Interface Security Systems, a managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, announced it is now offering interactive remote video monitoring service with automated voice-down options to help its retail and restaurant customers promote social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines on their premises. A growing number of retailers and restaurants are reporting increased incidents of agitated customers and in-...
ADT Inc. announced that, via its commercial channel (“ADT Commercial”), it is investing in Percepta Labs, an artificial-intelligence technology startup out of Philadelphia. ADT Commercial is a premier provider of commercial security, fire, life safety, and risk consulting services in the U.S., and through its investment will fund the commercialisation and application of the startup’s cutting-edge AI technology to help detect and deter shoplifting. ADT Commercial will work dire...
Johnson Controls is announcing exacqVision 20.09, which offers an integrated, cost-effective face mask detection solution that can quickly put information into the hands of facility decision makers to help maintain safe environments for employees and visitors. Based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics versus pixel-based analytics, exacqVision 20.09 with Face Mask Detection offers improved accuracy and a scalable, efficient solution for organizations where public health and safety is a pri...
Panasonic announced its collaboration with the software company A.I.Tech. It brings together i-PRO’s security cameras with built-in AI capabilities and ground-breaking intelligent applications to provide a range of business solutions based on deep learning, many applicable to the current COVID-19 environment. The deep learning applications run directly on the cameras themselves, eliminating the need for additional servers for analytical calculations while maintaining the same high levels...
This year has been characterized by uncertainty and extraordinary strain, which has fallen heavily on all manner of key workers. Alongside our celebrated healthcare professionals, carers and the emergency services, those working in essential retail have proved themselves to be the backbone of our society during this challenging period. As people try to grasp onto normality and cope with the unexpected changes taking place in every aspect of their lives – including the way they are allowed...
The need for crisp and clear video images in low-light environments always exists. The data confirms it: when committing crimes like burglary and vehicle theft, criminals definitely prefer to hide under the cover of darkness. So to both prevent and tackle crime, it’s vital to have security cameras that can record quality, discernible footage in a variety of light conditions, especially in near-total darkness. For years, improvements in sensor technology and algorithms to enhance the image...
Temperature monitoring expert, AMETEK Land, has partnered with sister company, Telguard, to offer the VIRALERT 3 non-contact human body temperature screening system as part of Telguard’s distribution channel to the security sector. The VIRALERT 3 provides a camera, thermal imager, and a temperature-controlled reference source on a single mounting platform. Using automatic face detection, the system ensures a valid reading, and provides a measurement that’s accurate to within 0.5oC/ 0.9oF, it then calculates core body temperatures through a rapid test procedure that lasts less than two seconds. Infrared thermal imaging Developed over 18 years by AMETEK Land experts, the VIRALERT 3 provides real-time infrared thermal imaging from a safe social distance. It is designed to screen visitors for elevated skin temperature at an entry point without slowing the flow of people or the need for person-to-person contact. The VIRALERT 3 is easy to use and can be left to operate automatically, with audible and visual alarms alerting when high temperatures are discovered. To ensure the highest levels of accuracy and reliability, it has a blackbody calibration source fitted on the same platform as the integrated thermal imager/visual camera. This makes for a compact system that won’t get in the way of queueing people and can be easily wall or desk-top mounted. Security sector Justin Smith, AMETEK Land Vice President said, “Partnering with Telguard is a perfect fit. Telguard is a leader in cellular communications devices for security systems, and VIRALERT 3 complements these products, providing the security sector with all the systems they need to open facilities safely, and just as importantly, to stay open.” The VIRALERT 3 builds on AMETEK Land’s proven expertise in temperature technology. The company has been developing high-accuracy infrared measurement instruments since 1947 and has been creating human body temperature screening systems since responding to the SARS outbreak of 2002.
The massive explosion that shook Beirut on August 4th had a devastating impact on Lebanon and its citizens, killing at least 180 people and injuring thousands. At the same time, tens of thousands of the city’s residents were left homeless after the blast destroyed their houses and properties. International organizations and peacekeepers from all over the world have reached out to send daily necessities and medical supplies to the region and assist in the reconstruction of the affected areas. As a socially responsible company, Dahua Technology and its Lebanon team immediately contacted the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Lebanon after the blast at Beirut Port, and donated 350 cases of food supplies to help the affected residents tide over this extremely pressing circumstance. Temperature monitoring system Dahua Lebanon has donated thermal body temperature monitoring system to the country’s Ministry of Health “We just wants to tell those people that never lose faith for life because love will beat anything and the nightmare will eventually go away. Dahua Technology stands in solidarity with the Lebanese people and we are working together to help them rebuild their homes,” said Lori You, Country Manager of Dahua Lebanon. Recently, also with the help of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Lebanon, Dahua Lebanon has donated two sets of Dahua thermal body temperature monitoring system to the country’s Ministry of Health, strengthening the protection of Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport during the pandemic period. Local public welfare Dahua Technology has been operating in Lebanon for more than 10 years. With a professional local sales and technical team, Dahua Lebanon provides local customers with latest technologies, quality products and solutions, as well as speedy services throughout the country. While delivering projects covering transportation, retail, finance, education and other fields, Dahua Lebanon also actively supports local public welfare projects, enabling a safer society and smarter living.
Security and Safety Things GmbH is pleased to announce that 21 new and innovative applications are currently in development as part of its App Challenge to create new solutions for the retail, transportation and manufacturing sectors. Developers from 16 different companies have been working on apps that can provide solutions to COVID-19 specific needs or common industry pain points. The apps will run on cameras powered by the operating system developed by Security & Safety Things. AI-Enabled analytic apps A total of 11 of these new AI-enabled analytic apps have already been loaded onto the company’s open Application Store, and will now be rated by a jury of prominent integrators. Another 10 applications are expected to follow over the coming weeks. The Application Store already features close to 70 camera applications from which integrators and end users can choose to suit their particular use case. Using the Security & Safety Things OS, multiple applications are capable of running simultaneously on a single camera so end users can accomplish several different functions with one device. Also, apps can be replaced over the camera’s lifetime, allowing users to flexibly repurpose cameras and source more value from the hardware investment. Anonymize sensitive data An app example in the manufacturing and logistics category is parcel detection For example, retailers can install apps that can track occupancy levels and detect facial coverings, and later install apps that perform heat mapping or customer traffic flow. Some will assist in preventing shoplifting or address COVID-19 specific challenges, such as the detection of proper face protection, occupancy management and adherence to social distancing. Applications in the transportation and smart city category will, among other things, assist municipalities in assessing the effectiveness of COVID-19 restrictions or anonymize sensitive data by masking PIN pads, phones, laptops and humans to provide a greater level of privacy. An app example in the manufacturing and logistics category is parcel detection, which will inform building owners when a package is left unattended. This seeks to solve a pain point brought on by the lack of onsite staff in a variety of verticals, due to COVID-19. Developers creating new apps The developers who are creating new apps as part of the App Challenge include: Retail: Link Analytix Thirdeye Labs Eagle Eye Network B.V. A.I. Tech TNG Technology Consulting GmbH Impact Analytics VI Agents Solutions, LLC. Transportation & Smart Cities: GoodVision Ltd. Shapes AI Sparkline, Inc. OpenALPR Software Solutions, LLC. ConPDS ApS VI Agents Solutions A.I. Tech TNG Technology Consulting GmbH Manufacturing & Logistics: Hxd3 Vallum Software VI Agents Solutions, LLC. Sparkline, Inc. Impact Analytics Most innovative proposals The challenge, which launched in April, offers developers the chance to present their solutions to industry players and compete for three prizes of 10,000€ as well as the opportunity to present their winning application at one of the upcoming Security & Safety Things events. Earlier this spring, a jury of experts including Securitas, G4S, Kings Secure Technologies, Bosch, Ateksis, Convergint Technologies, Vision Technologies and Security & Safety Things reviewed the best and most innovative proposals and selected 24 applications to enter the App Challenge. Developers had until July 31 to complete their applications and upload them to the Application Store. The jury, which now also includes Prosegur, will review the 11 applications uploaded by the deadline and choose the best in each vertical category. The three winners will be announced in September. Another 10 apps are confirmed to be added to the Application Store in the coming weeks.
Systems consultants and end-users who want to use products from Axis Communications now have a choice of easy, off-the-shelf options, following a distribution agreement between Ingram Micro and Quanika. Quanika’s latest portfolio of software solutions, already being used in the NHS and at major distribution and manufacturing sites, is designed to make integration more straightforward. The company’s modular, ready-made approach means that it is now simple to deploy Axis Communications’ full range of network cameras, video management software, access control, and audio products into any system, of any size, from stand-alone sites to multi-location projects. Integration of third-party systems Quanika’s seamless technology range – which includes Quanika Compact, Quanika Enterprise, and Quanika VisitorPoint - also allows an extensive choice of third-party systems to be integrated. This can include everything from intruder alarms, fire, and building management systems to individual, operations-specific business management databases, systems, or devices. As well as providing new integration routes for security systems integrators, the distribution agreement with Quanika opens up extensive project options for Ingram Micro’s customer base of ICT systems integrators, allowing them to deliver modular, off-the-shelf security solutions using Axis Communications’ highly regarded security products for the first time. Security and safety management interface Welcoming the deal, Raj Pandya, Director Specialty Solutions, Ingram Micro, said that Quanika’s solutions would help customers with a wide range of applications, from small and medium scale projects up to enterprise-level, providing a single, intuitive, security and safety management interface. “This development is so important because it will unlock new opportunities for ICT integrators and consultants,” he said. “For the first time it allows Ingram Micro customers to bring together best-in-class video, access and security products from Axis Communications, as part of a complete integrated system, under the easy, off-the-shelf Quanika umbrella.” Operational efficiency This development is so important because it will unlock new opportunities for ICT integrators and consultants" Quanika Compact is a practical and affordable choice for small-to-medium applications in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, logistics and similar locations, giving users the ability to tie together and flexibly manage multiple sites. Quanika Enterprise is designed for larger-scale facilities and corporate enterprises, including multi-purpose buildings, hotels, transportation hubs, hospitals, and universities, giving organizations complete control and situational awareness across their entire estates globally. And the Quanika VisitorPoint visitor management solution streamlines and automates reception operations, and delivers significant operational efficiency by eliminating manual tasks. Integrated solutions “The ready availability of Quanika solutions from Ingram Micro will be welcome news for all those who want the choice to use Axis Communications’ highly regarded hardware as part of their integrated solutions,” says Quanika European sales director, Phil Campbell. “In short, this opens up exciting new options for systems consultants, integrators and their customers.”
Smarter Security, Inc., a provider of premium, innovative entrance and access control solutions, proudly welcomes a new addition to the Sales team. Bruce Kutsche joins as the company’s Senior Director of Solution Sales. Kutsche brings valuable security experience and leadership to strategically direct Sales initiatives, delivering smarter solutions that redefine intelligent Access and Entrance Control. Complex security problems “We’re thrilled to have Bruce lead our Solution sales efforts. His deep experience solving complex security problems for large end-users will accelerate our efforts to replace the term ‘Smart Buildings’ with ‘Smarter Buildings’. To be totally blunt, you don’t have a smart building if its entry decisions have no context.” “Security is really dynamic, so your entrances need to factor critical data into permission decisions, just as networks do. Bruce is the ideal choice to help usher in this smarter future of Access Control,” said Jeff Brown, CEO of Smarter Security. Providing a unique perspective Prior to joining Smarter Security, Bruce gained valuable experience within access control and integration, managing national and global account teams with companies such as Sensormatic, Tyco, ADT, Stanley, and Securitas Electronic Security. His experience also extends into a wide variety of verticals including logistics, telecommunications, entertainment, restaurant, retail and gaming, providing a unique perspective on client challenges and the intelligent solutions available to conquer them. Bruce graduated from Hope College, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences.
Globally renowned video surveillance and technology solutions firm, IDIS is targeting video projects in resilient Middle East market sectors, including banking, grocery retail, and education, as it looks to build on recent successes, delivering compliance-driven solutions. Despite continuing disruption and uncertainty in the world economy, the company says the outlook is positive in the region as it supports its systems integration partners to focus on both resilient sectors and markets showing continued growth. Video tech projects in the education sector The Korean video technology solutions provider, which is known for its end-to-end solutions, highlights opportunities for video tech projects in the education sector, where it already has successful deployments in the Middle East countries of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The education sector continues to expand through investment from private equity firms and government funding" “The education sector continues to expand through investment from private equity firms and government infrastructure funding, as well as international higher education institutes expanding their presence in the Middle East and North Africa regions,” said Jamil Al Asfar, Senior Sales Manager, IDIS Middle East & Africa. IDIS video technology in banking sector In the banking sector, major investments in more robust video surveillance infrastructure, over the last three years, have been largely driven by compliance pressure, as more and more banks look to meet ever more stringent government standards. IDIS video technology has already been deployed to protect more than 3,000 bank branches and ATMs for the National Commercial Bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was chosen to secure the Central Bank of Jordan. Both projects demonstrated the benefits of robust, cyber-secure technology and proved how compliance can be delivered at good pace, even on a challenging scale in difficult environments. Video technology expansion in financial and retail sectors With IDIS video solutions fully compliant with requirements in the financial sector, including the gold-standard Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) regulations, upgraded projects are driving strong activity for the company and its integration partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan. In the grocery and retail sector, Carrefour’s recently reported expansion across the Middle East, and its choice of IDIS video tech, has paved the way for further opportunities, including for projects in hypermarkets. In-depth experience in retail sector Alongside our integration partners, IDIS has in-depth experience of retail applications globally" IDIS Middle East & Africa, Senior Sales Manager, Al Asfar stated, “Alongside our integration partners, IDIS has in-depth experience of retail applications globally and we are focusing on continuing demand for not just affordable video, but for scalable solutions that offer advanced analytics and deep learning tools. These will help stores compete in the current tough trading conditions and into the future too.” SIRA certification for IDIS cameras and NVRs Al Asfar adds, “In addition, Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) certification for the latest range of IDIS cameras and NVRs also means we are gaining momentum in commercial, residential and government sectors across the UAE. In Dubai, we have seen construction and re-development rapidly bounce back, and all these new facilities need compliant, cyber-secure and resilient video tech to ensure public safety and security.” “Despite the undoubted economic challenges in some sectors, we are still seeing strong demand for video solutions that combine low total cost of ownership (TCO), high performance, and robust cyber security standards, and that meet compliance needs,” said, Ahmad Shanawani, Managing Director, Ametrad Technology Services. Ahmad adds, “We are now seeing how much IDIS end-to-end solutions and the company’s collaborative approach are suited to the growth projects we are working on.”
Healthcare professionals around the world are beginning to identify a range of COVID-19 related mental health issues that are certain to create new challenges for society. People are in serious distress about the pandemic itself, because of the devastating second and third-order effects of record unemployment and the overall negative economic impact. Safety and security professionals must be prepared to meet the challenges of a ‘new normal’. The new normal is not the old normal. Society is emerging from a prolonged period of imposed self-isolation. This has been an incredibly stressful time, and the behavioral stresses created as a result remain to be seen. Security professionals everywhere need to be prepared to meet the challenges of a post-COVID shutdown world. Mental health and COVID-19 A variety of mental health issues relate directly to people who have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as those not infected but still forced into sheltered quarantine. Coronaviruses in the past have passed into the central nervous systems of patients Recent research published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal noted that other Coronaviruses in the past have passed into the central nervous systems of patients, calling for more research to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the human brain and nervous system. The journal specifically called for better monitoring of mental health as part of a coordinated response to the pandemic. As a result of the pandemic quarantine closures, estimates are that more than 40 million people have lost their jobs in this country. We don’t know when these jobs will be coming back, or if they even will. The depressed economy is taking an unprecedented toll. Unemployment leads to desperation and desperate people often make poor choices. Historically, these situations have resulted in an increase in violence, including armed robberies, suicides and active shootings. Spikes in firearms The documented pandemic spike in firearm sales adds to the concern. NBC News recently reported that gun sales and federal background checks rose to an all-time high in March. In fact, the FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks in March, the highest total since the national instant check system for buyers was launched in 1998 and 1.1 million higher than the number conducted in March 2019. The combination of rapidly increasing gun sales and the emergence of COVID-related mental health concerns means that schools, houses of worship, malls, movies theaters, and owners of every other venue where people gather must take all available steps to enhance the safety and security of their spaces - especially as these venues begin to reopen after prolonged closures. This year, the Gun Violence Archive has recorded over 360 mass shootings (shootings with at least 4 victims besides the shooter). In 2019, at the end of August, there had been 283 mass shootings. This year is well on track to eclipse previous years and the numbers continue to grow month over month. This year, the Gun Violence Archive has recorded over 360 mass shootings Police response systems The current climate of what is and isn’t worth an in-person response may also be emboldening potential shooters. In March, Detroit was forced to quarantine 152 police officers after 5 positive tests. In the same month, more than 690 officers tested positive across the country leading to similar quarantine responses. As numbers nationwide continue to grow, it is likely that this is an occurrence that will be repeated in many cities. Staying protected is a top priority, but social distancing requirements complicate the simple act of gathering information from a scene. The ability to cut through the chaos with clear and accurate information while maintaining responder safety has never been more needed. Progress towards a vaccine only complicates the issue. According to a study published by Kaiser Family Foundation, over 150 million nonelderly people in the United States received employer-based health insurance in 2018. As unemployment continues to be a problem in a COVID-19 world, the number of people who may have easy access to healthcare is decreasing. Combining the loss of insurance with the loss of income can create a problem of accessibility for a significant number of people. Locations such as pharmacies and doctor's offices will soon have inventory that, to many, will hold extremely high value. Banks are well equipped to handle the high value associated with their industry, but most health providers have done little to prepare. Some circles are eagerly awaiting a vaccine while others are questioning the safety and even the validity of such a fix. Those seeking to receive a vaccine may have to contend with groups who are strongly opposed to one. Are we ready to reopen? On December 4, 2016 a man walked into a Washington D.C. pizzeria with an AR-15 and began shooting. He had never visited this place before. He drove over 5 hours to get there. All of this was fueled by articles and stories he had been reading online. An election year with tensions running high can drive people to commit unthinkable acts, and 2020 has all of the elements necessary to create a similar incident. 2020 has all of the elements necessary to create a similar incident The continued debate over reopening is also forcing people to make difficult decisions. In the current climate it may only be a matter of time before someone decides to take matters into their own hands and ‘force’ a closure. Even before the pandemic, phoned-in threats were not an uncommon prank used to cancel school for the day. As students are confronted with the threat of a virus, this kind of activity may take on a new tone. Despite most schools still being in the process of reopening, a quick search returns no shortage of examples. As fear and desperation are at an all-time high, people continue to be divided. This division can only lead to more tragedy. The default of physical security has long been locking the doors and adding surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, in more than 30% of venues where active shooter events occurred, installed access control systems were ineffective or defeated. Additional statistics show that, on average, the 911 call is not made for five minutes. This is time that is critical to saving lives. Automated gunfire detection systems are an active means of alerting law enforcement and first responders in the critical first moments of a tragedy.
A total of £1.6 billion worth of goods are reported as ‘lost’ to in-store theft in supermarkets each year, with figures increasing steadily. The presence of self-checkout systems have increased in supermarkets, as well as other industry retailers. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016. While this increase comes with such benefits as reduced wait times for customers and staff costs, it also comes with a risk of retail theft at self-checkouts. With the circumstances the world now finds itself in i.e. mass unemployment, financial uncertainty, the retail industry has seen an influx in these types of petty crimes, hitting retailers during an already turbulent period. While retailers are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patrons in this new era of in-person shopping, it’s important to ensure the business itself is protected. A popular method to combat these fears is to employ on-site security personnel, however, as we continue to adapt to new operating guidelines, retailers must begin thinking past the immediate future, and begin implementing long-term security solutions to prepare for life after lockdown such as strong CCTV systems with remote access. How has the security industry adapted its services to a post-lockdown world? Technological innovations like thermal recognition are key to adapting security systems for a post-lockdown world. Businesses which previously relied on facial recognition now must update their methods to account for shoppers wearing masks on-site and in-store. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016 Biometric systems are now able to identify people with face masks, and thermal recognition such ADT’s Thermi-Scan system which can track human body temperature without the need for contact. Implementing these safe protocol procedures protect both employees and customers against virus outbreaks such as COVID-19. The need for these advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027. Artificial intelligence has been hailed recently as the way forward for remote security needs, and while business-owners continue to navigate procedures of returning to work post-lockdown, having remote access to real-time security monitoring is essential now more than ever. What are the main measures stores can take to prevent or reduce theft? Strategically placing a multi-camera surveillance system to ensure clarity, eliminate blind spots, and deter thieves should be top priority. It’s equally essential to invest in a system which has an efficient playback program, particularly in situations where reviewing important footage efficiently can offer vital information to the police force. Advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027 As business-owners continue operating at reduced hours and with limited on-site staff, being able to access camera footage quickly and remotely is a key factor to consider. Whether owners opt to receive an alert on a mobile device allowing them to review notifications, or if their system is monitored by a remote security center, it’s important to be able to access footage quickly for added efficiency and ease. Facial recognition and AI have been popular points of discussion in relation to security cameras and CCTV. While careful considerations must be taken prior to utilising any sort of facial recognition technology, including conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment, the benefits include being provided with real-time tracking of repeat offenders which immensely helps the prevention of in-store theft. Here are some key points to consider when choosing in-store surveillance: Assess your needs – To get the best out of your security system, it is essential to analyze what your requirements are for your business as they might have changed to adapt to a post-lockdown world Camera setup – With store layouts shifting to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it’s important to re-evaluate the current set-up of any security cameras. Depending on any layout updates, it might be important to consider operating multiple cameras in one area to ensure a peripheral view and eliminate any blind spots Camera positioning – For optimal performance, check that light sources are not obstructing your view such as glare from the sun. It is also worth considering the height at which cameras are installed to maximize surveillance Check the focus – It is worth testing camera lenses bi-monthly to ensure that lighting or weather hasn’t affected the focus of the lens, resulting in a blurry visual Remote access – As guidelines continue to evolve, ensure you’re able to access any necessary camera footage quickly and safely in case of emergency Will we begin to see a reduction of theft as new technology is implemented? We’re beginning to see incidents of shoplifting and theft being taken more seriously by law enforcement. In the coming months, for the first time in Britain nearly twenty shoplifters who were either caught red-handed or identified on CCTV will be appearing before magistrates. While currently these court cases are being pursued by a private police force, these actions come after a Government plea to high-level police to prosecute shoplifters stealing under £200. Retailers have long voiced concerns that forces have abandoned low-level thefts and these steps are small but show that businesses are being heard. As innovations in surveillance security continue, we’ll be seeing a move away from human involvement which will create a more reliable and efficient system able to rely on machine learning and analytics. While there have been wider strides made in utilising AI for surveillance, these are largely being used currently by local governments to alert police forces to threats of criminal activity. It’s not unreasonable to think that in the near future, these types of smart technology will be employed by private businesses to analyze suspicious behavior or possible theft. However, as we see an increase in the advancement of security technology, we anticipate that those inclined to commit in-store theft will adapt their methods, therefore retailers should look to regularly evaluate their security needs to keep risks at bay.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to businesses. From retail stores to office buildings to warehouses and construction sites, a big question looms: how can landlords, executives, and employers ensure their facilities don’t contribute to the spread of the virus? A low-tech solution - the face mask - has become a leading preventative measure. But, a high-tech solution is necessary to ensure that everyone is wearing them. Cameras powered by artificial intelligence can now identify whether or not people entering a facility are wearing facemasks and help enforce adherence to mask mandates. This technology is proving to be a cost effective solution that reduces risks of confrontations over masks policies and gives managers the data they need to document regulatory compliance and reduce liability. Layers of security They can also be integrated into access control systems or woven into other preventative measures that create overlapping layers of security. These cameras are an ideal solution for low-traffic, remote sites, or areas that are only accessible to employees that need to monitor mask compliance but at which hiring a manned guard is just too expensive. Cameras with mask detection capabilities are especially useful when the technology piggybacks on existing autonomous devices, such as mobile security drones. The premise is simple. When a person without a mask is detected by the autonomous robotic security device, the system can generate, depending on customer preferences, audible and visible alerts to remind people to mask up. It also feeds alerts to a cloud-based data storage system so that security executives can analyze data for trends or quickly locate video of important incidents. Why masks? One study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A highlights the benefits of mask usage. If just 50 percent of people use masks, the rate of COVID-19 transmission will slowly decline. If 80 percent of people use them, the rate will plummet. Bu,t people don’t love wearing them. They’re hot. They make eyeglasses foggy. It’s hard to make yourself heard when talking to others. We’re all familiar with industries that wear masks of some type or other, on a regular basis - health care, construction, and heavy industry to name a few. But for the general public, wearing a mask for long periods of time is not a regular habit. For the general public, wearing a mask for long periods of time is not a regular habit We also know that other measures site managers have used to limit the spread of coronavirus are ineffective. For example, at least three meatpacking plants rank among the top 50 locations for coronavirus clusters. One factor driving that spread: many employees, to avoid missing a day’s pay, masked their mild fevers with ibuprofen to fool the infrared temperature scanners that employers used to protect against the outbreak. The paradox of masks, however, isn’t that they protect the wearer from infection. It’s the other way around: when an infected person wearing a mask sneezes, coughs, or breathes, they don’t spread the virus as far, and thus masks slow the spread of the virus from infected people, including those that are not showing symptoms. Prove it One of the very reasons why county and state governments have instituted mask orders is simple: it’s an easily verifiable sign that an organization is taking steps to limit the spread of coronavirus. Mask detection cameras, coupled with autonomous security systems, can provide the documentation employers need to ensure mask compliance. Imagine, for example, a warehouse full of manual laborers. The county orders everyone to wear a mask any time they leave home. A disgruntled employee, recently terminated, files an anonymous complaint to local health officials stating that the warehouse isn’t enforcing mask compliance - or worse, preventing employees from wearing masks to prevent theft. The county sends an inspector. Mask detection cameras provide site managers with the documentation they need to disprove these allegations. The autonomous systems developed by RAD will feed video footage into a cloud database, documenting not only the instances of non-compliance, but also the instances of compliance - with the mask clearly highlighted. Any inspector that arrives on a job site can see hours and hours of footage, without having to pour through hours of video. Reducing confrontation We’ve all seen the videos in which angry shoppers confront retail clerks and security guards over mask usage. In some cases, these confrontations have turned violent, resulting in injury or death. For every one of these videos, there may well be hundreds of others. While most of the videos featuring mask confrontations focus on retail settings, manned guards also face challenges in enforcement. Confrontations over mask usage have the potential to drive up workman’s compensation claims higher when guards are injured. Because autonomous security units generate alerts automatically, the chance of confrontation is minimised. It’s easy to imagine a couple of scenarios in which autonomous units can be beneficial. In health care settings, where emotions run high, autonomous devices can serve as a force multiplier for patrolling guards in parking areas. For example, roving units can identify people that are not wearing masks, and remind them to do so before they enter the building. These can also be placed in entryways that generate alerts as visitors approach doors. In many buildings, mask detection systems can be integrated into access control systems Autonomous security units can be deployed for a fraction of the cost of manned security. In healthcare, autonomous units can be used to re-allocate security spending, placing less emphasis on low intensity guards whose primary function is to observe and report - particularly those that patrol parking garages - and more emphasis on trained professionals capable of defusing confrontations inside the hospital. In other words, autonomous units outside allow facilities to hire better quality inside, where confrontations are most likely to take place. In many buildings, mask detection systems can be integrated into access control systems, which might be especially useful at entrances that are not manned by security, but accessible via key card. Changing behaviors There was a time when smoking in public was not seen as particularly anti-social. Almost everyone will stop at a stop sign, even when we can see for miles in every direction, and we know that the risk of an accident is zero. We do these things because we have been trained to. These behaviors make us safer, but we didn’t adopt them overnight. Many of us forget, but the fight over banning smoking in bars and restaurants was filled with confrontation. So, too, will it be with mask compliance. But time is short, and we all need to do everything we can to encourage good behavior. Mask detection technology can do that, and these solutions are very cost effective. In some cases, the cost may be just 5 percent of using a manned guard. They’re effective too. Autonomous systems enforce mask policies consistently and drive accountability. That can make us all safer.
The general public doesn’t give much thought to the important role of security officers in creating and promoting safer environments. The low-profile work of security officers is vital to protecting people, places and property. During the pandemic, newer aspects to that role have emerged. Security personnel have been called on to perform diverse tasks such as managing queues at the supermarket, safeguarding testing centers and hospitals, ensuring food deliveries, and supporting police patrols. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and two other organizations in the United Kingdom are joining forces to raise awareness of the work of security officers and to recognize the vital importance of the duties they perform. BSIA, a trade association, includes members who are responsible for 70% of privately provided UK security products and services, including security guarding, consultancy services, and distribution and installation of electronic and physical security equipment. BSIA, the Security Institute and the Security Commonwealth Joining BSIA in the awareness campaign are the Security Institute, a professional security membership body; and the Security Commonwealth, which is comprised of 40 organizations from across the security landscape with common objectives to build professionalism, raise standards and share best practices. “The recognition of security officers as key workers is the start of a re-appraisal of what service they provide to the community in keeping the public safe and secure,” says Mike Reddington, BSIA Chief Executive. “As we exit lockdown and have to navigate public spaces again, [security officers] will have a crucial role in supporting public confidence. We are working closely with the Police and all other public bodies to find the best way to achieve this.” Security officers acknowledged as key workers The campaign will showcase security professionals as a respected, valued, professional service provider and a key worker that is acknowledged and embedded in daily lives. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and two other organizations in the United Kingdom are joining forces to raise awareness of the work of security officers “Great effort has been invested in the professional standards and capabilities of frontline [security] officers, and they have proven their worth during the coronavirus crisis in the UK,” says Rick Mounfield, Chief Executive, the Security Institute. “They, along with the wider security sector, deserve to be recognized, respected and appreciated for the safety and security they provide across the United Kingdom.” “[We are working to] build professionalism, raise standards and share best practices, and I hope this campaign can make more people recognize the changes we have all made and continue to make,” says Guy Matthias, Chairman of the Security Commonwealth (SyCom). The industry will be reaching out to companies, professionals, and organizations in the sector to participate in the campaign. The hope is that, over the coming weeks as lockdown is eased, the industry can play its part to ensure that the country emerges with confidence to start to recover and build for the future. Private security more important than ever The campaign will showcase security professionals as a respected, valued, professional service provider Across the pond in the United States, law enforcement professionals are facing a crisis of confidence during a time of civil unrest as protestors call to “defund the police” and to otherwise undermine and/or recast law enforcement’s role in preserving the peace and ensuring public safety. If an upshot is that public policing is starved of resources, the role of private security to supplement their mission is likely to increase. In short, the role of private security is more important than ever on both sides of the Atlantic. Public recognition of that role is welcome, obviously. In any case, the importance of their role protecting people, places and property has never been greater.
Nigel Waterton recently joined cloud video company Arcules to lead the sales and marketing efforts as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). He brings to the task the benefit of 22 years of experience building and managing large, high-growth technology organizations. Waterton joins Arcules from Aronson Security Group, an ADT Commercial Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. We caught up with the new CRO to discuss his position and to reflect on how industry changes are impacting integrators and manufacturers. Q: What fresh insights do you bring to Arcules from your previous positions? Waterton: Generally, most manufacturers don’t understand the business model of the integrator. And if they do, their programs don’t necessarily help achieve their goals. Since most manufacturers use integrators to get to the end user, they are often disconnected from truly understanding the customer, their organization’s business and its impact on the value of the security program. In my previous role, I spent most of my time bridging the gap between these two worlds. It gives me a great platform for understanding how to achieve that with Arcules. Q: How is ‘Chief Revenue Officer’ different from your previous jobs? I have the responsibility of driving innovation for the companyWaterton: While the title is different, the ultimate role I’m in isn’t too different from previous roles that I’ve held in my career. I have the responsibility of driving innovation and strategy for the company, as well as serving as a leader for the sales and marketing team and developing a sales and marketing strategy for the company. This position allows me to build on what I’ve learned throughout my career from an end-user and integrator partner perspective and brings that expertise into the fold of this young, fresh, innovative company that’s paving the way for cloud-based innovation in the marketplace. Q: Is there an industry-wide ‘culture clash’ between the IT-centric nature of cloud systems and the physical security market? How can it be managed? Waterton: Adopters from the IT and physical security worlds are a little at odds over the software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings as a result of a disconnect with how the cloud is defined in both spaces. A lot of people and companies are creating their own notion of what cloud and SaaS mean. And without a common nomenclature in place, there is a lot of confusion among all users. Similarly, there is a clash among integrators around how to monetize the SaaS offering. This gap can be closed through increased awareness, education and the reiteration of how ubiquitous the cloud already is in our everyday lives. Q: From the integrator perspective, what is the impact of a transition to a cloud/SaaS model on how revenue is managed in the increasingly service-oriented security market? Waterton: Transitioning to a cloud/SaaS model shifts the mindset of the integrator significantly, as the focus changes from project-centric to more customer service-based impact. Becoming more service-minded creates a greater awareness of what the client’s needs are on a day-to-day basis and how that can be improved over time. When operating with a per-project focus, it can be difficult to create a more long-term impact on an organization. With a cloud-based, service-oriented model, integrators now have the ability to manage client expectations in real-time, which greatly increases their value proposition. Q: What about from the end user perspective? Waterton: There are so many benefits from the end user perspective, including the ability to remove the process of a large investment in capital expenditures (CapEx) and shift to a more manageable, predictable operational expenditure (OpEx). Not only does this allow organizations to adjust as needs change; it also prevents being locked into a long-term solution that might not be able to move with the speed of the company as it scales. That being said, the main benefit is the ability of SaaS/Cloud services to drive innovation and introduce new features as they’re introduced without additional investment from the end user. Q: What impact does the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model have on the operations/management/cashflow of a supplier/manufacturer company? Waterton: Traditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS modelTraditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS model for many of the same reasons integrators struggle. They must sell the board and possibly their investors on a new valuation model as well as revenue recognition model. That is constraining their innovation in the market. Oddly enough RMR from a manufacturer’s perspective is very similar to the integrator model in that cash flow is more predictable in nature. An RMR model allows a company to grow strategically and innovate constantly, expanding and adjusting to cater to client needs on a daily basis while also providing the ability to look ahead and ensure we’re meeting the needs communicated to us in the market now and into the future. Q: What will be the biggest challenge of your new position at Arcules (and how will you meet the challenge)? Waterton: One of the biggest challenges we’re seeing — and one that will have a significant impact on my role — is the challenge of market adoption of SaaS/cloud services, as well as the awareness about why cloud is a significant part of the future of the industry. There’s also an opportunity to shift the conversation within Arcules from tech-focused outcomes to becoming practitioners of risk-based outcomes. We have to focus on the risk model for organizations, not technology. If we truly understand the risks to the organization, the tool will become apparent. Answering the questions: Why does a retailer lose product? Why does a facility experience vandalism? We have to understand the sociology of it because that’s how we can address what the service does in the marketplace. Q: Taking the various elements into consideration, what will the ‘physical security industry’ look like five years from now? Waterton: In sum, wildly different. It’s much different than what it was five or even 10 years ago, and with each leap, the industry has moved forward. Products are maturing, bandwidth is improving and the knowledge that we have is exponentially more advanced. There is increasing use of outside perspectives aimed at shaking up the ‘this is how it has always been done’ mentality that many organizations have suffered from. It’s going to look very different five years from now, and cloud-based initiatives will be the key to the success of many organizations.
Video, access control and visitor management are among the technologies that are enabling greater safety and security at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Video surveillance systems enable hospital management and security professionals to know what goes on in and around a medical facility. Recording images in high resolutions (megapixels and gigapixels) is becoming more and more important in healthcare, says Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director – Access Control, Tyco Security Products. Video event management software Video analytics are now being leveraged for patient tracking, asset tracking, and operational purposes If an incident occurs in a medical facility, the security staff has to be able to identify faces easily and accurately. Storage and costs have to be considered, of course. With technology improving and prices decreasing, video solutions can even be used for purposes beyond traditional security. For example, video analytics are now being leveraged for patient tracking, asset tracking, and operational purposes, and captured video can be used to defend against liability claims. What’s next? Video analytics will continue to be a valuable addition to any surveillance infrastructure due to its ability to address patient needs, operational efficiencies and early risk detection, says Brandon Reich, Senior Director of Surveillance Solutions, Pivot3. Through video event management software (VEMS), hospitals can customize the statistics that are relevant to their individual buildings or campuses without having to spend extra time or money on rigorous employee training. Data capture form to appear here! Real-Time access control security updates Furthermore, once healthcare facilities are able to digitize all of their patient records, secure any of their ingress and egress points with real-time access control security updates, and fully transition from analog to IP video surveillance cameras, VEMS systems that house analytical software will be able to multiply the benefits offered to hospitals, not just in real time, but in planning ahead for future risk, expansion and safety protocols. It is vital to implement integrated and innovative access control solutions With large, complex facilities, directors of security at hospitals struggle with controlling access to various levels of the facility, according to Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. To manage the risks that hospitals face and ensure a comprehensively protected atmosphere for patients and staff, it is vital to implement integrated and innovative access control solutions. For example, ease of access with controlled entrances is vital to medical crash teams, as is the need for a zonal access control lockdown in the event of a contagious disease outbreak. Strict access limitations Different hallways, rooms, floors and waiting areas within a hospital require different amounts of restriction, and sensitive materials, such as medical files, controlled substances and sterile environments (such as operating and procedure rooms) all necessitate an additional layer of protection. Access control in particular has advanced significantly to offer healthcare facilities the ability to control access remotely, through mobile applications, confirm identity quickly and easily and program varying levels of access for visitors, patients, doctors and staff. One area that is recently experiencing rapid growth – and drastic change –is the securing of narcotics within healthcare facilities, says Robert Laughlin, CEO and Chairman, Galaxy Control Systems. In the past, all medicine was controlled in a central pharmacy located somewhere in the hospital or health facility. These pharmacies were highly secured areas, with strict access limitations; only authorized staff could get near the medicine stocks. Fiber optic communication lines For vehicle access control, medical centers and hospitals prefer beam barricades and shallow foundation barriers To improve the speed of delivery, and to have the necessary medicines ready at hand for in-patients without retaining a large delivery staff, the current trend is to have distributed pharmaceutical closets or carts that hold medicines much closer to the intended patients. For vehicle access control, medical centers and hospitals prefer beam barricades and shallow foundation barriers, according to Gregg Hamm of Delta Scientific. Manual beam barricades are installed at the Fort Bragg Veterans Administration Hospital in North Carolina to shut down certain areas of the facility when a higher alert is sounded. They will stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 mph. The Navy Hospital in San Diego uses high speed, high security and very shallow foundation barricades to control all vehicles going in and out of the facility. With their extremely shallow foundation, they obviate the concerns of interference with buried pipes, power lines and fiber optic communication lines. They will stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 mph. At the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, even stronger shallow foundation barriers are used for traffic control and protection. These barriers will destroy a 65,000-pound (5.4 million foot-pounds) dump truck traveling 50 mph and continue to stand. Physical access control systems Controlling visitors to hospitals and healthcare facilities can directly impact security Controlling visitors to hospitals and healthcare facilities can directly impact security. Traditional methods of visitor management, such as paper visitor logs and handwritten badges are insufficient given today’s variety of security challenges. A hospital using paper-based systems cannot easily cross-check information, confirm patient information, check visitor names against up-to-date watch lists, or visually confirm identity. An increasingly popular and important application is secure and simplified visitor management, integrated with the physical access control systems (PACS). Today’s visitor management systems enable the screening, badging and tracking all visitors or, at a minimum, those visiting critical areas or during ‘after hours’ periods, Quickly identify inappropriate visitors One other growing technology is the ability to link to internal or governmental watch lists, to quickly identify inappropriate visitors before they gain access to the facilities. For example, Visitor Management systems can be configured to perform a Sex Offender search in both Children’s Hospitals and Pediatric areas, further decreasing the likelihood that someone of the list could gain access. Wayfinding is indoor navigation to guide a person step-by-step on the way to a desired destination HID Global and Phunware Inc. are addressing the need of healthcare institutions to deploy standardized technology to provide a better wayfinding and visitor engagement experience inside the hospital, across campus and even in parking lots. The companies are collaborating to improve the experience for hospital patients and visitors to find their way within medical facilities, using wayfinding on their mobile phones. Wayfinding is indoor navigation to guide a person step-by-step on the way to a desired destination. Enterprise-Level mobile wayfinding “It’s easy for visitors and patients to get lost in hospitals, and every time they do it puts appointment times and patient satisfaction at risk,” says Rom Eizenberg, Vice President of Sales, Bluvision, part of HID Global “With our location-aware app on a mobile device, we equip the visitor to get instant, turn-by-turn navigation that creates a better experience than that which is currently available on the market.” HID’s healthcare IoT solution-enablement platform simplifies the delivery of real-time location of clinicians, patients and devices. The platform is enabled by Bluvision (part of HID Global). Phunware’s Multiscreen-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform also provides enterprise-level mobile wayfinding, engagement, data and more for other vertical markets, including retail, residential, hospitality, media and entertainment and more .Missed the rest our healthcare mini series? Read part one here and part two here.
Verkada, the provider in cloud-managed enterprise building security, announced the release of its environmental sensor product line and its initial product, the SV11. The announcement comes on the heels of Verkada’s recent Series C funding and successful launch of its access control line, further establishing the company as the provider of the operating system for modern, integrated buildings. Monitoring “Our customers are responsible for the systems that keep facilities online, and our mission is to give those administrators the best possible tools to do their jobs,” said Filip Kaliszan, CEO and co-founder of Verkada. “Whether it be monitoring the status of a server room, the temperature of a patient room in a hospital, or the air quality of a school, the SV11 gives facilities and staff unprecedented visibility and control over the sites they’re responsible for keeping safe and secure.” The SV11 is a simple-to-deploy, powerful sensing device that provides enhanced visibility into what is happening in a physical space. The cloud-managed device seamlessly integrates with Verkada’s enterprise video security solution, allowing organizations to review context and quickly associate sensor events with relevant video footage. Real-time insights and proactive alerts The interface delivers real-time insights and makes it easy to respond to proactive alerts or conduct investigations into past incidents. Customers across a range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and hospitality, have already deployed the SV11 to monitor: Air quality: Protect one's environment from invisible threats like gas and chemical leaks, or detect illicit activities like vaping and smoking. Temperature and humidity: Monitor changes in temperature and humidity that may damage expensive infrastructure, materials, or food and medical supplies. Motion and occupancy: Detect motion or occupancy in bathrooms, locker rooms, and other private areas where cameras are not appropriate. Noise levels: Detect activity or disturbances without violating privacy. Receive and manage alert notifications remotely “The ability to deploy Verkada's sensor in our network closets has provided us with complete visibility into what’s happening in those rooms,” said Rick Palandro, Security and Facilities Operations Engineer at Fox Rothschild LLP. “With Verkada, I'm now able to receive and manage alert notifications remotely the moment temperature rises above a specific threshold. I can instantly mobilize the team to respond to HVAC issues. We’ve shifted from a reactive approach that often resulted in damaged equipment to a proactive one that ensures our equipment is always operating properly.” Monitoring preventative and predictive maintenance Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing" “Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing that helps us stay ahead of the curve on environmental improvements across our plant facility,” said Frank McKinney, COO and Plant Manager of Carolina Ingredients. “By pinpointing where we can set up both preventative and predictive maintenance, we can closely monitor and optimize air quality, efficiency of our HVAC units, and behaviors in the plant, which enables us to more effectively manage the business and deliver quality ingredients and superior blending services that support our customers.” Integration with video monitoring solution "We installed the environmental sensor across campuses in areas like bathrooms that are difficult to properly monitor and are therefore likely places for inappropriate activity such as vaping," said Marty Oliver, Director of Technology at Godley Independent School District. "Paired with Verkada's video monitoring solution, the SV11 provides a new level of visibility into what's happening in those spaces without infringing on students' privacy, giving principals, superintendents, and office administrators a more holistic understanding of student activity in school." Environmental sensor The introduction of the environmental sensor follows accelerated business growth in Q2 2020, highlighted by: Sixty-five percent quarter-over-quarter revenue growth (compared to Q1 2020), including new deployments with Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Rubrik, NextGen America International expansion with new Sales operations in Sydney and Latin America and deployments with Heinemann Australia, Lifeview Residential Care, and Transportes Canales A projection to double headcount by year-end 2020 (compared to year-end 2019) Expansion of its global channel partner program to more than 1,500 resellers The launch of its Access Control solution, which oversold in the first quarter of general availability and surpassed projected sales by more than 400 percent The release of the Bullet Series of hybrid cloud cameras as well as new features as part of a COVID-19 Response Suite, including People Heatmaps, Person of Interest Notifications, and Crowd Notifications Smart buildings The launch of the SV11 is the next step towards Verkada delivering on its vision to power the modern, integrated building. With security cameras at its core, Verkada is expanding its product offering with new applications such as access control and sensors to deliver the infrastructure that runs safer, smarter buildings.
Installation company Nessence recently integrated Vanderbilt’s ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management system with Mobile BankID in Sweden. Mobile BankID is a citizen identification solution that allows companies, banks, and government agencies to authenticate and conclude agreements with individuals over the internet. The integration with ACT365 comes together to solve a brief put forward by the supermarket chain, ICA Sweden. Web API for integration Tobias Olofsson, Project Sales Manager at Vanderbilt, explains that ICA Sweden is a retailer with a focus on food and health, and they wanted to be open earlier in the morning and later in the evening. “It would be too expensive to hire staff to stay open during these times in smaller locations. This is because the number of customers shopping early in the morning or late at night is minimal. But the store wants to be able to provide its customers with this value-added service,” says Olofsson. ACT365 was the perfect solution for this project due to its easy deployment, easy operation To solve this, the supermarket wanted to open unmanned and needed a solution to allow customers to enter the store in a functioning and approved manner by the insurance company. In Olofsson’s opinion, ACT365 was the perfect solution for this project due to its easy deployment, easy operation, and a smooth web API for integration. Increased accessibility and convenience “The success of this project means it is now possible for shoppers to open the supermarket’s entrance door by digitally signing into the Mobile BankID on their phone and presenting it to the ACT365 reader located on the outside of the door,” states Olofsson. Moreover, good accessibility is maintained as all customers do not need to have specific cards or tags for the access system to be able to enter the supermarket. “A new modern solution has been developed to facilitate trade for private individuals, especially in smaller towns where food stores do not tend to stay open for as long as in the big cities. This project has resulted in increased profits for the supermarket, as well as increased accessibility and convenience for its customers,” concludes Olofsson.
Retailers face complex challenges that range from loss prevention and maintaining a safe environment for both customers and staff to improving customer experience and operational productivity. Choose Ava Unified Security (formerly Vaion) to ensure security operators can tap into advanced analytics to detect and react to anomalies in real-time. Additionally, store managers can use Ava’s customer intelligence insights to increase profits and meet the customers’ needs. Leverage Ava’s machine learning anomaly detection to get alerts on people and vehicles loitering or cars present out of hours. Facilitating advanced analysis Get a clear understanding of activity at rear entrances, aisles, or end-caps by counting people who congregate in certain areas. Track cash register points to minimize thefts and identify return frauds. Authorized users can share links of recorded video securely with team members, claim investigators, and law enforcement. Monitor queues and the number of employees behind counters to ensure minimal waiting time Use counting of people and vehicles entering and exiting to analyze store performance, footfall, queues, and allocate more staff during busy periods. Download and share historical data of occupancy information with store managers to facilitate advanced analysis. Improve store safety by detecting verbal aggression, robberies, and vandalism, and empower security operators to act before incidents escalate. Track goods and control access as vehicles are entering your warehouses. Get notifications in real-time when trucks are approaching loading docks and prevent the damage of fleet and storage areas. Monitor queues and the number of employees behind counters to ensure minimal waiting time. Use Ava’s powerful search features to investigate across all stores, warehouses, and distribution centers and identify repeat offenders or suspects. Enhanced overview of operational insights Increase operational productivity and reduce store and warehouse costs Distribute air efficiently to match economics and customer comfort Use people flow insights to manage queues efficiently Understand the customers’ in-store activity and which are the least and most visited areas Enhanced customer experience Get insights on the customers’ in-store traffic patterns Instant notification when queues are detected to allocate staff according to the busiest business hours Find out which of the locations perform the best and why Saving storage and money Automatically decrease storage demands from all the recordings Reduce bandwidth consumption on critical links with AI-based optimization Pay for what is needed, when it is needed, without the hassle of complicated licensing Up to 200 cameras per Ava vserver appliance—small footprint support for larger facilities Simplicity and compliance One-click Ava vcam configuration Encrypted media at rest and in transit Automatic firmware updates Digital watermarking to prevent tampering Simple subscription model without hidden costs or analytics add-ons With a simple licensing model, Ava always includes services and software upgrades. One no longer has to worry about integration charges, operator charges, API fees, or the complexity between small, medium, large, and enterprise services.
Co-op, a large consumer co-operative in the UK and one of the largest retailers in the country, is rolling out an integrated body-worn video solution from Motorola Solutions to front-line colleagues, with a focus on further increasing safety in-store against a background of rising retail crime in the industry. The Co-op has seen in-store crime increase by more than 140% year-on-year, despite communities recognizing the critical role played by retail workers in society - true frontline workers in the days of a global pandemic. The number of violent incidents also hit record levels with 1,350 attacks having been experienced by Co-op shop workers in the first six months of 2020. Keeping colleagues safe The retailer warns of a crime and violence epidemic and its targeted deployment of a body-worn video solution forms part of an ongoing commitment to invest a further £70M over the next three years in innovative technology to keep colleagues safe. Co-op will equip front-line staff with more than 1,000 Motorola Solutions VT100 body-worn cameras in around 250 stores initially, with the ability to stream video in real-time to the Security Operations Center of Co-op security partner, Mitie. The footage is used to identify criminals and provide evidence to secure prosecution. The VT100 body-worn camera from Motorola Solutions can be worn in standby mode for up to six months, preserving battery for instances when Co-op store colleagues feel threatened by aggressive or violent behavior. The cameras are operated by a simple one-push activation, instantly recording footage to the camera itself, and streaming live video to the security operations center, allowing for a quick response from security personnel or police. Cloud-based software The cameras are supported by cloud-hosted VideoManager software The cameras are supported by cloud-hosted VideoManager software, which enables secure and efficient camera allocation, user administration and incident management. With security features such as comprehensive audit-trails, encryption, configurable retention policies and RFID camera allocation, this integrated solution ensures footage and incidents are dealt with efficiently and securely. As part of its Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign, Co-op is also building awareness and support for MP Alex Norris’ “Assault on Shop Workers Bill” which has now seen its second reading in Parliament postponed until September. The Bill states that because shop workers have responsibilities to uphold the law on age-restricted products they should be afforded greater protection in carrying out those public duties. Retail crime A knife was the most commonly used weapon (43%) with axes, hammers and syringes also used to attack In its 2020 Crime Report, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) found that a quarter of violent incidents resulted in injury, with a weapon used in almost 20% of occurrences. A knife was the most commonly used weapon (43%) with axes, hammers and syringes also used to attack or threaten shop workers. In 2019, Co-op funded research into retail crime, with the hard-hitting findings reporting that shop workers were showing signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Co-op has committed a further £70M over the next three years in innovative technology to keep colleagues safer, it has introduced SmartWater Fog Cannons, the latest remote monitored iCCTV, body cameras and, communication headsets for all frontline colleagues. Protection for shop workers Cheryl Houghton, Co-op Retail Security Manager, said, “Shop workers play an essential role serving communities, yet they have to contend with unprecedented levels of violence and abuse on a daily basis. As a community retailer we see the impact of social issues in our stores. I have never seen such high levels of violence and abuse, it’s a societal issue that all retailers are concerned about and it’s having lasting effects on the lives of shop workers - both mentally and physically. It is not part of the job to be verbally abused, threatened or attacked and we’re determined to make sure it isn’t. Calling for greater protection for shop workers carrying out public duties and for the root causes of crime in communities to be addressed.” Body-worn videos in commercial organizations Richie McBride, Director of Business Operations, Video & Analytics at Motorola Solutions UK, said, “Body-worn video is becoming a critical element in commercial organizations’ strategy to keep their employees safe. As a company focused on mission-critical solutions, we provide our commercial customers with the right tools to help them enhance their operational efficiency, responsiveness and safety. We are proud to partner with one of the UK’s largest retailers in its work to further improve the shopping experience and enhance safety for both shoppers and staff,”
Edgeworx, the edge computing company, has launched a new AI-powered camera called Darcy to help protect workplaces of every size. In addition to detecting signs of fever, Darcy’s AI engine identifies whether individuals are wearing a face mask, tracks self-reported symptoms and delivers a quick, comfortable screening experience ideal for high-traffic environments. Organizations currently face an impossible choice between affordable, but ineffective, temperature readers (such as point and click devices or tablets) on the one hand, and cost-prohibitive medical-grade thermal cameras on the other. Affordable and accurate thermal camera Darcy ends this dilemma by offering the accuracy of a precision thermal camera at a fraction of the price. Darcy costs less than a fifth of the price of competing FDA-compliant thermal cameras, putting it within reach of schools and small businesses as well as enterprises and large retail outlets. To further ensure screening is accessible to all, Edgeworx is offering the first camera free to all public schools. The solution is already being piloted in Bay Area and New York schools. Despite their five-figure price tags, precision thermal cameras are slow, ungainly, inaccurate and hard to operate. Some take as much as an hour to warm up and need regular recalibration. By contrast, Darcy uses artificial intelligence and smart-room sensors to do the work of expensive hardware. Real-time alerts Safety checks will become a feature of daily life as we return to our schools and workplaces" Darcy logs self-reported symptoms via a cellphone app, and checks for temperatures in less than a second, keeping lines moving and avoiding dangerous congestion at entry points. It provides real-time alerts and data reports so organizations can spot outbreaks early, take appropriate action and demonstrate compliance with public health mandates. It can be updated with additional features (such as AI for social distance checks) as public health practices evolve, no additional hardware required. Darcy provides peace of mind to businesses, employees, and customers. Schools and workplaces safe re-openings “Safety checks will become a feature of daily life as we return to our schools and workplaces. But many of these checks will be ineffective because organizations can’t afford high-end solutions that cost tens of thousands of dollars so they rely on devices that have been hastily thrown together and are inaccurate. That has to change,” said Farah Papaioannou, President and Co-founder of Edgeworx. “We developed Darcy because we knew we could use our AI, data and edge computing knowledge to really help people struggling with the challenges of re-opening. We’re focused on protecting all workplaces with a solution that’s affordable and accurate today—and is smart enough to adapt as the world’s knowledge of COVID-19 and other viruses evolves in the future.” Darcy secures Manhattan preschool Manhattan preschool program Kids At Work is among the organizations using Darcy to create a reliable and reassuring screening experience for children and staff. "We were searching for a health check solution that would give families peace of mind and be non-intrusive for our student population, from infants to five-year-olds,” said Julie. Darcy reads temperatures with a margin of error of 0.5 degrees Centigrade Averill, founder at Kids At Work. “Darcy checked all our boxes with its seamless experience, easy record-keeping and affordability. We're also thrilled with the day-long temperature monitoring feature. As an owner, I feel so much more confident about reopening with Darcy.” Darcy owes its speed, precision and low cost to Edgeworx’s edge computing fabric, which allows Artificial Intelligence (AI) to run on the device rather than in the cloud. Darcy’s AI performs many of the functions that require expensive hardware on other devices. Key benefits include: Accuracy and reliability Darcy reads temperatures with a margin of error of 0.5 degrees Centigrade. It overcomes the traditional challenges of contactless temperature monitoring with several innovations: Using AI, Darcy identifies where on a person’s face the reading should be taken, determines if they are close enough and whether they are wearing anything, such as a headband or sunglasses, that would interfere with an accurate reading, and automatically adjusts to body temperature fluctuations caused by circadian rhythms throughout the day and even the weather outside. To offset the effect of room temperature on a reading, most thermal cameras require an expensive scientific instrument called a blackbody reference unit, which maintains its own temperature and is used to calibrate the reading from the camera. Faster readings and less prone to Errors By contrast, Darcy calibrates its readings against inexpensive smart sensors that attach to objects around the room, read the temperature of those objects and report it continuously and wirelessly to the camera. Not only is this significantly less expensive, but also less prone to failure, requires no maintenance and means the camera can be moved without triggering a lengthy recalibration process. Darcy takes readings in less than 100 milliseconds and uses data processing to identify any anomalies. As a result, by the time a person has approached the camera, Darcy may have 10 to 40 readings and can ensure that only a reliable one is recorded. Traditional cameras take only one reading, whether reliable or not, increasing the chances that a person with fever is not detected. Check mask usage and symptoms Darcy goes beyond temperature scanning to help organizations identify high-risk individuals who may not have a fever. Its AI identifies whether the individual is wearing a mask and allows organizations to conduct efficient wellness checks: Visitors complete a symptom survey from their home or phone via an app, which generates a unique QR code to be scanned by Darcy at entry. Additional features can be easily deployed so these devices can adapt as new practices come into play, without costly hardware changes. Avoid long lines and unsafe crowding at entry pointsBecause all the processing happens locally on the camera rather than in the cloud, performance is dramatically improved, avoiding the need for delays while a person’s temperature is checked. Beautifully designed, unobtrusive and with a friendly interface, Darcy makes screening quick, easy and unintimidating. By installing additional cameras in pass-by mode, schools and businesses can continue to monitor temperature and mask usage throughout the day—and throughout the building—without interrupting schedules. Get real-time alerts and compliance reports Darcy provides warnings via SMS, email, app or desktop notification so organizations can get early warnings of facilities where symptoms are trending and create a complete audit trail for compliance with public health mandates. Armed with data, organizations can make informed decisions and implement targeted measures rather than resorting to broad closures. Built-in privacy and securityBecause Darcy handles storage and AI processing locally, it never sends images or sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) to the cloud. subscription Organizations can choose from two subscription packages and schedule a demo - Monthly subscription - Yearly subscription Until the end of 2020, Edgeworx is donating a free camera to any public school that purchases a subscription. To apply for a free camera, one may contact Edgeworx.
Shoppers in England are being told they need to cover up and wear a face covering when shopping from the 24th July, or they could face a fine of up to £100. But in many ways the responsibility to enforce this and keep the public safe is once again falling on battle wearied retailers, facilities managers, and operators of public spaces. Videcon is a British-based developer, designer, and provider of security solutions for businesses across the UK and the company has jumped to repurpose its deep learning, artificially intelligent software solutions in direct response to the Government’s announcement on Monday 13th July. Body temperature screening camera Thermi-screen, Videcon’s mass body temperature screening camera, can already pinpoint individuals in a shopping queue, or public space, containing up to 40 people, who may have an elevated temperature with ±0.3°C accuracy, but now it can also identify anyone not wearing a face covering. When triggered, the system automatically sends an alert to any designated controller or person in authority. Says Videcon’s managing director, Matt Rushall, “The message that members of the public must wear face coverings is out there but retailers and managers of public spaces are now finding, as an added burden, that they are being asked by the police and authorities to support them in upholding the law. Retailers have a duty to protect their customers and with Police, resources stretched to the limit at the moment, any technology that helps to manage enforcing the law and can make life easier and safer for all, is to be welcomed.” Crowd control camera systems Videcon is a pioneer in its field and the company already uses facial recognition and mask detection software Videcon is a pioneer in its field and the company already uses facial recognition and mask detection software in its Thermi-scan door access control panels but this is the first time deep learning AI technology has been embedded in crowd control camera systems of this type. Matt Rushall continued, “Our technology has been used by banks, airports, pharma companies and major retailers around the world and I am very excited at this new development. Thermi-Screen is an effective solution to help identify those with potentials symptoms, and our new capability for mask detection will be hugely beneficial to retailers and for the safety of staff and shoppers.” In addition to the new face coverings and mask detection feature, Videcon enhanced the system’s privacy settings which can now pixelate individuals and replace exact temperature readings with simple normal/elevated temperature messaging. Deep learning technologies This advanced privacy setting secures compliance with GDPR and ensures the maximum level of individual’s protection of information. The system comprises of a camera, a network video recorder, and a temperature calibrator. Using two camera lenses simultaneously, the system takes temperature readings from the forehead and upper region of the eye orbit. Algorithms and deep learning technologies then compare readings with other environmental factors like room temperature and direct sunlight. The accuracy of Thermi-Screen eliminates any false readings, such as a person carrying and sipping a hot drink and its fast response time reduces the need for single file detection accelerating the movement of people through a designated screening area or providing screening in public open spaces. Thermi-Screen is an effective solution to help identify those with potentials symptoms, and the new capability for mask detection will be hugely beneficial to retailers and for the safety of staff and shoppers.
Round table discussion
Artificial intelligence is on the verge of changing the face of multiple industries – from healthcare to entertainment to finance, from data security to manufacturing to the cars we drive (or that will drive themselves!) In the physical security market, AI has garnered a lot of attention as a buzzword and as a harbinger of things to come. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What security markets are most likely to embrace artificial intelligence (AI)?
With the advent of online shopping, brick-and-mortar retail businesses are challenged to make transactions more convenient while enhancing the “experience” aspects that differentiate real-life shopping from the simpler route of clicking on a website. Technology is helping retailers create that differentiation, including technologies such as video systems, deep learning analytics and point-of-sale (POS) integrations that have evolved from innovation in the physical security market. For more insights, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new security industry technologies are having an impact on the retail market?
Technology advancements often come with new terms and definitions. The language of our marketplace evolves to include new words that describe innovations in the industry. In the skilled hands of marketers, terms intended to be descriptive can also take a new element of ‘buzz,’ often presaging exciting developments that will drive the future. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new buzzword have you heard, and what does it mean for the industry?