Rampant technology refinement and innovation are redefining security. More technologies help ensure mobile accessibility. The realm of physical security continues to expand with a focus on intelligent solutions, data and cloud-based access control, integrating audio, video and detection technologies.
Sounding off on audio
Back in the day, commercial customers widely deployed audio and two-way listen-in technologies, especially in high-risk vertical markets such as jewelers and retailers. It often involved detection of breaking glass or other predetermined audio events, triggering two-way communication between the central monitoring facility and customer site. Operators could listen in to the premises and even talk to the person on location to determine if there was a break-in or just an inadvertent alarm trigger.
Now, audio is experiencing a renaissance as an added measure of security and false-alarm prevention, even giving first responders a heads-up on what may be occurring.
Adding sound to a security specification improves the overall value of detection and is useful for obtaining forensics information.
“Audio security is used as a stand-alone technology or increasingly as an attachment to—or enhancement to—cameras in adjacent spaces,” said Chris Gaunt, manager of North American sales for Louroe Electronics, Van Nuys, Calif.
Louroe Electronics’ Intelligent Audio Analytics System is a combination hardware/software solution designed for unattended audio monitoring on specific events, analyzing the presence of gunshots, aggressive speech, glass breaking and car alarms in real time. For example, research indicates that, in school environments, some 80 percent of verbal encounters lead to aggression, and audio software can be deployed as a preventative measure on campus.
Louroe Electronics’ Gunshot Detector recognizes firearm discharge in different settings. Software classifies and triggers notifications through a video management system or other source.
Real-time location systems
Recently, Boston Medical Center (BMC)’s Women and Infants Center deployed a wireless real-time location system (RTLS) from Stanley Healthcare called the Hugs Infant Protection Solution. The system leverages the AeroScout platform and MobileView software, designated as “category leader” for RTLS by research and insights firm KLAS.
The solution was installed at BMC in a full-deployment scenario. Because it operates on the hospital’s Wi-Fi network, it can track the location of babies and provide protection anywhere the infant may be transported, instead of being confined to areas limited to hardwired receivers and repeaters common to other infant-protection systems.
Luigi Martiniello, BMC assistant director of operations and public safety, said the solution is heavily information technology-based and gives the facility the ability to achieve real-time status and location of system tags, fortifying security campuswide. The system receives and processes tag messages from all access points on the Wi-Fi network and allows the creation of zones for different areas and floors to aid workflow.
“Although it uses the hospital’s Wi-Fi, it does not compete with other potential RF signals as deployed,” Martiniello said.
In the past, if an abductor got past the protected area and outside the unit, there was no visibility to the infant’s location. This software platform can be accessed from any PC or mobile device with VPN access. It also integrates with elevator control building automation software in the event of a breach or alarm.
Cloud to the rescue
Cloud computing and cloud-hosted access control and physical security management platforms are fostering new emerging security applications, including mobile credentialing involving near-field communication and Bluetooth communications.
“Within the context of the security industry, mobile credentials will, over time, replace access-control cards,” said Steven Van Till, president and CEO of Brivo Inc., a Bethesda, Md., security systems supplier. “Mobile credentials can be looked at as one computer logging into another to provide a specific entrance convenience.”
Van Till chairs the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) Standards Committee and the Cloud Mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) Subcommittee Working Groups, which is developing a Bluetooth-low-energy standard. The SIA, an ANSI-accredited standards developer, is focusing on this and other applicable standards as technology broadens from traditional physical security to billions of connected devices and data points through the IoT.
Outside companies and developers once unfamiliar with the industry can see the widening expanse of security and all it can encompass, which will further fuel innovation.
“For the installing community, standards mean easier installation, more products working with each other and additional choices of combinations of products,” Van Till said.