This article by Keith Jernigan Sr., General Manager - MOBOTIX Corporation states the enormous impact of smart surveillance on various sectors. Highlighting the changing trends of video surveillance, Keith talks about the several benefits of IoT. He mentions that the new era will see video surveillance companies as more than just video security cameras sellers. To summarise, IoT is forecasted to conjure up businesses offerings, reduce costs and hazards, create jobs and opportunities, thus leading to robust results.

The opportunity - smart surveillance

Everyone is talking about the Internet of Things (IoT), a trendy area of tech that is fairly new and growing exponentially. According to some estimates, the Internet of Things will connect 50 billion devices (not including PCs, smartphones and tablets) by 2020 – 250 of which will get connected every second. Also, the global economic value of IoT will reach $19 trillion by 2020. These figures have gotten everyone interested, including big players like IBM, which has recently invested $3 billion in its IoT division. So what is the significance for the video surveillance and security sector? The Internet of Things is likely to have a tremendous impact, as all types of organisations will look to connect their devices, enhance security and create ‘smart surveillance’ solutions.

Approach reformulated with IoT

For many years, the focus within the video surveillance industry has been to connect most systems to Internet Protocol (IP) based networks. The next phase, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) as we call it, managed to create a connected device-based industry, and IP video surveillance systems perfectly integrated into that. Typical M2M successful examples would be GPS tracking solutions and remote asset (fixed or mobile) monitoring, to name a few. The result of these migrations was a huge amount of data that businesses had to manage.

With the recent improvements in mobile network (like LTE high speed connections), cloud technology and readily available fibre optics backbone, the Internet of Things (IoT) came into play. IoT brings a holistic approach to the table where connected systems and generated data are analysed locally, or in the cloud, returning to decision makers the information they need, when they need it and in a fully customisable and easy-to-read interface.

Applications – IoT in mining industry

For example, in the mining industry, the technology can optimise operations and reduce risk. It can be used to monitor operations and videos, estimate the traffic going underground in the mines, and help with sub-systems management. Advanced video surveillance solutions, powered by the Internet of Things, can be used to read sensors and integrate with them. Thus, IoT can provide an array of connected sensors to businesses, which will help reduce the points of failure. With the deployment of IoT, 10-25% of operating costs can be reduced, like those associated with people and vehicle counting, and temperature and gas sensing.

Advanced video surveillance solutions, powered by the Internet of Things, can be used to read sensors and integrate with them

IoT can also help in the reduction of costs involved in the special care that has to be taken with monitoring and managing operations around inflammable gases. With smart surveillance and sensing systems, cameras can be programmed to trigger notifications. This can help businesses be better prepared and allocate resources strategically. Another direct application would be to help with managing the airflow in mines. There is also a risk of loss of lives, when it comes to mining operations, and this can be prevented with smart sensor systems. Connected sensing systems and smart video surveillance support with a predictive analytics component can help businesses predict hazards and take corrective actions in real time.

Smart surveillance in aviation industry

Another industry that can benefit greatly from IoT is aviation. An airbus A380-1000, expected to be ready in 2020, will have 10,000 sensors per wing. An aircraft of this size is estimated to generate 8 Terabytes of data per day, which can be gathered and analysed. Also, the aviation sector sees 35 million departures per year and, while there is surveillance data, nobody is analysing these sensors. So, the opportunity in the aviation industry is huge. Security vulnerabilities are a major cause of concern for this industry, and this is where a smart video surveillance and sensory system can be helpful. By analysing connected sensors and learning from the vast amounts of data generated, air travel can be made safer.

IoT in banking, retail and healthcare sectors

IoT can also help in the reduction of costs involved in the special care that has to be taken with monitoring and managing operations around inflammable gases

The Internet of Things helps businesses beyond video surveillance and security solutions, e.g. in operations, monitoring and even corporate initiatives such as marketing and advertising.  Banks are today able to use smart IoT-enabled video surveillance solutions for analytics, targeted marketing and to better optimise branch operations. The retail sector will be able to improve supply-chain, inventory, logistics and fleet management. The IoT-integrated-video surveillance systems can also help the healthcare sector, by optimising hospital process flows and improving the quality of emergency services while reducing the patient’s length of stay. The new wave of connected systems will help businesses across different industries with smarter project management.

Job creation

Unlike the past, when video surveillance systems offered a tactical solution to businesses and were a capital expense, IoT will lend intelligence and strategic support. In order to manage these smart surveillance systems, experts are and will be needed. Organisations will need to train and hire experts that can bridge the current business model from one of physical security to that of holistic IoT security. Highly skilled professionals will have to manage these IP networked systems, understand their benefits and inherent risks and deploy IoT systems that enhance and don’t compromise on the physical security component, CPTED principles, etc. With the addition of these experts, businesses can scale their offerings and achieve better growth than ever before.

Video surveillance is a resource intensive process. If the industry can leverage the Internet of Things correctly, it will create a great space for itself in the market. Before IoT, video surveillance offered functional support. With an integration of IoT and video surveillance, physical security solutions will be able to help with complex tasks like operations management, predictive maintenance, risk reduction, cost reduction and conflict management. The Internet of Things will ensure that video surveillance companies are not limited to only selling video security cameras. With the intense migration to IP and a smooth adoption of IoT, physical security as an independent business component could become obsolete. The era of ‘smart surveillance’ is (almost) here, and corporations should be prepared to make the best of it.

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