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ISC West 2018 Recap: Focusing on the Future

ISC West traditionally makes a point to focus on the future of security technologies through their Emerging Technology Zone, which features startups, entrepreneurial businesses and companies that are at the forefront of innovation and change in the cyber-physical security landscape, and this year was no exception. Below are six of the most exciting, future-focused developments in the security industry from the show.

Virtual is the New Reality

The first most promising future technology is the virtual reality emergency situational awareness training by HTX Labs. This technology combines traditional, hands-on emergency response training and a completely customizable virtual reality experience. HTX can take CAD drawings of a specific space (workplace, school, etc.) and tailor the training module to your organizations’ specific procedures. Kayla Prettitore, director of GSOC operations for Northland Controls, tried an active shooter in a school module while at ISC West and was impressed with the quality and level of interaction. Prettitore also noted that this kind of training incorporates traditional emergency response training as well as cutting edge technology that is more appealing to younger generations. The security industry sometimes tends to cling to tradition, so new technology like virtual reality training is an exciting step forward.

Colorful Innovation to Deter Tailgaters

For larger campuses or areas with heavy foot traffic, it can be difficult to determine who is authorized to be in different areas at any given time. Ticto operates by providing LED-colored employee badges indicating whether or not someone has clearance depending on which room or building they are in. The badge settings are fully customizable for different color protocols depending on your company’s needs. This technology, when used properly i.e. employees always wearing their badges, can reduce tailgating. It also potentially provides employees with peace of mind that the people surrounding them at work are meant to be there, which builds trust. In a time where “see something, say something” can mean the difference between a safe office space and a catastrophe, visible security options like Ticto is highly valuable. While this is a relatively basic addition to badge security, the overall trend of making security measures more visible to all employees, rather than just security personnel, is an important step towards the future of physical security.

Machine Monitoring with a Human Twist

While unmanned security robots are not a new technology, the technology now uploading into them is. Take for instance Cobalt Robotics and Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD). Cobalt has created an autonomous, roving security robot that combines machine learning and detection ability, with traditional face-to-face interaction through their touch screen that connects to an operator when prompted. RAD has also developed a Security Control Observation Tower, or SCOT, which has many of the same components as Cobalt, but is a portable, stand-alone tower. SCOT features human detection, license plate recognition, long-range visibility, wireless software updates, and audio-visual conferencing. Both robots are a move to upgrade from the traditional security guard or video monitoring services by taking out the element of human error. That being said, both Cobalt and SCOT still provide the vital human to human which plays an important role in the comfort factor- confirming that you are talking to an actual person rather than just a machine.

Cloud and Artificial Intelligence

Video monitoring is getting an upgrade too, with AI capabilities integrating with the cloud. AnyVision has developed a facial recognition software that works both in-house and through the cloud featuring object and human recognition, people of interest monitoring, and heat mapping. Also featuring cloud integration, Arcules is developing a Video Cloud Internet of Things (IoT) as a service. This service integrates IoT data and video AI through cloud technology, providing an easy-access database of evidence and analytics on a global scale. Storing and using data in the cloud is again, not a new development; however, security analytics and management through the cloud is undoubtably where the future of the industry is headed particularly due to globalization. AI is arguably the new frontier for security monitoring, as computers are more reliable and sensitive than traditional human monitoring. Chief Technology Officer for Northland Controls Henry Hoyne says, “AI in security is still a green field, but it should be improving in the coming years at an accelerated .”

Matured Event Analytics

A better-established area of AI within security, video and audio analytics also made an appearance at ISC West with two technologies performing above the rest. Vision Labs based in Amsterdam, has a facial recognition platform that enables instant identification from databases with 10s and 100s of millions of faces. Their accuracy has also been tested with impressive True Positive Rates and False Positive Rates at 89% accurate and above. Similarly established within the event analytics field, Louroe based out of Van Nuys, CA provides audio analytics including gunshots, glass breaks and even vocal aggression. These technologies also have integration modules with the most common video monitoring systems, like Milestone and are working towards greater accessibility.

Future Generations

ISC West focused on the future of the security industry from a personnel perspective as well. April’s meeting marked ISC West’s first ever education track geared towards young professionals in the industry, in conjunction with the Security Industry Association (SIA). The program, specifically geared towards security professionals under 40, featured two courses focusing on strategic decision making, led by Ray O’Hara AS Solution’s executive vice president, and a career pathways panel, led by Brendan McFall, technical project manager at Northland Controls. “The goal of the panel was to ensure that individuals who are early in their careers understand there are many different career paths within the security industry. Panelists, including Northland’s own president and COO, Paul Thomas, provided attendees with an overview about how their respective career paths have led them to their current roles. Participants got to hear the obstacles and challenges each panelist faced, how they overcame those challenges, and were provided first-hand perspectives and practical advice on various career paths within the security industry,” notes McFall. Networking and educational opportunities are important investments in securing the progression of the security industry, and panels such as these that offer real life examples and advice are invaluably beneficial to newcomers. McFall stated, “It was invigorating for me to get to spend time those who will no doubt help lead the future of the industry and emerge as leaders in their companies.”