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Infinova Cameras Watch Over Metro Line in Chongqing, China

Infinova Cameras Watch Over Metro Line in Chongqing, China

Editor / Provider: Infinova | Updated: 10/27/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Infinova announced that, with the opening of the first phase of a new metro line in Chongqing (southwest China), 750 Infinova fixed cameras and 40 Infinova dome cameras will be covering the 37 km (23 mile) Chongqing Metro Line 1 which includes a grand total of 23 stations. The first section was completed in July (2011) and the second phase completes next year.

“Considering that metro security is considered a main requisite of the Chinese transportation system, the metro authority chose Infinova because of our worldwide experience in providing such solutions, including the 1000-plus camera system that covers the Shanghai metro system in China,” explains Mark S. Wilson, Infinova VP of Marketing. “We also have similar systems in countries from Turkey to the United States.”

In Chongqing, cameras are located at the platforms, station centers and inside the train cars. Both the entrances and exits of metro stations have fixed cameras, each capable of viewing a person from the front as they enter a ticket-check station. In each of the metro halls, an integrated high-speed dome camera surveys the entire facility. Secluded corners also have additional fixed cameras so that these areas are not out of sight to the surveillance system.

Cameras are also on the platforms to give rail system administrators an overview of passenger flow. As a result, the system can monitor passengers entering and leaving the station centers and the cars to prevent and detect crimes, including potential terrorism and kidnapping.

Messoa Cameras Help Ease Traffic Congestion in Colombia

Messoa Cameras Help Ease Traffic Congestion in Colombia

Editor / Provider: Messoa | Updated: 10/25/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Located at northern Colombia, the city of Santa Marta is a popular tourist destination due to its colonial past and proximity to the Caribbean Sea. Job opportunities have drawn many Colombians to the city in recent years, but the urban development cannot catch up with the surging population and vehicles, which have led to congested roads and increase in traffic infractions.

To mitigate the problems encountered, Santa Marta's traffic authority decided to apply stricter law enforcement while prohibiting cars with certain license plates from being on the road during rush hours on certain days to stop traffic conditions deteriorating further. To ensure the policies could be effectively enforced, the authority officials decided to deploy surveillance cameras at 10 strategic locations throughout Santa Marta. With an extensive experience in traffic surveillance solution and successful case from the past, MESSOA's local partner recommended the most appropriate MESSOA traffic surveillance cameras to meet the challenging tasks. Each site is then monitored by 1 MESSOA camera and up to 3 cameras depending on the number of the lanes for that particular roadway.

The LPR camera specifically designed to capture close-up snapshots of vehicle information in remarkable clarity, particularly license plates. The camera is powered by MESSOA's advanced CatchAll II and Lumii III intelligent technologies. CatchAll II significantly improves the surveillance capabilities in tracking vehicle information even when cars are travelling at a high speed, whilst Lumii III further enhances camera sensitivity to deliver sharp images in adverse lighting conditions.

The 30M IR vandal-resistant fixed dome camera with mechanical D/N function to provide round-the-clock surveillance of the intersection. The dome camera was selected to provide an overview and panoramic video recordings of the monitored scene.

All the data captured are then sent to a centralized control site, where an LPR system is used to identify whether any vehicle is not supposed to be on the road or violating traffic regulations, such as speeding, running on red light and etc. Should any infraction be detected, the system will then verify the license plate and automatically send a traffic fine notice to that driver with photo evidences attached to it.

With the help of traffic surveillance technology, the restrictive car policy and traffic law can be effectively enforced in Santa Marta. The authority officials are especially impressed with the performance of the MESSOA's surveillance solution as traffic violation and congestion have been notably alleviated since the deployment. Having seen how successful this project has turned out in Santa Marta, city officials from Cali and Bucaramanga, Colombia have also decided to duplicate this model in their respective cities in the near future.

Honeywell Launches Security Cameras Powered by Pixim's Seawolf Chip

Honeywell Launches Security Cameras Powered by Pixim's Seawolf Chip

Editor / Provider: Pixim | Updated: 10/20/2011 | Article type: Component

Pixim, a leading provider of imaging chips for enterprise security cameras, announced that Honeywell, based in Morris Township, N.J., has released a new dome camera series, the HD4US and HD4USX, integrating Seawolf, Pixim's latest chip technology. The cameras are designed for optimized image quality in locations where low light, high contrast, and variable light conditions exist. The weather-tight housing is engineered for both indoor and outdoor installations. The new vandal domes are available immediately through multiple distribution partners including ADI, the largest camera distributor worldwide which supports over 80,000 security installers.

Based on Seawolf, Honeywell's HD4US camera family has an effective resolution of 690 HTVL as well as the industry's proven best wide dynamic range. In addition, the new dome cameras require just 0.1 lux of illumination to produce usable, color images at a full 30 frames per second.

Resort for Terminally Ill Children Selects Panasonic Cameras for Multimedia Experience

Resort for Terminally Ill Children Selects Panasonic Cameras for Multimedia Experience

Editor / Provider: Panasonic System Networks | Updated: 10/6/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Children battling a life-threatening illness are given a magical multimedia experience at Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) with the participation of Panasonic video surveillance solutions. Panasonic high-definition pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras deliver a high-definition video element for the exciting experience, which is built around the positioning and unveiling of a commemorative “star” personalized by each child as a permanent reminder of his or her visit.

The “stars”, about an inch and a half in diameter, adorn the ceiling of the Star Tower, a new venue at Give Kids The World Village, a non-profit resort located in Kissimmee, Florida that provides cost-free, weeklong vacations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Children decorate and sign their commemorative stars, close their eyes, make a wish, and place each star into the Star Fairy's chest. The next day, they return to find that their personalized star has joined the thousands of stars of other children on the Star Tower ceiling. But where is their star amid all the stars displayed up to 32 feet above them on the ceiling? Finding the star becomes a colorful interactive video game adventure and multi-media experience in which an iPad directs the child to point in the direction of his or her star. When the iPad is positioned correctly, a graphic image icon confirms the star has been found. Touching the icon enables the child to see a live video close-up of his or her star displayed on the iPad, provided by one of nine Panasonic PTZ megapixel cameras located within the walls of the Star Tower.

The iPad application uses the Panasonic i-PRO Smart HD WV-SC385, a Super Dynamic network dome camera that provides feature-rich pan-tilt-zoom control, 720p high-definition (HD) images, and superior low-light performance. Most importantly, the camera has the ability to repeatedly “map” the locations of its PTZ views based on internal software and a coordinate system relative to the camera's “home” position, which is calibrated at installation. Panasonic worked with developers of the Star Tower to make the coordinates available as part of a database that directs the iPad video game to each star's location. As each new star is attached to the ceiling in preparation for the unveiling, one of the nine cameras is directed manually to the position of the star, and the coordinates are recorded and saved.

Over the last 25 years, GKTW has partnered with wish granting organizations across the world to help fulfill the wishes of more than 110,000 children whose one desire was to visit the theme parks of Central Florida. GKTW provides accommodations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families at its whimsical “storybook” resort, along with donated attraction tickets, meals, entertainment, transportation and much more.

“There is no better application for Panasonic cameras than to make wishes come true for children who are dealing with serious illness on a daily basis,” said Bill Taylor, President, Panasonic System Networks Company of America. “This unique application also helps to emphasize the versatility, reliability and higher resolution of Panasonic's SmartHD camera line.”

College students from the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) of Carnegie Mellon University designed the video game application, which included creating a virtual world inside the Star Tower that is calibrated to the exact physical position in which the iPad is being held. The game includes animated figures and interactive graphics and features the Star Fairy, who offers to show the child where their star is located. Children can also use the iPad to bring the inside of the tower to life with special effects, lighting changes and lively sounds including the bangs and whistles of fireworks. Carnegie Mellon's ETC was conceived by Randy Pausch, author of “The Last Lecture,” and co-founder Don Marinelli, with a goal of blending left brain (logical) and right brain (artistic) skills to prepare students for careers as artists, graphic designers, programmers and engineers.

ITEC Entertainment designed and supervised the creation of the Star Tower. An entertainment design company that has been involved in the design, installation and construction of theme park attractions all over the world, ITEC enthusiastically undertook this project as part of a 20-year history of work with Give Kids The World.

“The star program provides one of the most cherished memories for the families that stay with us at Give Kids The World,” said GKTW President Pam Landwirth. “This simple, yet poignant moment in a child's visit has become a symbol of hope for so many. We are deeply grateful to our friends at Panasonic for helping us create this magical experience.”

Zara Stores Across China Watched Over by Messoa Cameras

Zara Stores Across China Watched Over by Messoa Cameras

Editor / Provider: Messoa | Updated: 9/30/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Over 100 Zara fashion stores across China have installed 800 MESSOA cameras. Zara is expanding across China and chose the MESSOA cameras because it is an easy to install and operate camera. Not to mention the camera matches the interior of Zara stores.

Zara is a Spanish clothing store that is quickly expanding worldwide. China currently has over 200 Zara stores and counting. Several of these new stores needed interior surveillance. They had to provide safe shopping while monitoring the crowds and goods. Also, they had to keep an eye out for thefts, break-ins, accidents and emergency health matters that may arise. To date, over 800MESSOA cameras are being used in over 100 Zara stores.

The MESSOA cameras were typically installed at key places such as entrances, in store, corners and near the cashier. Between 4 and 15 cameras were installed per store depending on the size.

The camera is a fixed dome camera that uses a super high-resolution high-density Sony IT module for true color daylight images. A 3.7~12mm high optical quality auto Iris varifocal lens allows a wealth of viewing angles. The conventional BNC video output facilitates installation and increases their flexibility. Ceiling or Wall mount is easy with the true 3-Axis rotation gimbal. It features compact mechanical designs, vandal-proof 1,000-kg impact resistance, and IP67 rating. All of these make it an ideal camera for retail surveillance.

Zara cares about the look and atmosphere of their stores. They needed a sleek and stylish camera to match their fashion. The sleek and shiny Ever since the MESSOA cameras started being utilized, security personal cost and pick pocketing and theft have been greatly reduced. If an incident should happen, then evidence captured on the cameras can be provided to the police to help capture criminals and secure a conviction.

So satisfied is Zara, that they plan to install even more MESSOA cameras cameras in the rest of their China stores.

Behind the Hotel Scene With Real-Time Surveillance

Behind the Hotel Scene With Real-Time Surveillance

Editor / Provider: Geutebruck, Hikvision Digital Technology and UTC Fire & Security | Updated: 9/28/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

In addition to keeping tabs on activities going on around hotel premises, surveillance cameras assist with managing hotels for guest satisfaction.

Geutebruck Secures and Automates Unmanned German Hotel
With the 2010 opening of his Vasano Abito Suite Hotel in the centre of Leipzig, Germany, hotelier and entrepreneur Gregor Gerlach has introduced a new concept to the German hotel scene: five-star quality but without the frills, at a modest price. The Vasano boasts 18 spacious, one- and two-storey suites with high-quality fixtures and fittings and Italian designer luxury. Unlike other hotels in its class, it has no receptionist, no restaurant, no room service and certainly no pool or gym. Essential services such as security and customer care rely on the video security and communication systems from Geutebruck and Elcom, which link the hotel with two of Gerlach's other business interests — the Vapiano pizza and pasta restaurant below it on street level and the Seaside Park Hotel a few streets away.

In the absence of a receptionist, video cameras keep a watchful eye on foot traffic in the entrance hall at the Vasano. Guests check in by using a self-service terminal much like an ATM. It takes payment by credit card and issues a room card which also operates the elevator. When the card is swiped in the reader, the elevator automatically proceeds to the designated floor. There is no manual control.

If human assistance is required for checking in, the terminal's two-way video and audio intercom puts guests in touch with the restaurant downstairs or with the Seaside Park Hotel reception, where help is available round the clock.

If a guest encounters problems while opening a room door with the card, help is only a video cal away. Video intercoms and dome cameras are mounted in the corridors on all three floors. Staff at the remote sites can call up video to see both the guest and the door and assess the situation. In addition to providing security and peace of mind for guests, the dome cameras in the corridors also provide management with a means of confirming that newspapers and fresh breakfast items are left outside guest rooms each morning.

Hikvision Protects Omanian Al Wadi Hotel
The coastal city of Sohar in Oman has long been considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle East, and much of its recent economic success is directly linked to the newly built Port of Sohar. To accommodate this influx of foreign and domestic business, a variety of infrastructure was constructed, including the Al Wadi Hotel. Haja Mohideen, Project Engineer at OHI Electronics, chose to utilize a number of cameras from Hikvision Digital Technology in order to specifically meet the security challenges this project presented.

One such challenge was the indoor environment, where hotel management had requested a model of indoor camera that was aesthetically pleasing, largely unobtrusive and provided performance . Additionally, the management team wanted all of these features embedded in one single model of camera, instead of a smattering of various models. Hikvision's analog dome model was selected to oversee the hotel lobby, the corridor on each floor and the elevators.

Mohideen also had one additional factor to consider in his decisionmaking process. Oman has enacted a law that cameras responsible for public meeting areas must now be manually monitored. This change was stipulated to prevent the possibility of random preset coverage missing potential incidents. Hikvision analog dome camera's day/night auto switch feature and resolution of 540 TVLs greatly enhance Al Wadi's security staff with the ability to acquire clear images regardless of conditions and on demand.

It was deemed that high-priority areas in the lobby — particularly the reception desk — may require an increased level of resolution. As such, Mohideen chose Hikvision's 2-megapixel, CMOS-based network camera for the reception desk. “Not only can we monitor every step of the customer from the front door to the front desk, we can track who the customers are with facial recognition,” Mohideen explained.

Outdoor areas like the front and rear entrances, the pool and the parking facility each presented a differing set of specific challenges that had to be resolved. “The pool needed clarity and a wide angle; the parking lot needed to be able to see tremendous detail, such as license plates, while both entrances required a high level of resolution to see who was entering or leaving,” Mohideen said.

Linking all these cameras together is a central command center that employs Hikvision's stand-alone DVRs, which allow the Al Wadi Hotel to successfully comply with the Omani law requiring video storage for 30 days worth of recordings. Additionally, the Al Wadi Hotel employs four security personnel to actively monitor the interior and exterior of the hotel 24/7. Future areas of installation would be restrooms, bars and any additional meeting point that customers frequent.

Hungarian Hotel Relies on UTC System
Kempinski is Europe's oldest luxury hotel group. Since it was founded in 1897, the group has built an impressive reputation in the hospitality sector. Today, the group's portfolio consists of 62 hotels in 28 countries around the world. As Kempinski's customer base grows, so does its footprint, with an ambitious expansion plan set for the coming years.

The Kemp inski Corvinus Budapest in Hungary was the first luxury hotel to grace the Hungarian capital following the political changes in Central and Eastern Europe. Its elegant interiors, 366 luxurious rooms, cozy restaurants and bars, and fully equipped conference rooms are testament to the quality of the brand. As a venue for many high-profile events, the Kempinski hotel regularly plays host to prominent public figures, including politicians and artists. Ensuring the safety of all guests is of the highest priority. In order to meet its own exacting standards, an upgraded video surveillance system was recently installed.

Bringing a vast offering of UTC Fire & Security's product portfolio, Azur Avis Hungary, a local installer, was selected to work out all technical details and provide the system of choice. Throughout the hotel's nine floors, stairways and garage, close to 100 cameras were installed. These cameras, including mini domes, cyber domes, conventional and megapixel cameras, are all linked to UTC Fire & Security's DVRs. This package offers the Kempinski Corvinus Budapest superior image quality, recording possibilities and a broad set of management and maintenance tools.

Newest Camera Offerings from Advanced Technology Video Based on Pixim's Seawolf Chip

Newest Camera Offerings from Advanced Technology Video Based on Pixim's Seawolf Chip

Editor / Provider: Pixim Inc | Updated: 9/8/2011 | Article type: Component

a leading provider of imaging chips for enterprise security cameras, announced that Advanced Technology Video (ATV) has launched the P690WDR camera series integrating Pixim's new Seawolf chip. The UL-listed series includes an indoor/outdoor dome camera (VDP690WDR), and a box camera (CBP690WDR).

Based on Seawolf, ATV's P690WDR series cameras are specified at a resolution of 690 HTVL effective and offer the industry's proven best wide dynamic range. In addition, the cameras require just 0.1 lux of illumination to produce accurate color images at a full 30 frames per second.

"Developing cameras based on Seawolf, Pixim's newest technology, furthers our reputation as an provider of innovative security solutions," explains Bob DeProspero, director of sales for ATV. "Our customers will benefit from the industry-leading wide dynamic range and lowlight capabilities of our new camera series."

"ATV has a broad reach in the security industry," says Scott Takaoka, Pixim's director of sales for the Americas. "We are pleased that, through ATV, more integrators and end users will now be able to discover the capabilities of Seawolf."

French Shipping Company Utilizes Hikvision Cameras for Object Tracking

French Shipping Company Utilizes Hikvision Cameras for Object Tracking

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 9/9/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Megapixel dome cameras from Hikvision are being used for object tracking by Chronopost, the leading express shipping company in France.

Chronopost has 80 sites (74 agencies, six hubs) and 3,500 relay points across France. The company offers a next-day morning service to the whole of France and couriering to 230 countries.

The 2 megapixel mini dome cameras are allowing Hikvision's local partner, ARGOS Technologies, to provide parcel tracking including 3-D representation of individual consignments as they move through a Chronopost logistics centre in Strasbourg. One hundred and fifty of the Hikvision cameras are being used at this centre alone, and ease of deployment meant they were installed in just one week.

Chronopost demanded a system that would allow them to report to their customers on the movement of every parcel in their care and it became necessary to record the position and history of parcels on a 3D dynamic schematic of the logistics centre.

Many scenarios can disrupt the safe progress of a package from initial reception and scanning to placement in the correct vehicle for onward delivery within France. Parcels can fall off a conveyor belt, move in the wrong direction, become stuck due to unusual size or shape, or loaded into the wrong truck through human error. Each event was a challenge which required cameras that could provide flexible optical coverage and high-resolution images suitable for video analytics.

The mini megapixel domes from Hikvision are being used at intervals of five meters on the Chronopost conveyor belts. These cameras are supplied as standard with a 4mm, F1.2 fixed iris lens though other lens options may be available on a project-specific basis. Users have control of video parameters including saturation, brightness and contrast, either through client software or a web browser.

Video compression can be H.264, MPEG4 or M-JPEG. If required, the cameras will support PoE and this power mode has been chosen for Chronopost where space is at a premium due to camera numbers and proximity of staff and delivery vehicles.

The Hikvision cameras are functioning on this project with SoftNet Manager from ARGOS Technologies. This is an SQL server-based management suite for IP video whose 3D schematic representations of a facility is well suited to a logistics site such as the Chronopost distribution centre. If a package is reported lost, Chronopost can use SoftNet Manager from their NVRs to follow the package's movement and can automatically build a high-definition composite clip of the object's progress through the facility from arrival to pick-up, combining footage from every relevant camera. In addition to the object tracking described here, the ARGOS software can be used for auto-tracking, intrusion detection, people counting and license plate recognition.

Based near Paris, ARGOS Technologies handle projects ranging from 16 to 10,000 cameras. Reference sites include airports, transport hubs, nuclear power plants, banks and museums. The company's R&D department develops their own algorithms which have proved successful at edge and core in video analytics environments across Europe.

Pelco and Dedicated Micros Keep an Eye on UK Processing Facilities

Pelco and Dedicated Micros Keep an Eye on UK Processing Facilities

Editor / Provider: Norbain | Updated: 9/7/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Global Renewables Lancashire Operations processes over 300,000 tonnes of household rubbish annually at its two new processing facilities near Preston and Blackpool. With technology supplied via Norbain, the vast state-of-the-art sites have been equipped with integrated CCTV and emergency call station networks by Hirst & Danson Electrical Contractors.

Enlisted to provide CCTV camera networks for security, health & safety monitoring, and process control management, Gary Jones, Estimator - Security & Data for Hirst & Danson explains: "Global Renewables required each installation to provide perimeter security protection, process control cameras to monitor all points of the rubbish sorting and Reduction, Recovery & Recycling process, ANPR to identify vehicles on site, and an automated fire detection system. Obliged to meet tight construction deadlines for the project, a reliable product supply from a technically proficient supplier like Norbain was a great help."

Hirst & Danson installed 4 Bosch MIC 400S IP68 stainless steel domes, to monitor the UR-3R process in each of the maturation halls. "By selecting the MIC 400S domes via Norbain, we were able to ensure an extended service life for each camera position under harsh operating conditions that regularly exceed 40 degrees along with high humidity," explains Jones.

50 Pelco C10-CH-7X static cameras backed by 18 Pelco SD418-PG-E1-X fully functional dome cameras were also installed to secure the perimeter at each site. Minimising on-site cabling and installation time, each camera is connected to the control room via NVT UTP video transmission over a dedicated Cat5 UTP cable network.

Utilising a Dedicated Micros DV-IP Encoder, camera imagery is transferred onto the Global Renewables IP network and archived for retrospective investigation. This hybrid solution is ideal for the twin Global Renewables sites, providing the ability to transfer CCTV monitoring for off-site viewing by the Global Renewables management team.

The Dedicated Micros DV-IP system allows video analytics to provide 'virtual' on-screen trip wires across both sites, instantly triggering an alarm to alert operators should the site perimeter be breached. Additionally, the DV-IP technology allows any vehicle entering the two sites to be identified via ANPR. Fire detection in the processing areas is also provided via 10 D-Tec FireVu processors, automatically alarming should smoke be detected on-screen.

Each site's network of cameras is controlled via BBV Pick-A-Point ICON Bespoke Graphical User Interfaces (GUI). Again supplied through Norbain, the system offers simple control of each camera.

Providing on-site emergency assistance, BPT emergency call stations were also installed at strategic points. Easily accessible from any part of the facilities, potential on-site incidents or hazards can be directly reported to the control room with the touch of a button. Should any of the stations be activated, the nearest PTZ dome camera is automatically positioned to show the call point and person making the call, giving operators instant visual verification of any incident.

The integrated security technology provided by Hirst & Danson is now providing effective security and ensuring the smooth running of the site on a daily basis.

Education –Key to Unlocking Thailand's Potential

Education –Key to Unlocking Thailand's Potential

Editor / Provider: The Editorial Team | Updated: 9/7/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

The overall market in Thailand is strong. 2010 saw steady growth, the pace of which is expected to be maintained in 2011. While the majority of the market continues to be video surveillancedriven, demand for pedestrian barriers and more integrated security systems is increasing. Although integration has been around in other regional markets for a long time, it is only beginning to grow in Thailand, as people are beginning to understand the benefits of an integrated system.

Thailand has relatively low security awareness, as the risk is not perceived to be high. Indeed, the national crime rate is lower than that of many other countries.

For example, banks in the U.S. are secured with man-trap doors, armed guards and an abundance of surveillance cameras. In Hong Kong, cash in transit is delivered by armored cars and two men with shot guns, said Henny Beeber, CEO and CTO of AES Group. “But you walk into a bank here in Thailand, and you find unarmed guards and no counter-to-ceiling bulletproof glass — yet they have tens of millions of baht behind the counter.”

Research reports provide valuable insight on the overall market, but industry experts recommend doing your own homework. “Market research firms estimate 10- to 12-percent growth. From my own dealings, it is closer to 30 percent, so I generally take market research with a grain of salt,” said Sumrith Ngaochai, GM of Guts Securitech.

However, recovery from the financial crisis was slow for some security players. After five years in the business, last year was the worst one ever, said Somchai Junpuan, Country Manager, AVerMedia Information. “However, we have a positive outlook for 2011. The market and political front will stabilize this year, and we expect a big jump to happen in 2012, as the economy continues to recover.”

The economy and the market were rather slow compared to previous years, but there are good signs for a bright future this year, said Jason Kwan, MD at CommExpress.

With the growing number of companies entering security, the market is becoming competitive. Ultimately, the way to stay ahead in the race is to provide good service, said Kittichai Samittiwuttikul, President of Smart Computer International.

“With branded products, we have been very successful in the past year,” said Dej Churdsuwanrak, MD at Bangkok OA Coms. “People come to us, and we have a competitive edge when it comes to major projects.”

The products selected must perform well and satisfy customers' needs, said Suwich Chitkasemsuk, MD at Digitalcom. “What we try to do now is communicate with the customers for their specs, requirements and budgets before coming up with the solution.”

The market in Thailand is dynamic, and this year new technologies will fight hard to gain a foothold in a sweetand- sour country. “I believe technology is facing an uphill battle, and it is important to not only be able to offer new products, but also understand how the market works in Thailand,” Ngaochai said.

Many organizations are switching from analog to IP, including airports and international schools, Chitkasemsuk said. “The people writing the specs must consider the life span of the system, and IP is the most future-proof way today.”

Those who are new to video surveillance tend to choose analog systems, especially if they have slim budgets, said Narathip Patcharothai, GM at I Security Center. “Small mom-and-pop shops prefer a US$500 analog system.”

“The market is limited if you aim to offer premium-grade products, which are niche. Government projects tend to adopt IP for new projects, since tech specifiers believe analog systems are not advanced enough,” Ngaochai said. “The general market, however, is very sensitive to price. Sure, you can upgrade systems with IP, but analog use is far higher, at more than 70 percent. Research claims analog has 70 to 80 percent of the market share, but in reality, it's much more.” Customers are very price-sensitive. “Everyone definitely wants the best system they can get, but if you go over their budget, they will want to find a new contractor,” said Arnon Kulawongvanich, GM of Sales and Marketing at Chubb (a UTC Fire & Security company).

While analog still dominates, IP is expected to overtake analog in the next five to 10 years. “It may not be this year or the next, but we have come from pure analog to hybrid and will eventually move to IP,” said Pichai Sihsobhon, MD at Semple Cochrane (Asia).

From a commercial point of view, analog systems are more popular in Thailand and easier to control, Patcharothai said. “Many people don't know about IP solutions. When we propose IP and educate them on the benefits, they are almost always wowed. However, they will still prefer analog because of the price. We need to prepare for IP solutions, but analog will still dominate the market for the next two or three years.”

Three advantages of wireless infrastructure are mobility, cost and cable elimination, Kwan said. “Customers today are dealing with larger-scale projects, where previous data-driven implementations such as point-topoint (PtP) and point-to-multipoint are no longer sufficient. However, customers are often confused by marketing, so there is still a strong need to educate the market.”

A wireless infrastructure is about three times cheaper than running fiber optics in Thailand, said Jeremy Koh, Regional Sales Manager of APAC for Firetide. “For the traffic-packed streets of Thailand, cabling is probably not even an option. Since video is the most demanding kind of traffic on a network, a reliable network with high throughput is crucial. So, critical wireless infrastructure has huge potential in Thailand.” [NextPage]

There is a strong need to educate the market, as the government sometimes directly specifies the tenders, as opposed to consulting an unbiased firm. The end result can be specs that mix and match products from four different brands. “When the customer uses different products from different companies, it opens the door for a lot of finger pointing,” Kulawongvanich said.

Countries such as Korea have organizations that act as a bridge between the government and the security industry, but there is no such body in Thailand. “A nonprofit organization in Thailand called the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) has the potential to assume such a role,” said Somvith Leelaprapal, MD at JES CQtec. “However, security has not yet established deep roots in the EIT.”

Educating the market is necessary for new technologies. People are generally unfamiliar with transmission, as PtP has traditionally been the dominant choice, Koh said. “We are putting a great deal of energy into this space, but it is a difficult process since this is an industry where people are reluctant to adopt new technology. They tend to continue to use whatever is available to them, but as we go about this education process, people will start to see the value of this technology.”

Many end users deploy IT equipment for video surveillance; a year later, they will realize it does not work, Ngaochai said. “There's a general lack of knowledge for security systems, and educating the market is essential for future growth. It's a very technical market where things are no longer as simple as plug-and-play. Today, many people don't even understand the difference between a box and a dome camera.”

Many project specifiers and decision makers do not know why they need a wireless infrastructure, or why they need a specific type of camera. End users can be educated through road shows and seminars, but consultants need exhibitions, Chitkasemsuk added.

Distribution is a challenge in Thailand. “The distribution channel is difficult to set up because the market here is significantly smaller compared to markets such as the Americas, Europe and China,” Koh said. “We need to deal directly with the system integrators, and ship our products to them, especially for high-end offerings.”

“Much of the spending comes from the government,” Sihsobhon said. “It comprises roughly 50 percent of the total market, and there will be significant growth in the public sector this year.”

Government security spending is a major market driver. “Even during the 2009 financial crisis, liquid cash from the government pumped into the public sector helped propel security,” said Panja Klaipothong, Country Manager at Firetide. “When times are bad, people need security. When times are good, people also need security.”

The security business has significant growth potential. “If it's commercially driven, everybody pulls back when a crisis hits,” Klaipothong said. “But the government puts money into security; large, public safety infrastructure projects were still sustained by government funding, regardless of the political situation.”

Some experts expect the market to peak before dropping again. “What we're seeing now is that most of the money put on hold is finally being released,” Beeber said. “Projects from two years ago were put on hold and are now going forward.”

Thailand's public bidding process is electronic and intended for fairness. This works well for construction, but is challenging for integrated security bids. For example, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (city government) has thousands of cameras installed, which cannot all be viewed on the same system. However, if the government did not have an open-bid process, it would be accused of corruption.

The lowest bid or “survival of the cheapest” has other effects. A mass-transit subway project four years ago received three or four proposals, with all bids differing only by 3 to 4 percent. One company — which had never worked on security before — proposed using equipment that was more expensive than its competitors and pitched its bid 18 percent below the top bid. Earlier this year, the company announced it could not finish the subway security project.

The unpredictable political climate means government projects may be put on hold for a variety of reasons, Kuan said.

“But the private sector is also strong in Thailand, and we have a strong presence in that space,” Junpuan said. “We prefer to focus on the private sector, and our records show that only 30 percent of our sales went to government projects.”

Thailand's market is difficult for foreign companies to compete in, since it involves politics, said Kazutoshi Takakura, GM of Thailand, CBC. “When I entered Thailand two years ago, we heard good news about the expanding market. Many projects have been postponed for a year or two due to politics, but security in the public sector is huge right now.”

“Just five years ago, people were more concerned with security in terms of projects. Now, we also see growth from residential end users. This can be observed in public development projects such as apartments, condos, car parks and more,” said Phrot Srisumran, Manager at LG Electronics.

Despite the political unrest, the market outlook in Thailand shows great potential as more people become aware of personal security. “We're very positive on the outlook. Although we experienced a minor setback due to the political situation, these are the very events that increase awareness and drive growth in the security industry,” Koh said. “When everyone is concerned about airport bombings in Thailand, they will want to invest in better security, which is a good thing for us. As long as security is good, Thailand will be fine — that is why the public sector will always be funded.”

The general consensus is that political conditions of Thailand should be stable this year. Business will boom for the security industry in Thailand from 2011 to 2012

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