A Look at Trends and Advances in Security During 2017

Trends and advances in the security industry are examined, including the latest in AI, video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection.

A Look at Trends and Advances in Security During 2017

Every year SSI takes the time to identify and review top trends and technology advancements in the area of video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection.

We do that by identifying top subject matter experts who work in the security market. SSI staffers also bring to you the top 30 products on the heels of nearly every major show, such as ISC West, ISC East, ASIS, CEDIA and others (coming soon online).

In this article, we’ll talk about several top trends and technological advancements that have taken place over the past 12 months and how they might ultimately affect security in the coming years.

For example, probably the most cited advancement of 2017 is that of deep machine learning, also known as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whether it’s video surveillance, access control or intrusion detection, the insertion of AI into the equation holds great promise of big things in the years to come.

An Ever-Expanding AI Presence

AI can cut through the noise to derive an almost immediate answer to real-time situations. AI, in fact, is the only way that security can deal with Big Data, even mid-size quantities of data. Human capacity has its limitations and that’s exactly why AI holds so much potential.

Kurt Takahashi, president of AMAG of Torrance, Calif., addresses the issue of AI from an information and situational management perspective, saying that security manufacturers have done a good job in terms of incorporating workflow.

Many of them also have incorporated other systems to assist with data collection. The problem is not the ability to collect information from multiple sources, but rather what will security do with all the information?

When there’s an incident, security personnel must facilitate informed, rapid solutions which lead to informed decisions that hopefully lead to good outcomes. A management system must be in place capable of processing information from multiple sources. It must do so at an extremely high rate of speed, rendering informed, safe, and actionable solutions.

Takahashi says, “Many of us like to use other technologies with the management system use. FST Biometrics America Inc. of New York City, N.Y., a good partner of ours, is on the cutting edge of facial recognition using AI. This makes it possible to give the clients an image of their lobby along with a full complement of information on who they should be interested in as well as those they should be concerned about.”

“The FST solution allows for turnstiles installation of high resolution cameras that allow FST facial biometric to grant access or not simply by the facial analytics. The biometrics provides two colors, red and green, which form around every face,” says David Gonzalez, Security Solution Specialist & Product Specifier with Simplex Grinnell Inc., located in NYC. “The green color grants the person access and the red denies access. This Biometric technology lets security personnel set policies.”

The quality and overall capability of AI has increased considerably over the past year.

More Integration and a Trend Toward Platform Unification

If you will recall, some years ago a new methodology in systems integration was announced, called PSIM (Physical Security Information Management). Just as interest began to gain momentum, the glamour seemed to wear off.

“In the beginning, people began to shy away from the PSIM concept because of its relatively high cost. During 2017, however, I have seen a general trend back toward the use of a PSIM platform. This is primarily because of a recent reduction in cost,” says Gonzalez, a well-known futurist in physical security.

Gonzalez designs and manages high security facilities where systems integration is crucial. “I’m currently working on a single-solution that will incorporate all verticals in security. It will recognize the presence of an intruder through motion, it will provide the approximate location of the intruder, the cameras in the facility will track the intruder, and the PSIM will send out a signal to the central monitoring station (CMS) with a set of rules for the operator to follow,” he says.

AMAG’s Takahashi as well as Gonzalez believe that significant advances have been made in the design and implementation of a “unified platform,” as opposed to traditional integration using PSIM.

A unified platform simply means that all facets of security, such as video surveillance, intrusion detection, access control, visitor management, possibly bi-directional intercom and others are handled by a single electronic system.

These systems can be located on site, but in many instances they utilize a highly-scalable, Cloud-based data processing and storage center. Video management system (VMS) technology has also made advancements in the integration of intrusion alarm data as part of its overall information management concept while using AI tech.

According to Jammy DeSousa, security products senior product manager with Johnson Controls International (JCI), “This also brings [intrusion] alarms and alerts within a security system into a secure VMS-based ecosystem. This is both a time and cost saver as it’s a proposition of set up once and deal with only one setup of [the] hardware.”

He believes that unifying systems in this manner will bring about cost savings because there’s fewer computers to buy and maintain, less software in which to invest, a reduced number of service agreements, and an overall drop in IT-related costs.

“There’s also performance advantages, such as reducing false alarms through the use of video verification,” DeSousa says. “Benefits like these are driving demand for an easy-to-operate, unified system.”

Trends and Advancements in Video Surveillance

Probably the most impressive achievement in video surveillance technology has more to do with the incredible price drop that IP-based cameras have experienced during 2017. Quality, however, has apparently failed to keep pace with other types of security equipment over the same period.

“Video has been a two-market process. Consumers want CSI video quality for Costco prices, which in my opinion is an express train to the bottom. Most products are getting cheaper both in price and quality and standards compatibility and interchangeability has not measurably improved,” says Ralph Wayne Sevinor, president of Wayne Alarm Systems Inc. of Lynn, Mass.

“[For this reason,] we have established formalized services such as preventative checkups and welfare diagnostic reporting of the video platform to ensure continued quality operation. This is helping the bottom line with RMR.”

As to this year’s record drop in camera prices, Holley Hunt, global strategic account executive at JCI of the greater Los Angeles area, weighs in with what she believes the outcome will likely be.

“I believe it’s a race to the bottom of commoditization of the camera itself, with manufacturing becoming so global and inexpensive, the real value is in the AI and your brand,” says Hunt. “Thus, camera companies are getting out of the business– Sony and Bosch, and then I just saw on the news that Arecont is suing a company from Singapore for pulling out of the deal to sell.”

The most logical direction for these popular brands is to work on the development of an AI- driven VMS’ upon which all other security silos will operate. Another technological advancement of note over the last 10 to 12 months, as presented by Simplex Grinnell’s David Gonzalez, involves the consolidation of video images into compact data that can be stored more easily and in less space, thus creating tremendous savings.

Gonzalez says there’s a company that can convert video images into data (ProActive CCTV of Farmingdale, N.Y.) where it compresses a video feed into real computer data.

“ProActive is able to compress video images. In a 32-camera system, all 32 channels can be compressed into 8TB of data storage space, thus allowing for up to three years of compressed data storage.”

The use of 8TB rendering three years of storage is absolutely unheard of, until now.

Read on for the latest trends and advancements in intrusion alarms and access control…

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About the Author


Al Colombo is a long-time trade journalist and professional in the security and life-safety markets. His work includes more than 40 years in security and life-safety as an installer, salesman, service tech, trade journalist, project manager,and an operations manager. You can contact Colombo through TpromoCom, a consultancy agency based in Canton, Ohio, by emailing [email protected], call 330-956-9003, visit www.Tpromo.Com.

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2 Responses to “A Look at Trends and Advances in Security During 2017”

  1. matt nappo says:

    PraoActive-CCTV is located in Farmingdale, NY, nor Famington, NY

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