Ensuring that separate security systems work together as a unified whole is no longer impossible. In this second of the two articles, A&S looks at what Asia has to offer. Converged solutions for non-video security systems allow separate systems to be merged on one platform for improved, timely responses.
Integration has arrived a big way in Asia, with manufacturers not only producing pure hardware but also offering more integrated solutions. While surveillance products dominate, integrated products for home automation and access control form a growing sector. From controllers and intercoms to biometric card readers, products with added functionality are becoming part of the trend toward integrated security solutions.
Access control systems are perfect candidates for integration, as card reader s, intercoms and attendance sof tware must work together seamlessly to ensure entry. A number of integrated solutions can be seen in Asia, including Commax's video door phone. The Korean manufacturer's Smart View series provides a vivid color LCD display, with a slim design to match any interior, said Han Dong Cho, Marketing Manager.
The Commax video door phone connects up to four cameras, supporting a quad screen to monitor views from all cameras, if necessary, Cho said. It also provides video alerts and supports up to four digital portable phones, or digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) phones. The video door phone's increased functionality makes it an ideal integrated solution for access control and surveillance applications.
Another Korean provider of access control solutions is IDTECK. From biometric readers to management software, it offer send-to- end coverage of integrated access control. ¨IDTECK's Starwatch iTDC Pro II is powerful access control management software that works with radio-frequency card readers (125 KHz, 13.56 MHz), biometric readers (fingerprint and facial) and controllers to provide a high level of security for access control,〃 said CEO Pil Kyung Kang. ¨Being able to perform access control, alarm monitoring, and time and attendance under one single management program is one of the key features that makes it stand out from the competition.〃
IDTECK's solution also integrates with surveillance and alarm systems, managing all systems on one platform. ¨The software can be connected to DVRs, CCTVs and video servers for integrated monitoring and real-time video surveillance,〃 Kang said. ¨It can also be interfaced with alarm systems, such as those for fire, for immediate measures in case of emergency.〃
To manage data from multiple systems, IDTECK integrates IT software to generate reports for users, exporting and printing of data into various formats such as Excel or PDF, Kang said. This makes software easy to manage and versatile enough to support multiple security systems, making it an effective central management software (CMS) solution.
¨ IDTECK is developing into a provider of integrated solutions, combining access control, video surveillance, alarm monitoring systems and building automation systems (BAS),〃 Kang said.
Home and Building Automation
Home automation is another natural fit for integrated solutions. Uniting access control, locks and lighting makes convergence attractive for users who must manage whole buildings.
Taiwan' s Humex Technologies started out in building automation, not security, said Manager Tim Lin. ¨We specialize in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control, which is referred to overseas as 'energy management systems.' Our RiskBuster platform supports software, access control, surveillance and Ethernet.〃
Humex has embedded its access control software onto the RiskBuster controller board, rather than placing it externally on a computer or separate management software platform. ¨It links to a Web site, by placing it on an Internet protocol (IP) address with two Ethernet ports, enabling ADSL,〃 Lin said. The controller then uses dynamic IP to detect connection type, allowing it to send e-mail alerts, text messages or voice messages.
RiskBuster's online access makes it suitable for remote monitoring. ¨It can be used for security at home or the office, enabling users to, say, monitor the workplace from home,〃 Lin said. ¨It integrates with surveillance, access control and HVAC. With dynamic IP, the solution can be controlled from anywhere and images accessed from anywhere.〃
The controller includes enough storage for events or short-length video recording. ¨It comes with eight gigabytes of storage onboard, which can be exported to a computer or server,〃 Lin said. ¨Built-in storage is not designed for long-term surveillance. When employees swipe cards or alarms are triggered, users can program the system to have cameras record images for 10 seconds to a minute.〃 In addition, flexible alerts -- modem, voice or text -- on specified video, alarm or building events bring disparate systems onto a single platform. ¨We offer a Web-based control system,〃 Lin said.
Integrated solutions offer extra functionality, which helps users manage existing systems like surveillance and access control. Commax video door phones are ideal for luxury homes or small offices intent on keeping an eye on visitors, Cho said.
Humex's RiskBuster is also suitable for homes and offices, as a single RiskBuster controller can manage lighting or detect gas leaks, Lin said. For bigger applications, such as a company with several locations, several controllers could be linked under a unified management software platform.
IDTECK's Starwatch offers access control and attendance. ¨This cost-effective product could be put to use in different environments, as it performs powerful access control, and basic time and attendance management,〃 Kang said. High-security locations where IDTECK's solution could be deployed include airports, banks and government facilities. It also works well in areas where extensive management of assets or vehicles is needed, such as warehouses, car parks or commercial premises.
Integrated solutions are useful for offering overviews of several different systems. Integrated solution vendors, however, must overcome technical difficulties to provide well-rounded security. Making card readers and cameras work together is not impossible, but does require more work than developing products for pure access control or surveillance..
Because Humex integrates third-party products instead of its own branded products, this results in compatibility issues. ¨Access control protocols are all different ,〃 Lin said. ¨The issue is not technical, as different systems can be integrated, but that people are not willing to open up their systems. All our platforms are open, but they are not always open to other companies.〃
Many markets, however, are not yet at the level where integrated solutions are required. ¨Commax wants to install home networking systems that meet each market's needs,〃 Cho said. To achieve this, it has built relationships with overseas sales agents for more than 40 years.
While Asian manufacturers must tackle several issues, the bevy of available solutions shows that convergence is a matter of time. Regardless of when -- not if -- integration occurs, security systems are being developed to handle events in more timely and effective ways.