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Milestone releases integration platform software development Kit 2014

Milestone releases integration platform software development Kit 2014

Editor / Provider: Milestone System | Updated: 5/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems has released the Milestone Integration Platform Software Development Kit 2014 (MIP SDK 2014) for its updated suite of XProtect VMS products.The MIP SDK 2014 provides flexible access to video, events, metadata (data connected to video), configuration data and optimized functions for access control integration. This offers an even wider array of integration possibilities for the Milestone partner ecosystem.

A new integration framework in the MIP SDK 2014 enables fast and easy integration of access control systems with XProtect VMS through XProtect Access Control Module 2014. The framework allows access control systems to use video functions in the XProtect Smart Client interface, simplifying the user experience.

New metadata framework
Milestone introduces an ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) compliant framework for handling and storing video-related metadata for its XProtect advanced VMS product range that includes XProtect Corporate 2014 and XProtect Expert 2014. Metadata is any data adding an information layer to video and audio streams.

"As a cornerstone in Milestone's open platform concept, the MIP SDK enables the unique and seamless integration of third-party applications and systems with XProtect. This empowers Milestone Solution Partners to extend the functionality of XProtect VMS to meet specific vertical or customer needs with complete video-enabled solutions, says Christian Bohn, Milestone Systems VP Corporate Marketing & Alliances. "With this 2014 release of MIP SDK we are giving our partners the opportunity to integrate with XProtect using metadata. This paves the way for innovative uses of video in business or security contexts. The new metadata framework in the 2014 release is a groundbreaking, future-oriented foundation for data-centric integrations with XProtect," he continued

Examples of new possibilities created by the use of metadata are:
* Automatic presentation of bounding boxes around objects identified by camera-embedded video analytics. A bounding box is a frame that highlights an object in a video image. The box is based on the specific video analytics algorithms in the cameras to highlight objects of a specific type or color, objects moving in a certain direction and more. The XProtect Smart Client has built‐in support for displaying bounding boxes based on metadata generated by supported cameras.
* GPS location information can be included when using Video Push in Milestone Mobile, which has the option to include location metadata in Video Push. The location metadata in Video Push significantly enhances the validity of captured video recordings. It opens up an array of integration possibilities because the location metadata is available for third-party applications via the MIP SDK 2014.

Camera manufacturers and Milestone Solution Partners can use the metadata framework to tie metadata from video analytics (or any other metadata source) with specific video sequences, as long as the metadata is stored in ONVIF format. The MIP SDK 2014 also introduces the ability to make changes to configuration settings in the XProtect VMS. This enables Milestone Solution Partners, video service providers and end users to remotely control settings in the XProtect VMS from any third-party solution.

Milestone presents XProtect Access Control Module 2014

Milestone presents XProtect Access Control Module 2014

Editor / Provider: Milestone System | Updated: 5/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems just made another new product launch—XProtect Access Control Module 2014— an add-on product for partners and customers using Milestone video surveillance solutions.

This add-on product enables easy integration of third-party access control systems with Milestone video surveillance solutions. The XProtect Access Control Module offers a new and more efficient way to operate access control and video surveillance systems through a unified interface, XProtect Smart Client. The ability to tie video and access events together greatly enhances the investigation of incidents.

"With XProtect Access Control Module 2014 customers now have the freedom to choose from a wide array of access control vendors and have the peace-of-mind knowing it will work seamlessly with the XProtect software," says Christian Bohn, Milestone Systems VP Corporate Marketing & Alliances. "Milestone partners have the advantage of a pre-integrated solution that only requires on-site configuration - this is a major time saver for our integration partners. And it is easy to integrate new third-party access control systems due to the MIP SDK 2014. The Milestone partner ecosystem is responding very positively to these new possibilities. A highlight here is that a key security manufacturer, Bosch Security Systems, has just announced support for XProtect Access Control Module 2014, showcasing industry uptake of open platform technology."

 

Ease-of-use
Providing the primary and most commonly used access control functions as an integral part of XProtect Smart Client, XProtect Access Control Module 2014 eliminates the need for users to work with multiple independent systems.

Besides, it makes it possible to integrate different access control systems within the same customer installation. XProtect Smart Client provides a consolidated interface for operating integrated access control systems with functions to effectively monitor access events, manually assist passages and conduct investigations of specific access points or cardholders.

Dedicated functions make it easy to export video evidence and generate reports, further easing incident investigations. The extended integration capabilities in the Milestone Integration Platform Software Development Kit (MIP SDK) 2014 are the enabling factor behind the easy and flexible integration between third-party access control systems and Milestone video management solutions.

At launch XProtect Access Control Module 2014 is supported by the following Milestone Solution Partners, with more than 25 additional partners to follow:
AXIS CommunicationsA1001 Network Door Controller
BOSCH Security Systems – Bosch Access Professional Edition 
* IMRON – IS2000
* ISONAS – IP Access Control 
* Open Options – DNA Fusion 
* Bolid - Orion Pro (integration is available through MM Communication)

Asia Pacific gaming market to capitalize on global surveillance expertise

Asia Pacific gaming market to capitalize on global surveillance expertise

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 5/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

By 2015, nearly 45 percent of global spending on casino gaming will take place in the Asia Pacific region. With this amplifying shift in worldwide gaming dominance, surveillance integration and resiliency trends from across the globe will be embraced and pushed to new levels.

According to global surveillance solution provider, Synectics, this prediction is fast becoming a reality.

In addition to ongoing expansion of major gaming facilities in Singapore and regional cruise ship lines, Synectics has also begun surveillance system retrofit work for Solaire Casino in the Philippines. With several other high-profile casino projects in the pipeline, Synectics is in a unique position to identify and drive security technology trends.

John Katnic, Vice President of Global Gaming at Synectics, said: “IP-based solutions that integrate video - increasingly from HD cameras - with third-party transactions and alarm data, within a single command and control environment, is where the market is heading. What is most exciting, however, is how fast that transition is happening, how the market is capitalizing on global best practices and working alongside agile systems providers to develop customized solutions for their unique needs.”

According to Synectics, these trends reflect the need to distinguish and interpret meaningful information from the vast amount of data generated by casinos of unprecedented size and scale across the region.

John commented: “Intelligent integration is among the most common requests from our customers – integrations that enable visual data to be paired with detailed data analysis of transactional information, security systems, gaming systems, and other alarm systems.

“We are also increasingly working with clients to integrate video with customer-specific systems such as DRS and Genesis Gaming Solutions, particularly in Singapore, Manila and Macau.”

Synectics will exhibit at The International Association of Casino Security (IACS) conference May 27 – 29, 2014 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore where delegates can learn about security and surveillance integration during demonstrations of Synectics' intuitive Synergy 3 command and control system, which enables video, alarms and data to be viewed, recorded and analyzed… all within a single, user-friendly interface.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in live tours of Marina Bay Sands' own surveillance solution, which incorporates world-class gaming technologies.

At IACS, Synectics also anticipates strong interest in scalable data storage solutions and enterprise class system resiliency. The Asia Pacific region has some of the world's strictest gaming standards and regulations, and casinos in expanding territories are likely to see regulatory compliance become even more challenging.

John explained, “Helping operators achieve regulatory compliance is an area we know and understand having installed over 75 casino surveillance systems globally.

“In Ontario Canada, for example, where Synectics is installed in over two dozen Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) regulated facilities, including Caesars Casino Windsor, any loss of video can result in a government mandated shut-down. This can cost operators hundreds of thousands of dollars/day, which is why reliable failover protection is so crucial – it's why OLG continue to use our systems after eight years of partnership.

“Asia has the most stringent regulators and highest traffic gaming facilities in the world. That's why the APAC market demands leading edge data replication and hardware failover technologies, such as Synectics' ‘backfilling', whereby encoders and IP cameras record to local solid state storage and, in the event of network failure, seamlessly copy missing video from the edge device onto the primary storage server when the network recovers. This ensures no data loss and eliminates any single point of failure.”

In addition to demonstrating Synergy 3, Synectics will be showcasing its new X-Series cameras which use Xarina technology to capture twice as many frames per second with enhanced wide dynamic range for unparalleled clarity and picture quality, even in poor or variable light conditions.

Milestone XProtect 2014 reaches new-level integration and user experiences

Milestone XProtect 2014 reaches new-level integration and user experiences

Editor / Provider: Milestone System | Updated: 5/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has just released the Milestone XProtect 2014 VMS product suite for partners and customers.

The XProtect 2014 product suite addresses the entire security market regardless of the size, complexity or location of the installation. The Milestone XProtect clients are also optimized and updated to take advantage of the new XProtect 2014 capabilities.

Bjorn Eilertsen, Vice President of Corporate Products Business Unit at Milestone Systems, says: "I am very excited about this 2014 release and the possibilities it gives both our customers and partners. If you look at the major enhancements we have done to the workflow around evidence handling, you will find that the new Smart Search, combined with Evidence Lock and the new storyboarding capabilities, shorten the time dramatically for producing evidence material. Add the new security capabilities that will make our advanced VMS products even more attractive for large and high-security installations. And this is just half of the story!

We have also taken the open platform to a whole new level, introducing ONVIF-compliant support for metadata and a framework for integrating access control systems with our new XProtect Access Control Module. Both these initiatives empower our ecosystem of partners to develop new solutions and meet our customers' needs."

XProtect 2014 introduces several new advantages for Milestone customers and the Milestone partner ecosystem.

New smart integration abilities
The Milestone add-on product, XProtect Access Control Module 2014, makes it possible to integrate different access control systems within the same customer installation. XProtect Smart Client provides a consolidated interface for operating integrated access control systems with dedicated functions to effectively monitor access events, manually assist passages and conduct investigations of specific access points or cardholders.

Intelligent video handling with metadata
Milestone introduces an ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) compliant framework for handling and storing video-related metadata for its XProtect advanced VMS product range that includes XProtect Corporate 2014 and XProtect Expert 2014. Metadata is any data adding an information layer to video and audio streams. The metadata framework can enable new possibilities for high-level integration: integrators can use metadata to connect with all types of IT systems and Milestone Manufacturer Alliance Partners can use the metadata integration to support cameras with built-in analytics.

More efficient evidence handling workflow
Video handling in XProtect 2014 is enhanced with new features to streamline the user experience:

* The Smart Search function utilizes the motion metadata generated during the motion detection analysis in the recording server. By searching on this generated metadata, sequences with motion in specific areas of a camera view can be found quickly and accurately, reducing the time required to conduct investigations.
* Evidence Lock is a new function in XProtect 2014 VMS that secures the availability of video recordings for investigations by allowing the retention time for selected video sequences to be extended beyond the defined retention policies.
* The Storyboard function turns video into evidence by documenting a sequence of events. Piecing together video sequences from multiple cameras into a structured flow makes object tracking easy for logical, objective and straightforward review.

Extended system security
A new security feature in XProtect is tiered administrator rights where administrative staff can be granted access to functions based on responsibility levels. Dual authentication provides an option for an additional level of system security, where a log-in or access is successful only when a second user approves it.

Ease-of-Use features for partners and end users
New ease-of-use features in XProtect 2014 VMS are centered on both Milestone partners and end users to ensure a simple and optimized experience working with a Milestone solution. For example, the product upgrade processes are enhanced to reduce time spent on maintaining the system.

End users will benefit from a new interactive map functionality in XProtect Essential and XProtect Express that provides a graphical overview of the entire installation. Tooltips and customization possibilities are added to the XProtect Smart Client to lessen the need for end-user training.

Video Push with GPS metadata in Milestone Mobile enables first responders and security personnel to use a smartphone as a mobile camera for video coverage of incidents not viewed by stationary cameras. The GPS coordinates together with the video stream are pushed from the smartphone to the XProtect VMS system.

Also of note is the Milestone Customer Dashboard, an online system monitoring service that enables Milestone resellers to obtain real-time system status of their customers' installations. This enables proactive alerts and service to improve the customer experience.

Janne Jacobsen, Vice President of Professional Products Business Unit at Milestone Systems, says: "The 2014 update of the Milestone XProtect VMS suite reflects our dedication to provide solutions that are optimized for different market segments and customer needs. For small to mid-sized installations, the 2014 edition of the XProtect Professional VMS product suite is focused on simplifying every step in the deployment and use of our products. The goal is to provide solutions that meet our customers' demand for easy-to-use video solutions that are also cost efficient to install and grow."

 

 

 

Brisbane City Hall deploys Genetec VMS for integrated security operations

Brisbane City Hall deploys Genetec VMS for integrated security operations

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 5/22/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Largest local government organization in Australia depends on powerful Genetec VMS with multiple security systems integrations to improve security operations.

Business Challenge
BRISBANE City Hall, presiding over bustling King George Square with entrances at King George Square and on Ann and Adelaide Streets, is one of Australia's most stately public buildings. While it opened in 1930 and is now listed by the Register of the National Estate, Brisbane City Hall was built on wet ground which over decades led to subsidence, concrete cancer and problems with corrosion in aging wiring.

So the site closed at the end of December 2009 for a ground-up restoration where the City Hall was completely gutted and rebuilt as closely as possible to Hall & Prentice's original specifications. As part of this process, a $3 million integrated electronic security system was installed, which is monitored from an in-house control room.

"First of all, Brisbane City Hall had to be open to the people, it had to be a place for the people," said Paul Rishman, Corporate Security Manager of Brisbane City Council. "This meant that we needed to be able to keep the site open or lock it down to the last door. And finally, we needed to be able to track people throughout the building. That really was the essence of this solution, operationally. From these basic needs we moved on to the systems we should use and how should we integrate them to achieve our goals."

According to Rishman, another key operational element of the site is that it's large, complex and busy, yet it only has 2 security officers 24/7. Running at this level of efficiency, it's vital that these officers be empowered by technology to work as effectively as possible. "This system is very much designed so that the entire building can be managed by this very small team and that meant we needed an intelligent solution with proactive detection and reporting capabilities."

With these requirements in mind, Brisbane City Council worked alongside Genetec-certified integrator, Blake Systems, to find the right solution for the job: Omnicast video surveillance with key integrations to other systems like access control, asset management and video analytics and more.

Maximising Efficiency with Leading-Edge Surveillance
At the heart of the new CCTV solution is the Genetec video management system, Omnicast, which manages 120 channels of AgentVi video analytics in real time. Omnicast also manages a selection of around 200 Axis Communications 720p HD IP cameras. The cameras include fixed domes, mini domes, nine of those teeny people counting cameras and many flexible Axis 5534 720p PTZ domes. Another system handles access control alarms while Rishman says a key proactive capability of the solution involved the installation of Ekahau, an RFID-over-Wi-Fi real time location system that is used in conjunction with tags that can be carried by staff or attached to assets. This provides them the ability to track the movements of key personnel (and assets) across the site.

"Genetec has a Map Manager interface and the next-gen will be 3D so we'll be able to put the Ekahau into it and literally the camera will alert us to an intrusion, show an image and show a 3D representation of the room. We can also do a lot with the access control system," explains Anthony Brown from Blake Systems, the integrator overseeing the project. "Sometimes we use the third-party access control system as the pull and feed it to Genetec; and sometimes we use the Genetec as the pull and feed it to access control system. It just depends whether it's a CCTV-heavy or an access control and alarm-heavy application."

In terms of efficiency, their security operators are reaping the benefits of their new video management system: "We have a monitor pre-loaded with preset tabs so during specific events, our operators can hit the tab and the Genetec system will populate the screen with pre-selected camera views," Rishman says. "And we have another monitor that allows our security operators to select the views they consider most important, depending on events of the day. At the moment, it's set to the entry but it might be any group of camera views our security team decides will help. It's drag and drop - very easy to use."

It's Future Proof: Extending Capabilities across Council Buildings
An interesting aspect of this site is the nature of Brisbane City Council as one of the largest local government organisations on the planet. Because Council is homogeneous, it gives the team a lot of scope for integration of other Council buildings and surveillance systems in the future, as well as allowing redundancy of operations between multiple sites.

Thanks to Genetec's flexibility and a unique feature called Federation which bridges independent systems under one, future plans are being considered. According to Rishman "This control room has the ability to be used as a backup for our operations centre which is 5-6km down the road should this be required. We have a number of control rooms monitoring around 900 cameras at buildings across the city and the plan is to integrate them."

From a visitor's perspective it's impossible not to be impressed with the renovations and the new security solution but does it give Brisbane City Council everything it wanted at City Hall?

"Absolutely," says Rishman. "This system does exactly what we hoped it would do and it's future proof, so we can build on it and integrate multiple sub systems. From here, the challenge is going to be taking this model and expanding it into the rest of our portfolio of sites, while integrating all these sites into our full ITC infrastructure. All in all, everyone is very happy with the outcome. I've done a few big projects in my time. This is one of the bigger ones and from the point of view of system capability, it's definitely the best."

 

IndigoVision introduces NVR-AS 4000 support up to 700 cameras

IndigoVision introduces NVR-AS 4000 support up to 700 cameras

Editor / Provider: IndigoVision | Updated: 5/20/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Introducing IndigoVision's latest NVR-AS 4000, the first Network Video Recorder appliance designed for large enterprise installations.

With support for up to 700 cameras and up to 600TB of usable storage per device, the NVR-AS 4000 delivers maximum value through intelligently designed enterprise recording.

Record up to 700 cameras per NVR with 2000 Mbps data throughput, seven times more than the nearest alternative. The NVR-4000 has up to 600TB of usable storage, meaning better quality video recordings with longer retention. Guaranteed tamper free evidence, the only recording solution to give watermarked footage both at the point of recording and in exported evidence, with no effect on performance. Extra peace of mind through enterprise grade, nearline Hard Disk Drives and RAID 6 redundancy.

Superb scalability, easily support 10 to 10,000 cameras across the whole security system, thanks to IndigoVision's Distributed Network Architecture (DNA). Unrivalled recording resilience giving complete peace of mind with automatic failover and integrated backup. Completely open, integrate other security systems for complete alarm management and recording support for multiple camera manufacturers.

Easy to install, the NVR-AS 4000 is fully configured and recording within 30 minutes. Simple maintenance through advanced self-diagnostics, real-time alarms and next business day hardware parts replacement. No hidden costs, all features covered by a single licence per camera or encoder.

Key benefits of this release
* Record up to 700 cameras per NVR - 2000 Mbps throughput, seven times more than the nearest alternative
* Up to 600TB usable storage – record better quality evidence, for longer
* Extra peace of mind - near line Hard Disk Drives and RAID 6 redundancy
* Resilience - automatic failover and integrated backup
* Completely Open - integrate other security systems, recording support for multiple camera manufacturers

Residential video doorphone goes IP and wireless

Residential video doorphone goes IP and wireless

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 5/20/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The video doorphone, also called the video intercom, is evolved into a multifunctional device in conjunction with network capability and home automation. Video doorphones for smart home are integrated with security, intercommunication and home automation features. With enhanced importance beyond entry management, it is moving from home entryways to the home center.

Integration of security, communication and automation
The video doorphones in the smart home combine intercommunication, access control, alarming and home automation into a single platform. No doubt, users are benefited to have easier and more manageable home security. We conclude four major trends, including wireless connectivity, digitalization, trendy outlook, and integration with home automation.

The video door phone system for the smart home, generally comprises control monitors, and door stations with built-in megapixel cameras. There are models called peephole door viewers supporting wireless connectivity with mobile devices like mobile phones or tablets instead of indoor stations. Popular features consist of remote intercommunication, access control and monitoring. With increasing demand of connected home, home owners want their video door phone systems to be smarter. Therefore, we can see more and more models supporting alarming and home automation features over the next few years.

Easier and more manageable home security
The video doorphones pair up wireless or fixed monitors and built-in or external security cameras for remote control and monitoring. The system connects visitors to the user's smartphones or tablets, used as the mobile control center, when the user is not at home. Users can view and allow access of visitors remotely with mobile phones. Aside from unlocking doors remotely, some of them are accompanied with alarming function like PIR detector and event alerts for enhanced home security. They support motion-activated recording and image capture of approaching visitors in a SD card or built-in DVR. The built-in camera can automatically take photo and record video when motion is detected via the built-in PIR sensor. Like most surveillance cameras, some video door phones with built-in cameras support nighttime and pan-tilt operations. To offer wider viewing angles, fish-eye lens can be integrated at times.

There are another solutions offering extended home security by connection with the door camera, smart door lock and magnetic door sensor. In addition, some complicated systems incorporate security sensors to detect fire, gas leakage and burglar intrusion with alarm notification to the management center.

To cater for smart home users, ease of use is more appealing apart from affordable pricing and trendy outlook. The intuitive interface of control monitor offers easy operation on intercommunication, photo viewing, alarm setup, and home control. Also, easy installation is attractive for the DIY market.

TC P/IP favored over wireless connection
The smart intercoms for home use feature Internet connection. Current offerings consist of wired and wireless solutions. Products provided by Asian suppliers are mostly wired solutions. For home users, the wireless solution, free from wiring problems, is considered to be more appealing in terms of easy installation and interoperability with mobile devices. The wireless indoor units typically come with LCD displays, and some of them are portable models used as mobile phones.

RF2.4GHz and Wi-Fi are two major adoptions for wireless connectivity with mobile control monitors. Wi-Fi connectivity is getting popular due to its high compatibility with smartphones for consumers; however, it has unstable signal transmission when traveling the wall. Regarding RF2.4GHz compliant devices, they support intelligent frequency hopping from 2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz to change RF channel automatically in order to avoid interference from other 2.4GHz devices like WLAN router, microwave and cordless phone.

Regarding the wired solution for smart home applications, digital TCP/IP models are major promotions though wireless models could be more attractive for those who prefer DIY systems. For more stable solutions, the systems that adopt internet TCP/IP technology to void complicated wiring installation are highly promoted by suppliers. The digital intercom system is easy to install, manage and upgrade than traditional analog models. Supporting SIP protocol, the video doorphones allow free communication between SIP and mobile phones. It is a cost-saving solution to offer video communication.

Home automation gaining interest
Though integration o f home automation still belongs to the high-end market, we can see more and more new products integrate with simple home control features, such as control over lighting, shading, HVAC, TV, elevator and home appliance controls. The common communication protocols adopted consist of RF433, RS485, ZigBee, Z-Wave, KNX and Wi-Fi. In China, RF433 is a popular and cost-saving adoption for home automation and for connections with alarm sensors.

When it comes to home use, visually appealing becomes a nice-to-have feature. The sleek design and thin form factors are stressed. We can see those trendy products with metal-casing and slim form factor measuring less than 15mm.

Smart home solution on a camera

Smart home solution on a camera

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 5/19/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

When Jeffrey Wu stepped into the home camera industry, he immediately stood out among Taiwan makers. Coming from a telecommunications background, he uses his past experience to build cameras that combine ease-to-use and sophisticated integrated solutions—two essential factors to succeed in the smart home market.

Jeffrey Wu, President of StarVedia, has seen it through. As a relatively young player in the home camera market, StarVedia has to maintain competitiveness through innovation. After the exiting VoIP phone system business, Wu has been leading the company in redefining itself as a new entry in the booming smart home industry. Since 2007, StarVedia has been designing and manufacturing network cameras specifically targeting residential users.

So far, StarVedia has been focusing on OEM and ODM services. StarVedia prides itself as a one-stop shop for buyers looking for a complete solution. “We provide the back-end infrastructure, the front-end GUI, and everything in between for our OEM and ODM customers,” Wu said.

“My background in telecommunication has taught me two things: the networking know-how require to make reliable IP-based systems and the realization that ease of use is critical. When we started our home camera business, I knew our cameras had to be plug-and-play,” Wu said. “That is always one of the things at the very top of our list. Creating cameras that can be easily installed and operated without any technical knowledge is our mission, and it has proven to be a main differentiator for us in the market.”

Although the home cameras market is quite a crowded space, it is not quite mature yet in terms of delivering products for nontechnical users. Most users still struggle to understand poorly written user manuals and confusing UIs. “All StarVedia cameras support Wi-Fi, which in and of itself is nothing special. The beauty of it is that setup is truly plug-and-play. You don't need a computer to configure the camera—all you need is a smartphone or tablet.”

Software Troop
Most camera makers in Taiwan are heavily hardware-oriented, but StarVedia is taking a different approach. “We are actually a software-savvy troop. We know how to design the software and efficiently integrate it with the hardware to achieve true plug-and-play, Wu said. “All of our software is developed in-house. We have extensive experience developing software for various operating systems, such as iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and others, and mobile is in our culture.”

The ubiquity of smartphones is a major driver for the home camera market. “We began developing software for mobile devices since Symbian was the dominant platform,” Wu said with a smile. “In a way, I am happy the battle between mobile platforms has left us with just two: Android and iOS. Our engineering team can focus on the apps and improve user experience, rather than spending significant time and resources on adapting and adjusting our software for numerous platforms.”

Wu further defined what he thinks it means to be “software-savvy.” It requires a deep understanding of networking technologies and integration knowhow. Wu used StarVedia's peer-to-peer video streaming technology as an example: “the video stream does not pass through any servers, so it reduces latency compared to other approaches, and end-users do not have to worry about the servers being hacked.”

Cloud storage is another front Wu is proud of. He thinks Dropbox is probably one the best solution at this time: “It is flexible, mature and featurerich. Dropbox supports most platforms, including PCs and most smartphones and tablets. Its pricing ranges from free to cheap. It offers automatic backups, instant file sharing, robust permission settings, integration with a whole ecosystem of third-party apps and much more," Wu said. "Many people already use Dropbox in their daily workflow. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we wanted to use these advantages of Dropbox to enhance our cameras.” Dropbox support is nowbuilt into every Starvedia camera that offers a private cloud-based DVR solution, which turns the camera into a complete home security system with no additional recording hardware needed.

During his six years in smart home cameras, Wu has come to realize that interoperability is just as important as user-friendliness when it comes to home users. StarVedia's proprietary system and software is based on industry-standard communication protocols to avoid interoperability problems. Moving forward, StarVedia plans to offer cameras that support Z-Wave, which has an ecosystem of products that aligns with the company's goal to create the “easiest smart home products”.

Dual Power
In addition to making reliable and easy-to-use software, StarVedia's innovative culture also manifests in its hardware. “Video performance and image quality are highly dependent on the processor used in the camera, but there are other ways to enhance a camera's performance besides choosing the most powerful chip,” Wu said.

One feature Wu is especially proud of is that all StarVedia cameras have two “eyes.” According to Wu, StarVedia is the only home camera maker that offersdual-lens cameras. “Many buyers are curious about the purpose of this design. It's not a gimmick—the dual-lens design helps overcome flaws inherent to mechanical IR-cut filters,” Wu continued. “The wavelength of daylight and night-time infrared condition requires different focuses for clear video. The additional lens provides functionality similar to an IR-cut filter, but increases stability and durability. It also helps to make the camera more compact, since lenses with ICR function usually require larger space in the camera.”

Wu also wants to focus on developing products that provide features that can impact users' lives in a positive way. A new product in the pipeline is a camera equipped with an infrared thermometer and speakers. “You can monitor the temperature of the environment and ask the babysitter to turn on or off the air conditioner through the built-in speaker. You can also configure the camera to trigger an alarm when the temperature falls out of a specified range.”

Speaking of application-driven designs, Wu explained: “We pay a lot of attention on the details to maximize a product's value and performance. For example, our cameras are built with Wi-Fi directly onboard. We do not use a module, instead embedding the Wi-Fi chip and antenna on the camera board itself so that we can make our products more compact and easier to integrate while controlling costs more efficiently.” Scheduled to launch in June, the IC711 series is a new lineup featuring a smaller size and more functions.

Market Sensitivity
StarVedia's customer base is primarily in Japan, the U.S and South East Asia. Wu sees huge potential in the smart home market, which is strongest is the U.S., but has also picked up significantly this year in Europe and China. On a smaller scale, StarVedia products are also distributed all over Asia and Europe, mainly in Germany and France. Market conditions in China are different, however—Wu thinks the company is better off marketing its own brand there, and has done so through a subsidiary.

With rich cooperation experience with branded customers who usually sell products in various retail channels, Wu knows which checkboxes to tick in different geographical markets. For example, in Japan, product quality and reliability are two must-have factors to take into consideration in choosing manufacturing partners.

Wu also points out the differences between the European and the US markets for network cameras. The US market is price-sensitive, but tends to accept new products and solutions. The U.S. is the first market to promote on a large scale smart home applications and related protocols, including Z-Wave and ZigBee.

He sees Europe as a different market. European retailers are more brand-oriented, and emphasize on brand management. Wu said European retailers are used to enhancing value and consumer loyalty through brand power.

Retailers have different concerns compared to commercial security system integrators and distributers. “Retailers care about products that are easy to use, have low return rates, offer a stunning user experience, and distinct features that sets it apart from an ocean of me-too products,” said Wu.

Equipped with expertise and experience in software development and system integration, StarVedia is one of the few companies working directly with telcos in China and Japan. The company sees cooperating with telcos as a major way to expand the smart home market. Wu thinks Asia is a promising area, especially Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

Smart Home Solutions on a Camera (SOC)
Looking ahead, Wu sees three trends for smart home devices: more integration, wireless deployment and affordable pricing. He has clear plans for riding these waves. “Putting an infrared thermometer inside the camera is just the beginning. After that, we'll have a single unit that integrates video recorder, audio speaker, thermostat and PIR body sensor. Eventually, we will offer cameras that serve as an all-in-one smart home gateway, using Z-Wave to extend our current home security offerings to include other smart home features.”

This platform—a smart home solution on a camera (SoC), as Wu calls it—“requires a high degree of software integration, but it is a great resolution for us as well as users. They do not need to purchase various devices and endure complicated installation services. For instance, the PIR sensor enables accurate intrusion detection, which can trigger a push notification to notify police and homeowners if necessary, negating the need for a separate sensor in the home.” The camera itself becomes a complete smart home solution.

 

 

Avigilon video analytics Rialto offers higher integration and protection

Avigilon video analytics Rialto offers higher integration and protection

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 5/19/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Avigilon Corporation, the major global provider of end-to-end security solutions, has recently made the addition of the Rialto video analytics appliance family to its product portfolio.

The Rialto appliances provide real-time event detection and verification, enabling users to proactively identify any unusual activity that occurs in a monitored scene and take immediate action as necessary. Users can effectively lower costs and increase efficiencies, reduce on-site theft and vandalism, and provide real-time crime prevention to secure assets with this technology.

Following Avigilon's recent acquisition of VideoIQ, Inc., this release marks the introduction of featured analytics to Avigilon's end-to-end security solution. The patented Rialto technology, when combined with high-definition video imaging, will provide users with superior perimeter surveillance to help protect property, assets and personnel. The flexibility and ease of installation offers a cost effective way for companies to integrate video analytics into their current analog or IP video surveillance system.

“We are truly excited to be introducing the Rialto analytics appliances to address customers' needs,” said Ian Povey, Avigilon's director of product management and product marketing. “With a prominent team of analytics developers and a broad portfolio of intellectual property, we are readily integrating best-in-class video analytics technology into our award-winning, high-definition solutions. Additionally, our global sales team is well positioned to take this leading-edge technology to market with our vast network of over 2,000 partners and resellers.”

The Rialto family of products is optimized by its “Teach-by-Example” functionality, which enables users to give feedback about the accuracy of various alarm events as they are generated. Rialto products are able to learn from this feedback and increase future accuracy, resulting in one of the lowest false alarm rates in the industry. This self-learning technology provides enhanced levels of protection, particularly suited for environments that require perimeter and intrusion theft protection, such as critical infrastructure and commercial installations.

Core features and benefits of the Rialto series:
Self-learning analytics:
Algorithm-based intelligence allows the system to recognize people and vehicles while ignoring irrelevant motion;
True object classification: The system classifies people and vehicles, while ignoring other objects that are unimportant to the scene;
High-definition analysis: Analysis of video up to 1080p resolution allows for more accurate identification of object features to help reduce false alarms;
Audio talk-down capabilities: Connects to external speakers for remote talkdown functionality to provide additional intrusion deterrence;
Instant notification: Real-time SMS or email notifications enhance on-site security and professional monitoring services;
Ease of installation: Plug-and-play setup means quicker installation and near-instant realization of the benefits of analytics technology;
Always-on technology: Video analytics are able to monitor an area 24/7, 365 days a year;
Open platform: The system is designed to recognize third party analog and IP cameras.

ADT partners with Life360 to deliver personal security via mobile

ADT partners with Life360 to deliver personal security via mobile

Editor / Provider: ADT | Updated: 5/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

ADT, security and home automation provider, announced a partnership with Life360, a provider in location-based services and family networking technology. The partnership will provide a valuable generation source for ADT and enable the development of innovative, co-branded mobile security applications to provide greater safety and security services to families. As part of the agreement, ADT is taking a minority ownership stake in the company through a $25 million investment, leading a $50 million Series C financing for Life360. The investment forges a mutually beneficial bond for the two companies to work together to advance personal security solutions available to the more than 33 million families who use Life360.

“We've expanded beyond helping protect and connect homes and businesses,” said Arthur Ordua, senior vice president and chief innovation officer for ADT. “Today, ADT provides security and monitoring solutions for families wherever they are. This partnership with Life360 fits within our innovation strategy to reinvent the idea of ‘security' for our increasingly mobile lifestyles. It's a perfect pairing as ADT and Life360 are both leaders in their categories that share a very similar vision and mission – to provide peace of mind to families.”

One planned development from the partnership is a new mobile application that will integrate features from ADT Chaperone, an existing ‘on-the-go' personal security offering from ADT. The upcoming mobile application from ADT and Life360 will provide direct access to ADT's 24/7 monitoring centers that can connect users to police, fire and emergency medical responders. “Soon every family will be able to use the app to meet their unique needs, whether it's providing a chaperone for a child walking home from school and verifying they reached their destination, or knowing to arm the home's security system when the house is vacant,” added Ordu?a.

By leveraging the best of ADT and Life360 technologies, users will feel relaxed knowing their families can check in with the touch of a button, rather than having to make a call, or take a break to contact their loved ones. Users will not only have greater peace of mind while on the go, but also gain the added convenience of home automation, including control of lights, door locks and more, directly from their mobile phone.

“The investment and partnership with ADT further cements Life360's position as the leading family network, and allows us to deepen our reach into the connected home,” said Chris Hulls, Life360 founder and chief executive officer. “Mobile is at the center of the connected home, and given security is a critical element for today's families, our integration with ADT offers customers the value of one of the world's largest security and home automation providers, plus the connectivity of the largest family network.”

The new co-developed mobile application will be available in late 2014. The app will be free, and upgraded security features from ADT will be available at a nominal monthly subscription fee.

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