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Chinese Security Gains Momentum from Government Mandates

Chinese Security Gains Momentum from Government Mandates

Editor / Provider: a&s CHINA | Updated: 8/23/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

China's 12th and most recent five-year plan involves significant investment in security. Several local experts discuss the government's mandates on R&D, health care and green practices.

The latest five-year plan for China is heralded as a turning point for security. “China has become an emerging market with rapid economic development , ” said Hu Jintao, President of China, in a prepared statement. “Security has played a pivotal role in maintaining order in society and continues to be a pressing need . ”Chinesese curity will benefit from continued government funding.

With the previous five-year plan focusing on Safe City efforts, technologies such as HD, mobile devices, intelligent video and networking have mushroomed within the industry. Video verification integrating video surveillance and intrusion alarms have become standard for Chinese police forces. Traditional law enforcement approaches are integrated or combined for better management and response. The five-year plan is expected to be the catalyst for continued growth in traditional security devices and a boom for newer technical advances.

Safe City programs will marry physical security and law enforcement agencies for deeper cooperation. Cities will combine more services in different verticals, such as health care, environmental awareness, education, traffic and communities. These synergies will give birth to a wave of security newcomers.

Intelligent surveillance will improve from previous on-site analysis to wide-area coverage, which will take place in the next five to 10 years. Virtualization and network developments are underway, as cloud storage and computing will affect how city surveillance operates. Efficiency will be enhanced far beyond what traditional security systems can deliver.

The next five years will turn over a new leaf for technology. Traditional security players will have to collaborate with multiple suppliers from other fields. Companies in telecommunications, information technology and city management will play a greater role in security. The five-year plan specifically states it will promote the integration of IT and industrialization. This will accelerate partnerships between city authorities, IT suppliers and industrial vendors. It is time for enterprises to plan strategically for the future.

The Chinese intrusion alarm market has experienced growth for the past 20 years. It is estimated that 2,600 alarm suppliers were operating at the end of 2010 and 1 million users current deploy alarm monitoring services. The largest users of alarm services are government agencies and enterprises. Retail is witnessing the highest growth, while the residential market needs more time for education and further development. Chinese society is facing more uncertainties, resulting in greater risks and more opportunities for security. Video verification integrates video and alarms in a practical fashion, saving manpower and resources.

China's population is aging rapidly, with the number of individuals older than 60 years old expected to reach 216 million by 2015, representing 16.7 percent of the population. Caretakers will need to be prepared for the aging population, with government funds allocated specifically for senior health care in the 12th five-year plan.

Remote health care solutions for senior citizens at home are becoming more common. Caretakers can interact with patients and monitor their activities remotely through e-mail alerts. If patients forget to take prescribed medications or experience drastic changes in their vital signs, caretakers can communicate with them for more timely and interactive health care.

The potential market in elder care is enormous, providing new opportunities for security makers. Designing application-specific solutions such as home health or nursing home monitoring is the first step.


China's 12th five-year plan has specifically listed green living as a target. Establishing low-carbon emissions and following sustainable practices for production, logistics, consumption and construction will be an emphasis in the years to come.

The five-year plan benefits many industries. For example, traffic and safety management has been strengthened. This has increased networking, with emergency response to natural disasters offering more opportunities to develop security businesses. For first responders, it is an important task to collect on-site images and transmit them to the central control center in a timely fashion. Real-time responses can provide more information for a smarter response. This eliminates wasted expense from unnecessary or redundant actions.

Since security production is part of electronics manufacturing, electrical power supply is a concern for suppliers. Manufacturers can reduce their carbon footprint by considering product design, system installation, project construction or security service. Some measures include: 
1. Optimizing production.
2. Decreasing product power consumption
3. Industrial design
4. Efficient system operation
5. System maintenance
However, security remains the top priority; saving power is important but not as crucial as keeping people safe. A security solution should fulfill its purposes and functions, but strive to use the minimal amount of energy with optimal products.

The task to maximize energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions is a key development for security. A revised security mandate will require more efficient power for electronic security systems, covering green security products. The combination of security and sustainability needs to take root quickly for the benefit of the security industry.

The Chinese security market was estimated to be worth US$36 billion in 2010. Of this amount, at least $1.1 billion came from security services, which accounts for roughly 3 percent. It is expected that projects from the 12th five-year plan will make up at least 20 percent of security spending. Should this prediction come true, the security market is set to take off in the years to come.

Security in China has benefited from several mandates, including ones that regulate manned services and alarm monitoring. This improves industry operation, as government oversight drives security implementation. Clear policies for upholding safety provide good opportunities for Chinese service providers. Security service companies must comply with the government's regulations for protection and personnel guarding. Such companies must register as security service suppliers to operate. Their services will stem from traditional guarding of VIPs to security checks and technical services. The convergence of technical and personnel protection satisfies multiple needs and expands business opportunities.

Managed services and maintenance contracts have been important for security service providers. The Safe City initiative launched in 2004 has established projects in many cities, utilizing alarm verification and networking. To have effective system operation, professional system management and regular maintenance are crucial. More Safe City deployments will accelerate the development of continued maintenance and managed services.

Densely populated locations require high security, such as government facilities, media outlets, key transportation hubs and financial institutions. In order to work more effectively and efficiently, networked security solutions should be in place. Security service providers will be essential for system installation, daily operation and continued maintenance, stimulating public security.

As living standards improve for Chinese residents, they will require greater protection of financial and personal assets. China's vast population boasts more than 1 billion citizens, 1.9 billion vehicles and 300 million commercial businesses in 639 cities. However, alarm monitoring services are used by a small fraction of these homeowners and businesses, leaving ample opportunities. Widespread adoption of 3-G has eased bottlenecks in transmission, enabling uptake of networked security solutions.

Security services are expected to see strong growth due to government mandates and market demand. Service operations will drive the security industry, resulting in better use of resources, lower costs and streamlined business practices.


With the five - year plan underway, Chinese security vendors have adjusted their business strategies to maximize business opportunities. However, where is the whole industry headed? The five-year plan offers many constructive policies, such as expanding marketing development and applications.

For the past 10 years, the security industry has migrated from general applications to highly specific solutions tailored to different verticals. Enhancing domestic security standards will improve the industry as a whole, as well as make China competitive internationally.

Another part of the plan addresses improving corporate management for orderly market development. The rapid boom in the security industry has resulted in some malicious business practices. Corrupt bidding, cutthroat competition and lack of objective consulting will hurt industry development. Regulating the market with firm management will stimulate healthy market growth.

It is common for security suppliers to face vigorous competition for public projects. Government applications will still be the major driver for security. Therefore, security providers with expertise on large projects will have an edge in winning bids. Software providers who have actual integration experience and can customize solutions to specific verticals will meet customer needs and be greatly in demand.

Security giants from around the world have flocked to China for its limitless opportunities. Many domestic IT vendors have entered physical security, which will raise the bar for security but also increase competition. Savvy security companies will have to handle tremendous pressure from the competition, while leveraging their unique strengths to make the most of every opportunity.

Security A Top Priority-for Mexican Government and Businesses

Security A Top Priority-for Mexican Government and Businesses

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 8/16/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

The world's 12th largest economy and the second largest Latin American market for security electronics, Mexico boasts great potential due to its ongoing internal security threats, government initiatives and business investments. No stranger to high-end products and services, the country is, in many ways, just one step behind its largest neighbor and is facing and quickly adapting to its own growing pains. a&s explores how the locals have not only survived but thrived in this highly competitive and versatile market.

Before Brazil was elected as the host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Mexico was the biggest security market in Latin America for a number of reasons: ongoing drug wars, its proximity to the U.S., close ties to the other Latin American nations, free trade, and nonstop government and business investments.

Industry consensus pegs the Mexican security equipment (and software) market at between US$160 to $220 million. Pelco's estimation of the video equipment (and software) portion is around $100 million, said Alejandro Rodríguez, Partners Sales Manager for Buildings Business, Schneider Electric. “The high-end segment accounts for roughly 40 percent.”

Axis Communications agreed with the estimated figure on video. “In terms of technology adoption, Mexico is a mature market,” said Fernando Esteban, Country Manager and Area Manager for Central America and the Caribbean. “For us, IP video has been growing at more than 40 percent per year for the past five years. For projects involving 50 cameras or more, the technology leap is incredible as end users directly go for the latest.”

For companies focusing more on the mid-to-low end, the aftereffects of the 2008/2009 financial crisis were long gone by the end of 2010. “We experienced more than 30 percent of growth last year,” said Daniel Hernández, Security Sales Manager at Syscom, one of the largest distributors in the country. “And the first quarter — traditionally the quietest one throughout the year — of this year saw a growth rate of 24 percent, with the second half of this year looking to grow exponentially because of a number of large projects.”

Sermax, another major local distributor with a strong IT background, had a slightly higher estimate on the video market. “It should be around $120 million. The IP/analog split will change from 30/70 to 50/50 this year, at least in our own sales,” said Ruth Lozano, President.

Key market drivers include legal, psychological and economic ones. “Mexico follows in the footsteps of the U.S.,” said Jesús Fierro, Business Development Manager at Bosch Security Systems. “New rules, regulations and legislations are always surfacing, and that means constant changes in technologies and applications; so, people here are always learning new things.

Psychologically, fear drives the security business; unfortunately, serious crime is rampant in most parts of this region, including Mexico. Economically, Mexico has signed a number of bilateral trade agreements with many countries over the last decade; 95 percent of security imports are duty-free.”

Top verticals include government (city surveillance and transportation), health care, industrial and retail. “The industrial zone in Monterrey and border areas in the north have really boomed,” Esteban said. “Corporations with scattered sites, SMBs and retail outlets are notably on the rebound as well, with fiber to the home/business becoming more mature and prevalent.”

Critical infrastructure projects such as airports, utilities, energy, prisons and city surveillance are high on Bosch's list. “Oil and gas facilities, such as mobile offshore production units and gas stations, commercial buildings, financial institutions, retail stores and gated residential units are also our target areas,” Fierro said.

With its largest Latin American operation in Mexico, Anixter focuses on system integrators and installers in the hospitality, financial and retail industries. “Unfortunately, security and drug problems have long plagued this country,” said Andrés Macías, Marketing Manager. “Products with warranties and added value go a very long way, and we also provide presales engineering, financial support and complete logistics.”

For Genetec, some of its largest projects take place in the region. “For example, we help one of the top retailers in the country manage close to 15,000 cameras across 2,500 stores,” said Abelardo Tous-Mulkay, Sales and Business Development Manager for Latin America and Caribbean. “The retail sector is price-sensitive and loss-sensitive — it is a ‘cents' business! So, it is about more than just surveillance; video streams can help with asset management and merchandising decisions. We are also involved in a myriad of public safety, transportation (including intelligent transportation systems and ports), correctional facilities, gaming and industrial/enterprise projects.”

Business between analog and IP is already at 50/50 for Magocad, one of the top five distributors in the country. “At the high-end, we help our clients make projects in the banking, retail and industrial sectors,” said Guillermo Hernández, Key Account Manager. “At the low end, residential units and apartments account for about 30 percent of our business.”

Following closely behind Pelco in market share, Samsung Techwin is doing particularly well in government, health care, banking, oil/gas and retail. “Compared to the U.S., which is brownfield, Latin America is greenfield as 60 to 75 percent of new projects go for IP directly,” said Pedro Duarte, VP of Sales and Business Development for Latin America. “This translates to a regional surveillance market of $300 million. We are expecting to grow at least 16 percent per year until 2016, and having our own technology to be innovative really helps. While living with the market and providing what it requires, we find end users much more educated and comfortable with new features these days.”

Despite unpredictability and instability in world and Mexican economies, Inalarm — another top-rank distributor — has made considerable strides in all the verticals mentioned above. “Innovation, brand name, installed base and warranty can really set players apart,” said Ricardo Guzmán, Sales Director.

Aside from free trade with the U.S., which makes imports effortless, the proximity also simplifies support and troubleshooting. “Latin Americans hate to read, so having product literature and software interfaces in Spanish is not enough,” said Manuel Hernández, Sales Director for South America and the Caribbean, Lanier Representation Group (LRG). “Face-to-face meetings and handshakes are still very much required, which also help increase the comfort level of your clients in the products and services you provide.”


Quick IP adoption does not mean analog becomes obsolete overnight. “We need five to seven more years before IP sales outweigh analog ones,“ Esteban said.

“For example, we have so many different models, with prices ranging from $180 to $7,000, so education, training, and after-sales consultations and services become essential and differentiating factors.” Trust could be broken if distribution and integration partners cannot do a great job.

Lozano indicated that most of the solution providers within the market have been offering training and education in IP-based technologies to installers and end users for the last two to three years. “They have the knowledge, but not the confidence.” Sermex also restructured its sales force to have engineers, instead of salespeople, on the ground. “Local support is now a minimum requirement; on-site system design and engineering support will ensure IP does not get a bad name and eradicate bad experiences,” Lozano said. When it comes to IP, Macías could not agree more that there is definitely more that can and should be done. “Even in new projects, analog devices are still specified more, but I predict it will be very different in two to three years as IT managers get more involved and establish trust with certain solution providers.” Anixter is also working with and training more than 1,000 integrators and installers nationwide. “With IP, even power, bandwidth and software issues get magnified and become ever so important. Despite our efforts, some contractors remain very old-school; we need to explain value propositions more to persuade them to convert to new solutions,” Macías said.

To put it more simply, “if you don't do IP, you die,” warned Hernández of LRG. “But education at this point can be quite challenging if your audience doesn't know anything about networking.” When certain government bodies and state enterprises are rewarded for deploying Chinese products which sometimes lack the reliability and support required in security, the job becomes even harder.

There is, however, still a lot of room for growth and improvement in the country's network infrastructure.

“Corporate users are still paying $100 a month for an average upload speed of 128 kilobits per second,” said Alberto Treviio, IT Technical Support Adviser at Empretel.

Customer needs have also become quite varied, requiring solution providers to stock more which increases risk in return. “At the high end, IP market share has grown from 5 percent to more than 10 percent since 2008; at the opposite end, requests for budget offerings have also increased quite notably. Distributors and resellers need to transform quickly to one-stop shops, while offering quality service and support for free,” said Hernández of Syscom. His company has reserved TV commercials this year to target potential clients in the SMB and residential sectors.

Duarte also noted the phenomenon of surveillance cameras becoming commodities. “There is an average drop of 4 percent in pricing per year, so solution providers really need to differentiate themselves in terms of competitive pricing models, quality products and all-around technical support.”

“We have to be very demanding of our system integrators,” Tous-Mulkay said. “We are working on specializing and regionalizing their areas of expertise while working with more than 60 technology partners, so continuous training and certifications are vital in developing their knowledge base.” He feels a lack of credible market research and data can also make business development challenging.

For Magocad, a major challenge is juggling with new hardware and software companies all the time while maintaining annual growth rates of 50 percent or more. “That's why we provide five to six training sessions per month, both in house and on-site, to help our dealers, integrators and installers to always stay on top,” Hernández said.


“Our motto in this region is ‘anything is possible,'” Tous-Mulkay said. “Five years ago, IP was never going to fly, and look where it is today. We are getting so many requests that we have to streamline a few of our business plans.”

LG Electronics' new distribution partner, GVI Security, echoed in agreement. “There is volume in analog and growth in IP; we want to serve them all,” said Rich Anderson, CTO and VP of Marketing, who is certain that GVI's huge inventories and own easy-to-use innovations can make it happen.

Like in many countries, convergence of analog and IP-based security products with other business functions is an inevitable evolution path for Mexico, especially for any installation that requires more than 16 cameras, said Omar Lugones, IP Systems Director for International Security & Trading. “We are training, servicing and supporting like never before because the growth in IP is unbelievably tremendous.”

Globalization has turned regionalization, and the shift can be seen in security as well. With support infrastructure in place in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Beirut and even Miami, Duarte is also very confident in meeting company goals and exceeding sales targets. “We have big plans for this market!”

What follows is two multinational solution providers and system integrators sharing their perspectives on operating in Mexico: ADT Security Services and Schneider Electric.

US Market Grows with Backlogged Demand

US Market Grows with Backlogged Demand

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 8/16/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

With increased cash flow, pent-up demand for security is rallying in 2011. Critical-infrastructure applications, as well as education projects, are going strong. In product adoption, IP smoothes the way for enhanced interoperability, indicating a good year to come.

US security demand reached a boiling point after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Homeland security boomed, as states and municipalities rushed to secure citizens and critical infrastructure. The detection market for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear and hazardous material decontamination technologies is expected to reach US$1.5 billion by 2016, according to the Homeland Security Research Corporation.

A need for a unified response drove access control demand. “Access control is growing in government, utilities and health care,” said Paul Everett, Research Director for Access Control, Fire and Security at IMS Research. “The government has federal Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 and personal-identity verification mandates, which drive growth.”

Critical infrastructure continues to heat up, as the market rebounds from the economic downturn. US government installations are stringent about IT and will specify standards for hosted video and access control in the cloud, said Matt Barnette, VP of Sales and Marketing, AMAG Technology.

Rising Verticals
Transportation and City Surv eillance
The transportation market is witnessing strong growth as air and rail hubs remain on high alert. “Critical infrastructure is growing, such as for city surveillance, airport, transport and roads, seaports and railways,” said Kim Robbins, Director of Marketing Communications for DVTel. These verticals are sustained by continued grant funding to meet specifications.

State spending for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) was expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2010, said IMS Research. California and Florida lead in spending, with another 26 states increasing the scale of their ITS deployments by $10 million to $100 million each.

City surveillance is well underway in large US cities. “Just about every major metropolis is adding traffic cameras for analytics,” said Lance Holloway, Director of Technology Strategy, Stanley Convergent Security Solutions.

Analytics can speed up video searches, identifying objects as people or vehicles, as well as classifying colors. “More system integrators request real projects,” said Zvika Ashani, CTO of Agent Video Intelligence. “We see demand in critical infrastructure and city surveillance.” Integration of large camera deployments in critical infrastructure requires better integration, making PSIM providers hotly in demand. “It's why we acquired PSIM provider Rontal to expand our technology into critical infrastructure and the enterprise space,” said Courtney Jaret, Marketing Director for Verint Systems.

Adoption of PSIM is growing to streamline operations. “We have massive buildings and corporations spread across the U.S., making the addressable market enormous,” said Matthew Kushner, President of the Americas, CNL Software. “That has largely come about because of the economic tone. As more budgets are released, integration problems that haven't gone away since 2008 mean more demand for PSIM.”

End users look for fully integrated solutions. “Customers want to sit down in front of one software package and one interface to control their facility or multiple facilities,” Barnette said.

Comprehensive solutions need to deliver true value beyond equipment. “Users look for a full platform that can control heating and cooling, count people and monitor displays,” said Gadi Piran, President of On-Net Surveillance Systems.

However, America's large installation base of analog equipment is slowing network uptake. “The smart-city market outside the U.S. is massively larger,” said Steve Collen, Director of Business Development, Physical Security Business Unit, Cisco Systems. “Cisco has about 500 smart-city deals worldwide.”


Best in Class
Education has long been an early adopter of security, with good growth expected in the U.S. “Education is sadly seeing more uptake because of violence, bullying and vandalism,” said Steve Gorski, GM of the Americas, Mobotix. “If you think about schools, they have good network infrastructure, which lends itself to supporting network cameras.”

Higher education is seeing a change from the traditional security channel. Instead of going through installers, some end users are deploying network video surveillance themselves. A US university had its own IT security team install 500 cameras, heightening vigilance to crime or deliberate violence, such as shootings. “The university used video surveillance very effectively to deter and solve incidents on campus,” said Wendi Burke, Manager of Global Marketing Communications, IQinVision

A college deployed a solution combining a strobe, sensor and camera at its observatory, after the theft of a $2 million telescope. “The institution didn't secure the telescope because they thought it was too big to take,” said Rollie Trayte, President and COO of FutureSentry.

Cashing In
Gaming projects slowed during the recession, but are seeing renewed movement. “Gaming is big for us,” said Scott Paul, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Pelco (a Schneider Electric company). “We have a number of installations and reference sites around Las Vegas, including the Bellagio, the Mirage and McCarran Airport.”

HDcctv enables HD resolution over coaxial cables, which is suited for casinos betting on upgrades. This utilizes legacy wiring while covering key areas such as entrances or dealer tables with better detail. “The big benefit is that casinos don't need to change cabling over existing RG 59, and you don't need to rip apart the casino,” said Mark Wilson, VP of Marketing for Infinova.

“If you just change the cameras, that expense can come out of the maintenance budget.”
Retail has stabilized, as consumer spending increases.
“Retail is growing for wholesale chains with many stores and a central video system,” said Lars Gudbrandsson, Head of Product Management for Milestone Systems. “The U.S. is good at incorporating large installations and taking advantage of IP surveillance.”

Video surveillance can provide real ROI to retailers. “Wal-Mart saved millions of dollars on litigation from fraudulent slip-and-fall claims by being able to display detailed video of people deliberately pouring water or pretending to fall,” said Bengt Christensson, Senior Marketing Director for Ambarella.

A strong retrofit market in the Americas kept intrusion from declining too much as new construction slowed, according to IMS Research. More interactive systems are seeing uptake, such as video verification.

Cloud applications are particularly appealing, with several rollouts underway in the U.S. “The cloud is seeing movement for video verification,” said Jon Hughes, Product Marketing Manager for Video Surveillance, Interlogix (a UTC Fire & Security company). “We have third-party development partners.”

Slow economic conditions hastened adoption of easy-to-administer access control solutions such as software as a service (SaaS). “Greater emphasis has been placed on streamlining and reducing operational costs for security operations covering broad geographic deployments,” said IMS Research in an April report. “However, uptake will be modest until mainstream users identify the same benefits as niche users. One barrier limiting mass adoption is end-user reluctance to store security data on a third-party server rather than on-site.”

Migrating to IP
IP video has matured, with breakthroughs in resolution, compression and storage. While the technology is essentially unchanged from prerecession specifications, buyers now are actually able to pick up the tab.

“IP uptake is accelerating,” Gorski said. “We have had tremendous growth in the U.S., which is up 50 percent.” More cameras and DVRs are opening up to IP. “VARs from the IT world are now in security,” said Joe Cuellar, Sales for DNF Security.

One of the biggest draws of IP video is higherresolution imaging, with 2.1-megapixel resolution equaling that of six D1 cameras. All those extra pixels require a significant amount of storage, which is becoming more affordable. “The increases in the number of video channels per installation and the resolution of the cameras are some of the primary reasons for the growth of data in video surveillance applications,” wrote Frost & Sullivan in its 2010 “North American Physical Security Network Storage Market” report. “As end users weigh the benefits of expenditures for installation and implementation of updated and advanced technology against existing infrastructure, recovery in this sector is expected to begin in 2010.”

The value of network storage is also driving adoption in the U.S. “Falling prices and greater levels of innovation among the IP-based physical security systems are helping the shift to more IP-centric systems requiring networkbased storage,” Frost & Sullivan said. “Integrated security management offers huge potential for network storage systems in physical security. Security systems can be incorporated into enterprise databases to expedite business processes.”

Strategic partnerships are the way forward, as seen in Cisco Systems joining forces with Pelco for its network camera business. Pelco's acquisition by Schneider Electric furthered strengthened Cisco's ties, as it had worked extensively with Schneider on building projects. “What we see in the future of that relationship is much more than physical security; with building automation and access control, it's packaging all those things together,” Collen said. “I think the security market's a good one to be in, as it seems quite robust.”


ONVIF and PSIA are the dominant interoperability bodies, with PSIA being the first body formed during February 2008 in the U.S. PSIA is working on comprehensive standards for video surveillance, access control and intrusion, while ONVIF is more video-centric.

Today, ONVIF is the one with more members — 296 as of press time. “We have close to 800 products,” said Jonas Andersson, Chairman of ONVIF's Steering Committee and Director of Business Development and Global Sales at Axis Communications. “Consultants have started specifying the standard, which no one could imagine.” Each standard has its own merits. However, as most vendors specialize in video surveillance, they adopted the standard followed by network camera king Axis.

While both ONVIF and PSIA promise to address access control and intrusion, the first iteration of the standards covers getting video from third-party network cameras. Playback, compression and PTZ controls are not yet covered, as each company does things differently.

As end users mix and match cameras, interoperability standards relieve headaches. “Many customers have come to trust the quality and the performance of our products, and will be able to continue doing so as they use their VMS or NVR of choice,” said Steven Sung, Regional Sales Manager of CNB Technology. “We want to be an integral part of the process in making network cameras more available than ever.”

However, technical issues still need to be ironed out. “Real-time streaming protocol is not detailed enough in ONVIF, which is why some cameras display with better quality than others,” said Qiwei Zhang, Assistant Chief Engineer of SAE Electronic. “Equipment in the network is not detected if it goes offline, which is covered in the PSIA standard. We're leaning toward PSIA compliance, as it's a more complete standard.”

Each body has multiple levels of membership; fees are not charged for manufacturers conforming to the standard, while higher-level paying members are involved in writing the specifications. “ONVIF has achieved so much, and it's foolish to expect everything to be perfect from the start,” said Anders Ulle, Communications for Siemens Building Technologies.

“ONVIF doesn't test all devices; it's an honesty game.” The current version of ONVIF is incompatible with past versions, causing great developer consternation. “Future releases of the standard will be backward-compatible,” Andersson said. “We will just add to the standard, not modify it.”

However, each manufacturer will interpret the standard differently to maintain their competitive advantage, making true interoperability elusive. “I was the vice chair of PSIA and saw where the market was going,” said Danny Petkevich, VP of R&D for Next Level Security Systems. “Everyone was doing the same thing. Where the future is and where it is now is taking all the pieces, putting them together and making it easy for people.” Standards are in their infancy, but are a step in the right direction for a highly fragmented industry.

The American market has made an impressive rally in the past year, with fervent hopes that the worst of the downturn is over. Increased funding and healthy domestic demand are spurring an uptick for IP and solutions that deliver cost-saving results. US security is on the rebound, hoping to score big in 2011

Chinese Smart Cities Poised to Adopt Intelligent Solutions, Says CCID Consulting

Chinese Smart Cities Poised to Adopt Intelligent Solutions, Says CCID Consulting

Editor / Provider: CCID Consulting | Updated: 8/12/2011 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's proposal of the “Sensing China" strategy in August 2009 has triggered the development of “sensory cities” (also known as smart city, intelligent city and digital city) around the country. Along with the development of new-generation information technologies including the Internet of things and cloud computing, the development of sensory cities also focuses on the application of new technologies in key fields including urban management, environmental protection, health care and urban traffic.

In the health care field, the informatization of such sectors as public health, medical services, medical security, drug and food and health administration will help achieve the efficient, accurate and interactive collection and transmission of health care information, intelligentize the health care management and accelerate the development of the health care system. The specific tasks include the regional health records-based health care platform, electronic medical records, public health emergency command and intelligent decision-making system, health supervision and mobile enforcement system, medical supplies tracing and quality monitoring system, as well as wireless all-in-one smart hospital.

In the urban field, advanced information technologies, dada transmission technologies, electron computer processing technologies will be applied to traffic and transportation to establish an informatized, intelligentized and socialized system, which provides citizens with multiple services and enhance the security, energy-efficiency and effectiveness of urban traffic through the collection, processing, distribution, exchange, analysis and utilization of information. The specific tasks include smart traffic signal control system, traffic video analysis and monitoring system, e-police system, automatic entry control monitoring system, dynamic traffic guidance information system, smart logistics information platform, goods tracing and positioning system, as well as process visualization and smart management system.

In the urban management field, general urban networks-based integration will be carried out to achieve integrated management of municipal administration, water management, real estate, landscape, environment and urban control, so as to improve the urban and social management and public services with enhanced management, quick and effective response and all-round and all-time coverage. The specific tasks include public facilities monitoring system, public early warning and monitoring system, high-definition fire control monitoring system, wireless vehicle management system, dangerous goods monitoring system, as well as urban emergency management, command and coordination platform.

In the environmental protection field, an overall industrial pollution control system featuring real-time data perception, resource concentration and sharing, system integration as well as effective supervision and decision-making will be established to reduce waste, improve environment and prevent environmental accidents. The specific tasks include the intelligent waste discharge and automatic monitoring device, wireless monitoring system for pollution treatment, water quality data monitoring system, air monitoring system, dangerous goods and discards monitoring and control system as well as regional ecological monitoring system.

City of Portland and IBM Collaborate to Build a Smarter City

City of Portland and IBM Collaborate to Build a Smarter City

Editor / Provider: IBM | Updated: 8/10/2011 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

To better understand the dynamic behavior of cities, the City of Portland and IBM have collaborated to develop an interactive model of the relationships that exist among the city's core systems, including the economy, housing, education, public safety, transportation, healthcare/wellness, government services and utilities. The resulting computer simulation allowed Portland's leaders to see how city systems work together, and in turn identify opportunities to become a smarter city. The model was built to support the development of metrics for the Portland Plan, the City's roadmap for the next 25 years.

All cities are made up of a complex system of systems that are inextricably linked. The City of Portland and IBM set out to understand how these systems interact with and affect each other in order to improve long-range city planning. New policies implemented in one part of the city can affect other city efforts, citizens, businesses and the environment in unexpected and sometimes counter-intuitive ways. IBM's System Dynamics for Smarter Cities model is designed to help mayors and other municipal officials reduce the unintended negative consequences of municipal actions on citizens, as well as uncover hidden beneficial relationships among municipal policies. "By overcoming silos in the way we think, we are able to better visualize how our city systems work together and develop policies that achieve multiple objectives to help realize the full potential of our city," said Sam Adams, Mayor of the City of Portland. "By collaborating with IBM and applying the power of innovation, we have created an exploratory model that arms our city leaders with ways to explore decisions. In turn, that can help us become a Smarter City."

IBM approached the City of Portland in late 2009, attracted by the City's reputation for pioneering efforts in long-range urban planning. To kick off the project, in April of 2010 IBM facilitated sessions with over 75 Portland-area subject matter experts in a wide variety of fields to learn about system interconnection points in Portland. Later, with help from researchers at Portland State University and systems software company Forio Business Simulations, the City and IBM collected approximately 10 years of historical data from across the city to support the model. The year-long project resulted in a computer model of Portland as an interconnected system that provides planners at the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability with an interactive visual model that allows them to navigate and test changes in the City's systems.

As an example of how the model could be used in practice, recently the City of Portland laid out plans to achieve a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. The City already knew that shifting some trips away from driving to active forms of transportation, such as walking and biking, would be a part of how Portland meets its goals. However, when the IBM model was used to explore other relationships to active transportation, it revealed an interesting connection. The model reflects that, on average, obesity levels decline as more people walk and bike. Similarly, if obesity levels go down, active transportation becomes a more attractive option to more people. Essentially the tool highlighted a reinforcing feedback loop that could be used to jump start a continued cycle of improvement. Since shifting to walking and biking reduces driving trips, the obesity/active transport loop could be a self-reinforcing policy lever to address carbon goals.

"The City of Portland has served as a living laboratory during our year-long collaboration to explore how complex city systems behave over time. While other analytical approaches rely on breaking a problem down into smaller and smaller pieces, the model we've created recognizes that the behavior of a system as a whole can be different from what might be anticipated by looking at its parts," said Michael Littlejohn, VP of Strategy for Smarter Cities at IBM. "Using this model, the City of Portland can experiment with different scenarios to see how their decisions might affect various parts of the city over the next 25 years."

This collaboration with the City of Portland has also proven valuable for IBM. IBM is applying its experience and modeling capabilities developed in this collaboration with the City of Portland to create offerings that will help other cities leverage systems dynamics modeling capabilities to enhance their city strategic planning efforts. Based upon IBM's experience in working with and conducting assessments of cities around the world, they've found that strategic planning in many cities is still being done in stovepipes without a holistic view of impacts/consequences across systems. By leveraging systems dynamics modeling techniques, IBM will be able to help other cities plan "smarter".

The work on the model assisted the City in identifying drivers of change that are being incorporated into the City's strategic plan. This plan, called the Portland Plan, sets priorities for action by the City and other government agencies in Portland and sets 25-year objectives for these priorities. The priority areas are Economic Prosperity and Affordability, Education, Equity, and Healthy Connected Neighborhoods. The results of the joint project with IBM are also informing a set of long range metrics the City will use to track progress on the Portland Plan.

G4S Selected by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to Provide Screening Services

G4S Selected by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to Provide Screening Services

Editor / Provider: G4S | Updated: 8/9/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

CATSA announced that it has selected G4S as the Security Screening Contractor for the delivery of Airport Screening Services in the Pacific Region. G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) will provide services at 20 airports, including Vancouver International Airport.

G4S is delighted to have been chosen as a partner to help CATSA to achieve its mission to protect the public by securing critical elements of the air transportation system, including passenger, hold baggage and non-passenger screening at Canadian airports. As Canada's gateway to Asia, airports in the Pacific Region play a significant role in commerce and tourism. We look forward to facilitating a successful transition and engaging with current screening personnel to welcome them to the G4S family.

This award builds on our recent successes in Europe and the Middle East, where G4S has been selected to provide aviation security services at a number of key airports. G4S provides services at 61 other airports worldwide, with services including perimeter security, airside security, passenger, baggage and cargo security screening (including behavior observation) and various related services.

Grahame Gibson, COO G4S plc and CEO of the Americas Region said "G4S always aims to be a strategic partner to its customers. The contract with CATSA represents a great opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of partnering over the long term. We look forward to delivering high quality services that promote an efficient screening process and a positive passenger experience, while working with CATSA to continuously improve and innovate."

The 5-year contract (with an option to extend for up to an additional five years) is valued at more than CAD$400M over the initial five-year term. Screening services will commence on 1st November 2011.

Chemical Plant Secured by Siemens Surveillance Solution

Chemical Plant Secured by Siemens Surveillance Solution

Editor / Provider: Siemens Building Technologies | Updated: 8/5/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Chemical manufacturing facilities have always placed a high priority on public and environmental safety but today manufacturers must also now consider the threat of intrusion and attacks. Thanks to a management solution from Siemens Building Technologies Division, security procedures at a chemical manufacturing facility owned by PPG Industries are greatly enhanced.

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global manufacturer and supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. Serving customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets, it operates on the leading edge of new technologies and solutions. The company operates in more than 60 countries around the globe.

PPG reviewed the surveillance system at one of its largest and uniquely located sites. While the system recorded activity 24 hours a day, accurate real-time surveillance was limited to periods when security guards watched video-feed without interruption. It was a relatively simple matter to realize that the software intelligence built into the solution from Siemens Building Technologies Division, would enhance protection of the site, with the additional benefit of simultaneously reducing surveillance costs.

The Siemens solution is an automated large-scale video surveillance solution that transforms traditional physical security systems by combining camera and other sensor (intrusion, fire detection, access control etc.) input. It provides reliable protection for industrial facilities, transportation hubs and byways such as seaports and airports, water treatment facilities and other critical infrastructure by continuously monitoring sites through intelligent policy zones and virtual barriers even across water. It detects, tracks, and classifies activity in real time, filtering critical events from camera and other sensor input, displaying the results on a comprehensive digital map of the entire site on a single screen. This enables operators to see exactly what is happening at any time throughout the whole site. Integrated 3-D analytics determine object attributes in absolute “real-world“ coordinates. This requires fewer cameras and helps lower infrastructure cost compared to 2-D analytics.

At the PPG site, the software-driven nerve center of the solution takes input from many cameras and provides a live, bird's-eye view of the entire manufacturing facility, spanning more than 1,000 acres and including a mile of shoreline as well as railway entry and exit points. This composite view takes the guesswork out of tracking objects that move from camera to camera, so operators always know the accurate location of every object in the facility.Detailed information about anything suspicious is readily available.

The perimeter and other sensitive areas are protected by ‘Alert' zones. This automated triggering of instantaneous alerts substantially reduces the cost of monitoring, giving around-the-clock protection. When anything unexpected occurs, the solution automatically detects any activity, pinpoints the location and tracks the perpetrators whilst simultaneously alerting guards through audio, video notifications, and e-mail alerts. This ability to efficiently deploy guards rapidly and efficiently helps prevent the escalation of incidents. Alerts are triggered from changes as simple as a vehicle or an individual entering a restricted area, but can also be triggered by object speed or size. Alert areas are easily and instantly set or changed by dragging area boundaries in the composite image of the site and can be adjusted using preset shortcuts. The open architecture enables the solution to run on standard hardware and software and allows it to be modified and expanded to respond to changing security needs. It easily accommodates site-specific operational conditions and varying security requirements allowing the limiting of access to selected areas or the entire site, the specification of varying security level requirements within the site and the raising or lowering of security levels in accordance with threat levels or evolving governmental mandates.

Planning and implementation of the system at the PPG site was assisted by the skill of Siemens staff and the solution was delivered ahead of schedule. This gave security personnel at PPG time to get practical, hands-on experience before the system went live and after just a single day of training, operators were using the system successfully.

Troy Higginbotham, Senior Tech Analyst of PPG, said, "I have been working with Siemens' surveillance software since 2003. In my opinion, the latest  version is the best upgrade since its inception. The ability to track a single object with multiple interrogation cameras and auto-zoom to a factor based on how far the object is from that camera is very impressive.

Higginbotham continued, "I have had the opportunity to work with the system for a few hours in order to re-acquaint myself and the advances made have amazed me. Siemens' professional services team, along with the technical support team, has done everything needed to make this project a successful upgrade"

Shortly after the Siemens' solution was operational, a mock attack was staged with actors portraying terrorists. Operators tracked, monitored, and recorded the progress of the ‘intruders' by vessel and on foot, via the screen image of the site. Never before had security officials at the site been able to detect and monitor a potential threat to their facility so effectively. They then dispatched guards to their exact locations.

The Siemens solution has now become the foundation of the security program at the site because it seamlessly integrates new and existing sensor types and allows the client to manage all surveillance-related security issues easily from a single point.

Nedap Keeps Wireless Tab on Critical Parking Facility in Eastern Holland

Nedap Keeps Wireless Tab on Critical Parking Facility in Eastern Holland

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 8/1/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

At a truck parking along an important route in the eastern part of the Netherlands, Nedap AVI has installed the SENSIT, a wireless platform that detects vehicles occupancy in parking spots and reports this information in real time. The information can then be relayed to drivers to inform them about the current occupancy at the parking facility, through digital signage along the way or via smart phone application. With the SENSIT technology in place, Nedap AVI is able to increase the comfort and safety of the over-the-road trucker.

As it is everywhere, transportation is of great importance for the Netherlands. Truckers transport products daily from the Netherlands to their destinations throughout Europe. In the interest of safety and efficiency, drivers must adhere to strict travel and rest times. With access to such real-time occupancy information, truckers may quickly and accurately search for a place to rest, eat, or stay without having to incur delays by exiting the roadway to do so. Timely information on the route increases comfort and safety in this way.

This recent installation of the SENSIT at a truck parking facility along the road between Arnhem and Enschede to Germany, an important route in the eastern part of the Netherlands. This allows the facility to inform drivers about the current occupancy at the parking facility in real-time through digital information along the way or an application on their smart phone.

The sensor uses both an infrared technique and the magnetic field, making the output very reliable and real-time. By integrating the output into a central parking program, the owner can easily manage the parking facility. Besides the current occupancy, the actual parking time can also be measured, which allows them to map out and assess long-term stays.

Diebold to Deploy Situational Awareness Platform to Manage Security Systems at New York WTC Site

Diebold to Deploy Situational Awareness Platform to Manage Security Systems at New York WTC Site

Editor / Provider: Diebold | Updated: 7/22/2011 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Exercising its large-scale security integration capabilities, Diebold is managing the installation, integration and maintenance of a complex security software system for the new World Trade Center (WTC) site in New York City. The comprehensive Situational Awareness Platform Software (SAPS) system will collect, correlate and display information from a wide variety of the WTC site's critical security systems, as well as provide identity management capabilities.

Diebold's integration efforts will connect an array of systems to the WTC security command center via a single interface, giving operators unified control and views of the entire WTC site. To ensure centralized management, Diebold will integrate numerous devices and technologies, including identity, credential and access management (ICAM) systems; video surveillance systems; intrusion and fire alarms; building management systems; vertical transportation; digital intercom; radio communication; Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) detection systems; and vehicle scheduling and management systems.

"The ability to successfully manage projects at the World Trade Center site is a testament to Diebold's flexibility and logistical capabilities. Just the volume of systems we are integrating into the Situational Awareness Platform Software makes this a highly complex implementation," said Bradley J. Stephenson, VP, security solutions, Diebold. "But we are also operating in a challenging environment that requires a great degree of interdependency between sites and systems. Keeping this in mind, we are working closely with site workers to ensure any technology or system adjustments are accounted for in the SAPS implementation to ensure reliable system integration."

The systems that Diebold will integrate are interspersed among 11 primary buildings and facilities, including five skyscrapers, the third-largest transportation hub in New York City, the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, a retail venue, a performing arts center, a vehicle security center and critical infrastructure facilities. Diebold has teamed with VidSys, the leading provider of physical security information management software (PSIM), and QuantumSecure, a world-class developer of physical identity and access management (PIAM) software, for the project. The VidSys PSIM software and the Quantum Secure PIAM software will serve as the basis of the World Trade Center's SAPS which will deliver an enterprise software platform to manage and streamline security identities, compliance and security situations across physical security systems located at multiple sites.

Throughout the SAPS system integration, Diebold will incorporate scalability into the system to enable streamlined implementation of new technologies as future needs dictate. Items slated for potential future integration into the SAPS system include connections to variable signs, mass notification software and vehicle screening software. Diebold is intimately familiar with several of the platforms it is integrating into the SAPS system at the WTC site. For example, the company is installing and integrating video surveillance systems, access control and alarm devices throughout the WTC Transportation Hub. In addition, Diebold is building a centralized security command and control center for the 4 WTC skyscraper and integrating numerous security-related components into the center, including biometric access control, video and a destination-based elevator control system.

Security is of utmost importance at the WTC site, both during and after construction. In addition to the technologies it is incorporating to secure buildings and systems when the site opens for business, Diebold has also implemented a perimeter security video and access control system that is being used to secure the entire WTC site during construction. As a result, Diebold's expertise in security integration and project management is contributing to the secure construction and operation of one of the most complex sites to be built in New York City.

Stacking Up Security at Seaports

Stacking Up Security at Seaports

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 7/22/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Every day, more than two million commercial container shipments move in the seas, and security plays a vital role in ensuring the fluidity of trade and commerce through cargo shipping. Maintaining or upgrading seaport security requires a combined effort of video surveillance, access control, perimeter detection, management software, building technologies, and proper people and processes. According to Schneider Electric, the market for seaport security products and solutions is estimated to be around US$200 to 300 million in the U.S. alone, and $1 to 2 billion worldwide. As a result of heightened security alerts worldwide, before a ship approaches a port, its physical data, every container carried, next destination and other threat matrices should be carefully vetted and recorded by the port authority. The same due diligence should be applied to secure the site itself, making this vertical a promising one to many.

A sea port is a dynamic environment where a considerably transient population exists, some of which may only require limited access on a temporary basis, said Paul Labow, President of ePortation. “Consequently, a security system for a seaport requires a great deal of flexibility and adaptability to function properly. Although security is always of paramount importance, a seaport is first and foremost a commercial enterprise, and interruption in the free flow of cargo and equipment has material and expensive ramifications.” Security systems at seaports, thus, have multiple uses aside from guarding the safety of cargo and people; an effective system covers different bases on behalf of security personnel and contributes to smoother management and operations of seaport activities.

The geographical and financial importance of a seaport is the driver behind any upgrade, expansion and new seaport projects around the globe. “The security business in seaports has been experiencing growth for several reasons,” said Pat Kiernan, Marketing Director for the Americas, Nice Systems. “First, the increasing focus on ports as potential terrorist targets; second, the number of regulations that have been evolving in recent years for port security such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code and the Maritime Transportation Safety Act; third, the financial and economic values associated with cargo — or important resources such as oil and gas — handled at seaports.”

In Europe, there is full potential in Ireland and the U.K. for security products in seaport upgrade projects, although opportunities and market growth depend on the budget available under government austerity measures, said Donal Colfer, Integrated Solutions Group Manager in the U.K., ADT Fire & Security. “In the U.S., expansion and upgrade projects have fueled the need to consider integration between different security systems,” Kiernan said. “For instance, we see many projects adopting perimeter security upgrades for seaports where they put in fiber fences as well as video surveillance with VCA. These, in turn, need to be integrated for full security management.”

Strong interest from Western Africa and the Middle East is also present, commented Larry Bowe, President of PureTech Systems. “In Israel, there is a large project at the Port of Haifa, which decided to upgrade its perimeter security for about US$6 million,” said Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development, Magal Security Systems. “We also see numerous projects in Africa taking place in order to meet the ISPS Code.”

Indeed, since the ISPS Code came into effect in 2004, seaports have security systems. Newer security technologies, as a result, have good potential in the seaport vertical.

Seashore security (such as to detect approaching ships and suspicious incoming boats) and onshore security (such as to protect docks, container yards and administrative buildings) have individual requirements. Simply speaking, waterside security utilizes more virtual barriers like long-range surveillance cameras and radar detection for alert purposes, whereas onshore security is composed of common systems like surveillance, access control, and intrusion and fire detection to monitor people, properties and daily operations.

Typically, much more attention is given to land, Bowe commented. “In most cases, seaports would put in a traditional system for both water and land, even though waterside security is a different animal with different issues and needs. The reason for this may be lack of funds, or more likely because the waterside is a tricky area to protect as it tends to be very busy, expansive and has high traffic.”

In today's security - rich environment, any waterside incident would alert a land response team; therefore, these two areas are typically specified and integrated at the same time for total management, said William Moore, Business Development Manager for Oil and Gas, Schneider Electric.


For seaports that have enjoyed a longer history and where analog infrastructure is already in place, the analog/IP split appears to be 60/40. As IP-based products and solutions are increasingly adopted for large-area protection, the reality today is that video systems must be able to accommodate both IP and analog cameras, Bowe said.

The flexibility and expandability of a seaport security system should always be considered top priorities. “The biggest obstacle is to convince the agency that the security system needs to be expandable,” Moore said. “Always make sure the installed security system can keep up with the growth of the agency responsible for the system. Most agencies never see an ROI due to the fact that they are integrating cameras and recorders in a past-work scenario.”

Using hybrid products is another way to leverage existing systems while adding new products for better security and operational performance. “Ports utilize hybrid offerings so that both analog and IP products can be used to save upgrade or installation costs,” Colfer said. “Using a hybrid solution could slowly weed out the old, legacy equipment to make room for new, open devices. There is a market for hybrid for about three to five years at least, and then we'll most likely see gradual conversion to complete IP infrastructure.”

Threat detection on the waterfront is a definite need, which seems to be getting more attention, Bowe observed. “To accurately determine if a boat presents a threat is a difficult problem, but one that deserves attention. An integration of radar detection, VCA, GPS and automated information system (AIS) is a viable method of sorting out the friends from the foes.”

“The waterside of port security is typically a combination of radar, AIS, audible alert systems, optical and IR cameras in addition to thermal imaging cameras with long-distance optics and underwater detection devices, all linked to a command-andcontrol system to enable appropriate responses and actions,” Moore said. “Electronic fences using fiber optics and floating gates or fences are established to provide alarms should a contact move outside the designated shipping lanes or into restricted areas. We have also used sonar devices to detect underwater movement in many of the US seaports.”

On land, efforts have been on adopting megapixel/HD cameras that capture minute details and quality pictures of forensic grade. “Basically, the two main priorities are asset protection and general safety, which concern staff and the public in the port vicinity,” said Nafis Jasmani, Sales Manager for ASEAN, Axis Communications.

“On our site, we employ 2- to 3-megapixel cameras,” said Ed Merkle, Director of Port Security and Emergency Operations, Port of Virginia. “We wanted to use standard cameras, so we can minimize inventory and practice good asset management controls. The higher megapixel cameras provide good coverage and excellent video quality.”

“We also use PTZ cameras with motion detection, as well as surveillance features such as digital zooming and panoramic views,” Merkle continued. “Panorama video surveillance has good potential in the seaport vertical and is growing in usage.” Megapixel/HD cameras that incorporate VCA features, such as facial capture and recognition, traffic monitoring, transit and cargo container recognition, ALPR and object tracking, are growing in adoption and are not as avoided as previously. Using VCA at the edge or not depends on individual needs and preferences. The advantage of using VCA at the edge is that the camera can filter out unnecessary footages before sending mass information back to the control center, Jasmani said. “This significantly reduces the cost and complexity of the network-centric processing model.”

For some others, the sifting of information and maintenance of the software are both easier when done in the command center, said Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of Intelligent Security Systems. Aside from security values, these features facilitate daily management and operations at seaports.

Facial recognition and ALPR are especially used for important entry points. For movements on the premises, GPS tracking is also a common tool for seaport personnel to know where people and vehicles are at all times, as seaports are congested areas with hangers, cranes, ships and other equipment, and clear tracking and management of people and vehicular movements can only be done with the help of modern technology.

VCA usage for waterside surveillance is also becoming more accepted by some end users. “The introduction of Sony's latest camera that provides ‘wave cancellation' and greater visibility in less than optimal conditions has helped with more accurate readings undeterred by waves, shimmering and uneven surfaces,” said James Chong, CTO of VidSys.

Another product group gaining usage is thermal cameras. “We are seeing more concentration on the ability to monitor at night, and much more attention is given to IR-illuminated or thermal deployments,” Bowe said.

Other systems like access control and waterway detection are embedded with intelligent chips and device management architecture that enable authorities to monitor high volumes of containers with smart technology from a central monitoring station and provide quick and accurate response, Moore said. “This technology is evolving so rapidly that the operators at the port will have the opportunity to track all containers before they hit port territory.” X-ray and radiation monitors are another important system in place at seaports, with which the port and customs agencies use to scan the incoming containers without opening sealed doors, Moore added. “Some X-ray technology can produce an image through a foot of solid steel, giving the agencies the ability to review the contents at a safe, controlled distance.”

Complex activities and busy schedules at seaports are better monitored and managed today with modern security technologies. Intelligent management software not only processes and organizes incoming data from all corners of a seaport (or even the world), it allows different users to prioritize, viewing the data most relevant to their areas of work. The next two articles examine integration issues and how the needs of multiple stakeholders at a seaport can be balanced.

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