I am visiting IFSEC for the first time in several years, and one revelation is how well the event reflects the increasingly global - and diverse - nature of the security market. On the second day of the show, I was struck by the diversity of attendees, apparent in the many languages you hear spoken in the exhibit hall. I also kept coming upon confirmation of the variety of global security companies from around the world who are exhibiting at the event -- another reflection of a thriving worldwide market.

Sometimes in the United States, we think of the “European market,” for example, but that designation is an oversimplification. In fact, there isn’t really a European market, but instead many different markets within Europe, each with its own special needs, all of them also sharing some of the same security concerns.

Another trend is an increase in security for large venues and for public events, sometimes using temporary deployments of camera systems for crowd flow

I chatted with Ivo Drent, Arecont Vision’s vice president, Europe, about some of the trends he sees throughout Europe related to the American company’s megapixel camera product line. For instance, he sees growth in city surveillance applications in France, while Central Europe (Germany and the Benelux countries) are enthusiastically embracing transportation/logistics applications. The transportation vertical is using Arecont’s cameras to achieve benefits beyond “catching the bad guy,” with insurance and tracking capabilities also contributing to a better business case. Drent sees growth in the transportation vertical expanding to Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, too.

Another trend is an increase in security for large venues and for public events, sometimes using temporary deployments of camera systems for crowd flow and management applications as well as security. Arecont’s panoramic-view cameras offer good coverage of large areas. To serve the various European markets, Arecont has a 14-person European team, including local reps in individual countries or areas. The company is also finalizing a fully equipped technology lab (like the “Megalab” in Arecont’s headquarters in Glendale, Calif.), this one in Frankfurt. “We’re working to establish a European identity for an American company,” Drent says. “We are putting local people in the local markets.”

Sony’s big message is about quality and the value of the Sony brand, which stands not just for meeting specifications but for being guaranteed to meet them

Roger Lawrence, Sony’s project manager, video security, Professional Solutions Europe, also noted the regional differences among various European markets. For example, the United Kingdom is still primarily an analogue market in the process of migrating to IP, while Nordic countries and Eastern Europe demand the latest IP solutions, he says. The Sony stand depicts a “journey” among the supplier’s various vertical markets, including a coffee shop (retail), banking and transportation. Sony’s big message is about quality and the value of the Sony brand, which stands not just for meeting specifications but for being guaranteed to meet them.

Sometimes an individual market is a source of innovation. In the case of Sony, innovation highlighted at the show comes from the company’s team in France, which has developed an Android app to help installers fine-tune cameras during installation. The operation typically involves use of an analogue monitor or laptop, which a technician might need to take up a ladder to make the adjustments. The app allows adjustments using a smartphone with no wires or cables -- the installer’s hands are free to work with tools. 

From Russia, I met Alexander Baranov, director of marketing for AxxonSoft, who demonstrated their video management system, and it was different than any other user interface I have seen. The system enables the user to access video intuitively from a schematic diagram or outdoor map of a facility, and it also can meld the video information with the schematic information to create almost an immersive experience. The system captures metadata to enable use of video analytics on recorded video for post-analysis of alarms, such as applying motion detection to a specific area. That’s just part of their story, and a huge global map in their booth further emphasized the diverse global market, with pictures of the Russian company’s representatives all over the world, from China to Mexico to sub-Saharan Africa.

Avigilon’s press event highlighted broader integration of its browser-based Access Control Manager (ACM) product

Another big player made a splash on Day Two. Avigilon’s press event highlighted broader integration of its browser-based Access Control Manager (ACM) product, including the ability to handle alarms in either the access control system or the video management system, or both. A new Professional version of the access control product is a hardened Linux appliance with 16- or 32-door capacity and the full feature set (and at a lower price). Avigilon began in the video sector, and the press event also highlighted the latest in their camera capabilities, such as the Rialto video analytics appliance resulting from the VideoIQ acquisition. Also, Avigilon’s HD Pro camera uses up to 16 megapixels, and the Avigilon system provides what amounts to resolution on demand. A 1 megapixel or so resolution is fine to view the larger image, but if you need to see something up close, you can zoom in, and the Avigilon Control Center software video display leverages the additional resolution to clear up the image almost magically. Everyone was squinting to read the name on a boat passing by outside the meeting room along the ExCel Centre’s waterfront. Nobody could read it, but the words were perfectly clear on the screen.

Today I also got a chance to interview Ximen, vice president of Chinese video supplier Uniview, which recently entered the international market. That makes two of the large Chinese suppliers I have spoken with at IFSEC -- I met with Dahua yesterday and will speak with Hikvision tomorrow. A lot to tell about these Chinese manufacturers -- keep watching this space for more.

I ended the day speaking with Vivotek, which among other things is highlighting their low-light functionality with a system called SNV -- Supreme Night Visibility. The Taiwanese company uses three types of wide dynamic range (WDR) with their products. They also have a 5-megapixel IR fisheye fixed dome network camera.

IFSEC reflects a world of innovation and new technology approaches that will impact our market. The scope of possibilities leaves this IFSEC attendee both overwhelmed and eager to learn more. One day to go, but it has already been well worth the trip.

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Larry Anderson Editor, SecurityInformed.com & SourceSecurity.com

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is SourceSecurity.com's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads SourceSecurity.com's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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