Top 20 Tech Trends to Experience at ISC West 2015

Video is still king, but there are many other exciting security technology advancements anticipated.

ISC West is first and foremost a grand stage for the latest and greatest security products and technologies to be shown, demonstrated and taken for a spin. With around 1,000 exhibit booths it can seem overwhelming. However, upon close inspection as much as 90% of it could be classified into 20 different technology categories. So here is my take of what will be the most captivating technologies on display (in no particular order of importance):

1. Technology partnerships ― Many vendors, once all about propriety and playing everything close to the vest, will continue to throw their arms open to embrace collaborative product/system and branding opportunities.

2. Hardware-centric vendors adding software ― Looking to move beyond commoditized boxes and ways to make their products more relevant moving forward, many traditionally component-based suppliers are either creating their own integrated software, OEMing it from someone else or openly partnering with a specialist to expand feature sets.

3. Software-centric vendors moving into hardware ― The corollary to the above is vendors well known for programming expertise expanding into selling components. Besides the additional revenue it can allow a more unified solution.

4. Wow factor wireless devices ― Better WiFi reliability, Bluetooth integrations and adoption of Near-Field Communications (NFC) are among the drivers fueling ever-expanding products and applications here. And why not? The cost savings and flexibility can be substantial.

5. Energy efficiency ― Long scoffed at as not having much relevancy for security, some vendors are now keenly focusing on reducing the carbon footprints of their devices and systems.

6. 4K Ultra HD video ― With four times the resolution of 1080p, this has generated the most tech “buzz” the past year, especially for commercial/industrial security. Several of the leading video surveillance suppliers will show off more real-world applications of 4K cameras and components.

7. Mobility ― Whether integrators looking to do remote diagnostics, company owners wanting to remotely manage their facilities, security personnel needing connectivity on the go or end users desiring heightened convenience, app-based access and control of security systems anywhere, anytime continues to be a huge movement.

8. The cyber connection ― Running physical security systems on enterprise networks with LAN/WAN connected devices has elevated concern about hacking vulnerabilities. This year we will see a continued recognition of both the threats and opportunities that brings.

9. Simpler interfaces with expanded features ― Vendors will continue to move away from engineering-fulfillment bells and whistles to concentrate on more intuitive interfaces that are easier for end users to learn and use, as well as emphasize useful functionalities in real-world scenarios.

10. More operational intelligence gathering ― The advancement and proliferation of security devices and systems, particularly video, is creating almost limitless opportunities to pull together what had been disparate data to analyze and make smarter decisions for operations as well as security. We will see continued breakthroughs to take advantage of this metadata.

11. Easier installation and deployment ― An integrator’s best friend is the vendor who truly knows installation pain points and comes up with innovative solutions to hardships and hassles. More modular designs, easily-hung devices and self-finding network components will continue to show how manufacturers are listening to their customers.

12. Enhanced video imaging ― With megapixel imaging almost standard, manufacturers are continuing to introduce technologies that produce greater clarity and usability. At the forefront of this movement are wider dynamic camera sensors and IR/thermal technologies that can capture images in little to no light. Also expect to see more integration of video with sensors for everything from video alarm verification to fire detection.

13. More intelligence at the edge ― To lessen the burden on the network with continuous streams of video data choking the pipelines, many suppliers are concentrating on cameras that are more self-contained and only communicate with a centralized network as needed. This is really taking off now that flash media is becoming more robust and cost effective.

14. Preconfigured packaged systems and bundling ― To better serve both integrators or more traditional security dealers that are not especially adept with IT network skills as well as simpler SMB customer deployments, many manufacturers will continue to offer complete off-the-shelf system solutions.

15. More openness and interoperability ― Many vendors’ booths will look like rainbows of logos showing off how their products are officially interoperable with an array of other technology providers. This is great for integrators as it eases assembling seamless integrations, even if the promise sometimes exceeds the field results. Open APIs and SDKs are seemingly available to all interested parties.

16. More affordable advanced technologies ― Prices are anticipated to continue to plummet while features increase to produce very compelling value propositions.

17. Video providers expanding into access control ― Several video surveillance manufacturers, particularly those with strong competencies in software development, are seizing additional opportunities on the access side. Expect to see more vendors jumping in and those that already have expanding their lines.

18. Cloud-based systems and services ― Less infrastructure costs, centralized storage and anywhere access of security data are attractive drivers for end users to adopt cloud services, which offer integrators plenty of new recurring revenue stream opportunities. Several manufacturers will be releasing devices with cloud connectivity, some of them also offering the datacenter services to support it all.

19. Smarter homes ― This may end up being the most residential-oriented ISC West since before 9/11 as the connected home craze has been in full swing. Expect to see compelling offerings from the usual players as well as lots of newcomers tasting security as well as fledgling startups.

20. Internet of Things ― The quest to building everything with more intelligence and the ability to connect to the Internet as well as other devices will be a major theme at ISC West this year. The possibilities are endless.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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