Surveillance cameras - Expert commentary

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.

Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits
Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits

News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence.  Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns  The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time  One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place. 

Latest Avigilon Corporation news

Motorola Solutions Improves Video Security And Analytics Portfolio To Enhance Staff Safety In COVID-19 Times
Motorola Solutions Improves Video Security And Analytics Portfolio To Enhance Staff Safety In COVID-19 Times

Motorola Solutions, announces a number of additions to its video security and analytics portfolio. These security solutions are designed to support organizations as they explore options for moving staff safely back into their offices or facilities. The offerings focus on the key elements of safety and security around COVID-19, including prevention, protection and response. “Enterprise organizations are exploring the best way to return back to the workplace, where ensuring the safety and security of their employees and customers is paramount,” said John Kedzierski, Senior Vice President, Video Security & Analytics at Motorola Solutions. Intelligence of AI-Powered analytics “Our customers have asked how our solutions can help mitigate the potential impacts of COVID-19 as they re-open their facilities, so we've developed a suite of applications that leverage the unique capabilities of video with the intelligence of AI-powered analytics.” Motorola Solutions’ video security and analytics portfolio will offer Avigilon security cameras with analytics to help organizations keep employees safe through the adherence of health guidelines around protective face masks and physical social distancing. These solutions combine the power of video and the intelligence of AI-powered analytics to collect visual footage and statistical patterns on where social-distancing protocols have been breached and where individuals are not wearing a face mask. Through Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management software, organizations can be notified if guidelines are not observed and can quickly make informed decisions to address the situation. Physical access security The combination of physical access security and video footage can provide important insights The analysis increases employee safety by equipping organizations with the insights they need to implement measures that facilitate better compliance with health guidelines. The safety and security of front-line workers is a top priority for employers. Essential workers who face the risk of aggression and contamination may be equipped with Motorola Solutions’ body-worn cameras, so they can experience peace of mind, knowing that they have a direct link to security personnel at all times. Wearing these devices allows employees to verbally notify others that their actions are being captured on camera, which can often de-escalate a heated situation. As employees look to safely move back into the workplace, Motorola Solutions’ contact tracing capability can help deter the spread of COVID-19 in an organization’s offices or facilities. The combination of physical access security and video footage can provide important insights. Responsible use of analytics The new Identity Correlation Report helps employers better understand where an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been, and which doors that person may have accessed within the workplace. By using this capability with Motorola Solutions’ Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology and Identity Search, security operators are able to add an extra measure of safety by generating timelines and video clips of the individual’s pathway throughout the premises, also showing who they may have been in contact with. These prevent, protect and response capabilities embrace Motorola Solutions’ commitment to the responsible use of analytics, as well as individual privacy rights.

Avigilon Surveillance System Provides Hi-Tech Protection For Residents At Desert Highlands
Avigilon Surveillance System Provides Hi-Tech Protection For Residents At Desert Highlands

Desert Highlands – the acclaimed luxury golf club and community in the stunning Sonoran Desert of North Scottsdale – has updated the community’s security system, installing the state-of-the-art Avigilon Surveillance System. The upgraded security system at Desert Highlands includes 55 new IP cameras installed throughout the property. Other features of the system include new technology that allows the Desert Highlands security team the ability to locate vehicles or people with specific description criteria, and an appearance search feature that can recognize individuals based on various descriptions. High quality video surveillance footage Typically, a luxury club and its community homeowners’ association’s security systems are not connected Avigilon Security Solutions are designed as easy-to-use software and hardware IP network products that include image capture, analysis, storage, transfer and playback of high quality video surveillance footage with visually lossless compression (no perceptible loss of visual detail), and electronic access control management. Typically, a luxury club and its community homeowners’ association’s security systems are not connected. With the Avigilon Surveillance System at Desert Highlands, the two security components are completely integrated with one another, which provides additional security measures and more proficiency. Safe and comforting “We wanted to transform our surveillance system at Desert Highlands to something more sophisticated and efficient, and the highly touted Avigilon surveillance system matched our needs,” says General Manager Monty Becton. "Providing our residents and members peace of mind and ensuring the Desert Highlands experience remains safe and comforting are our ultimate priorities.” Desert Highlands’ energetic lifestyle consistently draws discerning families and active Boomers in equal measure – golfers, tennis enthusiasts, pet lovers, and health and wellness enthusiasts. A full social calendar allows residents to also fully enjoy this peaceful community. New irrigation system During the Coronavirus pandemic, Desert Highlands offers a pantry for its members and residents, where they could buy essentials (paper items, disinfectant, bread, milk, cheese, deli, proteins, beverages, etc.) from the club without leaving the confines of the community. The club carefully packages the items and either has them delivered to their houses or places the groceries in front of the clubhouse for pick-up. Stretching to over 7,100 yards, the Desert Highlands golf course recently underwent a $7 million renovation project that included refurbishing every bunker, restoring the 13th hole to its original design, installing a new irrigation system and updating cart paths. Premier tennis tournaments Noted ATP player Nick Kyrgios considers Desert Highlands’ grass courts “better than Wimby [Wimbledon]” The splendid golf course offers a challenging, but fair test, and striking views of Pinnacle Peak and the lights of the Valley spread across the horizon in the distance below. Desert Highlands was the first design in Arizona by Jack Nicklaus, and immediately set the bar for desert golf experiences, not only in Scottsdale but statewide and nationwide. Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson have walked these fairways, as Desert Highlands was host site of the first Skins Game in 1983. Just as impressive is Desert Highlands’ Racquet Club, which sports 13 tennis courts featuring all three Grand Slam surfaces – grass, clay and hard. The Racquet Club annually hosts one of the premier tennis tournaments found anywhere – the USTA Southwest Grass Court Classic. Noted ATP player Nick Kyrgios considers Desert Highlands’ grass courts “better than Wimby [Wimbledon].” State-of-the-art security system Desert Highlands also boasts a 7,700-square-foot Wellness Center, an 18-hole professionally designed putting course and a spacious dog park. Inside, the club provides residents peace of mind with a state-of-the-art security system, professionally trained security personnel, visitor control and access, and other protection amenities. Among the acclaimed residential services that truly pamper residents and meet their specific needs – shipping and transportation assistance, pool and spa maintenance, auto detailing and other customized services.

Avigilon Brings New Facial Recognition Features To Video Management Software With Avigilon Control Center (ACC) 7.6
Avigilon Brings New Facial Recognition Features To Video Management Software With Avigilon Control Center (ACC) 7.6

Motorola Solutions, a global pioneer in responsible video analytics, announced the newest addition to its video security and analytics portfolio, Avigilon Control Center (ACC) 7.6. ACC™ 7.6 is the company’s most recent video management software release, enabling enterprise customers to better monitor their facilities through new AI-powered facial recognition features and analytics. The introduction of this technology is a part of Motorola Solutions’ ongoing commitment to creating state-of-the-art solutions that address enterprise safety needs while safeguarding individual privacy rights and enforcing the responsible use of analytics and data management. Facial recognition capabilities In keeping with this commitment, the new video management capabilities in ACC 7.6 include robust controls to govern the retention and accessibility of watch list data, the ability to create and manage multiple watch lists from within ACC and the option to upload reference images to a watch list. These features are built into the solution natively, meaning that the technology is developed and owned by Motorola Solutions as opposed to a third-party vendor. In addition, the new facial recognition capabilities do not make consequential decisions or initiate actions on their own. The data that are entered and saved in the watch lists are managed and maintained by the enterprise customers employing the technology. Vigilance across school campuses “When leveraged responsibly, facial recognition is an incredibly powerful tool that can assist in numerous ways, including helping enterprise organizations make better informed decisions that empower them to respond to events proactively,” said John Kedzierski, senior vice president, Video Security Solutions, Motorola Solutions. “For our enterprise customers, we believe potential facial recognition matches should always be assessed and verified by a trained specialist who can then determine whether further investigation or action is necessary.” ACC 7.6 features Unusual Activity Detection analytics that provide site-wide intelligence For example, with the heightened vigilance across school campuses, district officials are able to employ the technology to ensure that anyone deemed a threat to the students and staff on campus has their photo added to the system. When there is a face match made against the watch list, the school’s security operators receive a notification so that they can take proactive measures to assess the situation and ensure the safety of students and staff. Unusual Activity Detection analytics In addition to new watch list and facial recognition capabilities, ACC 7.6 features Unusual Activity Detection analytics that provide site-wide intelligence with the ability to recognize out-of-ordinary activity such as unusual speed of movement or location of people or vehicles. This edge-based intelligence distinguishes between typical and abnormal events by continuously learning what usual activity might be for a scene over time. For example, if there is an individual running through a crowded mall, a security guard could be alerted in Focus of Attention to locate where the individual is and take measures to understand the situation. ACC 7.6 is ONVIF Profile G compliant and will be available for preview at Motorola Solutions’ first-ever virtual showcase taking place March 18-20, 2020.

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