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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
January 16, 2019


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

Alarm monitoring

OPTEX partners with visual-verification developer CHeKT

Intrusion sensor manufacturer OPTEX has announced a partnership with CHeKT, which delivers a visual-monitoring platform for alarm monitoring centres in North America.

CHeKT’s first and flagship product, CHeKT Bridge, pairs cameras with sensors, on new or existing security panels. Managed locally, cameras give the operator instant access to video, unimpeded by firewalls and login credentials.

When the alarm panel relays signals to the monitoring centre the bridge, which was launched in April 2018, simultaneously sends relevant video to the cloud for viewing by the operator, who can visually verify the situation within five seconds.

CHeKT, which is based in Shreveport, Louisiana, says that central stations can raise service standards without increasing signal traffic or the time it takes to process alarm signals. The operator can forward the clip, via SMS text, to police and to emergency contacts when additional verification is necessary.

“In today’s culture, when an integrator installs an alarm system and a video surveillance system at a location, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t provide that client with visual monitoring services,” said CHeKT president Wes Usie.

“OPTEX has found technology that instantly amplifies the value of our sensors and creates truly proactive security systems.” Mac Kokobo, CEO and president, OPTEX

OPTEX CEO and president Mac Kokobo said: “There’s a recognised need in our industry for this exact technology. With CHeKT’s innovation, OPTEX has found technology that instantly amplifies the value of our sensors and creates truly proactive security systems.”

OPTEX will co-sell its entire product range with the platform-agnostic CHeKT Bridge in North America through its existing distribution channels. Although pricing is yet to be disclosed, the companies say the CHeKT Bridge will be affordable, scalable and adaptable and allow integrators to raise service standards while remaining cost-competitive.

“We’re thrilled to partner with OPTEX,” said John Milliron, CHeKT’s vice president of sales. “For OPTEX to invest in CHeKT is a tremendous validation of our innovation.


“The industry is changing rapidly and integrators must decide if they will adopt innovative technologies to meet escalating consumer demands, police response requirements and false alarm ordinances. Ring, Nest and others have started a disruption that integrators may not yet have a strategy to address.

“The CHeKT Visual Verification solution provides an adoptable smart integration of any alarm system and ONVIF video system, existing or new, providing a CS Operator a view of what caused an alarm to occur in just seconds. Together, we intend to reset the Alarm Industry’s best practices.”

Said Rob Blair, president of OPTEX’s security division: “We’re impressed that CHeKT understands the needs of every stakeholder in the security space – end-users, integrators and installers, the operators who processes alarms and the emergency responders. This product is an exceptional response to those needs and, paired with our sensors, makes a formidable yet affordable security solution.”

OPTEX’s outdoor-rated sensors, which detect motion within inches of a building, can work in concert with cameras to help operators “see troublesome behaviour before a person breaks in through the door or window,” he continued. “When you can communicate to the police that you are watching apparent criminal behaviour, instead of reporting an alarm with no other context, the response is much quicker.”

CHeKT says its products offer an alternative to over-complicated setups that do not scale into existing security systems and monitoring centres that hamper adoption of visual verification technologies.

“The sensors and alarm systems were doing their jobs, and the camera systems were recording. However, those systems have worked in parallel, not in unison,” Usie said. “Past efforts to create visual monitoring have been cumbersome, slow and expensive. We couldn’t find what was needed…that’s how CHeKT was born, a technology that enables operators to immediately visualize what tripped an alarm.”

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