The latest trends in artificial intelligence and robotics in policing societies, along with major projects fuelling growth in the Middle East commercial security landscape, were among many talking points, as Intersec concluded its 20th edition in Dubai.

Live demonstrations for attendees

The world’s leading trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection featured 1,337 exhibitors from 59 countries, while 29,532 visitors from 129 countries stopped by the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Sharing centre-stage were dozens of product launches, while live demonstrations of fire protection equipment and drones used across a wide range of applications kept thousands of buyers and industry professionals entertained and informed. The Dubai Police is one of Intersec’s long-standing Government Partners, along with the Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Police Academy, the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), and for the first time in 2018, the Dubai Municipality. The Dubai Police is one of Intersec’s long-standing Government Partners

Community safety

This year from its exhibition stand, the Dubai Police had a strong focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smarter technologies to keep residents, visitors, and communities safe. It also showcased Robocop prototypes and new smart services that are already in place in its fully automated smart police station, which recently opened in September 2017.

Brig. Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, Dubai Police’s Director General of Artificial Intelligence, gave an overview of the Government body’s vision toward using AI and robots in policing and protection. “The Dubai Police has a target to be the smartest police force in the world, and we’ve been working on a new strategy based on AI that will ultimately increase the happiness of our residents and build Dubai to be the safest city in the world,” said Al Razooqi.We’ve been working on a new strategy based on AI that will ultimately increase the happiness of our residents"

AI to reduce crime

We plan to use AI to help us not only reduce crimes, but increase our ability to predict potential crimes before they happen, along with reducing traffic accidents. We’ve introduced a crime prediction system as well as accident prediction system that can study the behaviours of drivers.” He added: “With UAE car manufacturers, we’ll install sensors to study the behaviour of drivers and see how we can teach them the best way to drive. Vehicles will instruct police where they should cover based on data we have, and perhaps where there is crime.”

Al Razooqi said Dubai Police plans to open another eight Smart Police Stations in 2018, and while AI and robots will in the future take over more routine daily jobs, that won’t mean less ‘human’ manpower. “There have been rumours that due to AI and robotics at Dubai Police, that there will be less police officers but this is not true,” he added. “We’re going to create more advanced positions, where they can provide a better service to keep our residents and visitors happy and safe.” Al Razooqi said Dubai Police plans to open another eight Smart Police Stations in 2018

Indoor drone zone

Among the new features at the 20th edition of Intersec was an indoor Drone Zone, along with two dedicated conferences on Drones and Artificial Intelligence. Greg Agvent, Senior Director for CNN Aerial Imaging and Reporting, spoke at the Intersec Drones Conference about the potential uses for drones in information gathering.

Agvent said that drones can be effective to not only deliver new perspective of journalism and reporting, but can also be important tools for data capture that can have much wider implications: “We’re still at the very beginning of acknowledging what drones can do,” said Agvent. “Right now, almost exclusively, we’re working with video, but what about thermal imaging and forward looking infrared, and what context and understanding can this add to a story?”  We’re still at the very beginning of acknowledging what drones can do"

Sensors

If we we’re covering search and rescue operations, what other sensors can we input? If we’re doing a story on drought, can we put a hygrometer on a drone and create data that supports the video story?  There’re all sorts of opportunities for sensors to add new layers and context.” Agvent said that Middle East Broadcasters wishing to utilise drones need to engage with their respective civil authorities and manufactures, adding: “That’s what’s so important about events like Intersec.”

It brings people together, where professionals from a wide range of sectors can gather to understand about the latest technologies, regulations, and industry-best practice in an area that is on a high-growth trajectory. We can’t do this alone. Operators, regulators and manufacturers aren’t going to solve the equations by themselves.” With 483 exhibitors in 2018, Commercial Security represents the largest show section

Seven show sections

Organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Intersec spans seven show sections of Commercial Security, Fire & Rescue, Safety & Health, Homeland Security & Policing, Information & Cyber Security, Smart Home & Building Automation, and Physical & Perimeter Security.

With 483 exhibitors in 2018, Commercial Security represents the largest show section, and features two-thirds of the world’s top 50 providers of video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, analytics, and video management software.

Intersec has proved over the years to be a fruitful business platform for global leaders and industry start-ups alike. Korean company IDIS has exhibited for the past several years, and has watched its projects and partnerships in the Middle East expand significantly as a result of contacts established during the show. Intersec has proved over the years to be a fruitful business platform for global leaders and industry start-ups

Strategic partnerships

We’ve expanded our partner network with many due to the success of exhibiting at Intersec from 2015 to 2017,” said Harry Kwon, General Manager for IDIS in the Middle East and North Africa. “We’ve established new end-user customers and struck up strategic partnerships such as with G4S in Egypt and Saudi Arabia as a direct result of Intersec, with a number of projects now complete or underway.”

We were first introduced to Al Sulaiman Security Systems and Services (A4S) at Intersec two years ago and since then IDIS MENA has struck up a strategic alliance with A4S with the partnership paying dividends. Both companies are now working on 150 leads and ten live projects. And we’re thrilled to announce at Intersec 2018 our project with Al Sulaiman Jewellers, that comprises 100 IDIS camera solution across 18 branches as well as offices,” added Kwon.

Meanwhile, Germany’s DoorBird was one of more than 30 companies in Intersec 2018’s fast-developing Smart Home and Building Automation section. A debut exhibitor in 2017, DoorBird returned this year to showcase the 2nd generation of its IP Video Door Station. We’ve established new end-user customers and struck up strategic partnerships such as with G4S in Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Home video intercom

Pierre Dinnies, DoorBird’s Key Account Manager said the 2nd iteration was developed specifically to handle extreme Middle East conditions, enabling users to access their home’s video intercom via their mobile device and DoorBird App anywhere in the world, in real-time.

DoorBird is the fastest IP intercom system in the market at this time. That means if a visitor rings a bell, it takes two seconds for the user to be notified anywhere in the world via their mobile device,” said Dinnies of DoorBird, which was launched in 2015. “It’s a bi-directional video-audio, so users can converse with visitors real-time.”

Users can also programme DoorBird so that it automatically locks and unlocks at designated times, allowing access to homes if required, for example, cleaning or maintenance companies. Everything is recorded and it can be integrated with existing home automation and security systems, so the opportunities are endless.” Users can also programme DoorBird so that it automatically locks and unlocks at designated times"

Consultants, integrators & installers

Of Intersec, Dinnies added: “We were very impressed with Intersec last year, and we met a lot of interesting people, so that’s why we decided to participate again in 2018. We need to meet consultants, integrators and installers and that’s who we meet here, from Germany and Vietnam and everywhere in between. It’s been a perfect show again this year.”

With 83 percent international exhibitor participation, Intersec’s global footprint was underlined by 15 country pavilions from Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, USA, and for the first time in 2018, Russia. UAE participation was also high, growing six percent year-on-year, with 223 exhibitors covering 10,500sqm of exhibition space. With 83 percent international exhibitor participation, Intersec’s global footprint was underlined by 15 country pavilions 

Suppliers and manufacturers

Visitors too were happy with the show. Fahad Al Qahtani is Operations Manager at ILT Total Access Control, which specialises in automation and access control systems: “Intersec makes it a lot easier for us to see all relevant suppliers and manufacturers in one place at one time. We’ve seen a lot of interesting products at the show this year.”

Waleed Al-Mansour, Executive Manager for Security & Safety Corp in Saudi Arabia, was at Intersec 2018 to gain information about the latest firefighting and security alarm systems, along with CCTV products.

Intersec is a great opportunity to know what are the latest updates in the security, safety, and firefighting business. It’s a great chance for us to enhance our knowledge in the field, and we’re very happy with what we found this year. Every year it adds more to my knowledge in the development of systems relating to security, fire protection, and CCTV. Things are moving so fast and we have to keep updated.” Intersec is a great opportunity to know what are the latest updates in the security, safety, and firefighting business"

World’s premier trade platform

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Intersec 2018 has further cemented its position as the world’s premier trade platform of its kind for the security, safety, and fire protection industries.We’ve had participation from the majority of the world’s foremost safety and security brands and attracted a wide representation of global experts and key influencers to our safety and security forums. Twenty years is a landmark for both Intersec and the region’s standing as a major global security market.”

We intend to continue to build on our success and look forward to far greater developments and achievements in the future while working together with the authorities and the active support of the government.”

Intersec is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The 21st edition will take place from 20-22 January 2019.

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In case you missed it

Questioning the wisdom of the U.S. ban on Hikvision & Dahua
Questioning the wisdom of the U.S. ban on Hikvision & Dahua

I have been thinking a lot about the U.S. government’s ban on video surveillance technologies by Hikvision and Dahua. In general, I question the wisdom and logic of the ban and am frankly puzzled as to how it came to be. Allow me to elaborate. Chinese camera manufacturers Reality check: the government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse. Before the government ban, you occasionally heard about some government entities deciding not to use cameras manufactured by Chinese companies, although the reasons were mostly “in an abundance of caution.”  Even so, I find the targeting of two Chinese companies – three if you count Hytera Communications, a mobile radio manufacturer – in a huge government military spending bill to be a little puzzling. I can’t quite picture how these specific companies got on Congress’s radar. The government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced (by a Missouri congresswoman) into the House version of the bill? And after the ban was left out of the Senate version, was there a new wave of discussions to ensure it was included in the joint House-Senate version (with some minor changes, and who negotiated those?). It all seems a little random. Concerns for the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. ban solves neither of the two main concerns that are generally used as its justification: Concern: Cybersecurity. The U.S. ban “solves” the issue of cybersecurity only if both of the following statements are true. No security system that uses a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. Any system that does not use a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced into the House version of the bill? The ban ignores the breadth and complexity of cybersecurity and instead offers up two companies as scapegoats. Our industry has sought to address cybersecurity, and the one principle that has guided that effort is that cybersecurity is an issue that must be addressed by manufacturers, consultants, integrators and end users – in effect, everyone in the industry. Cybersecurity does not begin and end with the manufacturer and banning any manufacturers from the market does not ensure better cybersecurity.  Concern: “Untrustworthy” Chinese companies. Hikvision and Dahua are only two Chinese companies. Any response to concerns about whether Chinese companies are trustworthy would need to cover many more companies that manufacture their products in China. Australian TV recently claimed that “all Chinese companies pose a risk. Because of Chinese laws, there is a requirement for companies to be engaged in espionage on behalf of the state.” Even if one embraces that extreme view, the logic fails when only two companies are targeted. One source told me that 60 to 65 percent of the global supply of commercial video cameras are manufactured in China, so it’s a much bigger issue than two companies.The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras And is U.S. security at risk unless or until it is cut off from more than half of the world’s supply of video cameras? Even Western camera companies manufacture some of their cameras and/or components in China. Why name only two (or three) companies, only one of which has ties to the Chinese government? If the goal of the U.S. ban was to address the possibility of cybersecurity and/or espionage by the Chinese government, shouldn’t there be other companies and product categories included? Clearly, video surveillance is not the only category that has the potential for abuse. The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras. Global response to U.S. ban And now that the U.S. ban has been passed, how is the ban being misused to justify a new level of alarm about Chinese companies? Australian television effortlessly made the leap from “software backdoors” to a concerted and organised effort by the Chinese government to use cameras to be the “number one country for espionage.” And it’s not just about government facilities: “Even on the street, [cameras] have the potential to inadvertently contribute toward Chinese espionage activity by providing real-time information about the situation on the ground,” says the Australian TV report. If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies? If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies, or at least those with electronics or computer products that could be used for espionage? What about the espionage potential of the 70% of mobile phones that are made in China? What about other consumer electronics such as PCs or smart TVs? How many government facilities that are eliminating Dahua and Hikvision cameras have employees who use iPhones or use other electronic equipment from China? Artificial intelligence & IP-over-coax Also, consider the impact of the ban on business. Hikvision and Dahua have had many successes in the video surveillance market, including in the U.S. market. They have added value to many integrators and end user customers. They have been on the forefront of important trends such as artificial intelligence and IP-over-coax. And, yes, they have made technologies available at lower prices.Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just Hikvision and Dahua Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just these two, and both Hikvision and Dahua have worked to fix past problems, and to raise awareness of cybersecurity concerns in general. Is a U.S. ban on two companies an appropriate response to a series of geo-political concerns that are much bigger than those two companies (and bigger than our entire market)? Should two companies take the brunt of the anti-Chinese backlash? Video surveillance cameras Is the video surveillance market as a whole better or worse for the presence of Hikvision and Dahua? Is it up to the U.S. government to make that call? In some ways, thoughts of Chinese espionage are a sign of these uncertain political times. Fear of video surveillance is perfectly congruent with long-standing anxieties about “Big Brother;” suspicion about China taking over our video cameras just rings true at a time when Russia is (supposedly) controlling our elections. But should two companies be targeted while broader concerns are shrugged off?

8 tips for visiting a large security trade show
8 tips for visiting a large security trade show

Security trade fairs can be daunting for attendees. At big shows like IFSEC International and Security Essen, there can be hundreds of physical security manufacturers and dealers vying for your attention. Stands are sometimes spread out across multiple halls, often accompanied by a baffling floor plan. As the scope of physical security expands from video surveillance and access control to include smart building integrations, cyber security and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is an increasing amount of information to take in from education sessions and panels. Here, SourceSecurity.com presents eight hints and tips for visitors to make the most out of trade shows: 1. Outline your objectives. As the famous saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail!” Before you plan anything else, ensure you know what you need to achieve at the show. By clearly noting your objectives, you will be able to divide your time at the show appropriately, and carefully choose who you speak to. If there is a particular project your organisation is working on, search out the products and solutions that address your security challenges. If you are a security professional aiming to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, then networking sessions and seminars may be more appropriate. 2. Bring a standard list of questions Prepare a list of specific questions that will tell you if a product, solution or potential partner will help you meet your objectives. By asking the same questions to each exhibitor you speak to, you will be able to take notes and compare their offerings side by side at the end of the day. This also means you won’t get bogged down in details that are irrelevant to your goals. Most trade fair websites provide the option to filter exhibitors by their product category  3. Do your homework Once you know your objectives, you can start to research who is exhibiting and decide who you want to talk to. Lists of exhibitors can be daunting, and don’t always show you which manufacturers meet your needs. Luckily, most trade fair websites provide the option to filter exhibitors by their product category. Many exhibitions also offer a downloadable floor plan, grouping exhibitors by product category or by relevant vertical market.  It may be easier to download the floor plan to your phone/tablet or even print it out, if you don’t want to carry around a weighty map or show-guide. 4. Make a schedule Once you have shortlisted the companies you need to see, you can make a schedule that reflects your priorities. Even if you are not booking fixed meetings, a schedule will allow you to effectively manage your time, ensuring you make time for the exhibitors you can’t afford to miss. If the trade show spans several days, aim to have your most important conversations early on day one. By the time the last afternoon of the show comes around, many companies are already packing up their stand and preparing to head home. When scheduling fixed meetings, keep the floor plan at hand to avoid booking consecutive meetings at opposite ends of the venue. This will ensure you can walk calmly between stands and don’t arrive at an important meeting feeling flustered! Look for panels and seminars which address the specific needs of your project, or which will contribute to your professional growth 5. Make time for learning If you’re on a mission to expand your knowledge in a given area, check the event guide beforehand to note any education sessions you may want to attend. Look for panels and seminars which address the specific needs of your project, or which will contribute to your professional growth. This is one of the best opportunities you will have to learn from industry leaders in the field. Be sure to plan your attendance in advance so you can schedule the rest of your day accordingly. 6. Keep a record Armed with your objectives and list of questions, you will want to make a note of exhibitors’ responses to help you come to an informed decision. If you’re relying on an electronic device such as a smartphone or tablet to take notes, you may like to consider bringing a back-up notepad and pen, so you can continue to take notes if your battery fails. Your record does not have to be confined to written bullet points. Photos and videos are great tools remind you what you saw at the show, and they may pick up details that you weren’t able to describe in your notes. Most mobile devices can take photos – and images don’t need to be high quality if they’re just to refresh your memory. 7. Network – but don’t let small talk rule the day It may be tempting to take advantage of this time away from the office to talk about anything but business! While small talk can be helpful for building strong professional relationships, remember to keep your list of questions at hand so you can always bring conversations back to your key objectives. Keeping these goals in mind will also help you avoid being swayed by any unhelpful marketing-speak. It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to exchange business cards with everyone you speak to, or even take the opportunity to connect via LinkedIn. Even if something doesn’t seem relevant now, these contacts may be useful in future. Have a dedicated section in your bag or briefcase for business cards to avoid rummaging around. With your most important conversations planned carefully, there should be time left to explore the show more freely 8. Schedule time for wandering With your most important conversations planned carefully, there should be time left to explore the show more freely. Allowing dedicated time to wander will give you a welcome break from more pressing conversations, and may throw up a welcome surprise in the form of a smaller company or new technology you weren’t aware of.  Security trade fair checklist: Photo identification: As well as your event pass, some events require photo identification for entry. Notebook and pen: By writing as you go, you will be able to compare notes at the end of the day. Mobile device: Photos and videos are great tools to remind you what you saw at the show, and may pick up details you missed in your notes. Paper schedule & floor plan: In case batteries or network service fail. Business cards: Have a dedicated pouch or pocket for these to avoid rummaging at the bottom of a bag. Comfortable shoes: If you’re spending a whole day at an event, and plan on visiting multiple booths, comfortable shoes are a must!

How artificial intelligence (AI) is changing video surveillance today
How artificial intelligence (AI) is changing video surveillance today

There’s a lot of excitement around artificial intelligence (AI) today – and rightly so. AI is shifting the modern landscape of security and surveillance and dramatically changing the way users interact with their security systems. But with all the talk of AI’s potential, you might be wondering: what problems does AI help solve today? The need for AI The fact is, today there are too many cameras and too much recorded video for security operators to keep pace with. On top of that, people have short attention spans. AI is a technology that doesn’t get bored and can analyse more video data than humans ever possibly could.AI is a technology that doesn’t get bored and can analyse more video data than humans ever possibly could It is designed to bring the most important events and insight to users’ attention, freeing them to do what they do best: make critical decisions. There are two areas where AI can have a significant impact on video surveillance today: search and focus of attention. Faster search Imagine using the internet today without a search engine. You would have to search through one webpage at a time, combing through all its contents, line-by-line, to hopefully find what you’re looking for. That is what most video surveillance search is like today: security operators scan hours of video from one camera at a time in the hope that they’ll find the critical event they need to investigate further. That’s where artificial intelligence comes in. The ability of AI to reduce hours of work to mere minutes is especially significant when we think about the gradual decline in human attention spans With AI, companies such as Avigilon are developing technologies that are designed to make video search as easy as searching the internet. Tools like Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology – a sophisticated deep learning AI video search engine – help operators quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest across all cameras within a site. When a security operator is provided with physical descriptions of a person involved in an event, this technology allows them to initiate a search by simply selecting certain descriptors, such as gender or clothing colour. During critical investigations, such as in the case of a missing or suspicious person, this technology is particularly helpful as it can use those descriptions to search for a person and, within seconds, find them across an entire site. Focused attention           The ability of AI to reduce hours of work to mere minutes is especially significant when we think about the gradual decline in human attention spans. Consider all the information a person is presented with on a given day. They don’t necessarily pay attention to everything because most of that information is irrelevant. Instead, they prioritise what is and is not important, often focusing only on information or events that are surprising or unusual. Security operators scan hours of video from one camera at a time in the hope that they’ll find the critical event they need to investigate further Now, consider how much information a security operator who watches tens, if not hundreds or thousands of surveillance cameras, is presented with daily. After just twenty minutes, their attention span significantly decreases, meaning most of that video is never watched and critical information may go undetected. By taking over the task of "watching" security video, AI technology can help focus operators’ attention on events that may need further investigation. As AI technology evolves, the rich metadata captured in surveillance video will add even more relevance to what operators are seeing For instance, technology like Avigilon™ Unusual Motion (UMD) uses AI to continuously learn what typical activity in a scene looks like and then detect and flag unusual events, adding a new level of automation to surveillance. This helps save time during an investigation by allowing operators to quickly search through large amounts of recorded video faster, automatically focusing their attention on the atypical events that may need further investigation, enabling them to more effectively answer the critical questions of who, what, where and when. As AI technology evolves, the rich metadata captured in surveillance video – like clothing colour, age or gender – will add even more relevance to what operators are seeing. This means that in addition to detecting unusual activities based on motion, this technology has the potential to guide operators’ attention to other “unusual” data that will help them more accurately verify and respond to a security event. The key to advanced security When integrated throughout a security system, AI technology has the potential to dramatically change security operations There’s no denying it, the role of AI in security today is transformative. AI-powered video management software is helping to reduce the amount of time spent on surveillance, making security operators more efficient and effective at their jobs. By removing the need to constantly watch video screens and automating the “detection” function of surveillance, AI technology allows operators to focus on what they do best: verifying and acting on critical events. This not only expedites forensic investigations but enables real-time event response, as well. When integrated throughout a security system, AI technology has the potential to dramatically change security operations. Just as high-definition imaging has become a quintessential feature of today’s surveillance cameras, the tremendous value of AI technology has positioned it as a core component of security systems today, and in the future.