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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.

The merger of Dorma and Kaba creates second-largest supplier

The merger of Dorma and Kaba creates second-largest supplier

Editor / Provider: Blake Kozak, IHS analyst | Updated: 5/4/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Dorma and Kaba recently announced merger plans, which could have an interesting impact on the physical access-control industry in the coming years. Dorma is a provider of access solutions and related services, and the company is a global market leader in door closers, automatic door systems and glass fittings, while Kaba is a global leader for access control, enterprise data collection and key systems.

Our Take
The access-control industry – including readers, panels, cards, software and electronic locks -- is highly fragmented, and the top ten vendors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) comprised about half of the market last year. According to the most recent IHS report on electronic access control, the merger of Kaba and Dorma would make the combined company the second-largest player in EMEA's access-control industry, second only to Assa Abloy.

Dorma began expanding its portfolio in 2012 with the acquisition of RCI -- and again in 2014 with the acquisition of Farpointe Data. While the acquisition of RCI complemented Dorma's existing portfolio, Farpointe Data allowed Dorma to further penetrate the government-equipment category with products that are complaint with federal information processing standards (FIPS). Kaba's acquisition of Keyscan in 2014 helped to further solidify the company's presence in the American region and gain an additional foothold in the access control as a service (ACaaS) market.

In this merger Kaba and Dorma would combine complementary product offerings, and perhaps fill gaps in each company's current portfolio, as they relate to physical security and entrance-control equipment. Dorma will bring to the deal door automation-control expertise (including revolving doors, swing doors, slide doors and industrial doors); while Kaba offers a larger portfolio of pedestrian-control equipment (such as turnstiles, gates and security doors), as well as hospitality and commercial electronic-locking devices.

There will continue to be more acquisitions and mergers during the remainder of 2015 and into 2016, as companies look to better position themselves within total solutions and platforms. While this merger is more complementary in terms of existing portfolios, we can expect to see even more mergers and acquisitions surrounding video surveillance, access control and other disparate systems in the next 12-24 months.

An opportunity to swap experiences during the first Hikvision EU Distribution Conference 2015

An opportunity to swap experiences during the first Hikvision EU Distribution Conference 2015

Editor / Provider: a&s Italy | Updated: 5/4/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

'It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.' (C. Darwin). This quote was shared by Jiangfeng Zhi, President at Hikvision Europe BV to the audience during the two-days event dedicated to the first European distributors' meeting held in Lisbon on April 23-24, 2015.

Hikvision has always been improving its products, marketing and positioning, seeking to anticipate future trends. This attitude led to a strategy adaptation, thus leading the Chinese company, sales leader in its own country, to expand overseas with excellent results. Let's just mention a few figures: a sales revenue of 2.82 billion USD in 2014, 13.000 employees, 4800 R&D engineers.

In the name of transparency and close relationships with partners, six special guests have been given a chance to speak, following the introduction of their respective Hikvision Sales Directors from Italy, North-West Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, UK, Israel and Russia. Each of these distributors shared their story and sense of belonging to the Hikvision family.

Keen Yao, International Marketing Director, has frequently highlighted the importance of this event. It's now clear that, given the strong position of product lines, the company should aim at strengthening a firm, trustworthy and highly cooperative relationship with its clients, that is to say the distributors throughout Europe.

But there's more: Hikvision does not only rely on the intuition of its managers and skills of distributors, but also on the experience and knowledge provided by the research company IHS. The Security & Fire Market Analyst Aaron Dale has brought figures and market trends for the forthcoming years. Given the drop in sales of analogue cameras, it is now confirmed the growth of second generation HD CCTV devices, such as TVI technology, and the increase in IP cameras' shipments. In 2013 Hikvision Global market share has reached 11%. Dale subsequently touched upon the topic of key vertical markets for Europe. A special attention has to be paid to residential and consumer markets that will eventually involve both traditional video surveillance systems and Home Monitoring/Smart Home Video Surveillance.

A charming Gala Dinner organized at Xabregas Palace in Lisbon has been the turning point of these two days: an occasion for networking and assisting at the awarding ceremony of distributors who have been invited on stage to receive a recognition for their growth performance, technical support to clients or even the long-term relationship with Hikvision.

The second day has then been focusing on in-depth presentations on technologies and products. Smart and Turbo HD lines have been thoroughly explained. That's also because, together with a huge brand awareness activity, the company is aiming at achieving a so called “product-range awareness”. This strategy will be even more visible on the upcoming security exhibitions, road shows and events.

a&s Italy was invited as media partner of the event, being also a representative of a&s International and the digital platform asmag.com (Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd.). a&s is a group which pays great attention to security market developments such as the one that Massimiliano Troilo (EU Marketing Director) defined as a trend towards “convergence” rather than mere “integration”. It's no secret that now vendors are trying to provide a full range of solutions, from CCTV to access control and intrusion.

Security & Best adds style to access control cards

Security & Best adds style to access control cards

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 4/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Access control cards that users carry to work tend to be dull and unstylish. That’s what one Korean access control solutions provider wants to change.

The access control cards made by Security & Best can be customized and cut into different shapes. At the same time, the employee’s photo is printed on the card to make it look livelier.

Besides ID cards, the company also produces access control readers that combine different authentication factors, including cards, passwords, and biometrics.

What’s more, the reader has video phone components integrated into it, allowing the user’s image to be captured and sent to the place he wants to visit.

Security & Best access control solutions are so unique they are used by some of the top Korean enterprises.

“With the success we’ve achieved in Korea, we have expanded to other markets, including Hong Kong,” said Sung-Ki Jung, Overseas Sales Department Manager.

Jieshun showcases speedy pedestrian gate

Jieshun showcases speedy pedestrian gate

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 4/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Jieshun, based in Shenzhen, is demonstrating what it says is the world’s fastest pedestrian gate.

“Once the user points his card at the system, the gate opens in 0.5 seconds,” said Janson You, overseas marketing and technical support manager. “We are the fastest in the world.”

At the same time, the system has an aesthetic look and feel. “The width of each pedestal is narrow. The narrower it is, the better it looks,” You said, adding enterprises and other commercial settings can especially benefit from it.

Also, Jieshun is showing other access control solutions at this year’s secutech. These include parking systems and pedestrian gates for factories.

For the latter, there is a sensor in front of the gate detecting whether someone’s feet carry dust. If so, access will be denied. The system is also integrated with a facial recognition system that denies entry to non-workers.

Identiv demonstrates unique access control solutions for high security settings

Identiv demonstrates unique access control solutions for high security settings

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 4/29/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Identiv, based in the United States, is demonstrating at secutech its various access control solutions for government offices and other critical settings.

According to Michael Wai, VP of sales for Asia Pacific at Identiv, the company has years of experience providing access control solutions for top U.S. security agencies.

Besides federal agencies, the solutions can be found in state government offices as well.

One unique feature of Identiv's access control reader is its keypad, which is not in any particular numerical order. Each time the reader is turned on, the digits are arranged randomly.

“This way, people will not figure out your password by standing behind you or read fingerprints left on the keypad,” Wai said.

The company is not quite hardware-driven and has also developed its own management system that it can customize for clients. Once a threat is detected, the software can raise the alertness level, restricting access to unknown parties.

EA MSC showcases unique RFID solution for parking

EA MSC showcases unique RFID solution for parking

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 4/28/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

EA MSC, a leading Malaysian access control solutions provider, is showcasing at secutech its active RFID parking application.

According to Edmund Wong, GM of sales at EA MSC, the solution is unique in that it works effectively on vehicles with solar film on their windshields.

“We are the only solution that can effectively penetrate solar film, which is found on 95 percent of vehicles in Malaysia,” Wong said.

With the solution, a vehicle approaching the parking facility of a residential condominium, for example, can be detected meters away, and once the vehicle is cleared by the system, the barricade will open accordingly.

The solution has huge potential especially in Asian markets, whose economies are growing, setting the stage for the construction of various properties.

Besides RFID, the company also has other access control products such as readers, controllers, and management software.

Biometric access control simplified with new integration between Axis and Suprema

Biometric access control simplified with new integration between Axis and Suprema

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 4/25/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema, a leading global provider of biometrics and security technology, is pleased to announce that Suprema biometric devices can now be paired with Axis Communications and its AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller through ENTERTECH SYSTEMS' BioConnect 3.0 identity management platform. This new integration helps enterprises around the world successfully deploy access control systems with leading biometric technology.

“The integration of Suprema biometric technology with AXIS A1001 represents two industry leaders combining the best technology in their respective fields for the maximum user benefits,” said Young S. Moon, Vice President of Suprema. “The infusion of biometrics into Axis' system that has strength in video management will offer customers the benefits of true identity with enhanced security and extra convenience.”

Suprema's biometric devices are integrated into the AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller, an open, non-proprietary platform. The Controller meets the requirements for advanced enterprise systems as well as smaller installations. The integration allows users of AXIS A1001 to access biometric templates on an individual user basis without having to manage the dual data entry traditionally found in stand-alone biometric solutions. This is accomplished with a real-time seamless sync of biometric technology into AXIS A1001 through ENTERTECH SYSTEMS' BioConnect application. Through BioConnect's simple graphical user interface, users can access the enrollment window to search for a user/badge and add biometric templates. With this integration Axis customers now have the ability to easily and simply integrate proven biometrics into their access control systems.

“We are pleased to provide our customers with cutting edge biometrics for secure access control,” said Bruce Stewart, access control business development manager for Axis Communications. “Suprema's advanced biometric technologies integrated with our A1001 network door controller will provide our customers with an integrated system that includes truly easy to use and manage biometrics.”

“This new relationship with Axis will enable their customers to fast track and overcome three major obstacles to mainstream adoption of biometrics,” said Rob Douglas, CEO of ENTERTECH SYSTEMS. “Cost, complexity and user on-boarding are all addressed by our BioConnect 3.0 identity management platform, which leverages Suprema's leading biometric technology.”

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