The security week that was: 05/16/08

IFSEC wrap-up: A weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

Wrapping up at IFSEC

This week’s Security Week That Was recap column comes from a hotel in Birmingham, England, where the IFSEC tradeshow has wrapped up.

A few more notes from the last few days of the show:

Farpointe has some very nice readers out on the market. At the suggestion of Galaxy Control Systems' Rick Fournier (who was there to promote the company's new 600 IP-integrated access control system to UK partners and resellers), I made it by their booth to check out the technology. Hot on the stand was a vandal-proof proximity reader that has reportedly been tested by a reseller in Texas who fired an onslaught of firearms at the device and found that he couldn’t damage it. But far more interesting from the company is that they’ve managed to create a series of proximity card readers that use very little power. In today’s day and age, as we all recognize our carbon footprints and as we face rising energy costs, it is time that we consider the power draw of all the security devices that might be set up at a facility or a campus. It may be a small effect on overall building power consumption to go with readers that draw less power, but as we swap incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents, and as we get a little better about turning off lights in buildings when we leave, or recycling office print-outs, it’s part of an overall “green” trend that our industry will have to recognize and get behind. On a plus note, if you can draw less power from each reader and security device, you might recognize cost savings that could essentially pay for the equipment.

Xtralis, a product manufacturer in both fire and security, was here at the IFSEC show and is introducing new systems for video and access control. According to the staff, the company has synthesized the acquisition of the VSK Group, which was acquired by Xtralis in September 2007 for $49 million. VSK was a Belgian subsidiary of Allied Defense. This is clearly a company positioning itself to become a major player in fire and security. The company now has product lines in video (the ADPRO brand), access control, fire control (the PROACTIV and ICAM brands), fire detection (the VESDA brand) and even traffic detection (the ASIM brand of solutions).

I visited BT Redcare to see the product that the company was recognized for in the IFSEC product awards. At their stand was a little system that is actually from Cylon Systems (known for policing product in the UK, apparently). It’s a camera that’s worn on a headband and which connects via cable to a miniature DVR. The video seemed good; the headband seemed comfortable and secure enough to wear while running after a suspect. Overall, it was a nice addition to a security chief’s tool of tricks. One thing that would step up this product immensely is if it could push live video back to a security control center via wireless. Maybe next year, right?

Milestone Systems had good news to report at the show. The video management software company told that they’ve now certified over 1,000 partners, including over 450 partners on their XProtect Corporate platform (which has only been out since last fall). That increasing number of certified partners is surely a sign of the times in IP video.

Gert van Iperen, executive vice president of security systems globally for Bosch, lead a press conference during the show, and as was to be expected, part of the program was to tout the new IP video standards partnership that the company has entered in with Axis and Sony. If you’re in Europe and want to follow this, the framework that the companies are jointly working on is to be released in October at the “Essen” security tradeshow in Germany. Bosch’s senior product manager for IP video worldwide Dieter Joeker said the goal is device interoperability for all IP products.

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