What did Santa, I mean your CEO, budget for the holidays? Deeper pockets for security spending? Perhaps some of the new technology and products will help influence decision making from the powers that be. From video surveillance to biometrics, new technology is making headway in the security industry. New technologies spur new products, and there is a lot to look forward to in 2003.

Digital Imaging & Optics

Pixim, Mountain View, Calif., is impacting digital image processing. Its system, called the Digital Pixel System (DPS), has the ability to convert an image into digital format immediately at the point of image capture. The image is no longer subjected to multiple steps and degradation before being digitized and stored. The system also combines, into a single system, all the components needed to process, compress and store images. As a result, smaller and cheaper digital cameras can be developed. And, the system delivers programmable memory to the individual image pixel via an array of tiny transistors. This creates the opportunity to manipulate, improve, control and instruct an image at the point of capture. This platform promises to improve both still and moving security camera images, particularly those taken in bad lighting situations, such as lobbies or warehouses, by the way cameras distinguish between higher and lower levels of light.

Cameras and Networking

As homeland, transportation and corporate security concerns continue to rise, entities in the public and private sectors are making large investments in physical security solutions, such as video surveillance, only to learn that the systems are ineffective. “With the recent world events and the renewed focus on physical security in both the public and private sectors, there is an incredible need to create physical security solutions that are smarter, more proactive and easy to use,” says Clara Conti, CEO of ObjectVideo, Reston, Va.

ObjectVideo software bridges the gap between current video surveillance solutions typically focused on detecting all types of motion and their state-of-the-art object detection technology. The VEW 1.0 enables raw data from a video feed to become useable information that can be acted on in real time.

Going in Circles

Internet Pictures Corporation (iPIX), Oak Ridge, Tenn., uses 360-degree-by-360-degree video surveillance for applications such as military, defense, homeland security, government, law enforcement and private sector use. The iPIX 360VS system is being used for a variety of data collection, tele-operations and situational awareness applications. High-resolution, live spherical video images are viewed and recorded in real-time with one camera head utilizing no moving parts, providing high-reliability monitoring and recording while remaining covert.

iPIX immersive technology offers still, video and NetCam solutions that enable efficient, comprehensive capture of mission-critical visual content. iPIX stills capture 360-degree-by-360-degree fields of view with user-friendly products for the real estate and travel/hospitality markets, and are also vital components for mapping, safety applications, and security systems.

The solution uses one camera with two fish-eye lenses to produce live spherical digital video that can be viewed in any direction from multiple security points at the same time. For example, this allows security personnel to monitor and record video of the perimeters, roofs, doors and grounds of a building at the same time with one camera.

Silent Witness’ modular CCTV camera system, for instance, offers flexibility. With 19 housing variations, 20 camera boards and nine lens options — adding up to only 48 SKUs — offering customers the choice of over 3400 different camera combinations right at the point of purchase. “We have seen a continual increase in the popularity of this system since its initial release. We are receiving great feedback and to reflect customers’ demands we have already expanded the product line by adding three new styles of housings to the MagnaView series and the true day/night camera board,” says Craig Scott, director of product management, Silent Witness, Surrey, British Columbia.

Secure Networks

Committed to providing highly reliable video networks that enable mission-critical, decision-quality visual analysis and collaboration in support of our nation's defense infrastructure, VNCI, Portsmouth, N.H., offers its EyeNet solution. The system combines the cost and efficiency of analog and digital video technology with the ubiquity of IP-based networks to users as a means for both local and centralized video surveillance, monitoring, video capture, record, playback and annotation of activity for incident management and real time crisis management, explains Roger Booker, executive vice president, business development, VNCI.

The EyeNet solution consolidates video streams at each location utilizing video switching technology. These streams are monitored by local authorized personnel as part of standard security protocol using PC-based, video enabled management consoles.

These video streams are also converted in real time to court admissible digital file format and transferred securely to a Central Monitoring and Operations Office located in a remote location via the wide area network where they are stored using digital storage technologies. Decision makers at a facility can visually confer with local resources or involve third party offices with all parties looking at the same visual image data and collaborating through this infrastructure for real-time responses to developing situations.

Hand-eye Coordination

With biometrics getting a lot of attention these days, there is a company out of Amherst, N.Y., that combines ultrasonic fingerprint matching technology with a smart card reader. Ultra-Scan Corporation’s Ultra-Scan Finger Punch system is designed to accommodate virtually any smart card reader to create a combined system that can read, match and authenticate the card holder by comparing the fingerprint to the biometric data embedded on the card. “Ultrasonic fingerprint technology is the most reliable, most accurate and most practical system available,” contends Terry Dunlap, CEO of Ultra-Scan. The ultrasonic waves are unaffected by dirt, grease, ink and other substances.

And there’s Cross Match Technologies, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a provider of forensic-quality fingerprint and palm identification solutions, which released its 1000 DPI, 10-print live scan fingerprint capture device. It has received the FBI’s highest image quality certification. The 1000 system features ruggedness, compact size, standard slap-to-roll matching, image-quality assessment and self-calibration, as well as the ability to capture, save, compress, store and transmit 1000 DPI (dots per inch) images.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was sold on the ID 1000. It and purchased twelve ID 1000 fingerprint systems for forensic-quality fingerprints and palm print identification solutions.

Systems Integration

Panasonic also offers its industry expertise with its BM-ET500 biometric access control system. Automated high-speed iris capturing and precision identification make this system an advanced access and entry point security identification system. With automatic iris capturing, identification is as simple as looking at the camera. High speed and precision make this system an advanced access and entry point security identification system. Also, use of iris recognition technology reduces errors to less than one in 1.2 million ensuring highly precise individual identification, contends Panasonic. Confusion with another individual is virtually impossible.

In the perfect utopian security world, all future security and building automation systems will talk to each other. Strides have been taken to see that this becomes the norm for systems of the future. For instance, Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, Wis. has technology enabling enterprise level integration for security, fire and building management. Total security integration includes access control, video surveillance, biometrics, network access and smart card usage. For example, Johnson Controls has worked closely with Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn.

”Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art airport with a high-tech security system that serves both current and future needs of our passengers,” says David Gilbert, project manager for the Connecticut Department of Transportation. There, Johnson Controls equips the terminal with a Metasys building automation system that will fully integrate, HVAC, lighting and paging systems. As part of the project the airport is taking steps to improve safety by installing Johnson Controls Cardkey 2000 system. This will allow airport personnel to manage all electronic security devices throughout the airport from one main terminal.

Ethernet Capabilities

For those systems nonintegrated, an interesting new product that entered the market recently was the SecureLink System from DVTel Inc., Paramus, N.J. They offer a technology that delivers CCTV, access control, intercom systems and Ethernet all over a single pair of standard telephone wires. The technology transforms an existing non-integrated, stand-alone security system into an IP network without the need to install new coaxial cable, CAT-5 cable or fiber. The SecureLink system delivers and receives video streams at 30 NTSC (25 PAL) images per second for eight cameras or monitors per telephone line. At four images per second, the system can support 128 cameras per EtherReach link.