Consumers, health, and the security of CCTV

Consumers, health, and the security of CCTV

The new age of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is on. Current advances in both equipment and software promise substantial enhancements in value, enabled specifically by efficient Internet Protocol (IP) CCTV systems and High Definition (HD)TV. CCTV systems are becoming more cost effective as the vulnerabilities of wireless systems are addressed and wireless becomes more mainstream. The shift to HDTV will continue to Ultra HDTV, as storage and bandwidth issues are addressed, promising enhanced identification and use of images as evidence and in low light.

I think that there will be two non-security value-added trends in the near term. The first is in the area of Business Intelligence (BI). Integrating IP video stream with BI applications offers the potential for significant growth in customer profiling and need anticipation. Enabled by open platform and Application Platform Interface (API) integration, this could become an entirely distinct area of development. The second is in health care where remotely sensed biometrics such as gait and skin temperature will be used as early indicators of changes in individual health. Recent research in Canada, US and Italy suggest that this not only practical today, but can significantly change the dynamics of long-term care and rehabilitation. The developments in miniaturisation of both camera and system mean that this monitoring can be discreet.

Within the more conventional security uses of CCTV, I also see an increasing trend towards greater integration with other systems to the point where security becomes inherent, even secondary, to the system purpose. CCTV will become an integral component of intelligent infrastructure systems, as common place as smart phones are today. This goes beyond the existing concept of the Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) systems that integrate surveillance, building management, and access controls to provide a common operating picture. The rapid evolution of PSIM will provide a particularly interesting indicator of this trend. Advances in Building Information Modeling (BIM) make true intelligent building systems possible, beyond today’s individualised environments to works control and high efficiency maintenance regimes over the medium term.

Alec Hay is DIALOG’s leader of Security Planning and Resilience and an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.

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