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Riding on security solutions to safety

Riding on security solutions to safety

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 2/20/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

While security products can help with theme park management, operators still rely on them for the original purpose that they were designed for: keeping premises safe and secure. Products and solutions, such as video surveillance, access control, and RFID can help operators achieve their security objectives.

For amusement parks, they deal with several types of security concerns. The first is the protection of premises from various harms. “As like any pubic commercial business, threats that have the potential to prevent or hinder the achievement of objectives that the business needs to perform, for example processes to keep the business financially safe and compliant from potential threat sources, can range from vandalism, terrorism, criminal activity, and asset loss and safety,” said Pedro De Jesus, Channel Manager for Security at Gallagher.

Another concern is ensuring the safety of visitors, some of whom may enter or exit rides from the wrong side or wander off to restricted areas. Locating missing children or members of a group is another primary focus. To address those concerns, security products and solutions are deployed, offering vital and much needed assistance to operators as they strive to build an overall safe environment.

Preventing child abduction and theft
Video surveillance plays a vital role in keeping amusement parks safe, especially when it comes to detecting and deterring crime. “A premier form of electronic surveillance, video provides real-time monitoring of situations, both at the location and remotely,” said Craig Dahlman, Director of IP Camera Products at Pelco by Schneider Electric. “Video security is a proven solution that can offer a complete answer for protecting customers, co-workers, and employees while additionally offering a watchful eye over property.”

Cameras are installed at various points in the park as well as at entrances to prevent various crimes, such as child abduction, although the mere presence of cameras should serve as a deterrent. “Visible installation of cameras and the knowledge that there is a video surveillance system is mostly sufficient to repel potential kidnappers,” said Roland Feil, Director Sales at Dallmeier Electronics, adding that high-definition cameras offering crystal clear images can also help investigate theft and shoplifting, which can be quite rampant at theme parks. Another important value of video surveillance is it can help operators request the necessary compensation should something happens. “It provides indisputable documentation of an event. While serving as a visual deterrent to crime, it gives park managers and security and safety professionals the tools they need to validate liability claims,” Dahlman said.

Locating lost visitors
Tracking lost children or members of a group over a large space like theme parks can be a daunting challenge. RFID, which entails communications between a tag and a reader, can be utilized for this purpose. “It keeps children safe by determining where the child last used the RFID credential. The child's credential can also be programmed not to work without being tagged in tandem with the parent's credential,” said Scott Lindley, President of Farpointe Data.

RFID not only can track lost visitors but also park employees as well. “They can be used to track lone workers, perhaps maintenance workers working in remote parts of the park outside of opening hours, to ensure that staff are accounted for and located, so emergencies can be spotted more quickly,” said John Davies, MD at TDSi.

Better yet, RFID can be integrated with other technologies, such as video analytics, to offer visual verification of the missing person. “Passive RFID tags can allow wearers to be tracked at specific portals throughout the park. While passing through those areas, images can be logged to validate the wearer's location,” said Larry Bowe, President of PureTech Systems. “On a more advanced level, the use of active RFID tags or small GPS transmitter could allow map-based tracking throughout the park and provide the ability to instantly swing a PTZ or zoom a high-resolution fixed camera directly to the child or person in question.”

When looking for lost visitors, every second counts. Video surveillance technologies nowadays have video forensic capabilities that enable quick retrieval of critical video data. “With metadata, which adds sense and structure to video surveillance, it is possible to immediately retrieve the correct evidence of hours of recorded materials in a couple of seconds,” said Pieter van den Looveren, Manager of Marketing Communication for Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems. “Today's video forensic tools can include details on age, clothing color, gender, and even geographic vicinity, allowing a user to literally enter a video search looking for a ‘small male child, wearing a red shirt last seen in the area of a particular ride during a specified time frame,'” Bowe said. “Video clips meeting these requirements can be quickly provided to security for a timely analysis.”

Detecting suspicious objects
While the technology is nothing new, detecting unattended or suspicious items by way of video analytics continues to be a popular application for theme parks, which might be targets for terrorist attacks. “With the help of modern video content analysis, it is possible to issue an alarm if any objects remain within a certain area for a predefined period of time,” Feil said. “The systems can also prevent the blocking of escape routes, fire rescue paths, or approach roads for ambulances by parked objects, which could have very serious consequences in case of an emergency.”

Intrusion detection Perimeter protection is a major concern, especially during the night when theme parks are closed. Delinquents, thieves, or burglars trying to climb over the fence and get into the park need to be kept out. Video analytics and cameras are deployed for this purpose, keeping parks safe and sound after business hours.

“Intelligent video can determine, for example, if an object approaches an area, from which direction it is coming, or how long it stays in a certain area,” Feil said. “This means that intruders can be detected early on and an alarm can be triggered. Comprehensive validity checks reduce false alarms, which may be triggered by leaves swishing in the wind or animals, to a minimum without missing ‘real' alarm messages.”

Video recording during night time, when everything is dark, presents a daunting challenge. Luckily, advances in lowlight and thermal technologies have solved this problem. “Today's thermal imagers have become very affordable, and as video analytic technology continues to improve, protection ranges increase greatly,” Bowe said. “The ability for video analytics to utilize a single camera for distances from hundreds of meters to kilometers makes implementing measures for night time surveillance more effective and more affordable.”

Access Control in critical areas
Like any other businesses, theme parks can step up access control through multifactor authentication, or a combination of tokens, passwords, or, for entry into more critical areas, biometrics. “Biometrics is typically used throughout high security or restricted places, for example head-end sever rooms, cash holding rooms, and security operations,” De Jesus said. “Access to these areas can be controlled to ensure only those staff that are appropriately qualified or trained can gain access.”

Access control management software can offer rapid authorization or removal of access when required. “Examples include contractors needing access to service the rides or attractions, or temporary staff no longer needed to work in restricted areas,” said Davies.

Ensuring safety of equipment
Finally, security products can help ensure that rides and other types of equipment are in good shape. “Video analytics is desirable for monitoring abnormalities, for example smoke, breakage of a gear, movement of a critical component, or overheating through the use of thermal cameras. They can even be used to ensure certain safety procedures are being followed,” Bowe said.

Safe and fun
People come to amusement parks to relax and have a fun day with their family and friends. They can't have fun if constantly being bugged by worries that something might happen. With various security products and solutions in place, operators can strive to make their parks as safe as possible and offer the ultimate visitor experience.

Surveying trends in the security integration market

Surveying trends in the security integration market

Editor / Provider: Scott Lindley, President, Farpointe Data, a&s International | Updated: 2/19/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

In today's world, sophisticated security end users demand for higher levels of expertise and interoperability, forcing systems integrators to emphasize on seamless integration to provide users with optimal performance and automation.

It is evident that the majority of security installations are becoming more and more complex. No longer content to monitor and manage separate access control, fire alarm, video surveillance, intrusion, and HVAC control systems, corporate security and technology managers want to consolidate and integrate various disconnected security and facility management systems. At a dramatically increasing pace, the IT department is leading the initiative, particularly given the trend toward convergence of physical and logical security systems. End user customers are demanding that their integrator or dealer understand their business and their infrastructure. Security dealers and integrators must quickly decide whether or not they want to be part of this new security paradigm or slowly wither away, providing traditional stand-alone solutions. With every new advance in the installation marketplace, dealers and integrators must again and again decide whether to keep pace. Successful implementations require greater technical knowledge of systems than ever before along with products that work together more easily, while simultaneously providing better ease of use to end users.

Dealers and integrators who want to be positioned for continued success in this evolving marketplace need to choose not only the right products for any given installation, but align with manufacturing partners who will provide them with the best prospects for long-term success, manufacturers that heavily invest in both new scaleable technologies for their products and support programs for their channels.

A New Quid Pro Quo
It used to be that the dealer or integrator that sold the most widgets earned “most favored” status from its manufacturers. Having that status resulted in recognition, special perks, and discounted pricing for those who delivered. However, in a direct reflection of the new realities of today's security market, this simply isn't the case anymore. It is not that manufacturers no longer appreciate top sellers or want to avoid rewarding them. It is because forward-thinking manufacturers know that their dealers and integrators have to stay on top of the latest technology trends in order to stay competitive. These manufacturers want their dealers and integrators to succeed in a manner that will keep both the integrator and the manufacturer successful in the years to come.

Being Seamless is Essential
Reliance on proprietary technologies and platforms inhibits innovation, integration, and the assimilation of emerging technologies. Issues arising from proprietary technologies plague too many systems which is self-defeating for the security industry, and creates major problems for security dealers and integrators, hindering end users from having flexible, scalable security platforms that cost-effectively protect their people and assets.

We increasingly hear that a major trend that will permeate physical access control now and for the foreseeable future is the growing connection between physical security and IT security. Because of this, there is growing demand by organizations for migration of computer-based systems to a common software platform or to standards-based platforms that can be easily and seamlessly integrated. Leveraging technology breakthroughs and a need for increased security, companies will also more rapidly adapt smart cards, two-factor readers, biometrics, long-range wireless, and intelligent video into their overall systems.

Physical access control systems on an enterprise level are now described as much in IT terms as they are in access control terms. New command and control integration platforms are giving integrators a wider range of solutions to help end-users meet this challenge head-on while, at the same time, requiring the integrator to have higher levels of IT expertise.

Integration Equals Success
Today, the various components frequently used in the typical security system are not only disconnected, but from different manufacturers, complicating or making integration impossible. All too often, they employ incompatible hardware or proprietary, unsynchronized databases or completely inconsistent user interfaces that compete for space and attention. Such systems may be inefficient and need many people to manage them, and security personnel who have been forced to use them have been frustrated for some time but these systems will not pass muster with IT personnel.

However, there is a good reason for this — such systems increase employee and training costs, foster unnecessary equipment expense, have gaps causing security and safety breeches, and can produce downtime in mission-critical operations. Since IT budgets and management are responsible for many of these operations, they are beginning to dictate what will be used, particularly for physical access control systems.

Seamless integration means the physical access control department, as well as other groups in the enterprise, have the freedom to select different technology vendors, relying on the command and control platform to handle the integration. This extends to system hardware. Today, with one card reader, users can read the most popular 125 KHz proximity cards, including those from Farpointe, HID, and AWID. 13.56 MHz smart card readers can process contactless credentials based upon NXP Semiconductor's Mifare technology as well as based upon France's Inside Technologies. Such readers provide continuity throughout the organization, without having to eliminate legacy cards while additionally building a pathway to higher security applications in the future. Dealers and installers who want to be able to offer this type of powerful security platform to their customers must be willing to stay one step ahead of the technology.

Partnering for Success
Dealers and integrators must recognize and respond to these emerging trends if they want to remain competitive. That means partnering with companies that are also aware of where the market is going and are staying one step ahead of customer needs. Integrators need more than just equipment in today's market. At a minimum, they require training, technical support, sales and marketing expertise and, of course, innovative, forward-thinking products. Today's partnerships are based on helping both partners build their businesses and profits, not just selling more products.

Stanley Security partners with Digital Barriers for alarm monitoring market

Stanley Security partners with Digital Barriers for alarm monitoring market

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 2/16/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Security services provider, Stanley Security, and surveillance technology provider, Digital Barriers, have joined forces to offer an innovative automated intrusion detection application to the European remote alarm monitoring market.

SafeZone-edge, developed by Digital Barriers specifically for Axis network cameras and encoders, is an intelligent video analytics application for reliable intrusion detection. It accurately analyses scenes whilst automatically mitigating any environmental effects that can often cause nuisance alarms. This exceptional reliability is recognised with a UK Government i-LIDS certification and the award of “Intruder Alarm or Exterior Deterrent Product of the Year” at IFSEC's Security and Fire Excellence Awards 2014. The partnership with Stanley Security will see SafeZone-edge rolled out across European customer sites, providing reliable alarm information to 14 state of the art operations centres.

Dan Meyrick, Channel Sales Manager at Digital Barriers noted: “With its ability to intelligently distinguish actual intrusions from the impact of external factors, such as weather and variable illumination, SafeZone-edge is a significant step beyond basic video motion detection. But even more significantly, the application is simple and affordable enough to encourage widespread adoption.”

SafeZone-edge takes advantage of the Axis open Camera Application Platform, launched in 2009 to facilitate cutting-edge third party integrations of this nature, with installation directly onto Axis network cameras and encoders. As such, the application delivers a true alternative to both conventional server-based intelligent video analysis (IVA) and simpler edge-based video motion detection (VMD), combining performance and usability for real world perimeter security applications.

Dan continued: “With the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), Axis delivers the simplicity of the ‘app store' concept to the IP camera sector. By targeting the SafeZone-edge application to run on Axis cameras, organisations are presented with a simple and affordable way of extending the functionality of their cameras. The strength in depth of the Axis product range and their strong links with leading security providers, such as Stanley Security, also partnered us with the market-leader.”

Stanley Security is now using this pioneering new analytics software in conjunction with its I-View Now video platform on Axis devices in all its major installations and projects. Footage from each device can be monitored automatically for efficient perimeter protection and loitering or intrusion detection, with alarms sent directly to one of the company's state-of-the-art operations centres.

Martyn Ryder, Director for Product Management Europe at Stanley Security, said: “Combining cameras from leading manufacturer Axis Communications, with the SafeZone-edge analytics and our I-View Now video platform creates a powerful tool to help our customers protect their people and property while optimising their spend on security personnel. This combined solution is giving customers the extra pair of eyes and peace of mind that we can detect incidents early and try to stop them before they escalate or catch the bad guys in action.”

Metadata is provided to the operators to allow them to quickly and efficiently detect the source of the alarm and take swift, appropriate action. Alarms can also be sent directly to customers' mobile devices or PCs, allowing them to be instantly notified or to cancel false alarms before costly action is taken. In a real-life operational test conducted over one week, replacement of a VMD solution by the SafeZone-edge application led to a reduction in nuisance alarms from 10,000 to just 1.

Commenting on the partnership, Atul Rajput, Regional Director, Northern Europe at Axis Communications said: “Axis is proud to support its partners in collaborative projects to design and develop security innovations that advance the field of video analytics and make a real difference to customers. Stanley Security's adoption of Digital Barriers' technology means that as a result of more accurate detection, its clients will be able to optimise their security spend and limit unnecessary call outs.”

Tamron releases new model LWIR 3X Zoom Lens

Tamron releases new model LWIR 3X Zoom Lens

Editor / Provider: Tamron | Updated: 2/12/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Tamron , a specialized manufacturers of optics and one of the leading companies in the security/surveillance equipment industry, announces release of LWIR (Long-Wavelength Infrared) 3X Zoom Lens with a standard screw-in mount and featuring F/1.0 fast aperture throughout the entire focal length range.

Since 2010, Tamron has been pursuing development of LWIR (long-wavelength infrared) camera lenses for security/surveillance applications. These lenses incorporate technologies accumulated in the photo and CCTV/IP camera lens designs, and have been developed into an optimized security lens for the LWIR camera system. The model SD006 zoom lens, which covers the range from 35 mm to the maximum 105 mm, demonstrates unparalleled performance with a fast aperture of F/1.0. The lens provides uniform and flat-field image quality from the center to the edge at all focus distances and focal length positions, which is a major advantage for surveillance installations.

Now, Tamron announces the release of a derivative to SD006, the Model LQZ3X3510V (35 – 100 mm F/1.0) with a standard screw-in mount, and image quality optimized for VGA/QVGA resolution. The new product is recommended for an extensive array of security systems, and will highlight the advantages of the LWIR lens for a variety of new applications.

Main features:
1. Substantial improvement in the LWIR light transmittance, and reduced gain noise under adverse surveillance conditions
The new LWIR lens with a constant F/1.0 aperture consists of 4-group/4-lens elements. With a proprietary optical design, Tamron has successfully realized 3X zoom while reducing the number of elements. Germanium has been deployed to raise the infrared light transmittance. This enables crisp and clear image reproduction even under a harsh surveillance condition in which a thermal profile of the scene has minimal contrast, and effectively prevents image degradation due to the gain noise.

2. Introduction of a general-use lens mount and a communication-protocol conversion board.
The new lens comes with a M34 P0.5 screw-in mount, which is widely adopted in LWIR cameras. For the lens control, the asynchronous serial communication protocol is supported by a communication-protocol conversion board. The new lens can be used for versatile applications by virtue of these two features.

3. Notable improvement in the accuracy of the camera's motion detection feature by compensating for undesirable vibrations, by VC mechanism.
Tamron's proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism, widely renowned in photographic interchangeable lenses, has been optimized for specific vibration frequency range and designed for high durability. In surveillance applications the cameras are often installed on a pole-like structure. The VC mechanism has been designed and optimized based on the in-depth analysis of the principal vibration frequencies for a fixed -pole installation. To meet the high durability requirements of 24-hour surveillance, a new construction was employed with a superior 3-ball, 3-coil drive components. These technologies minimize false alarms caused by the camera vibration which is perceived as objects in motion, thus substantially improve the accuracy for intrusion monitoring.

4. Lens integration made simpler with automatic FB (Flange Back Focal Distance) adjustment
This is a new innovative feature that incorporates software to adjust the FB position, such that it minimizes any zoom focus drift after lens integration. The FB adjustment can be easily performed in 3 simple steps using the FB adjustment GUI software.

5. Active athermal mechanism that adjusts the back focal distance in response to changes in ambient temperature
High-transmittance Germanium is used for the new high-sensitivity LWIR lens. Germanium is sensitive to changes in ambient temperature and this may cause a drift in the focus distance. For this reason, athermal mechanism is adopted in many of the LWIR lenses to compensate for such drift. Tamron's new LWIR zoom lens is equipped with a new active athermal mechanism that compensates for the focus drift at all focusing distances by built-in thermo couplers and the control software. This new innovative feature ensures high-quality image capture under harsh surveillance environments undergoing large fluctuations in temperature.

6. Quick focus operation achieved by electric drive zoom and focus
LWIR lenses are frequently used for their detection capabilities, a key feature in many intrusion protection systems. Such a system requires the zoom and focus adjustments to be smooth and fast. The Internal Focus system with stepping motor drive mechanism provides the best solution. Combining these technologies ensures smooth, high-speed, and high-accuracy zoom and focus performance.

New prospects for building management and security system integration

New prospects for building management and security system integration

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Tech Corner

Combining security and building management gives an additional layer of information and operational capabilities. A growing number of network-based solutions will increase the benefits of building management systems and security integration. Even though the synergies between the two seem obvious, nonetheless, ownership issues are an obstacle to this integration.

A silver robot is seen gliding along the corridors of Akershus University Hospital (AHUS) in Oslo, Norway. AHUS is one of Norway's “digital hospitals” and among other cutting edge technologies it also uses automated guided vehicles, small robots that travel the hospital using a virtual “track” that deliver supplies (e.g., linens, food, and medicine) from storage rooms to the wards and clear waste. The robots transport special containers weighing up to several hundred kilograms, free up personnel, and increase the hospital's efficiency. However, unlike human employees, these robots can't swipe an access card or press an elevator button. Technology came up with a solution: “The robots are guided by the hospital's building management system (BMS) which is linked to our access control system. The access control system is in charge of opening the doors when a robot approaches, and operating the elevators to take the robots to the right floor,” described David Ella, CTO of AMAG Technology.

This is an example of how integrating security systems with BMS can add an additional layer of information and management capabilities to answer both security and operational needs. Currently these integrations are popular in large campuses like universities, hospitals, and large corporate headquarters.

The connection between BMS and the security system is two-way. “Our products can see the alerts in the BMS system and trigger an alarm,” explained Ella. For example, when a BMS sensor goes into alert (e.g., a heat sensor overheating), this can be converted to an alarm within the security system, prompting security personnel to check if there is a fire. If a fire is detected, the access control system can open doors to make evacuation faster, or provide a report describing which employees are inside the building and where. In the other direction, a swipe of an access card will instruct the BMS to switch on the lights and heating on the employee's specific floor or switch off the lights when the last employee has left. This way, it is possible to achieve cost efficiency, cutting expenses on lighting, heating, and other expenses as well as delivering an eco-friendly value.

Occupancy sensors, used by BMS to detect occupancy and automatically switch on the lights, can alert security systems that an intruder is in the building. For instance, if the security system detects an intrusion, it can switch on the lights in the area so that detecting the intruder is easier and the recorded video footage is clearer.

Market asks for Integration
The value of integrating an access control system with building management is critical in today's data-driven business environment. “More than ever, today's customers require that the systems they invest in be able to integrate with other network-enabled platforms, such as BMS,” explained Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. The ability to change the environmental or power profile of a building based on information gathered in the access control system is highly valuable, and helps users reduce ongoing costs while controlling access points securely.

The main products integrated with BMS include access control systems (including readers, cards, controllers, and software used to create, manage, and use secure identities) and visitor management systems. “Other integrated systems are mobile access control solutions, including mobile IDs and mobile access apps that are used with mobile-enabled readers, door opening solutions, and lock systems,” said Simon Siew, MD of APAC at HID Global.

Access control and video surveillance are the two systems integrated the most. “By far, the integration between access control and video surveillance systems is the integration that customers request most,” Kane said. Video is a valuable tool when combined with access control data, as it provides visual verification of alarms and a variety of access control events. “The correlation of the data from these two systems also allows for an additional level of situational awareness. Video playback can provide security personnel or first responders with a better understanding of a security or life safety event before responding,” he added.

“In the last two years, we noticed that customers want to move from ‘traditional' BMS companies that are big, expensive, and not so flexible in integrating third party auxiliary systems,” said Rick Huang, Business Development Manager of Alstron. “The solution is software houses that provide third-party software that can connect to the energy management module, video surveillance, and access system. The limitation of these systems is that they have to rely on software development kits supplied by the manufacturer,” he added.

Integraing smart functions
Integration of systems is not the only thing that end users are looking for. In fact, the integration of smart functions, such as analytics is also in demand. “There is the growing demand of more intelligent security systems, intelligent electronic locking systems, and security cloud services that fill the gaps that current systems are either too expensive or cumbersome to maintain,” said Patrick Lim, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Ademco Security Group. “The biggest trend is in smart integrated security systems, or what we call human-centric security. The whole idea is to utilize security technologies to make a facility smarter and a lot friendlier to the inhabitants.”

“Currently, most systems are just integrated but not really smart. Using big data analytics, we can use security devices, which collect the data and have daily interaction with people to predict situations and automate intelligent decisions. This is very different from current solutions that are very rigid and mostly ignore human inhabitants for the sole sake of efficiency and energy saving,” Lim added.

Furthermore, through the use of big data analytics and correlating information from different sources, the systems will be able to predict situations and act accordingly. For example, if the system detects a buildup of people in the lobby of a convention center, this can trigger the air conditioning in the convention hall to start cooling the area in advance in a more efficient way. Currently, the systems only detect the people when they are inside the convention hall, forcing the air conditioning system to “blast” the venue to cool it quickly, which is inefficient and energy consuming.

IP IntegratIon and Its Challenges
Most companies and institutions today have installed a variety of generally disparate and isolated systems, ranging from security, access control, and video surveillance to incident response, perimeter detection, and alarm monitoring. “Although these systems typically cannot easily share information, if at all, there are natural synergies between each of them. IP-based solutions make it easier to integrate the information and provide the opportunity for a single new system that can be much greater than the sum of its individual, disparate parts,” Siew explained.

“IP-based access control is particularly important for organizations that want to integrate security and BMS,” he stressed.

Integrating access control with BMS on a single network delivers better facility management. “Today's IP-based access control systems enable facility managers to bring intelligence to each door for streamlined system monitoring, management, and reporting via standard web browsers. Facility managers and venue operators not only have immediate visibility when doors are forced open, but also gain valuable key remote-management, report-generation, and auditing capabilities. Additionally, points of failure in the system are reduced when deploying edge devices, since each device controls a single door,” added Siew.

In addition, there is a preference towards system integration in a single user interface. A single interface allows for centralized control and management and helps put in place standard operating procedures, explained Ken Lee, Director of Operations at KZTech. Lee also highlighted the role of PSIM solutions, “With more PSIM solutions getting cheaper, building security managers are moving into integrated solutions rather than multiple standalone systems.”

While IP integration may be the key to a more efficient system, there are still challenges. “When people say that systems ‘integrate' it is critical to understand what this means,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice. “Is it possible to control the other system? Or only get information? For example, the access control and the video might not be completely compatible to each other. Integration should be seamless both-ways, with bi-directional information.”

The use of data communication protocols such as BACnet (building automation and control networks) or XML for buildings and ONVIF or PSIA for cameras greatly increases the potential for integration and the potential for limiting the control of proprietary systems. However, currently there is no open standard widely applied. “The more information we bring using common protocols, the more systems we can integrate,” summarized Ahrens.

Need for Network Savvy Integrators
With the growing role of IP-based systems, the importance of installers who are extremely network and computer savvy and are able to diagnose communication faults and port issues are also growing. “The key in choosing an integrator is having a knowledgeable integrator supported by a robust manufacturer that has quality and awareness to the clients, good warranty, and service, knowledgeable about information technology/programming and fast, accurate support,” explained Ahrens. “Installers nowadays need to understand also the network transmission and distribution levels and not just cameras and should maintain constant touch with manufacturers.”

“As a company, we [Vanderbilt] partner with systems integrators to deploy our systems and we provide them with the training necessary to gain the knowledge needed to best integrate our technologies with other IP-enabled technologies,” said Kane. “We invest in providing strong support and training to our resellers because it is their responsibility to explain the benefits of linking technologies together when possible. There are many instances in which a building's security is managed by a facility manager and a tenant's security is managed by the tenant. This can lead to the installation of multiple systems. If a systems integrator can bring these multiple stakeholders to the table to have a conversation about the integration of systems beforehand, an investment will be much more valuable to all parties moving forward,” he added.

Ownership problems and knowledge gaps hinder integration
The integration of BMS and security seems natural. However, few facilities choose this integration. “We started integrating BMS and security systems about 10 years ago, but this integration opportunity is not so popular. We sell about 2,000 systems a year, but less than 1 percent are integrated with BMS,” said Ella.

The main issue hindering integration is not technological but external. In most environments the systems are owned by different stakeholders; the BMS are owned by the landlords, whereas the tenants own the security systems. In many cases the BMS is already installed in the building and tenants can't change it. In addition, knowledge gaps exist between building and security systems professionals since each system has a different focus.

“End customers themselves are facing a dilemma regarding the integration of the systems and are looking for a system that can bring services together,” added Huang. “For example, installing anti-smoking detection sensors in ‘no-smoking' areas like hospitals, who should be in charge? The facility manager or the security manager?” As the industry is trying to find a balance between the two systems, Huang believes that there will be more integration in the future.

New regulation promotes Integration
The integration of BMS and security systems is easier to plan in advance when designing a new building. For existing buildings, the willingness to change systems is very low. A new environ-mental regulation is changing things in Singapore. The new regulation stipulates that all new and existing buildings needing extension or major retrofitting work, with an area of 2,000 square meters and above, must comply with the Environmental Sustainability regulation as stipulated in the Building Control Act. “As a result, this regulation became the drive for building owners to upgrade to BMS that can comply with the regulation and monitor and reduce their energy consumption. Along with the upgrade they also look for integration opportunities with other systems,” said Huang.

Similar initiatives around the world might prompt similar integrations in other places.

Future trends
Industry players are noting many other trends, in addition to integration, when it comes to BMS. “There is significant interest in mobile applications. Users of all sizes, whether it is an enterprise customer or a small-to-medium-sized business, want to be able to manage their security infrastructure from anywhere in the world. As the industry and technology continues to advance, mobile applications and functionality will become highly adopted,” said Kane.

Siew also expressed a similar view, “the introduction and accelerating adoption of mobile access solutions is one of the most important industry developments of the past few years. We anticipate there will be growing demand for mobile devices that provide a better way to open doors.”

Lim also sees a change in business models: “The industry already sold a lot of integrated systems in the last decade. The growing trend is towards a managed service model where customers do not just purchase hardware but requires integrated 24/7 management services to run and support these systems. There is also an emerging trend of customers procuring systems as services.” Purchasing a service gives clients the option to change providers as their needs change. The industry is moving towards greater integration of systems and sensors. New environmental regulations, the Internet of Things, and different programs for smart building management are all drivers that will increase integration opportunities in the future. Additionally, as the number of sensors that are internet-ready increases, so will the role of cloud applications that will manage these sensors for different platforms. Hopefully as integration becomes easier from a technology point of view it will also help to mitigate the problems associated with system ownership and increase the benefits for both building owners and tenants.

VCA fencing off intruders: Challenges for VCA in perimeter defense

VCA fencing off intruders: Challenges for VCA in perimeter defense

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 2/2/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Integration of video content analysis (VCA) in perimeter defense is one of the most challenging use cases as it has to cope with many sources of noise and be able to generate an alert without too many false alarms. Technological improvements and competition between vendors have brought prices down and further increased the presence of VCA not only in high security facilities but also in commercial and residential installations.

The origins of video content analysis (VCA) for perimeter defense are in video motion detection (VMD) technology that has been present since the early 2000s. In the beginning, VMD was only used to detect motion. Later, advancements allowed systems to estimate and differentiate size, color, speed, and direction.

The common use of VCA is for preliminary warning of possible suspicious events. “A physical perimeter is preferred as a first form of defense and as a visible deterrence to intruders,” said Pieter van de Looveren, Global Marketing Communication Manager for Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems. “VCA supports perimeter security as an extra set of eyes supporting security personnel in the control room by alerting them when needed and helping them quickly retrieve the correct evidence when something happened.” In other words, video analysis analyzes real-time images continuously to instantly detect suspicious events and alert operators when needed.

“The basic premise of analytics along a perimeter is intrusion detection,” said Matt Bretoi, VP for North America Field Sales at FLIR Systems. “Many VCA solutions provide an extra level of intelligence, such as object classification, which significantly cuts down on false alarms especially when paired with thermal imagers. This is a critical factor for most end users. Another key benefit is the integral capability to visually assess and verify the alarm. Lastly, an analytics solution is not dependent on fencing and even provides detection well beyond, or inside the perimeter if designed correctly,” he added.

In addition, VCA also has an added value of not only complementing the physical barrier but also the abilities of the operators. It helps maintain situational awareness, an important feature that might be lacking in case there are low-level operators guarding the site or a high turnover rate of operators. It also helps keep the operators focused.

“The same way we can't watch several football matches at the same time and keep track, it is also impossible for an operator to focus all the time on all the different screens,” explained Nicholas Grange, Technical Director for South Africa-based C3 Shared Services. “The most common use of VCA in South Africa is as a secondary layer of protection, to allow early detection of a threat before it reaches the boundary, thus creating extra reaction time. This is critical for our installations which usually have a perimeter several kilometers long, such as power stations, big housing estates, mines, and golfing communities.”

The outdoor environment poses many challenges to VCA solutions. Meteorological challenges such as moving clouds, shadows, rain, snow, and lightning, as well as environmental challenges
— lay of land, lights from passing cars, neighboring facilities, and fauna and flora
— all generate many false alarms.
“In some verticals, for example in jails, a reasonable rate of false alarms are not a major concern, as guards can afford to check every alarm whether true or false. However, in other installations, where end users are more sensitive to false alarms, a high false alarm rate may force the users to lower the alarm threshold, compromise sensitivity, and maybe even miss intrusions,” explained Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development.

Two factors that greatly increase the success of perimeter VCA are proper illumination and sterile areas near the perimeter. However, these measures are not always easy to create and maintain. In addition, in order to provide comprehensive security, a large number of cameras will have to be deployed at relatively short distances. “Therefore if we want a system that is composed solely of cameras we will need many cameras that will have to be connected to a central control room, with enough storage space for the video feed and constant calibration of the cameras and analytics making this a complex and expensive system to set up and maintain,” added Katz.

To reduce false alarms, users can perform period calibrations of the analytic, choose a VCA that operates based on several alert criteria, or install a thermal camera. “We conduct periodic adjustments due to seasonal changes as well as changes in field of view such as new buildings, roads, and flora,” said Grange.

“If you are looking for an exterior application in an uncontrolled environment, then you will want to have an analytic with multiple levels of criteria before detection. The more levels of criteria will improve the accuracy and drive down false alarms” explained Todd Brodrick, Director of Southwest USA at Pelco by Schneider Electric.

The combination of a thermal camera with video analytics is another way to overcome the false alarms problem. Thermal cameras are ideal as they do not require any light and can cover greater distances compared to visible light cameras. As such, they are not influenced by many of the factors that cause false alarms in regular cameras such as moving lights, leaves and trees, shadows, and other sources of noise and clutter the video analytic has to analyze.

Another significant benefit that thermal imagers provide is the consistently higher contrast, especially at night. Thermal imaging provides an optimized and more stable stream of information for the analytics to work with. This allows for fewer cameras to be deployed, lowering costs. In addition, thermal cameras are low-maintenance and require lower inputs to run, thus making them more ‘green' compared to other technologies.

However, thermal cameras are not perfect. They give operators less forensic evidence to identify an intruder (for example, thermal cameras do not provide an intruder's clothes color). Thermal cameras are more expensive, and despite the fact that they can ‘see' through smoke or at night, they are still affected by weather conditions, especially heavy fog or rain. The presence of water droplets in the air diminishes the infrared radiation and with it the range of the thermal camera. Intruders can take advantage of these weather conditions to infiltrate the perimeter.

A recent edition to perimeter security systems is surveillance robots that travel on a monorail along the fence. “The robot is equipped with cameras and laser sensors to ensure the integrity of the fence and detect any anomalies or movement up to a distance of 20 to 30 meters from the fence,” described Katz. “Short-range cameras and a PTZ camera allow the monitoring of the fence and tracking any intruders.

The laser works as a 3D radar, mapping the fence's surroundings, and analytics are used to detect any changes, for example a hole in the fence or an object placed near the fence. If an intruder is reported, the robot acts as first responder and rushes to the intrusion point, relaying video to the control room to verify the alert.” The benefits of this solution are constant monitoring and patrolling along the perimeter fence, replacing human patrols and freeing up security personnel to take care of only verified alerts.

The challenge facing VCA providers is to continue improving the reliability of their solutions, reducing false alarms, and making the setup as simple and short as possible. Fortunately, advances in computing power and algorithms make this a feasible reality. Closer collaboration between vendors, distributors, and systems integrators in defining problems and providing training will also enhance the practicality of VCA use in perimeter defense.

OPTEX laser sensors deployed at Manchester Greencourt Business Park

OPTEX laser sensors deployed at Manchester Greencourt Business Park

Editor / Provider: OPTEX | Updated: 2/2/2015 | Article type: Security 50

A recently refurbished business park in Manchester that wanted a more modern and flexible security solution than its existing manned guarding operation turned to a complete new electronic system that relies on OPTEX REDSCAN laser sensors.

Greencourt Business Park, now known as Manchester Green, is conveniently located only five minutes from Manchester Airport and has five large buildings in a landscaped environment. The current landlords, Barwood Investments, purchased the site at the end of 2013 and undertook a significant refurbishment program to improve the buildings, the landscaping and the security of the whole site.

Property Letting Agents, Savills turned to Clarion, an electronic security system integrator, to design a system delivering high security and capable of replacing the costly manned guarding solution that had been used historically. The site is constantly in use so the system needed to be flexible in its configuration and always ‘on'.

For Clarion the best way to protect the entire site was to secure the perimeter by deploying an integrated solution comprising an access control system working in conjunction with intrusion detection and an IP CCTV system. At the heart of this solution was the deployment of nine OPTEX REDSCAN laser sensors, scanning the activity on the perimeter line but also inside the perimeter.

The laser sensors detect vehicles and people within a 30m radius and aren't affected by light or weather conditions. They were integrated by Clarion with the vehicle barrier and the IP based intercom system so that they don't trigger when an authorised vehicle or person enters the site. The REDSCANS integrate directly with the Video Management System, Avigilon's Contol Center platform, triggering dome cameras to go to pre-set positions to track any detected intruder and send an alarm to Farsight, the monitoring station looking after the site.

“Our philosophy at Clarion is to provide a solution that offers flexibility to the customer and minimizes unwanted alarms so the monitoring station can operate at its best,” says Chris Billinge, Managing Director at Clarion.

“We chose OPTEX REDSCAN for this project for its flexibility and stability; it was easy to set up customized detection areas and to integrate the perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) with the rest of our security system. The system has proven very stable since the installation. Although Clarion has been working with OPTEX for many years, this is the first project we have deployed the REDSCANs and we are very satisfied by this intelligent sensor.”

CEM integrated access control and biometric for new Polish museum

CEM integrated access control and biometric for new Polish museum

Editor / Provider: CEM | Updated: 2/2/2015 | Article type: Security 50

CEM Systems, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, announced that they have secured the new Silesian Museum in Katowice, Southern Poland. The AC2000 access control and security management system was delivered by CEM Approved Reseller Samaxon, and installed by IB Systems & Budimex.

The stunning new Silesian Museum houses 109,000 items from different fields of art, as well as archaeological, ethnographic and historical artefacts. The new museum building, opening mid 2015, has all of the Museum's exhibition space buried underground with only glass tower skylight extensions visible above.

“As an organization with a large number of important works of art and other artefacts of historical importance, security is obviously of paramount importance for The Silesian Museum. CEM AC2000 access control system was chosen because of its proven security and reliability in addition to its flexibility to integrate to third party security systems” said Philip Verner, EMEA Sales Director, CEM Systems. “Integration is an important part of the Museums' overall security strategy, requiring their existing intruder and CCTV security systems to work seamlessly with the access control system.”

CEM Systems worked together with Samaxon to develop a software interface between CEM AC2000 and Avigilon video management system and used the AC2000 Galaxy Dimension Interface to integrate with the Honeywell Galaxy intrusion detection system.

The AC2000 Galaxy interface enables inputs from intruder panels to be placed as icons on the AC2000 AED (Alarm Event Display) application allowing for central alarm monitoring of both access control and intruder alarms. AC2000 AED provides the Museum with a powerful security management tool and provides a central command and control user interface for the access control, video and intruder systems. AC2000 AED also provides the Silesian Museum with dynamic, real-time information on all alarms and events that occur on the AC2000 system.

AC2000 comes with a range of comprehensive software applications that can enable the Silesian Museum to enhance business operations. The Museum will utilize AC2000 VIPPS (Visual Imaging Pass Production) and AC2000 Visitors. AC2000 VIPPS gives museum security personnel the ability to design and customize ID badges and AC2000 Visitors enables staff to monitor and control visitor access to the prestigious building. Visitors can be given access levels and/ or traced, allowing visitor movements to be monitored and controlled. Visitor cards can then be reused when returned, saving on visitor card costs.

The Silesian Museum has also installed CEM S610f integrated fingerprint card readers at high security doors throughout the building. This additional layer of biometric security allows for triple authentication — card, PIN and fingerprint — for highly restricted areas that require extra security.

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 1/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

A new year brings new trends. Many of the trends from 2014 have since turned into industry standards, such as HD resolution and IP surveillance; however, new ones have emerged to keep the security industry on its toes in 2015.

The Market at a Glance
In 2014, video surveillance accounted for approximately 53% of the total market share (US$13.5 billion) in terms of global physical security product sales, according to Memoori Business Intelligence. Double-digit growth has been the norm in the video surveillance market over the last decade, and analysts at IHS forecast similar growth in the new year, predicting more than 10% growth in 2015. Furthermore, Marketsandmarkets has predicted that the global video surveillance market will reach roughly $42.1 billion at a CAGR of 17% for the period 2014 to 2020, with the IP system market expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.5% during the same period. Rising crime rates, an increase in terror attacks, and growing security concerns all are contributing to this growth.

Who Reigns Supreme? IP vs. Analog
The move to IP is no longer so much a trend as it is simple fact: New installations are going IP and many analog users are upgrading to network-based solutions. With that said, does that mean that IP has finally taken over analog in video surveillance? The answer is yes and no. In terms of revenue, IP sales have surpassed analog sales; however, in terms of quantity, analog shipments still outnumber those of IP. This is poised to change, with analysts believing that IP shipments will take over analog by the end of the decade. Evidence of this shift can be seen in markets like Latin America where the overall market — one that is heavily focused on analog — is now leaning toward IP equipment for the first time (by supplier revenue), according to a report by IHS.

Asia Leads the Way
In the world of security, Asia has had a tendency to be a step behind when it comes to the most up-to-date technologies. In the coming years, though, APAC is forecast to be the fasting growing region for IP video surveillance globally at a CAGR of 44.3% during the period 2013 to 2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research. The report also pointed out that North America is expected to experience the highest share in the IP video surveillance market by 2020, predicting that the continent would be the highest revenuegenerating segment with a value of about $19 billion in 2020. However, China is estimated to have been the largest regional market for video surveillance equipment, accounting for a third of global revenues in 2013.

Trends for the Growing Market
Along with growth come trends, trends that help drive growth and keep the market up-to-date with new and exciting technologies. In 2014, we saw IP surveillance become a norm and HD resolution become a standard. In the following, a&s explores a few of what we expect to be the most popular video surveillance trends for 2015.

High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) One of the most important developments for 2015 will be that of high efficiency video coding (HVEC), also known as H.265, which directly relates to another trend: 4K resolution. HVEC will play a significant role in the feasibility of 4K in security applications. According to security experts, about 90% of surveillance products currently use HVEC's predecessor H.264 for compression. However, that is set to change. “Our outlook is that most future advancements in the market will focus on compression, as the megapixel market has evolved extremely quickly and the compression will need to advance nearly as quickly to meet the growing demand for higher resolution images. H.265 may be the answer to this as there is a tremendous amount of computational power required for the compression and decompression of these images that the industry is currently grappling with,” said Stephen Carney, Director of Video Product Line Management at Tyco Security Products.

Pervasive use of H.265 has many implications for the security industry. With the ability to double the data compression ratio compared to H.264 at the same level of video quality, H.265 will greatly improve the usability of 4K in security applications. In fact, both Hisilicon and Ambarella introduced IP camera SoCs based on H.265 at the end of 2014 and widespread use of H.265 is expected within the security industry by the second quarter of 2015. This will in no doubt directly impact the adoption of 4K.

Finding Applications for 4K
The entrance of 4K resolution into the security industry was met with both curiosity and excitement. Similar to how HD was expected to be the new standard for image resolution when it was first introduced into the industry (which it since has become), many believe that 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) will eventually replace HD as the standard, and the availability of H.265 in security will be a catalyst to this; however, this change will not happen overnight. “4K will certainly be a trend to watch, though broad adoption will be problematic for the security industry at this point due to limitations on current camera form factor/lens combination, bandwidth, and storage constraints and the cost of the equipment versus the benefits or necessity of the additional resolution gained with the technology,” Carney said.

Despite the current limitations, many of the obstacles should soon be resolved. Aside from H.265 helping with data compression, the rapid rollout of 4G across the globe should assist in dealing with bandwidth problems, as well as better, improved accompanying hardware (e.g., lenses, monitors, etc.).

Bigger, Better Image Sensors
With the trend of 4K in 2015, along with the fact that HD has become the standard, bigger, better sensors are now needed to support such high-quality images. The trend toward increased value of total image quality will utilize large image sensors, the latest iris system, and high picture quality at near IR, said Koji Maunari, GM of the Industrial Optics Business Unit at Tamron. In fact, the image sensor market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8%  from 2014 to 2020, according to a recent report by Marketsandmarkets. Not only are manufacturers coming out with bigger sensors, they are also adding special technologies to further enhance image quality, specifically designed for video surveillance use. Well-known sensor makers such as Aptina, Omivision, and Pixelplus are now pushing out larger image sensors, while companies such as Sony have come out with new sensor technology specifically addressing the needs of the video surveillance market. The new Starvis technology, a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS sensors specifically designed for video surveillance, was released by Sony in mid-2014. The technology extends from the visible light range to include the near-infrared range to support filming at night, which is often a problem area for 24/7 outdoor surveillance in most CMOS cameras. The improved performance at night will help more extensive adoption of CMOS cameras in the near future. Additionally 4K sensors are also being developed. These new sensors can support up to 12 megapixels (4:3) and 4K (17:9), and even support 4K at up to 60 frames per second. Furthermore, with sensors now reaching 1/1.9 inches, even higher resolution and clearer images are possible.

HD-over-Coax Gets More Advanced
HD-over-coaxial solutions are not new to the security industry. In fact, IMS Research, an IHS company, named HD-over-coaxial solutions a trend for 2012; however, at that time the solution in question was more or less limited to HD-SDI, which turned out to be not nearly as cost-effective as the security industry had initially hoped. Yet, like with any technologies a little time has yielded new-and-improved solutions, and 2014 saw just that with the introduction of new HD-over-coaxial solutions. One of the major proponents of HD-over-coax is Dahua Technology, who came out with their HDCVI technology in late 2012. However, it is not until more recently, in the last year, that the industry has really seen HD-over-coaxial solutions take off, with many other companies coming up with their own technologies and solutions as well, such as AHD, ccHDtv, and HDTVI. HD-SDI has also evolved: The new generation has upgraded in long-distance transmission, and more importantly, has become more cost effective.

Despite the fact that the overall market is going digital, many definitely still see plenty of room for HD-over-coaxial solutions, noting acceptance of the technologies particularly in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Renewed Life in Intelligent Video Solutions Intelligent functions have been touted for a while in security, but it isn't until more recently that they have been widely incorporated and desired in video surveillance. In fact, as of recent, a certain degree of analytics on the edge has become a standard feature for most IP cameras. From entry-level to high-end, cameras can now be differentiated by how “smart” they are. As part of this, video surveillance has proved capable of not just recording and reviewing, but preventing and analyzing. “The IP revolution has changed the surveillance cameras from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems after an incident has occurred to becoming a vital part of proactive intelligence chain. Network video cameras collect valuable data that can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO of Axis Communications.

The idea of actionable intelligence is one reason intelligent video solutions are seeing an up surge in demand. “We [Verint] believe that actionable intelligence presents an opportunity for customer to implement solutions that enhance security and safety, while reducing operating costs and increasing productivity and efficiency,” said Brian Matthews, VP of Global Marketing and Product Development for Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

Another reason demand is growing is due to more developed technology. “Advancements in analytics should also not be ignored, as this segment of the market has progressed to where analytics are accepted as reliable, accurate, and part of the day-to-day operations of a large percentage of users. Some analytics, such as facial recognition, will definitely benefit from the higher resolution images and increasing levels of clarity as camera technology continues to progress,” Carney said.

The many benefits that intelligence brings to video surveillance, especially now that the technology is more reliable, are being realized across verticals. Certain verticals like retail have found particular use for intelligent video, where the data is being used for business intelligence. “Especially video content analysis solutions like Bosch's that do not only automatically trigger alarms on the basis of pre-defined alarm rules, but also enable the tracking of objects,” said Erika Gorge, Corporate Communications Manager at Bosch Security Systems. “This kind of intelligence can also be used to obtain information that goes beyond a pure security purpose such as marketing intelligence information on the scenes being under surveillance — for example number of people (people counting), movement of people, registering characteristics like color or crowd density information.”

Furthermore, we will also see a higher adoption of big data for multiple applications, such as smart cities, in 2015, where a smart surveillance camera with advanced VCA could definitely play an important role. We will see how VCA changes a surveillance camera into a content provider for big data.

There is a catch, though: Avigilon's recent acquisition of ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and licensing program. In the future, Avigilon will replace ObjectVideo as the patent holder to lead the future development of VCA technology, once again reshuffling the intelligence market. The impact this move will have on the security industry as a whole will be massive, and not necessarily in a good way — Avigilon now holds 124 US and international patents and 202 US and international patent applications as a result.

Integrated Systems Become a Must
In the past, integration of disparate systems has been a struggle for many users. With newer solutions, the ability to integrate is in high demand, and as such integration has become a focus for many security players.

“Integration has been talked about a long time — but as a user experience it has been less than ideal. You will soon see systems that deliver on that promise of a seamless user experience,” said David Gottlieb, Director of Global Marketing Communications at Honeywell Security. William Ku, VP of the Brand Business Division at VIVOTEK echoed confidence in the integration trend: “The full integration of disparate systems, including video surveillance, intrusion systems, perimeter detection, access control, and real-time intelligent analysis on data will be the trend in managing security in every vertical application since the security could be secured seamlessly and enable staff to respond to intrusion or threats in a short time and solve the events on-site in an effective way.”

The trend for more integrated systems is also what will help push IP growth forward, as the IP market has matured and entered into the late growth stage of its product life cycle. Yet, the low-end market still has significant potential for IP growth, as noted by Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.

In the middle and high-end markets, however, the trend for more integrated systems will continue to drive IP growth. “In the market for advanced solutions with high camera counts there is a significant opportunity to offer more advanced integrations with access control and other security applications,” he added. “Verint believes in and has realized increased demand for innovative, integrated solutions that combine situation management, communications, and cyber intelligence, and facilitate collaboration across security and law enforcement agencies. We believe that today's government organizations, institutions, and multinational corporations, in connection with safe city, border control, transportation security, critical infrastructure, and other large-scale security initiatives, are interested in and preparing to deploy unified security solutions that fuse data from a wide range of security systems and intelligence sources to enable efficient information correlation and analysis,” Matthews said.

Hope for 2015
A lot of major changes took place in 2014 that has in a way left a question mark hanging over the fate of the security industry — the Canon Europe acquisition of Milestone Systems, Anixter acquisition of Tri-Ed, and most recently the selling of Samsung Techwin to Hanwha Group. Yet, one thing is for certain: there will always be a need for security and video surveillance. This sentiment is what industry players are emphasizing when it comes to future growth of the security/ surveillance market. Development for the overall market may not be as rapid as it once was, but with the above trends helping to drive surveillance growth, as well as the continued growth of things like video surveillance as a service and cloud computing, there is definitely still upward hope for the future of video surveillance.

Tyco and Somfy join home IoT alliance Thread Group

Tyco and Somfy join home IoT alliance Thread Group

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 1/29/2015 | Article type: Security 50

The Thread Group announced the addition of Somfy, the leader in home control products, and Tyco, the largest fire protection and security solutions company, to its Board of Directors. Thread is the new IP-based low-power wireless mesh networking protocol designed specifically for the home and the Thread Group is an industry alliance chartered with guiding the widespread adoption of Thread.

The Thread Group now includes more than 80 member companies and nine board members, making it one of the fastest-growing alliances focused on the Internet of Things in the home.

“Somfy and Tyco are world leaders in home comfort and safety and their active roles in the Thread Group speaks volumes about Thread's potential,” said Chris Boross, president of the Thread Group and technical product marketing manager, Nest. “The two companies' deep understanding of what consumers care about most in their homes will be an asset for the Thread Group as we continue to grow and define the connected home.”

In their new sponsor-level roles, Somfy and Tyco join Thread's seven founding members – ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale Semiconductor, Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Labs and Yale Security – in their goal of establishing the widespread adoption of Thread technology in the connected home.

“At Somfy, we view joining the Thread Group's board of directors as a great step forward in bringing safe, energy-saving solutions to people all over the world,” said Jean-Philippe Demaël, chairman of Somfy's board. “Collaborating with the Thread Group members will enhance our ability to transform the living environment, and we believe that Thread will emerge as a leading technology within the connected home.”

“The work of the Thread Group is closely aligned with our own business strategy and we are pleased to participate as a sponsor as well as a board member,” said Tim Myers, Intrusion director of product management, Tyco Security Products. “We have long been a supporter and active participant in a wide range of technology initiatives and alliances and we recognize the endeavors of the Thread Group in leveraging the best of existing proven open standards for unified IoT adoption.”

As sponsor-level members, Somfy and Tyco can initiate and lead working groups, and will have approval rights over operating budgets and final deliverables.

Thread Innovation Enabler Program
Thread has launched the Thread Innovation Enabler Program, aimed at providing innovative companies with the opportunity to join the Thread Group and to play a role in defining the connected home through access to Thread technology. Each quarter, the Innovation Enabler Program will provide one promising company with up to 18 months of complimentary contributor-level membership to enable them to build new products using Thread. Companies will be selected for the program based on the creative potential of the ideas that they submit to the Thread Group.

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