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4 hotel security highlights provided by 5 leading suppliers

4 hotel security highlights provided by 5 leading suppliers

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 9/12/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hotel security deployment has become even prominent than ever as a strong growth has seen in the international tourism industry over the past decades. It is projected that in 2030, international tourist arrivals worldwide will reach the gate of 1,800 millions, compared to around 500 millions arrivals back in 1995, according to Statista.

The requirements from hospitality vertical are no longer merely focusing on traditional surveillance and access control deployments, despite it is widely recognized that blending in the surrounding decoration is the baseline for hotel security installation. In today's market, a unified solution that effectively assists hotel operation and staff management is much more popular and desirable.

In this article, asmag.com would like to show our readers some of the latest and the must-know considerations provided by several professional global suppliers in the terms of deploying hotel solution in the up-to-date market:

1. Guests' comfort and safety always come first
In the hospitality security market, guests' requirements have to be the highest consideration. Despite the fact that the most important thing for video surveillance is capturing clear monitoring pictures possibly needed, in a hotel, the foremost function of surveillance systems should be providing guests peace-in-mind feeling.


“For guests, the hotel rooms as well as the public areas of the hotel are used for their purposes and comfort. But for the hotel staff, it is seen as their workplace, which also brings a different aspect of video surveillance into mind,” according to AXIS Communications. “A video surveillance system will contribute to the guest safeguarding since it can help hotel security management to detect incidents and intrusion and act upon it as well as preventing it from happening.”

The luxury boutique hotel, La Suite West, located in London has deployed a discret surveillance system consisting of Axis network cameras that blend in with hotel decor.

2. IP gets an upper hand for its flexibility, remote monitoring, high-quality image, and cost-efficiency
Undeniably, compared to analog system, network systems is more flexible and, generally, cost-efficient when system expansion is in need. “We are definitely seeing a trend of more hotels adopting IP cameras as opposed to analog, due to the ease of integrating IP cameras with current security or control systems, and the cost saving achieved by using less cabling,” according to SONY Electronics Asia Pacific.


Not to mention the high image quality delivered by IP systems which makes it easier to spot details such as suspects' facial features. More importantly, network recording can be forwarded to related authorities conveniently as emergent incident taking place. Network systems also imply that remote monitoring via smart devices has become a real possibility.


Dahua Technology has also provided an alternative option for end user who desires for HD image resolution without immigrating from analog to IP systems. “HDCVI provides full HD and 720p image resolution based on the exsisting cabling, while it's cheaper than IP solution at the same time, so it is very natural for HDCVI to gain the favor from owners who run places with analog surveillance systems,” as Sancha Xia, Overseas Sales at Dahua Technology indicated. Earlier this year, Dahua has provided in-house HDCVI solution to 5-star hotel in Shanghai better securing the hotel and guests.

3. Extreme light and low-light condition make image unrecognizable – WDR & 3D DNR
For the end users in hotel vertical, it is inevitable to deal with surveillance under extreme light or low light condition. The entrance is one of the most important locations to watch over carefully 24/7. However, the surveillance could be challenging at the entrance and areas with varying light condition making people and incident too hard to recognize.


“Wide dynamic range (WDR) technology is a network camera feature that handles a wide range of lighting conditions in a scene…WDR enables objects to be visible in both bright and dark areas by applying various techniques,” as AXIS Communications suggests.


On the other hand, noise reduction is a necessary technique when it comes to hotel surveillance systems adoption. Under low-light or no-light condition, increased noise in the monitoring picture may lead to misjudgment, taking image noise as a true motion. “IP cameras provided by LILIN are equipped with 3D digital noise reduction (3D DNR), and, at the same time, incorporate spatial noise reduction. The entire image processed with 3D DNR technology is clear and noise-free,” according to Merit LILIN. One of the most established chained hotel in Beijing deployed LILIN's video security systems with advanced technologies such as WDR and 3D DNR to reach total situational awareness.

4. Security systems as added value for hospitality – branding and operation management
Due to the increasing terrorism incidents in the past decade, security has become a main concern for the tourists and business trip travelers as many are aware of possible security threats during trips. Therefore, a high-level and stringent security system can often drive hotel revenues and boost occupancy, as Pavel Petrov, Solution Consultant of Business Developement of EMEA at Bosch Security Systems convinced. “Therefore, more and more hotels worldwide do opt for voluntary certification procedures, marketing themselves as safe hotels. On the other hand, a major security breach can have devastating effects on hotel's brand, which is usually its most important asset.”


Moreover, security systems deployed in hotel can be further used as part of the hotel management. For example, not only biometrics access systems can be installed in guest rooms and staff offices, it can also be used for time attendance management. Surveillance monitoring, other than its security purpose, can be used as food and beverage management and staff training material in order to improve hotel services.

 

 

Full Content of Hotel Feature 2014 
                     - 8 selected case studies and 3 solutions

 

 

Axis network cameras monitor construction of remote fish farm

Axis network cameras monitor construction of remote fish farm

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 9/9/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
AgriMarine Technologies Inc. of Comox, B.C., is a producer of innovative aquaculture fish-farming technology. The company uses proprietary, solid-walled floating tanks to meet the public's growing demand for sustainably raised seafood. However, the fish farms are built in remote marine locations, making it a challenge to monitor their construction. The company also wanted time-lapsed videos of the construction for marketing purposes.

Solution
AgriMarine turned to full-service media integrator Tremain Media to provide monitoring and daily timelapse video of its construction site at Lois Lake, where it was assembling four fish tanks. To provide optimal coverage, both a fixed Axis network camera and a pan/ tilt/zoom (PTZ) network camera were deployed onsite. The PTZ camera allows AgriMarine to remotely adjust the camera's angle of view when the location of the tanks change, and the HDTV 1080p resolution provides detailed zooming when needed. Real-time images are stored at the edge on the cameras, on local FTP servers and pushed via satellite to time-lapse processing and storage system in the cloud.

Result
Prior to implementing the Axis network cameras, AgriMarine staff needed to travel for hours to retrieve video footage. With remote access, that time is saved, and AgriMarine can use the time-lapse footage and daily recaps to manage the project. Additionally, they can also use the clear and detailed images to support their marketing efforts.

Remote monitoring
AgriMarine has been involved with fish aquaculture since the 1980s using traditional net systems. In 2000, they became involved with land-based systems on Vancouver Island and discovered that, while the fish thrived within the tanks, the pump-ashore land-based farms were far too costly. Instead, the company deployed a team of designers and engineers to develop a solid-wall marine tank for finfish farming in the species' natural habitat. The eco-friendly, in-water tanks are 3,000 m3 in size and designed to reduce energy use, curb environmental impact and improve management of animal health. Originally, AgriMarine installed analog cameras to monitor the tanks' construction, but the tanks were being built in the remote Lois Lake on Vancouver Island. Accessing the site required a three-hour ferry ride followed by another hour of driving, and this significantly limited how often their head office could retrieve footage. “During the pilot project, we had to spend half a day getting to the site, so we could only do it every six days,” says Robert Walker, President of AgriMarine Technologies. “This wasn't acceptable, since we needed more timely information.”

Eyes on the ground and water
AgriMarine turned to Tremain Media for help. The Vancouver Island-based company provides remote video monitoring and daily time-lapse solutions that can be accessed over the Internet. They installed an AXIS Q6035-E PTZ Dome Network Camera and an AXIS P3364-VE Network Camera to monitor tank construction through timelapse images taken at 10-minute intervals. The high-resolution HDTV 1080p time-lapse video allows the design team to analyze specific details of construction without making additional trips to the site. Because of their ease of installation, the cameras can also be moved without hassle in the case of drift or tidal changes. Both cameras target different locations to give a wide view of the farm: the PTZ camera follows tanks as they move, while the fixed camera is installed on a pole with a concrete base that can be moved if required.

Covering the distance
AgriMarine originally wanted to employ a real-time feed, but a constant data stream was too costly to transmit over satellite Internet, and they opted for time-lapse video instead. They can, however, activate a live video feed for special events or emergencies. Each camera has a 32GB SD card onboard for local edge storage. This data is also backed up to two FTP servers on location and sent via satellite to Tremain Media's cloud-based visual data system, where it is managed by the company's Render Engine video management software. From there it is processed into daily time-lapse footage provided to AgriMarine in whatever size or format is needed. “We have a lot of redundancy built into the system. We're dealing with a mission-critical implementation, and there's only one chance to get the footage,” Tremain says. “We only use Axis cameras for our time-lapse and monitoring systems because of their reliability and quality. As a videographer by trade, quality is key to me.”

Marketing in high definition
Beyond the ability to monitor construction, AgriMarine found the videos could also be used as an effective marketing tool to raise their profile in the industry. “It's very exciting. At the same time as we're building the tanks, we can now show investors and prospects what we're building,” Walker says. At a trade conference in Abu Dhabi, the time-lapsed video was the focal point of their display. “They found it really drew people to their booth,” Leah Tremain, owner and CEO of Tremain Media. “That type of ‘booth bait' is really important, because their product isn't necessarily easy to understand if you don't see the size and scope of these projects.”

 

Public school district in Nebraska deploys IP solutions with Genetec and Axis

Public school district in Nebraska deploys IP solutions with Genetec and Axis

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 9/2/2014 | Article type: Education

North Bend Central School District (NBCPS) in America has installed Genetec Security Center to better protect its elementary and junior high school students.

North Bend Central School District serves a community of 1,200 residents in the southwest corner of Dodge County, Nebraska. Its facilities include a PK-6 elementary school and a central junior-senior high school campus, accommodating approximately 560 students. While North Bend is a close-knit community and usually devoid of serious risk, NBCPS always stays vigilant in ensuring its students and faculty are safe.

The school district had been using a very small analog digital video recorder (DVR) camera system to track minor incidents of vandalism in its high school building, and doors to both buildings were secured by keys. The manual process of locking and unlocking doors and tracking keys was tedious and cumbersome. Upon receiving a sizeable financial federal bond, the school district planned a major infrastructure improvement which included a complete security upgrade. NBCPS turned to Prime Communications, a certified security solutions provider, who proposed Genetec Security Center, for a unified approach to security with video surveillance and access control.
Today, NBCPS is using Security Center to manage a total of 36 network cameras from Axis Communicationsand 15 HID Global door readers and controllers across both buildings.

Synergis, the access control system of Security Center, has been pre-configured to automatically lock and unlock the main entrances and exits of both school buildings according to school schedules. Since the community also uses certain facilities after-hours, the NBCPS facility managers can easily make schedule adjustments within Synergis to accommodate different events or special exceptions. Administrators can also quickly activate or de-activate cards as required. “Because everything is automated, we don't need to have someone come in and manually lock or unlock doors anymore. We schedule everything in the system or we assign community members visitor badges with specific privileges and access rights. Synergis has been really easy to use,” explains Jim Cody, Technology Coordinator at NBCPS.

From an IT perspective, Security Center has also been extremely adaptable by running within a virtualized environment and thus allowing NBCPS to minimize hardware. Omnicast, the video surveillance system of Security Center is also set to record on motion.
“We're a small district and we don't have the money to spend on terabytes and terabytes of data storage or servers for our security system. Having motion detection supported within Omnicast has saved us a lot of time searching for video and minimized storage costs,” added Cody.

NBCPS is using Security Center mainly for after-the-fact investigations, yet rotating video feeds are consistently displayed on monitors in administration offices. Being able to quickly locate, time-stamp and export video as evidence has proven to be useful to identify a suspect who had damaged school property during a school event and also provided video evidence to parties with different recounts of a traffic accident that was caught on camera.

While Security Center features such as remote monitoring have saved staff considerable time in handling video investigations from home, more powerful features like Security Center Mobile, Health Monitoring and Active Directory Integration are top of the to-add list in the future.

Axis: An eye in the sky with benefit

Axis: An eye in the sky with benefit

Editor / Provider: Ivan Medved, Director Global Business Development AVHS, Axis Communications | Updated: 8/12/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Everything that can become digital will become digital, given the right time. That maxim even applies to the security video recording industry, which traditionally is very conservative in its outlook. Even though digital recording devices have been available for a number of years, a large majority of the security sector still relies on coax analog recording systems to protect their clients' premises or businesses, limited to provide only basic surveillance.

A lot of this mind-set rests with traditional attitudes and a view that ‘good enough' technology will do, just as it always has. But in the era when we have high definition television, Blu-Ray viewing and ultra-sharp images from devices as small as our mobile phones, it is an anachronistic and ‘blurred' way to view the world.

As more and more IT-based industries move solutions to ‘the cloud', the security industry too will provide its benefits and solutions through cloud-based or hosted services. Digital IP camera networks don't just provide the advantage of vastly improved image enhancement, but can provide remote accessibility, enabling multiple, authorized users to view live and recorded video at any time and from virtually any network in the world. This is especially advantageous if users need a third-party company, such as a security firm, to also gain access to the video.

A network video system can grow with a user's needs. IP-based systems provide a means for many network cameras and video encoders, as well as other types of applications, to share the same wired or wireless network for communicating data; so any number of network video cameras can be added to a system without significant or costly changes to the network infrastructure.

As a result, the IP-based surveillance system typically has a lower cost of ownership than a traditional analog CCTV system. An IP network infrastructure is often already in place that a networked video application can piggyback of the existing network. IP-based networks and wireless options are much less expensive alternatives than traditional coaxial and fiber cabling for an analog CCTV system.

Hosted services
The benefits with IP-based surveillance system allow security operators to provide hosted video services – known by a host of acronyms including Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS), or Managed Video as a Service (MVaaS). Whatever moniker you may wish to put on it, it comes down to the same thing - service providers can now provide additional ‘cloud-based' services, adding value that would not be possible with a local installation.

Many companies are now embracing the concept - from small businesses, retailers, IT providers and consumers, we are all becoming more and more comfortable with using data stored ‘in the cloud'. IMS Research* reported a bright future for Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) throughout 2012 and beyond, with the market growing by around 20% to 30% a year. If we consider that we already use cloud services for, such as online banking, data backup, web-based email, or photo file sharing, then it becomes apparent that we are more and more ready to accept cloud based services, even if we don't immediately recognize it.

For security purposes, business users can now lease hosted services and choose the parts they need. They don't need a big initial investment, but just pay a monthly fee for a subscription to a service. Neither do they need to be experts on the solution, nor can leverage their installers' expertise and competence to gain an optimized solution for their business.

The hosted service provides additional security and remote storage and remote monitoring. Business management functions can also be enhanced. Users can subscribe to operational services or applications such as heat mapping or people counting or virtual guard tour. As the whole system is scalable, an IP-based system can help grow their business and with their business.

The IT reseller also gains a number of up-front benefits. The hosted VSaaS solution provides them with new business streams – as it is easy to install and configure, they have the opportunity to tie up their customers to monthly subscription models. The small or medium sized business customer doesn't need to take-on large capital-investment projects, but can easily contract and service with configurable programme, choosing the optimum number of cameras, resolution and storage.

They can also bring all the channels together with other IT-based services and cloud-based solutions. They system grows easily with their business and is independent of the location, whether it be spread across several sites, old premises or new.

Potentially the opportunities for service providers are high. Additional services can be added to their existing customer offer, allowing them to generate new revenue streams. Suddenly their customers will have the ability to record and store security information remotely, but yet gain access to it whenever and wherever they want it, and from whatever kind of device they are using. They could be at a remote office, at home, or even on the beach, and can view a security recording from last week or even ‘live'. They can access that using a PC, laptop, tablet, or a mobile phone, and access images from premises that are maybe hundreds of miles away. And it will be safe from hackers, theft, IT failures, fire or vandalism. All of this can be offered as a premium service which drives extra revenue towards hosted service providers. In addition to traditional security services the customer will have the possibility to benefit from new services to further develop and protect their business such as remote guard tour and guard-force services as well as business management services such as drive thru, promotions, daily deliveries and cash protection.

An Eye in the Sky
For many, trusting a third party provider to look after their physical data and security is a hurdle to overcome. As a basic provision, any IP-based security device should have the multi-level passwords, SSL encryption, VPNs and firewalls to protect it from external attack. In addition, all the compliance regulations met by the big data storage players apply to video surveillance hosting providers, including SAS70, RAS Encryption and ISO 27000-1.

In short, using a cloud-based provider is, in many ways, more secure than the traditional analog system as there's no physical recording equipment available to steal or on-site video evidence to destroy.

For any small business with sufficient bandwidth that needs a small number of cameras to protect vital areas, such as common entrances or business-critical areas, an IP-based system is ideal. Businesses will find IP-based security cameras simple enough to install themselves, and can buy surveillance and other services from a provider. Any company with less than 10 employees, with leased-office space, and with an internet connection will find the solution ideal for their needs.

Installation is also simple and easy. A video hosting system takes around 15 minutes to connect to a web hosting service with an IP provider. Users don't need to be IT experts to get up and running, and any initial system costs are easily reduced by removing local management and storage costs.

For those users with existing analog systems, there is no need to replace the entire investment. For example Axis Communications provides a full range of video encoders which are able to convert analog systems to digital. Additional networked storage devices can store recordings and events to save bandwidth and increase system performance. This means, solutions are scalable and costs are controllable and as users go through the growth curve, so can their response to networked solutions.

Many of the doubts regarding access and reliability are being eroded as more and more companies join cloud based networks, and especially as back-up systems such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are available to back up video streams if a network goes down or increase performance if bandwidth is limited, allowing the user to watch and record high-quality video in HDTV definition.

Like everything in modern life, technology and solutions advance and evolve. Hosted systems provide a remote yet intelligent solution to users' needs. Compared with a traditional analog installation, hosted video will provide not only traditional monitoring and recording, it will serve as a platform to provide new possibilities to effectively manage a business, allowing the customers to subscribe from wide range of new video based services. Other than surveillance a hosted camera can be used to remotely verify deliveries or false alarms, count the number of people in a store or be used to follow-up promotional activities. The possibility for the video service provider to physically send staff to the customers store if needed also provides new level of security. The subscription based model puts the user in control and allow him to benefit from services to more effectively handle his business.

---By Ivan Medved, Director Global Business Development AVHS, Axis Communications

IDIS integrates DirectIP with SureView Immix CS/CC

IDIS integrates DirectIP with SureView Immix CS/CC

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 8/1/2014 | Article type: Security 50

IDIS has announced the completion of integration between its total surveillance offering, DirectIP and SureView's Immix CS/CC video centric alarm monitoring platform, which correlates and manages unlimited video and other security systems alarms into a single unified platform.

IDIS customers can now harness the power and high-performance DirectIP surveillance through their partner alarm receiving centres, central stations or in-house command centres.

The integration enables essential DirectIP video surveillance features from the Immix platform, including live view with multi-layout, playback, two-way audio with remote alarm notification and instant video verification

Brian Song, Managing Director, IDIS Europe, commented, “We are committed to ensuring DirectIP customers realise industry-leading performance together with a low cost of ownership. The integration with Immix achieves this by allowing for a more cost effective and streamlined approach to managing and monitoring multiple security alarms through one user interface.

“In addition, with the Immix platform deploying across an increasing number of alarm receiving and remote monitoring centres, customers can now migrate to DirectIP surveillance and benefit from industry-leading HD quality video in the control room.”

Chris Eckersley, Sales Director at SureView, added, “The integration with DirectIP demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers the most innovative and powerful technologies in the market. DirectIP offers industry-leading full-HD performance delivering tangible benefits to a wide range of businesses.”

IDIS offers DirectIP as an end-to-end solution, comprising a range of cameras, monitors, NVRs and comprehensive video management software. DirectIP delivers unrivalled plug-and-play simplicity, combined with highest-quality performance and industry-leading pricing levels.

Council depot decreases false alarms by Optex Redwall laser sensor

Council depot decreases false alarms by Optex Redwall laser sensor

Editor / Provider: OPTEX | Updated: 7/31/2014 | Article type: Security 50

A council depot in Dudley experiencing up to 80 false alarms in 45 minutes when opening every morning, has practically eradicated the problem by reviewing the existing sensor locations and deploying OPTEX laser detection technology.

The site stores building materials including paving slabs, electrical cabling and some council vehicles, and is protected by a CCTV system triggered by infrared motion detection sensors, but was suffering numerous false alarms due to staff arriving for work and congregating in front of the building, and from wildlife along the canal footpath that runs along two sides of the perimeter. Historically, intruders have broken through one of the perimeter walls and stolen central heating boilers and piping, and also climbed up on to the roof and entered the building through the skylights. Some 18 REDWALL long range passive infrared detectors (PIRs) were installed throughout the car park and the perimeter of the building to protect the elevation of the storage warehouse a few years ago. The operational needs of the site had changed but the sensors were still in their original location and the false alarms generated when staff is arriving to work were causing a headache for operators at Visual Verification's remote monitoring center in Timperley, Cheshire.

The location of the existing sensors needed a rethink as well as the mix of detection technologies to specify to avoid staff triggering the system.

Replacing the traditional volumetric sensors protecting the building, a REDSCAN laser detector has been installed on top of the building in a vertical application, covering the facade and a one meter area from the wall, working in conjunction with two cameras. Creating a virtual wall, the laser sensor only detected people standing next to the building wall and ignored those further away. This resulted in the false alarm rate falling by 80%.

D-Link: Home is where the smart is

D-Link: Home is where the smart is

Editor / Provider: Veronica Chen, Sponsored by D-Link | Updated: 7/28/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

D-Link is a leading global networking solutions provider for enterprise and consumer markets. With 189 sales offices in 66 countries, the company's next mission is to find its way “home.” D-Link's Head of Global Marketing Quenton Miao sat down with us to talk about the company's plan to become a global designer, developer, and manufacturer of smart home solutions.

In May 2014, D-Link made its first foray into the smart home market with the launch of its WiFicontrolled smart plug, the aptly named WiFi Smart Plug. Shortly after, D-Link announced its WiFi Motion Sensor and the mydlink Home app, a home management app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

These three elements form the basis of the company's smart home strategy. Users can pair their D-Link Smart Plugs with WiFi Motion Sensors to make home appliances respond to motion, such as setting the lights to turn on when someone walks in a room, or a fan to keep the living room cool while a person is present, or music to play when a user steps on the treadmill. The mydlink Home app provides a simple way for users to set and manage automation rules and schedules, as well as view live feeds from D-Link home security cameras.

D-Link's stream of announcements in the first half of 2014 is only the beginning of its Connected Home Initiative. “The home is becoming increasingly ‘IP-cized'. This is D-Link's strength, so it is a very logical step for us to capitalized on the growing interest in smart home,” said Quenton Miao, Global Marketing Head at D-Link. “With more than 27 years of experience developing networking and communication solutions, we have all the ingredients to build a compelling smart home offering.”

What sparked D-Link's interest in smart home?
About 15 years ago, I was Factory Director at D-Link. Telephones were analog at the time, and the transition to digital was picking up momentum. I didn't even know how to test the keypad on an IP phone. But, it was a necessary for us to adjust, and it was a logical step for telephones to turn digital.

D-Link has always been a pioneer in IP (Internet protocol) data communication. With advances in communication technology and the transition to digital and IP, many industries have become relevant to us; factories, industrial facilities, retail businesses, office buildings—they have all taken a similar path. Now it's fi nally making its way into residences. So, smart home is actually coming to D-Link, not the other way around. We're not taking a leap of faith into the market; we're taking another logical step.

What role does D-Link hope to play in a smart home?
Our mission is to become the core of a smart home, which we believe is the smart home hub or gateway. All smart home services and features, be it security, safety or automation, rely on the hub. Everything is on the hub, and the performance of software and services are highly dependent on it.

Think about your home computer. Over the past 20 years, we have gone through at least fi ve or six generations of PCs. Why do we upgrade? We want new features, more powerful performance, new applications, better aesthetics, convenience and more. We think smart home hubs will take a similar route, where users will continually upgrade to get a better experience.

That's why we see the hub as a tasty cake in the smart home market. Sensors, on the other hand, is icing on the cake. They are essential, but they also have a longer product life; users won't upgrade sensors—they will replace them when they cease to function.

Another cake is the home camera. Adoption of home cameras is picking up not just because of security concerns, but because the camera is the ‘window' to the ‘soul' of connected home. There are so many ways you can apply what the camera captures to achieve a high level of home control.

Does that make D-Link an equipment/device supplier or a solution provider?
D-Link has always been a solution provider. We are very different from most Taiwan and China makers. While others are more OEM/ ODM-oriented hardware suppliers, D-Link's DNA is the brand. Being a brand means we have to look at the big picture and work on solutions.

But, what is a smart home “solution”? We think some essential components are mobile apps, software and a cloud platform. We have done this for 10 years with mydlink. Our plan is to bond D-Link's connected devices with the platform. The cloud platform allows users to easily install and pair the products and monitor or control them from anywhere with an Internet connection. For example, with our home cameras, no matter how far away you are, mydlink can lead you to your video footage.

In terms of revenue, does solution refl ect a higher portion than hardware?
As a brand, all of our hardware comes with a solution, software and platform. For example, D-Link's smart devices are not mandatorily tied into mydlink, but the platform is a free service that provides extra benefits and additional features for each user. In this sense, D-Link has always been a solution provider, and this is one of our strengths. At the moment, we have almost 2 million registered accounts.

A recent report said D-Link has the highest shipping volume among consumer network cameras. Our market share is around 40 percent in the retail market. Solutions brought us not only a high market share but also a group of very loyalty fans. To answer your question, “Yes,” Solutions are definitely more profi table than hardware.

What kinds of distribution partners do you work with?
Our three main partners for smart home products are retailers, installers (SI), and telcos. Retailers are interested in this territory because it's another way they can provide service. For example, if you buy water filter at B&Q, Home Depot, or some other home improvement retailer, they'll help you install it. In our case, we partner with many tier-1 CE shops and home installation SI's around the world.

Telcos are also eager to enter the connected home market. They are similar to retailers in the sense that they have retail stores that sell mobile phones and accessories, but they also offer home security and other service packages. Their services also help promote network routers, smart home hubs, sensors and cameras.

How does D-Link approach the different markets around the world?
Each market is unique. In emerging markets like India, UAE and others, users look for traditional installers because DIY has not caught on yet. For these markets, smart home is a nicety rather than a necessity, so we have to educate the market on the benefi ts of home automation and security. We approach these markets with our cameras, introducing them to the merits of remote monitoring and control. If users enjoy the experience, they might adopt some of our other offerings.

In mature markets, such as Australia, the U.K. and U.S., acceptance and adoption of smart home is also very high. DIY is also very common. However, they do have different needs for smart home solutions due to different housing structures and cultures. For example, European housing is generally narrower and deeper, while US houses are wide and have basements. Our solutions need to cater to those differences.

What can we expect from D-Link's next launch?
At D-Link, we currently have four main areas of focus: network cameras, 802.11ac network routers, portable 4G routers and connected home solutions. Our mydlink platform synergizes all these product lines to form a practical solution.

We already have cameras, sensors, sirens, CO and PIR detectors. We have doorbells arriving soon. Aside from those, future product development strategies will depend on how the market develops and what it wants. We listen carefully to our 189 global sales points; they inform us of customer needs and wants in different markets, and we discuss with them which products to develop and launch.

What is D-Link's vision for smart home?
An essential requirement for smart home to materialize is connectivity, so we actually prefer the term, “connected home.” This happens to be our core competency. For example, D-Link cameras are designed as a networking device rather than just a camera, so it provides much more than visualization. The cameras also serve as a wireless repeater or sound detector. Most camera manufacturers do not know how to embed these functions into a camera. The designing mindset is totally different.

We believe the traditional view of home automation, where people set different scenes for their homes and change them at the push of a button, has gone very basic. It is also no longer a toy for the wealthy—it is affordable and provides numerous tangible benefi ts stemming from connectivity. To me, a connected home means four things: Communication, Control, Comfort and very, very Cool.

Related products:
D-Link DCH-S150 Wi-Fi Motion Sensor
D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug
D-Link DCS-820L Wi-Fi Baby Camera

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Editor / Provider: Ola Jonsson, Business Development Manager, Axis Communications | Updated: 7/21/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

It is no exaggeration to say that network video has revolutionized the video surveillance market. Now the access control industry is on the verge of a similar development. Once again, it is the transition from analog to IP-based systems and with it the adoption of open standards which provides new opportunities and stimulates market growth.

Since the introduction of the first network camera in 1996, the market share of IP-based video surveillance systems has increased year by year. Today, network video solutions offer a host of benefits and advanced functionalities that cannot be provided by analog video surveillance technology.

There are a number of common misconceptions as the physical access control industry undergoes a similar transition from analog to IP-based technology. In the following, I will address the top 3 of these myths.

Myth #1 - It's not worth upgrading existing analog systems to IP-based technology
A typical analog access control system is dependent on having each device – card reader, handle, door lock, door position switch, etc. – hard wired with RS-485 cable into one central unit or central server. Besides being proprietary systems, which confines the end user to one single provider of hardware and software, these solutions often tend to be very complex and require expert personnel to handle installation and configuration.

Furthermore, when expanding analog systems the process is complicated by the need to consider that a typical central controller is built to accommodate a certain maximum number of doors, normally 4, 8, 16 or 32. Not only does this limitation make the system inflexible but also makes it difficult for the end user to match his requirements with products available, e. g. if there is a need for access control at for example 9 or 17 doors. This lack of flexibility also brings high marginal costs, which can make the addition of one extra door unjustifiably expensive.

Upgrading an analog access control system to IP-based technology therefore allows for more flexibility while lowering costs as the system needs to be expanded to include additional doors. IP networks can be used for more than one application. This way different security systems can use the same infrastructure and can be integrated with each other. Often remote monitoring and management of security systems is a key requirement. This can be easily implemented with IP-based solutions which feature web-based console access.

Myth #2 - Access control systems are only for large installations
Analog access control products and systems are normally designed and optimized for large installations with a lot of doors and maybe thousands of credentials (cardholders). The actual market looks very different. According to the Security Sales & Integrator Gold Book 2013, the average installation consists of 7 doors with less than 130 credentials. Only about 20% of the installations have more than 10 doors.

Without the need for hard wiring to a central control unit or central server, IP-based access control systems enable installations that are very flexible and scalable. This means not only a more versatile solution, but also a more cost efficient one. Freed from the constraints of enlarging the system in certain multiples, a network-based solution can – should it be necessary – be enlarged by one door, and one reader, at a time.

Additionally, IP-based technology enables “edge” solutions. An edge solution has one controller for each door, which is then connected to the existing local Ethernet through a regular network switch without the need for a central server for management. Since IP networks now are ubiquitous in offices, stores, factory plants and similar facilities the cost of adding an IP-based door controller would be minimal, as opposed to multiple serial connections wired back to a central server. Cabling work can be even further facilitated. By employing a PoE (Power over Ethernet) supported controller at each door the need for a separate power cable is eliminated, thereby reducing the total installation cost and time compared to that of an analog access control solution.

Myth #3 - Access control systems are proprietary solutions that can't be integrated with other security systems
Very much like in the video surveillance market the shift from analog to IP-based technology in the access control industry will cause a transition from proprietary systems to open solutions. And these solutions will most likely be based on international industry standards.

Open solutions and standardized interfaces are a prerequisite in any industry that wants to establish its own equivalent of "plug-and-play". There are many gains from such a development also in access control. It will allow end users to freely pick and choose between components – reader, door controller and software – that best satisfy their needs and preferences. This freedom of choice makes the system future-proof and means the end user no longer has to rely on a single brand or supplier. Equally important, it can also enable integration with other security related systems and third party applications, without the need for costly hardware boxes to provide the “bridge” between the different systems. For example, a very common request is to integrate physical access control with video. People entering a building will automatically trigger a camera; the live images can then be used for investigation of incidents or identity control.

In the network security systems market there is already a clear trend to develop open or standardized application platform interfaces (APIs), which can be used by all competing market participants on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Naturally, this will increase supply and promote competition and bring a new level of innovation to the industry, while simultaneously making it even easier for end users, system integrators, consultants and others to take advantage of the different possibilities offered by IP-based solutions.

For example, the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), which is a global and open industry standards body with the goal to facilitate the development and use of IP-based security products, announced in 2010 an extension of the organization's scope of standardization to cover physical access control. Ideally, access control devices from manufacturers that comply with the ONVIF standards will in the near future interoperate effortlessly and seamlessly with each other, as well as with other video surveillance products and systems conformant with the standard.

Future outlook
According to a market forecast by analyst firm ARC Advisory Group, IP-based access control systems will comprise more than 35% of the market in terms of shipments by 2016. A key factor will be that new buildings are increasingly being equipped with IP-based building control systems. This provides the basis for integration of previously often separate systems such as access control, intrusion detection, fire alarms or video surveillance.

Open standards and the ability to base different security systems on the same IP network architecture allows installers to build solutions based on products from various manufacturers. This way they can better meet customer demand, price projects more competitively and offer custom solutions to particular installation challenges and requirements. End users benefit from a future-proof and adaptable technology that can easily scale to their growing needs without being locked into any one manufacturer.

A slice of small system surveillance with Axis

A slice of small system surveillance with Axis

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 7/17/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
Following an attempted break-in, Andover, MA restaurant King's Subs and Pizza needed a cost-effective security solution. As a small business in an industry with razor-thin margins, King's Pizza went looking for the highest quality surveillance system that fit within their budget. They also needed cameras that could provide the most flexibility of installation to cover all the important areas with minimal hassle. Additionally, as self-admitted technology novices, King's Pizza required a system that was user-friendly and easy to learn.

Solution
After contemplating installing a consumer-grade analog DVR system, King's Pizza elected to go with the similarlypriced, yet much higher quality Axis IP solution with in-camera edge storage. They installed five 720p HDTVquality AXIS M10 Series Network Cameras in key locations throughout their store. All video footage is recorded onto the SD cards within the cameras, and the system, once configured, runs selfcontained without the need for a computer or laptop thanks to the AXIS Camera Companion software. King's Pizza can even access real-time or recorded video on a smartphone whenever they need.

Result
Not only does the IP surveillance system provide reliable, round-the-clock security for the restaurant, but the owner can also use the footage to track business operations, monitor cash register transactions and investigate incidents. The ability to view archived video has had an immediate positive effect on the restaurant's bottom line. The owner can track whether an ingredient such as premium steak is being used too much, or see if there is a reason for discrepancies in each night's receipts. Every dollar counts for small businesses, and Axis network cameras help ensure they are all counted correctly.

An order of surveillance, but hold the DVR
Owner Dave Young purchased King's Subs and Pizza in 1996 after working there as a cook since 1991. Today, King's has 15 employees, including delivery men, with anywhere from three to seven working at one time. Following an attempted break-in, Young began shopping to replace his long-broken analog camera. After comparing similarly-priced analog and IP solutions, he found the high quality video and cost-effective edge storage options offered by Axis cameras to be the best fit. Five 720p HDTV-quality AXIS M10 Series Network Cameras were installed throughout the restaurant to cover the front and back doors, cash register, customer counter, and kitchen, as well as the office where the money is counted at closing time. The edge storage capability meant that all surveillance video would be recorded to the cameras' internal SD-cards, while AXIS Camera Companion software turned the system into a self-contained recording solution. The cameras connect to a standard networking switch – not even a computer is needed for the system to record. Because King's opted for edge storage and eliminated the need for a costly and maintenance-heavy DVR, the pizza shop was able to utilize a much higher quality IP camera solution at a comparable price.

Easy as pie: Searching for cost-saving evidence
While the fear of being robbed was the initial impetus for looking for a new surveillance system, the IP solution has proven to be more of an operational asset than Young could have ever imagined. “It's is helping to improve the bottom line,” Young said. When the shop is busy, it's all hands on deck. Yet, sometimes those hands make mistakes. “Waste is a huge deal in this business,” explains Young. “My hamburger is cash to me. If I start to see irregularities in our food costs, I can review the video to answer, ‘Why am I losing here?'” Young will log in to the viewing client and focus on the kitchen to see, for instance, if too much steak is being cooked for a particular meal, or whether food was dropped and had to be thrown out. Other times, it's simply a matter of a hot selling order that week. In one instance, Young noticed a major discrepancy when balancing the register. A review of the video revealed the shift manager had reversed a refund at the customer's request. Not only was money not stolen, but the video showed the manager making a correct decision and reinforced Young's confidence in the recently-promoted employee. The ease-of-use of the new IP system helps Young recoup time he lost in the past playing detective without any clues.

“I am not what you'd consider a tech guy. The fact that I can get in there and figure it out without anyone really showing me how, that says something.” He regularly uses the Investigation Mode to move the video frameby- frame to pinpoint what he's looking for. He also discovered that the snapshots enable him to zoom in on the 720p image. “It's phenomenal. I rarely ever need to zoom in because of the clarity of the cameras, but I have that option. There's nothing to it: just a few clicks and you're good to go.”

Security to go
Despite his exceptional staff, Young doesn't take many days off as the owner. But the ease of use, clarity, and remote monitoring capabilities of the IP system just might allow him to fully relax while spending a day doing what he loves most: fishing. “I downloaded the TinyCam app on my Droid,” says Dave, “and if I'm away running errands or actually take some time off to do some fishing, it's great that I can check in on the restaurant wherever I have a connection. I've got a tremendous staff who I trust implicitly. But the ability to check in – even just to see how busy we are – gives me that extra little bit of comfort.”

American Dynamics safeguards well-known broadcaster's home in London

American Dynamics safeguards well-known broadcaster's home in London

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 7/8/2014 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

As one of the U.K.'s premier broadcasters, Gabby Logan's job takes her around the world.

The former gymnast turned sports presenter began her broadcast career in 1992 as a radio personality, and then quickly expanded into television with Sky Sports, ITV and BBC. Gabby has covered the London Olympics for BBC and England's football team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. Gabby also served a short stint in Brazil covering England's football team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making a quick return to the UK to present from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

In addition to her life on the road as a broadcaster, Gabby also juggles her “other” roles as wife and mother, a regular columnist for The Times, the creator of a successful workout DVD called “Twin Results Workout”, and a dedicated patron to several charities, including the Disabilities Trust, Prince's Trust and Great Ormond Street.

As a busy professional, Gabby and her husband Kenny, an ex Scotland International Rugby star, realized that they needed to implement some type of system that allowed her to keep an eye on things at home while she took care of business on road. Whether gone for the day, or away on a trip thousands of miles from England, a home security system that incorporated video surveillance was the solution Gabby needed to stay connected to her family when Kenny was back at home in charge of the family and property.

Working with Vindex Systems in West Sussex, a specialist integrator of CCTV, access control and automatic number plate recognition solutions that works with both public and private sector clients, the Logans selected a system from Tyco Security Products' American Dynamics range that incorporated the VideoEdge Network Video Recorder (NVR) and Illustra 600 outdoor mini-dome cameras.

Using a monitor at home, Gabby and Kenny can actively watch the video from the cameras on the grounds, or view recorded video with the VideoEdge NVR. The system even allows the Logans to save snapshots of specific video images.

But the real selling point of the system was the ability, through an iPhone application, to watch live and recorded video from her home surveillance system from anywhere she may be. Now Gabby has the ability while on the road to check on her home, her family and any situations that may occur through the VideoEdge Go app.

VideoEdge Go is a full-featured video surveillance viewer that delivers added value to the system and enhances the day-to-day experience by facilitating remote monitoring and forensic investigating from anywhere.

The free, downloadable app works with Logan's iPhone or other Apple iOS device. And because the video is streamed via a wifi, 3G or 4G connection in H.264 rather than MJPEG, it takes up less space on whatever device she is using.

While England was competing in the World Cup in June, Gabby was onsite with the team, but also in touch with home through her surveillance system and the VideoEdge Go app.

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