If it’s any
consolation to those in charge of the security function’s purse strings in
government departments across the nation, it’s that the confusion is universal.
That’s because while electronic security has become something completely
different it has remained very much the same.

Obviously, the
core tasks of physical security systems like CCTV, access control and alarm
systems are identical regardless of the paths these input devices take to the
monitoring software in gatehouses or workstations. There’s no question the IP
revolution delivers modern systems unprecedented flexibility and power – the
challenge is selecting the right solution.

When you’re
walking around the stands at SIG in 2010 there will be certain product trends
certain to catch your eye. For a start you’re going to see acres of video
surveillance equipment and you’re going to hear about megapixel, HD and HD and
megapixel. These terms are variously interchangeable, though sometimes not and
each manufacturer will have a customised explanation for the badge on the
fender of its latest release. Test drives are recommended. 

For those
security managers with greater needs than budgets a close look at the latest
encoders from the likes of AXIS, Pacom and Bosch are recommended. Something
else you’ll want to see are the latest video management systems from companies
like DVTel, Genetec and Milestone.

The latest
versions of these powerful solutions have come a long way in the past 18 months
and each has different strengths and is worth a close look. There are also
excellent solutions from Geutebruck, Controlware, IndigoVision, Verint and
Mobotix.

As we know,
access control has driven on local networks since the days of DKS in the 1980s
but the latest solutions including Forcefield and Cardax FT offer ever greater
levels of networking and integration. All these now have interfaces to ASSA
ABLOY’s powerful Hi-O technology, allowing access control monitoring right down
to the lock. And have a look at Chase Security’s self healing networked access
control solutions.

Along with the
latest HD and megapixel cameras from the world’s largest makers, also worth a
look are thermal cameras from AXIS and FLIR Systems, which allow monitoring of
intrusion in real time in complete darkness with no need for expensive
illumination.

And just to make
things more interesting you’ll get a chance to see the latest analogue
surveillance cameras including the Bosch Dinion 2X and Panasonic’s new SD5,
cheek by jowl with Panasonic SmartHD, Arecont’s megapixel lineup, Sony’s new HD
range, a massive new HD range from AXIS, Sanyo’s new HD range from EOS. When
you’re done with this lot, Avigilon’s high resolution megapixel cameras are
likely to knock your socks off. 

It’s important to
bear in mind that in a changing industry getting an understanding of universal
standards is vital. In the electronic security industry the standards to bear
in mind include ONVIF and SMPTE compliance, as well as the relevant open
network standards that apply to the IT industry.

Also well worth
seeing in the exhibition at SIG are ASSA ABLOY’s clever Aperio and Hi-O
solutions and the FSH MemLock, which recently scored a win on The New Inventors
and combines magnetic and physical locking properties in a compact, low
power-draw form factor.