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It all began when a guy walked into Pacific Stereo in Fremont with a unique request. SUV owner Steve Yung wanted to protect his automobile with a security system that operated continuously whether the car was in operation or not. His neighborhood was experiencing break-ins due to rolling blackouts so he wanted a security system that would not only work during the power outages but have surveillance from a different vantage point than thieves would expect. Unbeknownst to Yung, the store representative, Mazin Bedwan, was not only a customer service representative but the owner as well. This request was completely outside the box but Bedwan was up for the challenge. After two weeks, the SUV was ready but Bedwan warned that the car’s battery could be drained if parked too long. Sure enough, early the next morning, Yung was on the phone telling Bedwan that the battery was depleted, asking if there was a solution. Bedwan installed an auxiliary power system with a proximity sensor to activate the cameras only when they detected movement nearby.
The new system was validated when a break-in occurred at Steve’s neighbor’s house. During a neighborhood power outage when all existing surveillance was down, the car recorded the burglary; its high definition video resulted in an arrest. Comments from city officials and police led to a realization that technology of this sort (video surveillance that didn’t need to be tied to fixed power) could be a “game changer.” Yung, impressed with the service at Pacific Stereo, returned to speak with Bedwan who revealed he was the owner of the store. Yung then spoke of his background as a Silicon Valley veteran, working with startups for the last 15-20 years. He discussed the need for a self-powered surveillance system similar to what had been installed in his SUV, adding “We can build it!”
Yung’s contacts and engineer- ing expertise combined with Bedwan’s marketing and business skill was the foundation behind the formation of their joint enterprise, V5 Systems. The business relationship was formed in June 2013 and a Fremont facility was leased later that year. Research by Yung resulted in the company name, a medical term that identifies a portion of the human brain responsible for motion detection or “your own inherent security system,” says Bedwan. This is appropriate since V5 Systems has created a self-powered platform that can run proprietary software and hardware independent of external wiring and fixed power. That platform can be customized with “senses” – sight, sound and smell – to analyze and transmit information to protective
services personnel for immediate response. Rather than wait for data transmission and an analysis before taking action, security and law enforcement can get vital information in real time. For instance, if a gunshot is heard by V5’s acoustic gunshot sensor, the sound is analyzed and information of what, when and where is immediately relayed.
It took two years to bring a prototype to fruition. What started by Yung with a sketch and concept was soon delivered to the market; component level engineering and design were involved. All of this was done in rapid order, in, what Yung calls “dog years,” achieved in two years instead of the typical fourteen for a new company. This is where Yung’s expertise in Silicon Valley start-ups was critical. He says, “Right from the get-go, we had the right engineering and strategy and we were focused on execution.”
The V5 solution is not simply a product, rather a computing platform that provides storage, software, memory, communica- tions and power. This means that it can be used either as a turnkey product or platform for other third party software or hardware integration. At the moment,
V5 Systems is focused on turnkey security products that allow outdoor portable self-sustaining surveillance where other systems require arduous permits, and costly trenching for external power. Yung says that surveillance of an indoor facility often begins outside as a critical layer of protection. Outdoor locations are not always close to power sources and may require flexibility if one’s needs change. V5 Systems calls this ‘the freedom of redeployment.”
“V5 has passed the R&D stage,” says Bedwan. “Early on we had technology obstacles. We have overcome our initial R&D obstacles and now have a modular platform so we do not consider ourselves a start-up at this point. Our challenge now is to educate the market that this technology exists. We are changing the parameters of outdoor security and computing. V5 innovation is not just providing a security solution; it is impacting the quality of life in the areas where it is deployed.”
Yung adds, “Our customers are those responsible for large areas that need coverage, such as shopping centers, college campuses, sporting venues, transit systems, etc.” Yung adds that “when introducing a new technology, finding those with the proper skill sets can also be a challenge.” Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales Nancy Hughes says that the market education process includes partnering with and building awareness through other companies by integrating their own software and hardware components on a V5 Systems platform.
Bedwan adds that “V5 Sys- tems prides itself on driving technology and innovation. V5 products are built from the ground up, not a derivative of something else; an entirely new technology to the market. The V5 proprietary power system is completely unique; it can fit in the palm of your hand, creating 1000w of power and runs for 3-4 days from six hours of daylight. We not only created a technology that didn’t exist, we’ve created an industry. We systems and other products, but it can be deployed quickly and easily without expensive trenching and permitting.
As needs change, the system can be repositioned without complex preparation or IT involvement. V5 sensors, which include HD video, acoustic gunshot detection/location, chemical detection, GPS and temperature monitoring, are in constant communication with proactive personnel via WI-FI, cellular or radio frequency.
center. They are smart and communicate in real time.” Whatever the need, V5 is able to supply the answer: Edge Security, Edge Computing and Edge Power. The sky’s the limit when you can take computing anywhere outdoors.
By William Marshak
For additional information about V5 Systems, visit: www.v5systems.us
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We look for partners that share our mission to enhance the security and quality of life in all outdoor environments, such as schools, sporting venues, enterprise campuses and downtown areas, making them safer and more secure.