The other day I was walking down a street in Manhattan and I saw a guy selling watches. There was one watch that looked just like an expensive Rolex, but cost only $50. What a deal, I thought. I think everyone tries to find the best deal. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that old maxim, “you get what you pay for”. I know I do. How many times have we gotten burned by this?
I’m not sure how to tell if the watch is worth $50, but I can provide some guidance about what to consider when purchasing an IP camera.
This article was updated on 2/18/2018
We have seen more and more incidences on school campuses that involve active shooters. In the wake of this violence many colleges, universities, and elementary schools are searching for ways to respond to this threat.
There has been a lot of discussion about how to react. With the latest tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the discussion continues. Emma Gonzalez, a senior at the high school, provided excellent perspective on the situation when she said, “Since the time of the Founding Fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed, but our laws have not”.
Of course, the best way to prevent these tragedies is to prevent the gunman from getting the guns. Unfortunately, it is not easy to do. The only thing we can offer is advice on how technology can help.
How do you select the right equipment for your IP camera system? The surveillance system is more than just the IP camera. It also includes the video recording system, lens, lighting, camera enclosures, network switches, and mounting brackets. Everything has to work together so you get the security system you expected.
Selecting the right equipment for your security system can be quite complicated. Sometimes it’s like putting together a puzzle. We need to make sure we have the right camera, but does the camera work with all the other equipment? We would like to be notified of alarm conditions, but does the video recording system provide alarm notification? We would like to mount the camera on a pole, but does the camera include image stabilization? As we decide on one thing, it can affect other parts of the system.
In this article we provided a real life surveillance example and then defined a complete surveillance system. Continue reading
Back in 1927 audiences were amazed by the latest motion picture technology. The “Jazz Singer” was the first full-length motion picture to incorporate synchronized dialogue. The new “talkies” had come of age. Today we are seeing the introduction of audio into our video security systems. The confluence of IP cameras, IP intercoms, and IP paging systems are enabling more versatile security and control systems.
IP camera systems have been around since 1996. They changed the way CCTV surveillance cameras transported and recorded the video. IP cameras have included two-way audio for many years, but this capability was not used effectively. Adding audio was not as easy as it appeared. There were many problems to be solved, including audio feedback, background noise, and microphone sensitivity. The addition of special audio filters and feedback control made this technology more viable. Today we see new opportunities created by adding intercoms to IP camera systems. Intercoms can also be integrated with IP door access control readers, providing a complete door control system.
An emergency once set in motion, can not be taken back. All we can do is assess the situation, spread the word, then throw roadblocks in its way. No one knows this better than those responsible for school safety,
Whether it’s the principal, vice principal, or security officer, all he or she can do when an emergency looms is is learn as much as he/she can, and based on the specific situation, alert teachers and students in classrooms – and oh, yes, hope that the countless hours spent in repetitive fire, evacuation, or lock-down drills have taken root.
The good news is that if the school is protected by an IP Physical Security System, they’ll have a head start.
Cities are getting smarter and safer, thanks to VCA and video surveillance. But before we get started, let’s define the difference between VMS and VCA which is actually a trick question since Video Content Analysis (VCA) stems from algorithms written into Video Management Software (VMS). Also know as Video Analysis, VCA analyzes streaming surveillance video to detect spatial and temporal events. The earliest applications were used to alert security personnel to the real time presence of intruders, loiterers, unattended packages, and cars in a no park zone.
It’s always rewarding to find that one of the technologies we specialize in has been cited in a story. Wednesday, November 12 was just such a day
An article in The Journal News which covers our area, New York’s lower Hudson Valley bore the headline Harrison Cops Bust Cul-de-sac Burglary Ring. The arrests came after a two-month long investigation by the Harrison, NY Police, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Organized Crime Division, and the Special Investigation Squad of the Bergen County, NJ Prosecutor’s Office into what grew to be twenty-five break-ins in the tri-state area. The burglary ring would strike the expensive homes between 10 AM and 1 PM, when no one appeared to be at home, to steal jewelry and other property, often hauling away safes that contained them.
The answer is schools, transport companies, oil companies, entertainment venues, and construction sites.
The question is Who needs wireless IP security cameras?
Wireless IP cameras are the perfect solution to the problem of monitoring areas beyond the scope of traditional network cameras. They can be mounted close to their intended subject and connect to high performance radios with directional antennas that use their own wireless protocol to stream high bandwidth video to the VMS.
(For a detailed explanation of how wireless IP cameras work, see our earlier post )
When most people think of access control systems, they picture authorized personnel using a credential and keypad to gain entry to a secured office building or complex. But did you know door access control can be applied to storage cabinets and drawers as well?
Small electric cabinet locks are ideal for situations where security dictates that certain items not only be kept under lock and key, but also that access be limited to authorized persons. These cabinet locks are just as secure as door control locks yet small enough to mount on cabinets and drawers. Since authorized users must use their access credentials to unlock them, a record is kept of who opened them and when. Continue reading
In these days when Ebola is ravaging West Africa and Enterovirus D68 is sending children home from school, it is especially troubling to learn that Chinese health researchers testing thirty-eight ATMs in downtown Taipei, found an astonishing average of 1,200 germs – per key! Included in the count were E.coli, as well as cold and flu viruses. The most deadly key? Enter – which if you think about it makes perfect sense – every transaction ends with a hit to the enter key.
Scary, huh? Now think about the access control key pad you use every morning to gain access to your office building or facility. Continue reading