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Axis earns a degree in protection at UDLAP with Milestone

Axis earns a degree in protection at UDLAP with Milestone

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 8/6/2014 | Article type: Education

The Universidad de Las Americas Puebla (UDLAP) is located in a small community called Cholula in the State of Puebla, Mexico. It is one of the most important colleges in the country and, although the area is relatively safe, security is a must to preserve the integrity of the institution and protect students and staff on campus. This is the reason why they upgraded their analog cameras to an Axis IP video surveillance system.

Solution
UDLAP continuously invests a large amount of capital to strengthen its physical and educational environment, and it has a wide range of both human and technical resources. The campus comprises a total area of 185 acres, and their old analog system could not provide the appropriate overview. After analyzing their needs, UDLAP selected a scalable, forward-thinking solution with 215 cameras from Axis Communications all controlled on a Milestone XProtect Enterprise 7 VMS platform running on Pivot3 vSTACR Watch converged storage and compute appliances.

Result
The system has been a complete success. More than 700 reports have been solved since the University turned to IP video. The number of lost items has decreased, suspicious people have been detected around the campus and the incident response time has decreased. It is now possible to obtain more accurate control of the entire campus using IP video.

Social responsibility at Universidad de las Américas Puebla
The Universidad de Las Americas (UDLAP) is located in a small and quiet community in Mexico. To preserve the safety of its 10,000 students and staff within the 185- acre campus, the Director looked for a proactive system to complement their security department. “Although it was originally designed to be digital on the blueprints, the campus was equipped with an analog system that we kept for a time until we changed it for the IP cameras. This showed us the flexibility, functionality and scalability of the Axis cameras,” said Fernando Thompson de la Rosa, CIO.

Technology all around the campus
The school chose a mix of Axis cameras including fixed dome cameras such as the AXIS P3344-VE, AXIS M3004 Fixed Dome, and AXIS M3011 Fixed Dome Network Cameras; fixed network cameras such as the AXIS P1346-E and AXIS P1343-E Fixed Network Cameras; and the compact AXIS M1103 Fixed Network Camera. These cameras were installed in the classrooms and common areas at UDLAP to secure the entire campus. These IP cameras offered a wide range of advantages, such as ultra-compact sizes with an innovative design, high performance, VGA and HDTV-quality resolution video, day/night functionality, Power over Ethernet and more. The cameras with HDTV or megapixel features means the school can obtain more detail and better possibilities for identifying people and finding lost items.

Additionally, these cameras can cover a larger area with no loss of image resolution, which is very useful for such a large campus. Additionally, the pan/tilt/zoom functionality of the AXIS P5512 PTZ Dome Network Camera enables operators at a remote location to pan 360o for overview surveillance while the gatekeeper functionality automatically moves the camera to a preset position when motion is detected in a pre-defined area. This alerts the security personnel of intruders at night or in restricted areas without the need to monitor 24 hours a day. The system is controlled by six Pivot3 vSTAC Watch converged storage and compute appliances, which have the capability of archival search through an integrated storage system. The Pivot3 appliances also feature server failover to avoid recording downtime, high bandwidth to preserve video quality and no single point of failure. Milestone XProtect Enterprise is the Video Management Software, and it offers such benefits as the ability to capture vehicle plates on movement. The powerful platform supports many cameras and is designed for multisite installation. This greatly enhances entrance control at the campus.

A glance to the future
The IP surveillance system has significantly improved response time to incidents, and the system is supported by information obtained from access control and data storage. Today, eight people monitor the entire campus. The staff is able to control access and monitor the campus perimeter, as well as adjacent residential areas, as well. These personnel are trained under international standards of preventive security and civil protection. With this strategy, intruders can be detected and inappropriate behavior can be quickly identified. Numerous incidents have been solved thanks to the information obtained from the IP video surveillance system, and the actions of the well-trained security personnel. The security system success offers big savings and benefits to UDLAP. Results have been very positive, and in order to keep on track and continue the effort, UDLAP plans to grow the system with the goal of 100% coverage of their facilities. Thanks to the scalability of the IP video system, UDLAP is able to stay online with their ambitious technology mission well into the future.

Synectics to show surveillance integration for marine industry

Synectics to show surveillance integration for marine industry

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 8/6/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The marine industry has been called on to embrace technology that delivers real-time situational awareness to improve vessel navigation, safety and efficiency.

“The Connected Ship” a term coined by Tor Svensen, CEO of DNV GL Maritime, is the industry's future. To show how intelligent surveillance integration can make this future a reality, Synectics will be demonstrating its evolved command and control platform, Synergy 3, together with its DNV approved COEX camera stations, on stand 212 (Hall B8) at SMM Hamburg (9-12 September 2014).

Mark Withington, Business Development Manager – Marine, at Synectics said: “From tackling the threat of piracy, to navigating safe passage through arctic conditions and docking safely at port, the need to minimize risk and ensure crew safety has never been greater within the shipping industry.

“Tor Svenson is right to say that the deployment of integrated systems should be an industry goal and with today's surveillance technology, it is wholly achievable.”

For example, Synergy 3 enables data collation and analysis from multiple ship systems including surveillance cameras, radar, Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS). Pulling visual, audio and numerical data into a single command and control environment gives operators full and real-time situational awareness.

Combining data from radar, cameras and an AIS enables operators to identify any vessel approaching, know exactly how far away it is, and verify it against a database as either safe, or a potential threat. Through absolute positioning integration, both cooled and uncooled thermal cameras may be precisely positioned to make a visual assessment of detected threats at distances up to 10km away.

Mark continued: “On-ship awareness is just as critical as off-ship vigilance. For example, the James Clark Ross research ship uses its surveillance command and control platform to provide the bridge with real-time audio and visual information regarding the positions and activities of the deck crew, science team and testing equipment, while simultaneously detecting ice hazards to guarantee safe navigation.

Ice-class vessels like James Clark Ross are increasingly using radar and thermal camera integrations to discern differences in ice temperature to plot safe routes through hazardous sea conditions. This is freeing up shipping lanes that were previously impassable.

“Another interesting capability relates to piracy and crew safety”, said Mark. “It is possible for covert cameras to be deployed on ships so that, in the event of attack, they can relay footage of aggressors' movements to crew who may be taking refuge in a safe room or citadel. This intelligence can then be fed back to onshore security teams who can monitor the situation and plan an informed response.”

With any form of surveillance system integration on vessels, image quality is key. Advances in camera technology have ensured the shipping industry does not lag behind onshore industries in this respect. Synectics' latest range of COEX TriMode camera stations, for example, allows seamless switching between color, mono and thermal imaging at the touch of a button, to capture footage – day or night – through smoke, solar glare, ice, mist, torrential rain, fog or even complete darkness.

Mark concluded: “The show is a key opportunity for us to engage with marine industry professionals and demonstrate how integrated end-to-end surveillance solutions can deliver tangible safety and operational benefits for vessels, and keep both crew and cargo safe. The technology to help shipping operators achieve on-ship and onshore situational awareness through a ‘connected' approach is available now and we want to help the industry capitalize on that.”

Bosch to open new US distribution center in Spartanburg, S. Carolina

Bosch to open new US distribution center in Spartanburg, S. Carolina

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 8/6/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Bosch Security Systems, one of the  global suppliers of security, safety and communications products, solutions and services, plans to open a new distribution center in Spartanburg County. In addition to leasing a newly constructed building in Greer, S.C. and further investment in equipment, the company expects to create more than 50 new jobs over the next five years.

Bosch associates at the 150,000-square-foot facility, located at 140 Caliber Ridge Road in Greer, will distribute products to customers in North and South America and support light assembly for customer-specific projects. Bosch Security Systems' product portfolio includes video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire detection, access control and management systems, in addition to professional audio and conference systems. Operations are expected to begin in December 2014.

Bosch Security Systems employs more than 12,000 associates worldwide. The company is one of 360 subsidiaries and regional companies of the Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services that employs more than 4,000 associates among four facilities throughout South Carolina. The company will begin hiring for the new positions in fall 2014.

QUOTES
“We are pleased to open the first facility for Bosch Security Systems in South Carolina. With this investment, we will benefit from synergies with multiple Bosch facilities and transportation lanes in the state. We will meet the growing demands of our customers in North and South America with greater flexibility and efficiency, due in part to a constructive partnership with the state of South Carolina, S.C. Commerce, Spartanburg County and the S.C. Ports Authority.” -Christopher Gerace, regional president, Bosch Security Systems

“Bosch Security Systems is a welcome addition to our state's business community. Their decision to create more than 50 new jobs expands Bosch's footprint in our state and reinforces why South Carolina is a leader in logistics.” -Gov. Nikki Haley

“The Bosch Group is deeply engrained in South Carolina's economy, and we welcome yet another one of their esteemed divisions to the Palmetto State. Bosch Security Systems will fit perfectly here, and I look forward to their future growth and success.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

"The South Carolina Ports Authority looks forward to supporting the needs of Bosch Security Systems' new location in Spartanburg. Our strong port is one of South Carolina's key strategic assets, benefitting companies all across our state.” -Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority

“We are pleased to see The Bosch Group has chosen South Carolina for yet another major investment in our great state. Spartanburg County looks forward to working with Bosch Security Systems to ensure their growth and profitability continues in the Palmetto State.” -David Britt, chairman of the Economic Recruitment and Development Committee of Spartanburg County and member of the Economic Futures Group Board

“We are extremely pleased Bosch, a globally recognized company, is establishing a distribution operation in Spartanburg County and the City of Greer. We welcome them to our ever-growing list of international companies in Spartanburg County.” -Russ Weber, president of Integral Solutions Group and chairman of the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group Board of Directors

“It is my great pleasure to welcome Bosch to the City of Greer. With Bosch's announcement, Greer has truly been given a coveted opportunity to further grow and diversify our city. As one of South Carolina's fastest-growing cities, Greer is extremely grateful to Bosch for their commitment, and we look forward to the opportunity to provide a return on their investment.” -City of Greer Mayor Rick Danner

FIVE FAST FACTS
- Bosch Security Systems plans to open a new distribution center in Spartanburg County.
- The company is leasing a newly constructed building and expects to create more than 50 new jobs over the next five years.
- 150,000-square-foot facility, located at 140 Caliber Ridge Road in Greer, S.C.
- Bosch Security Systems is a subsidiary of the Bosch Group, which employs more than 4,000 associates among four facilities throughout South Carolina.
- Operations are expected to begin in December 2014 with hiring for the new positions starting in fall 2014.

Key components: Camera performance is set in silicon

Key components: Camera performance is set in silicon

Editor / Provider: Weili Lin, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 8/5/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Key components are a primary factor in determining the performance of electronic and digital devices. Smart home products—especially home security cameras—are no exception. A home security camera's performance is largely determined by its three pillars: image sensor, system on chip (SoC) and networking chips.

The image sensor converts light into electrical signals. Major suppliers of CMOS sensors include Aptina, Himax Imaging, OmniVision, PixArt and SONY. The SoC contains the CPU core, codec engine, DDR DRAM memory and peripheral controllers. Major players are Ambarella, Grain Media, Hisilicon, NXP , Service & Quality Technology (SQ), Sonix, TI and VATICS. The networking chip enables Ethernet, WiFi, and power line communication (PLC) connectivity. WiFi is a must-have communication protocol for home security cameras, and major WiFi chip suppliers include MediaTek, Realtek and Qualcomm Atheros.

Manufacturers carefully balance performance and cost to deliver compelling products for each market segment, as one size fits none when it comes to smart home products. These three components alone account for more than 50 percent of bill of material (BOM) costs. To provide better price performance ratios, chip suppliers are pouring significant R&D resources to incorporate more features onto the chip. Active Asian key component providers try to further differentiate their offerings by providing total solutions rather than mere components.

For this issue's Feature segment, we asked industry insiders to shed light on market and technology development trends for home security cameras.

Market Trends: Home camera market on the rise
With IT leaders Apple, Google, Samsung and Xiaomi battling to dominate the connected home battlefield, 2014 has truly turned out to be the year of the smart home. Camera component suppliers expect the home camera market to grow rapidly over the next few years. According to them, the home camera market will see even stronger momentum in 2015, driven by cable operators, cloud service providers, and telcos.

Growing interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home applications are also two motivating forces behind the growth. Besides, Hisilicon thinks the prevalence of mobile devices and 4G networks will play a significant role in the booming market. VATICS Director of Sales Marketing Joseph Wei believes that big cloud service players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft, along with cable operators and telcos, will be pivotal in driving demand for home camera. "Internet giants and system integrators will drive the global home camera market to grow at least 50 percent in both 2014 and 2015," said Alan Hsieh, VP of Sales of Grain Media. Grain Media projects its SoC shipments to double in 2014 and 2015.

Sonix Senior Manager Roger Huang believes that improved network infrastructures will boost the smart home market, including the home camera industry. “Also, the involvement of Chinese companies like Internet giant Baidu, video surveillance solutions provider Hikvision and the telcos will push forward the industry,“ he added.

SQ Sales Manager Arthur Lee said improvements in hardware manufacturing processes and software platforms are two more driving factors for industry growth and market adoption. More advanced chip manufacturing processes reduce hardware costs, while cloud-based infrastructures and platforms simplify product development and enhance user experience.

STAYING COMPETITIVE
Having the capacity to develop intellectual property (IP) is crucial for manufacturing cameras, since it helps reduce license fees and allows for more flexible product designs, which in turn helps lower costs and boost time-to-market.

IP has become in the tech world a powerful weapon to protect key differentiators and maintain competitiveness. Hisilicon offers solutions that combine its SoCs and SDKs,including self-designed IPs. Grain Media is backed by its parent company Faraday Technology, which specializes in IP and back-end integrated design services. VATICS boasts a self-designed core-IP, which powers its domain-specific optimizations and integration, resulting in better product differentiations and improved video quality.

As a latecomer to the home camera party, Huang believes Sonix benefits from a shorter learning curve, since the first movers have already smoothed out many obstacles. Second-mover advantages include lower R&D costs and faster product delivery with minimized efforts and investments.

Forging strategic partnership is another approach. Companies like Himax Imaging keeps close relationship with leading CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) foundries to ensure product quality; it also allows them to score tailor-made services like front-end integrated circuit (IC) engineering.

Purely providing hardware is no longer a competitive core competency, so it is vital to keep close relationship with downstream customers to offer a flexible platform and accelerate product development processes, Huang added. For example, Sonix's SN98600 embeds 64MB DDR memory to reduce design complexity of substrates and avoid the affects of price fl uctuations for DDR2 memory. In addition, the Sonix SDK Build Code Environment simplifies the originally complicated SDK setup and operation process, while the modular software structure enables customers to customize their software design and setup.

CATERING TO THE CUSTOMER
In response to increasing time-to-market and time-to-volume pressures and to reduce R&D expenditure, the demand for turkey solutions is on the rise.

Grain Media and Sonix both offer turnkey solutions. Turnkey hardware and software solutions help customers expedite product design and development. Grain Media set up a support team in Shenzhen, China to provide customers with real-time technical support and customization services. To differentiate from other turnkey solutions, flexibility and compatibility are imperative. Sonix said its SoCs support multiple interfaces and functions for flexible and tailor-made solutions, which stand out among the competition.

Flexible designs and services are also noteworthy for image sensors. For the price-sensitive market, Himax Imaging offers versatile solutions leveraged by the manufacturing and supply chain experiences it gained from making image sensors for laptop computers and mobile phones. In a sense, home surveillance IP cameras have become consumer electronic devices, said Antonio Tsai, Deputy Director of Marketing Division of Himax Imaging. “We see the trend of leveraging the sensors used in mobile device for better cost and performance value. We have customers using our 1/6-inch CMOS sensor instead of 1/4-inch one, which is 30 percent more expensive. For customers who require higher resolutions, we can offer the 1/4-inch 5 Megapixel and 1/3-inch 8 Megapixel sensors used in mobile phones. Customer can develop HD/FHD video cameras that are also capable of capturing 5M or 8M still images.”

China, Korea and Taiwan suppliers dominate home camera manufacturing. These suppliers, clustered in Asia, each have their own strengths and strategies. Hsieh of Grain Media indicated that Taiwanese and Korean companies emphasize on product stability, SDK and strong local supports; aside from a few top players, most Chinese customers prefer turnkey solutions that help reduce R&D costs and shorten production time. Lee of SQ noted that China and Taiwan suppliers require the latest product features, while Japan and Korea companies put more emphasis on quality and stability.

Technology Trends: Tighter budgets, tighter integration
Video compression algorithms and CPU performance highly affect the performance of a home network camera, but chipmakers are also focusing their efforts on developing energy-efficient, small-footprint, and easy-to-manufacture platforms. Asian key component providers indicate that cross-device support is another trend. Technical support and video compression rate are also two deciding factors for SoC procurement.

Product development in the smart home industry is leaning toward tighter integration on all levels. Tight integration between devices in a system, as well as on the components level, create a better user experience, lowers manufacturing costs and shortens development cycles. The consumer network camera industry is especially market-driven and price-sensitive, so platforms and solutions that are highly integrated and reduce time-to-market are in high demand.

To meet these demands, SoC suppliers integrate codec and DDR DRAM memory onto their chips to reduce size and cost. The adoption of System-in-Package (SiP) technology simplifies the PCB design process, and enables compact and lightweight cameras.

The smart home industry is currently divided by multiple factions and wireless communication standards. Chipmakers overcome this inconvenience by designing their solutions to be more flexible. For example, Grain Media preserves interfaces and provides a SDK API to allow customers to easily add wireless connectivity. In addition, Grain Media offers network camera SoCs with comprehensive ports for customers to connect to alarm and temperature sensors, as well as Bluetooth, WiFi or ZigBee chips. Hisilicon indicated that integrating the temperature sensor, POR, RTC and audio codec directly onto the chip contributes to considerable cost reduction of engineering bill of materials (EBOM).

In addition to interfaces, support for cloud platforms is also paramount. Currently, SoCs support different cloud platforms, including MyDlink, TUTK, Tricloud, Seedonk and Danale. Besides working with third-party companies to support cloud services, companies like Sonix and SQ also develop their own cloud platforms. Sonix builds its own platform for customers who are particularly concerned about security.

To ensure product stability, 40nm manufacturing processes and power management technology is widely used to reduce power consumption and operating temperatures for SoCs. Grain Media indicated that the design helps customers simplify thermal design, thus reducing design costs. Hisilicon thinks the SoCs manufactured by 40LP process is an effective power-saving solution. SoCs supporting voltage adjustment SVB and Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) technologies feature low power consumption.

CMOS image sensors edge out CCD counterparts with lower cost and lower power consumption. Containing all the logics needed for cameras, CMOS sensors enable a small form factor that the typical home network camera requires. 1/4-inch is the mainstream size for home security cameras. Integration can also be an important trend for CMOS image sensors. Himax Imaging offers a 1/4-inch 1.3-Megapixel SoC that combines the CMOS image sensor with an ISP.

 

QUALITY AND SUPPORTABILITY MATTER
For most home network camera makers, product stability and image quality matter more than cost. Stable wireless data transmission, low power consumption and noise reduction are highly emphasized.

Tony Ho, Marketing Manager at Mars Semiconductor, indicated that 2.4GHz FHSS features stronger anti-interference transmission and longer transmission distances than WiFi technology. However, ubiquitous support of WiFi by mobile devices has made the technology the de facto standard for wireless data transmission, which is a problem because WiFi chips are infamously power hungry. MediaTek recently released its MT7688 chip, a WiFi SoC that integrates MIPS24KEc/580MHz CPU, 256MB DDR1/2 RAM and AES128/256 encryption engine, enabling it to power more complicated and data-intensive smart home appliances like network cameras and home surveillance systems. The Linux-based WiFi SoC supports 802.11n, and the chipmaker claims the chip consumes just 60 percent of energy compared to its predecessor. The Linux-based design provides the SoC with a comprehensive protocol stack that allows rapid development of applications.

Low-light performance is important for a security camera and is decided by quality of the image sensor. However, some low-cost solutions do not perform well under low-light conditions and need to be compensated by LED bulbs. WDR can be a value-added feature for home security cameras. Himax Imaging boasts high performance in low-light conditions and is set to release in 2015 a new image senor that emphasizes WDR and low-light performance for both automotive and home security cameras.

Advanced manufacturing processes help improve quality, too. SiP packaging is used to reduce noise. For example, Grain Media uses SiP packaging to embed DDR DRAM memory that helps reduce noise. Also, its network camera SoC supports various CMOS image sensors with MIPI, HiSpi and sub-LVDS interfaces that help to increase energy efficiency and reduce noise.

BGA soldering is another widely used packaging method that simplifies system design and reduces the PCB size. Sonix Senior Manager Roger Huang says LQFP hand-soldering is another common manufacturing process.

Visual performance is also significant. To ensure stable ISP performance, Sonix built an internal lab to adjust for best performance under different scenes, such as low-light environments. The image processing algorithm is decisive for image quality; Hisilicon has a team that assesses the performance of video capture, encoding, decoding and display features for its solutions.

Huang added that both hardware and software improvements are important to maintain reliable product quality. Regarding software stability, Sonix utilizes Hudson Continuous Integration system as the auto-build system for Software Development Kit (SDK) testing.

H.265 TO PREVAIL IN 2017
High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265, delivers the same video quality of H.264, but consumes just half the bandwidth. Professional surveillance cameras will support it initially, but it will eventually trickle down to consumer-grade products in the coming years.

Despite the fact that no home camera makers plan to offer network cameras supporting H.265 this year, Asian chipmakers think it is only a matter of time before it becomes widely adopted; some new smartphones and tablets already tout H.265 support. For example, beginning this year, MTK will make smartphone and tablet SoCs that support the new video format. Hisilicon stated that the support by smart home end products and platforms is a major indicator for the new video format's pervasiveness. Alan Hsieh, VP of Sales of Grain Media, thinks home cameras will begin to support H.265 when 1080P becomes the standard resolution for smartphones and tablets; newer devices will need to support H.265 to reduce bandwidth consumption for such high resolutions. Hisilicon predicts the first home cameras supporting H.265 standard will be available in 2016 and become mainstream in 2017. SQ also agreed with this timeframe.

Georgia State University upgrades access control system with Tyco

Georgia State University upgrades access control system with Tyco

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 8/5/2014 | Article type: Education

Georgia State University (GSU) is centered in historic downtown Atlanta. Its urban surroundings provide approximately 32,000 students with a distinguished education, as well as access to the city's government, culture, and business organizations. The University is considered a commuter school with 61 percent of first-year students living on campus and 17 percent of all undergraduates living on campus.

Since 1913, the University has seen significant growth. GSU built its first student housing facility in 2007 and, since then, has continually built and expanded its student housing facilities to include five different locations and 9 buildings for more than 4,000 students.

Roderick Padilla, assistant director of IT services at GSU and a 23-year veteran employee of the University, recalls a time when access control was just keys. “Two decades ago, campus security was dramatically different,” Padilla said. “I remember when you would have keys out there and wouldn't know who had them or how many people had the masters, the sub-masters and the sub-sub-masters. But, of course, with better IT and physical security, things have come a long way.”

Today, GSU has the largest campus police department of any school in the state with more than 100 employees. The challenge for the University is securing its urban campus, where students, as well as strangers, can walk the grounds. Campus housing includes extensive surveillance equipment, turnstiles and gates to get into each facility, card readers in elevators to limit access to certain floors, and parking decks with readers and access gates. With a growing student population, an urban environment, and increased incidents of campus and school violence around the country, campus security is particularly important at Georgia State.

GSU has a diverse mix of student housing locations to secure, which encompasses a variety of newly built and purchased conversions. An 1,100-occupancy dormitory named Piedmont North, for example, was once back-to-back hotels built for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. A Greek housing area with multiple buildings was built in 2010, and its first and largest dormitory called University Commons, (which was once named the 3rd Most Luxurious dormitory in the country by The Fiscal Times) houses 2,000 students and is open year round.

Challenge
Though keys have not been the primary source of access control in GSU's housing facilities for some time, the University was looking to upgrade its existing access control system due to a number of issues, including lack of integration capabilities and product support.

“We really wanted to replace our proprietary system with an open source system--something that would work with all the cameras and other equipment we have,” said Padilla. An open platform was particularly important to Padilla, as he wanted to limit the amount of equipment that would need to be replaced. The IT Services Department oversees a security area worth about $1.7 million in assets for student housing, including turnstiles, gates, 50 DVRs, more than 720 cameras, 25 access control panels and 150 card readers.

Solution
Working with a Tyco Security Products sales representative and GSU's integrator of seven-plus years, LMI Systems, the department decided on Software House's C.CURE 9000 security and event management system. Because of its open platform design, most of the existing equipment the University had did not need to be replaced. The University could capitalize on its existing physical security and surveillance, as well as increase the capabilities of the system with better integration and features. Some controllers were easily upgraded using Software House's Legacy Controller Upgrade Kits, which allow legacy controllers to be updated to an iSTAR Edge controller, without replacing the existing wall mounts.

“One of the factors that made the decision easy for [GSU] was that their peripherals didn't have to change,” said Heath Hunt, vice president of technology operations at LMI Systems. “It's more cost-effective when you are talking about just head-end equipment and software changes.”

Aside from an access control solution that would work with the University's existing security equipment, GSU was looking for a solution with superior reporting capabilities. “The reporting is exactly what we wanted,” Padilla said. “I can go to an entry log for any access card and see the recent history for a particular card or user as well as who gave the person access to that card. I didn't have that ability before and it's exactly what we need.”

With multiple Hall Directors and other staff members that are able to create cards for student residents, reliable audit trails and reporting features are essential for the security staff. For example, if a Hall Director creates a new card for a student whose card was lost, but forgets to flag the previous card as lost, anyone walking around the campus could pick up the card and have access to areas they are not allowed. With C?CURE 9000, GSU security staff can run daily reports on any users with more than one active card and immediately deactivate the card, as well as find out who created the card without flagging the old one, and bring that to the necessary staff member's attention to correct the mistake in the future.

“Another benefit is if someone tries to use a flagged card, not only will the card not work, but the system tells us someone is trying to use the card,” Padilla said. The software's integration with GSU's surveillance equipment even gives GSU PD a visual on the person.

“We didn't have good integration between our access control and cameras before,” Padilla explained. “We really wanted this critical enhancement to be able to pull video with an access event. These are key issues because students lose their cards all the time and being in the city of Atlanta, this is an open campus. The safety and security of the students is of utmost importance,” he said. Receiving the surveillance video from an event allows for quick, informed responses from staff and police in a variety of scenarios and emergencies beyond a lost card, Padilla said.

Aside from the importance of the solution's capabilities, timing was a big factor for Georgia State University. GSU's IT Services Department began talking about a new access control solution in the spring and needed to be sure everything would be installed over the summer and fully operational before fall classes were back in session.

LMI Systems had the system ready to go within three weeks and spent the summer migrating each housing facility and working on any issues. “It was a seamless transition,” said Padilla. “We didn't have to replace the cards since they were all fully compatible with the new system. It was a matter of recreating the access rights and exporting all the data.”

GSU closed all of its student housing facilities over the summer, with the exception of its largest residence hall, University Commons. Summer access cards were pre-created with access rights and University Commons was on the new system immediately. The rest of the summer was spent focusing on the other buildings with minimal disruption, said Padilla.

Future
With the new access control system up and running at GSU, the University can now focus on the future. While the current system uses access control to enter the resident facilities, Padilla would like to expand card access to individual rooms as well, for the next dormitory the University builds.

In addition, at some point, GSU would like to move to a one-card system, according to Padilla. Currently, students have separate housing cards, library cards and vending/ID cards. “We're not quite ready to do that yet, and I don't know exactly how we will decide to do that, but the student housing solution has been successful, so maybe it will serve as that benchmark we need for the rest of the University,” Padilla added.

Proximex announces PSIM solution Surveillint Essentials for SMB

Proximex announces PSIM solution Surveillint Essentials for SMB

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 8/4/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Proximex, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco , the world's largest pure-play fire protection and security company, announces the introduction of Surveillint Essentials, an entry level physical security information management (PSIM) solution for those seeking the latest technology in an easy-to-use, quick-to-implement format.

Ideal for users looking for an introductory, yet true PSIM offering, Surveillint Essentials is designed for small- to mid-size environments with existing video, intrusion, access control and fire systems. Through an integration module configuration wizard, users can easily configure and deploy integrations with other security, safety and video surveillance systems. A simple install package allows the installation of the product within minutes.

“We recognize that customers are seeking ways to improve their situational awareness and response time by consolidating multiple systems, yet they may not be ready to invest in the full PSIM enterprise solution,” said Chatura Liyanage, Group Product Manager for Proximex. “Surveillint Essentials is the bridge to start on that journey with a low cost, easy to deploy, easy to use package that allows them to leverage their existing security technology.”

Built on the Proximex Surveillint Enterprise Product, Surveillint Essentials can be upgraded to the full enterprise PSIM solution when needed without having to completely reconfigure the system, so that your existing investments are not wasted.

With Surveillint Essentials, sites enjoy improved operational efficiency with a solution that combines key security systems into a single operator console. The intuitive user interface enables operators to visualize various resources including sensor and alarm locations, access live and recorded video and execute sensor commands directly from hierarchical maps.

Surveillint Essentials also provides comprehensive video management capabilities, allowing users to view live and recorded video from multiple systems through a single interface, take video snapshots, generate video incident report packages, and configure video guard tours.

Incident assessment and response is improved with Surveillint Essentials because operators only see the relevant details from multiple sensors when an alarm is sounded. From there, they can hone in on the important factors such as alarm details and contextual information while recording operator notes and producing incident reports.

Surveillint Essentials will also be a valuable addition to integrators to offer a higher value proposition to their customers. With a solution that is easy to configure and deploy, and with out-of-the-box integrations available to the leading security systems, Surveillint Essentials complements integrators' existing line cards while providing them with new product revenue opportunities. It also provides integrators and others with the flexibility to develop their own unique solutions based on the Surveillint open integration platform.

Australia's security industry

Australia's security industry

Editor / Provider: STEVE CHIN, a&s Asia | Updated: 8/4/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

In recent times, Australia has developed into a premiere market for the security industry, with both production and manufacturing at new highs. We take a deeper look into the Outback and examine why Australia is such a major player in this industry now.

Australia may be better known for kangaroos, koalas, and deadly animals, but it is actually considered a fully developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, possessing the world's 12th-largest economy. As of 2013, Australia also had the world's fifth-highest per capita income and the second-highest human development index. It also ranks in the top 10 in many global international comparisons: quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Indeed, it has come a long way since the days of being a colonized penal colony.

These days, Australia possesses not just a strong technological industry as a whole, but researchers are also predicting continued growth in the Australian region in its security industry as well. Backed up by the fact that the country is arguably the second strongest market in the APAC region after China, Australia is a country that commands respect. Indeed, according to Rocco Palladino, National Sales Manager — Australia and New Zealand for Pacom Systems, “the Australian electronic security industry has continued to steadily develop and increase since 2011. We estimate that the market has grown approximately 2 to 3 percent on average every year since 2011.” However, growth is still relatively slow and stagnant in terms of market figures, especially when compared to other countries in the APAC region, like China and India. Some factors that can be attributed to this stagnant growth include a lack of a well-established infrastructure as well as a highly tech-savvy industry that puts high demands on value from technology.

In point of fact, when looking deeper into Australia's security industry, there are other signs that it has slowed down in terms of growth in the last few years. Because of recent issues regarding the Nationwide Broadband Network (NBN), some controversy has resulted in many security solutionsproviders being affected by its slowdowns in development. Coupled together with the fact that there just is not enough readily available, widespread bandwidth yet — especially outside of major cities, it further complicates the issue when Australia as a whole is trying to faster facilitate the transfer to full digital solutions.

SLOWER THAN EXPECTED IP ROLLOUT
IP infrastructure and a resulting slow adoption of IP-related products. Indeed, analog was still the leader by a significant margin, and the IP infrastructure was slow to develop and catch up to market demands. While by no means fully developed or ready, the IP infrastructure has still made significant leaps and bounds. However, looking at issues like the NBN that was rolled out in Australia in 2011, it's easy to understand why the country is both ambitious but still facing numerous hurdles to cross.

According to a 2014 report published by the Australian government, there are over 1.6 million premises across Australia that either have no access to fixed broadband or very poor quality broadband connectivity. The NBN aims to rectify this. At its core, the NBN is an enormous, large-scale project that is still under development in Australia with rollouts already happening in several trial locations. In practice, it is a national, wholesale-only, open-access data network that is in both fixed line and wireless forms. However, from the beginning, the NBN has been plagued by numerous construction issues and a too overtly ambitious goal. With that said, it is easy to see the numerous hurdles that the NBN still has to overcome. With a cost of nearly US$29 billion, all in public funding needed to tie over construction to 2019, the build cost has also been a huge point in debate. Nevertheless, the NBN still aims to reach approximately 22 percent of all premises in Australia by 2021(which is a huge drop-off).

According to a 2014 report, there are over 1.6 million premises across Australia that still have poor bandwidth access.

The reality, though, is that Australia, like almost all the rest of the major players in the industry, has already begun a gradual adoption of IP and the slow phase-out of analog systems. Australia has come a long way in these three to four years. As Nathan Walters, Sales Engineer for RhinoCo Technology put it, “A few years ago, IP was still a non-starter due to lack of knowledge and experience by integrators. But thanks to numerous companies providing training, there has been an increased uptake. Now, people not only realize the increased benefits of IP over analog, they see it as future proof technology.” He also said that there is evidence of this by the sales of IP equipment rapidly taking over those of analog.

SOLUTIONS TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
As the Australian security industry looks into the next few years, so too does security solution providers and how they must observe and react to the various changes coming to the country. Of key importance is to keep a continual eye on the status of future NBN rollouts. As was stated before, reactions and feelings towards it have been lukewarm at best, if not outright against it. Furthermore, when it comes to solution providers, some key points to highlight in order to stay in the game are the changes regarding integration and unification across all solutions platforms. As Kobi Ben-Shabat, Founder and MD for OPS explained, “the ability to integrate between multiple systems, video, access controls, license plate recognitions, intruder alarms, and intercoms into a single vendor or a single platform is the trend today.” Another way to look at it would be because of the NBN fiasco, security solutions providers have had to look at other ways to be competitive and stay afloat. By unifying systems into a single platform, it is a way to battle costs and simplicity.

One buzzword floating around is the surge in PSIM solutions. Ben-Shabat elaborated, “we also see the beginning of a demand for PSIM solutions. The rise of the ability to provide single management tools either to the operator or to senior management attractive from customer standpoints. If I was to look towards two, three years, I would see PSIM solutions.” Palladino also same feeling, “another term starting to secure a position in the market is PSIM, although this appears to originate from video management system manufacturers moving into the alarm and access control areas.”

The future of Australia's security industry hinges in a large part on the future of the IP infrastructure.

GOVERNMENT STIMULATION AND HIGH-END SOLUTIONS
While there are usually a number of government stimulus packages that exist in a lot of countries around the world, things have relatively quiet on the Australian front. The one key stimulus to point out is the nationwide rollout of city-wide, street surveillance packages. With the Australian government promising a contribution of $50 million coupled together with local grants from state governments, it is obvious the government has taken notice of the issue of better security and better surveillance. One result to this fairly lackadaisical approach to security is a lack of market for high-end security solutions. Traditionally, a big market for solutions like video analytics, facial recognition, and smart security has always laid in government. However, it is not entirely accurate to state that no market exists either. As Ben-Shabat put it, “I think video analytics when it comes to solutions like facial recognition, the application is mainly at the government level, or when looking at prevention, in retail. The cost requirement is still a factor, when the cost is right, they will accept. I believe it still needs to be more cost efficient and reliable to be successful.” Another direction that high-end security solutions points at lies in retail solutions, in both SMBs and franchises. Again, the cost issue is a big factor, but there exists a market.

Unfortunately, “too many people advertise and supply analytics (or smart security), but unless you are in defense, or perhaps customs, then you really need to ask if you are really able to use it. It is an easy way to differentiate larger more expensive solutions. It is truly something that is requested more than it is used in application,” said Walters.


THE NEXT FEW YEARS

As we look into the next few years, the overall picture of Australia looks to be good. The single, biggest factor in the security industry is definitely reliant on the NBN rollout and how far it can reach.

Palladino put it as, “progress continues with the NBN and this will definitely impact the Australian market, as their rollout progresses. Faster, cheaper communications to more parts of Australia should give rise to more business opportunities for security solutions providers.” Walter also added, “the NBN progressing as quickly as possible will help, and will help ideally fund further R&D innovation in all of Australia.”

Other things to look forward to include the idea of open platforms. As we add in the inclusion of cloud, Australia should also look forwards to more unification across all platforms.

As the IP infrastructure continues to improve, cloud should become far more utilized as the digital world continues to impact the industry. Overall, the future looks bright, so long as the technological advancements don't pull the innovations down and the infrastructure improves.

Growing Potential of HD-over-coaxial Solutions
Another key point to zero in on is the fact that analog is really on its way out the door, albeit slower than people expected. Nathan Walters, Sales Engineer for RhinoCo Technology explained, “Analog TV has recently been turned off in Australia so more and more consumers have had to become familiar with HD, and they have begun to look for this as an essential part of their security solutions.” As a result, one more key area of focus would lie in HD CCTV. As Walters pointed out, CCTV has had a good track record in catching offenders. From a transition point of view, HD-over-coaxial solutions are another great interim technology to look at as solutions providers transition into the digital age. He further explained, “more importantly, it can take existing systems over to HD without replacing the existing analog infrastructure. We expect that as more consumers experience this, they will eventually demand it on future solutions and this will itself ultimately drive the roll out into newer IP systems and continue to drive the security industry itself.”

MOBOTIX system deployed in Gainsborough Academy

MOBOTIX system deployed in Gainsborough Academy

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 8/1/2014 | Article type: Education

The Gainsborough Academy – previously known as Trent Valley Academy – opened in September of 2008 as a mainstream school created by the merger of two existing secondary schools and the creation of a brand new purpose built facility in Corringham Road, Gainsborough. The Academy has two areas of specialism – Performing Arts and Technology, both of which are exceptionally well-resourced.

The Academy's facilities include its own purpose-built Theatre, a TV and radio station, a suite of Apple Mac computers, and CADCAM design equipment facilities which are used for the benefit of all students and also to enable work with the local community.

In 2009, The Gainsborough Academy opened its main four storeys, 15000 square metre building set at the heart of the 12 hectare site. The purpose built facility is attended by just over 1000 pupils, staff and guests each day and is a US $59 (£35 million) project.

Although a magnificent learning environment, when Andy Smith was appointed as Facilities Manager to the Academy in 2009, he felt that there were some clear deficiencies in the site security arrangements, especially around the prevention of anti-social behaviour with the aim of protecting both pupils and staff.

The existing 6 Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) analogue cameras offered poor quality images and covered very little of the active parts of the campus. The requirement to manually shift viewpoints also required a skilled and constantly alert operator which did not fit well within a school environment.

So Smith approached Proxis, a highly regarded security specialist that had successfully installed effective CCTV solutions at several leading schools including Minsthorpe Community College and Bingley Grammar School. Following a detailed risk assessment and site survey, it was decided that an initial 12 MOBOTIX cameras would provide base line security covering high traffic areas within the campus. The initial installation would also allow senior Academy managers to understand the capabilities of a mega-pixel and in some cases fully hemispheric camera with the ability to cover an entire room with just a single ceiling mounted, 360 degree “fish eye” lens.

Decentralised Technology Simplifies Management
MOBOTIX is the pioneer of a decentralised approach to CCTV which simplifies installation and operational considerations while improving overall security and reliability. In this decentralisation architecture, all image processing, recording logic and decisions are made in the camera itself. This is in complete contrast to most other CCTV systems, where the camera typically has no real intelligence and relies on decision making and image video within the device and only needs to send video to a central repository at the discretion of the operator, building owners no longer require an expensive and complex monitoring station or dedicated wiring across the site. The installation proved an unobtrusive but eff ective method of monitoring a wider area with both video and sound to help create a safer environment. All video is accessible quickly using the MOBOTIX Control Centre software from any authorised PC within the school, while footage is held securely indexed on fully redundant NAS servers for an extended period of time.

The initial pilot project was welcomed and quickly expanded to an additional 14 cameras to cover the inside of the school in corridors, lunchroom, locker and recreation areas. “The installation of MOBOTIX was a light bulb moment for many of the senior staff ,” explains Smith, “Many hadn't realised what can be achieved with a static camera and how few are needed to cover a large area.” “Members of staff dealing with disciplinary matters were highly impressed with the system and once a few incidents had occurred, which were successfully dealt with due to the evidence provided by the MOBOTIX system, word got out amongst the students and discipline improved greatly,” says Smith.

Total Coverage with Fewer Cameras
In total, 99% of the site is monitored by 47 discreet MOBOTIX CCTV systems which blend into the décor as devices similar to smoke detectors. In the last few years, the Academy has upgraded its external cameras to MOBOTIX giving it full visibility over car park areas down to the ability to recognise individual car registration numbers. Smith believes that the school which has few instances of bullying, vandalism or aggressive behaviour is able to act far more eff ectively to any incident with the backing of high quality CCTV images.

Smith highlights the use of the Q24 hemispheric camera within the Academy, “For example, with these cameras installed in a locker area, we can ensure that there is nowhere any one can hide and it does prevent bullying. To look back at an incident the user can then zoom in and navigate around the room seeing everything.”

The reliability of the MOBOTIX solution, which uses no moving parts, has meant the Academy has suffered no CCTV failures over the last four years. “The project has been a tremendous success for us,” says Smith, “While Proxis has delivered on time and to budget with their normal level of professionalism and expertise that has allowed us to do more with far fewer cameras than was ever thought possible,” Smith concludes.

IDIS integrates DirectIP with SureView Immix CS/CC

IDIS integrates DirectIP with SureView Immix CS/CC

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 8/1/2014 | Article type: Security 50

IDIS has announced the completion of integration between its total surveillance offering, DirectIP and SureView's Immix CS/CC video centric alarm monitoring platform, which correlates and manages unlimited video and other security systems alarms into a single unified platform.

IDIS customers can now harness the power and high-performance DirectIP surveillance through their partner alarm receiving centres, central stations or in-house command centres.

The integration enables essential DirectIP video surveillance features from the Immix platform, including live view with multi-layout, playback, two-way audio with remote alarm notification and instant video verification

Brian Song, Managing Director, IDIS Europe, commented, “We are committed to ensuring DirectIP customers realise industry-leading performance together with a low cost of ownership. The integration with Immix achieves this by allowing for a more cost effective and streamlined approach to managing and monitoring multiple security alarms through one user interface.

“In addition, with the Immix platform deploying across an increasing number of alarm receiving and remote monitoring centres, customers can now migrate to DirectIP surveillance and benefit from industry-leading HD quality video in the control room.”

Chris Eckersley, Sales Director at SureView, added, “The integration with DirectIP demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers the most innovative and powerful technologies in the market. DirectIP offers industry-leading full-HD performance delivering tangible benefits to a wide range of businesses.”

IDIS offers DirectIP as an end-to-end solution, comprising a range of cameras, monitors, NVRs and comprehensive video management software. DirectIP delivers unrivalled plug-and-play simplicity, combined with highest-quality performance and industry-leading pricing levels.

Axis safeguards Singapore Polytechnic's School DMIT

Axis safeguards Singapore Polytechnic's School DMIT

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 7/31/2014 | Article type: Education

The School of Digital Media and Infocomm Technology (DMIT) at Singapore Polytechnic, one of Singapore's most prestigious tertiary education providers, has been in operation since 1980. The School aims to play an important role in the expanding digital ecosystem, by being a strong source of talent for the IDM (Interactive Digital Media) and ICT industries. To prepare students for the digital world, DMIT nurtures and develops students using a variety of channels such as innovative teaching approaches, inspiring learning spaces, immersive experiences, multidisciplinary projects and leadership training programs.

Since DMIT is so focused on developing Singapore's next generation of computer experts, many of its teaching rooms house the latest, state-of-the-art technology. For example, students working towards a Diploma in Infocomm Security Management are trained in a Cyber War Game Center to help build their skills in effective teamwork, resourcefulness and working under pressure.

In addition to this game development centre, DMIT has a motion capture studio, a music and audio production suite and a visual effects studio which make up just some of the high-tech facilities housed within the DMIT. On top of this, the school is home to about 950 Windows and Mac workstations and the associated peripherals.

With such a significant level of investment in technology, it is critical that the school is secure at all times, not just to protect the assets of DMIT but also to ensure the safety of all staff and students working in the school with such high-value equipment.

Solution
DMIT enlisted the help of Seng Joo Hardware to develop a security solution to protect its key assets. One of Seng Joo's key recommendations was switching the School's surveillance cameras from its legacy analog CCTV cameras to an IP network-based surveillance solution. A digital security solution was befitting of a school with a reputation for being ahead of the curve digitally and technically.

After a thorough review of the school, the best camera locations were identified and a combination of AXIS P3344 and AXIS M3114-R Network Cameras were installed throughout the School's premises and teaching rooms. The Axis cameras were installed in high traffic areas, as well as in those areas which are likely to generate significant interest from thieves. DMIT covers a significant amount of ground with three blocks, and three to four levels. However, the Axis cameras are all Power over Ethernet, which means that a separate power source is not required, greatly simplifying the installation process.

DMIT is using AXIS Camera Station software to manage the footage gathered by the Axis cameras. This software program is a comprehensive video management tool which makes monitoring, recording and playback simple and easy to do on any PC. The installation of this system allows facilitators and admin staff with no IT training to manipulate the cameras as they wish. The School has also installed Axis illuminators to provide the cameras with enough light to provide a meaningful image.

Result
With the solution in place, the School can now monitor key areas, especially in some of the more technological advanced labs with the utmost accuracy and clarity. The greatest benefit of this particular system is the ability to view a clear picture from anywhere in the world, providing there is an internet connection. This gives administrators the peace of mind that their School is only a couple of clicks away, no matter where in the world they actually are.

Another benefit of the solution to DMIT is its ease-ofuse. The installation is truly a turnkey solution. Only the most basic training was required for the staff involved in the installation and maintenance of the solution. Other staff members who have the authority and necessity to view the footage are also able to do so without any in-depth training or instruction, thanks to the AXIS Camera Station software.

Another string in the bow of the Axis camera solution, and of IP surveillance technology in general is the simple maintenance from a technical point of view. With the legacy analog solution, DMIT needed to ensure there was enough space for tape to store the footage that was constantly being saved. With the IP surveillance system, the footage is stored digitally, either to hard drives on premise, locally on the cameras themselves, (Axis cameras are equipped with an SD card slot for local storage), or in the cloud.

The Axis installations have proven successful in that they have been a deterrent for would-be thieves and vandals. The cameras provide live and recorded images of the campus' hotspots and have been successful in preventing and identifying any would-be criminal activity. There has been a noticeable increase in confidence that security requirements at DMIT will be met as a direct result of this solution which has in turn boosted the School's reputation.

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