The Global Security Exchange (GSX) seems smaller this year, which is not surprising given the absence on the show floor of several big companies such as Hikvision and ASSA ABLOY (although their subsidiary HID Global has a big booth). A trend affecting the number of companies exhibiting at GSX 2018, and other trade shows, is industry consolidation, which is impacting the show even beyond the fewer exhibitors this year in Las Vegas. GSX is the new branding for the trade show formerly known as ASIS.

There was an impressive crowd of visitors waiting for the show floor to open Tuesday morning; the conference part of the program began on Monday. After the attendees filed through the doors, the foot traffic seemed brisk throughout the morning, and was somewhat steady until the end of the first day. Exhibitors as a whole seemed pleased with the first day and cautiously optimistic about the rest of the show.

Acquisitions and consolidation

HID Global announced on the first day that they will acquire Crossmatch - emphasising the impact of consolidation

Emphasising the impact of consolidation on the industry as a whole, and on this show, was an announcement from HID Global on the first day that they will acquire Crossmatch, a biometric identify management and secure authentication solutions provider. It’s a comparatively large acquisition for the company specialising in trusted identity solutions.  

Just days earlier, another acquisition also seemed to confirm the trend when UTC Climate, Controls and Security — the owner of Lenel — announced an agreement to acquire S2 Security.

The fruits of another recent acquisition was on display at the GSX 2018 hall, where Isonas took its place near the front entrance as part of the Allegion booth, just three months after the global security provider acquired the ‘pure IP access control company.’

Isonas is well positioned in two of the three fastest growing segments of the access control market — IP hardware, which is growing 41 percent per year globally, and access control as a service, or ‘cloud’ technology, which is also outpacing the overall access control market. Allegion also has the third fast-growing segment, wireless locks, covered with its Schlage brand.

"New avenues of growth"

The early days of new ownership is opening fresh opportunities for both organisations as Allegion seeks to leverage Isonas’ intellectual property and the smaller company finds new avenues of growth in the larger organisation, says Rob Lydic, Isonas Global Vice President of Sales. Motorola joined Avigilon in a higher profile role at their booth, emphasizing consolidation in the industry

Lydic sees a likelihood of additional acquisitions in the near future in the security space, given the large amount of capital currently available to be deployed, and the large number of entrepreneurial companies looking to make the leap, as Isonas did, from a small booth at the back of the hall to front-and-center as part of a big industry player.

Another reflection of consolidation: Motorola Solutions is taking a much higher-profile role in the Avigilon booth. In addition to signage, ownership by Motorola is also impacting the Avigilon product offerings. For example, the Motorola Ally security incident management and communications system has been integrated with Avigilon’s analytics-based event detection, and is being positioned to serve the enterprise market.

The system simplifies security operations with a single platform that allows access to critical data, including video and access control systems, directly from any web-enabled device.

In addition to signage, ownership by Motorola is also impacting the Avigilon product offerings
Another reflection of consolidation: Motorola Solutions is taking a much higher-profile role in the Avigilon booth

Avigilon is displaying Motorola Solutions’ CommandCenter Aware integrated with Avigilon’s systems for use with public safety applications to provide dispatchers and intelligence analysts with video feeds, incident details, alerts, data mapping and responder location.

Avigilon has also integrated its AI-driven Appearance Search technology with its Access Control Manager system, so video searches can be performed based on a badge credential. The system can automatically pull up any information, whether video or events in the access control system, based on the badge information. It can also be used to search for lost badges, or to view where a person is located in the building.

Avigilon introduced an AI appliance that allows existing cameras to be integrated with Appearance Search

The company introduced an AI appliance that allows existing (non-Avigilon) cameras (up to 20 two-megapixel cameras) to be integrated with Appearance Search. Also, the next generation of analytics allows detection of more things, such objects a person may be holding, or detection based on what they are wearing.

The growth of the cannabis market

Although attendees at GSX are generally understood to be more end users than integrators, Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, the parent company of Vanderbilt Industries and ComNet, says he sees little difference in attendees at GSX compared to the ISC West show in the spring. “We see all our resellers here,” he says. Grillo noticed that Day One booth traffic was “not consistently busy, but steady.”

Grillo says ACRE expects to be active again soon in the mergers and acquisitions market. The company has grown through six acquisitions since its founding, and has had one divestiture (when it sold Mercury Security to HID last fall). Since selling Mercury, ACRE has been ‘back in the buying mode,’ just looking for the right opportunity, says Grillo. New markets are a theme at GSX, and one of the biggest new opportunities is the cannabis industry. Marijuana has been legalised in dozens of U.S. states, and Canada is on the verge of legalising the drug.

March Networks works with multiple cannabis operators to provide video solutions, point-of-sale transaction data, and customer analytics

March Networks is among the companies targeting the cannabis industry in a big way. Already across the U.S., March Networks works with multiple cannabis operators to provide video solutions, point-of-sale transaction data, and customer analytics. The business intelligence solutions also aid compliance in the highly-regulated industry.

March Networks provides radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to track plants throughout the channel, and tracking is integrated with video systems to provide correlated video views. A couple of exhibitors mentioned to me the need for commercial companies to deploy a comparable level of automation as their employees are accustomed to in the smart home environment. That suggests a need for things such as smartphone integration and voice commands.

One exhibitor putting its toe in the water is Hanwha Techwin, which showed an Amazon Echo device used to control a video management system (VMS) with voice commands.

Could the simple integration be a preview of the future of control rooms, where security officers merely talk to their equipment rather than operating controls? We’ll be talking to more companies (and maybe a few machines) on Day Two of the show, and will be reporting what we hear.

Download PDF version

Author profile

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.

In case you missed it

Smart home access control growth and the future of door security
Smart home access control growth and the future of door security

There’s growing noise around smart homes and smarter security. You’ve probably heard it. But there is a place where access control and more have been smart for decades: the workplace. Home automation and IoT are still playing catch-up with the commercial sector. A new insights report from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018” — measures just how fast consumer smart technology is running. According to a survey conducted for the report, 61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system. Energy monitors, home CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and smart door locks are the most popular, according to the report. All these functions, of course, have been available to businesses for years.61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system Educating the smart home consumer Paradoxically, report data also questions how much consumers really know about their smarter home. A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities.  Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security  Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure homes through smart technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. Commercial access control offers such functionality as standard, of course.  In addition, smart door locks offer more than just stand-alone operation and clever functions. In a domestic setting, magic happens when locks work in harmony with a home automation system, connected by protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Wi-Fi. "Smart" security on the move  The smartphone is becoming a remote control for managing a connected life beyond just home (and even workplace) security. According to Accenture, the parcel delivery services market will grow by $343 billion by 2020. Just like home security, convenience is a major driver of change. Homeowners can send guests a virtual digital key to their phones, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door A recent PostNord pilot in Sweden aimed to remove the inconvenience of waiting home for a postal delivery. Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock.  Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Holiday rentals and smart home tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European holiday rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travellers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built holiday rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. Travellers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.

Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry
Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry

Security and Safety Things GmbH (SAST) is a new company that has announced its vision for an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The Bosch startup plans to build a global ecosystem for the development of innovative security camera applications. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), SAST provides libraries, an API framework, and codecs for developers to work with. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications. We presented some questions to Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management and Marketing, about the new venture, and here are his responses: Q: Why a new company now? What technology innovations have made this a good time to launch this company? The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform"Mangold-Takao: From a technical perspective we see two main drivers: increasing computing power at the edge and increasing internet connectivity, which will enable devices to directly communicate with each other and bring new technologies such as artificial intelligence also to the security and safety industry. At the same time, we see that this industry and its users are hungry for more innovative solutions – addressing new security needs while at the same leveraging the possibility to improve business operations for specific verticals, e.g. retail and transportation. The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform for this industry. Q: Why does SAST need to be a separate entity from Bosch? Mangold-Takao: SAST is setup as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. We wanted to make sure that SAST is able to underline its role as an industry standard platform across multiple players. SAST is open to get additional investors and is being setup as a startup in its own offices in Munich to foster the environment where speed and innovation can more easily take place. Having said that, several entities of the Bosch Group are very interesting partners for SAST. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications Q: Please explain your "value proposition" to the industry. Mangold-Takao: We will bring new innovations and possibilities to the security and safety industry by providing an open, secure and standardised Operating System for video security cameras, to also address pressing issues such as cyber security and data privacy concerns. Devices that run then with the SAST operating system will work with an application marketplace provided and operated by SAST. Integrators and users can then use these apps from this marketplace to deploy additional functionality on these devices. With our platform we will be able to build up a community of app developers, including the ones not yet developing for this industry who have expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Q: It seems what you are doing has parallels with the Apple and Android "app" stores. How is your approach the same (and how is it different) than those approaches? We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process"Mangold-Takao: The approach is similar in the way that we plan to generate revenue by operating the application marketplace and thus participate in the app revenue. The difference is that there is much more needed than apps and cameras to create a complete working solution addressing a user problem in this industry – we need to make sure that our own platform as well as the new applications being created will work as a part of an end-to-end solution. Q: "Critical mass" and wide industry participation seem to be requirements for your success. How will you achieve those goals? Will you involve integrators, consultants, or other parties in addition to manufacturers (to drive awareness)? How? Mangold-Takao: SAST is in close exchange with device manufacturers, integrators and consultants, as well as application developers and large end-users at the moment to ensure that we are building the right platform and ecosystem for this industry. We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process. We will run dedicated programs and hackathons to attract app developers, already active and new to our industry. We will also run selected pilots with end-users throughout 2019 to ensure we have all partners involved early on. SAST sees the industry is hungry for more innovative solutions – with the retail vertical market a target for these solutions Q: What timeline do you foresee in terms of implementing these initiatives? Mangold-Takao: While we start with first app development programs and plan our first pilots already for this year, we are planning our commercial launch for end of 2019. Q: How does your new company relate to the new Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)? Mangold-Takao: The Open Security and Safety Alliance has been working very closely with SAST over the past year, defining some important concepts and elements required. One of the most important elements is an open and standardised Operating System, specific to this industry, which will then bring forward new innovative technologies and solutions. SAST is actively working on this Operating System, based on Android Open Source Project (ASOP), but is evolved and hardened with industry-specific features. Q: What's the biggest thing you want the security industry to understand about SAST? What is your "message" to the industry? Mangold-Takao: Our message is simple: let’s build better security and safety systems – together! But for real, innovating an industry is a joint effort, we can only bring new innovation to this industry with partners who share our vision and are excited about new technology. At the same time, we strongly believe that our platform allows every partner to bring forward what they do best but also invite new partners to our industry.

What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?
What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?

When is it too late to learn that a video camera isn’t working properly? As any security professional will tell you, it’s too late when you find that the system has failed to capture critical video. And yet, for many years, system administrators “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” And when they found out, it was too late, and the system failed to perform as intended. Fortunately, in today’s technology-driven networked environment, monitoring a system’s health is much easier, and a variety of systems can be deployed to ensure the integrity of a system’s operation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote monitoring of a security system’s health and operation impact integrators and end users?