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VIVOTEK launches box IP camera IP816A-HP for traffic monitoring

VIVOTEK launches box IP camera IP816A-HP for traffic monitoring

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 2/25/2015 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK announces the launch of the IP816A-HP, a professional 2-Megapixel box network camera with advanced image process technologies such as WDR Pro and SNV (Supreme Night Visibility) and several unique features, making it the perfect camera for monitoring traffic, and tunnels.

Featuring WDR Pro, the IP816A-HP is able to provide superior visibility in environments with high contrast lighting conditions. WDR Pro allows the IP816A-HP to capture both the dark and bright parts of an image and combine up to 2 separate frames to generate a highly realistic representation of the original scene. In addition, utilizing 3D Noise Reduction technology, the IP816A-HP is able to suppress sensor noise, thus reducing bandwidth consumption and enhancing image detail in extremely bright as well as dark environments. In order to ensure optimal image quality at all times, the IP816A-HP is equipped with a P-iris lens, which maintains the iris opening at an optimal level at all times, resulting in both superior sharpness and superior depth of field.

Most uniquely, VIVOTEK has introduced its newly developed Snapshot Focus function to the IP816A-HP, allowing the installer to record a short clip of the scene on site, and then playback this clip at any speed to check, or fine-tune, the focus. Moreover, the IP816A-HP is also designed with VIVOTEK’s RBF (Remote Back Focus) System, enabling the installer to adjust focus even more precisely.

Tim Su, Director, Marketing Communication Department, VIVOTEK indicated “In traffic monitoring or license plate recognition applications, because of fast moving vehicle, it can be difficult for installers to ensure that the focus is set at an optimal level for clear surveillances. VIVOTEK, based on its profound and professional experiences in network camera solutions development, is proud to launch the IP816A-HP with quite a few innovative features, revolutionarily solving the problem.“

Riding on security solutions to safety

Riding on security solutions to safety

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 2/20/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

While security products can help with theme park management, operators still rely on them for the original purpose that they were designed for: keeping premises safe and secure. Products and solutions, such as video surveillance, access control, and RFID can help operators achieve their security objectives.

For amusement parks, they deal with several types of security concerns. The first is the protection of premises from various harms. “As like any pubic commercial business, threats that have the potential to prevent or hinder the achievement of objectives that the business needs to perform, for example processes to keep the business financially safe and compliant from potential threat sources, can range from vandalism, terrorism, criminal activity, and asset loss and safety,” said Pedro De Jesus, Channel Manager for Security at Gallagher.

Another concern is ensuring the safety of visitors, some of whom may enter or exit rides from the wrong side or wander off to restricted areas. Locating missing children or members of a group is another primary focus. To address those concerns, security products and solutions are deployed, offering vital and much needed assistance to operators as they strive to build an overall safe environment.

Preventing child abduction and theft
Video surveillance plays a vital role in keeping amusement parks safe, especially when it comes to detecting and deterring crime. “A premier form of electronic surveillance, video provides real-time monitoring of situations, both at the location and remotely,” said Craig Dahlman, Director of IP Camera Products at Pelco by Schneider Electric. “Video security is a proven solution that can offer a complete answer for protecting customers, co-workers, and employees while additionally offering a watchful eye over property.”

Cameras are installed at various points in the park as well as at entrances to prevent various crimes, such as child abduction, although the mere presence of cameras should serve as a deterrent. “Visible installation of cameras and the knowledge that there is a video surveillance system is mostly sufficient to repel potential kidnappers,” said Roland Feil, Director Sales at Dallmeier Electronics, adding that high-definition cameras offering crystal clear images can also help investigate theft and shoplifting, which can be quite rampant at theme parks. Another important value of video surveillance is it can help operators request the necessary compensation should something happens. “It provides indisputable documentation of an event. While serving as a visual deterrent to crime, it gives park managers and security and safety professionals the tools they need to validate liability claims,” Dahlman said.

Locating lost visitors
Tracking lost children or members of a group over a large space like theme parks can be a daunting challenge. RFID, which entails communications between a tag and a reader, can be utilized for this purpose. “It keeps children safe by determining where the child last used the RFID credential. The child's credential can also be programmed not to work without being tagged in tandem with the parent's credential,” said Scott Lindley, President of Farpointe Data.

RFID not only can track lost visitors but also park employees as well. “They can be used to track lone workers, perhaps maintenance workers working in remote parts of the park outside of opening hours, to ensure that staff are accounted for and located, so emergencies can be spotted more quickly,” said John Davies, MD at TDSi.

Better yet, RFID can be integrated with other technologies, such as video analytics, to offer visual verification of the missing person. “Passive RFID tags can allow wearers to be tracked at specific portals throughout the park. While passing through those areas, images can be logged to validate the wearer's location,” said Larry Bowe, President of PureTech Systems. “On a more advanced level, the use of active RFID tags or small GPS transmitter could allow map-based tracking throughout the park and provide the ability to instantly swing a PTZ or zoom a high-resolution fixed camera directly to the child or person in question.”

When looking for lost visitors, every second counts. Video surveillance technologies nowadays have video forensic capabilities that enable quick retrieval of critical video data. “With metadata, which adds sense and structure to video surveillance, it is possible to immediately retrieve the correct evidence of hours of recorded materials in a couple of seconds,” said Pieter van den Looveren, Manager of Marketing Communication for Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems. “Today's video forensic tools can include details on age, clothing color, gender, and even geographic vicinity, allowing a user to literally enter a video search looking for a ‘small male child, wearing a red shirt last seen in the area of a particular ride during a specified time frame,'” Bowe said. “Video clips meeting these requirements can be quickly provided to security for a timely analysis.”

Detecting suspicious objects
While the technology is nothing new, detecting unattended or suspicious items by way of video analytics continues to be a popular application for theme parks, which might be targets for terrorist attacks. “With the help of modern video content analysis, it is possible to issue an alarm if any objects remain within a certain area for a predefined period of time,” Feil said. “The systems can also prevent the blocking of escape routes, fire rescue paths, or approach roads for ambulances by parked objects, which could have very serious consequences in case of an emergency.”

Intrusion detection Perimeter protection is a major concern, especially during the night when theme parks are closed. Delinquents, thieves, or burglars trying to climb over the fence and get into the park need to be kept out. Video analytics and cameras are deployed for this purpose, keeping parks safe and sound after business hours.

“Intelligent video can determine, for example, if an object approaches an area, from which direction it is coming, or how long it stays in a certain area,” Feil said. “This means that intruders can be detected early on and an alarm can be triggered. Comprehensive validity checks reduce false alarms, which may be triggered by leaves swishing in the wind or animals, to a minimum without missing ‘real' alarm messages.”

Video recording during night time, when everything is dark, presents a daunting challenge. Luckily, advances in lowlight and thermal technologies have solved this problem. “Today's thermal imagers have become very affordable, and as video analytic technology continues to improve, protection ranges increase greatly,” Bowe said. “The ability for video analytics to utilize a single camera for distances from hundreds of meters to kilometers makes implementing measures for night time surveillance more effective and more affordable.”

Access Control in critical areas
Like any other businesses, theme parks can step up access control through multifactor authentication, or a combination of tokens, passwords, or, for entry into more critical areas, biometrics. “Biometrics is typically used throughout high security or restricted places, for example head-end sever rooms, cash holding rooms, and security operations,” De Jesus said. “Access to these areas can be controlled to ensure only those staff that are appropriately qualified or trained can gain access.”

Access control management software can offer rapid authorization or removal of access when required. “Examples include contractors needing access to service the rides or attractions, or temporary staff no longer needed to work in restricted areas,” said Davies.

Ensuring safety of equipment
Finally, security products can help ensure that rides and other types of equipment are in good shape. “Video analytics is desirable for monitoring abnormalities, for example smoke, breakage of a gear, movement of a critical component, or overheating through the use of thermal cameras. They can even be used to ensure certain safety procedures are being followed,” Bowe said.

Safe and fun
People come to amusement parks to relax and have a fun day with their family and friends. They can't have fun if constantly being bugged by worries that something might happen. With various security products and solutions in place, operators can strive to make their parks as safe as possible and offer the ultimate visitor experience.

Red Hill Car Wash upgrades surveillance system with Axis

Red Hill Car Wash upgrades surveillance system with Axis

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 2/18/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
Red Hill Car Wash is a six-bay coin-operated car wash in Hamilton, Ont., Canada. The facility sees a continual flow of traffic 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Owner JJ Woodley manages the site along with three part-time employees who work during peak hours. Existing analog cameras used for security were too limited in playback capability, video quality and remote access to properly prevent vandalism and theft. Woodley needed a security solution that offered easily searchable, higher resolution images from which culprits could be quickly identified.

Solution
Fellow car wash owner and systems integrator Brian Owens recommended Axis network cameras because of their reliability and HDTV-quality video. IP video cameras were set up at multiple locations across the car wash's almost one acre lot to provide detailed views with special focus on areas such as car bays, the garage and cleaning vacuums.

Using Milestone XProtect Essential video management software (VMS) , Woodley can monitor video live and quickly search archived video captured by the 19 installed Axis network cameras. The VMS is programed to store the high-quality IP video for two weeks on a custombuilt server and accessed remotely through the Milestone Mobile app by phone or tablet for security and operational purposes.

Result
Since implementing the Axis network cameras, vandalism and attempted theft decreased by 80%, and the business had clear photographic evidence when police were called in to deal with an issue. In addition, Red Hill has been able to improve business operations by monitoring service and customer traffic, and the video has saved the carwash significant amounts of money by supplying documentary evidence for customers and regulators.

Shoring up security
Red Hill Car Wash in Hamilton, Ontario, is a 24-hour car wash with an onsite ATM. Because the car wash bays are coin-operated, the coin boxes are vulnerable to theft. Originally, the business was monitored with analog surveillance cameras, but following an attempted theft, the video quality was too poor to identify the suspect. Owner JJ Woodley knew something had to be done. Woodley turned to integrator Brian Owens, president of Brick Properties and Security, who also owns Kerman Car Wash in Grimsby, Ont. Owens recommended Woodley replace the outdated analog technology with 19 Axis network cameras and Milestone IP video management software.

For areas such as the coin-operated bays, they selected AXIS M3114-VE Network Cameras to provide detailed views in HDTV-quality 720p resolution. The vandalresistant cameras also feature a tampering alarm to alert Woodley to any attempts at disruption or manipulation. These were paired with a set of AXIS P13 Series Network Cameras to deliver detailed imaging across distances. In addition, AXIS P33 Series Fixed Dome Network Cameras record HDTV-quality video at the ATM, while a pinhole AXIS P1204 Network Camera installed inside the ATM captures anyone around or using the machine.

Combined, these cameras ensure high-quality video captures suspects' faces, clothes, and car models, as well as the front and back license plates. This selection of cameras also has the resolution needed to catch clear shots of the plates of vehicles entering the car wash, as well as in “hot spots” around the lot.

Within six months of the implementation, the cameras caught two incidents of vandalism. The clarity of the images, especially of culprits and licence plates, resulted in arrests and, in one case, restitution. Since then, such instances have dropped off 80 to 85% and continue to decline rapidly. The six car-wash bays have signs informing criminals and customers that the site is under 24-hour surveillance. “I think word gets around in the underground community that this isn't a place to mess with. There's certainly been a notable drop off in criminal activity,” Woodley says.

Clean operations, remotely monitored
Although originally intended for security, the cameras have helped make significant improvements in business operations. Instead of driving an hour to and from the lot, Woodley can now monitor operations remotely on his phone or tablet with the Milestone Mobile client. This means he can manage traffic peaks better and ensure consistent, quality service at all times. Video from the cameras in the equipment room can also help identify malfunctioning equipment, while those focused on car bays assist in assessing customer complaints. “If they say they put $3 in the machine and it didn't run, I can see immediately if they actually did so,” Woodley says.

The high-quality video has already saved the car wash money. In one instance, a customer complained his car's paint job was damaged. Time-stamped photos collected and stored through the Milestone XProtect VMS were promptly forwarded to prove the damage existed before the wash. More significantly, the video helped Red Hill avoid an incorrectly assessed regulatory fine. When city inspectors accidentally took wastewater samples from the wrong part of a system that captures oil, the car wash appeared in violation and faced a fine of $50,000 a day. Woodley provided video showing the error, and the fine was cancelled.

A bright future
Based on this success, Woodley plans a more extensive IP camera system for his next, larger car wash. He's also investigating license-plate recognition technology to track suspicious vehicles, as well as understand traffic patterns to better serve customers. “It's good to have it all locked down,” Woodley says. “People feel more comfortable and it improves our long-term reputation.”

Stanley Security partners with Digital Barriers for alarm monitoring market

Stanley Security partners with Digital Barriers for alarm monitoring market

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 2/16/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Security services provider, Stanley Security, and surveillance technology provider, Digital Barriers, have joined forces to offer an innovative automated intrusion detection application to the European remote alarm monitoring market.

SafeZone-edge, developed by Digital Barriers specifically for Axis network cameras and encoders, is an intelligent video analytics application for reliable intrusion detection. It accurately analyses scenes whilst automatically mitigating any environmental effects that can often cause nuisance alarms. This exceptional reliability is recognised with a UK Government i-LIDS certification and the award of “Intruder Alarm or Exterior Deterrent Product of the Year” at IFSEC's Security and Fire Excellence Awards 2014. The partnership with Stanley Security will see SafeZone-edge rolled out across European customer sites, providing reliable alarm information to 14 state of the art operations centres.

Dan Meyrick, Channel Sales Manager at Digital Barriers noted: “With its ability to intelligently distinguish actual intrusions from the impact of external factors, such as weather and variable illumination, SafeZone-edge is a significant step beyond basic video motion detection. But even more significantly, the application is simple and affordable enough to encourage widespread adoption.”

SafeZone-edge takes advantage of the Axis open Camera Application Platform, launched in 2009 to facilitate cutting-edge third party integrations of this nature, with installation directly onto Axis network cameras and encoders. As such, the application delivers a true alternative to both conventional server-based intelligent video analysis (IVA) and simpler edge-based video motion detection (VMD), combining performance and usability for real world perimeter security applications.

Dan continued: “With the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), Axis delivers the simplicity of the ‘app store' concept to the IP camera sector. By targeting the SafeZone-edge application to run on Axis cameras, organisations are presented with a simple and affordable way of extending the functionality of their cameras. The strength in depth of the Axis product range and their strong links with leading security providers, such as Stanley Security, also partnered us with the market-leader.”

Stanley Security is now using this pioneering new analytics software in conjunction with its I-View Now video platform on Axis devices in all its major installations and projects. Footage from each device can be monitored automatically for efficient perimeter protection and loitering or intrusion detection, with alarms sent directly to one of the company's state-of-the-art operations centres.

Martyn Ryder, Director for Product Management Europe at Stanley Security, said: “Combining cameras from leading manufacturer Axis Communications, with the SafeZone-edge analytics and our I-View Now video platform creates a powerful tool to help our customers protect their people and property while optimising their spend on security personnel. This combined solution is giving customers the extra pair of eyes and peace of mind that we can detect incidents early and try to stop them before they escalate or catch the bad guys in action.”

Metadata is provided to the operators to allow them to quickly and efficiently detect the source of the alarm and take swift, appropriate action. Alarms can also be sent directly to customers' mobile devices or PCs, allowing them to be instantly notified or to cancel false alarms before costly action is taken. In a real-life operational test conducted over one week, replacement of a VMD solution by the SafeZone-edge application led to a reduction in nuisance alarms from 10,000 to just 1.

Commenting on the partnership, Atul Rajput, Regional Director, Northern Europe at Axis Communications said: “Axis is proud to support its partners in collaborative projects to design and develop security innovations that advance the field of video analytics and make a real difference to customers. Stanley Security's adoption of Digital Barriers' technology means that as a result of more accurate detection, its clients will be able to optimise their security spend and limit unnecessary call outs.”

Tamron releases new model LWIR 3X Zoom Lens

Tamron releases new model LWIR 3X Zoom Lens

Editor / Provider: Tamron | Updated: 2/12/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Tamron , a specialized manufacturers of optics and one of the leading companies in the security/surveillance equipment industry, announces release of LWIR (Long-Wavelength Infrared) 3X Zoom Lens with a standard screw-in mount and featuring F/1.0 fast aperture throughout the entire focal length range.

Since 2010, Tamron has been pursuing development of LWIR (long-wavelength infrared) camera lenses for security/surveillance applications. These lenses incorporate technologies accumulated in the photo and CCTV/IP camera lens designs, and have been developed into an optimized security lens for the LWIR camera system. The model SD006 zoom lens, which covers the range from 35 mm to the maximum 105 mm, demonstrates unparalleled performance with a fast aperture of F/1.0. The lens provides uniform and flat-field image quality from the center to the edge at all focus distances and focal length positions, which is a major advantage for surveillance installations.

Now, Tamron announces the release of a derivative to SD006, the Model LQZ3X3510V (35 – 100 mm F/1.0) with a standard screw-in mount, and image quality optimized for VGA/QVGA resolution. The new product is recommended for an extensive array of security systems, and will highlight the advantages of the LWIR lens for a variety of new applications.

Main features:
1. Substantial improvement in the LWIR light transmittance, and reduced gain noise under adverse surveillance conditions
The new LWIR lens with a constant F/1.0 aperture consists of 4-group/4-lens elements. With a proprietary optical design, Tamron has successfully realized 3X zoom while reducing the number of elements. Germanium has been deployed to raise the infrared light transmittance. This enables crisp and clear image reproduction even under a harsh surveillance condition in which a thermal profile of the scene has minimal contrast, and effectively prevents image degradation due to the gain noise.

2. Introduction of a general-use lens mount and a communication-protocol conversion board.
The new lens comes with a M34 P0.5 screw-in mount, which is widely adopted in LWIR cameras. For the lens control, the asynchronous serial communication protocol is supported by a communication-protocol conversion board. The new lens can be used for versatile applications by virtue of these two features.

3. Notable improvement in the accuracy of the camera's motion detection feature by compensating for undesirable vibrations, by VC mechanism.
Tamron's proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism, widely renowned in photographic interchangeable lenses, has been optimized for specific vibration frequency range and designed for high durability. In surveillance applications the cameras are often installed on a pole-like structure. The VC mechanism has been designed and optimized based on the in-depth analysis of the principal vibration frequencies for a fixed -pole installation. To meet the high durability requirements of 24-hour surveillance, a new construction was employed with a superior 3-ball, 3-coil drive components. These technologies minimize false alarms caused by the camera vibration which is perceived as objects in motion, thus substantially improve the accuracy for intrusion monitoring.

4. Lens integration made simpler with automatic FB (Flange Back Focal Distance) adjustment
This is a new innovative feature that incorporates software to adjust the FB position, such that it minimizes any zoom focus drift after lens integration. The FB adjustment can be easily performed in 3 simple steps using the FB adjustment GUI software.

5. Active athermal mechanism that adjusts the back focal distance in response to changes in ambient temperature
High-transmittance Germanium is used for the new high-sensitivity LWIR lens. Germanium is sensitive to changes in ambient temperature and this may cause a drift in the focus distance. For this reason, athermal mechanism is adopted in many of the LWIR lenses to compensate for such drift. Tamron's new LWIR zoom lens is equipped with a new active athermal mechanism that compensates for the focus drift at all focusing distances by built-in thermo couplers and the control software. This new innovative feature ensures high-quality image capture under harsh surveillance environments undergoing large fluctuations in temperature.

6. Quick focus operation achieved by electric drive zoom and focus
LWIR lenses are frequently used for their detection capabilities, a key feature in many intrusion protection systems. Such a system requires the zoom and focus adjustments to be smooth and fast. The Internal Focus system with stepping motor drive mechanism provides the best solution. Combining these technologies ensures smooth, high-speed, and high-accuracy zoom and focus performance.

Milan Cathedral upgraded surveillance system with exacqVision

Milan Cathedral upgraded surveillance system with exacqVision

Editor / Provider: exacq | Updated: 2/11/2015 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Challenge:
The Milan Cathedral had an aging CCTV analog security system in place. They wanted to upgrade their surveillance system with new IP technology while also utilizing their existing infrastructure. To protect the cathedral's historical value, Milan Cathedral employees wanted to install a more reliable, updated security system.

Solution:
They installed three exacqVision LC-Series hybrid network video recorders (NVRs). The hybrid NVRs allowed the cathedral to connect their existing analog cameras and utilize the current infrastructure while also adding new IP cameras. The exacqVision NVRs provided them with a low-cost, powerful system.

The exacqVision system offered them the opportunity to select from thousands of IP camera models that are compatible with the exacqVision system. SIQR, an Italian local distributor, installed new SIQR Sentry two megapixel IP cameras. These new IP cameras provided high definition video and larger aspect ratios. The IP cameras cover more space, so they can see a greater area and detail with one camera. Within exacqVision, Cathedral security can zoom in and move around the image to see greater detail. After seeing the results of the new IP cameras, Milan Cathedral personnel decided to add more cameras. These cameras were strategically placed around the perimeter and inside the cathedral to monitor the most traffiked areas and valuable art pieces.

Each exacqVision server came pre-installed with exacqVision professional video management system (VMS) software. Fabbrica del Duomo Manager views the exacqVision client on his laptop using the free web client application. From the client, he can easily monitor video from all cameras. Within a few clicks, he can search and find the video evidence necessary. Specifically, the Cathedral Manager can use a timeline search to quickly identify the visual change and exact time in the video that he needs for the evidence. They are now able to respond to situations faster than ever before and provide local police with the appropriate video evidence.

The exacqVision solution proved to be future proof. They can easily add additional IP cameras and another server over the next few years to expand their security system.

India: Land of opportunities in 2015

India: Land of opportunities in 2015

Editor / Provider: Lisa Hsu, a&s International | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Over the pas past two years, India's economy has been slow, mainly as a result of investments grinding to a halt due to the election. However, all this has changed since Narendra Modi was elected as the new prime minister last year. Since Modi came to power, foreign and local investments have been positive, with expectations for further economic growth in the next two years, and opportunities for the security industry in growing project demands.

Before the election in 2014, foreign investments were slow due to investor hesitation and uncertainty in what the new government would bring. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans to build 100 smart cities and increase the speed of project clearances has resulted in positive foreign and local investments. Combined with the prospect of rate cuts, GDP growth is still likely to rise to 6.4% in 2015 from 5.6% in the previous year.

The government's reform agenda to revive economic growth in the country includes increasing foreign direct investment in the insurance sector from 26% to 49%, which is predicted to result in US$6 to 8 billion in capital inflow, and to amend archaic labor laws to reduce regulatory interference while coaxing employees with more benefits, whilst also promoting the “Make in India” campaign. As having the largest private-public partnership (PPP) market in the world, 3P India will be implemented to introduce more PPPs into the mainstream of project execution, as well as plans to upgrade infrastructure in 500 urban areas. Along with this, land purchase rules will be changed to allow for easier acquisition of land for infrastructure and industrial projects.

India's GDP advanced to 5.3 % in the third quarter of 2014, Barron's Asia forecasted India's economic performance in 2015 to continue optimistic growth as new Prime Minister Modi brings in higher private sector investment. To further boost GDP growth, the government also plans to introduce value-added tax (VAT) that can replace more than a dozen taxes that increase incentives for corruption, which will add another 1.7 percentage points to GDP growth if successful. With the implementation of all of Modi's reform agenda, the next few years for India will be very promising.

“Today, India has an elected new government with a good majority in the upper house of parliament to help and take firm policy decisions. This will attract foreign investments and help the economy to pick up quickly. Signs of improvement have already started, I believe within a year, we can see a clear shift,” said Anil Dhawan, Chief Executive of DB Secure Solution.

According to an industry expert, with the help of the new government, dramatic changes can be seen, and opportunities will open up for big cases. 2015 will be a very promising year for various security members due to the political situation, which will help generate more businesses.

High Security Awareness
Criminal activity is the main driver for security's growth, not only in India, but the whole of South Asia. The tragic events that have taken place in the last decade, ranging from mass terrorist attacks to public crimes against women has created the need for safer cities. The South Asian Terrorism Portal has identified 179 terrorism groups operating in India, and the threat has worsened in recent years. In 2008, a series of attacks killed 172 people, and in 2011, three bomb explosions at different locations killed 26 people. Security awareness and security demand is therefore a major priority for both government and private sectors.

Promising Indian security market, 2015
Today, the strong growth of the Indian security market has gained attention among foreign players as well as investors. According to an industry expert, compared to 2013, 2014 has seen a slightly higher growth in the security market. 2013 was slow, mainly because everyone was waiting and observing the market. Now, the Rupee against the US dollar is weak, creating pressure on the economy, especially imported goods. However, the future for the market holds high expectations. Coupled with new technologies, new product launches such as HD over coaxial cable, the market demand will be stimulated. Growing awareness on the benefits of electronic security equipment among cities is expected to escalate demand for electronic security equipment in the near future. “The government will also bring another positive impact, which is to promote security awareness, as well as standards for installation and manufacturing, which will create an overall market growth drive,” said Dhawan.

“Following the past two or three year's downturn, the minimum growth for 2015 will be at least 10 to 15%. As for the new government, a lot of infrastructure projects are being pushed forward, and it will take a minimum of at least 18 months before actual security demand comes in,” Dhawan continued.

Another driver for the security market is the migration to IP, and demand from low-end IP cameras to quality IP cameras. According to an industry expert, at least 20% of his clients are turning towards IP, which can effectively create high revenue. “The IP market is segmented, dividing between premium and low-end markets. A premium IP camera is reliable and has good quality, support service, and distribution, which has features such as VCA, facial recognition, and people counting,” said Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager of India at Axis Communications. With price as a key issue, people are always looking for good quality products at low prices. “The total cost of ownership (TCO) depends on how hardware and software are made to work together. Unless we get this right, we are only working to drop device prices that in turn creates sub-optimal solutions and increased TCO,” Santosh Pillai, Director and CTO of 2020 Imaging explained.

With the thriving economy increasing funds for public and private sectors, the security market is expected to flourish with the growing economy. “As the new government settles the new budget, many projects in infrastructure can be seen, such as for smart city, and even the commercial sector is improving,” said Holla. The security market in India grew from $882 million in 2013 to $953 million in 2014, and is forecasted to reach $1.1 billion in 2015, according to Gartner. “Performance in 2015 will pick up, especially in sectors such as smart city, transportation, infrastructure, government, banking, and education,” he added. Verticals like banking and financial services, that have had a strong focus on security, are now investing in technology approaches that can enable them to grow their business securely.

ConstruCting 100 smart Cities
Investments of approximately $1.2 trillion will be required over the next 20 years across areas such as transportation, energy, and public security to build smart cities in India, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The government's plan to build 100 new smart cities and develop modern satellite towns around existing cities will open up opportunities for the security industry, mainly for surveillance projects and green building solutions.

Safe City Projects, Ready to Roll Out
Covering every area of security from surveillance through PSIM to other physical security equipment, safe city projects will create huge opportunities for security companies. A budget of $1.2 billion will be allocated for smart cities in the 2014-15 budget, and under the flagship “safe city” project the Union Ministry proposes $333 million to develop seven big cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Hyderabad) with a total investment of $100 billion to focus on technological advancement and automation rather than manpower.

India's first ever safe city project is already underway in Surat, which will be the first city to implement surveillance cameras at every corner. Establishing a partnership with Microsoft and its partners Iconics and SoftTech, the project will be implemented in five phases, which will deploy a network of 5,000 surveillance cameras across 500 locations, covering an area of 150 square kilometers in Gujarat's second largest metropolis.

Smart Buildings on the Rise
India is expected to emerge as the world's 3rd largest construction market by 2020, by adding 11.5 million homes every year to help with the urban housing shortage, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Moreover, with the launch of the smart cities program, smart buildings are essential to help in the successful implementation of smart cities. The intelligent building management systems market is around $621 million and is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2016. As of August 2014, more than 2,771 green buildings projects were registered with the Indian Green Council, and will be able to deliver integrated lighting, improved comfort and air quality, and most importantly, greater physical security.

According to McKinsey & Company, India can save approximately $42 billion every year with efficient energy management. Currently, buildings in India consume approximately 40% of total energy generated, and 20% of water, as well as 40% of carbon emissions, 30% of solid waste and 20% of water effluents. However with smart buildings, 30% of water usage, 40% of energy usage, and a reduction of building maintenance costs by 10 to 30 % can be saved.

Bright Future Ahead
As India continues to boom, many who seek will find opportunity in the constantly evolving country. High hopes are held with Modi leading India to the way of success, with expectations for great success in the smart cities project, which will open up opportunities to give the security industry a boost it needs to get back on track.

Indian Security Industry Turns to Solutions
Currently, India's security market is still quite product driven, where people are familiar with various products and is fast to accept them. However, the market competition over price has resulted in companies competing for market share by reducing product price. One major network camera vendor pointed out that their unit prices were forced to drop approximately 10% in 2014.

Therefore, many security companies turn to solutions or try to enhance products for application use. “Although many vendors claim to be solution providers, very few take a problem-centric solution approach, therefore education and promotion are needed to bridge the gap," Santosh Pillai, Director and CTO of 2020 Imaging explained. With companies such as Autocop India (Facility Security Division) transitioning to become a solution provider, focusing on end to end solutions, systems integrator (SI) partners are able to gain better margins from value added services. According to Maluik Shah, CEO of FSD at Autocop, “We provide central monitoring systems, command and control systems to SIs so they can provide central monitoring services to end users. For example, in events with banks that have more ATMs and branch offices, a central monitoring system can provide ATMs with better protection.”

Tamron also has moved to targeting customers through an application based approach rather than just box selling their products, educating customers that their lenses give good quality results for instances in automatic number plate recognition and facial recognition. The company will penetrate deeper into the market, with their main focuses on city surveillance, petroleum, oil and gas, ITS, and industrial sectors, said Ashutosh Fotedar, Assistant Sales Manager for Tamron India.

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 1/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

A new year brings new trends. Many of the trends from 2014 have since turned into industry standards, such as HD resolution and IP surveillance; however, new ones have emerged to keep the security industry on its toes in 2015.

The Market at a Glance
In 2014, video surveillance accounted for approximately 53% of the total market share (US$13.5 billion) in terms of global physical security product sales, according to Memoori Business Intelligence. Double-digit growth has been the norm in the video surveillance market over the last decade, and analysts at IHS forecast similar growth in the new year, predicting more than 10% growth in 2015. Furthermore, Marketsandmarkets has predicted that the global video surveillance market will reach roughly $42.1 billion at a CAGR of 17% for the period 2014 to 2020, with the IP system market expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.5% during the same period. Rising crime rates, an increase in terror attacks, and growing security concerns all are contributing to this growth.

Who Reigns Supreme? IP vs. Analog
The move to IP is no longer so much a trend as it is simple fact: New installations are going IP and many analog users are upgrading to network-based solutions. With that said, does that mean that IP has finally taken over analog in video surveillance? The answer is yes and no. In terms of revenue, IP sales have surpassed analog sales; however, in terms of quantity, analog shipments still outnumber those of IP. This is poised to change, with analysts believing that IP shipments will take over analog by the end of the decade. Evidence of this shift can be seen in markets like Latin America where the overall market — one that is heavily focused on analog — is now leaning toward IP equipment for the first time (by supplier revenue), according to a report by IHS.

Asia Leads the Way
In the world of security, Asia has had a tendency to be a step behind when it comes to the most up-to-date technologies. In the coming years, though, APAC is forecast to be the fasting growing region for IP video surveillance globally at a CAGR of 44.3% during the period 2013 to 2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research. The report also pointed out that North America is expected to experience the highest share in the IP video surveillance market by 2020, predicting that the continent would be the highest revenuegenerating segment with a value of about $19 billion in 2020. However, China is estimated to have been the largest regional market for video surveillance equipment, accounting for a third of global revenues in 2013.

Trends for the Growing Market
Along with growth come trends, trends that help drive growth and keep the market up-to-date with new and exciting technologies. In 2014, we saw IP surveillance become a norm and HD resolution become a standard. In the following, a&s explores a few of what we expect to be the most popular video surveillance trends for 2015.

High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) One of the most important developments for 2015 will be that of high efficiency video coding (HVEC), also known as H.265, which directly relates to another trend: 4K resolution. HVEC will play a significant role in the feasibility of 4K in security applications. According to security experts, about 90% of surveillance products currently use HVEC's predecessor H.264 for compression. However, that is set to change. “Our outlook is that most future advancements in the market will focus on compression, as the megapixel market has evolved extremely quickly and the compression will need to advance nearly as quickly to meet the growing demand for higher resolution images. H.265 may be the answer to this as there is a tremendous amount of computational power required for the compression and decompression of these images that the industry is currently grappling with,” said Stephen Carney, Director of Video Product Line Management at Tyco Security Products.

Pervasive use of H.265 has many implications for the security industry. With the ability to double the data compression ratio compared to H.264 at the same level of video quality, H.265 will greatly improve the usability of 4K in security applications. In fact, both Hisilicon and Ambarella introduced IP camera SoCs based on H.265 at the end of 2014 and widespread use of H.265 is expected within the security industry by the second quarter of 2015. This will in no doubt directly impact the adoption of 4K.

Finding Applications for 4K
The entrance of 4K resolution into the security industry was met with both curiosity and excitement. Similar to how HD was expected to be the new standard for image resolution when it was first introduced into the industry (which it since has become), many believe that 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) will eventually replace HD as the standard, and the availability of H.265 in security will be a catalyst to this; however, this change will not happen overnight. “4K will certainly be a trend to watch, though broad adoption will be problematic for the security industry at this point due to limitations on current camera form factor/lens combination, bandwidth, and storage constraints and the cost of the equipment versus the benefits or necessity of the additional resolution gained with the technology,” Carney said.

Despite the current limitations, many of the obstacles should soon be resolved. Aside from H.265 helping with data compression, the rapid rollout of 4G across the globe should assist in dealing with bandwidth problems, as well as better, improved accompanying hardware (e.g., lenses, monitors, etc.).

Bigger, Better Image Sensors
With the trend of 4K in 2015, along with the fact that HD has become the standard, bigger, better sensors are now needed to support such high-quality images. The trend toward increased value of total image quality will utilize large image sensors, the latest iris system, and high picture quality at near IR, said Koji Maunari, GM of the Industrial Optics Business Unit at Tamron. In fact, the image sensor market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8%  from 2014 to 2020, according to a recent report by Marketsandmarkets. Not only are manufacturers coming out with bigger sensors, they are also adding special technologies to further enhance image quality, specifically designed for video surveillance use. Well-known sensor makers such as Aptina, Omivision, and Pixelplus are now pushing out larger image sensors, while companies such as Sony have come out with new sensor technology specifically addressing the needs of the video surveillance market. The new Starvis technology, a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS sensors specifically designed for video surveillance, was released by Sony in mid-2014. The technology extends from the visible light range to include the near-infrared range to support filming at night, which is often a problem area for 24/7 outdoor surveillance in most CMOS cameras. The improved performance at night will help more extensive adoption of CMOS cameras in the near future. Additionally 4K sensors are also being developed. These new sensors can support up to 12 megapixels (4:3) and 4K (17:9), and even support 4K at up to 60 frames per second. Furthermore, with sensors now reaching 1/1.9 inches, even higher resolution and clearer images are possible.

HD-over-Coax Gets More Advanced
HD-over-coaxial solutions are not new to the security industry. In fact, IMS Research, an IHS company, named HD-over-coaxial solutions a trend for 2012; however, at that time the solution in question was more or less limited to HD-SDI, which turned out to be not nearly as cost-effective as the security industry had initially hoped. Yet, like with any technologies a little time has yielded new-and-improved solutions, and 2014 saw just that with the introduction of new HD-over-coaxial solutions. One of the major proponents of HD-over-coax is Dahua Technology, who came out with their HDCVI technology in late 2012. However, it is not until more recently, in the last year, that the industry has really seen HD-over-coaxial solutions take off, with many other companies coming up with their own technologies and solutions as well, such as AHD, ccHDtv, and HDTVI. HD-SDI has also evolved: The new generation has upgraded in long-distance transmission, and more importantly, has become more cost effective.

Despite the fact that the overall market is going digital, many definitely still see plenty of room for HD-over-coaxial solutions, noting acceptance of the technologies particularly in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Renewed Life in Intelligent Video Solutions Intelligent functions have been touted for a while in security, but it isn't until more recently that they have been widely incorporated and desired in video surveillance. In fact, as of recent, a certain degree of analytics on the edge has become a standard feature for most IP cameras. From entry-level to high-end, cameras can now be differentiated by how “smart” they are. As part of this, video surveillance has proved capable of not just recording and reviewing, but preventing and analyzing. “The IP revolution has changed the surveillance cameras from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems after an incident has occurred to becoming a vital part of proactive intelligence chain. Network video cameras collect valuable data that can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO of Axis Communications.

The idea of actionable intelligence is one reason intelligent video solutions are seeing an up surge in demand. “We [Verint] believe that actionable intelligence presents an opportunity for customer to implement solutions that enhance security and safety, while reducing operating costs and increasing productivity and efficiency,” said Brian Matthews, VP of Global Marketing and Product Development for Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

Another reason demand is growing is due to more developed technology. “Advancements in analytics should also not be ignored, as this segment of the market has progressed to where analytics are accepted as reliable, accurate, and part of the day-to-day operations of a large percentage of users. Some analytics, such as facial recognition, will definitely benefit from the higher resolution images and increasing levels of clarity as camera technology continues to progress,” Carney said.

The many benefits that intelligence brings to video surveillance, especially now that the technology is more reliable, are being realized across verticals. Certain verticals like retail have found particular use for intelligent video, where the data is being used for business intelligence. “Especially video content analysis solutions like Bosch's that do not only automatically trigger alarms on the basis of pre-defined alarm rules, but also enable the tracking of objects,” said Erika Gorge, Corporate Communications Manager at Bosch Security Systems. “This kind of intelligence can also be used to obtain information that goes beyond a pure security purpose such as marketing intelligence information on the scenes being under surveillance — for example number of people (people counting), movement of people, registering characteristics like color or crowd density information.”

Furthermore, we will also see a higher adoption of big data for multiple applications, such as smart cities, in 2015, where a smart surveillance camera with advanced VCA could definitely play an important role. We will see how VCA changes a surveillance camera into a content provider for big data.

There is a catch, though: Avigilon's recent acquisition of ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and licensing program. In the future, Avigilon will replace ObjectVideo as the patent holder to lead the future development of VCA technology, once again reshuffling the intelligence market. The impact this move will have on the security industry as a whole will be massive, and not necessarily in a good way — Avigilon now holds 124 US and international patents and 202 US and international patent applications as a result.

Integrated Systems Become a Must
In the past, integration of disparate systems has been a struggle for many users. With newer solutions, the ability to integrate is in high demand, and as such integration has become a focus for many security players.

“Integration has been talked about a long time — but as a user experience it has been less than ideal. You will soon see systems that deliver on that promise of a seamless user experience,” said David Gottlieb, Director of Global Marketing Communications at Honeywell Security. William Ku, VP of the Brand Business Division at VIVOTEK echoed confidence in the integration trend: “The full integration of disparate systems, including video surveillance, intrusion systems, perimeter detection, access control, and real-time intelligent analysis on data will be the trend in managing security in every vertical application since the security could be secured seamlessly and enable staff to respond to intrusion or threats in a short time and solve the events on-site in an effective way.”

The trend for more integrated systems is also what will help push IP growth forward, as the IP market has matured and entered into the late growth stage of its product life cycle. Yet, the low-end market still has significant potential for IP growth, as noted by Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.

In the middle and high-end markets, however, the trend for more integrated systems will continue to drive IP growth. “In the market for advanced solutions with high camera counts there is a significant opportunity to offer more advanced integrations with access control and other security applications,” he added. “Verint believes in and has realized increased demand for innovative, integrated solutions that combine situation management, communications, and cyber intelligence, and facilitate collaboration across security and law enforcement agencies. We believe that today's government organizations, institutions, and multinational corporations, in connection with safe city, border control, transportation security, critical infrastructure, and other large-scale security initiatives, are interested in and preparing to deploy unified security solutions that fuse data from a wide range of security systems and intelligence sources to enable efficient information correlation and analysis,” Matthews said.

Hope for 2015
A lot of major changes took place in 2014 that has in a way left a question mark hanging over the fate of the security industry — the Canon Europe acquisition of Milestone Systems, Anixter acquisition of Tri-Ed, and most recently the selling of Samsung Techwin to Hanwha Group. Yet, one thing is for certain: there will always be a need for security and video surveillance. This sentiment is what industry players are emphasizing when it comes to future growth of the security/ surveillance market. Development for the overall market may not be as rapid as it once was, but with the above trends helping to drive surveillance growth, as well as the continued growth of things like video surveillance as a service and cloud computing, there is definitely still upward hope for the future of video surveillance.

Siqura helps Austrian highways upgrade video surveillance system

Siqura helps Austrian highways upgrade video surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Siqura | Updated: 1/28/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

Asfinag is a publicly owned Austrian company responsible for a network of highways spanning more than 2,000 kilometers. In recent years, the company felt it was reaching the limits of what it could do with its existing video surveillance system. There was no uniformity in the way the storage system was organized, and crucial parts of the system's architecture no longer complied with modern security standards. Asfinag knew exactly what it wanted: a smart, user-friendly system that would embrace open standards while offering support for legacy protocols.

The solution
In collaboration with systems integrator Siemens, Siqura designed an end-to-end surveillance system based on ONVIF-compliant hardware. Part of Asfinag's 5,500 surveillance cameras were replaced, and new and existing analogue cameras were connected to a mix of Siqura's S-series video encoders. The S-series offers standardized H.264 video streaming and flexibility of wiring (Cat 5, optical fiber or coax). To make the most of AKUT, Asfinag's acoustic tunnel monitoring system, Siqura adapted its S-60 E video encoder. The tunnel sound picked up by AKUT can now be digitized and transferred to the control room for further analysis.

For Asfinag's most strategic locations, Siqura developed a new IP camera: the BC840-AID, a full-HD box camera capable of streaming two independent H.264/MJPEG video streams simultaneously. The BC840-AID continuously analyses the images it captures for unusual occurrences, such as stopped vehicles, pedestrians, lost cargo or smoke. As soon as an incident is detected, it automatically sends out an alert to one of Asfinag's control rooms.

By modifying existing components and complementing them with new technology, Siqura succeeded in delivering an economic solution that prepares Asfinag for future developments.

Protected against harsh environments

Protected against harsh environments

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 1/27/2015 | Article type: Tech Corner

When it's pouring outside, or the temperature hits -10 degrees, you want to make sure your surveillance equipment is still working properly. Nowadays, equipment for critical environments — those that are subject to water, dust, winds, sand, salt, or extreme climatic patterns — is built with durability in mind and can effectively withstand harsh conditions. This way, users can rest assured that their products will work normally no matter how tough the surroundings get.

Surveillance equipment isn't just for homes or offices. Sometimes, it is founded in some of the harshest and most unrelenting places in order to keep premises safe and secure. Whether it's set up on a maritime oil drilling platform or somewhere in the Middle East where summer temperatures may easily hit 50 degrees Celsius, equipment must be hardened and ruggedized to be able to perform smoothly and provide maximal safety for users.

International Standards
To help users understand whether certain products are suitable for certain conditions, several international standards have been formulated to indicate how effectively they can work in environments prone to water, dust, explosions, and impact. Some of these standards are listed below.

IP
IP or ingress protection ratings specify how capable equipment can withstand the ingress, or entry, of foreign solids or water. An IP denotation is usually consisted of two numerals, with the first indicating the protection of equipment against solid foreign bodies and the second indicating protection against water. For critical environment equipment, it should be rated IP66 to IP68 as opposed to IP32 to IP54 for indoor settings. A similar rating system, published by National Electrical Manufacturer Association (NEMA), specifies protection of electronic equipment against external ice, corrosive materials, and oil immersion in addition to dust and water.

Hazardous Areas
Hazardous locations are specified under different rating systems around the world. For critical environment equipment, it should be able to work well in areas designated as Class 1 Division 2 Group A or B in North America, or as Gas Group IIC in Europe. Both indicate places where easily flammable gases and vapors, such as hydrogen and acetylene, are present.

IK
The IK rating system is used to denote protection of equipment against impact produced by either a natural disaster or vandalism. It ranges from IK00, or no protection, to IK10, or protection against 20-joule impact, equivalent to the impact of a 5-kilogram mass dropped from 400 millimeters above impacted surface.

Others
Winds are categorized by their speed on the so-called Beaufort Scale. Equipment in critical environments should resist winds of up 61.2 meters per second, or No. 17 on the scale.

This is in contrast to typical equipment that only needs to work well in 41.4 meters-per-second winds, or No. 13 on the scale. Meanwhile, given temperatures often get extremely high or low in critical environments, equipment must be able to withstand these conditions. While typical equipment should have a working temperature range from -10 to 60 degrees Celsius, critical environment products should be able to work in a range between -40 and 70 degrees Celsius. For special equipment in factories monitoring boilers or furnaces, it must be able to withstand high temperatures from 300 to 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Hardened and Ruggedized
When security equipment is installed in critical areas for whatever purpose it's designed for — video surveillance, access control, or intrusion detection — it must be toughened to weather adverse conditions. Special technologies or materials, for example epoxy resin, polyamide, and aluminum alloys, are used to make the products work well in regions or vertical markets that call for hardened, ruggedized equipment.

Video Surveillance
Cameras are needed not just in commercial or residential settings but also in places that are subject to danger or extreme weather conditions. “There's high customer demand for rugged, environmental performance,” said Craig Dahlman, Director of IP Camera Products at Pelco by Schneider Electric.

“Rugged, fortified systems are needed to protect delicate and valuable camera and optics packages.” To meet that demand, Pelco by Schneider Electric has manufactured a series of products that are able to withstand explosions, water and dust ingression, fog, high and low temperatures, winds of up to 57 meters per second, and corrosion by salt and different types of chemicals.

Various cutting-edge technologies have been adopted to make those features possible. For example, certain products feature the pressurized integrated optics cartridge (IOC) technology, which protects the equipment from moisture and airborne contaminants and packages an auto-focus camera, lens, heater, and sensors in a small, self-contained, and sealed unit. Dry nitrogen pressurized to 10 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG) protects the environment inside the cartridge, whereby sensors strategically placed in the cartridge send an alert message if changes in pressure, temperature, or humidity are beyond factory-set acceptable limits.

Certain models also feature heater, window defroster, sun shroud, and thermal insulation blanket to enable operation in temperature conditions ranging from as low as -46 degrees Celsius to over 49. In the event of a power failure during an ice storm, the entire unit can deice itself and become operational in just two hours after regaining power at a temperature as low as -25 degrees Celsius.

“Video security and surveillance is a mission-critical application … and there is a global demand for these products, particularly in hot dry areas, cold wet areas, marine environments, and humid environments,” Dahlman said.

Illumination products supplement video cameras by providing the necessary lighting and are sometimes placed in critical environments as well. “Housed in marine grade aluminum with a toughened glass window … our critical environment products have a wide operating temperature range from -52 degrees Celsius to 55. Our thermal management system achieves up to 60 percent better heat dissipation than other LED luminaires with a significantly cooler operating temperature,” said Barry Thompson, Head of Hazardous Area Division at Raytec.

These features make Raytec lighting products ideal for a variety of verticals and regions. “We are currently delivering illumination in a vast number of challenging and remote applications across the globe, such as oil fields in Kuwait and Dubai, oil pipelines in North Africa, and offshore platforms in UK and various Middle East regions,” Thompson said.

Access Control
No stringent requirements are demanded of access control readers for commercial or residential applications. But when placed on the outside or in a critical environment, that's a different story.

“The reader has to withstand torrential rain in an outdoor installation,” said Tom Su, Sales Manager at Hundure Technology, which is set to release an IP66 reader. “Plus, it has to be durable enough to be able to work properly in the long term in a harsh environment and withstand human-made damage.”

Materials play an important part in toughening the products. Hundure, for example, uses as a main ingredient epoxy resin, which is an excellent electrical insulator and protects electrical components from short circuiting, dust, and moisture. “We have epoxy inside the reader to make it totally waterproof for outdoor installations,” Su said. Potting, or the filling of a complete electronic assembly with a solid or gelatinous compound for resistance to shock, vibration, moisture, and corrosive agents, is also used during the manufacturing process. “We use potting material for the majority of our readers, which seal them from any kind of water penetration,” said Steven Katanas, Director of Sales for Australia and New Zealand at HID Global. “Potting completely encases all electronics and stands up well to many harsh outdoor environments. An outer case might get beat up a bit, but the inner electronics are durable.”

The other critical element in an access control system, namely the cards, should not be overlooked, either. “Some cards use more durable materials than others. For instance, a line of our smart cards use an ABS shell construction for durability in harsh environments, and can be used in diverse applications including physical access control, PC logon, biometric authentication, time and attendance, cashless vending, public transportation, airline ticketing, and customer loyalty programs,” Katanas said.

Perimeter Intrusion Detection
Perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDSs) are almost always placed on the outside of important premises such as airports, power plants, and certain government facilities. Sometimes equipment is deployed at places with highly intensive electromagnetic waves, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) may occur. PIDSs with EMI-resistant capabilities are therefore a plus. “One of our perimeter security taut-wire products was installed around a Radio Free Europe site, which transmits one megawatt power of short wave radio using curtain array antenna. These are extreme RF condition,” said Hagai Katz, Senior VP Marketing and DB at Magal Security Systems. “The most demanding conditions were for sections of the fence, which happen to reside right below the antennas' feeders, absorbing very high radio frequency radiation. In spite of all, the system has managed to perform perfectly.”

Heavy winds are also a threat to equipment or products placed on the outside, and manufacturers have different ways to overcome that. For example, Navtech Radar, which makes radar-based PIDSs, puts all the moving parts inside wind-resistant enclosures. “Normally if you have a rotating part exposed to the wind, then the wind pushes on that rotating part, moving it in a way you don't want it to move,” said Philip Avery, MD of Navtech Radar. “All our rotating parts are inside an enclosure. There is a plastic radome that protects the rotating parts from the wind and other elements.”

Any fixings — connectors, screws, and others — that hold the radar together should also be protected. Navtech Radar, for example, is considering putting plastic coating on the connectors to protect them from corrosion, which may occur at heavily corrosive environments like road tunnels.

“Different parts of the radar are bolted together using screws, and the last thing you want is to have those screws heavily corroded so the radar will fall apart,” Avery said. “You need to make sure that not only the main body of your system is made of the right material, but the fixings that hold it together are also made of the right material.”

Door Phones/Intercom/PA
Placed at the entries of residences, door phones should be able to adapt to various local climatic conditions. “Our products are used in high-temperature regions such as the Middle East and Africa, and also used in low-temperature areas like Russia or Scandinavian countries,” said Yoshi Nishiyama, who works for the international sales department of Aiphone. “Regarding the materials, we use environmental friendly materials complying with WEEE & RoHS. And the plastic materials we use are self-extinguishing materials against fire. All the metal materials for door phone units are designed against vandalism, and they have protection against water, sunlight, acids, and so on.”

For intercom and PA manufacturer Zenitel, it chooses polyamide as the material for making its industrial-grade PA call panels and intercom stations.

“Initially, our PA system was designed for the oil and gas industry and marine vessels. Polyamide is resistant to corrosion, so it's suitable for marine environments. Also that material is quite strong so it can withstand impact,” said Piet De Vriendt, Commercial Product Manager for Vingtor-Stentofon at Zenitel. “Fewer and fewer companies are making intercom stations out of metal for industrial applications, as new technologies have improved for polyamide, which is also better for corrosion and chemical resistance.”

Thing to Look for During Installation
For critical environment installations, a rule of thumb is to get products that are rated for conditions worse than where the equipment is being installed. “At the very least, users should make sure they are not installing equipment that is rated for a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment into an area where there will be considerable heat and moisture fluctuation,” HID's Katanas said.

Integrators should also help clients build an infrastructure that presumes and prepares for changes in the future, including ensuring durable performance in harsh environments. “This requires a platform that is dynamic, open, and adaptable, and that ensures security is independent of hardware and media so that organizations can evolve their infrastructure to meet tomorrow's needs,” he said.

With security products becoming increasingly network-centric, how to protect the network infrastructure in critical areas is also important. Some countries or regions even have rules about how IP-based equipment should be installed.

“The Middle East has requirements for transmission equipment that can tolerate very high temperatures. In India we have the same requirements, and in both markets high winds, dust, and sand are an issue, which the transmission equipment must also be able to withstand,” said Sara Bullock, Business Development Director at AMG Systems, adding her company has devoted much R&D efforts on heat reduction.“Our products carry many interfaces within the same box, which dramatically reduces the equipment required at the remote position, which in turn reduces heat within the cabinets,” she said. “A critical factor is airflow. Our products have ventilation slots on the casing, and as long as they are mounted in the correct way, they allow airflow to be forced up through the units.”

Zenitel's De Vriendt stressed the importance of collaborating with someone who is strong at IP setup in harsh conditions. “The most important advice we can give to integrators and installers is to have good cooperation with the consultants who specify the system and to work with companies that have experience with setting up IP networks in these environments,” he said.

Built With Durability
Today's surveillance equipment is built with durability in mind, able to resist various harsh environments to satisfy users' needs. With an understanding in these products, and knowledge on how they should be set up properly, users can have full assurance that their surveillance systems will run smoothly in the midst of inclement conditions.

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