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Houston club adopts Safran Morpho's 3D facial recognition for secure access

Houston club adopts Safran Morpho's 3D facial recognition for secure access

Editor / Provider: Safran Morpho | Updated: 11/20/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Safran Morpho, through its subsidiary MorphoTrak, provides 3D facial recognition technology for secure access at The Marque, the most exclusive membership club in Houston, Texas.

The Marque business social club selected the Morpho 3D Face Reader, to provide a highly secure, convenient biometric solution that allows members-only access to certain areas of the club. With Morpho 3D Face Readers, access control is fast, with a quick glance at the reader and members are instantly recognized, unlocking doors to the exclusive areas.

Analyzing the three-dimensional structure of the user's face, the Morpho 3D Face Reader achieves highly accurate, reliable and quick matching while ensuring high throughput. The system is also used in data centers, communications facilities, casinos, laboratories and corporate headquarters; anywhere a high level of convenience and security is needed.

The Marque is an exclusive retreat where members entertain clients, conduct business meetings, or simply relax in luxury.

Six “musts” for selecting and installing VMS

Six “musts” for selecting and installing VMS

Editor / Provider: The Editorial Department, a&s International | Updated: 10/23/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

When it comes to configuring surveillance solutions, it all comes down to two important factors—openness and customization. Over the years, video management software (VMS) has emerged as a business-enabling technology where a more open platform allows the integration of other value-adding system combinations such as POS, RFID, video analytics, time and attendance, access control, and more. The ease of use, improved algorithms, and data libraries are improving its reliability. The result is that the value of video is increased both in real time and when viewing recorded video.

According to Jumbi Edulbehram, VP of Business Development at Next Level Security Systems, the decision-making process can be varied and complex when considering VMS solutions. These factors include price, ease of use, integration, features, and intelligence.

Cost
One of the most important considerations when purchasing and installing VMS is total cost of ownership. For total cost of ownership, some key points should be taken into account: cost of installation, cost of maintenance, and time to deploy and conduct the system setup.

User-Friendliness
Another critical requirement is that the VMS should be simple and easy to use. As video surveillance systems become more complex, people using surveillance systems not only include security personnel, but also administrative and IT staff. Different users will have unique needs when accessing video. “It's important that everyone involved – from the head of security to workstation operators – can quickly find their way around the system and know how to configure it,” said Alan Ataev, Global Sales Director at AxxonSoft. For instance, there is a security customer who has certain wants and needs, as well as a business user and administrator, and their demands differ. Being able to have an interface that communicates with these different groups is important.

Gadi Piran, President of OnSSI agrees. “The VMS's interface needs to be as intuitive as possible, and should not require technical savvy to operate. Users should not be required to memorize codes or commands, and the system should display all, and only, the actions available at the current time for each individual camera.”

Ease of deployment
Deploying VMS can be a complicated task. “System integrators have to be educated on networking, hardware, operating systems, and edge devices to name a few,” Krugliak said. “The fewer tasks the installer is required to perform, the more automatic the setup procedure will be and therefore, the sooner the system installer can complete the project.”

Fully-supported hardware list should be as many as possible. It is always preferable to go with an open VMS solution capable of integrating a great variety of third party IP cameras and encoders. This ensures end users have greater freedom to select best of breed hardware. “We can already see today that the world [of] security [industry] is heading for network solutions in a big way,” Ataev said. “Right now, we have 1,300 models of IP cameras integrated with AxxonSoft products, and this number is constantly growing.” An open platform not only enables the user to optimize the system to do the job at hand, it also reduces long-term costs as it is possible to change components without a forklift upgrade.

Customization & Scalability
Video is just one component in the overall security operation. The VMS may need to integrate with other systems, including access control, video content analytics, license plate recognition, facial recognition, fence detection systems, fire alarm systems, and others. In addition, users should be able to customize the software to meet their unique needs. Whether or not SDK is extensive enough in order to enable customers to develop integrations or to customize the user interface to meet their needs becomes crucial.

The VMS architecture and how it fits within the network environment also needs to be considered. “A VMS solution that can adapt to any network and scale to thousands of cameras as the system evolves over time ensures customers are future proofed and can grow their system as required,” Palatsoukas said. For some verticals with a large camera count system, such as airports, the VMS should allow for growth with more locations, more recording servers, more cameras, and more users, without paying a penalty for going from one system size to another. For instance, an airport video surveillance system is typically composed of several hundred or thousands of cameras. The large camera count also comes with a large number of users, alarms, and workflows, which all in turn needs to be supported by the VMS. In this case, a suitable VMS needs to have the appropriate scalable architecture in order to support this infrastructure.

High Availability and Redundancy
In addition to the number of hardware components, the number of clients on a server can take a toll on the system. “It is crucial to ensure that the VMS has built-in capabilities to ensure that video is recorded and can be reviewed at all times,” Palatsoukas said.

A built-in mechanism in the VMS to offer continuous system access, uninterrupted video streaming, health monitoring, and system self-check is especially crucial for verticals that cannot afford the downtime. “High availability is of the utmost importance for a security system that is used to minimize threats and protect assets,” added Palatsoukas. “An offline system can result in revenue losses through operations stoppage and theft, hence making it very important to minimize downtime. The embedded high availability features are tailored specifically for the VMS, minimizing configuration and management time. They are also less expensive than third-party solutions.”

For critical use, such as casinos or banks, redundancy is a key concern as storage itself might take 30 to 40 percent of the total surveillance system price. A smart redundancy feature saves storage space and money since only triggered event footage is stored as backup. “In casino and city surveillance, smart redundancy is important as there will be enormous amounts of information and simple 1-1 redundancy is very wasteful,” said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing at Ademco Far East (an Ademco Security Group Company). “Smart redundancy can reduce up to 50 percent of additional cost, which is ideal in controlling the budget and space needed.”

Intelligence and Automation
Security has traditionally been used to protect assets in a passive fashion. However, VMS allows video surveillance to go beyond traditional security by gathering business intelligence and driving decisions. A system with intelligent video analytics can combine multiple video analytic events using rules dependency to trigger an alarm and to minimize false alarms. “The system must be able to intelligently generate and distribute valid alerts in a variety of forms – video, text, audio, data and other – so that operators are no longer required to view live video from dozens, hundreds, and thousands of cameras,” Piran said.

Automation is important for remote sites as combining different security and non-security systems under a set of rules requires automated security. For instance, when reviewing the VMS, it is important that users seek out an automated platform that will deliver the video intelligence necessary to help security personnel rapidly detect, act on, and investigate security breaches and other threats.

Automation can include lighting, access control, door management, and more. It can also include more complicated tasks such as automated system health monitoring. “Automated system health monitoring is a critical feature to help users manage geographically distributed video operations, while enhancing system uptime and reliability to ensure video is being captured and is available for review at all times,” said Debjit Das, VP of Global Marketing, Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions, Verint Systems.

A large project may have multiple security systems scattered on multiple sites, creating a lot of complexity for the operator who might have to connect to multiple applications on different computers. “Being able to watch live and playback video, receive events, and run reports from multiple sites with one application makes operations easier for the users, who can concentrate on identifying and analyzing security threats,” Palatsoukas said.

The automation feature is important for remote sites. “Software features such as smart tracking of personnel, activities and events become very important, as they may have very limited security manpower at sites looking at cameras over a very large area,” added Lim.

User-centric mindset Picking the wrong VMS solution can be catastrophic and the consequence is not as simple as replacing a surveillance camera. Knowing the capability of VMS, project complexity, and user needs will help integrators at the start and avoid a mismatch scenario.

Homework for Integrators
Integrators might start by outlining end-user needs. Steven Lowrance, Applications Engineering Manager at Aronson Security Group offers some of the following tips. Below are some of the questions that help integrators better understanding a situation and system requirements:
1. How many cameras will there be? 
2. Is there a need for specialty cameras or brands (thermal, IR, covert, etc)? 
3. Where are those cameras located?
4. What is the recording schedule? 
5. Will the system be used for live viewing or more for forensic use after an event? 
6. Do users need advanced applications such as video analytics? 
7. How many users will view the cameras? 
8. Is permission restriction necessary to the business? 
9. Is centralized administration of users and devices important? 
10.Does the business have a server operating system requirement or restriction? 
11.Is integration with other systems a requirement?

Int'l Sochi Airport monitored by Artec 3D facial recognition and XProtect Milestone system

Int'l Sochi Airport monitored by Artec 3D facial recognition and XProtect Milestone system

Editor / Provider: Artec | Updated: 9/14/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

Elektronika, LLC has developed and implemented an integrated security system for the International Airport of Sochi that is to host the upcoming Winter Olympics 2014.

The network was designed in compliance with Aviation and Transportation Security legislation referring to Class I airports. It provides a wide range of functional capabilities including security monitoring and alarm situation detection, as well as its rapid response.

The entire airport premises are covered by the system network. There are over 550 HD video surveillance cameras working non-stop. The security system also involves united checkpoints and automatic alert detection. The object is monitored by a sole dispatch center collecting data from the entire airport zone.

The project is tailored to utilize intellectual capabilities of various technologies. The system is able to detect alarming situations and alert all on-duty airport security workers, as well as to facilitate required scenario execution. In case of emergency, dispatch operators receive verified and prioritized information.

Built on a singular software platform (ESM), the network combines the security technologies: video analysis, biometric access control systems based on fingerprint and 3D facial geometry recognition, electronic passes, situation management in accordance with various scenarios.

Nikolay Ovchenkov, Elektronika LLC CEO: “We have spent over a year engineering the security system of Sochi airport. One of the top-priority goals was to design a highly effective system that could be easily adapted into existing high speed work flow of the airport and become a trusted security solution. To achieve this goal we have selected the best technologies and solutions that function as a centralized network”. Victor Shesternin, Asset Protection Director Deputy, Bazel Aero: “The level of airport infrastructure security will hugely increase with installation of modern security systems, as it is highly important for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The whole project engages innovative approaches and solutions. Now, the airports of Sochi and Krasnodar are equipped with new generation systems.

More on technologies:
Incident management scenarios based on ESM platform (developed by Elektronika) ESM-based dispatch center manages the security network. ESM works with scenarios that imply certain responses to various threats, meaning that it provides event analysis and incident management with exact directions.

Benefits and innovative capabilities of ESM:
* No human factor mistakes. Each operator's performance is assessed and controlled.
* The system controls each stage of threat management.
* Capable of rapid response while complex situations
Security management system based on ESM software unites all resources offering full scale monitoring and level security automotive management, ACS algorithms and video surveillance support.

Airport access control with Broadway 3D Face Recognition System by Artec Group :
Broadway 3D, installed for airport workers access control, provides the highest security level available on the market. The system uses geometry of a human face – one of the most precise biometrics that is impossible to fool or fake. Broadway 3D was selected to be installed in the Sochi airport for its safety and fast performance. The system eliminates access of an unregistered person or unauthorized employee. In less than a second the system captures surface information, having analyzed about 40 thousand points on a user's face it builds a mathematical model and compares it to the database. It is capable of identifying a person on the walk, in hats or sunglasses. It can also tell apart identical twins. Moreover, the system offers a high throughput that is quite crucial while rush hours. Registration takes up to 2 seconds; throughput is 60 people per minute. The system of 3D facial recognition is integrated into the network under ESM management and works in a verification mode. A biometric template is stored in the database and its numeric number is assigned to each access card.

When a person enters though a checkpoint, he presents his card to a card reader. After that Broadway 3D performs facial recognition and compares it with 3D template in the database. If the information matches, Broadway 3D grants access to the person. The information is stored in ESM software. In addition, the solution is able to change work modes and algorithms of particular checkpoint per dispatcher's order.

Intellectual surveillance by XProtect Milestone system developed by Milestone
Xprotect Milestone system offers all the functions required for highly effective video surveillance, including live and recorded video view, dome and rotary IP cameras management. Milestone virtual matrix can direct video streams to any PCs which is quite important for multichannel systems of video surveillance. The solution is extremely functional, safe and has vast integration opportunities.

Morpho biometrics to defend US law enforcement agencies

Morpho biometrics to defend US law enforcement agencies

Editor / Provider: Morpho | Updated: 8/2/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Morpho is the provider of biometric and identity management solutions in the United States. Every day, a number of US law enforcement agencies rely on Morpho designed and developed automated biometric identification systems for their work.

One of the latest to come onboard is the Orange County Sheriff's Office in California. One of the top law enforcement agencies in the US, it joins a long list of others to put their trust in Safran subsidiary Morpho, the leading provider of biometric identification solutions (fingerprints, iris, facial recognition) today. Morpho's key strengths include its high-performance algorithms, which in a mere few seconds can match digital fingerprints taken on site to records in law enforcement databases. As Clark Nelson, Morpho Sales & Marketing Director, explains, “our Automated Fingerprint Identity Systems (AFIS) are light years ahead of the competition. That's what makes us at Morpho number one in our key markets. It is extremely difficult to accurately identify one digital fingerprint from a database with several millions of entries.”

Simple and accurate
Law enforcement officers take fingerprints using scanners, which then cross-check them against the AFIS databases. “We recently developed a portable terminal no bigger than a cell phone so it can be used on the go – like for ID checks in the street and at emergencies, etc. – without compromising the system's speed or accuracy,” says Nelson. “The police officer just asks the person to place a finger on the scanner surface. Then, it takes a digital copy of their fingerprint and searches for any possible matches in local and nation-wide databases.” While Morpho's AFIS currently boast 99.99% accuracy, Nelson assures us that “we're planning to invest so we can keep improving the system. A 0.01% improvement can make a huge difference in the amount of criminals caught.”

The FBI has also migrated to the latest generation of Morpho's digital fingerprint matching solution. Three times as accurate as the FBI's former system, the Morpho solution will make it possible to cross-check fingerprints from old crime scenes, potentially solving a backlog of cold cases.

Customer still comes first
“While we obviously appreciate the technology's performance, we're also especially receptive to customer service, and Morpho has always been extremely responsive and efficient,” says Karl Wilmes, Deputy Director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. And Clark Nelson, for whom customer service forms the very core of Morpho's commercial strategy, could not agree more: “we're here to build long-term relationships with our customers, and giving them the attention they need is one of the absolute fundamentals of our business policy. It's not just our technological prowess that wins us practically all of our calls for tender. We also owe it to the excellent relationships we have with our customers. Like the FBI for over 40 years and the Central Bureau of Investigation for over 20 years!”

Samsung SNP-6200 dome wins CCTV Product of the Year Award

Samsung SNP-6200 dome wins CCTV Product of the Year Award

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 7/26/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Samsung Techwin's SNP-6200 Full HD 20x PTZ network dome camera has been voted 2013 CCTV Product of the Year by the readers of PSI (Professional Security Installer) Magazine.

The prestigious award was announced at the PSI Premier Awards dinner which was attended by over 150 representatives from the security industry at Brocket Hall, Welwyn on 23rd July 2013. The awards are given in recognition of innovation and quality with the individual products both being nominated and voted for by professional security installers.

The ONVIF compliant SNP-6200 2 megapixel Full HD 20x PTZ network dome utilises Progressive Scan technology to provide sharp edges on moving subjects and vehicles. It supports dual-streaming of video using either H.264 and MJPEG compression and can therefore be simultaneously used for real-time monitoring, mobile monitoring, high quality or high-efficiency recording, SD memory recording and for E-mail notification purposes. It is also equipped with license-free Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) and incorporates Samsung's Smart Codec technology which provides facial recognition and for specific areas of interest within a scene to be captured at a higher resolution than the rest.

“We are naturally delighted that one of our most popular dome cameras has been recognised by PSI readers for its high performance and reliability, as well as its long list of technically advanced features,” said Simon Shawley, General Manager, UK and Ireland for Samsung Techwin Europe. “The award coincides with the imminent launch of the SNP-6200RH which shares many of the features of the SNP-6200 but also has built-in IR LEDS which can illuminate objects at a distance of up to 100m by focusing the beam as the camera zooms, resulting in clear imaging even when the field of view is in total darkness.

Morpho biometric SmartGate secures passenger processing in Auckland Airport

Morpho biometric SmartGate secures passenger processing in Auckland Airport

Editor / Provider: Morpho | Updated: 7/24/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Morpho (Safran) launched the SmartGate Plus trial at Auckland International Airport in New Zealand in June 2013. SmartGate Plus is Morpho's next generation automated border control solution based on the use of biometric technology. New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS) will be testing the system during an operational trial at Auckland Airport with over 2,000 passengers per week expected to trial SmartGate Plus.

Since 2009, New Zealand's Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports have been using SmartGate to give eligible travellers the option of self-processing through passport control. The system uses facial recognition technology to compare facial images of the traveller against the data contained in the e-Passport's chip. The project has been a great success with the travelling public, with six millions travellers having used SmartGate, and over 70 % of eligible travellers currently using the system.

SmartGate Plus brings additional convenience as it speeds up traveller processing with a one-step process, eliminating the kiosk and ticket part of the current system. It uses e-gates that have a smaller footprint to meet the space constraints of airports whilst also having Morpho's latest workflow and biometric matching software. In addition to this, is the solution's ability to add other biometric capabilities such as fingerprint and iris recognition at a future stage.

“The success of SmartGate in New Zealand has been phenomenal with 6 million people having successfully used the technology since it was introduced in 2009, says Geoff Wilson, Customs Manager Passenger Facilitation at New Zealand Customs Service. “The biometric self-processing technology has streamlined passenger processing and provided a secure, efficient way to clear passport control and we are pleased to be involved in testing the next generation SmartGate Plus.”

“SmartGate Plus is a clear reflection of our collaborative approach with New Zealand Customs to create, build and deploy the next generation in border control solutions”, stated Bruno Pattyn, Managing Director of Morpho's local subsidiary, Morpho Australasia. This new technology has the capability to further simplify and speed up border processing in order to meet ever-evolving border challenges across the region.”

UK access control sees above-average growth

UK access control sees above-average growth

Editor / Provider: Alyssa Fann, a&s International (with reporting from John Shi) | Updated: 7/17/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

The global access control market is set to top US$2.3 billion globally by the end of 2013, up from $2.1 billion in 2011, according to a recent report by IMS Research (an IHS company). In terms of regional markets, however, the European market is slow as a whole, but that is not reflective of the entire region. For instance, in Assa Abloy's Q1 report, the company found positive growth in the Americas and Asia, but the European economy continued to weaken, which produced a negative outcome for its EMEA market and for the entrance systems product categories. However, while some southern parts of Europe experienced organic decline in the first quarter, other parts such as Russia, East Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, and Africa experienced satisfactory growth, driven by the introduction of new products, emerging markets within the EMEA region, specification of projects, and acquisitions.

Nevertheless, the access control market is growing amidst the tough environment. “Europe is challenging, especially the southern part of Europe, such as Italy and Spain. However, I think the access control part of the business is growing much faster than the average. In other words, even though the overall market is not growing, access control is still growing, and we are seeing a huge demand for all the new locks and technology, in spite of the sluggish market conditions,” said Tzachi Wiesenfeld, Executive VP and Head of EMEA at Assa Abloy.

Market Drivers
Several factors are driving the access control market. According to market intelligence provider Key Note, governments and businesses now hold an increasing amount of information about the public, consumers, and personnel. Together with the continuous threat of crime and terrorism, the need for more reliable and intelligent security systems to allow only authorized personnel into a particular site at a specified time becomes paramount.

The complexity of daily operations in an urbanized society has also driven the trend towards the integration of access control systems with other security systems.

“Over recent months we have seen a clear move from our clients and prospects towards a need for a more integrated approach but also with a view to taking advantage of new technology when it arrives over the coming years. This means that end users are starting to realize that they need to consider a solution that easily integrates with other devices. Being able to adapt access control and video to work together is still the main criteria,” noted Daryn Flynn, UK Sales Director at Nedap.

The U.K.
A European region where the access control sector is defying the general economic slowdown is the U.K. According to Key Note, the 2010 UK access control market was worth an estimated $476.3 million at the 2011 end-user prices. It further estimated that the UK access control market will grow by 12.7 percent between 2011 and 2015, driven by the recovery within the construction industry. This growth is expected to be subdued at first, due to construction output being hampered by public sector spending cuts. Growth is expected to be more significant as public sector spending recovers.

In the U.K., construction output and orders increased since 2010, generating demand for access control systems. In addition, the upgrading and refurbishment of old systems is also driving the market. “Upgrading is key driver of the market. We have a lot of projects where we upgrade old products with new products. This is not new to us though, because we estimate that two-thirds of our global business is from recurring revenue from the after-market, and only one-third is coming from new projects. Of course there are still new projects, but there are less of them compared to the past. However, the influence on us is only one-third, but on the other hand, the after-market is still going strong," noted Wiesenfeld.

Education
Even though the U.K. economy has remained relatively flat, the government increased spending in education, noted John Davies, MD of Time and Data Systems International (TDSi). The U.K. has an abundant number of old universities, many of them being the first few universities in the English-speaking world. Access control in these universities is updated as new technology is introduced into the market, such as electronic locks or integration.

According to Wiesenfeld, the education vertical has always been exciting in the U.K. “It's not new. There are hundreds and hundreds of universities and schools in the U.K., making it a huge vertical. Also, in the U.K. it is very common for students to live away from home. In dormitories, for example, the solutions required are very similar to hotels, and this makes electronic locks a natural application for them because it is easier to control, more flexible and a huge advantage over and above mechanical keys. So whilst it is not a new vertical sector, it is one that is still growing.”

“For example, universities and higher education institutes would likely install traditional electronic access controlled locks around the perimeter and main entrances of buildings, but use wireless electronic locks indoors. This enables the students to use the same smart card embedded with their credentials to access all the areas they need. Hence, for an education institute project, there might be 500 sets of locks secured via “traditional” access control, and 2,500 sets of wireless electronic locks which would be installed in halls of residence for example,” commented Davies on the education vertical.

NFC Uptake
The uptake of NFC technology for access control in universities is growing. “Unlike hotels, where there is high turnover of guests staying for a relatively short period of time, universities are more of closed environment, in that you know how many students there are and who they are. Therefore, despite the large population you can allocate access rights to each student for a term/ semester and there will be relatively few changes thereafter," said Peter Romanov, EMEIA Sales Leader of Standard EAC Solutions at Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.

In the future, as the technology becomes more mature, TDSi plans to incorporate it into their product offering. “In the next two or three years, we plan to incorporate NFC technology into our family of readers. In addition, facial recognition is becoming more prevalent as it identifies who you are, and then you could use your mobile phone and credential to access premises and facilities,” said Davies.

Currently, the NFC infrastructure is still developing. “In order to facilitate wide market adoption, universal NFC-enabled handsets to support the existing primary operating systems will be required. Network operators will intrinsically become part of the access control equation and, ultimately, the provisioning process. Solutions will also need to support open standards to foster the availability of interoperable products and future-proof the access control infrastructure, ensuring that in investments in today's technologies can be leveraged in the future. However, given the complexity and diversity of the mobile landscape itself, all development work will be a big undertaking,” said Antony Gibson, Channel Sales Manager for the U.K. and Nordics at HID Global.

Government
The wider economic environment has tightened government budgets, and the increase in energy costs have also prompted governments to look into energy saving methods. In Europe and the U.K. in particular, government buildings are starting to set targets on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. This calls for the integration of access control and building management. For example, the lights may only be triggered to turn on when the access control system sends a signal. Seeing a trend in this, TDSi, for example, began integrating access control with building management, video surveillance, and intruder alarms five years ago. While the governments have not specifically enforced emission reduction rules, there is still growing demand due to the rising costs of energy in Europe.

SMB
SMBs require access control too, but often lack the funds to take advantage of technology that is available to their larger counterparts. Salto Systems developed a solution to bring electronic access control systems to SMBs. “A cloud-based access control solution gives SMB owners the opportunity to install a wireless solution at the fraction of the cost of a hard wired access system. They only need to pay a subscription fee and with the system, they can easily manage their access control system in real-time and remotely, thus eliminating the problems and limitations of mechanical solutions,” said Marc Handels, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at Salto Systems.

The access contorl market outlook is relatively positive. It is forecasted to grow slowly in the immediate future, but significantly in the long term. Improvements in technology, integration, and interoperability will drive competiveness in the market.

Safran/Morpho and Interpol enter into strategic biometric partnership

Safran/Morpho and Interpol enter into strategic biometric partnership

Editor / Provider: Safran | Updated: 7/12/2013 | Article type: Security 50

A partnership agreement will see Morpho (Safran) provide INTERPOL with a range of innovative biometric solutions and other technical support to enhance global security. The partnership covers the supply of automated biometric identification systems to INTERPOL, provision of state-of-the-art security solutions for the future INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), as well as collaboration on the subject of border security.

Under the five-year partnership, Morpho's cutting-edge facial recognition technology will also be provided to INTERPOL as an additional criminal identification tool.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said the constant and fast-moving evolution in biometric technology meant that private sector expertise and support through partnerships such as with Morpho were essential.

“As criminals employ ever more sophisticated ways to avoid detection, so too must law enforcement benefit from the latest advances in technology, especially in biometrics, to more effectively combat all forms of transnational crime,” said Mr Noble.

Since 1999, Morpho has provided INTERPOL with its Automated Fingerprint Biometric System (AFIS) enabling officers in all member countries to conduct checks and identify internationally wanted persons via INTERPOL's global network. Under the partnership, this system will be replaced with Morpho's latest-generation AFIS which includes enhanced capabilities and offers even greater speed.

Smart and Smarter?

Smart and Smarter?

Editor / Provider: Christine Chien, a&s International | Updated: 7/31/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

Standard vs. High End
General functions of VCA include abandoned object detection; congestion detection; counter flow; motion detection; behavior recognition; trajectory tracking; shape-based detection/object tracking; theft detection; virtual tripwire; people/vehicle counting; face recognition; ALPR/LPR.

Some of these functions are common and standard while others are only available in high-end or advanced VCA. “The most common VCA systems base their alarms on motion detection (frame difference) or pixel analysis (background modeling). These systems often rely on characteristics such as object height and width, and require manually fine-tuning the VCA to achieve desired performance levels,” according to Mahesh Saptharishi, President and CTO of VideoIQ. Meanwhile, high-end VCAs are more universal and multi-faceted and offer a wide range of evaluation, analysis, and storage possibilities. “They can include advanced features such as conditional alarming or combination events such as ‘Alarm if Event A in Camera-1 and Event B in Camera-2 happens' and ability to send device triggers on VCA alarms,” said Sadiye Guler, Founder President of  intuVision. Advanced VCA incorporates background/foreground separation, auto-learning, and auto-calibration, on top of frame comparison; special-purpose analytics or high-end analytics go one step ahead and use recognition techniques in the image such as 2D and 3D face recognition and optical character recognition for ALPR/LPR to compare to existing database, according to Sumit Aggarwal, Founder of i2V Systems. “High-end VCA also has special features for accurate counting: including simultaneous bi-directional counting for people walking in groups or side-by-side, ignore suitcases, children's carriages, and shopping trolleys, shadow filters for front of store applications where sunlight and shadows coming through windows can cause problems, on-screen counters, in-camera counting database, count reporting, etc.,” added Geoff Thiel, CEO of VCA Technology.

Depending on user preference and application requirements, video intelligence in the front and back end has its demand across different sectors. Edge devices can be used in locations where standard VCA is enough, while server-based VCA can be used to analyze areas in need of more precise calculations due to the changing environment. With the different features provided by both high-end and standard VCA, operators are able to more efficiently monitor areas under surveillance.

Future intelligence aims to decrease false alarms

Future intelligence aims to decrease false alarms

Editor / Provider: Christine Chien, a&s International | Updated: 7/22/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

False alarms are inevitable with current VCA technologies, and will probably continue to remain an issue for some years to come. What's important is minimizing the rates of false alarm in the VCA system for smoother operations and prevent wasting resources to address false alarms. False alarms can be set off by falling leaves, weather conditions, lighting reflections, and other common factors, especially in crowded settings where there are constant movements of people and objects. The more complicated a setting is, the more likely there will be false alarms. Multiple approaches – rule-based and/or artificial intelligence-based – can be taken to provide a solution. Different demographics will require different calibrations and sensitivity settings. Technologies such as continuous image learning to tackle light and background changes, object classification, or defining shape and size of zones, minimum and maximum of object size, time intervals, and time schedule to apply analytics can all help to reduce false alarms. “Self-learning algorithms are important and are the major tools to reduce false alarms. Most false alarms are created by non-alarm movements, such as waiving trees or rippling water,” said Achim Hauschke, CEO of Riva.

VCA can be trained to disregard non-essential scene activities and learn the difference between human, vehicles, and animals based on the database the companies have in possession. “The more information the system is armed with, the better it can be at producing positive results. Our technology uses forensic searches of recorded videos to improve active analytics rules, so the operator is able to learn from his or her own testing. The system can help determine the proper configuration for each camera's field of view and specific rules can be created by simply pressing a button,” said Shahar Ze'evi, Senior Product Manager at American Dynamics (Tyco Security Products).

Sensitivity settings also vary in different applications, depending on the flow and threat level. “In an airport, it is better to have more false positives, whereas in a retail environment, where staffing is low, perhaps missing a positive is acceptable,” said John Sepassi, Account Executive at IntelliVision. Using technologies such as camera shake cancelation and 3D calibration help to lower the rates of false alarm. The former “stabilizes the image before video analytic analysis and provides a steady picture in an unstable environment,” said Vito Kuo, Integration Product Manager at Nuuo. The latter defines the size of a person, vehicle, or other objects. Many times, VCA companies only go as far as testing their products in labs, but providing different scenarios and applications will help to improve and increase the accuracy of the algorithms. “We provide different modes for different scenarios to reduce false alarms, such as shadow mode and crowd mode for people counting. We have accumulated lots of sample data from different scenarios, thus we can tune our algorithms continuously. The 3D vision technology is another new technology we adapt to reduce false alarms because more information is available, such as the depth and height information,” said Jamie Wu, Marketing Manager at Huper Laboratories.

Current Technology Barriers and Future Trends
Though VCA technologies and algorithms continue to mature, they are still faced with several impedances. Users still hold high expectations for VCA, especially its use in crowded areas. The limited processing power, once surpassed, will create opportunities for advancements as higher computing power equates to higher accuracy. This can include being able to detect and track specific targets across multiple cameras and correlating them into a single investigative picture. “There will always be a tradeoff between the quality of detection and the available computer resources required,” said Ze'evi.

Though some requests can be carried out in the future, certain problems can only be addressed by human logic and analysis. While this feature is still unable to be carried out by current updates of VCA, some users hope to have color or pattern recognition as a feature, where they are able to use it to search and pull up all relevant information that concerns it. “For instance, if a person dressed in a striped blue shirt, with black pants were to appear on the screen. If the security guard touches this subject with the mouse, then the system will automatically search for any time it has seen this pattern on any live view stream and create an alert,” said Kuo.

“VCA in its current maturity could not automatically for example identify a person carrying a rucksack in a crowded scene. However, this and many other capabilities will appear with time as processing ability improves,” said Andrew Eggington, Director of Ipsotek. The “abandoned object” feature continues to pose as a problem. Customers want to accurately identify a backpack or bag left behind in a crowded area. This can be easily detected in a controlled or deserted area, but in an environment with constant flocks and movement of people, it can be difficult for VCA to make accurate decisions with no false alarms. Between the thousands of people, their baggage, children, trolleys, and trash they leave behind, the analytics must decide for everyone whether it is an abandoned object or something innocent.

The image quality and the positioning of the cameras also play a huge role in the accuracy of such analytics. “The problem will only be solved when analytics can identify every object from its shape and movement like a human being does,” said Geoff Thiel, CEO of VCA Technology. Some cameras still have difficulty with addressing issues such as insufficient lighting, direct sunlight, reflections off water, weather, fog, etc. this can probably be addressed in the future with low light imagers with wide dynamic range. “Facial recognition is highly required in many verticals, but this technology hasn't yet reached full maturity in crowded environments where it is most requested. It can provide great value if correlated with additional sensors, or deployed in more sterile environments,” said Illy Gruber, Product Marketing Manager at Nice Systems. Soft biometrics through VCA such as gender, age, and race classification are increasingly being seen in VCA, however it will most likely remain an unreliable feature for VCA. “Some customers expect VCA to accurately detect scenarios and situations where a person cannot even detect the abnormalities or exceptions,” stated Zvika Ashani, CTO of Agent Video Intelligence.

The current way of using VCA, where analytics filters and reduces the amount of information for human assessment, will most likely continue into the foreseeable future. “I don't see us handing the decision making over to computers anytime soon,” concluded Thiel.

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