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AI Has Redefined Traditional Modes Of Security And Surveillance: Manish Agarwal, Director, Secureye

In an interview with BW Businessworld, Manish Agarwal, Director, Secureye, talks about surveillance market, and more

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How is the security and surveillance market reacting to the current situation?

In June 2020, the World Bank published a baseline forecast envisioning a 5.2% contraction in global GDP in 2020. Against this backdrop, our report delivers the best estimate of the global market for physical security products going forward to 2025 based on two scenarios. At this time, COVID-19 has been having second spikes in Q3/Q4 and several countries are experiencing rolling lockdowns. We believe our second scenario looks most feasible where global markets take around a year to return to some normalcy and mass global adoption of a vaccine is achieved within 18 months. We believe this has a probability of 65%.

Counteracting these macroeconomic forces, the pandemic has also created demand for new solutions to help control the spread of the virus. Physical security products have risen to the challenge, helping to implement social distancing protocols through existing access and video systems with AI-powered analytics. Thermal cameras have also been deployed to measure people’s temperature, with the demand for it being strong. However their usefulness has been questioned, with the World Health Organization saying that on its own temperature screening “may not be very effective.”

Despite all this, we are still confident of the industry’s robustness and prospects for growth over the medium to long term. Market drivers like the threat from terrorism and crime are unlikely to abate, while urbanization and smart infrastructure will further drive demand for more and better security systems.

Above all the COVID-19 outbreak will force suppliers to radically rethink how they operate their business, in particular resilience to externalities. In parallel, there will be lessons to learn on having a more coordinated and resilient supply chain. The video surveillance business is too dependent on Chinese OEMs and component manufacturers. With many of these factories closed for the first two months of 2020, it caused temporary supply chain issues.

How Atmanirbhar Bharat has helped you to grow your business?

Since last many years, Secureye manufactured products at their plant in Delhi. Now with the implementation and vision of GoI to make India “AtmaNirbhar Bharat” we have seen a positive sentiments in the market. And this has also motivated us to increase our bandwidth in manufacturing more and more products in India. And we are quite confident that in coming few years, our production will convert manifold.

Apart from contactless solutions which other segments have seen a rise in demand?

Thermal cameras were widely used in fighting the corona virus during the outbreak, and market demand for the product exploded in the Indian Market.

In mid-to-late August, demand of thermal cameras rose, and additional cameras were sold as part of thermal body-temperature-measuring solutions. Initially, these were widely deployed in densely populated areas such as airports, railway stations, commercial complexes, and manufacturing plants, as staff returned to work. Thus, if the government decides on a wide scale deployment of the devices, demand for thermal cameras could exceed 500,000 units. And also, we are still looking for educational institutions to re-open, as it will lead to an incremental demand in thermal monitoring products.

Also the demand of products like Wi-Fi Routers, Dongle and other networking products have seen a good surge in the Work From Home environment. Also, we have come up with few more products which are very much required in this pandemic situation. Products like Infrared thermometer, Face recognition and temperature detection, body temperature detection cameras are few of our product lines which have seen good demand.

Educational institutions will need to consider modernizing and need to integrate classroom and distance learning. They will require all kinds of IT equipments to modernise it.

The aftermath of the pandemic will also provide an opportunity to learn from a plethora of social innovations and experiments, ranging from working from home to large-scale surveillance systems. Now most of the organization have learnt from the current situation and will adapt to digital transformation and their cloud adoption will see a surge.

What kind of revenue fluctuations have you seen in the last 6 months?

There was a huge downfall in our revenue after the unlock – 1 and 2 but since the market started opening with more stronger aggression and sentiments, slowly and slowly we are gaining the track at very steady pace. I think it will take another 6 months to bring everything back to normal.

What are your expansion plans?

As discussed above, we are planning to expand our manufacturing capacity and increase the production bandwidth in coming years. We are also trying to occupy more and more areas where we are lacking presently. We have also planned to penetrate in to the type-c cities and rural areas.

As real estate is coming back on track, what kind of demand do you foresee in this segment?

Definitely we are seeing a surge in the demand of our industrial products. Our boom barriers, access control, security cameras and many other products are being called for security of gated society and communities. We are also delivering contact-less smooth entry and exit of vehicle in societies by implanting our latest technologies in access control.

Which of the current solutions can contribute to smart city initiatives?

The Smart City project has also seen a huge surge in the demands of security and surveillance products for various applications. The evolving trend in the domain of security and surveillance suggests an increased reliance on tech-powered innovations.

Secureye has solution to safeguard the societies and buildings with its latest entrance security solutions and access control system. To control the movement of the visitors at any society or building we have installed boom barriers, tripods, turnstiles and other access control solution corresponding to the requirements.

Another manifestation of the increased concerns towards security and surveillance is the increase in demand of CCTV cameras. Companies such as Secureye are offering a wide range of such devices, including 8 megapixel CCTV cameras. The massive range of CCTV security and surveillance cameras further include IP-powered cams and those with night vision or coloured night vision. There are CCTV cameras that can be controlled with help of our mobile phones. To serve the purpose more effectively, some of these cameras, when connected with mobile phones, come with three-level alert system – SMS, Email and Push Notification. Among the available options, the wireless ones have been the most in demand.

What are the upcoming trends for residential, commercial and industrial security & surveillance market for 2021?

Technological advancement has always played a significant role in determining as well as driving the demand for electronic security and surveillance products. According to a report issued by American-British information provider IHS Markit towards the end of 2019, more than one billion surveillance cameras would be installed across the world by 2021 and the maximum growth in the video surveillance market would be seen in developing countries, including India. While the ongoing pandemic might not have much impact on these numbers, it has definitely influenced the trends in the industry to a great extent, especially with regard to the real estate sector. And these trends are most likely to dominate the practices in 2021.

Going wireless/Automation

With more and more hi-tech powered security and surveillance products flooding the market, both developers as well as homeowners are focusing more on wireless systems. Be it an alarm system or CCTV cameras, an increased affinity can be seen towards devices that are smart and capable of wireless sensing, wireless location tracking etc. Such devices are easy to install and can simply be connected with Wifi to start functioning. The key here is automation. People want all devices to be managed easily through smartphones or barcodes. This also stands true with regard to customer service. For instance, we have already introduced a system wherein users can simply scan a bar code to reach our support page.

AI-powered systems

Artificial Intelligence has redefined the traditional modes of functioning in the security and surveillance domain with regard to real estate. It enables facial recognition, temperature reading etc. Another example of how AI is leading to innovations is the integration of number plate cameras with boom barrier installed at the entrance of a premise. When a vehicle with registered number plate reaches the entry point, the boom barrier automatically allows it to enter the premise. Thanks to AI, there can also be a mechanism that would prevent any access to a given entry point for a defined time period. There are no qualms in saying that AI will definitely be more prevalent in security and surveillance domain in the times to come.

5G Technology/Increased Internet bandwidth

While the complete 5G rollout may take a longer time, 5G cellular systems have already been deployed to the great extent and its ambit is only expected to increase next year. Even as many new-age security & surveillance devices and equipments are designed for smooth data transfer, a lot of time is consumed in the process currently. With increased rollout of 5G and increase in Internet bandwidth, the transfer of data from one source to another is expected to be much faster. The usual maximum internet speed is 100 mbps, which we at Secureye have increased to 500 mbps. And it is expected that almost all industry players would work towards the same in near future.

CCTV integrated with access control

Massive advancements have been made by industry players when it comes to CCTV, ranging from night-vision and colour night vision to IR-powered cameras. Now consider a situation when you have a rotational zooming camera installed in your premise. As soon as there’s a movement on the gate, the AI-powered camera gets in action and tracks the complete path of the one who has entered. Also, if the suspected intruder heads into an unwanted zone, the camera would generate an alert, through email, SMS and push notification. While the technology has already arrived, not many seem to be aware of it. Come 2021 and we might just witness a surge in the demand for such equipments.

What are the challenges and opportunities in this segment?

India is the largest market of Security products as we are developing at a faster pace and with the implementation of initiative like Smart city and AtmaNirbhar bharat – we can see a great opportunity in coming days.

Also, the emergence of high speed internet connectivity even in the far flung areas has allowed users to explore more options towards security solutions. And hence we can see growth of demands in surveillance and security product from rural and semi-urban areas.