Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
August 27, 2015

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Benchmark Security Innovation Awards 2015: Winners Announced

The winners of Benchmark’s Innovation Awards, which “recognise and reward innovative thinking and the delivery of benefits through advanced security solutions”, have been announced.

From access control to video analytics 44 contenders across a wide range of technologies were showcased during IFSEC International 2015 at London’s ExCeL in June.

Now we can reveal which products were judged the most innovative and surpassed the competition in helping security professionals – both installers/integrators and technology operators – do their job more efficiently and cost-effectively.


Video surveillance hardware: Avigilon HD Pro Cameras

avigilon 7k hd proAvigilon’s HD Pro range has generated a huge volume of interest on IFSEC Global this year by dint of the addition of single-sensor 6K and 7K models in April.

The range, which already featured some pretty powerful 4k and 5k versions, was also re-engineered to exploit the Canadian company’s next-generation H4 platform. Developed to deliver high performance imaging, advanced processing power and bandwidth economy H4 allows for the seamless integration with Avigilon Control Center video management system using Avigilon’s proprietary HDSM 2.0 technology.

Thanks to HDSM 2.0 technology the H4 platform can intelligently manage video data to ease the burden on network resources.

The HD Pro camera range, which beat Milestone’s Husky M50 and Samsung Techwin’s SNP-6320RH to the video surveillance prize, also provides edge recording with standard SD cards, while its LightCatcher technology boosts low-light performance.

These latest models can capture large areas, from which regions of interest can be drawn for forensic examination without overburdening bandwidth and storage capacity. The judges were impressed how such a leap forward in imaging, therefore, was more affordable than one might have assumed. No wonder that the leading security system designer we questioned on the new models believed that there would be plenty of appetite for 7k resolution in certain sectors, citing casinos as an example.

Benchmark says: “By linking the 7K HD Pro camera with Avigilon Control Center software featuring HDSM technology, users can realise high definition imaging without the need to significantly invest in other infrastructure and resources. This approach makes ultra-high resolution video both affordable and practical, and delivers more flexibility to those seeking to deploy quality video surveillance in high risk applications.”

Other contenders:

  • Milestone: Husky M50
  • Bosch Security: Dinion IP Starlight 8000
  • Samsung Techwin: SNP-6320RH
  • Synology: Surveillance Station

Video surveillance software: Aimetis Symphony Enterprise

aimetis symphony enterpriseSymphony Enterprise offers a single open IP platform for video management, video analytics, system integration and alarm management.

Installable on standard IT hardware it supports both analogue and IP cameras from hundreds of camera manufacturers and provides a feature-rich, easy-to-use interface.

The software, which is manufactured by Canadian-headquartered Aimetis, can support video streams with H.264, MPEG-4 and M-JPEG compression and is highly scalable. The user interface, meanwhile, is intuitive and grants the user a large degree of control over footage, events and alarms.

Symphony Enterprise features the VE Series of video analytic algorithms. Functions such as motion tracking, object classification, virtual fence, wrong direction, left/removed item detection, people counting and loitering/dwell time are incorporated into the VMS, while the VE Series can analyse video data in real time.

A full Application Programming Interface (API) offers seamless, hassle-free third-party systems integration, for example with access control.

Judges were also impressed with how installers and integrators could configure rules to create automatic actions, such as locking doors, sounding an alarm or turning on lighting in the event of an incident.

There is no limit on the number of cameras Aimetis Symphony Enterprise can support. Remote live view, video playback, record on motion and PTZ control are all available.

Benchmark says: “Enterprise wide system scalability, third-party system integration and alarm management capabilities make creating a centralised system a simple task.

“Symphony Enterprise’s advanced alarm and event handling options can change the use of video for a business or organisation from a passive recording device to a proactive, enterprise intelligence gathering tool.”

Other contenders:

  • ACT: ACTviquest
  • SeeTec: Cayuga Infinity X
  • Meyertech: Nano VMS
  • Vicon: ViconNet Peak

Access control hardware: Vanderbilt Industries’ Bright Blue

vanderbilt bright blueVanderbilt Industries was in the news last year for acquiring Siemens’ Security Products business.

The new acquisition should be in good hands if Bright Blue is anything to go by: judges were sufficiently impressed by this browser-interfaced, smart access control system to deem it the best access control hardware on show.

Designed for most small to medium-sized applications the Bright Blue access management system can accommodate up to 32 doors and 5,000 cardholders without significant additional investment in IT devices and licences.

Boasting an embedded design the system requires neither the installation of special software nor a dedicated PC.

Benchmark judges noted a user-friendly design with no special training needed, so anyone in a business can use the system, any time, anywhere.  The controller includes two on-board reader interfaces for direct connections to a wide range of devices.

Bright Blue can generate standardised reports, back up data regularly and, should an emergency occur, initiate a full site lockdown via a credential or external push button.

Other features include door monitoring, an anti-passback function and a temporary manual override of locked doors.

Recognising the growing demand for integrating access control with surveillance video Vanderbilt has equipped Bright Blue with the ability to link each access control transaction with video.

The platform, which encrypts user IDs and passwords, offers three tiers of access: User, Operator and Administrator.

The controller is built on a Linux operating system, while Bright Blue is compatible with Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome and OSX browsers and devices.

Benchmark says: “Its user-friendly design means that anyone within a business or organisation can use it, making access control a simple part of a site’s ordinary working life […] the system is stable and secure from external threats.”

Other contenders:

  • BPT Security: X-Air Plus+
  • Axis Communications: AXIS A1001
  • Optex: Accurance 3D
  • iEvo: Custom Kit

Access control software: Paxton Net2 Pro v5

paxton net2 proA PC-based access-control solution Net2 provides centralised management of sites with sites with anything from just a single door up to 1,000 doors and 50,000 users.

An impressive range of features includes site graphics, IP camera integration and triggers and actions.

Compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista operating systems Net2 software can be upgraded free of charge. Anyone considering investing in Paxton’s flagship software will no doubt be impressed by the idea of periodically gaining new functionality without a single penny of extra investment.

Similarly, costly licences are avoided because operators can install Net2 on a limitless number of workstations for a limitless number of users.

Pre-defined reports offer rapid access to relevant data while custom reports offer scope for exploiting data in nuanced and innovative ways.

Software can be managed remotely – even out of hours – a feature enhanced through a map function. Users can open individual doors or groups of doors.

Judges were also impressed by the ability to set rules, for example locking doors or triggering relays in response to access events or alarms.

Version 5, the software’s latest incarnation, also incorporates timesheet and timeline functionality to manage staff working hours and landlord/tenant permissions to restrict users within certain departments.

Benchmark says: “To simplify the management of sites, event reports can be generated with a few mouse clicks, and the modular single-door architecture of the system makes specifying, installing and maintaining an access control solution both straightforward and scalable.

“It delivers an effective way for end users operating a variety of sites to tailor access privileges for groups or individuals, quickly and easily, using the intuitive and user-friendly software.”

Other contenders:

  • Nedap: Aeos 3.1
  • Honeywell: NetAXS-123
  • Impro: Access Portal Pro
  • Spica: Time&Space

Site protection hardware: Senstar Tungsten

senstar tungstenAs the traditional security industry converges inexorably with the digital world Tungsten is very much the right product at the right time. A cyber security Ethernet switch Senstar’s winner in the site protection hardware category is specifically designed for physical security networks, SCADA based systems and safe-city applications. Tungsten provides iron-clad security with full control and customisable networking capabilities.

Tailored for field and physical security communication networks Senstar’s entry can withstand harsh environmental conditions.

Installers and integrators can benefit from fibre optic and RJ45 ports with high power PoE capabilities, which simplifies installation. Switch functionality can cut the number of field devices and negate the need for media converters, power supplies and injectors, serial device servers or I/O controllers, which all can be prone to failure.

Continuously monitoring and analysing data traffic from all elements and all points in the network the switch safeguards the servers, network and devices against breaches.

Benchmark says: “The use of unsecured networks for security systems exposes sites to combined cyber and physical attacks. For example, video streams from surveillance cameras can be intercepted or manipulated, access control systems can be hacked to open gates and doors and perimeter security sensors and controllers can be disabled.

[This] “cutting edge hardware, coupled with network intelligence and policy enforcement software engines, offers an effective tool for securing and hardening sites and installations.”

Other contenders:

  • Texecom: Premier Elite 12-W LIVE
  • Pyronix: Enforcer 32-WE APP
  • Risco Group: VUpoint
  • Xtralis: Pro E Detectors

Site protection software: Genetec Security Center

genetec security centerThe latest incarnation of Genetec’s unified security solution, Security Center 5.3 introduces a smorgasbord of new features in IP video management, access control and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

Tools for security investigations that promote collaboration and information sharing between operators and public and private organisations have been simplified. Features that optimise the use of existing hardware resources have been added.

As multi-megapixel cameras 4K cameras grow in popularity Security Center 5.3 enhances the performance of systems managing high-resolution video streams. Hardware-accelerated video decoding leverages workstation graphics cards and embedded graphics processing units (GPU) to decode video and lighten the processing burden on CPUs.

Organisations can deploy entry-level, off-the-shelf graphics cards to negate the need to purchase new workstations when they upgrade to higher resolution cameras. Operators, meanwhile, can view a greater number of cameras at higher resolutions and frame rates.

Security Center 5.3 also affords operators greater playback and event management fluidity.

An Incident Recording feature means you can record video sequences from multiple cameras to storyboard an incident, which you can then export in a single video clip. Exported incidents can be reviewed in the enhanced Genetec Video Player, bypassing the need for a full client application.

The Archive Transfer feature dynamically manages the Archiver where video recordings are stored. Video retention periods can be extended and redundant archives transferred to the cloud thanks to the Cloud Archives service.

Security Center 5.3 also grants improved oversight of access control hardware throughout the site. First-Person-In rules afford granular control of access points when supervising staff are off site, while two-Person rules mandate multiple cardholders when entering into higher security rooms. Visitors must be accompanied by staff when Visitor Escort is activated.

The Federation feature centrally monitors remote sites equipped with video, access control and intrusion systems. ANPR systems can share data between independent sites.

Benchmark says: “Security Center improves system performance when managing high-resolution video streams […]Through the use of hardware-accelerated video decoding, it leverages workstation graphics cards and embedded graphics processing units (GPU) to decode video and reduce processing demand on the CPU […] organisations can minimise the need to purchase new workstations as they deploy higher resolution cameras.”

Other contenders:

  • UTC Fire and Security: ATS8600
  • ISM: Genesys V2
  • Prysm Software: AppVision

Video Analytics: Agent Vi SavVi

agent vi savviKnown as Agent Vi for short Agent Video Intelligence is an Israeli provider of open architecture video analytics software with a sales office in the US and one for EMEA and the Asia Pacific regions.

Agent Vi’s latest offering, SavVi, won the video analytics award ahead of industry stalwarts like Mirasys.

Judges credited SavVi with being highly integrator friendly, especially those engaged in large-scale deployments. With simplified and automated installation processes, system installation and performance verification time is kept to a minimum.

SavVi offers automated real-time detections and alerts, with events of interest detected automatically through real-time analysis of multiple video sources. Huge volumes of footage can be queried and events of interest identified and extracted within seconds. Traffic volumes, traffic trends and motion patterns automatically generate meaningful data.

Video analytics can run on up to 200 cameras per server, so SavVi offers considerable scalability to the end user.

The analytics software integrates seamlessly with leading VMS solutions and cameras. Judges were also impressed with the full redundancy and fault tolerance offered by SavVi, which therefore promises continuous operation.

Also capable of capturing and reporting on business intelligence data SavVi offers configurable data analysis on traffic volumes, movement trends and motion patterns.

Benchmark says: “A comprehensive video analytics offering. The package presents real-time event detection, video search and business intelligence applications incorporated in a single, intuitive and easy to use product.

“The automated video analysis provided by SavVi replaces the manual and time-consuming tasks traditionally employed to monitor live video feeds or sift through recorded video, thus increasing the return on investment.

“Automated set-up and calibration ensures simple, rapid and efficient configurations. This also delivers superior results in complex environments, including indoor and outdoor scenes using multiple camera types.”

Other contenders:

  • Iomniscient: ASAP
  • Davantis: Davantis Video Analytics
  • Mirasys: Video Content Analysis
  • BRS Labs: AISight

Business Intelligence: Vidicore PriVendo

vidicore privendiStill an untapped market the business intelligent segment promises to give retailers the edge on margins and customer experience in one of the economy’s most cut-throat sectors.

In a category also including FoxCounter by FoxStream and the Panasonic WV-SFV481 PriVendo was praised for being intuitive, user friendly and easy to maintain. Installers will also appreciate the modest installation demands thanks to the software’s capacity to use cloud services or existing PCs.

Developed by German company Vidicore PriVendo detects movements of people, vehicles and other objects, analysing captured data through three innovative analytic algorithms: unlimited counting lines per camera; real time counting data of people and vehicles crossing target counting lines; unlimited flexible target zones while tracking and counting objects, collecting data based on both the entrance to and dwelling within zones.

Benchmark judges observed that PriVendo could differentiate between customers who were merely ‘interested’ in products and those that were ‘engaged’. The user enjoys the flexibility of setting parameters of what defines these two stats – for example the number of seconds a customer dwells in front of a given product – to suit their business.

Custom reports, meanwhile, perform statistical analysis of people or vehicle traffic patterns and custom heat maps show hot spots.

Benchmark says: “Benefits can include better allocation of resources, increased customer service during key selling periods, management of pricing during slower selling periods, measurements of the effectiveness of advertising and promotional campaigns, determining the effectiveness of merchandising, displays, window changes and location changes and assessing the effectiveness of the store layout.

“The combination of real-time scene analysis and counting data based on user definable rules means that users can generate custom reports that deliver real benefits for their businesses.”

Other contenders:

  • FoxStream: FoxCounter
  • Panasonic: WV-SFV481
  • Cognimatics: TrueView Parking
  • Flir: FC-Series R

Infrastructure: Phybridge CLEER Switch

phybridge switchRevolution is afoot in the infrastructure deployed in security solutions with major implications for installers and integrators. With customers often reluctant to finance a costly ‘rip and replace’ installation the rise of network-based systems poses a problem: how to make the investment on an IP upgrade affordable.

The Phybridge CLEER Switch surmounts the challenge of supportinga migration to IP edge devices through the innovative approach of repurposing, rather than, replacing, existing infrastructure.

An enterprise-grade 24 port Ethernet over Coax switch The CLEER Switch delivers fast Ethernet (100Mbps symmetrical) and PoE+ over coax, offering a reach in excess of 600 metres.

Phybridge, which has engineered a throughput of 100Mbps per port (symmetrical, full duplex) over 600 metre distances, argues that the claims of up to 200Mbps made by several other manufacturers are misleading. These throughputs, said the Canadian firm, often combined both up and down speeds.

The CLEER Switch also offers Layer 2 management features (SNMP, LLDP, VLAN) and remote switch management. Power can be controlled by port and can be recycled or turned on or off.

Supported and detailed by port statistics Port locking makes for easy troubleshooting and maintenance. Hot swappable power supplies and power sharing deliver system redundancy and ensure continuity of service in security applications.

Each switch includes two 1GbE Copper/Fibre uplink ports and dedicated management and console ports.

Benchmark says: “CLEER transforms the existing coax infrastructure into a robust IP platform ideal for HD and megapixel cameras and other networked devices.

“The switch delivers required power to IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at compliant devices across Ethernet links, and an intuitive web GUI simplifies switch management, making the management process far more intuitive.”

Other contenders:

  • Secure Logiq: HPS-2U-HE60
  • Seagate: Surveillance HDD with Rescue Programme
  • BCD Video: BCD380V8-M
  • ComNet: NetWave Solar Module

Click here to visit the Benchmark site and find out more about the innovation awards.

Keep up with the wireless access control market

Download this free report to find out more about:

  • The current state of wireless access control solutions in the market
  • The developing ‘move to mobile access control’ trend
  • Views on open architecture and integration
  • The growing use of the cloud and ACaaS to manage access systems
  • How important is sustainability to the industry?

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rb_firesecjobs
rb_firesecjobs
September 1, 2015 9:53 pm

genetec congrats on the award

seclabor
seclabor
September 2, 2015 1:02 am

genetec Thanks for sharing that update – it’s now live here: http://rbl.ms/1OSayul