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 plenty
of technical detail were the
norm, encouraging attendees
to 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 to
combat the perception that
the company’s technology
is 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 its
attention on storage, while
addressing the IT department’s
need 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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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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