With over 3 million home burglaries every year in the US alone, homeowners are driven to find a viable, preventative home security solution. With modern technology, they can look beyond the old, passive solutions and discover an opportunity to enhance their security, installing a system that is truly proactive and reactive. A means of not only more effectively preventing break-ins, but also enabling fast, reliable emergency assistance, gaining deeper knowledge of all triggered events at their home, providing better ease-of-use for family and friends, and much more.
While these smart security solutions provide a multitude of advanced features and functionality, making for a powerful, user-friendly security system, they also present homeowners with a difficult, time-consuming process of identifying where to start. That’s where we come in! We want to help get you familiar with some of these cutting-edge options by outlining some practical ways you can upgrade your home security, along with some recommended products and services.
Today we’re presenting you one of our success stories – a special use case we delivered to one of our customers. There’s so much you can do with Angelcam. We hope you’ll be inspired to pursue your tech endeavors!
1. The company
Founded by amateur golfers and veterans of the tech industry, TboxTour is a Virginia-based startup that is looking to enhance and simplify the process of sharing your love of golf with your friends. Livestream your best shots, have open competitions with your golfing buddies, or even save clips of your top shots for later viewing.
2. The Challenge
When building a consumer application, designing a top-of-the-line UX and getting the MVP completed and to market as soon as possible is vital. With that, when dealing with video it’s equally important to be able to quickly process video content and present it in a way that is highly-relevant and of the highest quality, driving user engagement and growth.
This was what TboxTour was looking to achieve, and doing so involved tackling a number of challenges:
Connect video clips and streams to their respective cloud-based application while preserving the highest quality video from Axis IP cameras
Ensure adequate quality of video from IP cameras in outdoor environments and/or with unreliable internet connections
Avoiding vendor lock-in for IP cameras
Embed live streams and video recordings into mobile application
Provide end users the capability of scaling to any audience size, on demand, without the need to build their own video streaming CDN delivery network
Produce a cost-effective, market-ready MVP, complete with APIs, within 90 days
Partner with a service provider that could scale with their business model
3. The solution
Confronted with the daunting challenge of rapidly developing and deploying an MVP application and associated APIs that effectively captured, processed, and displayed high-quality video content from an outdoor environment, TboxTour connected with leading camera and video consulting firm, RadiusVision. Together, they selected Angelcam as their platform of choice due to the simplicity of it’s plug-and-play, DIY device, the AngelBox, which could be deployed along with their custom hardware, on site. In addition, Angelcam’s Broadcast and Video Clip APIs ensured they would be able to get their MVP to market, for rapid testing, on time.
Angelcam products used:
AngelBox deployed and linked to on-site Linux-based OS devices, connecting the IP cameras to the Angelcam cloud with an encrypted stream
Cloud Recording Application with 7-days retention of stored video in the cloud
Cloud Recording API used to embed a video player that plays recorded footage into the mobile application
Video clip API was utilized for fast, custom retrieval of clips of interest
Broadcasting API was employed to embed live streams of video footage into the mobile application
Angelcam services included:
Our US Sales and Support team, along with our Engineering team, provided solution support from the outset and app development throughout the pilot project. The team often met twice, if not three times, per week to discuss the various technical challenges and how Angelcam could assist.
4. The results
TboxTour has successfully implemented their solution at multiple golf facilities throughout the country, with the AngelBox system continually streaming high-quality video from Axis cameras to their cloud application.
As they continue to meet each successive project milestone, the team is now into the latter part of the MVP phase of finalizing development and performing user testing of the mobile application. The testing will help bring any further technological and product needs to the forefront, while the success of their video stream implementations allows them to forge relationships with select launch partners before moving onto the launch phase.
Would you like to get more insights on our products? Happy to see you here! … or contact us directly on email@example.com for tech or sales enquiries.
There are a number of ways keeping track of progress and investing in video production can benefit your business. Here are our top 3 use cases for timelapse video, an essential when it comes to the construction industry.
Endless marketing opportunities
The work speaks for itself. In this case, indeed, a video speaks for itself. A time lapse video tells the story as construction unveils. There’s something catchy and addictive about time lapse and no matter the audience, it’s one of the most engaging formats.
A few ways how to utilize a time lapse video in your marketing mix:
– your website
– social media
– trade shows
– client presentation
– TV ads
Extra tip: Sell an edited copy of the construction video as an extra product to your client.
The rules for Oregon cannabis dispensaries come from Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s Division 25, and is published here under Recreational Marijuana. Full disclaimer: this is not legal advice, and these rules will continue to evolve. This is only an interpretation of the rules as published on oregon.gov/olcc as of March 15 2018.
The 4 primary sets of rules that pertain exclusively to security camera system are in sections:
§845-025-1430: Video Surveillance Equipment
§845-025-1440: Required Camera Coverage and Camera Placement
§845-025-1450: Video Recording Requirements for Licensed Facilities
§845-025-1460: Location and Maintenance of Surveillance Equipment
There are 3 additional sections that touch upon your security camera system:
§845-025-2840: Retailer Premises states that a retailer must post in a prominent place signs that read “Security Camera in Use”
§845-025-1175: Changing, Altering, or Modifying Licensed Premises 6(c) states that Any physical change that would require the installation of additional video surveillance cameras or a change in the security system
§845-025-1410 Security Requirements 4(b) Keep all video recordings and archived required records not stored electronically in a locked storage area. Current records may be kept in a locked cupboard or desk outside the locked storage area during hours when the licensed business is open
Below is a summary of each rule section and some advice from Angelcam:
845-025-1430: Video Surveillance Equipment describes the equipment you must have on premises. It says you must have:
Cameras that can fulfill the requirements in §1450 (we’ll write more on that later)
DVR’s or NVR’s
A video monitor on site capable of viewing recorded videos.
A printer on-site capable of producing still photos
The ability to produce still photos from any camera image
A failure notification system in case of interruption of the system.
Battery backup to support 1 hour of recording time if power goes out.
Except for mounted cameras, all surveillance equipment (NVR,DVR, Angelbox, etc) must be stored in a locked secure area that is accessible only to licensee, personnel or Commission employees/contractors.
A few notes on this rule and how Angelcam can help:
We recommend using IP cameras and an NVR instead of Analog/DVR systems. One benefit is that the cameras can be connected to the cloud on stand-alone basis if needed.
The last rule applies to the surveillance room that will need to be monitored by another security camera, and that camera’s footage will need to be backed up to the cloud. The idea here is that the OLCC will be able to know if the surveillance equipment or footage is tampered with, since a camera is monitoring the equipment area and that footage is recorded to the cloud in real-time. This is a common starting point for dispensaries to begin using a cloud video system with a mobile app like Angelcam.
To enhance the granularity of the failure notification system, Angelcam’s system can provide you with an email notification if any specific camera is offline for more than 10 minutes.
845-025-1440: Required Camera Coverage and Camera Placement talks about the areas the cameras need to surveil:
All points of ingress and egress, including within 15 feet inside and out
Consumer sales area
“Limited access” areas
From the OLCC, “Limited access area” means a building, room, or other contiguous area on a licensed premises where a marijuana item is produced, processed, stored, weighed, packaged, labeled, or sold.
845-025-1450: Video Recording Requirements for Licensed Facilities talks more about what needs to be recorded including the resolution and quality of video:
Record footage in any area with marijuana, plants, concentrates, extracts, etc. including areas of ingress/egress.
For “Limited Access” and “Consumer sales” areas, use 1280p footage at 10 frames per second.
In other areas that are not “Limited access”, 1280p with 5 frames per second works, unless coverage overlaps any limited access areas (including entrances). Then cameras must record at 10 fps;
Cameras must be able to record in all lighting conditions.
Keep surveillance recordings on-premises for a minimum of:
90 days (if license granted after Aug 31 2016)
30 days (if license granted before Aug 31 2016)
Back up the video surveillance recordings off-site and in real time for the surveillance room or surveillance area. Keep off-site backup recordings described in of this rule for a minimum of 30 days.
This is the rule that requires real-time backup of video stored off-site, and one of the most common reasons a cloud-based video service like Angelcam is used. The rule can be confusing since it states both “surveillance room or surveillance area”.
It’s worth understanding the intention of this rule. OLCC representatives have stated the intention is to provide a mechanism to verify coverage in the event of a breach, stated or known, by requiring licensees to have a security system to provide evidence if what happened was a theft. Dispensary owners, the OLCC and law enforcement will be able to prevent breaches much more quickly and effectively with live streams of the security videos backed up to the cloud in real-time, since they cannot be tampered with.
In terms of the definition, practically speaking, each facility is different and more or less vulnerable to breach – this is where inspectors come in. Typically inspectors will only require 30-day cloud storage for surveillance of this area, but we have seen cases where dispensary owners have said they required 90-day off-site storage.
Currently, the only explicit 90-day storage requirement in the rule guide is for the video kept on-premises in your DVR/NVR.
Angelcam provides 30-day and 90-day cloud recording packages to allow owners to meet these requirements, and will preserve whatever footage and resolution comes from the camera.
845-025-1460: Location and Maintenance of Surveillance Equipment describes the room where the surveillance equipment is stored.
It states that off-site storage must be secure and the recordings must be kept in a format approved by the Commission that can be easily accessed for viewing and easily reproduced. Angelcam’s cloud-based video recording service makes it easy for dispensary owners to create, download or share mp4 video clips with authorities upon request. With our player-sharing feature, dispensary owners and operators can give their 3rd party security teams remote access and viewing.
If you urgently need someone else to have a look at a live stream from your camera(s), but you are not at your computer, or if you just like using a mobile app everywhere you go, we believe you’ll appreciate the latest mobile app update. In addition to the existing live stream view, we’ve added the ability to share the live stream with people you need. But not only that, you can also allow other people to look into your past recordings (according to your current plan of Cloud Recording app and if you have a camera connected to any IFTTT compatible device, motion events will be also marked in the video clips).
Advantages of the Angelcam mobile app:
Share the live view with your guests *
Share live stream & recordings with your guests *
Share recordings from the camera with events marked on the recordings *
View all your cameras on one screen (in a different previews)
View all cameras that your friends have shared with you
View events on your timeline
Quickly scroll through past recordings
* New feature
Download the mobile app on iTunes or Google Play (for iOS 10 or Android 4.4 and newer), it’s FREE for all Angelcam users.
Once you try it, be sure to let us know what you think about the app by leaving us a comment on the app store page.
THEFT, VANDALISM, HEALTH and SAFETY NEGLECT plague the construction industry. Utilize Cloud based security solutions with Angelcam to monitor and report activity on your site.
Studies from the Chartered Institute of Building* show that theft in the UK construction industry effect 42.7% of participants on a monthly basis. Vandalism shows similar results with 42.8% on a monthly basis. 90% of participants are aware of ongoing health and safety neglect precipitating in a staggering 60% occurence rate per month.
As in all industries practices change and evolve over time. Main contractors look at security through an antiquated lens. On site security guards, local CCTV systems, and barriers all have one thing in common. They are susceptible to tampering and outside influence. More importantly, they are widely accepted as unreliable. Due to these factors security budgets are consistently mitigated precipitating the crime figures above resulting in a perpetual cycle of loss and damaged property. Why not approach the problem with a 21st century solution?
Our clients have evolved and in doing so solved their security issues while saving on expenses. With Angelcam’s services our clients have utilized the cloud to supplement their existing security system, drastically diminish false alarms, reliably identifying intruders, and preventing loss or tampering of footage.
Angelcam can give you the oversight and peace of mind you need while managing your construction sites. Report, retain, and mitigate criminal activity through remote video monitoring. View your site at any time with our user-friendly web app or Android / IOS mobile app. Create clips and download them from the cloud when you like.
Source: Crime in the construction industry – CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) survey 2016
How are you tackling crime activities on your site? Contact us and get a free consultation
Tired of flicking from one camera to another, trying to keep an active eye on all of your feeds at a given time? With our brand new Video Wall feature, you no longer have to.
Easily create an overview that displays your camera feeds on one screen, customizing it according to your specific needs. Best of all, not only can you watch up to 10 cameras on one Video Wall, but you can create an unlimited amount of Video Walls and conveniently switch between them.
Use this great new feature to create your own video monitoring station or just quickly and easily check if all your cameras are online.
To get started creating your first video wall, follow these simple steps:
Not only have construction companies requested it as a means to record site progress for themselves or clients, but event agencies and conference organizers appreciate creating these time-lapse videos to show the various evolutions of their events.
A bit of inspiration, how you can use your timelapse video:
We have noticed an increasing number of Hikvision cameras being hacked over the last few weeks. If you’re using a Hikvision camera, please pay attention to this post and check if your camera is safe.
The main reason why we are informing end users about this particular security issue is due to how easy it is to gain access into affected devices. It is called a “Hollywood hack”, one press of a button and they’re in. The ease of use combined with the fact that it is a widely known and discussed issue means that it poses a real threat to many users.
Was I hacked?
In most cases, your camera settings will get changed for no apparent reason or the camera will be reset to its factory defaults. A hacked camera might even appear to work completely fine, so we recommend securing your camera anyway.
Please note that this is a tech article, if you’re not familiar with some of the processes below, please try using our AngelBox for additional security or contact your local dealer/camera manufacturer.
Which devices are vulnerable and how are they being attacked?
Certain Hikvision firmware versions have a static password hard-coded into the firmware. This means that no matter how complex the password, every camera can be directly accessed. Most cameras will end up being reset to their factory defaults, in certain cases, the attacker might use the gained access to take over the camera for their own purposes or try to access your network.
For the camera to be vulnerable, its HTTP port (usually port 80, where you access the configuration page of your camera) has to be publicly available. This means that you either have to have it forwarded on your router for remote access or you need to have UPnP enabled in the camera and in the router, as well.
Cameras NOT affected: cameras which are used in closed local networks only, cameras which are only streaming to public through RTSP port or cameras connected to Angelcam through AngelBox.
Both official Hikvision devices and OEM brands selling Hikvision hardware are affected. The brands include, for example, some models from Annke, Digital Watchdog, Hunt, Lorex, Swann, TrendNet and so on.
What to do to secure your cameras?
First, please be warned that you’re performing all these actions at your own risk. We are not responsible for any damage or failures resulting from following the recommendations.
If you’re not familiar with the following, we recommend contacting your local distributor and asking them for an assistance.
To make this matter even more complicated, there are two version of Hikvision devices.
-Devices sold officially through authorized security dealers
-Grey imports usually sold on Amazon, Ebay or Alibaba
The grey imports tend to be translated Chinese versions. Upgrading firmware in such cameras results in “bricking” them (effectively destroying their software completely). These cameras have a “CH” in their serial number. If you have such cameras, you can try any following recommendations except for a firmware upgrade. To upgrade your firmware, please contact your dealer/seller or try following one of many online guides at your own risk.
If you have a HTTP port remotely accessible and you don’t need it, close the port.
In addition to point 1, disable UPnP in your camera network settings and disable UPnP in your router settings as well. It will prevent local devices from opening ports on the router automatically. This feature is usually disabled by default, so just make sure it stays that way.
If you either can’t change anything mentioned above or if you simply want to improve the general level of security when using Angelcam, try using our AngelBox – a device with end to end video encryption which makes it effectively impossible for the camera to be hacked.
As an additional option, we recommend setting up a VLAN for your security system and disabling the devices from this VLAN to access the rest of your local network. Even if the cameras get hacked, the hacker won’t be able to gain access to the rest of your network.
At Angelcam we’re dedicated to continuously enhancing your user experience. To that end, our most recent efforts have just come to fruition and we’re bringing you a bunch of new updates and features:
Live camera overview
Users have been utilizing our smart multi-camera view on mobile devices for a while now, and we’re excited to announce that our web app will be following suit and integrating this popular feature. For those unfamiliar with it, the multi-camera view provides an instant overview of all your streams at once. You’ll be able to utilize this new functionality directly from your camera dashboard. With that, we replaced the static snapshots with a live snapshot stream (see example below).
Remote camera administration
Managing your cameras just got a lot easier because now all cameras connected to an Angelbox are manageable via a remote connection. Here’s a glimpse of what you would see from your camera’s administration panel.
Take your cameras to the next level
All cameras using Angelcam are now IFTTT-ready (if you’re unfamiliar with the magic of IFTTT, you can learn more about it on our blog). With that, it’s now possible to create an event on the timeline of your mobile app using any IFTTT-compatible device. To see if your IFTTT-compatible sensor, lock, or automation system are Angelcam-ready, have a look at this compatibility list. With IFTTT and Angelcam working in tandem, the only thing that limits your cloud-recording experience is your imagination 🙂
Navigation between IFTTT events in mobile app
Jump from one event to another to quickly go through important moments your camera recorded.
We know if you say, “I need help”, that you really need help, ideally immediately. Because of that, we are now offering new Camera Connection Assistance. For a deposit of $30, you’ll be able to schedule time with one of our experienced technicians, who will help you solve any technical issues – may that be connecting your camera, embedding a stream, managing your ports, etc. If the technician is successfully able to assist you, then you’ll be provided a credit of $30 for our cloud services. If the technician is unable to assist you and get your cameras/NVR up and running at Angelcam, your deposit will be fully refunded.
We are happy to announce that beta testing is finally open to all interested users. If you’re up for helping us improve our products and services, delivering an even better experience for all of our users, you can apply to the beta testing program by simply sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include, “Beta testing program,” in the subject line.
What’s new in the BETA? Create events from e-mail
Every camera will now have a unique email address, when upon receiving an email, an event will be created on the camera’s timeline within the mobile app, ready for you to discover. Learn more.
How has Angelcam helped you? We’d like to know! Please send us an email and share your story with us.