The Ghost State

Arm and Disarm AI Security Camera Systems
IPIO is an app that is part of a system that enables the remote ability to arm and disarm AI Security Camera Systems. The app shows the current state and a log of who and when armed or disarmed the system.

Turn anything on or off
While IPIO is primarily designed to control Security Camera Systems it is not limited to do so. It can be used to switch any electrical system on or off. It is a Universal Remote Switch.

Informative labelled logs
The buttons on the app can be labelled to reflect what is being controlled and monitored. This in turn allows informative logs to be written, for example:
Front Door Unlocked by Joe Smith at 10.30
CCTV Armed by Jill Jackson at 08:00

True information and managed uncertainty
The IPIO app features button controls that have three states: On, Ghost, Off
The switch happens very quickly so often you don’t see the Ghost. But there is a Ghost and it is important that it should be.
When the user switches a button it goes into the ‘Ghost State’ until the system responds ‘Switch Done’. Then, only then, will the app show the button in the new state. This true information is the difference that makes the difference. It is the feedback that helps the user to have confidence that the action that the app controls in the remote location has actually occurred.

IPIO app showing: Disarmed (labelled as Open), Armed and the Ghost state and a sensor input.

IPIO app showing: Disarmed (labelled as Open), Armed, the Ghost state and a sensor input.

IPIO Inputs

In every IPIO unit there are four wired physical inputs and four virtual inputs. The virtual inputs are compatible with SIGFOX sensors and are profiled in another blog post. In this post we are drawing attention to the four wired physical inputs.

The input connector block is accessed by opening the lid of the IPIO unit. The input block is not pre-wired. There are two common ports and a four input ports. The IPIO input circuit has a built-in voltage of 3.5v.

IPIO schematic

IPIO unit with lid removed

To fire an input a circuit should be made between the common and an input port. Primarily the input ports are designed to work with magnetic door sensors. Many installers use inputs not just as state indicators but also as start point points for rule-based behaviours. An input can be used to build an “if this then that” style rule.

We are not always aware of what ingenious functionalities installers have set up with IPIO, but know that there are many and varied applications: Here is a list of some frequently used set ups:

Gate activation – input detects either a gate open or gate close event
Gate state – sensor detects if the gate is closed
Kill buttons – input detects if kill button is switched and then fires an output to stop a process
Intruder alarm – set/unset
Over temperature – a temperature sensor trips to fire an output that stops a process
CCTV status – input detects armed or disarmed
Power monitoring – power level sensor fires an output to start recharging
Container door state – door sensor
Timer clock – input from timer switch fires an output to start a process

Input example cards

Input example cards

Introducing IPIO CC

IPIO is a physical device which to date has been a wired I/O system that arms/disarms CCTV over wired I/O connections. IPIO is often used to control and monitor doors, gates, alarm systems or any other device that is part of the security system.

EyeSpyFX is pleased to introduce IPIO CC

IPIO CC (cloud control) is a virtualised IPIO unit. It is hosted in the cloud, there is no physical I/O component. CC can be used to arm/disarm Camect CCTV Analytics hubs and monitor SIGFOX devices. IPIO CC has the advantage of not needing any I/O wiring as all connections to controlled and monitored devices are managed via software integrations.

IPIO CC units behave the same way as regular IPIO units on the IPIO mobile app and the IPIO web portal

IPIO CC is an ideal way to associate a SIGFOX device with the IPIO app giving the user the advantages of no power, no SIM card monitoring and a powerful mobile reporting app. IPIO CC is idea for gates to wind farms, harbour and maritime settings, building site equipment monitoring, warehousing, tower unit enclosures and many other applications.


SIGFOX and Camect devices monitored and controlled by IPIO app

SIGFOX and Camect devices monitored and controlled by IPIO app

Camect Integration with IPIO

EyeSpyFX are excited to announce that Camect AI systems are now integrated with the IPIO system of devices and mobile apps.

Camect make AI security camera hubs that feature world beating video analytics. Accuracy of detection events is close to 99%.

Camect AI detection hub

Camect AI detection hub

IPIO can be used to arm/disarm the video analytics on a whole system basis using just one IPIO switch or on a per zone basis using up to four IPIO switches. Multiple cameras can be armed or disarmed per zone.

Normally IPIO units communicate with AI video analytics camera systems using wired IO, but with this integration the need for IO connections is negated. IPIO units can now be connected directly to Camect hubs using a software integration. This software integration reduces the install time and overall system complexity.

• Easy, fast install – no IO wires required
• Two levels of user preferences
• Super accurate detections with app based arm and disarm control
• Multi camera zone arm/disarm
• Input and schedule based rules
• Full log system
• Instant event notifications

Arm Camect AI systems camera zone by zone

Arm Camect AI systems camera zone by zone

Event Logs that are legible

Event logs in Security Camera and Access Control Systems are notoriously hard to read. There are too many events, the individual logs are poorly phrased and badly parsed, you need to wade through lots of data that has no real information value to find the item you are looking for. Looking through logs on a mobile device is even more difficult as the length of the line is longer than the width of the screen. There are lots of good technical reasons why event logs are complex and the difficulty in reading it all is to some extent unavoidable. In the IPIO app we have tackled this problem and come up a with a design that makes the complexity a little easier to read.

Organised per day and collapsible
We decided that a day was the right unit to look at logs in. There are reasons when you need to look at logs over a week, but they are more extreme and we decided against including the UI overhead of that option. Each day can be easily expanded and collapsed.

The logs follow the naming preferences the user has set
Every system has the default names it gives to entities such as cameras, doors, sensors, buttons. In many event log systems these names carry through to the logs. This has the advantage of being always true in a system sense but the disadvantage of being difficult to interpret.
For example: Node1 UnSet by UserID AX456.
We decided against that and use the User named buttons and actions.
For example: Kitchen Camera, On, by Joe.

Colour coded
We use colour in a way that increases legibility. Green indicates armed, red indicates disarmed, blue indicates a sensor reset and white indicates a trigger event.

Our log entries are as short as possible. We cannot always manage to get the whole event log into just one line and need to carriage return but we try and keep the event log both meaningful and as short as possible.

Time of day is parsed as stand out feature
We use time as the main index within the day view. Event times are parsed out and made clear and stand alone.

These careful design considerations make IPIO logs easy and fast to read, improving the experience for the user and also helping the process of enabling the user to use the data as information that people can base action on.

IPIO Event Logs

IPIO Event Logs

IPIO App Configuration

IPIO is a universal I/O device and corresponding mobile app. By “universal” we mean that it can be used to monitor and switch any electronic/electrical device. Our expertise is in the Security Industry and typically IPIO is used to switch CCTV systems, Alarm systems, PIR systems, door and gate locks, security lights, audio warnings, etc. However, it could be used to switch a washing machine. Although none of our customers have used IPIO to control a washing machine many have found interesting and surprising uses for IPIO. To support “universality” the labels on each output button are editable. Button names and action status can be changed to suit the device under control.

Labels on buttons
The default label on a button is “Output (1234), Armed/Disarmed”. This can be changed to give more meaningful notations (Settings/Name/On Status/Off Status). The notations are also reflected in the event logs and app notifications.Screenshot 2022-03-02 at 14.39.40

Only display active buttons
The default set up for an IPIO unit is to display 4 Outputs and no Input ports. This can be changed to suit the individual set up. In many IPIO installations not all four Output ports are used. If a button is not being used it can be removed from the app. This creates a cleaner set up for the user.

Input tiles are by default not displayed. They can be made active in the Settings area. Inputs 1-4 are for physical inputs that correspond to the input ports inside the IPIO box. These can be wired to door sensors, intruder alarms or any other device. Inputs 5-8 are virtual inputs that can be used with Sigfox input devices.

Screenshot 2022-03-02 at 14.46.37

Android keypad solution for IPIO

EyeSpyFX are pleased to launch a keypad solution for IPIO

IPIO units are found in a wide variety of installations. A frequently seen setup includes a keypad. The keypad arms/disarms the IPIO unit and the IPIO unit in turn disarms the Video Analytics using an input rule. The keypad gives user on site ability to disarm without using the app. The IPIO app can still be used in the normal way.

traditional keypad

omg, doh!

There are three main problems with this set up:
1. The keypad needs to be physically wired to the IPIO unit. This often involves drilling a hole in a wall.
2. When a user arms/disarms the system using the keypad the log of that event is recorded a “Keypad has Disarmed”. This is because the keypad is dumb – it has no way of knowing who the user is. The keypad simply accepts the right pin code and unlocks the system.
3. Having a shared keypad code with multiple users is inherently insecure.
These problems can be overcome by building a system using an Android tablet. Our new app “IPIO Keypad” is downloaded onto the tablet. The tablet is wall mounted using a escutcheon plate fitting replacing the old fashioned keypad. The tablet is given a permanent power supply and placed in Kiosk mode locking the app to be permanently on.
IPIO app users register with the Keypad app and are given a unique code. They use this code to unlock the keypad and carry out any arm/disarm action they wish.

IPIO keypad

Smart keypad

The IPIO keypad solution has several advantages over a standard keypad:
1. It looks clean and modern (Ideal for showrooms)
2. Events are logged according user name. The logs appear in the standard IPIO app and also the IPIO keypad app.
3. No wires are required from the android tablet to the IPIO unit. The keypad connects to the IPIO unit via the internet via wifi.

IPIO keypad

Smart keypad shows customised controls