March 17, 2017
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Technology is changing fast and the jewelry industry is taking note. Designers and manufacturers are using 3D CAD design software and smaller retailers are starting to build more sophisticated websites to keep up with consumer trends. It’s all very exciting, but one trend you can’t let slip off of your radar is security.

This is particularly true for your electronic security, as the rise of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming much more widespread. These advances have the potential to increase the security of jewelry businesses like never before, especially when it comes to surveillance cameras and alarms.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company shared insights with Jewelers of America that tech savvy business owners and managers may want to consider.

Surveillance Cameras

Entering the digital age meant that jewelers could make the transition from using video tape and DVD recordings to backing up surveillance footage to the cloud. With other technologies available today that are associated with cloud computing, new possibilities are available not only for storing footage, but also for recording and analyzing it.

What might jewelers see next?

These three things have already been applied to larger retail operations and are likely to advance because of the IoT:
  • Higher resolution cameras
  • Facial recognition camera systems
  • Crime databases and analytical resources
  • Internet protocol (IP) cameras as the standard

In an article published by Loss Prevention Media, a representative of a large-scale retailer and other security experts weighed in on how these advancements are changing the crime prevention landscape.

Here's a hypothetical example of how these technologies could impact jewelry store security:

After reviewing your camera footage, you realize that a theft went undetected. You promptly capture an image of the suspect and flag it in your database. A few days later, the same suspect tries to come back to repeat a similar crime, but the camera system recognizes him as he enters and sends an alert to your store employees.

Now suppose that instead of coming back to your business, he instead targets another jeweler in your area. With a connected IP camera system, the alerts could be shared with the other business’s staff, too.

After collecting troves of data over time, you and your friends and neighbors in the jewelry industry are now instantly connected to information such as time-of-day crime trends, commonly targeted merchandise, and alarm systems certified by Underwriters Laboratories behavior that could detect a potential crime before it occurs.

It should be noted, however, that there many privacy concerns associated with this technology and its implementation isn't dictated solely on availability and cost — you must be prepared to handle the confidentiality of your customers and other legitimate patrons properly.

Alarms

Quite a few jewelers still don't have traditional alarm systems certified by Underwriters Laboratories, so IoT applications indicate drastic changes when it comes to alarms.

What might jewelers see next?

In July 2016, AT&T announced that it had planned to pilot its CAT-M1 network technologies in San Francisco in November, with commercial availability in 2017.

This will result in:
  • Faster communication signals on 4G LTE Networks
  • More reliable signals
  • The ability to access and monitor alarm systems on other devices

These benefits would be especially beneficial to businesses with multiple locations and those that plan to expand in the future.

While being on a network like this isn't essential for most jewelers, it's important to note that AT&T did sunset their 2G networks by the end of 2016. UL certificates now require 3G network usage to remain compliant, but if your alarm and alarm service company aren't UL certified, you might be using a network that doesn't even work.

If that applies to your business, you have some other questions to ask about alarms before thinking about the next big thing.

To learn more about optimizing your electronic security like surveillance cameras and alarms, make sure you attend this webinar on April 20, 2017, at 1PM CDT.
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