Tech Trends: Tech Report from ASIS 2014

Nov. 5, 2014
A variety of technologies and innovations caught my eye last month in Atlanta

The annual ASIS show always has technology nuggets and surprises scattered among the vendor displays, and this year was no different. While I can’t hope to come close to recapping all that was there to see, a number of things caught my attention as being interesting or novel.

Here’s the roundup:


4K Continues to Rise

I was not surprised to see the early stages of 4K Ultra HD video being displayed by several manufacturers. Axis displayed its P1428-E series, an 8.3 MP camera supporting High, Main and Baseline H.264 profiles. Reflecting a trend towards more powerful edge analytics in the industry, the camera boasts an impressive analytic feature termed Digital Autotracking, which enables it to lock onto several moving objects in a scene. 

Another vendor that displayed 4K Ultra was DVTel, whose H.264-based 4K solution uses approximately 2 Mbps bandwidth at high resolution. The company uses an advanced video processing chip that makes expanded use of motion vectors to increase efficiency and reduce bandwidth. DVTel has proposed a measure of performance comparison — not unlike automobile miles per gallon (mpg) — termed pixels per bit (ppb), which is calculated by dividing pixels per second by bits per second to derive a comparative measure of efficiency.

Samsung is still evaluating its options and plans for 4K cameras, according to Samsung Techwin President Soon Hong An. Interestingly, none of the current vendor offerings which I saw employ next-gen H.265 compression, which, as I have written about previously, is the basis for future 4K and 8K products and reduces bandwidth consumption by 50 percent compared to H.264. Samsung continues to take advantage of its in-house advanced processor technology to implement features such as electronic image stabilization, advanced analytics on the edge and overall imaging processing. My guess is that we are a couple years away from seeing H.265 security cameras displayed and working.


Other Video Surveillance Innovation

Hikvision displayed a low light-capable color network camera with an impressive 120 dB of Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Several of the company’s products are endowed with 3D digital noise reduction, smart face and smart audio detection.

Digital Watchdog, whose technology has been amped up with by the acquisition of Ian Johnston’s Innovative Security Designs, displayed a 32 MP panoramic camera. Using four independent and user-configurable 4K sensors, the camera platform generates four independent data streams.

In a related area, Pivot3 explained its virtual security server, enabling simultaneous display of up to 40 high-definition video streams for 4-10 viewing stations, which are virtualized on the server appliance. These devices can include PCs, thin clients, mobile devices and video walls, which have no download access to the video feed. The virtual server handles VMS and storage, also.

Exacq has made identification and network configuration of IP cameras connected to its exacqVision network video recorders a great deal simpler with the introduction of EasyConnect in its latest exacqVision 6.4 release. After learning of this at the show, I returned and upgraded my own NVRs to try this feature out. It is a great idea, and it worked as advertised. For supported cameras (the current list is limited, including Axis and American Dynamics), the feature performs auto-discovery of devices, eliminating the need to use the camera manufacturer’s separate utility.  The exacqVision client scans the network to find new IP cameras, and selected cameras can be assigned IP addresses and connected to a server. This makes the camera-recorder integration virtually seamless and is a welcome feature. I hope they quickly expand this to include additional manufacturers.


Power Supplies

The trend towards performance monitoring of power supplies continues with the Altronix LINQ2 communications module. Working with selected Altronix products, the unit monitors AC fault input, voltage and current outputs, and relay and device properties. It also enables remote control of DC power outputs and two network controlled relays.

Altronix and LifeSafety Power are the most visible companies driving power supply monitoring capabilities. Both are active participants in the SIA Standards activity on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), whose goal is to facilitate standards-based network security device monitoring.



The major security shows always seem to have something new in biometric offerings. I was impressed with MorphoTrak’s “Finger on the Fly,” a contactless system that registers up to four fingerprints on a hand one in under a second. Simply pass your hand in a swiping motion over the detector and the system enrolls the fingerprints and, later, the same action is used for verification and correlation with its database. It claims to work on either wet or dry fingers (mine were dry); eases hygiene concerns; and works with standard flat and rolled fingerprint databases. The low scanning time allows for quick throughput, reducing bottlenecks in high traffic areas.



Teradon Inc.’s Raptor V is a highly advanced Audio Communications Management System primarily targeted at the education market. The system is software-based and has the functionality of a full-blown Voice over IP (VoIP) system, managing nearly 1,000 IP phones with traditional features such as voice messaging, conferencing, etc. It further includes paging, intercom, speakers and alarms, creating an impressive mass notification capability. And, yes, it will trigger the bells notifying students that it is time to change classes.


Ray Coulombe is Founder and Managing Director of and He can be reached at, through LinkedIn at or followed on Twitter @RayCoulombe.