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Amthal Fire & Security is a top achiever at the Marlborough Science Academy

Amthal Fire & Security is a top achiever at the Marlborough Science Academy

Editor / Provider: Amthal Fire & Security | Updated: 12/17/2014 | Article type: Education

Amthal Fire & Security has upgraded the fire and security measures at The Marlborough Science Academy to feature high performance IP CCTV, access control and automatic fire detection systems to provide ultimate peace of mind for staff, pupils and visitors.

The Marlborough Science Academy, situated in St Albans, is a specialist science secondary school and sixth form, educating approximately 1,200 students and employing over 80 staff. The school is increasingly being used by the local community out of school hours and so the site required a general upgrade to its security and fire detection systems.

Amthal Fire & Security worked closely with the Estates Management team to provide a comprehensive security overview and offered a number of innovative ideas to ensure complete perimeter security and a smooth operating system throughout the Academy.

The electronic security solution specified, incorporated state of the art IP CCTV together with access control and automatic fire detection systems, all integrated into existing platforms. The structure was installed in just three weeks to ensure minimal disruption to learning timetables.

Says Chris Paice, Estates Manager at The Marlborough Science Academy: “The school is committed to offering staff, students and the wider local community a vibrant, happy and nurturing learning environment. So that we can do this as safely as possible, we ensure the fire and security systems, right from the entrance to the school and throughout the site, are all maintained to a high level.

“Amthal Fire & Security has consistently been highly professional and knowledgeable, going above and beyond the call of duty to provide a complete solution that was even installed at a much faster rate than we had scheduled.

We would not hesitate to recommend Amthal Fire & Security to any educational facility looking for guidance and expertise on all aspects of site security.”

Jamie Allam, Commercial Director of Amthal Fire & Security added: “The Government’s continued pledge towards the extended schools agenda means educational premises operate today on a much more ‘open’ nature with either full public access or permitted group access increasingly required.

“This places added pressures on fire and security measures to ensure even out of traditional school hours, the site is carefully monitored. Here, The Marlborough Science Academy has shown how working with a trusted brand as Amthal Fire & Security right from security specification throughout the process, can ensure a bespoke security system is created to operate with existing site technologies to keep disruption, cost and install times to a minimum.”

Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire & security solutions, including intruder, Fire, Access and CCTV systems.

Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE.)

Tips for selecting a cost-effective, efficient surveillance system

Tips for selecting a cost-effective, efficient surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Roger Morency, Exacq | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Challenged with patrolling a large area and protecting thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses, local governments and police departments need an efficient video surveillance system. Today, municipalities face a variety of new security challenges including geographical disparity, scalability and remote monitoring.

Government and municipal projects often have tight budget restraints and require a cost-effective surveillance system that covers a large area while providing expansion opportunities for future security needs.

Union City, N.J., and Prospect Heights, Ill., are two cities that have recently implemented cost-effective video surveillance systems. As a result, each city has seen a reduction in crime rates and a vastly improved public safety system by considering the following elements in their solution.

View Video Remotely
To provide a successful municipal surveillance system, find a video management system (VMS) software that law enforcement officials can easily use remotely. Police departments need to view live and recorded video from their desks, phones or vehicles from anywhere throughout the city, day or night.

Prospect Heights Police Department strategically placed cameras in the highest risk public areas. With exacqVision VMS software all government officials can download the free Exacq mobile app or run the free client software on any web browser. This allows them to assess situations as they are happening and provide guidance to on-the-scene officers. Additionally, the exacqVision software has given them the opportunity to monitor their risk, assess the environment they are entering and prioritize issues immediately from their devices. Remote video monitoring enhances situational awareness, enabling them to respond quicker and more effectively at crime scenes.

Implement a Wireless Solution
When tasked with monitoring a city consisting of thousands of residents, consider implementing a wireless mesh network for the most effective security system. In Prospect Heights, Illinois, the surveillance system acts as a force multiplier, allowing the police department to keep more officers patrolling the streets and letting the cameras cover high crime areas. With this solution, video from the cameras is transported wirelessly to a nearby building and then transmitted to the police station over the secured network. The wireless system connects the police department with the community areas for real-time viewing of activities. By leveraging this capability, Prospect Heights can monitor crime in neighborhoods without the need for full-time police officers to constantly patrol the area.

Be Resource Efficient
Replacing an entire security system can be very expensive. As an alternative, law enforcement officials can leverage their current infrastructure, wiring and analog cameras while also updating their security system. This maximizes the initial security investment while providing the flexibility to upgrade the system later. Union City, N.J. was able to utilize their existing analog infrastructure while also adding new technology, while Prospect Heights Police Department fully integrated the surveillance system with their broadband wireless network to better leverage resources.

Find an Easy-to-Use VMS Software
Simplify the process of searching and exporting video by selecting an easy-to-use VMS software. Most police departments and local governments suffer from lack of time and limited resources. The exacqVision client greatly improved operations and reduced investigation time for Prospect Heights Police Department. In the event of a reported crime, police officers can use the exacqVision VMS software for post-incident investigation and research. Officers can quickly search the exacqVision client for the time of the incident and can then export real-time evidence and footage to be used in court if necessary. Chief of Police Jamie Dunne noted, “The exacqVision software has allowed us to quickly capture video clips of incidents that we have used to bring criminal investigations to successful conclusions.”

Prepare for Future Growth
Communities continually grow and crime hot spots change. Therefore, municipalities need to be forward thinking when designing a security solution. Scalable solutions provide an easy method to add cameras and expand the security system as the population demographics adjust. Prospect Heights initially designed their wireless security solution with future additions in mind. They accounted for the ability to add cameras moving forward and adjust the system as needed.

LILIN helps hydroelectric power plant migrate from analog to IP based video surveillance system

LILIN helps hydroelectric power plant migrate from analog to IP based video surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by LILIN | Updated: 11/24/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Mission
Hydroelectric power plant sites are usually spread across a wide area. A dependable surveillance solution is needed to ensure the safety and efficient operation of the plant. LILIN's IP video technology provides remote monitoring for Jatiluhur hydroelectric power plant in Jakarta, Indonesia. This innovative IP video solution was designed by LILIN's reseller partner in Indonesia – 21CCTV.

 

 

Migration from analogue to IP
Due to the limited scalability of the original analogue CCTV system, the Jatiluhur hydroelectric power plant had implemented as migration to IP based video surveillance utilizing the LILIN IPR712M and IPS8268 network cameras with corrosion resistant protection feature in providing greater resistance to hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) and able to withstand the high humid and extreme climate of hydro power plant as the core of the digital solution.

Minimum bandwidth requirements
The ability to transmit high quality video images over large distances with minimum bandwidth requirements is the key to the success of this hydroelectric power plant monitoring project. The LILIN NVR controls all the plant's IP video surveillance cameras, it is reliable and easy-to-use in the plant's operational safety and overall security.

Solutions
In order to achieve centralized monitoring management for its hydroelectric pipelines, more than 15 LILIN IPR712M IP cameras equipped with vandal-proof enclosures have been installed at the Jatiluhur hydro power plant. The cameras are all IP-based and are connected to the command center via a fiber optic LAN and wireless Point-to-Point (PtP) bridging connectors.

System Structure (site A):
* Outdoor IP66 weather rated IP cameras – IPR712M *11
* Network Video Recorder (NVR) – NVR116 *1
* 1080P HD video decoder – VD022 *1
* Wireless Point-to-Point bridging connector *8

System Structure (site B):
* Network Video Recorder (NVR) – NVR109 *1
* 26X Day & Night WDR 650TVL Speed Dome IP Camera (Outdoor) – IPS8268 *1
* Outdoor IP66 weather rated IP cameras – IPR712M *4

High risk areas HD cameras were required to provide video evidence when required. LILIN cameras are located in all areas of the plant – the upper river area of the reservoir, the main dam, hydraulic turbine floor, and flood gate area. The LILIN IPS8268 day & night PTZ dome camera is used for general/patrol surveillance of open areas, and the LILIN Pro series day/night IP based fixed camera, IPR712M, is used for specific objects that need constant video surveillance at the plant. LILIN IP cameras support Power over Ethernet (PoE), which greatly reduces construction costs.

LILIN video solutions provide:
* A high-dependability solution
* Autonomous management of the control system
* Monitor the hydro power plant from a single point
* IP based cameras & networking
* Power over Ethernet (PoE)

 

Sponsored by: 
LILIN is a global IP video manufacturer with over 30 years of experience. Throughout the years, the company has maintained its dedication to Creativity, Progress, and Excellence providing expertise in digital video with a strong focus on innovation moving forward.

VIVOTEK releases new version of iViewer app

VIVOTEK releases new version of iViewer app

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 11/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK announced the release of its re-designed and iOS 8 or Android 4.0 compatible iViewer app, which enables users to monitor locations remotely by providing access to surveillance camera video directly from their iOS or Android handheld device.

Steve Ma, Executive VP at VIVOTEK, stated, “With the booming of connected handheld devices in the past decade, surveillance on the move is regarded as an essential element in the realization of seamless security. VIVOTEK, in addition to providing our valued customers with high quality network surveillance products, is strongly committed to creating user-friendly and convenient solutions. Ever since the launch of our iViewer app, we have applied great R&D resources to interface and functionality optimization. Today, we are pleased to release the upgraded iViewer app with a friendlier user interface and more exciting new features, making remote monitoring more flexible and enjoyable.”

iViewer allows users to stream live video from hundreds of cameras, which can be accessed by VIVOTEK's professional central management software VAST, VIVOTEK free video management software ST7501, and VIVOTEK NVR. Users can also directly connect to individual cameras via IP address or an IP finder. With persistent dedication to improving the entire performance of the app and maximizing the benefits of the remote and real-time monitoring, VIVOETK has also introduced further new features in this upgraded version, such as a user-friendly Interface, a “My favorites” menu, a Tutorial introduction, and Multiple ways to add devices (manual insert & local network search).

Vietnam rallies behind security

Vietnam rallies behind security

Editor / Provider: Lisa Hsu, a&s Asia | Updated: 11/4/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The anti-China protests that escalated to a riot in May resulted in damages to factories in industrial parks. Many of them were looted or burned down, causing injuries and several deaths to people who were caught in the incidents. The aftermath of the event led to losses of millions of dollars in damages and ceasing of manufacturing operations, as well as temporarily causing economic consequences as factories were required to close down for safety issues. Such violence meant an increase in security demand. Now, Vietnam is reevaluating their security issues, looking to improve safety and deter future incidents.

ECONOMIC GROWTH STILL STRONG
Despite the riot, Vietnam is unlikely to suffer significant economic impact. According to IHS Research, the economic and commercial impact on Vietnam's investment image in the wake of the anti-China riot will be limited, since production is likely to resume quickly in the affected areas. Additionally, the drop in Chinese investment is expected to be temporary, as it is more likely to delay commitment to new projects than lead to the cancellation of existing projects in Vietnam. In fact, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, China has 893 projects on going in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of US$4.7 billion. Furthermore, Japan and Taiwan, the two biggest investors in Vietnam, have registered capitals of $28.7 and $27.1 billion respectively in the country, showing that investors still see Vietnam as an ideal location for investing.

So what does this mean for security? According to Tran Nguyen Dung, Director of HDTEK Technology, “Growth of the security industry is due to market demand. Recently, the real estate market has recovered a bit, the bank system problems are being solved step by step, the belief in the stock market is increasing, and the exchange rate is quite stable.”

SECURITY AWARENESS INCREASES
During the chaos, the lack of security made catching culprits who vandalized and robbed factories even more difficult, as many did not have any surveillance cameras or intrusion alarms installed. With insufficient equipment to capture clear footage of incidents, families who lost loved ones in the riot were not able to bring justice to the criminals. However, this experience has led more Vietnamese people and companies, many of which normally ignored security issues in their organizations before, to become more aware of their security system and services, creating a turning point for the Vietnamese security industry, according to Hoang Qui Hop, GM of T&T Security.

“I believe this incident is a wake-up call for Vietnam's manufacturing sector,” said Terence Ng, GM of IndoChina at Bosch Security Systems. “Many industrial parks and factories were set up over the past years since Vietnam started industrialization, but there were insufficient or no investment in protecting and securing these facilities which is posing a threat to the safety and security of personnel. Now, industrial park and factory owners can no longer take security for granted and need to work on a comprehensive protection plan for their personnel, assets, and facilities.”

Hop also observed that apart from upgrading security systems to protect themselves, “companies are starting to work more closely with local authorities for assistance to obtain information about their employees for background checks, and human resource departments in companies are taking more interest in their staff.”

GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES TO BRING BACK INVESTORS
Vietnam has offered tax breaks and other incentives for companies whose factories were damaged or destroyed during the riot to maintain trade relations, with a reduction of up to 30% in special consumption tax, and reduced import and export tariffs. The government has also committed to ensuring absolute safety for people, businesses, and foreign agencies in accordance with the law and its international commitments.

“The government will have to give assurances to all foreign investors all over the world that it is making its best effort and taking measures to restabilize the business environment for foreign invested companies in the country,” Ng stated. Similarly, Dung emphasized, “Vietnam is a reliable environment to invest. They [the government] are giving compensations to the damaged companies. This is a very good way of handling the situation.”

Additionally, more companies from various verticals have been approaching security solutions, fueling additional growth in the Vietnam security industry. There is an increase in market demand by industrial parks, correction facilities, and city and marine surveillance verticals, which are faced with the need to satisfy companies and citizens requiring protection against future incidents, and to ensure reliable security systems are in place, said Ng.

LOOKING FOR NEW PREVENTION TECHNOLOGIES
Although the incentives offered to companies affected by the riots by the Vietnamese government are not directly related to security, money saved from tax and rent deductions can go to investing in security solutions.

“Companies must seriously look into a physical protection system to protect their assets and facilities against further theft, sabotage, or other malevolent human attacks,” suggested Ng. This system should involve “the setting up of a factory security team, equipment, and procedure to deter, detect, or delay any intrusive action.” He further emphasized the need for a plant's security forces to be able to delay an attack or defend itself until it can notify an emergency response team. Similarly, Bryan Quý, Sales Director of Namson Engineering, emphasized that security solutions providers should supply users with solutions to better connect consumer security systems to the police or government agents to process support requests faster.

In regard to equipment, Ng suggests that there will be an increase in market demand for high resolution HD and megapixel cameras with wide dynamic range and low-light sensitivity functions, as demand for video clarity and recognition capabilities have become increasingly evident. Other products such as external and internal alarm sensors for perimeter and facility protection, and access control linked with video systems to prevent unauthorized access are options for companies to install to protect their property. Video content analysis with functions such as crowd detection, loitering, and fire and smoke detection can be used to immediately recognize risks and reduce the need for human operators. With the growing location of banking ATMs, security solutions are needed to secure different banking locations.

Nguyen Minh Cuong, Assistant Manager for System Solution Division of Panasonic Vietnam, notes that camera and alarm systems are basic requirements, with an estimated growth of over 10%  for the banking security market. High resolution cameras will be popular in order to monitor customers' behavior in the ATM booth, and remote monitoring will also be an option for banking security solutions. Alarm systems are on the road to becoming the most essential technology for ATMs, as the feature to alert authorities or operators in situations is the main purpose of security systems, especially after business hours.

SOLUTIONS, NOT JUST PRODUCTS
Regardless of whether the riot brought more business to security companies, security companies still need to step up their game. According to Ng, it is essential for security solution providers to be able to offer a comprehensive intelligent solution — one that can reliably capture, analyze, store, view, and manage large amounts of video and alarm information, from early detection of potential problems to final response action. It would also be ideal to have software solutions with site maps and integrated functions to different sensors and elements of the physical protection system. Combining both equipment and software solutions would form a multifunctional and expandable platform that fits into the company's personal requirements.

Since the riot, security solutions providers are under more scrutiny to maintain standard codes and regulations for security solutions, said T&T's Hop, “especially for banks, factories, airports, seaports, casinos, and oil and gas industries. Not only should they sell products but also solutions with the after-sales service.”

Post riot, more people will be willing to spend money on security issues. For example, more homes will install 24-hour-monitored security systems with burglar alarms, panic call, and fire alarm functions. Hop noted that the cost of security systems is not expensive at this time; therefore, it is affordable to install one or two HD IP cameras in a residential home. Furthermore, with the evolution of technology, most people own smartphones or tablets, allowing consumers to monitor their houses through security apps on-the-go via the Internet.

POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE
Despite the negative impact brought on by the riots, growing security awareness as a result of the events will hopefully provide Vietnam with the push it needs to jump-start its security market. Furthermore, as the economic situation in Vietnam — and across the globe — continues to improve, as well as adding on the support of the government to bring in more foreign direct investment, Vietnam has the tools it needs to build up and improve its security landscape.

Exploration: Sensing automation

Exploration: Sensing automation

Editor / Provider: Editorial Department, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 10/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

If your house is able to think and feel, what can it do for you? Well, it could be an affordable or even a free housekeeper that can automatically take care of your family and property to make your life easy, comfort, organized and secure.

Sensors are fundamental for smart home. Smart home systems rely on a number of sensors to gain understanding of the environment to enable devices to respond accordingly. In essence, sensors communicate with each other and the smart home system to make a home intelligent. The intelligence may then be applied to various use cases, such as security, convenience, comfort, energy conservation and more. Today sensors are increasingly smart, cheap, compact and power efficient, each of which are crucial factors in pushing the market toward a truly practical and affordable smart home solution worthy of mass market adoption.

In addition, many sensors in the market today are multifunctional sensors with built in wireless connectivity. They also have a stronger focus on user experience users can easily find sensors that are cheap and easy to set up, measure multiple elements, and interact with a variety of devices through wireless communication protocols. And they last for years without a battery change.

SECURITY, COMFORT AND ENERGY SAVING
Security, comfort and energy conservation are three main motivations for homeowners to purchase smart home systems. According to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, smart home may become the second highest priority for residential modeling over the next five to ten years. According to another study by Harvard University, 73% of consumers demand energy efficiency in their remodeling projects; they achieve this through managing and coordinating lighting control and HVAC systems through automated means or via mobile devices.

Research conducted by Global Industry Analysts (GIA) indicates that smart homes of the future will feature more than 20 or even 30 connected sensors and devices. They will likely be linked via a home area network to the Internet as well as the service providers back end systems.

A smart home system that aims to make a home more secure, comfortable and energy efficient should include the following sensors:
‧ Motiondetection / PIR sensors:
Senses movement and triggers alerts. Major providers offer remote monitoring services that allow users to stream live video from their home cameras when needed.
‧ Ambient light sensors:
Lets the system know which areas have sufficient lighting. In conjunction with a motion detector, the smart home system may know that it should turn on the lights when motion is detected in a dark room.
‧ Smoke/CO detection sensors:
Alerts users of potential fire hazards. The smart home system may also know it should turn off fuel burning appliances, sound alarms, flash lights and more. ‧Temperature sensors/Thermostat:
Measures indoor or outdoor temperatures. Smart home systems can control HVAC appliances to adjust the environment to be more comfortable.
‧ Humidity sensors:
Measures humidity levels and possibly air quality. Smart home systems can control HVAC appliances to adjust the environment to be more comfortable.
‧ Water/floodsensors:
Informs users when water is spilling from a pipe or an appliance. Some systems can cut off water supplies and electricity to prevent disasters.
‧ Press/vibrationsensors:
Detects pressure and vibration. It could be attached to a window for security purposes or a washing machine to alert users when the laundry is done.

A ROSY PICTURE
The United States represents the largest market worldwide, followed by Europe. ON World s recent survey of more than 1,000 US adults forecast phenomenal growth in the coming years. Over a third believes they will have wireless sensors in their home in five years. Early adopters plan on having at least 50 sensors in their smart homes within the next five years and they want to integrate them into their WiFi/IP network,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. For all respondents, data reliability was selected as the most important feature of a smart home sensing and control system, followed by battery life, IP addressability, smartphone control and app availability.

Among all the sensor type, automated security and lighting are popular among consumers, and most homeowners opt for a smart home system because of security reasons. Families with children/elderly can especially benefit from the security that a smart home system provides. According to the survey by ON World, consumers are most likely to buy smoke detector/CO alarms followed by wireless LED light bulbs, smart thermostats and/or a smart appliance.

At the moment, wireless sensor devices are primarily used in industrial settings, residential applications are expected to grow phenomenally, mainly for automation and energy management purposes. This sector was worth $244 million in 2011 and is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2016, showing a CAGR of 35.5% between 2011 and 2016, according to BCC Research.

The expected prosperity is also exemplified by the growth of key component shipments. “Smart home sensor network chipset shipments will approach 100 million worldwide in 2015, enabling nearly $6 billion in cloud services for energy and home service providers,” Hatler said.

MULTI-PURPOSE SENSORS: YES, PLEASE!
The most common combination of sensors in a single package is smoke and heat. There are also 4-in-1 multi-purpose sensors that can detect motion, light, temperature and humidity. For example, FIBARO's Motion Sensor detects movement and vibrations and measures the current ambient temperature and light intensity. The product is capable of displaying color, which are pre-programmed but fully customizable, allowing users to see at a glance what the sensor is picking up.

In addition to making sensors more powerful and capable of gaining a deeper understanding of the surrounding environment, another benefit is that few sensors need to be installed. This can offer real savings in areas with high labor costs.

According to IHS Technology, market trends in North America and Western Europe are showing higher demand and increased usage of multi-purpose sensors. The think tank forecasts the global multi-purpose sensor market to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% from 2013 to 2018.

INTELLIGENT SENSORS ENABLE SMARTER LIFESTYLES
Sensors gather data to help an intelligent system analyze users' habits and take actions to maximize user comfort and minimize energy consumption. Occupancy and vacancy sensors are commonly referred to as motion and light sensors, which can be applied to help save energy. Lights turn off automatically when a room is unoccupied, and turn on when motion is detected. Vacancy sensors are also used to automatically turn off lights when a room is empty. In addition to lighting, indoor temperature can also be controlled to effectively heat or cool a room depending on the number of people in it. For example, FIBARO's smart sensor offers intelligent analysis like guest counting. Once the system knows there are more people in the house, it will turn on the ventilation on to let in fresh air.

Some sensors also reach beyond comfort to improve users' wellness. Air quality monitoring startup alima, offers responsive sensors that monitor indoor air quality and sends messages to users regarding pollution levels and predictions of upcoming weather.

The sensor intelligently learns indoor environment and helps modify user habits to minimize contributions to pollution. It sends data to the cloud and pushes results and advice to connected devices, while also providing a holistic view of air quality.

COMMUNICATION STANDARD GOES IP-ADDRESSABLE
Regardless of the application of sensors, communication between different sensors is crucial. Unfortunately, multiple wireless communication standards coexist and are incompatible with each other. Many popular smart home solutions are still closed systems that adopt proprietary standards.

Closed systems and proprietary protocols contribute to the lack of interoperability between systems and devices. Although there are numerous gateways or hubs that attempt to bridge communication between devices that adopt different standards, true interoperability is unlikely to be realized through “duct tape” solutions. The majority of wireless sensor networks use proprietary protocols running on sub-GHz or 2.4GHz frequency bands. When a home is equipped with tens or hundreds of wireless sensors continuously working in the full-alert mode, a large amount of energy is consumed.

As sensors become more compact, their sizes limit them to use small batteries as their power source. The sensors must minimize energy consumption to extend their lifetime, which is unacceptable for consumer use if it is less than one year. At the same time, sensors must provide high quality monitoring 24/7, as the consequence of unreliable homecare may be life threatening, and will not be tolerated by consumers. The scenario reflects the necessity of activity-aware sensor networking, along with the integration of activity recognition algorithms. For instance, if no one is at home, the sensing and networking activity should fall back to standby mode in order to reduce energy consumption. If a user is at home, the sensing and networking needs to provide reliable and predictable monitoring.

Low-power and activity-aware sensor networks with the integration of activity recognition algorithms are on demand. The current connected home systems connect sensors with multiple low-power wireless technologies like Low Power WiFi, Thread, ULE, Z-Wave, ZigBee, and ISM Band Sub-GHz frequency bands (433, 868 and 915 MHz).

IP-addressable is the mainstream for smart home sensors. Among the standards, ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale Semiconductor, Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Labs, and Yale Security launched Thread in July 2014. Thread is a new IP-based wireless mesh network protocol that will enable smart home devices to carry IPv6 communications with very low power consumption and support large-scale networks for the home with more than 250 nodes. Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director of IHS Technology indicated that Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards, designed for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networks. Existing popular application protocols and IoT platforms can run over Thread networks, which means millions of existing 802.15.4 wireless devices already on the market can run Thread with just a software enhancement.

According to Transparency Market Research, WiFi used to be the major technology employed in home energy managements systems, accounting for 25.1% of the total market in 2012. However, over the forecasted period from 2013 to 2019, ZigBee is expected to show the fastest growth and surpass WiFi to become the primary technology. This is mainly attributed to its growing demand in established markets like Europe and the U.S. on the account of its superior properties like scalability, more interference tolerant and compatibility with most HAN (Home Area Network) devices.

ConnectSense by Grid Connect is a platform for low-cost, cloud-based WiFi 802.11b/g wireless sensors that monitor changes in a user's environment and then sends alerts and notifications via phone call, email, text or tweet. Sensors are available to monitor temperature, humidity, water, motion, security and light. WiFi is the ubiquitous wireless technology found in business offices and homes. The utilization of WiFi networks lets users leverage their existing WiFi network without the need to purchase any additional hardware or gateways.

ON World's findings indicated that ZigBee and Z-Wave will have more than half of the sensor network market in 2015, but emerging technologies such as Low Power WiFi and 6LoWPAN will grow even faster. Z-Wave operates in the sub-GHz band, avoiding 2.4 GHz interference.

Clustered RAID storage and enterprise CMS protect capital of Mongolia

Clustered RAID storage and enterprise CMS protect capital of Mongolia

Editor / Provider: Surveon | Updated: 10/6/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

City surveillance plays an important role in crime prevention and criminal prosecution. For a mission-critical project like this, it calls for not only high performance and reliable solutions, but the capability to handle the harsh outdoor environment and large data storage for 24/7 non-stop recording for 90 days. “With Surveon's end to end solutions, from 3 megapixel IP66 cameras, hardware RAID NVR, clustered storage, to enterprise VMS, we are now better equipped to monitor the entire district and protect the community against illegal activities, ” said the Sukhbaatar district police officer.

Customer
The Sukhbaatar District is situated in the capital Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. With 18 sub-districts and a population of more than 112,000, this area is the center of the city with major government buildings, embassies, banks, and universities. “With all the residents and visitors, this district needed an advanced and professional video surveillance system to provide additional support for the police force,” the officer pointed out.

Challenges
Located in the coldest national capital in the world, the Sukhbaatar District features brief, warm summers and long, bitterly cold and dry winters, with extreme temperatures ranging from −49 °C (−56 °F) to 38.6 °C (101.5 °F) in the year. The harsh weather conditions challenge outdoor cameras to function properly and record clear images day and night.
With all the political and financial activities taking place in the large territory, the police department required a surveillance system that would allow them to remotely monitor the entire area and quickly respond to events in different sections of the district. An advanced TV-matrix wall functionality to see everything around this neighborhood at a glance was the key demand in the implementation. And a reliable storage system that supports 24/7 continuous megapixel recording for 90 days is necessary in city surveillance projects. The Sukhbaatar police department wanted to install enterprise-grade data storage to ensure long data retention period with no video loss.
Solutions

3 Megapixel 30 FPS HDR Outdoor Cameras for Extreme Weathers
Surveon CAM3471 provides 2048 x 1536 resolution at 30fps, true HDR (high dynamic range), IP66-rated weatherproof housing, and wide temperature to combat the harsh conditions. Installed atop streetlight poles, Surveon CAM3471 cameras enable police to monitor the downtown areas, tourist destinations, main roads, busy intersections, and the city's most violent neighborhoods. With the smart image optimizers, Surveon cameras can analyze lighting changes and automatically adjust the image functions to ensure clarity can be obtained under different lightings. The Smart Auto HDR can be automatically activated or deactivated according to the lighting, refraining images from being too bright or too dark. The Smart Shutter can capture precise images of fast-moving objects by adjusting the shutter speed automatically to avoid captured images going blurry or dragging.
In addition, the Smart Auto Exposure automatically adjusts the exposure based on a targeted area to bring out the proper exposure for the overall image, and the Smart Auto Focus allows users to apply auto focus on a targeted area, showing the clear image of the region that really matters. Surveon cameras also offer ROI (Region of Interest). Users can create up to eight independent regions, each with different video quality and frame rate, saving up to 30% of the network bandwidth.

Enterprise Video Solutions for Centralized Management
For a mission-critical project, an enterprise-grade video management solution is the ultimate choice. Surveon's intuitive VMS provides enterprise-level features such as real-time analytics, live view, instant playback, multiple clients, video bookmarking, remote monitoring, and centralized domain management. The software also adopts PIP, fisheye, back-forward, and frame by frame in live view and playback modes, offering partners the powerful yet easy to use solutions for professional surveillance.
Based on the client-server architecture, the Surveon Control Center (SCC) works on a simple yet compelling platform. With a single login from any PC/client at any remote location to the SCC central domain server, the SCC can take controls of monitoring, playback, configurations, and log management of all connected appliances, including cameras, NVRs, monitors, and I/O devices to ease the complications of configuration and maintenance.
The SCC supports the advanced TV-matrix wall that allows the police to know what is happening in the district in a glimpse inside the control room. In addition, the central alarm monitors not only events but overall hardware and software system status from one single platform to control operations, ease maintenance, and shorten response time.
Premium-Level Storage for Data Recording Supporting up to 64 channels of Full HD video recording, the Surveon NVR2100 with subsystem storage was chosen to provide large capacities up to 448 TB for longer video retention periods, overall system stability and zero video loss.
The EonStor RAID storage is an advanced data storage system designed for server, PC and NVR. The controller-based system with a dedicated “RAID controller” provides the highest performance and reliability with all data protected and backed up. Surveon's NVR2100 also comes with the SANwatch storage monitoring suite which helps the police easily manage and monitor the status of the storage, ensuring the high availability of recorded video.

DIY surveillance kits for homes

DIY surveillance kits for homes

Editor / Provider: Weili Lin, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 10/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Ease of use, affordability and smart user experiences drive product developments of the smart home systems. The home DIY surveillance kits are described as combination of smart hardware, software and cloud technology. Software enhancement adds value on home surveillance kits. Video recording plays a crucial role. There are pros and cons toward local and cloud video storage. No doubt, the supporters for secure and complete recorded videos still opt for complete surveillance systems like home surveillance kits or home monitor systems.

DIY home surveillance kits consist of two, four or eight wired or wireless cameras, and a NVR. Other solutions called home monitoring systems come with wireless cameras and portable touch screen displays, offering local storage on a SD card. The mainstream features comprise easy installation, self-explanatory operation, day and night vision, one-way or two-way audio, remote viewing on the smartphone or tablet, motion and sound detection, alert notification and HD video recording. The HD video resolutions are available with 720P, 960P and 1080P. The current offerings include indoor cube, dome and bullet cameras along with IP66 waterproof and vandal-resistant outdoor cameras. Users can add cameras from different locations to one account.

The NVR with a built-in hard drive designed for 24/7 surveillance provides weeks or even months of recorded videos, depending on hard drive capacity and recording resolutions. Users can customize the recording settings to fit their needs like 720p recording resolution or a lower resolution for extended recording time. There are smart designs like automatic frame rate adjustment.

The cameras, with motion detection, maintain low frame rate of 1 fps, and enhance the frame rate up to 25 or 30 fps when detecting any intruder. DIY surveillance kits are widely used for homes and small businesses like small offices and shops.

For smart home use, IP cameras are accepted as the mainstream adoption; wireless kits are gaining popularity. In terms of connectivity, 2.4GHz and Wi-Fi are two major wireless standards. Home DIY users prefer to purchase and setup systems on their own. Wireless connectivity offers clutter-free and hassle-free setup experience for them, whereas wired cameras take their power directly from the mains to avoid the missed crucial moment when the power goes out. Users can just place the cameras in the important outdoor locations without running video cables, and then simply power up the wireless cameras. After setting up the mobile apps, users can start remote monitoring homes by running multiple viewers. Improved networking and cloud computing technologies make home surveillance easy as 123.

The fun for DIY is not just self-installation. Users may take pleasure in customizing the systems on their own. The DIY surveillance kits offer custom settings on motion zones, alert and recording schedules, and bandwidth to match individual's internet speed.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Smart home system is defined to have a smartphone app or a web portal as a user interface. As network infrastructure matures, home surveillance kits are prone to support the cloud platform and apps for remote viewing and operation on mobile devices. Unlike traditional home surveillance systems, today home users can complete setup with smartphones or tablets with ease. For example, user can just scan the QR code to complete setup and view real-time video remotely from smartphones. Easy setup with handheld devices without PCs provides handy surveillance experience. No installation and contract fees are other selling points. Also, users can upload videos and photos to cloud storage media like Dropbox, Google Drive and Baidu Cloud.

In the smart home industry, the revenue generated from hardware sales is relatively small. How to utilize cloud service to achieve a sustainable business model has been a hot topic to discuss. For example, the cloud service from Dropcam delivers a new user experience and business model. It charges for continuous video footage of 7-day cloud recordings.

Cloud storage for video backup is adopted to avoid hard drive failure, and prevents intruders from destroying evidence—security footage. At present, the cloud service is provided by system providers or third-party software companies. Besides, the cloud storage lowers down the retail pricing of the surveillance kit that contains a NVR. However, the profitable business models and operational stability are two challenges to deal with.

Bandwidth availability and invasion of privacy are viewed as a growth inhibitor of cloud storage. Besides, the incomplete uploaded videos may lead to disputes. The adoption of the NVR or home NAS makes users exempt from occupied bandwidth by other applications like online gaming. In addition, cloud storage can only be affordable in the places where network infrastructures are mature like the US.

SMARTER FUNCTION, SAFER HOME
Hardware functionality is limited; software creates more value to the systems. The majority of home surveillance kits are offered by professional surveillance system companies. They offer nearly professional-grade systems with affordable prices to smart home users. The user interface is simple, but the back-end software functionality can be complicated.

Therefore, we can expect more and more intelligent features to be introduced for home surveillance systems, such as auto-tracking, fog-penetration or defog function, anti-glare and Intelligence Video Surveillance (IVS) features. The intelligence video surveillance features include face recognition, perimeter alarm, and multiple intelligent video query functionality like snapshot and smart search. Region of Interest (ROI) face detection let users to track and snapshot moving individuals walking through the viewing region.

Hospital in India kitted out with VIVOTEK cameras

Hospital in India kitted out with VIVOTEK cameras

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 9/23/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Protecting patients and caregivers
As one of the leading healthcare delivery providers across the pan Asia-Pacific region, Fortis Healthcare Limited is committed to not only sustaining, but also bettering the lives of those in need of clinical care. The company's operations span many borders – countries such as India, Singapore, and Sri Lanka, all the way to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and the island nation of Mauritius – and its services reach some of the world's fastest growing markets. As a provider of integrated health care in the areas of diagnostics, primary care, and specialty day care in hospitals, Fortis Healthcare is a major force in the industry and poised to take on a leading position globally. With expanding operations comes the responsibility of protecting not only patients' physical health, but also the environment in which they and their caregivers work on a day-to-day basis. Such was the case with one of the hospital locations in Ludhiana, India, and they sent out a call for help that VIVOTEK answered wholeheartedly.

Outfitting the medical center without interrupting the hospital daily operation
As hospitals never close, the greatest obstacle to outfitting the medical center was laying cables for the relocation of cameras without interrupting business as usual. The hospital in Ludhiana remained in full operation throughout the process, and the system integrator deftly managed to do the cabling without disturbing patients or damaging anything. It took a lot of manpower and hours, but in the end the installation was completed seamlessly. Computer Services Integration – a company with experience and specialization in IP surveillance, network infrastructure projects, wireless and video, and data and audio communication systems – together with VIVOTEK worked to bring the project to fruition, and all systems were up and running by October of 2013.

Choosing the right hardware to build a seamless security Guarding expensive medical equipment and the safety of staff and personnel was the primary concern of this project. When it came to choosing the right hardware, there were four main aspects of surveillance that played into the decision: patient movement, patient security, employee security, and grounds security. Inside the hospital 54 units of the IP8133 model were mounted. This camera allows users to simultaneously receive multiple streams and is an ideal option for keeping a remote eye on patients and staffs. The camera features tamper detection, 32-channel recording software, and a built-in PIR sensor for human detection, all packaged in a compact design. Five IP8332 units were used for monitoring goings-on outside of the hospital. The bullet-style network camera performs well in outdoor settings, with a removable IR-cut filter for day and night functionality, IR illuminators effective up to lengths of 15 meters, and multiple stream capabilities.

All video streams captured by VIVOTEK's cameras are fed through video management software called ST7501, enabling the user to fully control and manage the streams from a single location. Using ST7501, real-time remote monitoring, recording, playback and event trigger management functions can be operated by the user. Ultimately, the solution chosen by Fortis Healthcare guaranteed patient and visitors tracking, grounds surveillance, and general security of the hospital.

Completely satisfied with the Installation and performance
Mr. AP Singh, regional IT head of Fortis Hospital, commented on the overall efficiency of VIVOTEK's IP surveillance solution. “The system integrator did a really good job setting up the surveillance system despite the challenge of working in a hospital open 24-hours. Once the system was in place I was really impressed with the user friendliness of it all, particularly the way in which ST7501 software integrates everything into an easy to operate system.”

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

 

 

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