Round table contributions
The security market in the United States has been in a collective state of exhilaration since ISC West. The (possibly) unprecedented success of the big trade show has left us all feeling optimistic about the year ahead. Members of our Expert Panel Roundtable are joining the chorus of compliments for the show as they answer this week’s question: How successful was ISC West 2016? Did it meet your expectations?
One of the things all security systems have in common is that they depend on human operators, to one extent or another. But how often is the human factor overlooked in product design? Sometimes, more focus is aimed at increasing the functionality of a system, even at the expense of usability. That’s how we get systems that have more capabilities, although accessing that functionality may be hopelessly complex. Creating effective graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is an ongoing challenge for the security market, and the consumer market, with its iPads and smart phones, has raised the expectations bar. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What elements are required to make an effective video system user interface?
We hear that everything is going to the cloud – or is it? Security end users can be understandably confused by conflicting claims in the market from proponents of cloud-based or server-based systems. A number of major security companies are offering cloud video surveillance solutions apart from the traditional server-based systems. At the end of the day, how do you choose? What factors should be considered? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What factors should a customer consider when choosing between a cloud-based system and a server-based security system? Their answers offer plenty of useful advice about when (and when not) to opt for a cloud solution.
A major benefit of technology innovation is more application opportunities. As video cameras become better and more versatile, new uses are emerging that extend the benefits of video surveillance, often outside tried-and-true parameters. Sometimes security camera manufacturers are on the front lines to see new ways video is contributing value to integrators and end user customers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable participants: What is the most unusual application of surveillance cameras you have seen recently?
As the security industry continues to evolve and come up with innovative technologies, it has also thrown open the doors for competition among manufacturers of security systems and products. Price wars are emerging in the physical security market, while manufacturers and integrators are looking for new ways to offer greater value and better service. It’s one thing to fight it out for a new customer, but nobody wants to lose an existing customer based on price, or any other factor for that matter. In an industry increasingly being driven by the low cost of products, how can manufacturers and security integrators ensure their existing customers don’t defect to a new player, a new product claim or a lower price? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the best way to ensure customer loyalty (for manufacturers or integrators)?
One of the benefits of newer IP systems is the ability to store video inside the camera or in a nearby digital video recorder (DVR) at the edge of the network. Edge-based storage is unlikely to take the place of centralised storage, but it is complementary and provides some interesting new options related to system design. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of edge-based storage and in what specific applications?
Will 2016 see faster adoption of video analytics? Will cyber-security have more impact on physical security? Is the market likely to see greater use of cloud-based products and services? Will technology help to drive greater involvement by everyday citizens in public safety initiatives? Could the market focus shift from selling products to selling solutions? We asked this week’s SourceSecurity.com Expert Panel to look ahead to 2016, and these were some of the surprises they see in our industry’s near future. Specifically, we asked this week’s panel: What will be the biggest surprise in 2016 for the security market?
Video cameras are smarter than ever. Video analytics functionality is available inside most cameras now on the market. Smarter cameras enable a system with distributed intelligence and also help to manage bandwidth and storage – on-camera intelligence can determine what video is important enough to tie up network resources and to eventually be retained or viewed. But on-camera video analytics have their limitations, and additional video intelligence at the server can add a new range of functionality to a system. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Given the rise in edge-based video analytics, what is the continuing role for server-based analytics systems?
Healthcare organisations are an important vertical market for many security manufacturers and integrators. Like other vertical markets, healthcare has its own unique set of requirements and challenges for physical security systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel: What are the distinctive security problems faced by healthcare organisations? What technologies are being embraced to increase security?
Software changes constantly. There’s always a new patch or fix, and our computers persistently remind us that an update is available. As a core component of today’s IP networked video systems, video management software (VMS) is also subject to the need to be constantly updated and refined. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable to elaborate: Why is it important that networked video customers keep up to date with the latest version of video management software (VMS)?
Most of today’s video surveillance cameras are capable of providing audio, but when should it be implemented? Acceptable uses of audio surveillance, as opposed to video, are a different concept in many jurisdictions worldwide. Privacy laws regarding audio may be more stringent than those for video, but both tend to centre around the concept of an “expectation of privacy,” which may mean something different in the case of audio versus video. How can system designers and end users leverage the benefits of audio surveillance without violating privacy? Specifically, we asked this week’s Expert Panel: Do privacy concerns limit the use of available audio features on video cameras? What are acceptable uses of audio in surveillance systems?
We have all heard the sales pitch: Use of megapixel cameras lowers the camera count needed to provide adequate video coverage, thus making the overall system less expensive. Use of fewer cameras equates to less infrastructure, bandwidth and storage, according to the claims, and megapixel cameras provide enough detail that you don’t miss anything using fewer cameras. It’s a compelling pitch, but one that has sometimes been questioned in the market. To look beyond the marketing hype, we asked our Expert Panel: How effectively can megapixel cameras take the place of multiple standard-resolution cameras? Has the ability of megapixel technology to lower the required camera count been overstated (or oversold) in the market? Some of the answers may surprise you.
For many years, generally speaking, the use of video surveillance has been seen as an extension of an end user customer’s security system. However, recently, we have also heard about how video can help customers more generally, providing benefits that extend beyond security and encompass better operations and management. Easier economic justification is one important aspect of looking more broadly at the benefits of video surveillance to the enterprise as a whole. Better return on investment (ROI) means more sales. We asked our Expert Panellists to share their observations about which non-security uses of video are catching on. Their responses suggest an extremely broad range of possibilities.
Rapid technology innovation in the physical security market comes with it a commensurate need to dispose of older systems as they are replaced. Some technologies can help minimise the waste, providing, for example, the ability to use existing coaxial cable with newer IP video systems. However, absent the ability to reuse equipment, how should integrators manage disposal of systems at end-of-life? Here are some responses from our Expert Panel.
There have been a number of developments in the last year which have impacted the security industry in one way or another. As we begin a new year, we thought we'd ask our panellists to reflect back on 2014 and tell us what changes they think have made the largest impact in their areas of expertise within the security industry.