ASIS 2011 Conference, Orlando FL, September 19-22, 2011
Jim Viscardi reports that Smiths Detection is a world leader in the manufacturing of detection and imaging products that detect chemical weapons, toxic industrial materials, biological warfare agents, narcotics, radiation, nuclear materials and explosives. The company provides multiple technologies to multiple markets, he claims, segmenting by application and customer rather than by technology, a practice which gives Smiths Detection a competitive advantage because of its depth and breadth of products. The company sells chemical and biological detection products to the military, facility security products for critical infrastructure protection and chemical identification units to emergency response markets. Viscardi discusses the company’s new Sabre 5000 unit, which has recently been purchased by a major Federal law enforcement agency, the Echo Millimeter product which is targeted toward aviation security and provides a way to quickly and accurately screen passengers for problems by picking up anomalies on the person’s body and the RadSeeker handheld radioisotope identifier, which does both gamma and neutron detection and is the most sensitive radioisotope identification product.
The 3VR Video Platform, says Al Shipp, takes standard video surveillance and extracts video information that is useful and actionable. In managing incoming video streams, 3VR can build metatags and put the useful information on a database that is searchable. This reduces the time to find what you are looking for down to minutes, rather than hours or days. “Anything you can search you can put an alert on,” says Shipp. Traditionally, if something bad happens, you used video surveillance to figure out what it was. But now 3VR can reduce the time to find the information with metatags and search. When you search, you learn, and you can prevent bad things from happening. And with the search capability, new customers from banks to hospitals, retailers and others can use video analytics for business purposes. 3VR has also created a social networking product called Crimedex, which Shipp describes as “Facebook for bad guys”, which is shared with government and businesses. It’s about leveraging analytics and making them usable and actionable, concludes Al Shipp. “We have just begun that journey. You’re going to see a lot more in the coming months.”
Intergraph, short for “interactive graphics”, is a software company that uses graphics to help its clients visualize complex information, according to Bob Scott. The company’s Security Solutions unit develops software tools for the government to make maps; provides mapping for transportation applications; designs and maintains facilities for utilities and communications; and is the world’s largest provider of public safety systems. There is a difference between public safety and public security, says Scott, as exemplified by airports that typically use one group consisting of local police departments for emergencies and law enforcement, and another group that uses video surveillance, intrusion detection technologies and other methods to provide building and facility security. Intergraph can put together both of these functions in one agency, according to Scott, using a physical security information system. Intergraph’s clients at ASIS include end users, systems integrators and technology providers. Following the company’s acquisition by Hexagon of Sweden, and its own acquisition of Augusta Systems, Scott says the company has a large, robust portfolio that can now realize its vision.
Chairman and CEO Brad Conway explains that Autoclear is basically an anti-terrorist, anti-perpetrator company which is in the business of detecting contraband, explosives, weapons, metal, narcotics, chemical and nuclear substances through its broad lines of X-ray scanners, metal detectors and trace detection products. Key markets for the company are military/force protection, embassies and government buildings, airports and seaports, nuclear and oil facilities, customs, police bomb squads and other law enforcement applications. Mr. Conway demonstrates the company’s BZ6444-M Backscatter which features cross-enhanced images that can detect organic or metallic threats. Guy Couture, Autoclear’s Technical Manager, then demonstrates the company’s rugged E4500 Detector handheld detection product for field operations, the do-it-all E3300 handheld Chemilux system, which detects explosives in vaper or particulate mode, and the new 3300 product, which detects explosives and narcotics in vaper or particulate mode.
According to veteran technology sales executive Chris Peterson, Vector Firm is a management consulting business which specializes in the sales and business development departments of security businesses. The company’s clients range from multi-billion dollar contractors to $5-million systems integrators that want to break the $5-million barrier. Vector’s contribution to these companies, he says, is building strategies, processes and tools, both on a strategic and a tactical level. What he often finds is a gap between strategy, which may be right on target, and action in the implementation area. Telltale signs of this are when the VP of sales is on the road all the time and can’t find the time to build the necessary sales and marketing infrastructure. Vector Firm offers consulting, training and interactive reviews, determining what’s working and what’s not working, finding areas where the company can improve and helping the client see and avoid the potholes along the way.
Lenses for government applications in border security, maritime and port security and critical infrastructure protection are at the high end of the specialized lenses produced by Pentax Imaging, according to Andrew Shemo. These long range lenses feature PAIR, the Pentax Atmospheric Interference Reduction Technology, which provides a crystal clear picture through fog, rain, smoke and sand. The recently introduced PAIR II second generation version, which won the New Product Showcase in the 2011 ISC West Show (the company’s third such award in three years), also provides heat/haze reduction and image stabilization. Shemo demonstrates the new 55x zoom lens, with a 2.5x extender, for long range surveillance. This lens can be controlled remotely and can bring a picture into focus with a single click. Sales are strong, says Shemo, because the PAIR II technology is ideal for Southern border applications involving heat, haze and desert sands, as well as Northern border applications involving sleet, snow rain and maritime environments with fog, rain and other atmospheric interference.
Smith & Wesson, an American tradition in the firearms business for 160 years, recently moved into the perimeter protection business following its purchase of Universal Safety Response, creating Smith & Wesson Security Solutions. Barry Willingham explains that initial clients were mainly Department of Defense and military, but the company is now moving into other sectors of government, such as FBI and ICE facilities and is also focusing on private critical infrastructure facilities such as chemical, petrochemical, electric and power companies. He says that only one product, the SW 1900 Wedge barrier, is being shown at ASIS, because the company wants to show what it can do rather than what is has, and what it can do is provide a collaborative total solution from design, site selection and products to maintenance. The SW 1900 uses nylon straps to reduce noise in corporate environments and has the ability to continue operating after debris is cleared, avoiding the inconvenience of closed lanes.
BRS Labs, as president John Frazzini describes, has invented an artificial intelligence-based video surveillance platform that has injected advanced artificial neuro network technology into the analysis of video surveillance data. The company has seen a substantial growth in business over the last few months, he says, as the market has recognized BRS Labs’ rethinking of the core problem in video surveillance, which is that there are far too many cameras being deployed and not enough human monitors to evaluate the data being captured. Frazzini asserts that the company’s new AiSight 3.0 technology now provides much deeper analytics for wide-ranging clients from transit systems and airport environments to intelligence agencies who are taking advantage of the actionable intelligence being provided and putting their security operations in a pro-active position. The ten-year old video analytics model has failed, says Frazzini, because there are not enough human resources to monitor the installed cameras. For the first time, BRS Labs has put in the capability to monitor video surveillance data with computer technology.
Ameristar Fence is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of steel palisade residential, commercial and high-security fencing, as well as passive cable barriers, according to Chris Herold. In the government and critical infrastructure markets, the company’s current client list includes the Department of Defense, petrochemical companies, big oil and gas and major government facilities. In keeping with its objective of providing total solutions, the company recently created the Ameristar Gate Division and announced that it would serve as distributor of products from Hy-Security Gate Operators. In another important piece of news, the company received a Department of Homeland Security designation and certification for its Impasse high-security palisade fencing and its Stalwart anti-ram passive vehicle barrier. Ameristar has made several successful acquisitions in recent years and is interested in continuing to round out its total deliverables package with additional partnerships and acquisitions.
Although electric fencing has long been the flagship product of the Gallagher Group, the company now offers an integrated package including access control, according to the New Zealand company’s CEO Sir William Gallagher. He adds that the package also encompasses a very good monitoring system as well as vibration sensors which are ideal for detecting fence cutting. If someone cuts the fence, he says, an alarm goes off, but rain, hail and sleet will not affect the vibration sensor. The “head end” is designed for the operator and features a screen which is quite novel in being able to bring up cardholders, site plans and images captured by the surveillance cameras that show what’s going on at the perimeter. New products include connectors that are very easy to install and a vibration sensor that are very reliable in letting the operator at the head end know when cutting of the electric fence is taking place.