Remote monitoring security applications
Founded in 1871, Fulton County School System is the fourth largest school district in Georgia, United States. It consists of 101 schools and administrative support buildings, including 67 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools and eight charter organizations. Fulton’s mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for its more than 96,000 students and more than 12,000 full-time employees. To help enhance safety Search Technology at more than 100 schools, Fulton has in...
Customer Located in the Meadowlands and part of the MetLife Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium is home to the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets. The $1.6 billion stadium was financed and built by a joint venture between the two teams, who operate it through the New Meadowlands Stadium Company. The stadium opened in April 2010 and boasts a seating capacity of 82,500, making it one of the NFL's largest stadiums. On February 2, 2014, MetLife Stadium played...
Background Delivering the future of guarding through technology and expertise The emergence of high-tech virtual guarding as a powerful and cost-effective alternative to traditional manned patrol approaches is a direct realization of the promise seen in the industry’s most innovative and high-performing technology. Currently, emergent leaders in the virtual guarding space are those who successfully leverage guarding and security expertise and match it with the right technology to move be...
Customer Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America. The city of Buenos Aires is an autonomous district, and the separate province of Buenos Aires is the largest and most populous province in Argentina. Challenge The local governments in Argentina needed a portable mobile solution to monitor and document speed limit violations. Megapixel Solution In a unique integrated solution, Arecont Vision 5-megapixel cameras are u...
Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), provided ‘the right stuff’ as the technology for live monitoring with archived recordings when the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) needed to supervise every moment during the space shuttle Endeavour’s recent weekend-long journey from the Los Angeles International Airport to its final home at the California Science Center. Traveling to its final destination, the space shuttle Endeavour was...
Security for banks can be a real challenge when faced with a multitude of threats including: fraud, theft and physical attacks. One bank which is setting new standards in the Middle East, when it comes to the application of surveillance technology to keep its infrastructure, staff and customers safe and secure, is National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). This is thanks to the roll out of an advanced NetVu Connected CCTV solution from Dedicated Micros part of AD Group which is focused on the centralized mo...
They say that every choice has a cost. It's a basic principle that, economically speaking, nothing is free. If it doesn't cost actual money, it may be expensive in terms of time, attention and/or effort. These are interesting observations to keep in mind as one peruses the various "free" video management system (VMS) offerings available on the market. Some are provided by camera companies to unify their products into a "system", even if it's a small one. Other free VMS offerings are entry-level versions offered by software companies with the intent of the customer upgrading later to a paid version. For more insights, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of “free” video management systems (VMSs) and how can a customer decide whether “free” is the right price for them?
Market dynamics are changing the U.S. residential security market, creating new business models that better appeal to the approximately 70% of households without a security system. Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalize the traditional security industry, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry are emerging, including a new batch of DIY systems. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras, and other products suffice for their security. Increasingly Competitive Landscape Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry For instance, IP cameras are a highly popular smart home device rooted in security, and Parks Associates estimates 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889M in revenues. Product owners may feel their security needs are fulfilled with this single purchase, as such dealers and service providers are under increasing pressure to communicate their value proposition to consumers. Categorically, each type of player is facing competition uniquely—national, regional, and local dealers all have a different strategy for overcoming the increasingly competitive landscape. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. While white-label devices are acceptable in some instances, dealers need to integrate with hero products whenever possible when those exist for a category. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services are all potential benefits and good for business Improved Customer Engagement That 2017 survey also revealed 36% of security dealers that offer interactive services report security system sales with a networked camera and 16% report sales with a smart thermostat. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services, enhanced system utility, increased daily value, and improved customer engagement with the system are all potential benefits and good for business. Security has served as the most productive channel for smart home solutions, mainly because the products create natural extensions of a security system’s functions and benefits, but as smart home devices, subsystems, and controllers expand their functionality, availability, and DIY capabilities, many standalone devices constitute competition to classical security. Particularly viable substitute devices include IP cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. Products that are self-installed offer both convenience and cost savings, and these drivers are significant among DIY consumers—among the 6% of broadband households that installed a security system themselves, 39% did it to save money. Enhance Traditional Security Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security While many security dealers believe substitute offerings are a threat, some dealers do not find such devices an existential threat but instead view them as another path to consumer awareness. They argue that the difference between smart product substitutes and traditional security is that of a solution that provides knowledge versus a system that gives one the ability to act on that knowledge. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth Increased Market Growth A key counterstrategy for security dealers and companies is to leverage their current, powerful role as the prime channel for smart home devices. Many security dealers now include smart home devices with their security systems to complement their offerings and increase system engagement. For example, as of Q4 2017, nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households that were very likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months reported that they want a camera to be included as part of their security system purchase. In response, many security system providers now offer IP cameras as optional enhancements for their systems. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth. Security dealers have an opportunity to become more than a security provider but a smart home solutions provider rooted in safety. Provide Status Updates Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services The alternative is to position as a provider of basic security with low price as the key differentiator. Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services independent of security. It has discovered that monetizing smart home value propositions through recurring revenue becomes increasingly challenging as the value extends further away from life safety. Since the security industry remains the main channel for smart home services, security dealers are in a unique position to leverage that strength. Value propositions must shift from the traditional arming and disarming of a system to peace-of-mind experiences that builds off the benefits of smart devices in the home to provide status updates (e.g., if the kids arrived home safely) and monitoring at will (e.g., checking home status at any time to see a pet or monitor a package delivery). These types of clear value propositions and compelling use cases, which resonate with consumer and motivate them to expand beyond standalone products, will help expand the home security market.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research program to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 program and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the program, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative Review Team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the program by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Center Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating For The Security Industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organized paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavor to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the program. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the center’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilizing the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes In The GSA Program Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical Access Control Products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labor SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates To Guidance For Procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA program for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorized by the manufacturer. GSA Pricing Tool Since the GSA utilizes a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming Challenges For The Security Community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) program that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorized under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 Leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward The GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernization is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable Tools For Vendor Training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod program have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
One of the biggest recent security divestitures in the news was the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global, which occurred around a year ago. The seller in that transaction was ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises), also the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Joe Grillo, a 30-year industry veteran, about the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, ACRE’s future, and new opportunities opened up by the Mercury sale. Q: What’s new with ACRE? Grillo: We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player" ACRE is a company I founded in 2012, and since then we have had six acquisitions and one divestiture. We’ll never focus on ACRE as a brand, but we currently have more visibility of ACRE as a parent company with our two strong brands, ComNet and Vanderbilt. Last year was a very busy year [with the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global] because it takes as long to sell a brand as to buy one, maybe more so. Q: What’s next? Grillo: What you are seeing from us this year is that we are again in a buying mode. No announcement yet, but we expect one by the end of the year. We are well-funded, have great partners, and see an opportunity to continue to grow acquisitively as our highly fragmented space of access control continues to consolidate. From the standpoint of ACRE, with the ComNet and Vanderbilt brands, we are also doing more integration on the backside – not what the customer sees. We will continue to grow toward a $200 million business. We were there when we owned Mercury, and we will get there again. We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player. Because ACRE are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity: ComNet is a good example" Q: Do you see the M&A market being more competitive – more companies looking to acquire? Grillo: There’s a lot of money chasing not-so-many deals, so evaluations can get expanded. But as interest rates creep up, it is definitely a challenge to find the right valuation, the right financing and the right strategic fit. It is a very strategic market. Q: There have been some big acquisitions lately. Were you guys involved at all in evaluating those opportunities? Grillo: Because we are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity. An example of that was ComNet. I would not have been aware that the founder passed away two years ago and that there was this opportunity to own the business. So we look at everything; anything that’s out there we look at. The biggest recent announcement in our world was S2 (being sold to UTC/Lenel), and, yeah, we looked at that. It didn’t fit our profile – it was too expensive. Great business, and it’ll be interesting to see how it fits into the UTC environment. There was also Isonas [which was recently sold to Allegion], but the size didn’t add enough scale, but I like the technology. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, which is more attractive than video systems for ACRE Q: So what are you looking for in an acquisition? Grillo: It’s hard for us to find something that moves the needle, and you have to find that right balance. Is it something we can digest and have the financing for, and also is there room on the back end? We are private equity-owned, so we know there will be an exit for our investors, too. So we have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible. If you look at our acquisitions, we have done two “carve outs.” The Vanderbilt name didn’t exist until we bought the business from Ingersoll Rand, and then we bought the [intruder] business from Siemens. That’s how Vanderbilt came about. You get a lot of value when you carve out a business, but there’s a lot of work. In the case of Mercury or Access Control Technology (ACT) that we acquired; they were growing and profitable but they stretch your finances a lot more. So you have to find the right mix in there. Q: Does video interest ACRE at all? Grillo: We have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible"ComNet is our video play. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, and 70 to 80 percent of that is used for video systems. But unlike cameras, which don’t interest us, it’s actually good margins, highly specialized repeat business and with good channel partners. So where are we going to play? Cameras – no (because of commoditization). We have some recorder technology (from the Siemens acquisition) and we have the communication networking technology (with ComNet). On the software side, we have looked at a lot of the VMS companies, and a lot of them have been on the market. But the valuation expectations can be high because they are software companies. And we really believe in partnering as a good thing, too. If we integrate to Milestone or Salient or some of these companies, we will never lose an access control client because they chose a particular VMS. Q: ACRE is also looking to grow organically, isn’t it? Grillo: From a technology perspective, we are a product company and we are continuing to bring new products to the market with the ComNet communication networking business and the access control business. And in Europe, we have a third leg of the stool, which is the very successful intrusion and burgular alarm business we acquired from Siemens (SPC products now sold under the Vanderbilt brand). That business continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio.The intrusion and burgular alarm continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio" Q: But you don’t have to own a company to make it part of your solution. Grillo: An important word is integration. We have to integrate to all the wireless locks. We have to integrate to the VMS systems. But we don’t have to own them. Q: How has the Mercury Security divestiture impacted the rest of your business? Grillo: It has opened up the opportunity for us to look at Mercury partners as possible acquisition targets without worrying about conflicts with the very good business of Mercury. We have more flexibility now compared to the Mercury era. Q: How will the economic cycle impact the security market? Grillo: Interest rates are a much bigger issue than the overall economic cycle. We talk a lot about it with our owners – clearly interest rates are tightening up. If you go out to do acquisitions or to borrow money to do something with your business, it will be tougher than it was two years ago, and it may get worse in the next two years. Security is less impacted by the economic cycle than some industries.
In the simplest terms, video systems capture and record video. But supporting these basic operations are a growing number of other functions that expand usefulness and the ability to interact with related elements in a larger system. As video system functionality expands, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most important function of a video surveillance system and why?
In 1901 New York state made a pioneering regulation move and became the first US state to require automobile owners to register their vehicles. This marked the beginning of regulation on modern traffic, which - following decades of development - resulted in a multi-layer concept of regulation relating to vehicles and driver’s licenses, traffic signs and insurance mechanisms that we are all familiar with nowadays. While certain parallels can be drawn between the early days of cars and our contemporary experience with quadcopters, we are facing a new challenging era that is far more complex to organize and regulate. Integrating Drones In Existing Regulatory Ecosystem Similar to other pioneering technologies in the past, drones need to integrate into a long existing and well-balanced ecosystem, the rules of which have first been drafted some one hundred years ago and have evolved without taking vehicles such as drones into account. Yet the safety risks related to aviation hinder the quick integration of drones into that ecosystem, broadening the gap between existing regulatory landscape and the exponentially growing popularity and ever-advancing technology of drones. The safety risks related to aviation hinder the quick integration of drones into the legislative ecosystem For the past several years, governments and legislators have been trying to tackle this problem by trying to answer two questions: how to properly integrate drones into the airspace without creating a hazardous impact on existing airborne operations, and how to enforce regulations in order to prevent the side-effects related to careless or malicious drone flights, taking into consideration public safety and physical security. Counter-UAS Measures And Regulations Up until 2018, legislators tried to tackle these two questions as a whole by introducing bundled legislation drafts covering the entire landscape of gaps they needed to address, which resulted in multi-parliamentary committee efforts both in the US and abroad to review and approve each bill - a process that is very slow by design. It was only in the beginning of this year that the issues were starting to be addressed separately: legislation related to limitations and counter-drone measures on the one hand, and legislation related to integration into airspace on the other. Let’s take a closer look at Counter-UAS (unmanned aerial systems) measures and what makes them challenging in terms of regulation. Over the past years, various counter-drone technologies have been introduced to enable control over rogue drones in order to either stop them from achieving their flight purpose or prevent them from creating safety hazards to people or property. These measures can be grouped into 3 types of technologies: Military grade solutions - including lasers and surface-air missiles Kinetic solutions - including net-guns and autonomous drones set out to catch the rogue drone and disable it airborne Non-kinetic RF-based solutions - aimed at either disabling, disrupting or accessing the drone’s communications channels in order to trigger a return-to-home function, or guide the drone into a safe landing route Aside from combat military operations, the legality of using the above technologies is questionable as they tamper with an airborne aircraft, might be considered as wiretapping and/or violate computer fraud laws. Therefore, one can conclude that unless changes to regulation are made, non-military facilities will continue to be defenseless from and vulnerable to rogue drones. One can conclude that unless changes to regulation are made, non-military facilities will continue to be defenseless from and vulnerable to rogue drones European c-UAS Legislation Next, let’s look at the state of c-UAS legislation in both Europe and US to better understand different legislative ecosystems and how they affect the possibilities of using counter drone measures. In the European Union, there is currently no uniform legislation, and the member countries rely on their own existing legal infrastructures. Roughly speaking, most countries use a method of exemptions to the communications and aviation laws to allow the use of counter drone measures after a close examination by the relevant authorities. Such exemptions are approved under scrutiny to particular sites, which provide some relief, but they do not allow broad use of countermeasures. Further discussion regarding a broader regulation change, on a country level or EU-wide, is only preliminary. US c-UAS Legislation Preventing Emerging Threats - provides an initial infrastructure for counter drone measures to be used by various DoJ and DHS agenciesUnlike the EU, in the US exemptions are not possible within the existing legal framework, and the possible violation of US code title 18 means that the hands of both the government or private entities are tied when attempting to protect mass public gatherings, sports venues, or critical infrastructure. Therefore, it was more urgent to introduce legislation that would allow countermeasures to some extent. In September, US Congress approved the FAA-reauthorization act for the next 5 years (H.R. 302), which was shortly after signed by the President and came into effect. Division H of the act - Preventing Emerging Threats - provides an initial infrastructure for counter drone measures to be used by various DoJ (Department of Justice) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) agencies under strict limitations. However, the act avoids determining which technology the agencies should use, yet it requires minimal impact on privacy and overall safety in order to strike the necessary balance. This is the first profound counter-drone legislation and is expected to be followed by additional measures both in the US and in other countries. Updating Counter-Drone Legal Infrastructure In summary, 2018 has been a pioneering year for counter-drone legislation, and while technology already allows taking action when necessary, legal infrastructure needs further updates in order to close the existing gaps: covering additional federal assets, state-level governments, and private facilities of high importance, such as critical infrastructure sites. Legislators in the US and around the world need to continue working in a rapid tempo to keep up with the growing threat of drones. As with cars a century ago, the number of accidents will rise with the increase in time taken to regulate.
Gordon Buchanan, a freelance cameraman who sometimes works for the BBC, claims Bosch's AEGIS UFLED infrared illuminators have revolutionised night-time filming.Lost Land of the Volcano is a three-part nature documentary series that follows a scientific expedition to the island of New Guinea. During filming an international team of scientists, cavers and wildlife filmmakers ventured deep into the heart of the remote tropical island of New Guinea to explore a giant extinct volcano - Mount Bosavi. The team lived deep in the rainforest and searched for rare and endangered species.Using Bosch's AEGIS illuminators, the team found a previously undiscovered species of cuscus in the crater, where it has developed in isolation from its other relatives, in time becoming a sub species of the silky cuscus family. Identified as it left its daytime hideout and went in search of food in the forest at night, the Bosavi cuscus - which looks like a small bear - is a marsupial that lives in trees, feeding on fruits and leaves.Having struggled for more than a decade using what he describes as ‘Frankenstein' like lighting contraptions ranging from rally car headlights and hunting spotlights, Gordon has welcomed the advances in infrared technology that enable him to capture broadcast quality night-time footage. "Every lighting method I have used up until recently has had a drawback - carrying heavy acid batteries on my back and only having two hours filming power being just one of them," he says. "Now the team is able to access more remote areas as transporting compact infrared units is no longer an issue. The battery packs last for several hours and are interchangeable with our cameras."Field of view was another issue for Gordon. Historically illuminators have provided an uneven blanket of light causing ‘hot spots' in the captured image but, as Gordon explains: "The AEGIS UFLED units give the most consistent covering of light of any I have trialled. The distance the infrared light travels is also second to none. Whenever I am planning a shoot, Bosch's IR units will be one of the first pieces of kit in my bag."
It’s widely known that used copper commands a high price on the re-sale market worldwide; and it has turned out to be far higher than expected for thieves who broke into a recycling center in Denmark to steal copper-based cables. The thieves had taken action to bypass the CCTV system but ended up revealing themselves anyway, thanks to a Visonic RealAlarm™ visual alarm verification system – ending with their capture and arrest. Lars Ellesgaard, from ADI Denmark, tells the story: “AlmstenSikring, one of my customers, wanted to test the PowerMaster-10 security system with RealAlarm visual alarm verification at a recycle center that was being targeted by night-time thieves stealing cables in order to get copper,” says Ellesgaard. “The customer made a box for a Next CAM detector, so that the detector could sit outside on the building. We installed a PowerMaster-10 control panel with wireless connection to three Next CAM PG2 detectors. The panel is connected to our PowerManage server at the ADI central monitoring station, enabling our customer to receive alerts when the alarm is activated.” Security system installed in the right place, at the right time The action began right away, with an alarm activated on the first night after the system was installed. “In the alert that was sent in an email to the monitoring station, the team could see three thieves walk around in front of the Next CAM detector” recalls Ellesgaard. “The fun part is that the recycling center had a CCTV system on the building and on one of the video clips from the Next CAM, they saw one of the thieves with a covered face walk to the CCTV camera and tip it downward, remove the cover from his face, and then look straight up at the Next CAM (which got a good picture of him) and walk away. He thought the Next CAM was just a regular PIR detector!” Plans are underway to install Real Alarm at another five recycling sites around Denmark The thieves managed to get away that night, but their freedom was short-lived. “Two nights later there was an alarm again, and this time a guard and the police were ready and showed up with three dogs. Two thieves were captured in a little forest next to the recycling center and the third thief was captured two blocks away by the dogs,” reports Ellesgaard. ADI Denmark moved the Real Alarm system and three Next CAMs to another recycling center owned by the same customer. There too, thanks to the visual alarm verification system, three more thieves were captured, along with two girls who were waiting nearby in their getaway car. Having caught two teams of thieves red-handed, the recycling center management is planning to install Real Alarm with the Powermaster-10 control panel and Next CAM detectors at another five of its sites around Denmark.
Rye Meads is situated next to the River Lee on the outskirts of Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire. Visitors can view the various wildlife areas including reedbeds, open water, woodland and meadow, whilst utilising the observation hides to watch the wildlife close-up.Summer attractions include a colony of common terns that nest on specially made rafts in the lagoons, whilst kingfishers breed in an artificial sandbank. During winter, shoveler, gadwall and tufted ducks can be seen on the open water. With this diverse wildlife resource has come increased visitor numbers and RSPB management felt a comprehensive update of their original CCTV system was called for. By taking advantage of the latest developments in CCTV technology, they aimed to increase visitors' enjoyment of the reserve, as well as providing a surveillance tool for disabled visitors to view the full array of wildlife attractions available. To progress the upgrade, Rye Meads management turned to Ron Rigby of Aaction Electronics, whose experience of large outdoor systems would prove invaluable in the delicate installation of the reserve's CCTV system. After a comprehensive site survey Aaction Electronics specified Dennard 2060 dome cameras to cover the sixty-acre site. These were positioned on the outside of the hides (providing visitors with a view of the site in poor weather conditions) and on the manmade rafts in the main lagoon (giving an unprecedented close-up view of the nesting birds). Due to the geographical nature of the area, Ron was required to address many issues when specifying a transmission system to relay images from the isolated cameras. Minimal disturbance to the reserve was a priority both in the time taken to complete the installation and the civil works required. As multiple cameras were sited on the lagoon rafts, the video transmission system had to cross a large amount of water. The answer was provided utilising Network Video Technologies' (NVT) video transmission equipment and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cabling housed within a waterproof casing. As an alternative to coax cabling, this brought several advantages, Ron Rigby explains: "The hostile nature of the reserve's environment required a robust and reliable video transmission method. With NVT and UTP we were confident of its performance under these conditions. In addition, the cost savings over a coax-based system were substantial, with the additional advantage of a quick and easy installation resulting in minimal disruption to the reserves visitors and its wildlife." Using NVT's Active Transmitters and Receivers meant Ron could draw on NVT's technical resource and support to achieve a perfect signal. As Ron explains: "NVT's expert help and technical backup was invaluable in a diverse and challenging project such as this, and their products' consistent quality of interference free image meant that we could be confident of yielding the same high standard of picture display for each and every camera." RSPB Rye Meads now own and operate a high-tech CCTV system that provides visitors with an intimate view of the rare birds and their habitat. The high-quality images provided on NVT UTP are distributed to a central control point onsite. They can also be viewed on screens within the public areas and worldwide, via a live IP link to the RSPB website.
With a history spanning over 180 years, University College London (UCL), is one of the oldest and most well known seats of learning in the UK. Secured with a CCTV system comparable in size to most town center installations, UCL's security management are now reaping the numerous cost and performance benefits of a NVT UTP Hybrid Video transmission solution, designed to cater for ever-expanding camera numbers. Today, UCL continues to be London's leading multidisciplinary university, with 8,000 staff and 22,000 students, from over 150 countries, and is proud to be a true global university and research center of world-renown. With a central campus located on Gower Street in the Bloomsbury area of London, the university continues to expand within new buildings located throughout the area. UCL's mix of faculties, spread over an openly accessible campus area, has provided the university's management with quite a challenge to meet the requirement for an effective security surveillance solution. A primary CCTV system, consisting of 25 external cameras, was installed eleven years ago, covering the main pedestrian and vehicular routes on campus. Growing through the years via a series of expansions, 2003 saw the disparate elements of the CCTV network consolidated into a more focused structure. Paul Hayden, Control Room Manager at UCL explains: "By this time we had quite a large system connected via an ageing and complicated coax cable network. At that time, we wanted to add a number of cameras and relocate the control room, so it seemed an ideal point to re-evaluate the system's direction. With technical input from our onsite contractor, Trio Security Systems Ltd we redesigned the system from the ground up. Taking into account the long-term needs and tight budget constraints of both our new and existing camera network, we established that our needs would be best served through the installation of an NVT UTP video transmission system." UTP vs. coax Andy Halcro, Director of Trio Security Systems explains: "Introducing the use of NVT UTP video transmission meant the university would no longer be tied to the existing coax network that had become cumbersome, as well as difficult and costly to expand, particularly in view of the kind of additional camera numbers they required. "The university consists of several, historically important buildings, some of which date from the beginning of its 180-year history. Using NVT UTP meant we could harness the video transmission potential of the university's Twisted Pair cable infrastructure, already installed as part of its internal telephone network, but not fully utilised. This comprehensive network, which connects all of the university's buildings, is contained in underground ducting alongside other building infrastructure, such as power and data communication services. Capitalising on NVT's inherent interference rejection capabilities allowed direct connection to this network, with no interference issues from other services being experienced whatsoever. "During the relocation of the control room, it was important that images from each live camera incurred minimal downtime. Using NVT transmission we were able to patch images across to the new UTP network utilising NVT's rack-mounted receivers, keeping images streaming into the old control room, before we simply unplugged the relevant connection and reconnected it into the new control room facility. This afforded a seamless transition between the two, and meant the university didn't lose any camera footage throughout the system change-over period." Superior video LCD monitors show live high quality camera footage at the entranceways of UCL's main buildings Paul Hayden adds: "The process of unplugging the coax cables and instantly replacing it with NVT UTP transmission from the same camera really highlighted the difference in image quality between the two transmission methods. The NVT UTP images were noticeably sharper and a clear improvement over the previous coax based pictures." Using NVT technology to transmit video on a Twisted Pair cable infrastructure that already existed at the site also meant ideal scene coverage could be achieved for each camera, by affording exact camera placement within these historical surroundings, Paul Hayden explains: "By utilising compact and flexible UTP cable runs, versus the burden of cumbersome coax bundles, we were able to mount cameras in the best possible locations, even within the 180 years old buildings, where disturbing historical fixtures and fittings was just not an option!" Hybrid analog-IP solution "Images from each camera are transmitted to multiple NVT NV-862, NV-1662, and NV-3262 Active UTP video receiver hubs located in a purpose-built equipment room, adjacent to the new control room." Andy Halcro continues: "For the CCTV system's control and recording we made the decision at the start of the project to use a Pelco IP-based control system, but wanted to avoid the use of a total IP infrastructure and its associated limitations, such as equipment cost and control latency. This is where using NVT's UTP technology to provide a Hybrid Video solution gave us the benefits of both worlds, with none of the drawbacks, obviating the need for expensive and comparatively poor performing IP cameras, along with the latency control issues associated with an end-to-end IP network. The high-quality analog camera images received in the adjacent equipment room are now encoded and transmitted via a dedicated IP network, to the control room next door, where a team of two operators control and monitor the images via a video wall and spot monitors. Recording is provided by multiple DVRs, again located in the equipment room. "The system now covers all aspects of the university's buildings, many of which are Pelco domes supplied with NVT connectivity already built-in, making them very quick and easy to integrate. In addition, we now have a scaleable system, affording the ability to connect additional cameras in existing buildings to the ‘spare' UTP pairs installed. Being involved from the start with any new building works means we can specify dedicated UTP networks to be installed at the time of build. This kind of expert involvement right from the start of the project enables UCL to minimize the cost, whilst maximising the performance and flexibility of operation." Visual benefits Working in conjunction with access control and a comprehensive manned guarding team, the new CCTV system is used to protect students, staff and university facilities 24 hours a day. From the security control room, operators can access images from all campus exteriors and interiors, such as main entrances/exits, corridors, and refectory and leisure areas. "Thanks to the clarity of the NVT UTP video transmission based camera images, we can readily identify individuals from video footage, or forward prosecutional quality images if required, to the Police for further investigation." continues Paul Hayden: "The system is primarily designed to keep unauthorized people from entering the various campuses and buildings. As well as the safety of our staff, we have expensive equipment in many of the faculties, which could be targeted by thieves, so the extra ‘eyes' of the camera network are invaluable in assisting our security team, and give us an unparalleled overview of any areas of the site. The new CCTV system provides 24/7 surveillance and operators can access images from all areas around campus "During the expansion of the surveillance system, both criminal and anti-social instances were reduced dramatically the moment new cameras were introduced, an effect that was particularly evident at the number of bicycle storage areas across all campuses. We believe this effect is greatly enhanced if the presence of the cameras is promoted effectively. That's why in addition to CCTV signage, we employ large LCD displays in the entranceways of main buildings. These show live camera coverage of the immediate vicinity and are a great way of reinforcing the quality of images we have available from the system. They also for example, provide a measure of reassurance for female staff leaving the building late at night, as they can check the surrounding area outside the building before they leave. "We also use the system to track vehicular movements around the campuses. With space being limited and having to manage quite a number of deliveries most days, it is important that we manage the onsite traffic movement in the most effective way. The system has also proved a great health and safety management tool in other instances too, such as within the clean environment rooms of our Nano Technology building, where the adherence to Health and Safety protocols is critical." The latest expansion to the system has included UTP video transmission runs of over 900 metres and uses the latest NVT Digital EQ hubs, sourced from Norbain. Andy Halcro enthuses: "The continuous self adjustment of the Digital EQ Hubs means as well as fast installation, any variation in video signal content is automatically compensated for. For instance, if university telecom engineers replace a section of old UTP cable across the university network, this can alter the signal received by the hub in the communication room, but with NVT's Digital EQ hubs, this is automatically compensated for, with no intervention being required by us, in the long term saving time and money on service call outs." As University College London continues to expand on, and improve its network of buildings, the NVT UTP Hybrid Video transmission solution will continue to provide the key to a high performance, cost effective and flexible future-proofed electronic surveillance network.
Established in 1923, Solheim Lutheran Home in Los Angeles is a non-profit nursing home that provides assisted living for seniors. Solheim Lutheran Home spans over two and one half acres and is home to residents from all walks of life, from former teachers to a World War II fighter pilot.Solheim Lutheran Home is a busy place. Licensed charge nurses are on duty 24/7 here and look after nearly 200 residents. They required a surveillance camera to help keep an eye on the residents. They had several requirements that had to me met. First, images had to be high quality, day or night. Staff had to be able to quickly ID a person. Next, the cameras had to be easy to use. Nurses needed to be able to do a quick playback and take snap shots with little training. Third, the parking lot had to be monitored. Car make and model, license plate and the surrounding areas all needed to be obtained.Several security solutions were considered. In the end, MESSOA cameras were chosenMESSOA cameras were handpicked for this job. They were chosen for their specific abilities.MESSOA NDR890 fixed dome cameras and NCR875 infrared bullet cameras installed outside to watch the whole street With the Messoa cameras, the building perimeters could be closely monitored for increased safety The NDR890 was placed near the entrances to the building for wide area monitoring. Cameras covered every angle at the main entrance where a major street was located. The NCR875 was used for mid-range area monitoring. These Messoa cameras were installed to watch the building perimeters including side streets and sidewalks. Most of these areas had little to no light. However, that wasn't a problem. The NDR890 and NCR875 could still see anybody who entered or exited the building and even track them down streets.Messoa NDF820 cameras were selected to be installed at the check-in points of the nursing home. They watched and recorded everyone who passed by these areas. Management at Solheim wanted a camera that was powerful yet affordable and packed full of features. That's what they got with the NDF820.Nurses found the MESSOA cameras simple to understand and operateAfter installation was complete, the nurses got to test out the new system. It was so simple that they hardly needed any additional training to learn how to operate the cameras. "It really is simple to use the camera software. I learned how to play back videos and take snap shots in less than 5 minutes. Most of it is common sense," explained one nurse.Nurses are satisfied with the ease of use. Management felt like they got the most bang for their buck and residents feel more comfortable knowing that their care has been given the utmost priority.
Crime, loitering and general disorder are common problems at inner-city, public housing sites. Most of the crime is committed by outsiders who typically come into the facility to deal drugs, gamble, drink or congregate. At the very least, this is disturbing to the housing residents and often progresses to include property damage, vandalism and theft. At its worst, residents may be verbally and/or physically assaulted as they enter and leave their homes. Such was the case with the Housing Authority of Joliet, located in Joliet, IL. Since the housing authority’s security force is limited and local police cannot be everywhere, an innovative and cost-effective solution was required. The solution was to install a video surveillance system that would not only record criminal activity, but deter it. Most video surveillance systems could be considered passive systems that trigger an active response, that is, some activity is observed and guards or law enforcement are deployed to the site to investigate, intervene or make an arrest. As video systems have evolved and technology has advanced, this is beginning to change with on-site equipment now able to provide a primary level of deterrence without the need for security to deploy to the site every time an incident occurs. A highly effective solution that provides primary deterrence was proposed to the Housing Authority of Joliet by Commercial Electrical Systems (CES). It's All in the Integration CES, a systems integrator located in Joliet, IL, recommended a custom designed system that combined the latest in IP Video Surveillance, Wireless Mesh Networking and an on-site method of deploying the system that both protects the equipment and provides an active alarm when the security team wants to let the “bad guys’ know that they are being watched and that they should leave. To provide this solution, CES led a team consisting of Vicon® Industries Inc., a leading supplier of IP Video Surveillance systems and Firetide® Inc, a leading provider of multi-service mesh networks, who joined forces to develop an innovative system that has the residents of the Housing Authority of Joliet feeling safer and more secure. CES coordinated the design of the system, including selection of the equipment, and oversaw the installation of the system and the training of the security personnel. “This project presented some interesting challenges for us,” states Bob Cmolik, Account Manager for CES, “each monitoring station is a self-contained node that operates independently, but forms a part of the wireless mesh communications network. Because the information is being transmitted over the air, security was a huge issue. The Firetide and Vicon systems worked very well together providing a flexible and secure system that would not have been possible just a few years ago.” Powerful flashing lights above the enclosures can be set off by the security staff when suspicious activity is absorbed The Video Surveillance System Vicon Surveyor VFT pan-tilt-zoom cameras, Kollector™ Network Digital Recorders/Servers and a Firetide wireless transmitter mesh node are mounted in Montel Technologies Eagle Armor enclosures approximately 30 feet above the ground. The enclosures are lined with Kevlar®, which makes the already rugged enclosures bullet-proof and almost impervious to damage or vandalism. To deter the offenders, powerful flashing lights are mounted above the enclosures that are set off by the security staff when suspicious activity is observed. This provides immediate feedback to anyone doing something that they shouldn’t be, and lets them know that if they do not leave immediately, a response is coming. Visibility is superb with the cameras mounted at the 30-foot height. Each one has a clear view extending up to four blocks away. The cameras’ ability to pan, tilt or zoom by remote command allows the security staff to see and anticipate problems before they happen. Paramount to the effectiveness of an installation like this is the system’s scalability, data preservation and security capabilities and the ability of the various parts to work together seamlessly. The experience of system designer and installer, CES, the power of the Vicon ViconNet® IP Video Management software and the reliability of Firetide’s wireless mesh networking system make this system both dependable and secure. Vicon provides a totally integrated system that includes all of the hardware required including the cameras, DVRs, servers and workstations and the ViconNet software that provides the video management system` for transporting, storing and managing digital video from multiple sources. ViconNet is highly scalable and will allow the housing authority to expand however and whenever it wants. The current setup has 5 cameras located throughout the complex providing video feeds through the wireless mesh network to the housing authority’s recreation center. From there a VPN provides the video feeds to the security control center. The Joliet Police Department can also view the video through wireless connections to laptop computers in its patrol cars. The wireless network backbone enables cameras to be installed just about anywhere without the need for running network cabling. Wireless Mesh technology makes it all possible The Firetide wireless mesh network provides the flexibility to expand the system at any time, since most, if not all, of the issues associated with locations that are too difficult, large or expensive to wire are eliminated. The wireless network backbone enables cameras to be installed just about anywhere without the need for running network cabling. On each pole, the cameras' MPEG-4 video feeds are sent to a 2.4 GHz wireless transmitter made by Firetide. These transmitters are incorporated into integrated hardware packages that serve as mesh nodes. With the ability to deploy cameras quickly and cheaply, the housing authority can expand the system with minimal additional staff or installation costs. Security is not an issue because the proprietary ViconNet software must be used to view the video. The mesh network allows every transceiver (or node) to communicate with any other transceiver on the network. This allows the signals to take the fastest possible path from one node to another, as they make their way to the local video monitoring center. The mesh network architecture also ensures signal path redundancy. If the path in one direction is blocked, the signals automatically find another way to get to their destination. A mesh network doesn't suffer the kind of bottlenecks suffered by conventional networks, due to the multiple signal paths available. System throughput is typically 25 Mbps, but speeds as high as 34 Mbps are attainable. The video is also simultaneously recorded to the video recorder/server mounted in the enclosure along with the other equipment. Again, using the mesh network, the archived footage can be managed and retrieved by ViconNet software from any place connected to the mesh network or the VPN, including transmission over the Internet. The local servers can store up to 800 GB of video, with more storage available on the workstation at the control center. Video can be copied and saved for use when prosecuting crimes. The ViconNet navigator window graphically displays a timeline of recorded video. It contains all function buttons necessary to control the playback of video. A scalable timeline can be set to define the “from” and “to” time/date intervals of video. A “Create AVI” button can be used to create an AVI file of the selected video segment. Another powerful feature that aids in searching and retrieving video is Museum Search, which allows the user to review playback video using Areas of Interest (AOI) and scalable motion detection to capture video events. Everyone's Happy But the Bad Guys The system has been a great success. Crime and loitering has diminished immensely, and the residents and employees feel safer. “The Housing Authority of Joliet is very pleased with the security camera system. Since its installation, Residents, Staff and Guests feel a higher sense of security and safety. City of Joliet Police officials also indicate anti-social activities have declined in the Housing Development as evidenced by fewer calls for police. The system has resulted in a more peaceful community.” states Henry Morris, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Joliet. The housing authority has just placed an order to expand the current system with 2 more cameras. It also plans to equip other housing sites with the system. This combination of technologies that was not available just a few years ago has provided the housing authority with the following benefits: The deterrence capability of the system allows the guards to employ the flashing lights to disperse intruders. This is usually all that is needed to clear an area. The scalability of the system. The ViconNet software will allow the housing authority to add as much capacity it needs in the future. The flexibility of the Firetide Mesh Networking system. This allows for the placement of monitoring units anywhere they are needed without concern for running network cabling. The security of the system. The proprietary ViconNet software cannot be intercepted by unauthorized users. The seamless integration and cost-effectiveness of the system.