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Plugout: An Advanced Security and Analytics Integrator for Retailers

CIO VendorJohn Aksoy, CEO
The hottest trends in electronic security are face recognition and video analytics. The application of these innovative technologies goes well beyond law enforcement use. Retailers are harnessing the power of cutting-edge video analytics technologies to secure locations and analyze store traffic. Security solutions integrator, Plugout, is at the forefront of these technologies. The New York based company offers several solutions beyond electronic security and surveillance geared specifically towards the needs of the retail industry, among other verticals.

Plugout CEO, John Aksoy, remembers seeing the first camera transmitting video over an IP network in 1996 when the technology was brought to market. “I realized this was the future.” Plugout was one of the first electronic security integrators to abandon analog technology for burgeoning IP based solutions. The company now specializes in the deployment of large enterprise level video networks, and access control systems. In the retail industry, it means gathering disparate legacy standalone systems functioning on a per store basis into a single scalable network.

Many retailers are running on antiquated systems. Plugout aims to migrate these systems to the latest security standards. Today’s IP cameras have superior resolution compared to their analog counterparts, and can run analytics at the edge, reducing the need for resource hungry centralized processing servers. Storage has become more manageable and less proprietary through the use of widely adopted, best of breed IT storage solutions. Enterprise level video management systems simplify video retrieval through the use of metadata and events based search functions.

A variety of modules can be integrated to video management systems including, people counters, foot-traffic analysis, burglar alarm integration with video confirmation, blacklisting of shoplifters utilizing face recognition technology, and video verification for PoS transactions.

The future of the industry is VSaaS: Video Security as a Software solution


For example, an operator can create exception reports and perform audits on return procedures. Mobile capabilities have become an effective tool for real time monitoring on the sales floor. A guard’s smart phone can even become an additional camera in the video network with a single command, and will record directly to the video management system. “These modules are not expensive,” he continues, “and they are one-time expenses that can be used companywide.”

Cloud solutions are particularly interesting for smaller locations. Eliminating a local server and storage significantly lowers total cost of system ownership. Card access can also be set up on the cloud further reducing costs while increasing uptime.

The latest IP cameras are able to capture up to 4K resolution, and provide greater fields of view thus lowering camera counts while increasing visibility. 360 and 180 degree IP cameras can replace older analog Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) units which miss events outside their physical view. Utilizing these breakthroughs, Plugout deployed an updated design for a major US retailer wherein 80 percent of PTZ cameras were eliminated, and 100 percent coverage of the sales floor was achieved. By eliminating blind spots and capturing ultra-high resolution footage, fraudulent slip and fall claims and shrinkage can be significantly reduced. High resolution IP cameras can fit into the palm of one’s hand, and can be painted to match store design making them more aesthetically pleasing.

Plugout is growing exponentially and will be opening a command center in a secure facility to provide clients with 24- hour video monitoring and data mining services. The company is expanding their cloud-based solutions while exploring the use of drones in surveillance and analytics. Aksoy concludes, “The future of the industry is VSaaS: Video Security as a Software solution.”