22 June 2011

Axis Lightfinder: Improving Low-Light IP Camera Performance

Axis has recently introduced a new IP camera technology called Lightfinder, aimed at improving low-light performance in its range of security and surveillance products. But what exactly is it and how does it work?

Here’s how Axis describes its new Lightfinder range of cameras:‘Axis Communications’ research and development have led to the introduction of the new and revolutionary Lightfinder technology. The Lightfinder technology is the result of a meticulous choice of the right sensor and the right lens, together with the elaboration of the image data coming from the combination of sensor and lens. The fusion of these factors – sensor, lens, in-house chip development and knowledge in image processing – provides network cameras incorporating this technology with outstanding performance.’Axis claims the main advantage over conventional day/night cameras is that Lightfinder cameras can continue to deliver full colour video instead of the black and white and/or infrared-dependent video produced by current models on the market. This has been achieved through focussing on combining a number of existing components to create an overall enhanced low-low light image.Axis Lightfinder cameras are equipped with a specialised CMOS sensor that is extremely light-sensitive. 

This has been paired with a specific lens to create an optimised setup, maintaining image sharpness and reducing noise levels to an acceptable level. The hardware setup is combined with advanced image processing techniques in the camera’s software, automatically adjusting filtering and sharpening of the image to achieve the best possible result even in fluctuating lighting conditions.

These improvements are primarily aimed at indoor and outdoor applications that require detailed colour video in poor lighting conditions to aid in identification of individuals and objects. It looks like the company is aiming this technology at a wide segment of the market, stating that Lightfinder cameras will be beneficial in, among others, ‘parking lots, city surveillance, schools and campuses, and construction sites… power plants, water treatment plants and prisons, as well as railway surveillance’.It’s clear that Axis is aiming to improve current IP camera technology by utilising a holistic approach where incremental improvements in every aspect of the camera should (hopefully) add up to a noticeable improvement in the final result. 

The above video is certainly a convincing argument in favour of this approach, but until we can run some real-world tests on a Lightfinder camera, we’re going to reserve judgement. If it does turn out to be as good as Axis claims it is, this methodology might be the way forward for future developments in the IP security and surveillance market.

Scallop Imaging Integrating D7-180 Camera with Milestone Systems' IP Video Management Platform

D7-180 with 3 Detail Windows from Scallop Imaging on Vimeo.
BOSTON, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scallop Imaging, the leader in high resolution, digital video camera technology, and Milestone Systems today announced the full integration of Scallop Imaging's D7-180 IP surveillance camera with Milestone's release of Device Pack 5.5 on June 23, 2011. The integration will enable end users to more easily manage IP network-based video surveillance systems using D7-180 cameras, which use a staring array of five powerful sensors to provide a fully stitched, 180 degree view with seven megapixel resolution.

Fireworks over Boston Common from Scallop Imaging on Vimeo.
"Milestone Systems' popular and widely-deployed open platform IP video management software, when integrated with the D7-180 camera, will help end users reduce costs, optimize processes, and protect people and assets," said Peter Jones, president of Scallop Imaging. "We look forward to working with the Milestone team to make the deployment of the Milestone/Scallop Imaging combination convenient and seamless for our many customers that were anticipating this announcement."

"Scallop Imaging's D7-180 camera features high resolution, in a small form factor, at a reasonable cost and with low bandwidth requirements from the H.264 technology," said Martin Friis-Mikkelsen, Head of Strategic Alliances at Milestone. "This is an ideal camera to support, and we're pleased to make it possible for Milestone customers to deploy D7-180 cameras on our platform."
About Scallop Imaging, Inc.
Scallop Imaging is a Division of Tenebraex Corporation, which was founded in 1992 and is located in Boston. Tenebraex develops and manufactures innovative optical products that solve real world problems. Scallop Imaging was formed to research, develop and manufacture video cameras based on the company's innovative Distributed Imaging technology, where the outputs of multiple, small, but powerful sensors are stitched together in real-time within the camera. This allows incredible resolution in a small form factor, at reasonable cost and low bandwidth requirements. Scallop Imaging video surveillance cameras provide a seamless 180 field of view, with seven megapixels of resolution. For more information go to www.scallopimaging.com.
SOURCE Scallop Imaging, Inc.

07 June 2011

Frost & Sullivan Recognizes iView Systems for its Pioneering Security and Surveillance Software Platform

The Modular iTrak Incident Reporting Platform Offers Unique Operational Benefits to End-users

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 07, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Based on its recent analysis of the Public Safety Systems market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes iView Systems with the 2011 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation for its iTrak Incident Reporting and Management System. The iTrak platform is a modular security and surveillance software platform designed to manage and automate key tasks in risk management environments. It provides overburdened security and surveillance agencies with an integrated software tool, enabling the most efficient deployment of available resources.
Incident reporting and management systems are expected to provide highly secure solutions that will cater to multiple departments and agencies for a broad range of transactions required by security, surveillance, public safety and risk management departments. There exists a need for a scalable solution, which provides a single centralized database of multiple properties, subjects and personnel, including an extensive search engine. iView Systems’ iTrak platform offers a complete integrated and converged physical security information management (PSIM) reporting solution for security, surveillance and loss prevention environments.
iTrak incorporates detailed case management, mechanisms to control losses and insurance costs, customizable notifications and workflows, as well as advanced statistics and metrics. The system allows users to track the relationship between people and events, providing users with a complete overview of stakeholders, their level of involvement, and single-click access to historical data to view prior events and incidents.
The iTrak solution caters to incident and case management, computer aided dispatching, notification management, work orders, facial recognition, license plate recognition, visitor management, and anti-money laundering. Ideal for any risk management or loss prevention environment, it delivers quick and accurate analysis with comprehensive graphing and statistics, pinpointing liabilities and controlling losses and insurance costs.
“iView’s approach is to provide customers with a centralized, fully converged platform enabling a multitude of transactions and tasks to be handled through a single desktop environment,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Anand Srinivasan. “In a typical enterprise, iTrak can replace over eight disparate systems with a single enterprise application, providing tangible operational benefits as well as economic benefits relating to IT support requirements.”
The modular architecture of iTrak uses the latest software and development technologies to not only avoid product obsolescence, but also to enable rapid integration with related systems. The technologies employed in iView’s platforms are based on Microsoft .NET, SQL Server, Web Services, and XML technologies.
iTrak’s unique home page design centralizes and provides immediate authorized property specific access. Its automated daily log module allows the consistent and accurate entry of routine activities with the ability to escalate to a full investigation. The incident reporting module provides detailed case management, including creation, classification, follow-up and report management. Combined with a comprehensive search engine and thumbnail view, individual subject profiles can be sorted and quickly identified. In addition, the platform requires minimal training requirements, as it possesses a quite efficient and simple user interface.
“The benefits of the iTrak solution transform into better efficiency for customers, as centralized shared information enhances productivity, allowing staff to work more effectively,” said Anand Srinivasan. “It also provides seamless communication between different departments and agencies, such as security, surveillance, risk management, legal and safety agencies, which ensures everyone is on the same page and prevents conflicting reports on the same incident.”
iView’s key strategy to target the multiple applications is to provide a centralized, converged and vendor-neutral platform, delivering an easy-to-use interface with intelligent business logic to simplify the end-user experience. The innovative elements permit the iTrak system to gather significant advantages when compared to other market participants.
Based on these achievements, Frost & Sullivan is proud to recognize iView Systems with the 2011 North American New Product Innovation Award in the incident reporting and management systems space. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leverage leading edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features and benefits of the product as well as the increased return on investment (ROI) it offers customers, which in turn increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About iView Systems
iView Systems specializes in the development and deployment of a complete integrated and converged physical security information management (PSIM) reporting solution for security, surveillance and loss prevention environments. iView Systems addresses the needs of multiple industries for a single desktop incident management and reporting system, providing both an incident and subject centric solution. iView's core product (iTrak) was developed with extensive consultation with the security and surveillance marketplace. iView Systems has rapidly attained industry recognition for its unique solutions and now provides incident reporting, dispatch and visitor management platforms and services to the global security marketplace, including the gaming, banking, corporate security and other loss prevention environments. iView Systems is dedicated to maintaining a consultative process with its clients to ensure that all deployments are optimised to meet their specific requirements, through design, configuration, deployment and post deployment project processes. iView Systems is located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visithttp://www.awards.frost.com.

Media Contact:

Mireya Espinoza
P: 210. 247.3870
F: 210.348.1003

03 June 2011

With Public Sector Violence on the Rise, How do you Get Help when Every Second Counts while Balancing Privacy with Public Safety?

We can show you how with just the push of a button, you can instantly alert a authorities and open “eyelids” on SITUCAM’s (www.situcon.com) Privacy Protecting Camera System allowing responders to see exactly what is happening. Then get you the help you need, while your privacy is guaranteed at all other times.

With violence on the rise in town buildings across s the United States, Marshfield, MA felt it needed to enhance its conventional 911 System to further ensure employee and public safety.  Because of privacy restrictions, likely targets such as the selectmen’s meeting room in the Town Hall were strictly off limits for a traditional video surveillance system.

Marshfield found its answer with SITUCON Systems’ innovative Privacy Protecting Technology. The SITUCAM enclosure system provides mechanical eyelids over the network cameras. In the privacy protecting mode, the eyelids remain closed, making it clear that the cameras are e not in use. In the awareness mode, the eyelids open to o allow the cameras to transmit video and other critical information to 911 dispatchers.

SITUCON’s wireless alert buttons allow town employees to instantly notify police of an incident and automatically initiate recording by the network cameras. Information about the person who pressed the alert button – including their photo, cell phone number and location – are displayed for the dispatcher with the video. Marshfield has also chosen to automatically activate the cameras after-hours, using embedded intelligent video motion detection to deter vandalism or theft.

 “This one-of-a-kind system solved our greatest challenge by allowing us to place cameras in sensitive locations where we never c could before,” says Bill Sullivan, Chief of Police for the town of Marshfield.” It also saved us the time and expense of continually monitoring cameras all day long.”

In another installation in Brookline, MA part of one of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) regions. In order to ensure the safety and security of citizens, the federal government funded a camera a system intended to monitor major thoroughfares and evacuation routes throughout the town of Brookline. Not only does Brookline have increased security concerns because it borders a major city, but the Boston area is also regarded as having the strictest privacy standards in the United Shortly after installation, the town became concerned that the safety benefits of these cameras did not outweigh their perceived intrusion on personal freedom and privacy, and voted to take the system down. Faced with this, Brookline struggled to retain the safety and security benefits of the cameras, which had aided police in nearly 80 investigations since their installation, while providing the comfortable environment their community desired. Brookline officials quickly realized that making video available only at specific times was the answer to providing both safety and privacy. SituCon Systems was called upon to deploy its Emergency Awareness Solution.

SITUCON's solution electronically and physically masks camera images at all times other than when camera use is needed due to safety concerns. To guarantee privacy, SITUCAM Privacy Protecting Cameras which are installed at important intersections throughout the town, were deployed.

Now, instead of 24/7 surveillance, Brookline's cameras are only active during high risk periods, such as at night. Brookline now offers its citizens the security and privacy they desire. In the event of an emergency, the Brookline Police Department can remotely activate the cameras using SITUCON's software, which simultaneously sends text messages and email to notify privacy advocates and town officials that cameras are in use.

As Scott Wilder, Technology Director of the Brookline Police Department points out, “SITUCON is the only technology that provides law enforcement with complete real-time video of an incident while protecting community privacy at all other times."

We have discovered applications in Schools, Police Stations, Libraries, Court Houses, Public Works Facilities, IT Rooms, Daycare Centers, Healthcare Centers and Long Term Care Facilities. Every day we discover many other public sector and private sector solutions where privacy is critical as well as liability, safety and security awareness. With SITUCON you can start with a focused program which addresses your immediate needs and build out to include additional areas as needs increase and budgets will allow.

To learn more about the SITUCON solution, designed to go where video surveillance can’t, call James E. McDonald, Government Contracts and Systems Integration Consultant at (508) 453-2731 or drop him an Email at jmcdonald@americanalarm.com.

Physical Security Talking Points and Fraud

When discussing physical security, there are several important talking points to consider. Here are some key points to include: Risk Assessm...