Join Axis at the Genetec Connet’DX virtual event

Axis invites you to join us in our virtual booth in the Genetec Connect’DX Partner Pavilion from April 20-22, 2020. At this online trade show you can listen to numerous keynote speeches, including “Evolution of Security IOT” held by Dr. Martin Gren and Fredrick Nilsson. At our virtual booth, you will be able to engage with our on-demand product videos, educational content and chat live with Axis technology experts.

The keynote speech, being held by two of Axis senior leadership. Dr, Martin Gren, Co-founder and Fredrik Nilsson, Vice President Americas. They will cover how we’ve been unifying security through the years with Genetec. And will highlight some of the very latest offerings and integrations to Genetec products. Visit our virtual booth to chat with Axis representatives as well as explore the following offerings on your own:

  • Axis Body Worn camera system and integration with Genetec Security Center and Clearance
  • Smart city and traffic joint solutions
  • Joint cybersecurity integrations such as those for encryption and for Security Center Firmware Vault, which handles secure camera firmware management
  • QR code access management integrations of Axis devices via Genetec ClearID and Genetec Security Center
  • Access control integrations to Security Center Synergis

Register for Genetec Connect’DX

Physical security practitioners can benefit from more than 30+ on-demand sessions, customer presentations, industry expert panels, and product training. Attendees can also earn virtual points for participation and win prizes including SONOS speakers and gift certificates from Amazon and UberEats.

This digital event is free, but places are limited.

For further information please contact:

Alex Walthers, Strategic Account Manager, Partner Ecosystems, Axis Communications

Phone: +1 518 2753091, E-mail: Alex.Walthers@axis.com

Axis launches 2020 Sustainability Report

Axis has released its 2020 Annual Review and Sustainability Report, highlighting its resilience and continued focus on innovation and sustainability throughout one of the most difficult years in recent history. During the Covid-19 crisis they have placed great emphasis on the health of their employees, and despite the difficulties imposed by the transition to remote working have released over 80 high quality products, applications, and accessories. The company has made strides towards environmental responsibility, increased diversity, and delivering quality products that make the world a smarter, safer place.

By implementing a number of initiatives and continuously assessing results against objectives, Axis made great progress towards its sustainability goals in 2020.

Highlights of the 2020 Sustainability Report include:

  • Emphasis on Ethics and Global Code of Conduct

Initiatives carried out to strengthen the work with ethics, including implementation of a new global code of conduct, setting up a group-wide Business Ethics Council and providing training on privacy and ethics.

  • Privacy and Protection

Proactive, systematic efforts to strengthen the security of IT systems at Axis, as well as the level of IT security in products, all aimed at ensuring the highest possible level of protection for customer information and privacy.

  • A Commitment to Environmental Excellence

Axis continues to place sustainability at the heart of its business, supporting the UN 2030 Agenda and striving towards the SDGs. They have increased the scope of the Axis Carbon Footprint Report to include emissions from contract manufacturers, they have succeeded to make 34 percent of all their cameras BFR- and CFR-free, they have implemented global online training for all employees on environmental issues, and even more.

  • Diversity, Inclusivity, and creating a safe work-space

There have been great achievements within the Social Responsibility focus area, including the launch of new social goals (zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment) and good results from the employee surveys. Axis has also placed greater focus on improving the gender balance between senior executives, and further emphasized the importance of diversity through its Women in Security Conference, which was ran digitally this year in spite of the pandemic.

  • BREEAM certified head office

The new Axis head office was completed and obtained BREEAM certification with the rating of Excellent based on a variety of sustainability factors including materials, energy, waste, outdoor environment, biodiversity and alternatives for sustainable commuting.

Click here to download the 2020 Annual Review and Sustainability Report

Download report

Getting the best performance out of your network video recorder

Getting the best performance out of your network video recorder

The network video recorder (NVR) records your surveillance video and audio but also ties the entire security system together. If it fails, it can put your entire security camera system out of action. Situations like this can be avoided by choosing the right NVR. With an Axis NVR you will get an out-of-the-box ready recording solution that simplifies every step from design to maintenance. And it is a perfect match for other Axis products.

Imagine this: During the last week, your shop has seen increased shoplifting. On top of that, cash has been missing from the register. No worries, you have a network security camera system, so you will know what is going on.

However, when you sit down to go through your recordings, the monitor is blank. There is nothing on the recorder. Malfunction. Bye-bye evidence.

The recorder ties the system together

A network video recorder (NVR) is one of those set-and-forget pieces of hardware equipment that should always work, in this case, helping you to protect your staff, goods, and premises.

Its primary function is to store video and audio recordings, but a recorder is more than a hard drive. It also works as a server, connecting the whole system and all its devices. It can, for example, provide live images and power other devices.

If your NVR fails and you can’t access your recordings, it is a dramatic blow to your video surveillance system. NVR failure can occur if the system isn’t designed correctly or not performing well enough. For example, the CPU may not be powerful enough, or there could be a network disruption.

Future-proof your recording solution

Choosing the right NVR is not always easy. For system integrators, a common pain point is to select a model that is sure to work with the surveillance camera system that their customer needs.

“It’s hard to know in advance that the NVR will be able to cope with the number of devices and amount of data it will handle,” explains Rémy Javelle, Global Product Manager, Axis. “It also needs to be future-proof, in case new features are released or if updates affect its performance.”

During installation, it can be complicated to configure the system as it was initially designed. “Post-installation, it’s important to document the configuration in case anything is changed in the future,” Javelle says. “Video management software tools such as AXIS Site Designer and AXIS Installation Verifier will address this effectively.”

Easy to design, install and operate

“At Axis, we can provide an end-to-end experience for video surveillance systems, which will significantly simplify the process,” Javelle explains. “You’ll get all the hardware, software, and support that you need from one supplier.”

One significant advantage of an Axis NVRs is that it provides an out-of-the-box-ready setup. It is easy to install and operate. The compact size makes it a good fit even if space is limited, for example, in a small shop’s backroom.

When you choose an Axis end-to-end solution, you can access several useful tools, including AXIS Site Designer and AXIS Recorder Toolbox. These tools simplify and eliminate mistakes during configuration, make maintenance more straightforward, and keep your system updated.

“Axis supports the entire end-to-end solution, and we won’t give up until we have solved any issues,” says Javelle. “As an installer, you don’t have to spend time – and money – going back to the site. Users don’t have to worry about discontinued components or updates.”

One purchase gives you total TCO control

If you have a network surveillance system with components from various suppliers, you may end up with multiple license fees. Buying cheap may turn expensive down the line when there are additional costs, for example, when you need to export files.

The Axis license model is simple. You pay an initial fee – one device means one license. There are no hidden, additional costs. It gives you full control of the total cost of ownership.

Handpicked products that you can rely upon

Axis end-to-end systems include carefully handpicked equipment matched to provide optimal performance. By selecting the right components for each product and testing it thoroughly, we can offer you a low failure rate, high availability, and a long lifecycle. And our offer goes beyond the hardware to include AXIS Camera Station software.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you are located. You will get the same high standard of support. Axis will handle certifications for most countries globally to ensure that customers don’t need to certify or worry about any of the products they buy from Axis.

If you want to learn more about Axis NVRs or end-to-end solutions, try AXIS Site Designer and design an AXIS end-to-end Solution using the one-click Recording Solution Selector. It is an easy way to find a recommended solution for your needs. Or get in touch with your local Axis sales representative for a demo.

And don’t miss this practical guide to choosing your next NVR.

How IP intercoms can enhance video surveillance systems

Customer attitudes and demands have continued to shape the security sector, driving ongoing market and industry changes. As a result, new use cases have emerged for security and safety, related to building access, communication and control across a variety of sectors. These have set the scene for security professionals to rethink how intercom technology is being used, taking advantage of advanced capabilities to help intelligently support end users and system owners. This would span automated monitoring and remote management to convenient, safe and secure ways to grant access to premises.

Smart intercoms deliver value

IP intercoms continue to grow in popularity, due to the increased functionality they support. This is true for all segments of the market, from advanced enterprise level security systems to private residential properties. Integrating technology into IP intercoms ensures that organizations have the flexibility to incorporate the functions they need for their business, especially when it comes to remote access.

Contactless methods (for example, QR codes or Bluetooth) are becoming more popular due to concerns around health and hygiene. These also simplify operations by allowing the distribution of temporary access rights digitally, in contrast to manually handling physical keys or access cards, which can be time consuming and costly for security personnel.

Implementing intelligent video or audio analytics capabilities can further support security teams by detecting incidents and triggering actions. For example, if an unauthorized person enters a restricted area or loud voices (or even gun shots) are detected, the intercom can automatically alert security staff, start a video recording and play a deterring message.

When integrated with an access control system, a similar response can be triggered when someone has been denied access. This can be done directly from the intercom, provided it has a built-in camera. If additional identity verification is needed (for example, if an access card has been stolen and the individual is attempting to use it), then this can be done by visual inspection.

Improving efficiency and security for both residential and commercial premises

Security managers are tasked with monitoring multiple entrances to a premise and controlling entry, regardless of the type of property. This can be difficult to achieve manually, but IP intercoms allow security teams to manage visitors and maintain safety from a centralized location, which may even be off-premise.

For residential properties, IP intercoms can offer improved convenience through remote unlocking of doors for known visitors, such as couriers. Calls from visitors can be received on a dedicated answering unit in an apartment, on a tablet when sitting in the sofa or on your mobile device when at work, whatever is most convenient at the time.

It’s a similar scenario in professional environments, where it can also be integrated with the corporate phone system and answered on the normal reception phone, or even in the video management system on the screens in the security office.

Thinking beyond traditional applications

Outside of the more common door access role, organizations are becoming more aware of the benefits of IP intercoms. New cases are arising in a number of sectors, which require technology to support staff in remote monitoring and communication.

In the healthcare sector, patient monitoring can be challenging from both a staffing and personal safety point of view. This is especially true for busy medical facilities, where multiple patients may require intensive care by a reduced number of staff. IP intercoms can support medical professionals by allowing them to reliably monitor and communicate with more patients, using high-res imaging and bi-directional audio capabilities. In addition, this type of technology helps reduce patient contact, thereby mitigating exposure to infectious diseases and helping to conserve on personal protective equipment (PPE).

This remote approach is also seen in other sectors. For retailers, deliveries are always coming and going. Controlling building access can be time-consuming and inefficient for store staff, IP intercoms allow them to control access for visitors – especially delivery drivers needing to access loading bays – without interfering with or distracting from other tasks taking place during the working day.

In recent times, many organizations have changed their routines when it comes to working remotely or on-site. For schools, offices and industrial companies, keeping track of who is entering premises is more important than ever, when it comes to protecting assets and people, but also from a liability perspective. An intercom can allow organizations to handle and manage visitor access and can be an important tool for tracking activities and events should an incident occur.

Investing in IP intercom solutions yields rewards

As security and safety demands change, organizations are continuing to look for technology solutions which are intelligent and integrated. IP intercoms offer many functionalities, especially when incorporated with video surveillance, access control and audio capabilities. The flexibility that these systems offer allow organizations to use them in a way that suits their needs and specific use cases – even outside of traditional applications. Ultimately, implementing IP intercoms will help support different types of staff in a number of scenarios, allowing them to perform at a higher standard, while improving efficiencies.

Want to find out more about Axis’ network intercoms solutions?

Click here

Smart city solutions

Improving livability in smart cities: How cameras and sensors add value

According to a study from the UN, over half of humanity – 56.2 per cent, 3.5bn people – currently lives in cities and this number is estimated to rise to 5bn people (60.4 per cent) by 2030. This growth in urban populations has driven the adoption of technology in the management of city infrastructure and systems, with governments investing billions in so-called smart cities. But adoption of technology cannot come at the cost of a city’s livability, an essential factor in attracting people to urban environments for both personal and professional reasons.

Now the key question is: What makes a smart city attractive to its (potential) citizens? It is helpful to look at peoples’ most basic needs as traditionally represented by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In this model, safety and security come right after physiological needs such as food, water and sleep. In today’s cities, there are several factors that can turn into a threat of health, security or even lives and the cities have to respond to them. Little preparation, risk mitigation and the lack of possibility to send out an advance notice can lead to a far greater number of human losses, injuries or damage of property.

If you can’t monitor it, you can’t improve it

While people are working on improving early warning systems and preventing catastrophes, in the future it could be possible to identify risks at an even earlier stage. Going beyond recognizing patterns and taking the appropriate actions to improve a situation, the development of data analytics in combination with the data collected by cameras and sensors could make it possible to identify “near misses”.

Network security cameras can be of help to achieve this goal. Many of these cameras are today used for security and safety purposes, with a single use-case. However, with a scalable network video system you can add this type of analytics to your current system, or easily complement with additional cameras or sensors to supplement your system.

By monitoring an area constantly, devices can detect potential safety or security black spots, such as a very narrow cycle lane, heavy traffic at a busy junction, or children crossing the road near school bus stops. With the cameras identifying near misses, city planners can create a pedestrian crossing, install traffic lights or divert the traffic where needed to decrease the risk of a casualty.

Analyzing data can be our window into the future that will help to make the world a bit more sustainable and safe. Thus, it’s essential to collect as much data as we can. And until we’re ready to develop solutions that can predict and prevent scenarios, there are other systems that can be improved.

Keep it safe, clean and dry

For a city to be livable it needs to be low in health risks. City smog is one such risk. It can lead to irritated eyes and throats, and damage to the heart and lungs. Pollution detectors can spot changes in air quality caused by traffic, industrial activities, or weather, making it easier to take countermeasures. As an example, video-based traffic management in city centers can not only be used to verify the cause of the pollution, but can also be a tool to predict deterioration of air quality due to increased traffic. Such data can enable operators to make informed decisions about diverting or stopping traffic where necessary. The longer these data have been collected, the easier it is to make future predictions and plan ahead.

Poor air quality  isn’t the only factor that can have detrimental effects on health. Noise pollution is the second most dangerous environmental threat of the modern day and can cause serious physical effects such as high blood pressure, gastritis and even heart attacks. A combination of acoustic sensors, AI analytics and video cameras can help to monitor the level and the source of noise, which can then be verified via the video footage. This level of detailed information can help operators to reduce loud sounds where necessary – for example, by optimizing traffic flow on noisy streets – and develop a strategy to tackle noise pollution in future.

Sensors play an equally critical role in the waste sector. There are still communities that don’t have a functioning waste management system. But piles of rubbish can turn quickly into a health threat (e.g. rats, bacteria, diseases etc.), while also constituting a fire risk (e.g. flammable substances, paper, unextinguished cigarette ends). To prevent these potential dangers, sensors on municipal dump sites and recycling depots can measure the fill-level and send a signal that arranges the pick-up; while cameras and visual analytics can avert fire spreading by detecting smoke in time. It’s worth noting that rubbish doesn’t contribute to the city’s aesthetics either when it comes to livability.

However, weather-based issues can pose a different type of threat to citizens’ security and safety, but they are harder to predict. That’s where environmental sensors can help. Early-warning systems allow operators to detect and respond to disasters in a timely manner; for example, a real-time measurement system might detect rain, and the data analytics and forecasting software can calculate if there is a risk of flooding. In this instance, with the help of IP cameras, it is easy to track if the water has crossed a certain mark, a critical evacuation need for cities close to rivers. Furthermore, the sensors can also measure the water quality to identify pollution. While a minor flood could seem harmless, contamination can turn it into a threat to health and nature.

The future is safe and livable

There are many ways to make a city smarter, more sustainable and safer, all of which positively impact livability. Economic benefits close the circle by creating cost-efficiencies through smart technologies to leave the city with resources to invest in improving services such as public transport, emergency services, and maintaining and improving public spaces, all of which combine to make a city a more desirable place to live.

Learn how Axis cameras can be used within the smart city concept.

Smart city solutions

How hard should it be to design a surveillance system?

How hard should it be to design a surveillance system?

System integrators and designers are creating complete network surveillance solutions, using only Axis hardware and software. It’s an approach that improves efficiency and reliability in the design stage, as well as simplifying purchasing and installation.

A surveillance solution from Axis can be anything from a simple six camera set-up to a multi-site operation with hundreds of cameras and accessories. Whether it’s a small system or a big one, the designers are likely to be individuals with strong technical knowledge. And more often than not, they just want their tools to do their job as efficiently as possible.

As Business Development Manager at Axis, Mitch Mershon spends enough time with system integrators and designers to have a good idea of what they want. Most of the time it’s fairly straightforward: to be able to get on with their job.

“More experienced system integrators have really latched on to AXIS Site Designer, because it makes them more efficient. Instead of moving from website to website, finding the right equipment and checking their compatibility, they can get everything from one place – cameras, software, recorders, accessories, everything. For a lot of people, it means that they can design two sites a day when previously they might only have done one.”

Validated solutions

This efficiency comes, in part, from reliability. The combinations that can be put together on AXIS Site Designer have all been tested and validated to make sure that they work together. That means that system integrators don’t have to waste time checking compatibility, or even worse, purchasing unsuitable components.

“Even the most experienced system integrators will occasionally use a new product for the first time,” Mitch says. “AXIS Site Designer’s great in those situations because it removes any doubts about whether that product will work alongside the rest of the software and hardware. Even something as simple as a mount for a camera – AXIS Site Designer tells you if they’re going to fit together and takes any guesswork out of the equation.”

One device, one license…that’s all you need to know

At the heart of any good surveillance system you’ll find reliable video management software (VMS). AXIS Companion and AXIS Camera Station are easy-to-operate VMS options that bring together surveillance systems and get the most out of every component. One of the things that makes these VMS platforms so straightforward throughout the design, installation and operation stages, is their licensing structure.

“From a licensing perspective, we’ve made it just about as simple as it’s possible to make it,” explains Mitch. “You need one license per device, and that’s really all you need to know. We don’t use tiered pricing to limit functionality, so from day one, your license gets you access to everything. There’s no recurring fees or upgrade fees – our licenses are perpetual and will stay in place for as long as your system keeps going. The end-users appreciate having access to every function and application like this, and it definitely makes life a lot easier for site designers.”

Gather and share all information in one place

Devising an end-to-end solution in this way also makes it easy to produce all the documentation that system integrators need. On the customer side, AXIS Site Designer auto-generates everything from quotes to maps to bandwidth storage estimates. These can be important for the customer once their system is installed, but they can also be great sales tools, helping potential customers to visualize the coverage their new system will provide.

AXIS Site Designer’s documentation also makes purchasing more efficient. It automatically creates a bill of materials that can be exported and sent to the distributor, cutting out a process where errors might otherwise take place.

“It might sound like a small thing,” Mitch explains, “but purchasing can be a pain. If you have to produce a bill of materials with a long list of products, all with long product names, it’s really easy to make a few typing mistakes along the way. AXIS Site Designer just takes that task out of your hands, so the whole purchasing process becomes a lot smoother.”

Carina Leagues Club enhances social wellbeing with Milestone & Facial Recognition solution

Carina Leagues Club needed a better system for identifying individuals who had chosen to exclude themselves from licensed gaming venues to curb their gambling behaviours. They turned to systems integrator, Boss Surveillance Systems, a Milestone Platinum partner based in Queensland, to provide a sustainable solution.
The business challenge – to curb excessive gambling
Carina Leagues Club is a unique environment, with bistro, gaming, function, food and kitchen areas. Within it is a busy space open up to 22 hours per day and a lot of commercial activity, the Carina Leagues Club board required ‘every inch of the space’ to be covered by video cameras.

As General Manager Doug Wakefield describes, a big reason for the deployment is the fact that staff need to be protected from legislations which require them to recognise individuals who place themselves on the self-exclusion list for gambling. The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing in Queensland holds licensed clubs officially responsible for upholding the rules of the self-exclusion list, which in turn places the responsibility back on front-desk staff to recognise individuals as they enter the premises.

Self-exclusion is a voluntary program designed to curb damaging behaviours in individuals who have trouble with excessive gambling, and to promote responsible gaming. It applies to both online gambling sites and gaming venues, and offers a means for individuals to make sure they do not place themselves in situations where they are likely to lapse, and overspend on gaming machines or sports gambling.

As part of the free program, individuals can choose which venues, casinos or websites to be excluded from, then sign a deed listing the venues they agree not to enter for a minimum period. If venue staff see them in the gaming area of the venue, they will report the individual to the program and ask them to leave. At the end of the agreed period of the deed, the individual can choose to self-exclude for another period or apply to re-enter the gaming area of a venue.

Clubs are therefore held responsible for ensuring that individuals on the list adhere to the rules. They are required to recognise listed individuals as they enter the venue and ensure they do not breach the guidelines they have set for themselves. In some cases, an individual might be on the list for up to five years, which makes policing of these rules difficult for staff.

We need to protect our staff, as well as the best interests of these individuals, and we decided that the best way to go about that was using facial recognition at the front door.
General Manager Doug Wakefield
The Milestone Systems solution
Carina Leagues Club had previously chosen to work with Boss Surveillance Systems, after mixed experiences with other service providers. They chose Boss due to the integrator’s willingness to go the extra step, and present solutions about what is actually possible, rather than stopping at standard security installations and trying to count every cent. Boss Surveillance Systems were also chosen as the integration partner for this project due to their specialisation and wide-ranging experience in large-scale video deployments.

For their part, Boss had been working with Milestone’s XProtect platform for a number of years, having recognised that the open platform allowed for greater scope and flexibility with deployments, and allowed them to successfully integrate a greater number of solutions for their customers.

Imagus software was chosen as the facial recognition platform for the deployment, mainly due to the solution’s ability to pick up on lower quality images such as when a patron is moving towards a doorway outside the club, and in low-light areas. The Imagus software platform, owned by Vix Vizion, also has a deep integration with the Milestone platform, and an extensive portfolio of successful co-deployments. In this particular instance, the ability to recognise an individual the very moment they enter the premises is critical to giving staff an instant warning and allowing them to uphold the rules at the front desk.

The solution also required high-quality cameras to render the best possible images for the virtual environment. As Milestone is an open platform, Boss Surveillance was able to select the best partner for this project and chose to use Axis Communications devices, due to their superior image quality, they are able to provide in a wide range of light and other conditions.

Features of the Imagus solution that really sold it to us at Boss Surveillance included the ability of the end user to enrol somebody on their own, which is a really key point, as it allows the customer to go through the data and enrol someone on the system relatively quickly and easily.

The second key feature were the integrated alerts through the Milestone mobile client. This is hands-down the richest feature we have, as there are a lot of managers who need to know when certain individuals have arrived at the club.

Tony Levitt of Boss Surveillance Systems
The Imagus solution automatically identifies listed individuals as they enter Carina Leagues Club, sending an alert to staff via the Milestone Mobile Client, which allows them to discreetly interact with the individual to make sure they follow the rules they have set for themselves.
The integration between Imagus software and the Milestone Systems VMS is integral to the success of the deployment. In particular, the way the rules engine and the notifications work. We need instantaneous alerts – staff cannot be left waiting for five or more seconds to know that somebody has entered, because by then they will already be in the club. The entire solution hangs on the ability of the Imagus software to talk to Milestone’s platform and provide instant feedback.
Tony Levitt, Boss Surveillance Systems
The outcome – improving social safeguards
Following the deployment of Imagus Facial Recognition software on the Milestone XProtect™ platform and coupled with high-resolution Axis Communications video cameras, Carina Leagues Club has a state-of-the-art system capable of protecting staff, helping individuals stay on their self-imposed gambling exclusion programs and generally improving the wellbeing of club patrons.
The strong level of detail that Boss Surveillance brings to any deployment is something we admire and look forward to with each and every project on which we collaborate. This particular deployment exemplifies the wide-ranging potential for integrating high-level software with the open Milestone platform and creating cutting-edge solutions that improve safeguards for society.
Brett Hansen, Country Manager South Pacific at Milestone Systems
  • The customer: Carina Leagues Club
  • The Integrator: Boss surveillance systems – IT based systems integrator specializing in video, access control and facial recognition.
  • Solutions: Milestone XProtect™, Imagus Software
  • Hardware: Axis Communications cameras
Post: Jeam Lim
Communications Manager, APAC