The security week that was: 03/13/09

Intelligent video update

From my attendance earlier this week at the Video Content Analysis Conference in Miami, Fla., put on by IMS Conferences, I was able to get a good picture of what is happening with video analytics (see my Day 1 report on that topic). I’m always astounded by this area of our business, and I think it holds a lot of promise. In a panel at the end of the conference, a number of video analytics companies joined a panel on stage with me to talk about the future, and the group generally believed that video analytics is going to rapidly expand beyond security applications, and is going to be part of business operations and even industrial controls. While that change will take some time, many on the panel also felt that we would see analytics become a commodity type of feature in video surveillance – much as video motion detection is such a core offering today. In fact, you’re already seeing this happening, with aspects like camera tampering and even automated PTZ person tracking starting to be available.

One of the other aspects of the second day of the conference was the integrators’ perspective on analytics. Earlier today, I published a column (read it here) about the integrators' thoughts which I heard during this conference. The general perspective is that there needs to be much better education before integrators can take this technology mainstream, and these integrators also thought that the technology needs to be easier to implement before analytics can be a core offering like access control, alarm systems, intrusion detection and general video surveillance.

Finally, I’m always amazed to find new niche technology companies at these types of conferences. I can think of at least three video analytics companies that are doing some neat work in this field who I had never met before (and I feel fairly well connected being that we receive news submissions from all areas of our industry). It’s always good to see fresh faces and fresh technology coming out, because these folks are a real driving force that keeps our industry from stagnating.

Welcome to the new SIW
A quick run-down of some of our new features

Despite a few last-minute glitches that had to be fixed, we were able to roll out the new website this week. You’ll notice the main change is an updated look, but we’ve also added elements like a whitepaper repository (email me if you’d like to add your whitepapers to this site), online videos about security technologies into our pages, discussion forum topics integrated into our pages, the ability to submit industry events to our calendar, comments on articles so you can weigh in (we moderate them, so don’t expect the comment to appear instantly), and we’re launching a new blog called PublicSafetyWatch (more on that soon). For those of you who are fans of Security Technology Executive and Security Dealer & Integrator, we want to introduce you to their new homes on the web. Some of the things we like that you can find on those pages are the ability to ask the SDI experts technical questions, find the SDI editors blogs, and enjoyed a much-improved archives engine for past issues and past articles by individual authors. As a loyal reader, I encourage you to spend some time on the site and provide me your feedback.

In other news this week:
Axsys explores sale, Pelco links with Tech Data, ScanSource gets admired

Axsys Technologies is exploring the possible sale of the company; the firm is known for military-grade surveillance systems, among other products. … Pelco named Tech Data as its exclusive distributor in the IT space. … In a time of a down economy, IP video firm IndigoVision reported continued growth. … IT and security products distribution firm ScanSource made it onto Fortune’s “most admired” companies list. … Guest columnist John Honovich presents an IT tutorial for physical security managers. … Northrop Grumman will be enhancing a major biometric project for the U.S. Army which helps U.S. forces recognize and identify terrorists and insurgents.