Axis, Bosch, Sony Cooperate To Standardize Network Video Product Interface

May 13, 2008

Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems and Sony Corp. announced recently that the companies will be cooperating to create an open forum aimed at developing a standard for the interface of network video products.

Currently, there is no global standard defining how network video products such as cameras, video encoders and video management systems should communicate with each other. The new standard is expected to comprise interfaces for specifications such as video streaming, device discovery and intelligence metadata. The framework of the standard, incorporating the key elements of network video product interoperability, will be released in October at the Security show in Essen, Germany.

The main goal of this new standard is to facilitate the integration of various brands of network video equipment and to help manufacturers, software developers and independent software vendors ensure product interoperability. A unified open standard will also offer end-users greater flexibility of choice, enabling them to select products from different vendors in order to develop systems that fully meet their needs. This standardization initiative demonstrates the strong commitment of Axis, Bosch and Sony to supporting the ongoing shift from analog to digital surveillance in the security market.

A forum set up by the said three companies will be open for all companies and interest groups who would like to participate in the standardization work. The forum will be established in the fourth quarter of 2008, and will work on further development of the standard and on reaching agreement on how the new technology should be implemented.

“We are very pleased to announce this cooperation between our companies,” said Ray Mauritsson, president of Axis Communications. “An open standard will make it even easier for integrators and end-users to benefit from the many possibilities offered by IP-based video surveillance technology.”

“This cooperation represents a great leap forward in establishing an international open forum focusing on network video surveillance,” said Gert van Iperen, executive vice president at Bosch. “For manufacturers of network video hardware and software, the forum and its standard will be an efficient way to ensure product interoperability.”

“We entered this discussion based on our common belief that an open standard will provide great benefits for users and everyone involved in the security industry,” said Yoshinori Onoue, SVP, Corporate Executive, Sony Corp. “Representatives from Axis, Bosch and Sony are now working intensively to develop a framework for the standard and to establish the guidelines for the standardization forum.”


DHS Announces Aviation Security, Traveler Screening Changes

From Security Products

April 30, 2008

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced improvements aimed at strengthening aviation security while decreasing the hassle factor for travelers.

Among the key improvements, DHS is providing airlines more flexibility to allow passengers to check in remotely who have been unable to do so because they have a name similar to someone on a watch list. The department also unveiled the Checkpoint Evolution prototype, which recently began full operation at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) .

Each airline will now be able to create a system to verify and securely store a passenger’s date of birth to clear up watch list misidentifications. By voluntarily providing this limited biographical data to an airline and verifying that information once at the ticket counter, travelers that were previously inconvenienced on every trip will now be able to check-in online or at remote kiosks.

“Hassles due to misidentification and the resulting necessity to stand in line to check in at the ticket counter is consistently among the deepest -- and most valid -- complaints of the traveling public,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “Thousands of passengers are inconvenienced each day, and this change should provide a way to eliminate the vast majority of these situations. This is good for travelers and for security, because as we make the checkpoint environment calmer, it becomes easier to spot individuals with hostile intent.”

Additionally, DHS is providing greater clarity on the types of identification that will be accepted at checkpoints in the U.S. Beginning May 26, federal or state-issued photo ID will be accepted if it contains: name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature. Standardizing the list of accepted documents better aligns TSA with other DHS components and REAL ID benchmarks. More information on acceptable documents is available at www.tsa.gov.

These innovations, along with the new Checkpoint Evolution prototype, are part of a broader effort to calm the checkpoint. The BWI prototype includes Millimeter Wave technology used in random continuous use, multi-view X-ray and liquid bottle scanners. These technologies, in conjunction with changes to the checkpoint environment and processes, will be evaluated for operational efficiency over the coming months.

Transportation Security Officers and managers at BWI are the first in the country to complete a 16-hour training module designed to incorporate the latest intelligence analysis, more advanced explosives detection skills, and ways to engage with passengers to promote a calmer environment for better security. The training was developed by the TSA Office of Intelligence, Bomb Appraisal Officers, and TSA Checkpoint Evolution team.

Study: Biometrics Ushering New Age Of Security In Asia Pacific Region

From Security Products

From May 1, 2008

National ID and e-Passport programs are contributing to the growth and development of the biometrics market in the Asia Pacific region.

With these programs underway, market participants have realized the need for proper standardization in order for all these projects to be successful. In the coming years, biometrics products will be standardized and interoperable with other security systems, providing a much higher level of security.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan Biometrics Markets in Asia Pacific, finds that the market earned revenues of $126.3 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $1643.1 million in 2012.

National ID projects and e-Passport programs are providing the biggest potential for biometrics in APAC today. With the cost of biometric readers declining, biometric border control security is also being implemented in many countries across Asia. Furthermore, with the e-Passport program implementation coming to an end by 2008, new issuance of passports by the countries under the U.S. VISA Waiver program will significantly add to the growth in unit shipment.

“The national ID of Malaysia is already equipped with a thumbprint template and the Indian national ID will also be equipped with a fingerprint template,” said Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Navin Rajendra. “While India has already begun assembling a database of its citizens, countries such as Japan, China and Indonesia are expected to take to biometrics shortly.”

However, the high cost of implementing the biometric system has been a restraint globally and the same is likely to be the case in the APAC region. End users looking at a security system are often weary of the high cost involved and tend to wait until there is a reduction in prices.

“This apart, the prolonged cycle time for the implementation of a biometric project is a significant restraint, especially when organizations are looking at a quick and seamless implementation,” Rajendra said. “Depending on the size of the project, the cycle time can vary anywhere from 6 to 18 months.”

The APAC market is seeing convergence of technologies and applications. It is absolutely essential for market participants to bring about interoperability and standardization in this era of convergence. Through mutual and proper cooperation between system integrators, biometric systems can be seamlessly integrated with other security systems with reduced downtime.

Cincinnati’s Use Of Automated License Plate Recognition Pays Off

From Security Products

By Brent Dirks · May 2, 2008

The Cincinnati Police Department is using automated license plate recognition from Federal Signal PIPS and seeing strong results.

Using the technology to identify stolen vehicles and wanted suspects and to serve as a crime analysis tool and deterrent, the city has ordered seven more installations of the technology with plans to expand in order to include fixed camera installations throughout Cincinnati.

“We’re not doing dead-end leads anymore,” said Capt. Jeff Butler of the Cincinnati Police Department. “We’re going with a purpose because there’s a high likelihood that someone is going to be there.”

In the first five months of deployment, more than 300,000 license plates were read. Of those, 8,000 vehicles were of interest to law enforcement and 300 suspects were taken into custody -- including a homicide suspect and bank robber.

Beyond locating vehicles of interest, city officials also have found dividends with the investigative use of Federal Signal PIPS Back Office System Software (BOSS).

Copper theft has swept the nation and is turning into a major problem for urban law enforcement. With the BOSS system, police used an eyewitness account of a vehicle leaving the scene of a copper theft to nab the suspect. Using the vehicle’s license plate number, law enforcement tracked down when and where the suspect had been seen around the city. With a cluster of locations from the data, police set up surveillance and were able to make an arrest.

BOSS also provides data sharing and multi-jurisdictional search capabilities with other law enforcement agencies that use Federal Signal PIPS systems.

“Federal Signal’s advanced ALPR technology, which is widely deployed in Europe, continues to gain traction here in North America,” said Michael K. Wons, vice president and general manager of Federal Signal’s Public Safety Systems Division.

About the author

Brent Dirks
Brent Dirks is e-news editor for Security Products magazine.