I have been unpacking from last week’s ASIS show in Orlando. It was a good show, except if you compare it to last spring’s ISC West in Las Vegas, which was especially well attended and generated a lot of excitement in the market. ASIS was definitely smaller, lower key and less crowded. And there were no big product announcements.
But there was still plenty of technology on display. In particular, I saw the show reflecting several ongoing trends in the market.
Impact Of M&As
Mergers and acquisitions have been big news in the security market for the last year or two, and there was evidence at ASIS of how M&As are changing the market.
For example, Axis Communications, now owned by Japanese giant Canon, is taking over the marketing of Canon’s small (by comparison) selection of video surveillance equipment. Thus ends (quietly) one of the big questions in the market: Why would a company like Canon want to compete against itself? Even more reflective of the changing Canon/Axis world is a new 20-megapixel camera highlighted at ASIS. It was developed through cooperation by the two companies, with Canon providing the lenses and Axis providing the rest of the camera, including image processing. It’s being positioned as an opportunity to combine the best capabilities of both companies.
Mergers and acquisitions have
Vanderbilt is expanding its cloud and video management offerings – in addition to access control – with acquisition of Access Control Technology (ACT) in Dublin. A company built on acquisitions, Vanderbilt will be looking to unify their product offerings in coming months – combining technologies from various acquisitions into a unified whole.
It’s been a big year for FLIR, which has swallowed up DVTEL and now offers a complete range of video surveillance products. Reaching way beyond FLIR’s historic presence as a thermal imaging company, the new FLIR is looking to educate the market about its versatility.
Meeting End User Demands
End users demand more integrated systems, and you heard it repeatedly at ASIS. For example, Tyco Security Products says their products are now more connected, reflecting further deterioration of the silos that used to exist.
More effective user interfaces are getting attention. One I saw at ASIS was by Honeywell’s Connected Buildings business. A big screen at their booth showed a map with multiple locations in an enterprise; clicking on a location brings up a schematic showing where cameras are located. If you click on a camera icon, you see video from that camera. They also previewed a smart phone app that runs off the same database, which can be used by guards working in the field.
Bosch also has a neat integration of their access control, intrusion and video systems, all tied together using their intrusion system to provide intuitive controls.
Ameristar, an ASSA ABLOY subsidiary, offers Perimeter InSite software, providing a virtual view of any perimeter security construction project as it is planned and built – stage by stage – with no surprises.
Mobile Credentialing, Wireless Locks
A leader in mobile credentialing, HID Global is emphasising how the technologies are being implemented in the market – more customer references and case studies are paving the way for broader adoption. Other companies are also onboard with mobile credentialing, including Brivo and Lenel.
A leader in mobile credentialing,
Wireless is continuing to evolve. Stanley Security offers the WiQ wireless product line, emphasising that installation of wireless locks is half the cost of wired, but there are downsides (such as slight access delays) compared to wired. Allegion continues to expand its Engage wireless portfolio, too.
Paxton Access, a British company, has restructured and is investing in the U.S. market. Their Paxton BLU cloud-based access control system uses Amazon web services and is an opportunity for dealer/integrators to earn more recurring monthly revenue (RMR)
Security In The Headlines
Violence in the headlines often screams out for security solutions, and there were some at ASIS. Stanley highlighted its Shelter product that enables a wireless lockdown in an active shooter situation in the education environment. It solves a high-profile challenge, but Stanley emphasises that it’s just part of a broader school security program – that’s what’s really needed.
A different approach on the active shooter scenario is offered by risk assessment and consultancy company Control Risks, which offers active shooter education programmes for enterprises, including an e-learning module to teach employees how to react in an active shooter situation.
New Video Capabilities
Video grabbed attention at ASIS. As Hikvision and Dahua continue their energetic push into the U.S. markets, they were among the largest (and most crowded) booths. Several companies – including Bosch and Tyco -- are adding video analytics to their cameras at the factory.
Vicon previewed its new Valerus VMS system, based on ONVIF protocols and totally compatible with their legacy ViconNet VMS. They see open systems as a strong selling point, but they will also continue selling hardware and “total systems.”
"Suspect search" can search video
“Suspect search” is a new feature showing up on video surveillance systems. The feature can search captured video from throughout a system to deliver additional examples of video involving a subject that has been identified by a single frame of video – find the girl in the blue dress, or the man wearing a red shirt. Searching a whole system, rather than a single camera feed, expands an operator’s ability to investigate an incident. Avigilon introduced its version, called “Appearance Search” at ASIS, and Qognify also highlighted its version, called “Suspect Search,” which I first saw at IFSEC. I notice Exacq also has a flavor of this, and I am sure there are others.
Perimeter Security Evolving
Perimeter security is changing. Long considered a “low-tech” wing of the security market, there is a lot going on in the area of perimeter security. Visiting a couple of booths at ASIS opened my eyes. For example, Senstar has every kind of sensor, and their Tungsten product is a security appliance that offers cyber-security at the edge of the network, tying together the sensors and other devices. Protech offers solar-powered wireless sensors that don’t require trenching, another money-saver (more to come about them).