Scanners in cinemas and train stations? Yes, there is a need in India

Scanners in cinemas and train stations? Yes, there is a need in India
Given the different security concerns in India, certain solutions are needed in more verticals here than they are in other countries. In this article, we explore some such applications that may be unique to the subcontinent. 

From a broad perspective, security requirements across the globe can seem similar. For instance, surveillance cameras are necessary wherever there is a chance of crime, and wherever there is a need to keep an eye on what is happening. Access control solutions are required wherever there is a need to control entry. Alarms are required where there are buildings or people gathering because fire can happen anywhere.

But within such requirements, we can find certain regions, because of their unique circumstances, demanding more of certain solutions, or unique applications of certain solutions. In this article, we take a look at some such needs that the Indian market has.

Metal detectors

In most developed economies, metal detector frames are or were common at airport security checking points. Many, like the U.S., have over the past years moved on to full-body scanners that can provide a more non-intrusive scanning process of passengers. Although India also plans to follow this in 2019, for now, metal detectors are the norm.

The interesting thing, however, is that metal detectors are mandatory not just in airports here. Hotels in major cities have metal scanners for people and luggage. So do malls, metro and train stations, cinemas, and even some trade show venues. In many places like metro stations, the scanning frames are followed by hand-held scanners as well. Research reports suggest that India is one of the fastest growing markets for equipment like tunnel-style metal detectors, after the likes of North America and China.

From early 2019, the Indian government plans to employ full-body scanners based on the millimeter wave technology. Reports indicate that these will have to be customized for Indian conditions such as the ethnic clothing that people tend to wear. As of December end, airports in major cities like Bangalore and Mumbai are awaiting final confirmation from the government, post which they will look for original equipment manufacturers (OEM). There is currently one used as an option at the New Delhi airport that was procured from a German manufacturer.

Home surveillance cameras

Of course, this is not unique to India, home surveillance systems are becoming more and more popular as the concept of smart homes picks up. What is different in India, though, is a specific use of it. In many other countries, “nanny cams”, which are used to monitor a caregiver’s work is common, but the number of people who have a need for such a solution is small in relation to the larger population.

In India, especially among the urban middle-class population, the use of maids is an extremely common practice. These may be full-time maids who stay with a family or part-timers who would work a few hours at a home. This has always come with safety concerns, especially related to theft, damage to property, and in cases where children or elderly need to be taken care of, their well-being.

Before the popularity of security cameras for homes, people in India have made use of webcams that were left turned on the whole day. These feeds were not accessible remotely then, especially given the lack of adequate internet infrastructure. But now, with the arrival of DIY surveillance cameras for homes, people can monitor feeds from anywhere with equipment that can be placed on a bookshelf. Although no research data specific to this solution is available, major players in the market have indicated that at present,  residential security accounts for only a minuscule part of the total security market in India, which shows the potential for growth.

Employee transportation services

With more and more people working night shifts in the country and public safety continuing to remain a challenge, the Indian government has come up with certain mandates for private companies. Employees, especially female employees, must be provided a safe cab service if they are required to commute in the late evenings or early mornings.

This rule has brought about the growth of the cab-service industry for private companies in recent years. While the rules mandate several things like a dedicated guard who will be in the vehicle making sure that the female employees are not the first to be picked up and last to be dropped off, etc., a technological demand that has come up is the need for GPS solution in the cabs.

Reports suggest that the Indian vehicle telematics market is expected to touch US$300 million by 2021. To put this in perspective, the global market for the same is expected to reach $113 billion to $230 billion by 2022. The Indian government has been mulling over making GPS tracking mandatory for commercial vehicles for a while and has finally given an ultimatum that all public vehicles registered from the beginning of this year will have to have GPS and panic buttons.

The state of public safety has also given rise to several mobile apps that cater to women’s safety. These include apps that can share cab ride details with friends, send SOS messages, and provide insights into the safety situation in specific parts of a city at a specific time of the day.
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