Security researchers at Check Point have unraveled a six-year, ongoing surveillance operation apparently run by Iran-based threat actors against regime dissidents. Going back as far as 2014, the attackers used multiple attack vectors to spy on their victims, including hijacking victims’ Telegram accounts, extracting two-factor authentication codes from SMS messages, recording a phone's audio surroundings, accessing KeePass password manager account information, and distributing malicious T...
Luxand has released a new FaceSDK 7.2 version with numerous improvements, including a major Thermal Face Detection feature that helps small-, medium- and enterprise-level companies fight the spread of COVID-19. Thermal face detection is a major feature that makes it possible to detect faces on streams and images from thermal cameras for anti-spoofing or fever-screening needs. Detecting high temperatures Combined with a thermal camera, this new feature detects high temperatures in humans, mean...
Johnson Controls is announcing exacqVision 20.09, which offers an integrated, cost-effective face mask detection solution that can quickly put information into the hands of facility decision makers to help maintain safe environments for employees and visitors. Based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics versus pixel-based analytics, exacqVision 20.09 with Face Mask Detection offers improved accuracy and a scalable, efficient solution for organizations where public health and safety is a pri...
ONVIF, the renowned global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, is announcing that it is now live on GitHub, an online open source development platform. The repository at github.com/onvif/specs will help drive the development of ONVIF network interface specifications. “By having a repository on GitHub, ONVIF is making its interface specification development process more accessible, transparent and efficient,” said Per Björkdahl, Chairman of the ON...
While the accuracy rate of traditional rules-based ALPR systems is very good, every false positive still requires human intervention. These service interruptions not only cause customer dissatisfaction but also cost parking operators time, money, and create overall enforcement inefficiencies. To address these issues, Genetec has developed a next-generation machine learning-based engine for Security Center AutoVu™. Optimized to run on current ALPR hardware already used by customers in the...
Smart cities, airports, stadiums, hospitals and other organizations are now liaising with government bodies and law enforcement to propel a new dawn of collaborative security and communication. The influx of new technology coupled with the ever-changing political and social landscapes has meant security is having to evolve. Artificial Intelligence is now allowing law enforcement, security personnel and organizations to a transformational method of fighting crime, maintaining public security and...
Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings has further expanded its Tyco Illustra range with the launch of a new Flex multi-directional camera. Designed to provide a highly cost-effective solution for monitoring activity over wide open spaces, the second generation Illustra Flex multi-directional camera is equipped with four separate image sensors which can be individually positioned and angled to provide up to 360-degree coverage via four separate non-stitched video streams. Multi-directional camera Each of the four sensors are able to capture high-quality 4MP images, enabling the camera to cover an area which might normally require four separate high definition video surveillance cameras. As well as the reduced capital cost, systems integrators and end-users can enjoy additional time and cost savings, as Illustra Flex multi-directional camera requires less cabling and mounting hardware. It also only needs a single IP connection. Easy camera placement and positioning The Illustra Flex multi-sensor camera’s magnetic base enables each sensor to be independently placed and a three-axis gimbal on each sensor allows their individual fields of view to be finely tuned. This provides users with a multitude of configuration options to provide, for example, 360 coverage of large open office areas, retail stores and car parks, a 270-degree coverage when the camera is installed externally on the corner of a building or a 180-degree field of view when the camera is mounted on a wall. Key features The ONVIF Profile S-compliant Illustra Flex multi-sensor camera’s other key features include the following: Field swappable lens modules True day/night functionality with a removable infrared cut filter (ICR), which enables the camera to operate effectively in low light conditions True Wide Dynamic Range (TWDR) which performs at up to 50dB to deliver clear images captured from scenes which might contain bright and dark areas, such as the entrances to retail stores Support for H.264 and MJPEG compression formats allows up to three simultaneous video streams to be efficiently transmitted and recorded at up to 30 frames per second, while efficiently managing bandwidth to reduce storage costs Flexibility to choose between overview and detailed images for each stream Power over Ethernet (PoE) support, which negates the need to provide a separate power supply and cabling for each camera IP66 rated Minimized vulnerabilities Cybersecurity: All Tyco Illustra cameras are covered by the Johnson Controls, Cyber Solutions Product Security Program which has been introduced to give all parties in the supply chain the confidence that Johnson Controls has minimized the possibility of introducing vulnerabilities into its Tyco branded electronic security solutions.
FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced a new addition to its premium Quasar line of PTZ cameras, the FLIR Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ. The camera offers 4K visible resolution with 31x optical zoom paired with long-range, infrared illumination (IR) for low-light coverage up to 200 meters in challenging environments. FLIR Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ camera With an expanded operating temperature range of -40 to 60 degrees Celsius/140 degrees Fahrenheit, IP66 for water and dust protection, and NEMA-4X (salt-tolerance) ratings, the Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ camera is equipped for consistent operation in extreme weather conditions. Pan-Tilt de-icing and built-in lens wiper paired with remote-operated washer accessory systems, keep the camera functional and operational in remote or hard to access installations. Enhanced low-light visibility imaging The FLIR Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ camera is a key addition to the Quasar premium family of products" “The FLIR Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ camera is a key addition to the Quasar premium family of products, offering a longer-range option with excellent low-light visible imaging for critical infrastructure sites, remote facilities, or other large areas that require close monitoring in all conditions,” said Daniel Gundlach, Global Business Development, Solutions Business at FLIR Systems. He adds, “The camera is designed to withstand severe environmental conditions, while also providing the crisp images professionals need for real-time situational awareness and post-event evidentiary support.” Open platform compatibility Similar to other Quasar products, the Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ camera maintains open platform compatibility and can be used with a large variety of third-party VMS solutions or FLIR United VMS. The Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ camera includes industry standard security protocols and additional cyber security enhancements, including unique protection from log-in attacks, hardware and software authentication, and encryption to help keep facilities safe from cyber threats. FLIR Quasar 4K 31x IR PTZ cameras are available for purchase globally starting September 1 2020, from FLIR or authorized dealers.
Customers want to invest in technology that enables them to expand their capabilities to support future needs. This is especially true in the security industry, where the development of technology, such as high megapixel cameras, have placed greater demands on bandwidth consumption, and in turn, storage devices. It’s critical to build in storage growth, even if that exact amount of storage is not required today. The last thing one wants is for a customer to consume all of their storage space within a short amount of time. This easily can happen if the customer installs additional surveillance cameras, upgrades to higher resolution cameras, or changes how long video is archived. Scalable storage Not taking these factors into consideration could mean the customer would need to invest in an entirely new server to accommodate those additional storage needs, which then translates into a negative customer experience. These types of mistakes can prove costly for a security integrator, who might have to make good on a promise that a storage device would meet a customer’s storage needs for a set period. Scalability is the key and when investing in a storage device it’s important to ensure there is room for growth. One must consider if the server has the space to handle additional cameras. Also consider if the server can accommodate changes in storage requirements where video that was once stored for three months now needs to be retained for six months or longer. Capacity of servers Another consideration is future system growth. A customer may find they suddenly have the budget to invest in more cameras, only to learn that the recently installed servers do not have the storage capacity required. No one wants to have to invest in another server, especially after just paying for one. An error in the storage calculation, when taking into consideration today’s and future needs, becomes the responsibility of the security integrator. When selecting a partner for one’s storage needs, it’s important to work with a systems builder like BCDVideo that offers purpose-built solutions with guaranteed calculations.
Dahua Technology, the globally renowned video security and smart IoT solutions provider, is helping businesses reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Thermal imaging, face detection, and other technologies play key roles in screening for skin temperature and determining whether someone is wearing a mask or not. Thermal temperature monitoring “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dahua has been devoted to providing an array of solutions to help keep businesses running wherever possible,” remarked Jennifer Hackenburg, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Dahua Technology USA. Jennifer adds, “Our offerings reflect the varied needs of different business environments – we strive to provide options for every budget and application.” SafetyTemp Thermal Temperature Station Compact and simple, the SafetyTemp Thermal Temperature Station is ideally suited for small installations Thermal temperature monitoring lets business owners get fast, accurate readings of the skin temperature of employees and customers. People pass through a checkpoint where a monitoring station measures the temperature of their skin, while no physical contact is made and the traffic flow remains smooth. Compact and simple, the SafetyTemp Thermal Temperature Station is ideally suited for small installations. It takes measurements from up to six feet away and in only 0.2 seconds, raising audible alerts if a person’s skin temperature is above a user-defined threshold. It can also help determine whether a person is wearing a mask. Dahua Thermal Temperature Monitoring Solution For medium and large installations, the Dahua Thermal Temperature Monitoring Solution is a more robust option that incorporates a hybrid network thermal camera, an NVR, and a blackbody calibration device for highly accurate skin temperature measurements (±0.54° F). Like SafetyTemp, this is a contact-free solution that makes screening fast and efficient. As people pass through the checkpoint, their skin temperatures are captured and the system can send alerts about temperature or mask status via the 4K 16-inch 1U NVR (DHI-NVR5216-16P-I) or a mobile app (DMSS). Thermal cameras deployed Two different camera options are available, including a new model (DH-TPC-BF3221-T), which is well-suited for medium-sized businesses due to a lower price point. It offers accurate readings from up to 16 feet away. The high-end model (DH-TPC-BF5421) has a higher resolution thermal lens, lower NETD, and large aperture, resulting in more pixels and less noise in the image. This, in turn, means more data points for the system to analyze and lets the camera obtain readings from up to 23 feet away. Handheld Thermal Temperature Monitoring Device Handheld Thermal Temperature Monitoring Device, DH-TPC-HT2201 features a 3.5mm camera For a portable solution, the Handheld Thermal Temperature Monitoring Device, DH-TPC-HT2201 features a 3.5mm camera that can be aimed directly at the subject from a safe distance. AI temperature measurement facilitates high accuracy (±0.9° F), and an alarm sounds when a person’s skin temperature exceeds a user-defined threshold. This simple to use, cost effective device is best employed in small applications with a dense customer or personnel base. A built-in, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery lasts more than eight hours in between charging. Smart Motion Detection and Face Detection When mask detection is the top priority, a new 5MP dome camera (N55DY82) gives users an active alarm message when it detects people without masks within its field of view. A wealth of other features, including perimeter protection, people counting, heat mapping, Smart Motion Detection (SMD) and face detection, make this high-performing camera an excellent security solution as well. Highly accurate, it can be paired with a thermal temperature camera for a complete solution. Floor-Standing Digital Signage Dahua’s 55-inch Floor-Standing Digital Signage (DHI-LDV55-INDOOR) complements digital monitoring checkpoints. It offers a 1080p display screen that is customizable to display safety requirements, provide instructions for those preparing to have their temperature measured, or simply point people in the right direction. The digital signage can also be deployed as a component of Dahua’s new flow control solution It supports a wide range of audio and video encoding formats and has built-in media player software and a USB player for displaying advertisements. The digital signage can also be deployed as a component of Dahua’s new flow control solution. This solution helps businesses maintain social distancing protocols and avoid overcrowding while streamlining efforts and reducing manpower for facilities where occupancy is regulated. People-counting camera installed A people-counting camera installed at a restaurant entrance, for example, keeps track of how many people have entered and exited. Working in tandem, the display tells customers when they may enter the restaurant, grocery store, or retail store, or when it is at capacity and they need to wait. The entire solution can integrate with the mask detection camera and thermal temperature solutions for large applications needing to manage a complex set of safety and health requirements. “Convenience and accuracy are important to our customers as they reopen their businesses,” stated Hackenburg, adding “Dahua has risen to the challenge by providing flexible options for a variety of needs and budgets, supporting a more seamless transition into this new way of doing business.”
The need for crisp and clear video images in low-light environments always exists. The data confirms it: when committing crimes like burglary and vehicle theft, criminals definitely prefer to hide under the cover of darkness. So to both prevent and tackle crime, it’s vital to have security cameras that can record quality, discernible footage in a variety of light conditions, especially in near-total darkness. For years, improvements in sensor technology and algorithms to enhance the image have helped deliver better surveillance in low-light conditions. Besides IR illumination, other availabilities include the addition of visible light in the vicinity of the field of view, the use of image intensifiers, low-light lenses, and thermal cameras. In this blog, different types of cameras – including some of the latest Hikvision technologies – will help one understand the workarounds for low-light and pitch-black monitoring. Low light conditions With an F1.0 super aperture and an advanced sensor, these eyes pull in four times the light of a conventional camera Low light means anything down to 0.002 Lux – that’s the same conditions as a moonless, clear night. Many surveillance cameras built for low-light performance can deliver usable and high-quality images by applying better optics and advanced sensors. To put it simply, the lens used thereby gets as much light as possible onto the image sensor. In this way, Hikvision has two options. The first is the Hikvision ColorVu cameras, which is ideal for monitoring at a closer range. With an F1.0 super aperture and an advanced sensor, these intelligent eyes pull in four times the light of a conventional camera, for daylight-like color images in low-light conditions. Should light levels fall to zero, the built-in warm supplemental lighting ensures the camera can still capture vivid color images within up-to 40 meters range. Conventional camera DarkFighter camera DarkFighter cameras can deliver excellent HD high color images down to 0.002 Lux If one needs low-light security monitoring over larger distances, then Hikvision DarkFighter camera range are ideal. Featuring a large-sized progressive scan CMOS sensor and a DarkEye SLA lens with a super large F0.95 aperture, DarkFighter cameras can deliver excellent HD high color images down to 0.002 Lux. The camera’s increased field of view allows security operatives to pan around and cover a large area of attention, particularly ideal for city streets monitoring, and open environments like ports, squares, parking lots, etc. Infrared Cameras When there is zero ambient light, there is one industry-standard option: Infra-Red Cameras. Security camera manufacturers have created true day/night cameras that add IR illuminators to capture monochrome images when the light level falls to zero lux. Specifically, IR illuminators emit infrared light that is reflected by objects and is further collected by the camera sensor to produce a sharp, black and white image. The vast majority of cameras on the market come with built-in IR illuminators. But if one wants to take things a step further, it’s worth considering the Hikvision DarkFighterX camera range. Based on the human eye, these cameras use a single lens featuring two sensors: one for IR imaging – ensures that video footage is bright and sharp, and the other for visible light – allows video images to be reproduced in full and vivid color. Both signals work together to create a single, bright, full-color image in light conditions as low as 0.0005 Lux. In zero light, the cameras enable the mixed supplemental lighting to render color images. Thermal Cameras Rather than using light, thermal cameras measure heat – or thermal radiation – to generate images from their field of view There is a solution even if it’s pitch black, and the view is obscured by rain, fog or even thick foliage. If one is trying to see in the most challenging of conditions, there’s one trusty option: Thermal Cameras. Rather than using light, thermal cameras measure heat – or thermal radiation – to generate images from their field of view. In this way, the rendered image is far less affected by rain, snow, fog, smog or indeed anything that can obscure light. Integrated solutions The way thermal cameras “see” allows them to pick up movements with high accuracy, giving security operatives eyes on objects, vehicles and intruders. Combined with Video Content Analysis (VCA) technology, thermal cameras can offer a range of perimeter security solutions, such as line-crossing detection and intrusion detection. This means they can easily detect intruders moving through bushes or under the cover of complete darkness. Hikvision offers a range of cutting-edge thermal cameras, including those that deliver the best of both worlds: Bi-Spectrum Cameras, which combine thermal and optical images to create a hybrid image, making it easier to find hidden objects and document unusual events.
Dallmeier electronic, one of the manufacturers of video security systems, introduces the remote-controlled "Privacy Shield" for their Panomera® cameras. With a few mouse clicks, government authorities, police forces as well as private businesses can cover the lenses of the cameras with a kind of "privacy curtain" in order to protect the privacy rights of individuals concerned. The use-cases could be during peaceful public assemblies, company staff meetings or strikes. Data protection One important prerequisite for the acceptance of video surveillance in public and business environments is that the privacy of data subjects must be respected. In early 2020 for example, several German courts ruled the following: During peaceful gatherings, not only must permanently-installed video systems be switched off, but this must also be "sufficiently reliably evident" to all participants in the public assembly. Moreover, a growing number of companies must also protect the right to privacy of their employees, not least in response to the requirements of the EU GDPR or other national data protection laws. Substantial logistical effort Until now, deactivating surveillance cameras visibly has caused a substantial logistical effort Until now, deactivating surveillance cameras visibly has caused a substantial logistical effort: The police or security personnel must disguise each camera individually, at great expense with the aid of elevating platforms. Returning the installations to their original condition is equally time-consuming. Given the several hundred assemblies per year held in larger cities, shift changes or strikes in businesses, this rapidly leads to substantial costs for additional manpower and the requisite equipment such as elevating platforms. Furthermore, the police and security personnel are unable to activate the cameras again at short notice if indications of possible dangers become evident. Camera technology The German video security manufacturer Dallmeier has developed a system called "Privacy Shield" to tackle these issues: Users can remotely control a kind of "blind" – that is made of a special non-transparent material – directly via the GUI in the control center, and within a few seconds cover the lenses of the Dallmeier Panomera® systems. The Privacy Shield has a highly visible color and bears the printed image of a crossed-out camera The Privacy Shield has a highly visible color and bears the printed image of a crossed-out camera, showing clearly for any person: there is no video observation or video surveillance. This solution could also be used in business environments if area or parking lot surveillance is to be deactivated at certain times, for example, such as during shift changes, company meetings or strikes. The system is not only available in the latest Panomera® generation; existing systems can also be upgraded easily. Full information on this subject is available from the manufacturer. Efficient and sustainable "As a German manufacturer, we have mastered the topic of data protection and data security through years of cooperation with authorities. This is why it was important to us to make a system available for government authorities, and private businesses as well, which addresses these many requirements in a single solution," says Dieter Dallmeier, Founder & CEO at Dallmeier electronic. "This includes the need for comprehensive protection of the privacy of citizens, or employees, to be able to comply with the legal provisions and to be able to comply with the requirement to deactivate and activate surveillance at reasonable expense. With our Dallmeier Privacy Shield, we demonstrate once again that innovation "Made in Germany" is not just an empty phrase, but offers clearly identifiable added value for all parties involved. The fact that the system can also be retrofitted, underscores our efforts to ensure sustainability."
Security and surveillance applications require accurate, scalable, and cost-effective solutions. However, traditional security technologies pose many risks and challenges including frequent false alarms and high costs—both for system installation and ongoing maintenance. Because of the shortcomings of these technologies, many organizations have adopted 3D LiDAR-based security solutions to improve reliability, reduce false alarms, and streamline their operations. Integrated with cameras and video management systems (VMS), LiDAR enhances security by reducing false alarms, allowing for real time tracking of intruders, and enabling automated PTZ camera control for a more comprehensive security system. Choosing the right technology for security and surveillance The most critical element of any security solution is its ability to quickly, accurately, and reliably identify potential threats so that security personal can be promptly mobilised to respond to said threat. Advanced security capabilities and reduced incidence of false alarms are especially critical when protecting sensitive areas like critical infrastructure and other limited access locations However, many traditional security technologies often fail to deliver the low rate of false alarms necessary to reliably protect secure areas, at any time of the day or night and in any weather condition. For example, cameras can be blinded by bright lights and cannot operate in dark conditions. In addition, cameras and other sensing technologies area also affected by harsh environmental factors like high wind and heavy rain—both of which can lead to security failures. The risks posed by an ineffective security system are high The risks posed by an ineffective security system are high. False alarms are costly, wasting valuable time and resources to respond to nonexistent threats. In addition, security personnel may experience alarm fatigue due to frequent false alarms, which can lead to latency in their response to real threats. Because of the consequences of false alarms and other security failures, security solution providers are searching for technology alternatives which can enhance the accuracy of their current Perimeter Intrusion Detection (PID) system as well as interoperate with the existing VMS platform managing their security devices. How LiDAR works differently LiDAR, which stands for Light, Detection, and Ranging—is a time-of-flight sensing technology that pulses low-power, eye-safe lasers and measures the distance between the sensor and objects based on the light reflections off those objects. The resulting sensor data is used to generate a centimeter-level accurate 3D point cloud image, providing spatial location information to reliably detect and track moving targets, such as intruders. LiDAR sensors are operational in various weather conditions and perform reliably in both very bright and extremely dark conditions. The anatomy of a LiDAR-based security solution A LiDAR-based security solution starts with the LiDAR sensors, but it does not end there. In any security application, several LiDAR sensors will be mounted at various points throughout the area, gathering environmental data to provide a complete 360-degree view of the protected space. A 3D perception software platform using artificial intelligence algorithms will detect, track, and classify objects based on the rich point cloud data received from the LiDAR sensors. From there, the object information is routed in real-time to a VMS, which may also compile data from cameras (including CCTV, IP cameras, etc.). The LiDAR-based object information can be used to enable automated PTZ control based on the target’s position, keeping the target in view of security cameras at all times. This provides a complete and nuanced perspective of the area being surveilled. LiDAR technology can pinpoint the exact location of a threat on a map, enabling quick and effective responses when and where they are needed. The fully integrated solution also empowers security personnel with the tools and information they need to respond to threats confidently, thanks to an extremely low risk of false alarms. LiDAR enhances security, reduces false alarms, and enables timely, effective responses LiDAR-based systems are becoming increasingly popular choice for security and surveillance applications due to the technology’s accuracy, reliability, and cost-effective operation. Overall, LiDAR enhances security, reduces false alarms, and enables timely, effective responses to security threats compared to security cameras alone. 4 key advantages of LiDAR for security LiDAR provides many benefits over competing technologies, including high accuracy, real-time tracking and analysis, seamless integration with existing infrastructure, and simple system management. High accuracy and low rate of false alarms In security applications, false alarms are extremely costly. Whenever an alarm sounds, staff must be mobilised to quickly respond to the threat of an intruder. A security system with a high rate of false alarms not only requires more staff members to respond to these false alerts, but it can also require additional devices to enhance the system’s detection accuracy. In addition, frequent false alarms can desensitise operators, lowering their efficiency in responding to alerts. 3D LiDAR sensors can provide greater than 95 percent detection accuracy and 24/7 reliability in all lighting and atmospheric conditions. The accuracy and reliability of a LiDAR-based solution significantly reduces false alarms, ultimately saving time and costs. A lower rate of false alarms provides personnel with confidence in the reliability of the alerts, improving the quality and promptness of their responses. Real-time tracking and analysis With LiDAR, security data is available in real time. The solution automatically tracks individual people and provides real-time location information, enabling security personnel to quickly locate and respond to potential threats. Seamless integration with cameras and existing infrastructure LiDAR sensors can be integrated with PTZ cameras and Video Management Systems (VMS). The positional data from sensors can be used to automate PTZ camera control and accurately identify and track moving objects in areas of interest. PTZ control is programmable, and the location data is used to intelligently select which camera to follow the intrusion based on pre-programmed rules. Some LiDAR manufacturers provide Automatic ID handover™ technology, which works by assigning a unique identification to each object detection enabling the system to track any object across all sensors within an environment and providing tracking continuity regardless of the target’s location within the secured area. This ensures seamless tracking of an individual’s movement across the entire LiDAR coverage area. Finally, when paired with a VMS platform, all sensors and video footage can be managed under one platform with a single visualization pane. The ability to clearly visualise moving targets on dynamic maps allows security personnel to take corrective action quickly and effectively. Easy-to-manage, fully automated solution Some LiDAR-based surveillance solutions use machine learning and 3D perception algorithms to scan the sensor’s field of view, analyze point cloud data, and provide anonymised information on detected individuals. This enables a fully automated security solution that is easy to manage. Overall, LiDAR-based security and surveillance technology reduces the risk of false alarms and enables security personnel to accurately identify and respond to threats—all at a cost-effective price point.
The only constant theme for video technology is its constant evolution. Over the last 40 years, cameras have gone from limited view, constantly monitored rarities to being one of the most populous Internet of Things (IoT) devices with a global reach. Fixed cameras with limited fields of view have been augmented with panoramic cameras with 180- and 360-degree viewing capabilities at ultra-high resolutions in the 4K and 8K ranges, a far cry from the grainy, monochrome viewing of the past. Threats have also evolved in that time, leading to a necessary evolution in security posture, moving from a series of individual programs and practices, to a comprehensive strategy designed around complex risk assessments. To ensure the successful implementation of your security stance in today’s world, you need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together to deliver coherent solutions rather than individual components. Since successful partnerships are always a two-way street, it’s important to take a look at some of the factors that vendors should offer and expect to receive when entering a beneficial partnership where technology seamlessly folds into the ecosystem of the partner’s technology offerings. Open Technology Standards If you ask any customer what the biggest negative is when it comes to new and emerging technologies, you’ll get a pretty rapid answer of “vendor lock-in.” You can have the best technology in the world, but if you don’t give a customer the opportunity to build multiple, “best-of-breed” products into a comprehensive strategy, you’re going to fall by the wayside pretty quickly. You need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together That’s not to say that you can’t have unique, proprietary or visionary technology; you absolutely can, and it is what innovation and progress thrives on. Building those technologies around open technology standards is vital if you are looking for wide-scale adoption. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer. All of this leads to a faster time to revenue and a more rapid scaling of your presence in the market. Direct Technology Integrations Continuing the theme of open technology standards improving the ability to drive relationships with existing, complimentary technology partners, the directness and depth of integration also bears consideration. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer One of the blights of building a security practice is getting all of your technologies to integrate together and feed information to each other. When you add the fact that each technology has its own user interface (UI) and management console, it can very quickly become overwhelming for the end user to keep tabs on each console, learn every interface and complicates building a workflow in the case of incidents or investigations. The administrators who manage the system also have to update each component individually, ensure that the integrations don’t break when an update is delivered and ensure that any new technologies don’t cause an existing piece of your solution to fail. As a technology vendor, if you have used open technology standards, and written your software with integrations in mind, you will find yourself becoming an easy solution to turn to. Camera manufacturers in particular can take advantage of this when integrating with a video management system (VMS). The deeper you integrate, and the easier you make it to manage, update, monitor and interact with your cameras for the VMS and subsequently the operator using the VMS, the more likely your technology will be designed into solutions. Open Communication and Equal Joint Development Successful partnerships are all about communication, and in my experience, having organizational alignment throughout both companies does wonders to improve the development processes. Executive support in particular is key, and a mutual understanding between leaders makes for a more successful go to market strategy. Equally as important is joint development, especially for engineering teams. Often, software engineers are just thrown the software from the larger of the two partners and told “make sure we integrate with this.” It is then down to the engineering teams to figure out how the partner software works and figure out their integrations. This is less difficult if the partner is using open standards, but there is still a high degree of difficulty involved. It also takes longer to create, test, adjust and release software integrations in this way. Then you have to repeat the process whenever there is a software update on either side. Successful partnerships are all about communication If you work collaboratively as engineering teams with defined co-development plans and processes, this process is simplified, and a better solution is realised for the customer. Working as equals also allows you to drive technology advancement faster, especially for the longer established vendor. New technology companies are forced to innovate faster to stay alive and that is well worth remembering. Your mutual sales teams also have a large part to play here, since working together in front of customers with a connected message will deliver better feedback into the engineering teams for future developments and projects. If you build your technology partnerships on these foundations, then you are well positioned to deliver great solutions to your customers, real value when it comes to forming a major part of the wider security ecosystem and will be well on your way to becoming a mainstay in the physical security world.
News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence. Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place.
The healthcare market is rife with opportunity for security systems integrators. Hospitals have a continuous need for security, to update their systems, to make repairs, says David Alessandrini, Vice President, Pasek Corp., a systems integrator. “It’s cyclical. Funding for large projects might span one to two years, and then they go into a maintenance mode. Departments are changing constantly, and they need us to maintain the equipment to make sure it’s operating to its full potential.” The experience of Pasek Corp. is typical of the opportunities available for security integrator companies in the healthcare vertical. A single large hospital system can supply a dependable ongoing source of revenue to integrator companies, says Alessandrini. Hospitals are “usually large enough to provide enough work for several people for an extended length of time.” Healthcare customers in Pasek’s service area around Boston provide the potential for plenty of work. “We have four major hospitals, each with in excess of 250 card readers and 200 cameras, in the Boston area,” Alessandrini says. One appeal of the healthcare market for North Carolina Sound, an integrator covering central North Carolina, is the breadth of possible equipment they can sell into the healthcare market, including access control and video, of course, but also other technologies, such as audio-video systems in a dining room. North Carolina Sound has also installed sound masking in some areas with waiting rooms to protect private patient information from being overheard. Locking systems on pharmaceutical doors are another opportunity. Data capture form to appear here! IP based networked video systems A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network Among North Carolina Sound’s customers is Wayne Memorial Hospital, Goldsboro, N.C., which uses about 340 video cameras, with 80 percent or more of them converted to IP. The hospital is replacing analog with IP cameras as budget allows, building network infrastructure to support the system. The healthcare market tends to have a long sales cycle; in general, sales don’t happen overnight or even within a month or two. In fact, the period between an initial meeting with a healthcare facility and installation of a system could stretch to a year or longer. A lot happens during that time. Healthcare systems involve extensive planning, engineering, and meetings among various departments. Physical security systems that involve the information technology (IT) department, as do most systems today, can be especially complex. Installation of networked video systems based on Internet protocol (IP) requires deep and probing discussions with the IT team about how a system fits into the facility’s network infrastructure. A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network. Compatible with the network They must vet the technology to ensure the devices and solutions will be compatible with the network, and must sign off on technology choices. And even more important is determining if the security system will adhere to cybersecurity requirements of the facility. A complete solution that integrates nearly any system that lives on or uses a facility’s network is ultimately what the healthcare vertical is moving toward, says Jason Ouellette, General Manager – Enterprise Access Control & Video, Johnson Controls. Healthcare security professionals are early adopters of technology, implementing the best technology available”“We are hearing more and more from customers across industries that they want to be able to use their security systems and devices for more than just security: they want added value,” says Ouellette. Many want to use access control, video surveillance and other data sources to assess their business operations and/or workflows with the goal of improving efficiency. Upgrade cost-effectively Historically, three factors have prevented many organizations from moving forward with new technologies: lack of money, proprietary systems, and the need to “rip and replace” large parts of the installed systems, says Robert Laughlin, CEO and Chairman, Galaxy Control Systems. "Today, while funding is almost always a limiting factor at some level, the progression of industry standards and ‘open’ systems has made a big positive impact on the ability of organizations to upgrade cost-effectively,” he says. Despite any obstacles, healthcare customers generally welcome new innovations. “I would say healthcare security professionals in general are early adopters of technology and like to implement the best technology available,” says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Johnson Controls/Tyco Security Products. “For most, rapid implementation is limited by budgets and available funding." Read parts one and three of our healthcare mini series here and here.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 saw 323 mass shooting incidents as of November. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016, with ‘mass shooting’ defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. A variety of gunfire detection solutions and other technology approaches seek to address the problem. ShotSpotter SiteSecure and ShotSpotter SecureCampus provide critical outdoor infrastructure protection against active shooter attacks. SiteSecure delivers critical information such as the number of shots fired, a detailed map of the airport or transportation facility, with the shooting location clearly identified. SiteSecure also provides law enforcement and transportation facility management with real-time information that can be useful to identify and address false alarms and reduce mass panic. Gunfire Detection And Precise Shooter Location ShotSpotter SecureCampus solution is a gunfire detection system designed to provide outdoor coverage at university and school campuses. Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, SST SecureCampus provides gunfire detection, precise location, and number of shooters to first responders and school personnel, enabling faster response to an incident. Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, ShotSpotter SecureCampus provides gunfire detection Data capture form to appear here! Gunshot detection can offer tremendous benefits in mitigating active shooting incidents occurring in a public facility or commercial environment. Data shows that active shooter attacks often begin outside a building and then progress indoors. Thus, the first line of defense for security professionals lies outside a facility, in a zone of protection surrounding it or comprising the entire outdoor area of a larger facility of many buildings. Audio Solutions for Perimeter Security Video cameras are effective surveillance tools in the event of a shooting incident, but they are not able to capture everything. Deploying audio solutions can automatically flag incidents not caught on camera, as well as alert central station guards of what surveillance zones need to be closely monitored. Audio analytics solutions for aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. They are the next generation of monitoring; equipping security teams with critical information and enhancing perimeter security. End users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognizing duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. As a result, end users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen. Artificial Intelligence To Detect Weapons A gunshot detector recognizes firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification through a designated VMS. Security staff can then verify the alert, effectively reducing the reaction time of first responders. With the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in object recognition, AI weapons detection offers an efficient alternative to gunshot detection to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognize firearms in different shapes, sizes, colors, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing camera systems, analyze the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Audio analytics, processed inside a video camera, are another approach that can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritize responses from police and emergency personnel. Detecting Audio Levels And Alerting Operators The first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom-configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.
Gunshot detection today is part of more physical security systems than ever before, and many manufacturers are developing interfaces to the latest gunshot detection technologies. Genetec has integrated ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology into its unified IP security platform, Security Center. Thanks to this integration, police departments and security professionals will be able to receive more actionable information, gain rapid access and detailed location insights when a gunshot situation occurs. Cloud-Based Analysis Software ShotSpotter uses wide-area acoustic surveillance that automatically gets activated when gunfire occurs, providing comprehensive outdoor coverage on campuses and in complex urban geographies. ShotSpotter sensors and cloud-based analysis software triangulate and pinpoint the precise location of each round fired within seconds, the number of shots fired and provide an immediate gunfire alert with an audio clip. Detailed incident data is immediately sent to SST’s Incident Review Center (IRC), a secure data processing and alert validation facility, where acoustics experts analyze the data and qualify the incident in real-time 24/7. Once validated, an alert is sent directly into Genetec’s Security Center, all in under a minute. Once the alarm is triggered within Security Center upon gunshot detection, operators can quickly access video and other related data surrounding the location of a gunshot alert, and immediately visualize it on Security Center maps, leveraging the dynamic visualization capabilities of the Security Center Plan Manager. Genetec has integrated ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology into its unified IP security platform Gunshot Identification Software Stanley Security has announced a partnership with Shooter Detection Systems LLC (SDS), gunshot detection solutions provider. As an authorized dealer, STANLEY Security is now certified to sell, install and service SDS products and services. SDS’s Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System combines acoustic gunshot identification software with infrared gunfire flash detection for a fully automated gunshot detection and alerting solution. The Guardian System immediately detects gunshots and simultaneously alerts building occupants The Guardian System immediately detects gunshots and simultaneously alerts building occupants and first responders within one second and with zero false alerts. Johnson Controls has announced that its exacqVision video management system now integrates with Databuoy Corp.’s ShotPoint acoustic gunshot detection and localization system to speed response time and heighten the decision-making process for local responders during active shooter situations. Integrated Security Systems Johnson Controls has also released the Detect360 Active Shooter Response (ASR) system, combining reliable gunshot detection with notification technology to provide immediate warning when a gunshot is fired within a building. By providing early notification and precise location of the shooter, the ASR system gives occupants time to find safety and allows police and security personnel to mitigate the threat up to 60 percent faster. Detect360 ASR gives first responders information as it develops at the scene, including shot location, number of shots, location of the shooter in near real-time and the ability to remotely monitor the situation through integrated security systems. It also collects forensic information that can later be used by law enforcement. The system supports multiple integration options, including video feeds from existing CCTV and intrusion systems, mass notification systems, access control systems and panic button/manual initiation systems. Public Safety Access Points Listed as one of the most important new technologies debuted at CES 2019 by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, Safe Zone also showcased its Safe Zone Gunfire Detector (GFD) at ISC West 2019. Priced at $149 per unit, the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector combines infrared and sound detection technologies with immediate cloud-based data analysis that can analyze more than 3,000 data points of each loud noise that exceeds ambient levels by a certain threshold. Utilizing the data from multiple detectors simultaneously, the system determines the location of shots fired, the number of shots, and the type and caliber of gun being used. Within 10 seconds of the trigger pull, an alert is sent to Public Safety Access Points in the appropriate dispatch center, giving local 911 dispatchers all critical information on their computers. Reseller Recruitment Program Shot Tracer has launched a reseller recruitment program with a highly attractive on-boarding proposition for qualified dealers. Qualifying resellers can receive a Gunshot Simulator Kit valued at $1,000 when they commit to becoming a Shot Tracer dealer. Shot Tracer’s Eagle Gunshot Detection System easily integrates with virtually any security, alarm, surveillance and access system via contact closure – or wirelessly via IP integration. The system determines the location of shots fired, the number of shots, and the type In fact, Shot Tracer gunshot detection sensors are as easy to install as a smoke detector, so there’s virtually no learning curve for installing dealers. The new Shot Tracer Reseller Recruitment Program includes an exclusive offer for installing dealers to receive a free Gunshot Simulator Kit, valued at over $1000, which is essential for demonstrating Shot Tracer Eagle Gunshot Detection sensors. Terms and conditions apply for qualifying resellers.
South Africa conservationist, Brett Barlow needed a robust security solution to protect Munu, a blind, South Western Black Rhinoceros, whose species is critically endangered. FLIR video solution Barlow deployed an all FLIR solution, comprising thermal cameras, visible cameras and an NVR, for around-the-clock monitoring, early detection and real-time response. FLIR technology has played an instrumental role to protect Munu’s life and livelihood. Throughout the 20th century, big-game hunters, settlers and poachers have decimated Africa’s black rhino population. In the early 1970s, there were approximately 65,000 black rhinos, and by 2018, that number was reduced to 5,630. In 2020, there are three remaining subspecies of the black rhino, one of the most vulnerable being the South Western Black Rhinoceros, also known as Diceros bicornis bicornis, of which there are only 254 left in South Africa. FLIR thermal and visible security cameras deployed Barlow teamed up with FLIR Systems to use state-of-the-art thermal and visible security cameras to act as Munu’s eyes Munu, a 20-year-old blind male rhino, is one of these critically endangered species. When Munu was in danger, South Africa conservationist, Brett Barlow stepped in to save Munu’s life. Barlow teamed up with FLIR Systems to use state-of-the-art thermal and visible security cameras to act as Munu’s eyes, detecting threats, increasing safety and enhancing his overall quality of life. In 2019, rangers working at a South African National Park found a black rhino walking in circles and visibly disoriented. They knew they had to do something. After safely tranquilizing him, an ophthalmic surgeon confirmed that the rhino, known as Munu, had suffered two detached retinas and was completely blind, likely as a result of disputes with other rhinos in the area. Protecting endangered rhino, Munu As soon as he heard about the situation, renowned South African conservationist, Brett Barlow spoke with the South African National Park and offered to permanently house and protect Munu. “Every rhino matters,” Barlow adamantly affirmed, adding “You wouldn’t put down a blind child, so why would you put down a blind rhino?” The South African National Park later transferred Munu to Barlow’s care. However, Barlow wasn’t the only one who wanted to help Munu. Relocating Munu to the Mantis Founder’s Lodge Adrian Gardiner, globally renowned conservationist famous for founding the Shamwari Game Reserve and the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, extended the invite for Munu to stay on one of his properties, the Mantis Founder’s Lodge. Wasting no time at all, Barlow relocated Munu to the lodge, knowing it would increase his quality of life. The property, spanning 850 hectares, is home to five white rhinos, as well as other animals, including a zebra and giraffe. The White Lion Foundation, in which Gardiner and Barlow are both executive board members, donated funds to construct Munu’s boma, comprising a secure covered boma and a five-hectare open grazing area. American Humane funding Though under Barlow’s care and in a safe enclosure, Munu still faced many grave threats Additional support came from a local internet provider, who donated free internet services for the project. American Humane, a non-profit organization committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of animals, funded one year of feed for Munu. All donations for Munu go directly to the project with no administration costs deducted. Though under Barlow’s care and in a safe enclosure, Munu still faced many grave threats because of his highly valuable horn. He remained a prime target for illegal poaching. Much of Munu’s horn was removed to protect him, but the amount of horn that remained is still worth thousands of dollars. Experts say that one pound of rhino horn is worth at least US$ 3,000 universally and ten times that, on Asian black markets. Thus, even with much of his horn removed, Munu was still in danger. Self-harm was a risk should Munu charge into the boma. Munu’s next door neighbor, Rodney, a white bull rhino, was also a concern should a territorial fight occur. For all these reasons, Barlow looked for ways to enhance Munu’s safety. Video surveillance for enhanced security Previously, the Mantis Founder’s Lodge employed two guards for Munu’s security. However, Barlow believes guards should only be a second line of defense, a visual deterrent that responds to threats. “I wanted to go down to the electronic security system route,” Barlow said, adding “Technology doesn’t sleep.” The first security manufacturer Barlow hired charged high prices for their security products. More than this, once installed, Barlow discovered that these devices were unable to deliver quality images in extreme weather conditions, such as mist or rain, both of which are commonplace at the Lodge. As such, he decided Munu’s security required for a more robust and reliable video security system. In 2019, Wilke Pretorius, Distribution Sales Manager for Sub Sahara Africa at FLIR Systems, was working with Brett Barlow on a separate project. When Barlow told Pretorius about Munu, Pretorius informed the FLIR team who immediately got involved. FLIR end-to-end video surveillance system FLIR donated an end-to-end surveillance system, featuring thermal and visible cameras FLIR donated an end-to-end surveillance system, featuring thermal and visible cameras, in order to protect Munu from poachers. FLIR’s powerful thermal and visible imaging cameras deliver intrusion detection at much longer ranges and complete, 24-hour perimeter protection, regardless of weather conditions. "Other camera manufacturers don't compare. Their cameras can't see through mist or rain. FLIR delivers images 24/7, rain or shine, darkness or light,” Barlow said, adding “technology like FLIR thermal cameras allow for early warnings for perimeter breaches. Even though rhinos have weak eyesight, without any sight, they are basically defenseless. So, in essence, FLIR became Munu’s eyes.” Beyond FLIR’s high-performing technology, Barlow loved working with the FLIR staff. Barlow said, “What drew me to FLIR were the people involved. Wilke and the rest of the FLIR team have been so passionate and resourceful, always available and willing to help when issues arise.” “When I started working at FLIR, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Cannon said our mission is to save lives and livelihoods,” Pretorius explained, adding, “These words stuck with me. Working on the Munu project, it was clear that saving lives and livelihoods are indeed a passion of FLIR employees. I am proud to be a part of a company so eager and passionate to produce solutions and technology that make a positive impact in the world.” Installation of FLIR cameras Installing the new security system was not an easy task. Merely two days prior to the arrival of FLIR cameras, in March 2020, South Africa was ordered into an immediate lockdown, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Barlow was eager to begin the installation process, so he set out to do it himself. By early May 2020, a two-person crew had manually dug over 600 meters of trenching to run cable and conduit through the lodge’s hard African soil. Barlow also installed a solar array to power the system. He cut bushes, installed polling and connected the entire system to FLIR’s central network video recorder (NVR), to view the camera feeds both inside and surrounding Munu’s boma. The result is a fully functioning, comprehensive video security system. FLIR Elara FB-Series ID thermal security cameras deployed Barlow worked closely with Pretorius to strategically design and lay out the FLIR security system Barlow worked closely with Pretorius to strategically design and lay out the FLIR security system based on a two-tier model. The perimeter is shaped as a big triangle about 110 yards away from the boma enclosure. Six FLIR Elara FB-Series ID thermal security cameras, which use onboard analytics to classify human or vehicular intrusions, are installed to monitor the outer perimeter or the first tier. There are also 11 Ariel Full HD IP Bullet cameras deployed, which deliver 1080p video for high motion, complex and low-light scenes. FLIR Saros Dome DH-390 cameras deployed For effective surveillance of Munu’s boma, six FLIR Saros Dome DH-390 cameras, designed to deliver actionable alerts and alarm data, surround the enclosure. One FLIR Saros DM-Series camera is mounted inside the boma to capture every minute detail of Munu’s movement in all conditions. To manage the video from all the cameras, FLIR also supplied its Meridian TM product, a compact, all-in-one network video recorder (NVR), specially designed to support dozens of channels. Meridian also features a FLIR United VMS EZ Client web interface, which simplifies viewing capabilities and saves the cost of additional workstations. Powering, processing and managing this system are six edge servers, FLIR’s USS Edge Appliances, containing 12TB of storage and preloaded with United VMS software, built to seamlessly manage multiple, varied devices. Heightened perimeter protection Thanks to FLIR’s technology, Barlow is confident that Munu can be an ambassador for his species. He hopes Munu’s story may inspire future conservancies around the world to partner with manufacturers, like FLIR, for heightened perimeter protection. Case in point, actress Shannon Elizabeth, founder of the South Africa-based Shannon Elizabeth Foundation that is focused on wildlife conservation, was deeply moved by Munu’s story. She later asked Barlow to participate as an advisor to her foundation’s Ranger Relief Fund. Importance of early warning technology FLIR could prove invaluable to the efforts of rangers all over the African continent to protect endangered animals" In a time where conservation funding is down because of declining tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ranger Relief Fund supplies money and much needed equipment to ensure conservation first responders remain employed and properly resourced. With early warning technology being more critical than ever, the need for conservancies to partner with technology manufacturers like FLIR is urgent. “FLIR could prove invaluable to the efforts of rangers all over the African continent to protected endangered animals,” Barlow explained, adding “With Munu being the proof point, FLIR could be more than Munu’s new eyes, but indeed the eyes of an industry desperate to protect the world’s natural heritage from the burgeoning poaching crisis.” Picking the optimal security solution When asked what advice Barlow would give to other conservancies considering similar security technologies, he said “Speak to the right people. Make sure you talk to someone who understands the product. See the solution in action. View a live site and see how it works. Work with the right people to implement that for yourself.” The longer Munu lives, the more good he’ll do. Barlow plans to expand Munu’s boma, once he has acclimatized to his new home. And he has already begun using the FLIR Saros DM-Series’ live stream capabilities to invite learners around the world to observe Munu up close. The plan for Munu is to mate with a female within his own subspecies, thereby directly contributing to the survival of his kind. If Munu does sire a calf, Barlow plans to donate the calf back to the South African National Park that Munu came from to help with the genetic diversity for the reserve. The future for Munu is bright and, with his new eyes, he will see through to the end.
Peake ReLeaf is a local and independently-owned medical cannabis dispensary facility, located in Rockville, Maryland. Through its recently-opened, 4,200-square-foot facility, the company provides a wide range of cannabis and cannabis-infused products to patients with a valid medical marijuana certification, to treat a variety of qualifying conditions such as anorexia, cachexia, chronic or severe pain, glaucoma, PTSD, seizures, severe nausea, and severe or persistent muscle spasms. Installing an efficient video surveillance system While Peake ReLeaf faces the ordinary challenges of any small business as a cannabis dispensary, it is also subject to a number of stringent Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) regulations, which include strict requirements for video surveillance that dictate video quality, system performance, storage and other factors. After much research, they decided to contract Skyline Technology Solutions for their surveillance system because of their transparency, robust IT background and previous experience with medical marijuana facilities. Wisenet QND-6010R dome cameras for indoor surveillance Skyline recommended that PeakReleaf install cameras from Hanwha Techwin America Based on the regulatory needs and many conversations about how they wanted their business to operate, Skyline recommended that PeakReleaf install cameras from Hanwha Techwin America to secure both the interior and exterior of the facility. For indoor use, Skyline installed Wisenet QND-6010R vandal-resistant dome cameras that offer picture clarity so facial features could be easily identified. Wisenet QNV-7080R cameras for outdoor surveillance For outdoor use, Peak ReLeaf chose the Wisenet QNV-7080R cameras that provide 4-megapixel image quality with true wide dynamic range (WDR), motion detection, defocus detection and tampering detection at an affordable price. Both camera models, Wisenet QND-6010R and Wisenet QNV-7080R cameras come integrated with WiseStream II compression technology that can reduce bandwidth by 50%. WiseStream II compression technology WiseStream II compression technology dynamically controls encoding, balancing quality and compression according to movement in the image resulting far less bandwidth and storage requirements. This allowed Peake ReLeaf to meet the MMCC storage requirements in a cost-effective manner. Since the dispensary’s opening, Hanwha cameras have continuously provided the performance and capabilities to ensure Peake ReLeaf remains in compliance with the strict MMCC requirements, even as they continue to evolve moving forward. Cameras featuring onboard video analytics The Hanwha cameras have made it easier to identify and view video thanks to their ability to flag video based on motion or other factors using onboard video analytics. “Hanwha cameras offer us the video quality we need, and the cameras’ video analytic and other capabilities provide us with the flexibility that will allow us to quickly adapt to the inevitable regulatory changes that will come as we navigate this very new industry in Maryland,” said Nate Miller, one of the founding members and Peake ReLeaf’s Executive Vice President.
Protecting commercial properties is complicated and goes beyond safeguarding people and property. Security professionals respond to the needs of the business, staff, contractors, and visitors and deal with the realities of property damage, theft, and disgruntled employees. Ava helps the team react to anomalies and policy enforcement in real-time. Instead of merely investigating incidents, organizations can take the necessary steps to prevent them. Spotlight brings relevant feeds to the operator’s attention and triggers real-time alerts to address threats before they escalate. Leverage integrated video and audio analytics to give an enhanced understanding of the camera feeds. Respond to loitering challenges, access anomalies, theft incidents, fires, and more. Identifying suspicious people Smart Search allows operators to search by appearance, events, objects, similarity, or image. Recovering lost or stolen objects, identifying suspicious people like unescorted visitors, investigating health incidents or damage to the property, performing cleaning crew inspections now take minutes instead of hours. Combine with access control to identify tailgating or fire or active shooter scenarios To gain occupancy insights, operators can leverage Ava Aware’s unique Map view with Smart Presence. By adding floor plans and maps of premises, people and vehicles appear as dots in their precise on-site locations. Operators can see live footage as they move on the cameras’ fields of view. Combine with access control to identify tailgating or fire or active shooter scenarios. Connect Ava Aware to the cloud to achieve easy and simple deployment and access from anywhere in the world. Share links of recorded video with team members, claim investigators, and law enforcement, regardless of whether they have admin access to Aware or not. Get a secure download of video files in a standard mp4 format with digital watermarking for authenticity. Key benefits delivered are as follows: Integrate with existing cameras Hundreds of hours saved in forensic searches Add access control to extend capabilities Video & metadata storage remain on-premises Full site survivability and local access Increase operational productivity and reduce facility costs Distribute heat and cooling efficiently, optimize cleaning and workplace productivity through hot-desking insights Use people flow insights to manage people and vehicle queues efficiently Automatically decrease storage demands from all the recordings Reduce bandwidth consumption on critical links with AI-based optimization Pay for what is needed, when it is needed, without the hassle of complicated licensing Up to 200 cameras per Ava appliance— small footprint support for larger facilities One-click Ava Dome and Ava 360 camera configuration Encrypted media at rest and in transit Automatic firmware updates Digital watermarking to prevent tampering Simple subscription model without hidden costs or analytics add-ons With a simple licensing model, Vaion always includes services and software upgrades. They no longer have to worry about integration charges, operator charges, API fees, or the complexity between small, medium, large, and enterprise services.
Retailers face complex challenges that range from loss prevention and maintaining a safe environment for both customers and staff to improving customer experience and operational productivity. Choose Ava Unified Security (formerly Vaion) to ensure security operators can tap into advanced analytics to detect and react to anomalies in real-time. Additionally, store managers can use Ava’s customer intelligence insights to increase profits and meet the customers’ needs. Leverage Ava’s machine learning anomaly detection to get alerts on people and vehicles loitering or cars present out of hours. Facilitating advanced analysis Get a clear understanding of activity at rear entrances, aisles, or end-caps by counting people who congregate in certain areas. Track cash register points to minimize thefts and identify return frauds. Authorized users can share links of recorded video securely with team members, claim investigators, and law enforcement. Monitor queues and the number of employees behind counters to ensure minimal waiting time Use counting of people and vehicles entering and exiting to analyze store performance, footfall, queues, and allocate more staff during busy periods. Download and share historical data of occupancy information with store managers to facilitate advanced analysis. Improve store safety by detecting verbal aggression, robberies, and vandalism, and empower security operators to act before incidents escalate. Track goods and control access as vehicles are entering your warehouses. Get notifications in real-time when trucks are approaching loading docks and prevent the damage of fleet and storage areas. Monitor queues and the number of employees behind counters to ensure minimal waiting time. Use Ava’s powerful search features to investigate across all stores, warehouses, and distribution centers and identify repeat offenders or suspects. Enhanced overview of operational insights Increase operational productivity and reduce store and warehouse costs Distribute air efficiently to match economics and customer comfort Use people flow insights to manage queues efficiently Understand the customers’ in-store activity and which are the least and most visited areas Enhanced customer experience Get insights on the customers’ in-store traffic patterns Instant notification when queues are detected to allocate staff according to the busiest business hours Find out which of the locations perform the best and why Saving storage and money Automatically decrease storage demands from all the recordings Reduce bandwidth consumption on critical links with AI-based optimization Pay for what is needed, when it is needed, without the hassle of complicated licensing Up to 200 cameras per Ava vserver appliance—small footprint support for larger facilities Simplicity and compliance One-click Ava vcam configuration Encrypted media at rest and in transit Automatic firmware updates Digital watermarking to prevent tampering Simple subscription model without hidden costs or analytics add-ons With a simple licensing model, Ava always includes services and software upgrades. One no longer has to worry about integration charges, operator charges, API fees, or the complexity between small, medium, large, and enterprise services.
Monitoring campuses to protect students, parents, and staff means balancing proactive measures with effective response to incidents. Ava Unified Security (previously Vaion) helps one identify unwanted events like vandalism, intrusion, loitering, parking violations, or people involved in suspicious acts so that one can focus on what truly matters: delivering positive academic experiences. Anomaly detection in real-time Powered by Spotlight™, the dynamic video view with instant notifications draws attention to the relevant video feeds with potential risks. Identify intruder break-ins, loitering, guns, or unauthorized vehicles in real-time. Operators can switch between live and playback with the click of a button. Smart Presence™ depicts people as dots on maps and live footage of persons of interest. Combine with access control to monitor hallways for a complete picture of loitering, theft, or even active shooter scenarios. Gain insights on occupancy counting in classrooms and libraries for better energy efficiency. Accurate search and integrated audio analytics Smart Search™ allows operators to search by appearance, events, objects, similarity, or image Smart Search™ allows operators to search by appearance, events, objects, similarity, or image. Recovering lost or stolen objects, such as laptops or vehicles, identifying suspicious people inside or just outside campus, locating missing students now take minutes instead of hours. With the same or fewer resources, operators can provide compelling evidence and mitigate liability risks. Ava Dome and Ava 360 perform perform exceptionally well either indoors or outdoors and in any lighting conditions making them suitable for different settings, such as classrooms, assembly halls, sports halls, or dormitories, and blend discreetly as interior fixtures. The integrated audio analytics identifies sound patterns and sends instant alerts in cases of broken glass, screaming, and gunshots. Key benefits Build from existing investment while retaining privacy Integrate with existing cameras Add access control to extend capabilities Video & metadata storage remain on-premises Full site survivability and local access Save storage and money Automatically decrease storage demands from all the recordings Reduce bandwidth consumption on critical links with AI-based optimization Pay for what one needs, when one needs it, without the hassle of complicated licensing Safe and welcoming environment Capture every detail at all times with discreet security cameras Increase situational awareness Enable preventative action through immediate response time Collaboration and flexible licencing Globally access live feeds and recordings Share video links with law enforcement authorities to facilitate ease of investigations Maintain the integrity of records with video watermarking With a simple licensing model, Ava always includes services and software upgrades. One no longer has to worry about integration charges, operator charges, API fees, or the complexity between small, medium, large, and enterprise services.
When talking about penguins, people normally think of snowy Antarctica. However, many would be surprised to know that Africa is also home to penguin families. The African penguin is a unique species that has been classified endangered from a population of over a million in the 1920s to only 13,300 breeding pairs left in South Africa currently and could be extinct in the wild by 2030. Saving African penguins Historical factors of guano scraping for agricultural fertilizer destroyed the African penguins’ breeding habitat, leading to predation during the crucial fledgling stage. An estimated 13 million-plus penguin eggs were harvested as a delicacy that caused the initial crash in numbers. In addition, the African penguin also faces issues of predation by gulls/seals/sharks, oiling, marine pollution, and a lack of fish due to overfishing in their crucial hunting grounds. Hikvision and DICT partner to protect African penguins At the initial phase of the conservation project, Hikvision cameras and solution were deployed at APSS Since 2006, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) has been rescuing birds and providing nests to help them during the fledgling stage, which improves the breeding success. In 2015, DICT opened the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) with a fully equipped lab and the vet on standby. Now, Hikvision has partnered with DICT to protect the African penguin. At the initial phase of the conservation project, Hikvision cameras and solution were deployed at APSS, which makes it possible for the public to view the feeding and rehabilitation process, and bring the conservation message of the African penguin to a wider audience. Hikvision cameras installed at APSS “We have always wanted to share the daily work we do at the APSS with a larger audience. Through the use of cameras, this will be possible. The planning of this project started in 2019. At the time, little did we know that the lockdown caused by the epidemic would prohibit visitors from temporarily viewing the penguins. So being able to view the penguins from one’s home will mean we don’t have to forget about our feathered friends,” said Wilfred Chivell, the Founder of DICT. Ping Yu, Cape Town Branch Manager of Hikvision South Africa, elaborated on the partnership, stating “Hikvision is committed to using technology for good. We are very pleased to be able to support the efforts of APSS’s critical conservation work.” PTZ cameras for non-invasive wildlife observation Hikvision’s cameras have the latest technology that provides multiple views and high-quality images Hikvision’s cameras have the latest technology that provides multiple views and high-quality images. The pan-tilt-zoom functions of Hikvision products are ideal for non-invasive wildlife observation, part of the efforts to ensure future breeding populations. In the next phase of the project, DICT plans to deploy Hikvision cameras on Dyer Island, once a thriving colony that had 25,000 breeding pairs of the African penguins in the 1970s. They are now less than 1,500 pairs left. Deploying Hikvision cameras on Dyer Island Due to the sensitive nature of the island, it is not open for the public, but with the use of Hikvision cameras, people can observe the penguins as they interact in their natural habitat. This will help with scientific monitoring and bring the island to the general public, and the video technology and solution provided by Hikvision are expected to improve the conservation work from a few other aspects: It can help to evaluate the nesting and breeding on Dyer Island. It is an innovative method to identify possible injured or compromised birds without causing unnecessary disturbance to breeding birds. The staff and volunteers can immediately treat any birds, thereby increasing their survival rate. It is a useful tool for island rangers to spot trespassers on the island. Hikvision is committed to exploring how innovative technology can secure the sustainability and biodiversity of the world.
Round table discussion
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
Artificial intelligence is on the verge of changing the face of multiple industries – from healthcare to entertainment to finance, from data security to manufacturing to the cars we drive (or that will drive themselves!) In the physical security market, AI has garnered a lot of attention as a buzzword and as a harbinger of things to come. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What security markets are most likely to embrace artificial intelligence (AI)?
In the digital age, software is a component of almost all systems, including those that drive the physical security market. A trend toward hardware commoditization is making the role of software even more central to providing value to security solutions. Software developments make more things possible and drive innovation in the market. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How do software improvements drive physical security?
Surveillance cameras: Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Hanwha Techwin Surveillance cameras
- LILIN Surveillance cameras
- Bosch Surveillance cameras
- Visionhitech Surveillance cameras
- Dahua Technology Surveillance cameras
- Pelco Surveillance cameras
- Hikvision Surveillance cameras
- eneo Surveillance cameras
- Panasonic Surveillance cameras
- Arecont Vision Surveillance cameras
- Messoa Surveillance cameras
- Vicon Surveillance cameras
- Sony Surveillance cameras
- Honeywell Security Surveillance cameras
- Axis Communications Surveillance cameras
- Dedicated Micros Surveillance cameras
- VIVOTEK Surveillance cameras
- Videcon Surveillance cameras
- Vanderbilt Surveillance cameras
- FLIR Systems Surveillance cameras