What technology buzz will dominate the security industry in the second half of 2016?
Here we are already at mid-year, and 2016 has been an eventful one for the security marketplace, dominated by mergers and acquisitions and lots of new products coming to the market. But what’s the outlook for technology in the second half of the year? What technologies will draw the most attention and drive the market into 2017? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What technology buzz will dominate the security industry in the second half of 2016?
There is growing interest in Web intelligence, which enables users to collect significant amounts of data from the open Web (content, applications, and media obtained from social networking, for example) and analyse that data to identify trends and expedite investigations. This process helps transform data into actionable intelligence, and increase the effectiveness of operators and system administrators by enabling the capture of valuable data that can be used to mitigate risks. There is also growing interest in tools to help gain visibility into personal safety, such as smartphone applications that enable users to alert security immediately to a potential issue – no matter their location. Users can also send critical updates to the command centre in a variety of formats, such as a simple SOS alert, text message, detailed report form, photo and live audio/video. The technology is applicable to executive protection, student and employee safety, and remote site communication.
What’s the greatest buzz? That is an easy answer for both access control and video surveillance: The Cloud. The age of customers needing to purchase a purpose-built appliance or a proprietary piece of hardware to run their access control and video applications has reached its crescendo. End users are demanding easier installs, lower capital expenditures and higher deliverables over time, all of which can be delivered by cloud-based technologies. We feel that access control will lead the way due to lower computing demands and much smaller data traffic, and we have invested significantly to lead the market in the transition to the Cloud.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will definitely be one of the key technology buzzes. As an increasing number of security devices such as cameras, access control hardware, alarm panels, etc., are connecting to the network, video and data from these devices need to be easily available on the Internet. Big data analysis will be used in the security industry for large amounts of data that are collected through video analytics. Big data analysis can be used for identification of suspicious behaviours/situations, as well as for business intelligence and streamlining operations to better serve customers. Finally, there will be more of an emergence of Cloud functionality and mobile access to video and data. Driven by consumer demand for ubiquitous access to information, manufacturers will accelerate the development of browser-based functionality and applications for tablets and phones. Greater numbers of security products will be Cloud-friendly if not Cloud-based.
Given the growth of mass shootings in the United States and abroad, we expect demand for mass notification solutions (MNS) to rise in the latter half of this year. While we’ll see this across all industries, it will be most prevalent in the education, healthcare and government environments. Over the past several years, these systems have made great strides in distribution methods, and in the ability to customise message development and delivery for targeted groups. While many people associate MNS with fire alarms and text-message alerts, today’s systems incorporate numerous other modes of communication from an email notification to strobe lights or automated phone calls, similar to a reverse 911 call. The 21st century MNS will be holistic, highly configurable, intuitive and interactive. These solutions will enable two-way, multi-modal communication, coupled with a comprehensive security strategy, to help mitigate the risks of an active shooter situation.
The commercial success of Google Nest’s Learning Thermostat followed by the Ring Video Doorbell have made using the Internet to access and control a multitude of devices accepted in the mainstream. People now expect to be able to use mobile apps to seamlessly interact with their devices. There are thousands of such devices, including wireless locks and readers, that communicate wirelessly via Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and can connect to the Internet via low cost controllers/bridges. In the second half of 2016, I see more commercial offerings that integrate these IoT devices in the Cloud to create rich, integrated solutions that can be controlled and viewed via mobile applications.
The Internet of Things and the Cloud will be front-and-centre in the physical security marketplace throughout the rest of 2016, according to our panel – not surprising, given that these topics have been dominant already for some time now. It will be interesting to see how the technology buzz around Web intelligence, the Cloud, the Internet of Things, and mass notification systems – as predicted by our panel – will play out in the next few months. Will technology buzz turn into real solutions in the market?
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