LIVE From IFSEC 2006: Day 1 Report

From across the pond, Security Dealer’s publisher Peter Harlick reports in on the UK’s biggest security show


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.

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