Avigilon Analytics


Avigilon is a Vancouver based security equipment designer and manufacturer, perhaps most well known for the software they have developed to analyze raw video data, with no input other than the pixels streamed through an HD camera setup. “Open Video Management” using what they term “Self-Learning” video analytics is the cornerstone of any modern video analytics solution. The company also manufactures several lines of high quality HD cameras and access control gear, but it is not a requirement that all equipment be from Avigilon. Avigilon analytics is performed on-site with a proprietary set of hardware and software, and is effectively limited only by the quality of the video input.

What does this all mean for the consumer? For the residential market, there is not much application, and most home owners would see the cost as extraordinary, considering the increasingly cheap residential offerings from mainstream security integrators. It is also generally not necessary to run such extensive analytics in a residential setting. What Avigilon’s video analytics are particularly useful for are larger, enterprise-scale security operations, such as car lots, schools, and highly trafficked gates. This is something our company has considerable experience with, both in installing and integrating with other cameras and access control systems, as well as servicing and maintaining this type of equipment.

For example, let’s look at our most popular security solution featuring Avigilon; car dealerships. Avigilon’s analytics recognize a car versus some other object and distinguishes between a person and an animal or some other moving object which is not a security threat. The degree to which any software is actually “self-learning” is certainly up for debate, though the type of software underpinning these analytics systems is similar in structure to the kind of predictive software used by Google, Amazon, or Facebook to predict future purchases and analyze behaviors. The idea is that the software is able to self-code within the limited scope of object detection and threat discernment. This implies that each individual system that is integrated with Avigilon analytics will be slightly different over time for each installation in order to better perform in that particular setting.

Security Technology of South Texas is well versed in customizing analytics solutions to each customer based on their concerns and security needs. As we move into the future, analytics will become a de facto component of any competent access control and video surveillance installation, as it is able to reduce or eliminate false alarms, the traditional bane of functional, digital security.

Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom designed systems such as this from the ground up or integrated into existing infrastructure, where possible. We are available 24/7 at admin@gostst.com  on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863.Avigilon-logo

Sources: Avigilon.com

The Uses and Limits of Amazon’s “Rekogntion” Facial Recognition Software


A new test by the ACLU demonstrates these limitations





The American Civil Liberties Union recently tested Amazon’s facial recognition tech — and the results were less than favorable. To test the system’s accuracy, the faces of all 535 members of congress were scanned against 25,000 public mugshots, through Amazon’s open Rekognition API. Although none of the members of Congress were in any of these mugshot lineup, Amazon’s system nevertheless generated 28 false matches. The ACLU claims this raises some particularly serious concerns about Rekognition’s use by law enforcement and in the legal and medical world.


“An identification — whether accurate or not — could cost people their freedom or even their lives,” the group said in an accompanying statement. “Congress must take these threats seriously, hit the brakes, and enact a moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition.” (ACLU)


According to The Verge, an “Amazon spokesperson attributed the results to poor calibration.” However this does not necessarily account for the results. Amazon’s system currently operates with the default confidence threshold of just 80 percent. Yet Amazon claims it recommends at the very least a 95 percent threshold for situations such as medicine and law enforcement where relying on a machine to ID someone could cost them their freedom, life, or worse.


“While 80% confidence is an acceptable threshold for photos of hot dogs, chairs, animals, or other social media use cases,” the representative said, “it wouldn’t be appropriate for identifying individuals with a reasonable level of certainty.” (ACLU) Even still, the Rekognition suite does nothing to affect that recommendation during the process of setting it up, and there is of course little to nothing to prevent law enforcement agencies from using the default setting of 80 percent.


In May of this year, this tech came into the limelight when the ACLU report was able to show the system being in use by a number of LEO agencies including the police of Orlando, Florida. It is sold as a part of Amazon’s Web Services cloud, and is quite inexpensive with a costs as low as less than just 12 dollars a month for the entire department.


Furthermore, this test demonstrated a continuing problem of many facial recognition systems, which have  historically had considerably difficulty    in accurately identifying both women and non-white minorities. Of the 28 false matches, 11 involved black members of congress, although they make up just around 20  percent of the whole of congress itself. Some other systems fair even worse. With the system used by the London Metro Police force producing as many as 49 false matches for every legitimate hit, which then necessitates a manual and time and resource consuming search though these false-positives.

Ostensibly, facial recognition IDs would be confirmed through multiple human sources before an arrest would be made, though many say that even checking faces violates privacy rights. Worse still, it is not hard to imagine a situation where an officer sees a false match that leads him to believe the potential arrestee could be armed and dangerous, and also plant ideas about the person before even really investigating, changing the outcome of a routine stop from routine, to possibly violent, even deadly.

Security Technology of South Texas works with analytics and facial recognition video surveillance in its projects, and are experts in integrating, understanding, and sourcing only the best tech to get your job done, at a price you can feel good about. Let us show you the difference between a local, responsive, company that strives for only excellence and client satisfaction versus the kind of experience we have all come to expect from the detached, hard to reach, and inferior service and installations inherent to the juggernauts of the security industry.

Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7

Sources: ACLcomU, Verge.com,  Amazon.

Voiceprints: The Next Thing in Biometrics


A voiceprint is a set of measurable characteristics of a human voice that uniquely identifies an individual. Based on both the physical configuration of the speaker’s mouth and throat, these biometrics can then be expressed as a mathematical formula. “The term applies to a vocal sample recorded for that purpose, the derived mathematical formula, and its graphical representation.” (Forbes) Voiceprints can be used in voice ID systems for user authentication.


Voiceprint technology was, thought their own admission,developed first by the NSA in an attempt to catalogue through their claimed worldwide recordings of phone and VOIP. Naturally, this was justified with the tried and true gambit of “National Security. As the tech becomes more mainstream though, we should expect to see it in more and more institutions beyond the government and spy and intelligence agencies.


Citi, for instance, has made use of voice biometrics authentication in order to recognize customers from their voice withing a mere first few seconds of conversation. They launched the project this year to “automatically verify a customer’s identity while the customer is explaining the reason for calling, allowing customer service reps (CSR) to skip tedious questions about the customer’s first pet’s name, place of birth, last four of the social, favorite sports team and nearest sibling’s place of residence.” (Citi)


Citi’s   branch handling the  manufacture of voice biometrics makes claims that its software is capable of securely and rapidly authenticating customers in real-time without any effort fro the customer, reducing service times. This frees CSR to do their work and enhancing overall cyber-security and authentication, reducing fraud.. “Citi Voice Biometrics uses sophisticated technology to identify roughly 130 different physical and behavioral characteristics within a person’s vocal pattern” then matching those with the prerecorded voice print in order to verify the caller’s identity. It takes just under a minute to set up the system; and around 250,000 of Citi’s U.S. credit card holders have already opted in, according to the Citi. This would make its deployment of this type of voice biometric is the largest in the U.S. outside of government intelligence.

“Voice biometrics allows us to fundamentally change the customer experience – from ‘Who are you?’ to ‘How can I help?'” said Andrew S. Keen, Citi’s chief administrative officer for global consumer operating functions. “This is one of several new capabilities we’re introducing to increase protection while decreasing friction for Citi clients. We take a multi-pronged approach to security, and voice biometrics is an additional layer of defense. Our ultimate goal is to provide protection, peace of mind and convenience for our customers.” (Andrew S. Keen of Citi)

Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website gostst.com or via phone at

210-446-4863   24/7


Sources: Security Today Magazine, Citi, NSA.gov

Moving Access Control Into Interior Openings In Large Complexes


Technology exists in a co-evolutionary relationship with the people who use it. When technology evolves to become faster or smarter, the user follows. Innovations come to fill the gap in solving the end-users problems. Electronic access control follows this pattern as well. Where it was traditionally found surrounding the perimeter of a building and in specific high-risk areas, mostly due to cost limitations inherent in wired access control, the smart locks of today are often found deep into the interior doors of a building for applications that reach beyond simple security.

This is especially true for buildings that have more than 50 employees coming and going from the main doors each day. When large groups enter the building at the beginning of the day, RFID can be logged from a card carried by each person. It is possible to give varying levels of access to interior doors to different individuals, and of course to track movement and time spent in different areas. Interior access control gives advantages to both management and the general employee. Using wireless access control eliminates the need for maintaining sets of keys and keeping track of who has what and who may have accessed an area at some time. Employees have become increasingly use to swiping a key for access to their location. Basically, a cascading effect of adoption of interior wireless locks occurred over the last several years and in any serious installation it is almost guaranteed to be a major aspect of the project.

The same type of case can be made for K-12 schools, with the main entrance and secondary entrances being incorporated into the overall access control system. Using the correct hardware, a school can be setup to easily enter a lockdown of its entire perimeter. Once schools see these benefits, they quickly realize that incorporating the same locks into classrooms can allow for the lockdown of sections of a school to contain a crisis or protect from an external threat.

The evolution of this technology has reduced costs and improved reliability and performance, as well as the general capabilities of the systems. The differences in meeting the needs of a school versus an office, for instance, are where a security Integrator is able to come in and help the user decide between things like having real-time access to a wireless lock via a gateway in the school setting, versus perhaps going with a Wi-Fi connection in the office. This is not in real-time, but the office also has less need for the ability to go into quick lockdown to guard against an outside threat.

Variations like these in architecture allow for a mixing and matching of locks on interior and exterior doors to meet the needs of the customer. The demand for a “one-card solution” is already here, and increasingly users want and expect to be able to manage the functions of these systems through their mobile devices. As a Security Integrator, Security Technology of South Texas is prepared to build a tailor fit system for the needs of schools, places of work, car dealerships and more.

Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7