SSI logo

Electronic Security 2.0 Has Arrived

Let's face it, electronic security has not always been the most technologically progressive industry. But that mentality and resistance to change has made perfect sense ...

By ·

Let’s face it, electronic security has not always been the most technologically progressive industry. But that mentality and resistance to change has made perfect sense. The basics worked pretty darn well; you didn’t want to tinker with safeguarding lives and property, not to mention liability; the cash was rolling in; more advanced technology required more training that cost both time and money; and manufacturers were not targeting security for leading-edge innovations. Notice I phrased all of that in past tense, because I believe our industry has finally turned the technological corner.

Several developments have led to a true paradigm shift that I will call Electronic Security 2.0. These include the impact of 9/11 in promoting security awareness and making it a priority in the private and public sectors, and subsequent influx of both large, familiarly branded manufacturers and smaller, Silicon Valley-type high-tech firms. Additional key factors include: the convergence of physical and logical security; consumer zeal for technology due to the Internet and personal electronics like iPods, GPS devices and smartphones; younger, IT-savvy and next-generation owners/managers entering the fray; and the refinement, improved reliability and lower cost of complex security products. Finally, the economic downturn has made security contractors more open to trying new things, and suppliers more committed to helping them succeed in doing so.

The combination of all these circumstances came to a head at the recent ISC West event, where the now truly technologically progressive electronic security industry flourished in all its glory. Sure, high-tech items have been displayed before but this time was different. Having attended this show the past 12 years I can tell you this year represented a turning point in which advanced security technology transformed from novelty to standard. 

Throughout the convention hall, aisles and booths were packed shoulder-to-shoulder with ardent attendees. I practically needed a battering ram to transverse the floor. These installing and monitoring contractors seemed hell-bent on expanding their business into recurring revenue opportunities such as commercial managed access control and remote video, and enhanced residential services. The show’s buzz was akin to the din of a chainsaw.

And when I talk high-tech here it is not merely about IP cameras and NVRs. It is about megapixel and thermal image cameras that are priced right; powerful network infrastructure devices designed specifically for the rigors of security; comprehensive yet user-friendly video management software (VMS) and physical security information management (PSIM) systems; and consumer-like mobile device apps.

I have saved two of the most amazing, futuristic technologies for last: biometrics and video analytics. While they have often captured the fancy of film and TV producers, they have been undermined by cost, unreliability and misapplication. I am here to tell you, security sci-fi has finally become fact.

Lumidigm’s Bill Spence showed me how the company’s multispectral imaging technology scans fingers beneath the surface of the skin to authenticate identities quickly, accurately and regardless of environmental conditions. Stanley CSS’ Tony Byerly walked me through technology partner Hoyos’ iris-scanning solution. It is also fast, reliable and suitable for most environments. Plus it’s noninvasive and even reads through glasses.

As for video analytics, I moderated a seminar with Zvika Ashani of Agent Vi, Bob Cutting of ObjectVideo, Amit Gavish of Briefcam and Malay Kundu of StopLift Checkout Vision Systems. They shared compelling videos depicting real-world applications, and practical tips to specify and deploy analytics that satisfy end users’ organizational objectives.

That last point is critical. In this new high-tech age we must never lose sight of providing security within the context of total business and lifestyle solutions. The future of security is here. Seize it with fervor because as it has been said: If you don’t like change, you’ll probably hate extinction.


Article Topics
Business Management · Between Us Pros · New Technologies · PSIM · Video Analytics · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
Contact Scott Goldfine: [email protected]
View More by Scott Goldfine

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You'll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.
A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!

Between Us Pros, New Technologies, PSIM, Video Analytics

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


Don't miss out! Subscribe to Security Sales & Integration magazine today. - Security Sales & Integration


View all security resources & downloads