Project Spotlight : Subtropolis License Plate Recognition (LPR) Project

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Hunt Midwest Subtropolis is well known by the people in Kansas City. It’s the largest underground business complex in the world.

They boast over 6 million square feet of space available to lease and over 8 miles of underground roads. The complex offers many amenities that are advantageous to businesses. These include year-round temperate climate and 24/7 security staff. This definitely helps client satisfaction for Hunt Midwest.

Like most businesses, Subtropolis is using technology to do more with less.

Hunt Midwest provides security for the entrances to the facility. We usually say that security and convenience don’t mix. If Hunt Midwest wants to provide more security, they could restrict the number of entrances. But since there are less available entrances, it would decrease convenience, possibly creating lines.

This is where technology can come to the rescue.

Hunt Midwest Subtropolis - License Plate Recognition ProjectThe complex has a limited number of entrances and constant lighting that is a great case for License Plate Recognition (LPR). This allows them to have more security than unmonitored entrances, but still provide convenience to their customers.

Kenton Brothers teamed up with Hunt Midwest to provide an Avigilon LPR system that allows the staff to track cars and trucks entering the facility. Not only does this provide and tracked log of vehicles, but it has also vastly improved the times needed to search for video by creating a database of licenses plates linked to the recorded video.

Now, Hunt Midwest can track when and how many times a vehicle has entered the facility. Investigations that might have taken hours or days can now be done in minutes.

Avigilon LPR

Avigilon LPR is analytic software that runs on a server. Unlike some solutions where you need to purchase a specialized camera with specialized software and IR illuminators, Avigilon LPR can run on any camera compatible with their video management system. This allows us to pick the best cameras for the application.

Hunt Midwest Subtropolis - License Plate Recognition Project Hunt Midwest Subtropolis - License Plate Recognition Project

Since lighting is constant in the underground, we did not need special IR illuminators or Wide Dynamic Range. Once we reach a sufficient number of pixels on a license plate, the system will automatically tag the video with the license plate number and a confidence rating of the reading. Tags can be searched using an exact match or wildcards.

LPR, like several other technologies, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning to increase confidence and accuracy. AI tech is finally reaching the masses, and recent advancements are lowering prices to make LPR and other technologies obtainable to solve business problems like mixing security with convenience.

Commercial IP Video Surveillance – 2019 Technology Update [VIDEO]

Avigilon CameraBy David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Avigilon – Pushing the Envelope!

Avigilon has started 2019 with a bang! They announced several new offerings including the new H4 multisensor camera. Also, they’ve announced the expansion of the Appearance Search™ analytic offering and their continued refinement of their Artificial Intelligence appliance.

This video runs through several of the newest features of Avigilon hardware and software. (Look inside for the surprise introduction of Motorola products to the line!)

Kenton Brothers Inc. is proud to represent Avigilon and it’s cutting edge, always evolving technology. For a demonstration in our state-of-the-art multimedia showroom please contact us today!

IP Video Surveillance: Axis Communications and What’s New for 2019 [VIDEO]

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers Presents Axis Communications and what’s new for 2019.

Technology changes our world on a daily basis. It’s crazy how quickly new technology hits the market and the impact it has on business. The security industry in no different. Partners, like Axis Communications, do a great job listening to feedback, testing and manufacturing new technology on a constant basis.

This video goes through some of the most exciting IP Video Surveillance updates for 2019. Including the new Q61PTZ camera, the Axis D2050 Radar Assisted IP Video Surveillance technology, the Q1785 and Q1786 bullet cameras and finally the Q9106 anti ligature camera!

As an Axis Communications Gold Partner, Kenton Brothers can help you navigate the solutions available to meet your needs. Give us a call today!

Get Your Camera On: A Guide to Commercial Video Surveillance – Part 2

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

You see it or read about it every day in the news:

“Information is Being Sought In Burglary Case of a Local Business”
“Local Business Broken Into, Alleged Thieves Caught On Camera”
“Local Mans Business Broken Into Through Hole In Wall”

Video SurveillanceIt happens so much these days that many times, we don’t even stop to read the details. For those of us that have been victims of theft, it changes the way you see the world. For a few of us, theft can deal a brutal blow to your business and cost you your livelihood.

Security and Video Surveillance are now necessities for businesses.

Businesses must protect their assets from theft and fraud. In our previous blog, we discussed the reasons why you must have video surveillance. If you would like to know why you need commercial video surveillance, I recommend you read it.

Since that blog published, we’ve received many questions on the specifics around security cameras for businesses or commercial video surveillance. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of those questions and give our recommendations or answers to these questions.

Do I really get any benefits from a Commercial Video Surveillance System?

Yes! If properly designed and installed by a professional integrator such as Kenton Brothers Inc. Your first benefit will be peace of mind. The video cameras and signage that Kenton Brothers Inc. provides would be an immediate deterrent for theft, vandalism and fraudulent claims. Even if the business does suffer from one of these incidents, you’ll have forensic evidence to help catch a perpetrator or act as a witness to a fraudulent claim.

Many businesses also see increased employee production as a benefit of installing commercial video surveillance. Some commercial insurance companies will even reduce rates on your insurance for installing a security and commercial surveillance system.

So, what’s the difference between CCTV and IP Video Surveillance?

Video Surveillance - ResolutionThe biggest difference between CCTV cameras and IP Cameras is the resolution. The very best CCTV (analog) cameras can only record up to 720 dpi (dots per inch). An IP camera can record more than 30 million dots per inch. Basically, the IP cameras are sharper and give you more detail in your recorded image. To clearly see and identify the subjects in the camera, you need to have as many pixels as possible.

Video Surveillance - ResolutionThe second largest difference between CCTV and IP Video Surveillance is the intelligence of the camera. IP Video Surveillance cameras are basically small computers with a lens. This allows the IP Video Surveillance cameras to do things such as report camera status and health, detect motion, count customers, detect smoke, detect temperature differences, record shopping heat maps, detect wrong way movement, detect gunshots and even detect when someone has left a package behind. Some IP Video Surveillance cameras even utilize artificial intelligence to learn from what it views. For example, detecting whether the motion it sees is an animal or a human. The animal is recorded and a human would trigger an alarm and then dispatch security or police.

IP Video Surveillance systems take power from and record over a network. These network recording devices can be housed anywhere, even off-site, including in the Cloud. CCTV systems record to a DVR that would be housed on-site and would be vulnerable. An IP Video surveillance system compresses the video recording allowing for longer recording time and stores the recorded image at its full 2-30 megapixel resolution. CCTV systems tend to record at 480 by 640 resolution.

Cost and Compatibility. It’s true that CCTV systems tend to be less expensive than IP Video Surveillance systems. However, the benefits of higher quality images, higher quality recordings and intelligent cameras far outweigh the differences in price. Additionally, IP Video Surveillance systems can be configured and integrated with your other business systems such as intrusion detection systems, point of sale machines, productivity programming and even time and attendance.

How many cameras do I need?

This question comes up a lot! It’s a great question… that’s not easy to answer without doing a complete site survey. For no charge, trained security consultants from Kenton Brothers Inc. will do a free site assessment and IP Video Surveillance design for any business that would like to add Commercial Video Surveillance.

Generally speaking, you want a camera at every entry and exit point of your business as well as one over any critical high value assets you may have. Additionally, you need a camera on any production or manufacturing areas and employee gathering spots. You will also want cameras in your common public areas. (This would be a good time to mention that you can’t put cameras in areas that a person would have a reasonable right to privacy such as a bathroom or nursing room.)

What role does cybersecurity have with my commercial video surveillance system?

The news is riddled with stories about how hackers have used vulnerabilities in “off the shelf” video surveillance systems to breach business data. This is a big problem and isn’t just a video surveillance issue. One of the largest data and credit card information hacks ever committed occurred through a heating and air conditioning module on a network that wasn’t managed correctly.

Professional installers, such as Kenton Brothers Inc. and the manufacturers we partner with, make specific recommendations and incorporate specific processes to manage vulnerabilities. Kenton Brothers Inc. will design the proper network structure, implement security configurations, update passwords (never leaving a default password in place) and install patches when released. These are part of a larger strategy we employ to keep your business data safe.

Here is one of the resources we use to “harden” your video Surveillance system (PDF). This PDF was created by one of our trusted partners Axis Communications.

Is there really a difference between the systems you install and one that I can buy at my local warehouse wholesale store?

YES. If you take nothing more from this blog, please remember this: There’s a huge difference in the quality, capabilities and cybersecurity between an off-the-shelf system and one professionally designed and installed by a certified integrator such as Kenton Brothers Inc.

Next month, in part 3 of this video surveillance series, we’ll discuss the types of cameras on the market and how you would use them!

RADAR for the Masses. Making your video surveillance more intelligent.

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Today, I want to show you some new products from Axis Communications.

Axis Q6125-LE

The first is an Axis Q6125-LE. It’s a new PTZ (Point-Tilt-Zoom) that has built-in IR. This is a first for Axis. IP Cameras have had IR illuminators for a while, but the challenge with a PTZ is using enough IR illumination to reach the target when it’s far away and not blasting the target with IR illumination when it’s very close.  You can see in this video how the man’s face is overexposed when he gets close to the camera. (Note that this is an example of overexposure, not how the Axis camera performs.)

Axis overcomes this challenge, by using multiple IR illuminators inside the Q6125-LE. Each IR illuminator is faded in or out based on the zoom level of the lens. This feature is in addition to the other standard features in Axis Q series PTZ cameras like auto tracking and speed dome technology and Axis is including analytics like Fence Guard and Loitering guard.

We’ll see some of those technologies in upcoming blogs. This PTZ camera fits nicely into Axis’s line up.

Axis D2050-VE

The next product we’re excited about is Axis’s new D2050-VE. This is a totally new technology for Axis.

Axis Radar CamerasIt’s a radar paired with a PTZ. The radar can detect people and vehicles in a 120-degree arc for a little over 160 feet. It can still be connected to your video management software, but the image shows all the things that the radar is tracking, instead of an image of the tracked item. The radar does not need light and can “see” through fog and other conditions that would normally prevent camera footage.

With a PTZ the radar becomes even more useful. It will tell the PTZ the location of the object or objects, so the PTZ can keep them in view. Although many Axis PTZs have auto-tracking, they will not see other items that appear when auto-tracking is engaged. The radar always has a 120-degree field of view and will tell the PTZ about the other objects in the area.

Axis is rapidly expanding on the firmware of the D2050-VE, recently they have added an accuracy rating, which tells you how sure the object is a car or person, and speed filters to alert when a car is moving too fast. The application for the Axis D2050-VE is in private areas where advanced detection is required. Coupling the radar with a PTZ adds identification to the detection that the radar already gives.

We’re excited about the possibilities that the Axis Q6125-LE and D2050-VE bring to our customers!