What's on the horizon for video surveillance?

Sept. 29, 2015
Industry experts weigh in on tech trends at ASIS 2015

There’s no denying that video surveillance is the technology that drives the security industry in terms of technology innovation, but it is also the one product segment that always seems to be in the greatest state of flux. In past years, the migration from analog to IP and the proliferation of higher resolution cameras were some of the biggest trends influencing the market and while they continue to be impactful, there are a variety of other market influences that have crept to the forefront.

Perhaps chief among these is the commoditization of video surveillance hardware and the increased focus that is now being placed on software and analytics to help companies differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. The Internet of Things and the utilization of cloud services, which were once just abstract concepts to many, have now become a key part of many vendors’ product roadmaps.

SIW caught up with a few industry experts with various backgrounds at ASIS 2015 to get their take on what trends are going to have the biggest effect on the industry moving forward, as well as some of the technology innovations that could be on the horizon within the industry in the near future.

Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications: I think the Internet of Things and adding more and more devices. We’ve talked about all the big guard companies, the only thing they want to do is grow their services and… they want to sell electronic security systems that supplement their guards to make them more efficient and make more money on a regular basis. Everything is becoming more and more automated, so whether you like it or not, if there are 10 million cameras sold in the Americas this year, there will be 20 million in a couple of years. Will they be cheaper? Yes, but they will also be automated somewhere and someone will need to maintain them. People want them to last for 10 years, they want to have the best industry support available and they want them integrated with different systems, so that’s kind of the opportunity we’re all riding on. Shifting that $200 billion we spend every year on guards, police forces and those sorts of things more on electronic security would help provide a smarter and safer environment. 

Brandon Reich, senior director of surveillance solutions, Pivot3: The promise of video analytics has been around for a long, long time. But I think you are just now starting to see the technology catch up with the promise of what was originally hoped for. Now our customers will have the ability to leverage their video surveillance data that they generate for really important, strategic business purposes. It may be used for business intelligence, we’ve all heard about using video analytics in retail applications, but if you look across the industry, you will see there are applications in almost every type of vertical market to leverage video surveillance data and video analytics to somehow improve their business or operations.” 

Ian Johnston, CTO, Digital Watchdog: I think its software. There’s only so much you can do with hardware. When you start writing software and combining analytics and combining storage options and all of this stuff, it makes the user that much more empowered and it also makes the technology just disappear. I am a geek through and through, but what I love is when technology just disappears, it just works and it satisfies and delights the customer.  That’s one of the things we’re trying to do with some of these software features and there are so many things you can just right click and say, ‘Yeah, this is what I want,’ and also under the cover there is some magic that happens to make that possible, but that’s the power of software.

Tom Cook, vice president of sales, Samsung Techwin America: From a technology standpoint, you’re constantly seeing companies push the envelope on the higher end megapixels, adding multiple cameras in a housing, multi-sensor and things like that. I don’t think that’s stopping. Storage is getting cheaper, bandwidth is getting smarter, and H.265 is coming, so that allows us to grow the technology to be bigger and better. That’s just going to be normal growth where we’re going over the next five years. I think what you will see is a lot more requirements for analytics and a lot smarter systems. How do we take our system and make it more automated and make it smarter and do more for the customer?

Jeff Karnes, senior vice president, marketing and operations, 3VR: I would say the bigger trend is cloud and this industry has also struggle with that. I think as the cloud has become more trusted, at least for certain services, and they understand how to run a cloud environment – whether it’s a private cloud, public cloud or managed cloud – I think that’s helping IT departments now understand that there is a cost benefit moving in this direction.

Wayne Arvidson, vice president, video surveillance solutions, Quantum: There are a couple of key things: one is we certainly see resolutions not leveling off; they are going to continue to increase so that’s going to put a lot of strain on the infrastructures. Resolutions and camera counts are going up and more sensors per camera will increase bandwidth constraints. The other thing we see from talking with camera manufacturers is a lot more building in of analytics capability and more processing power on the camera itself.