Industry Focus

Technology at Your Fingertips

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.

Stanley

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.

Axis Communications

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 partners. 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.

Leviton

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 security application.

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, and beyond.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Security Today.

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