For those folks fixated on convergence, the hip-hop hype really is nothing new. Years ago, and I go back too many, the buzz word was integration.

The latest twist: convergence of physical and logical security. Those on this bandwagon, and there seems to be more every day, see value and a gold-covered future. But the bandwagon is moving ahead relatively slowly. Even the word convergence is getting a bit shop-worn.

On the other hand, where integration is on a fast track is where security systems share data with other building and enterprise systems or where security pulls double duty, especially on the video side.

Car buyers now want security video integrated into their cars and SUVs; some displays are built into the dashboards while others can retrofit in the rearview mirror. Commercial security operations likewise are embracing video integration beyond traditional security.

Car Buyers Go Security Video

Just look at the latest automobiles in showrooms. Car makers here and abroad say that, among the most sought after features, are rear view video and even multiple view cameras. Suddenly car buyers want built-in or retro-fit security video.

While integration of security video into the driving experience first started with cameras in the back of commercial trunks, there are niche car security video systems ranging from police car cameras to video that keeps a short leash on teenagers. American Family Insurance just recently started a program in Colorado to monitor teen drivers using a car-mounted video camera. In a limited rollout, the camera mounts on the rearview mirror and records audio and video during incidents of rapid acceleration, swerving, abrupt braking and collisions. According to insurance officials, the experience which they fund is proving successful. No word from the “mom is watching” teenagers.

But for enterprise security executives, what’s more interesting about video integration are business applications, said Honeywell’s Vineet Nargolwala of the integrated security business operation, and Rob Blasofel, product manager of access and video.

Business Integration More Commonplace

“Such integration is par for the course today. End-users are looking for branded integrated solutions. They may not be getting full value for their investment without (some type of) integration. They want more intelligence, higher integration,” said Nargolwala. “In the retail space, there’s video integrated with point-of-sale and financial systems.” The bottom line is for the video integration to help grow the business as well as use the asset more efficiently.

“Video can also deploy for floor monitoring to improve the guest experience,” added Blasofel.

There are key video system features that ease integration with other security and business systems.

“Open architecture and some type of interface to talk to other systems,” pointed out Nargolwala, who added that analytics and convergence of physical and logical security will speed up applications integration. Integration success in this new world depends of migrating analog to digital video.

Blasofel knows that many security operations often have a significant existing investment. However, contended Nargolwala, there are advantages in going IP. “Take the economies of scale and eliminating the cost of transmitting an analog signal.”