The security landscape is rapidly evolving, with new technologies and services promising to change the way that facilities and security professionals deliver protection. GSX—the premier security event of the year, hosted by ASIS International—showcased the latest and greatest advancements in security offerings.
We spotted these five tech trends on the show floor at GSX 2022.
1. Augmenting and Optimizing Security Guards
It’s difficult not only to find capable and qualified guards, but to keep them; turnover in the guarding industry is incredibly high, according to Mike Lavway, director of operations, eSRG, for ADT Commercial. One way to mitigate the effects of this problem is to augment your human security force with technology that can help one guard be in multiple places at once.
At GSX, ADT Commercial showcased humanoid robots that can eliminate many of the mundane tasks that a human guard would usually handle. The robots can also go places where humans can’t, Lavway said.
“If there’s a fire, for example, the building has to be evacuated. I don’t have to evacuate a robot,” Lavway said. “This robot can give us better intelligence from spaces humans would have to evacuate.”
2. Better Gunshot Detection
3xLOGIC, a hardware, software and cloud-based solutions provider, demonstrated a sophisticated gunshot sensor based on concussive wave technology. “It measures the disruption in the air when a projectile leaves the barrel of a gun,” explained 3xLOGIC President Brad McMullen. “It doesn’t use sound, so it reduces the amount of false alarms.” Sound-based gunshot detection is vulnerable to false positives from sounds like loud claps or vehicles backfiring, McMullen said.
The unit includes eight sensors and can be integrated into existing access control, intrusion and video platforms. When it detects a gunshot, it can trigger other systems to lock doors, capture film and more.
3. Smarter Staffing in the Age of Hybrid Work
Many organizations scaled back their security staffs during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic because no one was in the office. Now, those same organizations are facing an uncertain future with a hybrid work model. People may be in the office a few days a week, and some days large groups may come back in for meetings or teambuilding events. This makes it tough to predict security staffing needs and schedule security personnel accordingly. Better communication to forecast staffing needs is key, said Tom Walton, senior vice president, vertical markets, for AlliedUniversal.
Visitor management controls are also key to making it easy and efficient to visit commercial buildings. “You still walk into a building today and it’s all pen and paper. You might even just see a logbook that says ‘Sign here,’” Walton said. “Automating that is an efficiency that commercial real estate should take advantage of.”
4. Ramping Up Training to Guard Against Workplace Violence
Violence in the workplace is on the rise, said Steve Somers, regional vice president of integrated security solution provider GardaWorld. Planning and testing of potential violent events are key to making sure that everyone knows what to do if there is a real incident.
“Make sure you’re training with all partners involved in a situation—that’s law enforcement, fire, life safety, emergency services,” Somers advised. “If you look at the incident in Boston, the reason they were so successful and had very little loss of life is because all the partners involved trained together. They knew how each other was going to react, and the leadership on the ground made decisions necessary to save lives. Every security program should be doing the same thing with their external partners as well.”
5. Video Validation of Non-Security Issues
The use of video in security applications is nothing new, but thanks to sophisticated analytics packages, video is able to accomplish new things. No longer are cameras just an extra pair of eyes. Now they’re able to coordinate with sensors and other tech to streamline not just security, but O&M too.
“People are very interested in anything that can tell them about their business,” said Mark Feider, national director for Genetec’s enterprise sales team. “Anything that can help with occupancy, management, trends, patterns and ways to optimize their real estate.” For example, a sensor telling an FM there’s a problem with a pump or another device could interact with nearby security cameras to take a closer look at the problem. “We’re extending beyond just security to operations and maintenance,” Feider added.
If GSX is any indication, the world of security is changing at the speed of light. These new advancements in security tech aren’t just changing the way facilities professionals deliver security services—they’re changing the way we manage all aspects of buildings.