Gartner states that “The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.” In another post they note that there will be more than 6.4 billion connected objects in use by 2016 and 20.8 billion by 2020.
These objects or devices can be anything from mobile phones, fridges, washing machines to wearables, medical equipment or jet engines. And they are all connected. Jake Morgan shares in his Forbes post that “The IoT is a giant network of connected “things” (which also includes people). The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things.”
As people have all gone beyond the novelty of just learning how to use all these connected things, we are now realizing the value to our every day lives. Interconnected devices have a real potential to solve many of our most common, pressing problems. And as Margie Gurwin of IPVideo Corp states, “the more solutions that can talk to each other the better”.
All of this points to the fact that security management platforms are the logical hub for integrating a diverse range of non-security IoT devices.
Out of great need, the security industry has developed interoperability and open standards over the last 5-10 years. This has allowed for communications between multiple products and solutions.
Initially, the security industry relied on traditional analog systems. Then they began the transition to networked solutions, eventually embracing the open platform. Companies like Milestone Systems, Video Insight and IPVideo Corporation have been on the forefront of developing open platforms that allow for a variety of security-related hardware and software to interact with each other in ways that simplify, manage and solve problems. And now, with so many non-security devices offering interoperability through the IoT, incorporating them into these same platforms is a simple and logical next step.
How do we make use of all the new information being generated by all these interconnected tools? Knowing that “something has happened” is not good enough anymore. Now open platforms of interconnected devices allow for us to anticipate problems and provide solutions immediately. After the initial development and scripting, these solutions can be provided with minimal human involvement. For example:
It is the weekend, nobody is working at the facility, and it is noted by the security management platform that the temperature in a specific, temperature controlled location has gone up unexpectedly. What now? Possible solutions could be scripted and managed from the security management platform to
- Access relevant surveillance cameras to see if anything appears amiss visually.
- Check the network-enabled thermostat to see what the temperature is “set” to
- Check the cooling system to ensure it is working. It it is, the closest thermostat can be adjusted right from the central command area, PC or mobile device
- If the cooling system for that area is not working perhaps adjacent areas can have their temperature adjusted to compensate until repairs can be made
- internal doors might be opened to provide additional ventilation
- or if the temperature spikes high enough, it could activate the sprinkler system and summon authorities.
Another technology now offering interoperability over the network is LED lighting. Automated lighting responses can perform a huge range of functions, from lighting exit pathways in an emergency situation, to strobing when intruder detection devices have sensed unauthorized entry. And non-security related functions are equally compelling. To conserve energy, LED lighting can adjust automatically based upon ambiant lighting coming through windows, and can have subtle or dramatic changes made to its color to affect mood and productivity. Imagine the possibilities!
Your existing or new security management platform is the place where all of your devices can work towards your ultimate end goal. To learn more, register for the SIA’s free webinar entitled “The Takeover: How the Internet of Things (IoT) Impacts the Security Industry.
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