Electronic locking devices - Expert commentary

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Why DIY does not spell doom for professional security installers
Why DIY does not spell doom for professional security installers

There’s no question that the popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security and home automation products is on the rise. The reasons for the growth in DIY sales are numerous, including increased awareness of home automation products, fast set-up, limited (if any) installation costs, and interoperability with other smart security products. In fact, with the parallel rise of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home, many people are opting to attempt the set-up of smart home devices without any professional assistance. According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates and Security Sales & Integration magazine, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. Let’s look at a few of them. Increase in revenue for dealers With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchaseThere are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Wireless, connected smart locks For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for new security installations And they can do all this from a prime, convenient location – the front door, as well as other points of entry like the side or back doors. Plus, smart lock conversion kits like Kwikset Convert let homeowners easily bring home automation capabilities to their door without altering the aesthetics of the entry. Connected smart locks can allow homeowners to set up their home with custom scenarios, right before they step inside. For example, residents can program their lock so that every time they unlock the door, a foyer light goes on, temperatures begin to rise to a set level – even connected coffee makers can begin to make a cup. Portfolio of home automation products One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatileSmart locks are just one example of the potential of DIY products to spark a homeowner’s interest in a wide range of other home automation devices, many of which would benefit from professional installation. One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatile and offer a complete portfolio of home automation products. The larger the home automation offering, the more devices there are to sell and install, the larger the installation required, the greater the need for professional installation. Many homeowners who feel like they have a certain level of handiness will start by trying to do it themselves with a DIY product. But things don’t always go as planned, especially if they are attempting to set up a robust home automation system. First off, just because a product is DIY doesn’t mean that the old products that are being replaced are going to easily make way for the new. A DIY thermostat or smart lock might require that the old equipment (and possibly wires) get tugged out of the wall. Messy holes might need to be filled. Advantages of professional installation Even after the old system has been removed, homeowners planning on setting up a connected system may soon realise they don’t have the electrical skills or technological know-how to install and connect all devices, get a system programmed correctly, and get everything up and running smoothly. Professional installers have learned from experience; there’s very little that they haven’t seen before. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home and how to create a custom smart home experience Do-it-yourselfers might be able to solve problems by searching the internet and finding videos. But, then again, they might not. After going the DIY route once, many full-home automation system enthusiasts are beginning to realise that the best way to get things done right the first time is to leave the installation and set-up to a professional. Professional installers can and should bring an extra level of experience and guidance to the process. Their services should go beyond tech installation and also include interface design. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home – how to create a custom smart home experience that doesn’t make the user feel less than smart. Selling additional home automation products If a problem arises due to installation error, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakesResidential security dealers who offer professional installation should be willing to embrace the DIYer who has attempted to do a self-install but has not been able to complete the process successfully. With an open mind to this scenario, they can save the day for the DIYer, as well as create an opportunity to sell additional home automation equipment that the DIYer may not have known to be available.  The disparity between DIY and professional installation also brings to light the fact that there are no ‘satisfaction guarantees’ and no ‘installation/labour warranty’ available when a home automation system is installed by a DIYer. If a problem arises with either the equipment connectivity due to installation error, or if a piece of equipment is installed incorrectly, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakes. This may not be as critical if a DIYer installs a minor piece of equipment, but with something as critical as securing and protecting their home with a home automation and security system, most people want full peace of mind that everything has been installed correctly. Reduces connection instability According to a 2017 study by the analyst firm, IHS Markit, “The quality of the equipment is usually higher in professionally installed systems, and professional configuration and setup greatly reduces the potential for connection instability…” This is an issue that DIYers may come to realise over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognise right away, especially if they are attempting to connect multiple devices, is that the connectivity may be inconsistent. Professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity IHS Markit explains that, “DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues. Some of the sensors can become unrecognisable to the system, requiring intervention from the user. In contrast, professional wireless systems rely on UL- or EN-certified equipment to operate on the basis of proprietary frequency, enabling them to work with the control panel much more seamlessly.” In other words, professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol, even an open-source protocol like Z-Wave, might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity, and fewer headaches. Not everyone is a DIY customer There are customers who want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain themThere’s no doubt that there’s a segment of the security and home automation market that loves to spend their free time doing their own home improvement. They are watching videos, reading how-to books and manuals, and enjoying every minute. There’s also a segment of the market whose top goal is to save money up front. For these customers, there’s no getting around the joy of saving money with the lower cost of many DIY products. But there are also a great number of prospective customers out there for whom DIY is of absolutely no interest. These consumers do not want to be their own IT department. They want expert help: they want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain them. The IHS Markit study points out what many home automation dealers already know: that the elder and aging-in-place markets are an ideal destination for the security and convenience of home automation products. The study says, “Many senior citizens are not tech savvy enough to install a DIY system by themselves, so they tend to rely on professionally installed systems that are usually maintained by a family member.” Along with the senior citizens market, there are many other market segments out there that still desire worry-free professional installation. Installers should offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products Producing complete and custom solutions Perhaps the best way for dealers and installers to stave off that feeling of doom that they might have about DIY is to tackle the problem head on and be creative. Offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products – consider the DIY product a great entry point for a more comprehensive system. Play up the peace of mind that comes with professional installations and support that pitch with flexible monitoring contracts and service plans. Share what you do and why; relay your passion for producing complete and custom solutions and communicate how you add value to any and every sale. No one, not even the most tech-savvy consumer, wants to install their own products if the end result is that the product doesn’t work the way it should. That’s where the pros can, should and will always come into play.

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ASSA ABLOY unveils the latest in ‘curb-to-core’ solutions at ISC West 2020
ASSA ABLOY unveils the latest in ‘curb-to-core’ solutions at ISC West 2020

As SIA’s 2020 Member of the Year, ASSA ABLOY’s presence at ISC West 2020 will include an enhanced booth experience, showcasing a suite of new product innovations that help security professionals create access in smart and efficient ways. “Security professionals are experiencing rapid industry change, which is why ASSA ABLOY is focused on educating customers about the latest curb-to-core solutions,” said Mark Duato, Executive Vice President of Aftermarket Solutions at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions America. “We intimately understand our customers’ challenges and have built a comprehensive suite of products and services that bring them smarter, simplified and intuitive solutions to help grow their businesses.” Providing Security and Access Control from Curb to Core ASSA ABLOY is a manufacturer that can provide doors, frames, mechanical and electronic access control to secure all of the openings in a myriad of facility types. Attendees will experience this broad range of solutions in a reimagined, user-friendly booth that highlights both individual products and complete, full-size door openings. Some of the latest innovations include: Building Envelope Adams Rite P8800 Pullman Rim Exit Device: This rim exit device is designed for narrow stile aluminium applications that require a life-safety exit device with a Pullman latching solution for use in retail storefronts, multi-use commercial offices, schools, medical centres and financial institutions. Norton 6300 Series Low Energy Operator: With a modular design and simple controls, this operator has a broad set of intelligent functions, such as power close, latch assist and obstruction detection to secure moderate to high traffic openings. Yale nexTouch Keypad Exit Trim: Ideal for commercial and multi-family environments, this exit trim provides the latest in keypad access with key-free convenience as an upgrade or retrofit solution. Interior Solutions Enhanced credential support across the Aperio family of wireless devices: Now offering support for mobile access via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or NFC, the Aperio wireless solution provides complete flexibility for your mobile access deployments. Securitron AQL Power Series: This customisable, intelligent power supply system provides improved functionality and efficiency through remote monitoring, with the ability to power a single electrified door opening or hundreds of access points. Status Indicators: The new status indicator option for Corbin Russwin ML2000 Series and SARGENT 8200 Series mortise locks features a 180° window design providing optimised visibility for the locked/unlocked door status, enhancing the privacy and emergency preparedness needs of any facility. RITE Slide: This acoustically-rated, soft close sliding door has a modern aesthetic design, ideal for medical rooms, patient rooms, offices and hospitality. Specialty Solutions Ultra-Light UL8 Bullet Resistant Door: Using an ultra-lightweight patented core, this door is over 50% lighter than conventional bullet-resistant doors. Real-world installation The full-size door display features complete solutions, typical of what you might find in vertical markets like government, education, healthcare, retail, multi-family, deco, glass and more. These doorways offer a unique opportunity to witness a ‘real-world’ installation and understand the complexities of their interactions. ASSA ABLOY is again hosting their annual USO Bag Build. Attendees can stop by the booth on March 19 from 1- 4 p.m. to pack supplies for military personnel leaving for or returning from deployment, awaiting the arrival of their personal luggage. ASSA ABLOY’s sister companies will also be onsite, including HID Global (booth# 11063), Alarm Controls (booth# 9077), Ameristar (booth# 9073), Abloy Security (booth# 7055) Traka (booth# 7041), August Home / Yale (booth# 32081), and LifeSafety Power (booth 14115).

Wireless access control sees major growth in 2016
Wireless access control sees major growth in 2016

The shift from wired to wireless access control was expected to gather pace in 2016—and that has happened. This year we at Assa Abloy surveyed a large cross-section of security professionals, seeking their insight into the changing market. Comparing our data with research we did in 2014 showed a clear trend towards wireless access control.   Wireless access data Our 2014 survey found 23% of commercial properties using a wireless or hybrid wired/wireless access control system. By 2016, that was 29%, with 5% of premises already fully wireless. We know we’re on the right track: ASSA ABLOY has invested heavily in market and product research, and we will continue. More card- and key-based wireless access control products are releasing through 2017 and beyond. We see a parallel trend in the residential market. Connected smart door locks, as part of smart homes, are becoming more high-profile, vindicating our investment in this sector. Our Yale brand has the largest range of smart door locks on the market.Efficient security solutions In 2016, more efficient security solutions have been right at the top of the agenda. Corporate and public sector budgets are tight, and that is likely to continue. On the commercial side, customers increasingly demand access control solutions that integrate with their current building management systems, even if those are made by different manufacturers. That’s why our Aperio wireless locks, cylinders, and escutcheons are built to open standards, for example. On the domestic side, connected living is taking off Connected living solutions Solutions must be easy to manage with low installation and maintenance costs, which is a major benefit of wireless access control. On the domestic side, connected living is taking off. More service providers in the domestic market—from energy suppliers to telecoms and security providers—are offering smart door locks as part of connected living solutions to their customers. Access control in 2016 Looking ahead to 2017, interoperability and compatibility will be increasingly important in commercial access control, as customers expect multiple systems to integrate seamlessly. In smart-home technologies, too: Platforms like Samsung SmartThings, the UK’s O2 Home, innogy SmartHome in Germany and many others are critical to the growth of smart-home security. We also see a growing role for access control solutions in small and medium-sized businesses. Wireless access systems like our SMARTair or CLIQ Go product line make it more affordable and easier to install and run than ever. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here Save

Dispatches from Security Essen 2016: Four-day show targets Europe
Dispatches from Security Essen 2016: Four-day show targets Europe

There was another big trade show last week –  the four-day Security Essen event in Germany. I didn’t attend, but several of my SourceSecurity.com colleagues report it was a busy show from start to finish, with the halls devoted to video/CCTV and access control dominating the show. The other halls were quieter, with smaller stands. Hot topics included big data, machine learning, mobile credentials, storage and an emphasis on solutions (rather than products). The exhibit hall was a bit of a maze, but attendees managed to find their way to the various stands. Three big companies – Bosch, Siemens and Honeywell – were conspicuously absent from their usual large role at Security Essen, and there was mixed feedback about the impact of their absence on the larger show. Without three gigantic stands to concentrate the footfall, attendees seemed more spread out than clustered. Hands-on, technical displays Hands-on displays with plenty of technical detail were the norm, encouraging attendees to interact with the products. The ASSA ABLOY stand, huge as always, reflected the continuing popularity of key systems in the German, Swiss and Austrian markets. ASSA ABLOY’s Yale also featured a home automation zone. Hands-on displays with plentyof technical detail were thenorm, encouraging attendeesto interact with the products Hikvision envisions cameras coming very soon with “deep learning” capabilities. These cameras, combined with big data applications, are the future of smart traffic systems, for example. Deep learning systems will replace traditional licence plate recognition (ANPR) and analyse electronic data about cars, rather than relying on number plates, says the company. Hikvision also highlighted multi-sensor cameras that can cover a large area and reduce the cost-per-channel – they have big projects in China and Southeast Asia. Hikvision’s privacy masking functionality is popular in Europe because of privacy regulations. Fujifilm demonstrated its impressive zoom lens series, featuring 60x zoom, long focal length and full HD quality, for use in airports and perimeter protection. Stabilisation is important with zoom because even slight movement can have a large effect, says the company. In Fujifilm lenses, the stabilisation is optical-based (in the lens), rather than software-based. Another stand that drew attention was Nedap, where a tiered seating area was provided for visitors to view video projected on a back wall. New laws in the Netherlands and France require that no information can go outside government buildings, thus requiring closed security systems, according to Nedap. It’s a trend likely to follow in the European Union, with similar laws potentially impacting hospitals and banking as well as government, says Nedap. This is why they are working with partner AET Europe to ensure that encrypted communications are secure between all elements of an IT-based access control system. Solutions – not just products The need to provide solutions rather than “just products” was a repeated theme. One solutions provider is MOBOTIX, which highlighted a new corporate design with fresher and more unified branding. The solutions approach includes analytics and people counting embedded for inventory optimisation and business intelligence. MOBOTIX is releasing new plug-and-play bundles to combat the perception that the company’s technology is not easy to use. There is also a 4K bundle with NAS (network attached) storage – all preconfigured; just power it up and it will run. MOBOTIX is releasing new plug-and-play bundles tocombat the perception thatthe company’s technologyis not easy to use Sony also offered solutions, including their intelligent approach to 4K, which they say overcomes traditional concerns with the higher-resolution technology. Sony also displayed “glass-to-glass” technology, streaming 4K cameras directly to a screen with no PC in between. Even with the company shifting to end-to-end solutions, their cameras are still at the core of the portfolio, including an accent on low-light and changing light conditions. Adding ROI was another hot topic for exhibitors. MOBOTIX emphasised its process monitoring capabilities, as did Geutebrück. VIVOTEK highlighted combining a people-counting solution with other retail data for business intelligence. Contrary to the focus on solutions was LTV Europe, a video company that keeps the attention on products. LTV emphasises personal service and a fresh approach rather than competing with bigger providers. Focus on storage and automation The themes my colleagues heard at Security Essen were not unlike those we heard recently at ASIS and earlier this year at IFSEC and even ISC West. More companies are looking to expand into non-traditional applications beyond security, such as asset tracking and logistics/delivery. Another example: Sony suggested using video to monitor rivers and lakes water levels for flood warnings. Quantum is keeping itsattention on storage, whileaddressing the IT department’sneed for data protection Quantum is keeping its attention on storage, while addressing the IT department’s need for data protection. The new StorNext scalable storage system, which can handle 4K, integrates various tiers of storage appropriate to varying workflows and business needs. For example, retrieval can be faster for more valuable data, thus maximising value while minimising the overall cost. Allegion is rolling out products that combine electronic and mechanical locks from subsidiary SimonsVoss and the Allegion portfolios. Allegion wants to position itself as electronic access control expert. Paxton highlighted a building automation system, Paxton net10, which is aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and works on mobile credentials as well as cards. They’re looking to build this kind of technology into future products. Another company, AxxonSoft, is pushing strongly to establish its brand in the United States – something to watch in 2017. SALTO also highlighted cloud-based mobile access control: They have developed a Keys as a Service system, SALTO KS, which allows businesses to grant access remotely while viewing a video of the door. Four busy days in Germany Security Essen is an international show, but the emphasis was on German, Austrian and Swiss companies and larger companies targeting those markets. There was more of a continental Europe “flavour” compared to IFSEC’s focus on the U.K. market. Four days is a long time for a trade show – my feet are shot after two and a half days! But my colleagues agree it was time well spent, if for nothing else than getting to watch an 8-foot-tall robot dance around Hall 3.

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