Artificial intelligence (AI)
Ambarella, Inc. a developer of high-resolution video processing and computer vision semiconductors, introduced the CV25 camera System-on-Chip (SoC), the latest in the CVflow family, combining advanced image processing, high-resolution video encoding and CVflow computer vision processing in a single, extremely low power design. The CV25's CVflow architecture provides the Deep Neural Network (DNN) processing required for the next generation of affordable and intelligent home monitoring, professional surveillance, and aftermarket automotive solutions, including smart dash-cameras, Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS), and electronic mirrors. Advanced Cyber-Security Features At Low Power CV25-based cameras are capable of performing AI at the edge, allowing features like facial recognition to happen in real-time on the device""CV25 brings computer vision at the edge into the mainstream," said Fermi Wang, President and CEO of Ambarella. "With this new SoC, we are sharply focused on reducing our customer's overall system cost for delivery of significant computer vision performance, high-quality image processing and advanced cyber-security features at very low power. CV25-based cameras are capable of performing Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the edge, allowing features like facial recognition to happen in real-time on the device, rather than in the cloud." AI applications enabled at the edge include person recognition and the ability to distinguish between pets, persons, and vehicles. In smart video doorbells, CV25 can automatically recognize familiar faces approaching the front door, flag unknown persons, and alert the homeowner when a package is delivered. In driver monitoring systems, it can detect a driver's drowsiness or level of distraction by monitoring their eyes and facial expressions. Outstanding Imaging In Low Light Conditions CV25 delivers efficient video encoding in both AVC and HEVC formats with very low bitrates to minimize cloud storage costs. A high-performance Image Signal Processor (ISP) delivers outstanding imaging in low light conditions, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing extracts maximum image detail in high-contrast scenes. It includes a full suite of advanced cyber-security features to protect against hacking including secure boot, TrustZone(tm), and I/O virtualization. Based on 10nm ultra-low power process technology, the CV25 chip is optimized for wire-free camera applications that require long battery life and small form factors. Ease In Porting Neural Networks Onto CV25 Ambarella's complete set of CV tools helps customers easily port their own neural networks onto CV25As part of the CVflow family, the CV25 chip shares a common SDK, Computer Vision (CV) tools, ISP, and cyber-security features with the existing CV22 and CV2 SoCs, allowing multiple price-performance options. Ambarella's complete set of CV tools helps customers easily port their own neural networks onto CV25. The set includes a compiler, debugger, and support for industry-standard machine learning frameworks such as Caffe(tm) and TensorFlow(tm), with extensive guidelines for Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) performance optimizations. CV25 SoC Key Features: CVflow architecture with CNN/deep learning support 4Kp30 AVC and HEVC encoding with multi-stream support Quad-core 1 GHz Arm(r)Cortex(r)-A53 processor with NEON DSP extensions and FPU Advanced security features including OTP for secure boot, Trust Zone, and IO virtualization Real-time hardware-accelerated 360-degree dewarping and Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) Multi-channel ISP with up to 480 MPixels/s input pixel rate Multi-exposure HDR and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) processing, with LED flicker mitigation SmartAVC(tm) and SmartHEVC(tm) intelligent rate control for lowest bitrates in security applications Triple-sensor video input with high-speed SLVS/MIPI CSI-2/LVCMOS interfaces Rich set of interfaces includes Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 host and device, dual SD card controllers with SDXC support, HDMI v2.0, and MIPI DSI/CSI-2 output Support for DDR4/LPDDR4/LPDDR4x 10nm process technology 13x13mm 0.65-pitch BGA
The DC700G-FT Security Door Closer from the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware and Access Control Group has been shortlisted for the Architectural Ironmongery (AI) Specification Awards. Organized by the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the AI Specification Awards identify and reward excellence in the specification of architectural ironmongery in the construction industry. The DC700G-FT has been shortlisted in the category of ‘Product design and innovation’, which is a new award for 2019. Featuring a distinctive and stylish appearance that was launched earlier this year, the DC700G-FT allows any fire or non-fire rated door to be retrofitted with an electrical locking mechanism. Closing Force Requirements With no morticing or rebating required because the door closer, lock and wiring is all surface mounted, sites do not need to be concerned that the installation will risk a fire door’s certification, or create a lot of mess and disruption. In addition, the locking mechanism releases under its full rated load, so it is safe to use on escape ways, stair cores or final escape doors. The door closer also features Cam-Motion technology, ensuring the door is light to open while retaining its closing power The door closer also features Cam-Motion technology, ensuring the door is light to open while retaining its closing power. This ensures it meets both the opening force detailed in BS 8300-2:2018, as well as the necessary fire closing force requirements. This is in line with the Equality Act 2010 and Approved Document M and B. Additionally the DC700G-FT is CE Marked in all three mounting positions and independently tested for use on fire doors. Maintaining Security The winners of the AI Specification Awards will be announced on Thursday 21 March at the OXO2 in the OXO Tower building in London. Paul Johnson, Commercial Director at ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware and Access Control Group, said: “Buildings evolve and change over time, and nowadays the challenge is balancing any new requirements while maintaining security, escape routes and fire door safety. Our unique and innovative DC700G-FT door closer helps overcome these challenges, by combining Cam-Motion technology and an escape door strike all in one. This offers both smooth operation and reliable closing, with secure locking, whilst being fully certified.” “We are thrilled that our class leading innovation has been recognized by the AI Specification Awards. These awards truly represent the best that architectural ironmongery has to offer, providing a celebration of the finest work in the industry.”
Motorola Solutions, Inc. announced it has acquired VaaS International Holdings, Inc. (VaaS), a data and image analytics company based in Livermore, California and Fort Worth, Texas. Motorola Solutions paid a purchase price of $445 million in a combination of cash and equity. VaaS, a ‘video analysis as a service’ company, is a global provider of data and image analytics for vehicle location. The company’s image capture and analysis platform, which includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence, provides vehicle location data to public safety and commercial customers. Its subsidiaries include Vigilant Solutions for law enforcement users and Digital Recognition Network (DRN) for commercial customers. The company’s 2019 revenues are expected to be approximately $100 million. Improving speed and accuracy of investigations Vehicle location information can help accelerate time to resolution and improve outcomes for public safety agencies“Automated license plate recognition is an increasingly powerful tool for law enforcement,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions. “With this acquisition, VaaS will expand our command center software portfolio with the largest shareable database of vehicle location information that can help shorten response times and improve the speed and accuracy of investigations.” VaaS’ platform enables controllable, audited data-sharing across multiple law enforcement agencies. Vehicle location information can help accelerate time to resolution and improve outcomes for public safety agencies, particularly when combined with police records. For example, law enforcement has used VaaS’ solutions to quickly apprehend dangerous suspects and find missing persons. Licence plate data and AI technology “We are very excited to be joining Motorola Solutions,” said Shawn Smith, co-founder of VaaS and president of Vigilant Solutions. “This acquisition enables us to continue to serve our existing customers and expand our footprint globally, while at the same time supporting a company with a commitment to innovation and growth, guided by a common purpose that aligns with our mission and culture: ‘To help people be their best in the moments that matter.’ It doesn’t get any better than that.” VaaS’ fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras can capture and analyze license plate information, which differs greatly by state and country“Our extensive license plate data and AI technology have opened new commercial applications of our products,” said Todd Hodnett, co-founder of VaaS and president of Digital Recognition Network. “We believe commercialization of these new applications can be accelerated under the Motorola Solutions brand and reach, and we look forward to working together to grow and diversify our commercial business.” License plate reading is a highly specialized practice that requires purpose-built cameras and analytics. VaaS’ fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras can capture and analyze license plate information, which differs greatly by state and country, even when vehicles are moving at high speeds or in low-visibility weather conditions.
BrainChip Holdings Ltd, global developer of software and hardware accelerated solutions for advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with SoftCryptum to sell BrainChip’s AI-powered video analytics solutions to government agencies in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. BrainChip-SoftCryptum Strategic Partnership SoftCryptum sells security and data analytical solutions around the world, particularly to government agencies that require video and image content analysis tools for CCTV footage. Often recorded in low resolution, the recordings from such video surveillance systems are ideally suited to analysis using BrainChip’s unique, multi-award-winning technology. BrainChip Studio software enables instant training of many types of objects and patterns in the field Based on spiking neural networks, BrainChip’s video analytics solution has already been commissioned by several European government agencies to help speed up investigations. Law enforcement agencies require a way to rapidly sift through terabytes of recorded video to identify and track complex characteristics of suspects and witnesses, including faces and patterns on clothing. BrainChip Studio software enables instant training of many types of objects and patterns in the field, 20 times faster than a human operator. BrainChip Studio Software Guillaume Tissot, Co-founder and President of SoftCryptum, commented: “The fact that BrainChip Studio is being successfully utilized by government agencies highlights the benefits it can offer to other security agencies. We will use our growing customer base to further accelerate the adoption of BrainChip’s technology. With a solid network of contacts in Law Enforcement, Defense and Intelligence Agencies, our company is well positioned to help promote, install and support BrainChip’s AI-powered software and hardware solutions.” BrainChip’s Director of EMEA Sales, Luis Coello, added: “We are delighted to enter into this reseller agreement with SoftCryptum. This new partnership strengthens the visibility of BrainChip Studio in European government agencies and improves operational and sales efficiency for our business. SoftCryptum has long-established relationships within many government entities, and we expect to see many new customers implement our technology as a result.”
Users of security systems have long been willing to sacrifice certain aspects of security in favour of convenience and ease of use. The tide seems to be turning, however, with the industry at large showing significant concerns over cyber security. End user sentiments also seem to be following that trend, becoming more cautious when it comes to having their security systems connected to the internet. While it has become the norm for security systems to be accessible online, still it presents security threats that unconnected systems would not face. In 2018, we saw a notable shift from the convenience of a connected system to the less convenient, but more secure, standalone system. Consumers are willingly making the choice to trade convenience for security, and companies are responding. While cyber security concerns will continue to be a big topic of discussion, connected platforms will probably be the trend of 2019This in turn is driving an increase in more IoT-like deployments. Rather than the traditional client that is connected to a device to retrieve information, more often we are seeing more active devices, capable of reporting their presence and transmitting information on a scheduled basis, without the need for a client. Preventing Security Systems From Outside Threats This changes the dynamic of the network and alleviates many threats associated with traditional systems because there is no opportunity for outside threats to access your system since the device is transmitting information out vs requiring a connection to the outside world. With IoT deployments, when the device is active and sending messages out of the network segment, it is not vulnerable in the same way that the traditional systems are. While cyber security concerns will continue to be a big topic of discussion, connected platforms will probably be the trend of 2019. In 2018, we saw an increased acceptance in the residential market for smart home applications. While this has been an area of discussion for the past ten years, it is now gaining real traction. With artificial intelligent capabilities in tow, smart home deployments are more common than ever and the video analytics that accompany them are quite impressive. Cloud Security For The Commercial Sector If consumers are trusting their home security systems with this, it only makes sense that they will begin trusting Google to provide security for their offices as wellIn addition to the residential market, connected platforms will likely start to impact the commercial space as well. The border between consumer and commercial user will become a little more blurred. Companies such as Google that cater primarily to home services have cloud capabilities beyond the means of many competitors, in turn giving them a favourable advantage to provide security for the cloud. If consumers are trusting their home security systems with this, it only makes sense that they will begin trusting Google to provide security for their offices as well. As far as ONVIF is concerned, we are excited to see how the market will adopt the newly released Profile T for advanced video streaming in the coming year. We are also excited to explore our relationship with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), by continuing our work on giving devices the ability to communicate upwards and proactively. It is clear that the market is open to adopting models in the quest for more efficiency without sacrificing security.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) looks forward to 2019, and it is apparent that physical security is moving into its most formative years. Changes presented by emerging technology, open systems and growing connectivity among devices and sensors will make a big difference for manufacturers, systems integrators/dealers and end users. With a more open, connected environment come cyber risk and data privacy concerns – which is why, in SIA’s 2019 Security Megatrends, cybersecurity’s impact on the physical security industry ranks number one on the list. Cybersecurity is affecting all areas of the industry landscape, from security implementation to attracting top talent to the workforce. Digital Transformation The digital transformation we are experiencing impacts many other parts of the security industry as well, bringing opportunities like evolving identity management and collecting and delivering big data to customers. At this critical point in the industry’s development, it is important to embrace change, leverage disruptive technology in ways that give companies a competitive advantage. To determine this year’s Megatrends, SIA surveyed hundreds of executives from member companies To determine this year’s Megatrends, SIA surveyed hundreds of executives from member companies, along with current and recent Securing New Ground speakers and attendees, to identify which previous trends were still relevant, which trends were no longer as impactful and which broad trends should be added to our report. This Year’s Security Megatrends 1. Cybersecurity’s Impact on Physical Security: It is important to prioritise cybersecurity for your business, your customers’ business and the vendors with which you work. This trend calls for continual process improvement and investment. 2. Internet of Things (IoT) and the Big Data Effect: The security industry makes use of IoT, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and more, and data is coming from everywhere. The industry now faces the challenge of effectively managing and segmenting this information to be pertinent to the user. 3. Cloud Computing: Cloud platforms and applications are becoming prevalent across security solutions. This technology helps security integrators provide managed services and the advantages of off-site systems and services to customers. 4. Workforce Development: With historically low unemployment, finding skilled employees is a challenge to the whole security industry. Security stakeholders need talent with IT, cybersecurity, AI and even privacy expertise, presenting a need to grow students’ interest in the industry. 5. AI: Research firm Gartner predicts a new “democratisation of AI” that will impact more organisations than ever before. Companies are now testing this technology before offering it to customers and exploring how AI data can be used to improve security threat assessment and response. 6. Emphasis on Data Privacy: Growing connectivity brings new concerns over data privacy. Finding the balance between security and convenience is a dilemma the industry must now address. 7. Move to Service Models: The newest home security technologies are strongly impacting installing companies. Systems integrators must find ways to focus on services customers want and need and move to managed service models to make up revenues. 8. Security Integrated in Smart Environments: As everything becomes connected, smart environments will begin to proliferate. Buildings and cities are becoming more conscious, with connected systems now able to automatically respond to and even anticipate the needs of facility users and citizens. We must continue to find ways to make these environments smarter and safer. 9. Identity of the Future: With facial and voice recognition and biometrics growing in popularity and appeal, how will we enter buildings and access networks tomorrow? The industry will anticipate and adapt to constant technological change in identity and visitor management. 10. Impact of Consumer Electronics Companies: The influx of consumer electronics companies and DIY systems means changing rules and players in the security industry. This disruption presents both challenges and opportunities for security companies.
2018 was a good year for integrators and manufacturers across the board. The economy has been strong which manifested itself in many ways but in particular construction was booming. This was very good for the security industry, especially those integrators and manufacturers who provide services and products in the commercial space. Two of the most unexpected things that impacted the market, and will continue to impact it into 2019, are the trade war and the rapid rise of interest rates. I have been monitoring both very closely and didn’t expect the trade ‘skirmish’ to escalate into the trade war it has become. Similarly, interest rates have started to rise which was a bit of a surprise and one that will definitely impact the nation’s economy and by extension our market. Upcoming Cloud-Based Trends Cyber has definitely taken a strong foothold in the industry and with the continued expansion of cloud-based services I see three main trends coming in 2019. The first is the rise of cloud-based products and service offerings that security integrators will have access to. While we have had a few key players already offering cloud-based solutions for a couple of years on the video side in particular, I see this really picking up steam across all other security and life safety solutions. This really leads into the second trend which is integrators adjusting their business models to leverage these cloud-based solutions into recurring revenue models as managed security service providers (MSSP). The ability for integrators to develop their own managed service portfolio will be key; PSA is already working with several partners to help bring a portfolio offering to our membership which is really exciting. I anticipate that we will see about 10% of security integrators take hold of this new model in 2019 and then expect that number to increase by around 10% each year until the majority of the security business is cloud-based and integrators accept the new model of being an MSSP. Finally, of course is cybersecurity. Cyber has definitely taken a strong foothold in the industry and with the continued expansion of these cloud-based services, it will be more important than ever to integrators, manufacturers and end users alike. MSSP Portfolio Offering The more progressive security professionals will see cyber as an opportunity, a part of the MSSP portfolio offering, rather than just a threat that we have been talking about for going on five years. The winners in this market will be the integrators and manufacturers who can adapt to all these changes, leverage new technologies we are seeing with AI and cloud-based solutions, and those who stick to commodity-based solutions will be left behind. There are some remarkable things happening with AI technology, analytics, biometrics PSA’s growth has been remarkable. We have exceeded our own growth plans year over year and have also exceed the market projected growth marks as well. We continue to add more offerings to our membership to help them stay ahead of the curve, which in turn helps us to do the same. Right now, we are investing in programs that provide data to our integrators to help inform their business decisions. Data is key for any business and PSA has spent a lot of time working with developers and our integrators to understand what the most meaningful data is they need and how we can best deliver that to them by way of dashboards and reporting tools. Future Technology Advancements The biggest challenge we face is really tied to the higher interest rates that we have seen so far this year and what lies ahead. We help future fund projects for our integrators so when we see higher interest rates, we must closely monitor that and make business adjustments along the way as well to flex along with those rate hikes. I have been in this industry a long time so clearly my enthusiasm for what the industry is doing doesn’t fade. But what makes it really exciting right now is really related to technology advances. There are some remarkable things happening with AI technology, analytics, biometrics – you name it. It is a very tech heavy industry that people can feel good about being a part of and is an industry that will continue to grow so the opportunities are endless.
Security is among the defining topics at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 this week in Las Vegas. More than 4,500 exhibiting companies are participating, including some 1,200 startups, highlighting the next wave of innovation in consumer electronics – and security. Twenty-four product categories at CES feature solutions to transform how consumers live, work and play. Technologies being highlighted include 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality, smart homes, smart cities, and machine intelligence. Video is an important element at CES. This year, the focus is on intelligent video. For example, Eyecloud.ai, Santa Clara, Calif., is displaying a home security camera with on-device face recognition that uses AI. Powered by a 12-core Intel Movidius VPU (video processing unit), the camera combines AI-on-the-edge with easy setup and wirefree operation for up to six months per battery charge. On-Device Artificial Intelligence On-device AI is the next big trend in smart home surveillance, and deep neural networks will drive the future of do-it-yourself home automation SimCam, an Intel partner, demonstrates how the Intel Movidius VPU can turn a security camera into ‘the ultimate vision-based sensor’. On-device AI is the next big trend in smart home surveillance, and deep neural networks will drive the future of do-it-yourself home automation. A variety of other residential video systems are also on display at CES. For example, Swann Security is displaying 4K wired security systems featuring Google integration, a wireless smart security camera with True Detect heat-based PIR (photo infrared) motion detection, a video doorbell and chime with two-way talk, and indoor and outdoor wi-fi cameras with Alexa integrations. Intelligent Automotive Solutions Camera system-on-chip (SoC) company Ambarella is introducing the new CV25 camera SoC at CES. It combines advanced image processing, high-resolution video encoding and CVflow computer vision (video analytics) processing in a single, extremely low-power design. The CVflow architecture provides Deep Neural Network (DNN) processing required for a new generation of affordable and intelligent home monitoring, professional surveillance and aftermarket automotive solutions. CV25 offers half the performance of Ambarella’s previously released CV22 chip, but the new chip’s lower cost will bring intelligent cameras to a price point desirable for home systems. All Ambarella’s chips have hardware-based cybersecurity. A suite of advanced cybersecurity features protects against hacking, including secure boot, TrustZone, and I/O virtualization. Based on 10nm ultra-low power processing technology, the CV25 chip is optimized for wirefree cameras applications that require long battery life and small form factors. Camera system-on-chip (SoC) company Ambarella is introducing the new CV25 camera SoC at CES Virtual Security Guards Elsewhere, the Deep Sentinel home security system applies video and AI to predict residential break-ins ‘before they happen’. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based tech startup uses ‘AI-infused security cameras’ to keep an eye on your home. Three wireless 1080p full HD cameras provide night vision and PIR motion sensing, connected by a smart hub. Using proprietary artificial intelligence, the cameras act as virtual guards, watching activity around a house and providing alerts to situations that may lead to burglaries, break-ins, package thefts and other dangers. My Safe Patrol is an AI-driven platform that analyses data aggregated from security personnel, citizen alert systems and IoT smart devices, and responds with geolocated alerts in real-time. My Safe Patrol effectively supports the security/safety ecosystem of a building, a campus, a city or a district through a dynamic dashboard that helps command and control operations manage and deploy security plans. AI-Integrated Devices Showcased solutions include Smart Living integration of video surveillance applications to enable real-time two-way audio and video streaming simultaneously MicroVision, Redmond, Wash., showcases an interactive display engine for AI-connected devices, providing an integrated solution for projected display and interactivity through multi-point touch and air gestures. MicroVision’s new consumer 3D LiDAR engine provides high-fidelity spatial awareness to smart home hubs, for input to smart devices such as lighting, security, entertainment, and thermostats. The Internet of Things (IoT) is another big topic at CES, and ThroughTek Co., Ltd., Taiwan, demonstrates IoT developments to transmit voice, video and data over both wide- and narrow-band channels in smart home applications. Showcased solutions include Smart Living integration of video surveillance applications combined with voice assistant to companion robots, wireless doorbells, and battery cameras to enable real-time two-way audio and video streaming simultaneously. Advanced Capacitive Touchscreen Decayeux Group, a European manufacturer of mailboxes and high security doors, is displaying MyColisBox, a secure and connected parcel box delivery system designed to provide online shoppers a secure pickup point accessible by a PIN code sent via SMS message to a smartphone. Walter is the new mobile app for MyColisBox. Kwikset, a division of Spectrum Brands, showcases its smart lock portfolio – including three new smart locks – in the CES Smart Home Marketplace. Kwikset is showing the SmartCode 888, Kwikset Convert, Obsidian, and new designs of the SmartCode 914 and SmartCode 916, as well as a new wi-fi lock. Baldwin, Kwikset’s ‘luxury lock’ sister company, is offering a preview of its new TouchScreen Collection, launching this summer, available in five styles and featuring Advanced Capacitive Touchscreen technology. The Internet of Things (IoT) is another big topic at CES, with many companies demonstrating IoT developments Cyber Security Standards Privacy is increasingly a concern in the consumer space, and Private Discuss, from PIMAN Security, is a premium, secure, white label communication solution. Their active AI-powered defense architecture provides encrypted audio and video calls, messaging and file sharing. It renders a confidential, secure messaging platform that adheres to the highest standards of cybersecurity. FLIR provides virtual reality demonstrations at their CES booth, allowing attendees to put on a virtual fire helmet and try out a FLIR camera in a real-world residential fire response scenario. Participants may also use a FLIR optical gas imaging camera virtually to stop fugitive emissions in a natural gas refinery. Booth visitors may also take “thermal selfies” to post on social media.
ADT Inc.’s acquisition of Red Hawk Fire & Security, Boca Raton, Fla., is the latest move in ADT Commercial’s strategy to buy up security integrator firms around the country and grow their footprint. In addition to the Red Hawk acquisition, announced in mid-October, ADT has acquired more than a half-dozen security system integration firms in the last year or so. Here’s a quick rundown of integrator companies acquired by ADT: Protec, a Pacific Northwest commercial integrator (Aug. 2017); MSE Security, the USA’s 27th largest commercial integrator (Sept 2017); Gaston Security, founded in 1994 as a video surveillance integration company and whose services have since expanded to include intrusion, access control, and perimeter protection (Oct. 2017); Aronson Security Group (ASG), which delivers risk and security program consultants and offers advanced integration services, consulting and design engineers and a National Program Management team (March 2018); Acme Security Systems, among the largest privately held security systems integrators in the Bay Area, focusing on electronic security systems, access control, video networks and more (March 2018); Access Security Integration, a regional systems integrator specializing in design, delivery, installation and servicing of electronic security systems including enterprise-level access control, video and visitor management solutions, perimeter security and security operation command centers (Aug. 2018); In addition to their moves in the commercial integrator space, ADT has also sought to expand their presence in cybersecurity with the following two acquisitions: Datashield, specializing in Managed Detection and Response Services (Nov 2017); Secure Designs, Inc., specializing in design, implementation, monitoring, and managing network defense systems, including firewall services and intrusion prevention, to protect small business networks from a diverse and challenging set of global cyber threats (Aug. 2018). ADT has acquired more than a half-dozen security system integration firms in the last year or so For additional insights into ADT’s game plan and the strategy behind these acquisitions, we presented the following questions to Chris BenVau, ADT’s Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions. Q: ADT has been actively acquiring regional integrators this year – more than a half a dozen to date. Please describe the history of how ADT came to embrace a strategy of acquiring regional integrators as a route to growth? ADT's acquisition of Red Hawk is set to close in December, and brings premiere fire and life/safety solutions BenVau: Our acquisition strategy started at Protection 1 when we embarked on our journey to build out our commercial and national account business and add enhanced integration capabilities to our portfolio. The merger of Protection 1 and ADT brought that foundation to ADT which up to that point was primarily a residentially and SMB-focused company. After the merger, we set out to identify and acquire additional regional integrators that would continue to build on that foundation and deliver enhanced technical solutions, advanced technologies and an expanded service, install and support footprint. Through our acquisitions we now operate two Network Operations Centers and three Centers of Excellence. We are also unique in the industry with the number and variety of certifications, like Cisco and Meraki, our engineers hold which ultimately allows us to offer Managed Security as a Service. They have also enhanced our operational capabilities. Q: What criteria do you use to evaluate whether an integrator is a good “fit” for ADT? BenVau: First and foremost, we look at the culture of the companies. The companies that we target for acquisition must be metrics- and customer service-driven. Secondly, we look at the leadership teams. ADT view their acquisitions more like mergers and take a patient approach to integrating them into their business We have been fortunate in the fact the leadership of the companies we acquired remain with us today in key management and executive positions helping to drive continued growth within their organizations. We also evaluate their current customer base, unique solutions and their ability to complement and enhance our portfolio with the goal of becoming a leading full-service, enterprise commercial provider. Our acquisitions have bolstered our network capabilities, brought enterprise risk management services, and a broader solution set in high-end video and access control solutions. Our most recent acquisition – Red Hawk, set to close in December – brings us premiere fire and life/safety solutions. Q: What changes are typically needed after an integrator is acquired in order to adapt it to the ADT corporate model? BenVau: We view our acquisitions more like mergers and take a patient approach to integrating them into ADT while taking into account their culture. We want to ensure that we find the right positions for their people, embrace the right messaging and put the right processes in place. We acquire these companies because they are the best in their respective businesses and geographies and bring their knowledge and experience in markets or with solutions that we may not have had previous access to. ADT can support clients with their own in-house technicians which helps to ensure a consistent security program Q: How can regional integrators benefit from the ADT brand? Have your newly acquired integrators realised additional growth? BenVau: The companies we have acquired, generally, have exceeded expectations and surpassed initial goals. ADT brings expanded opportunities for these companies as well with our national footprint. Our National Account Sales Team has seen impressive growth over the years and are only limited by our ability to deliver. These integrators help to deliver on that. In the past, the regional players may have had to rely on sub-contractors to service their larger clients. With ADT, we can now support those clients with our own in-house technicians which helps to ensure a consistent security program across multiple locations.Our National Account Sales Team has seen impressive growth over the years and are only limited by our ability to deliver" Q: Are additional integrator acquisitions planned this year and into 2019? How much is enough and when will it end (or slow down significantly)? BenVau: We expect to close on our latest acquisition, Red Hawk, before the end of 2018. Red Hawk brings a national footprint focused on fire/life safety and security to ADT. While ADT already had a robust security offering, Red Hawk will contribute significantly to the fire side of the business. In addition, we will continue to evaluate the companies in the industry to determine if additional acquisitions make sense. Q: Do you expect greater consolidation of the integrator channel in the industry as a whole? Why is this a good time for consolidation? Is it a good M&A market for buyers like ADT? BenVau: We will continue to evaluate companies in the industry to determine if further acquisitions make sense. As for the industry, we can only speak for ourselves. Q: What other trend(s) do you see in the industry that will impact ADT (on the commercial side) in the next year or so, and how?Our focus is on investing in our field organization, in particular our service technicians, engineers and project management teams" BenVau: Networking is a big one. As we continue to drive integration of devices and services, from AI, “the cloud,” machine learning and even analytics, there will be more focus on the network they ride on. A deeper knowledge of network design, bandwidth impact, and system integration will be critical. As part of our acquisition strategy, we focused on talent to add to the team and have been able to add to our bench strength in this area. Q: Any other comments/insights you wish to share about ADT’s strategy, future, and role in the larger physical security marketplace? BenVau: Our focus is on investing in our field organization, in particular our service technicians, engineers and project management teams. The cornerstone of our success lies in our ability to deliver outstanding customer support and service. It starts with sales and the ability to deliver security and life safety technologies, but it ends with a delighted customer who partners with us to help secure the things that matter most to them. Our recent acquisitions have more than doubled our commercial field operations teams and are key to establishing the ADT Commercial brand as a leading full-service provider of enterprise solutions to the marketplace.
Security and Safety Things GmbH (SAST) is a new company that has announced its vision for an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The Bosch startup plans to build a global ecosystem for the development of innovative security camera applications. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), SAST provides libraries, an API framework, and codecs for developers to work with. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications. We presented some questions to Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management and Marketing, about the new venture, and here are his responses: Q: Why a new company now? What technology innovations have made this a good time to launch this company? The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform"Mangold-Takao: From a technical perspective we see two main drivers: increasing computing power at the edge and increasing internet connectivity, which will enable devices to directly communicate with each other and bring new technologies such as artificial intelligence also to the security and safety industry. At the same time, we see that this industry and its users are hungry for more innovative solutions – addressing new security needs while at the same leveraging the possibility to improve business operations for specific verticals, e.g. retail and transportation. The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform for this industry. Q: Why does SAST need to be a separate entity from Bosch? Mangold-Takao: SAST is setup as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. We wanted to make sure that SAST is able to underline its role as an industry standard platform across multiple players. SAST is open to get additional investors and is being setup as a startup in its own offices in Munich to foster the environment where speed and innovation can more easily take place. Having said that, several entities of the Bosch Group are very interesting partners for SAST. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications Q: Please explain your "value proposition" to the industry. Mangold-Takao: We will bring new innovations and possibilities to the security and safety industry by providing an open, secure and standardized Operating System for video security cameras, to also address pressing issues such as cyber security and data privacy concerns. Devices that run then with the SAST operating system will work with an application marketplace provided and operated by SAST. Integrators and users can then use these apps from this marketplace to deploy additional functionality on these devices. With our platform we will be able to build up a community of app developers, including the ones not yet developing for this industry who have expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Q: It seems what you are doing has parallels with the Apple and Android "app" stores. How is your approach the same (and how is it different) than those approaches? We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process"Mangold-Takao: The approach is similar in the way that we plan to generate revenue by operating the application marketplace and thus participate in the app revenue. The difference is that there is much more needed than apps and cameras to create a complete working solution addressing a user problem in this industry – we need to make sure that our own platform as well as the new applications being created will work as a part of an end-to-end solution. Q: "Critical mass" and wide industry participation seem to be requirements for your success. How will you achieve those goals? Will you involve integrators, consultants, or other parties in addition to manufacturers (to drive awareness)? How? Mangold-Takao: SAST is in close exchange with device manufacturers, integrators and consultants, as well as application developers and large end-users at the moment to ensure that we are building the right platform and ecosystem for this industry. We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process. We will run dedicated programs and hackathons to attract app developers, already active and new to our industry. We will also run selected pilots with end-users throughout 2019 to ensure we have all partners involved early on. SAST sees the industry is hungry for more innovative solutions – with the retail vertical market a target for these solutions Q: What timeline do you foresee in terms of implementing these initiatives? Mangold-Takao: While we start with first app development programs and plan our first pilots already for this year, we are planning our commercial launch for end of 2019. Q: How does your new company relate to the new Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)? Mangold-Takao: The Open Security and Safety Alliance has been working very closely with SAST over the past year, defining some important concepts and elements required. One of the most important elements is an open and standardized Operating System, specific to this industry, which will then bring forward new innovative technologies and solutions. SAST is actively working on this Operating System, based on Android Open Source Project (ASOP), but is evolved and hardened with industry-specific features. Q: What's the biggest thing you want the security industry to understand about SAST? What is your "message" to the industry? Mangold-Takao: Our message is simple: let’s build better security and safety systems – together! But for real, innovating an industry is a joint effort, we can only bring new innovation to this industry with partners who share our vision and are excited about new technology. At the same time, we strongly believe that our platform allows every partner to bring forward what they do best but also invite new partners to our industry.
Knightscope, Inc., a developer of advanced physical security technologies focused on enhancing U.S. security operations, announced that it is has taken a major step in its commitment to help better secure schools across the country by selecting Clovis Unified School District in California as its beta testing location for a suite of new technologies under development. The Company had prior announced this effort earlier this year when it solicited students to get involved and submit essays on how Knightscope’s fully autonomous security robots could help in a school setting. Security Robots To Monitor School Safety “With over 100,000 schools in the country, we need to develop a new set of tools and technologies as a critical part of our long-term mission to better secure the United States of America,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Knightscope, Inc. Knightscope’s robots will provide the authoritative presence needed on a school campus and provide actual intelligence by filling in the blind spots" “Being able to utilize a real-world environment to test, sample, and iterate on new capabilities while inspiring students to pursue STEM careers is certainly a winning combination,” continued Li. “As a teacher of thirty years, my philosophy has always been to be proactive instead of reactive, and the idea of security robots monitoring a school is definitely a proactive approach to school safety. Knightscope’s robots will provide the authoritative presence needed on a school campus and provide actual intelligence by filling in the blind spots with their ‘eyes and ears,’” said Clifford A. Nitschke, Jr., AP United States Government and Politics Instructor, Clovis North High School. Trialling A New Technology In School Safety Mr. Nitschke’s class submitted the winning proposal to Knightscope. “We are honored to be chosen by Knightscope and to be given the opportunity to pilot a new and exciting technology in the field of school safety.” The Clovis United Unified School District Governing Board is scheduled to meet on January 16, 2019 to formally accept the beta testing program by Knightscope. The meeting is planned to occur at 6:30pm at the Clovis Unified Professional Development Building, 1680 David E Cook Way, Clovis, CA 93611. Assuming an approval by the Board, the parties will determine implementation timing thereafter.
According to Save The Rhino statistics, over 1000 rhinos are killed annually in South Africa. These harrowing poaching statistics display a gloomy future for survival of this beautiful species. While many attempts have been undertaken over the past ten years to combat the devastating results of poaching, the country has not yet seen a steady decline in numbers year-on-year. It is with this knowledge that AxxonSoft’s Global Marketing Director, Colleen Glaeser, who is based in South Africa, decided to create a strategical and proactive anti-poaching approach, utilising the tools at her disposal, assisting a country in dire need of assistance. While Deep Learning, using Artificial Intelligence and neural network analytics in its algorithm, is not new to the security and surveillance industry, Colleen and the team at AxxonSoft global took the technology a step further, developing and implementing the software to help differentiate between humans and animals. Identifying Actual Poaching Threats AxxonSoft’s surveillance software, which leverages Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning technology now alerts the operators in the control room to an immediate poaching threat The implementation of this technology in game reserves and parks across South Africa has certainly been a game-changer regarding the war against poaching. For two reasons namely; this neural network solution can identify actual poaching threats (distinguishing poachers from their prey) while providing a proactive surveillance solution as opposed to a reactive one. Predominately utilised for face and license plate recognition, Deep Learning technology has never been adapted to tell the difference between humans and animals. Prior to the incorporation of Deep Learning in anti-poaching surveillance, software often failed control rooms and response units in that false alarms were on many occasions, set off by animals, insects and weather. Control rooms were not able to tell the difference between an actual threat and a false alarm, which often resulted in exhausting resources as teams were dispatched for animals who had touched the fence while grazing in their natural habitat. AxxonSoft’s leading surveillance software, which leverages Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning technology now alerts the operators in the control room to an immediate poaching threat as poachers try and breach the fence perimeter to enter the reserve or park. Proactive Surveillance Solution AxxonSoft’s Deep Learning technology provides a proactive solution to surveillance whereas previous systems were somewhat archaic and reactive in their response to real threats Global Marketing Director for AxxonSoft, Colleen Glaeser says, “Our Deep Learning technology has been extremely successful thus far in telling the difference between animals and humans as the neural network algorithm can identify, through certain indicators, whether a human or animal has set off the alarm. If the software detects a human, the operations team is immediately notified and a dispatch team is sent to the scene in question.” Furthermore, AxxonSoft’s Deep Learning technology provides a proactive solution to surveillance whereas previous systems were somewhat archaic and reactive in their response to real threats. Due to expansive terrain and limited resources, rangers and antipoaching units often get to the scene of the crime too late. With the AxxonSoft technology, as soon as the breach occurs, cameras will identify if the breach has been caused by an animal or human, and the control room is immediately notified as to where the occurrence has taken place in the reserve or park. The dispatch team is given the necessary information and they head to the site where the occurrence has taken place. Real-Time Identification Of Threats By utilising this technology, we have been able to take a proactive approach, identifying the threat in a real time situation" The beauty about Deep Learning and Neural Network analysis is in its ability to learn and understand the conditions which lead up to an event, and that ultimately allows us to prepare for threats or potential breaches when the known conditions are met. “AxxonSoft’s technology has proved very successful in preventing killings as the team is able to get to the scene of the crime quickly. “By utilising this technology, we have been able to take a proactive approach, identifying the threat in a real time situation. The AxxonSoft team and I really believe this anti-poaching solution can aid in the war against poaching and drastically bring down the upsetting statistics. I can attest to the fact that we have seen great success in curbing poaching,” concludes Glaeser.
For more than seven decades, the name Porsche has been synonymous with quality and performance in automobiles. In 2018, the German automaker’s position and recognition around the world is unparalleled among luxury car brands, engendering consumer passion and loyalty that runs from admirers through collectors. Such qualities are proudly shared and returned around by those who represent the brand around the world, emblematic of the brand’s commitment to providing a sales and service experience as effortlessly exceptional as the vehicles themselves. Such commitment is the order of the day in Chandler, Arizona, where the family-owned and locally operated Porsche Chandler serves brand enthusiasts daily, showcasing a select range of new, certified and pre-owned Porsche models in a 36,500-square-foot facility, beautifully designed to feature both the majesty of the Porsche brand and the surrounding Arizona landscape. Camera Surveillance Solutions New and existing camera installations integrated seamlessly via IDIS’s DirectIP line of true plug-and-play network video recorders Porsche Chandler is known throughout Arizona for providing exceptional customer experiences, on behalf of a brand known globally for effortless, high-quality performance Scottsdalebased SARC Monitoring designed a security solution to match. Crafting and implementing an innovative virtual guarding solution that brought together powerful military, intelligence, and law enforcement expertise (and best practices) with equally powerful, next-generation surveillance technologies, SARC worked closely with dealership security personnel to comprehensively secure the full dealership space, including all personnel, visitors, around the clock, beyond the reach and capability of traditional manned guarding, video verification, and camera surveillance solutions. At the heart of SARC’s solution is IDIS technology. New and existing camera installations integrated seamlessly via IDIS’s DirectIP line of true plug-and-play network video recorders. Minimizing Downtime IDIS NVRs, designed to eliminate device compatibility issues through the support of multiple industry standards and 3rd party protocols, avoid the most common integration, compatibility, and installation challenges, preventing delays and minimizing downtime. Multiple IDIS DR-8364(F) NVRs provide Porsche Chandler signature high-performance, and a user-friendly surveillance system that fully supports their existing IP camera infrastructure. The combination of cameras and recorders are installed, integrated with the dealership’s low-profile speaker system, and used by on-site personnel and SARC’s highly trained rapidresponse team of remote monitors to provide edge-to-edge comprehensive surveillance in support of security, analytics, and even business intelligence, including after hours. Situational Awareness The presence of multiple security guards, large visible camera installations, at the levels required to cover the nearly 36,500 square foot indoor/outdoor In keeping with the tradition of effortless luxury experiences for Porsche customers, the sales environment is designed to facilitate a stress-free browsing, sales, and customer service experience for guests, seeking to offer a perfect balance of staff support for questions and transactions, with space to move and explore inventory and consider options without crowding, hassle, or pressure. The presence of multiple security guards, large visible camera installations, at the levels required to cover the nearly 36,500 square foot indoor/outdoor, multi-level and multi-purpose complex, would not ideally serve the dealership’s commitment to a seamless, low hassle, pleasant, and stress-free sales and customer-service environment. Porsche Chandler required a next-generation security and surveillance solution that would provide maximum visibility and facilitate full situational awareness by dealership management and security staff, comprehensively protecting both people and property, without unnecessary intrusion. Law Enforcement Fields SARC Monitoring’s unique and innovative virtual guarding model—which goes beyond traditional remote monitoring and video verification models by leveraging experienced personnel and best practices from the military and law enforcement fields, and incorporates latest-generation, feature-rich video surveillance technologies—now delivers round-the-clock coverage of Porsche Chandler’s sprawling indoor/outdoor complex, exceeding the typical capabilities of traditional security approaches to such spaces, while doing so at a significantly lower cost. Features enhancing the value and utility of the IDIS DR-8364(F) NVRs toward meeting Porsche Chandler’s security requirements and the needs of SARC Monitoring’s team of 24/7 remote monitoring and rapid response personnel, include the the DR-8364(F)’s support for 64 IP channels of 4K UHD (with a maximum incoming throughput of 900Mbps), meaning that fewer NVRs are needed to support large numbers of cameras now (and as added in the future). Ensuring Data Integrity Fewer devices mean less time spent on maintenance tasks and reduced complexity of the surveillance system. Support for H.265 with IDIS Intelligent Codec and Motion Adaptive Transmission (MAT) further reduces the need for additional bandwidth and storage upgrades, providing up to a 90% reduction in both bandwidth and storage utilization, meaning more data can be transferred on existing cabling and saved in existing storage space. IDIS’s Critical Failover suite of features includes features such as RAID 5 storage redundancy, dual power supply redundancy, and NVR failover The included IDIS’s Critical Failover suite of features includes features such as RAID 5 storage redundancy, dual power supply redundancy, and NVR failover (which provides support for a standby NVR that continually monitors the primary NVR, taking over recording if the primary hardware fails), ensuring data integrity and system operation are automatically monitored and maintained, simplifying system support and maintenance tasks. Optimized Security Posture And the intuitive DR-8364(F) NVR interface, common to all IDIS products, minimised installation, training, and transition costs. IDIS’s unusual license-free software model, compatibility guarantees, and industry-leading warranty further minimizes total costs for Porsche Chandler. “The comprehensive virtual guarding solution helps Porsche Chandler to achieve better security outcomes, keeping the people and property in our care safer than ever while still providing a seamless and non-intrusive customer experience. Our ability to achieve an optimized security posture at a lower total cost than traditional approaches means our dealership can keep security overhead low and invest as much as possible in both the customer experience and making great deals. It’s security as forward-thinking and high performance as our brand.”
As an innovator in airport security, Oakland International Airport (OAK) announced that it has installed the Evolv Edge, a physical threat detection and prevention system powered by artificial intelligence, to streamline its employee screening program. This installation enhances OAK’s security posture by protecting against metallic and non-metallic threats while simultaneously improving operational efficiency. Physical Threat Detection System OAK is committed to applying advanced, innovative solutions to complex security operations OAK is committed to applying advanced, innovative solutions to complex security operations. The TSA acknowledged this commitment by selecting OAK as a TSA Innovation Site, a prestigious distinction that promotes improved efficiency and allows the airport to try technologies to benefit its growing passenger and employee base. As the second busiest airport in northern California, passenger travel at OAK is on pace to surpass the 13.2 million travelers that passed through the airport last year. To accommodate this growth, more and more employees are being hired to work at OAK. Therefore, OAK began researching innovative solutions related to employee inspection methods and equipment. Evolv Edge provides OAK with the ability to screen employees for metallic and non-metallic threats with a fast, non-invasive process. Designed with built-in wheels for portability, OAK can easily move the system throughout the airport allowing maximum efficiency for its employee inspection program. Non-Invasive Employee Screening With Edge, organizations, such as OAK, can adapt a risk-based security approach while balancing security with positive experience With this installation, OAK continues to be at the forefront of security through its use of modern technologies to combat today’s evolving threat landscape. By replacing traditional physical screenings with Evolv Edge’s precision, mobility and multi-threat detection capabilities, OAK can control access and respond to different threat scenarios quickly and efficiently. With Edge, organizations, such as OAK, can adapt a risk-based security approach while balancing security with positive experience. “With today’s threat landscape, the security perimeter has expanded beyond traditional checkpoints,” said Mike Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology and a 20-year veteran in aviation security. “Evolv Edge’s flexibility and portability provides Oakland International Airport with an added layer of security when it comes to employee screening. Oakland International Airport is always at the forefront of innovation, and we will continue working closely with their team to ensure success and safety.”
Round table discussion
In many regards, 2018 was a turbulent year for the physical security marketplace, driven by evolving technologies and changing customer needs, among other factors. Year-end is a great time to reflect, so we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What caused the most disruption in the physical security marketplace in 2018?
The concept of how security systems can contribute to the broader business goals of a company is not new. It seems we have been talking about benefits of security systems beyond “just” security for more than a decade. Given the expanding role of technologies in the market, including video and access control, at what point is the term “security” too restrictive to accurately describe what our industry does? We asked the Expert Panel Roundtable for their responses to this premise: Is the description “security technology” too narrow given the broader application possibilities of today’s systems? Why?
Physical security technologies operate successfully in many different markets, but in which markets do they fall short? Physical security is a difficult challenge that can sometime defy the best efforts of manufacturers, integrators and end users. This is especially the case in some of the more problematic markets and applications where even the best technology has to offer may not be good enough, or could it be that the best technology has not been adequately applied? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on instances when the industry may fall short: Which segments of the physical security industry are most under-served and why?