WHAT LIES AHEAD IN APAC’S VIDEO TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY?

By Benjamin Low, Vice President, APAC, Milestone Systems

According to IHS Markit, the video management market was worth US$8.7 billion in China and the Asia-Pacific in 2016. In February, the Government announced a new plan passed under the Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in Singapore, encouraging more security companies to use technology for its operations. What lies ahead and how can security companies use video solutions to navigate opportunities in the Year of the Dog?

Trend 1: Deep learning – levelling up artificial intelligence and the human intellect

In the past, limitations on processing capability have limited what we can achieve with regards to artificial intelligence and deep learning. For many years, Central Processing Units (CPUs) have been the brains of servers and computers, but the explosion of power in Graphical Processing Units (GPUs), spurred on by the gaming industry, mean that these units are now used for more than just image rendering – for instance image analysis and recognition.

With this new ability, we can expect video analytics to apply logic and meaning based on the information gathered from video cameras. We are now at a point where video analytics can deliver startling accuracy, with some deep learning algorithms having demonstrated 99.9% facial recognition accuracy as compared to conventional systems, which have a rate of 95%1 . Such percentage points make a whole lot of difference when it comes to minimising security breaches.

Trend 2: IoT – When all things become connected

According to IDC, Asia Pacific will be the geographic region with the highest IoT spending in 2018 – at $312 billion2 . Moving forward, IoT will break down the silos between technologies, and help to identify relationships between events. With the introduction of IoT devices, where the internet is used to collect sensor information from any type of smart device, we will be able to use all that data to augment the video. These applications are already taking shape in the real world.

For example, in the US, Paramount Pictures and Lamar Billboards recently placed an innovative digital billboard advertising for the latest Transformers movie. With cameras fed into Milestone XProtect Corporate video management software (VMS), the billboard identified specific cars to deliver custom advertisements accordingly, incorporating the car make and model within the message, “Attention Your Honda Civic is an Autobot!”. This is just one of many ways that video technology can enable IoT, and no doubt we are talking about a disruption of the industry and a myriad of exciting opportunities.

Trend 3: Cyber-crime becomes real crime

The blurring of lines between crime in the physical and cyber sphere shows no signs of abating. From London to the Philippines, security breaches have continued to threaten public safety. Last May’s WannaCry ransomware attacks crippled banks, hospitals and businesses. Worldwide, the impact of the breached protocol was expected to reach a total of $4 billion3 .

As cyber threats become a daily conversation, it is even more essential to mitigate the risks associated with video technology being networked. To do this, it is important to acquire the necessary instructions from the hardware providers and the installers on how to keep a video network safe from attack, and also to ensure software and device firmware is kept up to date.

Trend 4: Use of video solutions across verticals to tackle real world problems

With the expansion of digital lifestyles, devices across private and public domains reside in the IoT, a bright spark of opportunity for the VMS industry. The retail sector, for instance, uses video’s capabilities beyond security functions to raise productivity. Betabrand, a clothing retailer based in San Francisco has adopted video technology with real-time video footage to plan their store layout and strategise its best-selling items4 , enhancing store performance and sales.

Interest from retailers in Singapore will increase as they search for solutions to tackle the retail crunch. However, a study commissioned by Milestone has found that knowledge about video management software among business owners in Singapore is still basic, with many merely using their cameras to record movement – with no added functionality, be it in terms of security or customer/employee management5 .

Governments are also part of this trend. One prime example is the adoption of facial recognition technology at Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal Four. Facial recognition systems provide endless possibilities for authorities to analyse specific features that are common to people’s faces. Such uptake of VMS and advanced technology like facial recognition can be expected to be greatly adopted in APAC as more nations start looking at smart video solutions in their developments.

Trend 5: Increasingly sophisticated video management technology informed by education

Education and improving awareness is key to this market opportunity. Built on an open platform capability, endless video integration is made possible with numerous partners. The discussion has moved beyond that of analogue to IP cameras, but additional functionality through education.

Security challenges have evolved rapidly over the years, and demand for security services have increased rapidly. Yet the shortage of security manpower has not been solved. As the government devote more resources to encourage security companies to digitalise, and initiatives such as the Tech Skills Accelerator (TeSA) helps to upskill our security workforce, we can expect a new generation of security officers that are well-equipped with the knowledge to navigate the landscape.

With the myriad untapped opportunities that VMS brings to businesses and governments, the opportunity is there for the taking. Video technology not only brings public safety, but when layered with business analytics can be used for future growth.

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