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Unifying city-wide surveillance systems

Unifying city-wide surveillance systems

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 10/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Pervez Siddiqui, director of strategic markets, explains how cities can take a collaborative approach to improve the safety and security of their citizens.

Thousands, if not millions, of citizens rely on local and national governments to keep them safe. Protecting the public from crime, safeguarding buildings from vandalism, or simply ensuring a city is running smoothly requires multiple public sector agencies to collaborate, consult with citizens and secure buy-in from private enterprises. By combining resources and standardising public safety efforts using Genetec's unified security platform Security Center, cities can break down silos across agencies, cost effectively enhance city-wide operations, expand surveillance coverage, and improve emergency preparedness and response times.

Genetec Security Center combines Omnicast internet protocol (IP) video surveillance, Synergis IP access control and AutoVu automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) systems to deliver greater situational awareness to security and law enforcement personnel. It standardises common security operations from multiple systems – such as monitoring, reporting, alarm management and configuration – and makes all tasks easily accessible via a single intuitive application. Using Omnicast's IP video management system, cities can identify threats and manage hundreds or thousands of high-definition, megapixel cameras, while reducing bandwidth costs. The Synergis IP access control system enables cities to leverage existing network and hardware investments to extend security coverage to municipal and historical buildings. The solution also provides efficient workflows and greater automation, which allows users to focus on monitoring critical tasks. Meanwhile, fixed or mobile ALPR cameras can be attached to intersection lights, buildings or law enforcement vehicles to track stolen cars, wanted felons, or amber alerts around the city. In addition, cities can use Security Center to implement a phased growth plan as each new budget cycle is launched, enabling cities to start by upgrading video surveillance and unify other key systems over time. For example, the solution can be used to improve access control for enhanced security and centralised personnel management; enhance licence plate recognition, hot lists and reads systems; and develop video analytics to identify misplaced objects or trip wires, and count people. Security Center can also be used to unify evidence management systems hosted in Microsoft Azure for Government, as well as Microsoft Aware Consoles for threat, investigation and intelligence management. Furthermore, Genetec's platform can be deployed to establish a multi-stakeholder model that brings together publicly and privately funded security systems in one centrally managed, cost-effective system via the solution's Federation feature. This allows cities to extend security coverage by accessing video streams from private entities in emergencies, while retaining the autonomy of each individual system.

The Federation model also enables public organisations – such as educational institutions, utilities services and municipal buildings – to provide police departments with full control of their security systems at the click of a button. Police departments can then view cameras, lock down facilities and respond to threats in an effective, efficient and timely manner.

To protect citizens' privacy, the Federation model ensures video evidence is managed responsibly by providing both broad and granular system privileges, audit trails, customisable user access rights for cameras or files and monitoring document incident handling. Digital signatures can also be added to video to ensure authentic evidence is used in court.

What's more, Genetec's security platform helps to transform officer smartphones or wearable cameras into mobile monitoring stations, which are linked back to the central control centre via mobile apps. Meanwhile, officers on the road can also tap into the city's systems from their vehicle-based laptops to enable them to proactively assess and prepare for emergency situations and improve response times, while ensuring they remain safe. In essence, cities wanting to capitalise on their existing hardware and multiple networks can use unified security platforms to upgrade analogue technology over time. Solutions like Genetec's Security Center help cities to expand their surveillance systems to include thousands of devices with ease – potentially reaching up to 300 cameras per server – and expand with cloud camera connections, while eliminating the cost of on-site storage hardware and servers.

What Genetec's customers are saying about Security Center

Ville de Forbach
Located in France, the city of Forbach chose Security Center to protect more than 100,000 citizens from local crime. Using Omnicast, the city manages a combination of fixed and multi-lens IP cameras suited for different environmental conditions, while Synergis controls access to the command centre. Plus, the map-based interface enables police officers to easily search for and retrieve video evidence, which has helped to justify the future expansion of the system.
“The ease of use and the speed at which we can retrieve information is extremely impressive,” says Michel Fersing, the city of Forbach's municipal police chief. “Today, I can say with full confidence that every national police officer leaves our department with video evidence, within minutes. Security Center has been an instrumental addition to our city's security and we could not be more pleased with our new unified platform.”

Sanford Public Safety Complex
Security Center has also been implemented in the US city of Sanford in Florida as part of a major upgrade at a new state-of-the-art public safety complex. The system comprises more than 80 cameras managed by Omnicast and over 78 access control points controlled by Synergis. As Sanford has several municipal facilities with Genetec solutions, it also used the Federation feature to ensure it can centrally manage all systems from the complex.
“Security Center is a platform that can address all of Sanford's needs, allowing us to create a federated system that serves several types of facilities simultaneously,” says Nicholas McRay, senior project manager at the city of Sanford. “We never need to cross-reference information between discrete solutions across the city because it's all tied in. It works well for us, and it suits the widely varied needs of a municipality.”

 

AXIS helps you keep an eye from home on baby in the hospital

AXIS helps you keep an eye from home on baby in the hospital

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 10/16/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The Maas Hospital in Boxmeer (NL) gives young parents the opportunity to keep an eye on their child being cared for in the incubator, over the Internet, thanks to Axis network cameras.

Solution
J&K Automatisering, a company based in Oploo (NL) and a partner of Axis, advised the Maas Hospital to opt for a user-friendly application based on Axis network cameras. This solution is practical and nurse-proof. The monitoring system is simple to operate, with few commands and little opportunity to get things wrong. The incubator unit is divided into sections, and everything in a particular section is shown on the image. The cameras are all connected to a central server, which receives the images and controls access to them.

Result
Babies in the incubator unit cannot be discharged immediately because of illness or premature birth. This solution allows the hospital to give parents the opportunity to see their baby all the same. Parents can also authorize close friends and relatives to see the baby, too. The hospital mentioned a medical reason as well: mothers in the hospital's maternity unit need to be able to see their baby via a laptop, as contact between mother and child speeds up the mother's recovery.

Professional and easy to use
Images are accessed via a single portal, a central point of access to the images taken by the cameras. This gives the system a professional feel. Using a portal also means that information can be displayed on screen as well: for instance, telling viewers that babies are taken out of their cots when the nurses are carrying out nursing or medical procedures. If parents log on while this is happening, rather than looking at an empty cot they will see a message saying “We are looking after your baby.” It's also possible that a technical fault might have occurred, or that the camera might have been switched off for some reason. If that happens, the message “No image is currently available due to a fault or because the camera has been switched off.” For unexpected events the system has an emergency button. By pressing this button the power is cut and the image will disappear.

AXIS 211 Network Camera
The Maas Hospital chose the AXIS 211 Network Camera for the “Keeping an eye on your baby at home” project. This model always produces sharp, clear pictures. A varifocal DC iris lens, with a light sensitivity range from 0.75 to 500,000 lux, ensures that images are sharp even in low light conditions - during the evening and night, for example.

Another advantage of the AXIS 211 is its ability to take power via the midspan: a box that allows the network cable to feed both images and power to the camera. This means that no separate power cable is required. The emergency button is also connected to the midspan and controls the flow of power.

Privacy and storage
An important feature of this project is its matter-offact nature. It's a service that the hospital offers to parents - nothing more and nothing less. That is another reason why images of the newborn babies are never stored. Van Zitteren told us that this was a deliberate choice: “It has to do with privacy rules. If you create video images of someone and want to keep them, you have to comply with all kinds of legal regulations on privacy. The images in the Maas Hospital are changing all the time. The frames refresh every three seconds, and each new image takes the place of the preceding one. This has an added benefit: the cameras don't take up much room in the server's memory.”

Parents can create a photograph of their baby by means of a right-click with their mouse on the moving image. The response has been positive. Van Zitteren continues, “Of course, the system isn‘t designed to replace visiting the baby, but people at home want to know that everything‘ s OK. The images give them the reassurance or confirmation that their baby is in good hands.”

Samsung Techwin security cameras secure a vital part of British film heritage

Samsung Techwin security cameras secure a vital part of British film heritage

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 10/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Situated in South West London, Twickenham Studios offers a bespoke service to all media, including film and television, and can claim to be the only London based studios that caters for both stage and post-production requirements. The very latest Samsung Techwin video surveillance technology now plays a key role in helping create a safe and secure environment for all who work on the studio site. First opened to the world of film in 1913, the studio has worked on highly successful films, such as 'The Others', 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' and 'The Iron Lady'. The Studios went into administration and in 2012 seemed destined for demolition. However, following a successful Save Twickenham Studios' campaign, the site was purchased by British businessman and property magnate Sunny Vohra, who quickly implemented a multi-million pound plan to modernise and re-equip the Studios.

The Challenge
With the need to ensure that valuable production equipment and other assets will not be an easy target to would-be thieves, Carl Childs, Head of Engineering for Twickenham Studios was tasked to source a video surveillance system that would allow the monitoring of all activity throughout the studio. “The cost implications of having to replace equipment can be significant, but equally important was the need to safeguard against any disruption to film production and to verify 100% compliance with the Studio's strict health & safety procedures.”

With the assistance of Aray Architects, a tender process resulted in video surveillance specialists Securebase being awarded the contract to install a 28 camera IP network based system.

“Having successfully installed Samsung Techwin security equipment on a number of previous occasions, we were pleased to see that Twickenham Studios had specified the company's cameras for this particular project,” said Dariush Hekmat, Director of East Finchley based Securebase. “We needed to install and commission the system within one week and so it was very helpful that all cameras and recording equipment were sourced from a manufacturer who we had confidence in, and whose products we were familiar with. This was very much a team effort. We received excellent technical support from Samsung Techwin and our ability to complete the project on time was further enhanced by Twickenham Studio's engineering department overseeing the professional installation of an IP network infrastructure before we arrived on site. With the Samsung Techwin featuring POE (Power over Ethernet), installation time was further reduced as this negated the need to install power points at each camera location.”

27 of the installed cameras, which are equipped with Samsung Techwin's Open Platform WiseNetIII DSP chipsets, are capable of capturing 2MP Full HD (1080P) images when the lighting level is as low as 0.01 Lux and have an ultra fast frame rate of 60fps which results in latency free clear images. This can be particularly beneficial in a scene with moving subjects by ensuring image edges are kept sharp and clear. 13 of these cameras are SNO-6084R weather resistant Bullet cameras, 10 are SNV-6084R vandal resistant dome cameras and 4 are SND-6084R internal dome cameras. All are day/night cameras with motorised varifocal lens and have built in IR LED illuminators to capture high quality images, even in total darkness.

An SNF-7010 360-degree 3 megapixel camera has also been installed at a specific location at the Studio where a large number of standard cameras would normally be required to monitor such a large area without any blind spots.

The images from all 28 cameras are simultaneously recorded on a Samsung Techwin SRN-1000 network video recorder which has 12 terabyte on-board storage capacity, enabling Carl and other authorised personnel, to quickly retrieve recorded video evidence of any suspicious activity.

“By investing in a future proof IP network based video surveillance system that can be expanded at any time if our requirements change, we have put in place a highly effective tool which should help us to protect our assets and maintain a welcoming, as well as safe environment, for many years to come for everyone who visits or works at the Studios,” said Carl.

Understanding “Real” PSIM

Understanding “Real” PSIM

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, a&s International | Updated: 10/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

PSIM (physical security information management) software is a rapidly growing segment in the security market. Its core strengths lie in the ability to integrate disparate systems, creating an intelligencebased situation picture and supplying operators with active policy management. As the market learns more of the benefits PSIM they have the potential to go beyond security and turn into a complete site management platform.

The world market for PSIM (physical security information management) software in 2013 was estimated at US$160.3 million by IHS Research. Despite being a small segment inside the larger security market, PSIM has enjoyed rapid growth — it is estimated to continue growing at 20% and higher growth rates until at least 2018, according to IHS. Price and also end users' level of understanding of PSIM solutions are still main barriers limiting PSIM growth. In addition, the PSIM market's long-term growth is also limited by “competing products successfully being deployed in the mid-tier, a market that has historically been out of reach for the high-end PSIM software platforms due to their prohibitive price tag,” IHS commented.

What is a "Real" PSIM?
PSIM is a software platform that collects and manages information from disparate security devices and information systems into one common situation picture. These can be traditional security sensors like video cameras, access control, intrusion detection sensors, as well as “non-conventional” systems such as networks and building management systems, cyber security hacking alerts, and even weather feeds. A true PSIM solution is vendor and hardware agnostic, giving users the ability to integrate legacy systems and the flexibility and the choice to use best-of-breed technology in the future without limitations.

Being a relative newcomer to the security sector, and displaying a fast growth rate, there is confusion regarding what constitutes a “true” PSIM solution and how it differs from other command and control systems, video management software (VMS), or other security platforms, some of them offering their own integrations between different systems.

The main benefit of PSIM lies in its integration capabilities, being able to connect with existing and planned systems without being “locked-in” to any specific vendor. Usually VMS systems or access control systems use proprietary technology. In these cases, extending a system can only be done by the same vendor. Integrating with a legacy system provided by a different vendor could prove difficult, forcing replacement of existing systems.

In addition to this unique integration capability, PSIM offers another strong differentiator: PSIM is an intelligencebased solution. Collecting and correlating information from different sources means alerts are only raised on events that are important. “A true PSIM has the ability to identify unfolding events, manage them effectively, and mitigate their risk. For commercial, critical infrastructure, and homeland security markets, PSIM provides situation management and establishes the foundation for organizations' operations,” said Jamie Wilson, Security Marketing Manager for EMEA at NICE Systems.

A third important differentiator is the ability to provide active management of events, improving operational efficiency. By using adaptive workflows, the operator knows what is happening, where it is happening, and what needs to be done. Step-by-step action plans can be created to address different situations. This is vital in both making the operators job easier, but also in ensuring the company is following corporate safety and security policies every time and complying with local rules and regulations. “Without adaptive workflows, all you have is a lot of interconnected systems and you are solely reliant upon the experience of the operator to be able to coordinate the management of the incident,” added Wilson.

Adlan Hussain, VP of Marketing at CNL Software emphasized that dynamic workflows can change based on the time of the day, the threat level, and the number and types of alarms in the system. “This is what makes a PSIM solution an intelligence-based system and not a mere check list of processes to follow,” he explained.

These benefits, combined with growing connectivity, change the way corporations work. PSIM allows for a more centralized command and control, without being tied to a specific site. “In the past the security surveillance and sensors' monitoring had to be on-site at the place of the event. Today we can disconnect between the surveillance and the site. The benefit of a PSIM system is not only in connecting different sites, but thanks to the ability to display the same information in different languages we can connect a company headquarters in Europe with a site in Africa,” explained Hagai Katz, VP of Business Development for Magal Systems. “This connectivity allows the company headquarters to quickly address issues and make sure that the initial response is the correct one. A company can extend the benefit it gets from a PSIM system beyond safety and security. Other company procedures can be incorporated into the SOP, for example, making sure a proper media response is prepared by the PR function. In that sense a PSIM system also contributes to the company's risk management.”

Who should install PSIM?
From the technical point of view, PSIM solutions are intended for easy integration. It is therefore meant for cases when there are several legacy systems that need to be integrated, when there are several control layers (e.g., local and national), and when there are many sensors, or when future integrations with additional systems are needed.

PSIM is mostly needed for critical sites with high security requirements and large sites with many systems/ sensors. It is therefore mostly relevant for national infrastructure, large corporations, government buildings, mass transportation, and city protection projects. All these already have existing legacy systems and can benefit from integration. A city, for example, can integrate video footage from public space video surveillance cameras and traffic control cameras creating a unified situation picture in the control room.

Obstacles Facing Adoption
Though the benefits of PSIM seem natural and logical, there are still many barriers to its adoption. Some are due to lack of buy-in by different stakeholders that refuse to give up control of their systems and information; some are the result of past failures.

One of the biggest challenges faced by PSIM vendors is the availability of IT savvy channel partners. “Limitations to growth are predominantly around the current education levels within end users, consultants, and integrators,” explained Hussain,” We are working hard to increase education levels within each of these groups, and have created programs to address some of these challenges.”

Growing Connectivity and Greater Industry Cooperation
“With everything today moving at light speeds towards connectivity via the network and the Internet, PSIM is also migrating and expanding towards the ‘Internet of Things' via the information management aspects of PSIM,” said James Chong, Founder and CTO of Vidsys. “The open architecture and browserbased PSIM technology is enabling the software platform to rapidly and literally connect with almost any IP-based device, application, and system using open standards and protocols such as XML, SOAP, HTTP, SMTP, and others.”

Recent updates in PSIM software functions and features include integration with mobile devices, allowing ground forces to share and receive information through smartphones and tablets. In addition, there is an industry move towards greater connectivity with other business systems such as HR systems, internal directories, visitor management systems, building automation systems, RFID, intelligent transportation, and more. These will create opportunities for other benefits to be realized from PSIMs beyond safety and security.

“I think people are realizing that PSIMs can provide a lot more than just physical security,” said Michael Mesaros, Group Product Manager at Proximex, a Tyco Security Products brand. “We're being asked by customers to integrate with all kinds of systems — elevators, building management systems, luggage conveyors, and even environmental controls in airport jet ways. There is a combination of market forces at work and PSIMs must be capable of leveraging this data for more and more systems as it becomes available.” He pointed out that Proximex has worked to make their PSIM easier to integrate with — for example, by implementing APIs based on REST (representational state transfer), a standard integration in the enterprise IT world. “Following these standards opens up a lot of avenues for customers to integrate social and web solutions.”

toward greater connectivity and easier integration. CNL has created a PSIM driver development community, which allows other development houses, product vendors, and security integrators to create drivers to connect systems to CNL's PSIM platform. This allows fast production of drivers, and allows product vendors to create their own drivers if they are not able to share their SDK or APIs. In the past five years, CNL has also been running a technological partner program.

Another initiative to foster interoperability between manufacturers and establish industry standards is the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) led by companies such as Cisco, Tyco, Hikvision, and Kastle Systems. PSIA's mission is to develop specifications for physical security technology that will enable plug-and-play interoperability across the security ecosystem. This will make the integration of different systems under a PSIM solution quicker and easier.

Integrating Predictive Capabilities
PSIMs can go beyond event management and post-event investigation. The ability to integrate with media broadcasts, open source intelligence systems, and other information analytics gives PSIM a predictive capability, as well as a strategic advantage in predicting and preparing for incidents.

Earlier this year, Vidsys and HP Autonomy announced a collaboration to develop a solution that combines VidSys' PSIM with HP's advanced information analytics platform. “Social and broadcast media play an increasingly significant role in helping anticipate and mitigate potential security incidents around the world. The nature and profile of threats are constantly changing and this new generation of adversary often leaves a different digital footprint, creating potential gaps in traditional threat detection approaches,” said Chong. “The combination of a vast array of information, including social media chatter, video surveillance footage, emails, case files, criminal records, and physical location data help identify potential threats and take actions to neutralize the danger.”

PSIM to Offer Holistic Management
The benefits of PSIM, especially its ability to incorporate non-security systems, hold within them the promise of expanding beyond physical security and delivering comprehensive information management. A good example is seaport management, explained Katz. A PSIM system can make sure that an incoming truck is cleared quickly using LPR sensors for the truck and a biometric sensor for the driver. The containers can be recorded and stored according to their final destination and video surveillance can make sure the goods are not damaged. Since everything is audited by the system, the port can accurately bill the clients according to how long the cargo was stored before it was loaded on the ship. Usages like this, according to Katz, show how “PSIM allows combining these different work flows into one single story.”

All in all, the data gathered from security systems, combined with other systems can turn a PSIM solution into a comprehensive site control platform; thus demonstrating that PSIMs are not for security alone. In the future, PSIMs will allow for a more holistic management approach, combining safety, security, and management.

[asmag feature] Wireless transmission for traffic vertical

[asmag feature] Wireless transmission for traffic vertical

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by ALCON | Updated: 10/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

It is widely known that choosing the right camera and back-end storage device are crucial in terms of video surveillance. As a matter of fact, transmission is the key factor that is easily overlooked in the entire monitoring systems.

If we're talking about surveillance in a flat or wherever wire cabling construction is convenient to install, stable transmission might not be a tough task to achieve. However, when it comes to video surveillance for traffic utilities, a wrong set of transmission system can make the project a nightmare if you do not fully understand what you are dealing with........ continue to read this article

 

Click Here for Full Content of Wireless Transmission Feature

Exploration: Sensing automation

Exploration: Sensing automation

Editor / Provider: Editorial Department, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 10/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

If your house is able to think and feel, what can it do for you? Well, it could be an affordable or even a free housekeeper that can automatically take care of your family and property to make your life easy, comfort, organized and secure.

Sensors are fundamental for smart home. Smart home systems rely on a number of sensors to gain understanding of the environment to enable devices to respond accordingly. In essence, sensors communicate with each other and the smart home system to make a home intelligent. The intelligence may then be applied to various use cases, such as security, convenience, comfort, energy conservation and more. Today sensors are increasingly smart, cheap, compact and power efficient, each of which are crucial factors in pushing the market toward a truly practical and affordable smart home solution worthy of mass market adoption.

In addition, many sensors in the market today are multifunctional sensors with built in wireless connectivity. They also have a stronger focus on user experience users can easily find sensors that are cheap and easy to set up, measure multiple elements, and interact with a variety of devices through wireless communication protocols. And they last for years without a battery change.

SECURITY, COMFORT AND ENERGY SAVING
Security, comfort and energy conservation are three main motivations for homeowners to purchase smart home systems. According to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, smart home may become the second highest priority for residential modeling over the next five to ten years. According to another study by Harvard University, 73% of consumers demand energy efficiency in their remodeling projects; they achieve this through managing and coordinating lighting control and HVAC systems through automated means or via mobile devices.

Research conducted by Global Industry Analysts (GIA) indicates that smart homes of the future will feature more than 20 or even 30 connected sensors and devices. They will likely be linked via a home area network to the Internet as well as the service providers back end systems.

A smart home system that aims to make a home more secure, comfortable and energy efficient should include the following sensors:
‧ Motiondetection / PIR sensors:
Senses movement and triggers alerts. Major providers offer remote monitoring services that allow users to stream live video from their home cameras when needed.
‧ Ambient light sensors:
Lets the system know which areas have sufficient lighting. In conjunction with a motion detector, the smart home system may know that it should turn on the lights when motion is detected in a dark room.
‧ Smoke/CO detection sensors:
Alerts users of potential fire hazards. The smart home system may also know it should turn off fuel burning appliances, sound alarms, flash lights and more. ‧Temperature sensors/Thermostat:
Measures indoor or outdoor temperatures. Smart home systems can control HVAC appliances to adjust the environment to be more comfortable.
‧ Humidity sensors:
Measures humidity levels and possibly air quality. Smart home systems can control HVAC appliances to adjust the environment to be more comfortable.
‧ Water/floodsensors:
Informs users when water is spilling from a pipe or an appliance. Some systems can cut off water supplies and electricity to prevent disasters.
‧ Press/vibrationsensors:
Detects pressure and vibration. It could be attached to a window for security purposes or a washing machine to alert users when the laundry is done.

A ROSY PICTURE
The United States represents the largest market worldwide, followed by Europe. ON World s recent survey of more than 1,000 US adults forecast phenomenal growth in the coming years. Over a third believes they will have wireless sensors in their home in five years. Early adopters plan on having at least 50 sensors in their smart homes within the next five years and they want to integrate them into their WiFi/IP network,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. For all respondents, data reliability was selected as the most important feature of a smart home sensing and control system, followed by battery life, IP addressability, smartphone control and app availability.

Among all the sensor type, automated security and lighting are popular among consumers, and most homeowners opt for a smart home system because of security reasons. Families with children/elderly can especially benefit from the security that a smart home system provides. According to the survey by ON World, consumers are most likely to buy smoke detector/CO alarms followed by wireless LED light bulbs, smart thermostats and/or a smart appliance.

At the moment, wireless sensor devices are primarily used in industrial settings, residential applications are expected to grow phenomenally, mainly for automation and energy management purposes. This sector was worth $244 million in 2011 and is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2016, showing a CAGR of 35.5% between 2011 and 2016, according to BCC Research.

The expected prosperity is also exemplified by the growth of key component shipments. “Smart home sensor network chipset shipments will approach 100 million worldwide in 2015, enabling nearly $6 billion in cloud services for energy and home service providers,” Hatler said.

MULTI-PURPOSE SENSORS: YES, PLEASE!
The most common combination of sensors in a single package is smoke and heat. There are also 4-in-1 multi-purpose sensors that can detect motion, light, temperature and humidity. For example, FIBARO's Motion Sensor detects movement and vibrations and measures the current ambient temperature and light intensity. The product is capable of displaying color, which are pre-programmed but fully customizable, allowing users to see at a glance what the sensor is picking up.

In addition to making sensors more powerful and capable of gaining a deeper understanding of the surrounding environment, another benefit is that few sensors need to be installed. This can offer real savings in areas with high labor costs.

According to IHS Technology, market trends in North America and Western Europe are showing higher demand and increased usage of multi-purpose sensors. The think tank forecasts the global multi-purpose sensor market to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% from 2013 to 2018.

INTELLIGENT SENSORS ENABLE SMARTER LIFESTYLES
Sensors gather data to help an intelligent system analyze users' habits and take actions to maximize user comfort and minimize energy consumption. Occupancy and vacancy sensors are commonly referred to as motion and light sensors, which can be applied to help save energy. Lights turn off automatically when a room is unoccupied, and turn on when motion is detected. Vacancy sensors are also used to automatically turn off lights when a room is empty. In addition to lighting, indoor temperature can also be controlled to effectively heat or cool a room depending on the number of people in it. For example, FIBARO's smart sensor offers intelligent analysis like guest counting. Once the system knows there are more people in the house, it will turn on the ventilation on to let in fresh air.

Some sensors also reach beyond comfort to improve users' wellness. Air quality monitoring startup alima, offers responsive sensors that monitor indoor air quality and sends messages to users regarding pollution levels and predictions of upcoming weather.

The sensor intelligently learns indoor environment and helps modify user habits to minimize contributions to pollution. It sends data to the cloud and pushes results and advice to connected devices, while also providing a holistic view of air quality.

COMMUNICATION STANDARD GOES IP-ADDRESSABLE
Regardless of the application of sensors, communication between different sensors is crucial. Unfortunately, multiple wireless communication standards coexist and are incompatible with each other. Many popular smart home solutions are still closed systems that adopt proprietary standards.

Closed systems and proprietary protocols contribute to the lack of interoperability between systems and devices. Although there are numerous gateways or hubs that attempt to bridge communication between devices that adopt different standards, true interoperability is unlikely to be realized through “duct tape” solutions. The majority of wireless sensor networks use proprietary protocols running on sub-GHz or 2.4GHz frequency bands. When a home is equipped with tens or hundreds of wireless sensors continuously working in the full-alert mode, a large amount of energy is consumed.

As sensors become more compact, their sizes limit them to use small batteries as their power source. The sensors must minimize energy consumption to extend their lifetime, which is unacceptable for consumer use if it is less than one year. At the same time, sensors must provide high quality monitoring 24/7, as the consequence of unreliable homecare may be life threatening, and will not be tolerated by consumers. The scenario reflects the necessity of activity-aware sensor networking, along with the integration of activity recognition algorithms. For instance, if no one is at home, the sensing and networking activity should fall back to standby mode in order to reduce energy consumption. If a user is at home, the sensing and networking needs to provide reliable and predictable monitoring.

Low-power and activity-aware sensor networks with the integration of activity recognition algorithms are on demand. The current connected home systems connect sensors with multiple low-power wireless technologies like Low Power WiFi, Thread, ULE, Z-Wave, ZigBee, and ISM Band Sub-GHz frequency bands (433, 868 and 915 MHz).

IP-addressable is the mainstream for smart home sensors. Among the standards, ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale Semiconductor, Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Labs, and Yale Security launched Thread in July 2014. Thread is a new IP-based wireless mesh network protocol that will enable smart home devices to carry IPv6 communications with very low power consumption and support large-scale networks for the home with more than 250 nodes. Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director of IHS Technology indicated that Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards, designed for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networks. Existing popular application protocols and IoT platforms can run over Thread networks, which means millions of existing 802.15.4 wireless devices already on the market can run Thread with just a software enhancement.

According to Transparency Market Research, WiFi used to be the major technology employed in home energy managements systems, accounting for 25.1% of the total market in 2012. However, over the forecasted period from 2013 to 2019, ZigBee is expected to show the fastest growth and surpass WiFi to become the primary technology. This is mainly attributed to its growing demand in established markets like Europe and the U.S. on the account of its superior properties like scalability, more interference tolerant and compatibility with most HAN (Home Area Network) devices.

ConnectSense by Grid Connect is a platform for low-cost, cloud-based WiFi 802.11b/g wireless sensors that monitor changes in a user's environment and then sends alerts and notifications via phone call, email, text or tweet. Sensors are available to monitor temperature, humidity, water, motion, security and light. WiFi is the ubiquitous wireless technology found in business offices and homes. The utilization of WiFi networks lets users leverage their existing WiFi network without the need to purchase any additional hardware or gateways.

ON World's findings indicated that ZigBee and Z-Wave will have more than half of the sensor network market in 2015, but emerging technologies such as Low Power WiFi and 6LoWPAN will grow even faster. Z-Wave operates in the sub-GHz band, avoiding 2.4 GHz interference.

Wireless transmission goes beyond boudaries

Wireless transmission goes beyond boudaries

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 10/13/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

It is widely known that choosing the right camera and back-end storage device are crucial in terms of video surveillance. As a matter of fact, transmission is the key factor that is easily overlooked in the entire monitoring systems.

If we're talking about surveillance in a flat or wherever wire cabling construction is convenient to install, stable transmission might not be a tough task to achieve. However, when it comes to video surveillance for traffic utilities, a wrong set of transmission system can make the project a nightmare if you do not fully understand what you are dealing with.

In the following paragraphs, asmag.com would like to show you some decisive aspects on the advantages of applying wireless transmission systems and reasons why you should especially consider to deploying in traffic sector.

Advantages of Going Wireless
1. Flexibility: No matter it is for 100 meters or 40km, wireless transmission can easily tailor to different circumstances. Meanwhile, since there is nothing holding devices back, you can move the entire system around just to fit in new decoration. Distance and cabling can hardly be any issue if wireless system is your call.

2. Easy to Install: All you have to do is providing certain data such as transmission distance and range of bandwidths; the systems will be all set when it is arrived at your doorstep, and it takes only few steps and steady hands to mount the devices at the places you want.

3. Cost-saving: Cabling can cost a huge amount of your fortune, not to mention all the follow-up maintenance. Meanwhile, don't forget that hiring professionals to install the surveillance systems and cables is definitely not going to save you any penny.

Wireless Transmission for Traffic Utilities
City Traffic and Highway
Let's start from the basic – city traffic and highway. First of all, in the middle of a metropolitan, it is extremely difficult to install cables or upgrade the cabling infrastructure from time to time. Since you cannot stop the city from being functioning and it is even harder to keep cables from being damaged while all kinds of vehicles running by all the time. It just costs too much to maintain cable transmission systems.

Secondly, distance has always been an issue! On the highway, it is not realistic to stick to wire transmission if we're talking about a matter of 30-kilometers. Furthermore, there is a great chance that the highway is running across areas under harsh environment condition such as extremely low and high temperatures, etc. It is vital that the devices can work under various conditions.

Some traffic construction projects might require surveillance systems for monitoring constructiion sites and then continuously deploy the same systems for traffic monitoring. Wireless transmission is definitely the solution made for this demand. Rather than worrying about cabling, you only need to reset the systems according to different environment.

Harbor
Coast and sea shore are one of the trickiest locations for setting up surveillance devices. Industrial enclosure is a must-have due to the erosive environment. Other than that, wireless system seems to be the most reasonable solution for harbor application, since it would be a tough task to tailor wire transmission to various demands.

When it comes to wireless transmission, a crucial prerequisite is the line-of-sight (LOS). The Wi-Fi connection fails when containers or ships blocking in between. Without auto-reboot and auto-reconnection functions, it would require technical support to reconnect and reset the systems every time disconnection occurs. Therefore, auto-reboot and auto-reconnection functions are absolutely necessary, enabling the wireless connection back to work in a just couple seconds from disconnection.

Airport
Any trespassing incidents in the airport surrounding area can lead to destructive consequences. Maintaining wire surveillance systems can be troublesome, as previously mentioned; wireless equipment seems to be a wiser solution that saves you some troubles and ensures airport 24/7 security and operation.

Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFC) is an important function that comes with the wireless system, in order to make sure that the surveillance frequency will not interfere the communication between control tower and airplanes. DFS allows wireless LANs to coexist with radar system, and automatically selects a clean channel and frequency.

You know EverFocus! But do you really know EverFocus?

You know EverFocus! But do you really know EverFocus?

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by EverFocus | Updated: 10/6/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Yes we can! For the past 19 years, EverFocus has been supporting and working with our partners down the river of success. “Partner for growth” is what EverFocus has been doing and we believed that to provide something that can efficiently solve the problems is what we can do with our partners to grow together. To provide something valuable to the world has always been our goal to contribute to the society.

Surveillance is not merely a video thing, but plenty of integration that brings a huge amount of data. Therefore, dealing with the data, and making the data useful is what we want now and even to the future. What we think and do can be traced from EverFocus' philosophy: to make our life easier and better. This is not only EverFocus' dream, but what people want in their lives.

Think about what will happen if the data have been processed for intelligent actions. Imagine a CO2 monitor installed in a classroom. When the air quality is measured as low, the alarm will sound for notification. And that's it. No more further automatic actions. What if we gather the data from a CO2 monitor to a central management system? The data will be stored, the air-conditioning systems will be automatically adjusted to the optimal mode and the door or window can be opened automatically. That's it? Not really! The data will be recorded to the system and the system can produce an annual analysis report in visualized diagram / text or any formats, presenting a broader trend.

What can we benefit from this? First, the classroom automation gives us a better indoor environmental quality and can make people feel fresh, work efficiently and it's also good for the health. Moreover, analysis reports help us for future improvement. This is what EverFocus wants to do. What we want to do is to contribute to the surveillance environment, not only limited to the present, but prevent from what will happen in the future. Thus, EverFocus presents the Genie XMS to the world, the next generation central management system to fulfill future requirements.

Designed with a flexible architecture, the central management system is able to connect all kinds of devices, sensors, alarm and multiple service systems to fit customer requirements. Integration/customization service is the reason why the Genie XMS has been launched to the market.

EverFocus provides a full range of product line-up. But that's just not enough. We focus on the solution-based services and we are ready for various solution services encountered on our way.

The greatest Slovak aviation show is supported by Axis IP cameras

The greatest Slovak aviation show is supported by Axis IP cameras

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 10/7/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Mission
58 airplanes from 13 countries carefully watched by more than 90,000 spectators. That was the 4th Slovak International Air Fest whose scope puts it among the biggest air festivals in Central Europe. However, the large number of guests at the Sliač air base made the organizers apply rigorous organizational and security measures.
This year, the organizers specifically focused on greater monitoring of people's movements and greater incident resolution. The situation called for the use of a camera system; nevertheless, the need to monitor remote locations without electric power supply and data system connection represented a challenge.

Solution
Therefore, the Slovak Aviation Agency decided to utilize the capabilities of the Axis IP cameras and the wellproven mobile monitoring solution of NetRex. A total of 9 battery-powered NetRex MVSi 01 systems were deployed at the air force base. The system monitored the entrance gates and other selected locations. The mobile sets featured top quality AXIS P1354-E HDTV Network Cameras designed for 24-hour operation. Using the mobile Internet, the NetRex Monitor service fed live views and recordings to the organizers' computers and their smart phones. Lower level recordings were stored at remote secure servers and high level recordings were saved on the SD cards inside the cameras.

Result
Thanks to the installed cameras, the organizers comfortably monitored the whole air base. The stored recordings were available to solve potential security incidents, and they shall certainly be useful during the next year's show promotion in the media. The installation's speed and flexibility, and the cost-effective rental further supported the solution's overall benefits.

In the name of independence and reliability
The sensitive environment of the military air base without any additional electric power supply and Internet connection, including the event's short time period, made the camera system selection relatively demanding. Based on good credentials, the mobile monitoring system of NetRex was selected. The system proved its qualities in this environment.
“The NetRex MVSi 01 systems feature high-capacity batteries, which support at least 20 hours of operation. They can be charged in only 6 hours. The distribution boxes with accessories and cameras were positioned on easily portable tripods with telescopic legs. If necessary, the equipment may be quickly mounted on a wall or a public lighting pole, which may conveniently provide power supply,” says David Capoušek, the manager of NetRex, which designed, sells, and rents this solution. Reliable Internet connection was based on the 3G/EDGE router available in every set. The router also provides Wi-Fi signal coverage for the monitored area.
However, the NetRex does not transmit video only. “The system web interface continuously provides you with information on the equipment actual condition. The integrated GPS unit displays the equipment current location, and it informs you of any potential location changes through SMS or e-mail. The system reports any opening of the distribution box, weak battery condition, line voltage interruption, or potential camera failure to you as well,” adds David Capoušek.
The selected AXIS P1354-E Network Cameras have practically proven their benefits a few times already. Their HDTV resolution combined with the Lightfinder technology, which guarantees excellent sensitivity and colours even under very poor light conditions, make these cameras an ideal monitoring tool. Their integrated SD card slot supports high quality and elegant data storage. The mobile Internet connection enabled the transmission of lower resolution data to the NetRex backed-up servers. This recording backup has also facilitated quick searching for specific events.

Rental for any occasion
Besides the system's technical properties, the aviation show organizers have also appreciated the cost-effective possibility of renting this solution. An amount, which represented a meaningless item in the event's budget, was enough to obtain a professional camera system whose complete commissioning and subsequent disassembly took the NetRex technicians only a few hours. This, together with the possibility of uploading other intelligent applications directly into the camera, opens up numerous possibilities not only in relation to location security, but also during various events and data transmissions. Such an expanded mobile system may then easily transmit data online from your event to YouTube, and it may count your guests or warn you of suspicious people moving at specified locations.

 

Clustered RAID storage and enterprise CMS protect capital of Mongolia

Clustered RAID storage and enterprise CMS protect capital of Mongolia

Editor / Provider: Surveon | Updated: 10/6/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

City surveillance plays an important role in crime prevention and criminal prosecution. For a mission-critical project like this, it calls for not only high performance and reliable solutions, but the capability to handle the harsh outdoor environment and large data storage for 24/7 non-stop recording for 90 days. “With Surveon's end to end solutions, from 3 megapixel IP66 cameras, hardware RAID NVR, clustered storage, to enterprise VMS, we are now better equipped to monitor the entire district and protect the community against illegal activities, ” said the Sukhbaatar district police officer.

Customer
The Sukhbaatar District is situated in the capital Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. With 18 sub-districts and a population of more than 112,000, this area is the center of the city with major government buildings, embassies, banks, and universities. “With all the residents and visitors, this district needed an advanced and professional video surveillance system to provide additional support for the police force,” the officer pointed out.

Challenges
Located in the coldest national capital in the world, the Sukhbaatar District features brief, warm summers and long, bitterly cold and dry winters, with extreme temperatures ranging from −49 °C (−56 °F) to 38.6 °C (101.5 °F) in the year. The harsh weather conditions challenge outdoor cameras to function properly and record clear images day and night.
With all the political and financial activities taking place in the large territory, the police department required a surveillance system that would allow them to remotely monitor the entire area and quickly respond to events in different sections of the district. An advanced TV-matrix wall functionality to see everything around this neighborhood at a glance was the key demand in the implementation. And a reliable storage system that supports 24/7 continuous megapixel recording for 90 days is necessary in city surveillance projects. The Sukhbaatar police department wanted to install enterprise-grade data storage to ensure long data retention period with no video loss.
Solutions

3 Megapixel 30 FPS HDR Outdoor Cameras for Extreme Weathers
Surveon CAM3471 provides 2048 x 1536 resolution at 30fps, true HDR (high dynamic range), IP66-rated weatherproof housing, and wide temperature to combat the harsh conditions. Installed atop streetlight poles, Surveon CAM3471 cameras enable police to monitor the downtown areas, tourist destinations, main roads, busy intersections, and the city's most violent neighborhoods. With the smart image optimizers, Surveon cameras can analyze lighting changes and automatically adjust the image functions to ensure clarity can be obtained under different lightings. The Smart Auto HDR can be automatically activated or deactivated according to the lighting, refraining images from being too bright or too dark. The Smart Shutter can capture precise images of fast-moving objects by adjusting the shutter speed automatically to avoid captured images going blurry or dragging.
In addition, the Smart Auto Exposure automatically adjusts the exposure based on a targeted area to bring out the proper exposure for the overall image, and the Smart Auto Focus allows users to apply auto focus on a targeted area, showing the clear image of the region that really matters. Surveon cameras also offer ROI (Region of Interest). Users can create up to eight independent regions, each with different video quality and frame rate, saving up to 30% of the network bandwidth.

Enterprise Video Solutions for Centralized Management
For a mission-critical project, an enterprise-grade video management solution is the ultimate choice. Surveon's intuitive VMS provides enterprise-level features such as real-time analytics, live view, instant playback, multiple clients, video bookmarking, remote monitoring, and centralized domain management. The software also adopts PIP, fisheye, back-forward, and frame by frame in live view and playback modes, offering partners the powerful yet easy to use solutions for professional surveillance.
Based on the client-server architecture, the Surveon Control Center (SCC) works on a simple yet compelling platform. With a single login from any PC/client at any remote location to the SCC central domain server, the SCC can take controls of monitoring, playback, configurations, and log management of all connected appliances, including cameras, NVRs, monitors, and I/O devices to ease the complications of configuration and maintenance.
The SCC supports the advanced TV-matrix wall that allows the police to know what is happening in the district in a glimpse inside the control room. In addition, the central alarm monitors not only events but overall hardware and software system status from one single platform to control operations, ease maintenance, and shorten response time.
Premium-Level Storage for Data Recording Supporting up to 64 channels of Full HD video recording, the Surveon NVR2100 with subsystem storage was chosen to provide large capacities up to 448 TB for longer video retention periods, overall system stability and zero video loss.
The EonStor RAID storage is an advanced data storage system designed for server, PC and NVR. The controller-based system with a dedicated “RAID controller” provides the highest performance and reliability with all data protected and backed up. Surveon's NVR2100 also comes with the SANwatch storage monitoring suite which helps the police easily manage and monitor the status of the storage, ensuring the high availability of recorded video.

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