HillsHills has one of the biggest ranges in the country when it comes to CCTV, IT and Security products. It provides a complete suite of products and services across these markets segments and it offers customers a complete turnkey product solution coupled with professional services, training and technical support. All of this expertise, capability and product will be on display at the Hills Technology Expo to be held in Sydney on 10-12 March.

To give us a sneak peek of the Hills Tech Expo, an overview of Hills offering and where they see the market going, Security Solutions has spoken to the heads of Hills CCTV/IT and security practices Daniel Lee and Kobi Benshebat.

Kobi Benshabat leads the security practice at Hills. With 15 years’ experience in the industry, he specialises in video technology and has a strong background in access control and security.

Daniel Lee leads the CCTV and IT practice at Hills. With an IT background, Daniel has turned his focus in recent years to the CCTV industry transformation from analogue to IP.

What are the trends that Hills are seeing in these practices?

DL: The biggest trends across these sectors are the convergence of video and security and the move towards IP away from analogue. Whether you are talking home, small business, big enterprise or Government infrastructure, the move is the same. Larger organisations are converting at a slower rate as their systems are more complex, but the trend is unmistakeable.

KB: In my area, we are seeing a move toward flexibility in credential management. People are looking to use Bluetooth and near field communication to bring that about via a new range of Readers that support the new technology. There is also a strong push to 4k and 8k resolution of cameras and display units as customers and organisations want to drive insights from video analytics into their organisations.

What is driving this?

DL: In large part it’s driven by cost. Technological innovation is driving down the costs of cameras, devices and software and bringing much more sophisticated products to market at a lower cost. And the move from analogue to IP is a huge driver of activity in the market at the moment. IP CCTV is also becoming more affordable as the cost of storing data comes down.

Video analytics is also emerging a key interest for customers, particularly in the retail arena and this is transforming the way companies are using CCTV. It’s no longer seen as just a security product, or incident capture tool, but rather, a tool to generate insights into a customer base.

This appetite for customers to drive insights into their business through video analytics is driving the pace of migration toward IP.

KB: In retail especially, the vision from this footage is assisting retailers to maximise their investment. It has really shifted from loss prevention to a proactive driver of business and the technology can produce foot traffic heat maps, marketing trends, sales turnover, and the list goes on.

Can this be used in other ways?

KB: Definitely. I think we will see a greater investment in this kind of technology infrastructure and analytics to prevent security breaches and provide greater monitoring capacity and input. CCTV cameras exist in a lot more places, but don’t really have a role in prevention because the technology hasn’t provided the capacity to immediately respond. It has been used more as a retrospective recording device. In many parts of the world, these types of video analytics provide the ability to respond to these kinds of activities as they happen. Globally, Australia lags a bit in this regard.

DL: The technology exists to implement a smart city approach, where different agencies are able to collaborate on one system. Having police, transport and health services able to access the same video information as well as local councils can have a huge impact on security responses in dire situations. The interoperability between technologies and CCTV systems – creating a federation of systems across different agencies – is a growing trend. Another major trend is push toward Unified Security, one system that does video, one system that does access control, intruder, license plate recognition and other unification technologies that come through a central repository.

KB: This is also being driven by the improvement in image quality and the shift to 4k and 8k. If the camera and the monitor can provide higher resolutions, it provides better images which in turn provides better capacity for identification. This way you won’t see grainy images on Crime stoppers from a lousy camera!

That’s why it is important and that’s why it is emerging as a tre nd or a future requirement. There has been a race to get as many megapixels as possible – bigger is better. 4k as standard was a way to provide higher resolution in a more cost effective way.

How about access control? What is happening there?

KB: In short – Bluetooth and near field communication readers. The ability to use your mobile phone to open a door. The advantage of such technology is the ability to manage credentials in a very easy way. Access control cards aren’t going to disappear but there are huge productivity benefits. The advantage rests in being able to provide access to people efficiently and securely which increases productivity and security. For example, a contractor can be granted access between 8 – 4 on a particular day next week and that’s it. You send him or her an SMS providing that person with access for that day and at that time only. Once that period elapses, access expires.

DL: Could you imagine what something like airbnb could do with that kind of system? It is a much easier and more secure than physical keys. It’s like changing your locks after every tenant.

KB: Exactly. The other trend is in wireless intruder alarm systems and an interactive smart and secure home. Being able to turn on the lights, video verification of alarms and the like through your phone while also getting alerts through your mobile is becoming increasingly popular. At the moment, there are a limited number of ways to carry out video verification at your premises while fully integrating that technology with wireless intruder systems to let you know what is going on at your home or your office. New trend is an easy-to-install wireless alarm system that is fully integrated with the new interactive cloud based system allowing you to be alerted if someone breaks in to your home. You can also control your energy monitoring devices , locks and doors all via your smart phone ( either via Z-Wave , Bluetooth or WI-FI ).

Will these kind of products be on display at the Hills Technology Expo in March?

DL and KB: Absolutely!

KB: This will be the first time we showcase all of Hills trusted technologies and turnkey solutions in one place for our customers, sales team, system integrators, industry consultants and specifiers. We have had a significant strategic overhaul and we want Hills customers, vendors and suppliers to get first-hand experience of our vision for Hills future.

DL: In the Security, CCTV and IT sectors, we will be exhibiting a range of products from our key brands, including Major sponsor Panasonic, as well as top sponsor Interlogix and Axis, Ruckus, PowerShield, Mobotix. Assa Abloy, Sophos, EMC, Juniper, Cambium and many, many more.

For more information visit: hills.com.au/techexpo/news