Dome cameras - Expert commentary

Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits
Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits

News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence.  Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns  The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time  One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place. 

How Intelligent Video Surveillance Supports Smart Mobility
How Intelligent Video Surveillance Supports Smart Mobility

The ease of getting from point A to point B, the effective movement of goods and services, and the flexibility and integration of various modes of transportation are key aspects of mobility today. Smart Mobility has been a key theme in the transportation industry for a while. The idea is to keep traffic flowing and help people to get where they need to be, in a smarter way. To this end, industry players are now innovating and introducing advanced technologies and solutions. Examples include intelligent traffic management systems, free-flow tolls, autonomous driving, smart location solutions, and more. At the same time, traffic congestion, aging infrastructure, rapid urbanization, and increasing sustainability demands are also intensifying the need for smart mobility solutions. One way to overcome these obstacles is to use intelligent video surveillance technology for improved traffic management, making the roads safer and more efficient for every user, while also reducing emissions. Perceptive intersections Relying on intelligent video analytics, traffic video cameras identify traffic build ups at intersections by counting numbers of vehicles crossing an intersection and detecting their speed, while also counting the number of vehicles queueing in real-time. Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green. Intelligent optimization for traffic signals ensures more effective traffic flow.Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green The benefits? Improved safety on the roadways; intersection reconstruction can be avoided; drivers can be advised about the speed of their route, forecasted by traffic signals; reduced wait times and stress for commuters; reduction of harmful emissions; and positive impact on public satisfaction. Road safety Traffic incidents can be disastrous, not merely for causing congestion on the roads but sometimes far worse – resulting in injuries and even fatalities. These incidents have many causes, not the least of which is drivers willfully violating traffic laws. Video technology can aid in detecting all kinds of events – for example, illegal parking, running a red light, wrong-way driving, speeding, and making illegal U-turns can all be detected by smart camera technology. By using deep learning technology, cameras can recognize these events and traffic authorities can be immediately notified and take necessary actions even before traffic incidents occur. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally. Furthermore, ticketing systems can be incorporated to further regulate driving behaviors. Benefits here include incident prevention, better driver performance, and increased safety on the roads and streets, to name just a few. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally Public information Sharing information is key to keeping city drivers and travelers informed. Intelligent communication about warnings and updates helps everyone save time, avoid frustration, and simplify everyday mobility. This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locationsThis can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations, such as congested areas, transportation hubs, shopping malls, and city plazas – or even at your fingertips on your favorite mobile apps! Traffic video cameras generate real-time data of traffic flow and incidents, sending it to a central platform to further fuse with data from third-party systems such as radar and GPS systems. They also disseminate traffic information, including traffic status, warning and advisory notices, as well as parking status.  The benefits are improved public awareness of traffic information, improved travel convenience, overall enhancement of mobility in the city, and more. The Hikvision practice Hikvision has accumulated sophisticated experience in traffic management both at home and abroad. Product lines offer versatile solutions to resolve multitudes of problems in urban traffic management, traffic incident management, highway management, and more. Going deeper, it’s essential to note that efficient signal control management is dependent on the quality of traffic data, system algorithms, and the hardware devices in use; it is also closely related to the mobile environment, such as road conditions, historical traffic conditions, and urban infrastructure. Because of this, no single solution solves traffic congestion everywhere. Hikvision believes that only by working closely with city authorities, public safety organizations, consultants, even academia and other relevant stakeholders, can applications and operational processes be developed to achieve the best possible outcomes. The possibilities for traffic video data are endless, especially now that it can employ artificial intelligence for advanced functionality. Harnessing its power will make all the difference, but the ultimate goal remains the same: safe and smooth traffic, smart mobility, and improved quality of human life.

5 Key Ways To Ensure End-to-end Perimeter Protection
5 Key Ways To Ensure End-to-end Perimeter Protection

Critical infrastructure facilities that must secure large areas with extended outer boundary and numerous entry points, present a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to perimeter protection. As such, true end-to-end perimeter protection calls for the utilization of a sophisticated, multi-layered solution that is capable of defending against anticipated threats. Integrated systems that incorporate thermal imaging, visible cameras, radar and strong command and control software are crucial for covering the various potential areas of attacks. Let’s look at these technologies and the five key functions they enable to achieve an end-to-end solution that provides intrusion detection, assessment and defense for the perimeter. 1. Threat Recognition The first step in effectively defending against a threat is recognizing that it’s there. By combining state-of-the-art intrusion detection technologies, facilities can arm themselves with a head start against possible intruders. An exceptionally important aspect of effective perimeter protection is the ability to conduct 24-hour surveillance, regardless of weather conditions, environmental settings, or time of day. Visible cameras do not perform as well in low light scenarios and inclement weather conditions. However, thermal imaging cameras can provide constant protection against potential intruders, regardless of visual limitations, light source or many environmental factors. In fact, facilities such as power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create what is known as a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilize the protection of a physical fence or wall. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool Critical infrastructure applications require not only continuous video surveillance and monitoring, but also a solution that yields highly reliable intrusion detection, with fewer false alarms. This need makes advanced video analytics a must for any adequate surveillance system. Features like dynamic event detection and simplified data presentation are game changing in supporting accurate intrusion analysis and facilitating a proactive response. Advanced analytics will provide multiple automated alarm notification options, including email, edge image storage, digital outputs or video management software (VMS) alarms. Incorporating high quality, unique and adaptive analytics can virtually eliminate false alarms, allowing security personnel to respond more efficiently and effectively, while also lowering overall cost for the end user. While surveillance technologies such as radar, thermal imaging and visible cameras, or video analytics work well on their own, utilizing all of these options together provides an advanced perimeter detection system. For example, ground surveillance radar can detect possible threats beyond the fence line as they approach and send a signal to pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, triggering them to slew to a specific location. From there, embedded analytics and visible cameras can further identify objects, notify authorized staff, and collect additional evidence through facial recognition or high-quality photos. 2. Automatic Response Systems Once an intrusion attempt is discovered, it is important to act fast. Organizing a response system that can initiate actions based on GPS location data, such as the slewing of PTZ cameras, automated intruder tracking or activated lighting sensors, greatly increases staff’s situational awareness while easing their workload. For instance, thermal imagers deployed in conjunction with video analytics can be used to generate an initial alarm event, which can then trigger a sequence of other security equipment and notifications for personnel to eventually respond to. Having all of this in place essentially lays the entire situation out in a way that allows responders to accurately understand and evaluate a scene. Power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilize the protection of a physical fence or wall 3. Deterring Suspicious Activity  After the designated auto-response mechanisms have activated and done their job, it is time for responders to acknowledge and assess the situation. From here, authorized personnel can take the next appropriate step toward defending against and delaying the threat. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool. Often, control room operators can diffuse a situation by speaking over an intercom, telling the trespasser that they are being watched and that the authorities have been notified. This tactic, known as ‘talk down’, also allows officers to view the intruder’s reaction to their commands and evaluate what they feel the best next step is. If individuals do not respond in a desired manner, it may be time to take more serious action and dispatch a patrolman to the area. 4. Delay, Defend, Dispatch And Handle The possible danger has been identified, recognized and evaluated. Now it is time to effectively defend against current attacks and slow down both cyber and physical perpetrators’ prospective efforts. Through the use of a well-designed, open platform VMS, security monitors can manage edge devices and other complementary intrusion detection and response technologies, including acoustic sensors, video analytics, access control and radio dispatch. A robust VMS also enables operators to control functions such as video replay, geographical information systems tracking, email alerts and hand-off to law enforcement. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level The primary purpose of the delay facet of the overall perimeter protection strategy is to stall an attempted intrusion long enough for responders to act. Access control systems play a key role in realizing this objective. When a security officer sees a non-compliant, suspicious individual on the camera feed, the officer can lock all possible exits to trap them in one area all through the VMS. 5. Intelligence: Collect Evidence And Debrief More data and intelligence collected from an event equals more crucial evidence for crime resolution and valuable insight for protecting against future incidents. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level. One innovative resource that has become available is a live streaming application that can be uploaded to smart phones and used for off-site surveillance. This app gives personnel the power to follow intruders with live video anywhere and allows operators to monitor alarm video in real-time. Geographic Information System (GIS) maps are computer systems utilized for capturing, storing, reviewing, and displaying location related data. Capable of displaying various types of data on one map, this system enables users to see, analyze, easily and efficiently. Multi-sensor cameras, possessing both visible and thermal capabilities, provide high-contrast imaging for superb analytic detection (in any light) and High Definition video for evidence such as facial ID or license plate capture. Integrating these two, usually separated, camera types into one helps to fill any gaps that either may normally have. Still, in order to capture and store all of this valuable information and more, a robust, VMS is required. Recorded video, still images and audio clips serve as valuable evidence in the event that a trial must take place to press charges. Control room operators can use data collection tools within their VMS to safely transfer video evidence from the field to the courtroom with just a few clicks of their mouse. More advanced video management systems can go a step further and package this data with other pertinent evidence to create a comprehensive report to help ensure conviction.

Latest Grandstream Networks Incorporated news

Grandstream Networks Announces New Network Video Recorder With Up To 16TB Video Recording Storage
Grandstream Networks Announces New Network Video Recorder With Up To 16TB Video Recording Storage

In response to the rising demand for advanced safety and security protection solutions worldwide, Grandstream Networks recently announced a new innovative Network Video Recorder (NVR) with large recording capacity and highly competitive pricing to its arsenal of video surveillance solutions. Ideal for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), retail stores, apartment buildings and hospitality markets, the new GVR3550 NVR supports quick and easy installation thanks to its auto-discovery of IP cameras and a comprehensive suite of advanced video/audio recording, monitoring, search, retrieval, and centralized camera control features. Grandstream’s ONVIF compliant GVR3550 offers concurrent video recording and storage management for up to 24 720p HD cameras with a large storage capacity of up to 16TB and up to 4 hard drives using either RAID 0 or RAID 1 setting (hard drives not included in the base system package). The GVR3550 NVR can automatically discover, control, capture, record and play back high-resolution streaming video from Grandstream’s entire family of megapixel IP Video Cameras and IP Video Encoders/Decoders, as well as other 3rd party ONVIF-compliant IP cameras. “We are very excited to announce the GVR3550 that offers an extremely compelling video management solution to the security surveillance market,” said David Li, CEO of Grandstream. “With the official release of the GVR3550, Grandstream now has a complete security solution offering consisting of an advanced central video management/storage system and a number of competitive IP video cameras for various indoor/outdoor deployment scenarios. The native integration of open standard SIP based VoIP technology in all of Grandstream’s surveillance products offers significant extra benefits for customers who also deploy VoIP solutions for their communication needs.” Key feature highlights Large storage capacity – up to 16TB and 4 hard drives (click here for list of compatible hard drives) Video recording capability – up to 24 (RAID 0) or 16 (RAID 1) 720p HD camera recording Fully customisable recording control (manual, event triggered, scheduled or continuous) Auto discovery, display, control, and recording of ONVIF compliant IP cameras such as Grandstream’s GXV36xx series cameras Simultaneous live video feed viewing of up to 16 cameras at VGA resolution HDMI and VGA outputs for viewing on a connected TV or computer monitor Built-in USB ports for connection of 3rd party USB mouse and keyboard Advanced alerts and notifications from cameras to GVR3550 interface Notifications via video calls to IP video phone or smartphone, voice call alerts or email screenshot

Matrix Comsec Collaborates With Grandstream GXV IP Video Cameras For IP-based Surveillance Solutions
Matrix Comsec Collaborates With Grandstream GXV IP Video Cameras For IP-based Surveillance Solutions

Matrix Comsec, a leading manufacturer of enterprise telecom and security solutions, has opened new doors by joining hands with Grandstream GXV IP Video Cameras for IP-based surveillance solutions. Enterprise and SME customers worldwide can implement a comprehensive and reliable video surveillance solution for improved security and business productivity using the Matrix NVR400 (Network Video Recorder) and Grandstream IP Cameras. Matrix SATATYA NVR400 now supports Grandstream camera models GXV 3504 (Encoder), GXV 3601, GXV 3610, GXV 3611, GXV 3615. Video processed on any GXV IP cameras is encoded and processed at the camera then streamed to the SATATYA NVR400 for storage and remote access to live views and playback of recorded images. This addition to the cameras supported by Matrix SATATYA NVR400 is a step ahead for Matrix in the US video surveillance market and for Grandstream in the Indian video surveillance market. Matrix and Grandstream can help each other evolve in their markets through this interoperability. “We are glad to offer this interoperability as the feature rich enterprise level IP solution of Matrix with the crystal clear image quality of Grandstream IP Cameras will help System Integrators provide a trusted and effective solution to their customers worldwide. “ said Kaushal Kadakia, Product Owner- Matrix Video Surveillance. Also, David Li, CEO of Grandstream Networks added that “Businesses of all sizes and application types equally deserve the most flexible, highly reliable and, easily manageable solution. We value our Matrix certification and look forward to having our IP cameras work seamlessly with Matrix NVRs to provide remote and centralized management of multiple locations making them highly suitable for dispersed enterprise organizations.”

Grandstream Networks Unveils Its Latest Outdoor Infrared Weatherproof IP Cameras For The SMB, Enterprise, And Consumer Markets
Grandstream Networks Unveils Its Latest Outdoor Infrared Weatherproof IP Cameras For The SMB, Enterprise, And Consumer Markets

Grandstream Networks, the leading manufacturer of IP voice/video telephony and video surveillance solutions, recently announced four new Outdoor Infrared Weatherproof IP Cameras for the SMB, Enterprise, and Consumer markets. The four new IP cameras, GXV3672_HD_36, GXV3672_FHD_36, GXV3674_FHD_VF, and GXV3610_FHD expand the model selection within Grandstream’s outdoor IP Cameras while offering users a variety of form factors, video resolution and lens options that allow for the creation of a customised surveillance solution. The GXV3672_HD_36 and GXV3672_FHD_36 IP Cameras are two new model options within the existing day/night, bullet-style GXV3672 IP camera series that gives users the choice to select a 3.6mm lens vs. the existing 8mm lens. The 3.6mm lens models offers better coverage for wider-angle monitoring, while the existing 8mm version is ideal for monitoring medium distances at a 30-degree angle. All four (4) GXV3672 IP camera models have outstanding reliability and robustness while featuring a 1.2 and 3.1 Megapixel CMOS sensors, multi-bit-rate H.264 at 720p or 1080p resolutions, IP66 weatherproof casing, ONVIF compliance and (Infrared) IR-Cut capability for advanced nighttime and low-light video surveillance recording. In addition to high-resolution black/white images produced at night, the IR cameras deliver vibrant HD color images during the day, even under dim light conditions. The new GXV3674_FHD_VF IP Camera with vari-focal lens adds a Full HD model to the GXV3674_VF series for 1080p video recording. The GXV3674_VF series are Grandstream’s first vari-focal IP Cameras, allowing them to be manually adjusted from 2.8mm (close angle monitoring at 115 degree angle) to 12mm (long distance at a 30 degree angle) and any other angle in between. This camera series features 1.2 and 3.1 Megapixel CMOS image sensors and multi-bit-rate H.264 video compression at 720p or 1080p resolution. Suitable for both indoor/outdoor applications and those situations where a business or homeowner may change locations in the future, the user can easily move the camera and adjust the lens accordingly.  The GXV3674_VF series has an IP66 certified weatherproof casing, IR-Cut capability for advanced nighttime and low-light video surveillance recording and ONVIF-compliancy. Additionally, for 1080p video recording on the GXP3610 series camera, the GXP3610_FHD was announced. The GXV3610 series is an indoor/outdoor fixed dome IP camera that features IR capability for advanced nighttime and low-light surveillance recording, IP66 weatherproof casing and a 3.6mm focal lens for wide-angle monitoring of nearby subjects in settings such as banks, hotels, retail, offices, warehouses, and building entrances. All Grandstream GXV IP Video Surveillance cameras have integrated PoE, H.264 real-time video compression with excellent image clarity, embedded video analytics, industry leading SIP/VoIP for 2-way audio and video streaming, support advanced notification and alert options, built-in high performance streaming servers, advanced security and more. Separately, Grandstream offers a FREE video monitoring/recording software application, GSurf Pro, to any customers who purchase any Grandstream IP cameras. The GSurf Pro Video Management Software allows users to view/control/record up to 36 cameras simultaneously.