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MorphoTrust and the State of North Carolina to pilot first secure electronic ID

MorphoTrust and the State of North Carolina to pilot first secure electronic ID

Editor / Provider: Morpho (Safran) | Updated: 9/18/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded MorphoTrust USA (Safran) a pilot grant to create an electronic ID (eID) to access online services with the same security, privacy protection and ability to authenticate identity as today's face-to-face transactions.

MorphoTrust, the North Carolina Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Health and Human Services (DHHS), and their partners, will receive $1.47 million over the next two years to test the security, viability and interoperability of an electronic credential that promotes confidence, privacy, choice and innovation to meet the guiding principles of the White House's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

The driver license is the document U.S. citizens most rely on to establish and assert their identity, providing access to a wide range of benefits, privileges and services. However, there is currently no equivalent for online transactions. The objective of this public-private partnership is to bring the well-established trust of the physical driver license into the online environment as a low-cost, readily available, yet highly reliable means of assuring that people are who they claim to be in an online setting.

The goals of the pilot are to:
• Prove that an eID can be created that carries the trust of a secure credential and can be used to eliminate in-person identity proofing requirements.
• Demonstrate elevation of trust using biometric multi-factor authentication
. • Define a framework through which states and commercial entities can trust each eID.

To achieve these goals, MorphoTrust will leverage the North Carolina driver license, state ID documents and system of record to create an eID for those applying for the North Carolina DHHS Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Program online. This is intended to eliminate the need for people to appear in person to apply for FNS benefits, reducing costs to the state while providing applicants with faster, easier access to the benefits they need. In addition to the North Carolina DOT and DHHS, MorphoTrust will partner with The University of Texas at Austin Center for Identity, Gluu, Toopher, miiCard and Privacy Engineer Debra Diener for this pilot. “Trust is necessary to enable the growing web economy and ensure the security of our identities online,” MorphoTrust CEO Bob Eckel said. “Working with our partners, MorphoTrust's plan is to facilitate this trust, allowing individuals to confidently assert their identity online, and provide relying parties with the assurance that these identities are trustworthy.”

Axis provides Albert Einstein Hospital with pioneering security solutions

Axis provides Albert Einstein Hospital with pioneering security solutions

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 9/15/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi-channel retailing drives multi-faced retail models

Multi-channel retailing drives multi-faced retail models

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samsung Techwin appoints Regional Director for Russia and CIS

Samsung Techwin appoints Regional Director for Russia and CIS

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 9/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

"Russia and CIS is one of our key sales target areas and the development of customised solutions for vertical markets such as Banking, Retail, Transport and City Surveillance is an important part of our strategic direction in the region” said Mr Jong Wan Lim, Managing Director of Samsung Techwin Europe Ltd. “Oleg has been specially recruited to help us successfully implement this strategy.”

Prior to joining Samsung Techwin, Oleg was Area Manager for Pelco by Schneider Electric in Russia and CIS. Working closely with Business Development and Account Management colleagues, he will be looking to capitalise on his excellent understanding of local market requirements, and with his engineering background and extensive experience of working on large video surveillance projects, Oleg will drive sales support strategies which reflect the requirements of Samsung Techwin customers and business partners in the region.

Oleg joins Samsung Techwin when the popularity of its open platform WiseNetIII IP camera range which is ‘Changing the Face of IP', is gaining momentum, and there is also considerable interest being shown in the recently introduced Beyond Series which harnesses the power of 1280H camera technology to enable analogue cameras and DVRs to deliver 1000TV lines.

“I am excited to be joining Samsung Techwin at a time when the company has created a new structure in order to establish Russia and CIS as a regional sales ‘powerhouse' by fully utilising the expertise of our sales and support services across the region," said Oleg. “This objective will be achieved with the assistance of the Samsung Techwin Eco Partnership (STEP) program through which we provide support, resources and tools to help our partners generate profitable new business opportunities with benefits such as Project Registration Discount, Lead Sharing, Co-Marketing, Academy, Marketing and Technical Tools support.”

Hard disk drives work hard to ensure data integrity

Hard disk drives work hard to ensure data integrity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comparison between consumer and surveillance HDDs

 

Consumer HDDs

Surveillance HDDs

Power-on hours

8x5

24x7

Designed for multi-HDD recording

No

Yes (1 to unlimited)

Mean time before failure (hours)

700K

1-1.4 million

Workloads

Balanced between read and write

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

Power management

High spin-up current >2amp

Low spin-up current <2amp

Warranty

2 years

3-5 years


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights of Biometrics Readers and Technical news

Highlights of Biometrics Readers and Technical news

Editor / Provider: Erica Lin | Updated: 8/29/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

While government agencies and enterprises nowadays require higher-and-higher level verification systems for better managing personal-identification operations, biometric solutions have shared a vital part of market with its reliability and uniqueness. The biometric technology progress never stops for wider and wider applications.

UK Security Market(2-1): Hot and crowded

UK Security Market(2-1): Hot and crowded

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 8/26/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Thanks to the U.K.'s recent cheerful economic performance, their security market has started to regain its momentum. The upwind of its end market's demand toward security also comes along with fierce market competition. The market is indeed hot and crowded. Demanding UK customers and unique installation environments are testing manufacturers' agility.

The euro area is turning the corner from recession to recovery. The U.K. is one of the very first European countries to get back on their feet from the economic downturn. What really impressed the world is how just a year after the London riot in 2011, London still successfully organized the Olympic Games and also gradually paced up its economic recovery afterwards. Overall private spending has increased and the projects, which were put on hold, now have started again. Security projects ranging from construction, education, healthcare, retail, and commercial in general have more obvious growth. While growth in large government projects in critical infrastructure still remains slow, the UK security market has benefited from the wave of restoration and heated up with versatile security solutions and services.

Ecnomic Stability Brings Confidence to the Market
The U.K. is taking the lead in the euro zone with a projected GDP growth of 3% in 2014 and 2.6% in 2015, up from 1.7% in 2013. Private consumption is forecast to remain a key determinant of growth and an increase in investment spending is also projected. Due to the UK government still following a modest fiscal consolidation strategy to ease its debts and possible inflation, which might come along with the growth, overall government spending is still weak compared to the private side, but is ready to pick up. However, growth in the longer future will remain moderate. PwC's 2014 UK Economic Outlook pointed out, “Government spending should continue growing over the next two years but at slower rate after the 2015 election as the new government attempts to balance the books.”

This positive economic outlook also reflects on the UK security industry. “With the selling off of national companies in the 80‘s and 90‘s, it was inevitable that the large private sector would fuel growth of any industry, the security is no exception,“ said Adlan Hussain, VP Marketing at CNL Software. “This is also fuelling demand for our PSIM software. This demand is coming from a wide range of private organizations, from nuclear power stations to manufacturing to blue-chip corporations.”

BSIA confirmed the growing momentum from the U.K.'s private security sector and also commented that the competitive UK-manufactured products and services are also appealing to the rest of the global security market now. The promising domestic market still supports the country's economy growth but exports are also gradually strengthening year by year.

The Market is Hot and Crowded!
Aside from being a buoyant market itself, the demand for security in the U.K. is also coming from constant, internal and external, threats. The U.K. has been prone to many security threats, causing high security awareness in the government and local citizens since long ago. The long-standing political and religious conflict with Northern Ireland has caused several severe bombings. International terrorism is also a national security threat that the U.K. is currently facing. The 2005 London Underground bombings were the biggest terrorist attack in UK history, which stimulated the country to face new threats and strengthen its security facilities. This was followed by the 2011 London riots, also known as the “blackberry riots.” With all these historical terrorist attacks and social riots, it seems reasonable to explain why the U.K. needs very comprehensive coverage of surveillance cameras. Generally speaking, in 2007, the U.K. had around 1% of the world's population but 20% of its video surveillance cameras. The latest report also shows that for every 11 to 14 persons in the U.K. there is one surveillance camera, and the total installation will reach 5.9 million in the near future.

The country has already high security awareness. Hussain said, “In more recent years, the U.K. has been at the forefront of developments within video content analytics and PSIM, and UK companies were some of the earliest adopters of this technology. For exmaple, we have deployments in the UK such as Greater Manchester Police and IBM which date back almost 10 years.”

The market, from many security experts' point of view, is quite mature, with a local presence by all the multinational companies. In the meantime, the rise of many local manufacturers has joined in on the market competition. Last, the entrance of Chinese manufacturers has also made competition even tougher for all the players in the country. Chinese products are taking more market shares here and even competing with some companies in the higher-end market sector. "We have been really focused on the improvement of IP technologies and also put what the systems integrators' needs in the first place. Recently, we have experienced quite good growth in the U.K., especially with IP projects," said Tony Yang, GM of UK at Hikvision Digital Technology. Adopted from the book title, authored by Thomas L. Friedman, the UK security market is also “Hot and Crowded.” It is not easy for companies to stand out in this market, unless they carry unique business strategies.

Related Article:
UK Security Market(2-2): Hot and crowded

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.”

TOP10 most popular security products for July 2014

TOP10 most popular security products for July 2014

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 8/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

asmag.com is honored to disclose the TOP10 for July 2014, as the summer has hit the record-high temperature all around the world!

Let's go through the award list in July quickly:

There are 7 manufacturers making it into the TOP10 ranking in July. Although this is not the first enter for most of the companies, every product on the list is definitely new face in town!

Bosch, Dahua, and Hikvision are taking two seats respectively, while others go to ioteo, Nextchip, Samsung, and VIVOTEK. Among these awarded suppliers, most of the suppliers are coming from Asia – Dahua and Hikvision from China; VIVOTEK from Taiwan; Nextchip and Samsung from Korea. On the other hand, couple of leading European providers, Bosch Security Systems and ioteo, are seen in this list, taking three seats in total.

Taken as a whole, the TOP10 for July has shown a wide and diverse interests from the visitors; nevertheless, it is obvious that smart home applications have made up half of the list, suggesting that the Internet of Things and smart home market show a promising aspect. Camera wise, dome cameras, mini-cam, and devices come with PTZ function are most favored. Interestingly, this is the first time that a Wi-Fi camera included in TOP10. Apart from cameras and DVR, touch screen keypad, AHD, and smart home solution can also be seen in the ranking in July.

1. Dahua Smart Home Solution


Drum roll please, ladies and gentlemen! The crown of the TOP10 for July has finally given to a different player! Dahua Smart Home Solution took a total of 462-click in one month, climbing to the top of the ranking in July. Asian visitors has contributed almost half of the credit with 201 clicks; readers from America takes up about one third of the crowds.

Dahua Smart Home Solution adopts TCP/IP protocol, integrating video intercom, home security, remote control, and alarm systems altogether. This product enables the users to remotely control the systems via smart devices and watch real-time monitoring.

*While smart home market becomes blooming, Dahua Smart Home solution, the new comer in smart home business, is definitely a big challenge to players in the industry. For the review of smart home seminar held by a&s SMAhome Magazine in August, please check here.

2. ioteoCam Wi-Fi camera


With 434-clicks in total running behind as the second place, ioteoCam Wi-Fi camera got the second place in July, showing equal popularities from America, Asia, and Europe areas – Asia received 138-click; America 134; Europe 131.

ioteoCam features cloud management, cloud storage, inccidents notification, and 5-miniute easy setup, allowing users to view live streaming video and play-back recording from smart devices directly from anywhere anytime. This intuitive device is perfectly made for users from homes and small businesses verticals.

3. VIVOTEK FD8168 Ultra-mini Fixed Dome Network Camera


The thrid place of the TOP10 for July goes to VIVOTEK FD8168 Ultra-mini Fixed Dome Network Camera, taking an amount of 403 clicks from all around the world – 35% coming from American area; 28% and 29% from Asian and European countries respectively.

This VIVOTEK 2-megapixel ultra-mini fixed dome provides real-time recording under a resolution of 1280x720, and 15 frames per second at 1920x1080. It may be super-mini, but nothing comes less within it. Featuring easy installation, and other than that, this camera is also embedded with MicroSD/SDHC/SDXC card slot for on-board storage.

4. Samsung Techwin SNP-6320H 2MP Full HD Network PTZ


The 2-megapixel full HD network PTZ by Samsung, SNP-6320H, is seated at the fourth place with 319-click in July. This Samsung's latest full HD PTZ draws a wide interest from the american visitors, taking up almost half of the overall click-through rate. Falling right behind is Asia (31%), as the readers from European countries only take up 17%.

This IP66-rated network PTZ is equipped with 32x optical and 16x digital zoom lens and embedded with H.264 dual codec, fearuting functions not only Day & Night mode, wide dynamic range, but also auto tracking, intelligent video analytics, bi-directional audio support.

To get a&s‘ latest collection of high speed dome cameras, please click here.

5. Dahua 7224/7232L 24/32CH 960H Standalone DVR


Falling slightly behind, Dahua 960H Standalone DVR, the second triumph of Dahua in July, takes the fifth place with 315-click, gaining the most click-through rate, 147 clicks, from American readers; whereas 33% comes from Asia and 21% from Europe.

This Dahua 960H standalone DVR features 1080p realtime preview, supporting all channel real time recording and simultaneous realtime playback and multiple network monitoring. This 960H DVR model has 3D intelligent positioning with Dahua PTZ dome cameras.

6. Hikvision DS-2CD2Q10FD-IW 1MP Mini IR PT Camera


The sixth place goes to Hikvision Mini IR PT Camera, DS-2CD2Q10FD, obtaining a popularity of 310-click from the visitors all around the world – American areas take up 44% by 134 clicks; 38% is coming from Asia; 15% is dedicated by European.

This adorable-looking cam from Hikvision features HD720p real-time video recording, PIR detection (line-crossing detection etc.), IR LEDs at a distance up to 10-meter, and motorized pan/tilt rotation.

7. Bosch AUTODOME 7000HD Dome Camera


The seventh honor of the TOP10 for July 2014 goes to Bosh AUTODOME 7000HD Dome Camera. Clicks-through rate from American region accounts up to 50% of the total 307-click; whereas Asia and Europe share other 43% with 130 clicks.

This high-resolution full HD PTZ camera by Bosch delivers real-time surveillance video at 1080p, coming along with 20x dome just in case the users need more detail in the picture. Furthermore, this PTZ camera is equipped with intelligent tracking with on-board Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA).

8. Nextchip AHD(Analog High Definition)


Nextchip Analog High Definition has aroused high attention of the Asian visitors with 161 clicks, marking more than 50% of the total click-through rate; in the mean time, guests from American and European countries got about other 140 clicks in total.

Analog High Definition (AHD) is an alternative standard for HD data transmission solution which is trending now. AHD1.0 Tx/Rx transmits data of 720p at 25fps or 30fps with minimized data loss, supporting COMET and CVBS simultaneously.

*AHD, along with HDCVU, and HDTVI, are seen as the popular potential solutions for analog market. Just early in this August, Dahua makes a significant step, partnering with HDcctv Alliance to promote its patented HDCVI technology, which is expected to increase its interoperability among brands of devices. For story of Dahua's strategic decision, please see here.

9. Hikvision DS-2DF1-57A 1.3MP Network Speed Dome


The ninth of TOP10 ranking for July is taken by Hikvision DS-2DF1-57A 1.3MP Network Speed Dome, Hikvision's second awarded product in July, with a total of 281-click. As a majority of 45% of the click-through rate is coming from American areas, visitors from Europe and Asia take up even more as a whole with 48%.

This 1.3MP Speed Dome is embedded with H.264 video impression techonology, coming with wide dynamic range function and enabling the end users to record pictures of 25fps at 720p. Meanwhile, users have options of 18x optical or 12x digital zoom.

10. Bosch B942 Touch Screen Keypad


Only couple clicks behind the previous awardee, Bosch B942 Touch Screen Keypad, as the second product by Bosch included within the ranking for July, received 279 clicks in last month. A definate majority of the visitors are coming from American areas; Asian and European regions take up about 40%, while Africa and Oceania is less than 10% in total.

This keypad by Bosch gives prominence to its beautiful modern design and color graphic touch screen display, and with the built-in presence detector, the light gose on automatically when user approaches the keypad. Instead of merely using pass code, this system allows use of a token as replacement; or for use with dual authentication for higher security.

 

* Please note that the above statistics are not based on the sum of clicks but the accumulation of IP addresses. 
For last month's TOP10 products, click here.

Thermal imaging cameras: A cost-effective solution for perimeter protection

Thermal imaging cameras: A cost-effective solution for perimeter protection

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by FLIR | Updated: 8/11/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Today, the challenge for CCTV professionals is to make sure that video footage is effective on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year. Securing an area during the daytime is one thing. But what happens during the night? And in weather conditions like fog, rain and snow? What can be detected if CCTV cameras are blinded by the sun?

As CCTV systems become more advanced, the security industry will increasingly focus on CCTV installations for 24 hour surveillance, not just day-time operation. To be truly secure, a site must be protected day and night.

A number of tools are available to help detect potential intruders in the dark. Often different technologies are being combined to create a secure perimeter. Fences can be complemented with Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) systems with or without active infrared illumination or old fashioned light bulbs, Radio Frequency Intruder Detection (RAFID) systems, thermal imaging cameras and/or walking patrols. Whatever solution or technology is chosen for securing an area, they all have their advantages and disadvantages and some technologies are more expensive than others. To get a full picture of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for a certain solution, not only the initial purchase cost, but also the installation and maintenance costs need to be considered. Some solutions consume a lot of power and need a lot of spare parts. Environmental and energy consumption issues are high on the global agenda today. Given that $1 from every $5 spent globally is used on lighting, and much of this is spent on inefficient and unnecessary lighting, particular attention should be paid to this area. Saving energy by looking at running costs will become increasingly important. Local authorities and private industries are all looking at methods to save energy costs and lighting is one area that will receive due attention.

Quite a number of technologies are available to help detect potential intruders in the dark before they become a real hazard. Let's compare some of them:

The total cost of seeing at night

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) combined with traditional lighting
CCTV systems have been an effective tool for security and surveillance applications. However, just like the human eye, CCTV cameras do not see too much in total darkness. So in order to detect intruders at night they are often complemented with traditional lights by mains driven bulbs. Although some bulbs (fluorescent lamps, HID lamps) are more efficient than others, the operational cost remains very high. Light can only penetrate a certain distance and completely illuminating an area, so that it can be kept under surveillance of CCTV cameras, is not always possible. Powering and maintaining the lights can even be more costly.

CCTVs with traditional lamp lighting require lamp replacement every 2,000 to 4,000 hours or about every 8 months. Significant labour and material costs are associated with lamp replacement. Light pollution is a global problem caused by inefficient, intrusive and unnecessary use of artificial light. Symptoms include glare, clutter over-illumination and sky glow. Light pollution is an increasingly hot political topic given recent government legislation to control and punish light pollution. In some locations light is also considered to be too intrusive.

Furthermore, lighting essentially lays out a route of attack for intruders, creating shadows in which they can hide and access undetected.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) combined with LEDs
Compared to any bulb, LEDs provide significant savings on electrical consumption. LEDs also provide long life performance with little ongoing maintenance costs.
Infrared illumination with LEDs, sometimes also called active infrared, beams infrared radiation into the area in front of a camera. The LEDs are often placed around the lens of the camera.
LED illumination is compromised by limited range performance. Also, providing lighting for domes has long been a challenge for CCTV professionals as the lighting cannot be fitted to move with the camera.

Electrified fences
In order to keep intruders out of certain areas, fences can be constructed. To further increase security, fences can be equipped with sensors that generate an automatic alarm when someone touches the fence. Or they can be electrified, to keep intruders away.
In all cases, fences need to be complemented, for example by CCTV cameras or walking patrols in order to see what is happening around the fence.

Radio Frequency Intruder detection (RAFID)
The simplest description of RAFID is to consider a system using two specially designed cables – one transmitting a radio wave, while the other receives that wave.
Changes in the amount of signal passing between the transmitter cable and receiver cable are analyzed by a signal processor. These changes indicate that someone or something is between the two cables, which will make an alarm go off. Due to the difference in signal strength, the system can detect whether these changes are due to the presence of a human, or a small animal. Note that in a lot of cases CCTV cameras still need to be installed in order to see what is generating a real, or false, alarm.

Thermal imaging 
A new tool for seeing in total darkness, and in extreme weather conditions, is thermal imaging. Thermal imaging is the use of a thermal imaging camera to "see" thermal energy emitted from an object. Thermal imaging cameras produce images of invisible infrared or "heat" radiation. Based on temperature differences between objects, thermal imaging produces a crisp image on which the smallest of details can be seen. They work both during daytime and nighttime. Thermal imaging is today widely recognized as the most effective detection solution and when used in conjunction with video analytics it is confirmed having the lowest false alarm rate and most accurate intrusion detection solution in the market.

Most FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras contain an uncooled Vanadium Oxide detector. Not only does this produce excellent quality thermal images, since it is not containing any moving parts, it needs virtually no maintenance. Thermal imaging technology requires no additional lighting or illumination and has no regular maintenance costs. The FC series camera is now available with it's own onboard analytics, this creating a true edge detection device , both benefits of Thermal imaging and Video analytics are housed in the same camera.

Deciding which technology to use

Before making a final decision about which technology will be implemented to secure a perimeter at night, security managers should have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each technology. This is outlined in the table below.  

 

Advantages

Disadvantages

CCTV with traditional

lighting or LED

- Good visibility during daytime

- Relatively low initial cost

- A lot of cameras need to be installed to cover a large perimeter

- Limited detection at night. Light illuminates only certain small area.

- Limited capabilities in fog, rain,

- Civil works need to be carried out to install light poles

- High power consumption

- High maintenance cost for replacing the lights: material and manpower

Electrified Fence

- Creates a physical barrier

- Allows to stop intruders

- Works during the night as well

- High installation cost

- Full civil works needed

- Power consumption

- Needs to be complemented with CCTV to see if alarm is false or not.

Light or infrared illumination needed during the night to do this.

RAFID or Sensor Cable

- Fully automated system

- Works in total darkness

- High installation cost

- Full civil works needed

- Troubleshooting and maintenance after installation

- Many unwanted alarms

- Needs to be complemented with CCTV to see if alarm is false or not.

Light or infrared illumination needed during the night to do this.

Thermal imaging

- Full awareness

- Can be used day and night

- Works in practically all weather conditions.

Can see through light fog, rain, smoke, ...

- No downtime, low maintenance

- Low power consumption

- Extremely difficult to hide from since thermal contrast is practically impossible to mask

-Excellent cueing sensor for high powered zoom PANT TILT SYSTEMS

- No physical barrier

- Potential intruders are easily spotted but not identified

Case study : lower investment for thermal imaging
As is shown in the advantages and disadvantages table on the previous page, thermal imaging cameras have many advantages for perimeter protection. To make a final decision, however, the purchase cost of the system needs to be considered. Below you'll find a comparison between the required number of units for perimeter protection systems based on CCTV cameras versus systems based on thermal imaging cameras. In this simplified example, the cost of personnel and equipment during the installation and the cost in maintenance and power bills are not included, as they might vary strongly depending on available infrastructure, local power rates and local wages. In all cases these costs will be directly proportional to the amount of equipment and on the usage of lighting. Even though the price of one single thermal imaging camera might be higher than the price of a CCTV camera, the overall investment costs for a thermal imaging camera perimeter protection system is actually lower, in this case 28% lower. The larger the perimeter, the bigger this difference will become. Since thermal imaging cameras require no lighting to function and given the fact that fewer cameras are needed with the thermal imaging perimeter protection solution, this system will also consume less electricity than the CCTV solution, making the thermal solution less expensive in its upkeep than the CCTV solution.

Assumptions:
- An industrial perimeter of 700 meters needs to be protected with the perimeter protection system.
- The perimeter needs to be secured day and night, in all weather conditions. This means that CCTV cameras are limited in terms of distance that can be covered by the infrared illuminators.

Even though the price of one single thermal imaging camera is higher than the price of a CCTV camera, in this example the total investment costs for a thermal imaging camera perimeter protection system is 38% lower.

Conclusion
Although all technologies have advantages and disadvantages a small calculation makes it clear that thermal imaging is a very good and a very cost effective solution for protecting a perimeter, especially if this perimeter, like in practically all cases, also needs to be protected during the night.
In this technical note, we have demonstrated that for thermal imaging systems, not only maintenance costs are lower (power, spare parts, etc.), but already the initial purchase cost of a thermal system is lower than a CCTV system.

Although a single thermal imaging camera is more expensive than a CCTV camera, fewer cameras need to be deployed to cover the same area. The civil works that need to be carried out are minimal. In some cases, the cameras can even be mounted on existing structures. Furthermore, since thermal imaging cameras produce a clear image in the darkest of nights, no complementary technologies like lighting or infrared illuminators need to be installed. Not only does this limit the amount of civil works that needs to be carried out, it also reduces the maintenance cost.

Thermal imaging cameras also generate fewer false alarms which is a common problem with CCTV cameras combined with Video Motion Detection or Video Content Analysis software.

 

 

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