Wireless video security system
Reliance Protect, a provider of lone worker solutions, has reinforced its commitment to personal safety by being one of the first to combine the benefits of live audio and video stream functionality, coupled with GPS user location, in a single device. The solution comes in the form of the innovative VB400 body-worn camera, which is designed to enhance lone worker safety through the use of cutting edge features that accelerate response decision making, provide powerful evidence capture, improve...
Comelit Group, as a founder partner to The Security Event, is excited to return to exhibit with the launch of the latest integrated solutions, comprising an array of smart security and fire safety systems for residential and commercial premises. On stand 3a/B10, Comelit will be presenting its new Logifire addressable panel, which has been designed to offer a simple to install, fire safety solution that is compliant with to latest standards. It is complemented with a new range of detectors, offe...
James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specializing in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in e...
Vector Flow announced that it has received LenelS2 factory certification and joined the LenelS2™ OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). Vector Flow’s AI-Enabled Physical Security Automation Platform interfaces with the OnGuard® access control system to strengthen customers’ security programs with integrated identity governance and improved compliance across their entire cyber-physical security infrastructure. Identity management “Vector Flow has completed require...
LiDAR-based systems are becoming an increasingly popular choice for security and surveillance applications, due to the technology’s accuracy, reliability, and cost-effective operation. Mass-market camera and analytics As such, Oyla, Inc. has created the world’s first mass-market camera and analytics solution that fuses LiDAR with high-performance video into a single camera that seamlessly integrates with existing physical security infrastructure, while enabling more rapid and accur...
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerized systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this we...
ComNet, a globally renowned company in transmission solutions across fiber optic, copper, Internet, and wireless mediums, has announced the launch of Razberi Monitor software. Razberi Monitor is the latest addition to the ComNet product portfolio and the first solution to be rolled out from the recently acquired Razberi brand. Razberi Monitor Razberi Monitor is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem without IT resources. It monitors and manages all the system components for both cyber security and system health, and can be deployed from the Cloud or on-premise. Iain Deuchars is the General Manager of ComNet International. Commenting on the launch of the product, Iain Deuchars said, “This software has been purpose-built for security professionals. It provides secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and other networked security devices. Not only that, but it predicts and prevents problems while providing a centralized location for IT departments to view video data.” Protection against cyber-attack vulnerabilities The benefit of having Razberi Monitor ensures shorter response times to cyber security events" A vital benefit of the solution is that it protects against the multiple commonly cited cyber-attack vulnerabilities. These include weak passwords, the failure to update software or firmware, the lack of best practices for routine maintenance, and not aligning with network IT policy. Iain Deuchars weighs in further, by stating “The benefit of having Razberi Monitor ensures shorter response times to cyber security events, along with real-time alerts and logs to proactively notify users of active threats. The fact that it can detect cyber posture and problems with servers, cameras, and other IoT devices in real time is a promising unique selling point for the ComNet brand. We are very excited to deliver this product to our loyal customer base.” Enhancing cyber security Mike Issa, ComNet’s Region Manager for South Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, points out that Razberi Monitor can be offered to enterprises as a managed service, with a monthly subscription. This means no significant upfront costs and the ability to free up cash flow. He said, “The addition of Razberi to the ComNet portfolio is a great step forward for us as a brand. This software will optimize and secures networks, reducing costs, time, and manpower required to install and manage an enterprise network.” Protecting networks from cyber threats Mika Issa adds, “Moving forward, I am confident that Razberi will provide a unique selling point for integrators and end customers wishing to protect their security systems with cyber security solutions that can deter, detect, delay, deny and defend against hackers.” Razberi Monitor is available to view on the newly launched ComNet webshop.
Redline Communications Group Inc., a provider of industrial wireless broadband network connectivity solutions for mission-critical applications, announced that they have been selected to provide a turnkey wireless data solution for a mission-critical surveillance project that will help ensure citywide safety and security in one of the Kingdom's largest cities. This contract is an initial project of a broader initiative being rolled out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Range of cross-IT products Redline will deploy its next-generation RDL-3200 family of ruggedized and highly secure virtual fiber solutions for CCTVs Redline's partnership initiative with Three Pillars Technology and Communication Co., provides a wide range of cross-IT-industry products, applications, and services. Redline will deploy its next-generation RDL-3200 family of ruggedized and highly secure virtual fiber solutions for the backhaul of high-speed CCTV cameras. Providing high demand CCTV tech "Redline Communications is honored to have been selected as a critical member of the alliance and as a strategic vendor and for the partnership with Three Pillars Technology and Communication Co.” “Having been entrusted with the telecom solution for Saudi Arabia's Safe Cities initiative is a true example of our purpose-built industrial-grade infrastructure and its unmatched ability to support mission-critical uptime of high demand CCTV technology,'' states Reno Moccia, EVP of Sales & Marketing of Redline Communications. "We look forward to the expansion of this public safety initiative." Wireless solutions "Redline was selected after a rigorous evaluation process, including extensive field trials," states Eng. Feras Alboushi General Manager of Three Pillars Technology and Communication Co. "Redline, with its in-country support with its secure and best-of-breed wireless solutions, was the best fit for the end user's stringent application requirements. We are confident in the project's success – it will lay the foundation for future public safety projects."
HID Global, trusted identity solutions announced the TouchChip TC series of capacitive fingerprint sensors have been awarded Level 1 certification by independent third-party testing house iBeta Quality Assurance. This conformance – conducted per ISO/IEC 30107-3 – affirms the HID Global biometric device functions to the highest standards, achieving 0% penetration during repeated test spoof attempts. Level 1 ISO PAD designation “We design our identity verification solutions to serve as a natural extension to users’ security systems and applications, with a commitment to producing products with outstanding accuracy, reliability, and secure access,” said Vito Fabbrizio, Managing Director, Biometrics Business Unit, Extended Access Technologies, HID Global. “This Level 1 ISO PAD designation from iBeta confirms the diligence and purposeful security efforts our engineers built into the TouchChip product family to deliver trustworthy authentication across banking, government, healthcare, legal, retail, and other industries where fingerprint verification drives efficiencies and prevents fraud.” Quick and compact biometric authentication The TouchChip capacitive fingerprint sensor family provides quick and reliable biometric authentication The TouchChip capacitive fingerprint sensor family provides quick and reliable biometric authentication. Its compact design and durability make it ideal for high-traffic environments such as point-of-sale and multi-user applications utilizing virtualization platforms such as Citrix or VMWare. Patented authentication technology captures high-quality images for a variety of fingerprint and liveness detection verification uses. Attack detection The importance of presentation attack detection testing is to determine the strength of biometrics technology when faced with attempts to gain unauthorized access through the use of fake fingerprints. It is recommended that PAD testing be applied to all devices where security is a priority. Testing was conducted on the EikonTouch™ Model TC510-A3 sensor and associated TCS PAD Emulator v0.05 Windows 10 application in April 2021. iBeta was unable to gain unauthorized access through 360 presentation attacks (PAs) with six species of attack. The PA success rate resulted in 0%. The Imposter Attack Presentation Match Rate (IAPMR) was also 0%, demonstrating no unauthorized access was achieved with the artifacts applied. Fingerprint authentication technology For HID Global, this represents the fifth perfect score achieved in fingerprint authentication device compliance testing based on the application of Deep Learning Neural Network-based PAD Technology. These are just some of the advanced AI innovations being designed into HID’s precise threat detection technologies. iBeta is a FIDO Alliance Accredited Biometric Laboratory and nationally accredited as a test lab by the National Voluntary Lab Accreditation Program (NVLAP) to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017. iBeta’s quality assurance experts work with a wide variety of biometric technology companies to ensure products function to the industry’s highest standards.
Evolution, the integrated fire and security systems business, has continued to invest in the growth of its Risk & Design team, with two new appointments. Ex-Army person appointment David Watson joins Evolution Risk & Design as Operational Risk Manager. With more than 10 years served in the British Army, David has spent the last 15 years working in various roles and sectors within the domestic and international security industry, managing risks for sites in hostile environments, protecting high net worth individuals, and high-profile commercial clients. In his new role, David will be responsible for engaging with clients to provide integrated collaborative solutions to their Risk Profiles and utilizing the end-to-end processes Evolution can offer in the market. Ex-air force person appointment Following a wide-ranging 23-year career in the Royal Air Force working as a Weapons Technician including roles in Bomb Disposal and Aircraft Operations, Kevin Stephenson joins the team as Operational Risk Adviser and will be applying his expertise gained in managing risks in the dynamic airworthiness and air safety environments to the security industry to deliver effective risk appreciation and assurance to new and existing clients. The experiences and disciplines gained from serving in the forces can prove extremely valuable in the security industry Domestic and international security Brendan McGarrity, Director of Evolution Risk & Design, says supporting ex-servicemen and women and the skills they can bring is very important to the business, “The experiences and disciplines gained from serving in the forces can prove extremely valuable in the security industry.” “If you’ve worked on or fixed a highly complex radar or weapons system, then there’s a good chance that can be easily transferred to a commercial environment,” Brendan says. “I’m delighted to welcome David and Kevin to the team, and look forward to harnessing their expertise and capabilities.” Evolution pledged its support to the defense and armed forces community in 2020 by signing the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and also joined the Defense Employer Recognition Scheme (Bronze).
Eagle Eye Networks, the globally renowned company in cloud video surveillance solutions, has introduced the first-of-its-kind 4G, direct-to-cloud body camera, designed specifically for commercial use. This new offering provides commercial customers with affordable access to feature-rich, professional-grade body camera services, which improve staff safety and accountability, triggers an immediate response, and provides valuable evidence, all while protecting assets and keeping communities safe. Eagle Eye Body Cameras are now available for order with delivery in Q3. 4G, direct-to-cloud body cameras Body cameras dissuade aggression, improve accountability, and reduce false accusations Body cameras dissuade aggression, improve accountability, and reduce false accusations. Employees from private security guards to retail staff, in-home service providers, and delivery workers feel safer and more valued, when wearing body cameras. Global research organization, Omdia has identified body cameras in non-law enforcement applications as a top trend in 2021, saying the potential addressable market for commercial body-worn cameras dwarfs that of law enforcement. In the U.S. alone, Omdia estimates private security guards outnumber police officers 2-to-1 and says new commercial body camera users, in retail, for example, are rapidly emerging. Commercial body-worn cameras “The commercial body-worn camera market is ripe for new entrants,” said Paul Bremner, Principal Analyst in Omdia's critical communications group, adding “Features such as cloud connectivity, 4G, live streaming, GPS, and price, are important to retailers, delivery services, guards, and others in the commercial sector.” Paul Bremner adds, “New body cam providers who can break the old law enforcement body camera mold with reasonably priced, feature-rich, professional-grade body cameras are positioning themselves to fill a growing need the commercial market is searching for,” Eagle Eye CameraManager platform Fixed IP cameras integrated with 4G-enabled body cameras represent the extension of video cloud services" Resellers are welcoming the arrival of body cameras that meet their needs. Jaime Abad Valdenebro, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at OmniCloud, said he is excited that Eagle Eye Networks is launching commercial body camera support to its Eagle Eye CameraManager platform. Jaime Abad Valdenebro said, “Fixed IP cameras integrated with 4G-enabled body cameras represent the extension of video cloud services in a real mobile environment, providing a new disruptive video surveillance solution.” Enhanced protection for security guards Valdenebro adds, “In a smart city application, Eagle Eye's new 4G, direct-to-cloud body cams will provide extra protection for security guards and ensure patrols are completed on time. The 4G is important, because it gives the user live access to body camera video. It will make a high performance true cloud video surveillance system even more powerful.” With Eagle Eye body cameras, users can: Use 4G or Wi-Fi for live streaming, real-time remote viewing, and direct-to-cloud recording. Blend fixed, mobile, and body-worn cameras, making it easier for your entire surveillance system to work together. Stream to a monitoring or security operations center and use geo-tagging for immediate response and support. Experience a larger viewing area with fish-eye capabilities that are dewarped in the Eagle Eye Cloud Management Application. Manage a large number of cameras in the Cloud and watch from a control room. Use two-way audio to clearly communicate. Protect people at work and in the community. Future-proof investment with hardened cameras that offer ‘law enforcement-level’ durability and quality at an affordable price. Gain flexibility for live streaming and video retrieval during docking with rapid recharge capabilities. Body cameras connecting to the Cloud “The demand for high-quality body cameras that connect to the Cloud has been growing for several years, accelerating even more with the pandemic, social unrest, and the shift to providing more in-home, curbside, and remote services,” said Dean Drako, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eagle Eye Networks. Dean adds, “Traditional law enforcement body cameras use a high-dollar subscription model, which is too steeply priced for commercial customers. Eagle Eye Networks will support the new Eagle Eye Body Cameras at the same low subscription cost of fixed cameras, making the solution affordable for commercial customers accustomed to paying up front for advanced cameras with affordable long-term subscriptions.” Rapid replacement service Body cameras are initially available on the Eagle Eye Networks CameraManager platform, with availability on the Eagle Eye Cloud Video Management System (VMS) in 2022. The Eagle Eye body cams can also be protected with Eagle Eye Networks industry-renowned rapid replacement service.
Yardi® announced the acquisition of We Are Forge Ltd (Forge), a Bristol, UK-based Software Company that specializes in visitor management and smart access control for real estate assets including, office, retail, industrial, flexible workspace, and the education sector. The company's Forge Bluepoint product is a cloud-based visitor management solution that connects to access control for many of London's premier office buildings and allows companies to manage visitors flexibly and securely. From arrival and contactless smart access, Forge Bluepoint also integrates with other building technology such as meeting room access, lifts, and car parking. Innovative visitor management solution "We are delighted to become part of the Yardi family. Working together, we will ensure Forge Bluepoint is the leading visitor management solution across the sectors we work in," said Paul Speariett, co-founder and director of Forge. "This is an exciting phase for Forge and our team and we are greatly looking forward to the future and being part of Yardi's end-to-end technology offering." "We are excited to welcome the whole team at Forge to the Yardi family," said Neal Gemassmer, vice president of international for Yardi. "This further demonstrates our commitment to investing in innovative teams and technology to better serve the industry."
Whenever you say the word “security” in today’s world of digitalization and technology, minds immediately jump to online security. Encryption, passwords, and website security are all common areas of concern for today’s security teams – so much so that we often pass over physical security installations entirely. But we shouldn’t, because contrary to popular belief, security doors aren’t just for banks and safes. High-security doors are deployed and used across everything from home spaces to offices, venues, communal entrances, and more – offering an extra level of safety designed to keep unwanted guests out and keep the people inside safe. In this blog, we will be uncovering some of the benefits of installing high-security doors besides the obvious – offering a high level of security. Benefits of high-security doors When you start telling someone about high-security doors, they often immediately think of thick steel doors with unbreakable locks. But modern security doors are nothing like that, with the marketplace filled with different options including ventilated louvre doors, reinforced hammer glass doors, and classic metal doors. And with each style comes a different set of benefits. 1) High-security doors keep businesses and properties safe If anything is going to put burglars off and keep your inside space safe, it’s high-security doors. High-security doors not only help keep burglars away but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive home security systems With such a wide array of options on the market, from double or triple glazing through to top-level security doors for industrial properties and homes, customers can choose the weight of their door and its finish – meaning that they have a choice between making their high-security decision obvious or concealing it for the benefit of aesthetics. This not only helps keep burglars away from your home or office space and reduces the crime rate, but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive alarms and home security systems. 2) Dual purpose benefits from top-level manufacturers Modern high-security doors from retailers like Premier SSL not only provide industrial-strength but are also classed as fire doors – meaning that they keep people inside safe on two accounts. On top of that, high-security doors no longer look like the entrance to a bank – in fact, most manufacturers now work with materials that deliver an aesthetically pleasing finish that can complement your building or inside space. This means you can benefit from everything from a wood effect finish to a decorative trim and more. 3) Cut costs in Winter and Summer Managing bills at home often mean juggling the art of keeping the house cool enough in summer and warm enough in winter. On one hand, with high-security doors which are effective fire doors and are made to measure and tailored to your home, the heat and warm air inside your home are trapped inside during the winter to keep your home cozy. This helps to cut the cost of heating and ensures your family is protected during the winter months. Mesh layered security Meanwhile, for those who opt for the mesh layered security doors or Louvre doors, in summer you can keep your home or inside space cool and filled with fresh air even while the doors are closed and secured. This ensures adequate ventilation and is a popular choice with homeowners today as it cuts the cost of bills and expensive air conditioning and helps prevent issues like mold which can occur in damp spaces with little airflow. Louvre security doors also help to retain the same level of privacy as a solid door but with a high level of airflow – making them ideal for communal areas and spaces with a high footfall. 4) Keep pets and children safe A security door is enough to deter a burglar to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house A security door is enough to deter a burglar – so is certainly more than sufficient to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house. Preventing access to dangerous situations such as being outdoors on their own and entering the kitchen on their own is a benefit that many families revel in – with a range of options including the mesh-covered security doors to retain ventilation and natural light and create more of a homely feel. 5) Feeling safe and secure in your own space This one may seem obvious but it’s one of the biggest benefits – feeling safe even when on your own. Security doors mean that you can rest easy in your own space, in complete control of the locking mechanism and the entry of anyone besides yourself. Most of the security doors recognized by modern standards can withstand ballistics and crowbar tampering – even those with ventilation breaks. On top of that, they have a certain degree of water tightness and resistance to wind, meaning that they also keep you safe from home or building damage. 6) Versatility The vast array of security doors on the market right now means that versatility is possible – in the way that doors are locked, the way that they look, and the additional features they provide. Many of the high-security doors we and other retailers offer also provide complete sound ventilation and are ideally suited to everything from a modern new build to something more traditional in its feel and aesthetics. Uses of security doors High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues As previously touched on, security doors are no longer just for banks and high-security institutes. High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues. The versatility presented by the locking mechanism and access tools means that users can select everything from an entry fob to a code and a traditional key as a means of getting inside. The Takeaway High-security doors are an increasingly popular solution for nurturing safety both in commercial spaces and private homes. With options from solid steel doors to louver doors, triple and double glazed doors, and fire doors available on the market for every space and with made to measure manufacturing options, it has never been easier to equip your home against intruders and keep your family or work team safe and comfortable. Best of all for the modern homeowner, high-security doors no longer create an eyesore – instead, reflecting the same design aesthetic focus as you might expect from an interior company.
With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritizing Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks” Businesses and organizations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using cellphone credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organizations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organizations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalization and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organizations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organizations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyze more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analyzed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analyzing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as license plate reading, behavioral analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fiber-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
The global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus is changing work environments to an unprecedented degree. More employees than ever are being asked to work remotely from home. Along with the new work practices comes a variety of security challenges. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Covid-19 concerns Concerns about the coronavirus have increased the business world’s dependence on teleworking. According to Cisco Systems, WebEx meeting traffic connecting Chinese users to global workplaces has increased by a factor of 22 since the outbreak began. Traffic in other countries is up 400% or more, and specialist video conferencing businesses have seen a near doubling in share value (as the rest of the stock market shrinks). Basic email security has remained unchanged for 30 years Email is a core element of business communications, yet basic email security has remained unchanged for 30 years. Many smaller businesses are likely to still be using outdated Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) when sending and receiving email. “The default state of all email services is unencrypted, unsecure and open to attack, putting crucial information at risk,” says Paul Holland, CEO of secure email systems provider Beyond Encryption. “With remote working a likely outcome for many of us in the coming weeks, the security and reliability of our electronic communication will be a high priority,” says Holland. The company’s Mailock system allows employees to work from any device at home or in the office without concerns about data compromise or cybersecurity issues. Acting quickly and effectively As the virus spreads, businesses and organizations will need to act quickly to establish relevant communication with their employees, partners and customers surrounding key coronavirus messages, says Heinan Landa, CEO and Founder of IT services firm Optimal Networks. Employers should also enact proper security training to make sure everyone is up to speed with what’s happening and can report any suspicious online activity. Reviewing and updating telework policies to allow people to work from home will also provide flexibility for medical care for employees and their families as needed. Scammers, phishing, and fraud An additional factor in the confusing environment created by the coronavirus is growth in phishing emails and creation of domains for fraud. Phishing is an attempt to fraudulently obtain sensitive information such as passwords or credit card information by disguising oneself as a trusted entity. Landa says homebound workers should understand that phishing can come from a text, a phone call, or an email. “Be wary of any form of communication that requires you to click on a link, download an attachment, or provide any kind of personal information,” says Landa. Homebound workers should understand that phishing can come from a text, a phone call, or an email Email scammers often try to elicit a sense of fear and urgency in their victims – emotions that are more common in the climate of a global pandemic. Attackers may disseminate malicious links and PDFs that claim to contain information on how to protect oneself from the spread of the disease, says Landa. Ron Culler, Senior Director of Technology and Solutions at ADT Cybersecurity, offers some cyber and home security tips for remote workers and their employers: When working from home, workers should treat their home security just as they would if working from the office. This includes arming their home security system and leveraging smart home devices such as outdoor and doorbell cameras and motion detectors. More than 88% of burglaries happen in residential areas. When possible, it’s best to use work laptops instead of personal equipment, which may not have adequate antivirus software and monitoring systems in place. Workers should adhere to corporate-approved protocols, hardware and software, from firewalls to VPNs. Keep data on corporate systems and channels, whether it’s over email or in the cloud. The cyber-protections that employees depended on in the office might not carry over to an at-home work environment. Schedule more video conferences to keep communication flowing in a controlled, private environment. Avoid public WiFi networks, which are not secure and run the risk of remote eavesdropping and hacking by third parties. In addition to work-from-home strategies, companies should consider ways to ensure business cyber-resilience and continuity, says Tim Rawlins, Director and Senior Adviser for risk mitigation firm NCC Group. “Given that cyber-resilience always relies on people, process and technology, you really need to consider these three elements,” he says. “And your plan will need to be adaptable as the situation can change very quickly.” Employees and their employers Self-isolation and enforced quarantine can impact both office staff and business travelers Self-isolation and enforced quarantine can impact both office staff and business travelers, and the situation can change rapidly as the virus spreads, says Rawlins. Employees should be cautious about being overseen or overheard outside of work environments when working on sensitive matters. The physical security of a laptop or other equipment is paramount. “It’s also important to look at how material is going to be backed up if it’s not connected to the office network while working offline,” says Rawlins. It’s also a good time to test the internal contact plan or “call tree” to ensure messages get through to everyone at the right time, he adds.
The success of smart homes began with professional security providers offering bundled packages, focused mostly on security monitoring. However, due to the cost of professional contracts, consumers began to embrace the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. Despite the challenges and opportunities that come with professional and DIY approaches, the momentum of smart home growth depends on these two approaches working symbiotically. Smart home systems In 2017, there were about 122 million smart home devices shipped globally, according to IHS Markit. The retail channel represented about 62 percent of all device shipments in 2017 and will represent about 70 percent in 2021. Despite the increased demand for professional installation, the “do-it-for-me” approach, most the volume remains with ad-hoc purchases. This includes a consumer video camera or a smart thermostat purchase from a retailer. Data capture form to appear here! When a consumer wants to add devices to an existing professionally installed system, they often will buy products from retail. Flexible service offerings and pricing are already taking shape across smart home offerings. DIY installed smart home systems such as Scout Alarm already offer no contract monitoring. Professional monitoring companies are already offering no contract pricing, and providers such as Comcast are looking to pilot programs for just video monitoring, bundled with Internet for a low monthly fee. Home automation system Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller Options for financing are also going to become commonplace. Smart home equipment is expensive, even when attempting to outfit a modest size home (2,500 square feet). Immediate access to services is becoming more critical. This means consumers should be able to access on-demand service options directly from a mobile device to activate or deactivate professional monitoring. Lastly, pricing still needs to come down for many smart home devices, but there is a threshold. For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to communicate wirelessly with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. Residential security According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. For example, with their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchases. There are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” Full-time monitoring DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchase and installation of professionally installed systems What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Instead of paying for monthly monitoring, homeowners can install a web cam, access from a smartphone or tablet and essentially do their own security monitoring. The downside of this approach is readily apparent. Without full-time monitoring, homeowners can easily miss the break-in or the aged parent who falls and can’t get up. Near-field communication Until they log on and take a look, there’s no central station to send medical aid or call the police. Connecting door locks and other devices to the Internet can also open a door to hackers, if the infrastructure isn’t properly protected. The areas of consumer electronics and security are closely intertwined. For example, Apple recently expanded near-field communication (NFC) support to include the NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format), which will likely accelerate the adoption of smartphones for access control credentialing. In another recent development, Amazon acquired Blink, a home security camera startup that offers wireless home security systems. The acquisition aligns with Amazon’s effort to offer more home devices. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household Traditional security features For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market that want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Missed part one of our smart home mini series? Read it here.
Open Options, based in Addison, Texas, provides a truly open access control architecture that will strengthen the ACRE portfolio and increase the breadth of solutions offered by the global provider of security systems. The acquisition of Open Options is also an opportunity for ACRE to focus on growth opportunities in North America and “balance the scales a bit,” says Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, which significantly grew its reach in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the acquisition of Siemens Security Products in 2015. “Open Options is also a company that's growing, is profitable and fits seamlessly into our vision for the access control space in which we operate,” says Grillo. Independent Operations The strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States The Open Options brand will continue to operate independently under the ACRE umbrella. Open Options CEO and Founder Steve Fisher will continue in his role as leader of the company, says Grillo. “There is a strong and competent management team in place that will continue to provide leadership going forward.” Open Options’ open-architecture access control solutions will add value to the solutions ACRE already offers under the Vanderbilt brand. In a market that has traditionally been proprietary, the open-platform solution offered by Open Options helps deliver more opportunity to offer customers a full-scale solution based on their needs, says Grillo. In addition, due to its origin as a Texas-based company, the strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States. Technical And Financial Resources On the other hand, ACRE provides a greater level of technical and financial resources that Open Options can utilize to help them grow even faster. These resources were not as available to the company if it remained independent, Grillo notes. ACRE’s divestiture of Mercury Security in 2017 facilitated this investment. As discussions began earlier this year, ACRE realized the potential of adding to its access control portfolio in the North American market, says Grillo. Open Options and Mercury have been "partners" for 20 years; Mercury provides hardware panels for Open Options systems. Each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently “The Mercury brand continues to be a strong one, so we're interested in continuing to nurture that relationship, and in fact we have become a larger and stronger partner to Mercury as ACRE,” says Grillo. “After owning Mercury for a number of years, we had the understanding of the company, the product portfolio and the partner relationships that defined it, so we were confident that the deal would be a positive one for the ACRE brand.” Meeting Customer Needs “Open Options and Vanderbilt share some customers already and we can leverage that by gaining more share of their business while providing them with a portfolio that will meet a broader set of customer needs,” says Grillo. “Where possible, we can look for synergies in channel partners that are not currently shared to provide access to both brands. This will be a benefit to Open Options, Vanderbilt and our customer base. However, importantly, each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently.” Are there more acquisitions on the horizon for ACRE? “We're always looking for opportunities that fit into the nature of our business,” says Grillo. “Companies that have growth potential and share similar go-to-market strategies and visions for the future are of particular interest to ACRE. "We're still operating in a highly fragmented market, so we're going to see continued consolidation in both access control and beyond, which means ACRE will be looking for the right opportunities to follow along that path.”
Congress Rental Network Partner, Smart Choice Audiovisuais (Smart Choice), has installed a large Dicentis conferencing and interpretation system from Bosch Security Systems GmbH, at the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Portuguese EU Presidency Headquarters, situated in Lisbon, Portugal. A total of 70 Dicentis and 50 Dicentis Wireless Discussion devices with touchscreens provide the main input. Dicentis Wireless Discussion devices The solution can be used to deliver in-person meetings at the venue, as well as remote and hybrid meetings, so as to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The core of the discussion and interpretation system is identical across all three of the rooms – the main plenary hall, a smaller meeting room and a press room – only varying in the number of discussion devices. “One of the requests from the EU presidency was to have the latest interpretation equipment – the latest models and the most up-to-date technology,” explains Patricia Barbosa, from the Marketing Department of Smart Choice. Bosch’s discussion and interpretation system We have always invested a lot in having modern equipment, so we were the best equipped for the job" Patricia adds, “We have always invested a lot in having modern equipment, so we were the best equipped for the job. Added to that, our CEO Manuel Lopes has been involved in all the previous Presidencies that took place in Portugal and Spain and we have a history of delivering big events with complex logistics. We offered quality and trusted service and very good technicians who have the latest Bosch certifications.” The solution also needed to be able to connect to external streaming platforms to allow remote meetings to include participants that were not able to travel to Portugal. The wired units make up the main systems in the three rooms while the wireless solution adds flexibility when required. Dicentis Interpreter desks with video output In addition to this, simultaneous interpretation is catered for by 20 interpretation booths, featuring the ISO 20109 compliant Dicentis Interpreter desks with video output. With the Dicentis System server acting as the brain of the system, remote participants can be connected into the meeting thanks to the Omneo2Dante Gateway. This Dante gateway allows for audio distribution to various streaming platforms, such as Zoom and WebEx, as well as floor distribution between rooms for socially distanced meetings. In addition to the on-site equipment, six remote booths have been created to function as an interpretation hub away from the Presidency HQ. Communications hub Instead of interpreters traveling with delegations to Presidency meetings in different cities, or asking them to use a standard office set up that they could have at home, this hub provides them with high-quality language-feeds, with the Dicentis Interpreter desks located at the Smart Choice office buildings. As such, interpretation can continue for meetings away from the Lisbon HQ as if the translators were there in person.
Teleste will provide an on-board solution to Alstom for the Marseille metro network in France, ordered by the Aix Marseille Provence Metropole, AMP. Teleste’s deliveries will include onboard TFT displays as well as systems for passenger information, public address, CCTV, and wireless train-to-ground functions for 38 4-car driverless metro trains, with an option for an additional 5 vehicles. The system deployments will start in 2021, and the first trains will enter into service in 2024. Flexibility and efficiency in metros “Introducing automated services to metro networks will increase flexibility and efficiency in operation, while also setting high requirements for the train technology, especially when it comes to real-time train to the ground transmission of audio, video, and passenger information content.” “Our onboard systems are well-equipped to meet the challenge by enabling reliable, real-time connectivity between moving trains and the ground system, reinforced by seamless integration also with third-party systems." "We are pleased that Alstom selected our solution for their project and are looking forward to providing a safe and smooth travel experience for the passengers of Metro Marseille,” commented Jarkko Vehkala, Head of the Rolling Stock Manufacturers business line at Teleste. Driverless metro operations Teleste’s on-board solution seamlessly supports fully automated, driverless metro operations Teleste’s on-board solution has been designed for the seamless support of fully automated, driverless metro operations, which will be taken into use in the Marseille metro by the end of 2026. This means that the trains will then be controlled without any staff on board from the operator’s train control system, and a reliable interface between the new and legacy systems will be deployed. Seamless remote operations Teleste’s solution meets the requirements by seamlessly combining onboard systems such as a public address, CCTV, and the delivery of passenger information with an advanced train-to-ground transmission system. This allows the operator to manage onboard operations remotely while, for example, getting 24/7 access to live camera views from the metro cars to ensure the safety and security of passengers during their journey. Also automatic and manual offload of video recordings, system diagnostics as well as automatic updates, and version control of the train software are enabled. With interfaces to third-party systems, the solution also empowers seamless operation of the onboard functionalities as part of larger transport ecosystems.
Long John Silver’s, the largest quick-service seafood restaurant chain in the United States, has chosen Interface Security Systems, a service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, to enhance network connectivity across 430 of its restaurants. To build this “network of the future,” Long John Silver’s implemented Interface’s fully managed, restaurant-in-a-box solution that includes prefabricated network equipment ready for SD-WAN expansion, wireless WAN backup, and VoIP connectivity. Need of a high-speed network The IT team at Long John Silver’s needed a reliable, high-speed network for their restaurants To continue offering consistent and satisfactory customer service, the IT team at Long John Silver’s needed a reliable, high-speed network for their restaurants. Accompanied by a robust backup network, the system supports additional services like guest Wi-Fi, cellphone devices, and tablets for their staff. After a rigorous evaluation of managed services vendors, Long John Silver’s chose to partner with Interface. Innovative and cost-effective “Interface’s solution stood out as the most innovative and cost-effective option on the market,” says Brad Gardone, vice president of information technology services at Long John Silver’s. “The company’s “restaurant-in-box” model came with preconfigured network cabinets and accessories outfitted specifically for Long John Silver’s, allowing for installation to occur with no disruption to restaurant operations. No other service provider offered us this model.” Employing voice connectivity Interface helped Long John Silver completely replace the legacy switches and myriad connectivity solutions with a secure, scalable LAN and WAN with LTE failover, 24X7 remote monitoring, along a business VoIP voice connectivity. Long John Silver’s was able to go live across 430 restaurants in a matter of a few months. With the new solution in place, restaurant staff was able to focus solely on the customer experience, rather than dealing with connectivity issues or outages. Not to mention, revenue leakages due to offline credit card transactions came down drastically and operational reports are now generated in real-time, giving management better visibility on restaurant performance. Voice communication system The revamped network and VoIP solution bundle allowed the seafood chain to pivot to an online-order-first model When the pandemic hit and Long John Silver’s customers shifted their preferences to online ordering, the revamped network and VoIP solution bundle allowed the seafood chain to pivot to an online-order-first model. “During the pandemic, about 90 percent of the business shifted to online/drive-through. While dine-ins will steadily make a comeback in the future, we are proud of what we accomplished with help from Interface,” says Gardone. “We now have a top-of-the-line network and voice solution that’s robust, scalable, secure, and will become the foundation for everything we plan to build in the coming years.” The partnership between Long John Silver’s and Interface is just picking up steam. In addition to offering an expanded voice communication system to support remote teams and work from home employees, Interface will continue to play a key role in Long John Silver’s mission to maintain top-tier security and drive growth.
Videoloft is bolstering its presence in the United States by hiring new U.S.-based sales staff and integrating with established brands in the US market, including Digital Watchdog, exacqVision, Vivotek, and Lorex. Cloud surveillance systems Videoloft focuses on transforming traditional professional surveillance systems into cloud-connected solutions via the Videoloft Cloud Adapter. The company was born from the innovative technology created for the Manything app in 2012, which turned old smartphones and tablets into ad-hoc DIY home-monitoring cloud cameras, and now boasts over 1 million+ user. Cost-effective cloud solution The versatile and highly cost-effective Videoloft cloud solution can serve either as a backup to local recorders or as a primary recording method, sending video footage direct to the cloud at up to 8MP resolution. Videoloft end-users have remote access to its cloud video surveillance system via the Videoloft cellphone app or web-based VMS The solution employs rigid security protocols to ensure all video is transmitted and stored securely in the Videoloft cloud, which is hosted on Amazon's AWS. Videoloft end-users have remote access to their cloud video surveillance system from anywhere and at any time via the Videoloft cellphone app or web-based VMS. It makes security systems highly proactive and personalized and instantly upgrades legacy systems with new features. Remotely installed Videoloft’s partner pricing is extremely competitive and is approximately 8 to 10 times less expensive than other cloud providers. The platform is compatible with leading brands, has an impressive feature set including video analytics and remote installation, as well as a proven ability to send video to the cloud over real-world uplink speeds. VSaaS solution Selling predominantly via the channel, Videoloft’s cloud-based VSaaS solution is rapidly being adopted by professional security dealers and systems integrators who add the Videoloft cloud to their customers’ surveillance systems. The solution is being used with exceptional results by a wide variety of users ranging from homeowners to restaurant chains, and healthcare facilities to cannabis growers and dispensaries. Available versions Videoloft offers two white label versions of their platform, with over 150+ white label solutions already deployed by national distributors and integrators. Videoloft users span 160+ countries and generate the equivalent of 25 years of video monitored by the Videoloft cloud every day.
In the spring of 2021, the Vernadsky Research Base, a Ukrainian Antarctic Station, was equipped with an Ajax security system featuring FireProtect and FireProtect Plus fire detectors. The Ajax equipment was delivered at a distance of 16 thousand kilometers that protects the scientific base in Antarctica. From this article, one will learn how to install a fire alarm system at a facility if that facility is a polar station. Presence of previous fire alarm There was, but no one upgraded it for 36 years (since 1985). For the first 10 years, the base was used by British polar explorers. At the time, the base was called “Faraday” and belonged to the United Kingdom. Since then, it changed its name, flag, and country, but not its fire detection equipment. The old system malfunctioned and caused false alarms. Some detectors were inoperable. But finding spare parts for them (and bringing them to Antarctica) was becoming more difficult. What happens if there is a fire? Antarctica is the windiest place on earth, where hurricane-force winds blow most of the time. Even a tiny flame can quickly turn into a large blaze. A fire alarm is chosen based on its communication reliability, maintenance, fire alert, and climate impact Most of the buildings at Antarctic stations were built decades ago. These are often small wooden houses with metal panels insulated with foam. When the foam burns, it releases the deadly phosgene gas. In 2020, there was a short circuit at the Russian “Mirny” station. The fire burned down laboratories, the radio room, and other buildings. Criteria to choose an alarm system A polar station is an unusual facility. The following is considered while choosing an alarm system: Communication reliability: The station is a complex of buildings, so it is important to cover them with one system. For this, the most reliable radio communication with a long-range is required. Maintenance: One can’t invite a professional installer to a station in Antarctica; the station engineers maintain the system themselves. It mustn’t require a lot of attention. Devices must operate from batteries for years, and instantly alert if something goes wrong. For example, if a detector loses connection or if batteries need to be replaced in a couple of months. Fire alert: There is a person at the station who monitors the system. You need a system with a handy alarm-monitoring app for PCs as well as loud sirens to alert people to danger. Сlimate impact: During the cold season, the temperature outside drops to -27°C. In residential premises, it is kept at +16-18°C, and in non-residential ones, it is kept with a slight “plus”. The specifications of the detectors must correspond to these conditions. Why Ajax? “The policy of the Antarctic Center is to buy Ukrainian. And only buy the best you can’t economize on Antarctica. The price of failure is very high, and shipping costs a lot of money. A marker was triggered: if a security system then Ajax. And we were not mistaken with the choice,” said Viacheslav Marchenko, Deputy Director of the National Antarctic Scientific Center (NASC) In addition to the hub (the security system control panel) and two sirens, ten Ajax fire detectors were delivered to Galindez Island in West Antarctica. They protect against fire, detect smoke and rapid temperature swings, and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Secure radio protocol When connected to the Ajax security system via the secure Jeweler radio protocol, the detectors can operate at distances of up to 1,300 meters from the hub. Works without internet Ajax fire detectors will do the job even if the station loses access to the Internet or there is no one to monitor alarms. The devices can operate independently from the system control panel. Even if there will be no connection with the hub, detectors will recognize the threat, and the built-in sirens will alert the danger. The siren volume is 85 dB to wake up even those who fast asleep. Works at varying temperatures Ajax will also handle it when the temperature in the station premises drops to +11-12°C (happens when there are strong winds). The detector’s operating temperature ranges from 0°C to +65°C. Operation period Finally, there is no need to worry about how frequently one has to send new batteries to the station. The autonomous operation period of the detectors is up to 4 years. Bring equipment to Antarctica All Ajax devices were bought in Ukraine. It took three planes, one ship, and about seven days to get them to Antarctica. Five of those were spent traveling by ship, which crossed the stormiest place on the planet, the Drake Passage. Each polar explorer brings three bags: two with their own stuff and one shared. Ajax was delivered in such a bag. Installation and setup Ajax devices work out of the box; they connect to a hub in one tap in the apps and mount in a few minutes Ajax devices work out of the box; the battery is already pre-installed, and the detectors don’t need to be disassembled. They connect to a hub in one tap in the apps and mount in a few minutes on a SmartBracket. Any questions can always be resolved by contacting the Ajax support team, which is available 24/7 and helps users from all over the world in six languages. Working of station alarm monitoring The station uses the computer with the PRO Desktop app installed. A screen with all the indicators is placed in the lobby of the main building. Another computer in the on-duty person’s office is used as an alarm monitoring station. To manage the system on the go, station engineers have Ajax apps on their smartphones. The station has Internet, but it became unlimited only this spring after installing a satellite antenna. During the two months of operation, there were two alarms at the station: in the kitchen, when the polar explorers were grilling steaks, and in the carpentry shop, where welding work was taking place. In both cases, the equipment responded to the smoke. Further plans The plan is to install 20 more fire detectors at the station as well as to supplement the Ajax system with the ReX radio signal range extender. The polar station consists of 12 buildings (including living quarters, a carpentry workshop, and a boathouse), located at a distance from each other. The buildings are covered with profiled iron, which can interfere with the radio signal. The range extender will increase the reach of the devices and become a reliable link between the detectors and the hub.
Situated at an altitude of 5500 feet above sea level, Namchi (means Sky High) is one of the famous and biggest tourist destinations in Sikkim, a state of northeast India. Surrounded by the spectacular view of the mountains, emerald, and green forest, Namchi is well-known for its old monasteries, sacred temples, and annual festivals such as Namchi Mahotsav. Smart Cities Mission Namchi was selected to be part of the Smart Cities Mission, an ambitious program of Govt. of India. Under this program, the city aspires to be a ‘world-class’ tourist destination and simultaneously maintain ecological balance with a vibrant community, offering an enriched quality of life supported by a robust local economy. In recent years, the city infrastructure has also shown rapid growth and welcoming thousands of tourists each year, hence, making the city vulnerable to threats driven by overcrowding, chaotic traffic, haphazard parking in addition to other law & order issues. In the first phase of the project, Namchi Smart City Limited wanted to cover its citizens as well as tourists with a robust surveillance system with proper traffic management without disrupting the normal day-to-day activities. The solution Videonetics designed a modular and scalable unified solution, based on its Intelligent VMS and AI & DL powered Video Analytics After a thorough assessment of the requirements and consequent discussions with the officials of Namchi Smart City Limited, Videonetics designed a modular and scalable unified solution, based on its Intelligent VMS and AI & DL powered Video Analytics, aimed to ensure continuous monitoring, efficient traffic monitoring, quicker response times and faster access to evidence in case of investigations and law & order management. Eyeing on every corner of the city A group of over 120 IP Cameras has been installed at the important locations to monitor the entry and exit points connecting to the city, public ways, transport hubs, tourist attractions, markets, streets, traffic junctions to name a few. Now, security operators can easily view and manage citywide deployed IP cameras with the intuitive interface of Videonetics Intelligent VMS, having complete situational awareness, and can respond smartly to critical situations. Moreover, the smart navigation feature of Intelligent VMS allows simultaneous viewing of the life and the recorded videos in the same interface, which helps in prompt investigation of past activities without taking their eye off from the current incidents. Parking and directional analytics Namchi being a hilly terrain has narrow roads with the limited scope of turning it into broader ones, the authorities used to manage the traffic by declaring some of the roads as a one-way carriage. Frequently, the city faced chaotic traffic congestion and accidents, due to unauthorized parking and wrong-way driving. The unified solution empowers command control operators to receive real-time insights and predict unusual behavior To address such concerns, Videonetics Artificial Intelligence-powered video analytics including No Parking Detection and Wrong-Way Movement Detection were deployed to detect such situations. Operators are notified as soon as any vehicle is parked in a restricted zone and if any vehicle moves in the wrong direction. The Videonetics unified solution empowers command control operators to receive real-time insights from the city and upon recognition or prediction of unusual behavior, they receive an immediate alert and notify the authorities. Centralized view of the city Videonetics Intelligent VMS and Video Analytics application are seamlessly integrated with Namchi Operations Center (NOC), an Integrated Command Control Center (ICCC), to simplify the response coordination between stakeholders and speeding up incident resolution. Working in conjunction with city administration, control room operators can switch from camera to camera using dynamic maps, which empowers them to obtain critical event information as well as manage emergencies by alerting respective stakeholders for quick action. And when necessary, Videonetics's unified solution makes it possible to share forensic videos across departments, facilitating more collaborative and successful response efforts. Open architecture solution The sagacious collaboration between Videonetics, Astrikos Consulting, and Namchi Smart City Ltd, has become an exemplary model for other cities. AI-Unified Solution has exceeded the city administration’s expectations in terms of its intuitive functionalities Videonetics Unified Solution has exceeded city administration’s expectations in terms of its intuitive functionalities, identifying suspicious activities, and ensuring smooth traffic movements. And the solution’s open architecture allows the seamless addition of more cameras and integration with other security systems as the city continues to grow and identify more needs. It signifies future development potential with maximum impact on people. Situational awareness Furthermore, the integrated solution has been extremely helpful for the city authority in aggregating and visualizing the video data collected over time, to deliver critical statistical information such as directional traffic data, traffic flow insights, hotspots of public gathering, etc. Eventually, increasing the situational awareness, standardizing response protocol and implementing SOPs at the city level, and enhancing collaboration across various departments/bodies emphasizing “the citizens come first” mindset of Namchi city.
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