Review of the methods for integrating IP Camera systems with IP door access or digital point of sale systems
By Bob Mesnik
What’s next for Video Recording Systems? IP Camera manufacturers and third party companies such as OnSSI, Milestone, Axis, Exacq and others have been providing software and NVR recording systems for many years. All these systems provide the basic video recording functionality. How can the functionality and value of these recording systems be increased?
We reviewed a number of different systems, and found that the next generation of video management systems (VMS) is already here.
The latest VMS includes a database that can be used to integrate other digital systems. Convergence to Pixels (C2P) and Ocularis from OnSSI is an example of this type of combined solution. This synergy enables integration of IP systems such as door access control, point-of-sales (POS) systems, and other digital systems that provide data. The key feature of this integration is that it is not limited to just access control or POS, it is an open system. It can integrate many different types of IP devices. If the device provides data, it can be integrated. This solution dramatically increases the capability of the OnSSI platform.
Integrated Systems Available:
Historically a number of video recording systems have provided integration of IP door access control, or POS systems. Door access control has been the most popular integration. What is the best way to utilize door access control data in the video management system? We looked at a number of ways to do this, and here is a review of the technology available.
The simplest solution is to just match time stamps on two different systems. Almost every system allows you to do this. For example, you can see when a door reader was used, and match it to the time stamp from the video management system, and then view the video from a specific IP camera. This technique requires two separate viewing screens.
A more integrated solution provides a single display point for both the door access system and the video. There are a number of VMS and NVR systems that include this simple integration. For example, the TruViewIP video recording software can automatically display the door access data next to the IP camera video stream. This system provides real time alerts, but doesn’t provide complex forensic search features. Milestone VMS provides more complex integration that allows you to manage the door access system through their interface. It provides some simple search tools as well as the real time notifications.
Open Database Integration:
The combination of the C2P database and OnSSI VMS is the most sophisticated solution. This software captures the data from an IP device into a very flexible database that can be displayed on the Ocularis video management software platform. It can be used to integrate IP door access control system, or Point-of-Sales (POS) systems, as well as any other digital system into the video displays.
This convergence of technology allows us to use the power of a database to search and order the data we have collected, while displaying the related video.
Door Access Control Integration
When Door Access Control, such as the system form Isonas, is integrated through C2P, we can create complex alerts. For example, if a person, who has been removed from the access control system, tries to enter a door, a notification is automatically sent to security. We can also create alerts when the door is held open, or when a door is forced. The video at the door is automatically popped up on the OnSSI Ocularis screen, and an alert sound notifies the security person that action is required.
Besides receiving alerts, the database provides much more powerful analytic tools. The security person can search for specific information such as; who entered after a certain time, or what person tried to enter using a bad badge, etc. If you need to know who came in late, or when a specific door was used and who came in, the database can be displayed in a new window, and the search parameters can be entered.
How this works: Messages from the IP door reader, that include complete information about a door transaction, are passed through the network to the C2P database server. This information is then converted to a video stream that is integrated with the camera video. The time stamps provide an automated correlation between the video and door information. Since it is completely integrated, all the information can be reviewed on a single display.
The C2P database allows you to use Boolean expressions to drill down multiple levels to specific events, using either broad term to find events such as “contains”, or specific terms such as “equal to”, applied to the metadata packet. For example, the security person can search using only a partial name, combining that with a specific door, and search during a specific date and time, to find what they are looking for.
The complete database can be exported to CSV file, so that various reports and graphs can be made. It also allows you to export video evidence. This combination of IP door access control and IP camera systems provides much more information than was previously available.
Integration of Point-of-Sales (POS) systems with IP surveillance systems are made much more effective when you can use a database. Now you can search, and create charts that help you to better understand your business. For example, you can search for how many products were sold above a certain price. You can also find the video for a specific time, or when a specific transaction occurred.
You can do complex database searches and then create a table that shows all the details. For example, you can look at all of the transactions that may have occurred over a selected time range, and at the same time display the video associated with the transactions.
You now have a complete history that includes both IP camera video and cash register information. This makes it easy to do an audit. You can monitor performance, detect cash register fraud, or track missing inventory.
The convergence of video and database information make it much easier to audit your business.
Integration of Other Digital Devices
The convergence of information with IP camera systems can also be used with many other IP connected devices.
LPR – Automated license plate readers convert the video captured from the license plate into digital data. Integration of the data collected with the IP camera video provides an easy way to monitor the license plates, and trigger alerts if a specific number is detected. It can also be used to audit the number of license plates and when they were detected. This allows you to easily follow a vehicle through a parking facility or across a city.
ATM and Teller Transactions – The video from a specific ATM or teller workstation can be viewed and displayed with information collected when a person uses the ATM. Using the database, it is easy to find specific transactions and see the actual video that was captured at that time. Using the C2P features, it’s easy to settle any customer disputes, or uncover fraud.
Asset Tracking – Attach an RFID tracking device to a high value item, and now you can track the item as it moves through specific portals in your organization. For example, you can track a hospital medical cart, and be alerted if it is removed from a storage area. Or, even detect when a computer leaves the building.
Product Control at the Loading Dock – There are many other applications that can benefit from the convergence of video and data. For example, products coming into your facility can be monitored at the loading dock. A bar code reader can be used to help detect and flag alerts at the receiving dock. If a product recall is sent by a manufacturer, you can now stop the contaminated food or dangerous products from getting past the loading dock.
A number of IP video recording systems claim that they integrate door access control, but when you look carefully, the systems are not that effective. We looked at some of the systems that integrate IP surveillance camera recording systems with other network attached devices such as door access control or Point-of-Sales devices. We found that the most powerful system uses C2P and the Ocularis VMS platforms. This is the next generation of IP video management. This combination of software can integrate almost anything that provides digital data over the network.
Contact us for help selecting your integrated IP camera system. We have a lot of experience with these systems, so can make sure you purchase the right system for your organization. We can be reached at 800-431-1658 in the USA, or at 914-944-3425 anywhere else. Or use our contact form.