Axis Communications’ Fredrik Nilsson Addresses 2012 IP Trends
What does 2012 hold in store for your business and the industry? Find out with the many insights offered in SSI‘s annual Industry Forecast, which is featured in our January issue. This year, more than 25 of the industry’s most prominent research firms, trade associations, business and finance specialists, systems integrators, manufacturers, consultants, and alarm companies rendered a deep and sweeping portrait of the impending security landscape. The participants addressed the most significant changes, challenges and opportunities they anticipate taking place during the next 12 months in seven critical areas. They are: security technology; security markets; security industry; business and operations; politics and legislation; risks and threats; and ongoing challenges. With the boundaries of print being too constrained to present all of the fascinating and valuable assessments, each of the respondents’ complete, edited interviews are being offered exclusively online. Happy New Year!
Axis Communications Inc.
Fredrik Nilsson: We’re moving to an all-IP, all-digital surveillance world and technology development is happening very quickly. Specifically, improving light sensitivity of IP cameras has recently seen some great strides. We’re seeing more and more thermal network cameras — which can detect in complete darkness — being integrated into professional installations. This will certainly continue. IP cameras are also giving users the ability to see color and detail even in dark conditions. We’ve seen a shift from CCD sensors to CMOS sensors for better light sensitivity. Also, thanks to the continuation of Moore’s Law, the camera has much more capacity for processing power, which can be used to digitally sharpen and filter the image — producing a color image in extremely low light conditions instead of switching to black and white like traditional day/night cameras.
In a second trend, innovations in storage will not only cause a technology shift for surveillance users, but also presents a tremendous opportunity for integrators to bring IP to smaller installations. Today, network video is the de facto choice for systems with more than 32 cameras because of its scalability, image quality and total cost of ownership. But with the rise of hosted video combined with advancements in edge storage, we expect to see IP become a realistic and affordable solution for nearly every installation, large or small.
Nilsson: Despite all its benefits, IP video only makes up about 30% of new system installations. There’s still a huge market to converge. Education and health care were early adopters of IP, and government, transportation and commercial installations are moving toward an all-network video model. With solid migration strategies in place via video encoders combined with new cloud-based and edge storage opportunities, the retail market is making great strides in IP video, as well. Soon the banking and gaming industries will follow suit and IP will be for everyone.
The biggest challenge of 2012 will be similar to years past: setting proper expectations. As we move away from analog systems — as with any technology shift — there will be a learning curve. When should I use a high-resolution camera? When is a standard definition one more appropriate? What’s the difference between HDTV and megapixel? Will this analytic work at the success rate my customer needs? Is hosted video the right opportunity for this installation? To answer these questions and best serve the security directors of the world, the integrator community must stay committed to its educational and certification efforts.
Security Business and Operations
Nilsson: As IP camera technology improves each day, better capabilities in the areas of image quality and intelligent functionality will make our surveillance systems more useful. IP video will be used for more than just security and surveillance. There are opportunities for sales and marketing functions as well as operational efficiencies that the end user may not know exists. Retailers are leading the way here, and are using their systems to improve the bottom line. We’ll also see an uptick in mobile device usage thanks to better image compression and ever-increasing bandwidth. This will open up new opportunities for remote monitoring.
Nilsson: We will see continued education and certification. The reality is we’re shifting to an IT-centric, IP-focused surveillance world. Technology innovation and product development is happening faster than this industry has seen before. This will only improve our industry by making our systems more effective, but it’s up to the integrators and distributors to ensure their certifications are up to date and staff is properly trained in order to stay ahead. IP in smaller systems will also present a major opportunity. In the world of 16 or fewer cameras, analog still dominates. And when you consider the thousands of small stores, gas stations, offices, and the like around the country, it’s not surprising that this segment of the market makes up the majority of the install base. These many small installs add up quite quickly, especially if you’re using easy-to-install products.
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