Tech Trends: ASIS Technology Wrap-up

Nov. 10, 2015
If you missed anything innovative on the show floor, chances are you will find it here

With ASIS 2015 in the books, let’s take a look at the technologies that caught my eye at the recent Anaheim show:

Video Surveillance

Panoramic cameras still grabbed my attention, where companies like Pelco and Digital Watchdog continue to evolve the secret sauce that makes these devices usable. I refer to the software that stitches the images from multiple sensors together seamlessly and renders both panoramic views and custom views with selected areas of varying definition.

4K cameras based on H.264 compression were on wide display, while Avigilon highlighted its new 30 MP 7K camera, with images up to 6 fps at 7360x4128 — also based on H.264 AVC.  

James Marcella, Technical Director for Axis Communications, and I agreed that H.265 cameras are probably 18-24 months away from significant introduction to the market; however, Axis highlighted its “Zipstream” technology, available in a number of their cameras. The technology compresses regions of interest to a lesser degree than, let’s say, the background scene, while staying within the H.264 standard. The Dynamic GOP (Group of Pictures) feature spaces out data-intensive I-frames when there’s little or no motion in a scene. Both measures allow forensic value to be maintained while reducing data rate.

DVTel continues to make cyber defense a high priority, taking the approach that only a complete end-end solution can guarantee cyber security. This includes switches with “PORTection Network Access Control” to police identification and authentication of client devices. PORTection is pre-staged and pre-configured on the 8-port or 24-port switches, and the corresponding UI displays the IP and MAC addresses of the device connected to a port and its authentication status.

Mobotix added an interesting enhancement to its thermal cameras, in which you can now define a region of interest within the camera’s FOV to display the temperature in that region. While I would expect accuracy to drop off significantly with distance, I think that creative minds can find interesting uses for such a feature, with heat detection being an obvious one.

MicroPower Technologies received an ASIS award for its Solveil HD product, a solar powered, wireless video surveillance system, providing up to 720p resolution in an IP66-rated enclosure. Nominal power consumption is a low .75 watt.

I had an interesting conversation with Carl Huntsman of Digital Watchdog concerning HD video over coax, which they have branded as AHD. Hikvision has a similar system referred to as TVI, and there are other industry variations. With this technology, uncompressed high definition video is sent over coaxial cable, allowing the use of existing infrastructure without requiring IT skills to support it. This makes it suitable for technicians working in less sophisticated non-networked environments, low-cost installations with existing coax, or in situations where there is fear — for whatever reason — concerning surveillance video on a network.

Video Storage

Of course, you can’t really talk about video without talking storage. EMC — as of this writing destined to be acquired by Dell — is arguably the most visible IT player in our market. They demonstrated, a 1.5 PB storage array (that’s 1500 TB) in a 20RU envelope, simulating a 1000-camera installation at 1 Gbps throughput. The VMS used was Genetec, running virtualized in VMWare’s Vcenter across five different virtual hosts.

Further, EMC does not rely on conventional RAID. Said Brent Cowing, Advisory Solutions Architect: “EMC Isilon’s use of Reed Solomon Erasure Coding is not only more efficient than RAID at up to 82 percent usable to raw, but data protection is more flexible and it can scale to 50PB is a single volume.”

Pivot3 personnel, off the show floor, explained their storage approach, which also uses scalar erasure coding in an environment known as Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) — effectively pulling together server and storage resources into appliances or nodes, as opposed to having a separate storage controller.

Networking Technology

In the networking area, I was impressed by the CLEER network switch demonstrated by Phybridge — parent of NVT. This switch has 24 coaxial POE+ LAN ports, plus four uplink ports — two of which are modular using GBICs — and hot-swappable power supplies delivering 500W at 110 VAC. Further, the user interface was very well conceived and easily understood.


Louroe Electronics continued its march in audio analytics with the introduction of a gunshot detection capability. The system is used with Louroe microphones and is integrated with select IP cameras and VMS systems. A detection range of 1500 feet is possible in a normal environment; 300 feet in a noisy environment. Kudos to Richard Brent and his team for infusing some smarts into their audio product line.

Intrusion Detection

No pardoning the intrusion with the Optex RLS series of laser detectors — which continuously scan an arc of 190 degrees over a radius of 100 feet, creating the basis for a perimeter or area intrusion sensor. The LIDAR-based unit detects an object’s size, speed and distance by processing the flight time of the light beam to the object and of the reflected beam back. The system has four outputs for interface to video applications, and it has multiple detection zones in its field of view. The product is packaged for both exterior and interior applications.


No discussion of evolving technology would be complete without mentioning power monitoring. Altronix continues its product upgrades to LINQ2 IP-based monitoring and control.

LifeSafety Power showcased its intelligent power supplies nicely integrated in a single package with Mercury access control hardware. These are important developments and these two companies are leading the pack.

Ray Coulombe is Founder and Managing Director of and Reach him at [email protected], through LinkedIn at or followed on Twitter, @RayCoulombe.