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Milestone announces extended availibility of fully-integrated, cuztomizable NVRs

Milestone announces extended availibility of fully-integrated, cuztomizable NVRs

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 11/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), announces extended availability for the Milestone Husky Series of network video recorder (NVR) appliances in Latin America. These NVR appliances are pre-installed with globally leading Milestone XProtect® video management software (VMS).

The Milestone Husky Series of NVRs has already been introduced in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The entire line of models are now available in all of the Americas, and will be shown at a series of events around Latin America over the coming months.

Based on appearances alone, the Milestone Husky NVRs are different from others in the market. The appliances are sleek and sophisticated – designed to fit any environment, even on a small retail shop's shelf! Ensuring reliability and durability, the hardware is industrial-grade and works seamlessly with Milestone's VMS. Yet, it is the flexibility of the Milestone Husky Series that makes the solutions stand out.

“We have redefined the NVR concept by providing our customers with embedded surveillance solutions that are customizable and scalable,” says Lars Nordenlund, VP of Incubation and Ventures at Milestone Systems. “Milestone Husky has already had tremendous response in the market because the series makes it so easy to customize a solution that meets specific needs – from a single location flower shop to multi-site installations. Milestone Husky offers simple solutions with more than 50 pre-configured options.”

Milestone Husky is available in three models designed for different security or business video requirements:
* The Milestone Husky M10 is a very sleek and small fan-less device ideal for entry-level surveillance and sites with no space for traditional IT equipment. This model supports up to 8 cameras.
* The Milestone Husky M30 Designed for workstation installations with comprehensive surveillance needs. Customizable and scalable for business growth, the model supports up to 20 cameras. A hybrid option, that offers a mix of analog and IP cameras, is available.
* The Milestone Husky M50 is a rack-mounted solution, feature-rich with unlimited options, and perfect for advanced installations with sophisticated security needs. The model supports up to 80 cameras. A hybrid option, that offers a mix of analog and IP cameras, is available.

The Milestone Husky appliances are ready to use, featuring automatic device discovery with wizards for configuring the entire system, and the device license keys are pre-activated.

Customers get instant and remote access to live and recorded video through a flexible choice of client interfaces: Milestone XProtect® Smart Client (available with the Milestone Husky M30 and M50 models), XProtect® Web Client or Milestone Mobile – all available in 27 languages.

The Milestone Husky M30 and M50 will not only be offered in preconfigured versions, Milestone also offers an online configurator that makes it simple for customers and partners to explore their options.

The Milestone open platform supports more than 3,000 camera models from over 100 manufacturers, as well as compatibility with ONVIF and PSIA compliant devices. Third-party integrations with video analytics and access control add even more value when using the Milestone M30 and M50 models.

Milestone customers are not the only ones who can benefit from the Milestone Husky solutions.

“I believe that the Milestone Husky series offer a tremendous opportunity for Milestone partners as well, since these appliances enable them to focus 100% on their customers' business needs and not worry about the technology behind the solutions.” states Manuel C. Nylén, Director of Sales Latin America and the Caribbean, Milestone Systems.

2014 Security 50 Industry Report

2014 Security 50 Industry Report

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

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

        TIME for SOLUTIONS!

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Time for integrated systems

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

 

                                       

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

 

                                          

 

 See the Full Ranking of 2015 Security 50 here!

 

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

Follow the latest news via Twitter or Facebook now  :)

 

 

 

 

 

Open-platform surveillance technology could be vulnerable to hackers

Open-platform surveillance technology could be vulnerable to hackers

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 11/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The CEO of German surveillance firm Mobotix has raised concerns about the headlong rush towards open-platform technology in the surveillance market.

Speaking to journalists assembled at the company's Kaiserslauten HQ Klaus Gesmann admitted that the company was undecided about running with the herd on security grounds. “We have discussed it several times, but so far we have no app store for our cameras,” said Gesmann, who was appointed CEO in February.

“The processes the cameras are running are very critical – it's a security camera. We know that some of our competitors have opened up their platform to those apps, so we will wait for a security leak.

“I have heard about cameras in Asia that have installed heartbleed bugs so, we are a little bit conservative on that topic.” But Gesmann, who spoke frankly about the company's strategy and challenges in a wide-ranging roundtable discussion, didn't rule out emulating AXIS Communications and many other manufacturers in offering third-party access to its cameras.“We are running LINUX systems so there is no technical problem, except the security issues. Maybe next year we will do it.”

MOBOTIX does open up its application programming interface (API) to third parties, Gesmann said. “We have a software development kit you can download on our website. Of course you need some basic knowledge of software development, but I would say a skilled engineer can integrate a MOBOTIX camera within 15 minutes.”

Defying trends
MOBOTIX is a company brave enough to defy a number of industry trends – not least its unusual approach to distribution. “For us it is very important to get two steps to distribution. First of all, we are looking for the best distributors in a country, then for a lot of so-called two-tier partners, system integrators and so on.

“The first step is to convince them of the decentralised concept, then get them motivated and trained. Then we will help them to win their first project and install those projects and so on.”

The company holds annual conferences to foster and manage relationships with its distributors. “The NPCs [national partner conferences] and IPCs [international partner conferences] are the most important tools to get new people into the community,” said Gesmann. “It gives us the opportunity to see all our partners during one or two years, to get them updated, to get the latest technology to them and changes within our technology and so on. It is important for our tier-two partners to make clear to their customers that that is something you cannot compare with a very cheap camera from the Asian market.”

It's not just MOBOTIX's approach to distribution that is decentralised, as its website explains: Unlike other systems […] a high-speed computer and if necessary, digital long-term memory (MicroSD Card) is built into every camera, providing several days of recording time. The PC and the video control center now serve only for viewing and controlling the cameras (PTZ), not for analysis or recording. This makes it unnecessary to purchase expensive video management software, as the most important and computer-intensive functions are already integrated in the MOBOTIX cameras.

Hikvision hosts trips to China for key European Customers

Hikvision hosts trips to China for key European Customers

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 11/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision, one of the world’s leading suppliers of video surveillance equipment and solutions, recently hosted a diverse group of European customers at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

Thirty-three customers from across Western, Central and Eastern Europe, spent six days in China, where they learned about Hikvision’s assortment of unique products, and were treated to cultural outings. The trip provided Hikvision’s customers with firsthand insight into the company’s commitment to product research and development, and also allowed for Hikvision to showcase the breadth and depth of its product offering through visits to the manufacturing production and quality control facilities.

“This was an incredible opportunity for Hikvision to strengthen close relationships with our customers,” says Jiang Zhi, General Manager of Hikvision Europe, who flew in with other key members of the Hikvision European team to accompany the visitors on their tour.

During their visit, the customers attended various product presentations from Hikvision’s research and development staff, which included information on brand new products, as well as the company’s future plans for product development. Both Hikvision and the customers benefitted from the exchange of ideas in these sessions, with valuable customer feedback on specific ways the products could be tailored to best meet the various companies’ security needs.

A highlight of the trip was a tour through Hikvision’s R&D laboratories, where over 3700 engineers are continuously developing new products and features that give the company the technological edge the brand is known for. The group also visited two local installations in Hangzhou that serve as models for seeing Hikvision products in action.

“When customers visit our headquarters in Hangzhou, they come away with a better understanding of our unique culture and vision, and can share in our employees’ drive for success in European markets,” Jiang says.

Hikvision's Turbo HD: Bringing HD quality to an analog system

Hikvision's Turbo HD: Bringing HD quality to an analog system

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Hikvision | Updated: 9/22/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Regardless of whether or not video surveillance is headed toward IP, analog will always have a place in the market. The ease of connection, immediate transmission rate, simple maintenance, and safe and stable application will all keep analog a mainstay in video surveillance. To fit some systems integrators and end users' needs for analog systems, Hikvision launched its first HD analog systems, Turbo HD, ranging from cameras to DVRs.

How does Turbo HD Analog Solution work?
The Turbo HD analog system integrates digital, codecs, modem, and analog transmission technologies, which breaks the limit of 625TVL (not 960H) simulation technology and allows for HD in analog transmission, making it easy for old systems to upgrade to HD.

At the core of Hikvision's Turbo HD analog system is a modem chip that processes HD signals. After the HD signals are captured by the megapixel high-resolution CMOS sensor, the optical image is processed by the image chip and forms uncompressed digital signals, which saves the original information. This imaging principle is basically the same as that of a HD digital camera, but the difference is Turbo HD analog solution adopts analog transmission over coaxial cable, namely, digital signals that are modulated into analog signals by a modulation chip. After HD video signals are transmitted to a back-end DVR, the modulation chip demodulates and uses a codec to compresses them into HD net video signals, which are then stored. The DVR modulation chip can modulate four Turbo HD signals in order to improve efficiency of demodulation.

Advantages:
• HD visual effects: Currently, Turbo HD analog solution is available in two resolutions: 2 megapixels at 1,080P and 1.3 megapixels at 720P. This allows for 900TVL to 1,100TVL of HD quality, which should be able to satisfy most HD surveillance needs.
• Long-distance transmission: It transmits 1,080P over 300 meters via a 75-5 ohm coaxial cable and 720P up to 500 meters.
• Open platform: Hikvision's Turbo HD analog system is compatible with HDTVI products of same type from third party companies. It can also receive different signals from 1,080P network cameras, 960H cameras, and SD analog cameras.
• Reverse control over coaxial cable: There is no need for customize configured keyboards for the OSD function menu of front-end cameras and dome camera cradle controls—everything can be done through the DVR via coaxial cable, providing the same flexibility as network equipment.
• Multi-functions: Software allows IP cameras to have many functions; however, many of these functions are difficult to realize on an analog camera. With the Turbo HD analog system, there are more functions such as transmission through fog, WDR, backlight compensation, and the intelligent analysis of VQD[1].

Product Design
Like other product lines, the Turbo HD analog system is selfcontained. To meet the needs of different customers, it provides a variety of camera series including dome cameras, half-dome cameras, fixed cameras, bullet cameras, integrated cameras, non-spherical camera, etc., all designed with infrared supplementary lighting and are IP66-rated for indoor and outdoor use.

Hikvision also provides several types of Turbo HD DVRs: mainly 4-, 8-, and 16-channel products. From the outside, the Turbo HD DVR looks the same as a traditional DVR. However, once the back cover is opened and you look at the PCB, you will find there are four HDTVI demodulation chips in addition to the video processing chip. In addition, the BNC video input interfaces for the Turbo HD DVR are not separated for SD and HD — the DVR recognizes the signals and resolution after analog video is input though these interfaces. As to DVR, the Turbo HD analog and IP inputs are two individual signals that do not restrict each other. Take DS-8116HQHI-SH as an example. This DVR supports 16 channels of analog video and two channels of network video input and can realize maximum codec storage of 18 channels of 1,080P HD signals.

Product Test
Eight channels with 1,080P and 720P Turbo HD cameras, as well as one channel with a 2-megapixel HD IP cameras, one channel with a D1 HD analog video, and one channel with a 960H camera; 10 channel signals in total were used for the test. They are tested and stored in a DS-8116HQHI-SH VCR (available with eight Western Digital 4TB hard drives). Turbo HD cameras need one-to-one corresponding modem chips to receive video signals. For this test, the camera was connected directly to the DVR. The video was then uploaded to Skyworth's display's DVR HDMI interface and co-browsed through C/S client from an Internet-connected computer.

Image quality test: 1,080P HD Picture Quality
With the DS-2CE16D5T-AVFIT3 as the video source, the camera was aligned at the sharpness testing card and focus at minimum zoom. The observed local output video showed horizontal 1,050TVL and vertical 1,100TVL. The camera's wide-angle lens caused poor edge sharpness, but still provides up to 800TVL. The results were almost the same with 1,080P IP HD, and even better than some 1,000TVL IP HD.

Sharpness Test
With the 24-color reduction test card, the reduction was accurate with no partial color. Compared with IP HD images, the color was more transparent, closer to the color performance of HD-SDI digital signals with codec. At the same time, in the gray scale test, the gray-scale performance at the seventeenth and eighteenth levels were not inferior to IP camera either.

In the scenery image quality test, the pictures were penetrating, smooth, and layered—so much so that you would not believe they came from an analog system. The superior color reduction is closer to that of SDI digital pictures without compression loss.

In addition to the transmission test at short range, we also tested 1,080P at 300 meters over a 75-5 ohm coaxial cable. In the sharpness test, after a 300-meter long transmission, the image quality of 1,080P was not reduced: horizontal 1,050TVL; vertical 1,100TVL; and edge 800TVL were all easily distinguishable with accurate color reduction. Meanwhile, in long-distance transmissions, when placing a telephone next to the coaxial cable and camera to cause signal interference, no abnormalities appeared in the picture.

Network Design With Flexible Controls
Although the Turbo HD analog system uses analog signals to transmit signals, it incorporates Hikvision's network advantages into its new generation of Turbo HD products, such as WDR support, defog, backlight compensation, etc. During the test, a fog simulation test was conducted: when the defog function was off the picture was hazy; however, after turning on the function, the outline of the picture was clear, and the effect on the video in terms of penetration, color, and sharpness was close to that in a no-fog situation. Similarly, in the backlight compensation test, when the backlight compensation was turned on under hard light the ambient light was suppressed as well, making the doll easily identifiable.

In the test, the codec parameter was set for 1,080p video to 1,080P/4 Mbps (under real-time 25fps). HD video was previewed at C/S client-side after codec by DVR (the code rate was steadily controlled between 4.4 to 4.5 Mbps). When delayed, focusing the camera on the electronic stopwatch the delayed time of 1,080P Turbo HD from imaging to display according to DVR local display and photo capture was calculated to be about 170 to 220 milliseconds, proving the fast transmission rate of the picture.

Replay: Fast Operation and Smooth Replay
The DVR also has intelligent analytic functions, such as a tripwire test. It can monitor video channel quality in real time, including diagnostic functions for blurry images, abnormal brightness, and crash screens, as well as immediately preserve the monitor screen.

DVR DS-8116HQHI-SH supports a maximum of 18 channels of video recording and a maximum of 16 channels of 1,080P synchronous replay. After four to five hours of constant recording, video can quickly be retrieved via time and/or channel through the replay menu. For this test we replayed 10 channels: observed was no frame loss in the picture and smooth replay. Note that the image quality, color, and sharpness could fully meet the requirements of HD forensics. In the test, the codec parameter was set for 1,080p video to 1,080P/4 Mbps (under real-time 25fps). HD video was previewed at C/S client-side after codec by DVR (the code rate was steadily controlled between 4.4 to 4.5 Mbps). When delayed, focusing the camera on the electronic stopwatch the delayed time of 1,080P Turbo HD from imaging to display according to DVR local display and photo capture was calculated to be about 170 to 220 milliseconds, proving the fast transmission rate of the picture.

Single channel replay, real-time image quality
During single-channel video replay, we called up the data rate testing software. After a long period of observation, we found that the camera used real-time replay buffer technology of 1,080P real-time replay at about .4 to 4.5 Mbps for singlechannel replay, conforming to codec limits and consistent with those in real-time preview. To reduce storage space and bandwidth pressure in remote preview or replay, 1,080P can be encoded and decoded at a rate of 2 to 3 Mbps or 720P at 1 to 2 Mbps, all while ensuring image quality with DVR low-coding technology. There is no obvious decay of image quality between low-code stream and standard-code stream transmission.

Hikvision Turbo your analog 1080P

Hikvision Turbo your analog 1080P

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Hikvision | Updated: 9/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

As a top-notch technology, Hikvision Turbo HD Analog solution enables up to 500m HD video transmission over existing coaxial cable and offers seamless compatibility with traditional SD cameras, HDTVI-compliant cameras and DVRs, as well as IP cameras.

As of now, high definition (HD) is the real thing for users to identify objects or individuals in a critical scene. However, the current analog systems, though still occupying a significant market segment, can hardly achieve HD picture quality. Though HD-SDI provides 1080p resolution, the video transmission distance is still limited at up to 100 meters. IP, on the other hand, providing another choice for HD; however, is still more pricy than analog. Meanwhile, for those who get used to using the existing analog security equipment, it is also difficult for them to immediately adapt to the IP technology.

All of these have led the companies to come up with new ideas and solutions to enable HD images while maintaining the same user habits over existing coaxial cable deployment. The Hikvision Turbo HD Analog solution is just the answer!

HD Performance at 1080P/720P
The Hikvision Turbo HD product family is based on the HDTVI (High Definition Transport Video Interface) technology and is ideally suited for upgrading existing standard definition systems at low cost. It retains the ease-of-use of an analog system while offering up to 1080P HD video output.

In comparison with a traditional analog system (normally with analog cameras consisting of lenses, image sensors and image processors, and back-end devices receiving image signals for encoding.), the Turbo HD analog solution includes two additional chips -- a transmitting chip (TX) and a receiving chip (RX) -- for front-end Turbo HD cameras and back-end DVRs separately. With these two chips, the Turbo HD analog solution allows much higher video image resolution and longer distance for HD video transmission.

Open HDTVI Technology for 3rd-Party Device Compatibility
All Hikvision Turbo HD products adhere to the HDTVI open standard, which guarantees trouble-free connections to other HDTVI-compliant cameras and DVRs. The Hikvision Turbo HD DVRs can also connect with traditional SD analog cameras, and all Hikvision Turbo HD cameras can access third-party DVRs equipped with HDTVI technology from other manufacturers.

Tribrid System - Futureproof by Combining Turbo HD, Analog, and IP
The Hikvision Turbo HD DVR offers simultaneous connections to IP, analog, and Turbo HD cameras, and can automatically detect incoming signals and record accordingly. This means that existing systems can be upgraded simply by replacing the current cameras and DVRs, while new areas may be covered with the addition of IP network cameras. Alternatively, users can also keep the existing SD cameras and only replace the necessary surveillance points to HD.


Up to 500m HD Transmission via Coaxial Cable
Hikvision HDTVI technology guarantees up to 500 meters of high-quality and reliable transmission at HD resolution via coaxial cable. Conventional analog solutions can hardly achieve this resolution. Neither does the HD-SDI solution, which has long distance limitations. This makes Hikvision Turbo HD a perfect solution to fit all requirements. Furthermore, the Turbo HD Analog solution even supports UTC for remote setup and configuration and enables OSD menu and PTZ control via coaxial cable. Users no longer have to go to the camera to make changes. This allows for much faster and easier camera installation and management.

Multiple Product Styles and Rich Features
In the Turbo HD portfolio, Hikvision now offers a comprehensive, 32-strong range of Hikvision DVRs and 720P/1080P cameras, including Bullet, Dome, PTZ Dome, and Turret units for indoor and outdoor use, offering a bevy of excellent features such as digital noise reduction, ultra-low light illumination, smart IR, vari-focal lens, IP66 weatherproof, and vandal proof housing. Features such as VQD (Video Quality Detection), low bit rate on video storage, line crossing detection, and intrusion detection will also be available in the coming product versions.

A Total Security Solution
Last but not least, Hikvision also offers its video management software including iVMS-5200 Professional/Enterprise, iVMS-4200 client software, and iVMS- 4500 mobile phone software to further provide an easy-to-use, highly reliable, and feature-rich customer platform, making a total solution for any security needs. Hikvision iVMS-5200 Professional/Enterprise Software offers open integration, multiple storage and database solutions, video analytics, and other powerful functionalities for professional applications.

According to Keen Yao, International Marketing Director of Hikvision, “Turbo HD is a hi-tech tour-de-force in zero-latency, long distance HD-over-coax that demonstrates our commitment to pushing the boundaries of CCTV technology. Until recently, the only option for HD resolution was the wholesale adoption of IP cameras and their associated technology. Now, with the launch of the Hikvision Turbo HD Analog solution, users can enjoy 720P/1080P without even upgrading to IP or even replacing their existing cabling structure.”

Suprema wins All-Over-IP Award as best product

Suprema wins All-Over-IP Award as best product

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 11/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema, one of the leading global providers of technology in biometrics and security, has won an award for its fingerprint access control terminal, BioEntry W, at this year's All-Over-IP Expo in Moscow.

“We are very pleased to receive this prestigious award in the Russian marketplace, which has such potential for growth in the security business,” said Young S. Moon, Vice President of Suprema. “Russia and the CIS region are one of the most important targets of our global business if we consider its economy and size of population as an emerging market. Suprema will target this market even more aggressively as ‘Best Product' in global biometrics based security.”

 

+See more news about Suprema

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trending technologies and value-added applications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Luxury hotels serve up first class security

Luxury hotels serve up first class security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IDIS appoints Billy Hopkins as regional sales manager

IDIS appoints Billy Hopkins as regional sales manager

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 11/26/2014 | Article type: Security 50

IDIS has announced the appointment of Billy Hopkins to the role of Regional Sales Manager based out of the IDIS European headquarters in Brentford, London.

Billy will manage distribution sales in South East England to meet increased demand for next generation DirectIP™ high-definition (HD) surveillance solutions. Taking responsibility for leveraging and nurturing new and existing distribution partnerships, Billy will also take an active role in developing bespoke marketing and sales initiatives to drive value for IDIS partners including iCenterHD, Security Supplies and ProVision.

Billy brings with him over ten years’ experience from across the security buying chain including installation engineer through to manufacturer and distributor sales roles. His expertise encompasses a deep understanding of analogue and IP surveillance and access control systems from some of the best known brands in the security industry. Billy’s previous roles have included engineering at Chubb Security, business development at Norbain SD, technical support at Samsung Techwin and he most recently held the position of technical sales manager for Focus Security Distribution.

Commenting on his appointment, Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Manager at IDIS Europe, said, “I’m thrilled to welcome Billy on board. He is already bringing unique insight to the requirements of our distribution and systems integration partners, from both a surveillance technology perspective as well as sales and account management. Billy’s a very welcome addition to the UK sales team and will play an instrumental part in growing sales for both IDIS and its partners.”

Billy Hopkins, Regional Sales Manager, said of his appointment, “I’m delighted to be joining IDIS at a time of huge growth and continued investment in the business. I’m looking forward to working with our channel partners to develop the successful and long term business relationships that IDIS is well-known for in the security market.”

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