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Denver RTD Transit Police speed investigations with NICE wireless mobile video

Denver RTD Transit Police speed investigations with NICE wireless mobile video

Editor / Provider: Linda Haelsen, NICE Systems | Updated: 12/12/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) pegs annual bus ridership in the U.S. and Canada at around 5.4 billion. To keep those billions of riders safe and secure, transportation systems rely on onboard video surveillance. In addition to acting as a deterrent, video is invaluable for investigating crimes and complaints, as well as refuting costly liability claims.

But as the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) discovered, their existing mobile analog systems, used to record video, were aging and some were becoming unreliable. The very fact that the hard drives needed to be pulled from the bus to download the video slowed the investigation process, and often the hard drives would not contain video because of an unknown failure. Every night RTD employees would go to the buses and physically remove the hard drives from the buses for the day's requests.

“We had to pull hard drives off of buses for 20-40 cases per day,” said Bob Grado, Transit Police Commander and Manager of Integrated Security Operations for Denver RTD. The manpower effort alone was staggering, but there were other complications as well, like when a camera failed to record the video needed for an investigation.

Move to Digital Video, with Wireless Download
Given that Denver RTD conducts thousands of investigations annually, video camera failures and inaccessible recordings were a significant problem. Working with partners NICE Systems and Panasonic, Denver RTD designed and deployed a high-quality digital video system that enabled the organization to download video wirelessly off a bus so investigators could access it without leaving their desks. The first-of-a-kind mobile video surveillance solution uses NiceVision software, running on hardware from Panasonic Corporation, and includes specialty cameras and a mobile recording platform designed to withstand the vibration and weather extremes experienced by the buses.

Denver RTD has already installed the system on over 110 new buses and over the course of the next three years plans to deploy about 450 more buses with the mobile video solution. What makes the solution unique is that it automatically downloads the requested video, via Wi-Fi, whenever a bus pulls into a depot, passenger concourse, or the Denver RTD facility.

Improved Investigations
The new system also gives Denver RTD transit police investigators high definition video, which was not available before. Denver RTD redesigned the camera layouts to include nine interior cameras so more of the bus is covered than ever before, and the high definition images make it easier to interpret what is occurring in the video.

But by far the biggest benefit is the ability to access the video remotely through the NICE Inform solution. Instead of going to the depot to manually remove hard drives from the buses, investigators can just type the bus number, date, and time range into NICE Inform. When the bus pulls into the depot and connects with Wi-Fi, the system automatically receives the request and begins to download the video. Additionally, mobile video recordings can be combined with radio recordings and fixed surveillance video to create a complete incident timeline. Denver RTD can also email case file links to other law enforcement agencies involved in an investigation.

Denver RTD's new mobile video system greatly improves the organization's surveillance and investigation capabilities in order to best protect its passengers.

                 

Milestone VMS helps fast-food giants reduce theft and improve daily opetations

Milestone VMS helps fast-food giants reduce theft and improve daily opetations

Editor / Provider: Milestone | Updated: 12/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems' world-leading open platform IP video management technology is helping Restaurant Brands to reduce theft and improve daily operations across New Zealand's KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks locations.

The parent company in New Zealand for KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks, Restaurant Brands has installed Milestone XProtect® video management software (VMS) throughout their chain of restaurants. The first implementation in 2010 convinced management to roll out the solution nationally: thanks to the Milestone video, the number of thefts dropped measurably and day-to-day operations became more efficient, leading to significant improvement on the bottom line.

Milestone Partner Lexel designed and implemented an efficient solution with Milestone XProtect® Corporate software that manages more than 1,300 AXIS network cameras in about 180 sites. Cameras are installed in all KFC and Carl's Jr. restaurants and selective locations for Starbucks and Pizza Hut. System operators use the XProtect® Smart Client interface and Milestone Mobile client to improve day-to-day operations at the many restaurants.

“Although there was no target set for loss prevention, there was a remarkable increase to the net profit after the installation of the Milestone video system. The main benefits of the software included user responsiveness and the open platform architecture that will enable us to integrate with other systems in the future,” said Geoff Holton, Commercial IT Manager at Restaurant Brands Limited (RBD).

Loss prevention was improved by monitoring the different food preparation processes at the restaurants and managing waste levels. Theft was lowered among both dishonest customers and staff. Simultaneously, staff safety increased and more efficient day-to-day operations became the norm.

“The Milestone solution has made day-to-day operations much easier. Prior to this all managers were only able visit one or two stores at a time, but now they look remotely at the foyer area of their stores using the XProtect Smart Client interface,” said Geoff Holton.

Managers can remotely see how many customers each branch has, how many cash registers are open and how many employees are operating the counters. The software also helps them keep track of peak hours and check the restaurants' performance during these hours.

"We are also using the Milestone solution to ensure the quality of the food that is made. Now we can go and have a look at how the pizzas are made at Pizza Hut or see if standards are followed when breeding chicken at KFC stores. This is all about securing the quality of our products, making sure our staffs are safe while working with the hot deep fryers, managing waste and staffing levels,” said Holton. “Both IT management and supervisors can remotely check on the stores with Milestone Mobile 24 hours a day,” states Geoff Holton.

The Milestone VMS also helps to avoid theft at the restaurants: “We have just over 5,000 staff, and in the first 20 weeks of the financial year we actually detected 16 people that were stealing. The majority of our employees are honest and hardworking but unfortunately all businesses have theft issues,” said Geoff Holton. “We did not have a previous surveillance system, which made it difficult to catch thieves and provide evidence of their misdeeds. Now we can monitor the stores and provide video footage of an incident to the police if necessary.”

Holton explains that the uses of the Milestone software might expand even more: “We are thinking about integrating with a point-of-sale (POS) system in the future. The Milestone open platform allows us to integrate with analytics which is a big advantage - it is one of the main reasons we chose the Milestone open platform,” explains Geoff Holton.

It was the system integrator Lexel who recommended RBD to go with the Milestone solution, and Lexel Systems thoroughly trained each of the users in how to operate the solution. “Lexel is a trusted partner that was able to provide good support during the purchasing, installation and follow-up process,” concludes Holton.

KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr. and Starbucks Coffee are all trademarks of Restaurant Brands NZ. Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

VIVOTEK launches network camera with embedded PoE extender

VIVOTEK launches network camera with embedded PoE extender

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 12/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK is pleased to announce the launch of a revolutionary series of network cameras with embedded PoE extenders, IB8367-R, IB8367-RT and IB8338-HR. The three cameras are stylish, bullet-style network cameras ideal for diverse outdoor applications. The uniquely-designed PoE extender embedded within the three camera models allows for both PoE input and output and direct connection with other PoE network cameras without an additional power source, thereby facilitating long-distance surveillance system implementation in factory areas, parking lots, crossroads, and outdoor sidewalks.

The IB8367-R and IB8367-RT models, which feature a 2-Megapixel CMOS sensor, offer viewing resolutions of 1920x1080 at 30 fps. By contrast, the entry-level IB8338-HR model is equipped with a 1MP sensor, enabling a viewing resolution of 720P at 30 fps. All models feature WDR functionality, a removable IR-cut filter, built-in IR illuminators (effective distance of 30 meters), Smart Stream, and 3DNR. The IB8367-R, IB8367-RT, and IB8338-HR models are capable of capturing high quality images under challenging lighting conditions without sacrificing bandwidth. Moreover, the IB8367-R and IB8367-RT models are especially designed with Smart IR technology, ensuring consistent and superb image output around the clock. To further optimize image quality and enhance sharpness and depth of field, all three models are equipped with a P-iris lens, which controls the lens iris with extreme precision using a built-in stepper motor and maintains optimal aperture through effective software control.

Steve Ma, Executive VP at VIVOTEK, stated, “To sustain the excellence of our product portfolio, we have put great efforts to enhancing the innovation of product form factors and design. With the goal of satisfying our customers' needs with total solutions, today, we are pleased to launch a series of the world's first network cameras with embedded PoE extenders. VIVOTEK's IB8367-R, IB8367-RT and IB8338-HR models revolutionize the establishment of long distance network surveillance systems by eliminating excess cables or power devices and significantly reducing the total cost of implementation and bringing more value to our customers.”

Alongside the launch of the IB8367-R, IB8367-RT and IB8338-HR models, VIVOTEK also introduced a series of similar models without the embedded POE extender that share the same superior features as IB8367-R, IB8367-RT and IB8338-HR.

AXIS Camera Companion supplies security solution to smaller retailers in UK

AXIS Camera Companion supplies security solution to smaller retailers in UK

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Axis led a proof of concept trial for a Nisa Local store in Birmingham (Nisa), in which Axis partner, Defence Security, was brought in to complete the fit-out and optimization phase of the installation. The project formed the final stage of an innovations showcase for the Association of Convenience Stores, where Axis had successfully demonstrated the ways in which the AXIS Camera Companion package was ideally suited for smaller retailers.

Birmingham Nisa store owner, Rav Garcha, challenged Axis to expand the functionality of his store's current analogue surveillance set-up – including remote central monitoring, mobile accessibility, and the option to integrate cross-functional retail analytics.

Solution
Axis partner, Defence Security, installed a state-of-theart surveillance system which incorporated AXIS Camera Companion for independent retailers. Featuring 13 ultra-compact HDTV quality cameras that requiring no digital video recording (DVR) equipment and offering an easy to access intuitive management platform, the solution perfectly fit the store's security requirements, whilst providing ample scope for upgrades and expansion.

Result
Despite reducing the store's overall camera count, the new AXIS Camera Companion package has significantly increased surveillance coverage in-store, as measured against the retailer's historic analogue system. The phenomenal success of the installation at the Hockley store has resulted in the installation of a network video encoder at Nisa Broadway. Customer, Rav Garcha, plans to replicate the Axis system with the acquisition of more stores.

The most innovative solution available
Axis began working with Nisa store owner, Rav Garcha, after it was invited to attend an innovations showcase for the Association of Convenience Stores. One of four companies selected to pitch ideas for the workshop, the AXIS Camera Companion security solution was voted ‘most innovative' by the audience and a three-person judging panel. Axis partner, Defence Security was chosen to incorporate the solution into the Birmingham Nisa store, following an initial proof of concept trial.

Perfectly designed for small business users
While the store already had an analogue surveillance system in place, the retailer was keen to embrace the potential of networked video. Dave Brown, business development manager at Defence Security, said: “The store's legacy system really wasn't fit for purpose. It often experienced faults and system failures and needed a wholesale upgrade. In comparison, the flexibility and image quality offered by Axis is streaks ahead. Even its smallest camera achieves two-and-a-half times the picture quality of most analogue systems.”

As part of the store's upgrade, Defence Security replaced 16 conventional CCTV cameras with a range of Axis compact dome and fixed lens network cameras. Variously featuring video motion detection, active tampering alarm, two-way audio and integrated passive infrared sensors, the cameras capture the entire store in full HDTV image quality. An inbuilt microphone and speaker system also allows staff to communicate directly with customers at the critical point of sale area in the store. The camera's superior image quality and reliability also means that footage is of evidential quality and certified for use in court.

Rav commented: “The great picture quality and advanced audio detection features are incredibly important. In the past, we've experienced armed robberies and several incidences of abusive behaviour and threats being made towards staff. Axis' cameras can be relied upon to not only see these incidents in perfect detail, but they can also hear and record what is being said.”

Adapted to the retail environment
Using Axis' Corridor Format, the cameras records footage in a vertical aspect ratio, which is better suited for monitoring narrow aisles than traditional landscape formats. The systems is also fully open to future high-spec integrations that use surveillance data to analyse staff levels, peak trading hours, customer footfall and purchasing behaviour. Data can also be collated to inform staffing policy, store layouts and the relative success of special promotions or offers.

As space is always at a premium for retailers, a major advantage of the new Axis system is that it does not require DVR equipment and, unlike analogue equipment, can easily be scaled up or down according to the store's needs. Security managers can easily access and view live camera footage or download video files, either in-store, or remotely. As well as instant-access live view of the Hockley store, analogue camera feeds from Nisa Broadway (Worcester) have also been incorporated into the platform via the use of and Axis video encoder. Rav said: “We've been incredibly impressed with the entire AXIS Camera Companion package – from ease of installation, right through to the end product. We now have a bespoke surveillance setup and analytics capability that will make a real difference to business profitability.”

Samsung launches 5MP 360° Camera with PTZ feature SNF-8010

Samsung launches 5MP 360° Camera with PTZ feature SNF-8010

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Samsung Techwin has further strengthened its video surveillance solution range with the addition of two 5 megapixel 360-degree camera.

The SNF-8010 is able to capture superb quality 5 megapixel (2560x2048) images and has a digital PTZ feature which allows users to electronically pan, tilt and zoom in on specific areas for a more detailed view while at the same time continue to monitor the whole 360-degree view. An on-board dewarping function enables the images to be displayed in a variety of viewing configurations, including single or double panorama, as well as 360-degrees.

360-degree cameras are increasingly being specified for projects where there is a requirement to monitor activity 24/7 in environments such as banks, offices, retail and warehouses. A single 360-degree camera is quite often all that is required to efficiently and cost-effectively cover a whole area where a much larger number of standard cameras might normally be required. A 360 degree camera will compliment a video solution perfectly by giving the operator a complete view of an area while standard statics and pan/tilt cameras are used to pick up the detail at critical points such as doorways and to ensure there are no blind spots. This can be particularly beneficial in banks or retail stores where individuals can be monitored throughout their journey.

The IK10/IP66 rated vandal resistant, weather proof SNF-8010VM shares the same key features as the SNF-8010, including Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) which ensures clear, sharp images can be captured even when there may be strong contrasting lighting conditions. It also has an M12 connector and is EN50155 certified, making it ideal for use on buses and trains where it can be used internally to monitor passenger activity or externally to monitor the road or track ahead to provide video evidence of any incident.

Intelligent video analytics equips both of the ONVIF compliant models to detect motion and tampering and they also feature privacy masking, a 12VDC and PoE capability, bi-directional audio and alarm input/outputs. In the event of network disruption, video is automatically recorded to on-board SDXC storage to ensure that potential video evidence is not lost.

Tips for selecting a cost-effective, efficient surveillance system

Tips for selecting a cost-effective, efficient surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Roger Morency, Exacq | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Challenged with patrolling a large area and protecting thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses, local governments and police departments need an efficient video surveillance system. Today, municipalities face a variety of new security challenges including geographical disparity, scalability and remote monitoring.

Government and municipal projects often have tight budget restraints and require a cost-effective surveillance system that covers a large area while providing expansion opportunities for future security needs.

Union City, N.J., and Prospect Heights, Ill., are two cities that have recently implemented cost-effective video surveillance systems. As a result, each city has seen a reduction in crime rates and a vastly improved public safety system by considering the following elements in their solution.

View Video Remotely
To provide a successful municipal surveillance system, find a video management system (VMS) software that law enforcement officials can easily use remotely. Police departments need to view live and recorded video from their desks, phones or vehicles from anywhere throughout the city, day or night.

Prospect Heights Police Department strategically placed cameras in the highest risk public areas. With exacqVision VMS software all government officials can download the free Exacq mobile app or run the free client software on any web browser. This allows them to assess situations as they are happening and provide guidance to on-the-scene officers. Additionally, the exacqVision software has given them the opportunity to monitor their risk, assess the environment they are entering and prioritize issues immediately from their devices. Remote video monitoring enhances situational awareness, enabling them to respond quicker and more effectively at crime scenes.

Implement a Wireless Solution
When tasked with monitoring a city consisting of thousands of residents, consider implementing a wireless mesh network for the most effective security system. In Prospect Heights, Illinois, the surveillance system acts as a force multiplier, allowing the police department to keep more officers patrolling the streets and letting the cameras cover high crime areas. With this solution, video from the cameras is transported wirelessly to a nearby building and then transmitted to the police station over the secured network. The wireless system connects the police department with the community areas for real-time viewing of activities. By leveraging this capability, Prospect Heights can monitor crime in neighborhoods without the need for full-time police officers to constantly patrol the area.

Be Resource Efficient
Replacing an entire security system can be very expensive. As an alternative, law enforcement officials can leverage their current infrastructure, wiring and analog cameras while also updating their security system. This maximizes the initial security investment while providing the flexibility to upgrade the system later. Union City, N.J. was able to utilize their existing analog infrastructure while also adding new technology, while Prospect Heights Police Department fully integrated the surveillance system with their broadband wireless network to better leverage resources.

Find an Easy-to-Use VMS Software
Simplify the process of searching and exporting video by selecting an easy-to-use VMS software. Most police departments and local governments suffer from lack of time and limited resources. The exacqVision client greatly improved operations and reduced investigation time for Prospect Heights Police Department. In the event of a reported crime, police officers can use the exacqVision VMS software for post-incident investigation and research. Officers can quickly search the exacqVision client for the time of the incident and can then export real-time evidence and footage to be used in court if necessary. Chief of Police Jamie Dunne noted, “The exacqVision software has allowed us to quickly capture video clips of incidents that we have used to bring criminal investigations to successful conclusions.”

Prepare for Future Growth
Communities continually grow and crime hot spots change. Therefore, municipalities need to be forward thinking when designing a security solution. Scalable solutions provide an easy method to add cameras and expand the security system as the population demographics adjust. Prospect Heights initially designed their wireless security solution with future additions in mind. They accounted for the ability to add cameras moving forward and adjust the system as needed.

Oil and gas fuel up on safety

Oil and gas fuel up on safety

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

From a safety and security perspective, oil and gas installations are among the most critical and challenging environments. The speed in which an incident can escalate to adisaster means that operators need to get information quickly to be able to react and minimize damages. Advances in video technology and video content analytics have great potential to assist oil and gas installations in detecting fires, leaks, and security threats, as well as help make operations more efficient.

As oil exploration moves to new regions across the world, so does the need for better monitoring of remote facilities, increased protection against terror threats, and pipeline and leak detection monitoring solutions. Exploration and drilling security systems will be the largest segment in terms of spending and adoption followed by refineries and storage facilities. According to research by Frost and Sullivan, the global oil and gas infrastructure security market was estimated at US$19.6 billion in 2013 and will grow to $24.7 billion by 2021. Including network and cyber security, the combined oil and gas security market will reach $30 billion by 2018.

Any damage to an oil and gas facility has grave consequences. Incidents have implications on employee safety, environmental damage, cleaning costs, damage penalties, equipment replacement, and the list goes on and on. This becomes even more challenging when considering the nature of these installations. There are hundreds of potential breach points for leaks and damages: numerous valves and pumps, meters upon meters of pipes. Even within the facility, environments are not the same. A refinery for example will include various types of oil, transported at different temperatures and pressures, from ambient temperatures and pressure up to 130 bars at 100°C.

In addition, sites are often located in remote and harsh environments. All these make the oil and gas industry one of the most demanding clients for safety and security products. One of the limitations of the oil and gas sector is the stringent regulations regarding equipment. For example, equipment for Class 1 Zone 1 areas — the areas closest to the drill site — needs to be explosion proof, making sure it will not cause an explosion in high risk areas. There are similar limitations on mobile devices since cellular radiation can also cause an explosion.

“If you are looking at a typical oil and gas plant, there will be between 300 to 500 cameras to monitor the perimeter and inner workings of the plant. In addition, there will be thermal cameras to monitor flames and detect leaks and specialty cameras for class and zone areas. In an ocean rig there are 16 to 20 explosion proof cameras and 40 to 50 standard cameras,” said William Moore, Senior Account Manager for Pelco by Schneider Electric.

With so many cameras involved, it is impractical to monitor them all the time; therefore, the cameras are monitored based on an alert rule-engine. In case of an event, whether security or safety related, the proper camera will be triggered and brought to the attention of the operator.

The second line of defense: Video analytics
Typically, video analytics are most appropriate for outdoor and wide-area use, when it is impractical to place sensors (i.e. outdoors or in a warehouse with high ceilings). Common analytics in use are smoke and fire detection, leak detection, gas leak detection, flare-size monitoring, and slip and fall (used for employee safety). In addition, more security-oriented analytics such as perimeter protection and theft detection are also used.

Despite technology advances, video surveillance and video analytics alone cannot replace traditional fire detection systems. Usually both are implemented as standalone systems. Analytics are however beneficial for verification and supplying secondary visual inputs to an alert triggered by other sensors. For example, a combination of a thermal camera and a visible spectrum camera can give a better understanding of a situation. “We use the video analytics only as a second layer of detection and we do not trust it to be the first line of alarm. The reason is due to the day camera sensor's capabilities. Our first line of detection is the thermal vision sensor,” explained Tomer Dadon, CEO of Ex-Sight. “The flame detector camera is normally packed inside the pan tilt video surveillance system. This system can connect directly to a video surveillance control center or a SCADA system.” Flame detection analytics enables the user to continuously assess and monitor target sites in the range of a few kilometers. While scanning the target area, the system identifies when a designated preset reaches a threatening temperature threshold. Once a flame is identified, the camera uses multiple alarm mechanisms, including transmitting the fire's coordinates. The specialty of the system is its ability to distinguish between flame and smoke sources which are part of the industrial environment and those which pose security risks.

“We see a strong trend for coupling video analytics with thermal video surveillance cameras,” said Laurent Assouly, Marketing Manager for Evitech. This combination enables a volume protection instead of line detection. Thermal cameras enable long range detection, such as 600 meters or one kilometer, while color cameras usually cannot see beyond 130 meters at night. Detection over color images would possibly raise more false alarms due to moving lights, flashing lights, etc., and would not reveal many details at the end of the fields of view at nighttime.

Video Analytics for Operations Monitoring
Video analytics can also be used for process monitoring and ensuring the facility is functioning properly. “We monitor pump jacks to detect any problems with their operation. By monitoring the cadence of the pump we can detect if it stops moving and alert the operators immediately,” explained Michael Von-Hauff, CEO of Osprey Informatics. This makes analytics exceptionally useful for remote sites that are not manned permanently. Without this capability, a malfunction can sometimes be detected only after hours, or even days if the pump is located in a remote location, when a human inspector visits the site. Such a solution, therefore, saves lost production time and helps turn video into actionable intelligence. Video monitoring can also be used to audit employee behavior during alarms and other safety events — it allows the relevant officers to check if all employees are following the relevant procedures.

Connectivity and systems integration
A growing market trend is connectivity and systems integration. “There are thousands of land rigs, gated and sensed-in, the clients are asking for the possibility to integrate cameras and access control,” explained Moore. “For example, we implemented such a solution in western Texas. A FOB key card swipe at the gate pops up the picture of the truck to the administrator.” The system is also integrated with LPR cameras, cell phones, and iPads and is used for site management and monitoring site visits. “Another thing the customer is looking for is a common platform such as ONVIF,” added Thomas Soderlund, Business Development Manager for EMEA at Bosch Security Systems. “With the old analog systems it was easy to pick any camera and plug it in and it would work due to the 1 volt peak-to-peak signals. With IP devices it is not always that easy since a new firmware or change of model mean additional programming of the main system is needed to be able to provide functionality.”

SCADA Integration
There is a benefit in connecting different systems to the SCADA system. The benefit of an integrated system is to have one common interface for alarm handling and monitoring, compared to moving between multiple systems in order to then build up the picture of the event. In addition this integration can help in halting delivery and limiting a leak's consequences. However, most platforms need to use SDKs to integrate with the SCADA systems, which is often a costly and complex solution.

Avoiding false alarms
There are several options to reduce false alarms. One is to install multiple different sensors for verification purposes. A second system for avoiding false alarms is to calibrate the system against an existing database of detections and false alarms. Tests can be performed using high pressure water cleaning tools, which deliver varying temperatures and pressures. These simulate various sorts of leaks in the different pipes (themselves at different temperatures). These tests can be used as a benchmark for the analytics and then need to be carried out at regular intervals to ensure the continuity of service of the solution. Artificial intelligence analytics check alerts and reduce false alarms by differentiating between real objects and other objects that might cause false alarms such as changes in lighting (e.g., a cloud passing over the sun or a light being switched off or on, long evening shadows, and bright lights pointed at the camera).

Not just video: Other senses take part
Dedicated sensors and video analytics are not the only features used for leak detection — there is also an audio-based detection method. “In a southern Louisiana installation, the cameras have the audio option turned on and in the case of an alert the operator can listen to the pipe to hear if there is a high pitch whistle coming out, indicating gas is leaking from the pipe,” described Moore. “This is already an automatic feature in the non-class and zone cameras. For class and zone areas it is more complicated due to technical reasons. The external microphone has to meet the safety criteria and not cause explosions.” iOmniscient combines with its video analytics smell sensors that can detect gas leaks and audio analysis to identify sounds. “When combined with the analytics from video these systems can provide an enhanced understanding of what is happening in an environment,” explained Dr. Rustom Kanga, CEO of iOmniscient.

Automated response
Information integration from various sensors into one platform is usually described as PSIM (physical security information management). Kanga described a solution where the information is not only pulled together but is also responsible for automated response. “The system, without human intervention, will find the nearest appropriate first responder and provide him with detailed information,” said Kanga. Relevant information can be pushed to the user's cell phone, turning the user's smartphone into a mobile control room. The user can use the phone to perform all the operations that he could have performed in a control room. However, the quality of the entire system depends on the quality of the core analytics. Automated responses reduce reaction time and as such are beneficial for both safety and security but also for operational efficiency — making sure malfunctions are treated fast.

Future trends
As oil and gas exploration continuous to expand further to more difficult environments so will the demand for video surveillance systems. The future calls for durable and reliable systems, able to withstand harsh field conditions and connect with other systems that will be able to give operators more than just security and also optimize operations. The future will no doubt involve more and more integrated systems, making full use of technology for both safety and security.

Hikvision video surveillance solution secures gold prize for Philly in Homeland Security Awards

Hikvision video surveillance solution secures gold prize for Philly in Homeland Security Awards

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 12/8/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision, one of the global leaders in innovative video surveillance products and solutions, is excited to announce that the City of Philadelphia has been awarded a Gold Prize in Government Security News' Homeland Security Awards as a result of partnership with Hikvision. Hundreds of Hikvision cameras installed in the Philadelphia recreation centers helped secure a win in the category of “Most Notable Municipal Security Program, Project, or Initiative.” This prestigious recognition is the third for Hikvision USA in just a few months and solidifies its continued commitment to providing cutting-edge video surveillance solutions in North America.

Government Security News created the Homeland Security Awards to honor outstanding vendors of security products and solutions, as well as the government agencies that work to keep the U.S. secure at municipal, state, and federal levels. The awards program is the most prestigious in the homeland security field.

“In recent years, homeland security has seen an unprecedented proliferation of cutting edge technology in physical security,” remarked Adrian Courtenay, CEO of Government Security News. “Government agencies have maximized the features offered by technology vendors in order to implement highly effective strategies for dealing with security threats.”

In Philadelphia, Hikvision cameras and NVRs provide a highly scalable security network that protects residents at the city's recreation centers and improves security city-wide. A recent initiative, “Fun Safe Philly Summer,” emphasized safety throughout Philadelphia communities and offered community activities at the rec centers. Such events strengthen relationships within the local neighborhoods and demonstrate the city's devotion to providing a high quality of life for its residents.

“Philadelphia's Department of Parks and Recreation is committed to providing safe environments,” asserted Susan Slawson, Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Recreation. “We're honored to be recognized for this commitment in the form of a Homeland Security Award.”

The Homeland Security Award puts a spotlight on Hikvision's success in the safe cities vertical. “As a total solution provider, Hikvision USA serves the advanced security needs of municipalities all across North America,” affirmed Jeffrey He, President of Hikvision USA. “We congratulate the City of Philadelphia on their award and we are proud to stand behind them in their dedication to the safety of their residents.”

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Editor / Provider: Secutech | Updated: 12/8/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Secutech is the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions. The 18th edition is officially confirmed to take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan.

Mr Parson Lee, Managing Director of organiser Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, said: “In 2014, Secutech's dedicated sections for smart home garnered accolades with the booming industry outlook. In 2015, the sub-show, SMAhome under secutech will be dedicated to home security, home control and connected home. In line with Taiwan's excellent IT framework, Networks & IC (Integrated Circuit) industries, Taiwan manufacturers in the telecom and connected-home fields such as Chicony, D-Link, Foxconn, also known globally for their competitive edge will join the show in 2015. In addition, the show is highly anticipated by suppliers from China and South Korea, with product design talents, customization prowess and technical support. Delivering from DIY gadgets to project-based solutions, SMAhome will serve as a top-tier platform for global smart home professionals to connect with Asia's premium manufacturers.”

Held concurrently with SMAhome, Secutech 2015 aims to cater to demand for a wider spectrum of safety and security-related products. The latest zones cover:

• High Definition
Now, the resolution gets sharper, in smartphone and everywhere. With better image quality, 4K camera, H.265 NVR, UHF monitor at secutech 2015 will be incorporated with smart edges, facial recognition, and loitering detection. Over 1,000 choices of Ultra HD and HD equipment and facilities will be showcased onsite.

• Transmission & Network
Transmission distance limitations have been a major obstacle for HD migration. Ranging from coaxial, Ethernet, to fiber connections, whether sending signal or power, the Transmission & Network zone will feature 30 leading Taiwanese information and communications technology (ICT) solution providers including CTC UNION, Dintek, EtherWan, LANTECH, LEX, ORING to present last mile technologies.

• Storage
Higher-resolution images are calling for larger data storage. To back up systems, a complete storage line-up is showcased from SSD, commercial NAS, enterprise NAS, NVR, server storage, Cloud service in secutech 2015.

• Software
The Software zone, focusing on Video Management Software (VMS) and Video Content Analytics (VCA) technologies will be a networking platform for hardware makers, software developers and system integrators to interact. VMS is the foundation for video monitoring, analysis and recording. The development of its extensive application is influential to various vertical markets in the industry, such as home automation, retail, transport, safety and security.

In addition, zones for Access Control, HD-over-coaxial Solutions, Key Components & Parts, and Fire & Safety will provide an ideal place for worldwide importers to experience the latest technical development within the industry.

Secutech will also organise a series of highly thought-provoking seminars. Prominent industry players, keen on sharing their knowledge and experiences, will be the speakers. Highlights include the Global Digital Security Forum (GDSF) and the Composec Conference. Attendees can expect to gain insights into the evolving global security industry through presentations and interactions with experts.

Sponsored by:  
Secutech, the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions, will take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan. 
Now in its 18th year, secutech features some 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and attracts over 26,000 visitors. Dedicated pavilions for the following sectors: Surveillance | Software & Management Systems | Transmission & Networks | Smart Homes | Key Components / Parts | Electronic Systems

Register your FREE visitor badge now at www.secutech.com/registration/en

Axis launches innovative four-in-one flexible camera unit onto market and into the stratosphere

Axis launches innovative four-in-one flexible camera unit onto market and into the stratosphere

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

AXIS F Series presents a unique, high-performance main unit that connects to four miniature sensor units simultaneously, enabling cost-effective and highly discreet video surveillance of up to four closely situated areas. With its rugged design, AXIS F44 Main Unit is ideal for retail and banking applications, as well as transportation installations such as in emergency vehicles, buses and trucks. In the autumn, AXIS F44 was launched into the stratosphere, providing videos of the ascent and descent.

Axis Communications, the world leader in network video, adds AXIS F44 Main Unit to its flexible and modular AXIS F Series. The series is based on a divided network camera concept where the camera is split into a sensor unit, made up of a lens and image sensor with a pre-mounted cable up to 12 m (39 ft.) long, and a main unit, which is the body of the camera. Since the main units and sensor units with different lens types are sold separately, customers can choose the components as required and can easily change them to fit the surveillance need. The products allow for a highly discreet installation since the small sensor units can be installed virtually out of view in tight places and the main unit can be placed up to 12 m away where there is space for it.

“AXIS F44 is another innovative product from Axis,” says Erik Frännlid, Axis' Director of Product Management. “AXIS F44 provides a simple and cost-effective solution for monitoring up to four different areas within a site using just one main unit. The small modular sensor units can also be easily relocated or changed after the initial installation, giving users additional flexibility. It is an ideal solution for small video surveillance areas such as in stores, in and around ATMs and in buses.”

In the autumn, as part of a game called Stratocaching (which combines high-altitude balloons with geocaching) in the Czech Republic, an AXIS F44 Main Unit and two connected AXIS F1005-E Sensor Units were sent up in a stratospheric balloon. Recording views of the journey from the two sensor units simultaneously, AXIS F44 provided HDTV videos that included the balloon's ascent to an altitude of 29.3 km (18 miles) above ground, the subsequent balloon burst, the distribution of the stratocaches with GPS transmitters and the dramatic fall with a parachute.

“The Stratocaching event clearly demonstrated the ruggedness and exceptional video performance of the AXIS F products,” says Frännlid. “AXIS F44 and AXIS F1005-E Sensor Units performed in turbulent conditions and extremely low temperatures. They are a testament to the high quality of Axis' products.”

AXIS F44 is a high-performance unit that supports:
* Simultaneous streaming of four separate high-resolution 1080p videos at 12.5/15 frames per second (50/60 Hz) or four HDTV 720p videos at full frame rate
* Quad view, a stream made up of four separate views from the connected sensor units
* Two-way audio
* Input/output ports for external devices to enhance alarm management
* RS232 port for integration of external data to the video
* Local storage of recordings using its two built-in full-sized SD card slots
* Power over Ethernet, as well as the option of connecting to an 8-28 V DC power supply
* Intelligent video capabilities such as video motion detection, active tampering alarm and downloadable applications through the AXIS Camera Application Platform

The four compatible AXIS F Sensor Units (with two different cable lengths to choose from—either 3 m/10 ft. or 12 m/39 ft.) are:
* IP66-rated AXIS F1005-E Sensor Unit with a standard lens and a 113° horizontal field of view for indoor, outdoor and mobile use
* AXIS F1015 Sensor Unit with a varifocal lens for a 53° to 108° horizontal field of view for indoor use
* AXIS F1025 Sensor Unit with a pinhole lens and a 92° horizontal field of view for indoor use
* IP66-rated AXIS F1035-E Sensor Unit with a fisheye lens for a 194° horizontal field of view for indoor, outdoor and mobile use.

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