IP video surveillance
Panasonic Business has announced the latest addition to its PTZ camera range at InfoComm 2019, with the brand new AW-UE4 set to enhance the flexibility and usability of filming solutions for AV professionals. AW-UE4 PTZ camera In celebration of the ten year anniversary of Panasonic’s PTZ camera range, the AW-UE4WG/KG has been revealed as the successor to the popular AW-HE2 remote camera, offering upgraded features which include 4K resolution and an ultra-wide viewing angle of 111 degrees...
DICE Corporation announced the launch of an all new Video Verification App at the Electronic Security Expo (ESX) in Indianapolis last week. The Video Verification App is a completely mobile browser-based tool used in conjunction with DICE’s CloudEye cloud video recording solution. If an event triggered by an alarm system occurs, app users have more control of how alarm center interaction is handled by viewing live video surveillance and other essential account information. Video Verificat...
As political winds present new challenges for Chinese companies doing business in the U.S. market, the countdown is under way to implementation of a ban on sale of Chinese manufacturers’ video surveillance products to the Federal government. Some good news is a delay enacting the wider-reaching “blacklist” aspects of the ban. Meanwhile, possible sanctions to prevent U.S. manufacturers from selling components to Chinese companies are posing immediate public relations difficult...
ONVIF, a global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, announced that its Export File Format, the ONVIF specification for the export of video from security surveillance recording platforms, is the new standard recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the exporting and playback of video surveillance recordings. In a research project commissioned by the FBI to aid law enforcement in forensic investigations, NIST worked in conjunctio...
BIRD Aerosystems, global developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), has announced plans to officially launch the OSCAR - Ocean Surveillance Control and Reconnaissance solution, and demonstrate it for the first time at the Paris Air Show 2019. Maritime Domain Awareness Combined with a secure over-the-cloud deployment and multi-sensor integration, OSCAR is an affordable and quick to deploy Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) so...
DoorBird's IP-based video door intercoms can now be integrated seamlessly with Snom phones. When the doorbell rings, the audio and video signal from the door intercom is transmitted to the Snom IP phone providing two-way audio communication as well as video via the phone video display. IP door intercom With the DoorBird and Snom integration, the video image is immediately visible when the doorbell rings, even before the call is answered. Bird Home Automation, the Berlin-based manufacturer of...
Eagle Eye Networks, globally renowned cloud video surveillance solutions company, has announced the introduction of an open, public domain, secure, plug and play communications framework that enables video manufacturers to connect cameras, DVRs and encoders to the cloud. Eagle Eye Networks’ Cloud Camera Specification has been developed with 10 years’ experience gained from practical integrations with camera manufacturers and cloud technology partnerships. Eagle Eye is providing an open source SDK and an open public domain specification that can be used across the industry. “Our primary objective is to make video surveillance easier for the integrator, the installer, and the customer. Open systems have been proven to do that better than closed systems,” said Dean Drako, CEO of Eagle Eye Networks. “We have extensive experience integrating cameras and recorders from the top manufacturers in the world. Now we are packaging our experience and cyber security expertise into this open solution by introducing EE Connect.” EE Connect EE Connect is available to any and all camera manufacturers, end users, and VMS makers EE Connect is available to any and all camera manufacturers, end users, and VMS makers. Camera manufacturers that embed EE Connect can have their cameras operate with any cloud system that implements EE Connect, including the Eagle Eye CameraManager and Eagle Eye Cloud VMS platforms. Eagle Eye provides certification and testing tools for the specification. “Eagle Eye Networks has always been at the forefront of innovation to create cloud-enabled cameras with maximum focus on cybersecurity. The new EE Connect specification enables the industry to keep focusing on supporting physical security and relying on Eagle Eye Networks to guarantee cybersecurity,” says Jeremy Howard, Vice President of Business Development for Hikvision USA. Open Source Secure Camera “What Eagle Eye is doing here is truly unique in the security market,” said Steve Van Till, Chairman of the Security Industry Association Standards Committee. “We have seen many standards come and go, but the open source approach that has been so successful in every other industry has never before surfaced in the security ecosystem. The availability of EE Connect source code and SDKs could spell an end to the closed system approach that has made it tough for integrators and end users to choose systems without fear of obsolescence.”
The Identification Technology Association (IdTA) encourages the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to extend the period for comment and dialog on the proposed “Stop Secret Surveillance” legislation when it meets, so that the city, local residents and biometrics experts from the public and private sectors can have a more thorough and thoughtful discussion about the benefits of facial recognition technology. ‘Stop Secret Surveillance’ Legislation IdTA and its member companies are committed to the responsible and transparent use of facial recognition and other biometric technologies to help make everyday experiences safer and easier. We believe that it would be prudent to spend the next 60 days discussing, among other things, how the technology works, ongoing efforts to improve the technology, and examples of where state, local and federal law enforcement, as well as companies in the private sector, have used this technology for good in communities across the country. There are many sources of objective information concerning facial recognition and biometric technologies, and we hope to have a chance to contribute to this important discussion in the days and weeks ahead.
Avigilon Corporation, a Motorola Solutions company, has announced that Avigilon Blue, its video security as a service platform, is now available in Australia and New Zealand. Avigilon Blue Video SaaS platform Powered by Microsoft Azure, Avigilon Blue is a subscription-managed video security platform featuring self-learning video analytics technology that detects the presence and movement of people and vehicles. When a potentially critical event is detected, the Avigilon Blue platform generates a notification to help business owners effectively self-monitor their security operations, while also offering the flexibility for users to contract a professional monitoring provider to efficiently verify and respond to events that may need further investigation. The Avigilon Blue platform enables video monitoring providers and integrators to remotely manage and service more customer sites with fewer resources. End-users benefit from easy web and mobile-enabled secure access as well as system upgrades that are pushed directly from the cloud, which help ensure systems remain secure and up to date. The platform’s architecture saves on bandwidth while making sure important video verification clips are archived in the cloud and accessible from anywhere. Avigilon Video Analytics “The Avigilon Blue platform is designed to bring Avigilon analytics to virtually any security camera and help our customers simplify monitoring and event verification,” said James Henderson, Avigilon's president. “We are excited to expand our cloud platform in Australia and New Zealand, bringing added value to our Partners and their customers in the region.”
OpenView Security Solutions, the UK’S largest privately-owned independent security company and a renowned national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services, has been awarded Platinum Partner status by FLIR Security Systems UK. OpenView is one of the first UK companies to have achieved this level of accreditation, which is the highest in FLIR’s VAR Reseller Partner Program. It recognizes the company’s ability to sell, install and support FLIR’s full range of security solutions. FLIR Security Solutions OpenView has demonstrated it's expertise to deliver the highest level of support to users of FLIR systems" According to Chris Garden, Managing Director at FLIR Security Systems UK: “Having worked closely with OpenView over the past few years on a number of key public sector contracts, we are delighted that the company has made such a commitment to FLIR’s market leading security solutions. In addition, by ensuring that all relevant technical training courses have been successfully completed, OpenView has demonstrated that it has the expertise to deliver the highest level of support to users of FLIR systems.” OpenView and FLIR have a track record of working together on a number of high-profile public-sector projects, the most recent being the current upgrade of the public space CCTV network for Telford and Wrekin Council which is being co-funded by West Mercia Police. Public Space CCTV Network Andy Ward, Sales Director of OpenView Security Solutions, added: “We are pleased to be one of the only companies in the UK to achieve Platinum Partner status with FLIR. It confirms that our strategy of working with best-of-breed technology companies and making ongoing investments to build skill levels across the organization are bearing fruit. It is helping to consolidate our leading position in the industry.”
Maxxess Systems, the innovator in security solutions that empower total situational awareness for security enterprises, is showcasing its unique portfolio of video, access control and communications platforms that provide users with the highest levels of system integration, management and incident response technology at Expo Seguridad 2019 (booth #2524). Solutions on display include the Latin American public debut of Maxxess InSite awareness and response coordination system, the enhanced eFusion security management software and Maxxess’ MX+ Web Dashboard, the newly designed Ambit event management communications software, and a new Multi-Form Panic Solution that provides the lowest cost of entry for proactive protection. Combining Systems And Human Intelligence Maxxess solutions empower people and transform security operations to deliver new levels of situational awareness"“Maxxess solutions empower people and transform security operations to deliver new levels of situational awareness and business intelligence,” said Nancy Islas, President of Maxxess Systems. “By combining systems intelligence and human intelligence, our unique open architecture and intuitive platforms truly offer powerful, scalable solutions that can help stop events from happening, and better control incidents from the moment they begin.” The Maxxess solutions being demonstrated at Expo Seguridad 2019 include: Maxxess InSite awareness and response coordination system combines “system intelligence” and “human intelligence” to detect and respond to unfolding events in real time – all of which are queued, organized and displayed on a highly-intuitive user interface. Maxxess InSite enables early incident detection and action, allowing users to correlate data, improve response coordination, and deal with issues when they’re small – before they become large and costly. Maxxess InSite Maxxess InSite features an open-architecture framework to accommodate virtually any security or business intelligence application with comprehensive functionality. Over 50 different leading manufacturers are already integrated into Maxxess InSite, providing more combined capabilities and functionality than any other cross-platform solution available. eFusion security management software is a “system intelligence” solution that integrates and correlates data from surveillance, access control and various other physical security and facility operations’ data onto a comprehensive monitoring and reporting dashboard. eFusion Security Management Software eFusion provides video and access system management and control capabilities along with alarm monitoring eFusion provides video and access system management and control capabilities along with alarm monitoring; remote access credentials tracking, authorization, and de-authorization; door/access status; and more. Proven globally in installations around the world, new enhancements to eFusion include new Flow Control with auto expiration, and advanced data processing. Flow Control allows users to configure the specific door(s) that must be used first to gain primary access to a facility with programmable timer setting. Advanced data processing correlates databases to accommodate complex relationship rules between the authoritative database and the Maxxess database. Enhancements To MX+ Web Dashboard To further simplify user engagement with eFusion, Maxxess Systems’ MX+ Web Dashboard has also been further enhanced with new features including system-wide lockdown; Video Management System (VMS) integration; mobile cardholder management operations with badge printing; and access control status indication in an easy-to-read graphical format and schedule configuration. Ambit event management communications software provides real-time “human intelligence” for alerts, notifications and status assessment via users’ smartphone and/or tablets, along with access control management. Ambit’s extensive communications and access control functionality provides security management and first responders with the critical on-site information and access system management they need to best handle unpredictable crises. Ambit And Multi-Form Panic Solution Maxxess Systems’ new Multi-Form Panic Solution provides the lowest cost of entry for proactive protection A cloud-based solution, new enhancements to Ambit include: an app design for easier operation including: a status update window; an easily accessible panic button; support for multiple photos from the field; the ability to assign reports to designated groups and/or individuals; enhanced filtering for target audiences to receive mass broadcasts; NC4 integration to external intelligence software to enhance information gathering; auto-location detection for event status posts; and a texting option for users without the app to receive relevant mass broadcasts. Also featured is Maxxess Systems’ new Multi-Form Panic Solution, which provides the lowest cost of entry for proactive protection. Available for implementation with any Maxxess System platform or as a stand-alone solution, it can be configured on any mobile device, PC keyboard or wearable device. Expanding Technology Partners List Maxxess Systems also continues to expand its roster of technology partners and integrations with the addition of: Mercury LP and MR62e controllers; OTIS Elevator Compass Overwatch; enhanced Milestone Systems’ MIP and Geutebruck GeViScope integrations; as well as new integrations with Salient Systems, Avigilon, ISS (Intelligent Security Systems), Nedap and RemotePoint.
Milestone Systems delivered significant and satisfactory financial results in 2018. The Group’s net revenue increased to DKK 934 million from DKK 881 million in 2017, while the operating income (EBIT) grew to DKK 195 million from DKK 171 million. In 2018, Milestone Systems made strategic investments in several areas. The company also decided to accelerate innovation by increasing its development capacity by 45 per cent by the end of 2019. Innovative Video Technology Solutions “Market trends are changing, with new disruptive waves in the market. In order to be able to ride these new waves, we must offer the most innovative video technology platform – one that lets our partners address the challenges faced by our end-customers,” says President & CEO Lars Thinggaard, Milestone Systems. Milestone Systems will be launching initiatives that go beyond just security, such as industrial IoT solutions for smart cities With the increased R&D investments in 2018 and 2019, Milestone Systems wants to accelerate its leading position as an enabler of processing of video and data from solution partners in the security industry. Milestone Systems will also be launching initiatives that address needs beyond security, such as industrial IoT solutions for smart cities and businesses. Future Scope Of AI, IoT As part of the ‘Accelerate Innovation’ initiative, Milestone Systems introduced several activities in 2018 to engage developers in creating new, innovative solutions and technologies. 50 developers, designers, and business people were invited to the Milestone Hackathon to help hack the future of AI and IoT. At the Milestone Developer Conference, Milestone Systems invited its developer community to learn more about software integration and to co-create solutions that will help bring video technology to the market. In order to meet the need to increase its innovation capacity, Milestone Systems employed close to 200 new colleagues in 2018, across markets, functions and nationalities. Substantial investments have also been made in Milestone Systems’ open platform community of partners. Milestone Store And Marketplace Milestone Marketplace, developed in 2018 and launched at MIPS Americas in February 2019 Milestone Store was launched in 2018, a portal that makes it easier for partners to place orders and integrate with existing platforms and devices. Milestone Marketplace, developed in 2018 and launched at MIPS Americas in February 2019, is a digital platform for the video technology industry that connects buyers and sellers to co-create and market innovative solutions. “We are in solid position and we expect to further expand our position in the years to come. We will continue our quest to be on the forefront of industry demands and bring even more innovation and co-creation to our products and services, but also go beyond security and build solutions for new business segments and purposes,” said Lars Thinggaard and concluded: “Innovation, skills and people are vital to our success, so investments will continue in these areas in the years to come.”
Where are video surveillance cameras headed? At the core of next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are advanced chips with artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge, enabling cameras to gather valuable information about an incident: scanning shoppers at a department store, monitoring city streets, or checking on an elderly loved one at home. Thanks to advanced chip technology, complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras —professional to consumer — fueling the democratization of AI in the IP camera market.Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras Expanding The Global IP Camera Market The video surveillance equipment market grew to $18.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase this year, according to IHS Markit. The latest research points to video everywhere, edge computing, and AI as the top technologies that will have a major impact in both commercial and consumer markets in 2019. Computing at the edge means that the processors inside the camera are powerful enough to run AI processing locally, while still encoding and streaming video, and are able to do it all at the low-power required to fit into the limited thermal budget of an IP camera. New SoC chips will be able to perform all of the processing on camera and provide accurate AI information, with no need to send data to a server or the cloud for processing. Instead, data can be analyzed right in the camera itself, offering high performance, real-time video analytics, and lower latency — all critical aspects of video surveillance. This new AI paradigm is made possible by a new generation of SoCs, a key driver behind the market growth of IP cameras. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras to fuel the advent of AI in the IP camera market Micro-Processor-Enabled Video Analytics Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most timeMicroprocessor-enabled analytics allow users to more easily extract valuable data from video streams. How about an insider’s view into retail customer behavior? Consider video cameras at a department store, monitoring shoppers’ behavior, traffic patterns, and areas of interest. Next-generation cameras will recognize how long a shopper stays in front of a specific display, if the shopper leaves and returns, and if the shopper ultimately makes a purchase. Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time, so retailers will be able to adjust product placement accordingly. Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly. By understanding customers’ behavior, retailers can determine the best way to interact with them, target specific campaigns, and tailor ads for them. Cue the coupons while the shopper is still onsite! Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly Fast Processing For Rapid Response At City Level City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations such as loitering, big crowds forming, or cars driving the wrong way.Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations, adjust traffic lights, identify license plates, automatically charge cars for parking, find a missing car across a city, or create live and accurate traffic maps. Real-Time HD Video Monitoring And Recording When it comes to home monitoring, what will next-generation video surveillance cameras offer? Real-time monitoring and notification can detect if a person is in the back yard or approaching the door, if there’s a suspicious vehicle in the driveway, or if a package is being delivered (or stolen). Advanced video cameras can determine when notifications are and aren’t required, since users don’t want to be notified for false alerts such as rain, tree branches moving, bugs, etc. Next-generation video camera capabilities can also help monitor a loved one, person or pet, helping put families at ease if they are at work or on vacation. For example, helpful analytics may be used to detect if someone has fallen, hasn’t moved for a while, or does not appear for breakfast according to their typical schedule. City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations Next-Gen IP Cameras When evaluating next-generation IP cameras (cameras on the edge), look at the brains. These cameras will likely be powered by next-generation SoCs chips. Here is what this means to you: Save on network bandwidth, cloud computing and storage costs. There is no need to constantly upload videos to a server for analysis. Analysis can be performed locally on the camera, with only relevant videos being uploaded. Faster reaction time. Decisions are made locally, with no network latency. This is critical if you need to sound an alarm on a specific event. Privacy. In the most extreme cases, no video needs to leave the camera. Only metadata needs to be sent to the cloud or server. For example, the faces of people can be recognized in the camera and acted upon, but the video never reaches the cloud. The cameras can just stream a description of the scene to the server “suspicious person with a red sweater walking in front of the train station, has been loitering for the last 10 minutes, suggest sending an agent to check it out.” This could become a requirement in some EU countries with GDPR rules. Easier search. Instead of having to look through hours of video content, the server can just store/analyze the metadata, and easily perform searches such as “find all people with a red sweater who stayed more than five minutes in front of the train station today.” Flexibility/personalization. Each camera at the edge can be personalized to work better for the specific scene it is looking at, compared to a generic server. For example, “run a heat map algorithm on camera A (retail) as I want to know which sections of my store get the most traffic; and run a license plate recognizer on camera B (parking lot) as I want to be able to track the cars going in/out of my parking lot.” No cloud computing required. For cameras in remote locations or with limited network bandwidth, users have the ability to perform all analytics locally, without relying on uploading video to a server/cloud. Higher resolution/quality. When AI processing is performed locally, the full resolution of the sensor can be used (up to 4K or more), while typically the video streamed to a server will be lower resolution, 1080p or less. This means more pixels are available locally for the AI engine so that you will be able to detect a face from a higher distance than when the video is streamed off camera. AI At The Edge Professional-level IP cameras capable of performing AI at the edge are coming soon with early offerings making their debut at this year’s ISC West. As we enter 2020, we will begin to see the availability of consumer-level cameras enabling real-time video analytics at the edge for home use. With rapid technology advancement and increased customer demand, AI is on the verge of exploding. When it comes to image quality and video analytics, IP cameras now in development will create a next-generation impact at department stores, above city streets, and keeping an eye on our loved ones.
Las Vegas is a city that bombards you with choices: dozens of glitzy hotels and casinos, a plethora of restaurants and eateries to satisfy any craving and an endless variety of entertainment guaranteed to delight and amuse. With so many options, it’s hard to decide where to spend your time. The same goes for ISC West. Like the city in which it’s being hosted, ISC West 2019 is going to bombard you with more options than ever before. Dozens of new technologies and vendors as well as old familiar faces will be vying for your attention. With only three days, it’s nearly impossible to explore every booth and every vendor. Ultimately, you’ll want to focus your limited time on companies whose partnership can lead to your organization’s long-term success. In that context, I’d like to suggest a few things to think about as you wend your way through this year’s tradeshow. The Next Wave In IP Technology The fact that the whole world is going IP is nothing new. The network-based connectivity trend has been ongoing for more than 25 years. What’s changed is the nomenclature. Today it’s all about the Internet of Things (IoT). What was once exclusively an analog-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP For the security industry, the concept of IoT really began with connecting DVRs through a network. Then in 1996, IP cameras – the first true IoT devices – hit the market. Since then, what was once exclusively an analog-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP, providing exceptional growth opportunity for any company wanting to be on the leading edge. Today, however, that market is relatively saturated and growing at a much slower rate. In response, consolidation of the market has started to accelerate. Many vendors are disappearing while a select few are becoming stronger. Though the IP video revolution is now a fait accompli, there are still a few ancillary security technologies that are just beginning to jump on the IP convergence bandwagon. I’m referring to two in particular: IP audio systems and IP intercom solutions. Like their IP video cousins, these relatively new IP systems are built on open platform standards and provide the same benefits for convergence as happened in the camera space: better scalability and ROI, more functionality, and easy integration with third party systems. The technology is a great complement to a customer’s existing IP surveillance system or an ideal replacement for an antiquated analog audio system. So I’d recommend spending time at booths showcasing this technology. Listen to the crystal clear sound quality. Learn from the various vendors how easy IP audio systems are to custom configure, remotely manage and scale. And discover the different ways the IP technology can be used, from paging, public address and broadcasting background music to augmenting security systems and perimeter protection solutions. The potential markets that can benefit from this latest IP technology are wide and varied, everything from hotels, hospitals and transportation hubs to educational institutions and retail chains. So it’s well worth your time to take a look at this growing opportunity. AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics. But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board Artificial Intelligence: Hype Vs. Reality Video intelligence or video analytics was the big trend a decade ago. But it quickly fizzled out when hype crashed into reality. In the ensuing years algorithms have greatly improved, leading to more reliable analytic performance. Now it’s commonplace for video surveillance solutions to include a wide range of analytics from motion detection and people counting to dwell time analysis, object left behind and license plate recognition. The latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI) With analytics gradually becoming mainstream, the latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI). These self-learning applications parse event data and use what they’ve learned from the experience to make determinations or predictions that can increase the accuracy of future alerts. Before you get swept up in all the big promises that have yet to prove deliverable, take time at ISC West to educate yourself about the current state of the technology. AI works well in some areas. For instance, AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics. But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board. Talk to some of the AI vendors at ISC West to learn when and if AI might be right for your organization’s analytic applications. See who has actual, field-proven solutions and who is just offering ideas that might take many years to prove useful in real applications. Connecting With The Right Partner Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Choosing the right partner is as important in business as it is life. Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners. You’re sure to find a number of new companies entering the field this year. Also be sure to notice which companies are absent. Have they left the surveillance industry? Are they struggling financially and can no longer afford to show up? If you partnered with them in the past, where does that leave your business today? As you explore potential vendor relationships, make sure you not only look at the arc of their technology development, but also their long-term financial stability and the kind of support services they offer. Cybersecurity should be front and center on your radar, along with timely updates, product integration with your existing technology and ongoing training to gain the most benefit from your investment. Look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimize waste and lower their carbon footprint Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet - look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Another important thing to find out is whether their business ethics align with yours. Is sustainability important to your company? How about corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion? Ultimately you want to do business with healthy, innovative companies that share your core values. If being green is a fundamental principal of your company, look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimize waste and lower their carbon footprint. If striving for better global citizenship is your corporate mantra, you need to know how the vendor is assuring their operation complies with environmental laws and regulations. In terms of maintaining social and ethical standards, it’s important to know where the vendor stands on issues such as human rights violations, compulsory child labor, fair wages and sourcing minerals from countries in armed conflict. Go In With A Plan There’s so much to discover at ISC West this year that four days isn’t nearly enough time to see it all. So you’ll have to strategically pick and choose which booths and vendors to visit. I’d advise that you plan out your days in advance so that you can get the most value from the choices you make.
There’s almost no installation that goes 100-percent smoothly in the field of video surveillance. Unexpected issues routinely arise that can increase time on the job, cost of the project and frustration. Manufacturers work on the product side to help ensure their products are easy to install and – when troublesome situations do arise – are flexible enough for installers to quickly find a remedy. Importance Of Ease Of InstallationEase of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labor is variable Ease of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labor is variable and can be very expensive. In some cases, the cost of labor to install a camera can be more than the cost of the camera! If labor costs are high – or are more expensive than a system integrator planned – they can lose a great deal of money on a project. If a cautious system integrator includes too high of an estimate for labor in a project bid, his overall bid will to high and it could cost him the project. The easier the camera is to install, the lower the labor cost, subsequently achieving higher savings for end-users. Hence it is essential that camera manufacturers develop products that are easy to install or are flexible in the field for system integrators and installers who know that time is money. Enterprise projects can involve thousands of cameras installed Simplifying Installation Of Cameras Camera installation typically involves an electrician, the camera installer and the person who configures the VMS (Video Management Software). Of course, one person can play all three roles, and in many cases, does, but enterprise projects can involve dozens, hundreds or even thousands of cameras with teams of individuals involved in an installation. The electrician runs conduit with an electrical or PoE (Power over Ethernet) connection to the housing or the backplate of the camera; the installer then installs the camera at that location, hooking it up to power; and then a configurator adds cameras to the network and makes adjustments – renaming the camera, setting the frame rate, enabling WDR (Wide Dynamic Range), and the like. When it’s a project that involves different players for any of these functions, there is the potential for a bottleneck and delay in project completion. And if a system integrator is paying an electrician, installer and software configurator – and they are all three on site waiting for each other to finish – that’s a system integrator’s worst-case scenario. Enhancement Through Modular Cameras Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take different roles Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take the different roles of electrician, installer and configurator into consideration, allowing them to complete their tasks independently. With a focus on modular design which includes a USB Dongle, a device manager, magnetic module and included accessories, the Wisenet X series Plus is one of the fastest cameras to install, service and upgrade – saving installers time and money. Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a detachable camera module that utilize magnets to lock into the housing for instant configuration. Electricians can run conduit with a single PoE connection to the back plate/housing while the configurator is working on configuring the camera module, allowing security professionals to later snap the camera into place in just minutes. The VMS configurator can then come and add the cameras to the network and program their functionality. Modular Cameras Offer Flexibility In the past, an end user might determine after the camera is installed that there aren’t enough pixels on target, or they need certain different functions like video analytics for example, resulting in the time-consuming replacement of the entire camera. With modular-designed cameras, the camera module can be swapped with a new one without having to focus or replace the camera – even to change the resolution or field of view, also Wisenet X series Plus has optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view and the position of the camera lens. Making camera adjustments in the field is also now easier and perhaps even safer. Installers have been known to climb a ladder and juggle a bulky laptop to access the network to be able to see video of how the camera is positioned. Or they’ve had to use analog video output to view the video feed on a separate monitor which provides the field of view, but not megapixel quality. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a USB port that allows installers to connect it to a small dongle that converts the camera to a Wi-Fi device. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera. It’s a much easier way to evaluate video while at the camera. Eliminating the second person looking at live view on a computer guiding through a cellphone to the installer to accurately point the camera to the proper position. If system integrators can do some of the legwork prior to even getting on site, it can reduce cost and improve efficiency. Imagine having 300 cameras ready to send to a project site. To configure those cameras, a system integrator has to take each camera out of the box, plug each into a switch, configure it, take it off of the switch and put it back in the box. To improve this process, camera manufacturers have now developed packaging that provides access to the camera port without even having to remove it from the box. It’s an innovative solution that saves time. Modular cameras have optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view Software Programs Help In Enhancing Installation Whether it’s a one-man show or a team of electricians, installers and configurators, software programs can greatly enhance the installation process. Device managers are important tools in adding multiple cameras to a project. Using that 300-camera project, for example, it’s easier when a manufacturer has a device manager that allows the mass programming and configuration of cameras. Adding 300 cameras one by one is time consuming and leaves room for error when making so many multiple entries. A device manager should be able to scan the network and locate its devices, allowing them to be grouped, configured and much more. Every video surveillance camera project is going to have its ups and downs. But camera manufacturers can do their part in the production process to address the many issues known to slow down progress. It’s impressive that many are taking the lead in producing innovations like modular camera design, flexibility in the field and accessible packaging that can truly reduce installation cost and improve efficiency.
The mindset behind a new law to prohibit the use of facial recognition and other security-related technologies by San Francisco police and other city agencies is obvious in the name of the new ordinance: “Stop Secret Surveillance.” Ordinance To Stop Secret Surveillance The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance 8-1 with two abstentions on May 14, and there will be another vote next week before it becomes law. We have an outsize responsibility to regulate the excesses of technology precisely because they are headquartered here" The irony of such a law emanating from northern California, where tech giants promote the use of numerous technologies that arguably infringe on privacy, is not lost on Aaron Peskin, the city supervisor who sponsored the bill. “We have an outsize responsibility to regulate the excesses of technology precisely because they are headquartered here,” he told the New York Times. Regulating Facial Recognition Technology Although the facial recognition aspects of the ordinance have been the most publicized, it also targets a long list of other products and systems. According to the ordinance, "Surveillance Technology" means “any software, electronic device, system utilizing an electronic device, or similar device used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, biometric, olfactory or similar information specifically associated with, or capable of being associated with, any individual or group.” Broadly interpreted, that’s a lot of devices. Includes Biometrics, RFID Scanners The ordinance lists some examples such as automatic license plate readers, gunshot detection hardware and services, video and audio monitoring and/or recording equipment, mobile DNA capture technology, radio-frequency ID (RFID) scanners, and biometric software or technology including facial, voice, iris, and gait-recognition software and databases. Among the exceptions listed in the ordinance are physical access control systems, employee identification management systems, and other physical control systems; and police interview rooms, holding cells, and internal security audio/video recording systems. The ordinance ban applies to city departments and agencies, not to the general public and exceptions include physical access control systems, employee identification management systems, and internal security audio/video recording systems Airport Security Not Part Of Ordinance The ban only applies to city departments and agencies, not to private businesses or the general public. Therefore, San Franciscans can continue to use facial recognition technology every day when they unlock their smart phones. And technologies such as facial recognition currently used at the San Francisco airport and ports are not impacted because they are under federal jurisdiction. Furthermore, the San Francisco police department does not currently use facial recognition anyway, although it has been deployed in places such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston and New York City. Safeguarding Privacy Of Citizens The ordinance appears to have a goal of avoiding government uses of technologies that can invade individual privacy, seeking to avoid worst-case scenarios such as an existing system in China that uses millions of surveillance cameras to keep close tabs on the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority population. Any new plans to use surveillance technology must be approved by the city government, and any existing uses must be reported and justified by submitting a Surveillance Technology Policy ordinance for approval by the Board of Supervisors within 180 days. Surveillance Technology Policy Banning use of facial recognition just when its capability is being realized is counterproductive But might such a ban on technology uses undermine their potential value as crime-fighting tools just when they are poised to become more valuable than ever? Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner, told the New York Times it is “premature to be banning things.” He notes: “This technology is still developing, and as it improves, this could be the answer to a lot of problems we have about securing our communities.” Technology development doesn’t happen in a vacuum and banning uses of facial recognition and other technologies just when their capabilities are being realized is counterproductive. We should be thoughtful, deliberate and transparent in how we embrace new technologies. However, discarding them out-of-hand using emotionally charged words such as “secret surveillance” does not promote the best use of technology to the benefit of everyone.
Safety and Security Things GmbH (SAST) will be both a first-time exhibitor at ISC West and also feature a larger booth – 1,800 square feet. The Bosch startup is looking to make a big splash in its first-time appearance at the largest security trade show in the United States. The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Founded in September 2018 and based in Munich, Germany, SAST is building a new Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem for the security and safety industry, including an app store, an open and secure camera operating system, a software developer environment, and a portal for providing knowledge and functionalities tailored to integrators. SAST’s Open IoT Platform The open IoT platform is based on an open standardized operating system for video security cameras The open IoT platform is based on an open standardized operating system for video security cameras that creates a common basis for innovation and growth for the security industry. Apps built on SAST will enable airports, restaurants, stadiums and other facilities to transform security cameras into smart devices. The first partners are already developing apps based on the SAST ecosystem. “We will bring all the partners of our platform together and will showcase the first applications already realised on the platform,” says Nikolas Mangold-Takao, SAST Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. “In order to showcase this effectively at ISC West, we will create a space to demonstrate solutions effectively. At the same time, we are using the booth as our meeting space and will create a collaborative environment for our partners and all participants.” IoT And Access Control “We want to ensure that all visitors of our booth (No. 10073) are getting to see first-hand solutions which are already realised based on first apps and cameras using our Operating System,” he adds. “We also want to demonstrate the benefits of the SAST platform for solution developers, integrators and manufacturers.” SAST is about bringing different players from the industry together in order to deliver better solutions" SAST will be looking for measurable results at ISC West. “On the one hand, we measure results by hard facts, such as the number of new partners who will join us and how satisfied our current ones are with the output,” says Mangold-Takao. “On the other hand, direct feedback from visitors at the booth, especially professionals from our industry and end-customers, is also extremely important to us, and we will measure it. SAST is about bringing different players from the industry together in order to deliver better solutions.” Openpath Access Solution Another new exhibitor with a relatively large booth is Openpath, whose booth (No. 23051) will be 1,200 square feet. Openpath Access combines cloud-based software and sleek hardware with an app to enable hands-free access to an office using a smartphone that doesn’t need to leave your pocket. Although large for first-time exhibitors, the Openpath and SAST booths fall squarely in the “medium range” of overall exhibit sizes at ISC West – larger than the smallest 100-square-feet exhibits typical for many first-time exhibitors, but still smaller than the largest booths such as Hanwha Techwin America (5,500 square feet). In addition to the new exhibitors on the main show floor, the Emerging Technology Zone, located in the Venetian Ballroom, will welcome new startups in the security marketplace.
Schneider Electric’s long-rumored sale of Pelco appears to be on the verge of consummation. Schneider this week entered exclusive negotiations with Transom Capital Group, a U.S.-based private equity firm, to sell the Pelco business unit. Pelco is a security industry stalwart and global specialist in the design, development, and delivery of end-to-end video surveillance solutions and services including cameras, recording and management systems software. Revenue in 2018 was about $185 million. Pelco currently employs a staff of 478. Pelco was sold to Schneider Electric for $1.22 billion in 2007 to enhance Schneider’s building automation business Transom Capital Group, Los Angeles, is an “operationally focused” private equity firm that invests in companies in the lower-middle market. Their management claims “industry expertise to create improved operational efficiency, significant top-line growth, cultural transformation and overall distinctive outcomes.” Presumably a “turnaround” initiative could reinvigorate Pelco after several years of decline. Transom promotes an “approachable, collaborative, and down-to-earth problem-solving approach.” Founded in 1957 and originally specializing in pan-tilt devices and joysticks, Pelco rose to prominence as an independent company in Fresno, Calif. Expanding to distribution in more than 130 companies, Pelco succeeded in part through an emphasis on customer service. The company was sold to Schneider Electric for $1.22 billion in 2007 to enhance Schneider’s building automation business. The Pelco business has declined substantially under the Schneider umbrella, and the synergies with building automation were never realized. Pelco has been rumored for sale for several years.The sale would come after Schneider’s announcement it would be reviewing assets totaling 1.5 billion to 2 billion Euros of revenue In recent years, Pelco has focused on its VideoExpert video management system as the core of end-to-end solutions targeting vertical markets. The company sought to re-establish its position as a global leader in surveillance and security, with new technologies, integrations, quality advancements along with significant support initiatives to provide value and innovation to the security industry community. The sale would come after Schneider’s announcement it would be reviewing assets totaling 1.5 billion to 2 billion Euros of revenue as it looks to focus on energy management and industrial automation. Schneider did not say how much Pelco would be sold for but said the company would book a non-cash loss on disposal of up to $250 million. However, its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation margin would rise by around 10 basis points.
Avigilon Corporation (“Avigilon”), a Motorola Solutions company, announced it was selected to help protect the security of Independent Express Cargo Ltd. (“Independent Express Cargo”) in Dublin, Ireland. Independent Express Cargo is one of Ireland’s largest pallet delivery operators, serving as a national transport network hub and full third-party logistics supplier with 25 depots across the country and over 1,000 active clients. Avigilon Control Center VMS To improve security throughout its Dublin site, which consists of 180,000 square feet of warehouses on a nine-acre site, Independent Express Cargo worked with integrator Usee.ie to install a complete Avigilon security solution. The new system features Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management software, which provides security operators with a more efficient way to manage video from a central location. ACC software also includes advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics capabilities ACC software also includes advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics capabilities, including Avigilon Appearance Search and Unusual Motion Detection technologies. Additionally, a combination of Avigilon cameras — including the H4 Pro, the H4 Multi-sensor and the H4A Bullet with self-learning video analytics — were deployed to achieve optimal coverage while allowing security operators to leverage the benefits of real-time analytics. Incorporating advanced AI technologies By implementing a complete Avigilon security solution that leverages advanced AI technologies, Independent Express Cargo has seen an increase in operational efficiencies and improved security of its sites, assets and resources. “With complete security solutions from Avigilon, we have been able to increase the speed at which we can detect events across our sites,” said Owen Cooke, director of Independent Express Cargo. “In the fast-paced environment of transportation logistics, this has dramatically increased efficiencies so that we can continue to focus on our number-one priority: our customers.” Intelligent video security system “Avigilon AI and analytics allow our customers to improve operations while maintaining system flexibility and ease of use,” said Bernard Pender, chief executive officer of Usee.ie. “Choosing Avigilon helps us meet our client’s goal of deploying a highly intelligent and user-friendly video security system.”
Senstar, global provider of video management solutions and perimeter intrusion detection systems, has published a case study detailing how its Senstar Symphony video management system (VMS) and video analytics are helping Ferretería Ochoa secure spaces and gather business intelligence. Senstar Symphony vMS Ferretería Ochoa is a hardware and home improvement retail chain that has been operating in the Dominican Republic for over 45 years. Symphony was first installed at one of its retail stores in 2013 and is now being used at six locations, including a storage facility and a manufacturing facility. Ferretería Ochoa also uses several of Senstar’s video analytics to better understand customer and employee behavior. One of the main benefits Symphony has provided Ferretería Ochoa is increased inventory control One of the main benefits Symphony has provided Ferretería Ochoa is increased inventory control. This not only refers to shoplifting by customers, but also to errors – accidental or intentional – made during shipping and receiving. Employees are aware they are being monitored at all times and understand the system’s ability to capture incidents and provide proof. Central video monitoring “It dissuades deceitful and malicious situations such as shipping more items than ordered or a more expensive item,” said Mr. Gomez. “The deterrence factor Symphony provides is probably the most important result we have achieved.” Symphony has also enabled Ferretería Ochoa to utilize security personnel more efficiently and has reduced costs by having video from all sites managed from one central location. Retail security “Senstar Symphony and analytics are ideal for retailers looking to deter theft, protect staff and customers and improve the overall customer experience,” said Senstar’s Director, North America Business Development Anthony Hackett. “We are happy to be helping Ferretería Ochoa achieve such results.”
A multi-division and multi-location conglomerate in Kutch (Gujarat, India), engaged in manufacturing, trading, exporting and supplying a finest assortment of Roofing Accessories Roofing Sheets, Metal Coils, Roofing Accessories, Metal Roofing Sheets, Coated Roofing Sheets and Tiled Sheets for Roofing has trusted Matrix with providing top grade security solutions for its site. Matrix IR bullet cameras and VMS VMS Software with Inbuilt Weighbridge Application Module: SATATYA SAMAS PLT IPC Channel Wise ANPR/LPR License (ANPR1) Cameras installed at the site: 2 MP Varifocal IR Bullet Camera with 2.8-12 mm Lens- SATATYA CIBR20VL12CWS 2 MP Fixed Lens IR Bullet Camera with 3.6 mm Lens- SATATYA CIBR20FL36CWS The company was using conventional Weighbridge system that performed basic functionalities. This traditional system had certain limitations, such as Data spoofing due to manual system Lack of centralized solution for multiple branches Dependency on more than one system Lack of evidence for auditing purpose Matrix Weighbridge integration solution Looking at all the challenges that the company was facing, Matrix offered an optimized solution with Weighbridge Integration. Matrix Weighbridge Integration solution provides the following functionalities: Vehicle Number Snapshot (ANPR) Driver Snapshot (Evidence) Material Snapshot (Auditing) Weighbridge Snapshot (Avoid Data Spoofing) Safeguard Evidence Bookmark Video Recordings Print Evidence Record Periodic Report Generation Benefits Client will be able to track in-bound and out-bound material movement by capturing the details of respective material weight. Enables the client to make easy comparison of weights between supplying plant and receiving plant with the help of captured screenshots. Record weight of the material and then use the data to post good’s receipts, production bookings and dispatch documents, etc. Limits Weighbridge Vendor dependency by providing interoperability without depending much on other APIs.
Guests at some of Dubai’s newest hotels will enjoy more efficient and memorable service thanks to eFusion technology from Maxxess. Improving control The eFusion solution is being used for comprehensive streamlining of security and safety – tying together front-of-house and back-of-house operations – at a number of landmark hotel developments in Dubai. The result will be a smoother check-in experience for guests, with minimal queuing, no cumbersome paperwork, and more attentive service. By integrating front and back of house operations at busy hotels, eFusion reduces problems with inefficiency and human error and improves situational awareness and control capability for management teams. Among the latest five-star destinations to adopt eFusion, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa on Palm Jumeirah, which is due to open later this year, comprises seventeen floors with 200-plus rooms and suites, along with recreational and dining facilities. The Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers, another development by the Indian Hotels Company due to open this year, will also benefit from Maxxess integration technology. Seamless integration eFusion allows rapid integration - off-the-shelf - with a wide choice of security, safety and business-critical technologies eFusion allows rapid integration – off-the-shelf – with a wide choice of security, safety and business-critical technologies. It provides an umbrella management system and allows the highest level of service efficiency by removing the need for operators to continually switch between systems. The systems and IT integrator for the new-build project, PACC Information and Communication Technology LLC, says eFusion was specified because it met requirements for the most robust solution and one that would be easy to adapt going forward. Delivering guest satisfaction “Guest satisfaction is the hotel’s top priority and the eFusion system will let them focus their efforts on delivering it,” says PACC spokesman Shantanu Mukherjee. “Visitors to these new hotels will really notice the difference.” At the Taj Exotica, eFusion will integrate the front of house system from ASSA ABLOY; the Honeywell Simplex fire system controls; the Honeywell Building Management System connected via a Bacnet gateway; and a combination of 403 Hanwha Technwin Wisenet IP internal and external cameras, installed by ISS CCTV and operated through SecureOS video management software (VMS). ASSA ABLOY VingCard access control The ASSA ABLOY VingCard access control system, securing almost 300 doors, will be managed from the eFusion platform alongside other key services due to be added, including the OTIS elevator controls. eFusion will allow the hotel’s management to define events of interest – such a particular door being unlocked, or alarms being set or unset – and provide transactional information to improve security for guests, and accountability. The solution also enables centralized management of room safes, mini-bars and cupboards, and the control of all alarm transactions. Integration with access control system Using eFusion off-the-shelf integration modules, ID badging and building management systems are also fully integrated Cameras linked to door access will allow video pop-up to be triggered by pre-defined events, and operators will have complete PTZ control, playback and video functionality. Using eFusion off-the-shelf integration modules, ID badging and building management systems are also fully integrated, allowing easy operation and control of a wide range of functions including heating, ventilation and air conditioning. A further 300 rooms are expected to be added to the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa system in a phase-two development scheduled for 2021. Modular, building block approach “The eFusion platform was chosen for these major projects because it offers the advantages of a modular, building block approach and gives IHCL maximum freedom to integrate, customize and adapt to future needs,” says Lee Copland, Managing Director EMEA, Maxxess Systems. He adds, “This success positions Maxxess as a clear leader in linking front-and-back of house operations to enable seamless facilities management, safety and security operations in often complex and busy hotel environments. Visitors to IFSEC International will have the opportunity to see the power of eFusion integration on our stand IF2120,” added Copland. As well as the new IHC Taj hotels, Maxxess eFusion is also being implemented at six upcoming Dubai developments, including major hotel, leisure and retail destinations, with several other projects underway in the wider region as well as in London, UK.
Surveillance solutions business Synectics develops and delivers a solution to help enhance safety and security monitoring at Nottingham Trent University. With more than 28,000 students and 3,100 staff to protect, surveillance footage at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is captured by over 1,300 cameras covering the estate of 75 buildings. Each of the university’s three main campuses has a 24/7 control room and its own security team, ensuring that safety measures enable free movement while protecting the community from both external and internal threats. Integrated surveillance solution Synectics deployed a tailored solution based around its Synergy 3 command A progressive development plan, coupled with the need to optimize legacy technology, meant the university required an integrated surveillance solution that would enable teams based at each control room to monitor and manage footage from both IP and analog cameras, supporting a gradual transition to digital solutions and full-IP ambitions. In one of the UK’s first cloud-based surveillance contracts, and in collaboration with integrator PFS, Synectics deployed a tailored solution based around its Synergy 3 command and control platform to support NTU’s long-term objectives. Interactive camera map Mark Stacey, Security Systems Operational Manager, NTU, said: “Moving the university onto a sophisticated surveillance monitoring platform has significantly improved the provision of student security, saving our team vital minutes in the event of emergencies.” “As well as supporting both analog and IP inputs, where many solutions on the market do not, Synectics’ Synergy 3 offers impressive functionality and is easy to use. The ability to import an interactive camera map means we can now bring up footage in just seconds, where operators previously had to spend time manually correlating sensor triggers to the relevant cameras – an enhancement that keeps our students safe in real time.” Cloud-Based system “Synectics even created a new feature at our request, which enables us to circle an area of the on-screen map and immediately view up to nine local cameras in that zone. Furthermore, opting for a cloud-based system means we don’t have to look after a physical server, freeing up space and our resources.” The system will help us in our mission to provide an ever-safer environment for our students" “Throughout the process, Synectics has gone the distance to deliver, as highlighted by the tailored training sessions provided for the team and its commitment to support us throughout the life of the system. We’re delighted with the results and sure the system will help us in our mission to provide an ever-safer environment for our students.” Future-Proof solutions Martin Bonfield, Sales Manager at Synectics, commented: “We passionately believe that command and control systems should be flexible enough to allow for the evolution of customer needs. Only then can you provide seamless, future-proof solutions that improve safety both now and in the long term.” “Working closely with the team at NTU to understand their needs, the Synergy 3 platform has been designed to ensure they have an intuitive system that saves staff-hours and significantly improves incident response times. Nottingham Trent University is nationally recognized, having received the University of the Year award three years in a row. I’m delighted that we’ve provided them with this leading-edge solution, along with support, and ongoing training, to help safeguard their students, staff, and premises.”
The power grid is a modern engineering marvel, providing us widely available and affordable energy for not only our day to day lives, but also highly critical infrastructure elements for which we rely on personally, and as an economy. However, our reliance on the grid also makes it highly susceptible to adverse events, including physical attacks. All parts of the grid can become victims of malicious events, but substations are particularly vulnerable due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. Power utilities’ security The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans which include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are many solutions to help power utilities address these security concerns, one effective choice is the use of intelligent video. Intelligent video analytics solution Intelligent video, or video analytics, is a popular choice for the protection of critical facilities given its ability to detect, provide instant visual confirmation of the event and subsequent event forensics. The capability of this technology is increasing at a rapid rate, while decreases in hardware cost make such solutions affordable for owners or operators of critical bulk-power system sites. This case study looks at the issue of substation vulnerability and how to best use video to address, keeping in mind requirements of CIP-014. Such a system consists of fixed cameras, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, a deterrence device and data communication capability. Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc. In most cases, substations can benefit from a simple “camera-following” design, which includes surveillance of a potential breach at the fence line, as well as, the ability for early detection for some distance beyond the physical perimeter. Camera-Following design In a camera-following design, in addition to its own coverage, each camera is responsible for covering the blind spot of the adjacent camera. That camera is then responsible for covering the blind spot of the next camera, and this pairing continues around the perimeter until the final camera covers the blind spot of the first. This type of coverage design is very effective and affordable for locations with well-defined perimeters, such as substations. Using this layout, the video feed from the fixed cameras are then enabled with video analytics algorithms to alert when predefined conditions are met. This is done by inputting the video signal into a server, edge device or NVR, located at the site, or remote to the location. Intelligent video technology Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria, which in addition to only alarming when a target enters in a specific region, can also discriminate, or classify, by the type of target: human, vehicle, etc. Furthermore, the alarm can be restricted by specific actions taken by the target, such as loitering in an area, dropping or throwing an object, more than one target entering with a valid badge swipe (tailgating) or even the speed at which a target is entering an area. This level of discrimination provides the ability to address very specific vulnerabilities, as well as, avoid nuisance targets, such as wildlife, debris or moving vegetation. Another key feature with significant value to substation protection is the geospatial aspects available with some video analytic solutions. This capability maps each pixel of video to its real-world latitude, longitude and elevation. This results in further assessment of the target, including the actual location, the real size of the target, the real speed and the current track. It also affords the opportunity to provide a real-time display of this information to the security operator through an easy to understand map-based user interface. Autonomous PTZ cameras Geospatial video analytics provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target Another key assessment aspect of this substation protection scheme is the use of autonomous PTZ cameras. These are typically placed at the corners of the perimeter where they can service detections from multiple fixed cameras. As previously mentioned, geospatial video analytics, provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target. Knowing the location of the target is extremely valuable to the security officer, but it is also the basis for a feature known as “slew to cue,” whereby PTZ cameras armed with video intelligence can be automatically steered to the same location for instant confirmation of the target. In most cases, “slew to cue” functionality also includes an “intelligent zoom” feature, which uses the target size information from the alarm, the PTZ camera location and the target location to adjust the zoom level of the PTZ for an instant view of the target that can provide identification details (clothing color, car type, etc) without the need for the operator to further adjust the zoom. Target detection and response Once a target is detected, a security approach leveraging intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response Once a target is detected and confirmed, a security approach leveraging the use of intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response to the event. When video analytics is applied to pan-tilt-zoom cameras, it has the ability to automatically follow a defined target, freeing the operator to take other actions, such as coordinating with law enforcement officials. This feature, referred to as camera auto follow or PTZ following, can be automatically engaged as the result of a detection event, or subsequent to a slew to cue action. The system will continue to follow the target until it reaches a pre-defined system time-out, the operator takes manual control, or the camera can no longer view the target. The system can then provide the resulting PTZ video as a component of the detection alarm, for a more complete understanding of the intrusion for the operator to review. Effective deterrence At this point, the system has detected the target, classified its type and verified it has met alarm conditions. As part of the alarm it has also included dynamic indication of its location on a map, autonomously steered a PTZ to the target to allow for gathering of more detailed target information and a PTZ has locked on and is now following the target without any required user interaction. Total elapsed time to this point in the security response is typically less than 5 seconds. Deterrence is often realized as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates This level of automated response addresses many vulnerabilities typically identified as part of a CIP-014 security assessment, but with minimal extra cost, it can be extended to help with the aspect of deterrence. Deterrence is often realized as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates. These are physical items and should certainly be included in a substation security plan. Intrusion detection However, another form of deterrence, which can be enabled through the use of intelligent video is the idea of audio talk down. This is the use of live or pre-recorded audio, which is activated upon an intrusion to deter the intruder. Different from a general alarm warning audio, audio talk down uses information about the location of the intruder and their actions to select appropriate pre-recorded audio to deter the intruder. Worse case, the understanding that they are being actively monitored may hasten their plan. Video-Based security and alarm system A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required. Substations are almost always unmanned, which means the intrusion information must have a means to get communicated back to the main monitoring location. From a design aspect, this is typically the case, but it is important to know that it is not a requirement in order to gain security benefits from a video based system. The system described in this case study has the capability to detect, assess, respond and deter without any communication back to a main command and control. Alarms, events and system actions can be logged and stored remotely for review at a later time. In reality, utilities will want to be notified and react in real time. In these cases, video systems can adjust to the available bandwidth – from a low bandwidth situation where a textual alarm is provided with an image of the detection, to a high bandwidth installation where feeds from multiple cameras can be monitored and controlled in real time. Web-Based, mobile access In each case, complete alarm information, including meta data, images and video can be readily available to the security operations center, which can then take action based on their security response plan, including contacting and coordinating this alarm data with local law enforcement through web-based access or mobile phones. This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilising video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. The study outlines how recent technological advances can autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilizing video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. Further, the study outlines how recent technological advances allow such a solution to extend beyond the mere detection of events, but can also autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence. Key capabilities Of intelligent video include: Advanced Detection – Accurate alarming based on specific targets types and actions Situational Awareness – The ability to quickly convey the critical details of a security event in an easy to understand map-based format. Real-time Target Location – Real-time location information of events and real-time location tracking of potential intruders. Autonomous Sensor Control – Automated steering of cameras to an event location and subsequent hands free video tracking of a suspect. Although each utility and substation may encounter different vulnerabilities, this case study outlines how video can be considered to address NERC guidelines for protecting critical substation assets by providing situational awareness of a potential threat and initiating an appropriate and timely response.
Round table discussion
In the simplest terms, video systems capture and record video. But supporting these basic operations are a growing number of other functions that expand usefulness and the ability to interact with related elements in a larger system. As video system functionality expands, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most important function of a video surveillance system and why?
There is no expectation of privacy in a public space. That’s the premise on which most video surveillance applications are justified. But new concerns about privacy, specifically the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, are changing expectations. And what if a camera must be positioned where a private area happens to be within its range? Fortunately, there are technology approaches to solving these dilemmas, as our Expert Panelists explain. We asked: What new technologies are helping video systems overcome concerns about privacy?
Even the most advanced and sophisticated security systems are limited in their effectiveness by a factor that is common to all systems – the human factor. How effectively integrators install systems and how productively users interface with their systems both depend largely on how well individual people are trained. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the changing role of training in the security and video surveillance market?