Hot Technologies from ASIS 2006, Day 1

Sept. 26, 2006
From school-specific visitor management to a sharp new network PTZ, SIW editor Geoff Kohl spots six products you need to know

I have to admit, it's a nice privilege getting first glance at new technologies in the security space. And there's hardly a better place to spot these new technologies than at the ASIS International Seminars and Exhibits. With aisle upon aisles of vendors (enough aisles to wear out your soles, even if you're gellin') who are consummately promoting their latest and greatest, there's a bit too much to sift through in three days. And if you don't save the product literature, you may be out of luck, because many of the newest products aren't yet on corporate website products lists. Nonetheless, we managed to spot some products on this first day of the show that are worth paying attention to. And while we'd love to review for you every one of the products we saw today, we know you didn't come to our site to read "War and Peace". So with that in mind, we've kept it to six new products that we think you should know:

1. Honeywell's 7845i-GSM is one hot alarm panel communicator. The communicator's primary communications line is an Ethernet connection (hence the "i" in the product name), but when the Internet connection goes down, alarm signals can keep going out. The second line of communication is a back-up powered GSM cellular data connection that can pipe the same data you were receiving or sending over the Internet connection. If that signal doesn't go through, rely on the unit's SMS cellular messaging function which, while limited to 160 characters of text at a time, can get the basic alarm info you need out to the central station. And, of course, if you've got it, hook up a POTS (plain old telephone system) line to the panel itself for one more measure of communication back-up. It works with almost all panels (not just Honeywell's), and if you're using a Honeywell alarm panel, the Internet feature means that you can upload all the panel data you could want without the time requirement of having to program it on-site.

2. If homeland security is your thing (and HSPD-12/FIPS-201 is the game these days), Lenel's IdentityDefender is something to keep your eye on. From the makers of OnGuard comes a system that methodically enables government users to meet the letter of the law on FIPS 201. It's basically a platform that controls and facilitates the proper enrollment for this new government converged access requirement, covering everything from the "sponsorship" process, to biometric input, to getting the FBI sign-off, all the way through the process to the card issuance portion of FIPS 201. The system can be delivered in whole, or by any of its four individual modules, depending on agency needs. While you're looking over Lenel's new offerings, check out the new features of OnGuard 2006 (there are lots).

3. The fixed network camera has been a staple of surveillance we've seen at a number of shows recently, but PTZ has been the challenge for developers. Panasonic's new WV-NS202 network PTZ camera is a slick answer to this call for a network PTZ. The unit has an expected lifespan of around 30,000 hours, is PoE-ready, incorporates the company's wide-dynamic-range technology SDIII for better images, and is ready to get up close and personal with a 22X optical zoom (yes, that's 22X optical, and it really gets you close to the action).

4. If visitor management was one-size-fits-all-markets, it would make your job a lot easier choosing which product to buy. STOPware, a division of Brady People ID, is a vendor that seems to understand that one size doesn't fit all. They've just release PassagePoint-EDU, a visitor management system specifically designed for the education market, by tailoring it expressly to school needs. From referencing visitors against imported lists like a sex offender registry, to being able to link a parent with a student in the visitor system, the "EDU" version understands the needs of a school's lobby staff.

5. The form factor for Integral Technologies Intelli-M single-door controller is a tidy little unit. Recent advances provide native IP connectivity and allow your installer to run a powered Ethernet line right to it that has enough amperage to support the necessary door hardware. The winning feature just might be the IP address readout that's given upon power-up, allowing the tech to record the unit's IP address on the spot, rather than seek it out on the back-end.

6. Cisco and Assa Abloy got together and had a baby. The Hi-O technology system from Assa Abloy is a very cool development in itself, allowing almost automated set-up of essential door hardware (ring the card reader, door latch and door opener together and the pieces know intrinsically what to do in their configuration). But the addition of a Cisco partnership takes it one step further. A Hi-O gateway from Cisco puts that door system immediately on the network in a secure, standardized manner, allowing full data back to the access control management system. The ease in which the technology works together, and the fact that you can manage that door over the network is a win-win for driving costs down, meeting the IT department's needs for network compatibility, and giving the physical security department more control over the facility's access control nuances.