Published on 3 April, 2014
Data overload describes both my condition in the midst of a busy trade show and the current condition of the industry itself.
At an opening session at ISC West in Las Vegas, I hear that technology development now means there are more sensors and cameras providing more and better quality data all the time. As if making the case, Axis introduced a 4K “super high resolution” camera for under $1,000. Other companies also introduced 4K cameras, including Sony, Bosch, and several more. How well current infrastructure options can accommodate the higher data load of these cameras is open for debate -- and I have heard several opinions on that. Time will tell, and in fact, more time was what one observer said is needed before the benefits of these cameras can be realised.
Given all the extra data, Steven Van Till, president/CEO at Brivo Systems, told a standing-room-only crowd at an ISC West opening session that technology has “pushed data way in front of [our] ability to analyse it.” He sees opportunity in the “middle space,” where excess data can be better analysed and used effectively. There are also ways to use data beyond security, such as for business purposes or marketing in a retail environment. (The new term I heard today is “data exhaust” -- the excess data a system produces that is not used. In my case, after a busy day at ISC West, it’s more like “data exhausted.”)
Tearing down the IP barriers, several companies, including DVTel, Tyco Security Products, Interlogix and Milestone, now offer easier-to-install IP systems for the small-to-mid-sized business
Going into the cloud
Cloud offerings are also proliferating at ISC West. One example is an announcement by BRS Labs of the availability of its high-end video analytics system in the cloud. Proclaiming the approach ‘the biggest step ever taken in video analytics,” the company’s AISight Version 5 software, which uses “reason-based” predictive analytics rather than “rules-based” technology typical of other analytics systems, will now be offered in a software as a service (SaaS) model. Previously deployed mostly by large enterprise and government users with typically 40 or more cameras, the system can now be offered on as few as one camera.
Usability is another emphasis. For example, Video Insight introduced a new graphic user interface (GUI) that makes its video management system easier to use for “periodic users” in markets such as education where individuals may not interface with the system every day. A “ribbon” across the top of the GUI screen highlights the system features that were previously “hidden,” and playing back video is “more like the Internet.”
IP technology taking the lead over analogue
Another thing I’m hearing is that the obstacles to greater IP adoption continue to come down. Most agree we have already passed the “tipping point” and that IP is now dominant over analogue. In fact, Pelco, a long-time analogue stalwart, now says that 70 percent of its business is IP.
Integration is also a huge topic here, especially integration of video with access control, and many companies are touting the value of their systems to tie the two together
Tearing down the IP barriers, several companies, including DVTel, Tyco Security Products, Interlogix and Milestone, now offer easier-to-install IP systems for the small-to-mid-sized business (SMB) market, typically using appliances preinstalled with IP software that are preconfigured to be plug-and-play and no more difficult to install than the analogue systems they aim to replace. Tyco also offers an IP pan-tilt-zoom device with low latency comparable to analogue; PTZ latency has previously been a downside to IP.
Integration is also a huge topic here, especially integration of video with access control, and many companies are touting the value of their systems to tie the two together. Both Tyco and Interlogix/Lenel, among others, offer two levels of integrated video/access control systems -- one for the SMB sector and another for the enterprise market.
Working behind the scenes to enable newer systems to operate, Altronix is expanding its line with products that enable connectivity of IP systems using existing unshielded twisted pair (UTP) or coax infrastructure and extending the distance that edge devices can be deployed without needing repeaters or compromising performance. Altronix can now provide both power over Ethernet (PoE) and new and higher levels of power over Ethernet (PoE+ and Hi-PoE up to 60W). The new products provide integrators more flexibility in system design and enable them to save time and costs.
That’s just a sampling of what I’ve seen at this very well-attended show in Las Vegas, where it’s breezy and little cooler than I expected. There’s been brisk booth traffic, and everyone is reporting that business is good. Much more to tell over the coming days and weeks ….