The burgeoning residential security business in South Africa is driven by a steady increase in all categories of robbery, particularly violent property crimes. House robberies, as defined by law enforcement, occur when people are confronted by armed gangs while they are in their homes. On average 53 households are attacked each day.
With South Africans increasingly at risk of personal injury and emotional trauma in the place where they should feel safest, demand for security systems, particularly video surveillance systems is on the rise. This is driving persistent, uncompromising innovation in this field. Today’s digital systems have come a long way from the early analogue tube cameras connected to video cassette recorders.
A majority now feature network-linked IP (Internet Protocol) cameras and employ servers for image recording in hybrid or fully digitised systems. Vendors are thus moving away from simple, legacy cameras towards the provision of higher resolution cameras supported by platforms facilitating the plug-in of many other complementary technologies, such as storage, analytics and two-way audio. These systems are capable of monitoring more locations, serving larger geographic areas and delivering clearer images.
The IP video marketplace now teems with new high definition camera options, new software, a variety of wireless communication and diverse control, management and data storage systems. In addition there are analytics solutions capable of recognising potential security breaches, often without human involvement.
Just a few years ago, the ability to provide an end-to-end, fully functioning, IT integrated video surveillance network was a goal that was out of reach for most households. One of the reasons was a lack of willingness among some traditional domestic video surveillance players to readily embrace the digital revolution.
While the IT industry has, to a large extent, made installing IP-linked residential video surveillance systems easier with the introduction of default configurations and templates, the real benefits of modern systems include remote image monitoring, cloud storage of crucial data and images, and the elimination of failures and system interruptions that violate the always-on premise of a security system that demands 24x7 reliability.
Against this backdrop, one of the more recent developments in the residential security systems arena has been the popularisation of wireless data transmission.
Today, wireless technology has advanced to the point where it can out-perform wireline alternatives in most applications, greatly enhancing deployment flexibility while significantly reducing implementation costs.
In this light, IP and the end-to-end wireless solutions that now exist, represent the keys needed to unlock a flood of additional information and situational awareness at an incident spot. Combining video, voice, data and still images will help first response teams make better, more informed decisions in emergencies when time is of the essence.
The need to speedily transmit this data to these teams’ command centres has emphasised the need for high capacity network backbones with secure backhaul links which can be commissioned and managed instantly.
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