Innovations in Intrusion Detection

Recent technological advancements are bringing improved intrusion detection and hosted security capabilities for larger enterprises such as those found in the commercial market. Helping drive the momentum is remote monitoring, smart sensors and new graphic user interfaces.

A growing trend is afoot in the intrusion market for large commercial installations moving toward integrated, hosted systems. Commercial market customers are looking for solutions that can unite their intrusion, access control and video systems, as well as their fire systems, when applicable. At the same time, they are looking to eliminate hardware to free up cost, plus increase the speed and efficiency of these systems.

Making this all possible are control panel solutions with the ability to integrate multiple functions. It’s a significant development that is proving ideal for those commercial end users who have grown weary of managing separate security and fire/life-safety systems. The result is a growing end-user demand for solutions that are cost-effective, easy to upgrade and operate. As well, installing security contractors are increasingly able to offer customers a menu of robust services to help their clients better manage their businesses while generating new streams of recurring monthly revenue (RMR).   

As such, some key developments have emerged in the intrusion market geared toward providing this advanced, yet more simplified, approach. Notably, remote monitoring, smart sensors and improved graphic user interfaces are all capabilities commercial market customers can benefit from in their installations today.

The Power of Remote Monitoring

Since Web-enabled remote monitoring burst onto the scene in the last five years, the residential market has been its primary sweet spot. Providing homeowners with the capability to check the status of their security systems on Web-enabled devices has helped dealers navigate the economic recession and sustain (and in some cases even grow) their businesses.

But what about the non-residential dealers? Larger, commercial/enterprise installations may need more than the typical remote monitoring system utilized in homes. Not every company, though, can find the solution most suited to their individual needs.

Options are increasing as Web-based remote monitoring technologies have started to become more attractive in non-residential markets. One of the biggest advancements in this area has been user interface improvements.

Honeywell’s Total Connect 2.0, for instance, features dashboard-type interfaces that allow users the ability to see 100 locations using a single log-in. Older solutions required users to log out and then log back in with different credentials in order to access data from multiple sites. This, naturally, was a turn-off for commercial customers like retailers, restaurant owners and others that need to manage multiple locations. Single log-ins have helped to greatly streamline the process and make the systems much more attractive to end users.

By and large, these dashboard interfaces have become more graphical in nature as well. For example, customers are now able to use actual images of their facilities as icons to change views. The result is a more personalized look and feel for the end user.

Another key advancement has been the improvement of streaming video quality. Specifically, MPEG streaming capabilities have started to replace the typical .JPG refresh format that was used to “stream” video on mobile devices. Video quality was never a mobile device’s biggest strength; however, the   MPEG format is offering significant image-quality improvements more suited to the commercial user.

Overall, these types of advancements have started to make it easier for non-residential customers to take advantage of the much-talked-about benefits of remote monitoring solutions that homeowners have been enjoying for the last few years. Whereas homeowners want reassurance when their child gets home from school or when their pet is home alone, commercial customers may want to be assured their businesses are being taken care of when they are off-site.

A small business owner, for instance, could monitor when an employee opens the store’s doors for the day or closes for the night. He or she could also view when a shipment is dropped off at a loading dock. What’s more, customers can also arm, disarm or view cameras remotely with this solution.

Many Uses of Sensor Technology

The ability to receive event notifications is helping raise awareness for remote monitoring services among end users across a range of non-residential market niches.

These notifications can be sent directly to a user’s smartphone, such as a deli owner who may want to be notified when his refrigeration system exceeds a certain temperature. If that temperature is exceeded, a notification could also be sent to the central station. Not only does the deli owner protect his supplies from spoilage, he even has the freedom to write his own description for event notifications. For instance, he could write “Fridge #1 is above 50 degrees,” based on his personal notification preference.

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