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Flow control to support social distancing As the world moves to the new normality and measures are lifted, governments have put in place restrictions to support social distancing and avoid any new spread of COVID-19. Managing and controlling the numbers and access of people in and out of stores and offices, or indeed any building open to the public is in fact crucial in supporting that people maintain a safe distance between them. The importance of real-time data accuracy Measuring occupancy as it happens with immediate update of the people count is therefore critical as it could lead to unsafe situations where too many people are allowed in a space and social distancing is hard to control. The data needs to be gathered real-time and transmitted instantly to the integrated occupancy software platform in order to give an exact picture on how many people are in a store, room or a specific area of a building. Another aspect to consider is the precision in the count of people going in or out of a store, making sure there are no errors in the count that over-time accumulate minimizing the reliability of the information, and which could again create unsafe situations or impact negatively on the store sales, if for instance no access was allowed based on incorrect reporting that occupancy threshold had been reached. The OPTEX Akribos VC-1020 is a real-time and multi-directional indoor people counter that can provide more than 98% accuracy. It ignores trollies and baskets and manages groups of individuals by tracking the direction of every individual, even complicated movements such as people turning back or standing still. Now featuring MQTT protocol, the Akribos sensor can be integrated with third party analytics software transmitting instantly the data gathered which can then be used to create key-performance reports, dashboards and visual displays to control occupancy levels. A long-term solution for businesses Many businesses and retailers are using their security staff to manage access and control queue volumes and as such, installers have an opportunity to become the principal point of contact for bringing new solutions regarding occupancy level and social distancing. The solution with OPTEX Akribos solves the issue created by the pandemic, but also solves the ongoing challenge of efficiently and accurately monitoring occupancy levels within a busy working or retail environment. The analytics and people traffic reporting can help retailers manage their staff and product placement better, and in the office to have a more efficient building management based on occupancy level.Add to Compare
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James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specializing in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analog, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behavior. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.
As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behavior. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behavior, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organized campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behavior Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behavior With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behavior, particularly when they are the targets of that behavior. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behavior. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labor, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditized business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labor-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practise since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.
Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption. Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalization bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models. Digital transformation While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment. Yet, with more organizations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximize the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge. Improved access control in smart environments These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimizing resources and increasing citizen engagement. Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems, using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. Frictionless access control During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity. Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimizing the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customized and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful. Barriers to adoption Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant. Many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space. Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature. The importance of cyber hygiene Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks. Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited. Cyber security considerations Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognized cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security. The future of access control There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organizations by their association. The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world. Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies. As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor. The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.
OPTEX, the global sensing and detection manufacturer, has expanded the offering of its range of award-winning Intelligent Visual Monitoring Solution with the launch of a new 12-channel Visual Verification Bridge in Europe and Africa. The new 12-channel Bridge, powered by CHeKT, enables up to 12 ONVIF-compatible cameras and alarms to be managed through a single device, making it ideal for larger sites such as major depots and warehouses with constant activity 24/7. The choice of a four and now 12-channel device gives greater flexibility to customers managing multiple sites with multiple devices. Visual monitoring solution The Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution gives the ‘power of sight’ to monitored alarm systems, meaning triggered alarms can be visually verified within seconds and responded to accordingly. The OPTEX Bridge is the hardware device (gateway) that is physically connecting the indoor and/or outdoor intrusion sensors or the panic buttons with the IP cameras on site. It can work with any legacy equipment as well as new systems. It provides a complete audit trail of activity and can detect when a camera is not working (i.e. when it has dropped out of the network), and report the fault, thus ensuring security is not compromised. Cloud-Hosted platform Monitoring stations have the ability to provide an easy-to-install and cost-effective visual verification service It communicates via a gated Cloud portal with the Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) or monitoring station in the appropriate ‘language’, having integrated with all major monitoring software platforms. It will, in effect, work with virtually any intruder alarm technology, or any alarm device with a relay output and any ONVIF camera to deliver one seamless visual verification solution. Monitoring stations have the ability to provide an easy-to-install and cost-effective visual verification service to residential and commercial sites; the Bridge can be installed and working within the hour. The Cloud-hosted platform also allows a stronger collaboration between the ARCs and the home/business owners by having the ability to share video clips to confirm the alarms while respecting any privacy guidelines through its bespoke privacy feature that only end-users can release. Monitored alarm systems Ben Linklater, Commercial Director at OPTEX Europe, says the new 12-channel Bridge gives more options to both installers and monitoring stations: “Since launching our Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution last year, the demand for visual verification has continued to grow.” Most monitored alarm systems are ‘blind’, so the ability to add video and see exactly what is going on has significant benefits. “The 12-channel Bridge complements the four-channel Bridge and gives more options to installers and operators to suit monitored security systems of different sizes and configurations.”
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the 2021 winners of the SIA New Product Showcase Awards, the flagship awards program presented in partnership with ISC West recognizing innovative security products, services, and solutions. Top among the winners – who were recognized June 17 during a virtual awards show – was Lumeo, receiving the 2021 Best New Product Award. SIA New Product Showcase Since its inception in 1979, the SIA New Product Showcase has been the security industry’s premier product awards program. New products are reviewed by a panel of judges with extensive industry experience, and in 2021, following significant deliberations, the 35 judges presented awards for technologies covering 25+ product and service categories. The 2021 SIA New Product Showcase entries will be on display July 19-21 in Booth 14073 on the ISC West show floor. Best new product Lumeo received the Best New Product honor for its Lumeo product, submitted in the Emerging Technologies category. Lumeo received the Best New Product honor for its no-code video analytic builder “Lumeo is the first and only ‘no-code' video analytic builder that provides integrators, software vendors, and solution providers with the ability to create and deliver custom analytics in minutes and with no technical skills needed,” said Lumeo. “Using drag-and-drop tools, pre-built analytic building blocks, and AI models, Lumeo lets providers instantly add AI-powered analytics to their own solution, or extend existing VMS and camera installations to increase revenue and bottom line. Lumeo’s cloud-managed analytics can run in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid model so you can optimize for convenience or cost.” Judges’ Choice Award The prestigious Judges’ Choice Award was presented to Teleportivity for the QR Video Intercom product, submitted in the Emerging Technologies category. “Imagine being able to install an app-like ‘video intercom’ experience, anywhere, simply with a QR code,” said Teleportivity. “There’s no hardware needed, and no app required for the visitor. Simply scan with a smartphone and access. Intercom owners can add a whole range of other self-serve experiences into their code. Install onto a digital directory, letterbox, a door, a wall…Anywhere.” New ideas and technologies “The 2021 entrants to the SIA New Product Showcase are a remarkable group, and we were impressed by the many notable ideas and new technologies that came in this year,” said Christopher Grniet, chair of the SIA New Product Showcase Committee. “It was a challenge making the final award determinations in this year’s highly competitive program following hours of panel-driven judging and technology demonstrations. Thank you to our dedicated judges for volunteering your time, expertise, and efforts to make the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase a success.” Merit Award SIA New Product Showcase program – received the New Product Showcase Merit Award Additionally, Marc R. Tardiff – founder of MRT Security Consulting LLC and an active volunteer judge in the SIA New Product Showcase program – received the New Product Showcase Merit Award, which recognizes an individual or company who, through their support of the New Product Showcase, demonstrates a commitment to the vision and mission of the program, contributes to its success and promotes the advancement of SIA and the security industry overall. “I am honored to be named the 2021 SIA NPS Merit Award winner and would like to thank Sandra Jones, who first gave me the chance to serve on the SIA NPS Committee, as well as SIA, Reed, and our NPS Committee members for the work that has been going on for quite some time,” said Tardiff. “I’d also like to thank our previous chair, Jennifer Martin, and current chair Chris Grniet for allowing me to continue to serve.” Recognizing all the honorees “SIA is thrilled to recognize the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase honorees, whose products, services, and contributions represent the most innovative new security offerings on the market,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA congratulates all the 2021 award winners, and especially Lumeo and Teleportivity, whose solutions stood out among the impressive field of entrants to earn the Best New Product and Judges’ Choice honors. Additionally, we congratulate Marc R. Tardiff on being named the 2021 SIA NPS Merit Award recipient in recognition of his dedication and valuable contributions to this flagship awards program.” Winners of the 2021 Product Showcase The 2021 SIA New Product Showcase award winners are: Best New Product Award Winner: Lumeo – Lumeo Judges’ Choice Award Winner: Teleportivity – QR Video Intercom New Product Showcase Merit Award Winner: Marc R. Tardiff, founder, MRT Security Consulting LLC Category Awards Access Control Devices & Peripherals Hardware – Wireless Winner: Master Lock – Master Lock Vault Enterprise Bluetooth Door Controller Honorable Mention: Bird Home Automation GmbH – DoorBird D1812 Access Control Software, Hardware, Devices & Peripherals – Wired Winner: Honeywell International Inc – Pro-Watch Integrated Security Suite Honorable Mention: Alvarado from dormakaba Group – MST-TE Touch-Free Full Height Turnstile Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Winner: Bullistic Barriers LLC – RaDeBuRe Commercial Monitoring Solutions Winner: Evolon – Verify Honorable Mention: Optex – Optex 12 Channel Bridge Communications and Networking Solutions Winner: M2M Services – MINI-LTE-M-AV Convergence and Integration Solutions Winner: BioConnect – BioConnect Enterprise 5.0 Design, Diagnostic, and Installation Tools Winner: Axis Communications, Inc. – AXIS Plugin for Autodesk Revit Emerging Technologies Winner: Teleportivity – QR Video Intercom Honorable Mention: Lumeo – Lumeo AiP Monitoring – SafeAtHome App Environmental Monitoring Systems Winner: IPVideo Corporation – HALO 2.2 Fire/Life Safety Winner: NOTIFIER by Honeywell – Notifier Inspire Self-Test Smoke Detection Hosted Solutions/Managed Services Winner: Soloinsight Inc. – CloudGate SmartSpace Identification Management and Credentialing (Non-Biometrics) Winner: SISCO – ThermalPass Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions (Physical) – Wired Winner: OPTEX Inc. – Redscan Pro Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions (Physical) – Wireless Winner: Intelligent Automation, Inc. – ARGUS Perimeter Security Solutions Key/Equipment Assets Management Solutions Winner: CyberLock Inc. – CyberAudit-Web 9.4 Law Enforcement/Public Safety/Guarding Systems Winner: Active Guardian – 3xLOGIC Gunshot Detection Lock and Key Solutions Winner: Medeco Security Locks – Medeco 4 High-Security Key System Cellphone Solutions (Connected) Winner: IronYun Inc. – Vaidio Cam App Smart Home Solutions Winner: Alarm.com – Flex IO Honorable Mention: 2GIG – 2GIG EDGE Security and Automation Panel Threat/Risk Management Software Applications Winner: Gallagher – Proximity and Contact Tracing Report Video Analytics Winner: IronYun Inc. – Vaidio AI Vision Platform 5.0 Video Surveillance Cameras (HD/Megapixel) Winner: Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Ltd. – KP-HD3005G-R5/IF-PCB Video Surveillance Data Storage Winner: Premio Inc. – AI Edge Inference Computer (RCO-6141E-4U2C-2060S) Video Surveillance Management Systems Winner: Immervision Inc. – Immervision HTML 5 Web SDK During the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase virtual awards ceremony, in addition to the presentation of the overall and category-specific awards, attendees enjoyed hearing insights from New Product Showcase judges into innovations driving product advancements in the security industry. The 2021 SIA New Product Showcase entries will be on display July 19-21 in Booth 14073 on the ISC West show floor.
Developed by the British company Monitor Computer Systems (MCS), Sentinel is an alarm and video handling software application used by a significant number of Alarm Receiving Centers (ARC) in the UK. It is also adopted in many monitoring stations across Europe, North America, and Australia. Visual monitoring solution When OPTEX launched its Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution for monitored alarms systems, it engaged with MCS to ensure all the contact ID (alarm codes) generated on-site could be integrated and interpreted by the Sentinel platform. Michael Askew, Managing Director of MCS, wanted to provide ARC operators with the best possible experience when handling a customer’s alarm activation, especially when a person is identified on-site. Instant video access By integrating OPTEX and Sentinel technologies, operators are given instant access to the event video By integrating OPTEX and Sentinel technologies, operators are given instant access to the event video and are able to share that video with the end-user or site manager, who can instruct on how to handle the event (i.e. dismiss or respond). The instruction given by the customer is automated within Sentinel and provides the operator with any follow-up actions required. This process which stores all actions in a clear audit trail enables a quick and efficient response to an alarm activation and importantly avoids unnecessary security or police dispatch due to user error or false alarm. This helps businesses and homeowners keep their Unique Reference Numbers. Offers visual verification service “Thanks to Michael and his team, the integration of the OPTEX Visual Monitoring solution and Sentinel software is seamless. It allows the Alarm Receiving Centers to adopt our solution to offer a unique visual verification service and handle activations within the Sentinel interface,” says Ben Linklater, Commercial Director at OPTEX. “We are delighted to see the level of partnership between the two companies.” Easily adds video to a monitored alarm The OPTEX Intelligent Video Monitoring solution enables indoor and external sensors to be integrated with any ONVIF video device and connect to a cloud portal to generate an easy and cost-effective way to add a video to a monitored alarm or personal attack system. OPTEX Intelligent Video Monitoring solution enables indoor and external sensors to be integrated with any ONVIF video device The solution simply requires the installation of an IP gateway - The OPTEX Bridge - on-site, followed by a connection to the cloud portal and to a participating ARC. OPTEX and Monitor Computer Systems will be running a joint webinar on 23rd of June 2021, presented by Neil Foster, Senior Business Development Manager at OPTEX, and Michael Askew to demonstrate the solution live. For more information or to sign up for the webinar, visit the company website.
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