THIS year’s ISC West exhibition in Las Vegas was the biggest turnout since 2007 with around 26,000 visitors to the show. That’s a good sign for the U.S. market and the global market generally. As well as being busy, there were good things on the stands as well.  

TECHNOLOGIES that stood out for me were 4K cameras, much lower cost thermal cameras, established alarm manufacturers starting to flex some muscle in R&D – think DSC and Honeywell. Again this year there were cloud solutions and with video surveillance as a service from some larger players. 

Another noticeable thing at ISC West was the growing number of ways to hook into a security system using smart devices. In a standout case, Alarm.Com was showing how a Pebble smart watch could drive home automation technology. While Pebble is not rocket science – it uses WiFi to connect to a user’s – development of this interface indicates growing awareness of the importance of mobile interfaces to security systems of the future. Alarm.com also had a demo of installers using Google Glass to commission security systems with both hands free. 

Pebble Smart Watch

Also suggesting that video surveillance has well and truly broken into the domestic market, Alarm.com showed off its new Stream network video recorder. Stream is cloud-based, supports 4 cameras and offers a 1TB of storage. Recorded events go to Alarm.com’s cloud servers for distribution. Cost for this unit was $US800, which seemed a little high to me. Alarm.com also released a single mobile app for its alarm panels, showed off an IP66-rated IR camera and 4G LTE comms module. None of this is ground breaking but trends are building.  

Honeywell’s LYNX 7000 scored Best Intrusion and Detection solution and according to Honeywell it’s the first alarm panel to offer support for 4 CCTV cameras and 2-way audio using Wi-Fi as a comms path. Honeywell, too, has a growing range of alarm sensors and you interact with the system through a touch screen or smart device app. 

Linear showed an embedded browser-based access control platform integrated with Digital Watchdog’s DW-VMAX digital video recording solution. BRS, which is distributed locally by OPS (now Hills) has a new SaaS solution to keep an eye out for. 

Tyco showed off the new PowerSeries Neo range which we’ve written up in detail this issue. NEO is scalable, flexible employs PowerG comms for a monster range of 2000m line of sight for sensor devices, and it supports PIR cameras. CNL Software showed a PSIM solution on the Pelco by Schneider Electric stand. Veracity was displayed new storage and comms technologies. 

Honeywell LYNX 7000

Interlogix showed a self-contained panel with Wi-Fi and Z-Wave that interfaces with lifestyle management devices such as lights, locks and thermostats. There were also new accessories for the NX platform, including a touch-screen module that adds a graphical interface to the control panels; and a modular, hybrid panel that allows features to be added through a unique, DIN-rail mounting system.

FLIR has a new low cost thermal camera for $US499 – it will be under $A1000 in Australia, you would think. Mobotix was showing off the company’s new VMS solution, Axis has a new line of Ultra HD cameras called P14 that are priced at $US999 in the states. 

FLIR BT Series Thermal

S2 was showing the NetVR 700, a high-performance solution that supports up to 128 IP cameras and is available in 12- and 24-bay storage configurations that provide up to 96 terabytes of video data storage (RAID 5 or RAID 6). Evolution from Pelco by Schneider Electric is a range of 360-degree, 5-megapixel cameras, ComNet introduced a 6-port, self-managed Ethernet switch, the CNGE2FE4SMS.

Honeywell Systems has a drop-in board replacement option that allows users to migrate from GE legacy (Casi-Rusco) Micro 5 Series control panels and modules, to its Pro-Watch security management system. Samsung Techwin was showing off the SRM-872, a full-featured, eight-channel NVR for mobile use. And IQinVision displayed IQeye Alliance-mx cameras which include the increased processing power needed to run analytics or VMS applications at the edge.

How did the best product awards pan out? Of special note, Aussie company dFENCE scored The Judges' Choice Award for its dFENCE ballistic shield product. The SV3 solution from Building Intelligence Inc won best new product award at the show. The SV3 acronym stands for ‘Secure Vistors, Vehicles and Vendors’ and the solution itself is a cloud-based application that integrates with local access control solutions, LPR readers and driver’s license readers. 

Automating the reception security process, SV3 validates the identity of the 3Vs for approval of their access into or anywhere on at site. The solution itself was less of a thing for me than the fact a cloud-based solution won the best new product award. 

Installers will be interested to hear the Best in Video Surveillance Cameras HD (Megapixel) went to Sony Electronics for its X Series of IP-based transport cameras. An Honourable Mention went to Panasonic’s IP66-rated dome, the WV-SFV631L. These 2 cameras are not particularly comparable but these brands probably lead the market right now. 

Sony X Series

The Best in Surveillance Video Data Storage solution went to Samsung Techwin America for SRM-872 Mobile NVR, while the Best in Video Surveillance Hardware and Accessories was won by Axis Communications’ Axis P5415-E PTZ Dome Network Camera. The judges decided the Best in Video Surveillance Management System was NUUO’s Crystal Titan and they chose HP Autonomy’s HP Surveillance solution as Best in Video Analytics. 

Securitron R100 Wireless Reader

The Best in Access Control Hardware & Software award went to FST21 American Inc for Safel, while the best wireless access product was Securitron Magnalock Corp’s Securitron R100 Surface Mounted Wireless Reader. And the Best in Biometrics, Identification and Credentialing award went to MorphoTrak’s MorphoAccess SIGMA Series, while Resolution Products Inc won the Best in Commercial and Monitoring Solutions with its Interactive Gateway Modules.

Best in Convergence and Integrated Software and Solutions went to IDV Solutions for Visual Command Center v3 and the Best in Emergency Communications Systems was taken out by Eaton's Cooper Notification ALERiTY. The Fire/Life Safety award went to Silent Knight’s SK-FIRE-CO and the Best Green Solution was Rutherford Controls International 0563 ½-inch Rim Strike.

The Best in Hosted Solutions winner was Eagle Eye Networks for Eagle Eye Security Camera VMS, the Best in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions was Copperwatcher LLC for Copperwatcher Model CW-3 and as mentioned, Honeywell Lynx 7000 snagged the Best in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions Wireless.

ADPRO PIR

Best in Locks/Safes/Hardware was ASSA ABLOY’s Ecoflex Electrified Mortise Locks, Best in Mobile Apps was EmergenSee’s EmergenSee Personal Security System, Best in Network Support Solutions was Sentry 360 with sentryEdge NVR and Xtralis scored Best in Outdoor Perimeter Protection with the ADPRO PRO E-Passive Infrared (PIR) Detector.

Best in Personnel, Loss Prevention and Asset Tracking Solutions was Vitek Industrial Video Products Inc. VT-HDOC16, Best in Residential and Monitoring Solutions was Linear LLC’s Z-Wave Garage Door Controller and the Best in Video Surveillance Advanced Imaging Technologies was Thermal Imaging Radar LLC’s Thermal Radar solution.

My impressions were that not everyone in electronic security has figured out how to make a profit from the cloud. Is it based on data? Is it based on hardware? I think it’s both, but hardware more. Finding a commercial model is going to take time and prices will need to be competitive. Fact is, the gold-plated cloud clients are actually those domestic and commercial users who already care enough to install a monitored alarm system. This means organic growth by monitoring companies may be where the true, and more modest, profits reside. 

Alarm.com's Mobile App

I like what’s happening in the alarm industry. The new sensor types supporting flood, fire, locusts and tempests are good stuff. WiFi cameras linked to alarm panels are also valuable additions and will encourage existing clients to upgrade. Growing app support for remote management of alarm systems is also a nice capability, as is onboard 4G LTE. The latest generation of alarm systems is the most appealing ever. 

What else. I tend to agree with people who say 4K (I think this technology is more properly called Ultra HD) is going to be something in the future. Of course, we’ve had 8MP cameras for a while now and the thing that slowed uptake wasn’t high res displays but the cost of storage and unwillingness to invest in infrastructure. This has not changed as far as I can tell. Nevertheless, Ultra HD is a true video standard users and installers can depend on. 

Morpho Biometric Reader

If I had to pick a standout product at ISC West in 2014 it would be FLIR’s BT-Series thermal mini-bullets with 50-degree and 25-degree fields of view. It’s not that the technology is new, it’s the $US499 pricing, which might be an enabler in this market segment. Given thermal’s fundamental strength is video verification, and given its VGA streams have modest bandwidths, I can’t help seeing it in intrusion detection applications.

 
“My impressions were that not everyone in electronic security has figured out how to make a profit from the cloud. Is it based on data? Is it based on hardware? I think it’s both, but its hardware more”