Bosch: Rethink Video Security
Every day, companies around the world collect massive amounts of data through their video systems. But studies show that a mere 10% of that data is ever used. Now, Bosch is taking the logical next step for the industry, by offering built-in, advanced video analytics as a standard feature in its cameras beginning with its IP 4000 series and up. That means that companies can begin utilizing up to 100% of their video security data, and go beyond mere protection in order to gain real business advantages.
Now, Bosch customers will be capable of immediately interpreting a potential use for all of the data they collect through video, and filing it away for a later date. In this way, sense and structure can be added to video security by essentially making each camera in a system “smart,” or capable of truly understanding what it’s seeing. That has security benefits, like advanced intrusion detection (for example: loitering alarms), and identifying a person entering a pre-defined field. Meanwhile Bosch’s Intelligent Video Analytics can differentiate between real security events and false triggers, which can be ideal for critical environments like airport perimeters. And for small and medium-sized businesses, Bosch’s Essential Video Analytics can be used for both intrusion detection and tasks such as detecting blocked emergency exits.
But Bosch’s technology also enables businesses to go beyond security, by gathering up statistics and metadata. Take the retail industry, for example, where video surveillance has traditionally been deployed for tasks such as reducing shrinkage. Now, with Bosch’s smarter systems, a retailer can both monitor the main entrance for shrinkage, and the cash register area for employee theft, while at the same time counting the number of customers using the entrance. In addition, an alert can be triggered if too many paying customers are being forced to wait in a queue—that alert can even be accompanied by an automatic announcement, requesting a new cash register to open.
Other potential advantages to the rethought Bosch system: using video surveillance to monitor the unnecessary use of electric lighting, in order to slash utility bills; unearthing the so-called “hot spots” in a retail shop, so as to better understand customer behavior and boost sales; and identifying problematic retail layouts, which might be hindering customer satisfaction.
Bosch’s Intelligent Video Analytics can also deliver high levels of accuracy for application such as traffic monitoring (e.g. wrong-way detection, traffic counts, and monitoring roadsides for parked cars). It is ideal for providing automatic object detection over large distances.
When those potential benefits are coupled with a lack of a need for additional investment and license fees to operate Bosch’s security system, they can all add up to one thing: a better return on investment.
As every company that wants to rely on video security knows, effectively monitoring large areas and identifying objects at great distances can be a real challenge. It can also be difficult to capture detailed color images in low light, or to develop detailed images when there is a fluctuating front and back light. Bosch’s new rethinking of video security benefits from a longstanding commitment to capturing the highest quality images. To that end, Bosch has an advantage in that its cameras can deliver images with resolutions up to 4K ultra HD. That makes for highly detailed images ideal for effective retrospective analysis, and multiple focal points on a single screen, in addition to an ability to zoom in on particular details without losing the bigger picture. For monitoring areas with both bright and dark spots, Bosch’s multi-exposure (HDR) cameras with dynamic ranges of up to 120 decibels (dB) and Intelligent Auto Exposure—which can offer front light and back light compensation by automatically adapting to conditions—can be relied upon to deliver perfect pictures in any situation.
Bosch’s tried and true image quality is augmented by starlight technology, for lowlight situations. This technology has been proven to provide clear images regardless of lighting conditions or movement and can deliver color images where other cameras turn to monochrome, and monochrome images where other cameras give no image at all. Meanwhile Bosch’s thermal imaging solutions can capture the energy radiating from objects and buildings, and thereby deliver high quality images even in complete darkness, when areas are covered in smoke, or when a camera’s view is obstructed by leaves or branches. That in turn can enable video content analysis over distances up to 762 meters, and a high level of security for mission-critical applications at sensitive venues such as airports, government buildings, and bridges.
For the many outdoor locations where warm and cold weather patterns meet, the Intelligent Defog technology installed in Bosch cameras can ensure visibility by automatically adjusting for sharper image contrast when the camera detects fog, and automatically re-adjusting when the fog recedes and visibility is restored.
And, for more extreme weather conditions, Bosch has developed the MIC IP series, which are rugged cameras built to absorb high impacts and perform in high winds, dust, and temperatures as hot as 65 degrees Celsius. The cameras’ solid metal bodies and finish can protect against corrosion, even in conditions with 100% humidity.
Deploying top quality video systems can prove costly, not least because the collection of high-resolution images featuring increased frame rates and improved light sensitivity can end up straining the capacity of a data network. Bosch understands that the amount of high-quality data being collected is getting larger every day, and so it has developed an ability to deliver the most efficient bitrates and the lowest storage requirements for a system—all without compromising image quality.
As more data is absorbed by a security system, it must be managed efficiently. Bosch is offering data management solutions that are both reliable and cost-effective. These solutions feature Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction, intelligent streaming, and the latest H.265 video compression standard, which significantly improves video quality while keeping pace with the bitrates—the number of bits of data per second being sent over a network—made possible by previous standards.
As companies with video security systems are already aware, a more peaceful scene under surveillance means a lower required bitrate. But how can a system know when to dial down bitrates, and save both costs and bandwidth, and when to increase bitrates in order to best capture any sudden movements or developments? Bosch’s intelligent streaming technology can adjust encoder settings automatically, based on the amount of movement being recorded by a camera, in order to achieve most efficient bitrate possible. Meanwhile the Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction technology offered by Bosch can cut down on image noise, meaning the random fluctuation of brightness or color information, before an image is encoded. That can bring real benefits: Bosch cameras that feature both Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction and intelligent streaming, when combined with H.265 video encoding, slash bitrates by up to 80% (depending on what, exactly, is being recorded).
Of course, in order to reap the real benefit of such technologies, a user must be able to have a security operation up and running at all times, regardless of what’s transpiring. To help eliminate single points of failure in a system, Bosch’s Video Recording Manager (VRM) technology enables cameras to stream data directly to available storage devices, without having to weigh down network servers. In addition to helping stave off system failures, the Bosch technology also helps preserve resources normally required for server maintenance. Bosch has designed its VRM technology in such a way that adding extra cameras or storage devices to expand a surveillance system as needed is easy—the system can automatically balance its altered video stream load, in order to free up storage volumes.
While it is vitally important to capture video data in the most resource-efficient way possible, protecting that data once it is collected is also a necessity. Bosch offers a four-step approach to end-to-end data security, for cameras, servers, storage devices and more. Here’s how it works:
- Every component in a network is assigned an authentication key
- All data is encrypted at the hardware level
- Easy-to-manage authorized access rights are delivered
- A public key infrastructure, to use and manage encryption, is enabled
For cameras, passwords are established immediately during set up. The firmware on cameras will only update via Bosch signed firmware files, while the execution of external, third party software can be disabled. Meanwhile authentication and encryption operations can only be executed inside of a built-in Trusted Platform Module (TPM). The same authentication and encryption operations restrictions are also present in a Bosch system’s storage devices. Storage devices also include support for Microsoft Active Directory services, to safely manage user access rights. In addition, the devices receive regular updates through security patches.
Network communication within a Bosch system is protected in a number of ways: password enforcement begins with initial set up, unsecure ports are disabled by default, and network authentication relies upon the 802.1x protocol. Public key infrastructure, or the policies and procedures used to manage public-key encryption, is supported by Bosch signed certificates loaded into every camera, augmented by in-house certificate authority and support for third party public key infrastructure solutions.
The physical elements of the Bosch system are designed for easy installation. That applies to the IP 4000i, IP 5000i, and IP 6000 cameras and more. Installers familiar with the graphical interface used for one of those cameras are automatically familiar with the interfaces used by all of them, which can reduce required training and set up time. Just one firmware is needed for all of the required products, which can be upgraded and enhanced.
For those curious about Bosch’s offerings, the company offers a tool to sort through related products such as IP and analog cameras, and IP and analog recording devices online, here: http://www.videoselector.boschsecurity.com. Bosch also provides a handy online tool for calculating what your storage requirements might be (based on number of cameras, frame rate, and scene activity), here: http://www.boschsecurity.com/StorageCalculator/.
Together, Bosch believes, we can rethink what video security can do.