Final thoughts on ISC West 2010

After taking a weekend to recover from what was a very busy ISC West, a few thoughts on where the industry is headed technology wise struck me today. Having talked with a number of alarm system manufacturers at the show, it's apparent that they're all taking the so-called "sun setting" of POTS lines quite seriously. Everyone I spoke with had a panel that could communicate an alarm signal using either IP or GSM technology. Honeywell executives even noted the shift in alarm signal communications as one of the biggest trends affecting the industry moving forward.

"Essentially, we are becoming a mobile world," said Ron Rothman, president of Honeywell Security Group.

In its request late last year to the Federal Communications Commission to phase out POTS, AT&T said that less than 20 percent of Americans exclusively rely on landlines for phone service and that 25 percent of the nation has abandoned them altogether. In fact, according to the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, a little more than 20 percent of all U.S. households are now wirelessly-only homes.

This trend especially bodes well for companies like Telular, which burst onto the scene several years ago with its TG-11 cellular communicator that worked with Honeywell's Vista series of alarm panels. New for this year's show, Shawn Welsh, Telular's vice president of marketing and business development, showed me the company's newest cellular communicator, the TG-1 Express, which works with virtually all alarm formats. Click here to read what dealers think of the transition from POTS lines to alternate forms of alarm signal communication.

Another trend that became apparent to me as I walked the show floor was the push in high-definition and megapixel camera technology. Though there are some differing opinions on what the strict definition of an HD camera and a megapixel camera are (I've been told that HD is simply a subset of megapixel), it's obvious that the demand for high resolution has staying power. Click here to read SIW Editor-in-Chief Geoff Kohl's rundown on HD cameras at the show and how manufacturers are helping educate the market about the technology.