24 Aug Meeting customer demands for high tech cameras
Dennis Choi, General Manager, IDIS Middle East & Africa, explains some of the trends that are currently being seen in the way customers in the Middle East are adopting new camera technology.
Today, users are not just looking to tackle security and safety challenges, they also want additional value from their video technology. They are asking for highly accurate business and customer intelligence, particularly in retail and hospitality – from supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants, to fashion, sports chains, high-end jewellery, and retail banks. In these applications, there is widespread interest in AI-powered people counting, heat mapping, occupancy monitoring, and queue management. The GCC countries have typically been early adopters of innovation, and this has also made them tech- and value savvy.
There is also increasing demand for end-to-end solutions, where organisations are looking for a single source supplier not just for their cameras – but AI-powered analytics, software, storage, and network accessories. Increased integration with intruder systems and no contact and frictionless access control leveraging video intercoms using facial recognition and other biometric readers are also trends shaping the sector.
An end-to-end approach gives seamless combability of devices and software to reduce complexity in terms of installation, ease-of-use, and maintenance. Backward and forward combability also means easier technology upgrades and a more futureproofed solution, resulting in less wasteful ripping and replacing of hardware and a low total cost of ownership.
As governments look to meet net zero targets, this has made organisations more keenly aware of sustainability and longevity when it comes to their technology choices, and while upfront cost is still important, many are taking more time to scrutinise and evaluate the ongoing operating expenditure of their surveillance systems.
Clarity is crucial
Demand continues to grow for high-definition image capture with enough pixels per metre to clearly identify faces. Security and health & safety remain top of mind across the region with regulatory frameworks ensuring compliance so that users can detect and easily investigate suspicious behaviour across large and often crowded spaces. As a result, UHD fisheyes and PTZs have grown in popularity, with a single camera easily able to replace multiple fixed lens cameras for covering a wide area.
5MP resolution is often now the norm on many projects, although 2MP remains popular in the region, especially for large scale deployments, as they are affordable, yet meet compliance by delivering high-quality image capture in all lighting conditions required by various regulations in the GCC.
NDAA-compliance is also becoming a key consideration, particularly in Gulf States as well as Turkey, in sectors such as banking and enterprise sectors where organisations operate in the US.
Look to the edge
Edge AI is another important growth trend, with accurate video analytics, processing done on the edge, reducing storage requirements. Users are seeing the benefit of using metadata for investigation purposes, with the ability to search footage by appearance, colour, object, or event. This is especially valuable for wide area surveillance and busy settings where there is a lot of activity in each scene – applications where it would traditionally take operators hours or days to search and playback footage.
True WDR is important in many applications in the region, with cameras able to cope with strong sunlight and challenging variations in lighting conditions. Alongside high-definition image capture at night using IR, this ensures that systems are fully compliant and can deliver evidential quality footage.
Cybersecurity is critical, and end users are keen to eliminate cyber loopholes. During installation they want cameras that force MFA or use mutual authentication to protect against the threat of spoofing and deepfakes; and multi-layered technologies, with proprietary protocols to ensure secure transmission without impacting on performance are critical.