Evolving Security Technology Makes Invention the ‘Mother of Necessity’

As new technology enters the security space, the industry needs to adapt to keep up.

As access control, video surveillance and security systems evolve from standalone systems into networked solutions to meet enterprise-level needs, we will see more new technologies that deliver better security while easing the integration process. From a system perspective, each new product advancement typically triggers the need for innovation in the product categories it is integrated with.

In many ways, this process is the exact opposite of the adage “necessity is the mother of invention,” inverting the expression instead to “invention is the mother of necessity.”

For example, when IP/Ethernet connectivity came onto the professional security scene, it created two distinct models for system design and deployment. Systems were either analog (utilizing traditional coax or UTP cabling) or pure IP (employing structured cabling). This greatly influenced products such as cameras, which were previously manufactured to accommodate one of these distinct types of infrastructure. This presented a quandary for camera manufacturers who had little choice but to offer parallel analog and IP solutions, with several manufacturers opting for hybrid products with both analog and digital outputs.

This left scores of existing systems with the daunting challenge and expense of ripping and replacing coax infrastructure with Ethernet cabling to achieve true network functionality. The industry responded with new adaptive technologies, such as Ethernet over Coax (EoC) adapters, which enable upgrading coax infrastructure for networked operations.

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In many respects, EoC devices proved to be a game changer for the industry, although they’ve been seldom recognized for the impact they’ve made to the advancement of networked systems.


The truth is that EoC solutions provided the ability to cost-efficiently deploy analog and/or IP cameras, and devices controlled by VMS and/or access control management software on coax cable and/or Ethernet cabling. This significantly changed the playing field for system designers and installers by enabling the co-existence and capitalization of existing infrastructure with the addition of new Ethernet cabling to accommodate myriad system configurations. It was all driven by the development of these small but highly utilitarian EoC hardware devices for more efficient use of new or existing infrastructure. The “invention” of new IP infrastructure led to the “necessity” of EoC solutions.

Additionally, new integration solutions are not exclusively limited to software-driven products. One example is the recent availability of smartly designed equipment enclosures that easily integrate power and network communications with access controllers and accessories from leading manufacturers. These enclosures were developed to simplify board layout and wire management, greatly reducing installation and labor costs, and to provide the versatility and scalability installers need to easily configure their products. The simple yet highly pragmatic design of the enclosure backplanes makes this otherwise cumbersome aspect of integration fast, easy and extremely cost-efficient – all real benefits to users and installers alike.

No matter how one chooses to view the process, the ongoing development of integration solutions such as EoC adapters or smartly designed equipment enclosures ultimately improves overall system efficiencies while ensuring higher security is maintained.


Bio: Ronnie Pennington is the national sales engineer for Altronix.

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