The hottest technologies in security for 2010

You're Getting Warmer

A new year kicks off new technology and exciting solutions.

It's an exciting time in the security sector, and 2010 is poised to present a host of developments and opportunities in what continues to be a rapidly evolving market. Whether through green security systems, migration to IP-centric solutions leveraging existing infrastructure or adoption of next-generation technology to improve efficiencies, there are a host of drivers in place that can help government entities and enterprises meet their security needs and boost their bottom lines.

Here, we'll explore some of 2010's most interesting and emerging "hot buttons," trends, considerations and innovative technologies—and what the year will bring to the security industry.

Green Security, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

Sustainability and energy efficiency will continue to be at the forefront of the political and social landscape in 2010 and beyond. As organizations make commitments to increase efficiency and reduce pollution and waste, they also will seek ways to make their security and surveillance operations more sustainable. The good news for these organizations is that such a commitment can yield considerable cost savings.

In 2010, buyers will continue to invest in solutions that help reduce energy consumption and operating costs. Innovative technology solutions, such as H.264 compression, reduced power consumption and ENERGY STAR®- qualified products, are poised to take center stage in the security marketplace. Buyers are increasingly demanding more energy-efficient cameras, servers and high-efficiency power supplies to help meet their organizations' goals of sustainability, while helping reduce overhead and cost.

Remote monitoring capabilities also will offer security professionals a viable means to help protect the environment, while saving their organizations millions of dollars in travel costs. This year will continue to challenge vendors to introduce competitive, cutting-edge and environmentally friendly solutions to help their customers reduce total cost of ownership without compromising security needs.

Widespread Popularity of H.264 Technology

In 2010, it's believed that H.264 will continue to rise in popularity based on its ability to deliver high-quality images in a substantially smaller file size. H.264 helps improve the video compression standards or codecs, providing a crisper image and decreasing file size by an average of 50 percent. Through its open standard, security professionals can adapt to meet the needs of their particular industries and markets.

Potential savings for H.264 as compared with MPEG-4 SP range from 25 to 60 percent, depending on the level of motion. In the security industry, these savings can add up quickly and have a significant impact on an organization's bottom line. Further, the retention of surveillance video can require an enormous amount of storage, especially with the increasing use of megapixel cameras and the demand for high-definition images. Since storage represents a significant cost of maintaining a video management system, the H.264 video compression standard is expected to grow in popularity based on its superior image clarity and the substantial cost savings it can yield.

Networked IP Video Solutions

The video security market continues to experience a technology transition from relatively passive analog CCTV video systems—which use analog equipment and closed networks and generally provide only basic recording and viewing capabilities—to more sophisticated, proactive, network-based IP video that uses video management and analytics software platforms to efficiently collect, manage and analyze large amounts of video over networks. This transition has greatly improved organizations' abilities to quickly and efficiently detect security breaches, as well as deliver video and data across the organization and to outside agencies, to help address security threats, improve operational efficiency and comply with cost-containment mandates.

This year, organizations will continue to seek networked-based IP video solutions that will enable them to continue the transition to a more intelligent and scalable video solution. Certain IP-based security applications, such as video analytics, can have a quick and positive impact by pinpointing potential threat situations faster and more accurately. By employing video analytics as part of an integrated networked video solution, companies are able to more effectively assign their security employees—such as guards used to patrol corporate facilities or those who monitor on-site control centers.

Although there are some initial costs associated with upgrading from analog systems to network-based IP video systems, the gains far outweigh them. Benefits include providing superior technology systems that can help increase the accuracy and frequency of detection, reduced false alarm rates, providing visual verification if events occur, and delivering video documentation of pre- and post-alarm activities for forensic purposes.

Looking Ahead

As we usher in 2010, one goal is consistent across most organizations: protect people and assets, while meeting challenging budgetary goals. Now, more than ever, security solutions must deliver value that encompasses a full range of physical security requirements, which are closely integrated with the IT infrastructure to help ensure safer environments.

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