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There’s almost no installation that goes 100-percent smoothly in the field of video surveillance. Unexpected issues routinely arise that can increase time on the job, cost of the project and frustration. Manufacturers work on the product side to help ensure their products are easy to install and – when troublesome situations do arise – are flexible enough for installers to quickly find a remedy. Importance Of Ease Of InstallationEase of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labor is variable Ease of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labor is variable and can be very expensive. In some cases, the cost of labor to install a camera can be more than the cost of the camera! If labor costs are high – or are more expensive than a system integrator planned – they can lose a great deal of money on a project. If a cautious system integrator includes too high of an estimate for labor in a project bid, his overall bid will to high and it could cost him the project. The easier the camera is to install, the lower the labor cost, subsequently achieving higher savings for end-users. Hence it is essential that camera manufacturers develop products that are easy to install or are flexible in the field for system integrators and installers who know that time is money. Enterprise projects can involve thousands of cameras installed Simplifying Installation Of Cameras Camera installation typically involves an electrician, the camera installer and the person who configures the VMS (Video Management Software). Of course, one person can play all three roles, and in many cases, does, but enterprise projects can involve dozens, hundreds or even thousands of cameras with teams of individuals involved in an installation. The electrician runs conduit with an electrical or PoE (Power over Ethernet) connection to the housing or the backplate of the camera; the installer then installs the camera at that location, hooking it up to power; and then a configurator adds cameras to the network and makes adjustments – renaming the camera, setting the frame rate, enabling WDR (Wide Dynamic Range), and the like. When it’s a project that involves different players for any of these functions, there is the potential for a bottleneck and delay in project completion. And if a system integrator is paying an electrician, installer and software configurator – and they are all three on site waiting for each other to finish – that’s a system integrator’s worst-case scenario. Enhancement Through Modular Cameras Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take different roles Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take the different roles of electrician, installer and configurator into consideration, allowing them to complete their tasks independently. With a focus on modular design which includes a USB Dongle, a device manager, magnetic module and included accessories, the Wisenet X series Plus is one of the fastest cameras to install, service and upgrade – saving installers time and money. Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a detachable camera module that utilize magnets to lock into the housing for instant configuration. Electricians can run conduit with a single PoE connection to the back plate/housing while the configurator is working on configuring the camera module, allowing security professionals to later snap the camera into place in just minutes. The VMS configurator can then come and add the cameras to the network and program their functionality. Modular Cameras Offer Flexibility In the past, an end user might determine after the camera is installed that there aren’t enough pixels on target, or they need certain different functions like video analytics for example, resulting in the time-consuming replacement of the entire camera. With modular-designed cameras, the camera module can be swapped with a new one without having to focus or replace the camera – even to change the resolution or field of view, also Wisenet X series Plus has optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view and the position of the camera lens. Making camera adjustments in the field is also now easier and perhaps even safer. Installers have been known to climb a ladder and juggle a bulky laptop to access the network to be able to see video of how the camera is positioned. Or they’ve had to use analog video output to view the video feed on a separate monitor which provides the field of view, but not megapixel quality. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a USB port that allows installers to connect it to a small dongle that converts the camera to a Wi-Fi device. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera. It’s a much easier way to evaluate video while at the camera. Eliminating the second person looking at live view on a computer guiding through a cellphone to the installer to accurately point the camera to the proper position. If system integrators can do some of the legwork prior to even getting on site, it can reduce cost and improve efficiency. Imagine having 300 cameras ready to send to a project site. To configure those cameras, a system integrator has to take each camera out of the box, plug each into a switch, configure it, take it off of the switch and put it back in the box. To improve this process, camera manufacturers have now developed packaging that provides access to the camera port without even having to remove it from the box. It’s an innovative solution that saves time. Modular cameras have optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view Software Programs Help In Enhancing Installation Whether it’s a one-man show or a team of electricians, installers and configurators, software programs can greatly enhance the installation process. Device managers are important tools in adding multiple cameras to a project. Using that 300-camera project, for example, it’s easier when a manufacturer has a device manager that allows the mass programming and configuration of cameras. Adding 300 cameras one by one is time consuming and leaves room for error when making so many multiple entries. A device manager should be able to scan the network and locate its devices, allowing them to be grouped, configured and much more. Every video surveillance camera project is going to have its ups and downs. But camera manufacturers can do their part in the production process to address the many issues known to slow down progress. It’s impressive that many are taking the lead in producing innovations like modular camera design, flexibility in the field and accessible packaging that can truly reduce installation cost and improve efficiency.
For those of you old enough to remember, video matrix switchers were once the heyday of surveillance camera control. These cumbersome antiques were at the heart of every major video surveillance system (video surveillance at the time) in premier gaming properties, government installations and corporate industrial complexes. They required more physical labor to construct and configure than perhaps the pyramids – maybe not – but you get the picture. And then digital video made its way in to the market and everything changed, transforming the physical demands for camera control and management from a hardware-centric to a software driven process. We’ve come a long way in a few short years, and the borders that once defined IT and security continue to diminish, if not disappear completely There’s no doubt that this migration also presented significant challenges as many security professionals often struggled with all things IT and software programming being one of the industry’s soft spots. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way in a few short years, and the borders that once defined IT and security continue to diminish, if not disappear completely. However, the complexities of today’s VMS functionality can be intimidating for anyone tasked with installing one of these systems given all of the user-defined options available from the simplest camera sequencing and bandwidth allocations to mobile management and enterprise level integration. This is where truly advanced VMS solutions need to shine on both the operations and the design/build sides of the equation. Smart VMS Design There are more solutions products labelled “VMS solutions” out there than ever before. The issue is the fact that many of these “solutions” really don’t fall into the category of a true VMS by today’s standards but offer basic camera and NVR control. No doubt that there is a place for such software programs in the market. However, VMS solutions from the likes of OnSSI and other industry-leading companies offer distinct and superior management and control capabilities for demanding security and business intelligence applications. Perhaps of equal importance, these top-tier VMS solutions incorporate provisions for installers, so they have a clear and easier implementation path. OnSSI offers VMS solutions with smart camera drivers Here are seven attributes that can assist with the design and implementation of an advanced VMS solution: 1) Open Architecture Platform We need the ability to easily integrate with other systems and scale for future developments and physical system growth The ability to easily integrate with other systems and scale for future developments and physical system growth is largely dependent on a systems platform architecture. Here’s where VMS solutions with open architecture provide a distinct advantage. Open-architecture solutions expand functionality by facilitating greater integration between multiple systems and components. This not only makes VMS solutions with open architecture easier to implement, it makes them extremely cost-efficient by eliminating the need for proprietary solutions. Open architecture systems also provide adherence to industry standards such as ONVIF and PSIA, as well as compression formats such as H.265 and MJPEG, and help ensure system integration and support of an extensive range of manufacturers’ cameras and off-the-shelf hardware. Be wary of VMS solutions with limited camera manufacturer support. 2) Simple Licensing Processes And Pricing Camera licenses and pricing is always a touchy subject, as any misunderstanding of a specific VMS solutions’ licensing terms can prove to be costly after the fact. And it often seems that some VMS suppliers have gone to great lengths to complicate the process as to obscure actual Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Perhaps the most direct, simple and straightforward camera licensing and pricing method is to have one license per IP address used by each camera/encoder on multi-channel devices. These should be perpetual licenses with no required annual fees or subscriptions. Additionally, the licensing agreement should be all inclusive without added fees for multiple clients, failover servers, active directory support, I/O devices, redundant management servers, technical support or security patches and updates. 3) Mixing And Matching Camera License Types The ability to mix and match different camera license types within the same system helps facilitate a seamless and simple migration of new and pre-existing systems with minimal downtime or interruption in operation. The ability to mix and match camera licenses not only saves valuable design and installation time, it can provide considerable savings when integrating large, multi-tenant systems. Mix and match capabilities also allow system designers to apply specific feature sets to specific groups of cameras to best leverage functionality and budgets, as well as providing the flexibility to implement an on-site, virtual, or cloud-based VMS solution, without any additional cost. 4) Auto Camera Detection And Configuration Another VMS set-up feature that eases the install process is the ability to forego device registrations or MAC address requirements Another VMS set-up feature that eases the install process is the ability to forego device registrations or MAC address requirements. This functionality allows installers to instantly locate cameras on the network and configure them centrally so they can easily replace older cameras while seamlessly retaining video recorded from them. The auto detection capability should also include the ability to detect and import CSV files, which can then be stored and used to configure camera templates for future camera installation profiles. 5) Smart Camera Driver Technology VMS solutions with smart camera drivers offer valuable assistance during system implementation, and any time new cameras are added to the network or replace older models. Manufacturer-specific smart camera drivers expand the range of model-specific static drivers. Instead of storing the device’s information (codecs, resolutions, frame rates, etc.) statically, a VMS with smart camera drivers queries devices for their capabilities using the manufacturers’ proprietary protocol. All that is required for configuration is that the camera is available on the network. Smart camera drivers eliminate the need to wait for model-specific drivers or installation of driver packs, allowing for newly released cameras to be used immediately. Network security is an area where leading VMS suppliers like OnSSI have ramped up development efforts to stay ahead of hackers 6) Importance Of Network Security Network Security is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by industry professionals today Network security is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by industry professionals today. This is an area where leading VMS suppliers like OnSSI have ramped up development efforts to stay ahead of hackers. New security developments to look for include TLS 1.2 encryption protocols for camera-to-server communications (SSL 3.0 supported for older cameras), as well as server-to-server communications. Additional safeguards to consider include: randomized video databases with no camera identification information to secure recorded data; support for Active Directory authentication; AES encryption between servers and clients; and AES encrypted exporting. 7) Automatic Updates Regardless of the supplier you select for your VMS solution, they should be consistently providing new updates and security patches on a frequent if not regular basis. Keeping up with these updates can be a burden and are often overlooked leading to system failures and breeches. Advanced VMS solutions now feature automatic update service checks on a system-wide basis, eliminating the need to manually update individual servers and devices. This ensures that your VMS system always has the latest drivers, fixes and updates which assures overall security while reducing TCO. So next time you’re getting a demo of the latest and greatest VMS solution, remember to ask what it offers in terms of design and implementation tools. Half the battle with new technologies is getting them installed and working properly. Without the right tools to accomplish these critical first steps, all the functionality in the world will do you little good.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 has seen 323 mass shooting incidents as of November 28 in the United States. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016 (more statistics are available here), with “mass shooting” defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. While definitions of mass shooting vary with organizations in the US, the count of over 300 incidents per year, or about once per day on average, is simply alarming. It raises public safety concerns, ignites debates and protests, which in turn lead to public unrest and potentially more violence, and increases costs for governments from the regional to federal level. Most importantly, the loss of lives demands not only improvement in post-incident handling and investigation, but also new prevention technologies. Gunshot Detection Solutions AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting There are several gunshot detection solutions in the security market, commonly used by law enforcement agencies to detect and locate gun fires. These systems function based on acoustic recordings and analyses and often in combination with signals detected by sensors of the optical flash and shockwave when a gun is fired. However, gunshot detection by nature dictates that the law enforcement can only react to a shooting incident that has occurred. With fast action, law enforcement can prevent the incident from escalating, but lives that are lost cannot be recovered. With the development of artificial intelligence in object recognition, AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognize firearms in different shapes, sizes, colors, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing cameras systems, analyze the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Comparison of the advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies Legacy gunshot detection using sensors AI weapon detection Reactive measure: detect after guns have been fired Proactive measure: detect before guns are fired Time to action: within 1 second Time to action: within 1 second Unable to provide visual data about shooter(s) Can provide data about shooter(s) based on the camera recording: clothing, luggage (backpack, handbag, etc.), facial features, vehicle Unable to track the location of the shooter(s) before and after shooting because of the lack of sound Can track the shooter(s) using AI Person & Vehicle Tracking, AI Face Recognition, and AI License Plate Recognition False detection caused by similar sound such as fireworks and cars backfiring Minimal to no false detection, as AI can distinguish different types of handguns and rifles from normal objects (umbrella, cellphone, etc.) Require physical deployment of gunshot detection sensors Can be used with existing camera systems, do not require special hardware Complicated to deploy, require highly trained professional Easy to deploy as an add-on to existing video surveillance system - Can integrate with gun-shot detection to create a “double knock” audio and video active shooter alert system Gun-Shot Detection Advantages In addition to advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies, this type of visual-based pre-incident detector has three-fold advantages for the public: Save lives by spotting the shooter before the shooting event. Minimize the chaos entailing an incident: panic and chaos caused by a shooting incident often adds to injury, as people run, fall, trample on others… With an AI weapon detector, when a gun is spotted, the system sends an alert to security staff, who can quickly control the situation in an organized manner and apprehend the intending shooter. Can be added as a SaaS (Security as a Service) component to small business and home surveillance systems, e.g., intrusion detection alerts (home invasion incidents with firearms number over 2500 per year nationwide). For a complete active shooter detection system, video-based AI detector can operate in conjunction with gunshot detectors for enhanced security. Traditional X-ray based weapon detection or metal detection entrance systems are complicated and expensive; with AI video technology, active shooter detection system can be cost-effective, and after all, what price tag can one put on a life? Written by Paul Sun and Mai Truong, IronYun
A total overhaul of care and safeguarding measures at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s mental healthcare facilities was required following historic failures, including preventable deaths in 2012 and 2013. A root-and-branch reform program was put in place to improve care, ensure transparency and cut risks. A comprehensive video surveillance solution was sought to underpin these efforts. The first phase project required complete video capture and recording at the Ravenswood House facility for children and adolescents, with further premises to follow in subsequent phases. Affordable Surveillance System The surveillance system not only needed to cover all areas of the site but also needed to be affordable, secure against cyber-attacksSouthern Health had a critical need for continuous video evidence capture in all areas at Ravenswood House, in all lighting conditions, without blind-spots. The primary objective was to use the recordings of interactions with patients to improve standards of care, with clinical staff reviewing how incidents are handled, and protecting staff in the event of accusations of mistreatment. Because vulnerable young people are being cared for, any allegation of mistreatment requires that the staff involved are removed from front-line care duties pending investigations, therefore the ability to find and present video evidence quickly is vital. The surveillance system not only needed to cover all areas of the site but also needed to be affordable, secure against cyber-attacks in compliance with NHS requirements, quick to install – as the hospital had to remain in constant use – and easy for clinical staff to use as well as security specialists. Installation Of 12MP Super Fisheye Cameras The 12MP Super Fisheyes benefit from IDIS’s Smart Failover protection, which ensures continued recording even during network instability or drop-outHigh specification IDIS video technology was identified as the best for the project following a detailed on-site comparison which demonstrated its superior picture quality and ease-of-use. Specialist integrator ISD Tech was brought in to install more than a hundred IDIS 12MP Super Fisheye cameras. These units allow affordable, comprehensive area coverage, typically doing the equivalent job of three or four PTZ cameras. The result is lower installation fees, a reduced maintenance burden and affordable operation, recording the full scene without the need for an operator 24/7. The 12MP Super Fisheyes also benefit from IDIS’s Smart Failover protection, which ensures continued recording even during network instability or drop-out. And IDIS’s Korean-made technology uses proprietary protocols (not off-the-shelf) that makes it fully network-secure, allowing it to be linked to local LANs without the risk of system hacking, which is a key consideration for any IP surveillance solution. Easier And Less Costly Installation The impact on staff is huge when they can’t work in the wards, so this speeded-up process is really valuable"The IDIS video solution was used to quickly and easily replace a previously-installed IP video system which comprised a mix of equipment from different manufacturers, and in comparison, it is easier and less costly to install, maintain and operate. “This will really assist us with evidence gathering and any criminal process. We can now look at the footage ourselves and quickly determine what happened. And we can email video links to the police and local authority designated officers. The impact on staff is huge when they can’t work in the wards, so this speeded-up process is really valuable,” said Tracey Edwards, Head of Security Southern Health NHS Trust. Following ISD Tech’s successful completion of the Ravenswood House upgrade, 250 more facilities across Hampshire are to follow, including clinics, medium secure units and admin centers.
Located southeast of Los Angeles, California, the City of Whittier hosts a water pumping utility installation that provides water to the businesses and residents of the surrounding Gateway Cities Region. In recent years, the installation routinely suffered attacks by vandals and looters, resulting in regular defacement with graffiti and the theft of copper components from pumping stations. This caused interruptions in service to businesses and residents across the surrounding cities. To ensure the security of the water installation and avoid public health and safety concerns, the City of Whittier turned to a virtual guarding solution from iNet Security LLC. iNet Security leveraged comprehensive monitoring from the Surveillance Acquisition Response Center (SARC), powered in part by IDIS technology, for a high-performance video surveillance solution that has already shown powerful results. Enhancing Multi-Site Security And Safety The City of Whittier turned to a virtual guarding solution from iNet Security LLC With the health and safety of the City of Whittier and its surrounding region potentially at risk, it was essential that any security solution deployed by the city be dependable, effective, and capable of low-maintenance 24/7 monitoring. The system also required ease of remote use as the installation is located in a remote wildlife preservation area far from the city center. Any surveillance solution had to: Secure multiple locations within a remote wilderness location Manage authorized access to installation premises Maximize security of the installation with encryption speeds capable of constant live monitoring Provide compatibility and integrate seamlessly with SARC virtual guarding systems Enable the coordination of live responses to security events Feature intuitive software that is easy for users to operate and master. Representatives of the City of Whittier reviewed systems from several manufacturers before they determined that the virtual guarding solution from iNet Security, powered in part by IDIS, would best meet their requirements. DirectCX Technology And Center VMS The industry’s most advanced analog HD solution, DirectCX, is based on High Definition Transfer Video Interface (HD-TVI) technology SARC and the City of Whittier leveraged technology from the high-performance and cost-effective IDIS DirectCX solution and IDIS Center video management software (VMS) to meet their remote monitoring needs. The industry’s most advanced analog HD solution, DirectCX, is based on High Definition Transfer Video Interface (HD-TVI) technology. IDIS incorporated its expertize in image processing to provide unrivaled HD recording performance at an affordable price point for the responsibly cost-conscious City of Whittier. Designed for simplicity, convenience, and performance, the DirectCX technology and the powerful, full-featured IDIS Center VMS incorporated by iNet Security have proved to be optimal components of the comprehensive solution, meeting the challenges faced by the City of Whittier. IDIS HD-TVI DVR The most powerful IDIS HD-TVI DVR, the TR-4116 16 Channel Full HD Recorder, offers: Support for HD-TVI, 960H, and analog cameras Up to 480ips Full HD recording Full HD display with HDMI and VGA output Support for CVBS spot monitor Long distance transmission over coaxial cable Support for HD-TVI camera OSD control over coaxial cable Expansion up to 32TB using 4 SATA interfaces and 1 eSATA storage interface One click network configuration using IDIS For Every Network (FEN) service Dependable Security Environment IDIS has helped to dramatically improve the security environment for the City of Whittier’s water installation and pumping stations In partnership with iNet Security and SARC, IDIS has helped to dramatically improve the security environment for the City of Whittier’s water installation and pumping stations. Within the first week of installation, a group of vandals was caught attempting to fault the installation fence and was successfully deterred remotely using SARC’s remote “voice-down” protocol. In a dramatic security and safety success, the system was used to coordinate a fast and effective response to two isolated fires as well as a dangerous wildfire that threatened both the utility and surrounding wildlife. SARC operatives utilized IDIS technology, in part, to accurately and quickly guide first-responders through the remote wilderness to the site of the fires, minimizing damage and risk to the surrounding areas. Thanks to the power and performance provided by the iNet Security solution, including IDIS DirectCX technology, the City of Whittier is benefiting from: Low total cost of ownership Unparalleled ease of use through the IDIS Center VMS Complete dependability of system components Lower system maintenance requirements A scalable solution to allow for expansion to additional installation sites
The year ahead holds endless promise for the physical security industry, and much of that future will be determined by which technologies the industry embraces. The menu of possibilities is long – from artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things to the cloud and much more – and each technology trend has the potential to transform the market in its own way. We tapped into the collective expertise of our Expert Panel Roundtable to answer this question: What technology trend will have the biggest impact on the security market in 2019?
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