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Dynacolor launches W-8 Fisheye multiple streams IP camera

Dynacolor launches W-8 Fisheye multiple streams IP camera

Editor / Provider: Dynacolor | Updated: 1/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Dynacolor, an international security solutions provider headquartered in Taipei, has launched its new W-8 Fisheye multiple streams IP camera. W-8 Fisheye multiple streams IP camera delivers 360-degree panorama view with vivid images through multi-streaming video, suitable for various kinds of IP surveillance environments.

The Fisheye IP Camera is a high resolution surveillance solution featuring 360-degree panorama view that allows users to monitor a wide angle surveillance environment without blind spot with just one camera. The camera not only delivers clear images through multi-streaming video, its lens with up to 5 megapixel high resolution image also provides panorama function with quad view that enables 4 different assigned angles images to display simultaneously for monitoring.

Furthermore, it has built-in IR LED and true day/night IR cut filter for supreme night time images. With compact outlook and rugged housing, the easy installing and weatherproof ability offers users to apply the camera in various kinds of IP surveillance environments, such as hotel, hospital, retailer store, parking lot, and factory, etc.

Axis cloud-based systems safeguards North Europe fashion stores MQ

Axis cloud-based systems safeguards North Europe fashion stores MQ

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 12/16/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

MQ is a Sweden's fashion retailer, offering a mix of its own and other designer clothes. MQ has over 117 stores throughout Sweden and 5 stores in Norway. A flexible camera system and effective surveillance in stores are necessary when there are 30 million visitors per year and a selection of designer clothes, which are particularly susceptible to theft.

Axis' cloud-based video surveillance system, AXIS Video Hosting System (AVHS), provides MQ with the efficiency and flexibility required to meet the high demands of surveillance of attractive goods that are particularly susceptible to theft. This solution makes it possible for MQ to, without making changes in the local store network, install and then centrally manage all cameras, regardless of the store in which the cameras are located. The system supports local storage of video footage in each store, as well as the central display of the video footage. Since MQ is aiming for a uniform structure and improved functionality, the decision was taken to install Axis network cameras in its security system. Axis network cameras offer easy installation, superior image quality, a functional and unobtrusive design and, scalability.

Axis cameras have contributed to a safer and more secure work environment in MQ's stores. Staff at stores that have the biggest problem with theft have experienced a greater sense of security and are urging for increased camera surveillance. All new stores opened by MQ will be equipped with similar systems, and older systems in existing stores will also be replaced successively. Currently, 100 stores have the new cloud-based camera system, using a total of about 850 cameras.

A flexible and cost-effective total solution
MQ's stores use the Axis cloud-based camera system, AVHS. The service is provided by Axis partner Observit. This enables MQ to, independent of geographical distances, support its stores remotely from a central surveillance center. The camera system also makes it possible for MQ to centrally store images and video sequences, and, if necessary, start recording manually straight from a browser. Camera control and all other functions are managed via a normal webpage and video material is stored securely with Observit.

The cameras also have Axis' proprietary processor adapted for video surveillance, which means that MQ saves bandwidth and storage with the H.264 compression standard.

The system's unique “One-click camera connection” reduces installation costs since it automatically connects the camera to the central system, without the need for any local servers or adjustments to the infrastructure. Connecting a camera takes only a few minutes. Upgrades and system support are carried out centrally, which also saves time, money and travel. Each day, the security manager receives a report with a status update from every camera in every store, which clearly shows whether a problem exists and if so where. “This is the solution for us. None of the stores need expensive servers. We work with security, not IT, and when something happens with the computer/server, it costs time and money. We don't want to have to focus on that,” says Fredrik Lindblom.

A system with development options
To establish a unified structure and better functionality, MQ decided that all stores should have the same camera system. MQ has chosen Axis network cameras and the AVHS system because of its many advantages. The network-connected cameras have good image quality and allow for quick and easy installation. Another advantage is the system's scalability. It is easy to connect new units and each store can add more cameras to its system, which might be necessary for larger or especially theftprone stores.

The ability to implement intelligent functions in the system is also very appealing. It should not just be a security product, but rather a business product where many departments can use the camera for different purposes. For example, designing a campaign by analyzing how people move around the store or gaining control of the lines at the cash register and ensuring adequate staffing are just a few functions that appeal to MQ and that are fully viable with a network-based camera system. MQ is also working to connect its system to an emergency service center. The possibilities are many and the cloud-based camera system is flexible enough to realize them.

Design and security
MQ has chosen Axis' functionally designed cameras that deliver good image quality. Design, flexibility and functionality are important elements.“The innovative and unobtrusive design is a must for the cameras to fit into our store environments, but sometimes you want the cameras to be visible and work as a deterrent. The Axis camera design is flexible enough to meet these requirements.” says Fredrik Lindblom.

MQ is committed to ensuring that its staff feel secure in their work environment. Getting immediate reports about incidents and the ability to act quickly are important. The staff are very supportive of the cameras. Cooperation with the police has become more efficient with the new camera system since the images are getting better and the chances of clearing up any violations will improve.

Honeywell protects French retailer Jardiland with intruder and access control system

Honeywell protects French retailer Jardiland with intruder and access control system

Editor / Provider: Honeywell | Updated: 9/18/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The Situation
Situated in the heart of the ZAC Porte Sud Retail Park, the Jardiland store was built in 2010 and opened later that year. It boasts 5,000 square metres of floor space comprising several secure areas including warehousing, offices, interior and exterior sales areas, and covered gardens. The store manager at Jardiland Orange, Mr Michel Bonifazio, who is also responsible for several other franchised Jardiland retail outlets (Istres and Grans), wanted the security system in the new store to manage intruder detection and access control with audio verified alarm triggers. To meet insurance requirements, the site also required monitoring by an APSAD-certified alarm receiving centre (ARC). In addition, Mr Bonifazio needed a solution that would protect the store during the day from the risk of armed robbery, reassure staff, ensure public safety and protect the stock.

The Solution
With experience and knowledge of Honeywell GalaxyR systems, Mr Bernard Gayraud, the manager of GT2S, recommended the GalaxyR Dimension integrated intruder and door control security solution. “We also have a good supplier, ADI Global Distribution,” said Mr Gayraud.The GalaxyR Dimension GD-96 control panel, certified NF&A2P type 3, was selected for the installation. Honeywell's two-way voice speakers with microphone that link directly to the ARC are integrated into the solution and provide the necessary audio verification to detect and distinguish genuine intruders. In addition, the Galaxy Dimension system manages access to the store and offices, and other high risk areas using proximity readers from Honeywell's OmniProx range. Badges are used by staff and other personnel and contractors depending on their security levels and access requirements. For example, cleaning contractors' badges are activated to enable access only during certain times. Overall, the Galaxy system manages access to the site for around 30 separate badge holders with schedules set up through the system to ensure that only certain people have access to the site outside business hours. the audio enables verification. At the end of the day, the system is reliable and we recommend it.”

The Benefits
Simplicity of system use

“The solution provides a complete intruder system with integrated door control all of which is managed by a single piece of software - the Galaxy User Management Suite – which is greatly appreciated,” added Mr Gayraud. The store manager can easily control the arming and disarming of the security alarm system using the Galaxy MK7 LCD keypad, and because it is connected to the ARC, the ARC operator is immediately notified when the system is armed. The store is open seven days a week, and therefore permanently secure.

Optimum security provided by audio verification
Twelve intercom terminals distributed at strategic points throughout the store ensure that the site remains connected to the ARC. Any suspected intrusion can therefore be detected and rapid site intervention initiated if a break-in is confirmed by the store manager or the Police. “The performance of the Honeywell audio verification system is superior to that of other brands,” states Mr Gayraud. “If the audio verification solution were not in place, it would not be possible to analyse accidental alarm triggers, particularly during the night,” insists Mr Bonifazio. “For example, if either a bird or an animal escapes from its cage in the pet department and triggers an alarm via a motion sensor, the audio enables verification. At the end of the day, the system is reliable and we recommend it.”

Flexibility and ease of installation
“Because the Galaxy system is compatible with almost any badge reader technology, we could directly and easily connect badge readers with door controllers,” emphasises Mr Gayraud. The Jardiland access control is secured by five proximity readers and two door controllers across the site. “With its dual bus, the Galaxy solution could be run in two directions in the building, which simplified the cabling work in the Jardiland store,” added Mr Gayraud. Galaxy Dimension GD-96 control panel manages around 90 zones on the Jardiland site.

Compatibility and adaptability
The Galaxy solution was also able to accommodate Jardiland's requirement for panic buttons at each till point. GT2S was also responsible for the installation of the perimeter devices in the store. A total of 12 Honeywell DUALR TEC dual-technology motion detectors were installed to protect the sales floor, and an additional seven to protect the office area. A crucial element of the system design was to protect the store garden area where it was essential to be able to detect and identify real break-ins in an area where the volume of plant stocks varies frequently.

A complete solution meeting both retail and wholesale requirements
The Galaxy Dimension range provides a comprehensive solution which is key to its popularity. It offers door control security, IP and RS232 interfacing and audio verification. It can monitor up to 520 zones, and the number of bus control units can be increased to four which helps simplify the design and cabling Mr Gayraud also praised the new Galaxy TouchCenter touch screen keypad due to its user friendly design and functionality.

Axis provides IP surveillance for Russian duty free shops at Vnukovo airport

Axis provides IP surveillance for Russian duty free shops at Vnukovo airport

Editor / Provider: Axis Communication | Updated: 9/10/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The opening of RegStaer's new duty-free shops required not only the installation of cameras to provide security for the sales area and display cases, but also the creation of a single CCTV security system that would serve the entire firm. A key objective of this project was to provide continual monitoring of checkout counters. The project involved the installation of CCTV systems in five new shops and the upgrading of the security systems of three existing shops. In addition to providing security for the shops and their merchandise, the cameras had to fulfill an important marketing function as well: assessing and analyzing customer traffic.

Given RegStaer's desire to have a unified security network for its duty free shops, Axis network cameras and ITV's Intellekt software were the natural choices for this IP CCTV installation. Prior to the installation of Axis equipment, the analog CCTV systems in the chain's three other shops were removed. AXIS P1344 Network Cameras now monitor checkout counters in RegStaer's shops. Surveillance of the retail floor is done using AXIS P3344 Network Cameras, which blend unobtrusively into the contemporary interior design of the new retail spaces.

With the completion of this project, the client now has a unified IP CCTV system that covers all its locations throughout the airport complex. To date, this system employs almost 200 IP cameras, over 150 of which are installed in duty free boutiques, and the remainder provides security for RegStaer's warehouse and office, which are also located at Vnukovo airport. The combination of AXIS P1344 Network Cameras and Intellekt POS software gives the company an efficient tool for monitoring checkout counter activity in their stores. To facilitate effective surveillance, continuous monitoring, and efficient response to incidents, a separate operator station was created.

Site characteristics
Vnukovo international airport is one of the largest air transport hubs in Russia and currently in a phase of active development. Its expansion and modernization, which includes the construction of new terminal buildings, was bound to come to the attention of RegStaer, a leading operator of duty-free outlets. RegStaer shops sell the full range of goods usually offered in duty-free outlets: alcohol, perfumes and cosmetics, jewelry, tobacco and confectionery, clothes, accessories, watches, and travel essentials. Although each of the company's shops follows a unique floor plan and design, their security systems must be unified and fully up to date. This project was implemented by Axis partner Yunimaks, a member of the local systems integration group entrusted with the installation of product packages from Axis and ITV Retail Solution.

Checkout counter security
Statistics indicate that the majority of incidents in retail outlets occur at checkout counters. These may involve everything from petty theft committed by employees and robbery attempts to disputes between sales clerks and customers. Therefore, ensuring the security of checkout counter activities is a very important element of the multi-faceted security operations of any retailer.

One of the most effective measures for overseeing checkout counter activity is the use of POS-Intellekt checkout counter monitoring systems. This system is capable of receiving textual and situational information from payment terminals, synchronizing it with video images, and presenting it in a way that facilitates analysis. The Axis system installed in RedStaer's duty-free shops enables security employees to carry out custom searches to obtain information about specific transactions. Thanks to Axis technology, RegStaer now has an invaluable tool for analyzing employee performance, investigating incidents, and detecting incidents of petty theft. Footage from the system's video archive not only provides clues useful in criminal investigations or as evidence in court, but also serves as documentation that can be used in resolving disputes between employees and customers.

Marketing analysis
Security is not the only reason to install cameras backed by a powerful analytical system in retail spaces. CCTV systems also help modern retail outlets analyze customer traffic. Camera footage can help identify high-traffic points as well as the popularity of specific items and whether or not they are located where customers can find them easily. When properly used, this information facilitates the optimization of a retail space: the arrangement of items displayed on the shelves can be adjusted, the retail floor can be redesigned to avoid bottlenecks, and the shop can be made more convenient for customers. Experience shows that taking such measures can boost a shop's financial return by 10% or more, which is a substantial increase in the retail sector. Roman Andreev, General Director of Yunimaks, observes, “Yunimaks' main objective is to install a system which meets all our client's needs and is flexible, multi-functional, and modern. Axis products, which we have been using in our projects for over five years, meet all these criteria.

Iveda Solutions launches VEMO, cloud-based in-vehicle video surveillance system with GPS

Iveda Solutions launches VEMO, cloud-based in-vehicle video surveillance system with GPS

Editor / Provider: Iveda Solutions | Updated: 8/26/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Iveda Solutions, the pioneer in cloud video hosting technology, announced the launch of VEMO, the Company's new cloud-based, in-vehicle video surveillance system with Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation technology.

“There are many in-vehicle surveillance systems in the market today,” commented David Ly, president and chief executive officer of Iveda Solutions, Inc. “The VEMO system fully integrated with cellular capability to stream live video to the cloud and enabled for use with IvedaOnBoard, the Company's mobile streaming video hosting service. Live and recorded video from law enforcement and other vehicles is hosted in the cloud and centrally managed. Videos may be viewed on a single ‘dashboard' that includes a GPS map-based user interface for tracking the current location of vehicles using VEMO.”

“The need to visually verify a situation in real time was the motivating force behind the design of this mobile surveillance system streaming in the cloud,” continued Ly. “The inclusion of GPS tracking completes the picture, making it a powerful management tool.”

The VEMO in-vehicle video surveillance system provides a security solution that is ideally suited for a variety of high-risk and commercial situations. Within law enforcement vehicles, it helps protect life, support officers and reduce response times. Real-time mobile video surveillance in school buses can be used to curtail bullying, protect students, stop graffiti activities and prevent liability. Emergency response vehicles can use it to improve safety, save lives and obtain critical information as events unfold. Commercial transportation companies can monitor assets and enhance operating efficiencies, improve driver safety, and reduce cargo theft and damage.

Iveda Solutions has already partnered with a company specializing in conversion kits for 18-wheel refrigerated trailers, and VEMO with IvedaOnBoard is currently being used by a large food delivery retailer in a pilot program. VEMO's GPS tracks vehicles and its video monitors onboard activities and components of the conversion kit. Upon the completion of a successful pilot, the Company expects to receive an initial order to outfit approximately 150 of the retailer's fleet of 300 trucks.

The combination of VEMO video equipment and the IvedaOnBoard mobile streaming video hosting service provides real-time situational assessment of field activities. The secure storage of video footage at Iveda Solutions' data centers allows 24/7 web access to live and recorded video from the cloud on any Internet-enabled device. Cloud storage provides redundancy to video stored in the local recording device. Thus, recorded video is safe in the cloud if the recording device is stolen or destroyed. VEMO is also compatible with the Company's real-time remote video surveillance service.

This untethered video surveillance solution currently utilizes cellular service from select providers.

Honeywell security strategy: keeping a multi-site retailer secure

Honeywell security strategy: keeping a multi-site retailer secure

Editor / Provider: Honeywell Security | Updated: 8/8/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Being a security manager in a big, multi-site retail company is not for the faint hearted. Take any major multisite UK retailer as an example and consider how complex their respective sites are. From a 24 hour megastore on the outskirts of a major city, right through to a small store on a village corner, these retailers also have to cope with the challenge of having a number of different types of facility all on one site; a warehouse or storeroom, a car park, a shop front, a staff area, sometimes even a petrol forecourt.

Make no mistake, retail environments are complex, and for this reason can be difficult to properly secure. However, emerging trends like cloud solutions, mobile apps and integrated security solutions are helping security managers to respond by facilitating the process of managing multiple staff, contractors and customers at the same time as managing costly theft and shrinkage from outside and within. By partnering with the right manufacturer, security managers are increasingly able to control the security of their sites quickly, efficiently, cost effectively and – crucially – comprehensively.

One major challenge for a security manager charged with overseeing the safety and security of people and assets for a multi-site retailer is access control for employees. With multiple staff – shelf stackers to senior managers – often moving from site to site, how do security managers ensure that the movement of people across the various parts of the business can happen smoothly and efficiently, without compromising site safety? Also, in an industry like retail - with high levels of seasonal labour and employee churn, it can be difficult for security managers to keep up with the rapid rise and fall of access requests.

In this context, integrated access control systems are quickly becoming the retail security manager's best friend. Solutions on the market today – in addition to software development kits like our own HSDK – allow the integration of an access control system with other systems like HR or payroll. This automatically updates access credentials based on changes to a staff member's employment status. In addition, by centrally managing all access control functionality, it ensures that, say, five members of staff redeployed from a quiet store to a busier one at Christmas time can instantly access the building in order to stock the shelves and ensure the shop is ready to serve its customers.

Another issue commonly faced by security personnel at multi-site retail companies is managing internal fraudulent activity. With so many staff on the shop floor, and many of them completing a range of different tasks at different times during the day in different buildings, it can be challenging to identify patterns of behaviour that might indicate foul play. This opens up loopholes for unscrupulous employees and, over time, can cost the retailer a significant amount of money in lost revenues.

Again, technology has come to the aid of the security manager here too. The integration of Point of Sale (POS) systems like tills and checkouts with video - and the use of logical security to identify staff in cash offices - is slowly eliminating this issue by tying suspicious activity to a specific employee, and allowing the on-site security managers to quickly investigate, identify and deal with the staff member in question as appropriate. In a fast-paced retail environment like a big supermarket or department store – with a high circulation of staff – these innovations have helped security managers to seriously clamp down on fraud.

A multi-site retailer also requires a range of different types of security system to suit different scenarios. For example, an access control system in staff areas, an intruder alarm in the warehouse, an automatic number plate recognition (ALPR) solution for the petrol forecourt, a video analytics solution for the car park, a full CCTV solution for the shop floor. Complicated, yes. But worse, what if the different systems don't talk to each other? Imagine the man hours wasted managing each solution separately or dealing with maintenance and repairs in a silo. No well-run business can afford to haemorrhage staff hours and cash.

Integration to the rescue. Working with trusted manufacturers – who are capable of providing a full range of products that integrate with each other – is allowing security managers in large retail sites to manage all of their systems through one central interface. One global system for multi-site security requirements makes perfect sense. It means one system to learn and operate, delivering savings in resources, training time, and system management. It also cuts the costs and inconvenience of dealing with multiple vendors for security needs, delivering a co-ordinated approach to maintenance, upgrades and overhauls, minimising business disruption.

The final concern faced by a security manager dealing with multiple retail sites is the fact that, until cloning becomes mainstream, we physically can't be in two places at once. It's not uncommon for a security manager to be faced with a range of different urgent ‘asks' - grant access to an employee in a certain part of the facility, investigate an alarm in a warehouse and run an update on the access control system – all at the same time. In a high pressured, busy environment like retail, waiting an hour often just isn't an option.

Thankfully, technology enabling remote management of security systems has come on in leaps and bounds. Now it's possible for a security manager to complete tasks in multiple areas all from one place through a single-screen log-in. In addition, the growth of mobility – laptops, tablets, smartphones – means that, with best in class security systems, retail security managers are empowered to complete urgent tasks ‘on-the-go', allowing them to operate at full capacity, and delivering significant savings in manpower resources.

In summary, retail is one of the toughest sectors for a security manager to operate in. Threats to site security come in many varied forms. A drive-off on the petrol forecourt. A theft from the confectionary stand. An employee with their fingers in the till. Each problem has an antidote, but often all of the dots don't join together. The potential for wasted hours, lost revenue, retail shrinkage and inefficient operations is huge. Nowhere are the benefits of integrated security solutions from a trusted manufacturer felt so keenly, and appreciated so much.

Ohio sporting goods retailer shrinks shrinkage with high-quality surveillance solution

Ohio sporting goods retailer shrinks shrinkage with high-quality surveillance solution

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Qnap Systems | Updated: 7/8/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Great Lakes Outdoor Supply, Inc. is located in Northern Ohio, USA, and is an outdoor sporting goods retailer. The primary sporting goods it sells are archery, hunting, shooting sports, and fishing. Besides selling general sporting goods for outdoor activities, the company is also a firearms retailer, supplying guns, accessories and ammunition.

It is a standard need for retail stores to prevent shrinkage. For large, spacious retail stores such as Great Lakes Outdoor Supply, it is hard to have enough human resources to patrol every corner in store. Additionally, due to the sales of firearms, it requires tighter attention to the sales floor area to document any activities and protect customers, employees. To achieve minimized blind spots for loss prevention and better incident awareness for improved customer service, video surveillance is needed to monitor any possibility of shoplifting, robbery or holdup, accident, loitering, or any future criminal activity.

As the store manager of Great Lakes Outdoor Supply increased the number of cameras in hopes of enhancing sales floor security, he realized the limitation for video storage capacity in their existing surveillance system. The outgoing system was a traditional DVR that only allowed for 8TB storage, and used outdated SCSI for storage expansion. The drawback triggered the store manager to search a new system suited for his ideal video surveillance needs.

Great Lakes Outdoor Supply chose QNAP Security as the ideal surveillance solution to tighten up the security around the store. A unit of VioStor NVR VS-12140U-RP Pro, powered by Quad Core Intel Xeon Processor E3, was adopted to manage up to 40 channels of IP cameras with outstanding performance.

In this project, 32 cameras from Hikvision, Toshiba, and Vivotek dome cameras were positioned inside the large retailer with overlapping images to minimize blind spots of the monitoring area. The firearms counter is one of the highest concerns for surveillance to capture quality facial images and audio content. The VS-12140U-RP Pro supports high quality video recording and audio recording and features high resolution local display directly on TV, all well satisfying the needs of store manager and security administrator.

In addition, PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras were deployed and tied into the surveillance system with alarm inputs. The VS-12140U-RP Pro supports convenient control of PTZ cameras, and the preset positions of the IP cameras can be viewed on the local display interface. The security administrator can easily adjust the cameras to the desired position whenever in need. While the sale of firearms is significantly security-sensitive, a functional alarm feature is especially desirable that can help the security administrator take immediate actions for emergent security-concerned events. The on-screen event alert function offered by the VS-12140U-RP Pro is undoubtedly beneficial to this requirement. When an event occurs, the security administer can see the alert icon shown instantly on local monitoring page, and then can view the alert details by clicking the alert icon.

The mobile solution with VMobile app is quite an added-value for the security administrator. As the security administrator might not stand by the monitoring screen all the time, it is rather convenient to keep continuous attention to the monitoring areas with the handy VMobile app on iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile devices.

Last but not least, the VS-12140U-RP Pro resolves the suffering of limited storage. It supports up to 48TB storage capacity and flexible online RAID capacity expansion, effectively performs as a massive backend storage solution.

"We believe the use of publically observed video surveillance in Great Lakes Outdoor Supply retail establishment serves not only as a deterrent to theft in the forms of typical shoplifting or internal pilferage, but also provides customers a perceived sense of personal responsibility on the part of the proprietor, who by virtue of the investment, displays a practical concern for not only his customers but the community at large," said Roger Schaffert, owner of RWS Consulting LLC. "This is accomplished through the investment in video surveillance that seeks to monitor and in some cases assist in limiting in to whose hands his products are distributed. RWS Consulting LLC. is proud to assist Great Lakes Outdoor Supply to adopt the professional NVR surveillance solutions from QNAP Security, beneficial to securing Great Lakes Outdoor Supply business operations in what could be currently described as a politically charged retail market segment," added Schaffert.

QNAP VioStor NVR VS-12140U-RP Pro has successfully fulfilled the goal of Great Lakes Outdoor Supply for tighten security as an effective surveillance solution. It not only achieves greater loss prevention but also assists in better customer services. Most important of all, the owner of Great Lakes Outdoor Supply has greater confidence in providing better services in more secured environment enhanced by QNAP VioStor NVR.

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Identive introduces NFC tags for retail shelf labeling

Identive introduces NFC tags for retail shelf labeling

Editor / Provider: Identive Group | Updated: 6/13/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Identive Group, a provider of solutions and services for the identification, security and RFID industries, announced that Store Electronic Systems (SES), the supplier in Electronic Shelf Labeling (ESL) systems for food and non-food retail, has selected Identive's NFC tags to power innovative electronic shelf labels that allow consumers to access a wealth of information about product pricing, composition, origin and manufacturing, through a smartphone. Three million Identive NFC tags have been ordered for this ground-breaking retail application, which is the world's largest of its kind.

“For the launch of our patent-pending NFC electronic shelf labels, we were looking for a partner that could provide us with a proven and reliable NFC solution that would in turn ensure a quick and hassle-free experience for our retailer clients around the world. We turned to Identive because of their reputation as one of the most experienced and responsive suppliers in the transponder industry and as a leader in NFC in particular,” said Philippe Bottine, CTO of Store Electronic Systems. “Identive's focus on performance, interoperability, reliability and quick-turn production has enabled us to offer NFC capabilities across the full range of our electronic shelf label offerings. This capability is yet another differentiator for SES as we work to help large retailers improve their sales and operational performance.”

Identive's NFC tags are embedded in SES's electronic shelf labels and give easy access to a cutting-edge retail experience for consumers. Using any NFC-enabled smartphone, it takes only a few seconds for consumers to download the retailer's NFC mobile app when they first enter the store. They can then tap their phones to store shelf labels to view product information and receive coupons and loyalty benefits that can be redeemed from their phones at checkout. The NFC tags can also trigger a health alert on the phone's screen for products that contain ingredients such as dairy or nuts. Retailers can also use the NFC-tag to store information used for product and shelf management.

“We are very pleased to work with SES on the launch of their NFC shelf labels, which are a simple yet dramatic innovation in retail shopping,” said David Holmes, VP of  Mobility & NFC Solutions at Identive Group. “NFC is becoming a standard feature on new smartphones and soon will be virtually everywhere. With this new global concept for large retailers, SES is leveraging the convenience of NFC in a practical application that has wide appeal. SES's innovative use of NFC technology helps consumers make better decisions, brings brands and consumers closer together and enables retailers to lower their operational costs.”

UK supermarket shares experience in tackling retail loss

UK supermarket shares experience in tackling retail loss

Editor / Provider: Honeywell Security | Updated: 6/12/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury shares its experiences in dealing with retail loss. The retailer overhauled its complicated alarm system with a standardized alarm system consisting of Honeywell Security alarm panels at its 558 stores during late 1990s. The system was installed by security systems service provider SSS Management Services.

Shrinkage through theft has been well documented as being an area of major concern for all retailers, with estimated losses industry wide close to US$3.12 billion (£2 billion) in the UK over the past 12 months. One of the UK's leading supermarket chains Sainsbury's, with an estate of 558 stores and 240 petrol filling stations (PFS), admits to suffering losses in line with average figures for the retail industry.
Sainsbury's Technical Security Specialist Ray Waddington explains that known and unknown losses need to be clearly defined. Shrinkage is a combination of both kinds and is estimated at millions of pounds. Waddington identifies three of the main areas for known losses as: shoplifting, burglary and robbery. Traditionally shop lifters steal high value consumables such as spirits, champagne salmon, meat, or portable items such as razor blades, cosmetics and others. Burglars typically target cash, cigarettes and spirits, whilst robbers make attacks on the ATMs or cash rooms.

As part of the risk prevention measures, criminal analysis reports are compiled noting incidents throughout the stores. Specific problem areas are highlighted enabling Waddington and colleagues to refine their security measures according to the findings. Burglars attack dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, which makes them extremely difficult to identify. Even so, video surveillance systems can provide valuable evidence that may be used in court. “Most of the crime is drug fuelled,” said Waddington. “We stock expensive wines that are never taken, and I am amazed how often burglars will steal branded scotch, rather than malt!”
Prior to Waddington's arrival, Sainsbury's used as many as eight contractors working independently, installing different equipment to varying standards. The alarm systems had become complicated to the extent that only a handful of installers were qualified or experienced enough to install or maintain them. In 1998, realizing it was time for a change; Waddington researched the market for an alternative alarm system and selected the Honeywell Security control panel (then known as Ademco Microtech). National Accounts Manager Douglas Waddington introduced the alarm system to Sainsbury's and quickly arranged training sessions for the operators and store managers. The system was already established as the industry standard, and became the preferred choice of alarm panel to be installed throughout the supermarket chain. “The security alarm system is operated by store managers and staff so it needs to be user friendly and consistent across all stores,” said Waddington. Waddington uses the term security alarm system rather than ‘intruder alarm', because, he explains: “If the fire doors open – we want to know about it. If the cash office, which could hold anything up to half a million pounds, is under attack – we need to know about it as soon as the incident occurs.”
During trading hours, each store's management team takes the necessary action whenever an alarm is activated. Intelligent speakers provide a specific message, to inform staff that there is a security alert without raising any concern to the customers. Most stores will have three keypads, located on the sales floor and in the general office.

Response management for all alarms, including the fire doors, panic alarms, cash office and ATM's are managed by SSS Management Services at their Communications Center. “Rarely do we need response, but when we do, we need to manage the response quickly and check for false alarms,” said Waddington. As specialists in the retail sector, SSS's main roles are to filter out false alarms from genuine alarm activations and to provide management information on all alarm activations. SSS filters 98 percent of false alarms at Sainsbury's. As part of the management information SSS provides detailed reports regarding conditions that cause the false alarms to occur, which could be due to movement, changes in temperature, human error at setting or un-setting the keypad, or a fault with the alarm detector.

Sainsbury's takes a responsible approach towards the DD243 standard and police response to alarms. “The police want the security industry to police itself,” explained Waddington. “I support the principle of DD243, because it seeks to guarantee that when the police are called out there is a genuine alarm and reason for the call.” Duncan Freeman is the senior project manager at SSS Management Services and makes up part of the team responsible for the Sainsbury's account. “Even though we have introduced digital recording mediums in to Sainsbury's, we recently managed to shave $7,791 of the cost of a video surveillance installation,” said Freeman.

As a systems service provider SSS is keen on integration, however Sainsbury's have few sites with integrated systems as Waddington reports there has not been a growing need for it, nor a business case to recommend it. In some stores the alarm systems are integrated with video surveillance, so that for example, if a fire door is opened the alarm activates and the camera automatically pans around to that area to record the scene.

Until recently one escape route for shoplifters would have been through one of the fire doors. Waddington says: “recent initiatives have put a stop to this. As well as being alarmed, the fire doors are now fitted with maglocks, keeping the doors locked at all times except when there is a genuine fire alarm condition.” Safety for customers always remains a priority and the doors will open in an emergency situation. Crime prevention initiatives like these are shared with other retailers.
To reduce losses in the PFS, Sainsbury's have installed smoke devices, from Protect, amongst others. These machines are triggered upon alarm activation and in less than a minute they fill the petrol station with a thick smoke, making it impossible for the burglars to see what they are doing. This is a positive step towards reduction of losses as well as damage. “To date, we've have never had a repeat attack where smoke has activated during a PFS burglary,” said Waddington. “Once the smoke activates the burglars are off and what's great is that the smoke doesn't damage the goods.”

In store the cigarette kiosks have also been given a makeover and now are more like a garrison, ready to withstand attack. There is a concealed detector, and staff can configure local alarms to fully set or part set the system as required. ATM's are an attractive target too and various initiatives are employed to reduce the risks, ranging from alarms, ram raid bollards and video surveillance. Warehouses are under similar threat from burglars. All goods at risk from theft are protected by the alarm system, as Waddington puts it: “It is a managed risk.” The roof space is a vulnerable area and so immense that it is not the easiest place to alarm. However, additional systems are employed in specific and back up areas. Colleague theft is another area of major concern, usually in the form of cash loss. Waddington and his colleagues are constantly reviewing and introducing new initiatives such as covert track cameras to monitor cash handling at the tills, striving to minimize all problem areas.

UK toy retailer secures new shops with integrated IP surveillance

UK toy retailer secures new shops with integrated IP surveillance

Editor / Provider: Mirasys | Updated: 6/11/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Smyths Toys Superstores, a large UK toy retailer with 63 shops nationwide, recently deployed an integrated IP-video surveillance system consisting of 1,500 Axis Communications network cameras, 500 analog cameras, 35 Mirasys NVRs and 15 hybrid recorders at its new stores. The system was installed by Multisys.

Smyths was unable to get the most out of its existing analog system, as it could not increase storage and the quality of the video was very poor. The largest toy retailer in Ireland, had been rapidly expanding into the UK and Irish markets having opened a number of new stores over the last few years, its business requirement of needing more days of store video footage could not be met by its current system. “We were looking for improved performance infrastructure in our new stores, as well higher image quality and remote accessibility for video footage,” said Stephen McGivern, Facilities Manager for Smyths. “Centralized monitoring for all stores for out of hours alarms was also a key requirement.”

The Axis and Mirasys integrated video surveillance system featured unique features such as corridor format that provided excellent views of the aisles and high quality images but reduced the number of cameras they required as well as the amount of unwanted data. Multisys were able to build high quality custom hardware for Smyths that ensured high availability and met data retention requirements “Mirasys' ability to auto detect the orientation of the camera 16x9 or 9x16 (tall or wide) means that we can use less cameras,” said Eoghan Carroll, MD of Multisys.

Following the implementation of Axis cameras and Mirasys NVR, Smyths have now been able to improve image quality whilst reducing the number of cameras needed due to the corridor format solution. The key aims of the project have now been achieved: long-term video storage, improved performance infrastructure, remote accessibility for video footage and centralized monitoring for all stores for out of hours alarms.

The IP surveillance system has been a good solution for large scale projects and multiple sites. The remote access feature means it is very easy for store managers to find events that have happened, and the high quality images provide a significant improvement compared to the old system without significant cost increase, said McGivern. “The Axis/ Mirasys partnership has provided a solid future proof solution which can grow as our number of stores increases,” added McGivern.

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