Video Surveillance Sector Growth Continues to Look Bright


The explosion of IP and other technological breakthroughs are revolutionizing both physical and electronic security -- and how the two interact.

This is nowhere more apparent than in video surveillance. A decade ago, video was shot from security cameras in analog and stored. If something was needed, say an image of a red car that was seen parked a couple of times in front of a business in the weeks before a break-in, some poor person would have to laboriously sift through the video until the image was found.

Today, digitization enables that red car to be found almost instantaneously. It also is easier to zero in on a piece of a frame to garner details (such as the face inside the car). Perhaps just as importantly, the Web can automatically distribute images to branch offices around the world -- and to first-responders rushing to the scene of an incident.

Dark Reading reports on a recent breakthrough. Behavioral Recognition Systems (BRS) has found a way to convert images into data that can be read by machines. The software, which seems to operate a bit like speech recognition software, goes through a period of learning what is normal in a specific camera's frame of reference. After that period, which differs in length depending on the complexity of the typical scene being viewed, the camera reports anything that falls outside the learned norm. This, the company says, allows more cameras to be accurately monitored than the inefficient traditional procedure in which a security guard sits and watches many cameras simultaneously.

The growth of the video surveillance sector is significant, even though it seems to be occurring under the radar. This Network World piece begins by noting that ABI Research projects that revenue from the surveillance software sector will rise from $245 million this year to $900 million in 2013. Breakthroughs driving that increase include face-recognition software, integration with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and the increasing use of Wi-Fi to enable cameras to be deployed more densely and in a wider variety of locations. The remainder of the story focuses on IBM which, among other projects, has rolled out Operation Virtual Shield in Chicago.

This release on a report from MultiMedia Intelligence throws around many acronyms. The bottom line is clear, however: The networking of surveillance video is leading to significant diversification in the product classifications in the sector. An important subsidiary point is that IP-based and traditional closed circuit cameras will coexist going forward. The crossover point between CCTV and DVR and hybrid network video recorders will be in 2012, at least from the chip perspective.

As a growing player in the security sector, video surveillance must also comply with regulatory mandates. The subtext of this release from from Envysion, which offers video surveillance as a managed service, has made its product PCI-DSS-compliant. The release explains that an organization that is mandated to comply with PCI-DCC rules to protect credit card and vital information also must use gear that follows PCI. If it doesn't, the organization's compliant status could be jeopardized.