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It amazes me how in a few short years security systems have gone from simple, dumb cameras witnessing events to intelligent eyes, ears, speech and touch solutions that boost situational awareness far beyond human capabilities. It seems the only senses missing from the equation now are smell and taste. And who knows, someone might be working on those in a lab somewhere right now. But what’s really fascinating to me is how the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened a world of possibilities for...
Created more than 20 years ago, the French firm COSSILYS21 offers intelligent video-protection solutions. It equips major national banks, numerous regional banks, as well as shops. The COSSILYS21 firm is nowadays a reference in the banking sector. COSSILYS21 and FOXSTREAM have established a strong partnership for several years. When Mister Alain Ghaye, CEO and main shareholder of COSSILYS21, decided to hand over its firm to retire, the idea of bringing closer the two firms naturally made its wa...
Iris ID, a premier provider of iris recognition technology, announced its iCAM R100 face and iris cameras will be integrated into Mentalix, Inc.’s Fed Submit suite of live scan solutions. Fed Submit, currently employed by civilian and law enforcement agencies across the county, provides users with intuitive, multi-modal booking and background check systems. Mentalix, headquartered in Dallas, is an industry leader in FBI-certified identification software. Iris ID’s IrisAccess iCAM R1...
Small business owners work hard. They are often the first ones there in the morning and the last to leave at night. Even then, they likely bring their work home with them. During that time, everything they do is aimed at making their business as successful as possible. Because of this, many business owners don’t take vacations, and if they do, they spend a lot of time worrying about their business while they’re away. In both cases, the potential for burnout is tremendously high. Th...
A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and, in the last several months, the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. What I...
The Middle East security market provides a healthy opportunity for manufacturers who can capitalize on the region’s key verticals. Intersec’s 20th edition show focused more on solutions than on products, including solutions for the growing retail sector and an infrastructure market requiring ruggedized equipment to stand up to harsh environments. Intersec hosted security, safety and fire protection exhibitors from over fifty countries at Dubai’s spacious International Conventi...
Zebra Technologies Corporation, a provider of rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility, has introduced the TC20, a rugged, value-driven mobile computer designed to meet the specific needs of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). TC20 Mobile Device The TC20 is a light, durable and long-lasting mobile device developed for indoor use for SMBs in sectors such as retail and hospitality, where balancing device functionality and cost is essential. Zebra has leveraged decades of enterprise innovation in the TC20 to revolutionise the SMB market where the use of outdated pen and paper systems and fragile, underpowered consumer devices is widespread. With the rugged and lightweight TC20, SMBs can now enjoy business-ready functions such as a built-in scanner, longer battery life and better connectivity in a no compromise mobile computer that reflects the design and familiar user interface of a consumer device. Key Facts The TC20 comes in affordable models designed for 1D and 2D barcode scanning, and pairing it with the Zebra® RFD2000 UHF RFID sled easily adds UHF RFID tag reading, writing and locationing capabilities, making it ideal for retail store environments. Small businesses can now benefit from integrated enterprise quality barcode and RFID tag reading, eliminating the need for unreliable, slower and power-intensive smartphone cameras. The TC20 is designed to withstand dusty environments and accidental drops, reducing costly repairs while ensuring longer and more productive use. With Zebra OneCare™, LifeGuard™ for Android™ solution provides extended security updates over a longer lifespan of the TC20, ensuring the security of the operating system at all times. Easy to deploy without time-intensive staff training, the TC20’s bright 4.3-inch screen and Android interface provides a familiar, intuitive experience that’s easy to use out of the box. Available in all-touch or “touch and keyboard” form factors, the TC20 allows staff more time to focus on customers. Designed as an enterprise line of business smartphone, the TC20 is powered by Mobility DNA™ and its unique ecosystem of software such as Datawedge, StageNow and Mobility Extensions (Mx) which helps streamline deployment management and troubleshooting. Using Zebra’s Workforce Connect Push-To-Talk Express, staff can perform voice communications over wireless LAN to communicate one-on-one or in groups, allowing them to coordinate and react to changing needs in real time and improve customer service. A wide range of accessories, such as a snap-on power pack to support continuous use, hand straps, holsters and a snap-on trigger handle, allows staff to use the TC20 for a wide range of tasks with reduced strain and improved efficiency. Benefits For Smaller Businesses Bryan Bassett, Research Analyst, Mobile Enterprise Device Solutions, IDC said: “Zebra’s TC20 provides a compelling case for smaller businesses to set aside familiar, consumer-centric mobile devices in favor of a dedicated, versatile and purpose-built device. Improved battery life, durability and better scanning all have the means of improving productivity for workers in a wide range of industries and sectors.” Joe White, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Mobile Computing, Zebra Technologies, said: “Zebra offers the industry’s largest range of Android mobile computers and the introduction of the TC20 enterprise smartphone reinforces our position as a leader in the enterprise Android space. Until now, small- and medium-sized businesses had limited options: either struggling with the risk and frustration of using consumer devices or running their operations manually with pen and paper. The cost-effective TC20 gives SMBs a better choice while delivering a powerful customer experience.”
By combining data from Zebra RFID-tagged items, March Networks Searchlight allows users to conduct searches centrally from networked locations and simultaneously across multiple locations March Networks, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, is pleased to announce the integration of its powerful March Networks Searchlight for retail software with high-performance fixed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology from Zebra Technologies. The integrated solution enables organizations to enhance loss prevention capabilities and visually verify events to draw additional business insights. “Every day we speak with corporate leaders who are starting to treat video as a core component of their technology strategy,” said Jeff Corrall, Integrations Business Development Manager, March Networks. “Integrated video can provide an almost unlimited view of the business, capturing everything from point-of-sale (POS) engagement, to banking transactions, to what went out the back door.” Enhanced Central Monitoring For Retail By combining data from Zebra RFID-tagged items with high-definition surveillance video, March Networks Searchlight makes it possible for companies to quickly search events by date, time, brand, product type, serial number or Electronic Product Code (EPC). They can then access the associated video with a single click to see exactly when and how an item entered or left a location. Users can conduct searches centrally from any networked location and simultaneously across multiple locations. For example, an organization can discover in minutes the last time a specific, high-value item was present in a store or warehouse by searching on the product serial number and reviewing the recorded video. Similarly, it can use the same search capability to resolve more systemic – and potentially costly – issues, such as tracking the 10 or 12 items reported missing from inventory at the end of each month. The Future Of Monitoring And Tracking Stock In the future, the tight integration of RFID, POS and video data could enable automated alerts in the Searchlight software. This would allow companies to proactively respond to anomalies such as high-value items being removed from a location without first being captured on an order, or the need to replenish best-selling items on store or warehouse shelves. March Networks will showcase the integrated Searchlight for Retail solution in Booth 1614 at the ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 12-15 in Orlando, Florida. Save
AXIS Companion line is a complete professional security system for small businesses helping owners focus on enhancing business Axis Communications will be demonstrating its newly launched video surveillance solution at IFSEC International 2016, the AXIS Companion line, developed to address the small business segment. Responding to the market’s need for a simple, cost-effective solution, it has been crafted for small businesses such as shops, restaurants and offices that have a basic need for video surveillance to secure employees, customers, premises and assets. Axis experts will be on hand to showcase how the Companion line can alleviate the security burden for company owners, enabling them to instead focus on enhancing their core business. AXIS Companion Line For Small Businesses The AXIS Companion line works straight out-of-the-box and has everything a small business requires for a complete, professional security system. At the core of the new line is the AXIS Companion Recorder, an 8-channel network video recorder with a built-in PoE switch for cost savings and ease of installation. The installation process has also been streamlined with an update to the AXIS Companion video management software. The upgrade includes cellphone app functionality for iOS or Android devices, removing the need for a PC during system setup. Axis Companion E1000 The Axis team will showcase the new Companion line on stand E1000 at IFSEC, which is being held between 21st and 23rd June at London Excel. Axis experts will also be on hand to offer presentations looking at how the Internet of Things is set to revolutionise the way the security industry operates; the use of video surveillance in the retail environment; how sustainable solutions are the future for the surveillance industry, and how Axis is staying ahead of the competition with solutions, such as Zipstream data compression technology. Axis experts will also be on hand to offer presentations looking at how the Internet of Things is set to revolutionize the way the security industry operates “This year’s IFSEC will be exciting in terms of the solutions being showcased by Axis and its partners,” states Daren Lang, Business Development Manager at Axis Communications. “Today’s security solutions have much higher demands placed upon them in regards of openness and interoperability. Axis will showcase how this looks today with a fully networked and integrated range of cameras, access control, audio and software solutions.” Daren Lang continues, “We’ve entered the small systems market with the fantastic new AXIS Companion line of products, cementing our position in the mid-size market with the introduction of new product areas to complement our current video offering. We’re also continuing to innovate in the enterprise market through work with our development partners. Regardless of where your interest lies, there is something for everyone on the Axis stand at IFSEC.” Three Axis partners will be on hand to discuss their technology and how it integrates with Axis. Morphean will present its Security-as-a-Service solution, VIDEOPROTECTOR, a end-user solution. Avaya will showcase Fabric Connect, a service that helps simplify a network to reduce operational costs, allowing better agility and increased efficiency. Finally, Assa Abloy will be available to talk about how ASSA ABLOY Aperio® wireless lock technology can provide businesses the flexibility to add access control features to almost every opening in any environment.
Software ‘Next-Generation 9-1-1’ manages critical incidents to flow from public to emergency personnel Motorola Solutions, Inc. , a leading provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for public safety and commercial customers, announced that it has acquired Emergency CallWorks, a privately held leading provider of Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) call-taking software for public safety. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.“Smart public safety starts with accurately routing and addressing emergency calls from the community,” said Bob Schassler, executive vice president, Solutions and Services, Motorola Solutions. “Emergency CallWorks’ solution provides an advanced, next-generation version of 911 that will be capable of moving beyond voice-only calls by processing multimedia information into the call flow. Its browser-based workstation architecture eliminates proprietary 911 switching hardware, simplifies operations and provides cost-effective system implementation, allowing for remote monitoring, service and support, with continuous delivery of innovative new features.” NG9-1-1 systems help police; fire and emergency medical teams better manage critical incidents by allowing more information to flow seamlessly from the public, through a 911 network and command center, to emergency personnel. Transforming situational awareness for officers on the front line can ultimately improve safety for both the public and first responders. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Emergency CallWorks is tackling some of the toughest public safety dilemmas by pioneering the consolidation of NG9-1-1 call-taking into a single, simplified software solution. It can be deployed either as an on-site implementation or as a remote hosted solution, making it scalable to even the smallest public safety agencies, which enables access to the latest technology at a predictable price point.“Together, Motorola Solutions and Emergency CallWorks have a clear, shared vision for the potential of NG9-1-1, and we are excited about the opportunity to accelerate adoption in the marketplace through Motorola Solutions,” said Craig Parker, CEO of Emergency CallWorks, who will continue to lead the Emergency CallWorks team at Motorola Solutions. “Our combined portfolio will provide unmatched incident-to-resolution capabilities for 911 operators and emergency responders.” “Smart public safety starts with accurately routing and addressing emergency calls from the community” Motorola Solutions’ acquisition of Emergency CallWorks is part of its strategy to advance mission-critical communications by connecting public safety and commercial customers with real-time data and intelligence like never before.“The acquisition of Emergency CallWorks reinforces Motorola Solutions’ commitment to helping its customers – from the largest state government to the smallest municipality – realise the full potential of NG9-1-1,” said Schassler. “We are excited to expand Motorola Solutions’ thought leadership in this important segment with Emergency CallWorks’ proven technology and talent.” Motorola Solutions continues to deliver command-and-control capabilities that enable public safety agencies to focus on their mission and not the technology. The company will continue to offer hardware-based 911 management through its partners to its customers who prefer that solution. The acquisition of Emergency CallWorks provides Motorola Solutions’ customers with a new option for evolving the technology in their command centers and helps public safety answering points prepare for the next phase of NG9-1-1 services. Emergency CallWorks now is a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola Solutions.
In 2017 we saw a lot of new construction projects, and many existing buildings upgraded their security systems to include high-resolution cameras and better-quality recording systems. Because the economy is stronger, many businesses and municipalities increased their security budgets for large-scale and public projects due to terrorism threats in public places. Smart Cities Became More Popular One of the bigger trends we saw in 2017 is the growing popularity of smart cities and the adoption of public safety systems in both North American and Europe. This includes many cities creating wireless network infrastructure for public WiFi connectivity and for their surveillance network. Oftentimes smart cities develop because of an initial safe city initiative and then cities start to leverage the same infrastructure for more applications. Impact Of Terrorism Unfortunately, we saw a growth in terrorism attacks in 2017 in Europe and the United States. This has had a significant impact on security in public spaces where large groups of people congregate for entertainment, shopping and sporting events, all of which are now potential targets. We started to see cities install bollards on streets to prevent trucks from driving up on people on sidewalks and video surveillance systems so that police can monitor public spaces in real time. An example was the SuperBowl LIVE venue in Houston, which held several large outdoor events. To help monitor these events the city deployed a mmWave wireless network system for the surveillance cameras which were installed to monitor this area. Cybersecurity A Growing Concern In addition to terrorism threats, cybersecurity has become a growing concern and focus. More and more manufacturers, including Siklu, have begun to develop secure systems that are extremely difficult for hackers to gain access to because an encrypted network is no longer enough. The devices on the network also have to be secure. There is a growing shift towards younger generations wanting to live in the city where they have access to public transportation, restaurants and entertainment Looking ahead to 2018, the security market should expect to see continued growth in the use of video analytics for proactive surveillance purposes and more technology that leverages the intelligence of this data. Also, there is a growing shift towards younger generations wanting to live in the city where they have access to public transportation, restaurants and entertainment. They also expect to live in a safer environment and this is where the smart city approach comes into play with the introduction of WiFi in parks and public spaces, along with surveillance systems. These two solutions and services can now sit on the same network, thanks to better connectivity options and interference free solutions, such as mmWave wireless radios. Embracing New Technology Next year the winners will be those who embrace new technology and do not solely focus on security. It’s important to embrace other IoT devices and recognize that video as a service is growing in demand. Cloud-based solutions are also growing for both video storage and monitoring management systems. The losers will be those who are not willing to embrace new technology, those who offer poor service and those who don’t expand their business to include professional services. Siklu Success Siklu’s security business has doubled year over year, and there are now more than 100 cities globally with a Siklu radio deployed. This is because there is an increasing acceptance of our mmWave wireless technology and people are starting to recognize the benefits our systems provide when compared with installing new fiber or a traditional WiFi system. We recently introduced a new point-to-multipoint solution called MultiHaul™, which utilizes immune narrow beams within a point-to-multipoint network topology and enables interference free connectivity and complete security. The solution’s 90-degree scanning antenna auto-aligns multiple terminal units from a single base unit, serving multiple locations while reducing installation times to minutes instead of hours by a single person and the total cost of ownership for end users.
An increase in spending on security, more focus on data security, higher demand for integrated solutions, and steady progress to move beyond the pixel race were key trends in 2017. As we look forward to 2018, we will continue to see development in these areas as well as greater impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the video security market. Potential Of Video Security Data More and more, users are realizing that the real issues in video security are not about pixel counts. Managing increased amounts of data and making this data relevant and valuable for security and non-security applications are becoming increasingly important. The logical next step for security, and one we will see progress in throughout 2018, is to enable users to interpret the video data and repurpose it to improve levels of security and provide business advantages that go beyond security. This is achieved by adding intelligence to video with analytics. As users understand the potential of video security data, we will see higher demand for it to be integrated with other security and communications technology, to be used to enable smarter business decisions, and to fuel IoT applications. Smart City And Retail Applications For example, cameras with on-board video analytics can be used to trigger audio communications to increase security and safety when an incident occurs. Data from intelligent cameras can be processed in the cloud to provide retailers with information on how shoppers interact with displays to improve sales. And in smart cities, video data can help to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety, to control lighting based on the presence of people, or to plan transit schedules based on people counting. With the increase in connected video devices, data security becomes essential. It’s only possible to rethink what video security can do if the systems enabling this trend are trusted and secured against cyber threats. Data security measures will become a central topic in video system sales discussions in 2018, with priority placed on solutions with end-to-end security. Video security is changing, and it will be exciting to see new developments and capabilities in 2018 as we rethink what video security can do!
The term “smart city” gets thrown around a lot nowadays, but as different technologies that strive to be defined in this way are adopted by different countries globally, the meaning of this phrase gets lost in translation. The simplest way to define a “smart city” is that it is an urban area that uses different types of data collecting sensors to manage assets and resources efficiently. One of the most obvious types of “data collecting sensor” is the video camera, whether that camera is part of a city’s existing CCTV infrastructure, a camera in a shopping mall or even a police car’s dash camera. The information gathered by video cameras can be used with two purposes in mind, firstly: making people’s lives more efficient, for example by managing traffic, and secondly (and arguably more importantly): making people’s lives safer. Live Streaming Video All The Time, Everywhere In the smart and safe city, traditional record-only video cameras are of limited use. Yes, they can be used to collect video which can be used for evidence after a crime has taken place, but there is no way that this technology could help divert cars away from an accident to avoid traffic building up, or prevent a crime from taking place in the first place. However, streaming live video from a camera that isn’t connected to an infrastructure via costly fiber optic cabling has proven challenging for security professionals, law enforcement and city planners alike. This is because it isn’t viable to transmit video reliably over cellular networks, in contrast to simply receiving it. Video Transmission Challenges Transmitting video normally results in freezing and buffering issues which can hinder efforts to fight crime and enable flow within a city, as these services require real-time, zero latency video without delays. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of any scene where cameras are present to support immediate decision making and smart city processes. The information gatheredby video cameras can beused to make people’s lives more efficient, and to make people’s lives safer There are many approaches to transmitting video over cellular. We’ve developed a specialist codec (encoding and decoding algorithm) that can provide secure and reliable video over ultra-low bandwidths and can therefore cope when networks become constrained. Another technique, which is particularly useful if streaming video from police body worn cameras or dash cams that move around, is to create a local wireless “bubble” at the scene, using Wi-Fi or mesh radio systems to provide local high-bandwidth communications that can communicate with a central location via cellular or even satellite communications. Enhanced City Surveillance Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means that video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control center and matching faces against any watch lists that the control center owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. Identifying Known Criminals This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city center where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police. Facial recognition technology captures and streams live back to a control center, matching faces against any watch lists that the control center owns In an ideal world where the police had an automated, electronic workflow, the police officer nearest to the location of the incident would be identified by GPS and would be told by the control room where to go and what to do. Most police forces aren’t quite at this technological level yet, and would probably rely on communicating via radio in order to send the nearest response team to the scene. As well as this, shopping malls could create a database from analog records of known shoplifters to identify criminals as soon as they entered the building. This would be even more effective if run co-operatively between all shopping malls and local businesses in an area, and would not only catch any known shoplifters acting suspiciously, but would act as a deterrent from shoplifting in the first place. Live Streaming For Law Enforcement As mentioned above, live streaming video from CCTV cameras can help the police fight crime more proactively rather than reactively. This can be enhanced even further if combined with live streaming video from police car dash cams and police body worn cameras. If video was streamed from all of these sources to a central HQ, such as a police operations center, the force would be able to have full situational awareness throughout an incident. This would mean that, if need be, officers could be advised on the best course of action, and additional police or other emergency services could be deployed instantly if needed. Incorporated with facial recognition, this would also mean that police could instantly identify if they were dealing with known criminals or terrorists. While they would still have to confirm the identity of the person with questioning or by checking their identification, this is still more streamlined than describing what a person looks like over a radio and then ops trying to manually identify if the person is on a watch list. The smart, safe city is possible today – for one, if live video streaming capabilities are deployed they can enable new levels of flow in the city. With the addition of facial recognition, cities will be safer than ever before and law enforcement and security teams will be able to proactively stop crime before it happens by deterring criminal activity from taking place at all.
Global positioning systems (GPS) have a role to play to combat shoplifting, especially in the fight against the growing trend of large-scale organized retail crime (ORC). Todd Morris, founder and CEO of BrickHouse Security, recently explained to me how GPS fits into the fight against retail crime. A variety of GPS devices – from small “micro” sensors to plug-in devices for cars to wired devices – can all be tracked using the same cloud-based service, which manages the devices. GPS devices provided by BrickHouse and others can be inserted in retail goods by a drug retailer, department store or even by a pharmaceutical manufacturer. The devices are often inserted into expensive luxury goods. In each case, the industry pays BrickHouse or another supplier for the GPS devices, which allow the goods to be tracked by police. Many law enforcement organizations have access to the cloud service, which they use for ORC investigations. “They’re not just trying to thwart the individual shoplifter, but organized crime,” says Morris. “It’s fencing that creates the demand. We help law enforcement officers shut down the fence.” The platform is designed to promote collaboration between retailers and the police. In each jurisdiction, each GPS tracker is linked to a police investigator who gets an alert of its location. It’s a good example of the benefits of approaching a problem from multiple angles. While out shopping, we see a lot of investment by retailers in preventing shoplifting – video cameras, inventory sensors, parking lot barriers to prevent smash-and-grabs. If all these measures fail, it’s good to know there’s a chance of solving the crime by following the stolen goods.
Sometimes companies want to buy their physical security software separate from the servers it runs on. Other times, companies prefer to buy an “appliance” – a purpose-built machine that is perfectly matched with the software it is running. The latter category is especially popular among small- and medium-sized business customers. For example, preconfigured video management appliances contribute an element of simplicity. That’s why you see video software companies – Genetec, Milestone, and others – coming out with pre-loaded appliances that match up their software systems with just the right hardware to optimize (and simplify) operation for small- and mid-sized end user customers. Pre-configured appliances are also used in access control applications. It was this trend that brought MBX Systems to the ASIS 2014 show in Atlanta. MBX is seeking to become the “hardware arm” of software companies in the security market; in effect, to provide a soup-to-nuts solution that matches software with the right combination of off-the-shelf and customized hardware to yield a pre-loaded and preconfigured appliance solution. The company incorporates off-the-shelf computer servers from manufacturers such as HP and also customizes any cosmetic or mechanical components a system might need. “Our focus at ASIS was to attract other exhibitors to our booth,” says Chris Schmidt, MBX Systems director of sales and marketing. “We were showing solutions that are preloaded onto a server or a PC. What we have found in the past is that exhibitors want to be able to see that you are there and investing in the same shows they are investing in. Then, at their leisure, they come to your booth and get a better understanding.” For dealer/installers, installing a single, pre-configured and pre-loaded system can be a huge time-saver. Also, using a pre-loaded system, there is less price transparency so end users are less likely to expect dealers to match low-margin pricing of generic server equipment. End users also have one company to deal with warranty claims. “Customers want something they can take out of the box, put it in a rack or closet and, boom, you have what you need,” says Schmidt.“They don’t want a whole data center.” "We work with the software companies to hone in on what’s the best combination of hardware and software, adding things along the way, and then private-labeling or branding it" Schmidt compares MBX Systems’ role to that of Foxconn, the Chinese company that works behind-the-scenes with Apple to make products such as the iPad and iPhone easy to use right out of the box. “We work with the software companies to hone in on what’s the best combination of hardware and software, adding things along the way, and then private-labeling or branding it,” he says. MBX Systems also handles the support and after-sale warranty. Customers MBX already partners with related to the security market include Agilence and BAE Systems. Chris Nietzold, MBX Systems’ senior platform engineer, sees a trend toward systems that require higher bandwidth and greater performance requirements. Given the trend, there is a higher likelihood that software could be deployed on a hardware system that is already feeling resource strain or may not be adequate for the application. Pre-loaded hardware prevents the problem. “They want something they can push right to the edge with bandwidth and performance,” says Nietzold, and custom-matching the right software and hardware delivers on that expectation. “You don’t want your security system competing with general computer systems,” adds Jeff Luckett, MBX’s director of engineering. In the case of retail stores, for example, there may be an appliance configuration that is consistent across hundreds of locations. “It depends on the software vendor, but some want each system to be turnkey. We have to input all that information so the store manager can just plug it in,” says Nietzold. Smaller end users have historically been among the final hold-outs using analog technology. The perceived (and real) complexity of integrating IP camera systems are an obstacle to implementing the technology, especially among companies that may not have IT-savvy staff members to trouble-shoot the technology – and even among dealer/installers whose IT resources may be limited at best. The role of companies like MBX Systems will likely increase in our market as dealers and end users demand IP solutions that are as easy to implement as analog.
Edesix, a provider of Body Worn Cameras (BWC), announces that it has teamed up with retailer Asda to enhance in-store security. After a successful trial, which began in 2016, there are now over 900 Edesix VideoBadges being utilized in over 250 sites nationwide, with more growth expected in the near future. Edesix collaborated with CBES, Asda's preferred security installer, to design and install a tailored wearable CCTV deployment system perfectly suited to the retail giant's needs. Edesix and CBES worked closely at Asda's national security center and across four store deployments to provide them with the knowledge and expertise so the cameras could be rolled out in the remaining stores with minimum impact on store efficiency. Improved Colleague Security Asda has been able to improve colleague security, diffuse aggressive and volatile situations and reduce valued investigation time This system, which is intuitive to use and requires minimum training, has enabled staff to integrate the cameras into their daily working processes with minimal fuss. As a result of this partnering strategy, which relied on both the innovative nature of Edesix's technology and communication between all parties, Asda has been able to improve colleague security, diffuse aggressive and volatile situations and reduce valued investigation time, thus reducing costs. Since the deployment, Asda has proven the viability of these cameras by securing numerous convictions relating to theft and violence against staff. Confrontation preventer Richie McBride, managing director of Edesix, explains: "Asda, along with CBES, identified the need to re-think its key security policy around challenging aggressive behavior towards staff. In searching for a technology partner, CBES chose Edesix as their BWC provider, to deploy initially to the most affected stores, eventually rolling out to over 250 sites across the UK. The aim was to improve the safety of colleagues in public facing roles and shoppers within the stores, while producing compelling evidence when needed." The Body Worn Cameras act as a confrontation preventer, as it is proven that members of the public are far less aggressive to staff members" McBride adds: "The Body Worn Cameras act as a confrontation preventer, as it is proven that members of the public are far less aggressive to staff members if they know they are being filmed." Winning major contracts Edesix, which was recently acquired by US-based security specialists Vigilant Solutions, has enjoyed a great deal of success lately, ranging from winning some major contracts with the likes of UK prisons, Scotrail and South Australian Police, to being named in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table. Edesix currently supplies markets across the globe, through direct sales and international partners, to geographies including the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, the Middle East and Australasia.
Checkpoint pioneered RF technology’s use in the retail industry and is now ushering in a new era through the introduction of a brand new electronics platform that is resetting the boundaries of what is achievable, both in terms of antenna design and functionality. Simon Edgar, Senior Director EAS Systems & Software at Checkpoint Systems, gives some information about the thought process behind the new NEO system. 1. Checkpoint is noted as inventing the first Radio Frequency-based Electronic Article Surveillance system, what would you say has been the main driver for you to re-think the whole Radio Frequency design? “Checkpoint has a long reputation of delivering quality RF hardware and labels. We have maintained our position as the market leader as we’re always looking for ways to improve the solutions we offer. That said, there are only so many antenna designs and innovations that you can come up with, while working from the same blue print. With the rapid rate of change retailers are having to adapt to, it made sense that our solutions were able to cope with these changes, particularly the increasing demand for connectivity between multiple new technologies and sensors. That’s when we started to think outside of the box, about redefining the antenna design – so that this valuable piece of hardware is fit for the rigours of today’s retail environment.” 2. How did you set about creating NEO? “Discussions about a new electronics platform started a couple of years ago. As technology changes, the options to adapt our electronics platform also open up, so we started to re-think the traditional RF loop concept. Bricks and mortar stores are striving to be more technologically advanced and connected in everything they do, in order to bring new customers through the doors and maximize their sales.As technology changes, the options to adapt our electronics platform also open up, so we started to re-think the traditional RF loop concept" So it made sense to apply the same philosophy to our antenna portfolio. We’re extremely proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time. It demonstrates that we’re at the forefront of retail technology and not many vendors can have a market ready product available within just eight months.” 3. How many people have been involved in its development? “The project was split in two, with an electronics development team and an antenna design team. All together the project has involved Checkpoint employees from around the globe, including 20 engineers, 10 technical designers and the entire senior management team of Checkpoint. This doesn’t include marketing, sales and our customers – who have been involved throughout the process. It has been a true team effort and we have combined the wealth of retail experience and technical know-how within our business to create something really special.” 4. Acousto-Magnetic (AM) technology has presented some benefits to retailers over Radio Frequency, including wider aisles. Why have you continued to invest in RF? “We believe that RF technology has more benefits than Acousto-Magnetic, including cost, detection and energy usage. It has always been our preferred option for antenna, labels and source tagging – where we protect manufactured goods straight out of the factory. The latter often involves a wide selection of differing tag sizes and formats, and when we started to investigate new ways to lay out the electronics, previous performance boundaries related to tag size started to melt away. We soon realized that the NEO platform would enable us to incorporate new connected technology, while early test results showed the detection rates in the new electronics configuration was outstanding, enabling retailers to achieve the same distance between antennas that AM technology provides.” 5. You are using NEO to develop sensors for different vertical markets, why is it important that different stores have different types of antenna? “When shopping on the high street or in malls, you usually spend a few hours browsing. Stores spend a lot of time to make their displays appealing and ensuring entrances are as open as possible to entice people in. As such there has been increasing demand for antenna designs that are minimalistic and deliver a clear eye line to the displays, rather than customers’ not being able to see past the point of entry/exit security systems. In contrast, grocery or DIY stores tend to have more frequent footfall, often with trolleys. Designs for these environments need to be sturdy enough to take a few knocks and last a good few years under these harsher conditions. Thanks to the NEO electronics platform, the scope for varied designs has opened up dramatically, so over the next 12 months expect to see some exciting design concepts that can be utilized across the retail industry.” 6. Do you see the adoption of RFID speeding up across Europe, and is that why being able to upgrade to RFID is important? “RFID has been talked about for a while and many retailers are now beginning to adopt this technology. We are also seeing the emergence of Bluetooth and NFC, while some retailers are experimenting with other wireless technology, Chatbots, VR, AR and AI. The customer journey is more complex and a diverse range of solutions are being created that help stores communicate with customers and improve the shopper experience.Over the next 12 months expect to see some exciting design concepts that can be utilised across the retail industry" So really, it’s not just about upgrading to RFID anymore, it’s about all round connectivity. By offering a wide range of ‘intelligent’ options, our NEO electronics present retailers with the ability to upgrade at any time; we are expanding retailer options beyond what has ever been possible with entry/exit systems.” 7. Connectivity is a key USP of NEO; how are retailers looking to connect their stores and what are the common challenges? “As we just touched on, connectivity is playing an ever increasingly important role in the retail industry. Different technologies can be combined to provide wider information and hugely valuable, actionable data for retailers. NEO will become an active contributor to this data flow and will provide many different insights that will help a retail store run more effectively, not only in reducing losses, but improving customer engagement.” 8. 75% of retailers globally say their major investments in the next decade will be in in-store tech. Why is it important retailers introduce new technologies, like NEO, into their stores now? “Recent studies have shown that bricks and mortar stores are still an important part of the customer journey. In fact, a large percentage of shoppers still want to visit stores despite the ease of shopping online. But however they choose to shop, their expectations remain similar – they want to easily find what they are looking for, they expect instant customer service, and, perhaps most importantly, they want an easy checkout. This is where technology, like NEO, becomes a key part of a physical store’s modern day infrastructure. Delivering actionable, real time data to staff in-store, can significantly improve the consumer experience, keeping customers loyal and the store relevant in this new landscape.”
In this ever-expanding era of artificial intelligence (AI), Deep Learning will soon become the foundational technology for the security industry. Technologies that “learn” will become more common and more powerful. This trend will strengthen critical security efforts in every sphere. Hikvision’s three camera models equipped with deep learning algorithms will be introduced in the smart retail industry. In the retail business, with the growing popularity of shopping online, the retail sector has felt the disruptive impact of Internet e-commerce more than most industries. Some have reacted to online competition by closing physical stores, but others are attempting to overcome challenges through technological transformation. Traditional retail lacks intelligent tools for accurate data collection and visualization, making it unable to provide a basis for business decision-making at the shop. Hikvision Smart Retail Solution Hikvision has developed a Smart Retail Solution that provides comprehensive CCTV security to protect staff and customers and assist loss prevention. Not only that, this smart retail solution features data collection and analytics for enhancing business value. Benefiting from deep learning technology, three intelligent functions for retail support include people-counting to track customer traffic and volume, heat mapping to know the popularity of goods in the shopping area, and queue detection to monitor the queuing situation in real-time.\ Dual-Lens People-Counting Camera Hikvision’s Dual-Lens People-Counting Camera provides accurate customer counting and generates customer flow trends There is an old saying in the trade industry: “small profits but quick turnover”. And footfall is a “KPI” – key profit indicator – that can help make that turnover. Compared to e-commerce, traditional offline retail stores lack the capabilities to accurately calculate customer flow. Hikvision’s Dual-Lens People-Counting Camera provides accurate customer counting and generates customer flow trends to evaluate performance and strategic initiatives. However, in a real-world scenario, shadows or other objects may easily cause miscounts. The Dual-Lens People-Counting Camera, equipped with two cameras and powered by a deep learning algorithm, easily overcomes such interferences to deliver highly accurate people-counting data. A key advantage of deep learning algorithms over surveillance cameras’ vision algorithms is that deep learning can be continuously trained and improved with better and more datasets. This means the longer it works for you, the smarter it gets. Human Detection Feature Featuring binocular stereo vision, 3D people detection, and height filtering technologies, the Dual-Lens People-Counting Camera is able to accurately distinguish human beings from non-human objects in the background. Hence, these cameras distinguish human beings from other objects and movements in the background. By analyzing customer flow data, store management can optimize the allocation of the workforce to reach higher profits and ensure better customer service. Store managers can schedule staff strategically for peak and off-peak hours. Furthermore, they can also develop strategic marketing activities to attract customers by analyzing the data of incoming rates (entering vs. passing by). Heat Mapping Hikvision’s Heat Mapping function allows retailers to determine the amount of time shoppers spend in specific areas of a store When customers enter the store, retailers are concerned about what merchandise customers are interested in. Before that, what's more important is how to get what route they walk and where they stop. With Hikvision’s Heat Mapping function, retailers can determine the amount of time shoppers spend in specific areas of a store, identify hot spots and dead zones, and measure the number of people who actually shop for specific products, rather than just casually walk by. Heat Mapping is used to monitor and measure the size of target traffic in a region. It is a graphical representation of data represented by colors, and it is usually used to analyze the visit times and dwell times of customers in a specified area. The Heat Map function is often used in shopping malls, supermarkets, museums, etc., and can find customers' preferences over time through heat maps, offering insight how to best place items and design the store layout. Fisheye Cameras As a representative product, Hikvision’s Fisheye cameras, equipped with heat mapping function, not only capture a panoramic high-definition image but also learn about heat conditions in different regions within a store. In spacious areas, fewer cameras means reduced installation and labor fees. Hikvision’s fisheye cameras are ideal for these areas, maximizing monitoring views and image quality insurance. Queue Detection Hikvision Smart Retail Solution is designed to help retailers bring offline stores into a digital world In the retail industry, waiting time is one of the most important factors affecting the customer experience. Hikvision’s Queue Detection function can help retailers manage checkout lines. When too many customers enter a queue, it can notify management to open a new checkout line. More specifically, Hikvision’ queue detection cameras can monitor the queuing situation in real-time. Firstly, cameras count the number of people in each queue, and then track the dwell time of each customer. Once it is found that the number of people in queue is too many, or the average dwell time of customers is too long, an alarm will be triggered to prompt a response. Store management will be reminded to open checkout windows to reduce waiting times, improving transaction efficiency and the entire shopping experience. Hikvision Smart Retail Solution is designed to help retailers bring offline stores into a digital world, allowing data to support management and operations. And it will promote retailers’ technological transformation in response to increased industry competition through the use of innovative retail technology.
National Business Crime Solution (NBCS), a not-for-profit organization that enables the sharing of data between law enforcement agencies and the business community in order to reduce crime, is celebrating the success of the very first Business Impact Reduction Day (BIRD)—also known as Operation BIRD—an industry-led initiative that is designed to target and manage the effect of business related crime activity. Police-Assisted Retail Surveillance The initial exercise took place at Westfield shopping center in London, where 51 security and loss prevention professionals from across the industry joined forces with the police service and retailers to target prolific and persistent offenders. The brainchild of NBCS, Operation BIRD was supported by the Metropolitan Police’s Business Crime Hub, National Business Crime Centre, Territorial Support Group, London Borough of Newham and Westfield Stratford City—all of which played a vital role in planning and executing the maneuver. The day began with a full briefing and the identification of persistent offenders, who were to be apprehended in a safe manner with no violence. In addition, a team of ‘super-recognizers’ from the Metropolitan Police was present to identify any other offenders on the police radar.Perhaps the most significant, and unexpected, result of the day concerned the apprehension of a 15-year-old female from the north of England Officers in this unit have the ability to instantly place a familiar face, a skill that some researchers estimate is present in just one percent of the population. Successful Implementation With Civil Recovery Operation BIRD proved to be a remarkable success with 18 detentions and various actions including penalty notices, community resolutions and civil recoveries, as well as a number of arrests and charges. Perhaps the most significant, and unexpected, result of the day concerned the apprehension of a 15-year-old female from the north of England, who it transpired was the victim of child sexual exploitation and was being coerced into shoplifting. She is now under the auspices of the child protection authorities and currently in care. Retail Security Education and Training NBCS managing director, Dan Hardy, commented, “The story of how this vulnerable young person came to be shoplifting in Westfield shopping center was truly shocking. It has brought into sharp focus why safeguarding intervention requires sensitive and considerate handling when dealing with the victims of child sexual exploitation. "It has also highlighted the need for security service providers to educate their officers on this subject and implement consistent training. NBCS will be looking to drive this forward with its industry partners, while further Operation BIRD activities will take place around the country in places that NBCS intelligence suggests are crime hotspots.” Detective chief inspector, Georgina Barnard, leader of the National Business Crime Centre, was equally impressed with the results. She concluded, “Operation BIRD has proved what can be achieved when relevant parties join forces to target and prevent the impact of business related crime activity. I applaud NBCS for this initiative and look forward to working on similar activities in the future.”
It has been proven that fitting rooms present retailers with a great opportunity to sell more merchandise, but can also act as a “safe haven’ for dishonest shoppers to conceal garments and steal them. According to the most recent Global Retail Theft Barometer, apparel retail specialists have one of the highest shrinkage rates globally, accounting for 1.8% of sales. To help minimize the risk of this concealment theft, Checkpoint Systems, a global leading provider of source to shopper solutions to the retail industry, has announced the launch of a new solution – ApparelGUARD. Magnet Detection Technology Available as part of the connected store Solution Application EVOLVE-Store™, this unique magnet detection technology is installed in individual fitting rooms. It identifies when someone carrying an illegally obtained security tag detacher enters the cubicle. It then looks for its movement as a dishonest shopper attempts to remove tags from merchandise. The alarm is triggered when ApparelGUARD antennas have sensed both events – minimizing false alarms. An alert is sent via the EVOLVE-Store Live App to ensure the incident is responded to by a member of staff. The solution is easy to install and can protect up to 10 fitting rooms, either as a standalone application or it can be networked into an existing EAS infrastructure using a special API. Peace Of Mind For Retailers Simon Edgar, Senior Director - Product Management at Checkpoint Systems, from Checkpoint Systems commented: “ApparelGUARD represents a new way fitting rooms are protected. Retailers are aware of the conundrum posed by allowing shoppers to try merchandise on in-store, but allowing them to do so is a key element of providing an interactive experience and it’s proven to increase sales. This solution will give retailers peace of mind, providing a visual deterrent to make dishonest customers think twice before using them as a haven to detach tags.”
Recent times have seen Saudi Arabia experience development at a remarkable rate, but key industry sectors have not always been able to keep pace. While certain industries grew by leaps and bounds (architecture, technology), others took longer to find their stride. Take, for instance, the retail industry; up until the early 2000s, Saudi Arabia was still new to the idea of North American shopping malls—most people still preferred shopping at traditional neighborhood convenience stores. Arabian Centres: Developer And Operator One company single-handedly changed that: Arabian Centres. Founded in 2002 as a subsidiary of the Fawaz Alhokair Group, it is the developer and operator of 19 malls in highly-populated cities, with over 1 million square metres of gross leasable area (GLA) under its management. This makes Arabian Centres the largest mall operator in the Kingdom. It has been an unprecedented change in the retail landscape of Saudi Arabia, and it shows no signs of stopping, with an additional 12 malls currently in development to help Arabian Centres reach its goal of 2 million GLA in the next 3 years. But just a few years prior, Arabian Centres was facing a significant challenge to its future operations: Security compliance. Upgrading Security Systems In 2015, changes in local security laws required Arabian Centres to upgrade their security systems across all 19 malls. Local security standards for video surveillance in retail establishments increased, requiring higher image quality and performance. Arabian Centres needed to meet those new requirements quickly to ensure their malls were up to code in order to continue operations.Local security standards for video surveillance increased, requiring higher image quality and performance Arabian Centres needed a partner that would not only help them satisfy applicable legal requirements, but also provide them with the hardware and software to meet their own personal standards of quality as a top-ranked market entity. Moreover, with 19 malls currently operational and more coming in the future, any security solutions they adopted would have to be scalable and versatile enough to meet a wide variety of unique scenarios. Upgrading To Avigilon Beginning in 2015, and continuing to the present day, the overall video surveillance system of Arabian Centres has been upgraded to the Avigilon surveillance solution. In the first phase of upgrades, Avigilon surveillance solutions were installed in 12 of the 19 malls; for phase two, the remaining seven malls will be upgraded with Avigilon solutions, with all malls expected to contain Avigilon solutions by 2018. Avigilon solutions that have been implemented: HD Dome Cameras – superior image resolution, self-learning video analytics and excellent low-light performance HD Pro Cameras – with up to 7K (30 MP) resolution, this camera line captures detailed images over vast areas and provides wide area coverage options Avigilon Control Center (ACC) Enterprise video management software – enhances the way security professionals interpret, manage and interact with high-definition surveillance video Network Video Recorders (NVRs) – Avigilon NVRs include pre-installed ACC™ software, high-performance recording technology, and a three-year Avigilon warranty with dedicated support The Avigilon surveillance solution provides higher image quality and performance at a lower cost of ownership As the new video surveillance standard, each Arabian Centres mall features an average of 350 Avigilon cameras, including HD Dome and award-winning HD Pro cameras, network video recorders, and Avigilon Control Center™ video management software. The Avigilon surveillance solution provides higher image quality and performance at a lower cost of ownership than previously installed systems. By utilizing Avigilon 5K (16 MP) HD Pro cameras in their parking areas, it allows operators to cover the same area in greater detail with fewer cameras installed. With the adoption of Avigilon surveillance solutions, Arabian Centres met all security compliance laws across Saudi Arabia. Avigilon cameras provide the image detail and quality that police required, and Arabian Centres passed their inspections without issue.
Round table discussion
Video systems today offer more capabilities than ever. Consequently, the systems can be used in new ways. For a variety of reasons, however, many customers don’t take full advantage of the capabilities of their video systems and therefore are leaving value on the table. Education and training are tools to alleviate the situation, but the first step is to identify the new ways that video can be used. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do customers under-utilize their video systems, and what should they do differently?