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Defining a well-integrated access control management system

Defining a well-integrated access control management system

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 5/21/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

A major trend in access control is its migration to IP. In fact, IP-based access control is now seen in most new buildings and projects around the world. According to IHS, IP-based access control accounted for nearly 60 percent of the market in 2014 due to a ramp-up of new constructions, in the process contributing to a 7.6 percent growth of the industry. As for this year, IHS's initial estimates put growth at 8.8 percent. In terms of regions, growth in North America may drop a bit, while APAC and Latin America are expected to pick up steam, according to a previous interview with Tyco Security Products.

Central to IP-based access control is the access control management system, which, when integrated with other subsystems, can do much more than merely granting or denying access to users as they walk to a building.

What Defines Well-Integrated
So what makes an access control management system well-integrated? There are several criteria, for example the types of subsystems that can be integrated, the ability to have them interoperate smoothly, and the flexibility the system provides when it comes to supporting the types of hardware and credential. Finally, open standards are key to ensure interoperability, future scalability, and cost reduction.

Systems that Can Be Integrated
One factor to determine whether an access control management system is well-integrated is its ability to integrate with different types of subsystems. “There are several subsystems that can be integrated into the access control management software, which goes beyond granting or denying access to users. Elevator, parking, meal vending, CCTV, and student ID cards are all examples of the subsystems that can be integrated,” said Tom Su, Sales Manager at Hundure Technology.

Besides the aforementioned, today's access control management systems can also integrate with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) as well as telecommunications systems to save energy and provide more convenience for users.

“If the CEO presents his credential to the outside of the building, they will understand what areas of the building that CEO will get through to get to his office. There is no need to illuminate the entire building,” said Brad Aikin, Business Leader of Electronic Locks at Allegion. “The same thing extends over to telecommunications. When someone comes in, the system will transfer their out-of-office e-mail to in-office. It can not only adjust their e-mail status but also switch the forwarding to their desktop versus their mobile phone.”

 

Smooth Interoperability

A well-integrated access control management system can also allow the different subsystems to operate seamlessly at the same time, even to the point where “the customer cannot distinguish
the boundary between the systems,”
- said Daniel McVeagh, Senior PM at Gallagher.


“The best integrations which achieve this tend to exhibit the following traits: a comprehensive set of application programming interfaces (APIs), good integration documentation that allows the integrator to achieve a seamless and bug-free integration, a comprehensive testing process ensuring bugs and weaknesses in the integration are found before they reach the customer, and a track record of successful previous integrations.”

 

Compatibility With Different Hardware
A good access control management system should also be able to support different types of hardware and credentials.

“I think it is important for integrative systems that they can handle and integrate different types of hardware within the same system to be called well-integrated. For example, it should be able to handle different types of door controllers, as well as different readers and credential technologies to be truly integrative and offer the benefits of such an open system to the end-user/system owner,” said Ola Jönsson, Business Development Manager at Axis Communications.

“Depending on what region of the world or what vertical market, there are certain credentials that are prominent,” said Aikin. “I think it's very critical that the access control system be flexible to accommodate the credentials that the user has today, and also flexible enough to provide a migration path to what credentials will be in the future, whether that is near-field communication, or Bluetooth low energy.”

Mobile authentication by way of NFC or Bluetooth low energy can be supported by today's access control management systems as well. “The most basic approach is to replicate existing card-based access control principles: the phone communicates identity information to a reader, which passes it to the existing access control system,” said Eric Chiu, Segment Director of Physical Access for APAC at HID Global.

 

Openness Is Key
To enable this kind of integration, open standards are critical, ensuring that interoperability between disparate systems is achievable.

“Open protocols and agreed standards such as ONVIF have made it possible to integrate previously disparate systems and open up the possibilities of what a truly integrated security system can offer,” said Sarah Phillips, Product and Marketing Manager at TDSi. “Modern integrated access control systems offer a broad ability to work directly with other buildings control systems on this level rather than purely via hardware panels. For example the integration of intruder and fire detection systems directly into a centralized software platform gives greater situational control and automated responses to any issues.”

Openness, meanwhile, also ensures scalability, allowing users to add or integrate more systems into the access control management software, regardless of the brand. “Users also can simplify future infrastructure enhancements and modifications since they can invest in hardware platforms that are not tied to proprietary protocols and software,” said Chiu. “Basing solutions on an open architecture with standards-based APIs will enable customers to meet evolving requirements and future expansion needs while protecting the value of their overall investments.”

 

Access Control and Video Integration
Access control management systems integrated with videos is perhaps the most popular integration among users. Due to the increased situational awareness that they provide, such integrated solutions are seeing rising demands and applications, especially in areas that are more critical and sensitive in nature.

Rising Demand
Integration between access control and video is set to see rising demands. “I do think where there is video today, there is a desire to integrate it more closely with access,” said Aikin. “Today from what we have found, globally, the typical number of access points in a commercial building that have video and access management is 10 percent of less. With the devices becoming easier to deploy and lower in cost to acquire and manage, the market is able to deploy a credential reader or access control mechanism to the other 90 percent of openings.”

When access control and videos are integrated, no matter which one serves as the anchor platform, the two complement and add intelligence to each other. “When video is used as part of an integrated security management platform, it enriches the information provided by access control and intrusion detection, and vice versa,” said Arjan Bouter, Head of Sales at Nedap Security Management. “You get maximum control and protection of your premises and benefit from the unlimited scalability and extreme controllability.”

“While video management and access control have been integrated for some time, access control is now able to be deployed to more access points in the building, allowing a richer set of data to be used in video management,” said Aikin. “If you have access control tied to video, you are able to see what credential was utilized at what time of day and at what location, and that adds a lot of value in your video management. In the past, you were able to put an IP camera or Wi-Fi camera in, but you weren't able to afford to put a reader or access control device at that opening, so you had to scroll through footage and try to distinguish what was occurring simply based on the visual video. Now, because you are able to deploy access control at that portal as well, you're able to really connect it and sort it based on an audited event in a credential.”

Due to the increased situational awareness such integration brings, it is commonly used in higher security applications. “These include parts of a healthcare environment like pharmaceuticals or the maternity wards, where they are worried about infant abduction, and areas where there are sensitive assets or sensitive chemicals,” Aikin said.

 

Single User Interface
When videos and access control are integrated, they should be integrated on one single user interface to allow easy monitoring and control by the administrator.

“It is pointless to integrate video and access control if they need to be treated separately by the user,” said David Weinbach, PM at AMAG Technology. “While it may be logical to try to source all components from one supplier, that limits choice and may not allow an optimal solution. A better solution is one that allows different brands and multiple systems to be integrated in a way that makes the details of each transparent, and provides a consistent, common interface.”

Mobile Applications
Increasingly, video-access control integration will move towards mobile applications. “Mobile applications will become more widespread. That's the trend of the future,” said Su. “With video surveillance, monitoring of doors through one's mobile phone is now very common. If you integrate access control into it, you can control access from your mobile phone as well.”

College of Saint Rose secures open campus environment with Vanderbilt SMS Access Control System

College of Saint Rose secures open campus environment with Vanderbilt SMS Access Control System

Editor / Provider: Vanderbilt Industries | Updated: 5/20/2015 | Article type: Education

Customer
Located in the heart of Albany, New York’s capital city, The College of Saint Rose offers 4,500 students a rigorous educational experience that extends their learning beyond the campus to the vibrant urban environment in which they live. Fostering community involvement, The College of Saint Rose opens its doors to the public throughout the day, but in so doing, must be diligent in ensuring the safety and welfare of its campus members. With this in mind, The College of Saint Rose has deployed a comprehensive safety and security program that includes Vanderbilt Security Management System to manage access to key buildings across the 48-acre campus.

The Challenge
No campus is immune from threats of crime, violence and other disruptive behaviors. To ensure that every possible precaution is taken to protect the campus community, The College employs a highly visible uniform patrol and has installed the most advanced security technologies available, including a 400-camera surveillance network and an access control system. However, the existing access control solution did not pass The College’s new requirements for campus lockdown and had several software glitches that caused other performance issues. “As more buildings were added, we began experiencing more performance issues with the software,” explained Tara Steelman, One Card System Administrator at The College of Saint Rose. For example, buildings would not open or close when scheduled to and cards would open doors that they were not programmed to. According to Steelman, however, the biggest problem occurred during campus lockdowns when some buildings wouldn’t lock at all and some cards could still be used to gain access to unauthorized buildings. “The old system was antiquated, unstable and not very user-friendly.”

The College of Saint Rose began looking for a more reliable solution to improve their response in an emergency situation. From a technology standpoint, the new solution had to work seamlessly with The College’s existing campus administration systems, since the ID cards are used to manage meal plans, printing, library usage, account information and bus passes, in addition to building access. “The new access control platform needed to pull together all the data from our disconnected systems to help us secure the campus as effectively as possible,” stated Steelman. On the recommendation of Tutela, a provider of integrated security solutions and services, The College of Saint Rose selected the Vanderbilt SMS solution. “We selected Vanderbilt SMS because it easily integrated with our existing infrastructure, is easy to use, and delivers the reliability and performance we need in all security situations.”

Tutela, which won The College of Saint Rose business against three other partners because of their exceptional integrated system design capabilities and strong references, installed the Vanderbilt SMS on time and without any change orders. “Tutela has been selling and servicing Vanderbilt SMS systems for more than ten years so we knew they would do an excellent job designing, installing, and supporting our system,” noted Steelman.

The Solution
The College of Saint Rose has 141 HID proximity readers installed across the main campus and in several buildings off campus to provide authorized access to 11,000 cardholders. Two users have full rights to the solution with 11 others having limited access based on job responsibilities. Steelman manages the entire operation from one of 13 workstations. Vanderbilt SMS currently integrates with The College’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and housing management and ID badging systems.

The Results
Vanderbilt strategic partner SwiftData Technology, a customized data management solution provider, customized The College’s solution to ensure that relevant information could be passed from the ERP, housing, and ID badging systems to the Vanderbilt SMS access control database. The new platform was installed during the fall semester under an extremely tight timeline. The team also had to overcome installation issues left over from the previous system. “We had very few disruptions during installation, mostly it was smooth, swift and painless,” commented Steelman. “Not only did we save time during installation, we can now also update our software solution faster than before.”

Steelman and her team have found Vanderbilt SMS very easy to use. Security officers make the most of the solution’s rich feature-set, which includes unlimited reporting, detailed report scheduling, manual and automatic overrides, and a programmable flash for downloads and firmware updates. “Vanderbilt SMS software is very stable, extremely user friendly and offers several new features that our old software did not provide,” noted Steelman. “Because Vanderbilt SMS is so intuitive, we have seen a reduction in the amount of time needed to program access identities and policies at the beginning of each semester.”

One of The College’s main goals with the new solution was to improve data management across its campus-wide systems to improve efficiencies. Providing better access to more information in near real-time, the Vanderbilt platform has allowed The College to do just that. “I can easily get to the data I need when I need it, update the system on the fly and track historical data,” stated Steelman. “With deeper access to campus information, we can react faster to ensure the best protection possible.”

According to Steelman, Vanderbilt SMS has had a noticeable impact on security levels at The College. “I believe we will be able to increase the security of campus buildings by 100 percent when the system is fully functional,” asserted Steelman, who also expects a reduction in misuse and other disruptive behaviour associated with the access cards. “Vanderbilt SMS is much more reliable compared to our prior investment so I am confident that we will see a marked reduction in unacceptable behavior.” Steelman is also certain that they can react much faster — and more successfully — to lock down the campus in an emergency situation.

The College of Saint Rose has also gained several valuable business benefits since deployment. “The Vanderbilt solution was less expensive than the two other technologies we considered and will scale more cost-effectively as we grow,” confirmed Steelman. “We expect to achieve a long-term return-on-investment based on the reliability and stability of the Vanderbilt products.”

The College has also been able to reduce the man-hours needed to manage data across all platforms. “Vanderbilt SMS is far more efficient than our previous solution, saving my team a lot of time in administration and maintenance,” said Steelman. “As a single-source solution that integrates so easily with our other systems, Vanderbilt SMS will certainly help us cut down on support time and costs.”

Impressed with Vanderbilt SMS and the company’s support team, The College of Saint Rose plans to add new features as it expands across campus, including the Vanderbilt Guest Pass System, ID Badging and complete integration with its video surveillance platform. “Our strength as a college can be measured in part by our ability to respond in an emergency situation, so we remain fully committed to providing the safest learning environment possible,” concluded Steelman. “With Vanderbilt SMS, we are confident that we can respond quickly and effectively in any situation to ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors.”

CEM Systems provide innovative security upgrade for London Gatwick Airport

CEM Systems provide innovative security upgrade for London Gatwick Airport

Editor / Provider: CEM Systems | Updated: 5/19/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

CEM Systems, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, can announce that its long standing customer London Gatwick Airport has undergone a major upgrade of its AC2000 access control and security management system. The project was phased throughout 2014 and involved an upgrade of AC2000 Airport software, as well as the upgrade of more than 700 card readers throughout the airport terminals to support PicoPass smart card technology. CEM's revolutionary intelligent access terminal, emerald, has also been installed at Gatwick Airport, providing a modern, innovative solution that goes beyond access control.

London Gatwick is the UK's second largest airport, serving around 200 destinations in 90 countries, with more than 38 million passengers a year.

“Over the last year we have worked with CEM Systems to seamlessly upgrade our existing AC2000 security system, which has proven to be highly reliable and powerful. With a large system and the critical nature of the airport environment we needed a phased upgrade that ensured zero system downtime”, said David Rees, Business System Manager for Operations. “CEM support was second to none with the AC2000 Airport software upgrade performed remotely and quickly”.

“CEM Systems has been working in partnership with Gatwick Airport for over 25 years, during which time their AC2000 security management system has been continually upgraded and customized to meet their unique aviation requirements” said Philip Verner, Regional Sales Director, EMEA, CEM Systems. “This recent upgrade was a significant project that required all existing CEM S610e card readers to be upgraded to support highly secure PicoPass smart card technology. We are also delighted that our new CEM emerald IP access terminals have been installed to enhance operations at Gatwick Airport's arrival gates and to act as an information point for ID staff and flight agents”.

The first of its kind in the industry, emerald is a touch screen reader, door controller, VoIP Intercom and system terminal all in a single box. The innovative touch screen LCD greets cardholders by illuminating as they approach and provides a user friendly security experience. As an intelligent multifunctional IP access terminal, emerald provides London Gatwick Airport with more than access control at the door. Airport security can use remote apps on the terminal to update personnel records, perform reader maintenance and display airport adverts and messages.

Gatwick Airport are also using the unique emerald flight arrivals door mode, which enables flight arrival gates in both the North and South Terminal to intelligently route domestic and international passengers accordingly. Upon a valid card swipe, flight agents intuitively select a predefined flight carrier number on the emerald terminal. emerald then interlocks the appropriate doors to allow international passengers to be routed to passport and border controls, with domestic passengers simply routed to baggage collection.

With the major upgrade now complete, London Gatwick Airport has a truly innovative, future proof security platform that provides resilient access control, and improves card user experience at the door and enhances airport operations.

Vietnam Post and Telecom group selects NEDAP for hands-free elevator access

Vietnam Post and Telecom group selects NEDAP for hands-free elevator access

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 5/13/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

To optimize the monitoring and management of all vehicle and people access points at the company's headquarters, the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication group (VNPT) recently upgraded the building's entire access control and surveillance system. Nedap's uPASS Reach readers were selected to facilitate hands-free access and elevator management.

Located in central Hanoi (Vietnam), VNPT is one of the largest companies of the country. With 1,000 employees working at the HQ, manageable vehicle and people access control systems are needed to guarantee a convenient and secure flow of people. The entire project included access control readers for automatic vehicle identification at the building's parking facilities, elevator management and hands-free door access.

Elevator management
In order to control the 6 passenger elevators in the building's 27 floors, Nedap partner Techpro successfully installed Nedap's uPASS Reach long-range UHF readers in combination with the elevator384 access control system of IDTECK (Korea). Only people with an authorized access credential can operate elevators with call buttons. All exit doors at the stairs are also equipped with Nedap's uPASS readers for tracking purposes. With this solution, VNPT ensures convenient and secure hands-free elevator access to all of its authorized employees and registered visitors.

Nedap's uPASS Reach offers long-range identification up to 5 meters [16 ft] using the latest UHF technology. Based on battery-free, passive technology, the uPASS Reach reader is a cost effective and enduring solution for hands-free building and parking access.

Convenient building access
By using Combi Cards featured with UHF and Mifare technology, VNPT facilitates a one card solution for employees and visitors, allowing them authorized access to the 184 doors and elevators throughout the entire premises. Employees and visitors benefit from using a single access credential throughout the facility, from the car park to their office door, making it a cost efficient identification solution.

Excellent results
Techpro Co. Ltd. Director, Mr. Do Duc Hau, is pleased with the excellent results of the system: “The system has been working well since its completion in 2013. The system helps the company and visitors to enjoy a wellmanaged elevator system, and provide people tracking and time attendance. With 1000 employees and visitors in the buildings 27 floors, before the installation, the elevator system was always busy and it took a long time to call an elevator. Additionally, it was hard to manage the working time of the employees. With the new systems this is not an issue anymore. As one of biggest telecom providers in Vietnam, with hundreds of daily visitors it was often a burden to manage visitors in and out for VNPT's security department. The new installation helps to conveniently grant access to authorized visitors to the right floor and the right department. Visitor information can now also be stored and provide support for management purposes”.

IDIS and 4Sight Imaging unveil ground breaking number plate recognition

IDIS and 4Sight Imaging unveil ground breaking number plate recognition

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 5/12/2015 | Article type: Security 50

IDIS, a global surveillance solution provider, and 4Sight Imaging, a leading imaging technology company, have announced the successful integration of DirectIP™ with Veracity, a powerful and intuitive Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software engine.

Proving ten times more accurate in independent comparative testing, the IDIS and 4Sight solution combines leading image analysis technologies with next generation DirectIP™ HD cameras, leveraging the latest system architectures and advances in solid state lighting to allow a wide, multi-lane field of view that is accurate across a wide range of weather, lighting and plate conditions.

The ground breaking solution eliminates the challenges traditionally associated with ANPR systems, by removing complicated set up, configuration and constant maintenance and system adjustments made possible through both companies' patented plug-and-play technology. The result translates to low system configuration and simple, fast deployment that delivers benefits in terms of affordability and a continued low cost of ownership.

Showcasing the solution at ISC West 2015, installers and systems integrators saw how they can now offer customers a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and affordable ANPR solution featuring:
* Industry leading accuracy across a wide range of weather and operating conditions
* High performance, reliability and image quality combined with ease of installation and operation
* International plate recognition
* Future proof technology that inherently leverages new developments in camera hardware, system architectures and processing power.

Commenting, Brian Song, Managing Director of IDIS Europe, noted, “There is natural synergy between IDIS and 4Sight Imaging with both organisations committed to delivering high performance technology combined with plug-and-play simplicity that offers ease of installation and operation and a low cost of ownership. We can now offer exactly that in terms of an ANPR solution following the successful integration of DirectIP™ and Veracity.”

Brook Jackson, Managing Director at 4Sight Imaging, added, “ISC West proved to be the perfect platform to showcase the new DirectIP™ and Veracity integration. The audience was impressed in terms of the wide field of view, image quality and high performance accuracy across a wide range of operating conditions. The complexities previously associated with plate recognition have until now restricted installers and system integrators from maximising opportunities from ANPR, having eliminated these the Veracity solution allows our partners to grow, protects their margins and at the same time ensures end user satisfaction. One major car parking organisation in the United Kingdom has already seen significant return on investment through improved accuracy since rolling out across their national estate.”

Used by a wide range of global customers across surveillance, car parking operations and access control, the Veracity and DirectIP™ solution delivers a variety of tangible benefits including:
* Enhanced safety and security
* A low cost of ownership
* Increased profitability from car parking operations
* Improved surveillance operations with high quality evidential images
* Operational efficiencies through the automation of previously manual tasks.

Winsted equips state-of-the-art demonstration room at Genetec

Winsted equips state-of-the-art demonstration room at Genetec

Editor / Provider: Winsted | Updated: 5/8/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Leading control room furniture manufacturer Winsted has supplied a customised console solution at the Genetec UK Solutions Centre, located in Reading, UK. The project enables the physical IP security solutions provider to demonstrate the very latest in their unified IP security solutions in a simulated control room.

For over 15 years, Genetec has led the development of world-class IP security systems, providing unified video surveillance, access control and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) solutions in a flexible, open platform that supports hundreds of hardware and software partners around the globe.

Winsted was commissioned to provide a console that would not only provide functionality for the hi-tech demonstration area, but also fit the space available within the multi-functional room that is also used for training purposes. Julie McGill, from Winsted's Business Development team explains that the solution lay in using a Prestige Insight console. This incorporates all the benefits of Winsted's popular Sight-Line range, but packages them within a compact profile with a smaller footprint.

Attractively finished in Genetec's corporate colours with a blue work surface with coordinating white side panels, the console allows use of Winsted's Versa-Trak display mounting system for ergonomic comfort and adjustability. Combined with VESA-compliant brackets, Versa-Trak has enabled three 21in flat panel screens to be easily attached and provides horizontal and vertical adjustability for optimal viewing angles and sight lines for operators. The console also offers long-term advantages through its modular design, which allows the console to be adapted to meet changing future requirements, thereby extending its operational lifespan.

Commenting on its collaboration with Winsted Genetec's Business Development Manager for EMEA, Simon Barnes, confirmed that the company is pleased with both the standard of equipment and the service provided. “We actually assembled the console ourselves and can vouch for the quality of the components and instructions provided. Great thought and experience has clearly gone into the engineering and use of the Winsted console”.

University in Riyadh utilizes OT Systems' media converters

University in Riyadh utilizes OT Systems' media converters

Editor / Provider: OT Systems | Updated: 5/7/2015 | Article type: Education

Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University in Riyadh recently enhanced its billion dollar surveillance system by adding 150 pairs of OT Systems' ET1111 media converters to its state-of-the-art access control system spanning the entire campus. This is the University's second phase of OTS product installations. It first installed OTS solutions nearly four years ago as part of their video surveillance and perimeter-intrusion detection systems.

Princess Noura Bint AbdulRahman University, the kingdom's flagship security project featuring OT Systems' industrial Ethernet media converter, is the first women's university in Saudi Arabia as well as the largest women-only university in the world. In the campus, patrol patterns require more areas to be monitored by CCTV and access control systems when security guards are not present. The system utilizes a number of IP cameras installed along the fence and inside university buildings for perimeter protection and surveillance. Leveraging 986 pairs of OT Systems ET1111 (Industrial grade 10/100Base-TX + 100Base-FX media converter), each converter is dedicated to one IP camera or device. OT Systems guarantees the safety and stability of data transfer throughout the site using the point-to-point media converting solution. Only one camera will be affected if a converter is in trouble. Thanks to its extremely compact size design, the media converter is small enough to fit inside the IP camera housing. Its 24VAC power compatibility also shares a power source with the camera. Designed for outdoor installation, the ET1111 withstands operating temperature from -10oC to 60oC.

OT Systems' media converters offer customers a reliable and stable device for connecting IP devices with fiber links, providing an excellent transmission solution for the university access control system. It offers the flexibility of connecting the biometric readers at each access control location and the central server with a variety of fiber links (single-mode/ multi-mode, 1/2 core), extending the transmission distance up to 20km.

As security projects continue to increase in scale and complexity, system integrators face the issue of enhancing efficiency over longer distances. OT Systems' Ethernet media converter plays a key role in promoting a safe learning and working environment for its users.

Solutions Item:
ET1111 series: Single-port 100Mbps Ethernet to Fiber Media Converter; to provide a point-to-point connection in fiber network system and extend the transmission distance

>>>Features & Benefits: 1. Sleek microtype design 2. Plug and play 3. 12VDC/ 24VAC power inputs 4. -10℃ to 60℃ (14℉ to 140℉) operating temperature. 5. High system availability 6. Good for outdoor environment with enclosure

                 

Crowd control: securing outdoor events

Crowd control: securing outdoor events

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 5/6/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

On December 31, 2014, a terrible tragedy occurred in Shanghai, where around 300,000 people had gathered for the new-year celebrations on the Bund, a water front promenade which is part of Shanghai's historic downtown. Overcrowding on a staircase leading to an observation platform left thirty-six people dead and forty nine more injured.

This is only one sad example of the deadly force stored in crowded events. Human stampedes occur almost annually in music festivals, sports events religious festivals and night clubs. Famous examples are the July 2010, Love Parade music festival in Duisburg, Germany, where 21 people died from suffocation and at least 510 more were injured. In January 2006, over three hundred pilgrims died in Saudi Arabia as the result of overcrowding at the Jamarat Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that is part of the path believers walk through while performing the ritual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

But what exactly is crowd control?
“We need to differentiate between crowd control that is done with access control tools, for example controlling a large number of spectators in a closed football stadium, and crowd control in an uncontrolled open environment like a street. The first one is achieved with conventional tools like security check points, turnstiles, gates and CCTV with video analytics based counters. The second one is usually closer to ‘safe city' projects and is more challenging and complicated since it is difficult to cover a wide area filled with people, be it for counting purposes or behavior analysis” explained Hagai Katz, Senior VP Business Development and Marketing at Magal Systems.

Accurate estimation of the number of attendees is indeed crucial for successful crowd control. Underestimating the number of people attending the Shanghai New Year's Eve was one of the factors leading to the tragic consequences. The police underestimated the number of attendees and assigned only about 700 officers (compared to 6000 officers in previous years) to handle a crowd that turned out to be 300,000 people.

In Germany, about 1 million revelers attended the Love parade venue that could only hold 250,000.

Role of video surveillance
In general, video surveillance cameras are still the main sensor for real-time crowd control and monitoring; “HD and IP network cameras have become the trend. 4K surveillance cameras have started to enter the market, but it is unlikely they will disrupt the surveillance segment. The cost of video transmission, storage, and processing (video analytics) would be prohibitive for 4K camera. Reliability would also be an issue” said Karianto Leman, Head, Situational Awareness Analytics Program, A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) in Singapore.

“For effective crowd control and monitoring, high-resolution video is critical to achieve situational awareness, as well as the ability to see greater detail within certain areas of interest. Today that means megapixel 180-degree cameras” stated Steve Gorski, Chief Sales Officer at Scallop Imaging. Scallop Imaging's cameras simultaneously combine output from multiple image sensors creating a continuous panoramic image that can cover a large outdoor scene. “We've seen a trend moving away from pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras because inevitably, when an incident occurs, it's likely that the PTZ camera is positioned somewhere else, and not able to see the action. Another reason for this trend is that the motor inside PTZ cameras tends to wear out over time” he added.

Portable solutions for Temporary Events
Unlike fixed venues, short term events like music festivals, sports competitions or city marathons pose a unique challenge for outdoor crowd control. The needed infrastructure is not always readily deployed and end-users face a dilemma of whether to make a big investment in infrastructure that will be used only for a few days.

A recent trending solution for such a scenario is the deployment of a temporary surveillance system using a wireless mesh network, which is easy to establish and then take down during an incident or public event. Because it doesn't require a fixed infrastructure, a mesh network is commonly deployed by public safety departments, municipalities and police forces. “The network is usually made up of mesh network software, digital cameras, workstations, a server and mesh nodes (hardware) that share information with one another wirelessly. Radios, smart devices or mobile devices of some kind often provide communication pathways between operators. Video analytics and other technologies can then be deployed in these temporary systems” detailed Ian Westmacott, Computer Engineering Manager, Tyco Security Products .

San-Diego based MicroPower Technologies offers a solar powered wireless system that allows deployment on a per-need basis.

“Flexibility is key. Utilizing an integrated solar/wireless surveillance system as an extension of the broader surveillance system allows users to deploy and redeploy the cameras as their needs evolve” explained Dave Tynan, Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales, MicroPower Technologies. “We're seeing growing interest in technology that can be quickly and easily installed directly at the points where it is needed most. Rather than, for example, installing fixed cameras on a building and then attempting to gain usable footage of a crowded event several blocks away, customers want to be able to place cameras closer to the hot spots of risk. This is particularly true for night activity, when placing cameras closer to the action helps take advantage of available light. The result is clearer, more usable video evidence” he added.

The benefit of this solution is the ability to deploy cameras according to immediate needs, e.g. at a parking lot during a major event, and then re-deploy them to other hot spots in the next big event without running costly and time consuming cables.

However, an important factor that needs to be taken into account is the limited transmission range that wireless cameras have and the image quality which is not Megapixel. This type of portable solution is suitable for securing a defined ‘hotspot' but might not be as relevant when securing the long route of a marathon.

Portable solutions are not just for video surveillance. temporary fences and even vehicle barriers are available. “Parking for temporary events like football games, political meetings, freshman matriculation day and open houses requires only a temporary solution. Our solution is in the form of portable, towable barriers. These barriers can be deployed quickly and effectively, even in places where it's impossible to excavate for a permanent foundation,” said Greg Hamm, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Delta Scientific. “These mobile crash barriers can be towed into position by a medium-sized pick-up truck or equivalent. They deploy in 15 minutes and can be operated locally or remotely for guard protection. Deployment, retrieval and operation are all hydraulic. The barriers stop and disable a 15,000-pound vehicle (6803 kg) moving at 30 mph (48 kph). Once positioned, the mobile barricade is separated from its transporter and lowered into position by means of a battery-operated hydraulic power system, which is then used to raise or lower the barrier for normal or emergency tasks”, described Hamm.

Information transmission
Another challenge outdoor events pose is how to transmit high quality video streams from the cameras to a remote security center reliably and in a cost efficient way for processing, storage and viewing. There are several option including transmitting the information over cable, over a dedicated wireless networks, or using 3G/LTE networks. “In the latter configuration, cameras will compete in bandwidth with civilian cell phones that use the same network” explained Leman, “The solution is to reduce the requirement to transmit video all the time. This can be done with an edge computing device that runs video analytics. The device stores video locally and will only stream back video when a video analytics alarm is triggered” he added.

Wireless networking for surveillance solves the need for cables, which might not always be optional or easy to install (either due to specific area considerations or due to cost if it is a temporary event). However, this type of networking is more difficult than wired networking: having to overcome difficulties such as, limited range, obstructions (houses, trees etc.) and complicated configurations when many cameras are involved. NVT's IP transmission product technology allows for the deployment and PoE powering of cameras, event monitors and other IP sensor devices deployed at great distances using very cost effective coax cable.

“In the case of the recent NY City Marathon, NVT supplied coax connected transmission devices that needed to be fully operational at distances of up to 3,000ft in order to provide effective situational awareness for the securing of this large event” described Guy Apple Vice President, Marketing and Sales Network Video Technologies.

Physicists are trying to understand the dynamics of crowds. Their analysis of video footage from events like the Saudi Arabian pilgrims stampede and the German Love Parade helped identify the phenomenon termed “crowd turbulence” – as the scene becomes more and more crowded, more and more people push forward trying to move. The overall pressure of the masses moves through the crowd causing people to fall and eventually to be crushed to death. Hopefully, advances in video surveillance and video analytics will give better ways to count people and identify the ‘tipping-point' beyond which a crowded event has the potential to become deadly.

 

>>> Crowd control: video analytics and alternative surveillacne cameras

Danfoss rolls out Nedap's security platform AEOS globally

Danfoss rolls out Nedap's security platform AEOS globally

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 5/5/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Danfoss gives the green light for the international rollout of AEOS, Nedap's security platform. The next five years this platform will be introduced globally
at all 80 locations.

Danfoss - an international supplier of mechanical and electronic components for various industries - gives the green light for the international rollout of AEOS, Nedap's security platform. The next five years this platform will be introduced globally at all 80 locations. In 2014 Danfoss, together with Nedap, applied its company strategy ‘one company, one way' to a central strategy and programme for security and access control. The programme lays the foundation for increased security by optimising processes and using fewer resources.

Danfoss is an international supplier that plays an active role in the main growth themes in a world that is rapidly changing: infrastructure, food, energy and climate are the focus of their business. Danfoss has clients in many different industrial sectors in more than 100 countries and employs over 24,000 people. In 2013 Danfoss selected Nedap as its global partner for physical security after a competitive selection process with the top of the international security industry. A component of this partnership is the software-based security platform AEOS which was developed by Nedap. This platform integrates access control, intrusion detection and video management. Danfoss decided to partner with Nedap because it offers a proven and standardised approach for the global implementation of physical security.

One integrated platform
With its Global Client Programme Nedap supports Danfoss in the development of a strategy, technology and a central server environment. ‘We wanted to achieve a higher efficiency and Nedap's Global Client Programme has made this possible. It has already proven itself on 7 locations in North America, Europe and Asia. Previously, the preparation of the implementation of a security solution on location took at least four weeks. With Nedap this is possible in one week,' says Fritz Lorenzen, Security Manager at Danfoss.

Now that the central programme is up and running and the first locations have been completed successfully, Danfoss gives the go-ahead for the global rollout. ‘Danfoss is ready to migrate all 80 locations to Nedap's security platform AEOS in the next five years and we look forward to it with much confidence,' says Henrik Hansen, Head of Real Estate Portfolio and Facility Director at Danfoss.

Protecting patients and their private data with Aperio

Protecting patients and their private data with Aperio

Editor / Provider: ASSA ABLOY | Updated: 5/5/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

A modern hospital demands flexible, modern, secure access control, around the clock and 365 days a year. At Ghent's new Hospital Maria Middelares, ASSA ABLOY delivered just that. Aperio wireless locks now protect patients and confidential patient data, as well as medicines and other valuable hospital equipment.

Hospital Maria Middelares is a vital part of the health infrastructure in Belgium's second largest city and must remain reliably in operation and secure 24/7, 365 days a year. Its new Aperio installation ensures the hospital has a wireless access control system that can be extended whenever needed. The deployment is 100 percent wireless, maintaining building aesthetics. Staff at Hospital Maria Middelares now have a user-friendly smart card system for opening doors and accessing other secure areas, fitted with standard MIFARE RFID technology.

In partnership with Nedap, around 700 doors in the first new hospital building have been fitted with wireless Aperio Offline locks connected to the Nedap access control system. Aperio Offline integration supports both the Aperio “data on card” model and the Standard Offline Access Application (SOAA), an open standard developed by ASSA ABLOY and other industry leaders.

“Very important for the success of this project was the seamless integration between the Nedap access control system and Aperio® as well as cooperation with the local system integrator,” says Piet Van Den Bossche, Business Unit Manager Access Control at ASSA ABLOY Belgium.

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