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D-Link: Home is where the smart is

D-Link: Home is where the smart is

Editor / Provider: Veronica Chen, Sponsored by D-Link | Updated: 7/28/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

D-Link is a leading global networking solutions provider for enterprise and consumer markets. With 189 sales offices in 66 countries, the company's next mission is to find its way “home.” D-Link's Head of Global Marketing Quenton Miao sat down with us to talk about the company's plan to become a global designer, developer, and manufacturer of smart home solutions.

In May 2014, D-Link made its first foray into the smart home market with the launch of its WiFicontrolled smart plug, the aptly named WiFi Smart Plug. Shortly after, D-Link announced its WiFi Motion Sensor and the mydlink Home app, a home management app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

These three elements form the basis of the company's smart home strategy. Users can pair their D-Link Smart Plugs with WiFi Motion Sensors to make home appliances respond to motion, such as setting the lights to turn on when someone walks in a room, or a fan to keep the living room cool while a person is present, or music to play when a user steps on the treadmill. The mydlink Home app provides a simple way for users to set and manage automation rules and schedules, as well as view live feeds from D-Link home security cameras.

D-Link's stream of announcements in the first half of 2014 is only the beginning of its Connected Home Initiative. “The home is becoming increasingly ‘IP-cized'. This is D-Link's strength, so it is a very logical step for us to capitalized on the growing interest in smart home,” said Quenton Miao, Global Marketing Head at D-Link. “With more than 27 years of experience developing networking and communication solutions, we have all the ingredients to build a compelling smart home offering.”

What sparked D-Link's interest in smart home?
About 15 years ago, I was Factory Director at D-Link. Telephones were analog at the time, and the transition to digital was picking up momentum. I didn't even know how to test the keypad on an IP phone. But, it was a necessary for us to adjust, and it was a logical step for telephones to turn digital.

D-Link has always been a pioneer in IP (Internet protocol) data communication. With advances in communication technology and the transition to digital and IP, many industries have become relevant to us; factories, industrial facilities, retail businesses, office buildings—they have all taken a similar path. Now it's fi nally making its way into residences. So, smart home is actually coming to D-Link, not the other way around. We're not taking a leap of faith into the market; we're taking another logical step.

What role does D-Link hope to play in a smart home?
Our mission is to become the core of a smart home, which we believe is the smart home hub or gateway. All smart home services and features, be it security, safety or automation, rely on the hub. Everything is on the hub, and the performance of software and services are highly dependent on it.

Think about your home computer. Over the past 20 years, we have gone through at least fi ve or six generations of PCs. Why do we upgrade? We want new features, more powerful performance, new applications, better aesthetics, convenience and more. We think smart home hubs will take a similar route, where users will continually upgrade to get a better experience.

That's why we see the hub as a tasty cake in the smart home market. Sensors, on the other hand, is icing on the cake. They are essential, but they also have a longer product life; users won't upgrade sensors—they will replace them when they cease to function.

Another cake is the home camera. Adoption of home cameras is picking up not just because of security concerns, but because the camera is the ‘window' to the ‘soul' of connected home. There are so many ways you can apply what the camera captures to achieve a high level of home control.

Does that make D-Link an equipment/device supplier or a solution provider?
D-Link has always been a solution provider. We are very different from most Taiwan and China makers. While others are more OEM/ ODM-oriented hardware suppliers, D-Link's DNA is the brand. Being a brand means we have to look at the big picture and work on solutions.

But, what is a smart home “solution”? We think some essential components are mobile apps, software and a cloud platform. We have done this for 10 years with mydlink. Our plan is to bond D-Link's connected devices with the platform. The cloud platform allows users to easily install and pair the products and monitor or control them from anywhere with an Internet connection. For example, with our home cameras, no matter how far away you are, mydlink can lead you to your video footage.

In terms of revenue, does solution refl ect a higher portion than hardware?
As a brand, all of our hardware comes with a solution, software and platform. For example, D-Link's smart devices are not mandatorily tied into mydlink, but the platform is a free service that provides extra benefits and additional features for each user. In this sense, D-Link has always been a solution provider, and this is one of our strengths. At the moment, we have almost 2 million registered accounts.

A recent report said D-Link has the highest shipping volume among consumer network cameras. Our market share is around 40 percent in the retail market. Solutions brought us not only a high market share but also a group of very loyalty fans. To answer your question, “Yes,” Solutions are definitely more profi table than hardware.

What kinds of distribution partners do you work with?
Our three main partners for smart home products are retailers, installers (SI), and telcos. Retailers are interested in this territory because it's another way they can provide service. For example, if you buy water filter at B&Q, Home Depot, or some other home improvement retailer, they'll help you install it. In our case, we partner with many tier-1 CE shops and home installation SI's around the world.

Telcos are also eager to enter the connected home market. They are similar to retailers in the sense that they have retail stores that sell mobile phones and accessories, but they also offer home security and other service packages. Their services also help promote network routers, smart home hubs, sensors and cameras.

How does D-Link approach the different markets around the world?
Each market is unique. In emerging markets like India, UAE and others, users look for traditional installers because DIY has not caught on yet. For these markets, smart home is a nicety rather than a necessity, so we have to educate the market on the benefi ts of home automation and security. We approach these markets with our cameras, introducing them to the merits of remote monitoring and control. If users enjoy the experience, they might adopt some of our other offerings.

In mature markets, such as Australia, the U.K. and U.S., acceptance and adoption of smart home is also very high. DIY is also very common. However, they do have different needs for smart home solutions due to different housing structures and cultures. For example, European housing is generally narrower and deeper, while US houses are wide and have basements. Our solutions need to cater to those differences.

What can we expect from D-Link's next launch?
At D-Link, we currently have four main areas of focus: network cameras, 802.11ac network routers, portable 4G routers and connected home solutions. Our mydlink platform synergizes all these product lines to form a practical solution.

We already have cameras, sensors, sirens, CO and PIR detectors. We have doorbells arriving soon. Aside from those, future product development strategies will depend on how the market develops and what it wants. We listen carefully to our 189 global sales points; they inform us of customer needs and wants in different markets, and we discuss with them which products to develop and launch.

What is D-Link's vision for smart home?
An essential requirement for smart home to materialize is connectivity, so we actually prefer the term, “connected home.” This happens to be our core competency. For example, D-Link cameras are designed as a networking device rather than just a camera, so it provides much more than visualization. The cameras also serve as a wireless repeater or sound detector. Most camera manufacturers do not know how to embed these functions into a camera. The designing mindset is totally different.

We believe the traditional view of home automation, where people set different scenes for their homes and change them at the push of a button, has gone very basic. It is also no longer a toy for the wealthy—it is affordable and provides numerous tangible benefi ts stemming from connectivity. To me, a connected home means four things: Communication, Control, Comfort and very, very Cool.

Related products:
D-Link DCH-S150 Wi-Fi Motion Sensor
D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug
D-Link DCS-820L Wi-Fi Baby Camera

Counting on intelligence: Retail wises up

Counting on intelligence: Retail wises up

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 6/16/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

In 2012 the aggregate retail revenue of the world's top 250 retailers amounted to approximately US$4.3 trillion, a composite year-over-year revenue growth rate of 4.9 percent, according to the Global Powers of Retailing 2014 report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Although economic conditions that year were a bit rough, leading retailers across the globe continued to grow. However, with growth comes the desire to not just sustain it, but capitalize on it. The benefits of intelligent solutions in the retail sphere are helping global retailers do just that.

As more and more retailers are starting to realize the benefits not only for security, but for marketing, efficiency, and management as well, the number of retailers adopting intelligent solutions such as “smart” cameras is growing. In fact, the global intelligent video surveillance market in the retail industry is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 27.1 percent over the period of 2012 to 2016, according to an October 2013 report by Infiniti Research. This increase in retail adoption of analytics is also obvious in the number of security providers coming out with retail-targeted analytics solutions.

Sales and return on investment (ROI) have become increasingly important for brick-and-mortar retailers who are now competing with the convenience of online shopping thanks to the Internet. In an age where the click of a button can deliver anything ranging from clothing to furniture to groceries on one's doorstep, brick-and-mortar retailers are even more conscious of the importance of good marketing, loss prevention, and operational efficiency to name a few. According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer published in October 2013, shrinkage due to shoplifting, employee fraud/ theft, etc., cost the global retail market $112 billion in 2012. That is where intelligent solutions come in. Where old security systems failed to prevent shrinkage and optimize marketing strategies, intelligent solutions are picking up the slack and proving their worth.

Benefiting From Intelligence
The retail market is not known to have a lot of extra money laying around to throw at fancy technology; however, as the price for intelligent solutions come down, some retailers are realizing the investment is worth the price tag. While retailers in the more high-end luxury market are more likely to be able to afford such intelligent solutions, those in the middle market looking to boost sales are also starting to look towards intelligence. Furthermore, not every intelligent system is created equal. Different stores need different functions, and since the price often depends on the features needed, it is possibly for mid-end retailers to find intelligent solutions that fit their budgetary scope. Retailers in the middle range not needing as many or as advanced functions may opt for a more cost-effective solution comprised of a NVR and camera with only basic intelligent features. This solution gives the retailers some of the benefits of intelligence without breaking the bank.

Regardless of the degree of intelligence a retailer chooses to deploy, the ability to improve space optimization, stock monitoring, shop floor tracking, shopper behavior, bottlenecks, queue lengths, staffing levels, etc., are just some of the benefits retailers can expect from an intelligent video solution. With a wide range of features, video content analysis (VCA) software, also known as video analytics, has much to offer retailers in terms of business intelligence (BI). Whether on the edge or integrated into a video management system (VMS), the BI data gathered from VCA features such as face recognition, heat mapping, people counting, and dwell time provide businesses with immediate ROI. But how does it do this? The Beginner's Guide to Video Business Intelligence by 3xLOGIC puts it this way, “Technologies that aggregate the vast amount of disparate data — video data, transactional data, structured and unstructured data — that is generated today, and distils that data into relevant business intelligence that can be easily understood and acted upon; that's video business intelligence.” The idea of actionable intelligence, turning video data into more than just images on a screen, giving that data value, that is how analytics transforms a retailer's security camera system into more than just video surveillance.



C
ase Study: Analytics Optimizes Croatian Retailer's Marketing
While the benefits of analytics is easy to talk about, actually seeing it might be harder; however, Croatian retailer Pevec not only saw the benefits, they utilized and made the most of it. As a retail chain store, Pevec has always taken security seriously, installing video surveillance cameras in each of their 13 stores since their opening. Having heard of the benefits analytics could add to their marketing, Pevec installed a number of RIVA cameras with onboard analytics. The intelligent cameras would not only extend the retailer's existing security system, the onboard people-counting filter would count customers, which would help the marketing department optimize marketing activities and plan sales space. The built-in people-counting filter provided the retailer with important and invaluable data. By counting the number of customers, the marketing department was able to determine the number of visitors during a promotion period and whether the number of customers increased, which if it did was considered short-term success. This success could then be measured in long-term success by seeing if after the promotion ended, whether those acquired customers continued to return to the store.

People-counting data also helped the retailer determine how many of the customers entering were actually making purchases, which was done by comparing the data with the cash desk data. With the data, the marketing department was able to deduce the effectiveness of their marketing strategy. If the majority of customers do not turn into buyers, this indicates that the product range, product presentation, and/or product placement needs to be changed. If the number of customers drops but the majority are buyers, this indicates that the company should pursue more marketing activities. Also, comparing the peoplecounting data of the different stores within the chain gave the retailer better insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each of its branches.

In addition to marketing optimization, people-counting data also helped the retailer increase operational efficiency. By analyzing data for customer traffic during specific times — daytime, weekends, holidays, seasonal periods, etc. — Pevec was able to better utilize their manpower by adjusting the number of employees on staff according to customer traffic. The use of real-time data also helped the stores manage queue lengths and diffuse bottlenecks during peak hours.

Graduating to Smarter Operations
Although price remains a deciding factor for many retailers regarding the feasibility of deploying an intelligent solution, the price of such solutions is going down, meaning soon enough price will no longer be a viable excuse. Combine declining prices with the obvious ROI provided by analytics in terms of business intelligence and it seems that intelligence should be able to find a comfortable home in the retail area sometime in the future.

Makro retail stores deployed Hikvision IP surveillance solution in South Africa

Makro retail stores deployed Hikvision IP surveillance solution in South Africa

Editor / Provider: Hikvison | Updated: 5/29/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the largest retailer in the world. In many regions across the globe, the brand Wal-Mart is synonymous with large, discount, and customer savings.

In South Africa, Makro retail stores share this same reputation. This should come as small surprise, since Makro's parent company is Wal-Mart.

Also not surprisingly, Makro stores share a similar business model; a membership-driven, low-cost / low-margin selling philosophy. With this model, Makro is able to focus on the high-volume distribution of merchandise at extremely competitive prices. This even includes "luxury" products, such as computers and tablets. The end result is that Makro has built one of the largest retail customer bases in all of South Africa.

As can be guessed, Makro relies on a similar warehouse distribution model. For example, located within the greater-Johannesburg area are 14 Makro stores. Servicing these Makro stores' stock needs is a centrally-located distribution center. This Makro distribution warehouse is located in a metropolitan suburb of Johannesburg, Midrand, to serve the larger Johannesburg area.

Lourens Wessels of Secure - a South African security installer - explained, "Marko officials wanted a new IP multifold solution that:
* reduces theft, establishes excellent overall security, provides better warehouse management, and a means to monitor workers in sensitive areas; as well as concurrently reducing shrinkage (loss due to employee malfeasance, etc.)."

Bringing It All Together
This is a big task, both literally and figuratively. "This Johannesburg-area Makro distribution warehouse is extremely large," explained Mr. Wessels. "So, we developed a complete Hikvision IP solution that makes use of PTZ, bullet, vandalproof domes, speed domes, and cameras with great zoom functionality ... and all on a fiber-optical network that is operated in a centralized control room with Hikvision NVRs."

Each of these Hikvision products was specially-chosen for a purpose. An example of this ethos is the DS-2CD754FWD-E(I)(Z) 3MP WDR & Vandalproof Network Dome Camera, and its ability to monitor merchandise coming and going at the loading and distribution docks.

For the DS-2CD754FWD-E(I)(Z), it is a combination of features that provides this functionality. Since this model is used to positively identify specific merchandise, resolution and focus are paramount. Not only does this have a theft-prevention aspect, it also greatly enhances Makro's ability to maintain accurate product inventory. Thus, the DS-2CD754FWD-E(I)(Z)'s up-to 3 megapixel resolution and motorized VF lens are very important for its success.

Additionally, since this area opens up to the outdoors, "Lighting conditions are very difficult ... it's dark inside, and when these large doors open, bright sunlight pours in. We nera that can compensate for this effect," said Mr. Wessels. The DS-2CD754FWD-E(I)(Z)'s 120dB wide dynamic range answered the call, as did its vandal proofing.

Interestingly, this vandal proofing is beneficial for potential accidental occurrences, rather than deliberate ones. In this area, there are a stream of forklifts carrying large pallets from one location to another, so the possibility that one of these may accidently bump into a camera is high. Hence, this vandal proofing protects these cameras from potential damage.

Strategic Points and Strategic Uses
Manning strategic locations in the warehouse is Hikvision's DS-2DF7284 Series 2MP IR Network Speed Dome.

The DS-2DF7284 monitors general loading and distributing areas and the tall racks of merchandise pallets. This model's 20x optical zoom is able to "read serial numbers on moving merchandise pallets for better logistical efficiency," and its IP66 rating "helps because distribution centers have a tendency to be very dusty with extreme temperature conditions due to the frequent opening of large doors," noted Mr. Wessels.

Placed outdoors to take advantage of its up-to 30m IR range and 2 megapixel resolution is the DS-2CD8253F-EI(Z) 2MP IR Bullet Network Camera. Add in its motorized VF lens and the sum of these features make it an ideal perimeter security camera. Additionally, if there are any power failures, Secure has placed a UPS at every field switch to ensure outdoor security is never compromised.

In the Control Room
Connecting these cameras to the IP system is Hikvision's DS-9632NI-ST Embedded NVR. Mr. Wessels explained, this model's 8 SATA interfaces perfectly fit one of the key NVR requirements - massive storage capacity. Furthermore, the up-to 5 Megapixel (2560x1920) of recording resolution guarantees that these images will be sharp and clear, regardless of when they are accessed.

Placed in the central control room, as is the DS-1100KI Network Keyboard, is Hikvision's iVMS-4200 Software. This software provides security personnel the ability to view 62 separate channels on each of their 2 "quad-view" work stations - and a simultaneous view of the overall facility. In sum, this entire solution has already brought efficiency and logistical benefit to this distribution facility. "This solution really is a value-add for Makro. As well as improving security, we have already greatly lessened shrinkage, which was always one of Makro's primary goals," summed up Mr. Wessels.

Spot the fishy incidents — 11 perspectives from the industry

Spot the fishy incidents — 11 perspectives from the industry

Editor / Provider: Erica Lin & Michelle Chu | Updated: 5/30/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Panoramic fisheye cameras have seen fast growth in the surveillance industry. With the key feature in surround view monitoring and the advantage in reduction of installation cost, they are becoming the popular adoption in security system. With a promising market ahead, differentiation of product and market strategy from competitors is the way for major manufacturers to think when planning next moves.

asmag.com here presented 11 worldwide providers from the security industry – 3S PocketNet Technology, AMG System, Axis Communications, Dahua Technology, EverFocus Electronics, Hikvision Digital Technology, Merit LILIN, Panasonic System Networks, SamsungTechwin, Sony, and VIVOTEK – sharing their experiences and observations of the market with all asmag.com readers.

3S PocketNet Technology|Taiwan 
With fisheye camera, user can deploy fewer cameras, less cabling, less HDD storage, but remain a 360-degree monitoring without blind spot; however, it is worth noting that fisheye camera is not suitable for monitoring area from a long distance due to the limited length of fisheye lens, stated Kevin Cheng, Director of APAC at 3S Pocketnet Technology. 
“We expect the price of fisheye cameras can decrease to the level of dome camera – the user will then have options to choose from different features such as fixed lens fisheye dome and vari-focal dome,” Cheng concluded.

 

AMG|UK  
Fisheye cameras, compared to other types of cameras, offer a number of key advantages — monitoring of surround view without blind spot and reduction of installation cost and work — whilst still keeping high-resolution recording quality, David J. Myers, Technical Director of AMG, highlighted. AMG have noted that 360-degree fisheye cameras are becoming the mainstream when analog CCTV is gradually replaced by IP CCTV systems. 
“We are not sure that there is one particular market deploying the most 360 degree cameras. In the USA, the retail market is strong. And transportation is a natural market for wide-angle camera when one single camera can cover whole view of a bus, or a train carriage,” Myers said. “Banks, schools, colleges, museums, and public buildings are also the target market of 360-degree cameras. So are car parks and outdoor perimeters.”

 

AXIS|Sweden  
“According to IHS Research, sales of network video start to overtake analog in 2014 due to the powerful functions of advanced video processing and analytics. This is especially true in the retailer sector, as 360-degree cameras allow for an overview of all activities in a given area while being affordable for users having to work with tight-budgets in for example the retail and education sectors,” said Petra Bennermark, Product Manager at Axis Communications. 
“In a study by Axis Communications, more than half (58%) of UK retailers are planning to migrate from analog to network video in order to integrate network cameras with business intelligence (BI) applications. BI application integration was considered the most significant reason for UK retailers to move to network video.”

 

Dahua|China  
Fisheye cameras are mostly deployed for indoor surveillance, getting more and more popular in public buildings, pointed out by Peter Pan, Product Manager from Dahua. Seen as the economic choice for security system deployment, one single fisheye camera can achieve wider coverage of monitoring than other non-panoramic camera.
This is even true to public units, hotels, and schools. They often have budget concerns; theses users are not too demanding in security image details while their purpose of surveillance system is mainly for prevention, Pan suggested. 
“At present, many surveillance camera manufacturers have proposed new thoughts of design,” he continued. Currently, end users start to use 360-degree cameras and PTZ speed domes altogether, featuring both wide-coverage and detailed monitoring views. The 360-degree cameras are going to become an essential solution in surveillance systems, according to Pan. 
“Although fisheye cameras are expecting fast growth in the near future, the 360-degree cameras won't become the majority in surveillance camera market due to their own pitfalls such as low pixel counts at the edge of images, and image distortion,” explained Pan.
However, as Pan mentioned, the technical improvement related to these pitfalls has been essential to manufacturers in the industry. Meanwhile, some manufacturers have started enhancing camera capacities in IR support for advanced day/night monitoring.

 

EverFocus Electronics|Taiwan
Douglass Wang, Deputy Project Manager of EverFocus Electronics, emphasized the importance of fisheye and speed dome cameras' synergy, combining advantages from both types of cameras, and adding value for wide-area surveillance without compromising the optimal image quality. “The end users can finely utilize pan, tilt, and zoom functions on speed dome to keep tracking region of interest, while monitoring the entire area through 360-degree camera view, more importantly, without any blind spot,” Wang said.
As panoramic camera is favored to be applied with speed dome in areas such as airport, warehouse, public space, and parking lot, end users might hesitate due to complicated cameras configurations. “EverFocus provides end users a 4-steps image calibration which dramatically reduces configuration time,” Wang highlighted.

 

Hikvision Digital Technology |China
“Normally, SMB users may tend to use entry-level fixed cameras instead of panoramic cameras, since the latter are mainly targeted for middle-to high-end project use, and price are relatively higher. Therefore, Hikvision plans to introduce economical mini panoramic cameras to penetrate into SMB market in the middle of this year,” said Adler Wu, Product Marketing Manager of Hikvision Digital Technology.
“And for Hikvision, we forecast to increase at an annual growth rate of 60%-70% [before 2017], according to our company strategy, product planning and the market development. Panoramic camera would develop in two different ways in the future, one for SMB adoption and the other for high-end application. With more and more manufacturers joining in the competition, the price of panoramic camera may decrease to a level, allowing the cameras to enter SMB market; for high-end use, due to the wide coverage of panoramic camera, more images/ scenes could be achieved compared to common IP camera. Therefore, how to well make use of this advantage could be a breakthrough to eventually benefit the end users.”
“Considering lots of manufacturers have introduced their panoramic cameras, it becomes very important for us to provide innovative products to differ from the others at this stage.”

 

Merit LILIN|Taiwan
“Fisheye cameras are all about seeing everything in a scene more efficiently than with multiple cameras; therefore, providing security managers the ability to cover an entire scene in a logical way without gaps of coverage is prominent,” according to Chris Hsu, Global Marketing Manager at LILIN. “LILIN panoramic IP camera is an ideal choice for open-ended lobby areas such as entrances, exits, and lobbies.”
“The current leading technology trend in global market is ‘less is more'. We expect cameras can cover a range of area such as 360-degree fisheye camera is an ideal all-in-one product will definitely continue to shine in the following years.”

 

Panasonic|Japan 
It is forecast that a growth of more than 50% will be seen in the panoramic camera market – more than current security market trend expectation – as higher image resolution will expand the deployment and acceptance of fisheye camera in more vertical markets, commented Akihito Akiyama, product planning manager at Panasonic.
According to Mr. Akiyama, Panasonic has strengthened its 360-degree cameras by continuingly progressing at technology development, including dewarp, super dynamic function, and vandal resistance. With the solid technical base, the 360-degree cameras are capable for high-resolution image quality with even edges, stable performance under various lighting environments, and last but not least, durability.

 

Samsung Techwin|Korea 
“360-degree cameras are increasingly being specified for projects where there is a requirement to monitor activity 24/7 in environments such as banks, offices, retail, transportation and warehouses. The advantage they offer is that a single 360-degree observational camera is all that might be needed to efficiently and cost effectively covers a whole area where a much larger number of standard cameras might normally be required, to avoid any blind spots,” suggested Tim Biddulph, Product Manager of Samsung Techwin Europe.
Samsung Techwin's 360 degree camera is part of the company's extensive range of IP network cameras. Tim Biddulph emphasizes the importance of fully understanding clients' needs first, before endeavoring to persuade them to migrate to 360-degree or other products and technologies.

 

Sony|Japan
“With its multiple security benefits and associated cost savings for end users, it is easy to understand why the 360-degree security camera has been highlighted by IHS as one of the key drivers for the video surveillance camera market in 2014 – which is slated for double-digit growth this year. Sony also recognizes the importance of these cameras in addressing the ever changing security environments of the modern world, and will continue to advance in the 360-degree security camera market with our end users,” said Riki Nishimura, General Manager of Visual Security Solutions, Professional Solutions Company (PSAP) at Sony Electronics Asia Pacific.

 

VIVOTEK|Taiwan
“The 360-degree cameras can be especially ideal for intercom or retail applications. Retail stores especially demand for a cost-effective and comprehensive surveillance system, which dissuades shoplifting and pickpocketing,” said Steve Ma, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK. “With several unique features and wide surveillance coverage that can be delivered by the 360-degree fisheye camera under complicated environment, retail stores tend to deploy 360-degree fisheye camera the most.”
“The deployment of 360-degree fisheye cameras could be financially and technically beneficial. It is worth to note that just one 360-degree fisheye camera can deliver the same coverage as 6 to7 cameras that have been used in the stores. With the installation of panoramic models, the total number of cameras needed by the clients can be significantly reduced,” explained Ma.
VIVOTEK has made our fisheye camera as a pro-active smart sensor through our superior algorithms, making fisheye cameras performing intelligently, like people counting, field detection, trip wire, according to Ma. “With the technology evolvement and rising awareness of cost-effective solutions, the prevalent adoption of 360-degree fisheye camera for wide open area surveillance in the following years is foreseen. In addition, a 360-degree fisheye camera with intelligent capacity is undoubtedly to be a trend.”

American Dynamics secures high-fashion retailer in US

American Dynamics secures high-fashion retailer in US

Editor / Provider: Tyco Security Products | Updated: 5/21/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Tyco Security Products, part of Tyco, the world's largest pure-play fire protection and security company, announced that Century 21, a high-fashion, low-price retailer with stores in New York and New Jersey, has chosen an end-to-end American Dynamics IP video surveillance solution as part of a unified loss prevention program for its newest store at Jersey Gardens: The Outlet Center in Elizabeth, N.J. The systems integrator on the project was Tyco Integrated Security.

The solution encompasses a host of American Dynamics' Illustra cameras, including more than 40 Illustra HD dome cameras, selected to enhance the ability of Century 21 loss prevention personnel to track individuals throughout the store. At the foundation of the surveillance system, Century 21 has implemented the victor video management system, which allows security and loss prevention personnel to view, manage and control recorded video from four VideoEdge recorders.

“Century 21 prides itself on being on the cutting-edge with security technology, but only when it performs to our high specifications,” said James Betesh, Corporate Director of Loss Prevention, Century 21. “Maintaining the high level of responsiveness in the camera control, and pairing it with an intuitive video recording and management platform allows us to operate with the best of both worlds, while still meeting our goal of transitioning from analog to IP.”

The Century 21 Jersey Gardens store, which opened in April 2013, is the eighth site for the retailer that began business in 1961.

MOBOTIX supports UK Morrison Supermarkets upgrades surveillance

MOBOTIX supports UK Morrison Supermarkets upgrades surveillance

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 4/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

MOBOTIX, a manufacturer of digital high-resolution and network-based video security systems has released details of a project at Wm Morrison Supermarkets that is helping to secure access and reduce management complexity across 40 critical sites supporting the retailers “farm to fork” business strategy.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets is a major UK food retailer with over 500 stores across Britain and subsidiaries including Farmers Boy, a manufacturer and distributor of food products; Woodhead Bros, a meat processing business; FlowerWorld, a wholesale flower business and other business interests including multi-channel online retailing.

The company prides itself on its hands on approach to the food distribution chain and in 2008, the newly appointed Data Centre Services Manager, Darryl Shears, began a program to strengthen the resilience and security around its critical IT infrastructure as part of a wider software migration from legacy systems to a unified Oracle based platform.

“We have sites that range from northern Scotland, to Bridgwater in the south west and Sittingbourne in the south east and managing this estate from a centralised team in Bradford is a logistics challenge,” explains Shears, “We need to be able to monitor key comms rooms and IT equipment remotely both proactively to stop any issues from escalating and to react quickly to ensure any problems are dealt with effectively.”

To this end, Morrisons decided upon a strategy to upgrade each of these vital IT and comms rooms with environmental monitoring, remote surveillance and remote access control technology. With a requirement for an ultra-reliable, easy to manage yet flexible system, the firm turned to Express Data, a trusted and long serving technical adviser and installation specialist for assistance.

Following an extensive evaluation programme and based on a number of strong reference site examples, the supermarket group selected a solution including MOBOTIX CCTV cameras, Panduit environmental monitoring and access control technology. “The MOBOTIX solution, especially the hemispheric technology allows us to use just one or two cameras to cover single or multiple rooms with the resolution and reliability we required,” explains Shears, “In addition, the built-in flash storage support means that we can still record the site even if we have a network connectivity issue.”

The team based in Bradford can use the MOBOTIX cameras to view anybody requiring access to a secure room and remotely open doors and monitor any activity within the room. The system has the option for fully bi-directional audio and requires only 5W per camera which aligns with the company's stated aim to use low energy technologies across its operations.

Over the last 24 months, Express Data has worked with Shears and his team to implement upgrades at an additional 11 sites and created a standard blueprint for the resilience and security at each of the critical sites.

The build includes power redundancy and best practice access procedures with a full visual audit trail. In total, the supermarket has deployed around 140 cameras and, “…as we roll out new sites or make any changes, we now see MOBOTIX as part of our standard build and the system has proven extremely reliable while seamlessly integrating into our other operational systems and processes.”

UK Co-operative Food embraces IP video surveillance with Axis

UK Co-operative Food embraces IP video surveillance with Axis

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 4/1/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The welfare of customers and colleagues is taken extremely seriously at The Co-operative Food. In order to enhance the safety and security of its stores, the retailer undertook a review of its incumbent analog surveillance systems with the aim of improving colleague safety, incident detection, response times and conviction rates though the adoption of IP video technology.

Solution
Installer and Axis partner, Kings Security, developed an interactive security solution that utilized Axis networked video cameras to measurably increase the personal wellbeing of Co-operative colleagues, and improve loss prevention across the supermarket estate.

The final installation incorporated Axis' compact fixed dome cameras and high performance video encoders, controlled by a Milestone Professional operating system, sitting on a Razberi server.

Live surveillance footage from each store is streamed to a central control room and monitored by a dedicated operator at Kings Security. Staff can directly communicate with the control room via an incident button and operators can both listen to and broadcast messages in-store.

Result
The Co-operative Food reported an average 50% reduction in reported instances of crime and a significant reduction in unrecorded loss from theft of attractive commodities in stores where Axis cameras had been installed. Following a staff engagement survey, an average 34% increase in ‘perception of safety in the workplace' was reported, as measured against the previous year. Feedback from local law enforcement has also been positive, with system footage routinely used to support prosecutions.

Making the switch from analog to digital
The Co-operative Food is the UK's fifth biggest food retailer, with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. Its supermarkets range from between 1,000 and 24,000 sq ft. It has food stores in every UK postal area, and over 75,000 employees, serving a total of 14.5 million customers per week.

Having acquired much of its estate though a substantial acquisition and integration program, diverse surveillance set-ups existed across the chain, operating in silo, with no centralized control platform. Axis partner, Kings Security, was selected to transition the retailer onto one unified, future-proof security system and implement a sustainable asset renewal program.

Graham Watt, loss prevention manager at The Co-operative Food, explained: “Our stores trade from 6am to 11pm across very mixed-demographic locations. Some sites are higher risk than others. We needed a system that would cope with disparities in each location, could be easily scaled up or down as necessary, and that would connect the estate on one integrated platform. “After analyzing the market, we chose Axis because its product range and camera quality meant we could use a minimum number of suppliers and maintain the same blueprint system across the entire estate.”

Colleague and customer comfort is a top priority
The solution was an interactive security network that improved surveillance cover for high-risk stores and increased the safety and security of customers and colleagues. Kings Security installed an ‘incident button' that could be pro-actively used to alert control room operators when a colleague feels at risk. Steve Evans, commercial director at Kings Security, said: “We have a 24-hour manned control room, with a dedicated operator monitoring up to 20 stores. If an incident occurs or a staff member anticipates that a situation may escalate, they can alert the operator. It's incredibly comforting for staff to know that someone is watching over them and that support is on-hand whenever necessary.”

When locking-up, colleagues can request that operators assess the area, using the cameras to scan and identify any potential threats. Steve added: “Axis' unique Lightfinder technology means the picture quality is clear and precise – even in the dead of night.” AXIS P8221 network I/O audio module adds two-way audio capabilities, allowing control room operators to make in-store announcements, speak directly to colleagues or deliver instructions.

Subtle and effective surveillance
Axis' camera's wide angle view allows fewer units to be used to deliver full coverage of the shop floor and sensitive areas. Graham explained: “We often change store layouts – promoting specific products, reorganizing shelves etc. The picture quality, maneuverability and depth of field of Axis' cameras mean that there's no need to increase camera numbers or move them around whenever we have a re-shuffle.”

Axis cameras have also helped fulfill the retailer's central aim of improving the comfort of its staff and shoppers, thanks to the camera's discreet and compact design.“Security should never be obtrusive,” says Graham. “The system Kings Security and Axis have delivered provides an effective deterrent for thieves, but is subtle and effective enough to ensure that customers and colleagues feel protected, not scrutinized.”

US wine superstore deploys March video surveillance solution

US wine superstore deploys March video surveillance solution

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 3/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, announced that America's largest wine and spirits superstore Total Wine & More has standardized on its next-generationretail video surveillance solution. The privately-owned chain is using the March Networks offering to maintain its strong security and loss prevention efforts across 100 outlets located in 15 states, and to capture clear video evidence to assist with liability protection as it grows its e-commerce business.

Total Wine, which is adding 12-15 new stores annually, transitioned to the March Networks 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs and Visual Intelligence software when it began opening Internet fulfilment centers in its stores. The 25,000-square-foot retail outlets hold nearly 14,000 types of wines, beers and spirits and feature walk-in cigar humidors and keg rooms, wine tasting areas and classrooms. While existing analog cameras are in place to monitor the stores' public areas, Total Wine needed high-definition (HD) IP cameras to capture essential data when packaging bottles that could retail for up to $2,000. The 8000 Series recorders can support a mix of analog and IP cameras or as many as 32 IP cameras, giving Total Wine the freedom to transition to HD video cost-effectively as its business requirements evolve.

“We didn't want to abandon our analog cameras, and the March Networks solution allowed us to add more IP cameras to our build-out where and when we needed them,” said Total Wine Senior Project Manager Mark Ganter. “We're very happy with the solution and the support we have received. We have such vast coverage that we can see almost every part of a store, and we now use the video surveillance system if we need to investigate a problem or inspect an area in any of our stores.”

Total Wine operates mini-fulfillment centers within select stores, where product is pulled from the shelves, packaged and shipped to customers by courier. IP cameras in the fulfillment rooms capture images of the bottles, shipping information and labels for proof of packaging and delivery. Additional IP cameras are positioned to capture the pickup by the courier, at which time all liability transfers to the courier. If the need arises, Total Wine can review its video archives to retrace the steps of the fulfillment process and verify exact details.

The high-performance March Networks 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs provide the retailer with unparalleled reliability and scale, centralized system management and the ability to remotely access live and recorded video. In the future, Total Wine may also take advantage of video analytics and software applicationsavailable in the March Networks retail portfolio for expanded loss prevention, operations and marketing intelligence.

“Our experience working with some of the world's largest retailers has resulted in our next-generation offering, which is ideally suited to help organizations like Total Wine & More protect and grow their business and optimize operations,” said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. “Retailers are using video-based intelligence to better protect assets, prevent losses, enhance security and increase profits in the process. The technology is now considered a competitive advantage rather than just a security system.”

European fashion retailer has security sewn up with Axis

European fashion retailer has security sewn up with Axis

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 3/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
International apparel brand SuperGroup decided to transition its legacy surveillance system to a modern, feature-rich IP network camera system. It needed the new surveillance system to provide greater coverage of the shop floor and high-risk areas, with HDTV quality video for improved offender identification. The retailer requested one, simple, scalable surveillance set-up that could be implemented across its European stores. The facilities to build-in advanced analytics and mobile access were also of fundamental importance.

Solution
Axis partnered with video management software and network video recording specialist, Wavestore, to specify a custom surveillance solution which met all of Super- Group's needs. Axis' ultra-compact fixed domes from the AXIS M30 and AXIS P33 Network Camera Series were chosen for all SuperGroup's UK installation because of their crystal-clear picture quality and broad field of view.

Axis' camera's versatility allowed them to seamlessly blend in with the unique industrial aesthetic of Super-Group's stores.

Result
Together with its partner, Wavestore, Axis delivered total surveillance coverage for SuperGroup, while reducing the camera count at each store by between 60% and 80% and increasing incident identification to 100%.

Following successful installations in six of SuperGroup's UK stores, there are plans to install the new system in another 30 stores over the coming year. In addition, Axis and Wavestore have formulated a migration path, using Axis video encoders, to phase out SuperGroup's analogue system.

Axis cameras outperform the competition
SuperGroup is an internationally recognized, UK-based fashion retailer. Its merchandise is sold in approximately 100 countries throughout the world, comprising 105 UK and Continental European standalone retail stores, 71 UK and 56 international concessions, and 143 franchised and licensed stores. The group is known for its strong attention to detail, both in the production of the merchandise and in the layout and aesthetic of its stores.

When looking for a new surveillance set-up, the priority was inconspicuous cameras with HDTV image quality video. When tested against other leading manufacturers' products, Axis cameras proved to be the most adaptable to SuperGroup's challenging store environment. Darren Conway, health and safety and loss prevention manager at SuperGroup, explained: “We have a very specific aesthetic in all our stores, characterized by dynamic, low-level lighting, reflective surfaces and LED signs; we've found that a lot of cameras lose image detail in these conditions.”

In response, Axis installed a variety of Wide-Range Dynamic Capture cameras to ensure identification quality images were being captured – even on the brightest of days. Darren continued: “With the old system, we had to flood the stores with around 30 analogue cameras. In such a confined space, they really detracted from the look of the store fit-out and we were still experiencing an unacceptable number of blind spots. With Axis, we've reduced the camera count to between six and 12 cameras, which cover the entire store in perfect HDTV quality.”

Working in partnership to deliver the best results
One of SuperGroup's key requirements was to improve image quality of surveillance coverage at each till point whist not increasing camera numbers. To achieve this, Axis' unique Corridor Format display was used to switch the aspect ratio of the video footage from a 16:9 to a 9:16 ratio, allowing SuperGroup to maximize its view area.

Working closely with partners, Wavestore, which provided the video management software for the project and NEDAP, the manufacturer of the store's electronic article surveillance (EAS) system, Axis was able to bring the different aspects of physical security within the store onto one unified platform. Further integrations between Axis and Wavestore are also being trailed in SuperGroup's UK stores, where a solution has been devised to automatically notify nearby staff when a customer enters the fitting room area. As well as encouraging better customer service, these smart analytics help to heighten security in a high-risk area.

Applications beyond simple surveillance
When combined with other business intelligence functions, progressive integrations between the SuperGroup's surveillance and physical security systems ensure an increased return on investment, and benefits beyond straightforward loss prevention. Darren said: “We've been very impressed with the system so far and are about to trial some more advanced functionality when we install the system into our next new store opening. Whenever we've presented Axis and Wavestore with a problem, they've come back with an almost immediate solution. At every stage of the installation, Axis' support and customer service has been second to none.”

FLIR appoints two new directors

FLIR appoints two new directors

Editor / Provider: FLIR Systems | Updated: 3/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

FLIR Systems, announced that Cathy Stauffer and Catherine A. Halligan have been elected to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. The addition of Ms. Stauffer and Ms. Halligan increases FLIR Systems' Board of Directors to 10 members, 8 of whom are independent.

"I am pleased to welcome Cathy Stauffer and Cathy Halligan to FLIR Systems' Board of Directors," said Earl R. Lewis, Chairman of the Board of FLIR Systems. "With over 5 decades of executive marketing experience between them, these talented individuals bring to our Board a remarkable range of brand management expertise, strategic marketing, and omni-channel business capabilities, with particular focus in the consumer electronics industry. We are confident that Cathy and Cathy will be great resources for FLIR Systems and its shareholders."

Ms. Halligan has served as an independent director and Audit Committee member with Ulta Beauty since January 2012. She served as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing of PowerReviews., a social commerce network, from July 2010 to December 2011. Prior to joining PowerReviews, from 2005 to 2010, Ms. Halligan held executive level positions with Walmart (including Vice President Market Development, Global eCommerce of Walmart and Chief Marketing Officer of Walmart.com). From 2000 to 2005, Ms. Halligan was an associate partner at Prophet, a management consulting firm. Previously, Ms. Halligan held executive marketing positions with Bluenile.com, Williams-Sonoma, and Gymboree.

Ms. Stauffer has owned and operated her own consulting company since 2005. The firm specializes in the development and marketing of technology products and assists clients in identifying and understanding key opportunities and market trends, and developing strategies and tactics for successful market implementations and executions. From 2004 to 2005, Ms. Stauffer served as Senior Vice President Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer for Gateway Computers, a global personal computer original equipment manufacturer and consumer electronics direct marketer. From 1977 to 1993 and from 1997 to 2004, Ms. Stauffer served in multiple capacities, including President and other executive roles, with The Good Guys, Inc., a regional consumer electronics specialty retailer.

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