Technology is moving so fast it can be difficult to keep up with it. The beginning of a new year is a good time to look at how technology has affected the security industry and influenced trends for the coming year. And because innovation is also the product of environment, security trends for 2021 have also been shaped by some of the unique demands of the previous year — especially those that stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some more additions to the commercial security systems landscape that are on the horizon for 2021:
Enhanced CCTV Options
Long recognized as one of the most effective and versatile ways to safeguard property, assets, and people, CCTV has even more security-related possibilities when paired with other sophisticated technologies. Enhanced CCTV options can monitor compliance with COVID-related public health measures such as physical distancing and the wearing of masks in public places as mandated.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Used in tandem with CCTV, AI is predicted to play a key role in the evolution of security options in 2021. Whereas CCTV records and monitors, AI gives it the ability to learn from situations where suspicious activity has been noted, triggering automated decisions and actions such as sending notifications to responders, sounding alarms, or blocking access to certain individuals.
Increasingly sophisticated AI will use facial recognition to spot individuals who have been flagged previously to prevent them entering a property. It can also cross-check the identity of anyone entering a protected area by comparing their facial features with the information held on a key card to better manage sensitive access.
IoT-Powered Virtual Receptionists
The need for flexible spaces, including shared co-working environments, is increasing exponentially, largely resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Flexible work spaces require flexible security solutions. This opens the door for virtual receptionists that rely on the IoT (Internet of Things) to connect door locks, control access, manage HVAC and lighting controls, conference room schedules, switchboards, and more—eventually creating a fully-integrated, virtually-controlled workplace based on flexible security solutions.
Digitalization has led the way throughout the pandemic, helping residential and corporate clients manage a new world of restrictions and lockdowns. This has pushed touchless technologies to the forefront—a trend that got an initial toehold in 2020 from the industry’s desire to provide healthier, safer security solutions that is expected to continue to lead the industry in 2021 to continue to curb the spread of infection.
Touchless entry that relies on Bluetooth or NFC-powered technology is predicted to see an increase in popularity as the public demands more and more contactless solutions.
For example, iris recognition, especially when combined with thermal imaging cameras, is a safe, accurate contactless technology that is also expected to grow exponentially in 2021. This dual access system will not only protect the property and assets from unauthorized entry, but will also note individuals seeking to enter who may have an elevated temperature, which is a symptom of COVID-19 and other illnesses…thus protecting the people within the premises as well.
Interestingly, security-related trends that are emerging for 2021 will continue to protect property and assets from unauthorized entry, but will also begin to protect the people on the premises from possible illness and disease as well.