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Axis releases video monitoring solution Axis Camera Station 4.0

Axis releases video monitoring solution Axis Camera Station 4.0

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 3/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

AXIS Camera Station 4.0 is a complete video monitoring and recording solution designed to perfectly match Axis' extensive range of network cameras and video encoders. Axis Communications, the global supplier in network video, launches a new release of its video management software AXIS Camera Station. With the introduction of AXIS Camera Station 4.0, Axis is setting a new standard for easy and efficient video surveillance.

“Many feature-rich video management systems on the market today are also quite complex to install and use,” says Peter Friberg, Director of System and Services, Axis Communications. “With AXIS Camera Station 4.0 we prove that it is possible for a video management solution to be both powerful – and easy to use. Based on experience from 50,000 installations worldwide and input from installers and users, we have improved the system in many aspects. This launch is a first, important step to really put efficient operation and identification in focus.”

The new release includes a setup wizard with automatic camera discovery which guides the user through every step of the configuration process. This allows for the system to be up and running within minutes.

The user interface of AXIS Camera Station has been re-designed with focus on ease-of-use and intuitive operations for key areas such as live view navigation, event configuration and video investigation.

With AXIS Camera Station 4.0, Axis introduces Extended Smart Search. By simply defining an area of interest the user can search through vast amounts of high definition video in just seconds for quick investigation and retrieval of evidence. The new Extended Smart Search function is based on AXIS Video Content Stream technology – a technology where certain information in the images is captured by the camera and sent as a separate stream together with the video and audio files.

AXIS Camera Station allows the user to take full advantage of Axis' market-leading network cameras and their capabilities, such as 360o overview recording with client de-warping, multi-view streaming, Axis Corridor Format, H.264 compression and advanced camera-based video motion detection providing high definition video for identification even if bandwidth and storage is limited.

A new type of mobile home

A new type of mobile home

Editor / Provider: Gary Tang, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 3/6/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The introduction of the smartphone and other mobile devices, in conjunction with advancements in wireless networks and cloud-based services, has brought a new meaning to the term“mobile home.”Today, it is possible for homeowners to check on their homes regardless of where they may be, provided that an Internet connection is present. While the majority of consumers have yet to embrace the smart home concept, there is no doubt that its adoption is set for rapid growth. According to a recent report by Juniper Research, smart home revenues will reach $71 billion by 2018.

Why Now?
Various forms of home automation have existed over the past 2 decades, but they have been too expensive and troublesome for most homeowners. Today, however, costs are significantly lower, and the ubiquity of mobile devices and the emergence of the app economy have made it easy for consumers to interact with products and services.

Alarm.com has been a part of the evolution to the smart home market, having been first-to-market with some features, said Jay Kenny, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. “We launched our first mobile app in 2009. That really was a big game changer; the mobile app and mobile device is one of the key things that has driven really rapid adoption of the technology.” Indeed, in the following years, Alarm.com started to see rapid growth—Alarm.com is the largest connected home platform in the U.S.A.

For mobile apps, cross-platform support is crucial—iOS and Android native apps, as well as web apps.“This is extremely important to reach the mass market as consumers can make devices work together and schedule them to run at certain times without having to download additional apps for each device, said Bob Cooper, CMO at Zonoff. Zonoff is behind the technology that powers the Staples Connect platform.

The big trend toward cloud services is also a factor driving adoption for consumers, since they dramatically decrease the cost of ownership, Kenny  continued.

In hindsight, it is only natural that consumers who are always connected will want to always have access to devices in their homes.“A lot of companies have observed that opportunity and are now getting into the market,” said Kenny.

Security at its Core
Right now, many consumers are attracted to the direct benefits of a connected device. No products bring direct benefits as security products do, making home security one of the core features of the smart home that is driving adoption. A basic home security system comprises video, sensors and 24-hour alarm monitoring. When an alarm goes off, the police will show up; when there is a fire, firefighters come to put it out. 2 high-growth add-ons to those services are video monitoring and energy management, Kenny said.

Video monitoring is one of the most important components in a modern home security system.“More and more people are adding video cameras to both the outside and inside of their homes. Being able to stream real-time video to a mobile phone is really interesting to people, both from a security perspective and an awareness perspective,” said Kenny.“If you have kids, it's nice to know that they are safe at home and are doing the right things. If you have pets, you also want to know that they are safe and are having fun. Both the awareness and security aspect of the video are really important.”

Even something as simple as a smartphone controlled garage door opener can bring significant convenience and peace of mind to homeowners. Since many Americans enter their home via the garage door, it is not only important to know the status of that entry point, it is also convenient to have the ability to check that status when a homeowner has driven 10 minutes away from home and worries that the door is still open, said, Bob Dahlberg, VP of Business Development at Arrayent. Arrayent's platform powers the home appliances of numerous well-known manufacturers.

Spreading Out From Security
Security is the primary service that consumers value and are willing to pay for, but Alarm.com is also seeing it drive a lot of adoption in thermostats and lighting. According to Parks Associates, nearly two thirds of US consumers are interested in buying a smart thermostat. Dahlberg agrees:“This industry has tipped. If you are in the thermostat business and you don't have a connected thermostat strategy, you are going out of business.”

As for lighting, it is the lowest cost way to impact the home environment. LED bulbs are getting lower and lower cost every day, getting close to compact fluorescents. ZigBee vendors are quoting ZigBee SoCs at less than $1 in 2015,”Dahlberg said. “The combination of LED and connectivity means lighting control (on, off, dim) will be very easy to install.”

Low cost is important because while there are vertical opportunities for all connected products, the near-term value of smart appliances is all around a collection of small conveniences; no single feature alone is compelling in its own right, Dahlberg continued.

UniKey's VP of Sales and Marketing Dirk Wyckoff thinks it is also crucial for the smart home that devices can stand on their own when integrating devices into a single intelligent system.“For a product to have mass appeal, the product's value proposition to the consumer must be singular in nature, meaning it must stand on its own without necessary integration into a larger system that is typically reserved for services with monthly fees. The product must be simple and elegant in both interface and appearance.”UniKey developed the technology behind the popular smart lock Kwikset Kevo.

A home full of devices that can interact with each other for the benefit of the user is indeed attractive. The concept of energy management has become popular—not just controlling appliances via a mobile app, but the integration of those appliances with the rest of the home, Kenny said. “For example, when I arm my alarm system, the thermostat automatically adjusts. If I leave my backdoor open by mistake, I can have the system adjust to that, too.”

Related article:Smarthome, pulling it all together

** This is a part of a&s SMAhome magazine and mySMAhome.com coverage. For free subscription, please click here.

Exacq bolsters security at The Ice Palace in Russia

Exacq bolsters security at The Ice Palace in Russia

Editor / Provider: Exacq Technologies | Updated: 3/5/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The Ice Palace closely monitors audiences at hockey games and other events with the exacqVision video management system (VMS) software from Exacq Technologies. The exacqVision solution enables them to quickly search and find evidence, integrate with multiple IP camera manufacturers and view live and recorded video at all times.

The Ice Palace is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Built in 1999, the Ice Palace has served as the home arena for SKA St. Petersburg and been primarily used for ice hockey games. Beyond ice hockey, the arena hosts concerts, fairs, circus shows, exhibitions and acts as a skating rink. The five-story building can hold up to 12,300 people.

Just like most sport and leisure centers, the Ice Palace required increased attention to safety. A common standard in Russia is the continuous improvement of video monitoring measures. The Ice Palace has seen a 10 % increase in the number of events occurring each year since it opened. With the increasing demand and more than 10,000 square meters of space and several floors, the Ice Palace needed a surveillance system to overcome the complicated issue of properly monitoring the facility.

The iPera Company partnered with the Ice Palace to design a video surveillance solution. Having past experience installing a surveillance system for the Arena-Mettalurg at Magnitogorsk, made this a familiar, manageable task for iPera to design and install.

iPera suggested the Ice Place install the scalable exacqVision VMS with a two-stage installation throughout 2011 and 2012. They selected exacqVision for its multi-faceted integration with IP video camera manufacturers and various servers.

To protect spectators and improve the capabilities available to the security team, iPera deployed the exacqVisions solution. iPera integrated IP cameras from Arecont Vision and Axis into the Ice Palace system. The cameras and exacqVision VMS software cover all areas of the stands, VIP boxes, entrances and exits, main foyer, cafes, player tunnels, press center and locker rooms.

Ice Palace staff members monitor the facility through a video wall displaying the exacqVision client software in the main office. The exacqVision VMS software is easy to use and navigate, so staff members could quickly adapt to the software without extensive training.

They can easily view all event attendees entering and exiting the facility. By using the client, they have effectively minimized criminal activity including entering with counterfeit tickets or bringing in unnecessary weapons. When the hockey players have interviews with media personnel, security staff can easily view and examine the interaction. Also, the exacqVision VMS is useful when players have meet and greet sessions with fans. Ice Palace security workers now have the capability to zoom in and see greater detail. With the integrated cameras and exacqVision client, they can completely and accurately identify people.

The exacqVision VMS software provided Ice Palace staff with the functionality to pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) on individual spectators faces in the stands. If a crowd disturbance is reported in a section, staff members can quickly search and view the video to investigate the incident and remove inappropriate visitors before a serious incident occurs. Staff members can also download, save and send specific video clips if needed as evidence for a case. Therefore, they can better handle situations and improve their response time to provide the safest atmosphere.

The Ice Palace has greatly improved their surveillance with the scalable exacqVision system. They can now ensure an enjoyable spectator experience while protecting its staff members, players and fans.

Increase Biz efficiency & profit with 360-degree cameras

Increase Biz efficiency & profit with 360-degree cameras

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang,a&s Asia | Updated: 3/4/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Despite 360-degree cameras are mostly installed indoors. They are great fits for retails, especially. We take a closer at how business intelligence (BI) is achieved.

360-degree cameras are designed for areas with the need for more or less total coverage — an overview of all activities — and with tight budgets for surveillance, such as retail stores. Customers deploy 360-degree cameras for 2 main reasons: first, for situational awareness because 360-degree technology provides end users with coverage that has no blind spots and retrospectively analyzes a scene with speed and accuracy that no analog cameras could accomplish. Secondly, “this development is fuelled by network video enabling advanced video processing and analytics applications,” said Petra Bennermark, Product Manager, Axis Communications. “This is particularly true for the retail sector where panoramic cameras are used to monitor aisles, shelves and racks.” In other words, BI application integration is one of the most significant reasons for retailers to move to network video.

Improved Business Intelligence
Retails owners are no longer limited to counting people as customers come through the front door Through path analysis, queue counting, and dwell time, marketing and business intelligence is hugely enhanced. 360-degree cameras not only offer economic alternatives but also enhance sales and efficiency.

Profit first, security second
At any retailer, security cannot interfere with profitability. Explaining the business case for security must account for retail priorities. In retail, the loss prevention department is usually the main decision-maker who determines how budgets are spent on security technologies. The motivation for these decision-makers is to combat shrink. They do not put in a camera or an alarm because it's necessary. Instead, they invest in technology when it has a proportional impact on shrink or produces a return of investment (ROI) in a one- to three-year time frame.

Added-benefits Attract Attentions
Retailers reveals more interests when security proves to be an investment, rather than a high one-time cost. Reducing operational costs is one clear way security can provide benefits. In the longer term, ROI can be demonstrated through cost reduction of manpower, such as security guards and more.

For example, a great numbers of components make up the path to sales such as merchandising, adequate staffing, environment, and how long a customer must wait for assistance. By a holistic view of surveillance, 360-degree cameras, with the help of video content analysis combined, count customers entering pre-defined directions, calculating waiting time for customer service, and counting vehicles and their wait time in the drive-through area. Such video analytics provide data necessary to minimize wait times and maximize staff. In other word, the integrated analysis transforms video into a continuous stream of business intelligence such as daily traffic distribution, sales conversion rate and average service time. Such valuable Information on traffic, conversion, staffing levels and sales empowers strategies on how and when to staff. Stores can compare this information with the number of sales and adjust work schedules to ensure proper staffing for better customer service. The entire solution is beyond security system and evolves thereby as a management tool to optimize operations.

More than PoS Integration
Management efficiencies can also be delivered through security aiding business systems. Via the integration of point of sale (PoS) systems with surveillance systems, comprehensive and actionable information can thus be gathered. For example, there is a great tendency that more loss at the register than internal and external theft combined. These losses might not always be intentional, they can be generated from mis-scans on bar codes or ringing up a single item when it should be multiple. If the PoS improperly registers these incidents, it's a loss.

The integration of 360-degree cameras and PoS can correlate transactions from cash registers with the video monitoring. The combo also allows centralized management so all system administration can be undertaken from the headquarters while each store manager can leave the investigative work to central control and focus time on the daily management of the local store instead. Still store managers do have access to video evidence so that it can be used in connection with events such as shoplifting or payment disputes

Other Applications
“The best uses for panoramic is in which have a very large space to cover with minimum mounting points, for example, parking lots, campus quads and lecture halls, cafeterias and building lobbies, large industrial spaces, large retail space and storage yards,” said Becky Zhou, VP of Sales, Asia Pacific, Arecont Vision. “Compared with traditional monitoring, at those areas, we can use least camera and see the largest space. And as our panoramic camera has highest resolution (40MP), we can see the detail clearly. In some entrances, we can use the WDR panoramic camera, which can show the perfect panoramic image.”

Installation tips
As 360-degree cameras change the perspectives for security personnel who “see” video, installers should pay closer attention when deploying them. First, Installers must be conscious of where the camera is being mounted and of what type of material they are mounting a camera on. As certain 360-degree cameras are designed to blend into the decor and need to be mounted at harder ceiling material like drywall or sheetrock, plenum space where air circulation is used might not be a good option. In other word, aesthetics play an important part in many installations, especially when mounted at eye level or just above eye level in a wall.

Since a 360-degree camera covers a wide area in all directions, ceiling or mounting height is important and cameras should be positioned strategically to provide the best coverage for the area. Apart from this, how the camera is going to be powered with PoE and how it would connect to the management network should be given some thought.

Due to possible resolution drop at the edge of fisheye lens, user should make the area of interest the centre of the image. Thus, the height and location for installation should be carefully considered.

Another consideration for installing 360-degree cameras is light variations in a given scene with such a large field of view. Very bright lights often blow out a scene or create lots of shadows, and many 360-degree cameras cannot pick up information because the image is either too dark or too bright. The brightest and darkest areas will be a challenge for the camera to resolve. Installers should consider the entire scene when placing a camera — how much light will be visible and what in your scene is important to see for total situational awareness. When a 360-degree camera is installed under a bright environment which uses lamps with low frequency, flicker might occur. Low light sensitivity of 360-degree cameras should be put into agenda, and “the monitoring area better have sufficient lighting,” recommended Aaron Yeh, Director at Surveon Technology.

Honeywell Total Connect enhance smart home experience on iPad

Honeywell Total Connect enhance smart home experience on iPad

Editor / Provider: Honeywell | Updated: 2/13/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywell announced an update to the iOS App for Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 that simplifies set-up while bringing all of the power and capability of the Honeywell Total Connect website to Apple iPad and iPad mini devices. Providing the same user experience, features and functionality across Web and iPad applications extends the value and reach of Honeywell Total Connect, the award-winning solution that lets consumers use mobile devices to remotely control their security systems, lights, thermostats, locks, view cameras and receive important email and video notifications.

The new app lets dealers and end-users configure systems directly on the iPad and offers simplified video set-up with built-in help guides for configuring cameras and defining video detection areas. Users can also quickly and easily create customized scenes to automate their home environment.

“We're incredibly excited about our latest update to the Honeywell Total Connect app. It brings all of the capability of the web, and puts it into the mobile devices that are now users' primary interface to their connected homes,” said Alan Stoddard, senior marketing director, Honeywell Security Products Americas. “With the growing interest in remote video monitoring in the home, this new application offers a simpler, yet more powerful, tool to manage cameras, analytics and scene creation.”

iPhone and iPod touch users will also enjoy an enhanced user experience. The app improves live video viewing by supporting landscape rotation and Wi-Fi signal strength indicators for Honeywell Total Connect cameras.

Tips for selecting NVRs

Tips for selecting NVRs

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang | Updated: 1/28/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Summary
A network video recorder (NVR) is an IP-based video surveillance management system. It integrates transmission wiring, network transmission and front-end management into a single system, offering system status and parameter monitoring and querying. Compared to DVRs, NVRs greatly simplify troubleshooting by optimizing the distribution and transmission of video signals.

Similar to DVRs, current NVRs are categorized by the number of channels they support. Mainstream standalone NVRs support 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 or 128 channels. NVRs that are built on server architectures support even more channels—256 or even thousands of channels. When considering an NVR, Secutech recommends the following six tips:

1. Support for multiple high-capacity HDDs
The number of channels that an NVR can support if highly dependent on the amount of storage it can handle. Therefore, it is critical that the NVR being considered supports a suitable number of HDDs. The types of HDDs supported is also important; buyers should look for NVRs that use reliable, high-speed interfaces like SATA, SATA-II or e-SATA.

2. Appropriate HDD brands and models
The top HDD manufacturers now have HDDs that are designed specifically for surveillance, enterprise and consumer applications. The differences between classes are: optimizations in reliability, performance and energy consumption. HDDs used for video surveillance need to be reliable, support high transfer rates, and are capable of operating 24x7x365. The duration of the manufacturer's warranty is also something to consider.

3. Stable operating systems
There are two main types of NVRs: embedded and PC-based. Embedded NVRs use SoC platforms with an embedded version of Linux. PC-based NVRs are servers or industrial PCs that generally run Linux or Microsoft Windows. While the former offers high reliability and stability, the number of supported channels is limited by physical connections and processing power. PC-based NVRs have more processing power, are relatively easier to develop, support a multitude of video compression formats, and generally support a greater number of video channels. Users that need fewer channels can consider embedded NVRs, while users that need a large number of channels will have to go with PC-based ones.

4. Interoperability
Regardless of application, buys should primarily consider NVRs that support cameras made by other manufacturers. This benefits distributors, installers and end-users by alleviating compatibility headaches. In addition, NVR manufacturers that are oblivious to industry standards like ONVIF probably are not worth considering anyway.

5. Effective Back-End Management Clients
The back-end management client is a user's primary interface with which to interact with the NVR. It is therefore critical that users choose an NVR that includes a management client that provides all the needed features and an acceptable user interface. NVRs support remote management through a web interface (accessed with a browser) or via software installed on a PC. Basic features include video monitoring, recording and playback. If the NVR supports alarms, the management interface will also need to integrate management and operation of multiple NVRs and alarms. In addition, the management client should also support off-site backups of multiple NVRs.

6. Other Software Features
Features that are not necessarily essential, but are nice to have, includes: plug-and-play, intelligent tagging and searching, remote monitoring, alarm integration, and automatic off-site backup. In addition, the user interface should be simple, intuitive, reliable and stable.

For detailed information on NVR, please register for Secutech 2014

INFINOVA provides mobile surveillance solutions with D-TEG Security

INFINOVA provides mobile surveillance solutions with D-TEG Security

Editor / Provider: INFINOVA | Updated: 1/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

With the increased need for security while customers are traveling has result into a steep hike in demand for Surveillance on the Go. Unfortunately, due to the number of incidents and accidents while traveling, safety and security of an Individual in a Public transport or Private transport has emerged as a prime concern and thus raises the requirement for Mobile Surveillance in Transportation Sector.

This is a new market gradually evolved over the period of 2 years. To cater to this market promptly, INFINOVA and D-TEG Security join hands to provide Mobile Surveillance Solution into the Transportation Sector. Infinovaand D-Teg will work together to provide its customers one –stop solution for any kind of Mobile Surveillance requirement.

The Duo will target Public Transport and Private Transport vehicles running across multiple cities and currently targeted towards countries including India, Middle East Countries and African Countries.

Closed Circuit TV systems have evolved from simple video monitoring solutions to assisting in many aspects of crime deterrence, safety enhancement, emergency management, advance detection, and law enforcement. This wave of development in security has reached a new level with mobility. From simple windscreen mounted cameras to fully integrated vehicle solutions, mobile surveillance offers all the benefits of CCTV systems, and more, for customers' vehicle or fleet.

Designed with transport industry demands in mind, mobile surveillance solutions feature data back-up as standard, ensuring protection of crucial evidence even in the most toughest situations, expert level analysis tools for quick identification of incidents, comprehensive reports for easy management and coaching, as well as high-tech network solutions for notification and data transfer.

Infinova is a one source solution provider for a complete range of CCTV surveillance system, fiber optic communication and security management software. Infinova's best-in-class solution encompasses a wide spectrum of product technology to meet the security needs of government, industry, banking, retail, and service companies across the globe.

Infinova's industry experience in HD Megapixel, IP, Analog and Fiber Optics reinforces its reputation for flexibility with both integrators and end users. With its acquisition of March Networks, Infinova now stands strong into the financial, banking and retail sector.

Since Infinova is a manufacturer, the company has full control over the design and specification of its products. This gives their channel partners the flexibility to meet specialized project requirement, where customized solutions are needed.

Production efficiency improved by beyond security applications

Production efficiency improved by beyond security applications

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 1/14/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Production efficiency is improving organization and effectiveness in a production facility as well as saving manufacturers time wasted due to errors and money lost due to mistakes. For these reasons, automotive manufacturers are taking advantage of the beyond security applications of video surveillance cameras in their production facilities. Manufacturers are now employing their key capabilities, such as high resolution and interoperability, to help increase efficiency and decrease wastefulness.

Production Efficiency Saves Time and Money
The automotive industry has many stringent requirements when it comes to production processes. Safety must come first when it comes to parts and assembly. Therefore, it is crucial that even the slightest defects be caught before becoming part of a finished product.

Meticulous inspection of a production line, however, can be costly and time consuming, therefore efficiency is key.

The use of video surveillance cameras, for security applications, on the production line to improve efficiency is not a new concept. Nevertheless, as manufacturers become more aware of their benefits and their ability to be equally effective when it comes to improving production efficiency, more manufacturers are looking toward this solution.

Benefits of Video Surveillance Cameras
Traditionally, industrial cameras have been used in manufacturing settings for quality assurance and process control applications. Similarly, video surveillance cameras have typically been used for their video surveillance abilities — monitoring people, ensuring that there are no personnel in restricted zones, recording daily happenings, etc. “Video surveillance ensures safety rules are being followed, tools and equipment are handled properly, and that production personnel comply with defined processes at all times,” said Andrea Sorri, Business Development Director at Axis Communications. However, it has become increasingly more common for manufacturers to combine the use of industrial cameras with network surveillance cameras in manufacturing facilities — classical industrial cameras are used for inspection tasks and network surveillance cameras for process monitoring, according to Ingo Lewerendt, Strategic Business Development Manager at Basler. It is these beyond security applications of video surveillance cameras that have gotten the attention of automotive manufacturers.

Wendi Burke, Director of Marketing at IQinVision, pointed out that “cameras don't take a break, don't have bad days, don't get distracted or fall asleep, they're always on, always performing.” This makes video surveillance cameras, particularly high-resolution HD cameras, extremely beneficial to manufacturers in helping catch costly manufacturing defects and other problems before the problems are repeated.

In a similar way to how video surveillance is used in the automotive industry to enhance production efficiency, IQinVision's high-megapixel cameras have been used in the steel industry. Faults in manufacturing are costly mistakes for steel makers.

Therefore, the Ellwood Group, a US-based steel manufacturer, deployed 250 IQinVision megapixel cameras throughout their 10 manufacturing facilities to not only help with video surveillance, but also with identifying problems during production.

Convenient Integration with Network Cameras
Since a standard IP infrastructure is used in most manufacturing facilities, network surveillance cameras that are built on an open platform can be integrated into a facility's existing system. This is a big advantage of using a network surveillance camera, as pointed out by Sorri. “Network cameras can be easily integrated into industrial manufacturing environments such as production lines to automatically perform visual inspections, to monitor production line efficiency, and to enable remote assistance for maintenance.”

Additionally, network surveillance cameras can support intelligent video processing and video analytics on the edge, they can also be utilized to perform visual inspections for a specific step in a production line, alert the manufacturer to labels missing, caps not positioned correctly, or missing solder.

Another advantage of network surveillance cameras pointed out by Sorri, is that they “can be easily integrated into industrial manufacturing environments such as production lines to automatically perform visual inspections, to monitor production line efficiency, and to enable remote assistance for maintenance.

With over 12,000 employees and annual production surpassing 375,000 units in 2012, this idea of visual inspection was implemented by Axis at the SEAT factory in Martorell, Barcelona, Spain.

In 2011, the SEAT factory became the production house of the Audi Q3, the first luxury car assembled in Spain. The use of barcodes in automotive factories to keep track of parts during the production process is standard. At the SEAT factory, they wanted to take extra measures to avoid delays and facilitate workflow. As a result, over 100 Axis cameras were implemented to complement the existing barcode scanning system for a visual verification system. By taking images of the barcodes that were identified as possibly containing errors, which were then sent to an emergency data-entry computer, the system provides visual verification that serves as a backup to the scanned barcodes. With images of the barcodes, in the event of a barcode scanning error, vehicles do not have to be physically moved by operators in order to be re-scanned. Additionally, the cameras were also used to monitor the transport of car bodies throughout the facility.

Streamlining with Video Management Software
After cameras are in place, that is where video management software (VMS) comes in to help manage, access, and control the images and recordings; however, its usefulness in the automotive industry has helped to not only do the aforementioned tasks, but also streamline and improve the production process.

When Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK was looking to improve production efficiency at their facility, they sought a solution that could not only be integrated with their current set up, but also with over 300 network cameras from various manufacturers to monitor production lines and their facility. Nissan UK has always used machine vision tools, including highly specialized industrial cameras used to inspect individual processes to decide whether the correct part is in its exact location, take precise measurements, and act as “eyes” for the robots. However, these cameras do not give an overall view of a process, as they are designed to focus on one specific movement or task. In order to get a fuller picture, Nissan UK decided to deploy network cameras and Milestone's VMS.

The open nature of Milestone's VMS gave Nissan UK the freedom to view footage from cameras from different manufacturers and capture process faults with live-video monitoring and provide instant recording and playback. This helped Nissan UK prevent production issues and eliminate causes of temporary stoppage on their production lines.

Additionally, the convenience of being able to access images from the cameras via a PC, as well as the ability to compare two videos side-by-side to examine how different employees work on a process, made management of the facility easier.

The overall benefits of the VMS helped to not only improve both the quality and efficiency of Nissan UK's facility, but also gave them a system that could grow with the facility.

To Efficiency and Beyond
Efficiency in any industry is important, but in a competitive, high production industry like the automotive industry, efficiency is paramount to a facility's success. While “lean” practices help manufacturers in all industries reduce waste and boost effectiveness, the additional beyond security benefits of traditional security products, such as network surveillance cameras and VMS, have proven that the security industry is not just about catching intruders and controlling access. Offering additional benefits like production efficiency and workflow management shows that applications of the security industry are endless.

Ville de Forbach implements video surveillance at historical landmarks with Genetec

Ville de Forbach implements video surveillance at historical landmarks with Genetec

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 1/9/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Business Challenge
Located on then north-eastern side of France, just on the border of Germany, is the city of Forbach. Its rich history is showcased by The Schlossberg, a castle that dates back to mid-15th century.

Although charcoal mining once contributed to the original influx of residents, its population sits at about 20,000 people, with another 80,000 spread around its outskirts. As in most small cities around world, the city of Forbach was dealing with petty crimes such as vandalism and instances of theft which left a general concern for the safety of its citizens.

Although Forbach's police department had a small video monitoring system in place, requirements to add more cameras to more vulnerable areas soon became problematic.

The City of Forbach recruited help from long-time partners in information technology services and integration specialists of IP video surveillance, Signma IP. As a Genetec certified integrator, Sigma IP proposed Genetec's Security Center, its unified security platform, which would accommodate their video surveillance needs of added growth and network flexibility, while also providing Synergis, the access control component, to secure the door at their command center, called CSU (Centre de Surveillance Urbaine).

Historic French city located on the border of Germany, invests in Security Center unified platform for video surveillance and access control to protect citizens and deter petty crime, while preserving the authenticity of historical monuments.

Using History as the Catalyst for Cutting-Edge City Surveillance
Security Center's Omnicast video surveillance system manages over 38 IP cameras from vendors Sony and Arecont Vision. These cameras are spread throughout the city's most vulnerable areas. Some High Definition (HD) Sony cameras (SNC-CS50P, SNC-Z25P, SNC-RX550P, SNC-CH180, SNCEP550) were installed in critical areas where there were concerns about lighting or video quality, and the rest are in fixed locations such as on main avenues, or outside schools and other important structures.

Of the 38 cameras, 14 of them are Arecont Vision multi-lens cameras (AV20185 or AV20365) from the SurroundVideoR series. Mostly, the cameras are connected back to the central server located in city hall via a robust and intricate wireless network, custom-designed by Sigma IP. With about 18TB of storage, the city is able to preserve recordings for 15 days.

The municipal police are responsible for managing the system, and use it mainly to conduct investigations once an incident is reported. To easily locate the cameras in the city during critical investigations undertaken by the national police, the city of Forbach is using Security Center's map-based interface, Plan Manager. Without necessarily knowing the ins and outs of the city, federal investigators can find the cameras they need, and conduct quick searches based on time of day to pull evidence.

Taking the Next Steps with Limitless Growth
To date, the city of Forbach has seen success with their Security Center system. From apprehending vandals to addressing more instances of theft, physical confrontations and street crimes, the system has proven its worth.

Other important additions to the system include expanding the Synergis access control system beyond the one door, possibly into other municipal buildings, as well as doing some custom development work to leverage the audio capabilities of certain cameras for some unique parking applications.

Mr. Patrick Karp, Technical Manager at the City of Forbach offered the following advice to other cities contemplating a switch to Security Center: “The openness and unification of the platform were important factors when choosing the solution. Effectively, we now have a system that doesn't limit our development and growth.”

2014 market forecast: Innovate integration with video analytic is the trend

2014 market forecast: Innovate integration with video analytic is the trend

Editor / Provider: Andre Greco, Johnson Controls | Updated: 12/25/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

Recovering US security
When discussing the growth momentum of government sector in the US, the market is predicted to flat-line in 2014. Within federal government space, there proves to be very little momentum in terms of new projects. The process is moving more cautiously than in the past. Projects begin with procurement followed by bids or task orders related to the program. There has been more required involvement with integrators owned by minorities, women, disabled or veterans.

Large commercial sectors have been showing an ongoing slowdown and will likely do so in 2014, due to more retrofit projects to drive security and efficiency, trying to get more out of available space. Same could be said about small to medium sized business market, most of which are dependent upon larger companies for much of their business.

On the topic of Vertical markets, healthcare is predicted to be the fastest growing in 2014 due to legal and marketing requirements to deliver better patient experience. On the contrary, gaming sector is said to be the slowest market as expendable income slims. The retail industry, on the other hand, gains benefits from video surveillance systems, using cameras and analytics, not only to secure but also to monitor retail behavior to optimize traffic and sales.

IP Video technologies
The predominant trend of IP-based video and retrofits involve migrating from analog to IP across all market segments. These trends are not only the integration of video and access but also integrations of all security systems. Users will no longer accept standalone technology, as integration helps create a safer and more efficient environment.

Although working with legacy systems, fire and visitor management as well as emergency notification systems are all part of an integrated system, creating efficiency taking fewer people to manage a system and a single integrator can service it.

The topic of intelligent video commonly adopted for several applications and vertical markets. The retail industry for one is leading the way with its use of video analytics to monitor patterns among shoppers. Intelligent video is also common in transportation industry, playing an important part in infrastructure by creating perimeters around facilities and using analytics to alert first responders before an emergency happens.

Access Control Technologies
Access Control commonly mentions physical access and logical access. Looking at the physical access market, the migration from mechanical locks to electronic locks as well as wireless locks has grown substantially over the past few years. In a retrofit, wireless requires no additional cabling making it easy to add at a fraction of the costs, whilst existing Wi-Fi networks make it easy for wireless locks to communicate over a wide area.

As for NFC and biometrics in a physical access control environment, biometrics continues to remain a solution for high-security environments where dual- or tri-certification is necessary. There has been little adoption of biometrics within the commercial space and there is debate within the industry over the reliability of technologies.

That said, there are more requests for combined physical-logical access systems. The driver is able to use the same credential to enter a building and then log into a computer. If the card hasn't been used for building access, then it can't be used on a computer, printer or other device.

Alarm Technologies
Not much can be said about video verification however as access control and intrusion become more tightly integrated with cameras; video verification is expected to be used more often.

Increase of rmr
As systems integrators and service providers believe that some growth in RMR in 2014 will be based on end users looking to maximize their investments. Users are trying to get as much as they can from each piece of equipment, users want proper maintenance to keep equipment lasting for another couple of years instead of settle for a five year of service. They are open to service and maintenance plans that result in RMR for integrators. Also access and video monitoring become more accepted, this will offer more RMR opportunities for integrators.

Even though RMR has significant growth, there are still challenges which integrators are faced with. Attracting high-tech sales talents has become as such. Those need to be able to identify business challenges, communicate sufficiently with IT people, results in recruiting from non-traditional markets such as telephony, software development, IT and related industries or recruit at the college level to build sales staff, however that would require much time on training.

Technology is exploding therefore there is a new leap forward every month. Staying current on all the new equipment offerings and standards can be challenging, however it is important to be able to explain how security can benefit and help a customer meet its business goals. Those that show an understanding of how to build and add value to their products, services and operations will florish.

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