Security providers get the picture with broadband


26 Jan 2005

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Two companies based in Dublin and Belfast have developed a system capable of sending security alarm monitoring signals and video images simultaneously in real-time over a broadband connection.

Virtual Access, a telecoms equipment and software provider based in Dublin City, has launched a router appliance that allows providers of monitored alarm services to see, once a customer alarm has been set off, if there may be intruders or whether it is a false alarm.

Belfast-based software consultancy Asidua developed the GW8000 for Virtual Access. The product allows monitoring centres to receive onsite alarms and perform immediate visual verification via a broadband link. The companies claimed that this is the first such product to integrate these alarm and video features using broadband, at a lower cost than would previously have been possible. Traditionally, alarm calls were sent over narrowband lines and the information they contained was limited to simple alarm panel data. Where video verification was required, expensive installations were needed.

Henry Brankin, CEO of Virtual Access, said: “The GW8000 allows the security monitoring industry to fully exploit broadband services. The benefits that you would usually expect from broadband – a faster and more cost-effective always-on connection – now become the platform for extended new services for the security monitoring industry. By channelling data from alarm panels and pictures from video cameras over a secure broadband connection, alarm receiving centres receive both visual verification of alarms and a complete real-time picture of the situation onsite.”

Forrester Research has said that a key trend for 2005 will be the integration of traditional physical security with IT security. In a briefing report, the analyst firm commented: “In 2005, companies in Europe and North America will increase spending nearly threefold on projects that combine traditional physical security controls with IT security. That is, locks, cameras, entry systems and even guard desks will be upgraded to work with the same computing systems that control computer and network sign-on, identity management, and security incident management.”

By Gordon Smith