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IFSEC 2015 Day two - Global insights and surprises

Published on 18 June, 2015

Axis has a new camera that “shakes like a dog” when it rains -- to get rid of the extra moisture. KiwiSecurity, an Austrian company and IFSEC newcomer, uses video analytics to scramble images of faces in live video to ensure privacy.

These were two of the surprising things I saw on Day Two of IFSEC. Attendance picked up nicely in the halls of London’s ExCeL -- and the show floor seemed to get bigger as the day wore on (at least according to my weary feet!). There definitely were more things to see than time to see them.

Genetec's integration with KiwiVision

The video analytics system that scrambles faces on live video shared a little corner of Genetec’s stand. The KiwiVision Privacy Protector capability is just one of several intelligent functions of the product, with which Genetec has developed a close integration. Other functions include the more familiar license plate recognition, queue detection, intrusion detection, etc.

Genetec is also looking to help end user customers make sense of the “Wild West” of body-worn cameras, which are facing rapid growth. Genetec offers a solution to incorporate body-worn camera feeds into its video management system (VMS). Managing the video from body-worn cameras is an important -- and so far overlooked --  consideration amid the rapid implementation of the cameras, says Andrew Elvish, Genetec’s Vice President, Marketing and Product Management.

Axis and Canon growth plan

The Axis Q61-E Series camera has “Sharpdome technology” to provide sharp images in all directions -- it looks more like a globe than a typical dome camera. The compact PTZ camera is suitable for indoor or outdoor applications, in low light and challenging conditions.The “Speed Dry” function removes water drops from the dome glass (using canine-like vibration) -- to supply sharp images in rainy weather.

Genetec is also looking to help
end user customers make sense
of the “Wild West” of body-worn
cameras, which are facing rapid

There was other news from Axis, too, already arguably the biggest newsmaker in the security market in the last year given its planned acquisition by Canon. At a press conference, Axis again emphasised it will be “business as usual” after the acquisition and that Axis will continue to operate separate from the Japanese giant. (In fact, Canon has not yet acquired the needed 90 percent of shares; therefore Axis is still trading on the Swedish stock exchange. However, eventual completion of the transaction is all but a certainty.)

If anything, the new owners have accelerated the Axis growth path. Axis announced on the second day of IFSEC its plans to build a new 350,000-square-foot (32,000-square-meter) state-of-the-art headquarters directly adjacent to its current location in Lund, Sweden. Building on the new headquarters will begin in January 2016 with completion expected in 2018. The new nine-floor building will accommodate company growth up to 1,100 employees (some of the existing facilities will be retained.)

“The Axis product, innovation and sales structure will remain the same,” says Atul Rajput, Axis regional director, Northern Europe. “We will also gain access to Canon’s knowledge and technology, which will be a foundation for future joint cooperation and benefits. These areas include image technology, manufacturing technology, procurement power, and a strong patent portfolio.”

As far as industry trends, Rajput points to a transition from forensic use of video to deterrence and even to real-time detection. New tools like audio analytics, which can mimic the human ear’s abilities to differentiate various sounds, from gun shots to breaking glass, will enable better real-time response. Other trends include “surveillance as a service” -- and, in fact “everything as a service” -- with more functionality migrating to the cloud. Video will also be used increasingly to improve business efficiency (beyond security). 

Axis will be looking for growth beyond its current focus on video surveillance for security. They have a new camera for broadcast/video conferencing applications. Even beyond cameras, they are looking at temperature alarms to monitor if physical equipment overheats. Axis has already introduced an IP-enabled audio/video door intercom system and a network horn speaker.

HID Global Seos

“We see a clear requirement for open standards within these countries (EMEA),” says Volker Kunz, HID Global Director of Sales, EMEA Physical Access Control

Another big supplier at IFSEC is HID Global, which sees a demand for high security in access control, especially in vertical markets such as utilities, energy, aviation, finance and banking. Throughout the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region, demand is strong among enterprise-class customers, typically the top 100 companies in each country (and many of the top 500). “We see a clear requirement for open standards within these countries,” says Volker Kunz, HID Global Director of Sales, EMEA Physical Access Control. There is also demand for custom keys and other specific formats to increase security levels, varying for each end user.

“From an EMEA perspective, especially in the northern part, there is a requirement for a lot of customisation, personalising of credentials -- they want us to give them that fully programmed solution,” says Kunz.

At IFSEC, HID Global is showing of the Seos “Tap In” functionality, which can be used to tap into applications in a tablet environment, for example. There are already 2,400 apps that support the capability, according to HID Global.

Seos is HID Global’s open mobile ID system that can run on various media, whether a mobile device, a card, or whatever, providing companies more options in terms of how they run their access control systems. Using a smartphone as a credential is especially desirable in applications where there is a lot of turnover among users -- such as colleges and universities. Enterprise customers may still require a physical badge/photo ID (therefore less likely to go to smart phone credentialing).

“Seos allows us to create a new ecosystem with partners, including the mechanical lock sister companies in Assa Abloy, says Spencer Marshall, HID Global Regional Sales Manager, Northern Europe. Kunz points to the importance of combining convenience with security -- inconvenient security measures will cause users to bypass them to the detriment of overall security.

Axxonsoft global expansion

AxxonSoft, a VMS vendor, is among the many companies at IFSEC that are supplying a global market but with an eye to addressing the varied needs of each local area. In the last year, AxxonSoft has established more offices around the world, in Morocco and South Africa. By the end of the year, they will open an office in the United Kingdom.

AxxonSoft is among the many
companies at IFSEC that are
supplying a global market but
with an eye to addressing the
varied needs of each local area

AxxonSoft has done many large projects in the Middle East, such as the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the Petroleum Institute; in the U.K., they have done projects for the London Underground and a retailer. They are currently working on a huge city surveillance project in the Emirate of Sharjah. “We are one of the top VMSs used in the the Middle East,” says Yury Akhmetov, AxxonSoft business development director. “We started early doing business there and are very well known. We are so busy with large projects we don’t do the smaller projects.”

“Localisation of all the materials is very important,” says Akhmetov. They are starting to develop business in French-speaking countries in northern Africa, and will be looking to localise their offerings in Turkish, Polish, Mandarin, Serbian and Bulgarian.

Developing new markets

Large companies like Milestone also have to think local and act local in a global market. Implementing Milestone’s global strategy in the EMEA region involves a local approach for each region -- investment in training, demo facilities, marketing materials, more resources, and native speaking employees. “We understand the market needs of each locale in a very detailed way,” says Thomas Lausten, Milestone’s vice president, EMEA. “We develop each market in response to data we receive from talking to more end users -- what is the essential piece in a VMS for retail, or other verticals?” Milestone adapts to each area’s need with information gleaned by talking to customers, integrators and consultants, and from feedback about where they are succeeding. More R&D enables a fast response to localised needs.

However, there are universal needs across multiple localities: “We need to be easy to deploy, and everything needs to be based on scalability,” says Lausten. “We grow with existing partners, who are becoming bigger and bigger.” 

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