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Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 1/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

A new year brings new trends. Many of the trends from 2014 have since turned into industry standards, such as HD resolution and IP surveillance; however, new ones have emerged to keep the security industry on its toes in 2015.

The Market at a Glance
In 2014, video surveillance accounted for approximately 53% of the total market share (US$13.5 billion) in terms of global physical security product sales, according to Memoori Business Intelligence. Double-digit growth has been the norm in the video surveillance market over the last decade, and analysts at IHS forecast similar growth in the new year, predicting more than 10% growth in 2015. Furthermore, Marketsandmarkets has predicted that the global video surveillance market will reach roughly $42.1 billion at a CAGR of 17% for the period 2014 to 2020, with the IP system market expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.5% during the same period. Rising crime rates, an increase in terror attacks, and growing security concerns all are contributing to this growth.

Who Reigns Supreme? IP vs. Analog
The move to IP is no longer so much a trend as it is simple fact: New installations are going IP and many analog users are upgrading to network-based solutions. With that said, does that mean that IP has finally taken over analog in video surveillance? The answer is yes and no. In terms of revenue, IP sales have surpassed analog sales; however, in terms of quantity, analog shipments still outnumber those of IP. This is poised to change, with analysts believing that IP shipments will take over analog by the end of the decade. Evidence of this shift can be seen in markets like Latin America where the overall market — one that is heavily focused on analog — is now leaning toward IP equipment for the first time (by supplier revenue), according to a report by IHS.

Asia Leads the Way
In the world of security, Asia has had a tendency to be a step behind when it comes to the most up-to-date technologies. In the coming years, though, APAC is forecast to be the fasting growing region for IP video surveillance globally at a CAGR of 44.3% during the period 2013 to 2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research. The report also pointed out that North America is expected to experience the highest share in the IP video surveillance market by 2020, predicting that the continent would be the highest revenuegenerating segment with a value of about $19 billion in 2020. However, China is estimated to have been the largest regional market for video surveillance equipment, accounting for a third of global revenues in 2013.

Trends for the Growing Market
Along with growth come trends, trends that help drive growth and keep the market up-to-date with new and exciting technologies. In 2014, we saw IP surveillance become a norm and HD resolution become a standard. In the following, a&s explores a few of what we expect to be the most popular video surveillance trends for 2015.

High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) One of the most important developments for 2015 will be that of high efficiency video coding (HVEC), also known as H.265, which directly relates to another trend: 4K resolution. HVEC will play a significant role in the feasibility of 4K in security applications. According to security experts, about 90% of surveillance products currently use HVEC's predecessor H.264 for compression. However, that is set to change. “Our outlook is that most future advancements in the market will focus on compression, as the megapixel market has evolved extremely quickly and the compression will need to advance nearly as quickly to meet the growing demand for higher resolution images. H.265 may be the answer to this as there is a tremendous amount of computational power required for the compression and decompression of these images that the industry is currently grappling with,” said Stephen Carney, Director of Video Product Line Management at Tyco Security Products.

Pervasive use of H.265 has many implications for the security industry. With the ability to double the data compression ratio compared to H.264 at the same level of video quality, H.265 will greatly improve the usability of 4K in security applications. In fact, both Hisilicon and Ambarella introduced IP camera SoCs based on H.265 at the end of 2014 and widespread use of H.265 is expected within the security industry by the second quarter of 2015. This will in no doubt directly impact the adoption of 4K.

Finding Applications for 4K
The entrance of 4K resolution into the security industry was met with both curiosity and excitement. Similar to how HD was expected to be the new standard for image resolution when it was first introduced into the industry (which it since has become), many believe that 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) will eventually replace HD as the standard, and the availability of H.265 in security will be a catalyst to this; however, this change will not happen overnight. “4K will certainly be a trend to watch, though broad adoption will be problematic for the security industry at this point due to limitations on current camera form factor/lens combination, bandwidth, and storage constraints and the cost of the equipment versus the benefits or necessity of the additional resolution gained with the technology,” Carney said.

Despite the current limitations, many of the obstacles should soon be resolved. Aside from H.265 helping with data compression, the rapid rollout of 4G across the globe should assist in dealing with bandwidth problems, as well as better, improved accompanying hardware (e.g., lenses, monitors, etc.).

Bigger, Better Image Sensors
With the trend of 4K in 2015, along with the fact that HD has become the standard, bigger, better sensors are now needed to support such high-quality images. The trend toward increased value of total image quality will utilize large image sensors, the latest iris system, and high picture quality at near IR, said Koji Maunari, GM of the Industrial Optics Business Unit at Tamron. In fact, the image sensor market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8%  from 2014 to 2020, according to a recent report by Marketsandmarkets. Not only are manufacturers coming out with bigger sensors, they are also adding special technologies to further enhance image quality, specifically designed for video surveillance use. Well-known sensor makers such as Aptina, Omivision, and Pixelplus are now pushing out larger image sensors, while companies such as Sony have come out with new sensor technology specifically addressing the needs of the video surveillance market. The new Starvis technology, a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS sensors specifically designed for video surveillance, was released by Sony in mid-2014. The technology extends from the visible light range to include the near-infrared range to support filming at night, which is often a problem area for 24/7 outdoor surveillance in most CMOS cameras. The improved performance at night will help more extensive adoption of CMOS cameras in the near future. Additionally 4K sensors are also being developed. These new sensors can support up to 12 megapixels (4:3) and 4K (17:9), and even support 4K at up to 60 frames per second. Furthermore, with sensors now reaching 1/1.9 inches, even higher resolution and clearer images are possible.

HD-over-Coax Gets More Advanced
HD-over-coaxial solutions are not new to the security industry. In fact, IMS Research, an IHS company, named HD-over-coaxial solutions a trend for 2012; however, at that time the solution in question was more or less limited to HD-SDI, which turned out to be not nearly as cost-effective as the security industry had initially hoped. Yet, like with any technologies a little time has yielded new-and-improved solutions, and 2014 saw just that with the introduction of new HD-over-coaxial solutions. One of the major proponents of HD-over-coax is Dahua Technology, who came out with their HDCVI technology in late 2012. However, it is not until more recently, in the last year, that the industry has really seen HD-over-coaxial solutions take off, with many other companies coming up with their own technologies and solutions as well, such as AHD, ccHDtv, and HDTVI. HD-SDI has also evolved: The new generation has upgraded in long-distance transmission, and more importantly, has become more cost effective.

Despite the fact that the overall market is going digital, many definitely still see plenty of room for HD-over-coaxial solutions, noting acceptance of the technologies particularly in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Renewed Life in Intelligent Video Solutions Intelligent functions have been touted for a while in security, but it isn't until more recently that they have been widely incorporated and desired in video surveillance. In fact, as of recent, a certain degree of analytics on the edge has become a standard feature for most IP cameras. From entry-level to high-end, cameras can now be differentiated by how “smart” they are. As part of this, video surveillance has proved capable of not just recording and reviewing, but preventing and analyzing. “The IP revolution has changed the surveillance cameras from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems after an incident has occurred to becoming a vital part of proactive intelligence chain. Network video cameras collect valuable data that can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO of Axis Communications.

The idea of actionable intelligence is one reason intelligent video solutions are seeing an up surge in demand. “We [Verint] believe that actionable intelligence presents an opportunity for customer to implement solutions that enhance security and safety, while reducing operating costs and increasing productivity and efficiency,” said Brian Matthews, VP of Global Marketing and Product Development for Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

Another reason demand is growing is due to more developed technology. “Advancements in analytics should also not be ignored, as this segment of the market has progressed to where analytics are accepted as reliable, accurate, and part of the day-to-day operations of a large percentage of users. Some analytics, such as facial recognition, will definitely benefit from the higher resolution images and increasing levels of clarity as camera technology continues to progress,” Carney said.

The many benefits that intelligence brings to video surveillance, especially now that the technology is more reliable, are being realized across verticals. Certain verticals like retail have found particular use for intelligent video, where the data is being used for business intelligence. “Especially video content analysis solutions like Bosch's that do not only automatically trigger alarms on the basis of pre-defined alarm rules, but also enable the tracking of objects,” said Erika Gorge, Corporate Communications Manager at Bosch Security Systems. “This kind of intelligence can also be used to obtain information that goes beyond a pure security purpose such as marketing intelligence information on the scenes being under surveillance — for example number of people (people counting), movement of people, registering characteristics like color or crowd density information.”

Furthermore, we will also see a higher adoption of big data for multiple applications, such as smart cities, in 2015, where a smart surveillance camera with advanced VCA could definitely play an important role. We will see how VCA changes a surveillance camera into a content provider for big data.

There is a catch, though: Avigilon's recent acquisition of ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and licensing program. In the future, Avigilon will replace ObjectVideo as the patent holder to lead the future development of VCA technology, once again reshuffling the intelligence market. The impact this move will have on the security industry as a whole will be massive, and not necessarily in a good way — Avigilon now holds 124 US and international patents and 202 US and international patent applications as a result.

Integrated Systems Become a Must
In the past, integration of disparate systems has been a struggle for many users. With newer solutions, the ability to integrate is in high demand, and as such integration has become a focus for many security players.

“Integration has been talked about a long time — but as a user experience it has been less than ideal. You will soon see systems that deliver on that promise of a seamless user experience,” said David Gottlieb, Director of Global Marketing Communications at Honeywell Security. William Ku, VP of the Brand Business Division at VIVOTEK echoed confidence in the integration trend: “The full integration of disparate systems, including video surveillance, intrusion systems, perimeter detection, access control, and real-time intelligent analysis on data will be the trend in managing security in every vertical application since the security could be secured seamlessly and enable staff to respond to intrusion or threats in a short time and solve the events on-site in an effective way.”

The trend for more integrated systems is also what will help push IP growth forward, as the IP market has matured and entered into the late growth stage of its product life cycle. Yet, the low-end market still has significant potential for IP growth, as noted by Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.

In the middle and high-end markets, however, the trend for more integrated systems will continue to drive IP growth. “In the market for advanced solutions with high camera counts there is a significant opportunity to offer more advanced integrations with access control and other security applications,” he added. “Verint believes in and has realized increased demand for innovative, integrated solutions that combine situation management, communications, and cyber intelligence, and facilitate collaboration across security and law enforcement agencies. We believe that today's government organizations, institutions, and multinational corporations, in connection with safe city, border control, transportation security, critical infrastructure, and other large-scale security initiatives, are interested in and preparing to deploy unified security solutions that fuse data from a wide range of security systems and intelligence sources to enable efficient information correlation and analysis,” Matthews said.

Hope for 2015
A lot of major changes took place in 2014 that has in a way left a question mark hanging over the fate of the security industry — the Canon Europe acquisition of Milestone Systems, Anixter acquisition of Tri-Ed, and most recently the selling of Samsung Techwin to Hanwha Group. Yet, one thing is for certain: there will always be a need for security and video surveillance. This sentiment is what industry players are emphasizing when it comes to future growth of the security/ surveillance market. Development for the overall market may not be as rapid as it once was, but with the above trends helping to drive surveillance growth, as well as the continued growth of things like video surveillance as a service and cloud computing, there is definitely still upward hope for the future of video surveillance.

Dahua enhances video surveillance system for AB DNB Bank

Dahua enhances video surveillance system for AB DNB Bank

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 1/29/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

AB DNB Bank is part of Norway's largest financial services group that provides financial services to its customers in 19 countries worldwide. DNB stands for long-term relationship that creates value to its customers, employees, shareholders and society. In addition, the bank has one of the biggest branch networks in Lithuania which are 82 branches, and cooperated with SEB VILNIAUS BANKAS bank to operate the largest ATM network in Lithuania. AB DNB Bank is also the third largest bank in the country.

In order to safeguard customers, employees and assets, AB DNB bank decides to level up its security system, including its 26 branches throughout Lithuania. The project selected not only network cameras but also NVRs. Dahua'snetwork camerasfor AB DNB Bank include HD network (motorized) IR-bullet cameras and HD WDR network cameras in order to protect every corner of the bank.

Dahua network camera features high resolution of the camera images. It features better compression performance to transmit image data efficiently and to reduce storage requirements.

Among those IP Cameras, HDBW3300P, full HD vandal-proof network (IR) dome camera is IP66-rated weatherproofing and dust-proof which ensures the cameras can withstand even the harshest weather environments. Furthermore, IK10-rated vandal-proof can effectively prevent violent destruction.

The products are used in 26 branch offices of AB DNB Bank in Lithuania. Mainly upgrades the most important areas of the bank as desk, counter, lobby and ATMs etc.

With the most advanced technology, Dahua DH-NVR4216 Network NVR can provide high-quality video with 1080P real-time live view, so that the staffs can get access to the security status immediately in the surveillance center.

“Security in banking system requires the highest level solution among different verticals,” said Tim Shen, Marketing Director at Dahua Technology.“Dahua's solution provides the specific features that bank requires, such as WDR, HD as well as real-time playback. With Dahua's video surveillance system, AB DNB Bankis capable of enhancing its security to provide a secured environment for the business and the employees,” Shen added.

Samsung Techwin bolsters Russian Post logistics center

Samsung Techwin bolsters Russian Post logistics center

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 1/28/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Russian Post has invested in a Samsung Techwin video surveillance solution for its logistics centre at Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow. Russian Post is the national postal operator for the Russian Federation. It employs 350,000 people and annually delivers over 2.4 billion postal items via air, rail and road across a territory that is in excess of 17 million square kilometres.

The 65,000² metres logistics centre is one of a number of major investments which Russian Post has recently made in its infrastructure as part of an efficiency drive and all mail arriving at any of Moscow's international airports is now processed at the Logistic Centre which has the capacity to handle up to 400,000 items per day.

Moscow based IT and engineering infrastructure specialists, BCC Company, were awarded the contract to design, supply and install a video surveillance system that would provide a valuable tool which managers could use to monitor 24/7 operational efficiency, as well as ensure a safe and secure working environment for all who work within the Logistic Centre.

“Whilst there is not an unlimited budget, the specification for the project was for cameras to be deployed that were able to capture identification grade images,” said Sergei Pushkin, Chief Project Engineer, BCC Company. “Ease of use was also an important factor as was the ability to record high quality images of any suspicious activity so that they could be used, if necessary, as evidence.”

After an extensive research and evaluation process, BCC Company decided to single source all the components of the video surveillance system from Samsung Techwin.

Phase one of the project has seen a total of 60 cameras installed, 45 of which are SCD-2080P varifocal true Day/Night dome cameras with IR cut filters, and six are SCD-2080Rs, which share the same feature set, but are also are equipped with built-in IR LEDs. Nine ‘all-in-one' SCO-2080RH bullet cameras have also been installed. These have been designed to withstand temperatures as low as -50°C or as high as +50°C, making them suitable for locations which may suffer from extreme weather conditions. Built-in IR LEDs allow the SCO-2080RH to deliver superb quality images of objects up to 50 metres, even in total darkness, and a twin glass front negates the problem suffered by many bullet cameras of light from the IR LEDs reflecting back into the lens as a result of dirt or water settling on the glass front.

The images captured by all the cameras are transmitted to a central control room where they can be viewed live on one of eight Samsung Techwin SMT-2231 high resolution monitors and simultaneously recorded on one of four SRD-1673D DVRs, each of which have a storage capacity of 1TB. The SRD-1673D utilises innovative 960H technology which allows it to record high resolution 650TV lines in real-time across all of its channels. This ensures that operators in the control room can view the best possible resolution live and recorded images from the SCD-2080P, SCD-2080R and SCO-2080RH cameras.

Phase two of the project will involve the installation of 28 additional cameras to ensure there are no blind spots within the Logistics Centre or surrounding areas.

“With the help of Samsung Techwin's technical support team, we were able to complete the installation and of the video surveillance system within seven days to the complete satisfaction of the client,” said Sergei Pushkin. “The system has proved to be very easy to operate and the client is confident that with the help of the high quality images captured by the Samsung Techwin cameras, their security personnel will be able to detect any criminal activity.”

Siqura helps Austrian highways upgrade video surveillance system

Siqura helps Austrian highways upgrade video surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Siqura | Updated: 1/28/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

Asfinag is a publicly owned Austrian company responsible for a network of highways spanning more than 2,000 kilometers. In recent years, the company felt it was reaching the limits of what it could do with its existing video surveillance system. There was no uniformity in the way the storage system was organized, and crucial parts of the system's architecture no longer complied with modern security standards. Asfinag knew exactly what it wanted: a smart, user-friendly system that would embrace open standards while offering support for legacy protocols.

The solution
In collaboration with systems integrator Siemens, Siqura designed an end-to-end surveillance system based on ONVIF-compliant hardware. Part of Asfinag's 5,500 surveillance cameras were replaced, and new and existing analogue cameras were connected to a mix of Siqura's S-series video encoders. The S-series offers standardized H.264 video streaming and flexibility of wiring (Cat 5, optical fiber or coax). To make the most of AKUT, Asfinag's acoustic tunnel monitoring system, Siqura adapted its S-60 E video encoder. The tunnel sound picked up by AKUT can now be digitized and transferred to the control room for further analysis.

For Asfinag's most strategic locations, Siqura developed a new IP camera: the BC840-AID, a full-HD box camera capable of streaming two independent H.264/MJPEG video streams simultaneously. The BC840-AID continuously analyses the images it captures for unusual occurrences, such as stopped vehicles, pedestrians, lost cargo or smoke. As soon as an incident is detected, it automatically sends out an alert to one of Asfinag's control rooms.

By modifying existing components and complementing them with new technology, Siqura succeeded in delivering an economic solution that prepares Asfinag for future developments.

Protected against harsh environments

Protected against harsh environments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese convenience store enhances security with QNAP VioStor NVRs

Japanese convenience store enhances security with QNAP VioStor NVRs

Editor / Provider: QNAP | Updated: 1/27/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

A famous chain of convenience stores in Japan installed QNAP VioStor VS-2108 Pro+ NVR surveillance systems to create a safer shopping experience for customers and a safer working environment for employees.

Challenge
Convenience stores are the backbone of daily life in Japan, where much of the workforce commutes to work by train, often for more than 1 hour each way. The branch manager of the convenience store chain well understands his customer's needs and that creating a pleasant and safe shopping experience is critical to keeping the customers loyal to his store chain.

After several robberies and a string of theft incidences at some of the stores, a branch manager for the store chain set out to begin discussions with security consultants to work out a solution that prevents unexpected guests and would aid in loss prevention throughout the chain of stores and allow for both local and remote centralized monitoring. The primary challenge is this chain store group currently runs around 1,000 convenience stores and with such large enterprise it was difficult to design a security system that could be deployed chain-wide and allow local recording and storage of the surveillance as well as remote monitoring of video from many stores by a remote office. The secondary challenge for deployment of a security system is that it needed to be PC-less and fit into the limited space in the stores.

Solution
The previous CCTV systems installed in the stores delivered poor image quality and there was no provision for remote monitoring. Most of the CCTV systems recorded on tape, which was not always reliable. After a great deal of research, the branch manager of the store chain selected QNAP VioStor VS-2108 Pro+ NVRs for deployment at around 600 stores. The VS-2108 Pro+ is a compact NVR that can record video surveillance up to 8 IP cameras installed in the stores on two 6TB internal hard disk drives with enough space for up to 30 days of recorded surveillance video. The NVR is a networked video surveillance system, allowing the video feeds from the cameras to be transmitted securely over the Internet to a remote monitoring location. Additionally, a monitor can be connected to the VS-2108 Pro+ via HDMI for full HD local display and live monitoring in the store managers office.

The essential places to monitor in a convenience store are typically the cash register area, store entrances, stockroom, and merchandise areas. These areas are protected by 2-3 IP cameras, delivering HD quality video for important details over the Internet but not taking up much storage space on the VS-2108 Pro+ NVR's internal hard disks. In addition to video, the usage of audio interaction allows the cashiers to receive instructions, enabling them to react timely. Other cameras fixed on the store shelves and store entrance give the store manager an indication of where customers might need assistance from staff.

Surveillance videos can also be viewed on mobile devices; which enables store managers to analyze the staff's working efficiency and have a better picture of where resources should be allocated. The remote security staff based at the chain's headquarters office can easily access any of the recorded video surveillance from any of the VS-2108 Pro+ systems at any time to support investigations and share with authorities. The NVR offers advanced features that allow the security team to get an SMS or email alert automatically if movement is detected in certain areas before or after specific times.

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 1/27/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

In recent years the most talked-about security threats to banks have been cybercrimes and fraud. Though it seems that traditional security systems are no longer in the spotlight; banks still make substantial investment in their physical security systems. Changes in the design and layout of banks as well as banks' desire to make the most out of their installed systems have great impact on the design and implementation of current security systems.

Banks hold the great responsibility of keeping our money safe. Even though most of this money is now in the form of electronic bits and bytes, banks are still one of the first associations when we think of security and surveillance systems.

Banks usually balance the mix of their security systems between discrete and unobtrusive systems such as emergency buttons and small hidden cameras (e.g., at the counter area or an ATM pinhole camera) and more visible measures such as guards and larger cameras. The visible security systems serve a double purpose, both deterring potential violators as well as giving customers a feeling the bank is indeed a safe place to keep their money. Surveillance systems installed in banks will usually combine several cameras with different functionality. Outside the bank infrared cameras will provide day and night monitoring. Inside the branch, dome and bullet cameras are used for lobby and counter monitoring for clear picture capturing and forensic evidence. The main purpose of these cameras is to prevent illegal intrusion by unauthorized people as well as monitoring the office environment to prevent property loss.

CHALLENGES OF THE BANKING VERTICAL
A major obstacle facing security companies and systems integrators is aligning the security needs of individual branch locations with the requirements outlined by the corporate headquarters. “Securing the bank branches themselves is different from securing a corporate headquarters or data center location, as branches are more often the targets for criminals since it's assumed that's where the money is located,” explained Matt Frowert, Director of Marketing for Financial Services at Tyco Integrated Security. Therefore, the standard level of security and defense are more in-depth at a branch than for a corporate office. Many times legacy systems, or different versions of the same platform, may be found in different regional branches of the same institution within a country, which makes centralized management difficult. In addition, there may be internal resistance to changes or upgrades that the corporate standards demand due to funding constraints, or the local staff being inexperienced and lacking training regarding proper security measures and systems. Another challenge may simply be a matter of timing and scheduling; implementing major technology upgrades across very large financial institutions with many branches and offices.

NEW BANK LAYOUTS
In recent years banks have been changing their traditional set-up to be more appealing to customers. There are more “light” branches located inside shopping malls and supermarkets. Traditional branch layout and design have also changed and now include more open floor plans and fewer staff which are tasked with broader responsibilities. “More in-branch automation and systems found in these new types of banks very likely means that they may not have the same levels of cash that traditional branches have,” added Frowert. “During a robbery attempt, the suspect may be confused when he discovers there is limited teller cash and no safe like there would be in a traditional bank set-up. These new frameworks for bank branches will affect the security of the customers themselves and the bank's security model for protection,” he explained.

As a result, emphasis is placed on new systems that offer increased ATM protection through anti-skimming technology, access control, and proper lighting measures for ATM vestibules to help ensure customers are properly protected.

BENEFITS OF INTEGRATED SYSTEMS FOR BANKS
Like any other enterprise, banks require their systems provide security, safety, efficiency, and cost saving. “Normally, powerful VMS software can integrate four systems, such as video monitors, access control, alarm systems, and the intercom system, which are used to communicate with bank clients at other locations, for example using an ATM at a different site,” said Nathan Chen, Solution and Product Manager at Dahua Technology. In turn, each system includes several components: alarm systems for example will include fire alarms, seismic sensors to detect if someone is digging into the bank, and emergency buttons. Access control systems will combine card readers, biometrics, magnetic door sensors, etc. This provides banks with an integrated solution instead of four stand-alone systems. In addition, sensors such as smoke detectors or temperature sensors are now built in the cameras and can send alarms directly to the DVR system. This way the bank can benefit from having several sensors on one platform and cut costs.

Systems integration is also critical for protection against insider threats by employees which can be very costly. “An increasingly popular step in mitigating insider threats through an integrated security system includes linking access control to identity management,” explained Frowert. By integrating these systems, financial institutions can restrict employee access to sensitive areas, track entry/exit times by employee or department, and use a log correlation engine or security information and event management (SIEM) system to log, monitor, and audit employee actions. By monitoring these types of systems, managers may notice individual employees trying to access part of the building they are not authorized for, which is activity they can then flag and subsequently continue to monitor the employee's behavior for other activity that might lead to an insider incident.

HYBRID DVRs AND NVRs
Hybrid DVRs and NVRs allow the integration of both existing analog cameras and newer IP cameras. The use of hybrid DVRs and NVRs can therefore help banks make the most out of their existing legacy systems and give them the flexibility they need in adding more cameras or testing new cameras and technologies.

“Our customers are interested in how they can protect their investments in legacy infrastructure while also taking advantage of the benefits of newer technology. There is an increasing move towards new NVRs because they can prolong the use of video surveillance systems as well as provide enhanced features to end users,” iterated Stefano Torri, European Sales Director of March Networks (an Infinova Company). These provide both analog and IP camera support and allow organizations to test and deploy IP cameras selectively, alongside existing analog cameras. “Banks are thinking about the broader benefits of the technology they use, so for example, NVR technology provides advances in video compression and storage management compared to earlier DVRs, and the use of H.264 compression, optimized to limit video signal noise, makes images clearer while reducing the use of bandwidth and storage. These things are important if a bank wants to tag video based on user-defined criteria, such as motion detection, transaction events, or alarms. Software that delivers intelligence and analytics is also a growing trend amongst banks and financial institutions,” he added.

ANALYTICS
An example of an analytics function used in banks is loitering detection, detecting for instance when a person lingers around an ATM machine. If such an event is detected, security personnel can then access the video recording in real-time and make a decision if further action is needed. Analytics can also provide information on customer behaviors (e.g., people counting, queue monitoring) which can be shared across the organization to improve not only security surveillance but also customer service and marketing. For example banks can analyze dwell and wait time at branches and change branch staffing appropriately to make sure there are enough tellers to service the waiting clients.

Apart from connecting the different systems in the branches, banks can also share information between locations. This feature has been gaining traction and makes security more comprehensive. Intelligent video applications allow an internal investigator to track fraudulent transactions and alert branches. “For example, entering a stolen card number into the system will deliver brief video clips of every associated transaction from anywhere across the entire retail banking network,” explained Torri. Not only can security managers easily export this information to branch managers, but they can also present it as integrated case evidence to the police.

KEYLESS ENTRY
Apart from using video analytics, banks are using intrusion detection and keyless entry to improve security measures and increase cost effectiveness. Replacing or re-keying traditional locks can cost a bank up to US$3 million in just one year. To mitigate the risks and costs associated with using traditional keys, banks are implementing new, wireless locks which work with inexpensive access cards to open entry doors. These new technologies also provide audit friendly reporting for the activities of any individual or of a specific entry point in the branch.

OPPORTUNITIES IN BANKING
Banks are relatively conservative players in the security market usually waiting to implement tried and tested solutions. Due to their large scale and many sites, frequent changes of security systems are not likely. Therefore solutions that help banks take advantage of their existing systems, integrate several functionalities together, and introduce newer technologies will be the choice for the banking vertical.

5 Tips for a Successful Security Installation in Banking
Matt Frowert, Director of Marketing for Financial Services at Tyco Integrated Security, provided the following five tips for banks when deploying a security surveillance system.

  1. Find an experienced integrator who specializes in bank physical security. 
  2.  Look for a partner who can support everything from single bank branches all the way up to money center banking models (banks who deal with governments, large corporations, and other banks).
  3. Network with security affinity groups of industry organizations, like the American Bankers Association, to receive recommendations on vendors from other banks in your area.
  4. Standardize on leading access, video, and intrusion systems supported by vendors that have a track record of investing in technology. 
  5. Invest in communication with and training of banking staff to enable them to effectively use the systems (e.g., arming the alarms at the branch level, managing the distribution of codes at the branch level, etc.).

Exacq Technologies partners with VoloForce to leverage video security

Exacq Technologies partners with VoloForce to leverage video security

Editor / Provider: Exacq Technologies | Updated: 1/23/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Exacq Technologies, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, a leading manufacturer of video management system (VMS) software and servers used for video surveillance, has announced an integration with VoloForce Real Cadence, a software as a service (SAAS) real-time retail execution solution. Real Cadence goes beyond loss prevention to leverage the exacqVision security system as much more than just a security system. This provides retailers with a tool to manage strategic branding, store operations and every aspect of the business.

Users can visually see their product placement in each individual store throughout the world and ensure their brand is being properly executed.

Real Cadence by VoloForce enables exacqVision users to control their global brand appearance and improve the customer experience through operational insight. With the integration, users can visually see their product placement in each individual store throughout the world and ensure their brand is being properly executed. This integration allows corporate office users and regional store managers to associate the exacqVision video of specific retail locations with corporate checklists and brand processes within Real Cadence, saving them time and reducing operational costs of traveling to each location. Video from the appropriate camera is automatically mapped to the zone within the store department. Real Cadence also connects exacqVision video to the traffic counter feature to verify the video with the number of people entering and exiting the store. At any time, a regional manager can view and receive the necessary insight into all locations operations.

“The VoloForce Real Cadence integration allows exacqVision users to leverage surveillance video for operational benefits beyond security,” said Scott Dennison, Director of Marketing, Exacq Technologies. “Now, retailers can visually monitor their store's key performance indicators without costly travel.”

This integration requires an exacqVision server with a current exacqVision Professional or Enterprise license.

Vanderbilt provides high-level security for Crider Foods

Vanderbilt provides high-level security for Crider Foods

Editor / Provider: Vanderbilt Industries | Updated: 1/22/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Vanderbilt Industries, a global leader providing state-of-the-art security systems, announced that Crider Foods, Stillmore, GA, relies on Vanderbilt Industries SMS Access Control system to provide security for its large production and processing facilities. Tutela, out of Brunswick, GA, is the integrator and installer on this long-running project.

Privately owned and operated, Crider Foods represents a commitment to quality, food safety and customer service. The Crider Foods Canning Facility was opened in Stillmore, GA after a fire destroyed their Augusta plant. In 2003, a “Fully Cooked” plant was added. Crider Foods is committed to being a leader in canning proteins and in its fully cooked operation. Crider is always investing in equipment and expertise to ensure continuous improvements.

After completion of the canning plant, Crider contracted with Vanderbilt and Tutela to set up a high-level security system. To date, the Vanderbilt SMS system manages access for over 500 employees and contractors at approximately 150 contact points spread over 11 locations at the Stillmore campus. Locations include the fully cook plant, company headquarters, the visitor's Lodge, canning plant, cooler building, transportation building, warehouses and others.

'The Vanderbilt system enables us to manage employees so that they can access only the areas where they have been scheduled to work,
when they are scheduled to work.
We also have the flexibility to easily change those access privileges as needed, at any time,' said Ron Sasser, Crider's IT Director.

“Our security system is absolutely critical to helping assure compliance to all the health and safety rules and regulations we have in the food production industry,” explained Ron Sasser, Crider's IT Director, who also oversees security. “We are committed to an extremely high level of access control management to prevent any cross contamination of our products.”

Sasser continued, “Our priority is to limit access for all our employees as to where they can go in the facility. The Vanderbilt system enables us to manage employees so that they can access only the areas where they have been scheduled to work, when they are scheduled to work. We also have the flexibility to easily change those access privileges as needed, at any time.”

Crider also uses their Vanderbilt access control system to verify time and attendance information. If an employee doesn't punch in, Sasser and staff can use the system to verify when any employee has entered the property. In addition to controlling access to buildings and within buildings, Crider employs guards at the facility's road entrances to verify all vehicles coming onto the property.

While asset protection is always an issue, for Crider Foods the number one priority is achieving full compliance with food and safety regulations in order to achieve the highest level of Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification. Crider has succeeded in gaining SQF, Level 3. “Only a few companies reach this level,” explained Sasser. “To reach such a certification level, we carefully control the movement of all individuals within the complex, and this means, for example, restricting access to chemicals and to the roofs of our buildings, among other sensitive areas.”

Crider also deploys 100 IP video surveillance cameras to keep any eye on operations. “Cameras are helpful,” said Sasser, “but you have to start with access. My access control system tells me who I'm seeing on the video. Now, I know who someone is, because the access control system puts them in that location. Without access control, the cameras are only so good.”

“The Vanderbilt system is working well, it's doing everything it is supposed to do. We've used it for so many years, and Tutela has been very good taking care of any issues and system expansion needs along the way. If we have a need, this team gets it taken care of. “

The Vanderbilt system, under Tutela's watchful installation and administration, provides a layered level of security starting from the minute one steps onto the Crider property, down to limiting access to chemical storage. The system supplements time and attendance data and provides documentation for OSHA reporting. But, at the end of the day, Crider's high-level security system provides management the tools they need to achieve one of the highest Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification levels in the industry, and that's worth a great deal in proof of product quality and company reputation.

Avigilon acquires video analytics patents

Avigilon acquires video analytics patents

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 1/22/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Avigilon has completed the acquisition of 96 US and international patents and 25 US and international patent applications from four unrelated vendors for aggregate cash consideration of US$13,375,000;
with each of the following entities: Behavioral Recognition Systems, FaceDouble Incorporated, and VideoMining Corporation.

Avigilon Corporation (“Avigilon”), a leading global provider of end-to-end security solutions, announced that it has completed the acquisition of 96 US and international patents and 25 US and international patent applications (the “Patents”) from four unrelated vendors for aggregate cash consideration of US$13,375,000.

Avigilon acquired the patents in separate transactions with each of the following entities: Behavioral Recognition Systems, FaceDouble Incorporated, and VideoMining Corporation. The Patents relate to various video analytics capabilities, including emotional and attentional response measurement, in-store object tracking and behavioural analysis, object tracking and anomaly detection, video segmentation and metadata generation, user interfaces, and image classification and retrieval over wireless networks. Other notable fields covered by the Patents include network camera system-on-a-chip and remote security camera programming.

With the acquisition of the Patents, and following Avigilon's recent acquisition of ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and patent licensing program, Avigilon holds 213 US and international patents and 215 US and international patent applications.

“The future of the video surveillance industry is in video analytics and the Patents cover sophisticated technologies in this area,” said Alexander Fernandes, Avigilon's founder, president, CEO and chairman of the board. “These strategic purchases open up great opportunities for our business, give us freedom to operate, and expand the scope of our new patent licensing program. It is yet another proof point that Avigilon is leading the way into the future of the video surveillance industry.”

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