An Insight to Technology
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Aug 01, 2013
The other day, I received a note and booklet
from Ron Hawkins, manager of technical
writing and special projects, SIA, that contained
the Security Industry Association’s Technology
Insights. It is their first edition of what is expected to
be a semi-annual publication, serving as a resource for
people in the security industry.
A publication like this is a welcome addition to the
stable of two or three Tier 1 publications in the industry.
The reason? Well, in the first edition, SIA tackles
the topics that these same industry journals have been
writing about for years. This issue details the transition
As more systems are going online, the more these
systems rely on a wireless backbone to deliver security
in a world filled with technology, smartphones
Putting the Byte in Surveillance
Who better than Fredrik Nilsson, general manager,
North America, Axis Communications, to talk about
When IP cameras first hit the market in 1996, they
faced an uphill battle. The IP camera not only caught
up with, and eventually surpassed, the analog camera,
but resolution climbed to a full 1080p. IP became television
quality in a security camera, and along with H.264
compression standards, camera manufacturers were able
to change the streaming landscape from a few rough and
tumble frames-per-second to a smooth 30 fps.
Lately, three advances in IP camera technology
have redefined electronic surveillance: visual acuity,
onboard storage and in-camera intelligence. (If only
humans could increase these advantages for themselves
as they mature).
In fact, the major game changers in visual acuity
have been in resolution, wide dynamic range and low
light sensitivity. In my case, onboard storage seems a
much better idea than writing notes to myself.
Speaking of Smart
Analytics can make cameras smarter, but how smart
can they really be?
Brian Karas, VP of global sales and support, VideoIQ,
says that video analytics can be interpreted to
mean many different things. Development, over the
past few years, has started to provide clear differentiators
between what is truly meant by analytics and
In modern perimeter protection systems, the ability
to analyze the scene and spot rule violations is
a capability embedded within a camera or encoder
device, making these systems adaptable to a variety of
Karas said, “Generally speaking, an analytics vendor
will usually specialize in either perimeter protection
or business applications. Rarely will one vendor
cover both scenarios fully.”
One thing for certain, analytics are not going to be
a wholesale replacement for guards, but they can make
those guards much more effective in their duties.
The Security Ecosystem
Since the IP revolution, there have been added rewards
along with various risks. Now, it’s imperative
to know how secure a system really is.
Pedro Duarte, vice president for Samsung Techwin
in Latin America, says the race is on to see who will
better survive with this new technology. The notion
that there is a total security solution is nothing more
than a myth, and most companies have failed or given
up on this value proposition. The “one-size-fits-all”
approach has given way to a custom approach that
fulfills the requirements and wishes of each customer.
“Few customers are willing to simply dispose of
all the equipment and systems they have installed,”
Duarte said. “Instead, they want to make their personal
‘orchestra’ continue to play in tune, regardless
of what feature they add to the system.”
So, how does one choose an IP camera? Selecting
an IP-based camera that offers the best security features
is an excellent first step. The next critical step is
to have it installed by someone who is cognizant of
those features and how they should be implemented.
Not So Private in a Connected World
Unfortunately, public policy and statutes have not
kept pace with the rapid innovations in the security
industry, but that’s okay because with proper planning
and precautions, security and privacy can coexist.
Kathleen Carroll, director of government relations,
HID Global, acknowledged that technology,
such as biometrics, mobile devices and the cloud,
plus the complexity of addressing privacy and security
concerns, increases exponentially when using new
The way things appear to be headed, beyond video
surveillance and facial recognition, are global positioning
systems that can pinpoint location. Add to
that the millions of mobile cameras in the hands of
consumers, and you’ll see that this is truly a surveillance
Each of these writers publishes expertise in more
detail than is available here. I think you’ll like what
they have to say and value their opinions, just as I do.
SIA picked a great group of experts to convey to the
security world at large that technology is more than
This article originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of Security Today.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.