Given the large assortment of cameras, alarms, and various security systems on the market, you can easily get confused and make mistakes if you don’t have a reliable expert to help you choose the best security system for your facility—business premises, house, or apartment. We spoke with Bata Vulović, master of electrical engineering, owner of the company Lunatronik and one of our most experienced experts in this field, about why standard cameras don't offer real protection, what an integrated security system involves and its benefits, and whether mechanical protection is also required in addition to electronic protection.
Bata Vulović, owner and director, Lunatronik
You have thirty years of experience with integrated security systems. How far have these systems advanced since then, and what level of security do these modern solutions provide us today?
Lunatronik was founded in 1990. In the beginning, we only did the installation of burglar alarm systems, which most people had not even heard of at the time. It was a time of high inflation and low wages when burglars became very active, so people desperately needed to protect themselves. Since there was little competition at the time and we consistently delivered high-quality work with professionalism, our company expanded quickly. Soon, video surveillance systems appeared, available to a wider range of users, so I asked an American company representative at a large Birmingham trade show for suggestions on good, affordable cameras. The man responded, laughing, that there is no such thing as good and cheap because it is not natural. And if we consider the state of technology at the time, that was indeed the case. The situation has drastically changed in the meantime. There are many companies today that produce a wide range of cameras and security systems at very low prices, but they do not adhere to the technical requirements in our country and cannot therefore ensure long-term and reliable operation. This is why we continue to represent manufacturers whose high-quality, certified products, both for our clients and for us, ensure peaceful sleep and ease of use. We also do this because of our responsibility to our partners, installers, and end users. The better in quality and smarter the system is, the simpler it is for the end user to use it, and, at the same time, it represents the best recommendation for all other users.
Our security culture is still not at an enviable level. Many people are unaware that security cameras alone are insufficient and that only a high-quality alarm system, which is used regularly, can deter burglars and prevent them from causing more damage because it makes noise and alerts the authorities and emergency services. The current level of technology enables automatic visual verification of alarms, and this is where the role of cameras is most important. The latest trend is an artificial intelligence (AI) device that turns existing reactive cameras and video surveillance systems into proactive solutions using smart technology that only looks for selected objects. The main advantage of video analytics is the effective filtering of false alarms and focusing on real risks, which optimizes the work of security services and reduces fatigue from false alarms. The use of AI technology is rapidly developing and is a powerful tool in advanced security systems.
When we say integrated security system, it usually means alarm, video surveillance, and appliance control. Are there even more complex integrated systems, and who are they for?
One of the main advantages of quality security systems lies precisely in the integration of several different and necessary systems and their management through a unique application, such as Lares 4.0. Only in this way will the user be able to easily, which is the key thing, achieve reliable control over his alarm system, access control system, fire and flood detection, electricity consumption, video surveillance system with automatic visual verification of the cause of the alarm, control of blinds with insight into the degree of openness, lighting dimming, control of heating and cooling, or any other electrical device, as well as smart IP video intercoms and voice assistants. Based on our many years of experience, we can say that these types of systems are used in all types of buildings, from one-room apartments in large buildings with 100 apartments, where each apartment has heating and air conditioning control, to duplex apartments with 20 electric blinds, and even houses and villas with more than 130 lighting lines and 30 thermostats and heating lines...
Pedestrian barriers must be adapted to the available space at the very entrance of a premise
Is it enough to use only electronic security systems or is it necessary to provide mechanical protection as well?
The best effects are obtained by combining several different systems. In the case of companies or public institutions, these are access control and video surveillance systems with mechanical, pedestrian, and vehicle barriers. Everything starts at the facility entrance, where the flow of people and vehicles should be taken care of or access restricted to authorized persons. If there is a large flow of people, say about 60 people per minute, a suitable solution would be a sensor barrier, i.e., a speed gate. For a slightly lower flow rate, about 40 people per minute, for example, when entering a platform or a factory, an electromechanical turnstile is usually chosen. For small flows but the highest level of security, high electromechanic barriers (at the full height of people) are used, and for even less, so-called VIP barriers or double doors (security cabin).
The system must certainly be adapted to the available space at the very entrance to the building or another premise. The reception area of the building represents the first impression of every visitor, so the aesthetics are also important. The entrance should enhance the company's reputation overall while also allowing visitors and employees to enter the building rationally. Visitors must wait somewhere to be authorized and receive the proper card or authorization that will allow them to pass through the entrance barrier. Of course, you should always think about the passage for people with special needs as well as the connection of the system with the fire control center for automatic unlocking in case of the need for evacuation.
You have been cooperating with the Italian company Ksenia Security for years. What are the advantages of the Ksenia system, and what is its latest innovation?
I realized a long time ago that selling already-existing solutions is not enough. Offering only what we typically sell is insufficient; we should also propose the best solution for a given project. Since "integration" is today's golden rule, this requires a broad knowledge of the benefits of each product and innovation. In order to achieve success, it is necessary to dare to go beyond known limitations. It is the best way to address the future installer market, which is constantly evolving to meet new needs and the strictest requirements of demanding consumers. Ksenia Security and Lunatronik offer a top alarm system, according to the strictest safety standards, SPRS and EN 50131 Grade 3, with simple operation via touch panel and/or Lares 4.0 application and efficient integration with all useful functions of a smart home system and IP video intercom.
Detection of vehicles and machines by Time-Lapse cameras
The security systems in your portfolio have found an interesting application that best illustrates their effectiveness. How did the two storks, Sara and Novko, become the heroes of your unique online reality show?
The stork project is an interesting example of useful and beautiful video surveillance for the widest audience: our camera with built-in 4G Internet and solar and battery power was used to monitor the entire life cycle of a pair of storks in Šumadija, from their arrival in March until their departure to Africa at the end of summer. You can view selected photos shown at the multimedia exhibition at: https://klt.rs/multimedijalna-izlozba-art-in-security-oci-u-oci-sa-rodama/
AI technology applied to Time-Lapse cameras
An even more practical application of AI technology in video surveillance can be seen with professional Time-Lapse cameras that, completely independently, provide outstanding 6K resolution footage with a viewing angle of up to 220 degrees, analyze a large part of the construction site, and make a graphical interpretation of the number and efficiency of construction machines, trucks, and workers, taking into account whether the mandatory safety equipment is used. It represents an unprecedented advance in the automatic and efficient control of a complex space such as a construction site with superior Time-Lapse footage for visual enjoyment and monitoring of construction progress.
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By: Petra Vasiljević