Steve Lasky is the Editorial Director of Security Technology Executive, Security Dealer & Integrator and SecurityInfoWatch.com. At the GSX event in Las Vegas this fall he sat down with Tim Palmquist, VP Americas for Milestone Systems to talk about some potential disruptors in the physical security industry and what Tim is prognosticating for the future. Here are some excerpts…
Steve: Tim, what do you think about the show so far?
Tim: Well in all candor, my sense is it’s a slower volume show and sort of expected. We have these situations when technology matures in the marketplace and becomes a little less interesting. What we need is some good old-fashioned technology disruption to light it up and make it more appealing. I think in general that’s what the marketplace has an appetite for.
Steve: What have you considered disruptors over the last five years that have impacted the industry and maybe will continue to do so?
Tim: At our partner event in February this year we talked about machine learning and AI as we believe that’s the next big change that could forever disrupt the status quo in our industry. I think that’ll be really interesting. It will also take several years to play out. And it will come in lots of different forms. Tomorrow we’ll talk a lot more about data and the value of that data and what we can do with that data.
Until we can automate that process and augment the human operator with all the information in a way that we can utilize on a day to day basis, then it will feel more like the old and less like the new. Now we have the capability to automate and to take advantage of harvesting a lot of the data we’ve otherwise left untouched. I think that will create a catalyst for change.
Steve: When you’re dealing with all that data now, you’ve got so many disparate pipelines that data’s coming in through. In the public safety sector, you’ve got this myriad of new video outputs on dashcams and body cameras and you’re looking at forensic analytics. So you’ve got one sector that’s really pushing and crying out for analytic situational awareness and some way to aggregate and analyze that data. In other sectors, like the corporate sector or critical infrastructure, is the influx of data coming in through the pipeline as rapidly as it is in public safety?
Tim: I think it’s a good question. And there’s an easy example in the innovation we see with one of our partners called BriefCam. They’re able to distill down a lot of data very quickly to get to a specific query result, and they’re building elements of machine learning into their software. The innovation is really interesting and that’s just one example.
I think this technology change will take some time to play out over the next several years. We intend to track that and watch it and be part of that. And see more examples like we’re seeing coming from BriefCam show up in other developments as well.
Steve: Look also at standardization as something that technology folks and users are talking about: you’ve got this ongoing kind of tug-of-war between UL and NIST standards when it comes to the video. You got any input on that battlefront?
Tim: Well I think that will continue to play out and always be a problem, but as we build tools that can ingest data from multiple sources independent of format – of any standardization – I think that’s a requirement. I don’t think we can rely on standards to really structure that data. Instead, we need to make tools that are more nimble and adaptable to all the different formats in the marketplace, because it’s not just related to security. There’re so many other elements that we can’t touch with our own standards, and we have to be prepared to deal with that data as well.
Steve: Perfect segue into the fact that in this IOT environment, everything’s a sensor now so we’re talking about smart cities. We’re not talking just about security. We’re talking about smart lighting, about transportation sequencing, about a lot of things that go beyond. But at the end of the day everything’s a sensor that’s inputting data, and it’s got to be digested and analyzed and put into proactive use. How do you see that churning out in the next several years?
Tim: I think it will be really fascinating. If you look outside our industry in the consumer market, at products we see out of California or other west coast companies, Amazon just released a ton of new technology, very much related to smart home. We see the same thing from Google with the Nest products. We see it with the Ring products. I think that innovation on the consumer side will propagate, and we’ll be confronted with more and more similar types of technology that’ll provoke us to think in all kinds of new ways and allow us to address old challenges in new ways.
Steve: Very good. Tim, we appreciate your insights as always and we invite our audience to check back with us for our periodical podcasts on SecurityInfoWatch.com. Thank you very much.