Features

Clearfix
Tue
24
May
JohnA's picture

Alarm Monitoring: Divergence is the Future?

Alarm monitoring forming layers of scattered cloud
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. 

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Wed
04
May
JohnA's picture

Winning the Race to the Very, Very Bottom

Original Pelco Sarix from 2009 - Open source, self-networking and way better in low light than many brand new compact domes
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.

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Tue
12
Apr
JohnA's picture

Video Verification: False Promises?

Video verification - the tech is there but the route to market needs work...
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. 

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Thu
07
Apr
JohnA's picture

Are Cheap CCTV Lenses Ever Acceptable?

This Fujinon lens offers the elevated performance levels security managers should be looking for.
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.

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Thu
31
Mar
JohnA's picture

Special Report: AIC Study of Council CCTV Systems

SafeCity Control Room, Ipswich City Council
SafeCity Control Room, Ipswich City Council

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. 

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Thu
31
Mar
JohnA's picture

The Interview: Rob Meachem, BGWT

Rob Meachem, BGWT
Rob Meachem, BGWT

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? 

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Fri
18
Mar
JohnA's picture

Electronic Security Mergers & Acquisitions: What Do They Mean?

M&A, here to stay?
M&A, here to stay?

THERE have been so many mergers and acquisitions in the electronic security market over the past 12 months it’s enough to make your head spin.

Honeywell has bought Xtralis, is looking to divest its Building Controls business and has talked merger with UTC. Ingram Micro is being bought by HNA, Apollo has bought ADT, Johnson Controls and Tyco are merging, FLIR has acquired DVTEL, Hanwha has bought Samsung Techwin and Canon has acquired Axis and Milestone. What do these acquisitions mean for installers, integrators and end users? Do changes of ownership undermine the nature of an organisation, disrupt its lines of product development? And what is the motivation for the current flood of M&A activity? 

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Wed
17
Feb
JohnA's picture

Home Automation Trending

Home automation and security growing together
Home automation and security growing together

Home automation is continuing to trend, with overseas takeup suggesting it’s likely local monitoring providers who are doubling down on home automation capability are on the track.

ELECTRONIC security systems, home and office automation solutions and broadband internet and cloud continue to enhance and complement one another – so much so it seems that automation solutions are beginning to look as if they may attain ubiquity. Is it likely the homes and SMEs of the future will expect automation capability that combines intrusion detection, access control and video surveillance as a matter of course – that all well-designed secure and energy efficient homes will include considerable levels of automation? 

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Thu
11
Feb
JohnA's picture

Security Electronics & Plate Tectonics

Security Electronics and plate tectonics
Security Electronics and plate tectonics

TECHNOLOGICAL development in every area of security electronics has become tectonic – the underlying layers are all in motion. 

It’s a paradigm that demands more from everyone – more development, more education, more technical training, more standards, more open-mindedness. And behind this new paradigm we’re seeing more investment in infrastructure, facilitating expansion of the capabilities of solutions - demanding a living and breathing comprehension of multiple layers of networking. Everywhere in the market there’s change. You see it in management software, in control panels, in devices – whether cameras or intrusion alarm sensors, or access control readers and expanders. And much of this change swirls around the governing imperatives of networkability and integration. 

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Mon
11
Jan
JohnA's picture

Most Influential Security Products & Technologies of 2015

Inner Range SkyGuard
Inner Range SkyGuard

What were the most influential products and technologies of 2015? It’s always difficult to find a balance between the solutions that catch the market’s momentary attention and those solutions that will go on to have a serious impact on the way we conduct our business.

KEY products and technologies in 2015 included mobile app management of security and automation solutions, improvements in CCTV camera technology – particularly increased resolution, reduced bitrates and larger sensor sizes - and the ongoing process of developing management solutions that allow single-workstation management of multiple subsystems, locally and globally. Other trends include falling costs, the elevation of risk for law enforcement agencies and other government departments, as well as in public spaces.


CSD's Paradox Insight

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