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Announcements and food for thought at the first day of IFSEC

Published on 18 June, 2014

It took a crowded ride during rush hour on the London “Tube” to get me there, including multiple transfers, but the first day of IFSEC at its new venue, the ExCel in London, yielded a couple of newsy announcements and busy traffic at many of the stands.

The industry is still reeling from bombshell news last week of the acquisition of Milestone by Canon. The ink may be barely dry, but the agreement was celebrated at IFSEC with a press event and big photo opportunity involving Rokus van Iperen, president and CEO, Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO, Milestone Systems. There was a big crowd around the Canon stand during the event. In addition to congratulations all around, there were assurances about the “governance structure” related to Milestone continuing to operate independently, and several mentions of “Chinese walls.”

Another big player with news was Panasonic, which is adding access control to its product offerings -- at least in the European region. At IFSEC, Panasonic signed a partnership with Bravida Fire and Security, a Scandinavian supplier, to add Bravida’s Integra access control and intruder platform to its portfolio of products. The partnership initially covers the UK, Germany, France, Turkey and Benelux, but will also include Panasonic’s key accounts across Europe.

Ultra High-Definition cameras were also touted by several companies, and IP video system supplier IDIS announced a range of full-HD and Ultra High-Definition monitors to go along with their new cameras, an expression of the IDIS “one-stop-shop surveillance solution” mantra. A large, crowded booth suggested the approach was attracting plenty of attention at IFSEC.

At a press conference, Axis focused on the IP video market and on the impact of the additional processing power inside newer cameras, which is now at last delivering on the promise of video analytics and other expanded functions. Axis especially focused on its new image stabilization system, which it demonstrated showing video images side-by-side from the same camera, one side jumping hopelessly because the camera was being intentionally shaken, and the other practically still because of the effect of the new image stabilization system.

But beyond the new capabilities, Atul Rajput, Axis regional director, northern Europe, emphasized that the market needs to embrace new ways to look at camera systems - including considering benefits outside security such as business intelligence applications and ways to be a “revenue enabler.” An example is how video surveillance can make customers feel safer in a shopping area surrounding a bus station. Rather than rushing through the area to get somewhere else, customers who feel safe might spend more times in the area, shopping and thus helping nearby merchants succeed. The use of cameras that can use less light could be positioned as a way to reduce a company’s “carbon footprint,” he said.

Definitely plenty to think about on the Tube ride back to the hotel, and also two more days to explore the large exhibit hall. Stay tuned.

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