It's Thursday morning at ISC East and the show is humming along. It's not flush with traffic, but the attendance has seemed decent at least. Like any show, some booths are staying packed while others are needing to start comedy improv to develop some traffic.
What's happening here? Let me give you a quick rundown of some neat things we've seen.
We swung by the booth of HID Corporation to get the latest from their mouths, and sat down at the aptly named Smart Bar where a couple industry gurus (consider them "Click and Clack" of HID's security offerings) were being sages on everything from iClass to VertX. The coolest thing they're looking over is that they've developed a 4-part training module for the iClass system that's open to all in the security industry. HID is also working on some great bulk card printing solutions.
Over at the AlarmKey booth, we checked in on their software and got the scoop on what's around the bend. Turns out that they're not showcasing any amazing new features, but simply continuing to gather input from dealers on how to improve this 30-something-year-old system. But they're not slowing down. A new scheduling system for AlarmKey software is right around the corner.
You've probably heard it before, maybe 10-15 years ago, and lots have tried to do it. What's "it"? Video over power lines. Yep, the world of interference, power outages, abnormal power usage and line noise has been tried and tried again for shipping video, often with the same results. New player on the scene is Visual Gate Systems, which believes it has found the correct way to do this. They're starting off with small home business type systems that ship no more than worth of video over the lines (at 10 frames per second), so they're not trying to overload it at once. Using special cameras that are none too robust -- but probably OK for residential types of installs -- they ship video directly to a standard outlet and then convert it back into an IP-ready format at the end using the company's conversion box. Version 2.0 will bring along a converter to get analog cameras ready for power line transmission. The company has also developed some software to take care of the usual problems of power line transmission. It's supposed to study the lines, study power usage, noise, etc. -- and automatically change frame rates to adjust to the circumstances. The home system can be installed for about $800 and saves to any standard PC.
Next top of interest... The glimmering screens at ToteVision captured our eyes. They offer a variety of pretty cool LCD monitors and screens. The best of what we saw were rotating, rack-mounted units with four miniature screens. We also liked a small, perhaps 4-inch, monitor that's just right for capturing video from a camera as you install it, check lighting and field range. This is a great one for installers.
Locksmiths take note! Camden Door Controls is showcasing its inVision access control reader. It's a one-door solution for prox access that's easy to install. It also will work with AWID and HID readers, but when you just want to get card access to a facility with a very low number of doors (read: non-networked, field programmable), check these guys' solution out.
Protect, manufacturers of a security "smoke" (actually not a smoke at all, but sure looks like one) keeps flooding the show lobby with their mist, and it's probably best that there's not a booth next to them -- you'd never see their neighbors. Protect, it seems, is coming out the door like gangbusters in North America and South America after stepping over from Europe this past year. They've landed a ton of retail clients adding up to something near 20,000 stores that will have their system. If you get a chance, step into their demo booth. You'll know right then why this stuff would be a nightmare to a thief.