12 Jan 2017

Editor Introduction

Some Expert Panel Roundtable topics are more challenging than others. Occasionally a question will “stump” the panel – i.e., no one will choose to answer it. Other times, only one or two panelists will step forward to answer a question. One comment does not a “panel” make. Taken together, however, these varied comments offer their own range of insights into the evolving physical security market. Let’s look at some of these assorted Expert Panel comments over the last several months. Better to post them here than have them lost to posterity!

[On the difference between VMS systems and PSIMs:]
I believe there is still a large gap between what a video management system (VMS) delivers and what a PSIM system delivers. While VMS systems are managing more and more within the physical security space, PSIM systems still bring in and integrate information from systems and devices beyond physical security. It’s this information and the interpretations of it that will continue to drive the need for PSIMs as we see them today. However, because interoperability is now a standard requirement for end-users and there is now an overwhelming influence on the market from the Internet of Things, we are going to see this gap between the PSIM and VMS close in the coming years. It’s not that one will become less prevalent than the other, but that all management systems will need to develop to meet the growing needs of customers and to be able to better manage their physical security and business operations.

[On the impact of analogue HD products:]
HD analogue cameras and DVRs are having a major impact on the surveillance market. In the last few years, the resolutions of HD analogue cameras have gone up considerably (e.g. 5MP) and the compatibility between components using different analogue HD standards (AHD/CVI/TVI) is increasing. Driven by these changes, there has been a pretty rapid adoption of HD analogue technology since it allows customers to keep their existing cabling in place – saving on cost and disruption – and HD analogue cameras are typically comparable in price or cheaper than their IP equivalents. Most major camera manufacturers now offer HD analogue cameras and DVR solutions. Interestingly, VMS companies have also had to adapt to the popularity of HD analogue; for a while they saw them as competition, but increasingly, they are integrating the DVRs into the VMS, so that customers can take advantage of the lower cost camera and cabling, while at the same time, gaining advanced VMS features.

[On how the meaning of “security” adapts according to geography:]
The word “security” has different connotations or nuances depending on the geographical audience and whether one is talking about security at the personal, organisational or national level. In particularly unsettled regions, personal level security is paramount. It touches personal safety, security of personal and employment data, along with one’s dwelling and any aspect of life where we want to feel safe. In parts of the world where reliably maintaining domestic law and order is a challenge, organizational security is often prominent. Security tends to deter, detect and detain attacks on property and assets belonging to the organization – whether that might be physical property or intellectual and data property. In some territories, national level security takes precedence. This can include defending the nation against physical attack from either hostile nations, terrorist groups threatening the nation’s infrastructure and more likely these days, defense against cyber-attacks.

[On mainstream video analytics capabilities:]
Quite a few analytics tools are “ready” for mainstream use with regards to the technology, but in many cases, barriers remain in terms of implementation. Retail business intelligence tools such as people counting and track analysis are now being used by some retailers, but their more widespread adoption is stymied by the inability of traditional security integrators to correctly implement the solutions and monetise them. When correctly configured, accuracy levels of such analytics can be high enough for these applications, but all too often, integrators are unable to configure the cameras and the systems to get satisfactory outcomes, resulting in customers being unhappy with the results. Analytics such as facial recognition are being pretty widely used in applications such as access control for authentication and license plate recognition is being used for applications such as congestion detection in some cities.

Jim Murray AMAG Technology, Inc.

[On how video analytics add value:]
There is a place for most if not all video analytics today when properly applied. The data provided by the video analytics has value. In addition, when building complex rules, with access to data sources across products and systems, an integrator can add even more value (i.e. build multiple checks to increase accuracy of when an event condition is true). However, video analytics are complex and many times their requirements for proper setup are overlooked or not understood. Example: a camera setup for people counting is going to be positioned differently than a camera setup for general video surveillance. Then the integrator also has the challenge to justify the added cost to support video analytics (i.e. additional processing power, additional cameras, etc.). In summary, I see most analytics as having a place when properly applied.

Editor Summary

As this week’s varied responses illustrate, our Expert Panel Roundtable offers an opinionated range of commentary on timely issues affecting the industry. Since the inception of this exclusive feature at SourceSecurity.com, we have published more than 91 questions including around 470 responses from Expert Panelists. We strive to make the Expert Panel Roundtable a timely and interesting forum for discussion of issues vital to the industry. We thank our panelists for their continuing participation, and look forward to continuing the Expert Panel Roundtable into 2017 and for years to come. Please provide us feedback on this feature, and let us know what topics you would like to see the Expert Panel tackle in the new year.