Looking to 2016: Security Integrators Identify Tech Challenges, Opportunities Heading Into New Year

SSI asked 12 security professionals for their industry predictions for the upcoming year.

As part of SSI’s Annual Industry Forecast (featured in the January edition), some 25 industry experts and analysts (not all are featured in each post) from dealers and integrators to consultants and manufacturers were asked to predict what they expect to see take place in the new year. In a series of online exclusives, questions are featured individually to get a broad cross-section of how the respondents collectively see a give forecast topic.

What do you expect to be the biggest changes, challenges and/or opportunities as they relate to electronic/physical security technology in 2016?

Fredrick Nilsson, General Manager, Axis Communications: Many of the trends we’ve seen in 2015 will carry into 2016. The importance of image usability will continue to drive innovation in technology as end users demand higher quality video that meets their specific requirements, whether that is detection, recognition or identification. Despite their early reputation, video analytics continue to improve and are more reliable than ever. Users beyond security can benefit greatly from video intelligence, helping to offset the cost of surveillance systems and encourage collaboration across departments. The Internet of Things, which bled over from the consumer market, will continue to affect the security industry as we see a move to completely integrated systems. Small and midsize businesses will see more options and value in IP video, including video hosting. Everyone’s attention will be on cybersecurity as organizations are held more accountable for the security of their entire system.

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Steve Surfaro, Strategic Channel Manager, Axis Communications: Compression technology will play a large role in 2016. Video surveillance manufacturers and solution providers will continue to improve and use various versions H.264 since most VMS solutions are designed and based on H.264. Early use of H.265 will be restricted to video streaming functions only, for stable networks, due to the high complexity of encoding and lower computing resources that many lower cost network video camera manufacturers use.

Physical access control will be most impacted by the consolidation of panel functions like locking device control, global I/O, biometric template storage and additional functions built into the “edge” panel or reader. Biometric sensors will be most sought after in the transportation market with fingerprint and iris authentication. In some facilities, biometrics can be used to accurately track unescorted visitors as they move about.

Intrusion detection systems will see a continuing decrease in use of traditional zone-style wiring and an increase in the use of multiple sensors — including video cameras — as alarm confirmation and other false alarm reduction techniques. Fire rapid detection, confirmation, false alarm reduction and location identification will all become primary requirements. Smoke and flame video surveillance analytics will support these efforts, though not as a primary sensing device, but as a supervisory signaling subsystem.  Aspiration smoke detectors that actively draw air into a chamber for analysis are expected to grow in popularity. Of particular interest is the use of 3D printing for customized fire nozzle rotors for specific fire suppression dispersal patterns. Previously thought to be just for prototype development, this use of 3D printing will encourage other safety markets to improve while lowering costs.

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Pam Petrow, President & CEO, Vector Security: Technology is the biggest challenge and opportunity for our industry. After 30-plus years of small incremental changes, we are now seeing the pace of technology accelerate. We were very fortunate to have had numerous years where decisions were primarily about price or minor feature sets, neither of which would damage your company. Today, in order to remain relevant, you need to be faster at making decisions, quicker to adopt and implement and willing to change the course if that decision doesn’t lead to the expected results. These changes, unlike those in the past, involve larger investments in human and financial capital, and have the capacity to reinvent your product/service set. The opportunities that were theoretical five years ago are now ours to embrace and deploy.

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