Secutech is acclaimed as one of the most influential international exhibitions and conferences for electronic security, home security, info security and fire & safety
Smart products, total security solutions and new technology applications were focus of Secutech 2016

Several exhibitors and visitors praised the 19th edition of Secutech, held 19 – 21 April 2016 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, as a leading trade destination for the security profession and the preeminent platform for networking and interacting among OEMs, ODMs, partners, system integrators and buyers throughout the world.

Organised by Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, Secutech is acclaimed as one of the most influential international exhibitions and conferences for electronic security, home security, info security and fire & safety and showcases the latest products in the field in 35,875 sqm of exhibition space. Collectively, 410 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions and 24,346 visitors from 85 countries and regions were attracted by the three-day event.

New demand for energy management solutions

Exhibitors were pleased with the high-calibre visitors in attendance and the premium networking encounters that were possible at the fair. First-time exhibitor Mr Alex Chang, Assistant Manager, Project Management Section, Industrial Automation BG/System Integration, Delta Electronics, Inc commented: “Our aim was to promote our intelligent energy-saving solution and increase our brand awareness. The visitor flow was incredible. We kept busy and met customers from Taiwan, Turkey and other overseas countries and regions. The Taiwan government has recently enforced energy-saving regulations and this has brought huge market demand for energy management solutions. The customers we met have great intentions in working with us. We are very happy with the result and will consider coming back next year.”

Secutech has evolved over the years into a show more oriented around smart products and a total solution for security needs. This has proven to be a successful conversion for industry players’ business and strategic development plans. As technology advances, so must the companies keep up with the latest products available.

Vivotek Inc. is such a company offering the latest technological advances and providing a video surveillance system with analytical functions which include scanning a person’s height. This is particularly useful for shopping malls as these data can help estimate the number of adult and children customers.

"Secutech is the biggest industry event in Asia for surveillance and CCTV-related technology", says William Ku, VP Brand Business Division, VIVOTEK

Vivotek Inc.’s Mr William Ku, Vice President, Brand Business Division, said Secutech is a great place for networking. “Our company is the biggest network camera manufacturer in Taiwan and we sell our products to over 180 countries. Secutech is the biggest industry event in Asia for surveillance and CCTV-related technology. We are using this platform to show our products and services to all our customers and industry players. This trade show is an industry gathering point. We were able to meet with everyone including our target customers, channel, technical and eco-system partners and even media to discuss the future development of the industry and business. We hope this show can bring more diverse customers and exhibition topics to the industry.”

Positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors

Organisers of the show work to attract the biggest names in the security and surveillance field. In its efforts to stay dominant in the market, Secutech organisers feel it is important to appeal to consumers’ demands for the current products and technologies and stay on top of the wave of innovation in the international security industry.

Returning exhibitor BXB Electronics Co., Ltd. is a PA system manufacturer and, keeping up with the latest technologies, showed the market this year how to integrate PA systems with a security system providing customers with more options. Ms Selena Huang, who works in international sales for the company said, “We are looking for system integrators or distributors, especially those from Southeast Asia. We are very satisfied with the result. In fact, last year we met a customer from India and this year he came again together with his customers. They wanted to know more about the solutions we provided and seek further cooperation regarding their smart city project in India. Besides this Indian customer, there were a number of customers that already provided their requirements and had great interest in working with us. I think Secutech is the leading fair in the industry. It provides a full picture about how to build the entire solution for security. I think system integration is the trend and the market will be looking for a total solution rather than one single commodity. We are coming back next year.”

In addition to the basic notion of appealing to consumer demands, it’s also important to connect the right exhibitor with buyers coming to the show for their sourcing needs. This belief allows a business matching programme to be so successful for all parties. Mr Dinh Tan Dat, of Vietnamese company KPS, joined the business matching programme at Secutech to source access control and parking systems from Taiwanese manufacturers and distributors.

Mr Dat was pleased with the exhibitors he met, saying: “I met some great exhibitors who provided good quality products with reasonable prices. I think this fair is absolutely the leading and international trade fair within the industry and without a doubt I will recommend it to my industry peers.”

The fair offers participants
diverse, innovative products
and gathers many leading
manufacturers of traditional
safety devices, components
and parts

Mr Maqsood D. Shaikh, Director, Innovative Ideals & Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. agreed that the business matching programme is uniquely beneficial to an effective sourcing experience. Mr Shaikh’s company produces security systems, home automation and home networking systems for the Indian market. He explained, “I was here to seek cooperation with Taiwanese brands that provide high quality home surveillance, locks and home security kits and other innovative home automation solutions for intelligent buildings. This is the fourth time I have visited the show. I keep coming back because I think the fair is professional and exhibitors here are of high quality. I was especially impressed by the business matching programme as it facilitated business interaction and cooperation. I could directly communicate with exhibitors I was interested in working with. The result is satisfying and I will visit the fair again next year.”

Smart products, total solutions and new technology applications

The fair offers participants diverse, innovative products and gathers many leading manufacturers of traditional safety devices, components and parts along with suppliers of total security solutions, next-generation technologies and digital platform designs all under one roof.

With five specialised pavilions, including Intelligent Industrial/Factory, Intelligent Retail, Transportation, Building and Healthcare, and the SMAhome Expo – a dedicated zone for the smart home industry – buyers were able to source from hundreds of state-of-the-art exhibitors supplying key components and advanced technologies within the safety and security genres. A series of conferences were held at each zone unveiling the full spectrum of high-quality products and the next generation of security devices within the future industry trends in Asia.

Taiwanese buyer Mr Ben Lin, Project Manager, Security Supervisor and Control Div, Process Automation Business Center, Internet of Things Business Group, MiTAC Information Technology Corp, has been a visitor at the fair for many years. He said, “This time I am interested in Intelligent Factory Pavilion's product demo. We are a solution supplier on IoT for cloud systems of system integration. I am here to source industry 4.0 solutions, such as solutions of machine vision and industrial automation, and seek cooperation with related companies. By collaborating with enterprises from these sectors, we can provide a total solution for our customers. I think the exhibits presented at the fair are diverse and cutting-edge. Apart from intelligent industrial solutions, I can also observe the latest development of the fire and safety sector. This trip has proved to be truly amazing and I will come back next year.”

Several complementary events were also held during the three-day show. Highlights of the industry activities held were the Asian Systems Integrator Forum, Smart Home M2M Platform & Software Summit 2016, Z-Wave Gallery, Intelligent Retail Demo, Intelligent Transportation Demo, Machine Vision Demo, SMAhome International Conference and SMA 100 Express Center.

An attendee of the Asian Systems Integrator Forum Mr Xu Li Yuan, of PBX in Taiwan, is a wholesaler of Panasonic communication products and now has a better understanding of data technology and how it can advance the development of the surveillance industry after attending the forum. He said, “It is important to search and analyse data in a more efficient way. This will allow us to provide better solutions and service for our customers. Industry players in Taiwan always have a lot of innovate ideas and the event can facilitate intelligence and technical exchanges and make their ideas come to life. The quality of Secutech remains great. It is good that the organiser transformed the show towards offering more smart products and total solutions. I believe this is the right direction. The market is now moving toward a more user-oriented experience. Customers will ask for more options and better services. For example, they will not only require surveillance technology, but will also ask for smart home solutions. I think it is a trend that different sectors and industries will become more integrated and have better collaboration. I will be here for sure next year.”

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Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places
Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places

With the pandemic still in full swing and no certainty as to when exactly it will come to an end, the world has been battling anxiety for months now. And with each day, circumstances change quickly and almost make it impossible to predict what will happen next, how events will unfold, and what actions to take in light of a new situation. But one thing is certain: the world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way. In this situation, what is possible to control is how the world will continue reopening – and specifically, how to ensure the safest possible reopening that will ensure the return of some degree of normalcy to people’s lives and business operations, while also managing the risk of COVID’s spread in the most efficient way. Our highly digitised, technologically advanced world This is when the power of technology comes to rescue the day: what truly sets the global crisis we face today apart from other calamities that humanity has encountered over year is the fact that it has developed in a highly digitised, technologically advanced world where each day brings about innovations with a sole purpose to make daily life and operations easier and more streamlined. And among these, the star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence. The world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way While AI has many avenues of introducing efficiency and fast problem-solving, there is one specific application that will further fuel the reopening of the world and successfully keep the spread of the virus abate. This “collaborative security” application includes a synthesis of smart video analytics, facial recognition, object identification/detection, and thermal cameras that can support the reopening of businesses globally when installed within those facilities frequented by customers. With such a level of sophistication that can ensure uninterrupted monitoring and analysis of large public spaces, these AI technologies can ideally operate best as cloud solutions to ensure a collaborative network with maximum scalability and widespread implementation. As these technologies increase in ubiquity and find their way into daily operations of businesses globally, the cost of the smart solutions will decrease proportionally to the growth of their reach. There are some highly specific ways to create this collaborative network of interconnected safety tools in the current climate. Here are some applications that have been successful to date and will increase in usability in the foreseeable future, creating “smart cities” working together towards a safer, more secure world. Maintaining social distancing practices The most important step everyone around the world has taken to contribute to the effort of slowing the spread of the virus has been social distancing. A six-foot-distance has become a new social norm that has quickly been adopted globally and become a habit to people who are naturally used to being close to others and socialising without giving distance a second thought. The star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence So, it is natural that such distancing measures take time to get accustomed to – and it is also natural that individuals may forget about them from time to time. To help maintain the six-foot distance between people at all times and give them slight nudges to keep the rule top of their minds, AI video technology can be trained to estimate the distance between individuals in public and commercial areas and identify the cases in which people get too close to each other. By notifying local merchants or authorities about such cases, the system can help ensure the safety of everyone in the area at all times while positively reinforcing the public to gradually get more accustomed to maintaining the distance and thus helping stop the spread of the virus. Detecting the virus through facial recognition Perhaps the straightforward application of such high-level technology is using video surveillance to identify persons of interest who have tested positive for the virus. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity, making it possible to identify individuals whose records show they have antibodies from those who can be potential carriers of the virus. After the initial differentiation and identification, the system can then notify the employers and employees of the facility about the results of the conducted analysis and the pursuant results, allowing them to be more vigilant and take action where necessary to ensure a safe experience for everyone. PPE reinforcement Wearing a mask or some sort of face coverage in public spaces and especially within facilities (such as stores, for instance) has been - and will continue to be - a requirement for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for people to continue with their day-to-day lives and businesses to resume regular operations. To this extent, the object detection and identification abilities of smart cameras can further reinforce this requirement and ensure that the absence of protective equipment doesn’t go unnoticed.  Essentially, these cameras can easily identify if an individual has coverage at any given point of time or not, notifying the local authorities about any risks immediately and helping them maintain necessary safety measures without having to interrupt their workflow or worry about missing a visitor without a mask. Detecting high temperature One of the key (and the most widespread) symptoms of COVID-19 is a high fever - a certain indicator of whether an individual may have been infected with the virus or not. While identifying fever with a regular human eye is nearly impossible, AI can do so at a fraction of time by quickly scanning body temperatures of any incoming individuals and determine whether it’s above CDC’s recommended temperature of 100.4F in order to determine the risk factor and notify the local authorities to take action. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity This technology is a good tactic to objectively assess potential risks that come with elevated temperatures - and sometimes, the people themselves might not realise they might (unconsciously) be carriers of the virus and thus endanger the safety of others in their vicinity. The technology is yet another step towards ensuring a safer reopening of the global economy and a more streamlined way of getting back on track while minimising the risk of spreading the virus further. It’s not all about the theory  We have tested the described approaches in our own R&D campus in Europe. The latest release of the IREX cloud enables remote fever detection and monitoring of social isolation and mask policies with AI. We have integrated thermal cameras to detect people with elevated temperature and CCTV cameras for identification and notifying those who potentially ill. In case of any health threat, the venue manager gets an instant message with a picture and exact location. These preventive steps helped our employees return to the office months earlier than it's happening in other countries. Moreover, personnel coming back to the office by their own wish as now they feel a virus-free environment in the campus - even safer than in their own homes. Now we are launching a pilot project for a well-known pharmacy chain in Florida, USA. With the help of a Computer Vision platform, staff will be able to divide customer traffic into those with normal body temperature and those who come in with elevated temperatures, as well as effectively monitor social distance norms. The goal of our potential client is to maximise the safety of customers in the post-pandemic period. Also, IREX is already deployed across hundreds of locations in the UK and will add health monitoring capability soon.

Why cloud-enabled physical security must be part of your long-term digital strategy
Why cloud-enabled physical security must be part of your long-term digital strategy

COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown saw an unprecedented demand for cloud-enabled technologies across Europe. Such services enabled people to stay connected and allowed some businesses to relocate personnel and continue to operate successfully. With enterprise-focused video conferencing mobile app downloads showing a weekly 90% increase in comparison to pre-COVID-19 figures, it’s clear that cloud services have proven invaluable in these challenging times. Now, as the benefits to business of cloud technology become apparent, and the grip of COVID-19 begins to loosen, senior decision makers must consider the learnings from the past few months and look to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs or become more agile in the long term. Digital transformation presents some enticing advantages for those companies that have been slow to adapt. The physical security industry, traditionally video surveillance cameras (CCTV) and access control, will have witnessed how cloud infrastructure is not only cost effective and safe, but is a force multiplier for connecting platforms, services and people with potent business benefits. The future is VSaaS and ACaaS In today’s modern, connected world, dated technologies are giving way to their cloud-enabled successors, video surveillance as-a-service (VSaaS) and access control as-a-service (ACaaS). In this context, cameras and readers are added to a network as IoT devices that bring security systems up to date and represent a vital component in any modern, cyber-secure digital strategy. Frictionless access control has meant touch free access to buildings But better security is just one benefit of a much greater system that can bring real value. Built in analytics, for example, that utilise the data from network video cameras and smart access control devices, produce valuable business insights that help to inform and automate decision making. In the recent pandemic, frictionless access control has meant touch free access to buildings; while occupancy tools have helped retailers adhere to strict government guidelines on social distancing. And as more security equipment becomes connected to the wider IT network, the advantages have not been lost on the IT industry that is expressing more than a passing interest in the adoption and management of such systems. Morphean recently conducted a survey of 1000 IT decision makers across the UK and Europe, with the purpose of providing clarity around their security purchasing intent in the 2020s. Findings revealed that as many as 84% of IT managers are currently using or considering VSaaS or ACaaS systems, pointing to an appreciation of the convergence of physical security and IT security, and a willingness to embrace systems when integrated with IT in the cloud. An adaptable business model with recurring revenues Of course, it is not just the IT industry that is changing mindsets towards hosted physical security. As a result of COVID-19, end customers are demanding it too and found it easier to scale at speed when business circumstances changed. Rather than being tied to fixed IT infrastructure on premises, a hosted solution offered greater dexterity as operational challenges around the pandemic arose. Businesses were able to customise and scale quickly to meet ongoing need without the need for large upfront capital investment, instead, paying for the convenience as-a-service out of operational expenditure as a monthly cost. This is the proven business model of cloud, yet the security industry has been slow to adopt it. One key challenge is the way in which the prevalent business models in the sector operate. VSaaS is still alien to installers and integrators used to selling hardware on narrow margins, reliant on existing financial arrangements with distributors to fund new equipment. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licences rather than up-front purchases won’t be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive and drive new business opportunities. This recurring revenue model will be interesting for the physical security industry who will have witnessed uncertainty and, in some cases, a downturn in revenues as decisions around capital expenditure were put on hold during the crisis. Instead, convenient and recurring monthly payments will have put the installer on a firmer footing and guaranteed ongoing vendor support backed by the latest software updates and firmware upgrades to ensure delivery of a high quality service that’s always up to date and online. What is driving your digital strategy? VSaaS and ACaaS provide a flexible and fluid security and business solution Cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. VSaaS and ACaaS provide a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. CEOs and CIOs within the physical security reseller industry must learn the lessons and apply the learnings to drive their businesses forward in the ‘new normal’ where hosted security solutions must surely play a major part to expand their offering to a wiser customer base. Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving security and operations, and a chance to forge new business relationships to face the challenges of an ever changing world.

Facial recognition: Contactless solutions for a safe, post-pandemic world
Facial recognition: Contactless solutions for a safe, post-pandemic world

Facial recognition technology has come a long way since it first came to market several years ago. Initially plagued with technical challenges and widely viewed as a futuristic solution, facial recognition is now firmly implanted in numerous consumer and business products and applications. New advancement in software, specifically in the areas of algorithms, neural networks and deep learning and/or artificial intelligence (AI), have all dramatically improved both the performance and accuracy of facial recognition, further expanding its use for an increasing number of applications. From a purely business perspective, facial recognition’s powerful identification and authentication capabilities make it ideal for two primary applications: first as a security tool, and second as a workforce management solution. The touchless, accurate credential solution Facial recognition readers meet the new emerging need to limit physical exposure to germs and viruses Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the touchless nature of facial recognition as an access credential was gaining traction with physical and cyber security professionals. By using an individual’s face as an access control credential, facial recognition eliminates the need and expense of physical cards and proximity devices, or the need to physically enter PIN codes. In addition, facial recognition readers meet the new emerging need to limit physical exposure to germs and viruses by offering a highly accurate touchless access control credentialing solution. As a workforce management tool, facial recognition helps preserve the health of employees checking into work, while providing management with an infallible means of documenting employee time and attendance while providing a detailed history of overall workforce activity and individual personnel tracking. Both of which have been longstanding challenges due to easily compromised time tracking systems and practices. Now, nothing is left to question based on hard data. With the growing popularity of facial recognition technology, there are many choices already available with more undoubtedly on the way. Selecting the right solution for your specific access control and/or workforce management application is dependent on a very wide range of variables. But there are a few core characteristics that you should look for when evaluating facial recognition readers. Wide and near-angle LEDs Most facial recognition terminals employ some form of IR (Infrared) technology to help ensure high visibility by the unit’s image sensor. This often limits where the unit can be installed such as outdoors or near windows due to strong ambient light. More advanced facial recognition readers employ as many as 80 wide-angle near infrared LEDs and 60 narrow-angle near infrared LEDs, allowing the unit to recognise faces even in full daylight and brightly lit environments (not direct sun). This enables installation at indoor locations near windows, lobbies and building entries. 3D pixel intensity distribution analysis Another facial recognition reader advancement to look for involves three-dimensional pixel intensity analysis. Ambient lighting contains ultraviolet rays which can negate near infrared LED lighting, and can also cast shadows making it difficult for a facial recognition reader to pinpoint the facial recognition points required for identification and authentication. Three-dimensional pixel intensity distribution analysis minimises the effects of ambient light when acquiring facial images by minimising lighting contrasts. As a result, it is easier for the algorithm to recognise the shape of the face, enabling it to extract more facial features and create higher quality face templates, which are critical for accurate facial recognition. Functional ergonomics This results in a faster, more comfortable, and convenient user experience The angle and position of a facial recognition reader directly impact the performance of the unit. Facial recognition readers with different viewing angles for built-in visual and infrared cameras allows users to stand at positions that are most suitable for facial recognition with little or no effort of contortions. This results in a faster, more comfortable, and convenient user experience. High performance processing Like any intelligent edge device, the performance of a facial recognition solution is directly reliant on its processing power. New advanced facial recognition readers deliver exceptional performance by employing enhanced face template extraction technology combined with powerful processor. For example, a facial recognition reader with a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor can perform up to 3,000 facial database matches (1:N) within one second. More advanced solutions also feature Group Matching functionality capable of executing up to 30,000 matches within one second. Live face detection It is most important that the facial recognition readers you evaluate are capable of analysing faces in real time to maintain fluid entry/egress even during high volumes of employee traffic. Hardware-dependent live face detection systems employing technologies such as facial thermogram recognition and facial vein recognition require expensive hardware components, provide less accurate matches and slower authentication performance, which is counterintuitive for mainstream access control and workforce management applications. Dual authentication for added security Although the use of an advanced facial recognition reader provides the convenience, health benefits and cost-savings of touchless identification and authentication, there are many applications where more than one credential may be necessary to ensure the highest levels of security. Advanced facial recognition readers with multimodal, multifactor credentialing capabilities provide this added security benefit. For example, facial recognition readers that support multiple RFID proximity devices supporting 125 kHz and 13.56 MHz provide varying degrees of protection and greater implementation versatility. Videophone or intercom capabilities Facial recognition readers with multifunctionality can solve several challenges with one solution Facial recognition readers with multifunctionality can solve several challenges with one solution. A perfect example includes devices with SIP (session initiation protocol) videophone capabilities which effectively eliminate the need and associated expense of  installing separate intercom devices while adding another layer of security to one’s facility. The COVID-19 pandemic, and hopefully soon to follow post-pandemic world, have surely accelerated the need for highly accurate, cost-efficient, and reliable facial recognition technologies to help get people back to work safely. Selecting the right facial recognition solution for your specific access control and/or workforce management is now more important than ever before, making a little extra due diligence during the evaluation process a smart decision.