NAPCO Security Technologies is pleased to announce a new option for its increasingly popular iBridge Video Pro Doorbell.
iBridge Video Doorbell
Ideal for dealers looking to compete with DIY products with a professional-grade offering, this RMR-generating convenience for any account connects with true-2-way voice using either the standalone video app or integrated with iSecure Connected Home & Security System, iBridge Connected Home app & the multi-function iBridge 7 security/video/smart home touchscreen tablet.
It uses the premises’ current doorbell wiring for chime, or the new WiFi plug-in chime accessory (#IBV-CHIME).
HD 1080P 2MP camera with IR-powered night vision
The iBridge Video Doorbell lets account holders know who’s at the door and speak to them, even when they are nowhere near home. When the doorbell button is pressed or anytime the three-zone aim-able PIR sensor detects movement, the HD 1080P 2MP camera with IR-powered night vision, automatically captures and displays live video on the account’s smartphone.
Then, using the app’s simple 3-button operation, the homeowner has the option of viewing the embedded video live, hanging up, or pressing to talk via two-way audio. The IBV-DBELL Doorbell includes 12-months’ time/date-stamped cloud-based video storage. Customizable doorbell trifold marketing mailers/stuffers (A731) are also offered along with it free of cost from NAPCO Security Technologies.
Johnson Controls, a global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, has announced its Global Secure Product Development Process has earned the distinguished International Society of Automation ISASecure Secure Development Lifecycle Assurance (SDLA) certification. This certification provides customers with assurance that Johnson Controls building technologies and solutions are developed in accordance with the internationally recognized ISA/IEC 62443-4-1 cybersecurity standard.
The ISASecure program was established to independently certify the cybersecurity of operational technology and automation control systems, such as those deployed within smart buildings. SDLA certification specifies security process requirements and practices for the secure development, maintenance and support of these technologies.
Resilient building solutions
ISASecure SDLA certification further reinforces the security partnership we have with our customers"
Johnson Controls received the SDLA conformance certificate from exida LLC, an ISASecure and ISO 17065 accredited certification body, as a result of assessing product development practices used at engineering centers throughout the world.
“Now more than ever our customers are raising the requirements on security and Johnson Controls is committed to delivering cyber resilient building solutions, like our new OpenBlue digital platform, that are designed for security and privacy, and ISASecure SDLA certification further reinforces the security partnership we have with our customers,” said Jason Christman, Vice President and Chief Product Security Officer.
Disciplined incident response
“We focus on providing a positive cyber experience that is backed by disciplined incident response, vulnerability management, and coordinated disclosure processes.” Johnson Controls is a founding member of the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance and voting board member of the ISA Security Compliance Institute.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the 2020 winners of the SIA New Product Showcase Awards, the flagship awards program in partnership with ISC West recognizing innovative security products, services and solutions. Top among the winners – who were recognized July 9 during a virtual awards show – was Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, receiving the 2020 Best New Product Award.
Since its inception in 1979, the SIA New Product Showcase has been the security industry’s premier product awards program. New products are reviewed by a panel of judges with extensive industry experience, and in 2020, following significant deliberations, the 30 judges presented awards for technologies covering 23 product and service categories.
Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, received the Best New Product honor for its 3D Surveillance with Leica BLK247, submitted in the Emerging Technologies category.
The 3D Surveillance with Leica BLK247 is “a first-of-its-kind reality capture sensor for building security and operations,” said Leica Geosystems. “It is the latest product in the company’s BLK product line, a collection of reality capture, scanning and photogrammetry hardware and software. The BLK247 offers continuous, 24/7 LiDAR-based 3D monitoring and change detection within spaces. It does this using LiDAR, 3D digital fencing and continuous scanning to monitor buildings and spaces 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
The prestigious Judges’ Choice Award was presented to Suprema Inc. for the Airfob Patch product, submitted in the Access Control Devices & Peripherals Hardware – Wireless category.
“Airfob Patch is the world’s first mobile-to-RF-card signal translator, enabling mobile phones to communicate with the existing RF card readers,” said Suprema Inc. “Wire, batteries nor construction is required for installation. Airfob Patch charges itself by using the existing RF field signals transmitted from the RF reader. It transforms the RF fields into its own power source.”
New Product Showcase Merit Award
SIA is proud to present John Spooner with the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase Merit Award"
Additionally, John Spooner – executive vice president at Alarm Detection Systems and an active volunteer judge in the SIA New Product Showcase program. Spooner received the New Product Showcase Merit Award, which recognizes an individual or company who, through their support of the New Product Showcase, demonstrates a commitment to the vision and mission of the program, contributes to its success and promotes the advancement of SIA and the security industry overall.
“SIA is proud to present John Spooner with the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase Merit Award; John has not missed a single SIA New Product Showcase event since he began as an active volunteer judge in the program 17 years ago,” said Chris Grniet, chair of the SIA New Product Showcase Committee. “He has always been a fair and honest participant and has never hesitated to jump in and help whenever we need him. He has been exemplary in his commitment, participation and ability to help the group reach consensus.”
Services and contributions
“Following hours of panel-driven judging and technology demonstrations, SIA is thrilled to recognize the 2020 winners of the SIA New Product Showcase Awards for their innovative products, services and contributions representing the best new offerings in the market,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA applauds all the honourees who received awards in 2020 and particularly Leica Geosystems and Suprema Inc. for standing out in this highly competitive field of entrants to earn the Best New Product and Judges’ Choice distinctions. Additionally, we congratulate John Spooner on receiving the 2020 New Product Showcase Merit Award in recognition of his many valuable contributions to this premier program.”
The 2020 SIA New Product Showcase winners are:
Best New Product Award
Winner – Leica Geosystems, Part of Hexagon: 3D Surveillance with Leica BLK247
Judges’ Choice Award
Winner – Suprema Inc.: Airfob Patch
New Product Showcase Merit Award
Winner – John Spooner, executive vice president, Alarm Detection Systems
Access Control Devices & Peripherals Hardware – Wireless
Winner – dormakaba: BEST Switch™ Tech
Access Control Software, Hardware, Devices & Peripherals – Wired
Winner – Swiftlane: Swiftlane Access Control
Honorable Mention – Altronix Corporation: Tango
Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection and Biometrics
Winner – Gibraltar Perimeter Security: G-1441 Ultra-Shallow Bollard
Winner – IDEMIA: VisionPass
Commercial Monitoring Solutions
Winner – IronYun Inc.: AI NVR Edge Analytics
Communications and Networking Solutions
Winner – Axis Communications, Inc.: AXIS C8210 Network Audio Amplifier
Convergence and Integration Solutions
Winner – Blue Light: Blue Fusion
Design, Diagnostic and Installation Tools
Winner – Alarm.com: On-Site Wrap Up
Emergency Communication Systems
Winner – Verint: NowForce
Winner – BioConnect: BioConnect’s Unified Mobile Access Solution
Winner – IPVideo Corporation: HALO IOT Smart Sensor 2.0
Winner – Kidde: Kidde Optica Smoke Detectors
Hosted Solutions/Managed Services
Winner – SiteOwl: SiteOwl
Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions (Physical) – Wireless
Winner – Alula: Slimline Touchpad
Honorable Mention – Cartell: CW-SYS Wireless Driveway System
Lock and Key Solutions
Winner –Medeco: All Weather Padlock
Honorable Mention – Abloy Oy: ABLOY® BEAT
Mobile Solutions (Connected)
Winner – CloudScann: Visual Intelligence Control Center (VICC) With VisualC3 Mobile
Honorable Mention: Rapid Response Monitoring: rapidSMS
Smart Home Solutions
Winner – Alarm.com/Building36: Smart Water Valve+Meter
Threat/Risk Management Software Applications
Winner – Splan Inc.: SIVI™ – Splan Intelligent Visitor Insights
Video Surveillance Advanced Imaging Technologies
Winner – Axis Communications, Inc.: AXIS Live Privacy Shield
Video Surveillance Cameras (HD/Megapixel)
Winner – Bosch Security and Safety Systems: MIC IP Ultra 7100i
Honorable Mention – Hanwha Techwin: PNM-9085RQZ
Video Surveillance Data Storage
Winner – Dragonfruit AI: Dragonfruit LiveArchive
Video Surveillance Hardware and Accessories
Winner – EIZO Inc.: FDF2711W-IP
Video Surveillance Management Systems
Winner – Airship Industries, Inc.: Airship EMS v5.4.5
During the 2020 SIA New Product Showcase virtual awards ceremony, in addition to the presentation of the overall and category-specific awards, attendees enjoyed hearing insights from New Product Showcase judges into innovations driving product advancements in the security industry.
ADT, a provider of security, automation and smart home solutions serving consumer and business customers, has joined the Zigbee Alliance and the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) working group. ADT will help to develop and promote the adoption of Project CHIP, a new royalty-free connectivity standard to increase interoperability among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet.
“As a member of the Zigbee Alliance, ADT will collaborate with others who are developing the Connected Home over IP initiative to give our customers an even more seamless smart home experience with security and privacy at its foundation,” said Bob Kupbens, President, Chief Innovation and Product Officer at ADT. “Our participation in the Zigbee Alliance and our recently announced partnership with Google demonstrate ADT’s commitment to help develop the next generation of helpful smart home security.”
Compatibility across smart home devices
The Project CHIP protocol aims to increase compatibility across smart home devices and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. ADT’s participation in Project CHIP will provide customers with more seamless and secure ways to curate their smart home.
Project CHIP has the potential for wide adoption across smart home devices through an open-source approach that will allow ADT systems to easily connect with a growing pool of smart home devices creating a more unified smart home ecosystem.
Interoperability and security
“The more we connect things around us within home and business settings, the more we need to consider interoperability and security – and through the Alliance community hundreds of companies are working alongside each other to raise standards and expectations around IoT connectivity,” said Chris LaPré, IoT Architect, Zigbee Alliance.
“Having ADT join and get involved in Connected Home over IP is a perfect pairing as security is a core design principle of this important member-driven initiative that will transform smart home connections tied to safety, security and everyday digital living.”
Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor.
Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide.
The working of WiFi sensing
At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed.
Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts.
WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation
WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions
All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing.
In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localization. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR.
Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection.
While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras.
With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice.
It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymized and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards.
Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors
Additional WiFi sensing applications
Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications.
Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off
In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern.
For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room.
Security for the commercial sector
For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution.
Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.
From drone fleets and autonomous transportation systems to smart homes with computer-controlled lighting, heating, media and security systems, a new group of highly-automated technologies is gripping the popular imagination. These technologies – made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) – form advanced ecosystems of interrelated devices with the capacity to monitor, detect, communicate and act on the real world independently of human intervention. Promising to fulfil all of our wildest technological dreams and needs, the IoT age has arrived – and it looks like its here to stay.
While the consumer applications of IoT tend to receive the most attention, one area that is seeing strong growth in the uptake of IoT devices is workplace safety. Workplace safety costs businesses billions every year, and industries with especially hazardous working environments – Construction, Oil & Gas, Mining, Utilities, Rail, among others – are beginning to adopt IoT technology to help minimize risk and address preventable threats. In addition, as the COVID-19 pandemic surges around us, the phenomenon of ‘social distancing’ and remote working has emerged to help avoid risk of infection. For the many who work across the aforementioned industries however, working from home will not be logistically possible. In order to reduce the burden on hospitals and medical staff, it is now more important than ever to protect employees from having to be treated for preventable injuries.
Before exploring these IoT solutions, however, let us first consider some of the key threats faced by workers in these industries.
1 in 5 worker deaths in the US and incurring tens of thousands of short and long-term injuries each year
Construction is one of the world’s most dangerous occupations, accounting for 1 in 5 worker deaths in the US and incurring tens of thousands of short and long-term injuries each year. In construction, the major risk is falling from a height, which accounts of 26 per cent of fatal injuries in the workplace. Additional risks come from being struck by vehicles and heavy moving objects, proximity to overhead/underground high voltage power lines, confined spaces, high noise environments, and exposure to dust and fumes.
Other industries are often faced with some combination of the above, or similar, threats. In the Rail sector, for instance, there is high risk from collisions with vehicles, objects and machinery and vulnerability to electric shock. In Utilities, the number one risk is slips, trips and falls, accounting for 30 per cent of Lost Workday Injuries (LWIs) in 2016. And in Oil & Gas extraction, exposure to flammable gas, chemical emissions and oxygen-deficient atmospheres creates vulnerability to explosions and chemical poisoning.
Tackling threats in a high-tech world
What, then, is being done to tackle these threats? In a high-tech world, many safety measures currently in use – hardhats, earplugs, gloves, gas masks, guardrails, harnesses, protective goggles and high visibility clothing – have been in use a long time. While these measures are still fundamental in minimizing risk, companies have now started to integrate IoT technologies to enhance their application. These technologies bring together real-time analytics, machine learning, advanced sensors and embedded systems to offer a number of key functionalities:
Wearable technology is used to monitor a worker’s physiological state in real-time. Japanese wearable tech company Mitsufuji is active in this space, creating smart clothes woven from silver-metallised fibres that collect a range of data about its wearer, including heart rate and body temperature. Other examples include wristbands with bio-sensors to accurately measure stress levels and glasses that detect eye movements to identify fatigue and periods of micro-sleep.
Sensors used to measure temperature, radiation, gas leaks, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals can automatically alert workers to unsafe external conditions. Additionally, visual imaging software can map 3D representations of a worker’s environment, facilitating effective two-way communication between supervisors and personnel in the field, allowing for remote guidance technologies to provide live assistance to endangered workers (e.g. guiding a trapped miner out of a tunnel).
Situational awareness, training and behavioural data
Augmented Reality (AR) technologies offer new ways to support decision making in the field by providing holographic representations of physical equipment, while Virtual Reality (VR) technologies offer immersive situational training without the risks associated with real-life procedures. These technologies also offer up valuable behavioral data, which can be used to gauge a worker’s risk tolerance level and alertness in response to incidents.
Proximity detection systems utilize wearable sensors to monitor workers’ location, map their movements, and alert them to nearby hazards. One example of this are radio-frequency identification (RFIDs), which can measure a worker’s proximity to moving equipment and alert them to possible collisions and near misses. Another piece of kit is the ‘smart helmet’, which can immediately detect an accident, determine the worker’s location and send an alert containing coordinates to a safety control centre. The centre is able to make video and audio contact and communicate with the worker until help arrives.
Exoskeletons can assist with heavy lifting and the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) by analyzing worker movements and providing the necessary support. The Chairless Chair, for example, used by factory floor workers, fixes around the back and legs to provide support whenever the worker sits or crouches. Exoskeletons are also used to monitor worker movements, identifying repetitive movements and sustained periods of overexertion.
IoT technologies and innovations
IoT innovations are helping to improve workplace safety on multiple fronts
Taken together, these IoT innovations are helping to improve workplace safety on multiple fronts. Firstly, they are preventative. By closely monitoring one’s environment – both internal and external – IoT technologies can pre-empt and alert workers to potential dangers. Secondly, they are responsive. In the case of an accident, IoT technologies can alert supervisors and help coordinate a quick and effective response. Thirdly, they are informative. By accumulating and analyzing rich pools of data, IoT technologies can help optimize work in the field and find improved ways to limit risk.
Many industries are, to a greater or lesser extent, in the throes of digital transformation. As with any change program, digital transformation efforts often under-perform against expectations. Yet, the number of digital transformation programs continue to increase, as commercial pressures intensify. As security professionals we need to embrace our role in digital transformation, as security is everybody’s business.
For all those people weary of hearing about digital transformation and believe it’s a business fad, consider your own behaviours. If you use a smartphone to search, find, order, buy, message, watch, learn, play, bank, pay, enter, exit, navigate, communicate and more then you are part of the reason that digital transformation is a commercial necessity. The way we live our lives has changed significantly over the past twenty years and this needs to be reflected into how we rethink the way we do business. Digital transformation is about more than technology, it allows people to solve their traditional problems in new and better ways than before. Better can mean faster, at lower cost, using fewer resources, easier to maintain, more compliant and/or easier to report insights.
IoT, criminal activity and security
The number of internet connected devices worldwide is increasing at an exponential rate; by the end of 2025 there are expected to be 75.44 billion. Internet of Things (IoT) means digital transformation converges physical and digital for security professionals. Criminals use smarter digital tools such as malware, drones, key cloners, signal readers and more, which impact both physical and cybersecurity. To counter this, digital transformation provides security professionals with As security professionals we need to embrace our role in digital transformation, as security is everybody’s businessaccess to valuable actionable insights to identify and deter threats to people and assets.
All transformation starts with an idea generated by people and ends with people experiencing the output. Therefore, digital transformation starts and ends with people. To ensure a solid foundation to any digital transformation agenda, people need to have a clear purpose to engage. This is where security leaders can inspire their colleagues with a laudable purpose of embracing disruption at the same time as focusing on safeguarding people and assets. Non-security colleagues should understand that security risks are advancing at a faster pace than enterprises can adapt. As a security leader, you are advocating a movement where your colleagues adopt relevant enterprise security risk management practices in their daily thinking and working. The message is clear that digital transformation presents abundant opportunities and these need to be evaluated alongside the proliferating security threats that can become a business continuity failure.
Security professionals and digital influence
The number of internet connected devices worldwide is increasing at an exponential rate; by the end of 2025 there are expected to be 75.44 billionSecurity professionals can influence digital transformation success by translating an enterprise’s strategy into secure operational reality. The security narrative should emphasize the people side of digital transformation and how technology can act as an enabler of a safe and secure experience, both for employees and customers. Operationally, digital transformation is about agility, adaptability and navigating uncertainty. Old ways of thinking and working will be blockers to transformation, so security leaders ought to identify the rapid enablers of a ‘secure’ digital transformation.
Better people, processes and overall technology
People generally don’t want more in their lives, they want better. Better people. Better data. Better technology. Better processes. Digital transformation creates significant ‘better’ benefits for security: For example, connected (IoT) sensors, video analytics at the edge and machine learning identify threats faster; workflow technologies and automation detect, investigate and remediate routine responses; cloud provides many benefits such as agility, scale and mobility; and, smartphones/digital devices provide real-time communication and collaboration. Tackling all the ‘better’ needs within a security approach is necessary – focusing on the prioritised commercial needs first. Think about how to drive radical simplification into digital transformation agendas to ensure complexity doesn’t create too many unmanageable risks. Designing enterprise security risk management into the business operating model will facilitate colleagues to be empowered for safe and secure change. Communicating security successes and breaches with commercial impact insights in a timely and concise manner across the enterprise will prove the value of active security engagement throughout digital transformation programs.
Transforming the world
Digital technology is transforming the world around us, in a way that impacts every area of security. Security professionals are now businesspeople and technologists, in addition to their traditional security remits. Embracing this impacts security recruitment, training and employee engagement, within the security team and with non-security colleagues. Without a doubt, security professionals are integral to digital transformation programs.
As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com has adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected.
“We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimize impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilizing webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
Helping customers remain connected
Adapting to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Alarm.com is further investing in solutions that help customers remain connected and engaged.
The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely” that provides tools, tips and news links that partners can use to adapt their business operations. From adjusting sales and installation techniques to maintaining cellular upgrades, Alarm.com is helping partners stay connected to customers remotely, keep their teams trained, and address rapidly evolving customer concerns without rolling trucks.The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely
“Additionally, after seeing all that our partners are doing to support their local communities in need, we were compelled to highlight those efforts with ongoing videos called Good Connections, which we’re sharing with our partner community to spark more ideas and ways to help,” says Ferguson.
“Though our partners have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their business, we’re inspired by their adaptability, ingenuity and resilience,” says Ferguson. “Along with establishing proper safeguards for operating in homes and businesses, our partners are leveraging our support resources more heavily, while our entire staff has worked tirelessly to deliver new, timely resources.”
Alarm.com partners are successfully employing Do-It-Together (DIT) solutions, focusing on 3G-to-LTE upgrades, and pivoting to new verticals like commercial and wellness. Many are also streamlining their business operations and taking advantage of virtual training opportunities to enhance their technicians’ skills and knowledge, says Ferguson.
Do-It-Together installs involve depending on customers to perform part or all of the installation process. Partners can send customers fully configured kits with mounting instructions, or technicians may guide customers on a remote video call. Alarm.com’s tools, training and products help partners modify remote installation options depending on each customer’s needs.
End users can validate the Alarm.com Smart Gateway with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app
Alarm.com Smart Gateway
For example, the Alarm.com Smart Gateway can be pre-configured with indoor and outdoor cameras for easy customer installation and to reduce the likelihood of future service calls. Also, end users can validate with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app. “DIT is helping our partners continue onboarding customers and avoid backlogs,” says Ferguson.
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the resiliency and level of future investment that our residential and commercial partners have shown in the face of adversity,” adds Ferguson. For example, a significant number of business customers have used the slow period to install systems that are typically too disruptive to put in during normal business hours. Similarly, service providers are adopting new technologies or business models, such as cloud-based access control. “They’re often saying to us, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity to make changes to improve our business,’ and have been working closely with us on training and business consulting to support their efforts,“ she says.
Shift to the cloud
Ferguson sees a growing preference for cloud-managed surveillance and access systems over ones that have historically been run on-premise. The technology itself is attractive, but especially driving change is the enhancement to the daily lives of service providers and customers, which have been strained during this time. “The foundational benefit of our cloud-based solution is the hassle-free, seamless customer experience it delivers,” says Ferguson. “We make this possible by taking ownership of the servers, software maintenance, firmware updates, health monitoring, and more. With cloud technology, these aspects become invisible to the customer and take a lot off their plate, which is more important than ever.”
End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations, or they can use the Alarm.com Wellcam to connect with loved ones anywhere.End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations
Partners can attend training workshops focused on remote installation tactics, while driving consumer interest in new offerings through Alarm.com’s Customer Connections platform. The goal is to make it simple for partners to stay connected to their customers to maximize lifetime account value.
“We are well-positioned to endure the pandemic because of the strength of our partners in their markets along with our investments in technology, hardware and our team,” says Ferguson. “As restrictions slowly lift, there is cautious optimism that the residential, commercial, property management, plumbing/HVAC, builder and other verticals will recover quickly. We believe that as more partners adopt the DIT model and add commercial and wellness RMR, they will find increasing opportunities to deploy security, automation, video, video analytics, access and more throughout their customer base.”
J.D. Power is a well-known name when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction, and they have been measuring satisfaction in the home security industry since 2016. Changes affecting the marketplace – both in terms of disruptors and technology – make this a unique time. For example, in 2019, J.D. Power expanded the Home Security Satisfaction Study to not only measure the traditional pro-install/pro-monitor companies, but to separately evaluate self-install/pro-monitor brands.
“At J.D. Power our rankings are meant to support an industry in two key ways,” says Christina Cooley, J.D. Power's Director, @Home Intelligence. “First, we provide consumers who are shopping for products and services with a ‘report card’ of who provides customers with high levels of customer satisfaction. Second, we provide companies with actionable insights to help them prioritize their initiatives to improve and maintain high levels of customers satisfaction that drive loyalty and growth.”
Differentiating between companies
The traditional Pro-Install/Pro-Monitor companies are challenged to differentiate from one another
In home security, J.D. Power is in a unique position to report on the changes taking place in the evolving industry. The 2019 rankings show that the traditional Pro-Install/Pro-Monitor companies are challenged to differentiate from one another, as each have their individual strengths and opportunities, but overall the score range is relatively tight. On the do-it-yourself (DIY) side, there is more differentiation. A set of brands has been able to challenge the traditional industry by achieving extremely high customer satisfaction levels.
Price is always an important factor that impacts customer satisfaction, whether for security or another market J.D. Power serves. The equation is simple, says Cooley: Does the price paid equal the value the customer feels they have received from the product or service?
“For Home Security, we didn’t specifically look at price until this year,” says Cooley. “With the changes that have occurred in the market, price can be a differentiator as we’ve seen with the emergence of DIY-installed systems. However, lower pricing does not have a direct relationship to quality of service.”
The price factor
For example, there are some higher-priced pro-installed brands that perform lower on customer satisfaction than lower-priced competitors. And DIY-installed systems as a whole are less expensive, and price is the customer satisfaction driver in which the DIY segment most outperforms the pro segment.
Price is the customer satisfaction driver in which the DIY segment most outperforms the pro segment
The equation is: Performance minus Expectations equals Customer Satisfaction. “Obviously, price point will be a factor in the purchase decision and the expectations the customer has about the product and service,” says Cooley. “Any pro or DIY system has the opportunity to differentiate the customer experience regardless of price point.”
There are clear differences in the pro vs. DIY experience, which is why J.D. Power evaluates the brands in separate rankings. However, Cooley says the drivers of satisfaction are consistent across both groups. The key to each group goes back to the equation above.
Evaluating the purchase process
For the both pro and DIY companies, J.D. Power evaluates the purchase process the same. Though the customer may take a different path to purchase based on the offering they seek, the drivers are still the same:
Usefulness of information provided
Reasonableness of contract terms
Professionalism of sales representative
Ease of purchasing home security system.
For installation, there are clear differences. DIY systems are evaluated based on:
Ease of completing installation
Quality of installation instructions provided
Timeliness of receiving home security system.
Pro systems are evaluated based on:
Professionalism of technician
Timeliness of completing installation
Quality of work performed.
Interestingly, purchase and installation are the customer satisfaction driver where both pro and DIY providers (as a whole) are most closely aligned on performance.
The price a customer is paying must align with the quality of the system they receive
What drives a customer to purchase a home security system initially will often be very different than what will keep them as a loyal customer, Cooley notes. The price a customer is paying must align with the quality of the system they receive, and the service provided through the professional monitoring and customer service. “With the expansion of home security offerings, it’s more important than ever for home security companies to understand the motivations, intentions, and usage patterns across different customer segments to ensure that regardless of the decision to go pro or DIY-install, they are able to meet their customers’ needs and differentiate in the very competitive market. The J.D. Power Home Security Study provides these actionable insights.”
The study is focused on the companies/brands that comprise the top two-thirds of market share in each segment, pro and DIY installed. A number of the brands included may work with local dealers or retailers for sales and install, but the customer is essentially evaluating those services as part of the system purchased. It is one and the same from the customer’s perspective, and the sales/install process can either delight or frustrate a customer from the beginning, which can then set the foundation for the entire experience moving forward.
Reasons for shopping for a security system tend to differ between pro and DIY shoppers:
Both sets are most focused on wanting a newer, more up-to-date system
Between the two, pro customers are more often moving into a new home or wanting to take advantage of a discount or bundling opportunity with other products
For DIY customers, they are shopping for a system to give them more peace of mind and to protect their property.
Reasons for selecting the provider also vary:
A pro company is often selected based on brand reputation or a special offer/promo
A DIY company is primarily chosen based on price or a positive review.
In terms of brand image, we see that customers see both pro and DIY providers similarly in terms of reliability. However, when it comes to being customer-driven, DIY providers receive higher image ratings compared to pro-installed companies.
Security’s intersection with consumer electronics is on view at CES 2020, the world’s largest technology event, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The giant show features more than 170,000 attendees, 4,500 exhibitors and 1,100 industry thought-leaders featured on the CES stage.
A range of technologies will be on display, from artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, vehicle technology to AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), robotics to home automation. Security plays a prominent role, too.The impact of this event for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy"
Smart home market on the forefront
The smart home market is a major focus. “For the smart home market at CES this year, we expect to see numerous announcements regarding home awareness,” says Blake Kozak, Senior Principal Analyst at IHS Markit. “This will include brands offering up additional analytics for consumer security cameras with a focus on edge-based solutions.”
“The impact of this [event] for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy through cloudless architectures and new electronic door lock approaches,” he adds. An example of cloud analytics is the Resideo Home app, introduced in December, which will make whole-home monitoring possible for four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security. Resideo promises a “simplified and integrated smart home experience.”
Video is also prominent at the show. “For cameras, we can expect to see more cameras focused on the outdoor space and possibly new form factors for video doorbells,” says Kozak. Familiar security industry brands exhibiting at CES 2020 include ADT, Ring, August Home and Yale (both part of ASSA ABLOY), Bosch and Alarm.com.
Focus on Cybersecurity
In 2020, companies will continue to focus on solutions for protecting consumer data"
Cybersecurity is an aspect of many of the devices on display at CES. “Device security and data privacy play a key role in the adoption of connected devices,” says Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates.
“Consumer security concerns for smart home products will continue to be a barrier to adoption in the U.S. and Europe, and these concerns can actually intensify with device adoption-71% of U.S. smart home households are concerned about cybersecurity. In 2020, companies will continue to focus on solutions for protecting consumer data. One big area of interest is protection on the network router, providing whole home solutions, which are very appealing to consumers.”
“At CES we will see the traditional players introducing new DIY (do-it-yourself) products, as well as new players announcing new product features, services, and partnerships,” Parks adds.
Smart access control
Smart locks will be among the security products at CES 2020. For example, PassiveBolt, a lock company, will show the Shepherd Lock, a touch-enabled smart lock with enhanced security through sensors and AI. The add-on lock converts existing locksets into touch-activated devices. Another lock manufacturer is Kwikset, whose door locks and door hardware include Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks, Bluetooth-enabled smart locks, keyless and keyway-less locks and connected home technology.
Video doorbells, including industry-innovator Ring, have been a hit in the consumer market. At CES, Ring will expand the mission to make neighborhoods safer by creating a “Ring of Security” around homes and communities with a suite of home security products and services. The “Neighbors by Ring” app enables affordable, complete, proactive home and neighborhood security.
Homeguard offers a range of affordable CCTV solutions for home and small business
DIY CCTV demonstrations
DIY security systems are another market. Homeguard is a leading DIY consumer brand offering a range of affordable CCTV solutions for home and small business, including wired and wireless CCTV kits, smart cameras, home alarm systems and wire-free HD CCTV kits.
Swann Communications is also at the forefront of surveillance and monitoring with new products developments including wire-free HD cameras and doorbells, professional CCTV video surveillance systems, and 1080p full HD systems with “True Detect” heat and motion sensing.
AVTECH, and subsidiary YesGo Tech, will demonstrate a compact Wi-Fi home security set, a series of special cameras with face recognition, thermal detection and license plate recognition, customized central management software and a university ID tag that is compatible with access control, OEM and ODM opportunities.
Security and automation solutions
D-Link’s home networking, security and automation solutions will help consumers connect, view, share, entertain, work and play. SECO-LARM, manufacturer of a Room Occupancy Monitor that shows whether a room is in use, has a line of keypads and proximity readers with built-in Bluetooth for convenient access.
Another smart home security solutions provider, Climax Technology, integrates wireless security, home automation, energy management, home emergency monitoring and live visual monitoring.
Personal safety mobile application
Manufacturers are positioning outdoor cameras as deterrents to theft before a burglary happens"
WaryMe designs and develops a personal safety mobile application to improve a user’s security in public places, schools, transports and companies by addressing major risks such as terrorism attacks, intrusion, fire and even industrial accidents. An all-in-one mobile application integrates alerting, crisis management and mass notification features.
“Market players are looking to expand beyond established smart home devices like smart thermostats and networked cameras to products like smart water leak detectors, smart pet feeders, and smart air purifiers,” says Elizabeth Parks. “Manufacturers are positioning outdoor cameras as deterrents to theft before a burglary happens. This trend is part of a broader security marketing effort to extend the perimeter of home security beyond traditional home access points.”
“Familiarity with smart home devices lags behind familiarity with smart entertainment products; it even lags that of smart speakers, which are quite new in the market,” adds Parks. “In 2020, we will see players working to advance the visibility and marketing around device integration, and specifically focus on use case scenarios around safety, security, and convenience, which have always been the primary drivers of adoption of these types of products.”
Based in the affluent district of St John’s Wood, Collection Place is a high specification development comprising 14 luxury apartments, built nearby the infamous Abbey Road studios.
Home automation and integration specialists, Advanced Integration (AI) invited Comelit to present custom door entry systems, as part of a security upgrade program of works. Specification included bespoke brass video flush panels with video monitors and smart capability to manage from a cellphone, incorporating full links to dedicated 24-hour concierge services.
Smart door entry systems
Says Kem Rashica, Estate Manager of The Collection Management Limited / Harrods Estates Asset Management: “Every element of our development, set in heart of our beautiful St John’s Wood, was created to present residents with a high-end luxury lifestyle, from specification to security and privacy. We are always looking for best ways to maintain and futureproof this expectation.”
“Advanced Integration highlighted the opportunity to present smart door entry systems and recommended Comelit, as a brand renowned for delivering on design and style without compromising on technology or security. The installation was seamless and residents are now delighted to be able to manage their home from the convenience of their cellphone.”
Monitors with video capability
Maria Tsiftis, Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Integration added: “When it came to upgrade the door entry, we wanted to incorporate a visual, smart capability, without affecting the style or ambience on site. Being a residential development, we also had to be conscious of any works program not causing disruption to daily lives."
“Comelit responded with a bespoke specification, including high-end entrance panels, monitors with video capability and concierge systems, enabling a combination of door entry and messaging. Being involved from the design stages ensured a smooth delivery and beautiful custom finish befitting to this luxury development.”
Video intercom calls on a smartphone
Comelit designed the door entry systems for Collection Place, to operate through its innovative VIP system, which offers a powerful all-encompassing opportunity for residents to receive video intercom calls on a smartphone.
Sam Arnold, Business Development Manager at Comelit UK concluded: “St John’s Wood is one of London’s most upscale residential locations, and Collection Place has been established in the elegant villa-style housing that is synonymous with the area.”
“Any enhancements to door entry had to be delivered to complement this lavish attention on detail, but also serve discerning homeowners who want the advantages of service and latest technology. By working closely with Advanced Integration, we have delivered a sleek and functional, smart security solution to accommodate these requirements.”
Future residents at Kebbell Homes’ new prestigious development, Wintersbrooke will be able to receive and answer door entry requests via cellphone or Amazon Alexa voice control, thanks to Comelit’s WIFI connected monitors. Set in Ascot, Berkshire, Wintersbrooke is a grand, new gated community featuring just six spacious and exclusive 2-3 bedroom apartments within mature, secluded communal gardens.
Kebbell Homes has used Comelit’s specification team on previous developments and again called upon its services, together with chosen installers R&M Bailey, from the initial design process, through the work’s program to project completion. Door entry, via Comelit’s mini handsfree WIFI monitors, will enable new residents to respond to door entry requests from their cellphone, and also integrates with Amazon Alexa for voice announcements and control of the gate/front door to the block.
Facial recognition technology
The monitors provide facial recognition technology for authorized guests to gain access and video memory, to record any missed calls. Says Andrea Fawell, Sales and Marketing Director at Kebbell Homes: “With high expectations for Wintersbrooke’s indulgent design to deliver gracious living for our discerning buyers, every element had to be considered to offer the highest level of luxury and specification. And to ensure all feels safe and secure.”
All the smart home security systems installed had to be equally stylish and futureproof"
“We had worked previously with Comelit and knew its systems were able to achieve the level of style intended to complement Wintersbrooke’s dignified presence. The additional benefits of WIFI connected monitors provide our soon to be residents with latest integrated smart security technology, seamlessly installed, enabling them to instantly respond to door entry requests, at their choice and from wherever they are.”
Smart home security systems
Mat Bailey, Director from R&M Bailey added: “Wintersbrooke has the look and feel of a private country home, which epitomizes Kebbell Homes’ well-known flair for grand architecture. All the smart home security systems installed had to be equally stylish and futureproof. Comelit’s Mini Handsfree WIFI was the natural choice for door entry, easy to install via wireless technology and simple to integrate. Just the one solution presents future homeowners with user friendly bespoke options that can connect seamlessly with their home security, and be controlled by cellphone and Amazon Alexa, at their own choice.”
Each home at Wintersbrooke has been fitted with a Mini Handsfree monitor complete with integrated WIFI, operating through Comelit’s renowned Simplebus 2 wire. At the striking gates to the development is Comelit’s premium stainless steel flush mounted, 316 Sense digital entrance panel.
Door entry system
Up to fifteen smart devices can be connected to each and every property’s individual WIFI monitor
The system enables new residents to grant access through the vehicle gates or adjacent pedestrian gate using the internal monitor or a dedicated mobile app. A second is fitted on the front door of the development itself. Up to fifteen smart devices can be connected to each and every property’s individual WIFI monitor.
Daniel Wood, Southern Sales Manager at Comelit UK concluded: “Once again, it was a pleasure for Comelit to work closely with Kebbell Homes to ensure the complete door entry system installed at Wintersbrooke, achieved the desired balance between timeless style and latest technology."
Alexa voice control
"From the gated entry using our Sense panel, which at only 3 mm thin, blends in with any building due to the panel's slim profile, to the chic WIFI monitors, the combined solution, provides aspiring residents with a powerful door entry system and the convenience of audio and visual communication, together with ease of use via mobile or Alexa voice control in everyday life.”
Comelit’s official website can be visited for more information on Comelit’s ViP System, Mini handsfree WIFI Monitor Door Entry Solutions or range of products.
Resilience and efficiency have become watchwords for the public institutions, before, during and after the ongoing health crisis. In delivering services fit for the modern world, these institutions need more than just innovation and accountability. They require flexibility and agility, too, including in how they approach security.
The lock and key have enjoyed public trust for a long time. Keys were used in Ancient Egypt and Assyria, and warrant a mention in the Christian Old Testament. As a technology the key is familiar and proven, user-friendly and dependable. It can also be inflexible and time-consuming to manage.
The security challenges of delivering public services do not stand still, but standard mechanical keys cannot move with oneself. Filtering access intelligently and dynamically has become part of security’s job description.
Yet there is no need to dispose of the key altogether. One can adapt it, rather than throw it out. Intelligent, programmable keys combine the powerful features of electronic access control with the convenience of a mechanical key. They are keys, familiar and user-friendly… but evolved.
When the key has a brain, one can do more with less. These efficiencies are critical in a world where demands on the public institutions are at levels not seen in generations.
Cut workload and solve the problem of lost keys
One [lost] key cost from €3,000 to €4,000 for changing cylinders and replacing the keys"
Lost keys present mechanical security with its most intractable problem. When a key goes missing, time and budget are expended to remedy the situation. Extensive rekeying and reissuing to relevant keyholders are complex and expensive. Programmable keys, however, solve the problem quickly.
The French town of Villiers-le-Bel, north of Paris, faced these familiar key management challenges. Each person in their Municipal Technical Centre carried approximately 40 physical keys. If one was lost or stolen, all compromised cylinders had to be changed. To prevent unauthorised access, all the keys had to be replaced, too, at great expense. Key duplication costs were mounting.
“One [lost] key cost from €3,000 to €4,000 for changing cylinders and replacing the keys,” explains Fabrice Girard, Territorial Technician at the town’s Municipal Technical Centre. To fix this expensive lost key problem, Villiers-le-Bel city administrators chose to combine trusted mechanical security with new electromechanical key-operated locking, all managed within the same flexible, wireless access control system. Now lost or stolen electronic keys are cancelled instantly using secure cloud software which works inside a standard browser, no software installation required.
Administrators can program access rights for any key, padlock or cylinder. They filtre access to specific sites and doors according to the precise requirements of every municipal employee.
Keep residents safe in their homes
In Aalborg, Denmark, around 3,000 citizens in home care have programmable locking cylinders installed at their front door. This replaces a cumbersome mechanical master-key system. Aalborg’s installation was tailored to meet the needs of this vulnerable group of city residents.
Certified technicians simply replaced each old cylinder with a programmable cylinder
If a home care resident loses their key, its access rights can be deleted from the system without the need for a lock replacement — keeping the keyholder’s home safe and saving the city time and money on rekeying.
Managing Aalborg’s system is straightforward. Lock installation was quick and easy: certified technicians simply replaced each old cylinder with a programmable cylinder — with no wiring and no major alterations to the door. Aalborg’s fire brigade quickly took over the maintenance process. Brigade staff now grant or revoke access, and tailor permissions for different users or locations according to defined needs.
In Skellefteå, Sweden, electromechanical locking has given local firefighters faster, safer access to any building. To speed up emergency response times and improve firefighter safety, the local service fitted houses with secure façade key cabinets.More rapid response means a better chance to prevent a fire spreading
Property keys are stored inside the cabinets, so authorised firefighters get rapid building access if there is a fire. When the emergency call comes, firefighters update their individual, programmable key at the station or while on the move, using a remote key updater kept in the fire engine. There’s no longer any need for fire stations to hold multiple sets of keys or for off-site firefighters to divert to the station to collect the right key.
More rapid response means a better chance to prevent a fire spreading. Safety is improved for everyone, Skellefteå residents at home and firefighters at work.
Clear workflow bottlenecks in public housing
With crime against empty properties on the rise, public authorities in the English city of Rotherham aimed to minimise the time a council house stands vacant. However, workers from multiple departments require access to prepare a property for a new tenant. Passing keys securely between all relevant staff members was a major cause of delay.
Security managers issue the precise permissions which every staff member needs
At Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC), intelligent key technology helped streamline these workflows, upgrading security and saving money at the same time. RMBC identified physical key handover as a major bottleneck in their workflow. They needed a solution to speed up the process.
Now, each relevant RMBC staff member is issued with their own programmable key. Using simple online software, security managers issue the precise permissions which every staff member needs. The access rights of any key can be amended or revoked at any time. Physical handover of mechanical keys, and the time and money spent coordinating this process, has been eliminated.
Preserve the fabric of historic buildings, and the design integrity of new spaces
Building type can make a big difference to the access control one chooses. Public spaces inside protected heritage buildings often cannot opt for card- and reader-based access control. Here, wireless electronic cylinders which simply replace existing mechanical locks solve the problem, preserving doors which may be centuries old.
Intelligent key security is hardly noticeable for the library’s many visitors
The issue of aesthetics also affects modern public spaces, albeit differently. In Stuttgart, innovative design was a key element of the city’s new library building. Door security should be discreet and not disrupt the vision of Korean architect, Eun Young Yi. This was the first public building in Stuttgart’s Europaviertel, a unique creation with a double façade with glass bricks, a brightly lit atrium four storeys high, and public entrances on all four sides.
Almost as soon as it opened, the building was declared an architectural icon — “instantly one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.” Intelligent key security is hardly noticeable for the library’s many visitors, yet critical for protecting Stuttgart’s precious public heritage
Save time and money managing keys for a mobile workforce
Many public services involve managing and directing a mobile or contractor workforce. Mileage expense mounts up when workers must return to base to collect keys or update their access rights.
With a Bluetooth-powered solution, everyone carries their own programmable key
Mobile workers use more fuel and increase a carbon footprint. One makes a business more sustainable quickly if one reduces the mileage one travels.
Reducing miles while maintaining security is not easy, if one relies on mechanical keys to secure remote or dispersed sites. Bluetooth-enabled intelligent keys eliminate the need for workers to return to headquarters to collect or return a mechanical key. With a Bluetooth-powered solution, everyone carries their own programmable key and keeps its access rights up to date on the move, simply by making an encrypted connection to a secure smartphone app — meaning fewer miles driven and less money wasted on unnecessary fuel.
One technology powers all the solutions
All the installations referenced above — and many, many more across the full spectrum of public services — run on the same technology: CLIQ® from ASSA ABLOY.
CLIQ combines electronic and mechanical security in a range of wireless cylinder applications, including a full range of mechatronic and electronic cylinders and padlocks. CLIQ locks are installed without wires: every cylinder’s power is supplied by a battery inside the CLIQ key.
These keys are physically identical and programmable by a system administrator using a desktop updater; by keyholders with a portable programmer; or in the case of CLIQ Connect Bluetooth-enabled keys, via an encrypted connection to a secure smartphone app, minimising both wasted journeys and unnecessary social contact between workers and office staff. Intuitive software makes it simple to manage access rights, enable and disable keys and customise access schedules, on site or on the go.
To learn how you can put CLIQ® intelligent key technology to work in agile, flexible, secure public services, download a free introductory guide at https://campaigns.assaabloyopeningsolutions.eu/eCLIQ
Upgrading a two-wire analog intercom to a conventional IP video system typically involves messy and costly rewiring work. So what happens when there is a need to install over 500 IP systems into a single building? One company, Hikvision, has developed an innovative two-wire solution, which is already making waves at the luxurious RiverGate condominium in Singapore.
“If someone rang the bell at the side entrance, it wouldn’t always ring in my apartment upstairs,” says the Chairman of the Condo Council, who lives at the RiverGate condominium in River Valley, Singapore. “Visitors often had to call me to let them in, and I would have to travel down 20 floors to the main entrance. It became incredibly frustrating.”
Switching from analog to IP system
The intercoms in Asia’s condos are crying out for an upgrade to IP, but the infrastructure just doesn’t support it"
The resident’s story is typical of millions of residents across Asia, where high rise living is the norm. In Singapore, the first condominiums were built back in the 1960s, to tackle the challenge of high population density and soaring land costs. Today, high-rise living in Singapore is not only necessary but highly desirable, with many condominiums offering swimming pools, spas, sky-gardens and a host of other deluxe facilities at exclusive locations across the island.
Nevertheless, even the most luxurious apartment blocks are wrangling with aging access control systems. Many systems only work intermittently, while all but the newest builds feature intercoms that use out-dated two-wire analog cabling. “The intercoms in Asia’s condos are crying out for an upgrade to IP, but the infrastructure just doesn’t support it,” says Daniel Han, Engineering Director at Serron Technology.
Hikvision IP security systems
Making the move to IP intercom systems is a logical step, as it would offer a host of benefits to Asia’s high rise residents. First of all, IP systems are video-based and can work with HD cameras, giving homeowners crystal clear images of who is at the door potentially dozens of floors below. What’s more, they also typically link to an app, so residents can see and interact with the person at the door – even when they’re not in the apartment. “Video IP systems are much more functional, more future-proof, and incredibly reliable,” adds Daniel.
The problem is, most of today’s IP intercom systems typically need to replace wire for an internet connection – and that means an upgrade to the building itself. “To upgrade to an IP system across a whole condominium is a massive job,” Daniel confirms, adding “Chasing out walls and replacing wiring is disruptive, messy and a time-consuming task. In addition, the task is also expensive, and management companies would have no choice but to pass this cost on to the residents."
Two Wire IP Video Intercom System
Although it may seem like an impossible problem, one company – Hikvision – has provided an excellent solution. As its product name suggests, the company’s Two Wire IP Video Intercom System is purpose-built to work over existing two-wire cabling, so that two wires supply power and transmit voice, video and control signals at the same time.
At the heart of the Hikvision two-wire system is the Two-Wire Video/Audio Distributor (DS-KAD706). It’s this intelligent box that makes the two-wire solution possible by consolidating power and internet connectivity, enabling it to be distributed out to the external door video stations and the indoor video units.
Hikvision two-wire solution
Each of the 545 apartments within RiverGate has a Hikvision Intercom Indoor station with a video screen
At Singapore’s luxurious RiverGate Condominium complex, the management team was so impressed with the potential of the Hikvision two-wire solution that they have already installed it into the condominium.
Each of the 545 apartments within RiverGate has a Hikvision Intercom Indoor station (DS-KH6320-WTE2) featuring a video screen, while each of the entrances to the building has a Video Intercom Door Station (DS-KD8102-V) featuring an HD camera. If someone calls an apartment via a door station downstairs, it rings the appropriate indoor screen. The resident can see the visitor and have a conversation with them, before letting them in with a simple tap of the screen.
Hikvision Video Intercom Master Station (DS-KM8301)
The RiverGate central management offices also have the Hikvision Video Intercom Master Station (DS-KM8301), to monitor the building perimeter and control entry. Plus the complex has installed a number of Hikvision’s Waterproof and Vandal-proof Card Readers (DS-K1104M), to ensure that only authorized individuals can move around the building.
What’s more, by downloading the HikConnect app, residents can be alerted to a visitor when they’re away from the video unit, or when they’re out of the premises entirely. The app offers the same functionality as the video screen – allowing residents to see visitors, speak to them, and even choose to let them into the building.
Reliable and innovative IP-based solution
The benefits of the new Hikvision system are far-reaching. From a building management perspective, the ability to use the existing two-wire system has kept installation costs to a minimum.
The ability to use the existing two-wire system has kept installation costs to a minimum
“Hikvision’s Two Wire Video Intercom System is a state-of-the-art product, and ideal for retrofitting and modernizing large residential and office building projects. Across Asia, there are thousands of high rise buildings whose access control systems desperately need upgrading. This sleek system provides a cost-effective and elegant IP-based solution – one that’s ideal for high end residential or commercial environments – for minimal cost and disruption.” said Jacky Xie, the Project Manager at Hikvision, who is very optimistic about the potential of the company’s two-wire IP solution.
High-performance video and access control system
And of course, it’s had a huge impact on RiverGate’s residents. One of the residents’ of the Condominium said, “The new intercom does more than the old system. I particularly like the functionality of mobile app – I can use my phone to let visitors come in even when I don’t have access to the indoor device, like when I’m not at home or using the bathroom. It’s also such a relief to have an access control system that works reliably. I love it; it’s more convenient, it’s really easy to use, and I feel safer.”