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Review: eufy SoloCam S40

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When it comes to security cameras for your home, the biggest hassle you might run into is wiring for supplying power to the camera. Depending on where the nearest electrical point is, the whole installation experience could either be a walk in the park or daunting. eufy Security by Anker has been producing excellent security cameras for years now, and the latest to come out of its production facility is the eufy SoloCam S40.

As the name suggests the S40 is a wireless standalone security spotlight camera with an integrated solar panel. Quite a mouthful, but the key is “integrated solar panel.” That’s right, the S40 does not need an additional power source. Once installed, all it would need is around two hours of daily sunlight to stay charged.

Inside the box, you get the eufy SoloCam S40, the screw mount, a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, a screw pack, a mounting template, and a quick start guide, among other paperwork. Installing the S40 is a breeze – download the eufy Security app, create an account, and then select the home network you want to connect to.

Next, press the sync button on the camera till you hear a beep sound and the LED starts flashing. You then need to scan the QR code on your phone or tablet with the S40’s lens in order for it to connect to the home network chosen by you.

Once it gets connected, it is ready to be mounted. The only thing you need to consider while installing the camera is to install it in a place that receives at least two hours of sunlight every day.

The camera also integrates into the smart home setup. This means you can stream the live video feed to a compatible Alexa or Google Assistant smart display. In addition, the camera offers basic motion detection and you can set it to record people, animals, or any significant movement registered by the camera. The solar panel integrated on the top of the camera ensures it stays charged to keep you and your family safe from intruders.

The S40 offers crisp footage in 2K resolution and it also comes with a built-in spotlight, siren, and a talk-back speaker. Furthermore, it has 8GB of internal storage – this means you don’t have to pay for expensive cloud storage subscriptions for viewing the camera’s motion-triggered video recordings, as is the case with many devices out there in the market.

The overall design and build quality is very good, weighs 880 gms, and is weatherproof to the IP65 standard. Turn the camera around and you will find a flap just above the screw mount. Opening the flap reveals a sync button and USB-C charging port. The speaker is located on the bottom of the S40, while a microphone is placed to the left of the camera lens on the device’s face. You also get a photo-sensitive sensor and motion sensor LED indicator on the front.

The S40 also comes with some outstanding features such as a 90dB alarm that can be triggered either manually or automatically, AI person detection, automatic infrared night vision via a single LED as well as full colour filming in darkness via its built-in floodlight. As mentioned earlier, the S40 allows you to control various features and view the feed using the Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants. Apple’s HomeKit, though, is not supported, but it isn’t a biggie.

The footage captured by the S40 is very crisp and detailed. It also maintained good connectivity with my router and the live feed was super smooth. The videos offer a 130° field-of-view and they were very clear and had a good colour balance. The detection features also worked really well during our review. The app presents clear thumbnails of detected humans, whenever the detection is triggered.

The eufy SoloCam S40 is an excellent security camera that can be used for your home. It offers a great design, build quality, and very good quality recorded footage. It also comes with a bunch of bells and whistles. However, the biggest feature the S40 offers is subscription-free onboard storage. For a price of AED 699, the eufy SoloCam S40 is highly recommended.

Price: AED 699

Rating: 3.5/5

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Expert Speak

How Can Unified Physical Security Can Help Retailers Thrive in a Changing Environment?

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Written by Firas Jadallah, Regional Director, Middle East, and Africa at Genetec

The retail industry has evolved dramatically over a relatively short period. Today, digital transformation has unlocked the creation of new innovative business models centered on frictionless, multi-channel shopping and e-commerce while simultaneously presenting new security challenges. In addition, it’s worth noting that digitization has also facilitated innovation in video surveillance technologies, creating new opportunities for retailers to use data from video management systems (VMS) in conjunction with data from access control systems (ACS), automatic license plate readers (ALPR), identity management systems (IMS), sensors, and more.

The key objectives are not only to reduce shrink but also to improve operational efficiency and the overall buyer experience. However, without a fully unified software solution, it is difficult to comprehend how these data puzzle pieces fit together and make sense. Only when retailers are able to consolidate data from multiple sources, can they gain a comprehensive understanding of their environment. A unified physical security platform that allows for the integration of devices and applications, will successfully create a connected store, which centralizes the management of the entire environment for improved visibility, operations, and data intelligence.

How Retailers Can Benefit from Unification:

Frictionless shopping
The introduction of frictionless shopping solutions such as curbside pickup and self-checkout has presented retail security teams with new challenges. Unified security platforms provide a variety of solutions to overcome these challenges. If theft is suspected, asset protection managers can easily review the video of self-checkout systems and share it with law enforcement as necessary. Unified security platforms also enable IT teams, to devote their time to higher-priority tasks and spend less time on software updates. Similarly, a comprehensive view of the connected store allows corporate security managers to work more effectively and efficiently.

E-commerce and logistics
In 2021, e-commerce sales in the UAE surpassed US$4.8 billion, up from US$2.6 billion in 2019, due to the pandemic-enabled acceleration of the global shift towards online shopping. According to an analysis by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the value of the UAE’s e-commerce market is expected to reach $9.2 billion by 2026. This exponential growth of the e-commerce market has given rise to new security concerns and a demand for inventory management logistics at distribution centers.

These centers are often frequented by a large number of non-regular employees, as coordinating the delivery of packages involves multiple parties. Here, ALPR technologies can play a crucial role in tracking who enters and exits distribution centers, and in retail locations, they can record who has received products from a curbside pickup station. ALPR solutions can also assist in identifying Organized Retail Crime (ORC) suspects by determining whether a vehicle has been involved in previous thefts.

Supply chain management is another area in which retail security technologies can play a focal role in overcoming challenges. Retailers can significantly reduce losses by utilizing article tags and video surveillance to monitor their environment and track individual products from suppliers to the warehouse, to the store.

Shrink
Shrink encompasses numerous forms of loss, but it is primarily caused by external theft, such as organized retail crime (ORC). A recent report by Sensormatic estimates that the annual global retail sales loss due to shrinkage amounts to US$99.56 billion. Aside from the loss of goods, in some cases, retailers are also having to contend with violent altercations with thieves. Retailers are implementing a variety of technologies to combat ORC, including artificial intelligence-based video analytics at point-of-sale (POS)/self-checkout, self-service locking cases, autonomous security robots, and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), in addition to establishing specialized ORC teams.

Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity threats such as fraud, account takeovers, malware, ransomware, compromised business emails, and data breaches pose escalating risks for retailers today. Any device connected to a retailer’s network, be it a smart IoT thermostat, an access control sensor, or a computer, has the potential to serve as a gateway for cybercriminals to gain access to private data stored on servers connected to that network. Due to the interconnected nature of modern technology, data must be secured and monitored at every stage.

When multiple solutions that were not designed to work together are implemented, it can be challenging for teams to manage, maintain, and scale. A unified security platform designed with cybersecurity in mind enables retailers to secure their entire IT infrastructure and mitigate network intrusion risks through one of their security devices. A unified security platform designed with cybersecurity in mind enables retailers to secure their entire IT infrastructure and mitigate network intrusion risks through one of their security devices.

Advancing Video Surveillance
The vast improvement in video camera quality and cost reductions over the last year have made video surveillance an essential component of retail security solutions. Furthermore, the digitization and automation of video technologies have further improved their value by transferring mundane tasks from humans to machines. Although adding video surveillance can address some of the challenges posed by frictionless shopping, it can also introduce new ones.

These surveillance systems can accumulate vast volumes of footage, which retailers must then store while also making sense of it. A unified system enables retailers to manage data from all cameras, as well as data from access control and ALPR systems, sensors, smart devices, and maps, through a single, intuitive dashboard. In addition, cross-referencing video footage with additional analytic data can yield insightful results.

These tools can provide invaluable insights into the customer’s journey through the store and at checkout, thereby enabling retailers to enhance their customer’s shopping experience.

Hybrid Cloud Solutions
Cloud-based systems make it efficient for retailers to scale storage requirements as the business environment evolves. However, overhauling an entire IT system all at once is a daunting undertaking. As stores are upgraded or retrofitted, retailers can take advantage of new technologies and functionalities by connecting IoT devices. A hybrid cloud strategy enables retailers to continue operating on-premises systems that meet current requirements while integrating them with adaptable cloud technologies. For companies with a combination of new stores that utilize cloud-based systems and established locations with on-premises systems, support of a hybrid cloud approach through a unified platform enables them to manage the data from all of them in one place.

Insights and Efficiency
When physical security systems are siloed, it is challenging to extract the full value of the data collected by each system. By leveraging a unified, connected store, retailers can combine and display data from all of their security systems in a variety of formats, including customized dashboards, graphical maps, mobile applications, and web clients.

When data is centralized, new insights become apparent. Modern physical security systems allow retailers to personalize dashboards that display data that is most pertinent to specific users. Each department, from asset protection to marketing, will have a unique perspective on data and offer a variety of solutions. Here, interdepartmental collaboration can be essential to the development of new strategies. Moreover, unified security platforms enable retailers to scale, regardless of whether they are opening their first physical store or expanding their global brand to hundreds of locations.

Unified security platforms can be easily deployed and integrated with video surveillance, access control, ALPR, and more. Starting with an open, unified security platform allows retailers to maximize the value of the devices and equipment they already possess, utilizing data in novel ways to streamline operations and gain insights. They can deliver an optimal customer experience without sacrificing security or negatively impacting their bottom line. Everything begins with integration – a connected store for the omnichannel world.

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News

Milestone Systems Intros Milestone Kite For SMBs

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Milestone Systems has launched the new Milestone Kite Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS). This service, according to the company, complements Milestone’s existing XProtect on Amazon Web Services (AWS). “Milestone Kite is a simple, secure, and scalable VSaaS solution for small- to medium-sized businesses, where XProtect on AWS is optimized for the enterprise market,” the company said.

“Milestone Kite is the ideal choice for single or distributed organizations that need an easy way to centrally manage all their sites in one unified system. Providing continuous access to new features with little or no maintenance effort, it is designed for businesses and enterprises with high value, less complexity, and multiple geographic locations such as banks, retail chains, schools, and residential buildings. Powered by the Arcules cloud platform, Milestone Kite is a simple, secure, scalable, and cost-effective cloud video management solution with integrated video analytics and access control functions. It will be available in early 2023,” the company added.

“Milestone understands and recognizes the importance of offering a range of hybrid-cloud solutions to address different segments of the security market. We have been making investments in VSaaS offerings for many years to prepare for the future. As more small- to mid-sized organizations search for a cloud-based video technology solution that is easy to deploy, simple to use, has low bandwidth requirements, is scalable across locations, and is secure — Milestone Kite becomes the most logical choice. Milestone and Arcules have now joined forces to help serve this segment of the market,” said Thomas Jensen, CEO of Milestone Systems.

“Arcules was created to be at the forefront of innovation with a focus on building a powerful, easy-to-use new cloud offering for smaller organizations or larger organizations geographically dispersed with satellite or remote locations. What we’ve achieved is a cloud-native solution that is future-proof, scalable, and characterized by simplicity. Milestone customers no longer need to physically visit multiple sites or spend time on maintenance, they can simply install the gateway and be done. Kite will automatically integrate access control data with the incoming video data to enable access-based video verification, view camera feeds, and obtain immediate situational awareness,” said Andreas Pettersson, CEO of Arcules.

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Authentication

Invixium Launches IXM VERTU

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Invixium has announced the launch of IXM VERTU, a modern access control reader capable of reading RFID cards along with mobile credentials via BLE or NFC from up to 8 cm away. Installation takes mere minutes and configuration is easily completed for Wiegand or OSDP through a configuration app. For clients that already have an access control software solution, IXM VERTU can seamlessly be added to their existing access control system. Invixium’s suite of biometric products along with IXM VERTU will be on display during the ASIS Middle East exhibition at stand F7.

VERTU’s rich combination of features is built into a sleek, elegant two-tone enclosure that can be easily mullion mounted in small spaces and door frames, complementing any new or existing décor. Its IK08 impact and IP67 ingress ratings allow IXM VERTU to be installed indoors or outdoors. The durability and appealing design of VERTU make it a great choice for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Shiraz Kapadia, CEO, and President of Invixium, expressed his excitement at the new possibilities for Invixium customers with the launch of IXM VERTU. “While biometrics is the heart and soul of Invixium, we are humble enough to admit that not every door requires the extreme level of security that biometrics offers. VERTU strikes the perfect balance of sleek design and security,” he said.

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