Latest Technologies, Business Plans Unveiled at ASIS 2011

By Rodney Bosch

ORLANDO — The three-day 2011 ASIS Seminar and Exhibits, which concluded here Wednesday, offered attendees a view of the latest in security equipment advances, while serving as a springboard for significant news developments.

Topping the breaking news announcements, Tyco Int’l said it would divide itself into three separate companies, all of which will be publicly traded. Tyco will separate into a residential/small business security business, a commercial fire and security business, and a flow control products business.

Following on the heals of its Niscayah purchase, Stanley Convergent Security Solutions (CSS) said it acquired Canada’s fourth-largest alarm company in a deal that will add $1.8 million in recurring monthly revenue (RMR) and 79,000 customers.

In other developments, New York-based SecureWatch24 (SW24) launched a dealer and distribution channel for its video management and access control services to help dealers build recurring monthly revenue (RMR).

Siemens also announced that it merged its fire and security businesses into a new Fire Safety and Security (FSS) unit.

Elsewhere on the show floor, Axis Communications celebrated the 15-year anniversary of the network video camera by hosting a birthday party of sorts at its booth. It was September 1996 when Axis launched the world’s first IP camera at a tradeshow in the U.S. Originally the camera was intended for Web use, but ultimately it marked the first step in the shift from analog CCTV to network video, according to the company. Martin Gren, Axis co-founder and inventor of the network camera, was in attendance to fete the past, present and future of IP video during the gathering.

Following are just some of the press briefings and new product and services discussions SSI editors took part in during the tradeshow. Be sure to check back later for new additions to this roundup.

Martin Huddart, vice president of electronic access control for ASSA ABLOY, presided over a press briefing to announce the introduction of 50 new products at ASIS by the conglomerate. While he didn’t itemize each new product, Huddart outlined how the wares cross a range of door opening solutions, including mechanical to electro mechanical, Web-enabled, locks that connect to building control systems, home control devices and more. Huddart stressed the importance of providing products that allow installing security contractors to win jobs that previously were considered non-traditional for them, as well as solutions that expedite installation times.

Cisco hosted a press conference at its booth to announce a series of safety and security innovations that are designed to enhance urban safety and security. Cisco executives said the innovations support the evolution of the company’s strategy toward a solutions-oriented, services-led approach that will enable its customers and large security integrators to build highly scalable network-based security systems. Among key highlights discussed: enhancements to the Video Surveillance Manager platform, including the ability to manage video recording of up to 120 terabytes of storage; the introduction of the IP Interoperability and Communications System (IPICS), an IP-based dispatch and incidence-response solution; and its Medianet support has been extended to Cisco and other third party cameras (VideoIQ will be the first camera vendor to embed Medianet Services Interface software, allowing its cameras to automate the way they interface with Cisco network switches).

HID Global hosted a strategy briefing to detail the results of what the company billed as the industry’s first near field communications (NFC)-enabled mobile access control trial.  Conducted at Arizona State University, 32 students were provided NFC-enabled smartphones loaded with a mobile app, which were used as an access control credential to residence hall doors. Not without hitches — issues included students trading phones and the mobile app needing to be relaunched multiple times — by and large the project was viewed as a success. According to HID’s initial feedback, 79 percent of the participating students reported using a smartphone to unlock a door is just as convenient as using their campus ID card. Nearly 90 percent said they would like to use their smartphone to open all doors on campus. While the pilot was focused on physical access, nearly all participants also expressed an interest in using their smartphone for other campus applications including access to the student recreation center, as well as transit fare payment and meal, ticket and merchandise purchases.

Among the goings-on at the Honeywell booth, representatives demonstrated how facilities can streamline operations by integrating security with building control systems. Among the highlighted technologies were software that allows installing security contractors to more easily fold video surveillance into building systems, a new line of network video recorders that embrace open standards, and remote-monitoring services that allow facility managers to keep tabs on multiple properties.

Milestone Systems released XProtect Express, a new addition to the company’s video management software (VMS) product line. Supporting up to 48 cameras on a single server, it offers speedy VMS integration for small businesses such as retail stores. An open platform environment allows businesses seamlessly integrate solutions such as point-of-sale and video analytics directly into the XProtect Smart Client, for a common interface and unified operating system. 

Niscayah discussed Nimbus 24/7, a new secure cloud hosting offering for video storage that is based on EMC storage technologies. During a press conference, Ed Meltzer, director of cloud hosting programs at Niscayah, said the managed service is built around server software and surveillance cameras by Axis Communications. Niscayah will market the service through a new national dealer program. In addition to providing dealers with discounts on a wide range of security products, the program will also provide them with marketing materials to help them brand the video hosting offering as their own.

Rodney Bosch is managing editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (310) 533-2426.

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