2020 Vision Archive - 2006

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Jun 20

Close encounters of the bird kind

SPACE age technology is being deployed to give visitors to north east England a bird’s eye view of wildlife on a remote Northumberland nature reserve.

The RSPB is working with Tyneside-based surveillance camera experts 2020 Vision on installing Big Brother-style CCTV equipment on the RSPB Island reserve (which lies one mile out in the North Sea). The project is a new direction for the company, whose cameras are usually used to monitor city life, not wildlife. 

Using the latest in wireless technology, a solar-powered camera on the island will beam live pictures of nesting seabirds across the water to a screen in the Tourist Information Centre in Amble this summer. 

In keeping with the RSPB’s aims, 2020 have designed a system to be environmentally friendly and as energy efficient as possible. The unique camera on the island is a discreet, unobtrusive system, which will be powered by energy from the sun collected from solar panels. 

Whilst not the main objective of the project, birds in flight could also be capture as the camera has a 25 frames per second frame rate, a 300 degree per second traverse speed and the images are in real time. 

The surveillance equipment is being installed on Coquet Island now, to ensure that all the gear is in place before the seabirds arrive at the start of the breeding season. 

The project has now gone ‘live’ and throughout the summer visitors to the CoquetWatch control centre in Amble will be able enjoy close-up views of the Island’s breeding seabirds. More than 30,000 seabirds nest on Coquet Island every year, including around 20,000 puffins. 

Stuart McLean, 2020 Vision Coquet Island Project Manager, said: “This project marks a new direction for 2020 Vision. RSPB’s objectives alone required our specialist team to put our heads together to overcome the technical challenge presented by the unusual specifications. We are pleased with the finished results and look forward to a long standing relationship with the RSPB.” 

Paul Morrison, RSPB Coquet Island warden, said: “Coquet Island is one of the RSPB’s smallest nature reserves and during the spring and summer every square metre is packed with nesting seabirds. It’s just not possible for visitors to land on the island because of the number of nesting birds, so we have decided to use the latest remote monitoring technology to take the birds to the people. 

“For the first time, local people and holidaymakers will be able to watch the private life of Coquet’s puffins, terns and other seabirds without the risk of disturbing the nesting birds.” 

Peter Houlis, 2020 Vision’s Managing Director, commented: “We are excited to be working with the RSPB in such an innovative and unique project. As a North East based business ourselves, we are delighted to be assisting in the promotion of tourism in the area, as well as providing a service of mutual benefit to the environment and local residents.” 

2020 Vision was established in 1992 and its services include CCTV, remote site monitoring, integrated systems and concierge solutions. It is the only company in the United Kingdom that has achieved Level 4 status with the Maxpro Video Management System, and its installations of such technology have been in numerous large city centre surveillance systems, universities, railways and for major commercial customers. Read more…

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Jun 10

Sunderland Housing Group – Transforming urban living through security

Sunderland Housing Group (SHG) is a not for profit organisation that manages tenanted housing of over 36,000 homes, among which are 23 tower blocks – situated across Sunderland City. Originally built in the 60s, the towers had become rundown as a result of on-going vandalism, tenants being harassed and under occupancy. Read more…

2020 Vision CCTV specialis blog logo
Jun 8

Intelligent CCTV system arrives from down under

A revolutionary new security system, seen as a major technological leap forward in the fight against terrorism by automatically alerting CCTV operators to unattended packages and suspicious individuals, is now available in the UK.

North Shields-based security systems specialist 2020 Vision Systems has won the contract from Sydney-based system developer iOmniscient to distribute its latest technology.

The new security system – to be marketed in the UK and selected overseas markets by 2020 Vision Systems as ISEiT – involves bolting a unique, new software package onto existing CCTV systems, substantially boosting their capability.

Peter Houlis, 2020 Managing Director, said: “This software system adds brains to your existing CCTV infrastructure to allow it to be able to identify suspicious objects in even the busiest crowd.

“A recent study showed that CCTV operators can miss 45% of activity on screen after 10 minutes, and up to 95% after 20 minutes.

“The applications for this system could be huge from shopping malls and football stadiums, to city centres and airports and we have already had initial expressions of interest from organisations in the North East and across the UK.”

The ISEiT system allows:


  • The speedy detection of suspicious and potentially dangerous objects in places such as airports, office buildings, major sporting facilities and power plants, alerting the camera operator with a play back facility to reveal the person who left the package
  • The prevention of theft in museums or other locations that house valuable artefacts or paintings – the system can detect objects that have been removed from the scene
  • No Parking and No Standing zones – the system can identify if a vehicle has stopped in a restricted zone for more than a pre-defined period and provide an alarm
  • Warehousing – the system can identify packages or containers that have not been moved for a specified period of time
  • The prevention of theft of computers from offices
  • The detection of graffiti and the person responsible

    Using unique and patented intelligence that is not available anywhere else, heuristic algorithms locate suspicious objects in a crowd.

    Mr Houlis said: “This system relies upon genius level artificial intelligence and we see adding this brain to existing CCTV systems as the next logical step in the fight against crime and terrorism.

    “This represents the next generation of CCTV technology which will undoubtedly make waves in the UK security scene, and should prove extremely popular in today’s climate.”

    The ISEiT system can work off existing analogue and IP based CCTV infrastructures, and interface effortlessly with most DVR systems.

    2020 Vision Systems provides expert solutions in CCTV, access control, remote monitoring stations, concierge and communications systems.

    The firm has worked on integrated security projects around the globe including the Gran Casina in Barcelona, Newcastle and Lothian & Borders city centre systems, railway monitoring on Egyptian National Railways and Baltic Rail and operations in several university campuses, airports and seaports in the UK.

    The contract was awarded to 2020 Vision Systems in a deal brokered by development agency, One NorthEast’s new Australian office who are promoting the North of England as the prime location for Australasian firms looking to develop their business in Europe.

    Regional Development Agencies One NorthEast, Yorkshire Forward and the North West Development Agency opened their Sydney office under the banner of the North of England Inward Investment Agency (NOE IIA) late last year to capitalise on investment and export opportunities in the antipodes.


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Jun 8

Working Lunch – BBC interview with Peter Houlis

Managing Director of 2020 Vision, Peter Houlis, being interviewed on the BBC’s working lunch about the very latest in artificial intelligence software – ISEiT

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Jun 4

Lothian & Borders Police – contract win for 2020 vision

LOTHIAN and Borders Police Force has commissioned North Shields based security specialists 2020 Vision Systems to provide a major overhaul to its surveillance systems in the mid, east and west Lothian areas. 

This highly prestigious contract, worth an estimated £180,000, will see 2020 Vision Systems building on the existing network of CCTV cameras and equipment to provide the highest level of surveillance technology in the Lothian and Borders regions. 

Overall this expansion will enable the Police Force to have 45 different workstations viewing CCTV images that can then be consolidated to a central point. The system will also be integrated into the Scottish Parliament building system in Edinburgh. 

Peter Houlis, MD of 2020 Vision Systems said: “This contract is a major boost for us and shows the important role that CCTV plays within the overall framework of community safety and crime management. The contract will be completed by a small team of highly skilled engineers from the company’s workforce by the middle of December 2003.” 

Detective Sergeant Ian Lusk is Lothian and Border’s Counter Terrorist Security Advisor, he explained: “2020 Vision Systems were top in our detailed tender screening and we are confident that they will provide the system we require. The new CCTV equipment will enable us to implement ANPR – automatic number plate readers onto the system and further improve crime prevention and detection with a ring of steel for crime and terrorism.” 

The expertise of 2020 Vision Systems is called upon across the UK and abroad. Among its many contracts, the firm has installed the security systems at University Campuses such as Northumbria, Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Birmingham, revamped the entire Newcastle City Centre CCTV system and more recently piloted a fire detection, CCTV and satellite tracking system for trains on the Egyptian railway. 

MD Peter Houlis is a director of The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) and also sits on a CCTV advisory committee for the European Union. The company is also the UK’s only ‘Gold Quality’ supplier and installer in the UK for Ultrak which manufactures many of the components used by 2020 Vision Systems.