At CES 2017 earlier this year, Sigma Designs®, a provider of Smart TV platforms and IoT devices introduced the Z-Wave SmartStart, an enhancement to the Z-Wave specification that vastly improves service provider installation of Z-Wave devices in the smart home.

Z-Wave SmartStart

Z-Wave SmartStart pre-configures devices to the network before they reach the home, dramatically reducing the time service providers spend at the customer premise, thereby reducing costs and maximising return on investment (ROI). In addition, the pre-configuration incorporates Z-Wave’s new Security 2 (S2) framework, ensuring the most advanced security in the smart home market.

The complexity of smart home installation has been a key sticking point for service providers and a hindrance to smart home adoption overall. For service providers, reducing the time a technician spends in the home is critical to achieving ROI on their smart home initiatives. In a typical smart home installation, prior to physical installation, a technician may spend a few hours validating component functionality; integrating components; and configuring scenes, rules, and scripts. With Z-Wave SmartStart, the process is greatly simplified so that these steps are done at the service center, so that in most cases, an installer only has to mount the devices, turn on the power, and the devices connect to the network.

Instant Integration

“What is so different with Z-Wave SmartStart is that the pre-configuration exists across the breadth of the Z-Wave ecosystem,” said Raoul Wijgergangs, Vice President, Z-Wave for Sigma Designs. “Suddenly, a gateway, a sensor, and a light switch or door lock-all different products from different manufacturer brands-can be ‘SmartStarted’ together allowing instant integration and be up and running in a customer’s home very quickly. While other companies may have pre-configuration solutions in place, there’s nothing else on the market that works cross brand, cross application, cross company, like Z-Wave SmartStart. That is a very unique value proposition for service providers that will help them deliver strong ROI on their smart home investments.”

"What is so different with Z-Wave SmartStart is that the pre-configuration exists across the breadth of the Z-Wave ecosystem"

“The percentage of consumers reporting that their smart home vendor installed their device has more than doubled over the past year,” said Patrice Samuels, Parks Associates’ Senior Analyst. “Reducing friction associated with system installation and support is critical to both profitability and the customer experience.”

SmartStart new S2 framework

Z-Wave SmartStart’s incorporation of its new S2 framework, which provides the most advanced security for smart home devices and controllers, gateways and hubs, ensures service providers can offer the most secure smart home packages in the market today. Z-Wave’s S2 framework was developed in conjunction with cybersecurity hacking experts, giving Z-Wave devices new levels of impenetrability. By securing communication both locally for home-based devices and in the hub or gateway for cloud functions, S2 completely removes the risk of devices being hacked while they are included in the network.

“The S2 framework is the ‘secret sauce’ of the Z-Wave SmartStart solution,” stated Niels Thybo Johansen, Vice President, Z-Wave research and development. “No other company can claim this level of ease and speed of installation, paired with the robust security that S2 brings to the table. It’s a game changer for the industry.”

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Intelligent Video Surveillance And Deep Learning Dominate MIPS 2018 Agenda
Intelligent Video Surveillance And Deep Learning Dominate MIPS 2018 Agenda

Milestone Systems is embracing artificial intelligence and deep learning in a big way at this week's yearly Milestone Community Days (MIPS 2018) in Las Vegas. The Danish company's theme is "Creating an Intelligent World," and Milestone's stated goal is to make "the Milestone community part of every surveillance installation in the world."   Science Fiction Becomes Reality In a presentation on opening day, Milestone CSMO Kenneth Hune Petersen pointed to the 2002 movie The Minority Report as highlighting a variety of gadgets and systems that seemed futuristic at the time but are now perfectly possible, and in some cases outdated. Movies have previously highlighted gadgets and systems that were futuristic, but are now perfectly possible, or outdated "If we dare to dream together we can make this a better world," says Petersen. "Through AI and machine learning, we can help define tomorrow. 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AI can reduce information overload to enable humans to work with the data more efficiently," said Bakshi. He suggested that AI is equivalent to IA; Bakshi's abbreviation meaning "intelligence augmented." Johnmichael O’Hare (left) of the Hartford Police Department, and Tanmay Bakshi (right) discusses key security issues of the modern day The ability to scale AI applications using "distributed deep learning" and graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware is paving the way for greater use of deep learning in video applications. Adam Scraba, Global Business Development Lead at NVIDIA, outlined the trends that are making the current "Big Bang" of deep learning possible. He said it is "the most exciting time in tech history," with "software that can write its own software" now among the tools that make previously unsolvable problems now solvable. AI-driven intelligent video analytics can now achieve "super-human" results, he said. An Intelligent World To Combat Crime Instead of sitting for hours staking out a suspected drug dealer alone, entire investigations now take hours instead of days A success story about the game-changing capabilities of video data was supplied by Hartford, Conn.'s Capital City Crime Center (C4). The Hartford police department uses video data in a "predictive policing" approach. They have created an "intelligent world with smart policing to combat drug trafficking," according to C4 Supervisor Johnmichael O'Hare of the Hartford Police Department. Instead of sitting for hours staking out a suspected drug dealer, for example, video of a site can be analyzed to determine areas with higher levels of foot traffic that indicate drug buys. The result is investigations that take hours instead of days. Hartford incorporates several technologies, including ShotSpotter gunshot detection, Briefcam video synopsis and other systems, all tied together using the Milestone platform. 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Has The Gap Closed Between Security Fiction And Security Reality?
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Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?

How Moving To Security As A Service Benefits Both Providers And End Users
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The way we purchase services and products is changing. The traditional concept of buying and owning a product is giving way to the idea that it is possible to purchase the services it offers instead. This approach has come from the consumer realisation that it is the outcome that is important rather than the tools to achieve it. For example, this approach is evident with the rise of music streaming services as opposed to downloads or physical products.   With the physical security industry becoming ever more integrated – and truly open systems now a reality – there is every reason to assume this service-lead trend will come to dominate the way our industry interacts with its clients as well. Interest In Service-Based Security There is a significant change of mindset that the security industry needs to embrace before a large-scale move to Security as a Service can take place. 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Cloud-based services put the onus on the result rather than which device the user chooses. This approach is even starting to manifest in areas that couldn’t have been predicted in the past, such as the car industry for example. Consumers are focusing more on the overall costs and convenience of buying a car over the specific specification of the vehicle. Equally, urban dwellers don’t necessarily want the hassle and expense of owning and parking their own vehicle anymore. If you don’t use it every day, it can make more sense to rent a vehicle only when you travel beyond public transport. For these consumers the car has become a service item for a specific journey. Benefits For End Users At the heart of this approach is the simple equation that consumers have a need and suppliers need to provide the most cost-effective, and easiest, solution. At the same time, the security operator may not necessarily want to know (or care) what specification the system has, they just want it to perform the task as required.   By discussing with consumers, we can ensure we work even more closely with them to provide the expert support they need and deserve Most security buyers will identify the specific business needs and their budget to achieve this. This is where a service approach really comes into its own. Customers need expert advice on a solution for their requirements which takes away the stress of finding the right products/systems. In the past there was always a risk of purchasing an unsuitable solution, which could potentially be disastrous. The other issue was having to budget for a big capital expenditure for a large installation and then having to find further resources once an upgrade was due when systems went end of life. 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