Dome cameras - Expert commentary

Securing Your Business While Working Remotely
Securing Your Business While Working Remotely

It's a very common purchase for people to seek a smart security camera to remotely link them to their home while at work. Now the emphasis has shifted, with a lot more people working from home, business owners should consider a surveillance device to deter would-be thieves, protecting valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours.    According to a recent report, police forces are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centers, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, investing in a video security system can save you and your business money – and in more than one way. In addition to preventing loss of property from inside, surveillance cameras also prevent acts of theft and vandalism by outside individuals However, technology, improved cellphone connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies has changed the security market and made it easy for anyone to set up a surveillance ecosystem with easy installation and constant round the clock, cloud monitoring. Plus, you can access footage from anywhere in the world via devices and apps – just in case you have to skip the country! The best cameras for SMBs Most good cameras have the much same functionality: excellent video and audio capabilities, remote access and programming, motion and sound detection, and the ability to capture still or video images and audio and save the data to the Cloud. But the burning question is, when you're trying to find a need in a haystack, what will work best for a small to medium sized business? A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours Now you can buy cameras that come packed with features such as integrated night vision, 1080p resolution, microSD card slot for local recording, two-way audio functionality as well as the latest latest 128bit encryption. They also have wide-angle lenses allowing users to see more of their office with a single camera, and some come with free, intelligent AI-Based motion detection. The AI gives users more choices on what is captured by the camera and when they should be alerted. Users can specify what types of motion they would like to detect, such as an intruder as opposed to a dog, an object crossing a defined boundary or into a specific area. They can also define multiple zones, alerting them immediately when movement is detected in particular areas. Easy installation is crucial These security cameras should also be easy enough to install and use that you don't need to fork out for expensive expert installation, and many can work with existing CCTV and CCTV DVR systems you may already have set-up. Many of the business security cameras are Wi-Fi enabled and come with their own apps, so you can view footage on your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are in the world. It means you don't need to pay for a security team to watch the footage at all times (though if you can afford it, that won't hurt), and you can store your videos locally with an NVR on a HD, in the cloud with mydlink or do both with a hybrid NVR/cloud recorder. The apps use Rich Notifications which send a push notification with snapshot to the mobile device the moment activity is detected. Users can react immediately without the need to log into the app by accessing the camera’s live view or calling one of two pre-assigned contacts with a single tap. Any motion-triggered recordings can be saved in the cloud, or locally on a microSD card. Indoor, Outdoor or both? Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the types of external factors each camera has to be able to withstand. While both types of cameras usually come in similar styles and with comparable features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with all types of weather and varying light conditions. Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made of more durable materials, like metal, and may be heavier or even housed in a casing in order to discourage easy removal. Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilize features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures in low light conditions and easy transitions when there is a sudden change in light-changing automatically from color images in bright light to black and white when it gets darker. When doing your research, features to look out for include: Wide angle lens for optimum room view or full view of the front of your property Full HD 1080p at 30fps   ONVIF compatible - Open Network Video Interface Forum - The forum aims to standardize how IP products within the video surveillance industry communicate with each other. Night vision - look at length of the night vision - 5m is about right Your options will depend on your budget and specific needs, but the above features are a great start when you come to buy.

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 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.

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IDIS America’s Cannabis EBook Helps Systems Integrators Succeed In The Fast-Growing Sector
IDIS America’s Cannabis EBook Helps Systems Integrators Succeed In The Fast-Growing Sector

IDIS America has published an educational eBook - Understanding Video Tech Requirements for Cannabis Retail and Production - following its success in the sector over the last two years. The eBook is part of the company’s commitment to support its systems integrator partners secure new growth sectors. This free resource will help them understand the risk and threat profile, as well as the security requirements placed upon this fast-growing and highly compliance-driven market. According to a January 2021 Nasdaq report, “In a year that saw record-breaking volatility, cannabis stocks were standout performers. The rapidly growing marijuana industry is beginning to mature in North America, and investors are finally getting a glimpse of what the green rush is capable of. As we move into a new year, growth shows little signs of slowing. In 2021, the 10 fastest-growing marijuana stocks are expected to deliver sales growth ranging from 60% on the low end to as much as 176% on the high end.” Varying security requirements The eBook outlines the security requirements that are being levied on cultivation sites, medicinal dispensaries, etc. New growth opportunities are especially ripe for systems integrators because a lack of regard to security measures can result in cannabis dispensaries and growers being slapped with penalties ranging from business shutdowns, revoked marijuana licenses, and criminal charges. The eBook outlines the varying security requirements that are being levied on cultivation sites, medicinal dispensaries, and retail outlets, helping make sense of some of the disparities from state to state. Cannabis operators are already faced with high set up costs, continued investment in research and development, as well as the need to educate the public and promote the benefits of marijuana-based products that are funded by significant sales and marketing budgets. Complex risk profile The eBook gives security professionals insight into how to recommend video technology that offers immediate upfront savings, technology that not only meets regulatory compliance but also helps operators realize an immediate return on investment by deterring and reducing crime and shrinkage at both cultivation sites and retail environments. Jason Burrows, Sales Director for Western U.S. who is leading sales in the sector at IDIS America, notes, “Cannabis operators are challenged by a complex risk profile and regulatory compliance while still competing with organized gangs offering cheaper illegal products. In addition, the current lack of federal regulation means that retailers are unable to take payments through card payments that use banking systems." High profile robberies "To give customers easy access to cash, most dispensaries have installed ATMs. But this also makes them a target for crime. And while high profile robberies make headlines and damage customer confidence, it’s the insider threat that is most impacting the bottom line.” To this point, it’s estimated that 90% of financial loss is due to employees stealing cash, product, and sweethearting in stores. Couple this with the fact that part-time staff is often transient and underpaid, making theft of product from cultivation sites equally prevalent. Cybersecurity for medical dispensaries Recreational customers can include high profile officials and VIPs, meaning leaked footage puts them at risk" The eBook also highlights the importance of cybersecurity for medical dispensaries that need to meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements. Additionally, they need to ensure secure access, transmission, and storage of data to protect the privacy of all customers. “It’s important to remember that in some states, and indeed many parts of the world, cannabis even for medicinal purposes isn’t legal,” Burrows adds. “Recreational customers can include high profile officials and VIPs, meaning leaked footage puts them at risk of public embarrassment, reputational damage, or even extortion should criminals gain access to video data.” Intelligent video analytics Understanding the threats outlined in the IDIS eBook makes it easier for system integrators to build compelling business cases based on risk profiles across single and multiple sites. Attractive security options including video surveillance will be those that are affordable with the ability to scale up as operators add new cultivation sites or dispensaries without exponentially increasing licensing fees. They will also want to make futureproof investments providing the flexibility to add value through point of sale (PoS) integration, inventory and stock control functionality, and intelligent video analytics (IVA). Cannabis dispensaries, like most stores, will increasingly need insight into customer behavior that will enable them to turn browsing into purchasing. Automated audio warnings They can be configured to notify staff to social distancing, and non-mask wearing violations This will be especially important as they expand product ranges and compete with more e-commerce vendors that have sprung up during the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has also seen sales of recreational cannabis soar. This has challenged dispensaries to meet with local compliance, including adherence with occupancy and density limits and enforcement of face coverings. This provides systems integrators with an immediate opportunity to present dispensaries with cost-effective AI solutions that can automate tasks such as counting customers in and out with a simple traffic light system. They can also be configured to notify staff to social distancing, bottlenecks, and non-mask wearing violations using push notifications and automated audio warnings to avoid putting frontline staff at risk. Improve staff utilization Real-time dashboards can support staff to adapt operations on the ground, while comprehensive reporting helps dispensary managers not only meet compliance but also understand people flow, the cause of pinch points, and improve staff utilization and store layouts to prevent the spread of infection without impacting the customer experience.

IDIS To Exhibit End-To-End Video Security Solutions And Surveillance Technologies At Security Canada 2020 Virtual Trade Show
IDIS To Exhibit End-To-End Video Security Solutions And Surveillance Technologies At Security Canada 2020 Virtual Trade Show

IDIS, a global security company that designs, develops, manufactures, and delivers surveillance solutions for a wide range of commercial and public sector markets, is proud to be sponsoring and participating in Canadian Security Association’s Security Canada Virtual Trade Show, slated to be held on December 2nd and 3rd, 2020. Security Canada 2020 Visitors to the Security Canada virtual trade show can learn how IDIS’s flagship plug-and-play DirectIP solution offering can significantly benefit both end users and systems integrators. DirectIP encompasses a comprehensive line up of powerful network video recorders (NVRs), network cameras, software, monitors, and accessories that seamlessly connect. It packs a strong punch of everything needed to build a complete video surveillance solution. IDIS DirectIP solution IDIS DirectIP solution delivers rich functionality while eliminating complex and time consuming configuration IDIS DirectIP solution delivers rich functionality while eliminating complex and time consuming configuration. Users love that its network throughput delivers high-definition simultaneous recording and real-time monitoring with no visible latency and that cameras and recorders come with the assurance of industry-renowned warranties. From the security integrator’s perspective, the DirectIP solution makes installation a snap by mutually authenticating devices, thereby ensuring that engineers don’t need to manage passwords, use port forwarding, or have a deep knowledge of IP networking, even for multi-site deployments. In turn, this eliminates the potential for cyber loopholes and combined with dealing with a single vendor for sales and tech support, also ensures a low cost of service. IDIS Center VMS and ISS solutions Attendees to the Security Canada virtual event will be able to see first-hand how IDIS’s totally cost and license free IDIS Center VMS (Video Management Software) allows customers to implement surveillance solutions that encompasses up to 1024 devices, so as to enable a centralized management and control environment for customers with multiple sites, at a considerably lower cost than a server-based system. For larger organizations, IDIS Solution Suite (ISS) delivers enterprise-level VMS functionality without the associated price tag. This allows users to choose the powerful modules and functionality they need with a choice of federation service, IDIS Critical Failover which protects against a range of fault conditions, video wall services, and much more. ISS also gives customers the flexibility to add an unlimited number of sites at no additional cost. AI Box for COVID solution IDIS will also unveil its AI Box for COVID at Security Canada 2020 virtual trade show IDIS will also unveil its AI Box for COVID at Security Canada 2020 virtual trade show. This simple add on appliance includes functions that help adherence to government guideless and hygiene best practices to support reopening, and safe return to work strategies to help prevent the spread of infection. The new IDIS Mobile Plus app will also be showcased, which is supporting users to remotely monitor single and multiple sites by putting powerful VMS functionality at their fingertips. With the ability to view 4K and multiple streams and configure alarms and notifications, it’s enabling the management of day-to-day operations and the ability to respond to incidents and events on the move. IDIS dome and bullet cameras IDIS will also present an end-to-end solutions specific to retail that includes high-performance 5 MP dome and bullet cameras, a compact 5 MP fisheye camera, and the anti-IR reflection 2 MP micro dome camera, which are all popular choices for indoor and outdoor video surveillance and coverage in all lighting conditions. At the Security Canada virtual event, attendees representing the logistics and warehousing sector will learn how IDIS solutions are helping improve operations by tracking goods in and out, mitigating internal shrinkage, and ensuring health and safety compliance with its high performance 12 MP IR Super Fisheye cameras that can cost-effectively replace 3-4 fixed lens cameras.

IDIS Mobile Plus App Launched In Integration With IDIS Solution Suite VMS
IDIS Mobile Plus App Launched In Integration With IDIS Solution Suite VMS

Video surveillance users can adapt to the challenges of working more flexibly between home, office, stores, and the control room with the newly released IDIS Mobile Plus app. Mobile Plus integrates the company’s popular IDIS Mobile app with its network and digital recorders, network cameras, and IDIS Solution Suite VMS. It delivers improved and more powerful functionality - anytime and anywhere – and gives users remote situational awareness of single and multiple sites. The app enables up to 4K live streaming on remote mobile devices, with high image quality in H.264/MJPEG and H.265 formats. Recorded footage can be played back in the same high definition that operators and managers use in from their control rooms or client software.   Investigate incidents or suspicious behavior The IDIS Mobile Plus app can be configured to receive push alarms based on event and time lapse queries Users can choose from a range of viewing options - including portrait or landscape, dark mode, simultaneous 1/4/9/16 split screens, and a four-channel synchronized 2 x 2 split screen mode - to quickly receive multiple camera events. The IDIS Mobile Plus app can be configured to receive push alarms based on event and time lapse queries, and gives users the ability to use two-way audio, QR codes for fast device registration, and image capture while on the move. Security, safety, and loss prevention personnel can also remotely respond to and investigate incidents or suspicious behavior using notifications generated by alarm-in, motion detection, trip zones, video loss, and text-in functions. The new app also incorporates the benefits of IDIS’s Smart UX Controls, with: full pan, tilt, and zoom control of DirectIP® and DirectCX® cameras; calendar search, playback, and bookmark functions; simple drag and drop to change the size and position of the video; and pinch zoom for PTZs and fisheye dewarping. Manage surveillance operations remotely “The pandemic has forced many organizations to adapt quickly to changing work patterns, and move from fully to partially operational facilities. It’s now more important than ever for security and safety personnel to be able to manage their surveillance operations remotely, flexibly and on the move,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. “The new Mobile Plus app provides much needed help by putting the vital tools and functions of IDIS Solution Suite VMS directly into the hands of customers, wherever they are and whenever they need them.” The IDIS Mobile Plus app also supports dual stream options for playback, which means users can choose between lower mobile data consumption and higher image quality of up to 4K, depending on mobile bandwidth availability. iPad users can now also benefit from slide over and split view functionality. Language options include English, Russian, Japanese, and Korean and Mobile Plus supports Apple iOS from version 11.0 and Android 5.0 Lollipop (API 21) onward. 

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