Although often overlooked when designing security solutions, thermal cameras can be an attractive alternative or compliment to video surveillance in the right conditions and with the right application.
With the ability to detect heat via infra-red radiation, thermal cameras can identify intrusions and various other incidents where traditional surveillance cameras often may not be able to.
For example, where CCTV cameras are blind in complete darkness, thermal cameras still have visibility and are also an excellent alternative in other challenging lighting conditions such as bright sunlight with dark shadows and poor weather (like thick fog).
This ability of thermal cameras may be fairly well known, but for many years their use was more limited to military and government sectors due to high costs. However, in recent years, thermal cameras have seen an increase in demand and application, particularly in the commercial sector, and their price has decreased 12-15% over the last 5 years (it is even now possible to buy small thermal cameras to attach to your smart phone for personal thermal image capturing for around US$250). Experts predict that will continue to grow at a compound annual rate of 6.6% over the next 5 years, reaching an overall market value of US$9,999 million by 2020.
So with a projected increase in application of this technology, thermal may become more integrated into standard security solutions in some sectors. Read on to gain a deeper understanding of the advantages and optimal application of thermal cameras…
The Benefits of Thermal
Like the development of video analytic’s in video surveillance, leading thermal camera manufacturers don’t merely produce thermal images but have integrated video analytic’s features, therefore providing ‘smart’ thermal cameras. By analyzing the data received by the camera, alerts can be sent to security personnel in instances such as if a specific temperature is identified or if someone enters a specific area within the camera’s field of vision.
Some cameras can even be linked to a pan-tilt zoom (PTZ) camera which will automatically hone in on and record an area where an intrusion or incident is detected by the thermal camera. This solution optimizes the use of both types of camera and increases the effectiveness of surveillance and monitoring.
Accurate detection and alerts
Since thermal cameras can deliver accurate information even in the most challenging lighting conditions, they produce accurate results and therefore send fewer false alerts sent to the security personnel (compared to video analytic’s).
In addition, the images or data collected can also be both detailed and very accurate, as a difference in temperature of a fraction of a degree can be identified. For example, one technology provider has developed thermal cameras that produce images which only highlight the ‘interesting’ information. Therefore in the case that nothing in the field of vision is over 36.5 degrees Celsius, the screen with be all blue (as all ‘uninteresting objects’ will not interfere), and only when there is an area that reaches 37 degrees will that area become green on the screen, identifying this area with a slightly higher temperature and therefore requiring security personnel to take a closer look at the situation.
Thermal cameras can have extremely far range outdoors where there is a clear field of vision (one brand boasting up to 7km), so if employed in the right environment and for the right purposes, they can not only produce accurate information, but also possibly reduce the need for traditional video cameras in a given area. For example, a thermal camera that can provide intrusion detection over an area as large as football field could replace four or more CCTV cameras and other infrastructure otherwise required to monitor that area. Thermal can therefore be a very cost-effective outdoor security solution.
The application of thermal cameras already stretches across a number of different sectors, particularly for those with good outdoor applications such as utilities, energy, chemicals, military and transport. Below are four sectors which can use thermal technology for different applications:
Key application: intrusion detection
Thermal is an efficient method of maintaining perimeter and outdoor security by accurately identifying intrusions where video surveillance may not be so effective. The thermal camera can also be linked with a CCTV camera for functions such as facial recognition, license plate recognition or more detailed coverage of an event.
Key application: safety
Processes and products used at such plants may be extremely high risk and processes may be dangerous or involve heat. It is therefore integral that any instance of overheating or fire are quickly and accurately detected, facilitating fast response from teams on the ground.
For an industry that aims to achieve zero downtime and system failure at all times, thermal cameras are an important resource in data centers as they can be used to identify electrical parts that are damaged or will soon fail as in such circumstances, these components or areas will emit more heat than usual. Thermal cameras can also monitor the effectiveness of cooling systems and can identify where energy is being lost which can help save costs.
Thermal cameras can be adopted in retail solutions to collect potentially insightful market data such as identifying traffic flow, popular areas of a store and even people counting.
Due to the unique features of thermal imaging and the additional level of identification and surveillance it can offer, thermal should not be overlooked but rather adopted where appropriate to enhance a comprehensive security solution. The ability of thermal cameras to quickly and accurately detect people, intrusions and a range of incidents even in challenging lighting conditions, while producing fewer false alert than CCTV video analytics, well compliments video surveillance resulting in a more effective overall solution. In most cases, thermal security is therefore best deployed as part of a wider integrated security solution.
In addition, as well as being adopted for solely security related purposes, thermal cameras can also be useful for a range of instances where the thermal data collected can be used to achieve other goals, such as in retail and data centers described above, or for instances such as identifying which car has been recently driven in a parking lot or where there are heat leaks from a building.
However, due to limitations in application and the data collected, thermal cameras are not necessarily a solution that should be adopted universally by all sites and sectors. For example, an office security solution may not need this technology as it might not bring any additional value if there is sufficient video surveillance in place. The key is to first analyze your industry and site for the benefits that thermal cameras could bring, but it is clear that in numerous situations, thermal cameras will offer another unique and valuable layer of security to your site’s overall solution.
Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC today to see how you can adapt thermal imaging into your security solution at 800-354-4160.
Catching up with a close friend or family member via audio communication—think phone call—does not typically cause much miscommunication or confusion. After all, we are familiar with each other and can easily follow the casual conversation.
Conversely, when you’re trying to make a business deal, audio alone can spell out a myriad of problems.
The business disadvantages of audio conferencing, specifically the absence of visual cues and insight into who is speaking, can stymie communication and lead to delays or the downright collapse of a sales negotiation or any type of information sharing. After all, humans rely on nonverbal behaviors, such as posture, gestures and facial expressions, to gauge reactions. As well, most people’s learning is enhanced by visual representations, which is especially vital when reviewing documents, graphics and pictures.
Web conferencing, as an alternative to audio conferencing, offers significant improvements by including a visual component. By leveraging the technology, companies can enjoy simulated face-to-face interactions (e.g., presentations) via computer monitors or televised screens, and an Internet connection that enables file sharing. Moreover, companies can save considerably when it comes to travel yet still work together cohesively from disparate locations on projects or connect with customers and business partners.
When physical face-to-face meetings among business associates are not feasible due to distance and budget, Web conferencing represents the best modern option for companies to come together in a low-stress, convenient and highly reliable way. You’ll notice a boost in productivity and efficiency when you employ the technology, too, as it improves users’ ability to share information and keeps all participants on the same page—all the while controlling costs. In fact, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan, 55 percent of high-performance companies use Web conferencing, and 29 percent report a positive impact on profitability.
Web conferencing also offers the following core features:
- Remote desktop control: Allows desktop control to be passed among participants
- Live Chat: Real-time transmission of text messages
- Polling: Enables facilitators to post questions to participants and display results in real time
- Electronic whiteboard: Lets participants draw and share simple diagrams in real time
- Recording: Permits every detail of your Web conference, from slides to whiteboard diagrams, to be archived and shared instantly with participants after the meeting
But what can organizations do to offset the challenges that sometimes occur when employing Web conferencing, e.g., delays in Internet connections that can cause snags in media productions? Look no further than 3CX WebMeeting. Our product takes away technical difficulties in setup. In fact, all 3CX Phone System users can launch a video conference in a few simple steps.
By harnessing Google’s WebRTC technology, video and voice communications take place through the Internet browser, which negates the requirement to download any additional software or plug-ins. 3CX customers will not require any additional server hardware or additional bandwidth either as 3CX WebMeeting is delivered as a hosted add-on and the actual meeting is streamed via our data centers.
Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC at 800-354-4160 today for more information!
In today’s bustling business world, you need a way to communicate fast, on-the-go and on multiple platforms in order to keep up with its pace. If your current phone system only sends and receives calls, then you’re a bit behind the times. In fact, your legacy phone system is causing your businesses to miss out on the functionality offered by more modern, advanced telecommunications that your competitors are currently enjoying. Upgraded technology, like that of unified communications (UC) can help your organization stay competitive in a business environment that emphasizes collaboration, communication and mobility.
Today’s robust, IP-enabled systems do much more than handle inbound and outbound calls. In fact, advanced phone systems can support your organization’s communications best-practices and provide increased uptime—which is a must-have in preserving your company’s reputation and productivity levels.
As such, upgrading to an IP-enabled phone system with UC capabilities is a key component in keeping up with today’s fast-paced and always connected business environment.
Here are two ways a UC-enhanced phone system will help your organization keep up with the times and gain a competitive edge:
Increased internal collaboration
An IP-enabled phone system delivers UC to make collaborating with colleagues simple and instant, whether they are in the next cubicle or several time zones away. UC features such as instant chat, video conferencing and fax and voicemail to email allow employees to communicate with each other in a more effective and timely manner, whether they need a quick question answered or to share a visual presentation.
Collaboration and communication can’t be limited to an office desk phone in today’s on-the-go business environment. Instead, employees must be able to dependably connect to their business’s phone system from Smartphones, desktops and laptops so that they can receive messages and even participate in Web conferencing sessions no matter their geographical location. An IP-enabled phone system that is compatible with clients for Android and iOS mobile devices allows employees to take their office extension with them anywhere, which makes for future-ready business communications.
Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC today at 800-354-4160 for more information or to get started with an onsite or cloud based 3CX PBX!
Recruiting the best candidates to fill your organizational chart is a challenge for businesses still operating a legacy phone system. To increase your success in this regard, you should upgrade your telephony, not only to better and more quickly interface with applicants but also to ensure your ability to attract (and retain) candidates.
An upgrade to a virtual, or hosted, PBX offers a myriad of benefits—and it’s quick and easy to set up as well. Why a virtual PBX ? You can get more advanced features for less than what you pay currently. Plus, it will allow you to assimilate mobile features, connecting remote workers who access your network from portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, it will enable API access, allowing you to leverage your unified communications (UC) system to easily integrate with your other databases.
How does all this translate to better hiring practices and outcomes? See below for a short list of virtual PBX benefits that will enhance your recruitment process:
Readily available information
UC solutions provide multiple collaboration and communication features in one platform. With these assets (IM, presence, Web conferencing, videoconferencing, etc.), you’ll improve the quality of every interaction. For hiring, a UC productivity management tool allows business executives to monitor and manage their recruiters located all over the world. This enables companies to improve response time, resulting in greater candidate satisfaction.
Communications that are directly built into the business workflow labor to remove human latency from business processes. This reduces wait times for phone calls, faxes and emails, improving project completion times. This is becoming a key factor in achieving operational excellence. Via their UC solutions, companies are now receiving automatic alerts for messages and are more responsive to candidates.
For a virtual PBX with UC, broad client support and uncompromised functionality, backed by 3CX—a global PBX provider, call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC at 800-354-4160
Have you ever returned to your desk to find numerous voice mails and angry emails about unanswered phone calls from your colleagues? Sometimes, with all of the ins and outs of scheduling appointments and preparing for meetings, small tasks such as setting your office extension status just slip your mind.
With 3CX Phone System, your scheduled Outlook appointments can be monitored by your PBX and when your appointment time comes, your extension status will be changed automatically.
When scheduling an appointment in Outlook, set your “Show As” status to “Working Elsewhere” or “Out of Office”. This will in turn change the status of your extension to “Away” or “Out of Office” respectively. If you don’t want your extension status to change, you can leave the default “Busy” status, or choose the “Free” or “Tentative” status.
To learn more about how to enable and use this handy feature, read the 3CX how-to guide.
Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC at 800-354-4160 today for more information!
Choosing a small-business phone system can seem like an overwhelming task initially, as the slew of technologies emerging in the telecommunications space is mind-boggling. From unified communications (UC) to IP-PBX, where do you even begin your search? For starters, determine your boundaries in regards to office space, finances and technical support to narrow down your options.
Many SMBs face barriers to communication due to limited resources. Recent telecom innovations, however, like small-business virtual phone systems, were developed with your specific needs in mind. Virtual phone systems are ideal for SMBs, in fact, as they are entirely computer-based, simple to manage without outsourcing or staffing an internal IT department and one of the most cost-efficient business telephony solutions available today.
A virtualized phone system is configured and managed within a desktop interface—almost like an app you download on your smartphone—it’s truly that simple. This is especially beneficial to new businesses that may not have the appropriate office space or personnel for an on-premise solution.
In addition, its ease of use enables new business owners to manage their phone system autonomously. For example, even the least-tech-related startup can manage a small business virtual phone system, since each of its functions—like adding new phone lines and extensions—is available by way of drop-down menus.
What’s more, its internal management options eliminate the fees associated with adding physical phone lines or those imposed by the phone system carrier—for repairs or maintenance. In this way, virtual phone systems help new businesses capitalize on potential ROI by reducing typical expenses associated with traditional telephony.
So, as far as dedicating space for IT staff and on-premises hardware goes, you can cross both off your list of worries when launching your new business. Instead, rest assured that your virtual PBX phone system will help you grow your business and easily scale up as you take on new customers and employees.\
Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC at 800-354-4160 today to find out more!
Business leaders who grant their employees the tools and freedom to work remotely are doing themselves, as well as their employees, a big favor.
Consider that 65 percent of employers who allow their workers to telecommute report higher morale among team members. Moreover, multiple industry pundits confirm that teleworkers are more productive and work longer hours than office workers. As well, telecommuting reduces stress and turnover, and positively affects relationships with supervisors. Also keep in mind that telecommuting is having the overall economic effect of reducing the need for office space—decreasing overhead for companies.
Of course, all these benefits don’t manifest themselves magically but, rather, demand careful management. This includes best practices for facilitating business communications. Oftentimes, companies are finding that this requires the provisioning of a modern softphone, or software that allows users to make phone calls over the Internet via a computer.
Before adopting a softphone to support telecommuting, however, first be sure you have the appropriate fundamentals in place to uphold the software and keep your employees connected and productive. Start with the following must-haves:
Dedicated VoIP provider
To ensure a seamless look for your communications, you’ll need VoIP services to make calls via the Internet rather than phone lines.
Broadband Internet connection
Business functionality (voice quality and fast connections) will depend on the speed and availability of your broadband Internet connection.
Web-based meeting software
Adapt the software solution to support internal meetings between in-house and home-based workers.
Such as Skype or Google+ Hangouts video chat software, this app will provide cloud-based VoIP calling, videoconferencing, IM and file sharing services.
3CXPhone, a softphone from 3CX comes with the expert support of your 3CX Partner, who will help you configure your 3CX Phone System and provide training on its operation.
Business leaders still hesitant to extend a telecommuting option to their employees should take into consideration the possible outcome of failing to join the movement. For instance, it could mean that your competitors are getting the jump on you, as telecommuting increased nearly 80 percent between 2005 to 2012, according to data collected from the American Community Survey.
Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC at 800-354-4160 today for more information.
This is from an End User who explains how the MOBOTIX solution has helped him with his operations and shows a real case scenario later in the clip. MOBOTIX clear audio and high quality video allows the teachers and principal to have a good apprehension of what is happening in the school even when they are physically not there. Subtitles provided.
Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC to see how cameras in the classrooms can help your school today at 800-354-4160
Aside from Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), which we will not waste time talking about, there are two primary types of business telephony solutions: Primary Rate Interface (PRI) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
SIP is becoming increasingly popular as the standard in the enterprise as Internet-based solutions become more main stream. Some organizations still use a traditional PRI connection as traditionally the PRI is “rock solid.”
What’s the difference between the two systems? In many ways the two serve the same purpose, enabling simultaneous calls over a phone line. But there are major differences in the characteristics and features offered by each solution.
Session Initiation Protocol
SIP is a virtual connection to the public switched telephone network. It runs on top of a data connection already present in an organization and is used to signal and control multimedia communication sessions like VoIP calls and video conferencing. The most common use of this protocol in business is SIP trunking, which allows multiple streams of VoIP calls to be routed through a network simultaneously and delivered to a recipient as packets of voice data. The capacity of a SIP trunk is equal to the capacity of the service provider and bandwidth available between the customer and carrier.
Many businesses exclusively use SIP trunking, as it allows them to connect to digital Unified Communications (UC) options and offers a simple, cost-effective way to access communication channels. SIP connections are sold per call path, and only one SIP trunk is required to handle all of the simultaneous calls a user wants to make — as long as the bandwidth is sufficient. SIP trunks work with Direct Inward Dialing (DID) phone numbers and can use local or out-of-area numbers. This way if a business has offices in multiple states, all of the numbers can stay the same no matter the location. In the event of a service disruption, SIP DIDs can be rerouted to unaffected offices or contact centers, improving resiliency.
Primary Rate Interface
A PRI system works on a single physical line, most often a T1 connection in North America. These lines have a total of 23 voice channels which can all be used simultaneously. PRI also employs a circuit-switched model to make voice connections between endpoints. Because PRI is a physical phone line, a physical connection to the user’s telephony system is necessary and usually results in the installation of a costly PRI interface card or a PRI appliance.
PRI works with DID phone numbers as well. However, in this case, numbers must be purchased in blocks of 20 and must be local to the area in which service is terminated. Connections are sold per circuit, and the maximum amount of simultaneous connections per circuit is 23, meaning a business would have to install multiple lines in order to increase its calling capacity. Purchasing additional PRI lines requires additional hardware to connect them to existing telephony systems, which creates a lot of extra costs. This can be especially difficult for contact centers that need massive amounts of call capacity.
Choosing Which System Is Right for Your Business
As businesses continue to grow and expand on an international scale, many are experiencing cost and service benefits by implementing Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone systems. Internet-based calling allows companies to dramatically reduce spending on communication solutions and improve call quality. To receive the benefits of VoIP telephony, organizations are increasingly adopting SIP trunking over traditional PRI solutions.
For more information on SIP and or PRI for your PBX call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC at 800-354-4160 today!