As the end of the year approaches, what have we learned in 2017 and what can we expect of 2018 for the security industry?
The winter nights are drawing in and the kids have started writing colossal lists of ‘must have’ Xmas presents so that means it’s time for my annual look back and look ahead for the industry (the PSI Panel can have its say next month).
Technology wise we’ve seen a host of products come along that tip a hat to the IoT/smartphone driven market and why not? This is the biggest growth area in the whole technology world at the moment and will probably continue to be so especially in the security market – but on two distinct levels. First off you have the domestic DIY products available online with nice marketing and a cutesy name. Secondly there is the professional tech mostly coming from the intruder panel majors who have the perfect platform ready for the remote control and monitoring of peripherals. Look for these to see home automation growth in 2018 while the smartphone addicts aged 25-35 get on the housing ladder and have something valuable to protect.
In the world of surveillance, in my humble opinion, the development has reached a bit of a plateau. The race to high resolutions has stopped and just about everyone has a bandwidth reducing solution these days so what are CCTV manufacturers focusing on? The story has two sides; both concerning data. In terms of tech it’s down to the volume of data being captured these days and what you can do with it – and not just for security purposes especially with the Deep Learning/AI trend gaining traction.
Get ready to start thinking outside the box next year when pitching for contracts, for example don’t just use a thermal camera for spotting interlopers, use it to spot fires too. Surveillance is only one use for CCTV, and this is something that installers will need to take on board in order to upsell in 2018. Another data angle concerns the imminent arrival of GDPR. As yet we’re all still not entirely sure what it will mean for the electronic security sector but what we are sure of is that the other big data concern, cyber security, will continue to be a heavy focus for all sides and tales of hacking will not subside. Oh, and analogue cameras will continue to sell and be launched along with technology such as PoC that further extend its place in the IP centric modern world.
Speaking of which, by this time next year BT will have started the roll out of IP voice to the nation (completing the job in 2025) and that will have an impact on the connectivity side of security as the router becomes the hub for everything.
In a world in which someone thinks it necessary to develop Bluetooth app enabled drills and sanders look for integration and connectivity to continue to be flavour of the year across every technology led market, including our own. But remember, for every new online device next year there is that potential cyber security risk, so security needs to be secured.