Each year, ASIS highlights the 10 best new security technologies on the market. Designed for improved performance, faster ROI’s, or streamlining your security needs, these products have received an ASIS Accolade.
Among the technologies recognized by the 2010 Accolades, several lead the pack for commercial building applications. They include closed IPTV, video management designed to accommodate both analog and digital cameras, and 360-degree multiple megapixel cameras.
There was a time when coaxial cable connected video surveillance camera systems. If a high rise needed a new security camera, a security integrator would pull new cable and link the new camera to the existing network, in addition to connecting the camera to a power source.
It was expensive, but the result was a secure closed circuit television (CCTV) system.
Not long ago, Internet Protocol (IP) network video cameras began making camera installation easier. A maintenance technician could install new cameras by simply plugging them into the existing computer network. The cameras also drew power from the network by way of a feature called POE (power over Ethernet), eliminating the need for a special power source.
While easier and less expensive, IP cameras on computer networks were no longer closed. If hackers could break into the network, they could also attack the surveillance system.
Among this year's ASIS 10 is a technology that closes and secures IPTV networks from U.K.-based Dedicated Micros, Inc. Other manufacturers, including Juniper Networks, have also brought closed IPTV systems to market.
The technology consists of a box with software that plugs into a network, protects the system from prying hackers, and brings back the secure benefit of CCTV. “The system assigns private IP addresses to cameras so they can’t be accessed by just anyone on the network,” says Ron Lander, CPP, CMAS, a principal with Ultrasafe Security Specialists in Norco, Calif., and co-chair of the ASIS Accolades program.
Analog and Digital Video Management
“Not everyone has the budget to migrate to digital video cameras all at once,” Lander notes. “Most companies expand video coverage by adding digital network cameras to existing analog cameras.”
When that happens, security personnel must add encoders to rout analog video over the network, which creates expenses. Up until now, the alternative has been to deal with two video management systems – one for the existing analog cameras and one for the new digital cameras.
Another 2010 ASIS Accolade technology solves this problem by routing video from IP cameras on the network into the existing analog video management system. The product is called the V2216 Analog/Digital Coexistence VMS and is made by Infinova. Once installed, users manage both analog and network cameras with the existing analog control room equipment.
Other manufacturers offering technology that blends video from analog and IP cameras include Honeywell International.
You may have heard about multiple megapixel high-resolution cameras that do the job of several cameras by collecting enough digital information to enable software to zoom in on sections of a scene.
Now comes 360-degree multiple megapixel cameras. Just one can replace three or four standard-definition digital cameras and provide situational awareness.
Standard definition cameras installed to monitor a large area will see a particular field of view but won’t cover the area entirely. Blind spots exist at the edges of each camera’s field of view, reducing or even eliminating situational awareness. Pan-tilt-zoom camera mounts can eliminate blind spots, but when a camera pans to view a part of a room, another part isn’t being watched so awareness of the entire scene still suffers.
A 360-degree camera solves this problem. From a vantage point on the ceiling or a tall outside support, a single 360-degree camera can encompass the entire space within one field of view. Thanks to the camera’s high definition resolution, software can zoom in for close ups of any part of a scene.
“The key to the effectiveness of one of these cameras is placing it so that it sees what you need to see,” adds Lander. “A view from the ceiling or a high support will show actions but not faces. In some cases, you might want to mount the camera lower on a wall to capture faces.”
The ASIS 2010 Accolades made honorable mention of the FullSight 360-degree 10 Mega Pixel Camera from Sentry 360 Security, Inc. as well as Aventura, Inc.
The ASIS Accolades also included a number of video technologies. Another honorable mention goes to a control center management system from Avigilon. It provides support for video analytics, third-party cameras, and a mapping feature that enables you to save floor layouts and camera locations.
Cisco Systems, Inc. recently introduced an interoperable communications system. Amika Mobile Corporation now offers an intelligent mass notification device that automatically discovers devices on wireless and wired networks and speeds the creation of contact databases.
The 2010 ASIS Accolade awards recognizes emerging security technologies for a wide variety of applications. For more information, visit the Accolades website at: http://asis.confex.com/asis/ansem2010/webprogram/ACCOLADE.html.