You Gotta Love Chicago

I was a little nervous about coming to Chicago. Who wouldn't be with the bad press the city has been given. It's a big cit, and lots of bad things happen.

One of the good things going on right now is ASIS 2013 at McCormick Place. Exhibitors seemed to be busy and there seems to be fair amount of visitors. What I liked on my first day here was the venue. McCormick Place is incredible for a tradeshow with plenty of room and wide enough aisles to weave through traffic.

Hats off to McCormick Place for a nice venue, and hats off to ASIS for providing a shuttle service from hotels to the tradeshow floor. Yes, I'm sure not everyone is pleased, but after a successful first day of learning about what's new, I'm happy.

Big news on the first day has already been tweeted and posted to many websites. Axis Communications is getting into the access control vertical. They are not departing from IP cameras and all that represents, it's just a new market with so many possibilities.

According to Fredrik Nilsson, general manager for the Americas, the company has been testing it for the last two years at their Chelmsford, Mass., location to be certain it worked well before it was released to the public.

"Our hope is to bring more end users into the integrated market," he said. "So far, customers have accepted this new product with open arms."

The new product will ship during the fourth quarter of this year.

I also had a nice chat with Laura Mastroberti at Speco Technologies. People always ask me what products have I seen at the show that are new and worthy of a second look.

Here is one hint. Take a second look at Speco's plug and (work) play NVR, the N4NSP or N8NSP. It quickly autoloads and installs Speco's OnSIP and VIP cameras, but also will work with other cameras to detect their locations.

I like it. It's smart and simple.

Arecont Vision also brings a new product to the table at ASIS 2013. It is their SurroundVideo Omni unit. It is not your typical dome camera, but get this, it is a 4 user-configurable IP sensor in an Omni-directional solution.

Mounted on the corner of a building, it gives the end user 270 degree view, and allows a view directly beneath the housing. It offers a discrete, low profile design and true wide dynamic range up to 100dB at full resolution.

This product will be available in January 2014.

Company officials say Omnivision will be the PTZ killer.

Not new to the industry, but new to me is Galaxy Control Systems. This company has been around for 40 years and I enjoyed a visit with Rick Caruthers, their executive vice president.

Here are a couple things about Galaxy. They offer training on both the east and west coasts. A five-day class is well worth the certification, and there will be more about that in a coming issue of Security Products magazine. I'm going to delve more into that later this year with a great story coming for March issue of our Dealer Strategies publication.

Today should be an even better day at ASIS. Everyone has gotten warmed up and kicked the dust off. Let's make Wednesday even better.

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