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Physical Security Market Trends: IP Video Surveillance 101

February 28, 2017

The physical security market is a field that never stands still. Every year, security grows and evolves a bit more. In response to emerging innovations and new challenges, unique trends emerge all the time, challenging value-added resellers (VARs) to keep up with the latest direction of the industry.

For those who are new to physical security, the continual evolution of the market might seem daunting. However, by focusing on the key trends that are impacting your potential customers, you can ensure that you are offering the solutions that end users require.

In order to help you get started, let’s take a closer look at some of the top IP video surveillance trends that are impacting the industry this year:

HD video.

In the physical security world, HD video has been slow to catch on because it requires very high bandwidth. However, the benefits of HD video—such as greater detail, even in shadow—are prompting more security customers to seek it out. The adoption of HD should accelerate this year and next, especially in the U.S.  

H.265 compression.

Of course, for customers to take advantage of higher-definition surveillance, compression capabilities have had to catch up. Today, the H.265 coding standard is emerging as the best new way to reduce overall cost while meeting the bandwidth and storage requirements of HD. H.265 is expected to surpass its predecessor, H.264, any moment now.

IT convergence.

As video surveillance has evolved from analog to IP, IT has become intrinsically linked with physical security. Today, that trend continues to solidify as product vendors develop devices that offer edge-to-core architecture and enable easier integration with other systems. Meanwhile, surveillance customers are more frequently looking to incorporate virtualization into their solutions.

For these reasons, it’s important for VARs to have a working knowledge of IT systems and networking infrastructure. In fact, there is a growing trend in some markets for IT and security professionals to co-exist in one department, rather than being siloed. As IP video continues to advance, VARs should expect to deal with IT even more frequently.

Video analytics.

Video content analysis may not be a brand-new concept in the physical security industry, but it is enabling new levels of surveillance intelligence every year. Currently, video analytics is really taking off, as customers in a variety of verticals realize its potential to increase security, improve incident response, and, in some cases, even strengthen the bottom line.

Video content analysis enables a surveillance system to recognize when certain pre-defined activities occur, such as when an object is left behind or a vehicle enters a restricted area. Then, the technology can send an alert to security personnel, begin recording video, sound an alarm, or take some other appropriate action.

Video analytics also enables a customer to optimize storage and bandwidth, which leads to a much lower total cost of ownership. By recording at a lower resolution during times of inactivity, and only switching to higher-resolution video when certain activities are detected, the client significantly reduces both storage and bandwidth, which are often the most expensive part of any surveillance deployment.

Body-worn cameras.

Body-worn cameras have become a hot topic in the U.S. and abroad, as police and military agencies see plenty of potential in these lightweight mobile devices. Across the country, police departments are already implementing or considering adopting body-worn cameras for their officers as a way to maximize visibility into their activities.

Meanwhile, agencies of all kinds see the appeal of using footage from body-worn cameras as a supplement to other video surveillance devices in incident investigation and prosecution. For example, the footage from body-worn police cameras could be used by FBI officials in order to investigate incidents such as bank robberies or terrorist attacks, in which every second of video could yield clues that point to the suspects.

What IP surveillance trends do you hope to incorporate into your product offering this year? Which do you expect to be the slowest to catch on in your local market?