More ASIS 2008 show notes

This is definitely not the complete review of technologies I saw at the 2008 ASIS show, but the following companies were making news, so let's break it here: 

Matrix Systems 

Matrix Systems, which has been around since 1979, was on the show floor with its access control solutions. The company is unique in that it is both an integrator and a manufacturer. Most impressive from this company is its vector graphics based user interface for facility security maps. Most access control software solutions tend to use image-based maps, so that when you focus in on a particular area, the software needs to load a new image to demonstrate that part of the facility. Matrix, on the other hand, allows for instant, scalable zooming into facilities as you zoom in/out to look at different areas of the facility. That also allows 3D imaging, so you can do a bird's eye view, a fly-over and other angles for using the facility map interface. It really makes the interface with this part of the software very nice. The company was also showing that it has fail-over options for its access system controllers, such that if one part of the network goes down, you don't lose control of that door, because it can be set to automatically to fail-over to another controller on another part of the network. Almost 40 years later, this company is still proving that innovation is in its blood.


At the ASIS 2008 show this week in Atlanta, Ga., JVC introduced its V.Networks branding. The company, which is a maker of analog and IP video surveillance cameras, introduced the V.Networks brand along with the new VN-V lines of IP-based surveillance cameras (as an aside, the cameras use the Verint protocol, which includes network transmission fail-over and redundancy features) and the V.Networks line of branded monitors for surveillance video monitoring.

The company also has a megapixel line and was showing its newest NVRs (which have an embedded Milestone Systems software interface).

NICE Systems

Over at the NICE Systems booth, I caught up with Moti Shabtai. The company has restructured and re-organized its company to create a security group with individual teams focused on specific verticals such as gaming, transportation, public safety and a combined group for educational facilities, healthcare and critical infrastructure. The company is doing 80% of the public safety/emergency operations center call center management solutions in the U.S. and is really showing how it has the ability to integrate the necessary solutions for major control centers.

Moti has a unique take on the steps of security, which he defines as the following:

1. Detect
2. Verify
3. Resolve
4. Investigate
5. Prosecute & Improve

The company's technology offerings, he said, are designed with those steps in mind for the security, law enforcement and first responder communities. Really, what the company is doing is a PSIM  type of solution (physical security information management) by correlating different sources of security/safety information and correlating the events so that you can detect, verify, resolve, investigate and improve your security.


If you recall, Bioscrypt was purchased by L-1 in March, but the firm is still very much operating as an independent business unit. If you're not familiar with the company, this is one of the leaders in fingerprint and facial recognition (the facial recognition was brought in with the Bioscrypt acquisition of A4 Vision). Their product line hasn't changed much, except that the architecture and system running the 3D facial recognition system has been gutted. The user would never know, but they've changed the architecture such that each unit no longer requires a dedicated, standalone PC -- it's a move that Bioscrypt's Peter Morgan says really improves the system while lowering the cost and easing the installation process. The 3D face systems are strongest in the financial sector, but they also cite casino security deployments and uses anytime a company "wants a visual representation of how seriously they take security."

The company is coming along very strongly in the HSPD-12 market with its PIV station unit and is actively watching the TWIC market to see how the firm's biometric solutions can play in that area.

The last time I had the chance to sit down with the Bioscrypt team, they were actively promoting their logical access solutions, but this time it's clear that Bioscrypt recognizes that their strengths are in physical security solutions. Nonetheless, Morgan said that the firm is not leaving that space, but as part of L-1, they've been able to do really strong partnerships with L-1 subsidiaries like Identix that are even stronger in logical access solutions.

Samsung | GVI  Security

There are two Samsung branded companies doing business in the U.S. now that Samsung Techwin has entered the market and GVI's Steve Walin says that can admittedly be somewhat confusing. He explains that the push is indicative of the fact that Samsung, as a global business, wants to do a billion dollars in security sales worldwide in the next three years. And even though his branding became a little more confusing with addition of Samsung Techwin, Walin notes that it can't hurt that there are now two firms representing the Samsung security line-up here in the U.S. That's twice as much promotion for the Samsung name, he notes.

GVI is of course a Samsung partner; The company (Samsung Electronic) invested in Samsung | GVI Security over a year ago, and with Walin at the helm, the company has seen six straight quarters of profitable growth. Walin notes that the growth isn't solely in the U.S.; he notes that South America has been a very strong growth area for the company (they're supplying video surveillance for municipal surveillance systems in Bogota, Columbia).


Here's the Sony update, and as you might expect for the top image sensor provider for all surveillance cameras, the company is always pushing forward with new technologies. Their cameras are showing the new ExWavePro image sensor, which is a very responsive, versatile sensor from what I saw in their video. Mike McCann also was noting that they've managed to reduce latency even more in the IP PTZs (networked PTZ cameras have been notoriously slow in responding over networks), and having taken the joystick controls on one of these cameras, I must say that the latency is getting very close to being imperceptible.

You can't talk IP video surveillance without talking bandwidth, and as those of you who understand bandwidth know, bandwidth usage can jump around greatly when you start dealing with IP camera controls and a lot of motion in the scene. Sony has some solutions for mitigating bit-rate (for MPEG-4) and stabilizing file sizes (JPEG) so that you don't see your bandwidth jump all around the chart. Here's a tip, says McCann: Use the free NetPerSec software from PC Magazine to study your network connection; it's a handy tool when it comes to watching bandwidth. 

Were you at the show? If so, post up some of your own "show notes" in our comments field.