational awareness is crucial for proactive intervention to developing situations, understanding long-term activity and trends can be equally important for an events venue or stadium. With video analytics, video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence, trend reports, and data visualizations for operational intelligence. This capability transforms video surveillance from a siloed security tool to an intelligence platform with broad value for business groups across the organization: Marketing departments can gain visitor demographic information for targeted advertising and product placements. On-site retailers can uncover how visitors navigate their stores and the products or spaces that draw the most attention. Property management can follow heatmaps demonstrating where visitors dwell and the durations they stay at certain exhibits or areas, to base rental and leasing fees on actionable and quantifiable intelligence. Operations managers can more effectively plan and hire staff for events, by analyzing visitor traffic trends, entry and exit points and occupancy statistics.   Video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence For these reasons and more, event organizations that already rely on CCTV networks, should consider how to better leverage those existing investments to deliver substantial value across the organization: By making video searchable, actionable and quantifiable, intelligent video surveillance empowers event managers to enhance public safety and physical security, while also streamlining operations and improving customer service.

Latest Raytec Ltd news

OPTEX Group To Showcase Their Outdoor Sensors And Bespoke Detection Solution At SICUR 2020
OPTEX Group To Showcase Their Outdoor Sensors And Bespoke Detection Solution At SICUR 2020

OPTEX and RAYTEC, both OPTEX Group companies, will be exhibiting at SICUR (25-28 February, Hall 10, Stand A37) with their Spanish speaking team to showcase its new outdoor detection sensors and the latest suite of renowned LED lighting solutions, and engage with the market. OPTEX sales, marketing and technical team, will be attending one of Spain’s largest security fair to support successful growth in the Iberian region and to have the opportunity to hear the voice of the market. Part of the engagement is to showcase the new outdoor sensors, including the QXI series a family of compact, outdoor sensors that complements the existing suite of short-range outdoor PIR’s. A particular benefit of the new range is that the sensors are specifically designed to be mounted at heights of up to 2.7m, making them less obvious to intruders and out of reach from vandals. Reliable outdoor detection The sleek design makes them ideal for both residential and commercial buildings and the sensors will trigger both intruder alarms and CCTV. The event will also see the preview in Iberia of VXI-CMOD, OPTEX’s 180° day/night Wi-Fi camera module that can be easily integrated with its best-selling outdoor sensor VX Infinity (VXI) to create a visual verification solution. The VXI series provides highly reliable outdoor detection and is used for both residential and commercial applications, detecting intrusions in courtyards, gardens, driveways and secured car parks. For larger and bespoke projects, the team will demonstrate how LiDAR technology can be tailored to suit niche applications, including transportation, critical infrastructure, museums and other high value assets. Intrusion alarm systems SICUR has been a great event for us in the past and I look forward to exhibiting there again" The award-winning laser RLS-2020 series is now Grade 3 compliant meaning it can be added to indoor graded intrusion alarm systems, giving installers the opportunity to enhance site security by adding virtual walls and ceilings, as well as thrown object detection. Corinne Vaughan, Regional Sales Manager for RAYTEC, says: “SICUR has been a great event for us in the past and I look forward to exhibiting there again.” Milton Acosta, Regional Sales Manager for Iberia, adds: “SICUR provides the ideal platform for OPTEX and RAYTEC to connect with our partners, discuss projects, technical requirements and gather industry feedback, as well as showcase a selection of our new solutions that are generating greater demand across Iberia to potential future customers.” license plate recognition systems Beside its core intrusion detection portfolio, OPTEX will be showcasing its innovative ViiK vehicle sensor, which has been named as part of the SICUR Innovation Gallery 2020 by a panel of industry experts. ViiK’s technology combines both microwave and ultrasonic waves to detect vehicles for a range of operations, while having the ability to ignore human traffic. The sensor requires no civil engineering works and can be easily mounted on the ground, making it ideal for historic city centers or other locations where digging is not possible. ViiK sensors can also be part of a solution to trigger ANPR cameras and LED lights to increase the capture rate of license plate recognition systems. The values of adding LED light on enhance the performance of not only ANPR systems but also security and safety applications will be demonstrated by RAYTEC.

Wavestore To Host Technology Partners - Feenics, Mobotix And Raytec At ISC West 2019
Wavestore To Host Technology Partners - Feenics, Mobotix And Raytec At ISC West 2019

Wavestore, developer of highly secure and open platform Video Management Software (VMS) solutions, will be hosted by three of its technology partners at ISC West, which is taking place at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas on 10th -12th April 2019. Visitors to the Feenics, Mobotix and Raytec booths will have the opportunity to see how easy it is to benefit from a fully integrated security system with Wavestore at its heart. Wavestore VMS Solution As a truly independent company, Wavestore focuses solely on the development of its highly secure VMS platform to deliver an ever-evolving feature set and ensures compatibility with associated devices and sub-systems from its technology partners. If the requirement is just for video, or there is a need for a fully integrated solution from one to tens of thousands of cameras and devices, Wavestore is able to demonstrate how its VMS can help deliver a scalable and completely future-proof solution for your next project. Wavestore has a well-established Technology Partner program that allows users to benefit from seamless integrations across a host of best-in-breed brands" “Wavestore has a well-established Technology Partner program that allows users to benefit from seamless integrations across a host of best-in-breed brands encompassing cameras, access control, video analytics and much more”, says James Smith, Managing Director of Wavestore. “In addition, Wavestore’s open platform is fully compliant with ONVIF profile-S, bringing enhanced flexibility to camera choice, enabling users to achieve maximum return on investment from their security solutions.” VMS Upgrade Bundles As well as demonstrating the latest features of Wavestore’s VMS, the team will also be highlighting how choosing Wavestore can help reduce the total cost of ownership through provision of free technical support and flexible VMS Upgrade Bundles, which enable partners to stay up-to-date with the very latest features over time, without signing up to expensive recurring support contracts. The Wavestore team will be demonstrating the latest features of its award-winning VMS on the Feenics booth (22130), Mobotix booth (16089) and Raytec booth (22075).

Security Industry Manufacturers Push For Environmentally Accredited Products With ISO 14001 Certification
Security Industry Manufacturers Push For Environmentally Accredited Products With ISO 14001 Certification

Many security manufacturers are working towards ISO 14001, an internationally-recognized standard for the environmental management of businesses How green are security industry manufacturers? As innovation (much of it driven from home video and mobile phones) continues, it’s likely that our sector’s carbon footprint will decrease since compact products use up fewer raw materials. Even casual observers will note that integrators are falling over themselves to gain environmental accreditation since it’s often a prerequisite at tender stage. In the integrator community, environmentally-aware practice will soon become the default way of working and barely worth mentioning as a credential. For the major sources of potential improvement in environmental impact we should look to manufacturers. Are they trying to be environmentally-friendly in terms of material consumption, recycling and waste management? Working Towards Green Marketing Campaigns A cynic will say that the only real motivation towards being green is when good environmental practice also benefits the bottom line. Fortunately, there are many cases where green initiatives do make business sense. Researching manufacturers while preparing this article, I discovered that as an industry dealing to a large extent with crime, we are probably slow to play the ‘green card’ even when our practices are essentially sound. Our marketing must have a high level of integrity. There are horror stories of promotional ‘greenwash’ in other sectors, notably an outrageous claim by Shell that they were “using waste CO2 to grow flowers.” Friends of the Earth scrutinised this and found that just 0.325 percent of Shell’s output was used in such a manner and the (UK-based) Advertising Standards Authority insisted that the campaign be pulled. Many security manufacturers are quietly working towards ISO 14001, an internationally-recognized standard for the environmental management of businesses. However, take-up in the US (where the standard is regarded with less respect than in Europe) is lamentably slow. As it moves from a criterion for “conformance” to one of “compliance”, ISO 14001 is likely to acquire more teeth. Security products deemed to originate from manufacturers with a poor environmental record can be simply thrown out and the consultant told to look for an alternative Achieving ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification SourceSecurity.com reports regularly on manufacturers gaining ISO 14001, most recently HID Global. Within CCTV, Pentax was one of the first manufacturers to be awarded the standard. There are many other examples. Raytec is not just preventing light pollution with its products but is minimizing pollution in the conventional sense with environmental policy that meets ISO requirements. The company has focused on electricity consumption, use of non-recyclable packaging and generation of non-recyclable waste. Its ultimate goal is being carbon neutral and many of Raytec’s suppliers are based locally, a policy that reduces truck miles. For large units and consignments, the company has introduced ‘rotate and re-use’ packaging systems with distributors. Samsung Techwin is also environmentally aware with scrupulous analysis of any hazardous materials generated by production processes and a green procurement and supplier program involving over 300 companies. Tyco’s record in terms of environmental practice is also exemplary; there are initiatives in place to collaborate with waste haulers on maximisation of recycling and reduction in materials sent to landfill. Analysis of Tyco’s working practices has broadened my own terms of reference: it’s easy to focus exclusively on fossil fuels in this type of discussion but every element of environmental impact should be considered and Tyco is able to boast that its strategy at manufacturing facilities has reduced water usage by 11%. American LEED Certification Vs. UK-Based BREEAM Standard Under pressure from environmentally-aware clients on major civils projects at tender stage, construction companies and M&E sub-contractors are scrutinising the green credentials of every single component. Security products deemed to originate from manufacturers with a poor environmental record can be simply thrown out and the consultant told to look for an alternative. (The London borough councils are particularly vigilant in this area.) Consultants are now arbitrating on the green credentials of products in their initial designs, especially when the client is working to the American LEED green building certification system which evaluates projects against common green criteria including stewardship of resources. A rival code of practice is the UK-based BREEAM standard which has been developed to provide information to the building industry on sustainable development. Both certifications analyze energy usage in cooling of electrical components which is a significant factor for security manufacturers. Chinese manufacturers are experiencing greater pressure from global sales markets to conform to environmental standards for security products Eco-Friendly Challenge For Chinese Security Product Manufacturers A development that should surprise nobody is stringent requirements from standards bodies on likely product lifecycles. The (abysmal) norm of built-in redundancy after three to five years that is tolerated in the IT sector has never been accepted by users of security products. Requirements from the International Organization for Standardization may soon codify the product lifecycle that manufacturers should strive for but without impeding R&D. Despite all the success stories, there is an elephant in the room that should not be ignored. Chinese manufacturers must realize that if their products are to be used on the world stage then green isn’t optional anymore. It should of course be said that regulatory frameworks in China are lacking (there has been some improvement since 2014) and legislation is complicated by the fact that individual provinces have a level of autonomy. Sadly, there also appears to be a lack of will. Here is just one statistic. The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States currently has 15,000 employees compared with 200 at its Chinese equivalent. All of this puts the onus on Chinese manufacturers to self-supervise in terms of environmental impact.

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