The Innovation Gallery is an initiative promoted by the pioneering Spanish Security event, SICUR, that recognizes businesses who have demonstrated true innovation and made a significant contribution to technological development in their sector. OPTEX was featured among the top 14 winners in the Security category by a panel of industry experts for its innovative ViiK radar-based vehicle sensors. ViiK’s sensors are above-ground vehicle detectors which require no civil engineering works to b...
WTRVS-8/15 is a small and lightweight voice reach talking pendant. Compact and easy-to-use, WTRVS-8/15 is designed to provide complete protection anywhere around the home at any time with the simple touch of a button. WTRVS-8/15 allows immediate post-alarm voice follow up after an emergency call without any delay and effort. With a simple press of a button it can open two-way voice communication channel between the user and the Central Monitoring Station. Additionally, users can talk to the Cen...
The Security Industry Association (SIA) announces the agenda and speaker lineup for the 2020 SIA GovSummit, its annual public policy and government security technology conference, taking place June 1-4. Due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, SIA GovSummit will be held as a virtual event in 2020, and for the first time ever, the conference will be entirely free to all attendees from industry and government. Offering additional sessions “SIA GovSummit 2020 will explore how security...
IPVideo Corp. announces that it will be releasing new product features for their HALO IOT Smart Sensor that will provide security for privacy areas. The new award-winning features of the HALO IOT Smart Sensor include spoken keyword alerting, gunshot detection and masked signature identification. These new features will be available through HALO’s firmware 2.0 update. Individuals under duress can now utilize a spoken keyword to send instant alerts to security for help in privacy areas that...
Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the perf...
Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS), the global video wall and visual display providers, has expanded into a new HQ and demo facility in response to customer demand. The facility, close to the M65 near Burnley and in walking distance of the rail network, provides a larger, upgraded showcase for UVS and its technology partners’ integrated solutions. Security system integrators Since opening the new location last month, UVS has already had a record number of visitors, including police forces,...
IP audio and control innovator Barix announces the opening of a new research and development center for next-generation, intelligent audio technologies. Based in Aveiro, Portugal, the Barix Innovation Center focuses on “what’s next” for the company, including audio analytics, anomaly detection, predictive maintenance, and environmental sound monitoring. Barix Founder and CTO Johannes Rietschel identified Aveiro as the ideal location given its proximity to the University of Aveiro, one of Europe’s famous technical institutions. Barix has been aggressively hiring local engineering talent, including recent university graduates, to fill key engineering and research roles. The close proximity to one of Barix' long-term, strategic production partners, HFA SA, will further accelerate Barix’s ability to quickly build custom solutions at this new facility. Energy-efficient solutions Our new Innovation Centre places Barix in the centre of European digital development, a perfect home for Barix" Barix’s business headquarters will remain in Zurich, and will retain its local engineering talent alongside all sales, marketing, product management and other staff. “Aveiro is known as Portugal’s ‘digital city’ and produces a high rate of digital technology innovations, many of which originate from university students and graduates,” said Rietschel. “Our new Innovation Center places Barix in the centrer of European digital development, a perfect home for Barix, which has brought Audio over IP innovations to broadcast, commercial AV, security, retail and other markets for 20 years.” “This new location does not replace our Zurich operation; rather, it will propel Barix innovation in new directions. And we will use our latest-generation, modular platforms to build very powerful, reliable, compact and energy-efficient solutions that serve a continually evolving set of end user requirements.” Widespread adoption of AI At the recent ISE 2020 Show for AV professionals, Barix offered a preview into its next-generation intelligent Audio over IP solutions. These include environmental audio monitoring, detection and analytics solutions for everything from general concerns (noise measurement) to highly sensitive operations (global, universal emergency intercoms, government facility monitoring). We expect widespread adoption of AI and adaptive learning innovations" “The new age of intelligent, widespread devices that understand and hear their surrounding is only beginning,” said Reto Brader, CEO, Barix. “We expect widespread adoption of AI and adaptive learning innovations in all of our markets, and we are proud to have secured highly qualified talent in Portugal for our next-generation research and development team.” Custom-developed OEM products Among the first manufacturers to bring Audio over IP products to market, Barix enjoys an exceptionally large base of installed products worldwide, including custom-developed OEM products for other companies. In recent years, Barix has accelerated product development for its core markets, including multi-site audio distribution (RetailPlayer, SoundScape), intercom and paging (Paging Cloud, IP Former), and broadcast audio transport (SIP Opus hardware codecs, Reflector uncompressed streaming service). Barix will demonstrate these now-shipping products, along with next-generation prototypes from the new Barix Innovation Center, at the 2020 NAB Show for broadcasters (April 19-22, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth C1139) InfoComm 2020 for AV professionals (June 17-19, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth C6150), and ISC West for security professionals (July 2020, Sands Convention Center, Las Vegas, Booth 19140; rescheduled from March 17-19).
IP Communications enabler Softil announces that its BEEHD technology has been selected by Fujitsu Spain to build the ARCONTE Trial Recording System. The multilingual, secure, modular and adaptable digital recording system will allow courts to work more quickly, transparently, and cost-efficiently. The system also ensures compliance with strict mandatory data requirements across Europe, Middle East, India and African (EMEIA) jurisdictions where courts are legally required to record and store legal proceedings. Cloud-ready system ARCONTE is already used by three out of four Spanish courts and has processed more than five million court cases to date. The cloud-ready system seamlessly integrates with other judicial applications and can store more than 500,000 hours of video per year. Fujitsu now offers courts across the EMEIA region the finest trial recording system on today’s market" “Fujitsu now offers courts across the EMEIA region the finest trial recording system on today’s market,” says Vicente Delás, Director of Justice Solutions at Fujitsu Spain. “Inevitably, our developers turned to the world’s leading IP enabler Softil for its software development kit and support teams to build the Fujitsu ARCONTE system.” Case management applications “Softil’s BEEHD technology is enabling many of the world’s IP communications providers to deliver the highest quality end-products across all sectors of human activity and Fujitsu ARCONTE is a perfect example,” adds Pierre Hagendorf, Softil’s CEO. Fujitsu ARCONTE enables courts to seamlessly and securely record audio-video, and to catalog, store, share and electronically distribute all the documentation generated during court hearings and trials. This significantly speeds up administrative processes. For minimal disruption and added efficiency, the solution can be easily integrated with other court applications, including case management applications. Data security and integrity Fujitsu ARCONTE uses digital seals and signatures to certify recordingsAs courts move towards paperless, electronic processing, the cloud-ready solution from Fujitsu offers a reliable, powerful audio and video recording platform to replace traditional documentation methods, while offering maximum data security and integrity. Fujitsu ARCONTE uses digital seals and signatures to certify recordings, helping meet compliance requirements. The new video conferencing solution is a complement of a trial recording application based on windows PC. The application allows video and voice conferencing from the same system used to record the trial and supports H323 and SIP protocols. It replaces an earlier video conferencing solution from another IP supplier from lack of support. Development of voice and video solutions BEEHD was chosen as a replacement and Fujitsu decision has “since been validated and impressed with the quality, time to market, support received and overall experience working with Softil,” adds Vicente Delás. Softil’s BEEHD technology is a cross-platform framework designed for chipset vendors, device manufacturers, system integrators, application developers and service providers looking to accelerate development of voice and video solutions over IP.
Sepura will be demonstrating a proof of concept solution at the BAPCO 2020 show slated to be held in Coventry, UK from March 10 to March 11. The company will be showing how existing TETRA radios can be repurposed for the forthcoming ESN network. Wireless Remote Speaker Mic A Sepura SC21 is being utilized as a wireless Remote Speaker Mic (RSM), driving an ESN device while also providing a solution for Direct Mode Operation, a capability currently not available on existing LTE devices. The proof of concept has been developed in conjunction with the UK Home Office to show how current TETRA devices can be repurposed to be used during and after the ESN transition, ensuring maximum return on investment for each force, while also making use of proven, high-tech radios. SC Series hand-portable TETRA radios UK police forces have purchased over 65,000 SC Series hand-portable TETRA radios from Sepura in the last 18 months, all of which would be eligible for the repurpose solution, available on both the SC21 and its larger sister model the SC20. The demonstration allows the solution to be controlled from a single device while switching between ESN RSM, TETRA direct mode and TETRA TMO operation. By utilizing Sepura’s state-of-the-art SC Series radios, the solution inherits the radio’s operational advantages; clear audio, water porting in the speaker and microphone and the compatibility with Sepura’s proven, rugged accessories. BAPCO 2020 The only change required to the devices from their current configuration would be a software upgrade; otherwise the solution represents a low cost, low risk investment for UK public safety organizations. Individuals can visit Sepura on stand D1 at the BAPCO show in Ricoh Arena in Coventry, United Kingdom on 10 and 11 March, 2020.
IP audio and control interface innovator Barix is heading to the ISC West 2020 security industry trade show with a wide range of powerful yet cost-efficient new hardware innovations and third-party integrations. The company will exhibit in booth 19140 at the event, taking place from March 17 to 20 at the Sands Expo and Conference Center in Las Vegas. SIP Audio Endpoint hardware A centerpiece of Barix’s new product demonstrations will be the North American debut of the SIP Audio Endpoint hardware, the company’s most feature-rich SIP interface solution to date. First unveiled at ISE 2020 in Amsterdam last month, the SIP Audio Endpoint enables integrators to seamlessly and cost-effectively bridge analog audio inputs and outputs with SIP-based VoIP (Voice over IP) telephone systems. IP Former is Barix’s newest innovation for adding IP networking capabilities to new or existing loudspeaker designs The robust yet inexpensive device supports a broad range of audio codecs including Opus, G.711, G.722 and GSM. Contact closures allow triggering from physical interfaces such as call buttons, while features such as DTMF tone dialing support maximize integration possibilities. IP networking capabilities Additional highlights at the Barix booth will include: IP Former is Barix’s newest innovation for adding IP networking capabilities to new or existing loudspeaker designs. Replacing the 70/100V transformer traditionally used with analog loudspeakers, the PoE-powered device provides an IP network interface, audio stream decoder and amplifier front-end for a two- to eight-ohm speaker. Flexibly supporting a wide range of security applications including paging and emergency warning systems, IP Former decodes PCM, AACplus, MP3, Opus, G.711 and G.722 audio streams delivered via HTTP, RTP or UDP, and also features SIP negotiation for use with VoIP phone systems. The Barionet family of I/O, IoT sensor and interface controllers are the preferred choice of security integrators and system designers for controlling, automating and monitoring critical systems in both in commercial and residential environments. The openly programmable Barionet devices provide robust bridges between IP-based security platforms and physical interfaces such as distress buttons, fire alarm panels, motion sensors, light switches, door activators and more. Barix will display Barionet models ranging from the base Barionet 50 to the latest-generation Barionet 400. Barix will also highlight new integrations and interoperability between the above offerings and enterprise-class mass notification systems including Singlewire Software’s InformaCast, Syn-Apps’ Revolution and Honeywell’s Unified Notification Platform (UNP), enabling users of these platforms to benefit from the reliability and cost-effectiveness of Barix hardware endpoints. Audio across IP networks Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide “Barix continues to develop innovative hardware solutions that deliver exceptional reliability and value for security applications in their own right, but we also recognize that their benefits are further unlocked as part of complete, unified ecosystems,” said Reto Brader, CEO of Barix. “We look forward to showcasing not only our new solutions also our new integrations and partnerships to ISC West attendees.” Show attendees can receive a free ISC West expo pass courtesy of Barix by registering via the link. Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide. They move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for nearly two decades with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide. Advertising insertion for retail shops Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions. Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.
Drones are commonly known for flying in the sky, but a new breed is rolling around on the ground and swimming in the ocean. Now, in an alliance straight out of science fiction, two CT-based drone companies are joining forces to take on the task of protecting our planet using both airborne and amphibious drones by automating operations in security, environmental and even military fronts, globally. Harford based Aquiline Drones (AD), a premiere Cloud and drone solutions company, will be powering GuardBot's spherical and amphibious robotic vehicles via the AD Cloud (or ADC). Like Amazon's AWS, ADC is quickly becoming the industry Gold Standard for all Unmanned Vehicle (UV) operations, taking full advantage of its capacity, modularity and truly salient features for autonomous assignments, operations and quests. Advanced AI for complicated missions “Our new alliance with Aquiline Drones now gives us the ability to program our bots with advanced AI for complicated missions in surveillance, security and detection. And with AD’s focus on US supply chain manufacturing, this is truly pioneering a new direction for drone technology in the US,” noted Peter Muhlrad, President of GuardBot. "GuardBot was initially conceived for a planetary mission on Mars. As such, our robots can traverse all terrains, including paved roads, dirt paths, dunes, snowy fields, sloped mountains, or even water surfaces. GuardBot spherical robots can even navigate upstream,” said Muhlrad. “And with the right sensor, camera and/or acoustic package, the use cases are endless,” Muhlrad notes. “Our new collaboration with Aquiline Drones couldn’t be timelier! The first batch of GuardBots will be manufactured at AD’s downtown Hartford facility starting in May,” added Muhlrad. Interchangeable sensors Each GuardBot is equipped with pods on its right and left sides that contains interchangeable sensors GuardBot’s circular drones range from 6.5 inches to 7 feet in diameter and move using a patented drive-mechanism that allows it to easily provide forward and backward motion as well as make 360-degree turns. They can operate continuously for up to 25 hours on one charge and reach speeds of up to 12 mph on land and 3 mph in water. Each GuardBot is equipped with pods on its right and left sides that contains interchangeable sensors, such as video cameras, thermal, infrared, microphones GPS and audio for continuous content gathering, transmission of data and constant communication with command control. AI and IoT infrastructure management “In the coming months, ADC will undergo rigorous testing, hosting and management trials with GuardBot’s proprietary software application. ADC’s highly modular AI architecture is suitable for crucial customization of solutions typically not available in the open marketplace. And, as an unmanned vehicle cloud, no other cloud platform provides the same level of robustness and salient features that enable complex mission planning scenarios, autonomous flight and ground operations powered by AI and IoT infrastructure management,” said Barry Alexander, Founder and CEO of Aquiline Drones and AD Cloud Services. “We eagerly anticipate integrating GuardBot’s entire network of all-terrain drones into our cloud to provide enterprise asset management (EAM) services, including data gathering, analytics, modeling and storage capabilities,” Alexander added. "Additionally, the timing of this hi-tech endeavor could not be more opportune - not just for Connecticut, which is quickly becoming the drone capital, but for our entire nation!" Advocates workforce development Admittedly, drone technology is exciting, ushering in a plethora of opportunity industry wide" "Admittedly, drone technology is exciting, ushering in a plethora of opportunity industry wide. AD strongly advocates workforce development and intends on using the burgeoning AD brand to further expand the industry, thus creating opportunity for all interested,” Alexander continued. "Given the abundance of use cases in our defense department and other government agencies, AD is particularly pleased with the opportunity it delivers to our veterans,” Alexander added. “Not only is GuardBot useful technology, but it is truly thrilling,” said Alexander. "Civic unions are born out of compatibility, and business is no different. Can’t think of a better way to describe the exciting collaboration between Aquiline and GuardBot,” Alexander added. “GuardBot dovetails nicely into our business model and complements our mission of pioneering a new direction in the UAV/S industry where safety comes first,” Alexander concluded. Audio/visual sensors As GuardBot’s amphibious and land-based drones can be outfitted to carry payloads, such as audio/visual sensors, fire retardant liquids and ground penetrating radar, Muhlrad and Alexander both emphasize that the collaboration of their companies will produce a variety of new and powerful capabilities for drone systems, including: Aquatic Military Missions Forest Fire Mitigation Security Monitoring (home, construction and commercial endeavors) Beach Patrol and Harbor Security School Safety Identification and Detection of Explosive Materials Ecologic and Geologic Testing (of volcanoes, mountains and other land structures to detect and warn of natural disasters) Parking Garage/Lot Surveillance Homeland Security Amphibious Surveillance Broadcasting and Multi-Venue Live Sportscasting Monitoring Hazardous Materials Spills and Environmental damage Safety Monitoring of Dangerous Weather Conditions Detection of Hazardous Chemicals Strict safety standards Further, through cloud-based transmitters, AD’s aerial hardware will be able to deploy and communicate with GuardBot’s ground-based vehicles for a seamless unmanned system that works together in solving potential life-threatening issues like fires, theft, vandalism and violent attacks. “Being pilot-owned and boasting more than 200 years of collective experience in the aviation industry, Aquiline Drones understands and adheres to the strict safety standards of the Federal Aviation Administration,” adds Alexander. “In addition, as one of only four drone airline companies in the United States holding an FAA 135 Air Carrier Certificate, we offer future operational flexibility to facilitate approvals and exemptions on non-traditional, augmented and unique UAV operations such as the GuardBot collaboration.”
EZVIZ Inc., the global smart home security brand, is sharing the news that it launches the Full HD Wi-Fi Outdoor Turret wall-mounted camera in the UK. With full HD 1080p resolution video, the camera delivers crystal clear monitoring all day and super night vision so that images still remain visible in full clarity no matter the time of day. The Outdoor Turret Camera also uses active defense including a strobe light, customized voice alerts and 100db alarm for full peace of mind when away from the home. It is available now for £99.99 from Argos. Adjusting motion detection sensitivity Users can set protected areas by drawing specific zones of interest through the EZVIZ app The easy to setup EZVIZ Outdoor Turret camera professionally and reliably safeguards outdoor areas of homes or businesses with high quality 1080p full HD images and night vision (up to 30m/98 feet) providing clear images and clips of any unwanted or unusual outside activity. Not only useful for recording clips and images, users can set protected areas by drawing specific zones of interest through the EZVIZ app and adjust motion detection sensitivity as well as making these apply only during specific times (e.g. during the night). If an unwanted intruder does enter the property, the Outdoor Turret camera has an active defense system with both light and sound to deter them including customization. The camera will flash a warning light and play a sound to drive them away whilst sending a push notification to the user’s smartphone so they can view what has happened and take appropriate action. Video compression technology It is also possible to create three 10-second audio recordings through the EZVIZ app so that the protection of properties can be personalized and unique to the homeowner. The built-in strobe light and 100db alarm is an effective combination to deter any suspicious activity. Using the latest H.265 video compression technology, the videos are clearer and smoother whilst reducing the need for bandwidth and data storage space such as microSD cards and the cloud, thus saving users money. It is easy to talk to visitors through the app when these notifications occur Durable and with 24/7 all season protection, the outdoor wall-mounted camera is secure in any weather. Due to its IP66 enclosure rating, it is resistant against rain, snow, and also dustproof so can keep recording and looking after homes comfortably year after year. Using the app, EZVIZ provides motion detection alerts through notifications to smartphones no matter where the user is. With the two-way talk function, it is easy to talk to visitors through the app when these notifications occur. Anti-Interference capabilities Able to have clear conversations through the camera and app, it is integrated with a professional de-noising algorithm to filter background noise for enhanced voice quality and the internal MIC is also waterproof and supports audio pickup within five metres. Clips and recordings can also be viewed live as well as historical videos held on the app for users to access at a convenient time with the ability to use an up to 8x zoom. The Outdoor Turret Camera features dual antennas for enhanced connection and includes wall-penetration and anti-interference capabilities so the Turret stays online more securely. The two built-in antennas ensure a robust and reliable Wi-Fi connection. In order to store recordings, the EZVIZ Outdoor Turret offers multiple solutions. The camera can hold a microSD card (up to 256GB) for local continuous storage upon each detection or, alternatively, there is the option to sign up to their Encrypted Cloud Storage system (EZVIZ Cloud) for additional back-up.
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology Overview And Early Adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations At Critical Infrastructure Sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial Applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation And Advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New Market Opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-Sensor Thermal Solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so. Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.
It amazes me how in a few short years security systems have gone from simple, dumb cameras witnessing events to intelligent eyes, ears, speech and touch solutions that boost situational awareness far beyond human capabilities. It seems the only senses missing from the equation now are smell and taste. And who knows, someone might be working on those in a lab somewhere right now. But what’s really fascinating to me is how the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened a world of possibilities for transforming security technology into something new yet again. With IoT we’re able to push and pull nuggets of intelligence from sources we never considered before: environmental sensors, pressure plates, door lock timers and much more. It’s helped us break through the constraining mindset that security systems are strictly single-purpose. With interconnectivity at the core, we’re starting to imagine myriad ways to apply these tools to challenges outside the realm of security. Here are just a few examples. Flood Management Assistance Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate remotely As recent hurricanes and floods have shown, water damage can be devastating to a community. That’s why some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem. Water sensors collect data from multiple sources such as rain gutters, sewer systems and pump stations, in order to monitor fluctuations in water levels and water quality. If an alert triggers, having a network camera in proximity to visually verify the situation helps responders determine the best course of action. For instance, if multiple water detection sensors trigger alerts simultaneously or sequentially over a large area it’s probably due to natural runoff from recent rainfall. But without eyes on the scene, how can you be sure? Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely. It might be a fire hydrant spewing water, a water main break or even a chemical spill. With video streaming live to the command center, staff can remotely inspect the area, determine the cause of the trigger and decide whether remediation is required, thus avoiding the expense of dispatching an investigative crew to a non-event. Some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem Environmental Control Assistance Data centers house the lifeblood of a business so it’s no wonder why companies work hard to protect them. We’re all familiar with the integration of network cameras with access control systems to visually verify who is actually using the credentials. Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely But there’s another aspect to protecting data centers and that’s environment control. Data centers need to maintain optimum humidity and temperature for the racks of electronics. When environmental sensors in the facility detect out-of-norm ranges technicians can remotely command a network camera to zoom in on the gauges and help them determine whether remediation might be necessary. Coupling network cameras with other sensors in the data center can provide visual confirmation of other conditions as well. For instance, every time a data rack door-open-close sensor detects an event it can trigger the camera to pan to the location and stream video to security. Some data centers employ weight sensors at the doorway to weigh personnel and equipment as they enter the room and when they exit to ensure no additional hardware is being taken out of the facility or left inside without permission. Any discrepancy would trigger the camera to zoom in for a close-up of the individual’s face and send a visual alert and ID information to security. Roadway Management And Parking Assistance Network cameras have long played a part in city-wide traffic management. Adding video analytics and integration with network sensors, makes those cameras that much smarter and versatile. They can detect cars driving in bike lanes or driving in the wrong direction and capture license plates of offenders. Their ability to detect anomalous traffic flow patterns can be integrated with car counting sensors, networked electronic road signs and traffic light systems to automatically redirect vehicles to alternate routes. They make great, intelligent parking lot attendants, too. Working in conjunction with weight sensors network cameras can count vehicles coming into and leaving a lot or garage and verify when the facility has reached capacity. License plate recognition and video analytics can be used to ascertain that a vehicle entering a reserved parking space doesn’t match the credentials and vehicle attributes in the database. With the addition of noise sensors and audio analytics, network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds – breaking glass, car alarms, gun shots, and aggressive speech – and triggering a visual alert to first responders. Network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds and triggering a visual alert to first responders Shopper Experience Assistance In the early days of online shopping, e-tailers designed their sites to replicate the in-store customer experience. In an ironic turn of events, today brick-and-mortar stores are trying to mirror the online shopping experience. To do so, they’re turning their security systems into adjunct sales assistance. With network video and audio system automation they can recognize and acknowledge loyal customers with personal greetings. Retailers are applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service With heatmapping analytics they can measure how much time a customer spends in a specific department or observe how they walk through the aisles of the store. They can track shopping behaviors such as items looked at that made it into the cart or didn’t, or whether a customer actually checked out or left the merchandise behind. By capturing these shopping patterns and trends retailers can shape a more positive, more profitable customer shopping experience. For instance, integrating video analytics with point of sale systems and RFID sensors on merchandise tags can result in timely alerts to sales associates to recommend additional merchandise. This is a case of emulating how e-tailers let the customer know that other customers who bought X often also purchased items Y and Z. Or to avoid disappointing customers due to stock outages, retailers are linking weight sensors and video analytics to make sure their shelves are well-stocked and if not, quickly alert associates to what items need to be restocked. Capturing Business Intelligence Retailers are also using video cameras to monitor checkout queues and trigger automated announcements over the public-address system, closed system such as smartphones or other wireless communications devices that checkers are needed rather wait for a person to call for backup. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs They’re applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service. While retailers will always use their surveillance camera for loss prevention, they’re finding that integrating traditional technology in new ways can yield even bigger returns. Linking network video surveillance, video analytics, network communications system and sensors with point-of-sale systems and customer loyalty databases, retailers are capturing the business intelligence they need to get back in the game and make brick-and-mortar a greater overall experience than online shopping. A Natural Cross-Over Technology This trend towards integration has forever changed how organizations view their investment in security technology. The intelligence and versatility of a tool that can see, verify and analyze what’s happening in real-time is spurring users to tap its cross-over potential for a host of other tasks that could benefit from more astute situational awareness – everything from manufacturing and equipment maintenance to logistics, inventory control and beyond. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs. How we capitalize on that connection is only limited by our imagination.
There are many aspects to consider when developing a retail security strategy, including loss prevention, physical security, asset protection, risk management, and IT. All these areas could be the responsibility of just a few people working to secure a handful of stores or each of these areas could be entirely separate departments, as is often the case for major retailers with locations throughout the country. Regardless of the size of the retailer, there are many different technologies that can be used within a retail store to improve security and loss prevention, yet none should be used in a silo. There are tremendous benefits to integrating security technologies and communications systems together, including enhancing overall safety and security, reducing shrink, and improving operations. There are many different technologies that can be used within a retail store to improve security and loss prevention As the existing security infrastructure is evaluated and plans for the future are developed, the team responsible should consider some of the following questions. Are there areas of the store that require greater security? Are there notifications or other technologies that could improve the efficiency of personnel and the safety of shoppers? Are there other departments within the organization that could benefit from the data gathered by the security technology? Understanding current pain points within the stores and how integrated security solutions can address these is the key to implementing the best solution. Here are a few “hot spots” within a typical retail store that easily demonstrate the power of integrated solutions. Point Of Sale Terminals Whether it’s loss through sweet hearting or other fraud, point of sale terminals present a significant shrink risk for retailers. Integrated systems enhance security at these locations. Video recording of HD or megapixel cameras integrated with point of sale data makes it easy to locate video associated with transactions and exception reporting. This allows for visual verification of each transaction when needed.There are tremendous benefits to integrating security technologies and communications systems together Other risks like robbery not only result in loss, but also impact the safety of employees and shoppers alike. Panic buttons or bill trap sensors connected to the intrusion detection system ensure silent alarms are issued when employees are at risk. When the intrusion detection system is integrated with the video system, pressing a panic button or pulling the bill from the sensor can automatically trigger a video snapshot to be sent to the monitoring station to provide verification of the alarm and more information for law enforcement when they are dispatched. Adding audio integration to the intrusion system can also result in a message sent to the store security personnel’s two-way radio when a panic button is pushed, or a bill trap sensor is activated. If no security guard is onsite, video monitoring services can allow the monitoring center to intervene through audio, alerting the perpetrator that his or her actions are being monitored and that the authorities have been contacted. This may cause the offender to flee the area, helping to mitigate the safety risk as well as the potential for loss. Panic buttons or bill trap sensors connected to the intrusion detection system ensure silent alarms are issued when employees are at risk High Value Displays Protect high-value or frequently-stolen items such as electronics, using video analytics integrated with audio communications Protect high-value or frequently-stolen items such as electronics, using video analytics integrated with audio communications. For example, a person standing at a display for longer than a pre-defined time or touching items on display can trigger a video snapshot to be sent to the store manager and an audio message to play through a nearby loudspeaker, such as: “Thank you for your interest in our smartphone selection; an associate will be there soon to assist you.” This not only alerts potential offenders that their actions are being watched, it also serves to improve customer service for legitimate shoppers – as a retail floor associate is notified that a customer may need assistance. Cash Office An access control reader at the door to the cash office restricts access to only authorized individuals. Integrating video can automatically capture an image of the person requesting access for verifying an employee’s identification prior to granting access or for retrospective analysis in the event of a theft. Exit Doors If an employee props open a back door – either for easy re-entry after a break or to allow access to another person with intentions of theft – integration of the intrusion detection system to the video and audio system can significantly reduce risk of loss. For example, the intrusion detection system can monitor doors for abnormal conditions, even when the system is disarmed.Loss can also occur when a cooler or freezer malfunctions or when the door is accidentally left open A door left open for longer than a pre-defined time can cause an alarm on the intrusion panel, which can trigger a nearby camera to send a snapshot of the open door to the store manager and trigger the public address system to play a pre-recorded message through a nearby speaker. This prompts the employee to close the door, reducing risk of theft. Coolers And Freezers Loss isn’t just about theft. Loss can also occur when a cooler or freezer malfunctions or when the door of one of these units is accidentally left open. The same concept for monitoring exit doors can also apply to doors for coolers and freezers to prevent spoilage. A cooler or freezer door monitored by the intrusion detection system can trigger an alert or chime to play in the area to remind an employee to close the door or to alert the store manager to the issue. While providing surveillance of the cash register area, the camera's video analytics can be used to trigger an alert in case the queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold Serving A Dual Purpose Retailers can use the metadata from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store While the technology solutions described above positively impact loss prevention in a retail store, they can also extend beyond security to improve health and safety and enhance customer service as well as customer engagement and sales. For example, while securing a store’s main entrance with IP cameras featuring on-board video analytics, retailers can use the metadata from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store. This data can help them understand peak days and times when making decisions about staffing. Or while providing surveillance of the cash register area, the camera's video analytics can also be used to trigger an alert in case the number of people in a queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold. At this point, the same public address system and loudspeakers used to play background music to enhance the shopping experience could be activated to broadcast a message to request another cash register to be opened, improving store operations. For security and loss prevention purposes, video analytics can also be used to ensure that no one enters or leaves the retail shop using the emergency exit. To address health and safety issues, these same cameras can also trigger an alarm if that emergency exit is blocked by an object – improving the safety of customers and employees. When systems are used to deliver data for purposes beyond security, other departments may be willing to contribute toward the cost Metadata generated by the cameras can also be used to gather information that when processed with sophisticated algorithms in the cloud can show trajectories of the paths that shoppers take as they travel throughout a store as well as heat maps indicating where they walk, stop and dwell – all while protecting the privacy of individual shoppers. This information can be used by merchandisers to evaluate the success of displays and store layouts, which directly impacts customer engagement and sales. When systems are used for and deliver data for purposes beyond security, other departments may be willing to contribute toward the cost of the system. This provides an added benefit by relieving some of the cost burden from security or other operational budgets. Product Selection Integration is becoming easier using standards and expanding industry partnerships. However, in some cases, choosing systems from a single vendor that are designed to work together can help to speed and simplify installation, while also reducing system costs for both the integrator and the user. Regardless of the products chosen, it will be important for a retailer with many locations to have consistency in the type of equipment installed at each site. This makes support easier and enables a more uniform response to incidents that happen at various stores. As many retailers already understand, there is no silver bullet to reducing loss. However, a combination of the right technologies working together to prevent shrink and improve investigative capabilities can result in smarter and more effective loss prevention.
The boundaries between the smart home market and security market at large are narrowing. Amidst a wave of expansion, suddenly everything is becoming digital. Home automation has been around for close to 30 years but hasn’t really hit it big because integration hasn’t been that simple. Now that the Internet of Things has stepped into the market, home automation is really taking off. As technology in the smart home market advances, the gap between the residential and professional security markets is growing smaller. Additional revenue for security industry There will continue to be more opportunity for interoperability, and home automation will continue to grow and eventually become a norm. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions, have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras and other products suffice for their security. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. Data capture form to appear here! Residential security solutions Growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that" The trend has no doubt accelerated in the last couple of years. New collaborations are being made between audio-video (AV) suppliers and security solution providers. The clientele of high-end AV products is becoming increasingly concerned with home security and property protection. So, in recent months, the requirement for residential security solutions has been increasing as technical solutions can go hand in hand with AV installers’ capabilities and client base. “One of the big mistakes many make is that they assume – based on some of the hype and big market investments – that the smart home market is set to explode,” says Michael Philpott, Senior Practice Leader, Consumer Services at Ovum. "This is not the case – growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that, rather than expecting some rapid ramp up simply because some big names have entered the market.” Pressure to upgrade security standards Surprisingly for what has historically been something of a grudge purchase, in the context of home automation, security is seen as a solution some consumers are looking for. Another security aspect of home automation is cybersecurity, in particular how it applies to various IoT devices in the home. Now as connected devices gather personal information from realms long considered private and protected – the bedroom, the kitchen counter, the nursery – the risks are higher than ever. All of the data that various devices and sites have collected can be combined, shifted and then exploited by marketers or even stolen by hackers. Both manufacturers of smart home products and the companies that install them are feeling pressure to upgrade security standards. They are moving to set policies that will regulate who has access to data and how it is used. Ease of installation Advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies A recent revelation that some “smart TVs” might be listening to conversations and transmitting them to "third parties" caused an uproar. These sets have voice activated features that enable users to change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the internet by speaking to the screen or remote. The fine print in privacy policies contains warnings that general conversations are also being heard, and one company even told owners to turn off this function if they were concerned. Another impact of smart homes on the security marketplace is to raise expectations about the capabilities of commercial systems. Products made today for residential applications are very high quality, easy to install (do-it-yourself, or DIY), and have very rich feature sets. End users expect their commercial solutions to have a similar ease of use and ease of installation. Geofencing in commercial applications The quality of video that people are seeing at home is motivating some legacy commercial customers to finally move to IP video from lower resolution analog cameras. A higher percentage of commercial customers use cellphone applications to view integrated video and access control data. People’s experience with smart thermostats has them asking for geofencing in some commercial applications. In short, advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies. Read part two of our smart home mini series here.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 saw 323 mass shooting incidents as of November. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016, with ‘mass shooting’ defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. A variety of gunfire detection solutions and other technology approaches seek to address the problem. ShotSpotter SiteSecure and ShotSpotter SecureCampus provide critical outdoor infrastructure protection against active shooter attacks. SiteSecure delivers critical information such as the number of shots fired, a detailed map of the airport or transportation facility, with the shooting location clearly identified. SiteSecure also provides law enforcement and transportation facility management with real-time information that can be useful to identify and address false alarms and reduce mass panic. Gunfire detection and precise shooter location Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, ShotSpotter SecureCampus provides gunfire detectionShotSpotter SecureCampus solution is a gunfire detection system designed to provide outdoor coverage at university and school campuses. Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, SST SecureCampus provides gunfire detection, precise location, and number of shooters to first responders and school personnel, enabling faster response to an incident. Data capture form to appear here! Gunshot detection can offer tremendous benefits in mitigating active shooting incidents occurring in a public facility or commercial environment. Data shows that active shooter attacks often begin outside a building and then progress indoors. Thus, the first line of defense for security professionals lies outside a facility, in a zone of protection surrounding it or comprising the entire outdoor area of a larger facility of many buildings. audio solutions for perimeter security Video cameras are effective surveillance tools in the event of a shooting incident, but they are not able to capture everything. Deploying audio solutions can automatically flag incidents not caught on camera, as well as alert central station guards of what surveillance zones need to be closely monitored. Audio analytics solutions for aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. They are the next generation of monitoring; equipping security teams with critical information and enhancing perimeter security. End users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognizing duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. As a result, end users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen. Artificial intelligence to detect weapons A gunshot detector recognizes firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification through a designated VMS. Security staff can then verify the alert, effectively reducing the reaction time of first responders. With the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in object recognition, AI weapons detection offers an efficient alternative to gunshot detection to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognize firearms in different shapes, sizes, colors, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing camera systems, analyze the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Audio analytics, processed inside a video camera, are another approach that can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritize responses from police and emergency personnel. Detecting audio levels and alerting operators Operators can be notified of abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measuresThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom-configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.
School shootings, especially in the United States, present an ongoing tragedy and a challenge to the security industry. We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand (as reported in Education Week). “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Role of early detection Early detection of weapons in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence Early detection of weapons – and their users – in the school environment can minimize the impact of school violence. For example, ZeroEyes is an intelligent video analytics platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to detect weapons and recognize faces in real time. The company’s goal is to provide school administrators and decision-makers with a simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage. Data capture form to appear here! An emerging tool in campus security is audio analytics: Aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the campus security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognizing duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. A gunshot detector recognizes firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification. Emergency response technology CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role. For example, physical security company Sielox has adapted the idea of using a color scheme to characterize an emergency situation into its electronic security system. CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution that uses a variety of colors to designate the emergency conditions in various parts of a school building – red to alert to a crisis condition and green to designate "safe/secure". Colors are displayed on a schematic of the building, and new colors have been added, too, such as yellow for “unaccounted individual", orange for “disturbance” and blue to designate a medical emergency. CLASS offers five different alert levels and eight different colors that are configurable to denote a wide variety of emergency or non-emergency situations (such as maintenance or homeroom check-in status). Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role Non-lethal methods to suppress active shooters in schools are also emerging. For example, one remotely deployed threat suppression system drenches a perpetrator with a repulsive water-based solution, thus impairing their ability to enact violence. The solution irritates eyes, throat, lungs and skin, but does not cause permanent injury. Cleanup is easy using water and detergent. The solution is manually deployed in predetermined zones, which limits the affected areas in a building. Touch-screen control enables rapid deployment, which can also be integrated with Threat Alert buttons and/or gunshot detection. ShotSpotter gunfire tracking Gun violence is also an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located Beyond the schools themselves, gun violence is an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located. ShotSpotter, Inc. released data tracking gunfire in and around public K-12 school communities within ShotSpotter coverage areas during 2017. The data revealed more than 4,800 gunfire incidents occurred during school hours within a one-half mile radius of public K-12 schools and within the coverage area. There are 2,320 public K-12 schools and over 1,079,700 students within ShotSpotter coverage areas in 77 cities in the United States. The ShotSpotter study tracked and analyzed data on the number of gunfire incidents that occurred at or near those schools across the time period from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. local time, Monday – Friday, including summer and holidays. On a positive note, awareness of high-profile school violence has prompted action. Schools and universities are most certainly safer than ever before. High-profile incidents, especially active shooters tragedies, have increased collective security awareness. Heightened awareness leads to safer practices, improved emergency preparedness and security technology innovations. Collaborative efforts that involve stakeholder groups, such as administrators, responders and students, are the key to a safer learning environment. Investing in technology advances in 1) access control (e.g. electronic access, visitor management) and 2) communications (e.g. duress capabilities, mass notification) is the most effective way to protect people.
Sepura’s Italian partner GEG has donated vital critical communications equipment to an emergency hospital in Italy, to aid the country’s medical support during the COVID-19 outbreak. COVID-19 health facility The rapidly deployed Fiera di Bergamo hospital is situated in an event venue in Bergamo, the worst affected region in Italy and is managed by staff from a nearby permanent hospital. The facility was constructed in just a week, supported by private and corporate donations and volunteer support from the region. The facility comprises 142 beds including over 70 intensive care beds and access points for both ambulances and helicopters. As a mark of the community endeavor behind the construction, the canteen is being run by the locally-based Michelin-starred chef Vittorio Cerea, with his family volunteering to provide meals to the emergency staff. Sepura SC21 TETRA radios To ensure that all medical staff, logistic support and volunteers can communicate effectively, GEG have donated a complete critical communications system to the site, comprising of 50 Sepura SC21 TETRA radios, programming software and a TETRA base station from DAMM to provide the local network. The radios have been provided with individual battery chargers and belt clips to reduce the amount of contact with hands and to reduce the risk of cross contamination. For the control room, GEG have provided a desk mounted SRG3900, multiple charging units and desktop programming devices to ensure that the radios are correctly set up for emergency use. Training to radio fleet administration GEG also delivered training to all radio fleet administration staff on basic radio use After performing a full site inspection and installing the base station, GEG also delivered training to all radio fleet administration staff on basic radio use, including switching between talk groups and making full duplex calls. Ian Gotti, Sales Area Manager for GEG said, “Communication is particularly important in this environment, as many of the key workers in this highly pressured environment are not used to working together; on site there are member of both the Italian and Russian armies, volunteers from international emergency response and civil protection organizations, nurses and medical staff from all across Italy and many maintenance staff across site covering many functions.” He continued, “We are proud for GEG to have played our part in enabling Italy to fight back against the coronavirus and we stand with the emergency teams on the frontline that are providing the expert medical help patients desperately require.” TETRA radio communication systems Due to the protective masks worn on the mouth, communication over a critical communications device was the only available solution to the workers. The Sepura radios allow for a very quick configuration and programming of the fleet and also an efficient way to link the fleet to the control room which was vital in this situation. The radios have the additional advantage of being easy to clean and sanitize, capable of functions with minimal use of hands and provide guaranteed secure coverage even in the deepest parts of the building. Enhancing communications Victor Rodrigues, Strategic Account Director for Sepura said, “GEG have many years’ experience in selling TETRA systems into environments such as hospitals and it is a tribute to their dedication that the system was up running so quickly to support the emergency operation. We pass our best wishes to the medical staff on the frontline.”
The Supreme Court is the highest and final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Formed in October 2009, it replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the UK. At the time of writing, it has heard over 835 appeals and hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance. The building is located on Parliament Square, just opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The judges of the Supreme Court, known as Justices, have the final say on the biggest legal issues. For example, the Court recently heard the high-profile Brexit prorogation-related judicial review case of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister which sought to investigate the legality of the prorogation of parliament in Summer 2019. Live streaming and media coverage Westminster location were each equipped with four Panasonic HN130s, a RP150 camera controller "As the highest court in the land, any decision here is binding and final," explains Brian Shek, Senior System Administrator & Commercial Officer at the Supreme Court. The policy of the court is to record and broadcast hearings, in keeping with their commitment to transparency. Since its creation, all cases have been archived on their website ensuring fair and open access to all. "The reason we added live streaming and media coverage is because the justices wanted the court to be fully accessible to all members of the public," adds Brian. Shots of high production value Three court rooms at the Westminster location were each equipped with four Panasonic HN130s, a RP150 camera controller and NewTek Tricaster to efficiently record the high-profile cases. “We need PTZs because it’s not practical in a court room to have an operator manually controlling the cameras,” explains Dan Money, a technical architect and IT Manager at the Supreme Court. “You need a constant shot of the Justices bench, a back and front shot, and both a wide and close up shot to gain an understanding of what is going on in the court. PTZs are the least intrusive option that guarantees transparency in the courtroom but they also give the camera operator the right level of control and ensure shots of high production value,” highlights Dan. Panasonic PTZ camera The Supreme Court installed PTZ cameras as part of their initial set up in 2009 but were in need of an upgrade that could enable them to achieve better quality recordings. “Our first requirement was updating the camera output from SD to HD,” explains Dan. “The IT team wanted to implement a system that could do everything the original system could, but make the overall image quality look better with an intuitive system that we could understand.” For the upgrade, the IT team at the court required NDI-based PTZ camera technology. They wanted to use their own technical networking expertise to maintain the system themselves. The team were able to take the NDI IP connection from the Panasonic PTZ camera and convert it to fiber using existing runs in the building. From there, the stream was converted back to IP and into a NewTek Tricaster. Professional video output Being IP-based has made camera technology far more straightforward for individuals" “We are also planning to have the audio from all court rooms also over NDI in the future so that we can have networked video and audio over the existing building infrastructure. Being IP-based has made camera technology far more straightforward for individuals like ourselves to get to grips with providing a professional video output,” explains Dan. The communications team also wanted a HD output to enable the hosting of any events. The Supreme Courts broadcast contractor were engaged to support the Supreme Court with their broadcast operation needs and provide audio/visual engineers to operate the equipment. The first big test of the system was the high-profile Brexit prorogation-related judicial review. The case of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister investigated the decision to prorogue parliament in September 2019. 1080p network-based stream “We had originally planned to sign off the system during the recess period over the summer months – however, the case was scheduled two weeks before the system was scheduled to be implemented meaning that we had to push the project forward and deliver early to stream this case,” explains Dan. To deliver the streaming services, the team used Microsoft’s Azure Media Services platform. “This is what prompted us to implement the NDI architecture in the first place as the NewTek Tricaster is on their recommended equipment list. We had to work with the lead developer of Azure Media Services to tailor the platform to our requirements to run a 1080p network-based stream on the platform," says Dan. Two access points The R (Miller) v The Prime Minister case attracted widespread media interest and news agencies including both the BBC and Sky used the court’s live stream as part of their reporting. Two access points were installed at both the front and rear of the Supreme Court to take the camera streams accessed in the control room back to the broadcasters via an OB truck. PTZ cameras provided the correct combination of cost-efficiency, quality and service “This meant that if anything was to happen to the live stream on Azure, we had the redundancy in place so broadcasters would still be able to output video from the court room themselves,” explains Dan. This proved to be beneficial as the stream did get momentarily overloaded with an audience of four and a half million at its peak and ten million for the day. Cost-efficiency, quality and service Panasonic PTZ cameras provided the correct combination of cost-efficiency, quality and service that tended to the court’s needs. “From a feature perspective, we needed a system that was cost-effective in terms of an initial outlay but also to maintain and receive support as and when we need it. We wanted a long-term relationship, and with Panasonic we know that we’d get that. "We were very pleased with the feedback we have received on the picture quality, not only from those around the courts but also from feedback on the stream and the broadcasters too!" concludes Dan.
Highways England is the government company charged with operating, maintaining and improving England’s motorways and major A roads. In total they manage over 4,300 miles of road, carrying a third of all traffic by mileage and two thirds of all heavy goods traffic. Traffic Officers have a responsibility to help the company keep major roads free-flowing, safe and serviceable. Their ability to communicate with other patrols and back to one of the seven control rooms, using the UK’s nationwide Airwave network, is therefore crucial to their operations across the country. IP68 environmental protection The organization’s traffic officers have been long time Sepura users, and took the opportunity to upgrade to the new SC20 devices to take advantage of the loud, clear audio, essential in the noisy roadside environments that officers often work in. The rugged radio is well-equipped to deal with the challenges of daily operations; the SC20’s IP68 environmental protection ensures that the radio remains operational in wet, dirty or dusty conditions. Meanwhile the tough, large screen remains visible in all weather conditions, enabling the user to always be aware of critical messages or information being displayed. In total over 700 SC20 radios have been purchased to support operations. Product quality and customer service “It is a pleasure to further our working relationship with Highways England. As long time Sepura users, they are aware that the company prides itself on product quality and customer service. The SC20, with its rugged design and clear audio, coupled with its ability to run intelligent applications, will ensure that Highways England’s officers will be well protected and always in touch with their control center.” Says Andy Gregory, Business Development Director for Sepura. “The SC20 had a number of features that will undoubtedly enhance the safety of our officers when on patrol or attending incidents. The loud, clear audio is a key factor, ensuring that even when large goods vehicles are passing close by, critical messages can still be heard. In addition to this the rugged design of the radio ensures that even in wet, dirty conditions, our staff will be able to rely on their radio to continue working for them.” Says Al Edwards, technology operations manager for Highways England.
Video walls installed in Bristol City Council’s “world class” security operations center by visual display experts Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS) have completed 25,000 hours of continuous operation. The three video walls are each made up of 55-inch 24/7 grade LCD displays with narrow bezels and are part of a multi-purpose center which brings together some of the city’s critical support services and acts as a control center in the event of a major emergency. The Operations center, which has been operating since February 2017, houses what used to be the council’s Emergency Control Center, Traffic Control Center and Community Safety (CCTV) Control Rooms together in a single space for the first time. Live CCTV images It also installed a conference/incident video wall made up of four display These teams provide essential public safety services that utilize around 700 CCTV cameras in the city. UVS installed a curved video wall made up of 12 displays for monitoring a wide range of data including mapping, traffic monitoring and live CCTV images. It also installed a conference/incident video wall made up of four display, with access to the same data, and a smaller police incident monitoring video wall. Peter Anderson, Head of Connected City Service at Bristol City Council, said, “Having a high-quality and resilient monitoring wall is essential in providing a world class service that’s help keep the city safe, moving and healthy. The monitoring wall provides the technology and framework for effective public space surveillance which is an integral element to provide first class images which can be used to help bring offenders to justice.” Problem-free operation UVS Managing Director Steve Murphy said the ability to provide high quality displays which have operated problem-free was key. He said, “The control center was hailed as world class when it opened and obviously seamless 24/7 operation is of paramount importance. We are delighted to have hit the 25,000 hours milestone and to be part of such an important project, helping to keep the people of Bristol safe.” As well as the video walls UVS also installed two video wall controllers and inputs to allow operational staff and visitors to display tablet and mobile device data on the displays. It also provides an annual maintenance contract. Synectics Synergy VMS platform All video wall control is fully integrated to the Synectics Synergy VMS platform" Steve Murphy added, “The project was won after very detailed technical and commercial evaluation by the end client and their consultants (IBI) including detailed demonstration of the required system functionality. All video wall control is fully integrated to the Synectics Synergy VMS platform. UVS have worked closely with Synectics during the past 12 years, which ensured the seamless integration.” UVS, formerly eyevis UK, is based at Business First Burnley Business Center and provides video wall displays and audio visual solutions to a range of clients across the UK. It is led by four senior colleagues who, between them, have more than 70 years’ combined Audio Visual, Control Room and Visual Solutions experience. Providing turnkey solutions It has also opened a new London demonstration venue at Woburn Place, a short walk from Euston Station, to cope with increased demand for its technology. eyevis UK changed its name to Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS) last September following the acquisition of eyevis GmbH by the Leyard group. The rebranding has allowed the company to offer an expanded range of products and services and remain at the forefront of providing turnkey solutions for all types of audio visual and visual display applications.
For one installer, Hikvision’s range of Turbo HD PIR-equipped cameras has had a dramatic impact on his business, allowing him to more efficiently monitor and secure construction sites and other valuable locations during vulnerable out of hours periods. Paul Hookings, Managing Director of Hampshire-based security installation firm Forward Securities, had a problem. His company had built a solid reputation for, amongst a variety of other services, securing building sites, notably the important materials and equipment left overnight and unattended in the site compound. Building site compounds, Hookings explains, can include any number of super-valuable and enticing materials for potential thieves. “Diesel, copper, tools, cabling, right down to bricks, breeze blocks, agricultural fuel, road diesel, even the metal gates,” he says. “Thousands and thousands of pounds worth of stuff is stored there overnight.” Forward Securities would use traditional PIRs – passive infrared detectors – to raise an alert Intrusion detection To monitor these compounds for intruders, Forward Securities would use traditional PIRs – passive infrared detectors – to raise an alert when the compound perimeter was breached. The problem had to do with the PIRs, Hookings explains. “On critical sites like these, where there’s a lot of activity during working hours, people are able to move those PIRs in the daytime when they’re off,” he says. “And come night-time, they’re then able to return and rob the place without being picked up by the detectors, and then move the PIR back to where it was previously. Then it’s down to the security company, who end up scratching their heads, thinking: why didn’t that go off?” Passive infrared detectors As a result, Hookings was on the lookout for a solution, something which would counter that potential for tampering and provide a more effective deterrent to potential thieves. Then he noticed that Hikvision had released a new range of Turbo HD PIR cameras. “These are lovely little products,” Hookings said. “When Hikvision brought them out, I binned our separate PIRs. With a PIR camera, during the armed period, if someone moves into its field of view, there’s an alarm. If someone covers it up, it goes into alarm. If someone moves it into another direction, it goes into alarm. So I’ve binned the products we were using previously and now I exclusively use Hikvision.” Turbo HD PIR cameras The Turbo HD PIR camera range uses advanced video surveillance technologies to improve alarm accuracy and prevent intrusions. Video verification of alarms means a rapid response from a manned guarding service can be achieved. The camera’s built-in PIR detector captures infrared light given off by human bodies and distinguishes it from other visual ‘noise’. It can be ‘double knocked’ with Hikvision’s Turbo HD K series DVR’s motion detection to reduce false alarms caused by moving targets without human body IR emission. This way, filtering false alarms reduces storage space and costs, and it also means more efficient post-event footage search. Supplemental lighting The camera also produces a flashing white strobe light that serves as a warning signal to stop intruders The camera also produces a flashing white strobe light that serves as a warning signal to stop intruders. And the white light serves as supplemental lighting, enabling the camera to capture clear images of suspects as evidence when the alarm is triggered, even in extremely dark environments – such as the construction site compounds. “When we have an alarm triggered on one of our sites, we basically get a guaranteed guarding response,” Hookings says. “Because the combination of PIR detection and video serves as proof that the assailants are there. It’s a confirmed signal going to the monitoring station, and as a result we always get people apprehended.” PIRL bullet cameras The model Forward Securities prefers to use is the DS-2CE12H0T-PIRL, a 5MP bullet PIR bullet camera referred to as the ‘PIRL’. They offer 2560 x 1944 pixel resolution, smart infrared illumination up to 20m, and Hikvision’s own ‘up the coax’ technology, which allows cameras to be controlled over a coaxial cable from the DVR and also to transmit the alarm signal to DVR. They’re also IP67-rated for external use, so they’re tough and suitable for the sorts of environments, like construction sites, where they’re most needed. As an example of how he uses the Hikvision PIRL cameras, Hookings points to the example of one specific construction site currently being protected by Forward Securities. Hikvision 4K cameras and hybrid DVRs We use six PIRL cameras, as well as additional 4K Hikvision cameras running analytics and thermal cameras" “We’re securing the main compound, along with any remote sites,” he says. “We use six PIRL cameras, as well as additional 4K Hikvision cameras running analytics and thermal cameras, and they all sit on the same server, recording to a Hikvision Hybrid DVR, with alarms and images sent to our monitoring station.” Other site setups can include an audio warning system, particularly for very high value equipment. “That’s another place we’d use a PIRL,” Hookings says. “If someone, out of hours, walks up or even climbs the fence of the compound, the monitoring station is alerted to that by the PIRL camera, and they can immediately broadcast an audio warning, real time and live. That’s transmitted through the Hikvision DVR, to an amplifier and speakers.” Crime prevention and effective video surveillance “If the intruders persist despite the warning, we then get a guarding response. It’s not just big construction sites where the Turbo HD PIR cameras are effective, I do use them on other high value projects as well.” “Ultimately, the Turbo HD PIRL cameras are incredibly effective,” Hookings says. “They pick up suspicious activity, including thefts and attempted thefts, three to four times a week across all of our sites. That means they’re actively helping to prevent the thefts of materials worth hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of pounds.”
Sepura partner, Swedish Radio Supply is proud to announce that they have once again secured the trust of Region Värmland, signing an agreement to provide them with the latest products in radio communication and applications for their businesses. Through the new agreement, Swedish Radio Supply will deliver Sepura SC21 hand-portable radios and Sepura SRG3900 mobile radios for use in vehicles, as well as, a range of applications which will be delivered after the summer in around September 2019. Sepura SC21 hand-portable and SRG3900 mobile radios Region Värmland was formed in January 2019, when the County Council of Värmland, the municipal union Region Värmland, Värmlandstrafik and Karlstadsbuss merged into a common organization. The organization is responsible for development initiatives in areas such as health and medical care, public transport, infrastructure, industry etc. Region Värmland as part of the Swedish Rakel network uses Sepura TETRA terminals as a communication system for several public safety users including Ambulances, Air Ambulances, Rapid Response Vehicles, Security Guards and Traffic Management. The region's operations will implement the new products in the autumn of 2019.
Round table discussion
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
Once again, ISC West has come and gone. The show continues to please exhibitors and attendees. Reviews are generally glowing and enthusiastic. For all its successes, however, there is a certain repetition from year to year – a lot of the same players, the same technology trends (not to mention the same venue every year, but who doesn’t like Vegas?) But even among the repetition, there is usually at least one element that is surprising. Perhaps it’s the unexpected elements that keep us all coming back. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What surprised you most at ISC West in 2017?
Audio surveillance: Manufacturers & Suppliers
How To Drive B2B Security & Operations With Smart SurveillanceDownload
Wireless Security: Cut Costs Without Cutting CornersDownload
Hybrid Hyperconverged Systems Benefit Growing Storage and Retention NeedsDownload