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AMG Supplies Transmission Solution to Woodsville Tunnel in Singapore

AMG Supplies Transmission Solution to Woodsville Tunnel in Singapore

Editor / Provider: AMG | Updated: 7/5/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

AMG, the world leading manufacturer of transmission solutions, has supplied their AMG3700 series transmission solution for the integrated security & surveillance solution at the newly opened Woodsville Tunnel in Singapore. The solution has been implemented by Guthrie Engineering (S) PTE Ltd on behalf of the Land Transportation Authority. Guthrie is Singapore's oldest Engineering Company with a proud list of large references projects in Highways and Transportation.

AMG's International Sales & Marketing Director, Sara Bullock, says, “The CCTV surveillance solution for the tunnel complex is engineered to give maximum resilience and performance. The solution operates within a dual redundant configuration with video insertion points providing analogue video, data and Ethernet capability. The AMG's 3700 series solution has a proven record in tunnel implementations, such as the new Hindhead Tunnel in the UK. The solution operates with two singlemode fibres in ring configuration. The benefit of this system is that operations are robust and resilient and no signals are lost in case of a failure or a fibre breakage. All signals are routed to the Central Intelligent Transport System Centre (ITSC) Control Room as well as to the control room in the facility building on-site. Guthrie conducted vigorous factory testing and we understand they were delighted with the resilience the solution offered. They were also impressed with the extended MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) longevity results and the resilience to the environmental influences."

The Woodsville Tunnel is part of a massive SGD 130 million (approx. GBP 65 million) upgrading project for the Woodsville Interchange that began in 2008. It consists of 3 new road tunnels linking Upper Serangoon Road to Bendemeer Road, Serangoon Road to Upper Serangoon Road, and MacPherson Road to Bendemeer Road. The new tunnels are expected to decongest the affected roads and cut down commuter travel times. Motorists using the Woodsville Tunnel can expect smoother traffic flow and times savings, particularly during peak hours, due to the improved traffic flow. For example, a motorist travelling from Upper Serangoon Road to Bendemeer Road will have their travel time cut from 10 minutes to 4 minutes by using the new Woodsville Tunnel during peak hours. Woodsville Tunnel was opened for traffic at 9 a.m. on 28th January 2012.

Security Complications at Bustling Metro Stations

Security Complications at Bustling Metro Stations

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang | Updated: 7/10/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

Busy metro stations at prime locations attract retailers and other businesses. The increase in multipurpose metro stations has brought commercial opportunities, along with security/safety risks and management complexity.

Mass transit can be a complex scene. “As a fast moving and complex environment, a metro station retail area is difficult to monitor and almost impossible to assess for suspicious activity using security staff and surveillance alone,” said Skip Dunnett, Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Consultant at Digital Barriers.

Dunnett added. “Scene change analytics running over surveillance cameras could monitor routine patterns in and around retail outlets and assist security staff to identify areas and times where a threat might arise.” This analysis would be useful for station managers as they would be able to identify high-risk areas in the station more readily.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
A regular program of updates on the threats and risks faced by the metro station will enforce a collective responsibility for security and encourage better practices. Centralized training and awareness briefings provided by the metro station security managers will help instill a sense of worth in the retail security staff who are often lowly paid and lack proper training, said Skip Dunnett, Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Consultant at Digital Barriers. “The coordination of all reports, be it electronic or verbal, is vital to the security within this multidimensional environment. Whenever possible, only one control room should exist, and this is also where all retail security reports and concerns should be directed to. This also helps enrich the threat and risk picture for the station as a whole.”

Integration and Configuration
Getting useful information to the right people in a timely manner is crucial for metro systems, especially with scores of fast moving passengers. “There is a strong pattern in integration. Cameras and surveillance intelligence are synchronized to ensure physical safety in unplanned events such as station evacuations,” said James Chong, CTO and Senior VP of Strategic Innovation, Vidsys.

A mass transit system is an expensive, integral part of public infrastructure — safety and evacuation must be an integral consideration with security, said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing, Ademco Far East (an Ademco Security Group company). “For example, surveillance can be integrated with evacuation systems, thus offering intelligent information for a path of escape. Relevant doors can be remotely or automatically unlocked, and communication systems can work in tandem to provide automated information displays or announcements that can facilitate orderly evacuations.”

“Linking the communications of safety, evacuation systems and security infrastructure will allow for correlation and verification of critical data coming into the control room,” said Adlan Hussain, Marketing Manager, CNL Software.

Evacuation systems, however, are inherently insecure, as faked emergencies could become major security vulnerabilities. Conflicts might thus arise during the integration and configuration of security and fire safety systems. “In practice, security systems are set to ‘fail open' in the case of an incident, thus creating an opportunity for exploitation,” Dunnett said. “In order to overcome these weaknesses, security managers must understand the operation and methodology behind these evacuation systems so as to, ideally, influence their design during the planning and installation. If this early involvement is not possible, understanding the safety system will assist the design of any retrospective security protection. Security planners can ensure that access control to key operation assets or high-value targets can be maintained in any given situation. For example, consideration should always be given to evacuation routes, and steps taken to ensure that key assets are not placed in these areas. Other techniques include the protection of key areas by the use of one-way flow access control and the automatic lockdown of vulnerable IT systems.”

Centralized Command
In bigger subway systems — and especially in older systems — there are not always centrally located operating systems. “For instance, fire controls utilize local systems, while rail, power and evacuation control and information are not always connected,” said Jeremy Brecher, VP of Technology Services at Diebold Security. During incidents, however, communication networks must be able to cope with overflowing data and voice commands.

“The importance of communication has been elevated since 9/11, especially when it comes to the protection of first responders. Unfortunately, radio signals and other forms of communication are still used in many subway applications, and the problems aren't always highlighted until a real emergency occurs,” Brecher said. “Generally, most highly complex environments should include their own backhaul delivery for information instead of shared delivery. If the system does utilize shared delivery, there should be a very well-designed quality of service and prioritization incorporated into the system.”

An alternative is the installation of a redundancy management system that will not only control the flow of vital data and voice commands but will also manage the inherent redundancy within any command and control system to allow for a greater flow of potentially time-critical information, Dunnett added.

“This is where IP networks become important and provide long-term cost savings, too,” Lim said. “In the past, transport systems had an enormous amount of different cables; it could be very costly to provide redundancy. With IP technologies, it is more cost-effective to have redundant and armored protection for transmission.”

Team Effort
Surveillance and physical security concerns are responsibilities of security managers, but public address, evacuation, notification and radio systems, on the other hand, are under the purview of other departments, highlighting again the need for clear and constant communication among all parties from planning through implementation and operation. “It also highlights the need for security managers to play a key role in training the operators and ensuring that the systems they have implemented will be correctly operated and maintained by the operators and transit authorities,” Brecher said. “Ensuring that proven technologies are correctly implemented the first time leads not only to a cost-effective application, but also increased effectiveness of the tools. Ultimately, this results in a more secure environment.”

Maintenance and Training
Getting the systems up and running after a thorough risk assessment is not the end. “Conducting continuous system maintenance and risk evaluation throughout the operation is equally important,” said Armine Beybutyan, Product Sales and Marketing Manager, Korenix Technology (a Beijer Electronics Group company).

Identifying training needs and service requirements is an ongoing process. “Working hand-in-hand with transit authorities to ensure they understand the system will ultimately determine how effective it is on a day-to-day basis,” Brecher said.

Secutech International 2012 — China's Perspective

Secutech International 2012 — China's Perspective

Editor / Provider: Evangeline Xie | Updated: 7/6/2012 | Article type: China Corner

The event is Asia's largest international exhibition and conference for the electronic security, info security, fire and safety industry sectors. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the exhibition is no longer just a sourcing fair, but a center of innovation and a propeller of industry.

Overall Performance
No other show like Secutech catering to the full supplying chain of the industry. It is designed as a manufacturing powerhouse by offering lens, image sensor, the DSP and codec to the integrated solutions for various applications. Unlike other largescaled international exhibitions which emphasis the quantity, Secutech is characterized by good quality that is also the screening standard for the exhibitors.

This year attracted more than 25,510 visitors from 97 different nations. There are 56 Chinese exhibitors taking an active part in the event, such as the well-known brands Dahua and Hikvision as well as some other quality companies. Beside the first tier's nice performance, second-tier players also presented an eye-catching demonstration.

Michael Chen, Vice President for Zhejiang Dahua Technology, recognized that Secutech has offered an international stage. “It is a good platform to show products and new technology, as well as to network,” he explained. “I am happy to see different products here and to have a chance for sharing experiences with exhibitors from Japan, Korea and Taiwan.”

New Highlights
Secutech is designed to be a manufacturing powerhouse, providing a platform for all exhibitors to showcase their new products of the year. Visitors can find the latest innovative products from video, storage device, access control, lens and more. New products from Chinese exhibitors are among this year's highlights.

Video Surveillance
Sunell showcased its 720P/1080P megapixel network mini dome with IR and fixed lens, 720P/1080P megapixel network eyeball camera with compact base, 720P/1080P megapixel network bullet camera with cable management bracket, easy installation and adjustment.

Another Chinese manufacturer TVT has refined its products from front-end to back-end. The company releases its total solution of network products as well as HD-SDI. With its adoption of Hisilicon chips and the outward design, TVT products have highlighted the overall performance of Chinese manufacturers.

Youguan CCTV Technology showcased its new vari-focal IR high speed dome and HD-SDI vari-focal IR high speed dome, both are of the third generation. When it comes to HD-SDI, there are several exhibitors foreseeing its future demanding. “We showcase our latest HD-SDI camera at the show,” said Sales Manager of OFK Technology. “We expect HD-SDI will have more demanding in the future while the market and few technological concerns have been solved. From Secutech, lots of buyers are also paying attention to its development.”

For the part of lens, Ricom and Leading can be excellent players. The release of the megapixel lens after the earthquake has met the Japan's market niche, those lenses are welcomed by many manufacturers from Korea and Taiwan due to the top quality and original technology.

Leading showcased its 10-megapixel 1/2.3-inch 5.4mm no-distortion lens, 5-megapixel 1/1.8-inch fisheye lens as well as 5-megapixel lens for intelligent transportation system. “Europe and America is our target market, we aimed to provide the perfect optical solutions for the high-end customers within the shortest time,” said Beth Wu, Vice President of Xiamen Leading Optics. “To-date, we can realize high definition in the front-end part and our quality is being credited compare to other foreign brands,” added Wu.

How to Better Serve Customers
Sunell put much strength in the promotion of network camera, which can be judged by its elaborate booth. Its general engineer of R&D also joins the overseas exhibition around the world for acquiring multiple demands of foreign buyers.

TVT has business all over the world now, but it sees greater chance in Europe now than that in other countries. They believe the value is mainly incorporated in complete solutions, reliable quality, and right products at right price. “We will definitely enhance our communication with customers. All the service is about how to make our customer profitable at low risk,” said Joe Qiu, Overseas Business Director of TVT.

In Qiu's opinion, to get this target done, they need more engineers for better software and hardware, more technical sales for better education and communication, and also need more serious quality control to maintain the delivery quality.

“We designed the mechanical parts, hardware, and software. It's different in following aspects in the IR technology and the mechanical design,” said Eddy Que, General Manager of Youguan, “we make the lower part rotating, thus reduce the burden of rotation and speed could be higher. Also it avoids breakdown of BNC cable as the cable will not rotate together with the dome.”

Additionally, the company has set up channels in Europe, North America and Middle East for shortening the distance with customers, which are the key point of its overseas market are located in Europe and North America, where the integrity and consistency are what matter.

Other Highlights
Giant Alarm System Company showcased multi-frequency remote control duplicator and rolling code receiver. “Using the special duplicators which are produced by our company, all users can copy to have new transmitters which can be used directly and the new ones will work well and won't send same codes as original ones,” said Pan Defeng, General Manager of Giant Alarm System. “Adopting the rolling code encoder program which is written by our company gives controllers top security since other companies' products can't copy our transmitters.”

“Nowadays, there are more and more competitors who can produce at cheaper price, the market is not made-in-China, in such case, how to fix our market, improve our service and innovate our products would be a great challenge,” said Pan. “We need to search new opportunity to enlarge our market share, so our biggest challenge is how to enter into emerging market and catch it,” added Pan.

Anson showcased its network security recorder (NSR), which integrates DVR, video surveillance, access control and alarm function. Medium and small-scaled security project can be accomplished with only one NSR, allowing system stability and cost-effectiveness in the application.

Challenge and Expectation
It seems still so gloomy ahead for the world economy. The security industry inevitably cannot be influenced from the turmoil. Moreover, the industry is also shaping not only from the technological front but also from the business model front.

“At the transitional period from analogue to high definition, the refinement of the product line will impose some pressure manufacturers. Therefore, manufacturers need to move ahead with their in-house values, in terms of innovation and quick responding to the mainstream,” said Zhao Bin, General Manager of Anson.

“Increasing competition on the pricing brings impediment for the application range of middle to high technology products, as well as new production development, this is the challenge we are facing right now.” said Ann Wu, Vice President of Sunell.

TVT finds the biggest challenge now is to differentiate themselves from others, technically and commercially. “It is important to be special and make your customer feel the difference,” said Qiu, “Another challenge is how to process information in a better way with our customers, and to respond to market demands more efficiently.”

According to Que, presently, there are too many suppliers on the market, some are good, and some are not. The problem lies in the fact that buyers can't tell which are good or not, which are real. “Youguan's strength is R&D and technology, and we need to make more effort to promote us, to let our customers know how we are different,” added Que.

Youguan adopts the technology from Germany and Japan, the IR can zoom in and out simultaneously with the zoom module, according to the light condition. And also the IR lamp is 3rd generation IR technology, the IR light is more uniformly distributed and avoid flash light effect of traditional IR LED. The company made a special IR compensation light for wide angle at short distance, which guarantee clearer image.

On the contrary, there are still numerous Chinese suppliers who still being ignorant to buyers' requirement and reluctant know-how to market in overseas market. Compared with the manufacturers from Taiwan and Korea, the performance of some Chinese players seems a bit rough occasionally in terms of the technical personnel, marketing and expertise.

Manufacturing is the undeniable advantage for most of Chinese suppliers. Generally speaking, the Chinese-made quality has improved greatly. However, we expect more and more Chinese suppliers paying more attention to business quality and in the near future, more buyers will be gratified with business with most of Chinese manufactures.

Trying Times, Prettier Prices

Trying Times, Prettier Prices

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 7/3/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

Cost-effectiveness sells, especially during financially trying times. With government spending cuts slowing down infrastructural development and the private sector strapped for cash, security solution providers of all sizes are busy seeking and identifying the next “blue sea.” In the meantime, small-and medium-size end users are in for a treat, as more affordable and efficient solution offerings are made available.


Axis Communications
Phil Doyle, Regional Director of Northern Europe
With our cloud, more cost-effective and low-light offerings, we are better enabled to reach partners and installers with smaller business operations. We've been “cloud-friendly” for more than nine years, so it just shows we were right all along. Globally, we will continue to invest in technology and innovation; as proof, 13.6 percent of our revenue last year was earmarked for such efforts.

Julian Rutland, Director of Visual Communication Products and Solutions for Europe
General economy is quite hard, and people are taking the time to evaluate new brands and alternatives. We're a relatively new kid on the block, so that helps. Compared to last year, we're enjoying an upward trajectory of 800percent. With the shift to IP, the channel is learning, and we're also learning, to work hand in hand and move in the right direction. System integrators usually don't have the time to test everything, so we test and integrate for them to make sure everything is compatible. Thanks to our consumer electronics, we have the upper hand in image processors (with analytics) and lens specs in terms of overall pricing. We are a full member of ONVIF, working with more and more VMS brands, and incredibly committed to delivering the kind of promise, quality and training that our channel partners and end clients expect of us.

Honeywell Security
Tony Makosinski, Head of Marketing for the U.K. and Ireland
We're seeing growth in residential burglar alarm products, due to higher crime rates. The fact that Honeywell has a myriad of solutions across the board does help. Mirroring what has spiked demand in the IT market, we now provide DVR-like cloud storage with user-friendly interfaces, making it easy for our partners to sell monthly plans rather than big, initial investments. Storing and managing on the cloud has also helped shorten time to market and further green initiatives. System checks and maintenance are done automatically. If there's something wrong, an email will be generated and sent to the responsible technician automatically, minimizing unnecessary truck rolls. For certain legally mandated system checks and tests, the cloud saves the trouble of emptying out the entire building during such procedures.

Navtech Radar
Philip Avery, MD
Single-unit prices of radar systems cannot be compared to regular surveillance cameras. But, think holistically. Radar provides 360-degree coverage and significantly cuts down numbers and costs of guards, tours/patrols, trip wires, intrusion detectors and cameras. There's no trenching required, further reducing installation time, service disruptions and related expenses. We own all the key technologies (hardware, software algorithms, signal processing) and can tailor to specific system integrator requirements. For example, we managed to cover an airfield in Romania with just two radars. This is the kind of message that needs to be heard when people are scrambling to find the next best, more affordable alternative.

Yair Sakov, VP of Security Business
Thermal cameras are not security cameras. Helping our partners understand the technology — the breadth of our offerings, picture quality, innovation — and transforming them into our extensions in the field do take a lot of resources. A lot of security solution providers sell on fear, uncertainty and doubt; we sell on the value of being able to see clearly and cost-effectively what's going on at critical locations like airports, seaports, railways and energy plants in challenging environmental and lighting conditions. Five years of market education and evangelization are really paying off: the company was ranked No. 2 in market share by the latest IMS Research report on thermal cameras. Although there's a lot of cautiousness in the market at the moment, the private sector and emerging markets in Asia and Latin America are luckily still buying. Examples include interesting flame detection applications from garbage disposal sites and commercial buildings. We will continue to preach about security being like insurance and make sure our partners will never lose any project to the No. 1 in this market on price.

Panogenics (AMG Group)
David Myers, MD
This business unit was founded by the founder of Grandeye and is a sister company of AMG Systems (fiber transmission). Our new product is nicknamed the “time machine.” With just one unit, there are 14 streaming possibilities, and you can go back to any recorded, HD, 360-degree footage to zoom in and dewarp, easily replacing four to eight traditional cameras. The management software was developed in-house, and we are integrating with Wavestore, Axxonsoft, Xtralis and more to target verticals like retail, transportation, education and health care. Our new firmware that's coming up will also be ONVIF-compliant, opening up even more possibilities and cost savings.

 Texecom (Halma Group)
Clym Brown, Marketing Director
Our business is about solving problems. Right now, it's about getting more than 1,000 installers across Europe up to speed on the new confirmed alarm standard, via road shows and workshops. We have new, conformant equipment for different market sectors: small to medium residential units, medium commercial establishments, and high-end infrastructure projects. One common characteristic of our new solutions is getting more done with less devices (and money). The home automation media server, for example, controls lighting, entertainment units and the alarm system all on one panel. Our top-end, self-healing, auto-rerouting mesh system gets signals across industrial or commercial sites with changing and challenging environments, which reduces false alarms and related penalties. And yet we keep everything simple, to minimize installation time/cost and maximize user enjoyment and energy savings. For instance, our dual-detection system of 32 devices can be set up and activated with just one touch and within two seconds.

Time and Data Systems International
John Davies, MD
The UK and European access control market is growing at about 4 percent; we are growing at about 15 percent in this market as well as overseas in the Middle East and Asia. We compete with different Tier-1 brands in different regions, but all at a lower, mid-point price, in verticals like education, finance/banking, health care, telecommunications and commercial buildings. Our cost-effective solutions provide reliable features, tailored functions with adjustable Web interfaces and add-on software and database tools; the flexible look and feel enhance user experience considerably. It's critical for access control solution providers like us to be able to work with specialists in architectural design, audio/visual, structural cabling and IT/IP infrastructure early on in any given project; it's our reputation on the line, so we need to make sure there are no surprises down the line. We already have video integration capabilities and are looking to biometrics, NFC and the cloud for new possibilities and opportunities.

Tyco Security Products
Leon Langlais, Product Management Director for Residential and Small Business, Tyco Security Products
Everyone is affected by the economy, but our intrusion detection business has had three straight years of double-digit growth. Our unified, all-in-one-box server solution was designed specifically for the small- to medium-size market, with an average application requiring 20 to 100 readers and 8 to 32 IP cameras. At aggressive price points, we address all the issues that installers care about: speed of installation, quality, reliability and third-party integration, so that they can continue to grow with us even in difficult times. For example, the fact that no wireless repeaters are needed (thanks to the Visonic acquisition and complementary market synergy) and installation time is cut from two weeks to two days makes it rather easy to sell, even to the cost-conscious bunch. Battery life of wireless products is also extended to five to eight years with corporate-grade reliability, eliminating unnecessary installer dispatch and user headaches.

SightLogix Protects North Hudson River Bridges

SightLogix Protects North Hudson River Bridges

Editor / Provider: SightLogix | Updated: 7/2/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

SightLogix thermal video analytics systems have been chosen by the New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA) to protect five large North Hudson River bridges.

NYSBA is deploying SightLogix' video perimeter security system to secure the Bear Mountain Bridge, Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Mid-Hudson Bridge, Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge which together serve more than 1 million Hudson River crossings each week.

“Threats to infrastructure in our country continue to this day,” said NYSBA Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero. ”It is our obligation to protect these critical bridges and to do so in a comprehensive and cost-effective manner. These video analytic systems will play an important role in accomplishing that vital task.”

“Bridge security requires accurate, reliable intruder detection in a difficult waterside environment,” said John Romanowich, SightLogix President and CEO. “SightLogix systems have been designed specifically for securing critical infrastructure in these types of harsh outdoor environments. We're pleased to have been selected by the New York State Bridge Authority to protect public infrastructure so vitally important to our nation's transportation and commerce.”

The SightLogix perimeter security systems will be integrated by Transdyn, a leading systems integrator for intelligent transportation and security/surveillance systems that enables customers to rapidly respond to real-time conditions and emergency situations.

SightLogix technology has been successfully deployed to protect facilities throughout the world for a wide range of outdoor perimeter security applications. SightLogix SightSensors detect with a high degree of accuracy and provide clear, detailed images night and day. On-board image processing is used to accurately detect a person entering a secure area and filter nuisance alarms such as small animals, birds, blowing debris or moving tree limbs. Upon detecting an intruder, the system determines the exact location of the intrusion and can automatically steer Pan Tilt Zoom cameras to zoom in and follow the intruder using PTZ tracking.

Channel Restructuring

Channel Restructuring

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 7/5/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

With more standardized products and thinning profits, solution providers are hard pressed to either offer something unique or make themselves unique. Desperate times also call for desperate measures, on channel partners' part, in training and collaboration.

The world is flat, and so is growth in recent times. No stranger to slight slumps in economy, security solution providers seem to be better prepared this time around. With more comprehensive and mature IP and HD solutions, solution providers in the supply chain and channel have been focusing on bringing distinct solution and service offerings to fruition to stay in the game. “Take the U.K. for example; the overall market is going to be flat, at best, for the following year,” said Barry Shakespeare, MD for Norbain. “Last year, there was a one-time sales boost because of the Olympics. We already saw some challenges, and we're trying to turn them into opportunities.” For the company and its integrator/installer partners, training, service and cloud initiatives ensued.

Via a flexible, modular approach, Norbain offers a range of training programs that would enhance installers' knowledge of IP-based technology for video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection. “What struck me the most when I first entered physical security from IT was the lack of both technical and commercial training,” Shakespeare said. “This academy is our internal center of IP excellence where we professionalize and deliver the type of training required out in the field.” For immediate project needs, the distributor also offers a pay-per-use consultation service that encompasses site survey and system design/configuration, commissioning and troubleshooting; reduces the risk of installations; minimizes time spent on site by engineers; and makes new products more accessible and deployable. “We believe that this new service offering will help our customers tackle new technologies and break into profitable emerging markets,” said Keith Purvis, Operations Director.

This new approach significantly trims down finger pointing when an installer uses IP cameras from A, switches from B, routers from C and software from D for a project and something does not work or breaks down. “Essentially, it's a high-level, tailored service that makes Norbain our customers' employee and ensures maximum system uptime,” Shakespeare added. Still too complicated? Norbain's answer to that would be the cloud. “With plug-and-play cameras, cloud storage and management software, and different service packages, we give our customers more options to provide to their customers, without them having to worry about maintenance and service,” Shakespeare said.

And Norbain is definitely not alone. “We had a patchy start this year, but now we have some really good leads,” said Gary Harmer, Sales Director for Electronic Security, Mayflex. “Full IP is where our skill set is, and we will leverage our expertise to support the estimated CAGR of 35 percent in the next four years.” In selling true benefits of IP to key verticals like retail, education, transportation, financial and data centers, Mayflex focuses on ease of use and scalability. “We also offer our partners one-day, free-of-charge training courses covering engineering and sales techniques,” Harmer said. “We want them to be able to future-proof their clients' investments and provide the best value for money, especially in a financially difficult time like this.”

Spread the Word
But, is IP really required and ready for prime time? If one of the world's largest surveillance markets with a humongous analog install base is seeing tremendous demand, the answer should be clear. “We Brits are conservative,” said Phil Doyle, Regional Director of Northern Europe, Axis Communications. “We've been quite slow in switching over to IP, but 2011 was really a ‘lightbulb' moment as people started to see the benefits that IP has brought to other parts of the world. Last year, we trained more than 500 partners in the U.K. alone. Across the globe, we have eight regional divisions that know the local people, cultures and business practices really well and deliver the kinds of solutions, education and support that are truly needed.”

Another example would be Avigilon; the company is ONVIF-compliant, offering complete solutions from 1 to 29 megapixels, hardware to software, and front to back. “We are not just a surveillance company; we are an innovation company,” said Keith Marett, VP of Marketing and Communications. This spirit of innovation helped the company secure a 77-percent revenue jump in Q1 of 2012, compared to the same period last year. The biggest challenges for Avigilon right now are getting the required talent to meet the exponential growth in sales and clientele and fortifying partner networks across the globe. “Building relationships does take time.”

Keeping momentum up, while making everything easy to salespeople and partners, is also one of IndigoVision's challenges. “Our promotional activities will be more targeted, and the foot work in finding more partners and end users will accelerate,” said Jurgen Klijn, Senior VP of EMEA. “At the end of the today, it's about the will to succeed and trust in everyone to do their part.”

For specialty equipment like thermal imaging, the road is even bumpier. “Thermal cameras are not security cameras,” said Yair Sakov, VP of Security Business, Opgal. “Helping our partners understand the technology — the breadth of our offerings, picture quality, innovation — and transforming them into our extensions in the field do take a lot of resources. A lot of security solution providers sell on fear, uncertainty and doubt; we sell on the value of being able to see clearly what's going on at critical locations like airports, seaports, railways and energy plants in challenging environmental and lighting conditions.” Five years of market education and evangelization are paying off: the company was ranked No. 2 in market share by the latest IMS Research report on thermal cameras. “Although there's a lot of cautiousness in the market at the moment, the private sector and emerging markets in Asia and Latin America are luckily still buying,” Sakov said. Examples include interesting flame detection applications for garbage disposal sites and commercial buildings.

Closer Collaboration
Recent press releases indicate that more investments — including human capital — are being poured into training and education programs, such as US system integrator collective PSA Security Network working with hardware manufacturers and software developers to deliver technology and business seminars virtually and physically, and network infrastructure distributor Anixter working with vendors to bring IT and IP fundamentals to “traditional” security dealers and installers.

Knowledge is paramount, especially in increasingly connected, integrated building and security environments. “For the last 2.5 years, we've been trying to get closer to consultants and specifiers, to help them gain the necessary knowledge in a structured way,” said Daniel Wan, UK Channel Marketing Leader, Honeywell Security. “IP is great and is the future, but we are not abandoning our analog install base and installers. They are nervous, but we help them avoid pitfalls and give them the foundation to speak to IT managers confidently.”

There will never be enough time and money, so focus is pivotal. “Take the necessary steps to vet and find the right partners, and provide them training on an ongoing basis so things don't get out of control when economic conditions or technologies shift,” advised John Davies, MD for Time and Data Systems International.

Communication Crucial to Metro Security

Communication Crucial to Metro Security

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang | Updated: 7/5/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

Metro stations require numerous sensors to detect behavior in different areas. Processing the data from these sensors takes time and, in many cases, is done manually by operators. “Additionally, the operator then has to manually locate the video camera(s) nearest to the sensor location to verify what is going on,” said James Chong, CTO and Senior VP of Strategic Innovation, Vidsys.

Information and the speed at which it is delivered are therefore critical, as seconds can save lives. “During critical events, it is essential that operators have fast and reliable access to relevant security assets, and pertinent information from the numerous and complex security systems,” said Adlan Hussain, Marketing Manager, CNL Software. “The challenge is the response to a sudden surge in this load, caused by a critical event or disaster scenario, comprised of multiple events happening at the same time. Designing a system to make the best use of the existing systems, such as marrying the information from surveillance, detection systems and location data, can help reduce the number of false alarms, increase situational awareness and minimize the time taken to deal with incidents. This helps increase the efficiency of security operations and reduce any disruption caused to passengers and their journeys.”

Peleg seconds it. “Fast access to recorded video is very essential if something happens and images/ video footage are recorded 24/7. Through a centralized platform and efficient data coordination, operators don't need to memorize procedures by heart and can better respond by shortening the panicking time and taking appropriate actions quickly.”

Ins and Outs
Damage Control and Vulnerability
The complexity of metro environments directly affects evacuation strategies. When considering security risks and vulnerabilities of indoor and outdoor stations, it all comes down to the natures of threats. “In an indoor, confined area, threats such as explosives or fires can have significant effects. On the other hand, the threat within an outdoor station is more concerned with the relative freedom of access,” said Skip Dunnett, Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Consultant at Digital Barriers. “An outdoor station can be difficult to protect too, as the perimeter is generally easier to access. Indoor stations are easier to protect in this regard, as the egress points are limited and create excellent canalization points at which security sensors and monitoring can be operated effectively.”

Risk Assessment
Aspects of the station's profile, such as environment, passenger makeup, ease of access, ease of escape, overt security profile and prestigious value, would define the level of threat and dictate the type of attack. “Generally speaking, the safety and security requirements not only differ based on the ‘indoor' or ‘outdoor' factor, but also on the size and the bustle of the station,” said Roger Dong, Director, Product Marketing and Business Development China, Bosch Security Systems. “Noise levels, means of escape, fire prevention and fire detection all cause concerns which relate to the unique layout of and emergency response to the area. For instance, smoke detectors for metro stations with high ceilings need to be extremely sensitive.”

Rugged and More
“The performance of video analytics, especially in outdoor environments, can be impacted by numerous environmental factors, such as flying objects like bugs or litter, rain, snow and fog, which can cause false alarms” said Danny Peleg, Director of Market Development for Transportation at Genetec.

Fair or poor lighting conditions should also be put into consideration during camera setup. Ruggedized, vandal-resistant design of cameras is a must.

In these high-traffic, harsh environments, cutting-edge technology is not necessarily a must. “Usually, the most appropriate technologies can save a lot more trouble, lives and lower TCO in the long run,” said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing, Ademco Far East (an Ademco Security Group company).

Safe and Sound
In addition to safety and surveillance measures, voice alarm systems also play an important role. For example, they are used to guide people to the stairways, or to instruct them to take their baggage with them in the event of a bomb threat, or to leave everything in the event of a fire, Dong said. “From a technical perspective, a public address system is one of the most difficult parts because in each case, the system needs to be adjusted to individual premises and acoustic conditions. Announcements or warnings need to be easily understandable despite high noise levels or reverberation. Fully digital public address and emergency sound systems are suitable for these volatile environments, as they automatically adjust to match the ambient noise levels.”

Communication systems are equally important as surveillance systems, but are often neglected, Lim warned. “Integration of all these systems to work intelligently as one helps greatly in providing accurate and life-saving information, should there be a terrorist attack or an emergency.

Unwind Metro Security

Unwind Metro Security

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang | Updated: 7/4/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

Mass transit systems, by nature, are open to everyone. Multiple entrances and exits designed to move large quantities of riders, oftentimes in closed quarters, make metro stations particularly vulnerable. “It is important to understand the operational complexities of the environment when considering the security and safety of passengers and operations,” said Skip Dunnett, Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Consultant at Digital Barriers.

A security system can only be reliable if it is comprehensive in design, with various inputs and perspectives from all stakeholders. “Multiple parties, including transit authorities, local municipalities and emergency responders, are typically involved throughout the planning and design process for metropolitan subways, making it crucial for a security integrator to communicate closely with each party,” said Jeremy Brecher, VP of Technology Services, Diebold Security.

“A better and more productive approach is to include safety professionals such as health and safety representatives, public safety officers and fire control officers from the onset. While safety systems are not generally designed to provide physical protection, they can offer aspects of security such as threat identification and scene change awareness,” Dunnett added.

Harsh Environments
Subways can be harsh for security systems, in terms of high/low temperatures, heat, constant vibration and dust/debris. Such environmental challenges must be considered throughout all stages of security, life safety and risk mitigation planning and implementation.

“In addition to potentially requiring more frequent maintenance, harsh conditions can also impact the effective operation of security equipment,” Brecher said. “The trains and rail equipment can cause radio frequency/electromagnetic-field interference, for instance, and being underground makes connectivity through wireless technologies and security backhauls difficult as well. This is more the reason to ensure that technology is selected with careful consideration of all factors.”

After identifying the risks, integrators must look to install technologies that have been proven to operate effectively in harsh conditions to prevent costly maintenance or even failure. “To ensure reliability, all electrical equipment must have ruggedized design,” said Armine Beybutyan, Product Sales and Marketing Manager, Korenix Technology (A Beijer Electronics Group Company).

Operation versus Security
In transportation, anything adversely affecting passenger flow is regarded as negative. Compared to the aviation sector, there are no constant screenings at metro stations, if there are any, which illustrates the limited resources earmarked for transit authorities. According to USA Today, more than $30 billion has been allocated for aviation security since 9/11, compared to $1.7 billion for subway, passenger rail, cargo rail, bus and ferry security all combined.

“Metro stations are open, and no one can really stop you if you have a load of weapons or explosives,” said Danny Peleg, Director of Market Development for Transportation at Genetec. “Unlike airport security where each passenger has to show up an hour before boarding for screening, the challenge for metros is to ensure security without disrupting operation or service. So you really need to think about security measures that can actually be implemented.”

The constant changes in metro stations also make it difficult to react or respond. “Unlike safety equipment and procedures that are normally seen as nuisances and dictated by regulations, security is an area where risk management can be applied,” Dunnett said. “Although there is usually some form of input into metro security from government departments, this is normally in the form of advice and guidance and relies on the operator to act proactively. In contrast, there is commonly a zero tolerance to unsafe practices. Given that protective security can often require a huge range of differing standards of protection based on the same threat scenario, it is not surprising that mass transportation security managers and planners employ a great deal of risk tolerance when it comes to the implementation of security.”

Effective Coverage
It is often difficult to have effective coverage over an entire station. “You're dealing with a lot of equipment spread over an extensive area,” Brecher said. “Security managers can often achieve better results if they cover the most vulnerable areas, including entryways, critical areas and so on, instead of trying to cover the whole system, which has the downside of spreading resources too thin.”

Roger Dong, Director, Product Marketing and Business Development China, Bosch Security Systems, agreed. “No matter how few or how many cameras a system uses, monitoring everything effectively presents a serious challenge. Even observing just a single screen for long periods pushes concentration to the limit; after only 20 minutes, an operator can miss as much as 90 percent of the activity in a scene.”

The best form of defense is thus “attack.” “It is better to identify a number of minor incidents that can be analyzed to give warnings and indications of potential problems than to wait for a major incident to unfold,” Dunnett said. “The proactive tracking of incidents of security interest can allow security staff and managers to detect areas of potential risk and to take preemptive action to reduce vulnerability."

Through coordination and integration, safety systems can be better utilized to support security processes and procedures. “A safety system installed to control overcrowding on the metro platform can be utilized to monitor suspicious activity and thus add to the threat awareness picture. The use of passenger-counting analytics across the surveillance system can highlight not only unsafe overcrowding in ticket halls but can also draw attention to building disquiet in these areas during periods of tension such as the transiting of opposing football supporters,” Dunnett said. “Furthermore, the integration and utilization of safety equipment are not only cost-effective but also provide a subtle way by which security can be introduced without being intrusive. The general public can be uncomfortable with overt surveillance equipment but will feel at ease with the same amount of cameras being present for safety reasons.”

To cope with compounded security and safety threats, a wide range of security and safety systems, including fire alarm, public address and evacuation, video surveillance, intrusion detection and access control, must be in place. “The implemented technology needs to be flexible enough to address different circumstances,” Dong said.

Innovation and Tailored Solutions for US Market

Innovation and Tailored Solutions for US Market

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 6/26/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

Solution Needs
While awareness for HD-SDI has grown considerably in EMEA and Asia, people are not as interested in it in North America where IP is generally preferred, said Jeff Whitney, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Intransa.

On the camera side, camera manufacturers are touting improved low-light performance and WDR, while also increasing in pixel count. Arecont Vision's megapixel WDR cameras, for example, combine long and short exposures in the same video frame to provide greater detail in both bright and dark areas of the picture, said Mark Espenschied, Senior Marketing Manager at Arecont Vision.

Right now, 1,080p video has become pretty commonplace. In two to three years, we may be seeing another wave of upgrades. 4K resolution features four times as many pixels as 1,080p, and it has already begun seeping into the hands of tech-savvy consumers, said Bengt Christensson, Senior Marketing Director for Ambarella.

There will always be a need for higher resolutions, and with increased volume and falling prices for image sensors, it will not be long until adoption begins to pick up, Christensson continued. On another note, the 2012 London Olympics will be recording and transmitting some 4K content.

For 180/360-degree imaging continues to build up, with even chip manufacturers such as Ambarella building hardware-based lens distortion compensation directly onto its chips. 360-degree imaging in video surveillance has not been practical until recently due to technical limitations, but with larger image sensors and faster frame rates, Christensson thinks it is ready for prime time.

Also, an increasing number of camera manufacturers are beginning to replace fisheye lenses with panomorph ones. They use a larger area of the image sensor, and are already supported by many major software vendors, such Milestone Systems and On-Net Surveillance Systems (OnSSI).

Cloud-based services are all the rage these days, but end users are still evaluating the offerings on the market. You have to place a lot of trust in your service provider, and if you have a mission-critical system, you are not going to accept it, Bob McCarthy, MD of the U.S., TKH Security Solutions. He believes that the market potential for managed services has already arrived for the residential market, with light commercial to follow soon. Enterprise customers, however, may find it very difficult to take that leap of faith.

As demand for IP and open solutions has grown, so have business opportunities grown for making life easier for integrators. "We sell directly to integrators. We save them the hassle of buying a brand or generic PC and figuring out the right configuration and all the integration requirements for all the different software types," Whitney said. What companies like Intransa do is provide appliances that are basically traditional storage boxes, but preconfigured for compliance with different security vendors and products.

"We compete with a lot of people in different spaces, but there's no one that looks like us," Whitney said. Perhaps something is wrong with this picture, because it is pretty obvious that many traditional security professionals need help in minimizing the IT headaches and continue to supply the market with their expertise.

Innovative Security Designs (ISD), founded in late 2011 by former IQinVision CTO Ian Johnston, approaches this problem from the front end. "Many network cameras are developed in their own little worlds, with a lot of features that most people don't care about," said Johnston, now President and CEO of ISD.

At the end of the day, people buy cameras to solve problems, not for cool features, Johnston continued. So he set out to reimagine how cameras deliver value to system integrators and end users.

In his experience with system integrators, Johnston came to the conclusion that what they wanted, more than anything, in a network camera was simplified and automated network settings and configurations. If you look at the consumer world, almost every gadget is IP-connected, may it be a tablet computer, smartphone or printer, Johnston said, but they do not require time-consuming, mind-boggling network setup on the user's part.

About 60 to 70 percent of cameras sold today are still analog, not only because they are extremely mature and work very well, but also because IP-based systems are simply too much hassle. ISD attempts to marry analog's simplicity, via "zero touch" installation, with megapixel's sophistication and image quality.

Some manufacturers are catering to increased sensitivity to price, some getting fed up with the competition of me-too features, some reimagining security products for HD and IP-based systems and still others filling voids and identifying new business opportunities.

Avigilon is probably one of the fastest growing companies in video surveillance. It essentially reimagined video surveillance from the ground up to better fit HD and IP networks, said Keith Marett, VP of Marketing and Communications at Avigilon. "We were new and came in at the right time, and designed the system the right way from the very beginning. In contrast, competitors with existing systems tried to adapt, tweak or change to allow for the new digital wave." Avigilon's products, Marett said, are developed solely for the new era.

Others saw a void in the wireless camera department and decided to move in. "The entire camera was designed from the ground up to consume very little power and effectively transmit video wirelessly," said Allyn Pon, Director of Product Management. MicroPower Technologies. The camera is a compact unit with integrated solar panels and batteries; one could simply pick it up and pluck it anywhere.

Promising Verticals
As different industries have different requirements for security, vertical-specific components are necessary and so is the need for stronger integration of the components. Open solutions and standards are more important than ever.

ONVIF recently introduced "profiles," which take version compatibility out of the equation for users and let them easily determine supported features. Currently, the sole profile is the S, which "describes the common functionalities shared by ONVIF-conformant VMS and devices such as IP cameras or encoders that send, configure, request or control the streaming of media data over an IP network. The profile includes specific features such as PTZ control, audio streaming and relay outputs."

However, working with a single vendor is always easier, and some system integrators prefer a vertically integrated total solution. "When there's a problem, they know there's a single point of contact to go to. Logistically, it's just easier to work with a single company," McCarthy said. "That said, we do embrace integration with other systems. For example, some verticals need specific VMS, such as those for casinos or intelligent transportation."

Speaking of casinos, Keith thinks the market potential is big, but it is not exactly up for grabs. "You see in casinos 3,000 or 4,000 cameras for each site, so obviously that's a big market. Most casinos in Las Vegas still use analog cameras and VCRs for recording. When you switch those cameras to HD, you have a huge load of bandwidth, and you need a system that can handle that."

Retail is also taking off quite a bit, Keith continued. "They're seeing more and more what HD video surveillance systems can provide, in terms of ROI, and how they can improve the bottom line." Good guy applications are also an area Avigilon is focusing on in its education.

Panasonic is focusing on solutions tailored for specific applications, such as gaming, retail, education and public safety.

In terms of working with a single vendor, ADT Global Accounts lends a helping hand to companies with global footprints that wish to standardize integrated security solutions. With a Global Center of Excellence in Alabama pulling in resources from all over the world, ADT Global takes care of the designing for its multinational customers, while local teams of installers are given detailed instructions and diagrams to follow, said Renae Leary, Senior Director for Global Accounts, Tyco Integrated Security, previously part of ADT Worldwide. "This unit really began because so many customers were asking for our help in standardizing and integrating geographically disparate security systems."

Secutech Int'l 2012: Industry Perspectives from Taiwan (Part 2)

Secutech Int'l 2012: Industry Perspectives from Taiwan (Part 2)

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 6/19/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

With a strong presence at Secutech in Taipei this year (April 18 to 20), Taiwanese exhibitors capitalized on home court advantage by demonstrating the latest products/solutions along with R&D prowess. As dark clouds of uncertain world economy continue to linger, hardware and software developers were eager and determined to promote more cost-effective but tailored solutions with good quality and reliability.

Our new o fferings are complete HD-SDI solutions, including panoramic cameras with embedded defog function along with 1,080p resolution at 30 fps and mobile DVRs.

Our commitment to customers is to provide creative products, quality assurance and good service. Our main focus now is on HD-SDI products, and we are getting good feedback — mostly from Europe. The Southeast Asian market will be our next region of expansion in the near future. HD-SDI is just at an early adopting stage, and we believe that SDI will gain more market share with lower overall cost. We will continue promoting HD-SDI solutions and pursuing to be the No.1 provider in HD-SDI products by 2015.

Our marketing strategy is to promote new, creative products to current partners and keep finding new partners through word-of-mouth recommendations.

We are showcasing our latest NVR series with touch screen capability. Mouse clicking and joystick moving are very “last-decade,” so we hope this new series will “touch” customers' heart.

Also, we are collaborating with Taiwanese e-learning platform design company, Mao-Lin Digital Technology. By integrating our video/audio capability with the intuitive e-learning platform, cram school students can enjoy learning even if they cannot be physically in the classroom. To meet this unique requirement from the education vertical, our WDR and HD features are quite a perfect fit.

Another unique feature is that Mao-Lin has put a QR code into video footage to prevent end users from copying or recording the video. If students try to record with their smartphone without authorization, notifications will be sent to the corresponding school or teacher.

We are demonstrating our latest hybrid recording solutions at Secutech. Our slim series features a fanless design with low power consumption, making them fit in tight corners and run silently while requiring less power than traditional DVRs and PC-based NVRs. The series is especially suitable for ATMs, transportation and traffic/city surveillance. The most challenging part was to keep everything small in size without sacrificing functionality while retaining great efficiencies in heat emissions and low power consumption. In working with numerous network camera models, the key is to maintain great relationships with camera manufacturers. Since we do not manufacture cameras ourselves, our camera partners are more willing to share their APIs.

With the overcast in Europe and North America, we are looking for more system integrators in emerging countries, such as India. To avoid price competition, we always focus on projects instead of unit-selling. By proactively attending road shows and sharing dealer/ integrator partnerships with our camera partners, we believe we are stamping a strong impression on many key local players.

On display are our full lineup of 2- to 8-drive VioStor NVR models along with the latest VS-12100U-RP Pro VioStor NVR series available in 40, 48, 56 and 64 channels with Intel quad-core Xeon E3 processors — a wide range of options to suit various needs. We feel that the current NVR market is saturated with embedded models, so we will focus more on providing high-quality NAS and CMS solutions. Our greatest strengths are our hardware reliability, heat dissipation performance, fail-over design and easy-to-use setup. We are confident that end users can complete system setup within our six steps.

While keeping steady growth in the European and North American markets, we are optimistic about the potential in Russia, South Africa and India. We have local companies with 24/7 support to meet customers' various requirements in time.

Utechzone was founded in 1992, with automated machine vision as core technology. One of our highlighted products on the show ground is the Eye Key for access control. It features the latest pupil-tracking technology, which automatically detects where the user is focusing on. Users can enter the password/code by looking at the numbers on the screen in the right sequence and unlock the door/lock, eliminating the hassles with lost or stolen keys. Applications include credit card authorizations, ATMs, bank vaults and laboratories. Our target markets at the moment are Japan and China.

We are showcasing our latest smart-stream, region-of-interest camera feature, supreme series with WDR, fisheye camera with PTZ, vari-focal features for retail applications, and a 10-megapixel trial run.

We are also demonstrating our first 5-megapixel solution, the FD8372, which has a viewing resolution of 1,080p at 30 fps. It is equipped with a smart focus system for easy installation and maintenance. Lenses with built-in stepping motors are implemented for installers to remotely control the focal length and precisely adjust the camera focus. We are very excited about the launch and are confident that many applications, such as stadiums, parking lots and industrial warehouses, will benefit from it.

Our highlight this year is the latest D5210 dome camera, featuring 2 megapixels, 1,080p full HD, vari-focal auto-iris lens, removable IR-cut filter and IR LEDs. It is designed for 24/7 indoor surveillance with vivid image quality. The LEDs' working distance is up to 15 meters. The D5210 also offers PoE, micro SD local storage support and free bundled 32-channel NVR software.

Targeting home and SMB applications, our R&D is dedicated to making sure an intuitive user experience while maintaining stable and superb product quality. Whether in Europe, North America or emerging countries, we are seeing constant demand for quality products at affordable prices. We will keep focusing on meeting such demand and put forward products that best address customer needs.

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