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[GDSF Secutech 2014] VMS works wonders for verticals

[GDSF Secutech 2014] VMS works wonders for verticals

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 4/18/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

VMS is demanded by any vertical market that needs video surveillance to keep facilities and premises safe and secure. Operators from different verticals, however, look for different things in their VMS based on the specific demands and needs of their respective industries. The topics of VMS and its applications in different vertical markets took the center stage during this year's Secutech Taipei and were a main theme discussed by panelists in the Global Digital Security Forum (GDSF) held alongside the exhibition. During the event, industry experts shared their insights into VMS requirements for different verticals and what they considered to be good video management software.

Airports/Public transportation
Scalability is one of the first things operators of airports and public transportation facilities look for in choosing the right VMS solution. As the number of cameras increases with the construction of new airport terminals or new subway stations, the ability of VMS to grow with the system becomes critical.

“When we first did the Taipei subway system, we had 1,000-plus cameras and 17 stations, but the numbers have increased to more than 10,000 cameras and more than 100 stations,” said Isabella Lin, Sales Manager of Overseas Sales Division, Instek Digital, which was chosen as a partner of the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. to deploy video surveillance solutions. “Scalability has become an essential thing.”

Reliability, or the ability of a system to maintain stable, steady operation even in the event of system failure, is also crucial. Every piece of video is vital in accident prevention or post-event investigation and is too precious to be lost during any time. Management software that enables continuous system access and uninterrupted video streaming is therefore another important factor that airport and public transportation operators look for.

Finally, video management software nowadays must include a certain level of intelligence, which analyzes abnormalities in videos and responds to those abnormalities accordingly. When someone intrudes into an off-limits area or loiters on the subway platform, a solution with good analytics will detect those scenarios and send an alert to the security personnel. This way, tragedies may be prevented, and lives saved.


“Analytics is becoming a lot more mature, and we're seeing new applications,” said Justin Schorn, Co-Founder of Aimetis, which has deployed VMS solutions in major international airports in the world, including those of Brasilia, Munich, and Perth. “With no analytics, a solution is a very much passive, not a very reactive one. But with analytics, it's more of a proactive product.”

Safe city
Surveillance plays a critical function in keeping cities safe, livable and responsive to crime, terrorist threats and attacks, accidents and disasters. According to a previously released whitepaper, Milestone, a leading VMS provider, said after a city in Brazil installed a video surveillance system, it noticed a 6 percent reduction in crime. A Nevada police department installed cameras in a high crime area, and within a year research showed that 52.7 percent of the residents felt there was less drug dealing in the area and 77 percent felt that the surveillance system had enhanced their quality of life.

“A safe city project aims to protect citizens and assets. It involves technologies providing situational awareness to various stakeholders, and enables overall operational picture to all relevant agencies,” said Sunny Kong, Director of Sales of Asia, Milestone.

Yet meeting those objectives entails more than installing a bunch of cameras on street lamps or traffic signals. It also has to do with monitoring a gargantuan amount of video footage and identifying people, objects or behaviors that are suspicious. Again, this is where analytics comes in, said Wilson Chin, Marketing Vice President, Verint Asia Pacific.

“It's not so much about (the solution) identifying a license plate. It's more about recognizing that the license plate is supposed to be assigned to a white Honda minivan, and now it's on a black four-door sedan Toyota. That's an alert that someone has switched the license plate,” he said. “As the analytics gets more sophisticated, that's when its value in a big city solution becomes apparent.”

Chin also mentioned the importance of open web monitoring in a safe city solution, which relies on the collective wisdom of the people to identify suspicious individuals or fight crime.

“For those of you who followed the Boston Marathon incident a couple of years ago, you know that one of the ways they tracked down the individuals was analyzing thousands of thousands of photos taken by people through their smartphones,” he said. “It wasn't just the monitoring points of the cameras that was deployed by the city. It was people with smartphones. They would put things on Facebook or Twitter, which greatly expanded the number of images available for analysis. This is the power of crowdsourcing.”

To enable that kind of connectivity between citizens and government agencies through smart devices, an enabler is needed, and according to Milestone's Kong, that enabler is the open platform.

"An open platform enables the use of best-in-breeds in technologies,” he said. “It allows freedom of choice, future-proofs investments, and ensures third-party integrations easily."

Banking
No vertical needs security more than the banking industry, which processes a tremendous amount of money on a daily basis. Yet a surveillance installation can get complex and sophisticated when it comes to banks, which operate different sites including corporate buildings, branch offices, ATMs and cash depots. Monitoring these sites to ensure that they are always safe has thus become a priority for security operators.

“The main purpose for a bank in having a video surveillance system is two-fold,” said Jukka Riivari, CEO of Mirasys, which has done business with five out of the top 50 banks across the world, four out of the top six Nordic Banks in Europe, and three central banks. “One fold is to make sure that the premises are intact; there is no intrusion to the premises after the office hours or during the office hours. The other is how can you reduce the false alarm rate so you only have real alarms.”

To manage videos from different locations the VMS must have strong centralization features that can, for example, alert local authorities on irregular banking activities at a specific branch office. Intelligence must also be included in the video management software to reduce false alarms. A complex alarm list, for instance, may be built into the system to make sure that people suspected of intrusion or loitering match the criteria on the alarm list.

At the same time, banking VMS should be able to interface with other technologies, for example access control, intrusion alarms and transactional systems, to prevent and reduce fraud and other financial-reduced crimes. According to a survey conducted by the European ATM Security Team, ATM card skimming resulted in losses of nearly 111 million Euros across Europe during the first half of 2011. Meanwhile, a study released in 2011 by the Aite Group estimates that card fraud costs the U.S. card payments industry US$8.6 billion annually. Against this backdrop, VMS integrated with transactional systems allows instant revelation of transaction irregularities that may result from card skimming.

“It's the specific solutions, not just the DVRs and cameras, that keep the hundreds of branch offices safe,” Riivari said. “You need to be able to detect someone trying to put a skimming device into the system. That is the purpose of one of those solutions needed, not just tools.

Safe and sound
While VMS works differently across verticals, experts at GDSF all reached the consensus that VMS should allow scalability, reliability, integration and intelligence no matter which vertical it is deployed in. These requirements help ensure normal and safe business operations, which are ultimately needed for the end user's sustainable growth.

Milestone CEO: Open the analog mind block to boost your business

Milestone CEO: Open the analog mind block to boost your business

Editor / Provider: Lars Thinggard, CEO, Milestone Systems | Updated: 4/18/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

As the trend towards digital video progresses, we are seeing corporations that are not taking full advantage of the possibilities for enhancing their business with visual data. The big block is not the technology, it is the analog mindset. To gain the full business advantages of digital video, you have to think about video as data and an important element in the IT infrastructure.

Analog video is all about pictures. To simplify it – all you can do with analog video is watching it. There are no integration possibilities, no interconnections to business areas, and no future proofing. The analog video lives and dies in its own closed world. Closed Circuit TV – CCTV: even the name CCTV has a bad ring to it in a digital world that is so much more open and interconnected. Analog video is all pictures – no data. Digital video (or IP video) is all pictures – all data.

All too often we see that a video installation migrated from the data-less analog old world to the digital future is used in the same way as the old installation. This means that nobody has asked the all-important question: “How do we utilize this new data source to improve or expand our business?”

Digital video is more than just video. Data can be analyzed and used in a business context. Digital video is a data source like all other data sources in IT infrastructure. This means that video data can be fed to other IT systems since true open VMS (video management software) can function as a digital video hub, not only feeding video data to other IT systems, but also integrating business functions.

This is important because a video system often serves more than one purpose. Most video systems are used for monitoring and securing people, perimeters and assets. When other purposes are introduced, the VMS has to be able to keep security functions in a safe environment, while at the same time enabling other systems to freely access the video data.

Digital Video is Data
A real-life example of this could be a video security installation securing a parking lot for a company. In the case of an analog installation, you would be able to see the video and review it later – that's all. You would be able to do the same with a digital system – but the digital systems would also enable the video to be actively used for more than just passive watching. You could use video analytics or integration to other systems to determine how many empty parking spaces there are at a given time, ensuring that customers would not be forced to park at another site. License plate recognition could be used to detect important customers arriving, alerting frontline managers to prepare a nice welcome. The system could also be used for advanced security purposes that are impossible to do in an analog system. Using metadata (which is data about data) the video could be analyzed and the results compared to external data sources. If a license plate is normally associated with a car of a certain color and the car entering the car lot suddenly has different color than expected, then the security staff can be alerted immediately.

Boost business with video
Another example is today's modern retail shops. The newest trend in retail is mobile shop assistants that roam the shop floor and handle payments on the spot using a tablet computer or a dedicated smart device. If you want to track this using analog video, you would not only have to install enough analog cameras to ensure that the whole shop floor is covered, you would also need to have a number of operators manually tracking the mobile shop assistants! This is clearly not a feasible approach.

In the digital world the mobile payment units could be linked to the video server, and a camera could be oriented to automatically record the customer session on video together with position and payment data from the mobile terminals. This can be used to improve the customer experience, train staff, optimize floor layout and of course, limit risks. The possibilities are endless when you have the digital mindset.

Best of all, when you use an open platform VMS, you can expand the use of video when you need it. The software is the core of the system, and enables you to expand its use endlessly by adding to the system. Analog video-systems are all hardware. Digital Video has intelligence in the form of software. It is the software that makes the investment future proof and cost effective.

Think Return on Video Investment
Speaking of cost, analog video surveillance systems are often regarded as cheaper than digital systems. Analog cameras cost typically less than digital cameras, an analog video recorder is cheaper than a server with software and the analog cabling is very simple. However, if you shift your mindset from Cost of Acquisition to Return on Investment this picture changes, due to the new possibilities to use video as data.

Intelligent searches can bring down the time spent searching for an incident in the video, smart and mobile clients enable flexible access to the video over digital networks, and video analytics can extract business relevant information. Think of the small difference in cost as an investment in the future.

However, using video as data has more far-reaching consequences than just using open platform technology in a digital network. The organization has to reflect the open digital mindset as well.

Typically, security and IT are regarded as separate functions in a company. Security is often reactive dealing with incidents. IT is more about enabling business going forward. When the concept of video as data comes into play, the organization in a company has to be open. Luckily, this is happening now. Research done by ESG indicates that 91 % of the surveyed organizations had their digital security systems supported by the IT department. This number was 52 % only 3 years ago.

80% of the IT professionals used video for Business Intelligence. The specific uses were - operational efficiencies (58%), production or process control (51%), inventory control (50%), identifying traffic patterns (49%) and employee training (47%). This tactical use of video reflects in investment plans, as 88% states that the business-oriented use of video helps justify IP video technology and infrastructure investments. This stresses even more that the IT-department must treat video as a valuable source of video data, not as an intruding force in the network. IT management has to recognize video as a business tool and look at the video possibilities. Security management has to look beyond the video pictures and into the business possibilities.

It is all a matter of mindset. Think digital, and think it now to start boosting your business.

---By Lars Thinggard, CEO, Milestone Systems

Snapsportz delivers outdoor experience with HID Global RFID Tags

Snapsportz delivers outdoor experience with HID Global RFID Tags

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 4/17/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Since 1978, family-owned Princeville Ranch Adventures has taken pride in offering world-class eco-adventures on the north shore of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. Guests from around the world travel here for horseback riding, hiking and waterfall tours through serene rainforest valleys steeped in tropical sounds, scents and sights. Over the last 10 years, zip lining has grown to be the Ranch's most popular attraction, enabling guests to glide above lush treetops and across spectacular valleys. Princeville Ranch has nine zip lines presenting incomparable views of spectacular terrain, including the “King Kong” which enables adventurers to glide a span of 1,200 feet (366 m), side-by-side with a partner.

“Zip lining at Princeville Ranch is a life-changing experience in a breathtaking environment,” says Patrick Nowak, general manager of Princeville Ranch Adventures. “Our guests want to capture the memory of this adventure, and share it with family and friends.”

The desire to capture guest experiences led Princeville Ranch to partner with Snapsportz Media, Inc. Snapsportz specializes in using RFID to capture professional action images of people engaged in active endeavors – skiing, snowboarding, running, biking – and enabling each person to instantly view, save, share and purchase their individual photos on site, in real time or online. A.C.C. Systems teamed with HID Global to help Snapsportz create a daring solution that uses HID Global's RFID tags to trigger cameras positioned along the zip line course so they can take photographs of the guests in action as they glide above rugged and remote terrain.

Challenges
The nature of zip lining at Princeville Ranch poses many obstacles to consistently and reliably capturing images of each unique guest experience. Equipment is subject to rugged treatment, and the Hawaiian terrain ensures environmental extremes - intense sunlight, heat, salt air, strong winds and heavy precipitation. Between excursions, helmets, harnesses and other safety equipment require cleaning and sanitation.

Additionally, the remote location of Princeville Ranch makes traditional power supplies unavailable. Further, there is no access to reliable communications, networking, or Wi-Fi to run the Snapsportz point-of-sale software that connects guests with their images.

In previous applications, Snapsportz had success with single-use tags that were issued to a participant for a day, and then discarded. For the zip line, tagging the Ranch-issued helmets seemed the optimal solution, but it meant that the tags had to perform day after day, while enduring rigorous use.

“The Princeville Ranch zip line course presented the toughest environment for RFID tag performance that we've encountered, so far, when implementing our system,” said Ben Kottke, Snapsportz founder and CEO.

“The weather conditions include extreme heat and driving rain. And even when users aren't hard on their helmets, the handlers certainly are.”

Over the course of a year, pilot efforts by Snapsportz tested multiple RFID tags and fixation options – glues, resins, epoxies, tapes and rivets – with varying degrees of success. In early testing, the pilot Princeville Ranch solution was failing to capture as many as 1 out of every 4 guest images.

Snapsportz turned to A.C.C. Systems to help solve the problem. A.C.C. Systems is a distributor and integrator of full spectrum RFID solutions, including HID Global tags and readers. They have experience and knowledge in helping companies, like Snapsportz deploy RFID-based systems at cycling events, auto races and concerts. But the zip line application was unexplored territory.

“The first batch of tags we tested were sticker inlays that were affixed to the helmets using the sticker adhesive and an outer larger weatherproof sticker laid over. These tags initially delivered 90% readability,” said Nicholas Addonisio, sales manager of A.C.C. Systems. “However, after a few days of exposure to Kauai sun and rain, rugged treatment, and sanitation between uses, many tags became damaged and readability dropped significantly.”

Solutions
A.C.C. Systems talked to HID Global about the difficulties Snapsportz was having finding a tagging solution that was up to the zip line challenge. “When Nick described the harsh conditions – high heat, impact, exposure to rain and cleaning solutions – I immediately recognized that the SlimFlex tag would offer an ideal solution,” remarked Jason D. Warschauer, sales engineering manager at HID Global.

Originally developed for industrial applications, HID Global SlimFlex RFID tags have unique thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) housings that are made from the same materials used worldwide to manufacture automobile pipes and hoses. SlimFlex tags tolerate repeated bending or torsion, while maintaining excellent performance characteristics. The durable housing safeguards embedded electronics, even under harsh conditions, and provides resistance to chemical exposure, like the Princeville Ranch's repeated use of a bleach solution to sanitize the zip line helmets.

Flexible SlimFlex tags fit snugly to the helmets' curved surface, and attach securely with rivets. The UHF electronics within the tags deliver reliable read ranges up to 26 feet (8 meters).

“With SlimFlex tags, our readability is approaching 100%,” reports A.C.C. Systems' Addonisio. “This is incredible considering the abuse the tags receive on a daily basis, and the erratic movements of people who are about to plunge over a tree canopy!”

To connect each guest to his or her pictures, RFID technology in the Snapsportz system allows simultaneous triggering of image capture as well as each image's assignment to an individual guest's helmet number. This enables the Snapsportz software to automatically sort images, and retrieve each guest's photos on demand. Interactive kiosks enable guests to order prints or digital copies, upload one or all images to a USB drive or post to their Facebook page.

Results
Princeville Ranch Adventures is ecstatic with its near flawless image capture system on its zip line course. HID Global's SlimFlex tags help assure virtually every guest has the widest possible choice of images from his or her unique adventure. “The current system is working extremely well,” reports Princeville Ranch's Nowak. “By ensuring high-quality image capture for our guests and making it effortless for them to find and share her images, we help ensure they get the most out of their zip line experience.”

With negligible additional cost, the Snapsportz photo system, alone, has more than doubled revenue for Princeville Ranch's entire zip line operation. In addition, Princeville Ranch gains a promotional lift from the images when guests share them on social media. “Approximately 85% of guests choose digital versions of their images that lead to great reviews on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Instagram and other sites, painting a picture of fun for our guests that also promotes our business,” says Nowak.

For Snapsportz, conquering the zip line challenge is also leading the company to potential new markets for its system, from theme parks and waterparks to ski resorts, sports venues, and outdoor adventures.

“Knowing that HID Global's SlimFlex tags perform exceptionally well in extreme environments gives us the confidence to deploy RFID technology anywhere people pursue their passions, empowering our clients to use the Snapsportz system to increase revenues and enhance the user experience while building brand identity and customer loyalty,” Kottke says.

 

TOP10 most popular security products for March 2014

TOP10 most popular security products for March 2014

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 4/17/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

asmag.com would like to introduce the TOP10 popular products for March 2014 in this report.

Have a quick look here: Besides two products from Hikvision and Dahua respectively, the other most-clicked products in March were coming from Axis, AirLive, Antaira, Biwave, Honeywell, and VIVOTEK.

As most of the products make their debut in the TOP10 in March, interestingly, two seats were taken by Hikvision's IP cameras, DS-2CD2412F-I (W) and DS-2CD2432F-I (W) as previous winners in the last three months and one by Biwave VDL4000 10M/100M Ethernet Transmission as a winner of the TOP10 in December 2013 and January 2014.

According to this ranking list, IR cameras, 3-megapixels resolution, and multifunctional management system that could assist end users to operate more efficiently are still leading the trend.

1. Hikvision DS-2CD2412F-I (W) 1.3MP IR Cube Network Camera


The first place of the TOP10 for March goes to Hikvision DS-2CD2412F-I (W) 1.3MP IR Cube Network Camera, with a leading 600-click from all around the world. This has been the third month in a row since this camera was first honored in December 2013. Worth noting here is that since its first appearance in the TOP10 for December, this IR cube camera has experience soaring click-through rate from the viewers worldwide. DS-2CD2412F-I (W) comes with passive infrared sensor (PIS) and is capable of detecting objects within a range of 10-meter; meanwhile, this IR Cube camera is able to sustain a weather of -30 °C ~ 60 °C (-22 °F ~ 140 °F).

2. AirLive BU-3025v2 3-MegaPixel Outdoor 25 meter IR IPCAM


Right after, as a new comer in March, AirLive BU-3025v2 : 3-MegaPixel Outdoor 25 meter IR IPCAM wins the 2nd place with 422 clicks, receiving the highest click-through rate from Asia in this rank. BU-3025v2 provides high image quality of 2048*1536p at 20fps; otherwise, the end users can choose to keep a real-time recording at 1080p. This 3MP IR camera is equipped with auto-changeable IR filter and wide-range infrared LEDs coverage for a distance up to 25m.

3. Antaira LNP-0802-24 8-Port Industrial PoE+ UnManaged Ethernet Switch


As another new comer on list of TOP10 for March, Antaira LNP-0802-24 8-Port Industrial PoE+ UnManaged Ethernet Switch takes the 3rd place with 362 clicks from all around the world. This switch is specifically designed with Network Storm Protection and built-in relay warning function that will send out an alert to operators when power failure or port breaks occur. This American company was formerly known as Aaxeon Technology, and renamed as Antaira Technology earlier in 2013.

4. Honeywell HUS-NVR-7200A-E 256-Channel NVR


Closely right behind as No.4 is Honeywell HUS-NVR-7200A-E 256-Channel NVR, embedded with standalone server with 16 hard disk bays (up to4TB storage), capable of continuous 24/7 video recording, and supporting 256 channels of real-time recording. Furthermore, this recorder allows end users to search by date, time, alarm event, and channel number. This multifunctional NVR is ideal for applying in verticals such as banks, governments, transportation, city surveillance, and commercial industries.

5. Axis SketchUp 3D CAD software


The 5th place goes to Axis SketchUp 3D CAD software with 337 clicks. As another new face in this list, this management platform got both American and Asian viewers' high attention. As applying Axis cameras, the software, SketchUp, is well-integrated with Google maps providing users a clear view over any outdoor surveillance areas. This software enables end users to easily adjust the field of view through PTZ cameras in order to set up the best surveillance coverage and fits into the building layout.

6. VIVOTEK FD8355EHV 1.3MP WDR Dome Network Camera


With 332 clicks coming evenly from all around the areas, VIVOTEK FD8355EHV takes the 6th place in the TOP10 for March, featuring its improved wide dynamic range technology, WDR Pro II, provides end users with better visibility in extremely dark and light environments with 4 shutter capture methods. Furthermore, with 3D noise reduction technology, this dome camera can capture clear and polished picture even under poor light source, allowing users to easily identify details in the video.

7. Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-I (W) 3MP IR Cube Network Camera
Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-I (W) had to settle for a tie with DAHUA-IPC- HFW5300C/5302C in the TOP10 for March, as they equally gained a total of 280-click, both ranked as No.7.

 

Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-I (W) is definitely not a stranger to the TOP10 ranking. Since it first appeared last year, this IR Cube network camera has been one of the hot products on the TOP10 throughout the past three months keeping a steady click-through rate. As a total of 280, it got the most clicks from European countries – 60% of the viewers are from Europe.

7. DAHUA-IPC-HFW5300C/5302C

DAHUA-IPC-HFW5300C/5302C as a new comer on TOP10, featuring its multiple network monitoring, including web viewer, content management system (CMS), and DMSS. This IR-Bullet camera can keep 20fps at a recording quality of 3megapixel; and 30fps at 1080P. Interestingly, European take up the majority of the viewers as well.

9. DAHUA IPC-HFW5200C HD Network Water-proof Bullet Camera


The 9th of the TOP10 for March is DAHUA IPC-HFW5200C HD Network Water-proof Bullet Camera, and it is the second product from Dahua that makes into this ranking in the TOP 10 for March. This water-proof bullet camera, highlighted its Eco-Savvy feature, drew 264 clicks – around 75% came from Asian and American areas.

10. Biwave VDL4000 10M/100M Ethernet Transmission for IP Network Camera Connection


Coming to the 10th place is a previous winner in the TOP10 rankings in December 2013 and January 2014 – Biwave VDL4000 10M/100M Ethernet Transmission, which is designed for long distance IP camera transmission. After its absence from the TOP10 in February 2014, this Ethernet transmission took back the seat in March gaining 251 clicks, taking up mostly by European and American viewers by 42% and 32%.

 * Please note that the above statistics are not based on the sum of clicks but the accumulation of IP addresses.

For last month's TOP10 products, click here.

Synectics to showcase Synergy 3 at Counter Terror Expo 2014

Synectics to showcase Synergy 3 at Counter Terror Expo 2014

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 4/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Synectics will showcase its evolved Synergy 3 command and control platform at Counter Terror Expo 2014, the international security event at London's Olympia exhibition centre.

The latest evolution of Synectics' field-proven technology, Synergy 3 is the result of over 25 years' security industry experience and sector expertise. Simple to deploy and integrate, Synergy 3 provides a flexible, open platform to suit a range of applications across sectors including critical national infrastructure, oil and gas, and high security.

Visitors to the Synectics stand at Counter Terror Expo 2014 will be introduced to the integrated command and control system, which enables alarms and events, security and process control sub-systems, video, and data to be monitored, managed and recorded from a single unified interface. Demonstrations will be offered highlighting Synergy 3's new and enhanced functionality, including its fully customisable user interface and interactive mapping engine with GIS technology, along with the flexible, tiered software licensing options.

Synectics' COEX 2000 and 3000 camera stations, which provide surveillance for the world's most challenging oil and gas and marine applications, will also be available for demonstration.

Another highlight of Synectics' presence at Counter Terror Expo 2014 will be a presentation by David Aindow, Product and Technology Director at Synectic Systems. He will deliver a session in the Security Solutions Seminar Theatre - Intelligently Integrated Surveillance Solutions - at 11.30am on Tuesday, 29th April.

The presentation will include an insight into the part that an integrated solution can play in managing advanced security needs, risk mitigation and improved efficiency, and the future of integration.

Paul Webb, Managing Director, Synectic Systems, said: “Counter Terror Expo 2014 is a key date in the global security calendar. Synectics is proud to be taking part in an event which will help to determine the future for international security in an evolving world.

“We are looking forward to meeting customers and sharing the potential benefits that Synergy 3 can now bring to end users of every type and size – from small companies to enterprise-scale operators.

“We are certain that Synergy 3 is the ideal solution for critical national infrastructure, oil and gas, and marine environments, where risk mitigation and improved operational efficiency is essential. It is now easier than ever to deploy a command and control solution tailored to suit any surveillance or business intelligence requirement.”

HID Global wins AIM Award and RFID Journal Awards

HID Global wins AIM Award and RFID Journal Awards

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 4/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

HID Global has just announced it has been awarded Most Innovative Use of RFID Technology in the AIM 2014 RFID Case Study competition for its solution that combines RFID tags with NFC-enabled smartphones at Bodega Norton Winery in Argentina. Use of the company's RFID technology was also integral to Snapsportz being name a runner up for the Most Innovative Use of RFID in the RFID Journal Awards.

Both awards were announced in conjunction with RFID Journal Live!, where HID Trusted Tag Services was also a finalist for Best in Show.

“HID Global is pleased to be recognized by two of the most prestigious and influential organizations in the industry for our cutting-edge expertise and innovative solutions, as exemplified by their use by Bodega Norton Winery and Snapsportz at Princeville Ranch Adventures,” said Marc Bielmann, vice president of Identification Technology with HID Global. “These honors validate our industry leadership and reinforce the value of working with our trusted partners to deliver customized solutions that meet the unique needs of our customers.”

Bodega Norton Winery
HID Global, in partnership with system integrator Fundacion Ada Byron (FAB), enhanced and streamlined the winery's logistics and processes with a new solution that replaced a cumbersome, outdated tracking system used for compensating employees. This system was based on the manual distribution and collection of thousands of aluminum and plastic chips that tracked the amount of grapes picked by harvesters.

With the new solution, each harvester is issued an armband equipped with a unique HID Global contactless card, grape collection bins are now tagged with HID Epoxy Disc tags and vineyard supervisors are outfitted with NFC-enabled smartphones. The system enables vineyard supervisors to simply place their smartphone next to the harvester's armband triggering an audible beep that assures both the harvester and supervisor that the collection bin has been counted and credited to the appropriate harvester.

Snapsportz Action Images
HID Global SlimFlex RFID tags are a central component of the Snapsportz system that enables the image capture of guests zip-lining at Princeville Ranch Adventures in the Hawaiian Islands. RFID technology allows simultaneous triggering of image capture as well as each image's assignment to an individual guest. This enables the Snapsportz software to automatically sort images and retrieve each guest's photos on demand. Interactive kiosks enable guests to order prints or digital copies, upload one or all images to a USB drive, or post images to their Facebook page.

SlimFlex tags have unique thermoplastic elastomer housings and tolerate repeated bending or torsion while maintaining excellent performance characteristics. Originally developed for industrial applications, the durable housing safeguards the tags' embedded electronics, providing resistance to chemical exposure such as the Princeville Ranch's repeated use of a bleach solution to sanitize the zip line helmets.

Survey exposes surveillance myths created by CSI crime dramas

Survey exposes surveillance myths created by CSI crime dramas

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 4/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Canadians are hooked on crime dramas, and some shows are so convincing that our perception of what forensic technology can do has been skewed – especially when it comes to video surveillance.

"There have been impressive strides in facial recognition analytics, but it is not as prevalent as TV producers would have you believe. The technology works best in controlled conditions”

According to a survey by Leger for Axis Communications, the global brand in network video surveillance, 68% of Canadians said they watch crime dramas like CSI, Criminal Minds, Castle and Law and Order. Of those surveyed, most believe image enhancement techniques and intelligent software are readily available to help law enforcement easily identify suspects. Yet nearly 75% of surveillance cameras sold worldwide today remain analog (IHS Research), which is why security video often shown on the evening news is grainy and of poor quality, making identification difficult.

Key findings of the survey include:
* 71% of Canadians think recorded surveillance footage can be enhanced in a lab using software.
* Most Canadians have very little idea how long surveillance video is generally stored, with 27% admitting they have no   idea and 26% believing video is stored indefinitely.
* Three-quarters of Canadians believe facial recognition software can easily pick individual faces out of a crowd for identification, with crime drama fans even more likely to believe this.

“When TV crime technicians produce an accurate photo of a suspect from the reflection off someone's sunglasses, it makes for good entertainment but it's not realistic,” said Bob Moore, country manager, Canada, Axis Communications. “IP camera innovations have improved image quality and image usability exponentially, but if police are dealing with low-resolution video common in the real world today, there is nothing that can be done to enhance the image.”

The surveillance industry is currently undergoing a shift from analog CCTV to IP video, with IP cameras expected to begin out-shipping their analog predecessors in 2017. This is because IP video offers much improved functionality closer to the technology shown on TV, including HDTV-quality video, ease-of-use, speed of forensic search, intelligent analytics and low-light recording in color.

Surveillance Cameras: Myths vs. Reality

Myth: Surveillance video quality can be enhanced in a lab using software.
Reality: “What you see is what you get,” said Moore. “If you don't start out with high resolution video, enlarging it will result in a bigger, blurrier, more pixelated image. Video clarity cannot be fixed after the fact. As a rule of thumb, an image must supply 80 pixels from ear to ear to ID a face.”

Myth: Surveillance video is stored indefinitely.
Reality: “In Canada, there are no legal guidelines regarding how long surveillance video is stored, but as a general rule 31 days is the average most video is stored before being overwritten. After all, it is data,” said Moore. “In practical terms, it's really an issue of storage and how much an organization has available to keep. Video that is pulled to be used as evidence in a case, however, could be kept indefinitely.”

Myth: Facial recognition software can pick someone out of a crowd.
Reality: “There have been impressive strides in facial recognition analytics, but it is not as prevalent as TV producers would have you believe. The technology works best in controlled conditions,” said Moore. “Some buildings employ facial recognition software to automatically open doors for authorized people, but the person must look directly into the camera and, most importantly, their faces must be stored on a database for comparison. This is much different than picking a random face out of a moving crowd.”

Myth: Most surveillance is monitored in real time.
Reality: “The opposite is actually true,” said Moore. “99% of security video is deleted without ever being seen. Of the video that is seen, only one percent of that is viewed live. Most security video is not monitored live by a person because of the expense involved. Thankfully innovations in IP video are moving video surveillance from a forensics-only tool to a proactive one.” “Today's IP cameras offer more flexibility and advantages than older analog models and hopefully provide real Canadian crime fighters with the images they need to do their jobs,” said Moore. “While it was good to see that 47% of Canadians do not believe crime dramas provide an accurate depiction of how security equipment is used, one-third still believe these myths to be true. With IP video, we're vastly ahead of the quality and ability of outdated analog CCTV, but haven't yet caught up to Hollywood.”

Pelco IP cams integrated with March Networks Command VMS

Pelco IP cams integrated with March Networks Command VMS

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 4/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks and Pelco by Schneider Electric announced the integration of the March Networks Command video management system (VMS) with Sarix Series IP cameras, Spectra HD Dome PTZ and Sarix TI Thermal Imaging camera systems. The integration provides organizations with greater flexibility when selecting an IP video surveillance solution, and ensures faster, more cost-effective system deployment.

“We are excited by this support for our complete range of IP cameras, including our new Sarix Professional and Enhanced Ranges, by the March Networks VMS solution,” said Kristina Holmqvist, Business Development Manager EMEA at Pelco by Schneider Electric. “This integration provides the possibility for our joint customers to use our multipurpose range of cameras with March Networks' high performance solution.”

March Networks Command is a scalable, standards-based VMS designed to work seamlessly with leading security products and systems. This open approach makes it easy for customers to adopt the software solution and choose the IP edge devices that are best for their applications. Command is one of the only VMS solutions able to support complete surveillance system configuration and administration – in addition to live and archived video access – via its browser-based client interface.

Built upon the three pillars of innovative imaging science, sophisticated industrial design, and advanced processing power, Sarix delivers a crisp, clear image. With the Sarix Series, Pelco by Schneider Electric offers a complete line of IP bullet, box and dome cameras for any lighting condition, application and environment. All new Sarix cameras integrate with major third-party video management systems through the Pelco API, and other third-party software and systems through the ONVIF Profile S standard, and they work seamlessly with Pelco video management systems.

The deep Command 1.7 integration with Pelco IP cameras supports a complete list of capabilities including: audio capture; H.264, M-JPEG and MPEG4 video compression; multi-encoding; presets and tours; motion, Adaptive Motion and Directional Motion detection; and robust I/O and PTZ control.

“Working with best-in-class security manufacturers like Pelco to expand the choices available to our Command VMS customers is a priority for our company,” said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. “We are pleased to announce this integration and join Pelco's Partner First community.”

IP based video surveillance enjoys high market penetration in Middle East

IP based video surveillance enjoys high market penetration in Middle East

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 4/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The video surveillance market is greatly influenced by government rules. HD and megapixel has become standard for video surveillance cameras and 180-day video storage is required for almost all market sectors. The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) also updates the rules every year. The government regulations usually include where the security cameras must be placed, several details about its specifications, and also, how to make sure they are able to produce good quality video. "In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, it is important to make sure that your IP-based video surveillance system meets all legislation and governmental standards, which should be the key elements of business here," said Peter Biltsted, Director of MEA at Milestone Systems. According to an industry expert, some IP-based video systems might have the problem of losing images, which would cause the end users and systems integrators to get fined afterwards. Therefore, high reliability of IP-based video surveillance systems is required for this region.

HIGH ADOPTION OF IP-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE
Due to regulations from the government, the trend of full IP-based video surveillance starts from the U.A.E. such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and then spreads the rest of the Gulf countries. The IP-based video surveillance trend also leads to high adoption of some innovations in this region, such as multi-megapixel, low-lux, and intelligent video analytics.

In the Middle East, people usually want the best technologies. For surveillance, the standard would be around 2 to 3 megapixels with WDR, because of the strong sunlight. ANPR and facial recognition are also usually required for infrastructure projects.

In large facilities, such as stadiums, hotels, campuses, and city surveillance projects, end users look for a more cost-effective way to have better coverage over a large area. “Multi-megapixel cameras are proving their worth here. Using multi-megapixel (1,080p for example) cameras, end users receive a minimum resolution more than seven times better than standard definition (VGA) or analog cameras. Megapixel cameras provide detailed information for capturing license plates and faces, said Scott Schafer, Executive VP Sales, Marketing and Service at Arecont Vision. “We have examples of customers that use 75 cameras to cover an area that would have required about 2,000 analog or standard definition VGA cameras delivering 40 pixel-per-foot resolution, which is enough to identify faces in a crowd. In campus settings, we have used eight multi-megapixel panoramic cameras to replace 24 standard definition cameras and the new system delivered superior resolution at a lower price.”

Intelligent Video Adoption
The local requirement of up to 180-day storage for HD megapixel video in some cases drives the need for more intelligent management of data, especially in large-scale projects such as infrastructure. "To provide an efficient forensic search after events take place, and also meet the challenges of managing so many cameras and data in a large environment, there is a need for intelligent video. And since people here are quite open to new technologies, they are starting to use intelligent video analytics (IVA) for marketing and management purposes," said Hakan 畤yi?it, Regional Director of Middle East at Bosch Security Systems.

Intelligent video is commonly used for high-end retailers and some large retailers deploying 160 to 200 cameras for people counting and heat maps. "In some five-star hotels, it has become common to have people-counting features to see who gets inside of the hotel building, 360 fish-eye camera at main areas like lobby/restaurant, heat mapping to analyze customers flow, and missing-object analysis for the retail stores inside. Some hotels provide the live-streaming video online for marketing.

Samsung also provides such solutions for retail/commercial markets controlled by Samsung security management platform," said Ali Boussi, Regional Sales Manager at BASS/Samsung Techwin. Due to the demand for intelligent video in this region, “Kedacom launched its latest NVRs, with the latest video analytic technology to do smart searching and quick location of the event as soon as the alarm is triggered. Besides, Kadacom also has a complete solution of centralized chain-store management and HD video surveillance solutions for courts,” said Zhiqiang Liu, Marketing Director, Kedacom Technology.

IP for SMB
The small-to-medium business (SMB) sector is also adopting IP technologies, starting from the U.A.E. “I would say in the MEA market, especially in GCC countries, there is very high percentage of SMB market using IP. Even small retail shops — usually requiring six to eight cameras — still need to meet government requirements for megapixel resolution. The analog system can't reach that standard.

All the shops need to be approved by the government. If they are not satisfied with the evidence, they will ask you to shut down the shops or replace the system entirely. That's why convergence comes there. I would say, in the next two to three years, GCC countries will not allow video that does not supply a certain level of video quality,” said Biltsted.

“Even for small customers here, they want integration. They usually want access control to be integrated too. If they have 25 cameras in place, they also want a perimeter solution to be integrated with their systems," said Biltsted.

"What I also found in this region is people have more awareness about security and they use surveillance for more than just for security. They will use the surveillance video to check if the store is clean. So, customers would choose cameras with a corridor view. We also bundle it with our software," he continued.

COMPETITIVE IP-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE MARKET
 IP-based video surveillance technologies have penetrated to different market sectors here. Intelligent video is commonly used in a five-star hotel and even the small shops want an integrated system for video surveillance and access control. The Middle East has become a competitive market for IP-based video surveillance technologies. To satisfy end users' desires for new technologies, more and more integrated solutions will be introduced to the market for different applications.

March Networks NVR integrated Software House access control solution

March Networks NVR integrated Software House access control solution

Editor / Provider: March Network | Updated: 4/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, announced the integration of its 8000 Series Hybrid Network Video Recorder (NVR) system with the Software House C-CURE 9000 Security and Event Management System. The integration provides customers worldwide with a centralized video surveillance and access control solution that enables faster incident response, improved risk management and more efficient security operations.

"In collaboration with Software House, we are proud to offer our customers this seamless integration, which supports the convenient, remote monitoring of dozens or thousands of locations and the fast visual verification of incidents when needed," said Dan Cremins, Director of Product Management, March Networks.

The certified integration delivers everything organizations need to manage their video surveillance via the C-CURE 9000 system. Analog and IP video feeds are all incorporated into the access control software, allowing customers to instantly monitor, review and access live and archived video from any 8000 Series Hybrid NVR or previous generation 4000 C or 3000 Series recorder. In addition, the integration enables users to control surveillance camera actions associated with C-CURE 9000 triggered alarms, including multi-view video popups, PTZ movement, and video tagging. They can also monitor alarms appearing in the C-CURE 9000 interface, including those represented within maps, and react swiftly to disconnected recorders or camera video synchronization loss.

"We're pleased to be working with March Networks to bring customers an important tool to keep their people and property safe," said Jason Ouellette, Director of Product Management, Tyco Security Products access control solutions. "Integrating the C-CURE 9000 with the March Networks hybrid NVR system gives customers visibility to critical security events, allowing them to react quickly."

March Networks' comprehensive video management solution provides the unparalleled reliability, centralized management and performance organizations need to maintain the highest security standards and operate more efficiently. Able to support both analog and IP surveillance cameras, or run as a pure IP platform with as many as 32 IP cameras, the 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs enable businesses to make a smooth transition to advanced IP video networking. Combined with enterprise-class management and powerful investigation capabilities, the solution saves customers time and resources and is proven in installations worldwide, including more than 450 financial institutions and some of the world's largest retail organizations.

Software House's C-CURE 9000 security and event management system utilizes IT- standard tools and innovative distributed architecture. It offers advanced integration capabilities, advanced alarm routing and remote access for system administration and monitoring via a light client. Leveraging Microsoft's sophisticated .NET 4 technology, C-CURE 9000 provides native encryption and XML data transfer, making it one of the fastest, most secure systems in the industry.

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