Facial recognition systems
The idea of touchless systems has gained new levels of prominence during the last year, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless systems have been part of the industry’s toolbox for decades, while technologies like facial and iris recognition are finding new uses every day. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are embracing touchless, contactless systems and why?
Existing CCTV and video monitoring systems are already working well to reduce retail shrinkage and are now being extended to help keep stores ‘COVID Safe’, found a new retail sector study of 111 high street retailers based in the UK, US, Sweden, and Norway, carried out by Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) provider AVA Security in March 2021. An array of insights into what value physical retailers’ existing video security systems are detailed in the 15 pages Ava Security reta...
Suprema, a global pioneer in access control, biometrics, and time & attendance solutions, is showcasing its latest access control solutions at ISC West 2021. ISC West 2021 marks the first year Suprema is operating a stand-alone booth at ISC West and Suprema is demonstrating advanced access control features of its BioStar 2 solution along with new products, X-Station 2 and FaceStation F2, that are equipped with contactless features suitable for the post-pandemic era. BioStar 2 access contro...
Active Witness Corp., a provider of artificially intelligent, cloud-based visitor management solutions introduces its SIMA multi-factor access control system that stops unauthorized access and redefines how access control is deployed. Conventional facial recognition systems require a person to present his/her face, then search a database and present the closest match and identity. That process is slow and can lead to incorrect identity authorization and privacy concerns. Quick identity identif...
Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex. Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera...
Global MSC Security has announced that the new Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material and Surveillance Camera, Professor Fraser Sampson, will address delegates at the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2021. He will be joined by speakers, including Philip Ingram MBE and Professor Martin Innes, to discuss the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the surveillance industry. The conference takes place on Tuesday 19th October 2021, at The Bristol Hotel, in Bristol, United Kingdom. Use of AI in the surveillance industry Professor Martin Innes is currently serving as the Director of Crime and Security Research Institute, at Cardiff University and also as Director of the Universities' Police Science Institute. He will present the session, ‘The technology of facial recognition and the ethics which underpin it’, at the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2021. Professor Innes from Cardiff University commented, “Facial recognition technologies have emerged as a particularly controversial technology among the growing armory of digital policing tools. Supporters point to clear benefits in helping police identify wanted suspects. Opponents worry about the step change in surveillance capacity and capability such technologies portend.” Facial recognition biometrics in policing Philip Ingram will consider how video analytics, such as facial recognition technology could aid an investigation Informed by data from the world’s first independent evaluation of how facial recognition biometrics can be used to support street policing, Professor Innes will explore how the technology is being deployed by police and what results they can and cannot deliver. Philip Ingram MBE from Grey Hare Media and a former Colonel with the British Military Intelligence will discuss the challenges of seizing large quantities of surveillance camera footage, during a major incident (such as the Salisbury Novichok poisoning case). Philip Ingram will consider how video analytics, such as facial recognition technology could aid an investigation. Counter terrorism threat update Louise Stapleton, Counter Terrorism Security Advisor at Avon & Somerset Police will provide ‘A counter terrorism threat update’, concentrating on the current threat faced in the United Kingdom from terrorism, threat actors, methodologies, and hostile reconnaissance. The presentation will include an overview of the ‘See, Check and Notify’ workshop, developed by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure. Providing a perspective from inside the control room will be Chris Harrison, the CCTV Manager at North Somerset Council. He will share his CCTV system upgrade journey from concept to completion, including justifying the works financially and efficiency. Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2021 Derek Maltby, Managing Director of Global MSC Security, said “We are honored to have such a high caliber of speaker presenting at The Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition this year. AI can be polarizing, misunderstood and sensationalized. This event will separate fact from fiction, to understand where we are today, what is possible and what checks and balances need to be in place, for it to be used ethically and effectively.” The Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition is slated to take place from October 18 to October 19, 2021, at The Bristol Hotel, located in Bristol City Center, United Kingdom.
ADI Global Distribution (ADI), a globally renowned wholesale distributor of security, AV and low-voltage products, has announced that it has released a new mobile app, to provide dealers with a fast and easy way to shop at ADI, from their mobile devices. Dealers can use the mobile app to search for products, check pricing and availability, place orders and manage their ADI account on-the-go. ADI App with facial and fingerprint recognition The new ADI App presents a modern design and offers advanced features to make it easy to access the industry's one of the largest selection of security, AV, and other low voltage products. With facial and fingerprint recognition, users can log into the ADI App in seconds and can expect faster loading times, improved navigation with clear messaging and product organization, and an updated navigation bar with visible links to products and services. Barcode scanning functionality Using barcode scanning functionality, customers can scan items to find detailed product information Using barcode scanning functionality, customers can scan items to find detailed product information and instantly check pricing and inventory levels. The simple checkout process allows users to choose local branch pickup or select the shipping option that fits their project timeline and budgets. The app makes it easy for customers to manage their ADI account and can take advantage of time-saving features to check order status, easily reorder past shipments and make product lists by project or customer. Transforming digital experience for customers “The release of our new app is the next step in our strategy to transform the customer's digital experience at ADI. And to help us get it right, we incorporated feedback from customers across the entire design and testing process, in order to improve the connected customer journey,” said Laura Phelan, Global Vice President of Digital Experience and Digital Branch at ADI Global Distribution. Laura Phelan adds, “The ADI App gives our customers a fast and convenient way to access the products, support and services they rely on from ADI.” New features and functionality In addition to ADI's complete product portfolio, the mobile app provides access to ADI's deals centers, monthly sales flyers, training and events, value-added services, and more. ADI will continue to add new features and functionality to the app and make it easier for dealers to shop at ADI. The new app is currently available for U.S. customers and can be searched as ADI US Mobile in the App Store and Google Play Store.
viisights, Inc., developer of behavioral recognition systems for real-time video intelligence, will be attending ISC West in Las Vegas, July 19-21, 2021, representing its innovative video analytics solutions and revenue-generating partner program. Pat Aiello, viisights’ VP Business Development & Sales, North America, will present a session entitled “Behavioral Recognition for Realtime Video Intelligence” as part of the SIA Education @ ISC program. Company representatives will also be meeting with systems integrators to discuss new revenue streams made possible by the company’s partner program, which provides systems integrators a competitive edge while helping their clients achieve more proactive security. Advanced video analytics technology The education session “Behavioral Recognition for Realtime Video Intelligence” will cover viisights advanced video analytics technology that is capable of understanding and recognizing an object’s behavior and interactions in a live video stream, essentially analyzing the story that is unfolding in the video. Session attendees will be shown the exceptional value of behavioral recognition video analytics Session attendees will be shown the exceptional value of behavioral recognition video analytics, a knowledge that will give them the ability to identify security challenges that can be resolved using this automated technology. The session is scheduled to take place Tuesday, July 20, at 1:15 PM. ISC West attendees can register for the session on the company website. Behavioral analytics A benchmark in video intelligence, viisights behavioral analytics provide systems integrators with a new unique selling proposition for existing and new customers that will lead to business growth. viisights personnel will be at the show to discuss these opportunities in one-on-one meetings with potential technology partners and systems integrators during ISC West. The company offers extensive support for integrators including project registration; price protection to protect and secure bids; engineering, design, and implementation support; installation documentation and setup tools; training and certification for technical staff; application consulting for specialized projects; software demo licenses; and more. AI-based video intelligence systems “viisights leverages artificial intelligence technologies that facilitate human-like pattern prediction to create fully autonomous video intelligence systems,” said Asaf Birenzvieg, CEO at viisights. “viisights goes further than simple object recognition by analyzing full-motion video for objects and their behavior in the context that they operate in." "Our real-time behavioral analytics transform video streams into actionable insights by autonomously recognizing behaviors that demand immediate attention, allowing customers to be more proactive.”
Top systems integrator, VTI Security partners with Alcatraz AI to add the Alcatraz Rock autonomous access control solution to its product offerings. This partnership will no doubt introduce modern facial authentication technology to a wider, more diverse market. Alcatraz AI Rock The Alcatraz AI Rock is a frictionless, touchless access control solution that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to verify those interacting with the system. This innovative technology employs a technique known as one-to-few matching, meaning the user’s privacy is protected during the authentication process. Organizations looking to implement biometric access control can now trust that VTI Security is prepared to offer a solution that won’t compromise on security, privacy, mobility, and flexibility. Touchless access control solution “We often meet with clients who love the idea of biometric authentication, but don’t love the idea of their photo being stored in a database,” said Josh Cummings, Vice President of Technology at VTI Security. Josh Cummings adds, “The Rock is the perfect solution to ease their fears, while still being easy to implement and use.” Holistic security approach VTI Security also offers a wide range of services that can enhance the Alcatraz user experience Along with security installation services, VTI Security also offers a wide range of services that can enhance the Alcatraz user experience. With hosted access control, dedicated project management, and preventative maintenance offerings, users can rely on the VTI team for every step of the way. This holistic approach also caters to either of Alcatraz’s platform hosting options: Cloud or on-site solutions. Secure facial authentication solution “It is clear that VTI is committed to providing exceptional service from beginning to end while also addressing the client’s needs of today and tomorrow,” said Tina D’Agostin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alcatraz. Tina D’Agostin adds, “We look forward to the advancement of secure facial authentication in the industry and are confident that VTI Security can help us with this mission.”
CARRIDA Technologies, a provider of leading ALPR software solutions, has appointed Pedro Bento as CSO to lead the International Sales and Business Development. The company also launched a new website to showcase its best-in-class ALPR software engine and solutions as well as ALPR Edge Devices. CARRIDA ALPR engine Special to CARRIDA is the unmatched CARRIDA ALPR engine that can be flexibly deployed as an OEM library, a web-GUI solution for easy startup and configuration of edge devices, or with the CARRIDA App for any Android device. On top of that, the company offers validated platforms and matching components that enable easy, quick and cost-effective development of individual ALPR applications. International sales and business development Pedro Bento joined CARRIDA as Chief Sales Officer. In his new role, he will lead the international sales and business development of the ALPR software provider and strengthen its growth in applications such as access control, fleet management, and parking, safety and law enforcement as well as traffic management, smart city, and tolling projects. Pedro has in-depth experience in the mobility industry and has held several Management level positions previously, e.g. in Verra Mobility as Vice President Europe, A-to-Be (part of Brisa Group) as Chief Sales Officer, and Q-Free as Vice President for Europe and Latin America. AI and deep learning CARRIDA offers the most advanced ALPR software with the latest technologies such as AI and Deep Learning" Pedro Bento on his appointment, “CARRIDA offers the most advanced ALPR software with latest technologies such as AI and Deep Learning. A lot of applications ranging from traffic management to smart cities can benefit from our solutions. I’m looking forward to supporting many projects to get the most out of the CARRIDA offerings and to take the lead in their markets with our developments.” Fast and easy website New website presents extensive solutions portfolio along with Pedro Bento’s introduction CARRIDA launched its new website. It shows the extensive CARRIDA software solutions portfolio, ranging from a powerful OEM library for ALPR and make/model recognition, to CARRIDA Edge, a web-GUI solution for easy startup and configuration of edge devices, and the CARRIDA App for Android devices. Beyond software, it also shows the CARRIDA validated platforms and components that enable developers to setup their own ALPR devices faster and easier as ever before.
Evolution, the integrated fire and security systems business, has continued to invest in the growth of its Risk & Design team, with two new appointments. Ex-Army person appointment David Watson joins Evolution Risk & Design as Operational Risk Manager. With more than 10 years served in the British Army, David has spent the last 15 years working in various roles and sectors within the domestic and international security industry, managing risks for sites in hostile environments, protecting high net worth individuals, and high-profile commercial clients. In his new role, David will be responsible for engaging with clients to provide integrated collaborative solutions to their Risk Profiles and utilizing the end-to-end processes Evolution can offer in the market. Ex-air force person appointment Following a wide-ranging 23-year career in the Royal Air Force working as a Weapons Technician including roles in Bomb Disposal and Aircraft Operations, Kevin Stephenson joins the team as Operational Risk Adviser and will be applying his expertise gained in managing risks in the dynamic airworthiness and air safety environments to the security industry to deliver effective risk appreciation and assurance to new and existing clients. The experiences and disciplines gained from serving in the forces can prove extremely valuable in the security industry Domestic and international security Brendan McGarrity, Director of Evolution Risk & Design, says supporting ex-servicemen and women and the skills they can bring is very important to the business, “The experiences and disciplines gained from serving in the forces can prove extremely valuable in the security industry.” “If you’ve worked on or fixed a highly complex radar or weapons system, then there’s a good chance that can be easily transferred to a commercial environment,” Brendan says. “I’m delighted to welcome David and Kevin to the team, and look forward to harnessing their expertise and capabilities.” Evolution pledged its support to the defense and armed forces community in 2020 by signing the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and also joined the Defense Employer Recognition Scheme (Bronze).
Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption. Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalization bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models. Digital transformation While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment. Yet, with more organizations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximize the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge. Improved access control in smart environments These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimizing resources and increasing citizen engagement. Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems, using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. Frictionless access control During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity. Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimizing the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customized and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful. Barriers to adoption Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant. Many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space. Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature. The importance of cyber hygiene Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks. Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited. Cyber security considerations Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognized cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security. The future of access control There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organizations by their association. The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world. Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies. As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor. The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.
The global biometrics market has been recently developing rapidly, and this trend will continue shortly. If in 2018 its volume was estimated at $23.4 billion, according to the forecast of the analytical company BCC Research, the market size may increase to $71.6 billion with an average annual growth rate of 23.2 % by 2024. Fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, iris, vein, and voice technologies are expected to be implemented at the fastest pace. The analysis is based on the revenue indicators of key players depending on segments, including hardware, software, and integration. Biometric electronic documents Another analytical Agency, Acuity Research, estimates that the number of biometric electronic IDs will increase by about 3.5 billion electronic documents in the world. Moreover, more than half of the UN member States issue biometric passports. Government and private contracts of Canada, the United States, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, Hungary, Bangladesh, Senegal, and other countries are examples of implementation of programs for the transition to biometric electronic documents. Government organizations in various countries believe that biometrics is one of the most effective ways to identify refugees and those who cross the border. Now there are a lot of projects which are based on biometric technology. Biometric identification system Perhaps one of the most ambitious is the Aadhaar project being implemented in India Perhaps one of the most ambitious is the Aadhaar project being implemented in India. It is a biometric identification system that contains the data of more than a billion people. The database contains about 10 billion fingerprint templates, two billion iris templates, and a billion photos. There is another ambitious project at the Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where RecFaces company has implemented a passenger facial identification ready-made solution, that helps the security guards to receive notifications about airport visitors in just a few seconds and increase the efficiency of security services at least by 30%. The introduction of biometric identification of passengers aimed at increasing the level of airport security, as well as quickly obtaining information about the detection of wanted persons, stored in the long-term archive. Automated control gates As another example, face match is used at border checks to compare the portrait on a digitized biometric passport with the holder's face. In 2017, Thales company was responsible for supplying the new automated control gates for the system of Automated Fast Track Crossing at External Borders at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. This solution has been devised to facilitate evolution from fingerprint recognition to facial recognition This solution has been devised to facilitate evolution from fingerprint recognition to facial recognition during. Governmental systems, SmartCity, airports projects using identification technologies day by day become our reality and influence the growth of the biometrics market globally. Countries are studying the experience of each other and adopting it. Paperless payment technologies The global market of biometrics will shift all industries, starting from the transportation facilities especially airports, where a transition from traditional VMS and ACS to paperless biometric self-Boarding systems will be carried out. Sports facilities will see the development of paperless payment technologies at cash desks, and the banking sector — the payment systems with remote customer identification. HoReCa will transfer from staff time tracking systems to biometric payment systems, biometric check—in systems and the use of biometric identifiers. To sum up there are two most significant drivers of this growth are surveillance in the public sector and numerous other applications in diverse market segments.
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organizations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centers or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognize individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analyzing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognize. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the center of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
The city of Baltimore has banned the use of facial recognition systems by residents, businesses and the city government (except for police). The criminalization in a major U.S. city of an important emerging technology in the physical security industry is an extreme example of the continuing backlash against facial recognition throughout the United States. Facial recognition technology ban Several localities – from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, from Oakland, California, to Boston – have moved to limit use of the technology, and privacy groups have even proposed a national moratorium on use of facial recognition. The physical security industry, led by the Security Industry Association (SIA), vigorously opposed the ban in Baltimore, urging a measured approach and ‘more rational policymaking’ that preserve the technology’s value while managing any privacy or other concerns. Physical security industry opposes ban In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most" “Unfortunately, an outright ban on facial recognition continues a distressing pattern in which the clear value of this technology is ignored,” said SIA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Don Erickson, adding “In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most.” At the national level, a letter to US President Biden from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coalition asserts the need for a national dialog over the appropriate use of facial recognition technology and expresses concern about ‘a blanket moratorium on federal government use and procurement of the technology’. (The coalition includes Security Industry Association (SIA) and other industry groups.) The negativity comes at a peak moment for facial recognition and other biometric technologies, which saw an increase of interest for a variety of public and business applications, during the COVID-19 pandemic’s prioritization to improve public health hygiene and to promote ‘contactless’ technologies. Prohibition on banks, retailers and online sellers The ordinance in Baltimore prohibits banks from using facial recognition to enhance consumer security in financial transactions. It prevents retailers from accelerating checkout lines with contactless payment and prohibits remote online identity document verification, which is needed by online sellers or gig economy workers, according to the Security Industry Association (SIA). At a human level, SIA points out that the prohibition of facial recognition undermines the use of customized accessibility tools for disabled persons, including those suffering with blindness, memory loss or prosopagnosia (face blindness). Ban out of line with current state of facial recognition Addressing the Baltimore prohibition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reacted to the measure as ‘shockingly out of line with the current state of facial recognition technology and its growing adoption in many sectors of the economy’. Before Baltimore’s decision to target facial recognition, Portland, Oregon, had perhaps the strictest ban, prohibiting city government agencies and private businesses from using the technology on the city’s grounds. San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban the technology, with Boston, Oakland; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Berkeley, California, among others, following suit. Police and federal units can use biometrics Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses, but targets private uses of the technology. It also includes a one-year ‘sunset’ clause that requires city council approval for an extension. The measure carves out an exemption for use of biometrics in access control systems. However, violations of the measure are punishable by 12 months in jail. The law also establishes a task force to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of surveillance tools. Transparency in public sector use of facial recognition Currently, the state of Maryland controls the Baltimore Police Department, so the city council does not have authority to ban police use of facial recognition, which has been a human rights concern driving the bans in other jurisdictions. A measure to return local control of police to the city could pass before the year lapses. SIA advocates transparency in public-sector applications of facial recognition in identity verification, security and law enforcement investigative applications. SIA’s CEO, Don Erickson stated, “As public sector uses are more likely to be part of processes with consequential outcomes, it is especially important for transparency and sound policies to accompany government applications.”
Thermal cameras can be used for rapid and safe initial temperature screening of staff, visitors and customers. Used the right way, the cameras can help prevent unnecessary spread of viruses like the novel coronavirus. During the global pandemic, use of thermal cameras has increased, but they have not always been used correctly, and therefore, not effectively. Hikvision’s temperature screening thermal products are currently assisting users in initial temperature screening across the global market. During 2020, demand increased in most markets, and the company highly recommends that Hikvision’s thermographic cameras be used in accordance with local laws and regulations. Limitations of the technology include throughput and the impact of ambient conditions. Detect viruses and fever Hikvision releases a video that illustrates how skin temperature measurements are normalized within minutes Thermal cameras cannot detect viruses and fever and should only be used as a first line of screening before using secondary measures to confirm, says Stefan Li, Thermal Product Director at Hikvision. “We also believe it is important for businesses and authorities to use [thermal cameras] alongside a full program of additional health and safety procedures, which includes handwashing, regular disinfection of surfaces, wearing protective clothing such as masks, and social distancing.” Hikvision has released a video that illustrates how skin temperature measurements are normalized within minutes after someone emerges from the cold. Mr. Li says the video demonstrates the accuracy of forehead measurement under difficult circumstances when people come inside from a cold outdoor environment. Temperature screening facilities “There have been some claims that measuring the forehead temperature is not as accurate as measuring the inner canthus, and we believe this video demonstrates the accuracy of forehead measurement very well,” he says. “We also illustrate how the skin temperature will experience a process of recovery (warming up), no matter if it is measured by a thermal camera or a thermometer.” Mr. Li adds that people should wait five minutes in such circumstances before starting a temperature measurement. “We hope that stakeholders who are involved in the design of temperature screening facilities and associated health and safety procedures will recognize how important it is to consider the skin temperature recovery time, and that forehead measurement can provide accurate test results,” says Mr. Li. Thermal imaging manufacturers The algorithm is based on a large number of test results to obtain a value that tends to be dynamically balanced The temperature measurement principle of thermal imaging is to detect the heat radiation emitted by the human body. The detected heat value often does not reflect the true internal body temperature of an individual. Furthermore, the temperature varies among different parts of the human, such as the forehead, ears, underarms, etc. A temperature compensation algorithm can be used to adjust the measured skin temperature to align with the internal body temperature. The algorithm is based on a large number of test results to obtain a value that tends to be dynamically balanced. At present, thermal imaging manufacturers in the market, and even forehead thermometer manufacturers, have developed their own algorithms to map the skin temperature measured by the camera to the internal body temperature, so as to compensate the skin temperature to the internal body temperature. Thermal cameras This is also why Hikvision recommends that the "actual body temperature" should be checked with a secondary device for confirmation. The calibration work for a thermal camera is completed in the production process at the factory, including calibration of reference values and detection point and so on. At the same time, the equipment parameters should be adjusted before on-site use to ensure accurate temperature reads. Hikvision does not deny the accuracy of temperature measurement at the inner canthus but prefers forehead temperature measurement and algorithms based on actual use scenarios, says Mr. Li. A large amount of test data and practical results indicates that the forehead is a correct and easy-to-use temperature measurement area, says the company. There are advantages and disadvantages of choosing different facial areas for temperature measurement. Default compensation temperature Two main approaches direct the measurement area and how compensation algorithms are applied: Forehead area + default forehead compensation algorithm value Upper half face (forehead + canthus) + default inner canthus compensation algorithm value. Both methods deploy compensation algorithms, but the default compensation temperature of the inner canthus will be less than the default compensation temperature of the forehead, generally speaking. The reason is that the temperature of the inner canthus of most people is higher than their forehead, so the temperature compensation is relatively low (i.e., closer to the actual temperature inside the body.) Upper face area Hikvision found that selecting the upper face area plus the default compensation value for the inner canthus resulted in situations when the calculated temperature is lower than the actual temperature. For the Hikvision solution, the forehead is a relatively obvious and easy-to-capture area on an entire face Mr. Li explains: “The reason is that when the camera cannot capture the position of the inner canthus (for example, when a person is walking, or the face is not facing the camera), the camera will automatically capture the temperature of the forehead. Then the result that appears is the sum of the forehead temperature plus the default compensation temperature of the inner canthus, which is lower than the actual temperature of the person being measured. Therefore, errors are prone to occur.” Thermal imaging products But for the Hikvision solution, the forehead is a relatively obvious and easy-to-capture area on an entire face. Also, the default forehead compensation temperature is based on rigorous testing and can also correctly mimic the actual temperature of the person being measured, says Mr. Li. After many test comparisons, considering that the results of forehead temperature measurement are relatively more stable, and in order to avoid the false results from inner canthus temperature measurement, Hikvision chose the forehead temperature measurement approach. “We look forward to bringing thermal imaging products from a niche market where there is a relatively high-end industry application to a mass market and serving more users,” says Mr. Li. Facial recognition terminals Additional application parameters can maximize effectiveness of thermal cameras for measuring body temperature: Positioning and height - All cameras must be mounted appropriately to avoid loss of accuracy and performance. The installation height of each camera must be adjusted according to camera resolution and focal length, and stable installation is needed to avoid errors caused by shaking. Ensuring a ‘one-direction path’ - The detection area must ensure that cameras capture the full faces of all those passing by or stopping, and obstacles should be avoided in the field of view, such as glass doors that block the camera. Adequate start-up and usage - A waiting time of more than 90 minutes is required for preheating, after the initial start-up. Before conducting a thermal scan, people should be given three to five minutes to allow their body temperature to stabilize. When Hikvision MinMoe facial recognition terminals are used, people must stand at a fixed distance, pass one by one, make a short stop, and face the camera directly. Hikvision cameras support efficient group screening, but one-by-one screening is suggested for more accurate results, says Mr. Li. Unstable environmental condition An unstable environmental condition may affect the accuracy of thermal camera systems Environmental factors can impact the accuracy of thermal cameras, and the idea of using a black body is to provide the camera with a reference point that has a stable temperature. The black body is heated to a specific temperature and helps the thermal camera to know how much error is caused by environmental factors in the room, and how the camera should calibrate itself in real time to improve its accuracy. A black body can help increase the temperature measurement accuracy, and the most common improvement is from ±0.5 degrees to ±0.3 degrees. However, it also increases the cost of the installation. In some markets, customers may require black bodies in order to comply with regulatory accuracy requirements. An unstable environmental condition may affect the accuracy of thermal camera systems for measuring temperature. Medical temperature measurement Therefore, Hikvision suggests that the ambient conditions should be met for installation and use. First of all, users should avoid installing devices in hot or changeable environments. All cameras require indoor environments with calm air, consistent temperature and no direct sunlight. Installation should also be avoided in semi-open locations that may be prone to changes in ambient conditions, such as doorways, and there should be enough stable, visible light. All devices should be installed to avoid backlighting, high temperature targets, and reflections in the field of view as far as possible. “We often see the misconception that thermal cameras can replace medical temperature measurement equipment, which is not the case,” says Mr. Li. Rapid preliminary screening “Temperature screening thermographic cameras are designed for the detection of skin-surface temperatures, and the measurement should be conducted to achieve rapid preliminary screening in public areas. It is really important that actual core body temperatures are measured subsequently with clinical measurement devices.”
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a buzzword. AI is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and a vital tool in the physical security industry. In 2020, AI received more attention than ever, and expanded the ways it can contribute value to physical security systems. This article will revisit some of those development at year-end, including links back to the originally published content. In the security market today, AI is expanding the use cases, making technologies more powerful and saving money on manpower costs - and today represents just the beginning of what AI can do for the industry. What it will never do, however, is completely take the place of humans in operating security systems. There is a limit to how much we are willing to turn over to machines - even the smartest ones. Beyond video analytics "Apply AI to security and now you have an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to operate proactively rather than reactively," said Jody Ross of AMAG Technology, one of our Expert Roundtable Panelists. AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics. However, now there are many other applications, too, as addressed by our Expert Panel Roundtable in another article. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide useful tools to make sense of massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) data. By helping to automate low-level decision-making, the technologies can make security operators more efficient. Biometrics with access control Intelligent capabilities can expand integration options such as increasing the use of biometrics with access control. AI can also help to monitor mechanics and processes. Intelligent systems can help end users understand building occupancy and traffic patterns and even to help enforce physical distancing. These are just a few of the possible uses of the technologies - in the end, the sky is the limit. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry, and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right. You can look into the future. Smarter perimeter protection Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognize a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreasing the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customizable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Meeting urban needs Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyze it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. In smart cities applications, the challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. Optimize security solutions As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimize security solutions. In sports stadium applications, AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back after the COVID pandemic is huge, through capabilities such as social distance monitoring, crowd scanning/metrics, facial recognition, fever detection, track and trace and providing behavioral analytics. Technologies such as AI-powered collaboration platforms now work alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. AI surveillance software In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. AI surveillance software, when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Fighting illicit trade Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioral anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Revolutionary AI-driven technologies can help to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, for example, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labor-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents - often billions of pages of documents - in a short period of time.
Collins Aerospace has completed deployment of its ARINC SelfPassTM biometrics solution at Haneda Airport, one of the busiest airports in Asia, streamlining passenger processing through reduced physical interactions and bottlenecks at multiple passenger touchpoints. Collins Aerospace is a Raytheon Technologies business. “Our ‘Face Express’ system will allow passengers to efficiently proceed through procedures at the airport (baggage drop, security checkpoint entrance, boarding gate) utilizing facial recognition, eliminating the hassle of showing their passport and boarding pass,” said Shoichi Ohashi, Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation’s senior manager for the Facility Department. “We worked closely with Collins Aerospace to achieve this and enhance passenger convenience at Tokyo Haneda airport.” SelfPass biometrics solution Rakan Khaled, vice president, Airport Systems for Collins said, “Our ARINC SelfPass biometrics solution at Tokyo Haneda Airport streamlines passenger processing while improving airport efficiency and security. Despite the challenging pandemic environment, we were able to manage staffing and suppliers to ensure smooth delivery of the solution.” This project includes the installation of 98 Self-Service Check-In Kiosks, 30 biometric enrollment kiosks, 104 biometric devices for Self-Bag Drop, 17 biometric Automated Security Gates, and 42 biometric Automated Self-Boarding Gates.
SAFR from RealNetworks, Inc., a pioneer in high accuracy, low bias facial recognition, announces a collaboration with Dains, a Korean company that specializes in unmanned people and asset counting solutions. As part of the collaboration, SAFR is providing its AI-based computer vision technology to increase the accuracy of people counting to prevent duplicates of customers and employees. The combined solution was recently deployed at the National Memorial Hall of the Korean War Abductees in Paju, Gyeonggi-do. Unmanned counting system Since there is no entrance fee for the memorial, accurate statistics on the number of unique visitors were required. Dains developed an unmanned counting system with a feature to prevent counting duplication by utilizing SAFR's face recognition technology. Using SAFR facial recognition, the system can ignore multiple re-entries from visitors With ceiling-mounted camera counting systems, it is difficult to avoid duplicate counts when the same person enters or exits the premises multiple times. Employees entering and exiting would also skew count accuracy. Using SAFR facial recognition, the system can ignore multiple re-entries from visitors while opted-in staff can be removed from the total count entirely. Ceiling-mounted cameras Ceiling-mounted cameras can rarely be used to identify individuals due to their limited field of view. SAFR facial recognition enables cameras to be installed at standard surveillance mounting heights so as to reliably capture individuals and events. Dains plans to expand the unmanned counting product using SAFR's face recognition technology to additional markets. It also plans to offer options for analyzing visitor gender and age, enhanced employee attendance management, and access control.
The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) announces that it is turning to Alcatraz AI, the building access control technology developer, to provide touchless, badgeless building access for all staff at their home, Banc of California Stadium. Alcatraz’s facial authentication technology provides a frictionless access control experience that is more secure and hygienic. The technology reduces touchpoints while streamlining building access protocols, and provides LAFC with a future-proof security solution. Facial authentication technology As businesses begin resuming on-site operations, health and safety is top-of-mind. According to one survey, two-thirds of employees have safety concerns as they return to on-site workplace participation, prompting business leaders to take steps to improve their holistic safety landscape. As businesses begin resuming on-site operations, health and safety is top-of-mind The football Club is deploying Alcatraz AI’s facial authentication technology to replace or augment badges for physical security and access control. This technology will be implemented in all LAFC facilities, allowing the club to more successfully resume on-site operations after the recent pandemic. With touchless entry, operations leaders can account for access security while also accommodating new pandemic-inspired health and safety protocols. Increasing building security “Touchless access using facial authentication increases building security and user convenience. In today’s operational reality, it also enhances health and safety measures by reducing touchpoints and enabling robust contact tracing programs,” said Tina D’Agostin, CEO of Alcatraz AI. “We are here to help companies secure physical spaces, helping them confidently resume on-site operations, and we are excited to support LAFC in their efforts,” she adds. “We are excited to work with the Alcatraz team to bring the future of security to all LAFC facilities,” explains Christian Lau, LAFC’s Chief Technology Officer. “We will be implementing the touch-less building/space access solutions for our personnel to automate contact tracing and real-time mitigation all in one device.”
Harris County, Texas, the third most populous county in the U.S., is deploying a new, next-generation security system in its buildings that will help make them more efficient and easier to operate. The new Honeywell system replaces multiple, disparate systems by integrating access control, security cameras, alarms and monitoring across the county's nearly 150 buildings situated over 1,777 square miles in Houston and the surrounding areas. Streamlined security platform Texas-based security integrator, ESI Fire and Security Protection, worked with Harris County to identify its needs and implement a streamlined security platform, using Honeywell's Pro-Watch Intelligent Command security management system to network video recorders, video cameras, thermal readers, and thermal cameras. The new system provides detailed, real-time information about alarm events, access and safety across the county The new system provides detailed, real-time information about alarm events, access and safety across the county. “The security and well-being of the Harris County employees, visitors and residents is always a top priority.” said Retired Major Gen. Rick Noriega, Interim Executive Director, Harris County Universal Services. Pro-Watch Intelligent Command system Rick adds, “This project allowed us to improve our systems and gain better insights into the county's buildings to provide a safer environment. The solutions provided by Honeywell and ESI also better set the county up for the future – we can test and actively add technologies to address new needs with this flexible but scalable system.” Before Honeywell's Pro-Watch Intelligent Command system, each county building used different security products that didn't talk to one another, creating an overly complicated network and increased work for employees. Immediate benefits for Harris County will include: Saving taxpayer dollars through better analytics that reduce false alarms and help first responders. Monitoring from a single central control station for improved situational awareness. Creating healthier building environments by leveraging people-counting technologies and analytics to manage health and safety compliance, such as social distancing. Streamlining systems to create operational efficiencies and save the county resources that can be redirected to other critical infrastructure or services. IDEMIA biometrics solutions Harris County Universal Services is looking into deploying next-level biometrics solutions from IDEMIA to enhance access control at the courthouse. Using facial recognition, a camera mounted on the entrance turnstiles will recognize employees and frequent visitors, such as judges and lawyers, using data stored in the ProWatch system without the need to physically scan a badge or remove facial coverings. This frictionless access system will allow employees and visitors to enter the building in an efficient and secure manner. This system can also alert a precinct when a public park is reaching capacity and monitor building occupancy levels to comply with local health regulations. Harris County is actively testing and implementing new features that will add additional capabilities countywide. The upgrades are designed to proactively manage situations and respond faster when required. Enhancing intelligence and transparency Harris County lacked a holistic, real-time view into its various facilities with its previous systems" “Harris County lacked a holistic, real-time view into its various facilities with its previous systems,” said James Humbert, Business Development Manager at ESI Fire and Security Protection. James adds, “We've partnered with the county and Honeywell to create positive change in just about every way the county operates by improving intelligence and transparency, reducing response times and helping to save taxpayers' dollars. We look forward to continuing to work with Harris County and Honeywell in creating an efficient and safe environment for residents and employees that is ready for the future.” Fully customized solution “Through a collaborative effort with the county and ESI teams, we created a more efficient and safer environment for people who work and visit Harris County public buildings,” said Rick Koscinski, General Manager, North America, Honeywell Commercial Security. Rick adds, “With a county as large as Harris County, it was no surprise that they had multiple, disconnected systems put in place over the years which limited efficiency and connectedness. Now, the county has a fully customized solution that is built to evolve with its needs that will not only help increase safety and awareness but also create an improved building experience for its employees and building visitors.” With a population of nearly five million people, Harris County employs more than 15,000 workers to support its residents with services including public safety, jails, law enforcement, courts, library services, and licensing facilities. Harris County Universal Services Harris County Universal Services is the solutions center for the departments and offices of Harris County. It designs, implements, and maintains high-quality, innovative, and cost-effective technology products and services for its customers. It provides comprehensive support through eight consumer divisions: Business Applications, Business Operations, Customer Service, Cyber Security, Fleet Services, Information Technology Infrastructure, Program Delivery & Analytics, and Public Safety Technology.
In August of 2020, one-year-old Mateo Montufar-Barrera was lounging in a stroller as his mother walked him around their Chamblee, Georgia neighborhood. But their calm lunchtime walk was shattered when, at 12:30 p.m., a man pulled up next to them in a car, pulled out a gun, and kidnapped Mateo. Mateo’s kidnapping activated an AMBER Alert, a federal system designed to notify as many organizations and people as possible about urgent child abductions. All the investigators had to go on was the mother’s eyewitness account of the kidnapper, including a description of the maroon Acura SUV he had driven and a license plate tag number. License plate recognition network Using the power of Flock Safety’s License Plate Recognition camera network, the Chamblee Police Department was able to find the vehicle speeding away from the city on a highway. They sprang into action and apprehended the suspect. Mateo was returned to his mother later that same day, thankfully unharmed. One child missing is too many. That’s why Flock Safety announces an official distribution partnership with the NCMEC to engage a nationwide network of ALPR cameras to broadcast time-sensitive active AMBER Alerts to local law enforcement. The NCMEC’s mission to help find missing children, reduce child exploitation, and prevent child victimization is strongly aligned with Flock Safety’s North Star of eliminating crime. AMBER Alert Secondary Dissemination System NCMEC is the administrator of the AMBER Alert Secondary Dissemination System, a voluntary partnership between law enforcement, broadcasters, and private companies to use technology to alert the community of the most urgent child abduction cases. If one has ever received an AMBER Alert notification on their cellphone phone or seen an electronic billboard broadcasting details about a missing child to the roadway, one has seen the power of this system. Machine learning-powered ALPR technology 600+ police agencies in 40 states & 1000+ cities can receive automatic alerts about vehicles associated with AMBER Alert Before this alliance, Flock Safety manually activated its camera system to help law enforcement in cities like Atlanta, Wichita, and Memphis solve seven AMBER Alerts including the case above. Now, 600+ police agencies in 40 states and 1000+ cities can receive automatic alerts about vehicles associated with an active AMBER Alert in their jurisdiction, similar to any other Flock Hotlist alert. “Joining the AMBER Alert Secondary Dissemination System scales our ability to empower local law enforcement with the latest in machine learning-powered ALPR technology and computer vision insights to bring these children home to their families safely,” said Garrett Langley, Flock Safety Co-Founder, and CEO. Time is in short supply Private owners of Flock cameras, such as community HOAs, neighborhood associations, property managers, and business owners, can also participate in this life-saving partnership by choosing to share their camera data with local law enforcement. “During an Amber Alert, time is the enemy. We must utilize every tool possible to reach the community and search for a missing child. The relationship with Flock Safety will allow us to take that search a step further and search active roadways, as well,” says John Bischoff, Vice President of NCMEC’s Missing Children Division.
The Cruise Line Company has been a pioneer in the cruise industry for over 50 years. Today, guests travel the world while enjoying unparalleled amenities aboard its award-winning vessels. While at sea, guests can enjoy a unique and memorable dining experience at one of the many specialty restaurants onboard, and watch world-class musical performances, shows, and other entertainment straight from Broadway. Reliance on analog surveillance equipment The organization strives to provide the most innovative and accommodating vacation experience for guests while traveling to the most beautiful and exotic locations around the world, including Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe, Australia, Alaska, and more. However, the Cruise Line was still relying on analog surveillance equipment throughout many of its cruise ships and was interested in modernizing to IP to provide the safest travel experience for guests. Upgrading to an IP-based system The organization was interested in an IP-based system as it would provide high-resolution viewing and recording capabilities The organization was interested in an IP-based system as it would provide high-resolution viewing and recording capabilities, improved monitoring, and better application management. The existing analog cameras were supported by a Coax-based infrastructure that ran throughout the ships. They considered removing the existing Coax and installing Ethernet cabling to support the new IP cameras, but became concerned with the high costs, long deployment times, and environmental impact. Unsatisfied with traditional network design limitations, the organization looked for an innovative solution. Environmental responsibility The Cruise Line is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen by preserving the precious natural resources that are integral to its success. The organization strives to minimize waste, reduce CO2 emissions, and engage in impactful environmental partnerships. Every ship has a team responsible for the implementation, training, and oversight of shipboard environmental compliance. Additionally, all crew members receive specialized environmental training and are responsible for ensuring environmental compliance in everything they do. As the organization planned its modernization to IP surveillance, environmental responsibility was also top-of-mind. CLEER EoC solution The CLEER switch transforms any Coax-based infrastructure into a robust IP backbone to support any IP camera Given the customer’s digital transformational objectives, the reseller partner, Surveillance International Inc., recommended Modern LAN design principles and the NVT Phybridge CLEER (Ethernet over Coax) solution. The CLEER switch transforms any new or existing Coax-based infrastructure into a robust IP backbone ideal to support any IP camera, with reach capabilities up to 6,000ft (1,830m) – 18-times farther than a standard Ethernet switch. The customer was impressed with the proposed solution and decided to move forward with the digital transformation. A robust and reliable solution After a few simple setup steps, the CLEER24 switch transformed the existing and proven Coax infrastructure into a robust and reliable Power over Ethernet PoE backbone; capable of supporting the new IP cameras in all areas of the ship. Also, the organization can now connect up to 4 IP cameras using a single Coax cable run using the NVT Phybridge EC4 Adapter. After successfully deploying IP surveillance throughout the first ship, the organization decided to replicate the success in several of its other liners. Due to Modern LAN design and the NVT Phybridge CLEER24 innovation, the customer was able to simplify the digital transformation and increase the number of cameras on-board its ships, which can carry a combined total of more than 19,000 travelers every voyage. The Ethernet over Coax solution allowed the customer to leverage its existing infrastructure to avoid the risky and complex rip & replace model. Digital transformation objectives The Cruise Line took a proactive approach to find new and better ways to support its digital transformation objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. NVT Phybridge helped the organization change the conversation around traditional LAN design; leveraging Modern LAN Principles and PoE innovations to: Deploy over 4,000 IP cameras across eight cruise ships using the existing Coax-based infrastructure Increase the number of IP cameras in all public areas using the EC4 Adapter that supports up to four IP cameras over a single Coax cable run Reduce infrastructure costs by more than $4 million while simplifying and accelerating the project to improve return on investment Ensure the purpose-driven network for surveillance was maintained and enhanced Support IP cameras exactly where they were needed thanks to the CLEER24’s long reach capabilities Prevent over 120 tons of cabling e-waste from entering a landfill Simplify the overall network requirements; creating a robust and cyber secure PoE platform for the IP surveillance equipment Additionally, the Cruise Line can also support other IoT devices using the new IP-enabled local area network, including IP phones, IP speakers, and wireless access points.
Round table discussion
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerized systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting critical infrastructure?
Perimeter security is the first line of defense against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
In the past few weeks, the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel has brightened, providing new levels of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Dare we now consider what life will be like after the pandemic is over? Considering the possible impact on our industry, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies will be most useful in a post-pandemic world?
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