Since as long as we can remember, technology has evolved and as a result made our lives easier and more intelligent. From the days of cavemen and fire to artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive behavior, technology has shaped the way in which we do life. 

One might say that fire is not technology, but I would argue the fact that fire changed how we keep warm, cook our food, purify water, provide light, use as a defense mechanism, shaping metal and glass into predetermined shapes, and the list goes on and on. Where would we be without fire? My point is that without fire, we would get sick from consuming raw foods, die from dysentery and many other parasites or diseases that exist in unclean water. 

As technology continues to evolve, it alters the way we “normally” do things in life and accelerates our efficiencies, reduces risk and maximizes our effectiveness to progress. Whether you’re in the automotive industry, making candy or in the manufacturing industry, technology commands new ways to enhance our progress. 

The latest paradigm in the security industry is virtual security or “virtual guard” services. With the enhancement of AI and predictive behavior, surveillance cameras are now serving many industries as a virtual guard or live, real-time monitoring at a fraction of the cost of a human security guard. Motion detection has now taken a back seat to the accuracy that new algorithms can execute, enhancing the reliability and responsiveness in a surveillance camera. 

The AI capability in surveillance cameras now respond with precision accuracy and identify a potential or known threat by using a virtual fence or electronic tripwire analytic to trigger a surveillance camera to detect the event, begin to record and issue a notification, all within seconds.

Security cameras now have many unique capabilities, and these enhanced capabilities reside directly on the camera, versus a DVR driving the event from the native video management software (VMS). Now, many surveillance cameras have onboard memory and unique AI features that remove their dependencies from a traditional DVR. 

There are many unique capabilities that surveillance cameras offer, but one unique capability is the ability to “slew to queue” as a response to a triggered notification. This is where a surveillance camera has been trained by drawing a virtual perimeter around the border of a site and configuring the camera to automatically zoom into that exact target, in response to the triggered event, and sending notification to a remote person for validation or awareness, while recording to the on-board memory, simultaneously. 

With the latest enhancements and capabilities, surveillance is a lot more reliable, responsive and accurate. This has greased the wheels to use surveillance as a virtual security guard by adding one more layer; the notifications are being sent to a live central station operator, instead of an end user or customer. Since central station operators in the security industry are already trained to respond to alarm notifications from a security panel, now the capability is enhanced because the notifications are being sent from a surveillance camera that has not only automatically detected the event, but recorded it as well. 

This allows the live central station operator to become the buffer between the surveillance camera and the customer, but also validate the event using real-time metrics and remote access. This enhancement now prevents false alarms, drastically increases accuracy, as well as gives the customer peace of mind, knowing that their site is being monitored by the latest technology and live central station operators who can dispatch local authorities in response to the event. 

The greatest benefit to those who take advantage of this new technology trend is that it not only enhances accuracy and efficiency, but saves them thousands of dollars each month from traditional guard contracts. This is not a detriment at all to security guard companies because now, one guard can monitor multiple sites simultaneously, which reduces labor costs and transfers to the customer as a cost-savings. 

Ultimately, it now removes the demographic ceiling to where security guard companies can operate, making their presence more scalable and expansive. This is a win-win for everyone.