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Middle East shines in 2014 (1): Saudi Arabia

Middle East shines in 2014 (1): Saudi Arabia

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 4/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. — still remain the region's top countries with the largest security markets. In 2012, the Middle East fell dramatically, “due to three unforeseen circumstances — the regional civil unrest, the fall in the price of oil and its production, and the fall in the US dollar,” according to IHS. The actual growth rate of video surveillance equipment in the Middle East fell to 5.3 percent. Although social turmoil and fluctuations in oil prices still made 2013 uncertain, the Middle East security market is predicted to bounce back to around 10 percent in 2013 and grow 12 percent in 2014. “The economy was a bit soft in 2012 and many customers delaying purchasing.

Implementation of many projects began in 2013, resulting in an excellent year for us,” said Watheq Abu Gharbiah, Regional Manager of Middle East at FLIR Systems. Most of all the suppliers expect the recovering momentum to continue through 2014 and 2015. Firstly, the U.S. began easing some of its economic restrictions against Iran this January, including its sanctions on cars and petrochemicals products. Secondly, recovery of the Iranian market would also raise the region's average growth rate. The latest cheerful announcement is of Dubai winning the bid to host the 2020 World Expo. The BBC reported that authorities in Dubai forecasted the 6-month event to bring in around US$23 billion and cost the country around a total $8.4 billion, of which around $6.5 billion is expected to be government spending on infrastructure projects. Finally, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is also serving as a major driver to boost the overall economy in the region.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
To support the active economic activities in this region, protection of critical infrastructure ranging from airports, seaports, oil and gas, public utilities, highways, railways, metros, and etc., is important. Critical infrastructure protection remains as the most crucial market sector in the Middle East.

The oil and gas sector requires refinery protection and is the largest market sector here. The scale of projects in this sector is also much larger than other market sectors. Aside from the GCC countries, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Northern African countries, also have great potential. Robert Kirkaldie, Director of Marketing/Sales for Security Systems Division at Southwest Microwave, which designs and manufactures integrated, electronic perimeter security systems, especially for the oil and gas sector, in this region said, “In a country like Saudi Arabia, we mostly deal with perimeter projects of 3,000 to 5,000 meters. The biggest complex in oil and gas, which comprises of a storage tank, pipe lines, transportation, and all other facilities, can have a perimeter of up to around 20 kilometers. Thus, the size of a refinery is much bigger than a prison or power plant.”

Another fast developing market sector is airports. Cities in the Middle East compete to build the biggest and most modern airports to attract tourists. Abu Dhabi is planning its new $3 billion international airport terminal, while Doha, Qatar is near completion with its new airport. “Dubai has the largest airport here. The old one, which traffics 150 million passengers annually has 3,500 CCTV cameras. The latest one has around 5,000 cameras. Elsewhere in the region, the latest airport in Doha will begin operations this year; Saudi Arabia has 15 new airports; and Kuwait International Airport also has plans to expand,” said Gharbiah.

The Middle East is a project-oriented market. “Because it is so diverse, each country does have their particular preference toward products and partners. I think this unique characteristic brings a good opportunity for CP Plus to build up our own distribution business here. This year, we are going to set up five or six branch offices in some countries in the Middle East,” said Aditya Khemka, Director of CP Plus.

SAUDI ARABIA IS BOOMING FAST
Amongst the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia is gradually catching up with the U.A.E. in terms of security market demand and growth potential. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of large government projects, making it very important in this region. Peter Biltsted, Director of MEA at Milestone Systems said, “Milestone will be more directly engaged in Saudi Arabia this year. This means we will put our feet on the ground in the country, whereas Milestone channel partners used to be in charge previously. We have a very good foothold in Saudi Arabia now, since we have done several large projects. Moving forward, we would like to leverage our past experience to strengthen our business foundation here.”

In the past two years, Saudi Arabia heavily restricted the number of foreign workers to secure the employment of local workers. In 2014, the restrictions are expected to be lifted in order to continually push the market to grow. “Saudi Arabia just started their new financial year and the government has announced plans to build six new cities. It also made a US$200 million investment in aviation toward the building of new innovative airports. We can also expect several new cities in Saudi in the near future,” continued Tarek Ismail, Sales Director of Middle East at Tyco Security Products.

Large-Scale Government Projects Everywhere
In terms of an average project size, it is not really possible to compare projects in other GCC countries with those in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi, one city is just like a country in others. John Davies, MD at TDSi also echoed, "In Saudi Arabia, the projects are much bigger. Last year, we supplied systems to several large government projects across the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is a very large country and represents more than 25 percent of the GCC GDP.

When you do a project for an institute in Saudi Arabia, it includes offices that are located all over the country. In contrast, institutes in the U.A.E. usually have only one or two offices." Ismail continued, “Our company has been here for more than 20 years. In Saudi Arabia, for example, we have the largest bank in the whole region as one of our customers. It is a national bank with 400 branches and 2,000 ATMs in the country. The number of buildings for VIP service, VIP accounts, and money transfer, is over 200. More than 1,300 recorders and 8,000 cameras from mixed brands were used in that project. From a banking point of view, a project this size covers the entire banking sector in the GCC countries. In Qatar, for example, the largest capital bank has a maximum of only 50 to 60 branches.”

Religious Buildings, Universities, and Banks
Saudi Arabia, being home to the largest and most holy Muslim mosques, has many religious projects. “It has many religious buildings, such as mosques and related infrastructures, where you can see thousands and thousands of cameras installed. Bosch Security Systems has done many projects in holy places in this country too,” said Hakan ?zyi?it, Regional Director of Middle East at Bosch Security Systems. “Bosch is also involved in many prestigious projects in the Saudi Arabian education sector. The country has the largest population in the region and almost half of the Saudi Arabian population is aged below 30. Hence, its government is focused on education and plans to build more universities and facilities to ensure its a much more competitive Saudi workforce in the future.”

 

Also, due to the country's conservative nature and religious background, the government has strict laws toward gender segregation in many public places, such as restaurants and shopping malls. Therefore, a public place usually tends to have more cameras installed for security and monitoring, compared to other countries. For example, in Saudi Arabia, it is pretty normal to have around 1,000 cameras for a five-star hotel, while only around 100 to 200 cameras are installed in a five-star hotel in the U.A.E., according to an industry expert in this region.

Considerations for Doing Business
Even though there are plenty of opportunities here, business is conducted very differently in the U.A.E. “The Saudi Arabian government sometimes has strong concerns about the origin of the products for certain projects to avoid products that are made in China,” said Noriyuki Hayashi, Senior Sales/Marketing Manager of System Solutions Department, MEA at Panasonic Marketing. Meanwhile, due to the sheer volume of government projects here, decision making usually takes a little while. Aditya Sahaya, Director of Business Development for Prologix Distribution also pointed out, "Traditionally, the U.A.E. is a very mature market, when it comes to CCTV and surveillance, and the end customers and consultants have very specific requirements which need to be adhered to. Saudi Arabia seems to be going down the same path. Despite a longer sales cycle, the country has been growing as the single largest market in the region."

* Let's take a further look into other areas in Middle East shines in 2014 (2): U.A.E., Oman, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan

 

Critical infrastructure aspires for comprehensive protection

Critical infrastructure aspires for comprehensive protection

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s International | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

The critical infrastructure sector has been regarded as one of the most important sectors in terms of national security around the world since it is highly vulnerable to terrorist threats. There were about 2,500 attacks on critical infrastructures around the world that can be linked to terrorist organizations from 1996 to 2006, according to a report by Electric Power Research Institute. To prevent possible disastrous consequences, governments usually adopt various high-tech security products that come with better risk management systems and also higher prices. It is forecast that the global infrastructure market will grow from US$63.7 billion in 2013 to $105.9 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 10.7 percent, by MarketsandMarkets. North America will remain as the market with the most revenue, whereas the markets in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are expected to experience greater market traction.

MAJOR SECURITY THREATS TO CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURES
Critical infrastructures have always been one of the most prominent security focuses of national security. Critical infrastructures refer to several essential and fundamental facilities, interdependent systems, and assets that support a country's politics, economy, transportation, security, energy, health, education, communication, etc. — to put it simply, it has a huge impact on the public's daily activities. For instance, if any power plant is damaged, it can jeopardize a country's security and lead to unimaginable public consequences and inconveniences, as it can take several weeks to months for total site functionality to be restored.

Critical infrastructures are mainly threatened by terrorism, vandalism, intrusion, and espionage, and are often considered a major target of anti-government actions. These critical sites should also be protected from industrial accidents and natural disasters which will instantly endanger the public once they occur. If a dam, for instance, is sabotaged, the damage may cause insufficient water resources, flood control failure, agriculture irrigation failure, and even disable electricity from being generated around that area, or worse, across the country. If a power grid is attacked, the damage may lead to chemical leaks and cause further destruction.

An example of this is the power grid attack in California last April, which has recently been disclosed as an act of domestic terrorism, in which 17 transformers were fired at by unknown snipers for 19 minutes. The attackers had cut the fiber optic telecommunication cables in an underground vault near the site before entering the site and shooting at the oil-filled cooling systems of the transformers, causing massive oil leaks and the transformers to overheat. Fortunately, the damage was controlled; however, it still took 27 days for the facility and the damaged transformers to be repaired — each transformer can cost millions of dollars to build, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

KEY CHALLENGES IN CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
A power grid is usually set up with multiple buildings, assets, and facilities, spread over a vast geographical area. Critical infrastructures generally invest in various technologies over time, resulting in the wide adoption of legacy and new devices, according to Darren Chalmers-Stevens, VP of EMEA at VidSys. Regarding overall size, number of buildings, and vast system deployments, managing a power grid in an organized manner is the primary challenge of protecting critical infrastructures. In order to efficiently and conveniently manage the entire energy station across multiple locations, it is crucial for critical infrastructures to centralize operations and increase situational awareness on both physical and logical threats through greater system integration.

MULTI-LAYERED PERIMETER DETECTION AT THE FRONT LINE
Risk management of critical infrastructures could be a great challenge to a site operating manager, due to complex deployment of disparate systems, devices, and facilities within a vast area. Critical infrastructures tend to favor multi-layered perimeter systems, which are able to comprehensively prevent various threats, like vandalism, trespassing, terrorist acts, and etc.

It is forecast that the global market size for electronic perimeter security sensors and video in electrical utilities and oil refineries will top $160 million in 2014, despite the economic slowdown in 2011 and 2012. This strong growth is resulting from the trend of using remote video and networked sensors in order to remotely configure and conduct devices from a distant location, according to a report by IMS Research, an IHS company.

For energy grids, any security threat or attack might lead to catastrophic results, which is exactly why managers are prone to using multi-layered perimeter detection systems.

A nuclear site is the perfect candidate for a multi-layered perimeter system. “A common architecture for nuclear power stations and other high security sites is an initial layer of a volumetric-tall sensor (4m to 6m high) with very high possibility of detecion; once an alert is generated, the intruder has to penetrate a fence which would delay the intruder for a few minutes to move on, even if the intruder is well equipped,” suggested by Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development at Magal Security Systems.

"Behind the layer, there is typically a clear space of about 10-meters wide; it is an area always kept clear, facilitating ease of verification, be it by cameras or another detection layer, such as microwave sensors, buried volumetric cables, or even IR detectors. And finally there is a second fence for further delay, which may be equipped with a smart fence mounted sensor.”

Integration of Video Surveillance and Intrusion Systems
In perimeter security, it is crucial to properly integrate video surveillance with intrusion systems. If individuals or vehicles intend to breach a critical site, the intruder will trigger the perimeter sensors. The system will then immediately send out a security notification to the command center with a corresponding image from the camera at the particular site so operators will know how to respond.

“Without integration between video surveillance and intrusion systems, it would be difficult to maintain a high level of awareness when a sensor detects a break-in — it would be time consuming for a security operator to find the appropriate video footage of an event,” Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems stated.

There could be up to hundreds of surveillance cameras installed at the site of an energy grid to make sure that the entire area is completely covered. As the front line of a critical infrastructure site, a perimeter system especially requires constant monitoring with surveillance devices, in order to have the site comprehensively controlled.

However, for the security guard and operator, it is almost impossible to continuously concentrate on watching every camera during their shift, not to mention identifying the correct on-site camera and location right when the security alarm goes off. Adopting video analytics not only helps the operator to prevent an intrusion or attack, more importantly, it makes sure that the guards and operators will not miss any suspicious actions. “Upon motion detection or other abnormalities detected, security operators can get a geospatial location on the targeted suspect and immediately dispatch a response,” Phillips mentioned. Physical motion detection can help security operators spot threats effectively even in harsh external conditions and weather.

A TOTAL INTEGRATION PLATFORM
A common goal, when it comes to critical infrastructure protection, is the ability for security guards and operators to identify and respond to threats in the shortest time possible. In order to immediately and efficiently react to possible threats on site for large-scale operations, it is crucial to have a central management system with an open platform to allow for integration between different security measures and subsystems.

Besides, security systems like video surveillance, access control, and perimeter security, a total management integration platform should be able to connect effortlessly with other major systems. These systems include IT, fire and smoke detection, alarm, extinguishing, telephone, radio communication, and building automation that might be in the critical sites. These systems should be easily integrated through a single platform, regardless if they are new or legacy products and devices.

This total integration platform can make sure that any operator is able to manage all systems on site whenever a natural disaster, unexpected incident, or attack occurs. “The integration of video surveillance, access control, intrusion alarm, and fire detection is an ongoing and growing phenomenon which requires a tailor-made approach on behalf of the vendors and integrators, as some of the systems, such as access control, are quite old, but still operable,” said Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of Intelligent Security Systems.

Providing a safety and security solution that integrates different systems into a single, multi-modal, administrative solution is not just about merging equipment, devices, and systems — it is about putting into place a solution to support clearly defined working routines whilst ensuring rapid, compliant, and efficient response to emergency situations along with the mandatory, post-incident reporting analysis, according to Siemens Building Technologies.

CONCLUSION
Security deployment in a critical site is never an easy task, as there are many obstacles and concerns, such as environment, budget, and consensus among every department, which will affect the final security procurement in a critical infrastructure. Despite the challenges, the security market in the critical infrastructure sector is still full of opportunities for providers due to its importance in national security and safety.

Dahua wins IP Camera Excellent Award at Secutech 2014

Dahua wins IP Camera Excellent Award at Secutech 2014

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 4/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Dhua technology a well-known China-based manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance products headquartered in Hangzhou, China announced that its network camera — DH-IPC-HF5281 won “IP Camera Excellence Award” at Secutech Taipei 2014.

Each year at Secutech Taipei, Excellence Award Contest is always where the eyes go as it is considered as an impartial platform for manufactures to exhibit the product they are proud of as well as rendering an opportunity for buyers to see, to learn and compare product performance in person before decision-making. And this year's IP camera contest focuses on night visual effect in addition to saturation, low light, shutter speed and image quality.

Dahua DH-IPC-HF5281, an ultra-low light network box camera with a 2-Megapixel CMOS sensor, is able to capture 1920 x 1080 resolution video at 60fps. Featuring ultra low illumination, IPC-HF5281 is able to present clear image even under 0.0001Lux. Meanwhile, for monitoring high-speed moving object, over 50km/h for example, the camera is able to render smooth image with 60 frame per second, Moreover, the camera is added with intelligent functions, such as facial detection, wandering detection, illegal parking, fast-moving and etc.

“It is the third year in a row that Dahua's products have proven its outstanding performance and been recognized by worldwide security professionals,” said Tim Shen, Marketing Director at Dahua Technology. “We really appreciate Secutech organizer creates such a great platform for our product standing out among other companies. As the industry moves to high definition, how to ensure the whole video surveillance system to satisfy the HD requirement but also other functions, like WDR, better bit rate, low lux and alike are our focus. With more than 3,000 R&D professionals and 10 percent reinvestment, we aim to provide world-leading products and solutions.”

Mexico auto parts maker GONHER adopts VIVOTEK network cam

Mexico auto parts maker GONHER adopts VIVOTEK network cam

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 4/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Grupo GONHER is a company located in the city of Monterrey, Mexico. Starting as a grassroots outfit in 1953, the manufacturer of parts grew in tandem with the automotive industry, first producing air filters and subsequently building up a more comprehensive product line throughout the latter decades. The company has enjoyed continual growth since its establishment by staying on the cutting edge of technology and expanding their workshop to meet full production capacity. GONHER now boasts an extensive filter line – they produce over 700 different types – and they distribute their high quality products throughout 36 distribution centers across Mexico. Emerging as a major player on the North American market, and as international brand, GONHER faced the need of ramping up their security surveillance system. With the help of Novalan Computers & Networking, VIVOTEK's local distributor, they chose to upgrade the system with an impressive set of VIVOTEK cameras.

Advanced technology, improved business eligibility
GONHER was looking for a security surveillance system as high in quality as their products are, which is where VIVOTEK stepped in. Extensive distribution throughout Mexico means that comprehensive monitoring can be a difficult for the manufacturer, and company expansion has only increased the demand for a centralized, real-time monitoring system. For GONHER to know what is going on at all locations at all times, and in real-time, installing a dynamic surveillance solution was the answer. Unwilling to compromise on security, GONHER wanted IP cameras with high quality standards in all distribution centers, and a central monitoring control center in corporate offices. To ensure top-notch feeds, a 200Mpbs internet link bandwidth was integrated into the monitoring center. With the advanced technology of VIVOTEK's IP security system, the activity in GONHER's distribution centers can now be conveniently viewed in real-time and recorded for playback, ensuring utmost security company-wide.

Image quality, mobility, and aesthetics make the surveillance outstanding and easy
A total of 85 cameras were chosen to furnish GONHER's facilities. Among them, the FD8161 model is a stand out. Combining strong image quality, mobility, and aesthetics, the FD8161 met the project demands on many levels. In terms of image quality, a 2-megapixel sensor feature and impressive bandwidth efficiency make for a clear, crisp picture. The model is capable of zeroing in on small details like faces or license plates, so installing this camera in open spaces mean that foot traffic and vehicles can be monitored with precision and ease. Multiple simultaneous streams also contribute to its unrivalled surveillance capabilities. As for mobility and aesthetics, the recessed design with cable management gives the camera a very clean look, and a 3-axis mechanical design lens means the FD8161 can be mounted on both ceilings and walls. Additionally, VIVOTEK's speed dome was installed for outdoor monitoring. Not only is the camera capable of fast, precise movements, it comes equipped with a sophisticated pan/tilt mechanism for continuous 360-degree pan and 90-degree tilt. Lens positioning is easily controlled via mouse or joystick, and the camera comes with a possible 128 preset positions for patrolling, making tracking objects of interest easy and efficient.

Real-time surveillance, seamless protection
The installation has significantly boosted security levels at GONHER as 31 distribution centers can now be monitored by a real-time feed. Information recorded on the servers can also be played back, which provides security support for the various facilities. GONHER is very satisfied with the final result, and plan to increase the number of cameras in each of the distribution centers, a project under consideration to be held the following year.

Network camera 2014 update(1): Low light and WDR

Network camera 2014 update(1): Low light and WDR

Editor / Provider: Christine Chien, a&s International | Updated: 4/1/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Over the past few years, network cameras have broken out of their shells and began to gain acceptance and adoption. Meanwhile, the network video surveillance market continues to be headed to a “tipping point” in 2014. This can surely be attributed to the maturity of the IP-based cameras and systems available today, as well as the increasing affordability due to intense competition from manufacturers all around the world.

With so many flashy features available, the following are some of the most important features or functions in, or for, a standard network camera. After making massive improvements and advancements, what else is next? It seems many manufacturers are leaning in favor of the low-light function.

Low Light Allows Visible Color in Nighttime Environments
The low-light feature is the ability of a surveillance camera to capture color images in environments with weak or no lighting. The performance of a low-light camera is highly dependent on the sensitivity of its sensor and the processing ability of its DSP, in combination with its iris type and shutter speed. The iris allows and controls the amount of light to pass through the lens and to the sensor inside the camera.

By working together, they are able to regulate the camera's light input. New imaging technology as well as higher resolution lenses help to improve overall sensitivity, which continue to improve results from low-light cameras.

Typical day/night surveillance cameras automatically switch to black/white mode once it gets dark, or when lights are shut off. But low-light cameras are becoming increasingly popular as being able to tell colors apart at night is important for identifying suspects and culprits. Low-light cameras are also crucial to settings such as mechanical rooms or critical infrastructures, where the color of lights on different equipment must be discernible. For example, those monitoring in the control center must be able to tell the difference between blue and green lights or red, orange, and yellow lights in order to evaluate the situation in the mechanical rooms and critical infrastructures, and immediately tell if there is an emergency or breach. Presently, the most common lighting condition for a low-light camera can visibly display color images at 0.01 lux. For more advanced cameras, they are able to visibly display color images in low-light environments up to 0.001 lux.

Now, manufacturers and their R&D teams are aiming to clearly differentiate colors in nighttime environments up to 0.0001 lux, which is quite a challenge, as it is difficult even for human eyes to see color in this condition. Furthermore, there is no standard test for manufacturers to test their cameras against at the moment. Each manufacturer has its own different set of testing standards which causes inconsistency in camera performance with each different brand. Also, certain testing equipment used by manufacturers to test their cameras may give off some light, which can throw off the results. Another major challenge for low-light cameras is noise in the image captured in low-lux settings. All colors have something known as their own color temperature, which can produce noise. Noise from the color is the biggest issue for low-light cameras due to inability to perform absolute color reproduction, hence it is also important to have the digital noise reduction function to further improve image quality.

WDR Addresses Extreme Lighting
The wide dynamic range (WDR) feature is now standard for almost all security cameras as it helps to address lost details from extreme lighting contrasts present in complex indoor or outdoor environments. Users must note that dynamic range is defined as the ratio of the brightest and darkest regions in an image, and not as an absolute value.

The most common form of WDR uses the multi-exposure method, which consists of capturing two frames at one short and one long exposure speed. The first exposure captures details in bright areas in the scene while the latter captures details in dark areas in the scene. The two images are then combined for an image with visible details in both the bright and dark areas. Most common WDR falls somewhere between 50 to 70dB, while advanced WDR ranges from 100 to 130dB. Currently, the most advanced WDR, the third generation for that matter, is also called “True WDR,” capturing four frames for comparison to achieve optimal results, as opposed to the two frames taken with past WDR technology. The increased number of frames taken for comparison helps to address issues such as lighting differences between the foreground and background in the image.

Though many manufacturers boast cameras with 130dB, in reality, it is already considered quite impressive if these cameras can reach around 120dB. Users must evaluate where they plan on installing their cameras and if WDR features are actually needed. Applications where WDR are typically needed include parking lots, big plazas, building entrances, ports, tollbooths, and other areas that are frequently affected by changing light conditions.

UK Co-operative Food embraces IP video surveillance with Axis

UK Co-operative Food embraces IP video surveillance with Axis

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 4/1/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The welfare of customers and colleagues is taken extremely seriously at The Co-operative Food. In order to enhance the safety and security of its stores, the retailer undertook a review of its incumbent analog surveillance systems with the aim of improving colleague safety, incident detection, response times and conviction rates though the adoption of IP video technology.

Solution
Installer and Axis partner, Kings Security, developed an interactive security solution that utilized Axis networked video cameras to measurably increase the personal wellbeing of Co-operative colleagues, and improve loss prevention across the supermarket estate.

The final installation incorporated Axis' compact fixed dome cameras and high performance video encoders, controlled by a Milestone Professional operating system, sitting on a Razberi server.

Live surveillance footage from each store is streamed to a central control room and monitored by a dedicated operator at Kings Security. Staff can directly communicate with the control room via an incident button and operators can both listen to and broadcast messages in-store.

Result
The Co-operative Food reported an average 50% reduction in reported instances of crime and a significant reduction in unrecorded loss from theft of attractive commodities in stores where Axis cameras had been installed. Following a staff engagement survey, an average 34% increase in ‘perception of safety in the workplace' was reported, as measured against the previous year. Feedback from local law enforcement has also been positive, with system footage routinely used to support prosecutions.

Making the switch from analog to digital
The Co-operative Food is the UK's fifth biggest food retailer, with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. Its supermarkets range from between 1,000 and 24,000 sq ft. It has food stores in every UK postal area, and over 75,000 employees, serving a total of 14.5 million customers per week.

Having acquired much of its estate though a substantial acquisition and integration program, diverse surveillance set-ups existed across the chain, operating in silo, with no centralized control platform. Axis partner, Kings Security, was selected to transition the retailer onto one unified, future-proof security system and implement a sustainable asset renewal program.

Graham Watt, loss prevention manager at The Co-operative Food, explained: “Our stores trade from 6am to 11pm across very mixed-demographic locations. Some sites are higher risk than others. We needed a system that would cope with disparities in each location, could be easily scaled up or down as necessary, and that would connect the estate on one integrated platform. “After analyzing the market, we chose Axis because its product range and camera quality meant we could use a minimum number of suppliers and maintain the same blueprint system across the entire estate.”

Colleague and customer comfort is a top priority
The solution was an interactive security network that improved surveillance cover for high-risk stores and increased the safety and security of customers and colleagues. Kings Security installed an ‘incident button' that could be pro-actively used to alert control room operators when a colleague feels at risk. Steve Evans, commercial director at Kings Security, said: “We have a 24-hour manned control room, with a dedicated operator monitoring up to 20 stores. If an incident occurs or a staff member anticipates that a situation may escalate, they can alert the operator. It's incredibly comforting for staff to know that someone is watching over them and that support is on-hand whenever necessary.”

When locking-up, colleagues can request that operators assess the area, using the cameras to scan and identify any potential threats. Steve added: “Axis' unique Lightfinder technology means the picture quality is clear and precise – even in the dead of night.” AXIS P8221 network I/O audio module adds two-way audio capabilities, allowing control room operators to make in-store announcements, speak directly to colleagues or deliver instructions.

Subtle and effective surveillance
Axis' camera's wide angle view allows fewer units to be used to deliver full coverage of the shop floor and sensitive areas. Graham explained: “We often change store layouts – promoting specific products, reorganizing shelves etc. The picture quality, maneuverability and depth of field of Axis' cameras mean that there's no need to increase camera numbers or move them around whenever we have a re-shuffle.”

Axis cameras have also helped fulfill the retailer's central aim of improving the comfort of its staff and shoppers, thanks to the camera's discreet and compact design.“Security should never be obtrusive,” says Graham. “The system Kings Security and Axis have delivered provides an effective deterrent for thieves, but is subtle and effective enough to ensure that customers and colleagues feel protected, not scrutinized.”

Hungarian Spa in Hajduszoboszlo upgrades surveillance solutions with VIVOTEK

Hungarian Spa in Hajduszoboszlo upgrades surveillance solutions with VIVOTEK

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 3/31/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Hajduszoboszlo, a small town in Hungary, has been well known for its thermal spring with a healing power since 1920s. HungaroSpa, located in Hajduszoboszlo, offers to international tourists a variety of facilities, such as medical spas, open-air baths, aqua parks, and an aqua-palace. In order to create a safer, more comfortable and reliable environment for tourist, in January, 2013, the management hired Satrax, a system integrator in Hungary working with VIVOTEK and VIVOTEK local distributor Alphasonic, to upgrade the surveillance system at HungaroSpa by installing 173 VIVOTEK network cameras.

Solution
For the center of the swimming pool (a 50 m X 50 m area), VIVOTEK's innovative and award-winning Panoramic PTZ solution was installed. Incorporating VIVOTEK's latest 5-Megapixel fisheye fixed dome network cameras and latest launched full HD speed dome network camera, the solution provides a 180° panoramic view or 360° surround view without blind spots, making it an especially ideal solution for monitoring open areas like the swimming pool and its surroundings. Panoramic PTZ offers wide coverage and can be used to monitor elderly tourists and emergency situations.

In addition to Panoramic PTZ, a variety of other cameras were implemented. Specifically, IP8332 was installed at entrances, outdoor swimming pools, and indoor spa pools because of its day & night function, weather-proof casing, and tamper detection features. IP8335H cameras, which feature an HD WDR CMOS sensor for use in challenging lighting conditions, were installed in outdoor swimming pools, which also open at night. IP7361 cameras were installed for outdoor swimming pools, entrances, and spa pools in the block. IP7361 is a high-end 2-megapixel network bullet camera with high resolution and a combination of outdoor specific features such as concealed wiring to prevent tampering. Additionally, the auto-iris capability can protect the lens from damage induced by direct sunlight.

FD8136 were installed for entrances and exits. As the world's smallest network fixed dome camera, FD8136 features a megapixel sensor enabling viewing resolution of 1280x800 at 30 fps. FD8134, an easy-to-use fixed dome network camera specifically designed for indoor security applications, were installed in the entrances to indoor dressing room (ceiling is about 2.6 m). IP8131 cameras were installed for the control center room, where 2 operators monitor the whole scene all time. IP8131 is a compact cube camera designed for indoor surveillance. Activities around the control center room, such as intrusion or vandalism, can be monitored. With supporting VIVOTEK's iViewer, the smart phone application, operators can monitor live video off-site.

The spa was equipped with several analog cameras. However, as the requirement for security increased, a more advanced and comprehensive network surveillance system is necessary. VIVOTEK's video server VS8100 was therefore adopted to connect to existed analog cameras, which the client wished to continue using. VS8100 was used to upgrade analog into digital surveillance system. Additionally, VAST, the central management software, was also implemented. It was designed to support hundreds of cameras and stations in a hierarchical structure of system for monitoring, recording, playback, and event trigger management with ease-of-use and efficient control.

Benefits
Steve Ma, VIVOTEK's Executive VP commented, "We are proud to present an innovative panoramic PTZ to our clients. The entire surveillance network made possible by the advanced cameras and servers developed by our R&D team will guarantee 100% high-quality images for the spa management. We hope tourists from all around the world will be able to have safe and enjoyable vacations in the VIVOTEK-equipped environment."

 

Optex REDWALL dual tech motion detectors solves park's false alarms

Optex REDWALL dual tech motion detectors solves park's false alarms

Editor / Provider: Optex | Updated: 3/31/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Keetons Business Park, recognized by CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owner's Association) to Gold Award standard is located close to Sheffield city centre, and provides storage for caravans, motor homes, trailer tents and boats. CCTV covers the site 24 hours a day seven days a week, and is monitored by EMCS, entry is via a secure gated system.

Simon & Gail Doyle, owners of Keetons Business Park, say the site's CCTV system using solely PIR motion sensors was experiencing numerous false alarms triggered by foxes, so they approached Neil Makin, Director at Chesterfield-based Central Electrical Ltd. He sought advice from OPTEX to see if the issue could be resolved by using a different sensing technology, and also reviewing the sensor's location.

“After a visit from an OPTEX engineer, a dual technology detector using combined passive infrared and microwave technology was installed on a trial basis and positioned in the best place to capture any potential intruder, but not detect foxes or other small animals. So far we have had very few false alarms and it is working very well.”

The REDWAVE that was specified has reduced alarms from several a days to virtually none and Neil is in no doubt as to why: “We have been using Optex REDWALL products for a number of years but were not aware of this animal immunity feature provided by the dual tech REDWAVE detectors,” he says.

“Since they have been installed and the detection area correctly set, there have been practically no false alarms and it has worked flawlessly – it detects those that should not be on site and not foxes and other small animals.”

Nigel Hackett, Sales Director for Optex Europe says intrusion detection systems should be tailored to the environment of each particular site: “Medium sized nocturnal animals such as foxes are a common cause of false alarms when the system relies on passive infrared technology only. Using a combined microwave/PIR motion sensor like REDWAVE allows users to analyze the target further and ignore animals,” he says. “In other circumstances it also avoids the detection area to over-spill. False alarms are a real burden to monitoring stations, and my team is always ready to advise and help design a system to virtually eliminate false alarms.”

Proximex expands partnership with Bosch Security

Proximex expands partnership with Bosch Security

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 3/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Proximex, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, announces the continued expansion of its partnership with Bosch Security Systems, through the integration of its Surveillint Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solution with video management and intrusion detection and control systems from Bosch. These enhancements, which represent integrations with the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS), the company's latest intrusion control panels -- G Series (GV4) and B Series – and improved support for Conettix D6600 Communications Receivers, continue to add value for joint customers who require the accurate display and correlation of critical information to manage a security incident more efficiently from their PSIM system.

“This partnership with Bosch underscores our desire to continue to collaborate with our partners and innovate in all areas of security, helping Surveillint users to do their jobs more quickly and realize the full value of their security investments,” said Chatura Liyanage, Group Product Manager, Proximex. “The new integration with the Bosch video management platform and the continued improvements to the alarm monitoring integrations are significant extensions of that collaboration and innovation.”

BVMS 4.5 is an enterprise-class client/server based video management system offering superior alarm handling, and a mobile client for viewing live and playback video. Using Surveillint, which connects and correlates information from disparate systems into one centralized environment, users can manage Bosch video alerts with workflow automation for improved and faster incident response and create event reports for more proactive management of security operations.

Additional integrations between Surveillint and Bosch G Series and B Series panels and the Conettix D6600 Receiver enable end users to receive information from the panels into Surveillint as well as collect, analyze and display detailed alarm information through Surveillint.

“Joining our detailed video streams and reliable alarm communications with data from other systems through Surveillint provides a complete picture of security activity in a single view,” says Brad Eck, Integration Manager, North America, Bosch Security Systems. “The partnership with Proximex provides our mutual customers with a higher level of situational awareness to improve how security events are handled and to mitigate risk.”

These latest integrations will be demonstrated at the Bosch Security Systems Booth 14051 at ISC West, April 2-4 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.

Axis releases video monitoring solution Axis Camera Station 4.0

Axis releases video monitoring solution Axis Camera Station 4.0

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 3/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

AXIS Camera Station 4.0 is a complete video monitoring and recording solution designed to perfectly match Axis' extensive range of network cameras and video encoders. Axis Communications, the global supplier in network video, launches a new release of its video management software AXIS Camera Station. With the introduction of AXIS Camera Station 4.0, Axis is setting a new standard for easy and efficient video surveillance.

“Many feature-rich video management systems on the market today are also quite complex to install and use,” says Peter Friberg, Director of System and Services, Axis Communications. “With AXIS Camera Station 4.0 we prove that it is possible for a video management solution to be both powerful – and easy to use. Based on experience from 50,000 installations worldwide and input from installers and users, we have improved the system in many aspects. This launch is a first, important step to really put efficient operation and identification in focus.”

The new release includes a setup wizard with automatic camera discovery which guides the user through every step of the configuration process. This allows for the system to be up and running within minutes.

The user interface of AXIS Camera Station has been re-designed with focus on ease-of-use and intuitive operations for key areas such as live view navigation, event configuration and video investigation.

With AXIS Camera Station 4.0, Axis introduces Extended Smart Search. By simply defining an area of interest the user can search through vast amounts of high definition video in just seconds for quick investigation and retrieval of evidence. The new Extended Smart Search function is based on AXIS Video Content Stream technology – a technology where certain information in the images is captured by the camera and sent as a separate stream together with the video and audio files.

AXIS Camera Station allows the user to take full advantage of Axis' market-leading network cameras and their capabilities, such as 360o overview recording with client de-warping, multi-view streaming, Axis Corridor Format, H.264 compression and advanced camera-based video motion detection providing high definition video for identification even if bandwidth and storage is limited.

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