The security industry is inherently cautious — the very nature of the sector demands it. As the industry’s primary function is to identify and mitigate risk wherever it presents itself, it’s hardly surprising that many organisations prefer to stick with the tried and tested rather than exploring the advantages technology can offer.

However, threats are evolving at a rapid pace, and security solutions need to evolve with them. Thanks to this heightened demand for advanced security measures, we are now starting to see a wealth of new technology emerge within the sector.

As such, the future is looking incredibly bright for the fast-moving world of security screening solutions…

Airport security

With air passenger numbers predicted to double by 2037, it’s no wonder the aviation industry is leading the way when it comes to security. Over the past year, the industry has seen real growth — with developments in security scanning equipment promising to shift passenger expectations whilst improving operational safety and efficiency.

This growth is mostly owed to initiatives like the UK government’s Future Aviation Security Solutions scheme which has worked with the Defence and Security Accelerator, part of the Ministry of Defence. The scheme aims to improve threat detection and the passenger experience at airports by providing funding for technology manufacturers in this field.

Although many technologies are very much still in the conceptual or prototype stage, we can expect to see significant advances in 2020 and beyond. Scanners could eliminate the need for passengers to remove shoes or outer clothing when passing through security, whilst machines could remove the need to take liquids out of bags and biometrics could improve identity screening.

For example, vapour analysis technology could be used to detect hidden explosives in hold baggage and air cargo by taking a sample of air from the area around the luggage. This would help to reduce false alarm rates and improve the probability of detection.

In the future, we can also expect to see airport security benefit from advanced systems which use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to screen liquids and large technology such as laptops, without it being removed from luggage. These algorithms could learn what a typical electronic item looks like when it goes through a scanner and flag up anything suspicious.

Shoe scanners using a grid of sensing electrodes could automatically detect threats without passengers having to remove them. Advanced body scanners could then screen passengers as they passed through with their coats on, using the body as a light source to distinguish between threats and non-threats. These technologies would dramatically improve security and cut queuing times.

Through the integration of biometrics — such as face-recognition technology and even palm-vein identification — and class-leading screening solutions, checkpoints could also become more secure, whilst providing a seamless passenger experience.

Smart cities

Although these technological developments are geared towards airports, there’s no reason why they couldn’t be rolled out on a wider scale across a range of applications — in the smart cities of the future, for example.

Cities provide greater access to amenities such as public transportation, sports and events. But with this comes significant security threats. Increasingly, we are starting to see cities around the world transition to become smart cities — urban areas where security solutions work in unison with other systems. This basic need for public safety is the driving force behind the adoption of intelligen solutions, which seek to secure cities through advanced, in-built security.

Within the next decade, we can expect to see security screening technologies in this field progress immensely. For instance, Advanced CCTV cameras could help to detect threats amongst large crowds, even when targets are moving. Combined with biometrics, this technology could then help to identify and track suspects.

From the skies, sophisticated drones could also be deployed to scan large areas for threats, using machine learning algorithms to distinguish between normal and suspicious activity. These types of developments would enable law enforcement and other security professionals to monitor cities remotely and respond rapidly to the intelligence provided.

Evolving in line with threats

Clearly, this is a period of great change for the security market. Over the next 10 years or so, we can expect to see significant improvements in both efficiency and safety across various applications, as manufacturers continue to progress systems and products to new levels.

Frank Baldwin, CEO of security screening company 2X Systems, said: “This is an exciting time for the sector — one we’re very proud to be a part of. At 2X Systems, we’re constantly evolving and innovating our industry-leading products in line with evolving threats to create advanced equipment that stands up to both the current and future demands of the fast-moving security industry.”

Contact 2X Systems for your next security solution on +44 (0) 1420 614141 or email