ONE of the big
challenges of getting remote video monitoring of alarm events into a large
number of premises has been handling the necessary interoperability required to
get video from the user to the operator’s screen.

It might sound
easy but when you’re getting an alarm-generated video signal out of a premises,
across a comms network, through a receiver and into the control room, there’s a
hell of a lot of work to be done.

According to
Suretek’s Luke Kavanagh, the release of RemoteGUARD at Security 2009 Exhibition
will meet a growing a need in the monitoring market for video verification.

“We believe
verification is where it is going with alarm monitoring – the police are
interested in it – it’s huge in other countries – the US and the UK,” explains
Kavanagh.

“With RemoteGUARD
we’re leapfrogging to where we believe the market will be in the near future.
And the real buzzword with video verification is interoperability. Users want a
single system they can use and maintain and with RemoteGUARD we’re delivering just
that.”

According to
Kavanagh, RemoteGUARD is a solution, not something you buy in a box. 

“The RemoteGUARD solution
is an end-to-end secure remote video monitoring service that combines a Mobotix
megapixel camera and Suretek’s RemoteGUARD module integrated into CAMs (and soon
ASW) alarm monitoring software.

“We’re partnering
with Mobotix and as part of this we’ve integrated the Mobotix camera into the RemoteGUARD
software platform,” he explains.

“The way the
system works at the client end is that cameras are routed into an ADSL service
in the client’s network room or rack giving access to cameras from the
monitoring station,” Kavanagh says.

“In terms of
setting this up, all the cameras have a default IP address and the installer
plugs their laptop into the router and the Mobotix software in the laptop picks
up all the Mobotix cameras on that network for programming.

“As well as
designating network ports for remote access you also use the Mobotix software
to set parameters for alarm events using the camera’s detection zones,” says
Kavanagh.

“Depending on
your needs, you can set 2 zones and have the alarm activate only for movement
in a particular direction. You can set for speed – or you can target size –
there are lots of smart things you can do with Mobotix cameras and the overall
solution is intelligent – it’s not like a simple alarm sensor.”

In terms of
actually setting up a working system, Kavanagh says the monitoring centre needs
to be set up first.

“The monitoring
centre needs to have the RemoteGUARD module integrated to their automation
software,” he explains. “They then need the receiving equipment set up in their
monitoring centre to connect to the RemoteGUARD connection.

“If the control
room has been set up for RemoteGUARD it can connect to any new or legacy
Mobotix camera installed in the field that is linked to any WAN.”

According to
Kavanagh, from the perspective of the control room when an alarm is activated,
events will appear on the same screen they would in a standard CAMS-based control
room.

“The way it works
is that there’s an alarm event with video attached to it on a single screen,”
he explains. “The operators double click the alarm event and if there is video
attached the event will have a Mobotix Tab showing video is available.

“When you pull
down the Mobotix tab you get a list of the cameras that are available at that
site. Cameras can then be pulled up in multiple viewing sizes.”

As Kavanagh
explains, the monitoring centre will be monitoring alarm events and video
events from the same software. The video event will appear as a standard alarm
event but the operator will have the option of video there. The system will
capture and store the event that caused the alarm and the operator can then
visit the site via live footage.

What’s so neat
about this solution is the fact in effectively melds cameras and widespread
monitoring software in a way that’s never been possible before.

“All RemoteGUARD
information will be received by any one of more than 70 control rooms in
Australia running the Suretek SG2 receiver via a typical communications
gateway,” Kavanagh says.

“From the
perspective of a monitoring station, optioning up to handle the RemoteGUARD
service will involve a software upgrade and anyone with an SG2 will then be
able to provide RemoteGUARD monitoring.”  

Kavanagh says
that at the monitoring station end there is some training involved.

“RemoteGUARD is
not like actioning a basic alarm and it’s important that operators follow
standard operating procedures rather than making interpretative decisions,” he
explains.

“As well as
monitoring stations needing to be set up, installers need to be trained on the
Mobotix product and we’ll be partnering with Mobotix in training installers on camera
installation as well as training them in the workings of the RemoteGUARD
module.

“Once this
training is complete they’ll become RemoteGUARD-certified installers.”

According to
Kavanagh, alarm verification is only one side of the RemoteGUARD solution.

“The other side
will be virtual tours,” he explains. “Companies spend a lot of money sending
guards out on site once or twice a night. With RemoteGUARD they’ll be able to
get the benefit of these tours while saving money as they’ll be handled remotely
using the Mobotix cameras.

“The virtual patrol
can be programmed at say, 3am and 5am. At these times CAMs will create an event
which will be designated as a virtual patrol and when the operator actions the
event, the system will go through the process of the virtual patrol via a
number of camera views.”

Video
verification and virtual tours allow end users to leverage surveillance systems
more completely.

“A site may only
connect a couple of its internal cameras to RemoteGUARD for video verification
while another 3 or 4 perimeter cameras are used for virtual tours,” Kavanagh
explains.

Kavanagh says
that what makes RemoteGUARD different is a secure connection end-to-end, an
independent data centre monitoring that connection end-to-end and the fact the system
is available to more than one monitoring centre.

“RemoteGUARD is
open to all monitoring centres and to all installers and we have focused on
making this as easy as possible from an installation point of view,” he says.

“We’re looking
forward to talking a lot more about RemoteGUARD at Security 2009 in a few weeks
time.”

“The real buzzword with video verification is interoperability. Users want a single system they can use and maintain and with RemoteGUARD we’re delivering just that”