Video Surveillance software - Expert commentary

How Smart Technology Is Simplifying Safety And Security In Retirement Villages
How Smart Technology Is Simplifying Safety And Security In Retirement Villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specializing in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analog, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behavior. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

The Post-Pandemic Mandate For Entertainment Venues: Digitally Transform Security Guards
The Post-Pandemic Mandate For Entertainment Venues: Digitally Transform Security Guards

As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behavior. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behavior, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organized campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behavior Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behavior With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behavior, particularly when they are the targets of that behavior. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behavior. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labor, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditized business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labor-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practise since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.

Impact Of Challenges In The Component Supply Chain On Security Manufacturers
Impact Of Challenges In The Component Supply Chain On Security Manufacturers

Prices and delivery times for essential components in video surveillance systems are being driven up as demand soars from other industries. Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes explains the current state of the market. Challenges Component shortages and supply chain challenges are a hot topic in just about every industry based on semi-conductors and silicon chips right now, and security is no exception. It’s common knowledge that the global Covid lockdown caused a shutdown in the mining of silicon and spherites as large industries such as motor manufacturing canceled or postponed their chip orders – this has caused a supply gap that every industry is feeling. However, there is a second challenge that is hitting the security sector particularly hard, and it may not be one you are expecting – cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies and security When people discuss cryptocurrencies and security, thoughts often turn to cybersecurity and ransomware payment tracking. But the issue for the majority of the security industry comes from crypto mining. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) are a key component in video surveillance, they decode images and display them onto screens. With the increase of video analytics, these have also become key to running the complicated algorithms required for creating the metadata and presenting it in a meaningful way for end-users. However, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining. Demand for GPUs When Bitcoin prices were relatively low, it was hard to justify the cost of a GPU and the associated power consumption for Bitcoin mining applications. But as the price of Bitcoin has increased exponentially, demand for GPUs to do the number-crunching has grown dramatically causing a major shortage and huge price hikes. This rise in prices is not correlated with an increase in technological performance on the new GPUs, it is entirely a case of demand outstripping supply and a resulting bidding war. To put this in context, cards are currently going new for around twice the original price and manufacturers simply cannot keep up with the demand. Chia On top of this, there is a new cryptocurrency creating a new threat to a different part of the video surveillance industry. A new ‘environmental’ cryptocurrency called Chia has dispensed with the processing power and electricity demands of traditional GPU mining, instead of utilizing the spare storage space on hard drives (HDD) to verify blockchain transactions (‘proof of space’). The demand for this particular cryptocurrency has to date called on 30 Exabytes of storage since May this year – that’s 30 Billion Gigabytes of data, and it’s not just HDDs, high-capacity SSDs are also in demand. This is causing massive hard drive supply issues globally, thus rocketing prices for those that are available. HDD consumption The security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days to 6 months Of course, this has a particularly large knock-on for the video surveillance market. There is nothing more data-intensive than video, other than multiple streams of HD video. With this in mind, the security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days typically up to 6 months and longer in some regions/applications, the video surveillance market consumes more HDDs than many other markets. Growth of data centers While you would think that this would make security an important area for HDD manufacturers, our market is a relatively small player. IT vendors will always focus on their core customers, and the rise of the gaming market, as well as the growth of data centers due to remote working in the pandemic, has created a more important sector to serve – and these customers will always come first. Imagine the daily storage space required if 5 Billion people uploaded just one image a day to ‘the cloud’! Component manufacturers These factors combined with the lack of raw materials leading to longer lead times for component manufacturers mean that the prices for hard drives and GPUs are likely to remain inflated well into 2022 while factories play catch up on the backlog. The market for IT hardware is currently strong enough to continue even with the increase in component prices and the extended lead times for products. If you can get your hands on any HDDs, the delivery times from most distributors are around 6-8 weeks. Increased delivery times All of this has had a serious impact on the security industry. Video surveillance projects are now facing the combined issue of increased delivery times and higher costs. Many manufacturers, integrators, and distributors are doing their best to absorb the price increases where they can, but this is unsustainable over the long term. So what can be done? Second-hand applications Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market. However, it is unlikely that commercial applications will be willing to risk potential downtime or data losses by using second-hand components that have been pushed hard for months on end mining cryptocurrencies. Making early purchases While I can’t comment on what other manufacturers have done, at Secure Logiq we have been watching this market trend closely. We always try to keep a close eye on anything that has the potential to significantly impact our manufacturing capabilities and try to offset any potential challenges with early purchases before the impact is fully felt. As such, we have been able to secure enough products to continue manufacturing as normal for more than six months. Increased demand as a challenge While we have this existing stock to meet current and anticipated orders, we continue to scour the market for any available stock to make sure we are at the top of the list when any fresh products come on the market. This has meant that throughout our 10-year history we have never failed to deliver a customer order within 7-10 working days. The delays with component manufacture and the ongoing increased demand will continue to present a huge challenge to the video surveillance and wider security industry. However, good planning and intelligent design will allow projects to remain on track. Security technology manufacturers are not alone in this challenge, but the dual-threat is perhaps unique. It will take a while for this threat to be overcome, but with robust planning and by paying close attention to the market forward-thinking video surveillance manufacturers can still deliver projects for their clients.

Latest RISCO Group news

RISCO’s SmartHome Video-enabled Security Solution At IFSEC 2015
RISCO’s SmartHome Video-enabled Security Solution At IFSEC 2015

RISCO will also present its new ProSYS Plus grade 3 hybrid security system for commercial sector at the event RISCO Group, the global integrated security solutions provider, will be presenting a host of exciting new products at IFSEC 2015, stand G1100. SmartHome An extension of RISCO Group’s award-winning Agility 3 and LightSYS 2 intruder alarms, using the advanced iRISCO smartphone app, new ‘SmartHome’ offers homeowners total control of their security, safety and home appliances. RISCO’s powerful video-enabled security solutions combined with their new connected home devices now enables householders to increase their energy efficiency, save money and enjoy control of their home devices and security - using just a single interface. ProSYS Plus - NEW G3 Panel With 512 Zones With the new ProSYS™ Plus grade 3 hybrid security system designed for the commercial sector, RISCO is setting the bar in the security industry. The powerful state-of-the-art solution offers a unique array of benefits, featuring a revolutionary single hardware platform with a unique licensing mechanism - allowing virtually unlimited scalability for any size of installation up to 512 zones. Encompassing the complete spectrum of advanced RISCO technology, the ProSYS™ Plus professional security solution provides: Advanced scalable control panel suitable for any commercial installation, up to 512 zones ‘Super Hybrid’ architecture offering wired, 2-way wireless and RISCO Bus for optimized installation Revolutionary cost-effective licensing model reducing project TCO Cloud-based smartphone app and web interface, enabling remote monitoring anytime, anywhere Full range of professional commercial and industrial detectors, utilizing RISCO’s advanced detection technologies Integrated IP cameras for live HD video verification and remote ‘look in’ via the cloud Fully supported by RISCO’s open architecture command & control PSIM software Beyond™ - NEW Wired And Wireless External Detector A winning combination of dual technology and integrated camera, Beyond™ provides crystal clear visual verification via the monitoring station, iRISCO smartphone app, or web interface A winning combination of dual technology and integrated camera, Beyond™ provides crystal clear visual verification via the monitoring station, iRISCO smartphone app, or web interface. Offering both flexibility and ease of installation, the IP65 rated wireless device features a chargeable auxiliary solar battery for extended battery life. Enhancing Beyond’s performance, false alarms in outdoor environments are drastically reduced via RISCOs’ unique Sway Recognition™ and Digital Correlation™ detection technologies. With Beyond™ you get: Cutting edge wireless DT outdoor detector with an integral high-resolution color camera Crystal clear images for visual alarm verification, day and night Unique solar powered solution enabling close to unlimited battery life Visual Alarm verification via the iRISCO mobile app Minimal false alarm rate due to high detection performance technologies and visual verification capability BWare™ – NEW Wireless Model Added To The State-Of-The-Art Commercial Detector Range In addition to its advanced technology and reliability, BWare™, RISCO Group’s state-of-the-art wired and wireless detector series for professional installations, scores high points for its smart and modern design. Utilizing RISCO’s industry-leading detection technologies, such as Anti-Cloak™ and K-band microwave for improved catch performance, and a unique wireless DT detector with active IR anti mask, the BWare™ series offers a comprehensive array of wired, wireless and Bus detectors. Saving installation time and cost, the BWare™ BUS models can be remotely diagnosed and serviced using the RISCO Bus. The BWare™ series is ideal for a wide range of commercial and high security applications; with Grade 2 and Grade 3 versions. The BWare™ smart detector family provides the flexibility to utilize professional detectors within any installation - wired, wireless or hybrid, while maintaining a uniform look across the site. Now supplied with the CSL DualCom WorldSIM® as standard, visitors to the RISCO stand can view the full range of award-winning panels, and HandyApp, on the ‘Innovation Trail’. In addition, visitors to the show can see Steve Riley presenting VUpoint, as part of the Benchmark Innovation Awards, at 11:30am on Tuesday 16th June in the Benchmark arena.

IFSEC International 2015 - Highlights of Innovation Trail
IFSEC International 2015 - Highlights of Innovation Trail

The Innovation Trail will allow visitors to navigate all the newest products and services from across the security industry Innovation is the key theme at this year’s IFSEC International, taking place from 16-18 June at ExCeL London. The annual security gathering will host the Benchmark Innovation Awards along with the launch of the new Innovation Arena. In addition to this, the Innovation Trail returns for its second year. Innovation Trail - Latest Products and Services Organizers of IFSEC International have polled their exhibitors to discover all the latest trends and innovations that will be on display, the Innovation Trail will allow visitors to navigate all the newest products and services from across the security industry that have launched this year. Highlights of the IFSEC International Innovation Trail include the NICE Suspect Search, a patent-pending video analytics tool that quickly locates and retraces the movements of a suspect, lost child, or other person of interest within a video surveillance network. Video footage from different cameras and time frames can be reviewed in just minutes, as the system automatically filters out 95 percent of irrelevant images. In addition to achieving faster response times, organizations are able to restore normal operations quicker following a security breach. RISCO To Exhibit Its HandyApp The RISCO HandyApp is the first smartphone application dedicated to supporting the sales and installation activities of professional security installers. The app allows installers working with RISCO products to increase their efficiency and sales potential by providing access to everything they need for a smooth installation. Through the app, installers can gain access to manuals, use power consumption calculators and even share user guides or sales materials with customers or colleagues. Installers can also extend product warranties and seamlessly open a service request by phone or email through the dedicated support area. Arecont Vision At The Event "We are delighted to incorporate the Innovation Trail once again and we have some really exciting products and technology to showcase this year" IFSEC International will also be displaying the latest in camera systems including Arecont Vision next generation panoramic cameras, the 5MP SurroundVideo® with Arecont Vision®’s proprietary STELLAR™ Low Light Technology, and the 12MP SurroundVideo® with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Both panoramic cameras also feature motorized lenses for easy set-up, and over a 50% increase in frame rate versus current SurroundVideo® cameras. Engtex AB will showcase its highly advanced textile Avertic Armour, developed from the No. 1 chainsaw protective textile, Avertic Pro+. This warp-knitted textile uses the world´s strongest fiber designed to withstand break-in attempts when heavy duty tools are used. Smanos To Launch K1 Finally, Smanos launch K1, the ultimate home automation and security center combining butler and guard functions into a stack of aesthetically pleasing round discs. The discs come with aluminum frames and texturized plastic surfaces, suitable for everyday use. This smart home technology uses intuitive operation, gesture-based password protection and self-learning capability to ensure the connected home is both affordable and easy to use. IFSEC, Event Director Comments Gerry Dunphy, event director- IFSEC International states: “Following our move in 2014 to London’s ExCeL we conducted a significant amount of research and one of the key themes that kept coming up is everyone wanted to see genuine innovation on the show floor. We are delighted to incorporate the Innovation Trail once again and we have some really exciting products and technology to showcase this year. With so many new products within the Innovation Trail, IFSEC International really will provide a one-stop shop for our installer community to get their hands on the latest technology.” All these new products, plus many more, will make up this year’s Innovation Trail at IFSEC International 2015, helping visitors to easily access the new technologies that have come to market. Visitors will also be able to speak to leading suppliers that are shaking up the industry with new services, experts will be on hand to answer any questions and demo all the latest products on their stands. 

RISCO Groups’s Integrated Security Systems Control And Monitor Comverse’s Branches Worldwide
RISCO Groups’s Integrated Security Systems Control And Monitor Comverse’s Branches Worldwide

RISCO Group’s SynopSYS platform provides real time pictures of all branches from one interface Comverse is a leading multinational provider of telecommunications software and systems, with numerous branches worldwide. Comverse required an integrated management platform to control and monitor all of their branches from the company headquarters. The Challenge Comverse’s many branches around the world vary in size and operating hours. Many contain sensitive areas such as labs, warehouses, and IT rooms. Comverse’s largest site is the company headquarters, spanning 55,000 square meters. The headquarters houses two data centers, which are considered to be the most sensitive areas in all of Comverse worldwide. Comverse required a solution that would enable them to secure and monitor all of the branches from the global security control center located in their headquarters. The solution would have to support the simple integration of a variety of security systems. Another requirement was that the solution be based on TCP/IP communication. The most important consideration for Comverse was the reliability of the solution. The Solution Comverse chose RISCO Group’s ProSYS Integrated Security System as the solution that met all requirements. In 2006, ProSYS was initially installed in seven branches, each panel communicating via IP. ProSYS’ IP module enables simultaneous multiple channel TCP/IP communication, and works via secure communication with a full SSL stack using AES256 bit encryption. Following the successful installation of ProSYS in the first seven branches, Comverse’s Director for Corporate Security & EHS, Guy Dafna, called ProSYS a ‘global standard,’ and has since extended the system to all branches worldwide. In 2009, Comverse chose RISCO Group’s SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management platform with Integrated Video to control and monitor Comverse’s scattered branches. The installation is led by Comverse Corporate Security, who are gradually rolling out the platform to all branches. The Platform provides an overall picture of all the branches in real time, from one intuitive user interface located in the company headquarters and displays all building and rooms. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management displays all buildings and rooms in the sites on synoptic maps. Highlights ProSYS Integrated Security System is installed in Comverse’s branches worldwide, communicating via IP. ProSYS was selected for its simplicity and flexibility. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management Platform enables control and management of all the company’s branches from the headquarters via a single and intuitive user interface. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management Platform is extremely flexible, its open platform allowing for easy integration not only with ProSYS, but also with video monitoring, intrusion, and fire systems, as well as HVAC, lighting, and elevator control. The Customer’s Point of View Comverse was pleased with the open platform that makes it easy to build unique projects, and is scalable according to the company’s future needs. They particularly valued the system’s flexibility, ease of use, and wide range of features. Comverse’s Corporate Security Director Guy Dafna noted, “Based on my experience working with many security systems, I can surely say that it looks like we’re on the good and safe track with RISCO’s solutions.”

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