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Council depot decreases false alarms by Optex Redwall laser sensor

Council depot decreases false alarms by Optex Redwall laser sensor

Editor / Provider: OPTEX | Updated: 7/31/2014 | Article type: Security 50

A council depot in Dudley experiencing up to 80 false alarms in 45 minutes when opening every morning, has practically eradicated the problem by reviewing the existing sensor locations and deploying OPTEX laser detection technology.

The site stores building materials including paving slabs, electrical cabling and some council vehicles, and is protected by a CCTV system triggered by infrared motion detection sensors, but was suffering numerous false alarms due to staff arriving for work and congregating in front of the building, and from wildlife along the canal footpath that runs along two sides of the perimeter. Historically, intruders have broken through one of the perimeter walls and stolen central heating boilers and piping, and also climbed up on to the roof and entered the building through the skylights. Some 18 REDWALL long range passive infrared detectors (PIRs) were installed throughout the car park and the perimeter of the building to protect the elevation of the storage warehouse a few years ago. The operational needs of the site had changed but the sensors were still in their original location and the false alarms generated when staff is arriving to work were causing a headache for operators at Visual Verification's remote monitoring center in Timperley, Cheshire.

The location of the existing sensors needed a rethink as well as the mix of detection technologies to specify to avoid staff triggering the system.

Replacing the traditional volumetric sensors protecting the building, a REDSCAN laser detector has been installed on top of the building in a vertical application, covering the facade and a one meter area from the wall, working in conjunction with two cameras. Creating a virtual wall, the laser sensor only detected people standing next to the building wall and ignored those further away. This resulted in the false alarm rate falling by 80%.

ADT rallies around National Night Out

ADT rallies around National Night Out

Editor / Provider: ADT | Updated: 7/30/2014 | Article type: Security 50

ADT , one of the leaders in home security and automation, is teaming up with local communities, neighborhood groups, municipalities and law enforcement agencies on August 5 to recognize and support National Night Out. The community-building campaign is designed to raise awareness for crime prevention and generate support for local anti-crime programs including police-community partnerships. Every summer, the initiative engages nearly 38 million people and more than 16,000 communities from all 50 states.

“The lifeblood of ADT is our commitment to protect what matters most,” said Alan D. Ferber, president of ADT Residential. “We know that feeling safe in your surroundings extends beyond a secure home into the neighborhood and community. From walking to school to playing in your backyard, through this program we're helping provide families with everyday tools to address their security needs.”

As a proud sponsor of National Night Out, ADT will be participating in local market events around the country alongside local leaders and law enforcement officials, working to educate communities on ways to protect and secure their homes and neighborhoods. With a security system like ADT Pulse, homeowners can keep an eye on their families through real-time video alerts and 24/7 monitoring service in the event of an emergency or break-in.

NATW project coordinator, Matt Peskin said, “It's a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to stop all crime, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round, and we are proud to have ADT support us.”

Leading up to the event, ADT offers the following tips to help keep everyone in their household and in the community aware, protected and secure:
* If you've just moved into a new home, remember to change all of the locks. And if you'll be out of town, never hide a key outside your home.
* If you are headed on vacation, don't announce it on social media! Instead, tell a neighbor that you trust.
* Manage landscaping. The most basic measures, such as keeping shrubs trimmed so burglars cannot hide, or planting thorny bushes in front of windows often serve as deterrents for criminals.
* Last, expect and prepare for the unexpected in your home. From carbon monoxide to house fire, be vigilant and use monitored security to protect yourself. In fact, homes without an alarm system are three times more likely to be burglarized than homes with one!

MOBOTIX protects data centres and communication rooms in Leeds City Uni

MOBOTIX protects data centres and communication rooms in Leeds City Uni

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 7/29/2014 | Article type: Security 50

MOBOTIX AG, one of the manufacturers of digital high-resolution, network-based video security systems has released details of a project at Leeds City College to secure access to critical data centres and communication rooms across multiple sites.

On 1st April 2009, Leeds City College was formed following the merger of three of the city's renowned colleges; Leeds College of Technology, Leeds Thomas Danby and Park Lane College Leeds & Keighley. Then in 2011, Joseph Priestley College also merged into the expanded new college, serving a community of over 40,000 students and employing in the region of 1,500 staff, making it one of the area's largest employers. In 2012, the College was given an OFSTED rating at “Grade 2, Good, with Outstanding features”, for the overall effectiveness of its provision.

Behind the scenes of the merger, four ICT infrastructures combined for the delivery of services while benefiting from the natural economies of scale created by the new larger entity. Following a tendering process, Leeds City College selected Express Data to lead a project to help design and build an integrated data network. Express Data is a trusted and long serving technical adviser and installation specialist that had previously worked with Leeds Thomas Danby College.

The new network would be built around a highly resilient fibre core to ensure that the loss of any one critical data centre or network link would allow for an active failover and continuation of ICT services. Another consideration was around the physical security of critical data and networking elements spread across Leeds at 15 college sites. “We run approximately 300 application servers and 770 network switches in support of over 40,000 students, 1,500 staff and have committed to a 98 % uptime,” says Dave Newsham, ?Service Delivery Manager for Leeds City College, “We are very proud to have consistently achieved this benchmark and making sure that critical network elements are properly maintained and secured with fully audited access is an essential requirement.”

Although the legacy colleges had previous installations of CCTV, these were predominantly focused on monitoring building access, common areas and car parking. Unfortunately, the notion of CCTV monitoring for ICT assets was supported in only an ad-hoc fashion by a few of them. Following due diligence and after seeking advice from Express Data, a solution based on MOBOTIX CCTV benefiting from distributed technology and built-in local storage was created to fulfil the technical implementation criteria while reducing the need for an expensive CCTV central control room or network upgrade.

“The majority of the locations are darkrooms or places with almost no footfall,” explains Newsham,” this means that most of the cameras show black screens or static images, and as such, there is no requirement to transmit high resolution video over the network all the time. However, if somebody enters these areas we need to be able to see exactly who it is and what they are doing. To meet this requirement, we have set up alerts to only send video back to our MxControlCenter software when there is a scene change such as a door opening or person entering a data centre or comms room.”

Newsham and his team also benefited from the built in temperature sensors in each MOBOTIX camera, “Although we have environmental monitoring at the larger sites, MOBOTIX now provides us with a solution for smaller comms rooms and as a backup to the other sensors,” he adds.

To date, Express Data has installed 20 MOBOTIX cameras across college sites including a number of Q24 and Q25 hemispheric models that cover entire rooms in high definition quality. “The use of hemispheric cameras providing a 360 degree viewpoint means that can monitor larger areas that would normally require several cameras with just a single MOBOTIX unit. This approach makes the deployment easier while reducing cost and complexity,” says Newsham.

“Our plan is to use MOBOTIX across the entire critical ICT infrastructure and the reliability and performance of the implementation has been faultless since the first unit went in during the summer of 2009,” adds Newsham, “We are now looking at some of the ‘bells and whistles' such as out of hours alerting and integrating monitoring into our new NOC (Network Operations Centre) and the MOBOTIX technology is certainly up to the task.”

Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 7/29/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Case study: Axis cameras help the City of Huntington Beach, California , which is nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” investigate crimes downtown over a completely wireless network.

Mission
Huntington Beach, California is a booming beach community of 200,000 with a thriving summer tourist scene. With major events like an annual surf competition and dozens of bars and restaurants along Main Street, the city needed a video surveillance system to support its police force during incident investigations. But the police department headquarters was two miles from downtown, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure to support a video system over that distance.

Solution
Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless solution with a mix of fixed and pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) Axis network cameras at key locations along Main Street and the pier, including AXIS Q6034-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras and AXIS P3363-E and AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras. The PTZ cameras are set to guard tour to capture multiple views up and down the street on a rotating basis. Each camera is connected to a wireless RADWIN device that transmits the video back to police headquarters. The video is centrally managed from Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform that merges video surveillance with other security systems in one easy-touse solution. The open API architecture of the Axis cameras let CelPlan assemble the best components for the system.

Result
The Huntington Beach Police Department now has critical video evidence available to aid in the investigation of crimes and other incidents. In one instance, the cameras captured an assault with no witnesses, and the police were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing to make an arrest. The video surveillance solution proved so successful that the city launched a second phase to add an additional 15 Axis cameras at various hot spots around town.

Riding the IP video wave
Huntington Beach, California is a beachside community of 200,000 that swells with an additional 40,000 to 50,000 visitors each day during the summer tourist season. Nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” the city plays host to special events such as an annual surf competition, concerts and movie nights on the Pier Plaza. Its popular Main Street District also boasts dozens of restaurants and bars. With all the visitors, the city needed a video surveillance system downtown to provide additional support for its police force. However, their police headquarters is two miles away from the beach, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure in place to transmit video over that distance. Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless, IP-based solution using Axis network cameras, RADWIN wireless transmitters and Genetec Security Center for efficient video surveillance management. “A wireless, IP-based system was the most affordable choice for the city. Installing a fiber network would have been simply cost prohibitive,” said Jasper Bruinzeel, vice president Wi4Net, CelPlan Technologies. “Additionally, with IP, you can scale without limit.”

No fiber? No problem. Shaping traffic on an all-wireless solution
For the first phase of the project, the city installed four AXIS Q6034-E PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Dome Network Cameras, two AXIS P3363-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras and one AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Camera. The cameras' durable construction helped to withstand the salty sea air and ocean-front weather conditions. The city uses the PTZ cameras' guard tour feature to pan up and down streets and capture video over a much larger area. Additionally, the cameras provide the ability to fine tune resolution and compression rates, which are all easily configured from Genetec Security Center. “Features like H.264 compression allow us to shape the network traffic and make things much more predictable,” Bruinzeel said. “Those elements become very important when you try to push megapixels over wireless links.”

The open standards platform on which the cameras are built meant CelPlan could select the best possible system components without worrying about proprietary compatibility issues. “As an integrator, we try to use open architecture concepts as much as possible. This way we aren't tied to a single vendor for all the components, and we can use a ‘best-of-breed' approach to designing systems,” Bruinzeel said. The Axis cameras are connected to RADWIN wireless devices which transmit the signal back to police headquarters where it is stored on Dell PowerEdge R520 servers. Using Genetec Security Center for video surveillance, officers have the ability to monitor live video feeds 24/7, control the PTZ cameras and quickly retrieve and playback video from the archives for investigative purposes.

Case closed
The Huntington Beach Police Department saw results right away. Shortly after the cameras were installed, a man was caught on video stealing an expensive bicycle. A broadcast-quality image still was sent to the local news, and the man was subsequently spotted and arrested. The video evidence has also been used to investigate more serious crimes, including an assault where the victim was knocked unconscious. No witnesses came forward, but the police monitoring the video were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing and the direction he ran to make an arrest. “The evidence the video system provides is a huge plus,” said Lieutenant Kelly Rodriguez, Huntington Beach Police Department. “I am confident the cameras will aid in apprehensions following future criminal activity.”

 

D-Link: Home is where the smart is

D-Link: Home is where the smart is

Editor / Provider: Veronica Chen, Sponsored by D-Link | Updated: 7/28/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

D-Link is a leading global networking solutions provider for enterprise and consumer markets. With 189 sales offices in 66 countries, the company's next mission is to find its way “home.” D-Link's Head of Global Marketing Quenton Miao sat down with us to talk about the company's plan to become a global designer, developer, and manufacturer of smart home solutions.

In May 2014, D-Link made its first foray into the smart home market with the launch of its WiFicontrolled smart plug, the aptly named WiFi Smart Plug. Shortly after, D-Link announced its WiFi Motion Sensor and the mydlink Home app, a home management app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

These three elements form the basis of the company's smart home strategy. Users can pair their D-Link Smart Plugs with WiFi Motion Sensors to make home appliances respond to motion, such as setting the lights to turn on when someone walks in a room, or a fan to keep the living room cool while a person is present, or music to play when a user steps on the treadmill. The mydlink Home app provides a simple way for users to set and manage automation rules and schedules, as well as view live feeds from D-Link home security cameras.

D-Link's stream of announcements in the first half of 2014 is only the beginning of its Connected Home Initiative. “The home is becoming increasingly ‘IP-cized'. This is D-Link's strength, so it is a very logical step for us to capitalized on the growing interest in smart home,” said Quenton Miao, Global Marketing Head at D-Link. “With more than 27 years of experience developing networking and communication solutions, we have all the ingredients to build a compelling smart home offering.”

What sparked D-Link's interest in smart home?
About 15 years ago, I was Factory Director at D-Link. Telephones were analog at the time, and the transition to digital was picking up momentum. I didn't even know how to test the keypad on an IP phone. But, it was a necessary for us to adjust, and it was a logical step for telephones to turn digital.

D-Link has always been a pioneer in IP (Internet protocol) data communication. With advances in communication technology and the transition to digital and IP, many industries have become relevant to us; factories, industrial facilities, retail businesses, office buildings—they have all taken a similar path. Now it's fi nally making its way into residences. So, smart home is actually coming to D-Link, not the other way around. We're not taking a leap of faith into the market; we're taking another logical step.

What role does D-Link hope to play in a smart home?
Our mission is to become the core of a smart home, which we believe is the smart home hub or gateway. All smart home services and features, be it security, safety or automation, rely on the hub. Everything is on the hub, and the performance of software and services are highly dependent on it.

Think about your home computer. Over the past 20 years, we have gone through at least fi ve or six generations of PCs. Why do we upgrade? We want new features, more powerful performance, new applications, better aesthetics, convenience and more. We think smart home hubs will take a similar route, where users will continually upgrade to get a better experience.

That's why we see the hub as a tasty cake in the smart home market. Sensors, on the other hand, is icing on the cake. They are essential, but they also have a longer product life; users won't upgrade sensors—they will replace them when they cease to function.

Another cake is the home camera. Adoption of home cameras is picking up not just because of security concerns, but because the camera is the ‘window' to the ‘soul' of connected home. There are so many ways you can apply what the camera captures to achieve a high level of home control.

Does that make D-Link an equipment/device supplier or a solution provider?
D-Link has always been a solution provider. We are very different from most Taiwan and China makers. While others are more OEM/ ODM-oriented hardware suppliers, D-Link's DNA is the brand. Being a brand means we have to look at the big picture and work on solutions.

But, what is a smart home “solution”? We think some essential components are mobile apps, software and a cloud platform. We have done this for 10 years with mydlink. Our plan is to bond D-Link's connected devices with the platform. The cloud platform allows users to easily install and pair the products and monitor or control them from anywhere with an Internet connection. For example, with our home cameras, no matter how far away you are, mydlink can lead you to your video footage.

In terms of revenue, does solution refl ect a higher portion than hardware?
As a brand, all of our hardware comes with a solution, software and platform. For example, D-Link's smart devices are not mandatorily tied into mydlink, but the platform is a free service that provides extra benefits and additional features for each user. In this sense, D-Link has always been a solution provider, and this is one of our strengths. At the moment, we have almost 2 million registered accounts.

A recent report said D-Link has the highest shipping volume among consumer network cameras. Our market share is around 40 percent in the retail market. Solutions brought us not only a high market share but also a group of very loyalty fans. To answer your question, “Yes,” Solutions are definitely more profi table than hardware.

What kinds of distribution partners do you work with?
Our three main partners for smart home products are retailers, installers (SI), and telcos. Retailers are interested in this territory because it's another way they can provide service. For example, if you buy water filter at B&Q, Home Depot, or some other home improvement retailer, they'll help you install it. In our case, we partner with many tier-1 CE shops and home installation SI's around the world.

Telcos are also eager to enter the connected home market. They are similar to retailers in the sense that they have retail stores that sell mobile phones and accessories, but they also offer home security and other service packages. Their services also help promote network routers, smart home hubs, sensors and cameras.

How does D-Link approach the different markets around the world?
Each market is unique. In emerging markets like India, UAE and others, users look for traditional installers because DIY has not caught on yet. For these markets, smart home is a nicety rather than a necessity, so we have to educate the market on the benefi ts of home automation and security. We approach these markets with our cameras, introducing them to the merits of remote monitoring and control. If users enjoy the experience, they might adopt some of our other offerings.

In mature markets, such as Australia, the U.K. and U.S., acceptance and adoption of smart home is also very high. DIY is also very common. However, they do have different needs for smart home solutions due to different housing structures and cultures. For example, European housing is generally narrower and deeper, while US houses are wide and have basements. Our solutions need to cater to those differences.

What can we expect from D-Link's next launch?
At D-Link, we currently have four main areas of focus: network cameras, 802.11ac network routers, portable 4G routers and connected home solutions. Our mydlink platform synergizes all these product lines to form a practical solution.

We already have cameras, sensors, sirens, CO and PIR detectors. We have doorbells arriving soon. Aside from those, future product development strategies will depend on how the market develops and what it wants. We listen carefully to our 189 global sales points; they inform us of customer needs and wants in different markets, and we discuss with them which products to develop and launch.

What is D-Link's vision for smart home?
An essential requirement for smart home to materialize is connectivity, so we actually prefer the term, “connected home.” This happens to be our core competency. For example, D-Link cameras are designed as a networking device rather than just a camera, so it provides much more than visualization. The cameras also serve as a wireless repeater or sound detector. Most camera manufacturers do not know how to embed these functions into a camera. The designing mindset is totally different.

We believe the traditional view of home automation, where people set different scenes for their homes and change them at the push of a button, has gone very basic. It is also no longer a toy for the wealthy—it is affordable and provides numerous tangible benefi ts stemming from connectivity. To me, a connected home means four things: Communication, Control, Comfort and very, very Cool.

Related products:
D-Link DCH-S150 Wi-Fi Motion Sensor
D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug
D-Link DCS-820L Wi-Fi Baby Camera

Bulgarian-Turkey border protected by TVT IP surveillance solution

Bulgarian-Turkey border protected by TVT IP surveillance solution

Editor / Provider: TVT | Updated: 7/25/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Kapitan Andreevo - one of the most important European border check points is deploying TVT's IP based surveillance solution. The location is known as a jammed border line crossing by trucks, bused, and vehicles from surrounded areas the whole year. Therefore, reliability and value for money were the key requirements for Bulgarian Government.

The importance of this trasnportation security project is that the border check point is not merely an European community border, it also separates christianity and islam countries around this area.

Furthermore, Bulgarian-Turkey border is under serious supervision by the EU authorities due to the severe political and internal shocks in Syria over past decades. In fact, this CCTV project is part of Bulgarian national total control on the borders. This system is mainly used to help the authorities not only to control and monitor the traffic and order and border area rules, but also passenger's behaviour.

Solutions
RAK, the leading surveillance products supplier, also TVT's official distributor in Bulgarian market, supplied the equipment for this Kapitan Andreevo project. The project is completely IP-based solution providing 120 units of TVT's TD9511D - 1.3 Megapixel Network IR-dome camera; 80 units of TVT's TD9411D –1.3 Megapixel Network IR-dome camera; 15 units of TVT's TD-9620 – 2.0 Megapixel Network Speed Dome camera; 14 units of TVT's TD-2816NE-L – 16CH 1080P Network Video Recorder; NVMS1000 -- TVT's video management software for local monitoring and control.

Cameras, which are mostly installed outside in this bulgarian boarder surveillance case, must be able to withstand harsh weather condition and capture clear video image at night. The TD9511D and TD-9411D, equipped with ICR and weather proof IP66 housing, are ideal equipment to be deployed under such condition. Furthermore, the cameras' WDR function enable them to capture quality image from the high-contrast light environment. The IR illuminators around the lens can reach up to 20-meter distance for night vision. The 2-megapixel TD-9620 Network high speed dome are mainly installed at the outdoor area to safeguard the boarder by utilizing its 20x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom.

The storage system, NVR TD-2816NE-L, provides a storage of 6TB allowing the users to connect with at most 16 IP cameras on each unit and record 1080P/720P image. With TVT's NVMS1000, a video management software that support 1000+ cameras, the whole boarder region is under good watch.

Feedback
“We could proudly say that TVT IP devices – camera and NVR – have successfully reached EU requirements for specification and quality,” the project manager of the local installer said . “The climate at the Balkans area is very extreme. During the summer we have temperatures over 40 celcius degrees; and during the winter, sometimes the temperature could fall lower than minus 25 celcius degree at night. We have to make sure that the systems will run nonstop under any condition. ”

Bosch MIC IP 7000 HD family goes IP

Bosch MIC IP 7000 HD family goes IP

Editor / Provider: Bosch Security | Updated: 7/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Bosch Security Systems offers the MIC family of ruggedized pan-tilt-zoom cameras for reliable surveillance in the most difficult outdoor locations and other challenging environments, combining high-quality HD imaging with an IP68/NEMA 6P-rated IP architecture. The new MIC IP 7000 HD family delivers the highest quality of IP video surveillance images everywhere, even in areas with extreme conditions like roads or highways, transportation facilities, city surveillance and critical infrastructure sites. The cameras withstand a wide range of harsh conditions – from -60 to +60 degrees Celsius with up to 100 percent humidity, as well as rain and snow, high wind gusts and significant vibration.

The new MIC IP starlight 7000 HD camera delivers HD video images in extreme low light situations and captures moving objects in 720p HD resolution at up to 60 frames per second. It delivers video images where others fail, even down to 0.01 lux. Clear HD images are captured in color down to 0.05 lux – when others switch to monochrome – to reveal accurate color details that support significantly in security event identification. Its ability to capture fast moving objects and excellent performance in extreme low light situations make the MIC IP starlight 7000 HD ideal for securing, for example, areas along highways.

The MIC IP dynamic 7000 HD offers 1080p resolution and captures multiple exposures of the same scene to provide maximum detail in areas with both bright and dark lighting conditions. The wide dynamic range and intelligent backlight compensation ensure that moving objects or specific objects of interest are enhanced and can be easily identified in scenes with simultaneously bright and dark areas, which typically challenge standard cameras.

Both cameras also feature intelligent de-fog technology to dynamically adjust camera contrast settings to deliver the best quality in scenes affected by fog, smog, mist or other low contrast scenes.

Detection of objects of interest in complete darkness is ensured by the optional MIC illuminators. These illuminators consist of both IR and white light LEDs, and operators can switch between the two light sources with a single click. This enables detection of objects up to a distance of 175 meters.

Intelligent Video Analysis
Another differentiating feature of the MIC IP 7000 HD family is built-in Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA). It helps to focus on relevant situations by alerting you when needed, or automatically tracking objects of interest. IVA also adds sense and structure to video data by adding metadata already in the camera. This allows the quick retrieval of the relevant images from hours of stored video. Metadata can also be used to deliver irrefutable forensic evidence or to optimize business processes based on, for example, people counting or crowd density information. By smartly using the camera's ability to simultaneously combine 8 of the 15 available IVA rules, complex tasks are made easy and false alarms are reduced to a minimum.

Among other uses, IVA can assist in monitoring unmanned stations or pipelines where people are not expected during normal operations, and since security guards cannot be everywhere all the time or watch everything at the same time, IVA alerts can also be sent to mobile devices when needed.

In addition, intelligent Tracking (iTracking) automatically tracks moving objects based on predefined alarm rules or a simple click. By intelligently distinguishing between single and multiple reference points, iTracking will provide uninterrupted tracking. Optimal capture of the object of interest is assured by dynamically adjusting the field of view. With intelligent tracking, it becomes easier never to lose track of objects of interest.

24/7 remote access and camera control
Limited bandwidth makes it impossible to stream HD video on mobile devices whereas Dynamic Transcoding delivers both smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images when needed, regardless of available bandwidth. Combined with the Video Security app, users are allowed access to camera controls, live video streams and HD images via a mobile device anytime and from anywhere. It also enables you to instantly retrieve the correct video data from hours of recorded material. The new MIC IP 7000 HD family is fully supported by Dynamic Transcoding in combination with either one of the Bosch DIVAR IP recording solutions or a Bosch VIDEOJET transcoder.

Lower storage costs and network strain
To reduce storage costs and network strain the new MIC IP starlight 7000 HD and MIC IP dynamic 7000 HD cameras feature intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction (iDNR). The benefit of this intelligent technology is that it leads to bandwidth only being used when needed. When there is little or no movement in the scene, less bitrates is required. Therefore, iDNR actively analyses the scene distinguishing between relevant information such as moving objects and image noise artefacts. The degree of noise reduction is adjusted accordingly so that important objects are captured and image noise artefacts suppressed, optimizing the camera's bitrates. Thus, iDNR saves up to 50% on bitrates and hence storage and network strain without compromising video quality. Local storage on the camera further enhances network performance by compensating for short network outages, so ensuring that video data is continuously available in VRM systems without breaks.

Dependable operation and easy installation
Using the VIDEOJET connect 7000 with MIC and other Bosch IP cameras provides high Power over Ethernet support and added flexibility in network configuration and remote video access. Its built-in network switch supports connections to multiple IP cameras, which makes it an ideal configuration for installations along perimeters or highways. Smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images within limited bandwidth connections and full access and control of HD video images from anywhere at any time is made possible through its built-in transcoder which supports the Dynamic Transcoding technology.

Bosch IP standard-definition and high-definition cameras, encoders and analytics work seamlessly with a wide range of security software and recording solutions from Bosch and many other industry providers. This is backed by ONVIF conformance (Open Network Video Interface Forum) and the Integration Partner Program (IPP), which gives developers immediate access to software development tools to easily integrate Bosch products with third-party systems.

Arecont Vision megapixel cameras pass with flying colors at Texas school district

Arecont Vision megapixel cameras pass with flying colors at Texas school district

Editor / Provider: Arecont Vision | Updated: 7/22/2014 | Article type: Education

Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) is a recognized leader in college and career readiness in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, offering a comprehensive curriculum to meet the needs of every student. The District consists of roughly 41 square miles tucked along the Texas/Mexico border and serves almost 16,000 students in four high schools, four junior high schools, fourteen elementary schools and two special needs schools. Administrative offices and warehouses are also part of the facilities belonging to Mission CISD.

Challenge
For school districts across the country, video surveillance and security systems are no longer an option – they are must-haves. Mission CISD had an analog surveillance system in place, but found that its effectiveness was hampered by many limitations. First, the resolution of the images produced by the analog cameras was too low for identification. Next, after-the-fact forensic investigations were more difficult, if not impossible, to conduct due to the poor quality of the video that was captured. Finally, because the pan/tilt units were often facing the wrong direction at critical times, there was always a strong possibility that they would not capture video of an event that would be helpful in an investigation. For these reasons, the analog system was deemed unable to meet the district's current and future security needs without a significant upgrade. As a result, Mission CISD made the decision to deploy a new digital video system.

Megapixel Solution
After conducting research over the course of five years, school administrators concluded that the best solution for their application was a megapixel video system. Once this had been decided, they set out to find the cameras that would provide the performance necessary to deliver the level of image quality Mission CISD required. Working with the project integrator, American Surveillance Company Inc., located in Brownsville, Texas, the district selected Arecont Vision as their provider based on the company's wide selection of high-quality megapixel cameras that include 180- and 360-degree panoramics and audio-enabled models. The many additional features standard in the company's megapixel cameras, such as motion detection, day/night functionality, vandal-resistant housings, and remote focus/remote zoom, made the decision to use Arecont Vision's products even easier.

American Surveillance Company installed more than 700 Arecont Vision cameras and a storage system in a two-phase implementation across 28 Mission CISD locations, which are connected via fiber optic cable. The cameras transmit video to a central command center for storage and monitoring. The center is equipped with a video wall that allows operators to view live images or archived video of any of the installed cameras.

Megapixel Benefit
It was immediately apparent that the Arecont Vision cameras were able to capture greater detail in higher resolution than from the analog system, making facial recognition a reality. Post-incident investigations had been difficult using the analog system, and the remote zoom feature of the Arecont Vision cameras made that process much more effective and efficient. Operators can zoom in on any area of live or recorded video for better situational awareness and identification of individuals involved, along with the small details of an incident. Since the 180- and 360-degree cameras continuously capture a much wider field than the previous analog cameras, there was no need for pan/tilt cameras and the associated field-of-view challenges.

Another benefit of megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision is that fewer cameras are needed to provide the significantly improved surveillance coverage the new system provides. “Having a complete field of view 100 percent of the time allowed Mission CISD to go back and have an important digital zoom capability for investigation needs. With one Arecont Vision camera, Mission CISD can now cover the same area as six or seven analog cameras,” said Jaime Escobedo, President and CEO of American Surveillance Company Inc. “The resolution of the video is so high that you can easily see all the details that you need to help resolve disputes or handle situations, both live and after the fact.”

Using H.264 compression technology to dramatically reduce bandwidth and storage requirements, the Arecont Vision cameras can capture full motion video at 30 frames per second at full resolution without compromising image quality at any point in the process. Among the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras selected for installation at the Mission CISD were the AV2155DN and AV5155DN MegaDome cameras, the AV1125 MegaView camera and the AV20185DN and AV20365DN SurroundVideo panoramic cameras.

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Editor / Provider: Ola Jonsson, Business Development Manager, Axis Communications | Updated: 7/21/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

It is no exaggeration to say that network video has revolutionized the video surveillance market. Now the access control industry is on the verge of a similar development. Once again, it is the transition from analog to IP-based systems and with it the adoption of open standards which provides new opportunities and stimulates market growth.

Since the introduction of the first network camera in 1996, the market share of IP-based video surveillance systems has increased year by year. Today, network video solutions offer a host of benefits and advanced functionalities that cannot be provided by analog video surveillance technology.

There are a number of common misconceptions as the physical access control industry undergoes a similar transition from analog to IP-based technology. In the following, I will address the top 3 of these myths.

Myth #1 - It's not worth upgrading existing analog systems to IP-based technology
A typical analog access control system is dependent on having each device – card reader, handle, door lock, door position switch, etc. – hard wired with RS-485 cable into one central unit or central server. Besides being proprietary systems, which confines the end user to one single provider of hardware and software, these solutions often tend to be very complex and require expert personnel to handle installation and configuration.

Furthermore, when expanding analog systems the process is complicated by the need to consider that a typical central controller is built to accommodate a certain maximum number of doors, normally 4, 8, 16 or 32. Not only does this limitation make the system inflexible but also makes it difficult for the end user to match his requirements with products available, e. g. if there is a need for access control at for example 9 or 17 doors. This lack of flexibility also brings high marginal costs, which can make the addition of one extra door unjustifiably expensive.

Upgrading an analog access control system to IP-based technology therefore allows for more flexibility while lowering costs as the system needs to be expanded to include additional doors. IP networks can be used for more than one application. This way different security systems can use the same infrastructure and can be integrated with each other. Often remote monitoring and management of security systems is a key requirement. This can be easily implemented with IP-based solutions which feature web-based console access.

Myth #2 - Access control systems are only for large installations
Analog access control products and systems are normally designed and optimized for large installations with a lot of doors and maybe thousands of credentials (cardholders). The actual market looks very different. According to the Security Sales & Integrator Gold Book 2013, the average installation consists of 7 doors with less than 130 credentials. Only about 20% of the installations have more than 10 doors.

Without the need for hard wiring to a central control unit or central server, IP-based access control systems enable installations that are very flexible and scalable. This means not only a more versatile solution, but also a more cost efficient one. Freed from the constraints of enlarging the system in certain multiples, a network-based solution can – should it be necessary – be enlarged by one door, and one reader, at a time.

Additionally, IP-based technology enables “edge” solutions. An edge solution has one controller for each door, which is then connected to the existing local Ethernet through a regular network switch without the need for a central server for management. Since IP networks now are ubiquitous in offices, stores, factory plants and similar facilities the cost of adding an IP-based door controller would be minimal, as opposed to multiple serial connections wired back to a central server. Cabling work can be even further facilitated. By employing a PoE (Power over Ethernet) supported controller at each door the need for a separate power cable is eliminated, thereby reducing the total installation cost and time compared to that of an analog access control solution.

Myth #3 - Access control systems are proprietary solutions that can't be integrated with other security systems
Very much like in the video surveillance market the shift from analog to IP-based technology in the access control industry will cause a transition from proprietary systems to open solutions. And these solutions will most likely be based on international industry standards.

Open solutions and standardized interfaces are a prerequisite in any industry that wants to establish its own equivalent of "plug-and-play". There are many gains from such a development also in access control. It will allow end users to freely pick and choose between components – reader, door controller and software – that best satisfy their needs and preferences. This freedom of choice makes the system future-proof and means the end user no longer has to rely on a single brand or supplier. Equally important, it can also enable integration with other security related systems and third party applications, without the need for costly hardware boxes to provide the “bridge” between the different systems. For example, a very common request is to integrate physical access control with video. People entering a building will automatically trigger a camera; the live images can then be used for investigation of incidents or identity control.

In the network security systems market there is already a clear trend to develop open or standardized application platform interfaces (APIs), which can be used by all competing market participants on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Naturally, this will increase supply and promote competition and bring a new level of innovation to the industry, while simultaneously making it even easier for end users, system integrators, consultants and others to take advantage of the different possibilities offered by IP-based solutions.

For example, the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), which is a global and open industry standards body with the goal to facilitate the development and use of IP-based security products, announced in 2010 an extension of the organization's scope of standardization to cover physical access control. Ideally, access control devices from manufacturers that comply with the ONVIF standards will in the near future interoperate effortlessly and seamlessly with each other, as well as with other video surveillance products and systems conformant with the standard.

Future outlook
According to a market forecast by analyst firm ARC Advisory Group, IP-based access control systems will comprise more than 35% of the market in terms of shipments by 2016. A key factor will be that new buildings are increasingly being equipped with IP-based building control systems. This provides the basis for integration of previously often separate systems such as access control, intrusion detection, fire alarms or video surveillance.

Open standards and the ability to base different security systems on the same IP network architecture allows installers to build solutions based on products from various manufacturers. This way they can better meet customer demand, price projects more competitively and offer custom solutions to particular installation challenges and requirements. End users benefit from a future-proof and adaptable technology that can easily scale to their growing needs without being locked into any one manufacturer.

Dream big, live smart with smanos

Dream big, live smart with smanos

Editor / Provider: SMAhome Editorial Department | Updated: 7/21/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

In 2013, smart home technology brand smanos was incepted in Hoofddorp, which sits in the picturesque outskirts of Amsterdam. Harnessing cutting-edge design and DIY usability concepts and ergonomics, smanos brings the ultimate simplicity in wireless smart home and home security user experience to households worldwide. Delivering more than just a sense of security, smanos also ensures user-definable comfort and convenience, along with mobile accessibility. In its pursuit for perfection in human-centric research and design, smanos invests heavily in product and market development, and partners with top-notch hardware and software developers and industrial designers in Europe and the U.S. for greater smart home integration.

While smanos is a relatively new smart home technology brand on the market, the forces behind it are anything but. A brainchild between Chuango Security Technology and Chuango Europe, smanos embodies a decade-long commitment to minimalistic design and system reliability. Marketed and serviced from Amsterdam, smanos is Chuango's security, monitoring and automation solution portfolio for the global market, targeting especially retail channels that carry premium consumer electronics and connected devices.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The mother company Chuango was established in 2001 by Ken Li and his late father Lee. It specializes in radio frequency technology and wireless smart home systems, ranging from DIY security and home automation to energy and health management. The company is rapidly expanding its solution portfolio and global partner network, with products and systems researched and developed in Fuzhou and Taipei, designed in Shenzhen and Amsterdam, manufactured and packaged in Dongguan, and brought to life worldwide.

Since 2010, the company has experienced triple-digit sales growth year-on-year. Europe and the U.S. have been the most significant contributors, but the momentum is also picking up in many other markets. Then came another stepping stone—IFSEC International 2013; Chuango outperformed other multinational conglomerates in the alarm industry and went home with Product of the Year in the Intruder Alarm or Exterior Deterrent category. After winning that award, Li had the ambition, vision and plans to build Chuango's own brand, so he recruited long-term business partner Brian Borghardt to further pursue that development path.

A born entrepreneur, Borghardt eagerly joined the fast expanding Chuango family in 2013 as General Manager for Chuango and smanos Europe, after having distributed Chuango products in the Benelux market for a few years. “I am really excited to be part of a dynamic, creative, design-centric team,” Borghardt said. “In joining hands with Chuango's global product and business development teams, Chuango Europe is committed to serving our OEM partners in the region, and is looking to grow our smanos brand business with compatible distributors and retailers.” His team is complete with experienced sales and marketing, technical support and logistics personnel from the consumer electronics and IT industries.

The European headquarters—a US$1.4- million, multifunctional facility—is a design, sales and marketing, technical support and logistics center aimed to serve Chuango's existing and new partners and clients in the EMEA region. The investment not only facilitates the integration and optimization of resources, operations and competitiveness, but also helps drive global branding and marketing efforts, said Hayden Hsu, Director of Global Brand Development for Chuango and smanos, and General Manager of Chuango Taiwan. The logistics center is located in Hoofddorp, just outside of Amsterdam and a five-minute drive from Schiphol Airport. “The Netherlands is the hub of Europe, and an open and accommodating country. The superior conditions in talent, taxation and logistics make it an ideal place for investment,” Li said. The assistance and high- quality services from the Dutch Foreign Investment Agency and Amsterdam in Business have not gone unnoticed. “They have guided us with courtesy and efficiency. We really appreciate their input.”

WHAT MAKES SMANOS TICK
What sets smanos apart from the competition is the total package. Traditional alarm systems are associated with tedious wire installation, hefty monthly fees and false alarm fines. smanos puts the smarts of smart home and smart security back in users' hands and enables them to regain control and privacy from guards and monitoring stations.

The complete smanos smart home portfolio speaks self-install, or DIY. “From wireless, app-enabled alarm systems to remote security, energy and health management, our solutions cater to today's homeowners' mobile lifestyles, and ensure they have complete control, comfort and visual confirmation right at their fingertips within a few short minutes and easy steps,” Borghardt said. “We go to great lengths to seamlessly blend security, monitoring and automation capabilities into end users' everyday appliances. They can focus on more precious things or significant others in life, while smanos stands on guard for them 24/7 in the backdrop.”

To deliver what the market needs and what the average homeowner really demands, smanos works with multiple development teams in China, the Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan and the U.S., in addition to Chuango resources, to make sure the latest hardware and software designs and reliable wireless transmission technologies are embodied in each solution, “to make the lives of our channel customers and their end customers easy, secured and environmentally friendly,” Hsu explained. User experience and quality assurance are also tried and tested across continents so that most household and daily operation requirements are met with flying colors. “It goes way beyond designing cool-looking GUIs. It's about truly understanding people's lives and empowering them with the ability to easily safeguard and automate their properties.” For example, the IR cut filter and pan/tilt stepping motor of the latest smanos home IP camera under development have gone through strenuous tests to ensure a minimum non-stop operation time of five years. “‘Set it and forget it' is one of the benchmarks that we measure ourselves against,” Hsu identified.

In sales and marketing, the smart, sleek-looking and simple-to-use smanos systems sell themselves. “Our dedicated team is with our channel and retail partners every step of the way and throughout the product lifecycle to ensure ease, flexibility and intelligence can be palpated and realized in hardware and software engineering, sales and marketing, and distribution and installation,” Borghardt explained. “We also have a local European team ready to serve and listen to what's demanded in the region, so we can adapt quickly and accordingly.” A similar setup will be established in the U.S. in the second half of 2014 to better address needs arising from the Americas market, Hsu added.

Compared to any other traditional, wired system that requires professional installation and monthly monitoring fees, the ROI of any smanos system for end customers becomes crystal clear—in just three to six months. “We have joint marketing programs and budgets in place to help our distributors and retailers get noticed in various physical and digital media, and help engage end customers through special in-store or seasonal events and online/social media interactions,” Hsu detailed. Dedicated and experienced channel marketing personnel are in place as well to provide necessary ammunitions to make a splash where- and whenever needed. “All these investments result in added benefits, ensuring fast and open feedback for product optimization and solution development.”

CHANGING LANDSCAPE AND REDEFINING SMART HOME
The news of Apple and Google, along with countless startups and kickstarters, entering the smart home market obviously caught everyone's eye. smanos has the upper hand in being armed with knowledge of detailed, evolving user requirements over the last 15 years, thanks to Chuango's unwavering support. “We are not competing with Chuango's clients, who generally have a stronger foothold in the DIY building material segments. In fact, we are bringing some of them to where smanos really shines – the likes of Apple Store, Cool Blue, FNAC, IKEA, MediaMarkt, Newegg and many more premium consumer-friendly outlet types that are looking for smart, simple, sleek, mobile yet compact and integrated ingenuity for home users,” Borghardt explained. “Cross-competition should be of no concern as we only appoint a select few partners in each market and do everything we can to help them achieve and outperform their P&L goals. We are a global smart home technology enabler with local team members, always endeavoring to bring the latest and most reliable innovations to market in a timely and affordable manner.”

“While we respect our existing and potential competitors, we are more focused on developing and delivering innovative, comprehensive and easy-to-use smart home solutions, and continue to observe and cater to our end customers' evolving residential needs while helping our distribution and retail partners outstrip average market and profit growth,” Hsu highlighted. “Our channel partners are our eyes and ears in the market. In everything that we do and invest in, we make sure we mutually help each other grow.

In 2014, we will continue to cultivate and develop our retail, IT/mobile and consumer electronic channels, while exploring other possibilities in the audio/visual, home décor and hospitality/health segments.”

For competitive reasons, detailed product development plans could not be disclosed, but a glimpse into the current and future smanos pipelines is rather exciting. The X300/X500 systems come in sleek, award-winning form factors and work at 868 MHz for higher reliability and interoperability, while supporting GSM and smartphone app operation and remote firmware upgrades. Another cool innovation is the G310, which combines and disguises GSM alarm and Bluetooth speaker functions in a radio alarm clock form factor. Additionally, “the H400 Home Cloud system is our brand new smart home command center which can control your security alarm and camera devices and energy-saving plugs via WiFi while maintaining smanos' renowned cellular capability; whereas the W100 WiFi/PSTN dual-mode alarm system doubles the protection with system redundancy, so that preprogrammed numbers always get the call or smartphone push notification when an alarm is triggered,” Borghardt said. It also comes with an unobtrusive touch keypad, with a much longer lifespan than wired systems and mechanical keys, and a pre-set arm/disarm schedule that can easily blend into your daily routine, Hsu added.

Worldwide, smanos has garnered phenomenal recognition over the past several months, and growth momentum is still accelerating. Building on its mother company's strong foundation, smanos will continue to steamroll ahead with even more consolidated app control over in- house security, monitoring and automation devices, and explore and mix and match all possible wireless protocols—such as Bluetooth, GSM/3G/4G LTE, WiFi, ZigBee and Z-Wave—for even more user convenience. “We are pushing the limits of the ultimate smart and simple home to include total security and safety, energy/ health/wellness monitoring, baby and elderly care, and many more surprises. So, you'd better stay tuned!” Li shared excitingly.

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