How can AI solutions help to get around load shedding


Guardian Eye Managing Director, Rodney Taylor

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – WHILE many regions around the world may instinctively think of cybersecurity when being told of technology trends for security, as South Africans we understand that both physical and cyber security is of utmost importance.

In the world of cyber security, it has become accepted that new technologies are crucial to keeping up with sophisticated cyber criminals hiding deep within the web. In the physical world, security also needs to keep pace with increasing crime and more sophisticated criminals.

It’s here that the intersection between the physical and virtual world occurs. The advent of cloud computing opened a whole new world of surveillance, sensors, monitoring, and analytics. The speed of innovation means that solutions continue to evolve, whether in the form of off-site monitoring, pro-active security solutions powered by artificial intelligence, access control and more. 2023 will see more of this, as the leading security service providers and vendors seek to bring the best products to market.

Guardian Eye, for example, will be bringing night cameras that can see and record in colour. This is a fundamental shift from the mainstay of black and white, or saturated, images. The implications for investigations are huge, and this technology represents the next frontier in camera monitoring.

Behind the cameras, indeed behind any IoT sensor or device, is the power that cloud-based analytics can bring to security solutions. Again, speaking for ourselves, we are constantly working on our algorithms and researching the best that technology can bring to ensure monitoring and analytics continues evolving to increase security capabilities.

It is an exciting world, where analytics can provide a situational awareness not seen before so that people and property can enjoy proactive protection because of technology’s ability to pick up trends and anomalies in near real-time.

The ability to review hours upon hours of video footage in minutes and pick up patterns or red flags is priceless, and can rapidly speed up response and investigations. Ultimately, the ability to recognise and pick up patterns turns a surveillance camera into a super guard working in real-time. Expect to see more development in this field throughout the year.

However, from a South African perspective, the single biggest trend in the world of security is going to be how service providers and vendors come up with solutions that get around load shedding. From a security perspective, load shedding presents a massive risk.

Many alarm systems, electric fences, automatic gates, surveillance systems and access control solutions have some degree of backup in place. However, the battery back-ups in these solutions, especially electric fences, alarm systems and automatic gate motors, weren’t designed to withstand extended periods of no power that occur regularly.

These batteries are becoming damaged as they are depleted and sometimes not fully charged before the next power cut. The result is that many residences and homes have to deal with literal blackouts, where security is non-existent, a lot sooner than they would have before this latest, extended bout of load shedding.

Security service providers and vendors are working day and night to find ways to ensure that their solutions are up and running, from surveillance, to access control, to proactive and reactive security products. From a Guardian Eye perspective, we are part of the Vivica Group, and our sister company, Stage Zero, which will be launched to the public soon, provides us with a competitive advantage.

Through our sister company, we have access to innovative battery backup systems, and solar and wind generation capability, which we are currently exploring to ensure that our solutions and offerings continue as normal despite Eskom’s woes. The solution simply must be that load shedding should not affect security, anywhere, in any way.

Stage Zero, on the other hand, gains access to Guardian Eye’s nerve centre which equips it with state-of-the-art monitoring and analytics for its wide suite of solutions that will be deployed widely.

Ultimately, the differentiator between security providers lies in how they leverage the latest technology to answer real, pressing challenges on the ground. In the case of South African challenges, security providers need to not only ensure their products leverage the best technology such as AI-driven analytics capabilities, but also that they invest in the best backup and renewable energy technology to ensure their products and services are accessible when the power is out.

NB: Rodney Taylor is managing director for Guardian Eye.

– CAJ News






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