Sunny spells for new technology at TechSec

Throughout the conference there were many discussions around analytics, PSIM, the cloud, and other technology; with pretty much every current industry buzzword raised at some point.


Last week I travelled to the sunny climates of Delray Beach in Florida for the annual TechSec new technology conference. Despite the lack of promised sun, the discussions on new technology were illuminating.

Throughout the conference there were many discussions around analytics, PSIM, the cloud, and other technology; with pretty much every current industry buzzword raised at some point. However, three main points stood out during the conference:

Cloud video will open up many more opportunities for value-add services.

Once video from security cameras is distributed to the cloud it provides an opportunity for users to have their security system professionally monitored. Professional monitoring allows for guard replacement tours, system health checks, safety monitoring and many other applications. Solutions for remote video monitoring are nothing new but the increasing hype and traction of cloud services could lead to the increasing pickup of remote video monitoring services.  

Another application of cloud based services is analytics as a service. Analytics as a service utilises the virtualised processing power of cloud servers to run video analytic reports for customers. Instead of customers buying analytics on a per camera basis they can run reports based on demand for specific analysis on people counting or queue length, for example.

New mobile applications are being developed daily creating some interesting concepts for mobile devices in public areas.

There are often many security cameras installed at sports stadiums which are only used for security applications. Once the network within the stadium is sufficient, there could be the potential in the future for fans to pay a fee to view the video from selected cameras on their smartphones whilst in their seats. Fans could view their team’s bench for example. This could increase the fan experience whilst generating revenue for the stadium operators / home team.

Many stewards, marshals and support staff at public events have personal smartphones. New mobile applications will allow for messages from a central command centre to be pushed to the devices and video from those devices to be streamed back to the command centre with the location of the device. This would provide additional eyes and information on an event from a central monitoring perspective, allowing for more efficient and effective despatch. However, this type of application will require a high capacity network and will probably aid the use of mobile radios rather than replace them. 

Social media will play an increasing role in physical security.

Twitter and other social media channels are likely to increasingly be integrated with physical security in the future. There are obvious benefits from integrating social media with the mass notification system, such as being able to warn external parties of a security event. Interestingly some security monitoring stations have started monitoring twitter feeds because they can identify an event earlier than they ever could by monitoring live video or using video analytics.

It remains to be seen which of these new technologies will see daylight in 2012. I will certainly be on the lookout at ISC West in the coming weeks.

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