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With the recent news headlines about store closures and the collapse of well-known chains, alongside clear adjustments in business strategy amongst established high street favorites, there is no denying that the UK retail industry is under huge pressure. A recent report suggests growing issues are leading some retailers to increase risk-taking in the supply chain. But here, Steve Bumphrey, Traka UK Sales Director, looks at ways to help retailers embrace the storm, including paying attention to security, management processes and efficient customer focus. Challenges plaguing retail industry It’s been an awful year to date for UK retail if you believe the cacophony of negative headlines about the health of the UK economy and the confidence levels of the UK consumer. The sector is facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing The sector is undoubtedly facing huge challenges in dealing with the evolution in on-line and smart mobile retailing. Further concerns include an unwillingness of policymakers to address the changing retail environment and how business rates and general business taxation and regulation is making a difficult situation worse. Supply Chain Risk Report According to the latest Global Supply Chain Risk Report, published by Cranfield School of Management and Dan & Badstreet, those under pressure, are now facing increased exposure to risk if they are forced to cut costs in their supply chain. The report cites data for the retail sector that shows increased levels of risk-taking since Q4 2018, with retailers reporting high levels of dependency on suppliers and indicating a propensity to off-shore to low-cost, high-risk countries where suppliers are more likely to be financially unstable. In-Store technology revolution The underlying evolution of technology taking hold of the retail industry and consequential changing consumer behavior is what is really forcing the industry to step up and act. This is not only in the shift to online and smart mobile purchases, but also with the increased use of technology in store. Self-scanning and checkouts In a bid to enhance the physical shop experience, especially in supermarket outlets across the UK, retailers are increasingly giving customers autonomy with self-scanners and checkouts and need to be able to trust them to ensure an honest transaction. And for the shoppers, this dependency on technology and not human interaction to complete a shop means scanners must be instantly available and ready for use. Many different underlying competing challenges impact the retail industry Compensators At the recent British Retail Consortium’s ‘Charting the Future’ conference, looking at retail crime and security, Dr Emmeline Taylor, a criminologist at the City University of London identified in self -service shops, several new types of ‘offenders’ such as so-called ‘compensators’ including the atypical ‘frustrated consumer’ who, “fully intended to pay but were unable to scan an item properly”, adding to the security challenge. There are clearly many different underlying competing challenges impacting the retail industry. Arguably, the increase in technology and autonomous shopping, where less staff are present (or staff cuts planned) throws up more vulnerabilities, such as the opportunity for store theft. Use of body cameras Staff needs emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and keep employees safe Furthermore, staff may need greater use of emerging technology such as body cameras to act as a deterrent to crime and help keep employees safe. In essence, prevention is better than cure, and it’s certainly cheaper. Whether combating crime physically or online, or looking to find ways to counter the high street trends, working together, sharing information and taking a more holistic approach will help the development of a shared language between retailers. Retail Banking It is also here where common approaches can help to deliver on efficiencies, in time, resource and budget that can serve to operate right through the supply chain, and minimize, or even negate the need to take any risks. It can even serve to enhance the customer experience, increasing confidence in the shopping environment. Of course, when discussing the high street, it is not just the department stores and chains that are feeling the impact. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street, with customers (especially younger generations) demanding a more efficient service than ever before. Well known banks are also having to redefine their priorities and role on the high street Asset protection Leading the way is Nationwide, globally renowned building society, which prides itself on being one of the largest savings providers and mortgages provider in the UK, promoting itself as running purely for the benefit of its customers, or ‘members.’ Richard Newland, Director of Branch & Workplace Transformation at Nationwide said, “Even more than getting a good ‘deal’ from a building society, the quality of our welcome, or our renowned level of service, we make sure our members feel safe with us, enough to trust us with their greatest assets. We are doing everything we can to evolve our business and focus our efforts on providing the best and most secure services that people value.” Key management systems Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems So committed to its branch network, it has pledged to its 15 million members that every town and city with a Nationwide branch, will still have one for at least the next two years. A bold statement in today’s climate. Traka has supported Nationwide with the introduction of dedicated key management systems, moving its branch network into a more digital system. Keys no longer need to leave site and the audit trail capability has helped to remove the manual paper recording, allowing status of keys to be established instantly, at any time. Changes in retail market This example, together with Traka’s portfolio of high street brands and globally renowned department stores that cannot be named for security reasons, demonstrates the need for retailers to embrace the need for change, both from a product offering and operational running perspective to achieve aspirations of resonating with customers. They also prove the opportunities for success, in an unquestionable difficult market environment. If retailers can listen to customers and respond accordingly, taking into consideration staff safety and security, alongside an ability to respond quickly to personalized enquiries and expectations. This way, perhaps, the current environment can be seen as an opportunity to innovate and embrace technology to form the high street of the future.
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.
Where are video surveillance cameras headed? At the core of next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are advanced chips with artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge, enabling cameras to gather valuable information about an incident: scanning shoppers at a department store, monitoring city streets, or checking on an elderly loved one at home. Thanks to advanced chip technology, complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras —professional to consumer — fueling the democratization of AI in the IP camera market.Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras Expanding The Global IP Camera Market The video surveillance equipment market grew to $18.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase this year, according to IHS Markit. The latest research points to video everywhere, edge computing, and AI as the top technologies that will have a major impact in both commercial and consumer markets in 2019. Computing at the edge means that the processors inside the camera are powerful enough to run AI processing locally, while still encoding and streaming video, and are able to do it all at the low-power required to fit into the limited thermal budget of an IP camera. New SoC chips will be able to perform all of the processing on camera and provide accurate AI information, with no need to send data to a server or the cloud for processing. Instead, data can be analyzed right in the camera itself, offering high performance, real-time video analytics, and lower latency — all critical aspects of video surveillance. This new AI paradigm is made possible by a new generation of SoCs, a key driver behind the market growth of IP cameras. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras to fuel the advent of AI in the IP camera market Micro-Processor-Enabled Video Analytics Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most timeMicroprocessor-enabled analytics allow users to more easily extract valuable data from video streams. How about an insider’s view into retail customer behavior? Consider video cameras at a department store, monitoring shoppers’ behavior, traffic patterns, and areas of interest. Next-generation cameras will recognize how long a shopper stays in front of a specific display, if the shopper leaves and returns, and if the shopper ultimately makes a purchase. Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time, so retailers will be able to adjust product placement accordingly. Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly. By understanding customers’ behavior, retailers can determine the best way to interact with them, target specific campaigns, and tailor ads for them. Cue the coupons while the shopper is still onsite! Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly Fast Processing For Rapid Response At City Level City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations such as loitering, big crowds forming, or cars driving the wrong way.Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations, adjust traffic lights, identify license plates, automatically charge cars for parking, find a missing car across a city, or create live and accurate traffic maps. Real-Time HD Video Monitoring And Recording When it comes to home monitoring, what will next-generation video surveillance cameras offer? Real-time monitoring and notification can detect if a person is in the back yard or approaching the door, if there’s a suspicious vehicle in the driveway, or if a package is being delivered (or stolen). Advanced video cameras can determine when notifications are and aren’t required, since users don’t want to be notified for false alerts such as rain, tree branches moving, bugs, etc. Next-generation video camera capabilities can also help monitor a loved one, person or pet, helping put families at ease if they are at work or on vacation. For example, helpful analytics may be used to detect if someone has fallen, hasn’t moved for a while, or does not appear for breakfast according to their typical schedule. City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations Next-Gen IP Cameras When evaluating next-generation IP cameras (cameras on the edge), look at the brains. These cameras will likely be powered by next-generation SoCs chips. Here is what this means to you: Save on network bandwidth, cloud computing and storage costs. There is no need to constantly upload videos to a server for analysis. Analysis can be performed locally on the camera, with only relevant videos being uploaded. Faster reaction time. Decisions are made locally, with no network latency. This is critical if you need to sound an alarm on a specific event. Privacy. In the most extreme cases, no video needs to leave the camera. Only metadata needs to be sent to the cloud or server. For example, the faces of people can be recognized in the camera and acted upon, but the video never reaches the cloud. The cameras can just stream a description of the scene to the server “suspicious person with a red sweater walking in front of the train station, has been loitering for the last 10 minutes, suggest sending an agent to check it out.” This could become a requirement in some EU countries with GDPR rules. Easier search. Instead of having to look through hours of video content, the server can just store/analyze the metadata, and easily perform searches such as “find all people with a red sweater who stayed more than five minutes in front of the train station today.” Flexibility/personalization. Each camera at the edge can be personalized to work better for the specific scene it is looking at, compared to a generic server. For example, “run a heat map algorithm on camera A (retail) as I want to know which sections of my store get the most traffic; and run a license plate recognizer on camera B (parking lot) as I want to be able to track the cars going in/out of my parking lot.” No cloud computing required. For cameras in remote locations or with limited network bandwidth, users have the ability to perform all analytics locally, without relying on uploading video to a server/cloud. Higher resolution/quality. When AI processing is performed locally, the full resolution of the sensor can be used (up to 4K or more), while typically the video streamed to a server will be lower resolution, 1080p or less. This means more pixels are available locally for the AI engine so that you will be able to detect a face from a higher distance than when the video is streamed off camera. AI At The Edge Professional-level IP cameras capable of performing AI at the edge are coming soon with early offerings making their debut at this year’s ISC West. As we enter 2020, we will begin to see the availability of consumer-level cameras enabling real-time video analytics at the edge for home use. With rapid technology advancement and increased customer demand, AI is on the verge of exploding. When it comes to image quality and video analytics, IP cameras now in development will create a next-generation impact at department stores, above city streets, and keeping an eye on our loved ones.
Johnson Controls will soon announce the availability of the LUX KONOzw Smart Hub thermostat through its DSC channel. This is the first KONO thermostat featuring Z-Wave technology. KONOzw allows users to seamlessly connect DSC security systems, including PowerSeries Neo, iotega and PowerSeries Pro, when combined with SecureNet or Alarm.com interactive services to the smart thermostat through the Z-Wave smart hub. Universal Compatibility KONOzw offers all the traditional modes of a smart thermostat, including heat & cool and works with forced air, gas, oil and electrical furnaces, giving end users the flexibility they need when choosing a thermostat. It also features universal compatibility with heat pump systems with or without Aux/Emergency heat and hydronic zone valves. KONOzw also provides flexible installation with battery (4 AA batteries included) or C-wire powering options. Its patent-pending interchangeable décor-snap covers enable users to personalize the device – adding individual flair to the thermostat. “The integration of KONOzw with Johnson Controls’ security systems illustrates the power of the smart home and our broad footprint for bringing innovative solutions to the market,” said Rob Munin, general manager of thermostats at Johnson Controls. Leveraging Smart Systems Capabilities “The Z-Wave technology opens doors for organizations who want to integrate more functionality into a smart hub to further leverage the capabilities of their smart systems. We believe the KONOzw is an attractive solution for commercial and residential markets.” The use of Z-Wave technology allows the thermostat to connect to other parts of a smart home through Alarm.com or SecureNet, while using minimal resources, in turn increasing battery life and reducing overall operating costs. With complete customisability available, users can reap all the benefits of a sleek, easy-to-use smart thermostat, while personalising it to their home decor.
Visitors to The Security Event will be among the first to see live demonstrations of some of the latest products to be launched by Tyco, the security division of Johnson Controls. A wide range of access control, intrusion and video products from the American Dynamics, Exacq, Illustra, Bentel, CEM Systems, DSC, Kantech, Software House and Visonic brands, which are supplied under the Tyco umbrella, will be on show on stand SE102. These include: Access Control Credential iotega, an all-in-one smart security and home automation platform for residential and small commercial properties A new camera to cloud solution which provides a cost-saving and efficient and method of managing IP cameras and securely storing video in the cloud. The recently launched Illustra Flex IR 30 x PTZ cameras which have adaptive IR illumination that adjusts the intensity of the IR in line with the operator controlled zoom setting of the camera. A new 8 channel VideoEdge Deep Intelligence Network Video Recorder (NVR), which utilizes machine learning techniques with the help of a powerful Graphic Processing Unit (GPU). This optimizes the ability of the NVR to display highly accurate video intelligence compared to standard methods of video analytics. Kantech EntraPass software which enables users to operate any number of doors where card access is required and provides support for a server based Go Pass mobile App that allows card holders to use their mobile phones as an access control credential. iotega, an all-in-one smart security and home automation platform for residential and small commercial properties. Commercial Security Exhibition Tyco is a Founding Partner of The Security Event which takes place at the NEC Birmingham on 9-11th April, 2019 and is intended to fulfill the need for a UK focused commercial security exhibition. “The opportunity to take an active role as a Founding Partner in an industry event which will be at a location which so many of our customers consider ‘home’, is extremely welcome,” said Gordon Morrison, GB Sales Director for the Tyco Security Products access control and video brands. “The concept, focus and size of the show makes it ideal for us to showcase our unified fits with our requirements and plans for a major part of our business."
NAPCO Security Technologies, known for developing innovative technology and reliable security solutions and services, is pleased to share that the all-new décor-neutral, iBridge Touch Touchscreen is gaining high popularity, especially used in conjunction with its new matching iBridge App, recently debuted on iTunes and Google Play. iBridge Touch is an advanced, neutral-color, décor-friendly, wall-mounted touchscreen that controls security and/or video and smart automation (IoT services). iBridge Touch And App Available in hardwire or wireless models, this slim-profile, high-res 7” full color touchscreen (#IBR-TOUCH & -WL, respectively) is ultra-responsive with a high-speed, quad-core processor, matching the iBridge Smart App for mobile services. iBridge Touch has an intuitive graphical icon-based user interface, helpful built-in voice prompts, onscreen MMS/SMS notifications, and offers easy one-touch security for arm, disarm, stay & away, plus a conventional keypad mode with multi-brand compatibility option. Integrated With StarLink Connect LTE Dual Path Cell In fact, iBridge Touch is ideally-teamed with the universal StarLink Connect LTE Dual Path Cell/IP Connected Hub Communicator (-Z model). When integrated together for smart home/business accounts, the StarLink Connect provides connectivity for Z-wave IoT control of standard Z-wave locks, lights, t-stats & small appliances, and onscreen Video, multi-viewing of up to 6 iBridge Video WAP-free hi-res cameras, including new doorbell, or original iSee Video Cameras. Additionally, when used with StarLink Connect, the universal communicator provides the iBridge Touch touchscreen with a conventional virtual keypad mode that mirrors top panel brand keypads, ADT/Honeywell, DSC & Napco, including providing dealers with full keypad programming capability. Other new dealer advantages include easy update command, a Configuration Wizard, and super easy WiFi network-connect.
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