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Posts Tagged ‘Warehouse security’

Will 2018 be the year artificial intelligence makes a big impact on your business?

As 2017 winds down, trend watchers are looking ahead to 2018 and thinking about the trends taking shape. Artificial Intelligence is top of mind for many.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI), and what is the difference between AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning? According to techopedia, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.” AI computers might be used for speech recognition, learning, planning and problem solving.

Machine Learning takes AI a step further, allowing computers to be challenged by and learn from new scenarios for testing and adaptation. The goal is for the machines to use pattern recognition and trend detection to “learn” so that it can make independent decisions about similar situations in the future.

Deep Learning collects what Machine Learning computers have learned and uses those algorithms to develop larger networks that mimic the high-powered decision-making capability of the human brain.

AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning all have significant potential for real-world application, particularly in video security.

The boom in digital video means a voluminous amount of data is available to analyze. Couple that data with more data available via API – weather data, financial data, etc. – and the possibilities for pulling together patterns and making predictions is nearly endless.

“While the technologies aren’t particularly new, this year they have more than ever captured the attention of the market due to various factors: an increase in data that’s available for meaningful analysis, the emergence of hardware devices with high computing power, as well as the maturity of networking infrastructure for both landline and wireless transmissions,” wrote William Pao of a&s International in a recent post on asmag.com.

Some are predicting a boom in AI-driven analysis. “The next step in video analytics is to dive deeper to gain very specific insights into video content, including analyzing human behavior through the use of neural network video analysis. Video will not only be used to track the usual movement of cars and people or detect items left behind, but will also be relied on more frequently to bring behaviors of interest to the attention of security personnel,” said Jammy DeSousa, Senior Product Manager for Security Products for Building Technologies and Solutions at Johnson Controls in the post.

Others are slightly more conservative in their outlook. “Machine or deep-learning is mostly used for video analytics, but I expect the technology will be an important component in many different applications and products in the future. Over time it will become a common tool for software engineers and will be included in many different environments and devices,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO of Axis Communications in the post. “However, the surveillance industry has a history of sometimes over-promising with video analytics, and we are especially conscious of that when it comes to deep learning. We think deep learning has to mature further before it is ready for market in a broader perspective.”

Interested in learning more about new products and integrations on the horizon for 2018? Contact us at (502) 632-4322.

Showtime documentary series details the impacts of mass shootings

Mass shootings have become such a phenomenon in the United States that they now have their own television series.

Showtime launched a new documentary series “Active Shooter: America Under Fire” this fall. The show airs on Friday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern. The producers include documentary veterans Eli Holzman (“Undercover Boss”), Aaron Saidman (“Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”) and Star Price (“Penn & Teller: Bull—t!”).
The series pieces together archival footage, interviews and more to explore significant mass shooting events through the eyes of first responders and survivors.

The show was inspired when producers heard about the experiences of a 911 operator haunted by the 2013 shooting spree in Santa Monica, California, Saidman told a reporter with the Orlando Sentinel.

“Eli and I looked at each other and said, ‘Oh, this is an epidemic that is affecting people we never think about, and it’s affecting them in these cruel and immeasurable ways,’ ” he said in a recent interview with the paper. “The series is a way to consider these people as relatable human beings who have suffered a horrible tragedy — not just statistics.”

Mass shootings have left deep and lasting scars on first responders.
“As a first responder’s spouse, your biggest fear was, ‘Are they going to come home?’ ” Jessica Realin, wife of a former Orlando police officer who responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting, said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “You never realize the fear of, ‘Well, they came home, but they’re not the same person anymore.’ ”

The producers hope the series sparks constructive conversation around ways to reduce gun violence in the United States.

“Something has to be done,” Price told the Review-Journal. “We don’t suggest that we have all the answers, but we have to start talking about this and being open about what the issues are, and how all of us as a country can come together to try to stop this from happening.”

Episodes feature mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado; San Bernardino, California; Charleston, South Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Florida; Santa Monica, California; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and Columbine, Colorado.

All signs indicate series producers will continue to have subjects for future episodes. Just two days after the series premiered, an active shooter opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more. It is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

At least it is for now.

According to the Mass Shooting Tracker project, there have been 369 mass shootings so far in 2017.

Until we can figure out how to prevent the problem of mass shooter incidents, the next best thing we can do is protect people from mass shooter incidents. One way to do that is through rapid, effective shot detection.

The Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System uses acoustic and infrared sensors to automatically detect shots fired and initiates response, including alerting authorities and those in the vicinity. Guardian integrates with other systems to trigger alerts, lock doors and more. Guardian reduces emergency response time significantly.

Interested in learning more about the Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System? Call (502) 632-4322 or register now for a Live Fire event to see a demonstration of Guardian’s capabilities.

Is “reducing false alarms” on your radar?

… It’s on Axis’ radar, too.

The network video leader recently rolled out a new offering: motion-detecting radar.

The Axis D2050-VE uses radar technology to minimize false alarms triggered by spiders, small animals, shadows and light reflections. Once motion is detected, the device can trigger camera recording and/or activate a horn or lights to deter unauthorized access to property or a facility. The radar can be used alongside cameras with video motion detection, and can be used to track movement with PTZ cameras.

Reducing false alarms is key to good security. Not only are false alarms annoying, they impact operational readiness. Repeated false alarms fatigue personnel, and can make it possible for more credible threats to be disregarded.

“Radar closes a gap as it offers good area coverage, detects movement with high accuracy, and reduces false alarms,” explained Andres Vigren, Global Product Manager, Axis Communications, in a press release. “Compared to simple motion detectors, AXIS D2050-VE provides additional information of detected objects which allows for auto tracking with Axis PTZ cameras. Customers can now easily add proven radar technology to their existing or new surveillance systems to protect their premises.”

The radar detector was designed to be used in medium industrial installations. While its effectiveness is maximized when part of a complete surveillance system, it can also be used as a standalone tool. It integrates with other Axis products, including cameras and management software, and is also compatible with other systems thanks to its open interface design.

The Axis D2050-VE Network Radar Detector is wall mounted detector and designed for outdoor use. It offers detection coverage of 120 degrees and 164 feet, and is powered by Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+). The Axis D2050-VE has IP66, IK08 and NEMA 4X ratings for tough environments, and can be operated in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 60°C (-40 to 140°F), well within the typical temperature range for the Ohio Valley.

Interested in learning more? Contact our team at (502) 632-4322 for more information about Axis products.

Axis finds ‘sweet spot’ for reducing storage needs while maintaining image quality

There’s no question that 360 degree panoramic cameras deliver excellent coverage and rich image detail.

But those qualities come at a price, and for 360 degree video, the cost comes in the form of higher bandwidth and storage usage.

Photo credit: Axis

For many end users, finding the sweet spot between the need for coverage and quality and the desire to keep bandwidth and storage costs low has been a challenge. Axis Communications, one of ECT Services trusted partners, is meeting that challenge with the release of updates to its Zipstream compression technology.

Zipstream analyzes and optimizes the video stream in real time. The technology automatically detects low value areas like walls, lawns and vegetation, and ‘smooths’ them out, saving bandwidth and space. At the same time, the technology automatically detects important forensic details such as faces, tattoos and license plates and isolates and preserves them. A dynamic rate controller is enabled automatically when a camera is panned, tilted or zoomed. The result is a 50 percent decrease in bandwidth and storage requirements for surveillance video with no loss in frame rate or resolution.
“Storage and bandwidth make a significant part of the total cost of a surveillance system. Axis developed Zipstream to address the specific needs of the security industry. That is, to minimize these requirements without losing forensic details,” said Johan Paulsson, Chief Technology Officer at Axis Communications in a company press release. “We are happy and proud to announce that the enhancement of Zipstream now embraces both panoramic and ultra-high resolution cameras.”

Two new Axis compact fixed mini dome ‘fisheye’ network cameras, AXIS M3047-P and AXIS M3048-P, take advantage of the enhanced Zipstream technology to deliver 360-degree coverage on a budget.

AXIS M3047-P, with a 6-megapixel sensor, and AXIS M3048-P, with a 12-megapixel sensor, both deliver full frame rate video, according to the release.

Zipstream also works with Axis’ fixed and fixed dome, PTZ, thermal and explosion-protected cameras as well as door stations.

Axis releases explosion-protected cameras

If you’ve got a need for to keep an eye on critical, sensitive areas in potentially hazardous contexts, Axis Communications may have the solution.

Axis announced earlier this week the release three new explosion-protected cameras for use in sensitive industrial areas: XF40-Q2901 Explosion-Protected Temperature Alarm Camera, XF60-Q2901 Explosion-Protected Temperature Alarm Camera, and XP40-Q1942 Explosion-Protected PT Thermal Network Camera.

“Industrial plant operators have a tremendously difficult task,” explained Martina Lundh, global product manager for thermal and explosion-protected cameras at Axis Communications, in a company press release. “They need to ensure efficiency and continuity in large-scale, critical industrial processes, while meeting all health, safety and environmental regulations, across multiple locations and, often, across huge areas. Our new cameras deliver critical real-time information, allowing for immediate incident response which can prove to be a life-saving benefit.”

The cameras allow plant operators to monitor remote, inaccessible, and sensitive areas, allowing for rapid incident response and protection of employees, machinery and critical industrial infrastructure, according to the release. The new cameras integrate with existing Supervisory control and data acquisition architectures. The cameras are based on industry standards and open protocols, and are protected in a heavy-duty enclosure.

Use cases for the fixed cameras include control and detection of temperatures of equipment and leaks in pipes, fire detection, and monitoring of equipment and perimeter protection. They can also be used to help visually inspect and verify functions and processes are running correctly, and provide remote assistance with planned maintenance.

Use cases for the pan/tilt include detection of people in restricted areas and safety of personnel in hazardous areas. XP40-Q1942 also supports electronic image stabilization, which improves video quality in situations where cameras are subject to vibrations, and Zipstream, which lowers bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image quality.

The cameras are certified world-wide and will be available starting this month. Interested in learning more? Contact our sales team at (502) 632-4322.

5 tips to get your facility ready for fall

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Even with record-setting high temps dogging us well into November, fall and winter weather are bound to arrive in the Ohio Valley sometime soon. Is your facility ready?

Here’s how you can prepare:


Check your lighting. Even if it never cools off, the sun is setting earlier each day, and the time will change on Nov. 6. That “fall back” will cost us an hour of daylight in the evening. Be sure to adjust timers which automatically turn lights on and off.
Reassess security systems. Changes in daylight may also mean changes to safety and security threats. Will customers or staff members be entering or exiting your building when it is dark? Now is the time to walk through and around facilities and note any new or shifting risks.
Service your HVAC system. Clean and/or replace filters, and clean out duct work to reduce allergens and ensure peak efficiency. Have your entire heating system inspected by a qualified professional.
Check windows and doors. Inspect all windows and doors to make sure they are operating properly and the seals are tight.
Start coordinating holiday travel schedules. With the holidays approaching, key staff members may plan to take time off or travel. Don’t wait until the last minute to hand off duties, login information, vendor contacts and other key details. For more, check out our earlier post outlining key steps for planning around vacations.

4 keys to choosing the right video surveillance system

On Dec. 16, 2015, thieves broke into Frijoles and Frescas Grilled Tacos in Las Vegas. Security cameras recorded them breaking in a glass door (after a few rather week attempts) then yanking out two register drawers before making their getaway.

The next day, the restaurant trolled the burglars with a video that has now gone viral, racking up more than four million views on YouTube. The video features footage from security cameras places positioned inside and outside the restaurant. The tongue-in-cheek commentary suggests the burglars “Just want tacos” and ends will a plea for tips that will help catch the thieves.

Video surveillance cameras can help catch criminals in the act – and catch great footage for a hilarious marketing campaign – and they can also serve to deter crime from happening in the first place. Thinking about installing or upgrading a video surveillance system? Here are some questions to ask:

Cameras. Where will cameras be placed? These key questions will help you get started in identifying priority areas.. Camera placement will play a significant role in deciding what kinds of cameras are best suited for your application. Other considerations will include whether or not the camera is intended as a deterrent, if the camera will be positioned inside or outside, lighting and other conditions.

Storage. How much footage do you need to store? Memory cards may be sufficient for some applications, but longer term storage needs or more complex systems may require a more robust storage solution, such as digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR).

Monitoring. Will the cameras be monitored? Will monitoring take place on site, or remotely? Online remote monitoring is an increasingly attractive, cost-effective option.

Integration. Do you need to upgrade your current system? While an entirely updated system might be the best option, upgrading a legacy system doesn’t have to be frustrating or kludgy. Drop-in solutions are available that can bring your current system up to date without starting entirely from scratch.

Need help mapping out a new video surveillance system or upgrading an existing system? Call (502) 632-4322 for a consultation.

Five key questions to ask when deciding where to place security cameras

It’s tough to keep an eye on everything, especially if you are the owner or manager of a busy, growing organization. Well-placed security cameras can help. Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 10.57.21 AM

Security cameras can help you keep an eye out for accidents, theft and other adverse incidents, but they can only be helpful if they are installed and pointed in the right direction. Here are five key questions to ask as you decide where to place cameras:

Where do people enter and exit your facility? All access points should be considered, including main doors, side doors, loading docks and garage doors. Any place people can enter or exit has the potential for an accident or unwelcome activity. Cameras should be positioned both internally and externally, to keep an eye on traffic heading in either direction.

Where do transactions take place? Keep an eye on any place where money is changing hands, or cash is kept on hand.

Where are high-value items stored? Cameras should be positioned anywhere valuable inventory or equipment is stored. Protect any asset that is key to your operation.

Which areas are most at risk for accidents and other adverse incidents? If claims seem to originate from one area, pointing a camera in that direction might help you identify risk factors and keep an eye on risky behavior.

Which areas are low-traffic or obscure? Hallways, out of the way paths to the parking lot and other areas can also present a security risk. Keeping an eye on those areas may help discourage bad behavior.

Asking these five questions will help you keep an eye on what matters most – the safety and security of your facility.

Human limits: Overcoming what you can’t control in an active shooter crisis

On November 13, a string of coordinated terrorist attacks rocked Paris and the world. Suicide bombers and active shooters struck a concert hall, a stadium and other public venues. 35019056_s

Watching the tragic events unfold on the other side of the world may prompt facility managers to ask themselves: How can I protect employees and the public from such attacks in my facility?

A recent FBI study revealed that active shooter incidents are on the rise in the United States, and businesses open to pedestrian traffic are the most frequent location for such attacks.

Facility managers have little power to prevent active shooter incidents, but they can prepare to respond in a crisis. In a crisis, three considerations are crucial:

Assessment. The ability to quickly identify a threat is key. Are employees prepared to swiftly assess a threat? Will they be placed at risk when making an assessment?

Accurate Information. Are employees and others equipped to relay accurate and timely information about the threat’s location, appearance and activities to the authorities?

Response. Once the threat has been assessed and accurate information has been gathered, authorities must be notified immediately.

These three considerations are greatly impacted by one key element: the human factor. In a crisis situation, panic can cloud judgement, and the very real threat of physical danger may prevent people from assessing, gathering accurate information and alerting authorities to respond.

Even excellent planning, training and preparation can’t overcome humans’ emotional and physical limitations.

How can facility managers overcome this limitation? By considering the installation of automated systems that detect threats and respond instantly.

Automated systems such as ECT Services’ Active Shooter Detection System reduce or eliminate human limitations in active shooter crises by automatically detecting threats, triggering mass notifications and lockdowns, and notifying authorities with accurate and timely information. All of these actions can take place without relying on human intervention.

Mitigating the risk of human limitations in a crisis by automating systems could save the lives of employees and guests.

Active Shooter Detection: Accurate Information

Last week, we broke down the first A of the three-A triangle, which can help you remember how to react in an active shooter situation. This week, we’re tackling the second A: accurate information. 



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Think about the last time you had give an important speech or difficult presentation to a room of people. If simply getting up in front of your friends or colleagues to give a speech induced an uncomfortable nervousness, imagine what being placed in actual danger will do to your mental response time and ability to gather accurate information.

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According to this article  your whole body is affected by fear and panic, in fact “the activation of the sympathetic nervous system leads to the release of norepinephrine from nerve endings acting on the heart, blood vessels, respiratory centers, and other sites.” Basically, panic not only inhibits your ability to react logically, it also changed your brain’s ability to perceive and retain important and accurate details.


An active shooter situation would create a fight-or-flight loop in your brain. That fight-or-flight response to a stressful situation is not at all conducive to the gathering of accurate information. When was the last time you were truly afraid or shaken up? Did you break out in a cold sweat? Did you find yourself unable to think straight? We are all human, and the negative symptoms we’ve mentioned are actually the product of survival instincts. But how are you supposed to gather accurate information with these fight-or-flight chemicals fighting for dominance in your head?


The answer is simple: take the task of information gathering completely out of human hands. ECT Services is happy to help with our Active Shooter Detection System: the system immediately recognizes and records the shooter and the sound of the weapon(s), alerts authorities, and makes it possible for you to focus entirely on personal safety. You can learn more about our Active Shooter Detection System here.


Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-show-chairs-gym-274/