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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 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.

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 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.”


What's Hot in the Italian Security Market?

What's Hot in the Italian Security Market?

Editor / Provider: the Editorial Team | Updated: 5/1/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

Alarm and Intrusion
Italian security encompasses the complete range of product segments. Possibly the most distinctive segment is alarm and intrusion, which Italian security revolves around.

Traditional anti-intrusion sensors have suffered from a lack of ideas and a true killer application. In spite of IP and wireless development, the prevalent trend is still hybrid solutions.

Reducing false alarms remains the No. 1 priority, as seen in figures 1 and 2. As the next recession is all but imminent, the intrusion industry is focusing on alarm integration with video through smartphones. Other developments include perimeter protection, requiring uncommon expertise. Finally, greater integration with HA through IP networks are developing as well.

Access Control
The Italian physical access control market involves different solutions, such as ID cards, RFID transponders, biometrics, and time and attendance systems. In 2009, after a decade of growth, the Italian professional access control market reversed the trend. Turnover decreased, profits collapsed and net assets dropped. Small companies were the ones that suffered most during the crisis.

a&s Italy made a Top 15 list of Italian electronic access control companies, which reflects the diverse offerings in this market. According to its estimates, access control makes up 55 percent of the industry, while the remaining 45 percent is composed of intrusion detection and large-scale management. IMS Research found the Italian access control market was worth $25 million in 2010. Newer technologies have not been as popular in Italy, compared to the rest of EMEA. However, IP is one of the driving forces in Italian access control.

Video Surveillance
Video surveillance has achieved the most brilliant results over the last 10 years and is still playing a major role in reinvigorating the whole Italian security industry.

In 2010 or the depths of the global recession, the Italian video surveillance market showed resistance to the crisis by growing 7.6 percent compared to 2009. Both supply and demand are facilitating the growth of this market.

In terms of supply, video manufacturers have developed more advanced products that are application-specific. Value features prominently in new product design, with greater attention to customer ROI through more value-added features and increased user-friendliness. As IP grows, products are designed for easy integration by complying with interoperability standards, making the lives of end users easier.

IP Migration
The Italian video surveillance market was worth $780 million in 2010, according to ANIE Sicurezza. Recently, it has embraced all-IP video solutions, with network video equipment representing more than 30 percent of sales, which is expected to reach 60 percent by 2014, said IMS Research. The Italian video surveillance equipment market is forecast to grow nearly 8 percent per year until 2014. This growth rate is higher than the U.K.; Benelux made up of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; and the Iberian region of Spain and Portugal.

However, an a&s Italy survey found most users are still experiencing a gradual migration to IP. The actual percentage of all-IP deployments is still low, but nearly all companies admit they use hybrid systems. IP adoption is hindered factors by culture, the technological complexity of IP and cost. Moreover, Italy is suffering from digital divide, even in its most productive areas. It is not by chance that HD-SDI technology is arousing interest, particularly in the medium-range market.

While adoption of IP slowed during the financial crisis, sales of network cameras are picking up. Growth was roughly 20 percent in 2011, which is expected to continue in 2012.

Megapixel cameras were the primary driver for IP adoption, according to an a&s Italy survey (figure 4). While megapixel sales volume is relatively low and deployments are confined to detail oriented applications such as LPR or airports, falling prices are a promising sign of increased uptake.

However, technological limits still must be overcome by HD cameras. The first is limited bandwidth for full-size streaming. The second is image sensor sensitivity in low light (figure5). Effective compression techniques using H.264 will play a crucial role in the development of megapixel cameras (figure 6).

What's Hot in Italy
The most popular technologies in video surveillance are related to HD and video content analysis (VCA). This includes:
1. Hybrid DVRs
2. Network cameras (particularly megapixel cameras)
3. Video management software
4. Mobile cameras
5. VCA

Until a few years ago, VCA generated tremendous interest, but users and security professionals lost interest due to high error rates. More attention has been directed to HD network cameras, which are expected to increase substantially over the coming years. However, the higher prices of HD DVRs may slow growth.

Since Italy has a high prevalence of smartphones and tablets, video surveillance and intrusion detection will develop solutions for mobile devices. More than 20 million Italians owned a next-generation smartphone, representing 52 percent of the population in the first quarter of 2011, according to a Nielsen Italy poll.

Promising Verticals in Italy

Promising Verticals in Italy

Editor / Provider: the Editorial Team | Updated: 4/27/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

The most promising verticals in Italy for video surveillance are green energy sites. Blessed with the sunny Mediterranean climate, Italy has many photovoltaic parks that need to safeguard solar panels. Other hot applications include public video monitoring; critical infrastructure such as transportation, airports and ports; traffic control and health care.

Technology upgrades and life cycle replacements of security systems will promote the steady expansion of the Italian physical security market, particularly in the airport and critical infrastructure including mass transport, roads, subways, tunnels and schools, said Frost & Sullivan in a prepared statement. Upcoming events, such as the World Expo in 2015 in Milan, will spur spending to boost passenger throughput at airports, railways, seaports and along roads.

The Italian market is expected to grow from $173.6 million in 2010 to $352.5 million in 2015, reaching a peak of $432 million in 2012, according to Frost & Sullivan. Market opportunities revolve around critical infrastructure projects with a total investment of more $822.9 million over the forecast period for this domain, followed by a total of $513.5 million for airport security and $512.8 million for oil and gas.

Made in Italy
The Italian security market is characterized by high fragmentation of products and a mixture of manufacturers and integrators. This hinders data gathering. Usually, brands target installers — around 2,500 in Italy — through distributors or wholesalers. While major brands choose a "polarization strategy" to acquire greater market share, innovation-oriented players move from integration to OEM for the very same brands.

Nevertheless, several brave “Made in Italy” companies independently manage the whole manufacturing process. It is not by chance that the Italian security industry relies on a long-lasting tradition of techno- logical excellence, exported all over the world.

These companies exhibit innovation, high quality and functional performance. An emphasis on design and usability makes these solutions unique. The sum of these elements defines “Made in Italy” quality and the pursuit of continuous improvement. This is influenced by the 1970s school of thought for electronic safety, with an emphasis on simplicity, usability and the actual needs of the user. Such focus is reflected in excellent design, conceived as more than aesthetics. It is aimed at functionality, with user- and installer-friendly software applications. The use of eco-friendly components and materials with reduced energy consumption is now the emerging trend of Italian security, thanks to a greater awareness of environmental issues and government incentives.

Recession Redux
Italy's debt crisis is in the global spotlight, as Italians and European investors hold their breath. As a consequence, there is widespread uncertainty chilling the investment climate in the short term. From this derives the need to collect payment. More small and mid-size business owners have postponed electronic security purchases in favor of immediately profitable investments.

In order to tackle this situation, vendors are diversifying both their offerings and target markets to compensate for losses. They are trying to maintain investments, stay flexible and preserve company liquidity. Manufacturers who target the professional market strive to ensure the best performance with high technology and quality brands. Other vendors who serve the residential market highlight extreme simplicity and competitive prices. It is clear that the two markets will not develop in the same way.

The ability to innovate for the professional market with distinctive products offers a competitive advantage that enables recovery of a margin against mass production. Moreover, it is necessary to start aggregative policies: creating consortiums, temporary company associations similar to short-time joint ventures and purchase groups. It is imperative to form strategic alliances with vendors who were considered competitors. Bringing in expertise from ICT, electronics and BA leverages the benefits of an integrated approach.

Suprema Scanner Receives Final Certifications for India UID Project

Suprema Scanner Receives Final Certifications for India UID Project

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 12/4/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema, a global provider for biometrics and ID solutions, announced that the company's latest ‘RealScan-G1 fingerprint live scanner tested in full compliance and received final certification from the Government of India's STQC (Standardization Testing & Quality Certification) for the country's UID (Unique ID, India's next generation national ID) based fingerprint authentication demands. The STQC certification is an essential requirement for procurements of the UID project and ensures devices to satisfy API specifications presented by UIDAI. The STQC provides quality assurance services in IT and electronics through its countrywide network of laboratories. With the UID project, it is mandatory for all fingerprint scanner vendors to get STQC's final certificates on top of their existing provisional certificates which only valid for 6 months.

Smart Identity Devices (Smart ID), Suprema's strategic partner in India, supported Suprema's STQC certification process. Smart ID is a biometric company in India and one of the key players in ‘UID Enrollment and authentication' projects.

Suprema's RealScan-G1 is a compact-sized portable fingerprint live scanner which provides range-leading capture speed and clear image quality by using the company's advanced optical image processing technology. Along with its recently-added STQC certification, the device has been approved by several global standards including FBI PIV-IQS, FIPS 201 and Mobile ID FAP 30 certifications. In addition, RealScan-G1 features Suprema's unique ‘hybrid type' live finger detection (LFD) technology which provides effective protection from fake fingerprints.

On the hardware side, RealScan-G1 features IP54 certified rugged structure which provides extra durability under harsh conditions and it has USB2.0 interface for its power supply and data transfer. The device has wide platen (1.0 x 1.0 inch) for easier capturing. In addition, RealScan-G1 is compactly sized to fit into kiosks and mobile kits with 0.18 kg of weight

“RealScan-G1 has been specially developed to meet high-level requirements for India's UID authentication project which demands fast and high quality image capturing and extra durability in India's harsh environments. The device also features dust and waterproof rugged structure with IP54 certification required by UIDAI,” said Young S. Moon, VP of Suprema. “Key technology in RealScan-G1 is based on our in-depth expertise in biometrics and image processing as well as our years of experience in large-scale government and public projects,” Young added.

With the acquisition of final STQC certification and the company's hands-on expertise from UID Enrollment and NPR projects in India, Suprema plans to continue its success on upcoming UID Authentication project in India. In recent years, Suprema's live scanners have been chosen for several worldwide civil and criminal ID projects in the United States, India, Brazil, EU and African countries.

Dahua Demonstrates a Foresight in Sailing Forward

Dahua Demonstrates a Foresight in Sailing Forward

Editor / Provider: Evangeline Xie | Updated: 3/28/2012 | Article type: China Corner

In the face of the demand of high definition, intelligence and networking, Dahua insists taking customer's need for the priority, working on upgrading the product structure by strong R&D ability and market accumulation.

Standing Out in 2011 Security 50
Despite the worldwide economic recession in the past year, it is no denying that Dahua has received wide recognition from customers of different vertical markets. Though the regional market niches vary from one to another, Dahua's turnover growth reached more than 45% throughout the last year, ranking 10th in 2011 Security 50, which contributes to its effort to enhance the production capability and marketing strategy.

The year of 2011 is the 10 th anniversary of Dahua, due to the integration of core competence and the deep extension of business, and through the integration of sales channels and the optimization of supply chain as well as the stretch of foreign business, and the total revenue is about US$ 350 million that is growing by 45% compared to the previous year, of which the overseas revenue takes up US$ 85 million, accounting for 58%. The company has made the profit of about US$ 65 million, rising 43% from a year before.

Perfecting Product Line
For the part of the back-end products, Dahua plans to develop new cost-effective DVR of entry level that features TI solution, providing another affordable solution that is differentiating from the homogeneous products. The integration of network camera with NVR will be a challenge. “We hope to refine our market via integration and optimization of the back-end software,” said James Wang, Product Manager for International Department. “Looking forward to accomplishing both routing and network capability.”

In addition, the exploitation of NVR will be fortified for catering to different market demand. The latest NVR will simplify the project planning for hoping that the problem of IT and router can be solved. The production of NVR will be oriented to the require-ments of marketing channels.

In the face of the demand of high definition, intelligence and networking, Dahua insists taking customer's need for the priority, working on upgrading the product structure by strong R&D ability and market accumulation. Throughout the year of 2011, Dahua has launched the storage products based on N6 platform, DVR has escalated to a system from a single product by the innovative promotion of 3.0.

The product plan in 2012 will refine the full series of video surveillance product. After launching the 700 TVL series analog camera, Dahua realized the serialization of the analog cameras together with 1.3-, 2.0-, 3.0- and 5.0-megapixel HD camera as well as the infrared products.

The company will continue to maintain its core advantage to seize market share. Full-line network camera with HD chip which features 1.3-megapixel CCD and CMOS is a distinctive product line, and 2.0-megapixel 1080P CMOS has been under developing for three years. The speed dome with in-house design zoom module and the analog camera with 700 TVL has been applied into many domestic projects, which were launched last year and received much recognition. Together with megapixel speed dome, the intelligent auto-tracking dome will be the new front-end product.

“Since the back-end device has already been saturated,” said Wang. “The revenue growth of this year will largely depend on the sales volume of front-end device. The overseas sales volume of network camera increased six times and remains to be the key segment of the production line.” Furthermore, the company has offered one-stop shopping solution to better serve customers' demands, ranging from the display, video door phone to intelligent lock (fingerprint, biometrics). According to Wang, the optimization of software will become one of Dahua's endeavor directions in the new year to come, some intelligent mobiles devices such as iPhone, iPad are quite popular as the application software should be more scalable to the mobile users.

Besides, Dahua has introduced the comprehensive high-end solution and “Safe City” solution of the third generation - Video platform M60, which is a breakthrough in terms of its compatibility, reliability, scalability and intelligent application. The release of 8.0-megapixel intelligent traffic HD camera, 8.0-megapixel radar speed camera and traffic management platform indicates that the company has accomplished the development from storage products to front-end products and even for the specific vertical market.

Exclusive Tailors
As an excellent player in security industry, by aiming to be a total solution provider to partners, Dahua has achieved many successful solutions in different walks including intelligent transportation, energy resources such as oil, natural gas, hydroelectricity and etc.

The Safe City project deployed in Mauritius is a typical example. The company's video surveillance systems have been installed in Mauritius' capital and a local famous resort which has been transferred to local police authorities and is ready to deter gangsters and criminals.

Moreover, Dahua tailored ATM DVRs for one commercial bank in Indonesia. This commercial bank, located in Jakarta, is one of the largest banks in Indonesia. It sourced thousands of units of DVRs from Dahua for their newly introduced ATMs with the specializations in financial services offerings, such as insurance, credit card and checking/saving account. The bank currently owns more than 875 domestic branch offices and more than 6,300 ATM locations.

Its special application environment such as the confined installing space and long time non-stop working nature requests that the ATM-utilized DVRs shall be more compact in design and bettered in ventilation performance at a controllable cost.

The big bank introduced a great amount of ATMs out of business expansion and planed to purchase necessary security devices to build a surveillance system. They also added that those newly introduced ATMs will be placed in a centralized mode instead of scattered mode; besides; the solution shall be of high cost-performance ratio.

Therefore, Dahua proposed a solution from a totally novel perspective: 4 ATM kiosks pair with four cameras and one DVR, which can, at least, spare 2/3 devices compared with the conventional solution, which is adopted in some regions and countries.

“As a challenger, Dahua should not only build its branding but also do better to meet customer 's needs. We should keep supporting our partners that will continue to be our focus for the years to come,” emphasized Chen . “ Our ultimate goal is to become a total solution provider by all means.”

Vietnam Ready for New Spring in Security

Vietnam Ready for New Spring in Security

Editor / Provider: the Editorial Team | Updated: 2/14/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

After strong sales growth for the first half of 2011, the Vietnamese security market was affected by national economic issues. However, experts remain optimistic about 2012, as opportunities abound.

Vietnam is struggling with growing pains, as inflation and living costs climb. Both factors impair growth, with the national inflation rate reaching an all-time high of 23 percent in August 2011. “Foreign investment in real estate and construction projects have been placed on hold, as the government has imposed tighter restrictions on bank credit granted to investors,” said Phu Loc Nguyen, Director of Visco. Vietnam's inflation rate has been driven by rising food and fuel costs. Food and drink prices alone increased 34 percent, according to a recent release from the government's General Statistics Office.

Increased living expenses have improved worker compensation, but also driven up the cost of doing business. The appeal of Vietnam's cheap and plentiful labor force to build the nation into manufacturing powerhouse is attracting fewer foreign investors. Planned foreign direct investment into Vietnam fell 48 percent in the first five months of 2011 to US$4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg News. The murky economic outlook halted many government projects, including the Ho Chi Minh City airport. Even the national capital of Hanoi has delayed airport upgrades for two years in the face of slow growth.

It is necessary to inject more money to boost the economy without increasing inflation, said Parul Oswal, Industry Manager of Frost & Sullivan. “The economy has to go through a fundamental restructuring, or it will keep circling around instabilities and the measures to deal with them.”

The 2012 Vietnamese access control market will be worth $25 to $40 million, while video surveillance will be $17 to $22 million dollars and intrusion detection will be $1.5 to $2.5 million, Oswal said. Moreover, access control will grow 43 percent by 2016, with intrusion detection and video surveillance estimated to grow 20 to 25 percent and 21 percent respectively.

Business opportunities in the northern capital of Hanoi traditionally center around government projects. However, there are currently no tenders for government projects and 2011 sales were not as strong as expected, said , MD of iON. “Our sales target for 2011 is roughly 50 percent higher than the previous year at $1.5 million, and we are looking to reach $1.35 to $1.4 million by the fourth quarter.”

Other security players expressed the same concern over delayed government projects.

“Compared with other southeast Asian countries, Vietnam seems to have fewer government projects,” said Sharon Lee, Director of Brand Sales at Vivotek. “This deters a booming market, as there is no leader to drive growth forward.”

Despite these concerns, some economists predict the government's credit restrictions will calm inflation over time. Other foreign and local industry experts are similarly optimistic about the nation's long-term potential. Many companies reported impressive 10 to 30 percent revenue growth in 2011. “The security market has much potential here,” said Bryan He, Director of Secom. “It is small now in comparison with many other developing markets, but it is maturing really fast.”

Indeed, in the southern economic and financial center of Ho Chi Minh City, security vendors have discovered business opportunities in the commercial sector, although competition is fierce. “Vietnam's economy has grown over the last few years. The basic infrastructure is in place, which provides a good foundation to build upon,” said Jonathan Sinar, Risk Management Services in Fire Security and Traffic, Xtralis. “The market is still quite immature in comparison to others in the region, as reflected by the industry's offerings of basic, simpler cameras. However, great potential comes when a city gradually matures.”

Government projects delays are significant, as they form the bulk of the security market. Some experts said the ratio of projects between northern Hanoi and the financial center of Ho Chi Minh City is 7:3, while estimate the ratio to be an even steeper 9:1. This underscores the importance of Hanoi in Vietnamese security.

It is difficult to peg an exact figure for Vietnam's security market. Some industry experts have suggested a rough figure between $30 and $50 million, although this data requires more government information for a definite conclusion. Vietnam's market share in Asia for physical security represents 1.3 percent for electronic access control, roughly 0.5 percent for intrusion detection and 3.2 percent for video surveillance respectively, said Frost & Sullivan. Market size estimates are $17 to $20 million for access control, $1.5 to $1.8 million for intrusion and $15 to $20 million for surveillance. The same study also shows that electronic access control grew 47.6 percent, intrusion detection grew 25 to 30 percent and video surveillance grew 15.1 percent in 2010. [NextPage]

Market Drivers and Needs
Public demand for security products has increased and the market is developing fast. “However, consumers getting confused by the array of brands to choose from,” said Hoai An Nguyen, CEO of An Nhien. “They have yet to understand the quality of each brand.” The average income in Vietnam is higher than before, meaning that the public is able to afford security commodities now, said  Deputy Director of Trung Loi Trading. Growing demand for security and a wealthier population are among the strongest drivers in the Vietnamese market.

The market is still in the nascent stages for security technology and depends on manned security. Commercial opportunities look promising for security vendors, particular intrusion and perimeter anufacturers.”

Industry experts unanimously agreed that price concerns drive buyer procurement decisions in the commercial sector. “End users tend to look for products that are easy to use with competitive pricing and excellent aftersales services,” Nguyen of Vantech said.

Budget is a great concern for local buyers, which increases price competition in the low-cost bracket. Manufacturers in this bracket include Chinese low-cost products, which even locally made products have a hard time competing against. Locally made products in the low-cost bracket are below quality standards expected in other markets, but have greater advantage as a result of lower production costs and tariff exemption, Wu said.

To avoid getting caught up price wars, some companies are offering mid-range products to strike a balance between price and performance, said , Sales Manager of Nam Phu. Others focus on offering total and hybrid solutions for more flexibility and added-value. “Vietnamese end users demand flexibility in the products used for solutions, so analog, IP-based and hybrid products must all be available in order to satisfy customer demand,” Wu said.

There is great demand for security from the Vietnamese government, larger corporations and international institutions such as embassies and governmental administration buildings, said Jeff Mei, PM of International Integrate Center, China Security & Surveillance Technology. Compared to the commercial sector, government projects prefer high-end products, such as ones made by Bosch Security Systems, Panasonic System Networks and Axis Communications. Government procurement agencies frequently choose US and Japanese products, Tat said.

The government sector has always been a keen adopter of intrusion systems, especially for military installations in the southeast Asian region, Oswal said. “Looking at the private sector, many of the new commercial buildings are looking at intrusion system for perimeter security purposes. The declining cost of intrusion systems is expected to become more attractive to end users when fulfilling their security requirements,” she added.

“Local government prefers high-end products for projects, as they want to make worthy investments and be able to use a system for a longer duration, achieving greater ROI in the long run,” Nguyen of Visco said.

Video Surveillance
Two trends will spur video surveillance growth in Vietnam. First, HD network surveillance and video analytics will have great potential when basic infrastructure is in place. “Network cameras are manageable in terms of transmission in large installations; therefore network surveillance is expected to show exponential growth in many vertical markets,” Oswal said. “However, the uptake of the technology on a larger scale may take some time.” Some network speed domes are used in the southern region currently, although not on large scale, Wu said.

There is a desire within enterprises to have their infrastructure on one network, and IP-based systems will grow as IT professionals set up the required infrastructure. “Video analytics will drive network camera adoption, as people start to realize the importance of getting detailed information,” Oswal said.

Technological advancements will result in increased affordability for security electronics. For instance, falling prices for hard disk drives over the past few years has enhanced video recording and increased the quality and capacity of video storage equipment.

Vertical Markets
Awareness and uptake of IP-based products is slowly growing in Vietnam, although analog products still dominate with 70 percent market share. Government and telecommunication projects are prevalent in Hanoi, while commercial opportunities can be found in Ho Chi Minh City. As Vietnam continues to develop, electronic security equipment is needed in critical infrastructure (airports and seaports), public and residential buildings, commercial facilities (banking) and educational institutions. Other emerging vertical markets include retail, health care, traffic monitoring, telecom data centers, hotels and recreational complexes.

Industrial production is one of the biggest draws of Vietnam, with its young labor force and stable government. “Factories have the most growth, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby provinces like Dong Nai and Binh Duong,” said Vo Nguyen, Technical Director, Vantech. Most factory projects comprise roughly 50 to 150 cameras per project, with speed domes seeing great demand. [NextPage]

Products and Infrastructure
Adoption of IP-based products is not yet widespread in Vietnam, resulting in the majority of cameras being analog. Some providers offer installer training classes on a monthly basis, as interest in total solutions increases.

Traditional devices such as keypads, magnetic-stripe cards and proximity cards are commonly used for electronic access control systems, although biometrics and smart card credentialing are picking up. Intrusion detection systems are in the medium growth range, and are more sought after in response to rising crime rates.

Interoperability remains an issue for security products. This affects countries that already have legacy security systems. Many users forego upgrades until there is an issue with their existing systems.

Limited bandwidth has a direct influence on the adoption of newer technologies that require IP infrastructure. In Vietnam, Internet access is available only in certain areas, but the user count is on the rise. According to Vietnam's General Statistics Office, broadband Internet subscribers have reached 4.1 million by August 2011, up 17.5 percent. In total, the number of Internet users stands at 31.3 million, an increase of 22.9 percent from the previous year. The latest statistical figures reflect both an Internet usage expansion as well as maturing nationwide Internet infrastructure. Common Internet usage will provide IP-based products great opportunities in this market.

Government Support
Government policies should provide legislation to make the security market better, said Do Duc Hau, President and CEO of Techpro.

Tightened credit to slow inflation is interfering with ongoing security projects. “Since the onset of inflation and bank loan restrictions, many budgets have been reduced and in many cases, video surveillance is cut out from procurement to save TCO on projects,” Nguyen of An Nhien said. “In the coming year, we hope to cooperate with partners and investors who are not dependent on bank loans but have their own capital to move business.”

Vietnamese buyers are not in the habit of stocking up on products, and only do so when projects are lined up, Tat said. This is especially true in Hanoi. “It is our goal in the upcoming year to focus on regular monthly sales activities instead of projects in order to drive fluid transactions,” said Jacky Cheng, VP of Sales of Brickcom.

Cost Concerns and Standards
To drive sales activities in Vietnam, attractive pricing is crucial as end users are cost-conscious and prefer low-cost offerings. “For us, cost concerns from end users are a challenge as our products are manufactured in the U.K.” said Mark Tibbenham, MD of GJD Manufacturing. “We hope to overcome this challenge by working with big installers on large-scale and high-end residential projects.”

In such a fast developing market, more new competitors have entered it, especially companies from China, He said. “For many Vietnamese customers, price always comes first, followed by quality. Therefore, Chinese products have a clear advantage.” Even sizable Chinese makers like Dahua Technology are affected by fierce competition from low-cost suppliers. “Many makers pirate our products and sell them at even lower prices,” Dinh said. “The products are identical in appearance, but quality is obviously compromised. At this point there is nothing we can do but hold more seminars to strengthen brand awareness and educate our customers.” To sidestep competition at this level of offering, many solution providers also prefer trading mid-level products.

To further complicate the price issue, the lack of a unified set of standards makes judging product quality and price/performance harder. “The current codes and standards are loosely based on US standards, although no unified and official codes and standards specific to Vietnam have been mandated by the local government,” Sinar said. As the market matures, national standards would regulate industry offerings and provide clearer procurement choices for end users.

Shaping Up
Despite economic complications and project delays, industry experts and market analysts are confident about business opportunities in this vibrant country. All markets experience boom-bust cycles and the nation's plentiful resources and business-friendly policies continue to make it an attractive destination. Vietnam's security market is gearing up to take flight.

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