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Despite the fact that 2020 has been very unusual, the constant transformation of the security industry has not stopped.

Even several important changes in the use of technology are accelerating, such as the rise of multiple perception technologies; the convergence of security systems; the popularity of artificial intelligence and the rise of cloud solutions.

These changes are expanding and changing the scope of the security industry – from keeping people and assets safe to creating safer, more efficient and smarter environments.

Looking ahead to 2021, we have high hopes. Hikvision shares some encouraging insights and thoughts regarding key trends that may affect the security industry in both the short and long term.

1. Intelligent video technology that helps during the pandemic.

Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, companies are prioritizing finding ways to safely resume their activity.

Smart video technology has shown great potential to help companies keep their employees and customers safe on their way back to work.

Using artificial intelligence technology, security cameras monitor crowded locations to ensure employees adhere to security measures such as social distancing, mask use, and access control.

In addition, these equipments offer the possibility of measuring the temperature.

Employees are avoiding unnecessary physical contact when accessing the venues and contactless access systems are imposed, such as facial recognition, palm recognition or through NFC and QR codes.

2. Multidimensional perception.

Capturing visual images has long been the only capability of conventional video cameras.

But with the development and application of sensing technologies, computing systems and intelligent algorithms are coming into play that allow integrated security systems and devices to use multiple sensors.

Now, more sensing capabilities such as radar detection, multispectral imaging, humidity and temperature measurement, gas pressure detection… are being integrated with cameras and video systems.

This integration expands the capabilities of new video cameras and systems and broadens their applications by allowing the collection and use of multidimensional information.

For example, there are promising projects that integrate cameras with centimeter-wave and millimeter-wave radar technology, and that can extend the perception of the camera beyond the visual range, to detect objects and track movement more than 100 meters away.

Multispectral imaging is another good method for cameras to perceive information from the non-visible light spectrum.

For example, innovative ultraviolet (UV) detection increases the perceptual capabilities of cameras to capture invisible electric arc phenomena; This technology finds a key application in security controls in old electrical networks.

Multi-dimensional perception capabilities will play a critical role in taking the video security industry to the next level.

3. Visibility at any time and in any condition.

Users expect uninterrupted performance from their video cameras, regardless of the season, weather, and time of day. It is vital to have cameras that can respond effectively to capture clear images in all circumstances.

Today, technology that enables colorful images to be captured in low light – at night, or in dark environments – is proliferating in the security industry, and customers have shown a preference for cameras with 24-hour color imaging.

day, 7 days a week. In addition, more and more front cameras are equipped with this technology to ensure that they can see and reproduce the color of the image both day and night.

And in other extreme conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, fog… how do the cameras guarantee visibility?

Industry professionals tend to choose thermal imaging, which measures heat or thermal radiation to generate images from their field of view. With thermography, the image is much less affected, even by conditions that darken the light the most.

4. 5G technology for ultra high definition and wireless video security.

5G technology can bring big changes to the security industry. The higher bandwidth and lower latency of 5G make the regular transmission of high-quality images possible, and with the widespread adoption of ultra-high-definition (UHD) cameras, new opportunities are opening up.

In addition, reliable wireless transmission over 5G technology will revolutionize today’s wired video security market. In the next 5G networks, wireless cameras will proliferate and more devices will connect in remote locations.

This will also facilitate the broad and rapid deployment of AI applications.

5. Convergence of multiple security systems.

We operate in an industry where users expect comprehensive solutions.

The vast majority of security professionals have long wanted systems to work together seamlessly.

The benefits of converging multiple security systems — video, access control, alarm, fire prevention, and emergency management — in a unified platform are manifold, especially when it comes to efficiency and cost effectiveness.

For example, when an alarm is triggered, an integrated system automatically links that alert to the nearest camera output, so the entire event can be easily witnessed from the control center. This translates into a considerable reduction in time and effort and, most importantly, in costs.

Savings in labor, installation time, maintenance costs, software licenses… add up to create an attractive package for customers.

Additionally, convergence makes security solutions easily scalable. The existing infrastructure is ready to handle future needs on the same central platform.

6. Digital transformation of companies driven by video security systems.

In addition to safety and security, the offering of value-added video security systems has grown to assist companies in their digital transformation process and to gain insight into development opportunities.

With the power of artificial intelligence analytics, today’s smart video security solutions are designed to improve automation and operational efficiency in various vertical markets, including traffic, retail, manufacturing, construction and education, among others.

Retailers, for example, better understand customer journeys in their stores and can thus improve their merchandising strategies.

These solutions are designed with digital dashboards to display data and information coming from the integrated internal business information systems.

Operators can use these systems to get real-time situation updates to help them make the best decisions for their business.

The digital transformation trend in many companies presents enormous opportunities for security companies to expand their reach and play an important role in the future of a smart world.

7. Accelerated cloud-based security solutions.

The trend to move to the cloud for companies of all sizes increased in the security industry in 2020.

More and more companies are taking advantage of inexpensive cloud services to expand the flexibility of their operations, deployment and management.

Cloud-based security systems, which combine security, networking, storage, analytics, and management, are making deployment much easier, as there is no need for local servers or software.

This saves a significant amount of time and money, while expanding or reducing security systems.

Through a cloud hosting infrastructure, these solutions also benefit customers with remote operations and maintenance, quickly alerting them to key security events and allowing them to stay up-to-date with the latest firmware versions, updates and services.

8. Increase in cutting-edge computing to put AI everywhere.

State-of-the-art computing is becoming more accessible to security cameras, and intelligent algorithms with wide applications are continually being developed.

This makes us think that cutting-edge computing will allow AI to be carried everywhere.

Automatic license plate recognition (ANPR); automatic event alerting; the count of people; heat mapping; detection of illegal parking and detection of the use of helmets, as well as other applications of artificial intelligence, are becoming common in the security market.

With the evolution of computing and artificial intelligence algorithms, security cameras will take on smarter tasks in the near future to help improve security in local communities and the efficiency of data systems.

9. Open AI application ecosystems.

With AI applications finding uses in many new fields, the market requirements for AI algorithms are diversifying and the demand for customization is also increasing.

We have seen more collaboration across the industry and new ecosystems to meet various needs.

Several security vendors have released programs to keep their peripheral devices open to third-party AI applications. This brings a greater variety of smart features, while development partners also benefit from openness.

Providing open AI platforms for customers to directly create and train their own algorithms is a fairly common practice in other industries and is now emerging in the physical security field.

Clients have a deeper understanding of their own businesses and it will be more efficient and effective for them to have easy-to-use open AI training platforms to develop their own algorithms based on their specific data and needs, both security and business.

10. Emphasis on cybersecurity and data privacy.

Cybersecurity and data privacy protection has been a challenge for the security industry from the moment the first security device was connected to the internet.

Driven by the upswing in cloud-based solutions and a host of innovative technologies, such as IoT, big data, 5G, and AI, millions of security devices and systems are now joining this connected network.

Protecting security systems and devices from cyberattacks and establishing data privacy are more important than ever.

Cybersecurity will continue to be an industry concern at every step of data processing, from generation, transmission, and storage, to data applications, and ultimately disposal.

Zero Trust has been a very widespread concept in the field of cybersecurity, and this can be an inspiring idea for security companies to create high-level cybersecurity standards, with the attitude of never trust, always verify. Time will tell.