Asian video surveillance and security market would continue to see the impact of COVID-19 in 2021, but a major focus would be on getting things back on track.
The year 2020 brought unprecedented changes to almost all industries worldwide. Understandably, in 2021, a lot of effort would focus on getting things back on track. But a few changes that COVID-19 prompted could have a long-term effect. Full or partial work-from-home, for instance, may continue to be the new normal for many companies. Obsession with sanitization is another trend as the pandemic has created a bigger awareness of microbes.
All such changes are going to have an impact on the security industry. In 2020, we already saw thermal cameras becoming a common device. As employees worked remotely, cybersecurity became a concern. There were fewer office buildings to protect but more computers to secure. And face recognition-based access control became more popular as people wanted to avoid touching any device.
This article explores the security technology and market trends for 2021 in APAC with inputs from some of the biggest companies working in this region.
Also read: Global video surveillance technology trends for 2021
1.The threat of COVID-19 to continue influence on the market
We are in a new year, but the pandemic threat is far from over. Asia is in a better position for economic recovery than most. Goldman Sach’s Andrew Tilton attributes Asia’s preferential footing to its “good control of the virus.”
While Asia is eager to springboard its economy into recovery, the threat of a second wave of infections is always there, as can be seen from what is happening in other continents. Benjamin Low, VP for APAC at Milestone Systems, points out that this continuing threat has resulted in customers looking to integrate advanced software and hardware components providing next-level capabilities for AI, facial recognition, machine learning, robotics, and much more
As the pandemic remains a concern, we may see thermal cameras being used this year as well. The use of facial recognition-based access control and other low-touch solutions may also continue.
2.Higher acceptance of security technology
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the public accept the necessity of security technology in today’s world. There is an increased awareness about solutions such as thermal cameras for fever detection, video analytics to ensure social distancing, crowd management, etc. A study by Milestone Systems in Singapore had shown similar results.
“I was encouraged when the results of our study showed that eight in ten Singaporeans are receptive to the usage of video technology, such as thermal imaging cameras and crowd management video analytics,” Low said. “The study also found that having knowledge of the benefits of video technology and the privacy measures being put in place is key to gaining acceptance. This tells us that there can be a pick-up in public support for the use of tech monitoring measures, should public trust be assured that their data will be protected.”
The change of perceptions we see in Singapore gives us a glimpse into what to expect for video surveillance in the wider APAC region, especially
as we see more video deployments being rolled out to support Asia’s economic rebound.
3.IP hardware developments
Subramaniam Jeeva, Director of Service and Retrofit Sales in APAC at Johnson Controls, expects more AI capability in the edge of IP camera hardware and the ability to support much higher internal storage with improved chips and reduced overall cost of manufacturing.
Speaking along similar lines, Greg Luo, Marketing Product Director at Hikvision Digital Technology, added that IP cameras would continue to render high-quality images and be more intelligent.
“In the SMB market, economic IP cameras will have more functionalities offering more value to the end users,” Luo said. “We will provide installers and other customers with cost-effective products featuring high-definition imaging, 24/7 color, and certain intelligent functions, as well as make the products more user-friendly. In the industry markets, more sophisticated IP cameras with edge intelligence will be gradually applied and integrated into industry solutions.”
4.APAC slow to adopt cloud but AI popular
Jeeva believes that cloud storage adaptation in Asia is slow because of customer concerns about cybersecurity and government regulations on the cloud having to be hosted locally. It is likely to take a few more years to be adopted in Asia. There is also the fact that a vast majority of APAC countries are still struggling to offer uninterrupted internet connectivity in all areas, which is necessary for cloud storage to work.
On the other hand, AI-based solutions could see more takers as customers try to get more out of their security systems. The next development phase would be related to specific human behavior and traffic. For instance, cameras would be able to detect people fighting, being in mobs, or having guns, vehicle collision, or type of vehicle.
“Incorporation of deep learning, as well as improvement on the current AI performance, is expected from vendors,” Jeeva added. “This improves the quality of performance and reduces false alarms, helping customers to have more confidence in deploying these solutions.”
Luo said that edge computing has become more popular for cameras as it may help “putt AI everywhere.”
“Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), automated event alert, people counting, heat mapping, illegal parking detection, and hard hat detection, as well as a number of other AI applications, are becoming popular in the security market,” Luo said. “With increased edge computing and optimized AI algorithms, it will become normal to see security cameras shoulder more intelligent tasks in the near future to help improve security in local communities and efficiency of data systems.”
The key takeaway is that while pandemic-induced changes will continue to impact the APAC security market significantly, there will be a concentrated effort to overcome the challenges and move forward
The macroeconomic conditions are not encouraging at this point, but this could prompt governments to step in with stimulus plans that could result in more investments. AI-enabled security technology would help lower costs and increase efficiency, which is just what the market needs now.