Head around the show floor of ISC West 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada, for about four hours and I promise that your head will spin. There seem to be more booths than ever (Reed Exhibitions' Dean Russo said in his opening address on Wednesday that he expects 2007 to surpass the 2006 show in terms of attendees and certainly booths), and although the amount of new technology can be overwhelming at times, it's clear that our industry hasn't forgotten how to innovate, innovate some more, and then innovate again. While I'm not sure that there are any products I've yet seen that truly came out of left field, what we are seeing is the flourishing of specialized products that solve long-standing challenges in physical security.
And while it's hard to sift through the hundreds of manufacturers with good solutions here at ISC, there have been a few that really caught my eye. Take a tour with me of seven of the hottest products on the floor:
Over at the booth of Axis Communications, I was rather impressed by one of the company's smallest cameras. The Axis 209 camera is small and robust and was created to allow IP-based video surveillance in buses and trains. Designed to withstand vandals and even moisture and dust, and placed in a form factor that makes the camera unobtrusive, this little workhorse has surprised a number of people as integrators have found uses for network video in the mass transit market.
For the "cool" factor, it's hard to walk past Brijot, where they're showcasing the BIS-WDS second generation millimeter-wave imaging solution. Think of it like X-ray to the Nth degree, this "camera" allows users to see hidden objects, including gels and liquids, weapon threats and almost anything that could be hidden on a person. For people screening applications, it's hard to find anything better right now.
Honeywell's VISTA panels already have been a popular model for dealers to install, but the new Internet Connection Module (ICM) that Honeywell unveiled at ISC West takes VISTA to a new level, by allowing users to control security systems from their PCs, PDAs or cell phones. It's all about giving the consumer more options, explains Honeywell's Ralph Maniscalco. If the "Net-attached" nature of modern life is any indication, Honeywell should have a winner with this add-on offering. Wondering how to get back in touch with your previous security system customers to find a little more revenue? This could be it.
OK, maybe it's not a single product, but the system that Ingersoll Rand/Schlage is touting at the show is the ability to take a customer from managed locks all the way to full-fledged, scheduled, and card-based electronic access control solutions. Schlage's Felix Mira showcased the solutions design that allows standalone, computer managed locks to be tied in with a coordinated electronic door access solutions. The system is a notable move as Schlage progress far beyond selling hardware only, to selling a solutions approach to electronic access. These guys are probably the only ones who have been able to successfully make a standalone computer-managed lock exist as part of an overall electronic access control solution strategy that can expand from keys to cards, schedules and which can even now link with associated video surveillance feeds.