Daily Archives: 25/08/2015

Ipsotek’s Image Recognition and Incident Detection solution assists Transport for London in combating traffic congestion

Helping to keep traffic flowing through one of Europe’s busiest cities, video analytics specialist Ipsotek has developed a highly effective new technology in partnership with Transport for London (TfL). As one of a range of measures that’s helping to ease traffic flow in the capital, Ipsotek has worked closely with TfL to develop new CCTV analytics technology that can automatically detect traffic build-up and alert traffic operators to implement congestion-relieving procedures.

Ipsotek has developed the Image Recognition and Incident Detection (IRID) system, making use of the company’s own advanced video analytics technology. The technology constantly analyses each video stream from existing CCTV traffic monitoring cameras and uses pre-configured ‘congestion definitions’ to alert operators at TfL’s London Traffic Control Centre (LTCC) when a build-up of vehicles threatens to develop into a problematic congestion situation.

London’s LTCC is unique in that it carries out ‘real-time’ traffic management, while at the same time providing up-to-date traffic information to the media and other interested stakeholders including other highway authorities in London.

The Ipsotek IRID system works by monitoring each camera feed, ignoring ‘background’ image details which are of no interest to traffic co-ordinators. Those details would include trees and lamp columns. The remaining ‘foreground’ objects, namely vehicles, are analysed for behaviour.

Video analytics developer Ipsotek has been working alongside Transport for London to configure a highly effective new technology that aids traffic management in cities

Video analytics developer Ipsotek has been working alongside Transport for London to configure a highly effective new technology that aids traffic management in cities

Many algorithms can be used, but for the IRID system, stationary or slow vehicles are the primary concern. Once the system detects a build-up of stationary or slow vehicles, a desktop alert is sent to traffic co-ordinators prompting them to address the situation with a number of appropriate actions.

Automatic detection in practice

Before the introduction of IRID, LTCC operators had to manually trawl through images generated by more than 1,200 CCTV cameras, painstakingly looking for congestion issues across the capital’s road network. Consequently, traffic situations were often not spotted until they became severe congestion incidents with the obvious severe delays then affecting traffic movements across the capital.

Once a problem is automatically detected by the Ipostek IRID system, TfL’s traffic operators are able to implement traffic signal timing plans to clear any impending congestion. Traffic signals can be co-ordinated to keep traffic away from an area, or otherwise help to move the flow of vehicles around an incident on a safe basis.

“Traffic congestion can develop very quickly, from a small jam to a lengthy tailback,” said Bill Flind, CEO at Ipsotek. “That’s why fast detection and an effective response to these situations is vital.”

Positive outcomes

The LTCC’s 48-strong team of traffic controllers works to cover the capital’s main routes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In their daily work they make use of many different tools to manage London’s traffic. The Ipsotek-powered IRID system integrates seamlessly into these systems, adding an extra layer of ‘intelligence’ to help the team make informed decisions and secure positive outcomes on traffic management.

The Ipsotek IRID technology is currently linked to cameras at 20 known congestion ‘hotspots’ in London, including Battersea Bridge and Marylebone Road.

Designed to be future-proof from the outset, the Ipsotek IRID system does not require any additional on-street infrastructure as it uses the existing traffic cameras. This ensures simple and cost-effective system expansion, duly increasing the return on investment with each additional camera covered.

One of the key benefits of using the IRID system at the LTCC is that it works in the background and only requires a response from the user when alerted to a potential problem. This means that TfL’s operators are able to pro-actively focus their efforts on keeping London’s traffic moving and not reactively looking for traffic problems.

The IRID system is pre-configured with a ‘definition’ of congestion which can be variable by location, time of day, day of the week or even the season. The alerts are activated when the real-time CCTV traffic images match one of these definitions. The preconfigured definition of congestion can also be adjusted to reflect the ever-changing nature of London’s busy road network and the different demands that are placed on it (for instance, when a new shopping centre or housing development results in different levels of traffic for a particular localised area).

While TfL uses a number of tools to beat congestion, Ipsotek’s IRID system has proven a key tool to ensure traffic keeps moving along London’s busy roads. For example, a road was recently blocked by a goods vehicle accident. IRID identified this incident and, within 30 seconds of the incident occurring, alerted LTCC staff.  They were then able to alert the appropriate Emergency Services and swiftly put in place remedial action to quell the rapidly developing build-up of traffic around the incident – helping traffic to keep moving and emergency vehicles to arrive on scene with little delay.

Powerful algorithms within IRID

The powerful algorithms within Ipsotek’s IRID have proven their worth in all weather conditions, including bright sunshine, rain and mist, and particularly on dark and wet days when other systems may be fooled into generating a false alarm by the many reflections/shadows from puddles, walkways and vehicles.

This advanced capability is an essential benefit, as the occurrence of adverse weather is usually when the risk of accidents is at its greatest, requiring extra vigilance to ensure that the roads are kept clear and traffic moving.

Ipsotek and TfL have been researching and working on the development of this technology for more than five years, producing a viable tool that could also be used by other highways authorities across the country.

To date, TfL has invested £180,000 in trials, training and the deployment of the system to the existing 20 cameras that make up the pilot scheme. The success of the system underlines Ipsotek and TfL’s commitment to improving road travel journey times and increasing traffic flow.

With a planned expansion to the scheme, this groundbreaking technology will continue to benefit London’s road users and will ultimately see the development by TfL spread to benefit other cities across the UK.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Honeywell’s R600 Digital Video Manager helps improve operator efficiencies and mitigate business risk

Honeywell has announced enhancements to Honeywell Digital Video Manager (DVM). The latest release, DVM R600, will enable organisations to more efficiently manage their security system with enhanced mobile capabilities and voice command as well as mitigate business risk via support for current IT platforms.

Major updates to DVM include enhanced system access and usability which are designed to improve operator efficiency and reaction time. Security personnel can now access HD, full-frame-rate video on a mobile device, for example, enabling continuous monitoring from almost any location.

Operators can also control DVM using voice commands to more easily manage multiple video feeds and request near-real-time system updates.

“Every second is important to an organisation when an incident occurs and security staff must take immediate action if there is a threat,” said John Rajchert, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “The latest update to DVM helps operators quickly identify and react to an issue to help mitigate the impact to safety and business continuity, no matter if they are in front of a central workstation or on the opposite side of a campus.”

Honeywell's DVM R600 for end users in operation

Honeywell’s DVM R600 for end users in operation

Along with an improved user experience, DVM R600 promotes IT integration and compliance with support for current Microsoft operating systems and databases including Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, Internet Explorer 11 and SQL Server 2014.

Windows Server 2003 is not recommended because security systems running on the platform could be vulnerable to breaches since it’s no longer supported by Microsoft, as reported, and will not receive further updates.

In addition, DVM R600 allows customers to deploy and intelligently group multiple back-up servers to boost system robustness. This helps protect surveillance systems from failures.

Further detail on DVM upgrades

Other DVM upgrades focus on:

Speeding data collection

Security operators can export footage from multiple camera feeds in unison to streamline incident response and workflow, and quickly collect and archive forensic data in the event of an incident.

Reducing storage requirements

Dynamic recording enables the system to capture critical video under higher frame rates while collecting less important footage at lower frame rates, in turn trimming storage requirements and costs by up to 40%.

“Our surveillance system has always been robust, using hundreds of cameras throughout both our facilities to promote visitor safety and security,” said Tom Owen, operations manager for Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions which manages the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia.

“However, the IT infrastructure required large storage capacity and as many as 15 standalone PC servers. We have cut our costs significantly with DVM R600 by using the system’s single-server virtual machine environment and intelligent redundancy of storage, processing and memory. The new architecture has also helped to lower life-cycle and maintenance costs.”

DVM is a component of Honeywell Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI), an award-winning building management system that ties all aspects of a security solution together, including video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection.

EBI also integrates comfort, life safety, energy and other core facility controls, providing users with a single point of access to the essential information and resources needed to monitor, manage and protect a facility, campus or multi-site operation.

As a result, security operators enjoy optimised visibility and intelligence and have the ability to deploy their staff and resources more efficiently and effectively.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Heald Ltd director Debbie Heald nominated for three Women in Business Awards

Heald Ltd company director Debbie Heald has been nominated in three categories of the prestigious 2015 Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards. Heald has been shortlisted for the Yorkshire and North East region in the categories of International Business of the Year, SME Business of the Year and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Business of the Year.

Sponsored by HSBC, The Women in Business Awards are regarded as the premier forum for recognising and rewarding talented businesswomen across the UK.

Commenting on the news, Debbie Heald told Risk UK: “I’m delighted and proud that our work has been recognised in this way. This isn’t just about me. It’s a reflection of the hard work and innovation of everybody at Heald.”

Debbie Heald pictured with co-director and partner Rod Heald

Debbie Heald pictured with co-director and partner Rod Heald

East Yorkshire-based Heald Ltd has been providing some of the world’s most high profile sites with advanced protection against hostile vehicle attacks since 1986. The Hornsea company is an innovator in the field of perimeter security technology. Its bollards, roadblockers and barriers have boosted the field of Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM).

Forward Ladies managing director Griselda Togobo, who announced the four regional shortlists, said she expected one of the most closely run finals in the event’s six-year history.

“The calibre of entries has been increasing year-on-year,” explained Togobo, “but this year we have a number of outstanding entries. Women of all ages, from all professions and all walks of life have applied.”

Competing in the national awards

The Yorkshire and North East winners will be announced at a regional awards ceremony to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle on 29 September.

The regional winners will then go on to compete in the national awards which will be announced at a glittering final on 20 November at the Queens Hotel in Leeds.

Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail and chair of the 2015 Judging Panel, added: “The standard of entries for this year’s Women in Business Awards was outstanding. That made selecting the shortlist extremely difficult. This is testament to the high quality of our female business leaders across the regions who are helping the economy grow.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

360 Vision Technology and Meyertech partnership delivers effective ONVIF-compliant systems integration

Promoting the company’s ethos of establishing close technical working partnerships, CCTV design and manufacturing organisation 360 Vision Technology – working in conjunction with systems control company Meyertech – has developed fast and easy set-up and “deep control” for 360 Vision’s range of ONVIF-compliant security cameras.

Right from the outset, the manufacturers’ technical relationship has spearheaded an objective to develop product offerings from both companies that will easily and seamlessly integrate when installed within any application using the ONVIF protocol.

Thanks to the ongoing technical partnership between the two UK-based technology manufacturers, simple product set-up, deep systems integration and performance benefits are built into many applications and sizes of CCTV installations across the globe.

However, the manufacturers’ long-term technical partnership extends much further than just a shared protocol, as Mark Rees (business development director at 360 Vision Technology) explained to Risk UK.

“From the design stage of any new product, our respective R&D teams interact to ensure the camera equipment we introduce to market is as best performing and simple to set-up and use as it can possibly be.”

For installations using the enterprise-class FUSION-Eclipse Video Management Software (VMS) through to the simple (four-camera) Nano VMS, the deployment of 360 Vision Technology’s ONVIF-compliant cameras offers simple two-click integration with any Meyertech control solution.

David Wood, business development executive for Meyertech, stated: “Users of our FUSION-Eclipse VMS software simply select the ‘Discovery’ tool and then add the desired 360 Vision camera from the list of devices available in a drop down menu. The camera is then ready for use in the system. Further to that, the usual IP camera options such as frame rate and video resolution are easily configured in an intuitive sub menu. Features such as IR and white lights, wipers and pre-set tours on 360 Vision’s Predator cameras can be selected directly.”

In this way, any 360 Vision camera can be integrated into a Meyertech-controlled CCTV system in minutes. The partnership continues to ensure that 360 Vision cameras are as simple as possible to integrate into existing systems or add to new installations, in turn minimising installation times and maximising system performance.

Rees concluded: “360 Vision Technology is always looking to partner with like-minded CCTV systems integration manufacturers. With our long term technical relationship with Meyertech, we’re not only ensuring installers and end users can enjoy a fully-integrated, hassle-free systems control experience, but also promoting the benefits to be gained by specifying ‘Best of British’ integrated surveillance solutions.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

MAGIC dual motion detectors from Vanderbilt awarded prestigious NF, INCERT, IMQ and VdS approvals

Vanderbilt has announced that its range of MAGIC dual motion detectors has been awarded four prestigious European approvals. The popular range has gained approval in line with the latest editions of the relevant French NF standards as well as the TO-14 (INCERT) standards that are applicable in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Italian IMQ and the German VdS accreditation.

Considered one of the most important approvals in France, the NF standard confirms that products are suitable for use in applications where compliance is required by the end users of security systems and by their insurers.

Similarly, INCERT is recognised all over Belgium and the Netherlands where the markets demand high end products and systems.

IMQ is Italy’s most important certification body and a European leader in conformity assessments and laboratory testing for a diverse range of industries.

Vanderbilt’s MAGIC dual motion detectors have been awarded NF, INCERT, IMQ and VdS approvals

Vanderbilt’s MAGIC dual motion detectors have been awarded NF, INCERT, IMQ and VdS approvals

In addition, the MAGIC E-Bus device has also been approved in line with the EN50131 European Standards and also received German VdS approval.

These approvals come just 12 months after the MAGIC PDM-IXx12/T and PDM-IXx18/T dual motion detectors were launched in order to offer reliable detection of intruders and high false alarm immunity.

Their performance is based on an improved version of Vanderbilt’s Matchtec algorithm which combines passive infrared (PIR) and microwave (MW) channels to make “incredibly accurate” decisions on motion within a detection zone. The detectors perform well even under harsh conditions, such as in rooms with rapid and extreme temperature fluctuations that can create false alarms.

Within their future proof design, the intelligent processing routines used in the MAGIC dual motion detectors are said to provide “unrivalled” reliability. This is because the Matchtec algorithm analyses the relative strength of the PIR and MW signals received from a moving object to make sound decisions.

It’s possible to use multiple detectors in close proximity to each other since the algorithm reduces interference between the MW modules. As a result, they also comply with the new and significantly more demanding CE Regulations that came into force last year.

“The response to the MAGIC PDM-IXx12/T and PDM-IXx18/T dual motion detectors since they were launched last year has been phenomenal,” commented Alistair Enser, global sales director at Vanderbilt. “We’re delighted that they have now been awarded NF, INCERT, IMQ and VdS approvals. This is clearly testament to the quality of the range as these designations are only presented to products that have the highest standards of design and manufacture and offer Best in Class levels of operational performance.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Axis Communications expands HDTV PTZ dome IP camera options with competitively priced entry-level models

The new entry-level IP camera models in Axis Communications’ P55 Series offer HDTV image quality, improved light sensitivity and increased video analytics performance. Following the product launches of Axis P56, Axis Q61 and Axis V59 PTZ dome network cameras earlier this year, the company has now updated its entire mid-range and high-end portfolio of pan, tilt and zoom network cameras.

Axis P5514 and Axis P5515 are indoor cameras suitable for monitoring auditoriums, shopping centres and hotel reception areas. Axis P5514-E and Axis P5515-E are outdoor versions, perfect for the surveillance of small outdoor areas such as school courtyards and car parks.

“Axis P55 has been appreciated by customers for its dependability at an attractive price point,” said Erik Frännlid, the company’s director of product management. “The new camera models afford enhanced performance while still being offered at pretty aggressive prices. Together with our recent product launches – the AxisQ61 Series for mission-critical applications, Axis P56 Series for demanding mid-range installations and the Axis V59 Series for live streaming and web casting – they demonstrate our commitment to providing end users with the market’s widest range of PTZ cameras.”

The Axis P55 Series dome camera

The Axis P55 Series dome camera

Axis P5514 is ideal for indoor video surveillance applications such as small industries, shopping centres and hotel receptions. It’s an HDTV 720p camera with 12x optical zoom and with IP51 protection against dust ingress.

The Axis P5515 model offers the same zoom performance and dust protection but also features HDTV 1080p resolution for even more image detail.

Axis P5514-E is an IP66-protected outdoor camera that’s resistant to water, wind and snow. Its HDTV 720p resolution and 12x zoom makes it perfect for monitoring small outdoor areas such as school courtyards, car parks and car dealerships.

The HDTV 1080p version, designated Axis P5515-E, offers a higher resolution as well as 12x zoom and IP66 protection, in turn making it resilient against conditions experienced within tough environments.

Compared to previous generations of the cameras, the new Axis Communications P55 network camera models provide increased analytics performance. Built-in intelligent functionalities include audio detection and Advanced Gatekeeper, allowing the cameras to detect an object in a specified area and zoom in on it.

Given their support for Axis Communications’ Camera Application Platform, other video analytics applications may be easily downloaded to the cameras.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News