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Software House launches network-ready all-in-one solution

Software House launches network-ready all-in-one solution

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 10/1/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Software House, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco announces the introduction of victor Unified SiteServer, a unified access control and video network appliance.

Using a deeply embedded victor unifying client, victor Unified SiteServer takes a holistic video approach of managing and monitoring access control, video, and intrusion from one database all from one easy-to-use box. The victor Unified Client is a new client choice which can be run in parallel with existing C•CURE 9000 client choices, providing the increased functionality of combined client features. The victor Unified SiteServer is pre-installed with all the software needed for a convenient, quick and easy way to manage and monitor the various activities related to access control, video and intrusion. The unified appliance supports the latest versions of C•CURE 9000, victor Unified client and VideoEdge NVR software.

“victor Unified SiteServer takes an all-in-one approach that not only harnesses the full power of the access, video and intrusion systems from Tyco Security Products, but does so in a time-optimizing, resource-maximizing, and money-saving way,” said Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director – Access Control, for Tyco Security Products. “With victor Unified SiteServer, you can quickly drill down to get the specific details of a C•CURE 9000 access control event and its associated video all in one convenient interface".

Through victor Unified SiteServer, users can perform specific system tasks such as badging, dynamic mapping, advanced reporting, custom application layouts, video smart search and analytics for improved situational awareness. The pre-configured database of readers, doors, controllers and cameras significantly reduces set up time, as does the easy-to-follow start-up wizard.

Key features of victor Unified SiteServer include support for up to 32 access control readers and 32 IP cameras; a 240 GB solid state drive for enhanced system reliability; two independent Ethernet LAN ports for flexible network configuration; and a health dashboard that monitors critical activities such as network bandwidth, memory and system functionality.

For customers with many geographically diverse sites, the victor Unified SiteServer can provide local, on-site reliable operation and facility control. Each victor Unified SiteServer can then communicate with the main, centralized server that provides efficient global system management of the entire enterprise system.

EL.MO NETPLUS adopts expandable modules with high interoperability

EL.MO NETPLUS adopts expandable modules with high interoperability

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by EL.MO. | Updated: 9/29/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

EL.MO. SpA, the Italy-based surveillance manufacturer has brought together the best of technology applied in the safety field in two products— Villeggio and NETPLUS system. EL.MO.NETPLUS, the new hardwired/wireless (with RIVERRF and HALENTE concentrators) intrusion detection control units features 8 triple, double balanced / NC / fast on board inputs, expandable to 16 with split function.

Highly expandable platform
NETPLUS system uses the hardware platform equipped with expansion modules based on Plug&Play principle. It is expandable up to 104 inputs with RIVER series concentrators. Extremely modular, it can grow dimensionally and functionally according to the environment in which it operates. It has a RS485 serial line for the connection of the TRES01485 and TRIAL detectors, RIVER concentrators, and up to 16 control devices such as TATTILO, TATTILOPLUS and ANIMA touch screen keypad, NIRVA and MIDAS keypads, the RS485 I8 serial bus inserters, the ETRZENITH and IZENITH key point flush-mountable box and the PASSLIGHT additional system status indicator.

The completeness of the EL.MO. range is not just complementary, but optimally allows NETPLUS to integrate with a large number of devices. NETPLUS offers unlimited possibilities of management through remote devices, such us traditional telephone, mobile telephone, smartphone, tablet or PC. The applicative field of the remote management includes vocal interaction or via SMS, and involves the management of intrusion detection system and the management of other areas. NETPLUS systems is integrated with management, centralization and supervision and supervision infrastructure of e-Connect systems.

Thanks to this platform, end-user, installers, maintainers and service companies can control, manage and easily communicate with their intrusion detection system through smartphone, tablet and PC anywhere, anytime via internet.

The high interoperability of NETPLUS applies not only tothe modern communication media but also to building automation in civil and industrial environments, based on KONNEX BUS thanks to the suitable optional module.

Honeywell announces its newest solutions at Security Essen

Honeywell announces its newest solutions at Security Essen

Editor / Provider: Honeywell | Updated: 9/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywell announces its newest solutions showcased at Security Essen.  Honeywell's comprehensive product and solutions portfolio will be presented and include MB-Secure, a multifunctional and modular security control system, MB-Wireless Reed magnetic contact module, equIP Series S range of IP system cameras and Pro-Watch 4.2 enterprise access control system.

Honeywell's new MB-Secure platform is a multifunctional and modular design security control system that enables integration of intrusion detection, access control, and video within a single system. It includes a special licensing concept providing flexibility and ease of use. All MB-Secure control systems are equipped with a uniform circuit board and firmware. Individual required functions can be activated by installers with a license key via a web portal. Should security requirements change, installers can easily apply additional expansions and new areas, detector groups and subsections. This makes it easy to apply upgrades without the need for major changes or a complete control system replacement. A variety of custom-fit, intelligent security solutions can be implemented to suit a wide range of industries: the industrial sector, retail, banking and finance, public buildings, sports facilities, and museums.

Giving security installers a much wider range of options for commercial video surveillance installations, Honeywell also presents 14 new HD and Mega Pixel IP cameras to its equIP Series. The equIP Series S is a family of IP-ready products – including box cameras, IR indoor domes and rugged domes – that integrate with Honeywell and third-party network video recorders (NVRs) for complete video management. The new cameras deliver full HD video (up to 25 fps) with 720p, 1080p, 3MP or 5MP resolution for applications from small retail outlets all the way up to large systems for city centre surveillance. All of the cameras feature on-board micro SD card storage to help prevent video loss by storing locally when communication to the NVR or video service is off-line. The equIP Series S features P-Iris that provides sharper images with better clarity and contrast by optimising the depth of field and sensitivity most suited to any application.

Honeywell MB-Wireless Reed magnetic contact module gives users a whole new range of possibilities for high-quality security. The contact is ideal for monitoring windows and doors, and also easily used to secure and monitor objects such as cabinets, drawers and pictures. The clear advantages of the magnetic reed contact lie in the monitoring of moving or variable fittings and objects, for example at trade shows and exhibitions, temporary monitoring of buildings and tool depots.

Honeywell Pro-Watch security management system offers an access control system that allows integrators to cost effectively accommodate virtually any access control need. The latest version Pro-Watch 4.2 is compatible with multiple biometric reader options, along with added support for several brands and types of wireless locks – including options from Allegion (AD-400 Series), Assa Abloy (Aperio Line), and Salto (Sallis and SVN) – that enable the system to protect previously hard-to-reach doors and locations.

Tyco unveils breadth of technology portfolio at Essen 2014

Tyco unveils breadth of technology portfolio at Essen 2014

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 9/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Tyco Security Products, part of Tyco, the world's largest pure-play fire protection and security company, will showcase a new slate of innovative technology introductions on stand 128, Hall 1.0. at this week's Security Essen 2014 exhibition, 23 to 26 September.

“The growing complexities of the security environment, whether within a large enterprise or at a single location, are demanding intuitive yet sophisticated solutions that allow users to focus on the management of their security department or business,” said Phil Dashey, Vice President and General Manager, EMEA, Tyco Security Products. “The seamless unifications between our products enable security personnel to make quick and informed decisions, whilst avoiding integration challenges.”

With its expanding video portfolio, Tyco Security Products continues to lead the market in offering a diverse set of high resolution IP camera, recording and management platforms from its American Dynamics and Exacq Technologies brands. New from American Dynamics is the VideoEdge and victor v4.5 flagship video management system (VMS) solution, which brings new analytics capabilities such as heat mapping and POS integration with ease of use functionalities like auto discovery and watermarking.

Exacq is introducing the EasyConnect automatic IP camera connector feature that allows users to find, address and connect multiple IP cameras to their network automatically. EasyConnect supports IP cameras from Illustra and several other leading IP camera brands. Exacq will also showcase the new ELP-Series, a line of hybrid and IP camera network video recorders (NVR) available with up to 8 TB of storage to easily view and record up to 16 analogue and 24 IP cameras per server. The latest release of the exacqVision 6.4 VMS introduces VideoPush, which allows users to easily push selected cameras or entire views to another monitor, such as a public display monitor or video wall.

Complementing the array of choices in recording and management platforms is a wide range of HD IP cameras from American Dynamics, including the low-cost Illustra Flex Series, the Illustra Compact Mini-Domes and Mini-Bullets, the industry's fastest Illustra 625 PTZ and the Illustra 825 Fisheye, with onboard de-warping technology.

Headlining the intrusion portfolio for Tyco Security Products is PowerSeries Neo from DSC, an innovative solution for residential and scalable commercial installations that combines the flexibility of a modular, hardwired system with the simplicity of a wide range of wireless devices and peripherals. PowerSeries Neo leverages the superior capabilities of PowerG – the security industry's leading-edge wireless intrusion technology – and features innovative alarm verification solutions, along with a comprehensive remote service software suite for intuitive management.

Visonic is introducing PowerMaster Version 18, based on the market-leading PowerG technology that is the backbone of several new devices, including the PowerMaster-33 “hidden” panel, KP-250 two-way wireless keypad, ultrathin invisible magnetic transmitters, stylish handheld panic buttons and new advanced featured software for the widely installed PM-10 and PM-30 panels. Visonic is also introducing Tower Cam PG2, a wireless outdoor PIR that is a perfect solution for visual alarm verification and advanced warning.

Rounding out the intrusion portfolio is Bentel Security, with the latest 3.50 release of the ABSOLUTA intruder alarm control panel, offering full support via the ABS-IP LAN board for Sur-Gard receiver communications, BOSS programming software for customised email notifications, and ITV2 support for third party integration opportunities. The new ABSOLUTA M-TOUCH touchscreen keypad features a 7” full colour display, and the ABSOLUTA App enables remote control of ABSOLUTA control panels remotely a smartphone using IP or GPRS connection or SMS commands.

CEM Systems will display emerald(tm), the industry's most multifunctional intelligent touch screen terminal, in conjunction with the powerful AC2000 access control and integrated security management system. AC2000 offers customers a resilient security solution that has the flexibility to be customized and integrated to third party systems to suit project needs.

The iSTAR Ultra network door controller from Software House uniquely supports traditional hard-wired access control doors and wireless locksets all in the same controller, up to 32 readers. The newest version of the powerful C•CURE 9000 access control and security management software platform utilizes the victor Unified Client from American Dynamics, enabling users to easily view access control events, video, and intrusion alarms from one central user interface or remotely on the go using C▪CURE Go app.

Rounding out the access control offerings will be the new Kantech Intevo integrated security platform, designed to be up and running in minimal time. It includes a customized dashboard for easy system management and is preloaded with Kantech's EntraPass Corporate Edition security management software and exacqVision video management software.

Smart cities turn information into meaningful messages with VCA

Smart cities turn information into meaningful messages with VCA

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, a&s International | Updated: 9/23/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

People enter the main square, a computer screen at the city's operations center beeps an alert. Analytics engines combining inputs from video and social media predict that a riot is about to erupt. Looking for people potentially carrying weapons, the cameras at the scene automatically detects people carrying backpacks from within the crowd. This is not science fiction: it is part of the capabilities recently demonstrated in Singapore as part of its safe city pilot project. Once an emerging technology, video content analytics (VCA) is becoming more mainstream.

The use of video cameras and video content analytics (VCA) for city surveillance is no longer a novelty. As safe/smart city projects become more prevalent, the traditional use of video surveillance and VCA is changing. Previously restricted to security or safety alone, the future of VCA in a safe/smart city lies in connectivity with other systems, enabling a more dynamic and comprehensive, real-time situation picture, thus allowing operators to better handle events and take full advantage of video footage.

Zvika Ashani, CTO of Agent Vi, elaborated on the use of VCA in a city environment. He pointed out that fundamentally, video analytics are used for three main objectives: security, safety, and city management. Security analytics are based on a predefined organizational security policy and include capabilities such as detecting vehicles parked in no parking zones, intrusion detection, unattended baggage detection, and loitering. Safety analytics can identify crowd gatherings, blocked emergency exits, or a vehicle stuck on a railway. Management analytics uses the data from video cameras to collect statistics used for city planning, such as traffic flow, vehicle counts, speeds, etc.

New innovations coming from Singapore
In 2013, Singapore initiated the Safe City Test Bed project. Its R&D initiative is to develop a safety and security industry with innovative capabilities in the city state. Karianto Leman, Head of the Situational Awareness Analytics Program in Singapore's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) — a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) — shared some of the key contributions of VCA in smart city security. For example, I2R has developed a system that detects aggressive human actions. The system automatically extracts motion related features and feeds them to an artificial intelligence engine. The engine has been trained with video samples involving aggressive human actions to detect an occurrence of such an incident in real time. In applications, the system can be configured to detect gang fights, rioting, rampaging, etc. Another possible use is to protect security guards from being ambushed. In the safety and city management domains, I2R developed crowd analytics that could work robustly under very crowded conditions. The system can extract from real-time information such as crowd size, walking directions and speeds, and the number of visitors over time. It could also mine these metadata to unveil insights such as popular paths, point-of-interests in retail or exhibition spaces, crowd behaviors, and other statistics.

Key technologies to this are accurate human detections and tracking even when crowd density is very high. This overcomes the pitfall of most video analytics systems where performance drops drastically in crowded conditions. Applications of this technology include crowd sensing and activity profiling at public places such as train stations and shopping malls, allowing, for example, estimations for waiting time in queues for taxis, banking services, etc.

It's all about connectivity
One of the principles behind safe/ smart cities is creating an interconnected environment. In this setting, different systems are combined to ensure the city's safety and efficiency. The future of VCA in safe cities is in connectivity with other systems and combining information from different sources to create a more detailed situational awareness picture. “Security applications are still very much in focus. We are seeing several new VCA applications areas in city safety, efficient use of energy and other public resources, street parking management, and many others,” said Dr. Sadiye Guler, founder and President of intuVision. "For example smart street lights that are automatically brightened when there are only few people on a street to increase safety of the citizens also helps save electricity. The emphasis is on smart city solutions that combine VCA with other sensors and systems to develop city wide combined solutions.”

In addition, “Safe cities are more concerned with making traffic and people flow more efficiently together with improving safety,” said Bill Flind, CEO of Ipsotek. Therefore, he added, “VCA shouldn't be visualized as working alone but as part of the wider situational awareness system providing managers with suggested responses and action plans”.

One example is the image recognition and incident detection system, developed by Ipsotek, for Transport for London (TfL), the department in charge of keeping London's transportation systems flowing. When a road in central London was blocked by a vehicle that had lost control across the carriageway, the system identified within 30 seconds that this was an incident requiring rapid intervention. Predefined contingency plans alerted the relevant TfL staff allowing them to take immediate remedial action including re-sequencing of traffic lights to divert traffic away from the incident spot. The ability to control rapidly developing build-ups of traffic around accidents, keeping traffic flowing through the use of an “always-on” system significantly reduced journey times in London.

Tool for post and pre-event management
According to Jamie Wilson, Security Marketing Manager for EMEA at NICE Systems, the power of VCA is not just in post-event investigation and scenario reconstruction, but “also in the ability to know sooner that an incident could potentially take place, or is starting, improving both the speed and quality of response.”

A good example of this would be VCA reporting crowding and movement through a public space combined with information about an event or sentiment analysis from a social media tool like Twitter or Facebook. This multi-source situational awareness would increase efficiency and help facilitate effective and timely decision making and faster deployment of necessary resources — a police car, a fire engine, or even a garbage truck.

This allows for more efficient management of security forces. The limited resources of security personnel could be optimized by assigning them to the places that require them more urgently. By sharing video footage or images containing the incident to the security officer to validate the alarm, they can get an understanding of the situation.

“Scenario-based video analytic systems accurately recognize complex situations by evaluating and combining multiple conditions. It is this combined analysis that delivers the detailed understanding of the operating environment, and it is this understanding that dramatically reduces false alarms even in complex environments, leading to VCA becoming a trusted information provider to city surveillance projects,” added Flind.

Technological advancement In VCA for city surveillance
City environments are complex environments for VCA to tackle. The challenges include analyzing crowded areas, changing lighting, weather conditions, distance of objects from the camera, the need to seamlessly move from camera to camera when tracking an object, etc. These are but some of the obstacles facing VCA vendors. Despite the challenges, the growing technical capabilities of processing algorithms and advancements in the field of data storage will facilitate a more widespread use of video analytics.

As the number of semantics detected by video analytics grows, so will the efficiency and power of forensic searches. Security officers will be able to conduct faster and more detailed searches. The system developed by I2R, which can detect high-level human semantics could pick out from a human crowd a person carrying a backpack or sling bag. This can be performed on general video surveillance camera image resolution. In addition, the system can detect people wearing sunglasses, headdresses, clothing patterns, etc. It could also estimate the height of the person that the system is tracking. The continuous improvements in data storage will facilitate growing amounts of video footage being stored and analyzed. This means cities will be less restricted when they need to prioritize which information to keep and which to delete.

Too much information to digest?
“The mass of data has become a benefit as opposed to a challenge,” said Wilson. “By integrating all of the data-feeds, the operator is given a single clear picture of what is going on and can focus on using his skills to manage an incident rather than trying to interpret the data. In turn this speeds up resolution of incidents, saving time, money, and resources.” There is still quite a long way to go in intelligent video solutions for safe/smart cities; future goals include features such as automatic tracking and switching between cameras and of course reaching reliable face recognition from security cameras. With the speed at which technology is evolving, and with growing numbers of safe city projects being implemented, these capabilities will for sure be on the agenda of many vendors.

Cracking down on camera hacks

Cracking down on camera hacks

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 9/17/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Recent reports on baby cam hacks raised new concerns over malicious intrusion into networked security devices. The threat is even more imminent for home and small business users who are not as well protected as their enterprise counterparts. Luckily for them, most of today's network camera manufacturers work hard to keep flaws to a minimum and equip their products with various security features.

Two recent incidents where baby cams were attacked by hackers caught the attention of vendors and users alike. One happened in Ohio just in April, when a couple was awoken late at night by strange sounds coming from the baby cam in their toddler's room, only to find that the camera had been taken control over by a hacker. A similar incident happened last year, when a Houston couple heard a man swearing through the baby cam in their infant's room and found out the Wi-Fi-connected device was hacked. In both cases, it was found that the cameras, made by the same vendor, contained security flaws that could easily be exploited.

In fact, hacking can happen to not just cameras but also practically any device on the Internet. Last year, the NAS device of a particular vendor was found to have a vulnerability potentially allowing attackers to execute arbitrary commands on the system. The vendor has since released a patch to solve this problem.

The above incidents illustrate the danger facing users of network cameras and other security devices, which may be targets for malicious intruders. That danger is even more imminent for home and SMB users who, unlike their enterprise counterparts, are not protected by firewalls or advanced perimeter defense software. What they can do to protect themselves has therefore become an urgent issue. Luckily for them, today's network camera makers work hard to minimize flaws and equip their products with various security features, which users should take advantage of to reduce the risk of these devices being hacked. “In general it is not possible to guarantee that computers and network devices do not contain flaws that may be exploited for malicious attack. However, there are measures that can be taken in order to reduce the risk considerably and eliminate the obvious flaws,” said Fred Juhlin, Senior Consultant for Solution Management at Axis Communications, whose Companion series targets home and SMB users.

Access
Unauthorized access to a system can be prevented by a simple yet effective method called password protection. Most network cameras today allow users to create their own usernames and passwords, which can be secured through various means. Zinwell, which makes power line-based home security cameras, has patented a technology that keeps passwords from being sent out to the Internet. “In that case, hackers won't be able to get passwords from the Web,” said Ben Huang, Senior Marketing Supervisor at Zinwell.

Encryption of passwords is another protection method. “The user has the option to let the system remember passwords, and if so the client protects the password with encryption,” said Juhlin.

Once a user accesses the camera, it's a good idea for the device to have multilevel access control based on the user's privilege. For example, a regular user may only view streaming video, while an administrator may access the camera's storage or control the device. In fact, most network cameras today offer this functionality. “This means users can control exactly who can see what in their system, and that their video is safe from any form of third-party manipulation,” Juhlin said.

Encryption
Many IP cams also allow encryption. The videos can be encrypted before being sent over to the network to make sure that unauthorized persons cannot view or tamper with the data. Different encryption technologies are used. One of the most commonly used is SSL/TLS, which encrypts contents with special codes that can be deciphered only by pairs of public and private keys, the latter of which are hidden in the computers of the communicating parties. As private keys can be obtained in a security breach, Bosch, whose Advantage line also targets home and SMB users, makes sure that this will never happen.

“The SSL private key of the device is stored securely on the smart card chip that is directly involved in the SSL connection setup. The private key never leaves the chip and cannot be read out even if the user has complete access to the device,” said Konrad Simon, Product Manager for IP Video at Bosch Security Systems. “This way no access is possible to the private key, even in a hostile approach someone would have achieved to read sensitive data from internal memory.”

Advanced encryption standard (AES) is a protocol that encrypts contents with 128-bit, 192-bit, or 256-bit keys, making encoded messages harder to decipher by untrusted parties. Among camera makers that use AES is Amaryllo, another home security camera maker. It uses 256-bit encryption, at the same time ensuring that video latency is less than 0.5 seconds.

Keeping Flaws to a Minimum
Vendors who are security-minded keep exploitable flaws to a minimum. One way to achieve this is checking third-party software regularly to make sure problematic software isn‘t incorporated into their products. As an example, to implement SSL encryption, many camera makers use OpenSSL, which drew huge attention in the security world in April when it was found it contained a bug called Heartbleed. If left ignored, Heartbleed could lead to the leak of sensitive data, such as usernames and passwords. One camera maker that managed to avert this disaster was Bosch. “We do not use OpenSSL as SSL implementation on our IP cameras, encoders, and decoders. The SSL implementation in our devices is not OpenSSL, nor is it related, so Heartbleed did not affect us at all,” Simon said.

Crowdsourcing, where users in a community share their collective wisdom, is another way to identify flaws and get them fixed. “We monitor discussions in the network community to quickly identify possible vulnerabilities which may impact our products. If a vulnerability is discovered, we will provide patches, firmware, risk analysis, or recommendation to our customers,” Axis's Juhlin said.

User Awareness
While camera vendors may have included a range of security features in their devices, users should also do their part by taking advantage of these features. For example, it's often the case that users simply use the camera maker's default username and password settings, which are easily obtainable. It is also important to check for notices on firmware updates or security patches, which are normally sent via e-mail. Moreover, users may consider isolating their cameras from a local network, since hackers may attack other devices in the network through the camera.

A Two-Way Street
Keeping hackers at bay requires a commitment by both vendors and users. The vendor should build their products with the concept of “security” in mind, while users should familiarize themselves with security features included in cameras and use them whenever possible. It's only through this two-way street can security camera users achieve their primary objective — keeping safe — without being harmed in the process.

4 hotel security highlights provided by 5 leading suppliers

4 hotel security highlights provided by 5 leading suppliers

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 9/12/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hotel security deployment has become even prominent than ever as a strong growth has seen in the international tourism industry over the past decades. It is projected that in 2030, international tourist arrivals worldwide will reach the gate of 1,800 millions, compared to around 500 millions arrivals back in 1995, according to Statista.

The requirements from hospitality vertical are no longer merely focusing on traditional surveillance and access control deployments, despite it is widely recognized that blending in the surrounding decoration is the baseline for hotel security installation. In today's market, a unified solution that effectively assists hotel operation and staff management is much more popular and desirable.

In this article, asmag.com would like to show our readers some of the latest and the must-know considerations provided by several professional global suppliers in the terms of deploying hotel solution in the up-to-date market:

1. Guests' comfort and safety always come first
In the hospitality security market, guests' requirements have to be the highest consideration. Despite the fact that the most important thing for video surveillance is capturing clear monitoring pictures possibly needed, in a hotel, the foremost function of surveillance systems should be providing guests peace-in-mind feeling.


“For guests, the hotel rooms as well as the public areas of the hotel are used for their purposes and comfort. But for the hotel staff, it is seen as their workplace, which also brings a different aspect of video surveillance into mind,” according to AXIS Communications. “A video surveillance system will contribute to the guest safeguarding since it can help hotel security management to detect incidents and intrusion and act upon it as well as preventing it from happening.”

The luxury boutique hotel, La Suite West, located in London has deployed a discret surveillance system consisting of Axis network cameras that blend in with hotel decor.

2. IP gets an upper hand for its flexibility, remote monitoring, high-quality image, and cost-efficiency
Undeniably, compared to analog system, network systems is more flexible and, generally, cost-efficient when system expansion is in need. “We are definitely seeing a trend of more hotels adopting IP cameras as opposed to analog, due to the ease of integrating IP cameras with current security or control systems, and the cost saving achieved by using less cabling,” according to SONY Electronics Asia Pacific.


Not to mention the high image quality delivered by IP systems which makes it easier to spot details such as suspects' facial features. More importantly, network recording can be forwarded to related authorities conveniently as emergent incident taking place. Network systems also imply that remote monitoring via smart devices has become a real possibility.


Dahua Technology has also provided an alternative option for end user who desires for HD image resolution without immigrating from analog to IP systems. “HDCVI provides full HD and 720p image resolution based on the exsisting cabling, while it's cheaper than IP solution at the same time, so it is very natural for HDCVI to gain the favor from owners who run places with analog surveillance systems,” as Sancha Xia, Overseas Sales at Dahua Technology indicated. Earlier this year, Dahua has provided in-house HDCVI solution to 5-star hotel in Shanghai better securing the hotel and guests.

3. Extreme light and low-light condition make image unrecognizable – WDR & 3D DNR
For the end users in hotel vertical, it is inevitable to deal with surveillance under extreme light or low light condition. The entrance is one of the most important locations to watch over carefully 24/7. However, the surveillance could be challenging at the entrance and areas with varying light condition making people and incident too hard to recognize.


“Wide dynamic range (WDR) technology is a network camera feature that handles a wide range of lighting conditions in a scene…WDR enables objects to be visible in both bright and dark areas by applying various techniques,” as AXIS Communications suggests.


On the other hand, noise reduction is a necessary technique when it comes to hotel surveillance systems adoption. Under low-light or no-light condition, increased noise in the monitoring picture may lead to misjudgment, taking image noise as a true motion. “IP cameras provided by LILIN are equipped with 3D digital noise reduction (3D DNR), and, at the same time, incorporate spatial noise reduction. The entire image processed with 3D DNR technology is clear and noise-free,” according to Merit LILIN. One of the most established chained hotel in Beijing deployed LILIN's video security systems with advanced technologies such as WDR and 3D DNR to reach total situational awareness.

4. Security systems as added value for hospitality – branding and operation management
Due to the increasing terrorism incidents in the past decade, security has become a main concern for the tourists and business trip travelers as many are aware of possible security threats during trips. Therefore, a high-level and stringent security system can often drive hotel revenues and boost occupancy, as Pavel Petrov, Solution Consultant of Business Developement of EMEA at Bosch Security Systems convinced. “Therefore, more and more hotels worldwide do opt for voluntary certification procedures, marketing themselves as safe hotels. On the other hand, a major security breach can have devastating effects on hotel's brand, which is usually its most important asset.”


Moreover, security systems deployed in hotel can be further used as part of the hotel management. For example, not only biometrics access systems can be installed in guest rooms and staff offices, it can also be used for time attendance management. Surveillance monitoring, other than its security purpose, can be used as food and beverage management and staff training material in order to improve hotel services.

 

 

Full Content of Hotel Feature 2014 
                     - 8 selected case studies and 3 solutions

 

 

Industry report: Marriage of IP Video and VMS

Industry report: Marriage of IP Video and VMS

Editor / Provider: EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 9/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

By now, the news of Canon Europe acquiring Milestone Systems has made its way into every nook and cranny of the security industry. While the acquisition itself may not have come as such a surprise, the fact that Canon Europe, a small fish in the video surveillance game, was the acquirer proved to be much more of a shocker. Now, the question of what this means for other video surveillance and video management software (VMS) companies is weighing heavily on the industry's mind.

In a recent report by IHS Research, Milestone Systems was named the number one VMS company globally in terms of market share in 2013, with a year-over-year revenue growth of 32 percent. Despite being at the top, Milestone still has a market share of less than 10 percent, making the fragmentation of the VMS market quite apparent.

When the announcement came in June that the global leader in VMS was acquired by Canon Europe, many were stunned. The fact that Milestone was acquired wasn't the surprise; it was the acquirer, a relative nobody in the IP video surveillance industry that was the shocker. However, beyond the shock and surprise, the acquisition of a software company by a hardware company, regardless of brand, makes complete sense in an increasingly competitive industry.

Hardware and software: The perfect match
The convergence of IP video with the larger information technology (IT) world is no surprise. “IP video will converge with IT,” asserted Stephan Rasp, CEO of SeeTec.

“Traditional security systems are just the first step. Buzzwords like ‘Internet 4.0' and ‘Internet of Things' attempt to capture the dynamics of processing a diverse set of sensors and actors on the same IT infrastructure as management systems.” To that effect, the fact that software on its own is a non-starter should make the acquisition of a software company by a hardware company unsurprising. In the case of Canon Europe and Milestone, it was simply the names that made this otherwise natural marriage surprising.

“What Canon's acquisition of Milestone tells is basically emphasizing the importance of the synergy brought by the integration of software and hardware,” said Steve Ma, EVP of VIVOTEK. “The integration of hardware and software platforms not only can generate a powerful synergy for customers, but also can be critical to keep products and services at the forefront of innovation, with the latest cutting-edge applications to meet a variety of customers' needs. Therefore, since the company's establishment, VIVOTEK has collaborated closely with international and regional VMS programmers to seamlessly integrate camera functionalities onto different platforms.”

According to James Wang, Product Director at Dahua Technology, “the integration of hardware and software will become more common due to the development of new technology, such as cloud, big data, going mobile, etc., which speeds up the consolidation in IP video surveillance.” In particular for VMS vendors, Wang pointed out, “As the number of VMS vendors are on the rise, it is natural for the market to have a reshuffle and make the strong ones stay and become even stronger.”

Implications for small VMS vendors
So, what does this mean for smaller VMS vendors? “In general, the challenge for smaller brands is not really a consequence of the Milestone deal but the sign of a market, which turns from a growthdominated market to a more mature, competitive market,” said Rasp. “For smaller players it will be crucial to find ‘blue oceans,' which are less competitive, and not to attack the major players in their core business.” Blue oceans (untapped market space) may make survival in an increasingly competitive market possible for smaller VMS vendors that may better be able to fill niche segments and more specialized demands or markets beyond the traditional security sector, explained Rasp.

On the other hand, Keen Yao, International Marketing Director for Hikvision Digital Technology, highlighted one of the major challenges currently facing smaller, more traditional VMS companies. “The traditional VMS, their position is being replaced by hardware manufacturers,” pointed out Yao. This is all due to a changing VMS market, particularly for small-sized projects, where a VMS can be replaced with an IP camera/NVR solution. “IP cameras with an embedded standalone NVR can be provided to small projects, like 10 to 30 cameras. It's very easy for them to get this kind of solution.” Not only is it easier for smaller projects to get these solutions, it is also more cost effective.

 

New strategies for companies
With such changes occurring in the security industry, companies are thinking of ways to adjust their strategies in order to grow with the changing industry. “With the burgeoning of Chinese manufacturers and the M&As in the security industry, the competition is undoubtedly getting fiercer,” pointed out VIVOTEK's Ma. In order to sustain market competitiveness, Ma outlined three key strategies of VIVOTEK to better create added value and return on investment for customers — customizable, flexible, and reliable. Furthermore, by adding intelligent functionality to its products, companies like VIVOTEK are doing what they can to make their products standout.

Companies such as Dahua and Hikvision have taken a customized approach to VMS in order to better cater to end-user needs. In order to best accommodate certain verticals, Hivision has dedicated separate teams to seven verticals in their home market of China, which includes safe city, transport, finance, etc. Similarly, Wang from Dahua noted of his company's plan, “We will be more ‘vertical' in what we sell according to market segmentation. For example, the retail market is no way the same as others, so we will refine the solution oriented to the demands of the retailers.”

Single-product Survival
In regard to companies that specialize in one specific type of product, market consolidation and the push to provide full solutions may be driving these companies to change their strategy, but that does not mean there is no place for them in the market. “Pure software or pure hardware suppliers must have their added value,” said Yao, in regard to the future of singleproduct vendors. “The chance to survive is no problem, but if you want to develop very fast you need much more contribution and investments,” he continued.

According to Ryunosuke Kawashima, Strategic Marketing Manager for Video Security at Sony Europe, “Customer expectations are continuing to rise as more functionality becomes prevalent, and it is difficult to maintain a competitive edge by singularly selling IP cameras.” Despite this, Kawashima revealed, “a number of customer challenges remain in terms of image quality, identification, and post-incident analysis; we [Sony] believe that 4K ultra high definition will be the answer to these. As a result of this, Sony has shifted the core of its business strategy to focus on our 4K security solutions by offering a complete solution in both 4K cameras and recording software.”

Another way to deal with this challenge is with unique features, as suggested by Wang. “As for companies that focus on one specific type [of product], I think it is also a good approach as long as they are really into it and keep innovation to provide products beyond ordinary, make themselves differentiate from others on the market, which means, hard to replace,” he said. Along the same idea, Rasp opined, “Adding value through interoperability will be the way forward as the number of applications and combinations increases.” Rasp continued, “VMS are more and more becoming a part of ecosystems, containing amongst other components access control, PSIM, and intrusion detection.”

Future of consolidation
What it comes down to is market consolidation, which is unescapable; however, Niall Jenkins, Research Manager for Video Surveillance and Security Services at IHS Research, says it won't be because of the Canon-Milestone acquisition. “Canon's acquisition of Milestone is unlikely to change the market dynamics for consolidation in the short term,” said Jenkins. “A more likely driver of consolidation is the new pricing pressure exerted from Chinese vendors recently. From network cameras to HDCCTV cameras, prices have declined sharply in the last year.” This, according to Jenkins, “could result in some vendors looking to leave the market or be acquired.”

Furthermore, as the market continues to consolidate, the openness of the market is another thing that the industry may fear is in jeopardy. Rasp believes that the acquisition will influence some IP camera manufacturers to provide their own VMS. However, “A market going from open to closed would be a new phenomenon,” said Rasp. Based on this, questions about who would want such a phenomenon to occur are raised. Furthermore, would this move then require every camera vendor to supply a VMS for each of the different sizes and complexities of each installation, posited Rasp. “The ultimate decision maker is the customer. Whoever provides better value will prevail.”

EL.MO's revolutional intrusion detection systems—Villeggio and NETPLUS

EL.MO's revolutional intrusion detection systems—Villeggio and NETPLUS

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by EL.MO. | Updated: 9/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

EL.MO. SpA, the Italy-based surveillance manufacturer has brought together the best of technology applied in the safety field in two products— Villeggio and NETPLUS system.

Villeggio System
The concept of wireless intrusion detection control unit has been redesigned and revolutionized, creating a small and compact product with features and unique capabilities in modular design.

In detail, the Villeggio system uses a hardware platform with a wide range of performance to which can add installable components based on the Plug & Play principle to increase the management levels according to the customer's needs. In the fuller version, VIDOMO, Villeggio integrates several devices connected directly to the RS485 serial bus such as the RIVER concentrators, the I8 inserters, the ANIMA, TATTILO and TATTILOPLUS keypads or the TRES01485 and TRIAL detectors. The Villeggio system is composed of 3 control units: VICOMPACT, VIBASIC and VIDOMO.

Applications and strength of Villeggio
Villeggio is a product that lends itself especially for domestic and commercial applications and in this direction the control unit can be integrated into other systems of building automation via KONNEX ETREIB optional interface.

The greatest potential of the Villeggio system occur mainly in the ability to manage, to control and to query remotely the control units through different communication channels (via conventional telephone line, via GSM, via TCP/IP) and through devices such as smartphone, tablet and PC. This allows, for example, to switch-on the heater, to check the activation status of the system components or to carry out programming or temporary activation and deactivation operation of certain controlled areas. The full communication potential of Villeggio is obtained through integration with the management, supervision and centralization platform of e-Connect systems.

NETPLUS
EL.MO. presents NETPLUS, the new hardwired/wireless (with RIVERRF and HALENTE concentrators) intrusion detection control units with 8 triple, double balanced/NC/fast on board inputs, expandable to 16 with split function. It is expandable up to 104 inputs with RIVER series concentrators.

NETPLUS system uses the hardware platform equipped with expansion modules based on Plug &Play principle. It is extremely modular and grows dimensionally and functionally according to the environment in which it operates. It has a RS485 serial line for the connection of the TRES01485 and TRIAL detectors, RIVER concentrators, and up to 16 control devices such as TATTILO, TATTILOPLUS and ANIMA touch screen keypad, NIRVA and MIDAS keypads, the RS485 I8 serial bus inserters, the ETRZENITH and IZENITH key point flush-mountable box and the PASSLIGHT additional system status indicator.

Applications and strength of NETPLUS
The completeness of the EL.MO. range is complementary and optimally supports the ability to NETPLUS to integrate itself with a large number of devices. NETPLUS offers superioir possibilities of management through remote devices, such us traditional telephone, mobile telephone, smartphone, tablet or PC. The applicative field of the remote management includes vocal interaction or via SMS, and involves the management of intrusion detection system and the management of other areas.

NETPLUS systems is integrated with management, centralization and supervision and supervision infrastructure of e-Connect systems. Thanks to this platform, end-user, installers, maintainers and service companies can be controlled, manage and easily communicate with their intrusion detection system through smartphone, tablet and PC from anywhere in the world via internet.

Besides, the NETPLUS interfaceability is not limited only to the modern communication media but also for building automation in civil and industrial environments based on KONNEX BUS thanks to the suitable optional module.

OPTEX perimeter solutions helps stop rural crimes in UK

OPTEX perimeter solutions helps stop rural crimes in UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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