Outlook 2038: Experts Weigh In

What’s the future of security?

Technological breakthroughs
Whether gaining entry into an office building with an RFID access card or passing through the metal detectors at an airport security checkpoint, technology has come a long way.
The integration of diverse systems and the ability for these systems to communicate with one another on a shared platform is one such technological breakthrough, according to Fernando Pires, vice president of Sales and Marketing, Morse Watchmans, Oxford, Conn.

“Interoperability has enabled increased control over the security function even on the enterprise level with remote facilities,” said Pires.

New capabilities for video surveillance as well as access control and other security functions also added to the technological breakthroughs in the security market.

“Network integration and the development of IP-based systems revolutionized the industry,” said Gadi Piran, president and chief technical officer, On-Net Surveillance Systems Inc. (OnSSI), Pearl River, N.Y. “Hardware can be networked into remotely accessible and controllable systems, and for software, new capabilities enabled by IP technology. The industry is clearly growing in this direction.”

The topics of IP-based video surveillance technologies and access control are a natural development for the security industry, according to Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications, Chelmsford, Mass.

“Everyone seems to be talking about IP, not just the new companies,” said Nilsson. “People are becoming realistic about intelligence video. There is certainly a future for that but it’s hard to say whether it will be two or 10 years before the solutions are robust enough.”

With advancements in camera technology continuing to develop, including H.264, MPEG-4, pan-tilt-zoom, 360 degree rotation and much more, simple solutions incorporating ease-of-use, simple installation, data storage and bandwidth elements became essential focal points. 

“Advancements in camera technology have made the most significant difference, with ever-improving image quality and onboard intelligence for better identification and performance,” said J.M. Allain, president of Panasonic System Solutions, Secaucus, N.J. “Additionally, the move from a closed to an open platform through the implementation of IP-based systems has fundamentally changed the functionality of video surveillance systems.”

Others in the industry may perceive the transition to IP video surveillance as over-hyped when compared to the overall expectations. According to a recent report by MultiMedia Intelligence, Scottsdale, Ariz., network surveillance cameras represent about eight percent of the total surveillance camera market, yet the market segment is still growing nearly four times as fast as the overall video surveillance equipment market, including CCTV cameras, DVR’s, NVR’s and IP encoders/streamers.

Video analytics
Another major force in the industry is video analytics. According to David McGuinness, CEO of ObjectVideo, Reston, Va., analytics needs to be an ingredient appropriately incorporated within a system’s hardware that the user is already accustomed to working with.

“There was a time when there was the over-hyping of the capabilities of analytics and the values of what the software could provide,” said McGuinness. “It may not be a good idea to produce something new that may not be any better then what was already there.”

With convergence as the defining element in the security industry, more and more system providers are beginning to offer open platform solutions, with the capability of integrating different products on one network. For some, convergence is just the means to get systems to where they need to be.

“I think one of the hypes today is convergence. Convergence and integration is just a means; it is not the goal,” said Rafi Bhonker, international executive for Orsus, N.Y. “The goal is providing the end-user the application that they use to map their security safety strategies.”

“The solution to the issue of convergence is open platform,” said Edward Davis, vice president of Sales and Marketing, American Fibertek, Somerset, N.J. “It is the only solution that makes sense. ‘Ease of integration should be the mission statement for everyone in this industry.”

In 30 Years…
Continuing migration toward Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)–Steve Van Till, president and COO, Brivo Systems LLC, Bethesda, Md.