Welcome to the Smart Living Handbook. While this handbook is not the normal size of our handbooks, it is still packed full of information about the security issues and solutions estates and homes in southern Africa face (with more published online).
While there are still almost endless technologies that estates can use to improve their security, one of the trends that has become apparent is that estates want more from their security and their security integrators. We have talked about integrated solutions for years, and this has never been more important in a world where the public authorities are unwilling or unable to handle the crime situation (as the last official crime statistics show, as if we needed to be told that).
However, not only are we seeing estates opting for more integrated solutions from a security perspective, they are also increasingly looking to get a ‘full service’ from a single supplier. Currently this applies primarily to the larger estates with larger budgets, but we will see the trend moving into smaller estates and complexes in the future – as long as the system integrators can deliver.
Interestingly enough, some are also looking at their same security suppliers to provide other, non-security services in the same contract. One simply needs to look at some of the services offered by the big players in the market to see how operational functions are being bundled with security, often using the same technology for multiple purposes.
What is interesting is to see how many camera manufacturers are making better use of the processing power within cameras to integrate more of these traditionally non-security functions into their cameras, to allow users to extract extra value from them without losing the security functionality they expect.
On the technical front, we are seeing more devices being incorporated into the management platforms used by estates and monitored on a constant basis. This ranges from surveillance cameras that are not only monitored for the video feeds they provide, but the system does automatic health checks on the cameras to provide early warnings of possible problems, reducing downtime.
Of course, the IoT trend extends beyond cameras to electric fencing and other security systems, as well as other ‘things’ that estates need to keep an eye on, such as water levels, temperature fluctuations in generator systems and, increasingly, the status of solar installations. Having technology monitor technology has become more common and the results are, as noted, early warnings, more efficient delivery of SLAs, and over time the estates can gain a proper overview of how their technology performs and which brands are worth their price tag.
These are some of the issues we will be discussing at the Residential Security Conference later this year (see www.resc.co.za for more Information on the conference).</a> for more Information on the conference).
I hope you enjoy the handbook and, as always, comments, criticisms and ideas on how we can improve it are welcome at [email protected].
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