Surveillance cameras - Expert commentary

Securing Your Business While Working Remotely
Securing Your Business While Working Remotely

It's a very common purchase for people to seek a smart security camera to remotely link them to their home while at work. Now the emphasis has shifted, with a lot more people working from home, business owners should consider a surveillance device to deter would-be thieves, protecting valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours.    According to a recent report, police forces are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centers, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, investing in a video security system can save you and your business money – and in more than one way. In addition to preventing loss of property from inside, surveillance cameras also prevent acts of theft and vandalism by outside individuals However, technology, improved cellphone connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies has changed the security market and made it easy for anyone to set up a surveillance ecosystem with easy installation and constant round the clock, cloud monitoring. Plus, you can access footage from anywhere in the world via devices and apps – just in case you have to skip the country! The best cameras for SMBs Most good cameras have the much same functionality: excellent video and audio capabilities, remote access and programming, motion and sound detection, and the ability to capture still or video images and audio and save the data to the Cloud. But the burning question is, when you're trying to find a need in a haystack, what will work best for a small to medium sized business? A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours Now you can buy cameras that come packed with features such as integrated night vision, 1080p resolution, microSD card slot for local recording, two-way audio functionality as well as the latest latest 128bit encryption. They also have wide-angle lenses allowing users to see more of their office with a single camera, and some come with free, intelligent AI-Based motion detection. The AI gives users more choices on what is captured by the camera and when they should be alerted. Users can specify what types of motion they would like to detect, such as an intruder as opposed to a dog, an object crossing a defined boundary or into a specific area. They can also define multiple zones, alerting them immediately when movement is detected in particular areas. Easy installation is crucial These security cameras should also be easy enough to install and use that you don't need to fork out for expensive expert installation, and many can work with existing CCTV and CCTV DVR systems you may already have set-up. Many of the business security cameras are Wi-Fi enabled and come with their own apps, so you can view footage on your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are in the world. It means you don't need to pay for a security team to watch the footage at all times (though if you can afford it, that won't hurt), and you can store your videos locally with an NVR on a HD, in the cloud with mydlink or do both with a hybrid NVR/cloud recorder. The apps use Rich Notifications which send a push notification with snapshot to the mobile device the moment activity is detected. Users can react immediately without the need to log into the app by accessing the camera’s live view or calling one of two pre-assigned contacts with a single tap. Any motion-triggered recordings can be saved in the cloud, or locally on a microSD card. Indoor, Outdoor or both? Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the types of external factors each camera has to be able to withstand. While both types of cameras usually come in similar styles and with comparable features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with all types of weather and varying light conditions. Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made of more durable materials, like metal, and may be heavier or even housed in a casing in order to discourage easy removal. Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilize features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures in low light conditions and easy transitions when there is a sudden change in light-changing automatically from color images in bright light to black and white when it gets darker. When doing your research, features to look out for include: Wide angle lens for optimum room view or full view of the front of your property Full HD 1080p at 30fps   ONVIF compatible - Open Network Video Interface Forum - The forum aims to standardize how IP products within the video surveillance industry communicate with each other. Night vision - look at length of the night vision - 5m is about right Your options will depend on your budget and specific needs, but the above features are a great start when you come to buy.

Fighting Illicit Trade With Artificial Intelligence
Fighting Illicit Trade With Artificial Intelligence

AI has opened doors to many transformation opportunities and increasingly minimised many risks  -- personal and economic -- that are alarming today. And illicit trade is one of those pains AI can offer a promising solution against. Illicit trade is a serious threat and problem that affects governments and societies on every level. While governments lose financial funds in tax revenues, thriving businesses are losing potential customers, and customers are getting tricked into purchasing counterfeit, low-quality products. Transnational organized crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion through transnational criminal organizations, complicit corrupt facilitators, and other threat areas. The list of criminal activities is long and involves such horrific crimes as trafficking of narcotics, opioids, arms, humans, fake medicines and other counterfeit and pirated goods; illegal tobacco and alcohol; illegally-harvested timber, wildlife, and fish; pillaged oil, diamonds, gold, and other natural resources and precious minerals; stolen antiquities; and other contraband or valuable items sold across streets, social media, online marketplaces, and the dark web. In short, illicit trade is a contributing cause to large-scale insecurity and instability across markets. AI-driven technologies Here is where revolutionary AI-driven technologies come in, with their capability to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. There are a few ways that AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. Transnational organized crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents -- often billions of pages of documents -- in a short period of time. Among these documents widely in circulation, most have an unstructured and inconsistent format -- from invoices to insurance documentation -- are a complex system to tackle; in this whirlwind of pages, the likelihood of non-compliant and misrepresented figures to go by unnoticed. But this is also where AI can thrive as solutions become a necessity, enhancing humans’ capabilities of identifying fraud risks in the early stages. Relying on natural language processing, the technology can begin interpreting the text from the scanned and digitised documents in order to process trade information at high speed. In this context, AI-powered solutions are capable of comparing, contrasting document information and identify anomalies worth looking into further. By automating a large portion of the process, AI-driven technology allows the staff to focus on more pressing, high-involvement issues that require human judgement while saving time on the time-consuming manual work of analyzing documents by hand. Identifying covert interactions between criminals As criminal networks become increasingly intricate in their illegal operations, cutting-edge AI technology is crucial in the battle against it. In 2019, EU launched a project with the goal to deploy advanced AI technology and robots to identify smuggling across the borders of Portugal, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.  With the help of AI, it will be possible to send drones and autonomous vehicles to the most dubious border areas in order to enforce border control and detect smugglers quickly and efficiently. Illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals The issues the EU is trying to address through the project include drug and weapon smuggling, as well as human trafficking. From tight border control tracking crossings to communication monitoring to identify covert interactions between criminals on both sides of the border, the project is one among many that will expand the scope of solutions to the illicit trade problems today. AI’s contribution is significant on many levels: from predicting crime and threats to safeguarding public health and safety (in face of human trafficking, counterfeit medicines, and toxic products), these are simply inklings of major shifts that AI technology promises for the future of the battle against illicit trade. So why is fighting illicit trade so crucial? Here are a few reasons why AI’s role in fighting this global issue is crucial. In a world where customers run the risk of being deceived and tricked into buying counterfeit products, companies who provide the original products suffer through the loss of revenue and market share. The same companies are also robbed of their intellectual property and proprietary data. Furthermore, people who are employed in these companies run the risk of losing their jobs as a result of revenue and market share loss. And finally, the last straw is the loss of brand integrity and reputation to the need to compete with low-quality, sometimes even dangerous counterfeit products. Just like a domino effect, illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals. And it’s time for AI to step in and stop it.

Edge Computing, AI and Thermal Imaging – The Future of Smart Security
Edge Computing, AI and Thermal Imaging – The Future of Smart Security

Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. With 4K-compliant cameras projected to make up over 24% of all network cameras shipped by 2023 – there is a fast-growing desire for reliable storage on-board security cameras. The question for businesses is: do they look to break up their existing smart video network, by separating and compartmentalising cameras to handle data requirements, or do they increase its storage capabilities? As some people begin to venture out and return to work following initial COVID-19 measures, we are also seeing demand for thermal imaging technology increase. New technology like this combined with more of these always-on systems being rolled out, means organizations will need to carefully consider their smart video strategy. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data and there are some key trends you can expect to see as a result of this evolution. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyze it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. Edge computing and smart security As public cloud adoption grew, companies and organizations saw the platform as a centralized location for big data. However, recently there’s been opposition to that trend. Instead we are now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. There is one main reason for this change in preference: latency. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data Latency is an important consideration when trying to carry out real-time pattern recognition. It’s very difficult for cameras to process data – 4K surveillance video recorded 24/7 – if it has to go back to a centralized data center hundreds of miles away. This data analysis needs to happen quickly in order to be timely and applicable to dynamic situations, such as public safety. By storing relevant data at the edge, AI inferencing can happen much faster. Doing so can lead to safer communities, more effective operations, and smarter infrastructure. UHD and storage AI-enabled applications and capabilities, such as pattern recognition, depend on high-definition resolutions such as 4K – also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD). This detailed data has a major impact on storage – both the capacity and speeds at which it needs to be written, and the network. Compared to HD, 4K video has much higher storage requirements and we even have 8K on the horizon. As we know, 4K video has four times the number of pixels as HD video. In addition, 4K compliant video supports 8, 10, and 12 bits per channel that translate to 24-, 30- or 36-bit color depth per pixel. A similar pattern holds for HD — more color using 24 bits or less color using 10 or 12 bits in color depth per pixel. Altogether, there is up to a 5.7x increase in bits generated by 4K vs. 1080 pixel video. Larger video files place new demands on data infrastructure for both video production and surveillance. Which means investing in data infrastructure becomes a key consideration when looking into smart security. Always-on connectivity Whether designing solutions that have limited connectivity or ultra-fast 5G capabilities, most smart security solutions need to operate 24/7, regardless of their environment. Yet, on occasion, the underlying hardware and software systems fail. In the event of this, it is important to establish a failover process to ensure continued operation or restore data after a failure, including everything from traffic control to sensors to camera feeds and more. Consider the example of a hospital with dozens or even over a hundred cameras connected to a centralized recorder via IP. If the Ethernet goes down, no video can be captured. Such an event could pose a serious threat to the safety and security of hospital patients and staff. For this reason, microSD cards are used in cameras to enable continuous recording. Software tools – powered by AI – can then “patch” missing data streams with the content captured on the card to ensure the video stream can be viewed chronologically with no content gaps. Thermal imaging Health and safety is the number one priority for all organizations as people return to work and public spaces. Some organizations are deploying thermal imaging to help screen individuals for symptoms as they return. Organizations that operate with warehouses, depots and assembly lines will traditionally have large amounts of cameras located outside of the entrance. With thermal imaging smart video in place, these cameras can now serve a dual purpose as a screening device. The thermal imaging technology is capable of detecting elevated body temperatures, with 10-25 workers being scanned in one shot, from one camera – making it an efficient and accurate process. This way, staff can use the information to help identify people who may need further screening, testing, and/or isolation before returning to work. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices While this may not increase data storage requirements, it can change your retention policies and practices. Smart security today is about utilising AI and edge computing, to deliver an always-on, high-resolution video provision that can help keep people safe 24/7. These trends increase the demands and importance of monitoring, which means requirements of the supporting data infrastructure improve to match that, including the ability to proactively manage the infrastructure to help ensure reliable operation. Companies need to make sure they have considered all the storage and policy challenges as part of their smart security strategy for the future.  

Latest Dedicated Micros news

ContinentalAccess To Showcase New CA3000 Version 2.9 Software At ISC West 2014
ContinentalAccess To Showcase New CA3000 Version 2.9 Software At ISC West 2014

The new CA3000 software provides robust access control functionality and seamless integration with alarms ContinentalAccess, a division of Napco Security Technologies, Inc., has recently released new CA3000 version 2.9 software, that not only provides robust access control functionality and seamless integration with alarms, locking and a growing list of video systems, but offers a host of many new sought-after features including; the ability to run the CardAccess 3000 and associated applications as Windows services and the ability to control access to the CardAccess GUI using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Support for the Continental’s new and robust Super-Speed 16 door Accelaterm controller is also available. Plus, more video integration partners have been added to their growing list, now including Pelco, HiTron, Milestone, Dedicated Micros, as well as Salient & Integral. New CA3000 v2.9 also includes many enhancements to the existing features, providing the front-end of Napco Fusion; it is the complete seamless interoperable solution for Gemini intrusion & fire systems, access control, video and wireless locks. The CardAccess 3000 version 2.9 software also provides additional support for sister division, Alarm Lock’s Trilogy Networx locks, now in both cylindrical and mortise models, with the utilization of a Door position contact and Request to Exit (RTE) button feature. Continental offers training classes across the country and free online webinars, as well as retrofit rebate programs and cost-saving software upgrade plans. See us at ISC West Booth #12043, Las Vegas, NV, April 2- 4.

Keyscan Appoints Mark Playdon As Southeast US Regional Sales Manager
Keyscan Appoints Mark Playdon As Southeast US Regional Sales Manager

Mark has over 20 years of experience in the both security and broadcast arenas Keyscan Access Control Systems is pleased to announce Mark Playdon has joined Keyscan as Regional Sales Manager, Southeast US covering North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. “It is a pleasure to welcome Mark to his new role with Keyscan,” said Steve Dentinger, Keyscan’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “Mark brings a wealth of security and technology experience to our organisation. I am confident he will continue to support Keyscan’s efforts and drive continued growth for the Keyscan brand throughout the Southeast region of the United States.” Mark joins Keyscan with more than 20 years’ experience working with technology based manufacturers in both the Security and Broadcast arenas. Most recently mark has worked with both JVC Profession Security Division and Dedicated Micros. Heading up their Eastern Regional Sales Divisions Mark was successful in developing sales growth through the development and management of effective sales channels. Prior to working in the Security industry Mark spent 15 years in broadcast equipment sales working for top companies including JVC, Vinten and Fast Forward Video, all manufacturer of high end broadcast equipment. Mark grew through the ranks beginning his career as a Broadcast Systems Installation engineer before moving to Design and then Sales. As Global Sales Director at Fast Forward Video Mark was instrumental in the continued and solid sales growth of the company’s product in new territories and countries though out the world. Mark also served in the British Royal Air Force studying engineering before beginning his career in the broadcast and security industries.

IPX360 Solutions New North American Market Agent For CheckMyCCTV Software Application
IPX360 Solutions New North American Market Agent For CheckMyCCTV Software Application

With this move, CheckMySystems aims to bring the software to an international audience CheckMySystems - the CCTV health and operation monitoring software specialist - has signed-up electronic security product provider IPX360 Solutions to act as its agent for 'CheckMyCCTV' in the North American market. This is a major step forward in CheckMySystems' desire to bring the software to an international audience following its successful UK launch. The CheckMyCCTV application, to be offered by IPX360 Solutions across the US and Canada, is designed to automatically identify and report specific video surveillance system faults as soon as they are detected. Typical issues that can be flagged-up by CheckMyCCTV include: camera failures, hard disk failures, recording issues, time accuracy problems, and network connection failures. Early detection helps to ensure that problems are resolved before they can impact, negatively, on system performance. Following the landmark deal announced recently, IPX360 Solutions is planning to preview CheckMyCCTV's advanced capabilities in a series of one-to-one meetings with security distributors and monitoring station representatives at the Security Canada Expo taking place in Toronto, Canada. The 'soft launch' of CheckMyCCTV is to be followed by the 'official' North American unveiling of the video surveillance health check software on IPX360 Solution's booth (219) during the SecureTech event (Ottawa - October 30, 31). Moving ahead, IPX360 Solutions sees tremendous potential in targeting CheckMyCCTV at American and Canadian security distributors and owners of large-scale and multiple sites. Central stations are another focus, where interest has already been expressed in CheckMyCCTV by providers, given its ability to enhance the efficiency of their operations and, crucially, the system status information that can be provided to customers. "We are very excited to be working with IPX360 Solutions Inc. in our efforts to bring CheckMyCCTV to new customers in North America.." Regis Glorieux, President of IPX360 Solutions, explains what attracted him to the CheckMyCCTV solution: "In my view there is a real need for a new approach to checking on video surveillance systems in the US and Canada. When working with, and for distributors, I regularly came across recorders that were simply not working and may have been out of action for weeks or even longer. I am certainly not alone in this. "Often the first time the customer realised anything was amiss was when there was an incident and they couldn't retrieve the video. With CheckMyCCTV in place these problems are picked-up automatically, and highlighted by an on-screen warning at a monitoring station or even via a smart phone 'app', so no one needs to be left in the dark. "Another factor which is very appealing, and differentiates CheckMyCCTV from less capable solutions, is the ability of the software to work with multiple video surveillance system brands. Traditionally, such solutions have tended to be very much manufacturer specific. This isn't very practical for customers who want to avoid the headache of trying to run four or five pieces of software simultaneously. Now with CheckMyCCTV they can access a single, convenient interface for all important status checking." Commented Darren Rewston, Founder and Managing Director of CheckMySystems Ltd: "We are very excited to be working with IPX360 Solutions Inc. in our efforts to bring CheckMyCCTV to new customers in North America. The experience we have had to date in the UK, working with monitoring stations, large retailers and other users, shows that CheckMyCCTV can make a positive difference to fault finding and how the maintenance of video surveillance systems is managed. We expect that customers in the US and Canada will soon appreciate these practical benefits for themselves. "At CheckMySystems we realize that there can be no room for complacency where the well being of video surveillance systems are concerned. The need to implement effective checks was underlined in a snapshot survey we conducted of 300 sites across the UK. Before CheckMyCCTV was implemented a worrying 75% of sites had one or more issues affecting the operational performance of the CCTV system, ranging from daylight saving time not being updated, to camera failures, recording problems, and hard disk issues." CheckMyCCTV is currently compatible with over 25 video surveillance system brands and OEMs, including: Samsung, Costar, HikVision, American Dynamics, Dedicated Micros, Xtralis, and Dahua, with more being added to this list all the time.

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