You are at : Search > Articles Search Results

Articles Search Results

1060 Articles and 76 related Products found for 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.

OPTEX perimeter solutions helps stop rural crimes in UK

OPTEX perimeter solutions helps stop rural crimes in UK

Editor / Provider: OPTEX | Updated: 8/29/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Theft from farms and the countryside has caused huge loss evry year in UK. The most commonly targeted items are tools, quad bikes and fuel. It is a crime that has affected farmers across the UK.

Antony Lindlay is an arable farmer with a 500-acre farm in north Lincolnshire, who woke up one morning to find that thieves had broken into his farm buildings and used his lorry to steal thousands of pounds worth of goods ranging from quad bikes, sprayers and power tools to lamps and tillage equipment. He needed a solution quickly, so approached Advance Security Solutions who then recommended OPTEX intrusion detection technology.

Mark Davies, Managing Director, Advance Security Solutions, says there was no time to lose, and because they have been installing OPTEX Smart Line wireless infrared beam systems on large sites across the country, he knew that this would meet the client's request:

“It is tremendous for anyone who wants security over a large area of land – peace of mind is worth a fortune and that is what an OPTEX Smart Line system gives you,” he says. “As soon as an intruder tries to break into a farm building, the OPTEX perimeter security system detects him and sends an immediate alert to the farmer.

“The OPTEX Smart Line Quad beams provide a very reliable intruder detection solution, that enables the farmer to monitor what is happening on his farm regardless of the time and wherever he is. It means that the farmer and his family can sleep peacefully at night knowing that his farm is protected.”

Additionally the system can be set up to ignore wildlife, so it is not triggered by foxes or other nocturnal animals.

Dahua megapixel IP solution secures Arabian Center in Dubai

Dahua megapixel IP solution secures Arabian Center in Dubai

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 8/25/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Arabian Center, located in the southeastern Dubai, is a new shopping and entertainment destination for local residents. With over 80,000 square- meter site area, Arabian Center is home to 200 plus renowned retail stores, including fashion lines, home furnishings, and electronics, etc.,

The security of the shopping center is given to high priority as its board intends to provide store owners a good business platform and renders costumers with a cozy and safe shopping experience. Therefore, the prevention of theft and emergencies in such a wide space remains as a major task. Meanwhile, different spots come with their own specific needs; for example, the conditions in warehouses, entrances and exits are very much different from other areas in the mall.

The shopping mall has basic requests of this project. First of all, the images have to be crisp and clear; second, the cameras need to be in-décor; last but not the least, the whole system shall be very stable and reliable. Dahua's Megapixel IP solution standouts among other brands and offers a complete video solution, including megapixel network cameras, storage devices and central management system. 342 units of Dahua 2-Megapixel Eco-Savvy network cameras are applied, different models for different occasions.

Dahua's network WDR functions uses in-house algorithm to show better image performance, especially for the weather in Dubai. The strong sunlight is all year round which makes WDR a must for the camera installation of entrances and exits. Low light cameras enable to provide clear pictures in darkness, which is therefore a good choice for warehouse monitoring as stocking is one of the key parts in logistics where thousands of goods are unloaded and tiled up in quite dim surroundings due to the strict environment requirements. Meanwhile, 3-Megapixel PTZ domes are adopted for a wider view to have a broader surveillance area in an efficient way. As for storage, 22 units of 32-channel network video recorders are adopted with 2TB seagate hard disks provided to guarantee large volume storage. The whole system runs on Dahua Smart PSS (CMS software) to have a central control and management.

“This is Dahua's first high-end case in Dubai, and the mall board didn't hold an open attitude to Chinese brand,” said Preetham Moras, Sales Manager of the Gulf Detection LLC, a local distributor. “They used to like some other Korean brands, what changed their mind is after a series and rigid testing of Dahua's NVR. The great performance shows its stability and quality.”

“I have a faith in partnership with Dahua as their products are of very good performance and at an affordable price, which the market has a favor on,”Moras added.

“I was very excited when learning the news that our brand was finally chosen for Arabian Center as it is a big step for us,” said Steve Wang, Sales Manager for the Middle East at Dahua Technology. “This shows that Dahua's branding is based on its product performance and quality and the branding is enhancing in the region.”

“Dubai is a land of promise and we see great security demanding from many sectors, such as retail, transportation, entertaining as well as there are so many ongoing construction projects. We do believe that this is just a beginning of our penetration to this market,” added Wang.

FLIR thermal security cameras prevent outdoor fires

FLIR thermal security cameras prevent outdoor fires

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by FLIR | Updated: 8/25/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Every year stories about wildfires make newspaper headlines. In scorching weather countryside is left tinder-dry by a prolonged heat wave, resulting in major wildfires. Because of human negligence or malicious intent, forest wildfires result in a major cost for society, the loss of valuable forest areas, and the risk of human casualties.

 

 

Application story
In order to offer a solution for this ever returning problem, FLIR systems offers a fire detection camera system based on thermal imaging technology that is able to detect fires in an early stage and over a long range.

Thermal imaging technology for outdoor fire protection
Thermal imaging cameras for fire detection are not new. They have been used for example for indoor detection in waste plants, which often contain thousands of tons of solid waste. This waste is potentially flammable when stored, due to self-combustion, spontaneous chemical reactions between the disposals or methane gas-building. Cameras like the FLIR A130 F and FC-R Series for example detect fires based on temperature changes and actually measure the temperature. When a certain, unwanted temperature level is reached, the registered camera images can trigger an alarm.

And although a forest fire application is the origin of this system, it is also suitable for use on any outdoor fire detection environment, or indoor long range areas. It can be applied for a wide variety of installations, like industrial premises, solar fields, electrical stations, flammable outdoor deposits, nuclear plants, airports, ports and many others.

FLIR thermal cameras highly stable in tough environment
Both FLIR A310F and the FC-R-Series Security cameras have been designed in such a way that the survivability of the camera in electrically adverse environments is guaranteed. “Power sources in forest areas are generally not the most stable ones, due to the remoteness and vastness of those areas,” “Voltage dips or interruptions can cause a normal camera to break. Also, lightning strikes can be fatal for a security camera system.”

Moreover, A310F and FC-R-Series Security cameras have been engineered with propriety FLIR circuitry to provide a high degree of protection against a variety of problematic power conditions that have been shown to cause problems for typical cameras. The benefits of this added protection include: uninterrupted operation in a wide range of conditions, a high degree of protection against electrical storms and immunity to electrical noise in industrial environments.

Thermal imaging cam see the unseen in the dark
FLIR FC R Series and A-Series Fixed and Pan Tilt Series cameras can be installed almost anywhere to monitor critical equipment and other valuable assets. They will safeguard plants and measure temperature differences to assess the criticality of the situation. This allows users to see problems before they become costly failures, preventing downtime and enhancing worker safety. They can also be used for Security & Surveillance.

Although most of the thermal imaging cameras that are being used in a security & surveillance environment do not need to measure temperatures, there are some cases in which the ability to measure temperature offers advantages. Thermal imaging cameras become definitely necessary when Security & Surveillance needs to be combined with temperature monitoring of critical installations.

A typical example is substation monitoring. With a thermal imaging camera that is able to measure temperatures, users can monitor transformers and other substation equipment during daytime. And during the night, the same thermal imaging camera can be used for perimeter security.

Why not using the same cameras to do both?
Security professionals around the world have been using FLIR thermal cameras for perimeter and critical asset security for years. Facility operations and safety personnel have been using FLIR cameras to gather non-contact temperature measurements and condition monitoring data for decades.


By merging FLIR industry-leading thermal imaging cameras with thermal video analytics and non-contact temperature measurement, the FC R series, and the A310 Fixed and Pan/Tilt camera systems create a multi-role solution for perimeter intrusion detection and facility safety monitoring. With FLIR Analytics users can use security cameras to measure and display actual object temperatures and generate alarms when thresholds are exceeded, even at remotely monitored facilities.

 

 

Benefits of FC- R Series A310F and PT cameras
* Perimeter security with thermal imaging and analytics
* Equipment monitoring to anticipate unexpected failures
* Wide-area surveillance for fire detection and monitoring of critical materials
* Alarms based on actual object temperatures exceeding pre-set thresholds

 


 

Benefits of Thermal Analytics Applications
Powerful and versatile, FC- R Series and A310 cameras with FLIR Thermal Analytics protect users from loss on multiple fronts. Pole-mounted fixed cameras using FLIR Analytics provide automated alarming of intruders, while cueing pan/tilt cameras to interrogate alarms for more detailed assessment. When no intrusion alarms are present, the cameras can examine substation components for heat signatures that signify efficiency loss or impending failure and generate temperature alarms. Proactively fixing these faults saves utility companies from losing millions of dollars in revenue due to unplanned service interruptions every year. These same cameras provide intrusion alarm assessment with built-in analytics and respond to alarms generated by other third-party devices. Strategically positioned cameras send alarms when a concentrated area shows a temperature increase.

These FLIR Thermal Analytics solutions protect facilities from intrusion, fire hazards, premature equipment failure, and other factors that can lead to expensive downtime and lost revenue.

As a proven application for:
-Monitoring hazardous chemical storage facilities, bulk coal piles
-Forest Fire detection
-Substation Monitoring
-Airport Fire detection
-High value asset monitoring
-Major high density people venues/locations

Dahua ITS relieves traffic congestion in Poland cities

Dahua ITS relieves traffic congestion in Poland cities

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 8/21/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Tricity, in Polish Trójmiasto, is an urban area consisting of three major northern Polish cities — Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, situated adjacent to one other on the coast of the Gdańsk Bay, Baltic Sea; These three cities covering an area of 414.81 square kilometers, seeing nearly 1 million commuters each day, are known as a busy harbor, modern metropolis, and amazing resort at the mean time.

While the cities keep expanding, the rising population leads to traffic concern, congestion. Its urban inner highway, which is the transport backbone, accommodating nearly 1 million commuters every day and citizens spend more and more time on commuting. In order to better manage, the city traffic needs and solve out the congestion, the local authority decided to use intelligent traffic system (ITS) to better improve traffic in the city and also people can have better efficiency of their work and life.

The project started in 2010, Dahua's customization satisfied the end-user since it is quite suitable for the local market because of its great performance, easy installation and good price. The adopted ITS systems integrate Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPRs), red light enforcement, speed systems, green waves as a whole in order to regulate driving behaviors and fight against traffic jams. For ANPR systems, Dahua 1.4-megapixel and 11-megapixel HD traffic cameras are adopted at intersections on main roads, taking care of the snapshot of front and back side of the vehicle respectively. Moreover, both loops and video detection are used to improve accuracy. As for speeding violations, speed systems are installed and approved by metrology law to make fines to control urban driving speed and improve road safety.

Additionally, to further improve traffic efficiency, green waves are adopted on lights intersection, allowing continuous traffic flow smoothly over several intersections in one main direction, which not only reduces the length and frequency of congestion, but also cuts co2 emissions and improves fuel efficiency of the vehicles, meanwhile, buying more time for pedestrians at crossings.

“We already assured different customers in Poland and neighboring countries to work on ITS projects based on Dahua cameras and detectors,” said Piotr Wisniewski from Radar system, a local distributor in Poland.

“It is a great example that a European city uses Chinese ITS deployment, we appreciate our partner's trust and the effort they have made,” said Bill Zhou, Senior ITS Engineer at Dahua Technology. “Traffic problem is a common issue for many expanding cities, and our ITS is only helping the city reinforce but also giving a better, smarter and more efficient city.”

VIVOTEK introduces advanced video content analysis solutions

VIVOTEK introduces advanced video content analysis solutions

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 8/19/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK has announced its first video content analysis (VCA) application package, which includes three key functions: Field Detection, Line Crossing Detection, and Object Counting. Introduction of the new VCA application package follows the debut of the VIVOTEK Application Development Platform (VADP), an open platform for integrating video analytic functionality within its cameras. Now, the VCA package can analyze data directly on a camera to provide solutions for business applications, in addition to traditional security use cases.

Powerful Intelligent Functions
The Field Detection feature allows users to define a zone in the field of view for automated monitoring. Whenever a person or object either enters or leaves this zone, the event is automatically detected, and notification is sent to the video management server or other back-end infrastructure. Line Crossing functionality is used to set up a virtual line within the camera's field of view so that when a person or object crosses the line, the event is detected. VIVOTEK's implementation of this feature detects line crossing from either the left or the right, or from either direction at once. In addition to obvious security applications, the Field Detection and Line Crossing could be used to demarcate a zone in the field of view corresponding to an area in physical space where access is restricted.

The Object Counting feature is particularly valuable for retail applications, providing quantitative data on variables such as in-store traffic and shopper behavior, as well as for transport-related applications, where the function can be used to track the number of passengers, vehicles, and so forth. Software accessing the precise numerical data provided by the Object Counting algorithm can then provide a reliable basis for users to make business decisions, improve service, increase operational efficiency, perform in-depth analysis, and more.

In the business realm, these three key functions aid to improve the customer experience, adjust staffing levels, or determine sales conversion rates, among many other possibilities.

Tapping Market Trends
VIVOTEK Executive Vice President Steve Ma remarked, "The use of surveillance cameras is expanding from their traditional role in security to business applications. VIVOTEK is leading this trend in a big way with our on-camera video content analysis and the VIVOTEK Application Development Platform. We can't wait to see the powerful software plug-ins that developers are going to create using this combination-and the benefits they will bring to retailers and other customers around the world."

The full VIVOTEK video content analysis suite, including Field Detection, Line Crossing Detection, and Object Counting modules, is available immediately on VIVOTEK's MD8562, FE8174/74V, and FE8173 cameras. The company plans to integrate Field Detection and Line Crossing functions in other camera models in the near future.

Smart lock: Unlocking a smarter, more secure home

Smart lock: Unlocking a smarter, more secure home

Editor / Provider: a&s SMAhome | Updated: 8/18/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

According to a survey by Consumer Reports, 67 percent of Americans rely on deadbolt locks as the primary mean to secure their homes. However, the survey also revealed that 20 percent of Americans leave the front door unlocked at least occasionally. Another problem is that door keys are small infrequently used objects that are easily misplaced. Smart locks set out to solve these problems, with some extra twists.

With the Internet of Things picking up momentum, its residential applications allow device makers to cheaply add wireless connectivity to everything in a home. Wireless connectivity, in conjunction with a strong focus on user experience, sets the stage for new types of residential access control systems. According to a recent report by NextMarket Insights, the global smart lock market will grow from $261 million today to $3.6 billion by 2019.

“The mainstreaming of the smart home is driving innovation in previously forgotten categories of home hardware and systems,” said Michael Wolf, Chief Analyst with NextMarket Insights. “Established security and home hardware companies increasingly face competition from upstarts who are introducing a new breed of smart and connected locks into the market.”

What is a smart lock?
A new type of wireless door lock that allows a user to use mobile devices to remotely lock or unlock the door, send permanent or temporary virtual keys to guests to grant access, and receive push notifications when the door is accessed. Some also integrate with smart home systems. These locks are generally affordable, rather than luxury items.

CURRENT OFFERINGS
At the moment, six smart locks have garnered the most media attention because they show the potential of a reimagined residential access control system that can be easy to install and use, and provides additional convenience compared to conventional deadbolt locks like remote access and integration with smart home systems. Push notifications and visitor logs also help boost security. The main theme is to make smartphones the primary key to the door, and a key fob, mechanical key or PIN code as backup plan. However, each company took a different approach with their smart lock designs.

Earlier smart locks, such as those made by Schlage and Yale were based on Z-Wave and Zigbee and were integrated into smart home platforms. However, multiple newer types of smart locks began appearing in 2013, offering direct control and user authentication from a smartphone app. These locks use Bluetooth Smart and WiFi connectivity to make the authentication process more convenient; the protocols are supported by most smartphones, which makes it easier to detect proximity with users carrying key-replacement devices.

The August Smart Lock was funded by angels and designed by Swiss designer Yves Behar. Users can control and manage the lock with an iOS, Android, or web app. Guests who have received a virtual key are able to unlock the August Smart Lock with their smartphones. Users can set the duration for which a virtual key is active, or manually disable them at any time. In addition to recording a visitation log, the lock also send a push notifi cation to a user's smartphone when guests go in or come out of the house.

Lockitron was the first smart lock to be successfully crowdfunded, although multiple design and manufacturing problems have delayed its shipping date long past its originally scheduled one, during which multiple competitors have sprung up and some have beat them to the market. It is a simple smart lock that fi ts directly over an existing deadbolt on the back of a door and is unlocked with a smartphone.

Users can also grant access to friends, family and guests through the app. The lock itself connects to a home network using WiFi, so it can send you notifi cations no matter where you are. Users with smartphones supporting Bluetooth Smart will see the door unlock automatically when an authorized device is in its range of detection. Goji was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo. When released, it will offer an additional option to open one's door through customer service representatives, who will be available 24/7. Aside from sending virtual keys, proximity-based unlocking and smartphonecontrolled operations, the smart lock can also snap a photo whenever someone is at the door and sends photo and text alerts to a user's smartphone; it also records all activities and makes the logs available through the Goji smartphone or web app. The Goji Smart lock replaces an existing deadbolt rather than retrofi t onto one and has high-tech-looking units on both the interior and exterior sides of the door.

The exterior-facing unit can display text and be opened to reveal a keyhole for physical keys. Kwikset Kevo debuted on the American reality competition series Shark Tank. Powered by UniKey and back by lock incumbent Kwikset, Kevo was the first of newer types of smart locks on the market. Kevo detects ekeys through Bluetooth, and its tap-to-open feature is a convenient way to open doors. Users do not receive notifi cations each time the door is unlocked, but can look up the lock's complete access history on the smartphone app. “A simple touch of the lock initiates verification between the smart device and the lock, unlocking or locking as a result. The user is no longer required to fi sh for keys, unload packages, pizzas or children from arms, said Dirk Wyckoff, VP of Sales and Marketing of UniKey Technologies. “On top of that, an administrator of the lock can send and delete additional eKeys for access to other people, determine the parameters of usage for those people (time or day, etc.), all without ever surrendering a physical key.”

Smart locks released by two other lock giants Schlage and Yale take a more conservative approach, but then they have been offering these locks for a much longer time. Both feature touchscreen number pads that look bulky and old-school, and do not provide flashy features like the other smart locks do. Both companies offer ZigBee and Z-Wave versions of their locks, which work well with many smart home systems. “We believe that while the smart and connected lock market today is largely Z-Wave and Zigbee based,” said Wolf. “There will be strong demand in coming years for newer direct-connect smart and cloud-connected locks using other radio interfaces."

IS NFC BECOMING A NONFACTOR IN THE SMART HOME?

NFC technology is highly secure and has a better overall power management profile than low energy Bluetooth, and there are clear use cases for the technology in a variety of security, access control, authentication and identification. A few years ago, it seemed like NFC was a serious technology to watch across a number of different segments. The most obvious was retail and payments, where Google threw its support behind NFC as a key technology for contactless payments. As a result, many retailers installed thousands of contactless payment systems with NFC technology over the last five years.

While Google was supportive, the other half of today's modern mobile duopoly has not been. Apple hasn't integrated the technology, at least not yet, and hasn't made clear whether they have any plans to do so anytime soon. Big retailers have been cautious about the technology without Apple's support, and some retailers, like Starbucks, have opted for alternatives like Square card readers. New alternatives and Apple's lack of support has led to waning interest in NFC as a retail payment technology, and recently some retailers who had installed it have actually started to disable the NFC capabilities.

In 2011 Yale, one of the big-three lock makers, announced they would integrate NFC into one their electronic locks and even demoed it at CES 2013, but they never released a NFC-integrated lock and based on my conversations with the company, it doesn't look like one is imminent.

Lockitron, a smart lock startup does have NFC in its forthcoming smart lock, but this is the only one of the new-generation smart locks that I know of with NFC integrated. However, the company is struggling to get locks out to its crowdfunded backers, and even if they do its not clear that this will give any momentum to NFC as an authentication technology for smart locks. Still, even with these few bright spots, it doesn't look to me like we're seeing significant interest in NFC in today's smart home. News in January that Apple had filed a patent for an NFC/Bluetooth LE/Wi-Fi usage in unified mobile payment implementation is a dim sparkle of hope on the horizon, because I think if Apple moves into NFC it could revive the technology. And, by extension, widespread adoption of NFC into iOS devices could give some much needed momentum to NFC in the smart home as well.

CONSTRAINTS
While advances in mechanical door locks have made them more secure over the past few thousand years, the relationship between people, doors and door locks have not changed: person + key = entry. With residential doors locks now incorporating IT and wireless connectivity, it seems possible that this relationship can be more convenient, efficient and secure. Perhaps locks can even be built-in to the doors, removing the need for a door knob. However, even though locks are no longer constrained by the complications of mechanical designs, it will be a while before radical changes will be affordable to most people.

The idea of futuristic doors that automatically open and close are nothing new; they can be seen in retail stores, hospitals, offi ce buildings and more. The problem is they are still too expensive for most homeowners, more so when security is added into the mix. “An automated system of your front door opening automatically on your approach in the manner you live your life with the affordable technology present today is not reality,” Wyckoff said. There are also other problems that have yet to be solved in products that cater to the average consumer. “Can every front door be aligned and insulated properly? What are suitable jams and thresholds? How about power availability?” Wyckoff asked. “Yes, but not at an acceptable cost to the masses. When addressing the mass market, we must respect what their front door looks like; in North America, it's a traditional door with a deadbolt cylindrical tubular lock. That door may swell with the seasons. That door may not quite latch properly and the deadbolt may even be used to simply hold it shut from a gentle breeze.”

“If I had a lot of extra money, there are materials and craftspeople that could install a very fancy entry system for me,” Wyckoff continued. “That system may not have UniKey's touch-to-open entry making it simple, but I bet it would be nice; I may just need to take out a second mortgage in order to pay for it. One of my kids may even have to forego college.”

MOVING FORWARD
The trade-off between what is possible and its cost of implementation places a limit at the front door, so it is safe to assume that the door itself will not go through any radical changes in the near future. However, the locks that are fitted onto the doors will see some interesting developments over the next few years. The standard key has worked for hundreds of years and is based on mature technology and manufacturing processes, making them cheap to produce and easy to replace. Smartphones, on the other hand, are much more expensive to replace—although opening the front door would probably be the least of a user's worries if the smartphone is misplaced. While it is unlikely that smartphones will replace mechanical keys in the near future, the introduction of smart locks show a glimmer of hope for better residential access control systems going mainstream.

 Video Doorphones Move Beyond Access Control
Video doorphones, or video intercoms, have evolved from mere entry management systems into into multifunctional devices that support network connectivity and home automation features. Video doorphones for smart home serve as the core of a smart home, integrating security, communication and home automation features. Video door phone systems generally comprises control monitors and and door stations with built-in megapixel cameras. Popular features consist of inter-building and remote communication, access control and guest monitoring.

However, manufacturers have a hard time differentiating their products from those of competitors because the industrial design needs to be conservative to be compatible with many types of decor and cannot follow design trends because product life is often tens of years. New features are also difficult to introduce because the system needs to be reliable. According to Amroad, “when functions are very similar, establishing a positive emotional connection with users is the key. Hence, design and quality are an important driver to differentiate a brand from another. Making durable products, from the aesthetical and material point of view, is essential. “Deployment is another big differentiation factor. Right now, installing these products is difficult, time-consuming, expensive. It is a task that can be completed only by highly trained technicians. However, in the next few months well designed systems will allow for quick and reliable installations in a matter of minutes, resulting in lower prices for clients and more efficient maintenance.”

Burn baby burn: Southeast Asia's fire market fires up

Burn baby burn: Southeast Asia's fire market fires up

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s Asia | Updated: 8/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Southeast Asia's fire market is set for impressive growth, driven by various positive factors including the region's economic expansion and more stringent regulations, which have led to stronger demand. Meanwhile, end users are looking for better and more cutting-edge technology, which includes wireless and IP solutions.

The fire and safety market has never grown out of style as people attach significant importance to the protection of life and property. Recent estimates by Research and Markets estimate that the global fire safety market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9 percent from 2013 to 2018, when the market size is expected to reach US$66.6 billion.

Among the places where growth in fire equipment and products are especially noticeable are Southeast Asia countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. According to estimates by Frost & Sullivan, Southeast Asia's fire safety market will grow at a CAGR of 8.1 percent between now and 2017, reaching a size of $548.3 million by that year. “Yes, no doubt the Asian fire and safety market is set to grow successfully,” said Robin Chen, Marketing Manager of Lightak.

Economic Expansion
The upbeat sentiment certainly has to do with Southeast Asia's economy, which is on a roll. A recent survey from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicated that Southeast Asia economies will grow at a CAGR of 5.4 percent between now and 2018. Among them, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam will record high growth rates of 6 percent, 5.8 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, over the next five years.

This expansion has led to a construction boom in the region and increased incomes for citizens, who now attach greater importance to fire safety. “There is definitely a stronger need for asset and life protection,” said Chen.

Regulations Trigger Demand
Tighter regulations on fire safety in Southeast Asia have also triggered demand for products. In Thailand, for example, fire alarm is law. Every building has to have fire alarm systems, according to Suwong Ratchawong, Fire Safety Technical Manager for Thailand at Siemens Ltd., Building Technologies Division.

Adds Warodom Sucharitakul, MD of Shinaracha Frotector, a Thailand-based fire protection consulting firm: “Fire safety systems are required in buildings higher than 23 meters or bigger than 10,000 square meters. There are also requirements that maintenance programs for fire safety systems be done in factories.”

Other Southeast Asian countries also have similar codes. In India, all buildings 15 meters in height or above must have a control room on the entrance floor of the building with communication systems to all floors. In Singapore, every floor of a building with height of 24 meters or above is required to have a water sprinkler system. These regulations create business opportunities for suppliers eyeing the Southeast Asia market.

Technological Trends
An increase in fire safety awareness in the region has led to growing interest in more sophisticated fire safety technology, for example addressable panels, wireless, and IP.

Addressable Panels
Addressable fire control panels hold several key advantages over conventional ones. In a conventional panel, which remains popular due to its lower cost, up to 80 loops can be included, with each loop connecting 20 to 30 devices such as detectors and call points. The drawback is that it can only identify the zone where is a fire may be taking place. An addressable fire control panel, on the other hand, can have hundreds of devices connected to a loop, each with its own unique address that enables the panel to recognize the exact location of the fire.

“There are more applications of addressable fire alarm systems from residential complexes to commercial projects, indicating increased demand and need for more precise detection,” said Henry Shaw, Overseas Manager at Horing Lih Industrial. According to the company, its addressable control panel can have a maximum of 32 loops, each able to connect with 250 addressable devices. That's a total of 8,000 addressable points.

Wireless
Besides the more mature fire safety solutions, Southeast Asian users are also exploring new technologies, for example wireless and IP. In the words of Lightak's Chen, there is definitely strong interest in these technologies, especially among those who can afford them. “In India, for instance, you've got lots of noblemen. These are the people who need protection the most,” he said.

Wireless fire products are those that require no wiring between devices and the panel. Examples include wireless alarms and detectors, which are becoming more prevalent in the market. “Wi-Fi is suitable for particular projects. For example, you have two or three buildings, and the distance between building and building may be 800 meters, making it quite difficult to lay cable or fiber optic,” Ratchawong said. “Also, for antique buildings, they cannot dig roads and put in fiber optic. That's when they can use Wi-Fi.”

IP
IP-based fire equipment is another phenomenon that has picked up steam in Southeast Asia. According to a recent report by IHS, a main reason for the technology's growing acceptance is its ability to connect with other devices in home automation systems. “Here, buildings are integrating fire equipment with building management, security, and lighting equipment to improve operational efficiencies and have fewer people reviewing and monitoring the information,” the report said.

Ratchawong corroborated IHS's observation. “Information technology like the Internet is already coming to Southeast Asia. Most of the owners and end users would like to incorporate fire alarm system into these technologies, like control panels communicating with each other through the Internet,” he said.

With new technologies emerging, it's important for suppliers to keep up with the changing market taste to ensure best business results. “Manufacturers always have to follow exactly what's needed by the customer,” said Lee Ran-huang, GM of Ching Gu Electronics. “You must also have a vision of what will be needed five to ten years later.”

Challenges
Price will continue to be a challenge for suppliers in the Southeast Asian market, where competition is fierce due mainly to cutthroat price war waged by Chinese manufacturers, who offer products at super low prices and in the process push out other players.

While smaller manufacturers find it hard to survive in this environment, larger companies respond by offering products with superior quality and functionality. Siemens, for example, has come up with products with intelligence in it. “Our detector has a microprocessor inside, with which it can make decisions on whether there is real fire, or it's just false alarm,” said Ratchawong.

Another challenge, in particular for smaller companies, is requirement that products be certified by international certification bodies like UL and FM. In large government or private projects, certified products must be used, and suppliers who can provide them have a better chance to win the contract. These suppliers tend to be larger companies who can afford the huge certification fees.

Rosy Prospects
Challenges aside, the Southeast Asia fire market is set for remarkable growth that can't be ignored. Regional economic expansion, the growing importance that people attach to safety, and the adoption of new fire technologies all contribute to rosy prospects for Southeast Asia's fire market down the road. The popular catchphrase “Burn, baby, burn” indeed encapsulates the sentiment that both manufacturers and users have for the market.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 >Next >Last Page