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Samsung sells Samsung Techwin

Samsung sells Samsung Techwin

Editor / Provider: Jon Cropley, IHS | Updated: 12/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Samsung sells Samsung Techwin
Samsung Techwin announced that Samsung Group affiliates will sell their holding stakes in Samsung Techwin to Hanwha Group. Samsung Techwin is a major supplier of video surveillance equipment. Hanwha Group is a large South Korean conglomerate.

 

 

 

Our Take
Samsung Techwin has grown rapidly during the last decade and is estimated to have been the fifth largest supplier of video surveillance equipment in the world in 2013. Despite this, by the company's own impressive standards, 2013 itself was a tough year and it did not gain market share. For a company that likes to be a market leader in its core business areas, this must have been a setback.

According to principal analyst, Jon Cropley, “prices fell quickly in the video surveillance market in 2013, as vendors from China undercut their global competitors and increased their market shares”.

The sale of Samsung Techwin will allow Samsung to focus on its core businesses such as smartphones. It will also provide Hanwha Group a clear opportunity to benefit from entering a market which is forecast to grow at an average of over 10% during the next five years. Hanwha will need to make sure Samsung Techwin maintains a clear strategy for success though as competition is fierce and the supply base is highly fragmented. There are hundreds and hundreds of suppliers of video surveillance equipment and the top 15 accounted for less than 50% of global revenues in 2013.

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.

2014 Security 50 Industry Report

2014 Security 50 Industry Report

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 11/28/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

This year's Security 50 rankings again proved the year 2013 was another fruitful year. The top 50 companies grew 8.2 percent on average. Even without very dramatic growth, it symbolizes that 2013 indeed was a turning point for the whole industry: 

        TIME for SOLUTIONS!

 

 

 

The result proves that the top 50 companies grew quite steadily in 2013. However, the figure also shows a slight slowdown, compared to the average 12 percent growth in Security 50 reports, per year, after 2010.

Multinationals among the top 50, which mostly develop multiple security systems, ranging from video surveillance, access control, and alarm, grew exponentially and have become much more profitable compared to our findings in 2012 and 2011. In 2013, they grew 15.6 percent, compared to 9.5 percent in 2012. Their profit growth is 15.7 percent on average, double compared to 7.1 percent in 2012.

 

 

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 is also required.

 

                                          

 

 See the Full Ranking of 2015 Security 50 here!

 

The full report will be released on December 1st 2014.

Follow the latest news via Twitter or Facebook now  :)

 

 

 

 

 

Hikvision hosts trips to China for key European Customers

Hikvision hosts trips to China for key European Customers

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 11/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision, one of the world’s leading suppliers of video surveillance equipment and solutions, recently hosted a diverse group of European customers at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

Thirty-three customers from across Western, Central and Eastern Europe, spent six days in China, where they learned about Hikvision’s assortment of unique products, and were treated to cultural outings. The trip provided Hikvision’s customers with firsthand insight into the company’s commitment to product research and development, and also allowed for Hikvision to showcase the breadth and depth of its product offering through visits to the manufacturing production and quality control facilities.

“This was an incredible opportunity for Hikvision to strengthen close relationships with our customers,” says Jiang Zhi, General Manager of Hikvision Europe, who flew in with other key members of the Hikvision European team to accompany the visitors on their tour.

During their visit, the customers attended various product presentations from Hikvision’s research and development staff, which included information on brand new products, as well as the company’s future plans for product development. Both Hikvision and the customers benefitted from the exchange of ideas in these sessions, with valuable customer feedback on specific ways the products could be tailored to best meet the various companies’ security needs.

A highlight of the trip was a tour through Hikvision’s R&D laboratories, where over 3700 engineers are continuously developing new products and features that give the company the technological edge the brand is known for. The group also visited two local installations in Hangzhou that serve as models for seeing Hikvision products in action.

“When customers visit our headquarters in Hangzhou, they come away with a better understanding of our unique culture and vision, and can share in our employees’ drive for success in European markets,” Jiang says.

Hikvision's Turbo HD: Bringing HD quality to an analog system

Hikvision's Turbo HD: Bringing HD quality to an analog system

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Hikvision | Updated: 9/22/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Regardless of whether or not video surveillance is headed toward IP, analog will always have a place in the market. The ease of connection, immediate transmission rate, simple maintenance, and safe and stable application will all keep analog a mainstay in video surveillance. To fit some systems integrators and end users' needs for analog systems, Hikvision launched its first HD analog systems, Turbo HD, ranging from cameras to DVRs.

How does Turbo HD Analog Solution work?
The Turbo HD analog system integrates digital, codecs, modem, and analog transmission technologies, which breaks the limit of 625TVL (not 960H) simulation technology and allows for HD in analog transmission, making it easy for old systems to upgrade to HD.

At the core of Hikvision's Turbo HD analog system is a modem chip that processes HD signals. After the HD signals are captured by the megapixel high-resolution CMOS sensor, the optical image is processed by the image chip and forms uncompressed digital signals, which saves the original information. This imaging principle is basically the same as that of a HD digital camera, but the difference is Turbo HD analog solution adopts analog transmission over coaxial cable, namely, digital signals that are modulated into analog signals by a modulation chip. After HD video signals are transmitted to a back-end DVR, the modulation chip demodulates and uses a codec to compresses them into HD net video signals, which are then stored. The DVR modulation chip can modulate four Turbo HD signals in order to improve efficiency of demodulation.

Advantages:
• HD visual effects: Currently, Turbo HD analog solution is available in two resolutions: 2 megapixels at 1,080P and 1.3 megapixels at 720P. This allows for 900TVL to 1,100TVL of HD quality, which should be able to satisfy most HD surveillance needs.
• Long-distance transmission: It transmits 1,080P over 300 meters via a 75-5 ohm coaxial cable and 720P up to 500 meters.
• Open platform: Hikvision's Turbo HD analog system is compatible with HDTVI products of same type from third party companies. It can also receive different signals from 1,080P network cameras, 960H cameras, and SD analog cameras.
• Reverse control over coaxial cable: There is no need for customize configured keyboards for the OSD function menu of front-end cameras and dome camera cradle controls—everything can be done through the DVR via coaxial cable, providing the same flexibility as network equipment.
• Multi-functions: Software allows IP cameras to have many functions; however, many of these functions are difficult to realize on an analog camera. With the Turbo HD analog system, there are more functions such as transmission through fog, WDR, backlight compensation, and the intelligent analysis of VQD[1].

Product Design
Like other product lines, the Turbo HD analog system is selfcontained. To meet the needs of different customers, it provides a variety of camera series including dome cameras, half-dome cameras, fixed cameras, bullet cameras, integrated cameras, non-spherical camera, etc., all designed with infrared supplementary lighting and are IP66-rated for indoor and outdoor use.

Hikvision also provides several types of Turbo HD DVRs: mainly 4-, 8-, and 16-channel products. From the outside, the Turbo HD DVR looks the same as a traditional DVR. However, once the back cover is opened and you look at the PCB, you will find there are four HDTVI demodulation chips in addition to the video processing chip. In addition, the BNC video input interfaces for the Turbo HD DVR are not separated for SD and HD — the DVR recognizes the signals and resolution after analog video is input though these interfaces. As to DVR, the Turbo HD analog and IP inputs are two individual signals that do not restrict each other. Take DS-8116HQHI-SH as an example. This DVR supports 16 channels of analog video and two channels of network video input and can realize maximum codec storage of 18 channels of 1,080P HD signals.

Product Test
Eight channels with 1,080P and 720P Turbo HD cameras, as well as one channel with a 2-megapixel HD IP cameras, one channel with a D1 HD analog video, and one channel with a 960H camera; 10 channel signals in total were used for the test. They are tested and stored in a DS-8116HQHI-SH VCR (available with eight Western Digital 4TB hard drives). Turbo HD cameras need one-to-one corresponding modem chips to receive video signals. For this test, the camera was connected directly to the DVR. The video was then uploaded to Skyworth's display's DVR HDMI interface and co-browsed through C/S client from an Internet-connected computer.

Image quality test: 1,080P HD Picture Quality
With the DS-2CE16D5T-AVFIT3 as the video source, the camera was aligned at the sharpness testing card and focus at minimum zoom. The observed local output video showed horizontal 1,050TVL and vertical 1,100TVL. The camera's wide-angle lens caused poor edge sharpness, but still provides up to 800TVL. The results were almost the same with 1,080P IP HD, and even better than some 1,000TVL IP HD.

Sharpness Test
With the 24-color reduction test card, the reduction was accurate with no partial color. Compared with IP HD images, the color was more transparent, closer to the color performance of HD-SDI digital signals with codec. At the same time, in the gray scale test, the gray-scale performance at the seventeenth and eighteenth levels were not inferior to IP camera either.

In the scenery image quality test, the pictures were penetrating, smooth, and layered—so much so that you would not believe they came from an analog system. The superior color reduction is closer to that of SDI digital pictures without compression loss.

In addition to the transmission test at short range, we also tested 1,080P at 300 meters over a 75-5 ohm coaxial cable. In the sharpness test, after a 300-meter long transmission, the image quality of 1,080P was not reduced: horizontal 1,050TVL; vertical 1,100TVL; and edge 800TVL were all easily distinguishable with accurate color reduction. Meanwhile, in long-distance transmissions, when placing a telephone next to the coaxial cable and camera to cause signal interference, no abnormalities appeared in the picture.

Network Design With Flexible Controls
Although the Turbo HD analog system uses analog signals to transmit signals, it incorporates Hikvision's network advantages into its new generation of Turbo HD products, such as WDR support, defog, backlight compensation, etc. During the test, a fog simulation test was conducted: when the defog function was off the picture was hazy; however, after turning on the function, the outline of the picture was clear, and the effect on the video in terms of penetration, color, and sharpness was close to that in a no-fog situation. Similarly, in the backlight compensation test, when the backlight compensation was turned on under hard light the ambient light was suppressed as well, making the doll easily identifiable.

In the test, the codec parameter was set for 1,080p video to 1,080P/4 Mbps (under real-time 25fps). HD video was previewed at C/S client-side after codec by DVR (the code rate was steadily controlled between 4.4 to 4.5 Mbps). When delayed, focusing the camera on the electronic stopwatch the delayed time of 1,080P Turbo HD from imaging to display according to DVR local display and photo capture was calculated to be about 170 to 220 milliseconds, proving the fast transmission rate of the picture.

Replay: Fast Operation and Smooth Replay
The DVR also has intelligent analytic functions, such as a tripwire test. It can monitor video channel quality in real time, including diagnostic functions for blurry images, abnormal brightness, and crash screens, as well as immediately preserve the monitor screen.

DVR DS-8116HQHI-SH supports a maximum of 18 channels of video recording and a maximum of 16 channels of 1,080P synchronous replay. After four to five hours of constant recording, video can quickly be retrieved via time and/or channel through the replay menu. For this test we replayed 10 channels: observed was no frame loss in the picture and smooth replay. Note that the image quality, color, and sharpness could fully meet the requirements of HD forensics. In the test, the codec parameter was set for 1,080p video to 1,080P/4 Mbps (under real-time 25fps). HD video was previewed at C/S client-side after codec by DVR (the code rate was steadily controlled between 4.4 to 4.5 Mbps). When delayed, focusing the camera on the electronic stopwatch the delayed time of 1,080P Turbo HD from imaging to display according to DVR local display and photo capture was calculated to be about 170 to 220 milliseconds, proving the fast transmission rate of the picture.

Single channel replay, real-time image quality
During single-channel video replay, we called up the data rate testing software. After a long period of observation, we found that the camera used real-time replay buffer technology of 1,080P real-time replay at about .4 to 4.5 Mbps for singlechannel replay, conforming to codec limits and consistent with those in real-time preview. To reduce storage space and bandwidth pressure in remote preview or replay, 1,080P can be encoded and decoded at a rate of 2 to 3 Mbps or 720P at 1 to 2 Mbps, all while ensuring image quality with DVR low-coding technology. There is no obvious decay of image quality between low-code stream and standard-code stream transmission.

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 11/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Fraud and theft are the most common illegal activities that take place in casino facilities, as a large amount of money is handled between staffs and patrons every single day making casino a convenient target. When it comes to casino security deployment, there are many to concern about. Making sure that the patrons and staffs are safe and feel secured surely is on the top of the list. However, from a managing aspect, it requires more than just making people in the facilities feels secured. As a matter of fact, being able to deter, detect, and hold quality evidence for further investigation is usually the managers' ultimate goal.

asmag.com is here to present some professional insights from experts around the globe in this industry regarding gaming security applications. According to their opinions, the key demands from gaming sectors boil down to the following points:

1. Real-time video surveillance recording:
30 frames per second (fps) usually is the bottom line for gaming surveillance applications, as higher fps is more desired in order to capture every detail on the gaming table or happening in the facilities which may later on become crucial forensic evidence.
2. High resolution & high frame rate:
As mentioned previously, higher frame-rate is much preferred. However, having higher fps sometimes suggests compromising on image resolution. High resolution and high frame rate are both in demand in terms of surveillance systems in gaming facilities.
3. Color images in low-light environment:
In order to be able to distinguish the colors of gaming chips, it is crucial to record color and high-resolution images despite shooting in a dim environment, as most of the casinos dim the light purposely just to create a relaxing ambience.
4. Local gaming demands:
For the overseas gaming investment, following certain gaming security demands from the local authorities is necessary. For example, some countries require the gaming facilities to equip with surveillance cameras that come with certain functions or set limits on image resolution and frame rate.
5. Search & tracking:
There could be up to hundreds, or even thousands of cameras in a gaming facility, depends on the scale of the business. Searching and tracking functions surely help the operators to track down to suspicious activities and person effectively.

Casino may consider for security systems upgrades every five to seven years in average. When it comes to retrofit project, there are more to consider about. “End users must decide whether to continue to invest in analog technology or to begin migrating to IP with a hybrid system. They need to determine if the analog system can be improved or if they'd benefit more from the better image quality and detail provided by high definition IP cameras. The challenge is determining which path to take,” said Tom Kochenberger, Field Systems Specialist at Bosch Security Systems. There is no correct answer between continuing to use analog systems or migrating to IP-based systems – it depends on various factors such as budgets, practical necessities and further plans for upgrades, just to name a few.

For the end users who want to spare the troubles on cabling and decide to upgrade existing analog systems, HD-over-coaxial solution might be their prior option now. “HDCVI provides real-time recording at up to 1080p high-quality image resolution, with users' existing cable systems,” said John Li, Product Manager at Dahua Technology. “Moreover, HDCVI guarantees a full HD image quality under real-time recording which is definitely an ideal feature for gaming industry.”

Trending technologies and value-added applications

Trending in the casinos: 4K camera, facial recognition and license plate recognition
As the technology is becoming even advanced day by day, there are more possibilities for innovative techniques being applied for security purposes in casinos. In fact, a promising future can be seen on certain technologies in the gaming industry. For example, 4K camera, facial recognition, license plate recognition, etc.

“The adoption of IP video is directly affected by the use of advanced forensic technologies that provide automated recognition,” stated Steve Surfaro, Industry Liaison of Axis Communications. “Facial recognition of a fixed population of known scam artists and criminals can automate the detection process and move casino surveillance from today's reactive posture to proactive. License plate recognition (LPR) technology is already being used in Las Vegas casino parking areas and shopping malls to reduce potential crime. I recently met a representative from a vehicle recovery firm in a Las Vegas parking area. They had deployed LPR cameras similar to those used on law enforcement and parking enforcement vehicles. These IP video cameras automatically decode the plates of moving vehicles and deliver an alert indicating a ‘vehicle of interest'.”

Ed Thompson, CTO at DVTEL, is convinced that more casinos will start to incorporate 4K camera technology. “Casinos will also benefit from the ultra HD resolution and superior color reproduction provided by 4K cameras, allowing them to quickly identify potential for fraud and crime. Video analytics will also play an important role in enabling casinos to be more proactive with their surveillance programs. Both server-based and edge-based analytics will be leveraged for indoor and perimeter surveillance needs and we only expect applications for analytics to grow as the technology matures.”

Move beyond video surveillance
Besides higher image quality, the end users in the gaming sector are targeting on more value-added applications that can make the most of the security systems and managing systems.

Casinos are expanding their purview of security beyond video surveillance into more advanced technologies and systems, such as PSIM (Physical Security Information Management), video analytics, and mobile apps. Dr. Bob Banerjee, Senior Director of Training and Development at NICE Systems, provides some insights regarding these advanced technologies for the gaming sector below:

PSIM
PSIM is moving away from focusing on pure integration and toward operational workflows, processes and procedures which can be automated to make operators lives easier, and business more cost efficient. Casinos are no exception. Simply put PSIM solutions capture and correlate information from third party sensors and integrate those inputs into a common operating picture. In a casino environment, this might include security subsystems like video, access control, intrusion and fire, but also HVAC, elevators, escalators, public signage and mass notification. PSIM's automated workflows guide operators to quickly and efficiently respond and enable collaboration across security teams. By automating response procedures, PSIM ensures that operators respond to incidents quickly, efficiently and in a compliant manner.

Advanced Analytics for Real-time Forensics
It's not uncommon for casinos to employ hundreds, even thousands of surveillance cameras. But when something happens, security operators still need to resort to a feet-on-the-ground search to find the suspect. What's the alternative – to watch all the recordings from all the cameras to try and locate the suspect? Impossible – just 400 cameras and 1 hour of elapsed time would mean hundreds of hours of video footage to plow through. But what if you could let video analytics do this work for you?

Today, video analytics technology can provide real-time forensics of surveillance video to locate a person of interest in situations when time is of the essence. Using a video image, uploaded photo, or user-generated composite, this revolutionary video analytics tool can scan hours of video in minutes and automatically filter out 95 percent of irrelevant images to help a casino track down a suspect. Its mapping capabilities provide geo-spatial awareness by retracing the suspect's movements across cameras and pinpointing his current or last known locations on a casino's premises. All images, related video, and locations associated with the search are digitally stamped and can be saved or shared among law enforcement agencies for use in investigations and prosecution.

Mobile apps
Casinos spend billions of dollars annually on surveillance technology. Thanks to mobile apps, they can now start to think about how to extend these investments beyond the walls of the control room and into the hands of their personnel.

We live in an age of instant situational awareness – information like knowing where to go and the best way to get there is right at our fingertips. What if field personnel could be equipped with a smartphone or tablet and a PSIM-centric Enterprise Geographical Information System (EGIS) Web application that not only notified them of an incident, but also showed them the best way to get there, and how to respond? It's possible today.

Using another mobile app on their smartphones, a worker could also report an incident, and send video or photos to the security command center. The PSIM system receives the incident alert, using RFID or Bluetooth to automatically pinpoint the sender's location, then using that location to pull up nearby surveillance video feeds. The command center operator immediately sees who's sending the alert, where it originated, what's happening, and what actions to take. The app is also equipped with a panic button.

 

 

   More about Gaming Security    

 

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Everyone knows what surveillance cameras in casinos are for, but no one really worries about them unless they have something to hide, and for people who do, they hide it well. No longer do casinos bet solely on security cameras to spot crime ongoing in their premises, with video content analysis (VCA) to detect any unusual incidents, the house will always win.......

 

 

 

Casinos looking for extra values from network video surveillance

The mindset of casino operators toward new technologies is generally more conservative, compared to other market sectors. Casinos are reluctant to risk adopting new.... 

 


                                                         

 

 

   Case Study Highlight      

 

 LILIN presents professional security solutions for gaming industry

 Casino security surveillance system requires the ability to respond rapidly to incidents at diverse level of lighting. The gaming industry, one of the early adopters of video monitoring solutions...

 

                                                     

 

Luxury hotels serve up first class security

Luxury hotels serve up first class security

Editor / Provider: EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 11/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The tourism and hospitality sectors are inextricably linked — you can't have one without the other. This link becomes even clearer when looking at the numbers. And as the global economy continues to recover, so does the hospitality sector. International tourist arrivals grew by 5% in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) January 2014 World Tourism Barometer. The APAC region leads this growth with the number of tourists reaching 14 million, a rough growth estimate of about 6%. Southeast Asia was the best performing sub-region with the number of tourists growing by around 10%. Africa was next after APAC with approximately three million new arrivals, followed by Europe and the Americas. For 2014, the UNWTO forecasts international arrivals to increase by 4 to 4.5%.

Not only is the number of travellers on the rise, the number of travellers with disposable income is also on the rise, fueling the demand for upscale and luxury leisure travel, according to EY's Global Hospitality Insights: Top Thoughts for 2014. The latest numbers from STR Global indicate that there are 2,312 hotel projects currently in construction, in development, or in planning in the APAC region as of March 2014. In the Middle East and Africa, 573 hotel projects are currently underway, with 25 hotels in the luxury segment expected to open in 2015 alone.

Luxury hotels have a lot to offer; however, opting to stay at a luxury hotel is more than just wanting first-class service and accommodations. It is also about feeling secure and knowing you can relax and feel at ease. For the hotel operator, security is of utmost importance. By utilizing newer security technologies such as physical security information management (PSIM) software and video content analysis (VCA) software, luxury hoteliers are able to not only secure their establishment and their guests, but also increase management and operational efficiency.

UPGRADES AND PROCUREMENT
How luxury hotel chains upgrade and procure their security equipment is different from standard economy hotel chains. Industry players estimate that luxury hotel chains, on average, look at large system upgrades every seven years, give or take a few. Upgrades are driven by anything from changing local regulations to system failures to incidents that point out security weaknesses. Regardless of the reason, during this time security directors of luxury hotel chains use this opportunity to take a hard look at how security technology has changed and how they can benefit from it, according to Brian Lane, Director of Product Management at 3VR. “This is when the ‘migration' from one technology to another begins.”

In terms of procurement, Ilya Umanskiy, Associate MD of Security Risk Management at Kroll in Hong Kong highlighted the competitive nature of luxury hotel tenders. Certain genuine process indicators/measures are used to select the right supplier. From there, a fixed pricing period is often determined, which is reset every two to five years. Lane further pointed out, “Hotels generally do not network their security systems together as an enterprise, therefore, a single hotel in a chain may elect to choose their own security system, independent of other hotels in the same chain, even luxury hotels.” Because a hotel operator or security director may have an established relationship with a local integrator, they are not always likely to purchase a single solution from one supplier, added Lane. “The hotel may have different components from several suppliers, but often will use only a single integrator.”

BETTER EFFICIENCY WITH PSIM
PSIM has been promoted within the security industry as solution for centralizing disparate systems; however, due to high cost, mass implementation outside of government-type and critical infrastructure projects has been limited. Despite this, more and more industries are realizing the benefits of using PSIM software to help manage their facilities. A report released by Transparency Market Research in January 2014 estimates that the emerging PSIM segment will grow at a CAGR of 25.8% from 2013 to 2019. This rise in PSIM deployment is attributed to a decline in price, increase in sophistication, and growing awareness among end users.

Luxury hotel chains are among those that are starting to see the many benefits that PSIM has to offer. “PSIMs are good when you have disparate systems that have been installed over the years where you can aggregate signal information in a single user interface where it can help centralize your monitoring,” said Umanskiy. This ability to centralize different systems makes it a great tool for luxury hotel chains.

Yet, demand for PSIM software varies by region and reach. “The demand is there. The big question is the global region of where the hotel chain operates and whether the hotel chain is a global chain or a regional chain or if it's simply a privately owned operation or several properties in a particular country or region,” explained Umanskiy. For example, hotel chains in the Western world are more likely to use PSIM software as a result of more technical knowhow available to explain how PSIM operates and what benefits it brings. On the other hand, in Asia, less market education and high cost have made PSIM adoption quite low. “In Asia specifically, that [PSIM] hasn't really been widely discussed by luxury hotel operators,” said Umanskiy. “They still either rely on access control platforms to monitor various sub-systems or use those systems as completely standalone, so they end up operating through different interfaces.” One reason for this can be attributed to the market for luxury hotel implementation in Asia being owned by integrators. Because integrators generally prefer to get in and get out, they are less likely to spend time educating users on what technology they are receiving, according to Umanskiy.

LUXURY HOTELS GET SMARTER
VCA, or video analytics, has been a hot topic in the security industry in the last few years. Making systems “smart” allows users to save time and increase operational efficiency. That is why luxury hotel operators are getting in on the action.

Aside from using PSIM software to manage and centralize systems, many luxury hotel chains simply integrate subsystems such as access control with video management systems (VMS), a more affordable solution. A VMS with VCA software integrated with an access control platform allows the video analytics to be applied and married to the access control database, asserted Lane. Video analytics at a hotel can be used for many different things. On the security side, VCA technology can help hotels that have issues with parties in hotel rooms — the video analytics can send an alert to security officers if three or more people enter the hotel through a back entrance using the same access control key. Analytics can also be used to help with operational efficiency, pointed out Lane. “For the operations of the hotel, analytics that determine queue length can notify the manager to add more front desk personnel when the queue hits a certain threshold, while face analytics can be used to identify VIP guests, and people counting analytics can be used to help managers find traffic patterns to help maximize staffing needs during peak and lull periods.”

Although deployment of VCA has clear benefits as a proactive tool for operations and surveillance, Umanskiy points out that it has limitations. Making sure that patrons feel safe at a hotel means making sure that the security measures are as unobtrusive as possible. Therefore, hotel operators cannot put cameras everywhere, as a certain amount of privacy must be maintained. Since analytics requires video content for analysis, it is not possible for analytics to be everywhere on a property. As such, it is important to understand the value of VCA applications up-front based on individual video surveillance deployment methodologies.

THE NON-ROOM SERVICE SERVICES
Services at a hotel can mean much more than decadent room service. In the case of security, services refer to maintenance services and extended services, both contracted and not. Again, like PSIM software proliferation, the use of monthly/annual service agreements is more widely seen in the Western luxury hotel chain market. Umanskiy attributes this to the fact that the majority of luxury hotel chains originated from Western countries. Because of this, growth and expansion of these Western hotel chains requires them to centralize their models and focus greater attention to best industry practices. Realizing that service agreements signed upfront, often as part of the initial bid, represent a better value, Western hotel chains prefer to sign agreements that include things like built-in maintenance, calibration requirements, upgrades, etc. “For the most part, hotel managers prefer to have the predictability of a maintenance plan versus paying for the maintenance repairs when an issue arises,” explained Bill Glover, National Account Manager at Tyco Integrated Security. “Having a plan in place helps for budgeting purposes, avoiding hefty fees from fixing technological issues throughout the year. It is also more structured and offers hotel managers a more efficient way of managing issues as they occur.”

However, Asian hotel chains are much less likely to engage in extended service or extended maintenance agreements. According to Umanskiy, Asian hoteliers do repairs based on time and materials. One of the reasons for this is a lack of formalized relationship with the integrator, and as a perceived 'cost-saving' measure, hotel operators will have the integrators on call, but rarely sign service or maintenance agreements. Even so, more and more hotels worldwide are looking at global best practices, which should result in more formal agreements between hotels and security service providers.

SECURE, PERSONALIZE, AND PAMPER
There are certain things patrons come to expect when staying at a luxury hotel. Personalization of stay and top-notch security are among those. The fewer distractions a patron has to deal with, the better they feel about their stay, meaning they are more likely to return in the future. Hotel operators have found several ways of ramping up security in a less “in your face” way that is helping to not only ensure the safety of those staying at the hotel, but also personalize their stay as well.

One way hotel operators are pampering their guests is by using facial analytics, according to Lane. “By saving a customer's face in the system, the system can then be used to alert the front desk when a ‘platinum-level' guest arrives.” Furthermore, combining card-key access with face analytics can provide guests with an even more personalized stay when entering the hotel spa or another service area. By combining these two technologies, service personnel are able to identify guests as they enter and call them by name. This coordination between security and guest service departments allows for in-guest concerns and in-guest needs to be more easily addressed.

DID YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY?
Making sure all guests are treated to a luxe experience means ensuring safety and security along with all the other five-star amenities people come to expect from luxury hotels. As the global economy continues to recover, both the tourism and hospitality sectors are expected to continue growing as well. The rising number of travellers will definitely require luxury hotels to amp up security measures. And as the price for PSIM software continues to drop and the accuracy of VCA continues to improve, there is no reason why both these technologies cannot see more widespread implementation in the future.

Axis cameras drive down losses at Tractamotors

Axis cameras drive down losses at Tractamotors

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 11/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Automotive servicing business, Tractamotors, has realised a 60% reduction in losses for the retail arm of its business following the installation of nearly 50 Axis network cameras to its site in Cavan, Ireland.

Axis Communications and partner, Encom, developed a feature-rich, state-of–the-art solution that combined Axis network cameras and a Milestone XProtect video surveillance system, to replace its legacy analogue system and increase coverage to protect staff, monitor health and safety and reduce shrinkage across the 2½ acre site.

Atul Rajput, Axis' regional director, northern Europe said: “Tractamotors was suffering from patchy coverage from an antiquated analogue CCTV system. The site consisted of an administrative area, garage, retail hardware store, trade yard and a small agricultural machinery division. Its location on a busy main road toward Dublin meant that it received a lot of customer traffic as well as frequent supplier deliveries, which all required close surveillance monitoring to reduce incidents of theft and vandalism and to protect staff and customers.”

Tractamotors initially investigated an upgrade to its current analogue CCTV system but after testing a hybrid digital video recording package, it decided to make the switch from analogue to digital. Ciaran Murray, IT manager at Tractamotors, explained: “We looked at other solutions but, in the end, decided that we wanted something truly digital. Encom's proposal, using Axis network cameras and Milestone XProtect was the perfect solution.”

Over 40 AXIS M32 Series fixed dome network cameras were installed in the hardware and retail areas of the business in order to minimize stock loss and reduce incidents of theft. Encom was able to integrate elements of the existing analogue system into the new IP solution with the use of Axis video encoders.

Tractamotor's shop floor had lots of aisles, obscured by shelving, with no clear field of view. To overcome this, Axis' Corridor Format was used in conjunction with the AXIS M3204 Network camera to rotate the video's aspect ratio to a portrait view.

Coverage in the store was increased from 25% to 80% with the new Axis cameras and incidents have been reduced by an average of 60% overall. Ciaran continued: “The main priority was to reduce pilfering in the store area and increase camera coverage, as our previous system only protected limited high-risk zones. As we were still fairly satisfied with some of the coaxial cameras, we were pleased that they were able to be incorporated into the overall solution.”

Camera count was also increased in other parts of the site to address the health and safety concerns in the tyre and refitting areas of the business. Atul explained: “In total, 48 Axis network cameras were installed across the site. All entrances and exits are now closely monitored so that managers can keep an eye on stock deliveries and any unauthorised out-of-hours access – live footage can even be monitored remotely via an iPad.”

Ciaran concluded: “We are happy with the system. Stock control is much more robust and the overall security of the site has been tightened up considerably. Axis and Encom will be our first port of call for any future solutions.”

Hikvision receives Lenel factory certification under Lenel's OpenAccess Allicance Program

Hikvision receives Lenel factory certification under Lenel's OpenAccess Allicance Program

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 11/26/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision Digital Technology has been recertified by Lenel Systems International for the interface of its latest Internet protocol (IP) camera series and high-definition (HD) speed domes with the most recent versions of the Lenel OnGuard® access control system.

This expanded certification provides live video viewing, motion detection, tampering detection, audio input and alarm input/output from Hikvision IP cameras and speed domes available with OnGuard systems.

"Hikvision has completed required factory testing at Lenel to validate the functionality of its interface to the OnGuard system. This integration benefits our customers to combine their access control and Hikvision video surveillance systems,” said Gidon Lissai, director of strategic alliances, Lenel. “We look forward to their continued involvement in the Lenel OpenAccess Alliance Program.”

"The certification allows customers to access a bevy of advanced features from various Hikvision camera models that interface with an OnGuard system,” said Keen Yao, international marketing director, Hikvision. “Therefore, we are able to offer them more enhanced and value-added IP video surveillance solutions to help grow their business.”

Hikvision IP cameras and HD speed domes include the easy-to-use two-line HD IP series, 4-line professional Smart IPC series and 30x Smart Tracking PTZ domes, providing users versatile solutions for different surveillance application needs.

Siqura appoints Enrico Dani as Director Channel Sales

Siqura appoints Enrico Dani as Director Channel Sales

Editor / Provider: TKH Group | Updated: 11/25/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Siqura, a global supplier of advanced video surveillance solutions, announced that Enrico Dani has been appointed as Director Channel Sales. In his new role at Siqura, Enrico will be responsible for developing and implementing distribution strategies that enhance the company's position in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

New distribution channels
“We are delighted that Enrico is joining Siqura to lead our sales operations in these vital markets,” says Roger Decker, Managing Director at Siqura. “With Enrico we have signed a dedicated sales expert with a proven track record in the video surveillance industry. He brings a deep understanding of the market and its key players, and knows how to generate new distribution channels, drive current distributors and maintain enduring relationships. With Enrico on board, I am confident we will continue to expand our sales programs in the coming years.”

Hands-on leader
Enrico Dani joins Siqura from Italian CCTV manufacturer Videotec S.p.A., where he worked as Managing Director of Sales for a total of almost nineteen years and gained a reputation for being a hands-on leader with a strong work and business ethic. Enrico holds a master's degree in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Padua.

Customer-first
“I am excited about the chance to work with a company known for its customer-first approach,” says Enrico Dani. “Siqura's solutions are all about empowering customers, about allowing them to deal with incidents before they escalate. I am looking forward to developing Siqura's sales and marketing strategies and bringing these solutions to the attention of an ever-increasing customer base.”

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