Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., a foremost provider of cybersecurity solutions, has announced that it has become a strategic partner of FinTech Scotland, an independent not-for-profit body jointly established by the private sector and the Scottish Government. Check Point solutions bring a practical boost to cybersecurity awareness and engagement with Scottish fintech firms. The collaboration will offer industry-leading security solutions and education and training resources to hel...
Hanwha Techwin America, a supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, announced a new app for systems integrators. The new Wisenet QR Scanner App is designed to help quickly create a list of all Wisenet devices associated with a specific project, without having to take the products out of their packaging. The QR code is found on the outside of the product carton, the bottom of the device, as well as on an included extra sticker for Wisenet modular cameras. This allows a technician...
It's a very common purchase for people to seek a smart security camera to remotely link them to their home while at work. Now the emphasis has shifted, with a lot more people working from home, business owners should consider a surveillance device to deter would-be thieves, protecting valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out...
Interface Security Systems, a managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, announces a new offering that enables its restaurant, retail and hospitality customers to communicate with their patrons via SMS and MMS text messages. Using their regular published business telephone number, businesses can have real-time two-way text conversations with their guests, info...
Current security and hygiene-protocols require special measures for access to buildings and rooms. This can lead to bottlenecks especially when there are large numbers of people and poses special challenges for many companies. Protecting the health of employees, visitors, and customers have a top priority. The risk of production downtime in the event of a quarantine measure is very high. Hygiene concepts reduce the risk of infection, but also tie up valuable human resources. Vital tasks of IR...
SonicWall announces the expansion of its Capture Cloud Platform with the addition of the high-performance NSa 2700 firewall and three new cost-effective TZ firewall options. The company also debuted SonicWall Cloud Edge Secure Access that delivers easy-to-deploy, easy-to-use zero-trust security for organizations operating in a modern work-from-anywhere model. Making necessary investments “As emerging technologies mature, it’s imperative that companies make the necessary investment...
Exadel, a global provider of digital software engineering solutions and services, announced the release of CompreFace, an open-source facial recognition application. CompreFace can be integrated as a standalone service or deployed via the cloud. Its convenient API offers state-of-the-art facial recognition. Machine learning knowledge "Facial recognition technology is being rapidly adopted across a variety of industries, including retail, travel, and hospitality." "However, not everyone has the machine learning experience necessary to develop and deploy facial recognition efficiently and effectively," said Lev Shur, President of Exadel Solutions. "Exadel designed CompreFace as a facial recognition solution that can be leveraged no matter what level of machine learning knowledge the end-user has. And since it is an open-source solution, users can trust the quality and security of the app." CompreFace application features Open-source code and available fully on-premise: This increases data security and ensures the quality of the program. CompreFace can also be deployed on the cloud if needed. Can be set up and used without machine learning knowledge: Building in-house face recognition technology is complex and time-consuming. CompreFace allows anyone to easily integrate additional security measures without necessarily hiring outside help. Uses one of the most popular face recognition methods with high accuracy: CompreFace uses deep neural networks, a highly-regarded face recognition method. CompreFace has demonstrated accuracy even when there is only one example of a face. UI panel with roles for access control: CompreFace's roles system controls which users can access the Face Collection. Additionally, each user can create several Face Collections based on different subsets of people. Fast start with one docker command.
Corsight AI, a foremost facial recognition technology provider, announced the launch of its facial recognition technology. The technology is able to compliantly identify individuals on watchlists even under the most challenging conditions, overcoming common issues such as face coverings and harsh environments, at an unmatched speed and accuracy. The commercial launch follows Corsight's recent NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) rating, which ranked Corsight as the top-performing Western-based facial recognition company. Exceeding human brain ability Powered by Autonomous AI, the most advanced artificial intelligence system with more than 250 patents. The technology is camera and hardware agnostic, easily integrating with any existing security system Corsight's facial recognition technology exceeds the human brain's ability to register and accurately identify individuals, regardless of whether they are wearing a protective face mask or other covering, whether they are in low-light or extreme weather conditions, or if photos are taken at acute angles or of large crowds. The technology is camera and hardware agnostic, easily integrating with any existing security system. Accurate detection Corsight's facial recognition technology is the only one on the market that allows for more comprehensive and accurate detection of identifying features; thereby driving down false positives and enhancing accuracy for users. For example, global societal norms have drastically shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in light of the role that masks play to slow down the spread of disease. Difficulty in facial recognition All individuals are generally required to wear a protective face covering while in public, however that guidance has created a strain on how local law enforcement, government agencies, airports, retailers, and more continue to ensure top-notch security of individuals. Accurate facial recognition is possible regardless of wearing a protective face covering Protective face coverings have traditionally caused difficulty for existing facial recognition technologies, resulting in incorrect identifications. However, now with the commercial availability of Corsight's facial recognition technology, accurate facial recognition is possible, regardless of if a person is wearing a protective face covering. Protecting citizens "In today's unusual environment, there is no higher priority than protecting citizens around the world from harm," said Rob Watts, CEO of Corsight. "We have developed a silver bullet with this technology, proving that facial recognition technology is a force for good. From helping identify dementia patients to protecting victims of domestic abuse, our technology, thanks to its speed and accuracy, can help change not only how organizations currently leverage facial recognition, but how society perceives it, too.” Corsight's technology also provides forensic video analysis that can analyse hours of video in minutes “We want to change the narrative surrounding the technology and help demonstrate how community-based deployment can be positive for all." Real-time detection In addition to real-time detection, Corsight's technology also provides local law enforcement, transportation, and government agencies, airports, retail outlets, banks, and more with forensic video analysis that can analyze hours of video in minutes. Investigators receive a comprehensive summary of the person of interest's actions and locations that can help inform the next steps in the investigations.
Integrated Design Limited (IDL) has developed a new cost-effective and rapidly deployable entrance control solution that can help business owners adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and help keep staff and customers safe. Based on existing, proven technology, the Integrated Design Limited’s customized Door Detective Compact entrance control solution has been adapted to enable robust and straightforward population monitoring and control at single entrance doorways. Door Detective Compact solution The Door Detective Compact solution is ideal for a range of workplaces, such as offices, especially for shared kitchen facilities or toilets, small retail stores, factories, leisure facilities, and colleges, etc. or any other work environment where the maximum capacity needs to be controlled to prevent overcrowding. Installed on either side of a door frame or placed on both sides of an entrance on stands, Door Detective Compact units monitor the doorway using infrared optical technology and detect pedestrian movement in either direction. Real-time population monitoring and detection Using the newly developed control box, a maximum population threshold limit is set Using the newly developed control box, a maximum population threshold limit is set. As people walk in and out of the monitored area, the real-time population is detected and displayed on the control box, along with the maximum number of people permitted in the space at any one time, with lights and alarms used to provide alerts when safe numbers are exceeded. If the population is at a safe number, the units display green lights indicating that further people can enter. Should the population count reach the set threshold limit, the Door Detective Compact units turn red, providing a warning that no further people should enter. If the maximum limit is exceeded, the units flash red and an audible alarm sounds to indicate that numbers need to be reduced to a safe level. As people leave the monitored area, the population count decreases and the units return to green, to signal that it is safe for further people to enter. Small footprint, aesthetic design The rectangular stainless steel enclosures of the Door Detective Compact have a small footprint and offer an aesthetically pleasing two-tone design to complement multiple types of décor, while still maintaining its market-renowned performance. Tony Smith, Major Accounts and Marketing Manager at Integrated Design Limited (IDL), stated “Businesses which require their staff to be physically present, whether that be in an office, a factory, a retail store, or other, have been looking for ways to control the number of people it is safe to have in their premises, or particular areas within their premises, at any one time.” Tony adds, “We have developed a rapidly deployable and cost-effective solution which is, in essence, a ‘plug-and-play’ population counter which doesn’t require any complex installation and can be set up in around 15 minutes, to help business owners keep their staff and customers safe by preventing overcrowding.”
Intuitive tool provides step-by-step key system design. ASSA ABLOY, the pioneer in access solutions, announced the release of an improved and streamlined version of their Key System Design Studio. Introduced in 2017 by Medeco, an ASSA ABLOY Group brand, the Key System Design Studio is a user-friendly online portal that walks the master key customer through each phase of designing a new master key system. The new and improved version includes features to make master key design even easier, such as drag and drop keying tree, and the ability to upload door schedules for increased system design accuracy. In addition, the Key System Design Studio has expanded its support for master key design to ASSA ABLOY Group brands Corbin Russwin, SARGENT and Yale. “When the Key System Design Studio was first developed, our goal was to make the ordering and management of Medeco master key systems easier and more convenient for customers,” said Bill Grambo, President, Access and Egress Hardware Group, ASSA ABLOY. “Expanding this support to include Corbin Russwin, SARGENT and Yale key systems means that even more customers can take advantage of these efficiencies. The new features in this updated version will streamline the overall design and ordering process, resulting in reduced master key order processing times.” Key System Design Studio Key System Design Studio guides the user through a series of easy to understand and intuitive steps Master key system design is a complex process that typically requires in-depth knowledge about the fundamentals of master keying and system structure. ASSA ABLOY’s unique Key System Design Studio removes this complexity by guiding the user through a series of easy to understand and intuitive steps to build their ideal master key system. More experienced users can upload their own door schedules or keying plans, and then progress to placing accurate orders with ease. Key System Design Studio features and benefits User-friendly interface for capturing information, ensures no delays due to missing details Drag and drop keying tree feature makes system design even easier Dynamic upload and download feature allow users to upload their own door schedules for automatic population, and download finalized systems for their records/use Submit a product order along with the new system request, eliminating an extra step
Eagle Eye Networks, the pioneer in cloud video surveillance, has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to continue its growth and expand its technology leadership. Eagle Eye is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) on its true cloud platform to dramatically reshape video surveillance and improve safety, security, operations, and customer service for businesses around the world. Video surveillance systems have multiple security features, such as motion detection and standard analytics. However, these systems require either monotonous monitoring or a meticulous manual review after each triggered event to extract useful information. Cloud video surveillance Similarly, business operations analytics are still in early development. “There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage AI and alter the very nature of video surveillance,” said Dean Drako, Founder and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks. “Eagle Eye Networks now has the means and the technology to enable cloud video surveillance to transform how companies manage security and business operations, in the same way self-driving/electric cars are transforming transportation.” Smart cloud video surveillance with privacy and cybersecurity protections will make the world much safer" “Ultimately, smart cloud video surveillance with appropriate privacy and cybersecurity protections will make the world much safer, for example: detecting dangers such as weapons, erratic driving, active robberies, and traffic accidents. Furthermore,” continued Drako, “It will help businesses provide better service by reducing wait lines, ensuring displays are organized and stores clean, and assuring product quality.” Deploying new analytics Sameer Gandhi, Partner at Accel added, “Eagle Eye Networks pioneered the video surveillance industry’s move to the cloud, and AI applications will drive the industry’s next transformation. Eagle Eye is in the pole position to make this happen. Its true cloud technology puts Eagle Eye in a unique position to instantly deploy new analytics breakthroughs. Dean Drako’s track record, proven with Eagle Eye and previously as founder of Barracuda Networks, speaks for itself.” The Eagle Eye Cloud Video Management System (VMS) is a simply smarter cloud video surveillance solution, purpose-built to help businesses improve safety, security, operations, and customer service. Tens of thousands of companies in more than 90 countries around the globe have moved their video surveillance to the cloud with Eagle Eye VMS. Comprehensive central management Customers choose Eagle Eye Cloud VMS for its comprehensive central management, cloud reliability and redundancy Customers, including multi-family residences, smart cities, schools, hospitals, hotels, logistics, restaurants, and retail shops trust Eagle Eye for actionable business intelligence and proactive security. Customers choose Eagle Eye Cloud VMS for its comprehensive central management, cloud reliability and redundancy, cost savings, and its open API video platform that provides a vast number of third-party integrations. Customers appreciate Eagle Eye’s inherent cyber secure design and extensive video encryption to protect their data and privacy. The Eagle Eye Cloud VMS works with thousands of industry cameras and does not require customers to ‘rip and replace’ their existing infrastructure. Eagle Eye Networks, together with its partner Brivo, provide a seamless solution for cloud video surveillance and facility access control. Brivo is a pioneer in cloud facility access control. Cloud video security The Eagle Eye API allows for seamless integration with partners like Brivo and others making Eagle Eye Cloud VMS the only platform robust enough to power the future of video surveillance. Eagle Eye Networks has grown rapidly in EMEA both organically and through the 2017 acquisition of Camera Manager whose founders, Rishi Lodhia and Tijmen Vos launched the first true cloud video security offering in 2004 and continue to drive the company's European growth and innovative product development. The Eagle Eye Networks European headquarters in Amsterdam, provides an attractive mix of elements crucial for success, including innovative technology founders who share Drako’s bold vision, drive and demonstrated leadership. “We were the first to introduce cloud video surveillance to the market and this step is fast tracking our growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Rishi Lodhia, Eagle Eye Networks Managing Director for EMEA. Video surveillance industry The adoption of true cloud video surveillance and powerful AI is driving an acceleration of the business globally" “The adoption of true cloud video surveillance and powerful AI is driving an acceleration of the business globally, but especially in EMEA. It gives us the ability to help give businesses the intelligence they need and protect people’s privacy without compromising safety and security.” The company expects to add roles across Europe to support the growth and customer success with the adoption of the cloud and AI powered video surveillance. “In more than two decades in the video surveillance industry, I have heard people talk about revolutionizing the market and taking it to the next level, but only Eagle Eye Networks has truly delivered on that promise,” added John E. Mack III, Executive Vice President, Co-Head of Investment Banking at Imperial Capital. “While Eagle Eye Networks’ vision as the first cloud native solution was compelling previously, the changes 2020 brought about through business disruption related to COVID-19 make Eagle Eye’s products and services even more desirable. Eagle Eye’s focus on the customer and commitment to innovation create a foundation that makes its cloud and AI enhanced offerings for video surveillance a focus for security specific executives and the C-suite alike.”
Theft, fraud, and losses cost the retail industry $61.7 billion in 2019, according to the annual National Retail Security Survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, security executives reported a steep increase in incidences of shoplifting, organized retail crime, and employee theft over the year prior. The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF), a pioneer in educating and certifying retail loss prevention and asset protection professionals, and ASIS International, the membership organization for security management professionals, have joined forces in developing the new Essentials of Retail Asset Protection Certificate. Retail security professionals “The LPF and ASIS joined forces to develop this new course with the intent being to better equip security professionals with the skills they need to curb losses in the retail environment,” stated Terry Sullivan, LPC, president, Loss Prevention Foundation. The LPF and ASIS joined forces to develop this new course with the intent being to better equip security professionals" “Providing leading-edge content that is both accessible and affordable was a key driver in the development of this certificate course.” The entirely virtual certificate course was designed so that retail security professionals can work through the learning modules at their own pace, demonstrating their knowledge on the proficiency test at the end. Addressing this ongoing challenge Individuals who successfully complete the course will be issued a digital credential through Credly for display in emails, resumes, and websites as verifiable proof of their achievement. “This CPE-eligible course equips those working in security roles in today’s retail environment with the skills and knowledge they need to address this ongoing challenge,” added Peter J. O'Neil, FASAE, CAE, chief executive officer, ASIS International. “From early-career professionals to more seasoned mid-level managers wanting to update their skill set, the certificate was designed to meet the needs of a broad range of professionals tasked with preventing loss in their organizations.”
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 to shop – it’s no surprise that tensions are now running higher than ever. Retail crime was already on the rise before the pandemic struck, with the British Retail Consortium finding that at least 424 violent or abusive incidents were reported every day last year. The Co-op recently reported its worst week in history in terms of abuse and antisocial behavior, with 990 incidents of antisocial behavior and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July. 990 incidents of antisocial behavior and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July To manage the increased risks currently faced by retail employees, businesses must adopt new initiatives to safeguard their staff. Growing numbers of retailers including the Co-op and Asda have equipped their in-store and delivery staff with body worn cameras to enhance safety and provide them with peace of mind, as well as to discourage altercations from taking place at all. Traditional tech Body worn cameras are nothing new and have been used within the law enforcement industry for years. Traditional devices are record-only and can be used to record video evidence able to be drawn upon ‘after the fact’ should it be needed as an objective view of an event and who was involved. These devices can also be used to discourage violent or verbally abusive incidents from occurring in the first place. If a customer is approached by an employee, they are likely to think twice about retaliating if they know their interaction is being recorded. This stance is supported by research from the University of Cambridge that found the use of body worn cameras improves the behavior of the wearer and those in its vicinity, as both are aware of the fact it can act as an objective ‘digital witness’ to the situation. However, record-only body worn cameras do leave much to be desired. In fact, the same University of Cambridge study found that, in the case of law enforcement, assaults against officers wearing these devices actually increased by 15%. This could be attributed to those being recorded being provoked by the presence of the camera or wanting to destroy any evidence it may hold. Out with the old, in with the new Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more Fortunately, there is a better option. Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more. Live-streaming capabilities are able to take ‘after the fact’ evidence one step further and provide the wearer with ‘in the moment’ safety and reassurance. With these devices, if a retail employee is subject to a volatile situation with a customer, they can trigger live video to be streamed back to a central command and control room where security officers will be able to take the most appropriate course of action with heightened and real-time situational awareness. Having access to all of the information they could need instantly will enable security personnel to decide whether to attend the scene and diffuse the situation themselves or to take more drastic action if needed, before any harm has been caused. This capability is especially valuable for lone workers who don’t have access to instant support – such as delivery drivers, in-store or warehouse staff and distribution operators to name a few. The pandemic has also doubled the number of consumers who do their regular grocery shopping online, leading to potential supply and demand issues resulting in unhappy customers. Live-streaming body worn cameras rely on uninterrupted mobile connectivity to excel, as they are not connected to any physical infrastructure. To minimize the risk of the live video stream buffering or freezing – a real possibility for delivery drivers who can be working anywhere in the country – retailers should look to deploy devices capable of streaming in real-time, with near zero latency footage, even when streaming over poor or constrained networks. To get the most out of their tech, retailers should also look to implement devices that can be multi-use and can be deployed as a body worn camera or a dashcam to record any incidents that may occur while driving. Novel threats This year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from While not to the same extent, retail workers have always been subject to a level of potential physical or verbal abuse. However, this year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the cause of many of the new threats facing employees, but is also a threat in itself. To mitigate this, retailers should look to introduce remote elevated temperature detection cameras in their stores, which analyze body temperature and sound an alarm when somebody’s temperature exceeds a certain threshold – as this could indicate the presence of a potential fever. When deployed on the same cellular network as live-streaming enabled body cameras, these tools can be linked to a central command center and the alarms viewed remotely from any connected device. This means a network of cameras can be monitored efficiently from a single platform. Ensuring the protection and security of retail workers has come to the fore this year. With the risk of infection in high-footfall locations, such as supermarkets, and the added pressure that comes with monitoring and enforcing safety guidelines, retail staff are having to cope with a plethora of new challenges. Retailers should adopt innovative technologies within their stores and delivery trucks, such as live-streaming enabled body cameras and remote elevated temperature screening solutions, to minimize the threat faced by their employees and provide them with instant support and reassurance should it be required.
For bricks and mortar retailers, there’s no going back to how it was anytime soon. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, they had been fighting a fierce battle against online shopping and significant e-commerce players. The high street has done a pretty good job of evolving over the years. From its humble beginnings in the late 19th century to its boom in the late 20th, it’s constantly adapted to meet changing consumer needs. The risk to retail But, it’s now reported to be at risk. Sales and footfall started to dwindle decades ago. The dawn of internet shopping in the mid- 2000s saw numbers drop even more dramatically. Indeed, we have heard and seen reports repeatedly on ‘the death of the high street.’ Footfall went down to virtually zero, thanks to this year’s nationwide lockdown Making matters worse, footfall went down to virtually zero, thanks to this year’s nationwide lockdown. Even Primark, the international ‘hero of the high street,’ saw their average £650m in weekly sales nosedive to nothing without an online presence. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Primark for one came back fighting, and is now expected to hit £2bn by the end of the year. "After a period of store closure, we are encouraged by the strength of our sales," it’s owner AB Foods said in its latest trading update. And continued: "In the latest four-week UK market data for sales in all channels, Primark achieved our highest-ever value and volume shares for this time of year." The threat of new restrictions As we come to a ‘pivotal point’ in the fight against COVID, with threats of new restrictions, it’s time to think about what the next generation of our high streets will look like. The current crisis gives us some clues: it’s local, it’s data-driven and it’s tech-enabled. Crucially, it’s proven to work. The digital high street One of the biggest changes the high street has had to adjust to is the digital revolution. New technologies have massively disrupted the way we spend. 82% of consumers now shop online, compared with just 53% ten years ago, with more than half of people aged 65 and over saying they shop online. Age is no longer a barrier. That’s meant that not only have in-store sales dropped, but shopping patterns have become erratic and harder to predict. From opening times to managing stock and staff – everything has had to adapt. We had to pivot quickly to create an online model The issue was exacerbated over lockdown, as consumers had little choice but to shop online. Digital retailers struggled with resources to fulfill orders, case in point was the endless wait times for supermarket delivery slots. But together, we managed to evolve. As nimble businesses, we had to pivot quickly to create an online model that could operate in conjunction with traditional stores, either via click and collect or similar operatives. And now, we are reaping the rewards. Countless high street pubs and restaurants are now allowing customers to order online and finding ways with new openings to take orders online and deliver a table service. It’s undoubtedly an adjustment, and one that will be easier for some to make than others – but those that can establish an omnichannel presence now will be in a strong position for the future. Online versus the high street Historically, in-store has come second to online for a lot of retailers: even those with omnichannel strategies tend to treat the in-store experience like something of a second-class citizen. Now’s the time to change that. The new online stores that have popped up are unlikely to go anywhere, even once lockdown ends. Their success is proof that getting online and in-store more aligned is an opportunity for, not a threat to, the high street. There needs to be the removal of the ‘physical versus online experience’ for brands, and instead blend the two together, which is made possible through mobile technology. Digital transformation grants a huge opportunity for traditional retail. And no better an example than Amazon, the poster child of online retail. Amazon had previously acknowledged the value of a physical retail channel and had opened physical locations for its books and fresh produce business streams. In August 2020, post COVID-19 lockdown, it has continued with its plan to open thirty physical stores in the UK. High street trends Alongside digital, many trends that were perhaps bubbling under the surface of the retail high street have now made their way to the forefront of securing the new landscape. Sustainable shopping has been accelerated by the crisis. In the last couple of years, retailers’ attention has shifted to focus on making their supply chain and working practices eco-friendlier and socially responsible. Lockdown and our post-retail experience has seen a call for shopping and supporting our local businesses Lockdown and our post-retail experience has seen a call for shopping and supporting our local businesses. Shoppers are more engaged with their local high street now and visiting it more than ever before. Motivated by the instinct to protect their local community. Data has also been key to the new high street. This works both ways, as shoppers are now more informed and in control than ever before. The power of smartphones and increased data coverage has lead to simple but powerful capabilities, like being able to run a price comparison quickly and conveniently. Since a majority of consumers now operate with the ‘mobile mindset’, gone are the days when they will settle for what’s available. Surviving in this new world To survive in this new world, data can support creations of compelling omnichannel experiences. It can help to build loyalty based on customer values, wants and needs. And, it allows ways for retailers to understand how customers are moving around the high street to better predict their requirements. Data proves a holistic view of how, where and when customers spend. Knowing where consumers spend time in store and in which department, demonstrates an understanding of their interests and purchasing choices. Knowing these preferences, creates the foundation for any great customer experience. The technology-led high street In theory, with so many different opportunities for the high street, it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. To deliver in practice, retailers need to lay the foundations for more efficient operations, to meet consumer demands quickly, efficiently, and cost (and time) effectively. Technology arguably holds the key to the challenges of raising standards. And it’s in small ways that it can make a difference. For example, instead of keeping customers waiting while members of staff hunt for a charged-up tablet device to look for stock levels or product information, an automated retail asset management solution means this essential knowledge is right at hand. Even seemingly simple processes can be automated to deliver service and improved business efficiency. For example, on average, it takes staff members six minutes to find a key or working device. That is equal to 42 minutes in productivity time every week for each employee, which can cause losses of up to £40,000 a year. This is where an effective key management system minimizes downtime and cuts unnecessary costs. Traka is supporting businesses, including Primark and leading department stores, to implement new strategies for the critical control of access to key and equipment, enabling more effective use, and in turn quicker customer response times. Asset management solutions With a fully automated asset management solution in place, valuables such as keys, cash trays, stock and equipment (e.g. handheld scanners) can be monitored and maintained. A full audit trail with real-time reporting means retailers can see exactly who has removed which device, when it was taken and when it has been returned. This results in staff becoming more accountable and equipment being utilised more efficiently, eliminating the need for arduous and costly manual administration. Reshape the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and breathe new life into the high street By streamlining processes and effectively protecting business assets, Traka supports in-store retail in their ambition to becomes a ripe opportunity to “innovate, delight and create stronger ties with customers.” And become an integral touchpoint in the future of commerce, helping retailers to adapt to the new retail landscape. In summary, there’s the opportunity to reshape the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and breathe new life into the high street. The industry needs future-focused visionaries who can provide a fresh perspective and reinvigorate bricks-and-mortar retail in the years to come, utilising tools available to them to enhance their proposition to the new post-lockdown consumer.
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.
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.
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, announces that the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an iconic amusement park in California, has recently upgraded its security infrastructure with the Security Center platform. By unifying video and access control park-wide, the park’s security team is able to speed up investigations and emergency response. Touted as the ‘Coney Island of the West’, the seaside park features about 40 rides, 30 restaurants, 15 retail shops, arcades, miniature golf, bowling, and conference and banquet facilities. Video surveillance technology As an admission-free park, guests can enter through multiple entrances to buy food, purchase ride tickets, or simply walk around and enjoy the surroundings. Unlike gated parks which typically have a main security checkpoint, the park’s security team must be hyper-vigilant to spot potential security threats before they can develop. Security operators constantly monitor video cameras and work directly with field officers to handle issues. While video surveillance technology helped security teams watch over the large park, aging equipment began compromising their efficiency. As the search for a new video management system began, the team prioritized openness, reliability, and a vendor’s reputation in the market. Moreover, their aging access control system would soon need replacing too. Actively monitoring cameras The team at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk uses the Security Center platform to manage over 400 cameras and 220 doors The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk team chose the Genetec Security Center platform because of its unique ability to unify video surveillance, access control, and other systems and sensors. The flexibility of the platform was a key selling point and enabled them to choose their preferred cameras and door hardware. Today, the team at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk uses the Security Center platform to manage over 400 cameras and 220 doors across the entire amusement park. From one single interface, operators actively monitor cameras and doors, respond to alarms, handle investigations, and export and share video evidence. This ensures that every security incident is effectively resolved without having to switch applications. Video surveillance system “Like any busy amusement park, our guests sometimes become separated from their groups. When this happens, we are now able to use the Security Center Omnicast™ video surveillance system, along with assistance from our field officers, to quickly reunite guests with their parties,” said Will Graham, Security Technology Administrator at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. If motion is detected near a perimeter after opening hours, the platform will trigger an alarm and display live video and a 10-second replay of the event on a dispatcher’s monitor. This allows them to quickly identify if it’s an actual threat. Unique access privileges The team has also expedited investigations by sharing system access with other departments. This includes food service, loss prevention and ticket sales who can handle their own preliminary investigations, if needed. The team has set up different door schedules and rules and created over 200 cardholder groups “Using the Security Center platform, all door events are linked to video which means our team can quickly gather the information needed and solve cases faster,” said Graham. With Security Center, operators get an instant view of an event as it’s unfolding. So before sending an officer to check on the area, they can quickly identify if it’s a threat or a false alarm. Using the Synergis system, the team has set up different door schedules and rules and created over 200 cardholder groups with unique access privileges for various roles and responsibilities. Managed software maintenance For added peace-of-mind, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk team receives fully managed software maintenance and monitoring via the Genetec Advantage maintenance package to help ensure their systems always available and up to date. “Using Security Center has definitely heightened our response efficiency at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Everything from video surveillance and access control to alarm management has been consolidated into one solution—it’s just a better, more effective way to work. And we’re confident that with this unified platform, we’ll be keeping our guests happy and safe well into the future,” concluded Graham.
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.
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?