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FLIR presents affordable TCX Security Camera

FLIR presents affordable TCX Security Camera

Editor / Provider: FLIR | Updated: 5/22/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

FLIR Systems will presents its new TCX Thermal Mini Bullet camera at this year's IFSEC exhibition in London. The FLIR TCX security camera combines 24/7 high-contrast thermal video and high-performance built-in video motion detection with a level of affordability that the industry has never seen. FLIR TCX is powered by the company's revolutionary Lepton camera core.

New TCX Thermal Mini Bullet
FLIR TCX outperforms visible-light security cameras by providing the advantage of seeing clearly in complete darkness without any illumination, in bright sunlight, through smoke, dust or even light fog – enhancing accuracy and dramatically reducing false alarms. Flexible for integration in any environment, indoors and out – even in temperatures as cold as -40°C – FLIR TCX is ideal for ensuring safety of public buildings, industrial facilities, large and small businesses, or residential areas. Featuring both intrusion detection and accurate video alarm verification in one device, FLIR TCX supports lighting control, people counting, retail traffic flow, and queue management, and enables a whole range of other applications including:
* Intrusion/presence detection: vehicles, people, animals
* Video alarm verification
* Night vision – 24/7 CCTV
* Residential security
* Short-range perimeter security
* Safety and fire assessment

“Whether you're a small business looking for intrusion detection and video alarm verification, a retail company looking for a solution to monitor customer traffic flow, or a small business trying to prevent break-ins, the TCX Mini Bullet is an extremely accurate solution,” said John Distelzweig, Vice President and General Manager of FLIR Security. “As a leader in thermal security, FLIR is advancing the technology in such a way that makes thermal cameras accessible for anyone.”

Full line of security products
At IFSEC 2015, FLIR will also present a number of innovations, which the company has recently added to its full line of security cameras, recorders, and software. One of these innovations is the FLIR FX, a compact, versatile Wi-Fi-enabled HD camera that integrates unique cloud-based analytics and flexible application-specific mounts. FLIR FX optional accessory mounts facilitate use in an array of applications including in-home monitoring, outdoor security, sports activity and vehicle dash-camera recording. Users can stream live video to a smartphone or tablet, record video to a Micro-SD card, review events that are recorded utilizing motion detection algorithms, communicate with two-way audio, and quickly review hours of video with FLIR's Cloud-based RapidRecap™ capability.

Defining a well-integrated access control management system

Defining a well-integrated access control management system

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Smooth Interoperability

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Secutech 2015, another golden year!

Secutech 2015, another golden year!

Editor / Provider: Rachel Leung, Messe Frankfurt | Updated: 4/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hosting 485 exhibitors and +20,000 visitors from the globe, secutech 2015 is to present the latest technologies in surveillance, including Ultra HD HD-over-coaxial. In addition, trendy applications incorporated with smart edges, and light auto adjustment, are another show highlight.

One of security leaders in the security industry, Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd., has been exhibiting at Secutech every year since 2006. According to Mr Derek Yang, Asia General Manger, “We’ve been very supportive to the show because we received good results every year. It’s an ideal platform for promoting our new products. This year, we launched the new safety building solutions and two latest series of smart camera at the show including the lighter fighter and dark fighter. The buyers are very much interested in these new features and we have had an effective product demonstration. Secutech is highly recognised by the industry and have a considerable level of international influence. Except from Taiwan, visitors from Japan, India and some countries from the Middle East and Europe also are hosted in these show days. These buyers are professional, serious, knowledgeable and have purchasing authority. We have successfully demonstrated our new products to our clients. We will definitely exhibit at the show again.”

Korea is another country filled with manufacturing power in security. Inodic Inc., a first-time exhibitor of secutech brings their new AHD 2.0, TVI, EX-SDI and POC CCTV camera to this platform. “I think Secutech is an exceptional platform for meeting new clients and launching new products. This is also a good venue for checking out the market from the buyer’s side,” commented by Mr Andrew Park, General Manager, Sales Department of Indoic.

To the returned participants, such as Young Kook Electronics Co Ltd, secutech is the premium meeting point with Southeast Asia visitors annually. “Secutech is absolutely important for the security players like us and it’s a premier platform to gather OEMs from Korea, China and Taiwan. Our new launches at the show this year include the upgraded IP camera and ultra low light camera. Also, we’ve brought our new IVA (Intelligent Video Analytic) system to the show which features missing objects detection with H.265 and instruction detection functions. I am very positive about the outlook of the industry because people are more aware of the needs of security and safety,” said Ms Ara Lee, Manager, Sales Head office, Young Kook Electronics Co Ltd.

Merit Lilin, one long-term exhibitor of Secutech is also satisfied with the outcome of secutech 2015. Mr. Chris Hsu, Global Marketing Manager from Merit Lilin adds that "Secutech is the only show in Taipei that covers the entire professional security industry. That is why we must come to participate. Besides, we are pleased that Secutech is now highlighting the smart home industry and we agree that it is now emerging with great potentials. Secutech offers a valuable chance where we can interact with demonstration, and educate them how our products can help achieve higher performance. With the newly launched SMAhome Expo, users from this aspect are also attracted to attend the show. It absolutely adds value to our experience here! As a local supplier in Taiwan, we will continue our support to the show and participate again in the future!"

Dahua introduces Eco-Savvy 2.0 series network cameras

Dahua introduces Eco-Savvy 2.0 series network cameras

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

Dahua Technology, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance products headquartered in Hangzhou, China has introduced its new Eco-Savvy 2.0 series of network cameras.

The new cameras feature a 4-megapixel progressive-scan CMOS, which delivers high quality images at 20fps.The end result is an image twice as clear as a traditional 1080p camera.

Dahua’s latest 2.0 series offers impressive new surveillance features while maintaining the ‘green’, energy-saving concept of its Eco-Savvy equipment range, including the enhanced, performance-boosting Ambarella S2LM chip.

The Eco-Savvy series features an impressive range of smart detection features, including face detection, tripwire detection, and intrusion detection. These features mean that users are equipped with more precise video analysis and, as a result, greater security efficiency.

The series also boasts WDR image enhancement technology, triple video streams, and Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS). The wide dynamic range (120dB) ensures the cameras offer impressively high performance in scenes that are backlit as well as those situated in dark areas, which has traditionally been challenging for surveillance cameras. Dahua has also introduced improvements in the series’ sensors. The infrared light sensor allows the camera to switch between day and night modes dynamically and automatically, changing as needed according to illumination levels. All of these improvements are designed to provide Eco-Savvy 2.0 users with unparalleled ease-of-use and outstanding performance.

The new series also features IP67 ingress protection and IK10 vandal-proofing to ensure the performance of the cameras in the most challenging conditions. What’s more, the 2.0 series operates in temperatures between -40degrees F (-40degrees Celsius) and 140degrees F (60degrees Celsius), providing users with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their cameras will keep working even in the toughest environments. The compact design of the Eco-Savvy 2.0 series is ideal for medium and large-scale applications, such as schools, hotels and factories.

Key Features
* 4M@20fps; 3M@25/30fps
* Triple streams supported
* Smart video detection
* True WDR(Wide Dynamic Range) up to 120dB
*Max IR distance 50 meters
* IP67, IK10 Protection

Sea Point sees crime rate drop of two thirds after deployment of Hikvision cameras

Sea Point sees crime rate drop of two thirds after deployment of Hikvision cameras

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 5/12/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

Some of Cape Town's busiest roads, leading to one of the wealthiest suburbs, are now secured with an automated Licence Plate Recognition system installed by LPR Solutions. At its heart is a network of 42 sophisticated Day/Night cameras from Hikvision, whose iVMS video management software streams the video data to the LPR software. The increased surveillance has led to a dramatic drop in crime within the suburb, down an indicated 65% following the introduction of the cameras.

Sea Point is one of Cape Town's most affluent and highly developed suburbs, the only one in fact to have high-rise development of any significance. The area's oceanside location and general level of affluence make it very popular with city residents who enjoy the beach front promenade, a paved walkway along the beach-front used by residents and tourists for walking, jogging and socialising. It is also attracting a large amount of investment in second homes and apartments.

However, it is not that long ago that the area was regarded as less desirable, even dangerous. On top of South Africa's high crime rates, many of the apartment blocks had been neglected by absentee landlords, leaving them in poor physical condition. The result was a very high crime rate, much of which was attributed to vehicle-borne criminals.

Monitoring Universal Access
Located just a few kilometres west of the city's Central Business District, the roads that access Sea Point are some of the busiest in the entire peninsular. Many arterial roads lead in and out of the area, providing drivers with a wide variety of route options and appealing to residents and legitimate visitors. However, the sheer number of route options means that the criminal fraternity has also been able to enjoy only partially restricted access to this valuable real estate.

Recognising the potential to improve the safety and security of the area, the Sea Point City Improvement District, a joint Municipal/Police entity, decided to establish a licence plate recognition (LPR) system to monitor Sea Point's access roads and highways. Their aim was to identify and track every individual vehicle entering or leaving the area and co-ordinate law enforcement activity to combat crime. To design and implement the system they turned to local company, LPR Solutions.

Our challenge - the first LPR installation in Cape Town
"This project is the first large-scale LPR solution to be installed in Greater Cape Town," says LPR Solutions' Chris Hobbis.

"With an average of over 300,000 vehicle movements per hour being expected for the network of just over 40 cameras, the sheer intensity of traffic movement represented a considerable technical hurdle for the system designers to overcome. On top of this, the LPR system had to be robust enough to cope with the speed of the passing traffic on these major link roads in all weathers and be operational day-and-night.

"Therefore, our emphasis for the camera was on build quality, reliability, weather protection, image quality and true day/night capability," states Chris.

The LPR team also installed the network wireless and cabling links to feed the camera streams to a dedicated central control room located within Sea Point, which is manned around-the-clock by a staff of six.

The Solution
The focus of the design was to record every vehicle movement into and out of the Sea Point area from the minimum number of cameras. After analysing the road infrastructure, the engineers at LPR Solutions identified 42 points for the cameras, with each camera dedicated to monitoring one lane of traffic. Once these points were calculated, the demands to be placed on the cameras were investigated.

Although the primary imaging requirement was for a rugged and reliable, true Day/Night camera capable of withstanding the environmental conditions in this busy seafront neighbourhood, the team's stringent assessment protocol also included:

* Camera and video monitoring software features
* Product availability
* Level of technical support
* Price
* Total Cost of Ownership
* Warranty

Their eventual choice was the Hikvision DS-2CD4012F-A Smart IPC day/night box camera, with every camera protected from the environmental stresses by IP66 housing. Each camera's video stream is recorded on a dedicated server through Hikvision's iVMS video monitoring software suite and fed from there to LPR's itrack licence plate recognition software.

A truly SMART solution
Reflecting on their choice of the DS-2CD4012F-A camera, Chris says, "The main challenges we faced on this project were the changes in lighting conditions as we passed from day to the dark of night, the speed of the passing traffic and ensuring the utmost in reliability.

"We opted for one of the new breed of SMART cameras from Hikvision, which offers unparalleled image quality under all lighting conditions and fast, remote focusing capability whilst more than meeting our needs for efficient bandwidth and storage utilisation. Visitors to South Africa will know that daytime conditions can be very bright but the DS-2CD4012F-A copes with everything. Moreover, the bright lens produces brilliant 1280 x 1024 HD720p video at up to 60 fps, critical for an application where image detail is critically important. Combined with the Smart Focus capability, which allows the SMART cameras to automatically adjust the image sensor position to guarantee optimal focus without user intervention, accurate rendering of licence plates no matter what the vehicle speed has not been an issue.

"As well as Smart Focus, the Hikvision DS-2CD4012F-A also features a comprehensive suite of SMART features, including Smart Codec, Smart VQD (video quality detection), Smart Face Detection and Smart Audio Detection. The Smart Codec is particularly significant in a network situation as the advanced encoding algorithm streams images at a very low bitrate without compromising quality. Compared to traditional cameras, the Hikvision Smart cameras enhance image quality by up to 30% while minimizing the system's load and storage requirements. And, if necessary, up to 64 GB of on-board storage can be utilized," added Chris.

The result is crystal-clear images under the most challenging of environmental conditions, making it the ideal camera for all forms of surveillance, from large scale projects to small businesses.

A first for Cape Town and a Drop in Crime
The installation of Cape Town's first large-scale Licence Plate Recognition solution has had "an immediate impact", according to Chris. "Crime in the area has dropped dramatically! Early indications are that there has been a 65% decrease in recorded crime within the Sea Point suburb.

"Another immediate result of the success of the Sea Point installation is the award of a large, 75-camera contract from City of Cape Town Metro, which involved a change from the originally specified camera manufacturer to Hikvision Smart cameras.

"The roads in Sea Point are now being used by those with a legitimate interest in travelling to and from the area, and this is likely to have a significant impact on those that live, work and play within its confines. The contribution of the Hikvision cameras to this increased quality of life cannot be underestimated and should not be ignored."

Upgrade convenience stores security with GKB's solution

Upgrade convenience stores security with GKB's solution

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by GKB | Updated: 5/11/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Being an excellent retailer of convenience for global emerging market, 7-11 tries to make each customer's daily life easier by providing modern convenience. Being one of the top large-scale convenience stores among Philippine, 7-11 continues to live its vision of providing consumers' easy and quick shopping experiences by expanding its branches in the near future.

Such convenience chain stores' surveillances are required to be extreme stable, high resolution, and easy to backup. Due to its special necessities of 24/7 service, high definition recording and quickly obtain footage; shop keepers are able to obtain events evidence in a short period of time. After comparing with numerous brands, GKB Security stands out among other competitors. Since GKB's strengths to this case are exceptional instant responsive team, high definition cameras, excellent stability and simple backup plans.

After inspecting details of 7-11 convenience stores' needs, GKB representative offers a package solution to fulfill chain stores' requests. Each store installed with three GKB 8CH AHD DOME 5480 cameras and one 60080 AHD Bullet camera. GKB 8CH AHD DOME 5480 camera provides high definition recording to ensure sudden unexpected events in store and storage room. As for 60080 AHD Bullet camera, it secures entrance safety with water and dust protection and hidden cabling to avoid intentional destruction. Moreover, GKB's exceptional team provides DVR training and additional uninterruptible power supply as value-added service.

GKB instant responsive assist team and one year product warranty.
Excellent installing strategy with one year warranty of on-call assistance to ensure customers receive the best quality in every aspect.
A well packed solution with economical and practical plan.
GKB put ourselves in customers' shoe to provide the most suitable and economical solution.




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.


University in Riyadh utilizes OT Systems' media converters

University in Riyadh utilizes OT Systems' media converters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


You can't hide your heat: if it's a threat, it's hot!

You can't hide your heat: if it's a threat, it's hot!

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by FLIR | Updated: 5/6/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Security professionals have many different clubs in their professional bags. From cameras to ID badges, we have lots of things we can use to control access to the facilities we protect. As professionals, it is incumbent upon us to stay abreast of the latest technological developments in our field, and I'm here to tell you – there's a new game in town: thermal security cameras. Unlike the human eye, thermal imagers don't use visible-light to make a picture, they use heat. This gives thermal security cameras distinct advantages over low-light and daylight cameras when lighting is impractical, too expensive or where long-range performance is required. For years, thermal security cameras have been seen as too expensive, so we have made due with less expensive – and less capable – options, like night-vision devices and infrared illuminated cameras. Why? With high-quality thermal security cameras on the market for under $5,000, if we don't take a hard look at this technology we are selling ourselves, and those who pay us to keep them secure, short.

Why do I care? The short answer to this question is…range. And, in this business, range equals time: time to react, time to adjust, time to respond. Thermal security cameras detect the minute differences in heat that are all around us, all the time. This heat energy is easier to detect over longer ranges than visible light, giving thermal cameras a distinct advantage. In the picture to the right, the thermal cameras clearly show someone trying to break into a car (top), and a small boat (bottom). The corresponding infrared illuminated camera and the night-vision device might as well be looking at the inside of a cow. But that's not where the thermal advantage ends. Not only can thermal security cameras see from further away, they are not vulnerable to the most common countermeasure open to someone trying to avoid detection with a camera that depends on visible, or reflected, light: camouflage. Why? Simple: you can't hide your heat.

The infrared illuminated camera in this image was less than 50 feet from a person dressed in dark clothes on a moonless night and it came up empty. The same thing happens with the night-vision camera – nothing. But the thermal security camera picks out the intruder easily. Sure, you might say, but with the infrared illuminated camera you can identify your intruder better than with the thermal camera. True, but face it: if an intruder is so close to your infrared illuminated camera that you can identify him, you're going to be looking for a new job and he's probably eating at your snack bar. Use a thermal camera, and identify your intruder when he is in handcuffs. Thermal security cameras are useful in circumstances that relegate other camera technologies to fighting for second-place. Large facilities commonly have to deal with unfenced and unlit perimeter areas for economic reasons. Thermal cameras can see far enough to make this a non-issue, and they can do it for less money than it would take to install the infrastructure required for lowlight and infrared illuminated cameras.

How does it work? This may seem unbelievable, but really – this isn't rocket science; it comes down to some basic physics. We see reflected light. Infrared illuminated cameras, night-vision devices, and the human eye all work on the same basic principle: light energy hits something and bounces off it; a detector then receives it and turns it into an image. The ability a given detector – be it in an eyeball, or a camera – to create that image is directly related to the amount of light available. At night there isn't any sunlight to bounce off anything, so we're limited to starlight, moonlight and artificial lights. If there isn't enough, it's hard to see. Infrared illuminated cameras compensate for this by transmitting energy that bounces off whatever is in the camera's view and making a picture out of that. Unfortunately, severe range limitations result because reasonably powered illuminators are weak and the range performance of anything that relies on reflected light energy is limited by the strength of the energy being reflected. Why? Think about it – the energy squirted out of those little bitty illuminators has to go to the target and back before the camera can have a chance of detecting it. Unfortunately, those poor little photons just don't stand a chance past about 50 feet. By the time they get to the target, they've had enough and just scatter off into the ether. (Besides, if you installed illuminators strong enough to perform like a thermal camera you'd probably turn your plant into a big toaster oven.) Like your eye, infrared illuminated cameras work by detecting reflected light energy. Also like your eye, you will get better performance out of these cameras if the object you are looking for has lots of contrast compared to its background. If it doesn't, you won't see it. Know another word for that? Camouflage. That's right; camouflage is essentially just a way of decreasing the visible contrast between an object and its surroundings. Thermal security cameras suffer from none of these drawbacks. First, they have nothing to do with reflected light energy: they see the heat given off by everything under the sun (literally!). Everything you see in normal daily life creates heat energy – day and night, in good weather and bad. Just think: as you are sitting there reading this article, you are making a perfect thermal signature all by yourself. What's more the signatures of people, cars, buildings and all the other things seen by thermal security cameras generally have better contrast at night than during the day. They work just fine during the day – as long as there is the tiniest bit of temperature contrast between a target and its background, you can see it – but, they work great at night. And nighttime, as we know, is when the poop will most likely hit the paddles.


So, what have we learned today? We've learned that night-vision devices and infrared illuminated cameras have severe range limitations, and that this is a by-product of their reliance on reflected light energy. We've also seen that these cameras are at their worst when we need them most – at night! On the other hand, we've also seen that thermal security cameras create images from heat that is always there, that it produces its own contrast, and that they work best when we need them most.

Finally, and most important, we've learned there is only one word to describe a facility without thermal security cameras guarding its perimeter: target.




For more information, please visit:

Crowd control: video analytics and alternative surveillance cameras

Crowd control: video analytics and alternative surveillance cameras

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

Role of Video Analytics
The ‘classical' video analytics like detecting loitering and unattended baggage are not a good fit for a crowded scene. Masses of people standing and moving at one point near a race track and large numbers of bags in the scene will create too many alarms to make this solution practical.

Other analytics, such as face capturing and face recognition are also impractical in an outdoor event where there is no way to control the environment and make sure the cameras have a good view of people's faces.

“Video analytics tools are typically used for smaller crowds and are used in such instances as in prison yards, bars and other situations where there are a limited number of objects/people to be identified and analyzed. In such scenarios, the video and analytics are expecting to capture something specific – a certain face, a license plate image, a certain traffic pattern in the crowd or to see if a crowd is dispersing. Larger crowds/more objects make facial recognition ineffective because the faces are too small and/or occluded” explained Ian Westmaccot, Computer Engineering Manager, Tyco Security Products.

However, some video analytics can solve the need for detecting overcrowding and detecting aggressive behavior, like a fight that takes place in a crowded environment. Such an event might escalate and cause a stampede.

“In some instances you know that there is a very high likelihood of a crowd, such as in and around a football stadium on a match day. Other times you will have unexpected crowd build up, such a protest march, or disruption at an airport terminal. It is important to be able to plan for both eventualities” said Jamie Wilson, Security Marketing Manager for EMEA at NICE systems. “Video analytics is an important part of this process in being able to detect and flag early that there is an ‘unusual' congregation of people. Being able to display to the operator a live-feed of what is occurring and also the ability to roll-back and review what has triggered the incident is key to helping them to contain and control the situation” he added.

“Our new video analytics are now able to perform reliable detection and tracking under crowded urban environment. The system could perform real-time crowd size estimation; identify dominant patterns and statistics of the crowd, pick-up suspicious unknown and other hidden information” added Karianto Leman, Head, Situational Awareness Analytics Program, A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) in Singapore. Apart from crowd analytics, new video analytics are now able to very reliably detect suspicious human behavior such as violence, attacks, battering, breaking and entering etc. “I2R's aggression detection system had achieved beyond 90% accuracy in live trial at Singapore safe city project” stated Leman. Despite recent advances, video analytics are still very limited in a crowd-scenario. Crowd scenes are by nature detail-rich and this affects the reliability of video-analytics. According to Leman, a detection accuracy rate of 70% or more is a realistic expectation in this context.

Alternative surveillance cameras: Drones and Cell phones
Traditional pole-mounted cameras are still the most prevalent method of surveillance. However, other platforms have potential to become relevant in coming years. “Aerial surveillance using cameras on drones is gaining momentum in tandem with vast capability improvements and cost reduction of commercial drones” said Leman. “The challenge is in video transmission from drones to the ground. It could be costly over LTE and unreliable over WIFI. The solution is to enable edge computing on drone for video analytics. However, video analytics on video from drone is more challenging. It may require video stabilization and detection using different approaches from ground's video analytics” he explained.

Another potential camera, found in almost every pocket is the cell phone camera. “Mobile phones, in theory, have enough resolution to be useful in large crowd scenes. These mobile devices might play a larger role in surveillance once more cloud-based services become available and video management systems (VMS) are able to be used on mobile devices” added Steve Gorski, Chief Sales Officer at Scallop Imaging.


>>> Crowd control: securing outdoor events 

Xtralis VESDA-E VEA and HeiTel 4G body worn video solutions win Security Industry Association 2015 New Product Showcase Awards

Xtralis VESDA-E VEA and HeiTel 4G body worn video solutions win Security Industry Association 2015 New Product Showcase Awards

Editor / Provider: Xtralis | Updated: 5/5/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

VESDA-E VEA brings very early warning ASD to office buildings, healthcare, retail, and educational facilities and more, giving people the world's best and most reliable smoke detection, to prevent fire threats. The HeiTel 4G Nano transmitter for body worn vests provides live streaming video to command and control centers, providing much greater intelligence and situational awareness, resulting in quicker & more effective response.

Two Xtralis solutions received prestigious awards at ISC West, largest security industry trade show in the USA. VESDA-E VEA aspirating smoke detector (ASD) won the Security Industry Association (SIA) 2015 New Product Showcase (NPS) Best in Fire & Life Safety Award, and the HeiTel 4G Body-Worn Nano streaming video transmitter received an Honorable Mention. Both solutions bring Xtralis' pro-active threat prevention innovation to new markets, providing vastly safer environments for people. VESDA-E VEA brings very early warning ASD to office buildings, healthcare, retail, and educational facilities and more, giving people the world's best and most reliable smoke detection, to prevent fire threats. The HeiTel 4G Nano transmitter for body worn vests provides live streaming video to command and control centers, providing much greater intelligence and situational awareness, resulting in quicker & more effective response. Both solutions provide countless millions of people reliable protection from threats with pro-active prevention through Xtralis innovation.

ISC West is the largest North American show in the security industry, attended by more than 23,000 professionals annually. The NPS award program was established in 1979 to recognize innovative products, services and solutions in electronic physical security and safety. Technologies showcased through the program are used in the protection of life and property in residential, commercial and institutional settings. Each year at ISC West, the NPS program recognizes excellence in several product and service categories and presents the prestigious Judges Choice and Best New Product awards. Product entries were presented to the NPS judging panel, which consists of authorities skilled and experienced in security technology design and application.

The VESDA-E VEA series of aspirating smoke detectors combine VESDA reliability and early warning smoke detection with pinpoint addressability and a variety of annunciation options. They use patented air sampling points and multi-channel micro-bore air-sampling with enhanced or standard alarm sensitivity setting for the sampling points. As a multi-channel addressable system, the VEA detector is able to divide a protected space into sampling locations, enabling the localization of a fire for faster incident response. The detectors are suitable for protection of areas where pinpoint location of fire events is essential, thus providing ideal fire detection solutions for offices, hospitals, schools, prisons, multi-story dwellings, cabinets in data centers and warehouse racks. A wide range of features provide flexibility, field programmability, enhanced connectivity and reduced total cost of ownership.

While current-generation VESDA was considered the benchmark for ASD systems, VESDA-E VEA surpasses that with VESDA trusted performance and can quickly add remote monitoring, servicing, and detection capabilities with the addition of bolt-on hardware modules called VESDA Stax, including a version of its award-winning VESDA ECO gas detection solution. VESDA-E VEA offers innovative & easy setup, configuration, remote monitoring, and connectivity options. A first in the industry, VESDA-E can be enhanced with downloadable software applications, called Xapps, which enable new, on-demand monitoring services. Available immediately are DustTrace, DieselTrace, and WireTrace Xapps, to monitor conditions and enable corrective response to take place before threats escalate. VESDA-E can be remotely and wirelessly monitored & managed using an iVESDA mobile app available on IOS & Android mobile devices. iVESDA mobility provides intelligent situational awareness for local & emergency personnel, vastly improving response time and effectiveness.

The HeiTel 4G Body-Worn Nano provides reliable transmission of live and recorded video, bi-directional audio, and GPS information over wireless technologies including 4G, LTE and CDMA mobile phone technology as well as satellite, Wi-Fi and broadband networks. The systems are battery powered, self-contained, untethered and ideal for easy, re-deployment for temporary, mobile or semi-permanent applications. Live and recorded video images and two-way audio can be monitored from a dedicated monitoring station, laptop, iPhone, iPad or Android device. Up to six separate connections can be made simultaneously to any system.

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