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Oil and gas fuel up on safety

Oil and gas fuel up on safety

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

From a safety and security perspective, oil and gas installations are among the most critical and challenging environments. The speed in which an incident can escalate to adisaster means that operators need to get information quickly to be able to react and minimize damages. Advances in video technology and video content analytics have great potential to assist oil and gas installations in detecting fires, leaks, and security threats, as well as help make operations more efficient.

As oil exploration moves to new regions across the world, so does the need for better monitoring of remote facilities, increased protection against terror threats, and pipeline and leak detection monitoring solutions. Exploration and drilling security systems will be the largest segment in terms of spending and adoption followed by refineries and storage facilities. According to research by Frost and Sullivan, the global oil and gas infrastructure security market was estimated at US$19.6 billion in 2013 and will grow to $24.7 billion by 2021. Including network and cyber security, the combined oil and gas security market will reach $30 billion by 2018.

Any damage to an oil and gas facility has grave consequences. Incidents have implications on employee safety, environmental damage, cleaning costs, damage penalties, equipment replacement, and the list goes on and on. This becomes even more challenging when considering the nature of these installations. There are hundreds of potential breach points for leaks and damages: numerous valves and pumps, meters upon meters of pipes. Even within the facility, environments are not the same. A refinery for example will include various types of oil, transported at different temperatures and pressures, from ambient temperatures and pressure up to 130 bars at 100°C.

In addition, sites are often located in remote and harsh environments. All these make the oil and gas industry one of the most demanding clients for safety and security products. One of the limitations of the oil and gas sector is the stringent regulations regarding equipment. For example, equipment for Class 1 Zone 1 areas — the areas closest to the drill site — needs to be explosion proof, making sure it will not cause an explosion in high risk areas. There are similar limitations on mobile devices since cellular radiation can also cause an explosion.

“If you are looking at a typical oil and gas plant, there will be between 300 to 500 cameras to monitor the perimeter and inner workings of the plant. In addition, there will be thermal cameras to monitor flames and detect leaks and specialty cameras for class and zone areas. In an ocean rig there are 16 to 20 explosion proof cameras and 40 to 50 standard cameras,” said William Moore, Senior Account Manager for Pelco by Schneider Electric.

With so many cameras involved, it is impractical to monitor them all the time; therefore, the cameras are monitored based on an alert rule-engine. In case of an event, whether security or safety related, the proper camera will be triggered and brought to the attention of the operator.

The second line of defense: Video analytics
Typically, video analytics are most appropriate for outdoor and wide-area use, when it is impractical to place sensors (i.e. outdoors or in a warehouse with high ceilings). Common analytics in use are smoke and fire detection, leak detection, gas leak detection, flare-size monitoring, and slip and fall (used for employee safety). In addition, more security-oriented analytics such as perimeter protection and theft detection are also used.

Despite technology advances, video surveillance and video analytics alone cannot replace traditional fire detection systems. Usually both are implemented as standalone systems. Analytics are however beneficial for verification and supplying secondary visual inputs to an alert triggered by other sensors. For example, a combination of a thermal camera and a visible spectrum camera can give a better understanding of a situation. “We use the video analytics only as a second layer of detection and we do not trust it to be the first line of alarm. The reason is due to the day camera sensor's capabilities. Our first line of detection is the thermal vision sensor,” explained Tomer Dadon, CEO of Ex-Sight. “The flame detector camera is normally packed inside the pan tilt video surveillance system. This system can connect directly to a video surveillance control center or a SCADA system.” Flame detection analytics enables the user to continuously assess and monitor target sites in the range of a few kilometers. While scanning the target area, the system identifies when a designated preset reaches a threatening temperature threshold. Once a flame is identified, the camera uses multiple alarm mechanisms, including transmitting the fire's coordinates. The specialty of the system is its ability to distinguish between flame and smoke sources which are part of the industrial environment and those which pose security risks.

“We see a strong trend for coupling video analytics with thermal video surveillance cameras,” said Laurent Assouly, Marketing Manager for Evitech. This combination enables a volume protection instead of line detection. Thermal cameras enable long range detection, such as 600 meters or one kilometer, while color cameras usually cannot see beyond 130 meters at night. Detection over color images would possibly raise more false alarms due to moving lights, flashing lights, etc., and would not reveal many details at the end of the fields of view at nighttime.

Video Analytics for Operations Monitoring
Video analytics can also be used for process monitoring and ensuring the facility is functioning properly. “We monitor pump jacks to detect any problems with their operation. By monitoring the cadence of the pump we can detect if it stops moving and alert the operators immediately,” explained Michael Von-Hauff, CEO of Osprey Informatics. This makes analytics exceptionally useful for remote sites that are not manned permanently. Without this capability, a malfunction can sometimes be detected only after hours, or even days if the pump is located in a remote location, when a human inspector visits the site. Such a solution, therefore, saves lost production time and helps turn video into actionable intelligence. Video monitoring can also be used to audit employee behavior during alarms and other safety events — it allows the relevant officers to check if all employees are following the relevant procedures.

Connectivity and systems integration
A growing market trend is connectivity and systems integration. “There are thousands of land rigs, gated and sensed-in, the clients are asking for the possibility to integrate cameras and access control,” explained Moore. “For example, we implemented such a solution in western Texas. A FOB key card swipe at the gate pops up the picture of the truck to the administrator.” The system is also integrated with LPR cameras, cell phones, and iPads and is used for site management and monitoring site visits. “Another thing the customer is looking for is a common platform such as ONVIF,” added Thomas Soderlund, Business Development Manager for EMEA at Bosch Security Systems. “With the old analog systems it was easy to pick any camera and plug it in and it would work due to the 1 volt peak-to-peak signals. With IP devices it is not always that easy since a new firmware or change of model mean additional programming of the main system is needed to be able to provide functionality.”

SCADA Integration
There is a benefit in connecting different systems to the SCADA system. The benefit of an integrated system is to have one common interface for alarm handling and monitoring, compared to moving between multiple systems in order to then build up the picture of the event. In addition this integration can help in halting delivery and limiting a leak's consequences. However, most platforms need to use SDKs to integrate with the SCADA systems, which is often a costly and complex solution.

Avoiding false alarms
There are several options to reduce false alarms. One is to install multiple different sensors for verification purposes. A second system for avoiding false alarms is to calibrate the system against an existing database of detections and false alarms. Tests can be performed using high pressure water cleaning tools, which deliver varying temperatures and pressures. These simulate various sorts of leaks in the different pipes (themselves at different temperatures). These tests can be used as a benchmark for the analytics and then need to be carried out at regular intervals to ensure the continuity of service of the solution. Artificial intelligence analytics check alerts and reduce false alarms by differentiating between real objects and other objects that might cause false alarms such as changes in lighting (e.g., a cloud passing over the sun or a light being switched off or on, long evening shadows, and bright lights pointed at the camera).

Not just video: Other senses take part
Dedicated sensors and video analytics are not the only features used for leak detection — there is also an audio-based detection method. “In a southern Louisiana installation, the cameras have the audio option turned on and in the case of an alert the operator can listen to the pipe to hear if there is a high pitch whistle coming out, indicating gas is leaking from the pipe,” described Moore. “This is already an automatic feature in the non-class and zone cameras. For class and zone areas it is more complicated due to technical reasons. The external microphone has to meet the safety criteria and not cause explosions.” iOmniscient combines with its video analytics smell sensors that can detect gas leaks and audio analysis to identify sounds. “When combined with the analytics from video these systems can provide an enhanced understanding of what is happening in an environment,” explained Dr. Rustom Kanga, CEO of iOmniscient.

Automated response
Information integration from various sensors into one platform is usually described as PSIM (physical security information management). Kanga described a solution where the information is not only pulled together but is also responsible for automated response. “The system, without human intervention, will find the nearest appropriate first responder and provide him with detailed information,” said Kanga. Relevant information can be pushed to the user's cell phone, turning the user's smartphone into a mobile control room. The user can use the phone to perform all the operations that he could have performed in a control room. However, the quality of the entire system depends on the quality of the core analytics. Automated responses reduce reaction time and as such are beneficial for both safety and security but also for operational efficiency — making sure malfunctions are treated fast.

Future trends
As oil and gas exploration continuous to expand further to more difficult environments so will the demand for video surveillance systems. The future calls for durable and reliable systems, able to withstand harsh field conditions and connect with other systems that will be able to give operators more than just security and also optimize operations. The future will no doubt involve more and more integrated systems, making full use of technology for both safety and security.

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Editor / Provider: Secutech | Updated: 12/8/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Secutech is the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions. The 18th edition is officially confirmed to take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan.

Mr Parson Lee, Managing Director of organiser Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, said: “In 2014, Secutech's dedicated sections for smart home garnered accolades with the booming industry outlook. In 2015, the sub-show, SMAhome under secutech will be dedicated to home security, home control and connected home. In line with Taiwan's excellent IT framework, Networks & IC (Integrated Circuit) industries, Taiwan manufacturers in the telecom and connected-home fields such as Chicony, D-Link, Foxconn, also known globally for their competitive edge will join the show in 2015. In addition, the show is highly anticipated by suppliers from China and South Korea, with product design talents, customization prowess and technical support. Delivering from DIY gadgets to project-based solutions, SMAhome will serve as a top-tier platform for global smart home professionals to connect with Asia's premium manufacturers.”

Held concurrently with SMAhome, Secutech 2015 aims to cater to demand for a wider spectrum of safety and security-related products. The latest zones cover:

• High Definition
Now, the resolution gets sharper, in smartphone and everywhere. With better image quality, 4K camera, H.265 NVR, UHF monitor at secutech 2015 will be incorporated with smart edges, facial recognition, and loitering detection. Over 1,000 choices of Ultra HD and HD equipment and facilities will be showcased onsite.

• Transmission & Network
Transmission distance limitations have been a major obstacle for HD migration. Ranging from coaxial, Ethernet, to fiber connections, whether sending signal or power, the Transmission & Network zone will feature 30 leading Taiwanese information and communications technology (ICT) solution providers including CTC UNION, Dintek, EtherWan, LANTECH, LEX, ORING to present last mile technologies.

• Storage
Higher-resolution images are calling for larger data storage. To back up systems, a complete storage line-up is showcased from SSD, commercial NAS, enterprise NAS, NVR, server storage, Cloud service in secutech 2015.

• Software
The Software zone, focusing on Video Management Software (VMS) and Video Content Analytics (VCA) technologies will be a networking platform for hardware makers, software developers and system integrators to interact. VMS is the foundation for video monitoring, analysis and recording. The development of its extensive application is influential to various vertical markets in the industry, such as home automation, retail, transport, safety and security.

In addition, zones for Access Control, HD-over-coaxial Solutions, Key Components & Parts, and Fire & Safety will provide an ideal place for worldwide importers to experience the latest technical development within the industry.

Secutech will also organise a series of highly thought-provoking seminars. Prominent industry players, keen on sharing their knowledge and experiences, will be the speakers. Highlights include the Global Digital Security Forum (GDSF) and the Composec Conference. Attendees can expect to gain insights into the evolving global security industry through presentations and interactions with experts.

Sponsored by:  
Secutech, the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions, will take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan. 
Now in its 18th year, secutech features some 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and attracts over 26,000 visitors. Dedicated pavilions for the following sectors: Surveillance | Software & Management Systems | Transmission & Networks | Smart Homes | Key Components / Parts | Electronic Systems

Register your FREE visitor badge now at www.secutech.com/registration/en

Axis launches innovative four-in-one flexible camera unit onto market and into the stratosphere

Axis launches innovative four-in-one flexible camera unit onto market and into the stratosphere

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 12/5/2014 | Article type: Security 50

AXIS F Series presents a unique, high-performance main unit that connects to four miniature sensor units simultaneously, enabling cost-effective and highly discreet video surveillance of up to four closely situated areas. With its rugged design, AXIS F44 Main Unit is ideal for retail and banking applications, as well as transportation installations such as in emergency vehicles, buses and trucks. In the autumn, AXIS F44 was launched into the stratosphere, providing videos of the ascent and descent.

Axis Communications, the world leader in network video, adds AXIS F44 Main Unit to its flexible and modular AXIS F Series. The series is based on a divided network camera concept where the camera is split into a sensor unit, made up of a lens and image sensor with a pre-mounted cable up to 12 m (39 ft.) long, and a main unit, which is the body of the camera. Since the main units and sensor units with different lens types are sold separately, customers can choose the components as required and can easily change them to fit the surveillance need. The products allow for a highly discreet installation since the small sensor units can be installed virtually out of view in tight places and the main unit can be placed up to 12 m away where there is space for it.

“AXIS F44 is another innovative product from Axis,” says Erik Frännlid, Axis' Director of Product Management. “AXIS F44 provides a simple and cost-effective solution for monitoring up to four different areas within a site using just one main unit. The small modular sensor units can also be easily relocated or changed after the initial installation, giving users additional flexibility. It is an ideal solution for small video surveillance areas such as in stores, in and around ATMs and in buses.”

In the autumn, as part of a game called Stratocaching (which combines high-altitude balloons with geocaching) in the Czech Republic, an AXIS F44 Main Unit and two connected AXIS F1005-E Sensor Units were sent up in a stratospheric balloon. Recording views of the journey from the two sensor units simultaneously, AXIS F44 provided HDTV videos that included the balloon's ascent to an altitude of 29.3 km (18 miles) above ground, the subsequent balloon burst, the distribution of the stratocaches with GPS transmitters and the dramatic fall with a parachute.

“The Stratocaching event clearly demonstrated the ruggedness and exceptional video performance of the AXIS F products,” says Frännlid. “AXIS F44 and AXIS F1005-E Sensor Units performed in turbulent conditions and extremely low temperatures. They are a testament to the high quality of Axis' products.”

AXIS F44 is a high-performance unit that supports:
* Simultaneous streaming of four separate high-resolution 1080p videos at 12.5/15 frames per second (50/60 Hz) or four HDTV 720p videos at full frame rate
* Quad view, a stream made up of four separate views from the connected sensor units
* Two-way audio
* Input/output ports for external devices to enhance alarm management
* RS232 port for integration of external data to the video
* Local storage of recordings using its two built-in full-sized SD card slots
* Power over Ethernet, as well as the option of connecting to an 8-28 V DC power supply
* Intelligent video capabilities such as video motion detection, active tampering alarm and downloadable applications through the AXIS Camera Application Platform

The four compatible AXIS F Sensor Units (with two different cable lengths to choose from—either 3 m/10 ft. or 12 m/39 ft.) are:
* IP66-rated AXIS F1005-E Sensor Unit with a standard lens and a 113° horizontal field of view for indoor, outdoor and mobile use
* AXIS F1015 Sensor Unit with a varifocal lens for a 53° to 108° horizontal field of view for indoor use
* AXIS F1025 Sensor Unit with a pinhole lens and a 92° horizontal field of view for indoor use
* IP66-rated AXIS F1035-E Sensor Unit with a fisheye lens for a 194° horizontal field of view for indoor, outdoor and mobile use.

Security 50 sets trends for 2015: new applications, new market

Security 50 sets trends for 2015: new applications, new market

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 12/4/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

David Gottlieb, Director, Global Marketing Communications, Honeywell Security Group
“The Connected Home is a great example where traditional security systems are now being used for non-security applications, like simple awareness and comfort control. One recently introduced Honeywell control panel can control everything from security to lighting, garage doors and more was one our most-important product launches this year in the Americas because it embodies that type of design; it features the ability to stream four IP camera feeds directly on a touchscreen and it can be controlled remotely from a Honeywell app.”

Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.
Milestone sees the healthcare industry using video surveillance for patient monitoring, schools are using it for parents to be able to see how their children are doing in class and on the playground, universities are using it for student training and teacher evaluations, utilities are using it to monitor equipment and operations including solar and wind farms overseeing remote operations, retail is using it to track customer flow and product areas of interest for improving floor layouts accordingly.”

Brian Matthews, VP of Global Marketing and Product Development, Video & Situation Intelligence Solutions, Verint Systems
“A great example is in Verint's retail business. One of the world's top retailers, with more than 2,000 locations, is working with us to reduce fraud and create a smarter workforce. Working with the Verint intelligence solution to solve the challenges of fraud, risk and compliance, this retailer has deployed Verint security systems to use with their physical security cameras and enhance their ability to detect, investigate and reduce fraud brought on by employee theft. The solution blends Verint's video management software integrated with their point-of-sale and exception reporting system. It allows them to identify fraudulent employee activity and take action, reducing loss and improving the bottom line. Since implementing the solution, the customer has seen loss due to employee theft drop dramatically, while making their investigators more efficient in their daily tasks by proactively prioritizing issues to investigate. Reducing loss improves the profitability of the retailer and helps keep prices down, which increases customer satisfaction.”

Erika Gorge, Corporate Communications Manager, Bosch Security Systems
“There are new developments within fire detection technology: With the use of video cameras for fire detection, we will be able to combine our expertise in both technologies in the future. These systems will open up new opportunities for special applications where conventional detection technologies have reached their limits. Examples of this are difficult ambient conditions, such as in tunnels, specialized production facilities or warehouses.”

Arjan Bouter, Head of Sales, Nedap Security Management
“With Nedap security management systems, users can channel signals from the different systems into it -- from cameras, dirty water pumps, air conditioning - you can link everything. At Ziggo Dome, the largest Dutch Music Centre, for example, the security and facility managers wanted to be able to set up links to other building systems in the future, such as the heating system, the air conditioning system, the beer cooling system and, something that is very important here, the lockers for visitors. So we were actually looking for something that offered building management system functionality.”

Bernhard Sommer, CEO, SimonsVoss Technologies
“One of our latest door monitoring cylinders not only offers the customer access control functionality but also a complete overview of the status and events of doors and accesses. We have a case that the aim for installing the door monitoring cylinders in cold storage rooms is to prevent wastage of unnecessary energy. This has nothing to do with safety, yet it affords the customer very high cost savings.”

The Secrets behind the Growth

Garrett Li, Manager of Product Marketing, DynaColor
Our sales keep finding new OEM opportunity in EMEA, US, and APEC and current customers get larger demand in local markets or more projects in their countries in 2014. This helps us increase our revenue gradually. Customers nowadays would like to select two suppliers to cover their middle to high and entry level products. DynaColor has product lines from Full HD Small and Medium Business Cameras to 4K real-time IP Camera/3M real-time IP Speed Dome and this might be reason kept DynaColor stay in their supplier candidate list.

James Lee, CEO , Suprema
Physical security market including access control has been worldwide growing with the forecast worth US$87.95 Billion by 2019. With the high potential and opportunity in the global market, Suprema sees more from convergence between both the technologies and markets of security and biometrics. As for the biometrics market, its market size is expected to be around US$15 billion in 2015 and more than 20 percent of CAGR is forecasted for the upcoming several years according to a market research. In conjunction with the technology advance and trends, one of our focal points to take initiative in the security market is providing easy and scalable solutions (yet powerful). As a physical security platform, our biometrics based security system including software as well as hardware is to integrate all security solutions to control and management, which includes access control, surveillance and intrusion alarm, etc.

Koji Masunari, GM of Industrial Optics Business Unit, Tamron
Tamron, we are a professional lens manufacturer. Recently, we have focused more on supporting video surveillance camera manufacturers to fulfil their various requirements. For instance, according to their demand, we've developed new technologies to increase value of total image quality by utilizing large image sensor, stepping motor iris system and the improved picture quality at near IR.

Hagai Katz, Senior VP, Marketing and Business Development, Magal S3
This year, Magal S3 marked two important milestones; first, Magal S3 introduced automation into the perimeter security market by launching a robot. The robot is ideal for remotely monitored unmanned sites and critical sites such as airports, seaports, military bases and prisons, where a timely first response by manned guards would may be impractical or expensive. In the same year, Magal also developed another business line in cyber security, focused in security networks, via the acquisition of CyberSeal.

Security 50 sets trends for 2015: tailored solutions for applications

Security 50 sets trends for 2015: tailored solutions for applications

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 12/3/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

 

 

a&s talked to the winners of Security 50 for 2014 to discuss what's really tending for 2015. These companies shared their latest strategies and predicted how the security industry would grow in the following years.

 

 

Migration from Device to Systems

Johan Paulsson, CTO, Axis Communications
Axis Communications also see this trend towards solutions. We have broadened our offering for small and medium-sized installations. Axis network cameras and software can now be offered as an overall solution adapted to end user needs. For an overall solution for mid-sized installations, for example in school environments and in the retail segment, Axis recently launched video recorders. The recorder includes three different server solutions, which are pre-installed with management software and configured to seamlessly match Axis' wide range of network cameras.”

“Also, the physical access control market is well-suited to Axis' long-term growth strategy. The investment is part of our ambition to broaden the global offering in security solutions and advance cooperation with partners around the world. The solution is offered in the USA and Europe through Axis' well-established network of distributors and partners.”

Matt Bretoi,VP, North America Field Sales, FLIR Systems
“Systems/solutions are an important element to our roadmap. FLIR has been investing significantly into a cloud-based service that brings all of our products together into a powerful management and search tool. This is not the only example though. We constantly evaluate how we can bring more value to our largest verticals, whether through internal resources or our partners. A simple example that we have used for years: a fixed thermal imager is a great 24/7 surveillance tool, but coupled with intelligent analytics it is a powerful pro-active security tool that greatly increases the customer's return on investment. We continue to look for ways on how we can build upon that solution.”

Steve Ma, Executive VP, VIVOTEK
“For the box moving business, the trend is going toward solutions type of business. In the past, there were many different vendors in the market, such as camera manufacturers, VMS providers, and systems integrators. However, since the margin has been squeezed, there is no room for multiple vendors. So, the trend is that we need to build total solutions for customers. It should be easy to use, have lower total cost of ownership, be very easy to install and very easy to maintain. That is what we are planning right now—we have cameras, we have software, NVRs, and PoE switches, so that installers can by a total system from us.”

Bernhard Sommer, CEO, SimonsVoss Technologies
SimonsVoss has launched a new digital access management system in building solutions. With this, we consequently pursue solution integration and cooperation with partners in access control. We will open up entirely new customer groups that have long wished to have SimonsVoss as a lock system with all of its strengths. The configuration of the system has been kept extremely simple, e.g. with self-configuring online routers to establish the optimum network. For installation, this is extremely simple and reduces costs. By providing this new system, SimonsVoss will enter SOHO users market. These solutions are expendable to high end systems and will grow with the users need.”

Integrated Systems, Well-designed for Applications

David Gottlieb, Director, Global Marketing Communications, Honeywell Security Group
“Within the last year, we've increased compatibility between two systems, enabling higher-end commercial end-users to have access to a technology that's used to support critical infrastructure sites – places like military bases, government installations, etc. – around the world. So the same type of high-tech system you see protecting a military base can now be used to protect large commercial sites like shopping malls, airports, and such. One of our security management systems can integrate intrusion, video and access systems, and this year we added more support for wireless locks to allow for users to protect more doors. For another Honeywell integrated solution, we also added new compact surveillance radar capabilities that will allow sites to detect intruders along perimeters when traditional ground surveillance radar systems are not practical.”

Brian Song, MD, IDIS Europe
“There's no single vendor out there offering best of breed across all disciplines including intruder, fire, access, surveillance, etc. Most corporate enterprises have a complex jumble of disparate and proprietary systems and that cause gaps in security. A control room with alarms and alerts from multiple disparate systems can result in alarms simply being ignored, through to chaos as operators jump from screen to screen as they try, and often fail, to verify each alarm.”

“To address these challenges, IDIS recently announced the integration with Maxxess eFusion (event management), SureView (alarm monitoring) and Lenel (access control management) particularly addressing the corporate enterprise market. These integrations delivers IDIS DirectIP video surveillance functionality through single security management platforms to enhance resilience through event and video correlation to increase operator effectiveness and in turn streamline operations to reduce cost. It also helps those customers integrate their legacy CCTV and develop an easy migration path rather than needing to rip and replace everything immediately.”

Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.
"Milestone open platform integrations with third-party solution partners constantly bring new innovations for more vertical or expanded market needs. For example, Milestone's video management software integrates GuardTrax mobile video alerts for roving officers, SICK and Optex laser scanners for critical perimeter protection and challenging physical barrier requirements, and Inovonics panic button interoperability for emergency communication."

Madrid municipal police outfits patrol cars with VIVOTEK cameras

Madrid municipal police outfits patrol cars with VIVOTEK cameras

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 12/2/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The Madrid Municipal Police (Policía Municipal de Madrid, PMM) recently completed a major project to install VIVOTEK cameras in its patrol cars. Based under criteria of the Technical Services of the General Security Management of the Madrid Council, the implementation of the project was led by local system integrator Plettac Electronics using cameras from VIVOTEK distributor LSB. A total of 126 VIVOTEK cameras were used for the project, including the PZ8121W and IP8332.

 

Inside and out
The PZ8121W cameras have been installed on top of the dashboard in patrol cars for monitoring the vehicle's interior and the immediate surrounding area. By taking advantage of the camera's built-in 3GPP mobile connectivity and WiFi support, images captured by the camera are transmitted over the Internet to a control center at police headquarters for monitoring, recording, and management. Staff there can also take advantage of the PZ8121W's motorized pan, tilt, and 10x zoom capabilities to focus on specific objects, persons, or events of interest.

Each patrol car has not just one, but three VIVOTEK cameras, as two IP8332 camera have been installed on the roof of the PMM's patrol cars, and tasked with monitoring vehicles in the proximity and capturing imagery for use. Each camera is connected to an Internet-capable PC with which the PMM has equipped each patrol car. Based under the proposal of the Technical Services of the General Security Management of the Madrid Council, Plettac Electronics has developed an automated license plate recognition (LPR) system, which integrates the high-resolution IP8332 cameras, the PC, and constantly updated databases to provide real-time identification and matching of license plate numbers, immediately alerting officers to the presence of stolen vehicles or other vehicles of interest.

Made for success
As for the camera itself, the IP8332 is a versatile 1-megapixel bullet-style network camera that is perfectly suited for applications such as the PMM's. It not only captures high-quality video, but can do so under varied lighting conditions both during the day, and at night with a removable IR-cut filter and IR illuminators effective at distances up to 15 meters. Moreover, the camera is enclosed in an IP66-rated housing to ensure that it can withstand even harsh weather conditions.

According to Plettac Electronics, the Madrid City Council instituted the security system project in order to provide the police with real-time information on the situation on the street as officers go about their patrols. With the help of components such as the LPR system, the project has been a brilliant success. VIVOTEK's cameras are helping to secure the Madrid police's patrol cars, and ensure the safety of police officers and the citizens of Madrid.

VIVOTEK launches SD8333-E 720p HD speed dome camera

VIVOTEK launches SD8333-E 720p HD speed dome camera

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 12/1/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK announced the launch of its 720p HD speed dome network camera, SD8333-E. This camera maintains all of the advanced features of VIVOTEK’s latest speed dome camera SD8364E, such as a 30x optical zoom lens, NEMA 4X-rated housing, image defog, a wide temperature range and electronic image stabilization (EIS) technology.

Featuring a 720p HD CMOS sensor, WDR Pro technology and removable IR-cut filter, SD8333-E is able to deliver superb image quality under challenging lighting conditions around the clock. Equipped with a 30x optical zoom lens, the camera can capture images of top-notch quality and fine detail. SD8333-E, with 360° continuous pan and 220° extended tilt range, effectively eliminates dead angles. Protected by IP66- and NEMA 4X-rated housing and capable of an extremely wide operating temperature range of between -40°C to 55°C, the camera body is not only safe from rain, dust and corrosion, but also operates reliably under extreme weather conditions, making it ideal for monitoring wide open indoor and outdoor spaces

In addition, the image defog feature enables the SD8333-E to capture clear images under foggy conditions while the EIS technology eliminates camera vibration caused by wind and stabilizes the image.

CP PLUS introduces 3i home solution: a big leap in integrated solution

CP PLUS introduces 3i home solution: a big leap in integrated solution

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Aditya | Updated: 12/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

CP PLUS, a world leader in high performance security surveillance products and solutions introduces CP PLUS 3i Home Solution – an Intelligent, Integrated and Interactive solution that goes beyond conventional system. The solution is ideal for residential areas and is poised to be a boon for real estate industry.

CP PLUS 3i Home Solution is the industry's only enterprise–grade one stop comprehensive solution that sets new standards in operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness and performance. 3i Home Solution is scalable, custom-made solution that delivers integrated services that caters to modern day connectivity, security, and situational surveillance.

CP PLUS 3i Home Solution lays out an FTTH (Fiber To The Home) based integrated Hi-tech infrastructure and opens up a number of services for individuals and community. Based on broadband infrastructure, it provides internet and LAN/WAN based services. 3i Home solution offers the following features:


IntelliControl - Automation facilities: The inbuilt system intelligence allows you to monitor, program, and control your home/apartment's lighting and entry locks, heating and air conditioning, and other systems — as a technology that's just around the corner. Automate:
* Light Control ----ON/OFF and Dimming
* Curtain Control
* Appliance Control---AC/Microwave/Fans etc.
* Scene control----Customize and profile combination of settings, i.e., lights, temperature etc.

Save your customized settings to receive text or email alerts, turn off lights based on time or movement, or see a photo when the kids arrive home and many more.

IntelliSecure - Intelligent security system: 3i Home solution powers the most advanced video management and video analytics deployed anywhere. The solution caters to a wide spectrum of requirements, i.e., from warning and the aversion of threats, to the prevention of subversive activities and provision for safety of the people and economic well-being of businesses.

IntelliEnergy - Energy efficient solution for common areas: With a Central Management System, you can configure when to switch each individual street light ON or OFF, and/or by how much to reduce the lamp power. This allows any number of switching events and/or dimming levels.


Intellitainment - DTH, IPTV and VoIP based services: CP PLUS 3i Home solution introduces interoperability and integration. 3i Home solution is a complete solution for IPTV and VoIP related services. This solution enables transmission of next-generation data and video services over broadband networks.

CP Plus deploys world-class technology and state-of-the-art infrastructure to offer the best in class DTH services to prospective customers.

IntelliAccess - Access Wi-fi network: The solution brings together best-in-class Wi-Fi access to all residences and common areas.

IntelliAlert - Emergency alerts and Call divert to smart phones:
* Set security zones in your house and secure your home by sensing abnormal situations (Smoke, Gas, Break) and triggering the alarm.
* Connect instantly to emergency services, Fire, Police, Medical, etc. by sending a panic alarm to emergency personnel from the in-home touchscreen.
* Never miss a visitor call! The solution enables visitor's incoming calls to be forwarded to smartphone.

IntelliAttend- Intelligent Video Door Phone: The 3i Home solution includes the state-of-the-art integrated communication & surveillance systems to meet diversified environments like villas (Wired & Wireless), apartments systems and multi-apartments systems in Analog & IP.

IntelliWatch- Central Monitoring: IntelliWatch features monitoring from a central location and is designed for an intelligent security solution that provides customer's safety and protection of property by integrating intruder detection, video monitoring, two-way audio communication, real-time notification (Email/SMS), Remote access and access control.

IntelliConnect - Flat-to-flat intercom: CP PLUS 3i Solution includes IP VDP system, which not only allows you to see who's at the door, but also enables you to communicate with visitor before you open the door. The indoor monitor can be easily installed anywhere in the house, giving you the convenience of viewing the visitor, unlocking the door and viewing any suspicious activity; all at the press of a button, without needing to go up to the entrance.

 

                    

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 11/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Fraud and theft are the most common illegal activities that take place in casino facilities, as a large amount of money is handled between staffs and patrons every single day making casino a convenient target. When it comes to casino security deployment, there are many to concern about. Making sure that the patrons and staffs are safe and feel secured surely is on the top of the list. However, from a managing aspect, it requires more than just making people in the facilities feels secured. As a matter of fact, being able to deter, detect, and hold quality evidence for further investigation is usually the managers' ultimate goal.

asmag.com is here to present some professional insights from experts around the globe in this industry regarding gaming security applications. According to their opinions, the key demands from gaming sectors boil down to the following points:

1. Real-time video surveillance recording:
30 frames per second (fps) usually is the bottom line for gaming surveillance applications, as higher fps is more desired in order to capture every detail on the gaming table or happening in the facilities which may later on become crucial forensic evidence.
2. High resolution & high frame rate:
As mentioned previously, higher frame-rate is much preferred. However, having higher fps sometimes suggests compromising on image resolution. High resolution and high frame rate are both in demand in terms of surveillance systems in gaming facilities.
3. Color images in low-light environment:
In order to be able to distinguish the colors of gaming chips, it is crucial to record color and high-resolution images despite shooting in a dim environment, as most of the casinos dim the light purposely just to create a relaxing ambience.
4. Local gaming demands:
For the overseas gaming investment, following certain gaming security demands from the local authorities is necessary. For example, some countries require the gaming facilities to equip with surveillance cameras that come with certain functions or set limits on image resolution and frame rate.
5. Search & tracking:
There could be up to hundreds, or even thousands of cameras in a gaming facility, depends on the scale of the business. Searching and tracking functions surely help the operators to track down to suspicious activities and person effectively.

Casino may consider for security systems upgrades every five to seven years in average. When it comes to retrofit project, there are more to consider about. “End users must decide whether to continue to invest in analog technology or to begin migrating to IP with a hybrid system. They need to determine if the analog system can be improved or if they'd benefit more from the better image quality and detail provided by high definition IP cameras. The challenge is determining which path to take,” said Tom Kochenberger, Field Systems Specialist at Bosch Security Systems. There is no correct answer between continuing to use analog systems or migrating to IP-based systems – it depends on various factors such as budgets, practical necessities and further plans for upgrades, just to name a few.

For the end users who want to spare the troubles on cabling and decide to upgrade existing analog systems, HD-over-coaxial solution might be their prior option now. “HDCVI provides real-time recording at up to 1080p high-quality image resolution, with users' existing cable systems,” said John Li, Product Manager at Dahua Technology. “Moreover, HDCVI guarantees a full HD image quality under real-time recording which is definitely an ideal feature for gaming industry.”

Trending technologies and value-added applications

Trending in the casinos: 4K camera, facial recognition and license plate recognition
As the technology is becoming even advanced day by day, there are more possibilities for innovative techniques being applied for security purposes in casinos. In fact, a promising future can be seen on certain technologies in the gaming industry. For example, 4K camera, facial recognition, license plate recognition, etc.

“The adoption of IP video is directly affected by the use of advanced forensic technologies that provide automated recognition,” stated Steve Surfaro, Industry Liaison of Axis Communications. “Facial recognition of a fixed population of known scam artists and criminals can automate the detection process and move casino surveillance from today's reactive posture to proactive. License plate recognition (LPR) technology is already being used in Las Vegas casino parking areas and shopping malls to reduce potential crime. I recently met a representative from a vehicle recovery firm in a Las Vegas parking area. They had deployed LPR cameras similar to those used on law enforcement and parking enforcement vehicles. These IP video cameras automatically decode the plates of moving vehicles and deliver an alert indicating a ‘vehicle of interest'.”

Ed Thompson, CTO at DVTEL, is convinced that more casinos will start to incorporate 4K camera technology. “Casinos will also benefit from the ultra HD resolution and superior color reproduction provided by 4K cameras, allowing them to quickly identify potential for fraud and crime. Video analytics will also play an important role in enabling casinos to be more proactive with their surveillance programs. Both server-based and edge-based analytics will be leveraged for indoor and perimeter surveillance needs and we only expect applications for analytics to grow as the technology matures.”

Move beyond video surveillance
Besides higher image quality, the end users in the gaming sector are targeting on more value-added applications that can make the most of the security systems and managing systems.

Casinos are expanding their purview of security beyond video surveillance into more advanced technologies and systems, such as PSIM (Physical Security Information Management), video analytics, and mobile apps. Dr. Bob Banerjee, Senior Director of Training and Development at NICE Systems, provides some insights regarding these advanced technologies for the gaming sector below:

PSIM
PSIM is moving away from focusing on pure integration and toward operational workflows, processes and procedures which can be automated to make operators lives easier, and business more cost efficient. Casinos are no exception. Simply put PSIM solutions capture and correlate information from third party sensors and integrate those inputs into a common operating picture. In a casino environment, this might include security subsystems like video, access control, intrusion and fire, but also HVAC, elevators, escalators, public signage and mass notification. PSIM's automated workflows guide operators to quickly and efficiently respond and enable collaboration across security teams. By automating response procedures, PSIM ensures that operators respond to incidents quickly, efficiently and in a compliant manner.

Advanced Analytics for Real-time Forensics
It's not uncommon for casinos to employ hundreds, even thousands of surveillance cameras. But when something happens, security operators still need to resort to a feet-on-the-ground search to find the suspect. What's the alternative – to watch all the recordings from all the cameras to try and locate the suspect? Impossible – just 400 cameras and 1 hour of elapsed time would mean hundreds of hours of video footage to plow through. But what if you could let video analytics do this work for you?

Today, video analytics technology can provide real-time forensics of surveillance video to locate a person of interest in situations when time is of the essence. Using a video image, uploaded photo, or user-generated composite, this revolutionary video analytics tool can scan hours of video in minutes and automatically filter out 95 percent of irrelevant images to help a casino track down a suspect. Its mapping capabilities provide geo-spatial awareness by retracing the suspect's movements across cameras and pinpointing his current or last known locations on a casino's premises. All images, related video, and locations associated with the search are digitally stamped and can be saved or shared among law enforcement agencies for use in investigations and prosecution.

Mobile apps
Casinos spend billions of dollars annually on surveillance technology. Thanks to mobile apps, they can now start to think about how to extend these investments beyond the walls of the control room and into the hands of their personnel.

We live in an age of instant situational awareness – information like knowing where to go and the best way to get there is right at our fingertips. What if field personnel could be equipped with a smartphone or tablet and a PSIM-centric Enterprise Geographical Information System (EGIS) Web application that not only notified them of an incident, but also showed them the best way to get there, and how to respond? It's possible today.

Using another mobile app on their smartphones, a worker could also report an incident, and send video or photos to the security command center. The PSIM system receives the incident alert, using RFID or Bluetooth to automatically pinpoint the sender's location, then using that location to pull up nearby surveillance video feeds. The command center operator immediately sees who's sending the alert, where it originated, what's happening, and what actions to take. The app is also equipped with a panic button.

 

 

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Everyone knows what surveillance cameras in casinos are for, but no one really worries about them unless they have something to hide, and for people who do, they hide it well. No longer do casinos bet solely on security cameras to spot crime ongoing in their premises, with video content analysis (VCA) to detect any unusual incidents, the house will always win.......

 

 

 

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Luxury hotels serve up first class security

Luxury hotels serve up first class security

Editor / Provider: EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 11/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The tourism and hospitality sectors are inextricably linked — you can't have one without the other. This link becomes even clearer when looking at the numbers. And as the global economy continues to recover, so does the hospitality sector. International tourist arrivals grew by 5% in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) January 2014 World Tourism Barometer. The APAC region leads this growth with the number of tourists reaching 14 million, a rough growth estimate of about 6%. Southeast Asia was the best performing sub-region with the number of tourists growing by around 10%. Africa was next after APAC with approximately three million new arrivals, followed by Europe and the Americas. For 2014, the UNWTO forecasts international arrivals to increase by 4 to 4.5%.

Not only is the number of travellers on the rise, the number of travellers with disposable income is also on the rise, fueling the demand for upscale and luxury leisure travel, according to EY's Global Hospitality Insights: Top Thoughts for 2014. The latest numbers from STR Global indicate that there are 2,312 hotel projects currently in construction, in development, or in planning in the APAC region as of March 2014. In the Middle East and Africa, 573 hotel projects are currently underway, with 25 hotels in the luxury segment expected to open in 2015 alone.

Luxury hotels have a lot to offer; however, opting to stay at a luxury hotel is more than just wanting first-class service and accommodations. It is also about feeling secure and knowing you can relax and feel at ease. For the hotel operator, security is of utmost importance. By utilizing newer security technologies such as physical security information management (PSIM) software and video content analysis (VCA) software, luxury hoteliers are able to not only secure their establishment and their guests, but also increase management and operational efficiency.

UPGRADES AND PROCUREMENT
How luxury hotel chains upgrade and procure their security equipment is different from standard economy hotel chains. Industry players estimate that luxury hotel chains, on average, look at large system upgrades every seven years, give or take a few. Upgrades are driven by anything from changing local regulations to system failures to incidents that point out security weaknesses. Regardless of the reason, during this time security directors of luxury hotel chains use this opportunity to take a hard look at how security technology has changed and how they can benefit from it, according to Brian Lane, Director of Product Management at 3VR. “This is when the ‘migration' from one technology to another begins.”

In terms of procurement, Ilya Umanskiy, Associate MD of Security Risk Management at Kroll in Hong Kong highlighted the competitive nature of luxury hotel tenders. Certain genuine process indicators/measures are used to select the right supplier. From there, a fixed pricing period is often determined, which is reset every two to five years. Lane further pointed out, “Hotels generally do not network their security systems together as an enterprise, therefore, a single hotel in a chain may elect to choose their own security system, independent of other hotels in the same chain, even luxury hotels.” Because a hotel operator or security director may have an established relationship with a local integrator, they are not always likely to purchase a single solution from one supplier, added Lane. “The hotel may have different components from several suppliers, but often will use only a single integrator.”

BETTER EFFICIENCY WITH PSIM
PSIM has been promoted within the security industry as solution for centralizing disparate systems; however, due to high cost, mass implementation outside of government-type and critical infrastructure projects has been limited. Despite this, more and more industries are realizing the benefits of using PSIM software to help manage their facilities. A report released by Transparency Market Research in January 2014 estimates that the emerging PSIM segment will grow at a CAGR of 25.8% from 2013 to 2019. This rise in PSIM deployment is attributed to a decline in price, increase in sophistication, and growing awareness among end users.

Luxury hotel chains are among those that are starting to see the many benefits that PSIM has to offer. “PSIMs are good when you have disparate systems that have been installed over the years where you can aggregate signal information in a single user interface where it can help centralize your monitoring,” said Umanskiy. This ability to centralize different systems makes it a great tool for luxury hotel chains.

Yet, demand for PSIM software varies by region and reach. “The demand is there. The big question is the global region of where the hotel chain operates and whether the hotel chain is a global chain or a regional chain or if it's simply a privately owned operation or several properties in a particular country or region,” explained Umanskiy. For example, hotel chains in the Western world are more likely to use PSIM software as a result of more technical knowhow available to explain how PSIM operates and what benefits it brings. On the other hand, in Asia, less market education and high cost have made PSIM adoption quite low. “In Asia specifically, that [PSIM] hasn't really been widely discussed by luxury hotel operators,” said Umanskiy. “They still either rely on access control platforms to monitor various sub-systems or use those systems as completely standalone, so they end up operating through different interfaces.” One reason for this can be attributed to the market for luxury hotel implementation in Asia being owned by integrators. Because integrators generally prefer to get in and get out, they are less likely to spend time educating users on what technology they are receiving, according to Umanskiy.

LUXURY HOTELS GET SMARTER
VCA, or video analytics, has been a hot topic in the security industry in the last few years. Making systems “smart” allows users to save time and increase operational efficiency. That is why luxury hotel operators are getting in on the action.

Aside from using PSIM software to manage and centralize systems, many luxury hotel chains simply integrate subsystems such as access control with video management systems (VMS), a more affordable solution. A VMS with VCA software integrated with an access control platform allows the video analytics to be applied and married to the access control database, asserted Lane. Video analytics at a hotel can be used for many different things. On the security side, VCA technology can help hotels that have issues with parties in hotel rooms — the video analytics can send an alert to security officers if three or more people enter the hotel through a back entrance using the same access control key. Analytics can also be used to help with operational efficiency, pointed out Lane. “For the operations of the hotel, analytics that determine queue length can notify the manager to add more front desk personnel when the queue hits a certain threshold, while face analytics can be used to identify VIP guests, and people counting analytics can be used to help managers find traffic patterns to help maximize staffing needs during peak and lull periods.”

Although deployment of VCA has clear benefits as a proactive tool for operations and surveillance, Umanskiy points out that it has limitations. Making sure that patrons feel safe at a hotel means making sure that the security measures are as unobtrusive as possible. Therefore, hotel operators cannot put cameras everywhere, as a certain amount of privacy must be maintained. Since analytics requires video content for analysis, it is not possible for analytics to be everywhere on a property. As such, it is important to understand the value of VCA applications up-front based on individual video surveillance deployment methodologies.

THE NON-ROOM SERVICE SERVICES
Services at a hotel can mean much more than decadent room service. In the case of security, services refer to maintenance services and extended services, both contracted and not. Again, like PSIM software proliferation, the use of monthly/annual service agreements is more widely seen in the Western luxury hotel chain market. Umanskiy attributes this to the fact that the majority of luxury hotel chains originated from Western countries. Because of this, growth and expansion of these Western hotel chains requires them to centralize their models and focus greater attention to best industry practices. Realizing that service agreements signed upfront, often as part of the initial bid, represent a better value, Western hotel chains prefer to sign agreements that include things like built-in maintenance, calibration requirements, upgrades, etc. “For the most part, hotel managers prefer to have the predictability of a maintenance plan versus paying for the maintenance repairs when an issue arises,” explained Bill Glover, National Account Manager at Tyco Integrated Security. “Having a plan in place helps for budgeting purposes, avoiding hefty fees from fixing technological issues throughout the year. It is also more structured and offers hotel managers a more efficient way of managing issues as they occur.”

However, Asian hotel chains are much less likely to engage in extended service or extended maintenance agreements. According to Umanskiy, Asian hoteliers do repairs based on time and materials. One of the reasons for this is a lack of formalized relationship with the integrator, and as a perceived 'cost-saving' measure, hotel operators will have the integrators on call, but rarely sign service or maintenance agreements. Even so, more and more hotels worldwide are looking at global best practices, which should result in more formal agreements between hotels and security service providers.

SECURE, PERSONALIZE, AND PAMPER
There are certain things patrons come to expect when staying at a luxury hotel. Personalization of stay and top-notch security are among those. The fewer distractions a patron has to deal with, the better they feel about their stay, meaning they are more likely to return in the future. Hotel operators have found several ways of ramping up security in a less “in your face” way that is helping to not only ensure the safety of those staying at the hotel, but also personalize their stay as well.

One way hotel operators are pampering their guests is by using facial analytics, according to Lane. “By saving a customer's face in the system, the system can then be used to alert the front desk when a ‘platinum-level' guest arrives.” Furthermore, combining card-key access with face analytics can provide guests with an even more personalized stay when entering the hotel spa or another service area. By combining these two technologies, service personnel are able to identify guests as they enter and call them by name. This coordination between security and guest service departments allows for in-guest concerns and in-guest needs to be more easily addressed.

DID YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY?
Making sure all guests are treated to a luxe experience means ensuring safety and security along with all the other five-star amenities people come to expect from luxury hotels. As the global economy continues to recover, both the tourism and hospitality sectors are expected to continue growing as well. The rising number of travellers will definitely require luxury hotels to amp up security measures. And as the price for PSIM software continues to drop and the accuracy of VCA continues to improve, there is no reason why both these technologies cannot see more widespread implementation in the future.

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