After making the rounds visiting numerous technology providers on the show floor at ASIS 2013, I’ll share with you a few recurring themes that I witnessed before listing some specific booth stops.
To begin with, there did not appear to be any new bleeding edge, disruptive solutions introduced at the show. That view was also shared with me anecdotally by more than one long-time industry observer. Regardless, I saw firsthand an impressive array of video surveillance technology and software that is increasingly being leveraged not simply to catch bad guys, but to enhance organizations with newfound business intelligence.
A few global providers of enterprise-level IP solutions are tailoring their portfolios to now include hybrid offerings for small and medium-sized businesses that are fiercely determined to leverage legacy infrastructure and stave off a rip-and-replace scenario. On the very topic of analog-to-IP migration, many vendors spoke frankly about the critical need for dealers and integrators to become IP/IT proficient. All agreed that industry stakeholders should be working in concert to bolster training opportunities for the greater good of the entire sector.
The case for 360° camera deployment was actively marketed across the show floor. A few of the vendors I visited especially highlighted their new panoramic form factors and discussed the pros and cons of dewarping video on the edge or client side. Another recurring theme I encountered was the burgeoning opportunity in the transportation sector where high-bandwidth, networked video is being made possible with wireless infrastructure and new software solutions.
What follows are highlights listed in succession from the show floor that I gathered over the course of three days. (You can also peruse SSI Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine’s ASIS report here.)
My pedometer-busting booth tour began at Sony Electronics where I first met with Mark Collett, general manager of the firm’s security systems division. We spoke briefly about Sony’s joint efforts with Next Level Security Systems to develop a cloud-based video surveillance solution that provides scalable security services and technologies. Marketed as “IPELA Cloud Serviced by NextConnect Video,” the solution supports direct connectivity from the camera to the cloud and access to HD video to multiple clients at a fixed, low cost. Systems integrators will appreciate the potential to offer hosted services with the solution and the recurring revenue that comes with it. Allen Chan, a senior product manager, was also on hand to demo new additions to Sony’s IP camera portfolio. Included are full HD mini dome models, representing Sony’s first ruggedized IP models with image stabilization technology and a built-in microphone. A small footprint makes them especially suitable in the transportation vertical; think buses and trains.
At March Networks, Dan Cremins, director, product line management, and Net Payne, chief marketing officer, outlined the company’s newest addition to its portfolio of products for the financial sector. The diminutive four-channel 8704 S hybrid NVR comes in at 3.2 x 8.3 x 5 inches. The unit is intended for standalone applications such as ATMs, smaller banking branches and credit unions. With up to 2 terabytes internal storage, the feature-rich unit records up to four analog cameras, four HD IP cameras or any combination thereof. What I found to be a pretty cool element is the QR code on the front of the device. This works in conjunction with the company’s smartphone app, allowing technicians to access warranty status, receive in-field diagnostics support and more while in the field.
Familiar with FST21? I had the chance to learn more about the Israel-based company during my booth stop. In May the company hired security industry veteran Mark Ingram as director of U.S. sales to raise its profile (and profits) here. Daniel Peled, vice president of sales and marketing, detailed for me FST21’s SafeRise access control platform, which comprises multiple technologies including biometrics, video surveillance, behavior analysis, facial recognition and license plate recognition (LPR).
Next up for me was a sit down with Sentry360 Founder/President/CEO Thomas Carnevale. As its namesake suggests, the company may best be known for its line of 360° multi-megapixel cameras. Yet Sentry360 is also making inroads with its FullSight 180° models, which utilize a single multi-megapixel sensor combined with high-resolution optics in a wall-mount dome. Carnevale said his firm’s recent successes include deployments for the oil and gas industry, retail markets and transportation, including JFK Airport where the firm’s cameras are securing Terminal 1.
Linear arrived in Chicago prepared to tout the unveiling of its eMerge Elite-36 embedded access control platform. I received a rundown from Gary Baker, Linear’s vice president of marketing, and public relations specialist Nicholas Brown. Among its highlights, the four-door platform supports eight readers and up to 20,000 cardholders with as many as 80,000 cards. It can scale to 36 doors and 72 readers with expansion modules. There’s also embedded browser-based management, plus options such as power over Ethernet and elevator control modules. Elsewhere, SSI readers may recall that Linear’s parent company, Nortek Technology Solutions, acquired 2GIG earlier this year. Don’t miss the November issue, which will include my in-depth interview with Linear President Michael O’Neal who discusses home automation and how Linear is leveraging 2GIG’s technologies and services.
Amidst the clamor of new product releases and integrated security solutions being promoted at the bustling Stanley Security booth, I had the occasion to learn more about the company’s newly opened Discovery Center in Indianapolis. As Martin Guay, vice president, commercial-North America, explained, the interactive facility allows the company to provide a wide range of customers with a highly personalized, instructive experience for their specific security needs. The center features individual demo spaces for key market niches such as education, healthcare, retail, financial and government. Visitors receive a hands-on introduction to a wide range of advanced security solutions and services in Stanley’s portfolio, as well as key vendor partner products.
Among the new technology additions at Panasonic, David Poulin, director of business operations, security & evidence management solutions, pointed out the FacePro Facial Search and Recognition System. The server-based platform enables high-speed facial search and matching on video from Panasonic’s i-PRO cameras that utilize the face detection option. A release date for the new system is expected later this year on pre-integrated and tested server platforms. The complete breadth of products and technology solutions on display at the booth, Poulin said, reflected Panasonic’s commitment in pursuing a partner-centric approach that aligns its sales staff and channel community. All this is aimed at providing resellers the benefit from consolidated operations and greater cross-product support.
At the Firetide booth I was introduced to the wireless mesh provider’s new CEO John McCool who previously served with Cisco for 17 years developing new networking businesses. Going forward, McCool explained he sees huge opportunity for the company and its channel partners in sectors where the ability to place high-bandwidth video is proving essential. Specifically, he refers to it as “mobility infrastructure” for deployment in the transportation sector such as buses and trains, as well as public safety. Upsell opportunities are also expected to emerge in integrated traffic control, McCool forecasts.
The migration from analog to IP was a hot topic at the Altronix booth. As explained by art director Kirby Han, the power supply provider bolstered its portfolio with the eBridge4SK kit, which Han said permits for an easy upgrade to IP networked systems. The kit allows four IP devices to replace a single analog camera over legacy coax infrastructure. It consists of a transceiver with an integral four-port managed PoE+ switch that transmits IP data to the head-end, and a receiver that passes system power up the coax over 1,500 feet (5x maximum Ethernet distance) without the need for repeaters.
Furthering the transportation/mobility theme at OnSSI’s booth, Ken LeMarca, vice president of marketing, highlighted the unveiling of the VMS provider’s Ocularis LS. Built with edge recording support, Ocularis LS is, LeMarca said, ideal for buses, trains and mobile law enforcement applications. The solution allows for local recording in the camera in the absence of network connectivity, and automatic and seamless download of the recorded video when reconnected to the network.
Two Pelco by Schneider Electric representatives held a press conference off the show floor to discuss the company’s ongoing efforts to build an “industry-leading” portfolio of IP camera and IP video accessories. Pelco launched eight new families of IP camera accessory products in time for an ASIS coming out party. As explained by Geoff Anderson, senior product manager, these devices apply to all environments, domains and applications and give customers the ability to install end-to-end solutions. Still, as Pelco maneuvers to become a bonafide, large-scale IP provider, Craig Dahlman, director of analog video products, told me the company remains steadfastly committed to its analog-centric dealer partners and helping them transition to IP-based systems.
My show floor expedition included a chat with Renae Leary, senior director of Tyco Global Accounts. Leary’s division aims to provide end customers with an international footprint the means of standardizing their electronic security operations, including establishing global security standards for networked access control, video management systems and more. Key to the services is Tyco’s Global Center of Excellence, which provides centralized project management with proposal, installation and service coordination to ensure high-quality implementations, Leary explained. Pretty impressive stuff. Based in Boca Raton, Fla., her team includes about 50 full-time staffers, several of whom are multilingual. Plus, the organization contracts with integrators abroad to carry out the installation needs of global enterprise accounts.
Having entered the edge-based video analytics space following the acquisition of ioimage in 2010, Yoav Stern, CEO of DVTel, explained to me he is positioning the company to become a leading provider of server-based analytics as well. To that end, the company is promoting the Latitude Network Video Management System (NVMS). The server-based video analytics solution enables control room personnel to define whether an event requires response, and can therefore dispatch responders as required. Stern said he is targeting the server-based analytics solution, which utilizes existing infrastructure and cabling, for smaller, remote sites with few channels or low bandwidth connectivity to a central command center. For example, utility sub-stations, car dealerships, solar farms, etc.
As it did earlier this year at ISC West, Arecont Vision exhibited a retrospective of its advancements in megapixel cameras to commemorate the company’s 10-year anniversary. Arecont was founded in 2003 by Dr. Michael Kaplinsky and Dr. Vladimir Berezin, both pioneers in CMOS sensor technology. Scott Schafer, executive vice president, led me on an interesting jaunt through the display, which features a multitude of form factors. The exhibition serves as a tidy record-to-date of how far the company has pushed the megapixel envelope while serving as one of the industry’s leading evangelists for the technology. You can view one of the company’s latest innovations here, which received a lot of attention in Chicago.
3VR Product Director Brian Lane and Web/Digital Marketing Manager Trish Chan provided me an overview of the company’s latest additions to its portfolio of recording devices that allow users to search, mine and leverage video for security and business intelligence applications. A series of five new NVRs and hybrid NVRs are engineered for a range of uses, from small convenience stores to large enterprise solutions. When used with the 3VR VisionPoint Enterprise Server or Enterprise Appliance, the devices can interconnect to one another. VisionPoint Mobile allows video to be viewed and searched through a smartphone or tablet across the enterprise.
Axis Communications may have generated the most “news” on the show floor when the company let it be known it’s making its first foray into the physical access control market with the release of the AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller. The device is billed as the first non-proprietary and open IP-based access controller on the market. Axis General Manager Fredrik Nilsson told me the introduction is a natural progression for the company given the strong connection between access control and video surveillance, and the fact that access control is primed to shift to open architecture IP technology. Part of the inspiration for the A1001 came from Axis’ own integration partners. “Integrators wanted an IP-based device to bridge different sized systems,” Nilsson said.
Transitioning from analog to IP was the main thrust of my talk with Andrew Elvish, vice president of marketing at Genetec. As a leading provider of enterprise-level IP software solutions, I wasn’t exactly expecting the topic of analog to come up, and yet it did in a big way. Genetec unveiled its “Smart Analog Package” geared for users looking to upgrade to IP-based video surveillance capabilities while still leveraging legacy infrastructure. The company is especially targeting smaller customers in the retail and financial sectors. The promotional package includes a 16-channel Bosch video encoder bundled with Genetec’s latest Security Center 5.2 platform, 16 camera connection licenses, and 1-year software support and maintenance. Orders will be taken beginning the first week of October through March 31 ($2,090 U.S MSRP).
D-Link, which concentrates its portfolio of video surveillance and networking solutions on small- and medium-sized businesses, expanded its IP camera line with new outdoor multi-megapixel entry-level and high-end dome cameras. The two models fill a gap in the company’s form factor offerings, Vance Kozik, director of marketing for IP surveillance, told me. Kozik also provided me a look at the company’s new DCS-2136L, which he said is the world’s first IP surveillance camera with wireless 802.11ac support. The wireless day/night camera features a white light LED for color night vision viewing in complete darkness.
I was counted among the many visitors to the Avigilon booth who were coaxed into a dark room for an interactive demo of the high-def camera provider’s new LightCatcher technology. The trick was to try and pin the tail on the correct paper donkey based on color. Differentiating the color pallets was a difficult task, of course, inside the darkened space. A review of the HD video with Avigilon’s technology and, voila, the right donkey emerges. Ian Povey, director of product management and product marketing, told me LightCatcher will be deployed in 1.3-megapixel HD and HD dome cameras, which will be geared for challenging lighting situations, such as restaurants, bars, hotels, parking lots and alleys.
This one is for the integrator who is experiencing installation challenges on a project where a cost-effective, wireless video surveillance solution could do the trick. Aaron Tankersley, CEO of MicroPower Technologies, detailed for me the company’s next generation Helios IR camera. The ultra-low power day/night camera captures and transmits IR illuminated images wirelessly up to half a mile. Among its features, the unit combines a compact solar panel and internal battery that provides five days of continuous back-up power.
Lowlight technology was also a topic of discussion with Steve Gorski, general manager of the Americas for Mobotix. The provider of high-end IP surveillance and security solutions has released a firmware update (4.1.9) called Lowlight Exposure Optimization or MxLEO. It includes support for Hemispheric sensor modules for the newly released S15 and M15 camera platforms, among others in the vendor’s portfolio. As Gorski explained, the update is free (like all Mobotix software) and can be downloaded on all of the company’s 5-megapixel cameras.
Jennifer Martin, director of sales for WavestoreUSA, provided me an overview of the company’s latest VMS platform called Wavestore V5. The solution enables users to integrate third-party 360° cameras into existing surveillance systems. The V5 includes dewarping software, which allows video captured by panoramic cameras to be viewed as independent linear images of selected areas.
My final meeting at the show was with Allison Duquette, vice president of global sales for Blackboard Transact. The company is working with S2 Security to provide access control solutions that blend with one-card systems for higher-ed campuses. In September they launched pilot studies at two universities. In short, Blackboard Transact is entering the fray to leverage NFC-enabled smartphones as access control credentials, among other transaction/commerce capabilities.
If you attended ASIS 2013, do share your own highlights. Let’s hear about any interesting technologies that caught your eye or industry trends you observed.