Visual Asset Protection

You probably don’t think much about security at work if you have an alarm system with a few carefully placed sensors, even less so if you have deadlocks at home and a padlock on the shed.

Part of the reason is undoubtedly the expense and time involved in installing and learning it all. If you have a keypad next to your front door and you only have to know a four-digit code, it’s probably all you have time to bother with.

You might like a few cameras here and there, even controls to turn on an exterior light or unlock an electric gate if your business operates a yard, but the more complicated it gets, the more time you have to spend getting it installed and wired up and then learning your way around a whole new system. And who’s got time to scroll through hours of video to try and pinpoint the advent of a nasty incident?

The people behind Perth Company C It Digital asked themselves a very simple question; why couldn’t it all be done through your computer? If you’re at home in the 21st century, you’re much likelier to be surfing the net than constantly monitoring your camera system. And if you’re at work, the PC is the one machine you spend most of your day staring at.

Answering that question was half the journey towards bringing the market a user-friendly security system. The other half was adopting the plug-and-play model of computer peripherals, where there’s no installation besides just plugging the device in.

The result is the Visual Asset Protection system. Cameras, lights, gates, in fact anything with motor controls can be installed and connected to a hub not unlike your ADSL router, which plugs straight into your Windows PC. Purchase of the system includes all terminated cabling and the necessary peripherals and there’s nothing left to do but plug it in.

And in seconds, your entire security network is there in front of you. It hooks seamlessly into your alarm system and you can add cameras or other security devices to the hub much like you can add a new device to your computer. But the beauty is it’s all accessible with a desktop application that controls everything. Open the front gate, pan camera number 3 left a bit to see if that’s just next door’s cat on the garage roof, record it all — it’s built into the system even if you never need it.

In fact, it’s like the best professional-level software; 90% of the features available are stuff you’ll probably never learn about, let alone use. The desktop access, easy addition of components and seamless links between the two via the security would suit everything from a one bedroom flat to the local Bunnings.

At wholesale prices of between just under $2,000 (1 camera) and just over $3,000 (4 cameras), the rest of the magic is in the ease of use of the software that drives the system. So full of features the manufacturers must have spent a long time learning what people want out of security system (and with pedigrees like early careers at Honeywell, that have).

You can set the system to record all your video (at a high enough resolution to be admissible in court, it would fill your hard drive up around every 5-7 days), and if you need your video stored long term it’s as easy as backing up the rest of your data onto other media.

But it’s the technologies straight out of the web-enabled age that impress. If there’s an incident (such as your motion detectors spotting something or a security light being triggered), the software will show you on a timeline where it occurred by colour coding potential issues, saving you hours of sifting through video files. The data isn’t just instantly retrievable, it’s admissible as evidence in court, having been validated according to legal standards.

If an incident occurs while you’re sitting there, a warning sound can alert you, and just a single click brings the software to the forefront for a live view from every camera. If you’re offsite, the system can take a still and MMS it to your mobile. You can also access everything over the web, using your mail server to log in to the system so all the activity comes down the wire as simple data traffic.

Every year we seem a step closer to the world of sci-fi where control over each aspect of life can be reached through a little handheld device. Underpinning that world of turning the kettle on with a remote by your bedside and flying to work in your car can only be achieved by standards of connectivity, and the rise of the Internet has driven standards to a point where that world is now possible.

One such application straight out of the future is home or work security where everything you need to know, see or search through is right there on your PC. Utilising the best technologies available today, Visual Asset Protection brings that world one step closer.

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