VMS In Action – Case Study: Eaton High School

School safety has perhaps never been more important than in 2019. Always on the minds of parents, students, faculty, and staff, educational facilities cannot afford to ignore potential security risks and challenges. Decision-makers require cost-effective, intuitive, and versatile video surveillance solutions to ensure both the safety of people and the security of campus facilities.

Pelco provides video management solutions and video surveillance cameras for a range of industries, including educational facilities, universities, colleges, alongside primary and secondary schools. Our IP video surveillance solutions integrate with a range of systems and analog cameras to bring an affordable, functional VMS for schools.

Case Study: VMS At Eaton High School

Below, we take a look at how a high school in Eaton, Colorado, utilized security cameras and VMS to their advantage. They found that video surveillance benefits school campuses in myriad ways — many of which they did not anticipate!

Background: VMS & Video Surveillance Setup

We got the privilege of interviewing Rick Kauffman, the assistant principal at Eaton High School, who informed us that their student population is typically in the range of 500-600. They implemented 50 cameras on campus, with 75% of them being internal and the rest set up externally. Said Kauffman, “All of our hallways, our library, any place you are going to have student flow, there is going to be a camera internally. Student parking is covered. Staff parking is covered. We have a 360 camera in our commons area, which is where the kids eat.”

Deterrent For Vandalism

Kauffman says that, initially, the video surveillance system was installed to provide a deterrent for inappropriate behavior, both internally and externally. “Our issue was [that] we were dealing with a pretty high degree of vandalism and it got to be a rather expensive repair/cleanup… So I would say that our initial interests were related to some damage that was done to the buildings, and then obviously it has grown into one that we are now looking obviously at building security and keeping people out of the building that shouldn’t be here and keeping people in the building that should be here.”

Kauffman offered additional insight regarding how their VMS allowed them to more accurately distinguish between guilty and innocent parties. “The cameras do two great things for us: either prove fact, or disprove allegations.” Security camera systems not only deter vandalism, but they help accelerate the investigative process as well.

Resource Management

It didn’t take long for authorities at the school to tap into the versatility of their video surveillance system. While deterring vandalism was always a priority, Kauffman and others quickly realized how effective their VMS was in monitoring potential security threats on campus, be they external or internal.

What’s more, Kauffman observed that their security camera system improves operational efficiency. The cameras afforded them the ability to minimize the resources dedicated to investigating potential security concerns. Kauffman sums this point up well; “…it does minimize the amount of leg-time, people-time, to actually investigate what happened.”

Ensuring School Safety

Most importantly, Eaton High School became a significantly more secure facility, and it didn’t take long for the school to put the VMS to work. “…we went into a lockdown because of a series of ominous threats to the school. And the cameras were used specifically to make certain that that individual came nowhere near the building. From that point, I’d say these things are priceless.”

For more on how Pelco solutions can help your school safety and security through VMS and video surveillance solutions, reference our resource on Intelligent Video Surveillance Solutions for Education at your convenience. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for video surveillance cameras that keep your school safe and efficient!

On the Edge: How a New Feature in VideoXpert Will Save Your Data

Since VideoXpert was first released, Pelco has been striving to provide a diverse range of industries with an intelligent video management system (VMS) that is not only able to adapt to changing site plans and locations, but also contains features that make it a reliable and trusted solution. The newest version of our VMS, VideoXpert v3.3, is now available for download. Among the new features in this release include the auto-gap-fill feature, which is designed to address several security challenges that increase the risk of data loss. Read to find out how this feature enhances your surveillance experience.

Rural or Large Enterprise Facilities

Large facilities or environments in rural areas need the ability to reliably capture video, even in the event of a network interruption or failure. With auto-gap-fill feature in VideoXpert v3.3, video feeds are temporarily stored on the surveillance camera through an SD card so you won’t have to worry about gaps in coverage. When the network connection is restored and the system returns to normal operation, the VMS can retrieve and merge local video recordings seamlessly. This ensures that the user gets uninterrupted video recordings and provides increased system reliability and safeguards system operation.

Forensic Evidence Gathering

In the event when the network experiences a brief outage while a security breach is occurring, you run the risk of losing precious video evidence. The auto-gap-fill feature in the latest version of VideoXpert prevents this scenario with locally recorded video that can be recovered and shared with the appropriate authorities. This can significantly reduce response times and increase the chance that the suspect is successfully identified and intercepted.

Why Auto-Gap Fill Matters

The auto-gap-fill feature also allows for bandwidth optimization in applications where bandwidth is limited. The user or an operator can view live video in low resolution, while recording HDTV quality images locally on the camera. Upon an incident, the high-quality video stream from the camera will be stored on the SD card of the camera, which is then retrieved by the VMS for efficient forensic search. Typical applications are mission critical installations, but also for video surveillance where network coverage is limited or intermittent.

Pelco is excited to release our newest version of VideoXpert this Spring. Check out our existing offering here or visit our website to see our full range of video surveillance solutions.

Find Out Which VxCare Support Tier is Perfect For Your Business

So, you are a proud owner of Pelco’s VideoXpert VMS and want to find a way to maximize the value of your investment. You may also be researching support services that will best serve your unique security needs.

Pelco’s VxCare gives you three ways to support you through any issue you may face across the lifecycle of your VMS.

Read to find out which tier will make the perfect fit for your business.

Basic

Perhaps you’re a system integrator who has been working closely with VideoXpert for many years but still need occasional support for highly complex issues. This tier is perfect for you if you have already been educated on the majority of VideoXpert’s operational and functional aspects but could also benefit from gaining access to key resources such as basic phone and e-mail that will help you get back on track. This tier is available as a complimentary service for all VX owners.

Epic

If you are a customer who needs direct support from Pelco, this is the one for you. The Epic tier is best suited for VideoXpert owners who need a moderate level of support when it comes to deployment and system upgrades but has some knowledge about the system on their own. In the event of an upgrade that requires complex steps, for example, you can reach out to a dedicated support engineer to guide you through the process.

Protect

With the Protect tier, new business owners who have little to no knowledge of their VMS or video surveillance have access to the maximum support tier available for VideoXpert owners. Whether you need assistance with setting up your VMS, need a system health check, or a dedicated on-site technician who is available to address any concerns you have, VxCare Protect assists you with all of your VMS and video surveillance needs from top to bottom.

Why VxCare?

VxCare is here to optimize the performance and availability of your VMS and overall video surveillance solutions. VxCare make everything from installations to updates a less daunting experience for businesses who require video surveillance and a VMS to manage their data. VxCare is also great for system integrators who wish to introduce this service to their customers, who are looking to receive support directly from Pelco. Whether you’re a customer, surveillance operator, or system integrator, Pelco will ensure that you receive the best possible support through every step of the way.

Learn more about VxCare or visit our website for our full range of video surveillance solutions.

Here’s How Any Industry Can Boost Security with Pelco’s VideoXpert

Maintaining security in large organizations mean navigating significant challenges that can increase the risk of security breaches such as theft or unauthorized entry. Thanks to advancements in video surveillance technology, operators have access to an enhanced surveillance experience, resulting in faster detection and response times. With video management systems (VMS), surveillance teams across a wide variety of industries can have a better view of what’s happening on their sites by using captured data from cameras and combining them with advanced analytics for a higher level of operational efficiency. However, advanced video management platforms can also bring new challenges.

That’s why organizations need intelligent video surveillance solutions that are hardened to address concerns in cybersecurity, for instance. Security personnel also need the ability to scale surveillance plans based on their organization’s evolving size and budget.

VideoXpert offers all the above. Our VMS is fault-tolerant, redundant, and supports failover to address data loss. It can also connect to anything from traditional analog cameras to HD IP video cameras, which allows the system to grow with the organization. Whether 20 or 20,000 cameras are needed within a facility, VideoXpert is based on an intuitive, user-friendly interface that any IT or security professional can use with ease.

Here’s a glimpse into the different types of organizations that VideoXpert serves.

Healthcare

As healthcare facilities grow larger and provide around-the-clock care, they become more vulnerable to a wide array of security risks such as unauthorized entry, but this can be largely mitigated through integrations with Access Control that help monitor physical access to the building. VideoXpert Enterprise offers a trusted and secure platform that provides healthcare facilities, including remote out-patient sites, with a peace of mind that comes with complete protection.

Law Enforcement, City Surveillance, and Traffic Monitoring

Whether it’s a busy intersection or law enforcement facility, security operators overseeing these environments need a way to tackle major security challenges such as crime, traffic congestion, or roadway accidents.

The good news is that VideoXpert integrates with numerous programs that identify and alert staff to potentially problematic behavior, such as unattended bags on a sidewalk or unauthorized vehicles in areas meant for traffic personnel. While traditional video surveillance is dependent on staff monitoring video footage, VideoXpert’s intelligent capabilities spot problems on their own through advanced analytics. An added benefit for traffic operators is that data from VideoXpert gives them the opportunity to plan and improve traffic flows.

Education

Schools and colleges need a surveillance solution that not only integrates seamlessly into evolving site plans, but also offer potentially lifesaving features. For instance, VideoXpert is compatible with facial recognition integrations such as Rec Faces, so automatic alerts can be sent to the appropriate personnel when an unfamiliar face is detected, or when a face is obscured with a mask. VideoXpert Professional also offers a way for surveillance operators to monitor multiple campuses or halls so nothing is missed.

Commercial: Hospitality, Office, Banking, and Finance

With environments like hotels, office buildings, or banking institutions, property owners and property managers face the daunting task of ensuring the security of their employees, customers, and property.

VideoXpert’s easy-to-navigate interface provides operators with a full HD view of the property on one screen. This includes entrances, parking lots, or even cafeterias. VideoXpert can also be accessed remotely so security personnel can monitor the scene even if they’re off site. What’s more, VideoXpert supports text message alerts, which can contribute towards faster response times.

Corrections

There are few places with greater surveillance demands than corrections facilities. By implementing intelligent solutions, these environments are able to enhance the security of inmates, visitors, and property. VideoXpert includes a variety of features that help security teams identify and respond to problems much more quickly and reliably than in the past. Automated alerts notify personnel of unattended items or people who are moving in the wrong direction through an entrance.

The increased automation allows the personnel to spend less time monitoring the video and more time addressing the issues that the VMS has identified. Ultimately, surveillance strategies become more efficient as the collaboration capabilities allow personnel to consult the information from multiple places in one single user interface. It provides the ability to export and pursue investigation with minimal delay.

Critical Infrastructure

For many public and private institutions like port security, critical infrastructure and public safety initiatives have called for the deployment of a variety of video security technologies.Whether security is needed for bridges, airports, or seaports, VideoXpert is sure to meet the challenging demands of securing the world’s critical infrastructure for increased overall safety for citizens and staff with a performance-oriented, intuitive user interface that provides a superior user experience.

Gaming

The gaming industry faces significant challenges in security and fraud reduction: safeguarding guests and employees, protecting critical assets, and striving to gather intelligence to prevent major breaches and fraud. Stringent regulations must also be followed to maintain the integrity of operations and comply with governing bodies.

With VideoXpert, casino surveillance departments can gather data and address threats in real-time. Our VMS is a critical tool that allows operators to investigate events quickly while mitigating future risk.

Learn more about Pelco’s surveillance solutions by visiting our website today.

What you need to know about Video Analytics for Security Surveillance before its implementation

The introduction of video analytics for surveillance was revolutionary. Since then these applications have evolved and changed the way video surveillance is installed, monitored, and reviewed. The premise of these software applications is to optimize the human resource and focus the attention on those events that are relevant based on a set of predefined rules or conditions.

Today, most manufacturers provide one or more video analytics as part of their solution. Moreover, there are companies that focus specifically on video analytics development. Not all analytics have been designed the same way, however, and depending on the situation, one video analytic type can provide better results than others. At the same time, there are important factors that can support or undermine the video analytic performance.

How do video analytics work?

No matter the type of video analytic solution, the process they follow is very similar. Video analytics use video as input to compare against the condition(s) or rule(s) defined on the software engine. Depending on the type of analytic, the engine will look for specific information on the image. If the event is matched with the rule, then the analytic will trigger an output or action. Imagine that you are interested in identifying all events where an object crosses a virtual fence defined on the video analytic. If the event matches the condition, the operator should get a visual notification while the system logs the event on the server.

As part of the output, the video analytic generates meta-data, which is information in the form of text to describe what happened on the event. Meta-data can be used to trigger an alarm, classify events, run reports and search for information (i.e. forensic analysis).

An important point is that video analytics require a learning period before the engine can start detecting events. This learning period will give the analytic a baseline to gather information and compare it against the condition. Furthermore, some video analytics will require a minimum video resolution to operate properly, at least x number of frames per second to run the analysis and in some cases a camera angle to obtain better results.

What are the different types of video analytics?

If we classify the types of video analytics available in the market, we can cluster them in three main groups. Basic video analytics, advanced video analytics, and deep learning video analytics.

Basic video analytics were developed more than 15 years ago. These video analytics are designed to use pixel changes to trigger an event. An example of a basic video analytic is simple motion detection. When a group of pixels on the image change its color, the engine will consider this event as something moving on the scene resulting in motion detection.

Another example is camera sabotage/tampering. In this case, the camera will take a snapshot of the scene and if most of the pixels on the image change, then the analytic will consider this as tampering.

The disadvantage of basic video analytics is the number of false positives you could get since the engine is very basic, especially in complex scenes. Shadows, trees, animals or weather conditions can trigger the analytic, reducing its benefits.

Advanced analytics were developed more recently. These analytics use Binary Large Objects (BLOB), which is a group of connected pixels. This type of analytic look for shapes and forms reducing the number of false positives. Compared to basic video analytics, this type also provides additional settings to finetune the engine such as perspectives, camera angle, type of scene, number of frames for analysis, among others. Finally, algorithms using advanced analytics can reduce the number of false positives by narrowing down the number of events that can trigger the analytic (i.e. Object classification).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) or deep learning video analytics is the most recent technology used for video analysis. These video analytics take advantage of neural networks to train the analytic and produce an outcome. The more events the analytic is trained with, the higher the accuracy to detect relevant events. The learning process can be manual (human intervention to mark the events that are relevant) or automatic using a library of events gathered from different sources. Deep learning analytics will provide more advanced analysis such as feature searching or multiple conditions.

Deep learning analytics offer the ability to sift through information and compare against conditions faster and more accurately.

Server Analytics vs. Edge Analytics vs. Cloud Analytics

When implementing video analytics, you should decide if the analytic will reside on the camera (edge analytics), on the server, or on the cloud. Most camera manufacturers offer video analytics on the camera either for free or for an additional fee. In contrast, video analytic manufacturers offer video analytics either on the camera, on the server, or on the cloud.

It’s important to remember that for more advanced analysis you will require more processing, thus not all advanced video analytics or deep learning can run on the edge, but on a server, the cloud, or a hybrid. If the video analytic can run on the camera, most probably will require high-end camera models since these cameras will have better processors.

Finally, another important factor is the Video Management System (VMS) compatibility with the video analytic. Not all camera manufacturers or third-party video analytics manufacturers have integration with all VMSs. In some cases, the integration might be limited to sending alarms to the VMS rather than transmitting the meta-data to the VMS.

What other factors should be considered when implementing Video Analytics?

The video analytic can only deliver a good analysis if the video provided is of good quality. A barrel effect (optic distortion) on economic lens can be an issue when the subjects move to the corners of the image. Cameras without a true wide dynamic range will provide a poor image when there is a high contrast on the scene reducing the detection capabilities of the video analytic. A high shutter speed could be a key feature when objects move fast on the scene or when the camera is zoomed in on a small area of the object (i.e. vehicle’s license plate) reducing blurred images.

Video analytics, either on the server side or on the cloud, will require bandwidth to receive the camera streams and processing power to run the analysis. The advantage of this architecture is that you don’t require a specific type of camera chip, the disadvantage is that bandwidth usage will be higher. Depending on the number of video analytics, you might require more than one processor on the sever or increase your internet bandwidth if using cloud analytics. If bandwidth is an issue, evaluate if edge video analytics can meet your project requirements.

Measuring video analytic accuracy is a relative subject, especially when there is no standard in the industry for it. A manufacturer can increase the video analytic accuracy if the sample is constrained to a few trials (i.e. 10 trials and 9 of them were positive = 90% accuracy vs. 100 trials and 9 of them positive = 9% accuracy). Accuracy could be measured only on real events, eliminating false positives from the sample, or if the statistic is obtained under ideal conditions (i.e. camera angle, controlled lighting, simple background, little activity on the scene, a set distance from the camera, specific lens or camera type).

The only accuracy statistic you should trust is a trial period based on your conditions and settings.

Conclusion: Four important points about video analytics for video surveillance

There are important differences in video analytics and using the right video analytic in your implementation is crucial to obtain the best results. In most projects a combination of different types of video analytics will be the way to go, whereas in very specific situations one type can be more suitable than others.

Compare and test the video analytic before choosing a manufacturer. Even though two manufacturers claim to have the same type of video analytic, the outcome on the same scenario might differ considerably since accuracy can be measured differently. Not all the scenes are ideal, especially when using video analytics outdoors. Lighting, camera angle, weather conditions, and the image quality are some examples of factors that commonly affect the results of a video analytic.

Remember that all analytics will require configuration and fine tuning. Assess the ease of use and the level of training required to make changes and obtain results.

An integration between the Video Management System and the video analytic is important. Furthermore, an integration that includes meta-data support will give you more usability and the possibility to expand its applications.

Hitting Security Out of the Park for the 2018 World Series

Baseball isn’t known for violence, either on or off the field. Brawls between players usually end quickly and fans of opposing teams coexist in the stands peacefully. But make no mistake: security is a big deal for every Major League Baseball team, particularly during the annual best-of-seven championship series that 115 million people tune into every October—the World Series.

The surveillance personnel at the two stadiums hosting the World Series are on high alert for a variety of potential security issues. The sheer number of people at the games — between 35-60,000 fans attend each game — makes the stadium a target for terrorism. Large crowds both in and around the stadium make attractive targets for pickpockets. Heavy drinking by fans before and during the game can lead to fights. Finally, there are health and safety risks that aren’t brought on by bad behavior but simply bad luck, such as car accidents in the parking lot or serious medical events, like heart attacks or strokes.

Major League stadiums have always had a variety of security measures in place, but in recent years they have intensified these measures, particularly during the World Series. Since 2015, all attendees are subject to metal detectors upon entering stadiums. Stadiums have also placed new restrictions on the types of bags that are allowed into the stadium to reduce the chance that somebody can smuggle a prohibited item past security.

Above all else, the big change in stadium security has come from enhanced surveillance technology, notably Video Management Systems that leverage high-definition video and intelligent analytics.

Pelco has been at the forefront of this transformation, offering end-to-end surveillance solutions to major event and sports venues, including Chase Field, home of the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

VideoXpert, Pelco’s latest Video Management System (VMS), has become an attractive option for stadiums because it combines sophisticated analytics and industry-leading video cameras with a simple, intuitive interface that employees new to the surveillance industry can quickly be trained on.

Here are some of the game-changing analytic tools that many Pelco customers choose to implement via VideoXpert:

  • People Counter: Management knows when and where foot traffic is heaviest. When fans are piling into the stadium before a big game, being able to hone in on suspicious activity or blockage at entry gates is extremely helpful.
  • Intrusion Detection: Alerts security teams to unauthorized entrances, while filtering out the types of things that often cause false alarms.
  • Facial Recognition: Spots people who have been barred from facilities due to past problems. This is one less thing for security personnel at the gates to have to worry about.
  • Unaccompanied Object Identification: Available natively on Pelco cameras, this feature notifies staff of objects, such as a bag or backpack, that have been left behind. This serves as a critical security feature to notify staff of potential bombs, but it can also serve an important customer service function by helping staff recover lost items for guests.
  • License Plate Recognition: Cars linked to suspicious behavior on the premises can be quickly identified.

Pelco makes these analytics available through native, on-camera support, and through seamless integrations with strategic analytic partners. To learn more about these analytics, contact our Pelco sales team today.

A smooth entry process, coupled with video surveillance and groundbreaking intelligent analytics undoubtedly play a larger role in ensuring that the World Series remains an exciting yet peaceful and safe American pastime.

Customization Makes One-Stop-Shop for Security a Reality

At Pelco, we serve a variety of partners and end-users in a wide range of industries, from airports and train stations to casinos and sports arenas. What’s striking about working in so many industry verticals is that no customer is alike; each one has a unique set of security needs and related stakeholder groups that ultimately shape their approach to surveillance. While there are undoubtedly plenty of similar customer requirements that we hear over and over again, there are a host of individualized modifications that can (and should) result in a truly unique solution.

That explains why we have made customization for our customers a top priority. Our commitment to being the best video surveillance and security solution provider in the world comes not just from our dedication to producing the most advanced IP video security products and systems, but in our ability to work with each individual customer to design solutions tailored to address their specific needs.

Simply providing surveillance solutions that aim to address the most common needs of a certain vertical, such as gaming or airport security, is not enough. Video surveillance providers who do no more than that invariably force their customers to fill gaps by contracting with additional vendors for other products and services, often at a much greater expense of time, money and risk.

Our goal is to address all of the security needs in one solution, from one provider, offering greater efficiencies in terms of security management, customer support, and budget. We provide specific modifications in terms of software, hardware, and firmware to meet the needs of key stakeholders.

Common Customizations

As a global provider of security and surveillance solutions, we receive many different customization requests from our network of partner integrators and end customers. One of the most common customizations we configure is the integration of a facility’s access control system into our Video Management System, VideoXpert. In layman’s terms, that means every time somebody enters a facility using a key card, there is not only a record of their entry in the access control system, but that record is accompanied by video footage of the event taking place. In other words, the open architecture of products like VideoXpert can integrate a wide variety of 3rd party security products, resulting in a highly scalable and extensible solution that can meet the ever evolving needs of an end user

Similarly, another frequent customization request is the integration an incident report program into VideoXpert. For many security professionals responsible for protecting the physical assets of an enterprise or government entity, the ability to provide a detailed report complete with video evidence is essential to satisfying the needs of related requests from law enforcement, insurance companies and oversight boards. With VideoXpert integration to 3rd party incident report programs, the process is quick, painless and accurate. The result is a boost in work efficiency, timeliness of reports, accuracy of damage reporting for insurance, and even a reduction of repeat incidents through improved coordination with law enforcement.

Many of our customers want video cameras that direct their focus to moving objects if nothing is occurring in the spot where they’re pointed. In those cases, we are able to install Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) IP cameras. When video cameras detect and focus on people or things that are moving, say at crowded baggage claim areas in busy airports or on offshore oil rigs with crews working 24/7 under extreme conditions, they are much more likely to be recording the significant events, including crimes, inappropriate behavior, and even work-related accidents.

Other customers have very precise demands when it comes to the aesthetics of their surveillance equipment. We happily comply with all such requests, painting and wrapping cameras to blend into the environment rather than have them stick out like a sore thumb.

One System to Run Them All

The fact is centralizing security programs in one interface like VideoXpert makes work more efficient, cost-effective and safer. The more that key security functions operate on separate systems, the greater the risk of missed incidents and security breaches. Indeed, a single surveillance interface makes it easier to isolate sensitive resources that could be tampered with. Bottom-line: Setting up a single workstation accessed by trained surveillance personnel is far better than disparate systems spread around an organization with varying degrees of security access.

The Upshot

There are hardly any customizations that are out-of-bounds when it comes to Pelco surveillance solutions. Not only are we eager to offer our partners and their end users the full range of our own hardware and software features, but we want our solutions to empower them to leverage any other useful security tool from any other provider.

If you’re wondering whether we can help you integrate a certain feature or customize your solution in a certain way, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are eager to investigate all requests.

Keeping The Madness of March Madness Safe

After an eventful NCAA tournament, including a historic first-round upset, basketball fans all over the world turn to the Final Four, which will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Those of us who don’t have a bracket riding on the outcome or an allegiance to one of the four remaining teams are most likely rooting for a turbulent, gut-wrenching, buzzer-beating game that ends in epic tragedy for one side and glorious victory for the other.

However, for those tasked with security in San Antonio, the top goal is to make sure there that the only surprises that

take place in the arena occur on the court.

At stadiums, security threats come in many different forms. There are inebriated and emotional fans who get into fights. There is the potential for theft and robberies, particularly in parking lots or other outdoor areas where criminals can target fans and vehicles for money or other possessions.

Above all else, the large, dense crowds of people who show up for major sporting events are a prime target for terrorist attacks. In an interview last year with Sports Business Daily, Alamodome GM Nick Langella described the spate of attacks in London as a wake-up call for venues around the world to bolster security: “It’s not just getting people through the door anymore. It’s about getting people off the property as well and creating a safe environment. That’s the new challenge.”

While the threats may have increased, the good news is that security technology has also improved in recent years, allowing major facilities to prevent problems from arising and to respond to those that do arise, more quickly.

At Pelco, we’ve been proud to provide comprehensive surveillance solutions to a number of major event spaces, including stadiums. One of our recent projects came at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, home of the Vegas Golden Knights and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

At the T-Mobile Arena, Pelco’s end-to-end solution includes 250 fixed SarixTM IP cameras, SpectraTM PTZ dome cameras, and OpteraTM Panoramic IP cameras. This system not only provides constant video footage on the entirety of the stadium’s interior but keep tabs on Toshiba Plaza, the two-acre public space surrounding the arena.

The centerpiece of the system is VideoXpert, Pelco’s  5th generation Video Management System (VMS), which leverages the video images from all of those cameras into one centralized system, operated by a team of 14 security professionals in the stadium’s Network Operating Center. The security personnel monitor the activity in and around the arena on six 55-inch screens that each display up to eight video feeds simultaneously. That means at any given moment the security team is viewing footage from 48 different locations and angles.

The high-definition video images enable the security team to monitor the entire stadium property leaving little doubt about what an individual caught on camera committing a crime or engaging in suspicious activity looks like. The cameras also adjust to different light conditions, ensuring that dark corners of hallways are not out of view.

Of course, what worked for the T-Mobile Arena might not necessarily be what other venues are seeking. In some cases, they already have a set of cameras –– made by another manufacturer –– and are simply looking for a better video management system. In that case, VideoXpert is still the right call, since it was built with interoperability in mind and can hook up to ANY existing video cameras.

Something else that makes VideoXpert so valuable to our partners is its ability to integrate with a variety of data analytics platforms; as well as, process edge based camera video analytics. Here are some of the common analytics capabilities that our partners and cameras use:

  • People counter: Management knows when and where foot traffic is heaviest.
  • Intrusion detection: Alerts security teams to unauthorized entrances by people, while filtering out the types of things that often cause false alarms, such as animals or blowing trash making contact with a fence.
  • Facial recognition: Spots people who have been barred from facilities due to past problems.
  • License plate recognition: A critical component of investigating vehicles entering and existing the premises
  • Suspicious Object Identification: Notifies staff of objects, such as a bag or backpack, that have been left behind. This serves as a critical security feature to notify staff of potential bombs, but it can also serve an important customer service function by helping staff recover lost items for guests.

There may not be a way to ensure that every fan enjoys the games. There will always be some of them who are unhappy with the result. But thanks to the types of new technology available to stadiums, we can do a lot more to make sure that every fan, win or lose, stays safe.

Guest Post: Application of Advanced Video Analytics in Airports

Airport security remains one of the most critical threats faced by large cities. The rapid expansion in the aviation industry has escalated these threats due to the increase in passenger numbers. Automation of security and operational tasks is at the heart of providing effective screening and protection while scaling up to accommodate the growing numbers of passengers. Advanced Video Analytics has a crucial role in providing effective solutions that either autonomously detect and contain threats or assist security officers by providing superior situational awareness.

Advanced video analytics has been successfully deployed in airports to address critical safety and security needs. While some of the solutions are targeting proactive use of the surveillance network and increasing the situational awareness of security officers, others are fully automated and contain threats while alerting authorities.

  • At passenger security screening immediate detection of breaches to the landside/airside boundary are crucial to the secure operation of the airport. Furthermore, in large terminal buildings volubility must be mitigated by continuously monitoring unattended screening lanes for intruders.
  • At immigration desks Face Recognition scans passengers’ facial data constantly, comparing it in real time against a database of known suspects while storing every detected face in a passengers’ database to enable retrospective forensics searches.
  • At arrivals exit lanes, video analytics instantly detects pass-back violations and physically contains infiltrators by shutting automatic doors while alerting authorities.
  • Video analytics also plays a role in airside security and operations through identifying specific behaviours involving people, planes, and vehicles in an active and dynamic scene. Airside virtual intrusion and security of the Critical Paths are two of the areas where video analytics has been used to replace physical barriers by creating virtual aircraft zones and detecting unauthorised individuals at cargo loading zones.
  • Advanced scenario based rules play a big role in reducing nuisance events and focusing on real threats. Abandoned luggage detection is one example of such complex behaviour especially in busy areas like departures retail.
  • More recently the forensics use of video analytics in airports has become key in investigating incidents and apprehending those responsible near real time. Technologies like Tag and Track and Face/Behaviour forensics searches have been introduced to assist security officers to analyse hours of video in seconds, focus the investigation to achieve effective results and create the ultimate investigative tool. Face recognition forensics capability can also identify individuals in a network of cameras and search for passenger that visited the airport previously.

Written by Boghos Boghossian

Dr Boghos Boghossian is an acknowledged expert in systems/architectures for real-time advanced video analytics systems. Dr Boghossian has published numerous research papers on the subject and his inventions have be awarded global patents Dr Boghossian received a PhD in 2001 for work on human behaviour analysis for video surveillance systems at King’s College London, University of London. Since then he co-founded Ipsotek Ltd that specialise in providing advanced video analytics solutions. With headquarters in the UK, Ipsotek has provided effective solution across the world specialising in airport security, ITS and CNI protection.

Why You Need a Video Surveillance System For Your SMB

Modern technology has allowed security systems to grow and evolve far beyond CCTV and guard dogs, in addition to consistently bringing down the cost of high performing, highly capable security technology. Many video components, as well as processors and imaging technologies have been dramatically reduced in cost, making them recently available for smaller institutions to take advantage of. As a result, much more powerful cameras and video management systems are now on the market for midrange installations of between 20 and 75 cameras at small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs).

Several recent developments in camera technology have made higher performing cameras more appealing for SMBs. HD image quality is better than ever, helping to eliminate the need for supplemental lighting in many cases. Compression technology that delivers that extremely high definition video to a video management system (VMS) without a loss of data helps to lower the need for extensive storage that can increase overall costs. Automation is more capable than ever, with high definition cameras enabling new and dynamic analytics capabilities including abandoned object, object removal, loitering protection, and camera sabotage to take some of the pressure off of security officers and enable more efficient, accurate, and intelligent monitoring.

VMS offerings, meanwhile, have increased their capability for SMB installations dramatically, making capabilities previously only available for large, enterprise-level installations now affordable for smaller deployments, and many VMSs are available that directly serve the needs of SMBs. Easy-to-install, easy-to-use designs with interfaces that are simple for officers to learn and utilize ensure that no time is taken from a smaller security team to train on a new system, with some VMSs available to plug-and-play. These intuitive interfaces perform all necessary tasks in a single desktop view and let users reorganize their workspace, making it simpler for security officers to quickly become proficient, providing fast, actionable data quickly. VMSs with multiple server access allow a facility with a single operations center for their security team to deploy their VMS across multiple locations. In addition, modern VMSs include programmable functionality to enable officers on the move, which makes it easier for security teams with fewer officers to utilize their system without someone to operate it at all times.

SMBs with effective, capable modern video surveillance systems can provide higher levels of safety for their business from multiple features. Often, the presence of a video surveillance system itself is enough to deter crime or other undesirable behavior and a reassurance to prospective clients, customers, and contractors that the environment is a safe one. Analytics can also help to prevent threats and mitigate risk by picking up on aberrant behavior with wrong-way detection, object left behind, and other integrations that can proactively respond to possible threats. Additionally, video surveillance with capable compression can maintain significant storage of video data for forensic purposes, helping to reduce liability and protect your business in the case of a lawsuit, criminal activity, or other issue. Businesses with capable video surveillance systems that take advantage of capable technology at a lower price point can significantly increase their overall safety and deliver real benefits to their security team.

How Advancements in Video Management Systems Help to Protect Small-To-Mid-Size Businesses

Small-to-mid-size businesses, or SMBs, are some of the most difficult businesses to properly protect from risk. Security systems and personnel often come at a cost that is difficult to justify because it seems large in comparison with revenue. Yet, without safeguards in place, it can be difficult for SMBs with modest cash flows to recover from losses resulting from security breaches. Protecting your assets, facility, and personnel is a mission-critical objective, and SMBs need cost-effective solutions to protect themselves.

SMBs that install a modern, advanced video surveillance system get a number of benefits beyond simple monitoring. The presence of security cameras itself is often enough to act as a criminal deterrent, and the implementation of a system can help dramatically reduce the rate of security breaches and criminal activity, in addition to preventing some issues altogether. Video surveillance improves response time in case of a threat or other situation that requires physical intervention, and reduces liability by providing auditable video.

SMBs are particularly vulnerable, as they often do not have the resources to put these important safeguards in place–a potent combination with limited resources to absorb losses and proactively protect themselves against threats. Crimes against SMBs have been known to go completely unreported out of fear of bad publicity, and because the chances of successful prosecution are low. To mitigate this risk, SMBs have to be both proactive and savvy when planning and implementing risk-reduction strategies– including physical security.

Because they needed to be cost-effective, SMBs have until recently tried to make due with basic video surveillance systems, consisting of Network Video Recorders (NVRs) without the advanced functionality available on video management systems (VMS) designed for larger, enterprise-level installations. In the past, smaller businesses had to make a difficult choice between enterprise-level systems, which were highly capable but also complex and expensive, and entry-level systems that were not much more powerful than basic consumer-level systems. Today, however, VMS solutions with high-performing functionality are available for SMBs as well.

When looking for a VMS specifically for small-to-midsize business, there are several factors to consider. The typical video surveillance system for an SMB is between 20 and 75 cameras, and is typically used to cover the outside of a facility, parking lots, entrances, and key interior locations. A VMS designed to handle up to 100 cameras per server is therefore ideal, meeting today’s needs while preserving flexibility and the capability for scaling up as needs may change and grow. Most SMBs do not possess extensive or highly technical security personnel, so a VMS with an intuitive user interface that is easy to learn and operate is essential.

In addition, recent advances allow new VMS to provide improved analytics for smaller installations. Analytics supplements and enhances human monitoring of the video feeds, tirelessly watching for certain triggers to activate alarms or send alerts to security staff for evaluation and response. Integrated analytics can include loitering (a person staying in one area longer than expected or allowed), wrong way (a person traveling in the wrong direction – entering an exit, for example), object removal (something that is normally in the monitored scene is no longer there), and others. These triggers can also be used to locate specific video data in the event that it’s later needed. With analytics present on a VMS, security systems can do much of the work for the user—a crucial aid to any SMB.

SMB security presents many challenges—the need for the same dynamic protection as larger businesses, for much lower cost and with much simpler operation. With modern VMS systems, this type of protection has become much more cost-effective, easier to implement and operate, and more highly functional than any video surveillance system for this scale has ever been.

VideoXpert Steals the Show at ASIS 2017

Memorable. That is the only way to describe my experience at ASIS 2017 from Dallas, Texas – my 10th ASIS conference in a row. As the global events manager for Pelco by Schneider Electric, I’ve participated in hundreds of security shows over the course of my career and this one will be hard to beat.

For starters, key note speakers included: former President George W. Bush, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Carey Lohrenz , the USA’s first female fighter pilot. Personally, I found their thoughts and ideas around physical and cyber security to be insightful and the advice offered around leadership and teamwork exciting.

ASIS has always been a great vehicle for us, as product manufacturers, to hear from end users and get personal accounts of the challenges they are facing in their respective industries. It’s also important to hear honest feedback after demonstrating our newest product offers. It was clear early on that attendees of our booth were enamored by our new mid-size video management system, VideoXpert Professional.

We knew that VideoXpert Professional was a major hit coming into the show. That feeling was validated by it winning the People’s Choice Award in the ASIS Accolades Competition. The People’s Choice Award winners, voted on by attendees during the first two days of ASIS, are selected based on innovation, benefit to the industry, and unique features.

I overheard several of our booth guests, after personally using the innovative system, say how easy it was to use and how perfect it would be for their businesses. One gentleman in specific could not believe how versatile the system was, especially since his company was using an enterprise level VMS that did not support some of the features that VideoXpert Professional did.

Also on display at our ASIS booth were several of our top camera models, including: Sarix Next Generation IP Fixed, Spectra Series of PTZs, ,Optera Panoramic Series and our new explosion-proof Exsite Enhanced line of cameras. Rounding out the portfolio of solutions was ourSmart Compression Technology, which reduces the bandwidth necessary for these high-performance cameras.

In addition to individual products, Pelco also displayed full system solutions with functionality for the oil and gas, airport and seaport, casino and gaming and city surveillance markets. These displays further demonstrated the need for customization and scalability from a system and integration standpoint.

ASIS 2017 and Pelco both set the bar high for future security conferences. Personally, I am excited for the next opportunity to top what we accomplished in Dallas.

What was your favorite moment from ASIS 2017? Leave a comment below and let us know.