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Access control systems in particular generate alarms such as invalid badges, door forced and door held events. Those events need to be investigated, but the task of doing so with a standalone surveillance system is painful. Receive an alarm on one system, and your operator has to move to another complete system to investigate. This surveillance system has a different user interface and so he/ she has to "switch gears." Then, which camera do you call up to view the scene?
IP Technology Video and Access Control Integration Why your access and surveillance systems are not on speaking terms By Rich Anderson S ometimes it’s easy to get really device, it connects with all wireless net- video systems serve two purposes; surveil- frustrated with our industry. We works. Digital point-and-shoot cameras lance and evaluation. Surveillance allows have known for many years that connect reliably over a USB connection, an operator to continuously monitor the the integration of access con- and your new Blu-ray player connects to activity in a site. This virtual roving guard trol systems and video systems your HD television over an HDMI connec- serves a real purpose by allowing tours to produces real benefits. Yet, somehow we tion no matter whose brand you bought. be made more quickly and surreptitiously have managed to continue to build inte- In the security industry, we are not so than a human on two feet ever could. The grated systems the same way we did 15 fortunate. Want your video system to talk downside is that while multiple cameras years ago — one interface at a time. to your access control system? We live in can be displayed at once in front of the Why is our industry so far behind when a world where each access control system operator, it is still up to that human to it comes to integration? You disagree? has to be “hand-crafted” in order to inter- select what he is going to watch. The Well, let’s do some comparisons. If you face to a video system from a different result is that 99 percent of the site’s buy a printer this weekend — any of the manufacturer. While that has a certain activity gets missed while we are focusing hundreds of printer models at your local old world charm about it, what it really on the 1 percent. That’s useful, to be sure, store — do you have to worry about it means is wasted time and money. and until someone invents a “bad people” being compatible with your existing lap- detector, it is likely to be very necessary top? Assuming your laptop is reasonably Why the Integration is Important in many environments. contemporary, the answer is “no worries” In spite of the often high costs of mak- Evaluation, on the other hand, focuses (That assumes you are not running Vista, ing the connections, there is real value in on the monitoring and investigation of but I digress…). If you buy any Wi-Fi an integrated system. We all know that events. Those events come from a vari- 74 SECURITY TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE • March 2009 ety of sensors including video analytics, odds are good that events will be lost and views can often result in a much better access control and intrusion systems. In response times will be slow. situational awareness. fact, almost all of our other security sys- Suppose no interface is available from tems are event-based. The Situation your access provider. One option avail- Access control systems in particular If you want to connect video and access able is to request that an interface be generate alarms such as invalid badges, in today’s world of s
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