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This is the second of a two part article that analyses what the customer of physical security equipment wants today and what they needs in the future. In the first article we discussed the customers needs today operating within the 2 main development stages of physical security equipment that have taken place in the last 20 years. In this article we review what the customer needs to meet the challenge of Stage 3, which we are now entering – IoT & Data-ism.

This will provide a significant boost to demand for physical security equipment but will accelerate the process of commoditization of hardware and open up the need for more sophisticated software.

Stage 3 IoT & Data-ism

We have now entered a third stage of development where physical security products will eventually sit on one common network that joins up all the sensors and devices in a building called a Building Internet of Things (BIoT).

The technology here is being driven by IT companies across the value chain including silicon chip, communications and software producers. These companies are investing billions of dollars in bringing together the data from disparate sensing devices and then crunching this data to finally wring out all the facts that can automatically fine tune the buildings technical services without the need for human intervention. At the same time using relevant data to maximize the business enterprise that is housed in the building or building estate.

Bringing all this together is a mammoth technical task and will require one or a few common communication protocols to deliver the scale that will make it commercially viable. A number of consortiums have been formed to produce appropriate standards and they are now positioning themselves in the fight to get theirs adopted in the market place.

In the meantime the major chip manufacturers are becoming Big IoT developers. They are working towards having the capability to deliver end to end solutions. They are now producing new camera chips with high levels of in built analytics capability and following up with all the communications chips plus software platforms that can operate on the cloud.

Data-ism at the grand scale of smart cities and major real estate management will be provided by the likes of IBM, Oracle, Google, Microsoft and Amazon and will be delivered as a Data service on the cloud. Big Data is expected to take a little longer to reach commercial viability but this will not hold back the penetration of BIoT into most of the building stock.

So where does this leave the manufacturers of physical security products. On the positive side a much larger supply and distribution market with more opportunities to partner with larger more sophisticated SI’s. Hardware will become more commoditized but the opportunity to improve performance developing software enhancements will open up new opportunities.

The introduction of the Building Internet of Things (BIoT) is identified by the majority of end user as something that intrigues them but they have difficulty in getting a clear picture of how they should prepare for it. Most had engaged the services of consultants to establish the implications to their building stock but whist the benefits are quite clear; until it becomes obvious which of the many communication standards are going to win they are not going to invest in any major way.

The fight to determine the communication standards will be decided by the world’s major Chip manufacturers and IT Software and Communications companies and there are a number of consortiums working on this today. Their research into BIoT has thrown up a number of barriers that can be overcome through new technology but commercial implications are holding it back and some are now preparing end to end solutions as the only means of getting BIoT off the ground.

A good example of this is can be seen in Intel’s recent moves. One of the world’s major manufactures of silicon chips has just launched a new sophisticated chip set for video cameras, has the silicon for communications and now have a cloud platform designed for the readiness of IoT to bring together all the sensors in buildings to deliver a Building Internet of Things (BIoT).

BIoT is the major challenge to the Physical Security industry and particularly the Video Surveillance industry where the vast streams of data would be crunched by Big Data software delivering much more sophisticated value-add services than is possible today. Physical security hardware manufacturers are not likely to have much influence here and the major decision makers will be from IT and the world’s major silicon chip manufacturers.

Finally, we previously discussed Cyber security and protection of video systems on the network. This was in September a week after the media started reporting on distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber attacks. The first major one hacked video surveillance cameras, DVRs, routers and other Internet of Things devices involving a cabal of 6,800 video cameras and reached 1.1 terabytes per second. At least two more attacks of this magnitude occurred in the same month. This is a seriously worrying trend for the Video Surveillance industry who has been touting the benefits of IP enabled and connected cameras for many years now. Without IP connectivity the industry would suffer a major set back.

All this raises some tough questions for manufacturers and installers of video surveillance cameras, as well as VMS suppliers. Buyers are concerned about not just the loss of business whilst their operation is brought to a standstill but the consequences of litigation if IP connected products on their premises became part of a massive botnet.

Although none of the respondents had knowledge of any of their systems being infected they will be checking out what protection is installed on their existing systems and what measures are being taken to minimize this on new devices that they plan to install.

This article was taken from Memoori’s 8th Annual Report on The Physical Security Business 2016 to 2021 –

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