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Japanese convenience store enhances security with QNAP VioStor NVRs

Japanese convenience store enhances security with QNAP VioStor NVRs

Editor / Provider: QNAP | Updated: 1/27/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

A famous chain of convenience stores in Japan installed QNAP VioStor VS-2108 Pro+ NVR surveillance systems to create a safer shopping experience for customers and a safer working environment for employees.

Challenge
Convenience stores are the backbone of daily life in Japan, where much of the workforce commutes to work by train, often for more than 1 hour each way. The branch manager of the convenience store chain well understands his customer's needs and that creating a pleasant and safe shopping experience is critical to keeping the customers loyal to his store chain.

After several robberies and a string of theft incidences at some of the stores, a branch manager for the store chain set out to begin discussions with security consultants to work out a solution that prevents unexpected guests and would aid in loss prevention throughout the chain of stores and allow for both local and remote centralized monitoring. The primary challenge is this chain store group currently runs around 1,000 convenience stores and with such large enterprise it was difficult to design a security system that could be deployed chain-wide and allow local recording and storage of the surveillance as well as remote monitoring of video from many stores by a remote office. The secondary challenge for deployment of a security system is that it needed to be PC-less and fit into the limited space in the stores.

Solution
The previous CCTV systems installed in the stores delivered poor image quality and there was no provision for remote monitoring. Most of the CCTV systems recorded on tape, which was not always reliable. After a great deal of research, the branch manager of the store chain selected QNAP VioStor VS-2108 Pro+ NVRs for deployment at around 600 stores. The VS-2108 Pro+ is a compact NVR that can record video surveillance up to 8 IP cameras installed in the stores on two 6TB internal hard disk drives with enough space for up to 30 days of recorded surveillance video. The NVR is a networked video surveillance system, allowing the video feeds from the cameras to be transmitted securely over the Internet to a remote monitoring location. Additionally, a monitor can be connected to the VS-2108 Pro+ via HDMI for full HD local display and live monitoring in the store managers office.

The essential places to monitor in a convenience store are typically the cash register area, store entrances, stockroom, and merchandise areas. These areas are protected by 2-3 IP cameras, delivering HD quality video for important details over the Internet but not taking up much storage space on the VS-2108 Pro+ NVR's internal hard disks. In addition to video, the usage of audio interaction allows the cashiers to receive instructions, enabling them to react timely. Other cameras fixed on the store shelves and store entrance give the store manager an indication of where customers might need assistance from staff.

Surveillance videos can also be viewed on mobile devices; which enables store managers to analyze the staff's working efficiency and have a better picture of where resources should be allocated. The remote security staff based at the chain's headquarters office can easily access any of the recorded video surveillance from any of the VS-2108 Pro+ systems at any time to support investigations and share with authorities. The NVR offers advanced features that allow the security team to get an SMS or email alert automatically if movement is detected in certain areas before or after specific times.

Axis announces first temperature alarm cameras for remote monitoring of critical equipment

Axis announces first temperature alarm cameras for remote monitoring of critical equipment

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 1/16/2015 | Article type: Security 50

The outdoor-ready, bullet-style AXIS Q29 Series are Axis’ first temperature alarm cameras designed for remote monitoring of critical equipment, such as bulk storage sites, electrical sub stations or coal piles.

Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, introduces a new series of network cameras with remote temperature monitoring capabilities, AXIS Q29 Temperature Alarm Camera Series. With two available lens alternatives and a resolution of 336x256, the cameras allow remote monitoring of critical temperatures at both short and long distances.

“Since the launch of Axis’ first thermal security camera, we have had customers requesting network cameras that are also able to indicate the temperature of objects. The main application area for these cameras is to detect intruders, but also to remotely monitor critical equipment, server rooms or storage sites,” says Erik Frännlid, Axis’ Director of Product Management. AXIS Q2901-E Temperature Alarm Cameras can be used to monitor equipment’s temperature on a 24/7 basis to eliminate risks of overheating.”

With AXIS Q2901-E and AXIS Q2901-E PT Mount it is possible to set up multiple alarm zones, which send an alarm when the temperature reaches above or below a pre-configured threshold. To make it easy for the operator, the cameras provide visual aids, such as isothermal palettes and spot temperature capabilities, to fast predict failures by indicating problem areas before the issue becomes visible to the eye or before machinery stops working.

Thanks to features like one-cable installation and support for Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af), AXIS Q29 Series is easy to install and can easily be integrated with existing security systems. AXIS Q2901-E PT Mount is an alternative model coming with support for RS485/RS422 serial port, which allows the camera to be easily mounted on a PT motor-head. The pan/tilt support enables a large area to be scanned for critical temperatures.

AXIS Q2901-E offers a wall bracket for installation on walls or ceiling. The latter camera also supports Axis’ Corridor Format, allowing the camera to deliver a vertical field of view, suitable to monitor server rooms or areas between piles or antennas. Axis temperature alarm cameras are mainly used for remote temperature monitoring with the possibility to set temperature alarms, but can also be used for detection, such as perimeter protection. AXIS Q29 Series can withstand harsh weather conditions and the casing offers protection from impact and vandal acts.

AXIS Q2901-E/Q2901-E PT Mount cameras are supported by the industry’s largest base of video management software through the Axis Application Development Partner Program, and AXIS Camera Station. The cameras include support for AXIS Camera Companion, AXIS Camera Application Platform, AXIS Video Hosting System and ONVIF for easy camera system integration and for application developers to provide the camera with intelligent capabilities.

Axis temperature alarm cameras are planned to be available in Q1 2015 through Axis distribution channels.

Bosch expands energy and building technology business with Climatec acquisition

Bosch expands energy and building technology business with Climatec acquisition

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 1/15/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Farmington Hills, MI - Robert Bosch North America Corporation has acquired Climatec, LLC, a leading provider of energy efficiency, building automation, security and life-safety solutions for the U.S. market. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Climatec, LLC generated sales of 170 million dollars (128 million euros) in 2013. According to preliminary figures, Climatec increased its sales in 2014 to about 190 million dollars (143 million euros). The company employs some 670 associates at a total of twelve offices across Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. Climatec has been majority-owned by Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. since April 2012. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“With the addition of Climatec, we are expanding our global presence especially in the growing North American market, strengthening our portfolio and becoming a comprehensive supplier of solutions in the area of energy, building automation and security services,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector. “The entrepreneurial spirit, industry expertise, customer focus and shared cultural values that have made Climatec successful are an excellent match for Bosch. Our heating, energy service, security systems, software, sensors and storage technology expertise, combined with the Climatec portfolio, positions Bosch to achieve Energy and Building Technology business sector sales of ten billion dollars (eight billion euros) in 2020.”

“Over its 40-year history, Climatec has established itself as a trusted provider of building comfort, safety and efficiency solutions across nearly all building segments. I was immediately impressed by Bosch's determination to create an environment that would preserve our business model and customer focus,” said Terry Keenen, president, Climatec, LLC. “I am confident that this acquisition will strengthen our position for sustained growth, benefitting our customers and employees.”

Integrated competencies for a growing market
The market for integrated energy services, building automation systems and system integration is growing significantly in the U.S. and around the world. As global energy needs have doubled over the last four decades, customer demand for energy efficiency has increased. And recent years have seen greater demand for comfort, connectivity and security. Rising energy costs, increasingly complex energy systems and a changing regulatory environment foster major growth opportunities in the residential and commercial building sector as well as the services segment. The Bosch Energy and Building Technology business sector combines several areas of expertise: broad technical systems know-how in video surveillance systems, intrusion and fire detection, access control, alarms, evacuation and public address systems, professional audio and conference systems, as well as water heating and comfort heating systems. As the global market leader in microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), Bosch offers software and sensor technology for internet of things connectivity. The company also offers services for energy management, remote monitoring, and the handling of business processes.

Climatec is recognized in the building industry as an independent single-source integrator of critical building systems including energy services, building automation and security system integration in the U.S. market. The company provides consulting, planning, implementation and 24/7 remote management of comprehensive comfort, security, safety and efficiency solutions. Climatec is active in several market segments and industries including education, healthcare, the public sector, industrial/manufacturing, computing services, office buildings, federal, state and local government, hospitality and energy. Combining these strengths, Bosch can now offer customers a complete portfolio of networked and efficient energy, building automation and security solutions.

Climatec continues as largely independent entity
Climatec will operate as a largely independent entity, maintaining its offices in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. Operations will continue to be run by the same management team. Climatec will continue to represent and integrate numerous leading manufactures' product lines across its wide range of services, including Bosch products. As before, the Bosch Security Systems division, Fairport, NY, will continue to sell their security and safety products in the North American market through leading distributors and system integrators.

Game changing trends and technologies for video surveillance in 2015 and beyond

Game changing trends and technologies for video surveillance in 2015 and beyond

Editor / Provider: Atul Rajput, Axis Communications | Updated: 1/9/2015 | Article type: Security 50

With the Internet of Things (IoT) continuing to be a hot topic throughout 2014, across all industries -- whether it's about smart cars or intelligent kitchen appliances -- more consumers and businesses are now aware of the advantages of being connected to the internet.

It's a concept none more relevant than to security professionals and business owners trying to ensure the safety of their organisations.

As many security professionals predict, the new HD standard 4K or ‘Ultra HD' continues to be a hot topic and the next natural step in the industry's ongoing strive towards better image quality and greater surveillance camera coverage. In the surveillance world, 4K is expected to take its full effect in 2015 and beyond. Image quality is a core consideration and while everyone is talking about 4K, the real challenge is to optimise image quality for the particular task at hand, regardless of how bad it is or what the ambient conditions are. Technology that enhances image quality for advanced video applications will be a key innovation here and an industry driver. However, the advancements in image quality have created bigger pressure on managing the resources to support them. For example, they can have a significant impact on network bandwidth and storage requirements, increasing the need for more effective compression methods.

Video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) and cloud computing
This is when video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) becomes useful for managing and archiving video footage captured by surveillance cameras onto cloud storage. Video surveillance systems can be a powerful tool in preventing or investigating crime when installed in locations such as shopping centres, parks, banks, airports, and other public transport locations. Rapidly increasing demands for video surveillance systems have been driven by growing safety and security concerns worldwide.

According to Transparency Market Research, the video surveillance and VSaaS market is expected to reach a value of $42.81billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 19.1% from 2013 to 2019. By system, the IP based video surveillance market is expected to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 24.2% during the forecast period from 2013 to 2019.

The hardware market was valued at $9.49billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.3% during the forecast period from 2013 to 2019. It comprises of analogue and IP-based video surveillance cameras, recorders and storage, encoders, and monitors. The recorders and storage segment held the largest share of 37% in 2012 of the total hardware market followed by surveillance cameras with a 32% share but is expected to lose share in the coming years due to a growing preference for cloud-based storage (VSaaS). Also, the share of surveillance cameras is expected to increase to around 46% by 2019 owing to the growing popularity of IP-based video surveillance cameras that offer better video quality and have in-built recorders.

Cloud computing may well have been the buzzword in IT circles for several years, but a new era is very much upon us. Whether in a public environment, where tenancy on servers is shared with other customers, or in a private environment, where your data and applications are stored in isolation on a system, cloud computing brings three advantages to your network; redundancy, scalability and shifting costs from capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operating expenditure (OPEX). Depending on whether the cloud is hosted or run internally, there may also be the convenience of leaving routine maintenance like upgrades, updates and patches, to a third party.

Cloud storage will inevitably grow and grow throughout 2015. A recent survey by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) in conjunction with Axis, questioned nearly 300 UK retailers, encompassing over 20,000 stores, about how they would like to access in-store surveillance footage and whether access from a mobile device would be beneficial. The results showed that majority of UK retailers (82%) wanted to view in-store video remotely – a rise of 6.5% from 2013. This obvious drive for the need to make ‘real time' decisions based on the footage was reinforced with over 68% of retailers wishing to use a mobile device (eg. smartphone or tablet) to access in-store video.

Scalability doesn't just factor in the need for more cameras, it also enables access to more computing power and storage if, for example, a higher resolution or faster frame rate is needed. In another example, if analytics are needed for customer traffic pattern analysis, the processing capacity is already there and only paid for when required.

Better functioning analytics running on the edge are also appropriate for critical infrastructure applications. For instance, the extra computing power could be used to store half a million car number plates and also capture registrations from cars driving past at up to 24 miles per hour.

Another interesting aspect of VSaaS is that it offers users the possibility to add additional services to their video surveillance – such as guard force or remote monitoring services.

Analytics, business intelligence (BI) and big data
Analytics technology is also likely to finally take off within the surveillance industry from 2015 – enormous amounts of structured and unstructured data (big data) essential for gaining valuable insights. With network cameras' capability to provide higher resolution video and to be connected from everywhere and around-the-clock, security departments are receiving more information from more sources. Therefore, more analytics are needed to help organisations make sense of the tremendous amount of information, such as images and videos. Increasingly intelligent applications are needed to help categorise and interpret the wealth of information, so it can be turned into something useful.

The ‘three Vs' of big data; volume, velocity, and variety, can provide vital information during a crisis by providing the right data at the right time. By starting with more factual data, such as surveillance footage, physical access control data, and cyber activity information and then building useful associations, costs can be reduced by only searching for the most relevant information.

This is where IP video transforms the surveillance camera from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems to a proactive tool designed to improve business processes. According to the CRR retail survey, integration with BI applications was the single most important reason for UK retailers to migrate to IP video, with 27% citing it as their main driver. Nearly half of the UK retailers polled also said that people counting (49.2%) and queue management (49.9%) were the two most important non-security network IP applications that most interested them.

Video images can be used in conjunction with analytical ‘horsepower' to analyse retail customer traffic patterns and shopping behaviour, as well as gather data to isolate bottlenecks in-store. Mix that up with other structured and unstructured data sources, including transit schedules, lists of promotions, competitor pricing data, social media etc. and a skilled data analyst can tease out patterns and relationships that retailers never knew existed – data that could give a significant competitive advantage.

Video compression and bandwidth usage
Video compression technologies are aimed at reducing and removing redundant video data so that a digital video file can be effectively sent over a network and stored on portable media. With efficient compression, a significant reduction in file size can be achieved with little or no adverse effect on the visual quality. The video quality, however, can be affected if the file size is reduced further by increasing the compression level for a given compression technique.

There are several video compression standards including Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 Part 2 (simply referred to as MPEG-4) and H.264 – the latter being the latest and most efficient video compression standard and already the standard for video surveillance and other industries, such as entertainment.

At the same time, the continual improvement in image resolution and light sensitivity for example, also increase the data output from the cameras – imposing higher demands on the efficiency of the video compression. Video surveillance manufacturers need to balance the upsurge in resolution with improvements to H.264 compression algorithms to make sure network bandwidth and storage costs do not spiral out of control. A combined effort of working on noise reduction methods and bit rate reduction should run in parallel with investigation into new video codecs to get the best results.

Beyond improvements in current H.264 compression, the future will embrace H.265 technology, which is rapidly gaining interest in the broadcast industry. H.265 can reduce bandwidth and storage demands by up to 50% under the right circumstances, so expect the technology to be introduced into the security industry over the next few years. It's likely to be initially deployed in high-end, high-resolution cameras, and it's expected that H.264 and H.265 will co-exist for a while within the industry.

Conclusion
Ultimately, high quality images and videos such as 4K resolution needs to be supported by the right technologies in order for organisations to get the most out of their data, which can be analysed and turned into useful insight not only for security purposes, but also for efficiency to gain a competitive advantage. I believe this really should be the key consideration for everyone who is looking for the next ‘big thing' in surveillance.

                                          - By Atul Rajput, regional director, northern Europe, Axis Communications

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.

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