Taming the Wild, Wild ISC West

Just got back from the whirlwind that was this year’s ISC West in Las Vegas. As if jockeying with more than 25,000 people and 900+ display booths was not enough, the week was also packed to the hilt with press conferences, seminars, association meetings, a keynote, award presentations, business breakfasts, lunches and dinners, receptions, mixers, hospitality suites, outings, and parties. To top it off, as usual, Security Sales & Integration exhibited and hosted the annual SAMMY Awards gala. I believe an “I survived ISC West 2007” T-shirt may be in order.

In addition to all that chaos and the omnipresent throngs of people who just can’t seem to give Vegas enough of their money, it was an especially hectic and noteworthy occasion for SSI as we introduced our new publisher — John Lacasale. John, who earlier this decade was a sales manager for a competing publication, made quite a splash with the ISC serving as the backdrop for his return to the industry. Just days on the job, he even took on emceeing the SAMMYs, and came through with flying colors. Talk about trial by fire! 

Having now spent some time with John, I know our loyal readers and advertisers will appreciate the friendly, enthusiastic and professional stewardship he brings to SSI, sister magazine Campus Safety and associated media. I greatly look forward to working closely with him as our team continues its mission to be your favorite, most useful resource. 

Besides our new publisher, the “buzz” at ISC West was the much stronger presence of IT-based exhibitors such as Cisco and IBM, OEM companies and start-ups seeking to either forge new partnerships or entertain acquisition possibilities, and vendors pursuing solution-based approaches and offering dealer/integrator training to keep up with IT-physical security convergence. Of course, product launches also created plenty of buzz, with IP-enabled devices, integrated systems, DVR refinements, video analytics and GSM-capable alarm communicators being the belles of this ball. 

When it is all said and done, 19 total exhibit hours is not nearly enough time to take in everything this event has to offer, especially when many of the previously mentioned activities take place concurrently. There was so much to see and do that its impact will be apparent within the pages of SSI for months to come. 

Some of the many exhibitors I visited that demonstrated amazing new products and technology included Panasonic, Brady People ID, TOA Electronics, Ingersol Rand, ADI, Dedicated Micros, UL, ISONAS, GE, Sanyo, Nuvico, HID Global, System Sensor, Verint, Pelco, Speco, DSC, American Dynamics/Software House, Altronix, American Fibertek, Integral Technologies, NAPCO and Honeywell. 

The latter was particularly noteworthy, as it had been announced prior to the show that Honeywell had acquired video analytics firm ActivEye. I seized the chance to get the inside scoop from Carolyn Ramsey, director of program management for Honeywell Video. Here is what she shared: 

“ActivEye had what Honeywell was looking for in terms of both ease of deployment and dependability. To the first point, we put a lot of effort into the user interface, ease of setup and ease of understanding an alarm. As a result, we built an intelligent, learning software that can internally adjust its own sensitivity level. It is also remotely configurable, which eliminates travel to individual locations. 

“Regarding reliability, we have 15 patents incorporated into the software and access to about 70 other patents we’ve authored as a team. Those patents know how to differentiate and filter out everything except people and vehicles, which are the two types of objects customers care about the most. Another killer is lighting and reflection problems, which the system also filters out where others fail. Honeywell now has a solution that is truly easy to use and works really, really well.”

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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