Many of the new products being promoted at IFSEC International this year at ExCeL London were previously unveiled at the big ISC West show in the United States in April. Now the IFSEC audience of Europeans and other international visitors are seeing them for the first time. Traffic seemed a little slow the first day, and you heard some exhibitors grumbling about it, but IFSEC exhibitors are finding a lot of new things to talk about with attendees. The cool London weather is perfect for a trade show.
Panasonic 4K cameras
4K cameras have been a common new product category lately. At IFSEC, Panasonic is taking the idea of 4K one step further by unveiling an end-to-end 4K solution. The system is a reflection of Panasonic’s new strategy of selling specialised solutions for vertical markets, rather than their historic emphasis on products.
Panasonic has invested in its engineering team to help develop market-specific solutions, some in partnership with other companies including access control and even logistics system providers (one system ties tracking of parcels being shipped with video along the route.) Panasonic’s system offerings in Europe are different than the Japanese giant’s U.S. emphasis. For example, Panasonic sells a line of fire products in Europe, but not in the U.S., and a thermal camera line has been designed and built in Europe. It’s an example of how the global market still has to cater to local market preferences -- a recurring theme at IFSEC.
Related to 4K, Sean Taylor of Panasonic expects the new technology to be adopted more quickly than was HD, for example, although it’s hard to predict when the new level of resolution will become “mainstream.” Meanwhile, Panasonic sees immediate opportunity for 4K in markets such as banking, transportation, government and enterprise, and other high-end applications. Focusing on those markets will keep the company busy until wider implementation kicks in. Panasonic is holding off on embracing H.265 compression, having instead developed a powerful “H.264-plus” compression that uses Panasonic’s UniPhier chip (and is compliant with H.264).
"We have always been an end-to-end supplier, but we want to be sure we are the best in key areas, such as the PTZ, panoramic cameras and the VMS platform," says Herves Fages, Senior Vice President, Pelco by Schneider Electric
Pelco Optera IMM
Pelco is another big video company focusing on end-to-end solutions while also emphasising the advantages of “best in breed.” Specifically, Pelco has brought its VideoXpert video management system (VMS) and Optera IMM 12-megapixel, multi-sensor camera to the European show (both were shown at ISC West). Patents cover the “seamless” image provided by the multi-image camera (working with the VMS). The multiple images are perfectly aligned and colour-balanced to provide an “immersive” video experience when coupled with the new VideoXpert VMS. Pelco also has a nifty new dome -- a Spectra Enhanced Series High-Speed PTZ dome -- introduced just within the last couple of weeks.
“We have always been an end-to-end supplier, but we want to be sure we are the best in key areas, such as the PTZ, panoramic cameras and the VMS platform,” says Herve Fages, senior vice president, who manages Pelco for Schneider Electric. “The other products in a system -- housing, accessories, etc. -- are a convenience sale.”
Pelco has seen some softness (and price sensitivity) in the European market in the beginning of 2015, especially in southern Europe and Spain. However, the Middle East has been strong, especially in mid- and large-size projects that are Pelco’s strong suit. “Because we offer end-to-end solutions, we have been less impacted by aggressive pricing,” says Fages.
A focus on services
As 4K becomes more common and camera counts increase, there is more expected of video storage solutions. The role of video storage has increased as more systems emphasise the criticality of data. “At one time, the hard drive was seen as a component, but now it’s an asset because the data has more value,” says Andrew Palmer, Seagate’s U.K., Ireland and Israel sales manager. To ensure data isn’t lost, Seagate offers a recovery service that is included in the price of some of its products. The service ensures the ability to recover data from a damaged hard drive -- with success an estimated 95 percent of the time. “Making data available gives you intelligence for business,” says Palmer.
Another storage company, WD, is featuring the WD Purple NV, designed for larger-scale network video recorder (NVR) surveillance systems utilising higher hard drive bay counts and greater numbers of attached cameras, which demand increased storage capacity and durability.
Emphasising a focus on providing service as well as products, Milestone unveiled the “Milestone Care” initiative, a multi-tiered maintenance and support program. Four service tiers -- Basic, Plus, Premium and Elite -- are designed to provide protection of Milestone products both directly to end users and working through dealer/integrators. The higher-end options, which come at a price, include benefits such as committed resolution times and assignment of a technical “account manager.”
More to come as IFSEC continues ….