OpenEye, the cloud video platform, and Alarm.com have completed a joint integration to offer businesses more robust security and intelligence solutions. The cloud-to-cloud integration links OpenEye’s powerful cloud-managed video platform, OpenEye Web Services (OWS), with Alarm.com’s cloud-based smart business security platform to provide users of both companies’ solutions with enhanced video verification capabilities and advanced real-time alert notifications. The integration...
IDIS’s latest tech-explainer eBook – The Benefits of Deep Learning Driven Intelligent Video Analytics – explores how a new generation of AI video solutions is delivering better security, safety, operational efficiency, and business intelligence. The eBook, which can be downloaded now from the IDIS website, reflects the company’s commitment to supporting its systems integrator partners as they focus on delivering advanced video solutions into growth sectors. Modern netwo...
Security dealers are often faced with finding ways to differentiate their companies and add tangible value to the services they provide. Now Connect ONE® dealers can offer expanded reporting and documentation to their customers through SmartTest™, an embedded feature of the award-winning service and management platform from Connected Technologies. SmartTest details all interaction with support documentation on exactly what was performed – so customers know what they are pa...
Global MSC Security will debate the ability of artificial intelligence to help Security Managers and Surveillance Camera Operators improve how live incidents are handled. Experts in facial recognition, criminal behavior will participate in the Developing Smart Surveillance Operators free-to-attend online broadcast on 16th March at 13:00 (GMT). Keynotes will be presented by Dr. Craig Donald, Professor James Ferryman, and Tony Porter QPM LLB, with the broadcast, also featuring an in-depth Q&A...
STANLEY Security, one of the UK’s pioneer security providers, launches intelligent maintenance, an innovative cloud-based service designed to keep security systems up and running, for maximum effectiveness at a minimum cost. Intelligent Maintenance is a proactive service that STANLEY Security has introduced to enhance the level of service and maintenance of CCTV and Intruder systems. The new service forms a direct connection with CCTV or Intruder systems to automatically and actively moni...
Quantum Corporation announces that its StorNext® File System is the fastest file system for video workloads. In testing using the independent SPEC SFS 2014 benchmark, the StorNext 7 system outperformed all other file systems across all three performance metrics, using a reference architecture with 57% fewer storage nodes than the next nearest vendor and at a much lower cost per concurrent stream. These results demonstrate that StorNext provides the best performance and best value for...
London Ambulance Service announced that 529 violent incidents have been reported between April 2020 and January this year. To protect their frontline workers, the Ambulance Service has started to roll out Motorola Solutions VB400 body-worn video solutions to help their frontline workers to deal with assaults and threats. “The health, safety, and wellbeing of our crews are of utmost importance. We want to take every precaution possible to ensure that our frontline people are safe whilst at work,” said Garrett Emmerson, Chief Executive Officer at London Ambulance Service. Evidence management software “We are confident that video security will deter abusive and threatening behavior and improve the safety and confidence of our emergency medical crews.” Medics can rely on the Motorola Solutions VB400 body camera to record incidents when patients or members of the public become aggressive or abusive. The new body-worn cameras will be used alongside a back-office evidence management software The footage will allow for ‘independent witness’ evidence, providing transparency and accountability for the public and ambulance crews. The new body-worn cameras will be used alongside a back-office evidence management software from Motorola Solutions to securely manage and process captured video footage. Emergency ambulance service London Ambulance Service is the busiest emergency ambulance service in the U.K., serving one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse cities. It plays an important role in giving access to emergency and urgent care in the capital and is striving to ensure patients receive the right response, in the right place, at the right time. The Ambulance Service covers an area of 620 square miles, with 8000 people who work or volunteer for the service. “It’s vital to ensure the safety of citizens and ambulance crews alike. This investment in video security will play a crucial role to protect communities and London Ambulance Service crews who are on the frontline every day, saving lives,” said Mark Schmidl, Senior Vice President at Motorola Solutions.
ONVIF, the renowned global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, is pleased to announce the appointment of Leonid (Leo) Levit as the new Chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee. Leonid Levit serves as Director of System Integration at Axis Communications and brings to the Chairman’s role a strong technical background and more than a decade of product management, marketing, and sales experience. Levit takes over from Per Björkdahl, who is stepping down from the role of Chairman after nine years. Video surveillance and access control products major “For the past decade, ONVIF has worked to facilitate nearly universal interoperability of IP physical security devices and clients, enabling end users and systems integrators to have freedom of choice in their selection of video surveillance and access control products,” said Leonid Levit. I look forward to being part of the next evolution of ONVIF, as it continues to support our evolving industry" He adds, “I look forward to being part of the next evolution of ONVIF, as it continues to support our evolving industry and the deepening relationships between analytics, IoT, AI and other technologies.” Prior to his role as Director of System Integration, Leonid Levit was Global Product Manager of Analytics Solution at Axis Communications. His past work experience includes roles at Sony Mobile Communications and Ericsson Mobile Platforms. Interoperability of IP physical security products Founded in 2008, ONVIF is a renowned and well-recognized industry forum, driving interoperability for IP-based physical security products. The organization has a global member base of established cameras, video management systems, and access control companies, and more than 19,000 profile conformant products. ONVIF offers Profile S for streaming video, Profile G for recording and storage, Profile C for physical access control, Profile Q for improved out-of-the-box functionality, Profile A for broader access control configuration, and Profile T for advanced streaming. ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperable solutions that ONVIF-conformant products can provide.
Smart R Distribution’s ability to provide installers throughout the UK with a competitive edge, has been enhanced with the news that it has been appointed an authorized distributor of the new Comelit Secur HUB wireless intruder alarm system. About Comelit Secur HUB Utilizing the Comelit Cloud solution and offering both Wi-Fi and LAN connectivity, Secur HUB operates by way of a secure, high-performance, two-way radio link between the control panel and the sensors. Secur HUB is designed to enable residents and businesses to seamlessly monitor and manage the intruder alarm functionality alongside their Comelit video door entry and Comelit CCTV systems, with the help of a free, feature-rich Comelit App. Design, features, and functions Designed for quick installation and supported by an intuitive wizard, Secur HUB does not require ports to be opened on the router in order to manage it, or for viewing any connected CCTV cameras. Via the App, users can remotely set or unset the system, check the status of individual sensors, organize notifications to match their requirements, and view the control panel’s event log. Up to 16 high-definition IP network security cameras can be directly connected to the control panel, enabling users to view live video streams via the App, while up to 4 of the cameras can be triggered to start recording when there is an alarm event, in order to provide visual verification of the incident. In addition to the 16 cameras connected to Secur HUB, the Comelit App also supports cameras built into Comelit video door entry units, as well as multiple network video recorders (NVRs) which may be deployed in support of a high camera count Comelit CCTV solution. Installation and IoT technology “Although we do not normally support intruder alarm systems, we have been impressed with what Secur HUB has to offer,” said Neill Williams, Director of Smart R, the specialist distributor of access control and CCTV solutions. “It offers an aesthetically attractive, feature-rich and keenly priced way to detect would be intruders for residential applications and small commercial premises type applications.” “The ease at which it can be installed and the use of IoT-based technology, makes us extremely confident Secur HUB will quickly become known as the ‘installers’ friend’. Users will be equally impressed with how easy it is for them to remotely access, monitor, and manage all their Comelit security solutions from a single App.”
OPTEX, a global front-runner in sensing solutions, is expanding its Intelligent Visual Verification solution by introducing a 12 Channel Visual Verification Bridge (Model: CKB-312). This powerful gateway is the new hardware device that allows security professionals to connect ONVIF compatible cameras and alarm sensors to the cloud-based Visual Verification Portal powered by CHeKT. Features and functions Aimed primarily to monitored alarm systems, the solution provides central station operators the ability to visually verify alarm threats within seconds, and respond accordingly. When installed and maintained properly, this system can eliminate 100% of false dispatches and dramatically increase customer satisfaction and retention. The solution allows the operator to share video alarm events with the site emergency contacts to validate or dismiss the alarm. The CKB-312 allows the integrator to pair up to twelve cameras with twelve sensors for visual verification of events. It simplifies the installation for larger sites using a single device to transmit twelve event-driven camera feeds. Installing the CKB312 as an alarm panel module is a cost-effective way to add a video to existing intruder systems, using the legacy equipment and to build new visual verified security systems. Easy to use app and a cost-effective solution In addition, a smart-phone App is available, allowing end-users the option to have a professionally installed and self-monitored visual verification solution. “The 12 channel Bridge perfectly complements the existing 4 channel Bridge and gives more options to the installer. Offering a cost-effective solution to add a video to monitored alarm systems increases the benefits significantly to the end-users. Integrators can confidently bring the security solution outside by adding external intrusion sensors to deter any break-ins,” says Rob Blair, CEO of OPTEX Inc.
In response to gaps in the short-range air defense radar market, Numerica Corporation (Numerica), a globally renowned company in designing and deploying state-of-the-art defense technology, has announced the development of a new USA-made, 3D radar solution for Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) and other short-range defense missions, Spyglass short-range surveillance radar system. Spyglass 3D Radar Designed to fill the need for exceptional C-UAS detection and tracking performance, Spyglass from Numerica will be available soon for a broad set of applications including facility security, border surveillance, convoy and vehicle protection, air space monitoring and more. Spyglass was born out of the first-hand experience with gaps in the short-range radar market" “Spyglass was born out of our first-hand experience with gaps in the short-range radar market,” said Nate Knight, Vice President of Air and Missile Defense at Numerica. He adds, “The rapidly-growing autonomous drone threat presented an opportunity to turn our attention to building a new radar from the ground up that would leverage our decades of experience solving critical air and missile defense problems and applying our proven radar processing and tracking technologies in new ways.” Spyglass will offer advantages, including: Superior precision: Spyglass utilizes Ku-Band Phased Array technology to provide high-precision measurements, improving targeting and classification performance at longer ranges and providing critical time for decision making and threat mitigation. See farther + react faster: Advanced signal processing algorithms and autonomy extend the detection range of the 3D radar allowing users to see farther and faster. Close the gap: Traditional pulse-doppler radar designs leave users blind up-close, while Spyglass' simultaneous transmit-and-receive design ensures threats are not missed at close ranges. Deploy anywhere: With a rugged, solid-state design, low power consumption and low transmit power, Spyglass is built to be deployed anywhere needed. Any mission covered: With embedded C2 and AI software, Spyglass is designed to enable broad-area autonomous sensor networks. Software-defined operating modes enable rapid customization to specific mission requirements. Trusted U.S. partner: Designed and manufactured in the U.S. by trusted defense partners. Efficient detection and tracking of UAS Spyglass is designed to detect and track small, autonomous UAS beyond three and a half kilometers Spyglass is designed to detect and track small, autonomous UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) beyond three and a half kilometers, with precise measurements to support a range of mitigation techniques. With a high degree of configurability and out-of-the-box support for distributed operations, Spyglass’ software-driven control capabilities will enable seamless integration into layered defense systems. “We carefully selected partners for this effort who could support the delivery and integration of Spyglass to key military customers and also leverage the best in U.S. manufacturing talent,” said Jeff Poore, President of Numerica. Collaboration with Liteye Systems and NEOTech Jeff adds, “We have collaborated with respected partners including Liteye Systems and NEOTech to bring to life this 3D radar solution urgently needed by the U.S. Armed Forces.” Liteye Systems, a globally renowned technology solutions provider and integrator of military and commercial solutions based in Centennial, Colorado, will be the exclusive distributor of Spyglass for Numerica. Delivering next-gen C-UAS solutions As an industry expert, Liteye Systems will provide seamless sales support, qualified field service, and expert maintenance to ensure the best performance and experience for Spyglass end-users. In collaboration to bring Spyglass to market, both Numerica and Liteye have built a solid foundation for delivering the next generation of C-UAS solutions. “Numerica has developed an extremely advanced radar solution that comes from deep-rooted experience working with the U.S. military since 1996,” stated Kenneth Geyer, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Liteye Systems, adding “This 3D radar is uniquely designed from the warfighter’s standpoint and Liteye is excited to be part of this program.”
Hanwha Techwin, a supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, announces that Kevin Darnell has joined the company as Retail Business Development Manager for the retail sector in North America. In this new role, Darnell will be responsible for helping partners and customers implement surveillance solutions that maximize loss prevention and streamline business operations. Prior to joining Hanwha, Darnell was Director of Asset and Revenue Management, Loss Prevention at Caleres, Inc (Famous Footwear, Allen Edmonds, Naturalizer, and Sam Edelman). Asset protection positions Darnell will focus on the unique security needs of retail organizations Over the last two decades, he has also held senior loss prevention and asset protection positions at some of the nation’s most recognized retail brands including Radio Shack, Dollar General, Bass Pro Shops, Kmart Corporation, Michael’s Stores Inc., and Lowes. As Retail Business Development Manager, Darnell will focus on the unique security needs of retail organizations including specialty, big box, grocery, discount/off-price, home improvement, and warehouse retail stores, as well customers in the restaurant sector including QSR, casual, and fine dining establishments. Video surveillance technology “Throughout his long career in the retail industry, Kevin has always been regarded as a trusted advisor to his peers and co-workers. This consultative and trust-based approach will translate well in his new role at Hanwha.” “Kevin’s practitioner experience building LP budgets and ROI models, as well as using and deploying video surveillance technology in the retail environment fully supports Hanwha’s mission to engage and listen to end users so we can develop the solutions they trust us to build,” said Jordan Rivchun, Leader – Retail & Banking Solutions and Strategy, Hanwha Techwin America.
Supermarket employees have been the hidden key workers of the past year, keeping shelves stocked and queues under control as panic buying gripped the nation. As a result of being expected to enforce face covering and social distancing regulations, they also been asked to act as de-facto security guards alongside their existing duties. This is problematic as many employees have never had to deal with this kind of responsibility before, let alone received any conflict de-escalation training. In order to maintain the safety and security of their staff retailers must take additional steps to uphold their duty of care, with the NPCC recently specifying that it is the responsibility of retailers ‘to manage entry to their stores and compliance with the law while customers are inside’. Supermarkets in particular need to be aware of this requirement, as the big four recently announced that their employees would now be challenging customers shopping in groups and those not wearing masks. Verbal abuse from the public Crime against retail employees has already been a major issue over the course of the pandemic, confirmed by research from the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers that found 90% of retail staff in the UK experienced verbal abuse last year. The Co-op has recently been vocal about the effects of the pandemic and lockdown-related frustrations on its employees.90% of retail staff in the UK experienced verbal abuse last year The supermarket reported a 140% increase in crime within its stores over the past year, with many of the 200,000 cases related to verbal and physical abuse experienced by employees. Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food chief executive, confirmed that the number of issues has already increased drastically as a result of staff enforcing COVID-secure guidelines. So, what steps must retailers take to ensure their duty of care remains intact as employees take on new enforcement responsibilities? Introducing real-time surveillance technology to support security guards and shop floor employees alike is vital. Bolstering front line defences Security guards posted at supermarket entrances are the first line of defense against shoppers determined to break the rules. However, they are now being pulled in multiple directions with queues to monitor and occupancy to manually keep track of, along with the usual security alarms to respond to. With one person usually posted at the entrance at any one time it’s simply impossible to have eyes everywhere, which is where automated video surveillance comes in. COVID-specific technologies, such as mask detection and occupancy management systems, are now the golden bullet to retail safety and security.Mask detection and occupancy management surveillance tools can automatically alert a shopper Mask detection and occupancy management surveillance tools can automatically alert a shopper whether or not they are allowed to enter the store on their approach to the door. The system surveys the person and a screen will automatically display different instructions depending on the situation: whether they must put a mask on before they enter, wait until capacity is low enough to enable social distancing or, if the previous criteria are fulfilled, that they are free to enter. COVID-secure safety This stand-off technology minimizes the need for contact between security personnel and shoppers, allowing security guards to complete their usual duties, safe in the knowledge that the store is being managed in a COVID-secure way. With a hands-off approach enabled by surveillance technology, the potential for tense confrontation is greatly diminished as customers will usually comply to the reminder shown to them and put on a mask or wait without further prompting from staff. With security personnel able to better focus their attention on the stubborn rule-breakers,It is crucial that retailers choose a solution embedded in real-time connectivity this responsibility will no longer land with staff on the shop floor who are often ill-equipped to deal with this situation. It is crucial that retailers choose a solution embedded in real-time connectivity that will allow all store entrances to be screened simultaneously. Nobody can be in multiple places at once, but this connectivity allows alerts to be streamed instantly to any connected device that can be monitored by just one employee, meaning they can review the alerts that require their attention without needing to be physically present or re-tasked away from their day-to-day duties. Instant reassurance with body worn tech As a customer-facing role, there can be no guarantee that shop workers will never experience a potentially violent confrontation with a customer, which is where the presence of live streaming body worn cameras can help. While they may not always be trained to de-escalate a risky situation, being able to discreetly call for assistance can provide the reassurance employees need to feel safe and supported at all times. If an employee asks a customer to put a mask on while they’re in the store or step back from another shopper and the situation turns abusive – verbally or physically – a live streaming-enabled body worn camera can be triggered to stream a live audio and video feed back to a central control room manned by trained security personnel.A live streaming-enabled body worn camera can be triggered This real-time footage gives security staff exceptional situational awareness, allowing them to fully assess the situation and decide on the best course of action to support the employee in distress, whether that is going to the scene to diffuse the situation or contacting the police in more serious circumstances. Bolstering front line security This goes one step further than record-only body worn cameras, the capabilities of which these next generation devices match and exceed. Record-only cameras are well-suited to provide after-the-fact evidence if a customer interaction turns sour, but they do little to provide reassurance to out of depth employees in the moment. The duty of care grocery retailers must provide to their employees has never been more important, with staff taking on new mask and social distancing enforcement responsibilities and managing interactions with frustrated customers. Bolstering front line security and giving staff extra reassurances with the introduction of real-time video surveillance technology is a crucial step for retailers striving to keep employees and shoppers safe during these challenging times.
The sound of sirens in the distance is commonplace, nowadays. Whether related to a medical emergency or everyday crimes, such as theft, property crimes, and so on, we’re all accustomed to hearing these sirens by now. It is worth noting that many incidents that police respond to take place at night. According to a recent report by the Sleep Judge, more than half of murders, manslaughter, sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts happen long after the sun has set. To anyone looking to address the round-the-clock security challenge, deploying the most comprehensive surveillance solution is a must, and this means, looking at the instrumental role illumination plays in video capture. Limitations of Traditional Video Surveillance If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and/or resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete For surveillance cameras relying on video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver functionalities such as facial recognition, license plate reading and motion detection, nighttime crimes can pose something of a problem. Without adequate illumination, images from video cameras are grainy and unusable. Without proper lighting, potential criminals and moving objects essentially become indistinguishable, at night, thereby inhibiting even the most advanced security technologies. This limitation of traditional surveillance technology not only hinders immediate police response, but it also stops crime investigations dead in their tracks. Often, without video evidence that is clear and discernible, conviction in a court of law is next to impossible. A common response to this issue is to place security cameras near streetlights or well-lit areas. After all, according to NPR, street lights are effective in deterring crime, as “there are people — neighbors, pedestrians or police — to actually see suspicious activity.” However, even if streetside and primary entrances are well lit, the areas that still need most to be surveilled are rear or side doorways shrouded by darkness, unlit back alleys, and so on. If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete. Best-in-class security solutions must be able to see everything, day and night. A Purpose-Designed Solution to the Problem Addressing this issue is easier than you might think. Much like a human eye needs some sort of light to “see,” so does video surveillance technology. Integrating external illuminators into a security solution can optimize camera performance exponentially, expanding a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities and ensuring the operation of video analytics, day and night. Opting for an external illuminator allows system integrators to select a device that matches the exact emission range of a camera’s field of view (FOV). The result is an evenly lit visual field, where captured images are clear and effective for security purposes. The two most common options available to integrators include infrared (IR) and white light illuminators. Each technology is built to optimize particular deployments, depending on their needs. Infrared Versus White Light IR illuminators emit IR light, which is invisible to the human eye and perfect for covert surveillance operations. When cameras need to be able to detect potential threats over long distances, IR illuminators are perfect for the job as they typically have longer emission ranges. IR illuminators are optimal for surveillance operations in license plate recognition, border patrol, safe cities, theme park, and medical sleep lab applications. If an end user needs to implement full-color video analytics for identification purposes, such as facial, object and license plate recognition, white light illuminators are undoubtedly an integrator’s best bet. IR illumination and traditional thermal security cameras, after all, are only able to provide black-and-white images, whereas object recognition software often identifies objects based on their color. White light illuminators installed alongside AI-powered surveillance cameras enable enhanced video image clarity, which, optimizes video analytics performance. When customers want to physically deter suspicious activity, deploying white light illuminators is effective. A recent study out of Crime Labs New York found that businesses that deployed visible lights to deter crime “experienced crime rates that were significantly lower,” which “led to a 36 percent reduction in ‘index crimes’”. On top of all this, LED based white lights operate at low running costs and typically have long lifespans, saving end users thousands of dollars a year in energy costs without having to sacrifice surveillance optimization. External Versus Built-In Illumination Security customers looking to use lighting to deter crime and improve the performance of video surveillance may consider “all-in-one" solutions, as some cameras have LEDs (light emitting diodes) built into them. These LEDs typically encircle the lens and therefore shed light in whatever direction the camera is pointed. However convenient these may seem, built-in illumination can cause problems.Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night First, LEDs built into cameras and next to other electronic components often cause heat to build up, which attracts insects that can trigger motion detection and obstruct a camera’s view. This heat buildup also shortens the LED lights lifespan. Built-in LEDs also tend to create “hot spots” with glare and reflection back into the camera, often because these lights only cover a 30-degree field of view (FOV), even though the average camera’s FOV is 90 degrees. This issue can severely limit a camera’s visibility, essentially rendering those remaining 60 degrees dark and unusable. All in all, when integrating lighting solutions into your security deployment, a cost-effective solution that enhances a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities, are external illuminators because they offer flexible choices of field of view and distances. Best-in-Class Solution When it comes to criminal conviction in a court of law, “seeing really is believing.” Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night, just as any security officer would be when patrolling the same unlit area. To guarantee end users the most reliable and highest performing security solution, consider integrating best-in-class illumination into your offerings.
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organizations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centers or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognize individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analyzing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognize. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the center of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
Demand for covert cameras in the home has doubled in the last two years, according to one camera supplier. These additional “hidden” cameras are also increasingly being networked into home security systems, and installation of the newest covert IP cameras is do-it-yourself easy. Covert cameras appeal to consumers who don’t want the industrial look of video cameras disrupting their décor. They are also the latest variation on “nanny-cams” that keep watch while parents and/or homeowners are away. “The price has come down, and the products are becoming easier to use,” says Todd Morris, founder and CEO of BrickHouse Security, a direct-to-consumer and business-to-business supplier of security cameras. “Previously they were very hard to use and to install.” A covert camera catches what’s happening when someone in the home doesn’t know they’re being observed BrickHouse Security’s newest product, introduced at the ASIS 2014 show in Atlanta, is a remote-view hidden camera designed to be easily integrated with a complete home security system. Retailing at right under $200, the Observa camera sits unobtrusively on a bookshelf and looks like a Bluetooth-type audio speaker. The WiFi-enabled camera inside offers cloud-based video recording and storage and even infrared “night vision” technology to see in the dark. “There are two main reasons people choose a covert camera,” says Morris. “One is aesthetics -- they just don’t want a camera to stand out because it’s ugly.” (They also don’t want holes drilled in their walls, which isn’t necessary with WiFi connectivity.) Another reason is an extension of the “nanny-cam” concept. A covert camera in the home can provide additional peace-of-mind to working parents concerned about babysitters taking care of their children. The growing need for two-income households is driving demand. Video can also keep watch on the activities of maids, dog walkers, home healthcare workers or even someone who’s watering the plants. “It answers questions such as ‘Did they show up? Did they do what they said they would do? Did they do anything else?’” says Morris. A covert camera catches what’s happening when someone in the home doesn’t know they’re being observed. Other uses include monitoring vacation homes and keeping up with teenagers. Outside the home, video can provide an early warning of an intruder or prevent vandalism. Covert IP cameras are now pre-configured to be easy to install by a homeowner. Basically, installation involves plugging the camera in and pushing a WPS button that automatically links to a homeowner’s router, does a “handshake” and is connected to the cloud-based service. Customers are provided a secure user name and password in an email before the camera even ships. Everything is Web-based, and there are apps to access video via smart phones and tablets. Entry by Google (which now owns DropCam) into the home video camera market is good news because it helps to raise awareness, says Morris. “A rising tide lifts all boats.” He notes that companies from Google to local cable companies are advertising to promote the idea of video surveillance in the home. Covert IP cameras are now pre-configured to be easy to install by a homeowner Covert cameras are just part of a broadening range of video products available for the home market. Beyond the two models currently provided by DropCam, other manufacturers offer cameras for the home that have pan-tilt-zoom, can be installed outdoors, and are enclosed in domes. BrickHouse Security itself has more than 100 designs and does 60 percent of its business over the Internet. BrickHouse also sells to some dealers, and refers customers to dealers if they seek professional installation services. There are only two limitations on where a covert camera can be placed in the home. In the case of a live-in nanny or maid, the camera cannot be placed inside his or her bedroom (where they would expect privacy). Also, cameras cannot be placed inside bathrooms, although they can be placed outside a bathroom looking into the door. “Video inside the home is so much less expensive and easier to use,” says Morris. “There’s a massive influx of new people it is available to.”
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is teaming up with Evolv Technology to bring a state-of-the-art security and screening system to enhance the safety of guests and team members. Evolv’s artificial intelligence-based touchless system, Evolv Express®, will help promote safety by using weapons detection screening without needing guests to walk through individually as is the case with traditional screening methods. While weapons of any kind have never been allowed on the property, this new system will detect them if they are brought in and guests will be asked to remove them from the property. Touchless security screening The Evolv system also offers thermal imaging in the continued effort to protect against COVID-19. Guests will no longer need to stop at the entrance to have their temperature taken by hand, which is the system that has been in place since Potawatomi re-opened in June. Evolv system offers thermal imaging in the continued effort to protect against COVID-19 “The health and safety of our guests and team members continue to be our number one priority,” said Potawatomi Hotel & Casino CEO and General Manager Rodney Ferguson. “This new technology allows us to ramp up our efforts while continuing to provide guests the entertainment and service they’ve come to expect.” Evolv, which has been providing this new touchless security screening since 2017, is second only to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the number of people screened by its system – more than 50 million people at venues across the country. Providing screening services While Evolv is providing screening services at high-profile attractions such as Six Flags theme parks, Hersheypark, and Oakland International Airport, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will be the first casino in the United States to utilize the technology for guest safety. “Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is known for delivering an industry-best guest experience,” said Evolv Technology Chief Executive Officer Peter George. “Proactively addressing concerns brought on by issues like viruses and concealed weapons is paramount for venues to help people feel safe while enjoying their leisure time. It’s in keeping with Potawatomi’s well-earned ‘customer-first’ reputation to be setting the pace for other casinos and hotels.” The new screening system will be in place at each guest entrance: the main lobby on the south side of the casino, the parking garage Skyway, and the hotel lobby. Guests will not have to stop, empty their pockets, or have their bags checked unless directed to by security. Guests may still be asked to provide identification to show they are 21 years or older.
Enjoy a bird's eye view of Cologne! Every year, over half a million passengers soar over the Rhine at a height of 30 meters with the Cologne Cable Car – and are rewarded with an unparalleled view of the city and cathedral. For ensuring the safety of the carrying rope construction, Kölner Seilbahn relies on the Panomera® camera technology of Regensburg-based manufacturer Dallmeier. The Cologne Cable Car offers an unrivaled view of the Cologne Old Town and its cathedral. Riding in gondolas at a height of 30 meters above the ground, visitors enjoy a bird's eye view of Cologne, the Old Town, the River Rhine, and the beautiful city environs. Video security technology The Cologne Cable Car has been featured as an established attraction of the city for over 60 years, and every year more than half a million passengers enjoy the 930-meter-long aerial trip over the Rhine. In order to ensure that the 44 cars reach the end stations in Riehl and Deutz safely from spring to autumn, the operators have decided to install video security technology from Dallmeier. The Cologne Cable Car has featured as an established attraction of the city for over 60 years The Cologne Cable Car project is the first undertaking anywhere in the world in which the patented Panomera® camera technology is used to monitor a cable car carrying rope. In order to guarantee the passengers' safety at all times, the operators require rapid visual detection of possible technical problems, particularly in the structure of the carrying cable. Preventing technical problems Carlos Castro, Operations Manager of Kölner Seilbahn, explains: "Besides the approach of the gondolas to the stations, we observe the way they run onto the pylons. 30 meters up in the air, it is quite possible that a good gust of wind can set the cable and the pylons swinging. To enable early detection of incidents that cause the gondolas to approach the sensitive points out of alignment and to prevent technical problems, we decided to introduce video surveillance using the proven, patented Panomera® camera technology." The carrying rope is supported on a total of three pylons over the entire distance of just under one kilometer. The resulting distances between the stations and the pylons range in length from 100 meters up to a considerable span of 480 meters over the Rhine itself. Extremely high quality The operators of the Cologne Cable Car found exactly the right solution in Panomera® technology Consequently, their project partner VTS Video Technik Systeme GmbH, which was responsible for erection operations, only had access to a few installation points, but at the same time, the specification in respect of imaging and resolution quality was extremely high. Simply put, this meant that images must be recorded over very long distances, but at the same time, the image material must still be of extremely high quality. Together with the VTS, the operators of the Cologne Cable Car found exactly the right solution in Panomera® technology. VTS GmbH has been a reliable, capable business partner to Dallmeier for many years, and brings the necessary expertise to the project based on long experience. Multifocal sensor system The Panomera® multifocal sensor system is considered to have revolutionized video surveillance. It was developed specifically to provide full area coverage with video protection for large spaces and long distances. The particular feature of the technology is that multiple sensors having different focal lengths are installed in a single housing and a special software program compiles a total image in high resolution. This technical advantage gave us the decisive edge in view of the specified infrastructure" In this way, huge distances and expanses can be captured with a uniform resolution raster over the entire area of interest in real-time. Jürgen Vahlenkamp, managing director of VTS GmbH explains in more detail: "This technical advantage gave us the decisive edge in view of the specified infrastructure. For video observation with the Panomera®, we managed extremely well with the small number of installation points available.” Potential hazard situations “Thanks to the special lens and sensor concept we do not fall below the specified resolution value even in the more distant image areas. The ideal prerequisite for surveillance over very long distances!” The rollers themselves are also monitored using Dallmeier IR box cameras. The operator has full control over the entire situation over the entire length of the cables between the pylons, live and in high-resolution video images. In potential hazard situations, he can view details in a separate zoom image without losing sight of the overall action. In theory, any number of operators would be able to ‘take a close look’ at a wide range of image areas at the same time. Analyzing detailed picture We have succeeded in ensuring that the process of cable car operation is as safe as possible" "The operator has the situation under control at all times! He has access to an uninterrupted total view of the cables and the pylons while analyzing a detailed picture of a certain area, at the same time if necessary,” continues Vahlenkamp, "We have succeeded in ensuring that the process of cable car operation is as safe as possible, to the complete satisfaction of our customer." The wind that blows against the masts and cables 30 meters above the ground can cause them to start rocking and poses certain challenges not only for the operation of the gondolas but also for the installation of the cameras. To ensure that the camera systems – each weighing more than ten kilos – are not damaged or themselves become a hazard, the cameras were secured to the pylons using special plates. Real-life implementation The lenses themselves are installed immovably inside the camera housing and are unaffected by any swinging motion. In view of the special requirement of this project, the Dallmeier 3D planning team first simulated a digital twin of the entire surrounding area. With this approach, the manufacturer Dallmeier ensures that planning and real-life implementation match each other as closely as possible, and the customer benefits from the highest certainty regarding both the plan and their investment. The next step in the project execution was to construct and test the finished system The next step in the project execution was to construct and test the finished system, consisting of cameras and a high-performance recording appliance. In Dallmeier's own Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) Center in Regensburg, the systems were pre-set according to the customer's specification. The ‘FAT test run’ which follows ensures that project partner VTS will be able to install and commission the preconfigured system quickly and without difficulties. Reliable technical monitoring Carlos Castro sums up: "We're delighted. At last, we are in a position to monitor the entire span of 930 meters during operation. The images delivered are of outstanding quality. With this system we now have a good, additional tool which enables the system to be displayed visually, complementing the existing, reliable technical monitoring and control systems." In public areas, data protection and EU GDPR are important topics. Dallmeier's technology is compliant with all required criteria for data protection and data security, including during application in public areas. Roland Deja, Operations Manager Sales Backoffice at Dallmeier: "With the Dallmeier solution, we have given the go-ahead for cable car monitoring projects. The integrated approach adopted in Dallmeier solutions means that both the cameras and software can be upgraded, e.g., with AI-based assistance systems, at a later time as well. Thus, systems will remain viable for many years into the future and guarantee investment security for the Kölner Seilbahn."
Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, one of the most innovative and technologically advanced airports in the world, has selected Genetec, Inc., a foremost technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions to enhance and upgrade its security system. The three-year project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will see Genetec™ Security Center, a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface, underpinning the airport’s security operations, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract was awarded to Genetec following a rigorous competitive tender process. “Increasingly, our airport customers are understanding the deep business insights Security Center is capable of delivering, its ability to inform and create value for multiple areas of an airport business operation and improve the overall passenger and employee experience,” said Giovanni Taccori, Commercial Lead Transportation, APAC at Genetec, Inc.
Global MSC Security announced that it has been appointed by the City of Edinburgh Council to consult on a planned upgrade of its video surveillance system from analog to IP, as Edinburgh progresses towards its vision to become one of the world smartest capital cities. Working with the Council, Global MSC Security will use its public sector expertise to oversee the preparation of a tender specification of a fully integrated public space surveillance operation. Upgrading public realm CCTV surveillance system The appointment of Global MSC Security follows the announcement that the City of Edinburgh Council is investing over £1 million in its public realm CCTV (including housing blocks, transport network and Council buildings) and has also secured £712,000 from the 'Scotland's 8th City, the Smart City' European Regional Development Fund Strategic Intervention in support of an upgrade to its CCTV infrastructure, as part of its smart city program. Global MSC Security has a wealth of expertise in public space surveillance, having consulted on dozens of local authority CCTV surveillance projects, including The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Central Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Herefordshire, North Somerset, Barnet, Bristol City, Dorset, Neath and Port Talbot, Mid Devon and Maidstone and Luton Councils. Installing new IP cameras, VMS and encoders Global MSC Security will ensure the City of Edinburgh Council is able to upgrade its public space cameras, VMS and encoders Global MSC Security will ensure the City of Edinburgh Council is able to upgrade its public space cameras, video management system (VMS) and encoders, with the right technology at the best price and implemented smoothly. Global MSC Security’s Managing Director, Derek Maltby stated “We offer a wealth of experience in specifying public space surveillance systems for local authorities. Global MSC Security is proud to be involved in what is a major initiative not only for the City but Scotland and its position as a leader in smart services and society.” Resilient and secure city surveillance system He adds, “This important and essential infrastructure upgrade represents a significant investment, and the resulting system will provide the Council with a function-rich, future-proof, highly resilient and secure surveillance system.” Derek further stated, “However, for any organization making the switch from analog to IP, it is vital that the transition is managed in the correct way, to maximize resources and optimize system performance. That begins with a robust tender specification, which is where our expertise lies.” The tender specification is expected to be released by the City of Edinburgh Council in February 2021 and the contract awarded in September.
Synectics, a globally renowned company in the design, integration and support of advanced security and surveillance systems, announced that the company has won a new contract with Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) to upgrade all InterCity Mark 4 rolling stock on the Dublin to Cork route to an IP-based video surveillance solution, following a competitive bid process. The IP video security system contract will see Synectics develops and installs an innovative safety-critical IP video surveillance system that enables full connectivity from trains to the control room, there by replacing the existing CCTV approach. Safety-critical IP video surveillance system installation Each eight-coach train set, using Synectics’ T2000 platform, will help utilize a suite of IP 360-degree ‘fish-eye’ cameras Each eight-coach train set, using Synectics’ T2000 platform, will help utilize a suite of IP 360-degree ‘fish-eye’ cameras, in the vestibules and saloon areas, to provide high-quality surveillance information. Installation is expected to commence in September 2021, to be followed by an additional support contract to provide a five-year in-territory maintenance program. IP video security technology Iain Stringer, Managing Director of Synectics, commented “We are delighted that Irish Rail has chosen our IP video security technology, alongside our design, program management and installation capabilities, to upgrade surveillance on one of their premier InterCity routes.” Iain adds, “This win with Irish Rail represents a further step into on-vehicle heavy rail solutions for our Synectics Security business, building on our deep experience across light-rail markets.” Smart technology developments He further stated, “Irish Rail is our second public transport win in Ireland over the last few months and reflects our growing reputation for smart technology developments that meet next generation operator requirements. Our approach is opening up new opportunities for all rail operators to transition their video management capability to the cloud and improve operational effectiveness.”
Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimage festivals of India and is organized at a grand scale at Nashik, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Prayag. As Kumbh Mela is being celebrated after a period of 12 years in Nashik, 100 million people are expected to visit, security is a major concern for the Government bodies. Nashik will be getting an opportunity to host these guests from July 14 to September 25 and no stone will be left unturned in hosting the massive gathering. Challenges Nashik Railway Station authorities wanted video surveillance devices that would not consume larger areas when it comes to installing them as the railway station had congested platforms. Moreover, they wanted a surveillance solution that gave them superior image quality and at the same time did not consume heavily on the bandwidth. Furthermore, the authorities wanted to monitor the whole place centrally and gain central control of the entire place. Installing devices and control room in the congested platforms Restricted allotted bandwidth for the video surveillance solution Requirement Prompt and smooth installations of cameras and hybrid video recorders within 30 days Setting up the control room for monitoring railway station entrance, platforms, and connecting bridges High reliability of the solution for utmost security Storage of the entire 4-month period as evidential proof Matrix offering Installation was completed within 20 days with highly skilled manpower. Cascading of all the connected devices with sequencing for central monitoring on TVs in the control room to reduce the overall solution cost. 4 months scheduled backup of all cameras is configured centrally for storing all the streams. Matrix being an Indian brand, efficient pre-and post-sales support is a part of the solution. Results Secured entry and exit from the city with 24x7 video surveillance of the railway station Installation of the solution done within the defined time frame Products offered SATATYA HVR1624P SATATYA CIBR13FL40CW SATATYA CIDR13FL40CW SATATYA CIDRP20VL130CW SATATYA Centralized Monitoring Software (CMS)
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
What a year 2020 was for the security industry! There were vast challenges that could not have been foreseen at the beginning of the year. It is safe to say that the events of 2020 defied all industry prognosticators. However, is that any reason not to hope our expectations looking ahead to 2021 will be much closer to reality? Can we possibly benefit from looking ahead and trying to plan for the challenges of the year ahead? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security industry’s biggest challenge in 2021?
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