Roundtable: Technology trends on the horizon in 2013

Jan. 7, 2013
Industry experts weigh in on new developments in CCTV, VMS, PSIM and access control

A new year is expected to bring a number of advancements in security technology. IP connectivity has revolutionized the way security devices are connected and has also forced integrators and end-users to focus more on the convergence of IT and physical security. While some have been hesitant to make the shift from analog to IP-based devices, the tipping point may finally be at hand. According to a report published late last spring by IMS Research, sales of network video equipment are finally expected to surpass analog this year. SIW recently reached out to industry experts in four major product categories to get their take on what to expect in 2013.

Video Surveillance

Predictions from Charlie Hare, national category manager, security and mobile video solutions, Panasonic System Communications:

1. Transition from analog to IP surveillance systems will accelerate. Recent advances in surveillance technology and the ability to integrate existing analog structures with new IP-based products and software have made it even easier to increase system scalability, enhance functionality and reduce costs. As a result, even businesses that may have been reticent to transition to IP-based surveillance technologies are finding it difficult to ignore the benefits.

2. Higher image quality via HD. While full, 1080p HD cameras have been readily available in recent years, they have seen limited adoption; however, significant advantages between standard-definition and high-definition video quality will drive a migration from 720p. Economies of scale and significant advancements in compression technologies, bandwidth management and a richer and more capable network infrastructure means the benefits that better video quality delivers will outweigh the challenges.

3. Video analytics will play bigger role in business optimization. More cameras mean more data that can be used for a variety of business operations – from marketing to supply chain optimization. As algorithms become more sophisticated and increasingly powerful, computer technology can interpret surveillance video in real-time and more reliable, application-specific analytics capabilities will emerge. 

4. Increased capture and management of evidence-grade video. The growth of video surveillance has spurred an increase in the use of security video as evidence in civil and criminal litigation. Questions regarding picture quality, provenance, and chain of custody will diminish as video evidence is captured in high resolution, time-stamped and stored in a tamper-proof encrypted file.

5. Comprehensive offerings from a single company. In 2013, more surveillance customers will be looking for comprehensive system and solutions offerings from a single vendor and holding them responsible for end-to-end integration and interoperability among the system components.

Access Control

Predictions from John Fenske, vice president of product marketing, HID Global:

1. “Frictionless” security. The term “frictionless” is used to describe security solutions that don’t slow users down. Rather than make users carry separate cards, keys and tokens, the coming generation of frictionless solutions will embed these and other credentials inside Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled smartphones and other mobile devices. 

2. Mobile access control adoption to accelerate. The foundation for mobile access control deployment on NFC-enabled mobile devices was laid in 2012. To fuel broad adoption, the landscape must include widely available NFC-enabled handsets with secure elements, supporting all primary operating systems. All keys and cryptographic operations must be protected inside the smartphone’s secure element. The landscape also must include readers, locks and other hardware that can read digital keys carried on these handsets.

3. Mobile will co-exist with cards. Despite its benefits, it is unlikely that NFC-enabled smartphones will completely replace physical smart cards in the coming year. Instead, mobile access credentials inside NFC-enabled smartphones will co-exist with cards and badges so that organizations can implement a choice of smart cards, mobile devices or both within their physical access control system (PACS).

4. Access control convergence. Users increasingly want a single credential for entering the building, logging onto the network, accessing applications and other systems, and gaining remote access to secure networks without needing a one-time password (OTP) token or key fob. It’s more convenient and greatly improves security by enabling strong authentication throughout the IT infrastructure. It also reduces deployment and operational costs.

5. Continued improvement of card technology. Today’s gold standard for access control applications is contactless smart cards that are based on open standards, and feature a universal card edge. Users will enhance their cards and badges with more layers of additional visual and digital security, including higher-resolution images, holographic card over-laminates, and permanent and unalterable, laser-engraved personalization attributes. Cards will also increasingly incorporate expanded digital storage capacity so they can include biometric and other multi-factor authentication information.

Video Management Systems

Predications from Gadi Piran, president, OnSSI

1. Storage at the edge. Memory cards inside IP cameras are increasingly being used to store video at the edge of the network. Edge storage can be used as part of a more decentralized video management approach or even to complement a cloud-based video system. It does not impact network bandwidth issues and ensures local preservation of video evidence independent of network connectivity.

2. Greater use of megapixel. Megapixel cameras are getting less and less expensive, and resolutions are continuing to increase. The economic case is growing, too, with H.264 compression minimizing the impact on network bandwidth. Users are gravitating toward better image quality as an important attribute of IP systems.

3. More license plate recognition (LPR). LPR complements the myriad computer resources that drive today's police work. Even in the commercial market, LPR can be a nice add-on to a video system, especially one covering a parking garage or lot. Adoption is growing, along with greater capabilities.

4. Virtualization. As IT practices continue to overlap the physical security space, virtual machines (VMs) are slowly starting to emerge as a trend in video surveillance. The approach saves on resources by eliminating the “one server, one application” rule. User advantages include fewer physical servers, a smaller data center footprint and more flexibility to manage and use capacity.

5. Video analytics’ take-off. Video analytic technologies are better than ever and also easier to integrate within a video management system. Declining costs and the increased availability of basic video analytics functionality will drive greater adoption in the near future.

Physical Security Information Management (PSIM)

Predications from James Chong, CTO and senior vice president of strategic innovation, VidSys:

1. Security convergence will be defined as electronic security and IT security. Rather than describing the integration of standalone technologies like access control and video management as “convergence,” we predict such integrations will be the means to a much more expansive market convergence in 2013, marking the beginning of a new era in which IT and physical security converge and dominate the industry.

2. Intelligence will move from detection to filtering and correlation based on business rules. We predict a video analytics facelift in the coming year, as data moves from the edge of “detection” into more specific correlation and filtering based on specific business rules within PSIM software. In 2013, critical information will be analyzed and converted from data into meaningful, actionable intelligence.

3. PSIM will expand beyond physical security to PS+IM. In 2013, we will begin to see an actual split in the definition of PSIM where physical security and information management will begin to evolve, with information management expanding to become a part of the workings of other systems that organizations and agencies must rely on - including building management systems, life and safety systems and other IT systems.

4. 3D visualization. 2013 will be the year we see 3D visualizations really begin to play a role, providing enhanced, real-time visibility for system operators across industries and augmenting existing 2D visualization capabilities of industrial facilities, critical infrastructure sites, and corporate and college campuses.

5. Mobile capability and technology will gain traction. As organizations converge their systems and technologies, they will look to align mobile and other “smart” IT with their risk management efforts to enhance benefits across the board. We predict an increase in the number of agencies and organizations investing in PSIM software and its mobile capabilities, especially those in compliance-driven industries that are required to provide detailed accounting of the actions, steps and interactions taken to reduce their risk.

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.