Articles by Alyssa Fann
The growing sales of IP-based solutions in the surveillance market is a well-discussed topic. Security companies are rushing to grab a slice of this lucrative pie. However, at the same time, analogue surveillance systems have continued to retain their appeal for many end users. Aware of this demand, some companies have continued to develop technology for analogue solutions despite the IP trend. One company driving this force is Nextchip, the company behind AHD™. Up until recently, the Korean company has mostly played behind the scenes, supplying its high-quality chipsets to manufacturers worldwide. The company has been changing the face of analogue solutions with its latest technology for high definition analogue solutions - AHD™. Sizable analogue market welcomes HD analogue solutions Accounting for up to 70 percent of Nextchip’s total sales, the AHD™ adoption rate is gaining momentum, and the company recently announced that the adoption rate has reached 100 million channels. One of the reasons for the growth, according to Julie Kim, General Manager of Strategic Marketing Department at Nextchip, is that the majority of analogue manufacturers have continued to focus on the analogue market. While new installations usually opt for IP-based solutions from the get-go, there is still a sizeable number of analogue systems in place. These end users welcome the ability to upgrade their existing analogue systems with high-definition solutions that security companies are offering, as upgrading is faster, more cost-effective and causes the least amount of disruption compared to overhauling and replacing an entire system. Nextchip has been changing the face of analogue solutions with its latesttechnology for HD analogue solutions - AHD Traditionally, one argument for switching to IP-based systems is the high-quality images that analogue systems cannot deliver, but that is no longer the case. High definition analogue solutions that incorporate the likes of HD-SDI, HDCVI, HDTVI and HD-AHD technologies retain the simplicity of installation that system integrators, installers and end users are used to in analogue systems, but provide high definition images that rival those achieved by IP-based solutions. Cost-effective upgrade of existing surveillance systems Kim explains that upgrading image resolution from D1 to HD/FHD (720p/1080p) has previously involved higher costs. Nextchip decided to invest in developing high-definition analogue solutions because it saw a need to overcome transmission and cost issues associated with higher image quality transmission. D1(760H/960H) was the standard within the surveillance market for a long time, but as image levels reached higher resolutions (HD/FHD), CMOS HD and FHD were introduced (megapixel CCD was not applied for cost reasons). CMOS and ISP were ready but required a transmission solution to transmit the megapixel resolution, which led to the development of HD-SDI. However, the cost of these was too high. In addition, HD-SDI transmission is limited to 100 metres, after which a repeater is necessary, thereby increasing costs. The technology behind AHD™ enables high definition video and audio transmission over coaxial cable up to a distance of 500 metres without any latencies or quality losses that can sometimes be seen in IP-based solutions. An upgrade of the existing analogue system can now be achieved with the simple replacement of the cameras and DVRs. AHD™ applications beyond surveillance The technology behind AHD™ enables high definition video and audio transmission over coaxial cable up to a distance of 500 metres without any latencies or quality losses that can sometimes be seen in IP-based solutions Nevertheless, Nextchip is well aware that the switch to IP-based systems is inevitable and will affect its existing analogue business. Hence, the company has developed AHD™ with universality in mind and is already branching out the technology beyond the security market into the automotive industry. AHD™ is cable-independent technology. Its applications can expand beyond surveillance to include others that can benefit from high-resolution images, such as the automotive industry. In addition to its home market, Nextchip is focusing on the European market, where the majority of automotive manufacturers are located and is already in talks with them on incorporating Nextchip’s solutions into their vehicles. Nextchip 2016 roadmap revealed After years of playing behind the scenes, Nextchip is now working to increase its brand awareness beyond manufacturers. To this end, the company has strategically revamped its website for the first time in a decade. It is also working on increasing its presence in its end user markets and making its brand known to installers and system integrators, with plans to establish international branch offices in the pipeline. In terms of sales, Kim sees demand for 1080p chipsets growing in 2016 as the technology commercialises. Up until last year, the 720p chipsets generated the most sales, accounting for up to 65 percent of the company’s total sales.
According to Merit LILIN, the UAE will be a thriving new and potential market in 2016since Europe’s economy is still sluggish The global Chinese community recently welcomed the year of the Fire Monkey with a two-week celebration, concluding with the lantern festival at the end of February. According to Chinese astrology, we are now in the year of the Fire Monkey. What’s in store for businesses around the world? Global economic growth is predicted for the year of the Monkey. Industries forecast to experience increased activity include energy, transport, shipping, property, construction, and mining. This is good news for businesses and security companies alike, since these are all verticals where the security industry is active. SourceSecurity.com caught up with C.C. Hsu, President of Merit LILIN, to find out the Taiwanese giant’s plans for the year of the Monkey. Leverage experience, focus on smart solutions Over the decades, Merit LILIN has built a reputation as a trusted provider. Hsu described the plans Merit LILIN has in store for the year ahead with regard to the company and its product trajectory. “With over 35 years of experience in video surveillance, Merit LILIN is still (focusing) on the security industry, and (providing) good service to customers through our branches and partners,” he said. “We (will) not only focus on features and specifications, but also focus on the user experience. Smart products, working smart, (easy installations) and (delivering) intelligent data will be our main direction for product development.” Middle East continues to lead sales The United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains a significant region for the company. With Intersec 2016 concluded a couple of months ago, Hsu reiterated the potential for growth within the region for the security industry and for the company. “Since Europe’s economy is still sluggish, UAE will be a new and potential market,” he said. “We believe that quality and support are more important for homeland security for UAE even though (competitively priced) Chinese products are everywhere. This year, LILIN will devote much more to this market than before. We have attended Intersec this year, and we received lots of good responses. We believe this year will (see) 40 percent growth, compared to 2015.” Merit LILIN’s main direction for product development will be smart products,working smart and delivering intelligent data According to Hsu, the Middle East is a project-based market, and Merit LILIN has tailored its strategy accordingly by building a strong network of consultants and system integrators with the expertise to support large-scale projects. The company will also be holding product trainings and seminars to ensure that customers are able to fully realise the benefits of their products. With a fast-growing economy, it is no surprise that the financial sector in the Middle East region is seeing demands. Hsu noted that the company’s end-to-end solutions for the banking sector, focusing on ATM and teller counters, are their most in-demand products in the region. A year of economic growth, a time for new inventions Many astrologers forecast the year of the Monkey to usher in global economic growth and a time for new inventions. In terms of up-and-coming products customers can expect from Merit LILIN, Hsu listed a door station with lens distortion correction, the P2P NVR solution with P2P app, ANPR for parking management, city surveillance and gate control, barcode integration with LILIN Navigator VMS system for retail and production, in addition to 4K and H.265 products. There’s something for everyone, as Merit LILIN strives to meet the needs of customers in all verticals. From home automation to city surveillance to mobile applications and cruise and boat video management, the company has the bases covered. Each vertical has specific requirements, and Merit LILIN covers these needs. For instance, stainless steel encasing built to withstand a salty environment is used for cameras designed for the boat and cruise management vertical, while a VMS with barcode integration is designed to meet the special demands of a production line in the manufacturing sector.
Starlight camera technology is redefining low-light surveillance to new levels Starlight cameras are the latest products security companies are adding to their product line-ups, each camera boasting the most comprehensive ability to make darkness visible. While low-light surveillance capabilities have been around on the market for some time, starlight camera technology is redefining low-light surveillance to new levels. Sourcesecurity.com spoke to manufacturers to discuss this technology and its applications in the security industry. Stronger sensors, higher image quality In the second half of last year, Sony unveiled its Starvis sensor technology designed for industrial applications, including security surveillance. The sensors make high-quality images possible in very challenging light conditions by increasing light sensitivity up to 2000 mV or more per 1 µm2. Many security companies have wasted no time incorporating this technology into their starlight range. China-based security camera manufacturer Qihan is one such company. According to Ten Wu, CIS and European Regional Manager at Qihan, the company has worked closely with Sony, in addition to investing in research toward the development of its starlight range. Qihan is by no means the only Asian manufacturer with a starlight range. Tiandy and Korea-based CNB Technology also carry a comprehensive range of starlight cameras for customers to select from, while Nextchip has plans to incorporate starlight technology into its WDR range. During challenging lightingconditions, Starlight cameras areequipped with the technology toslow down the cameras’ electronicshutter to capture more light Core to starlight camera technology is excellent light sensitivity, resulting in the ability to capture quality images under conditions with very little available light. Bosch’s starlight range, for example, includes a camera that promises to capture highly detailed 1080p monochrome images in low light levels of 0.000275 lux, and the ability to capture moving objects in high resolution with its high frame rate of 30 frames per second. Starlight cameras are equipped with the technology to slow down the cameras’ electronic shutter, when lighting conditions become challenging, to capture more light in order for the cameras to continue recording in colour. Hardware and software enhance camera performance According to Niko Xie, Overseas Sales Director at Tiandy, performance is based on both hardware and software, requiring “special sensor and special algorithms” to capture images in challenging light conditions. A qualified starlight camera should be able to provide clearer image with more colour detail than normal cameras. Cameras are capable of maintaining colour images for longer and provide better night vision when settings are switched to black and white. “Our starlight products not only use starlight sensors, but also our algorithm to enhance image quality,” said Xie on Tiandy’s starlight range. As security companies raise the bar on security camera performance, they did not forget to apply the latest technology to their starlight range. Hence, starlight cameras from most manufacturers promise simple installation procedures and are further equipped with video analytics to enhance performance and data management, such as noise reduction, intelligent video analysis and remote access. Bosch’s starlight range, for example, provides high definition colour images in the dark through the combination of starlight technology and intelligent auto exposure, which enables the camera to automatically adapt to changing light conditions. Starlight cameras’ clearer images and colour detail make them ideal for low-lightenvironments such as bars and clubs Starlight camera applications for low light and no light environments Starlight cameras can be applied in a wide range of situations and environments. Several environments stand to benefit from the increased security starlight cameras could achieve. Places with low light or no light, for example, in a bar or club can benefit from starlight technology. The illumination is weak and under such conditions, normal cameras would have already switched to black-and-white image capturing, but starlight cameras would continue to capture clear colour images, explains Xie. In addition, Wu adds that current surveillance systems could also be updated with starlight cameras to tremendously improve image quality at a similar cost compared to conventional cameras. The security industry can definitely expect more to come on starlight cameras and their associated technology.
Safer has built a reputation of notcompromising on quality for a low price,leading to increases in overseas sales in 2015 Unfazed by the number of companies following the footsteps of Hikvision and Dahua and launching their own branded product lines, one Chinese company insists on carving out its name in the manufacturing sector. Established in 2002, Shenzhen Safer Science and Technology, or Safer as the company is commonly known, acknowledges that it cannot compete with Hikvision and Dahua; hence, it chooses to focus on its strengths in R&D and manufacturing. At this year’s CPSE in Shenzhen, Safer’s Vice General Manager, Vance Zhang, shared his views on the global security market, the Chinese manufacturing landscape and the Safer company roadmap. China: The world’s factory Zhang opened the conversation by stating that China has become the world’s factory, and this applies to the security industry. The manufacturing sector worldwide has shifted to China. Unsurprisingly, up to 70 percent of the company’s sales are generated from exports. Only a small percentage of the company’s total exports, however, is under the Safer brand, and Zhang has no intention of changing that, at least for now. In response to the current trend that sees Chinese companies launching their own brands, Zhang offered his views on the market. “It is not that Safer does not want to launch its own brand,” he said. “Chinese companies cannot escape the steep challenges they face from the global market on price demands. This is the current situation in China. The day Chinese brands can stand tall and firm is definitely a day for celebration.” In his opinion, there are only a handful of companies that have truly and successfully launched an international brand – Hikvision and Dahua, of course, and a couple of others. For the majority of companies, the road is not an easy one. According to Zhang, it would be difficult for Safer to stand out among the established companies in face of fierce competition. "We are slowly differentiating ourselvesfrom others who highlight lower-pricedproducts. Many global brands areseeking us out because I have alwaysinsisted on quality," says Vance Zhang,Vice General Manager of Safer Focus on quality manufacturing and low repair rate Zhang knows that following the branding trend can be risky business. Hence, the company’s trajectory is to focus on its strengths – manufacturing for international brands such as Panasonic and others. The manufacturing sector is not without its challenges, however, as the sector is also characterised by fierce competition and a race to lower production costs. Zhang firmly believes that the formula for success lies in innovation, comprehensive core technology and an emphasis on quality. “I believe that the market will return to its natural course, which is a demand for quality products,” Zhang says. “We do not compete with lower-cost products. I see many customers dealing with high repair rates, with the majority of profits going into after-service. Some people will bend their backs for 5 dollars. Others focus on marketing. Safer is different. Our marketing capabilities are not as strong compared to others, and we do not have as many sales personnel. Our strengths are in manufacturing and service.” Safer’s path to reputable quality manufacturing required perseverance, especially in the last couple of years when the lowering of production costs was prevalent among Chinese manufacturers. “My sales team used to come to me daily, showing me the lower prices offered by other manufacturers. I received around five emails daily citing high prices. It was a challenge, but our low repair rate won customers over. Moreover, Safer’s products are ROHS compliant (containing no hazardous components),”said Zhang. According to Zhang, it would be difficult for Safer to stand out among the established companies in face of fierce competition The Safer “brand” The company is expecting a sales growth of 10 to 20 percent this year and currently manufactures for Panasonic, and also other Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean companies. It is also in partnership talks with other major brands. “The Safer brand awareness is with our customers, not at the system integrator level,” said Zhang. “We are slowly differentiating ourselves from others who highlight lower-priced products. I’m very happy to say that many global brands are seeking us out because I have always insisted on quality. And today, I’ve passed what has been claimed to be strictest quality standards in the world. A Beijing customer of mine was convinced that Safer would not pass, but we did and with the highest possible score.” Following the success of Hikvision & Dahua The success of Hikvision and Dahua has prompted many Chinese companies to follow in their footsteps. In face of fierce market competition and limited resources, it may be difficult for a company to replicate what the two market leaders have established. Safer has shown that branding does not necessarily need to come from launching branded product lines. It has created a name for itself among global security brands as a reliable manufacturing partner. The global security market is composed of a variety of roles. Focusing on strengths and finding a trajectory that highlights those strengths is key to success in the security business.
CPSE Shenzhen showcased security productsacross 11 halls. The show is arguably thelargest and most influential in Asia China is the largest security market in the world. This makes the annual China Public Security Expo (CPSE) a force to be reckoned with and a place to be seen for every security company. Boasting 11 halls over an area of 110,000 m2 and more than 6,000 booths, CPSE is listed as one of the largest and, certainly, one of the most influential security shows worldwide, with more than 130,000 visitors expected to visit the show. Touring the show in Shenzhen this year, SourceSecurity.com caught up with local exhibitors among the sea of visitors to find out more about the Chinese security industry first hand. Beyond OEM: Making the invisible visible Following the successful footsteps of Hikvision and Dahua, many Chinese companies are focusing on building an international brand, in addition to their established OEM/ODM business. Tiandy is one such company. In recent years, Tiandy has been seen at international tradeshows, such as IFSEC, ISC West and Intersec. “We officially entered the international stage two years ago,” said Niko Xie. Overseas Sales Director at Tiandy. “We are a 22-year-old company and one of the few companies that focuses solely on IP products. We manufactured analogue products previously, but in 2012, the decision was made to solely focus on IP products.” The company may be a new participant on the international stage, but they are well known domestically. Within China, Tiandy products are all distributed under its own brand, even though only 30 percent of the company’s international sales are branded Tiandy. Internationally, Tiandy’s strategy is to partner with a sole distributor in each country, with the exception of the U.S. market, where they hope to find regional partners. Currently, Tiandy has a distributor in Turkey and the Middle East and is in talks with potential partners in other countries. Although local companies arekeen to expand abroad, noneare ignoring their advantageof being right within the world'slargest security market - China Sunell Technology is another Chinese company that is focusing on building an international brand. One of the top five companies in China, it has been in business for 18 years and currently ships to more than 90 countries. As the company is a major player in the OEM/ODM market with 70 percent of its sales generated from this sector, Sunell Technology only sells products under its own brand in countries where it does not conflict with established partners. One such region is Latin America, which Sunell Technology entered in 2013 with favourable results, seeing fast growth and increasing demand for its products in Mexico and Brazil. Domestic vs. international: The very large Chinese market Although local companies are keen to expand abroad, none are ignoring their advantage of being right within the world’s largest security market – China. In fact, there are several Chinese companies that generate more than 90 percent of their sales within the Chinese market alone. Kedacom and TCL, for example, generate approximately 90 percent of their sales in China, while Netposa and Hisilicon generate approximately 80 percent. Within China, major verticals include the government sector, finance and energy. The government sector is considered a key vertical for all security companies and a high degree of customisation is required. Netposa, for example, customises their products to police sector requirements in China. Hikvision is also seeing a demand for drone surveillance in Chinese law enforcement. “We major in law enforcement and the government sector,” said John Xue, Executive Director of Kedacom. “The government sector is the biggest market. Every vendor understands that and tries to get into the market, because this is the market that has the biggest demand for security products, and it is developing fast. Solution-wise, we need to do strong customisation for the clients, so we have a strong R&D team to meet this need. We don’t compete with costs as we need to commit to quality for our customers who are either the government or large corporations who can’t afford mistakes.” Interestingly, many of the Chinese companies are mostly offering small solutions in their overseas markets, despite having undertaken large-scale projects domestically Company roadmap: strategic marketing Interestingly, many of the Chinese companies are mostly offering small solutions in their overseas markets, despite having undertaken large-scale projects domestically. They say the logic behind this strategy is that most overseas clients are unaware of their brands, so clients may be hesitant to employ their systems in large projects. Chinese companies hope to build up client confidence to deploy larger systems through smaller systems. To conclude, Chinese companies are skillfully balancing their domestic and international businesses in every respect, from product offerings to technology, key verticals and marketing strategies. The rise of the Chinese security industry is more than low-cost manufacturing.
Derren Lu, CEO of Synology Inc and Scott Lee,Senior Manager of Software DevelopmentGroup for Surveillance Synology – a company founded by two former Microsoft employees – began as a storage solution provider and grew to include surveillance in its product offerings. While many security companies in Taiwan are voicing their concerns over falling sales, Synology is seeing its products grabbing shares in the security market and the sales figures are continuing to grow. Synology began its annual series of global roadshows in September, holding large-scale conferences in 17 countries spanning three continents, starting in Shanghai, China and ending in Istanbul, Turkey. In these “Synology 2016” conferences, the leading network-attached storage (NAS) vendor unveils new products and plans for the future. Most importantly, however, Synology sees these conferences as a chance to develop a closer relationship with their customers. SourceSecurity.com’s APAC correspondent, Alyssa Fann caught up with Synology’s CEO, Derren Lu, for a quick interview at the end of the Taipei conference to discuss the company’s marketing and product strategy, and the story behind Synology’s success. As CEO, Lu oversees Synology’s global operations, with a focus on delivering products with innovative features and unrivalled customer service. Previously, Lu was also General Manager of Synology France, responsible for expanding growth in European markets. Tracking the trends SourceSecurity.com: Over 1,000 people registered for the Taipei event alone. What is the story behind these large-scale events? Lu: End users today differ from end users of the past. The Internet of Things has changed the way companies interact with their customers. End users today strongly feel the need to understand and trust your company before using your products. For Synology, annual conferences such as these provide a platform for us to communicate with our customers and build a stronger relationship. SourceSecurity.com: What are the main strategies that have enabled Synology to grow since its founding to become a global company? Lu: We began as a software company, and one of Synology’s strengths is that we had no burdens. This enabled us to look at the entire market and trends to focus on catching what is important. For example, two trends that I feel Synology has successfully caught onto are cloud and mobile. When the first iPhone was launched, Synology immediately established a team to work on making our features mobile-friendly, as we saw mobile devices gaining significance in the future. Overall, we analyse the main trends in the market and whether Synology has a part to play. If the answer is yes, we do it. New kid on the security block SourceSecurity.com: Were there any trends specific to the surveillance market that Synology has successfully caught on? The years that it took IP-based solutions to overtake analogue solutions were beneficial for us – it allowed Synology to perfect its product offering Lu: We began to offer video surveillance recording in 2007. Although we are a storage solution provider, we felt that simply providing a storage solution was insufficient; hence, we began to look at the applications that require storage. We immediately saw the large demand for storage in video recording. Back then, the security market was still predominately analogue, but we saw IP-based solutions overtaking analogue, which would translate to requirements for larger storage capacity and flexible storage options as resolutions grow. Hence, we chose to only focus on the NVRs for IP-based security solutions, despite security industry veterans suggesting to us that it may be years before IP-based solutions overtake analogue solutions in the security market. At Synology, however, we decided not to divide our resources because we saw the analogue market as saturated. In fact, the years that it took IP-based solutions to overtake analogue solutions were beneficial for us – it allowed Synology to perfect its product offering. As a latecomer to the security market, Synology chose to focus on its strengths and compete in a new paradigm, instead of competing against established analogue solution providers. Seeing value, not costs, in customer feedback SourceSecurity.com: What is the percentage of security sales in Synology’s total sales? Lu: Based on our analyses from data that users have consented to share, one in five Synology users also use our security solution. Also noteworthy, our beta software release of surveillance station 7.1 saw 35,000 to 40,000 downloads in the first couple of weeks. This is interesting as it is only the beta version, which is not generally popular with businesses as they are often averse to risking their stored data. We were surprised to see the amount of interest generated by the beta version of the software and that our end users are open to new concepts and features. SourceSecurity.com: Did the customers take this opportunity to provide feedback? Lu: They were very eager to provide feedback on the products in general. We found that they were eager to use this opportunity to communicate with us and did not limit their feedback to the new features. For Synology, we see great value in listening to the voices of our customers, as they often go on to recommend Synology to their friends and employers. We have many cases where our products, including surveillance solutions, were recommended to businesses by employees who use Synology products at home.
The height strip camera blends into the storeenvironment, conducting covert surveillanceundetected by potential criminals Video security systems could see a spike in Taiwan’s store security market, as more manufacturers start to release covert “height strip” cameras. These cameras offer an inconspicuous surveillance solution for Taiwan’s huge number of convenience stores, who are easy targets for criminals. One of the first things that potential criminals check for at their target stores or banks is where the security cameras are mounted, so they can avoid their faces being captured as evidence. Since the majority of surveillance cameras are ceiling-mounted, baseball caps or hoods are often used to avoid being caught on camera in a recognisable way. Capturing reliable facial images for identification is crucial to the security of stores and banks or any other business that can fall prey to criminals. Covert camera benefits for store security Specialty covert cameras such as height strip cameras provide a simple, yet discreet and cost-effective way to augment store security in small systems. As its exterior is disguised as a height strip, the camera blends in with the environment and its existence is unnoticed. In addition, such cameras are often placed by the exit, where fleeing criminals are most concerned about avoiding security cameras. Capturing reliable facial imagesfor identification is crucial to thesecurity of stores and banks orany other business that can fallprey to criminals VIVOTEK enters the height strip camera market This summer, Taiwanese security manufacturer VIVOTEK joined other big names, such as Axis, Honeywell and Verint in adding a height strip camera to its product offering. While it is not the first in the market to launch such a product, it has the advantage of being offered geographically within a large potential vertical market – Taiwan has the largest density of convenience stores in the world. Convenience stores: a vertical market, but vulnerable to crime According to 2014 statistics cited by China Times, a local news source, Taiwan has 10,000 convenience stores, or one for every 2,000 residents. These stores live up to their claims of convenience – catering their product offerings to their niche community, in addition to providing a wide array of services. These include mailing domestic and international packages, ATM banking, laundry service, and the collection of bills, traffic violation, tax and credit card payments. For instance, one convenience store located in Taipei 101, a must-visit for tourists, stocks up on pineapple cakes that are popular amongst tourists who take them back as souvenirs. Another located next to a duty-free store takes payments in Chinese Yuan, while those in scenic areas offer seating for customers to enjoy the breathtaking view while sipping store-bought coffee and nibbling on store-bought snacks. Since convenience stores are “alwaysopen”, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,even during the worst weather, theycan become easy targets for criminals.Moreover, convenience store productsare small and can be easily smuggledout of the shops without detection Statistics from 2005 ACNielsen Shopper Trends have shown that on average, out of a national population of 23 million, 80 percent of the Taiwanese urban household shoppers visit a convenience store at least once a week and 14 times a month. Since convenience stores are “always open”, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even during the worst weather, they can become easy targets for criminals. Moreover, convenience store products are small and can be easily smuggled out of the shops without detection. This makes height strip cameras ideal for optimising the video surveillance system within stores. Furthermore, all convenience stores currently have a height strip installed by the exit, so customers and would-be criminals may be so accustomed to its existence that they won’t suspect its true function. Height strip camera market potential Despite the large number of convenience stores in Taiwan, the market is not as fragmented as one might assume. Four major companies operate the convenience stores, with the exception of an isolated few. For instance, China Times reported that the convenience store industry leader owns approximately 5,000 stores, followed by 2,900 for the second largest, and 1,296 and 800 stores by the third and fourth largest, respectively. In other words, these are large projects not to be taken lightly!
Again in 2016, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2016 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. 1. Why Hikvision is suddenly front-page news: The company responds to security concerns [Ron Alalouff] It is perhaps [Hikvision’s] spectacular growth that has fueled some of the claims and concerns about the company, most recently in the UK in a front-page article in The Times. While highlighting the company’s success – in the UK it has sold more than a million cameras and recorders installed at sites such as government buildings, airports and sports stadiums – the article questioned whether there is sufficient oversight of the security implications of foreign involvement in critical infrastructure. 2. Tyco and Johnson Controls merger driven by convergence of security with smart building technology [Larry Anderson] This week, Johnson Controls and Tyco have announced their merger into one company with annual revenue of $32 billion. The new Johnson Controls will be almost a direct reflection of one of the industry’s biggest trends – the move toward technology convergence and smart buildings. 3. Weaponised robots? Military and police response uses for robots on the rise [Randy Southerland] The era of the “killer robot” hasn’t arrived, exactly, but it may not be far off. Police and the military have been using these machines for decades now to disarm bombs and provide reconnaissance in areas where it would be risky to send officers or soldiers. Police and the military have been using these machines for decades now to disarm bombs and provide reconnaissance (Image credit: Antonio Scorza / Shutterstock.com) 4. Security industry speculates as Honeywell-UTC deal falls through [Larry Anderson] In a year of mega-deals impacting the security marketplace, one of the big news stories recently was a deal that did not happen – between giants Honeywell and United Technologies (UTC). Financial news pages have been full of the back-and-forth between these two companies. It seems Honeywell wanted to merge with UTC, but UTC declined because of “insurmountable regulatory obstacles and strong customer opposition.” So the deal is off, at least for now. 5. Home automation: A growth area for the security industry? [Ron Alalouff] Despite the market entry of some big names such as Google’s Nest, Apple’s HomeKit, and telecommunications giants AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, are we really on the threshold of a home automation revolution? Not quite, according to market intelligence firm Ovum. 6. Bosch-Sony partnership amounts to a new variation on M&A [Larry Anderson] Might there be more such partnerships to come as the number of companies serving the video surveillance market adjusts to its size? Might “softer” consolidation like the Bosch-Sony deal be the next big thing and even slow down the pace of mergers and acquisitions? Time will tell, but it’s clear the benefits of such an approach might be attractive to other companies, too. Bosch will handle the sales and marketing globally for all of Sony’s video surveillance products (outside of Japan) 7. Pelco by Schneider Electric CEO Sharad Shekhar to revive Pelco global video security business [Deborah O’Mara] Pelco has made significant investments in key vertical markets, including oil and gas, gaming and casinos, Safe Cities, and airports and seaports, and [the company] will see significant focus on product and business development in these markets. [Pelco] will look to further engage customers in these spaces by focusing not just on products, but on solutions that will solve security and operational challenges. 8. Deep learning technology applications for video surveillance [Paul Sun] Although deep learning has been applied to many industries with breakthrough results compared to legacy systems, not all applications are suitable for deep learning. In the field of video surveillance, several applications stand out that can benefit from deep learning. 9. Electronic locks prove a worthwhile investment for the security industry [Michael J. Mahon] Mechanical locks and keys date back thousands of years and have undergone many changes, but the industry’s transition to electronic locks might be the most important, lasting, and surprisingly affordable security and safety change of all. The objective behind the creation of locks so long ago remains: to control a value on the other side of a door. But the security industry as a whole is migrating from the perceived “cheaper” and historical mechanical lock to the newest technology of electronic locks. 10. Understanding starlight camera technology and low-light applications in the security industry [Alyssa Fann] Starlight cameras are the latest products security companies are adding to their product line-ups, each camera boasting the most comprehensive ability to make darkness visible. While low-light surveillance capabilities have been around on the market for some time, starlight camera technology is redefining low-light surveillance to new levels. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here Save Save