How Augmented and Virtual Reality Affect Security

By Travis Rothbloom

The computer. The internet. The smartphone. What’s next? Many believe that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will be mankind’s next giant leap and there are already instances where their influence has affected the security industry.

For the planning stages, the past decade has seen major improvements to building and infrastructure design with the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM). These 3D digital representations contain much more data than the traditional floorplan drawing, enabling security engineers and consultants to finalize much more of the system design early on and expedite its construction. For renovation and fit-out projects, 3D scanning gives these planners much more confidence that their renovation models are compatible with an existing site.

BIM models can also be experienced in VR. Designers can then simulate various scenarios, such as a break-in robbery or a mass evacuation due to a suspicious package, and allow different stakeholders to witness and choose between different design options based on how the situations play out. In another example, developers can be more easily convinced that spending more money up-front on landscaping that’s in accordance with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CEPTD) is easily justifiable with the extra feeling of safety it brings. Security teams can begin training on their responses to various situations long before any shovels hit the dirt.

AR differs from VR in that instead of immersing somebody into a different virtual world, it takes virtual elements and places them in the real world. This enables:
• Construction workers to digitally ensure that a building has been completed to its design specifications by overlaying the BIM model in full 3D onto the site
• Security teams to continue training to virtual crisis scenarios overlaid onto their actual building
• Public to receive, to their smartphones, visual step-by-step directions to the proper evacuation or lockdown location
• Guards and first responders to react to active security situations while having real-time access to the electronic security systems at their fingertips

On the last point above, the rise of AR along with 3D sensing systems integrated into CCTV can allow a responder to effectively see people through walls, ceilings, and floors. The responder can then simply point to a door to place it in lockdown to better manage the situation. AR can also take a 3D scan of a past crime scene and overlay it back onto its original location, allowing for more detailed forensic analysis.

Join me on Monday, September 24th at GSX 2018 for Session #4301, How Augmented and Virtual Reality Affect Security. I will be presenting on all of the above use cases and giving a live demonstration of what the future has in store.