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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.
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 locations, such as congested areas, transportation hubs, shopping malls, and city plazas – or even at your fingertips on your favorite mobile apps! This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations 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.
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.
Redvision’s all-new, analog X-SERIES, rugged dome uses Sony’s next-generation, 2MP, STARVIS sensor. It directly replaces the previous RVX30 analog model and will be available to order under the same model number from November. “Many security-integrators consider Redvision’s X-SERIES™ to be the industry benchmark, rugged dome camera,” explained Paul Hucker, Director of Redvision. “With several analog components being phased out by suppliers, we were under pressure to use a low-end camera solution in the RVX30 to maintain supply. Instead of compromising, we collaborated with Sony to use their STARVIS camera block; widely regarded as the best performing block on the market. Configured as a dome or PTZ An optically correct, flat window protects the camera, without compromising image quality" "Although this left us with a gap in supply, we felt it was a better option than compromising the quality of our brand. Installers will be impressed with the performance of the new RVX30. It has exceptional low-light capability, at 0.01 Lux in color and 0.0015 Lux at night in mono, with an illumination distance of 150m using Infra-Red and 120m with white light. Like all X-SERIES™ cameras, it can be configured as a dome or PTZ using its removable cover, depending on bracket selection." "An optically correct, flat window protects the camera, without compromising image quality. An optional, silicone, long-life wiper removes rain and surface water, for optimal visibility in outdoor and challenging conditions.” Multiple alarm options The RVX30 series has 100 programmable pre-sets, 8 tours, 24 programmable privacy zones and multiple alarm options. Advanced pre-set and tour technology ensures the camera reaches pre-set positions correctly focused, with ideal light settings, following an alarm or during a tour. The RVX30 has an operating temperature range of -25º up to +60ºC. Mount options include pedestal, swan, wall and pendant, to suit all applications. The camera is marine plated before being finished in light gray or black as standard, or to order in any RAL color. The X-SERIES™ is successfully used in many applications including public space, local authority, hazardous, marine, defense, high security, town center and rapid deployment systems.
At IFSEC, Maxxess will partner with Canon, Redvision and Wavestore - visitors will experience a fully integrated demonstration Maxxess, a global corporation specializing in the access control sector and recognized for its extensive integration capabilities, has unveiled its plans to showcase its signature eFusion security management platform together with a number of technology partners on its stand E700 at IFSEC International 2015 in London. As a modular system built on open technology software, eFusion combines powerful functionality with the freedom to use best-in-class surveillance, access control, fire, and intruder systems from a range of security vendors. These off-the-shelf integrations, managed through eFusion’s user-friendly interface means less complexity for both installers and end users, while offering unlimited future expandability at affordable price points compared with conventional Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solutions. A Fully Integrated Demonstration At IFSEC, Maxxess will partner with Canon, Redvision and Wavestore as well as other leading security manufacturers on its stand E700. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience a fully integrated demonstration that features a range of easy-to-install Canon full-HD dome and box cameras with new ultra-compact lens technology, Redvision’s X-SERIES™ rugged PTZ dome cameras and Redcop™ rapid deployment CCTV all integrated into Wavestore’s video surveillance and recording platform and controlled through Maxxess eFusion. WaveView, Wavestore’s powerful review suite, allows users to easily search and instantaneously retrieve recorded images of incidents, even over very large amounts of footage, and display them alongside live images. Plus, for evidence purposes, a fully stitched-together sequence of events from any number of cameras can easily be exported in a wide range of video formats with just three simple clicks of a mouse. Full Command And Control Capability The demonstration will show how through eFusion, access control, intruder and fire alarms can all be used to trigger cameras to turn to pre-set positions or tours and initiate a real-time operator response. The eFusion platform provides operators with full command and control capability through simple to use single user interface, capturing a complete audit trail of the alarm handling process. "We’re really excited to be teaming up with some of the world’s best known security vendors at this year’s IFSEC" During the show, Wavestore will also unveil version 6 of its VMS, which includes a wide range of new features including EcoStore™, a hard drive management technology that offers a potential saving of 90% on the operational costs of enterprise-level recording and storage. It achieves this by the automatic spinning down of hard drives which are not engaged in the read-write process, enhancing the life cycle of hard drives as well as delivering a significant reduction in the power consumed by hard drives and air conditioning. Latest Maxxess Innovations Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the latest Maxxess innovations including: RemotePoint – An advanced module that leverages mobile devices to allow remote access control and verification through the Maxxess eFusion security platform. Using handheld devices, RemotePoint allows security personnel to perform access control transactions anywhere, verify staff credentials and perform mustering in the event of an emergency. Already used by universities and oil and gas plants, RemotePoint provides a cost effective and flexible access solution for open environments and extends security beyond physical buildings to deliver range of operational benefits. ambit - A patented, cloud-based mobile workforce management solution that is revolutionizing the way businesses manage their facilities management and security operatives to drive operational efficiency, empower employees and enhance the protection of lone workers. ambit dramatically increases the coverage of traditional security systems by extending the enterprise’s reach beyond its physical presence, to wherever its workforce is located. Featuring time and attendance and operations management functionality, the system also streamlines routine security and facilities management tasks to radically increase operational efficiency. Lee Copland, Maxxess Managing Director, EMEA, said: “We’re really excited to be teaming up with some of the world’s best known security vendors at year’s IFSEC. Together with these partners we will demonstrate exactly how eFusion allows ends users and their integration partners to choose best-of-breed technology across surveillance, access control, fire, intruder and other security functions to provide a simple and affordable approach to fully integrated security solutions. At the same time, we invite visitors to stand E700 to see the latest Maxxess innovations which are extending facilities and security operations out into the field to enhance the safety of staff and drive significant operational benefits.”
The Maxxess exhibition stand at IFSEC demonstrates how access control, intruder and fire alarms can all be used to trigger Redvision PTZ dome cameras Redvision, the UK manufacturer of the X-SERIES™ rugged PTZ dome cameras and Redcop™ rapid deployment systems, will have staff present and products displayed on the Maxxess stand E700 at IFSEC 2015. Redvision's X-SERIES Operates With eFusion The Redvision X-SERIES™ RVX-IP30 rugged dome cameras are shown operating with eFusion™, a new security management solution by Maxxess. eFusion™ combines video, access control, fire and intruder security functions in a single, unified platform, at a far lower cost than competing conventional PSIM solutions. “The X-SERIES™ cameras and Maxxess access control products have shared equal success in local government and public space security applications,” explained Paul Hucker, MD of Redvision. “This makes the partnership between our companies an obvious step. We had first to integrate with Wavestore’s video surveillance and recording platform, which is in turn controlled by eFusion. Wavestore provides the video recording and control part of the system, linking site incidents and alarms to corresponding video data. Salto access control; Honeywell intruder detection; and Notifier fire alarm systems make up the other manufacturers in the eFusion solution.” eFusion For IP-based Integrators The Maxxess exhibition stand at IFSEC demonstrates how access control, intruder and fire alarms can all be used to trigger Redvision PTZ dome cameras to turn to preset positions or tours and initiate a real-time operator response. Pre and post event recording options ensure video evidence of site incidents, such as a forced door or fire alarm, is captured from numerous angles, with a corresponding audit trail of the alarm handling process. eFusion is a comprehensive, flexible and scalable security and building management solution for IP-based integrators. Redvision also provides a first tier, technical support and trouble-shooting service for its RVX-IP range and has an extensive integration list with many other leading manufacturers’ control products and VMS platforms.
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