Technology at Your Fingertips
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Dec 01, 2015
By year’s end we have seen tons of new products
and technology, and it amazes me that there
is even more on the horizon. Most, if not all,
companies divert a generous amount of income on
research and development.
A month or so ago, I took a trip to China to look
over the development and planning of Hikvision’s
goals. For starters, I was shocked at the size of the
campus. In fact, there are a lot of R&D-type developments
going on in the industry.
Looking back at ASIS, Axis Communications held
an open house for media and industry luminaries at
their new Irvine, Calif., office. Every product they
manufacture is on display at their Irvine Axis Experience
Center. I have visited the Stanley Discovery
Center in Indianapolis and Leviton’s New Orleans
showroom. So, let’s take a look at these facilities, then
it’s back to China.
The Discovery Center has loads of products and
many partner products, all of which serve a variety
of vertical markets. Perhaps the showcase product
here is EyeLock. It’s been a year since I visited, but
the technology is still quite convincing. The concept
is bringing an end user to the facility where Stanley
can show and tell, and the end user can see security
products in action.
The verticals served range from healthcare, education
to finance and government. Stanley sees this as a
global security mission.
During ASIS in Anaheim, AXIS cut the ceremonial
ribbon on their 8,000 square foot Experience Center.
It features a 28-person training center, 12-person conference
room and a specialized engineering and technology
lab available for local partners, customers and
industry associations to host trainings, meetings and
product tests. The space features realistic demo areas
for key vertical markets in the West business area, including
retail, financial, gaming, airport and education.
The space includes more than 100 Axis cameras,
many offering spectacular views of Irvine and the surrounding
area, as well as products from leading ecosystem
For example, in the Irvine location, you can see
how frame rate and HDTV resolution are important
when monitoring a gaming table or slot machine.
From my perspective in Dallas, I would love to see an
Experience Center open here.
Years ago Jay McClellan sold his New Orleans company,
Home Automation Inc., to Leviton. You might
think this would be the end of story for security and
McClellan, but not so fast. Leviton had the good
sense to keep MeClellan in place and hatched a Five
Star Dealer program. This program is coupled with
the company’s design showroom located not far from
the French Quarter.
This training and showroom, called the Innovation
Center, allows the integrator an up close and personal
look at products and placements. Matter of fact, the center
has been host to tours for architects, engineers, designers,
electrical contractors, as well as security engineers.
Now, back to China
Hikvision is synonymous with security in China.
They sell more cameras than anyone else in the world.
They are ranked No. 4 in sales in the United States,
and their short-term goal is to be ranked No. 2. Their
long-term strategy is to sell more cameras in North
America than anyone else.
When you enter their corporate headquarters in
Hangzhou, they have prepared a life history of the company
and its run in the security industry. My first question:
How does a camera company sell enough products
for twin towers and an administration building?
Hikvision has every security product covered from
A to Z. That’s not to say they are a proprietary solution,
but they do manufacture and sell everything.
Across the street from headquarters, the company is
building a new facility that will be about three times
the size of its current domain, and it will be dedicated
to research and development.
Following a day-long tour of company facilities,
our small group was taken to Shenzhen to attend a
security tradeshow. I’ve been to some tradeshows over
the years, but nothing like this. Like China itself, the
showroom floor was packed with more people than
I’ve seen in one place. A tour of the Hikvision booth
proved extremely difficult, but I was able to grab a
company employee as a guide for a self-paced tour.
While the company has a litany of new products, with
the most interesting being the development of an unmanned
aerial vehicle. It seems perfect for a border
What today’s manufacturer has going for them is
incredible intelligence. Today’s young engineer is tomorrow’s
technology guru. I think we have a lot of
new things in store in the security industry in 2016,
This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Security Today.