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New Honeywell sensors represent next evolution in motion detection technology

New Honeywell sensors represent next evolution in motion detection technology

Editor / Provider: Honeywell | Updated: 1/21/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywell introduced the IS312 and IS312B, the latest sensors included in the IS3000 and DT8000 Series of hardwired sensors. The portfolio now includes nine high-performance indoor motion detectors that satisfy the demands of virtually any installation, from the most basic residential to the most complex commercial application. Offering superior performance combined with Honeywell's exclusive Snap & Set installation technology, the IS3000 and DT8000 Series provide outstanding premises protection while saving installers time and money through faster, easier installs.

Superior Performance
“These are the best performing indoor hardwired sensors we've ever built, with significant advancements that represent a real evolution in motion detection technology,” said Farshid Ossareh, product line leader, Honeywell Security. “We've incorporated world-class mirror optics in select models that provide more accurate detection, enhanced anti-masking capabilities, more robust pet immunity, better high temperature performance and more. They provide the security professional with outstanding options for protecting any home or business.”

• Advanced Mirror Optics: Provides superior accuracy at lower energy thresholds for better detection and fewer false alarms

• High Temperature Detection: Delivers 25% better detection range than leading competitors in high-temperature environments—delivering excellent performance in warehouses and factories heated to 35° C when field-tested

• Robust Pet Immunity: Can reliably distinguish between human intruders and dogs weighing up to 45kg—reducing false alarms without compromising catch detection

• True, Sustained Compliant Anti-Masking: Provides superior protection against intruders attempting to block the field of view with sprays or liquids, making it excellent for high-risk commercial settings like banks and jewellery stores

• Superior White Light Immunity: A patented black bug guard and advanced optics provide 6,500 lux of white light immunity, reducing false alarms caused by lights, flashlights or reflective objects

Installer-Friendly Features
“We know that time is money, and our Snap & Set installation technology can save installers both,” said Farshid Ossareh. “From a warm-up period of less than a minute to features that reduce time on the ladder and make wiring and mounting a snap, everything has been designed to make installations faster and easier.”

• Snap-Open Case: Two-piece ergonomic enclosure requires no special tools to open

• Snap-in Place Screw Retention: Patented, low-profile inserts nested in the rear cover secure screws in place, letting installers keep hands free to level and mount the device

• Snap-in Wiring Terminal: Enables a seamless connection and speeds up wiring time

• Snap Walk Test: Triggers walk test mode with the flick of a flashlight, reducing the number of trips to the sensor and the ladder during installation

• Snap and Select End-of-Line (EOL) Resistors: Auto-calibrates the required resistor value with the flip of a switch, eliminates splicing and crimping

Choice of nine Models
DUAL TEC sensors—which combine microwave and PIR to accurately distinguish between real intruders and false alarms—were pioneered by Honeywell over 30 years ago—setting the industry benchmark and helping give rise to what has become a standard security offering. With nine new models to choose from, there's a PIR or DUAL TEC to suit the requirements of any indoor residential or commercial application. All of the sensors boast a sleek, modern look and are compatible with the industry's leading security panels.

• IS312 and IS312B PIRs: These new sensors are designed as an entry level solution for residential environments

• IS3012 PIRs and DT8012 DUAL TEC: Well suited for residential environments

• IS3016 PIR and DT8016 DUAL TEC: Ideal for small commercial and larger, high-end luxury homes requiring a higher grade of security

• DT8016M DUAL TEC with Mirror Optics: Suitable for commercial settings such as storage facilities, warehouses and other harsh environments

• IS3016A PIR and DT8016A DUAL TEC with Anti-Masking and Mirror Optics: Excellent for high-security commercial environments where masking and false alarm immunity are a concern, such as museums, banks and jewelry stores

“We've built upon decades of innovation to design the IS3000 and DT8000 Series—resulting in a line that offers best-in-class performance and installation features that save time, money and deliver a great out-of-the-box experience,” explained Farshid Ossareh.

FLIR launches new firefighting camera K55 with ultra-sharp thermal image

FLIR launches new firefighting camera K55 with ultra-sharp thermal image

Editor / Provider: FLIR | Updated: 1/19/2015 | Article type: Security 50

FLIR Systems announces the addition of the new FLIR K55 to its suite of thermal imaging firefighting cameras. The K55 incorporates FLIR’s revolutionary Flexible Scene Enhancement (FSX) technology which produces ultra-crisp thermal imagery and is also equipped with on-board video recording, which is ideal for evidence gathering and training purposes. The newest member of FLIR’s K-Series family will allow firefighters to see even better in total darkness or in smoke-filled rooms.

The K55 with FSX displays its ultra-sharp 320x 240 pixel thermal images on a large bright 4” LCD display, allowing firefights to navigate safely and make accurate decisions when attacking fires and searching for victims. Image details like edges and corners are enhanced and combined with the original image to create an image with more detail than ever.

The FLIR K55 also has on-board video recording, making it an excellent tool for documenting what happens inside the fire and providing a valuable training aid for later review. The K55 also features onboard image storage for up to 200 thermal JPEGs, which can be reviewed later from the camera’s archive or exported via USB for reports.

The K55’s intuitive and simple three-button user interface lets the firefighter access all of the camera’s controls, even while wearing heavy gloves. Different color modes allow the firefighter to adapt the FLIR K55 to the most demanding situation. The K-Series is also designed to operate in tough operating conditions; it withstands a drop from 2 meters on a concrete floor, is water resistant (IP67), and fully operational up to +260°C / +500°F.

“With the K55, FLIR is continuing to provide innovative and affordable advances in thermal imaging technology for firefighting and public safety applications,” said Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR Systems. “This is another example of how our vertical integration, image processing expertise, and commercially developed, military qualified products can make a real difference to first responders around the world.”

The K55 is affordable enough for agencies to equip every fire truck with a thermal imaging camera. The new FLIR K55 will be introduced at the Intersec Exhibition in Dubai and is available for purchase through established distribution networks beginning March 1st, 2015. The K55 also comes with FLIR’s exclusive warranty covering the full camera for two years and the detector for ten years.

The City of Venice chooses Avigilon to protect city's residents, visitors, and historic architecture

The City of Venice chooses Avigilon to protect city's residents, visitors, and historic architecture

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 1/19/2015 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Challenge
One of Italy's most scenic cities needed to deploy an advanced HD video surveillance solution that could provide safety for its residents and tourists, protect historic buildings and landmarks from vandalism, and meet the city's multiple regulations.

Solution
Security personnel for the City of Venice manage their HD video surveillance system from the city's police telecommunications and video surveillance operations center that spans two rooms and has a total of 12 full HD 55-inch monitors installed on the wall. Additional client control centers are located in an inter-police force center in the Piazza San Marco, in the provincial operations center of the Carabinieri of Venice, and in the state police of Venice operations center. The City of Venice uses the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) Enterprise software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™. This is the core of the central recording system, located at the city of Venice data center, managed by Venis, an information technology company based in the city. Avigilon 16 MP and 8 MP HD Pro cameras were installed to protect three important sites in Venice: Piazza Ferretto (the main square in Mestre), Piazza San Marco, and the Rialto Bridge. In addition, all video feeds from existing analogue cameras are converted to HD using Avigilon encoders. The city also uses Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs) to store a minimum of seven days of continuous surveillance footage. The entire video surveillance network is based on an MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) fiber optic infrastructure, built by Venis and owned by the City of Venice.

Benefits to the City of Venice
- Protect residents, tourists and historic architecture
- Save on staffing costs - Strengthen relationships with state police forces

Benefits of the Avigilon Solution
- Faster search times
- Provide indisputable evidence for incidents
- High-quality image detail

The City of Venice Chooses Avigilon HD Video Surveillance System to Protect City's Residents, Visitors and Historic Architecture
With its stunning architecture, canals and bridges, the City of Venice is universally considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, attracting over 50,000 tourists per day. Located in Northeastern Italy, there are 118 small islands that are separated by canals and connected bridges. The City of Venice includes island and onshore territories and extends across the two distinct centers of Venice (on the Venice lagoon) and Mestre (onshore). Because of its unique landscape and artistic heritage, there are logistical problems associated with controlling the area. In a city like Venice, it is not only important to ensure the safety of its residents and tourists, but is also critical that the city secures its historic and world famous buildings. In the past, the Rialto Bridge had been vandalized by graffiti artists.

After years of relying on an outdated, analogue surveillance system, the city was ready to switch to a sophisticated, IP-based video solution that has an open platform. “The existing video surveillance system comprised of a city-owned system of approximately 60 analogue, low-resolution cameras which were very hard to analyze,” said Luciano Marini, Police Commander for the City of Venice, who also spoke of problems with the previous system's software and NVRs. “The video recording apparatus experienced frequent malfunctions that caused the partial loss of video feeds making it difficult to provide evidence in situations.” With the assistance of their security systems partner Venis, the City of Venice chose Avigilon because of the image quality and detail provided by the Avigilon cameras, and the efficient storage capabilities of the intuitive ACC software. Avigilon was also chosen because it is the only manufacturer capable of providing high-resolution cameras with a wide choice of lenses. “Other producers did not have comparable solutions in terms of resolution, nor did they offer the most suitable choice of lens for the type of frame,” said Commander Marini.

Superior Image Quality
In the Piazza San Marco, the two Avigilon 16 MP cameras were installed in St. Mark's Campanile, hidden inside the arcade. One camera provides coverage of the Piazza in the direction of the jetty on the San Marco dock and the other in the direction of the Ala Napoleonica (Napoleonic Wing) of the Correr Museum. “The use of high resolution cameras, like the 16 MP ones, gives us highly detailed images that can also be displayed while analyzing the recordings,” said Commander Marini, who states the image quality has been helpful to the police in solving crimes. “To obtain the same result, we would have had to install more cameras on neighboring monuments, with all the complications involved.” In the past, the city was forced to monitor key, high-traffic areas or areas subject to vandalism using multiple analogue cameras. “Using multiple cameras, it was easy to miss significant frames because of their position or being out of focus,” Commander Marini concludes. “The high-resolution fixed cameras, on the other hand, don't pose this problem: they are always in the correct position and they offer a high level of detail.”

Versatile and Scalable Solution
As a result of the Avigilon HD system's open platform, the City of Venice has been able to efficiently scale up their system in the last few years. With the assistance of Avigilon encoders, officials have been able to integrate existing analogue cameras and can now seamlessly manage all cameras under a single platform. The advanced search capabilities of the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software have enabled officials to locate events in a fraction of the time of their previous system. “We find the ACC software to be very simple to use and it has helped us be a lot more efficient with our searches,” said Commander Marini, who is also impressed with the software's zooming capabilities. “The ability to display different parts of the same image with various zoom levels, and get those images in HD while continuously recording the entire frame is incredible.”

Effective Crime Fighting Tool
Identifying perpetrators of vandalism or crime by image analysis has been a key advantage of installing the Avigilon HD system. “The Avigilon system has on many occasions been a valuable aide to research operations, including for investigative purposes,” Commander Marini said. The high-resolution images have been beneficial in providing indisputable evidence for the city's police force. On top of the technical capabilities of the Avigilon HD solution, security personnel at the City of Venice also found the system to have an excellent price to performance ratio. “The benefits are seen on a daily basis,” concluded Commander Marini. “For example, in the field of fighting unlicensed trading in public areas, we now save on manpower. Previously we had to verify all reports of the presence of illegal traders but now we can constantly monitor the affected areas and intervene with certainty.”

Axis announces first temperature alarm cameras for remote monitoring of critical equipment

Axis announces first temperature alarm cameras for remote monitoring of critical equipment

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 1/16/2015 | Article type: Security 50

The outdoor-ready, bullet-style AXIS Q29 Series are Axis’ first temperature alarm cameras designed for remote monitoring of critical equipment, such as bulk storage sites, electrical sub stations or coal piles.

Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, introduces a new series of network cameras with remote temperature monitoring capabilities, AXIS Q29 Temperature Alarm Camera Series. With two available lens alternatives and a resolution of 336x256, the cameras allow remote monitoring of critical temperatures at both short and long distances.

“Since the launch of Axis’ first thermal security camera, we have had customers requesting network cameras that are also able to indicate the temperature of objects. The main application area for these cameras is to detect intruders, but also to remotely monitor critical equipment, server rooms or storage sites,” says Erik Frännlid, Axis’ Director of Product Management. AXIS Q2901-E Temperature Alarm Cameras can be used to monitor equipment’s temperature on a 24/7 basis to eliminate risks of overheating.”

With AXIS Q2901-E and AXIS Q2901-E PT Mount it is possible to set up multiple alarm zones, which send an alarm when the temperature reaches above or below a pre-configured threshold. To make it easy for the operator, the cameras provide visual aids, such as isothermal palettes and spot temperature capabilities, to fast predict failures by indicating problem areas before the issue becomes visible to the eye or before machinery stops working.

Thanks to features like one-cable installation and support for Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af), AXIS Q29 Series is easy to install and can easily be integrated with existing security systems. AXIS Q2901-E PT Mount is an alternative model coming with support for RS485/RS422 serial port, which allows the camera to be easily mounted on a PT motor-head. The pan/tilt support enables a large area to be scanned for critical temperatures.

AXIS Q2901-E offers a wall bracket for installation on walls or ceiling. The latter camera also supports Axis’ Corridor Format, allowing the camera to deliver a vertical field of view, suitable to monitor server rooms or areas between piles or antennas. Axis temperature alarm cameras are mainly used for remote temperature monitoring with the possibility to set temperature alarms, but can also be used for detection, such as perimeter protection. AXIS Q29 Series can withstand harsh weather conditions and the casing offers protection from impact and vandal acts.

AXIS Q2901-E/Q2901-E PT Mount cameras are supported by the industry’s largest base of video management software through the Axis Application Development Partner Program, and AXIS Camera Station. The cameras include support for AXIS Camera Companion, AXIS Camera Application Platform, AXIS Video Hosting System and ONVIF for easy camera system integration and for application developers to provide the camera with intelligent capabilities.

Axis temperature alarm cameras are planned to be available in Q1 2015 through Axis distribution channels.

Bosch expands energy and building technology business with Climatec acquisition

Bosch expands energy and building technology business with Climatec acquisition

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 1/15/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Farmington Hills, MI - Robert Bosch North America Corporation has acquired Climatec, LLC, a leading provider of energy efficiency, building automation, security and life-safety solutions for the U.S. market. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Climatec, LLC generated sales of 170 million dollars (128 million euros) in 2013. According to preliminary figures, Climatec increased its sales in 2014 to about 190 million dollars (143 million euros). The company employs some 670 associates at a total of twelve offices across Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. Climatec has been majority-owned by Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. since April 2012. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“With the addition of Climatec, we are expanding our global presence especially in the growing North American market, strengthening our portfolio and becoming a comprehensive supplier of solutions in the area of energy, building automation and security services,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector. “The entrepreneurial spirit, industry expertise, customer focus and shared cultural values that have made Climatec successful are an excellent match for Bosch. Our heating, energy service, security systems, software, sensors and storage technology expertise, combined with the Climatec portfolio, positions Bosch to achieve Energy and Building Technology business sector sales of ten billion dollars (eight billion euros) in 2020.”

“Over its 40-year history, Climatec has established itself as a trusted provider of building comfort, safety and efficiency solutions across nearly all building segments. I was immediately impressed by Bosch's determination to create an environment that would preserve our business model and customer focus,” said Terry Keenen, president, Climatec, LLC. “I am confident that this acquisition will strengthen our position for sustained growth, benefitting our customers and employees.”

Integrated competencies for a growing market
The market for integrated energy services, building automation systems and system integration is growing significantly in the U.S. and around the world. As global energy needs have doubled over the last four decades, customer demand for energy efficiency has increased. And recent years have seen greater demand for comfort, connectivity and security. Rising energy costs, increasingly complex energy systems and a changing regulatory environment foster major growth opportunities in the residential and commercial building sector as well as the services segment. The Bosch Energy and Building Technology business sector combines several areas of expertise: broad technical systems know-how in video surveillance systems, intrusion and fire detection, access control, alarms, evacuation and public address systems, professional audio and conference systems, as well as water heating and comfort heating systems. As the global market leader in microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), Bosch offers software and sensor technology for internet of things connectivity. The company also offers services for energy management, remote monitoring, and the handling of business processes.

Climatec is recognized in the building industry as an independent single-source integrator of critical building systems including energy services, building automation and security system integration in the U.S. market. The company provides consulting, planning, implementation and 24/7 remote management of comprehensive comfort, security, safety and efficiency solutions. Climatec is active in several market segments and industries including education, healthcare, the public sector, industrial/manufacturing, computing services, office buildings, federal, state and local government, hospitality and energy. Combining these strengths, Bosch can now offer customers a complete portfolio of networked and efficient energy, building automation and security solutions.

Climatec continues as largely independent entity
Climatec will operate as a largely independent entity, maintaining its offices in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. Operations will continue to be run by the same management team. Climatec will continue to represent and integrate numerous leading manufactures' product lines across its wide range of services, including Bosch products. As before, the Bosch Security Systems division, Fairport, NY, will continue to sell their security and safety products in the North American market through leading distributors and system integrators.

Honeywell expanded HDZ Series PTZ cameras to analog

Honeywell expanded HDZ Series PTZ cameras to analog

Editor / Provider: Honeywell | Updated: 1/15/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywell expanded its line of HDZ Series PTZ cameras by adding analog technology that gives companies more affordable options to augment their video surveillance systems.

The newest analog HDZ PTZ camera offers image quality and features comparable to the line's IP cameras, including indoor/outdoor zoom and 360-degree capabilities. Ideal for mid-range to high-end facilities across a range of industries, the HDZ Series cameras provide up to 1080p resolution, 360-degree continuous rotation function and a zoom lens, ensuring sharp clarity at any depth of field. All the highly-responsive products in the line offer a simple installation process, as well as added levels of security in case of network failures.

Additionally, all the members of the HDZ family are True Day/Night PTZ cameras equipped with Wide Dynamic Range—ideal for environments with high contrast and changing light conditions. Because the HDZ Series products are designed to handle installations where detailed coverage of longer distances are essential, they are ideally suited for surveillance of cities, roads, airports, government facilities, gaming, schools, campuses, commercial and industrial environments.

Mounting options are available to offer the utmost in flexibility for indoor and outdoor applications, and electronic image stabilization ensures superior image quality in unstable mounting conditions like high wind or vibration. In addition, the outdoor units are housed in IP66-rated tamper resistant domes to protect the cameras from damage by dust or heavy rain.

“Whether a company can afford IP video or not, most of them are asking for higher-quality video. Expanding the HDZ Series to include analog gives them even more options to achieve that,” said Chris Koetsier, director of product marketing, Honeywell Security Group. “Oftentimes, the facilities that depend most on advanced video surveillance – such as airports, schools, and casinos – can't access the newest technologies, whether due to budget constraints, existing cabling infrastructures or just wanting to remain with familiar routines. These cost-effective HDZ PTZ cameras fill that gap.” The release of the analog HDZ completes the HDZ Series, which also includes the IP 720x480 SD (standard definition) and the IP 1080p HD (high definition) cameras. Each option uses the latest technology in resolution, data storage and image stabilization to suit a variety of surveillance needs.

Game changing trends and technologies for video surveillance in 2015 and beyond

Game changing trends and technologies for video surveillance in 2015 and beyond

Editor / Provider: Atul Rajput, Axis Communications | Updated: 1/9/2015 | Article type: Security 50

With the Internet of Things (IoT) continuing to be a hot topic throughout 2014, across all industries -- whether it's about smart cars or intelligent kitchen appliances -- more consumers and businesses are now aware of the advantages of being connected to the internet.

It's a concept none more relevant than to security professionals and business owners trying to ensure the safety of their organisations.

As many security professionals predict, the new HD standard 4K or ‘Ultra HD' continues to be a hot topic and the next natural step in the industry's ongoing strive towards better image quality and greater surveillance camera coverage. In the surveillance world, 4K is expected to take its full effect in 2015 and beyond. Image quality is a core consideration and while everyone is talking about 4K, the real challenge is to optimise image quality for the particular task at hand, regardless of how bad it is or what the ambient conditions are. Technology that enhances image quality for advanced video applications will be a key innovation here and an industry driver. However, the advancements in image quality have created bigger pressure on managing the resources to support them. For example, they can have a significant impact on network bandwidth and storage requirements, increasing the need for more effective compression methods.

Video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) and cloud computing
This is when video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) becomes useful for managing and archiving video footage captured by surveillance cameras onto cloud storage. Video surveillance systems can be a powerful tool in preventing or investigating crime when installed in locations such as shopping centres, parks, banks, airports, and other public transport locations. Rapidly increasing demands for video surveillance systems have been driven by growing safety and security concerns worldwide.

According to Transparency Market Research, the video surveillance and VSaaS market is expected to reach a value of $42.81billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 19.1% from 2013 to 2019. By system, the IP based video surveillance market is expected to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 24.2% during the forecast period from 2013 to 2019.

The hardware market was valued at $9.49billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.3% during the forecast period from 2013 to 2019. It comprises of analogue and IP-based video surveillance cameras, recorders and storage, encoders, and monitors. The recorders and storage segment held the largest share of 37% in 2012 of the total hardware market followed by surveillance cameras with a 32% share but is expected to lose share in the coming years due to a growing preference for cloud-based storage (VSaaS). Also, the share of surveillance cameras is expected to increase to around 46% by 2019 owing to the growing popularity of IP-based video surveillance cameras that offer better video quality and have in-built recorders.

Cloud computing may well have been the buzzword in IT circles for several years, but a new era is very much upon us. Whether in a public environment, where tenancy on servers is shared with other customers, or in a private environment, where your data and applications are stored in isolation on a system, cloud computing brings three advantages to your network; redundancy, scalability and shifting costs from capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operating expenditure (OPEX). Depending on whether the cloud is hosted or run internally, there may also be the convenience of leaving routine maintenance like upgrades, updates and patches, to a third party.

Cloud storage will inevitably grow and grow throughout 2015. A recent survey by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) in conjunction with Axis, questioned nearly 300 UK retailers, encompassing over 20,000 stores, about how they would like to access in-store surveillance footage and whether access from a mobile device would be beneficial. The results showed that majority of UK retailers (82%) wanted to view in-store video remotely – a rise of 6.5% from 2013. This obvious drive for the need to make ‘real time' decisions based on the footage was reinforced with over 68% of retailers wishing to use a mobile device (eg. smartphone or tablet) to access in-store video.

Scalability doesn't just factor in the need for more cameras, it also enables access to more computing power and storage if, for example, a higher resolution or faster frame rate is needed. In another example, if analytics are needed for customer traffic pattern analysis, the processing capacity is already there and only paid for when required.

Better functioning analytics running on the edge are also appropriate for critical infrastructure applications. For instance, the extra computing power could be used to store half a million car number plates and also capture registrations from cars driving past at up to 24 miles per hour.

Another interesting aspect of VSaaS is that it offers users the possibility to add additional services to their video surveillance – such as guard force or remote monitoring services.

Analytics, business intelligence (BI) and big data
Analytics technology is also likely to finally take off within the surveillance industry from 2015 – enormous amounts of structured and unstructured data (big data) essential for gaining valuable insights. With network cameras' capability to provide higher resolution video and to be connected from everywhere and around-the-clock, security departments are receiving more information from more sources. Therefore, more analytics are needed to help organisations make sense of the tremendous amount of information, such as images and videos. Increasingly intelligent applications are needed to help categorise and interpret the wealth of information, so it can be turned into something useful.

The ‘three Vs' of big data; volume, velocity, and variety, can provide vital information during a crisis by providing the right data at the right time. By starting with more factual data, such as surveillance footage, physical access control data, and cyber activity information and then building useful associations, costs can be reduced by only searching for the most relevant information.

This is where IP video transforms the surveillance camera from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems to a proactive tool designed to improve business processes. According to the CRR retail survey, integration with BI applications was the single most important reason for UK retailers to migrate to IP video, with 27% citing it as their main driver. Nearly half of the UK retailers polled also said that people counting (49.2%) and queue management (49.9%) were the two most important non-security network IP applications that most interested them.

Video images can be used in conjunction with analytical ‘horsepower' to analyse retail customer traffic patterns and shopping behaviour, as well as gather data to isolate bottlenecks in-store. Mix that up with other structured and unstructured data sources, including transit schedules, lists of promotions, competitor pricing data, social media etc. and a skilled data analyst can tease out patterns and relationships that retailers never knew existed – data that could give a significant competitive advantage.

Video compression and bandwidth usage
Video compression technologies are aimed at reducing and removing redundant video data so that a digital video file can be effectively sent over a network and stored on portable media. With efficient compression, a significant reduction in file size can be achieved with little or no adverse effect on the visual quality. The video quality, however, can be affected if the file size is reduced further by increasing the compression level for a given compression technique.

There are several video compression standards including Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 Part 2 (simply referred to as MPEG-4) and H.264 – the latter being the latest and most efficient video compression standard and already the standard for video surveillance and other industries, such as entertainment.

At the same time, the continual improvement in image resolution and light sensitivity for example, also increase the data output from the cameras – imposing higher demands on the efficiency of the video compression. Video surveillance manufacturers need to balance the upsurge in resolution with improvements to H.264 compression algorithms to make sure network bandwidth and storage costs do not spiral out of control. A combined effort of working on noise reduction methods and bit rate reduction should run in parallel with investigation into new video codecs to get the best results.

Beyond improvements in current H.264 compression, the future will embrace H.265 technology, which is rapidly gaining interest in the broadcast industry. H.265 can reduce bandwidth and storage demands by up to 50% under the right circumstances, so expect the technology to be introduced into the security industry over the next few years. It's likely to be initially deployed in high-end, high-resolution cameras, and it's expected that H.264 and H.265 will co-exist for a while within the industry.

Conclusion
Ultimately, high quality images and videos such as 4K resolution needs to be supported by the right technologies in order for organisations to get the most out of their data, which can be analysed and turned into useful insight not only for security purposes, but also for efficiency to gain a competitive advantage. I believe this really should be the key consideration for everyone who is looking for the next ‘big thing' in surveillance.

                                          - By Atul Rajput, regional director, northern Europe, Axis Communications

Expanded IP camera portfolio from Bosch makes professional surveillance easy for everyone

Expanded IP camera portfolio from Bosch makes professional surveillance easy for everyone

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 1/12/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

The recent release of the IP 2000, IP 4000 and IP 5000 camera families from Bosch Security Systems creates a comprehensive portfolio of IP cameras that make it easy for small and medium-sized organizations to set up professional surveillance solutions. With these cost-effective cameras, Bosch raises the bar and sets new standards in security and data management for everyday surveillance situations, including schools, hospitality sites, retail shops, commercial buildings and more.

The IP 5000 family offers resolutions up to five megapixel to make it easy to distinguish individuals or minor details, significantly increasing the effectiveness of retrospective analysis. For applications where cost is more important than fine scene details, the IP 4000 family offers 720p resolution. And, the IP 2000 family is ideal for small retail businesses, as it includes two-in-one solutions that combine a built-in passive infrared (PIR) sensor and a 720p HD IP video surveillance camera – guaranteeing easy identification of events or intruders day and night.

All cameras are equipped with Content Based Imaging Technology (CBIT) to tailor camera settings to scene contents. Depending on movement and varying light intensity, the camera settings are continuously and dynamically adjusted to ensure perfect exposure of objects of interest while reducing bitrate by up to 50 percent. Consequently, storage costs and network strain are reduced significantly without compromising video quality.

Video data can be stored in the cloud, on a network video recorder like the DIVAR IP 2000 recording solution from Bosch, or on the built-in SD card offered by many of the cameras. Users can easily access video data and control cameras with the free Video Client or Video Security app from Bosch. The Video Security app combined with Dynamic Transcoding technology delivers both smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD images when needed, regardless of available bandwidth. Users can easily control cameras and view live video streams and HD images via a mobile device anytime and from anywhere. The IP 2000, IP 4000, and IP 5000 cameras support Dynamic Transcoding when used with a DIVAR IP recording solution or VIDEOJET transcoder from Bosch.

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

Incident management and LPR secure Resorts World Casino New York

Incident management and LPR secure Resorts World Casino New York

Editor / Provider: iView Systems | Updated: 1/6/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Resorts World Casino New York City is New York's first world-class gaming casino connected to the famous Aqueduct racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens, and has played host to some of Thoroughbred racing's biggest heroes over the years. With over 400,000 square feet of gaming facilities and a 70,000 square feet event space for big-ticket events, Resorts World Casino employs over 1,300 people and sees an average of 20,000 guests daily, utilizing 6,500 parking spots. Resorts World New York has implemented state-of-the-art security and surveillance technologies to ensure the safety and security of their facility, guests, and personnel.

The Business Challenge
Since opening its doors in October 2011, Resorts World Casino continues to have solid growth and record revenues. Unfortunately, with success also comes a number of persistent security issues from both insiders and outsiders. The casino handles numerous security incidents every single day, including common incidents such as theft, unwanted banned patrons, personal injuries, vandalism, etc. Even a routine incident can often take an inordinate amount of manpower and, if not handled in a timely manner, can compromise business operations and services and potentially cause exposure to liability. The process of recording, tracking, and reporting was a manual process that inhibited the investigation and reporting process. Information was inconsistent and not readily retrievable, and media files were often not associated with an incident. Compiling meaningful reports was a lengthy and onerous task, making it difficult to correlate events to identify areas of risk and optimize staff allocation. Jason Arnett, Director of Surveillance of Resorts World New York initiated the project to automate their security reporting, mitigate risk, and improve efficiencies. Arnett looked to iView Systems' gaming experts for an integrated security and risk management solution to automate their incident reporting, daily log, officer dispatch, and lost and found functions, as well as to identify and track employees and visitors.

The Solution
With iView Systems' experience in the gaming industry and Resort World sister casino in Singapore already using iView Systems technology for security and surveillance reporting, Arnett looked to Tony Day, Senior Account Executive for iView Systems, to map out their security and surveillance reporting needs. “They required an incident reporting and risk management system that would allow them to document all daily activity and incidents, along with the ability to include supporting evidence such as media files or individual reports. Additionally, Resorts World required the capability to track all personnel and vehicles, as well as manage and control details such as lost and found items, visitor management, employee audits, and document disputes, and provide player analysis by surveillance,” Day said.

In addition to tracking and reporting incident and events, Resorts World has implemented a layered approach to detect, deter, and resolve issues in a proactive manner.

iView's visitor management system checks in and monitors contractors and vendors or suppliers' access to the property. With so many suppliers coming and going at all hours, the system provides detailed logs of visits and screens against watch lists, which aides with access, accountability, and compliance. “We're able to pre-register visitors and ensure contractors and suppliers are in compliance with licensing and insurance regulations and non-disclosure agreements in advance. Pre-registration can be online or we can register them as they arrive, and identification badges are quickly printed using driver's licenses,” stated Arnett.

iView's license plate recognition (LPR) system monitors vehicle activity by reading and identifying license plate numbers as they enter the property. “The LPR system has proved be a tremendous advantage to proactive security management measures by assisting security in dealing with and intercepting unwanted or known individuals who have been identified on the watch, ban, or VIP list, before entering the casino,” said Arnett. The license plate cameras automatically trigger a notification alert if a license plate match is found, and security or police services are dispatched to investigate. “The license plate recognition is extremely accurate and provides a low-key and proactive approach without additional resources and enables us to shift from reaction to prevention mode,” said Arnett. Resorts World New York works with the local police agencies to monitor suspicious vehicles, and video footage provides law enforcement necessary documentation during legal action.

The Benefits
By deploying the fully integrated Incident Reporting and Risk Management solution, Resorts World is now well equipped to document, share and manage all of their security and surveillance information between necessary departments. Resorts World transformed their cumbersome manual processing into a high performance security risk management solution reaping real dividends which include:

* Automated Data Searching & Querying saved 68hours/ month searching and compiling single or multiple search criteria with the ability to save standard daily, weekly, monthly customized report filters as required.

* Incident Reporting produced a time savings of 76hours/ month with iTrak's central data repository providing detailed incident and advanced reporting statistics.

* Automated Identification & Notifications of trespass/ banned subjects on property, saves processing time and aids police with evidence, resulted in a savings of $10,133.76/year.

* Automated Dispatch Reporting saved 182 hours/month.

* Structured Data Collection & Reporting is simple, fast, accurate, date time stamped, consistent to reduce tedious, error-prone data entry, with documented audit trail is secure, searchable, instant statistical reporting and distribution.

* Incidents & Investigations - Ability to capture complete story, video, scanned documents, external files, links to long term DVR storage, real time video capture, legal and procedural form automation (Use of Force, WSIB, Trespass).

* Segmented Views all of incidents, correlates subjects, personnel and contact information.

* Cross-functional Communication of incidents, BOLO's. as well as Shift and Personnel Briefings were vastly improved with speed and efficiency.

* Minimum Training requirements provided for fast user readiness.

“We did not expect to see such significant benefits so quickly”, states Arnett. “By automating our security and surveillance functions, we have saved considerable man-hours reporting, searching and querying, not to mention the increased integrity of our data collected. We were able to realize full return on investment in just 4.5 months”.

“The security and surveillance staff immediately felt at ease using the software, given the simplicity and accuracy of the user interface. The software's logical workflow allows us to collect and manage data and rapidly analyze and act, as well as identify trends and share reports with Executive Management.”

In addition to tracking and reporting incident and events, Resorts World has implemented a layered approach to detect, deter and resolve issues in a proactive manner.

The Visitor Management system, iPass, checks in and monitors contractors and vendors/suppliers' access to the property. With so many suppliers coming and going at all hours, the iPass system provides detail logs of visits and screens against watch lists, which aides with access, accountability and compliance. “We're able to pre-register visitors and ensure contractors and suppliers are in compliance with licensing and insurance regulation, non-disclosure agreements in advance. Pre-registration can be online or we can register them as they arrive and identification badges are quickly printed using driver's license,” states Mr. Arnett.

The License Plate Recognition system, iLPR® monitors vehicle activity by reading and identifying license plate numbers as they enter the property. “The iLPR® system has proved be a tremendous advantage to proactive security management measures by assisting security to deal with and intercept unwanted or known individuals who have been identified on the watch, ban or VIP list, before entering the casino” says Arnett. The license plate cameras automatically trigger a notification alert if a license plate match is found, and security or police services are dispatched to investigate. “The license plate recognition system is extremely accurate and provides a low-key and proactive approach without additional resources and enabled us to shift from reaction to prevention mode”, said Arnett. Resorts World NY works with the local police agencies to monitor suspicious vehicles and video footage provides law enforcement necessary documentation during legal action.

Conclusion
“By automating and digitizing our security and surveillance data on one central reporting platform, we have achieved order, structure, and control on our data, allowing us to shift from reactive to preventive measures,” said Arnett. “The ability to have a complete briefing logs, complete with a full subjects history including media files and having the ability to share with our internal departments and outside networks using iView's intelligent video network has improved our communication and helps reduce potential losses or issues associated with advantage team play, shoplifting, fraud, and other undesirables,” stated Arnett.

“Resorts World New York has identified and embraced the holistic benefits of layering security and surveillance to incorporate the key cornerstones of people, process, and technology into their security and surveillance framework. iView's incident reporting and risk management system's fully converged platform manages a multitude of transactions and tasks including incident, visitor, and identification management. Resorts World New York is a model property implementing appropriate measures to safeguard the physical property and to minimize risks and operating costs through security layering,” stated Day.

Surveillance gets ultra clear with 4K

Surveillance gets ultra clear with 4K

Editor / Provider: Lisa Hsu, a&s International | Updated: 1/6/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

4K has made a place for itself in the consumer market, with 4K television and displays becoming increasingly popular. Now, it is slowly making its way into the security industry. “4K video systems are not only a trend of the future, but also a ready solution going to impact this market. With the capability to cover wider areas, budget can be saved due to fewer units and installation,” said Ken Huang, Marketing Specialist at DynaColor. With the release of 4K, new solutions can be explored in several verticals to make use of the UHD resolution.

DEFINITIONS AND VERTICALS
Boasting 4,096 x 2,160p (8.3 megapixels; around four times that of full HD resolution), 4K has the ability to display UHD video footage. In the same way 1080p was first introduced, the initial 4K applications tend to be for outdoor surveillance with a large field of view and the need to resolve detail (e.g., sport stadiums). According to Andres Vigren, Product Manager of Axis Communications, “HDTV network cameras are already used for installations where there is a requirement to overlook an area with the capability to zoom in on details with high precision. 4K UHD takes this to the next level by allowing larger areas to be monitored with a single camera without compromising on level of detail should this be required when an incident occurs.” The ability to capture a large scene and zoom in on images without sacrificing pixels makes 4K ideal for monitoring large areas, which is useful for city surveillance and transportation. Additionally, as one 4K camera can substitute many HD cameras, it presents as a cost-effective solution while minimizing blind spots.

With 4K, data collected from video recordings creates opportunities for improved investigations, but also business intelligence. For instance, personnel and customer paths are more accurately traced, and the resolution is high enough to support multiple content analyses for functions like people counting and license plate recognition (LPR), which provides more precise identification and reduced false alerts. This also allows for faster and more accurate monitoring in crowd management and perimeter protection requirements. 4K can also be applied to safe cities, wide-lane traffic monitoring, police dispatching using geographic information systems (GIS) maps, and more. “Optical zoom becomes a useful feature thanks to the 4K cameras. The quality of the camera means it can provide a stream of information, such as metadata for marketing, operations, and processes purposes,” said Gerard Figols, European Head of Product Marketing at Panasonic System Communications.

CONSUMER CONCERNS
Although it holds great potential, 4K systems are not yet mature. There are a few things consumers need to keep in mind when purchasing a 4K system: is it suitable for the application and whether they have a full 4K-compatible system. “The main factors for 4K video systems to be ready mainly depend on the development of (well-matched) codec capability of camera and backend devices, as well as storage capability and display devices such as TV walls and monitors,” said Adler Wu, Product Marketing Manager at Hikvision Digital Technology. With Theia and Fujinon as the only two companies currently offering 4K lenses, the market is still limited in 4K lens choices. Moreover, these products are still early in development; therefore, it is likely that most video surveillance system operators will be using a standard HDTV monitor. And, with complications in low-light environments and limitations in capturing fast movements, 4K still has much room for improvement.

In addition, many misunderstand that 4K will replace current panoramic cameras; however, for now this is not true. This is because where there is a large area to be monitored that requires situational awareness, a regular 4K camera will have the same limitations with respect to blind spots in terms of wide-angle monitoring. At the moment, 4K fisheye lenses have yet to be developed, as many are experiencing difficulties in eliminating distortion on the side of the lens. “4K is not optimal where large panoramic scenes need to be covered. Loading docks, hotel lobbies, and parking lots will continue to be better served by multisensory panoramic camera systems,” concluded Brad Donaldson, Director of Product Management at Arecont Vision.

Companies are tripping over themselves to be one of the first to release their own 4K cameras, yet very few provide a whole 4K system, which forces users to buy 4K NVRs and monitors separately if they want to employ the system. This may also create compatibility issues when companies do decide to release other 4K products, or when customers upgrade to H.265 chipsets. In a hurry to promote that their own 4K cameras are using H.265, many companies have cut corners in efficiency, meaning early adopters using products embedded with “H.265” may in fact be less efficient than the now-standard H.264, Ed Thompson, CTO of DVTel warned.

Suggestions
Moreover, one must consider the storage and bandwidth required to stream and store 4K, especially when using H.264 video compression technology and older hard drive disks, as 4K systems are resource intensive products. Luckily, advances in network architecture and technology have developed 40 gigabit Ethernet technology, enabling transfer of Ethernet frames at speeds of up to 40 gigabits per second, which is suitable for 4K media workflows. “That said, the ability to compress 4K files for easy transmission while maintaining image performance and integrity is still important even on a 40 gigabit Ethernet,” said Riki Nishimura, GM of Visual Security Solutions for Professional Solutions Company (PSAP) for APAC at Sony Electronics.

The upgrades and additional equipment needed in order to fully deploy a 4K system can be costly at this time, although prices for 4K lens are dropping drastically. “Last year a true 4K resolution lens could cost several hundreds of dollars, but prices have now dropped to below US$20 for a decent lens,” commented Bengt Christensson, Senior Director Marketing at Ambarella. Growth of 4K systems will be more widespread once the cost for 4K equipment drops, which will allow solution providers to explore more ways to use recorded data where 4K footage is applicable.

Additionally, Peter Pan, Product Manager at Dahua Technology believes that 4K real-time streaming is not absolutely necessary when it comes to surveillance monitoring. This largely depends on the user's budget, project requirements, as well as bandwidth consumption.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
In the near future, 4K will inevitably become the new standard for surveillance resolution; however, there are many challenges manufacturers have yet to conquer — management of the increased amount of video data (higher bitrates), capture of fast moving objects, and challenging lighting conditions, according to Pieter van de Looveren, Marketing Communications Manager of Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems.

4K's problem in low-light environments is due to the small sensor and pixels crammed in an image, resulting in less light absorbed. “Most models use a lower quality sensor with slower aperture lens and do not provide any infrared (IR) illumination; these are poor choices for many applications where the lighting is not ideal,” explained Thompson. Similarly, Donaldson also noted most verticals will benefit from high resolution and faster frame rates, however low-light environments might prove to be challenging due to the pixel size on the sensor. Companies are overcoming this issue by embedding different features in 4K cameras that will perform better in low light, such as Arecont Vision's camera with a 1-inch sensor that creates larger pixels, and DVTel's implementation of IR illuminators with F1.4 lenses to provide optimum low-light performance. This development will prove to provide better surveillance for applications like casinos where the premises are often filled with flashing or low lights from gaming machines.

Once 4K is fine-tuned for better use in various applications, it will definitely bring change to the security industry. With H.265 in the works, it will still be at least a year before it becomes commonly available. “We see the first generation of 4K cameras use H.264 with optimized low-bitrate tuning, and that H.265 will mature and become the next standard in the years following,” said Christensson. Though the current compression technology can handle the high resolution, and manufacturers are developing other technologies to reduce bitrate, such as Bosch's Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction technology that reduces noise based on motion and light levels, it is predicted that H.265 will be more appropriate to compress the hefty data. It's no doubt that H.265 will become the best solution of high resolution camera applications. With the latest compression technology, H.265 is promising to reduce up to 50 percent of bitrate usage. This brings great advantage to the most important part of high resolution surveillance solutions: Internet bandwidth and storage capacity control,” said Huang. To solve the current problem, Vigren suggested, “to manage bandwidth consumption, users can view the live video stream in HDTV 1080p and take advantage of 4K UHD recordings for forensic purposes.”

To further accommodate application needs, such as monitoring outdoors, it will be essential that 4K have features such as high dynamic range (HDR). “Due to the high resolution of 4K video and common outdoor applications, HDR will become a valuable feature and over time a requirement. There is a focus from the main sensor vendors on new 4K sensors, benefitting from increased sensitivity technologies and combined with advanced noise reduction processing one can expect 4K cameras to improve low-light performance considerably,” said Christensson.

4K: FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY
4K has come a long way since 2013 when the International Telecommunications Union set the standard specifications for UHD television. As manufacturers continue to improve and upgrade systems to provide users with more detailed resolution and smoother streaming, it is evident 4K will not only be the standard in future surveillance solutions, but also the key to opening a door to new ways of using the data collected.

4K Application Challenges
Although 4K can bring a clearer picture and better user experience for security, compared to 1080p HD, data collection, encoding and decoding, transmission, display, storage, and processing for 4K all require higher standards.

  • Higher resolution lenses: Lenses need to be at least 8 megapixels in order to display the full effect of 4K resolution; however, cost for these high resolution lenses are expensive and limited, especially ones that are suitable for surveillance and are able to support zoom lens movement.
  • Network transmission, higher bandwidth, and greater storage capability: In security applications, transmission of 1080p HD video requires around 4 Mbps bandwidth; under H.264 encoding, 4K resolution at present requires at least 12 Mbps bandwidth in order to achieve better image quality. Meanwhile it is foreseen that the era of 4K will soon lead to double the storage requirements as surveillance demand for reliability and safety increases.
  • Chip encoding performance: In order to reduce 4K resolution pressure caused by high bandwidth and storage capacity, it is necessary to optimize the performance of H.264, or deploy the new HEVC standard H.265. Currently many manufacturers have started to optimize the H.264 chipset focusing on various applications to lower bitrate while maintaining quality for 4K resolution.
  • Stronger back-end decoding and display capability: Powerful graphics processing units are required both to process 4K resolution output as well as to display 4K video.
  • Higher resolution display devices: 4K compatible monitors are required to display the full effect of 4K resolution. Since a reliable and cost effective display compatible for 4K streaming is not yet available , widespread adoption is difficult. Although LCD 4K monitors are available for consumers, it is not yet suited for the security industry.
  • Video processing capability: For 4K resolution surveillance images, elements displayed are more detailed, but at the same time computing power is needed to handle the richer detail, especially for abilities such as image enhancement, de-fogging, and video analyses.
  • Price: Currently, 1080p and 720p HD resolutions are able to meet the needs of daily monitoring; however, as costs for 4K systems drop, popularity for 4K will increase.
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