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Made in Jiangzhe — Steadily Advancing in Security Industry

Made in Jiangzhe — Steadily Advancing in Security Industry

Editor / Provider: a&s China Best Buys | Updated: 7/14/2012 | Article type: China Corner

From ancient times to the present, the famous businessmen in south of the Yangtze River were here and there, due to Reforming and Opening up policy of Chinese government, the companies of this region takes the initial to seize the global capital markets and venture abroad in search of opportunities. According to the statistics of China's economy over these years, dozens of developed counties in Jiangsu and Zhejiang province would come up with numbers of villages that are well-known in some particular field. a&s talks to several suppliers to reveal the particular features of security industry in this region.

Harmony in Diversity
In addition to the traditional locks and safes, security manufacturing sprang up in Jiangzhe region at the year of 2000. Through more than ten years' growth, Jiangzhe brand has established great reputation by flourishing in domestic market.

Due to the enduring emphasis on technology, the leading security companies in Jiangzhe keep injecting the lasting vitality into this field. Hikvsion has built its subsidiaries around the world with international channels; Dahua has gained the prominence by its embedded DVR and is always pushing forward the technology; Dali launched the 1st infrared camera in 1993 and possesses the steady high-end market.

Among the senior executives in Jiangzhe's companies, most of them come from technical background; technological innovation has thus become an important form of their operation concept. Guided by such principle, a firm technical exploitation has been realized with strong teamwork spirit, which obtained them important positions in the part of DVR, speed dome, electronic lock and biometrics. Jiangzhe security is progressing with the constant motive power because innovation is the impetus of keep security continuance development.

Cooperation and Competence
Jiangzhe security products are dominated by speed dome, matrix, DVR, electrical lock and biometrics, unlike those in the southern part of China, where the homogenization forms a trend. In operating with the products of the same type, they vary from one to another. For example, Dahua works on the embedded DVR, Dali focus on infrared vision imaging, Qiyang's core technology is codec, network transmission and intelligent analysis, Zenointel supplies automatic integration software. “The social division of labor tends to be more obvious, only the differentiation can grab us niche market.” said Hu Lijun, Market Manager of Pearmain Electronics.

As is often the case, once the new product is launched, copy is fairly common. Numbers of peers would scramble to follow by focusing on the same product and try to grab the market by low price. However, this situation is rarely seen in this region, it is common that security players of Jiangzhe put much emphasis on the unique and differentiating factors in company management and product line. “The manufacturers in Jiangzhe have nothing special but make practical comes first, rather than rush around shouting slogans, we prefer cooperating with others.” added Hu.

The most distinguished part is that security players in this region works under the positive ambiance which is surrounded by collaboration and healthy competition. Good relationship is always maintained among the so-called competitors such as Pearmain Electronics and AB Group, both of them are known for the matrix products; The same goes for Hikvison and Dahua, the top leaders often get together to discuss for sharing the ideas about the strategy.

Furthermore, it is a matter of fact that the enterprises here are more prone to be differentiating from other rivals from all levels in communicating with the manufacturers. They all possess different backgrounds and core advantage, only learning from each other can make mutual progress. Instead of acting on impulse, when referring to the market, they deal with the issue in a calm and mature manner under the premise of differentiation. This just creates conditions of existence for the development.

Grassroots Spirit
It refers to some ordinary things like Life Plant, availing itself of every opportunity to grow to expand as there is no rich resource to making use of. This grassroots spirit gradually evolved into the existence spirit that is being mindful of possible danger in times of peace but in sight of promise in the underestimated situation.

Apparently, private companies take the majority in China's security industry, where the crowd rises in a tumult and then dispersed in the operation of security industry. In spite of the some blindness in the company planning, security players in East China are more practical with clear vision in making progress. “We all need to find room for living, to be in harmony but to be varied.” expressed Hu.

While the security players in Shenzhen had owned many deep channels, the emerging Jiangzhe security company had set branches in some big city like Shenzhen, by providing perfect OEM service directly for distributors to seize multiple channels for their products. Nevertheless, just as there is a widespread uncertainty chilling the investment climate in the short term, some trade companies in Shenzhen was vulnerable to the overwhelming situation while the channel systems were blossoming in Jiangzhe, which helps to build powerful regional m a r k e t . M o r e o v e r, t h e s e companies took active parts in foreign market, which has firmly built them a platform for export trading.

Additionally, What is worth mentioning is that Jiangzhe's security companies have few dependence on the foreign brands, instead, most of them tend to promote the products by its own brands, few take the package similar to the foreign brands. “We sail on the sea like a ship, no matter how many branches we set on the globe, a close connection must be maintained between the ship and boats, if this connection is cut off, the foreign market development will end in collapse," said Michael Chen, Vice President of Dahua Technology.

Keep Pioneering
Though the performance of security in Jiangzhe has gained much prominence, it is clear that they still stay in the initial phase in confront with the open foreign market, which should be taken into concern for further development. They are leading the China's security in domestic market, but once stepping abroad, the advantage would become trivial in comparison with foreign companies with respect to technology, marketing, management and brand operation.

As a consequence, overseas market is a battlefield to enhance the overall competence; competitors are no more the domestic peers but also the foreign players, which can be a valuable double-sword that incorporates both competition and cooperation. Despite the security players in other regions of China are emerging, they still have not yet formed such a highly cohesion effect like Jiangzhe. Why don't draw some lessons from them? That can promise a desirable prospect.

 The Ins and Outs of Buying and Using Biometrics

The Ins and Outs of Buying and Using Biometrics

Editor / Provider: Submitted by TDSi | Updated: 7/12/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

Finding the Right Biometrics Solution
Initially the options for Biometrics were fairly limited, with fingerprint readers being a popular choice. However, the market has expanded rapidly in recent years to offer other choices or combinations of choices that ensure that the highest levels of security can be maintained, keeping a step ahead of efforts designed to beat the security protocols.

Finding the right Biometric solution for the job should involve careful planning and advice from expert installers. A combination of different methods can offer the best solution across a site, making the most of different locations and being well suited to the traffic likely to use them. Traditional fingerprint readers should not be discounted, they still offer a cost-effective, secure and reliable access control, however they may not be suitable for all conditions (places that are dirty, wet or harsh and restrict physical contact for example). Some of the rising stars and future options of Biometric control include:
● Facial Recognition – Using the unique shape and rendering of the human face, these are already becoming a popular and easy-to-use option. Modern readers can operate in virtually all light conditions (including the dark by use of an inbuilt light) with a False Acceptance Rate (FAR) of less than 0.0001% - offering great flexibility combined with impressively high levels of reliability and security. Facial recognition is ideal for most situations, generally a user's face is highly visible and there is no need to touch the unit which makes it ideal for clean rooms, operating theatres or anywhere else that contamination (from key cards for example) would be undesirable.

● Sub-dermal Recognition – Building upon the fingerprint idea, these readers ignore the top layer of skin and instead focus on lower levels to make their assessment of authentication. This is an ideal solution in environments where harsh weather or other issues may damage or in some way change the fingerprint and make it difficult to read. Examples of possible locations include heavy industry plants, aggregate works and quarries, off-shore oil rigs and building sites.

● Vein Recognition - Taking the idea of internal Biometrics scanning a step further, these readers look at the unique pattern of veins and blood vessels (within a user's finger for example) to provide highly reliable authentication. Because the size and shape of circulatory system doesn't change (in adults), Vein Recognition avoids the potential problems of scanning external features, which can change due to environmental, aging or even health issues.

● Hand Geometry – Another take on the unique dimensions of a user's hand, the technology ascertains the size of the fingers, thumb and palm for authentication – providing an alternative to a fingerprint reader.

● Iris Scanning – Unlike facial recognition, these scanners concentrate specifically on a single point, using the complex shape of the eye's iris to authorise access. Because of its complex nature, Retina Scanning is mostly employed in specialist, high security applications that demand specialized security – such as national defense installations for example.

● Heart Recognition – An upcoming Biometrics technology based upon the unique results of an individual's ECG reading, this is ideal for high security environments. There are also different options for readers, from finger scanners to contactless chest mounted straps with wireless connectivity to access control systems. Heart Recognition offers a highly secure, reliable and user-friendly solution that is convenient even in harsh or remote environments and ideal for military deployment for example.

● Walking Gait Analysis – Another upcoming Biometrics technology that analyses the way an individual walks to ascertain identity and authorization. Unobtrusive, Walking Gait Analysis does however require the space for the user to be able to walk within the authentication zone and is therefore better suited to open environments or large interior spaces – but could find favour in large public areas such as airports of sports venues for example.

Integrating Systems to Realize Benefits Beyond Security
As already mentioned biometrics readers are a useful tool when it comes to compliance and measuring the flow of people in relation to productivity. It is also a very good way of accounting for staff movements in regards to Time & Attendance records. Whereas a tokenbased clocking in system can potentially be abused (for instance; ‘buddy' use, whereby employees fraudulently clock in for another employee), Biometrics readers require the individual in question to be present to clock in. In instances of high security (such as a bank) or environmental sensitivity or danger (such as a laboratory or nuclear installation for example) it is advantageous to be clear if individuals were indeed present at key times.

In facilities that cater for children, the elderly or other vulnerable people Biometrics can be used not only to stop unauthorized individuals from entering but also to stop vulnerable individuals from entering dangerous areas or leaving the security of the site unattended.

The accuracy of Biometrics systems can also be very useful for use with building fire and evacuation systems. In the event of a fire or similar emergency, knowing exactly which people are where, can be a crucial in evacuation or rescue situations. It is also very easy to ‘lock down' certain areas to prevent people wandering into dangerous parts of the building (through fire or even into contaminated sectors).

Different Biometrics systems can also be integrated together to offer the best solution. For example a bank may only need simple MIFARE card readers or fingerprint readers for lowlevel secure areas (such as meeting rooms) but will definitely want to increase the security of access control (perhaps using facial recognition) around any areas containing money or records. Using lower cost options alongside cutting edge solutions can be an excellent way to make the most of the access security budget.

Potential Issues with Biometrics
Inevitably there can be sensitivities from some sectors on the issue of holding private Biometric data, which is akin to medical records. Whilst the benefits of using Biometric readers are undeniable, any data that is collected has to be carefully and securely stored to prevent any loss, theft or other potential misuses which will contravene UK and EU data privacy laws. Local laws can also affect the ways in which data is stored - in France for instance, security data has to be stored on a card which is then kept by the user. There are also obvious ethical issues on holding data that could be used, or misused, in other circumstances where somebody's identity or location at a certain time is in question. Any organization that uses Biometric readers and stores the information from them needs to be fully aware of the legal and ethical obligations from doing so and to be sensitive to any potential objections or anxieties that could surface from it.

As mentioned earlier in this paper, Biometric access control needs to offer a worthwhile return on investment. If an older token-based system provides a reliable service that works well in the context it is used then the expense of upgrading to a Biometric alternative may not be worthwhile. Similarly, for lower security situations it may be prudent to avoid any potential ethical problems (as above) and to use a token-based system which is cost-effective and simple to use.

There may also be some situations where it simply isn't practical to install an expensive and relatively fragile detector – perhaps due to very extreme environmental conditions or even the threat of vandalism in some urban areas. However, used effectively Biometrics are a highly valuable tool in providing excellent access control.

Conclusion
Whilst Biometrics access control may, at first glance, appear to be revolutionary (and no doubt some solutions are avant-garde in their approach) essentially they simply offer new, highly secure and convenient ways to stop unauthorized individuals or groups entering restricted areas.

The choices and their benefits are numerous, so any organization considering them should look closely at their overall access control needs before deciding if Biometrics will offer a sound return on investment. For high security needs, Biometrics systems offer very attractive False Acceptance Rates and by doing away with keycards and tokens give users greater freedom.

Whilst there are drawbacks (for some access control situations Biometrics may be too expensive or even too fragile), these new systems are shaping the direction and the future of the access control market.

Trying Times, Prettier Prices

Trying Times, Prettier Prices

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 7/3/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

Cost-effectiveness sells, especially during financially trying times. With government spending cuts slowing down infrastructural development and the private sector strapped for cash, security solution providers of all sizes are busy seeking and identifying the next “blue sea.” In the meantime, small-and medium-size end users are in for a treat, as more affordable and efficient solution offerings are made available.

 

Axis Communications
Phil Doyle, Regional Director of Northern Europe
With our cloud, more cost-effective and low-light offerings, we are better enabled to reach partners and installers with smaller business operations. We've been “cloud-friendly” for more than nine years, so it just shows we were right all along. Globally, we will continue to invest in technology and innovation; as proof, 13.6 percent of our revenue last year was earmarked for such efforts.

Canon
Julian Rutland, Director of Visual Communication Products and Solutions for Europe
General economy is quite hard, and people are taking the time to evaluate new brands and alternatives. We're a relatively new kid on the block, so that helps. Compared to last year, we're enjoying an upward trajectory of 800percent. With the shift to IP, the channel is learning, and we're also learning, to work hand in hand and move in the right direction. System integrators usually don't have the time to test everything, so we test and integrate for them to make sure everything is compatible. Thanks to our consumer electronics, we have the upper hand in image processors (with analytics) and lens specs in terms of overall pricing. We are a full member of ONVIF, working with more and more VMS brands, and incredibly committed to delivering the kind of promise, quality and training that our channel partners and end clients expect of us.

Honeywell Security
Tony Makosinski, Head of Marketing for the U.K. and Ireland
We're seeing growth in residential burglar alarm products, due to higher crime rates. The fact that Honeywell has a myriad of solutions across the board does help. Mirroring what has spiked demand in the IT market, we now provide DVR-like cloud storage with user-friendly interfaces, making it easy for our partners to sell monthly plans rather than big, initial investments. Storing and managing on the cloud has also helped shorten time to market and further green initiatives. System checks and maintenance are done automatically. If there's something wrong, an email will be generated and sent to the responsible technician automatically, minimizing unnecessary truck rolls. For certain legally mandated system checks and tests, the cloud saves the trouble of emptying out the entire building during such procedures.

Navtech Radar
Philip Avery, MD
Single-unit prices of radar systems cannot be compared to regular surveillance cameras. But, think holistically. Radar provides 360-degree coverage and significantly cuts down numbers and costs of guards, tours/patrols, trip wires, intrusion detectors and cameras. There's no trenching required, further reducing installation time, service disruptions and related expenses. We own all the key technologies (hardware, software algorithms, signal processing) and can tailor to specific system integrator requirements. For example, we managed to cover an airfield in Romania with just two radars. This is the kind of message that needs to be heard when people are scrambling to find the next best, more affordable alternative.

Opgal
Yair Sakov, VP of Security Business
Thermal cameras are not security cameras. Helping our partners understand the technology — the breadth of our offerings, picture quality, innovation — and transforming them into our extensions in the field do take a lot of resources. A lot of security solution providers sell on fear, uncertainty and doubt; we sell on the value of being able to see clearly and cost-effectively what's going on at critical locations like airports, seaports, railways and energy plants in challenging environmental and lighting conditions. Five years of market education and evangelization are really paying off: the company was ranked No. 2 in market share by the latest IMS Research report on thermal cameras. Although there's a lot of cautiousness in the market at the moment, the private sector and emerging markets in Asia and Latin America are luckily still buying. Examples include interesting flame detection applications from garbage disposal sites and commercial buildings. We will continue to preach about security being like insurance and make sure our partners will never lose any project to the No. 1 in this market on price.

Panogenics (AMG Group)
David Myers, MD
This business unit was founded by the founder of Grandeye and is a sister company of AMG Systems (fiber transmission). Our new product is nicknamed the “time machine.” With just one unit, there are 14 streaming possibilities, and you can go back to any recorded, HD, 360-degree footage to zoom in and dewarp, easily replacing four to eight traditional cameras. The management software was developed in-house, and we are integrating with Wavestore, Axxonsoft, Xtralis and more to target verticals like retail, transportation, education and health care. Our new firmware that's coming up will also be ONVIF-compliant, opening up even more possibilities and cost savings.

 Texecom (Halma Group)
Clym Brown, Marketing Director
Our business is about solving problems. Right now, it's about getting more than 1,000 installers across Europe up to speed on the new confirmed alarm standard, via road shows and workshops. We have new, conformant equipment for different market sectors: small to medium residential units, medium commercial establishments, and high-end infrastructure projects. One common characteristic of our new solutions is getting more done with less devices (and money). The home automation media server, for example, controls lighting, entertainment units and the alarm system all on one panel. Our top-end, self-healing, auto-rerouting mesh system gets signals across industrial or commercial sites with changing and challenging environments, which reduces false alarms and related penalties. And yet we keep everything simple, to minimize installation time/cost and maximize user enjoyment and energy savings. For instance, our dual-detection system of 32 devices can be set up and activated with just one touch and within two seconds.

Time and Data Systems International
John Davies, MD
The UK and European access control market is growing at about 4 percent; we are growing at about 15 percent in this market as well as overseas in the Middle East and Asia. We compete with different Tier-1 brands in different regions, but all at a lower, mid-point price, in verticals like education, finance/banking, health care, telecommunications and commercial buildings. Our cost-effective solutions provide reliable features, tailored functions with adjustable Web interfaces and add-on software and database tools; the flexible look and feel enhance user experience considerably. It's critical for access control solution providers like us to be able to work with specialists in architectural design, audio/visual, structural cabling and IT/IP infrastructure early on in any given project; it's our reputation on the line, so we need to make sure there are no surprises down the line. We already have video integration capabilities and are looking to biometrics, NFC and the cloud for new possibilities and opportunities.

Tyco Security Products
Leon Langlais, Product Management Director for Residential and Small Business, Tyco Security Products
Everyone is affected by the economy, but our intrusion detection business has had three straight years of double-digit growth. Our unified, all-in-one-box server solution was designed specifically for the small- to medium-size market, with an average application requiring 20 to 100 readers and 8 to 32 IP cameras. At aggressive price points, we address all the issues that installers care about: speed of installation, quality, reliability and third-party integration, so that they can continue to grow with us even in difficult times. For example, the fact that no wireless repeaters are needed (thanks to the Visonic acquisition and complementary market synergy) and installation time is cut from two weeks to two days makes it rather easy to sell, even to the cost-conscious bunch. Battery life of wireless products is also extended to five to eight years with corporate-grade reliability, eliminating unnecessary installer dispatch and user headaches.

Precise Biometrics Receives Smart Card and Fingerprint Solution Order from Auto Manufacturer

Precise Biometrics Receives Smart Card and Fingerprint Solution Order from Auto Manufacturer

Editor / Provider: Precise Biometrics | Updated: 7/2/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Precise Biometrics announced that they have secured their first Tactivo order. The order was placed by a European-based car manufacturer, which is one of the largest in the world today.

The European auto manufacturer was already using smartcards for desktop logical access. The procurement of Tactivo now enables the company to leverage their existing credentials and deploy a secure solution to transition from desktop to mobile devices. The car manufacturer developed several applications used to encrypt documents that can be stored securely on these devices. With the company considering other ways Tactivo can be utilized, such as secure browsing and messaging, Precise Biometrics expects this new relationship to have significant growth potential as the deployment of Tactivo continues. Precise Biometrics expects this customer to have Tactivo deployed by Q3 2012 and anticipates subsequent orders with the potential for several thousand units over the following months.

“We are very proud to announce this first Tactivo order from such a prominent customer. The announcement is fully in line with our announced roll-out plans which will accelerate further over the coming months” says Thomas Marschall, President and CEO of Precise Biometrics AB.

Precise Biometrics expects to receive many first orders from a variety of customer segments and regions from now on and in the coming months. The financial impact of these initial orders will already show in Q3, although Precise Biometrics expects results to have a more substantial impact on its financial results in Q4.

Tactivo provides a reliable and secure solution to both the public and private sector's growing need to utilize the proven strong authentication currently available on traditional PCs and Laptops for mobile platforms and devices. As organizations begin to transition from laptops to mobile devices and utilize both traditional and cloud-based remote services, Tactivo enables corporations to provide their employees access to resources and data in a secured and highly convenient way.

ImageWare to Provide Ecuador Port Biometric Capability

ImageWare to Provide Ecuador Port Biometric Capability

Editor / Provider: ImageWare Systems | Updated: 6/29/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

ImageWare Systems has been selected as the exclusive provider of biometric identity management for a prime contractor responsible for the implementation of cargo scanning security at seaports in the Republic of Ecuador. While the full value of the contract cannot be immediately determined since it will be partially based on the eventual number of credentials issued during the seven year prime contract, it is expected to exceed $3 million. The award follows a similar contract ImageWare received earlier this year from the Los Angeles World Airports, operators of LAX and two other regional airports.

The initial deployment of ImageWare's biometric identity solution is planned to commence during the fourth quarter of 2012 at the Port of Guayaquil, the main seaport that handles the majority of Ecuador's imports and exports. The implementation is intended to help the country's port authorities satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Safe Port Act of 2006. Since global seaports have historically inspected less than 5 percent of the containers imported into the U.S., congress passed the Safe Port Act to protect U.S. seaports from various security threats.

More than 700 ports worldwide that export to the U.S. must comply with the act before July 1, 2012, which stipulates that all containers loaded on a foreign port cannot enter the U.S. unless scanned by both radiation detection and non-intrusive imaging equipment at the foreign port prior to loading on a vessel.

“As the world's security needs expand, our channel partners are realizing the unique value, power and flexibility of our patented multi-modal biometric solutions,” said Jim Miller, ImageWare chairman and CEO. “This includes a turn-key solution based on a seamlessly integrated single platform, which allows for both small and large scale enrollments, and the fusion of multi-biometric inputs resulting in a higher degree of authentication. Building upon two recent successful and major contract wins related to port security, we are aggressively pursuing a vast number of similar opportunities in the global market.”

Sierra Leone Selects Suprema Scanners for Voter Registration

Sierra Leone Selects Suprema Scanners for Voter Registration

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 6/27/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema announced that the company's RealScan-D fingerprint live scanner has been selected for Sierra Leon's biometric voter registration project by National Electoral Commission(NEC).

The project is steered by Sierra Leon NEC and aimed to establish 800 mobile biometric registration stations for 4 million voters by supplying dual-finger live scanners with customized registration software for its 2012 election. Suprema supplied over 800 units of RealScan-D fingerprint live scanner to NEC as a core component of the biometric voter registration system.

RealScan-D is claimed to be the world's fastest live scanner which performs scan rate of 20 fps (frames-per-second) or above. The scanner is equipped with powerful DSP and loaded with fast image-processing software by Suprema's advanced live-scan technology. The device is also a portable, USB-powered device hence is suitable for bundling with mobile jump-kit when used at the registration offices and sites. With its proven reliability of FBI certification (IQS appendix F) and high-speed image capturing, the device has been selected under severe competition with other vendors' products.

Suprema offers range of FBI certified fingerprint live scanners and the company's live scanners recently won large-scale government projects in US, Brazil, India and Japan.

Secutech 2012: Key Findings about Standardization, Storage and Cloud-Based Services

Secutech 2012: Key Findings about Standardization, Storage and Cloud-Based Services

Editor / Provider: The Editorial Team | Updated: 5/23/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

Interoperability
Interoperability for IP-based video surveillance systems is still a problem, as ONVIF is still not mature as a standard, yet. Products that are ONVIF compliant are not necessarily interoperable. Downward compatibility is another problem that generates confusion and frustration. The lack of coordination between cameras and other products ultimately cause headaches for systems integrators. Progress, however, is being made.

ONVIF recently introduced its "profile" concept, which is intended to allow users to "identify features supported by a profile without determining the compatibility between versions of the ONVIF specification." Instead of looking up whether specific devices using ONVIF 2.0 or later are compatible with clients that conform to ONVIF 1.0, users simply choose a profile that "offers interoperability at a specific functional level between units and software that fits their needs."

Currently, only one profile has been introduced: Profile S. It "describes the common functionalities shared by ONVIF conformant video management systems and devices such as IP cameras or encoders that sends, configures, requests or controls the streaming of media data over an IP network. The profile includes specific features such as pan, tilt, zoom control, audio streaming and relay outputs." ONVIF promises more profiles are coming this year, and that they will ease the product selection process for users.

Storage
As the quality of video increases, so will the storage capacity required to store the larger images. Seagate estimates video surveillance generates around 18 million terabytes of data per week. However, simply using additional, larger hard drives is not the solution. Many additional problems arise when more hard drives are needed, such as tighter spaces, higher temperatures, stronger vibration and increased power consumption. The accumulated affect reduces reliability and performance of a video surveillance system.

Seagate and Western Digital are touting storage solutions specific for video surveillance to address its unique storage requirements. Both hard drive giants have products targeting video, placing emphasis on tailored performance, lower energy consumption, reduced vibration, higher reliability and longer MTBF.

Hard drives had a disastrous 2011, with prices hikes in rare earth metals and natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. Though the worst is behind us, it may take until Q3 or Q4 for production to return to previous levels. As of march, supply for high-capacity hard drives is still constrained.

Regarding solid-state storage, price per gigabyte is difficult to justify when a lot of storage is required. Currently, SSD remains complementary technology that is best suited for applications that require exceptional performance, but can get by with low storage capacity. Beyond 500GB, SSD becomes cost prohibitive for most applications.

The cost for SD cards, on the other hand, is continuously dropping, though storage capacity remains static. While SDXC has been increasingly used in the consumer market, few camera manufacturers support beyond HCSD, which maxes out at 32GB. As storage on edge devices becomes more and more common and prices drop for SD cards that are capable of 64GB and beyond, perhaps more manufacturers will soon support the new standard.

Cloud-Based Services
A big trend in security is the adoption of cloud-based services and generation of RMR. Mobile platforms and cloud-based services are either ready or planned, with camera and access control manufacturers preparing for the inevitable boom of mobile devices. However, there seems to be few open platforms when it comes to the cloud. At the moment, manufacturers are still playing their own games. In addition, while cloud-based services will no doubt become common in the near future, vendors still need to address concerns over data security and bandwidth consumption.

Chinese manufacturers may have a disadvantage when it comes to networks and data. Australia recently banned Chinese network vendor Huawei from bidding on contracts for Australia's National Broadband Network. Considering the allegations regarding China's cyber attacks on the rest of the world, users may not be comfortable with entrusting their data to Chinese companies or companies that reside their servers in China.

In Other News
Many camera manufacturers are touting improved low light performance and WDR, which has become pretty much a standard feature. Also, average megapixel count seems to be increasing to three megapixels, though the current sweet spot is still at two. Cameras with wireless connectivity are also becoming increasingly common.

Momentum of 180/360-degree imaging continues to build up, with camera manufacturers introducing or refreshing their 180/360-degree imaging solutions. Chip manufacturers such as Ambarella, Avisonic Technology, Geo Semiconductor, Intersil Techwell and Nextchip are also building hardware-based lens distortion compensation into their chips. In addition, whereas in the past camera manufacturers generally had to convince software vendors to support dewarping for their 180/360 cameras, ImmerVision's "ImmerVision Enables" ecosystem ensures compatibility with other certified products. Many major VMS vendors already support the technology.

Video surveillance also gains depth of view with Huperlab's stereo 3-D camera. Using two lenses instead of one, the stereo camera mimics the human eye and calculates depth in the scene, which greatly enhances the practicality of video analytics by eliminating many types of false positives.

An interesting product introduced by Utechzone is a credential authorization terminal that utilizes pupil-tracking technology. Specializing in gaze-based interaction devices for people with motor impairments, Utechzone takes their technology to security. The technology allows users to enter passcodes into the terminal via pupil movement, complete with virtual panic and intercom "buttons."

Refining the experience of using existing product types is also critical. Attempting to address configuration irritations, Merit LILIN introduced an NVR that allows configuration via touch screen; no keyboard or mouse required. To reduce installation pains, PoE is included in more product types and is now better accepted than it was a year ago.

Time and attendance loggers are also increasingly moving away from paper or tokens. Systems from manufacturers like Hundure Technology and Fingertec bring biometrics into this area, though markets with stronger hygiene awareness may prefer contactless options, such as face recognition, over fingerprint or finger vein recognition.

Another product trend is entry-level cameras targeted at home surveillance and retail. Utilizing existing expertise to design consumer-oriented products is a smart move, as the potential volume is huge. The market, in terms of units shipped, for DIY video surveillance cameras has been doubling each year, and is expected to surpass professional security in the next few years. Characteristics are wireless, high-resolution network cameras that are low cost, aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

The Future of Biometrics

The Future of Biometrics

Editor / Provider: Donna Chan | Updated: 5/20/2012 | Article type: China Corner

The increasing popularity and application of biometric identification is becoming common practice. According to Marketresearch.com research reports, the biometrics market is expected to increase from US$4,217.2 million in 2010 to an estimated $11,229.3 million in 2015. The growing concerns of terrorism and safety have led to the strengthening of national security becoming a top priority, which has ultimately led to the growth of the biometrics market. a&s International China Best Buys interviewed several suppliers to give some standpoints from Chinese suppliers.

Fingerprint Continues to Dominate the Market
Despite being the most mature form of biometrics, fingerprint remains the most popular. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is an estimated 19% since 2010 to 2015. The application of automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) in national ID's and civil identification is the main reason for the growth of the market. The AFIS market continues to generate the highest revenue of $1,372.4 million from 2010 and is expected to reach $3,283.7 million by 2015.

In the past conventional security systems where knowledge-based methods or token-based methods were deployed often proved to be problematic, forgetting a password or the loss of a card can lead to hacking, fraud and duplication of information. This is where biometric advantages lay, due to the uniqueness of physical characteristics such as the fingerprint where no two fingerprints are known to be identical and there is no need for cards or passwords. AFIS can often be seen in access control and for monitoring attendance due to its simplicity and effectiveness.

The increasing use and maturity of fingerprint identification have left end-users questioning what breakthrough technology or products can be expected for this coming year. “In 2012, there will be more breakthroughs in fingerprint identification technology, such as in-depth integration with other technology,” said Telan Lee, General Manager at Feptel. “Now that we have realized optical-digitalization technology in our products, we will continue to develop this and integrate with MiFare.”

As mentioned above, the fingerprint identification technology is already mature and the trend amongst manufacturers seems to be heading towards integration of technology. “We are already in the process of conducting a research and development project which will incorporate the different forms of biometric technology integration,” stated Rufus Wang, CEO of Shenzhen Probuck Technologies. Other manufacturers are more focused on the integration of biometrics with one form of technology. “Presently, our fingerprint identification products are integrated with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and this is currently our primary focus,” said Michael Liu, Manager of Foreign Trade at Sebury Technology.

Is Facial Recognition the Upcoming Trend?
The gradual maturity of AFIS has led the way for the new upcoming facial recognition trend, the facial recognition market has an estimated CAGR of 24.2% from 2010 to 2015. Facial recognition technology has developed steadily over the past few years, with the emergence of new technology and products which has made this more appealing for the market. “The use of facial recognition will become more widespread and the number of companies involved in the facial recognition industry will be on the rise,” said Eric Lee, Director of Marketing and Sales at Hanvon Technology.

“What makes facial recognition attractive to users is that its non-contact, safe and hygienic in comparison to fingerprints it is a less passive method, therefore the popularity of facial recognition can be seen in the increased usage in the recording of attendance,” said Wang. However, Wang points out that facial recognition, although, can be considered a new form of identification and without a doubt its technology is becoming more advanced, further observations are still required in the market.

Invasion of privacy remains a concern with face recognition, but China's manufacturers do not agree with this. “Strictly speaking, facial recognition is similar to that of AFIS,” said Wang. “Both require the extraction of characteristics which are transformed into encryption for processing and identification. Therefore, duplication and inappropriate use should not be a concern.”

Eric Lee further develops this point stating that facial recognition should be ubiquitous, the problems surrounding safety in society is a major consideration, society should be more aware of safety, further information and guidance is required for the market.

Despite being hailed as the new technology of biometric recognition, the development of facial recognition is not as quick compared to AFIS, it will remain in the high-level market, according to Telan Lee. Liu claims its development is due to the advancement of the economy, but it will not become the main trend or replace other technology such as RFID. “Another point to consider is each product and its technology have its distinguished features and application limitations,” said Wang.

Iris Recognition for the High-End Market
The iris recognition market is predicted to increase with a CAGR of 27.5% from 2010 to 2015. In biometrics, iris recognition is perhaps considered the most accurate as the use of mathematical pattern recognition techniques are used to identify an individual. According to Eric Lee, as a non-contact form of biometric recognition the future development of iris recognition is bright, particularly once imaging technology advances.

The key advantage with this technology is its extreme resistance to false matches due to the uniqueness of the iris, individuals who are genetically identical retain independent iris textures. The iris is also a well protected organ, unlike fingerprints which become difficult to identify with time due to daily wear and tear.

A major consideration with iris recognition is costs, the cost of an iris scanner is much higher in comparison with other forms of biometrics recognition and token based or knowledge based methods. “Iris recognition will continue to appeal to high-end markets or specific projects and in the short-term this is not going to change,” said Wang. Therefore, this would suggest this technology is not particularly suited for mass application and does not have cost advantages for the mass market. “On the contrary, once technology develops and becomes more advanced costs will decrease,” said Liu.

Looking into the Future
The growth of the biometrics market has created fierce competition between manufacturers which is unavoidable. The appearance of pricing wars and “me-too” products are becoming an issue within the industry as competitors compete for their share of the market. “Competition is unavoidable each player must face the reality, this will consequently lead to the minimization of profits but this can also improve the standards for some players in the industry” stated Wang.

Maintaining competitive advantage in the market is crucial for survival and development Chinese manufacturers each have their own tactics and strategy when approaching such a competitive market. “Keeping one step ahead of the game, we will continue to incorporate new ideas to our products without compromising quality” stated Telan Lee. According to Eric Lee, apart from the improvement of products and technology expanding the application of the products is part of their competitive strategy.

The overall outlook for the 2012 biometrics market is unanimous between China's manufacturers, the market will continue to expand at a steady rate, with the release of new products and technology. “What to look out for in the future is that biometrics will not only be used by companies to monitor attendance and access control, we will see the growing use of biometrics in domestic, government, education sector and hospitals,” said Wang. Telan Lee points out that another particular market is the logistics networks where biometrics will be integrated into the system.

Further investments in marketing, development of new technology and ensuring product quality continues to be a top priority for China's biometrics manufacturers. To uphold their share of the market, the continuous release of new products integrated with the latest functions and technology is what can be anticipated for the biometric market in the future.

Threats in Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Threats in Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 4/30/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

- It is vital to maintain the secrecy and integrity of R&D and protect intellectual property
- Electronic security equipment are used to monitor internal perimeters, and make sure only authorized personnel enter critical sites

Theft — of designs, patents, raw materials and finished products — is the biggest problem facing the pharmaceutical industry. Stolen drugs are often blended in with counterfeit ones, and there is no easy way to identify tampered or damaged products even if the stolen items are recovered. Not only is this a major health risk for the general public, but it also creates huge legal and financial headaches for pharmaceutical companies while crumbling trust in modern medicine.

With manufacturing operations increasingly moved to emerging markets and more pharmaceuticals outsourcing to contract manufacturers, there are many points of vulnerability in the system, and one weak link is more than enough to cause damage.

Many can accept subpar quality of counterfeit consumer goods, but none would be willing to risk their lives over counterfeit drugs. According to the World Health Organization, “regular use of substandard or counterfeit medicines can lead to therapeutic failure or drug resistance. In some cases, it can lead to death.”

Pain in the Neck
Recent news headlines indicate these illegal operations are complex and, in many cases, global efforts.

In a recent incident, counterfeit Avastin (genuine version aimed to treat various types of cancer) was found circulating in legitimate distribution channels. CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian discovered that the company that sold the counterfeit “offered 400-milligram vials for just under $2,000 — about $400 less than the genuine manufacturer's price."

The counterfeit drug was shipped to the U.S. by a company with the same owner in the U.K. Prior to that, it had been sold through companies in Denmark and Switzerland. A man associated with the company said the drugs came from Turkey, but where the Avastin was originally manufactured is unknown.

To complicate the scene, there are a large number of patents expiring between 2011 and 2014. This has two implications: 1. In-house manufacturing becomes less feasible for “Big Pharma.” Patent expiry of key blockbuster drugs worth $45 billion and biologics worth $30 billion is expected to reduce the capacity utilization rates of manufac-turing facilities in Big Pharma companies, according to Ranjith Gopinathan, Program Manager of Life Sciences, Frost & Sullivan. “Moreover, a slowdown in new drug launches by Big Pharma is leading to a further reduction in capacity utilization, thereby making in-house manufacturing an unfeasible option, particularly for off-patent drugs.”

2. More generic drug manufacturers will be trying to compete in the market. Although the drugs must still be approved by regulatory bodies, smaller manufacturers may not have the resources or motivation to instill the same level of quality control.

Work out the Kinks
Pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities make products that have the potential to cause great harm to consumers in cases of internal product tampering. Also, with the high costs of developing new products, it is vital to maintain the secrecy and integrity of R&D and protect intellectual property, said Paige Prechter, Global Account Manager of Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. “Security plays a major role in both of these areas.”

Depending on area and facility to be monitored and protected, the manufacturing plant would generally use a combination of different types of access control products, such as biometrics for highly critical areas and facilities, and proximity cards and smart cards for less critical areas and facilities, said Vincentius Liong, Director of Integrated Security Systems Solutions, Elektrodata Sistem Integrasi.

Externally, drug developers may face protesters unhappy with animal testing or some other aspect of the research or manufacturing process, Prechter added. Animal rights activists are not the type of people that pop into mind when terrorism is mentioned, but the threat is there and not an insignificant one. Since 2009, animal rights extremist Daniel Andreas San Diego has been alongside with Osama bin Laden on the FBI's “Most Wanted Terrorists” watch list. “Video is used to monitor external perimeters, where protesters may gather or intrude. Manufacturers may also employ extra, temporary security guards with specialized training to help control and defuse potentially dangerous situations,” Prechter said.

Hooters Restaurants in the US Deploy DigitalPersona Fingerprint Biometrics To Strengthen Authentication

Hooters Restaurants in the US Deploy DigitalPersona Fingerprint Biometrics To Strengthen Authentication

Editor / Provider: DigitalPersona | Updated: 4/25/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

DigitalPersona announced Hooters of America, LLC (Hooters) has deployed DigitalPersona's Fingerprint Readers to strengthen its loss prevention efforts. The DigitalPersona fingerprint readers and ITWercs Point-of-Sale (POS) software enable nearly 4,000 employees to use fingerprint readers at Hooters restaurants to authenticate transactions, as well as clock in and out for their shifts. With DigitalPersona fingerprint biometrics, Hooters has reduced both transaction and payroll fraud.

 

Hooters IT staff found it challenging to manage and track unauthorized voids using their previous PIN and swipe card security system. Hooters sought technology that could tie individuals to each transaction, and ensure manager oversight was provided when necessary. After successfully using U.are.U Fingerprint Readers at its Texas locations, Hooters expanded to other locations. Fingerprint authentication is also used for ensuring accurate time-and-attendance system for all employees.

 

"With thousands of employees across a large area, the costs of managing and replacing swipe cards and PINs became significant. However, the real problem was that they didn't give us the insight we needed into each transaction,” said Wes Marco, director of information systems, Hooters of America, LLC. “DigitalPersona fingerprint readers have yielded immediate results. We reduced both transaction and payroll fraud, and eliminated the cost of constantly replacing lost or stolen swipe cards."

 

"Loss prevention is one of the biggest concerns for restaurateurs, and fingerprint biometrics has emerged as one of the best ways to prevent transaction and payroll fraud in the restaurant environment,” said Chris Trytten, director of biometric product management at DigitalPersona. “DigitalPersona's fingerprint biometrics solutions let organizations tie specific users to each transaction and eliminate the ability to share credentials. Our customers report seeing immediate cost reductions.”

 

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