Larry Anderson's Security Beat

Shifting Mindsets in the Physical Security World

We don’t usually write about cybersecurity on this site, but it’s obviously part of the bigger picture. Always looking to learn more, last week I logged onto the GovDefenders Cybersecurity Virtual Event, sponsored by DLT Solutions, a technology reseller to the public sector. There were several interesting “sessions” during the day – I managed to “tune in” a couple of times off and on. Listening to one session in particular reminded me of how much the ph...

Drones (UAVs) for civilian/commercial aerial surveillance

Could drones be used for civilian/commercial surveillance within five years? Drone strikes in war zones are reported routinely now in the news, but unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones are still not common in commercial and civilian applications. Commercial uses may still be several years away, but is it too soon to start thinking about the possible security applications? Currently in the United States, Congress has directed the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with a plan by Se...

U.S. Government Promoting Development of the "Internet of Things"

We keep hearing about the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and wondering how it will impact the physical security industry. It turns out the Federal government is working now to direct development and testing of such systems with an eye toward a variety of future applications. The U.S. government calls such technology “Cyber-Physical Systems” (CPS) and is looking for ways they can be used to improve safety, sustainability, efficiency, mobility and the overall quality of life....

Convergence of residential security with home automation

“Lifestyle services” become the norm with home security: One of the trends driving growth in the home security market is the concept of “lifestyle services”.  Home security systems today can offer new benefits and features that go beyond protection to also encompass convenience. All the home security companies are now embracing ways they can expand system functionality to enhance their customer’s safety as well as lifestyle. Examples include the ability to lock...

ADT bringing "Voice of the Customer" to the Z-Wave board

ADT is looking to "bring the voice of the customer" into the continuing development and expansion of Z-Wave, the radio frequency (RF) communication and product-level interoperability technology that enables wireless networking of battery-powered devices in the home. ADT is the newest Principal Member of the Z-Wave Alliance consortium. Z-Wave is one of the enabling technologies of ADT’s Pulse security and home automation system, which enables a home's electronics to communicate with each o...

Security system applications: Success stories of security products & the industry

Every security system has a storyOur industry’s technology solutions are at work almost everywhere, if you think about it. You might see Kelvin Hughes high-resolution radar pictures providing protection for Maryland’s oyster beds. At the 2014 Oscars, Axis pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras kept watch around the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. At The Marque, an exclusive membership club in Houston, Texas, MorphoTrak 3D facial recognition technology secures access and enables the club to be &ld...

Security threats & co-existence of freedom (privacy) and security

Privacy or Security? Privacy: Does it really exist? Does it matter? You still hear about privacy concerns in our market, but in many ways the privacy ship has sailed. A session on privacy at ISC West reminded me how much privacy expectations have changed in the era of Facebook. Now people think nothing of posting personal information in a public forum that clearly identifies who they are. What a shift from the days when anonymous screen names both protected identities and encouraged greater can...

The Impact of Big Data on the Physical Security Market

From being a buzzword today, Big Data is poised to have a large impact on the physical security market with numerous practical applications in preventing and fighting crime. I’ve been hearing a lot about "Big Data" and its impact on the physical security market. Wikipedia tells us that Big Data involves using larger and larger sets of data points to find correlations that can “spot business trends, determine quality of research, prevent diseases, link legal citations, combat crime,...

Allegion CEO: Driving open protocols in security systems, investment and growth

Visiting with the youngest "old company" in the security market: One of the newest companies at this year’s ISC West show is 130 years old. Allegion launched in December 2013 as a standalone, publicly-traded company following the spinoff of the commercial and residential security businesses from Ingersoll Rand. Making its high-profile debut at ISC West in Las Vegas, Allegion sponsored the kick-off ceremony and featured a big booth full of familiar brands like Schlage and Von Duprin. I ca...

ISC West Review: Recurring Themes and Surprises

After days of back-to-back meetings at ISC West, you start hearing some repetitive themes, but then something will surprise you. That happened to me at the NVT booth when I saw a display showing transmission of power and IP video signals over barbed wire (rather than the more familiar Cat-5 or coax cabling). Wondering about possible applications at correctional facilities (or cow pastures), I was assured the display was intended to make the point that NVT products can transmit video and power ov...

Where's the Danger in “Scanning Kids?”

“These are children. There is no reason to scan a kid. Just because the government can do this is no reason the government should be doing this.” The impassioned argument, quoted by The Florida Current, comes from a Florida state legislator who introduced a bill aimed at stopping public school systems from collecting biometric data on children. The ominous-sounding practice actually has a practical side – use of a fingerprint or palm scan can enable a school system to get thou...

Data overload at ISC West

Data overload describes both my condition in the midst of a busy trade show and the current condition of the industry itself. At an opening session at ISC West in Las Vegas, I hear that technology development now means there are more sensors and cameras providing more and better quality data all the time. As if making the case, Axis introduced a 4K “super high resolution” camera for under $1,000. Other companies also introduced 4K cameras, including Sony, Bosch, and several more. Ho...

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