The demand for electronic security technology has been growing for years. This derives, on the one hand, from the positive economic climate in the building industry and, on the other, however, from the increased level of security awareness and people’s willingness to spend money on security. When developing new concepts for life in homes and workplaces, consideration of security, convenience and comfort for inhabitants and users is an indispensable precondition.
That the wish for greater security is already a reality today is clearly demonstrated by, amongst other things, the market data for electrically based security technology, published by the Central Association of the German Electrical and Electronics Industry (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie – ZVEI) and the German Association of Security Technology (BHE Bundesverband Sicherheitstechnik e.V.). After a relatively modest growth rate at the beginning of the decade, sales by manufacturers in Germany have increased significantly in the last three years – in 2016 by 6.2 % – to almost four billion euros. Video technology has grown fastest with an increase of eight per cent. Uwe Bartmann, Chair of the ZVEI association, sees the main reason for this as security, particularly the general increase in the need for security in both the private and the public sphere.
Increases in security, convenience and comfort do not, however, result from the mere installation of security technology. Only when the installed elements of the security technology are suitably integrated both with each other and with the overall building services network do they create a ‘smart’ building and, with it, the added value for operators and users. “Electronic security technology is becoming an integral part of the ‘smart home’ and ‘smart buildings’ in general. Sensors in the security system offer entirely new possibilities for data collection,” suggests Bartmann, outlining the growth prospects for the market as a whole. Experts foresee a further boost from the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). Sensors are becoming more and more intelligent, smaller and cheaper, so that completely new applications will become possible in the future.
Demand is already there today
The additional value and new functionalities are already leading to high demand for interconnected networks of security technology. Door and window sensors, together with the motion sensors used in burglar-alarm and access-control systems, regulate heating and lighting according to need. Natural smoke and heat extraction systems are used to create sophisticated ventilation concepts and are linked to the building automation systems via digital bus interfaces. Remote access to the fire alarm system, via the internet, facilitates preventive maintenance and efficient servicing. The introduction of mandatory smoke detectors in Germany means that security technology has now arrived across the board in private homes. There is currently a significant increase in demand for wireless smoke alarms linked into ‘smart home systems’. According to a Forsa poll, one German in two would like to take advantage of a networked smoke alarm.
Data security and data protection
Security installations protect people and possessions and must function reliably at all times. Accordingly, requirements for connection to the network are equally stringent, particularly in respect of data transfer via insecure IP-networks like the internet. Currently, it is the security concerns of consumers that are impeding the installation of ‘smart’ technologies. Indeed, an analysis relating to the IoT conducted by Accenture* shows that half of the future consumers have reservations about the use of smart technologies, with regard to inadequate data protection and cyber intrusion.
Norms and standards
Secure transmission of data, reliable authentication and protection from cyber attacks can only be achieved through standards that apply right across Europe and to all manufacturers. Whilst such things have long existed in the building and industrial automation trades, there is a significant backlog of demand in security technology. All those involved are, however, well on their way along the appropriate path, so that many industry standards are now appearing with details of interconnected networks and digitalisation. Examples of this are the DIN EN 50132 standards for video surveillance and the newly published draft for DIN 14676, which contains numerous recommendations for the inclusion of wireless smoke alarms and their remote monitoring and inspection.
Light + Building 2018 takes the lead
Light + Building 2018 will be picking up on the trends surrounding ‘smart’ buildings described above and is all set to become a catalyst for the development of modern workplace and lifestyle concepts. For the first time, home and building automation will be merged with electronic security technology to create a centre for integrated building services engineering, which will enable the trade visitors to get a concentrated overview in a short period of time.
As a result of the digital revolution, the processes involved in building services management are also changing. The line between security systems engineering and other trades that have hitherto worked largely independently is becoming increasingly blurred. The interfaces between the trades have a central role to play here. This topic is the focus of the new special show ‘SECURE! Connected Security in Buildings’ in Hall 9.1. In a display that is quite separate from the exhibitors’ own presentations, innovative solutions for electrically and electronically-driven security systems will be divided into three areas of application (Hotel – Office – Industry) and demonstrated through active scenarios in real-life contexts (Fire – Storm – Burglary). The various trades involved in security technology and building services are thus linked in ways that transcend individual products and systems. More than 40 companies are bringing their products, solutions and services to the table here. Leading manufacturers will also be exhibiting their innovations in security technology in other halls at the Exhibition Centre. In parallel to Light + Building, and also located in Hall 9.1, the Intersec-Forum will be taking place from 19 to 23 March 2018. The Intersec-Forum is the annual conference on networked security technology.
All the signs for Light+Building 2018, therefore, unequivocally indicate further growth. Altogether, some 2,600 exhibitors are expected to attend. “As the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services, Light+Building is the ideal platform for the development of ‘smart’ buildings with groundbreaking concepts for the workplace and home,” says Maria Hasselman, Director of Brand Management, Light + Building, summarising the aims and objectives of Light + Building 2018.