Security technology reaches for new heights with product development in video, access control, inter

For eons, man has gazed into the distance, envisioning what may lie just over the horizon. Fantastic dreams about the world on the other side of that apparent precipice have always accompanied these longing stares.

Looking over the technology horizon in the security industry has also been accompanied by great aspirations for the past 20 years. And many of those objectives are now coming to fruition. There are some amazing changes under way in security technology.

Major developments across this spectrum are already occurring, while other developments are within years, or even months, of coming to life. Recent developments in technology have been especially drastic in video, with new imager advances, high-intelligence digital cameras and video pursuit software among the most promising. Important steps toward high-tech goals in access control, intercom systems and weapons-detection technology also have been made.

While these technological developments will soon change the face of the security industry, rest assured that when it comes to technology, just like a man walking toward the horizon seeking something more, the technological horizon remains off in the distance promising bigger and better things.

Advances in Video Are Most Extensive

Some of the most exciting changes are under way in video technology, and one of the most important early developments is in video cameras.

A new imager, reportedly in development by Fuji, may dramatically improve resolution and sensitivity in 1/4-inch single-chip cameras. Typical imagers use a horizontal and vertical (square) grid of pixels. Due to this grid structure, some light is usually lost between the pixels.

However, this new imager uses much denser octagon-shaped pixels in the same amount of space to create better light gathering abilities. Another effect of this pixel density is improved resolution. In fact, 600 lines to 750 lines of resolution from 1/4-inch cameras may be possible with this new technology.

Access Control Sees a Pair of Developments

Two new developments in access control will make systems more effective. Several manufacturers are building HTML screens for their software. This advancement will make systems available to authorized password holders from any LAN or Internet-connected computer.

The second development is more fundamental. Access control system electronic architecture is beginning to move away from E-prom-based functions to tool-kit memory functions.

Intercom Systems Cross Wires to Integrate

FM Systems Inc. in Santa Ana, Calif., is working with video switcher manufacturers to develop a new type of security intercom system. The company recently started manufacturing a simple product that has powerful integration implications.

Weapons Detection Is Getting EasierA major change is also under way in weapons-screening systems. It involves backscatter radar and backscatter X-ray technologies. These developments could all but eliminate the walk-through detectors we are so familiar with at airports.

Thomas L. Norman, CPP, has worked for more than 23 years in the security industry as a consultant. He can be reached through Engineered Automation at (714) 730-1897, ext. 102.

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