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How Smart Technology Is Simplifying Safety And Security In Retirement Villages
How Smart Technology Is Simplifying Safety And Security In Retirement Villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specializing in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analog, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behavior. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

The Post-Pandemic Mandate For Entertainment Venues: Digitally Transform Security Guards
The Post-Pandemic Mandate For Entertainment Venues: Digitally Transform Security Guards

As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behavior. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behavior, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organized campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behavior Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behavior With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behavior, particularly when they are the targets of that behavior. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behavior. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labor, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditized business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labor-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practise since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.

Physical Access Control: Critical Steps To Ensure A Smarter Future
Physical Access Control: Critical Steps To Ensure A Smarter Future

Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption. Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalization bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models. Digital transformation While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment. Yet, with more organizations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximize the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge. Improved access control in smart environments These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimizing resources and increasing citizen engagement. Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems, using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. Frictionless access control During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity. Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimizing the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customized and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful. Barriers to adoption Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant. Many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space. Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature. The importance of cyber hygiene Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks. Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited. Cyber security considerations Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognized cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security. The future of access control There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organizations by their association. The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world. Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies. As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor. The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.

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MicroPower Surveillance Platform Provides Cost-Effective, Wireless Security For North Hennepin Community College Parking Areas
MicroPower Surveillance Platform Provides Cost-Effective, Wireless Security For North Hennepin Community College Parking Areas

The Customer Located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) is one of the largest and most diverse community colleges in the state, serving more than 10,000 students enrolled in 60 degree and certificate programmes. With a rich tradition of excellence in teaching and learning, NHCC offers an exceptional student experience at one of the safest campuses in the country. NHCC’s all-inclusive public safety program includes regular foot and vehicle patrol, set building alarms, access control and a campus-wide surveillance system. To further enhance student safety, NHCC has also installed MicroPower Technologies’ solar-powered, wireless MicroPower Surveillance Platform in its main parking lot for powerful, cost-effective and reliable 24x7 coverage. The Challenge Campus safety is a top priority for college administrators, who are constantly looking for new ways to provide an open academic environment while ensuring student safety. With a far-reaching security plan already in place, North Hennepin Community College was left with one area that needed better coverage: the school’s parking lots. “We see a large amount of activity in our parking lots, ranging from vehicle break-ins and tampering to hit and run accidents, which we have not been able to effectively monitor with our existing cameras,” explained Erik Pakieser, Director of Public Safety at NHCC. “Staff, students and parents have asked for more coverage in these areas and we are committed to meeting their needs.” However, limited by budget, the college simply could not afford to install a surveillance system that would require trenching concrete to install electrical and network cables. In addition, the building that would have to support any additional hardwired cameras in the parking lots did not have an adequate power supply. “Every time we discussed parking lot surveillance, the conversation was over before it began because of the extraordinarily high costs of hardwiring,” added Pakieser. On the recommendation of Paragon, a single-source provider of converged IP/IT security solutions, NHCC selected the MicroPower Surveillance Platform to monitor activity across the South West Parking Lot, the campus’ main parking area. “We didn’t look at any other solutions,” asserted Pakieser. “MicroPower was the only wireless solution available that would allow us the cover such a large area without running network or power cables, and deliver video we required.” MicroPower Solution NHCC installed 10 MicroPower video surveillance cameras mounted on 40-foot light poles throughout the parking lot . As an open-platform system, MicroPower is managed using the existing Milestone Video Management System for easy, central monitoring. “We couldn’t afford to invest in a separate client, so it was imperative that the new platform integrate seamlessly with the Milestone VMS,” noted Pakieser. “If not, it would’ve been a deal-breaker.” Public safety, human resource and maintenance personnel have access to the MicroPower platform, which is monitored in real-time by Public Safety officers. “Our officers like the MicroPower surveillance platform because they can see so much more than before and it is easy to manage using the familiar Milestone software,” said Pakieser. The MicroPower Surveillance Platform is used primarily for public safety reasons, but human sauces sometimes leverages footage to resolve employee issues or liability claims. “All feedback on the new systems has been very positive.” NHCC installed 10 MicroPower camerasthroughout the parking lot, which aremanaged using the existingMilestone Video Management System Paragon installed the MicroPower platform without difficulty, and all users were up and running with minimal training. “We upgraded the CMS to gain enhanced functionality with the MicroPower platform,” added Pakieser. “Now, we have access to more search and playback featured that let us better leverage the excellent surveillance footage we have of the parking lot.” Results According to Pakieser, the top selling feature of the MicroPower Surveillance Platform is the dramatic cost-savings it delivers. Its unique zero-cable design minimizes deployment time, reduces installation complexity and does not require trenching. “There was simply no way we could’ve moved forward if we had to trench, so having a wireless option was a very, very big deal," stated Pakieser. A hardwired surveillance system would’ve cost thousands more, making it unfeasible. “A wireless solution was the difference between having parking lot surveillance and not.” The college has also seen a reduction in operational expenses since deploying the solar-powered MicroPower Surveillance Platform, which operates on only ¾ Watts and supplies a minimum of five days of back-up power on a single charge of its battery packs. “We can cut our electricity costs because we aren’t powering the cameras,” said Pakieser, who added that the college doesn’t have to worry about overloading its existing power supply either. “MicroPower helps with our budget and allows us to reduce our environmental footprint – a fact that has been well-received by the campus community.” Maintenance costs have also been lowered, due in part to the durability of the cameras. In fact, the college has experienced no downtime since they were installed. “The cameras also hold up well under the extreme weather conditions here in Minnesota,” said Pakieser. In fact, the system has required little to no maintenance so far. Public Service officers also save time because they no longer have to patrol the area on foot. “We can use the system in lieu of foot patrol, and quickly and easily review high-quality video to expedite investigations.” Pakieser also likes that MicroPower incorporates security features and a robust wireless network protocol to ensure that video data is protected and highly available, even in the event of network disruptions. “The IT team had no problem getting the platform running on the network and can easily support the system to ensure optimal uptime”. The MicroPower solution has changed the face of security at NHCC, providing remote, wireless surveillance where it was once impossible. “From a security standpoint, the MicroPower platform has been a huge help in our daily monitoring and investigating of parking lot incidents and a proactive step towards complete, campus-wide security,” concluded Pakieser. By providing high-quality video footage of the parking lot, the new system will also help reduce the potentially high costs of liability claims. “We are very happy with the performance, reliability and cost-effectiveness of the MicroPower Surveillance Platform and plan to install it across our other two working parking in the very near future”.

SourceSecurity.com 2015 Review And 2016 Forecast
SourceSecurity.com 2015 Review And 2016 Forecast

2015 has been an eventful year for the physical security industry. As 2016 looms, the pace of industry change shows no sign of decreasing.   Seeking insights into the state of the physical security market at year-end, SourceSecurity.com this month is publishing dozens of 2015 Review and 2016 Forecast articles submitted by manufacturers, integrators and other industry leaders. Taken together, the articles portray a mostly optimistic view of the industry’s present, and an even more hopeful view anticipating the year ahead. This article will provide a compilation of that variety of viewpoints with links to the individual articles. We appreciate all the contributions to our Review and Forecast initiative, and welcome any feedback. Nobody could have predicted the significant number of international security and terrorism threats this year, says one contributor. Undoubtedly this will result in even closer ties among the security industry, police and security services moving forward, as everyone looks to further enhance public safety. Combine Physical And Cyber Security The nature of risk has changed, and there is a blurring of lines between cyber, physical and online security. These changes are spurring organisational changes as well. Concern over cyber-attacks via physical security networks grew in 2015, as more and more networked devices interact with security systems. The IT department continues to be a big buying influence as networked systems thrive. Developing IT-friendly solutions and communicating effectively to IT-focused buyers (whose needs can be slightly different than traditional security-focused buyers) is more important than ever. Cybersecurity concerns are likely to see a broader focus beyond the servers, workstations and communications infrastructure that we are used to, growing to encompass appliances, vehicles, factories, utility infrastructure, medical devices, and myriad other devices that will eventually all be connected to the Internet – and therein lies the ongoing task. There is a blurring of lines between cyber, physical and online security Needs: Personnel, ROI And Good Integrators Given the growing economy, one challenge is to find and retain top talent, especially in the North American business. One company pointed to the tight employment market that has made it difficult to fill several open positions needed because of growth. The tightening labour market has propelled to the forefront a pressing need for talent. There are fewer candidates for security officer openings – and openings in most industries. The competition for top talent is escalating. End users are also seeing change. The economy and economics demand that end user organisations direct their decision-making based on two very well-known terms, return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO). One unexpected development integrators began to see in 2015 is that they no longer have to be the lowest bidder to win a project. Customers are starting to see value in working with a knowledgeable and reputable systems integrator. Integrators continue to bring new value to customers through new capabilities enabled by the Internet of Things. By utilising connected technology and sensors, security integrators are able to provide increased business intelligence across systems. One manufacturer says security projects seem very attractive because they normally can bring up to 30% profit for a standard security system installation. IT and networking professionals can install IP-based security systems, and there is a wide variety of cost-effective high-tech products available for every need. Interoperability will be the major trend of 2016 in the security industry. Initiatives like open standards and cooperation among suppliers are emerging to help companies react faster to changing security demands. The tight employment market has resulted in fewer candidates to fill security officer openings Video Sector Leading Industry Change The video sector displayed perhaps the most change in the physical security market in 2015. Perhaps there was some slim-down in scope and size of video projects this year, but one contributor certainly saw an upswing in new project installations. In 2015, the industry saw much more scrutiny placed on the quality of the video stream at display level. And new networked systems are meeting the demand. The end customer is expecting pristine, non-pixelated imagery. The affordable technology within the newest-generation of PCs and workstations from the CPU and graphics standpoint allow multiple views of high-definition camera activity. Other contributors agreed that video surveillance technology continues to evolve at a strong pace with improvements in resolution, integration, intelligence and bandwidth utilisation – all of which contribute to better overall security and cost-efficiency. There is also a broader variety of vertical markets showing an increasing need for video surveillance; security vendors must be versatile in their product offering. The products themselves must be highly scalable and must provide high performance at a competitive price. One-Stop System Or Better Integration? The tension continued in the market in 2015 between the need for effective integration of “best of breed” systems from a variety of manufacturers and a preference for a one-stop total system from a single manufacturer. Our contributors made good arguments for each. One company expects those with comprehensive solutions using embedded intelligence will dominate the business. This requires a dedicated focus on innovation in intelligent solutions rather than specific products, they say. “2016 will involve not only digitising the physical world, but also in understanding it with applications that go beyond the realm of security into business intelligence to generate actionable insights. This is the way of the future.” The cost of megapixel cameras has dropped dramatically as this functionality is now available on chips Another contributor sees a continuing and growing need to support heterogeneous systems that may include multiple brands of cameras and other devices, driven in part by the fast pace of new model introductions. Prediction: This trend will continue, and could even increase, through 2016. The industry also experienced more price pressure on hardware than in previous years. The discussion of price versus value will be a common one in 2016. There can only be one player with the lowest cost, but there is a part of the market focused just on cost. However, many companies will keep building on value and quality. The “siliconisation” of surveillance cameras has had a great impact on the security industry, especially this year. The cost of complex megapixel cameras has decreased dramatically as this functionality is now available on chips. The camera industry has gone from innovating on the camera’s performance and functionality to acting more like the PC OEM business, and this siliconisation is driving industry commoditization. Smarter Systems Coming Fast More intelligent systems offer plenty of opportunity for the market. The inclusion of high-quality analytics on board the camera, says one company, will be a continuing trend in 2016 and beyond. 2015 saw an accelerated adoption of thermal cameras with video analytics. Several contributors predict that the adoption of video analytics will continue to grow. There will be more enterprise-level and mission-critical installations where analytics are specified into the system. The technology will also trickle down into everyday installations, like larger retail stores, schools and offices. Indeed, video analytics are experiencing a renaissance, with even more applications of analytics likely in 2016. Another contributor predicts that increasingly accurate camera- and server-based analytics applications, available in 2016, can provide valuable data and insights for business operations, management and more. 4K cameras will likely continue to dominate new offerings in 2016. However, one contributor points out that 4K surveillance faces diverse technical challenges. Every element in the video surveillance collection chain — lenses, sensors, image processors, local-site transport (LST), monitors, codecs, HDDs, and WAN interfaces — must be “ready for prime time” in order for the mainstream market to migrate to the higher resolution. Every element in the video surveillance collection chain - from lenses to image processors - must be ready for the migration to 4K resolution    However, analog is still dominant in parts of the market with some still reluctant to make the move to HD and IP. However, 2016 will see a new generation of high-performance IP camera (4K) become established in the market. Cyber-security is another concern in the video market, as well as the physical security market in general. More attention is being paid to IT security because of high-profile cyber-attacks and data theft incidents, accelerating the adoption of IT security standards by system manufacturers and integrators. Wireless And Other Trends Wireless connectivity is a coming trend. A cost-effective solution is to upgrade network connectivity with a novel breed of wireless technology, millimeter wave (mmWave), which is the next unlicensed band. One participant attributes their success to not following trends. They favour an approach of questioning conventional wisdom and placing the greatest emphasis on customer benefits. They see themselves not as a manufacturer but as a provider of solutions that provides added value for the customer. It seems that regardless of the economic gains or losses over any given period of time, video surveillance continues to grow at a good to great clip. The demand for surveillance is always there, and the request from the end users and channels are always the same – great technology at a fair total cost, that allows them to run their business more efficiently, effectively and safely. The appearance of numerous mobile credential offerings signals the "beginning of the end" for card-based identity    Access Control, Biometrics, And Beyond News in the marketplace in 2015 included the rise in advanced biometrics, the development of more and more mobile applications for access control and important acquisitions that put smaller manufacturers on the map. 2016 will see an acceleration in the broad adoption of fingerprint solutions for corporate security applications. The market is maturing and producing reliable, effective and secure solutions that specifically address the issues that caused concern in previous years such as dirty fingers or spoofing attempts. One contributor sees a growing awareness in the C-suite of the perils of unauthorised entry, often called “piggybacking” or “tailgating” in security vocabulary. Top executives are becoming more aware of the threat and the potential cost of such threats, and they’re motivating their organisations to take action. How customers interface with solution providers is changing. One (cloud-based) company seeks to become “strategic partners” – to become “part of [the] customers’ overall planning and embedded in their organisation.” In effect, they are looking to add value every day. Market research is showing that IP access control is gaining significant strength and growing at rates that the IP surveillance world experienced for the last 8 -10 years. End user organisations continue to contain costs any way they can and have an interest in being as green as possible. The Changing World Of Credentialing The world of credentialing in the access control market is changing rapidly. The appearance of numerous mobile credential offerings signals the “beginning of the end” of card-based identity. Mobile offerings are strengthening in general. In fact, “invisible” access credentials are coming into their own, thanks in large part to technologies that enable smartphones to be used as electronic keys for locking and unlocking doors. Customers increasingly expect similar types of experiences where they live, learn and work, which is impacting how they interface with their company’s systems. The transition to electronic credentials is increasing as a result of more awareness of credential options and tangible improvements in operating efficiency. Security will move to a much greater focus on the user experience. The rising drone threat is pushing the development of low-cost radar and other solutions for detection and interception  In contrast, the increase in school shootings and other emergency situations in 2015 has made ID badging top-of-mind for facilities throughout the country, says one contributor. Instead of upgrading or replacing hardware, end users in many cases will be able to upgrade the software to have new features, even related to systems like key control. In general, key control is gaining mindshare. Whereas previously key management systems and lockers for asset management were seen as a periphery issue, facilities and security managers are now starting to see them as a vital part of the overall security strategy. There are other trends, too. The rising drone threat will bolster development of low-cost radar and other solutions. However, the industry will still need to resolve the issue of safe and effective interception. In fact, drones are only one of the futuristic trends likely to impact the market in 2015. The Middle East is a particular hotbed for vehicle barriers and other increased security measures for explosive-laden vehicles. One company focuses on providing real-time information to security personnel and first responders to help them identify, respond and mitigate emergency situations. Looking Ahead To 2016 In the new year, look for predictive security to be a more prevalent theme as organisations are tasked with not only providing more data but making sense of the data for use in improving security operations. Also, digitalisation for consumers (social media, tech offerings from financial companies and wireless service providers) are helping to drive IP conversion in the security industry: the advantages people have at home are desired at work, too. We should expect that more of the large technology giants known outside of our industry will enter the professional security market, predicts another contributor, as the trend towards networking and more advanced integration continues to gain traction. See the full coverage of 2015/2016 Review and Forecast articles here

Solar And Wireless Video Surveillance Technologies Continue To Revolutionize Security Market
Solar And Wireless Video Surveillance Technologies Continue To Revolutionize Security Market

Video surveillance technologies such as solar and wireless security which are cost-effective and sustainable have witnessed increased adoption. Innovative end-user focused security companies will flourish in the coming years as new market verticals are looking to address security issues.   Evolution Of Surveillance Looking back over the past year, it is easy to see how the security industry has continued to realise substantial gains. Some of these gains have been financial, some have been brought on by consolidation, and others have been delivered through the promise of interoperability. Most importantly, we've also seen users benefitting from the growing adoption of emerging technologies across a wide variety of business sectors. The next evolution of the surveillance market is around the corner. The economy and economics demand that organisations use decision-making that focuses on two very well-known terms, return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO). Security and surveillance departments compete with other disciplines for a piece of an organisation’s budget and, therefore, have to focus on generating positive returns. Fortunately, surveillance investments are able to deliver a significant amount of value in helping protect people and infrastructure, and users have also found ways to enhance the value of these solutions for uses beyond the security sector. Security In Education Sector But there are vertical markets, such as education for example, that face a real-world need to protect from the threat of violence. Although security-based decisions in the education space are often driven by strong emotional response, budgets are still a significant factor. At MicroPower, we are committed to helping schools stay vigilant. In December, we will announce a school security grant program, designed to help schools build a proactive perimeter security program. This grant program is part of our effort to give back to the industry and help ensure K-12 schools can deploy the technologies necessary to protect against threats. MicroPower are committed to helping schools build a proactive perimeter security program  Physical Security Across Markets 2015 has also been an interesting year for the critical infrastructure and logistics markets. These environments recognize a long-overdue need to address risks to the perimeter, and ingress and egress points. Surveillance technology not only helps secure these sites, it can be used to monitor traffic and operations, adding more value to the organisation. But whether these markets continue to be robust remains to be seen. The fluctuation in the price of oil changes the perspective, and we will be observing how these prices will affect the market in 2016. New Security Trends And Technologies In the New Year, we can expect to see a number of building trends. The rise in the adoption of technologies that have been proven in other markets, such as solar and wireless, will continue. In the security sector, such advanced systems can help reduce costs dramatically. The continued commoditization of video surveillance cameras will also continue to revolutionize the market over the next year. Companies that end up on top will do so by differentiating with meaningful benefits, and organisations that focus exclusively on price will prove to be unsuccessful. MicroPower Technologies was well received in the marketplace in 2015, and was fortunate to be honored with multiple industry awards for innovations in video surveillance. Our organisation’s business results are now defined by multiples as opposed to the previous year, and we look forward to keeping up the momentum we gained in 2015. The security market is a sound and sustainable business for innovative companies that can effectively address the risks and issues facing end users. At year-end and looking ahead, there is much potential yet to be realized in use cases for surveillance technologies that leverage sustainable, cost-effective energy and communication solutions to drive new levels of security and efficiency for the end user. See the full coverage of 2015/2016 Review and Forecast articles here

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