Kleard, an award-winning real estate tech company that provides self-tour technology (called Kleard Now), has partnered with Kangaroo Home Security to make self-touring real estate safer, more secure, and helps promote COVID social distancing. Property access works via the Kleard app (available on iOS and Android). The partnership between Kleard and Kangaroo will allow agents the ability to purchase a unique home security package created specifically for real estate listings with a starting pri...
Intelligent Insights is a new software tool that brings together every element from scene to screen, from intelligent cameras enabling video data capture and interpretation, to the visualization and reporting of data in one simple overview. Using data to improve security, safety, and business decisions has become increasingly important to the market and continues to grow. Now, Bosch has introduced an affordable software solution called ‘Intelligent Insights’ that enables customers t...
SAFR® from RealNetworks, Inc., the pioneer in facial recognition and person-centric computer vision on live video, announces it has been awarded two Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts of approximately $950k each or $1.9M in total from AFWERX. These contracts provide funding to adapt the SAFR platform for use by the Air Force for perimeter security and secure access. Once developed for the USAF, the SBIR/STTR program allows for any other federal agency to award a so...
Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, introduced an ultra-high-definition (UHD) surveillance camera reference design to address today’s high-accuracy object detection and recognition needs for video security and surveillance systems. Developed in collaboration with Novatek Microelectronics Corporation and designed by Systemtec Corporation Ltd, the reference design includes a camera image sensor (CIS) board with phase-detection autofocus (...
Hanwha Techwin America, a supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, will debut its next generation Wisenet 7 SoC (System on Chip). Built from 30 years of innovation in video surveillance solutions, the highly anticipated announcement sees the continuation of the Wisenet line of custom-built SoCs designed specifically to address the unique challenges of the security market. New key features include cybersecurity features, clear images in all lighting conditions, improved lens disto...
Johnson Controls, a global provider of smart and sustainable buildings, is launching OpenBlue - a complete suite of connected solutions and services that combine the Company’s 135 years of building expertise with cutting-edge technology. This open digital platform, when integrated with Johnson Controls core building systems and enhanced by Fortune 100 technology partners, will make shared spaces safer, more agile and more sustainable. Johnson Controls OpenBlue is the culmination of years...
LenelS2 and FLIR Systems, Inc. announces that they had signed an agreement to integrate select FLIR thermal cameras with LenelS2’s OnGuard® access control system. The integrated, non-contact solution joins the Carrier Healthy Buildings Program suite of offerings to support reopening and to assist in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and possibly other viruses in the workplace through thermal screening. FLIR is a pioneer company specializing in the design and production of thermal imaging cameras, components and imaging sensors. LenelS2, a provider of advanced security systems and services, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a provider of innovative heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Site-Specific screening protocols LenelS2 will offer integrated thermal imaging screening and access control solutions to quickly identify individuals with elevated skin temperature and apply customizable access control parameters to allow or deny entry. The strategic collaboration will leverage the FLIR EST™ line of non-contact thermal screening cameras, including the A500-EST and A700-EST, by integrating with the LenelS2 OnGuard access control system. The collaboration with FLIR will help drive our end users’ access control decisions in support of healthy, safe workspaces" “As organizations implement site-specific screening protocols, integrating access control systems with thermal imaging solutions is an important part of a comprehensive approach,” said Jeff Stanek, President, LenelS2. “The collaboration with FLIR will help drive our end users’ access control decisions in support of healthy, safe workspaces.” FLIR designed the A500-EST and A700-EST as non-contact screening tools that can serve as a first line of defense against potential health risks. Access control parameters These cameras are part of FLIR’s A-Series camera offering and are U.S. FDA 510(k) registered. Through onboard edge-computing with advanced measurement tools or when combined with customized elevated skin temperature screening software, these cameras provide rapid, frictionless screening stations that communicate with the OnGuard system to automatically process and apply customizable access control parameters. “Having a set of processes including temperature checks is critical for organizations as they work to maintain their operations or begin to return employees safely back to work,” said Rickard Lindvall, Vice President and General Manager, Solutions Business, FLIR. “The FLIR and LenelS2 brands complement each other perfectly to provide our customers best-of-breed solutions they can confidently deploy.”
Dallmeier electronic, one of the world's renowned manufacturers of video security technology, has announced introducing an interactive simulator, Panomera, for comparing megapixel, PTZ and multi-focal sensor technology. This interactive simulator will enable end users, installers and those who are interested to compare the different camera technologies and experience the ‘Panomera’ effect themselves. Panomera simulator The task of delivering maximum overview, together with excellent image definition, presents a significant challenge for many common camera technologies, such as megapixel, PTZ or multi-sensor cameras. Particularly, during zoom operations, something must be sacrificed, be it either the essential detail resolution (megapixel and multi-sensor cameras) or the overview (PTZ). Accordingly, the camera images are often not usable or pertinent scenes are simply not recorded at all. Patented multi-focal sensor technology Intelligent ‘stitching’ software runs in the background, merging the individual images from the camera lenses In the new and interactive Panomera simulator, users can now see for themselves how the patented multi-focal sensor technology, Panomera, from Dallmeier, addresses this problem with up to eight sensors with different focal lengths (multi-focal) capturing both nearby and distant image areas in high resolution. Intelligent ‘stitching’ software runs in the background, merging the individual images from the camera lenses so that users can capture even large expanses or long distances in a constant, precisely definable minimum resolution. Panomera camera system The customer benefits are a much better overview of the situation, simultaneous access capability for many operators in high resolution, and better analysis capabilities due to the high-resolution display of spatial contexts, even over very large areas. One Panomera camera system thus, replaces many conventional cameras and significantly reduces both the infrastructure expense required and the operating costs. Besides, many industrial enterprises worldwide, for example nine of the twelve Russian stadiums, which hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 14 of 20 clubs in the English Premier League, more than 19 German cities, and many airports around the world rely on Panomera.
Pivot3, the provider of intelligent hyperconverged infrastructure solutions for mission-critical video, announces significant automation and intelligence enhancements to its Acuity software platform to address the system administration, maintenance and availability challenges often faced in large-scale video surveillance deployments. The new intelligent system health and best practices analysis features provide significant reductions in total cost of ownership, ensure 24 x 7 system uptime in large multi-petabyte environments, and enable customers to automate end-to-end system life-cycle management processes, all while ensuring high-availability. managing large deployments “Customers who have safety and security responsibilities are increasingly required to manage large deployments of servers and storage due to the number and resolution of cameras, the increasing use of video analytics and other leading edge security applications,” said Ben Bolles, vice president of product management, Pivot3. “The sheer scale of these deployments presents new management challenges for security personnel to keep systems up-to-date and operating at peak performance and efficiency. Pivot3 is meeting this growing challenge with expanded automation and intelligence capabilities to provide customers with peace of mind, knowing their system is operating at its utmost level of resilience and performance.” System health monitoring At the core of Pivot3’s Acuity software platform is the Pivot3 Intelligence Engine At the core of Pivot3’s Acuity software platform is the Pivot3 Intelligence Engine. The Intelligence Engine comprises many automated system management capabilities including performance optimization, data protection, auto-healing, system health monitoring and analytics that are shared to Pivot3’s Support Cloud. This automates traditionally time-consuming systems administration and maintenance tasks to reduce operating expenses and allows organizations to expand and improve their physical security posture with fewer specialized IT skills. Video evidence recording Pivot3’s Intelligence Engine now includes system-level upgrade orchestration and health and best practices analyzer features optimized for large-scale environments. The Upgrade Manager is designed to simplify performing end-to-end system updates by automating mundane system administration tasks, resulting in improved life-cycle management of large-scale systems and a reduction in the specialized skills required to run these sophisticated deployments. The Health and Best Practices Analyzer automatically verifies system health and detects anomalies, both system-wide and for individual appliances. To lower the risks and liabilities associated with video evidence recording and access, the system also ensures that best practices to deliver 24 X 7 system uptime and availability are observed. Pivot3’s new Intelligence Engine capabilities are in version 10.8 of the Acuity software platform available in Q3 2020.
Panasonic has announced its new i-PRO X-Series of network security cameras with built in AI capabilities making them ideal for the next generation of intelligent applications in business and society. i-PRO X-Series security cameras With its Software Development Kit, the camera range is designed for third party application development that can be tailored to a business customer’s needs. The range includes six new models, with 5MP resolutions available in July, 2020 and 4K resolutions at the end of the year, and indoor and outdoor vandal resistant dome or box configurations. The new cameras can install up to three video analytics applications, with two i-PRO applications plus the Software Development Kit included free-of-charge, if purchased before the end of March 2021. The two analytics applications available as of now are AI Video Motion Detection (AI-VMD) and Privacy Masking. AI Video Motion Detection AI engine enables alarm triggers, based upon predefined parameters, at a very high level of accuracy AI Video Motion Detection (AI-VMD) is capable of detecting any human, vehicle, two-wheel motorcycle or bicycle and can be used for intrusion detection, identifying loitering, direction detection and many more applications. The AI engine enables alarm triggers, based upon predefined parameters, at a higher level of accuracy than ever before. The second application is Privacy Masking to detect and recognize human figures in a video scene and pixelate their figures or faces for privacy protection. This application is important for many businesses operating in geographies where strict privacy laws are in force, such as Europe with GDPR. It can be used to protect the identities of employees, customers and visitors in a wide range of industries. AI engine with on-board analytics The new i-PRO X-Series employ an AI engine with on-board analytics to detect suspicious changes in scenes, automatically adjust image settings of the scene being analyzed, and optimize video compression to conserve network bandwidth and server storage capacities. “This new camera range, with its open Software Development Kit, offers exciting opportunities to tailor a host of next generation AI applications around the specific needs of business customers,” said Gerard Figols, European Head of the Panasonic Security Business Unit. New analytics applications He adds, “Our partners already have a number of innovative additional applications in development for future use with the camera range. We will be announcing more on these applications later in the year but the benefits of the cameras with these new analytics applications are widespread and vary from enhancing security to helping make a change in the post-COVID world.”
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced availability of the FLIR Occupancy Management Solution for FLIR Brickstream 3D Gen2 to automate occupancy counting within high traffic and capacity-limited areas. To support social distancing guidelines during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupancy Management Solution provides organizations with an easy-to-use, real-time capacity counting and display tool for multiple entries and exits. Organizations can automate capacity counting for high foot-traffic spaces to maintain social distancing compliance. “Many organizations are manually measuring occupancy, but this process is often inaccurate, cumbersome and expensive,” said Paul Clayton, General Manager, Components Business at FLIR Systems. Automated monitoring solution “FLIR addressed this challenge by introducing a cost-effective, scalable, self-contained, and automated monitoring solution suitable for a variety of locations from grocery stores, stadiums, theaters, transportation hubs, to manufacturing plants, and office spaces.” Current Brickstream 3D Gen2 customers can purchase and add this feature with via a remote firmware upgrade The Occupancy Management Solution is platform agnostic with an integrated IoT architecture, which can be implemented within existing Wi-Fi access points, offering a complete edge-based solution with the Brickstream 3D Gen2 hardware. It provides a simple display dashboard for capacity updates that can be viewed by staff or customers on devices with a web browser. Remote firmware upgrade It may be used as a standalone or integrated into existing perimeter systems, making it ideal for most environments where occupancy must be closely managed. Current Brickstream 3D Gen2 customers can purchase and add this feature with via a remote firmware upgrade. This solution is part of FLIR Systems’ COVID-19 response product portfolio, which includes the FLIR EST camera series, to help organizations improve safety in public places and other high traffic areas. The FLIR Occupancy Management Solution for Brickstream 3D Gen2 is available from FLIR and its global Brickstream distribution partners.
Following on from the UK Government’s announcement of additional support for apprenticeship schemes, CEO Amthal Fire & Security, Jamie Allam shows the vital role Apprentices have played, and how their employment continues to be a key strategy to the company’s success. "Over 700,000 people are leaving education this year and many more are just starting out in their careers. Coronavirus has hit them hard. We cannot lose this generation." Fire and security industry This was the outlook of the Chancellor Rishi Sunak as he delivered his Summer Statement and offered employers a significant financial incentive for hiring apprentices over the next six months. Amthal has always been a big supporter of Apprentices as a way to create a more open business environment. Apprentices gave the company a new dimension to hone in skills and be able to adapt to new innovations Since the company started their apprentice program over 15 years ago, they have employed, retained (and promoted) the majority of their Apprentices, who have been supervised by the company’s senior team, and now even form part of their management structure, because the company values the opportunity to encourage job-specific skills to achieve more of their customer demands, quickly and efficiently. And they would encourage others in the fire and security industry to consider the same outlook. Smart security technologies Apprentices for Amthal, have proven through the years, incremental to solving issues such as the skills shortage in the industry. People have no long-term experience and there has been a lack of engineers understanding the specific disciplines of the industry, instead being trained as ‘multi-disciplined’ which often does not suit the intricacy of design in security and fire safety. Apprentices gave the company a new dimension to hone in skills and be able to adapt to new innovations, and embrace smart security technologies. In fire safety, there is an essential way Apprentices can rise to a challenge and requirement for a clear understanding to help combat the findings such as those of Dame Judith Hackitt, which highlighted the shortcomings in the wider fire and security industries following the Grenfell Tower fire. Developing technical competence The whole of the industry needs to work together to correct years of training neglect by proving and developing the technical competence held by its existing operatives, so they can work on making such tragedies a thing of the past. New apprentices, with an ambition to learn a trade, can embrace the opportunity for change. The company has had to quickly understand modern methods of communication and embrace new technologies The essential requirements of key workers through lockdown to keep the UK safe and ‘protect what’s precious’ has filtered into the ‘new normal’ as companies and hospitality industries looked to achieve Government mandates on controlling the Coronavirus. Together, the company has had to quickly understand modern methods of communication and embrace the new technologies available quickly and efficiently. Body temperature monitoring systems Again, throughout this pandemic, they joined the country in learning new ways to communicate with their teams, embracing performance management and employee engagement technology that helped them grow stronger. The industry has had to meet the incredible uptake in demands for people counting and access control body temperature monitoring systems, together with latest thermal camera technology. Apprentices build on the creation of the positive business culture, upon which all their sustainable growth resides. Amthal has three Apprentices on their engineering team currently, one who starts college in September. They are looking for an additional Apprentice to support their growth in Building, Block Management and the facilities management industry. And in addition, another Apprentice will support their team in Finance. Fire safety Apprenticeships are an excellent way to get into a wide range of rewarding and valuable careers" In summary, the Government’s funding is limited and inevitably, now is the time for the fire safety and security industry to act before the opportunity is expired. For Amthal, the new generation and the apprentice program, allows each individual to settle into their defined role, learn their skills and take responsibility with their dedicated line manager for their own growth. In the company’s experience, they would agree with Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan who said: “Apprenticeships are an excellent way to get into a wide range of rewarding and valuable careers.” Technical challenges Amthal has, from early on in their business life, certainly reaped the benefits of introducing Apprentices to their company. And if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught them anything, it’s that future planning is not a luxury, but a necessity to be able to take on change and the technical challenges that their industry faces. For Amthal, while they may not have been able to celebrate their 20th anniversary as the company had intended, they look forward to their 25th and 30th with the same passion and drive as they do now, with Apprentices forming an essential part of the company’s team, product and service development.
The only constant theme for video technology is its constant evolution. Over the last 40 years, cameras have gone from limited view, constantly monitored rarities to being one of the most populous Internet of Things (IoT) devices with a global reach. Fixed cameras with limited fields of view have been augmented with panoramic cameras with 180- and 360-degree viewing capabilities at ultra-high resolutions in the 4K and 8K ranges, a far cry from the grainy, monochrome viewing of the past. Threats have also evolved in that time, leading to a necessary evolution in security posture, moving from a series of individual programs and practices, to a comprehensive strategy designed around complex risk assessments. To ensure the successful implementation of your security stance in today’s world, you need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together to deliver coherent solutions rather than individual components. Since successful partnerships are always a two-way street, it’s important to take a look at some of the factors that vendors should offer and expect to receive when entering a beneficial partnership where technology seamlessly folds into the ecosystem of the partner’s technology offerings. Open Technology Standards If you ask any customer what the biggest negative is when it comes to new and emerging technologies, you’ll get a pretty rapid answer of “vendor lock-in.” You can have the best technology in the world, but if you don’t give a customer the opportunity to build multiple, “best-of-breed” products into a comprehensive strategy, you’re going to fall by the wayside pretty quickly. You need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together That’s not to say that you can’t have unique, proprietary or visionary technology; you absolutely can, and it is what innovation and progress thrives on. Building those technologies around open technology standards is vital if you are looking for wide-scale adoption. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer. All of this leads to a faster time to revenue and a more rapid scaling of your presence in the market. Direct Technology Integrations Continuing the theme of open technology standards improving the ability to drive relationships with existing, complimentary technology partners, the directness and depth of integration also bears consideration. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer One of the blights of building a security practice is getting all of your technologies to integrate together and feed information to each other. When you add the fact that each technology has its own user interface (UI) and management console, it can very quickly become overwhelming for the end user to keep tabs on each console, learn every interface and complicates building a workflow in the case of incidents or investigations. The administrators who manage the system also have to update each component individually, ensure that the integrations don’t break when an update is delivered and ensure that any new technologies don’t cause an existing piece of your solution to fail. As a technology vendor, if you have used open technology standards, and written your software with integrations in mind, you will find yourself becoming an easy solution to turn to. Camera manufacturers in particular can take advantage of this when integrating with a video management system (VMS). The deeper you integrate, and the easier you make it to manage, update, monitor and interact with your cameras for the VMS and subsequently the operator using the VMS, the more likely your technology will be designed into solutions. Open Communication and Equal Joint Development Successful partnerships are all about communication, and in my experience, having organizational alignment throughout both companies does wonders to improve the development processes. Executive support in particular is key, and a mutual understanding between leaders makes for a more successful go to market strategy. Equally as important is joint development, especially for engineering teams. Often, software engineers are just thrown the software from the larger of the two partners and told “make sure we integrate with this.” It is then down to the engineering teams to figure out how the partner software works and figure out their integrations. This is less difficult if the partner is using open standards, but there is still a high degree of difficulty involved. It also takes longer to create, test, adjust and release software integrations in this way. Then you have to repeat the process whenever there is a software update on either side. Successful partnerships are all about communication If you work collaboratively as engineering teams with defined co-development plans and processes, this process is simplified, and a better solution is realised for the customer. Working as equals also allows you to drive technology advancement faster, especially for the longer established vendor. New technology companies are forced to innovate faster to stay alive and that is well worth remembering. Your mutual sales teams also have a large part to play here, since working together in front of customers with a connected message will deliver better feedback into the engineering teams for future developments and projects. If you build your technology partnerships on these foundations, then you are well positioned to deliver great solutions to your customers, real value when it comes to forming a major part of the wider security ecosystem and will be well on your way to becoming a mainstay in the physical security world.
News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence. Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place.
Security managers, installers and integrators look into a wide variety of factors when selecting a remote video monitoring receiving center to provide continued real-time surveillance of their sites. But there’s one factor which isn’t often taken into consideration, when it really should be. That’s the welfare of the video surveillance operators who are tasked with responding to alarms and ensuring on-site incidents are dealt with appropriately. The fact is, in most UK monitoring center those operators are working extremely long hours: typically 12-hour shifts, often four days in a row. The cumulative effect of that regular extreme shift pattern can be a level of fatigue which is detrimental to the performance of the operators, as well as to their own physical health and mental wellbeing. The result is a reduction in effectiveness of client video security systems. If the operators are compromised when it comes to clear decision-making, the entire monitoring operation suffers. The central aspects of concentration and alertness I’ve worked in monitoring centers for most of my adult life, starting just out of school. When I had the opportunity to begin my own video surveillance and security alarm most In UK monitoring centers, those operators are working extremely long hours: typically 12-hour shifts, often four days in a rowmonitoring center with my business partner Andy Saile, we were clear that operator welfare was a priority. After all, the operator’s job is literally to be alert and responsive, so why would we want to do anything to detract from that? That’s certainly not the case at all remote monitoring centers, though. The vast majority follow the 12-hour shift template, usually in four days on, four off patterns. Anyone who has done any job knows that at the end of a 12-hour shift, fatigue kicks in, and the ability to focus diminishes. That’s particularly the case in roles where concentration and alertness are central to the job. For a video surveillance operator in a monitoring center, fatigue starts to affect the ability to work effectively during the stretch between 9 and 12 hours. That’s the danger period. If an operator misses a criminal incident because of fatigue, that means the security system the client is relying on is not working. The operator is the link between the technology and the police. They are a key component of the whole system. If an operator misses a criminal incident because of fatigue, that means the security system the client is relying on is not working Government guidance After working in remote video monitoring centers and experiencing what we considered both good and bad practice, when Andy and I established our business, we were clear that our operators would work in shifts that were no longer than nine hours at most. This delivers the best results for our customers and our staff. Our feeling was backed up by UK government guidance on designing video surveillance control rooms. The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure has produced a detailed publication called 'Human factors in video surveillance control rooms: A best practice guide'. This publication says: “12-hour shifts, although common in many settings, rIf the operators are compromised when it comes to clear decision-making, the entire monitoring operation suffersepresent a greater risk to health and performance than 8 hour shifts in terms of higher perceptions of workload, fatigue and stress, risk of more errors and accidents, and higher health risks.” Negative impacts on health and wellbeing It further says: “Research confirms that the interruption of circadian rhythms (the 24 hour natural bodily cycle) by shift work can have a negative impact on both general wellbeing and physical health (short and long term), as well as on performance due to general fatigue (i.e. an increased likelihood of errors). Shift-patterns are often designed to meet commercial and operational requirements, but serious consideration should be given to minimizing negative effects on health and well-being by the use of appropriate shift patterns.” The majority of our shifts cover seven or eight hours, and our operators never work more than four in a row. That allows for an average of three or four days between each batch of shifts. The idea is to avoid running staff into the ground, and that in turn makes our company more efficient and effective in the service of our clients. We’ve seen the results in practice: our operators only took four sick days in the past year. That’s four sick days in total, not per operator. It’s a Video surveillance operators have intense jobs, responsible for monitoring and responding to video surveillance and intruder alarm events from commercial and domestic propertiesremarkably low figure in the remote video monitoring industry. Full readiness Video surveillance operators have intense jobs, responsible for monitoring and responding to video surveillance and intruder alarm events from commercial and domestic properties. They liaise with the police, the customer keyholder, end users and any relevant authorities as required. Our customers are equipped with both cameras and motion sensors, which generate alarms on movement. When a movement in a specified zone occurs, the alarm is raised directly with the operator responsible for that site. The response differs from customer to customer depending on their own protocols. If there are dome cameras in place, for instance, they can be utilised to provide additional situational awareness. Escalating risks Traditional intruder alarm monitoring centers required the operator to react to an alarm by calling a keyholder, who would then respond to the incident. But remote monitoring requires concentration, focus, and deductive skills. The information required to make an informed decision isn’t immediately obvious – the The operator must be able to snap to full focus at any point over the course of their shift, and it’s tiringoperator must work out what has moved and establish its cause. There’s no one to provide extra detail. The operator’s art is in working out for themselves what is relevant information in a scene and what isn’t. That requires their full attention. When operators work four days of 12-hour shifts in a row, risks escalate as a result. The risk that the wrong decision can be made. The risk that customers or police are not notified when they should be. There is a real-world cost associated with those decisions. The operator must be able to snap to full focus at any point over the course of their shift, and it’s tiring, whether there’s an incident to respond to or whether the operator is simply prepared to act. Operator skills are diluted if their shift patterns are not considered. Why would you hire someone based on their skillset, and then work them into the ground until they’re too tired to execute those skills? Choosing a monitoring center Security systems and modern technology are crucial ingredients in protecting people and property, but they also require interpretation. A video surveillance operator is an Security systems and modern technology are crucial ingredients in protecting people and property, but they also require interpretationinvestigator and a conduit, bridging the divide between images, alarms and authorities, be they police, security guarding operations or keyholders. To run them into the ground is to diminish their ability to make intelligent decisions. It makes sense, then, to opt to work with a monitoring center which puts the welfare of its operators at the forefront of its business. Start by asking your prospective RVRC about their shift patterns. A monitoring center with respected and happy staff is a monitoring center best able to provide a fully effective service, optimising your security systems and maximizing your investment.
Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favor are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”
Qumulex is a new startup with a mission to provide physical security integrators a transition path to embrace the technology of the cloud and a subscription-based business model. Qumulex’s products seek to provide capabilities to embrace the cloud without an integrator having to turn their back completely on the ‘transactional revenue’ of installing new systems. As the transition happens, Qumulex offers a product line that supports any mix of systems from on-premises to the cloud. The flexible deployment model – enabling a cloud installation, an on-premise installation or any combination – is one of the ways Qumulex seeks to differentiate itself in the market. Installing fully on-Premise system The Qumulex cloud-based platform uses a gateway device located on-premises to which local cameras are connected The system is designed so that an integrator can install a fully on-premise system and then later ‘flip a switch’ and transition to a cloud model, says Tom Buckley, VP Sales and Marketing. The Qumulex initial 1.0 system launch is currently entering its final beta test. Full commercial availability is expected in the first quarter of 2020, which the company will highlight in a bigger 20x20 booth at ISC West next year. The Qumulex cloud-based platform uses a gateway device located on-premises to which local cameras are connected. Ensuring cybersecurity, the gateway provides a ‘firewall’ of sorts to avoid any cybersecurity threat from entering an enterprise through a vulnerable IP camera. The system is designed to be ‘cloud-agnostic’ and to work with any public or private cloud, using Docker software and ‘containers,’ a standard unit of software that packages code and all its dependencies so an application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. At launch, the Qumulex system will use the Google cloud. Greater situational awareness The open platform approach will enable users to assemble best-of-breed solutions Another point of differentiation for the new platform is a unified access control and video surveillance environment – both are part of the same program. Access control can drive video events and vice versa for greater situational awareness. A unified system avoids having to integrate separate systems. A big emphasis for Qumulex is ease of use. They have designed the user interface to be as simple and intuitive as possible, using consumer-oriented systems such as Nest and the Ring Doorbell as a model of simplicity. Finally, the open platform approach will enable users to assemble best-of-breed solutions. Keeping it simple, the system offers native integration with only the major camera manufacturers that represent most of the market: Axis, Hanwha, Arecont, Panasonic, Vivotek and Sony. Longer-Term storage Other cameras can be included using the ONVIF interface. On the access control side, the system will initially be compatible with Axis door controllers, Allegion wireless door locks and ASSA ABLOY Aperio wireless door locks. Future versions of the software will seek to integrate HID Edge and Vertx and eventually Mercury panels. The gateway device may incorporate only a solid-state drive (SSD) for buffering Qumulex is taking a ‘mobile-first’ approach. The software is designed as a ‘progressive web app,’ which means is it is adaptable to – and fully functioning in – any smart phone, mobile device, laptop, or on a desktop computer with multiple monitors. The gateway device may incorporate only a solid-state drive (SSD) for buffering, or as many hard drives as the customer wants for storage. Short-term storage is available in the cloud, but local hard drives may be used for longer-term storage which can get expensive given the monthly fees of cloud storage. Using third-Party server To manage the variety of scenarios, Qumulex will offer a line of gateways and recorders, or a customer can use a third-party server along with Qumulex, which is an open system. Qumulex will use a manufacturer’s representative sales model and has already signed up 11 rep firms covering the United States (the initial target of the launch). The company has been spreading the word among integrators, too, first at the ISC West show last spring, when 98 integrators saw demonstrations of the system at a suite in the Palazzo. Another 48 integrators saw the system at ESX in Indianapolis in June. At the recent GSX show in Chicago, Qumulex had a booth on the show floor, where they scanned 450 badges that yielded 176 unique integrators. Entering the physical security market Qumulex just closed a second round of funding, which does not include any ‘institutional’ money Buckley estimates there are around 10,000 total security integrators in the United States that sell products similar to theirs at their price point. They are working to build their database to reach out to those integrators. (Exacq had more than 4,500 dealer/integrators before it was sold to Tyco/Johnson Controls.) Qumulex is the third company to enter the physical security market by the same team that launched two other successful startups in the last 20 years: Exacq Technologies (sold to Tyco in 2013) and Integral Technologies (sold to Andover Controls in 2000). Both previous companies were built around a need to help the integrator community transition to newer technologies. Qumulex just closed a second round of funding, which does not include any ‘institutional’ money. The first round of investment involved only the founders, and the second round added some ‘angel’ investors to the mix. The funding allows more flexibility and control over the company’s timeline and the evolution of the product’s feature set, free of outside mandates, says Buckley.
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.
3xLOGIC, Inc., a globally renowned provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, has announced that the Tampa (FL) Metropolitan Area YMCA is in the midst of a multi-phase security system project. Multi-phase security system project The project would include video surveillance, fire and intrusion upgrades, and a takeover of existing and new cameras by 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL video management system. The project is being implemented by Redwire, security professionals for over 40 years with clients across Florida, South Georgia, and Southern Alabama. When Nate Valentin, VP of Information Technology, joined the Tampa YMCA in September 2019, he was immediately presented with an opportunity. He said, “We had received a generous donation to be used for cameras, and I was tasked with interviewing vendors and evaluating platforms to determine how best to leverage this donation.” Valentin and his team devised plans to go well beyond standard video surveillance. 3xLOGIC cameras installed Phase I of the project was to install approximately 150 3xLOGIC cameras at the remaining locations Prior to this upgrade, the Tampa YMCA had cameras from another manufacturer at three locations. Phase I of the project was to install approximately 150 3xLOGIC cameras at the remaining locations, the smaller buildings received 4-camera packages, most locations have 16, and the largest facilities have 20-25 cameras. Valentin commented, “If there’s any silver lining to the current pandemic, Redwire’s excellent work enabled us to get all the camera systems installed while we were closed down and before we opened Summer Camps.” Fire and intrusion systems upgrade The 3xLOGIC cameras cover a wide range of areas of interest, such as parking lots, pools, any childcare areas, workout centers, front desks, and basketball courts. Phase II of the project will see fire and intrusion systems upgraded and monitored by Redwire. Valentin adds, “Remote access to the camera systems via 3xLOGIC’s View Lite II Mobile App will help us mitigate false alarms.” VIGIL video management system Phase III of the project will see all cameras, new and previously installed, taken over by 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL VMS. “We want everything under one platform and standardized across the organization,” said Valentin. During the planning and installation, Valentin began to see possibilities for his system that went beyond monitoring parking lots and protecting the YMCA from false claims. He said, “Video is a great tool and it gives us the information we need to make good, informed decisions. We also saw video and our overall security system as a way to enhance our member’s experience and to increase member engagement.” Tampa YMCA call center Call center staff will have access to live video feeds of key areas across all YMCA locations The Tampa YMCA plans to establish a call center to accomplish these important goals of enhancing member engagement and satisfaction. Call center staff will have access to live video feeds of key areas across all YMCA locations, so members can call in to ask, for example, if a basketball court is free or how many swim lanes are open and any number of other questions they have about the facilities. “Not only will we be able to give our members up-to-the-minute, accurate information about the status of facilities, this will also take some of the load off front desk staff so they can better serve the person standing in front of them,” Valentin explained. Installing third-party fire and intrusion systems Redwire will install fire and intrusion systems from another manufacturer, but 3xLOGIC video surveillance will be used to verify anything these systems flag. Redwire will perform fire and intrusion monitoring and they are also the Managed Services Provider (MSP) for all the cameras. “Across all locations, and in many different ways, we will lean heavily on our cameras to get smarter and provide excellent member service,” said Valentin.
Traffic continues to grow in every major city. But how do people beat congestion in these restricted urban spaces? In China’s ancient-walled city of Xi’an, they’re adopting an intelligent traffic management system based on Hikvision technology - and boosting traffic flow while reducing journey time. The Chinese city of Xi'an, known as Chang'an in ancient times, was the center of ancient oriental civilization. Thirteen dynasties spanning Chinese history have chosen Xi'an as their capital. Today, Xi'an is not simply a part of history: it’s a high-tech hub, renowned across China for its scientific research and education, manufacturing, technology, and transportation. In spite of being a modern hub, Xi’an still retains its ‘checkerboard’ layout from the Tang Dynasty, complete with its border of tall and ancient walls. Urban Traffic Administration Nevertheless, while economic growth has enabled the city to develop, the walls place great restrictions on the city’s daily movement - especially to its burgeoning traffic. Vehicles can only enter and exit through the city gates, but with some three million vehicles in the city, the limited number of entrances was beginning to cause serious congestion. What’s more, there are also many ancient ruins in the city, which were further limiting the development of the urban area. Managing a growing city while protecting its history presented a serious challenge to Xi’an Plus, as of 2018, the city was home to over 10 million people, while the number of construction projects was steadily increasing. Managing a growing city while protecting its history presented a serious challenge to Xi’an. So, to address this, Xi’an Urban Traffic Administration turned to Hikvision and its intelligent cameras. Traffic sensing system “Xi’an’s city walls make it impossible to increase the size of the urban area. So, it was only through technology that we could allow the modern city to grow and develop,” says Lihu Ma, the Project Manager from Hikvision. “A core part of the Hikvision solution involves our AI-powered video technology.” The Xi'an traffic police worked with experts from Hikvision, as well as urban planning experts, internet service providers and other technology companies, to design and implement an intelligent traffic management system. The construction of this system fully utilizes Hikvision's core advantages in urban transportation intelligence, employing AI-powered video to create a powerful traffic sensing system. Physical urban transportation network The latest sonar monitoring equipment is being used to detect illegal use of car horns in banned areas “Effectively, we are building a bridge between an intelligent digital world and the physical urban transportation network in Xi’an,” explains Lihu. The intelligent traffic management system analyzes comprehensive and detailed data about the movement of traffic through the urban Xi’an area, and uses the insight gathered to make the flow of traffic more smoothly in three key ways. Comprehensive road traffic violation monitoring Xi'an traffic police have installed Hikvision’s Checkpoint Capture Cameras and Intersection Violation Capture Units as part of a monitoring system that can detect illegal vehicle behavior at intersections. These full view ultra-high zoom cameras record vehicles making illegal maneuvers - such as running red lights, making banned turns and illegal lane changes - in real time. What’s more, the latest sonar monitoring equipment is being used to detect illegal use of car horns in banned areas. Intelligent cellphone applications Visual integrated command and dispatching platform Using real-time video streams from Hikvision Traffic Flow Capture Cameras, a number of road condition perception technologies, plus intelligent cellphone applications, Xi'an traffic police has created a visual command and control center, coupled with an intelligent police dispatch system. All data is aggregated and dynamically displayed on a large screen in the command and control center. In the event of a traffic incident, the system generates dispatch recommendations intelligently, according to the location and distribution of traffic police officers throughout the city. Those closest to an incident receive an automated message to their cellphone terminals, enabling them to arrive at the scene quickly. Intelligent traffic management system The Xi’an traffic management team also employs congestion management practices More importantly, the intelligent traffic management system uses advanced machine learning capabilities to gain insight into typical congestion patterns, in order to actively identify potential traffic events before they happen. By analyzing large volumes of road condition data and information from Hikvision’s intelligent video cameras, the system can predict which intersections are most prone to congestion and when, enabling traffic police to put evasive measures in place before serious issues arise. Improved vehicle flow capacity with intelligent signal control The Xi’an traffic management team also employs congestion management practices to ease the flow of traffic, largely through the optimization of signal timing. Using Hikvision intelligent video cameras coupled with augmented reality (AR) technology, the intelligent traffic management system analyzes traffic flow data and dynamically alters the timing of signal lights accordingly. Adjusting signal timing It will monitor traffic flow, line length and average driving speed in all directions of intersections in real-time, automatically adjusting signal timing to optimize the flow of vehicles. The Xi'an traffic management system has now been trained with a wealth of traffic data, including Hikvision video, enabling it to build multiple intelligent algorithms for managing congestion in the city. Driver behavior is improving, and drivers are becoming more compliant with the rules of the road First of all, map-based congestion reports suggest that Xi'an's congestion rankings have improved significantly. In fact, compared with the test results of pilot roads before the system went live, intelligent signal control alone has increased the throughput of traffic by 10%, while the average vehicle journey time is reduced by about 12%. What’s more, driver behavior is improving, and drivers are becoming more compliant with the rules of the road. Traffic incident warning function Traffic law enforcement data reveals that traffic offences are generally decreasing, with traffic violations dropping by some 30% in one short-term observation. Additionally, thanks to the proactive traffic incident warning function, the incident detection rate has also increased by more than 30% compared to the traditional model. With the continuous optimization of the system algorithm, plus ongoing installation of monitoring equipment, the accuracy of this identification will only improve. In the process of urbanization, tackling congestion is not only about improving the flow of the transportation network: it’s also basic governance for building a smart city.
NEC Corporation, NEC Corporation of America and their partner, Infrared Cameras Inc., were selected by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) to provide thermal temperature screening and facial recognition technology at Hawaii's public airports to help protect the community and identify passengers with a potentially elevated body temperature. The companies combined resources to submit a unified proposal for the project. Preventative measures against COVID-19 "Taking these steps to implement the technology at our airports shows our commitment to providing preventative measures against COVID-19 for the community," said Hawaii's Governor David Ige. "We recognize that temperature screening won't catch every infected passenger, but it is an available tool that can be implemented and combined with the additional measures the State is providing to help prevent the spread of this virus, while helping rebuild the economy." NEC technology deployed at Hawaii's public airports We believe NEC's technology will help to ensure the safety and health of visitors and residents of Hawaii against COVID-19" "We are honored to become a part of this significant project for Hawaii towards the revival of tourism and business in the state," said Toshifumi Yoshizaki, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation. "We believe NEC's technology will help to ensure the safety and health of visitors and residents of Hawaii against COVID-19, and our team will make every effort to ensure the success of this public and private joint project together with all of the partner companies." Multi-person thermal screening solution "Team NEC's approach is predicated on enhancing existing processes and services rather than introducing a bottleneck or negative impact to processing speed," said Raffie Beroukhim, Chief Experience Officer for NEC Corporation of America. Raffie adds, "We look forward to working with the State of Hawaii to further automate and enhance the travelers' experiences with our high throughput, multi-person thermal screening solution." NEC and Infrared Cameras selected NEC and Infrared Cameras were selected with a proposal of US$ 23.3 million for equipment and installation and a 10-year maintenance plan of US$ 1.42 million annually for a total contract amount of US$ 37.5 million. The companies were selected in part because of their innovative concept and functionality to deliver accurate and efficient thermal temperature screening for people traveling to Hawaii. The selection committee evaluated various systems and technologies and NEC and Infrared Cameras were determined to be the best fit for Hawaii's needs. Thermal temperature screening equipment The thermal temperature screening equipment will be installed in three phases at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Kahului Airport (OGG), Lihue Airport (LIH), Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) and Hilo International Airport (ITO). Phase 1 will have the temperature scanners installed this month at the gates currently being used for arriving trans-Pacific flights. Phase 2 will have the temperature scanners installed at the remaining gates in the coming weeks. Phase 3 expects to have the facial recognition equipment installed by December 31, 2020. Leveraging facial recognition technology The system incorporates privacy protections from design to deployment While the Hawaii airports system will leverage facial recognition technology, people should not think of the features they may have seen in a movie. The system incorporates privacy protections from design to deployment and NEC will work with HDOT throughout this process to ensure the solution meets the requirements of the State of Hawaii. Furthermore, the system will only temporarily retain a picture of a person with an elevated temperature of 100.4 degrees and above to help airport representatives identify them and conduct an additional assessment to determine if health precautions are necessary. Use of thermal image capture technology The picture will be erased within 30 minutes and will not be shared with any outside agencies. Anyone with a temperature below 100.4 degrees will not have their image retained at all. The system will not automatically have a person's personal information, such as their name, address or driver license number. It will not contain information about criminal history or outstanding warrants. The use of the thermal image capture technology is anticipated to be safer and more cost effective than manual temperature checks. Without the use of facial recognition technology, an employee would need to be next to each camera at all times to pull a person aside as they walk by the camera, creating bottlenecks and further exposing employees to travelers and, thus, possible COVID-19 infection.
ARST is a public transportation company in Cagliari, Italy. The company operates a massive fleet of about 800 public buses throughout the island of Sardinia. During the vehicle modernization process, the company decided to deploy new centralized CCTV systems to enhance the security level of passengers and drivers. First of all, the low-definition images captured by the original surveillance equipment cannot meet the company’s advanced monitoring needs. Second, the bus driver could not achieve point-to-point communication with the command center in real time. In addition, in case of an accident, there was no emergency button on the bus before to report the emergency to the command center. Customized mobile solution To help ARST revamp its bus security system, a customized Dahua mobile solution consisting of more than 3,000 cameras and 750 MXVRs, Panic Buttons, DSS integrated platform as well as other accessories was employed. The data collected from the front-end cameras is integrated in the control room via DSS4004, where emergency calls, geo-localization of vehicles and statistics can be managed. Each bus is equipped with a penta-hybrid video recorder MXVR6212, 4, 6 or 8 HAC-HDBW2241F cameras Each bus is equipped with a penta-hybrid video recorder MXVR6212, 4, 6 or 8 HAC-HDBW2241F cameras and panic buttons. The main features of the systems are: data encryption, people counting, hot spot, router 3G/4G, dynamic management of the LCD monitor on board and geo-localization via DSS app. As the first mobile XVR adopting HDCVI/AHD/TVI/CVBS/IP signals, MXVR6212 can achieve 1080P high-definition real-time recording. High performance sensor It supports real-time vehicle location tracking and monitoring, and all information such as GPS and video can be uploaded via wireless network - 3G/4G/WIFI. In addition, the device can also support connection of various accessories, such as card readers, fuel sensors, and emergency buttons. Furthermore, it has passed EN50155/ISO16750 to meet the requirements for mobile use. Other than city bus, this device can be used in various applications, such as school bus, taxi, police car, train, truck, etc. The 2MP HAC-HDBW2241F-M-A mobile camera is designed with a shock-proof compact case, which makes it convenient to be installed and adaptable to various applications. Boasting the strengths of the Dahua self-developed HDCVI technology, the camera offers high quality images and ensures real-time transmission. Also, it adopts a high performance sensor to provide incomparable performance even under extreme lowlight environment. Manage mobile devices The Dahua mobile solution with high-definition monitoring performance reduces theft and robbery on buses The Starlight feature allows capturing of more details and recognizing accurate colors at night or in scenes with limited illumination. At the control room, Dahua DSS platform was utilized to control and manage the mobile devices deployed on the bus. It displays real-time location, speed, direction of mobile device, playback device’s history location, and supports alarm for over-speeding, entering and leaving the E-FENCE. Aside from central management, the Business Intelligence feature of Dahua DSS platform also allows the user to export Heat Map reports and people counting statistics, helping operator companies to optimize driving route to generate more profit. High-definition monitoring With upgraded Dahua system, the command center can communicate with every single vehicle of ARST Bus Company in real time, enabling them to deliver instructions to the driver, allowing the driver to report immediately to the command center in case of an emergency through the panic button, and ensuring the safety of passengers and drivers. The Dahua mobile solution with high-definition monitoring performance reduces theft and robbery on buses, and enables bus companies to collect accurate information about traffic flows and automatically download data to assist efficient and profitable operation. The Dahua mobile solution mounted on board has been proven to be highly efficient and reliable, which were also applied in two other Italian bus companies: AMAT Bus Company in Taranto and AMTAB Bus Company in Bari.
FLIR PT Series cameras were used in a surveillance project to detect and monitor illegal fishing and poaching activities along the Spanish Galician coast. The FLIR thermal imaging cameras combined with maritime video analytics from Gradiant were ideal for spotting illegal vessels on a 24/7 basis and at a long range. The vastness of the Galician coastline and the multitude of fishing and farming activities call for a more automated surveillance approach. Fishing, shellfish harvesting, and marine aquaculture - mainly mussel farming in inshore waters are important economic activities in Galicia (northwest of Spain). Local public authorities strictly control these activities to prevent exploitation, fish stock depletion and resulting economical losses. They are fighting a constant battle against this unfair and illegal competition that affects thousands of professionals who make a living from the fishing and seafood industry. Challenges of coastal monitoring Illegal fishing and poaching has an enormous impact on the environment and food safety Illegal fishing and poaching of seafood resources also has an enormous impact on the environment and food safety; especially during periods of toxic algal bloom (red tides), when fishing conditions are hazardous for public health. The detection of unauthorized fishing and shellfish harvesting is of paramount importance for the Galician authorities. However, monitoring and protecting all of Galicia’s inshore and offshore fisheries, shellfish harvesting areas, and marine aquaculture farms is a challenging task. Galicia has 1,200 km of coastline. Its protection involves the surveillance of activity in 122 ports, including around 5,000 fishing boats, 400 beaches dedicated to shellfish harvesting, and 47 mussel aquaculture farms, with a total of more than 3,000 bateas (floating mussel farms). Long-range thermal imaging Moreover, most illegal activity takes place at night, making it extra difficult for law enforcers to detect any type of vessel. The Galician climate does not help either. With an average of 128 days per year of rain, visibility conditions are usually not ideal for surveillance operations. Manned surveillance patrols can only do so much; they are hindered by the climate and visibility conditions, making it impossible (from a practical and financial standpoint) for coast guards to cover the entire Galician coastline. In 2017, the Galician Coast Guard started a project to test video surveillance of the coastline based on thermal imaging cameras. The pilot included the use of FLIR’s PT Series multi-sensor camera, combined with maritime video analytics software from Gradiant (Pontevedra, Spain). Multi-sensor installation FLIR thermal images were enhanced by Gradiant’s intelligent video analytics software for maritime applications The multi-sensor installation was extensively tested on two different locations along the Galician coast. One set-up was used to monitor illegal vessels on coastal waters at short/medium range, while another set-up was used for long-range monitoring. The PT Series thermal cameras allowed the Galician Coast Guard to monitor the required area over a long range on a 24/7 basis, even at night and in adverse weather conditions. In addition, the FLIR thermal images were enhanced by Gradiant’s intelligent video analytics software for maritime applications. This software is specifically adapted for monitoring coastal environments and allowed the coast guard to detect, track and geo-localise people and vessels, including small wooden and plastic boats. Visible-light camera The software enabled the thermal cameras to detect objects and people despite adverse maritime conditions, such as high waves, low contrast due to low light, fog and rain, reflections on the sea surface, camera vibrations, and the presence of distractors, such as birds and vessel wakes. The FLIR PT Series is a high-performance multi-sensor pan/tilt security camera, incorporating an uncooled thermal camera with sensitivity of <35mK and a visible-light camera with 36x optical zoom. While the thermal camera is used to detect threats over a long range based on their heat signatures, the visible-light camera can be used for verification and identification. Long-range surveillance The requirements for this long-range application were extremely challenging for any thermal camera" “FLIR is the reference for long-range surveillance applications with thermal imaging,” says José Antonio Rodríguez, Head of Video Analytics at Gradiant. “The thermal performance of the camera and the fact that this technology is easy to set up makes it ideal for this type of application. In addition, FLIR supported us from the start for lens selection, calibration of the system and much more.” “The requirements for this long-range application were extremely challenging for any thermal camera,” says Nikitas Koutsourais, Product Marketing Manager at FLIR Systems. “Thanks to the FLIR PT Series’ unique thermal sensitivity of less than 35mK, we could provide the best image performance in the market.” IP video streaming Two different configurations were used in this application. The long-range surveillance station used a FLIR PT-606 camera, and was able to detect a rubber inflatable boat at 4,000m. Despite its narrow field of view, this camera allowed for wide coverage thanks to the high-precision pan/tilt unit. The camera was able to sweep a wide field of view span in a pre-programmed sequence of pan/tilt presets. The port surveillance station used a PT-625, offering a good compromise between detection range and field of view with a single pan/tilt preset. The integration of the video analytics software with the camera was easy thanks to IP video streaming and the camera’s ONVIF compliant interfaces for pan/tilt control. Long-range surveillance typically requires the use of lenses with a narrow field of view, which is a problem when you want to monitor wide areas. Coastal protection applications The FLIR thermal cameras provided the Galician coastguard with increased situational awareness However, the video analytics from Gradiant was able to take advantage of the Preset Sequencing mode of the FLIR PT Series. This allowed the coastguard to cover a wide field of view with a single camera and to perform video analysis on each pan/tilt preset. The FLIR thermal cameras provided the Galician coastguard with increased situational awareness and allowed them to respond much quicker to illegal fishing activities. The pilot project was performed in a realistic surveillance environment along the Galician coast and generated very positive results. The combination of a multi-sensor system with Gradiant’s maritime video analytics proved to be effective to deal with the intricate Galician coast lines and a lack of open view. In addition, this technology combination is a cost-effective alternative, making automated surveillance applications accessible for fish farm companies worldwide. Extremely rugged systems Finally, the PT-Series are extremely rugged systems, which makes them ideal for coastal surveillance, especially in an extremely humid environment such as the Atlantic coast of Spain. The system’s vital core is well protected against dust and water ingress, and complies with IP66 requirements.
Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) is a company in Indonesia for the transportation and distribution of natural gas. The total length of distribution pipelines of this company is 3,187 km, serving around 84 million customers. As the owner and operator of four transmission pipelines, PGN is responsible for guaranteeing security along the entire chain of conservation and distribution of gas and for delivering products and services in accordance with the needs of consumers. Securing gas supply lines During the transport phase, the gas is pushed through the pipelines at very high pressure. When it reaches the end-users, however, its delivery pressure must be adjusted so that it falls within an acceptable range (as detailed in the contractual delivery specifications). This is to prevent consumers from being exposed to the full transport pressure reached within the pipeline. A meter and regulator station is used to regulate the Natural Gas outlet pressure, and reduce it to an acceptable value. To this end, PGN has developed a meter and regulator station (the Master Control Station) that works via remote control, directed from the control room. This project plays an active role in the PGN's commitment to achieving Operational Excellence in process management, with the focus on optimizing safety, improving efficiency and on maximizing reliability throughout the gas supply chain operations. PTZ cameras and remote monitoring To guarantee reliability and security of the control function, it is necessary to monitor the process using specialized CCTV equipment for hazardous zones. 10 PTZ units from the MPXHD series have been chosen for the realization of this surveillance system, because of their reliability in providing perfect video footage and their compliance with the security standards for operation in hazardous areas. The PTZ units are used to directly monitor the metering and regulating operations remotely from the master control room.
Round table discussion
Ten years is a long time, but it seems to pass in an instant in the world of security. In terms of technology, 2010 is ages ago. Changes in the market have been transformative during that decade, and we called on our Expert Panel Roundtable to highlight some of those changes. We asked this week’s panelists: What was the biggest change in the security industry in the 2010-2019 decade?
Public spaces provide soft targets and are often the sites of terrorist or active shooter attacks. Public spaces, by definition, require easy accessibility and unrestricted movement. Given that openness, what security technologies can provide real results? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is technology innovation impacting the security of public spaces?
Products are the building blocks of the security industry. Historically much of the industry’s sales effort has been focused on highlighting product features and functionality. At the end of the day, however, an end user is less interested in the performance of any individual system component than in the system as a whole. Lately, the industry has embraced a changing sales approach by emphasizing systems rather than products. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the benefits of a transition from selling security products to selling security solutions?
Security cameras: Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Dahua Technology Security cameras
- Hikvision Security cameras
- Hanwha Techwin Security cameras
- LILIN Security cameras
- Visionhitech Security cameras
- Bosch Security cameras
- Arecont Vision Security cameras
- Pelco Security cameras
- Vicon Security cameras
- Messoa Security cameras
- eneo Security cameras
- Sony Security cameras
- Panasonic Security cameras
- FLIR Systems Security cameras
- VIVOTEK Security cameras
- Bolide Security cameras
- TruVision Security cameras
- Vanderbilt Security cameras
- Dedicated Micros Security cameras
- Honeywell Security Security cameras