ISC Expo Chicago 2000: June 21-22

With a city skyline filled with impressive structures, such as the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Building, as a backdrop along with a spectacular panoramic view of Lake Michigan, it’s no wonder Reed Exposition chose Navy Pier as its venue for the Midwest version of the International Security Conference and Exposition (ISC Expo) held June 21-22. To mark the occasion as a duel-industry event, ISC Expo Chicago 2000 was held in conjunction with the Home Automation (HA) Show, drawing professionals from the security, systems integration and home automation markets.

Visitors needed only to cross over to the opposite end of the conference hall to view the latest in access control, burglary, fire and CCTV applications. There was also a variety of seminars and workshops to choose from, including “The Value of a Customer in the New Millennium.” The business management seminar discussed methods of measuring customer value, communicating enterprise value to management and growing your customer base.

One of the highlights of the show was the SIA/NSCA/NICET Meeting, in which key CCTV professionals volunteered their time and expertise to achieve a common goal: to create a CCTV layout/design practice analysis for three types of systems. During a two-day period, the group identified key domains, including project planning, installation, testing, certification, communication, troubleshooting, training end users and project management.

The information compiled from the meeting will be organized into a preliminary draft and distributed to the group for review.

“There’s been an obvious consensus in some areas of the practice analysis; however, in certain kind of jobs, the terminology varies and I believe that’s usually the difficult part,” says Brian Gifford, manager of certification development for the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies located in Alexandria, Va.

The HA conference was kicked off with a keynote address, “Universal Plug and Play for Home Automation: Opportunity and Challenges,” delivered by Salim AbiEzzi, Ph.D, chairman and Steering Committee manager of Architect & Standards Universal Plug & Play Microsoft Corp.

Among the special events was “Boot Camp 2000,” a full-day workshop that offered instruction on retrofitting and integrating new technologies with older systems. According to industry experts, with existing homes that account for 95 percent of the U.S. housing market, the ability to look beyond new construction and to service old homes is critical.

On Tuesday, show goers had an opportunity to attend the “Intelligent House Tour and Reception.” Interested parties boarded a bus at Navy Pier and were transported to one of the world’s most automated homes located in Riverwoods, Ill. The house features more than 300 sensors and actuators to automate virtually every aspect of home life, including motorized blinds that cover the majority of the 173 windows on the premises. The home’s whole-house audio system completely operates under voice control, with digital music functions that come from a cable modem link to the Internet.

Attendees also got a sneak peek of the latest array of home networking and home theater equipment available on the market. One “smart home” offering in particular would’ve had both Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse in a stir. Invensys Network Systems showcased software that works with a microcircuit and your kitchen oven to execute cooking instructions from a recipe-rich Web site.

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