Residential security systems
With 73% of all domestic burglaries occurring through a door, it is now more important than ever that maximum-security locks are in place to offer protection from potential break-ins. Mul-T-Lock’s coveted Break Secure 3DS anti-snap cylinder has been specially designed to help locksmiths meet consumer demand for high security locks, and now it has excelled in recent tests – surpassing the British Standard Kitemark BS EN 1303:2015 test 10 times over. To achieve the highest Grade 6 in...
Swann, a globally renowned provider of do-it-yourself security solutions, has announced the release of the Swann Tracker security camera as well as the Swann Enforcer camera systems in 4K resolution, a perfect indoor and outdoor security solution for any home or business. The 1080p resolution Enforcer cameras are coming soon. Swann Tracker security camera The Swann Tracker security camera was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 earlier this year and was named a CES 2020...
The Innovation Gallery is an initiative promoted by the pioneering Spanish Security event, SICUR, that recognizes businesses who have demonstrated true innovation and made a significant contribution to technological development in their sector. OPTEX was featured among the top 14 winners in the Security category by a panel of industry experts for its innovative ViiK radar-based vehicle sensors. ViiK’s sensors are above-ground vehicle detectors which require no civil engineering works to b...
OPTEX is proud to announce that their WX series has been nominated as this year's Benchmark Innovation Awards finalist. The awards are organized annually by Benchmark recognizing innovation and smart solutions in the industry. At OPTEX, the core philosophy is to deliver sensing innovating, a philosophy that they live and breathe. The models in the WX series are built upon OPTEX’s track record in providing sensing performance for outdoor intruder detection applications and include a panora...
Cybersecurity expert CrowdStrike has issued a stark warning to British businesses, telling them to crack down on lax remote working policies now or risk catastrophic exposure at the hands of adversaries after lockdown is over. Its latest research, in cooperation with YouGov, has found that over half (52%) of people in the UK working from home do so on their own personal devices, creating potential backdoors into corporate systems for adversaries. CrowdStrike has also seen a 100X increase in COV...
Gdts-1 is a tilt sensor designed to detect surfaces that tilt when opened or closed, allows an easy way to secure garage doors or attic/basement tilt windows. The Gdts-1 alerts the system control unit when tilted more than 45° degree movement is detected. Gdts-1 was particularly created with enhance operational efficiency, low power consumption and reduce maintenance costs. The integration of Gdts-1 with a security and home automation system will allow users to conveniently control home app...
Maximize the effectiveness of the installed security system by providing the family and business with an even higher level of protection. The SVGS Series is a shock, vibration and glass break sensor, designed to provide early warning of an attempted intrusion by sensing forced entry before a burglar actually enters the property. This wireless shock sensor is lightweight and easy to install on any glass window, door, roof, or safety box and capable of detecting two different types of forcible attacks, a single major shock event, or accumulated consecutive minor shock attacks. The SVGS F1 models leverage Climax’s industry renowned RF technology to accelerate the speed of signal transmission and deliver reliable, extensive communication range, allowing users to stay in touch, in control, and provide a peace of mind. Smart home system The SVGS Series is a broadly applicable device ready to make users home or business safer and smarter When the SVGS Series are linked with security or smart home system, it can activate a siren, turn on lights, music, or start video recordings when the glass is tampered with, which is often enough to send an intruder running. The SVGS Series’ discreet design makes it unobtrusive and has three adjustable sensitivity threshold levels to choose for different situations and locations. The SVGS-5 model features two-way signal, allowing for setting configurations to be easily adjusted through the security gateway or control panel. The SVGS Series is a broadly applicable device ready to make users home or business safer and smarter. Features Early detection of break-in attempts of glass windows, doors, roof, or safety boxes Detects major shock attack or accumulated minor shock attacks Adjustable sensitivity threshold levels: Low, Medium, High F1 technology accelerate the speed of signal transmission, reliability, and boots communication range. (F1 models only) LED indicator Setting configuration locally on device (SVGS-3 only) Setting configuration remotely on device via Control Panel (SVGS-5 only) Wireless and lightweight for easy installation Works on glass, plywood and safety box Low battery indicator Regular supervision signals to check system integrity Suitable for residential and commercial security usage Specifications SVGS-3-F1 Frequency - 868MHz / 869MHz / 433MHz Power Source - 3V CR2477 Lithium battery x 1 Battery Life - 5.5 years Operating Temperature - -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F) Operating Humidity - Up to 85% non-condensing Dimensions - Diameter ᴓ 44.6mm x 16.3mm SVGS-3 Frequency - 868MHz / 433MHz Power Source - 3V CR2477 Lithium battery x 1 Battery Life - 3.5 years Operating Temperature - -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F) Operating Humidity - Up to 85% non-condensing Dimensions - Diameter ᴓ 44.6mm x 16.3mm SVGS-5-F1 Frequency - 868MHz / 433MHz Power Source - 3V CR2477 Lithium battery x 1 Battery Life - 5 years Operating Temperature - -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F) Operating Humidity - Up to 85% non-condensing Dimensions - Diameter ᴓ 44.6mm x 16.3mm SVGS-5 Frequency - 868MHz / 433MHz Power Source - 3V CR2477 Lithium battery x 1 Battery Life - 2.6 years Operating Temperature - -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F) Operating Humidity - Up to 85% non-condensing Dimensions - Diameter ᴓ 44.6mm x 16.3mm Ordering Information SVGS-3-F1 - Shock / Vibration & Glass Break Sensor, compatible with Climax F1 Control Panels and extensive RF range SVGS-3 - Shock / Vibration & Glass Break Sensor, setting configuration on device SVGS-5-F1 - Shock / Vibration & Glass Break Sensor, setting configuration on Gateway or Control Panel, compatible with Climax F1 Control Panels and extensive RF range SVGS-5 - Shock / Vibration & Glass Break Sensor, setting configuration on Gateway or Control Panel
OPDC-1-ZW is an optical door/window contact that monitors the opening/closing of doors or windows and alerts users of any irregular activities. Requiring no magnet contact, the optical sensor OPDC-1-ZW significantly reduces the mounting effort and increases the installation flexibility. It also comes with a reflecting sticker for users to fix on the opposite side of the infrared sensor to enhance infrared detection. The sleek and slim housing of OPDC-1-ZW features compact design that allows it to blend seamlessly into any home decor, making a residence a more secure place without compromise in aesthetics. Additionally, its tamper protection prevents unauthorized removal or sabotage. Deliver quality detection OPDC-1-ZW is compatible with other manufactures’ Z-Wave systems and can be conveniently integrated into new or existing Z-Wave systems to deliver quality detection, allowing users to stay in touch, in control, and have peace of mind. Features Integrated infrared sensor to monitor the opening and closing of doors and windows Easy and flexible installation due to no magnet contact required Randomized supervisory signals to check system integrity Simple and flexible installation by using adhesive tape OTA firmware update capability Includes a reflecting sticker to enhance infrared detection Tamper protection to prevent unauthorized removal LED status indicator Highly extensive and reliable communication range Low battery detection Suitable for residential and commercial premises Specifications Communication Protocol - Z-Wave Plus 500 series module Frequencies - 868.40 MHz (EU) / 908.40 MHz (US) Power Source - 1.5V, AAA Alkaline battery x 1 Battery Life - 1 year Operating Temperature - -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F) Operating Humidity - Up to 85% non-condensing Dimensions - 100 mm x 15 mm x 18 mm
PointCentral, an Alarm.com company, has acquired New York-based Doorport, Inc. With the acquisition, PointCentral will add a unique smart intercom capability to the PointCentral Smart Property Management solution. Doorport‘s innovative smart intercom solution improves building access security and convenience at multifamily properties for residents, guests, property managers, and delivery personnel. The acquisition accelerates PointCentral’s push to provide a complete IoT solution that combines resident wants with property manager needs. PointCentral Smart Property Management From a single integrated platform, PointCentral Smart Property Management will offer mobile device-initiated access to buildings and smart apartment technology along with robust building security, property management and unattended showing capabilities. Multi-family rental properties have widely deployed traditional intercom systems to facilitate visitor access. Doorport’s cellular-based system provides property owners with a simple retrofit solution that smart-enables existing intercoms without needing to extend Ethernet or Wi-Fi to the intercom unit or requiring all-new intercom hardware installations. Building and unit level access management Doorport’s system will be integrated into the PointCentral platform to provide a complete smart property solution PointCentral customers can set up Doorport for their properties at a fraction of what other smart intercom solutions cost. Doorport’s system will be integrated into the PointCentral platform to provide a complete smart property solution, combining building and unit level access management with a best-in-class smart rental experience. “Intercoms play a vital role in helping residents and property managers verify and control who gains access to a building,” said Sean Miller, President of PointCentral, adding “Property managers and residents alike want a seamless curb-to-couch solution that conveniently and securely manages front door access for guests as well as service and package delivery”. Asset protection Sean further said, “Doorport allows us to provide a complete range of solutions in a well-integrated comprehensive product suite. A key strength of the PointCentral open platform is our third-party integrations that give property managers choice. While we see Doorport as a best-in-class solution, especially for retrofits, we will continue to invest in our ecosystem integrations with other smart intercom solutions.” PointCentral helps property managers transform short- and long-term rental properties into state-of-the-art smart apartments and connected communities. PointCentral is backed with onsite sales and service support provided by a nationwide network of smart property service providers. PropTech for residential properties PointCentral’s Smart Property Management platform, powered by Alarm.com, provides building owners and managers numerous benefits including operational efficiencies, asset protection, and enhanced property values through smart resident and guest amenities. “We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with PointCentral and Alarm.com,” said Ben Taylor, CEO of Doorport, adding “PointCentral is a well-known leader in PropTech for residential properties. We’re confident that by bringing Doorport into the PointCentral platform, we’ll be able to realize our mission of delivering a seamless access experience to renters and smart apartment residents across North America and beyond.”
With the MOBOTIX CLOUD, MOBOTIX launches a new cyber-secure cloud video management system that is available via a flexible software subscription. The MOBOTIX VSaaS offering (Video Surveillance as a Service) enables complete video management of local cameras via App. The data is stored in stable cyber secure cloud data centers in regional proximity to the cloud users. "The market launch of the MOBOTIX CLOUD is another important step for us as a complete solution provider for security-relevant video management systems for our customers. Together with our technology partners, we plan, develop, install and support high-end video solutions. In this way, we optimize our customers' business and make it more secure without requiring them to invest additional technical, time or personnel resources", explains MOBOTIX CEO Thomas Lausten. Intelligent bandwidth management The MOBOTIX CLOUD solution includes, in addition to the MOBOTIX Bridge hardware component, all services available in a conventional VMS: event-controlled video recording, archiving, live remote access to each camera, notifications, user administration, Internet security and much more. MOBOTIX CLOUD is available with a monthly subscription model, thus saving on own storage devices, additional video servers and IT personnel for the video system. Each camera communicates with a securely encrypted outgoing connection with the MOBOTIX Bridge” "Each camera communicates with a securely encrypted outgoing connection with the MOBOTIX Bridge, a compact high-security connection box. A single bridge can be connected to up to 15 ONVIF-S network cameras. With several bridges per site, the number of connected cameras can be expanded as needed," explains Hartmut Sprave, CTO of MOBOTIX AG. The bridge streams the video data to the MOBOTIX CLOUD, enables intelligent bandwidth management and, thanks to the integrated hard disk, also local buffering of the video in case of bandwidth fluctuations. In addition, network failures of up to 48 hours can be bridged. All video recordings are secure and stored per camera for a freely definable archiving period and resolution in private MOBOTIX data centers. Data encryption for data storage The top priority for MOBOTIX was to provide cyber secure connections to regionally available MOBOTIX CLOUD data centers for its own cloud solution. Secure end-to-end encryption protects all data stored and transferred in the system. And the integrated hard disk in the MOBOTIX Bridge serves as a storage buffer in case of interrupted or poor connections to the cloud. The MOBOTIX CLOUD video management system combines comprehensive security with a scalable infrastructure. It is suitable for video systems of all sizes. The cloud solution is ideal and easy to manage, especially for projects with a large number of different locations (e.g. retail stores, franchises, restaurants) and users (e.g. security personnel in public buildings or different departments in larger companies with several branch offices). Even for private users, the cloud provides easy access to the use of a video security system. The MOBOTIX CLOUD combines the use of high-quality MOBOTIX cameras with extremely simple and convenient operation. The user interface of the CLOUD is limited to the essentials for efficient everyday use, making it easy even for users without IT or MOBOTIX knowledge to enter and move into the cloud world. Malware protection for videos The MOBOTIX CLOUD solution meets the basic requirements of one's own products with regard to the highest possible cyber security standards. In this way, the MOBOTIX CLOUD reduces potential weaknesses: There are no open ports, no local firewalls and no local software. Furthermore, no firewall installation is required and no incoming Internet connections are allowed. The cameras are not directly connected to the Internet; instead, the MOBOTIX Bridge is connected in between. When a video is stored in the cloud, it is safe from equipment failure, damage, and theft The MOBOTIX CLOUD Datacenter is malware protected without any open network connections and all recorded videos are encrypted. When a video is stored in the cloud, it is safe from equipment failure, damage, and theft. But it's also safe from other unforeseen events such as fire or water damage. The MOBOTIX CLOUD data centers, which are currently located at twelve sites around the world and offer multi-layered redundancy. The MOBOTIX Bridge acts as failsafe recorder allowing the cameras to continue recording for up to 48 hours even during a network outage. Compatibility with MOBOTIX cameras The MOBOTIX CLOUD requires only one H.264 stream from a video source, and is therefore compatible with all current MOBOTIX camera models of the Mx6 series, the MOBOTIX 7 series and the MOBOTIX MOVE models. Both digital and mechanical PTZ functions can be controlled via the MOBOTIX CLOUD as well as hemispheric cameras. Existing third-party cameras with ONVIF-S profile can also be used in the MOBOTIX CLOUD. End customers save money with the MOBOTIX CLOUD. There is no need to buy and maintain software, storage devices or additional servers. One can pay a small initial amount, and then decide on the basis of a flexible subscription plan where one only has to pay for what one needs. Regular updates of the MOBOTIX CLOUD software ensures that the system is always up-to-date.
Climax’s TSP-3 is a Touchscreen keypad. Featuring a 7” full-color, high-resolution touchscreen, TSP-3 provides quick and secure access to arm/disarm/home arm the system and an intuitive way to operate the security system. Connected to the control panel via Wi-Fi network, TSP-3 displays an overview of the system with its intuitive graphic user interface. By gaining control over security and home automation sensors in the system, TSP-3 enhances convenience and comfort level of living. Built-in 2 megapixel front camera is able to take photos, providing with the basis for algorithm analysis to detect and prevent potential harms. With adjustable privacy shutter in front of the camera, TSP-3 offers another layer of peace of mind for users. Home automation control In addition, TSP-3 can be wall-mounted or placed on the table with its stand. With its flexibility of installation and the capabilities of security and home automation control, TSP-3 provides an effortless way for users to gain access control, as well as an easier, smarter way of living. Features 7” high resolution color graphic touchscreen to control devices in the system User-friendly and intuitive interface Built-in 2 megapixel camera Adjustable privacy shutter Home automation capabilities Suitable for residential and commercial premises Flexible installation options of wall mounting or desktop deployment Built-in microphone and speaker Take photos for algorithm analysis to detect and prevent potential harms Compatibility with Climax’s video door phone for live video verification (available soon) Specifications Display - 7” LCD Wi-Fi - 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz Power Source - 5V/1.5A, USB adapter Backup Battery - 3.7V 2500mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery Backup Battery Life - 4 hours Camera - 2 megapixel camera Audio - Built-in microphone and speaker Operating Temperature - -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F) Operating Humidity - Up to 85% non-condensing Dimensions - 195 mm x 114 mm x 17 mm
SDC-1ZBS is a discreet ultra-thin wireless ZigBee door contact that detects and reports the irregular opening / closing of doors and windows. At only 4 mm thick, SDC-1ZBS can be embedded within door and window frames, making it undetectable and ideal for security application, especially to hide from intruders looking to disarm the user’s security system. This slim and tapered door contact is easy to install and simply disappears within the user’s door and window frames, making their residence a more secure place without compromising its aesthetic integrity. Features Monitors unauthorized opening and closure of doors and windows Ultra-thin design at only 4 mm thickness Discreet mounting in doors and windows Powered by a pre-inserted long lasting battery Minimum power consumption Over-the-Air (OTA) firmware update capability Supervisory signals ensure proper operation Low battery detection Simple and flexible wireless installation Suitable for residential and commercial premises Compatible with other manufacturers’ ZigBee systems Specifications Communication Protocol - ZigBee Pro Home Automation 1.2 Frequency - 2.4GHz Power Source - Lithium Manganese Dioxide Battery (Li/MnO2 Battery) Battery Life - 10 years Operating Temperature - -10°C to 45°C (14°F to 113°F) Operating Humidity - Up to 85% non-condensing Dimensions - 238mm x 19mm x 4mm (body) / 30mm x 19mm x 1mm (magnet)
Imagine a home surveillance camera monitoring an elderly parent and anticipating potential concerns while respecting their privacy. Imagine another camera predicting a home burglary based on suspicious behaviors, allowing time to notify the homeowner who can in turn notify the police before the event occurs—or an entire network of cameras working together to keep an eye on neighborhood safety. Artificial Intelligence vision chips A new gen of AI vision chips are pushing advanced capabilities such as behavior analysis and higher-level security There's a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) vision chips that are pushing advanced capabilities such as behavior analysis and higher-level security to the edge (directly on devices) for a customizable user experience—one that rivals the abilities of the consumer electronics devices we use every day. Once considered nothing more than “the eyes” of a security system, home monitoring cameras of 2020 will leverage AI-vision processors for high-performance computer vision at low power consumption and affordable cost—at the edge—for greater privacy and ease of use as well as to enable behavior analysis for predictive and preemptive monitoring. Advanced home monitoring cameras With this shift, camera makers and home monitoring service providers alike will be able to develop new edge-based use cases for home monitoring and enable consumers to customize devices to meet their individual needs. The result will be increased user engagement with home monitoring devices—mirroring that of cellphones and smart watches and creating an overlap between the home monitoring and consumer electronics markets. A quick step back reminds us that accomplishing these goals would have been cost prohibitive just a couple of years ago. Face recognition, behavior analysis, intelligent analytics, and decision-making at this level were extremely expensive to perform in the cloud. Additionally, the lag time associated with sending data to faraway servers for decoding and then processing made it impossible to achieve real-time results. Cloud-based home security devices The constraints of cloud processing certainly have not held the industry back, however. Home monitoring, a market just seven years young, has become a ubiquitous category of home security and home monitoring devices. Consumers can choose to install a single camera or doorbell that sends alerts to their phone, a family of devices and a monthly manufacturer’s plan, or a high-end professional monitoring solution. While the majority of these devices do indeed rely on the cloud for processing, camera makers have been pushing for edge-based processing since around 2016. For them, the benefit has always been clear: the opportunity to perform intelligent analytics processing in real-time on the device. But until now, the balance between computer vision performance and power consumption was lacking and camera companies weren’t able to make the leap. So instead, they have focused on improving designs and the cloud-centric model has prevailed. Hybrid security systems Even with improvements, false alerts result in unnecessary notifications and video recording Even with improvements, false alerts (like tree branches swaying in the wind or cats walking past a front door) result in unnecessary notifications and video recording— cameras remain active which, in the case of battery powered cameras, means using up valuable battery life. Hybrid models do exist. Typically, they provide rudimentary motion detection on the camera itself and then send video to the cloud for decoding and analysis to suppress false alerts. Hybrids provide higher-level results for things like people and cars, but their approach comes at a cost for both the consumer and the manufacturer. Advanced cloud analytics Advanced cloud analytics are more expensive than newly possible edge-based alternatives, and consumers have to pay for subscriptions. In addition, because of processing delays and other issues, things like rain or lighting changes (or even bugs on the camera) can still trigger unnecessary alerts. And the more alerts a user receives, the more they tend to ignore them—there are simply too many. In fact, it is estimated that users only pay attention to 5% of their notifications. This means that when a package is stolen or a car is burglarized, users often miss the real-time notification—only to find out about the incident after the fact. All of this will soon change with AI-based behavior analysis, predictive security, and real-time meaningful alerts. Predictive monitoring while safeguarding user privacy These days, consumers are putting more emphasis on privacy and have legitimate concerns about being recorded while in their homes. Soon, with AI advancements at the chip level, families will be able to select user apps that provide monitoring without the need to stream video to a company server, or they’ll have access to apps that record activity but obscure faces. Devices will have the ability to only send alerts according to specific criteria. If, for example, an elderly parent being monitored seems particularly unsteady one day or seems especially inactive, an application could alert the responsible family member and suggest that they check in. By analyzing the elderly parent’s behavior, the application could also predict a potential fall and trigger an audio alert for the person and also the family. AI-based behavior analysis Ability to analyze massive amounts of data locally and identify trends is a key advantage of AI at the edge The ability to analyze massive amounts of data locally and identify trends or perform searches is a key advantage of AI at the edge, for both individuals and neighborhoods. For example, an individual might be curious as to what animal is wreaking havoc in their backyard every night. In this case, they could download a “small animal detector” app to their camera which would trigger an alert when a critter enters their yard. The animal could be scared off via an alarm and—armed with video proof—animal control would have useful data for setting a trap. Edge cameras A newly emerging category of “neighborhood watch” applications is already connecting neighbors for significantly improved monitoring and safety. As edge cameras become more commonplace, this category will become increasingly effective. The idea is that if, for example, one neighbor captures a package thief, and then the entire network of neighbors will receive a notification and a synopsis video showing the theft. Or if, say, there is a rash of car break-ins and one neighbor captures video of a red sedan casing their home around the time of a recent incident, an AI vision-based camera could be queried for helpful information: Residential monitoring and security The camera could be asked for a summary of the dates and times that it has recorded that particular red car. A case could be made if incident times match those of the vehicle’s recent appearances in the neighborhood. Even better, if that particular red car was to reappear and seems (by AI behavior analysis) to be suspicious, alerts could be sent proactively to networked residents and police could be notified immediately. Home monitoring in 2020 will bring positive change for users when it comes to monitoring and security, but it will also bring some fun. Consumers will, for example, be able to download apps that do things like monitor pet activity. They might query their device for a summary of their pet’s “unusual activity” and then use those clips to create cute, shareable videos. Who doesn’t love a video of a dog dragging a toilet paper roll around the house? AI at the Edge for home access control Home access control via biometrics is one of many new edge-based use cases that will bring convenience to home monitoring Home access control via biometrics is one of many new edge-based use cases that will bring convenience to home monitoring, and it’s an application that is expected to take off soon. With smart biometrics, cameras will be able to recognize residents and then unlock their smart front door locks automatically if desired, eliminating the need for keys. And if, for example, an unauthorized person tries to trick the system by presenting a photograph of a registered family member’s face, the camera could use “3D liveness detection” to spot the fake and deny access. With these and other advances, professional monitoring service providers will have the opportunity to bring a new generation of access control panels to market. Leveraging computer vision and deep neural networks Ultimately, what camera makers strive for is customer engagement and customer loyalty. These new use cases—thanks to AI at the edge—will make home monitoring devices more useful and more engaging to consumers. Leveraging computer vision and deep neural networks, new cameras will be able to filter out and block false alerts, predict incidents, and send real-time notifications only when there is something that the consumer is truly interested in seeing. AI and computer vision at the edge will enable a new generation of cameras that provide not only a higher level of security but that will fundamentally change the way consumers rely on and interact with their home monitoring devices.
There’s no question that the popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security and home automation products is on the rise. The reasons for the growth in DIY sales are numerous, including increased awareness of home automation products, fast set-up, limited (if any) installation costs, and interoperability with other smart security products. In fact, with the parallel rise of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home, many people are opting to attempt the set-up of smart home devices without any professional assistance. According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates and Security Sales & Integration magazine, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. Let’s look at a few of them. Increase In Revenue For Dealers With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchaseThere are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Wireless, Connected Smart Locks For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for new security installations And they can do all this from a prime, convenient location – the front door, as well as other points of entry like the side or back doors. Plus, smart lock conversion kits like Kwikset Convert let homeowners easily bring home automation capabilities to their door without altering the aesthetics of the entry. Connected smart locks can allow homeowners to set up their home with custom scenarios, right before they step inside. For example, residents can program their lock so that every time they unlock the door, a foyer light goes on, temperatures begin to rise to a set level – even connected coffee makers can begin to make a cup. Portfolio Of Home Automation Products One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatileSmart locks are just one example of the potential of DIY products to spark a homeowner’s interest in a wide range of other home automation devices, many of which would benefit from professional installation. One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatile and offer a complete portfolio of home automation products. The larger the home automation offering, the more devices there are to sell and install, the larger the installation required, the greater the need for professional installation. Many homeowners who feel like they have a certain level of handiness will start by trying to do it themselves with a DIY product. But things don’t always go as planned, especially if they are attempting to set up a robust home automation system. First off, just because a product is DIY doesn’t mean that the old products that are being replaced are going to easily make way for the new. A DIY thermostat or smart lock might require that the old equipment (and possibly wires) get tugged out of the wall. Messy holes might need to be filled. Advantages Of Professional Installation Even after the old system has been removed, homeowners planning on setting up a connected system may soon realize they don’t have the electrical skills or technological know-how to install and connect all devices, get a system programmed correctly, and get everything up and running smoothly. Professional installers have learned from experience; there’s very little that they haven’t seen before. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home and how to create a custom smart home experience Do-it-yourselfers might be able to solve problems by searching the internet and finding videos. But, then again, they might not. After going the DIY route once, many full-home automation system enthusiasts are beginning to realize that the best way to get things done right the first time is to leave the installation and set-up to a professional. Professional installers can and should bring an extra level of experience and guidance to the process. Their services should go beyond tech installation and also include interface design. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home – how to create a custom smart home experience that doesn’t make the user feel less than smart. Selling Additional Home Automation Products If a problem arises due to installation error, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakesResidential security dealers who offer professional installation should be willing to embrace the DIYer who has attempted to do a self-install but has not been able to complete the process successfully. With an open mind to this scenario, they can save the day for the DIYer, as well as create an opportunity to sell additional home automation equipment that the DIYer may not have known to be available. The disparity between DIY and professional installation also brings to light the fact that there are no ‘satisfaction guarantees’ and no ‘installation/labor warranty’ available when a home automation system is installed by a DIYer. If a problem arises with either the equipment connectivity due to installation error, or if a piece of equipment is installed incorrectly, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakes. This may not be as critical if a DIYer installs a minor piece of equipment, but with something as critical as securing and protecting their home with a home automation and security system, most people want full peace of mind that everything has been installed correctly. Reduces Connection Instability According to a 2017 study by the analyst firm, IHS Markit, “The quality of the equipment is usually higher in professionally installed systems, and professional configuration and setup greatly reduces the potential for connection instability…” This is an issue that DIYers may come to realize over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognize right away, especially if they are attempting to connect multiple devices, is that the connectivity may be inconsistent. Professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity IHS Markit explains that, “DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues. Some of the sensors can become unrecognizable to the system, requiring intervention from the user. In contrast, professional wireless systems rely on UL- or EN-certified equipment to operate on the basis of proprietary frequency, enabling them to work with the control panel much more seamlessly.” In other words, professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol, even an open-source protocol like Z-Wave, might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity, and fewer headaches. Not Everyone Is A DIY Customer There are customers who want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain themThere’s no doubt that there’s a segment of the security and home automation market that loves to spend their free time doing their own home improvement. They are watching videos, reading how-to books and manuals, and enjoying every minute. There’s also a segment of the market whose top goal is to save money up front. For these customers, there’s no getting around the joy of saving money with the lower cost of many DIY products. But there are also a great number of prospective customers out there for whom DIY is of absolutely no interest. These consumers do not want to be their own IT department. They want expert help: they want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain them. The IHS Markit study points out what many home automation dealers already know: that the elder and aging-in-place markets are an ideal destination for the security and convenience of home automation products. The study says, “Many senior citizens are not tech savvy enough to install a DIY system by themselves, so they tend to rely on professionally installed systems that are usually maintained by a family member.” Along with the senior citizens market, there are many other market segments out there that still desire worry-free professional installation. Installers should offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products Producing Complete And Custom Solutions Perhaps the best way for dealers and installers to stave off that feeling of doom that they might have about DIY is to tackle the problem head on and be creative. Offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products – consider the DIY product a great entry point for a more comprehensive system. Play up the peace of mind that comes with professional installations and support that pitch with flexible monitoring contracts and service plans. Share what you do and why; relay your passion for producing complete and custom solutions and communicate how you add value to any and every sale. No one, not even the most tech-savvy consumer, wants to install their own products if the end result is that the product doesn’t work the way it should. That’s where the pros can, should and will always come into play.
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SecurityInformed.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organizations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organizations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritizes use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
Across the security industry, power supplies are too often an afterthought and the first item in an access control system to be value-engineered. However, when the power supply fails on a high-end access control device, the system becomes a very expensive paperweight. Fortunately, there are now power supply units available that can enhance system reliability by providing remote diagnostics and real-time reporting and analytics. There is also a mistaken perception that all power supplies are the same, says David Corbin, Director of ASSA ABLOY’S Power Management Strategic Business Unit. Access control and security applications Power supplies today are more important than ever for access control and security applications The fact is, a properly designed unit for today’s market must have a wide input range, a myriad of features, interface to network, have adequate transient protection, good surge capability and a demonstrated quality level for mission critical reliability, he says. “Power supplies today are more important than ever for access control and security applications,” says Corbin. “From heavy snowstorms in the Midwest and East Coast to the two million Californians that experienced unprecedented power outages, extreme weather conditions have created chaos for millions over the past few months. These events have resulted in students being locked out of schools, hospitals darkening and electronic keypads or card readers shutting down. With events like these on the rise, and an increased reliance on the technology we use to get in and out of the spaces we occupy, power supplies are critical for keeping systems up and running and people safe and secure.” ASSA ABLOY's LifeSafety Power’s FPO Intelligent Power Supplies and Helix Redundant Power Systems Installing right power supplies ASSA ABLOY has a range of products within the power supplies category, including LifeSafety Power’s FPO Intelligent Power Supplies and Helix Redundant Power Systems. ASSA ABLOY’s acquisition of LifeSafety Power in September expanded the company’s offering of smart integrated access control power solutions for OEMs, integrators and end-users. Other ASSA ABLOY power supply products include Securitron AQ Series Switching Power Supplies, and eco-friendly, linear, plug-in and solar power supplies, as well as Power over Ethernet (PoE). Access control is crucial to security and life safety, says Corbin. And without power, any protective system is useless. When the right power supplies are installed correctly, the system will have built-in backup power that will be triggered during an outage. Dependable power supplies, with regularly replaced and appropriately sized backup batteries, are critical to keeping occupants safe in an emergency event. Other ASSA ABLOY power supply products include Securitron AQ Series Switching Power Supplies Periodic testing of the battery When it comes to extreme weather conditions, the result of a power outage can lead to hazardous situations for employees, patients, residents and students, he says. Buildings that require power to gain access can leave people stranded outside or locked inside. “When access controls are disabled, intruders can easily enter buildings without notice, affording the opportunity for interruptions to power distribution, water supplies and other necessary public utilities,” says Corbin. Preparation for the next big power outage should include the sizing of power supplies to the system requirement with a reasonable safety factor for foreseeable system expansion and a battery set that is sized for operating the system for a period of time greater than the planned requirement, he says. Using a ‘smart’ power supply provides early warning of an impending failure; and consistent, periodic testing of the battery set keeps the system in peak operating condition. Predictive maintenance of access control Predictive analytics and data harvesting can help with predictive maintenance of access control Redundancy ensures that power remains available in the event of a failure, regardless of whether it is a blackout situation or a failure of the power supply itself, says Corbin. “In critical power installations where redundancy is vital, the system must have a properly sized and maintained backup battery,” says Corbin. “Additionally, further redundancy can be achieved via products like our Helix systems that provide for seamless switching between two different power supplies in the event of an electrical failure of one of the power supplies.” Corbin also notes there is a growing want and need for more data and analytics in the access control field. End users increasingly expect access control systems to be able to integrate with building information systems. Predictive analytics and data harvesting can help with predictive maintenance of access control and building systems. For example, intelligent power supplies can identify problems before they happen – such as performing periodic, automated battery tests and then notifying a central monitoring location and/or a facility manager of a battery that needs replacement. Lock operation can also be monitored on a real-time basis for failure or impending failure of a secured door opening, he says.
The success of smart homes began with professional security providers offering bundled packages, focused mostly on security monitoring. However, due to the cost of professional contracts, consumers began to embrace the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. Despite the challenges and opportunities that come with professional and DIY approaches, the momentum of smart home growth depends on these two approaches working symbiotically. Smart home systems In 2017, there were about 122 million smart home devices shipped globally, according to IHS Markit. The retail channel represented about 62 percent of all device shipments in 2017 and will represent about 70 percent in 2021. Despite the increased demand for professional installation, the “do-it-for-me” approach, most the volume remains with ad-hoc purchases. This includes a consumer video camera or a smart thermostat purchase from a retailer. Data capture form to appear here! When a consumer wants to add devices to an existing professionally installed system, they often will buy products from retail. Flexible service offerings and pricing are already taking shape across smart home offerings. DIY installed smart home systems such as Scout Alarm already offer no contract monitoring. Professional monitoring companies are already offering no contract pricing, and providers such as Comcast are looking to pilot programs for just video monitoring, bundled with Internet for a low monthly fee. Home automation system Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller Options for financing are also going to become commonplace. Smart home equipment is expensive, even when attempting to outfit a modest size home (2,500 square feet). Immediate access to services is becoming more critical. This means consumers should be able to access on-demand service options directly from a mobile device to activate or deactivate professional monitoring. Lastly, pricing still needs to come down for many smart home devices, but there is a threshold. For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to communicate wirelessly with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. Residential security According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. For example, with their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchases. There are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” Full-time monitoring DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchase and installation of professionally installed systems What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Instead of paying for monthly monitoring, homeowners can install a web cam, access from a smartphone or tablet and essentially do their own security monitoring. The downside of this approach is readily apparent. Without full-time monitoring, homeowners can easily miss the break-in or the aged parent who falls and can’t get up. Near-field communication Until they log on and take a look, there’s no central station to send medical aid or call the police. Connecting door locks and other devices to the Internet can also open a door to hackers, if the infrastructure isn’t properly protected. The areas of consumer electronics and security are closely intertwined. For example, Apple recently expanded near-field communication (NFC) support to include the NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format), which will likely accelerate the adoption of smartphones for access control credentialing. In another recent development, Amazon acquired Blink, a home security camera startup that offers wireless home security systems. The acquisition aligns with Amazon’s effort to offer more home devices. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household Traditional security features For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market that want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Missed part one of our smart home mini series? Read it here.
The boundaries between the smart home market and security market at large are narrowing. Amidst a wave of expansion, suddenly everything is becoming digital. Home automation has been around for close to 30 years but hasn’t really hit it big because integration hasn’t been that simple. Now that the Internet of Things has stepped into the market, home automation is really taking off. As technology in the smart home market advances, the gap between the residential and professional security markets is growing smaller. Additional revenue for security industry There will continue to be more opportunity for interoperability, and home automation will continue to grow and eventually become a norm. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions, have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras and other products suffice for their security. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. Data capture form to appear here! Residential security solutions Growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that" The trend has no doubt accelerated in the last couple of years. New collaborations are being made between audio-video (AV) suppliers and security solution providers. The clientele of high-end AV products is becoming increasingly concerned with home security and property protection. So, in recent months, the requirement for residential security solutions has been increasing as technical solutions can go hand in hand with AV installers’ capabilities and client base. “One of the big mistakes many make is that they assume – based on some of the hype and big market investments – that the smart home market is set to explode,” says Michael Philpott, Senior Practice Leader, Consumer Services at Ovum. "This is not the case – growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that, rather than expecting some rapid ramp up simply because some big names have entered the market.” Pressure to upgrade security standards Surprisingly for what has historically been something of a grudge purchase, in the context of home automation, security is seen as a solution some consumers are looking for. Another security aspect of home automation is cybersecurity, in particular how it applies to various IoT devices in the home. Now as connected devices gather personal information from realms long considered private and protected – the bedroom, the kitchen counter, the nursery – the risks are higher than ever. All of the data that various devices and sites have collected can be combined, shifted and then exploited by marketers or even stolen by hackers. Both manufacturers of smart home products and the companies that install them are feeling pressure to upgrade security standards. They are moving to set policies that will regulate who has access to data and how it is used. Ease of installation Advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies A recent revelation that some “smart TVs” might be listening to conversations and transmitting them to "third parties" caused an uproar. These sets have voice activated features that enable users to change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the internet by speaking to the screen or remote. The fine print in privacy policies contains warnings that general conversations are also being heard, and one company even told owners to turn off this function if they were concerned. Another impact of smart homes on the security marketplace is to raise expectations about the capabilities of commercial systems. Products made today for residential applications are very high quality, easy to install (do-it-yourself, or DIY), and have very rich feature sets. End users expect their commercial solutions to have a similar ease of use and ease of installation. Geofencing in commercial applications The quality of video that people are seeing at home is motivating some legacy commercial customers to finally move to IP video from lower resolution analog cameras. A higher percentage of commercial customers use cellphone applications to view integrated video and access control data. People’s experience with smart thermostats has them asking for geofencing in some commercial applications. In short, advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies. Read part two of our smart home mini series here.
Synectics has secured a multi-site protection contract for a customer whose infrastructure assets are considered critical to national security. Responsible for maintaining an energy network that supplies over 3.9 million homes and businesses, the customer required a centralized system to guard against both physical and cyber threats at five key sites – each recognized as a national asset with corresponding levels of access clearance. The Synectics solution, driven by its Synergy 3 command and control platform, integrates third-party sensors, analytics, cameras, systems, personnel databases, and edge devices. The resulting level of situational awareness gives the team – based at the customer’s state-of-the-art Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) – complete oversight and control of security, safety, and site-management systems at each facility. Electrified perimeter-fence systems As part of the contract, Synectics will also provide a redundant ARC solution for failover scenarios. The core integrations included as part of the project ensure alerts and responses are linked to, and can implement direct control of, door-access systems, intrusion-detection systems, intercom technology, and the electrified perimeter-fence systems deployed at each location. Synectics will conduct a complete system FAT, which includes all specified third-party software and hardware, at its dedicated UK testing facilities. Given the high-risk, high-security nature of the project, the provider’s ability to system-test at such scale was a crucial factor in the contract being awarded. The five locations to be monitored from the ARC are government-authorized to trigger armed response units to deal with imminent or actual threats. Command and control system In addition to meeting technical resiliency specifications, Synectics will be providing cybersecurity consultation The solution will, therefore, employ customized workflows to support incident (alarm) validation and protocol-compliant responsive action. The solution will also see each site equipped with its localised command and control system for on-site management, with the ability to manually and automatically escalate incidents to the ARC team as required. Cybersecurity was a specific focus of the brief. In addition to meeting technical resiliency specifications with authentication and encryption solutions, Synectics will be providing ongoing cybersecurity consultation, working in partnership with in-house specialists to ensure the continuous development of protective measures. Third-Party system Martin Bonfield, UK Sales Manager at Synectics, commented: “The perfect alignment between customer requirements and Synectics’ track record in CNI meant the lead integrator came directly to us with this exciting project. Our credentials and expert team, coupled with Synergy 3’s ability to remotely integrate and interoperate with any third-party system vital to effective operations, meant we ticked multiple boxes." "We are regarded in the industry as a safe pair of hands with the relevant experience, and an innovator with the forward-focused technology required to meet all aspects of the brief.”
ExcelRedstone is implementing an ambitious integration project, using Maxxess eFusion technology, at the first high-rise residential and hospitality development in the City of London for many years. Currently under construction, the £300m 43-story One Bishopsgate Plaza development will see security and building management technology operating seamlessly together in a setting that includes both new-build and listed conservation area structures. As well as having 160 new private apartments, when completed the development will include a 237-bed five star Pan Pacific Hotel, a public plaza and a Pacific Ballroom, promoted as the Square Mile’s first dedicated banqueting venue. ExcelRedstone selected eFusion for the project because of the flexibility it allows, enabling rapid integration, off-the-shelf, with a wide choice of security, safety and business-critical technologies. Umbrella management system “The customer wanted a seamless, single interface that allows front of house guest services to be linked to back of house functions and give the highest operator efficiency and enhanced customer experience,” says Matt Salter, Director, ExcelRedstone. eFusion provides an umbrella management system for an expanding choice of preferred technologies With its modular, building block approach, eFusion provides an umbrella management system for an expanding choice of preferred technologies for commercial, hospitality and mixed-use settings, including guest check-in, reservation & visitor management, access control, surveillance, and building systems. In use, eFusion drives efficiency and eliminates gaps in security by removing the need for operators to continually switch between systems. Video management system Two of the most important technologies being integrated by eFusion at One Bishopsgate Plaza are the full-featured, Oracle Hospitality Opera property management & guest service system, and a 266 door ASSA ABLOY wireless electronic locking solution. ExcelRedstone is also using eFusion to integrate Zenitel IP intercoms, a KONE elevator system, and the building management (BMS) system using the BACnet protocol, which will enable estate managers to optimize energy efficiency based on usage and occupancy. The eFusion integration also allows a more flexible approach with the surveillance system - for example, making it easy to use a choice of Axis cameras, with specialist mounts, in the listed conservation areas of the site, integrating them with over 350 Mobotix fixed lens and panoramic cameras through the highly-secure Wavestore video management system (VMS). Networking and AV systems ExcelRedstone is also responsible for networking and AV systems at the development The surveillance and other security systems will be monitored live from two separate control rooms, one for the hotel and one for the wider estate. As well as integrating these and fitting out the control rooms, ExcelRedstone is also responsible for networking and AV systems at the development. “Our engineers are pre-staging the entire system off-site,” explains Salter. “This is allowing us to test everything in advance and to reduce packaging waste and environmental impact on site. It also lets us work more efficiently, in step with the ongoing construction schedule, floor by floor.” Providing secure solutions One Bishopsgate is the latest of a growing number of mixed-use developments - including hotels, retail, office and residential complexes - to use eFusion to streamline security, safety and facilities management. “We are seeing a growing trend towards automation and centralized management, and the solutions being deployed at these locations are increasingly sophisticated – but that doesn’t mean they have to be complex,” says Lee Copland, Managing Director EMEA, Maxxess. “Quite the opposite in fact. By keeping things simple and integrating off-the-shelf with the widest choice of technologies, Maxxess is providing secure solutions that are easier to install and to use than traditional alternatives.”
Comelit has continued its work with multi award-winning London property developer, Howarth Homes to present new homeowners at office-to-residential conversion, Lovell House with smart access control and door entry. Lovell House, located off Uxbridge High Street in Middlesex is a stunning collection of 45 executive suites, one and two bedroom apartments set over six floors, each finished to a high specification. Smart access control and door entry system Each apartment has been individually planned to ensure a light and airy interior with excellent accommodation flow. Within the initial design process, Comelit was invited back to work with Howarth Homes to accommodate a request for smart security right from the point of entry to individual apartment access. Linzie Howland, Sales Director of Howarth Homes stated, “Howarth Homes is adept at creating affordable option developments interiors that demand more than just cursory attention. Every detail in each of our developments has been carefully and thoughtfully considered to ensure that our new home promises easy, hassle-free living”. SimpleKey access control solution Lovell House has been fitted with Comelit’s SimpleKey access control solution, along with Mini video handsets Linzie adds, “Lovell House is testament to this commitment, and commands superior specification right from access control through to door entry. We have gone above and beyond the expected to ensure homeowners can take advantage of purchasing offers and live in a development where we present smart security and visitor management without compromising aesthetics.” Lovell House has been fitted with Comelit’s SimpleKey access control solution, along with Mini video handsets in every apartment, allowing visual door entry operating through its 2-Wire SimpleBus solution. The powerful combination presents homeowners with the capability to answer access requests and manage home access. Comelit access control readers installed Each of the five floors has an access control reader installed alongside each lift facility, totaling 19 units around the site. The development itself is finished with a bespoke stainless steel panel with bezel design. All systems have been designed and installed to comply to Secured by Design standards. Tom Kidston of Excellence Electrical said, “Howarth Homes prides itself on its pledge for connected living for a connected world, so it’s essential access control and door entry is planned into the specification and design”. Residential security systems Tom added, “This is especially important at office to residential conversion works such as Lovell House, where systems need to be considered with the change of purpose to the building. Early planning ensures a coordinated approach to installation, with minimal cabling requirements to remain compliant, stylish and secure.” Daniel (Dan) Wood, Southern Sales Manager at Comelit UK said “Uxbridge is increasingly growing in demand for first time buyers and rental property, experiencing excellent capital growth. Howarth Homes has a number of developments in the area and we have been thrilled to work closely with them to deliver total solutions for access control and door entry”. Dan adds, “At Lovell House, the specification brief was to create futureproof, smart security and visual visitor management, delivered seamlessly with our SimpleBus and SimpleKey systems.”
Desert Highlands – the acclaimed luxury golf club and community in the stunning Sonoran Desert of North Scottsdale – has updated the community’s security system, installing the state-of-the-art Avigilon Surveillance System. The upgraded security system at Desert Highlands includes 55 new IP cameras installed throughout the property. Other features of the system include new technology that allows the Desert Highlands security team the ability to locate vehicles or people with specific description criteria, and an appearance search feature that can recognize individuals based on various descriptions. High quality video surveillance footage Typically, a luxury club and its community homeowners’ association’s security systems are not connected Avigilon Security Solutions are designed as easy-to-use software and hardware IP network products that include image capture, analysis, storage, transfer and playback of high quality video surveillance footage with visually lossless compression (no perceptible loss of visual detail), and electronic access control management. Typically, a luxury club and its community homeowners’ association’s security systems are not connected. With the Avigilon Surveillance System at Desert Highlands, the two security components are completely integrated with one another, which provides additional security measures and more proficiency. Safe and comforting “We wanted to transform our surveillance system at Desert Highlands to something more sophisticated and efficient, and the highly touted Avigilon surveillance system matched our needs,” says General Manager Monty Becton. "Providing our residents and members peace of mind and ensuring the Desert Highlands experience remains safe and comforting are our ultimate priorities.” Desert Highlands’ energetic lifestyle consistently draws discerning families and active Boomers in equal measure – golfers, tennis enthusiasts, pet lovers, and health and wellness enthusiasts. A full social calendar allows residents to also fully enjoy this peaceful community. New irrigation system During the Coronavirus pandemic, Desert Highlands offers a pantry for its members and residents, where they could buy essentials (paper items, disinfectant, bread, milk, cheese, deli, proteins, beverages, etc.) from the club without leaving the confines of the community. The club carefully packages the items and either has them delivered to their houses or places the groceries in front of the clubhouse for pick-up. Stretching to over 7,100 yards, the Desert Highlands golf course recently underwent a $7 million renovation project that included refurbishing every bunker, restoring the 13th hole to its original design, installing a new irrigation system and updating cart paths. Premier tennis tournaments Noted ATP player Nick Kyrgios considers Desert Highlands’ grass courts “better than Wimby [Wimbledon]” The splendid golf course offers a challenging, but fair test, and striking views of Pinnacle Peak and the lights of the Valley spread across the horizon in the distance below. Desert Highlands was the first design in Arizona by Jack Nicklaus, and immediately set the bar for desert golf experiences, not only in Scottsdale but statewide and nationwide. Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson have walked these fairways, as Desert Highlands was host site of the first Skins Game in 1983. Just as impressive is Desert Highlands’ Racquet Club, which sports 13 tennis courts featuring all three Grand Slam surfaces – grass, clay and hard. The Racquet Club annually hosts one of the premier tennis tournaments found anywhere – the USTA Southwest Grass Court Classic. Noted ATP player Nick Kyrgios considers Desert Highlands’ grass courts “better than Wimby [Wimbledon].” State-of-the-art security system Desert Highlands also boasts a 7,700-square-foot Wellness Center, an 18-hole professionally designed putting course and a spacious dog park. Inside, the club provides residents peace of mind with a state-of-the-art security system, professionally trained security personnel, visitor control and access, and other protection amenities. Among the acclaimed residential services that truly pamper residents and meet their specific needs – shipping and transportation assistance, pool and spa maintenance, auto detailing and other customized services.
VIVOTEK, the global IP surveillance provider, has deployed its IP surveillance cameras in the residential project “New Borovaya,” constructed by A-100 Development, one of the largest developers of residential and commercial real estate in Belarus. This deployment has been carried out by long-standing distributor DataStream DEP, and has successfully put into action the high-quality products and brand value of VIVOTEK. On land with a total area of more than 100 hectares, a whole district is being actively developed in line with the most modern European trends of improved urban living environments. Based on the principle of SMART and SOCIAL, the “New Borovaya” project is one of the most innovative and upscale developments in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. In order to ensure public safety and protect private property, А-100 Development pays special attention to the security of the huge residential complex. Bullet network cameras To meet the demanding requirements of the project, including high-quality imagery, reliable equipment from a global brand, excellent technical characteristics and optimal price, the distributor DataStream DEP had complete confidence in recommending VIVOTEK’s IP surveillance solutions. VIVOTEK is honored to have this decade-long strategic partnership with A-100 Development VIVOTEK’s IB8369A and IB8367A bullet-type network cameras were selected for video surveillance of streets, playgrounds and outdoor parking, while the FD8369A-V dome type cameras were chosen for the entrances of residential buildings. A single data transmission network has been built at the facility, which unites all cameras and provides easy-access to any camera. Surveillance solutions Commenced in 2014, development of the "New Borovaya" project will last for 10 years. In the first two quarters, solutions based on VIVOTEK IP surveillance cameras were implemented, the success of which has led developer А-100 Development to proudly place VIVOTEK solutions in its marketing materials, and confidently declare the reliability of this brand during both operation and for further cooperation. VIVOTEK is honored to have this decade-long strategic partnership with A-100 Development and looks forward to providing its latest surveillance solutions again in the near future.
Upgrading a two-wire analog intercom to a conventional IP video system typically involves messy and costly rewiring work. So what happens when there is a need to install over 500 IP systems into a single building? One company, Hikvision, has developed an innovative two-wire solution, which is already making waves at the luxurious RiverGate condominium in Singapore. “If someone rang the bell at the side entrance, it wouldn’t always ring in my apartment upstairs,” says the Chairman of the Condo Council, who lives at the RiverGate condominium in River Valley, Singapore. “Visitors often had to call me to let them in, and I would have to travel down 20 floors to the main entrance. It became incredibly frustrating.” Switching from analog to IP system The intercoms in Asia’s condos are crying out for an upgrade to IP, but the infrastructure just doesn’t support it" The resident’s story is typical of millions of residents across Asia, where high rise living is the norm. In Singapore, the first condominiums were built back in the 1960s, to tackle the challenge of high population density and soaring land costs. Today, high-rise living in Singapore is not only necessary but highly desirable, with many condominiums offering swimming pools, spas, sky-gardens and a host of other deluxe facilities at exclusive locations across the island. Nevertheless, even the most luxurious apartment blocks are wrangling with aging access control systems. Many systems only work intermittently, while all but the newest builds feature intercoms that use out-dated two-wire analog cabling. “The intercoms in Asia’s condos are crying out for an upgrade to IP, but the infrastructure just doesn’t support it,” says Daniel Han, Engineering Director at Serron Technology. Hikvision IP security systems Making the move to IP intercom systems is a logical step, as it would offer a host of benefits to Asia’s high rise residents. First of all, IP systems are video-based and can work with HD cameras, giving homeowners crystal clear images of who is at the door potentially dozens of floors below. What’s more, they also typically link to an app, so residents can see and interact with the person at the door – even when they’re not in the apartment. “Video IP systems are much more functional, more future-proof, and incredibly reliable,” adds Daniel. The problem is, most of today’s IP intercom systems typically need to replace wire for an internet connection – and that means an upgrade to the building itself. “To upgrade to an IP system across a whole condominium is a massive job,” Daniel confirms, adding “Chasing out walls and replacing wiring is disruptive, messy and a time-consuming task. In addition, the task is also expensive, and management companies would have no choice but to pass this cost on to the residents." Two Wire IP Video Intercom System Although it may seem like an impossible problem, one company – Hikvision – has provided an excellent solution. As its product name suggests, the company’s Two Wire IP Video Intercom System is purpose-built to work over existing two-wire cabling, so that two wires supply power and transmit voice, video and control signals at the same time. At the heart of the Hikvision two-wire system is the Two-Wire Video/Audio Distributor (DS-KAD706). It’s this intelligent box that makes the two-wire solution possible by consolidating power and internet connectivity, enabling it to be distributed out to the external door video stations and the indoor video units. Hikvision two-wire solution Each of the 545 apartments within RiverGate has a Hikvision Intercom Indoor station with a video screen At Singapore’s luxurious RiverGate Condominium complex, the management team was so impressed with the potential of the Hikvision two-wire solution that they have already installed it into the condominium. Each of the 545 apartments within RiverGate has a Hikvision Intercom Indoor station (DS-KH6320-WTE2) featuring a video screen, while each of the entrances to the building has a Video Intercom Door Station (DS-KD8102-V) featuring an HD camera. If someone calls an apartment via a door station downstairs, it rings the appropriate indoor screen. The resident can see the visitor and have a conversation with them, before letting them in with a simple tap of the screen. Hikvision Video Intercom Master Station (DS-KM8301) The RiverGate central management offices also have the Hikvision Video Intercom Master Station (DS-KM8301), to monitor the building perimeter and control entry. Plus the complex has installed a number of Hikvision’s Waterproof and Vandal-proof Card Readers (DS-K1104M), to ensure that only authorized individuals can move around the building. What’s more, by downloading the HikConnect app, residents can be alerted to a visitor when they’re away from the video unit, or when they’re out of the premises entirely. The app offers the same functionality as the video screen – allowing residents to see visitors, speak to them, and even choose to let them into the building. Reliable and innovative IP-based solution The benefits of the new Hikvision system are far-reaching. From a building management perspective, the ability to use the existing two-wire system has kept installation costs to a minimum. The ability to use the existing two-wire system has kept installation costs to a minimum “Hikvision’s Two Wire Video Intercom System is a state-of-the-art product, and ideal for retrofitting and modernizing large residential and office building projects. Across Asia, there are thousands of high rise buildings whose access control systems desperately need upgrading. This sleek system provides a cost-effective and elegant IP-based solution – one that’s ideal for high end residential or commercial environments – for minimal cost and disruption.” said Jacky Xie, the Project Manager at Hikvision, who is very optimistic about the potential of the company’s two-wire IP solution. High-performance video and access control system And of course, it’s had a huge impact on RiverGate’s residents. One of the residents’ of the Condominium said, “The new intercom does more than the old system. I particularly like the functionality of mobile app – I can use my phone to let visitors come in even when I don’t have access to the indoor device, like when I’m not at home or using the bathroom. It’s also such a relief to have an access control system that works reliably. I love it; it’s more convenient, it’s really easy to use, and I feel safer.”
Round table discussion
Delivering on customer expectations is a basic tenet of success in the physical security market. However, meeting expectations may be an elusive goal, whether because customer needs are not communicated effectively or because equipment doesn’t perform as promised. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what if a customer expects more than a security system can deliver?
Driven by technology developments such as voice recognition, smart devices and the Internet of Things, our homes are getting “smarter” all the time. Increasingly, we expect our residential environments to be responsive to our voice commands, whether we are adjusting a thermostat, turning on a light, or lowering the window shade. Smarter home integration yields new opportunities and challenges for home security, too, which contributes an element of safety and protection to the convenience aspects of smart homes. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are new smart home systems impacting security?
Our Expert Panel is an opinionated group on a wide variety of topics, and we are dedicated to providing a useful and flexible forum to share those opinions. This week, our panelists address a range of opinions about several self-selected topics, culled from the large number of Expert Panelist responses we have collected in the last year. In this Expert Panel Roundtable article, we will share these varied and insightful responses to ensure they are not lost to posterity!
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