Tech notes from Day 2 of ISC West 2021

July 21, 2021
Covid mitigation solutions remain prominent technologies in the industry and on the show floor

Just as the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services posted a daily total greater than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases since January, and largely (83%) due to the Delta variant, day two at ISC West brought promising new technologies for entry screening and perimeter security.  A new mask mandate order in Clark County, the first required in the U.S., goes into effect for indoor workers in contact with the public on Thursday, as some solution providers at the conference incorporated multi-sensor touchless biometric entrance solutions.

Here are few of the companies I had a chance to visit on day two of the show:  


At a luncheon event, Ben Eazzetta, CEO of ARES Security Corporation, an ISC West exhibitor, confirmed their plans for their recent acquisition of certain Vidsys assets. “Vidsys products are very complementary to the deep AVERT technology stack that includes AI and machine learning-powered rules engines, dynamic pathfinding/tasking for robotic sentries and response systems, site/facility digital twins and modeling/simulation powered assessment, design and training systems.”

The ARES Avert PS engine quantifies physical security and response effectiveness by making available and integrating critical information to SOCs and first responders: floorplans, hazardous material data, law enforcement personnel, GIS data, contact information, and standard operating procedures.  These form a strategic executive dashboard for robot missions, virtual tabletop exercises and the ability to leverage a digital twin to analyze security conditions.

ARES presented a demonstration of their Q-UGV quadra-ped (four-footed) Robotic Dog supplied by Ghost Robotics and integrated with ARES Security’s Robotic Mission Planning & Operations (MPO) software.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo) are deploying this on the complex terrain at the DOE Hanford Waste Site in Richland, Washington.

ARES Security and Ghost Robotics are also involved in the Tyndall Air Force Base rebuild in Florida. A digital twin is a virtual representation that serves as the real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process. The ARES Digital Twin technology provides a virtual representation and real-time digital counterpart of the base and its operations, enabling the Air Force to model existing, new or temporary buildings and threats to validate their current configurations, security operations, improve their plans, and train on those new plans.


Rolled out at the Las Vegas Brooklyn Bowl and exhibiting at ISC West, Evolv introduced the AI-based weapons and IED detection Evolv Express, capable of screening 3,600 people an hour in high risk, high-capacity venues.  The exhibit highlighted how the portal supports the natural entry of event attendees, eliminating a requirement to queue, displaying detected objects events in real time in AI-trained categories like weapon, knife, headphones, laptop, and law enforcement.

Evolv Express customers can use the Evolv Insights platform, available through the My Evolv customer support portal, to extract data about venue and entrance visitor arrival curves and counts, system detection performance, alarm statistics and comparisons across multiple sites, locations within sites, event types, detection settings, and time periods. Venue entry data can be presented annually, quarterly, monthly, daily, hourly, and even down to five-minute increments.  “Until now, security teams using outdated metal detector technology have been forced to make operational decisions based on biased judgment and anecdotal inputs, collected manually under the pressure of time. With automated data collection and actionable insights, security teams can move from reactive management and intuition-led decision making, to proactive, data-informed operations,” said Steve Morandi, the company’s Vice President of Product Management.


The Gallagher Proximity and Contact Tracing Report, a utility used to help identify cardholders who have shared areas simultaneously with those testing positive for an infectious virus received  a 2021 SIA New Product Showcase Award.  If an individual was deemed a health risk (tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms) and had entered your site, using the report, you can identify other cardholders who might have an elevated risk of infection. The report can also identify those cardholders who did not come in contact with the infected cardholder, therefore ruling out exposure concerns.

Further PACS advancements let cardholders get customized access denied and granted display messages when entering or exiting a site with the Gallagher Customizable T20 and T21 readers.  Cardholder PINs are protected from 'shoulder-surfing' by randomizing keypad numbers when a card is presented, with capability to adapt functions for visually impaired users. To perform mobile credential syncing between sites and further unify their suite of reliable sensors, including their popular perimeter Electric Fence deterrent, the Gallagher Command Centre v8.50 was recently released. 

Orion Occupant Sensing Solutions

Orion OSS introduces security, safety, and social distancing solutions with their Constellation, a small, preassembled sensor using close-range radar providing accurate, but anonymous data of human micromovement.  Designed for real time occupancy detection of a space and how long the space was occupied, Constellation detects human breathing and heart rate signal within seconds, maintains privacy with no cameras or microphones.

Constellation, which is based on an Impulse Radio Ultra-Wideband (IR-UWB) Radar Sensor, is unaffected by lighting, environmental conditions or light dust and can penetrate wood or thin glass, but not concrete or metal.

Four solutions are possible with the Constellation sensor:

  1. Star-IO helps optimize occupancy by providing a count of individuals moving in and out of the designated space.
  2. Star-PD detects when an individual is in the sensor area, allowing for a full picture of current occupancy.
  3. Star-ZC is a customizable occupancy counter that can determine how many individuals are in a given zone and for how long, allowing companies to know the best way to organize and manage their spaces.
  4. Star-VS detects breathing, coughing and heart rates to monitor an individual’s wellness in your environment.

The ability to accurately detect occupancy and where individuals may be sheltering in place can also provide an opportunity to provide life safety data in critical cases like those involving active assailants.

TBS Biometrics

“Securing What Matters with Touchless Biometrics,” TBS, aka Touchless Biometric Systems AG of Switzerland, has introduced a true, on the fly, facial recognition via IP video and their “3D +” multi-spectral touchless technology terminal.  The integration of facial recognition boosts the security of the systems, while reducing the chance of disease transmission.  The three-dimensional and contact-free fingerscan terminal provides high security, recognition performance and a “sensor” that includes touchless, 3D-multiview, iris, thermal camera, capacitive touch, and multi-spectral technologies.  These perform a variety of access control, time and attendance, identification or verification functions in an indoor/outdoor package, flush or surface mount, and hygienic for sensitive applications.

According to TBS, the 3D+ Touchless Reader is the only touchless biometric technology using three cameras for the finger scanning process, ensuring “no failure-to-enroll,” avoids potential sensor damage and is most hygienic.  To achieve comprehensive device security, TBS includes multi-level data encryption, template on card, anti-tampering, and liveness detection, or the ability to sense if a fingerprint or face is real, from a live person present at the point of capture, or fake, from a spoofed artifact or lifeless body part.  The TBS Biometrics false rejection rate (FRR) at a false accept rate (FAR) of 1:100,000 is less than 0.5%.

With a user interface adjusted to an end user’s specific workflow, TBS Biometrics has multiple management platforms and partners. Their Unlimited Enterprise Solution includes enrollment, entrance and time registration, virtual tailgate detection, and video system integration.

About the Author:

Steve Surfaro is Chairman of the Public Safety Working Group for the Security Industry Association (SIA) and has more than 30 years of security industry experience. He is a subject matter expert in smart cities and buildings, cybersecurity, forensic video, data science, command center design and first responder technologies. Follow him on Twitter, @stevesurf.

About the Author

Steve Surfaro | Steve Surfaro

Steve Surfaro is Chairman of the Public Safety Working Group for the Security Industry Association (SIA) and has more than 30 years of security industry experience. He is a subject matter expert in smart cities and buildings, cybersecurity, forensic video, data science, command center design and first responder technologies. Follow him on Twitter, @stevesurf.