The Past and Future of Wireless Connectivity

Wireless communication opens new avenues for security.

The question for the future will be how these computer connectivity tools will surpass the traditional wireless security devices. For example, it is technically possible that:
• A traditional wireless camera will be able to transmit video images over an 802.11 network to the security guards' PDA so that incident response times can be dramatically reduced.
• A security director will be able to monitor access control violations in a remote site.
• A homeowner will, on the occurrence of an alarm condition, be alerted directly over a wireless network and be able to see pre-alarm and post- alarm video images even before the police respond to the call.
• A fire department will be able to remotely test fire alarm panels and sprinkler systems and observe the results in real time.

The future of wireless connectivity looks good, but the success in any implementation rests squarely on the manufacturers and suppliers meeting end-user expectations. The biggest impediment to the growth of communication between these technologies is the proprietary nature of the protocols used by many security system manufacturers.

Lionel Silverman, PE, a professional engineer registered in the state of Florida, has been working in the security and access control field for the past 22 years in both the USA and South Africa. He is vice president of business development for Facility Robotics Inc., a nationwide systems integrator specializing in building automation and security systems for multi-location clients. He is a member of IEEE and ASIS.