Hikvision, a manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions is launching a special, limited-time promotion on the company’s next generation of intelligent AcuSense PCI series cameras. Employing advanced deep learning algorithms, AcuSense cameras can accurately distinguish people and vehicles from other moving targets such as animals and shadows in real-time, vastly improving detection accuracy while reducing costly false alarms. Improve safety and security “Our next...
Johnson Controls, the pioneer in smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, and architect of the OpenBlue digital connected platforms, releases the newest version of the Tyco Kantech EntraPass security management software. EntraPass version 8.30 features additional support for Tyco DSC PowerSeries intrusion alarm panels, including a fully functional virtual keypad, enhanced support for EntraPass web macOS functionality, cybersecurity updates, and other optimizations for a more streamlined user...
ISS – Intelligent Security Systems, a foremost supplier of intelligent Video Management System (VMS) and analytics for myriad security and business intelligence applications, has released its unique SecurOS™ Soffit Intelligent system that escorts pedestrians using dynamic illumination to prevent accidents at crosswalks. A recent survey, conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association, points out that most pedestrian fatalities occur on local roads, at night, and away from inte...
NAPCO Security Technologies, Inc. is pleased to introduce a new marketing tools portal for dealers/integrators, enabling them to market security services, upgrades, and new systems more easily. The portal offers free customizable mailers/statement stuffers security pros can download and printout or request free physical copies; customizable ready-made HTML emails & a library of high-res or web-ready downloadable photos (by division and product brand). Customizable marketing tools A large...
Calipsa, a provider of deep-learning powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, announces the compatibility of its false alarm reduction platform with Milestone Systems' XProtect corporate VMS designed for use by organizations such as airports and train terminals. XProtect corporate's enterprise users deploy large numbers of cameras and will benefit from Calipsa's 90 percent false alarm reduction rate. Alarm reduction platform When XProtect corporate receives an alarm from a connected...
ADT, the trusted brand in smart home and business security, brought an action for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and related violations against Ring LLC (Ring), an Amazon company and provider of smart home security devices. In March 2021, the complaint asserts, Ring adopted a blue octagon mark that is virtually indistinguishable from ADT’s iconic blue octagon mark, which is protected under numerous federal trademark registrations. ADT’s blue octagon is iconic in...
Ping Identity, the Intelligent Identity solution for the enterprise, has centralized Identity Access Management (IAM) for over 300,000 DB Schenker employees, contractors, partners, and customers. The successful project, conducted in partnership with iC Consult, streamlined the management of critical security policies and enhanced secure access and authentication to business applications. Secure authentication service DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading global logistics providers, with 2,100 locations and more than 76,900 employees across the world; it supports the exchange of goods through land transport, worldwide air, and ocean freight. After identifying the need for a more secure and modern authentication service, DB Schenker saw an opportunity to accelerate a digital transformation initiative and provide more streamlined access to resources for its workforce, partners, and customers. Expanding IAM “The goal was to extend our existing identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure to secure employee access and take advantage of the cloud,” said James Naughton, Head of Identity Management at DB Schenker. “In the past, we needed to invest significant time and resources to develop integrations, but now we simply configure the system and can deliver technically complete interaction in 30 minutes, decreasing effort by 75%.” Centralized identity management DB Schenker used Ping Identity to deliver a consolidated and centralized identity management service Working closely with iC Consult, IAM consultant, and systems integrator, DB Schenker used Ping Identity to provide the authentication and authorization capabilities needed to deliver a consolidated and centralized identity management service. The project utilized PingFederate, PingAccess, PingID, PingOne, and PingDirectory, impacted over 300,000 identities and involved the migration of 50 business applications to the new authentication service. Two-step authentication “DB Schenker’s identity team can now centrally manage critical security policies and control access and authentication to their applications,” Naughton explained. “The addition of FIDO2-enabled risk-based two-step authentication allows us to provide an even higher level of security for access to the DB Schenker IT landscape, creating peace of mind for both our team, partners, and customers.” Identity journey “This is only the beginning of the identity journey for DB Schenker,” said Emma Maslen, VP, and general manager of Ping Identity, EMEA & APAC. “We will continue to seek new ways to push the boundaries of identity and provide MFA to every employee to improve workforce productivity.”
ComplyAdvantage, a data technology company transforming financial crime detection announced a new early-stage anti-money laundering (AML) program aimed at growth-focused startups called ComplyLaunch™. The program provides qualified startups with free access to the company’s award-winning AML and Know Your Customer (KYC) tools and resources needed to uncover and reduce the threat of money-laundering activities so they can onboard new customers with lower risk and greater trust. AML training and education In addition, ComplyAdvantage has partnered with the global financial crime compliance consultancy FINTRAIL to provide AML education and ongoing training for program participants. FINTRAIL is a recognized authority on financial crime prevention in financial technology (FinTech) and the application of regulatory technology (RegTech), working with industry-leading clients across the globe to transform, build, scale, and assure AFC compliance frameworks that are relevant for digital products. Why ComplyLaunch, Why Now? The impetus for ComplyLaunch was to prepare startups to take on money laundering The impetus for the program was to prepare startups to take on one of the biggest challenges their businesses will face, which is money laundering. If transacting startups want to maximize their competitive advantage with new or expanded services, then they need intelligent AML and risk management data solutions to prevent the unintended consequences of unknowingly onboarding criminal entities. Free access to AML As a serial entrepreneur, ComplyAdvantage founder and CEO Charles Delingpole has experienced first-hand the many challenges that startup teams face and that the early-stage prevention of money-laundering shouldn’t be one of them. As such, Delingpole believes that providing free access to ComplyAdvantage’s AML tools will allow more fintech startups to reach success faster by reducing the business exposure due to unforeseen financial crimes. “At ComplyAdvantage, we believe that free early access to AML tools and education on setting up a compliance program is a benefit to our entire fintech ecosystem,” said Charles Delingpole, founder, and CEO of ComplyAdvantage. Maintaining fintech integrity “By democratizing access to best-in-class financial crime prevention tools, we are allowing fintech startups to not only match but exceed the compliance program standards of the largest, most regulated banks. ComplyLaunch is a very important program designed to maintain the integrity of Fintech insurgents by reducing the growing threat of financial crimes.” Startup collaborations The first startups to join ComplyLaunch include trustshare, a company that’s revolutionizing escrow payments, and Juno a company that delivers comprehensive solutions to integrate multi-channel payment services with ERPs and e-Commerce platforms. “Because we’re focused on simplifying bank payments between friends, family, customers, and businesses it made complete sense for our team to join the ComplyLaunch program,” said Pete Bailey, founder, and CPO of Juno. “Partnering with ComplyAdvantage to implement their gold-standard AML detection solution means that we can onboard customers with greater confidence.” Criteria for applications Those early-stage fintech startups with no institutional funding are invited to apply for the program. To apply, applicants must meet the following criteria: Less than $1M in annual revenue Pre-seed - Seed stage A company website or web profile Less than 10 years old “We’re excited to join as a launch partner for ComplyLaunch and to provide program members with access to our world-class AML training”, said James Nurse, Managing Director of FINTRAIL EMEA. “There are future fintech unicorns waiting to grow and early money-laundering and risk prevention resources will only help them to reach their success, faster.” Helping emerging start-ups As a sign of growing community interest, the ComplyLaunch program will be promoted with the support of world-class organizations including the leading talent investor Entrepreneur First and Seccl an innovative technology platform providing outsourced custody for financial services firms looking to safeguard their clients' assets. "There has never been a greater time to start a fintech company and we've seen more and more of the world's most ambitious people wanting to startup in this space,” said Jonny Clifford, of Entrepreneur First. “With the growing complexity of financial service interdependencies, ComplyLaunch is a great idea at the perfect time to help these emerging, disruptive fintech startups to scale more easily and more confidently.” Early access to AML And finally, Max Rimple a Principal at Index Ventures and a lead investor in ComplyAdvantage also shared his thoughts on the program launch, "with the staggering amount of investment capital going into fintech and related financial services, it's important that startups have early access to intelligent AML and risk management tools so they can grow with integrity and confidence." ComplyLaunch is a starting point for fintech founders to safeguard their businesses from the risks of financial crimes "The ComplyLaunch program is a great starting point for fintech founders to safeguard their businesses from the risks of financial crimes. It's also good for their investors who appreciate that early compliance practices help to set the stage for future success." Risk Management ComplyAdvantage offers a true hyperscale financial risk insight and AML data solution that leverages machine learning and natural language processing to help regulated organizations manage their risk obligations and prevent financial crime. The company’s proprietary database is derived from millions of data points that provide dynamic, real-time insights across sanctions, watchlists, politically exposed persons, and negative news. This reduces dependence on manual review processes and legacy databases by up to 80% and improves how companies screen and monitor clients and transactions.
Gallagher, a pioneer in access control and perimeter security solutions, and Invixium, a premier manufacturer of innovative touchless biometrics, jointly announce a global agreement where Gallagher will distribute Invixium products for access control. This distribution agreement aligns with Invixium's and Gallagher's continuous efforts to modernize and adapt physical security in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This agreement also follows the successful integration of Gallagher’s command center with IXM WEB. Healthy access solution The new integration unlocks the full potential of Invixium temperature screening, mask detection and face recognition while wearing a mask. The joint solution, provided by integrating Gallagher’s command center with IXM WEB, delivers a complete answer for visitor screening, access control or healthy workforce management, including temperature screening, mask detection and more. The command center platform will notify administrators of elevated body temperature The command center platform will notify administrators of elevated body temperature or mask-related access events in the Alarm Viewer. Along with Invixium's flagship healthy access solution, Gallagher will re-sell Invixium products to provide their global customers with a range of products to satisfy their most demanding health and safety requirements. Securing healthy buildings "Gallagher is proud to offer our customers innovative solutions that meet today's demands," said Mark Junge, Global General Manager for Security at Gallagher. "This partnership is one of many activities that allow us to remain at the forefront as a security provider, and we look forward to offering our customers new technology options that complement our security platform and deliver a safer, healthier future.” “This distribution agreement with Gallagher allows Invixium to expand our global reach and respond to the needs of customers that demand high security,” said Shiraz Kapadia, CEO & President at Invixium. “Our Healthy Access biometric solutions integrated with command center permit Gallagher customers to manage Invixium products from within command center easily and secure their healthy buildings for the future.”
Pyronix is pleased to announce the release of its second-generation CO-WE detector - providing protection against carbon monoxide with newly added features. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and highly toxic gas that can be deadly if it accumulates in enclosed spaces. The CO-WE (2nd Generation) is an essential lifesaving device, which protects homes and families against this danger; raising the alarm locally via its 85dB sounder and remotely via connected Pyronix smart device apps, if CO is present. Enhanced features The main detection element features a fixed and non-replaceable L91 lithium battery, continuously detecting within a property and providing peace of mind for 10 years. The radio module which connects to the Enforcer has a replaceable CR123A battery, providing our usual lifespan of up to 2 years. Similarly, to the recently released HEAT-WE, the CO-WE (2nd Generation) now features a test button on the front of the detector. This is also used as the radio learn button, which cuts down installation time and prevents having to open the detector, to learn onto the panel. Laurence Kenny, Marketing Director, said: “We’re delighted to announce the second generation CO-WE to our expanding Life Safety range. It provides great new features such as the easy learn button and a superior 10-year battery life in the detector, providing peace of mind and excellent protection against carbon monoxide.” Additional benefits The CO-WE (2nd Generation) now also features self-diagnostics, meaning if there’s anything wrong in the detector itself, fault messaging within the main element will send the fault over to the panel and flashing LEDs on the detector will denote what the issue is. Radio features such as encrypted two-way wireless technology, Signal Strength Indicators (SSI), and one-push-to-learn are also included on the detector. “This release demonstrates our continuous commitment to advancements within our existing products, while also remaining focused on developing new products to bring to the market,” Laurence said.
For dynamic businesses, an access and security system must be built to grow. The Incedo platform connects security software and hardware within a single, seamless system, enabling scaling up or down on demand. Now the new Incedo™ Business Plus system management option enables security personnel to control door access alongside third-party solutions for video surveillance, alarms and more — from a unified, intuitive interface. Incedo Business Plus gives facility managers, even more, control over their premises. One integrated software system simplifies building management across an organization and offers time & attendance or visitor management reports, no matter how large, small or complex. Simplifies security “Integrating multiple functions is a pressing challenge for large organizations and multinationals in particular,” says Kevin Hoare, Product Unit Director at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. “We created Incedo Business Plus to help meet these challenges. It seamlessly connects not only access and door control, but also security functions such as alarms and CCTV. The powerful, intuitive Incedo Business Plus system manages door locking options from ASSA ABLOY’s award-winning range alongside third-party security solutions.” With Incedo Business Plus, reporting is faster and more responsive to a growing business’ needs. Joined-up, synchronized building management becomes a reality — in even the largest organization spread over multiple locations. People move around more safely and efficiently. Incedo Business Plus simplifies security for every business where change is a constant. API integrations Incedo system can incorporate wired and wireless locks, of all types Incedo Business Plus helps solve many challenges in future-proofing an organization’s security. API integrations will enable video surveillance and alarm systems that can be added alongside access and door entry — key priorities for integrated management, according to a survey of security professionals for the recent Wireless Access Control Report 2021. Integrating these functions saves employees’ time and reduces administration errors. Security teams no longer maintain multiple systems in parallel: Incedo Business Plus controls them all. An Incedo system can incorporate wired and wireless locks, of all types. Even hundreds of doors or thousands of users present no problem. “Business in the 2020s will not stand still, so there is no reason your security management should be static,” Kevin Hoare adds. Flexibility & Scalability New Incedo-enabled hardware from ASSA ABLOY and third-party providers will continue to extend the evolving Incedo ecosystem. Incedo’s modular, platform approach makes extending capability simpler. It guarantees flexibility and scalability in every direction, to meet security needs today and in the future. “Single- or multi-site businesses looking for genuinely future-proofed access and security management will find what they are looking for with Incedo Business Plus,” says Kevin Hoare. Incedo™ Business Plus embodies ASSA ABLOY’s vision to create a safer and more open world, keeping everyone on the move.
Solink,a video surveillance company for businesses, announced a strategic partnership with connected safety platform Noonlight, offering customers an affordable, additional layer of business security. Solink provides a complete video security solution to commercial retailers, restaurants, and other businesses, allowing owners and operators to easily manage security in their business remotely. Through this partnership with Noonlight, Solink will offer customers 24/7 professional video monitoring and the ability to seamlessly dispatch emergency services when needed. Noonlight greatly reduces the burden of costs associated with false alarms, providing Solink customers a significant reduction in false alarm fees and improving peace of mind. Partnership benefits for customers Through this partnership, Solink customers have greater visibility into after-hour activity and alarms in their business. When an event is detected on-premises, Noonlight’s certified dispatchers verify footage for suspicious activity in real-time. If Noonlight identifies a potential emergency, the business is immediately notified and the corresponding footage is shared for verification. Once the emergency is confirmed, Noonlight immediately dispatches emergency services and empowers local authorities with the relevant data, including access to live security footage and property specifications, ensuring first responders arrive on scene informed and prepared to help. Offering better protection We’re thrilled to offer our customers better protection through Noonlight and look forward to expanding our offering" “Businesses need dependable, affordable security, and with this partnership the burden is no longer on the business to monitor or stress about their business when they’re not on site,” said Solink Chief Executive Officer, Michael Matta. “Noonlight’s ability to automatically verify incidents greatly reduces the high fees business owners experience from false positives – some on a weekly basis. We’re thrilled to offer our customers better protection through Noonlight and look forward to expanding our offering together in the future.” Saving resources with false alarms “Missed notifications are a big stressor for businesses struggling to monitor locations around the clock. Noonlight’s ability to quickly review video footage of a potential emergency is critical, especially after hours,” said Noonlight Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Brittany LeComte. “We have trained agents in our 5-diamond monitoring facility to verify alarms 24/7 and better prioritize dispatching of emergency response. Noonlight is a modern alternative to the traditional monitoring centers that rely on 3rd party solutions. We want to help businesses and local authorities save resources associated with false alarms.”
Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is still incredibly new to humans when we look at the long relationship that we have with security in general. As much as we understand the basics, such as keeping our passwords secure and storing data in safe places, our understanding of cybersecurity as a whole is complicated and so is our understanding of the threats that it protects against. However, the relationship between physical security and cybersecurity is often interlinked. Business leaders may find themselves weighing up the different risks to the physical security of their business. As a result, they implement CCTV into the office space, and alarms are placed on doors to help repel intruders. Importance of cybersecurity But what happens when the data that is collected from such security devices is also at risk of being stolen, and you don’t have to break through the front door of an office to get it? The answer is that your physical security can lose its power to keep your business safe if your cybersecurity is weak. As a result, cybersecurity is incredibly important to empower your physical security. We’ve seen the risks posed by cybersecurity hacks in recent news. Video security company Verkada recently suffered a security breach as malicious attackers obtained access to the contents of many of its live camera feeds, and a recent report by the UK government says two in five UK firms experienced cyberattacks in 2020. Cloud computing – The solution Cloud stores information in data centres located anywhere in the world, and is maintained by a third party Cloud computing offers a solution. The cloud stores your information in data centres located anywhere in the world and is maintained by a third party, such as Claranet. As the data sits on hosted servers, it’s easily accessible while not being at risk of being stolen through your physical device. Here’s why cloud computing can help to ensure that your physical security and the data it holds aren’t compromised. Cloud anxiety It’s completely normal to speculate whether your data is safe when it’s stored within a cloud infrastructure. As we are effectively outsourcing our security by storing our important files on servers we have no control over - and, in some cases, limited understanding of - it’s natural to worry about how vulnerable this is to cyber-attacks. The reality is, the data that you save on the cloud is likely to be a lot safer than that which you store on your device. Cyber hackers can try and trick you into clicking on links that deploy malware or pose as a help desk trying to fix your machine. As a result, they can access your device and if this is where you’re storing important security data, then it is vulnerable. Cloud service providers Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software in the personal computer Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software that is likely in place on your personal computer. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are able to hire countless more security experts than any individual company - save the corporate behemoth - could afford. These major platform owners have culpability for thousands of customers on their cloud and are constantly working to enhance the security of their platforms. The security provided by cloud service providers such as Claranet is an extension of these capabilities. Cloud resistance Cloud servers are located in remote locations that workers don’t have access to. They are also encrypted, which is the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, cloud infrastructure providers like ourselves look to regularly update your security to protect against viruses and malware, leaving you free to get on with your work without any niggling worries about your data being at risk from hackers. Data centres Cloud providers provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and AI Additionally, cloud providers are also able to provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and artificial intelligence, as well as data redundancy, where the same piece of data is held within several separate data centres. This is effectively super-strong backup and recovery, meaning that if a server goes down, you can access your files from a backup server. Empowering physical security with cybersecurity By storing the data gathered by your physical security in the cloud, you're not just significantly reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, but also protecting it from physical threats such as damage in the event of a fire or flood. Rather than viewing your physical and cybersecurity as two different entities, treat them as part of one system: if one is compromised, the other is also at risk. They should work in tandem to keep your whole organization secure.
Organizations faced a number of unforeseen challenges in nearly every business sector throughout 2020 – and continuing into 2021. Until now, businesses have been on the defensive, reacting to the shifting workforce and economic conditions, however, COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans. This is now giving decision-makers the chance to take a proactive approach to mitigate current and post-pandemic risks. These long-term technology solutions can be used for today’s new world of social distancing and face mask policies and flexibly repurposed for tomorrow’s renewed focus on efficiency and business optimization. For many, this emphasis on optimization will likely be precipitated by not only the resulting economic impacts of the pandemic but also the growing sophistication and maturity of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), technologies that are coming of age just when they seem to be needed the most.COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans Combined with today’s cutting-edge computer vision capabilities, AI and ML have produced smart cameras that have enabled organizations to more easily implement and comply with new health and safety requirements. Smart cameras equipped with AI-enabled intelligent video analytic applications can also be used in a variety of use cases that take into account traditional security applications, as well as business or operational optimization, uses – all on a single camera. As the applications for video analytics become more and more mainstream - providing valuable insights to a variety of industries - 2021 will be a year to explore new areas of use for AI-powered cameras. Optimizing production workflows and product quality in agriculture Surveillance and monitoring technologies are offering value to industries such as agriculture by providing a cost-effective solution for monitoring of crops, business assets and optimizing production processes. As many in the agriculture sector seek to find new technologies to assist in reducing energy usage, as well as reduce the environmental strain of modern farming, they can find an unusual ally in smart surveillance. Some niche farming organizations are already implementing AI solutions to monitor crops for peak production freshness in order to reduce waste and increase product quality. For users who face environmental threats, such as mold, parasites, or other insects, smart surveillance monitoring can assist in the early identification of these pests and notify proper personnel before damage has occurred. They can also monitor vast amounts of livestock in fields to ensure safety from predators or to identify if an animal is injured. Using video monitoring in the growing environment as well as along the supply chain can also prove valuable to large-scale agriculture production. Applications can track and manage inventory in real-time, improving knowledge of high-demand items and allowing for better supply chain planning, further reducing potential spoilage. Efficient monitoring in manufacturing and logistics New challenges have arisen in the transportation and logistics sector, with the industry experiencing global growth. While security and operational requirements are changing, smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye, but have a significant impact on the overall customer experience. Smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye. Video analytics can assist logistic service providers in successfully delivering the correct product to the right location and customer in its original condition, which normally requires the supply chain to be both secure and ultra-efficient. The latest camera technology and intelligent software algorithms can analyze footage directly on the camera – detecting a damaged package at the loading dock before it is loaded onto a truck for delivery. When shipments come in, smart cameras can also alert drivers of empty loading bays available for offloading or alert facility staff of potential blockages or hazards for incoming and outgoing vehicles that could delay delivery schedules planned down to the minute. For monitoring and detecting specific vehicles, computer vision in combination with video analysis enables security cameras to streamline access control measures with license plate recognition. Smart cameras equipped with this technology can identify incoming and outgoing trucks - ensuring that only authorized vehicles gain access to transfer points or warehouses. Enhance regulatory safety measures in industrial settings Smart surveillance and AI-enabled applications can be used to ensure compliance with organizational or regulatory safety measures in industrial environments. Object detection apps can identify if employees are wearing proper safety gear, such as facial coverings, hard hats, or lifting belts. Similar to the prevention of break-ins and theft, cameras equipped with behavior detection can help to automatically recognize accidents at an early stage. For example, if a worker falls to the ground or is hit by a falling object, the system recognizes this as unusual behavior and reports it immediately. Going beyond employee safety is the ability to use this technology for vital preventative maintenance on machinery and structures. A camera can identify potential safety hazards, such as a loose cable causing sparks, potential wiring hazards, or even detect defects in raw materials. Other more subtle changes, such as gradual structural shifts/crack or increases in vibrations – ones that would take the human eye months or years to discover – are detectable by smart cameras trained to detect the first signs of mechanical deterioration that could potentially pose a physical safety risk to people or assets. Early recognition of fire and smoke is another use case where industrial decision-makers can find value. Conventional fire alarms are often difficult to properly mount in buildings or outdoor spaces and they require a lot of maintenance. Smart security cameras can be deployed in difficult or hard-to-reach areas. When equipped with fire detection applications, they can trigger notification far earlier than a conventional fire alarm – as well as reduce false alarms by distinguishing between smoke, fog, or other objects that trigger false alarms. By digitizing analog environments, whether a smoke detector or an analog pressure gauge, decision-makers will have access to a wealth of data for analysis that will enable them to optimize highly technical processes along different stages of manufacturing - as well as ensure employee safety and security of industrial assets and resources. Looking forward to the future of smart surveillance With the rise of automation in all three of these markets, from intelligent shelving systems in warehouses to autonomous-driving trucks, object detection for security threats, and the use of AI in monitoring agricultural crops and livestock, the overall demand for computer vision and video analytics will continue to grow. That is why now is the best time for decision-makers across a number of industries to examine their current infrastructure and determine if they are ready to make an investment in a sustainable, multi-use, and long-term security and business optimization solution.
Though many office workers across the globe have found themselves working remotely for the past year, we are seeing a bit of a silver lining, as vaccine rollouts hint at a return to some pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. However, while some of us might opt for a fully-remote work life, others are anticipating a hybrid solution. Even before the pandemic, offices were taking a new, more open layout approach—moving past the days of cubicles and small office configurations. Going forward, offices and other workspaces will be tasked with supporting a hybrid work solution, as well as increasing hygiene measures. Video intercom solution This is where an IP video intercom solution can assist. Below are four ways they can help usher in a smarter, safer work environment: Video intercoms assist in creating a more hygienic work environment - The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised awareness of germs and just how easily a virus can be transmitted by face-to-face contact. Germ barriers are popping up in many aspects of our daily lives, where we were not likely to see them before Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach As such, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing plexiglass barriers at restaurants, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. However, many don’t realize that one of the best germ barriers is a simple door. Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach. All it takes is a knock or a doorbell ring to make us open our germ barrier and be face-to-face with whomever is on the other side. Increasing hygiene safety A simple step to increase hygiene safety and visitor security in commercial buildings and workspaces is an IP video intercom. Installing a video intercom will allow staff to see and speak with visitors without breaching that all-important germ barrier. A video intercom system provides a first line of defense, enabling the user to visually confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door first before granting access. It can also be used to make sure proper procedures are being followed before a person is allowed to enter, such as using hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Basic security needs A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities Video intercoms for occupancy management and basic security - A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities—ranging from grocery stores and retail shops to restaurants and commercial buildings. Workspaces and offices are no exception. A video intercom provides a quick and convenient method of seeing who, or what, is on the unsecure side of the door before opening. For basic security needs, if a business has a door opening into an alley, a video intercom would be used to ensure no one is waiting outside to force their way in when the door is opened. Personal protection equipment Such solutions can also be used to ensure a person is carrying proper credentials, or wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE), before entering a sensitive area. For example, if a lab has a room which can only be accessed by two persons at a time wearing specific protective gear, a video intercom could ensure each person is properly equipped, before allowing access that particular room. Additionally, for office or workspaces that have shared common areas, such as a cafeteria, gym or even conference rooms, managing access to these spaces will remain a priority, especially with post-pandemic restrictions in place. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace Deliveries of packages, work-related materials, or even food are common in any office or workspace. Video intercoms can assist in facilitating safe deliveries by visually and audibly confirming the identity of the individual. The visitor could be your next big client, your lunch delivery, a fellow employee with a faulty access card, or your mail. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace. Visitor management systems Video intercoms provide a cost-effective solution in small to mid-sized office facilities - One significant advantage of video intercom systems is the variety of applications available. Systems range from simple one-to-one video intercoms, to buzz-in systems, to full-fledged visitor management systems in mixed-use buildings. While they might lack the resources and manpower many enterprises have, small-to medium-sized offices can also take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Like any business, controlling who comes into the building is a primary way of maintaining safety. Video intercoms work in conjunction with access control systems to provide an identifying view of visitors or employees with lost or missing credentials. They allow staff to both see and hear those on the unsecured side of the door to determine intent before granting access. Most quality video intercoms will provide a clear enough image to allow an identification card to be read by holding it close to the lens, adding another opportunity to verify identity. Touchless intercom activation One major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation Video intercoms provide a touchless option - Even prior to COVID-19, one major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation or touchless intercom activation of a video intercom for those without proper credentials. Though touchless isn’t a new solution to the access control market, the pandemic introduced a renewed focus on these types of solutions to provide hygienic access to visitors. For offices and other workspaces looking to make investments into post-pandemic solutions to assist in reopening, touchless can support these efforts. When it comes to smart, secure workspaces, many people think instantly of cameras or monitors, access control, and alarm systems. Proper access credentials However, video intercoms are often the missing piece of a building’s security puzzle. A video intercom provides an identifying view that is not always available from a camera covering a large area. They allow those without proper access credentials a method of requesting entry, and just like cameras, they can be activated by alarms to allow staff to clearly see and communicate. If a workspace or office is important enough to be secure, it’s important enough to be sure of who is there before the door is opened. In 2021, it’s not enough to ensure the physical security of your staff and visitors, but also to ensure they are accessing a hygienic environment. Video intercoms provide that security and peace of mind.
A result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been fewer crowds gathering for outdoor events. However, sooner or later, crowded events will surge, as will the danger of injury or death from vehicle attacks. The threats of vehicular violence are still present even though collisions have become less frequent and traffic, in general, is at a significant low. Preparing for such instances remains a high priority, and institutions are seeking to take a preemptive stance to prevent major incidents before they happen. Vehicle security barriers Even amid the pandemic, manufacturers of vehicle barriers have not seen a major impact on their sales. “Half of the battle against aggressors perpetrating a vehicle attack is pre-planning,” says Greg Hamm, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Delta Scientific. He says Delta is fortunate to have long-standing trust relationships with many agencies, built over the last 46 years. “We're happy to see that demand for vehicle security barriers has not changed much – customers are preparing for the future when crowds will be present again, and probably larger than ever,” adds Stuart Glen, National Sales Manager of Jackson’s Fencing. “Lots of councils are using the downtime to install or upgrade security around town and city centers, which is promising.” Physical structures such as bollards, barriers, and barricades can stop a vehicle from entering a high-foot-traffic area. Temporary venues can deploy portable barriers. "We're happy to see that demand for vehicle security barriers has not changed much" Fully automated system The first consideration is the level of security required for a particular location. A parking garage for a foreign embassy or federal courthouse will require far more serious security measures than a parking lot for a mall. Other primary factors to consider include the frequency of vehicles moving in and out and whether there will be vehicle inspections performed or a fully automated system at the entrance. “A key challenge when protecting people from vehicle attacks is trying to ensure that the public are kept safe, but do not feel worried or overly aware of any risks,” says Glen. “People should feel protected and be able to move freely. Discreet measures such as bollards are ideal as they don't restrict pedestrian flow but are very effective in the case of a hostile vehicle attack.” Sparking future assaults The use of vehicles as tools of destruction has become one of the top concerns for security specialists Events and sports venues need increased protection as they are likely targets due to the high numbers of crowds. Places of worship are sadly another target that should be given extra protection, says Glen. The use of vehicles as tools of destruction has become one of the top concerns for security specialists. This tactic has grown popular regardless of ideology and is especially alarming when coupled with cars’ accessibility. In many places, individuals only need a valid driver’s license to rent a truck. News of a particular attack encourages or inspires other individuals to perpetuate the same form of violence. Unfortunately, this creates a feedback loop as more reports emerge following these tragedies, potentially sparking future assaults. Straightforward security solutions In the case of vehicle-ramming attacks, there are straightforward security solutions to protect patrons. Delta Scientific offers over 100 product designs, emphasizing barriers that stop and destroy attacking vehicles. Delta’s barriers carry crash ratings from PU50 up to K54 and include sophisticated control systems that provide custom optimization. Control systems feature the latest, most advanced protection technology. Early warning systems enable active security measures built into Delta products plus alert features to on-site security personnel. Delta Scientific’s High Security Protection and Barricade Systems are used internationally by governments, armed forces, federal agencies, private corporations, and other industries. Jackson’s Fencing’s range of solutions includes fencing, bollards, road blockers, and gates. They have been tested to PAS 68 standards and can stop a 7.5-ton vehicle traveling at 50mph (80km/h). The products come with a 25-year guarantee. Attractive timber appearance They offer crash ratings up to M50 and include both automated barriers and passive bollards In addition, their unique Linebacker PNR system is a cable crash fence, encased within a timber post and rail fence, offering a completely discreet yet highly effective vehicle security barrier with an attractive timber appearance. Facilities that require day-to-day employee and civilian access need permanent solutions installed to thwart daily terror threats, says Hamm of Delta Scientific. Solutions include wedge barriers, bollards, beams, and sliding gates with high duty cycles and excellent reliability coupled with appropriate crash ratings. Local fairs and festivals, parades, conventions, sports, and vaccination sites utilize portable barriers that can be towed into place and set up within 30 minutes. They offer crash ratings up to M50 and include both automated barriers and passive bollards. They can be plugged into a local 120v source and provide a portable solution that allows vehicle throughput by pushing a button. Vehicle-borne attacks Both temporary and permanent barriers are extremely effective, says Glen of Jackson’s Fencing. Temporary barriers can be deployed rapidly and removed when a threat has passed (for example, an event such as the London marathon, where large crowds gather), while permanent measures are used for sites that will always be a high-risk target. Glen says temporary barriers also generally have a more dominating appearance and wider footprint. Permanent measures are used for sites that will always be a high-risk target. Temporary barriers can be used immediately after a risk assessment highlights vehicle-borne attacks as a threat to a site before permanent measures are installed. They can help to identify the ideal positioning of permanent barriers – often it's a case of trial and error before finding a solution that works well for one’s particular needs. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided certification according to the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology Act (SAFETY Act) of 2002. Access control products This certification minimizes insurance risks for organizations that deploy authorized Delta vehicle access control products to protect against terrorists and errant drivers. All products certified are covered retroactively back to 1984 and are now authorized to carry the SAFETY Act Designated mark. By minimizing insurance risks to deploying authorized Delta vehicle access systems, this certification lets customers feel comfortable knowing that they have the full faith and backing of the Department of Homeland Security. A common planning deficiency occurs when designers choose non-certified barriers or barricades A common planning deficiency occurs when designers choose non-certified barriers or barricades. Certified equipment has been tested and proven to work under extreme conditions, thus giving planners the confidence they rely on. No area is more critical to the vehicle barrier selection process than testing. Without adequate testing, there is no assurance that the barrier will resist the threat. Independent testing company Testing is normally done by an independent testing company or government agency, such as the Department of State (DOS) and ASTM. Comprehensive reports of test results are issued and are available from the testing agency or manufacturer. A common misconception among the general public is that the barriers are ‘ugly,’ but this often comes from the appearance of temporary barriers that are installed for testing purposes before deciding on permanent measures. Temporary barriers often have a large footprint because they have no foundations and can be quite obtrusive. There are actually many discreet and attractive permanent solutions such as road blockers and stainless steel rising bollards, which allow flexible control over entry and security, and can be rapidly activated.
At an Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment facility on Feb. 5, an operator watched a computer screen as someone remotely accessed the system monitoring the water supply and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The chemical, also known as lye, is used in small concentrations to control acidity in the water. In larger concentrations, the compound is poisonous – the same corrosive chemical used to eat away at clogged drains. The impact of cybersecurity attacks The incident is the latest example of how cybersecurity attacks can translate into real-world, physical security consequences – even deadly ones.Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. The computer system was set up to allow remote access only to authorized users. The source of the unauthorized access is unknown. However, the attacker was only in the system for 3 to 5 minutes, and an operator corrected the concentration back to 100 parts per million soon after. It would have taken a day or more for contaminated water to enter the system. In the end, the city’s water supply was not affected. There were other safeguards in place that would have prevented contaminated water from entering the city’s water supply, which serves around 15,000 residents. The remote access used for the attack was disabled pending an investigation by the FBI, Secret Service and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. On Feb. 2, a compilation of breached usernames and passwords, known as COMB for “Compilation of Many Breaches,” was leaked online. COMB contains 3.2 billion unique email/password pairs. It was later discovered that the breach included the credentials for the Oldsmar water plant. Water plant attacks feared for years Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.” “The incident at the Oldsmar water treatment plant is a reminder that our nation’s critical infrastructure is continually at risk; not only from nation-state attackers, but also from malicious actors with unknown motives and goals,” comments Mieng Lim, VP of Product Management at Digital Defense Inc., a provider of vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions.The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online “Our dependency on critical infrastructure – power grids, utilities, water supplies, communications, financial services, emergency services, etc. – on a daily basis emphasizes the need to ensure the systems are defended against any adversary,” Mieng Lim adds. “Proactive security measures are crucial to safeguard critical infrastructure systems when perimeter defenses have been compromised or circumvented. We have to get back to the basics – re-evaluate and rebuild security protections from the ground up.” "This event reinforces the increasing need to authenticate not only users, but the devices and machine identities that are authorized to connect to an organization's network,” adds Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer at digital identity security vendor Keyfactor. “If your only line of protection is user authentication, it will be compromised. It's not necessarily about who connects to the system, but what that user can access once they're inside. "If the network could have authenticated the validity of the device connecting to the network, the connection would have failed because hackers rarely have possession of authorized devices. This and other cases of hijacked user credentials can be limited or mitigated if devices are issued strong, crypto-derived, unique credentials like a digital certificate. In this case, it looks like the network had trust in the user credential but not in the validity of the device itself. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario is what can happen when zero trust is your end state, not your beginning point." “The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online for the first time as part of digital transformation projects,” says Gareth Williams, Vice President - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales UK. “While the move towards greater automation and connected switches and control systems brings unprecedented opportunities, it is not without risk, as anything that is brought online immediately becomes a target to be hacked.” Operational technology to mitigate attacks Williams advises organizations to approach Operational Technology as its own entity and put in place procedures that mitigate against the impact of an attack that could ultimately cost lives. This means understanding what is connected, who has access to it and what else might be at risk should that system be compromised, he says. “Once that is established, they can secure access through protocols like access management and fail-safe systems.” “The cyberattack against the water supply in Oldsmar should come as a wakeup call,” says Saryu Nayyar, CEO, Gurucul. “Cybersecurity professionals have been talking about infrastructure vulnerabilities for years, detailing the potential for attacks like this, and this is a near perfect example of what we have been warning about,” she says. Although this attack was not successful, there is little doubt a skilled attacker could execute a similar infrastructure attack with more destructive results, says Nayyar. Organizations tasked with operating and protecting critical public infrastructure must assume the worst and take more serious measures to protect their environments, she advises. Fortunately, there were backup systems in place in Oldsmar. What could have been a tragedy instead became a cautionary tale. Both physical security and cybersecurity professionals should pay attention.
Convergint Technologies’ rapid growth has come through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions — they have acquired 35 companies since 2014. Growth has been a focus since day one when the founders started the systems integration company with 10 colleagues in a basement. Today, the diverse company includes more than 5,000 employees globally. As technology has advanced and business practices have evolved, Convergint’s core values and beliefs have guided their path forward. Customer-centric approach Convergint’s culture is a critical aspect of the company, from the executive level to frontline colleagues. “It is essential that the companies we look to acquire and develop partnerships with directly align with our people-first, customer-centric, inclusive culture centered on colleagues and customers,” says Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies. “This approach has allowed us to maintain and grow our number of colleagues across our acquisitions and enables us to continue being our customers’ best service provider.” Integration practices Many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition A simple but important consideration as Convergint grows through acquisitions is: No two companies are the same. While some integration practices can be standardized across the company, many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition, says Mathes. “Our objective is not to come in and immediately implement change. We want to build on what has already been successful within the local market and share our learned experiences. There is plenty we can learn from each other and create a much better organization.” Mathes says that Convergint’s view of a successful acquisition is that 1+1=3. “The end result is always much more impactful than what we anticipated,” he says. “Every acquisition brings with it an experienced leadership team, dedicated and skilled colleagues, vertical market and technological expertise. Most acquisitions are in geographies where we do not already operate, so with every acquisition, we increase our capability to serve our customers much better.” Also, the network of Global Convergint Technology Centers (CTCs) helps expand clientele, and the Convergint Development Center (CDC) offers new support capabilities allowing acquisitions to grow at a very high rate. Expanding service Are there more acquisitions to come? Mathes says Convergint is always open to further expanding its footprint across the globe, improving its ability to service customers, deepening their technical expertise, and continuing to expand service offerings across the current and new vertical markets. However, the current focus remains on several key factors: service to colleagues, customers, and communities. “While obviously, acquisitions fuel our growth, the addition of these organizations to Convergint has really improved our ability to service clients on a global basis,” says Mathes. Acquiring ICD Security Solutions in Asia, for example, made Convergint a pioneer in that market for U.S.-based multi-national companies. Meeting customers demand “Convergint does not weigh market conditions when making an acquisition decision,” says Mathes. Rather, they are primarily focused on meeting or exceeding their customer’s needs on a local to a global level. They see acquisitions as a potential way to extend their geographic reach so they can be closer to customers. An acquisition might also expand technological or vertical market expertise. “The end goal is for us to enhance our service capabilities by attracting and retaining talented colleagues and leaders to better service our customers,” says Mathes. Enhancing and expanding services Convergint identifies how to leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options“Economies of scale” have not been a consideration. They have never sought to acquire companies and restructure them in the process, for example. Rather, each company brings forth a unique skillset, is carefully vetted by the executive team and provides purpose in the company's mission and vision for the future.” “Frontline colleagues are Convergint’s most valuable assets,” says Mathes. Rather than restructuring and eliminating skilled, knowledgeable colleagues, Convergint identifies how they can leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options for customers. “Our colleagues and their skill sets are our competitive advantage—they remain an essential element to our success,” says Mathes. Demand for integrator services “We continue to experience a growing demand for innovative solutions across electronic security, fire alarm, and life safety,” says Mathes. “As companies innovate further and rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IoT, and cloud solutions, we expect to see an increased demand for integrator services. Our customers demand a local service provider who is responsive and can meet their needs, which is why Convergint aims to be its customers’ best service provider.” This year, Convergint is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In 2021, they will continue to focus on the same critical components that have dominated since day one taking care of colleagues, customers, and the communities where they operate.
82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months. Video monitoring systems The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months. Safe-specific video analytics Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months. Contactless access control The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months. However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months. Reduced VMS costs The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Smarter, easier to use video systems There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’ Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Cloud on the horizon 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration. Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimizing their video monitoring systems looking forward. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’. Third-party cameras While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China. A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.' A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Latest analytic capabilities An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and color searching’. Balance of power The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing. According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic. Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimizing the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Cloud Connector Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
Midway Car Rental, the privately-owned car rental company in Southern California, caters to both an exclusive and expansive clientele, including VIPs, high-end hotels, and replacement vendors like dealerships and body shops. The company currently owns and operates 15 locations and has aggressive plans for expansion, with 6 or 7 more sites planned for this calendar year. Challenges faced With a portfolio that includes Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Jaguars, Midway can have up to a million dollars of assets parked on any of its lots. Some of the company’s newest locations lack secure perimeter fencing. Sean Perez, Midway’s General Manager, says, “We needed to protect our vehicles, but even more importantly, we had to ensure the safety of our employees and clients.” The problem became acute when Midway opened a new location to provide loaner and replacement vehicles for an adjacent dealership partner. Prior to Midway’s arrival, the lot had been populated by vagrants and the homeless who would sleep in and around the cars parked there. “When we took over the property, we needed to provide a safe and secure environment where we could conduct business,” Perez explains. “There were issues with vandalism and graffiti. Some of the displaced homeless would get aggressive. We needed a proactive solution – a way to stop these incidents from happening rather than trying to prosecute the individuals after the damage was done.” Expansion opportunities Traditionally, Midway’s properties have been less exposed, with electronically secure gates or fences that restrict access. However, as Midway’s expansion plans include growing alignment with business partners like dealerships, many future sites will likely face similar security challenges. To address this situation, the company sought: A scalable system that could grow incrementally with Midway’s expansion Flexible technology that could be moved to new sites with minimal effort A technology partner capable of servicing and supporting a long-term solution The ability to outsource monitoring services in the near future “I tend to be conservative,” says Perez. “I wanted to start off slow and then, when comfortable that we’d found both the right partner and technology, have the ability to really scale up.” Solution recommended Midway Car Rental deployed ROSA units, Responsive Observation Security Agents, manufactured by Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD). “I have to tell you, I was a bit skeptical at first about these ROSA units,” says Perez. “You can stick an armed guard out there, but the idea that a technology device could provide both consistent monitoring and serve as a deterrent system seemed like a stretch. However, our two ROSAs are really helping us protect our assets. In very short order, our problem decreased and our situation has improved dramatically.” AI-based ROSA solution ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes. Its AI-driven security systems include human and vehicle detection, license plate recognition, responsive digital signage and audio messaging, and complete integration with RAD’s software suite notification and response library. Two-way communication is optimized for cellular, including live video from ROSA’s dual high-resolution, full-color, always-on cameras. “The folks from RAD sent out an engineer to help us determine where to mount the ROSA units by identifying areas on our site that are most exposed to potential vandalism or other threats,” says Perez. The devices are highly visible, featuring scrolling LED text, colorful neon ribbons, and two video cameras. Automated detection and response ROSA may be programmed to display welcome messages or marketing messages during business hours, along with a reminder to visitors that the property is under surveillance. When it detects the motion of humans or vehicles on the lot, it sends an alert to Perez and his team along with an associated video clip, keeping them well informed of activity happening in real-time. During off-hours, ROSA's automated response kicks in. Its friendly daytime messaging is replaced with a more stern warning to trespassers. Upon detecting a human or moving vehicle, ROSA responds with flashing red lights and a visual warning to vacate the property immediately. If ROSA continues to detect a presence, more lights, sirens, and a pre-recorded audio message add a sense of urgency. Monitoring personnel, who have been alerted of the event and have access to live video, can also issue pointed commands over ROSA's loudspeaker. Ultimately, if the police must be summoned, the encounter has been thoroughly documented and recorded. Effective security Perez describes ROSA's effectiveness as a deterrent. "I've watched when people encounter the system. Initially, their reaction is one of shock and awe. When the unit goes off with its lights flashing and they hear those verbal commands, they’re terrified. They look like they've seen a ghost. Literally, in less than ten days after we put those things out, the word had spread to stay away. The vagrants were gone. It was like night and day." Independent monitoring Currently, Midway's management has chosen to monitor the system themselves. Perez explains, "Initially, I was getting alerts somewhat often, but they quickly tapered off. At this point, they're infrequent. With just these two units in place, plus two more scheduled to go up in Newport Beach in the coming weeks, we can handle the monitoring independently.” “Within the next year or two, as we open new locations and add more units, we'll take advantage of RAD's monitoring services. We had that in mind when we went this route – that with our continued growth, we would eventually leverage that option." Customer-friendly solution The system is very intuitive and customer-friendly "The system is very intuitive and customer-friendly," adds Perez. "I've used other systems that are really cumbersome. The RAD SOC dashboard is nothing like that. The ease-of-use is amazing." So is the deployment process. As ROSA requires nothing more than the power to operate, it is truly plugged and play. "We had them installed and received training all within a few hours on one day," says Perez. "We haven't run into any issues, but if we do, the relationship we've built with the RAD team is so good that I can call on them at any time for assistance. They are very, very customer-centric." Evaluating ROI Midway Car Rental quantifies the value ROSA delivers in several ways, including monetarily, a reduction in crime, and improved peace of mind. Perez elaborates, "Thanks to the ROSA units, we've addressed all sorts of issues. Damage to vehicles, graffiti on the exterior of the building, the homeless tampering with our electrical outlets to charge their phones, trash left around the property – that’s all gone since we put the ROSAs in. There are also important intangibles that you really can't put a price tag on, like an improvement in employee well-being and productivity because our staff now feels safe at work." Easy installation RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems The system's scalability and flexibility ensure that Midway's investment will continue to pay dividends. Perez says, "We're growing so fast, we're trying to put flagpoles in the markets where we identify a need, but that doesn't mean we're locking ourselves into long-term leases." "Down the road, if we decide to move locations, our ROSAs move with us. We heavily factored their ability to easily install, uninstall, and re-install when deciding to go with this technology." Consistent with Midway's plans, RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems. As new Midway locations open and ROSA units are installed, management and monitoring of all devices can occur through one login to the centralized RAD SOC dashboard. Alert notifications include the location of the activated unit. RAD’s additional services In addition to ROSA, RAD offers a suite of other products that share the same platform for delivering automated remote services, including some that are more appropriate for indoor use. Should Midway encounter new security challenges in the future, they can expand their system with other RAD devices. "For now, ROSA is what fits our needs best, but I've seen some of those other units, and they look pretty cool," says Perez. ROSA subscription Midway uses the ROSA units through RAD's subscription model. The company pays low monthly tuition that covers unlimited use of the devices, software and software updates, maintenance, and technical support. Their out-of-pocket equals a small fraction of what hiring a security guard would cost. When asked whether Perez recommends the system to others, his answer is concise. "It's a no-brainer!" he laughs. "Knock-on-wood, we've been near without incident for the four months since the ROSAs went up. I attribute that to the units' effectiveness."
FLIR was selected to provide intelligent dual-vision cameras with embedded Automatic Incident Detection (AID) to be installed in the new Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels in Norway. The cameras alert tunnel operators on a variety of possible traffic incidents, including stopped vehicles, lost cargo, and pedestrians, allowing emergency services to react fast. The Ryfast project Norway has complex geography. The many fjords, glaciers, and mountains make traveling without natural obstacles a challenge, which is why the country has so many tunnels. The Ryfast project is one of the country’s most recent additions in tunnel infrastructure, running from the city of Stavanger to the municipality of Strand. It is also Norway’s largest road project to date. The Ryfast project consists of three tunnels. The 14.4 km Ryfylke tunnel, running from the village of Tau to the isle of Hundvåg, was opened in December 2019. The 5.5 km Hundvåg tunnel, from Hundvåg to Stavanger, was opened in April 2020. The latter tunnel connects with the 3.7 km Eiganes tunnel, which runs beneath the city of Stavanger, as part of the E39 coastal highway. Safety in dense traffic Trafsys again selected FLIR Systems to deliver the AID camera technology When the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) and tunnel contractor were looking for a reliable tunnel safety system for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels, they intended to uphold the same high safety standards the organization is known for. This is especially critical given the dense traffic situation in the twin-bore tunnels - 10,000 and 35,000 daily vehicles for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels respectively. For both tunnels, Nordic system integrator Trafsys was selected to supply the Traffic Control & Monitoring system, video surveillance (CCTV), and Automatic Incident Detection (AID), among other things. Trafsys again selected FLIR Systems to deliver the AID camera technology, based on both companies’ many years of experience in tunnel safety projects. FLIR’s detection systems “We were already convinced of the stability of FLIR’s incident detection systems because we have been using them in previous tunnel projects,” says Knut-Olav Bjelland, Department Manager at Trafsys, AS. “FLIR’s powerful detection algorithms on visual traffic cameras have proven their performance in tunnel projects worldwide. With FLIR’s dual-vision cameras, we were able to combine the company’s proven video analytics with the power of thermal imaging.” Visual and thermal in one camera In total, 332 FLIR cameras have been installed in the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels combined Trafsys chose FLIR’s ITS Series Dual AID cameras, which combine a thermal and visual camera with FLIR’s advanced video analytics. In total, 332 FLIR cameras have been installed in the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels combined. With the thermal imaging camera, the FLIR ITS Series Dual AID provides critical information on traffic incidents, including stopped vehicles, sudden speed drops, wrong-way drivers, pedestrians, fallen objects, and starting fires. Operators also use the high-resolution (640 x 512 pixels) thermal image to verify the incident and to see where the incident took place. The use of thermal imaging cameras has especially proven valuable for tunnel entrances and exits. There, shadows or direct sunlight could obstruct the view of the visible-light camera and therefore disturb traffic detection. Because they detect heat, not light, thermal cameras have no issues with these phenomena and as a result, they can detect traffic 24/7, in all weather conditions. Detection and performance “When you look at the complex topography of the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels, a camera system like the FLIR ITS Series Dual AID is the most efficient technology choice,” says Knut-Olav. “And with the many bends and turns in both tunnels, you need appropriate detection systems at many different positions.” “The cameras’ daily performance is excellent,” says Anders Helle, Construction/Maintenance Manager at NPRA. “We can clearly see the detected incidents on the thermal image in our control room, which reduces the time to understand the situation and speeds up our decision-making process. Based on the system’s reliability, performance, and low unwanted alarm rate, we would definitely recommend the FLIR dual-vision camera for automatic incident detection.” Providing safety in tunnels “We are honored to be selected for this major tunnel safety project,” says Sukhdev Bhogal, Business Development Director at FLIR Systems. “It is the first time that our FLIR ITS Dual AID cameras have been deployed in such large numbers, and we are looking forward to making more tunnels in the region a safer place to travel through.” Safety is critical, given the dense traffic situation in the twin-bore tunnels - 10,000 and 35,000 daily vehicles for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels respectively. Early fire detection The dual cameras’ fire detection functionality demonstrates the early detection capability within seconds “Apart from the great detection performance we are used to from FLIR, having a combined visual and thermal camera from one vendor has nothing but benefits,” says Knut-Olav. “Combining both cameras into one detection unit makes it a very compact solution, and cabling is also much simpler.” The dual cameras’ fire detection functionality has also been switched on to demonstrate the early detection capability within seconds of the appearance of visible flames. This could be crucial for tunnel operators to close the tunnel fast and take the necessary decisions in the case of a fire. The thermal technology from FLIR ITS also allows seeing through the smoke. This allows operators to detect the presence of pedestrians and vehicles in a smoke-filled traffic tunnel. The fire detection functionality was already demonstrated when a car caught fire in the Hundvåg tunnel in July 2020. The FLIR ITS Dual thermal AID camera picked up the fire within 7 seconds after visible flames appeared, following its first alert for a stopped vehicle and pedestrians.
Midway Car Rental, the privately-owned car rental company in Southern California, caters to both an exclusive and expansive clientele, including VIPs, high-end hotels, and replacement vendors like dealerships and body shops. The company currently owns and operates 15 locations and has aggressive plans for expansion, with 6 or 7 more sites planned for this calendar year. The challenge With a portfolio that includes Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Jaguars, Midway can have up to a million dollars of assets parked on any of its lots. Some of the company’s newest locations lack secure perimeter fencing. Sean Perez, Midway’s General Manager, says, “We needed to protect our vehicles, but even more importantly, we had to ensure the safety of our employees and clients.” The problem became acute when Midway opened a new location to provide loaner and replacement vehicles for an adjacent dealership partner. Prior to Midway’s arrival, the lot had been populated by vagrants and the homeless who would sleep in and around the cars parked there. “When we took over the property, we needed to provide a safe and secure environment where we could conduct business,” Perez explains. “There were issues with vandalism and graffiti. Some of the displaced homeless would get aggressive. We needed a proactive solution – a way to stop these incidents from happening rather than trying to prosecute the individuals after the damage was done.” Traditionally, Midway’s properties have been less exposed, with electronically secure gates or fences that restrict access. However, as Midway’s expansion plans include growing alignment with business partners like dealerships, many future sites will likely face similar security challenges. To address this situation, the company sought: A scalable system that could grow incrementally with Midway’s expansion Flexible technology that could be moved to new sites with minimal effort A technology partner capable of servicing and supporting a long-term solution The ability to outsource monitoring services in the near future The solution “I tend to be conservative,” says Perez. “I wanted to start off slow and then, when comfortable that we’d found both the right partner and technology, have the ability to really scale up.” Midway Car Rental deployed ROSA units, ¬Responsive Observation Security Agents, manufactured by Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD). “I have to tell you, I was a bit skeptical at first about these ROSA units,” says Perez. “You can stick an armed guard out there, but the idea that a technology device could provide both consistent monitoring and serve as a deterrent system seemed like a stretch. However, our two ROSAs are really helping us protect our assets. In very short order, our problem decreased and our situation has improved dramatically.” About ROSA ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes. Its AI-driven security systems include human and vehicle detection, license plate recognition, responsive digital signage and audio messaging, and complete integration with RAD’s software suite notification and response library. Two-way communication is optimized for cellular, including live video from ROSA’s dual high-resolution, full-color, always-on cameras. “The folks from RAD sent out an engineer to help us determine where to mount the ROSA units by identifying areas on our site that are most exposed to potential vandalism or other threats,” says Perez. The devices are highly visible, featuring scrolling LED text, colorful neon ribbons, and two video cameras. ROSA may be programmed to display welcome messages or marketing messages during business hours, along with a reminder to visitors that the property is under surveillance. When it detects the motion of humans or vehicles on the lot, it sends an alert to Perez and his team along with an associated video clip, keeping them well informed of activity happening in real-time. Functions During off-hours, ROSA's automated response kicks in. Its friendly daytime messaging is replaced with a more stern warning to trespassers. Upon detecting a human or moving vehicle, ROSA responds with flashing red lights and a visual warning to vacate the property immediately. If ROSA continues to detect a presence, more lights, sirens, and a pre-recorded audio message add a sense of urgency. Monitoring personnel, who have been alerted of the event and have access to live video, can also issue pointed commands over ROSA's loudspeaker. Ultimately, if the police must be summoned, the encounter has been thoroughly documented and recorded. Perez describes ROSA's effectiveness as a deterrent. "I've watched when people encounter the system. Initially, their reaction is one of shock and awe. When the unit goes off with its lights flashing and they hear those verbal commands, they’re terrified. They look like they've seen a ghost. Literally, in less than ten days after we put those things out, the word had spread to stay away. The vagrants were gone. It was like night and day." Intuitive and customer-friendly Currently, Midway's management has chosen to monitor the system themselves. Perez explains, "Initially, I was getting alerts somewhat often, but they quickly tapered off. At this point, they're infrequent. With just these two units in place, plus two more scheduled to go up in Newport Beach in the coming weeks, we can handle the monitoring independently. Within the next year or two, as we open new locations and add more units, we'll take advantage of RAD's monitoring services. We had that in mind when we went this route – that with our continued growth, we would eventually leverage that option." "The system is very intuitive and customer-friendly," adds Perez. "I've used other systems that are really cumbersome. The RAD SOC dashboard is nothing like that. The ease-of-use is amazing." So is the deployment process. As ROSA requires nothing more than power to operate, it is truly plug and play. "We had them installed and received training all within a few hours on one day," says Perez. "We haven't run into any issues, but if we do, the relationship we've built with the RAD team is so good that I can call on them at any time for assistance. They are very, very customer-centric." Evaluating ROI Midway Car Rental quantifies the value ROSA delivers in several ways, including monetarily, a reduction in crime, and improved peace of mind. Perez elaborates, "Thanks to the ROSA units, we've addressed all sorts of issues. Damage to vehicles, graffiti on the exterior of the building, the homeless tampering with our electrical outlets to charge their phones, trash left around the property – that’s all gone since we put the ROSAs in. There are also important intangibles that you really can't put a price tag on, like an improvement in employee well-being and productivity because our staff now feels safe at work." RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems The system's scalability and flexibility ensure that Midway's investment will continue to pay dividends. Perez says, "We're growing so fast, we're trying to put flagpoles in the markets where we identify a need, but that doesn't mean we're locking ourselves into long-term leases. Down the road, if we decide to move locations, our ROSAs move with us. We heavily factored their ability to easily install, uninstall, and re-install when deciding to go with this technology." Consistent with Midway's plans, RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems. As new Midway locations open and ROSA units are installed, management and monitoring of all devices can occur through one login to the centralized RAD SOC dashboard. Alert notifications include the location of the activated unit. RAD’s suite of products In addition to ROSA, RAD offers a suite of other products that share the same platform for delivering automated remote services, including some that are more appropriate for indoor use. Should Midway encounter new security challenges in the future, they can expand their system with other RAD devices. "For now, ROSA is what fits our needs best, but I've seen some of those other units, and they look pretty cool," says Perez." Midway uses the ROSA units through RAD's subscription model. The company pays a low monthly fee that covers unlimited use of the devices, software and software updates, maintenance, and technical support. Their out-of-pocket equals a small fraction of what hiring a security guard would cost. When asked whether Perez recommends the system to others, his answer is concise. "It's a no-brainer!" he laughs. "Knock-on-wood, we've been nearly without incident for the four months since the ROSAs went up. I attribute that to the units' effectiveness."
Calipsa, a provider of deep-learning powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, announces that its false alarm filtering platform is being used by Ecuador's Totem. This is the first Latin American customer to take advantage of Calipsa's 93% false alarm reduction rate. Totem specializes in the engineering, construction, and integration of electronic security systems for companies and homes through two business units, managed electronic security; and fire detection and extinguishing systems, with over 15 years' experience delivering security projects at both a national and international level. Its surveillance division monitors thousands of cameras across a vast range of industries. Improving operational efficiency Calipsa's technology filters out alarms caused by nuisance factors such as lighting Calipsa's cloud-based false alarm filtering platform is video analytics software with a difference. The software uses deep learning technology to recognize whether an alarm has been caused by human or vehicle movement. Calipsa's technology filters out alarms caused by nuisance factors such as lighting, weather, or foliage, enabling customers to focus on genuine threats. Luis Fernando Uribe, chief executive officer, Totem, said he looks for products, such as Calipsa's false alarm reduction platform, that improve operational efficiency, enabling his employees to provide enhanced service offerings to Totem's customers. False alarm reduction "A big goal in our business is reducing the number of false alarms sent to our operators," he said. "The Calipsa technology will do that and help us thrive in the competitive Latin America technological market. We want Totem seen as a regional benchmark for innovation in video monitoring." Brian Baker, chief revenue officer, Calipsa, said working with Totem is a proud moment for Calipsa. "Totem, our first Latin American customer, is an ambitious and innovative company," he said. "We look forward to developing a strong partnership with Totem and helping it achieve its false alarm reduction goals."
Wind is a free and unlimited resource that provides potential energy toward the growing demand for clean, renewable power. In coastlines, islands, grasslands, mountainous areas, and plateaus that lack water, fuel, and convenient transportation, wind power poses a potential boon for addressing local challenges. Chaka Wind Farm is located on the Gobi Desert in Qinghai Province, China. At an altitude of 3,200 meters (nearly 2 miles), Qinghai has abundant wind energy reserves. Since its commissioning in December 2012, the energy-capturing capacity of the installed wind power turbines has reached 99 MW, while the annual average power generation is about 184 million kWh and the average annual utilization hours are a mere 1,850 hours. Mechanical energy of rotation However, the plateau environment experiences squally winds all year round, and in severe cold winters the temperature often falls below minus 30° C! At those temperatures, the biting cold wind carries a severe risk of freezing for wind farm employees, and the harsh weather makes operation and maintenance extremely difficult. The difficulty lies in the fact that most of the wind farms are located in remote areas A wind turbine’s transmission system is composed of blades, hubs, main shafts, gear boxes, and couplings. Its main function is to convert the kinetic energy of wind into mechanical energy of rotation, then into electrical energy. As the key element in wind power, these wind turbines require routine maintenance. At present, maintenance relies mainly on the on-site staff climbing up the towers to check for and predict unit failures. However, the difficulty lies in the fact that most of the wind farms are located in remote areas. Personnel safety management When they rely solely on manual maintenance, the costs remain high enough to threaten the economics of the whole operation. Chaka Wind Farm hosts 62 wind towers, distributed across a wide 38,000 square meters (9.4 acres). This generous area creates a big challenge for maintenance staff who spend large amounts of time on transportation and logistics from tower to tower. Furthermore, according to the maintenance plan, workers have to climb each 80-meter-high wind tower for routine inspections each month. To solve these challenges, Hikvision provided a set of intelligent operation and maintenance systems for Chaka Wind Farm, including intelligent visual inspection equipment, personnel safety management, and real-time communication, providing a 24-hour online ‘Smart Examiner’ for the wind farm. Monitoring equipment temperatures Technicians at headquarters can remotely support personnel during on-site maintenanceFirst, for core unit components, thermal cameras are deployed in the wind turbine cabin to monitor equipment temperatures. This way, machine failures can be detected immediately, and staff can be automatically alerted when abnormal conditions (such as overheating) are found. In addition, with the wind towers located in the expansive Gobi Desert, unstable communications can leave operating personnel feeling disconnected. To resolve this, Hikvision’s one-key alarm intercom at the bottom of wind tower provides communication with the control center. Technicians at headquarters can remotely support personnel during on-site maintenance operations, assisting with diagnoses and repairs. Lastly, panoramic and thermal cameras and other equipment vastly expand the visual capabilities of the control center. Staff can monitor the situation and various parameters around the wind turbines at all times. If an abnormality is found, they can immediately receive an alert from the system and identify specific problems. Engine room equipment “Originally, each wind turbine had to be inspected by staff members every month; climbing the towers was difficult and the risk factor was high. After the intelligent operation and maintenance system was installed, the engine room equipment on each tower can be inspected daily through the video system. Now each wind turbine only needs to be visited once every three months, and the frequency of climbing is reduced more than 60 percent,” said Sun, a technical operating engineer from Chaka Wind Farm. “More importantly, those problems that could only be discovered by personnel on the scene can now be identified by the intelligent operation and maintenance system – even proactive and early warnings of abnormal problems – which is a great help for our overall equipment operation and maintenance.”
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
Ensuring privacy is often a concern for video surveillance systems, especially in situations where a system intended for “public” surveillance could somehow, perhaps inadvertently, view private areas or situations. The classic example is an apartment building whose windows are within the range of a video surveillance camera. How can you provide video surveillance without invading the privacy of the apartment dwellers? Integrators and end users often turn to technology for a solution. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Round Table: How can smart camera features (such as privacy masking and programmable pan-tilt-zoom) address concerns about privacy?
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