Normally when we talk about trends and the future, we are actually thinking more about the present. The reason we are keen on understanding trends is because we want to know how they will affect our current business and how we should act now to avoid being outdated.”

Significant changes have shaped the security industry during the last decade, and more exciting innovations should be expected in the 2020s. Emerging technologies and applications, such as multi-dimensional perception, UHD, low light imaging, artificial intelligence, and cloud technology, open new possibilities for the security industry. At the same time, millions of cameras and other security devices are being connected into networks, making the security industry a very important part of the future IoT world.

Hikvision shares their thoughts on a few key trends that will affect the security industry in 2020, and probably even longer into the future.

Multi-dimensional perception

Video cameras integrated with centimetre and millimetre wave radars are becoming popular in object detection

For security cameras, image capturing simulates the sense of sight, extending the power of people’s “eyes.” But what if security cameras could use other kinds of “senses,” like “hearing,” “smelling,” or even detections that are beyond visual range, to identify and respond to incidents? For example, video cameras integrated with centimetre and millimetre wave radars are becoming popular in object detection. With deep integration of radar and video, a multi-dimensional camera extends perception beyond visual range to improve the detection of objects and movement tracking, up to a distance of 100 meters and in any weather.

Another approach is the integrated automobile horn-detection camera. Equipped with sonar arrays, this camera can precisely detect and locate the source of a vehicle’s horn, while identifying the vehicle and generating photos and videos of the event as evidence. This ability can help reduce noise pollution on roadways and in communities with rules against the unnecessary use of horns.

More “senses,” like smoke detection, heat detection, or even pressure detection, can be embedded in cameras to precisely monitor and report events or incidents. The multi-dimensional perception trend will powerfully shape security systems and endow them with more capabilities to create safety in the near future.

Multi-intelligence cameras

The computing power of security cameras has been enhanced greatly with the increased performance of AI chips

Artificial intelligence applications have been slowly emerging in the security industry for many years already, but most AI-powered security cameras can only run a single algorithm because of the limitation of computing power, which means they can incorporate only one intelligent function at a time, counting people or counting cars, for example.

Now, the computing power of security cameras has been enhanced greatly with the increased performance of AI chips. Multi-intelligence technology will be the trend for the next generation of AI-empowered cameras as several intelligent tasks will be accomplished by one camera. Vehicle intersections can be used as an example. In many cities one can see ten or more cameras installed at intersections to detect traffic flow, to identify violations, to detect vehicle types and license plate numbers, protect sidewalks, and so on.

But now, with multi-intelligence cameras, two or three cameras will be enough for an intersection. Since fewer cameras will be equipped for one application scenario, the cost of equipment, installation and maintenance and management will all be reduced. Moreover, scenario-defined cameras will become common as manufacturers can insert different algorithms into security cameras according to specific application scenarios, allowing customers to choose customised functions for their needs.

Proactive and comprehensive security systems

Proactive video analysis enables deployment of valuable comprehensive security systems

Merely reactive CCTV systems will no longer meet the demands of security operations teams as they are often looking for new opportunities to enhance their operational efficiency. Many customers are now asking for proactive and comprehensive security systems that combine CCTV monitoring, alarm systems, access control, and even fire protection.

With the development of AI technology, monitoring processes of CCTV systems are becoming more automated by analysing live and recorded video to detect, classify and track predefined objects. These processes can be especially effective in proactively identifying events as they happen and extracting information instantly from recorded video.

Meanwhile, proactive and intelligent video analysis enables deployment of valuable comprehensive security systems and improves the return on investment for integration of CCTV and non-CCTV systems. For example, now, when a camera detects an incident, a linkage will trigger the alarm system automatically, telling security personnel to check the surveillance camera live feed. Conversely, when alarm, access control or fire protection systems report an incident, the CCTV system will be activated to verify what actually happened. Digital transformation to increase productivity is a business imperative for most organizations nowadays, and proactive and comprehensive security systems will be the direction for security operations to increase their efficiency and value.

Ultra-high definition

UHD is benefiting from improvements in transmission and encoding technologies

People want to see more and see with more clarity; thus pursuing ever higher image resolution has been a key driving force in the development of security industry technology. After the HD era, the Ultra High Definition (UHD) era will be the natural next step. UHD used to mean “expensive cost”, but now UHD is benefiting from improvements in transmission and encoding technologies. It is becoming more and more cost-effective for large-scale use in the security industry, from entry levels to the top.

With greater bandwidth and lower latency transmission technology, the smooth transmission of UHD images is becoming possible, and widespread adoption of 4K and 8K resolution cameras will meet real opportunities.

Furthermore, continuously optimised encoding technology, which is vastly decreasing the bitrate of video, is another stimulus for UHD applications in the security industry. As the bitrate of recorded footage is greatly reduced, bandwidth and storage costs are reduced as well.

Visibility, any time and any condition

Low light imaging technologies have become more and more popular in the security industry

Most security incidents happen at night, but images and footage from conventional security cameras may easily lose colours and critical details in ultra-low light environments. Low light imaging technologies have become more and more popular in the security industry, enhancing the visibility of objects for identifying details at any time and in any condition.

Another important innovation is thermal imaging, which can detect the heat information of any object with a temperature above absolute zero. Taking advantage of heat zone imaging, thermal imaging technology allows cameras to “see” in low-visibility conditions, such as fog, smog, rain, and snow, even at night. And thermal cameras have huge potentials in various applications, like perimeter defence, fire detection and temperature measurement.

Moving to the cloud

As mentioned at the beginning, more security devices, including cameras, are being connected over the Internet, making them parts of the IoT world. Thus, “moving to the cloud” has been a focus for the security industry, especially for video surveillance operations. Why are people enthusiastic about the cloud? It’s because cloud services can bring vast benefits in efficiency, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and security.

Among security operations, video surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) has been a major trend in the security industry as it is an ideal choice for small and medium-sized businesses to move their video-based security systems to the cloud. It is a technology to host the hardware and software of security operations in the cloud, so that users can access their IP cameras and IoT devices and check video footage or alarm linkage from anywhere. Since no on-site server installation and system configuration is needed, it is often more convenient than traditional video surveillance solutions. On the cloud, users can distribute costs over a contract term and pay for exactly and only the services that are used.

With VSaaS, system integrators are able to provide services for their clients using the cloud

For enterprises running chain stores, demands on VSaaS are increasing greatly. Moving video surveillance services to the cloud, these businesses can quickly and economically centralize their security operations and remotely check the status of their stores. To greet the “moving to the cloud” trend, security system integrators are also taking hold of VSaaS as it is a good chance to strengthen their business models. With VSaaS, system integrators are able to provide services for their clients using the cloud, such as system checks and remote maintenance, and consistently scale their business with efficiency.

Higher demands on cybersecurity

With millions of security devices being connected in IoT, security systems are evolving from single and isolated to open and connected. People are getting more and more concerned about the security of their data and privacy, and accordingly have set higher demands for the security industry on cybersecurity.

To help minimise the risk of security breaches, a multi-layered approach, including network, application, and device layering, that addresses a full range of cybersecurity threats concurrently will be demanded and expected by security organisations and IT departments. Security manufacturers, will also have to cover the security of their products throughout the whole lifecycle.

5G, big data affect the industry

Just as 2020 is the beginning of a new decade, we expect to see a new decade of innovation in technologies and applications. Along with the prominent security industry trends mentioned above, other trends such as 5G, big data, smart enterprise operations, and stricter data protection regulations like EU’s GDPR, might also greatly affect the industry in the 2020s.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

The importance of a secure perimeter in safeguarding our schools
The importance of a secure perimeter in safeguarding our schools

Schools play a key role in shaping our future. Following the reopening of classrooms up and down the country, young minds are returning to some normality. Once again they're being inspired, learning useful skills, and forging new interests to ensure our country's continued prosperity. Schools need a comprehensive security infrastructure to protect the children who attend them. Most notably, secure perimeters that keep unwanted people out, but also ensure visitors, parents, and students alike can access their shared community space without feeling segregated or unwelcome. Robust boundary fencing  However, although safety is often the primary concern of parents, with tighter budgetary constraints and funds prioritised to make schools COVID safe, it can be all too easy to let important perimeter replacement or improvement programmes slip. The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorised entry and exit The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorised entry and exit from school grounds, and should be specifically designed to be fit for purpose. Opting for fencing with a welded pale-through-rail construction and concealed anti-tamper connectors between  fence panels and posts delivers a robust boundary that's virtually impossible to break through. This style of fencing also gives a better finish with no visible joints or unsightly bolts. Attractive and practical solutions Unlike generic riveted palisade fencing, this solution is both attractive and practical, more so now that LPS 1175 SR1 certified and Secured by Design versions are available. The style of fencing should meet a school's desired security and safety requirements, simultaneously, it should not compromise on aesthetic considerations. As part of the public face of the school, it should be attractive as well as functional, helping overcome any concerns of creating a prison-like environment and promote a sense of well-being. It's recommended that perimeter fencing should be: a minimum of two metres high, vandal-resistant and sturdy, grounded on a hard surface, challenging to scale, and have an anti-climb topping, much the same as a high-security option. Access all areas Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances A perimeter fence requires secure access points and gates. Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances. These should be kept to a minimum, to make it easier to maintain control of visitor movement. However, in larger schools this is not always possible and additional entrances may be required to prevent potentially dangerous congestion at the start and end of the school day. Furthermore, separate gates must be installed for vehicles and pedestrians to ensure they are kept at a safe distance, and avoid unnecessary openings of large, double leaf gates. All access points should be locked during the day to keep students on-site and prevent intruders from gaining access to school grounds. Gates should ideally be matched in  design, height and construction to the fencing,  to prevent creating vulnerable areas and compromising security. Automatic vs manual While automatic gates offer more control, manual gates shouldn't be overlooked. Not only are they easier to install and usually cheaper than automated gates, but they also don't rely on power, so if your site's supply is cut off, they provide a hassle-free exit. Furthermore, gates that are only used at the start and end of the day can be easily locked manually by staff. However, automated gates do offer welcome flexibility, as they include access control devices such as remote controls, keypads and card readers, which will also increase the school's security. They're also robust and heavy, meaning it's incredibly difficult to force them open. Electric gates offer additional versatility with a choice of either full automation, or a hybrid of manned and automatic security, with staff able to allow visitors access via intercom or video system. Securing outdoor facilities It’s also essential to consider outdoor areas when it comes to specifying security options for educational environments. Specialist security fencing should be specified where recreational areas double up as the school’s boundary fencing. The security of the site's sports facilities will also need to be considered. Commonly known as MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas), enclosures can be designed with specialist mesh systems to allow multiple sports to be played in the same location while providing safety to participants, spectators and buildings. When it comes to play areas in nurseries and junior schools, installing RoSPA approved and BS EN 1176 compliant fencing and gates is recommended. These are available in both timber and steel options and tested for their ability to provide a safe fencing and gate solution - designed to reduce the risk of limb entrapment. Acoustic fencing is also worth considering for these environments, particularly in urban areas or where housing is close to school play areas. It can help reduce incoming ambient noise from neighbouring busy roads, railway lines, or construction sites, and contain the school noise within its boundary. Offering sufficient protection Focus on learning unimpeded by threat The current generation of children deserve an environment where they can focus on learning unimpeded by threat. Schools need robust perimeter solutions that welcome pupils, offer peace of mind to parents, and provide them with sufficient protection against intruders. Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the head teachers to engage in dialogue with knowledgeable security professionals to get the most appropriate and effective security solutions for their school, staff and students.

Protecting retail staff in a new era: live-streaming body cameras
Protecting retail staff in a new era: live-streaming body cameras

This year has been characterised by uncertainty and extraordinary strain, which has fallen heavily on all manner of key workers. Alongside our celebrated healthcare professionals, carers and the emergency services, those working in essential retail have proved themselves to be the backbone of our society during this challenging period. As people try to grasp onto normality and cope with the unexpected changes taking place in every aspect of their lives – including the way they are allowed to shop – it’s no surprise that tensions are now running higher than ever. Retail crime was already on the rise before the pandemic struck, with the British Retail Consortium finding that at least 424 violent or abusive incidents were reported every day last year. The Co-op recently reported its worst week in history in terms of abuse and antisocial behaviour, with 990 incidents of antisocial behaviour and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July. 990 incidents of antisocial behaviour and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July To manage the increased risks currently faced by retail employees, businesses must adopt new initiatives to safeguard their staff. Growing numbers of retailers including the Co-op and Asda have equipped their in-store and delivery staff with body worn cameras to enhance safety and provide them with peace of mind, as well as to discourage altercations from taking place at all. Traditional tech Body worn cameras are nothing new and have been used within the law enforcement industry for years. Traditional devices are record-only and can be used to record video evidence able to be drawn upon ‘after the fact’ should it be needed as an objective view of an event and who was involved. These devices can also be used to discourage violent or verbally abusive incidents from occurring in the first place. If a customer is approached by an employee, they are likely to think twice about retaliating if they know their interaction is being recorded. This stance is supported by research from the University of Cambridge that found the use of body worn cameras improves the behaviour of the wearer and those in its vicinity, as both are aware of the fact it can act as an objective ‘digital witness’ to the situation. However, record-only body worn cameras do leave much to be desired. In fact, the same University of Cambridge study found that, in the case of law enforcement, assaults against officers wearing these devices actually increased by 15%. This could be attributed to those being recorded being provoked by the presence of the camera or wanting to destroy any evidence it may hold.  Out with the old, in with the new Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more Fortunately, there is a better option. Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more. Live-streaming capabilities are able to take ‘after the fact’ evidence one step further and provide the wearer with ‘in the moment’ safety and reassurance. With these devices, if a retail employee is subject to a volatile situation with a customer, they can trigger live video to be streamed back to a central command and control room where security officers will be able to take the most appropriate course of action with heightened and real-time situational awareness. Having access to all of the information they could need instantly will enable security personnel to decide whether to attend the scene and diffuse the situation themselves or to take more drastic action if needed, before any harm has been caused. This capability is especially valuable for lone workers who don’t have access to instant support – such as delivery drivers, in-store or warehouse staff and distribution operators to name a few. The pandemic has also doubled the number of consumers who do their regular grocery shopping online, leading to potential supply and demand issues resulting in unhappy customers.  Live-streaming body worn cameras rely on uninterrupted mobile connectivity to excel, as they are not connected to any physical infrastructure. To minimise the risk of the live video stream buffering or freezing – a real possibility for delivery drivers who can be working anywhere in the country – retailers should look to deploy devices capable of streaming in real-time, with near zero latency footage, even when streaming over poor or constrained networks. To get the most out of their tech, retailers should also look to implement devices that can be multi-use and can be deployed as a body worn camera or a dashcam to record any incidents that may occur whilst driving.    Novel threats   This year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from While not to the same extent, retail workers have always been subject to a level of potential physical or verbal abuse. However, this year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the cause of many of the new threats facing employees, but is also a threat in itself. To mitigate this, retailers should look to introduce remote elevated temperature detection cameras in their stores, which analyse body temperature and sound an alarm when somebody’s temperature exceeds a certain threshold – as this could indicate the presence of a potential fever. When deployed on the same cellular network as live-streaming enabled body cameras, these tools can be linked to a central command centre and the alarms viewed remotely from any connected device. This means a network of cameras can be monitored efficiently from a single platform. Ensuring the protection and security of retail workers has come to the fore this year. With the risk of infection in high-footfall locations, such as supermarkets, and the added pressure that comes with monitoring and enforcing safety guidelines, retail staff are having to cope with a plethora of new challenges. Retailers should adopt innovative technologies within their stores and delivery trucks, such as live-streaming enabled body cameras and remote elevated temperature screening solutions, to minimise the threat faced by their employees and provide them with instant support and reassurance should it be required.

Inclusion and diversity in the security industry: ‘One step at a time’
Inclusion and diversity in the security industry: ‘One step at a time’

Historically, concerns about inclusion and diversity have not been widely discussed in the security market. In the last couple of years, however, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and other groups have worked to raise awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion. Specifically, SIA’s Women in Security Forum has focused on the growing role of women in all aspects of security, and SIA’s RISE community has focused on “rising stars” in an industry previously dominated by Baby Boomers. The next generation of security leaders There is a business case to be made for diversity and inclusion, says a report by McKinsey & Company. According to the management consulting company, gender-diverse companies are 24% more likely to outperform less diverse companies, and ethnically diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts. Furthermore, the “next generation of security leaders” – employees under 30 – are particularly focused on diversity and inclusion. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique A panel discussion at ISC West’s Virtual Event highlighted aspects of inclusion and diversity, starting with a definition of each. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique. On the other hand, inclusion refers to the behaviour and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. “We are all on a journey, and our journey takes different paths,” said Willem Ryan of AlertEnterprise, one of the SIA panelists. “There are opportunities to improve over time. We can all change and increase our ability to have a positive impact.” Industry responsibility The industry has a responsibility to the next generation of industry leaders to address issues of inclusion and diversity. Forbes magazine says that millennials are more engaged at work when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture. So the question becomes: How do we unify and create opportunities to work with and champion tomorrow’s leaders? SIA is driving change in our industry to achieve that goal. More women are active in SIA than ever before. The SIA Women in Security Forum now has 520 members, said Maureen Carlo of BCD International, the SIA Women in Security Forum Chair and another panelist. Also, more women than ever are chairing SIA committees and serving on the SIA Board of Directors. More women than ever are chairing SIA committees Overcoming unconscious bias Former SIA Chairman Scott Shafer of SMS Advisors, another of the panelists, noted that SIA awarded the Chairman’s Award to the Women in Security Forum in 2019, and to the RISE community steering committee in 2020. “There are lots of ways we are seeing the elevation of women and ethnic groups in the security industry,” said Shafer. One topic of interest is the problem of “unconscious bias,” which can be overcome by looking at something through some else’s lens. Ryan suggested use of the acronym SELF –  Slow Down, Empathise, Learn, and Find commonalities. Ryan recalled the value of being mentored and having someone shepherd him around the industry. “Now I want to give back,” he said. “We need to look at the things we can change in ourselves, in our company, in our communities, and in our industry. Change comes from the bottom and the top.” Increasing representation “It takes all of us to increase representation everywhere,” said Kasia Hanson of Intel Corp., another panelist. “We have in common that we are all human beings. Let’s make sure the next generation all have opportunities.” Diverse companies can attract better talent Moving forward, the panelists urged the industry to get involved and create opportunities because inclusion drives diversity. Diverse companies can attract better talent and attain a competitive advantage. Awareness of unconscious bias, and working to eliminate it, is an important element of change. Despite the progress the security industry is making, change continues to be incremental. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”