We have seen the video surveillance industry change over the years. With improvements in quality and accessibility, surveillance camera popularity among businesses and consumers has grown. As we embark on this New Year, we look ahead to what new surveillance trends are on the horizon.
According to industry experts, aside from working on image quality and cost-efficiency, we will see an increasing focus on software developments. Things like built-in intelligence, deep learning, and other advances in video management are sure to surface this year.
New vendors and product lines with new configurations are likely to emerge this year as well, expanding upon multi-sensor and multi-directional cameras. The advanced technologies will soon make their way to the market for home and private use, forcing others to provide alternate offerings.
Managed services and moving toward cloud computing will rise in demand. By utilizing managed services and the cloud, businesses can manage their cyber security risk by employing companies whose sole purpose is to maintain data security. This will then force manufacturers to provide end-users with more network-based solutions.
With cyber security issues with surveillance cameras and devices making headlines last year, it has become a more prominent concern. This negative attention can drive down demand, which means manufacturers must address this issue immediately and proactively.
Things that will be considered include rigorous testing of products, increasing end-user and integrator education on how to use the system as well as a best practices guide. Firmware must be updated quickly and often, especially when new vulnerabilities are found.
Overall, cyber security must be approached as a team effort. Manufacturers should take all considerations into account when building and designing hardware and software, as well as strengthen password requirements and incorporate strong data encryption, and take lead when educating users and the industry of potential risks. In the same vein, customers should know what is insecure and how to best protect themselves for attacks.
Competition will be high throughout the year. Most manufacturers are working to improve image quality, frame rate, and low-light performance to please the consumer demand. As features and functions progress, so will the surveillance industry as a whole. Bottom line for customers is that they will be looking for the best solution with the best total cost of ownership.
Shop our affordable selection of CCTV surveillance cameras and equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To inquire about site surveys or installation services, please call 888-203-6294.
Staying connected to your home is a convenience in itself, but in the case of natural disasters and emergencies, it can be an invaluable tool. If you live in an area prone to extreme weather, you likely have an emergency plan in place. However, a connected home can provide new and safer options to manage the situation.
Regardless of whether it is your home, vacation property, or even the home of a loved one, here are some ways connected technology can benefit you in the face of an emergency and beyond.
Unfortunately, emergency evacuations mean abandoned homes and properties, which is ideal for looters. With connected security cameras, you can keep an eye on who might be entering your home, as well as monitor the possible damage occurring as a result of the natural disaster.
Installing water sensors can alert you of flood conditions and even slow leaks, which can cause significant damage over time if not detected early.
Aside from water sensors, carbon monoxide and gas detectors can save lives by alerting you when levels become dangerous.
Connected devices such as smart locks and garage doors often have motion detection sensors which notify you when someone enters or exits your home.
Remote Monitoring & Push Notifications
Because you can monitor from a safe distance, these are ideal in emergency situations. Push notifications provide up-to-date alerts which allow you to deal with situations in a timely fashion. Both enable you to monitor and understand what is going on without putting yourself in danger.
Affordable & Reliable Communication
Because these technologies seem so advanced, people often interpret this as complicated and expensive. However, this is not the case. There are various solutions on the market that offer relatively simple installation for cost-effective prices. Because the accessories and transmission processes have become more affordable over the years, connected technology is more accessible and easier to manage and maintain.
You can possibly get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance if you install smart, connected devices. Many insurance providers are now offering discounts for those with smart homes. Some providers even partner with connected technology manufacturers to offer more incentives for customers.
Furthermore, choosing smart devices for your home helps to relieve emergency personnel and law enforcement agencies. Instead of entering an area affected by a natural disaster, you can check in on your property remotely to stay out of harm’s way and avoid interrupting the ongoing work of emergency personnel.
Peace Of Mind
As a whole, connected devices can offer some peace of mind in stressful, dire times. While these devices can be extremely helpful in disaster areas, all homeowners can benefit from a connected home.
Loss prevention tactics began with in-store monitoring and patrol. As our technologies evolve and the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, security measures have improved. In fact, a U.S. retail fraud survey revealed that spending on store fraud prevention declined while online fraud prevention spending increased.
Because cybercriminals are constantly sharpening their skills, loss prevention specialists are using new technologies to their advantage as well. For example, data analytics have helped specialists understand suspicious behaviors and patterns in the e-commerce and m-commerce environment, and social media vigilance has helped to identify potential threats.
As the retail industry continues to expand and grow, what’s to come in the future of retail loss prevention?
It’s true that retail uses a variety of different technologies to operate, including point-of-sale transaction profiling as well as RFID tracking. However, now more than ever, video surveillance is playing a larger and smarter role.
With video surveillance, loss prevention officers have been able to catch thieves in the act and the recordings have provided excellent evidence. With the introduction of built-in facial recognition technology and video analytics, video surveillance can do so much more.
In the same vein, the smart features, connectivity and convenience put these devices at risk. While their role is to protect the business, retailers must do their part to protect their devices, data, shoppers, and employees.
IT & Outside Vendors
Because of this, loss prevention specialists must develop their knowledge and skills with the new technology. They should understand how to use data analysis to identify ever-changing criminal activities, such as new ideas, concepts and schemes.
Loss prevention specialists, cybersecurity specialists and IT team members must all work together to create a system that complies with privacy issues and maintains heightened security to prevent any data breaches or disasters.
Development Of New Responsibilities
As retailers begin to shift from their brick-and-mortar stores (some even closing completely) to focus on e-commerce and m-commerce, the role of data loss prevention specialists will morph into something new, which encompasses more aspects involved in keeping a company safe and secure.
When you decide to install home security cameras, where you place your cameras and how you use your footage is important to consider. For maximum protection, it is recommended to monitor common areas as well as possible points of entrance. While home surveillance is not banned, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid breaking the law.
Home Surveillance Concerns
Within your home, you do have the right to record without informing others, but there are very large exceptions to this rule. First, any area where a “reasonable expectation of privacy” is assumed is off limits. For example, if your home security cameras are monitoring your front yard and possibly the sidewalk and street, your expectation of privacy in these areas is low. On the other hand, bathrooms and bedrooms, where you may be in a state of undress, have a high expectation of privacy, and, thus, are prohibited.
Second, if your cameras enable audio recording, you may want to brush up on wiretapping laws. While these vary slightly from state to state, federal statutes allow audio recording so long as one of the two parties consents. This basically means that you, as the recorder, may know and give consent without informing the other party. However, some states, including California, require dual consent, meaning both parties must be aware and agree to be recorded.
In regards to recording burglars, any trespassers forfeit any expectation of privacy in your home. You may record the person, submit the footage to police, and use your video in court.
For cameras that run non-stop and record audio, you will want to warn any person that is allowed access to your home that these cameras are there and running, otherwise you may run the risk of breaking wiretapping laws. These people include family members, guests/visitors, delivery persons or installers.
The Consent Conundrum
You may now be wondering how you can lawfully gain dual consent. Will verbal consent or a surveillance sticker in the window suffice, or should you have every guest fill out a consent form upon entering? Unfortunately, consent for audio recordings must be given in written form. It is a common misconception that window decals or yard signs are sufficient means to gain consent, as it is expected for visitors to see and recognize them.
However, in a home setting, there may be an exception to the rule. With home cameras, it boils down to what you do, or intend to do, with your recordings. If you don’t do anything with the recording, it is likely that no one will know or care – no harm, no foul.
If you do something with the recording, things change. For example, say a celebrity is a guest in your home and now you have footage of this celebrity hanging out in your home. While selling this footage to a gossip magazine for profit may seem enticing, you will be breaking the law. First, consent was never given from this celebrity. Second, you cannot use a recording for commercial gain without the subject’s consent.
In regards to wiretapping, a possible solution is to simply turn off audio recording if your devices permit. However, why turn off a service that you have paid for? While thieves are usually fairly quiet while they work, using audio recording for eavesdropping may be beneficial (but puts forth yet another ethical dilemma).
Uses For Recordings
Let’s say you record someone in your home plotting a crime, or admitting to committing a crime. Most states allow you to use the recording to prevent a crime or prove that one was committed.
However, if the recording does not involve a crime and you decide to post it on YouTube or a social media site, you could be engaging in illegal activity. Using a recording for exploitive or commercial purposes (as in the previous celebrity example) may be misappropriation if not all parties consent. As a reminder, laws vary from state to state so please look into your own state’s laws.
Also, even within your own home, recording with the intention of blackmail is illegal.
Law enforcement has the right to ask for your home surveillance if they suspect illegal activity, and a warrant will likely be necessary. However, since most recordings are stored in the cloud, they may be able to go straight to the provider and obtain the footage, bypassing your permission to access.
What Should You Do?
To err on the side of caution, be sure that everyone entering your home is aware that the cameras are there, and avoid placing them in areas where privacy is expected. If you wish to withhold the information, so long as you do not do anything with the footage, you should be fine.
However, there are other reasons to be careful with the privacy of your security cameras. While you may not have the intention to do bad things, hackers may be able to access your cameras and broadcast your feed. To protect yourself and your guests, it is advised to take reasonable security precautions (ex. strong passwords, maintain security Wi-Fi network), and take the ethical high road when using new technology.
To better understand the current surveillance industry, you should know a little history. Without going into great detail, here are some important milestones of the video surveillance industry from the past decade.
Ten years ago, SD analog cameras and DVRs reigned supreme. While video management software and IP cameras were available, they had yet to become a mainstream solution.
Also around this time, some megapixel cameras were offered. They only supported MJPEG encoding (which made storage and transmission of these more expensive), but they boasted better quality than analog cameras.
And still in the early stages, but a topic of interest, were analytics, which had limited deployment during this time.
Around 2008-2012, IP cameras got a boost from the adoption of H.264 for megapixel cameras. Because IP camera usage was up, VMS software followed suit. The benefits of this upgrade were clear, making it easier for consumers to understand and accept the price increase.
As megapixel and IP cameras grew in popularity, interest in connecting cameras to the cloud was rising. While the dream was to eliminate any on-site recording and maintenance, bandwidth limitations and poor cloud VMS killed the dream.
In 2011, video analytics remained off the radar thanks to performance problems, unhappy customers, and ObjectVideo suing the industry. Even today, analytics are still slowly crawling out of the hole.
In the next few years, edge storage promised the elimination of NVRs and recorder appliances since the storage and software would be housed within the IP camera. Unfortunately, reliability issues deterred early adopters, and the introduction of inexpensive recorder appliances pushed edge storage to the back burner. Rather than becoming a main solution, edge storage was more commonly employed to provide redundancy for higher-end applications.
WDR & Low Light Conditions
Over time, surveillance camera technology has improved to better accommodate low light environments. Before, WDR (wide dynamic range) cameras, which automatically adjusted to harsh lighting conditions, were expensive and limited in availability. Low light performance was generally poor, and even worse in MP cameras (WDR in these were relatively non-existent). Today, the enhancements in quality are evident.
Smart CODECs dynamically adapt compression and I frame interval to scene conditions, which ultimately reduces bandwidth requirements and offsets the need to move to H.265. Within recent years, we have seen a rise in this technology. Moving forward, broad support of Smart CODECs will eventually drive down storage costs and remote network challenges.
For more than a decade, IP was the only practical way to deliver MP/HD, however the introduction of HD Analog has successfully killed off SD analog. HD analog uses coaxial cable for transmissions and has dominated sales for homes and small businesses. Some argue that it is just a temporary fix, while others say it will expand features and options to become a mainstay.
Cybersecurity has only recently become a major topic in video surveillance, however, many still brush it off. Though recent events have spurred concerns (ex. Sony hacking, Hikvision hacks, Axis’ major exploit), most users perceive a low risk of cybersecurity. As our systems become more connected, we can only hope that cybersecurity is better addressed and taken seriously among manufacturers and consumers alike.
Chinese manufacturers have grown as contenders, with their earlier deployments showing poor quality and performance. However, over time, their products have improved and yet still maintain relatively low pricing. These manufacturers were originally OEM suppliers to Western brands, but recent years have shown their branded sales increase in the West.
Drive Down Costs
It seems manufacturers are in a current race to offer the lowest prices (whether to gain share or stay afloat) and consumers seem to be driving this shift. With numerous DIY and simple home solutions, we will see where the video surveillance industry is headed next.
To shop our selection of security camera equipment and packages, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For questions about our products and installation services, or to schedule a free* site survey, please call 1-888-203-6294.
Businesses often turn to video surveillance to enhance security. In recent years, it has become a more feasible option for small businesses to employ cloud-based video surveillance due to lower costs and easy maintenance.
While some swear by the cloud, others are hesitant and worry about its security. If you are considering moving your video surveillance management to the cloud, you should get a better understanding of how it will work and how you can ensure that your data stays safe. Take these measures to ensure that your cloud-based video surveillance is as secure as it can get.
Is Your Hardware Secure?
Before you even think about cloud security, you must make sure that the equipment you have is free from security vulnerabilities. Do your homework and research different vendors’ reputation and history. Once you find a vendor you trust, make sure that your equipment is up-to-date with the proper software installed and in use. Maintain security by keeping your firmware current and using strong passwords. If your vendor has any other recommended best practices, be sure to follow them.
Because the definition of “cloud” can vary from vendor to vendor, make sure you know exactly what your vendor is offering. When it comes to cloud service for video surveillance, you should be provided with camera management and data storage in the cloud. Your media infrastructure and value-added services should be managed in the cloud as well. Beware of vendors who advertise a cloud service, but really only offer remote access to a local device. This can be beneficial, but is limited in comparison to real cloud services.
Learn More About The Cloud & Data Center
If your cloud provider’s solutions are rooted on well-known cloud servers such as Amazon, Microsoft, or Google, you can rest assured that their general security is adequate. However, if they are using their own proprietary data center, you may want to proceed with caution. While there are secure clouds out there, you don’t know for sure how secure theirs is.
It is much easier to track a well-known cloud provider’s track record. For example, the Amazon AWS data center is supporting some of the largest internet services in the world. Their data storage environment is designed to limit the loss of data objects and is set for “encrypted at rest” which means it is stored encrypted in the cloud.
Camera To Cloud Connection
You should always understand how your system works. When it comes to your cloud-based video surveillance, you should know how your camera connects to the cloud. There are three different types of connections:
When it comes to your cloud solution, we will deal with the first two options only. If you prefer no network configuration required, your available options will be limited, but viable. Some vendors offer a solution to configure your cloud cameras with no network configuration, while others have built-in direct connections for your camera to the cloud.
Beyond that, any other cloud solution is likely a P2P solution, which tends to be less reliable than other options, so be sure to research your camera and cloud vendors.
The other option is to configure your own network to permit access to your own device from the internet. This is technically called “port forwarding” and, if done correctly, can be completely legitimate and safe way to configure your cameras. If you choose this route, here are some tips to boost security.
Implement these measures and work with your network or IT person and you have an adequate way to configure your cloud video surveillance system. You will avoid any black box P2P connections while opening up a huge list of cameras you can use for cloud surveillance.
Cloud To User Connection
Now that everything is in order, find out how the cloud makes your data available to you through its web or mobile apps. All your data and video is under their control, therefore the traffic from the cloud to your web browser or mobile app should be strongly authenticated with username and password and encrypted in transit using TLS, including standard web traffic and video streams.
While other limitations may occur (ex. bandwidth capacity), security concerns should not hold you back from cloud-based video surveillance. As evidenced, there are smart ways to keep your cloud video surveillance safe and secure. If done correctly, cloud-based video surveillance can offer a better solution than local storage solutions.
For a wide range of network IP security cameras, CCTV surveillance packages, and more, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. If you have any questions and would like to speak to a representative, please call 1-888-203-6294.
Despite how it may be depicted on television or movie screens, reviewing surveillance footage to find evidence is a lengthy process. Sifting through hours, sometimes days, of footage is costly, time consuming, and, when done by humans, is rarely effective. Luckily, advanced technologies can save the day.
Originally, CCTV video footage was used to monitor retail stores or businesses to prevent theft, damage, or employee misconduct, and provide evidence if something were to happen. If nothing occurred, the storage would be overwritten because space was limited and the footage proved useless.
These days, storage capacity has increased and new data processing techniques make this footage extremely useful. The accessibility of recording devices with advanced features is changing the value of videos. And thanks to machine learning and video analytics, surveillance footage can be sorted and evaluated in a timely manner.
Rather than wasting time and resources having humans evaluate footage, video analytics can take care of it. Video analytics is the process of extracting pertinent information from video footage. It basically works like image analytics, but goes a step further.
Image analytics can look at a still image to find patterns, anomalies, and identify faces. Video analytics can do the same, plus measure and track behaviors. Because of this, video analytics has a promising future within different industries.
The Use Of Video Analytics
Because this technology is great for identification, behavior analysis, and situational awareness, various businesses and industries can benefit greatly. Video analytics allows business owners to evaluate who visits their stores, identify peak hours, analyze customer behavior, and more. This gives businesses insight into how they can improve customer service and which deals or displays attract more customers. These types of insights can also benefit the marketing departments, as they can better understand customer demographic and tailor ads to those groups.
Video analytics can even be applied for security and law enforcement. Since body cameras for police are becoming widely adopted, these produce lots of video footage. Video analytics could make the recordings useful by adding rich tagging and indexing, making it easier to search through footage. Parsing through certain time periods and identifying persons with specific characteristics can help to develop leads and even recognize and predict different patterns.
For airports, stadiums and other major event and transportation venues, video analytics can evaluate footage and help to relieve congestion and lines. By monitoring these venues, more workers can be deployed to decrease wait times and improve customer service.
Video-Based Predictive Analytics
While still in the early stages, a new algorithm, as reported by MIT, allows a computer to predict human actions and interactions based on behaviors seconds before the action. The outlook for this algorithm is promising. As it develops, computers could eventually be taught to predict when a crime or injury may take place.
And as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics become more feasible in our everyday lives, this type of machine learning and predictive analytics will be necessary for robots to interact with humans naturally.
An excellent example of these video analytics in action is Veenome for marketing. Its YouTube analytics tool helps advertisers choose which videos are better suited for them to display ads. Another example is Prozone for sports analytics. By analyzing video footage of the field, players’ stats can be recorded and more effective plays can be planned and executed.
These video-based predictive analytics can also help with decision-making in industries such as aviation, air traffic control, ship navigation, power plant operation, and emergency services. Accidents and crimes can be prevented, thus, potentially saving lives.
Video Gray Area
Of course, as it goes with all surveillance, privacy concerns arise. Currently, analytics where data collection does not require consent is still a gray area. Until laws are in place to protect the public as well as businesses, companies should consider employing video analytics ethically, with respect and privacy to the data and its consumers alike.
To find an excellent array of quality security cameras and surveillance equipment at affordable prices, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our services and equipment, please call 1-888-203-6294.
Video surveillance can be an invaluable asset for businesses. It helps to improve security, manage risks, and boost efficiency. Most benefits of video surveillance can be seen and measure, however, determining its financial return isn’t as easy.
In order to better understand the fiscal value of IP video surveillance, security leaders consider the impact and effect of a hypothetical security event. This gives them better insight to how effective their surveillance system is. And by understanding how IP video surveillance adds value to your business, you demonstrate your overall dedication to success. Here are some of the ways IP video surveillance can influence and improve your business.
A common reason to employ IP video surveillance is to protect your property, employees, and customers. It can help to minimizes losses when it comes to a security incident, however, it can go further. The application of IP video surveillance can also ensure cyber security, data protection, intellectual property and brand reputation. By protecting these assets, a cohesive approach to risk management can be achieved.
Again, video surveillance goes beyond security and safety. It has become a fundamental aspect when building a business. Aside from monitoring on-site and remote locations, surveillance footage can be analyzed to improve employee productivity and help to measure the success of marketing campaigns. This data can be valuable across different departments, which adds to its value and merit.
There are different ways you can evaluate and determine the total cost of ownership for your system. For example, by investigating liability claims with video footage, you can save money and prevent future slip-and-fall claims. Some cases may be proven false, while others may bring to light new or unnoticed safety risks that can be addressed.
The stronger your system is, the more money you can potentially save. The most effective systems are comprised of enough cameras to cover all areas and detect crimes in progress, with highly trained staff to monitor the different feeds. A system that can do this as well as integrate the technology into all manner of law enforcement activities will demonstrate true ROI to security leaders.
Remote monitoring is an excellent luxury of IP video surveillance. When alarms go off or unfamiliar activity is detected, rather than sending managers or guards to investigate, you are provided with alerts and can respond quickly and appropriately.
Building a system that meets these standards will be a great addition to your business. What other benefits do you enjoy with your video surveillance system? If you don’t have one now, are you considering implementing an IP video surveillance system for your business? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Surveillance in retail has a primary role in preventing theft and ensuring safety among staff and customers. However, as retailers make the switch from analog to IP camera systems, a multitude of new features are at their fingertips and can help provide advanced business insight.
While retail analytics are available and being used in some stores already, the potential for improving these technologies promises benefits for both the retail and security industry. Network cameras are being manufactured with intelligent analytics and video management systems can take these analytics further.
Things like hotspot detection and facial recognition give retailers data about the age range and in-store behavior of their customers. This information can help to improve the store layout and target promotions to maximize sales.
The solutions are ready to be applied, but there is hesitation for rollout. Marketing, IT, and security will need to understand how these technologies will benefit them before they decide to invest.
Because the systems are fairly scalable, retail analytics can appeal to various types of businesses. Companies can take a “build your own” approach by investing in the individual components and evaluate its value over time. From there, they can decide to potentially build out their system. For example, simply monitoring foot traffic can produce great benefits. Retailers can tailor events, promotions and new product displays to high traffic periods. This can also help with staffing, allowing more workers on the floor at busier times, and potentially improving customer service.
This can assist small business, as budgets may not allow for large scale retail analytics systems. And larger retailers can build from basic systems, adding any advanced features as they see fit. Things like heat mapping and inventory alerts enable managers to understand which areas attract customers for longer periods of time as well as how often products need to be restocked.
The most important detail is to ensure that all components can work together seamlessly. Manufacturers realize this and are working across industries to ensure compatibility. For example, Canon and NETAVIS have partnered to provide comprehensive and compatible surveillance cameras and video management software.
Since online stores have somewhat of an upper hand when it comes to customer data, retail analytics play an important role in keeping brick and mortar stores alive. In your opinion, how do you think retail analytics will help the customer experience? If you own a business, have you considered employing retail analytics? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can find us on Vine, too!
Equip your business with the best security and surveillance solutions when you shop at SecurityCamExpert.com. Browse our selection online or call 1-888-203-6294 to learn more about our services.
It used to be common to see security guards monitoring public areas such as parking lots or building entrances, but, these days, the prevalence of security cameras is growing. Our means of surveillance is transitioning from human surveillance to networked devices. While some areas have added security cameras to complement their guards, others rely on comprehensive security systems.
There are numerous reasons why network security cameras are becoming more widespread. Aside from the covert nature of security cameras, technology allows us to do more with fewer risks. Rather than potentially putting a person’s life in danger, you can monitor your surveillance feed remotely and be aware of what is going on in various places. This will enable you to react in a timely manner and as safely as possible.
Some may oppose the implementation of security cameras for fear of an invasion of privacy, but they fail to acknowledge that other platforms that are seen as more acceptable can pose a threat. For example, loyalty programs often track and record your purchasing history and can be linked to your image through facial recognition technology. And think about how ads are becoming more tailored to the viewer’s interests. Common things like mobile phones, social media, credit cards, and more can offer data and insight about a person.
In comparison, surveillance cameras would simply be used to monitor public areas to improve safety. When crimes occur, footage can provide evidence, as well as paint the picture of events leading up to the incident.
Mass CCTV coverage has been achieved in cities like London and Melbourne. In some British cities, traffic light operation has been used to prevent criminals from escaping by car. This shows that networked devices can work together to increase safety and security.
There are obvious risks and benefits when it comes to networked devices and data collection. What are your thoughts on the use of connected devices and the Internet of Things in terms of security and surveillance? Do you think more cities will follow London and Melbourne’s lead and adopt a mass surveillance system? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Vine, and Pinterest.
For a great selection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance equipment, and more, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. To inquire about a site survey or our installation services, please call 1-888-203-6294.