It’s a confusing world for science fiction fans. We may not be enjoying inter-planetary travel or waking up relatives up from their cryogenic slumber, but, when it comes to smart technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the future is here now. And nowhere is it more in evidence than in the security sector.
AI has already become a game changer in the security sector because of the ways it can enable electronic systems to learn. Security systems have been programmable for some time and can integrate security and fire protection systems so that they operate based on cause and effect scenarios through the building management system. AI has the capacity to take this to the next level, using data to understand building usage, recognise hazards and manage risk so that the system learns and adapts over time. This means that the initial programming becomes a starting point based on the client’s brief but the security is agile enough to adjust to changes such as new occupiers or new security threats.
Meanwhile, AI has also been proven to offer a more accurate and effective framework for visual object recognition. We’re already familiar with face and voice recognition for things like unlocking mobile phones and passing quickly through call centre security systems and this type of AI functionality is ideal for the physical security of buildings too.
Smart technology is also making its presence felt in the design of security systems. We can now adjust our heating or switch off our TV from anywhere in the world and the same IP-based technology and wireless networks that allow us to do that mean WLS can offer CCTV systems that can be accessed by customers from anywhere through their mobile devices. For many customers, particularly smaller organisations, this can provide a viable alternative to manned control rooms. It can also aid verification of an incident or simply provide peace of mind.
And, of course, it’s not just CCTV systems that can make use of smart technology; door entry systems, access control and intruder alarms can all be integrated for smarter operation and controlled remotely via a secure connection.
Indeed, integration is perhaps the most valuable and influential aspect of the leaps forward that technology has enabled in the security sector. The IoT allows any internet-enabled device to send and receive data; which means that every mobile phone, computer and printer in your office can potentially part of a joined up security system! The growing network of sensors, structures and devices that can be connected via IP networks creates limitless possibilities for embedding security into the physical surroundings of any environment and the day-to-day activities of all occupiers. The key is designing a system that is appropriate for the specific needs of the building and its occupiers and integrating it effectively so that it is fit for purpose, adaptable and scalable.
There’s lots of media hype about the proliferation of security threats affecting businesses and organisations of all kinds, however, the functionality that technology offers to protect people and assets is actually escalating at a much faster pace than security risks. But that doesn’t mean we should throw the kitchen sink at every project. Regardless of the benefits of AI it’s actually the human intelligence and friendly face of a security specialist that will tailor the installation to meet the priorities of the customer and ensure we maximise the potential of technology to protect.