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Avigilon acquires ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and licensing program

Avigilon acquires ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and licensing program

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 12/19/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Avigilon Corporation (“Avigilon”), a leading global provider of end-to-end security solutions, announced that it has completed the acquisition of the entire patent portfolio and the patent licensing program of ObjectVideo, (“ObjectVideo”) for cash consideration of US$80.3 million (the “Acquisition”).

Founded in 1998, ObjectVideo is an innovator in the intelligent video solutions market. ObjectVideo's video analytics patents, now acquired by Avigilon, are licensed and deployed by leading IP video manufacturers around the world. Under the Acquisition, Avigilon has acquired all of ObjectVideo's 76 US and international patents and over 50 US and international patent applications. In addition to the foregoing, until January 31, 2015 ObjectVideo will continue to generate additional US patent applications, and has agreed to transfer any and all such applications to Avigilon for no additional consideration.

With the completion of the Acquisition, Avigilon now holds 124 US and international patents, and 202 US and international patent applications.

“The future of the video surveillance industry is in video analytics,” said Alexander Fernandes, founder, president, CEO and chairman of the board, Avigilon. “The Acquisition not only bolsters Avigilon's portfolio of intellectual property, but it also brings with it a recurring royalty revenue stream.”

The patent licensing program provides companies with the opportunity to leverage the innovative features of industry-leading video analytics patents. Nineteen royalty-paying licensees have joined the program, including global corporations such as Sony Corporation, Panasonic System Networks, Bosch Security Systems, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, Pelco, FLIR Systems, and Sensormatic Electronics, (Tyco), and more.

“The Acquisition opens new doors for Avigilon, provides us with additional freedom to operate, and greatly strengthens our intellectual property portfolio,” said Fernandes. “It positions Avigilon to continue leading the way into the future of the video surveillance industry.”

GMP Securities L.P. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Avigilon on the Acquisition.

Avigilon expects to file a Business Acquisition Report, as such term is defined in National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations, respecting the Acquisition in due course.

Amthal Fire & Security is a top achiever at the Marlborough Science Academy

Amthal Fire & Security is a top achiever at the Marlborough Science Academy

Editor / Provider: Amthal Fire & Security | Updated: 12/17/2014 | Article type: Education

Amthal Fire & Security has upgraded the fire and security measures at The Marlborough Science Academy to feature high performance IP CCTV, access control and automatic fire detection systems to provide ultimate peace of mind for staff, pupils and visitors.

The Marlborough Science Academy, situated in St Albans, is a specialist science secondary school and sixth form, educating approximately 1,200 students and employing over 80 staff. The school is increasingly being used by the local community out of school hours and so the site required a general upgrade to its security and fire detection systems.

Amthal Fire & Security worked closely with the Estates Management team to provide a comprehensive security overview and offered a number of innovative ideas to ensure complete perimeter security and a smooth operating system throughout the Academy.

The electronic security solution specified, incorporated state of the art IP CCTV together with access control and automatic fire detection systems, all integrated into existing platforms. The structure was installed in just three weeks to ensure minimal disruption to learning timetables.

Says Chris Paice, Estates Manager at The Marlborough Science Academy: “The school is committed to offering staff, students and the wider local community a vibrant, happy and nurturing learning environment. So that we can do this as safely as possible, we ensure the fire and security systems, right from the entrance to the school and throughout the site, are all maintained to a high level.

“Amthal Fire & Security has consistently been highly professional and knowledgeable, going above and beyond the call of duty to provide a complete solution that was even installed at a much faster rate than we had scheduled.

We would not hesitate to recommend Amthal Fire & Security to any educational facility looking for guidance and expertise on all aspects of site security.”

Jamie Allam, Commercial Director of Amthal Fire & Security added: “The Government’s continued pledge towards the extended schools agenda means educational premises operate today on a much more ‘open’ nature with either full public access or permitted group access increasingly required.

“This places added pressures on fire and security measures to ensure even out of traditional school hours, the site is carefully monitored. Here, The Marlborough Science Academy has shown how working with a trusted brand as Amthal Fire & Security right from security specification throughout the process, can ensure a bespoke security system is created to operate with existing site technologies to keep disruption, cost and install times to a minimum.”

Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire & security solutions, including intruder, Fire, Access and CCTV systems.

Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE.)

Honeywell introduces cloud-based solution for residential security

Honeywell introduces cloud-based solution for residential security

Editor / Provider: Honeywell | Updated: 12/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywell announces the launch of Cloud Services for Le Sucre and Domonial wireless security systems for homeowners.

Honeywell Cloud Services and Le Sucre offer homeowners a complete self-monitoring and remote service solution. Developed in response to homeowner needs, Le Sucre is a discreetly designed wireless security system that can be placed anywhere in the home. When installed with Honeywell Cloud Services, Le Sucre offers customers a quality self-monitoring security system with radio frequency (RF) technology and software also used for Domonial products.

Honeywell Cloud Services include the Honeywell Total Connect 2.0E Web application that features a user-friendly interface (UI) that enables homeowners to arm, disarm, or check the status of the security system easily from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, if the homeowner has one or more of Honeywell's new CAMIR-F1 motion sensors, he/she can even set the sensor to record images and store them in the cloud.

One of the advantages of Le Sucre is that an Internet connection is not required to connect the security system to the cloud. Each installation is comprised of its own SIM Card, which can be enabled with many roaming service providers in countries all over Europe. Additionally, the SIM contract is free of charge for homeowners for two years.

Le Sucre also supports motion sensors, door/shock contacts, panic alarm buttons, smoke and carbon monoxide sensors, as wells as mains failure, low battery and flood detection alerts. This provides homeowners great peace of mind, as they receive an email alert when an alarm is triggered and can access more details about a particular incident by connecting to the Total Connect 2.0E web app.

Tristan Poinsard, marketing product line manager at Honeywell Security Group, said: "We are proud to launch Le Sucre, our new security turnkey solution for the connected home. This unique solution includes a SIM card with a two year connection service to remotely operate the system via a computer or a mobile device, providing flexibility to the homeowner"

Honeywell Cloud Services also operates with the Honeywell Domonial wireless security system connected to a central monitoring station (CMS). Integrated with Total Connect 2.0E web app, homeowners can remotely control their security system from their smartphone, tablet or computer. Additionally, with the support of Honeywell's new Smart plugs, customers can control their home lighting and heating systems while measuring their power consumption to ultimately save energy and costs.

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.

Bosch announces new intrusion training sessions for Modular Alarm Platform

Bosch announces new intrusion training sessions for Modular Alarm Platform

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

Supporting up to 1,000 users and 32 touch keypads, the intrusion Modular Alarm Platform (MAP) from Bosch is a powerful and sophisticated solution that is suitable for different applications such as airports, banks, shopping malls and public buildings requiring up to 1,500 addresses and 500 areas. To ensure the effective design, installation, and maintenance of this modular system, Bosch offers system integrators tailored courses at its headquarters in Grasbrunn near Munich, Germany. Participation in the MAP Partner Program is free of charge and qualifies system integrators as certified MAP partners.

Bosch is announcing the training dates early for next year's term to allow participants to register on time and to plan ahead. The first round of these two-day courses will be held in February, with others following in May, and July. Each course can include up to ten participants. The training program covers various aspects such as technical information and software knowledge, as well as hands-on exercises that include the set-up and programming of the system. In addition, all seminar participants are given access to the Bosch extranet website for MAP, providing them with software, firmware updates, and related documentation. Furthermore, a dedicated technical support hotline answers all MAP-related questions. This comprehensive training and support package allows system integrators to remain up-to-date and benefit from the latest technical additions in their daily business. By adopting this approach, Bosch Security Systems ensures that the integrators' customers enjoy the quality they have come to expect from the Bosch brand.

Launched in 2010, over 200 system integrators in more than 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have already participated in the MAP Partner Program. “The strong, continuous demand from system integrators for this training testifies to the success of MAP as an intrusion solution,” notes Gunther Friebe, MAP trainer at Bosch Security Systems. “At the same time, customers choosing the MAP can rely on its optimal application of the system since it is provided by a certified partner.” The benefit of the MAP Partner Program is also confirmed by former attendees, such as Juris Putninš from Citrus Solutions, Latvia: "Planning and designing a sophisticated intrusion solution such as the MAP on paper is one thing; getting it working correctly and keeping it updated is another. The information and skills as well as the ongoing support I received in Grasbrunn this year helped me to achieve both.”

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.

Prophecy from Security 50: Time for Solutions!

Prophecy from Security 50: Time for Solutions!

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 12/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

This year's Security 50 rankings again proved the year 2013 was another fruitful year. The top 50 companies grew 8.2 percent on average. Even without very dramatic growth, it symbolizes that 2013 indeed was a turning point for the whole industry: time for solutions!

2013 was another rewarding year for the winners of Security 50. Even though the average growth rate was comparatively moderate compared to the past two years, the top 50 still contributed US$16.9 billion in total sales revenue in 2013. Top 10 companies, Honeywell, Bosch, Hikvision, Safran, ASSA ABLOY, Dahua, FLIR, Axis, Samsung, and Tyco Security Products, remain the same as last year's rankings. However, due to the explosive growth of two Chinese giants, the top 10 rankings have slightly changed. Hikvision has been ranked third, with 2013 being the first time it produced over $1 billion in turnover. Dahua, who had the most obvious growth, beat Axis, Samsung, and FLIR, and has been ranked sixth. These two Chinese companies' outstanding performance again impressed the whole security industry.

Steady Growth From 2012 to 2013
The average turnover growth rate for the Security 50 was 8.2 percent in 2013. The 8.2 percent growth rate also corresponds to current researchers' predictions on the global security market growth — 8 to 10.8 percent in 2013, according to IHS and MarketsandMarkets. The result proves that the top 50 companies grew quite steadily in 2013. However, the figure also shows a slight slowdown, compared to the average 12 percent growth in Security 50 reports, per year, after 2010.

Multinationals among the top 50, which mostly develop multiple security systems, ranging from video surveillance, access control, and alarm, grew exponentially and have become much more profitable compared to our findings in 2012 and 2011. In 2013, they grew 15.6 percent, compared to 9.5 percent in 2012. Their profit growth is 15.7 percent on average, double compared to 7.1 percent in 2012.

The top 10 companies with the fastest growth made a remarkable 44 percent growth on average. ITX led the group and grew 82.8 percent. Avigilon came in second, growing 77.9 percent from 2012 to 2013; followed by Dahua, Hikvision, TKH, Tamron, Tyco, Milestone, Infinova, and VIVOTEK.

In addition, Milestone grew 28 percent, exceeding its annual growth in the past two years. Recently, the VMS company also launched its NVRs, to quickly respond to the current market demand for easy-to-use and -install IP video surveillance systems. In contrast, some IP video surveillance companies, focusing on developing devices and products only, have experienced a year-on-year slowdown since two years ago, predicted by past a&s security 50 reports.

Tamron also had a fruitful year in 2013. The professional security/surveillance lens company has successfully transformed its main focus to OEM business with other Asian manufacturers. The Asian manufacturing industry, especially China, has become the most important hub in the whole world, which plays a crucial role in Tamron's latest success.

Corporate Consolidation Still Continues
The top 10 multinationals, led by Honeywell Security, ranked number one among the Security 50, contributed 74.2 percent of the total revenue of the top 50 companies. Due to the consolidation via frequent corporate merger and acquisitions becoming obvious, major multinationals have dominated most of the global product sales market.

The most significant merger and acquisition in 2013 was Avigilon's acquisition of access control company RedCloud. With this acquisition, Avigilon has been able to reach out their business beyond the video surveillance sector. Right at the end of the same year, Avigilon also acquired video analytics company VideoIQ. With its recent acquisitions, the company successfully became a total solution provider in the security industry. The company continues growing its investment and specialties in verticals such as casinos, energy, education, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and retail, managed by a specific business development team.

Despite corporate consolidation, multinationals also spin off to become more focused and agile. The best known, Allegion, a spin-off from Ingersoll Rand, made its debut in Security 50, ranking eleventh. Allegion continues to explore non-industrial security market sectors, which differs from its mother company Ingersoll Rand.

Decreased Profit Growth, but Good Gross Margin
To maintain valuable profit, margin is an ultimate goal for all the companies. Telling from this year's Security 50 rankings, the average gross margin in 2013 was around 33 percent. The top 50 companies kept consistent growth in gross margin at around 30 percent, per year, in the last four years. Yet, the average profit growth slightly dropped to 5.9 percent, which is also a slowdown from 14.6 percent in 2012 and 9.8 percent in 2011. Companies strive to gain sufficient margin; however, have continually been meet with challenges from the price reduction over standardized products, market competition, and global economic impact.

Among the 28 companies, which generously shared their gross profit figures, Avigilon, DynaColor, and GeoVision, were able to maintain both high profit growth and gross margin. Fourteen companies kept above-average gross margin at 33 percent. We also found that these companies have fully developed integrated systems ranging from IP video surveillance, access control, and smart home, becoming the most profitable companies among the top 50.

IP Video Surveillance Enters Late Growth Stage of Product Cycle
Some major pure IP video surveillance companies have started to experience the slowdown during their growth momentum, based on their financial reports in 2013 and the first half of 2014. Their growth rate over the past two to three years have even reach almost 25 to 30 percent on average. However, their latest growth rate turned moderate. Explosive growth in the IP video surveillance sector is now gone, which symbolizes technology for IP video surveillance is now well-developed and there is fierce competition over multiple suppliers in the market. To maintain growth, Axis and VIVOTEK also start to develop IP video surveillance systems. They recently developed NVRs and management software and systems, which well demonstrated the future for security industry.

 

>>> See the Full Rankings 

 

Related Article:

 

 

 

Prophecy from Security 50 <II>:
Time for Integrated Systems!

 

 

 

2014 Security 50 Industry Report

2014 Security 50 Industry Report

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 11/28/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

This year's Security 50 rankings again proved the year 2013 was another fruitful year. The top 50 companies grew 8.2 percent on average. Even without very dramatic growth, it symbolizes that 2013 indeed was a turning point for the whole industry: 

        TIME for SOLUTIONS!

 

 

 

The result proves that the top 50 companies grew quite steadily in 2013. However, the figure also shows a slight slowdown, compared to the average 12 percent growth in Security 50 reports, per year, after 2010.

Multinationals among the top 50, which mostly develop multiple security systems, ranging from video surveillance, access control, and alarm, grew exponentially and have become much more profitable compared to our findings in 2012 and 2011. In 2013, they grew 15.6 percent, compared to 9.5 percent in 2012. Their profit growth is 15.7 percent on average, double compared to 7.1 percent in 2012.

 

 

Time for integrated systems

In the video surveillance product sector of Security 50 rankings, company performance is strongly correlated with its overall product strategy. If we divide the video surveillance companies by their tendency to develop systems versus single devices, the average revenue growth and profit growth of these groups were found to be different. Overall video surveillance companies grew 9.2 percent on average. Companies developing systems grew 14.4 percent, 5.2 percent more than those that only develop devices. In addition, the average profit growth for overall video surveillance is 38.9 percent. System developers grew 14 percent versus negative 2.2 percent in the device part. Gross margin of some companies, from the device part, barely kept single-digital growth.

 

                                       

To stay profitable and competitive in the market, offering devices only is not enough. Successful suppliers provide systems suitable for different types of projects. IP video surveillance systems, for instance, are well designed for solutions in different applications and vertical sectors. Most importantly, they are well tested and configured and ready to be integrated into a management platform, which saves a lot of headache and troubles for systems integrators and installers. On the other hand, for some small to medium-sized companies, the capability to tailor-make certain unique features in systems for different projects is also required.

 

                                          

 

 See the Full Ranking of 2015 Security 50 here!

 

The full report will be released on December 1st 2014.

Follow the latest news via Twitter or Facebook now  :)

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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