Articles by Jeannie Corfield
ISC West, like any large trade show, can be daunting for attendees. At big shows, there can be hundreds of physical security manufacturers and dealers vying for your attention. 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. With ISC West approaching April 9-12 in Las Vegas, we present 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 shows 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!
Data was always bound to be a hot topic at this year's IFSEC International event. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a buzzword since last year's show. This year, manufacturers are ready to demonstrate solutions capable of processing and analysing large volumes of information to bolster security and provide business intelligence. Organisers deliberately positioned IFSEC as a converged security event, highlighting the inherent link between the security of physical assets and the security of data. In the wake of the recent passing of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), visitors to the London-based show sought reassurance that physical security systems could help them comply to stricter rules regarding the collection and protection of personal information. Analysing Big Data Seagate Technology, known for providing the surveillance industry with hard disk drives and storage solutions, showcased its Skyhawk AI hard disk drive, its first drive created specifically to enable artificial intelligence (AI) applications for video surveillance. Seagate's drive is designed for data-intensive workloads associated with recording large volumes of footage The drive is designed for data-intensive workloads associated with recording and analysing large volumes of video surveillance footage. According to Seagate's Sales Manager Andy Palmer, AI-enabled analytics at the edge can avoid the latency associated with cloud-based systems. This makes the solution suitable for smart city applications requiring 24/7 intelligence from multiple cameras. The company also highlighted its strategic partnership with video surveillance provider Dahua Technology, with the latter seeking to leverage Seagate's technology to boost its own AI solutions. The Digital Barriers solution allows organisations to optimise how video data is transmitted depending on their particular needs Video transmission and privacy One manufacturer addressing the challenges of data transmission was Digital Barriers. The company demonstrated the integration of its EdgeVis Live platform with Milestone's XProtect video management system (VMS). The platform is designed for safe city applications, in which law enforcement and security professionals may need to stream incidents and events in real time over a limited bandwidth. The Digital Barriers solution allows organisations to optimise how video data is transmitted depending on their particular needs. For example, while some applications may favour a high clarity of video, others necessitate low data usage or a quick turnover of frames. The full, high quality video can then be downloaded later, meaning no intelligence is lost.While some applications may favour a high clarity of video, others necessitate low data usage or a quick turnover of frames The company also demonstrated its deep-learning facial recognition software, which can be used to identify suspects or vulnerable persons. To maximise accuracy, the deep learning system is trained on a wide range of images with varying angles and lighting. The solution is designed around data protection and privacy, explained Product Manager Fernande van Schelle, as all information is encrypted, and the system only identifies faces of known individuals on a pre-defined watch-list. Daniel Chau, Overseas Marketing Director at Dahua; Adam Brown, security Solutions Manager at Synopsys; Udo Scalla, Global Head Centre of Excellence - IOT Privacy, TÜV Rheinland Group GDPR for physical security professionals Dahua Technology addressed data protection concerns with an expert panel dedicated to the cybersecurity questions posed by the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Speakers included Daniel Chau, Overseas Marketing Director at Dahua; and Adam Brown, security Solutions Manager at Synopsys. Chau explained that Dahua encourages customers to address cybersecurity by undertaking independent audits and penetration tests. Brown elaborated that for any organisation, cybersecurity must be a boardroom issue. Stakeholders must avoid a 'tick box' methodology for assessing cybersecurity, and instead integrate the concept into the company's overall strategy so that best practices can cascade through the organisation.Stakeholders must avoid a 'tick box' methodology for assessing cybersecurity The panel also included insights from Udo Scalla, who specialises in data protection for IoT and smart home devices at TÜV Rhineland Group. Scalla proposed that manufacturers must avoid focusing on how best to capture data, and instead ask why the data is being collected, and whether it should even be collected in the first place. Integrators must ask why the customer intends to install the system, and what they want to do with the data – only then can they begin to assess the GDPR requirements. While the possibilities for collecting data are now endless, explained Scalla, not everything that is technologically possible ought to be made into a business reality. MOBOTIX highlighted its Cactus Concept cybersecurity campaign with a large blue cactus Protecting video surveillance systems Video surveillance manufacturer VIVOTEK also tackled cybersecurity, with a presentation on 'Security within Security.' The company showcased its partnership with cybersecurity software provider Trend Micro, which enables VIVOTEK to provide cybersecurity-enhanced cameras. The cameras include embedded anti-intrusion software to prevent and mitigate cyber-attacks by detecting hacking attempts and blocking the source IP address. Should a camera be compromised, explained Shengfu Cheng, VIVOTEK's Director of Marketing and Product Planning, it can be quarantined to stop the spread of the attack, thus controlling the damage and reducing the cost of the infection. The Cactus Concept campaign aims to educate partners and customers on how to build a cyber-secure video surveillance system Cybersecurity was also a key theme at the MOBOTIX stand. The stand played host to a large blue cactus, a very literal representation of the German manufacturer's Cactus Concept. The campaign, launched earlier this year, aims to educate partners and customers on how to build a cyber-secure video surveillance system. According to the concept, every element of the system, from image capture through to video management, must be encrypted. These are the digital "thorns" which prevent the entire system –the cactus – being compromised. Exhibitors at IFSEC 2018 made a conscious effort to address customers' challenges around the collection, transmission and protection of security system data. As solutions become more powerful, with increasing numbers of connected sensors, this is a theme which is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
IFSEC International 2018 kicked off last week at London’s ExCel Centre. Visitors were lucky enough to experience a rare three days of British sunshine as they came together to discuss the latest trends and technologies in the physical security industry. Many exhibitors commented on how the show seemed smaller than previous years, with stands more spread out, and fewer ‘double-decker’ offerings than earlier shows. Although exhibitors represented all aspects of physical security, including access control and intrusion detection, the show was largely dominated by video surveillance. Video manufacturers Avigilon and Dahua were key sponsors, while the largest stand by far was occupied by Hikvision. Rather than hosting large product portfolios, exhibitors chose to demonstrate how integrated solutions could provide a more holistic solution If stands seemed more modest than in previous years, this may be a reflection of the industry shifting away from its long-standing product focus. Displaying large product portfolios takes more exhibit space. In an increasingly commoditised market, security integrators are combatting price erosion by emphasising holistic solutions rather than products and features. While some manufacturers have responded by collaborating with partners to offer a broader portfolio of solutions, others have invested in building end-to-end systems. Both these trends were reflected at the show; rather than hosting large product portfolios with a wide range of features, exhibitors chose to demonstrate how integrated solutions could provide a more holistic solution to end users’ challenges. Integrated systems approach One manufacturer opting for a solutions focus was security, access control and door entry systems provider STANLEY Product and Technology. The stand was represented by a range of STANLEY brands including PACOM and PAC GDX, as well as technology from recent acquisition 3xLOGIC. The PACOM team was on hand to demonstrate integrations of PACOM’s Graphical Management System (GMS) with workflow management software from RightCrowd, and biometric authentication products from EyeLock. PACOM Systems’ Commercial Director Gary Rowden explained that the stand was designed specifically to showcase all of STANLEY’s brands and partners in one place, encouraging customers to buy into the STANLEY solutions approach, rather than focusing on specific products. The show was largely dominated by video surveillance, with video manufacturer Avigilon a key sponsor Connecting with partners Another company emphasising partner solutions was Milestone Systems. Milestone’s Vice President for EMEA, Malou Mousten Dyhr Toft, who joined the company in March, explained how IFSEC International continues to be a key show. It was an opportunity to meet with Milestone’s expansive community of existing partners, as well as connecting with new partners and end users. Milestone hopes to enable community customers to process more video data with fewer servers, increasing scalabilityIn February this year, the company launched the Milestone System Builder initiative, allowing partners to optimise their hardware to pre-load Milestone’s XProtect VMS software. Several system builder partners were present at the Milestone stand. By collaborating with NVIDIA, Milestone hopes to enable community customers to process more video data with fewer servers, increasing scalability and reducing the total cost of ownership of its partner solutions. The stand showcased Milestone’s latest XProtect 2018 R2 VMS that leverages NVIDIA’s high-powered graphics processing units (GPUs), which can handle up to 2,000 video streams on one single server. Commitment to open systems MOBOTIX took this year’s IFSEC International as an opportunity to spread the word about its increased commitment to open systems. Since the company’s majority acquisition by Konica Minolta in 2016, and the subsequent addition of CEO Thomas Lausten last year, the company has undergone a significant change in approach, all-the-while guarding its core decentralised IP video product offering and made-in-Germany DNA. Lausten was previously a key figure at Milestone Systems and has brought to MOBOTIX a new approach focused on collaboration. Partners present at the MOBOTIX stand included Milestone, Kentix and Wavestore. The company also demonstrated its commitment to open systems by unveiling MOBOTIX MOVE, the manufacturer’s first line of ONVIF G compliant cameras. Visitors were lucky enough to experience a rare three days of British sunshine at IFSEC International this year Security system provider Vanderbilt had many new developments on show, including integrations both within Vanderbilt systems and with partner systems. The company’s SPC intrusion detection system now integrates with Milestone software, allowing SPC users to trigger events and control alarm systems from within the Milestone platform. A further highlight was Vanderbilt’s ACTEnterprise access control system, which now integrates with ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio wireless locking solution. Vanderbilt hopes that the integration will provide customers with faster, more cost-effective access control installations.Vanderbilt hopes that the integration will provide customers with faster, more cost-effective access control installations Reducing costs, increasing ease-of-use Many exhibitors were keen to demonstrate how integrated solutions could reduce costs for integrators by unifying systems on one easy-to-use platform. Arecont Vision unveiled its new Contera cloud-based video management solution at ISC West in April, making IFSEC the technology’s first outing in the European market. Contera is Arecont’s first video management offering and will allow customers to benefit from end-to-end solutions from the US-based company. Since the Contera system is designed to be web-based from the start, integrators will not be faced with the additional cost of adapting a legacy VMS system to the cloud. IDIS was another manufacturer highlighting their enhanced user experience and reduced cost offered by end-to-end systems. Visitors experienced demonstrations of the IDIS Center video management software, which is designed to offer smart user experience controls, and a user-friendly interface. Also on display were the company’s latest ranges of analogue and IP cameras. The IDIS system allows users to ‘mix-and-match’ HD analogue and IP video depending on the requirements of the project, with all surveillance operated from the same IDIS software interface. The mix-and-match approach avoids the additional cost of unnecessarily ripping and replacing legacy analogue systems. IFSEC 2018 presented a snapshot of how manufacturers from across video, access control and intrusion detection are continuing to innovate and collaborate to stay competitive in an increasingly challenging market, without losing sight of the most pressing needs of end users and integrators.
With IFSEC International fast approaching, 27,000 security professionals are preparing to come together at London’s ExCel to share the latest technology and best practices in the physical security industry. Last year’s show reflected the latest trends shaking the security market, including Big Data and cybersecurity. This year, we can expect speakers and exhibitors to develop these themes in line with recent developments. The industry will need to respond to end users’ questions about collecting and protecting increasing amounts of data from smart security systems. Exhibitors will be expected deal more thoroughly with data security and cyber concerns in light of the reform of EU data protection regulation While data security and cyber vulnerabilities have been big news across the pond at trade-shows such as ISC West, the London-based event will be expected to deal more thoroughly with these concerns in light of the 2018 reform of EU data protection rules, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR.) Cyber security for physical security systems Over the last two years, the physical security industry has begun to sit up and take notice of the interdependence of physical and cyber security systems. High profile incidents such as the WannaCry ransomware attack on the UK’s National Health Service have highlighted the threat that the Internet of Things (IoT) poses to business security systems, while the Mirai botnet attack underlined the vulnerabilities of networked security systems specifically. Visitors will receive advice on how to secure increasing volumes of information through the synergy of physical and cybersecurity technologies At previous IFSEC shows, cybersecurity and IoT have played a marginal role, confined to specific zones on the show floor. This year’s exhibition promises to be the arena for an ‘integrated security event,’ with the convergence of physical and cyber security playing out across the show floor. A new ‘Show Me How’ area will provide end users with best practice advice for deploying smart, integrated security systems. The Keynote Arena will host a range of ‘case study’ seminars, offering insights into real world deployments of connected security solutions. Speakers include Silvino Schlickmann, Director of Cyber Crime at INTERPOL, and Dr Pippa Malmgren, Founder of DRPM Group and former Special Assistant to the President of the United States. The Converged Security Centre, brought to the show by Vidsys and partners, will demonstrate how the latest networked technologies can provide security professionals with actionable business intelligence. Visitors will receive advice on how to secure increasing volumes of information through the synergy of physical and cybersecurity technologies.IFSEC 2018 is explicitly addressing safe city concerns with City Forum and London First summits, where strategists can discuss everyday threats European security market trends Attendees will also expect the show to address the regional developments affecting the physical security market. With the ongoing threat of extremism, safe city solutions continue to be big news at European shows. IFSEC 2018 will explicitly address this theme with City Forum and London First summits, which will bring together government and law enforcement strategists to discuss everyday threats, from cyber security to terror. Exhibitors will also need to address the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on their physical security offerings. At last year’s event, manufacturers were ready to discuss the impact of data protection changes on a theoretical level. Now that the regulation has come into effect, video surveillance and access control companies will need to clearly show how their products and solutions comply to new standards, including privacy by design and the right to be forgotten. While this year’s IFSEC International event reflects many familiar themes we have heard about at recent shows, the three days at London’s ExCel are sure to offer new solutions and wisdom to security professionals who are hoping to weather the challenges of an increasingly connected technology landscape.
In a significant move for the video security market, BCDVideo has announced that it is set to become Dell EMC’s OEM partner in the video surveillance space. For nearly a decade, the Chicago-based company has been known as a key OEM partner of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), providing storage and networking technology to security integrators on a global scale. This latest partnership will allow BCDVideo to take their offerings to the next level. BCDVideo Vice President Tom Larson spoke to SourceSecurity.com to discuss the reasoning behind the deal, and how the programme will benefit partners, integrators, and end-users alike. Expanding BCDVideo's product offering For BCDVideo, the HPE OEM programme has been widely acknowledged as a success, allowing the company to leverage a globally recognised brand and provide high-quality, reliable solutions across video networking and access control. Nevertheless, explains Larson, HPE server solutions are primarily suited to large-scale enterprise projects, and are therefore unable to accommodate for the growth in small- and medium-sized surveillance applications. The global collaboration with Dell EMC will allow BCDVideo to open up a broader product offering, building on success in the larger enterprise market to offer tailored solutions to SMEs. Our aim is to look at all best of breed technology to serve the video surveillance marketplace, and that means multiple partnerships” Support for integrators By leveraging Dell EMC’s sophisticated digital storage platforms, BCDVideo will now be able to offer a more cost-effective solution to integrators, without sacrificing the resilience and IT-level service that BCDVideo is known for. With access to Dell EMC’s expansive global sales and technical teams, the company hopes to expand its reach, all-the-while providing partners with around-the-clock technical support and a five-year on-site warranty. Customers should be reassured that BCDVideo will continue to offer HPE platforms, service, and support. “Our aim is to look at all best-of-breed technology to serve the video surveillance marketplace, and that means multiple partnerships,” says Larson. “The addition of Dell EMC to our portfolio is a major win for BCDVideo, for Dell EMC, and for our integrators.” The global collaboration with Dell EMC will allow BCDVideo to open up a broader product offering Meeting surveillance market demands At the technology level, assures Larson, Dell EMC’s server offering is well suited to handle the increasing video resolution and growing camera count demanded by the surveillance industry. At the larger end of the spectrum, the company’s Isilon Scale-Out NAS solution can handle tens of petabytes of data, making it ideal for large-scale security applications such as city-wide surveillance and airport security. Dell EMC storage solutions are already proving successful at major international airports including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, each with a camera count in the 1000s.Dell EMC and BCDVideo together are ensuring our customers get the right solutions designed for the surveillance market” For Dell EMC, the new partnership means the ability to expand on this success in the enterprise market, leveraging BCDVideo’s surveillance expertise and high-level customer service to offer tailored solutions for lower-volume applications. Since its inception, BCDVideo has differentiated itself in the security space by providing a high level of IT service to integrators making the transition to IP systems. By combining resources, the partners will be able to service VMS and analytics companies, software vendors, and access control providers, as well as traditional business integrators. Ken Mills, General Manager Dell EMC Surveillance, explains: “Surveillance storage is not just about capacity, it is also about performance and reliability. Dell EMC and BCDVideo together are ensuring our customers get the right solutions designed for the surveillance market.” Accomodating for growth BCDVideo is well placed to accommodate this anticipated growth. Last year, the company opened a new 51,000-square-foot global headquarters in Illinois, home to 90 separate stations within their Innovation Center where each system is customised according to integrator needs. The new facility allows for expanding business with new and existing partners in the security market.
The Middle East security market provides a healthy opportunity for manufacturers who can capitalise on the region’s key verticals. Intersec’s 20th edition show focused more on solutions than on products, including solutions for the growing retail sector and an infrastructure market requiring ruggedised equipment to stand up to harsh environments. Intersec hosted security, safety and fire protection exhibitors from over fifty countries at Dubai’s spacious International Convention and Exhibition Centre on 21st - 23rd January. For the security market, the show was an opportunity to demonstrate how the industry’s latest technologies can benefit end-users in the UAE and globally. While the show hosted many impressively-sized stands from key security players, these tended to reflect the ongoing shift from a product-centric market to a focus on customer problems and solutions. Rather than filling the floorspace with an abundance of products, many brands chose to showcase how their flagship solutions could function in real-world applications. Retail surveillance delivers ROI Numerous companies opted to highlight their retail solutions – a key vertical for Dubai, which is known for its elaborate city shopping hubs. The Axis Communications stand allowed visitors to experience its network video offerings for the retail sector, including integrations with Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) and Point of Sale (POS) technologies. Solutions on show reflected how security systems are increasingly expected to provide a tangible return on investment: With options for queue management and people counting, Axis video technology can be used to provide business intelligence and improve the customer experience, as well as enhancing safety. IP video manufacturer Vivotek also showcased its latest retail offering, including fisheye cameras with built-in crowd detection and heatmap technology, which can help retail managers analyse customer traffic patterns and highly frequented areas. The panoramic nature of Vivotek’s IP cameras makes them ideal for collecting comprehensive data from retail stores. MOBOTIX CEO Thomas Lausten demonstrates how the company’s dual modular camera delivers high-quality images in extreme weather conditions IP video in extreme conditions The MOBOTIX stand was also less product-driven than at past shows. Instead, the focus was on how the manufacturer combines intelligent IoT technology and robust materials to address real end-user needs. CEO Thomas Lausten, who joined the company in June 2017, was on-hand to demonstrate how the company’s dual modular camera continues to deliver high-quality images in extreme weather conditions including ice, rain and sand. Rugged solutions were a big theme across the show floor. This is unsurprising given Intersec’s location in Dubai – the Middle East provides ample opportunity for the security market to capitalise on large outdoor projects, including the oil and gas industry. Video surveillance manufacturer Videotec showcased its latest HD PTZ cameras built to withstand harsh outdoor environments. The stand hosted an immersive ‘Experience Centre’, where the company’s flagship PTZ cameras moved in sync to a rolling video, demonstrating their use in vertical markets including oil and gas, marine surveillance, and critical infrastructure. Video surveillance manufacturer Videotec showcased its latest HD PTZ cameras built to withstand harsh outdoor environments MENA security market requirements Storage provider Promise Technology showcased its latest portfolio of surveillance solutions, including a cloud-based infrastructure optimised for growing IP video requirements. The manufacturer also introduced its new Vess A700 network video recorder series. This latest NVR offering specifically targets medium- to large-scale applications such as banking and industry. Such a solution is ideal for the growing Dubai market, where strict legislation requires a video retention time of 180 days. Intersec is set to return to Dubai from 20th - 22nd January 2019. Organisers expect over 1,300 exhibitors from across to globe to come together for a bigger, wider ranging and more innovative show.
Security solutions today do more than merely observe and prevent criminal activity. Systems are increasingly tasked with making sense of the world around us. At Intersec 2018, which took place 21st - 23rd January in Dubai, manufacturers set out to show how predictive analytics and artificial intelligence are already being used in real world applications: predicting criminal behaviour, managing traffic, and streamlining smart city operations. Dubai smart city initiatives Dubai is a particularly appropriate location to showcase how artificial intelligence and smart city projects have become intrinsically linked. Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, authorities in Dubai have set out to “make Dubai the happiest city on Earth” by adopting cutting-edge smart city initiatives. Dubai Police, a longstanding partner of Intersec, has launched a range of public safety initiatives including Smart Police IOS apps, traffic accident and location systems, and SOS apps for wearable devices. At the show, Dubai Police showcased how artificial intelligence can power new Robocop prototypes – unarmed, life-sized patrolling robots carrying facial recognition software and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology for evidence collection.Dubai Police, a longstanding partner of Intersec, has launched a range of public safety initiatives including Smart Police IOS apps Hikvision AI+ forum At the busy Hikvision stand, visitors were presented with the company’s latest AI-powered products, including DeepinView Series IP cameras and DeepinMind Series NVRs. Hikvision demonstrated its commitment to artificial intelligence with the global launch of its AI+ strategy, giving partners an exclusive insight into the company’s latest solutions. The event proved popular, with over 250 guests showing an interest in the latest surveillance applications for deep learning technology. Key figures in attendance were Hikvision President Mr. Yangzhong Hu, and Hikvision General Manager of MENA Mr. Binson Xu, who outlined how the company is leveraging AI and cloud technology to move beyond traditional surveillance systems and make sense of video data. Hikvision compounded its commitment to artificial intelligence with the global launch of its AI+ strategy Artificial Intelligence at the edge The key question, according to Hikvision, is whether cloud-based AI is the ultimate solution, and how we can solve the intrinsic problems of cloud-based analytics. For Hikvision, the answer is a multi-layered solution bringing AI-powered analytics from the cloud to the edge device. In the AI-Cloud framework, data is collected and analysed at the edge using deep learning technology, before target information is transmitted to the network and ultimately deployed to the cloud. According to Hikvision, the system classifies and recognises features more accurately than traditional analytics, making it perfect for facial recognition, people counting and traffic management. This is because raw data is analysed before compression occurs, preventing data loss and providing more essential detail. The framework ultimately reduces the burden placed on the data centre, as only relevant target information is transmitted via the network.The framework ultimately reduces the burden placed on the data centre, as only relevant target information is transmitted The Chinese manufacturer was keen to stress that Hikvision’s AI technology is already proving effective in real-world applications, citing use cases in law enforcement, traffic management and smart cities. The AI+ cloud solution takes this technology to the next stage. Video data for smarter cities Hikvision was not the only video manufacturer to focus on intelligent city surveillance. For Stuart Rawling, Pelco’s Director of Global Business Development, the big question for smart cities is how we can capture as much data as possible – from weather information to traffic data – to provide wholistic surveillance that allows for truly actionable insights. Pelco’s stand demonstrated how this vision is fast becoming a reality. The IP video manufacturer showcased its latest Optera™ Panoramic multi-sensor camera offering, targeting large outdoor areas such as parks and traffic intersections. According to Rawling, the solution is already improving response times for police departments in cities like Fresno, California, where 24/7 real-time monitoring and event management have contributed to increased public and officer safety. Genetec Security Center integrates video surveillance footage, ANPR data, record management systems and gunshot detection Automated intelligence for law enforcement Pelco partners Genetec placed a similar emphasis on actionable video intelligence. Genetec's intelligent automation means moving beyond image capture to make sense of video data and provide critical insights to security professionals.Genetec’s Citigraf technology has already been deployed by Chicago Police Department to predict potential criminal activity Key technologies on display included the latest version of Genetec Security Center. The solution integrates video surveillance footage, ANPR data, record management systems and gunshot detection to provide actionable insights to law enforcement professionals. Genetec’s Citigraf technology, built on the Security Center interface, has already been deployed by Chicago Police Department to predict potential criminal activity, improving response times and reducing gun crime in the city. Intersec 2018 was an opportunity for manufacturers and authorities to demonstrate that intelligent analytics and AI can no longer be considered concepts for the distant future: In the Middle East and globally, public safety is getting smarter.
The last two years have been pivotal for MOBOTIX, the German IP surveillance manufacturer. In 2016, the company entered into a share transfer agreement with Konica Minolta, a provider of advanced imaging and sensor solutions. More recently, the company has welcomed new CEO Thomas Lausten, who joins MOBOTIX with a wealth of experience from companies including Siemens, ADI Global Distribution and Milestone Systems. The changes have been accompanied by an updated look for the MOBOTIX brand, with a simpler logo and more unified branding across solutions and regions. SourceSecurity.com caught up with CSO Dr. Tristen Haage and CEO Thomas Lausten [pictured left-to-right] to find out what we can expect from the new-look MOBOTIX. High-quality IP solutions in a commoditised market With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, says Lausten, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price. "They stop selling boxes,” says Haage, “and start selling IoT devices." To this end, the company is deliberately moving away from promoting individual products and features, and instead concentrating its efforts on complete vertical market solutions where IoT devices can add the most value. These vertical markets include retail, transportation, perimeter protection and industry – although the list is set to expand with the addition of Konica Minolta’s expertise. “When you look at companies like MOBOTIX where there are people who have been on this ride for years, it’s clear they are passionate people” MOBOTIX has the potential to stand out in these markets; not only because of the company’s advanced IoT and sensor capabilities, but also because of its famous robustness. In challenging environments such as transportation and industry, MOBOTIX devices are ruggedised to withstand motion and shock, all the while providing reliable image quality and detection with fewer cameras. In the retail sector, MOBOTIX is already working on integrations with Point of Sale (POS) technologies, and hopes to add value for end users by partnering with experts in the fields of analytics and facial recognition. As Haage explains, “Driving innovation is not just about finding the best image resolution. It’s about finding new ways to innovate.” What makes MOBOTIX unique? Lausten sees MOBOTIX as distinct within the industry. This is due to the unmatched passion and longevity within the MOBOTIX community. “The passion in this company is unique,” says Lausten. “When you look at companies like MOBOTIX where there are people who have been on this ride for years, it’s clear they are passionate people.” The company has kept this enthusiasm from the beginning, through MOBOTIX’s continuing transformation to its new-look incarnation today. “It comes back to what [Dr. Ralf] Hinkel made: A community of partners.” According to Haage, this enthusiasm boils down to MOBOTIX’s mission to provide integrators with high-quality, smart products: “The people on the sales team appreciate they are not selling a commodity – not just a camera – but a smart IoT device with German quality, and this is what drives people in the company.” MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system Developing MOBOTIX on a global scale Might the majority acquisition by Konica Minolta alter MOBOTIX’s distinct “Made in Germany” DNA? No, says Lausten, who wants to reassure partners. While MOBOTIX is 65% owned by Konica Minolta, with many other shareholders, it remains an independent company. What Konica Minolta brings to the table is a financially strong owner who can advise on technology development. By leveraging MOBOTIX’s existing IP technologies and Konica Minolta’s advanced optical systems, the companies can work together to develop Intelligent solutions for specific vertical markets, including perimeter security and healthcare, according to Lausten. The challenge is to take what is already great about MOBOTIX – proven quality, made in Germany – and develop this on a global scale In addition to technology advances, the deal aims to broaden the distribution of MOBOTIX products by leveraging Konica Minolta’s global direct sales network and support systems. Although there are no “open doors” between the two companies, there is ongoing collaboration between Konica Minolta and MOBOTIX channel partners. Konica Minolta has a customer-centric approach and good relationships with end users in Europe and beyond, and can share this experience with MOBOTIX and its partners. While MOBOTIX has traditionally had a headquarters-centric approach, says Haage, the introduction of Thomas Lausten and Konica Minolta allows the company to cater to the individual needs of various regions, including the US. One might expect this increasingly global focus to mean that MOBOTIX will be varying its approach to products from region to region. On the contrary, explains Lausten, the challenge is to take what is already great about MOBOTIX – proven quality, made in Germany – and develop this on a global scale. Unifying the company’s approach globally is the best way to ensure customers’ needs are met efficiently. “When we do something,” says Lausten, “we do it properly.” Cybersecurity concerns drive innovation The company’s focus on innovation and quality is increasingly important in a market beset by cybersecurity concerns. Whereas two years ago end users were choosing products based on price, they are now asking whether devices have a back door to cyber threats. "The biggest concern for C-level people is cybersecurity,” predicts Lausten, “This will be a key driver moving forward." MOBOTIX's quality-driven focus means the company is well-prepared for this change: One hundred percent of software is programmed in-house, with frequent firmware and software upgrades to fix weak points. In the case of a software reset, this can only be carried out by sending the device back to MOBOTIX, which may seem less convenient from an end-user perspective, but significantly increases the security of the process. In light of cyber security threats, should users be concerned that MOBOTIX is becoming increasingly open to integrations with other video surveillance partners? The company is aware of the concerns, says Haage, and can therefore take countermeasures. While the market today is based upon open systems, MOBOTIX does not take partnership lightly. By integrating with key players only where there exists a synergy with MOBOTIX’s own technologies, the company can work on new aspects such as IT systems and processes, while taking MOBOTIX’s core products to the next level. “You have to comply with industry trends,” concedes Haage, “but that’s not the whole story.”
With global events putting security at the forefront of everyone’s minds, IFSEC International 2017 was a chance for the industry to come out in force. Over 600 exhibitors and numerous seminars kept visitors informed on the latest innovations in security products, solutions and best practice. Despite the challenging heatwave, exhibitors were raring to go for the three mercifully air-conditioned days of the exhibition. SourceSecurity.com took to the show floor to check out what exhibitors were talking about. [Pictured: Nedap Security Management welcomes new Managing Director Fokko van der Zee] Increasing ROI in vertical markets Sustainable partnerships overtake integrations Power in the hands of the customer Adding value in vertical markets The big question for many exhibitors was how to stand out on a show floor (and in a market) dominated by larger commoditised brands. Manufacturers rose to the challenge by deliberately positioning themselves as solutions providers within specific vertical markets, rather than trying to compete on low cost products. For Vivotek, the Taiwanese IP surveillance specialists, the emphasis was on adding value in particular markets such as transport and retail. Alongside a lineup of 180° and 360° solutions, the manufacturer debuted its 12-megapixel fisheye camera, FE9391-EV, whose 360° lens technology makes it ideal for crowd detection and loitering-time analysis in the retail sector, in addition to traditional security applications. Vivotek’s vertical market focus was further reinforced by demonstrations of its integrations with SeeTec and Wavestore. This collaboration forms part of the company’s Solution Integration Alliance programme, which aims to create better end-user solutions through integration of Vivotek products with partner technologies. Collaborating on technology and customer support This was a theme which resonated across the show floor. The Promise Technology stand firmly emphasised collaboration, with presentations from the storage provider’s IP camera partners including IronYun and Axis Communications. Particular importance was given to education and training for partners and end users to get the most out of integrated solutions. The emphasis for Promise Technology was on education and training for partners and end users Similarly, for Nedap Security Management, the increasing demand for connected systems means that open platform solutions are essential to excel within the security industry. As well as welcoming new Managing Director Fokko van der Zee, Nedap used its presence at the show to inform visitors about new and ongoing partnerships with key players in the industry. These partnerships include ASSA ABLOY, Touchless Biometric Systems and Milestone Systems. According to Jeroen Harmsen, Nedap’s Director of Product Management, the ability to provide collaborative solutions is becoming a key differentiator in the security sector and beyond. While many companies pursue product integrations, what makes sustainable partnerships stand out is ongoing cooperation on issues such as customer support. This, according to Harmsen, is why the deep integration of Milestone’s XProtect VMS and Nedap’s AEOS access control system has been so successful. Making customers’ lives easier This insistence on customer service as a differentiating factor also extended to video surveillance manufacturers. However, not all exhibitors were aiming to achieve this through increased integration. Cisco Meraki, whose cloud-managed video system is relatively new to the security market, deliberately steers clear of the market trend for integration in favour of the ‘Apple’ approach, aiming to provide a comprehensive solution on one easy-to-use platform. The architecture is intended to make customers’ lives easier by removing the NVR from the equation - video is stored on the edge and managed via the cloud, eliminating the ongoing costs and maintenance associated with traditional hardware solutions. Eagle Eye Networks president Ken Francis was also hoping to highlight the benefits of customer-friendly cloud surveillance at the show. The acquisition of Panasonic's Cameramanager has allowed Eagle Eye Networks to cater to smaller businesses with cameras connected directly to the internet. The company’s cloud storage solution also includes Remote Power Cycling via an integrated PoE switch, allowing users to remotely repower cameras themselves with no training or expertise. Crucial to Eagle Eye Networks' customer-friendly outlook is the possession of its own local data centres worldwide, reducing cloud storage costs and allowing customers to choose where their video is stored. Making your security products stand out on a crowded show floor is no easy task, but IFSEC 2017 saw plenty of innovation from video surveillance, access control and intrusion providers alike. As competition increases, added value solutions, collaboration and ease-of-use are sure to help manufacturers make a splash at future shows!
Axis Communications, the global provider of intelligent surveillance technology, yesterday held the official launch of the new Axis Experience Centre in Luton. The event was a chance for Axis’ partners to meet with the senior management team and explore how the new centre operates, all the while celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary over a glass of champagne. The centre was officially opened by Axis Communications co-founder Martin Gren, along with Bodil Sonesson, the company’s VP of Global Sales. The toast was led by Atul Rajput, Regional Director, Northern Europe. As one of Axis’ first ever employees, Rajput was particularly well placed to thank partners for their collaboration over the last twenty years. As celebrations continued, SourceSecurity.com was lucky enough to join Axis’ partners in a tour of the new facility. Exploring the Axis Experience Centre What immediately became apparent was that this was no ordinary showroom. In contrast to open-space demonstration rooms traditionally favoured by the security industry, the Experience Centre takes end users on a flowing tour where they can experience Axis solutions in a variety of environments simulating real-world problems. The tour typically takes two hours, and is designed for small groups of people to allow in-depth discussion of the difficulties end users are facing. Atul Rajput (Regional Director, Northern Europe), Bodil Sonesson (VP, Global Sales) & Axis Communications co-founder Martin Gren officially open the Experience Centre Axis open platform solutions One highlight of the experience is the AXIS Camera Application Platform (ACAP), which allows partners to solve specific customer problems by downloading third-party applications to Axis IP cameras and encoders. Typical end user problems highlighted by the tour include queue management, people counting and intrusion detection. The solutions are all fully interactive – on passing through a gateway, an audio alert notifies participants that they are trespassing, while three participants standing in a given space can trigger air conditioning and ambient audio. The most immersive part of the experience is the ‘dark room’, which simulates all kinds of challenging lighting conditions including the intense backlight that may be experienced at a building entrance or window. On leaving the room, participants are shown how Axis’ WDR cameras capture extremely detailed images despite the challenging illumination. Other highlights include the networking centre, which demonstrates Axis hardware and third-party switches, and the VMS control room, which features a new user interface and can be integrated with intercoms, speakers, and access control systems. Smart solutions for businesses and cities The overriding theme of all areas of the tour is the emphasis on applications, not products. Rather than being directed to a particular product to suit a given vertical market, end users and installers are encouraged to discuss the real-world challenges they face, and explore how Axis solutions could work for them. In this way, enterprises, small-to-medium businesses and Smart City providers can all be catered for. The concept is already proving successful – over the last month, the facility has been in use every day!
SourceSecurity.com’s most trafficked articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the market, from facial detection to drones, from deep learning to body worn cameras. Again in 2017, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles posted at SourceSecurity.com in 2017 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software 1. MOBOTIX Aims High with Cybersecurity and Customer-Focused Solutions [Jeannie Corfield] With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price. 2. ‘Anti-Surveillance Clothing’ Creates a New Wrinkle in Facial Detection [Larry Anderson] The latest challenge to facial recognition technology is “anti-surveillance clothing,” aimed at confusing facial recognition algorithms as a way of preserving “privacy.” The clothing, covered with ghostly face-like designs to specifically trigger face-detection algorithms, are a backlash against the looming possibility of facial recognition being used in retail environments and for other commercial purposes. 3. Drone Terror: How to Protect Facilities and People [Logan Harris] Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defence. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost. The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning 4. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Anshani] Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms 5. Body Worn Cameras: Overcoming the Challenges of Live Video Streaming [Mark Patrick] Most body camera manufacturers, that are trying to stream, attempt to use these consumer technologies; but they don’t work very well in the field, which is not helpful when you need to see what is happening, right now, on the ground. The video must be of usable quality, even though officers wearing the cameras may be moving and experiencing signal fluctuations – most mobile video produces significant delays and signal breakups. Video and audio must always remain in sync so there’s no confusion about who said what. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of the scene and support immediate decision-making by local and remote team members and support teams moving to the scene. 6. QinetiQ Demonstrates New Privacy-Protecting Body Scanner for Crowded Places [Ron Alalouff] QinetiQ has developed a scanner that can be used in crowded places without having to slow down or stop moving targets. The body scanner, capable of detecting hidden explosives or weapons on a person, has been demonstrated publicly in the United Kingdom for the first time. SPO-NX from QinetiQ – a company spun out of the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 2001 – can quickly screen large groups of people for concealed weapons or explosives in a passive, non-intrusive way, without needing people to stop or slow down. 7. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Security Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson] A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment 8. Integrating Security Management into Broader Building Systems [Gert Rohrmann] Security solutions should be about integration not isolation. Many organisations are considering their existing processes and systems and looking at how to leverage further value. Security is part of that focus and is a central component in the move towards a more integrated approach, which results in significant benefits. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, including building automation, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment. 9. How to Use Video Analytics and Metadata to Prevent Terrorist Attacks [Yury Akhmetov] How we defend and prevent terrorism must be based on intelligent processing of information, and an early awareness of potential threats – and effective preventive action – may eliminate most attacks. Video analytics, automated surveillance and AI decision-making will change the rules of the struggle between civilians and terrorists by making attempted attacks predictable, senseless and silent. To what extent can technology investigate and prevent terror crimes considering the latest technology innovations? 10. Next Generation Video Analytics: Separating Fact from Fiction [Erez Goldstein] ‘Next generation video analytics’ is a catchy marketing phrase, is how much substance is behind it? Video analytics as a technology has been with us for many years, but there has always been an air of confusion and mystery around it, in large part created by Hollywood movies, where every camera is connected, an operator can search the network and locate the villain in a matter of seconds. I am pleased to say that, in many respects, fact has caught up with fiction, with the newest video analytics solutions that are now on the market focusing on search and specifically real-time search. These solutions have been tried, tested and proven to help reduce search time from hours to minutes and even seconds.