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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.

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 1/27/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

In recent years the most talked-about security threats to banks have been cybercrimes and fraud. Though it seems that traditional security systems are no longer in the spotlight; banks still make substantial investment in their physical security systems. Changes in the design and layout of banks as well as banks' desire to make the most out of their installed systems have great impact on the design and implementation of current security systems.

Banks hold the great responsibility of keeping our money safe. Even though most of this money is now in the form of electronic bits and bytes, banks are still one of the first associations when we think of security and surveillance systems.

Banks usually balance the mix of their security systems between discrete and unobtrusive systems such as emergency buttons and small hidden cameras (e.g., at the counter area or an ATM pinhole camera) and more visible measures such as guards and larger cameras. The visible security systems serve a double purpose, both deterring potential violators as well as giving customers a feeling the bank is indeed a safe place to keep their money. Surveillance systems installed in banks will usually combine several cameras with different functionality. Outside the bank infrared cameras will provide day and night monitoring. Inside the branch, dome and bullet cameras are used for lobby and counter monitoring for clear picture capturing and forensic evidence. The main purpose of these cameras is to prevent illegal intrusion by unauthorized people as well as monitoring the office environment to prevent property loss.

CHALLENGES OF THE BANKING VERTICAL
A major obstacle facing security companies and systems integrators is aligning the security needs of individual branch locations with the requirements outlined by the corporate headquarters. “Securing the bank branches themselves is different from securing a corporate headquarters or data center location, as branches are more often the targets for criminals since it's assumed that's where the money is located,” explained Matt Frowert, Director of Marketing for Financial Services at Tyco Integrated Security. Therefore, the standard level of security and defense are more in-depth at a branch than for a corporate office. Many times legacy systems, or different versions of the same platform, may be found in different regional branches of the same institution within a country, which makes centralized management difficult. In addition, there may be internal resistance to changes or upgrades that the corporate standards demand due to funding constraints, or the local staff being inexperienced and lacking training regarding proper security measures and systems. Another challenge may simply be a matter of timing and scheduling; implementing major technology upgrades across very large financial institutions with many branches and offices.

NEW BANK LAYOUTS
In recent years banks have been changing their traditional set-up to be more appealing to customers. There are more “light” branches located inside shopping malls and supermarkets. Traditional branch layout and design have also changed and now include more open floor plans and fewer staff which are tasked with broader responsibilities. “More in-branch automation and systems found in these new types of banks very likely means that they may not have the same levels of cash that traditional branches have,” added Frowert. “During a robbery attempt, the suspect may be confused when he discovers there is limited teller cash and no safe like there would be in a traditional bank set-up. These new frameworks for bank branches will affect the security of the customers themselves and the bank's security model for protection,” he explained.

As a result, emphasis is placed on new systems that offer increased ATM protection through anti-skimming technology, access control, and proper lighting measures for ATM vestibules to help ensure customers are properly protected.

BENEFITS OF INTEGRATED SYSTEMS FOR BANKS
Like any other enterprise, banks require their systems provide security, safety, efficiency, and cost saving. “Normally, powerful VMS software can integrate four systems, such as video monitors, access control, alarm systems, and the intercom system, which are used to communicate with bank clients at other locations, for example using an ATM at a different site,” said Nathan Chen, Solution and Product Manager at Dahua Technology. In turn, each system includes several components: alarm systems for example will include fire alarms, seismic sensors to detect if someone is digging into the bank, and emergency buttons. Access control systems will combine card readers, biometrics, magnetic door sensors, etc. This provides banks with an integrated solution instead of four stand-alone systems. In addition, sensors such as smoke detectors or temperature sensors are now built in the cameras and can send alarms directly to the DVR system. This way the bank can benefit from having several sensors on one platform and cut costs.

Systems integration is also critical for protection against insider threats by employees which can be very costly. “An increasingly popular step in mitigating insider threats through an integrated security system includes linking access control to identity management,” explained Frowert. By integrating these systems, financial institutions can restrict employee access to sensitive areas, track entry/exit times by employee or department, and use a log correlation engine or security information and event management (SIEM) system to log, monitor, and audit employee actions. By monitoring these types of systems, managers may notice individual employees trying to access part of the building they are not authorized for, which is activity they can then flag and subsequently continue to monitor the employee's behavior for other activity that might lead to an insider incident.

HYBRID DVRs AND NVRs
Hybrid DVRs and NVRs allow the integration of both existing analog cameras and newer IP cameras. The use of hybrid DVRs and NVRs can therefore help banks make the most out of their existing legacy systems and give them the flexibility they need in adding more cameras or testing new cameras and technologies.

“Our customers are interested in how they can protect their investments in legacy infrastructure while also taking advantage of the benefits of newer technology. There is an increasing move towards new NVRs because they can prolong the use of video surveillance systems as well as provide enhanced features to end users,” iterated Stefano Torri, European Sales Director of March Networks (an Infinova Company). These provide both analog and IP camera support and allow organizations to test and deploy IP cameras selectively, alongside existing analog cameras. “Banks are thinking about the broader benefits of the technology they use, so for example, NVR technology provides advances in video compression and storage management compared to earlier DVRs, and the use of H.264 compression, optimized to limit video signal noise, makes images clearer while reducing the use of bandwidth and storage. These things are important if a bank wants to tag video based on user-defined criteria, such as motion detection, transaction events, or alarms. Software that delivers intelligence and analytics is also a growing trend amongst banks and financial institutions,” he added.

ANALYTICS
An example of an analytics function used in banks is loitering detection, detecting for instance when a person lingers around an ATM machine. If such an event is detected, security personnel can then access the video recording in real-time and make a decision if further action is needed. Analytics can also provide information on customer behaviors (e.g., people counting, queue monitoring) which can be shared across the organization to improve not only security surveillance but also customer service and marketing. For example banks can analyze dwell and wait time at branches and change branch staffing appropriately to make sure there are enough tellers to service the waiting clients.

Apart from connecting the different systems in the branches, banks can also share information between locations. This feature has been gaining traction and makes security more comprehensive. Intelligent video applications allow an internal investigator to track fraudulent transactions and alert branches. “For example, entering a stolen card number into the system will deliver brief video clips of every associated transaction from anywhere across the entire retail banking network,” explained Torri. Not only can security managers easily export this information to branch managers, but they can also present it as integrated case evidence to the police.

KEYLESS ENTRY
Apart from using video analytics, banks are using intrusion detection and keyless entry to improve security measures and increase cost effectiveness. Replacing or re-keying traditional locks can cost a bank up to US$3 million in just one year. To mitigate the risks and costs associated with using traditional keys, banks are implementing new, wireless locks which work with inexpensive access cards to open entry doors. These new technologies also provide audit friendly reporting for the activities of any individual or of a specific entry point in the branch.

OPPORTUNITIES IN BANKING
Banks are relatively conservative players in the security market usually waiting to implement tried and tested solutions. Due to their large scale and many sites, frequent changes of security systems are not likely. Therefore solutions that help banks take advantage of their existing systems, integrate several functionalities together, and introduce newer technologies will be the choice for the banking vertical.

5 Tips for a Successful Security Installation in Banking
Matt Frowert, Director of Marketing for Financial Services at Tyco Integrated Security, provided the following five tips for banks when deploying a security surveillance system.

  1. Find an experienced integrator who specializes in bank physical security. 
  2.  Look for a partner who can support everything from single bank branches all the way up to money center banking models (banks who deal with governments, large corporations, and other banks).
  3. Network with security affinity groups of industry organizations, like the American Bankers Association, to receive recommendations on vendors from other banks in your area.
  4. Standardize on leading access, video, and intrusion systems supported by vendors that have a track record of investing in technology. 
  5. Invest in communication with and training of banking staff to enable them to effectively use the systems (e.g., arming the alarms at the branch level, managing the distribution of codes at the branch level, etc.).

Sony SNC-VB632D camera with dual light system

Sony SNC-VB632D camera with dual light system

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Sony | Updated: 1/26/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

The SNC-VB632D is a Dual Light outdoor bullet-type camera. It is the first IP camera from Sony to feature a Dual Light system.

Effective deterrence, day or night
SNC-VB632D - a bullet-type security camera that's ideal for protecting city centres and transport systems, building entrances and perimeters, car parks, retail centres and colleges.

Its unique Dual Light system uses Infrared light to deliver crisp black & white pictures in total darkness, and a white LED illuminator, triggered by movement, to capture Full HD colour images while providing an effective visual deterrence to intruders.

A clear view when darkness falls
When darkness falls, the camera's on-board infrared (IR) illuminator switches on automatically, to capture clear black and white images with an effective range of 30 metres.

Then if there's movement within its field of view, the SNC-VB632D has another surprising trick to unsettle intruders. A moving object automatically triggers the camera's integrated white LED illuminator. Lighting the immediate scene over a range of 5m, the illuminator can be spotted clearly from far away. The illuminator's sudden switch-on also provides a powerful visual warning to unexpected visitors.

At the same time, the camera switches automatically to colour video mode, capturing detail-packed Full HD images at up to a smooth 60fps frame-rate in colour to assure positive identification of the subject.

Better looking pictures, simpler installation
The innovative Dual Light system is combined with Sony's wide dynamic View-DR technology, ensuring that near and far-away objects are all evenly exposed. As an extra refinement, the camera's built-in image stabiliser minimises the effects of vibration: for example when the camera's subject to wind or traffic vibration.

With everything integrated into a single unit – image-stabilised camera, IR illuminator and white LED lighting – installation is simplified to reduce hardware and labour costs.

Synectics launches high temperature HD IP COEX camera stations

Synectics launches high temperature HD IP COEX camera stations

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 1/23/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Synectics has launched a new breed of HD IP COEX™ C3000 camera stations with high definition image capture, and on-board compression technology which removes the need for separate encoder units.

Specifically engineered for hazardous areas and extreme environments, including the high temperatures of the Middle East, the enhanced C3000 camera station can stream high quality 1080p video signals in temperatures up to +70°C and as low as -55°C.

With in-built H.264 AVC high profile (MPEG4 part 10) compression technology the C3000 HD IP delivers a native IP output directly from the station. The camera stations can be configured and maintained through the Synectics web interface, ideal for remote access to stations spread across disparate and often vast locations.

Certified to ATEX, and IECEx international standards, the enhanced capabilities and ruggedised design make the C3000 ideal for protecting oil and gas, marine, and CNI applications such as processing plants, production platforms, FPSOs, pipelines, power networks, and LNG carriers.

Darren Alder, Synectics Engineering Director, said: “Oil and gas, CNI and marine assets pose a unique set of challenges when it comes to surveillance. High quality image capture in extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions is vital, as is access to the system wherever cameras are located. High definition image capture, integrated IP and remote access all work to ensure operators can view live or recorded footage of the highest quality in any environment.

“Our camera stations and surveillance monitoring and control solutions have been protecting international high profile projects for over 25 years. This latest evolution of our C3000 range reflects our commitment to continuous product development and to delivering surveillance solutions that meet rapidly changing needs.”

The corrosion resistant, enhanced COEX™ C3000 HD IP camera stations are available as a standard model (C3000-S), variable speed (C3000-V), continuous rotation (C3000-C) and fixed (C3000-F) models, for hazardous areas.

Surveillance integration - why people matter

Surveillance integration - why people matter

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 1/13/2015 | Article type: Security 50

As investment in Middle East industrial, financial and critical infrastructure continues to rise, increasing protection of assets crucial to ongoing economic and social development is naturally becoming a higher a priority.

At Intersec 2015 in Dubai, global surveillance business Synectics will explain and demonstrate how achieving this is as much about people as it is about technology.

Paul Webb, Managing Director of Synectics, said: “The Middle East market is familiar with the concept of security systems integration – unifying multiple systems (CCTV, perimeter security, access control, emergency alarms etc.) into a single environment to streamline and enhance protection and operations. Advances in IP-based surveillance networks and HD camera technology have supported growth in this concept.

“But while integrated security represents a vital step forward in asset protection, collating information from disparate data streams in this way is only part of the equation. To fully maximize the opportunities this presents, it is necessary to understand the interplay between technology and personnel and then take action from that vantage point.

“How individuals and teams use and respond to data will ultimately dictate the security and operational outcomes for any site, whether that's an airport, gas plant or a city traffic network.”

In 2014, Synectics rolled-out its open and fully scalable Synergy 3 command and control software platform that integrates alarms and events, security and process control subsystems, surveillance, and other essential site systems. Crucially, the solution can be programmed to detect and understand potential threats by mining the data captured, and present that information to best guide appropriate action.

“It's about data ergonomics”, said David Aindow, Product and Technology Director at Synectics, “presenting the right data, in the right way, at the right time for the right people to act on it.

“This concept was integral to our development of Synergy 3, demonstrated by features such as the customisable Graphical User Interface (GUI), interactive mapping engine (with Geospatial Information System (GIS) technology), and dynamic workflow functionality to guide operators through required response procedures and protocols in specific situations.

“It's also the driving factor behind the latest enhancements we'll be highlighting at Intersec, specifically around task management – enhancements that help operators identify and enlist the skills required to resolve specific issues.

“For example, a single subsystem alert (perhaps form a perimeter fence) can now trigger immediate visual/audio feed correlating with the incident location, and an associated workflow programme to guide operators in responding. Operators can also cross-reference information received with a database of skillsets to identify appropriate first responders and issue coded alerts to the relevant personnel via SMS. On task completion, whatever that task may be, the responding personnel can then use mobile devices such as telephones and tablets to automatically update the control room operator accordingly.

“It's a solution that closes the loop on incident identification and response, and that's how ultimate protection and efficiency is achieved.”

Synectics will be demonstrating Synergy 3's mapping, workflow and integration capabilities at booth S1-D12, alongside its COEX™ C2000 TriMode and new C3000 HD IP camera stations.

The surveillance solutions specialist will also be demonstrating its Synergy Tablet which offers mobile situational awareness, taking the concept of personnel integration a step further by delivering system capabilities to operatives in the field.

Paul Webb concluded: “Intersec has always been a show about innovation and this year is no different. What's most exciting for us as a business though, is being able to meet customers face-to-face and demonstrate how innovation can marry with real world needs and practicalities in order to deliver tangible security and operational benefits.”

For further updates from Synectics regarding Intersec 2015, follow @synecticsglobal on Twitter

Retailers gain transformative business insights with new March Networks Searchlight™4

Retailers gain transformative business insights with new March Networks Searchlight™4

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 1/13/2015 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks® is pleased to introduce a new video-based business intelligence solution that helps retailers elevate store performance and drive profitability in an increasingly competitive landscape. March Networks Searchlight™4 provides retailers with the valuable insights they need to improve customer service, marketing and operations, as well as loss prevention and security, across a few or hundreds of locations.

A majority of retailers have invested significantly in video surveillance to enhance security. Many forward-thinking organizations have also integrated their video with point-of-sale (POS) transaction data to gain powerful loss prevention and investigation capabilities. New Searchlight4 extends the value of that visual and transaction data dramatically by combining it with business analytics that deliver relevant information to operations, marketing and customer service groups. Using Searchlight's dynamic browser-based dashboard, retail teams can run customized reports in just minutes – allowing them to analyze and compare store performance and customer behaviors, identify trends and discover new opportunities for improvement.

Customer Service, Conversions and Workforce Optimization
Most retail organizations are working hard to both provide customers with exceptional service and optimize their workforce strategies. In one recent survey, only three percent of retailers said their defined customer experience is executed consistently in every store every day, while another study noted that in-store sales increase by an estimated 25 to 50 percent when customers are helped by a knowledgeable retail associate. Long lines are also an area of focus, as consumers are willing to wait just five minutes on average before they abandon a purchase and leave the store.

Searchlight helps retailers address these critical areas using the integrated data, including reliable analytics from the new March Networks MegaPX Indoor Analytics Dome IP camera. A people counting analytic makes it easy for retailers to determine conversion rates and run site-by-site comparisons, for example, and then review the integrated video for further analysis. A queue length monitoring analytic provides equally useful data, allowing retailers to adjust staffing schedules to optimize the customer experience. In addition, Searchlight's operations audit report provides daily snapshot images taken from sites at pre-determined times, enabling regional managers to quickly see if stores have opened on time or if there is no associate on the floor at certain times of the day.

Merchandising and Promotional Metrics
Tracking the success of on-site advertising, promotions and merchandising puts retail marketing teams at a distinct advantage, allowing them to adjust efforts for maximum benefit. By integrating dwell time analytics and POS transaction data, Searchlight helps marketers determine the effectiveness of different marketing offers and compare success rates across locations. Using the intelligent software, marketing staff can see if an endcap display is underperforming in a few specific locations, for example, and then quickly review the associated video to see if there's an issue with how the display appears in those stores. If a retailer is charging premium rates to merchandisers for digital signage, marketing can also use Searchlight to provide supporting performance metrics.

Loss Prevention and Employee Performance
With theft and fraud costing retail organizations an estimated $128 billion globally and $42 billion in the U.S. alone (Global Retail Theft Barometer 2014), many retailers have developed extensive loss prevention (LP) programs to fight back. Searchlight arms store owners, managers and LP teams with advanced detection and investigation capabilities that help them identify potential losses faster and stop them sooner. The software integrates POS transaction data, surveillance video, analytics and alarms, and enables retailers to filter efficiently through that data using advanced transaction summary and reporting tools. With Searchlight, retailers can pinpoint trends, such as high and low employee or store performance; search across multiple locations simultaneously by transaction type, amount or card number; identify and visually verify suspect transactions; and gather strong case evidence to improve apprehension and recovery rates.

"Video has long been overlooked as a source of 'big data' even though it captures virtually everything that happens within a store and delivers immediate, real-life context to the viewer," said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. "Searchlight4 turns the millions of hours of recorded video into video-based business intelligence that retailers can use to make decisions that directly impact profitability and the customer experience. In addition, it allows them to maximize the investments they've already made in their video surveillance systems and extend the benefits to internal teams beyond loss prevention and security."

March Networks is demonstrating the new Searchlight4 software and its complete IP video solution for retail in Booth 1331 at Retail's Big Show Convention and Expo, January 11-13 in New York City.

VIVOTEK unveils the world's first L2 PoE gigabit switch with unique IP surveillance management functions

VIVOTEK unveils the world's first L2 PoE gigabit switch with unique IP surveillance management functions

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 1/13/2015 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK is pleased to announce the launch of its AW-GEV-264A series, the world's first L2 PoE Gigabit switches with IP surveillance management functions. The AW-GEV-264A series, referred to as the VivoCam PoE switch, is a 24-port managed L2 PoE Gigabit switch. In addition to comprehensive features of a L2 PoE Gigabit switch, the AW-GEV-264A is easy to manage, configure, and monitor VIVOTEK IP cameras, video servers, NVRs and central management software.

Tim Su, Director, Marketing Division, VIVOTEK, stated, “As a total solution provider, VIVOTEK has accumulated profound expertise in surveillance system implementation and provided the market with our comprehensive product offerings. Based on innovative spirit and design talent, VIVOTEK adds several unique and exclusive features to the existing capabilities of the L2 Protocol and creates the VivoCam PoE switch product line, allowing users to discover all VIVOTEK devices and deploy a surveillance network topology automatically. Today, we are pleased to be the first in the market to launch PoE switches with IP surveillance management functions, reaffirming VIVOTEK's leading position in the industry. In order to make the surveillance system management easier and more intuitive for users, we will keep bolstering our VivoCam PoE switch product line in the future.”

The AW-GEV-264A series is comprised of the AW-GEV-264A-185 and AW-GEV-264A-370, which support a 185 Watt power supply and 370 Watt power supply respectively. The AW-GEV-264A series adopts a unique graphic management approach, enabling users to view the entire surveillance system structure and device conditions by either topology or floor plan. Moreover, users can also map their outdoor surveillance application via Google map. In addition to this unique graphic management, the AW-GEV-264A series offers troubleshooting and traffic monitoring functions, helping the user to clarify connection problems or device issues. The backup function for the IP camera configuration files is another important design, facilitating the batch reboot and restoration of camera devices. With all of these features and more, the AW-GEV-264A series is the best PoE solution for managing VIVOTEK cluster network surveillance devices.

In order to enhance efficiency of surveillance system implementation and create a more robust system for global clients, VIVOTEK has started offering comprehensive Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) solutions from commercial to industrial applications. The commercial series includes a wide range of managed PoE switches, unmanaged PoE switches, PoE extenders, and PoE injectors while the industrial series includes industrial PoE switches and industrial media converters. VIVOTEK is attending Intersec Dubai during January 18th – 20th, 2015. The AW-GEV-264A series will be demonstrated live on-site. We sincerely invite you to visit VIVOTEK team at stand, No. S1-K26.

Hikvision to showcase its new WiFi router NVR at INTERSEC

Hikvision to showcase its new WiFi router NVR at INTERSEC

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 1/14/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision, the global leader of innovative video surveillance products and solutions, reveals the new generation DS-7108NI-E1/V/W WiFi Router NVR, in an expansion of the company's highly trusted Easy IP line-up. The versatile WiFi NVR, which will be included in Hikvision's display at its INTERSEC booth, provides the most convenient way yet to set up a network video surveillance system. It allows automatic IP camera connection and video recording without any interference, making this stylish product a perfect solution for SMB applications. With the straightforward WiFi NVR set-up steps, anyone can easily equip their home or office with the WiFi NVR.

Wireless router
The DS-7108NI-E/V/W boasts a built-in WiFi router supports 802.11 b/g/n and has a built-in dual WiFi antenna. Connect to the NVR WiFi router's strong wireless internet hotspot from anywhere in the home or office with your stationary and mobile devices. Save on cost with an NVR and router rolled into one.

Silent fan
The WiFi router NVR is equipped with a silent fan that automatically adjusts its speed as necessary for heat dissipation, making it an un-intrusive addition to a productive work environment. This is particularly suitable for home application.

Internal hard drive
The new WiFi Router NVR provides the added convenience of containing an internal hard drive, which circumvents the need to install one manually. Users can choose between capacities of 1T, 500G, or opt for none.

The product supports up to 6 megapixel resolution recording, and up to 1920x1080P resolution for HDMI output. Additionally, it supports up to 8-ch real-time live video viewing and playback at 1080P.

A WiFi surveillance solution you can bank on
As a part of Hikvision's Easy IP Solution, the WiFi Router NVR brings Easy Connection and Easy Viewing when coupled with Hikvision Easy IP WiFi cameras and video management software. By scanning the QR code on the back of the camera and NVR through the free Hikvision EZVIZ app, these devices can be added to the EZVIZ platform. After being added to the platform, users can view live video and playback, as well as manage video information over the internet anytime and anywhere.

The DS-7108NI-E1/V/W WiFi Router NVR will be on display at the upcoming INTERSEC Expo in Dubai, January 18-20. For more information about this product, please visit the Hikvision booth at SA-C11.

Dahua upgrades IP cameras for Brazil's presidential palace

Dahua upgrades IP cameras for Brazil's presidential palace

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 1/12/2015 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Dahua Technology, one of the world-leading manufacturers and suppliers of video surveillance products headquartered in Hangzhou, China successfully secured Brazil's Presidential Palace.

The Palácio do Planalto is the official workplace of the President of Brazil.It is located in the national capital of Brasília which built in 1960. It is a solemn and sacred place with a long history. In order to adequately secure such an important place, Dahua upgraded the IP Cameras and DVRs according its particularity. The project is intended to replace the aging analog cameras with HD IP Camera while keeping part of the original analog surveillance system. Meanwhile a surveillance center was installed in order to connect all the cameras for better management.

The whole Palace covers an area of 36, 000 square meters. The main building has four floors above ground and one floor underground. Dahua HD IP Cameras were installed in each floor. The first floor consists of the main reception area, access control and security, entrance hall and press office.The large entrance hall is used frequently for temporary exhibitions on themes related to the federal government's programs. To ensure every corner was fully protected, the Palace upgraded a part of analog cameras with Dahua HD IP Cameras and added more units to level it up to another higher stage.

There is a supreme meeting room and press secretariat in the second floor. The supreme meeting room is normally used for ministerial, government and presidential meetings. For those large ceremonies or important meets the high resolutions become the first requirement. Dahua HDW2100 IP camera features1.3-Megapixel and infrared function, allowing better image resolution and higher performance at the low-lux scenarios.

The third floor is the President and senior staff's offices. It composed of waiting rooms, the noble room, the Presidential office and the offices of the senior advisors. Moreover a large lounge area and the offices of senior government officials are in the fourth floor. Dahua HDW2100IP camera features neat and stylish design which goes perfectly with the surroundings while also providing 24/7 real-time surveillance and snapshot function for the office visitors.

To meet the security demands of the Presidential Palace, DVR1604HF-AL from Dahua supports full channel 960H real-time recording and GRID interface & smart search. It features multiple networks monitoring such as web viewer, CMS and DMSS. Dahua customized the DVRs for the project in terms of the display mode, encoding settings, holiday functions and asset management functions.

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