Reflecting on impacts in the security industry over the last year
There have been a number of developments in the last year which have impacted the security industry in one way or another.
As we begin a new year, we thought we'd ask our panellists to reflect back on 2014 and tell us what changes they think have made the largest impact in their areas of expertise within the security industry.
This year, one of the most defining trends in the security industry has been the expansion of security analytics applications, specifically the inclusion of those software capabilities directly into the cameras. Many industries are looking at ways to extract additional value from their security installations. We are now beginning to see just that, namely cameras equipped with advanced analytics software that provide various business intelligence data points – from face detection to “people counting” for high-traffic areas, and even age and gender recognition – ultimately helping businesses better understand customer demographics and improve their operations. In a retail setting, for example, analytics are now being used to determine floor behaviour and traffic patterns; in turn, retailers can see what items are getting the most eyes and how they can reconfigure the store to be more shopper-friendly.
The trend in prices seems downward. Slow recovery from world recession means buyers want rock bottom prices and many suppliers oblige. In my field of CCTV 2014 has seen HD become dominant. Untruths about 4K when compared against HD resonated with buyers’ interest in larger megapixel images using cheaper mass storage. Claims about low-light cameras and wide-dynamic-range tempt us with greater picture clarity, but the Analytics buzz just turned into noise. What didn’t change? The sales & marketing misinformation through which our industry assumes in can secure its sales. The marketing people tout vacuous new jargon whilst studiously avoiding independently verifiable facts. They don’t let inconvenient truths get in their way or, as we techies call them, the Laws of Physics. Let’s hope 2015’s trends include: the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, despite competitive pressure. Stop giving us geeks your shallow answers to our deep legitimate questions. Suppliers, we want to trust you. That needs change.
Although the threat of terrorists continues to be the lead motivator for installing perimeter protection and vehicle access control solutions, there are many non-certified competitors muddying the waters with claims that they have met such standards when, indeed, they have not. This can create confusion for buyers and could lead to some dangerous situations for those that were persuaded that certifications don’t matter.
There have been various stimuli which have made significant impacts on the security industry over the last year. As pointed out by Greg, continued terrorist threats have prompted an increased number of installations of perimeter protection systems and access control solutions. We've also seen an increasing use of video analytics, both for improved security and for business intelligence as well in order to improve business operations. Furthermore, we've seen the impact of the economic climate on the industry as well in the form of lowered prices.
In addition to these changes, we've also seen the turn-around of what had been predicted to be huge game changers, but ended up being reduced to mere "noise" as Simon puts it. For instance, 4K, which was once a buzzword, has now waned in popular discussions. Any further thoughts from anyone on changes in the security industry from the last year?