Trends at ISC West - plenty we know about, a few left field.

ISC West is such a monster of an exhibition that it’s easier to identify trends than to focus on details like individual products.

This year was no exception – some of the trends are new, some have been building for a while and others have come out of nowhere. Situational awareness was a big one – everyone wants it, everyone is trying to deliver it in as many ways as they can. Management systems are getting simpler – that includes apps. There were more app-based interfaces for domestic and commercial solutions.

Interesting, too, the industry seems to be embracing DIY as a cost saving feature it can leverage – presumably at the installer’s expense. There was also more automated assistance with installs. Clever security and automation solutions being used by small and medium business – this is a cool development – automation is perfect for SMEs looking to save money. Plenty as a service for a fee, not an upfront cost.

There’s automation of everything from core system design, to manufacturing, to reporting, to diagnostics. And there was a focus on networking – that includes 5G and other future comms paths, as well as advanced wireless. While talking about networking, we might as well chuck in cybersecurity – it’s still a big deal, as it should be. We’re not across cybersecurity yet as an industry and may never be.

Integration rolls along – not only between products within proprietary ranges but driven by partnerships which are getting increasingly intimate. Artificial intelligence, analytics, deep learning, machine learning – whatever you call it there was lots. There were also more robots, which is slightly unexpected. They are getting way cheaper and deep learning is making them much smarter.

There was plenty of diversification in the product stack – we see this here in Australia, too. It’s partly about integration and partly about covering everything off that clients might want. Maybe it’s the influence of the Chinese, who tend to make quite lateral solutions alongside their core product list. In CCTV there was enhanced low light performance and H.265 compression, multi-head cameras and the camera as a sensor for intrusion, fire, smart analytics and whatever else. There was also lots of thermal with analytics and AI was lurking in NVRs and everywhere else.

Access control – biometrics, including fingerprint and face recognition, are becoming much more widespread. Lots of apps, lots of automation. Overall, hardware is still getting built more cheaply but at least we seem to have reached some sort of bottom with that. Instead of cutting the throats of prices, features from the top end continuing to leach into affordable solutions in amazing ways. We are going to see some exceptional security solutions at amazing prices in the years ahead!