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trends is because we want to know how they will affect our current business and how we should act now to avoid being outdated.”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.

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In case you missed it

How a leap year may effect your access control system
How a leap year may effect your access control system

Leap years occur every four years as a way to help synchronise the calendar year with the solar year, or how long it takes the Earth to orbit the sun. While this is necessary, leap years require our security systems to account for an extra day, apart from its normal schedule. As a result, leap years create problems with computing and can cause major issues to access control system functionality if a provider is not leap year compatible. There are a few things to keep in mind as we near February 29 to ensure you and your system are prepared for this uncommon occurrence. Why doesn't my access control system work on a leap year day? A leap year doesn’t occur that often, but if your system is newer than four years old, then this may be the first time you are being hit with this issue. It may be something as simple as the fact that the manufacturer of the system failed to account for leap day in their QA/testing procedures when designing the product. Regardless of the reasoning, it is important to recognise the issues that could arise so you can be prepared. An access control system malfunctioning never leads to a good outcome. What are some of the issues I could run into if my system isn’t leap year compatible? If you have your doors on a schedule, it could lead to doors being open on a Saturday or Sunday — which is the case this leap year — when they should not be open. This could naturally lead to unauthorised individuals gaining access to sensitive areas, putting company assets at risk. This could also lead to problems with credentials that were set to start or expire on a certain date, which could cause problems for new employees needing access, or could extend access privileges to contract workers whose employment terms have ended. In addition to credentialing, other scheduled events will also be off in the system. For example, some access control systems automatically lock or unlock doors on a set schedule based on business hours. With no defined schedules in place for a day that only occurs once every four years, this could lead to issues with scheduling for both authorised and unauthorised individuals. What can I do to ensure my system is ready for Feb. 29? Anything? If your manufacturer hasn’t alerted you that your system is leap-year compatible, it is best to set up your system in a test lab and simulate the leap-year date. This allows you to verify that all of your scheduling type events work correctly. If it works in a simulation, it will work on the actual day. However, beware waiting until the last moment to test your system, in case you do run into challenges that need to be addressed. Are there solutions available that account for this already? This is an important question to ask if you are evaluating a new system. While there are some systems that do not account for a leap day, many systems, like Hirsch Velocity, already do. In fact, Hirsch products have been leap-year compatible for many years now, allowing end-users to ignore the inconvenient day altogether. What if my system doesn’t? If you know for a fact that your system is not leap-year compatible, ask your provider before that date to test and ensure that your system will work properly. If you do this and encounter scheduling issues, you can opt to push off all of your scheduled events until March 1 and validate scheduled doors being opened on February 29 to plan accordingly. While leap day is inconvenient, it is addressable. It is just important to do so early to catch any issues before they arise. Failure to acknowledge the challenges associated with leap years will inevitably lead to difficulties when the day comes.

Embracing digital transformation in the security industry
Embracing digital transformation in the security industry

Many industries are, to a greater or lesser extent, in the throes of digital transformation. As with any change programme, digital transformation efforts often under-perform against expectations. Yet, the number of digital transformation programmes continue to increase, as commercial pressures intensify. As security professionals we need to embrace our role in digital transformation, as security is everybody’s business. For all those people weary of hearing about digital transformation and believe it’s a business fad, consider your own behaviours. If you use a smartphone to search, find, order, buy, message, watch, learn, play, bank, pay, enter, exit, navigate, communicate and more then you are part of the reason that digital transformation is a commercial necessity. The way we live our lives has changed significantly over the past twenty years and this needs to be reflected into how we rethink the way we do business. Digital transformation is about more than technology, it allows people to solve their traditional problems in new and better ways than before. Better can mean faster, at lower cost, using fewer resources, easier to maintain, more compliant and/or easier to report insights. IoT, criminal activity and security  The number of internet connected devices worldwide is increasing at an exponential rate; by the end of 2025 there are expected to be 75.44 billion. Internet of Things (IoT) means digital transformation converges physical and digital for security professionals. Criminals use smarter digital tools such as malware, drones, key cloners, signal readers and more, which impact both physical and cybersecurity. To counter this, digital transformation provides security professionals with access As security professionals we need to embrace our role in digital transformation, as security is everybody’s businessto valuable actionable insights to identify and deter threats to people and assets. All transformation starts with an idea generated by people and ends with people experiencing the output. Therefore, digital transformation starts and ends with people. To ensure a solid foundation to any digital transformation agenda, people need to have a clear purpose to engage. This is where security leaders can inspire their colleagues with a laudable purpose of embracing disruption at the same time as focusing on safeguarding people and assets. Non-security colleagues should understand that security risks are advancing at a faster pace than enterprises can adapt. As a security leader, you are advocating a movement where your colleagues adopt relevant enterprise security risk management practices in their daily thinking and working. The message is clear that digital transformation presents abundant opportunities and these need to be evaluated alongside the proliferating security threats that can become a business continuity failure. Security professionals and digital influence  The number of internet connected devices worldwide is increasing at an exponential rate; by the end of 2025 there are expected to be 75.44 billionSecurity professionals can influence digital transformation success by translating an enterprise’s strategy into secure operational reality. The security narrative should emphasise the people side of digital transformation and how technology can act as an enabler of a safe and secure experience, both for employees and customers. Operationally, digital transformation is about agility, adaptability and navigating uncertainty. Old ways of thinking and working will be blockers to transformation, so security leaders ought to identify the rapid enablers of a ‘secure’ digital transformation. Better people, processes and overall technology People generally don’t want more in their lives, they want better. Better people. Better data. Better technology. Better processes. Digital transformation creates significant ‘better’ benefits for security: For example, connected (IoT) sensors, video analytics at the edge and machine learning identify threats faster; workflow technologies and automation detect, investigate and remediate routine responses; cloud provides many benefits such as agility, scale and mobility; and, smartphones/digital devices provide real-time communication and collaboration. Tackling all the ‘better’ needs within a security approach is necessary – focusing on the prioritised commercial needs first. Think about how to drive radical simplification into digital transformation agendas to ensure complexity doesn’t create too many unmanageable risks. Designing enterprise security risk management into the business operating model will facilitate colleagues to be empowered for safe and secure change. Communicating security successes and breaches with commercial impact insights in a timely and concise manner across the enterprise will prove the value of active security engagement throughout digital transformation programmes. Transforming the world Digital technology is transforming the world around us, in a way that impacts every area of security. Security professionals are now businesspeople and technologists, in addition to their traditional security remits. Embracing this impacts security recruitment, training and employee engagement, within the security team and with non-security colleagues. Without a doubt, security professionals are integral to digital transformation programmes.

ISC West modifying Venetian ballroom layout in absence of Chinese companies
ISC West modifying Venetian ballroom layout in absence of Chinese companies

ISC West is being affected only minimally by the COVID-19 coronavirus, which is having an impact on international business travel, specifically to and from China. One consequence of coronavirus travel restrictions is a decision by Reed Exhibitions International not to proceed with a dedicated pavilion for Chinese companies at ISC West, March 17-20. In the main hall, however, some Chinese companies will remain in the show and staff their exhibit booths with U.S. office personnel and resources. Importantly, the ISC West event is moving forward as planned. Several trade show organisers globally have cancelled events because of fears of spreading the disease. For example, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was cancelled at the end of February. “Our clear focus is on the health and safety for our entire ISC community, and empathy and compassion for our Chinese customers relative to personal health and safety, and the very challenging business predicament for these companies,” says Will Wise, Group Vice President, Security & Gaming Portfolio, Reed Exhibitions. Minimal Impact Our clear focus is on the health and safety for our entire ISC community, and empathy and compassion for our Chinese customersThe ISC West team and Reed Exhibitions International colleagues in China have been working diligently to assess the status of all ISC West exhibitors from China, given the travel restriction, says Wise. Among show attendees, Chinese travel restrictions will have a negligible impact. In past years, only a tiny fraction of attendees traveled to Las Vegas from China for the show. Immediate action by the U.S. government as soon as the world became aware of the COVID-19 coronavirus has enabled a controlled business and health and safety dynamic that will allow the show to proceed as planned. The U.S. took quick action to put major travel restrictions in place, including no incoming flights/travel from China. “The status is ever-evolving and we’ll be keeping the expo floor plan updated,” says Wise. The China pavilion In previous years, the China pavilion had hosted 50 or more companies as part of what was formerly known as “Global Expo,” located in the Venetian Ballroom adjacent to the Sands Convention Center.  In 2019, the slate of companies in the Venetian Ballroom expanded to include some domestic exhibitors as well as the international companies. Importantly, the ISC West event is moving forward as plannedThis year, Venetian Ballroom exhibits will continue without the participation of Chinese companies. There will be international exhibitors from countries outside China as well as some domestic companies, including the Emerging Technology Zone, where new startups will highlight their latest innovations. The Security Industry Association (SIA) New Product Showcase will also be featured in the Venetian Ballroom, as well as a VIP international lounge. Additionally, a new pavilion highlighting Loss Prevention and Supply Chain companies will be featured, and there will be an educational theatre offering free sessions on topics such as drones and robotics.  Reed Exhibitions strongly urges exhibitors and visitors to refer to the guidelines and protocols as suggested by the World Health Organization and local/national public health authorities to contain and mitigate against any further spread of the virus. Suggested precautions include frequent hand washing (including alcohol-based hand rubs) and maintaining a three-foot distance between oneself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.