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ASIS 2017 Paced by Emerging Tech, New Use Cases

The 63rd Annual ASIS Int’l Seminar & Exhibits is in the books, but SSI brings you an in-depth look at what transpired on the show floor in Dallas and its overriding themes.

ASIS 2017 Paced by Emerging Tech, New Use Cases

The 63rd Annual ASIS Int'l Seminar & Exhibits attracted security professionals and assorted industry stakeholders from across North America and beyond to the Dallas convention center.

DALLAS — With so many security industry professionals now back in the saddle following a trip to Dallas for ASIS 2017, it’s time to exhale and consider what all transpired at the 63rd annual seminar & exhibits.

SSI’s Senior Editor Rodney Bosch and Web Editor Steve Karantzoulidis covered the show floor incessantly throughout the exhibition, held Sept. 26-28, to bring you the following in-depth report.

New for this year the exhibits began on a Tuesday, opposed to the traditional Monday start when many attendees would be arriving in the host city. While turnout was robust throughout much of the first day, it did begin to wane noticeably in the afternoon on day 2. Despite organizers paring exhibit hours back to three hours on the final day, attendance was nonetheless sparse.

Some vendors, including IPVideo Corp., elected to downsize their exhibit booths at this year’s show in apparent cost-savings efforts.

“IPVideo decided to take a smaller footprint at the show, which proved to be a wise move. Show floor traffic was light Tuesday and Wednesday and non-existent on Thursday other than in the area of major manufacturers like Axis and Milestone,” comments David Antar, who is president of the Bay Shore, N.Y.-based provider of video management and command center solutions. “Fortunately, IPVideo was part of a kiosk at Milestone’s booth and that generated higher activity than at our own booth. Overall the show was a success for IPVideo due to scheduled strategic meetings with partners and customers as well as networking events.”

Bosch Security Systems is another example of an exhibitor that has elected to go with a smaller booth footprint that still affords high value on the ASIS show floor. Among its products showcase, the company featured its new line of i-Series cameras and the G450 Home Control Gateway, which connects Bosch B and G Series intrusion control panels to a variety of devices to enable a full range of home and business automation solutions.

“We have had the same booth size at ASIS for several years and have found it enables us to efficiently present our integrated security and communications solutions demonstrations and messaging,” Brian Wiser, president of sales, North America,” tells SSI. “In addition to our booth, we reserve space off the show floor for private meetings with key customers that further strengthen our relationships and move the business forward. Our strategy at ASIS allows us to most effectively engage with customers and prospects, while implementing a larger impact at ISC West in the spring, where we focus on important products launching at the show and throughout the year ahead.”

High Tech in White Hot Spotlight

Uneven attendance aside, ASIS 2017 provided ample opportunity to peer into the industry’s high-tech future with several emerging technologies poised to transform the marketplace. These themes include artificial intelligence (AI), leveraging Big Data for security and business intelligence services and applications, mobile and Cloud-based solutions, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and more.

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ASIS Int’l hosted educational sessions and other activities on the show floor at the convention center in Dallas.

Deep learning, still in its infancy in security applications, is one such technical area that is now firmly rooted in product roadmaps for numerous video surveillance manufacturers. High-performance graphics processing units (GPUs) are allowing for ever more sophisticated video analytics applications that improve the accuracy of facial and vehicle recognition, as two examples. The technology is also expected to assist in significantly reducing false alarms caused by non-human factors, such as moving trees, lighting fluctuations, animals, etc., according to Doug Gray of Hikvision, who discussed the firm’s DeepinMind NVR and new camera models with SSI.

ASSA ABLOY arrived in Dallas to further validate how technologies can assist architects, end users and distributors in installation, planning and support. First previewed at ISC West, the company demoed its augmented reality (AR) technology, which generates holographic overlays onto physical settings. Operators don headsets that allow them to work in a real space as they virtually view the installation of products onto an actual door opening.

“Our Augmented Reality demonstration highlights how this technology might be applied in the future as wearables get more compact,” explains Leslie Saunders, vice president, customer experience, ASSA ABLOY Americas, in a statement.

Although the AR demonstrations exampled an installation process, the company foresees the potential for one day utilizing the technology for product selection. For example, a user will be able to superimpose any door and hardware onto any opening and add the selection to a shopping list.

Video analytics adoption was a key theme discussed with other vendors.

Eagle Eye Networks, for instance, unveiled its first analytics-based release, which includes line crossing, intrusion detection and object counting within the Eagle Eye Cloud Security Camera VMS. Company Founder & CEO Dean Drako tells SSI the solution allows end users to enable the analytics from a web-based dashboard or mobile app for any camera in their account. The ability to deploy analytics quickly and without upfront hardware or software investment, Drako says, illustrates the long-term advantages of a Cloud-based solution.

Along with its flagship enterprise video management software, Salient Systems offered a sneak peak of its next generation VMS platform, which the company says will be officially unveiled in Spring 2018. Salient also highlighted its CompleteView VMS and Syndex Pro with BriefCam’s Video Synopsis technology, which is said to leverage video data for actionable intelligence. (SSI’s October issue includes a Q&A with Salient Systems Executive Vice President Tom Chamard who discusses the company’s value proposition and the VMS marketplace.)

In other notable VMS releases at ASIS, Hanwha Techwin made its inaugural entrance into the space with the launch of WAVE, an OEM of Network Optix. Hanwha’s Miguel Lazatin tells SSI the VMS will be offered in four licenses: professional, encoder, video wall and I/O.

Security Integrators in the House

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Convergint Technologies hosted its first-ever exhibit booth at an ASIS Int’l Seminar & Exhibits, holding sway with a high-profile spot on the convention floor.

High profile footprints on the exhibition floor were not the sole domain of manufacturers. Several systems integrators also used the ASIS platform to spread their message to end customers and the industry at large. Tony Varco, vice president of security for Convergint Technologies, tells SSI by leveraging a prominently positioned booth, the company achieved its two main goals of strengthening the Convergint brand and making a direct connection with both existing and new customers.

“As in years past, the ASIS conference attendees continued to be dominated by end-user customers. While attendance appeared to be down slightly, Convergint colleagues did a great job of hand-walking quality clients into our booth. Overall, we experienced a healthy mix of traditional physical security managers, as well as many of those from IT,” Varco says.

Among the whole of its visitors, Varco says Convergint experienced a good balance between several verticals, including healthcare, petrochemical, data centers, public use and technology. “Cybersecurity and enterprise-level integration continued to be of primary concern during the conversations within our customer meetings,” he says.

Also among the integration community to exhibit was Johnson Controls, coupled with its newly acquired Tyco Security Products brands, plus Securitas Electronic Security, Stanley Security, Security-Net and ADT/Protection 1. In a meeting with SSI, ADT Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Jamie Haenggi emphasized ongoing work to improve customer service. The company wants to dispel the myth that “small equals personal” by focusing on “scalable” customer service, she says. It has done this by rolling out “Live Answer,” which has gotten rid of “robo” answering and instead routes every call to a live person. The company receives 60,000 calls a day and answers each one in 60 seconds or less, according to Haenggi.

Making Headway in Cybersecurity

Many exhibitors put an emphasis on cybersecurity, with almost every one mentioning the term at some point in meetings with SSI editors. Genetec, Axis Communications and Milestone all have cyber hardening guides or e-books available to its customers for free.

Dahua was among a slew of manufacturers to emphasize cybersecurity initiatives to combat the physical security industry’s ongoing vulnerability to data breaches via security cameras, NVRs and other network devices. In particular, hackers are said to be deploying automated scripts to uncover old firmware that uses default passwords.

“We cannot stress the importance and need for industry professionals to employ cybersecurity best practices, especially with the previous vulnerability issues Dahua faced back in March,” explains Janet Fenner, head of Marketing for Dahua North America, in a statement. “Dahua issued a firmware patch that fixed this specific problem in March 2017 and alerted customers to install new firmware patches.  Cybersecurity is an on-going and increasingly concerning issue that requires a proactive approach. Our latest cybersecurity initiatives and best-practices recommendations demonstrate our ongoing attention to this issue.”

Manufacturers can look to UL for help in this realm. Last year the safety consulting and certification company released its Cybersecurity Assurance Program (UL CAP), which uses the new UL 2900 series of standards. On the show floor at ASIS 2017, UL’s Chris Beeman, business development manager, commercial & industrial business unit, discussed this new testable cybersecurity criteria for network-connectable products and systems. He explained to SSI UL’s focus is on product certification, opposed to standards that help enterprises protect their data and IT systems from cyber breaches. “The testable criteria factor is a differentiator for UL,” he says.

On the new products front, each year ASIS Int’l holds its Accolades Awards with an aim to honor the security industry’s most innovative wares, services and technology solutions featured at the seminar and exhibits. This year top honors went to Cobalt Robotics, which took home the Judge’s Choice Award, and Pelco by Schneider Electric received the People’s Choice Award for its VideoXpert ProfessionalVMS. A complete rundown of this year’s Accolades Awards winners can be viewed here.

ASIS 2018 will be Sept. 23-27 in Las Vegas.

About the Author

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Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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