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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?

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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.”

THE SAMSUNG ROBOT DOG CONCEPT!

Most robotic pets focus on being “cute”. Cicco’s Gaetano Dog-Bot concept focuses on functionality.

The Turin-based designer chose Samsung as the corporate endorsement for the faceless android canine, which has an interactive display for a “face,” which transmits information through simple graphics such as exclamation points, dots, and lights.

Samsung Dog-bot Concept, futuristic surveillance smart mascot

Renders show that he identifies and chases a ball; We figured it would be even more useful for scouring the grounds, identifying intruders, and other potential threats.

Cicco’s futuristic  Samsung  Dog-Bot  by Gaetano  expresses emotions on the screen with question or exclamation marks. 

While other smart domestic pets are designed to create an emotional bond with their owners, the Samsung Dog-bot clearly takes on an uncomfortable cyborg look and prioritizes its functionality as an outdoor surveillance dog.

futuristic surveillance smart samsung mascot visualized by gaetano de cicco6