Both public and private concerns about safety issues will continue to fuel video surveillance in 2011. However, there is also an increasing sense of alarm that such expansive visual supervision is gradually spreading into areas traditionally considered off limits. As new innovations, encouraged by ONVIF standards, push the growth of various surveillance components, lowered production costs and a receding recession may create an opportunity for expansion.

Privacy: The Hidden Price of Protection

Newer, more innovative surveillance cameras and technology may be a two-edged sword in 2011, hacking away at personal privacy. High-tech security cameras are now capable of registering 100,000 license plates/hour, running them through a criminal data base, sending out an appropriate alert in less than one minute, and scanning enhanced travel documents with the same efficiency. Law enforcement officials love this technology and all 50 states are onboard to some extent. However, even the innocent will have their whereabouts tracked and stored, a situation that makes many individuals more than a little uncomfortable.

The fact that improved home security cameras can monitor activities both at home and in the neighbor’s yard is not something every home owner is comfortable with either, and the increasing fascination with smaller, more sophisticated hidden cameras that can take pictures which can be uploaded and sent viral has already had negative repercussions. People are feeling violated by increasing surveillance, and it may only get worse.

Video Analytics: Both Problems And Potential

As increasing functionality develops in 2011 in areas such as facial recognition, line crossing, and object classification, niche applications may spark a turn-around for this struggling sector. Retail stores and supermarkets could quickly identify previously known shoplifters or check forgers; banks and financial institutions would find ID verifications speedy and simple; and the corporate world would be able to better safe guard restricted access areas.

While the last 2 years have been frustrating and disappointing for the video analytics market because dissatisfied customers and integrators generated less revenue which in turn discouraged investors from funding new developments, it may be that the pot of gold lies a little further away from the end of the surveillance rainbow. Medical, automotive, and consumer interests may breathe new life into this market.

In the meantime, Vitamin D has been busy creating a video analytic software that will be affordable, easy to install, works with both PC and Mac, can recognize humans, and will turn any standard webcam into its own security system. “With this product available, there is no reason for any home, small business or school to be without video surveillance that really works,” CEO Celeste Baranski said recently.

Areas of Predicted Growth

  • HDcctv had a sluggish 2010, primarily because of limited product availability. However, companies such as Everfocus Electronics and Speco Technologies both have outlined strategies for increased shipping of HD certified products starting early this year. All major camera manufacturers are also invested in producing a line of HDcctv cameras. Customers will enjoy the clarity of megapixel IP cameras that can function with their conventional analog equipment. HDcctv systems will spread throughout the industry rapidly,” says Shaun Kim, director of CNB Technologies. “Facilities that demand high security will be the first targets – casinos, airports, power plants, etc. HDcctv can provide real-time high quality video in mission-critical facilities.”
  • Wireless video will become increasingly popular due to its ability to be implemented without major disruptions to the infrastructure. Historic and cultural sites will be less impacted, and because of its ease of installation, it becomes the more cost-effective choice for temporary usage. Government markets are falling in love with this technology and its potential to improve both crime prevention and detection.
  • VSaaS or cloud-based service was all the talk in 2010, but there were significant problems to be overcome. Poor bandwidth and high monthly fees created a low ROI that was unappealing to businesses already struggling on a tight budget. However, by integrating itself with other services such as energy management, video analytics, access control, or home automation, this “software as a business” service may reinvent itself and find a business model that is more attractive to money-conscious customers.
  • Thermal surveillance, because of its high cost factor, was once considered an option only for extremely high security situations such as nuclear power plants, airports, pipelines, and prisons. New innovations in “uncooled sensor technology” and decreased usage of germanium have greatly reduced production costs that when handed on to distributors may create a rapidly expanding market for 2011. Axis Communications released a less expensive network thermal surveillance camera last year and other companies plan to do the same.

IP and Analog: The Tipping Point

While the global trend towards switching from traditional analog to network video products may be as far away as 2015, ABI Research suggests that the overall change may occur in America as soon as 2013-2014. Unlike the Middle East which has already transitioned, Russia who will convert this year, and EMEA following suit in 2012, only education has seen the exchange in the United States. Banking, finance, retail, and commercial businesses are dragging due to the inevitable cost factor and some concern about systems reliability. Until prices come down, the analog seems safe, at least temporarily.

ONVIF: The Driving Force

It would appear that the creation and implementation of the ONVIF Standards will be the driving impetus for 2011. As new and more powerful technologies are brought to market in light of these standards, there may also be a deliberate effort to create all-inclusive video surveillance management packages. Customers will be able to simplify the purchasing process by choosing a complete, somewhat customizable security system that could include VSaaS and analytics. 2011 may be a good year for both the surveillance industry and the consumer.

Copyright 2011 Evaluseek Publishing.

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Both public and private concerns about safety issues will continue to fuel video surveillance in 2011. However, there is also an increasing sense of alarm that such expansive visual supervision is gradually spreading into areas traditionally considered off limits. As new innovations, encouraged by ONVIF standards, push the growth...