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Axis to demonstrate ‘smarter and safer world' video surveillance at IFSEC 2014

Axis to demonstrate ‘smarter and safer world' video surveillance at IFSEC 2014

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 6/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Axis Communications will demonstrate how it is continuing to open new opportunities and delivering a smarter and safer world of video surveillance at IFSEC International 2014.

As well as showcasing the latest innovations in network video at the international security trade show, Axis will be inviting attendees to learn first-hand how partnering with them can help businesses discover new markets and tap into new commercial opportunities.

Axis will be joined by 5 of its key partners offering visitors the chance to learn more about cloud hosting, edge-embedded analytics, efficient transmission and the use of network video to continually drive business improvement and performance as well as safety and security.

Sharing the Axis stand (Stand E1000) will be leading video analytics companies, Digital Barriers, IPS Intelligent Video Analytics, Wavestore and also communications and video specialists Falt Communications and video hosting system provider, Observit.

The Axis stand will feature some of its most cutting-edge technologies, including the latest innovations in ultra-high definition 4K resolution and AXIS Camera Station software for video monitoring and recording. Other advances on show in the ‘image usability' area will allow visitors to see first-hand Axis' Lightfinder technology as well as its Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), thermal imaging and other technical innovations such as its nitrogen-pressurized stainless steel HDTV PTZ dome cameras.

In addition, Axis will also be dedicating an entire section of the stand to its hugely successful partner programs, including the Channel Partner Program and the Architecture and Engineering Program, designed to support network architects engineers and consultants involved in the design and specification of IP-based security systems.

As part of its commitment to training and development, Axis Communications' Academy will also have its own presence on the stand. After having trained over 40,000 people globally and with training in the Northern European region at record levels, the Axis Academy is proving to be an expert in its field and clearly demonstrates the desire for recognized certified training to enable surveillance professionals to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.

Atul Rajput, regional director, northern Europe, Axis Communications, said: “I passionately believe that, as an industry, we are guilty of underselling the benefits of network video. All too often network video is viewed as a cost when in reality it can be a revenue generating opportunity.

“We know that one of the benefits of network video is the endless opportunities for integration into complementary applications, but the question remains, is that of real benefit to our customers and what opportunities does it present? We need to be bold and engage with all areas and departments as our technology touches every part of a business from logistics and operations right through to marketing and, of course, security. Network video shouldn't be just a cost center; it should be a key component in driving operational efficiencies throughout a business. ”

“For years the conversation has only been about the transition from analogue to digital – that discussion has ended. Today's successful companies are those that are proactively looking at ways in which network video can create new business opportunities. Companies that embrace this and strive to discover new and innovative solutions can look forward to a smarter and successful future. ”

“At IFSEC we are determined to show people how we can help them and their organisations not only enhance their security, but also add real value to their business. We believe that our experience and that of our partner network mean we are perfectly positioned to drive this change.”

Bosch delivers integrated security solution for China Minsheng Bank

Bosch delivers integrated security solution for China Minsheng Bank

Editor / Provider: Bosch Security | Updated: 6/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Bosch Security Systems has delivered a comprehensive and integrated security system for the headquarters of China Minsheng Bank in Shunyi New Town, Beijing. The solution comprises video surveillance, intrusion detection, access control, public address and conferencing systems, all connected and operated via a central management platform.

Founded in 1996, China Minsheng Bank is the first bank in China to be owned mostly by non-government enterprises. While constantly growing its business, the bank established new headquarters in Beijing, consisting of five towers on a 200 acre campus. Although each of the towers represents an independent building, China Minsheng Bank required an integrated security solution for the entire headquarters.

Bosch designed such an integrated solution around its Building Integration System (BIS), which serves as a central integration and management platform for a wide variety of security solutions. At Minsheng Bank, BIS is used to connect more than a hundred access control systems, intrusion detection systems and some 1,500 video cameras and to also integrate voice evacuation, public address and conferencing systems.

One of the major challenges was to build an integrated video surveillance solution with both analog CCTV and IP based cameras. 2 of the 5 towers use analog CCTV, while the other towers are equipped with a digital solution, managed via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS). Both video solutions could be integrated through BIS, so that operators can now call out a real time monitoring screen of the IP system in the analog monitoring room and vice versa.

BIS is also used to integrate the 5 intrusion detection systems with more than 100 alarm zones and to enable real time alarm verification through the video surveillance solution. Bosch's fully digital public address and voice evacuation system Praesideo was installed to make announcements during normal operations and to distribute targeted and intelligible messages during emergencies. Finally, several meeting rooms in the headquarters were equipped with Bosch DCN conferencing systems to ensure smooth meetings with comfortable voting functions and infrared wireless simultaneous interpretation.

With the Bosch solution, China Minsheng Bank is now able to operate its networked security and communication systems in all 5 towers as one single and integrated system, highly increasing both security levels and operational efficiency.

Samsung Techwin launches remote head camera

Samsung Techwin launches remote head camera

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 6/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Samsung Techwin has introduced a 2MP Full HD remote head camera.The discreet SNB-6010 has been designed for ATM and retail applications, but provides a highly effective solution for any video surveillance project where a small sized camera is required, including covert surveillance applications.

A key feature of the SNB-6010 is that its processing unit, which houses the camera's DSP chipset and Ethernet connection, is supplied as a separate unit that can be installed in a secure location to prevent would be attackers from gaining access to video stored on an SD card.

The SNB-6010 can capture quality (1920 x 1080) images in real time when the lighting level is as low as 0.05 Lux. An enhanced Wide Dynamic Range feature, with performance greater than 120dB, enables the SNB-6010 to accurately produce images in scenes that simultaneously contain very bright and very dark areas. This can be particularly important when, for example, the camera may be looking out from a ‘hidden location', whilst the camera's privacy zone masking feature can blank out sensitive areas, such as a pin code keypad, from being recorded.

The SNB-6010 provides the option of utilizing intelligent video analytics(IVA) to detect activity by various means such as face detection, which can be especially important for covert surveillance applications, and ‘tampering' which creates an alert if paint is sprayed on the camera's lens or if there is unauthorised movement of the camera away from its usual field of view. Alternatively, advanced motion detection technology built into the SNB-6010, can greatly reduce the false alarm rate by learning what the normal motion of the scene is.

A multi-crop feature enables users to highlight and crop areas of interest in order for the camera to only send the images within that area at a preferred resolution and frame rate. This flexibility in the video's resolution and frame rate enables the efficient use of the network's bandwidth.

Spot the fishy incidents — 11 perspectives from the industry

Spot the fishy incidents — 11 perspectives from the industry

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Asia, a sourcing hub for smart home cameras

Asia, a sourcing hub for smart home cameras

Editor / Provider: Weili Lin, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 5/29/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Asia is the largest manufacturing base of home security cameras and surveillance kits, with hundreds of competing suppliers. For these suppliers, the major export markets for smart home security cameras and surveillance kits are areas with well-developed network infrastructures, such as Europe and the U.S.

Asian suppliers at the SMAhome International Conference & Exhibition 2014 (powered by Secutech) are primarily traditional surveillance, telecommunication and multimedia companies. For them, it is a new business opportunities. However, it is a whole new market, with different priorities and demands. Therefore, no player in each industry has an extreme advantage. The smart home market is new for the surveillance industry in terms of applications and user experiences. From the interviews, no killer application is mentioned so far. Not all surveillance companies are enthusiastic about this market. Nevertheless, some companies plan to enter the smart home market with DIY offerings and a new brand for their smart home product lineup.

Home security cameras require network connectivity and easy-to-use software in addition to reliable hardware. The telecommunications-based companies like Sercomm, Zinwell and Senao Networks boast their strong cloud services or high Quality of Service (QoS) for networks. As for the companies who are experts in audio and video processing, like DXG, Compro and PiXORD, they aim for high-quality images through IC, digital image processing and optical designs as their core competencies. Those companies are strong competitors to traditional surveillance companies in the smart home market. As for brand-centric companies, foreign companies like Bosch, Axis and ADT may be their greatest competitors.

We explore export markets, business models, sales channels, and major applications along with major product features we've seen at SMAhome 2014.

US LEADS THE MARKET
North America is still the largest export market for Asian manufacturers, followed by Europe. Market acceptance, mature network infrastructure and consumer affordability are three major factors to boost the market. For some interviewees, more than 50% of sales revenue is contributed by the US market. In the U.S., the DIY market is booming. Alan Chang, Vice President of International Sales & Marketing Dept of DXG, whose major export markets include Europe and North America, thinks that the ubiquity of smartphones and proliferation of 4G network are two driving forces of the market.

William Ku, Vice President of International Business Div. of Vivotek mentioned that TV and door are two key areas for the smart home market.

Russia, Brazil and Southeast Asia are viewed as 3 export markets with a lot of potential. Emerging countries are considered to be the next promising areas. Russia and Brazil are said to be 2 fast-growing regions over the next 2 to 3 years. The improved network infrastructure, strong buying power, and conversion from analog signals to digital are 3 major factors. "Russia is a potential market due to its high consumption capability," said Bruce Wang, Marketing Manager of Compro.

China is another promising area, but will likely see less growth compared to the above-mentioned regions, some exhibitors said. In China, India and the Middle East, home security still caters to the high-end market. As for India, wealth inequality and low profit from channels can be 2 reasons that make foreign suppliers reluctant to enter the market.

BUSINESS TYPES DIFFER BY REGIONS AND CUSTOMERS
Asian manufacturers' security cameras are distributed under their own names or customers'. OEM, ODM and private label businesses are major types for manufacturers of electronics products. For home security cameras and surveillance kits, OEM and ODM are 2 major business types. A few companies emphasize on own-brand business. For example, 3S PocketNet emphasizes its own-brand business, selling its network cameras and bundled software to end users and SIs. With strong design and manufacturing capabilities, Asian suppliers work with SIs and distributors via private label business for global project cases. Of course, there are also companies that offer only OEM and ODM services, like Sercomm and Zinwell.

To stay competitive, some Asian suppliers strengthen their vertical integration capability via in-house design capability or upstream subsidiaries. For instance, Vatics, a spin-off from the SoC solutions department of Vivotek, offers SoC for network cameras. PiXORD, a subsidiary of ELAN Microelectronics, prides itself on image processing from the side of IC design.

Due to geographical differences and consumer behaviors, own-brand products are distributed via distributors or companies' local branch offices. Some companies of professional surveillance products offer smart home products under new brands—for example, Hikvision thinks this is a better approach because it sees the smart home market as a new market, rather than an extension of traditional surveillance. The company released smart home related products and solutions under its EZVIZ brand so that consumers can differentiate its smart home business from its professional surveillance segment.

MAJOR CHANNELS
When it comes to product distribution, online and retail stores are 2 major sales channels of branded products for the DIY market, especially in North America and Europe. For DIY users, online stores are important channels due to the convenience of direct ordering. In the U.S., there is a large market of DIY consumers who prefer to shop online or at retail stores.

Distributors are important to enter the European market. Own-brand products from Asian manufacturers are mostly sold to European online shops and retailers through distributors. The distributors are also important for Asian makers to enter the South American market. Dylan Tseng, Senior Sales Manager of Sales Center Business Unit of Pixord stated that the company entered the Brazil market through partnerships with local distributors.

As for manufacturers, home security cameras are distributed all over the world primarily by branded companies, SIs, telcos and distributors. Most of the manufacturers rely on SIs, value-added resellers (VAR), dealers and distributors to distribute products overseas. Allan Chien, Associate Vice President of Branding Business Dept of Senao Networks said VARs could be major partners.

Telcos like AT&T, SFR, Qivicon and Verizon offer home monitoring and control, as well as home security and automation services. Offering home surveillance services with free or rented network cameras is one of the approaches for telcos to spur market growth. Apart from European and US telcos, there are also opportunities in emerging markets like Southeast Asia and South America. Southeast Asia is one of Zavio's major export markets. Shauchau You, Vice President of Zavio indicated that it is common for manufacturers to sell home cameras or solutions to telcos in Southeast Asia through local SIs and distributors.

To approach telcos, most Asian manufactures work with SIs, distributors or branded companies by private-label business for telco projects. They take the same approach as they do with alarm monitoring and security service providers. Only a few large-sized companies like Sercomm or those whose specialty is in telephony or set-top boxes, like Zinwell, can approach the telcos directly by offering value-added services like free small cell or provision of total solutions. Almost all of their products are sold through OEM and ODM projects.

SECURITY TAKES THE FIRST PLACE
The smart home market comprises home security, automation and energy management. For suppliers at the show, the home security market is their main battlefield, generating the most profit. Home automation is a space they are targeting next, although they position these products and services for the high-end market.

Network cameras are major contributors to the home security market, in terms of sales revenue. The products can also be used for small offices and retail stores. Ben Huang, Digital Product Marketing Specialist of Product Dept of Zinwell Corporation indicated that the home security camera is the first product line to target for entering the smart home market.

Interviews conducted at the show reveal that Chinese companies tend to offer surveillance kits that consist of cameras and 4-channel NVRs or home NAS for the home security market. Moreover, the consumer-centric smart home market forces manufacturers to focus on user-friendly software and user application to make their products more appealing in a highly competitive market.

Home automation is the next focus for Asian makers after security. Bruce Wang of Compro said that home automation is a value-added feature for home security cameras. Compro offers a cloud camera based on ZigBee technology, featuring power saving features and a long life cycle. So far, home automation solutions are considered as the high-end segment of the smart home market. Most Asian network camera manufacturers enter the market by providing video door phone cameras, peephole cameras or indoor cameras with motion detection. Products like Brinno's PHV MAC feature easy DIY and senior-friendly setup. Video surveillance, video recording and DIY alarm monitoring are common features. They co-work with leading companies like Control4 to enter the market.

The other way to enter the market is to release network cameras with simple home control functions. The providers are required to have design capability in software integration and wireless networks. Take Compro for example, its cameras are bundled with C4Home software to enable home automation by remotely controlling home appliances with the built-in IR remote control.

Energy management is becoming more important, too, especially in Europe. Only a few companies offer simple functions like indoor temperature alarm and control through PIR or temperature sensor. For instance, StarVedia released its Temperature Alarm System (TAS), which offers intelligent surveillance for homes and stores. Users can ask the babysitter to turn off the air conditioner through the built-in speaker and infrared thermometer of its network cameras. We can expect more and more new network cameras that support simple energy management functions like temperature control as value-added features.

USER-FRIENDLINESS IS KEY
Smart home product features are simple, useful and affordable. For home users, user-friendly software and experience are two decisive factors before making a purchase. Home security cameras, mostly referring to those network cameras, are ranked as entry-level products, in terms of hardware specs. Makers don't emphasize on advancements in technology, but on practical and fascinating user experiences.

Cloud services are a selling point when talking about storage among Asian makers. At present, both local and cloud storage media are available. SD memory cards can be one major adoption for alarm-triggered recordings. Some choose 2CH or 4CH NVRs as the recording bank, although a home NAS may be a more affordable alternative. Cloud storage saves costs for the user, with many manufacturers offering free-of-charge storage. However, privacy can be an important issue to notice when it comes to any free service. Therefore, they offer secured personal cloud storage, including free space at Amazon server, Dropbox and Google Drive for privacy. Traditional surveillance companies prefer to promote surveillance kits with local storage solution; new entrants like telecommunications-based companies tend to promote cloud storage solutions.

Of course, any home device requires a trendy exterior, and home security cameras are no exception. Sleek design and compact size are 2 distinguishing features for the home use models among network cameras. Regarding form factor, cube models are currently the mainstream. This year, suppliers promoted models that support PTZ functionality, along with mini dome and bullet models for outdoor use. Models with fish-eye lenses are also promoted.

Moreover, Asian manufacturers promote new value-added features, such as waterproof (IP66) and ROI (region of interest). ROI offers bandwidth and storage optimization through targeted image capturing of specific important areas for preview and recording.

H.264 is the mainstream video streaming format. Models supporting H.265, which was approved by ITU in 2013, can be seen as early as late 2014.

Bosch introduces upgraded Access Professional Edition for SMB

Bosch introduces upgraded Access Professional Edition for SMB

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 5/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Bosch Security Systems has introduced a new version of its popular access control software for small and medium enterprises, the Access Professional Edition (APE) 3.0.The main new features of APE 3.0 are the integrated map viewer support and even more flexible enrollment options.

The integrated map viewer in APE 3.0 highly increases the situational awareness in case of an alarm and can be combined with video surveillance for an even better overview. The software supports easy navigation between floor plans and photo views via hyperlinks. Interactive graphical maps with integrated alarm lists allow the operator to quickly analyze any alarm situation and take appropriate action. APE 3.0 supports up to 128 maps per system and is thus ideally suited for growing companies and organizations. The map viewer is easy to set up and allows operators to control entrances and view live images directly from the map. Devices with preconfigured device associations and control commands can be added to the map via simple drag & drop. The map viewer uses standard image formats such as .bmp, .jpg and .png.

The new version of APE offers flexible enrollment solutions. Readers attached to the Access Modular Controller (AMC) can be used for the enrollment of all card technologies and allows for flexible end-to-end solutions. For selected technologies, APE 3.0 also supports comfortable enrollment via readers which are directly connected to the operator workstation via USB.

The APE 3.0 easily integrates with video surveillance systems. It features a video verification screen which shows the cardholder database, camera images for fast identification and comparison, surveillance video streams and control buttons for granting or denying access requests. Up to five cameras can be installed at each door, and their images can be recorded in a digital video recorder for easy access anytime with a click in the event log.

APE 3.0 is a highly scalable system and supports up to 10,000 cardholders and 128 readers as well as corresponding inputs and outputs. Up to 128 video channels can be configured. A maximum of 16 operators with individual privileges allows very flexible deployments and allows the customer to limit access of operators to only necessary functions.

Axis IP video surveillance secures Italy basketball stadium

Axis IP video surveillance secures Italy basketball stadium

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 5/27/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The Lino Oldrini indoor stadium, known today as Pala- Whirlpool, is the main covered stadium of the city of Varese, Italy. It stands as a true temple of basketball and hosts Pallacanestro Varese's home games. The Lombard club, one of the top teams in Italy and Europe based on the number of consecutive victories, needed to equip its stadium with a video surveillance system in keeping with the importance and prestige of the games it normally hosts, from those of the Serie A1 premier national league to international matches; a system capable of ensuring maximum security for spectators in strategic areas of the stadium.

Solution
The system designed by Trium Security Consulting, an Axis partner, employs a total of 45 cameras (of which 16 for outdoor areas) all being latest generation, high quality devices with HDTV resolution. The cameras have been installed in strategic areas of the zones allocated for guest supporters and on all the stands. Video stream management is handled by AXIS Camera Station software, a complete package for the monitoring, recording, replay and management of events. Trium uses experienced staff to provide ongoing on-site and remote support.

Result
The adopted solution ensures extremely reliable and complete IP video surveillance, capable of ensuring control of the stadium's indoor and outdoor areas and providing comprehensive security for the public attending the events, while at the same time protecting the stadium from unauthorized access and vandalism.

The temple of Italian basketball opts for IP video surveillance
The PalaWhirlpool is the largest covered stadium in Varese, with 5,300 seats. It has hosted the home games of Pallacanestro Varese, one of the most titled basketball teams of the Serie A1 premier Italian league, since 1964. The club decided to enhance the stadium, which over the years has become a true temple of Italian basketball, by equipping it with a digital video surveillance system in line with the importance and prestige of the hosted matches to ensure security for the public on the stands and to protect the stadium from unauthorized access and vandalism.

Thanks to cooperation with Trium Srl, an Axis partner installer, the indoor and outdoor areas of the PalaWhirlpool have been equipped with a total of 45 high-quality Axis cameras with HDTV resolution. The cameras were installed on the trusses that support the playing area's lighting system, in the museum, in the corridors, in the area assigned for guest supporters and on all the stands. AXIS P1357 cameras were used for the trusses, enabling coverage of a vast area and providing high-detail 5-megapixel images. The corridors are now monitored by inexpensive and easy to install AXIS M3004 cameras with fixed dome and an ultra-compact design that fits in the palm of a hand.

The installers opted for fixed-dome, HDTV AXIS P3364-V cameras, light-sensitive and vandal-proof, with remote zoom and focusing functions for the indoor entrances, while equipping the outdoor entrances with AXIS P3384-VE cameras, which have extraordinary video quality facilitated by Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Lastly, in the upper ring, fixed, mini-dome AXIS M3007-PV cameras provide detailed, high-quality panoramic shots with 360-degree or 180-degree angles and up to 5-MP resolution.

The external perimeter of the stadium is also under strict and complete video surveillance: nine fixed AXIS P1355-E cameras were installed and four PTZ Full HD cameras (the AXIS Q6034-E) were mounted on the lighting pylons and at the stadium's entrances and exits. The HDTV quality of the high-resolution video surveillance, the Day&Night function, H.264 format and high zoom mean that these areas are monitored in the best way possible.

All of the cameras are based on open standards and connected via optical fiber, with point-to-point connections via copper cable or Wi-Fi. In particular, the cameras installed on poles outside the stadium are cabled. Axis cameras, with their sturdy design and extraordinary light sensitivity, have proven to be ideal for both daytime and nighttime shooting. In addition, P-Iris technology, an innovative diaphragm control system, has enabled higher contrast ratios and a better field of view for an ever-increasing standard of quality. Finally, for video stream management, the AXIS Camera Station software package was chosen for system monitoring and recording. This enabled Trium to install and configure the cameras via a special guided procedure for event configuration and efficient management of the Axis network video equipment in the system at all resolutions and frame rates.

 

Talk: Russell Ure, creator of Piper, EVP and GM of iControl Canada

Talk: Russell Ure, creator of Piper, EVP and GM of iControl Canada

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 5/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Piper recently got updated with a couple new features. We had the opportunity to talk briefly with Russell Ure, founder of Blacksumac, which created Piper. Blacksumac was recently acquired by iControl Networks. Ure is currently EVP and GM of iControl Canada.

Were the features already on the roadmap or were they requested by users?
The two-way audio was planned from the beginning, while the multi-Piper support came about from feedback from Indiegogo backers.

Can you tell me some more about the multi-Piper support?
The new feature supports up to five Pipers on a single network. Each Piper is a full security system and a smart home system that includes a camera, motion detector and microphone. Piper also lets you create different rules–for example, you could set a rule that states: “if motion is detected, record video and set the siren.”

When you have multiple Pipers in your home, each Piper will be running the rules on their own units, as they can interact through Wi-Fi. The system can share knowledge about detection of events between the different Pipers, so when one Piper detects motion, it can set the siren off on all other Pipers in response to that, showing how all units work together as a team.

In terms of hardware, isn't that kind of redundant? Why not have separate components that the user can install in different places as they see fit?

We did look at that. However, from a manufacturing and a time-to- market standpoint there wouldn't have been a great deal saved by doing that.

We also looked at the specific use cases of Piper. For instance, if someone comes into your home, we want each piper to operate as a security system by itself and trigger the other two. Once you start looking at all the features and all the use cases of Piper, most features are best when combined in the unit.

Can you tell me a bit more about the two-way audio and how that works?
When you have multiple Pipers, you have multiple live camera views to choose from—there's a microphone button that you press and hold to talk to whoever is in the room. When you let go of the button, you can hear what they're saying, so it's like an intercom, but with a camera. The audio is very clear, so it's possible to have a lengthy conversation with somebody in the room. All you have to do is talk to them and pause to give them time to respond.

Can you share any other features you have on the roadmap right now?
All I can say is that every four to five weeks, we'll be releasing new features to our entire user base. We have some very exciting features in the pipeline.

Do you have a vision of what a smart home is?
I think there has to be a central controller inside the home. Our vision is that home management and home control will be managed locally in the home with a unit like Piper. It will increasingly become more intelligent and support all kinds of different capabilities.

Piper is a full computer that runs independently without the cloud. It makes decisions, processes things and recognizes situations all locally. Even when you connect to the live camera view, you're connecting peer-to-peer through a secure mobile connection to the Piper unit, not a cloud server.

I wouldn't want my home to be basically controlled by some cloud intelligence, where something in the cloud is figuring out what I'm doing and where my family is, and then make decisions about what should be done in the home. I think increasingly people will be uncomfortable with that, and they should be. But, that kind of automation is increasingly important, and having that automation done locally inside the home is definitely the future.

So Piper works even when an Internet connection is not present, and the cloud is used only for storing images and video, and sending push notifications?
Yes.

There are a lot of systems on the market that allow users to control home appliances from a smartphone, but does not offer any type of automation. In your opinion, is that still a smart home system?
In my opinion, what we're really going through now is the development of the ultimate smart home system, and we're doing it in stages. People can control things like turning on or off lights from a mobile device and you can also turn appliances on or off or control the heating inside your home. These are examples of steps along the future smart home path.

Ultimately, we all want something like in Star Trek: when you go into the home, there's something in that home that is going to anticipate what you want. When you come into or leave a room, the light immediately changes and that system understands your preferences. There're a lot of things that can be done with automation over time, but we're still in the early stages and we'll continue to see the smart home unfold over the next few years.

How does the acquisition by iControl Networks affect the Blacksumac team and Piper's development?
I run the Piper team and serve as Executive Vice President and General Manager at iControl Canada.

I am continuing to work with my same team and we will continue to push ahead on our product roadmap. We are looking forward to enhancing Piper with some exciting features that wouldn't have previously been available to us.

And those features you mentioned, you can't talk about them just yet?
Unfortunately, no.

In what countries has Piper been most successful?
Our main focus right now is North America, where we are selling Piper. But, we have Piper deployments around the world—not quite sure how they got to the various countries, but people find a way.

We plan to start selling full blast in Europe shortly and the rest of the world soon afterwards. I think Piper will be popular with customers in Europe and also in Asia because many people live in smaller spaces. Monitored security is not as common in these areas as it is in North America, so I believe there is huge opportunity for Piper as well.

Right now only the North American version on the market?
Correct. We have several European versions that are in the final stages of certification and testing, and then we'll be ready to start selling in Europe.

Do home automation, smart home and connected home mean different things to you, or are they the same?
To me, they all mean the same thing. In order to have a smart home, you need automation, otherwise it's not very smart. And to enable automation, you need connection, so these terms are all the same, in my opinion.

What inspired you to create Piper?
The inspiration for Piper came from my daughter, who was going to school in a different city. She was living in an apartment, and I was worried about her. I realized I couldn't get a security system installed in her apartment because every security system has to be professionally installed. When I looked around, there was just nothing I could buy her that would give her what she needed. That was really the start for me. There are a lot of people who need a home security solution and can't get it for their apartments.

How does she like it?
My daughter loves using Piper! She and her roommate are much happier having it in their apartment.

Why not just buy a home security camera? There are a lot of them available that offer remote monitoring. Why did you want an entire security system in one unit?
Piper was built for people who would install it themselves, rather than by a professional installer. Also, when you look at smart home, camera technology and security systems, they share so many parts together.

I asked my daughter and a lot of her friends who had apartments: “What worries you the most?” They said they were most afraid that someone could come into the apartment while they were sleeping. I then asked them what they would want to happen if someone did come in. They wanted the lights to turn on, which is an example of how security and smart home features are combined. They also want to make sure that no one would be in their apartments when they get home at night, and they wanted the lights to go on and have access to a camera view of their apartment.

Once you start talking to people about what they need, having all of these features together in one unit makes a lot of sense.

A lot of Asian manufacturers in the security industry are beginning to develop smart home systems. They do not have that much experience designing products for consumers, so the UI tends to be less attractive and difficult to navigate. Do you think the UI is important for consumers?
Absolutely. You have to design your systems for people who have no technical knowledge at all. That is our main design focus: if you can design a UI that helps them, chances are you've designed something that most people can use easily.

Should products primarily be easy to use or visually attractive?
I think products need to have both qualities. If you're putting Piper in your home, it has to look good. It can't be something that looks out of place. You want to have it in a place of honor, as opposed to hiding it somewhere because you don't want to look at it. Some people believe that because it's a security system, you should be hiding it, but I don't agree with that.

Also, security is not just about intruders— if you're at work and your children come home, you want to check what they're doing, so you want a camera that has a good view of the place, and something that looks good and fits in with all the rest of your home.

VideoNet releases license-free Samsung Edition VMS

VideoNet releases license-free Samsung Edition VMS

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 5/26/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VideoNet has recently introduced a license-free version of its highly acclaimed video management software which has been specifically developed to ensure end-users can achieve maximum benefit from their decision to invest in Samsung Techwin IP network video surveillance cameras.

The Russian language VideoNet Samsung Edition, which is available from authorised Samsung Techwin distributors in Russia and the CIS, enables operators to remotely set-up and control Samsung Techwin's complete range of megapixel, HD and Full HD cameras and domes. Live or recorded images can be viewed locally or via web client, whilst the software also supports audio channels and can be configured to trigger an automated response to alarm events.

VideoNet is the major supplier of integrated security software solutions across Russia and the CIS. A recent report stated that 82% of the companies within the MICEX index, have invested in a VideoNet-based solution and it is estimated that there are now over 100,000 users.

The VideoNet Samsung Edition has been developed as a result of a technology partnership established between Samsung Techwin and VideoNet's parent company, SKYROS Corporation. “Within Russia and the CIS, Samsung Techwin has over the last year substantially grown its share of the security solutions market and we are therefore very pleased that they have chosen to work with VideoNet to provide customers with video management software tailored to support its IP cameras,” said Sergey Molokov, Sales & Marketing Director of St.Petersburg based SKYROS Corporation. “The VideoNet and Samsung Techwin technical teams have successfully cooperated to produce a version of our software that will allow users to take full advantage of the long list of innovative features built into Samsung Techwin cameras which have made them so popular with installers, system integrators and end-users.”

Commenting on the introduction of the VideoNet Samsung Edition, Pavel Kurilenko, Head of Business Development of Samsung Techwin Russia Ltd said: “In a tough economic environment where customers are understandably looking to achieve maximum return from their investment in a security system, we recognize that it is not enough to just offer ‘Best in Class' IP network based solutions. That is why we are committed to offering high levels of pre-and-post sale support. Equally important, we are determined to make it extremely easy for customers to benefit from the exciting technology that we have incorporated into our cameras by providing a choice of video management software options which now includes the user-friendly and license-free VideoNet Samsung Edition.”

Casinos looking for extra values from network video surveillance

Casinos looking for extra values from network video surveillance

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s International | Updated: 5/26/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The mindset of casino operators toward new technologies is generally more conservative, compared to other market sectors. Casinos are reluctant to risk adopting new surveillance technology until its reliability is proven, due to the costs involved in shutting down VIP tables or alienatingwealthy players during retrofiting. “Almost all are migrating to hybrid or pure IP. New ‘greenfield' installs might be pure IP but most are expansions or retrofits, and those favor hybrids,” explained Mike Scirica, President of WavestoreUSA.

“Casinos are more likely to make new investments at high budgetary figures; however, slow to update existing systems — they generally try and maximize their investment over long periods of time and update as necessary. Casinos look for systems that can be upgraded and modernized over time rather than invest in a system that will become insufficient for their security requirements and have to be replaced [if this information is known at the time of purchase],” according to Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer, DVTel. But, just like other sectors, none of the casino operators want to fall behind either, even though the latest security technology is very expensive.

“It is easier to promote IP-based surveillance in Western and Northern Europe, as these are two of the markets that started to go for IP-based products in the very beginning. They want to be able to record high resolution pictures, and easily distinguish the color of the chips; therefore, they are very willing to adopt new technology such as 60fps, etc. in their casinos,” explained Tom Li, Technical Support Manager of Europe at Hikvision Digital Technology.

It does not matter if it is a retrofit project looking for upgrades and migration to IP-based, or a newly-built casino considering adopting full-IP surveillance, all the casinos' operators want to make sure that other than high-resolution images, the investment in network video surveillance can bring them extra values. As a matter of fact, there are some new security technologies, such as video analytics and video-centric integrated systems that are about to be used by some current casinos, along with the adoption of network video surveillance.

ANALYTICS
Since high-resolution pictures are widely available now, casino operators have the option to adopt analytics software into their surveillance systems. “This could involve using license plate recognition to flag when high rollers have arrived at the casino, or point-of-sales analytics to monitor employees and card-monitoring technology to manage tables, dealers, and gamblers, which could greatly reinforce casinos' ability to manage the business,” suggested Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems. Similar to license plate recognition, analytics can be used to identify card values and suits with a high degree of accuracy, John Katnic, VP of Global Gaming at Synectics commented.

“A casino operator could use video todetermine pedestrian traffic patterns to see if a particular bank of slot machines were getting played or if there was any pedestrian traffic actually stopping to look at the machines and then move on,” said Scott A. Bartlett, CEO of Southwest Surveillance Systems. “In a customer service role, the operator could use video to detect lines for a cage to ensure the line did not get too long, once the line reached a certain number of patrons, it could trigger an alarm and alert the cage manager to add another cashier.”

INTEGRATED SYSTEMS
Operators in the casino industry are often looking for an efficient way to single out flagged recordings from hundreds or thousands of cameras, because certain kinds of crimes cannot be spotted by human eyes, but can through data analysis.

In fact, there are numerous systems generating data in casinos constantly. If all that data could be integrated with video, it would be much more efficient to spot suspicious events. For example, with all the time attendance, access control, and gaming data available, the operators can set up the systems to send out an alert and trigger nearby video monitors if someone tries to swipe their cards three times in-a-row unsuccessfully.

“Today's surveillance operators want ways to bring enterprise-wide alarm, transactional and video data together, filter out benign activity and then quickly drill into suspicious activities that matter or indicate a true threat,” Katnic stated. “When access control, player, slot-to-time clock data, for example, are directly linked to video in one fully integrated system, operators can observe, analyze, and react more efficiently and appropriately. That saves, time, money, and even lives.”

“Gallagher Security has been working closely with a number of casinos in Macau utilizing the Gallagher central management platform. This platform enables customers to interface and integrate a number of different systems and applications including digital video surveillance. The developments in control centers have become very important to reduce risks and manage information with effective process mechanisms and appropriate training in place. The scale and flexibility of the access control and alarms event management with digital video surveillance enables staff to keep areas secure, monitor key areas, and respond quickly to potential or actual incidents,” according to Peter Francis, Regional Manager for Asia and Middle East in Gallagher Security.

CONCLUSION
Although the casino industry is one of the vertical markets that is more hesitant on migrating to full-IP surveillance systems, they have come to realize that IP-based products can offer numerous added-value functions, making management more efficient. This should help the security industry see a robust increase in network surveillance systems adoption in the casino industry in the coming years.

 

# What they say about surveillance market in casino industry #

How IP Storage Benefits Casinos
“Casinos undertake high volume financial activities that are similar to financial organizations, but in an entertainment context. A lot of criminal interests such as money laundering and cheating are aroused and casinos need to protect themselves from the vulnerabilities and they are more willing to adopt new technologies such as casino chips, casino cheques, currency exchange, employee complicity, high-end surveillance systems, etc. IP SAN best fits into video surveillance application for the perfect balance among cost, manageability, and performance. Due to the increasing need for longer retention time and higher resolutions for video recordings, it's becoming crucial to provide high performance IP SAN with scale-up capacity,” mentioned Daniel Lin, Sales Director of Qsan Technology.

Network Video Surveillance Keeps Improving Latency Time
“In the gaming world the ability to view live video and effectively trace a suspect through a property is a vital product feature set – gaming is primarily about surveillance, rather than security application,” explained Jason Oakley, CEO of North American Video. “It is worth noting that many of the leading technology providers have invested heavily to find a solution that reduces latency time with IP PTZ's. Some manufacturers claim that their latency rate is less than 100 milliseconds, which is noticeable to the untrained eye, this can reduce the demand for analog PTZ's in certain applications.”

 Panoramic and 360-Degree Technologies
“Casinos are looking for more panoramic and 360-degree technologies. Because they can cover more area more efficiently with less staff. Now casinos on the forefront of technology have mixed megapixel panoramic technology and PTZ cameras with instant access to recorded video that cut down on review times and time spent figuring out how someone went from a known location to an unknown location,” said Mitch Fagundes, Director of Global Business Development at Arecont Vision.

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