Artificial intelligence (AI)
TIBCO Software Inc., global provider of integration, API management, and analytics, has announced an official partnership with Ping Identity, a provider of Identity Defined Security. Together, TIBCO Cloud Mashery and the PingIntelligence for APIs solution bring seamless, AI-powered protection against new emerging API threats to customers. TIBCO Cloud Mashery is a complete solution for digital leaders, IT leaders, and chief information security officers to invest in API-led, cloud-native transformation for their organizations, with advanced API security at its heart. TIBCO Cloud Mashery He adds, “API products are the building blocks of an organization’s digital strategy and, as such, cyber-attacks on API programs are more prevalent and sophisticated. Few enterprises, however, take a standardized approach across their company to ensure the security of data and other digital assets, which are exposed via APIs,” said Rajeev Kozhikkattathodi, vice president, product management and strategy, TIBCO. “A number of highly publicized breaches resulted recently. As the API attack surface continues to expand due to the strategic value of APIs, a new generation of threats will similarly continue to emerge. We’re excited to partner with Ping Identity to improve security measures for enterprises with sensitive corporate data.” TIBCO Cloud Mashery offers API security features such as advanced authentication, bot detection, white and blacklisting, and access control to protect APIs from dangerous API consumers. PingIntelligence for APIs complements the solution by enhancing API security with AI-driven threat mitigation, decoy API deception PingIntelligence for APIs PingIntelligence for APIs complements the solution by extending and enhancing API security with AI-driven threat mitigation and decoy API deception. As market leaders in API management and API security respectively, these two solutions work together seamlessly to provide a complete API security offering, especially for businesses that are investing in new digital initiatives, such as banks adopting open banking to deliver a superior customer experience. “Companies' most sensitive digital assets, including their customer data, are increasingly made accessible via APIs, and protecting this infrastructure from abuses and cyber-attacks must be the top priority for CISOs and CIOs everywhere,” said Bernard Harguindeguy, chief technical officer, Ping Identity. “Our partnership with TIBCO brings AI-powered protection to boost the security of API infrastructures and help organizations everywhere secure their data and applications behind APIs.”
Allied Universal®, a security and facility services company in North America, announces the launch of HELIAUS® – an advanced artificial intelligence platform designed to improve safety and reduce risk by enhancing on-site guarding services. “We developed HELIAUS® to deliver better results for our clients through advanced workflow automation, robust data capture and visualization, and artificial intelligence that understands not only what’s likely to happen, but what to do to drive better outcomes,” said Steve Jones, CEO of Allied Universal. “Now, our security officers are better equipped to help reduce incidents, respond faster to emergencies and provide unmatched operational performance accountability.” Dynamic workflow automation The main significance of HELIAUS® is to bring together rich data, artificial intelligence, location-aware workflow automation, and seamless user experience design for security professionals. This new tech solution provides insight into the drivers of risk, makes recommendations about how to reduce incidents, and through dynamic workflow automation, ensures that those recommendations are implemented. The AI uses this information to understand what's likely to happen at a client's site regarding safety" “HELIAUS® also offers an advanced approach to location awareness that uses a combination of GPS, bluetooth beacons, and near-field communication (NFC) tags to quickly and accurately capture real-time location information both indoors and outdoors,” said Mark Mullison, CIO for Allied Universal. “The AI uses this information to understand what's likely to happen at a client's site regarding safety and security incidents and then automatically suggests workflows to our security professionals that drive better outcomes, thus reducing accidents and crime.” Increasing situational awareness In addition, this new workforce management technology brings sophisticated data visualization capability to allow security operators to understand the who, what, where and when both in real-time and historically, which increases situational awareness and helps users develop powerful insights. “HELIAUS® represents a tremendous step forward in building AI technology that is not just smart like humans, but smart with humans,” said Mark Mullison, CIO for Allied Universal. “When it comes to safety and security, our goal is to deliver at the highest level.” This new smart technology is not just a reporting or incident management system but also an all-encompassing, adaptable workforce management solution to better protect people, brands and assets.
Visitors to the 2019 edition of Secutech Vietnam will have plenty of opportunities to gather market intelligence, thanks to the introduction of the new ‘Smart Factory Conference’ to the show’s fringe program. As the region’s leading trade fair for the security, fire safety and smart building sectors, the fair provides a program of educational events that cover technological trends, government regulations and industry outlook. Smart factory systems “Vietnam’s Smart Factory market is on an upward trajectory,” said Ms Regina Tsai, the Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd. “Newly built manufacturing facilities are being integrated with smart factory systems and there is also a need for ageing manufacturing infrastructure to be upgraded with smart solutions. For this reason, there is a growing appetite for information among prospective buyers which we hope the Smart Factory Conference will fulfill. It will be especially useful for investors, owners of industrial parks, consultants, contractors, architects, suppliers and government officials.” Vietnam’s manufacturing base is gradually moving towards industry 4.0, an automation trend of connected devices, IoT and AI Vietnam’s manufacturing base is gradually moving towards industry 4.0, an automation trend of connected devices, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Against this backdrop, speakers at the Smart Factory Conference will demonstrate how factories that use new technologies to automate processes such as production and energy management can become more efficient and cost effective. Intelligent video solutions Another discussion point will be intelligent video solutions. With a focus on video analytics, access control and production surveillance, conference speakers will explain how both factory security and production efficiency can be improved. In addition, there will be an exploration of government regulations and the most up-to-date fire safety systems, including alarms, detectors, fireproof materials and extinguishing systems. Smart access control systems Besides the Smart Factory Conference, visitors to Secutech Vietnam 2019 will be able to benefit from two other elements of the fringe program. The Fire and Industrial Safety Seminar will cover best practices and solutions for disaster prevention in buildings and industrial settings The Fire and Industrial Safety Seminar will cover best practices and solutions for disaster prevention in buildings and industrial settings. Meanwhile, the Smart Hotel Seminar will update attendees on solutions that improve hotel management and guest experiences, including energy and building management platforms and smart access control systems. Market intelligence platform The Smart Factory Conference is jointly organized by Houselink JSC, Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd and Vietnam Advertisement & Fair Exhibition JSC. Houselink JSC is Vietnam’s first developer of an online e-bidding and market intelligence platform for the construction market. The conference will take place on 15 August at Secutech Vietnam 2019, which runs from 14 – 16 August at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center. In 2018, the fair set new records, attracting over 13,800 buyers (2017: 12,097) and 310 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions (2017: 270).
Vaion, a Ubon Partners company, is emerging from stealth mode to disrupt the physical security market by embedding the power of artificial intelligence (AI) into its complete video surveillance solution. Vaion's product line, which includes high-quality security cameras, a video management system and other intelligent solutions, premieres at IFSEC International, an event that takes place between June 18-June 20 in London, U.K. As a global company with offices in New York, London, and Oslo, Vaion is changing the traditional video security landscape with AI capabilities that make it easier for businesses and organizations to monitor their assets proactively. Detecting threats in earliest stages Vaion offers an end-to-end surveillance solution that will help companies detect threats in their earliest stagesWith embedded video and audio analytics powered by machine learning algorithms, focused interfaces, intuitive installation processes and a range of smart cameras, Vaion offers an end-to-end surveillance solution that will help companies detect threats in their earliest stages and perform fast, effective investigations with fewer resources. At the same time, Vaion vastly improves investigations by implementing the fastest, most accurate forensic searches using similarities and intelligent timelines. Initial product portfolio includes: Security cameras (Vaion vcam) with integrated directional audio analytics VMS (Vaion vcore) with embedded video analytics Security appliances (Vaion vserver) Hybrid cloud service (Vaion vcloud) Their first major premiering event will be IFSEC International, the leading security event for Europe and the U.K. There, Vaion representatives will provide an up-close look at how machine learning and integrated analytics offer a significant improvement on security deployments. Easy tracking of people and objects Businesses get instant alerts about suspicious activity and can easily track people and objects as they move through perimetersBusinesses get instant alerts about suspicious activity and can easily track people and objects as they move through perimeters. And exceptional video quality feeds from Vaion vcam Dome and Pano means that there's always a clear picture, no matter the lighting or environmental conditions. Analytics are performed pervasively, at scale and in real-time, from all the cameras in a deployment (even third-party cameras) and are embedded into the VMS (vcore). Vaion’s hybrid cloud approach makes possible the reality of remote configuration and access, instant firmware and software upgrades, and license pooling with great performance and network efficiencies. Sister company to cybersecurity innovator Jazz Networks, Vaion believes that a robust cybersecurity approach is necessary even in the physical security world. That is why its solution is secure by default with always-on encryption for recording and media transport. Vaion's products are designed in Norway, with software developed in the U.K. and cameras assembled in Taiwan. The portfolio will be available for customer trials and proofs of concept from July and generally available from Fall 2019. operational and business intelligence We deliver a solution that allows customers to react to threats before they escalate rather than just help document the damage""We believe that it’s time to move from a mainly reactive to a proactive security model, and we founded Vaion to help our customers achieve this goal. We believe that the next generation solutions will be based on smarter sensors, software, and services that, instead of record what they see, actually understand the environment they operate in to help businesses act on these insights on time. “We deliver a solution that allows our customers to react to threats before they escalate rather than just help them document the damage. It enables them to find what they are looking for in seconds instead of days and provides them with much better operational and business-relevant intelligence," said Tormod Ree, Vaion CEO. Learn more about Vaion's innovative new security products online and by visiting with Vaion representatives at IFSEC International. Interested security professionals will be able to see Vaion's game-changing security technology in action and find out why AI is the secret to better, more comprehensive protection.
Artificial intelligence allows machines to do jobs previously done by people. When it comes to security and surveillance, this technology allows cameras and control room equipment to identify a wide range of threats automatically and in real time across hundreds or even thousands of cameras – allowing security teams to take immediate action to protect people and assets. AI Technology And Surveillance Solutions Artificial Intelligence technology built into surveillance solutions help organizations optimize their security Video surveillance cameras are the electronic eyes of any security operation. In the past, human supervision was needed to make sense of the images captured, and to assess whether certain events posed a security risk or not. With some organizations using hundreds or even thousands of cameras to protect their people and assets, manual review of footage is simply impossible – potentially leaving them vulnerable to security breaches. Advanced Artificial Intelligence technology built into surveillance solutions can help organizations overcome this challenge and optimize their security. This means cameras, control-room equipment and back-end infrastructure can now ‘learn’ about potential threats for themselves by recognizing people, vehicles and even behaviors. Detection And Prevention The manual interventions needed with traditional security systems mean that teams were frequently reacting to breaches that had already happened. Artificial intelligence changes all this by recognizing potential threats before they impact company’s people or assets – allowing security teams to react immediately to neutralise any potential threat. Artificial intelligence solutions can automatically trigger alerts when a person appears in a restricted area For example, artificial Intelligence solutions can automatically trigger alerts when a person appears in a restricted area, or when a vehicle with a blacklisted number plate enters a site. With alerts delivered in real time, teams can identify and react to security threats and protect people and assets more effectively. And because alerts are automated, potential threats are hardly missed or overlooked. How Does Artificial Intelligence Work? Artificial intelligence systems become more intelligent over time, building databases of potential threats and reacting to new events accordingly. This allows systems to ‘think for themselves’ and to alert teams of any suspicious events or people who are caught on camera. Artificial intelligence technologies use advanced algorithms based on Deep Learning to distinguish between different kinds of security events and threats. Technologies incorporated into the Hikvision portfolio include: Facial recognition which allows law enforcement personnel to identify suspects and commercial teams to identify VIP customers in real time. Vehicle identification which can be used to identify vehicle number plates and recognize different types of vehicles (even down to make and model), or to trigger alerts when vehicles enter restricted areas. Perimeter protection which helps organizations to identify real threats by distinguishing people and vehicles from other moving objects and keeping false alarms to a minimum. Business intelligence which employs people counting, queue detection, and heat mapping technologies, so that organizations can enhance operational efficiency by making use of the data report. Increasing Commercial Success Artificial intelligence isn’t just useful for identifying security threats – although this is a key strength of the technology. It can also help organizations increase their competitiveness and commercial success. For example, VIP customers who opt to participate in special marketing promotions or other incentives can be identified so staff can provide the right kind of service at the right time. This gives organizations the opportunity to personalize the service experience, foster loyalty and maximize customer lifetime revenues. Artificial Intelligence can help organizations to better understand customers and meet their needs more effectively In the same way, artificial Intelligence can help organizations to better understand customers and meet their needs more effectively – leading to more commercial opportunities. One feature – called People Counting – allows stores and commercial centers to map footfall at peak times, ensuring that staffing is optimized to meet demand. At the same time, stores can see which areas of the building customers visit most and adjust their merchandising and product positioning accordingly to maximize the sales opportunities. Artificial Intelligence At Hikvision Hikvision’s family of artificial intelligence products include the DeepinView network cameras and DeepinMind NVRs. The products help to tackle security with facial recognition; monitoring and counting of people; and recognition and detection of vehicles, to name a few. These features all depend on artificial intelligence technology to recognize, classify and respond to security threats. This article was written by Hikvision.
Where are video surveillance cameras headed? At the core of next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are advanced chips with artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge, enabling cameras to gather valuable information about an incident: scanning shoppers at a department store, monitoring city streets, or checking on an elderly loved one at home. Thanks to advanced chip technology, complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras —professional to consumer — fueling the democratization of AI in the IP camera market.Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras Expanding The Global IP Camera Market The video surveillance equipment market grew to $18.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase this year, according to IHS Markit. The latest research points to video everywhere, edge computing, and AI as the top technologies that will have a major impact in both commercial and consumer markets in 2019. Computing at the edge means that the processors inside the camera are powerful enough to run AI processing locally, while still encoding and streaming video, and are able to do it all at the low-power required to fit into the limited thermal budget of an IP camera. New SoC chips will be able to perform all of the processing on camera and provide accurate AI information, with no need to send data to a server or the cloud for processing. Instead, data can be analyzed right in the camera itself, offering high performance, real-time video analytics, and lower latency — all critical aspects of video surveillance. This new AI paradigm is made possible by a new generation of SoCs, a key driver behind the market growth of IP cameras. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras to fuel the advent of AI in the IP camera market Micro-Processor-Enabled Video Analytics Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most timeMicroprocessor-enabled analytics allow users to more easily extract valuable data from video streams. How about an insider’s view into retail customer behavior? Consider video cameras at a department store, monitoring shoppers’ behavior, traffic patterns, and areas of interest. Next-generation cameras will recognize how long a shopper stays in front of a specific display, if the shopper leaves and returns, and if the shopper ultimately makes a purchase. Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time, so retailers will be able to adjust product placement accordingly. Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly. By understanding customers’ behavior, retailers can determine the best way to interact with them, target specific campaigns, and tailor ads for them. Cue the coupons while the shopper is still onsite! Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly Fast Processing For Rapid Response At City Level City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations such as loitering, big crowds forming, or cars driving the wrong way.Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations, adjust traffic lights, identify license plates, automatically charge cars for parking, find a missing car across a city, or create live and accurate traffic maps. Real-Time HD Video Monitoring And Recording When it comes to home monitoring, what will next-generation video surveillance cameras offer? Real-time monitoring and notification can detect if a person is in the back yard or approaching the door, if there’s a suspicious vehicle in the driveway, or if a package is being delivered (or stolen). Advanced video cameras can determine when notifications are and aren’t required, since users don’t want to be notified for false alerts such as rain, tree branches moving, bugs, etc. Next-generation video camera capabilities can also help monitor a loved one, person or pet, helping put families at ease if they are at work or on vacation. For example, helpful analytics may be used to detect if someone has fallen, hasn’t moved for a while, or does not appear for breakfast according to their typical schedule. City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations Next-Gen IP Cameras When evaluating next-generation IP cameras (cameras on the edge), look at the brains. These cameras will likely be powered by next-generation SoCs chips. Here is what this means to you: Save on network bandwidth, cloud computing and storage costs. There is no need to constantly upload videos to a server for analysis. Analysis can be performed locally on the camera, with only relevant videos being uploaded. Faster reaction time. Decisions are made locally, with no network latency. This is critical if you need to sound an alarm on a specific event. Privacy. In the most extreme cases, no video needs to leave the camera. Only metadata needs to be sent to the cloud or server. For example, the faces of people can be recognized in the camera and acted upon, but the video never reaches the cloud. The cameras can just stream a description of the scene to the server “suspicious person with a red sweater walking in front of the train station, has been loitering for the last 10 minutes, suggest sending an agent to check it out.” This could become a requirement in some EU countries with GDPR rules. Easier search. Instead of having to look through hours of video content, the server can just store/analyze the metadata, and easily perform searches such as “find all people with a red sweater who stayed more than five minutes in front of the train station today.” Flexibility/personalization. Each camera at the edge can be personalized to work better for the specific scene it is looking at, compared to a generic server. For example, “run a heat map algorithm on camera A (retail) as I want to know which sections of my store get the most traffic; and run a license plate recognizer on camera B (parking lot) as I want to be able to track the cars going in/out of my parking lot.” No cloud computing required. For cameras in remote locations or with limited network bandwidth, users have the ability to perform all analytics locally, without relying on uploading video to a server/cloud. Higher resolution/quality. When AI processing is performed locally, the full resolution of the sensor can be used (up to 4K or more), while typically the video streamed to a server will be lower resolution, 1080p or less. This means more pixels are available locally for the AI engine so that you will be able to detect a face from a higher distance than when the video is streamed off camera. AI At The Edge Professional-level IP cameras capable of performing AI at the edge are coming soon with early offerings making their debut at this year’s ISC West. As we enter 2020, we will begin to see the availability of consumer-level cameras enabling real-time video analytics at the edge for home use. With rapid technology advancement and increased customer demand, AI is on the verge of exploding. When it comes to image quality and video analytics, IP cameras now in development will create a next-generation impact at department stores, above city streets, and keeping an eye on our loved ones.
Las Vegas is a city that bombards you with choices: dozens of glitzy hotels and casinos, a plethora of restaurants and eateries to satisfy any craving and an endless variety of entertainment guaranteed to delight and amuse. With so many options, it’s hard to decide where to spend your time. The same goes for ISC West. Like the city in which it’s being hosted, ISC West 2019 is going to bombard you with more options than ever before. Dozens of new technologies and vendors as well as old familiar faces will be vying for your attention. With only three days, it’s nearly impossible to explore every booth and every vendor. Ultimately, you’ll want to focus your limited time on companies whose partnership can lead to your organization’s long-term success. In that context, I’d like to suggest a few things to think about as you wend your way through this year’s tradeshow. The Next Wave In IP Technology The fact that the whole world is going IP is nothing new. The network-based connectivity trend has been ongoing for more than 25 years. What’s changed is the nomenclature. Today it’s all about the Internet of Things (IoT). What was once exclusively an analog-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP For the security industry, the concept of IoT really began with connecting DVRs through a network. Then in 1996, IP cameras – the first true IoT devices – hit the market. Since then, what was once exclusively an analog-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP, providing exceptional growth opportunity for any company wanting to be on the leading edge. Today, however, that market is relatively saturated and growing at a much slower rate. In response, consolidation of the market has started to accelerate. Many vendors are disappearing while a select few are becoming stronger. Though the IP video revolution is now a fait accompli, there are still a few ancillary security technologies that are just beginning to jump on the IP convergence bandwagon. I’m referring to two in particular: IP audio systems and IP intercom solutions. Like their IP video cousins, these relatively new IP systems are built on open platform standards and provide the same benefits for convergence as happened in the camera space: better scalability and ROI, more functionality, and easy integration with third party systems. The technology is a great complement to a customer’s existing IP surveillance system or an ideal replacement for an antiquated analog audio system. So I’d recommend spending time at booths showcasing this technology. Listen to the crystal clear sound quality. Learn from the various vendors how easy IP audio systems are to custom configure, remotely manage and scale. And discover the different ways the IP technology can be used, from paging, public address and broadcasting background music to augmenting security systems and perimeter protection solutions. The potential markets that can benefit from this latest IP technology are wide and varied, everything from hotels, hospitals and transportation hubs to educational institutions and retail chains. So it’s well worth your time to take a look at this growing opportunity. AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics. But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board Artificial Intelligence: Hype Vs. Reality Video intelligence or video analytics was the big trend a decade ago. But it quickly fizzled out when hype crashed into reality. In the ensuing years algorithms have greatly improved, leading to more reliable analytic performance. Now it’s commonplace for video surveillance solutions to include a wide range of analytics from motion detection and people counting to dwell time analysis, object left behind and license plate recognition. The latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI) With analytics gradually becoming mainstream, the latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI). These self-learning applications parse event data and use what they’ve learned from the experience to make determinations or predictions that can increase the accuracy of future alerts. Before you get swept up in all the big promises that have yet to prove deliverable, take time at ISC West to educate yourself about the current state of the technology. AI works well in some areas. For instance, AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics. But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board. Talk to some of the AI vendors at ISC West to learn when and if AI might be right for your organization’s analytic applications. See who has actual, field-proven solutions and who is just offering ideas that might take many years to prove useful in real applications. Connecting With The Right Partner Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Choosing the right partner is as important in business as it is life. Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners. You’re sure to find a number of new companies entering the field this year. Also be sure to notice which companies are absent. Have they left the surveillance industry? Are they struggling financially and can no longer afford to show up? If you partnered with them in the past, where does that leave your business today? As you explore potential vendor relationships, make sure you not only look at the arc of their technology development, but also their long-term financial stability and the kind of support services they offer. Cybersecurity should be front and center on your radar, along with timely updates, product integration with your existing technology and ongoing training to gain the most benefit from your investment. Look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimize waste and lower their carbon footprint Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet - look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Another important thing to find out is whether their business ethics align with yours. Is sustainability important to your company? How about corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion? Ultimately you want to do business with healthy, innovative companies that share your core values. If being green is a fundamental principal of your company, look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimize waste and lower their carbon footprint. If striving for better global citizenship is your corporate mantra, you need to know how the vendor is assuring their operation complies with environmental laws and regulations. In terms of maintaining social and ethical standards, it’s important to know where the vendor stands on issues such as human rights violations, compulsory child labor, fair wages and sourcing minerals from countries in armed conflict. Go In With A Plan There’s so much to discover at ISC West this year that four days isn’t nearly enough time to see it all. So you’ll have to strategically pick and choose which booths and vendors to visit. I’d advise that you plan out your days in advance so that you can get the most value from the choices you make.
In five states in the Western United States, 200 video surveillance cameras keep are keeping watch to provide early warning of wildfires. In the near future, the number of wildfire surveillance cameras will be growing dramatically. Soon there will be more than 1,000 of the cameras in California alone, keeping watch on thousands of acres at risk of destructive events like last year’s deadly Camp and Woolsey wildfires. It is a striking example of how video surveillance technology can be used effectively beyond the realm of corporate or institutional security. The wildfire surveillance cameras are providing extra eyes to avoid a disaster before it can happen. ALERTWildfire surveillance cameras The ALERTWildfire surveillance cameras are installed through a consortium of universities – the University of Nevada, Reno; the University of California San Diego; and the University of Oregon. Dozens of partners also participate in ALERTWildfire, including the National Forest Service, other government agencies, utilities and other private companies, state and local fire departments, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). Wildfire surveillance cameras can provide early warning when a fire starts and help firefighters respond quicker “It takes a lot of people, pushing in the same direction, to deploy cameras rapidly,” says Graham Kent, University of Nevada, Reno. “We are connected into the community, which is a positive thing.” The wildfire surveillance cameras can provide early warning when a fire starts and help firefighters and first responders scale the resources needed to respond. The cameras also monitor fire behavior until it is contained, enhance situational awareness during evacuations, and ensure fires are monitored appropriately through their demise. Axis Q6055-E PTZ network cameras ALERTWildfire currently uses Axis Q6055-E outdoor-ready pan-tilt-zoom network cameras that provide 1080p HDTV signals, 32x zoom and low-bandwidth compression. (Earlier versions of similar Axis camera models were also installed previously.) The camera’s robust aluminum casing can withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees F, although the cameras are positioned on the tops of towers where temperatures from wildfires are not a factor. In addition to surveillance cameras, each installation site includes a range of equipment including hard power or solar power (on about a third of installations), both with battery backups. Resilient, hardened microwave/fiber networks carry video signals from the cameras to servers at University of Nevada, Reno, which makes them available on the Internet. Geolinks, an ALERTWildfire partner, provides resilient Internet connectivity to mountaintops throughout the West. Firefighters can even watch fires on their mobile devices while they are en route to a fire breakout site Mobile Surveillance Dispatchers around the West have access to video from the cameras, and fire management can move the camera views through their iPhones. Firefighters can even watch fires on their mobile devices while they are en-route to a fire. Cameras are located currently in California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. There have been 85 cameras in place for five years or so, and the number of cameras has more than doubled since the beginning of 2019. The accelerated installation schedule is courtesy of a new policy of using existing infrastructure for cameras rather than creating it from scratch. The large number of cameras on the horizon for California is being funded by utility companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric. AI in video surveillance The public can view the camera feeds and often call 911 to report early warnings of fires The public can view the camera feeds and often call 911 to report early warnings of fires, thus providing a kind of crowdsourcing, a fire-warning version of “Neighborhood Watch.” In the future, artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to monitor the video feeds to provide early warning. For now, the system is largely used by 911 dispatchers to confirm reports of fires. “Cell phones are so ubiquitous, people call in fires before the AI could react,” says Kent. “We could never beat 911.” A model for early detection of wildfires is in operation in San Diego, where San Diego Gas and Electric manages an emergency center that uses sophisticated real-time modeling to predict fire events based on weather conditions, vegetation, etc., tracked on a threat map. The system enables firefighting resources to be deployed quickly at the first hint of fire and thus to avoid a larger, sweeping wildfire event. Enhancing surveillance for quick wildfires detection “If you can get on top of it quickly enough, it makes all the difference,” says Kent. “In the case of extreme conditions, 10, 20 or 30 minutes can make a big difference.” Other locations are looking to replicate the San Diego model to discover and confirm fires quickly and then reposition assets to respond. Phos-Chek long-term fire retardant, applied by air from a fixed or rotor-wing aircraft, is used to slow or stop the spread of wildland fires. Our successes have led to a demand to get more cameras out right now" Installing more cameras to provide early warning of wildfires is “a grave need in the Western states,” and the system is likely eventually to be deployed in other areas, too. Wildfires can be a challenge in non-Western states such as Florida and Oklahoma, and a similar approach could also be used to provide early warning of other emergencies, such as tornados. “Once we do the West, we will be looking to do the rest of the United States,” says Kent. Increasing demand for video cameras Currently, the biggest challenge is keeping up with demand. “Our successes have led to a demand to get more cameras out right now,” says Kent. “Funding isn’t the largest issue. The money is there to do it, but we have to be able to scale up quickly, working with partners. It’s a wild ride.” Key words for success of the ALERTWildfire system are “location, location, location” combined with “coverage, coverage, coverage,” adds Kent. “We can solve 90 percent of the problem with coverage.”
As a security service provider with a rich history in manguarding, Allied Universal is launching a new technology platform to increase productivity and accountability of security officers and to transform guard service operations from an ‘observe and report’ mission to a ‘detect and respond’ function. Mark Mullison, Allied Universal’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), says the new Heliaus platform also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data, predict outcomes, and prescribe optimum responses. The platform includes a smart phone app that guides security officers to ensure post orders are followed and provides a ‘virtual’ coach or supervisor to guide security officers throughout the day. “The walls between technology and people need to come down in the future,” says Mullison. “We need an ecosystem in which people and technology can cooperate well and respond to threats and drive outcomes.” Real-Time situational awareness Technology plays an increasing role in security and safety, but it will never replace humans"Heliaus is a step in that direction. It has two components – the mobile app used by security officers; and a cloud-based portal, like a command and control center that compiles information from the app and other inputs and performs AI analysis of data. Heliaus is an add-on for Allied Universal customers and is offered for a per-device subscription fee of $199 per month. A customer company’s managers can also access the portal for data visualization tools and real-time situational awareness, or to input data such as ‘approving’ an incident report or action. “Technology plays an increasing role in security and safety, but it will never replace humans,” says Mullison. “It will augment and enhance the workflow and make people more effective.” “We are focusing on delivering better outcomes for safety and security,” he adds. “The impacts are as broad and diverse as the clients we serve.” Customization of forms enables the system to collect and use any information that was previously collected on paper. Monitoring and Response Center (MaRC) A system is effective only to the extent that it is used, and Allied Universal has engineered the user experience to make the mobile app easy – almost fun – to use, says Mullison. Elements of ‘gamification’ drive greater user adoption. “It is designed to support the work [security officers] do and make information collection a by-product of people doing their jobs.” The system brings together rich data, AI, location-aware workflow automation, and friendly user experience design Effective AI depends on data, and Heliaus pulls data from Allied Universal’s Monitoring and Response Center (MaRC), where a cloud server integrates the company’s managed security services, including access control, video surveillance and video analytics. It also incorporates current weather information and forecasts, and information specific to the industry segment. Additional data is generated as officers enter data through the mobile app. The system brings together rich data, AI, location-aware workflow automation, and friendly user experience design. It provides insight into the drivers of risk, makes recommendations about how to reduce incidents, and, through dynamic workflow automation, ensures that those recommendations are implemented. Location awareness is a combination of the global positioning system (GPS), Bluetooth beacons, and near-field communication (NFC) tags. Improves the accuracy of responses AI understands the data and applies reasoning capabilities to predict an outcome and prescribe a response“Information is organized to facilitate AI analysis. If you have the right knowledge representation then problem-solving is easy,” says Mullison, echoing a common principle of artificial intelligence. AI works to analyze data and make predictions and recommendations to guide responses by security personnel. AI understands the data and applies reasoning capabilities to predict an outcome and prescribe a response. The AI system also learns and improves the accuracy of responses with more data and over time. Responses come much faster than older ‘trial and error’ models of analysis. Another element of Heliaus is a ‘robust workflow engine’ that ensures recommendations are carried out, either by a security professional on site or by the client. Mullison says implementation of the system can result in a 20% reduction of security and safety incidents. Multiple applications of Heliaus Heliaus is already being used by some Allied Universal customers. For example, a major Hollywood production studio is using it to identify and address workplace hazards such as stray electrical cords, dripping water hoses, etc., across a 50-acre area. In the logistics sector, Heliaus is being used to facilitate checking delivery vehicles in and out of a truckyard A manufacturer created a custom compliance application using the platform to track more than 140 unique incident types, such as monitoring elevated temperature in a truck trailer or drivers without proper identification. In the logistics sector, Heliaus is being used to facilitate checking delivery vehicles in and out of a truckyard. The flexibility of the platform can enable expansion to incorporate other technologies in the future, too. For example, sources of data for the system could include robots, drones or various Internet of Things (IoT) sensors; or workflow engines could be used to dispatch a robot or drone to handle a situation (rather than a human).
Attendees strolling the exhibit hall at IFSEC International, 18-20 June, 2019, at ExCel London, will be hearing a lot about artificial intelligence, convergence and GDPR. These industry hot topics are representative of major trends in the industry, from new technologies to new ways of designing systems to new privacy requirements. The education sessions at IFSEC International will also address these timely subjects – and provide a welcome chance to sit down and consider the ‘bigger picture.’ Here are some sessions to consider: Artificial Intelligence The session will examine the ‘connectionism’ aspect of AI with reference to machine learning and neural networks A session on artificial intelligence asks: ‘Will AI change the face of the Electronic Security Industry?’ The session will examine the ‘connectionism’ aspect of AI with reference to machine learning and neural networks. Connectionism, or neuronlike computing, developed out of our understanding of how the human brain works at the neural level. Each neuron in the brain is akin to a simple digital processor, and the brain as a whole is like a computing machine. Has the time come for artificial intelligence and machine learning for security? That’s the focus of another session that will explore where AI is headed and if it can help move security practice from prevention to real-time threat detection. Is AI a technology looking for a problem to solve? Is it mature enough for mainstream usage in security scenarios? Does AI present a ‘double-edged risk’ (i.e., because enterprises and attackers have access to the same tools)? Convergence A combined security approach – unifying physical security and cybersecurity – is a real and immediate need in today’s high-risk and high-threat environment. By leveraging disparate sources of data, organizations can effectively manage a situation in real-time without having to go to multiple individual subsystems to get the job done. A panel session at IFSEC will discuss the concept, reality, and evolution of both physical and cybersecurity teams collaborating in the same Security Operations Centre. Here are some other sessions related to convergence of physical and cybersecurity: How converged security centers respond in real-time to physical and online threats How converged technologies ease prevention and response to unauthorized physical/logical access to corporate facilities and networks How chief security officers can benefit from data analytics and converged platforms to understand the complex physical and cyber risks posed to transport systems. GDPR Whilst the regulations provide a more comprehensive basis in law for the management of personal data The introduction in 2018 of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 have elevated compliance requirements for video surveillance systems. That’s the subject of the session ‘GDPR – Video Surveillance: Balancing Privacy and Security.’ Whilst the regulations provide a more comprehensive basis in law for the management of personal data, they are part of a wider legal consideration for security technologies. Transparency, accountability and impacts on privacy must be actively integrated into security systems from the outset to retain the trust of those they affect. The work of the Information Commissioner (ICO) and the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) with their respective Codes of Practice provide a bedrock for effective governance. The 2018 Biometrics Strategy for the Home Office and their partners addresses the need for clear and transparent arrangements to ensure risks to privacy are weigh alongside the benefits. The session will examine these complexities and look at what owners and operators of security systems must consider when striving to balance privacy and security.
Avigilon Corporation (“Avigilon”), a Motorola Solutions company, announced it was selected to help protect the security of Independent Express Cargo Ltd. (“Independent Express Cargo”) in Dublin, Ireland. Independent Express Cargo is one of Ireland’s largest pallet delivery operators, serving as a national transport network hub and full third-party logistics supplier with 25 depots across the country and over 1,000 active clients. Avigilon Control Center VMS To improve security throughout its Dublin site, which consists of 180,000 square feet of warehouses on a nine-acre site, Independent Express Cargo worked with integrator Usee.ie to install a complete Avigilon security solution. The new system features Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management software, which provides security operators with a more efficient way to manage video from a central location. ACC software also includes advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics capabilities ACC software also includes advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics capabilities, including Avigilon Appearance Search and Unusual Motion Detection technologies. Additionally, a combination of Avigilon cameras — including the H4 Pro, the H4 Multi-sensor and the H4A Bullet with self-learning video analytics — were deployed to achieve optimal coverage while allowing security operators to leverage the benefits of real-time analytics. Incorporating advanced AI technologies By implementing a complete Avigilon security solution that leverages advanced AI technologies, Independent Express Cargo has seen an increase in operational efficiencies and improved security of its sites, assets and resources. “With complete security solutions from Avigilon, we have been able to increase the speed at which we can detect events across our sites,” said Owen Cooke, director of Independent Express Cargo. “In the fast-paced environment of transportation logistics, this has dramatically increased efficiencies so that we can continue to focus on our number-one priority: our customers.” Intelligent video security system “Avigilon AI and analytics allow our customers to improve operations while maintaining system flexibility and ease of use,” said Bernard Pender, chief executive officer of Usee.ie. “Choosing Avigilon helps us meet our client’s goal of deploying a highly intelligent and user-friendly video security system.”
The power grid is a modern engineering marvel, providing us widely available and affordable energy for not only our day to day lives, but also highly critical infrastructure elements for which we rely on personally, and as an economy. However, our reliance on the grid also makes it highly susceptible to adverse events, including physical attacks. All parts of the grid can become victims of malicious events, but substations are particularly vulnerable due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. Power utilities’ security The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans which include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are many solutions to help power utilities address these security concerns, one effective choice is the use of intelligent video. Intelligent video analytics solution Intelligent video, or video analytics, is a popular choice for the protection of critical facilities given its ability to detect, provide instant visual confirmation of the event and subsequent event forensics. The capability of this technology is increasing at a rapid rate, while decreases in hardware cost make such solutions affordable for owners or operators of critical bulk-power system sites. This case study looks at the issue of substation vulnerability and how to best use video to address, keeping in mind requirements of CIP-014. Such a system consists of fixed cameras, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, a deterrence device and data communication capability. Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc. In most cases, substations can benefit from a simple “camera-following” design, which includes surveillance of a potential breach at the fence line, as well as, the ability for early detection for some distance beyond the physical perimeter. Camera-Following design In a camera-following design, in addition to its own coverage, each camera is responsible for covering the blind spot of the adjacent camera. That camera is then responsible for covering the blind spot of the next camera, and this pairing continues around the perimeter until the final camera covers the blind spot of the first. This type of coverage design is very effective and affordable for locations with well-defined perimeters, such as substations. Using this layout, the video feed from the fixed cameras are then enabled with video analytics algorithms to alert when predefined conditions are met. This is done by inputting the video signal into a server, edge device or NVR, located at the site, or remote to the location. Intelligent video technology Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria, which in addition to only alarming when a target enters in a specific region, can also discriminate, or classify, by the type of target: human, vehicle, etc. Furthermore, the alarm can be restricted by specific actions taken by the target, such as loitering in an area, dropping or throwing an object, more than one target entering with a valid badge swipe (tailgating) or even the speed at which a target is entering an area. This level of discrimination provides the ability to address very specific vulnerabilities, as well as, avoid nuisance targets, such as wildlife, debris or moving vegetation. Another key feature with significant value to substation protection is the geospatial aspects available with some video analytic solutions. This capability maps each pixel of video to its real-world latitude, longitude and elevation. This results in further assessment of the target, including the actual location, the real size of the target, the real speed and the current track. It also affords the opportunity to provide a real-time display of this information to the security operator through an easy to understand map-based user interface. Autonomous PTZ cameras Geospatial video analytics provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target Another key assessment aspect of this substation protection scheme is the use of autonomous PTZ cameras. These are typically placed at the corners of the perimeter where they can service detections from multiple fixed cameras. As previously mentioned, geospatial video analytics, provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target. Knowing the location of the target is extremely valuable to the security officer, but it is also the basis for a feature known as “slew to cue,” whereby PTZ cameras armed with video intelligence can be automatically steered to the same location for instant confirmation of the target. In most cases, “slew to cue” functionality also includes an “intelligent zoom” feature, which uses the target size information from the alarm, the PTZ camera location and the target location to adjust the zoom level of the PTZ for an instant view of the target that can provide identification details (clothing color, car type, etc) without the need for the operator to further adjust the zoom. Target detection and response Once a target is detected, a security approach leveraging intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response Once a target is detected and confirmed, a security approach leveraging the use of intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response to the event. When video analytics is applied to pan-tilt-zoom cameras, it has the ability to automatically follow a defined target, freeing the operator to take other actions, such as coordinating with law enforcement officials. This feature, referred to as camera auto follow or PTZ following, can be automatically engaged as the result of a detection event, or subsequent to a slew to cue action. The system will continue to follow the target until it reaches a pre-defined system time-out, the operator takes manual control, or the camera can no longer view the target. The system can then provide the resulting PTZ video as a component of the detection alarm, for a more complete understanding of the intrusion for the operator to review. Effective deterrence At this point, the system has detected the target, classified its type and verified it has met alarm conditions. As part of the alarm it has also included dynamic indication of its location on a map, autonomously steered a PTZ to the target to allow for gathering of more detailed target information and a PTZ has locked on and is now following the target without any required user interaction. Total elapsed time to this point in the security response is typically less than 5 seconds. Deterrence is often realized as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates This level of automated response addresses many vulnerabilities typically identified as part of a CIP-014 security assessment, but with minimal extra cost, it can be extended to help with the aspect of deterrence. Deterrence is often realized as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates. These are physical items and should certainly be included in a substation security plan. Intrusion detection However, another form of deterrence, which can be enabled through the use of intelligent video is the idea of audio talk down. This is the use of live or pre-recorded audio, which is activated upon an intrusion to deter the intruder. Different from a general alarm warning audio, audio talk down uses information about the location of the intruder and their actions to select appropriate pre-recorded audio to deter the intruder. Worse case, the understanding that they are being actively monitored may hasten their plan. Video-Based security and alarm system A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required. Substations are almost always unmanned, which means the intrusion information must have a means to get communicated back to the main monitoring location. From a design aspect, this is typically the case, but it is important to know that it is not a requirement in order to gain security benefits from a video based system. The system described in this case study has the capability to detect, assess, respond and deter without any communication back to a main command and control. Alarms, events and system actions can be logged and stored remotely for review at a later time. In reality, utilities will want to be notified and react in real time. In these cases, video systems can adjust to the available bandwidth – from a low bandwidth situation where a textual alarm is provided with an image of the detection, to a high bandwidth installation where feeds from multiple cameras can be monitored and controlled in real time. Web-Based, mobile access In each case, complete alarm information, including meta data, images and video can be readily available to the security operations center, which can then take action based on their security response plan, including contacting and coordinating this alarm data with local law enforcement through web-based access or mobile phones. This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilising video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. The study outlines how recent technological advances can autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilizing video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. Further, the study outlines how recent technological advances allow such a solution to extend beyond the mere detection of events, but can also autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence. Key capabilities Of intelligent video include: Advanced Detection – Accurate alarming based on specific targets types and actions Situational Awareness – The ability to quickly convey the critical details of a security event in an easy to understand map-based format. Real-time Target Location – Real-time location information of events and real-time location tracking of potential intruders. Autonomous Sensor Control – Automated steering of cameras to an event location and subsequent hands free video tracking of a suspect. Although each utility and substation may encounter different vulnerabilities, this case study outlines how video can be considered to address NERC guidelines for protecting critical substation assets by providing situational awareness of a potential threat and initiating an appropriate and timely response.
Prama Hikvision partnered with the Sanjivani Group of Institutes to offer latest surveillance and security solutions. For the first time that Artificial Intelligence was offered, and enabled face recognition terminals in India’s education sector. Sanjivani Group of Institutes situated at Kopargaon, Ahmednagar is a premier institute for Engineering, Pharmacy, Nursing and Diploma in Ahmednagar District. Sanjivani took its names and inspiration from the famous epic of Ramayana where ‘Sanjivani buty’ was brought for revival of life. The Sanjivani Rural Education Society (SRES), was established by Honorable Shri. Shankarrao Genuji Kolhe in 1983, at Kopargaon, rural domain in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India. Identify Unauthorized Person The entire campus of the Sanjivani Group of Institutes is spread out in more than 100 acres land As the educational scenario changed with time, SRES understood the need and added a number of courses under the umbrella of the Sanjivani Rural Education Society (SRES) and consequently it gave birth of the Sanjivani College of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Sanjivani Senior and Junior College, Sanjivani Academy, a CBSE school and Sanjivani International school. The entire campus of the Sanjivani Group of Institutes is spread out in more than 100 acres land. There are different departments in various buildings, playgrounds, hostels and staff quarters. Due to vast area and huge numbers of students, it’s very difficult for management to identify unauthorized person inside the campus. In the past, many instances of bullying, robbery, theft, ragging and pick-pocketing were reported. Up-To-Date Surveillance Solution With the expansion of the Sanjivani Group, there were many challenges faced by students and staff in terms of safety and security. “Consequently, we took our first step towards it by installing Hikvision IP CCTV surveillance in all our campus areas for monitoring. The clarity and the quality of the camera is appreciable and satisfying,” said Amit N Kolhe, Managing Trustee, Sanjivani Rural Education Society (SRES). He further added, “Presently the security technology has changed a lot. While understanding the need of safety and security of the students, we decided to go for an up-to-date surveillance solution. We contacted Prama Hikvision team and their system integration partner Om Agency for an advanced solution. After understanding our requirements, they introduced some of the latest technologies related to security surveillance.” Facial Recognition Devices The same software can be used by seamless integration for time attendance, access control and surveillance" He further elaborated, “After this we finalized the key areas by conducting the security survey in the campus. We got many advanced solutions implemented with help of SI partner and Prama Hikvision team. The solutions included, ANPR cameras for number plate recognition of cars and bikes at entry and exit gates, facial recognition devices for time attendance and access control of students & staff members.” “The advantage of Hikvision security and surveillance products is that things can be monitored through a single software platform, i.e. IVMS 5200E, which comes as all in one software. The same software can be used by seamless integration for time attendance, access control and surveillance,” concluded Amit N. Kolhe. Access Control Systems By visiting Sanjivani Group of Institutes along with System Integration Partner Om agency, the following solutions based on the latest technology and products were adopted: Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras Tripod turnstile integrated with face recognition panels HD IP cameras A broadcasting solution for the seminar rooms Face recognition based access control systems Hikvision solutions delivered results: ANPR Cameras helped the institute to identify unauthorized vehicles at entry gates, through which they stopped many outsiders in getting entry into campus area. Face recognition panels and access control panels helped institute in getting entry and exit record of students as well as visitors. Through the large number of cameras installed at various locations, the management is able to keep an eye on the entire campus. One-Stop Solution We are proud to execute this project with support of Prama Hikvision" “Implementing IP Surveillance project for Sanjivani Group of Institutes, Kopargaon was a great learning experience. We have built a strong relationship with Prama Hikvision over the past 10 years. They work with vendor partners to deliver solutions that suit the requirements. The efficient professionals and quality of service is appreciated.” said Mr. Hemant Rokade – Director Sales, OM Agency. “We are proud to execute this project with support of Prama Hikvision. It was a huge challenge to execute the project of such gigantic proportions. While implementing the project, Prama Hikvision helped us through the project at every step. We appreciate the level of details and accountability, which Prama Hikvision has demonstrated in this project. This reaffirms our faith that Hikvision is the one stop solution for all security and surveillance solutions,” said Mr. Pravin Rokade – Director Operations, OM Agency.
The retail industry is constantly looking to find new ways to be relevant in the ever-increasing shadow of online shopping. Researchers have predicted a 17.5 percent growth in the ecommerce share of global retail sales in 2021, rising from 13.7% in 2019. When designer brand Miniso opened new shops in Poland, they used Hikvision technology to give them the edge. The management team at Miniso had a number of specific questions they needed answers to in order to make the stores successful in the cut-throat high street environment. Best-Selling Products They resorted to sending people to individual stores to manually count the people – a very time-consuming and costly exercise How do we know if our marketing strategy is working? What is the conversion rate of purchases? What are the ‘hot areas’ of the store, and do these actually represent best-selling products? Originally, with no access to significant information, they relied on experience and conversation with staff. But there was no way to verify these findings. They also needed to be able to get this information remotely – i.e. management in their HQ in Warsaw wanted to be able to see the situation in the other four stores without having to visit them separately. Sometimes, they resorted to sending people to individual stores to manually count the people – a very time-consuming and costly exercise. Tailor-Made Solution Miniso turned to Hikvision AI products, with a solution built by Polish reseller Volta, including people counting cameras, fisheye cameras and NVRs. These were all coordinated using the HikCentral software platform. A people counting camera in each store counts people passing by, while another counts people entering and leaving. With this tailor-made solution management could calculate how many people were passing by to see a purchasing conversion rate. This also helps them to know whether marketing strategy is working. They can analyze the information further to see whether the rate of people entering the store is dropping, and whether that relates to the number of those passing outside. Miniso’s management can then look into the causes of these numbers, along with sales figures, to form a picture. For example, whether there is an external factor affecting shoppers either to pass by, or to enter. Video Management Platform The professional video management platform allows managers to access the information from different offices and mobile applications anywhere Because Miniso have the same technology set up in all the stores in Poland, they can compare different locations. This also comes in useful when it’s time to negotiate rent with shopping malls. Using ceiling installation of several fisheye cameras, the system can generate heat maps. This helps managers to see where ‘hot areas’ are, helping them to allocate products in the optimal place for promotion. Hot areas can also be compared with sales figures to provide further insights into shopping patterns. All the information provided by the system is coordinated, and business information on both layout and original image can be overlaid in Miniso’s HQ in Warsaw. The professional video management platform allows managers to access the information from different offices and mobile applications anywhere. This makes life a lot easier for the operations team as they need to check the situation in all stores. Fiercely Competitive Environment It also means that everything can be viewed simultaneously, so they can identify trends throughout the network of stores. Byron Zeng, Vice President of Miniso Poland, says: “The high accuracy of conversion rate the solutions provides really solves a number of our management issues. We can now easily see what’s going on in the other stores, including heat mapping, which makes management of the whole networks so much more efficient.” This is a great example of how AI surveillance products can change the landscape of business decision-making. In a fiercely competitive environment, like a shopping mall or high street, shopping trend data can help a retailer to survive. In fact, this worked so well for Miniso, they decided to use the solution in their stores across the whole of Europe – potentially about 200 stores in the next year.
Round table discussion
The definition of a standard is “an authoritative principle or rule that usually implies a model or pattern for guidance, by comparison with which the quantity, excellence, correctness, etc., of other things may be determined.” In technology markets, such as physical security, standards are agreed-upon language, specifications or processes that are used across the board by multiple stakeholders to enable easier interconnectivity and smoother operation of systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are standards shaping change in the physical security market?
With the advent of online shopping, brick-and-mortar retail businesses are challenged to make transactions more convenient while enhancing the “experience” aspects that differentiate real-life shopping from the simpler route of clicking on a website. Technology is helping retailers create that differentiation, including technologies such as video systems, deep learning analytics and point-of-sale (POS) integrations that have evolved from innovation in the physical security market. For more insights, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new security industry technologies are having an impact on the retail market?
Technology advancements often come with new terms and definitions. The language of our marketplace evolves to include new words that describe innovations in the industry. In the skilled hands of marketers, terms intended to be descriptive can also take a new element of ‘buzz,’ often presaging exciting developments that will drive the future. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new buzzword have you heard, and what does it mean for the industry?