Innovations in Intrusion Detection
Recent technological advancements are bringing improved intrusion detection and hosted security capabilities to campuses. Helping drive the momentum is remote monitoring, smart sensors and new graphic user interfaces.
The intrusion market is moving toward integrated, hosted systems. Commercial market customers are looking for solutions that can unite their intrusion, access control and video systems, as well as their fire systems, when applicable. At the same time, they are looking to eliminate hardware to free up cost, plus increase the speed and efficiency of these systems.
Making this all possible are control panel solutions with the ability to integrate multiple functions. It’s a significant development that is proving ideal for those campus security stakeholders who have grown weary of managing separate security and fire/life-safety systems. The result is a growing demand for solutions that are cost-effective, easy to upgrade and operate. As well, installing security contractors are increasingly able to offer campuses a menu of robust services to help campuses better manage their businesses.
As such, some key developments have emerged in the intrusion market geared toward providing this advanced, yet more simplified, approach. Notably, remote monitoring, smart sensors and improved graphic user interfaces are all capabilities hospitals, schools and universities can benefit from in their installations today.
The Power of Remote Monitoring
In the past five years, Web-enabled remote monitoring has been providing homeowners with the capability to check the status of their security systems on Web-enabled devices. But larger, commercial/enterprise installations may need more than the typical remote monitoring system utilized in homes. Not every campus, though, can find the solution most suited to their individual needs.
Options are increasing as Web-based remote monitoring technologies have started to become more attractive in non-residential markets. One of the biggest advancements in this area has been user interface improvements.
Some remote monitoring solutions, for instance, feature dashboard-type interfaces that allow users the ability to see 100 locations using a single log-in. Older solutions required users to log out and then log back in with different credentials in order to access data from multiple sites. This, naturally, was a turn-off for institutions that needed to manage multiple locations. Single log-ins have helped to greatly streamline the process and make the systems much more attractive.
By and large, these dashboard interfaces have become more graphical in nature as well. For example, campus security professionals are now able to use actual images of their facilities as icons to change views. The result is a more personalized look and feel.
Another key advancement has been the improvement of streaming video quality. Specifically, MPEG streaming capabilities have started to replace the typical .JPG refresh format that was used to “stream” video on mobile devices. Video quality was never a mobile device’s biggest strength; however, the MPEG format is offering significant image-quality improvements more suited to the campus user.
Overall, these types of advancements have started to make it easier for institutions to take advantage of the much-talked-about benefits of remote monitoring solutions that homeowners have been enjoying for the past few years. Whereas homeowners want reassurance when their child gets home from school or when their pet is home alone, hospital, school and university protection professionals may want to be assured their institutions are being taken care of when they are off-site.
Sensor Technology Has Many Uses
The ability to receive event notifications is helping raise awareness for remote monitoring services among end users across a range of non-residential market niches.
These notifications can be sent directly to a user’s smartphone, such as a cafeteria manager who may want to be notified when his refrigeration system exceeds a certain temperature. If that temperature is exceeded, a notification could also be sent to the central station. Not only does the manager protect his supplies from spoilage, he even has the freedom to write his own description for event notifications. For instance, he could write “Fridge #1 is above 50 degrees,” based on his personal notification preference.
Asset sensors can be used for any type of object that needs protection. Campuses seeking to protect PCs or monitors, for example, can do so by simply sticking one of the small asset protection devices directly onto the object to be protected. When the object is moved, the asset sensor is triggered and a message can be sent to the central station, as well as to the security manager’s smartphone via the remote service platform.