The core nature of technology is changing...

ELECTRONIC security solutions continue their mash-up with IT infrastructure and TCP/IP, with recent developments, highlighting the potential for future enhancements that might wake up reactive traditional electronic security solutions, empowering them to deliver users far greater levels of support (and return on investment) than ever before.

Analytics is the area of greatest possibility – the future development of analytics is a little scary. Surveillance systems that can identify mood and present alerts to a security team should frown lines cross programmed thresholds are uncomfortable to consider. But such dystopian applications seem far less likely than those that incorporate analytics alongside widespread integration of security systems and sub-systems. Such amalgamations would create clever and powerful management and reporting systems able to react to events with a sort of automated intuition that could put the GUI projections of Minority Report to shame.

From the point of view of security operators, an event detected by analytics would see lights come on, patterns of doors lock or unlock, general issue cardholders denied entry until an event was processed, public alerts to be played, bollards to rise, cameras to spin to an event scene and to cover associated choke points (wicking up image quality and frame rate), maps to be called up on a control room monitor and alerts to be sent to multiple security staff onsite, at adjacent facilities, and to local law enforcement personnel.

Intelligence that combines integration as well as analytics – not only from video inputs but from audio inputs and smart sensors as well – has the potential to deliver applications that are almost open-ended in their functionality – the limits are going to relate to risk, budget and return on investment. That latter is an important one, because over-arching solutions that offer clusters of capability rather than single pieces of functionality are certain to be those that have the greatest ROI potential.

It’s important for installers and end users to bear in mind that this sort of functionality exists inside the ecosystems of much smaller systems to functional extent and can be shaken out to increase a customer’s sense of the value of their security solution. For instance, a DSC IMPASSA alarm panel with an Alarm.com back-end will react to a piece of toast burning in the kitchen by activating the smoke alarm in the dining room and sounding an alert at the main keypad. As it registers the alarm, the system will take a snapshot of you fanning the smokie with a tea towel and will send this image, along with the alarm event alerts (and your disarming event), to a connected mobile device – all within seconds of the event taking place.

It’s the way modern IP-based systems work that’s at the heart of the matter. Networked solutions have the capability to inform users and operators of events so quickly that when properly put together they can’t be thought of as static solutions any longer. This ability to communicate events is going to become more profound in the future as integrations become more widespread and high-speed networking expands from exchange and comms box and inserts itself between multiple systems and devices spread across a site.

Of course, the value of such integrations, of such fast reactions and communications is enhanced by key factors – a central one being the quality of sensing inputs – and not only alarm sensors but surveillance cameras, associated analytics engines, bandwidth of network services and cyber security settings. When it comes to electronic security solutions you get what you pay for but it’s important to note that old prices buy vastly superior performance – for the discerning buyer, the value proposition of the best electronic security technologies is outstanding.

We’re going to get a good look at some of these new technologies at SecTech Roadshow this month – SecTech is the first show of the Australian calendar year and the <I>only<I> security expo in 4 of 5 states this year. SecTech opens in Melbourne on May 8, is in Brisbane on May 10, Sydney on May 15, Adelaide on May 27 and finishes up in Perth, on May 23.

Leading manufacturers and distributors including CSD, Pelco, Honeywell, Video Alarm Technologies, Bosch, Dahua, ISCS, Video Security Products, Consolidated Security Merchants, C. R. Kennedy, OSA, Seadan, BGW Technologies, Q Security Systems, Mobotix, Vivotek, LSC, Hikvision and ICT will be showing all their latest and best electronic security solutions. Pre-register here and don’t miss it!