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Axis provides Albert Einstein Hospital with pioneering security solutions

Axis provides Albert Einstein Hospital with pioneering security solutions

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 9/16/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The Albert Einstein Hospital is considered to be the most advanced hospital in the Southern Hemisphere. Its units, mainly in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region, employ 12,322 people (including contractors) and receive about 4,000 visitors a day. As part of its network expansion plan, another unit has been opened in Sao Paulo (Perdizes Higienopolis). This new facility also placed increased demands on safety for patients and hospital staff and on safeguarding its assets. The hospital needed stricter controls on who was entering and leaving.

Solution
The hospital administration decided to adopt a more modern method of access control in all its units. This is the first time a hospital in Latin America has implemented a system combining access control, video surveillance, fire prevention and detection, and building automation. Einstein's seven units employ 1,250 Axis cameras to control 450 access points.

Result
The project was delivered under a turn-key contract and went into operation automatically at the end of the installation, launching a new concept of security for the hospital area. These investments follow the trend toward a greater control of the flow of people inside hospitals. One of the most immediate results is the greater sense of security patients and employees feel. Other impacts are being seen over the long term: crime prevention, identification of suspects, and asset preservation

User registration
Users can now only gain access once they are registered. On passing through the turnstile, Axis' high-performance cameras record an image of the user's face with highresolution imaging. After making this complete record upon entering, all user movements through access points, such as doors, turnstiles and gates, are tracked by other Axis cameras. The project includes 450 access points. The control room operator only needs to enter the user's name into the system to get all their entrance images, viewing details about their face and general appearance, and all their subsequent images—where they go, what they are carrying, if they were being accompanied, and what time they passed each checkpoint.

Discreet observation
Since hospitals have specific needs, the project underwent some adaptations. Camera position, for example, is not so apparent as to make people feel under suspicion, but the cameras still need to be visible enough to deter criminal actions. One of the project's design challenges was to carefully balance the need for camera coverage against the need to respect the patients' and visitors' privacy and feelings. In short, the system had to be very well designed so that it did not seem threatening, but was able to dissuade malicious action while maintaining full respect for privacy. “The Axis cameras surprised us in a positive way, because they provided different applications that the old analog cameras didn't offer”, said Dov Smaletz, Albert Einstein security manager. “Because they are 100% IP, they offer the resources for intelligent monitoring.”

The system has both passive and active features, and notifies control room staff when a person or a movement is captured by a camera. The system is 100% PoE (Power over Ethernet) and has roughly 36 terabytes of storage space, enough for two weeks of images, all centralized at the Morumbi unit, where a 100% RAID 5 solution vastly improves data access. Due to the quality of the cameras and ongoing maintenance services, the system ensures nearly 100% availability.

Ready for the future
Axis' integrator partner Servtec developed and installed the project and it is also responsible for future maintenance. This maintenance even can be done with the help of images from the security cameras themselves, an example of the large degree of integration of the project. “The implementation was considered complex because it's the first hospital to oversee all people entering and leaving the complex using turnstiles,” said Alexandre Gushiken, Servtec sales manager.

Multi-channel retailing drives multi-faced retail models

Multi-channel retailing drives multi-faced retail models

Editor / Provider: Steve Chin, a&s International | Updated: 9/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

More and more, retailers are looking into better and more efficient ways to reach out to their customers and enhance their shopping experience. Traditional shopping rules are being set aside for technological advancements and multi-channel retailing.

Hi, may I help you?” will probably be the first few words a customer hears when they enter a retail store. At first glance, one might think that the way people do their shopping, be it at a high-class luxury establishment or a simple grocery store, has really not changed all that much. In reality though, the retail industry is constantly looking for ways to evolve and improve both the customer's shopping experience and the security of their stores.

As Alex Johnson, Senior Director of Retail Technology at Verint Systems pointed out, “retailers now have an increased focus on improving the in-store customer shopping experience, whether it's through improved merchandising, better informed store associates, or decreased wait times and other initiatives.”

Another factor to take into account is the Internet. Nowadays, Internet access is so prevalent and so easily accessible that almost all traditional brick-and-mortar stores offer some form of online shopping. In fact, because it is so widespread and so available, it is incredibly easily to purchase anything from furniture to luxury goods to even groceries, all delivered right to your front door. The downside for retailers is that because their customers are now able to purchase products directly from their living rooms, it is becoming more difficult to have any physical interactions between them.

It goes without saying, the World Wide Web has become a significant part of our lives, with the ability to look up and execute just about anything that comes to mind. In this living, evolving world, tools like social media, online advertisements, and the ability to reach out to customers on a global scale represents a gigantic leap for retailers relative to a decade or two ago. Smartphones have emphasized this point even further. “Shoppers are more and more often using connected mobile devices during their shopping journeys, and both ‘showrooming' and ‘webrooming' are opportunities for retailers,” said George Shaw, Head of R&D at RetailNEXT. What this means in essence is that from a retailer's point of view, opt-in guest Wi-Fi and mobile device detection are rapidly growing areas of interest, and are some of the foundation blocks for personalization of the in-store shopping experience. All this can also link up to a concept called omni-channel retailing, which is one of the recurring trends being observed in the current retail industry. With the need to continually connect with their customers, retailers are constantly looking for faster and better ways to offer not just a better customer shopping experience, but more efficient support and cross-platform promoting.

Omni-Channel Retailing
A big thing to take note of is the concept of omni-channel retailing. This is basically a culmination of traditional brick-and-mortar stores combined with online support and shopping through apps on smartphones and tablets. This also expands even further into support across multiple cross-platforms. By utilizing omni-channels, retailers are able to compound on the ease of accessibility that customers gain by making everything from shopping, returning items, price matching, and customer support, all available from a customer's living room sofa. Customers can also see a much simpler and efficient system when they wish to return or exchange items, as purchases made through online methods can also be honored in-store.

Expanding on this idea even further, this is also a very easy way to obtain valuable information through data mining in order to better the retail customers' experiences. For example, by utilizing in-store Wi-Fi and mobile devices, retailers can determine what areas of the store are getting the most traffic and what places are lacking. The retailer can then respond by promoting the most popular products even further through cross platforms, be it on their online stores or through mobile devices, such as a special promotion for their store prior to logging onto in-store Wi-Fi. Data mining also helps retailers determine customer buying habits, and retailers can then respond by advertising store promotions that they currently have. By utilizing omni-channel retailing, retailers are able to cross-promote across all their available systems, not just simply putting up a window poster in their brick-andmortar stores. “The Internet is having a huge impact on how people shop. I see Internet purchases being much more common these days. Offers like Living Social helps drives sales further. Big box stores like Costco are also experiencing significant sales growth, and everywhere there is much more in-store comparisonshopping being done by smartphones,” John Sullivan, President of 360iQ explained.

Delving Further Into Analytics
In line with omni-channel retailing, traditional security analytics are also a factor. No longer just a security tool utilized to prevent crime, its uses are also becoming catered towards business intelligence and retail improvements. Johnson also explained that one of the most significant advancements made recently is leveraging video infrastructure to provide incremental business intelligence to assist retailers in operating their business.

Determents to retailers are things like long queues, ill-informed associates, and mismanaged marketing for products. Brian Lane, Director of Product at 3VR, especially pointed out the queue issue. “It can make for a miserable shopping experience. So much so, that they may shop somewhere else next time.” Some ways to combat this that solutions providers are quick to emphasize are analytics like queue management software that can count the number of customers entering stores and the number that are leaving. As Lane explained in greater detail, “Software like this determines the average shopping times of each individual customer, and can properly alert staff to add more associates to the points-of-sales (POS) systems in the store.” He also added, “the software can also use people counting, in conjuction with POS systems to determine the conversion rate of customers.” Sullivan also explained another method: “surveillance cameras are not only tracking the bad guys but also keeping an eye on the good guys in order to make their shopping experiences better than ever. Video analytics can create ‘heat maps' that show the so-called ‘Golden Path,' the most popular areas of the store — and how that might change during the day, week, or year.” This leads to better product and shopping knowledge, and retailers can adapt to the various scenarios.

Another example Sullivan pointed out is a demographic analytic, normally used for forensic research on recorded video. What this basically looks to do is to narrow down a search of a subject by their age and gender. Usually, this is utilized to identify possible subjects in crime. But on the business side, this same analytic can be used in the retail environment to help retailers understand the demographics of their customers. “For example, if a store were to run an ad for a sale in the newspaper one weekend, and on social media the next, the information returned would most likely result in a younger demographic the second weekend. This analytic can be used to test this hypothesis,” Lane explained. “If the store's merchandise is aimed at a younger audience, the effectiveness of advertising can be tested to target a specific demographic.”

High-End Luxury and Big-Box Franchise Retailing Develop with Personalized Approach
The differences are obvious when stepping into a Louis Vuitton store and when stepping into a Costco or when you walk into a Cartier store versus walking into the Wal-Mart electronics section. Right away, as soon as you enter high-end luxury retail stores, you notice a much more personal approach. Traditionally, “high-end retail has always been about differentiation, either with products, customer experiences, or both. Savvy retailers are now looking at technology to empower customizable, personalized shopping experiences, with the aim at creating a sustainable competitive advantage,” said Shaw. In short, there's always the VIP approach when it comes to high-end retail. The “everything is possible” motto comes to mind when referring to these luxury markets.

Things are a little bit different for big-box franchise retailing, as it is centered in such a competitive market. With so many different major brand names, again, one of the solutions for retailers is to make their retail stores really stand out. Provisions such as reward programs, discounts, and promotions offer customers reasons to continually shop at the same retailer. One solution being explored right now is data mining customer shopping histories and looking at the demographical differences: gender, age, and location. A way to execute this would be to have a loyalty or membership program whereas by customers signing up, they would be able to gain access to exclusive coupons or specials. In return, customers would give access to their shopping histories and shopping patterns and enable retailers a way to personalize their shopping promotions i.e. Customer A purchases bananas and apples this week and oranges and celery a week prior; there would be little point in sending promotions for t-shirts and DVDs). The whole goal is to make it a more personalized shopping experience by utilizing the customer's information from multiple channels.

Again, the idea of omni-channel retailing is applied to both high-end luxury market segments as well as the big-box retailing industry. While the target audience might be different, the end goals still remain the same: reaching out to customers and bettering the shopping experience in order to achieve better margin gains.

Roadmap to Better Retailing
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to retailing is continual technological advancements. Some key features to look out for include things like RFID technology becoming more widespread, with its use in real-time inventory management becoming one of the future key features. It will also soon be a huge data source for retailers as they control inventories and better manage its effect on cash flows and working capitals, as Shaw explained. Another important factor is mobile and even wearable tech (including products like: Google Glass, Apple's iWatch, and Samsung's Galaxy Gear), and how to take advantage of it. One achieveable method seems to be the idea of utilizing the NFC and Bluetooth features and directly “beaming” it to customers as they enter the store. It becomes important as time goes on for better and closer customer interactions and feedback, as well as the ability to properly market and promote products to the right demographics. Keep an eye out for such things like Bluetooth connectivity to in-store promotional specials, and better, even faster, and more efficient cross multi-channel retailing. This also ties into the omni-channel retailing factor, as technological advancements will only make cross-channel retailing more and more efficient.

The last thing to point out is that the human factor in shopping will never really go away. That's another reason why not everything is online, said Shaw. People still enjoy social interactions when shopping, and conversing with in-store associates and being attended to is still a big driver. In fact, when it comes to specialty products, retail sales associates are the biggest drivers of shopper loyalty and retention.

Top Retailing Conundrums Facing US Retailers
A quick glance on the Internet still reveals a few worries that retailers have to face. According to publication by Market Watch, the following are the top 10 risk factors, based on the opinions of the 100 largest US retailers.

1. General economic conditions ― This is far and away the number one reason, and quite understandable;
2. Federal, state, and local regulations;
3. Competition and consolidation;
4. Vendor concerns ― recession has hit the manufacturers just as hard;
5. Labor costs ― Rising medical costs, staffing costs, minimum wage raises;
6. Consumer trends;
7. Maintenance of IT systems ― Things like security systems, POS systems,and registers, are all expensive;
8. Privacy concerns related to security breach ― This is another big one that has made news headlines recently. Hackers breaking into online databases to steal people’s information and blackmailing them for payment.
8a. Consumer confidence and spending;
8b. Legal proceedings

GKB IP solution deployed to safeguard the commercial building in Cebu

GKB IP solution deployed to safeguard the commercial building in Cebu

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by GKB | Updated: 9/12/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Background:
The Link is a 22-story commercial building for business process outsourcing (BPO) building located in Cebu IT Park, the Philippines, built in 2013. The Link was looking for high definition surveillance system to protect its tenants including IT companies, insurance companies, and banks in the building.

Solution:
A total of 45 IP Dome cameras have been installed in The Link building, used to monitor the elevators, lobby, main exits, offices, public places, and parking lot. Each camera has an embedded a 16G Micro SD card for back-up recording in case of network failure.

GKB provided a server-and-client structure IP solution that allows The Link to set up multiple monitors, making the live monitoring function does not interfere with the recording server and system.

The operation of the entire system is managed and coordinated centrally through Viewer 11 & NVR Server, two sets of comprehensive and intelligent security platform software by GKB.

Benefit:
The entire solution has led to several benefits as a result:
* A Flexible and Cost-Effective Solution When the system was designed, the idea of expansion was thoroughly considered. New cameras can be easily added without any extra license fee making this deployment an excellent return on investment.
* Clear and Clever Monitoring and Management Cloud NVR can remotely monitor and manage cameras from any device. Log in is as simple as entering your username and password. The Link can now remotely manage IP cameras easier than ever.

 

Sponsored by: 

About GKB GKB Security Corporation is a global security solutions provider with a full range of CCTV, IP, Mobile, Video Fire Detection System and Home Automation products and support services designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized system integrators and security installers.

Nedap improves fertility, health and well-bing of every animal in the herd

Nedap improves fertility, health and well-bing of every animal in the herd

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 9/11/2014 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

Launch of Nedap Heat Detection with Standing and Lying Monitoring
Nedap is launching Heat Detection with Standing and Lying Monitoring, a comprehensive solution that enables dairy farmers to continuously and automatically monitor heat, health and well-being aspects of their entire herd. The new Standing and Lying Monitoring functionality monitors five of a cow's daily behavioural aspects: standing, lying and walking times, the number of times she stands up, and the number of steps she takes per day. A cow shows the same pattern of behaviour and movements every day. Standing and Lying Monitoring accurately reflects these behaviour patterns. Any changes in one of these aspects indicate that there may be something wrong with the animal concerned. The Nedap Heat Detection system with Standing and Lying Monitoring detects these changes at great distances 24/7 and identifies animals in the herd in heat or with possible health problems in good time. This enables the livestock farmer to easily achieve better fertility results and to monitor and promptly treat animals with possible health problems or risks. The system therefore plays a key part in the quest for sustainable dairy farming, while increasing the number of lactations and the life span of the animals. In addition, the livestock farmer can achieve and maintain the best possible production results from every animal, no matter how big the herd is. The new functionality is an addition to the well-known Nedap Heat Detection system, which will remain available at the same price.

Nedap Heat Detection with Standing and Lying Monitoring
Developments around the automatic tracking and monitoring of individual animals are progressing in leaps and bounds. Besides Heat Detection, Nedap is focusing on automatic detection of more and more behavioural aspects and signals that indicate the health and well-being of individual animals and enable them to be treated preventively. With the need to upscale and produce sustainably, automatic monitoring of individual animals is something farmers can't afford to be without. Focusing on the fertility, health and well-being of the individual animal can considerably increase the farm's total yield.

A cow shows the same pattern of behaviour and movements every day. With this in mind, Nedap is launching Standing and Lying Monitoring. This system gives a representative picture of this daily behaviour pattern based on five behavioural aspects: the time the cow spends lying, standing and walking, the number of times she stands up, and the number of steps she takes per day.

The behavioural aspects monitored by Standing and Lying Monitoring were chosen for good reason. A cow feels on top form and performs best when she has a daily routine of repeated behaviour and events. She needs to lie down about 12 to 14 hours per day to ruminate, rest, sleep and take the weight off her hooves, and also to enable good blood circulation in the udder for good milk production. The Nedap system alerts the farmer in good time of any changes in the cow's lying behaviour that indicate she is lying down less, so that negative consequences can be avoided. Alternatively, a cow may be lying down for the same number of hours per day but standing up less often. Standing up much less than the average 12 times per day is a sign that something may be wrong and that further investigation is needed. Then the negative consequences of standing up too little, such as eating too little, can be avoided.

The length of time a cow spends standing still has been included in the Standing and Lying Monitoring functionality because cows are generally busy all the time. Cows should only be standing still doing nothing for a relatively short time. If this time increases, the system will issue an alert so that the animal and her surroundings can be checked for possible causes of this unusual behaviour. Finally, Nedap Standing and Lying Monitoring monitors the length of time an animal spends walking and the number of steps she takes per day. Any changes in these can also be a sign of health problems. The farmer can avoid serious consequences by checking and treating the animal early on or adjusting his/her animal management.

Standing and Lying Monitoring comes combined with the reliable Heat Detection system in the Nedap Smarttag Leg. This Smarttag costs the same as the one in the existing Heat Detection system. Nedap Heat Detection with Standing and Lying Monitoring detects 24/7 and at great distances: up to 75 m around the antenna in the barn, or about 500-1,000 m – depending on local circumstances – with the Long Range antenna in the pasture. This gives the dairy farmer more control over the production results of every animal in his/her herd.

Nedap Heat Detection: complete range for custom solutions
Nedap offers a complete range of equipment for Heat Detection with integrated Health Monitoring. The Nedap Smarttag provides accurate Heat Detection with Standing and Lying Monitoring in the leg version or Eating Monitoring in the neck version. Both the Smarttag Neck and the Smarttag Leg can be optionally combined with identification technology for use in management applications (ISO). Data transfer takes place at great distances 24/7. No matter what the dairy farmer's needs are or what demands are made by the farm's automation, Nedap always offers the best technology for an effective solution.

Nedap. Vital Element for Growth
As the world's population and prosperity increase, milk and meat producers are seeing a rise in the demand for their products. At the same time, requirements for quality and food safety are becoming ever stricter and raw material, labour and energy costs are rising. To respond to these challenges, for the past 35 years Nedap has been supplying the perfect high-tech solutions to enable livestock producers to grow sustainably. Feeding, milking, separating, sorting and heat detection: barn automation based on electronic individual animal identification helps livestock farmers care for their animals individually and monitor their production and condition. This saves valuable time, creates peace and quiet in the barn and provides a clear overview. Costs go down and profits go up. And it enables farmers to produce in a much more animal-friendly way. Nedap. Vital element for growth.

W Hotel chooses EverFocus surveillance systems in Doha

W Hotel chooses EverFocus surveillance systems in Doha

Editor / Provider: EverFocus | Updated: 9/5/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The increasing worldwide terrorist attack and theft has become driving force in explosion of surveillance systems to protect lives and assets. Every newly built public or private building now requires a complete security and safety plan.

As desert dunes soar next to towering skyscrapers, W Doha Hotel & Residences dazzles by the Arabian Sea. As more and more high-end hotels are built in Qatar, W Hotel wanted to provide more secured experiences for their employees and their valuable guests during their stays in W Hotel for competitive hotel market in Qatar. Therefore, W Hotel turned to EverFocus for a well–planned surveillance system.

In order to provide a complete safe environment for its guests, W Hotel chose EverFocus's cameras and later installed around four hundred fifty EverFocus advanced surveillance cameras in their main entrances, lobby, hallways, stairs, and at the front desk. In order to satisfy W Hotel's requirements, EverFocus worked with the system integrator Genius Vision Digital (GVD) for a complete solution. Installed EverFocus surveillance cameras include EHN3260 IP IR dome, EPN4220 speed dome, and EZN3260, EZN3340 bullet type cameras.

Taiwan Excellence Award winner EPN 4220 is a best-in-class network-based speed dome camera specifically designed for professional applications. It offers 2 megapixel resolution and a built-in 20x optical zoom, aimed at guaranteeing impeccable image quality, in addition to cutting-edge features, such as digital slow shutter (DSS), wide dynamic range (WDR), and dynamic noise reduction (DNR). Equipped with an IP66-rated housings and true day/night function with a removable IR cut filter, the EPN 4220 is certainly designed to withstand all environments. The advanced motion detection function also meets the needs of almost every end-user.

EHN3260 is a 2 megapixel IP wide dynamic Day/Night outdoor IR dome that is perfect for both indoor and outdoor environment. W Hotel installed 398pcs of EHN3250 cameras in the hotel because its P-IRIS Lends, WDR, high performance noise filter, True Day/Night function provide high quality image and meet the vandal proof needs that the hotel required at the same time.

EZN3260 and EZN3340 bullet type IP cameras are also used in this project. EZN3260 is a 2 Megapixel Wide Dynamic Outdoor Bullet IP camera patented algorithm for expert exposure control in dynamic lighting environments. Its highlight suppression backlight compensation/Control (HSBLC) intelligently masks the extreme blooming effects from high-contrast light sources such as car headlights. EZN3340 is a 3 Megapixel outdoor bullet IP camera with the same design as EZN3260 but higher performances that can monitor further distance in darker areas.

Hotel surveillance has become more important than ever. A well organized and installed surveillance system can not only protect the hotel itself but also the guests. 441 EverFocus cameras are installed for complete surveillance and protection in W Hotel. With the installation of the hotel video surveillance, not only it can keep guests safe from theft, violence, but also provide evidences, prevent crimes and thus create a better and pleasant stay for all the guests visiting W Hotel.

Video surveillance is the perfect security solution for hotels and resorts. EverFocus surveillance solutions have been widely used in different vertical markets including businesses, housing, banking, retail. EverFocus has the most cost effective video camera solution for you all around the world.

Hard disk drives work hard to ensure data integrity

Hard disk drives work hard to ensure data integrity

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 9/4/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Hard disk drives (HDDs) are the core of a storage system, which is critical in a surveillance installation. With growing demand for storage devices capable of storing bigger and more complex video data for longer periods of time, the need for higher-capacity and more reliable hard drives also rises. Today's surveillance HDDs consume less power, have better error detection capabilities, and are designed specifically for intensive writing that is typical of surveillance operations. All this is intended to meet users' growing storage needs.

The history of HDDs goes way back; they were Introduced in the 1950s. Yet for a long time, HDDs focused primarily on the storage of personal and corporate data and lacked surveillance applications. However, this has changed with the growing importance of the security industry. As camera resolutions get higher and video retention periods become longer, demand for HDDs that are bigger in volume and designed specifically for writing-intensive surveillance operations has increased.

In fact, it can be said that surveillance is a growth driver for the hard drive industry. A recent study by IHS predicted that revenue for both internal and external HDDs in video surveillance applications would rise from US$638.7 million in 2013 to $1 billion by 2017, a remarkable 57% increase. The market research firm attributed the increase in storage demand to various factors, including better performance and the use of high-resolution cameras. “The HDD industry as a whole will reap the benefits of a fast-growing video surveillance industry,” the report said. Indeed, today's HDDs come with advanced features, such as error detection and vibration tolerance, to make sure no data is lost. Capacity, which totals 4 terabytes (TB) in most of today's enterprise-level HDDs, will only increase over time. All this is meant to ensure data reliability and integrity over a long period of time and boost the overall performance of the surveillance deployment.

Consumer vs. Surveillance HDDs
The major difference between HDDs for consumer and surveillance applications is that the former is reading intensive and the latter is designed for data writing most of the time. “Consumer electronics (CE) HDDs' primary focus is entertainment systems, like a consumer DVR, where you typically record content and play it back over and over again. In this environment, smooth playback is very important,” said CN Chu, Technical Manager for Taiwan at Seagate.

Surveillance, on the other hand, requires constant writing of data as video feeds from different cameras are continuously transmitted to the storage device. HDDs for surveillance applications must therefore be designed from a writing-intensive perspective. “For surveillance applications, the customer needs an HDD that writes data 90%of the time, while reading accounts for just 10%or even 5%,” said Patrick Lo, Director of APAC Marketing, Digital Video and Data Center Storage Division at WD. “If there is no event, the video data is either retained or overwritten.”

Moreover, surveillance HDDs must be able to withstand lots of heat, being often enclosed in systems such as NAS or servers. Surveillance HDDs must also have more stringent fault tolerance requirements, able to perform even in the event of a components failure. Finally, consumer HDDs work at an average of eight hours a day, five days a week. Surveillance HDDs, on the other hand, must work round-the-clock. And given surveillance systems are always on, HDDs with improved energy conservation features can help users save on power.

Comparison between consumer and surveillance HDDs

 

Consumer HDDs

Surveillance HDDs

Power-on hours

8x5

24x7

Designed for multi-HDD recording

No

Yes (1 to unlimited)

Mean time before failure (hours)

700K

1-1.4 million

Workloads

Balanced between read and write

High sequential write/recording high-resolution videos at all time

Power management

High spin-up current >2amp

Low spin-up current <2amp

Warranty

2 years

3-5 years


Features to ensure data Integrity
Imagine the horror of not being able to find or retrieve a vital piece of data in the event of an accident. Since surveillance HDDs are tasked with storing piles upon piles of video data that is too valuable to be lost, they come with cutting-edge features to make sure all the data is kept securely and intact.

Error Detection
Error detection is a feature that activates when the system detects an impending HDD failure to allow the engineer to act accordingly, such as backing up data or making replacements. To make sure that error detection works, the HDD must be able to “shake hands” with the error detection software developed by the system manufacturer. “We do not just sell HDDs. In this industry, we sell a service and work with system manufacturers from the very beginning during the R&D stage,” Lo said.

Power Management
The more power a hard drive consumes, the more heat it will emit. Overtime, this will shorten a hard drive's life expectancy. Power management is therefore, in the words of Lo, “a topic that, for surveillance players, will never go out of style.”

Power management also plays a major role in the economics of running surveillance. “Because surveillance HDDs run 24x7, power consumption is a big deal. The less power required by the drive the lower overall cost of ownership for the end user — especially as you scale into larger surveillance data centers,” Chu said. To lower overall power consumption, HDD manufacturers have developed various technologies to achieve this purpose, for example minimizing disk operations during periods of downtime and reducing the “spin-up power” — power needed to get the disk from a state of rest to full rotation. A sudden surge in power consumption during this time may be costly and may even affect system operations later.

Read/Write
The hard disk's read and write speeds are dependent upon the user's surveillance system. A hard drive that supports a maximum sustained data rate of 180MB/second, for example, can accommodate up to 32 simultaneous recordings from HD cameras. “If you're streaming from a higher camera count and in higher resolution formats, you will need a drive that can support a higher throughput,” Chu said.

Besides read/write speed, effective and accurate writing into the hard drive is also critical. “Sometimes the HDD will keep recording, yet frame drops may occur, and that can be a huge problem,” Lo said, adding WD has a solution, called AllFrame, for this situation.

Selecting the right HDD
Picking the right HDD to install really depends on various factors. Installers and integrators should consider a range of things, for example the size of the project, the level of reliability demanded, and the number of drives that will be packed in a unit, before choosing the right product.

Type of Project
One way to figure out which HDD to get is by determining the size of installation. For a home environment with a camera count of four to eight, the installer may choose a standardlevel drive with workload of up to 60 TB a year and warranty of three years — that's total workload of 180 TB for three years. For companies or businesses with 40 to 50 cameras, an HDD with total workload of 900 TB over a five-year period (180 TB times five) may be considered. For the more missioncritical operations such as casinos, airports, and government agencies, total workload of 2,750 TB over a five-year period (550TB times five) is preferred.

Number of Drives
When HDDs are deployed in multi-drive units such as NAS or large servers, rotational vibration (RV) may become an issue that may cause data loss and corruption. “In systems with more than five drives, vibrations from the chassis or other rotating drives may cause enough vibration to impact the system performance as well as data integrity,” Chu said.

To address this issue, RV sensors are built into surveillance-purpose HDDs to minimize the impact of vibration. WD's technology, for example, has a sensor that detects vibration and triggers a response that keeps the drive heads within the safe operating region during read and write operations.

Level of Reliability
If the user requires a higher level of data reliability, then it's preferable to choose HDDs with a higher mean time before failure (MTBF) — the predicted time before the drive goes out. HDDs in the market now have MTBF ranging from 1 million hours to 1.4 million hours.

HDDs vs. SSDs Solid state drives (SSDs) are storage devices that are based on integrated circuits rather than on electromagnetism like HDD. SSDs do have a place in surveillance. They are more resistant to extreme conditions and vibrations, making them suitable for outside or vehicular applications. They also boast faster read and write speeds.

However, HDDs still have advantages. First, HDDs can stand a lot of roughening up. Enterprise-level HDDs can read or write 600,000 times, while SSDs can do so only 30,000 to 50,000 times. Secondly, HDDs are a lot more inexpensive. The price of a 512 GB SSD, the maximum spec in the market right now, can get the user more than one 4TB HDD.

“SSDs are suitable for many applications, for example car digital recorders which do not require big capacities. But will they completely replace HDDs in the near future? I don't think so,” Lo said. “And I don't think it's an issue of who replaces who, as finding the right storage technology really depends on your operating environment and budget.”

Bigger and faster is the future
As for the future of hard drives, the trends are that they will feature bigger and bigger capacity. Currently, maximum HDD capacity is 4TB, a figure “that is set to double every two years,” Lo said. “You can never satisfy customers' storage needs.” PCI Express (PCIe), a high-speed serial computer expansion bus standard, is meanwhile expected to replace SATA as the mainstream interface for connecting storage to PC systems. PCIe boasts transfer rates of 1 to 2GB/s, faster than 3 to 6Gb/s for SATA.

Good prospects down the road
With bigger capacity, better performance, and less power consumption, today's surveillance HDDs help surveillance players big time by keeping data safe and secure. It has been said that a hard disk will be able to hold 20TB of data by 2020. With storage technology continuously improving, that scenario is no longer a far-fetched dream.

Honeywell offers HD IP video kits to Performance Series line

Honeywell offers HD IP video kits to Performance Series line

Editor / Provider: Honeywell | Updated: 9/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywell is now offering bundled IP Video kits that give small to mid size businesses a hassle-free option for upgrading to high definition IP video. The kits consist of Honeywell's new four-channel embedded NVR with four ball or four bullet style high definition IP cameras. These kits are affordable, easy to install and provide a complete end-to-end video surveillance solution.

“The common problem for NVR systems is that they're too expensive and too difficult to install, so many organizations stick to what they know, which is the standard analog DVR system,” said Rick Koscinski, Honeywell Sales Manager. “Our Performance Series' IP kits address those problems by providing a cost-effective, easy-to-install system that makes IP video a greater reality for organizations with cash-strapped budgets. It's as easy to set up as a DVR.”

The simple, low-profile camera designs are ideal for tight spaces, and built-in Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) simplifies camera installation through plug-and-play functionality, saving time and costs. An intuitive setup wizard makes the system easy to configure, maintain, and manage. End users can also program the system to record only when motion is detected to maximize the system's efficiency. The network connected system allows business owners to view video from smartphones, tablets and computers. E-mail alerts can be programmed to warn users of network failures or motion detection.

Public school district in Nebraska deploys IP solutions with Genetec and Axis

Public school district in Nebraska deploys IP solutions with Genetec and Axis

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 9/2/2014 | Article type: Education

North Bend Central School District (NBCPS) in America has installed Genetec Security Center to better protect its elementary and junior high school students.

North Bend Central School District serves a community of 1,200 residents in the southwest corner of Dodge County, Nebraska. Its facilities include a PK-6 elementary school and a central junior-senior high school campus, accommodating approximately 560 students. While North Bend is a close-knit community and usually devoid of serious risk, NBCPS always stays vigilant in ensuring its students and faculty are safe.

The school district had been using a very small analog digital video recorder (DVR) camera system to track minor incidents of vandalism in its high school building, and doors to both buildings were secured by keys. The manual process of locking and unlocking doors and tracking keys was tedious and cumbersome. Upon receiving a sizeable financial federal bond, the school district planned a major infrastructure improvement which included a complete security upgrade. NBCPS turned to Prime Communications, a certified security solutions provider, who proposed Genetec Security Center, for a unified approach to security with video surveillance and access control.
Today, NBCPS is using Security Center to manage a total of 36 network cameras from Axis Communicationsand 15 HID Global door readers and controllers across both buildings.

Synergis, the access control system of Security Center, has been pre-configured to automatically lock and unlock the main entrances and exits of both school buildings according to school schedules. Since the community also uses certain facilities after-hours, the NBCPS facility managers can easily make schedule adjustments within Synergis to accommodate different events or special exceptions. Administrators can also quickly activate or de-activate cards as required. “Because everything is automated, we don't need to have someone come in and manually lock or unlock doors anymore. We schedule everything in the system or we assign community members visitor badges with specific privileges and access rights. Synergis has been really easy to use,” explains Jim Cody, Technology Coordinator at NBCPS.

From an IT perspective, Security Center has also been extremely adaptable by running within a virtualized environment and thus allowing NBCPS to minimize hardware. Omnicast, the video surveillance system of Security Center is also set to record on motion.
“We're a small district and we don't have the money to spend on terabytes and terabytes of data storage or servers for our security system. Having motion detection supported within Omnicast has saved us a lot of time searching for video and minimized storage costs,” added Cody.

NBCPS is using Security Center mainly for after-the-fact investigations, yet rotating video feeds are consistently displayed on monitors in administration offices. Being able to quickly locate, time-stamp and export video as evidence has proven to be useful to identify a suspect who had damaged school property during a school event and also provided video evidence to parties with different recounts of a traffic accident that was caught on camera.

While Security Center features such as remote monitoring have saved staff considerable time in handling video investigations from home, more powerful features like Security Center Mobile, Health Monitoring and Active Directory Integration are top of the to-add list in the future.

Industry report: Marriage of IP Video and VMS

Industry report: Marriage of IP Video and VMS

Editor / Provider: EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 9/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

By now, the news of Canon Europe acquiring Milestone Systems has made its way into every nook and cranny of the security industry. While the acquisition itself may not have come as such a surprise, the fact that Canon Europe, a small fish in the video surveillance game, was the acquirer proved to be much more of a shocker. Now, the question of what this means for other video surveillance and video management software (VMS) companies is weighing heavily on the industry's mind.

In a recent report by IHS Research, Milestone Systems was named the number one VMS company globally in terms of market share in 2013, with a year-over-year revenue growth of 32 percent. Despite being at the top, Milestone still has a market share of less than 10 percent, making the fragmentation of the VMS market quite apparent.

When the announcement came in June that the global leader in VMS was acquired by Canon Europe, many were stunned. The fact that Milestone was acquired wasn't the surprise; it was the acquirer, a relative nobody in the IP video surveillance industry that was the shocker. However, beyond the shock and surprise, the acquisition of a software company by a hardware company, regardless of brand, makes complete sense in an increasingly competitive industry.

Hardware and software: The perfect match
The convergence of IP video with the larger information technology (IT) world is no surprise. “IP video will converge with IT,” asserted Stephan Rasp, CEO of SeeTec.

“Traditional security systems are just the first step. Buzzwords like ‘Internet 4.0' and ‘Internet of Things' attempt to capture the dynamics of processing a diverse set of sensors and actors on the same IT infrastructure as management systems.” To that effect, the fact that software on its own is a non-starter should make the acquisition of a software company by a hardware company unsurprising. In the case of Canon Europe and Milestone, it was simply the names that made this otherwise natural marriage surprising.

“What Canon's acquisition of Milestone tells is basically emphasizing the importance of the synergy brought by the integration of software and hardware,” said Steve Ma, EVP of VIVOTEK. “The integration of hardware and software platforms not only can generate a powerful synergy for customers, but also can be critical to keep products and services at the forefront of innovation, with the latest cutting-edge applications to meet a variety of customers' needs. Therefore, since the company's establishment, VIVOTEK has collaborated closely with international and regional VMS programmers to seamlessly integrate camera functionalities onto different platforms.”

According to James Wang, Product Director at Dahua Technology, “the integration of hardware and software will become more common due to the development of new technology, such as cloud, big data, going mobile, etc., which speeds up the consolidation in IP video surveillance.” In particular for VMS vendors, Wang pointed out, “As the number of VMS vendors are on the rise, it is natural for the market to have a reshuffle and make the strong ones stay and become even stronger.”

Implications for small VMS vendors
So, what does this mean for smaller VMS vendors? “In general, the challenge for smaller brands is not really a consequence of the Milestone deal but the sign of a market, which turns from a growthdominated market to a more mature, competitive market,” said Rasp. “For smaller players it will be crucial to find ‘blue oceans,' which are less competitive, and not to attack the major players in their core business.” Blue oceans (untapped market space) may make survival in an increasingly competitive market possible for smaller VMS vendors that may better be able to fill niche segments and more specialized demands or markets beyond the traditional security sector, explained Rasp.

On the other hand, Keen Yao, International Marketing Director for Hikvision Digital Technology, highlighted one of the major challenges currently facing smaller, more traditional VMS companies. “The traditional VMS, their position is being replaced by hardware manufacturers,” pointed out Yao. This is all due to a changing VMS market, particularly for small-sized projects, where a VMS can be replaced with an IP camera/NVR solution. “IP cameras with an embedded standalone NVR can be provided to small projects, like 10 to 30 cameras. It's very easy for them to get this kind of solution.” Not only is it easier for smaller projects to get these solutions, it is also more cost effective.

 

New strategies for companies
With such changes occurring in the security industry, companies are thinking of ways to adjust their strategies in order to grow with the changing industry. “With the burgeoning of Chinese manufacturers and the M&As in the security industry, the competition is undoubtedly getting fiercer,” pointed out VIVOTEK's Ma. In order to sustain market competitiveness, Ma outlined three key strategies of VIVOTEK to better create added value and return on investment for customers — customizable, flexible, and reliable. Furthermore, by adding intelligent functionality to its products, companies like VIVOTEK are doing what they can to make their products standout.

Companies such as Dahua and Hikvision have taken a customized approach to VMS in order to better cater to end-user needs. In order to best accommodate certain verticals, Hivision has dedicated separate teams to seven verticals in their home market of China, which includes safe city, transport, finance, etc. Similarly, Wang from Dahua noted of his company's plan, “We will be more ‘vertical' in what we sell according to market segmentation. For example, the retail market is no way the same as others, so we will refine the solution oriented to the demands of the retailers.”

Single-product Survival
In regard to companies that specialize in one specific type of product, market consolidation and the push to provide full solutions may be driving these companies to change their strategy, but that does not mean there is no place for them in the market. “Pure software or pure hardware suppliers must have their added value,” said Yao, in regard to the future of singleproduct vendors. “The chance to survive is no problem, but if you want to develop very fast you need much more contribution and investments,” he continued.

According to Ryunosuke Kawashima, Strategic Marketing Manager for Video Security at Sony Europe, “Customer expectations are continuing to rise as more functionality becomes prevalent, and it is difficult to maintain a competitive edge by singularly selling IP cameras.” Despite this, Kawashima revealed, “a number of customer challenges remain in terms of image quality, identification, and post-incident analysis; we [Sony] believe that 4K ultra high definition will be the answer to these. As a result of this, Sony has shifted the core of its business strategy to focus on our 4K security solutions by offering a complete solution in both 4K cameras and recording software.”

Another way to deal with this challenge is with unique features, as suggested by Wang. “As for companies that focus on one specific type [of product], I think it is also a good approach as long as they are really into it and keep innovation to provide products beyond ordinary, make themselves differentiate from others on the market, which means, hard to replace,” he said. Along the same idea, Rasp opined, “Adding value through interoperability will be the way forward as the number of applications and combinations increases.” Rasp continued, “VMS are more and more becoming a part of ecosystems, containing amongst other components access control, PSIM, and intrusion detection.”

Future of consolidation
What it comes down to is market consolidation, which is unescapable; however, Niall Jenkins, Research Manager for Video Surveillance and Security Services at IHS Research, says it won't be because of the Canon-Milestone acquisition. “Canon's acquisition of Milestone is unlikely to change the market dynamics for consolidation in the short term,” said Jenkins. “A more likely driver of consolidation is the new pricing pressure exerted from Chinese vendors recently. From network cameras to HDCCTV cameras, prices have declined sharply in the last year.” This, according to Jenkins, “could result in some vendors looking to leave the market or be acquired.”

Furthermore, as the market continues to consolidate, the openness of the market is another thing that the industry may fear is in jeopardy. Rasp believes that the acquisition will influence some IP camera manufacturers to provide their own VMS. However, “A market going from open to closed would be a new phenomenon,” said Rasp. Based on this, questions about who would want such a phenomenon to occur are raised. Furthermore, would this move then require every camera vendor to supply a VMS for each of the different sizes and complexities of each installation, posited Rasp. “The ultimate decision maker is the customer. Whoever provides better value will prevail.”

EL.MO's revolutional intrusion detection systems—Villeggio and NETPLUS

EL.MO's revolutional intrusion detection systems—Villeggio and NETPLUS

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by EL.MO. | Updated: 9/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

EL.MO. SpA, the Italy-based surveillance manufacturer has brought together the best of technology applied in the safety field in two products— Villeggio and NETPLUS system.

Villeggio System
The concept of wireless intrusion detection control unit has been redesigned and revolutionized, creating a small and compact product with features and unique capabilities in modular design.

In detail, the Villeggio system uses a hardware platform with a wide range of performance to which can add installable components based on the Plug & Play principle to increase the management levels according to the customer's needs. In the fuller version, VIDOMO, Villeggio integrates several devices connected directly to the RS485 serial bus such as the RIVER concentrators, the I8 inserters, the ANIMA, TATTILO and TATTILOPLUS keypads or the TRES01485 and TRIAL detectors. The Villeggio system is composed of 3 control units: VICOMPACT, VIBASIC and VIDOMO.

Applications and strength of Villeggio
Villeggio is a product that lends itself especially for domestic and commercial applications and in this direction the control unit can be integrated into other systems of building automation via KONNEX ETREIB optional interface.

The greatest potential of the Villeggio system occur mainly in the ability to manage, to control and to query remotely the control units through different communication channels (via conventional telephone line, via GSM, via TCP/IP) and through devices such as smartphone, tablet and PC. This allows, for example, to switch-on the heater, to check the activation status of the system components or to carry out programming or temporary activation and deactivation operation of certain controlled areas. The full communication potential of Villeggio is obtained through integration with the management, supervision and centralization platform of e-Connect systems.

NETPLUS
EL.MO. presents NETPLUS, the new hardwired/wireless (with RIVERRF and HALENTE concentrators) intrusion detection control units with 8 triple, double balanced/NC/fast on board inputs, expandable to 16 with split function. It is expandable up to 104 inputs with RIVER series concentrators.

NETPLUS system uses the hardware platform equipped with expansion modules based on Plug &Play principle. It is extremely modular and grows dimensionally and functionally according to the environment in which it operates. It has a RS485 serial line for the connection of the TRES01485 and TRIAL detectors, RIVER concentrators, and up to 16 control devices such as TATTILO, TATTILOPLUS and ANIMA touch screen keypad, NIRVA and MIDAS keypads, the RS485 I8 serial bus inserters, the ETRZENITH and IZENITH key point flush-mountable box and the PASSLIGHT additional system status indicator.

Applications and strength of NETPLUS
The completeness of the EL.MO. range is complementary and optimally supports the ability to NETPLUS to integrate itself with a large number of devices. NETPLUS offers superioir possibilities of management through remote devices, such us traditional telephone, mobile telephone, smartphone, tablet or PC. The applicative field of the remote management includes vocal interaction or via SMS, and involves the management of intrusion detection system and the management of other areas.

NETPLUS systems is integrated with management, centralization and supervision and supervision infrastructure of e-Connect systems. Thanks to this platform, end-user, installers, maintainers and service companies can be controlled, manage and easily communicate with their intrusion detection system through smartphone, tablet and PC from anywhere in the world via internet.

Besides, the NETPLUS interfaceability is not limited only to the modern communication media but also for building automation in civil and industrial environments based on KONNEX BUS thanks to the suitable optional module.

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