While attendance at the 2019 exhibition held in London in June was small compared to previous years, the show still managed to generate big news in critical areas, including artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security and smart buildings.
Despite the noticeable decline in visitors and exhibitors, IFSEC featured a plethora of core brands that compete in the UK and broader European markets. The event remains the go-to show for companies from outside of Europe that are trying to enter the Western European market.
Exhibitors showed a number of key technologies that exhibit greater maturity than seen in past events.
AI has been a buzzword in the security industry for several years now. However, more and more solutions these days are incorporating machine learning to offer improved functionality or to provide additional features.
New solutions shown at IFSEC include the active application of machine learning to help alarm-monitoring stations reduce the number of incoming false alarms and deal with them much more quickly. Analytics used in video surveillance systems can help businesses run more efficiently by monitoring stock on shelves or by gaining insights about customer traffic as well as patrons’ age, gender and shopping preferences. This can help retailers and business owners to plan their operations better and optimize staffing while increasing their returns. Video analytics used at large events can provide real-time awareness of any security incidents, giving security managers an upper hand in responding to them.
Cybersecurity concerns have run high for the physical security industry as more and more solutions incorporate cloud applications into the system design. This means that an increased number of signals will be transferred between networks and sensors and security measures used to secure these communications to protect against unauthorized access.
Exhibitors at IFSEC showed maturing solutions based on the concept of converged security. The cybersecurity element is built into the design of the physical security system, with intrusion-detection software that actively monitors networks for emerging threats that could undermine the physical infrastructure. This is not only paramount in homogenous systems—such as those that only perform access control or intrusion detection—but even more in integrated systems, which can connect to each other thorough a common interface or platform.
The influence of the trend toward smart buildings was also noticeable in the types of products offered. Key providers of complete building-technology solutions such as United Technologies Corp. presented smart-building-ready security equipment, including control panels with enhanced connectivity options.
Cloud solutions linked to security systems provide avenues of sourcing data from sensors attached to intrusion and building-automation installations. This enables a host of insights that can benefit the building owner or manager. Using machine learning, these insights can be leveraged to extract real value from the host of generated data.
In line with the digital revolution, new security solutions are heavily reliant on connected services and products. This means installers need to develop advanced IT skills so they can make the most of features such as remote maintenance and remote system setup. These days, any potential challenges with equipment are more likely to center on connectivity and signal issues, as opposed to equipment malfunctions, hence requiring improved digital troubleshooting skills.
Providers of automated entrance-control solutions showcased the latest innovations aimed at making buildings’ lobbies more inviting and more intuitive. These innovations involve equipping gates with numerous sensors and connecting them to building-management platforms to provide data on the types of visitor traffic at entrances. The latest innovation is the use of AI facial recognition and biometrics to allow for user registration and recognition.
About the IHS Markit Security Technology service
The IHS Markit Security Technology service offers extensive analysis of security technology markets, encompassing access control, intrusion, fire, cybersecurity, digital ID, critical communications and video surveillance.