ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off Wednesday with an expanding focus on new technologies and new applications, including some that go beyond any narrow definition of “the security industry.”

Qognify QBlock and Cloudscann

“Technology is disrupting the market and executives are taking our solutions beyond security,” says Moti Shabtai, CEO and President of Qognify. “They are starting with security and quickly moving to other risk and business continuity issues in the organisations. They want a clear return on investment (ROI), which we can deliver if we move from covering a limited island of ‘security’ issues and give them the value of also managing risk, safety, and operations.”

Among Qognify’s products at the show is QBLOCK, a turnkey network attached storage (NAS) video management system that guarantees no loss of video; Qognify is partnering with Dell EMC. Another product is Qognify Cloudscann, a mobile application that enables a mobile phone to be used as a CCTV camera to provide video live. Citizens can live-stream what is happening in real time to the cloud. There is a public version (for citizens) and a private version (for employees).

NVIDIA smart cities and safe cities

Graphics processor manufacturer NVIDIA is attracting a lot of attention at the show. Its booth is a microcosm of the new hot topics we are hearing about in the market, including deep learning, machine learning, robotics, and video analytics with new levels of accuracy. The processing power of NVIDIA’s GPUs enable higher levels of resolution, faster image processing and compression, larger camera counts and smarter systems with greatly expanded capabilities. Thirteen partner companies are exhibiting products that leverage NVIDIA technology.

NVIDIA is focusing on applications that combine smart cities and safe cities. Examples are realtime video analytics and licence plate recognition (ANPR) using cameras mounted in police cars.

Qognify Cloudscann is a mobile
application that enables a mobile
phone to be used as a CCTV
camera to provide video live

Aqueti, one company exhibiting in the NVIDIA booth, offers the 100-megapixel Mantis Camera, a “super camera” array of 19 cameras that are combined into a single view of a large area. The images are stitched together in real-time, and the user can zoom in and see an impressive level of detail. The system is capable of face recognition over a 70-degree field at 75 metres.

Axis Communications press conference

Axis Communications kicked off ISC West with its press conference, a tradition on the first day. A magic show was part of the presentation highlighting the continuing transformation of Axis from primarily an IP camera company to a manufacturer of a variety of IP devices to function (often alongside Axis cameras) as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). New devices in their portfolio include all-in-one music and audio speakers, intercom door stations and a new radar detector. They further expand Axis’ entrance into new categories, which began several years ago with the introduction of IP access control devices.

“The camera market is still growing, but no longer at a rate of 40 percent,” said Fredrik Nilsson, General Manager of Axis Communications in the U.S. “The conversion to IP cameras is coming to an end, but the value is really in integrating other systems together. The camera is the basis for larger systems.”

Axis acquisitions

Axis increased its presence in the IP intercom market last year with the acquisition of Czech company 2N. Another recent acquisition, Swedish image analysis company Cognimatics, is boosting the use of Axis video analytics in retail markets. A new introduction at ISC West is a dual-image (“stereoscopic”) sensor that improves analytics accuracy. Using two image views allows 3D depth perception that eliminates the possibility of false alarms caused by shadows (which are two-dimensional but might otherwise trigger a false alert.)

The new Axis radar detector provides reliable detection of approaching trespassers in a perimeter security application, even in adverse conditions. The IP-based detector can be coupled with a pan-tilt-zoom camera to direct a video view of the area where motion was detected.

Cybersecurity: Politics and education

Cybersecurity is an oft-heard topic of discussion at the show: Axis emphasised that cybersecurity is not just a product issue, but also encompasses policies and education. Axis emphasised the cybersecurity benefits of “knowing what’s inside the camera.” In the case of Axis, all the technology is manufactured by Axis.

Combining the elements together provides a pre-integrated, easy-to-install system for integrators, and greater dependability for end users

Another cybersecurity view came from Pelco. “The business case for cybersecurity will be turned on its head when we start valuing cybersecurity in terms of the potential liability of a cybersecurity failure rather than the cost of developing a cybersecurity solution,” said Sharad Shekhar, Pelco CEO. Fully considering the possibly catastrophic costs of a cybersecurity failure would motivate the market to do even more in the interest of ensuring cybersecure systems, he said. Addressing liability will also likely involve greater use of insurance in the future, he noted.

Pelco’s big message at the show is “we have it all covered,” a reference to the company’s broad product portfolio and emphasis on customer service, a tradition for Pelco. The company has narrowed its focus to fewer vertical markets and geographic areas, but it has not narrowed its product scope. Pelco’s VideoXpert software offers unlimited scalability and provides an innovative user interface that enables intuitive navigation of even complex systems.

FLIR thermal cameras

FLIR is typical of companies that have transformed from a product-focused strategy to an end-to-end systems approach. You’re seeing it more often in the market. FLIR’s acquisition of DVTEL in 2015, including video management systems and cameras with edge analytics, provided the missing piece of a total system. The DVTEL capabilities have since been combined seamlessly with FLIR’s historic strength in thermal cameras, also previously expanded to include visible cameras. Combining the elements together provides a pre-integrated, easy-to-install system for integrators, and greater dependability for end users.

“For integrators, time is money, and there is a premium on making sure everything can interoperate easily,” says John Distelzweig, General Manager of FLIR Security. “Now we control all the elements, from the sensors to the back-end software.” (Even so, FLIR products are open architecture and can be integrated individually into other systems as needed.)