Keeping up with the Technology at ISC

A show as big as ISC West makes an impact, no matter how many times you've attended or exhibited. This is my third year, and the glut of booths in the expansive Sands Expo hall still dazzles me a little at first, as does the number of seminars, several of which sold out ahead of time this year.

There's something here to address every security need, and that variety sometimes makes it hard to pinpoint a theme or a trend that runs through all aspects of the show. Convergence is, as it has been, a word on everyone's lips. Luckily more vendors are offering systems capable of participating in convergence, and more users are asking for it. But besides that, there is one thing I've heard over the last few days from people in every market, end users, integrators, dealers and vendors. Everyone seems to be issuing a call for more technology education.

There are many opportunities for education available now; this show is one example. ASIS offers seminars regularly throughout the year, as do the other industry associations in their more specific niches. It seems you can't turn around anymore without running into a new security seminar.

The fact that we still hear, across the show floor, in the hallways and in the conference rooms, a cry for increased education-even given all the opportunities currently available-shows that technology in many sectors and the cults that surround them are advancing more quickly than the industry's capacity to effectively educate. Intelligent video, smart cards, DVRs, networked video and IP access systems, networked management, biometrics ... in all these sectors there is still misunderstanding of realistic capabilities and limitations, as well as basic terminology in many cases.

So what does this mean? We all need to take a more active role. Vendors need to offer more education to their dealers and integrators, and vendors and integrators need to offer more education to end users. End users need to take a more active role in learning and searching out these educational opportunities as well.

Security Technology & Design, Security Dealer and Locksmith Ledger International work to provide their readers with such valuable educational opportunities each month, and reaches out daily to bridge the gap. ST&D in particular is looking forward to further contributing to the education of end users in its Voice of the Expert Road Tour, a series of one-day regional seminars co-located with the SecureWorld Expo that kicks off on April 21 in Philadelphia. Voice of the Expert will give end users the chance to sit down with integrators and vendors for one-on-ones about the applications and capabilities of security technologies today. For information on this first-ever event, visit

Security technology isn't going to slow down anytime soon. What are you going to do to keep yourself, and your colleagues and customers, up to pace?