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 Vigilant Technology UK Ltd. news

Vigilant Technology Offers Optimized IP Surveillance Monitoring For Limited Bandwidth Networks
Vigilant Technology Offers Optimized IP Surveillance Monitoring For Limited Bandwidth Networks

 Vigilant NetView provides enhanced video handling accuracy, flexibility and alarm managementVigilant Technology, a BATM Company and provider of intelligent IP video surveillance and security solutions, has announced today the release of NetView Version 3.0 IP Matrix Control Center Management Solution. NetView 3.0 enhancements support H.264 compression capabilities, multi-site remote access over low bandwidth, an intuitive touch-screen driven user interface, and added support for megapixel cameras.Central to the system is Vigilant's Remote Gateway Server (RGS) which uses advanced network statistics to automatically adjust bitrate and frame rate according to available bandwidth. This enables operators to view surveillance video from remote sites over a limited bandwidth infrastructure eliminating the need for a high-cost high-bandwidth infrastructure.The new version includes NetView Command, a touch screen application combining active map navigation with an on-screen CCTV keyboard. "This unique intuitive user interface allows security professionals to effectively identify incidents, notify and inform the appropriate personnel both off and on site, and efficiently manage actions to be taken," said Ohad Kleinman, director of product management for Vigilant Technologies. "We recognize the tremendous pressure that is being placed on security professionals to respond quickly, and feel confident that these features will enable them to take appropriate measures to either avert a crisis, or at least minimize damages."In addition, NetView 3.0 extends its 3rd party IP device support for megapixel cameras. These higher-definition cameras provide operators with a more detailed image for better identification of subjects while maintaining efficient network transmission.Vigilant's NetView is an end-to-end fully digital security and surveillance management solution providing an IP virtual matrix; video wall operation and powerful alarm management. Vigilant NetView Video Surveillance Center is a fully digital management solution providing a mature Virtual Matrix, Video wall operation and powerful event handlingNetView replaces legacy analog matrix systems, giving instant access to live and recorded video from any camera on any monitor.  The application scales to support unlimited number of input channels and can integrate both analog and digital video streams.The Vigilant NetView range of products is ideal for mission critical, multi-site environments, such as transport, gaming, retail, finance and public space.The full range of Vigilant's IP video surveillance solutions was displayed at IFSEC 2009, May 11 - 14, stand E135.

IP Surveillance Provider Vigilant Technology Expands Operations
IP Surveillance Provider Vigilant Technology Expands Operations

 Vigilant Technology, global provider of IP surveillance and security solutions targets the US and APAC markets Vigilant Technology, a BATM Company and provider of intelligent IP surveillance and security solutions, has expanded its presence in North America and the Asia Pacific region by opening two new headquarters. The expansion will significantly strengthen the Company's presence in the respective regions.Both offices include a complete video surveillance control room where visitors can participate in a hands-on experience of setting up and managing a live video surveillance network. Located in Foxboro, Massachusetts, the US office will support Vigilant's sales efforts in the Americas through the sales offices in New York and Arizona. The APAC office is located in Singapore and will also support Vigilant's sales efforts in Sydney, Australia.Vigilant Technology designs and manufactures intelligent IP surveillance solutions for mid-to-large-scale deployments in mission-critical, multi-user application environments. These solutions range from sophisticated video management systems including monitoring, recording, analysis, reporting and investigation suites, to high-end digital video recorders (DVR & NVR). The company specializes in CCTV surveillance services for city centres, public spaces and public safety agencies, corporate campuses, shopping malls, residential complexes, and casinos. The system can accommodate tens, hundreds and even thousands of cameras per site operating over enterprise LAN, wireless or carrier networks."In addition to the traditional markets for video surveillance, we are beginning to see growing interest in the service provider community to offer IP-based surveillance as a service to their broad base of customers," stated Avi Cohen, CEO of Vigilant Technology. "In order to address the unique needs of sending mission-critical video across a public network, we will partner with Telco Systems to address the service provider challenges to provide a service-assured, end-to-end network." Telco Systems is a BATM company specializing in carrier Ethernet solutions for service providers.Vigilant has seen a dramatic rise in interest in their video surveillance solutions over the past year and looks to continue this momentum through new partnerships that will help grow the offering to a broader audience. The Vigilant Partnership program has been developed to enable its partners to successfully promote and market Vigilant solutions in existing and new markets.

Alvarion® Showcases Latest Solutions For Public Safety At ISC West Conference In Las Vegas
Alvarion® Showcases Latest Solutions For Public Safety At ISC West Conference In Las Vegas

 Alvarion showcases its end-to-end video surveillance solutions for enhanced public safety and security at ISC WestAlvarion Ltd., the world's leading provider of WiMAX™ and wireless broadband solutions, will be showcasing its end-to-end video surveillance solutions for enhanced public safety and security at ISC West, April 1-3 at Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, booth #39038. Additionally, Alvarion experts will provide their perspectives on the market and the future of the technology in panel sessions.Visitors to the booth will experience a live demonstration using Alvarion's BreezeACCESS® solution, which will connect several network cameras at the event exhibiting interoperability and end-to-end solutions with multiple partners and distributors including Winncom Technologies, international supplier of wireless communication systems, and Vigilant Technologies, provider of intelligent IP surveillance and security solutions.In addition to providing a hands-on experience at the booth, Alvarion experts are scheduled to speak in various sessions highlighting business case scenarios:Watching You on the Wave: WiMAX Wireless Video Surveillance without Limits: On Wednesday, April 1 at 2:15 p.m. in the Café Theatre on the exhibit floor, Avi Shabtay, vice president and general manager of private and alternative networks business activity for Alvarion, will discuss the WiMAX video surveillance business case along with exciting applications from around the world.Value Added Reseller Workshop: Alvarion, together with partner Winncom Technologies, will be demonstrating Alvarion's solutions. Attendees will learn about secure wireless communication equipment, scalable and flexible video camera deployment, mobile surveillance camera support and optimized high bandwidth video surveillance applications.Over the years, Alvarion's solutions have supported many applications for the public safety market:Alvarion's BreezeACCESS was utilized as part of the solution that provided broadband connectivity and security during President Barack Obama's historic inauguration ceremony in Washington DC.U.S.-based Electronic Technology Inc. selected Alvarion equipment for use in their Operation Green Light (OGL) network in the city of Lenexa, Kansas to provide robust and reliable communication. Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), U.S., has implemented a wireless network based on Alvarion's solution that covers two states, 23 cities, 17 jurisdictions and 600 intersections, supporting an intelligent traffic system for reduced pollution, better traffic flow and emergency evacuation capabilities.Roissy Porte de France, a rural community of 14 villages spread around Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris, with a population of 46,000 inhabitants and 10,000 daily commuters, chose Alvarion equipment to monitor crime activity for community safety in this high density industrial area.

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