technology convergence

Building security for the commercial residential property marketplace is rapidly changing with the convergence of technology according to Julian Synett, CEO of Interphone Limited. Speaking at the company’s recent product exhibition and training day in central London, he said that many security solutions now combine different connected systems – such as door entry, access control, CCTV and home automation – with a number of key drivers helping to deliver enhanced building protection, resident safety and property management. 

“We are no longer seeing single product deployments, but instead connected solutions that combine multiple systems and applications using the latest internet and communication protocols,” explained Synett. “This ongoing evolution is being driven by advances in biometrics, wireless communications, cloud-based technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), with the only barrier to the development of new technology solutions being our capacity to imagine the future.”

Biometrics is increasingly being deployed in access control solutions, with more traditional fob-and card-based systems being replaced and beginning to disappear. In fact, there is a surprisingly long list of applications, which means the technology is being used in a few different ways within the commercial residential sector. In particular, facial recognition is now beginning to enter the marketplace, so moving forward it will have a greater presence alongside the more established fingerprint solutions. 

“The widespread adoption of connected smart devices means people are increasingly comfortable with many innovations such as biometrics and Near Field Communication (NFC). Fingerprint and facial recognition are now very much accepted, while NFC applications such as tap and pay is now commonplace. This proliferation of these technologies means we are now seeing it deployed in door entry, access control and CCTV solutions,” said Synett.

Smartphones can now be used to open doors, or activate a wide range of actions, with keys rapidly being consigned to history. Perhaps the next breakthrough will be microchipping under the skin, although there is a long way to go before it overcomes ethical and privacy concerns. However, a report last year in Sweden showed that 3,000 people have already been microchipped to gain access to homes and offices.

Cloud technology has been around for a long time and is now used in the commercial residential sector in far reaching ways. Software and data are being more and more hosted and stored online, while software as a service (SaaS) solutions can provide alternative pricing models to outright purchase such as pay-as you-go or rental. However, property managers need to be mindful of broadband quality and capacity when selecting an option, with Synett suggesting that hybrid solutions – combining both on-premise and cloud technology – might currently be the best way of achieving the necessary security, performance and peace of mind.

Meanwhile, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have a growing influence on security technology, especially CCTV where there are six million cameras already operational in the UK. “While we are still really at the machine learning level, this is a rapidly evolving area. The ability of CCTV systems to capture footage, take decisions and predict what will happen is going to be the future. They will soon be able to monitor movement, track people and objects, learn patterns of behaviour, set virtual perimeters and send real time alerts, all without any human intervention,” added Synett.

The annual product exhibition and training day was attended by managing agents, facilities managers and other property-related professionals. Interphone teamed up with several key partners to showcase the latest building technology developments for the commercial residential sector. This ran alongside a programme of seminars including Gate Safety by leading charity Gate Safe and GDPR for property management businesses by Woolven and Brown, a professional training specialist on data protection legislation.

Interphone’s next CPD training seminar is on Health & Safety and Fire Safety Awareness. It takes place on 6th November 2019 at the company’s head office in Harrow and will be supported by specialist consultants Safety Delivery Limited. Further details about the practical learning session can be found here.