Smart Cities Move Beyond Concept to Reality
The smart city is a sexy concept, combining high-tech networking with feel-good conservation. As some 4 billion people live in cities, it is imperative that city dwellers have access to municipal resources and services.
44 Smart Cities Go Green 50 Building Smart Cities Around the World
30 Image Sharpening in Real Life When surveillance video is broadcast on the evening news, it almost always looks grainy and dark. Even if suspects are looking straight at the camera, the image quality may be insufficient for identification.
Video Surveillance Trends in Thailand and Vietnam
Courtesy of IP Video: 54
Tough Love for Open-Platform VMS Video management software (VMS) is exactly that â€” a software that manages a video surveillance system. While this used to mean monitoring the video streams from various cameras, open-platform VMS is gaining momentum, riding on the coattails of the IP revolution and catering to the needs of increasingly complicated and interconnected security systems.
62 Verticalization: VMS Reaches For End Users 68 Mapping VMS Uptake in Different Regions 70 Product Showcase
Seamless Data Streaming for Effective Security Response 82 Physical security information management (PSIM) software collects sensor data and correlates alarmed events. Aggregating information from a multitude of subsystems and suggesting the best course of action are no easy tasks.
88 PSIM Orchestrates a Coordinated Response
14 18 20 20 28 94 96 100
Contents Editorâ€™s Note Corporate News Market Observer Products of the Month Show Calendar New Products Companies in This Issue
EDITOR'S NOTE a&s International, published by Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd., is a monthly professional publication for channel players in the worldwide electronic security industry since 1997. It updates importers, distributors, OEM/ODM searchers, system integrators and other product purchasers on product sources and identifies
developments in CCTV, Digital Surveillance, Access Control, Biometrics, Intrusion Alarm, Intercom/Video Doorphone, Home Automation and other fields relevant to electronic security.
While hardware innovations have slowed down in recent months, software developments continue to “surprise” us, in a good way. More management software packages can now really talk to multiple systems and vendors, making distinction and selection among VMS, ACS and the like challenging. As numbers of systems and sensors grow, software developers are hard pressed for easierto-use GUIs to ensure proper operator or user response plans and protocols. Chipset component and hardware providers are advised to engage these developers to ensure their features and functions are properly and fully “showcased.” With larger-scale systems, proactive, preventive and automated health checks also become vital, to eschew single points of failure and security breaches. From semiconductor and firmware to hardware and software, there are more ways now to identify potential sensor or system failures and notify the operator or system administrator of potential risks. Again, the key hurdle lies in how these different offerings are integrated and optimized. More software offerings are also reaching out to mobile and smart devices, rendering remote access a top priority and information management and data security a top concern. Convenience sells, but hardware and software providers need to get back to the basics, think about what security means, and deliver solutions that work on/with different operating systems, authentication methods and private networks.
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Our cover story this month focuses on smart cities, dissecting the roles of security systems in making more and more cities worldwide more modern, efficient and green/ sustainable in almost all aspects. Product Exploration discusses emerging technology trends in open-platform VMS offerings, highlighting integration and differentiation capabilities. Also in this issue are Special Feature on image-sharpening software tools and Network Management on selecting suitable PSIM solutions and optimizing them for real life. Enjoy!
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Corporate News UK University Enhances Security With IndigoVision Central Monitoring Solution Cardiff Metropolitan University, located in the U.K., has enhanced student security and simplified operations with the adoption of the latest video technology from IndigoVision to provide integrated video surveillance across its four campuses. The IP-networked digital solution was designed and installed by IndigoVision partner CDS. Replacing an aging analog system, it allows monitoring and control across all campuses from multiple control points, while maintaining local recording capabilities. The university's main security control area used IndigoVision's VMS. Further workstation PCs have been installed at the other campuses, allowing operators to view, control and interrogate all cameras from any site and at any time. The 90 existing analog cameras have been upgraded to allow remote operation and monitoring with encoders. These are being replaced over time with a mix of network cameras.
CDS also used the university's existing IT network to keep costs to a minimum. The university can easily expand the system as it grows. “The central monitoring capability of the IndigoVision solution has improved security across all of our campuses," said Andrew West, Facilities Manager at the university. “The improved resilience, scalability and ease of use of the solution all make this a very positive step for Cardiff Metropolitan University.”
Others NPD In-Stat: Video Surveillance Semiconductor Revenue to Approach $3.5 Billion in 2015 SaaS
After a slight downturn in 2009 due to worldwide economic conditions, the video surveillance equipment market returned to healthier levels and continued to improve. Boosted by 2011 sales, the market has witnessed the rise of the network camera, which is about to overtake the long-established analog camera in revenues. As a result, NPD In-Stat research forecasts that video surveillance semiconductor revenues will approach US$3.5 billion in 2015. "The years 2011 to 2015 will continue to show increased competition and opportunity for chip sales to surveillance video equipment makers, as semiconductor vendors see new specifications and more demand for surveillance video cameras and associated DVRs/NVRs," said Max Baron, Analyst. "Like digital-still cameras, competition, semiconductor price erosion and the rise of consumer-priced camera volumes shipped, will in time reduce the number of surveillance equipment makers." Recent research by NPD In-Stat found the following: Video Surveillance • Revenue from analog and network Semiconductor Revenues cameras, DVRs/NVRs and encoders will grow to $16.4 billion in 2015 • Semiconductor vendors will continue to take advantage of opportunities in sensors, processors and security $3.5 Billion in 2015 systems • By 2015, analog camera unit shipments will still be five times greater than network cameras • APAC continues to employ less expensive analog cameras, but the larger unit shipments more than Source: NPD In-Stat make up for the lower prices
1.8 Million in 2011
Swiss Prison $2,191 Million Deploys Flexible IP Surveillance Solution Million From$1,495 Milestone Systems Milestone Systems' open platform IP video management software is the flexible basis for a customized solution in a new central prison in Lenzburg, Switzerland, which has twice as many cameras as guards observing the life inside and outside those cells. Upon approach of the six-meter high wall and revolving steel doors of the new prison, it is clear that those inside are not the only ones under surveillance. With 72 fixed and eight PTZ dome cameras from Panasonic, and video surveillance software from Milestone. This approach confers significant advantages: more flexible operation, better image quality, simple configuration by users and multiple upgrade possibilities. The enormous amount of data — images 1.24% CAGR from each camera were saved for seven days — is stored on two Pivot3 servers installed specially for this application; a third server runs in parallel as a redundant security feature. Outdoors, infrared spotlights also ensure top quality surveillance by recording clear images during the night. $1.6 Billion by 2017
TAKEOFF I N N O VAT I V E S T R AT E G I E S
Corporate News Hikvision Protects Brazilian Public Transport at World Cup City The 2014 FIFA World Cup Games offer Brazil more than athletic entertainment. While Sao Paulo is one of the official host cities, the massive influx of tourists and publicity allow the entire country to prosper. Riding the countrywide wave of World Cup-inspired security projects, the city of Belo Horizonte chose to build a citywide public transportation surveillance program to ensure the safety of both Brazilians and visiting foreigner tourists. To meet the city’s requirements, a camera has to offer both a very high level of flexibility and an equally high level of quality. Alvaro de Souza, CCTV manager at VMI Sistemas de Seguransa and Hikvision's distributor responsible for developing this project, chose Hikvision's
network speed dome. Souza stated, “This speed dome is the perfect fit for us. It can quickly zoom onto moving objects, while immediately allowing the security operator to clearly identify who, or what, it is.” Operating in low light is critical in Belo Horizonte based on two primary factors. The first is the environment in which these cameras must operate. As a traffic surveillance system, they are placed outdoors and must successfully function in a wide range of lighting conditions. The second area was the ability of this speed dome to immediately zoom in on moving objects and deliver crystal-clear images, regardless of outdoor light. This aspect was extremely important since security personnel need to quickly, and accurately, recognize and respond to fluid situations.
Frost & Sullivan: Shift to IP and Insurance Rules Drive EMEA Intrusion Detection
Germany's Largest Amusement Park Provides Safety for Visitors With Axis Cameras
Since the arrival of intrusion detection systems (IDS) decades before, the Others market has become relatively saturated. Total EMEA market revenue for IDS
Europa-Park is Germany's largest amusement park. Located in Rust, visitors can enjoy more than 100 rides and attractions. “Such a large and complex property as Europa-Park cannot be prudently secured without video surveillance,” said Reinhard Egner, Consulting ilEngineer at Europa-Park. “We on 2009 364.4 M licameras throughout the park US$ have dispersed 150 operational and can thus monitor everything from the throng of visitors 2016 Billion buildings; everything that 1.6 individual US$and to the exterior gates is important for security service and building protection.” Due to the size of the Europa-Park property, only IP-based network cameras in use are connected to a SeeTec camera management solution. This in turn is integrated into building management so that all cameras from this system can be centrally controlled. Currently Europa-Park is replacing, in a longer-term project, the first generation surveillance cameras with new devices that provide better image quality and are more easily controlled. Within the framework of this project, the first upgrade installation of 30 new Axis network cameras Analog of varying models were on the park property.
Million is estimated at US$1.6 billion, with a CAGR of 1.24 percent. $2,191 The main driving engines in the next seven years will be from less developed countries. Eastern Europe is expected to grow 1.8 percent to $162 million in 2017 from $1,495 Million $142.9 million in 2010. The Middle East is expected to grow 1.5 percent to $256.1 million by 2017 from $231 million. Africa will grow 1.3 percent to $60.8 million by 2017 from $55.5 million. Though growth will be the fastest in these regions, the main revenue generators will likely be the U.K. and Eire, where revenue is expected to by 11.2 percent to $352 million in 2017 from $292.2 million. The 1.8increase Million in 2011 next growth engine will be Germany. Its 2010 market capacity of $230.3 2010 2015 million is expected to grow to $239.2 million, a 3.8 percent increase over the next seven years. Italy and France markets are on par in terms of revenue generated, which is $154.7 million. In the next seven years, the IDS market for both countries is expected to grow to $167.3 million in Italy and $167.4 million in France. Vertical distribution of IDS is similar for every market, with the EMEA Intrusion commercial sector seeing greater Detection Market market share in the Middle East (79 percent), Germany (79 percent) and Africa (76 percent). $3.5 Billion in 2015 1.24% CAGR The distribution of components — panels make up 23.8 percent, detectors are 35.7 percent, keypads form 10.5 percent and accessories are 29.9 percent — is not identical across markets, $1.6 Billion by 2017 but is similar, which implies that new markets will adopt the same Source: Frost & Sullivan distribution trend.
SaaS 1.3 Million
Corporate News French Logistics Center Relies on Arecont Vision Parking Management System The Rungis logistics center is the oldest and largest facility managed by Sogaris and located five minutes away from Paris’s Orly airport. The most recent survey indicated that traffic at the site has increased to more than 400 vehicles per hour and more than 2,500 vehicles per entry lane per day. To resolve the congestion issues, Sogaris needed to separate access for authorized and nonauthorized vehicles, and make it faster, more convenient and secure for both types of users to enter and exit the facility. Sogaris implemented a parking facility management system that included both a ticket-based parking facility management system for visitors and a ticket-free private parking facility system for clients. Two entry and exit lanes for the ticket-based parking facility were added
Chilean Shopping Center Improves Safety With Vivotek Megapixel Cameras Plaza El Roble Mall is a shopping destination in Chile that has recently experienced a security upgrade with cameras from Vivotek. M y P and Estrom, the system integrators working on this case, said the project is one of the largest among the retail vertical market applications that have so far adopted IP surveillance technology. The renovation has significantly boosted the level of security of the mall and ensured the safety of the shoppers. The installation of 60 Vivotek megapixel cameras used a new hybrid physical topology to overcome the difficulties in the environment. The power supply by PoE under a UPS base provides autonomy during power outages and other similar situations, in which the system remains in operation and recording continues. As Plaza El Roble Mall continues to expand, more budget will be allocated for IP solutions, including links to optical fiber as well as other Vivotek cameras. "We continue to improve the security system and will be adding new cameras in order to stay on top of safety measure for our customers," said Don Juan Rodriguez, Manager of Plaza El Roble Mall. “The recent upgrade also helps end users realize the importance of transparent data management for surveillance platforms, which, at some point, will inevitably be converted to IP.”
and the two existing entry and exit lanes were designated exclusively for the ticket-free private parking. To meet the stated requirements of improving access speed, convenience and security, both parking management systems use a custom-developed LPR system designed around Arecont Vision 1.3-megapixel cameras. For the private parking region, the megapixel cameras are installed in terminals which are positioned a few meters in front of and behind the entry/exit barrier. The camera setup is the same for the public parking system and provides an additional level of security for visitors to the Rungis center, as well as helping to eliminate the problem of unauthorized overnight parking.
Australian Insurance Group Puts Safety First in the UK With Honeywell Solution QBE Insurance Group, Australia's largest international general insurance and reinsurance group, plans to upgrade existing security equipment and install an integrated access, video and intruder solution. QBE had considered removing the existing Honeywell access control system which would have incurred considerable cost to the business. However, Direct Security, a select member of the Honeywell Systems integrator program, produced a solution that would allow the access control system to continue to deliver considerable cost savings. Direct Security introduced an upgraded Honeywell access control system which would allow the three main QBE offices in London to be connected and managed together. The readers and smart cards installed can be programmed for multiple sites which mean that staff travelling between the company's UK sites require only one card to allow them access to all of the sites. The smart card is capable of storing and processing information and so it has multiple uses from cashless vending, personal information storage and control of access to restricted areas — keeping a record of accumulated points for discount purchases and verifying authenticity.
Russian Office Building Manages Access Control with AxxonSoft Solution The integrator company commissioned the first stage of an integrated security system at the Baltic Business Center, Kaliningrad, Russia. The system is based on Axxon software. The first stage of the integrated security system includes an access control system by the Agregator company at 14 checkpoints. The access control system was integrated with the server software via a corresponding AxxonSoft software module. The second stage foresees integration of the security system with existing analog cameras, establishment of an additional network of digital cameras and development of an automation subsystem to manage vehicle entry to the parking lot. The latter system will be comprised of the Axxon LPR suite, the existing automatic barriers and newly installed surveillance cameras.
Corporate News German Football Stadium Reduces Vetting Times and Liability Costs With Avigilon Surveillance Solution Avigilon, a provider of HD and megapixel video surveillance solutions, announced that the SGL Arena in Germany, a 30,660-seat stadium, has deployed the Avigilon surveillance system to ensure spectator safety, confirm regulatory compliance and reduce liability costs. “To ensure a complete overview of the situation in the stands, we need a surveillance system that is reliable, easy-to-use, and delivers highly-detailed images to help us quickly and accurately identify potential problems,” said Edgar Schweininger, Security Manager at SGL Arena. “We use the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system as a key tool to help reduce the risks and costs associated with disorderly
US Bank Reduces Fraudulent Losses With March Networks $2.2 Million Surveillance Expansion March Networks, a provider of intelligent video solutions, announced it has received orders totaling more than US$2 million from a financial institution ranked among the top 15 largest in the U.S. The orders extend the bank's current March Networks installation to more than 1,000 retail banking branches and include hybrid NVRs and software. The bank continues to deploy the financial solution to ensure the efficient centralized management of its extensive video surveillance network and to more effectively reduce losses from ATM skimming and other fraudulent activities. The financial institution plans to pilot the company's banking analytics software. The applications layer additional fraud detection and investigation capabilities onto the surveillance systems to significantly cut losses from ATM skimming, cash harvesting and other theft. The software includes financial transaction investigation, which synchronizes ATM and teller transaction records with high-quality video to streamline case management and investigator performance. It also includes skimming detection, image tracker and license plate tracker applications that enable banks to proactively detect fraudulent activity at ATMs and strengthen case evidence quickly by correlating facial images, transaction information and license plate data.
fans.” The system delivers the level of image quality and advanced search capabilities the stadium needs to capture indisputable evidence of fan disturbances to prove responsibility and assign liability. The stadium can now hold perpetrators financially accountable for the related fines set by the German Football Association, reducing the stadium's liability costs and ensuring regulatory compliance. The security team can also conduct investigations in half the time. The SGL Arena is confident that it will recover its investment within the first year of installation and has successfully met its top security goal to ensure the safety of its players and fans.
UK University Protected by Assa Abloy's Locking Solution Assa Abloy has supplied a complete door-opening solution, including cylinder locks and door closers, as part of a large redevelopment project at the University of Northampton in Northamptonshire, England. The refurbishment project creates a new home for the School of Science and Technology and an extension of the School of Education, and is part of a larger project designed to further enhance facilities at the university. A total of 250 doors were upgraded to Assa Abloy’s hardware, with cylinders in modular lock cases used to secure sensitive office areas and return-to-door lever handles used in public areas.
Canadian Community Center Relies on Brivo Access Management Brivo Systems, a software as a service provider, announced that the Virden Regional Community Complex in Canada, has installed a Brivo access control system to provide access control management. The complex houses a fitness center with 24-hour access; a NHL-size hockey arena seating 1,200; a 500-seat community hall; a pool; changing rooms to accommodate the different users; as well as office space and board rooms. “We really appreciate the flexibility and control we have in granting and managing access,” said John Davidson, Building Chairman for the Complex. “The hockey team needs no key — we program access for them, so that they have the access they need when they need it, for example. The Brivo system controls pool and changing room access, the exterior door to the hockey arena ice plant room, all exterior doors, and the separate entrance for 24-hour access to the fitness center. We've got a system that does all that and enables us to keep close track of who comes and goes.” To date, Virden staffs are managing access for more than 170 users at 11 doors throughout the complex, including some interior doors. Since installing the Brivo system, fee collection in the fitness center is up as members are certainly motivated to stay current when their card will not grant them access to the facilities.
Products of the month
Integrated Biometrics Watson Integrated Biometrics announces Watson, the world’s first non-optical scanner to achieve FBI Appendix F certification. The FBI certified that Watson meets or exceeds all requirements listed in EBTS Appendix F Mobile ID SAP 45 of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems Image Quality Specifications. Watson is the smallest and lightest Appendix F certified two-finger scanner in the world, weighing 115 grams and measuring 70 mm X 63 mm X 33 mm in size. Watson offers unique operational benefits compared to existing certified scanners including IP67 durability rating, high quality imaging in dirty environments, no difficulty operating in direct sunlight, and does not require latent prints to be wiped from the sensor surface. It is capable of performing both enrollment and matching for single or multiple finger applications. Key Features Watson is available in a form suitable for embedding • Lightweight: Designed to have minimal impact on the overall in hardware or externally connecting through USB. weight or structure of biometric devices Watson utilizes Integrated Biometrics’ patented • Compact: Designed to easily integrate into multiple applications, light emitting sensor (LES) technology. LES allowing biometric devices to be smaller and more mobile technology utilizes a highly engineered • Durable: Impact-resistant and able to withstand the toughest charged polymer film interacting conditions with minimal maintenance or damage due to scratching or breakdown from contaminates with the specific properties of • Accurate: Provides accurate high-resolution fingerprint human skin to luminesce fingerscans in virtually any environment: indirect or direct sunlight, print images. Watson a factory, with dirty or clean fingers offers an efficient Supplier integration • Integrated Biometrics SDK.
• w ww.integratedbiometrics.com
Precise Biometrics Smart Casing
• US government employees with smart cards for network access and identification can use the smart casing to access secure systems and messaging securely and conveniently right from their smart device.
Precise Biometrics has developed a smart casing with a built-in • A banking app may now include the ability to swipe a smart card reader and fingerprint sensor. The product meets finger instead of typing in a PIN code or long password. the increasing requirements on network security and strong • In health care, a hospital worker could use their smart card or swipe a finger to access a patient’s chart from a authentication raised by today’s smart device. government, health care, enterprise • National ID cards with Precise Match-on-Card may also and banking sectors. be enhanced by the smart casing. It enables extended The smart casing will be available use of the national ID for law enforcement, voter identifor the most popular smartphone fication and tax filing through handheld units such as smartphones. and tablet computer brands in 2012 and 2013. Supplier The smart card and fingerprint • Precise Biometrics features of the smart case can be URL integrated with any app on the • www.precisebiometrics.com market — existing or new. The smart casing fulfills a need for users who want to access sensitive information or cloud-based applications from their smart devices, but are restricted from doing so due to security or convenience issues.
Image Sharpening in Real Life
When surveillance video is broadcast on the evening news, it almost always looks grainy and dark. Even if suspects are looking straight at the camera, the image quality may be insufficient for identification. Image enhancement software promises to bring that to an end, with ways to amplify video signals and filter out noise. By Ling-Mei Wong
an you enhance that?” Turn on the TV and watch the dogged detectives of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” crack a case by enhancing a microscopic surveillance image from the reflection of an eyeball. Change the channel to “24,” where facial recognition picks out covert agent Jack Bauer on a crowded New York City street in seconds. No matter how poor the image is, image enhancement magically produces HD images ready for identification. While TV episodes and Hollywood 30 22
movies are fiction, what if there really was technology that could clean up bad images? The primary objective is identification, whether it is of people or license plates, to track down suspects. However, security cameras are not always set up for identification purposes. Most people counting applications mount cameras overhead, making it impossible to capture a face. In traffic monitoring, roadside cameras watch for flow; cars are only identified by high-resolution LPR cameras when
stalled at toll stations or exit ramps. Camera placement and objectives will affect whether an image will be usable or not. Even if a face is recorded, it may not lead to an arrest, as in the case of the 2010 Dubai assassination. It may not be possible to make a thumbnail clear as day, but there are real ways to improve images. “We are able to zoom, and we’re able to enhance,” said Joelle Katz, Marketing Manager at Brivo Systems, in a prepared statement. “But don’t count on CSI’s pseudo-scientific
enhancement to be available any time soon.” Traditional government users in federal, military and intelligence agencies benefit most from enhancing security video, but the applications are limitless. “We have folks in academia that use our software for projects they’re working on,” said Benjamin Solhjem, P M o f M o t i o n D S P. “ We h a v e retail customers, such as Target and Wal-Mart, who use image enhancement for loss prevention. There’s a lot of demand for video enhancement in any application that has use for a camera.” While image sharpening technology exists, awareness and demand are limited. “We have never had a request for this, though we
have had requests for some other things that people see on TV shows,” said Bob Mesnik, President of Kintronics, a US distributor.
How THings work
Image enhancement for still images is all about amplifying the image signal. “Enhancement of a still picture can be accomplished using compressed sensing,” Katz said. “It’s a mathematical tool capable of creating high-resolution photos from low-resolution shots. At the very basic level, it works by repeatedly layering colored shapes into the areas where there are missing pixels to achieve what’s called sparsity, a measure of image simplicity.” While compressed sensing is still being researched for radar
and medical imaging, noisy and grainy video can be cleaned up with commercially available tools. Adobe PhotoShop and Topaz Enhance tools reduce noise in a number of ways: Spatial noise reduction in each frame, temporal noise reduction between frames and combining both methods in spatial-temporal noise reduction, Katz said. Motion DSP employs spatialtemporal noise reduction algorithms, but cautioned that image enhancement is just a tool rather than a magic bullet. “‘CSI’ will show a totally crappy image the size of my finger; then blow it up to be better than 1,080p. That’s a misnomer,” Solhjem said. “But you can, utilizing certain algorithms, try to eliminate the bad data there and increase the
level of information. It does not increase the resolution per se, but makes it easier to see what the image looked like when it was imaged by the camera.” Image enhancement also has to deal with compression, which reduces the number of usable pixels for analysis. “Bear in mind that these programs work best with the highest resolution pictures they can get,” said Dave Gorshkov, CEO of Digital Grape and Chair of the CCTV and VCA Technical Standards Working Group for the American Public Transportation Association. “What you find with the current generation of network cameras is that the analytics are done on the native image in the camera, using a dedicated DSP. It is not done at the control center, because the image needs to be compressed and then sent to the control center over a low-speed backhaul network. This compromises the type and complexity of VCA able to be done in realistic time frames at the camera, as more complex analysis done with powerful computers that are server based can’t be put in network camera because of program size, processor power requirements and associated ‘on-cost’ of such a camera.” Some customers need a healthy
▲BenjaminSolhjem, PM of Motion DSP
Compression is essential for preserving storage and bandwidth. However, it can also undo clear images. Storing images at the best possible quality will yield better pictures to run image enhancement algorithms. dose of reality about image sharpening. “The simple term we use is ‘Garbage in, garbage out,’” Solhjem said. “If you have something awful, we can still use it, but it’s not like ‘CSI,’ ‘NCIS’ or a Hollywood movie.”
CrunCH Time: Compression
Storage is one of the biggest costs of a surveillance project, making it a precious commodity. Network bandwidth is also scarce, making compression essential to surveillance monitoring. Unfortunately, compression can also undo clear images. “You could have a great camera capture images at high resolution, but the images are e n c o d e d , c o m p re s s e d a n d t h e final product is less than what was originally captured,” Solhjem said. “The goal of our software is to reconstruct. That’s not always possible because the image is
▲BobMesnik, President of Kintronics
▲D ave Gorshkov, CEO of Digital Grape and Chair of the CCTV and VCA Technical Standards Working Group for the American Public Transportation Association www.asmag.com
so degraded, but it can reveal details that were not evident at the beginning.” Compression renders megapixel’s added resolution moot. “For enhancement, we’ve got cameras deployed that are 1.3-megapixel for 1080P or 720P, but you can’t easily transmit that resolution ‘native’ over a cellular network, which many cameras are on for backhaul,” Gorshkov said. “You can use H.264 to squeeze the video signal hard, then interrogate the signal, but it throws away the resolution of images necessary for high-speed VCA capabilities.” Banks and stores that are robbed may already have video systems installed, but find that poor resolution defeats forensic purposes. While it’s possible to cram a month’s worth of video on a single hard disk drive, the resulting images are not usable. “At that point, it’s almost too late,” Solhjem said. “When it’s crunch time and you actually need the video, it’s not good.” H.264 is one of the most common compression formats, which was designed primarily for entertainment — set-top boxes and mobile phones — rather than surveillance. This means users should pay attention to how many I-frames are used and latency in I-frame timings, which affects bandwidth and storage. “A 1-megapixel image has at least twice the resolution of analog,”
Gorshkov said. “However, once you send that over the network, it’s going to be squashed a lot and have latency introduced into it due to the compression and decompression functions.” Storing images at the best possible quality will yield better data for image enhancement algorithms. “When we were developing the video surveillance and VCA standard in the U.S., local storage of high-resolution images was required,” Gorshkov said. “It’s not the compressed image operators observe, but the stored high-resolution image that is used for legal proceedings. Most network cameras now have dual or even triple streaming, which is wonderful way of doing that. Local hard drives are also not expensive.” As storing full-size images is out of the question for most applications, selecting a lossless compression and storage at the highest resolution yields the best evidence. “The effort to save space on a hard disk drive uses a compression scheme that’s great for space, but it’s not great if you need to pull out key information from the video,” Solhjem said.
Image sharpening tools can certainly deliver evidence-grade images, albeit with limitations from resolution and compression. However, not all legal systems accept digitally processed images, so the enhanced images are used as tools during investigations. Several legal trials in the U.S. and U.K allowed for enhanced images. “One time, the Metropolitan Police in London used our software to submit evidence for trials,” Solhjem said. “To my knowledge, it’s never been 34 22
▲Image enhancement software can help law enforcement during investigations. However, it cannot restore low-resolution images to their original glory.
thrown out.” Some government bodies verify whether technology is suitable for police and government use. The UK Home Office uses the Image Library for Intelligent Detection Systems (i-LIDS) test to determine whether VCA is effective in various environmental and operational conditions, Gorshkov said. These tests help reveal possible shortcomings with the algorithms. In the U.S. and Canada, Frye and Daubert hearings assess whether a new technology passes muster within the scientific and forensic community. “As long as they’re not putting things there that do not exist, it’s admissible in court,” Solhjem said.
Image sharpening software is great, but its performance is aided by good system design. This considers compression, storage and user demands. Raw uncompressed video or a lossless compression gives image
enhancement software more data to analyze. “Do a test, record some footage and see what it looks like,” Solhjem said. “You definitely don’t want to plug-and-play and forget about your video system.” Customers should also think critically about what they want their video system to do. Checking if someone came into a reception area is much easier than identifying individuals at border control. “Depending on what you do with the system, it comes back to Design 101,” Gorshkov said. “It’s understanding what it is you want from your video surveillance and VCA system, as the systems’ reliability and performance requirements are very different.” Camera placement should be optimized for the monitoring purpose — that means keeping the camera away from direct lighting that washes out image detail. Image quality also needs to be a priority, which should be as good as the customer can afford. “If you really need video surveillance, is it worth t he money y ou’re i n vesti n g? ” Solhjem said. “If you’re willing to invest this much, are you willing to invest more, in case something happens?” At the end of the day, image sharpening tools can help restore pictures to their original glory. However, much image degradation can be prevented by better compression techniques. It is not cheap to store raw video, but lossless compression with multiple streams is a step in the right direction. While Hollywood presents pure fiction, an ounce of planning plus image sharpening keeps surveillance footage from going to waste.
Smart Cities Move Beyond Concept to Reality By Ling-Mei Wong
The smart city is a sexy concept, combining high-tech networking with feel-good conservation. As some 4 billion people live in cities, it is imperative that city dwellers have access to municipal resources and services. Smart cities promise to make cities feel more like home. In the morning, citizens can check for weather and public transit information gathered from sensor networks. As they commute to work, traffic-monitoring systems manage signal lights and divert vehicles away from congestion; efficient net-zero office buildings produce as much energy as they use. By providing citizens with sustainable options and real-time data, cities utilize limited resources more effectively. Smartening up a city is not technically difficult, as technology matures and prices drop. IP is a prerequisite, mandating a scalable network infrastructure to gather data for city managers and citizens. Advances in consumer electronics signal an increasingly connected population that demands information right away. It takes vision to develop a smart city, which is colored by different perspectives. Few cities in the world are 100-percent â€œsmart,â€? due to budgetary constraints and unique needs. As economic uncertainty slows growth, municipal governments are examining which demands are most pressing. Demonstrating ROI does make a difference, but each implementation depends on the cityâ€™s vision. Clear objectives must be stated upfront, requiring extensive communication between solution providers and city councils. Smart cities will not emerge overnight, as implementation requires a long-term investment. However, more cities understand smart benefits and are willing to invest in a brighter, more sustainable future.
VP of Sales and rbanization has stretched Marketing, cities to the max. As the Fluidmesh Networks global population hit 7 billion in 2011, more people are residing in cities. By 2050, city dwellers are expected to make up 70 percent of the global population, according to IBM. Richard Smith, Professor in the School Spending for smart-city of Communication and Director of the Centre for technologies is expected Policy Research on Science to reach US$39.5 billion in and Technology, Simon Fraser University 2016, up from $8.1 billion Centre for Policy Research in 2010. “Smart city concepts on Science and Technology, are really taking off globally,” said Simon Fraser University. “At Josh Flood, Senior Analyst at ABI the same time, cities are facing a lot Research, in a prepared statement. of pressure. I think smart cities in the “Currently, the largest spending long term will be important, but for on smart-city technologies is for the recession and low growth, cities smart grids; however, over the next have more pressing issues.” five years, we will see a significant One of the factors inhibiting increase in spending for smartsmart-city development is outdated transportation technologies such communication infrastructure. as automatic vehicle ID and smart “Most systems are copper-based governance systems such as e-ID and for handset telephones,” said Dave ID document systems.” Gorshkov, CEO of Digital Grape. Despite rosy forecasts, uncertainty “In order to upgrade those for has slowed city spending. “The higher bandwidth, you need the notion of a smart city is attractive to capability for high-speed broadband make the city more efficient,” said — not just broadband connectivity. Richard Smith, Professor in the School Governments have to invest in fiber of Communication and Director of the to replace copper, which gives enough
▲ As more people reside in cities, it is imperative city dwellers have access to municipal resources and services.
Faiyaz Shahpurwala, Senior VP of Advanced Services and Emerging Solutions, Cisco Systems
bandwidth for commercial or industrial buildings.” Even if a project does get funding, it may not be executed well. “We see integrators underbidding to do the job,” said Cosimo Malesci, VP of Sales and Marketing, Fluidmesh Networks. “They lose money upfront, but hope to get the service contract to make money on the deal.” Implementing smart-city solutions can be relatively straightforward. “The technology is something you can easily predict,” Malesci said. “Bureaucracy and funding are a whole different story.”
Each city has a distinct personality, so no smart project is alike. “Smart cities in various parts of the world need different approaches and solutions as the issues they face are quite unique,” said Faiyaz Shahpurwala, Senior VP of Advanced Services and Emerging Solutions, Cisco Systems. “Urban areas in developing countries are dealing with massive scale, and, therefore, there is a need for sustainable access and availability to community resources, including basic access to education, health care, energy and utilities. Although developed countries face similar problems, they are more focused on green-energy sources, better education and health
care, easier and more productive commutes, and citizen services.” As there is no universal definition for what a smart city looks like, connectivity is the common theme. The basic idea of a smart city is enabling the city administration to get access to information, turn that information into knowledge and to apply that knowledge to real-life implementations of policies and systems, said Maarten Mijwaart, GM of Automatic Vehicle Identification, Nedap. These responses will improve city performance on important themes such as mobility, health care, energy, education and safety Smart-city activity is underway in certain parts of Europe, such as Eastern Europe, Gorshkov said. South America is buoyant, along with India
and Africa. aPac China plays an leading role on the global stage, with rapid growth driving city development. As the largest metropolises on the coast are developed, inland Tier-3 cities are the focus of upcoming government investments, such as ones in Xinjiang and Heilongjiang provinces. Chinese “Safe City” initiatives now emphasize green benchmarks with a pollution index. “Green inspectors look at pollution reports, such as illegal dumping, and then are dispatched to sites with location data sent to smartphones,” said Weifeng Yang, VP at ZTE NetView, a Chinese network communication solution provider. “Once they arrive, they send a photo
and confirm if there has been an incident. They can add if someone was responsible and should be arrested.” New cities can take the greenfield approach. “New high-tech cities in China have the opportunity to implement the latest technology that’s far more efficient,” said Dave Bartlett, VP of Industry Solutions for Smarter Buildings, IBM. “Today, wireless-sensor technology is much less expensive and easier to deploy in more infrastructure applications. That provides greater flexibility for applying sensor networks to various processes, including security, heat and humidity, corrosion and air quality. This type of data streaming from our physical infrastructure can be analyzed to drive more efficiencies, lower costs and reduce energy requirements.”
1-3 March 2012 Booth No. C8
eMea Most European cities have existed for centuries, with city management most concerned about efficiency. “Europe has more history in smart cities,” Yang said. “There is more emphasis on the green city to meet citizen needs, improve services and manage traffic. Efficiency and going green are another effort for enterprises; they wish to waste fewer resources and utilize people better.” “The ‘Strategic Energy Technology Plan,’ adopted by the EU to support the European energy and climate policies, drives the so-called ‘Smart Cities’ initiative, which focuses on ‘models and strategies to progress toward low carbon emissions,’” said Maria Ruiz, Strategic Project Manager, Fire Safety and Security Strategy, Siemens Building Technologies. At least two smart-grid projects are underway, with the U.K. installing 50 million smart readers in 26 million homes over the next five years. In Italy, national energy provider Enel spent $2.6 billion on SIM cards for smart meters. “All public-sector projects are being constrained,” Gorshkov said. “But there are programs where people are spending to save. Governments understand the use of more reliable surveillance systems can reduce manpower and have cost-effective solutions for their guarding and
security requirements.” The Middle East has less demand for public transport, as most citizens drive. Security and infrastructure development are higher priorities. “For Cairo, waste management is a huge issue — rubbish and dead animals are poisoning the city’s rivers, while the local garbage collection is at the point of collapse,” said Erika Görge, Communications Manager, Bosch Security Systems. The aMeRicas There is strong demand for smart solutions in the Western hemisphere. “Sao Paulo’s latest super traffic jam was 293 kilometers long,” Görge said. “Intelligent transport systems are urgently needed there.” While demand is high, governments are strapped for cash. “In the U.S., there was some force with a smart-grid grant earlier this year,” Malesci said. “But as soon as the grant passed, the money ran out.” Even relatively prosperous nations such as Canada cannot afford completely smart infrastructure. “Vancouver is gradually rolling out water meters, power meters and traffic sensors, but it’s not a transformative thing yet,” Smith said. National security is a pressing concern for the U.S., after dealing with terrorist attacks. While the emphasis
Dave Bartlett, VP of Industry Solutions for Smarter Buildings, IBM
There are currently 102 smart-city projects worldwide. Regional projects are listed below. • Europe: 38 • North America: 35 • APAC: 21 • The Middle East and Africa: 6 • Latin America: 2 Source: ABI Research
has been on monitoring, congestion also factors prominently in smart projects.
As smart city projects take place all over the world, having good network infrastructure in place makes adoption much easier. “Smarter cities are enabled by technology that is more available with a lower price point and the ability to handle the Internet of things,” Bartlett said. “Connectivity is placed in every physical object in cities. Look at smartphones and what they are able to do today, such as streaming live video. Cell towers went from transmitting voice data to multimedia, which sometimes create a big backhaul of data that is available at everyone’s fingertips.” A smart city does not necessarily fit in a single category. “Arguably, how a city uses strategic information to engage its citizens; enhances its amenities for greater public Boon Chin Tan, usage; creates buzz to boost MD of the Regional its tourism, commerce and Competency Centre (Public Safety) and trade; and coordinates Senior VP of Government Solutions Business and deploys resources Unit for APAC, NEC efficiently and effectively Corporation would give us a better sense of a ‘smart’ city,” said Boon Chin Tan, MD of the Regional Competency Centre (Public Safety) and Senior VP of Government Solutions Business Unit for APAC, NEC Corporation.
Weifeng Yang, VP at ZTE NetView
Smart CitieS by region
New Security Paradigm As safe cities evolve beyond city surveillance, security management platforms are being used for other applications. Surveillance helps achieve citywide goals with more data that is not necessarily for security, such as watching for how many cars turned left or right, rather than crimes. Smart-city success will require more security technology and services. The physical safety and security (PSS) of cities face challenges. “Organizations and cities need PSS programs designed to address traditional crime and violence, but also sophisticated terrorist attacks and natural disasters,” Shahpurwala said. Security provides multiple benefits to city management. “For insurance claims, if someone falls on the curb and files a lawsuit, the city authority is liable for certain issues,” Gorshkov said. “With security in place, you have validation of who did what. The savings on insurance and frivolous claims are an immediate cost benefit and a quantifiable ROI for using security systems.” Modern systems support change in a targeted manner. “Video technologies will be used for monitoring public space which assists in preventing crime and protecting people,” Görge said. “At the same time, they can be
used to steer traffic in a more efficient and thus more eco-friendly way. Automated video systems can simplify trade and economic processes and therefore enhance the work flow and business profits.” Hikvision Digital Technology successfully went from making DVR cards to implementing smart-city projects. It won a $1.2-billion smart-city project in Chongqing, Sichuan Province, marking a renewed position as a system integrator. This transition was not only lucrative, but indicates that physical security has a place at the “smart” table. Security is opening up to a whole new world. “We are not just here to control access or to apply video surveillance,” Mijwaart said. “We are here to ensure business continuity not only by helping manage security risks, but also to facilitate optimal use of the real estate by collaborating and exchanging information with HVAC, production or other systems that are operational within the building. The convergence to IP networks and the rise of IT standards that support system interoperability have supported this trend.” The new security paradigm emphasizes greater integration. “Another growth area in smart technologies applied to safety is
Five Ways to Deliver saFety anD security • Prepare: Establish continuity and response plans, train employees, share information among organizations, review forensic evidence from previous incidents to improve processes and optimize systems. • Prevent: Employ prevention techniques, including physical barriers, access control systems, cameras and guards that can be used to prevent, deter or delay security incidents. • detect: Minimize the security incident impact through rapid identification and notification of security breaches and other threatening events. • assess: Determine the scope of the incident and what needs to be done next. • respond: Coordinated, real-time communication among incident commanders, first responders, the public and other organizations during an emergency. Source: Cisco Systems
software for the multidisciplinary use of systems, like public-address systems used for wide-area alarms, public screens in the city used for security messaging or security cameras used to extract traffic density, just to mention some examples,” Ruiz said. “The benefits are twofold: investment optimization and safety optimization.” More comprehensive integration enhances coordination among agencies in the event of an incident. “The police, fire brigade and civil-rescue teams can use real-time data from the security and safety management network, accessing it through personal-communication devices like a smartphone or a tablet,” Ruiz said. “The messages delivered contain not only an alarm notification, but also precise instructions on how to act or detailed status data on graphical and textual mode, depending on whom the recipient is.” Security is not just about detecting hacking or preventing a virus, but also ensures the right person makes infrastructure decisions for the city. “The worst security breach in the city often isn’t malicious; it’s the wrong person who executes a command that affects the infrastructure when they shouldn’t have had access to that system,” Bartlett said. “With Internet and smartphone accessibility, operators could erroneously perform a command online that affects a city process.” As humans are fallible, it is wise not to put too much faith in technology. “The security system is just a tool,” Tan said. “What is more important is the actual intent.” Security plays a crucial role in smart cities, helping cities meet their goals. In the next article, we examine smart applications, challenges and upcoming developments.