ISC East security technology notes

Mail cleansers to CO detectors to even more impressive DVRs

As was discussed in our forums earlier today, ISC East was booming with traffic this year. And on top of that traffic boom, there’s actually been quite a bit of really hot technology moving around the show floor. I wanted to give a quick splash about some of the technology I’ve seen today.

At ISC East last year, we reported on the company iControl, which does remote home control for automation and security. The firm is best known for its partnership with GE Security’s residential products like the Simon series of alarm panels. iControl has managed to create nice interfaces using hardware and software and hosted services to really broaden how we think of interfacing with home security systems. Their iHub device talks to the security system, IP cameras, and even lights and the thermostat. It gives a pretty amazing level of remote control over all of these services. On a side note, since the Apple iPhone is so hot, iControl is showing what seems to be the early stages of an iPhone application to give you direct-to-your-iPhone control over alarms, lights, temperatures and even video surveillance. They’re over at booth 1677 if you’re here in New York.

On an entirely different note, I caught up with the folks from Mikoh. They make a variety of tamper-evident tags and RFID-enabled asset protection tags. In short, these are the tags you can use for general asset logging (since they include serial numbers which allow you to associate a specific tag with a device). But their product line extends even to methods for tracking boxes and devices with RFID technology. Notable was a partnership with Pelican Cases (lockable, hardened, waterproof, dustproof, impact-resistant cases popular for shipping high-end electronics). They’ve done a system using some intellectual property that came out of the NSA for a tamper-evident RFID tag for such uses. You can only imagine what government secrets these tags are helping to protect. Head to booth 1355 if you have any interest in these tags.

Telular doesn’t have a booth, but they did do a lunchtime session about adding cellular back-up for alarm panels. I caught up with Telular’s Shawn Welsh and Pamela Benke after their lunchtime education session (which drew around 40 dealers). They were showcasing their new TG-11 alarm panel communicator. This device allows dealers to add cell radio communications to a Honeywell Vista alarm panel quite seamlessly. It seems well-designed for the installer. It fits into an existing knockout in the alarm panel box, and the antenna extends to an existing opening in the panel box, which means no drilling or custom box work or wall-mounting needed. It draws power off the existing Vista infrastructure and battery, and wires directly to the Vista panels via the ECP Bus. RMR for dealers means you can charge extra money per month for cellular back-up, and as a technical benefit, the TG-11/Telular service supports panel uploads. On a side note, Telular recently acquired SupplyNet Communications, which does sensor devices for big liquid storage tanks (500-plus gallons) such as found in the petrochem sector. Again, they have no booth at ISC East, so you’ll just have to Google them.

Ah, DVRs and NVRs. We can’t get enough. I swung by the booth of AVerMedia where staffer Kris Rangarajan gave me an overview of two DVR/NVR units they have. One was a simple 4-channel unit, but the hot point was that it allows the cameras to connect via WiFi to the DVR. That means no coax or network cable runs to get your video stored. It’s quite a nifty unit for those of you needing to add video surveillance storage when you can’t run the wire (due to architectural or historical reasons, for example). They also had their whopper hybrid recorder. The SA9000 records at D1 resolution, supports analog and network inputs, and has some nice touches like a built-in suite of “lite” analytics. One of the nice things about this AVerMedia user interface is that when you’re searching for archived video, you can look at clips by the day, by the hour, by the minute and even down to the second. You get to “see” all of these with a screen capture associated to each clip, and although it’s rather difficult to explain in an article format like this, the real benefit is instantly being able to recognize the clip you need. This 16-channel recorder supports megapixel cams and can do video encryption. Check them out at booth 945.

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