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FLIR thermal cameras help to protect the perimeter of Oubaai Golf Estate

FLIR thermal cameras help to protect the perimeter of Oubaai Golf Estate

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by FLIR Systems | Updated: 3/2/2015 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

South Africa's Garden Route is world famous. It is a popular and scenic stretch of the southern coast of South Africa. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature's Valley.

The area is renowned for its magnificent mountains, indigenous forests, lakes, lagoons and rivers. It is along the Garden Route, in Heroldsbay that the spectacular Oubaai Golf Resort is situated. Recently, The Oubaai Homeowners Association, as part of a five year integrated security plan, has installed 6 FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras to form part of its active protection plan for its residents, members and guests.

Oubaai Golf Course: designed by Ernie Els
The Oubaai Golf Estate is an exclusive residential development set in the heart of the spectacular Garden Route in South Africa. The development comprises of 450 residential units consisting of 128 Village apartments and 322 single residential properties. Inside Oubaai, the Hyatt Regency Group is constructing a luxurious 100 bedroom hotel which is to open in 2010.

Oubaai Golf Club is a Championship Golf Course designed by the South African golf superstar Ernie Els. Els is one of the most successful golfers in the history of the game, having won more than 60 tournaments since turning professional in 1989, including two US Opens and an Open Championship, and a record seven World Match-play titles. Ernie has occupied a place in the world's top-10 for over 730 consecutive weeks, more than any other currently active golfer. Els himself has placed Oubaai as his favorite course in the world. Oubaai is a beautiful piece of real estate. There are spectacular views of the Outeniqua mountains, the Gwaing river and its' sweeping valleys and the Indian ocean. The estate borders on the Indian Ocean and the Gwaing river just 18km from the picturesque town of George. Herolds Bay, the nearby beach is famous for body boarding, swimming, surfing and sunning.

Security is of extreme importance
“Although the Garden Route is a relatively safe area to live, definitely compared to other parts of South Africa, at Oubaai we do not want to take any risk.”, explains Mr. Louis Olivier, Estate Manager at Oubaai. “We want all residents, their guests, and all people that come here to enjoy a round of golf at our magnificent course, to feel safe and secure. Therefore we have taken all the necessary security measurements and installed state-of-the-art security equipment.”

A complete security network
“Security at Oubaai starts with ones arrival at the main entrance.”, says Andre Steenkamp Regional Manager of Holbert Boikanyo Technologies, initiator and co-designer of the Oubaai Security System. “Not only are CCTV cameras installed at the entrance but biometric readers are in place to ensure accuracy of the access control function. No one enters Oubaai before their fingerprint is taken. If they are not a resident and/or a bona fide registered guest on the system, they may not enter. We will notify the people they are coming to visit and they need to confirm that they are expecting a visitor.”, Andre explains.

Different technologies for perimeter security
“But securing an estate of this magnitude means more than just installing equipment at the entrance gate. Without installing ugly fencing, we want to be sure that the entire perimeter is monitored and that we are aware of everyone that is approaching the estate's boundaries. In order to secure the perimeter, I did a thorough study and compared different technologies. Although cost is important when evaluating different systems, my main goal has always been to provide Oubaai with a good solution. In my opinion, saving money on security is not always the best option.”, Andre continues.

Fences
“Although we are using fences at some parts of the perimeter this is not always the ideal solution. Fences are costly to install since much civil works are required. Furthermore, they are not always the most aesthetic solution at a luxury estate like Oubaai. We also need to keep certain areas of the fence open since animals need to be able to move freely from one area to another. They do not care about whose property the land is and need to be able to roam around freely.”

“Furthermore, if you want to see what is happening around the fence, it needs to be complemented by CCTV cameras. In order to see during the night, CCTV cameras need light. Installing light poles everywhere around the fence is definitely not the correct way to go for an estate like Oubaai. Lighting is considered to be too intrusive by the residents.”

Infrared illumination
“Another technology application we have looked at to secure the perimeter, definitely during the night, is infrared illumination.” Infrared illuminators beam infrared radiation into the area in front of a camera. The infrared beamers are often placed around the lens of the camera. The infrared radiation is reflected by objects and human beings and converted to an image which can be displayed on a screen.

“The initial cost is reasonable but you need to take into account that you need to replace the beamers regularly. Furthermore, if you want some good range performance, you need to install powerful beamers which consume a lot of power.”, Andre continues.

“And infrared illumination has another major disadvantage. Oubaai is situated close to the sea and we are very often faced with very foggy conditions. When you switch on the infrared illuminators they worsen the effect of the fog. You can not see anything anymore.”

Radio Frequency Intruder detection (RAFID)
“Another technology I looked at is RAFID.”, says Andre.

RAFID uses two specially designed cables – one transmitting a radio wave, while the other receives that wave. Changes in the amount of signal passing between the transmitter cable and receiver cable are analyzed by a signal processor. If the amount of signal changes, this means that someone or something is between the two cables and an alarm will go off. Due to the difference in the signal strength, the system can detect whether these changes are due to the presence of a human, a small animal, … “RAFID is a more aesthetical solution than fences but it is a fairly expensive system. Not only are full civil works needed to install the cables, once in operation the system requires a lot of maintenance. And although the system can make a difference between a man and a small animal entering the security perimeter, a lot of false alarms can happen. This means that the RAFID needs to be complemented with a CCTV system so that an operator can determine if an alarm is false or not.”, Andre explains.

Thermal imaging cameras
“I first came into contact with Mr. Tinus Diedericks of Timeless Technologies when I was gaining information about a scanning system that can penetrate fog. Also this technology was not exactly what I was looking for and furthermore it is extremely expensive.”

“Tinus explained me that he is a distributor of FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras in South Africa and demonstrated the cameras at Oubaai. I was extremely impressed and learned more about the technology. That the cameras are performing well during a clear night was immediately clear to me but I was especially interested in their performance in foggy weather conditions.”

“Together with Andre we made an initial study of how many cameras would be needed to secure the perimeter.”, explains Mr. Diedericks of Timeless Technologies. “Andre's initial plan was to install a large number of fixed mounted, short range cameras along the area. We looked at it together and quickly found out that it would be better to install a limited number of longer range performance thermal imaging camera of which the majority needed the be installed on a pan/tilt. Although we needed to use more expensive thermal imaging cameras to do this, the total investment would be a lot cheaper. Furthermore, since we needed less cameras we did not have to install so many poles to install the cameras on. This again saved money. ”

FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras secure the perimeter
“Today we have completed the first phase of the installation.”, Andre Steenkamp continues. “Along a big part of the perimeter we have installed multiple FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras.”

“Three FLIR Systems PTZ-50 MS thermal imaging cameras are installed. The PTZ-50 MS contains a thermal imaging camera and a daylight camera. Both are mounted on a robust pan/tilt so that we can look at every direction we want. They provide excellent range performance since they can detect a man-sized target at a distance of practically 800 meters.”

“At a longer stretch of the perimeter, we decided to install a FLIR Systems PTZ-35x140 MS thermal imaging camera. The PTZ-35x140 MS is equipped with two thermal imaging cameras. It detects man-sized targets at a distance of over 2 kilometers and has the ability to zoom in on suspect activities. It also contains a daylight/lowlight camera which we can use during the daytime. We have installed the PTZ- 35x140 MS in the center of the perimeter. Since it is installed on a pan/tilt, we have the ability to see whatever direction we want. We can see the fence, accross the fairway towards the river, as well as a high risk area along the sea. ”

“For two very short stretches along the perimeter we opted for a fixed mounted PatrolIR thermal imaging camera. It is always overlooking the same area. Although its range performance is a lot less than the one of the other installed cameras, it is exactly what I need to guard two very short lines along the perimeter.”

“Most of the thermal imaging cameras are installed on a pole. Thanks to excellent range performance of the FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras we did not need to install too many of them. Aesthetics are important here at Oubaai. In order to avoid installing poles as much as possible, two of the thermal imaging cameras have been installed on a house. We communicated with the owner, and he preferred that we installed the cameras on his house instead of on a pole. Not only does he not have a mast blocking his view, it is probably the best protected house in the estate as well.”

Thermal imaging, more than security only
“The main reason for purchasing the FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras was securing the Oubaai estate. Once they were installed it became clear however that they can have another, sometimes live saving, capabilities.”

“Just underneath Oubaai is the sea. People tend to stand on the rocks while fishing. They sometimes forget that the sea is dangerous. Tides can come up very quickly and big waves can be formed. These waves can easily hit people of the rocks, into the sea."

"When an accident happens and we are aware of it, we can easily turn the PTZ-35x140 MS in the direction of the sea. We will communicate with the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) which sails out with special rescue boats to save the person. We can spot the person floating in the water with the thermal imaging camera, almost 2km away and direct the crew of the boat in the right direction.”

Thermal imaging cameras work in all weather conditions
When asked about the performance of the thermal imaging cameras in foggy weather conditions, Andre is very clear. “The performance of thermal imaging in foggy conditions is extremely good.

Although the thermal image is slightly obstructed by the fog and we are not getting the same high quality image that we see during clear weather conditions, we still get good range performance. A person walking around in the fog will be hotter than the cold surroundings. Since the thermal imaging cameras are producing an image based on the small temperature differences they are detecting, we can clearly see people walking around. We might not see all the detail, but we will certainly see that a person is there. And that is the most important thing.”

“For detecting intruders in total darkness, in practically all weather conditions, there is no better technology than thermal imaging. Different estates have come to Oubaai already to look at the performance of the FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras and they were amazed when they saw the clear images they produce. Some other estates along the Garden Route are thinking about installing thermal imaging as well.”

Feeling save at Oubaai
“Sometimes when I walk through Oubaai I see houses with the doors wide open. Sometimes expensive material is just standing unprotected in gardens. When we notify the owners that they forget to close their home they are often very surprised. They do not normally do this. To me, it is however the best proof that all the security we have at the gate and alongside the perimeter works. The FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras definitely contribute a lot to the safety and security we have here at Oubaai.”, Andre concludes.

Holbert was the first technology installer to utilise FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras on estates of this magnitude, within the Republic of South Africa. The system is user friendly and maximizes the technical aspects without compromising on the staffing quotient, ie. enough guards, but not too many, which is the design approach that Holbert follows in its estate solutions. The relationship between Timeless Technologies and Holbert Boikanyo Technologies is very unique where the distributor and integrator join forces in the research, design, project management and implementation of a tailor made solution for the customer. As the systems and technologies are installed and implemented, Holbert aligns itself with an organization that can monitor the system and utilise the imaging to its maximum outputs, ie. specific control centre operations. This ensures a total turnkey solution and peace of mind to the customer.

Milestone Systems adds support for Axis wide-angle cameras

Milestone Systems adds support for Axis wide-angle cameras

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 3/2/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has just released its bi-monthly Device Pack 7.8 for the XProtect portfolio of products. The most significant feature in this upgrade is support for a new type of hybrid cameras combining a PTZ and a 360-degree camera.

An example of the new type of hybrid cameras is the AXIS Q6000-E network camera. This camera offers a 360° overview provided by four 2-megapixel camera heads, and when integrated with AXIS Q60-E camera, it simultaneously offers high-detail optical zoom on areas of interest.

Using XProtect clients, with just a single click operators can optically zoom in on details of interest with high precision while at the same time being able to maintain an overview of large areas of up to 20,000m² (215,000 sq. ft.) – about the size of four football fields.

The release of Device Pack 7.8 also marks that Milestone remains committed to supporting the broadest range of cameras and devices on the market – currently over 100 brands and more than 4,000 models. This means that more than 1,000 devices have been added in a year. This is the highest annual growth ever.

“The release of this device pack clearly shows the power of open platform technology. We are not only adding a brand new type of camera, we have also added support for more than a thousand devices in a just a year,” says Christian Bohn, Milestone Systems VP Corporate Marketing & Alliances. “This clearly shows our dedication to ensure that our customers and channel partners have the broadest and most comprehensive device support in the industry, now and going forward.”

Milestone XProtect Device Packs include optimized drivers that enable the relevant capabilities of a camera or other hardware device to be managed by XProtect software. Milestone works closely with the device manufacturers in the Camera Partner Program (CaPP) to achieve the optimal interaction between their devices and the XProtect VMS. This ensures the highest quality for a video surveillance solution, which is important for total system operability, efficiency and stability.

Axis launches rugged cameras designed for outdoor use on vehicles

Axis launches rugged cameras designed for outdoor use on vehicles

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 3/2/2015 | Article type: Security 50

AXIS P3905-RE is an outdoor-ready camera addition to the family of compact, rugged and discreet cameras of the AXIS P39-R Network Camera Series. They are all specially designed for onboard video surveillance in or on buses, trams, subway cars and other rugged environment vehicles.

Axis Communications announces AXIS P3905-RE Network Camera. It is designed to be mounted on the exterior of a vehicle, increasing safety onboard and to simplify incident investigations. For example, the camera can be used for rearview surveillance alongside the vehicle outer surface, or down mounted over a door. It could also be used as a forward-facing camera.

AXIS P3905-RE has passed the demanding IP6K9K tests. It withstands tough conditions such as vibrations, shocks, bumps and temperature fluctuations as well as normal maintenance of a vehicle like washing.

“AXIS P39-R series is specially designed for onboard use in a variety of vehicles. It delivers high image quality in HDTV resolution, and edge storage for demanding customer requirements. The cameras also feature an active tampering alarm function for the detection of tampering attempts such as blocking or spray-painting. AXIS P3905-RE Network Camera is a natural extension in this series. It comes ready in a rugged outdoor housing and offers a cost-efficient and reliable installation. It is ideal for buses, trams, trucks and emergency vehicles” says Erik Frännlid, Director of Product Management, Axis Communications. “Axis’ Corridor Format that gives a vertical image format is naturally supported and is perfect for these kind of applications” he concludes.

AXIS P3905-RE comes with a 6 mm lens that provides a 55° horizontal field of view optimized for the typical use of survellaince alongside a vehicle. If a wider field of view is required, the housing also allows customer to change to a 3.6 mm lens offering an 87° horizontal field of view. The new outdoor housing is offered as a separate accessory to AXIS P3904-R and AXIS P3905-R that comes with the 3.6 mm lens at delivery.

All AXIS P39-R cameras are available with either a male RJ45 connector or a rugged M12 connector. The cameras provide a pixel counter for verifying that the pixel resolution of an object meets specific requirements.

The new AXIS P3905-RE is available through Axis’ distribution channels.

Intelligent surveillance and incident reporting raising situational awareness

Intelligent surveillance and incident reporting raising situational awareness

Editor / Provider: Hayagriva Software | Updated: 2/27/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Over the years, video surveillance has been the essential key to creating a safer environment. However, a tool needs to be developed to help sift through all the video footage, as well as manage and save the important details. With Com-Sur, a Windows and mobile (iOS and Android) based intelligent surveillance enhancing and incident reporting software, users can enhance surveillance, create standardized intelligent incident reports, and back up relevant data forever!

Video surveillance has become the de-facto means to create safer cities, workplaces, and homes. However, installing video surveillance systems is just the beginning. One needs to do more. One should be able to gain intelligence from video, which will help in preventing losses, reducing operational risks, improving business process, and subsequently sales. Additionally, in case of crime, standardized intelligent incident reports created in PowerPoint would help solve wrongdoing faster.

In the case of an incident, the DVR needs to be accessed to locate the footage, and presented to law enforcement agencies. This is where the trouble begins, and the following questions come to mind:

1. What if the DVR itself is stolen or destroyed?
2. What if the DVR failed to record?
3. What if the footage is lost due to human error, or deliberately erased?


Generally, to retrieve footage, systems integrators (SIs) who installed the video surveillance system are called upon, which can be an expensive and time consuming affair. Now, once the footage is found, the affected party is required to connect with the appropriate law enforcement agency and explain the entire case to them. Unless it is a high profile case, there is not a high chance that the over-burdened law enforcement agencies would be able to invest long hours on the case immedately.

With respect to law enforcement agencies, there are several issues that bog them down, when it comes to viewing video footage. Some of the issues include having to watch long hours of footage from different sources, especially when there is an incident which has occurred at a place not directly covered by the video surveillance — for example, the Boston marathon bombing case. In such cases, law enforcement agencies need to rely on footage derived from video captured by local businesses and/ or public video surveillance around the scene of the incident. Law enforcement agencies also have to deal with painfully aggregating videos from different sources and sharing them with other agencies or the public, as well as writing up reports, which is often a manual and non-standard process.

Furthermore, while cameras and video management systems (VMS) are increasingly becoming smarter, the reliance on alarms is growing to detect an exception. However, it is well known that several alarms can be false as well, which leads to human intervention. Moreover, it is also impossible to rely squarely on technology only. In order to decide whether a bag left behind by a passenger at an airport is a threat or a genuine error, some amount of human intervention or review is therefore required. However, because it is cumbersome to review long hours of footage, review is generally ignored. This could result in missing an event that may never be raised by a modern VMS, for example, a dry-run, or recce.

It is unanimously accepted that, monitoring surveillance video is a tedious and demanding task. According to research carried out by Police Scientific Research, video surveillance observers tend to suffer from video blindness after 20 to 40 minutes of observation, i.e., they cannot recognize the objects in the video anymore. It is also important to note that most DVRs usually retain video up to a maximum of 30 days after which it is overwritten. If one needs to access video after that, it is not possible.

The Solution To The Problem
Intelligent surveillance enhancement and incident reporting software such as Com-Sur converts video (in real-time or from recorded footage) into rapidly reviewable screenshots, enabling the user to review hours of footage in minutes. Things that seemed in order are suddenly discovered because of this feature. Example, a dry-run, or issues like whether the staff was paying attention to its customers, or if the shelves were well-stocked. This also makes it possible to review if camera positions were altered, or whether the cameras were working at all, which is often a big problem.

Standardized Intelligent Incident Reports
Incidents do not differ by regions — an incident that occurs in the U.S. is no different than an incident in any other part of the world. Therefore, use of standardized incident reports can lead to several advantages for users. For instance, stakeholders sharing one minimum industry standard of an incident report as opposed to different kinds of incident reports will lead to ease of taking action when every incident report arrives in one standard format. Additionally, metadata gathered while creating the report delivers intelligence through patterns, e.g., what kind of incidents are taking place at what locations, at what time, on which particular days, etc. This makes it possible to take corrective and/or preventive action.

Another advantage of standardized incident reports is that crime can be solved faster. Using Com-Sur, the affected party can convert video into screenshots, describe them, and create a storyboard describing the entire incident. The software also makes it possible to embed the relevant video clip within the report in order to deliver a complete package to law enforcement. Think of the burden that would be reduced for law enforcement agencies if the affected party is proactive and submits such an incident report to them.

Most importantly, since the reports are created in formats like Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and PDF, sharing them becomes very swift and easy. Think of an incident that takes place in one suburb quickly being shared via email with other suburbs, cities, and even countries — all at the click of a button. And with the above formats, it's easy to view the report on a smart phone or tablet.

Backs Up Video Forever!
The intelligent incident management software makes it very easy to back up video in the form of screenshots at up to five different locations in real time. These could be one's own servers, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and MS OneDrive, etc. This makes access and retrieval very easy. Furthermore, one can tag important screenshots and choose to retain them for as long as is needed.

Furthermore, the software also makes it possible to share large numbers of photos and their related information as a contact sheet (thumbnails with their relevant description). An example of this would be sharing details of suspects at various borders and entry points. With Com-Sur, one can create incident reports using photos from a camera or mobile device. Thus, incidents not captured by video surveillance can also be covered. Additionally, the software acts as a great training material creator. Since Com-Sur captures screenshots from any video, one could look up videos on sites like YouTube to capture screenshots, add subject matter expert comments, embed the link within the slide, and create customized training material. Think of videos in one language, and subject matter expert comments being quite another. Finally, Com-Sur works with any camera, DVR, or video surveillance system.

Axis joins the Queen City's guard

Axis joins the Queen City's guard

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 2/27/2015 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Mission
Cincinnati, Ohio is an historic American city of 300,000 with a highly developed downtown, diverse neighborhoods and over 20 miles of shoreline along the Ohio River. Working with Federal Signal Corporation, a security and safety systems integrator and Axis partner, the Cincinnati Police Department decided to enhance their operations by installing several analog cameras downtown in 2008. However, in just two years, the CPD decided the analog camera technology was not delivering the image clarity it needed. It decided to retire its analog cameras in favor of more advanced, high-definition network camera technology.

Solution
The CPD asked Federal Signal to design and install a new IP-based, citywide surveillance system comprised of nearly 100 Axis high-definition pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) managed by Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform which includes the Omnicast video management system. Most of the critical locations did not have a communications backbone, so Federal Signal, a wireless broadband expert, designed and deployed a wireless streaming solution featuring a secured Firetide mesh network and Point-To-Point licensed backhaul utilizing Cambium PTP 810 microwave transmitters for longer distances.

Result
While the Axis cameras are used to help the CPD deter and apprehend criminals, they also play a vital role in public safety. Cameras monitor the downtown business districts, neighborhoods throughout the city and the riverfront to protect the welfare of residents and visitors to the area. They have been used to rescue boaters on the Ohio River, monitor weather conditions on city thoroughfares and help contain hazardous spills.

To provide its officers with additional support, the CPD consulted with other departments and citizens' groups to discuss the benefits of installing cameras in the city. Together, they developed a plan and deployed the first analog video cameras in the downtown business district in 2008. Two years later, the department was ready to expand the coverage into neighborhoods and along the riverfront. At that point, they decided a more advanced IP video solution would deliver far better image quality than the original analog technology.

Immediate incident response
Axis partner Federal Signal recommended high-definition AXIS Q6034-E and AXIS Q6044-E PTZ Network Cameras for the job.

According to Nirmal Chudgar, Director of Business Development/Professional Services for Federal Signal, reliability was a key factor in recommending Axis. “From past experience we knew that Axis technology always worked and technical support would always be there when we needed it,” Chudgar said. All cameras are managed through Genetec Security Center video management system at a sophisticated operations center at police headquarters. The video travels over the City's fiber optic network, as well as by wireless technology. Firetide mesh nodes allowed the City to add Axis cameras in critical areas without wired connections. For longer distances, Cambium Networks' PTP 810 microwave transmitters provided a reliable high bandwidth backhaul for the video traffic. Highly efficient H.264 compression technology retains HD resolution without overwhelming the mesh network's throughput or consuming excessive data storage. The video is stored for 14 days on a 64 TB Dell Compellent SAN as well as on SD cards inside the cameras for backup.

“When an incident occurs, officers on duty in our Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) can grab control over the Axis PTZ cameras and zoom in for a closer look,” said Barry Whitton of the Cincinnati Police Department Technology and Systems Section. The cameras can also be accessed on video walls in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and 911 Center during major events. The readily accessible video allows the CPD to quickly assess situations and determine the most appropriate response. Whitton recalled one instance where the department received a report alleging a fight involving 20 people armed with guns and knives.

“There was a camera right there,” Whitton said. “We were able to see, almost as the incident was being dispatched, that the report was not correct. The crowd was small, and there were no guns and no knives.” In 2013, the CPD added the mobile application from Genetec Security Center to push video out to officers in the field. “This has been an especially valuable tool in covert operations and emergency response situations on the streets and along the Ohio RIver,” Whitton said.

In addition, the CPD operates a mobile command van that tows a trailer housing lights and Axis cameras mounted on a boom for events in open fields, parking lots or other temporary locations. Whitton stressed that the department is very conscious of the balance between public safety and individual privacy, and they have strict guidelines on who can operate the cameras and for what purpose.

“Everything we do is audited,” Whitton said. “We keep close tabs on who has camera access, and we tightly control who has permission to use them and request archived video.”

Providing digital back-up on the road and in the water
“Video cameras don't replace police officers in the field, but they do give them another set of eyes,” Whitton said. Those extra eyes have been particularly valuable in recovering stolen vehicles. When the Real Time Crime Center gets an alert that a stolen car has passed a license plate recognition camera, an RTCC officer takes control of the nearby Axis PTZ cameras, if available, to follow the car as it drives through the city streets.

“We had one case where we wanted to make a safe, controlled stop to apprehend the car thieves. We didn't want them jumping out of the car and fleeing the scene. We watched the vehicle on the Axis camera and radioed the officers near the scene to execute the stop when the car reached the bottom of the hill.”

The CPD also uses Axis PTZ cameras to support maritime security efforts along 25 miles of the Ohio River shoreline. They often share the video with the US Coast Guard and other regional maritime first responders from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

In one incidence, an intoxicated man crashed his car on the Kentucky side of the river and tried to flee by swimming to Ohio.

“I was able to track him as he swam along the shore and direct the police boat where to fetch him out of the water,” Whitton said.

Sharing the benefits of public safety cameras citywide
As the system grew, its role evolved from policing crime to enhancing public safety and increasing the City's overall quality-of-life. The CPD shares the real-time video with other city departments, including Fire, EMS and Traffic Engineering. The video has been used to support such diverse efforts as directing first responders during medical emergencies and diesel spills, tracking snowfall on major roadways and charting the progress of highway construction projects.

In addition, the CPD partnered with a major local university, parks, metropolitan housing authorities and a casino to add cameras along the perimeter of their properties to ensure the safety of those heading to and from those locations.

According to Chudgar, “What makes this such a successful public safety tool has been the strong collaboration among everyone involved in this mission critical initiative – our Axis and Genetec technology partners, our wireless broadband vendors, ourselves and the Cincinnati Police Department.”

GEUTEBRUCK launches Easy Server G-Scope/6000

GEUTEBRUCK launches Easy Server G-Scope/6000

Editor / Provider: GEUTEBRUCK | Updated: 2/27/2015 | Article type: Security 50

G-Scope/6000, the Easy Server in the G-Scope video management family, is a fully functional server, "out of the box". It is as easy to install and to use as a PC. When the reliability of server technology is required, but the level of complexity and flexibility need to remain easily manageable, GEUTEBRUCK's G-Scope/6000 is the perfect fit. Just take it easy.

Its performance meets the high standards of the G-Scope family. The 64-bit G-Core video engine combined with the integrated GPU acceleration guarantees 3 times faster image processing, while the dual database architecture ensures rapid access to memory images and a high level of protection against tampering. Integrated video analysis rounds out the package: Activity Detection for motion-triggered recording or also for motion detection in indoor areas along with scene validation for monitoring the cameras are standard features. Options such as powerful video analysis for outdoor security applications and automatic number plate identification for access control expand the features to meet any wishes.

Reliability and redundancy are an integral part of the Easy Server: Redundant power supply, SSD for the operating system and integrated RAID system provide a level of availability equivalent to that of an IT server. With its high level of expandability, the G-Scope/6000 can fulfill demanding tasks with just a single device: 8 hard disk slots provide storage capacity for up to 42TByte in RAID5; up to 64 IP and 16 analog camera inputs make it possible to secure larger objects. The G-Scope/6000 can of course be integrated into any network, to secure even larger areas or distributed sites, for instance.

Samsung Techwin increases flexibility of iPOLiS mobile app

Samsung Techwin increases flexibility of iPOLiS mobile app

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 2/26/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Samsung Techwin announced that iPolis Mobile for Android & Apple iOS devices has been upgraded and can now support playback directly from SD cards inserted into Samsung Techwin cameras.

The added flexibility offered by this enhancement to the iPolis Mobile app is likely to be of particular interest to users who wish to remotely retrieve recorded video of specific incidents captured by a small number of cameras installed in their home or working environment, as it negates the need for a DVR or NVR to record and store the video.

The free iPOLiS Mobile app can be downloaded from the Android Play store and iTunes. It can be set up in less than a minute, after which users are able to view streamed video from their selected camera via a wireless or 3G network. Key features include auto detection for adding new devices and ‘Event’ search to provide easy access to recorded video.

VIVOTEK launches box IP camera IP816A-HP for traffic monitoring

VIVOTEK launches box IP camera IP816A-HP for traffic monitoring

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 2/25/2015 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK announces the launch of the IP816A-HP, a professional 2-Megapixel box network camera with advanced image process technologies such as WDR Pro and SNV (Supreme Night Visibility) and several unique features, making it the perfect camera for monitoring traffic, and tunnels.

Featuring WDR Pro, the IP816A-HP is able to provide superior visibility in environments with high contrast lighting conditions. WDR Pro allows the IP816A-HP to capture both the dark and bright parts of an image and combine up to 2 separate frames to generate a highly realistic representation of the original scene. In addition, utilizing 3D Noise Reduction technology, the IP816A-HP is able to suppress sensor noise, thus reducing bandwidth consumption and enhancing image detail in extremely bright as well as dark environments. In order to ensure optimal image quality at all times, the IP816A-HP is equipped with a P-iris lens, which maintains the iris opening at an optimal level at all times, resulting in both superior sharpness and superior depth of field.

Most uniquely, VIVOTEK has introduced its newly developed Snapshot Focus function to the IP816A-HP, allowing the installer to record a short clip of the scene on site, and then playback this clip at any speed to check, or fine-tune, the focus. Moreover, the IP816A-HP is also designed with VIVOTEK’s RBF (Remote Back Focus) System, enabling the installer to adjust focus even more precisely.

Tim Su, Director, Marketing Communication Department, VIVOTEK indicated “In traffic monitoring or license plate recognition applications, because of fast moving vehicle, it can be difficult for installers to ensure that the focus is set at an optimal level for clear surveillances. VIVOTEK, based on its profound and professional experiences in network camera solutions development, is proud to launch the IP816A-HP with quite a few innovative features, revolutionarily solving the problem.“

Bosch surveillance cameras installed in Malaysian restaurant

Bosch surveillance cameras installed in Malaysian restaurant

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 2/24/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Bosch Video Surveillance cameras are now installed in Yun Lai Huat Dim Sum Restaurant located at Petaling Jaya, Selangor. A popular restaurant that is growing its business, its owners wanted a video surveillance solution that can be used to keep the restaurant safe and improve overall operations, especially during peak hours.

With the opening of their newest outlet, the owners wanted a CCTV solution that can be used to monitor the whole premise, including the cashier counter, kitchen and dining area. The video footage enables the owners to monitor their business in real time. This helps keep the restaurant safe and ensures that employees are working efficiently.

In addition to general security surveillance, the owners wanted to be able to understand their crowd flow better. This would help them improve operations across all their outlets. To meet these requirements, 8 Bosch VTI-216V04-1 bullet cameras, were installed. These Integrated IR bullet cameras can be used both indoors and outdoors which allows the owners to have a camera installed outdoors to monitor the entrance of the restaurant too.

With a solution that is easy to install and use, Bosch provided a cost-effective total security solution that was customized to the needs of the owners.

The customer was extremely satisfied with the video surveillance solution as they are now able to use the surveillance cameras as a tool to help with their business operations while keeping their patrons safe. The Bosch cameras also come with a 3-year warranty and quick after sales service, giving them peace of mind on their investment.

Riding on security solutions to safety

Riding on security solutions to safety

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 2/20/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

While security products can help with theme park management, operators still rely on them for the original purpose that they were designed for: keeping premises safe and secure. Products and solutions, such as video surveillance, access control, and RFID can help operators achieve their security objectives.

For amusement parks, they deal with several types of security concerns. The first is the protection of premises from various harms. “As like any pubic commercial business, threats that have the potential to prevent or hinder the achievement of objectives that the business needs to perform, for example processes to keep the business financially safe and compliant from potential threat sources, can range from vandalism, terrorism, criminal activity, and asset loss and safety,” said Pedro De Jesus, Channel Manager for Security at Gallagher.

Another concern is ensuring the safety of visitors, some of whom may enter or exit rides from the wrong side or wander off to restricted areas. Locating missing children or members of a group is another primary focus. To address those concerns, security products and solutions are deployed, offering vital and much needed assistance to operators as they strive to build an overall safe environment.

Preventing child abduction and theft
Video surveillance plays a vital role in keeping amusement parks safe, especially when it comes to detecting and deterring crime. “A premier form of electronic surveillance, video provides real-time monitoring of situations, both at the location and remotely,” said Craig Dahlman, Director of IP Camera Products at Pelco by Schneider Electric. “Video security is a proven solution that can offer a complete answer for protecting customers, co-workers, and employees while additionally offering a watchful eye over property.”

Cameras are installed at various points in the park as well as at entrances to prevent various crimes, such as child abduction, although the mere presence of cameras should serve as a deterrent. “Visible installation of cameras and the knowledge that there is a video surveillance system is mostly sufficient to repel potential kidnappers,” said Roland Feil, Director Sales at Dallmeier Electronics, adding that high-definition cameras offering crystal clear images can also help investigate theft and shoplifting, which can be quite rampant at theme parks. Another important value of video surveillance is it can help operators request the necessary compensation should something happens. “It provides indisputable documentation of an event. While serving as a visual deterrent to crime, it gives park managers and security and safety professionals the tools they need to validate liability claims,” Dahlman said.

Locating lost visitors
Tracking lost children or members of a group over a large space like theme parks can be a daunting challenge. RFID, which entails communications between a tag and a reader, can be utilized for this purpose. “It keeps children safe by determining where the child last used the RFID credential. The child's credential can also be programmed not to work without being tagged in tandem with the parent's credential,” said Scott Lindley, President of Farpointe Data.

RFID not only can track lost visitors but also park employees as well. “They can be used to track lone workers, perhaps maintenance workers working in remote parts of the park outside of opening hours, to ensure that staff are accounted for and located, so emergencies can be spotted more quickly,” said John Davies, MD at TDSi.

Better yet, RFID can be integrated with other technologies, such as video analytics, to offer visual verification of the missing person. “Passive RFID tags can allow wearers to be tracked at specific portals throughout the park. While passing through those areas, images can be logged to validate the wearer's location,” said Larry Bowe, President of PureTech Systems. “On a more advanced level, the use of active RFID tags or small GPS transmitter could allow map-based tracking throughout the park and provide the ability to instantly swing a PTZ or zoom a high-resolution fixed camera directly to the child or person in question.”

When looking for lost visitors, every second counts. Video surveillance technologies nowadays have video forensic capabilities that enable quick retrieval of critical video data. “With metadata, which adds sense and structure to video surveillance, it is possible to immediately retrieve the correct evidence of hours of recorded materials in a couple of seconds,” said Pieter van den Looveren, Manager of Marketing Communication for Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems. “Today's video forensic tools can include details on age, clothing color, gender, and even geographic vicinity, allowing a user to literally enter a video search looking for a ‘small male child, wearing a red shirt last seen in the area of a particular ride during a specified time frame,'” Bowe said. “Video clips meeting these requirements can be quickly provided to security for a timely analysis.”

Detecting suspicious objects
While the technology is nothing new, detecting unattended or suspicious items by way of video analytics continues to be a popular application for theme parks, which might be targets for terrorist attacks. “With the help of modern video content analysis, it is possible to issue an alarm if any objects remain within a certain area for a predefined period of time,” Feil said. “The systems can also prevent the blocking of escape routes, fire rescue paths, or approach roads for ambulances by parked objects, which could have very serious consequences in case of an emergency.”

Intrusion detection Perimeter protection is a major concern, especially during the night when theme parks are closed. Delinquents, thieves, or burglars trying to climb over the fence and get into the park need to be kept out. Video analytics and cameras are deployed for this purpose, keeping parks safe and sound after business hours.

“Intelligent video can determine, for example, if an object approaches an area, from which direction it is coming, or how long it stays in a certain area,” Feil said. “This means that intruders can be detected early on and an alarm can be triggered. Comprehensive validity checks reduce false alarms, which may be triggered by leaves swishing in the wind or animals, to a minimum without missing ‘real' alarm messages.”

Video recording during night time, when everything is dark, presents a daunting challenge. Luckily, advances in lowlight and thermal technologies have solved this problem. “Today's thermal imagers have become very affordable, and as video analytic technology continues to improve, protection ranges increase greatly,” Bowe said. “The ability for video analytics to utilize a single camera for distances from hundreds of meters to kilometers makes implementing measures for night time surveillance more effective and more affordable.”

Access Control in critical areas
Like any other businesses, theme parks can step up access control through multifactor authentication, or a combination of tokens, passwords, or, for entry into more critical areas, biometrics. “Biometrics is typically used throughout high security or restricted places, for example head-end sever rooms, cash holding rooms, and security operations,” De Jesus said. “Access to these areas can be controlled to ensure only those staff that are appropriately qualified or trained can gain access.”

Access control management software can offer rapid authorization or removal of access when required. “Examples include contractors needing access to service the rides or attractions, or temporary staff no longer needed to work in restricted areas,” said Davies.

Ensuring safety of equipment
Finally, security products can help ensure that rides and other types of equipment are in good shape. “Video analytics is desirable for monitoring abnormalities, for example smoke, breakage of a gear, movement of a critical component, or overheating through the use of thermal cameras. They can even be used to ensure certain safety procedures are being followed,” Bowe said.

Safe and fun
People come to amusement parks to relax and have a fun day with their family and friends. They can't have fun if constantly being bugged by worries that something might happen. With various security products and solutions in place, operators can strive to make their parks as safe as possible and offer the ultimate visitor experience.

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