DAYS after a major exhibition like Security 2016 in Melbourne last month you’re still getting your mind around the things you saw, deciding which solutions stood out, which presaged developments of the future and which trends were strongest.
Discounting the overarching shift towards ever more integration, the strongest growth trend at Security 2016 was access control. It’s not surprising this should be so. Current global risk profiles demand that organisations control access to their spaces – there’s no doubt this is a driving force behind the trend. There’s also the relentless and endless pursuit of lower costs which push users to seek greater efficiencies, including remote management of onsite functionalities.
ELECTRONIC security sales are set to grow at $US110 billion through 2020 at the powerful rate of 11.3 per cent. The reason for the growth is 3-fold – bigger budgets, increasing global threat levels and good old product innovation.
As we head to Security 2016 Expo in Melbourne, suppliers, installers, consultants and end users need to bear in mind that the last thing on the list is the key to profitability and operational success. Electronic security technology has reached a point of layered ‘awareness’ that allows security managers to pry considerably more capability from inputs and outputs than ever before. There are new and clever ways of making the information from hundreds of millions of inputs and outputs actionable and accessible.
Access control - first, second and third line of defence
SOMETHING interesting came out of SecTech Roadshow. In every city, integrators and end users loudly expressed their desire to see more in the way of access control and intrusion detection solutions – more controllers, readers, panels, sensors, and reporting and management solutions.
More evidence of the hunger came from suppliers – companies like BGWT with S2, Inner Range with Inception and Bosch with the G Panel and the 2000/3000 alarm system said they did extremely well at the show – as did Tyco with NEO, CSD with SecureNet-enabled SkyGuard, QSS with BPT intercoms and LSC with ICT controllers.
With the release of the new Google Home virtual agent recently (after Google’s publication of smart home patents and $US3.2 Billion purchase of Nest Labs and Dropcam), you can’t but wonder about the company’s grand strategy for domestic solutions. Does Google want home automation or home information?
WHY do Google’s plans for home automation systems matter? It’s the company’s seamless underlying penetration of key layers of networked infrastructure and services that are of interest to electronic security people. When you provide so many of the highways down which potential customers drive their network operations and online explorations, it makes perfect sense to increase the depth of services you provide. But is home automation really a way Google can make money, or is there something else behind the play?
Alarm monitoring forming layers of scattered cloud
THERE’S something about the state of alarm, automation and monitoring technology that suggests a splintering of paths to market in the alarm monitoring industry. And ISC West in Las Vegas last month highlighted a number of key trends likely to play a part in our future. There certainly are opportunities - mostly for those with clear goals - because overall, things look a little messy.
PERHAPS the key fundamental at work here is that as alarm systems become residents of the IP world and installers become thoroughly imbued with networked ecosystems, reporting paths become multifarious, integrations more ubiquitous. Very cool things become possible and they don’t need to managed in the old ways. An idea of alarm and access control systems as input/output boards supported by redundant networks and clever software comes ever more clearly into view.
Original Pelco Sarix from 2009 - Open source, self-networking and way better in low light than many brand new compact domes
THERE’S been a lot of grumbling from well-known quarters lately about the race to the bottom when it comes to price in the video surveillance industry – the way innovation has fallen by the wayside as manufacturers chip away at the performance of their biggest selling cameras by reducing quality in multifarious ways.
It’s not just about trying to hang onto margin in a maturing market. The way systems are purchased on the basis of price, forcing manufacturers to play low-cost ball or lose jobs is a diametric that feeds into the process. What’s interesting as an observer, is that price and performance are materially linked when it comes to CCTV cameras and there is a point past which the loss of performance does not make up for the dollars saved.
Video verification - the tech is there but the route to market needs work...
Video verification is unquestionably the most important technology to hit alarm monitoring since the invention of the McCulloch Loop and while many manufacturers support the technology, creating the ecosystem necessary to bring such services to market remains elusive outside of proprietary end-to-end solutions.
VIDEO verification – you’d imagine this technology would sell itself. The ability of modern HD cameras supported by IR to inform monitoring station operators of intrusion events with close to 100 per cent catch rate should mean video verification in every business and every home but things are not working out that way at all. Sure, there’s growth in this part of the market. But there are layers of complexity from sales techniques, to comms and power, through to monitoring software capable of handling the task.
This Fujinon lens offers the elevated performance levels security managers should be looking for.
SEN Help Desk has made some interesting points about lensing lately but wouldn’t you agree that even with relatively low cost lenses attached to compact cameras there’s a sweet spot in the centre which offers universally high performance? Given this, is lens selection as important as you suggest?
Answer: We’d reiterate that low cost lenses with good, simple designs without too much internal tolerance (in the case of varifocal) and with suitable coatings against internal reflections can offer unexpectedly high performance. So we may well agree with you. But if you mean that poor performing lenses with excessive barrel distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration and flaring from lens elements and/or housing windows or dome bubbles, can be excused their deficiencies thanks to a portion of admissible image that comprises say, 50 per cent of the camera view, we think not.
One of the fastest growing CCTV user groups in Australia is local councils. Research conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology gives a snapshot of market penetration, an idea of system size and topology, as well as a sense of the usage and value of these public surveillance solutions to police investigations.
RESEARCH conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology into public surveillance systems installed by councils around Australia is highly instructive given the fact it’s hard to get a sense of the number of systems, how they are used and whether or not they provide value. The AIC’s research on the subject was published last year and while there’s been continual growth in the market since, the findings remain valuable for industry and end users.
BGWT’s Rob Meachem is one of electronic security distribution’s most experienced leaders. Now tasked with taking BGW Technologies to next level, he discusses the company and the opportunities and challenges facing the distribution market. In the Interview this month, Rob talks with SEN editor, John Adams.
JA: How does it feel to be back in the electronics security industry, Rob? Are you enjoying yourself?
RM: It feels great but to be honest, having so many strong relationships and friendships in the industry, I hardly felt I ever left. Certainly, a lot has changed in 2 years and I’m loving being a part of helping to grow this young business.
JA: Tell us about BGWT, it’s a bigger company than many people in the local security industry realise, isn’t it?