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Protected against harsh environments

Protected against harsh environments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transportation vertical sets eyes on integrated and intelligent solution

Transportation vertical sets eyes on integrated and intelligent solution

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 1/6/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Transportation holds the key to the development of a city, ranging from public transport such as buses, trams, metro, trains, airlines, to waterways infrastructures and even terminals for passengers and cargos. As far as most of the governments are concerned, transportation security is the utmost prior issue when it comes to providing a safe and secure environment for their citizens. However, transportation security is a rather broad concept, in terms of security systems deployments, there are more details that we need to look into.

For rail and metro, they usually require a set of comprehensive and centralized system that allows the authorities to make prompt and precise decision, control various systems simultaneously, and work collaboratively between multiple offices and departments at the same time when dealing with emergency or large-scale incident.

On the other hand, airway transportation usually faces with national security-level issues. “Airport security is one of the biggest challenges in modern times. They are extremely busy public places and, unfortunately, so are prime targets for terrorism and activism,” said Adlan Hussain, VP of Marketing at CNL Software. “If we look at security breaches at airports, we can see that it that the damage caused is very often at a national level and involves civilians from many nations.” In the airlines security, , more information needs to be integrated into a central management system – starting from passenger security, cargo and baggage, environmental systems, emergency management systems, to employees' management.

Different means of transportation may emphasize on different security needs and concerns; however, all of the demands are pointing at the same idea – intelligent and integrated system.

IP vs. Analog
In general, IP-based system is definitely leading the transportation applications, especially in the European and North American market. However, with advantages such as quality real-time monitoring without image delay at a relatively fair price, analog is still an ideal option for limited budgets and retrofit project. In fact, a considerably large demand on analog systems, like HDCVI, for transportation is seen in Asian countries, according to Terry Yuan, Product Director at Dahua.

Moreover, due to limited budget for retrofit project, requirement for both analog and IP systems, hybrid system, that can help the end users to seamlessly integrate their old equipment with new IP surveillance systems is trending, according to expert from EverFocus. “Often, transportation customers leverage government funding for security expansions or upgrades and budgets are restrained. Therefore, they may choose to utilize existing infrastructure while migrating to an IP system. As a manufacturer, it is important to be able to integrate with existing investments as closely as possible to help maximize older technology. When budget becomes available, IP cameras, for example, can easily replace older legacy technology,” said Ron Grinfeld, Director of Global Vertical Markets at DVTEL.

Purposes beyond Security
Sharing across departments creates added values
Video surveillance in the city has usually been used for multiple purposes across various departments. Other than transportation security, video surveillance system is served for operational and managing purposes such as monitoring traffic conditions. Furthermore, it also helps reduce false accusations of injury on the municipally owned transportation.

Therefore, it is crucial for the surveillance materials to be accessible by all related authorities. “The main requirement here is that any system used needs to provide a simple way of sharing video across many departments, without the need for custom applications or programs,” said Rob Hile, Director of Strategic Accounts at SureView Systems.

Advanced video surveillance solution
Transportation sector usually calls for a more integrated security solution that comes along with advanced intelligent function rather than pure surveillance monitoring system. For most of the transportation cases, the end users are dealing with an enormous area with numerous premises. Not only they have to make sure that the best service is provided, they have to keep hundreds or thousands of passengers safe and secure – only with integrated and intelligent surveillance systems they can effortlessly achieve this goal.

“Transportation entities are often geographically diverse, incorporating multiple facilities, open spaces, and large parking areas. Overall, security solutions for transportation markets need to ensure public safety, improve operational efficiency, and add global situational awareness for mission critical systems,” said Grinfeld. “More specifically, security needs to include crowd/queue monitoring and management in airports, mobile systems for buses, track security for train and subway stations, and loading dock security at seaports,” Grinfeld continued.

*Business efficiency
Moreover, effectively integrating business systems with video surveillance may create exponential business efficiency and added values. A video surveillance system is usually considered a cost of safety and security; however, with fine integration with business systems such as train ticketing systems and Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS), the security systems will become more valuable. “With video, you can verify who is using an access credential, such as a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, at various secure entry points. You can verify if ticketing kiosks are operating properly before dispatching service. You can overlay FIDS data over video recording at each individual gate to increase the service levels of the aircraft and make it simple to identify gate activity with associated flights, which then creates further business efficiency,” explained Joshua Phillips, Director of Product Marketing for Video & Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

*Enhance situational awareness: management efficiency and intelligent analysis
In order to enhance situational awareness, help the users to be capable of making proactive response to threats, and optimize staff, it is necessary to adopt advanced video surveillance solutions – video management software, high-resolution image quality, and video analysis are the most common and basic requirements. It is even better to be able to seamlessly incorporate security devices with operational systems, boosting efficiency for management purposes. “The ability to coordinate response personnel is key to minimizing the impact of incidents and also increases the perception of security,” highlighted Patrik Anderson, Director of Business Development in Transportation at Axis Communications.

IP-based systems inevitably, have been playing a crucial role in terms of security and incident management in the transportation sector due to surging requirement on intelligent analysis functions such as loitering detection, facial recognition, and crowd management. “By carefully applying intelligent video where cameras analyze the video, security operators will also benefit from an additional detection mechanism to detect incidents early and thereby increasing their ability to respond to an incident successfully before it escalates out of control,” said Anderson.

“With the intelligent analysis technology evolvement, the adoption of the intelligent function on camera is on the rise since the security and operation efficiency can be significantly enhanced,” said Steve Ma, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK. “VIVOTEK has developed VADP (VIVOTEK Application development Platform), an open platform for integrating video analytic functionality within its cameras. With VADP, line crossing detection can be directly installed in VIVOTEK cameras. Users can pre-set several lines for detecting object crossing. This intelligent function is especially ideal for monitoring platforms in train stations or metro stations, enabling police or security staff to take actions proactively before any damage or tragedy occurs,” Ma continued.

 

 

 

Denver RTD Transit Police speed investigations with NICE wireless mobile video

 

 

 

 

 

Station security stays on track thanks to ASSA ABLOY security doors

 

 

 

 

SureView offers video management solution to San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Agency

 

 

 

 

 

                                       

ZNV, new rising star, builds up global strengths

ZNV, new rising star, builds up global strengths

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by ZNV, a&s Asia | Updated: 12/29/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

ZNV Technology, a world leading security company and ZTE's spin-off, just announced its launch of H.265 IP cameras this September. By debuting this H.265 IP camera, ZNV is able to fully demonstrate its recent accomplishment in technological innovation and further sustain its global presence. Despite being a new name in the security industry, ZNV positions itself as a professional solution provider, setting themselves apart from most other Chinese competitors.

ZNV Technology, carrying a strong technological background from ZTE, is ready to take a bolder approach in the global security industry. Even though the company remains new in most countries, its strong local presence in China has resulted in high recognition. ZNV was ranked as “a&s 2013 Top 10 Security Brands in China,” selected by engineering/systems integrators and end users.

Forming a World Class Management Team
Through the latest appointment of Robert Zhu as Executive Chairman in May 2014, the company is fully demonstrating its determination to focus on security. Zhu, with rich experience in global security business management, was former VP and GM of South Asia for ABB Group and former President for APAC and China of Tyco International. Zhu said, “The first mission for my appointment is to elevate the company to be greatly involved in global business.”

With its abundant knowledge and experience in the telecommunications industry, ZNV is quite unique with specialties in wired/wireless communication, sensing technologies, and signal processing. Now the company is able to develop industrial solutions in a full spectrum, Zhu continued.

Besides appointing the new Executive Chairman, in order to form a world-leading security team and further become a competitive company, ZNV has also strengthened its sales management team by hiring the former GM of Honeywell Security, as well as other industry experts in different sales channels. By doing all this, ZNV hopes it can stand out from other strong competitors. Instead of its hardware manufacturing capability, the company is focusing on penetrating and concentrating on different verticals and industries.

Solutions, Not Just Products
The global demand toward security equipment is increasing rapidly. Not only are the frequent major global security breaches propelling technological breakthroughs, but so are new applications such as high or ultra-high resolution or ultra-low illumination. However, merely providing high-quality and special products for customers is not enough. Zhu, therefore, suggests that the security industry should focus more on how to maximize overall value of security devices and services, particularly for operational and business management efficiency for certain market sectors. In the future, security systems will become a tool for corporate management.

Therefore, in order to elevate a company's overall corporate capability during the transition from product manufacturing to solution design, the company should be knowledgeable in communication, signal analysis, and management platform in order to satisfy the specific needs for some particular vertical markets. These indeed are the specialties of ZNV, Zhu highlighted. “ZNV is a technology company, which is able to do an in-depth research on projects and then provide the pertinent solutions to them,” he continued.

‟We do not just merely think about how to apply the products for a certain application but care about what the project really needs and wants. However, most of the Chinese companies only think about how to let users see clear pictures and that's it, with nothing more.”

Specialized in Industrial Solutions With Unique Design
By positioning itself as a solution provider, ZNV is taking quite a different approach to the security business. First, the company utilizes its own strength in the telecommunications sector where ZNV has the largest market share in China. “In these projects, what we accumulated is not just video surveillance but also the know-how of monitoring the generator room of an industrial environment,” said Zhu. ZTE provides communication services to more than 1.2 million substations in China and ZNV is in charge of one-fourth of their video monitoring projects, including HD picture quality transmission, temperature and humidity control, HVAC system control, battery management (uninterruptible power supply and regular charging and discharging power), and access control. “We intend to combine these know-hows with our in-house video content analytics (VCA) R&D lab and apply both to other industries, such as railways or power stations, which also require an independent and integrated security system,” said Zhu.

In terms of product features, ZNV also stands outs in communication and transmission capability in its video surveillance cameras. For instance, Zhu mentioned, “We add a special communication function in a 4G-LTE camera. Normally, the regular camera only transmits via cables. However, in many of the industrial environments, the cables are usually under the risk of being cut off. Therefore, our products support Wi-Fi wireless connectivity. When the cable transmission fails, the Wi-Fi connection will automatically be activated. If the Wi-Fi connectivity also fails, we also have our preset SIM card which can also immediately turn on the wireless telecommunication function to keep the normal operation of data transmission. ZNV is able to provide all these extra added values to our customers.

Restructing R&D Team
ZNV, then, began restructuring its R&D team right after Zhu joined the to tailor solutions for specific vertical markets. Zhu mentioned that now the company has around a 400-person R&D team. Instead of taking the traditional way to divide the team by technologies, ZNV now divides them depending on the solutions and projects. He said, “According to what the specific project needs, we form the designated team by its requirements toward software, hardware, and encoding and processing technologies to accelerate the speed of product development. For instance, the R&D team developing H.265 would normally need around 30 people, but we transfer and borrow some manpower from other teams if necessary. Just because of this, we are able to stay flexible and quickly develop products according to what the market really needs.”

H.265 IP Cameras Lift ZNV to Global Technology Leader
High-definition cameras for security monitoring, remote machine operation, or other applications are required mostly because the sharp images will help users identify security threats or control a machine remotely. The current challenges are the cost of transmission and storage of largesized data over the network and cloud. By overcoming the bandwidth and storage challenges that the security industry has been facing for years, ZNV has finally made a market breakthrough, launching H.265 high-definition IP cameras this September.

H.265 is the latest compression technology which can save up to 10 times the bandwidth and storage space compared to the current H.264 compression technology. The company predicts H.265 IP cameras will quickly be adopted by some retrofit projects where end users expect to upgrade their video surveillance systems, such as the education sector. Other target customers are end users that have demand for high capacity storage devices, such as a smart city project. “Normally, H.264 cameras can store video images for 12 months with 20 TB storage. However, keeping the same high-definition videos, H.265 technology can reduce the data size by three times in dynamic scenes like a busy street and up to 10 times in static scenes like a guarded warehouse. So, it is very attractive for a large scale project in greatly reducing the total cost of ownership,” said Robert Zhu, Executive Chairman of ZNV.

“ZNV is very focused on developing our own technologies about H.265 compression. We have been developing H.265 technology for two years and acquired many patents in decoding and encoding technologies, and system design. H.265 algorithm is more complex compared to H.264. It has to be flexible and accurate, and follow many international standards. An example is we owned a patent in motion encoding technologies in order to largely reduce the bandwidth in the static scenes, which is useful for end users who want to save the bandwidth and also cost of storage. A major issue of H.265 cameras is the overheating problem. We have solved this problem from the hardware design to the internal design for heat dissipation. We now are working on the application for this patent,” said Zhu.

The company further predicts that in a year, H.265 will be ready to grow in double digits.

Abundant International Experience
Even though ZNV just recently got fully involved in international business and marketing, ZNV products and services have been applied to 70 countries globally via ZTE. Zhu provided an example that ZNV used to implement their security equipment for a ZTE project of a substation in Pakistan. “Luckily, we acquired the overseas experience quite early compared to other companies. Our goal right now is to explore more new markets other than telecommunications industry. In order to achieve that goal, we have started to quickly establish our international partner network in some geographic markets. Our showroom in Malaysia was just set up recently to showcase our latest products, systems, and solutions. This year, we started some new partnership in South Africa and South America too. In the near future, we are expecting more from the U.S. and Europe.”

Looking to the Future
ZNV, indeed, is taking a different approach to face the challenges of global market competition. Most importantly, ZNV has a high level of understanding in technology and specialtiers in industrial environments. It can be expected that ZNV will soon become another new star in the global security industry.

Diversity: Hallmark of RFID

Diversity: Hallmark of RFID

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 12/23/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

RFID first hit the market in the 1970s and has seen continued improvements over the years, making it an effective technology for tracking and managing goods with applications in a variety of vertical markets. RFID exists in different types and forms. Chief among them are LF, HF, UHF, active, and passive RFID, each with unique applications in different verticals. This article chiefly examines the technology behind long-range RFID.

RFID, or radio-frequency identification, can trace its history to after the Second World War, when devices transmitting and retransmitting radio waves carrying audio information were invented for covert operations. The first true RFID device, a passive transponder with memory, was unveiled in 1971 and patented in 1973.

While RFID is not a new concept, it has never gone out of style since its introduction in the last century. From parking lots to highways, factories to offices, RFID can now be found in various parts of our everyday life. According to IDTechEx, the RFID market is worth US$8.9 billion in 2014, a rise from $7.8 billion in 2013 and $7 billion in 2012. The figure is expected to rise to $27.3 billion By 2024. The market research firm also predicts 6.9 billion tags will be sold by the end of 2014 — versus 5.8 billion in 2013 — to retailers, event organizers, and animal farmers, among others.

RFID's popularity has to do with its ability to effectively identify, manage, and track goods, in the process saving businesses a huge amount of money in labor and management costs. The technology works by way of communication between a reader and a tag and generally includes the following features:

1. Read-Write: Data stored in the tag can be read, without any contact, by the reader, which can read multiple tags at the same time. Meanwhile, data can also be written into the tag for operators to know the status of the order or delivery process.

2. Diversity in shapes and sizes: Unlike paper labels which come in specific sizes, RFID isn't limited by the size of the tag, which can be in different shapes and be as small as possible.

3. Resistance to dirt/stains: Unlike paper labels, which become unreadable when dirtied or soiled, RFID tags don't have this problem.

4. Reusability: Since data stored in the tag can be overwritten, the tag can be reused over and over again on different products.

5. Bigger memory: A barcode contains 50 bytes of data, while an RFID tag can contain several megabytes of data.

Diversity Rules
RFID comes in many forms, each with its special features and applications. The technology can be categorized in two ways: by the frequency of the signal transmitted (low-frequency, high-frequency, and ultrahigh-frequency RFID), and by whether there is power in the tag itself (active RFID vs. passive RFID).

LF RFID
This technology employs the 9kHz to 135kHz band of the radio spectrum. It is limited by the reading distance, which is approximately 1.5 meters. Limited memory capacity is another disadvantage with this type of RFID. However, there are several advantages as well, one of which is its immunity to metal or wet environments. Meanwhile, since this frequency band is open in most countries, there are fewer regulatory issues. Applications are mostly in animal management on farms, access control, and theft prevention.

HF RFID
HF RFID uses the 13.56MHz frequency band. It is also limited by the reading range of 1.5 meters, and there are different standards applied to this particular RFID. However, HF RFID is a highly accepted technology with different applications, for example access control payments, automation, asset tracking, library management, and electronic airline tickets. “HF RFID allows high flexibility as well as good stability and security,” said Klaus Klosa, MD at LEGIC Identsystems.

UHF RFID
UHF RFID signals range from 300MHz to 1.2GHz. The reading distance is not limited by 1.5 meters and can go anywhere from 1 centimeter to 15 meters. The technology is also well-standardized. Disadvantages include susceptibility to the environment. Interference when overlapping with devices using the same frequency range may also happen. In fact, this frequency band is banned for commercial use in Japan.

Despite all this, UHF RFID has enjoyed strong growth, especially in areas, such as retail, where strong inventory visibility is needed. “UHF technology is strongly growing compared to other frequencies due to its high performance and good standardization,” said Richard Aufreiter, Director of Product Management at HID Global.

Active vs. Passive
The method of powering the RFID tag differentiates between active and passive RFID. Active RFID uses an internal power source, such as a battery, within the tag, which can transmit signals to the reader. Passive RFID, meanwhile, uses tags that rely on the energy from the reader to stay active.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For active RFID, the read range is significantly longer and can go as much as 100 meters. On the negative side, the tag is limited by battery life and can be quite expensive, ranging from $15 to $100 per tag as opposed to passive tags that cost anywhere between 15 cents to $5. Applications include real-time tracking or any systems where high-volume assets are moving within designated areas. Passive RFID, meanwhile, literally “sleeps” when not being powered by a reader field. It's low-cost and requires only minimal maintenance fee. Its best area of use is moving high-volume assets through a fixed point. “All ‘typical' RFID applications are those that do not require active tags,” Aufreiter said.

Tags and Readers
Tags come in different sizes and shapes, from those the size of one's fingernail to those comparable to Christmas cards — although the trend is moving towards making tags smaller and smaller.

Tags can be worn as wristbands, embedded in tickets, placed on cargoes, and inserted in clothes. In other words, users should pick tags that suit their needs and purposes. In terms of the materials that the tags are made from, they are also diverse and wide-ranging as the tags themselves. “Typically materials differ in heat, cold, UV, flame or chemical resistance, rigidity or flexibility, and cost. Depending on the use case, the proper tag housing material is chosen by the manufacturer,” Aufreiter said.

Readers consist typically of the reader module and the antenna. “Some readers support more than one concurrently connected antenna or have the processing power and flexibility to do certain calculations with the data read internally, so that the network and SAP system in the back does not have to deal with raw data but receives already consolidated results,” Aufreiter said.

Things to Look for in Implementations
One thing people need to understand about RFID is that the experience can't be duplicated. “You finish one project, you take this project model and copy to the next project, and make a quick profit — that simply doesn't work,” said Brian Ma, Sales Representative at GIGA-TMS. “Each scenario is different. Every project is customized.”

It is therefore necessary to sit down with clients and talk about what they want to achieve with RFID. “Work closely with the end users of the solution in the field, so that they can see the benefit of the new solution and give you valuable feedback. Do not only look at tag and reader costs alone, but calculate the ‘bigger picture' for costs and benefits,” Aufreiter said.

Technically, “installers need to keep in mind the positioning of antenna and if enough care is been taken to shield from the environment where the installation is being done,” said Atul Ghaisas, Business Development Manager of Store Performance Solutions for APAC at Tyco Retail Solution. “The distance between the reader and the antenna should be based on the manufacturer's recommendations and should not be more than that which can reduce the RF signal and cause a deterioration of power and performance of RFID reader.”

Can't Live Without It
With different RFID technologies in place, companies and businesses can effectively track and manage goods and automate processes that were once handled by human labor. In the process, huge amounts of cost are saved. With growth set to continue, RFID will become a more prominent part of our daily life.

Comparison of RFID of Different Frequencies

Frequency

Advantages

Disadvantages

Applications

Low frequency

(9-135kHz)

Immunity to metal or wet environments, fewer regulatory issues

Limited by reading distance of approximately 1.5 meters

Animal management, access control, theft prevention

High frequency

(13.56MHz)

High market acceptance, flexibility, and reliability

Limited by reading distance of 1.5 meters, different standards

Access control payments, automation, asset tracking, library management, and electronic airline tickets

Ultrahigh

frequency

(300MHz-

1.2GHz)

Long reading distance from 1centimeter to 10 to15 meters, well-standardized

Susceptibility to the environment, interference when overlapping with devices of same

frequency

Retail, logistics, toll collection, car park

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Editor / Provider: Secutech | Updated: 12/8/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Secutech is the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions. The 18th edition is officially confirmed to take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan.

Mr Parson Lee, Managing Director of organiser Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, said: “In 2014, Secutech's dedicated sections for smart home garnered accolades with the booming industry outlook. In 2015, the sub-show, SMAhome under secutech will be dedicated to home security, home control and connected home. In line with Taiwan's excellent IT framework, Networks & IC (Integrated Circuit) industries, Taiwan manufacturers in the telecom and connected-home fields such as Chicony, D-Link, Foxconn, also known globally for their competitive edge will join the show in 2015. In addition, the show is highly anticipated by suppliers from China and South Korea, with product design talents, customization prowess and technical support. Delivering from DIY gadgets to project-based solutions, SMAhome will serve as a top-tier platform for global smart home professionals to connect with Asia's premium manufacturers.”

Held concurrently with SMAhome, Secutech 2015 aims to cater to demand for a wider spectrum of safety and security-related products. The latest zones cover:

• High Definition
Now, the resolution gets sharper, in smartphone and everywhere. With better image quality, 4K camera, H.265 NVR, UHF monitor at secutech 2015 will be incorporated with smart edges, facial recognition, and loitering detection. Over 1,000 choices of Ultra HD and HD equipment and facilities will be showcased onsite.

• Transmission & Network
Transmission distance limitations have been a major obstacle for HD migration. Ranging from coaxial, Ethernet, to fiber connections, whether sending signal or power, the Transmission & Network zone will feature 30 leading Taiwanese information and communications technology (ICT) solution providers including CTC UNION, Dintek, EtherWan, LANTECH, LEX, ORING to present last mile technologies.

• Storage
Higher-resolution images are calling for larger data storage. To back up systems, a complete storage line-up is showcased from SSD, commercial NAS, enterprise NAS, NVR, server storage, Cloud service in secutech 2015.

• Software
The Software zone, focusing on Video Management Software (VMS) and Video Content Analytics (VCA) technologies will be a networking platform for hardware makers, software developers and system integrators to interact. VMS is the foundation for video monitoring, analysis and recording. The development of its extensive application is influential to various vertical markets in the industry, such as home automation, retail, transport, safety and security.

In addition, zones for Access Control, HD-over-coaxial Solutions, Key Components & Parts, and Fire & Safety will provide an ideal place for worldwide importers to experience the latest technical development within the industry.

Secutech will also organise a series of highly thought-provoking seminars. Prominent industry players, keen on sharing their knowledge and experiences, will be the speakers. Highlights include the Global Digital Security Forum (GDSF) and the Composec Conference. Attendees can expect to gain insights into the evolving global security industry through presentations and interactions with experts.

Sponsored by:  
Secutech, the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions, will take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan. 
Now in its 18th year, secutech features some 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and attracts over 26,000 visitors. Dedicated pavilions for the following sectors: Surveillance | Software & Management Systems | Transmission & Networks | Smart Homes | Key Components / Parts | Electronic Systems

Register your FREE visitor badge now at www.secutech.com/registration/en

Japanese security market shines with unlimited potential

Japanese security market shines with unlimited potential

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 12/5/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

 

Looking back over the last year, despite experiencing slight slowdown, a stable growth is still seen in the global security market. According to the latest industry report, 2014 Security 50, presented by a&s International last month, the top 50 companies in the ranking this year generated 8.2% growth in average.

 

 

Network systems take the lead
Although business opportunities of analog upgrades solutions such as HD-over-coaxial are seen in many Asian countries, network camera is still the major market share holder in Japan in terms of shipping quantity and total sales revenue, according to Takashi Komori, the Publisher of a&s Japan. Other than network surveillance camera, resolution requirements of HD and full-HD are trending in the local market. In fact, 1.3-megapixel is the most basic resolution standard currently, and higher demand on 4K technology in next few years is foreseeable. A remarkable sales growth of 18 to 20% is seen in the video content analysis (VCA) systems, as functions such as people counting, license plate recognition (LPR), and flow line analysis are popular in the security market in Japan.

“In 2014, cross-referencing from at least 3 professional research companies in Japan, in terms of the sales volume, about 470,000 units of HD IP cameras are acquired; 250,000 units of analog cameras; 35,000 units of HD-SDI,” Komori said. “Even though it is convenient and easier for the suppliers to provide merely products to the end users, a more comprehensive solution is more desired from the market now.” Facing new business challenges, in order to remain revenue growth, leading channel players has started to provide various solutions instead of single hardware.

Leading players in Japan
A quick review to the security market in Japan in 2014, Panasonic is taking up the largest market share by 55-57%, with Axis Communications coming after by 9-10%. Right behind taking up 6-7% in the Japanese security market is Sony, which has developed well connections with NVR solution providers in the recent years. Hikvision, a rising star in Japan. Besides taking a prominent advantage with its competitive price, Hikvision provides superb delivery service and fully dedicates into establishing local support and service center. Meanwhile, suppliers from Taiwan such as VIVOTEK, Hi Sharp, GeoVision, and DynaColor are starred players in this market as well.

Market prediction for 2015 
It is estimated that a growth of 55% will be seen in the network cameras in 2015. As more companies originally from IT industry make their debut in the security sector, cloud services for both private and public cloud solution is going to be one of the key market focuses.

Unlimited opportunities seen in verticals
As for the vertical markets, with dynamic relations with surrounded countries, border and coastal security are bringing out higher demands on security equipments and systems. In the government sector, transportation and city surveillance are highly focused in Japan, in order to maintain public security and social stability and decrease crime rate in the cities. Increasing demand in security applications also comes from commercial sectors, especially in hotel business, retail, and food factory – not only for security concerns but for a more integrated and effective business management model and marketing purposes.

Long-term commitment is the key
Speaking of investing in Japan, Komori pointed out that it usually takes a solid resolution for long-term business commitment for the foreign investor. Despite the fact that Japanese market is relatively tougher for the new comers, if the manufacturers is determined to take part in this soaring security market, OEM and ODM will be an ideal starter.

Prophecy from Security 50: Time for Integrated Systems!

Prophecy from Security 50: Time for Integrated Systems!

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 12/5/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Time for Integrated Systems
In the video surveillance product sector of Security 50 rankings, company performance is strongly correlated with its overall product strategy. If we divide the video surveillance companies by their tendency to develop systems versus single devices, the average revenue growth and profit growth of these groups were found to be different. Overall video surveillance companies grew 9.2 percent on average. Companies developing systems grew 14.4 percent, 5.2 percent more than those that only develop devices. In addition, the average profit growth for overall video surveillance is 38.9 percent. System developers grew 14 percent versus negative 2.2 percent in the device part. Gross margin of some companies, from the device part, barely kept single-digital growth.

To stay profitable and competitive in the market, offering devices only is not enough. Successful suppliers provide systems suitable for different types of projects. IP video surveillance systems, for instance, are well designed for solutions in different applications and vertical sectors. Most importantly, they are well tested and configured and ready to be integrated into a management platform, which saves a lot of headache and troubles for systems integrators and installers. On the other hand, for some small to medium-sized companies, the capability to tailor-make certain unique features in systems for different projects are also required.

Developing integrated systems, which are ready to use for different projects, is not only a buzzword but also exactly what is happening right now for the most profitable companies in security. Keen Yao, International Marketing Director of Hikvision Digital Technology pointed out, “Almost all the big suppliers give total solutions. Hikvision, we also are a total solution provider. Our R&D resources make Hikvision very powerful in different vertical markets. We have seven vertical markets — we call them Seven Stars. For different vertical markets we have different solutions that combine almost all security functions, including access control, alarm systems, surveillance systems. So this is Hikvision's strategy.”

Tim Shen, Marketing Director for Overseas Business Center at Dahua Technology continued, adding, “We are also in the transition stage from device to solutions development. Dahua is one of the few companies which are able to develop solutions in China. To develop solutions, it requires not only a complete wide range of product portfolios but also takes higher level of profound know-how to bring them together for a better integration purpose. Dahua has proven to do several large projects in bank, city surveillance, transportation and commercial sector not only in China but also overseas. We are able to transfer our know-how in China to provide suitable products for solutions in overseas market.”

Taiwanese and Korean Companies Prepare for Their Next Leap
From Security 50 reports over the past few years, major Taiwanese and Korean companies continue to be in recession, which has lingered a little bit longer than expected. It is never easy to transform from a device supplier to a systems or solution provider and even harder to change the corporate focus from OEM business to branding. However, the rising of Chinese companies has forced these companies to differentiate themselves. IDIS, a leading video surveillance company in Korea, is one of the most significant ones that have started to promote its own brand business in Europe since two years ago. Even though the outcome for its brand business has not been confirmed yet, the company seems to be headed in the right direction, developing positively in the future.

Some of the traditional, analog-based Taiwanese companies might take a little while to take off; however, the IP/IT-based companies, such as VIVOTEK and GeoVision, have maintained steady growth over the years and are active in the market. We predict that in the near future, there will be more corporate consolidation among Asian companies.

The security market is still full of opportunities. Some small to medium-sized Taiwanese and Korean companies are striving to find their own “blue ocean,” to differentiate themselves from Chinese companies. EverFocus also provided a good example here. The company is ready to demonstrate its capacity to develop an integrated security system to its clients, too. Even though it has gone through obstacles, the company has started to receive some positive outcomes. Jemmy Huang, Chairman & President of EverFocus Electronics also shared, “Now, customer's demand for security products has become much more diverse. They expect the system to integrate with more devices and realize multiple purposes. For example, the customers might have some special requirements for the synergy between video surveillance systems and elevators whenever an emergency happens in the building. ” Therefore, “we've transformed to be a solution provider, our open-platform central management system is well designed to integrate with a wide range of systems and extremely scalable for future expansion. With this system, we can make sure systems integrators have no further problems in product integration to meet customization requirements perfectly and ensure their projects can well be completed.”

Looking to 2014 & 2015
Looking into the financial reports for the first half for 2014, the companies which are more likely to continue growing significantly both in 2013 and 2014 are Avigilon, Dahua, Hikvision, ITX, and Tamron. These five companies were ranked in the top 10 companies with the highest revenue growth. However, out of the 29 companies, who shared their financial figures in the first half of 2014, the average growth rate fell to 2.8 percent. Twelve companies are in recession. Korean and Taiwanese companies have experienced even bigger challenges in the first half of 2014, which can be obviously found in their reports.

Cross referencing profit growth and gross margin of these 29 companies in the first half of 2014, it is also confirmed that the companies that have developed fully integrated systems outperformed the ones which develop only devices, again. When we look into 2014 and 2015, we predict that the trend to develop solutions for verticals/applications will be much more obvious.

 

>>> See the Full Rankings

 

Related Article:

 

 

Prophecy from Security 50 <I>: 
Time for Solutions!

 

 

 

Hikvision again sees phenomenal growth in 2013 & 2014

Hikvision again sees phenomenal growth in 2013 & 2014

Editor / Provider: the a&s Editorial Team,Sponsored by Hikvision | Updated: 12/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hikvision Digital Technology has experienced significant growth over the past two years. 2013 and 2014 have been especially meaningful to the company, with the sales growth rate reaching more than 100 percent for the overseas market. a&s explored what is behind the success of Hikvision and how it pictures itself in the world market in the future.

Hikvision Digital Technology marked another milestone in its own history to be ranked third in Security 50 rankings, 2014, as conducted by a&s International. According to the report, in 2013, Hikvision reached a new sales record with a total revenue of US$1.6 billion and 53.2 percent growth rate. And in the first half of 2014, Hikvision also gained $1 billion in sales revenue with 53.9 percent growth, while for the overseas market the sales growth rate reached more than 100 percent. “The success can be attributed to the company's long-term commitment toward product strategy and customer services in the worldwide markets, and also proves that Hikvision starts to receive considerable returns after years of efforts in overseas markets,” said Keen Yao, International Marketing Director of Hikvision Digital Technology.

 

Increasing Global Demand for Multiple HD Solutions
The requirement from customers is very clear: they want a high resolution video system but at a more affordable price. No matter an analog or IP system, the mainstream now is HD. However, the customer's choice toward specific HD solutions is still varied. “For example, HD-over- coaxial solutions are welcomed, particularly in developing countries, like APAC, Latin America; even in the U.S. and Japan,” Yao said. For IP video surveillance solutions, the growth momentum is now in the small and mid-sized business (SMB) sector. SMB customers have a very clear demand for clear images, and they want the systems to be easy to use, install, maintain, and also affordable. For SMBs, to fully meet their actual requirements is much more important than introducing high technologies to them. However, for large-scaled projects, customers want more smart (intelligent) video functions to fulfill their needs in order to mitigate different threats. Meanwhile, in this sector, there is always a large demand towards large storage and high bandwidth, which explains why H.265 compression technologies will be the future, according to Yao.

Therefore, Hikvision now offers complete HD product lines and specific sales strategies tailored for different market segments such as smart IP solution, easy IP solution, and turbo HD solution, etc., to meet different requirements from customers and projects. Systems, which adopt new technologies of 4K and H.265, and upgraded VCA and VMS, should be ready for the market by the end of next year, said Yao. Next, Hikvision's ambition is to provide total solutions for its worldwide customers.

 

High Penetration in Verticals
Developing solutions for verticals has also been the main key in Hikvision's long-term commitment toward its customers. Hikvision has been recognized in many large-scale projects, ranging from transportation, industrial, residential, city surveillance, financial institutes, retail, and education, in the overseas markets. Some significant projects of Hikvision recently include the installation of over 750 units of Hikvision 2-megapixel network dome cameras in Seoul, Korea, valued at $1.6 million; and a housing facilities project in New York, U.S., with over 5,000 video stream channels. Other projects include Tesco in the U.K., Mineirao Stadium for the World Cup in Brazil, and multiple top luxury hotels in the Middle East. Besides, Hikvision has vast domestic market for vertical applications, which provides all the necessary elements and valuable experience for them to explore vertical markets in overseas market.

Not only for security, Hikvision's solutions also help achieve management purposes. For example, it has a solution for financial management. In China, for certain investments, banks must tell people about the risks before they sign a contract. The solution is at the desk and allows the bankers to record them telling the customers about the risks before signing. This allows them to have records just in case an investment goes bad and the customer comes back to claim they were not warned about the risks.

In another case, Hikvision worked on a special project for the Prison Administrative Bureau of Liaoning Province, China, where they were also involved in the policy writing regarding how to manage the prison system. The prison project, while security was definitely a key, access management was a main requirement. In certain parts of the prison the doors can only be opened if there are at least two people present. Therefore the solution included sensors that can tell how many people are at the door. If there is only one person, the doors will not open. If there are at least two, access is granted. According to Yao, this type of management system can now be provided to other environments such as vaults in banks.

With all the achievements in worldwide markets, Hikvision now has become a multinational in the security industry that is able to supply professional video surveillance solutions to customers.

 

Enhanced Localized Services and Partnership
As of the end of 2014, Hikvision has around 16 branch offices around the world. The company aims to reach 20 offices by the end of 2016. By means of these branch offices, Hikvision is able to provide more localized services and support to its regional markets, which explains the company's high growth in overseas markets. Yao said the company's management style is more centered in each local regional office; they are well supported by warehouses, logistics centers, pre/after-sales service centers, and others. Hikvision recently expanded its warehouses in Amsterdam and the Americas, such as in Brazil and the U.S., to make sure product supply is instant to its local markets. In the U.S., Hikvision also set up a calling center and repair center to provide more efficient customer service and technical support. In addition, “We work very closely with our partners to win the trust of our customers and projects. In the U.K., working with our distributors, we launched ‘Added-Value System Partner — AVSP' Program to group distributors and systems integrators together for more support in technology and direct conversation,” said Yao.

 

Next for Hikvision: 4K & H.265 Technologies
Looking to the future development of Hikvision, there are three major directions. First, in security, Hikvision will continue in its leading position in technology to develop complete 4K and H.265 video surveillance systems. According to Yao, although HD is the mainstream, due to customers' increasing demand toward high picture quality, 4K has a huge potential to grow in the future, especially in the large-scale projects and high-end applications. Once the middle market is ready to adopt more 4K, it will become the mainstream. At that time, H.265 will also become much more crucial for users to keep low bandwidth while maintaining smooth video streaming.

Meanwhile, the company will also continue to upgrade their VCA and VMS products. As VCA becomes more and more important in the security industry, many new applications and markets will be opened up; especially in smart cities. “With VCA, structured security video data can be created. Then through integration with other metadata, we can acquire more valuable information to increase the extra values of a solution, such as ITS and public safety, which is also something that Hikvision would like explore more in the near future,” said Yao.

In regard to access control, Hikvision currently provides total solutions for intelligent building systems, which includes access control and video surveillance. “We also see that integration drives the market demand,” Yao said. “It is a must to integrate access control with video surveillance and alarms, which can be seen in the building automation sector which requires total solutions. Therefore, to become a total solution provider, Hikvision will soon launch access control products in the near future to the overseas markets.” In addition, the company also actively seeks new opportunities in the home security sector, with its EZVIZ brand. The company will first focus on some mature markets, like the U.S. and Europe, to roll out its products. In addition to being an equipment provider, Hikvision is also a service provider in China and has partnerships with some major Internet service platform providers, such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. Based on the Chinese business model, we can expect Hikvision might do the same in the overseas market in the near future.

 

Going Beyond Security
Hikvision has successfully transformed into a solution and service provider with a global presence. Its strong technology background will continue to drive the company to explore more markets. With all its recent plans, we can picture how Hikvision will grow beyond security for other video applications.

Tyco appoints Daryll T. Fogal as CTO and launches

Tyco appoints Daryll T. Fogal as CTO and launches "Tyco On" platform

Editor / Provider: TYCO | Updated: 11/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Tyco International announced that it has taken important steps to bolster its technology capabilities, appointing Daryll T. Fogal as Chief Technology Officer, launching its new "Tyco On" software solutions platform, and making a strategic investment in Qolsys, a provider of innovative home automation solutions.

Daryll T. Fogal Named Chief Technology Officer
As Tyco's Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Fogal will have global responsibility for the company's technology vision, strategy, capabilities and operations to support the development of products, services and solutions that meet the needs of customers ranging from multinational corporations to households. Most recently, he served as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering for Eaton Corporation's Electrical Sector. Based in Princeton, N.J., Mr. Fogal will report directly to George Oliver, Tyco's Chief Executive Officer, and will serve on Tyco's Management Team.

"Technology is the key to advancing our leadership position in the industry, so we are pleased to have a technology leader of Daryll's caliber join us in this critical role," said Mr. Oliver. "Daryll's extensive experience leading large-scale engineering and R&D organizations, his previous responsibility for developing an Internet of Things strategy and execution model, and his strong general management and operations mindset will enable him to provide the strategic leadership necessary to achieve our growth and innovation vision."

Prior to joining Tyco, Mr. Fogal was responsible for the development of the product portfolio for Eaton's $13.6 billion Electrical business. Previously, he held senior technology, R&D program management and operations positions over a 15-year career with Honeywell, including Vice President of Engineering and Technology for the company's Building Solutions business from 2003 to 2011. Mr. Fogal holds B.A. Sc. and M.A. Sc. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Tyco Reveals 'Tyco On' Smart Services Platform, the Core of its Internet of Things Strategy
The company also introduced Tyco On, its integrated data and smart services platform. Tyco On provides a set of software-enabled Internet of Things capabilities that enhance safety and security systems using open standards to connect a wide range of intelligent devices, systems and services, enabling customers to improve their operations.

Solutions enabled by Tyco On will address varying needs of multinational, small business and residential customers, ranging from efficiency to complex system integrations and intelligent operations. For example, Tyco On enables improved efficiency through a service application already in use in the company's Installation and Services business that allows a single technician to perform fire alarm testing. Using a mobile app, the technician can test detectors throughout a building and connect remotely to the system's fire panel, where a second technician would have been stationed in the past, to complete the procedure. In the future, this application will also offer immediate cloud-enabled access and storage of testing documentation, providing an overall more cost-effective solution that would appeal to a broad base of customers with standard needs.

Tyco On will also enable more complex, "smart" solutions that leverage data from varied devices and systems and apply advanced analytics to reveal insights that lead to better decisions, faster execution and transformational business outcomes for customers. Tyco has been delivering such solutions and outcomes for several years in its Retail Solutions business that serves some of the world's largest store chains. In over 4,000 retail locations, Tyco is helping retailers tie together data from RFID tags, video, electronic article surveillance and traffic sensors, transforming it into actionable intelligence through Tyco's TrueVUE software. With these insights, retailers are empowered to optimize their inventory management, deliver a more pleasant shopper experience, and maximize revenue across their operation.

"As the core of our Internet of Things strategy, Tyco On builds on our deep expertise in systems integration and services and our installed base of more than a billion sensors, tags, devices and systems around the world, and unlocks the value of this data with the power of analytics to deliver a range of smart services for multiple vertical markets, from healthcare and hospitality to petro-chemical operations to education and more," Mr. Oliver said.

In the next phases of development of Tyco On-enabled solutions, customers will see additional benefits, such as proactive alerts with contextual information, coordinated multi-system responses and an interactive and personalized experience for system owners, users and customers. As a result, Tyco's safety and security customers will find ways to gain additional competitive advantage while continuing to protect people and assets.

As these advanced solutions integrate additional systems and data into the Tyco On architecture, including third-party software, products, and services, protection of the data is a paramount consideration. Recognizing the importance of these mission-critical systems, Tyco has established security policies and protocols that protect the data. The Tyco On architecture also supports both cloud-based and on-premises deployment so that customers can control exactly what systems can access the physical sensor data, enhancing system reliability, responsiveness and integrity.

Tyco Makes Strategic Investment in Qolsys
The company also advanced its Internet of Things strategy with a strategic investment in Qolsys, a San Jose, Calif.-based innovator that has extended the boundaries of "all-in-one" home automation with its IQ panel. The Android-based panel delivers the industry's most advanced, connected home control platform supporting life safety, residential security, home control, energy management and other functions, supported by best-in-class technology providers, including Google, Foxconn Technology Group and Alarm.com.

The IQ panel has a seven-inch touchscreen with a built-in panel camera, six built-in wireless radios with no external antennas, Z-Wave for home control devices, two-way voice, siren, an SD Card slot, 24-hour lithium-ion battery, and interactive services powered by Alarm.com. The groundbreaking panel's Dual-Path Connectivity enables communication over cellular and broadband WiFi channels enabling interactive services, adding redundancy to support reliability across all connected home services while making the solution more flexible.

"The partnership with Qolsys is exciting news for Tyco and further demonstrates our commitment to enabling new intelligent services via the Internet of Things," said Mike Ryan, President, Tyco Security Products. "This investment deepens our intrusion security portfolio offering so that we can continue to deliver the most innovative and intuitive solutions to our customers in the residential, commercial and service provider segments."

Comprehensive access control solutions feature at Secutech 2015

Comprehensive access control solutions feature at Secutech 2015

Editor / Provider: Secutech | Updated: 11/18/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Access control has long been a vital portion of physical security and can be divided into three categories, namely password-based access control, card-based access control, and biometrics-based access control, according to the system's input, transmission, and control methods. The functions and characteristics of each type of access control are explained here in this article.

Password-based access control: This is a system that requires a password to open doors. The electronic lock will open once the password is deemed correct. The advantage is that the system requires no keys or cards; only the password needs to be entered. But there are some disadvantages, too. One of them is that the key-in and reading of passwords may take some time. This may result in a long queue as workers enter a building to get to work. Another disadvantage is a low level of security: passwords can be guessed by people's gestures or stains that they leave on the keypad. Passwords are also easily forgotten or revealed. That's why access control systems based on passwords have become less and less popular.

Card-based access control systems can be further divided into two subcategories: those using contact cards and those using contactless cards. Contact cards, which can be broken or worn out, have become less common and are seen only at banks or unmanned ATM vestibules. Contactless cards, meanwhile, are durable, cost-effective, fast, and more secure. These features have made contactless cards the mainstream access control technology at present time. Contactless cards, indeed, are seen as the embodiment of access control.

The last category is biometrics, which identifies people based on their particular physical attributes. Common biometrics technologies include fingerprints, finger veins, iris scans, and facial recognition. A key advantage is that cards are not required for opening doors. In addition, overlapping or duplication of physical attributes is extremely unlikely, making the system secure. A disadvantage is that biometrics solutions are expensive. Meanwhile, physical attributes may change according to variations in the environment. For example, disparities in humidity may cause minor changes to fingerprints, while finger veins and the face may change along with age. The iris may change slightly due to eye diseases. These changes may increase the system's false acceptance rate and false recognition rate. Yet, the accuracy of biometrics systems has improved continuously, and cost has gone down by the year. This has led to increased deployment.

In addition, in recent years we are seeing more diverse applications in different vertical markets. These include NFC- and RFID-based access control and solutions that combine access control and mobile equipment. All these products and solutions will feature at the Access Control Pavilion – Asia's most comprehensive access control exhibition – at secutech 2015, held from April 28 to 30. To find out which access control companies will take part in the show, please go to www.secutech.com.

Sponsored by:  
Secutech, the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions, will take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan.
Now in its 18th year, secutech features some 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and attracts over 26,000 visitors. Dedicated pavilions for the following sectors: Surveillance | Software & Management Systems | Transmission & Networks | Smart Homes | Key Components / Parts | Electronic Systems

Register your FREE visitor badge now at www.secutech.com/registration/en

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