Emerging ubiquity

March 2009 News

Remember when we were all worried about how surveillance technologies were going to invade our privacy and usher in the end of the world? Then webcams and YouTube arrived and privacy was something of the past. Spying on others is fun, after all.

How times have changed. I was in a fast food joint the other day and immediately noticed the place did not have any cameras, not even covering the tills. It is so unusual not to see cameras that I noticed the lack immediately and was wondering if I should call an integrator and tell them to approach the franchise.

I did not pass the tip on to anyone, but the experience just shows how accustomed we are to being watched. South Africa may not be in the same league as the UK when it comes to surveillance – for one thing we hope most of the footage taken here is usable – but we are certainly not lacking in the roll out of surveillance technologies.

This year's CCTV Handbook offers readers a glimpse at the technologies and trends that define the surveillance market. From the latest in IP cameras, through to effective video analysis and automated response capabilities, and even cameras that see in the dark or in dusty conditions with zero visibility.

And that is not even touching on high-definition video. If you thought IP video was able to capture good resolution, wait until HD goes mainstream.

The interesting aspect of all this is that the surveillance industry is much like South Africa, still a developing or an emerging market. While CCTV surveillance has been with us for years, we are seeing innovation soaring as IP and other technology is integrated into traditional surveillance. Cameras and related technologies are today making solutions and services we only expected to see in James Bond movies a few years ago a daily occurrence.

Of course, opting for the latest and greatest in technology is not always the most cost-effective solution for a business. That is why the ability to integrate old and new technology is a crucial component of CCTV implementations. Customers locking themselves into a single technology or vendor could end up with yesterday's technology at tomorrow's prices.

Fortunately the CCTV Handbook is here to assist in making good CCTV decisions all year round. In this year's issue you will find a combination of trends, opinions, case studies and technologies to help you make effective decisions in a tough economy.

As always, comments and criticisms are welcome. Feel free to e-mail me at andrew@technews.co.za.

Andrew Seldon



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