IP Dome cameras - Expert commentary

How Smart Technology Is Simplifying Safety And Security In Retirement Villages
How Smart Technology Is Simplifying Safety And Security In Retirement Villages

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.

The Post-Pandemic Mandate For Entertainment Venues: Digitally Transform Security Guards
The Post-Pandemic Mandate For Entertainment Venues: Digitally Transform Security Guards

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.

Physical Access Control: Critical Steps To Ensure A Smarter Future
Physical Access Control: Critical Steps To Ensure A Smarter Future

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.

Latest Hikvision USA Inc. news

Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches Are A Line Of Smart PoE Switches That Offer Simplified Installation And Remote Management
Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches Are A Line Of Smart PoE Switches That Offer Simplified Installation And Remote Management

Hikvision, the globally renowned manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions, now offers a line of smart PoE switches, designed to simplify installation, remote management, and system maintenance. EI Smart Managed Switches The new Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switch portfolio includes a host of unique features, including advanced visualized topology, network health monitoring and real-time alarm notifications. “Our new EI Smart Managed Switch offering combines the ideal combination of performance, functionality and cost efficiency, to best manage new or expanded networked systems,” said John Xiao, Vice President Marketing, Hikvision USA. Advanced health monitoring and notification John Xiao adds, “Designed specifically for professional surveillance and security applications, our new EI Smart Switches can help reduce system downtime, by providing system administrators with advanced health monitoring and notification features.” The new IEEE 802.3af, IEEE 802.3at PoE compatible Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches are available in 4, 8, 16, or 24 port configurations, rated at 100 Mbps. Key features of Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches include: Visual Topology Management, which provides a unique 2D visual layout of networked devices, when used with Hikvision’s iVMS-4200 or HikCentral camera and system management platforms. The visual topology feature provides administrators with a convenient view of their entire network of connected devices, making systems easier to build and maintain. Network Health Monitoring allows system administrators to view the real-time bandwidth of the network and device details at both ends. Real-Time Alarms and Notifications significantly reduce network operation and maintenance costs, by automatically notifying system administrators, when network bandwidth exceeds predetermined thresholds. The affected camera tile will also turn red on the visual topology, in the event transmission is interrupted.

Hikvision's Cameras Employed To Prevent Waste Fires
Hikvision's Cameras Employed To Prevent Waste Fires

Waste fires – in other words, fires that occur in waste or recycling plants - is a very serious global issue. Countries all over the world are suffering from more than one fire per day in the waste and recycling industry. This causes a risk of injury to employees, damage to sites and machinery, and damage to reputation. And that’s even before one considers the potential environmental impact. There’s more irony here too – one of the biggest risks for fire in a waste facility is damaged lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are rechargeable and thus designed to be more sustainable! What causes waste fires? As the human race creates more and more waste, recycling has become crucial in the fight for sustainability. Numerous recycling plants are built to deal with all kinds of materials, turning them into something useable again. Many of these materials are combustible – paper and cardboard, for example. The materials are also compressed together in order to save space. A dry, hot spell of weather can also add a rise in heat within this pile. All these conditions combine to make a potentially combustible situation – all that is needed is a spark. This is an example of what’s known in the industry as ‘scalding’. Heat can build up unchecked in places that cannot be seen or monitored in traditional ways. In the middle of a waste pile, for example. There’s also no smoke to be seen here since it’s shielded by outer layers of the waste. Rechargeable batteries Danger can come from various places – but increasingly the culprit is rechargeable batteries Danger can come from various places – but increasingly the culprit is rechargeable batteries. In fact, according to a recent WEEE report, the most severe fires caused by batteries in the last four years caused damage costing an average of €1.3 million. The lithium-ion technology in these batteries works by using different chemicals in separate cells. The ‘walls’ of these cells are quite thin, to make the battery lightweight. When damaged, these can be punctured, or short-circuited combining the separated elements and causing either a build-up of heat, leading to a fire, or even an explosion. Tackling waste fires Traditional methods of tackling the problem are based on reacting quickly to a waste fire once it breaks out. Fire alarms and sprinkler systems are used, and a ‘hotline’ to the local fire services could be prudent. Sites also use sirens and lights to warn people of the danger. However, these measures all come into effect once a fire has started. Technology can now be used to tackle the issue before it happens. In other words, to detect the build-up of heat, before the spark has ignited the fire. It succeeds in managing the risks of harm to employees or visitors to the site. It’s also good for the budget – reducing the costs and work to repair any fire damage.  Enter Hikvision’s cameras Thermal cameras are used to monitor temperatures both inside and outside of a plant. These cameras can be configured to raise an alarm when a predefined temperature is monitored, and then again when a higher one is reached. The first temperature limit is for a pre-alarm, which will have the camera send a signal once the temperature is higher than normal. The second limit should be configured at a critical temperature so that it’s clear that immediate action is necessary once it’s heard. HikCentral VMS Using HikCentral video management software, images can also be sent to managers remotely Both alarms can be verified by employees monitoring the situation, both on and off-site, using a bi-spectrum camera. This provides live images alongside the thermal ones, giving more context to the issue. Then, armed with verified situational information, appropriate persons can take action to prevent, or put out, any waste fires. This could be site employees, or via a remote monitoring service. Using HikCentral video management software, images can also be sent to managers remotely. They are able to see what’s happening via tablet or mobile, wherever they are. Fire repressing systems The solution uses smart algorithms to ensure that hot spots caused by sunlight, or cars moving through the site, do not cause false alarms. It can also be seamlessly connected to other fire repressing systems, like sprinklers or automated fire doors. The world of sustainability moves on. In a world where a battery designed to be sustainable can actually cause problems when recycled, looking at the complete picture seems crucial. As is the ability to tackle problems before they happen. Using technology, recycling plants can identify potential fires before they happen. So even if the materials going through a waste site are potential fire risks, these can be effectively managed. It’s a classic example of prevention being better than cure – more relevant than ever to waste fires.

Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras
Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras

Hikvision, a manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions is launching a special, limited-time promotion on the company’s next generation of intelligent AcuSense PCI series cameras. Employing advanced deep learning algorithms, AcuSense cameras can accurately distinguish people and vehicles from other moving targets such as animals and shadows in real-time, vastly improving detection accuracy while reducing costly false alarms. Improve safety and security “Our next generation of AcuSense cameras delivers intelligent features and capabilities that improve safety and security and help eliminate costly false alarms in virtually any environment. AcuSense PCI models use audio and visual alarm messages to actively reduce the risk of intrusion, providing real-time proactive deterrence from crime, intruders, and unwanted behavior,” said Michael Hendrix, director of sales engineering, Hikvision. “These new AcuSense cameras deliver the perfect combination of intelligent performance and cost-efficiency for a wide range of users and applications.” Limited time price reduction For a limited time during the month of May, Hikvision is offering select second-generation AcuSense PCI cameras at a significant price reduction. Those seeking details about the promotion can request additional information online. To learn more about Hikvision’s next generation of AcuSense cameras, join a special open webinar on May 7, 2021. Registration for the webinar is free but space is limited. AcuSense camera features AcuSense cameras precisely sense human and vehicle movement versus non-human objects, reducing false alarms up to 90 percent and improving alarm handling efficiency. New strobe light and audio features on SL models vastly improve on-site response and real-time, proactive crime deterrence. The new generation of AcuSense cameras includes a host of advanced features, including customizable two-way audio warnings, ultra-low light color performance, and camera-accessible cloud video storage.  

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