BlueVoyant, a cybersecurity services company, announces a strategic partnership with Argos Risk, a provider of financial risk intelligence. The alliance will see data from Argos Risk’s AR Surveillance™ solution utilized in BlueVoyant’s third-party Cyber Risk Management (CRx) suite of services.
The aggregated, complementary third-party risk data will better enable BlueVoyant to provide customers with clarity into their own security posture, and visibility across their vendor ecosystem. This will be particularly valuable to high-target industries.
Cyber risk security posture
“Argos Risk feeds non-cyber related insights from key sectors into BlueVoyant’s CRx services, allowing for a more holistic view of a business’ third-party cyber risk security posture.”
“This enables it to directly address its clients' exposure to cyber risk throughout the supply chain, enabling them to take immediate action,” says Jim Penrose, Chief Operating Officer at BlueVoyant. “We are extremely excited to partner with a world-class cybersecurity organization such as BlueVoyant,” says Lori Frank, President and CEO at Argos Risk.
Outstanding customer service
“Offering large enterprises impactful intelligence, utilizing our data, further demonstrates BlueVoyant’s dedication and focus on delivering best-of-breed cybersecurity technology and outstanding customer service to businesses around the world,” added Frank.
BlueVoyant’s managed CRx services make it easier for organizations to quantify and manage third-party cybersecurity risks, to an agreed risk tolerance. This exceeds simply identifying cyber risk, which alone isn’t enough; it measurably reduces clients’ exposure to the real threats to their businesses.
Despite 88% of cybersecurity professionals believing automation will make their jobs easier, younger staffers are more concerned that the technology will replace their roles than their veteran counterparts, according to new research by Exabeam, the Smarter SIEM company. The finding is part of the 2020 Cybersecurity Professionals Salary, Skills and Stress Survey, an annual survey of security practitioners.
Overall, satisfaction levels continued a 3-year positive trend, with 96% of respondents indicating they are happy with role and responsibilities and 87% reportedly pleased with salary and earnings. Additionally, there was improvement in gender diversity with female respondents increasing from 9% in 2019 to 21% this year.
The concern for automation among younger professionals in cybersecurity was surprising to us"
The purpose of the survey is to gain insights on trends related to salary, education level, job satisfaction, and general attitudes toward innovative and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML), among cybersecurity professionals worldwide. The survey was fielded to more than 350 professionals in the United States (US), Singapore (SG), Germany (DE), Australia (AUS) and the United Kingdom (UK), collated by research company Censuswide.
“The concern for automation among younger professionals in cybersecurity was surprising to us. In trying to understand this sentiment, we could partially attribute it to lack of on-the-job training using automation technology,” said Samantha Humphries, Security Strategist at Exabeam.
“As we noted earlier this year in our State of the SOC research, ambiguity around career path or lack of understanding about automation can have an impact on job security. It’s also possible that this is a symptom of the current economic climate or a general lack of experience navigating the workforce during a global recession.”
Of respondents under the age of 45, 53% agreed or strongly agreed that AI and ML are a threat to their job security. This is contrasted with just 25% of respondents 45 and over who feel the same, possibly indicating that subsets of security professionals in particular prefer to write rules and manually investigate. Interestingly, when asked directly about automation software, 89% of respondents under 45 years old believed it would improve their jobs, yet 47% are still threatened by its use.
This is again in contrast with the 45 and over demographic, where 80% believed automation would simplify their work, and only 22% felt threatened by its use. Examining the sentiments around automation by region, 47% of US respondents were concerned about job security when automation software is in use, as well as SG (54%), DE (42%), AUS (40%) and UK (33%).
In Exabeam’s 2019 survey, which drew insights from professionals throughout the US, the UK, AUS, Canada, India and the Netherlands, only 10% overall believed that AI and automation were a threat to their jobs. On the flip side, there were noticeable increases in job approval across the board, with an upward trend in satisfaction around role and responsibilities (96%), salary (87%) and work/life balance (77%).
Threatened by automation software
Though the number of female respondents increased this year, it remains to be seen whether this will emerge as a trend
When asked what else they enjoyed about their jobs, respondents listed working in an environment with professional growth (15%) as well as opportunities to challenge oneself (21%) as top motivators. Just over half (53%) reported jobs that are either stressful or very stressful, which is down from last year (62%). Interestingly, despite being among those that are generally threatened by automation software, 100% of respondents aged 18-24 reported feeling secure in their roles and were happiest with their salaries (93%).
Though the number of female respondents increased this year, it remains to be seen whether this will emerge as a trend. This year’s male respondents (78%) are down 13% from last year (91%). In 2019, nearly 41% were in the profession for at least 10 years or more.
This year, a larger percentage (83%) have 10 years or less, and more than one-third (34%) have been in the cybersecurity industry for five years or less. Additionally, one-third do not have formal cybersecurity degrees.
“There is evidence that automation and AI/ML are being embraced, but this year’s survey exposed fascinating generational differences when it comes to professional openness and using all available tools to do their jobs,” said Phil Routley, Senior Product Marketing Manager, APJ, Exabeam. “And while gender diversity is showing positive signs of improvement, it’s clear we still have a very long way to go in breaking down barriers for female professionals in the security industry.”
Dahua Technology, a renowned, video-centric provider of smart IoT solutions, announced a major rebranding to reflect the company’s growth and evolution within the North American video surveillance market. WizSense (pronounced “Wise Sense”), Simplified Analytics for Accurate Results, and WizMind (pronounced “Wise Mind”), Advanced Analytics for Ultimate Performance, will be sub-categories under Dahua’s Analytics+ umbrella. Each line encompasses existing product lines as well as new product offerings.
“With this launch, we are unifying our products under two new product categories, WizSense and WizMind, to align with new and existing customer’s needs in finding solutions faster,” remarked Jennifer Hackenburg, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Dahua Technology USA.
Video surveillance solutions
The rebranding includes a top-to-bottom implementation of the WizSense and WizMind product lines. Changes will be reflected throughout the company’s website including the product search tool filter, datasheets, product boxes and communications. Dahua’s new brand assets include a full quick guide highlighting all products from each segment, a new website landing page and other visual communications to convey Dahua solutions in an understandable way.
WizSense, the more foundational of the two categories, offers simplified analytics for accurate results
The recategorization is designed to help security dealers and integrators more easily identify which video surveillance solutions are better suited for small installations versus advanced enterprise applications. WizSense, the more foundational of the two categories, offers simplified analytics for accurate results.
Smart motion detection
Basic enough to meet the needs of most users, WizSense products have an AI chip that delivers features like smart motion detection, perimeter protection, and active alarm for protecting what matters most. Other analytics allow for instant alerts, quick target searches after an event, and maximized storage with Dahua’s Smart H.264/H.265+ codecs.
The WizSense portfolio includes 4MP and 5MP bullet, dome, wedge and eyeball cameras that were formerly part of Dahua’s Lite series and that offer Starlight Technology, True WDR, Smart IR illumination and IP67 housing. Also in the WizSense family are 2MP and 4MP PTZs formerly from Dahua’s Pro series, as well as new cost-effective thermal cameras. Compatible with the WizSense collection are NVR and Penta-brid recorders with 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, and 8TB options.
Human temperature monitoring
WizMind offers advanced analytics for ultimate performance. This high-end analytics line - with a powerful AI chip and renowned deep learning algorithms - gives users privacy protection, video metadata, highly accurate people counting, heat mapping, smart tracking and non-contact human temperature monitoring . WizMind is designed to meet the requirements of high-end vertical markets with in-depth demands, such as finance, retail, stadiums, energy, refineries, and transportation.
WizMind cameras consist of formerly-Pro-series 4MP bullet and eyeball cameras, 4MP and 5MP dome cameras, and cameras built for specialized applications, such as 5MP and 12MP Fisheye cameras, multi-sensors, thermal cameras and PTZs. Compatible NVR and Penta-brid recorders come in 4TB, 8TB, and 10TB models.
Thermal temperature monitoring solutions
These solutions should not be solely used to diagnose or exclude a diagnosis of COVID-19 or any other disease
“WizSense and WizMind technologies both take security further by providing advanced analytics that provide deeper insights, increased accuracy, and time saving alerts,” said Hackenburg. “By offering this new streamlined branding, it is easier than ever for dealers to find the line of technology that will include the level of analytics needed for their installation.”
Dahua’s thermal solutions, including the SafetyTemp Thermal Temperature Station, the Thermal Temperature Monitoring Solution, and the Handheld Thermal Temperature Monitoring Device, are not FDA-cleared or approved. These solutions should not be solely or primarily used to diagnose or exclude a diagnosis of COVID-19 or any other disease.
Telethermographic temperature measurement
Elevated body temperature in the context of use should be confirmed with secondary evaluation methods (e.g., an NCIT or clinical grade contact thermometer). Public health officials, through their experience with the solutions in the particular environment of use, should determine the significance of any fever or elevated temperature based on the skin telethermographic temperature measurement.
The solutions should be used to measure only one subject’s temperature at a time. Visible thermal patterns are only intended for locating the points from which to extract the thermal measurement.
If one works in the technology industry, it’s likely one has been hearing about recent advancements in AI-based video analysis for years now. The tech has seemingly hit its stride, with new services and applications continually popping up to expand and support the ecosystem. For an example, one really has to look no further than Amazon Rekognition, which leverages Machine Learning (ML) to make it easy to identify things like objects, people, or text within videos and images.
Outside of the technology industry, however, existing enterprises aren’t always set up to take advantage of the latest AI developments. Whether it’s because they have older hardware that doesn’t integrate with newer tech, or they just don’t have the resources or right people on staff to manage integrations; there is often a gap that makes it difficult to leverage the latest and greatest in video AI. This divide is just where start-up VXG operates.
Founded in 2016, VXG was built to be that middle layer between existing enterprises and the newest AI-based video analysis services, like Rekognition, YOLO, Azure, Google, and others. Companies can easily link their existing and new network of cameras to VXG’s platform and receive automated analysis at scale, effectively making any camera a smart camera.
AI solutions accessible and scalable
VXG was founded to be the bridge that connects the two worlds to make AI solutions accessible and scalable"
As co-founder and CEO Yaro Lisitsyn puts it, “Having worked with both video surveillance and artificial intelligence for years, it became evident that there was a growing gap between the two industries. VXG was founded to be the bridge that connects the two worlds to make AI solutions accessible and scalable.”
The Toronto-based team’s customers currently skew towards the retail space, where cameras have long been deployed to record activity, with most enterprises slowly taking that next step to automate analysis. Selling directly to retailers, as well as business insights and video AI companies - VXG enables clients to easily extract previously inaccessible data/information from images or video feeds, such as foot traffic data and conversion statistics.
Open to all hardware and AI platforms
Being open on both the hardware and AI sides separates VXG from the other VSaaS and VMS companies. While partnering with major camera manufacturers, users receive unmatched flexibility and support, and are not locked into contracts with set cameras and AI vendors.
But really the differentiator for VXG is the scale that they’re able to operate at, in no small part thanks to AWS as an infrastructure provider. Per Lisitsyn, “There are other options on the market that enable AI for video, but they only work for maybe 100 or 1,000 cameras. At VXG we are approaching this from an enterprise and commercial standpoint, where camera networks span into the tens or hundreds of thousands. That’s why we are really happy to be working with AWS by leveraging Rekognition as an AI engine, as well as hosting our infrastructure with a provider that is built to handle that level of scale.”
Looking ahead, VXG sees a lot of opportunity to expand into new markets, such as real estate, education and building/operations management. Longer term, there will applications within the expanding world of smart cities, as local governments look to better understand how to make things run more efficiently.
One of the biggest trends in security and technology today is centered around solutions that take advantage of the wealth of connected security systems and devices powering the organizations all over the world.
As the number of cloud-powered systems and sensors have massively grown in recent years, security leaders in the private and public sectors have started to look at ways to leverage the data from these devices to better the lives of employees, customers, and residents.
But while the dream of creating a smarter, safer environment remains the top priority for organizations throughout the world especially as they continue to face the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, a myriad of factors hold security leaders back from implementing more advanced technologies across their infrastructures.
AI as a disruptor of physical security
One of the main reasons being that the advent of these cloud based technologies indubitably generate massive amounts of data that hamper any practical use by security professionals and often times create cognitive overload and paralysis by analysis.
A myriad of factors hold security leaders back from implementing more advanced technologies across their infrastructures
Organizations face the challenge of trying to answer numerous questions using the big data generated by the various systems and technologies. How are they going to handle the influx of information that all these disparate systems generate? How can it be analyzed to extract any useful information or insight? What IT security controls are put in place to safeguard the data? How can the data be effectively curated and funneled to the right people at the right time? How can we make our security footprint be more proactive rather than constantly reactive?
The answer is artificial intelligence. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry.
Improving your competitive advantage
Today, all divisions of an enterprise are trying to leverage AI and big data to improve their competitive advantage and bottom line, including accounting, sales and marketing, material sourcing, and research and development.
We need to ensure that the physical security industry realises they can significantly benefit from better, faster, and more accurate intelligence from the now unstructured, bottomless silos of security data; only then will this result in positioning physical security from a primarily reactive business to a revolutionary new proactive environment.
AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry and adoption is growing at a rapid rate
As an industry, we need to focus on reinventing how security personnel and safety resources are allocated in the public safety and corporate security industry. And it all has to start with intelligence derived from big data using AI. Security leaders in the physical security and law enforcement industry can combine multiple data sources with predictive and prescriptive analytics and artificial intelligence to inform and dynamically deploy personnel, assets, and technologies. This approach drives automation of their current manual processes to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their entire security operations.
Intelligently predicting the future?
Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right; you can look into the future.
By grabbing a hold of this AI-powered crystal ball, decision-makers can perform long-term strategic planning and informed day-to-day operational decision making. And what’s more, AI powered platforms are software-based, often delivered using as-a-service business models that empower security personnel to go beyond traditional static business intelligence visualization and reporting systems to transformative dynamic, predictive and prescriptive decision-making environments. Today’s platforms are also not your traditional, old school, expensive PSIMs; they are cost-effective, configurable to your needs and dare we say, easy to operate.
Every security leader I have spoken with lately want to extend AI to their security programs. They don't always know precisely where AI will fit, but they understand the need to operationalise more of their security practices. The overall why is that we should all work collaboratively to help organizations across the globe leverage the tools available to transition away from a reactive stance and gain informed insight into the future where we are truly prepared for and one step ahead of what is coming down the road.
The threat landscape we operate in today is changing all the time. Around the world, pressures on law enforcement bodies remain incredibly high as they face the challenge of rising international threat levels and a backdrop of intense political, social and economic uncertainty.
It is a challenge that demands a considered, proactive and dynamic response. It’s clear that new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical and cyber security systems and help us to better defend against a wide-spectrum of threats.
Finding the balance
Specifically speaking, for physical security systems to be effective, they must have the full support of the public. Airport-style environments where security checkpoint processes are implemented are both time consuming and obstructive, and feels, at times, they are in no one’s best interest. Oppressive, fortress-like environments are likely to quickly lose the backing of the public, who want to be able to go about their daily lives without being delayed or obstructed by cumbersome security checkpoints and procedures.
For physical security systems to be effective, they must have the full support of the public
However, after a large-scale security threat or attack occurs, it is often these more overt systems that we gravitate towards, often fueled by a proven track record of both deterrence and detection. It’s the antithesis of ‘out of site, out of mind’ security. Having these large, bulky overt security systems offer reassurance to people and create a greater sense of security.
But what if we could instill this sense of security without monstrous overt systems? What if today’s physical security systems could allow for seamless people flow while creating safe environments, all done in a covert manner without interrupting peoples’ way of life? This is exactly what can be achieved with the some of the new physical security applications that incorporate AI.
Security solutions with AI: how, what, where?
Today, security solutions driven by AI technologies are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments to protect our global citizenry. These new AI-driven technologies are taking multiple different forms, depending on the locations they are designed to protect.
Video management surveillance systems (commonly referred to as VMS systems) are being enhanced by AI/computer vision technology to identify objects. These enhanced VMS systems can be deployed both inside and outside of buildings to identify and flag forbidden objects, such as visible guns, knives or aggressive people, in a wide range of public spaces, such as schools, hospitals, sport stadiums, event venues and transportation hubs. Recognized threat objects in hand or suspicious behaviours can be identified and flagged instantaneously for onsite security to further investigate.
In addition, targeted magnetic and radar sensor technologies, concealed in everyday objects like planter boxes or inside walls, can now scan individuals and bags entering a building for concealed threat objects. Using AI/machine learning, these two sensor solutions combined can identify metal content on body and bag and match the item to a catalog of threat items, such as guns, rifles, knives and bombs with metal shrapnel. Without this advanced multi-sensor solution, it becomes nearly impossible to discover a weapon on a person's body before it appears in an assailant’s hands. This multi-sensor solution allows for a touchless, unobtrusive access to a building, but allows for immediate notification to onsite security when a concealed threat is detected. The hidden technology thus empowers security staff to intercept threats before they evolve into a wider scale attack, while also maintaining the privacy and civil liberties of the public, unless, of course, they are carrying a concealed weapon or pose a physical threat.
AI-powered solutions proactively help onsite security to effectively safeguard the public
Unlike many large, fixed detection security systems, AI-powered solutions proactively help onsite security to effectively safeguard the public without causing mass obstruction and disruption.
Soft target hardening
Hardening a facility against physical attacks and threats can be expensive, as well as maintaining and running large fixed detection equipment. It may also result in the threat shifting to ‘softer’, less secure targets, for example schools, music venues and places of worship, all locations we’ve see active attacks in the past decade.
Around the world, we have seen the devastation to communities and the aftermath impact of these attacks. In the USA, for example, in February 2018, a 19-year-old gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, and opened fire, killing 17 students and faculty members. And in the UK in May 2017, a suicide bomber attacked a concert venue in Manchester, tragically killed 22 people.
It is a global priority to make these soft target public gathering places more secure. But in doing so we cannot turn them into fortresses. The security industry, public sector and national and local government must collaborate to deploy intelligent systems with technology at their core to not only protect lives, but also preserve a way of life.
Integrated systems and behavioral detection
One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats.
Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy.
It’s not only knives, guns and explosives that intelligent systems can detect. They can also be trained to detect behavior and potential invisible biological threats, such as viral threats currently facing our world today. This does not mean profiling individuals. Instead, using AI that is deployed on existing CCTV or thermal camera systems, it looks for indicators that may identify a physical altercation and disturbance, an elevated body temperature, indicative of viral fever, or lack of a face mask for health safety compliance.
When integrated, these solutions can provide onsite security with up-to-the-minute information to allow greater protection of the properties they serve. By using these intelligent, non-intrusive technologies, today’s security personnel are now more capable of detecting a wide range of threats.
This is the future of public safety and security, and we should expect to see these new technologies becoming more common over the coming years, as cities around the world strive to create smart, safer communities.
The human element
While technology can make a significant impact to existing security systems, it would be wrong to position it as the end-all, be all to preventing future attacks. Technology is only part of the solution. Well trained security personnel are also required; individuals who know how to use new technologies and the data they provide, and then make informed decisions about how to engage a potential bad actor or threat.
Not only will a properly trained security staff member help to prevent an attack from happening, but the extra insight provides by these intelligent systems can potentially interrupt an attacker in planning and walk through stages, or even before a weapon is drawn. This alone has many benefits beyond just preventing an attack. It means that authorities can help these individuals, some of whom may be suffering from mental health issues, to get the help they need from professional healthcare workers. By security personnel working with local authorities and healthcare professionals, potential attackers can get the support they need, from de-radicalisation programmes to specialized counseling, helping them return to being a healthy, productive member of society.
These intelligent systems can potentially interrupt an attacker in planning
AI for safer communities
AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioral anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Perhaps none more so, though, than to institutes of education, where we have seen many violent attacks over the course of the last few years. Specifically, the application of AI for detecting odd behavioral activity could be used to identify potential active shooter attacks, or even students who may be depressed and prone to committing suicide. Both tragedies we see weekly around the world.
One thing is clear, cross-sector collaboration and the application of integrated, intelligent AI technology that puts data and ultimate control into a human’s hands can be key to making our communities safer places to live.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the safety of passengers and staff aboard public transport has been an ongoing concern. The scenes of underground trains, still packed with commuters as infection rates soared, will have raised alarm bells with bus and train managers, transport officials and government representatives alike. Now, as infection rates hold steady and people slowly return to the workplace, a rise in commuter levels, coupled with a need for strong infection control protocols, is putting a strain on an already overburdened transport system.
Managing passenger flow through bus terminals and train stations, while ensuring adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing policies, can be a difficult task. On buses and trains, staff have the unenviable task of challenging any individual who flouts the rules, while attempting to maintain safe operation for the benefit of all passengers. This is where advances in digital surveillance technologies can play an important role in enhancing security, improving operations and supporting the customer facing teams in their day to day roles.
The power of the cloud
Keeping businesses afloat and people connected throughout the pandemicCloud or hosted technology has played an important part in keeping businesses afloat and people connected throughout the pandemic. When it comes to physical security such as video surveillance and access control, today’s cloud-enabled systems are far removed from the outdated CCTV and manual access control technologies employed in the past. Cloud connectivity brings with it many benefits, from a security, operational and also business intelligence point of view, thanks to the powerful data that these solutions produce which can be used to inform decision making.
The advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey.
Managing occupancy across bus and rail
Monitoring the movement of staff and passengers is an essential part of being able to maintain a safe operation. Through the utilization of surveillance cameras at entrances and exit points, as well as at key areas within transport terminals and on the transport mode itself, occupancy thresholds can be determined to ensure passenger numbers do not exceed safe limits. Network surveillance cameras, accessed via mobile device, can enable transport officials to check passenger flow in real-time, while live alerts to warn that health and safety protocols are being breached, enable swift drafting of security or operations personnel to address the situation.
Live alerts to warn that health and safety protocols are being breached
Through internet of things (IoT) connectivity, additional devices can be easily added to complement the surveillance solution and unlock further benefits. Network audio speakers can be triggered to play pre-recorded messages to alert or inform passengers. Similarly, frictionless access control, enabling customers and staff to move ‘hands-free’ through gateways and ticket checkpoints to avoid viral spread, is made possible by having an access reader which is activated, for example, via QR codes on a mobile phone. And when access readers are integrated with surveillance cameras, this will act as a second layer of authentication to grant or refuse access based on valid staff credentials.
Improving security in challenging times
Such technologies, interconnected and able to share data, can be used to more effectively report in real time on activity that threatens to have an adverse effect on passengers, staff and the transport environment. Significant parts of the rail network are relatively unmonitored, and inevitably these areas are more vulnerable to vandalism. Similarly, on bus services, abuse of passengers and staff, and acts of criminal behavior remain a concern. By alerting security staff to a developing situation before it occurs, an incident can be dealt with quickly, minimizing disruption to transport services.
Cloud based technology can be relied on
Cloud based technology can be relied on to not only help improve current services, around passenger occupancy in the current pandemic, but also to help transport officials plan for the security challenges of the future. Simple customization and easy scalability, plus software upgrades and firmware updates to ensure the system is always up to date and operational, form essential components of a future proof solution which is capable of bringing peace of mind to the transport industry.
Additionally, predicted future benefits include the potential for customers to check transport occupancy levels via a mobile app. This would inform them of particularly busy times of passenger transit, allowing more choice over when and where to travel based on real-time data, and ultimately helping to even out passenger numbers to balance journeys and greatly improve efficiency and flow. In a busy world where the demands on our rail and bus networks are now impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and indeed the possibility for further related challenges in the future, such cloud-connected technologies represent a worthwhile investment.
Facial recognition is becoming more popular in newer systems for access control — a shift that began before the pandemic and has intensified with a market shift toward “touchless” systems. A new facial recognition platform is emerging that responds to the access control industry’s increased interest in facial recognition by expanding the concept with a new higher level of technology.
At the core of the new system is high-performance, true-3D sensing with facial depth map processing at low power consumption, which enriches the capabilities of small-footprint access control devices.
New proficiencies include anti-spoofing (preventing the use of a 2D photo of an authorized user to gain entry) and anti-tailgating (preventing an unauthorized person from gaining entry by following an authorized user) in real time and in challenging lighting conditions. The system uses “true 3D sensing,” which incorporates single-camera structured-light 3D sensing—as opposed to dual-camera depth sensing or IR video imaging-based approaches.
AI vision processing and 3D sensing technologies
The new “Janus reference design” incorporates AI vision processing, 3D sensing technologies, and RGB-IR CMOS image sensor technologies from Ambarella, Lumentum and ON Semiconductor. Specifically, Lumentum’s high-reliability, high-density VCSEL projector for 3D sensing combines with ON Semiconductor’s RGB-IR CMOS image sensor and Ambarella’s powerful AI vision system on chip (SoC).
The Ambarella, Lumentum, and ON Semiconductor engineering teams worked together to incorporate their complementary technologies into the reference design.
A reference design offers OEM product and engineering teams a fully functional engineering reference implementation that they can use as the basis for their own product. Teams will often customize a reference design with their choice of various third-party hardware components to fit their product specifications and positioning. They might also integrate their own software, algorithms, and back-end system integrations. The advantage to this approach is that the manufacturer can get to market quickly with a next-generation product that emphasises their core strengths.
3D depth information for facial recognition
Generally, it takes between nine months and a year for a manufacturer to get to market using a fully functional reference design, such as the one developed jointly by Ambarella, Lumentum and ON Semiconductor.
The Janus platform leverages 3D depth information generated via structured light for facial recognition with a >99% recognition accuracy rate. Traditional 2D-based solutions are prone to false acceptance and presentation attacks, whereas 3D sensing delivers advanced security—just as mobile phones use true-depth cameras for facial recognition. 3D facial recognition also significantly reduces the gender and ethnic biases demonstrated by some 2D facial recognition solutions.
The Janus reference design is also aimed at future smart locks for enterprise and residential use: its unique single-camera 3D sensing solution will help OEMs overcome cost and manufacturability barriers, while the ultra-low power edge AI capability can effectively extend the battery life, which in turn reduces maintenance cost.
Video security and access control
Ambarella sees touchless access control, as well as the convergence of video security and access control, as the mega-trends driving industry innovation and growth—using video, computer vision, and 3D sensing to not only address safety and security, but also to improve the user experience and public health, says William Xu, director of marketing for Ambarella.
The convergence of video security cameras and access control readers has been widely discussed by leading access control OEMs. In many cases, they already integrate video security cameras, readers, door controllers, cloud-access, and the like. In most enterprise installations, one would typically find security cameras installed where there are access control readers. Combining the two devices significantly reduces the maintenance cost and system complexity.
“In comparison to fingerprint or other contact-based approaches, Janus-based access control is touchless—requiring no physical contact with authentication hardware such as fingerprint sensors or keypads—reducing infection risk while enabling a seamless experience,” says Mr. Xu. “The Janus platform provides true 3D depth information to prevent unauthorized individuals from mimicking legitimate users, and the advanced embedded AI processor enables tracking and anti-tailgating algorithms. Janus-based devices perform well in challenging lighting conditions and they are capable of authenticating multiple users simultaneously, with imperceptible latency.”
Access Control and public health
What was once purely a security challenge—namely, how to prevent unauthorized entry into a restricted area—has evolved into a public health challenge as well. Many traditional access control methods, from number pads to fingerprint readers, require touch in order to function, and if the current global pandemic has made one thing evident, it’s that minimizing physical contact between users and surfaces is vital to community well-being.
Janus was originally designed to facilitate the next generation of facial-recognition-based access control readers—enabling 3D sensing and high recognition speed for seamless authentication. COVID-19 has accelerated industry-wide research, development, and timelines for Janus-based solutions, says Mr. Xu.
Deep learning and artificial intelligence drive all the new capabilities offered in Janus—capabilities that are only possible due to the platform’s high computational horsepower. The core deep learning and AI capabilities of Janus enable a wide range of advanced features only possible with an embedded vision SoC, says Mr. Xu. All are performed in real time, even when multiple users are being processed simultaneously. These include
the extraction and comparison of facial depth maps with those registered in the system;
3D liveness detection, ensuring that the system can distinguish between real users and photo or video playback attacks;
anti-tailgating, which relies on computer vision algorithms to detect and track when an unauthorized person follows a legitimate user inside;
face mask detection; and
According to Ken Huang, Director of Product Line Management, 3D Sensing, Lumentum: “Lumentum’s VCSEL technology is one of the Janus design’s core strengths and differentiators. The process begins when Lumentum’s high-resolution dot projector projects thousands of dots onto the scene to create a unique 3D depth pattern of a user’s face. Most traditional biometric facial security systems rely on 2D images of users—simple photographs—which reduces authentication accuracy. In contrast, the 3D depth map generated by Lumentum’s technology provides the foundation of a more accurate, more secure, and more intelligent system overall. In addition, Lumentum’s VCSEL solutions incorporate a Class 1, eye-safe laser with zero field failures to date.”
Adds Paige Peng, Product Marketing Manager, Commercial Sensing Division, ON Semiconductor: “If we think of Ambarella’s CV25 as the brain of the Janus design, the AR0237IR from ON Semiconductor is the eye. The AR0237IR image sensor captures the information, and the CV25 processes it. Other face recognition systems use two “eyes” – one to recognize RGB patterns to generate the viewing image stream, and another IR module to detect liveliness in motion. The Janus solution leverages a single “eye”—the AR0237IR—to obtain both visible and infrared images for depth sensing and advanced algorithms such as anti-spoofing and 3D recognition. AR0237IR also provides good sensitivity in various lighting conditions and supports high-dynamic-range (HDR) functions.”
The single-camera 3D sensing solution for access control operates in three seamless steps:
Step 1: Lumentum’s high-resolution dot projector creates a unique 3D depth map of a user’s face;
Step 2: ON Semiconductor’s RGB-IR image sensor captures the high-resolution images from Step 1, even in low-light or high dynamic range conditions;
Step 3: Ambarella’s advanced vision SoC takes the high-resolution images captured in Step 2 and uses deep neural networks (DNNs) for depth processing, facial recognition, anti-tailgating, and anti-spoofing while video encoding and network software run simultaneously.
The COVID-19 global pandemic will have a profound and lasting impact on the physical security industry. It will boost adoption of new technologies to address new types of threats. It will map out a path for new involvement of physical security technologies in areas of public health. It will raise new notions of privacy and turn previous thinking about privacy on its head. And the aftermath of the pandemic will give rise to all these changes in a breathtakingly accelerated timeframe.
In the wake of the pandemic, change will come faster than ever, and the industry will be more challenged than ever to keep pace.
Security and the futureIn the wake of the pandemic, change will come faster than ever, and the industry will be more challenged than ever to keep pace
These were some of the thoughts I heard recently in a panel discussion titled “Crisis and the Everyday,” which was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show, April 20-21. The virtual conversation – emphasising both in form and content the current topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry.
“In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists.
“Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.
“How do you support the business and, more broadly, societies and communities?”
The new normal for security
The “new normal” for security will include addressing biological risks alongside our traditional emphasis on physical risk and digital risk. “Some industry sectors are being challenged in a way I have not seen in my lifetime,” said Brekke. “But they are learning fast.”
“We should take a look at where we have been and where we are going,” said Brekke, whose firm develops comprehensive strategies to align security organizations with corporate missions. “This is a point in time that has never existed, and a time to take a fresh look at what security is to the corporation and greater community. It’s more a mindset than a specific set of tasks.
“We just need to take a fresh look from a mix of perspectives.”
“Crisis and the Everyday" was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show
Infrared cameras and access control technologies
New technologies to address the pandemic are enabling some nations around the world to track how people come and go and who they are exposed to. Technologies like infrared cameras are being used to detect body temperatures, and access control helps to monitor occupancy and social distancing.
But what will such use of these technologies mean in the long term?
Technologies like infrared cameras are being used to detect body temperatures, and access control helps to monitor occupancy and social distancing
“We will see whether people will become more comfortable with this technology,” said Ken Lochiatto, President and CEO, Convergint Technologies, a service-based security integration company.
“Tools are in hand, and coming soon, that will allow us to be more proactive, to step in and measure the health of colleagues, for example,” said Lochiatto. “There are a lot of questions that will have to be addressed, and a lot of discussion will have to happen. Coronavirus will knock down the barriers (to the use of newer technology) in the short term, but where will it settle two years from now?”
Security product manufacturers are expanding their scope beyond law enforcement and emergency management and stepping forward to help with the public good.
“Technology in the security space is moving faster than the political establishment is thinking about,” adds Lockiatto. “We have to manage it as an industry so the government will not step in. We need to manage the discussion.”
An accelerated timeline will raise the stakes even further.
“All the questions that would have taken longer to answer will be answered in the next 6-8 months. For the security industry, it will drive even greater need for products,” said Lochiatto.
“The biggest question is ‘Where does this all go?’” said Brekke. “What is the new normal? What is the future, and how do we prepare our companies for it? What does technology look like in the future? There isn’t just one particular set of questions, just a constant stream of ‘What’s next?’”
Public health versus individual liberty
The current environment of disruption will shift the playbook and rebalance the tradeoff between privacy and protection, especially as it pertains to sharing medical information.
“There will be a new balance between public health and safety as a whole versus individual liberties,” said Brekke. “Technology providers need to be at the table talking about the solutions. We should all be engaged in government affairs to balance the discussion and add our own perspectives. As a society and country, we have to come to a different perspective on this.”
The current environment of disruption will shift the playbook and rebalance the tradeoff between privacy and protection
“There are not enough ethics and guard rails,” said Jonathan Ballon, Vice President and General Manager, Intel Corp. “The majority of people are not afraid enough. They should be afraid; we need more regulation. We need to establish an ethical code of conduct for use of technology in these situations. We need to eliminate bias, respect individuals, and ensure people are being treated fairly.
“In the next several years, there will be a lot of experimentation in the quest to get to a future state we can see and almost grasp. There will be black eyes and bruises on the path to getting there.”
From smart security to more intelligent technology
After the pandemic, the innovation climate will befit new technology adoption. “Platforms are only limited by our imaginations, and it creates an extraordinary opportunity and drives a lot of economic value,” said Ballon. “Long-term, the future is extremely bright. Companies should ensure that they are resilient and take advantage of another period of technology adoption, which we see coming out of every economic downturn.”
After the pandemic, the innovation climate will befit new technology adoption
Another evolution in the market is a transition from “smart” systems to more “intelligent” ones. Intelligence includes the ability to “learn” using tools such as deep learning and artificial intelligence. “Systems are going from smart to intelligent to autonomous, including systems that can operate within the constraints we have established,” said Ballon.
Pierre Racz, president and CEO of Genetec, offered some words of caution about the growth of artificial intelligence in his keynote presentation, “AI Hype Self Defense.” Racz sought to provide guidance on the limits of the technology and urged the online audience to be skeptical of technology that “works best when you need it least.”
“Science and technology are morally neutral,” he said. “How we use them is not.”
Intelligent automation over artificial intelligence
Specifically, Racz contends that artificial intelligence “doesn’t exist” and provides the “reasoning power of an earthworm”. AI systems don’t know anything that isn’t included in their input data – for better and for worse.
Racz contends that artificial intelligence “doesn’t exist” and provides the “reasoning power of an earthworm”
“A properly designed system can be useful [only] if you engineer around the false positives, false negatives and the unanticipated training set biases,” said Racz. For example, because AI is based on probabilities, it doesn’t perform as well when identifying improbable things.
In lieu of “artificial intelligence,” Racz recommends the term “intelligent automation” (IA), which describes using a machine (computer) for heavy computational lifting and keeping a human in the loop to provide intuition and creativity.
“Do not misinterpret crafty guessing for intelligence or thinking,” Racz warns. “AI doesn’t exist, but real stupidity exists. And we must design our systems taking into account the legitimate fears of the public we serve.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be participating at ISC West in a big way. Representatives of the federal department will be taking part in more education sessions this year, and the DHS tech-scouting team will be on hand to view the latest technologies on display at the show. Exhibitors – and anyone else at the show – are invited to the “DHS Town Hall” on March 19 (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. in meeting room Galileo 1001. The aim is for DHS to engage with the technology community and provide guidance as industry innovation moves forward.
In the face of growing operational demands and complex threats, the need for homeland security technology solutions continues to rise. The Department of Homeland (DHS) is seeking new ideas and partners to safeguard public trust, save lives, reduce risks, and protect the flow of commerce and goods for the community. They will share information about the department’s problem sets, capability needs and business opportunities for accelerating technology development to ensure they are keeping pace with the speed of innovation and complex threats.
Speaking at ISC West
DHS seeks to challenge industry partners to develop technology to enhance security operations across multiple end user missions. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will jointly speak and exhibit at ISC West.
Attendees can meet DHS professionals working in cyber security, critical infrastructure, resilience, aviation security, border and port operations, and first responder capabilities. Attendees are invited to visit the DHS exhibit booth #33040 in the Drones and Robotics Zone.
The DHS Town Hall on Thursday, titled “Enhancing Security and Doing Business at the Speed of Life,” will be a “call to action” for show participants to help secure the future. DHS seeks to become more agile and to pursue new pathways to do business in a fast-moving world. Through strategic partnerships, DHS is mobilizing the innovation community to safeguard the public trust.
DHS will also be participating in these sessions at ISC West, March 17-20 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, Nev:
You Say It’s Going to Change the World? Tues., March 17, 9:45 a.m., Sands 302.
Security relies on anticipating what comes next and staying a step ahead. How will 5G increase secure capabilities and reduce threats from bad actors? How will blockchain secure personal and financial identity and when will quantum computing render all encryption obsolete? How is DHS investing in counter-drones? How does AI change the security landscape?
The New Federal Security Landscape – Are You Prepared? Wed., March 18, 1 p.m., Sands 302.
The federal security landscape is evolving alongside the private sector. What are the new high-risk areas of concern and how are emerging threats (cyber, UAS) changing the way federal facilities are protected? How are these new risks balanced against traditional ones? How is the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) responding? DHS panelists will discuss.
CISA Special Guest Speaker at SIA Interopfest. Wed., March 18, 4 p.m., Sands 701.
Daryle Hernandez, Chief, Interagency Security Committee, DHS, Infrastructure Security Division, will provide insights to complement the technology interoperability demonstrations.
Enhancing Security Through UAS Technology, A DHS Perspective. Thurs., March 19, 11:30 a.m., Venetian Ballroom.
What is DHS doing today to prepare for a future of increased visualization and automation? New questions are emerging around capabilities and vulnerabilities. Emerging technologies like AR, Next Gen Sensors, and UAS, provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with tools to become more responsive and adaptive to new threats.
Otay-Tijuana Venture LLC, a US-Mexican group of companies operating Tijuana International Airport’s Cross Border XpressTM (CBX), has chosen SAFR from RealNetworks’ video analytics technology to be used throughout the San Diego - Tijuana terminal in order to optimize operations and improve passenger flow.
The first building to connect the United States to a foreign airport terminal, CBX serves millions of passengers that cross the border as part of their trip, helping them avoid unforeseen delays in the congested border crossings of San Ysidro and Otay.
Video analytics technology
“We are very satisfied with the performance, specific dashboards, and team support that SAFR offers, providing the necessary insights that are required to run such an important operation like CBX,” said Julio Armentariz, CTO of CBX.
The 390 ft long bridge is a hub for many daily situations where technology, process, and people work together to create a safe and efficient passenger experience. AI video analytics technology ensures CBX staff have actionable data at their fingertips as they monitor passenger flows and make real-time decisions.
Mask detection feature
SAFR has recently added additional features specifically designed to help customers respond to the global COVID-19
“We are extremely proud to help CBX in their day to day operations, contributing to more efficiency and quality of journey for the thousands of passengers that frequent the terminal every day,” said Jose Larrucea, RealNetworks Senior VP of International Sales.
SAFR has recently added additional features specifically designed to help customers respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic including mask detection and occupancy counting. CBX has applied the mask detection feature to passenger flow monitoring to better track mask compliance and gather critical operations data.
Face recognition technology
"We see optimal potential in RealNetworks’ technology and we are looking into expanding its use in other areas within CBX in order to increase operational efficiency," added Armentariz.
SAFR offers highly-accurate, fast, low-biased face recognition and additional face and person-based computer vision features. SAFR’s NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) scores for speed, accuracy, and bias combine to distinguish SAFR as one of the leaders in real-world accuracy and performance.
The sailings may take as little as 22 minutes, but carrying almost 4.5 million holidaymakers and Islanders to and from the Isle of Wight every year is a huge challenge. It is perhaps not surprising therefore to discover that Wightlink has invested in the latest video security technology to help them do so safely and efficiently.
The team at award-winning ferry operator Wightlink knows more than a thing or two about giving Islanders a frequent and punctual service to mainland Hampshire, as well as offering visitors an easy way to enjoy a taste of Island life.
Providing ferry services
Through its forerunners, Wightlink has been providing ferry services to and from the Isle of Wight for more than 160 years. As the cross-Solent ferry operator, Wightlink in a normal year would complete approximately 45,000 sailings over three routes with the help of a fleet of ships which includes six vehicle and passenger ferries and two passenger-only FastCats.
Hanwha Techwin Europe’s Managing Director Bob (H.Y.) Hwang Ph.D., recently traveled to Portsmouth to see first-hand how Wisenet cameras are being used to assist Wightlink in almost every aspect of their day-to-day operations. Bob was accompanied by Jeff (Chae Won) Lee, the company’s Sales Director and Senior Strategic Sales Manager, Jon Hill.
High definition images
Wightlink’s crew are also making good use of the high definition images captured by the weather-proof cameras
Over 260 Wisenet cameras have already been installed around Wightlink’s Portsmouth and Lymington facilities, as well as on three of the company’s ships. With safety of paramount importance, some of the cameras are being used to help verify any health & safety incidents which might occur in one of the terminals or onboard the ships.
On the bridge, Wightlink’s crew are also making good use of the high definition images captured by the weather-proof cameras mounted at the bow and stern of the ships, which are assisting them with great precision to dock safely and efficiently. In addition, cameras supporting ANPR have also been deployed at various locations to ensure the smooth flow, identification and tracking of vehicles through every stage of their journey.
IP network video surveillance
The day was organized by Jim Kernahan, Managing Director of Trellisworks, a system integrator with extensive experience of designing, installing and maintaining IP network video surveillance, wireless and mobile network solutions.
“The visit provided an excellent opportunity for Bob (H.Y.) Hwang and his colleagues to see how the Wisenet cameras were being put to good use,” said Jim. “However, our prime objective was to meet with members of the Wightlink team to explore how Trellisworks and Hanwha Techwin can continue to work in partnership to assist them in capitalizing on the latest advances in technology.”
Hybrid energy ferry
Stuart James, Wightlink’s Marketing and Innovation Director, who has the task of devising and driving the company’s strategy of continual improvement by wisely investing in new technologies and systems, provided a guided tour of the company’s Portsmouth harbor facilities and its newest and environmentally-friendly hybrid energy ferry, Victoria of Wight.
We were able to generate a number of good ideas on how we can build on the success of the existing cameras"
“I was pleased to host the visit and take the opportunity to express our appreciation and satisfaction with how well Trellisworks and Hanwha Techwin have been working together for our benefit,” said Stuart. “Most importantly, we were able to generate a number of good ideas on how we can build on the success of the existing cameras.” The discussions which followed on from the tour focused on how the latest technology might assist Wightlink to further enhance safety and security by supporting on shore staff and the ships’ crews, as well as ensuring every passenger has the best possible customer experience.
Video security solutions
Among the options considered were specialist video applications, such as passenger counting and queue management which can be run on-board Wisenet cameras and AI Deep Learning solutions. Commenting on the visit, Bob (H.Y.) Hwang said: “We are very grateful to Stuart for providing us with a great insight into Wightlink operational requirements and also to the company’s CEO, Keith Greenfield, who kindly took the time to greet us.”
“We are understandably delighted that a prestigious and superbly well-run company such as Wightlink has placed its trust in Hanwha Techwin to provide effective and future proof video security solutions. We are looking forward to working ever more closely with Trellisworks, which is a member of our STEP partnership program, to ensure together we are always able to exceed Wightlink’s expectations.”
Dahua Technology – one of the pioneer video technology companies – has entered into a six-figure sponsorship deal with Celtic FC, supplying the club with state of the art video-based technology and equipment.
Under the sponsorship deal, Dahua is supplying video walls for locations such as the Celtic Store and Media Center at Celtic Park, high-tech quad-rotor drones to help with player training and development, and electronic whiteboards to be used for staff training, as well as meetings and presentations for staff and visitors.
Highly visible aspects
As part of the new partnership, Dahua will be appearing across a range of Club assets, on LED pitch-side banners, and on the club’s website and match programs. The deal represents the first ever major sponsorship by Dahua Technology in the UK and Ireland.
The deal represents the first ever major sponsorship by Dahua Technology in the UK and Ireland
“We are thrilled about our sponsorship of Celtic FC,” said Michael Lawrence, Marketing Director at Dahua Technology UK & Ireland. “As well as the highly visible aspects of the sponsorship, this deal represents a real partnership between Celtic FC and Dahua, and is an example of our engagement with communities across the UK and Ireland.”
High quality technology
Commenting on the deal, Cheng Zeng, Business Development Manager for China and Asia at Celtic FC said: “We are delighted to launch this partnership today with Dahua Technology. Their expertise and high quality technology will enhance both fan experience in our stores and business operations as a whole. We hope to work with Dahua long into the future.”
As well as the equipment supplied to Celtic FC, Dahua Technology manufactures a range of innovative and technically advanced video equipment. These include TiOC, a three-in-one camera that integrates 24/7 full-color monitoring, active deterrence and Artificial Intelligence into one smart unit; WizSense, a series of products and solutions that utilize Artificial Intelligence and deep learning algorithms; and its Starlight range of low-light video technology.
Evolv Technology announced that Hersheypark® is using Evolv’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based, touchless security screening system as part of the much-loved theme park’s robust COVID-19 safety measures.
Hersheypark was originally created by businessman and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey more than 110 years ago as leisure grounds for employees of Hershey's Chocolate Factory.
Embodying the passion of its namesake, the park is dedicated to its global reputation as a safe, fun family destination offering something entertaining for everyone, regardless of age. Hersheypark welcomes millions of guests annually and was recently honored by the 2020 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards.
Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour
Evolv is involved in the digital transformation of physical security, one that is touchless and addresses the ‘new normal’ threat of pandemic viruses as well as concealed weapons. Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour - 10 times faster than legacy approaches such as metal detectors, hand wands and manual inspections.
The system enables Hersheypark to facilitate social distancing at its security checkpoints while minimizing person-to-person interaction-requiring no stopping, no emptying of pockets or removing bags.
Park guests simply walk through naturally, alleviating potential long lines at their entrances while greatly reducing contact between guests, employees and security staff. By using Evolv Express, organizations have been able to optimize the performance of their security teams while reducing screening expenses by as much as 70%.
Renovated main entrance
Following state mandates related to the pandemic and an abundance of caution, Hersheypark’s opening was delayed until July 3, which marked the debut of the park’s completely renovated main entrance designed to provide a stress-free, welcoming experience for guests.
A component of a 23-acre “Hershey’s Chocolatetown” development and park expansion, the Evolv Express systems are located at Hersheypark’s new main entrance.
Health and safety
The health and safety of our guests, team members and our community are core to our brand"
“Hersheypark prides itself on providing family fun in a clean, green and safe environment where our guests can relax and enjoy the day together,” said Garrett Gallia, vice president of communications and corporate relations at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. “The health and safety of our guests, team members and our community are core to our brand and our most important commitment to all those who choose to honor us with a visit or work as a member of our team. Using Evolv’s touchless security screening platform is a perfect example of Hersheypark’s forward-thinking application of digital technology. Evolv Express is designed to grow with us to meet the current and future safety needs of our guests and employees, which we view as a significant benefit over traditional solutions.”
Response to Evolv Express at Hersheypark has been uniformly positive. Guests welcome how rapid and unobtrusive the process is while making them feel even safer.
Optimizing staff resources
The park’s security professionals emphasize how easy it is to learn and use the system The park’s security professionals emphasize how easy it is to learn and use the system while optimizing their staff resources. With metal detectors, it typically takes the park four to five seconds per person for the screening, regularly followed by hand searching of bags or other personal items.
With Evolv Express, most guests now stroll through at their normal pace not even realizing the screening process is occurring and then begin their day of fun and relaxation.
The park’s security team estimates a four-to-five times improvement in the number of guests screened per hour using the system when compared to metal detectors or other dated approaches. The frictionless experience that precludes unnecessary physical contact registers high on the list for everyone.
Security screening process
Our guests and security staff have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of the touchless screening experience"
“We knew our former security screening process would provide challenges in the pandemic environment,” said Jason White, managing director of corporate safety and security at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. “We’d already been evaluating how we could improve on our guest screening process and had piloted Evolv Express last fall because the system could accommodate thousands of people an hour in a frictionless, no-stop flow. As we began formulating the security screening aspect of our pandemic reopening strategy, it was clear that Evolv Express was the best solution that could meet our requirements. Our guests and security staff have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of the touchless screening experience that largely eliminates manual bag checks. The responsive customer support and working relationship we have with the Evolv team is just as phenomenal as their product.”
Touchless security screening
Deployed worldwide, Evolv’s touchless security screening systems have been used to screen more than 50 million individuals in an expedient, respectful manner.
In addition to Hersheypark, customers include Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, L.L. Bean, Wynn Las Vegas, Georgia Aquarium, Set Jet, Oakland International Airport, two South Carolina school districts, the Biltmore Estate and hundreds of others.
“Navigating the path to reopening requires an employee-and-customer-first commitment to safety, combined with the vision to embrace new policies, procedures and technologies,” said Evolv Technology Chief Executive Officer Peter George. “Hersheypark embodies that approach and it has been wonderful to see their security leaders like Jason White helping peers at other venues understand what’s required in this new normal. We’re thrilled to be working with such a visionary team.”
New software developments have dominated technology innovation in the physical security industry for years, making more things possible to the benefit of integrators and end users. However, hardware is another important piece of the puzzle. No matter how great your software, the system doesn’t perform unless the hardware works too. In our enthusiasm over software developments, let’s not overlook the latest in the hardware world. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do hardware improvements drive better physical security?
Dark video images contain little or no information about the subject being surveilled. Absence of light can make it difficult to see a face, or to distinguish the color of clothing or of an automobile. Adding light to a scene is one solution, but there are also new technologies that empower modern video cameras to see better in any light. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact does lighting have on the performance of video systems?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have made a big splash in the physical security market, transforming video analytics to a new level of accuracy. In fact, the terms have become common buzzwords throughout the industry. However, the potential for AI and machine learning to impact the physical security industry goes far beyond their ability to improve video analytics. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Beyond better video analytics, how can artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning benefit the physical security market?