CCTV isn’t just CCTV anymore

April 2018 News

Sometimes it seems as if the world of surveillance is similar to the world of IT programming. Companies don’t want to hire new staff with no experience, nor do they want to spend the money training staff to learn new technologies, nor do they want to mentor and coach them to gain experience in the ‘real world’. Instead, it seems many companies out there want to hire 20-year-olds at an entry-level salary, but expect their new hire to have 20 years’ work experience under their belt.

Today, to know your stuff in the surveillance world, you need to be a specialist in CCTV, storage, networking, integration and lately, artificial intelligence if you want to be known as an expert. And that’s before you start talking about risk assessments or get to the control room where there are other skills you need.

We operate in a world of contradictions. Today, it is easier than ever to set up an IP surveillance system, the built-in software does most of the work apart from actually placing the cameras in position (which requires additional skills to know how to install them and also where they should be installed). But at the same time, the whole process is also more complex because there is so much one can do with these systems today. Point and record may work on your cellphone, it doesn’t work in surveillance.

And while artificial intelligence may be a game changer, its real impact is something we will see happening in the future. The industry is still feeling its way around the whole AI thing. One example is the much touted ‘deep learning’, which is going to have a profound impact on the surveillance world, but maybe not yet. One company tested some products from a vendor and couldn’t say enough good things about the results; they were sold. Another company tested the same product range from the same brand and basically said the vendor was ripping them off because nothing worked as promised. In fact, they said the new products were worse than older, non-AI video analytics from the same vendor.

Is it a case of one party knowing the products well enough to make them work instead of expecting them to be perfect ‘out-of-the-box’? Perhaps the two environments they were tested in were totally different? Maybe the products weren’t designed for the South Africa sunshine? There are many options and many solutions to the same problem. One of the problems all vendors face is making their complex technologies easy to use.

This year’s CCTV Handbook once again takes a look at what is happening in the world of surveillance, from the latest artificial intelligence solutions, through to the thermals, lighting and perimeter solutions and more. We only have 104 pages so we can’t cover all there is to cover in the surveillance world, but we have tried to address a broad range of issues.

The Hi-Tech Security Solutions team hopes you enjoy the handbook and we welcome feedback, positive or negative, as it helps steer us in the right direction for future publications. Please send any comments you have to andrew@technews.co.za

Andrew Seldon

Editor


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