Trends In The Electronic Security Industry In 2013

WHAT will some key trends of 2013 be? Where is technology heading? What can end users and installers expect from the next 12 months and what might the trends of the next year tell us about the medium term future of the networked electronic security industry? For a start, they suggest it’s still a hybrid industry when it comes to video surveillance. A number of the leading camera manufacturers have released new analogue offerings recently. We’re meant to meet the pivot point for IP video in 2013 but the market is an oddly diverse beast.

Servers at the edge. Yes – those microSD slots on IP cameras can now be loaded with 128GB chips costing around $200 and chip prices are likely to fall by 25 per cent through 2013. When you consider the cost of rack-mount servers, edge storage becomes an appealing option. 

Touch screen alarm interfaces. Almost every manufacturer has one and in some cases they cost less than $100. Installers not upselling touch screens to end users simply aren’t trying hard enough. 

Remote management apps for authorised users. This is the year of remote management apps. Needless to say, it’s important for end users to bear in mind that apps are not always secure. Authorised mobile devices should be armoured using appropriate security solutions that encrypt passwords and allow remote wipe. 

It’s not just alarm systems that are being managed in this way. Video surveillance solutions are integrating mobile devices into their fabric. Yeah, that’s right. Unsecured smart phones linked to blue tooth, WiFi and public internet are now devices and managers on your CCTV subnet. Sure, it’s cool but security must come before utility.  

In 2013 you’re going to hear a lot of talk about cloud. As I point out about 80 times in this issue, cloud is a software or hardware service delivered over a network so a lot of you are more familiar with cloud than you think. But there are different patterns of cloud. 

Something to be interested in too, is the way cloud is taking on a proprietary air. This is both an opportunity for manufacturers and integrators who can steer users towards a provider with which they have a commercial alliance, and a pain for end users who will start wondering just how open their open systems really are. 

And there’s some new weird about mobile comms. Last month the U.S. Government egged on by Verizon and AT&T made it an offence under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to open a subsidised mobile device to another carrier. Yeah. Once you’re in, you’re in. 

The penalties are spectacular in their moral inconsistency - a $500,000 fine and 5 years gaol for the first offence. These rules don’t apply in Australia yet but we are in lockstep with the U.S. elsewhere so make sure you insist on open comms mobile devices if you think you need them.

Better video compression. H.265 HVEC has been approved but while you might not see a 4K device until year’s end, you’re going to hear more and more about 8MP at 30 frames per second thanks to H.265. There’s blue sky over H.265 with good cause. It will save money on storage, expand edge options, improve resolution, reduce network load, possibly all at the same time. 

Simplification of installations. Installing IP systems is tricky so for the past 5 years manufacturers have been furiously simplifying the processes required to get a device onto a network. Don’t expect plug and play but do expect IP-based installs to get easier. 
Price falls in high end alarm sensors. I think we’ll see some price falls in high end alarm sensors. We have 3 brilliant manufacturers competing at the very high end including Optex, Risco’s Rokonet and Aritech. Take a look at them. 

Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers. We’ll see more and better product from these companies and the competition generated between them and the traditional players will continue to present integrators and end users with brilliant product at great prices.

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