I enjoyed the recent ISC West show and came away optimistic and somewhat frustrated with our industry’s slow progress in several areas critical to the future of security. Internet Protocol (IP) networking “expertise” and cloud computing knowledge are areas that propel video surveillance and integrated security solutions to the next level. Moving forward, protecting information — and video images — will favor cloud deployments, as cyber security upgrades are automatic and failover and redundancy are best practices. Today most security integrators (non IT vendors) are not IP experts, slow to embrace the cloud, and have limited cyber understanding.

For years I have been writing and speaking about security convergence, specifically the merging of physical security solutions (video) over IP (wired and wireless). Improved video resolution and big data analytics are the future of integrated security solutions. The good news is that a cloud strategy may compensate for some of these knowledge gaps (IP staff / cyber skills) your business lacks today, while providing a bridge to future revenues — provided you get moving!

At the recent Valero Texas Open I saw a demonstration of wireless cloud based video surveillance. This was a combination of Iomega (a division of EMC) storage, Axis Communications cameras, and NAVCO as the integrator. The vendor tents and hotel shops were viewed remotely on mobile phones and iPads from various points on the golf course.  This is only the beginning.

“Utilizing the advantages of cloud storage for video surveillance has never been more practical or efficient than it is today,” said Kevin Sherman, business development manager, Iomega Corporation. “The inherent advantages of having surveillance files backed up to the cloud and the ease of accessing and utilizing those files will accelerate the growth in companies adopting a two-pronged approach to storing and managing video surveillance files.”

Forward-leaning integrators should take note of this opportunity. “It still takes the intelligence of a trained integration specialist to work with stakeholders to configure bandwidth and camera requirements. Cloud recording is here and integrators need to be ready,” stated Jim Kauker, chief sales officer, NAVCO.

Video as the foundation technology for the security industry is great for manufacturers, resellers, and integrators who understand cloud surveillance. As a society we are video-centric. High definition and powerful megapixel cameras cover wider geographies and will continue to integrate analytics software and biosensors to alert on unusual behavior prior to trouble starting.

Imagine combining facial recognition and biosensor software measuring accelerated heart rates and body temperatures (stress factors) with GPS coordinates to pin point an armed robber or assassin prior to a violent act, and deploying immediate countermeasures (audio alerts, laser weapons) to stop it. Technology like that could even be deployed to alert on heart attacks.  

As video endpoints get more intelligent, network access to local servers and/or cloud architectures provide the needed power, databases, and scale. Cameras improve in resolution and become portable, wearable and disposable, with powerful wireless mesh networks a click away.

The future for security surveillance will also include cameras on unmanned airborne systems, as these devices commercialize. Our command & control software accommodates real time distributed video and content analytics while promoting automated decision support. Integrated real time databases, GPS, sensors, audio, and the predictive power of the Web and big data sets all converge around video surveillance. We may even enter the world of social media (crowd sourcing) to assist law enforcement.  

 For integrators that see these developing opportunities, the future of cloud surveillance and data analytics is a recurring revenue stream, and that truly is a wonderful world!