Hot products: Day 2 of ISC West 2008

From quickly installed PTZs to designing a better alarm control panel, ISC exhibitors pushing the industry

It must be the classic question for those of us operating as trade journalists get at these tradeshows: "So, what's the best thing you've seen?" Well, that depends on who our audience would be, but let's take a tour of some solutions spotted around the ISC West show floor that make a lot of sense:

Honeywell Total Connect remote access offering seems like a big draw, especially with the option of creating a new RMR stream for dealers. The system can connect system users via the web or mobile devices to get alerts and control information on alarm systems and their video systems. Allowing security offerings to touch the lives of customers is what this Honeywell offering is all about. I should mention that Honeywell is also doing a "three months free" type of program to see if Total Connect will take off. Honeywell's Ralph Maniscalco says that move "let's the dealer establish RMR" for this service offering; apparently the market is still taking shape for this Total Connect solution.

I mentioned Honeywell's Total Connect as notable because it's taking dealer businesses in new directions, but we equally love when companies rethink previous or existing products to nail a long-overlooked need. The Honeywell 6160EX is a slimline keypad control panel for alarm systems; rather than the wider units found in most homes and businesses, this unit is specifically narrow so that it can fit between door casing and window casing when the space is limited. The style came out of Europe where such narrow spaces are common in building designs, but also finding obvious applicability in the U.S. as well.

We covered Privaris when they first entered the space, but a lot has changed for this company, which can be found in the HID Connect booth as well as their own independent location on the tradeshow. The crew at Privaris gave SIW an update, and the news is that company has released two new biometric fobs. If you haven't heard of them, this is the company that offers a key fob with fingerprint scanner that can emulate a smart card. A year ago, there was just the Plus ID 60. Since then, they've introduced the Plus ID 75, which adds Bluetooth connectivity (rather than the USB-connection model of the "60", plus an integrated RSA one-time password. It makes a strong offering for desktop and network access control. Also out from Privaris is the Plus ID 90 which offers a technology similar to the Plus ID 60, but with long-range applicability (up to 100 meters), making a solution highly applicable for vehicle parking.

I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the new "EZ-Access" standalone access control system from Dortronics Systems. This booth visit showed me a product that was simply designed to filled a nice need inside in the industry. For a suggested MSRP of $399, the user obtains the hardware for electronic access control at two doors. That package includes two readers, the two door controllers and a basic software for management/auditing. It's a stand-alone solution for using card access or PIN pad access for one or two doors or gates. What's nice is that it includes an audit trail, can be programmed quickly with a minimum of fuss, and supports most 26-bit Wiegand door access devices. For dealers looking for a simple 2-door standalone electronic access control system that's "no fuss", this is a tidy offering.

Using Google Earth isn't a product exactly, but that geospatial mapping model has shown up in software from firms like VideoNext, OnSSI and Orsus, all of which I had a chance to quickly review today. Overall, this isn't about offering Google Earth map visualization – instead, all three companies seem to be grasping that today's users need intuitive GUIs to aid in enterprise security management. As some of these companies each reiterated, it's much easier to find a camera on a video management system if you can see the area or building where that camera is. OnSSI's Jeff Knapp (VP of marketing) says it's all part of an overall industry push to make things easier on the end user, even as video systems get larger and larger.

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