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Is your security system ready for the future?

April 17, 2024 by Alistair Enser

A few weeks ago, I ran a survey that asked readers whether they thought facial recognition had a role to play in policing, border control and similar applications.

The survey revealed overwhelming support for the technology, with nearly nine in ten of you (88%) supporting its use, 10% suggesting its use should be paused pending legislation, and only 2% saying the technology should not be used.

Staying safe and increasing efficiency

The results are interesting to me because they demonstrate acceptance of technology that can not only keep us secure, but which provides a massive boost to efficiency. I have written before about how facial recognition technology speeds up border control while providing a level of accuracy of detection that human operators simply cannot match.

What’s more, from a security perspective, video analytics, including pose estimation and behaviour analysis, can now identify emerging situations of concern and alert operators before events spiral out of control – again showing how technology can increase law enforcement efficiency at a time when resources are limited.

A shot in the arm for productivity

More widely, the survey results are interesting to me as they come on the back of the recent announcement that the UK is officially in recession, with two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Gross domestic product fell 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2023 on the back of a 0.1 per cent decline in the third quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Most of the main sectors of the economy fell in the final quarter, with manufacturing, construction and wholesale being the biggest drags on economic growth, according to the ONS.

While some economists describe the recession as a temporary blip more akin to stagnation than a deep recession, it’s undeniable that productivity in the UK remains in the doldrums – the country has not recovered from the economic crash of 2008 and is still below its pre-Covid trend, as the chart below from the Financial Times shows.

Releasing the brakes

Everyone agrees that technology could be a strong contributor to growth. Investment in automation, AI, big data and the cloud could see the UK’s disappointing productivity trendline pick up in a matter of a few years.

Indeed, consultants McKinsey believe the impact of generative AI alone on productivity “could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy,” estimating that it could add the equivalent of $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually.

The UK government knows this. It’s why Prime Minister Sunak devoted so much personal time to the recent Global AI Summit held in the UK. It’s also why the government is so keen to strike a balance between regulating AI and ensuring innovation isn’t squashed in the process.

That dilemma is one we recognise in the security sector, for such is the potential boost from technologies such as AI and Video Analytics that much rides on its successful and widescale adoption. Yes, its use must be ethical, but as the results from my survey show, there is overwhelming support for the technology if used currently.

An eye firmly on the future

At Reliance High-Tech we have our eyes firmly set on the horizon. Because five years from now, the electronic security industry will look dramatically different – in the same way that no one now buys a smartphone for its ability to make calls alone.

Historically, mobile phones ‘made calls’, but today, they are an ecosystem for a multitude of communications and functions, of which voice telephony is but a small percentage of the use. Arguably, the most important part of a cellular contract today is the mobile data allowance, not the number of inclusive phone minutes.

We can expect to see a dramatic transformation in the security sector as the importance of data, and the technology that harnesses it becomes more widely valued. Indeed, the security systems of 2030 may not even be ‘security’ systems, as we know them, but networks of intelligent devices collecting information for separate analysis and to support decision-making, whether for security, health and safety, building occupancy, resource allocation, or business process improvement. Security may become a subset of a wider ecosystem within a shared platform.

2030 is only a few years away. So it’s not too early to ask yourself whether you are using your security technology in the best way possible, and gaining Value Beyond Security. If not, come and talk to Reliance High-Tech to learn how we can ready you for the future and drive your productivity.