Salto adds biocote to its locks - big image is Axis Q1798 doing face recognition in extreme low light conditions.

2020 was a year like no other, with challenges aplenty. But security people can take heart from the fact their rapidly evolving solutions have proved central to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only this, the pandemic has turbo-charged acceptance of technologies that have been knocking on the door for decades, including face recognition, analytics, cloud, and remote management functionalities.

You might think a year like 2020 would impact negatively on R&D, stemming the flow of new electronic security technology as manufacturers, end users and security integrators sought refuge in familiar solutions but that was not the case. Instead this intensely challenging 12 months not only stimulated supplier creativity, but opened the minds of users and integrators to whatever might now be possible.

There were plenty of COVID-19 specific solutions released in 2020 but what was interesting was how many other clever solutions were released. The nature of these products suggests the electronic security market’s future remains bolted to the operational outcomes of end users and their security integrators – outside of this fundamental, almost anything goes.

Security providers tweaked existing solutions within a matter of weeks to ensure the safety and security of their customers and more than any time in its long history, the electronic security industry discovered its rightful place at the core of security and life safety systems delivering automation and situational awareness in real time.

There were new things at the heart of 2020’s new products – AI and deep learning are definitely making their presence felt in multiple applications – but what we really saw was a leveraging of the latest evolutions of underlying technology. Simple things like robust, moderately fast internet, integration partnerships and the tweaking of management solutions by engineering teams that have reached a high state of polish. In fact, it’s hard to ignore the truth that networked solutions were the biggest thing to come out of 2020. They’ve been around a while but have never have they been pushed as hard as they were last year and that will continue in 2021.

In 2020 Inner Range released the Inception 3.2 firmware update which allows users to present biometric credentials, including face recognition, as well as traditional access cards to gain entry. With Inception 3.2 facial recognition, fingerprint scans and iris scans can all now be used as access credentials and this allows for more advanced security configurations for clients. Nirovision was one of the first to integrate its solution with Inception.

Inner Range’s new Multipath-IP T4000 Lite includes puts all the features of the original T4000 in a small form factor, with additional inputs and outputs. Connecting to the IR smartphone apps which provide push notification services, the T4000 Lite is bundled with a dual 4G SIM card on the Telstra and Optus networks, providing an additional layer of security if one network was to go down. The SkyCommand app allows the end user to control 3 built-in outputs which can be programmed to control areas in an alarm panel.

 

BriefCam released v5.6 of its video content analytics platform, which offers license plate recognition with searches and watch lists, people counting that can monitor and alert on the increase or decrease of people in a pre-defined range of view or area and track semi-obstructed people, a mobile app that allows users to pinpoint faces in video by using facial recognition capabilities to view and select faces found in videos and search for their appearances across other cameras and video content analytics beyond the confines of a centralized location using Investigator, Cloud Edition.

Axis body worn camera system features a mobile camera unit with Zipstream, docking station and system controller, and open system architecture that means integration with a broad range of video management systems and evidence management systems. The system is easy scalable for large and cost-efficient body worn systems. The system controller provides a single integration and management point and allows for fast and reliable video offloading (100Mbit per camera). All data is encrypted both at rest and in transfer using AES256 and TLS. In addition, video data can be fully end-to-end encrypted with specific integrations. Meanwhile, AXIS Body Worn Assistant mobile application allows users to review footage and add categories, descriptions and notes.

One of the best performing cameras we tested in 2020 was the AXIS P3245-LVE, which is an IP66 and IK10-rated 1080p dome camera with H.265 and H.264 compression, a 3.4–8.9mm F1.8 aperture varifocal lens, along with AXIS Lightfinder 2.0, Forensic WDR and OptimizedIR. degrees and rotation 175 degrees. This camera offered an excellent image – still with the slightly warm Axis tones but very sharp, with rich colours, subtle tones, excellent depth of field and a superlative catch rate of moving faces and plates in this form factor. The image is clean, depth of field is unusually strong, and it comes no loss of focus close in. Looking through the scene there’s excellent light balance and strong management of backlight with excellent control of exposure.

We also liked Hikvision’s SuperWide outdoor bullet and indoor turret with a field of view of 180 degrees, 120dB wide dynamic range (WDR) and built-in infrared technology for visibility of up to 10m at night.

When we visited Dahua a while back we heard a lot about the company’s products and complete end-to-end solutions based on deep learning that focuses on human and vehicle, providing intelligence, simplicity and inclusivity to users – WizSense technology offers accurate predictions before an event; instant deterrence during an event; quick target search after an event; storage saving while ensuring target details, and privacy protection and defence against attacks.

 

The technology analyzes human and vehicle shapes based on motion detection using a deep-learning algorithm that effectively filters out false alarms triggered by raindrops, leaves, pets, insects and light, allowing users to focus on real threats. WizSense is also equipped with face detection and face recognition features, instant deterrence functions and real-time push notifications with trigger type of human or vehicle will be sent to users, alerting them to verify the situation using video. Features like face image search and face attribute search can effectively improve the efficiency of target searching. WizSense also ensures high-level of cyber security using encryption algorithms that are certified by TÜV Rheinland and UL (Underwriters Laboratories).

Also new in 2020, VIVOTEK SD9374-EHL is the company’s latest professional IR speed dome camera with 4MP resolution, specifically designed to enhance video surveillance in large coverage areas. Equipped with 250 metre IR illuminators and a 36x optical zoom lens, the SD9374-EHL provides a high resolution image with 2560 x 1440 pixels. The SD9374-EHL also adopts VIVOTEK’s Smart IR II technology, Vari-Angle IR, which provides smooth vari-angle adjustment of the IR illuminators, allowing broad coverage FOV and highly uniform IR intensity while avoiding hotspots. There’s Trend Micro cyber security protection, H.265 compression technology and the camera has an IP66 and NEMA 4X-rated housing to protect against rain, dust, and corrosion.

We also liked the Hanwha Wave & Inner Range Inception Integration this year. It allows bi-directional control of both systems in one and is simple to use through Hanwha’s mobile app, Wisenet Wave. The integration incorporates features such as arming and disarming of the system and unlocking and locking doors on Inception from the Wisenet Wave mobile App. Video analytic triggers alarms, activating security inputs and emergency Icons on the Wisenet Wave Mobile App which then activate alarms on the Inception panel.

Ipsotek’s analytics-based proximity detection module for social distancing awareness came out in 2020. It alerts security teams or management to personal proximity that may pose a health risk in public or workspaces. Ipsotek’s VISuite AI tracks the GPS co-ordinates of all persons in the camera FOV in real time. VISuite AI can precisely calculate the distance between each person and generate snap alarms immediately the distance falls below 2m. It also accurately measures the time people were less than 2m apart, so if required, alarms are only generated for breaches over a prescribed period, E.g. 3 seconds, to identify people consciously engaging.

SCSI released Duress Watch, a smart wearable duress system designed specifically for sites such as large corporations like banks, as well as any location where the threat to staff is probable or common. Duress Watch operates and looks just like any other smart watch. It’s only when any level of duress alarm is activated that other staff in the location will receive a notification a team member requires assistance. Events are sent to a monitoring centre for appropriate action including audio/GPS detail. According to SCSI, Direct Connect and Duress Watch units are pre-programmed, ready for use, and include easy to follow user guides and web management portals.

Genetec Occupancy Management Package released in 2020 enables businesses to tap into their security system to count people, visualise data, and manage occupancy density rules. The Occupancy Management Package includes analytics and reporting tools that enable organisations to tap into their security system to count the number of people in a store or similar business area, visualise data, and alert employees when occupancy limits are being reached. Audit reports can also be easily produced to demonstrate a business’ compliance with physical distancing regulations. Genetec also unveiled clever integrations between its Security Center management system, SENSTAR and LIDAR in 2020.

 

Bosch INTEOX is a new camera platform built on the Android open source project (AOSP) that’s designed to give end users, system integrators and application developers freedom of customisation and development. The new open camera platform combines built-in intelligent video analytics from Bosch with AOSP giving the ability to add software apps securely. The new platform supports the latest technologies, such as neural network-based analytics, the next step in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Hikvision’s Acusense 4K fixed turret camera features 8MP resolution supported by Darkfighter technology to enhance low light performance, integrated IR, H.265 compression, 120dB of WDR, and a robust part-metal build that’s rated IP67 against water and dust. Acusense is more a solution than a camera – the key is Acusense technology – a deep learning algorithm able to distinguish pedestrians, vehicles and objects and report events based on rules around what they do. Video clips are sorted into categories – people and vehicles – users click one of these categories and use time or location data to quickly locate the clip they need.

VIVOTEK Crowd Control includes an edge-computing stereo counting camera, PoE switch, and network video recorder. The solution is designed to enable businesses to comply with social distancing regulations and maintain maximum occupancy as well as a safer and healthier environment during COVID-19. VIVOTEK’s Crowd Control Solution enables effective management of crowds in places where social distancing must be upheld. VIVOTEK’s 3D stereo counting camera provides precise tracking and a counting accuracy up to 98 per cent. This accuracy is further increased by the ability to transfer large datasets. Combining AI with deep-learning analytics, video data can be gathered, analyzed, and applied in real-time, enabling staffs to respond promptly to any change.

Alarm.com Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera (ADC-V723) with video analytics was released in 2020 – it’s more about the AI than outright camera performance here – it points the way to the future of smart homes. The video analytics can detect and alert home or business owners of any person, vehicle, or animal on their property.

BriefCam v5.6.1 unveiled its video content analytics platform, which allows contact tracing and enforcing of social distancing, v5.6.1 offers the ability to forensically review video to identify individuals who were in proximity to another individual for a determined duration of time, and to combine with face recognition and appearance similarity capabilities to determine if a person has been in contact with COVID-19 infected individuals. This enables users to quantify the proximity of people across time and location, compare across days and correlate with external data sources to ensure compliance with social distancing mandates.

Hikvision DS-2CD2347G1-LU 4MP ColorVu has a fast aperture F1.0 advanced lenses and high-performance sensors. There’s also 2688 x 1520 resolution at @30 fps, 120dB WDR and built-in mic and fixed lens options including 2.8mm, 4mm and 6mm. There are also 4 behaviour analysis functions are available with this model, including line crossing detection, intrusion detection, object removal detection, unattended baggage detection.

Dahua released DH-IPC-HDW8341X-BV-3D 3MP WizMind dual-lens IP67, IK10 network camera with behaviour detection in 2020. Dahua Perimeter Protection technology can recognize human and vehicle accurately. In restricted areas (such as pedestrian area and vehicle area), the false alarms of intelligent detection based on target type (such as tripwire, intrusion, fast moving, parking detection, loitering detection and gathering detection) are reduced. The deep learning algorithm and 3-dimensional scene information generated by Dahua Stereo Analysis technology can recognize people’s behaviours, such as fall detection, people approaching detection, people number error, stay detection, violence detection, and then generates alarm signals and triggers linkage.

Bosch introduced a software solution called Intelligent Insights that enables customers to use data in new ways to enhance situational awareness in real time. The software solution aggregates and visualizes metadata of one or multiple cameras in intuitive widgets to easily evaluate a complete scene, delivering via widgets for crowd detection, occupancy counting, area fill level, people counting, object counting and object positions. Intelligent Insights makes use of Bosch cameras’ built-in video analytics to interpret video images and collect metadata from cameras. This is collected, aggregated, and displayed using a series of pre-defined widgets to visualize the data. Intelligent Insights enables users to easily evaluate a complete scene covered by multiple cameras.

Bosch’s also released BVMS 10.1, a modular and resilient security system that aggregates and delivers consolidated data to security operators in a way that helps them make informed decisions – so they can trigger the right actions and deploy a swift response to improve security and safety. When combined with the Access Management System 3.0, BVMS enables security operators to scrutinize any person attempting to gain entry using manual video verification. Not only can the operator instantly verify if the person matches the registered cardholder in the database, they can also search for cardholder activities, and other activities at the door. This makes it possible to check who has entered a certain area, and at what time, which is especially helpful for forensic investigations.

Uniview is something of a quiet achiever in CCTV but its latest cameras have really stepped-up performance-wise. This year the company also released VMS-B180-A, a high-performance and highly cost-effective video management platform. VMS-B180-A is a physical device with a built-in desktop, so it works without a PC and it can greatly reduce costs and speed up deployments, while its 1U size allows a more flexible installation. To match UNV front-end products, it offers a face recognition solution, a face-based access control system and a license plate recognition solution as well.

Nx Witness VMS released the latest version of its cross-platform IP video management system (VMS) designed to discover, view, record, and manage IP video cameras so you can monitor, analyze and react to critical events in real-time with a very appealing once-off cost. Users can receive push notifications from multiple systems and turn on/off notifications as they please on their mobile device. Users can also create custom text for notifications in the rules engine via desktop client. In cloud and local server web admin makes it easy to keep any eye on the health of your system devices so you can be proactive in keeping your system up and running.

Interesting from Honeywell last year was Pro-Watch Intelligent Command, a web-based user interface that provides organizations complete situational awareness of their security system to protect people, property and assets. The compliance-driven, enterprise security software platform combines access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection and other business critical functions into a single user interface to help to optimize productivity and reduce operational costs. The platform allows end users to easily scale their enterprise security systems and is easy to deploy. Pro-Watch Intelligent Command is a key element of the Pro-Watch Integrated Security Suite. It can also help companies comply with new guidelines like social distancing and wearing masks to create healthier and safer building environments.

Digifort VMS released integrated drone operation with Aeroguard in 2020, allowing end users to liberate the power of aerial surveillance on their sites simply and economically. Developed to be completely integrated with the VMS Digifort, Aeroguard performs a simultaneous connection with an unlimited number of DJI brand drones, allowing unified management of drone operations through the Digifort VMS, in real-time, anywhere in the world. As it is completely integrated into the Digifort VMS system, existing features, such as operational maps, can be used to make a drone’s operation extremely refined.

Milestone Systems XProtect 2020 R3 added a new level of encryption from Microsoft called Cryptography New Generation (CNG) that the company said reaches the highest level of cybersecurity and data protection available. XProtect 2020 R3 also offers a new multi-category search function that makes finding specific video evidence easier and faster than ever. Multi-category search allows the operator to combine and search across multiple search categories such as people, vehicles and location, as well as any search agents developed and integrated into XProtect by third-party technology partners.

The best camera we tested in 2020 was the Axis Q1798-LE bullet, a 4K 10MP CCTV camera with a gigantic 4/3-inch sensor, a 12-48 Canon lens and Lightfinger 2.0 and Zipstream for H.264 and H.265 compression. Axis Q1798-LE bullet camera flexes some powerful specifications, starting with a 3712 x 2784-pixel 10MP resolution and a micro four thirds-sized sensor. Overall image quality is amazing – what shines through most is resolution, colour rendition, the AXIS-ish look of the image – slightly low contrast, very sharp, slightly warm tones. The huge resolution enhances depth of field. This level of performance is going to make the Q1748 ideal for ideal for VCA applications.

Also new in 2020 was the PowerG wireless outdoor magnetic contact with auxiliary input is a high-performance contact detector, perfect for protecting outdoor entries or exits, including perimeter gates, pool and garden enclosures, shed doors, windows, and more. This outdoor magnetic contact has a 2-way communication protocol, ensuring highly reliable, advanced security. It’s a robust device features back and front tamper-proofing and upcoming anti-obstruction capabilities unseen in the market. An extra-long transmission range makes it suited for very large properties. IP66 dust and waterproof rating ensures dependable operation in extreme environments. There’s a longlife battery and the operating temperatures range is -40 to 66C.

Senstar LM100 hit Australia last year. It’s a hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system, detects and then illuminates intruders at the fence line, while alerting a security management system. The system can sense vibrations caused by attempts to cut, climb or break through the fence, and it uses a wireless self-healing mesh communication network technology to relay intrusion information.

ICT’s developed Enterprise Muster functionality for Protege GX in 2020, designed to assist the management of staff during the COVID-19 epidemic. Enterprise Muster displays a live view of the users on site within specified areas. Utilizing the entry and exit readers associated with a door, the report creates a list of users that are present every 30 seconds. This comes in handy if you are tracking how many people are generally onsite during certain times throughout the day.

Calispa’s false alarm filtering platform was another favourite of 2020. Calipsa is video analytics software that uses the latest deep learning technology to remove up to 90 per cent of false alarms. The cloud-based platform comes with a range of intelligent features, including an alarm dashboard, which highlights alarm filtering statistics and delivers advanced reporting at a site and camera level, as well as camera management, includes masking and scheduling. Calipsa integrates with existing monitoring operations and software, adding a critical layer of video analytics.

New NEDAP Lumo ANPR is an all-in-one license plate camera, including embedded software, analyzer and IR illuminator with a range of action of 2 to 10 metres, the advanced camera ensures a smooth recognition of vehicles and typical applications include vehicle access control, automatic toll collection, free flow applications at parking facilities or other situations in which it not desirable to issue RFID tags. Deep learning algorithms enable a high accuracy in both regions with common license plate formats, like Europe, and non-standardized license plate formats, such as the USA and Pacific region. In addition, the ANPR Lumo can recognize ADR Hazard Identification Numbers (HIN), also known as Kemler Codes, that are used for road transport of dangerous goods.

HID’s new Signo pin and proximity range of HID physical access control products support past, present and future technologies and is perfect for transitioning to secure authentication technologies which includes mobile credentials. The readers can be remotely managed via the HID reader manager app which empowers installers to make necessary changes anytime, anywhere reducing site visits and costs. These readers come in 2 different profiles either the slimline reader or the wide profile reader, both available in a keypad version, and are compatible will all high frequency technologies with mobile capabilities straight out of the box.

SALTO Systems released the SALTO NEO Cylinder in 2020 – a new electronic cylinder designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible. NEO can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, sliding doors and more. NEO Cylinder’s IP66 rating makes it suitable for outdoor use. The re-engineered clutch system design also makes efficient use of energy, dropping consumption to low levels – 110,000 cycles with just one set of batteries. Offering a choice of credentials, SALTO JustIN Mobile technology gives users and system administrators the capability to send or receive a mobile key to open any door or gate installed with a SALTO NEO Cylinder with their iOS or Android Bluetooth or NFC-enabled smartphone.

Also new in 2020 is Nedap NVITE Multi-Technology Access Reader is a multi-technology IP65 reader that enables contactless identification and supports a wide range of credentials such as MIFARE (DESFire), HID iCLASS, Prox cards, QR codes, BLE, NFC and more. NVITE is the perfect match when enabling multiple credentials at a door for a variety of users such as staff, tenants and visitors. The diverse range of supported credential technologies allows for easy retrofitting to sites that wish to continue using current credentials. NVITE reader communicates with existing access control systems on a site as it supports industry standard protocols, such as Wiegand, RS485 – with OSDP support for secure communication between the NVITE and the controller. Authentication is based upon AES 128-bit encryption algorithm.

Interesting, too, is ASSA ABLOY Incedo Business connects all ASSA ABLOY security software and hardware within one access management platform allowing initiating, cancelling or amending access profiles, and monitoring movement around a site in real time. Building users get the individual access times and entry permissions they need and can move freely without compromising the security of other people and equipment. Integrators can upgrade connected technologies and systems quickly, minimizing risk and meeting customers’ raised expectations of modern technology. Installers no longer need to wrestle with incompatible systems because easy interoperability is built into Incedo, meaning no more delays or unnecessary complexity.

Other neat things that came out after COVID-19 included the X2 Touchless Exit Buttons (proximity sensing) feature a blue/green LED indicator and an adjustable sensor range between 1 and 10cm mounted on a high quality 304 stainless steel panel. Specs include dimensions of 115 x 70 x 25mm, 304 stainless steel construction, 12~24V DC input, Range 1-15cm adjustable, NO/NC and COM communications, 100,000 cycle tested lifespan, standby colour blue, activated colour, green.

Another was the Paradox Parador hands-free vertical entry/exit detector is designed to automate high traffic area doors and help staff return to a safer working environment. Features include adjustable lens position (0° or 10°), selectable operational voltage (12Vdc or 24Vdc), adjustable alarm signal duration, detection of hand-sized objects for card access applications: 2.1m x 1.5m, detection of body-sized objects for security applications: 6m x 4.5m.

Meanwhile, SALTO added BioCote to its Neo lock cylinder in 2020 to offer buildings additional protection against microbes and help create a safer environment in healthcare and other high traffic environments. The compact new SALTO Neo Cylinder is a compact smart door lock cylinder equipped with wireless access control technology. BioCote is an antimicrobial agent that contains silver-ions which are engineered to provide continuous, built-in protection on SALTO product surfaces and hardware devices like the XS4 smart door lock range, SALTO Neo electronic cylinders, XS4 locker locks, or SALTO wall readers.

Alarm.com made on-site installations easier in 2020 with the Alarm.com MobileTech app, which streamlines access to essential tools, commands, and diagnostics used during on-site installation and system set-up. Using MobileTech, installers can decrease time on-site, raise installation quality, increase accuracy, and reduce the need for support calls. They can also stay up to date on Alarm.com products with access to Release Notes and the Alarm.com Tips and Tools Podcast from the home screen. It’s now also possible to quickly and easily scan important device information, such as module serial numbers and video device MAC addresses from its barcode using the MobileTech app.

A key release for many users last year was Gallagher’s Proximity and Contact Tracing Report, which gave Gallagher customers critical information to manage exposure and protect the health and safety of people on site. Understanding just how critical this utility is for organizations around the world, Gallagher made its Proximity and Contact Tracing utility available to customers free of charge during the pandemic. The Proximity and Contact Tracing Report enables organizations to quickly and accurately identify areas where a person with a contagious virus has been on site. It also identifies all other cardholders who shared these areas and therefore may have an elevated risk of infection. This information enables organizations to act rapidly and inform affected employees of the risk of infection, allowing them to take action, seek testing, and minimize spread of the virus.

Also new for 2020 was Tecom ChallengerLEPlus, a compact, cost-effective intrusion with a small footprint that integrates via UltraSync and allows installation in tight locations. Despite the small size, ChallengerLEPlus contains native Ethernet, mobile app support, C-Bus* integration, 3G and 4G expansion module support and management software connectivity. It also offers a secure, encrypted connection to your monitoring station via UltraSync, as well as a mobile app that gives you push notifications and the ability to manage and control your system from anywhere, at any time.

SecurePass by Healthsafe was integrated into Inner Range’s Integriti security and access control system in 2020 to provide a comprehensive visitor and site management solution (VSMS). Fully scalable from an entry level solution to manage all staff and visitors onsite to full site management of contractors and the associated governance/compliance required for them to be carrying out works on a multi-site environment. It replaces the traditional visitors sign in book right up to contractor compliance, site inductions, emergency mass notifications, GPS tracking, geo fencing and more. The deep integration to Integriti allows for high level communication of emergency, access control, video analytic events to create alerts and notifications within the SecurePass VSMS.

The new INTREPID MicroPoint-POE-S Fence Detection Systems were released at SAGE 2020. These IP-based POE intelligent perimeter intrusion detection solutions are ideal for fence applications with cut-or-climb intrusion risks. MicroPoint-POE-S employs proprietary digital signal processing algorithms to precisely locate intrusion attempts to within 1.1 m (3.6 ft.) while ignoring harmless disturbances caused by wind, rain or vehicle traffic. MicroPoint-POE-S combines 2 decades of field-proven MicroPoint fence sensor performance with simplified, secure TCP/IP network integration via a single Ethernet cable for power and data transmission. The system’s inherent POE capabilities and IP connectivity for communications translate to measurable cost and time-savings benefits to both systems integrators and end users.

HID Global Seos credential technology was integrated into the Nymi Band 3.0 users to seamlessly open doors and authenticate to systems, devices and machines. The Nymi Band is a workplace wearable wristband that, once authenticated, offers the convenience of continuously authenticating the identity of the user until it’s removed from the wrist. This delivers zero-trust security principles and access control using convenient fingerprint and heartbeat biometrics to users seeking touchless authentication. As well as access control, Seos technology enables the Nymi Band 3.0 to be used for applications ranging from secure intelligent print collection and social distancing and contract tracing to contractor and visitor management, canteen and vending machine payment, and secure remote working.

Gallagher’s Operator Online Course was released in 2020 and it trains users, operators, installers and integrators on the company’s security solution, building an understanding of viewer panels, toolboxes, cardholder management, contextual reporting, alarm management and effective use of site viewers hand-in-hand with a hardware simulator. It’s a conceptual integration that delivers learning with a real synthesis of software and hardware. The core elements of the course are built around modules, which include Navigating Viewer Panels, Tile Toolboxes for Viewers, Cardholder Management, Mifare Card Assignment, Alarm Management, The Monitor Site Viewer, Reporting and Contextual Reporting. The course concludes with a practical simulation featuring virtual machines that allows students to undertake predetermined exercises in a safe training environment to enhance comprehension and develop their skills.

Another strong local release in 2020 was Critical Arc’s SafeZone provides response teams with a complete common operating view, to enhance the protection of dispersed people, facilities, and assets, while delivering big efficiency savings. The SafeZone App enables users to call for help in seconds, while providing safety and security teams with their information, which can speed response by 50 per cent or more. SafeZone also supports mass notification, enterprise safety protocols and enables people to quickly summon help with their smartphone wherever organizations have duty of care. SafeZone increases the overall efficiency and effectiveness of security and response teams across large and dynamic environments at any location globally. Through real-time visualization, communications and response coordination, SafeZone creates a new benchmark for protecting your community that streamlines operations, is easy to use and quick to deploy to meet current and future challenges.

Our industry came if age last year. Tested to its limits by a global pandemic, security solutions stood their ground and manufacturers and suppliers moved fast to ensure users retained complete control of their security and life safety systems. Even as COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll out globally, it’s obvious that in 2021 and beyond, electronic security solutions are going to need to deliver considerably more control and reporting to end users than ever before.

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