Pervasive Video is a concept that video, which already accounts for more than 50 percent of Internet traffic, can expand beyond the hardwired world via borderless networks and be unobtrusively embedded with other network technologies. The possibilities are dramatic and far-reaching.
Small wonder then that ADT Security and Cisco Systems — corporate giants in physical security and computer networking, respectively — have been collaborating since 2006 to enhance each other’s capabilities. Technology is driving improvements that both firms hope to harness in coming years. Experts from the two companies donned their prognosticating hats at the recent ADT Media Summit in Chicago to look at opportunities that will develop.
“We’re kind of in a new day in physical security,” ADT Director of Integrated Strategy Jim Lantrip told reporters representing security publications from all over the United States. “We’ve got processing horsepower that’s gotten extremely powerful. We’ve got network bandwidth that’s at our fingertips unlike ever before. With that, we’re seeing a shift in the industry.
“We’re seeing video cameras come to the network. We’re seeing video cameras get much more powerful,” he continued. “We’re seeing analytics at the edge, the ability to have storage at the edge. We’re seeing cameras that can actually make decisions around analytics and make our everyday life a little bit easier.”
Security’s role will be enhanced as technologies are integrated, Lantrip predicts: “Typically, the IT department has looked at the network as the transport mechanism, the tool to run the business and the business systems. They haven’t seen security as one of those business systems. Today, going forward, we’re making the security one of those business systems, so we need to be on the network so that we can bring more value to the companies.”
The value of both security and information technology (IT) will grow as the two become intertwined. As one example, Lantrip notes that companies can use their security system for a marketing purpose to check displays to make sure their merchandise is properly arranged.
“They can measure the number of dollars that are lost by not having the Christmas stuff up right after Thanksgiving,” he said. “We’re also looking to help companies optimize their production and manufacturing areas, helping them address employee safety, while we continue to do the same things we’ve always done in security, and that’s to protect against slip-and-falls and the liability associated with it, shrinkage, robbery prevention … all the items that we’ve been very good at over the years.”
Bill Stuntz, Vice President of Cisco’s Physical Security Unit, sees demand and buying power shifting from developed countries to developing countries. In the next 15 years, Stuntz predicts, at least a hundred new cities — each bigger than Boston or San Francisco — will be created from the ground up in developing countries. While existing cities are attempting to “retrofit” their various systems into the network, new cities can integrate from the beginning.
“‘Smart and connected communities’ is the label that a lot of people are putting on these new cities being built,” Stuntz said, “as well as existing cities that are going back and renovating and converting their infrastructure in order to remain competitive with these other cities that are springing up.
“These cities are creating a more effective work environment by being able to integrate all the different applications together, not only within the building — your energy management systems, your safety and security systems, and your signage and your communication systems — but throughout the overall city, tying transportation into that, tying waste disposal into that, everything to have a connected community. It’s to the point now that the network is another part of the basic infrastructure of that city, along with power and water and waste disposal.