US Market Grows with Backlogged Demand
Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 8/16/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics
With increased cash flow, pent-up demand for security is rallying in 2011. Critical-infrastructure applications, as well as education projects, are going strong. In product adoption, IP smoothes the way for enhanced interoperability, indicating a good year to come.
US security demand reached a boiling point after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Homeland security boomed, as states and municipalities rushed to secure citizens and critical infrastructure. The detection market for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear and hazardous material decontamination technologies is expected to reach US$1.5 billion by 2016, according to the Homeland Security Research Corporation.
A need for a unified response drove access control demand. “Access control is growing in government, utilities and health care,” said Paul Everett, Research Director for Access Control, Fire and Security at IMS Research. “The government has federal Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 and personal-identity verification mandates, which drive growth.”
Critical infrastructure continues to heat up, as the market rebounds from the economic downturn. US government installations are stringent about IT and will specify standards for hosted video and access control in the cloud, said Matt Barnette, VP of Sales and Marketing, AMAG Technology.
Transportation and City Surv eillance
The transportation market is witnessing strong growth as air and rail hubs remain on high alert. “Critical infrastructure is growing, such as for city surveillance, airport, transport and roads, seaports and railways,” said Kim Robbins, Director of Marketing Communications for DVTel. These verticals are sustained by continued grant funding to meet specifications.
State spending for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) was expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2010, said IMS Research. California and Florida lead in spending, with another 26 states increasing the scale of their ITS deployments by $10 million to $100 million each.
City surveillance is well underway in large US cities. “Just about every major metropolis is adding traffic cameras for analytics,” said Lance Holloway, Director of Technology Strategy, Stanley Convergent Security Solutions.
Analytics can speed up video searches, identifying objects as people or vehicles, as well as classifying colors. “More system integrators request real projects,” said Zvika Ashani, CTO of Agent Video Intelligence. “We see demand in critical infrastructure and city surveillance.” Integration of large camera deployments in critical infrastructure requires better integration, making PSIM providers hotly in demand. “It's why we acquired PSIM provider Rontal to expand our technology into critical infrastructure and the enterprise space,” said Courtney Jaret, Marketing Director for Verint Systems.
Adoption of PSIM is growing to streamline operations. “We have massive buildings and corporations spread across the U.S., making the addressable market enormous,” said Matthew Kushner, President of the Americas, CNL Software. “That has largely come about because of the economic tone. As more budgets are released, integration problems that haven't gone away since 2008 mean more demand for PSIM.”
End users look for fully integrated solutions. “Customers want to sit down in front of one software package and one interface to control their facility or multiple facilities,” Barnette said.
Comprehensive solutions need to deliver true value beyond equipment. “Users look for a full platform that can control heating and cooling, count people and monitor displays,” said Gadi Piran, President of On-Net Surveillance Systems.
However, America's large installation base of analog equipment is slowing network uptake. “The smart-city market outside the U.S. is massively larger,” said Steve Collen, Director of Business Development, Physical Security Business Unit, Cisco Systems. “Cisco has about 500 smart-city deals worldwide.”
Best in Class
Education has long been an early adopter of security, with good growth expected in the U.S. “Education is sadly seeing more uptake because of violence, bullying and vandalism,” said Steve Gorski, GM of the Americas, Mobotix. “If you think about schools, they have good network infrastructure, which lends itself to supporting network cameras.”
Higher education is seeing a change from the traditional security channel. Instead of going through installers, some end users are deploying network video surveillance themselves. A US university had its own IT security team install 500 cameras, heightening vigilance to crime or deliberate violence, such as shootings. “The university used video surveillance very effectively to deter and solve incidents on campus,” said Wendi Burke, Manager of Global Marketing Communications, IQinVision
A college deployed a solution combining a strobe, sensor and camera at its observatory, after the theft of a $2 million telescope. “The institution didn't secure the telescope because they thought it was too big to take,” said Rollie Trayte, President and COO of FutureSentry.
Gaming projects slowed during the recession, but are seeing renewed movement. “Gaming is big for us,” said Scott Paul, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Pelco (a Schneider Electric company). “We have a number of installations and reference sites around Las Vegas, including the Bellagio, the Mirage and McCarran Airport.”
HDcctv enables HD resolution over coaxial cables, which is suited for casinos betting on upgrades. This utilizes legacy wiring while covering key areas such as entrances or dealer tables with better detail. “The big benefit is that casinos don't need to change cabling over existing RG 59, and you don't need to rip apart the casino,” said Mark Wilson, VP of Marketing for Infinova.
“If you just change the cameras, that expense can come out of the maintenance budget.”
Retail has stabilized, as consumer spending increases.
“Retail is growing for wholesale chains with many stores and a central video system,” said Lars Gudbrandsson, Head of Product Management for Milestone Systems. “The U.S. is good at incorporating large installations and taking advantage of IP surveillance.”
Video surveillance can provide real ROI to retailers. “Wal-Mart saved millions of dollars on litigation from fraudulent slip-and-fall claims by being able to display detailed video of people deliberately pouring water or pretending to fall,” said Bengt Christensson, Senior Marketing Director for Ambarella.
A strong retrofit market in the Americas kept intrusion from declining too much as new construction slowed, according to IMS Research. More interactive systems are seeing uptake, such as video verification.
Cloud applications are particularly appealing, with several rollouts underway in the U.S. “The cloud is seeing movement for video verification,” said Jon Hughes, Product Marketing Manager for Video Surveillance, Interlogix (a UTC Fire & Security company). “We have third-party development partners.”
Slow economic conditions hastened adoption of easy-to-administer access control solutions such as software as a service (SaaS). “Greater emphasis has been placed on streamlining and reducing operational costs for security operations covering broad geographic deployments,” said IMS Research in an April report. “However, uptake will be modest until mainstream users identify the same benefits as niche users. One barrier limiting mass adoption is end-user reluctance to store security data on a third-party server rather than on-site.”
Migrating to IP
IP video has matured, with breakthroughs in resolution, compression and storage. While the technology is essentially unchanged from prerecession specifications, buyers now are actually able to pick up the tab.
“IP uptake is accelerating,” Gorski said. “We have had tremendous growth in the U.S., which is up 50 percent.” More cameras and DVRs are opening up to IP. “VARs from the IT world are now in security,” said Joe Cuellar, Sales for DNF Security.
One of the biggest draws of IP video is higherresolution imaging, with 2.1-megapixel resolution equaling that of six D1 cameras. All those extra pixels require a significant amount of storage, which is becoming more affordable. “The increases in the number of video channels per installation and the resolution of the cameras are some of the primary reasons for the growth of data in video surveillance applications,” wrote Frost & Sullivan in its 2010 “North American Physical Security Network Storage Market” report. “As end users weigh the benefits of expenditures for installation and implementation of updated and advanced technology against existing infrastructure, recovery in this sector is expected to begin in 2010.”
The value of network storage is also driving adoption in the U.S. “Falling prices and greater levels of innovation among the IP-based physical security systems are helping the shift to more IP-centric systems requiring networkbased storage,” Frost & Sullivan said. “Integrated security management offers huge potential for network storage systems in physical security. Security systems can be incorporated into enterprise databases to expedite business processes.”
Strategic partnerships are the way forward, as seen in Cisco Systems joining forces with Pelco for its network camera business. Pelco's acquisition by Schneider Electric furthered strengthened Cisco's ties, as it had worked extensively with Schneider on building projects. “What we see in the future of that relationship is much more than physical security; with building automation and access control, it's packaging all those things together,” Collen said. “I think the security market's a good one to be in, as it seems quite robust.”
ONVIF and PSIA are the dominant interoperability bodies, with PSIA being the first body formed during February 2008 in the U.S. PSIA is working on comprehensive standards for video surveillance, access control and intrusion, while ONVIF is more video-centric.
Today, ONVIF is the one with more members — 296 as of press time. “We have close to 800 products,” said Jonas Andersson, Chairman of ONVIF's Steering Committee and Director of Business Development and Global Sales at Axis Communications. “Consultants have started specifying the standard, which no one could imagine.” Each standard has its own merits. However, as most vendors specialize in video surveillance, they adopted the standard followed by network camera king Axis.
While both ONVIF and PSIA promise to address access control and intrusion, the first iteration of the standards covers getting video from third-party network cameras. Playback, compression and PTZ controls are not yet covered, as each company does things differently.
As end users mix and match cameras, interoperability standards relieve headaches. “Many customers have come to trust the quality and the performance of our products, and will be able to continue doing so as they use their VMS or NVR of choice,” said Steven Sung, Regional Sales Manager of CNB Technology. “We want to be an integral part of the process in making network cameras more available than ever.”
However, technical issues still need to be ironed out. “Real-time streaming protocol is not detailed enough in ONVIF, which is why some cameras display with better quality than others,” said Qiwei Zhang, Assistant Chief Engineer of SAE Electronic. “Equipment in the network is not detected if it goes offline, which is covered in the PSIA standard. We're leaning toward PSIA compliance, as it's a more complete standard.”
Each body has multiple levels of membership; fees are not charged for manufacturers conforming to the standard, while higher-level paying members are involved in writing the specifications. “ONVIF has achieved so much, and it's foolish to expect everything to be perfect from the start,” said Anders Ulle, Communications for Siemens Building Technologies.
“ONVIF doesn't test all devices; it's an honesty game.” The current version of ONVIF is incompatible with past versions, causing great developer consternation. “Future releases of the standard will be backward-compatible,” Andersson said. “We will just add to the standard, not modify it.”
However, each manufacturer will interpret the standard differently to maintain their competitive advantage, making true interoperability elusive. “I was the vice chair of PSIA and saw where the market was going,” said Danny Petkevich, VP of R&D for Next Level Security Systems. “Everyone was doing the same thing. Where the future is and where it is now is taking all the pieces, putting them together and making it easy for people.” Standards are in their infancy, but are a step in the right direction for a highly fragmented industry.
The American market has made an impressive rally in the past year, with fervent hopes that the worst of the downturn is over. Increased funding and healthy domestic demand are spurring an uptick for IP and solutions that deliver cost-saving results. US security is on the rebound, hoping to score big in 2011