Switchers & Switches - Expert commentary

Surge Protection For Security Installations: 2017 Saw Increased Investment
Surge Protection For Security Installations: 2017 Saw Increased Investment

In 2017, DITEK saw how power surges from the many natural disasters that took place damaged many businesses. In a natural disaster, or even everyday business operations, a facility’s entire investment in security, life safety and surveillance systems technology can be disabled or rendered useless in a few seconds. Surge protection solutions can mitigate those risks and protect security investments. Proactive Approach To Risk Mitigation Throughout 2017, we also witnessed a change in how enterprises view surge protection, which included how investments are being made in surge protection to protect valuable security, life safety and surveillance systems, while also reducing downtime, manpower costs, liability vulnerabilities, and possibly compliance issues that can force businesses to actually cease operations. Effective security management is about mitigating risks. But risks cannot be mitigated without a proactive approach. Enterprises and integrators, who take the time to assess risk and to develop a strategy to incorporate effective detection, deter and response criteria to protect physical assets will be successful in 2018. 2018 And Beyond That strategy includes designing surge protection into new security systems, while also adding surge protection to existing systems. Enterprises and security integrators who implement a surge protection strategy during security planning processes – or after – will be exercising prevention and mitigation, and they will be successful in 2018 and beyond.  Surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise surveillance and security systems In 2017, Ditek continued to offer security end users a solid surge protection solution. We also successfully educated system integrators, who are seeking value-added products or services to incorporate into their portfolios, on the importance of surge protection devices. Educating Security Integrators We believe that surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise video surveillance and security systems, because they can and do meet safety and security challenges that have been rarely identified in the past. We are looking forward to 2018, when we will continue to develop new surge protection products – including a new product engineered to protect up to twelve individual fuel dispensers, which is critical to the financial operation of convenience stores. We will also continue to educate security integrators about the importance of including surge protection in the design/build RFP, to not only secure an enterprise’s valuable security equipment, but also to help integrators to differentiate their capabilities and knowledge from the competition.

Technology Evolution Leads To Changes In Security Control Room Furniture
Technology Evolution Leads To Changes In Security Control Room Furniture

Technology is changing the look and function of today’s security control rooms. Old-school CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors are giving way to the thinner, flat screen monitors in the control room environment, but the transition is gradual. Randy Smith of Winsted still sees many control rooms that need to make the conversion, which is a boon to his company’s business. Furniture today is designed differently to accommodate the thinner monitors, often with larger screens. Need For Integrated Rack Systems With the increase of IP-based systems comes the need for integrated rack systems that include advanced functionality such as cable management, adds Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Server rooms are environmentally controlled by cooling systems and power systems monitored on the IP network. Low-profile flat screens allow centers to utilize space vertically, thus creating a smaller footprint for the consoles. Additionally, with IP-based systems, workstations will have a smaller footprint because there is less cumbersome equipment. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security, says Coleman. This environment also helps with cable and power management. AFC builds technical furniture racks that adhere to the precise needs of computer network server room operators. The company designs and fabricates LAN workbenches with versatile functionalities, and server room workstation racks that are scalable. There is a complete line of IT workbenches, IT computer racks and computer server rack mounts with flexible mounting options. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security Flexible Control Room Designs Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, says the transition from bulky CRT equipment to flat-screen (lower profile) monitors was a major disruption in control room design; it changed the whole dynamic. Another evolution is the use of IP video streaming, which allows more flexibility in manipulation of audio-video content, and requires more flexible control room designs. Another shift, driven by larger, higher-definition monitors, is a shift to fewer monitors that display more information. Instead of a smaller monitor for each information stream, larger monitors now consolidate that information into “dashboard” displays. Looking ahead, control rooms will need to be more flexible, both in the initial design and the ability to adapt to changing technology, says Papic. Legacy customers who are currently using PCs may be moving to more remote applications. Sit-stand equipment will continue to be increasingly prevalent. “There will be more emphasis on flexibility, technology integration, and the ability to change over the life of the system,” says Papic. Consolidation Of Multiple Operations Into A Single System A trend in security is consolidation of multiple physical operations into a single system, says Papic. As a result, more customers are taking more interest in alarm management and situational awareness. How is the technology being used in terms of alarm triggers? How can the systems react rapidly and provide information to a larger audience in the control room? These questions impact how control rooms are designed, and Evans Consoles can adapt lessons learned from other markets to these trends in the security arena. Greater use of technology is inevitable, says Coleman of AFC Industries. “It is virtually impossible for humans to monitor all security data at the street level in our cities,” he says. “As computers become more powerful and their programs more all-encompassing, we will see a greater shift to robotic and technology uses that will provide enhanced monitoring capabilities and safety reactions.” Read our Control Rooms series here

Will Security Industry Consolidation Stifle Innovation?
Will Security Industry Consolidation Stifle Innovation?

The security industry will continue to see consolidation through acquisition in 2017. At the advent of IP camera adoption, we saw a great decline in large vertically integrated companies, which spurred a new era of innovation within smaller IP camera manufacturers, VMS providers and other hardware companies for storage and managed switches.   We are now living in a new era of consolidation that is taking us full-circle back to vertical integration. Ultimately, the industry as a whole suffers because this consolidation will stifle innovation until the next big technology disruption takes shape. Interoperability Across Different Verticals  This time last year, we noted that the marketplace was moving toward converged technologies and the need for alarm management across multiple platforms into a common interface, turned out to be a popular request. If anything, we are only seeing just the beginning phases of this transition. The biggest surprise is that interoperability is not only confined to security technology, but also extends to parallel systems such as building automation, safety and environmental controls, and even Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Using Video Event Management Software (VEMS) alongside these intelligent platforms proves to be a valuable verification process for many new and exciting vertical markets. Arteco plans to continue the revenue growth and brand awareness achieved in 2016 Event-Based Video Security Software At Arteco, our highest growth sectors tend to be slightly insulated from economic fluctuation in the sense that we focus on securing critical infrastructure (electrical utilities and communications) as well as corporate and education campuses. Unfortunately, the continued growth in active shooter incidents have made physical security concerns top of mind for many organizations regardless of economic impact. The unexpected repercussions are that many new security technologies are emerging that cater to real-time event notification on both the macro and micro level. The exciting part of this trend is that users are leveraging a layered approach with multiple autonomous applications working together toward a common goal to improve security, which will hopefully ensure a high level of protection.  Business Growth And Challenges Business has continued to grow year-over-year, and 2016 was a huge step forward for Arteco not only in terms of revenue growth, but also increased brand awareness in the United States and abroad. Our biggest challenge continues to be the crowded VMS market, which is filled with lower cost or even free substitute products. We are making great strides in overcoming this challenge by having a wonderful team of people, both on the technical and sales side of the organization, who are focused on finding new and innovative ways to advance intuitive, open and affordable event-based and intelligent video security software into 2017. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here

Latest Hanwha Techwin America news

Hanwha Techwin America To Launch The Next Generation Wisenet 7 SoC To Address Challenges Of The Security Market
Hanwha Techwin America To Launch The Next Generation Wisenet 7 SoC To Address Challenges Of The Security Market

Hanwha Techwin America, a supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, will debut its next generation Wisenet 7 SoC (System on Chip). Built from 30 years of innovation in video surveillance solutions, the highly anticipated announcement sees the continuation of the Wisenet line of custom-built SoCs designed specifically to address the unique challenges of the security market. New key features include cybersecurity features, clear images in all lighting conditions, improved lens distortion correction and more. High levels of protection “Hanwha Techwin concentrated on image quality and cybersecurity when developing Wisenet 7. This enables us to make the smartest and most secure video cameras on the market today while giving us a platform for further innovation as we react to these challenging times,” said Ray Cooke, Vice President - Products, Solutions, and Integration, Hanwha Techwin America. Hanwha Techwin established its own device certification issuing system to embed certificates Wisenet 7 offers end-to-end cybersecurity with high levels of protection including secure boot, OS, storage, and JTAG, plus a signed firmware/open platform app and more. Hanwha Techwin established its own device certification issuing system to embed certificates and encryption keys into the product during the manufacturing process. When firmware is installed and a certificate is verified, it uses these encryption keys which can never be reprogramed. Forensic-Level image quality This creates a trusted platform module that separates the end-user side of the camera application from the network (Linux). This OTP (One Time Program) feature provides a unique level of cybersecurity that is secure by default and only possible when utilizing a custom chip. Wisenet 7 offers forensic-level image quality by utilizing multiple combined technologies. Digital Overlap and Scene Analysis technology reduces motion artifacts and improves picture quality in low light conditions. Dynamic Range is maximized and noise is reduced when composing multi-frame images captured at varying exposures by processing line by line vs. each frame. This minimizes motion blur and improves edge and color definition of objects, making them easier to identify when viewing live video and during forensic review. Hybrid motion detection Temporal filtering removes or attenuates frequencies within the raw signal that are not of interest XCE (eXtreme Contrast Enhancement) technology is utilized to analyze the back-light area of the image and enhance contrast by analyzing nearby pixel color values in the surrounding area. Wisenet 7 employs motion history-based temporal filtering to analyze the motion data of moving objects in low-light environments. Temporal filtering removes or attenuates frequencies within the raw signal that are not of interest. A new Noise Adaptive Hybrid Motion Detection algorithm significantly reduces sensor noise. These clearer images improve the results for object recognition performance in low light and offer maximum performance for machine and deep learning algorithms. Demanding security applications Wisenet 7 corrects barrel distortion common with wide angle lenses up to 100% at all resolutions. The correction is done in-camera to provide a video output more closely representing how humans perceive images across a wide field of vision. “The first Hanwha Techwin Wisenet SoC was released in 2010 in response to the unique requirements of security professionals. Our focused development efforts have continued as technology and business needs have evolved to where we are today. Our most powerful SoC ever, Wisenet 7, delivers a new level of quality, performance and cybersecurity to our industry,” concludes Cooke. The first Wisenet 7-based cameras (XNB-9002/8002, XND-9082RV/8082RV, XND-9082RF/8082RF, XNV-9082R/8082R, XNO-9082R/8082R) offer up to 4K high-resolution video providing clear and vivid images suitable for the most demanding security applications.

Beyond Video Analytics, What Are the Benefits of AI and Machine Learning?
Beyond Video Analytics, What Are the Benefits of AI and Machine Learning?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have made a big splash in the physical security market, transforming video analytics to a new level of accuracy. In fact, the terms have become common buzzwords throughout the industry. However, the potential for AI and machine learning to impact the physical security industry goes far beyond their ability to improve video analytics. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Beyond better video analytics, how can artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning benefit the physical security market? 

Hanwha Techwin America’s Wisenet Q Series 4MP Cameras Safeguard Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD)
Hanwha Techwin America’s Wisenet Q Series 4MP Cameras Safeguard Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD)

Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, announced that Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD), one of the largest school districts in California, has strengthened its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that includes 1,250 Hanwha Techwin Q series cameras across 20 different locations. Anaheim Union High School District Located just outside of Los Angeles, AUHSD is a public-school district serving portions of the Orange County cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma and Stanton and has an estimated 2,900 employees in 20 different facilities. In total, it serves approximately 29,000 students from grades 7 to 12. Despite its size and expanse, the district was lacking a robust security camera system that could allow administrators to monitor or document incidents on campus. “Other than a few sites with some DVR-based systems, we did not have any security cameras,” explained Erik Greenwood, Chief Technology Officer for AUHSD. IP security cameras installed AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution Additionally, as the district continued to grow, so did the seriousness of some of its security issues. After several security incidents and school shootings at other campuses across the U.S., the district faced mounting concerns from the community. AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that would include IP security cameras at its center. AUHSD officials collaborated with school principals, administrative staff, and local police departments to identify key areas where cameras should be placed, such as gathering points for students and the buildings’ main entrances and exits, as well as what specifications the system should have to produce viable footage for law enforcement. Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras The district brought on CA-based integrator, HCI Systems Inc., which recommended Hanwha Techwin’s QNV-7080R 4MP Network IR Vandal-Resistant Cameras. The Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras enable high-resolution monitoring with clear images, and the innovative hallway view feature maximizes the area of surveillance in narrow locations, such as school corridors. In addition, these Q series cameras are equipped with IR function, enabling clear, sharp images in dimly lit environments and during the night. Robust set of technical specifications According to Greenwood, the Hanwha cameras were chosen as the key part of the system for several reasons. He said, “We had a very robust set of technical specifications in our RFP, and the image quality, frame rate and light specifications of the Hanwha cameras matched our requirements.” In addition to their rich feature set, the Hanwha camera configuration presented a streamlined solution. Greenwood further stated, “We didn't have a large quantity of different camera models which meant we didn’t need to keep stock of all sorts of lenses and other accessories. The committee liked that approach from a troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance standpoint.” Vandal resistance  The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process since the camera domes can easily be cleaned or swapped without having to replace the entire camera. The Hanwha cameras were installed throughout the district in entrances, exits, exterior restroom doors, staff work areas and in general meeting areas. They are helping the district keep eyes on campus vandalism, graffiti, any other potential threats and, in some cases, even monitoring certain personnel issues, such as inappropriate use of school equipment. Campus surveillance When an incident is reported, administrators can quickly access and review the security footage to see what happened. In all, Greenwood said, “It's been a great project that involved everyone and the new cameras have some great qualities.” Now that the installation is complete, AUHSD is taking a closer look to see where there may still be some blind spots and exploring where they might benefit from potential expansion.