LIVE From IFSEC 2006: Day 1 Report

Reporting Live from IFSEC May 8–11, NEC Birmingham, England; IFSEC is co-located with Safety & Health Expo, The Facilities Show, The International Police Expo and The International Fire Expo.

"Wheels Down" is a security term used in the executive protection field to describe when a person has landed at the respective destination. As such, I was wheels down at Birmingham International Airport Monday morning at 7:35 a.m. and off to the show which opened at 10:00 a.m. The landing in Birmingham was exactly as I expected it to be, with the landscape obscured by very dense fog and light drizzle.

To brighten my exhausted spirits, I was met by Bruce Doneff, who handles public relations for DVTel and is an organizer of the IP User Group which is currently launching in the U.S. (and which is very established in the UK). After a quick cup of coffee and bite to eat with Doneff and also Joe Freeman of Freeman & Associates, we were off to the show. Pulling up to the enormous halls of the NEC, I was greeted by the familiar and friendly face of David Gottlieb of Honeywell Security.

The foot traffic turned out to be somewhat light for the first day of the show as it was also Independence Day for the UK. I was assured that days two, three and four would be much more crowded, and if memory serves me right, last year turned out exactly that way.

Once on the show floor, I ran into Deborah Spitler of HID, as well as June Colegreco, HID's vice president of marketing. Deb was excited to share with me a brand new program being launched at IFSEC called HID Connect. HID Connect does exactly that; it connects people, solutions, companies, products and technologies using the HID platform. They currently have over 23 partners, from biometrics to vending to PC security partners. According to Spitler and Colegreco, the industry can expect a more formal announcement regarding HID Connect to appear in the coming weeks.

Just a few steps further in the show, I was at the booth of biometrics company Bioscrypt, where two more familiar U.S. faces greeted me: Julia Webb, executive vice president, and Jordan Benshea, director of marketing. Webb said she was extremely enthusiastic about their new logical access solution, called Verisoft.

"The early feeling at the show is that there is clearly a high interest in the convergence of physical and logical access control solutions," said Webb. "And we think Bioscrypt has great tools to provide such solutions.”

A few booths over was Apryl Erickson, international sales manager for FARGO Electronics. Ms. Erickson pointed out several new next generation printers that include Ethernet connectivity which have only been on the market for a month or so. Other products included printers designed to control inventory management.

I spent a good deal of time chatting with Dr. Oliver Vellacott, CEO of IndigoVision, and Graham Scott, the company's public relations consultant. According to the two men, IndigoVision is making a large push into the North American market. With more then 12 years of experience in the realm of IP video solutions, IndigoVision has positioned itself as a mid- to high-end technology solution. Just to highlight a few of their success stories: They are in 21 airports including London and Brussels. IndigoVision had over 2,000 cameras at the 2004 Olympics in Athens as well as the recent games in Torino, Italy. They are in several major ports, numerous banks and are even being used at the Panama Canal. One highlight of their technology is their alarm and motion detection, which is being demonstrated at their booth.

Also on hand to talk about a new line of products was Shlomit Hershko of Rokonet, the intrusion division of the larger RISCO Group. Very new to the market is a new GSM system which provides primary or backup cellular communications for reporting to end-users and central stations. The company is billing the product as the WisDom wireless security system, and it has become very popular in Europe and will be making a splash very soon in the US market. Hershko touted the system as the simplest and fastest wireless security system to install.

Also launched for the first time at IFSEC was SynopSYS, which is the new security and building management solution from the RISCO Group. This system is designed with the integrator in mind, and to that end, the RISCO Group is currently actively looking for U.S. integrators that they can talk to about this new product launch. In a nutshell, SysnopSys is a sophisticated software solution that enables simplified and completely integrated site management and control via intuitive, drag-and-drop based, synoptic maps. The solution is ideal for commercial and public buildings, multi-facility complexes and distributed organizations.

Also on hand to demonstrate their products was Dublin, Ireland-based Zandar Technologies. I had a chance to sit down with the company's marketing manager, Sharon Smyth, who demonstrated the benefits of having one of their multi-viewer/multi-image display systems and its ease and versatility of use. Their newest product, Fusion Pro+ is the next generation of future pro multi-view products. Designed for applications that use a high level of CCTV monitoring, their products are in several high-value security installations in the U.S., including federal and state locations as well as chemical and water treatment plants. According to Smyth, Zandar prides itself on their technology, specifically their "live video, high resolution capabilites."

At the end of the day and as the show was winding down I had the chance to catch up with Joanna Black, marketing coordinator for CMP, which hosts the show. According to Black, IFSEC has 700 exhibitors this year, up from 633 in 2005. Although final numbers have yet to be audited, Black felt that they were significantly up in pre-registered attendees. New to the show this year were the following sections: Fire Solutions, a Biometrics Pavilion, The Security Man Guarding Pavilion, as well as the International Media Village. This "media village" is where an attendee could relax and pick up one of the 18 partner publications that helped to promote IFSEC. I am proud to say that Security Dealer, Security Technology & Design and Locksmith Ledger magazines were the only U.S. security magazines represented at the show.

I had also heard some breaking news that Milestone Systems has formed an alliance with ObjectVideo. ObjectVideo’s intelligence will be combined with Milestone's software for a new analytics offering. Ed Troha, director of marketing and communications for ObjectVideo, and Courtney Dillon Pedersen of Milestone Systems described the alliance as a best-of-breed partnership. "When two clear technology market leaders get together it's always better for the integrator and end-user," said Troha. [See the full press release on the ObjectVideo/Milestone Systems partnership.]

Stay tuned for more news, pictures and attendee feedback to come from Day 2, Live From IFSEC 2006, only on SecurityInfoWatch.com.


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