A blockbuster keynote lineup, revamped education programme, revitalised networking events, and a reimagined exhibit floor energised ASIS International’s 63rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits (ASIS 2017) last week in Dallas, Texas. The show, organised by the association for security management professionals, convened September 25-28 and attracted 22,000 global registrants from 96 countries. The event was produced in partnership with InfraGard and ISSA and drew positive reviews from attendees, exhibitors, and industry partners. ASIS 2017 attendance “There was an unmistakable buzz in Dallas. Despite several natural disasters around the globe in the weeks leading up to our show, security professionals came out in droves to exchange ideas, best practices, and experience first-hand the most innovative products and services on the market,” said Thomas J. Langer, CPP, 2017 president of ASIS International. “From the standing-room only education sessions to the jam-packed exhibit hall, ASIS fulfilled its promise to deliver the security industry’s premier event.” Keynote speakers share security perspectives Keynote speakers set the tone for each day, with George W. Bush, Mark Cuban, and Scott Klososky sharing their perspectives on the current threat landscape and the risks/potential of innovative technologies reshaping society and the way we do business. The Global Responses to Global Threats panel of international security experts focused on private-public sector collaboration, and Carey Lohrenz closed out the week with a call for fearless leadership. Eddie Sorrells, CPP, PSP, PCI and Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel of DSI Security Services commented, “I don’t remember a conference that had a more dynamic and impressive slate of speakers.” "From the energy on the show floor to the one-on-one executive-level conversations that occurred, I found great value in the opportunities ASIS 2017 provided" ASIS education sessions The education program featured more than 180 sessions spanning the security spectrum from ASIS, InfraGard, and ISSA subject matter experts. New education formats—including deep dives, case studies, and mock trials—provided a more immersive and interactive learning environment for attendees at all experience levels. New this year, Global Access LIVE! provided live streaming of select education sessions and keynotes. First time attendee Rick Derks, CSO, FCS Financial, noted that ASIS 2017 offered “an opportunity to interact with thought leaders from both the operational and the cyber communities in meaningful discussions. The event was executed flawlessly, and I was impressed by the professionalism of everyone involved. Due to my positive experience, ASIS International now has a new member.” Veteran attendee Mike Howard, Chief Security Officer, Microsoft noted, “the changes implemented for this year’s event made a huge impact across the board. From the energy on the show floor to the one-on-one executive-level conversations that occurred, I found great value in the opportunities ASIS 2017 provided.” Reimagining the exhibit hall The reimagined exhibit hall featured more than 575 exhibitors showcasing new and emerging products and technologies such as machine learning, robotics, forensic analysis, and artificial intelligence. The floor also hosted two “impact learning” theatres, a career centre, international trade centre, virtual reality zone, and the ASIS Hub—a one-stop shop for all things ASIS including fireside chats, council booths, and livestream interviews from Security Guy Radio. “ASIS 2017 delivered a prime audience to promote our software solutions that leverage emerging technologies such as mixed reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Drew Weston, Director of Sales and Marketing, CodeLynx. “The addition of the high-quality content on the show floor not only offered us an opportunity to learn ourselves, but drove attendees and ‘buzz’ to the exhibition. We had consistent booth traffic and positive interactions with buyers, and have already reserved our spot for Vegas.” "The addition of the high-quality content on the show floor not only offered us an opportunity to learn ourselves, but drove attendees and ‘buzz’ to the exhibition" Exhibitor satisfaction was at an all-time high in Dallas, reflected not only in the feedback, but in space selection for ASIS 2018 in Las Vegas. Coming out of the 2017 event, 80% of the net square footage from the show floor has already been committed for 2018, with 35 companies increasing their space allocation. In addition, notable brands like Mobotix Corporation, Ford Motor Company, UrgentLink and others not exhibiting in Dallas have already committed for next year? Premier security networking event ASIS 2017 also enhanced its networking event line-up with an Opening Night Celebration on Sunday, September 24 at Gilley’s Dallas and the President’s Reception at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday, September 27. Both events drew significant crowds and provided ideal bookends to an intensive week of security solutions and professional development. In conjunction with the event, ASIS gave back to the Dallas community through its Security Cares program, featuring free security preparedness and prevention education for small/medium-sized businesses and community institutions. ASIS also awarded CityLab High School with a $22,000 grant and additional in-kind donations from Axis Communications to support campus-wide security upgrades. “The benefits of this show reach well beyond those who attended a session or toured the exposition floor,” said Peter J. O’Neil, CEO, ASIS International. “Attendees leave empowered with the information, professional network, and exposure to products and services they need to protect the people, property, and assets entrusted to their care. And throughout the year, they know they can turn to their ASIS community for support and peer advice. Our year-round commitment to excellence and reinvestment in the security profession is what differentiates the Society and our event.” ASIS 2018 takes place September 23-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in partnership with InfraGard, ISSA, and a robust lineup of supporting organisations.
“Mixed reality” may seem like a strange term to apply to the physical security industry, but it describes a new approach to enable the features of access control and video surveillance systems to be used by operators in the field. Mixed or augmented reality technology combines a real-time view of the world through Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, with placement of virtual devices and controls as holograms in a three-dimensional space. Virtual devices and controls In effect, a security guard wearing a HoloLens headset can approach a door in his facility and see the real-time status of that door, provided by an access control system, projected as a hologram alongside his live view of the door. It’s the first implementation of a technology with many possibilities. Related to video surveillance, real-time facial recognition could provide the identity of a person walking past a security officer in a hallway, for example. Basically, the approach extends the interfaces and capabilities available in a control room to a security officer on patrol. The officer can place and interact with a variety of virtual devices and controls as holograms in the 3-D space he or she views through the headset. Augmented Reality for Integrated Electronic Security The security industry technology has been developed by CodeLynx, a software engineering and systems integration company headquartered in North Charleston, S.C. As a systems integrator, CodeLynx specialises in audio-visual and physical security design and installation for A/V, access control and video surveillance systems. A complementary business is software engineering; Darren Cumbie, Director of the Software Engineering Division, and his team provide custom integrations of various technologies. The approach extends the interfaces and capabilities available in a control room toa security officer on patrol CodeLynx has developed software to adapt Microsoft’s HoloLens product for use in the physical security field. They are bringing it to market as ARIES (Augmented Reality for Integrated Electronic Security). The software operates using Microsoft’s HoloLens, introduced in 2016, a powerful, self-contained holographic computer worn as a headset. Specialised components enable holographic computing in lockstep with advanced sensors, including five cameras. Users can move freely throughout an environment and interact with holograms that augment the reality they view through the HoloLens. Cumbie says HoloLens provides the best mixed reality headset currently available: “Nothing else has the power, usability and scalability across an organisation.” AMAG Symmetry access control integration In ARIES, CodeLynx has created a certified integration with AMAG’s Symmetry access control system to enable operators to view information from Symmetry as holograms in their field of view through the HoloLens. The integration extends the functioning of Symmetry to operators in the field, thus expanding the control room environment. Holograms can be created and positioned for each user, and they function just like physical devices, tied into Symmetry. Approaching a door, an operator can request a list of the last five people who came through the door, for example; he or she can see a photo ID related to each person who swipes through a turnstile. CodeLynx is looking to expand the market for ARIES using integrations with other OEMs in addition to AMAG. “Instead of being chained to their desk looking at monitors or a display wall, operators can work in the field using the full functionality of their systems as they walk throughout the property,” says Drew Weston, CodeLynx Director of Sales and Marketing. “Meanwhile, I am not sitting at a desk, I am out in public.” Holograms can be created and positioned for each user, and they function just like physical devices, tied into Symmetry At some point, the headsets will likely get lighter and more ergonomically appealing. Right now, all the computing power is inside the headset (which, even so, only weighs only 1.3 lbs). In the future, more of that computing will likely be “offloaded” to a nearby desktop or laptop computer, or even to the cloud, and wirelessly “tethered” to the headset. In addition to making the headsets lighter and more ergonomically appealing, tethering would bring down costs from the current $5,000 per headset (possibly into the “three digit” range). CodeLynx is poised to leverage any Microsoft enhancements to the HoloLens environment. Currently the software is priced at $1,500 per user. Benefits for systems integrators For systems integrators, ARIES could be used to simplify installations, given its ability to view camera frames through the headset hands-free rather than needing to view a separate laptop when focusing or positioning a camera. For maintenance or troubleshooting, an operations center could access the field user’s view and direct him or her to correct a problem. In this way it would be a training tool to help integrators, which is a separate value proposition from how the devices may be deployed by end users. The ARIES approach could also eventually change how we think of a control room. Instead of video screens and walls, operators might sit in comfortable chairs in rooms with white walls, viewing all the control room “screens” through their headsets as holograms. Less power consumption would be among the benefits. ARIES plans to offer a “virtual operations centre” in 2018, enabling command centre operation from anywhere, user-customisable layout views and the ability to push content to specific HoloLens users. This video demonstrates how interaction with holograms can drive security functions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B82oAlxt5_s