Visions: Technology and Synergies
Louis Parker has worked his way around and up GE. As president and CEO of GE Security, he has a clear, firm view of security technologies and the role of his company. Regularly Security Magazine will profile industry CEOs so that their vision and passion can be shared. The material here comes primarily from comments, interviews and presentations by Parker during a special visit by Security Magazine to the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y.
Security Magazine: What do you see as the primary mission of your company?Parker: It’s the best, most important mission. We help protect and save people’s lives. Security is a $160 billion global market. GE Security is in more than 30 countries. I believe that – among the many companies in this industry – we best use technology as a differentiator.
Security Magazine: Describe the various technology directions you have going.Parker: Access control, for instance, is no longer just a card swipe. It’s a software business with central command and control. There’s visitor management and biometrics. There’s video surveillance which we see as 50 percent annual growth at the high end of security video. Detection, mobility and intelligence are playing a larger video role. For example, we have 30 algorithms in our library currently.
There’s explosives and narcotics detection thanks to computed tomography – quad resonance and trace-based explosives detection and narcotics identification – bio detection.
Key management hits all the important applications such as automotive, cargo, real estate, commercial, industrial and consumer. Speaking of consumers, there’s system connectivity products and current and future growth through the connected home, fiber optics and structured wiring.
Of course, life and property protection covers central station technologies, fire and life safety, intrusion detection and wireless controls and devices.
Security Magazine: Key emerging trends to keep an eye on?Parker: There are 12,000 buses in the U.S. market. Security and tracking technologies will grow in importance there. Security technologies at airports are crucial. There’s a test lab, for example, at the San Francisco International Airport. We previewed a shoe scanner earlier this year. In transportation, areas include cargo and container security. And we are working with Cubic on security tied into ticket transactions.
Security Magazine: Talk more about the synergies among GE Security technologies and other GE developments.Parker: We are looking to go beyond where the industry now is with video surveillance by introducing new, intelligent features that will truly create a system that is always vigilant and always watching. Our researchers are developing new imaging systems that fuse millimeter wave and terahertz imaging into video surveillance systems that can detect the presence of suspicious plastic or metal objects even under clothing.
We’re building more automated features (in security video)…so that a system will be able to prompt security monitors when certain types of suspicious activity are occurring…automatically tracking that person’s movement even in midst of large crowds.
We’ve working to improve the image quality of video so they can generate the clearest pictures possible for face recognition...tied to criminal watch lists and databases to match and identify terrorists or criminals on these lists.
Security Magazine: There has been increased concern about cargo and ocean-going containers that may not be inspected and secured from start to finish. What’s trending in this area?Parker: General Electric in June joined Siemens, Mitsubishi, J.P. Morgan Chase, Unisys and other global companies in supporting the creation of a new container security standards organization called the International Container Standards Organization (ICSO). Based in Brussels, it will work to accelerate the approval of international security standards for ocean-going cargo containers.
GE is proud to be a founding member of ICSO. It will help to protect not only GE’s business, but also our employees, our customers and the vital international transportation networks on which we all depend. It’s critical that new, promising container security technologies are put into action as rapidly as possible. I believe that ICSO is structured to quickly develop and create standards that will be based on current, proven technologies, yet are designed to evolve in the future.