ISC West 2019 In Review

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Every spring the security world converges on Las Vegas for the annual International Security Conference, referred to as ISC West, held at the Sand Expo in the Venetian hotel.  This year was no different and SRMC staff was there to witness and participate in what has become the preeminent security event of the year.  With over 25,000 attendees to take in the hundreds of education sessions and over 1,000 exhibitors of security products and services, SRMC staff spent time with clients, met with manufacturers, actively participated in sponsored events, and networked throughout the event.

 This year, SRMC’s Chad Parris participated as a judge in the New Product Showcase (NPS), the security industry's premier awards-based marketing program.  The NPS was established in 1979 to recognize innovative products, services and solutions in electronic physical security. Technologies showcased through this program are used in the protection of life and property in residential, commercial and institutional settings.  This event allows the judges to be the first to touch and feel the newest and emerging technologies and help evaluate the merits of the products as they are being introduced into the security market.  Click here to check out the 2019 award winners.

 If you have never attended ISC, here’s a word of advice.  Plan, Plan, Plan!  Planning is crucial and if you are not prepared, you can be quickly overwhelmed with the sheer vastness of the show which packs in a lot to see in just 3 days.  Walking into the exhibit hall can be daunting.  Before arriving spend time on the ISC website to begin planning your on-site visit.  Review all the education sessions available which can be purchased by the day or for the whole event.  Review exhibitor lists, create short lists and if possible, set up meetings in advance with certain exhibitors. Some exhibitors have separate demo suites off the floor which is more desirable.  Time in the suite allows for a much deeper dive into the product.  Remember, these demos are just a sampling of the products and capabilities and further due diligence is important.  Also, ISC has a planning app for download and helps keep the event and your schedule organized.

 This year’s themes at ISC was Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is sometimes referred to as Deep Learning.  You need to keep an eye on these emerging trends as the Cloud is here and in full force with most all of the major manufacturers providing a solution.  AI is still emerging and maturing as manufacturers develop solutions for the industry.

 Solution providers are continuing to develop their AI products which will allow end-users to see a whole new level of the age-old promises of traditional video analytics as part of their organization’s security systems.  For the purposes of this article, AI is mostly implemented as part of a security video solution that allows the compute power both in servers and in cameras to analyze a scene and filter out unnecessary activities, reporting only on events that the end user desires to see.  For example, these systems not only detect motion, but can determine the difference between the human form-factor, an animal or a vehicle, track the direction of travel and implement virtual trip-lines to alert operators of a breach or other activities.  Algorithms are even being developed to determine gender, race, and approximate age, the color of clothing the person is wearing and other characteristics.  These algorithms can be run in real-time or forensically in recorded video. As noted earlier, the implementation of AI is still emerging and solution providers, both traditional providers and new, are working to bring viable products to the market.  However, exercising caution is warranted as these solutions are still being developed and the cost can be significant.  While manufacturer demo’s often present best-case performance scenarios, they may not be applicable to the end user’s deployment needs.  Proper vetting of these solutions is highly recommended and users considering such applications should work with the manufacturer as part of a “try before you buy” approach by deploying a test system in their environment during all conditions, both day and night.

 If you plan on attending ISC West in 2020 or are considering an AI solution, give SRMC a call.  We are happy to help you with the planning process or to vet various AI solutions on the market today.

Ryan Magada