IT’S hard to
argue with the reasoning that while the security industry did not take a
massive blow as a result of the credit crunch, there’s been a slowdown in terms
of new product releases over the past 12 months. In 2010 the question is
whether or not this will be the year the industry breaks the shackles.

As Australia’s
largest distributor of electronic security product, Hills Industries through
its surveillance operation, Pacific Communications, carries a lot of weight
when it comes to predicting our CCTV industry’s future.

According to
Pacom’s Rob Meachem, the company has a number of new product releases on the
way over the next 12 months.

“One key product
will be our new I-Nex platform which will be the true bridge between DVR’s and
IP/megapixel,” Meachem explains. “A major benefit of the system will be the
customer’s ability to retain the DVR and analogue investment while taking full
advantage of new IP/megapixel technology.

“Other areas of
major change will be with DVTel features, Intelligent Video software, IP
wireless networks, IT hardware ability and big leaps forward in IP/megapixel
camera line ups and performance.” 

As far as key
shifts in technology, Meachem believes 2010 will see IP push into the middle
markets.

“From a Pacom
perspective, our I-Nex platform and DVTel Solus will drive the use of
IP/megapixel camera technology to new highs in 2010 for Pacific Communications
and DAS,” he says.

According to
Meachem, the security market got the wind knocked out of it in 2009 after
riding the highs of 2007/2008.

“I only see
upside in all these areas in 2010 from a total market perspective with the next
12 months being generally flat and patchy and with growth for Pacom driven by
new product releases.”

It’s an important
observation coming from Australia’s biggest CCTV supplier – Meachem says the
key challenge of the next 12 months will be the market’s ability to step from
volume analogue to volume IP. What does he think the key to success will be?

“Investment in
training is a key to retaining and growing the knowledge base of the specialist
security industry,” Meachem explains. “Failure to be proficient in the areas of
IP will let other industries enter the electronic security space in a big way.
It is taking the industry too long to make the transition to IP.

“Conversely, we
see investing in training our people for new technology as the key opportunity
of the next year and we think IP will have another year of quantum growth.
Investing in IP knowledge will be the security business owners and security
market’s competitive advantage in 2010.”

View-DR and
Visibility Enhancer

Sony’s Tony Lagan
says the benchmark manufacturer has plenty of new products it will be bringing
to market in 2010.

“Sony will be
releasing more than 20 new HD IP cameras in the coming 12 months; we have some
very clever new features on our cameras that will really benefit the industry
as a whole.

“There are two
features we are really excited about; the first being our new View-DR wide
dynamic range algorithm,” Lagan explains. “Where our competitors take two
images and combine, the new Sony cameras will take 4 images and combine giving
a much greater dynamic range resulting in images of incredible quality in harsh
back lit environments.

“We’re also
releasing Visibility Enhancer which is a post-capture technology which
dynamically optimizes brightness by remapping, pixel by pixel, frame by frame.
Near blacks are expanded and near whites are compressed to provide better
quality low light images and also better performance in harsh backlighting.”

Lagan says Sony
envisages a push to HD with 16:9 Widescreen or 4:3 Megapixel.

“What is clear to
us is that with the advance in compression algorithms and the ever decreasing
cost of storage, HD is only going to become a more viable option.”

From a purely
business perspective, Lagan says the market is already showing signs of
recovery.

“I really believe
this recovery will gain speed in the 2nd half of the year when the projects
being talked about now enter their installation phases.

“In terms of
growth for us, with the new products Sony has coming to the market over the
next 12 months, I am very confident that we will see growth for us in market
share, this coupled with the inevitable return to prosperity with the easing of
the GFC creating organic growth in the market as a whole will see us well
positioned,” he says.

As far as
challenges are concerned, Lagan says he thinks the implementation of standards
is crucial.

“There are so
many cheap products and some fairly lax installation practices out there,” he
laments. “Also a common IP camera standard needs to be implemented sooner
rather than later. This will open up the market and end the fear that a large
number of people have with “proprietary” systems. There are a number of
companies with a range of ONVIF cameras on the market and when the ISV’s start
their implementation I think this will aid in the shift to IP.”

As far as
opportunities over the next 12 months, Lagan says the shift to IP is the key,
along with the ability to value add – and he says this applies to users,
integrators and suppliers.

“What are the
benefits of IP? One of the major benefits is HD video, you just can’t do high
resolution video on an analogue system, we have all seen the dodgy images from
old analogue systems where you struggle to make out details. Compare that to
Megapixel or HD images and the message is clear. In 2010 it’s hi-res all the
way.”

Lagan says his hot
product tip in 2010 is Sony’s new cameras being released throughout the year.

“I’m looking
forward to telling the market about a new camera we are releasing later in the
year that is going to change the way people think about IP,” he says.

Security Center

Over at Genetec,
director of product management, Michel Chalouhi, says the company has a major
release of Security Center coming up in the second half of 2010.

“The next
generation of the Security Center unified security management system brings
Genetec’s solutions to a new level of unification between video, access
control, and license plate recognition,” he says.

“We believe that
a combination of edge and central storage rather than central storage only will
be more present towards the end of 2010 and we see strength in video
surveillance and access control and specially the unification of both.”

According to
Chalouhi, the next 12 months will see a growing market.

“There was a
little slowdown last year, but we expect the market to pick up throughout 2010
and it will be mainly new business, probably in the range of 70 per cent for
new business and 30 per cent for organic growth.”

Chalouhi agrees
with Lagan that a major challenge of the next 12 months will be the adaptation
of standards around video surveillance.

“We believe that
2010 will either solidify the standards position in the market place or we will
see it go away.”

Hi-O and Aperio
integrations

ASSA ABLOY’s
business manager – electronic access control, Michael Soderberg, says the big
manufacturer will use 2010 to kick off a number of new products and solutions

“We put a very
aggressive innovation program in place some time back which is starting to bear
fruit now,” he explains. “New products and solutions based on the Hi-O and
Aperio technologies will see first light this year and they will be worth
waiting for!

“We also have
several new conventional electromechanical products and smart home security
solutions scheduled for launch this year.”

According to
Soderberg, over the next 12 months he thinks the market will shift towards new
technologies from ASSA ABLOY that leading access control manufacturers have
integrated into their systems. 

“The benefits
with these technologies are in cost savings, simplicity and increased
security,” he explains. “I also expect a wider acceptance of electronic
security solutions in the residential market.

“The growth of
electronic security will come back to historic high levels during the year.
Long term, the need for security and specifically electronic security will
increase.”

In terms of
business opportunities, Soderberg says that for ASSA ABLOY the biggest
electronic and electromechanical opportunities domestically this year are new
product and technology introductions and partnerships.

“These
partnerships will see ASSA ABLOY and our partners leveraging synergies and
there are also opportunities thanks to various government stimulus packages.
Overseas, we will see growth due to geographical expansion and increased
activities in the markets we currently are exporting to.”

Cware flexibility

At Controlware
Australia, Claude Rizk says that in terms of new product in 2010 this will
involve Controlware’s open standards Video Management Software (VMS) platform
called Cware.

“Flexibility is
Cware’s middle name,” says Rizk. “To begin with it’s based on open standards so
it supports the leading cameras and codecs from different manufacturers. We
have also just released an add-on module that enables Cware to be managed via a
Mobile Phone, increasing the management viewing options the platform provides.

“This combined
with other unique management tools such as 2.5D mapping technology, inbuilt
object tracking and the ability to integrate third part Video Analytics
software such as Agent VI help make Cware one of the leading video management
systems available today,” Rizk says.

“A key thing we
will be doing in the next 12 months for sure is extending the Cware-supported
cameras and codecs program. To date the program supports the usual suspects
such as Axis, Bosch, Pelco, etc, but as demand for Cware grows, more
manufacturers will be supported.”

According to
Rizk, in terms of technology 2010 will be the year the market places more
emphasis on ways to make CCTV more effective.

“A management
tool called ICN (Image Content Navigation) is potentially a killer application
for tracking an object or person around a site,” he explains. “With ICN you
track objects inside the video itself moving from different cameras seamlessly.
For the operator this technology not only saves time but simplifies tracking
which can become complex across large sites, plus ICN works when tracking
targets in recorded as well as live video.”   

But Rizk does not
see major shifts in technology.

“Could this be
the year that IP based systems become dominant? To be honest I don’t think DVRs
will ever go away, and why should they?” Rizk asks.

“There will
always be a place for them in certain applications but for high grade systems
there is only one technology that can deliver the flexibility, resilience,
integration potential and future proofing and that’s IP.

“Therefore I
would expect to see IP consolidation. IP will become the de facto technology
for professional high grade CCTV systems.”

Rizk also makes
the interesting observation that in 2010 he sees conditions emerging that will
allow alarms, access control and video surveillance to continue merging.

“I definitely see
potential for these three lines of technologies merging together over the
longer term,” he explains. “Integrated Security systems are going to become
more important. From the end-users point of view an integrated security systems
is a much stronger value proposition than three separate systems. 

Rizk sees
continuing growth for Controlware over the next 12 months.

“Controlware is
growing,” he says. “Last year we achieved our best sales figures for a number
of years and the projects pipeline looks very promising for 2010 so we will be
expanding both sales and support operations this year.

“I would say we
are looking at a 60:40 split in favour of new business when it comes to growth.
They are both tightly linked though existing partnerships are very important
because word of mouth and good reputation are such important attributes in our
industry, especially in developing new business in the first place.”

Rizk is another
qualified commentator in the surveillance industry who sees standards as the
big thing in 2010.

“Standardisation
is the word in 2010,” Rizk explains. “It will be interesting to see what bodies
such as PSIA and ONVIF will come up with. Certainly at the moment they are
covering the basics but as things develop more manufacturers and developers
should join.

“I think this is
a good thing as it will help wider adoption of network video products through
worldwide agreement on standard IP configurations, PTZ control, and event
handling through to streaming and even viewing CCTV video.”

In terms of
opportunities in 2010, Rizk rightly points out that thanks to its 30 years experience
as a niche networking specialist, Controlware “is a unique value proposition
that combines technical IT knowledge and CCTV experience”.

“Promoting this
lies at the centre of our business opportunities for the coming year, from a
Controlware perspective,” he says. “With more than 30 years experience in IT we
understand the networking and communications required to deliver advanced IP
based systems but at the same time we have over 10 years experience with the
operational and technical requirements of CCTV.

Not unexpectedly,
Rizk’s hot product tip for 2010 is Cware’s ICN (Image Content Navigation).

“ICN offers many
benefits in terms of object tracking that no other management system has,” Rizk
says. “On the wider technology front I think requirements for the inherent
flexibility and scalability of IP systems will continue as older analogue
systems are replaced.

“In combination
with the wider IP adoption there will be more demand for megapixel cameras.
Since good image quality is the primary requirement of any surveillance system
I think we will see an increasing number of megapixel cameras being used for
specific image requirements in IP-based systems.

Ness Navigator

Ness Corporation
is an important player in the Australian market because its business is so
diverse and includes local manufacturing. A quiet, long term achiever, Ness
Corp does the basic things right and enjoys strong loyalty from customers.
Interestingly, there are multiple key players in diverse markets who all see Ness
as their key competitor. 

Managing director
Naz Circosta says Ness Corp has just begun the launch of some exciting new
alarm panel products that will provide genuine and serious value to installer
customers. The focus is on leaving LCD keypads for touch screen units.

“The first of
these products is our groundbreaking Navigator touch screen, which will be
packaged as standard with all of our D series panels,” Circosta explains. “The
breakthrough is that this product smashes the price/performance barrier.

“Our Navigator
touch screen series are priced within 10 per cent of the LCD keypad panels they
replace, setting a new benchmark in the panel market as we did the now
legendary Ness 5000 Series almost 25 years ago.” 

In terms of new
releases in 2010, Circosta is playing his cards close to his chest but he says
there are.

“While I can’t go
into detail on each and every release for 2010, we have kicked off the new year
with powerful offerings from Russound and our own home grown Navigator touch
screen panels I mentioned earlier.

“There is more to
come in almost every market segment of our business as the year progresses,”
Circosta says.

And Circosta sees
growth for Ness Corp.

“Yes – I expect
stronger growth from our relatively new acquisitions and distributorships,” he
says. “But our new product releases will provide a boost to the more
traditional areas of our business. Contract manufacturing may also surprise
with potentially very strong growth – that’s an important business for us.”

Health agent

Geutebruck
Australia too, plans new releases in 2010.

“Locally, we have
recently released an HLI with Cardax access control and Pacom’s GMS platform,”
says Anthony Brooks.

“We are currently
working on the HLI to integrate another two popular access control systems that
are common in Australia and New Zealand, and we will soon have a general
release of our enterprise-grade Health Agent.

“This allows
centralized management and reporting for all aspects of a sophisticated CCTV
system,” Brooks explains. “This includes setting user-definable tolerances for
the early warning of potential problems, such as system temperature, archive
retention or changes to the cameras field-of-view and more.

“From Germany our
next major new product releases will coincide with the European Security Show
held in Essen, October 2010. Here will continue to extend our range of IP
products as well as an emphasis on operator interfaces.

Brooks sees the
general trend in 2010 as being towards standardisation.

“We see a continued
move towards more common IT platforms and standards with less emphasis on
proprietary systems in play,” he explains.

“Additionally we
will see continued development in extending hard-disk size/capacity and
reliability. The solid state end of town is similarly getting larger in
capacity and the prices are reducing; meanwhile our processors/chips continue
to get faster and smaller – all these factors represent exciting new
opportunities for ‘Edge’ analysis and management.”

And Brooks sees
2010 as a year of growth. 

“After quite a
successful year despite the general economic downturn we are expecting another
positive trend in 2010. Our internal corporate structure covers a variety of
regions and also market segments, this diversification will allow us to keep a
strong market position,” he says.

“New business
will come from new regional activities and drivers assisting this growth –
albeit Duty of Care, Workplace Safety, Resource Allocation as well as the
traditional value proposition where an organisation reserves the right to
minimise losses.

“Growth is 50/50
new and organic – we are building business with existing GEUTEBRUCK customers
and creating new business opportunities.”

In terms of major
challenges, Brooks sees the need for an increased skill base and the
interoperability of systems as being the biggies.

“As we move away
from the traditional CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) to network deployed devices that
if specified, provide, video on-demand anywhere anytime, this functionality
presents new challenges requiring new skill sets in terms of technicians that
have networking qualifications. 

“Additionally,
larger modern systems/deployments have correlating larger databases to manage –
into the Petabyte size,” he explains. “This amount of data needs some serious
consideration in terms of how we manage it, how we qualify it and how we
disseminate it.

“Interoperability
between different systems such as access control, POS, alarm panels, etc all
help to ‘qualify’ the search results and make it quicker to search, find and
disseminate the results to decisions makers.”

“Over the next
year we see a growing importance and market trend for homogeneous and
customized user interfaces, and also for a variety of vertical markets,” Brooks
explains.

“These solutions
not only unify control and operation of complex systems but also bear in mind
the market-specific requirements and offer additional “add-ons” for those
users, which might not be security related necessarily but also support
additional customer processes apart from that.

“My hot tip for
2010 is the GEUTEBRÜCK VIPCAM with Onboard Cache Recording/Storage, Dynamic
Live Streaming (adjusting the live stream based on the viewer size), Variable
GOB Rate (adjusting the GOB dynamically based on complexity and movement of
image), Edge Analytics and a massive Dynamic Range to die for!” 

T24 coming to
your hemisphere

Mobotix’s Graham
Wheeler says the company will release the T24 door station using Hemispheric
technology in 2010, as well as a new range of product going targeting mobile
surveillance applications, home automation, and access control.

“We will be
building on our decentralized platform which incorporates a powerful CPU – it’s
a model that allows us to build many products around a core.”

Wheeler sees 2010
as a year in which the surveillance market will continue its push to megapixel
cameras and decentralized architecture.

“This is the only
way to build cost effective, large scale networked security solutions,” he
says. “Moving forward I also see merging of alarms, access control and
surveillance as all these combined are the way forward.

“They give useful
information not just alarm signals or just video the operators – police want to
see incidents not just loads of data.”

Wheeler says that
Mobotix sees the next 12 months as being very positive.

“Comparing this
financial year to last we are up by more than 70 per cent in Australia and New
Zealand, and with new product lines being released we see the future as very
good.

“And our growth
is coming through building our partner channels, enabling us to go into new
market segments, such as remote monitoring and the electrical industry with new
products, such as the Mx2Wire.”

For Wheeler, the
big challenge of 2010 is education for resellers, consultants and end
customers.

“The industry
platform has changed to TCP/IP and we all need to get better educated,” he
explains.

“As for my hot
tip for product or technology in 2010, I would say it’s the MOBOTIX Q24
hemispheric camera, the winner of the 2009 ASIAL Best New Product of the Year
Award.” 

Your SMPTE the
best

For Wai King Wong
at Axis Communications Australia, the year ahead sees an ongoing focus on HDTV
cameras that meet standard with SMPTE compliance and provide real time
recording and true color fidelity.

“The increased
popularity of HDTVs in the region has led customers to ask for higher image
quality standards in their surveillance solutions,” Wong says.  

“Having a
megapixel camera today is just not good enough as it does not guarantee real
time and color fidelity compare to HDTV standard. Therefore, HDTV cameras with
SMPTE compliance should be the defacto of high resolution video surveillance
requirements.”

Wong sees ongoing
growth in the surveillance market.

“We see
continuous growth in the IP video surveillance market as customers begin to
transit from analog surveillance to fully digital, fully networked
surveillance,” explains Wong.

“We see growth in
both existing and new businesses. Axis will be rolling out a lot of new
products in the coming months that will cater to all security requirements –
from fixed, PTZ, dome and even thermal cameras. Axis will continue to develop
new products for niche market such as the thermal camera which we have just released.”

And Wong sees
challenges relating to scale when it comes to IP solutions.

“IP video
surveillance may sometimes seem easy on a small network/setup but it may get
complicated as per norm for any large scale projects,” he says.

“As a result it’s
critical to evaluate the type of network, hardware usage, components that make
up the entire system which is a crucial part of the IP video surveillance.

“The camera
itself can perform real time in HD quality but will be restricted to the
slowest hardware in the network if it is not designed properly. Axis is working
to address some of these issues via our AXIS Communications Academy 3- days
training.”

The next year
will see a major opportunity in upgrades that Wong says will be one of the key
requirements for most industries.

“The migration
from analogue to IP video surveillance will be one of the key uptakes in coming
months and the market should look out for HDTV SMPTE compliance cameras, and
also P-Iris technology that enables true image quality without distortion
compared to megapixel technology,” he says. 

Xprotect and to
serve

Meanwhile, at
Milestone, Angelo Salvatore predicts the release of new products with features
that improve ease of maintenance and operation in year ahead.

“We have just
released XProtect Enterprise 7.0 and XProtect Corporate 3.1 with the new Smart
Client 5.0 that has important enhanced graphical user interface for
personalizing the operation of the system for operators of all skill levels to
improve efficiency and speed of response,” he says.

Technological
change will come from areas like developments in compression standards for
network cameras, he says.

“This will
improving performance-cost ratios, and we see the standards work from ONVIF and
PSIA further driving IP technology benefits in the market. More integrated
solutions with open standard software platforms also create better security and
long-term return on investments.”

Salvatore sees
strength in the alarms, access control and video surveillance markets over the
next year.

“I think that a
combination/convergence of some or all of these can provide better security
levels and or response times for personnel in 2010,” he says.

“This might be
via centralised control rooms, handheld PDA devices or two way communications.
The key is integrating them on the right Open Platform VMS that keeps the
customer out of “proprietary jail” and provides them freedom to choose the best
of breed hardware and add on software today and as it evolves in the future.”

And Salvatore
sees a growing market.

“According to IMS
Research, Milestone has retained top position and increased the market share
from 19.5 per cent to 25.8 per cent in the category of software-only VMS
vendors over the past 12 months,” he says. 

“There will be
challenges in 2010, however, from the perspective of surveillance we are
concerned with the partner channel in the midst of convergence to IP-based
systems and we recognise the relatively low number of channel partners who have
been trained and certified in advanced IP technology.

“This means
there’s still a lot of work to do to get these people ready.  That’s exactly why Milestone puts such a high
focus on our training programs and partner support.

“Technology-wise,
2010 is going to be the year where low-end appliances carrying IP VMS already
installed will become competitive with the low-end DVRs, thus making a large
dent into the DVR (and analogue) market that previously has not been accessible
due to price and form factors,”

Salvatore says.
“This is also the high volume end of the market that can turn the tide –
bringing IP convergence to the tipping point.” 

Salvatore’s hot
tip of 2010 is edge-based analytics.

“I am excited by
the fact that we already have “deep” integration to IP cameras from leading
manufacturers that support onboard or edge-based analytics. Up until recently
the cost and processing power of analytics has been prohibitive to install in a
large number of channels,” he explains.

“This will change
in 2010 with prices or edge based analytics becoming more affordable on a
larger scale and may be sold as an add-on to VMD, especially for outdoor
environments,” Salvatore says.

“Milestone
already supports the many analytic technology leaders including IBM, Agent Vi,
Cernium, OPAX, Via-Sys amongst many others via our Open Platform Analytic
Framework. This means users and integrators have the freedom to choose
preferred analytic partner(s) and combine them on the one system.”