The shift by a number of organisations towards integrating IOT, embedding security into devices themselves as well as placing devices on the edge, securing vital business assets – such as data, applications, access control and surveillance –  will be a big focus in 2020 and years to come, writes Vanessa Tyne, Senior Key Account Manager at Axis Communications.

This year we are going to see more businesses add security applications on the camera itself, this will ensure that no tampering from an external undetected party can occur, or a buggy firmware download will impact the hardware. We are already seeing the “intelligence move to the device”, we are going to see more of this happen in the camera and IoT space in the future.

We are going to see even more focus on moving deep learning applications onto the camera to minimise the amount of server processing power that’s required to be stored on the server side. More customers are going to demand object detection and classification on the edge, as well as data summation on the camera. For example, being able to say that a certain number of cars were driving at a set speed over a particular time frame, is more valuable than just raw data.

AI Analytics to detect breaches and different functions

An example of this would be the loadshedding crisis that is facing South Africa. On 15 October 2019, there was a coal conveyor belt halt at Medupi power station due to technical difficulties, resulting in a resumption of Stage 2 loadshedding for those living in surrounding areas, with dam and diesel levels running low as consequence. If updated AI features were applied in their cameras, they would have been able to detect a fault in a mechanism before it manifests, as well as send a warning alert to the operator to take action, without costing industry millions every passing minute.

More and more factories, mines, and manufacturing companies are going to look towards AI as a means to assist with thermal temperatures in rollers to ensure that rollers don’t exceed a certain temperature and change the shape of the metal, or corrupting the mineral’s specifications. A thermal application, an app on the camera that measures temperature, is linked to an audio solution that then sends an alert that the rollers are getting too hot, and the operator will be able to take action.

Video surveillance as a service

Streamlining the security of the environment where civilians live, work and play is a commitment of government, as well as the owner’s of the grounds. This is a no-brainer in terms of the evolution of security cameras, as it is an unsaid expectation that videos should evolve to be able to hold large amounts of capacity and stored footage for later review and analysis.

By placing this in the cloud, in an as-a-service model, we immediately enable businesses to better collaborate on the analysis of footage and data acquired / collected by the camera. This model will be particularly useful for security guard companies who rely on this evidence for the line of justice to prevail, as well as persecution to occur in the case of an incident. What’s more, camera surveillance instantly becomes reactive as opposed to just monitoring, as alerts can be instantly sent to the relevant parties when anomalies are detected.


According to Forbes, the current ranking of our nation is sitting at 63rd out of 64 countries as the least safe country in the world, increasing safety and security is a matter of urgency. A hijacking took place in Bryanston late last year where a woman’s car was stolen. Within an hour and 15 minutes the vehicle was tracked down and retrieved, by using license plate recognition from the footage taken where the incident took place. The accused was identified and arrested: the very response we need to build a safer nation.

This incident illustrates how, when cameras are used in collaboration with other security best practices, the job gets done well and has a positive impact on the lives of many. I foresee an increasing dependence on video for security purposes and validation, as it is far more reliable and accountable than a witness, a guard or hearsay.

GDPR on a global scale

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is on everyone’s lips internationally and is slowly being understood in South Africa, in particular with financial institutions who have customers that are citizens of the European Union. While GDPR is important for multi-nationals, it puts the spotlight on privacy for all South African businesses.

Privacy will continue to be an important issue locally, and while we might not have the same level of privacy concerns as those which Facebook have faced in 2018/2019 with the Cambridge Analytica debacle, we cannot continue to underestimate the issue of security and privacy.

In summary, the security debate is ongoing and 2020 is set to be an exciting year with the seeds of applications and technologies like AI yet to take fruit and burst onto the scene.

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