What lies ahead in 2018?

Article by Andrew Seldon, Hi-Tech Security Solutions magazine (February 2018)

The start of a new year always brings predictions of what we can expect to see happening in the coming year, and this year is no different. To find out what the physical security industry is expecting in 2018, Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked a few of the leading players what they expect and how they see the year panning out in South and southern Africa.

To keep thing simple, we asked our interviewees three questions. Below are the answers we received. Feel free to email Hi-Tech Security Solutions at andrew@technews.co.za and let us know if you agree or disagree, or if you feel there is something important missing in these answers.

In general, what trends, changes, opportunities and challenges do you see for the security industry in 2018?

Vaughn Tempelhoff, Forbatt SA: In general, there are quite a few challenges that come to mind. The most prominent are manufactures across the world seeing the South African market as a dynamic market with loads of potential and business opportunities. Products are being flooded throughout the industry into the hands of companies that do not have the capabilities to support these products. One can see security products surfacing in flea markets, classified platforms such as Gumtree and other marketing media.

This impacts the industry in a detrimental way, affecting the credibility of service provides, us as manufacturers and agents, and last but not the least, the end-user who has paid for a product that has now become a white elephant.

I believe we should clean up the industry. This can only be achieved by supporting credible service providers, distributors, agents and manufacturers.

Walter Rautenbach, neaMetrics & Suprema SA: The security industry will continue its efforts in integrating and incorporating trends, such as IoT, IDot, mobile credentials, the cloud, mobile biometrics, BOYD, BYOID, VR, AI, machine learning, advanced analytics and business intelligence, but enough with all the terms. 2018 is the time to really bring it all together and make it work to truly extract the value (beyond the nice-to-haves) it promised consumers in the beginning. Security products have been commoditised and the true disruptors will be those that make them sing and dance to the same rhythm.

The view of integrated security in itself is not new, but the past few years saw the value of integration forgotten in market conditions were cautious consumers hung on to each buck, not even budging (or budgeting) for standalone products, never mind integrated security solutions. With pressing market conditions, price instead of total operating cost became a valid excuse to check off the security checklist and to make the long-term value the next manager’s problem. System integrators and installers alike felt this price pressure and were scraping around for margin.

In 2018 we foresee consumers making better choices for their money and opting for solutions that don’t just satisfy an immediate need, but that offer long-term benefits and expandability. We are looking forward to a year where technology just works and where system integration is more than just fancy cabling or sales terminology.

Tim Timmins, Electronic Specialised Solutions, G4S Secure Solutions (SA): From an electronic point of view, I see the surveillance industry getting stronger and stronger with video analytics, especially with camera manufacturers making camera edge software more powerful and thus having distributed intelligence.

In the access control industry biometrics is big in the South African market where fingerprint technology has dominated, however, we are seeing a shift to facial recognition readers, especially as the cost of the technology is coming down.

More and more monitoring in the cloud is being offered globally and I can see this catching on in South Africa during 2018.

Gus Brecher, Cathexis Africa: In no particular order:

  1. Increased interest and development in video analytics. This includes learning algorithms (deep learning) and the use of algorithms in retail environments. The hype is still over-stated in this regard, but basic perimeter detection algorithms are now mature and working well. There is also a shift towards the edge, but as algorithms become more sophisticated, so does processing requirements, which limits the potential of edge solutions.
  2. Integrated solutions (e.g. video surveillance integrated with AC, fire, intrusion etc.).
  3. Cybersecurity focus.
  4. Cloud-based solution considerations (limited for video surveillance because of bandwidth considerations) and VSaaS (video surveillance as a service).

Armand Steffens, Milestone Systems Southern Africa: Increasing productivity will be a trend. Demands for increased safety are rising, we are adding more cameras and, at the same time, we need to improve the return on investment. This means that non-digital security systems will be challenged as they do not have the ability to present video as data.

We will see more focus on cybersecurity, as more of our personal and business details are being stored on cloud servers and used by third-parties. At the same time, there will be an increased focus on privacy, at least in Europe, thanks to the coming EU legislation. On the device side, we will see a trend towards a much more diverse spectrum of device types – body-worn cameras will just be a part of it.

The trend for large-scale integration in applications like smart cities will continue. We expect a focus change here as safe cities will be a rapidly emerging trend. We are going to see smart industries, intelligent buildings and maybe the first smart nation.

Johlene Selemela, ZKTeco South Africa: Everyone will be gravitating towards AI (artificial intelligence). AI is made possible through machine learning algorithms, which will be incorporated in a variety of applications. AI is set to feature in almost every new platform, app or device, and that trend is only going to accelerate.

We now need to consider biometrics as a foolproof security system that can ensure that your information is kept safe and away from intruders, which is a great opportunity for the security industry. But, with change in technology systems comes the threat of people trying to override the system. This serves as a challenge for companies within the security industry to come up with better and safer systems and devices. This year, developers and engineers are getting ready to make a new generation of Internet possible. By the end of 2019, 5G networks and phones will be available. 5G Internet has the potential to be almost 10 times faster than 4G, making it even better than most home Internet services.

Roy Alves, Axis Communications: A move to the edge. Two trends of recent years that have become familiar – cloud computing and the Internet of Things – have delivered undeniable benefits to businesses and consumers alike. But, they also come with implications: namely the huge increase in the amount of data being transferred from connected devices to the data centre for processing and storage, and the associated bandwidth needed.

Edge computing alleviates this issue by performing data processing at the ‘edge’ of the network, near the source of the data. Doing so significantly reduces the bandwidth needed between sensors and devices and the data centre. A further drive towards edge computing relates to potential concerns around data integrity and privacy: anonymising and creating encrypted data within the device at the edge before it is transferred to the data centre will be a likely response to these concerns. As network cameras, audio and other sensors – the devices on the edge of the network – become ever more sophisticated and of higher quality, the need to balance both cloud computing and edge computing domains will be imperative to deliver refined, reliable and usable data.

In addition, as it did last year, cybersecurity must appear on the list of trends for the next 12 months and beyond. The constant enhancement of cybersecurity will be a never-ending task, because well-resourced cybercriminals will never stop looking to exploit vulnerabilities in any new technology. And as the number of connected devices grows exponentially, so too do the potential flaws that, if left unaddressed, could provide the opportunity for networks to be breached, ransomware to be planted or, more simply, costly downtime to occur. 2018 will no doubt see more attacks and vulnerabilities exposed. The answer is proactivity and a systematic process for ensuring that patches are implemented as soon as they are available. Cybersecurity is not a onetime thing, it is a lifelong process.

Lastly, personalisation vs. privacy. One of the potential applications for deep learning could be in the delivery of highly personalised services. Imagine a retail environment where a customer’s face is recognised upon entering a store and then offers are pushed to their mobile device based on previous purchases, preferences, or even their recent browsing -history. But then, just because something can be done doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be, and this example immediately highlights increasing concerns around privacy, and how personal data is being used by businesses and other organisations.

Legislation is being created to address these concerns. In the European Union, the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In SA, we know this as PoPI – the deadline for compliance which is May 2018 – will unify the protection of data for individuals within the EU, wherever that data is held or used.

Whether motivated by legislation or simply wanting to do the right thing by customers and citizens, balancing increased personalisation with the protection of an individual’s data and privacy will be a tightrope all organisations will walk this coming year.

Specific to your company and the field you operate in, what trends, changes, opportunities and challenges do you see for the security industry in 2018?

Timmins: G4S is driving an integrated approach to security, offering consultancy and risk management, system design and integration, technology and software, analytics and intelligence, manned and mobile security and monitoring and response as a one-stop -solution. Clients like the fact they are getting all their security needs from one company.

Brecher: Everything I mentioned above. We are focusing on higher-end enterprise solutions and architecture changes in order to enable us to embrace the cloud and VSaaS. We are also focusing on data integrity and ongoing integration as well as ongoing improvements in operational considerations for large sites and multiple enterprise solutions.

Steffens: At Milestone, we will, of course, focus on increasing productivity. The amount of digital video to keep us safe and protect assets is rising sharply, data from sensors and alarm information are being added, in order to give a better situational awareness.

The only way to handle all the visual data is to be cleverer and get help from intelligent video management systems that enable the operators to take better decisions faster and hopefully avoid incidents. The ability to react faster to any incident will limit the impact and the cost of handling the incident. The ability to avoid the incident thanks to predictive abilities in the VMS would be even better.

Intelligent learning technologies are now bringing video content analysis and advancing video content analysis far beyond the capabilities of legacy rule-based analytics systems. Today, rather than just evaluate a few pre-defined situations, intelligent learning video technology can learn directly from the video about an object and their normal relations and behaviour. The system will then be able to alert the operator to unusual activities with a qualified recommendation. This will lead to better-informed decisions and higher efficiency.

In the longer term, we believe these learning abilities will lead to predictive systems alerting the operator before an incident might happen. This will, of course, be a major time-saver.

Alves: On a local front, we see all of the above trends very much part of our business, for example, moving more of our analytics to the edge. Cameras are themselves becoming far more intelligent with much more computing power to run sophisticated analytics instead of rather streaming the video content back to a server, these decisions are being made on the field devices, storage as well is now being done on the camera with the ability to install micro SD memory cards in cameras. Of course, the technology has been there for some time, but we are starting to see a trend towards having the video recorded on the device as well as the server as failover.

Cybersecurity is becoming part of our everyday lives with it being so prominent in most of our media, affecting people from every walk of life. The challenge we see in our industry is one of education, there seems to be very little thought when implementing intelligent network devices on networks as to whether they pose a threat to that user, even in some instances the default username and password is used when handing over a system or simply a basic password is used.

How do you expect the security market to perform in 2018? How should security companies, from vendors to integrators and installers prepare in order to succeed in the SA security market this year?

Tempelhoff: There are quite a few positives brewing in the SA economy with a lot to look forward to. This cannot help but stimulate spending and restore consumer faith. Security is generally regarded as a grudge purchase; however, it is something we cannot be without. In the coming year, we are again focusing on taking our brands to market with the emphasis on supporting our partners with sufficient stockholding. There is nothing more frustrating than to not have a continued and sufficient supply of stock when you need it.

Rautenbach: The security market’s growth has constantly been outperforming general economic growth and we don’t believe this will change anytime soon. We do, however, see a looming improvement in the economy and we believe that the security market will not only follow this but exceed economic growth rates. Our renewed focus on training, certification and channel quality will make life a bit uncomfortable for those who skimp while benefitting those interested in sustainable business practices and who do justice to the brand. Continuous product improvement, more flexibility, integration and responsiveness in all aspects will remain our focus.

Timmins: From a G4S outlook, the second half of 2017 finished strong and I can only see this continuing into 2018. One area that I think is affected is the distribution market, as more manufacturers are going direct and getting a bad name because of it.

Brecher: While Cathexis is continuing on our fantastic growth in South Africa and Africa, I think the market will continue to be a bit depressed in general. The threat of low-cost solutions from the East is a real one which has a negative effect on the whole channel, including vendors, distributors and installers as their margins are squeezed. It also means that less reliable product is being supplied to the end-users (and opens up doors to more ‘fly-by-night’ operators entering the market), which has the potential to negatively tarnish the industry in general. The players need to make sure that the value of premium products, improved product functionality, reliability, support, data integrity and long-term cost-of-ownership are effectively communicated to the marketplace.

Steffens: We expect the market to be in a learning phase with an increased emphasis on lowering total cost of ownership. Now is the time to abandon standalone analogue systems and move into the digital age. For us, the community approach is important and we truly believe that solo-solutions will be seriously challenged in 2018.

Selemela: Security is the most important part of every entity in the world. Whether you are at home or in a shopping mall, on the road, your security is priority. If proper security is not in place, then assets are at risk. Whether you are a tech-savvy individual or just an ordinary consumer, one will always look forward to the technology developments and trends that lie ahead in the future, so definitely the security market will still perform well and the markets will improve.

Alves: Like all industries in SA, 2018 will be tough but not impossible. Security spending every year is increasing and the need for security seems to be growing on a global scale. We also see a shift to using security devices to complement physical manpower, not to replace, but reduce the manpower component. Looking back on 2017, what has made a positive change is understanding the ¬customer’s needs. In addition, being better equipped in terms of positioning your company as a solutions business rather than a products business will most definitely have a positive impact. End-customers are wanting a solution to their problem. With companies wanting to tighten their belts and better manage their operations by increasing their efficiencies, we see a trend of cameras being deployed as a business tool while still providing security.

Thank you for the article Andrew!

Jean Brown, Sensor Security Systems


Sensor Training

Sensor Security Systems regards training as a critical aspect of one of our duties as a Distributor and therefore we have gone to great lengths to upgrade our training standards by implementing the following:

  1. Introduction to CCTV and IP Surveillance course:

Sensor has reached an agreement with IPTech Training, where, by making use of a voucher system, we can give access to an online course to both our personnel and clients.

In short: Sensor will, upon your registration to the course with us, provide you with a coupon which will allow you access to the online course. This will cost you R 200-00.

Upon successful completion of the course and examination, you will be awarded with a certificate. Once you present this certificate to us, your R 200-00 will be refunded back to you (this only applies to people who are registered with Sensor and support us on an ongoing basis).

Registration forms can be downloaded from our website under the heading “Training”, or requested from any Sensor sales consultant.

  1. Advanced in-house training:

Sensor will provide advanced, in-depth training to clients where they will spend a full day with both internal, as well as external security industry knowledge leaders. This course is designed to be of the highest standard in our industry.

You will be welcomed into this course once the following criteria have been met:

  1. You have successfully passed the online courses mentioned in Point 1.
  2. You have registered and paid the course fee of R 500-00 (ex VAT) into our account and sent the proof of payment through to us.

These course dates will be announced as soon as we have enough candidates (10 people per seating) confirmed and will take place throughout South Africa.

  1. Certification Courses (Hikvision & Bosch):

 These courses are conducted by the Manufacturers themselves and are the final steps in elevating your product and industry knowledge. By partaking in one, or both of these courses, you stand more of a chance of being successful when it comes to large Tenders and you can show that you have been on one of these specialised courses.

In order to qualify to be a part of these courses, you will need to complete both the online courses, as well as the advanced course.

The cost of this course will be covered by Sensor.

  1. Ad Hoc training

 Sensor offers training in special circumstances when it comes to new products on the market. Requests for such training must be sent through to our Head of Technical for approval.

The above is beneficial to Sensor, the industry and all our clients.

How secure is your security device

New IVMS 4200 V2.03 released by Hikvision

The new IVMS 4200 V2.03 can be installed on a 32bit and 64bit Windows OS.

For the 32bit the limit of memory still remains 1.35GB.

However for the 64bit OS, there is no more limit to memory usage, which means the IVMS 4200 will run more smoothly and have a more stable work flow when using a 64bit OS.

Please see the link to new IVMS 4200 as below



PLENA matrix digital sound system

Bosch introduces the next generation of background music and public address systems. The Bosch PLENA Matrix Digital Sound System is faster to install and set up, easy to use and control, and the PLENA Matrix will deliver outstanding audio performance in any small-to-medium-sized installation requiring up to eight zones of sound distribution. Add to that lower running costs with the automatic standby mode, extended product lifetime and zone control options.

plena matrix

Some of the features and benefits include:

  • Complete DSP 8-zone matrix mixer and loudspeaker processor with full-featured DSP capabilities through an intuitive interface.
  • Wireless control via Apple iOS app, or Windows PC GUI and wall control panels.
  • Four microphone/line inputs, call station input, three RCA music inputs and up to eight mixed outputs.
  • 4-channel power amplifiers (100 V/70 V/8 /4 Ω output) with DSP processing, input mixing and AMP link.
  • Standby mode can be engaged manually or automatically with motion sensors in each zone.
  • 8-zone call station with capacitive touch buttons and programmable zone selection.
  • Engineered with precision, designed for reliability.
  • Optimum acoustic performance


Bosch starlight range

With the starlight family, Bosch offers a new quality standard in round-the-clock video surveillance. Regardless of lighting conditions, time-of-day or object movement, starlight cameras deliver relevant IP video 24/7. They produce colour images in the dark beyond the point where other cameras have switched to monochrome images. Where others show no image at all, the starlight cameras still deliver detailed monochrome images.


All starlight cameras offer light sensitivity, wide dynamic range and superb front and backlight compensation. The starlight cameras capture images up to 5 megapixel resolution even under extreme low-light conditions. The latest sensor technology, combined with the sophisticated noise suppression, results in an amazing sensitivity.

With an incredibly high frame rate of up to 60 frames per second, you can capture fast moving objects in high resolution.

Depending on the camera model, starlight technology enables capturing of highly detailed colour images in scenes with minimum ambient light, even down to 0.00825 lx. When light levels even drop to 0.00275 lx the starlight cameras provide highly detailed 1080p monochrome images, where others typically fail to deliver an image at all.


Turbo your analogue

Analogue CCTV users can now enjoy HD resolution while safeguarding their investment in existing cabling infrastructure with Hikvision’s Turbo HD Analogue. This technology supports latency-free 1080p HD over up-to 500 metres of coaxial cable and offers seamless compatibility with traditional SD cameras, Hikvision IP cameras and HDTVI-compliant cameras and DVRs. At launch, the Turbo HD product family consists of a 32-strong range of Hikvision DVRs and 720p/1080p cameras, including bullet, dome, PTZ dome, turret, varifocal, vandalproof and low-light units.

The Hikvision Turbo HD product family is based on HDTVI (High Definition Transport Video Interface) technology and is suited to upgrading existing standard definition systems at low cost. It retains the ease-of-use of an analogue system while offering up to 1080p HD video output.

Turbo your analogue

All Hikvision Turbo HD products adhere to the HDTVI open standard, which guarantees trouble-free connection to other HDTVI-compliant cameras and DVRs. The Hikvision Turbo HD DVRs can also connect with traditional SD analogue cameras and all Hikvision Turbo HD cameras can access third-party DVRs equipped with HDTVI technology from other manufacturers.

All Hikvision Turbo HD products adhere to the HDTVI open standard, which guarantees trouble-free connection to other HDTVI-compliant cameras and DVRs. The Hikvision Turbo HD DVRs can also connect with traditional SD analogue cameras and all Hikvision Turbo HD cameras can access third-party DVRs equipped with HDTVI technology from other manufacturers.

The Hikvision Turbo HD DVR offers simultaneous connections to network, analogue and Turbo HD cameras, auto-detecting the incoming signal and recording accordingly. This means that existing systems can be upgraded simply by replacing the current cameras and DVR while new areas may be covered with the addition of IP network cameras.

HDTVI technology guarantees up to 500 m of high quality and reliable transmission at 720p / 1080p via coaxial cable. A conventional analogue solution will struggle to achieve this resolution while HD-SDI solutions are limited in terms of long distance capability. In addition, the Turbo HD Analogue solution supports UTC for remote set up and configuration and enables control of the OSD menu and PTZ control via coaxial cable. This means that users no longer have to go to the camera to make changes and enables much faster and easier camera installation and management.

According to Keen Yao, international marketing director of Hikvision, “Turbo HD is a high-tech tour-de-force in zero-latency, long distance HD-over-coax that demonstrates our commitment to pushing the boundaries of CCTV technology. Until recently, the only option for HD CCTV resolution was the wholesale adoption of IP cameras and their associated technology. Now, with the launch of the Hikvision Turbo HD Analogue solution, users can enjoy 720p/1080p without even upgrading to IP or even replacing their existing cabling structure.”

Hikvision remains in pole position

For the third consecutive year, Hikvision was ranked as the world’s largest CCTV and video surveillance equipment provider in 2013 with a dominant 10.9% market share. This is up by more than a third, from 8% in 2012, according to the latest report from IHS.

In a year of significant achievements, Hikvision maintained or gained position in every market segment. Its most striking success was becoming the top hardware NVR manufacturer from not being in the top 10 in 2012. In addition, Hikvision maintained its position as global DVR leader for the fifth consecutive year, gained two places to become the world’s No. 1 supplier of security cameras with an 11.9% market share, and rose one place to be No. 2 in network security cameras with a 13% share of the market. As for the VMS category, it achieved third having risen from fifth place in 2012.

“This outstanding performance across the board serves, once again, to prove Hikvision’s continuing dedication to innovation and excellence in all aspects of video surveillance products. It’s also evidence of the success of Hikvision’s international marketing strategy and in-depth local customer services,” says Polo Cai, VP at Hikvision.


Sensor promotes Smart Hikvision

Sensor Security Systems recently held an event in Johannesburg for its partners and resellers, highlighting the latest Hikvision range of products that Sensor distributes. Sensor’s MD, Jean Brown hosted the event and noted that Hikvision has quickly grown to be one of the largest surveillance manufacturers in the world due to the quality of its products and its focus on research.

Hikvision is only 12 years old, but in those 12 years has posted tremendous growth and is also listed in China. The company’s South African branch MD, James Dong, notes that Hikvision posted revenue of $1.16 billion in 2012 and is looking at $1.6 billion in 2013.

Most of its business still comes from China, but its share of the international market outside of China has been growing steadily over the years in territories such as the USA, South Africa and the Middle East, and more.

To better serve its customers in South Africa, Dong said that Hikvision will be establishing a local branch in the country this year. The goal of the office will be to provide local support to all customers.

While the Sensor event covered a broad range of products from Hikvision, Sensor was keen to point out the company’s new range of HCcctv cameras, offering HD images over analogue, as well as its Smart IP cameras.

“Smart is the latest concept which aims to bring video surveillance into every aspect of professional, intelligent, efficient, and convenient surveillance. Enriched with Smart technologies – such as Smart Codec, Smart Detection and Smart Control – Hikvision Smart IP cameras are specifically designed to deliver this concept to the market and convey the idea of smart security,” noted Keen Yao, international marketing director at Hikvision.

Smart on bandwidth and storage

With an advanced codec algorithm, Hikvision’s 4-line smart IP cameras deliver images at a very low bit rate without compromising on image quality. Compared to traditional cameras, these Hikvision 4-line cameras can boost image quality up to 30% when under a 2 Mpbs bit rate/720p resolution mode. This significantly minimises the system’s load and storage requirements.

4-line smart IP cameras also support the company’s ROI (Region of Interest) codec. This allows the cameras to decrease non-ROI’s image quality to save on bandwidth and storage. Additionally, these regions of interest will be smartly transmitted with better detail and image quality under identical bit rate streaming conditions.

In vertically-shaped areas (such as corridors or hallways), the camera’s horizontal-shaped image may result in pixel waste. However, Hikvision’s 4-line smart IP cameras address this problem by using a ‘Rotate Mode’, which creates a vertically-oriented video feed from the camera. This further maximises image quality while eliminating bandwidth and storage waste. As well, triple streaming is supported to perform live monitoring with up to three independent streams.

In order to meet various applications where image detail is critically important (such as the handling of cash and financial transactions) Hikvision’s 4-line smart IP cameras offer an ultra-high frame rate of 60 fps in HD or Full HD resolution. This results in detailed and excellent image quality. Meanwhile, the improved Smart IR function allows IR strength adjustment and better visibility for the specific requirements of an application.