ISC West 2014 was just about an unequivocal success with packed aisles and happy, sometimes overwhelmed vendors. Let’s hope this is a harbinger of what the year holds in store for the electronic security industry. Often, feeling like Adrian Peterson pushing to make it through a stout defensive line I made my usual nonstop rounds with exhibitor meetings every top and bottom of the hour throughout. Here are some Day 2 highlights . . .
Over at the Aiphone booth I spoke at length with John Mosebar and Patrick Fiel about how their access control intercom and video intercom products are helping secure and lockdown K-12 schools. The company has been extensively profiling school districts to meet those end users’ needs and develop replaceable three-pronged lockdown systems and processes. Aiphone’s solutions are designed to complement visitor management systems. A pilot program in Wilmington, N.C., has been quite successful. We discussed a project profile of a charter school application, so stay tuned to SSI for that in the near future.
Always a delight to talk shop with Pivot3‘s Olivier Thierry and at ISC West it was no exception. The surveillance storage leader, which just wrapped up an exclusive four-part educational series that ran in SSI and is available online, has had a remarkably successful past two quarters, according to Thierry. He marveled at how the ISC show reflects the electronic security industry really and truly turning the corner to move more toward being truly converged with the IT world. He said the company is growing particularly well in the large corporate and municipal (safe cities) markets, with explosive activity in the Middle East and Latin America. In the case of U.S. corporations, Thierry said they are doing what it takes to get it right because they do not want to become front-page news for the wrong reasons.
Fascinating dialog ensued at the Affiliated Central booth, where I discussed recurring monthly revenue strategies, opportunities and challenges with Daniel and Stanley Oppenheim (who is celebrating 50 years in the industry). A lot of folks throw around the state-of-the-art moniker willy-nilly but Affiliated’s monitoring facility is truly the bee’s knees. The Oppenheims clued me in on the sophisticated and broad array of monitoring capabilities the central is now bringing to its dealers, including InView video verification and monitoring and monitoring virtually any connected device, making a reality of the Internet of Things promise. Best of all is the staggering RMR growth possibilities it presents to dealers willing to explore these emerging opportunities.
Got an update on Wavestore from Mike Scirica, who I met with a year ago at the U.K.-based video surveillance company’s first ISC West appearance. The VMS speciaist has attracted a lot of attention for its dewarping capabilities that were showcased in a project case study I wrote up for SSI last year focusing on the Burlington Coat Factory. Retail is just one of the many types of applications where this technology can increase efficiency and reduce costs (fewer cameras needed). The firm has gained healthy traction in the past year as evidenced by its capability with several more camera makers and the hiring of industry veteran Susan Brady on the marketing side.
From there, I spent time at the Middle Atlantic Products booth with my friends Rebecca Trautner and J.C. Costa. I saw first hand how MAP is continuing to pack installer-friendly features into its equipment rack systems while also enabling ease of maintenance and troubleshooting. And they continue to make them tougher and more durable than ever, including new levels of seismic proofing. Trautner also walked me through the firm’s fluid new Web site that is rich with features that will help integrators and dealers easily navigate through a wealth of products, but even more importantly mix and match in a way that it serves as an actual system/solution design tool. And e-commerce is coming soon too.
Beth Welch over at the Fire-Lite and Silent Knight booths was giddy about SK having won the Fire/Life Safety category of the 2014 SIA New Product Showcase for its combination fire and CO detector. Welch said there is pent-up demand for the product because although CO requirements have been rising it is only now that AHJs are really beginning to enforce and demand such devices and systems are in place. SK’s product can ease the transition and enable cost savings by providing both smoke and CO detection through a single device. We also discussed FireLite’s new module that allows authorized individuals to access mass notification systems through their phones so they can initiate alerts no matter where they may be. Welch noted MNS is both becoming more affordable and expanding its market base (beyond campuses, for example).
Samsung’s Janet Fenner took me on another dazzling, whirlwind tour of the surveillance giant’s latest offerings that continue to distill technological innovation into real-world solutions. Demos showing how the company’s advanced imaging trumps competitors in key areas like low lighting, responsiveness to sudden changes in lighting, latency, seeing through fog and providing superior images using less bandwidth were quite compelling and convincing. Among the many especially noteworthy products Samsung unveiled at ISC was its new mobile solution (for buses, transit, etc.) that capture a SIA New Product Showcase nod, new megapixel cameras, a new covert camera and a feature-packed camera aimed at the residential market.
Wrapped up the day discussing a subject I have bandied about with Bill Spence seems like just about all 16 of my ISC West sojourns: biometrics. Formerly of Recognition Systems, which became IR (now Allegion) and the past few years with Lumidigm, Spence was even more enthusiastic than usual. He talked about how much more robust and reliable biometrics has become, and also how energizing it was because the company was exhibiting for the first time as part of HID Global, which recently acquired Lumidigm. In addition, he cited examples of how the firm’s multispectral technology is being deployed in new ways from Latin America to Africa in financial and health care-related applications that in some cases life changing. Spence says he anticipates HID introducing the technology in creative and useful new ways throughout its portfolio, particularly government applications, moving forward.
That’s enough to chew on for now. Much more to come in our ongoing ISC West 2014 coverage.