How ‘Industry 4.0’ Technologies Are Impacting Physical Security

Computational capabilities at the edge, accompanied by connectivity and data processing in the Cloud, provide the ability to perform tasks once considered significantly difficult. Here’s how these technologies are affecting the security industry.

How ‘Industry 4.0’ Technologies Are Impacting Physical Security

With the emergence of Industry 4.0-enabled technologies (cyber-physical systems, IoT devices, Cloud computing), there has been a major shift in the physical security industry. Market forces, which include an increasing number of Millennials, expect a swifter move toward modern technology compared to the status quo of a few decades ago.

For various reasons, the physical security industry has lagged behind in accepting and adopting the latest technologies of this latest industrial revolution.

However, the convenience and benefits provided by technologies such as connected infrastructure and artificial intelligence (AI) is changing that paradigm for the good.

These technologies are exponentially superior and have significant capabilities and advantages. Computational capabilities at the edge, accompanied by connectivity and data processing in the Cloud, provide the ability to perform tasks once considered significantly difficult.

Industry 4.0 technologies offer the potential of exponential growth while reducing barriers to entry to the market. This is evident when new players enter the physical security space with technologies that are disrupting the existing big players.

Large nonmarket players are now entering the security fray as adjacent to their current products and services. It’s becoming an interesting dynamic for this industry and while opening eyes to explore and expand in other areas of growth.

Why AI Is a Force to Reckon With

AI is taking center stage — teaching machines to complete common tasks without any human intervention. Borrowing from the evolving technology for self-driving cars, for example, AI can be used to fundamentally change the functionality and resolve underlying issues within the physical security space.

With that process just getting started, machines can be taught to understand human behavior by using previous video/audio footage. This will help to accurately predict a potential intrusion/burglary and, therefore, improve the chances of eliminating the occurrence altogether as opposed to reacting to alarms, which is the norm today. AI is also helping to reduce the number of false alarms, which continue to burden the industry.

Robotics, aided by AI, is another field of potential (read much more in last month’s SSI). Drones and self-driving robots can see, understand and perform tasks that were very difficult to perform about 10 years ago.

Self-flying drones can aid in surveying energy plants, for instance, as well as assist law enforcement to assess a dangerous situation faster than ever. Self-driving robots can efficiently perform some common tasks of a security guard.

An extension of robotics are chatbots and voicebots, which have been updated and educated via data collected over the years. Today, banks and telecom companies deploy bots to answer calls day and night. They understand the requests and conversation. While voicebots are still improving and need more work, chatbots have come a long way.

This is all just the beginning. As these technologies mature, a significant change to daily lives is the future. While the path to get there is certainly not easy, exploring and improving these technologies is worth the effort. Accepting, adopting and achieving “the future” has already far exceeded expectations.

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About the Author


Moiz Neemuchwala is Innovation Product Manager – IoT/Big Data, Stanley Security.

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