16 Jan Security forecast 2019
Philip Ingram MBE discusses his five trends for the security industry year ahead with Jamil Alasfar, senior sales manager Middle East & Africa with South Korean CCTV manufacturer IDIS and Johan Paulsson, CTO with the giant that is Axis Communications
There are five major trends influencing the wider CCTV surveillance market alongside the ever-improving image quality, camera ruggedness and a plethora of features offered as part of integrated software Video Management Systems (VMS).
These five trends are improving compression, growth of body worn video, improvements in and application of biometrics, multi role systems not just focused on security and in today’s technology world, no trend article would be complete without mentioning the impact of Artificial Intelligence.
We all agree that Artificial Intelligence, or AI as it is usually referred to, alongside its associated deep learning as being the areas we will see most capability growth in coming years. They are certainly the areas that are creating the biggest buzz.
“As AI technology becomes more affordable, more accurate and less processing power hungry, we will undoubtedly see more real-world applications in action,” said Jamil. “AI is already having a significant positive impact. In other areas, progress is steadier. Video surveillance is one of them. In our industry today, machine or deep-learning is mostly used for video analytics, but we expect the technology will be an important component in many different applications and products in the future,” added Johan.
Simple video analytics from heat mapping and queue counting through to ANPR are already making businesses smarter and more agile and providing multi-role capabilities. For example, the heat-mapping capabilities are used in airports and theme parks for queue management and in retail for marketing verification. There are countless more problems that have the potential to be solved and processes than could be automated for faster and more accurate results.
There are obvious applications for public safety and homeland security that can leverage the power of facial recognition, appearance searching, and behavioural analysis to help spot crimes and enable a faster or preventative response. One area in the UK where the technology is being trialled is in prisons.
NickFisher, CEO of Facewatch said, “Currently, accessing a prison as a visitor can be a time-consuming administrative process, as most prisons still operate a paper-based system. The Facewatch platform will enrol visitors digitally in less than a minute and all subsequent visits are verified instantly using our facial recognition technology.”
AI enables CCTV to be used in many more environments such as industrial and construction looking for any anomalies that could have a health and safety implication or affect a manufacturing process. Camera technology has wider ranging application well beyond its security surveillance role. It also allows smarter sensor integration to prompt intelligent actions.
Johan gave an example of Axis thinking when he said, “For instance, in a smart city, a motion sensor connected to a barrier could trigger a camera which, in turn, would trigger an alert in the operations center, allowing for rapid and appropriate response. Or an environmental sensor could again trigger a video or thermal camera to quickly identify fires or spillages, again prompting alerts which will create a more rapid and effective response. When the range of sensors are considered – from thermal to motion, from atmospheric to video – the ways in which they could be combined are endless, as are the potential benefits of doing so.”
According to Jamil, “One of the biggest challenges in the Middle East region is road congestion and safety with the Dubai government recently announcing major new investments in transportation infrastructure. AI will undoubtedly play its part since it can be used to learn from various driving conditions such as weather, driver behaviour, obstacles in the road, and much more.
This offers opportunities to build automated systems capable of better reasoning and decisions to aid drivers. These could encompass proactive speed enforcements, alerts for hazards from a safe distance, and diversions before roads become gridlocked as well as enabling early intervention to prevent collisions.”
The global body worn camera market is set to grow even more said the recent Global Body-Worn Camera Market Report 2018, “The Body-Worn Camera market size to maintain the average annual growth rate of 60.91% from $60 Million in 2014 to $250 Million in 2017, market research analysts believe that in the next few years, Body-Worn Camera market size will be further expanded, we expect that by 2022, The market size of the Body-Worn Camera will reach $1400 Million. The major driving factor for the growth of body worn camera market is increasing need for accountability and transparency when dealing with members of the public.”
The final area is that of compression. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265 has been around since it was ratified in 2013 and was the standard to replace H.264. It is also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or Advanced Video Coding (AVC). The problem with H.265 in 2013 was that few systems has the horsepower to utilise it properly. It may reduce storage needs but the processing overhead was huge. H.265 requires 4 to 5 times the computational resources of H.264, which meant costly upgrades and potential downtime updating and upgrading older systems.
Many manufacturers are boasting huge compression improvements, but it is IDIS that has the largest. On the back of developing a dual codec mode that allowed H.264 standard to be used for video monitoring and H.265 for recording they also produced an ‘Intelligent Codec’ that took the overall compression improvements over H.264 to 90%.
Jamil explains more, “The result is a simple the migration to H.265 with the least amount of investment. And this is particularly important in the Middle East where many customers are faced with regulatory compliance that requires both an upgrade to full-HD surveillance combined with the burden of lengthy video retention periods. Without H.265 and compression technology this will require large investment and ongoing cost of additional storage.”
Johan added that Axis Communications had recently carried out their own trend study for CCTV into 2019 and beyond. Other factors the Axis team identified include, cloud and edge computing, personalisation vs privacy and the impact of cyber security.
Whilst all of these may not necessarily be trending, the continuing impact of the always morphing cyber threat is firmly in the CCTV arena with the proliferation of IP devices connected into wider networks. How images are being processed and stored will continue to be a developing GDPR tested issue and greater processing power within devices combined with cloud computing will give the emerging AI trends a boost.
The Middle East is leading the way with ensuring the latest CCTV technologies are used with new stricter security standards introduced by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and Ministry of Interior, requiring video to be retained for a year.
In Qatar new government regulations implemented by the Security Systems Department of the Ministry of the Interior (SSD-MOI), require businesses including gold retailers, to install advanced measures including IP-CCTV systems configured with RAID 5 to record 24/7 for 120 days. These and more will certainly fuel the trends revolution, with the region leading the way.