Monitoring

Clearfix
Mon
10
Jun
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Are Hybrids The Future Of Monitoring

IT has taken perhaps 15 years for wide area IP connectivity to become central to business operations but today loss of IP networks means business grinds to a halt. The centrality of digital communications, its ubiquitousness and the certain disconnection of old comms paths guarantees us an IP future.
There are multiple considerations here and it's quite possible that like the CCTV industry the alarms industry will see an extended period of hybridisation, with new installations being full digital and older ones jumping onto networks using some form of encoding. 
In either case IP alarm monitoring is not a choice, it's inevitable. Telcos want to see the back of analogue and the reason for this is lack of bandwidth. Digital comms which can be compressed and rebuilt and readily pumped about through 1GB Cat-6, fibre, or 3G and 4G wireless links, is more compact. This is an important consideration. 
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Sun
21
Apr
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Personal Emergency Response: Opportunity Knocks

And something else many PERS solutions do is limit themselves to supporting the elderly in relatively fixed environments. A typical aged care monitoring solution is generally a number of wrist or necklace pendants that communicate by wireless (around the 900MHz range), with a controller in a central location in the home. 
Depending on the system, the pendants can offer wearers local support at ranges of up to several hundred metres but comms is often limited to a call for help with no duplex voice and there’s no triangulation or GPS support that might allow responders to quickly find a person near but outside their home.  
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Mon
04
Mar
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Alarm Systems Finally Integrating Intelligence

IP has found the alarms industry at long last and rather than being a dreadful bogeyman heralding the beginning of the end, it actually ushers in a 5-year opportunity for installers to upgrade hundreds of thousands of existing alarm panels and to grow their businesses exponentially as the IP transition turbo-charges sales. 

I have much love and respect for the original Australian-made key-drive Solution panels, the ground-breaking Ness 5000s and all the rest of those pioneers of the 1980s and 1990s. They were great systems, reliable and for their time, very capable. But there’s no longer any real excuse for continuing to sell customers what amounts to all-analogue intrusion detection technology. The next generation of systems can and must offer significantly more. 
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Mon
08
Oct
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Monitoring: Changes Keep Coming

FOR Australian alarm installers and monitoring stations there’s been a long hot summer of rebates linked to the PSTN network that over the next couple of years is going to come increasingly unstitched. This next period is one that will challenge the ingenuity and business capabilities of many companies. 
Last issue I talked about AT&T’s security and home automation play, a business model that entirely excludes third party installers and monitoring stations and gives home owners a level of automation and integration our industry does not afford them. 
It’s impossible to imagine that the United States is the only place on the planet this sorts of bundled telco services are going to be implemented. There’s no doubt in my mind that such services will find their way to Australia – furthermore, that such services are already being planned by vigorous IP-based service providers. 
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Sun
09
Sep
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Monitoring Market Ripe For Digital Revolution

YOU don’t have to look too far around the electronic security industry to see that things are in a state of flux, with almost no technology layer untouched by IP solutions and increasingly pervasive networked interfaces. 
Yet somehow basic alarm products have escaped the paradigm shift in the market. Sure – alarm systems now have onboard or after market SIM support allowing secure IP monitoring using GPRS but the underlying alarm technology has not altered one iota and that’s not a good thing. 
I love the idea of remotely addressable alarm sensors residing on secure networks that operate as edge devices, sensing intrusion, taking snapshots of events, monitoring environmental parameters and self-reporting alarm events. The technology to build know-all sensors certainly exists but the nature of the global domestic alarms market is so drear in terms of creativity, that we still see nothing but one-dimensional technologies. 
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Tue
21
Aug
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Considerations Of Video Monitoring

THERE’S no doubt whatever that technology is now capable of delivering video verification and alarm monitoring in real time over existing networks. Thanks to H.264 and the advent of low cost, high resolution cameras equipped with IR capability, getting usable images down the line is a straightforward process. 
To me there’s more capability in remote video monitoring than we are currently seeing, especially given the technology offers monitoring stations the ability to deliver a drop-in service, where operators will call up a customer camera if an alert button is pressed and keep an eye on a situation – perhaps in a late night retail store. Another neat application is delivery of video for monitoring of an opening/closing or arming/disarming event.
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Wed
18
Jul
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Alarm Monitoring Goes Sideways

WE’VE been talking about the divergent paths that are looming for the monitoring industry for a while now and a recent spate of alliances, new applications and technology releases suggests many of the opinions we espoused were on the mark. And it’s about time, too. 
I think it’s fair to say that monitoring has been in the doldrums for many years. The dollar-a-day business model combined with one-way dialler technology and telco rebates has been a real killer of innovation for our monitoring industry. Rather than value adding for end users, dialler alarms are set-and-forget recurring revenue devices.
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Tue
06
Mar
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Remote Video Monitoring Cuts Theft

WE’VE been talking up video monitoring for a few years now – in more recent times this has been motivated by NSW Police’s decision to attend alarms where intrusion is confirmed by video verification. It’s compelling news to find that the sort of the video verification solutions we’d like to see more of are proving themselves in the field. 
According to Richard Day from building products supplier James Burrell (which manages the Ossett site) builders’ merchants carry an extensive and valuable range of products stored on large premises that are open to everyone. 
“Traditionally, builders’ merchants have been a prime target for thieves because of the sheer volume of materials on site. However, as a result of more up-to-date systems and stock management procedures, the criminals have now focused their efforts away from daylight hours to the hours of darkness and weekends when merchants are closed for business.”
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Mon
29
Aug
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Monitoring: Weathering A Perfect Storm

NOT surprisingly, the electronic security industry’s central powers – ASIAL and the Australian Standards Alarms Sub Committee – face an uphill battle over the next few years. While the NBN Co is now a little more forthcoming on issues relating to getting alarm systems onto its broadband network, the processes required to achieve this remain nebulous.

It’s tempting to go so far as to suggest the expertise necessary to handle the issues the alarm monitoring industry faces is so thin on the ground that outsiders are needed to resolve them. Reports circulating after recent meetings to discuss challenges suggest confusion reigns with little understanding and less agreement.

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Wed
17
Aug
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Untapped Potential In Wireless Monitoring

WHEN we talk about wireless monitoring solutions in Australia it’s almost exclusively GSM/GPRS we are talking about, which is generally deployed as a secure comms path with a high poll rate for a fixed cost. But given all that’s required by a wireless reporting unit is power, it’s easy to see that there are plenty of opportunities for growing the recurring revenue in areas like monitoring of cars, boats, caravans, industrial equipment, electronic devices and other high cost goods. 
Vehicle tracking and recovery remains the major application area for wireless M2M communication in the security industry, using devices that combine GPS and GSM/GPRS technologies. The main markets in terms of units and value include tracking of sports cars, luxury passenger cars and commercial vehicles. 
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