Digital video surveillance
What many security professionals are yet to realize is how COVID-19 has led to fundamental changes in security policies that will ultimately affect them. The introduction of medical technology, such as thermal scanners, to access control implementations is a new phenomenon. The coronavirus pandemic has propelled a new requirement onto organizations to conduct health checks – specifically, body temperature checks – at the door before an employee, contractor or visitor is given access...
The COVID-19 global pandemic continues, and more and more companies are looking for ways to continue (or resume) operations while minimizing the coronavirus’s negative impact on their workforce, or potentially contributing to disease spread among the wider population. Thermal cameras have been proposed as a solution to screen individuals for elevated body temperature since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the technology has its detractors, and there are regulatory questions. We aske...
Healthcare professionals around the world are beginning to identify a range of COVID-19 related mental health issues that are certain to create new challenges for society. People are in serious distress about the pandemic itself, because of the devastating second and third-order effects of record unemployment and the overall negative economic impact. Safety and security professionals must be prepared to meet the challenges of a ‘new normal’. The new normal is not the old normal. Soc...
Across the world, the impact of the current pandemic has majorly disrupted how we function in our everyday lives, as a society, and the ways in which we do our jobs. Throughout, our personal safety and wellbeing, as well as that of our families, neighbours and colleagues, has been paramount - and adapting our day-to-day lives to meet social distancing measures has been a learning curve for us all. As we start to reassemble normal life, precautionary measures will continue to be put in place to...
ADT, a provider of security, automation and smart home solutions serving consumer and business customers, has joined the Zigbee Alliance and the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) working group. ADT will help to develop and promote the adoption of Project CHIP, a new royalty-free connectivity standard to increase interoperability among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet. “As a member of the Zigbee Alliance, ADT will collaborate with others who are developi...
Dark video images contain little or no information about the subject being surveilled. Absence of light can make it difficult to see a face, or to distinguish the color of clothing or of an automobile. Adding light to a scene is one solution, but there are also new technologies that empower modern video cameras to see better in any light. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact does lighting have on the performance of video systems?
Allied Universal®, a security and facility services company in North America, announced the acquisition of Phoenix Systems & Service, Inc. (PSSI) - a full service security systems integrator providing security solutions to customers in Chicago and across the nation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The acquisition of Phoenix Systems & Service will help us expand our technology services business in Illinois and nationally,” said Steve Jones, CEO of Allied Universal. “Phoenix Systems has a strong history of more than 28 years delivering top-notch service within multiple vertical markets, especially commercial real estate.” Access Control, Digital Video, Optical Turnstiles Integrators We are truly excited about this opportunity for our employees to become an integral part of Allied Universal" PSSI, with revenues exceeding $16 million and 35 employees, is known as one of the premier integrators for Access Control, Digital Video, Optical Turnstiles, and Intercom systems in the nation. The company provides a complete turnkey installation including system design, project management, conduit, wiring, training, IT support, and system service and maintenance. History Of Labor Relations “We are truly excited about this opportunity for our employees to become an integral part of Allied Universal as our business culture and expertise are a perfect match,” said Daniel Gardner, President of Phoenix Systems & Service, Inc., who will become a consultant to Allied Universal. “I wanted to personally thank all of our employees for their hard work, dedication and commitment to offering superior service to our customers each and every day.” PSSI’s diversified customer base includes several global entities and Fortune 500 companies. The company has a long history of excellent labor relations including unionized field installers, which presents a competitive advantage in the marketplace. PSSI was represented by financial advisor Sandra Jones and Company in the transaction.
Anker Innovations, a global provider in mobile charging and consumer electronics, launched the eufyCam 2 Pro, a new security camera under Anker's eufy Security brand that features 2K resolution and free local video storage. The eufyCam 2 Pro is available exclusively at Best Buy. The eufyCam 2 Pro features a big improvement in image quality, pumping its resolution to 2K for a crisp and sharp image on all video recordings. It is compatible with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit. User-friendly interface The eufyCam 2 Pro carries over key features from previous iterations of the eufyCam including the signature 365-day battery life, improved on-device human detection software, and the user-friendly interface that the eufy Security app provides. The eufyCam 2 Pro is available as a single camera and as a bundle of a home base and two cameras. eufyCam 2 Pro Product Specifications: Battery Life: 12 months On-device Human Detection Night Vision: Infrared & Color Two-Way Audio Customizable App Notifications Field of View: 140° Works with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit
The new family of social distancing tools supports the smooth return to a safe shopping environment by providing automated occupancy control, ensuring the number of customers in a physical space never exceeds a maximum limit. With Gunnebo’s OccuLinq software, retail managers enjoy real-time data on customer numbers at their fingertips. When a maximum occupancy level is reached, gates lock temporarily until another customer has left the store, after which a new customer is free to enter. Automated customer flow maximizes social distancing and thereby minimizes infection risk. Live occupancy data sharing The OccuLinq platform provides live occupancy data direct to a cellphone phone app, tablet or PC screen. The app works in combination with: OccuSense stereo cameras that count people without storing personal data, making them fully GDPR compliant. OccuSign digital display to inform waiting customers of occupancy availability, while reassuring shoppers that the store takes their safety seriously. Access control speed gates that regulate the flow of customers. Exit control to prevent shoplifters leaving the store without paying. OccuLinq offers automatic adherence to social distancing occupancy guidelines and regulations. There is no need for staff at store entrances, while friction-free and transparent occupancy control minimizes possibilities for confrontation between customers and staff. OccuLinq platform for the retail market “We foresee increased demand for occupancy control solutions as the retail sector adapts to the new normal created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in mid-May, our H-Sense range has already been a genuine success, supporting customers by ensuring efficient infection control on their premises. OccuLinq now offers efficient and user-friendly occupancy control processes linked to the right of access, ensuring that social distancing measures are properly and safely enforced,” says Robert Hermans, SVP Entrance Control, and Gunnebo. While OccuLinq is initially launched toward the retail market, Gunnebo believes that OccuLinq will also provide important benefits to other market segments such as museums, theatres, office buildings etc., during the re-opening phase and beyond.
Cybersecurity is a trending topic in the video surveillance market. As a result of international regulations, companies are assessing the potential security risks of video surveillance systems, deploying crisis management policies and developing mitigation plans for events related to a data breach. Customers desire trustworthy products and vendors are rushing to fill this gap to satisfy the market demand. Multiple vendors are offering a great number of solutions; however the choice and diversification perplexes customers, who often have difficulty identifying the best solution for their needs. In this paper, Videotec puts forward its vision with regard to developing safe products and describes its strategy for cybersecurity. Explosion-proof rated cameras Customers are currently overwhelmed by the perpetual advertisement of products related to cybersecurity. At tradeshows and in sector magazines, multiple products are being promoted as key elements for cybersecurity. Unfortunately, cyber-safe products cannot be marketed with the same strategy as other devices, for example, explosion-proof rated cameras. For software, similar requirements exist but there is less clarity than with their counterparts The key difference is that for threats that do not concern software a set of well-defined and well-documented requirements exist: in general, it is possible to universally define safety requirements for installation in special environments, such as a drilling rig, a marine vessel or along a railroad. For software, similar requirements exist but there is less clarity than with their counterparts when it comes to security. Video management software Furthermore, a device's firmware and video management software (VMS) are updated by each vendor to introduce new features or to fix bugs. Every update may have an impact on the complete video surveillance system reliability. Finally, security researchers continuously identify new issues that may reduce the safety of the system, even if no change is applied to the facilities. Deploying a cyber-secure system is a challenging task under these ever-changing conditions. Other aspects of security, such as mechanical, electrical or environmental are not subject to similar uncertainty. As an example, designing an explosion-proof system is a well-known process, involving classifying zones, identifying the nature of the explosive elements, such as gases or dusts, and deducting the product requirements. Video surveillance equipment During the lifespan of the system, the identified risk sources do not change. Similarly, during installation on a marine vessel, the video surveillance equipment is commissioned and will not change until the entire ship is refurbished. Several certification options are currently available on the market, and these can be placed in two main groups The result of the lack of certainty that characterises software and the existence of complex standards that have a restricted competent audience is a professional market that is trying to incoherently fill this gap, by pursuing certifications and stamps or by adopting aggressive advertisement strategies, based on over-optimistic promises on product features. Cybersecurity certification Several certification options are currently available on the market, and these can be placed in two main groups: System certification Product certification As the name suggests, system certification addresses cybersecurity at a system level. This group includes ISO27001, NIST SP 800-53° ISA/IEC62443-3 for example. In these frameworks, risks related to information management are evaluated across every aspect of the organization: information generated by the devices, storage, access control to the information and physical security to protect data from being stolen from data centers. Video surveillance system Since these certifications must be flexible to adapt to a heterogeneity of systems, they define frameworks to perform the system analysis and the assessment of the risks of such systems, but they do not punctually mandate explicit requirements. System certifications delegate the definition of such requirements to the organization willing to achieve the certification. In contrast, product certifications are narrow in scope, targeting a single component subject to certification. A single component can be a camera, a networking switch or video management software A single component can be a camera, a networking switch or video management software. In this category are the EMV standard for credit and debit cards, the UL2900 series and ISO/IEC 15408, also known as Common Criteria. It is clear that pursuing a system-level certification involves the customer and the integrator installing the video surveillance system. Cyber secure surveillance Manufacturers should target product certifications and drive efforts to ease the integration of their products into the frameworks of system-level certification that is being pursued by their customers. Videotec started developing its DeLux technology several years ago. At that time, Videotec had a clear vision for its products: developing safe products for all possible tasks - mechanical, electrical, electromagnetic and software - according to current and future security requirements. The mission of the DeLux technology was, and still is, to provide a reliable, safe and future-proof platform that integrates with all products. Sharing a common platform between multiple products is challenging. It requires deep planning of product design to ensure the platform will function perfectly within any product. It also implies that new software releases are compatible with any previously released camera. New security feature Software architecture must be flexible enough to guarantee integration into very different products Thus, every time a new product is released the effort to validate the software increases. Due to this decision, Videotec guarantees that any new security feature and any bug fix will be available to its customers regardless of product age and whether it is still present in the current product catalog. From the beginning of the DeLux project, two key points were immediately clear. The first point is that software architecture must be flexible enough to guarantee integration into very different products, and at the same time it needs dedicated components that guarantee the un-exploitability of the device. Accomplish video acquisition For this reason, the code executed by the device is partitioned into different security domains, making sure that processes that implement the protocol interfaces towards the video management software cannot harm the internal components that accomplish video acquisition, perform compression and constantly monitor the correct function of the unit. The second point that Videotec immediately understood is that ensuring the correct functioning of the software in every device is as important as the software running in just the cameras. For this reason, Videotec started developing internal tools that perform automated testing on the entire set of devices that incorporate the DeLux technology. Secure video surveillance Every night, the validation tools embedded into the continuous integration process automatically test each product to verify that no regression was unconsciously added while the company proceed with software development. Every time Videotec adds a new feature in response to a suggestion for improvement by the company's customers or identification of an issue, it also updates the testing tools to increase the reliability of the company's products. Videotec has yet to definitively choose a certification scheme for the DeLux technology Videotec believes that its products, and the continual updating of these, actively contribute to maintaining the safe operation of secure video surveillance system, helping IT departments and system administrators by keeping their systems balanced and by not requiring excessive mitigating actions or protections due to future issues. At Videotec, they call this cyber-sustainability. System-level security requirements At the time of writing this white paper, Videotec has yet to definitively choose a certification scheme for the DeLux technology. Several options are being evaluated, as the company search for a solution that will create value for the company’s customers without sacrificing the addition of new features on all products that make up the DeLux technology range. Although Videotec is still exploring the best certification scheme for its software, this does not prevent the company from having a clear and active development path for the cybersecurity in their products. At Videotec, the following five principles are the basis for implementing cybersecurity in products: Hardened software architecture to minimize the attack surface of the cameras Constant updates and availability of new features, even on old products Removal of predefined credentials in the products, to strongly indicate to customers that, as a minimum, a new username and password combination must be defined by the user during installation according to the system-level security requirements Contribution to the ONVIF Security Service specification, to push the industry shifting from usernames and password to X.509 certificates Clear communication to customers, by avoiding fake marketing claims Security service specifications Videotec had an active role in the development of the ONVIF Profile Q specifications. Among other activities, it contributed to driving the standard towards the removal of predefined credentials. The security market must teach installers and users that using pre-defined usernames and passwords is equivalent to not having credentials at all. Videotec is proposing extensions to the ONVIF Security Service specifications Defining the factory-default state of Profile Q compliant devices, where no authentication is required, is the strongest reminder a vendor can provide to its customers. Similarly, with regard to the commitment for the ONVIF Profile Q, Videotec is proposing extensions to the ONVIF Security Service specifications that will include the widespread the adoption of X.509 certificates to replace the usage of credentials. Video surveillance market Moving towards this new way of handling authentication between devices and VMSs will not only impact devices, but it will require a leap forward for the whole video surveillance market. Beyond implementing the functionality in its devices, Videotec is already planning the actions that will be necessary to make its customers effective at selling, installing and maintaining video surveillance systems based on this technology. Last, but not least, trustworthy communication to customers is a key value for Videotec. For this reason, Videotec will never exploit the unintuitive requirements of system certifications of international privacy rules to send wrong messages to the market. As an example, Videotec added to all its IP products an instruction about performing a safe installation according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), similarly to the instructions given for mechanical, electrical of environmental safety. IP-based device In the last ten years, the video surveillance industry has vigorously shifted from analog to IP products These instructions are meant to teach customers and stimulate their attention to aspects related to cybersecurity. As such, instructions will never be turned into unreliable market claims, such as claims for conformance to the GPDR or any other rule. Cyber threats started menacing video surveillance systems from the day the first IP-based device was put into the market. At that time, the number of digital systems was low and video surveillance was not as pervasive as it is today. In the last ten years, the video surveillance industry has vigorously shifted from analog to IP products and, at the same time, it has witnessed a constant growth in market demand. As a result, digital video surveillance systems are everywhere nowadays and attract attention not only from professionals but also from malicious users. Risk assessment analytics Keeping these systems safe from cyber-threats is an activity that cannot be performed just by performing a risk assessment analytics during the commissioning phase - maintenance and recovery plans must be operative during the whole lifespan of the systems. These activities have a cost; also managing the effects of a system violation has a cost. Integrators and users must find the correct balance, to minimize expenses while keeping video surveillance systems updated and secure. In order to make reduction of expenses related to maintenance and recovery plans easier, Videotec bases the development of its products on the concept of cyber-sustainability, where support, updates and training about the products span an interval that is larger than each single product lifecycle and assist integrators and customers keeping their systems protected.
Businesses are now gradually reopening in many countries, and people can return to restaurants, office buildings, and public spaces. A safe reopening process will rely heavily on effective public health strategies, including increased testing for the virus, social distancing, occupancy restrictions, and cleaning and disinfection activities. In many countries, temperature measurement and the wearing of masks have been commonly made mandatory in both business and public environments. While social distancing and occupancy restrictions are considered necessary in public areas such as shopping malls and transportation hubs, workplaces like office buildings and industrial parks are looking for solutions featuring authorized entries with confidence. In lifting the restrictions for businesses and public areas, innovative video technologies can also help organizations meet and exceed health guidelines for safe and effective reopening. Temperature screening at entry The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, a very well-known public health organization, have issued new guidelines for reopening offices. The CDC advises daily health checks including temperature screenings before employees enter a workplace. To achieve this, security cameras equipped with thermographic video technology can be an effective tool for rapid and safe initial temperature screening. Applications include, for example, schools, industrial parks, hospitals, office buildings, malls and hotels, etc. Hikvision’s temperature screening solutions offer various product types including installed thermographic cameras, handheld thermographic cameras, metal detector doors, and MinMoe access terminals that can be flexibly deployed for a wide range of applications. Video monitoring for mask compliance Wearing masks is recommended as a measure to contain respiratory droplets and protect the general public. Masks are also commonly included in worldwide health guidelines towards reopening. Store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate Hence, compliance with this guideline has become crucial to many organizations. Video technology can help monitor the use of protective masks in clever and unobtrusive ways. AI algorithms can detect whether a person is wearing a mask. The system then triggers a pre-defined action if no mask is detected, such as, for example, a voice prompt or a link to an access system to deny entry. This provides a simple way to monitor the situation, or even to remind people of the rules. Hikvision’s thermal and AcuSense cameras, as well as MinMoe temperature screening terminals are equipped to detect masks. A specialized interface on Hikvision’s DeepinMind NVRs can also be used to visually display temperature and mask status together, making monitoring much easier. Crowd density control Social distancing plays an important role in “flattening the curve” in the spread of the coronavirus. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately In various countries, the recommended physical distancing might differ slightly, but maintaining a distance of a meter or more (3-6 feet) will remain a key recommendation of health authorities. In addition, store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate, so as to ensure safe shopping spaces. Technologies incorporating social distancing and occupancy detection can be put into places like these to assist the process. Hikvision Flow Control Hikvision’s Flow Control system utilizes highly accurate people counting technology. A clear, dynamic display and real-time alerts ensure pre-defined capacity thresholds are never exceeded, even in locations with multiple entrances and exits, such as, for example, shopping malls and supermarkets. Video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing A digital sign can be integrated at entrance areas to display real-time occupancy data, as well as temperature and mask information, letting customers know when it is safe to enter premises. In waiting areas such as cash registers in supermarkets and indoor ATMs in malls, Hikvision’s video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately. The exact measurement can be adjusted, well within the social distancing minimum separation guidelines. Touch-free access control Schools and workplaces have previously made use of traditional access control and time attendance systems such as ID card swiping, PIN codes, or fingerprint scans, which require staff and students to frequently touch shared surfaces. This only increases the risk of spreading infection. With touch-free access control terminals, organizations can not only eliminate the risk, but greatly enhance their daily operational efficiency. Hikvision’s MinMoe temperature screening terminals unify temperature screening, mask detection, and access control & time attendance in one model. The system only grants entries when the guidelines are met, which is particularly useful in highly-populated workplaces like industrial parks and office buildings.
Swann, a globally renowned provider of do-it-yourself security solutions, has announced the release of the Swann Tracker security camera as well as the Swann Enforcer camera systems in 4K resolution, a perfect indoor and outdoor security solution for any home or business. The 1080p resolution Enforcer cameras are coming soon. Swann Tracker security camera The Swann Tracker security camera was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 earlier this year and was named a CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree as the world’s first compact, non-mechanical pan-tilt security camera that includes auto-tracking. The Enforcer is Swann’s latest camera that includes motion-activated, red and blue flashing lights, spotlight, siren (on 4K variant) and additional features to deter intruders. Swann has announced two new additions to their security products line. Swann Wi-Fi Tracker security camera Compact, non-mechanical pan-tilt indoor security camera – It uses innovative auto-tracking technology to track and record moving objects without physically having to pan or tilt. Auto-zoom capability – It ensures any suspicious activity is kept targeted and in-focus for up to 2 objects at once within a second camera view while the main 180-degree widescreen full-room view remains onscreen via the Swann Security app. Infrared night vision which can see in the dark up to 32ft / 10m, automatically turning on when the lights are off. Two-way audio - Greet visitors, talk to pets or warn off intruders. Easy to install - Just plug into power and connect through Wi-Fi. Swann Enforcer security systems Motion-activated police-style, red and blue flashing lights - Deters intruders, while their spotlights, sirens (4K version only), and mobile alerts ensure intruders are left with nowhere to hide. Night2Day color night vision - Available on the 1080P model, this ensures complete protection and peace of mind 24/7. True Detect Heat and Motion technology - Sensing people and cars for more reliable security monitoring and fewer false alarms. Free local storage on DVR - Up to 180 days onto a 2TB hard drive, plus the ability to upload clips to the cloud for free. “While many of us are staying home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the need to safeguard our homes and small businesses has never been of greater importance. These next generation Swann surveillance products offer advanced features to prevent and deter unwanted intruders outside and inside the house,” said Michael (Mike) Lucas, CEO, Swann. He adds, “Swann’s latest products continue the Swann tradition of providing consumers with easy to use, reliable, home security protection and 24/7 peace of mind.” Total security control via Swann Security app These new products are part of a complete security ecosystem that can be managed under the ‘Swann Security’ app. This gives users a unique ability to control wired and wireless security devices from multiple sites, stream live video, always receive rich notifications and know what’s happening in one place. Swann is the only vendor that offers a complete line up of inter-connectable wired and wireless security solutions that is also completely integrated with Google Assistant and Alexa.
The new buzz in the thermal imaging world goes by many names. In a short time, a small niche in the world of IR, which was previously sidelined to make way for more lucrative markets such as security and defence, has taken the top spot in the attention, production and sales for many manufacturers and integrators. It’s no surprise considering the size of this new market. Suddenly, hotels, cinemas, malls, hospitals, critical services, public transportation, office buildings and more have become consumers of thermal imaging cameras. Along with that, the more traditional markets, such as security, defense and industry are suffering from budget cuts, project cancellations, or postponements. Combine two of these elements, and the new elevated body temperature (EBT) camera market is easily 3-4 times the size of the other markets combined. Thermal imaging cameras and common misconceptions Can thermal cameras detect viruses? The answer is NO. The best the camera can do is tell you if someone has a higher skin temperature than others. There are many reasons for an elevated body temperature which are not all health-related, such as exercise or even sitting in a warm environment without air-conditioning. Are the cameras accurate? The accuracy debate is a significant and controversial discussion with much misinformation running around. When discussing accuracy, there are two considerations: The first consideration is the accuracy of the camera itself versus a blackbody. Blackbodies are devices which can regulate temperature very accurately (although not all are equal) and have a high emissivity level, which means they are almost not affected by surrounding heat or energy. All thermal cameras are calibrated against blackbodies. Still, some manufacturers have been using them in their EBT solutions to give the camera a consistent temperature reference to which it can adjust. The accuracy of the camera in this discussion talks about the camera itself. How sensitive the detector is, internal reflections, lens aperture, noise level and the calibration process itself. Also, if you read the fine print, most manufacturers quote accuracy levels which are valid only in a controlled or laboratory environment. As in, a room with a steady 25°C and a slow shift in temperature (not more than 1°C per hour). Most field conditions don’t allow this – so this low level of accuracy is challenging to replicate in practice.Blackbodies are devices which can regulate temperature very accurately The other focuses on the fact we are not looking for COVID in black bodies. We are looking for it in humans. And, the substance known as human skin acts very differently. To date, there are no medical models which can predict how skin will behave in different scenarios. We don’t know what the external skin temperature of a man weighing X who was exposed for X minutes to direct or indirect sunlight would be. So, while the black body may be spot on – it has no bearing on the temperature reading of humans. So, while we can improve the first issue, the second one is more complicated. One way to circumvent it is by using population statistical analysis and looking for the gradient between the healthy population (which does have existing medical models) to the people with a higher temperature which are statistical anomalies for such a camera. Thermal cameras and their suitability Are all thermal cameras suitable for temperature readings? There is a difference between a thermal camera and a thermometric camera. A thermal camera developed for security and defence are used to detect threats and give situational awareness. We don’t care that two trees with different temperatures will have different colors – we care about the person standing between them. We manipulate the image, so the viewer has a better understanding of what he sees. With thermometric measurement (as in – thermal temperature reading) we do the exact opposite. We want accurate temperatures readings for each pixel in our screen. A thermometric camera will go through a rigorous calibration together with the lens, which often takes longer. We need to offset, in the calibration tables, minute pixel-sized blemishes in the detector and lens. Those blemishes would be invisible in a thermal image – but can skew the temperature reading and produce inaccurate results. We regularly see suppliers who are using regular thermal cameras with blackbodies to auto adjust the temperature reading as described above. But, if you take that same blackbody and move it a meter to one side, you may discover the camera suddenly registers a different temperature – as not all pixels have a uniform calibration. Does it matter where we scan in humans? Yes and no. The inner canthus of the eye (the tear duct) is the most relevant external point with the best correlation to internal temperature. People looking at the inner canthus will manage to avoid a lot of the effects of ambient temperature on the skin. The tradeoff is that the inner canthus is a tiny area, and people would need to remove their glasses. Most of the world’s health organisations consider the difference between a healthy and sick individual to be 1.5° C (or 2.7° F). That change is consistent whether you’re looking at the tear duct, the forehead or a mouth. Thus, the solutions that look at the gradient temperature (population-based solutions) are just as effective when measuring the ambient temperature on the skin of the population tested. Do people need to stop in front of the camera? Not necessarily. It depends on the speed of the camera and the temperature detection algorithm. Some cameras can detect people walking very quickly as they only need a few frames to detect the temperature. Will the camera work outdoors? Most outdoor cameras will suffer from false alarms and misses. Some cameras have very advanced compensation algorithms for this, but they can’t take into account all the dynamic temperature changes, humidity, sporadic energy readings and the “bane of thermal imaging” - turbulence. Therefore, the conditions can strain even the most advanced algorithm. Why invest in this technology? The WHO states, that while asymptomatic transmission exists, it’s much less contagious then symptomatic transmission. Some doctors claim that a person with a fever sheds the virus five times more aggressively than a person with no fever. There are clear regulations for businesses to screen individuals for fever In some countries, there are clear regulations for businesses to screen individuals for fever as they come into the establishment. While you can have a person in the entrance with a contactless thermometer, they must stop people for a 5-second check each time they come in. That would cause long lines in many places with high traffic. And, during testing, standing less than 2 meters from the individual would throw social distancing out the window. If the tester got sick, the next day they would start endangering everyone else they checked. It’s better to screen automatically and only use the IR thermometer in cases where an alert was triggered and needed to be verified. Various forms of technology We’ve also seen much use of the IR tablets recently. While they are low cost, a person usually needs to stand very close (less than 1 meter) from the monitor to be caught by the camera. Thus, spreading his germs on the glass or plastic cover of the tablet while being screened. In conclusion – Thermal EBT cameras are important. They aren’t a miracle cure, and they won’t stop the spread of the virus. And one should be careful of false promises. But along with other solutions (most importantly – masks), they can help protect us during these times and allow the wounded global economy to rejuvenate itself.
As businesses, schools, hospitals and sporting venues look to safely reopen in a COVID-19 world, thermal imaging systems will play a critical role in helping to detect and distinguish skin temperature variations in people. Thermal surveillance, a mainstay of traditional physical security and outdoor perimeter detection, is now being deployed to quickly scan employees, contractors and visitors as part of a first line of defense to detect COVID-19 symptoms. In the coming weeks and months, the security industry will look to implement thermal camera solutions for customers, yet many questions remain as to the differences between different system types and how to properly install thermal imaging cameras. In this Q&A, Jason Ouellette, Head of Technology Business Development for Johnson Controls, answers several of these questions. Q: What are some of the different thermal imaging solutions available in the market to detect an elevated temperature in a person? For the general market, there are three types of these thermographic screenings. There is the handheld device, which is typically lower cost, very portable, and very easy to use. Typically, this is a point and shoot type of device, but it requires you to be three feet or less from the person that you're screening, which, in today's world, means the user needs to wear protective personal equipment. For the general market, there are three types of these thermographic screenings The second type of solution would best be described as a thermal camera and kiosk. The advantage of this system over a handheld device is this can be self-service. An individual would go up to and engage with the kiosk on their own. But many of these kiosk type solutions have some integration capability, so they can provide some type of output, for either turnstiles, or physical access control, but not video management systems (VMS). Some of the downside of this type of system is that it’s less accurate than a thermographic solution because it does not have a blackbody temperature calibration device and the readings are influenced by the surrounding ambient temperature, called thermal drift. So instead of being able to achieve a ±0.3ºC accuracy rating, this system probably provides closer to ±0.5ºC at best. Some of these devices may be classed as a clinical thermometer with a higher degree of one time accuracy, but do not offer the speed and endurance of the thermographic solution for adjunctive use. And then there are thermal imaging camera systems with a blackbody temperature calibration device. These types of systems include a dual sensor camera, that has a visual sensor and a thermal sensor built right into the camera, along with a separate blackbody device. This provides the highest degree of ongoing accuracy, because of the blackbody and its ability to provide continuous calibration. These systems can provide much more flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices. Q: When installing a thermal imaging camera system what is the most important element to consider? Camera placement is critical to ensure the system works as expected, however the placement of the blackbody device which verifies the correct calibration is in place is equally as important. If the customer wants to follow FDA medical device recommendations for camera placement, both the height of the camera and the blackbody as well as the distance between these devices should comply with the product installation instructions. This takes into account the device focal range and calibration parameters in addressing the distance from the person undergoing the scan. Also, integrators should minimize camera detection angles to ensure optimal accuracy and install cameras parallel with the face as much as possible, and again in compliance with installation instructions. Integrators should minimize camera detection angles to ensure optimal accuracy The blackbody should be placed outside of the area where people could block the device and located more towards the edges of the field-of-view of the camera. You need to keep in mind the minimum resolution for effective thermographic readings which is 320 by 240 pixels as defined by the standards. To achieve this, you would need to follow medical electrical equipment performance standards driven by IEC 80601-2-59:2017 for human temperature scanning and FDA guidelines. Within that measurement, the face needs to fill 240 x 180 pixels of the thermal sensor resolution, which is close to or just over 50 percent of the sensor’s viewing area typically, meaning a single person scanned at a time in compliance with the standards for accuracy. Along with height and distance placement considerations, the actual placement in terms of the location of the system is key. For example, an expansive glass entryway may impact accuracy due to sunlight exposure. Installations should be focused on ensuring that they are away from airflow, heating and cooling sources, located approximately 16 feet from entry ways and in as consistent of an ambient temperature as possible between 50°F and 95°F. Q: Once a thermal imaging camera system is installed, how do you monitor the device? There are several choices for system monitoring, depending on whether the solution is used as standalone or integrated with other technologies, such as intrusion detection, access control or video systems. For standalone systems, the ability to receive system alerts is typically configured through the camera’s webpage interface, and the cameras include abilities such as the live web page, LED display for alerting, audio alerts and physical relay outputs. When done right, these features will all follow cybersecurity best practices which is important for any network solution today, including changing default passwords and establishing authentication methods. The ability to receive system alerts is typically configured through the camera’s webpage interface These types of thermal cameras can also integrate with turnstile systems, VMS platforms and access control systems. This is typically done through the integration of a relay output, activated by a triggered temperature anomaly event on a thermal imaging camera which can then be used for activities such as locking a turnstile, or through access control and video systems to send an email or provide an automated contagion report for contact tracing. These capabilities and integrations extend the monitoring capability above that of the standalone solution. The camera can be configured to monitor a specific range of low and high alerts. Users can determine the actions that should be taken when that alert exceeds the preset low or high threshold. These actions include things like a bright and easy-to-see LED can provide visual notification through pulsing and flashing lights as an example. Q: What about system maintenance? Does a thermal imaging camera require regular service in order to operate accurately? First it’s important to make sure the system is calibrated. This can be done after the unit stabilises for at least 30 minutes to establish the initial reference temperature source known as the blackbody. Calibrations conducted before this warm up and stability time period can throw off accuracy. Also, as part of your system maintenance schedule you will want to perform a calibration check of the blackbody device every 12 months, along with following recommendations of the FDA and IEC. If you install the solution and don’t perform maintenance and the blackbody calibration certificate expires, over time there’s a risk that the device will experience drift and a less accurate reading will result. There’s a risk that the device will experience drift and a less accurate reading will result Q: What final pieces of advice do you have for either an integrator who plans to install a thermal imaging camera system or an end user who plans to invest in this solution? Before you buy a thermal imaging camera check to see if the manufacturer ships the camera with a calibration certificate. Also, become familiar with FDA’s guidance released in April 2020, Enforcement Policy for Telethermographic Systems During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency. This document places thermal/fever products for adjunctive use under the category of a Class I medical devices and subject to its regulatory control. Driven by these regulations and categorisation, users need to understand specifically what is required to meet the required level of accuracy for successful detection. While thermal imaging camera systems are more complex than traditional surveillance cameras, they can prove to be a valuable resource when set up, configured and maintained properly.
When we popped the champagne to celebrate the start of a new year in January, not many could predict that less than three months later, we’d be facing a global pandemic and the economic challenges that a worldwide lockdown would bring. In conversations over the last several weeks, reports from integrators have vacillated between being flush with work or fearful that projects were drying up — without a whole lot in the middle. But in these conversations, a central theme has emerged: diversification. My background was heavily rooted in security integration but in the last 10 years shifted to risk — both management and mitigation practices — and this emerged long before I began my career in security. It isn’t a new phenomenon for companies to be looking at the risk management strategies they had in place and rethinking their direction. This global pandemic, and the effects it has had on the workforce, has significantly altered what many organizations deem “normal” day-to-day operations, meaning that many organizations are asking one key question: “Can my business withstand this?” The challenge exists in ensuring asset security For many end users, the challenge exists in ensuring asset security in locations that are experiencing low occupancy as a result of work-from-home policies or in vacant facilities altogether. For integrators, there is a balance between continuing to install projects while keeping the health and well-being of technicians and employees top-of-mind. Considering these factors, business resiliency in times of crisis can be built by integrators implementing the following strategies: Diversify the portfolio As an industry, it’s safe to say that the winds of change are beginning to shift away from solely “per project” to more recurring monthly revenue (RMR) business models — and today’s crisis may be the catalyst for more of this change. Integrators that embraced this model in the early days, despite the hurdles that a transition like this brings, are seeing the benefits of this move. In economic downturns, RMR allows an organization to map out incoming revenue streams and ensures money will continue to come in despite restrictions on new products and investments from customers. Offer more service-based products Part of diversifying a portfolio involves engaging in a more service-based approach to business. Establishing a monitoring services department, integrating a cloud-based video and/or access control service into the mix, or bringing more system monitoring services in play can go a long way in offering more than hardware-driven sales. We’ve talked a lot in the last several years about so many organizations transitioning from large capital expenditures (CAPEX) to more operational expenditures (OPEX) and the opportunities this presents to integrators; now is the time for providers to harness this trend for the health of their business. Emphasize the management Through managed services, the value for the customer is that integrators take on the diagnostics, testing, remote monitoring and more — all via the cloud or hosted models, which means fewer “truck rolls” and costs associated. In the current environment, saving a visit to a site can help protect technicians. For new customers, the external management of a system can mean all the difference as there are a number of end users that don’t need a headache that legacy systems create as it relates to maintenance, updates and manpower oversight. Securing an integrator’s business can mean being able to serve customers by diagnosing and triaging issues quickly and highlighting the value provided in day-to-day management. Look at new vertical markets From a resilience perspective, critical infrastructure and government-related markets, such as water and energy, and local and municipal customers rarely see a reduction in spending amidst a downturn, which can make these markets a solid investment for integrators. While some of the regulatory requirements in place, such as adherence to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and GSA contract guidelines, may be daunting, the ability for firms to weather the storm by serving these markets can help integrators see continued success. Understand your books One of the first things that integrators must do before a crisis hits is to understand their balance sheet. So many integrator firms are built on the premise of being really exceptional at highly technical and complicated installations, which is why they are good at what they do. But the real challenge is the balance of this ability with the skills needed to grasp business continuity from a bookkeeping and planning perspective. Act as a consultant One of the biggest challenges for customers during a crisis is making quick decisions that can impact the rest of the organization both in the short- and long-term. In the security environment and the status of where the world is currently, the needs customers had a month ago are far different than now, so acting as a consultant and working with them to address their concerns through existing technology — or recommending new solutions — can mean all the difference in building a relationship with existing customers or in working with new ones. Offer services that leverage existing investments So many customers out there today have invested heavily in video surveillance equipment and hardware that they want to ensure will be around for the long haul. Investing in new equipment can be a real hindrance in normal circumstances, much less those we’re currently facing, so it’s critical that more open solutions are offered to customers. For example, cloud-based video offerings that leverage existing cameras and allow end users to configure them with the touch of a button are a value-added benefit that can favor integrators in the long run. Continue training your staff Right now, while many integrators see a slow down taking place, it’s critical that those with the means to do so offer more value to end users by incorporating continued education and training for technicians. This can go a long way in making the services offered more appealing to customers. Integrators who set aside resources to train staff and encourage certifications are building a foundation for success. There’s no way that integrators can address the demands placed on them without investing in the people within their organization. Integrators and security leaders are tasked now with the added complexity of navigating a worldwide crisis. While so many see the challenges ahead, there is opportunity within these challenges to take forward-thinking business practices and implement them on a broader scale. Doing so can have the potential to change the face of the industry as we know it.
Arteco’s VCA video analytics system is their latest new product, signaling a move from machine vision-based analytics to deep learning video analytics. A server – separate from the Arteco video management system (VMS) – manages the algorithms for the analytics. Arteco has been field-testing the product for a year and a half and had planned to launch it officially at ISC West in March (which was postponed). In lieu of the trade show launch, the company has been presenting the product (along with partners) through a series of webinars. The deep learning video analytics product operates out of the box – “just turn it on,” says Steve Birkmeier, Arteco VP of Sales. Functionality is based on “training” of pre-classified objects, such as differentiating between a person, an animal, a vehicle, or just clutter. The deep learning library focuses on people and vehicles. Detection and identification The new system detects everything in the field of view The new system detects everything in the field of view and only identifies what the operator is looking for, thus reducing false alarms. Any identified object is provided with an accuracy reading (e.g., 92% confident it is a human.) The system can be set up from the graphical user interface (GUI). Arteco VCA (video content analysis) also uses analytics rules, such as “if A+B=C, then do D.” Therefore, an abandoned object may elicit a different response than a violated area. With roots in the industrial automation market of the early-2000s, Arteco offers an event-based video management system (VMS) platform. That is, their emphasis is on identifying and providing video at the moment something happens rather than managing a vast amount of video that shows, in effect, nothing of interest. Arteco’s system, providing functionality expected in a full-featured VMS, is designed around the need to react to exceptions and events. Video verification “We can pull in events from any type of system and provide the related video,” says Steve Birkmeier, Arteco VP of Sales. “It can be access control, fire, intrusion, perimeter security, radar or microwave barriers, vape sensors, license plate recognition, or whatever.” An open connector, xml framework enables Arteco to interface with other systems and provide video verification of events. In addition to a focus on event-based video, Arteco also emphasizes ease of use, building on their 20-year history with video analytics. Another point of differentiation is their open architecture that easily and repeatably enables incorporation of third-party “events.” Finally, Arteco’s systems are competitively priced (less expensive), including flexible pricing and licensing structure to maximize value for a customer. In addition to security, there are multiple operational applications that use video verification In addition to security, there are multiple operational applications that use video verification. For example, integration with warehouse management software using metadata from warehouse surveillance video can provide a searchable database. An operator can enter a purchase order number, for instance, and the system provides video associated with that sale. The role of video in physical security Arteco has traditionally been a strong player in the utilities vertical, where event-based video management is useful to keep watch on high-value assets located in remote areas with little physical security. Another strong vertical is car dealerships in the United States, including security and loss prevention applications as well as integration with fleet management (using RFID and/or license plate reading). Arteco’s heat mapping capabilities can help a car dealer analyze customer activity to guide merchandising decisions, in the same way a retail store might. Big-box stores are another application for Arteco’s combination of marketing analytics, security and loss prevention. Arteco’s strength is also proving useful in the emerging, highly regulated cannabis industry. State regulations require that each marijuana plant be tagged, and systems are required to provide total chain of custody records from “seed to sale.” In the case of Arteco, video associated with a specific plant tag is available at each stage of growth, production and sale. Coronavirus and video management The analytics can detect when people are grouped together closer than 2 meters As an Italian company, Arteco has already applied its deep-learning VCA product at city centers in Italy, which was hard hit by the novel coronavirus. The analytics can detect when people are grouped together closer than 2 meters, for example, and can provide an alarm if social distancing requirements related to the coronavirus are not being observed. The system can also detect and confirm the use of face masks at an entrance. Tracking that number – the percentage of customers who comply – in real time might offer additional peace of mind for high-risk customers entering a store, for example. Birkmeier contends the world has been changed forever by the pandemic, although acceptance over time of new technologies being introduced will vary greatly by geographic location. Already, in the last decade or so, acceptance of video surveillance has been greater, even in the U.S. market, he says. ”More often you hear ‘why don’t you have cameras’ rather than ‘I don’t like these camera here,’” he comments.
Axis Communications has introduced a body-worn camera solution, which the company says represents a natural extension of their corporate vision, business strategy and core competence. The new body-worn cameras and other elements of the system will provide Axis new opportunities to grow by tapping into existing and new customers. The fast-growing body-worn camera market is an attractive one, and Axis sees opportunities to extend the use of body-worn cameras beyond the current core market of police and corrections officers. Private security applications for the technology include healthcare, education, banking, public venues, retail, logistics, transportation and places of worship. The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind, says Martin Gren, Founder and Director of New Projects at Axis. “We try to make it fit with existing customers.” Deploying and using the system The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind Gren says the system is easy to deploy and use. The Axis W100 camera provides 1080p images, wide dynamic range (WDR) and has dual microphones, operating 12 hours on a single charge. GPS/GNSS global satellite navigation provides location, and a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer offer additional data beyond the video image. For example, sensors might be triggered in some situations to initiate recording. One-bay (Axis W700) or eight-bay (Axis W701) docking stations enable high-speed supervised data offloading and battery charging, and a system controller (Axis W800) provides a central point for integration and management. Use of Zipstream compression technology saves on bandwidth and storage. Video cannot be accessed in the field, but only when a camera has been docked. There are many layers of security, and encryption protects all data used in the system from being accessed by outside agents. The USB interface cannot be connected to an ordinary computer but only to the docking station. Open standards Open standards ensure easy integration with video management systems and/or evidence management systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. At the time of release, the Axis body-worn camera system is already integrated with Milestone XProtect, Genetec Security Center, and Axis Camera Station VMSs. It is also integrated with the Genetec Clearance cloud-based evidence management system. An application programming interface (API) will facilitate additional integrations over time. The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels of distributors, systems integrators and resellers. The camera is part of the Axis “ecosystem,” which includes the company’s familiar network cameras as well as recent additions such as access control, network audio systems (including loud speakers), intercom door stations, a radar detector and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “The more things you integrate, the more value you add to customers,” said Gren. The new body-worn camera systems are core products for Axis; they are not made by another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and merely sold under the Axis label. “When we decided to do body-worn cameras, OEMing was not an option,” said Gren. “Instead we took some experienced Axis engineers and a bunch of new ones to develop this product line to ensure the same Axis quality and compatibility.” Introducing the new product The body-worn camera system was unveiled remotely in a press conference webinar; the original plan was to introduce the new product at ISC West, which was canceled to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to announcing the new product, the Axis executives provided commentary and insight into the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “The security industry is a close-knit community that is connected in more ways than one,” said Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Vice President of the Americas. “We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision to address such challenges.” We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision" “There is some disruption in the Axis supply chain, but we have a broad partner-based supply chain when it comes to our sub-suppliers, our seven global CLCs (Configuration and Logistics Centers) and the distributors who keep inventory for integrators,” said Nilsson in the March 18th press call. “There is some stress on some components, but things are working relatively well under the circumstances. We are monitoring it on a day-to-day basis, but so far we have been able to hold things up very well.” Gren offered a comment on the possible use of thermal cameras (which Axis makes) to measure body temperature during the COVID-19 crisis: “When we designed our thermal cameras, that was a common question,” he said. “But in general, it is difficult to use a thermal camera to get an accurate reading. We have one model – the Q2901 – that is a temperature-accurate thermal camera, and if you look straight into the camera, it is accurate to around 1° F. However, there are more efficient ways to [measure temperature]. In general, it’s not a business application I would recommend.”
It is an exciting time at German intelligent video company MOBOTIX, which has launched a next-generation platform that builds on their legacy of video at the edge while opening up the system to third-party partners that can build even more capabilities. MOBOTIX unveiled the new M7 platform and M73 camera at the MOBOTIX Global Partner Conference in Mainz, Germany, in October. MOBOTIX M7 is a powerful, decentralized and secure modular IoT-video system based on deep learning modules. The feedback has been “overwhelming,” says MOBOTIX CEO Thomas Lausten. The new technology will also be featured in the United States at the 2020 MOBOTIX Partner Summit in Hollywood, Fla., in January. A different video surveillance "What you see is a different way of doing video surveillance,” says Lausten. “Our focus on the edge is the difference between us and other companies.” The new MOBOTIX 7 open solution provides an “edge platform” that can be used for a variety of applications, which are provided as “apps” that leverage the platform’s hardware for specific uses, from object detection to face detection to people counting. The new M75 high-end camera incorporates the new platform. The MOBOTIX application programming interface (API) makes it possible for hundreds more apps to be developed over time Currently there are 19 apps available to empower various applications, and availability of the MOBOTIX application programming interface (API) makes it possible for hundreds more apps to be developed over time. If a MOBOTIX partner creates a new app for a specific project, “now he can use it not just for one project but can put it in the app store and sell it all over the world,” says MOBOTIX CTO Hartmut Sprave. Field Programmable Gate Array The new MOBOTIX platform uses Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) integrated circuits that provide flexibility and versatility to be adapted to a variety of needs, from deep learning, to higher resolution, or to use with a variety of sensors, such as color, black-and-white or night vision cameras, temperature sensors or microphones. “We can literally include any sensor requested by the market,” says Lausten. The new camera can also be used for age analysis, crowd management or traffic analysis. It can even be used for fire or biohazard detection, incorporating thermal sensors and deep learning. MOBOTIX have added to their legacy of video with a next generation platform Partnerships MOBOTIX developed its new platform in conjunction with Konica Minolta, which owns a majority share of the German manufacturer. The combined knowledge of the two companies created the new platform, with most of the engineering done in Germany. Konica Minolta provided an object detection algorithm, for example, and deep learning capabilities that are being used with the cameras. The two companies are also developing the business together. “They are rolling out our technology on their website throughout the world,” says Lausten. “We are basically part of a global development organization.” MOBOTIX developed its new platform in conjunction with Konica Minolta The new platform is also completely compatible with legacy MOBOTIX systems: “We have added what we need to what we have,” says Lausten. Cybersecurity is a top priority for MOBOTIX. “With our camera, everything is under our control, every single line of code, and we do all the penetration testing and everything is safe,” says Sprave. In fact, MOBOTIX won the French "Trophée de la Sécurité 2019" Gold Award in the cybersecurity category for the MOBOTIX Cactus Concept, which refers to the fact that all the modules in the MOBOTIX system have “digital thorns” that protect them from unauthorized access. End-to-end encryption is used with no blind spots. Driven by cybersecurity Stronger cybersecurity and a focus on edge devices makes MOBOTIX inherently more cybersecure than a system of networked low-cost cameras, each of which could present a possible cyber-vulnerability. Stronger cybersecurity and a focus on edge devices makes MOBOTIX inherently more cybersecure The flexibility of the MOBOTIX platform expands its utility beyond security to include broader business functions. For example, the same camera that can detect criminals with face recognition can track where people are moving in a retail store, and even analyze age or demographics of customers to track buying patterns. “Cameras are required to think and process at the edge, and that is where we see a lot of focus going, driven by cybersecurity,” Lausten says. Lausten sees opportunity for even faster growth in the U.S. market, where they already have 30 or 40 partners. In the near term, there will be large opportunities provided by the U.S. trend toward “Chinese skepticism,” and cybersecurity concerns that have plagued the lower-cost Chinese imports. MOBOTIX products are proudly “Made in Germany.”
Axis Communications, the provider in network video, has helped develop an innovative and clean energy solution which illustrates the potential of sustainable surveillance technologies in remote locations. In response to a request to produce a system to document part of a major program of improvements to Scotland’s A9 carriageway, Axis and its partner Camera Control UK, developed a solution which is capable of capturing high-quality 4K time-lapse imagery using entirely renewable sources. One of the main challenges was that the solution needed to be able to capture high-quality surveillance video in an area with no communication networks or local power, while coping with weather extremes and construction logistics. With diesel generators disregarded due to the pollutants they would produce, and the challenges associated with trying to lay power cables over a considerable distance along a route that twists and turns, a clean and sustainable solution was required. Video surveillance helps in better traffic flow The highways project will see a 10-mile stretch of the A9 from Perth to Inverness widened to increase the efficiency of the route and allow for smoother traffic flow. After winning a tender to document the project, local company, MB Productions Ltd, commissioned Camera Control UK to produce a solution. Camera Control UK in turn contacted Axis Communications, the provider in network video technology, to work in collaboration. The resulting video would be used for audit purposes, to provide evidence of best practice, and to serve as example material for future projects. All captured video is relayed back to a central control location using a dedicated wireless network Martin Naylor, Director of Camera Control UK, elaborates: “We realized it had to be an off-grid solution to avoid using local power; a solution that could incorporate wireless communications and utilize renewable energy sources to be environmentally friendly and sustainable over the longer term.” Bullet cameras To bring the solution to life, AXIS P1448-LE 4K short bullet cameras were chosen for their robustness and durability. The final system uses eight solar power packs, charged by a mixture of wind turbine and solar PV panels. Eight towers with mounted cameras are employed at various key touchpoints along the A9. Communications masts, installed to enable cloud connectivity, ensured that the Axis cameras, connected via the IoT, were able to deliver imagery of incredible quality. The whole solution illustrates the possibilities for innovation when utilizing the natural elements, having a virtually zero carbon footprint. All captured video is relayed back to a central control location using a dedicated wireless network. The whole system can be remotely monitored to continually check its status of operation. Remote management also enables the cameras to be fine-tuned for precision imagery of the work in progress, without the need to manually touch the cameras, or even to be on-site in person. 4K Imagery Martin Naylor commented on the relationship with Axis that has made this solution possible: “Axis really values innovation and is therefore an ideal partner, not only because the team takes the time to understand the challenges when trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible in surveillance, but also because their drive towards sustainable and ethical practices is an inspiration to other technology companies.” Matt Brown, Director, MBP, said of the solution: “We are now able to capture fantastic 4K imagery of the ongoing work on the A9. Camera Control UK has produced an entirely green solution, an incredible feat of engineering. The Axis cameras are in a completely different league, in terms of quality, to others we’ve seen. This project has been a great success.”
viisights, the developer of innovative behavioral understanding systems for real-time video intelligence based on AI, announced that it has deployed a smart city traffic monitoring system in the city of Ashdod, leveraging the NVIDIA Metropolis intelligent video analytics framework. “This project signifies how smart cities like Ashdod increase safety, mobility and quality of life by state-of-the-art traffic monitoring driven by computer vision-based on AI,” said Asaf Birenzvieg, co-founder and CEO of viisights. “viisights traffic monitoring capabilities are based on our revolutionary video understanding technology that helps in analyzing hundreds to thousands of real-time traffic video streams and alerting on complex traffic situations, including accidents, hazards and predicting and managing traffic congestion. We see this project as an example of how a city can be really smart and as a validation of the growing demand for our behavioral understanding solutions.” Intersection blocked Using NVIDIA GPUs and the DeepStream SDK within NVIDIA Metropolis, viisights’ innovative traffic monitoring system provides highly scalable and cost-effective solutions for real-time analysis of thousands of video streams. viisights video intelligence system deployed in Ashdod provides real-time advanced behavioral understanding of traffic actions and events in live video streams by monitoring intersections, crossroads, roads and streets. This enables municipalities to quickly address events of interest such as accidents, disturbances to traffic (for example, vehicles stopping in a junction or on a sidewalk), road hazards (for example, people getting in and out of vehicles in dangerous areas) and monitor traffic flows and report on various statistics. viisights technology protects public privacy by only analyzing general behavior patterns of individuals, groups, vehicles and traffic-flows. It does not identify faces or license plates. Car collision information This cutting-edge, first-of-its-kind technology from viisights assists municipalities to secure traffic flow, prevent blockage and attend to road hazards, while also enhancing their essential role in securing the life and safety of inhabitants; first responders can arrive faster at scenes of life-threatening situations, minimize injuries, and attend to dangers in traffic and more. “We are extremely proud to be at the forefront of smart city technology by being the first city in Israel to define and use this behavior recognition technology for the benefit of Ashdod citizens,” said Gamliel Edri, technologies & CCTV control room department manager for the city of Ashdod Municipality. “The viisights’ system strengthens our ability to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and even save lives. We look forward to broadening our successful collaboration with viisights to other parts of the city.”
NICE announced that a consortium of four UK police forces (Hampshire Constabulary, Thames Valley Police, Surrey Police and Sussex Police), operating as the South East Regional Integrated Policing Programme (SERIP), has signed a contract with NICE to deploy the NICE Investigate Digital Evidence Management Solution (DEMS). SERIP will roll out NICE Investigate to more than 12,000 officers to streamline investigations and address the challenges of growing digital evidence. “Having had the opportunity to pilot NICE Investigate in the four forces, we could see the system in action and realize the benefits for our investigations and investigators. 92% of our officers said it would make their investigation more effective,” said a spokesperson from SERIP. “NICE Investigate will be transformational for us, not only in terms of time savings but also through improved policing outcomes that will ultimately reduce threats, harm and risk to our communities.” Interview recording systems NICE Investigate will also make it much easier for SERIP forces to collect CCTV video for cases Running on the secure Microsoft Azure cloud, NICE Investigate is a one-stop solution for automating manual processes around the collection, management, analysis and sharing of all types of digital evidence. NICE Investigate will seamlessly integrate with the four forces’ records management, body-worn video and interview recording systems so investigators can automatically correlate and gather evidence through a single login. NICE Investigate will also make it much easier for SERIP forces to collect CCTV video for cases. Investigators can instantly pull up a list of cameras within an incident radius and send off a request to registered businesses located within that geographic area. Any uploaded video is automatically transcoded to a useable format and securely stored in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Driving digital transformation “With SERIP now rolling out NICE Investigate, we are providing cutting-edge delivery to an increasing number of forces for their day-to-day digital evidence management and digital transformation, ensuring investigations and evidence sharing are match fit for the digital age,” said Chris Wooten, Executive Vice President, NICE. “NICE Investigate is fast becoming the defacto standard for driving digital transformation in policing across the UK and is gaining momentum around the world.”
The Italian town of Schio has bolstered its video surveillance system with 14 new digital cameras that will cover as big an area as possible. There has been 75,000 Euro worth of investment, in an effort to protect those who want to feel safer at home. Thanks to a pilot project that saw a collaboration between the local council, Videotec, Pasubio Tecnologia (a company that offers public administration digital services) and the local police force, not only will the field of surveillance be widened but it is the best technology available that has been installed and tested. Supplied by Videotec, these new devices don’t just provide daytime surveillance: they also allow for monitoring at night, thanks to the in-built infrared. They also come with Full HD sensors, 30x zoom and a wiper for cleaning the lens. In addition, they rotate, allowing for full 360° recording. Video surveillance solutions The pilot project also allowed Videotec to use the spaces made available to the town to test new devices and experiment with new video surveillance solutions designed specifically for cities. The Mayor of Schio said: “We came to notice that the town’s surveillance system was inadequate: some areas were not covered and many cameras were not modern enough, providing pictures that were difficult to use." The system will be upgraded through the industrial region, chiefly to prevent acts of vandalism" "We tackled this problem immediately because the security of our citizens, our businesses and their capital are of the utmost importance. Through this project, we’ll replace two obsolete systems and add 12 cameras, giving us 45 in total with which to monitor the town. In particular, the system will be upgraded through the industrial region and other sensitive areas, chiefly to prevent acts of vandalism.” fiber optic infrastructure Laura Locci, President of Pasubio Tecnologia, said “Video surveillance is important, but it’s only effective if the system works properly. Thanks to our fiber optic infrastructure, the digital technology of the new devices, connected to the monitoring station that has been installed at the HQ of the local police force, offers the very best performance for the whole system.” Loris Revrenna, Deputy Commander of the Local Police Force continued: “The knowledge that there are recording systems in place is already proving to be an excellent deterrent. Increasingly, video surveillance is a tool for investigation as it allows the perpetrators of crimes to be tracked. Previously, they probably would have gone unpunished. It, therefore, allows us to take preventative and repressive action - an increasingly indispensable solution.” Outdoor video surveillance systems Alessio Grotto, President of Videotec, concluded: “For us, collaborating with the municipality of Schio is a moment of pride. We are a company of Schio, with activities in fifty countries around the world, and we specialize in the creation of outdoor video surveillance systems that are resistant to extreme conditions, both weather-related and environmental. At sites made available by the town, we will be able to experiment with new products and invest in a product that’s dedicated exclusively to city surveillance.”
Southeastern Rail Network operates train services between London, Kent and parts of East Sussex. It is one of the busiest networks in the country, transporting 640,000 passengers each weekday on its 392 trains, which are temporarily housed in 12 depots situated around South-East England. Some of these depots are unmanned, and therefore require intelligent security solutions. Bosch Security System’s Integration Partner, Taylor Technology Systems, were tasked with upgrading the entire video surveillance system across the 12 depots. The legacy analog surveillance system had come to the end of its service life and was overdue for an upgrade. A state of the art IP based system was required to deliver upon the clients requirements for all the depots to be fully monitored 24/7. Tracking train arrivals departures A fully integrated solution was required that could provide all of this while also reducing costs An upgrade to an IP camera solution can provide vastly improved image quality, wider coverage and wireless capability, along with Intelligent Video Analytics and high levels of data security encryption. The primary challenge that needed to be solved by the video surveillance solution was securing the 5 unmanned depots. Some of these sites had previously been subject to thefts due to unauthorized entry via the main entrances. All access gates therefore needed to be monitored 24/7, ensuring that all personnel, or vehicles, entering the sites are tracked and reported. This includes all deliveries to onsite buildings as well as tracking all train arrivals and departures. A fully integrated solution was required that could provide all of this while also reducing costs. High clarity video in low-light levels A critical factor was that the video surveillance solution had to be able to work unimpeded throughout the night. The installed video technology therefore needed to provide high clarity video in low-light levels, while also still ensuring that the Intelligent Video Analytics worked as required. The camera portfolio installed across the 12 depots included FLEXIDOME IP starlight 7000 VR, DINION IP starlight 7000 HD and AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras. These cameras are all equipped with Bosch’s Intelligent Video Analytics solutions ensuring that the most relevant video data can be precisely applied to the requirements of the train depots. Network surveillance systems Some surveillance cameras are using a digital trip wire to identify movement at perimeters These analytics solutions allow video surveillance to go further than just security applications, using statistics in the form of metadata for purposes such as perimeter control and vehicle tracking. Using Camera Trainer, a built-in machine learning capability, surveillance cameras can also be taught to recognize and detect stationary objects or certain situations instead of being triggered by motion alone. As an integral part of this end-to-end Bosch solution, all recording from the depots is remotely managed using DIVAR IP all-in-one 7000 recorders – an all-in-one recording, viewing and management solution for network surveillance systems. To combat unauthorized entry to unmanned sites, the IP cameras are using Intelligent Video Analytics to prevent security breaches before they occur. Some surveillance cameras are using a digital trip wire to identify movement at perimeters. In-built Intelligent Video Analytics If movement is detected, an alert is sent to security personnel who are able to view the recording and respond straight away. Intelligent Video Analytics from Bosch are able to differentiate between genuine security events and false-triggers, meaning that security alerts are dependable and reliable. In-built Intelligent Video Analytics went further in this application; to monitor train movements, track deliveries inside the depot and provide access to staff. Taylor Technology Systems carried out the installation and configuration of this solution The AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras were installed on gantries over train tracks and were the ideal PTZ solution, as they can continue tracking while panning, tilting or zooming. All cameras with starlight technology continue to deliver full intelligent analytics at night and in low light levels. The cameras installed around the depots are able to provide color filtering down to 0.0077 lux or deliver detailed monochrome images where other cameras show no image at all. Expert installation and integration Taylor Technology Systems, a member of our Installer and Integrator Partnership Program, carried out the installation and configuration of this solution. They expertly delivered the installation project at active depots while keeping the legacy system working. The team worked with Southeastern to arrange complex line blockages so they could install the equipment safely without affecting the day-to-day operation of the railroad. To complete the project, engineers from Taylor Technology Systems completed comprehensive training courses on the Bosch Video Management System, allowing seamless management of the digital video across IP Networks. This ensured that the Bosch technology was installed exactly to specification. Ensuring site safety The Taylor Technology engineers worked to a professional high standard by ensuring site safety" Taylor Technology Systems have been awarded a Bosch Outstanding Achievement Award for their work on this project. “Taylor Technology Systems deployed a full suite of servers and IT equipment with Bosch CCTV Platform across several sites to ensure security was enhanced due to end of life equipment. With full in-depth training, the Taylor Technology engineers worked to a professional high standard by ensuring site safety was paramount during the 6 month project that was on time and within budget", says Steve Martin, Project Manager, Southeastern With built-in analytics in all cameras, this end-to-end Bosch solution lowered costs for the end-user. Installation, configuration and maintenance were also eased, as pre-configured default settings can be used in applications such as vehicle tracking and perimeter detection. The guaranteed top build quality from Bosch, combined with expert installation, ensures that this is a long-term solution for Southeastern.
With a history of over 20 years, the Cedr factory is one of the leading manufacturers of wooden doors, kitchen cabinets and other wood products in Russia. Today, it has a few of its own modern and automated plants with a wide range of products and innovative production approaches. For such a modern wood factory, safety is of paramount concern. Advanced video surveillance systems need to be introduced in the internal and external areas of the factory. Due to the extremely high risk of fire in a wood factory, the customer has high demands for a smart system to keep sufficient video backup as evidence. Specifically, the system needs to be capable of storing up to 30 days of videos, with copies stored on a separate network at the same time so that the videos can be safely saved under different network conditions. Mini-Bullet Network Camera With IR illumination, detailed images can be captured under low light conditions or total darkness A total of 400 IP cameras from Dahua Technology were installed inside of the factory for general monitoring, including DH-IPC-HFW1230SP, DH-IPC-HDPW1231FP-AS and DH-IPC-HFW2231TP-ZS. In this chain factory, DH-IPC-HFW1230SP was used to monitor machine operation, and DH-IPC-HDPW1231FP-AS was used to monitor corridors. These two types of cost-effective Mini-Bullet Network Camera feature 2MP resolution with a motorized 2.8mm/3.6mm fixed lens. With IR illumination, detailed images can be captured under low light conditions or total darkness. The cameras’ Smart IR technology adjusts the intensity of camera's infrared LEDs to compensate the distance of an object. Smart IR technology prevents IR LEDs from whitening out images as they come closer to the camera. excellent light sensitivity In order to ensure the safety of staff and vehicles in the factory vicinity, DH-IPC-HFW2231TP-ZS was installed outside the factory to monitor large and open scenes. This IR Megapixel Vari-focal Camera features 2MP resolution with a 2.7mm ~ 13.5mm vari-focal lens, meeting monitoring needs of different distances. For challenging ultra-low light environments, IPC-HFW2231TP-ZS powered by Dahua’s Starlight Technology offers excellent light sensitivity, capturing color details in low light conditions down to 0.006lux. The camera uses a set of optical features to balance light throughout the scene, resulting in clear images in dark environments. ±25% input voltage tolerance These cameras are ideal choices for installation even in the most unforgiving environments In addition, these cameras allow ±25% input voltage tolerance, suitable for the most unstable conditions in outdoor applications. Its 2KV lightning rating provides effective protection against lightning for both the camera and its structure. Certified and subjected to rigorous dust and immersion tests (IP67), these cameras are ideal choices for installation even in the most unforgiving environments. In order to help the customer improve the security of video storage, three types of Dahua 4K H.265 Network Video Recorders – adopting powerful processors with up to 4K resolution for preview and playback – are used in the factory to store 10-day videos, which can provide critical details for identification. Real time monitoring On the other hand, a 48-HDD Enterprise Video Storage is used to separately store 30-day videos at the headquarters in case the factory area videos are damaged. It supports 512 channels of IP camera inputs and 1024Mbps incoming/recording bandwidth, offering an unparalleled storage performance. Moreover, DHI-DSS4004 was selected as the central server, through which all videos are integrated in one system for a unified operation and management in the headquarters’ control room. The vast factory vicinity is now equipped with Dahua video surveillance system, enabling all security checkpoints to monitor the factory in real time. At the same time, the massive video storage and backup allows the administrator to review emergency situations if necessary. The advanced solution from Dahua Technology has created a safe and smart factory for the customer, assisting them in improving their security level during production.
Round table discussion
The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analyzed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?
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 performance of security and/or video systems?
When a fire or other emergency occurs in a building or facility, first responders depend on every available resource to ensure a safe and orderly evacuation and response. One element in any response plan is the facility’s physical security systems, including access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection. How can these systems contribute to an orderly response to a chaotic situation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of security systems in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation?
Digital video surveillance: Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Dahua Technology Digital video surveillance
- Hikvision Digital video surveillance
- Dedicated Micros Digital video surveillance
- LILIN Digital video surveillance
- eneo Digital video surveillance
- Hanwha Techwin Digital video surveillance
- ADPRO Digital video surveillance
- Vicon Digital video surveillance
- Bosch Digital video surveillance
- Pelco Digital video surveillance
- Messoa Digital video surveillance
- March Networks Digital video surveillance
- Vanderbilt Digital video surveillance
- TruVision Digital video surveillance
- Geutebruck Digital video surveillance
- Axis Communications Digital video surveillance
- Arecont Vision Digital video surveillance
- Digital Express Digital video surveillance
- artec Digital video surveillance
- Everfocus Digital video surveillance