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New opportunities arise in video surveillance for Ethernet switch manufacturers

New opportunities arise in video surveillance for Ethernet switch manufacturers

Editor / Provider: Aaron Dale, IHS Market Analyst | Updated: 10/22/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Large Ethernet switch manufacturers have traditionally tailored their products to cater for general information technology (IT) needs. However, this could change as new, fast-growing markets provide Ethernet switch manufacturers the opportunity to diversify. The latest data from IHS shows that 606,000 Ethernet switches were sold for use in video surveillance deployments in 2013. This represents a small proportion of the overall Ethernet switch market right now. However, some 1.6 million switches are forecast to be sold into the video surveillance market in 2018, representing a far more significant proportion of the total market.

These findings are presented in a report that analyzes the opportunities for infrastructure and Ethernet switch providers in video surveillance. Other report findings include:

IHS estimates that 24 port switches are the most widely used in video surveillance applications.


* The market for Ethernet switches used in video surveillance is also being bolstered by the increasing complexity and scale of video surveillance networks. This is leading end-users to invest in higher specification equipment.
* The total market size for Ethernet switches used in video surveillance in terms of product revenue was estimated at $188.2 million in 2013.

A number of Ethernet switch manufacturers have been quick to capitalize on the growth in this market and have started producing solutions tailored specifically for video surveillance. Two such notable moves were the launch of Avaya's Fabric Connect solution and the strategic partnership between Extreme Networks and Milestone Systems. IHS expects that in the coming years more Ethernet switch manufacturers will compete to claim their stake in an increasingly attractive market.

Milestone Systems navigates new sales channels with Netgear and Zucchetti

Milestone Systems navigates new sales channels with Netgear and Zucchetti

Editor / Provider: Milestone | Updated: 10/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems has just announced a close relation with Netgear enabling over 10,000 Netgear resellers and more than 2,400 partners to sell solutions with Milestone XProtect. Moreover, Zucchetti is now a certified Milestone access control partner, which allows Netgear partners to deliver complete physical security information management (PSIM) solutions.
Netgear designs the network infrastructure capable of supporting IP security from small-sized businesses to large corporate surveillance systems with up to 1,000 cameras. Solutions based on the Netgear infrastructure are flexible and reliable, offering a solid base for building dependable security solutions. This allows Netgear partners to introduce more powerful solutions to the Italian market based on the benefits of Milestone products:

• Milestone XProtect VMS is powerful, reliable and easy to use, having proven itself in more than 100,000 installations worldwide. Based on a true open platform, XProtect enables integration with the industry's widest choice in cameras and best-in-class business solutions, such as access control and video analytics. The software is compatible with more than 3,000 encoders, IP cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs), from almost 150 different suppliers worldwide. Milestone strives to continuously increase its compatibility with new devices. 

XAtlas , the multi-platform security management system designed by Zucchetti Axess, allows access control integration, workplace security, time and attendance data collection, anti-intrusion and firefighting integration, video surveillance, vehicle transit management and company canteen and parking management.

"This partnership is very exciting to us, as it opens a whole new channel for us. Italian IT professionals will be able to use a world-class network infrastructure component and access control software to build value-filled PSIM solutions using leading open platform video management software," says Claus Rønning, Director Southern Europe & DACH, Milestone Systems. "The ability to integrate Zucchetti's and Netgear's extensive partner network into the Milestone partner ecosystem will expand our combined market reach. This is truly a forward-looking partnership"
The new partnership is already stirring up excitement at Netgear and Zucchetti. "Netgear is synonymous with quality and reliability. We are confident that all Netgear partners will seize the opportunity to increase their skills in the field of security, providing solutions that include Milestone video management system. We are also confident that the market will surely obtain benefit from this collaboration, "says Stefano Barbieri Regional Sales Director CBU, Netgear Italy.
"The benefits for end users will be remarkable, starting with the fact that the access control functionalities of Xatlas software will be directly accessible through the XProtect platform interface, with modular and scalable settings, according to specific requirements" stated Domenico Uggeri, Zucchetti Vice President.

How security enhances metro emergency management

How security enhances metro emergency management

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 10/6/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Taking public transportation has become a normal way of life for people constantly on the go. Yet despite various safety measures implemented by the operator, disasters, whether natural or caused by human, occur from time to time. Luckily, today's security technologies have evolved to enable better emergency management for operators, and passengers can travel with peace of mind.

Public transportation has become a common way for people to commute, travel, or get to wherever they want to go. According to figures provided by UITP in 2013, 148 cities in the world have a metro system, carrying a total of 150 million passengers everyday. As for buses, 32 billion passenger journeys are made in a year worldwide — that's roughly 56% of the 60 billion for the entire public transportation system.

But, while operators around the world work hard to make sure their public transportation systems are safe, major accidents still happen from time to time. Also, due to public transit's open nature and the fact security checks are less stringent than air travel, metros and buses are easy targets for terrorist attacks. The 2004 Madrid train bombings and the 2005 bombings on London's subway and bus systems are two horrific examples in recent times. Against this backdrop, security plays a major role in emergency management. Take the 2005 London bombings as an example. Immediately after the first bombings on July 7, law enforcement officials searched for suspects via videos taken by the roughly 6,000 cameras deployed throughout the London Underground. Four days later, the images were discovered, and the identities and backgrounds of the four suspects were found. They were arrested within a week.

For today's metro operators, they can be aided by the latest developments in security technologies, including PSIM, PA, intercom, and intelligent software such as VCA to deal with emergencies even more efficiently. With these technologies in place, operators can detect threats, act upon them, and respond to incidents quickly.

VCA : Detecting Threats Early
A major component for preventing disasters in public transit is early detection of threats. Unattended bags, individuals loitering on the platform, or unauthorized entry into tunnels may lead to disastrous consequences if not dealt with in time. In fact, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security allocates millions of dollars annually to support the deployment of tunnel intrusion detection.

An effective tool that can help operators detect threats early is video content analysis (VCA), also known as video analytics, which has become more advanced and intelligent. Among the things that VCA can do are passenger counting to avoid overload, facial recognition to identify potential terrorists, and detecting objects left behind to prevent bomb explosions. Today's VCA can be embedded directly into surveillance cameras. “This enables the cameras to automatically alert the security center in case of, for instance, unauthorized access at rail yards, bus depots, or tunnels. As a result, the transit authorities can get early warnings for potential incidents such as graffiti, metal theft, sabotage, or tunnel trespassing,” said Patrik Anderson, Director of Business Development for Transportation at Axis Communications.

While VCA is claimed to have various intelligent functions, overreliance should be avoided. “Analytics is in most cases not designed for 100% accuracy and cannot completely replace security staff,” Michael Port, Head of Technology at SeeTec, reminds.

PSI M: Responding to Incidents Faster
Physical Security Information Management, or PSIM, is an effective incident-response tool that has been deployed in numerous public transit systems around the world including those in Washington D.C., London, and Moscow.

PSIM's value is twofold. First, it allows the consolidation of disparate metro command and control subsystems, such as security, operation, emergency, and even maintenance into one centralized room. “This consolidation in which police, emergency forces, and metro operation team share the same room and use PSIM as the glue that provides common operating pictures has proven to have drastic effects on metro organizations' ability to respond quickly in a collaborative manner to unfolding situations,” said Udi Segall, Director of Business Development at NICE Systems.

Secondly, once a threat is detected or an accident has already happened, PSIM provides instructions on how to respond, based on pre-defined standard operating procedures. “It provides operators with step-by-step guidance on what to look for, who to contact, how to respond, and when to escalate an incident. It is also helping to create meaningful reports on long-term trends, so future investments can be targeted to risks,” said Adlan Hussain, VP of Marketing at CNL Software.

According to Hussain, deploying a PSIM platform across an enterprise is unlike any other physical security investment in that it reaches across more stakeholders within an organization. “Time and effort need to be given in order to create the processes for managing incidents. Some of these processes may cross departments, so it is important to work with all stakeholders on their expectation from the system,” he said.

Cameras and Storage
Surveillance cameras are now installed in trains and buses throughout global public transit systems to step up security. In particular, network or IP cameras can offer high-resolution images, some up to 6 megapixels, delivering crystal-clear videos that can help improve surveillance efficiency and enhance targeting of suspicious objects or individuals.

As video data generated by IP cams get bigger, network video recorders (NVRs) in trains or buses must have better storage management capabilities. With event recording, “users can first configure the event tags, such as motion detection in the form of line crossing or intrusion detection. When the event is triggered, the video recording is activated,” said Jianjun Pei, Director of Traffic Solutions at Hikvision.

Soft Power: VMS
Video management software nowadays can automatically detect and configure cameras, analyze and process videos generated by hundreds if not thousands of cameras deployed throughout a metro system, provide centralized control of these videos, and give operators greater situational awareness.

VMS products are also highly integrative and can combine with access control, fire detection, and other building automation technologies. “This way, situational awareness is dramatically improved for safety staff. They will be able to assess a situation much more effectively using live video feeds from the area where alarms are triggered,” said Jens Johansson, Transportation and City Surveillance Sales Manager at Milestone Systems. Despite the advances in network technologies, there is a sense of reluctance for some metro operators to migrate their legacy systems to IP. “It may be a challenge for transit authorities to make sound investment cycles towards the new level of public transport security offered by open network video technology. However, as major cities around the world have begun their journey towards a better way to manage incidents, transit authorities can turn to their fellow peers in other cities to learn,” Anderson said.

Breaking the Sound Barriers
Besides visuals, sounds, such as gunshots, glass breaking, or even passengers gasping in horror, can also indicate something is going wrong.

Consider a recent and less devastating example of how operators can be alerted through sound. On August 26, a woman taking the Taipei metro alleged a male college student of “touching” her. A passenger who saw this pressed the emergency call button and notified the operations command center (OCC) of the incident. When the train rolled into the next stop, police went into the car and took the suspect away.

Today's intercom and public address (PA) systems have become more network-centric and can help enhance incident management for metro operators. According to Simen Kjellberg, Commercial Product Manager for Rail and Metro at Zenitel Group, modern intercoms or emergency call points (ECPs) have become more complex yet powerful. Supported with audio analytics, they can detect gunshots, glass breaks, and various forms of aggression, and then trigger cameras and send the feeds back to the command central. Active voice cancelling filters out background noises, which can be louder than people talking. “This way, the elderly with weak voices can be heard even if a train is passing,” Kjellberg said.

With open duplex conversations, both sides can communicate simultaneously rather than one person speaking over a uni-direction link. Automatic gain control automatically adjusts the volume level of people's voice even if they are up to five meters away. “In case of a conflict, with people being pushed away from the ECP or injured people lying on the ground, they can still be heard,” Kjellberg said. As for PA, one of the most important breakthroughs is its integration with radios carried by field personnel, who can listen to PA broadcasts through their devices or better, make announcements through their radios that can be used like a microphone.

Increasingly Wireless
Wireless technologies have advanced significantly and can allow transmission of huge amounts of video data to the OCC seamlessly, even from moving trains. Charlie Chen, Sales Engineer at Oring Industrial Networking, said for ground rail systems, wireless transmission is easier to implement. “Access points can be put in the train and every 300 meters along the track to make sure that transmission is smooth and uninterrupted,” he said.

Yet concerns have been raised over connection dropouts in tunnels, especially at sharp turns. Cosimo Malesci, VP of Sales and Marketing at Fluidmesh Networks, said this is a non-issue, as long as the implementation is done correctly. “We have done a lot of tests in tunnels on moving metro vehicles, and it works properly. Of course, the number of radio in curvatures should be higher than in straight lines,” he said.

Sit Back and Relax
Security technologies nowadays are evolving to help prevent and respond to emergencies. While they are not 100% effective, and while challenges still remain, they are being deployed in a growing number of metro systems and have proven effective in helping operators gain situational awareness and protect passengers' lives and assets. To make sure passengers can sit back and relax on metros and buses, investment in security overhaul and upgrades is justified.

Tips on Surveillance Deployment on Trains or Buses
The most ideal spots to install cameras are entrances and exits of buses and trains, since “every suspect has to enter or leave the vehicle,” said Michael Port, Head of Technology at SeeTec, adding cameras should also be distributed equally along the vehicle axis. In general, four to six cameras are the ideal number for installation on each bus or metro car.

When purchasing cameras, the user should identify their overall objective. “Should a particular camera make it possible to identify individuals? Or recognize? These two use cases result in different requirements on the camera in terms of resolution and low-light characteristics,” said Jens Johansson, Transportation and City Surveillance Sales Manager at Milestone Systems.

“The selection of lenses and field of view of each camera should be considered so that one can clearly identify the person. Several lenses may be needed in various locations in the vehicle,” said Patrik Anderson, Director of Business Development for Transportation at Axis Communications.

Panoramic cameras are ideal, as they are able to cover a wider range of a given area. As an example, Dallmeier's panoramic solution was deployed by South Africa's metro system, which faced the problem of vandalism and theft on trains parked at the rail yard at night. With the solution, which uses several lenses with different focal distances, more areas can be monitored and suspects identified, resulting in a reduction in crime.

Chicago McCormick Place enhances surveillance control with Axis solution

Chicago McCormick Place enhances surveillance control with Axis solution

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 10/3/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Mission
McCormick Place, the largest convention facility in North America, had been using analog surveillance equipment for more than 25 years. All that changed when they opened the state-of-the-art West Building in 2007. The new exhibit hall boasted more than 300 advanced Axis network cameras covering 800,000 square feet of space. Noting the contrast between the analog and IP-based systems, the convention center began looking for a way to increase the performance of their legacy investment and integrate it with their new digital technology.

Solution
With the help of Johnson Controls, an Axis National Systems Integrator partner that provides building security services for McCormick Place, the venue used Axis video encoders to network-enable hundreds of analog cameras in the North and South Buildings and the Lakeside Center. Once the video streams were digitized, the analog cameras could be managed under the same Milestone XProtectR Enterprise video management software (VMS) as the new, high-resolution Axis network cameras.

Result
Even with reusing their existing analog cameras, the video resolution delivered by the Axis encoders far exceeded the image quality security was able to get from its old DVRs. With clearer forensic evidence from their analog cameras coupled with high-resolution video delivered by new Axis cameras, the staff has been better able to investigate incidents and prosecute offenders. Additionally, with an all-IP backbone, McCormick can now utilize more advanced analytics, such as BriefCamR Video SynopsisR software, to compress hours of video into a minutes-long synopsis.

When one head is better than two
McCormick Place is a bustling hive of tradeshow activity. A typical convention attracts 10,000 to 12,000 attendees, and a big tradeshow could draw as many as 100,000. During its busiest season, McCormick Place might be hosting up to four different conventions simultaneously. The security team must remain alert to keep the thousands of attendees and vendors safe. When McCormick Place opened its West Building, the convention center's footprint increased to more than 2.5 million square feet. Though the new wing was equipped with the latest Axis IP surveillance technology governed by Milestone XProtectR Enterprise VMS, the rest of the facility remained reliant on legacy analog cameras attached to DVRs running a separate VMS. “It was ridiculous to have control room operators looking at two different software interfaces to view video,” said Frank Solano, Security Systems Engineer for SMG, the management company that oversees McCormick Place. SMG decided to integrate all the cameras into a single system. They retired their DVRs and network-enabled existing analog cameras with one-channel AXIS Q7401 Video Encoders and four-channel AXIS Q7404 Video Encoders. The digitized video from all cameras now streams live to a massive video wall in the convention center's 24/7 command center. They are also able to store additional video footage in their Dell Quad-10 servers for later retrieval.

A better alternative to “rip and replace”
The Axis video encoders offered a way for McCormick Place to extend the life of its analog investment and provided several added benefits. “The big clincher for us was resolution,” Solano said. “With the DVRs, we couldn't get anything better than 4CIF [704x420] from our analog cameras. With the Axis encoders, we can tweak resolution and frame rate for the cameras in the Milestone VMS to achieve much higher image quality within the bandwidth we've allocated for video traffic.”

Remote management and video intelligence
Using AXIS Camera Management software, security engineers can remotely diagnose and troubleshoot all equipment, including analog cameras, as well as make configuration changes to ensure that surveillance traffic does not affect other network activity. Because the IP system is based on an ONVIF open standards platform, McCormick Place can now leverage sophisticated video analytics across its entire hybrid surveillance network. For instance, BriefCam Video Synopsis software compresses hours of video into just a few minutes enabling security to focus quickly on the key footage. BriefCam is integrated fully with the Milestone XProtectR Smart Client interface. According to Mark Eggerding of Johnson Controls, “The 60:1 compression ratio helps McCormick Place security discover patterns and sometimes forestall incidents of property damage and theft.”

A massive transformation in convention surveillance
With such a massive venue to protect, McCormick Place is continuing to expand their use of Axis network cameras. AXIS P5532 PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Network Cameras monitor the lobby while 1080p HDTV resolution AXIS Q6035 PTZ Network Cameras watch the busy general concourse. For offices, utility closets and liquor storage cabinets, Johnson Controls installed 720p HDTV-quality AXIS M1054 Fixed Network Cameras, and uses pinhole-sized AXIS P1204 Network Cameras with HDTV video for covert surveillance.

“With manpower alone, it would take an army to keep the buildings secure and provide a safe environment for our exhibitors, attendees and employees,” Solano said. “That's why our surveillance cameras are such vital tools. The more eyes we have on the exhibit floor, front of house, corridors and back hallways, the more vigilant we can be.”

Samsung Techwin WiseNetIII series integrated with Milestone XProtect VMS

Samsung Techwin WiseNetIII series integrated with Milestone XProtect VMS

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 10/2/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Samsung Techwin WiseNetIII network camera series has been successfully integrated with Milestone XProtect video management software. Milestone XProtect VMS is powerful, reliable, easy to use and proven in more than 100,000 installations worldwide. Based on a true open platform, XProtect VMS enables integration with the industry's widest choice in cameras and best-in-class business solutions, such as access control and video analytics.

All of the 1.3, 2 and 3 megapixel IP network cameras and domes with the WiseNetIII series have been integrated with Milestone XProtect, including the recently launched SNP-6320 and the 1.3MP SNP-5430, the 43x PTZ network video surveillance dome camera with intelligent auto-tracking.

“A key element of our product development strategy is based on the understanding that customers are looking for easy to implement and easy to operate integrated video surveillance solutions,” said Peter Ainsworth, Head of Product and Marketing for Samsung Techwin Europe Limited. “Integration with independently developed video management software such as Milestone XProtect is therefore essential in order to provide the option for the latest generation of Samsung Techwin WiseNetIII cameras and domes to be controlled and monitored alongside devices and systems produced by other manufacturers, as well as facilitate a gradual transition from an existing analogue system to a full IP network based surveillance solution.” Samsung Techwin is a member of the Milestone Systems' Camera Partner Programme enabling a tight collaboration with Milestone for developing new and innovative solutions.

New Milestone Husky models ease the transition from analog to digital

New Milestone Husky models ease the transition from analog to digital

Editor / Provider: Milestone | Updated: 10/1/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems has announcied an easier and more affordable way to make the transition from analog to digital technology. The Milestone Husky™ series of NVRs will now offer versions with integrated encoders that make it simple to connect analog and digital cameras, which run on IP networks, to the same box. Milestone Husky Hybrid NVRs are preinstalled with Milestone VMS and let end users build on their initial investment. The end users can continue to use existing analog cameras and add IP cameras over time for better evidence-quality video and surveillance features.

There is no need to throw out older cameras that are still working, as you add new network devices to your surveillance solution. At launch two configurations of Milestone Husky Hybrid NVRs will be pre-installed with XProtect 2014.

* Milestone Husky M30 Hybrid with 16 analog channels + 4 IP devices 4 TB storage / 8 GB RAM / i5 processor
* Milestone Husky M50 Hybrid with 32 analog channels + 16 IP devices 16 TB storage / 16 GB RAM / i7 processor

Milestone to showcase VMS integrated with access control systems

Milestone to showcase VMS integrated with access control systems

Editor / Provider: Milestone | Updated: 9/26/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software (VMS) integrated with access control systems from multiple Milestone Solution Partners will be presented at this month's security industry events: SECURITY Essen in Germany and ASIS International in Atlanta, Georgia.

Numerous Milestone Solution Partners are using the new XProtect Access Control Module 2014 to offer unified integrations of their access control systems into Milestone XProtect video surveillance solutions. The ability to tie video and access events together in this way greatly improves the speed and efficiency of incident investigations and response.

Providing the primary and most commonly used access control functions as an integral part of the XProtect Smart Client interface, the Milestone XProtect Access Control Module 2014 eliminates the need for users to work with disparate independent systems. It also makes it possible to integrate different access control systems within the same XProtect customer installation.

The XProtect Smart Client provides the consolidated interface for operating integrated access control systems with such dedicated functions as monitoring access events with video verification, manually assisting passages (controlling doors, gates, etc.), conducting investigations of specific access points or cardholders, easily exporting video evidence and generating reports. Video of access incidents visually confirms and informs on situations as they happen for better response, and provides documentation for analysis, rectification or prosecution.

The Milestone partner ecosystem worldwide is teeming with more than thirty integrations of access control systems with the Milestone video platform, to fill market demands for this kind of solution.

Of these access control Milestone Solution Partners, ISONAS is the first to get certification on their ISONAS ACX integration using the XProtect Access Control Module. This means that the integrated solution with their pure-IP access control that is operable from within the XProtect Smart Client interface has been tested and proven for best-practice implementation and documented with optimized configurations.

“Milestone XProtect now has the ability to handle both video and access control. The ISONAS-Milestone integration allows customers to seamlessly deploy access control with the same topology as their cameras. This eliminates the need for additional power at the door, resulting in dramatically lower cost-of-ownership, providing a more flexible and scalable solution while avoiding the need to re-train Milestone XProtect users. This integration has the ability to dramatically change the way video and access control are implemented and managed with best-in-class video as the front-end,” says Rob Mossman, CEO at ISONAS.

Axis Communications is also entering the physical access control market by introducing in Europe a network door controller with built-in web-based software. AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller is a complement to the existing Axis portfolio of innovative network video products and creates unique integration possibilities for partners and end users, including interoperability via the Milestone XProtect Access Control Module 2014.

“By leveraging the embedded functionality of AXIS Entry Manager, Milestone XProtect Access Control Module plays an important role in integrating visual validation of controlled door passage with the AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller,” said Johan Lembre, Director, Global Sales Solution, Enterprise & Medium Business, Axis Communications.

XProtect Access Control Module 2014 is part of the Milestone Integration Platform Software Development Kit (MIP SDK), available through Milestone channel partners. This will be presented by Milestone Systems at Security Essen and ASIS International. The integrations with the access control systems from Milestone Solution Partners are available through their respective sales channels.

 Avigilon launches adaptive video analytics to its HD cameras

Avigilon launches adaptive video analytics to its HD cameras

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 9/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Avigilon has introduced its new series of HD Dome and HD Bullet cameras with embedded adaptive video analytics to its innovative product portfolio. Avigilon's adaptive video analytics technology combined with its industry-leading high-definition imaging creates a powerful security and business intelligence solution to keep both personnel and assets safe and enables customers to make better business decisions.

HD Dome and HD Bullet Cameras with Adaptive Video Analytics Avigilon's new HD Dome and HD Bullet cameras bring the benefits of Avigilon's adaptive video analytics directly to the device. Powered by Avigilon's pattern-based, self-learning video analytics technology, these intelligent cameras automatically adjust to changing scene conditions and continue to adapt to scene changes without the need for any manual calibration, delivering a new level of performance and ease of installation. The HD Dome and HD Bullet cameras also support Avigilon's breakthrough Teach-By-Example technology that not only enables the analytics to learn continuously by watching the scene, but also learns from operators actively using the system. This innovation symbolizes the vision behind Avigilon's acquisition of VideoIQ earlier this year.

“Following our acquisition of VideoIQ Inc. in January 2014, this launch marks another important milestone in the successful integration of our combined technologies, demonstrating our relentless focus on inventing new and better solutions to serve the needs our customers and establishing a higher standard in video surveillance,” said Alexander Fernandes, Avigilon's founder, president, CEO and chairman of the board.

Chuango: Bringing smart home tech to ordinary families

Chuango: Bringing smart home tech to ordinary families

Editor / Provider: Editorial Department, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 9/24/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Established in 2001 by Ken Li and his late father Lee, Chuango Security Technology Corporation specializes in radio frequency technology and wireless smart home systems, ranging from DIY security and home automation to energy and health management. When Chuango began making radio signal antennae and security alarm systems, it operated mostly as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), supplying to distributors, resellers and alarm-monitoring companies in China, Japan and the U.S. Then came 2010, the company expanded its production lines from Fuzhou to Shenzhen, doubling its capacity to accommodate accelerated sales growth.

In 2013, Chuango achieved another milestone that catapulted the company to the road of branding: the G5 GSM/ SMS RFID Touch Alarm System won the Product of the Year Award (Intruder Alarm or Exterior Deterrent Category) from IFSEC & FIREX Awards. “Winning this prestigious award certainly means a lot to us as it recognizes our commitment and continuous dedication to providing innovative solutions to our customers,” said Ken Li, founder and CEO of Chuango. “For the show's 40-year history, the category award winner has never been an Asian brand, nada. I believe our young, energetic and creative team will continue to spice things up in the industry and markets worldwide.”

After stealing the show, the company swiftly shifted its business model and focus to introduce more private-label and branded products directly to distributors and retailers, etching another mark in its rapid transformation. “Developing consumer electronic-like DIY smart home systems requires a lot of investment in R&D and constant market studies and promotions, which cannot be sustained by the not-so-profitable OEM/ODM business. If we want to break free from the shackles of a stereotypical Asian OEM, we must grow with times to achieve something greater,” Li said. “Many manufacturers change products or marketing strategies passively. We lead by thinking differently, making adjustments proactively, and we always introduce fresh elements to everything that we do.”

Thanks to Chuango's accelerated year-on-year revenue and personnel growth, the company has the resources and ammunitions to further build its research facilities, outside of Fuzhou and Shenzhen, in Taipei, Amsterdam and – in the near future – Silicon Valley to sustain its brand development of Chuango and smanos, as well as category development from burglar alarm (Chuango) to residential surveillance, health and energy management, and smart home (smanos).

EXTENDING PRODUCTION PROWESS
With the go-to -market strategy expanding from fulfilling orders for importers and resellers to include mainstream distribution and retail channels, Chuango is in need of even greater production capacity. “We acquired a 2,000-square-meter production plant in the Changan district of Dongguan in June, and the facility just went online in August,” Li shared. “Before we grow our product categories, we're already anticipating more diverse system and accessory requirements yet shorter lead time due to intensifying competition, so that's why we acquired the Changan facility in the first place. Another reason is that the smart home market is even more demanding on the product aesthetics and design detail. While we've had our in-house industrial design team all these years, molding and plastic injection were always outsourced, until now.”

This new 2,000-square-meter or 20,000-square-foot production base ensures streamlined development and production flows, not to mention further strengthened quality assurance procedures along the way, from design, molding and injection to production and assemblies. “Changan is the center of the molding universe, and we're confident in having one of the best teams in the industry to meet all future demands, with enhanced production capacity and quality,” Li stressed. The facility is just an hour away from Shenzhen, for easy logistics and convenient customer visits.

ICT AND QA READY
Chuango is also fortifying its software development (system controls, apps and cloud) and IP communication footing, with the establishment and expansion of the Taipei, Amsterdam and very soon Silicon Valley teams. The satellite teams will be working closely with Fuzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan to expedite time-to-market with respect to next-gen wireless, 4G and cloud solutions. Another machine-to-machine (M2M, or IoT) R&D team is also up and running in Fuzhou, alongside the quality assurance team that ensures international production processes and mass production requirements are met.

For Chuango, it is never just a saying. “When we say we want the best for our customers, we deliver. As we embark on this journey of global marketing and branding, our vision and pursuit for perfection are not limited to local standards; we devise the toughest quality assurance tests possible on all our production lines and products, and are working to extend our warranties from two years to three to five.”

Industry reshuffling is imminent, with tech giants and startups as well as security conglomerates coming into the picture. Chuango is laser-focused and has a clear vision and development path, with users and market demands in mind. “We know what our priorities are and will keep doing what we do best,” Li said.

GAME CHANGERS
Healthy competition is good for any industry. With increased media coverage on the smart home, the industry and market are poised for further maturation and growth, and only the best of the best will remain standing. “Nevertheless, Chuango remains open-minded and opens its arms to any type of collaboration, be it with security and automation juggernauts or startups with brilliant ideas. We're looking for sustainable growth, not just one-year wonders,” Li said. While the likes of Apple and Google pose a potential threat, Chuango is more interested in how they tackle users' problems and adjust go-to-market strategies. “Our strength builds on the fact that we have been exploring the smart home for 14 years, and we are one of the few that can provide integrated hardware and software solutions, with localized support and services.”

The future of the smart home will be about integrating security and safety systems, electronic and appliance controls, and entertainment units with wireless and information technologies. “Chuango will continue to work on striking that perfect balance among security, comfort, convenience, personalization, usability and affordability. At International CES 2015, we will be announcing an all new, all-around smart home system that thinks for you, realizing the ultimate simplicity in system setup, operation and user experience,” Li shared excitedly. “We will also be working closely with industry-leading IC provider Silicon Labs, to bring its sub-GHz module solutions to life by empowering our clients and end users with smarter, connected homes.”

At the moment, Western Europe and the U.S. are Chuango's and smanos' biggest revenue contributors, and “emerging” markets such as Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS, East Asia, ANZ, the Middle East, Africa and LatAm are just ripe for further business development. “For even more detailed market analyses and tailored services, we will hire a few more business development professionals in the U.K., France, Germany and Italy, with ICT distribution and retail channels remaining our major route to market,” Li added. “With dedicated, local sales and marketing efforts, our highly flexible, compatible, affordable DIY solutions, such as security and automation, lighting controls, and energy and health management, are well on their way to become local favorites.”

360 DEVELOPMENT
With ever-increasing demand for wireless DIY security and smart home systems, Li is rather excited about the next three to five years. “Our sales are forecast to grow by more than 100% per year over the next few years, with multiple product development and business development teams all over the world unleashing their creative potential collaboratively. We're also open to OEM/ ODM possibilities.” To keep channel and end customers interested and engaged, Chuango is constantly on the lookout for the right fit and talent for “glocalized” development.

Cloud-based technology and smart touch devices are promising exponential growth, and Chuango and smanos are poised to expand their portfolio and footprint beyond security to automation, lighting, energy management, entertainment and safety/ health-monitoring devices. “The ability to control a multifunctional system using a smartphone app, coupled with a unique and fashionable product design and interface, is a winning combination,” Li exclaimed. “Technology allows us to reach far beyond average, middle-aged homeowners. For example, we can effortlessly tailor our offerings or user experience to specific market segments, such as telecom operators, student dorms and luxury yachts.” In China, Chuango is piloting the sales of home-use IP cameras together with alarm and safety devices through an online-to-offline retail model, with concept stores opening in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhengzhou, Chengdu and more cities that allow end users to experience Chuango smart home wonders before placing orders on site or online.

The proliferation of wearable technology is another area that Chuango is keeping an eye on. “Wearable devices, to me, are part of our industry development, as they are designed to make life easier and more convenient,” Li said. “There is no doubt that finding ways to satisfy needs of security, safety, comfort and convenience is the way forward, and we're more than ready!” Smart home is no exact science, but a unique combination of art and technology. It is Li's vision that Chuango and smanos products can blend in any ordinary family and be part of their day-to-day life.

Like Li, the entire Chuango global team is dynamic, fast-paced and always ready to react to various customer demands and feedback, with award-winning product designs and features that reflect Chuango's core competence and value. “We are bringing innovative, easy-to-use and aesthetically pleasing products to market, and our offerings ensure significant value and profitability for those who are prepared to put the effort in and grow with us.”

Development milestones
- 2001:
Founded in Fuzhou, China in a 9 sq.m./ 100 sq.ft. garage
- 2003:
Introduced surface mount technology (SMT) to system mass production
- 2006:
Started system exports, especially to the U.S. and Japan
- 2008:
Market traction in Europe and Asia
- 2010:
Production lines expanded to Shenzhen
- 2013:
Inception of smanos, a new smart home tech brand
Established Chuango Europe in Amsterdam and Chuango Taipei Innovation Center
- 2014:
Company IPO and further expansions

Suprema integrates with Milestone video

Suprema integrates with Milestone video

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 9/19/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema, one of the leading global providers of technology in biometrics and security, announced the integration of its access control and biometric solutions with Milestone video management software (VMS).

Make it Simple
Milestone and Suprema users can now seamlessly link cameras to access control devices, track access control events in Milestone VMS and display related recorded video. This integration is bringing convenience to the security industry, because operators can quickly react to events such as “Access denied”, “Door left open” and “Door forced” with a unique access to video and access control.

Ready Now
On Milestone's side, the integration supports XProtect Enterprise (including Professional and Express) version as well as XProtect Corporate (including Expert) version. On Suprema's side, both BioStar software Basic Edition and Standard Edition are supported.

Turnkey Solution
“The security industry has specialist in Camera, VMS, Access Control and Biometrics. This said, our customers think security as a single requirement.” said Young S. Moon, Vice President of Suprema “This way, our goal is to provide our customers with the turnkey package they are looking for. And this package includes Cameras, Video Management, Access Control and Biometrics.”

Suprema is the first biometric based solution provider to integrate with the Milestone XProtect Access Control Module. This achievement was possible thanks to the advanced knowledge and expertise of Smartprotect, a Suprema and Milestone partner. Smartprotect has already integrated Suprema and Milestone in early 2013 and this new 2014 integration is bringing convenience to the next step.

"This is advanced security system integration. In case of events such as a fire alarm being activated or a door being left open, the system issues a local audible sound and also displays the alarm on the operator monitor. In addition, issued alarms can trigger a predefined video management of the event, such as camera zoom and video sequence recording. So later, the operator can see the video evidence before/during/after the event. We know who has triggered an event, when and where. And also how was the event managed." explained Francois Malan, Director of Smartprotect.

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