SECURITY 2017 gave electronic security people plenty to think about – not just in terms of products but also in terms of overall technological strategy. There’s nothing unexpected about the seeping penetration of cloud management solutions but the depth and breadth of these solutions is noteworthy as is the market route of such products.

There’s an unwillingness to talk about grey or black-market imports of security devices for fear it will encourage installers and integrators to jump on the bandwagon but in my opinion, cloud has far more potential to disrupt the vertical. If you think of solutions like SecureGO from 3Crowns Technologies, NCrypt Cellular, Eagle Eye from ISI, SCSI’s plans to expand customers’ exposure to Bold Technologies, SkyGuard from CSD, you can see the huge potential for cloud solutions to grow business from any point in the vertical.

Cloud is not just disruptive, it’s also capable of massively increasing operational capability – think Genetec Clearance, HID Location Services and Connected Buildings, HillsTrak and SecureGO. The latter offers 31 days storage of 1080p image streams at 25ips for $A9 per day, per camera using a 4G link that simultaneously offers uses unlimited data at 50Mbps. And these are just the solutions that spring immediately to mind.

Judges of the Best Product Awards at Security 2017 gave best product to Dahua’s NVR5224-24P-4KS2 NVR, which offers 800m transmissions per input, with runners up being Avigilon for Appearance Search, which increases the speed of video data searches in real time and Amaryllo International’s ATOM AR3S, which has too many features to be called a PTZ – it really is a security robot. The judges had more than 50 products to select from, making the task none too easy.

So, what did SEN like most at Security 2017? We liked Hikvision Darkfighter X, as well as Hikvision’s mobile solutions and its ANPR dome camera. We liked the Dahua X820 drone, 4K box camera, as well as the winning NVR5224 NVR, and we admired ievo biometrics on the Security Distributors stand. I was impressed with the performance of the TVT video surveillance cameras on the CSM stand, we also liked HillsTrak, which was strong operationally and as a business model.

On the CSD stand EyeLok brought high end authentication to the wider market. Elite X and SIFER keypad were good expansions on Integriti and Inception. On the FLIR stand we liked the power of Cameleon teamed up with FLIR thermal, which is a real-time surveillance solution of enormous power. FLIR makes lovely gear and we look forward to testing that 12MP hemispheric.

A product we thought excellent was Osprey, which detects items thrown over prison perimeters and was locally developed in partnership with the NSW Department of Corrections. Products like Osprey, which have a very pointy operational focus and successfully resolve an issue which has plagued law enforcement agencies for hundreds of years are hard not to love. Osprey is likely to become a benchmark technology, in our opinion. Top 3 at Security 2017?

Uniview’s 2000-input Unicorn NVR was something else that impressed us. A lot of users still love the potential for secure isolation and the simplicity of NVRs, which incorporate PoE, management solutions, IVA, redundant power supplies and redundant storage arrays in a single rack-mount housing. Of course, with 2000 inputs, Unicorn takes the NVR to a whole new level.

If bigger is better, Seagate’s 12TB enterprise HDD deserves a mention. Will flash ever dominate well-designed HDDs or will the 2 technologies exist side by side? We tend to think the latter. In any case, a 12TB drive is really taking things to the next level.

ATOM AR3S from Amaryllo shows what’s possible with field devices mustering more serious processing power – pretty much anything you like. A serious player in real world applications? Hard to say without getting our hands on it.

Bosch was showing its much-loved controllers, as well as new Vera hub and peripherals. Alongside was a new CCTV range of compact cameras we liked the look of, too. Bosch MIC – well, you know what we think of that camera – good things in small packages.

We liked Mobotix MX6, Nx Witness and its new cloud functionality, Vanderbilt access control, which is not new but new to us – it looks robust and it’s proven. Avigilon’s Face Appearance Search – we rated this right up near the top of the list for 2017. Genetec Mission Control – it came out last year but we saw it properly for the first time in 2017 – nice work. I liked Genetec Clearance too, though Retail Sense has a far larger market potential.

There was Sony SNC-VB642D with IR and white light support in a bullet, Dallmeier low light and the latest Panomera, Tecom C4, Klacci locks, Axxon VMS, Axis radar, WCCTV body worn cameras – AMC’s Unika keypad/touchscreen from LSC was cool, too. Installers and integrators loved LockVue, which allows remote management of smart locks, though I did not get a look at it myself.

There was so much we did not see, it’s tough to call an outright winner in 2017. Hell, let’s go out on a limb. The best/most impactful product/technology we saw at Security 2017 was cloud – you pick which…♦

Full Security 2017 Report here.