Is 2024 the year for blue sky thinking about security technology?
We often hear terms like Artificial Intelligence and biometrics in conversations across the security arena, but how close are we to seeing these technologies disrupt the market and become more widely used?
I have been very fortunate to work within the security industry since leaving university in 2002. I have worked on some prestigious projects: Westfield London, Heathrow Airport, and numerous other key projects.
This is the first time in my career that science fiction is more than a fantasy and the age of robotics, artificial intelligence and use of biometrics is soon to become the norm.
Innovation at pace
Technological changes are occurring at such rapidity. Twenty-four years since the turn of the millennium, we are facing a historic change in the way we secure our premises and how we protect our communities. What was once only science fiction is now becoming a reality and having a major impact in the security industry. Being a more widely used form of security will lead to it becoming more affordable as new companies will enter the market, like the winners of the 2021 Architizer A+Product Awards, Swiftlane.
Swiftlane, a company based in the Silicon Valley, Northern California, is really disrupting the access control market in America, using facial recognition technology in the mass marketplace. This is definitely a company to watch.
Environmental concerns are making us all look at our own carbon footprints. ESG is playing a significant role in all our business objectives.
The use of mobile credentials and biometrics will help in the fight against reduction of plastic usage and strengthen our robust ESG due diligence approach.
Facial recognition technology is being incorporated in the security systems we are currently using; the next phase is to demonstrate more sleek, integrated cameras. This type of technology is available, and AI and Biometrics will become a viable option in 2024.
CIS and partners have been exploring how we can use the technology to benefit the environment and the user experience.
Here is some of the innovations we will be looking to implement next year:
Facial recognition in access control
No longer do we need to install additional facial recognition device hardware onto speed lanes. There are systems available now with facial recognition cameras integrated into the turnstiles installed within a closed network. They follow the same rules as for CCTV footage: the image rights will be owned by the software licence holders. This will avoid any data protection concerns and can form part of employee terms and conditions, very much similar to CCTV policies. Even though there are many variations of AI algorithms which facial recognition technology uses, all of them follow these authorisation steps.
There are huge benefits of integrating a facial recognition system:
- Quick access into the secured area at all times
- Impossible to share access credentials with others
- Hands-free and seamless entry
- No special training required for users
- Easy to use
- High level of accuracy
- Environmentally friendly
We have seen a massive upturn in the number of requests to implement mobile credentials for access control, as well as other services on a mobile phone. As well as gaining access, our clients want to use a mobile phone to book in visitors, receive notification of post or packages, and send messages with the latest security broadcast and general offerings from local businesses.
MyTag have accepted my challenge and are developing an app aimed at the end user that will incorporate all their suite of products. This will be known as MyBuilding App and will provide our stakeholders with a one-stop solution for their daily requirements when at work. It will also be available in public-facing locations where it will include offers and travel advice on shopping centres and tourist attractions.
Temporary security solutions
Securing premises at short notice can be a real challenge. And while not all businesses have the budget for permanent security in temporary situations, they do have an obligation to provide safety and security for their employees and corporate assets. Temporary security solutions are not always fit for purpose and have been a long way off hardwired permanent security systems. But there are now solutions available that allow for rapid deployment.
These rapidly deployable kits provide features like:
- Access control
- Intrusion detection
- Video management technology
- Corporate network connectivity
Gone are the days when you would have to spend a large amount of money to retrofit a space only to rip and replace in a few months or run the risk of not having proper physical security measures in place.
Advances in robotics
Exciting innovations are expected in 2024 in robotics. I have seen one system that features a one-of-a-kind flying robot. This will bring huge enhancements in remote monitoring of premises. It harnesses the power of robotics paired with AI to provide a pioneering indoor flying platform for intelligent monitoring of smart buildings.
The drone sits on a tile that is fixed to the ceiling. Once docketed, the drone acts as a 360 degree camera that can be added to your building CCTV platform. The drone is self-flying, through sensors and preset routes, all patrols are autonomised and there is no human intervention required once the eye in the sky drone has been mapped and navigation has been commissioned.
This system can be integrated into other systems within the building like the intruder alarm or access control systems. If an alarm activates, the drone will complete a patrol to investigate and will livestream the outcome of the patrol. With in-built heat detection, indoor robotics will make patrolling plant rooms and data centres efficient and set your mind at rest.
CCTV and AI empowering security
The increased use of security systems to monitor premises and the advances in AI technology allow for a more robust approach. CCTV systems can now be trained to identify unusual patterns. For example, the formation of a crowd in an unusual location could lead to early identification of criminal activity.
Searching through CCTV footage can also be enhanced using software that allows the operator to request the cameras to search across the system on their behalf, e.g., locate all people wearing a red coat or a hat. The improvement in technology has led to CCTV cameras being able to slow down the shutter speeds for anyone seen running, ensuring the best possible picture quality for an absconding assailant.
The power of AI used to empower security monitoring and deployment will help the industry to reach heights that have only been seen within governmental organisations and lead to a more proactive approach and a reduction in reactive after-the-event investigations.
Ensuring technology is right for your organisation
How do you know if any of the above technology is suitable for your building operation? Can you ensure that the systems that you are installing in your building will be the best solution? This is where the process of security design takes shape. It is critical to involve security experts to systematically plan, implement, and manage security measures to protect assets, people, and information within a given environment.
To ensure that the security proposed will be effective and efficient, it is essential to understand the environment, not only physical security, but also technical security and deployment of officers. The main goals of these options, when used independently or in combination, are deterrence, detection, and reporting.
Pioneering the future
Forward-thinking security providers are looking beyond physical security with officers monitoring multiple CCTV screens and carrying out patrols. They are focusing on customer service that is tailored to each customer’s requirement, threat intelligence, enhanced security monitoring systems, and data-driven risk mitigation. Paper-based systems have been replaced with electronic logbooks and databases, which allows for trend analysis, leading to a proactive security solution.
A consultancy approach to security design elevates companies pushing their affiliate systems. A holistic approach to security design based on risk mitigation across physical, technical, and operating policies will lead to the end user acquiring a customised security system and service. There are so many systems available it can get confusing for inexperienced individuals. Having independent thinkers and system designers working to your requirements, that are data driven, will ensure your money is being put to best use.
Robotics in security are not here to replace humans, but to increase awareness and presence in areas that need closer monitoring. Unsafe spaces for humans, like roof tops and plant rooms, can be patrolled by drones and robots, keeping our security teams safe. The use of heat detection in plant rooms and integration to business management systems will ensure early warnings are in place where untrained humans may not recognise impending danger.
The use case for biometrics is increasing and we are finding more reasons why a biometric lead operation within security is becoming an urgent requirement. The use of biometrics nullifies security access breaches and data breaches, as passwords become less required. Environmental impact through less use of plastic and the high level of personal security using biometrics like facial recognition, fingerprint, palm prints and retina scans are all strong reasons why technology use is on the increase.
Change is inevitable and the partnership approach between technology and security officers is an essential consideration to those responsible for security design and installation.
Now is the time to consider the blue sky thinking: what apps, platforms and systems will work best? You are spoilt for choice. Speak to your trusted providers, and start to look beyond the limits of what fits the aesthetic, and involve your security teams at all planning and installation stages.
The options available now mean that security operators don’t have to inherit a system and make it work or make do. We can be the answer to the most effective system to protect your people, assets, and reputations.
Head of Innovative Solutions