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RFID Gears Up for the Real World

RFID Gears Up for the Real World

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 12/27/2007 | Article type: Tech Corner

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology may not be new, but it has not garnered widespread adoption until recent years. With varying standards and higher costs compared to previous technologies, RFID solutions are now mature enough to be a viable alternative. A&S International takes a look at how the technology has matured, what demand there is for it and some futuristic applications that are poised to become commonplace.

Securing assets can be a tough job, especially when they cannot be found. How does one go about securing high-value items, such as cameras in a stock room, and making sure they can be found again? Does an employee open every box to check their contents? While hunting down items can be a nightmare, radio frequency identification (RFID) promises to make it much easier. The technology offers a tantalizing solutionjust fire up a reader and have all stocked items report to the reader what they are and where they are. Hurdles, however, remain. When not if it comes to pass, RFID will streamline processes to ensure security in a variety of applications.

Global Demand Heating Up

The RFID market is expected to enjoy strong growth in the next several years. All RFID product markets are predicted to have a 27 to 30 percent compound annual growth rate, according to Frost & Sullivan. One product marketcontactless smart cardsearned US$408.9 million in global market revenues for 2005, which is estimated to reach $1,636.2 million in 2011. With access control solutions becoming more sophisticated, RFID-enabled smart cards are ready for widespread adoption in multiple vertical markets.

¨Quite a number of industries use RFID,〃 said Priyanka Gouthaman, Program Manager for RFID at Frost & Sullivan. ¨Ten, 20 years before, it was jus t the automotive and defense/military sectors, but interest in the technology has dramatically increased. Consumer vertical markets are looking at it. Retail, healthcare, automotive, pharmaceutical, air space, transportation, library, legal, hospitalityyou name it, they use RFID in some form or another.〃

North American adoption of RFID technologies make up a significant portion of the global RFID market. Market revenue for 2013 is estimated to reach $487 million for passive tags, $242 million for passive readers and $121 million for middleware, or software used to connect several programs. With increased use of RFID in some noted verticals, like Wal-Mart for retail and the U.S. Department of Defense for military use , the American market for RFID security solutions is looking optimistic.

¨There has been a lot of interest since Wal -Mart mandated RFID use in 2004 and 2005,〃 Gouthaman said. The retailer's intention to have all suppliers using RFID tags by 2004 or 2005, however, was a little unrealistic. ¨The market did not take off as expected, primarily because only large retailers got immediate benefits. Suppliers were just doing it to maintain a relationship with Wal-Mart. We are seeing, however, change in 2007, with an emphasis on return on investment. Consumers are talking a lot more about ROI on enterprise systemsdriving an internal benefit is a focus.〃

Vendors also feel confident that RFID will be adopted more widely, as some issues are over come. ¨The largest hurdles we have seen are cos t and integrat ion,〃 said Tony D'Onofrio, Vice President of Marketing for Sensormatic, a division of Tyco International. ¨The information that RFID can provide is extensive and to make productive use of that information is not a minor task. Companies that see the benefit of the additional information, have a strong IT infrastructure and have been willing to accept change in their processes have been quicker in embracing the technology.〃

Software integration to capture RFID data and close inventory loops with customer enterpr ise management systems is a large endeavor. ¨ Introduction of RFID,〃 said D'Onofrio, ¨demands infrastructure and process change and improvement. That investment in time and money are, of course, both sensitive issues."

That said, RFID reader and tag costs continue to decline. Add to that item-level RFID technology and D'Onofrio sees a clear path for proliferation of RFID into the item level retail space. Item level tagging refers to using a tag to identify every item inventoried, rather than tagging items as a group, such as a pallet loaded with items. As item level tagging requires a tag for each item, it is more expensive than using a single tag for a group of items.

Increased adoption comes with industry standards, which is seen in the second generation (Gen 2) standards for EPCglobal, which is recognized as a benchmark-setting body.

Frost and Sullivan predicted prices falling for RFID. ¨Right now, the prices have dropped dramatically,〃 Gouthaman said. ¨In terms of tags, I don't see it going down for another one or two years. Readers have dropped dramatically. You're able to have readers at really low prices today, starting from $500 or $1,000.〃

RFID Breakdown

RFID is fairly simple hardware, consisting of an integrated circuit ( IC) connec ted to an antenna , forming a tag. Information stored on the IC chip, usual ly a ser ial number or more complex data, is then broadcast using radio waves to an RFID interrogator or reader. The information can be broadcast by the tag reflecting radio waves from a reader, using no power of its own, to be a passive tag. Or if the radio waves need to go further, the tag can use power to broadcast its signal to a reader, making the tag active.

A

 range of frequencies have been approved, with higher frequencies closely regulated for interference. High frequency tags are popular, such as the ISO 14443 band at 13.56 MHz, which is used for smart cards and e-passports under International Civil Aviation Organization regulations. (See the box for more information on radio wave frequencies and applications.) A global standard is expected to form under the EPCglobal framework, which has received support from RFID distributors and government bodies.

RFID trumps the failings of other technologies. For Global Positioning Systems (GPS), satellite frequency is unnecessary for everyday transactions like subway cards, access control and individual tagging in transport. While some applications require GPS, more mundane uses do not require the long-distance range.

Another technology that gets serious competition from RFID is barcode technology. ¨Probably the most frequently compared technology to RFID is the barcode,〃 D'Onofrio said. ¨RFID has major advantages over barcode technology. RFID does not require line of sight, has read ranges far surpas s ing barcode scanning devices, can process multiple items nearly simul taneously and a RFID tag stores unique information about each individual item it is applied to. In this manner, not only does RFID address barcode shortcomings, but also unique data for each individual item contained on an RFID tag allows aspects of inventory control to be realized. This is not achievable with barcode technology.〃

By eliminating line of sight, RFID tags overcome the shortcomings of printed barcodes, which are easily rendered unreadable if they are smudged or torn. While barcodes can be printed practically for free, RFID tags offer tangible information which can pay back dividends. ¨You can also reduce cost by eliminating the need to have a member of the staff to point the reader to scan the item,〃 Gouthamans aid. ¨Also, an advantage is your tracking is completely automatedyou have a real-time look at your inventory.

The encryption capabilities of RFID tags give them an edge over barcodes. ¨Other advantages can include read-write advantages into the setags ,〃Gouthaman said. ¨Whereas if you look at a barcode, once the information is printed, it stays that way. Some RFID (solutions) can update this information as it moves around.〃

RFID technology offers some unique advantages over previous solutions , allowing for added security. While Gouthaman emphasized that RFID does not replace barcodes or GPS, it is a useful complement to existing technology for a safer, better-rounded solution. Bottom line advantages, such as freeing up staff to complete other duties rather than scan each item by barcode, also add up to make RFID a bonus for complete security solutions.

Multifaceted RFID

As RFID allows for flexible usage, applications run the gamut. While not all RFID applications integrate security, they offer higher visibility and better reporting, ensuring items are clearly identified. In high-profile applications , such as military transport, tracking items can become a matter of national security.

Taking Stock of Logistics

The need to secure national military supplies is evident, with the U.S. Department of Defense using active tags for more than 15 years, reducing costs and improving supply chain visibility. Individual tags for such shipments, rather than pallet tags, are more expensive, but the costs are justified when shipping high-value items.

Other uses of RFID for tracking are less dramatic, but equally important to secure consumer goods. Retail is poised to adopt RFID widely, as reader prices are expected to drop substantially by late 2007, as volumes are increasing, said a spokesperson at Robert W. Baird & Co. Tag pricing, however, will remain flat.

One example of a retail application for RFID is Tyco's electronic article surveillance ( EAS ) individua  tagging solution. ¨Our solut ion enables a customer to cost effectively deploy RFID read points for item level visibility in their retail store,〃 D'Onofrio said. ¨Item level visibility has manifested itself in 'smart shelf ' applications among other components, but our unique design goes beyond the smart shelf by enabling a highly scalable and easily deployable solution for a wide variety of item level retail applications requiring a large number of read points.〃

The global security provider entered the retail sector by acquiring Sensormatica pioneer of radio shrink age detection- - and ADT Security Services, which offers intrusion and fire alarms, along with video surveillance. ¨At this point, item-level RFID's main use is to provide item visibility that solves customer issues such as misplaced items, stock outs, sales item searches and item shelf time,〃 D'Onofrio said. ¨This can help reduce shrinkage, but anti-theft tags are still the mainline defense against shrinkage.〃

Along with reducing shrink, labor payrolls can be decreased, thanks to RFID's time-saving advantages, making RFID a secure technology worth investing in. ¨RFID makes inventory much more transparent and that transparency much more granular,〃 D'Onofrio said, referring to accuracy in identification, such as check ing for what items are in stock. ¨ This can save extraordinary amounts of time and errors compared with counting an dmanaging inventory manually. It can help management understand in real- or near-real-time what's selling where and when, to prevent stock outs and to optimize store and shelf-level, merchandizing.〃

Setting Store by RFID

Individualized item tagging, similar to Tyco's solution, is already rolled out in retail. At least two high-end fashion retailers have adopted RFID solutions to track their valuable merchandise and improve the shopping experience. While there are obvious security concerns, such as theft, RFID has been adapted for convenience and to streamline customer service as well. At two Mi-Tu stores in Hong Kong, shoppers can select clothing and see the rest of the store's inventory on screens located in the dressing rooms.

The first Mi-Tu store was outfitted in Nov. 2006, with EPC Gen 2 tags at tached to al l garment s. Once shoppers select their items of clothing to try on, RFID readers located in the fitting rooms scan the tags and note if the items are available in different colors or sizes. The screen also lists other items in the store that match, sending an alert to the sales person if someone in the dressing room wants to try on a specific garment. If shoppers have a customer loyalty card, clothing preferences can be stored with buyer history, allowing the store to offer customized choices for them the next time they visit a Mi-Tu store.

The pilot, using tags and readers from Schmidt Electronics, has largely been a success. According to an RFID Journal article, one issue that came up was privacy, as store staff had to explain to baffled shoppers how they knew what clothes were being tried on without seeing them. However, greater awareness of RFID and how it works prevented the public outcry over Prada's rollout of RFID at its New York store in 2001. Prada used RFID for inventory and loyalty cards also, adding multimedia like catwalk clips of the items when scanned. The use of RFID to secure merchandise, while also providing helpful customer data, makes it widely used for asset tracking.

Getting Smart with RFID

Another market for widespread RFID technology is smart cards. With low and high frequency solutions available, flexible r ange s and encryption options, RFID-enabled smart cards have advantages over barcodes or magnetic-stripe cards.

Added memory in the IC chips allows for additional safeguards, such as encrypting identifying data stored to the card. An advantage of smart cards are their microprocessors, allowing them to interact with readers through a ¨handshake,〃 or receiving signals from the readers and generating unique codes in response. Thi s makes them particularly well suited for access control applications. Bosch Security Systems offers a range of readers, including a high-frequency (13.56 MHz) reader that also encrypts transmission between tags and readers for added protection. The interrogator can be used flexibly for contact and contactless cards, maximizing existing investment in security equipment.

The flexibility of smart cards allows a wide range of uses. Mass transit cards, credit cards and e-passports all store sensitive data that require extra security. This makes passports and payment solutions two major markets, according to Fros t & Sullivan. With numerous transportation and government applications of smart cards, RFID vendors anticipate brisk business for secure smart cards.

Watching Out in Healthcare

The t racking abilities of RFID technology are suited for the healthcare vertical. From inventory t rack ing of medical equipment to digestible tags for medical observation, RFID can be applied as a solution or complement to existing technologies.

Disappearance of elderly patients has proven to be more of a security risk than infant abduction. ¨The big thing is Alzheimer's,〃 said Anthony DeStefano, Director of Integrated Security System for TAC. ¨ If the patient wanders out of the hospital, that happens more than the babies (being taken).〃 While TAC does not manufacture the patient monitoring equipment, it integrates RFID in hospitals to ensure patient safety. Should a patient's tracking device move to a restricted area, RFID sensors in the ceiling will pick up their movements and either lock down doors or limit elevator access to that floor. The integration of RFID into secur ity and building management systems makes it a key component for total security solutions.

Integration of RFID with legacy s ystems will also help smooth the transition from existing infrastructure. ¨ If you look at hospitals, for instance, providers are looking at a combination of RFID and RTLS (real-time location systems) that work with existing Wi-Fi networks,〃 Gouthaman said. ¨Targeted at the healthcare market, RFID is integrated with Wi-Fi to ensure the existing investment in Wi-Fi doesn't become obsolete and works much better with existing infrastructure.〃 Combining radio frequency and Internet networks promises to make RFID a complement to existing security solutions, enhancing interoperability and maximizing previous technological investments for users.

Unique Uses for RFID

Some vendor s ha ve adopted RFID for new applications. Zebra Technologies has aline of card printers with RFID-enabled parts that can identifyify the wrong equipment, such as ribbon cartridges, have been installed. ¨ The card printers employ RFID technology to automatically detect printer compatibility, determine ribbon cartridge type, provide automatic driver configuration and show the number of panels remaining,〃 said Kathryn Lodato, Director of Americas Marketing and Worldwide Marketing Services. ¨From a security standpoint, intelligent RFID-tagged printers deploying RFID technology and ribbons can stop counterfeiting. It will be virtually impossible for unauthorized personnel or thieves to print illegal cards because the printer's intelligent RFID control feature will operate only when the specific exact RFID-tagged ribbon is detected.〃

End Users Talk Back

With so many forms of RFID and so many applications, users have a variety of solutions for their needs. Trace Gunsch, an emerging technologies researcher in communications technologies for the U.S. Army, was called upon to investigate whether RF ID would be an appropr i ate solution for his location, a communication test agency. (His views in this article do not necessarily represent those of the U.S. government.) As the test facility had to test products for military communications, keeping track of those products became a task that RFID could eliminate.

¨For inventory efforts, we have a big inventory, so we thought about putting tags and an active reader to read them when we need to do a mandatory inventory (check), which i s f requent ,〃 he said. Per sonnel tracking would provide real-time locat ions for al l s taf f, al lowing individuals to be located quickly and accurately. Finally, RFID could enhance or replace access control into different laboratories, providing extra security.

Gunsch worked with a vendor to evaluate whether the Army could afford the hardware it wanted to install. For the inventory tagging, costs for individual nonremovable tags exceeded the Army's budget. ¨For asset tracking, vendors loan us the equipment to track,〃 he said. ¨Active tags are a lot more expensive than passive tags.〃 Given that he needed tamper-resistant tags as well, active tags simply were not economical.

An passive RFID access control solution was not a good fit either. ¨As far as access control, for getting in and out of rooms, security for RFID is risky at best,〃 Gunsch said. ¨Anybody can build an RFID reader, they can subtly read the access code from the valid tag. It's not hard to read a number, then copy it to a new tag and pass it through the reader. There are solutions out there for encryption of the tag. We didn't explore those very far, as cost was becoming the biggest driver for us.〃

Personnel tracking was also impractical and unwelcome by some. ¨It's social concern there too, with people's movements being tracked too closely,〃 Gunsch said. ¨People kept ask ing, 'Are they going to keep track of how many minutes I spend in the bathroom?'〃 Individual active tags, along with the number of readers required to keep tabs on where staff were, made the cost higher than existing contactless cards waved at door readers. As staff monitoring was less critical for this facility than a healthcare one, the cost of monitoring army personnel was not worth the convenience.

Ultimately, while the RFID solution promised to solve issues for the Army location, the cost was still too high for an adoption at the time. ¨My hours are better spent just doing automatic RFID queries, with all the things answering back on their locations, but my time is not worth the cost this system's going to be,〃 Gunsch said. Until specialized tags drop in price, such as nonremovable active item tags, the current cost of tags did not justify installing an RFID solution. However, the added security of RFID, especially with encrypted tags, made it an attractive option to keep in mind for the future.

Potential for RFID

With usage of RFID expanding and applications spanning diverse sectors, demand for the technology looks strong. Increased standardization, data encryption and usability in a number of environments give RFID advantages over previous identification technologies. As market standards provide for interoperability between vendors, more end users can maximize their existing infrastructure without having to replace their legacy systems completely. Usability in many environment s and more consistent s t andards will lead to increased adopt ion of RFID technology in security solutions. Falling costs and a variety of applications will lead to broader use of RFID as well. By fulfilling user needs, RFID is poised to be a key technology for integrated security solutions.

Promising Land: Thailand and Indonesia

Promising Land: Thailand and Indonesia

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 12/26/2007 | Article type: Hot Topics

As one of the largest markets in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a land of opportunity for many. Be it government or private sector, the demand for security technology and equipment has never been greater. Indonesia, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy and pro-investment policies, Thailand is among Southeast Asiaˇs best economic performers. ¨Boosted by increased consumption, strong export growth and increased expenditure in infrastructure modernization projects,〃 said Manop Homsuwan, General Manager of Bosch Security Systems Thailand, ¨the overall domestic security market in Thailand is estimated to be growing at 7.5 percent per annum.〃 Though there are others who have pegged growth at 20 to 30 percent per year.

In response to both global and domestic requirements for greater public security, the Thai government is increasing its investment in safety and security equipment, particularly at or around airports and seaports. In addition to international requirements for stricter security measures specifically at ports, the ongoing unrest in the three southern provinces of Thailand, said Homsuwan, has prompted the government to increase its investment in stricter safety and security measures and more adv anc ed t e chnologi c a l abilities to ensure greater public safety.

Thailand is a market of growing demand for security devices and technology. According to David Viccars, Managing Director of Chubb Thai land (a UTC Fire & Security company) , the 2007 electroni c security market for Thailand is projected to be US$150 million, while guarding services are valued at $40 million. Henny Beeber, Chief Technical Officer of AES Group, gave a similar but lower market size estimate of $120 million. Founded in 1992, AES provides security and communication products, system engineering and maintenance services to both military and commercial sectors.

Market Drivers and New Projects

For Bosch, the Security division enjoyed a high growth rate in 2006, especially from the CCTV product segment which achieved the highest growth thus far in terms of value. Some prestigious projects executed last year, according to Homsuwan, included major public transportation, city surveillance and key commercial and government buildings.

Transportation

According to Johnny Trivitayakhun, Managing Director of Semple Cochrane (one of the largest Thai-owned system integrators), the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport has more than 1,500 DVTel network cameras in stalled in the passenger terminal. For the surrounding infrastructure, subcontractor Smith Detection has supplied more than 1,600 Bosch network cameras, said Beeber. And the new airport rail link, due for completion in 2008, has adopted fully integrated security systems that include IP-based cameras, access control and video analytics.

¨Also, there are 22 royal palaces throughout the country, and each of them is adjacent to an airport. These airports have a very high demand for security as well,〃 said Trivitayakhun. Steven Tan, General Manager of Secur ity Elec tronics Division at Chemco, suggests that improvement wor k s cheduled for four other international airports, 25 provincial airports and quite a number of military airports also presents sizable opportunities for security equipment vendors.

In addition, the Laem Chabang Port in Thailand needs to comply with the U.S. Container Security Initiative (CSI) by implementing tightened security measures for cargo handling. The port authority has already invested $34 million in security measures and services. Other smaller ports such as Map Ta Phut Port, Songkhla Deep Seaport, Nongkhai River Por t and Nakhonsawan River Port are also potential customers. Pichai Sihsobhon, Managing Directorof Security Communication Center, added that more budgets will soon be injected into the construction of new metro lines and rail links after the general election at the end of this year.

City Surveillance

The endless stream of terrorist activities in southern Thailand has prompted the government to beef up city surveillance. Industry sources revealed that approximately 9,000 network cameras are being installed in this region and will be connected directly to Bangkok's police headquarters, and more counterterrorist efforts will be made in other major cities and tourist attractions.

Retail And Real Estate

The retail sector is another major market for secur ity electronics. According to the U.S. Commercial Service, there are currently 117 discount stores, 230 depar tment s tores, 247 supermarket s, 3650 convenience stores and 650 specialty stores in Thailand. Despite the fact that most of them have basic security equipment for their internal operationssuch as inventory protection and safety of their premises (including easy access control systems, theft and intruder detection systems, smoke detectors and fire alarm systems), the increasing threat to public security is urging retail operators to ensure greater safety and security at their premises.

The U.K. chain Tesco is by far the largest and most aggressive foreign retailer, said Viccars of Chubb. ¨They have expanded hugely in the last few years with some 100 ˉmega mallsˇ and some 250 smaller convenience stores nationwide.〃Carre four (France) is also in Thailand, but on a more gradual growth curve focusing mainly on Bangkok with 22 stores.

¨Macro (from the Netherlands) was the first foreign retail chain in Thailand but only has about 20 stores,〃 Viccars continued. The Thai -owned Central Group, including Tops, has a range of malls and is the largest retailer in Thailand; the group also owns hotels and has a large property portfolio and other interests. The Thai -owned Mal l Group operates a mix of high-end mega malls like the Emporium and Paragon and the more traditional Thai malls.

¨Jusco from Japan is also here, with about 15 stores; 7/11 is here with over 3,000 stores,〃 recounted Viccars. All these retail stores plus super condominiums and mixed developments warrant limitless possibilities for vendors of video surveillance, access control and electronic article tracking systems, said Somphop Poshakrishna, Deputy Managing Director of Chubb Thailand. Commercial property and residential high rises are major users of safety and security equipment as well. Industry sources estimate that the sector represents approximately 50 percent of the demand for security equipment and services.

Overall, the Thai security market is growing and moving forward at an attractive rate. For 2007 and be yond, Bosch Thailand plans to grow at least double the rate of average market growth. ¨We are conf ident of achieving thi s target,〃 said Homsuwan. ¨We will focus on educating customers on our new technologies which are suitable for all businesses such as governmental organizations, financial institutes, transportation facilities and small - to-medium enterprises.〃

Who's Who

There is no known local production of security electronics. Major distributors, as suggested by Trivitayakhun of Semple Cochrane and Chubbˇs Viccars, include Pacific Technology Distribution, Security Communication Center, Seaworld Supply & Trading, Digitalcom, AES Group, AK Engineer and SGD International.

In security, AES carries ACTi , aimetis, Axis, Bosch, Cardax, Sanyo, Smart Sight, Verint and Vivotek solutions, whereas Security Communication Center represents Pelco, Infinova, Verint, Magic Radar and HID.

Major Thai security system integrators include Tyco, Chubb, Semple Cochrane and Secom; service providers for guarding are still very much in demand and include Chubb, Gunnebo, Leeco and Kingdom.

Overview of Indonesia

In Indonesia, several bomb attacks and threats to foreign embassies and tourist sites in various cities have underscored the need for heightened security. To prevent future attacks, the government of Indonesia has had plans to form a special counterterrorist agency, as an expansion of the current counterterrorist unit. This agency will have branches in cities throughout the country, requiring all kinds of security equipment.

According to the U.S. Commercial Service, the demand for security and safety equipment in Indonesia will continue to increase as more trade centers, malls and apartments are built in the next few years. At least 16 new trade centers and 44 apartment compl exe s we re compl e ted in 2006. Such facilities need security equipment and systems for access control systems, intrusion alarms, video surveillance systems, smoke detectors, fire alarms, anti-shoplifting devices and parking lot management systems.

Siemens Building Technologies (SBT ) first started doing business in Indonesia in 1998, with fire and building management, and SBT Indonesia entered into security in 2004, said Jeffry Tondang, Product Manager. ¨As project - based integration is quite limited, with only a handful of existing customers,〃 Tondang continued, ¨the CEO of SBT Global has shifted the company's focus from solutions to products in order to meet growth targets.〃 As a result, Tondang was tasked to conduct a field survey to find out the exact size of the Indonesian security market.

He visited 120 distributors and used the questions and formulae (for example, turnover, number of employees, product stocks, etc.) from the headquarters to get the following market data: video surveillance $16 million, access control $7 million and intrusion $3 million (products only, at distributor price; with 60-percent confidence level). According to Tondang, annual market growth is about 8 to 15 percent, and the local secur i t y mar ket i s highly polarizedpeople either choose high-end brands or price-competitive products.

Market Drivers and New Projects

In January 2005, the government of Indonesia offered 91 infrastructure projects worth $22.5 billion in five priority sectors, including transportation, gas pipelines, electric power, telecommunications, and water supply and resources. For airport projects, the government proposed development of the New Medan Airport ($250 million), the Soekarno- Hatta Extension Terminal ($178 million), a cargo processing facility at Soekarno-Hat ta Ai rpor t ($48 mi l l ion) , the Mak as sar Ai rpor t Extension ($94 million) and a new Lombok Airport ($139 million).

The government also plans to build a new railway from the city of Jakarta (Manggarai) to the Soekarno- Hatta Airport. The project, called Airport Railink, will require a $156 million in investment. For marine transport, the government plans to develop the Bojanegara Por t, the East Ancol Jakarta Port and the Balikpapan Port.

Growing verticals, said Vincentius Liong, Head of Product Development Division at Gunnebo Indonesia, are oil and gas (Pertamina, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Caltex, Chevron, Premier, Total, etc.), banking, mining (Aneka Tambang, Freeport and Newmont), telecommunications and pharmaceutical companies.

Ari Viryananda, System Support for Galva Technovision ( sole distributor of Sony), seconded these whi le adding that government projects such as power plants and city surveillance are also picking up. Sui Sen, National Sales Manager of Jessilindo Pratama, identified high-rise buildings, supermarkets, city surveillance and t ranspor - tation as important areas to watch, and commercial buildings and factories were brought up by Felix Kristianto, Team Leader of Systems Development Department at TOA Sound & Communications.

Major Players

Major players in video surveillance, said Eddy Tandyen, Product Manager for SBT Indonesia, are Bosch, Honeywell and Panasonic. Many of the interviewees suggested that mos t ins tal lat ions are s t i l l analog because there is virtually no IP infrastructure in Indonesia, except for the governmentˇs wireless programs.

¨Honeywell and HID are strong in access control,〃 Tandyen continued. ¨For intrusion, Tyco (ADT and DSC) and Siemens (AlarmCom) dominate the market .〃 Major distributors identified by him are Gunungsari Widitama (Pana sonic ) , Axindo Humapordana (Honeywell ) and Intisar Primula (access control).

Lester Chua, President Director of CISCO MAS, thinks that major CCTV brands include Panasonic, Samsung Techwin, Ganz , NCS , Advert and SAE, while Kristianto adds other Japanese and Taiwanese names such a s SANYO, SHARP, Sony, AVTech, AVerMedia and Hisharp into the mix.

¨Gunnebo is the largest distributor and system integrator in Indonesia, with 25 branch offices on various islands,〃 boasted Liong of Gunnebo, who also identified SBT, Secom and G4 Securicor as the companyˇs direct competitors. He thinks major CCTV brands are Pelco, CNB, ACTi and CBC; major access control system providers are Verex, TAC/Andover Controls and Gunnebo/Ritzenthaler; major reader brands are HID, Bioscrypt, Suprema and Keico.

Smartvue: Uses of IVS in Retail

Smartvue: Uses of IVS in Retail

Editor / Provider: Submitted By Smartvue | Updated: 10/18/2007 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Smartvue introduces the expanding functions of IVS, or Visual Business Intelligence (VBI). VBI has been used in the retail market for buyers' behavior analysis and it can not only analyze customers' behavior for security purposes, but also help retail owners to operate their businesses more efficiently.

The days of a store owner making the best decisions for their business based on personal experience with customers have long past, due in part to a competitive global market and the complexities of customer relationships in the Internet age. Retailers have invested heavily in data collection and last year spent US$23 billion on the application of that data according to better understand customer behavior and run their businesses more effectively, AMR Research.

With 75 percent of retail buying decisions made in stores at the time of purchaseaccording to the analysis of National Retail Federationand a new focus on the growing power of the customer, understanding individual physical customer behavior has become more critical for retailers.

Analyzing online customer behavior addresses less than one percent of all retail sales and until today, the methods for tracking physical customer behavior have been expensive, complex, inconsistent and not scalable.

This article introduces visual business intelligence (VBI) and an innovative new solution to better understand individual customer behavior, which proposes to generate millions of dollars in revenue and savings for retailers worldwide.

The Missing Piece in Retail Business Intelligence

In order to make better business decisions, retailers continue to invest extensively in the collection of transactional and operational data. The volume of this data is significant. For example, a 100-store specialty retailer will have upwards of 100,000 SKUs and process nearly 30,000 transactions a day. Most department stores have 1,000,000 SKUs or more. With the continued growth of e-commerce, retailers have also invested significantly in online data collection.

Data is just one step in a process and in 2006 retailers spent $23 billion on business intelligence (BI) in order to apply all that data to business decisions.

The complexities of a global and competitive marketplace with access to online resources has changed retail from a top down "we pick the products and set the pricing" to a bottom up "the customer is in charge" strategy.

This "de-massing" of the mass market has retailers rushing to build a better understanding of the individual cus tomer. The Nat ional Retai l Federation supports this new focus in a recent report which stated that 75 percent of all in-store retail purchase decisions are made in the store at the time of purchase. The missing piece becomes quite clear. Business intelligence is lacking the analysis of physical customer behavior, which is the function of VBI.

Visual Business Intelligence More than Meets the Eye

Visual business intelligence is knowledge based on the application of visual data to a business problem or opportunity. Although it appears to be a simple proposition, there is more to VBI than meets the eye.

VBI Process

The process of VBI starts with a collection of visual data which is analyzed to create unique information. This information becomes knowledge when it is applied to a business problem or opportunity. For example, visual data is collected from a retail store (the number of customers who enter an area of interest, the time they spend there and what direction they traveled). This data is analyzed and becomes information (the answer to a simple question such as how long are people waiting in line?).

In turn it becomes knowledge (the application of the data to business such as reducing wait times and decreasing departures by opening additional cash registers between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends or when more than five people are waiting in line). The opportunity then exists to move further to forecast and even model physical customer behavior.

Tools of the Trade

Existing technologies that track and analyze human behavior have not met the needs of the market due to one or more critical limitations, including complexity of implementation and integration, high cost, inconsistency, and lack of scalablility.

New VBI applications can be integrated into existing IT infrastructure, offers scalability, and portability. It enables retailers to make better tactical and strategic business decisions by integrating individual physical customer behavior knowledge, which can generate millions of dollars in revenue and savings.

Benefits of VBI for Retailers

Four areas of retail business management that can benefit from VBI include marketing and customer relations, merchandising, operational efficiency and performance management. The following are example applications of VBI in each area:

Marketing and Customer Relations

  •   Increased Individual Product Sales

Apply product "attraction" data (the number of people who look at a product and how much time they spend looking at it) to sales revenue data to create unique knowledge on product sales.

  • Improved Product Presentation

With physical customer data, retailers can have a better understanding of what attracts customers and how they respond to an environment, product presentation, and physical product positioning.

  • Improved Marketing Return on Investment (ROI)

Applying in store physical customer behavior data to marketing data and sales results provides a more robust understanding of marketing ROI.

  • Higher Quality Point of Purchase (POP) Marketing

With data such as how much time customers spend at the POP display and what customers are attracted to compared to what they buy, better decisions about POP can be implemented.

  • More Shopper Satisfaction

Understanding customer behavior patterns, such as how many people enter a store, where they travel and how much time they spend, can offer insight into how customers view their experience.

Merchandising

  • Improved Product Packaging and Presentation

With physical customer data, such as the number of people who look at a product and how much time they spend looking at it, retailers can have a better understanding of what attracts customers and how they respond to packaging.

  • Increased Profit Margins

Comparing sales results to the analysis of customer behavior in relation to a product or category can offer insight into better margin opportunities.

Operational Efficiency

  • Reduced Register Wait Times

Understanding register line wait times positively affects register staffing management. Real-time data analysis can provide the opportunity to react to needs on-demand.

  • More Efficient Floor Space Utilization

With physical customer data such as aisle traffic, retailers can have a better understanding of how customers respond to an environment.

  • Reduced Departures

Analyzing data of store traffic against sales to determine departures, and further application of data such as register wait times, can offer insight into departures.

Performance Management

  • More Efficient Register Management

Customer wait time at the register compared to time of day data can provide knowledge for register management, and the opportunity to react to increased customer traffic in real time.

  • Better Counter Staffing

Employee counts and length of time at a sales counter can be tracked and managed according to sales and customer traffic to improve sales and customer experience.

  • Improved Staffing Policies

Data such as store entry and exit traffic and specific category or department traffic compared to day of the week and time of day data, as well as sales results, can provide the understanding for more efficient staffing management.

New Thai Flavor with a Hint of Indo

New Thai Flavor with a Hint of Indo

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 9/14/2007 | Article type: Hot Topics

As one of the largest markets in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a land of opportunity for many security companies. Be it government or private sector, the demand for security technology and equipment has never been greater. Indonesia, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy and pro-investment policies, Thailand is among Southeast Asia's best economic performers. "Boosted by increased consumption, strong export growth and increased expenditure in infrastructure modernization projects," said Manop Homsuwan, General Manager of Bosch Security Systems Thailand, "the overall domestic security market in Thailand is estimated to be growing at 7.5 percent per annum." There are others who have pegged growth at 20 to 30 percent per year.

In response to both global and domestic requirements for greater public security, the Thai government is increasing its investment in safety and security equipment, particularly at or around airports and seaports.

In addition to international requirements for stricter security measures specifically at ports, the ongoing unrest in the three southern provinces of Thailand has prompted the government to increase its investment in stricter safety and security measures and more advanced technological abilities to ensure greater public safety.

Meanwhile, the social unrest calls for operators of high-threat areas like shopping centers to increase security measures and technology to provide safety for their premises, employees and customers. In addition, the demand for personal and private property security has also risen as a result of the high-end residential property boom and the increasing purchasing power of consumers in this specific segment.

Thailand is a market of growing demand for security devices and technology. According to David Viccars, Managing Director of Chubb Thailand (a company of UTC Fire & Security), the 2007 electronic security market for Thailand is projected to be US$150 million, while guarding services are valued at $40 million.

Henny Beeber, Chief Technical Officer of AES Group, gave a similar but lower market size estimate of $120 million. Founded in 1992, AES provides security and communication products, system engineering and maintenance services to both military and commercial sectors.

Market Drivers & New Projects

For Bosch, the Security division enjoyed a high growth rate in 2006, especially from the CCTV product segment which achieved the highest growth thus far in terms of value. Some prestigious projects executed last year, according to Homsuwan, included major public transportation, city surveillance and key commercial and government buildings.

Transportation

Both the Thai government and private sector are expected to increase their safety and security spending to ensure greater capability to cope with growing security uncertainties resulting from both domestic and global issues.

To comply with international safety requirements and its own domestic needs for greater public safety, the Thai government is expected to invest in additional security devices and better technology at airports and seaports.

According to Johnny Trivitayakhun, Managing Director of Semple Cochrane (Asia ) , the new Suv a rnabhumi International Airport has more than 1,500 network cameras installed in the passenger terminal. For the surrounding infrastructure, subcontractor Smith Detection has supplied more than 1,600 network cameras, said Beeber. And the new airport rail link, due for completion in 2008, has adopted fully integrated security systems that include IP-based cameras, access control and video analytics.

"Also, there are 22 royal palaces throughout the country, and each of them is adjacent to an airport. These airports have a very high demand for security as well," said Trivitayakhun. The U.S. Commercial Service also suggests that improvement work scheduled for four other international airports, 25 provincial airports and quite a number of military airports presents sizable opportunities for security equipment vendors.

In addition, the Laem Chabang Port in Thailand needs to comply with the U.S. CSI (container security initiative) program by implementing tightened security measures for cargo handling. The port authority has already invested $34 million in security measures and services. Other smaller ports such as Map Ta Phut Port, Songkhla Deep Seaport, Nongkhai River Port and Nakhonsawan River Port are also potential customers.

Pichai Sihsobhon, Managing Director of Security Communication Center, added that more budgets will be injected into the construction of new metro lines and rail links after the general election takes place later this year.

City Surveillance

The endless stream of terrorist activities in southern Thailand has prompted the government to beef up city surveillance. Industry sources revealed that approximately 9,000 network cameras are being installed in this region and will be connected directly to Bangkok's police headquarters, and more counterterrorist efforts will be made in other major cities and tourist attractions.

Retail & Real Estate

The retail sector is another major market for security electronics. According to the U.S. Commercial Service, there are currently 117 discount stores, 230 department stores, 247 supermarkets, 3,650 convenience stores and 650 specialty stores in Thailand.

Despite the fact that most of them have basic security equipment for their internal operationssuch as inventory protection and safety of their premises (including easy access control systems, theft and intruder detection systems, smoke detectors and fire alarm systems), the increasing threat to public security is urging retail operators to ensure greater safety and security at their premises.

The U.K. chain Tesco is by far the largest and most aggressive foreign retailer, said Viccars. "They have expanded hugely in the last few years with some 100 'mega malls' and some 250 smaller convenience stores nationwide." Carrefour (France) is also in Thailand, but on a more gradual growth curve focusing mainly on Bangkok with 22 stores.

"Macro (from the Netherlands) was the first foreign retail chain in Thailand but only has about 20 stores," Viccars continued. The Thai-owned Central Group, including Tops, has a range of malls and is the largest retailer in Thailand; the group also owns hotels and has a large property portfolio and other interests. The Thai-owned Mall Group operates a mix of high-end mega malls like the Emporium and Paragon and the more traditional Thai malls.

"Jusco from Japan is also here, with about 15 stores; 7-Eleven is here with over 3,000 stores," recounted Viccars. All these mega malls plus super condominiums and mixed developments warrant limitless possibilities for vendors of video surveillance, access control and electronic article tracking systems, said Somphop Poshakrishna, Deputy Managing Director of Chubb Thailand.

Commercial property and residential high rises are major users of safety and security equipment as well. Industry sources estimate that the sector represents approximately 50 percent of the demand for security equipment and services.

Overall, the Thai security market is growing and moving forward at an attractive rate. For 2007 and beyond, Bosch Thailand plans to grow at least double the rate of average market growth. "We are confident of achieving this target," said Homsuwan. "We will focus on educating customers on our new technologies which are suitable for all businesses such as governmental organizations, financial institutes, transportation facilities, and small-to-medium enterprises."

Major Players

There is no known local production of security electronics. Major distributors, as suggested by Trivitayakhun of Semple Cochrane and Chubb's Viccars, include Pacific Technology Distribution, Security Communication Center, Seaworld Supply & Trading, Digitalcom, AES Group, AK Engineer and SGD International.

In security, AES carries ACTi, aimetis, Axis, Bosch, Cardax, Sanyo, SmartSight, Verint and VIVOTEK solutions, whereas Security Communication Center represents Pelco, Infinova, Verint, Magic Radar and HID Global.

Major Thai security system integrators include Tyco, Chubb, Semple Cochrane and Secom; service providers for guarding are still very much in demand and include Chubb, Gunnebo, Leeco and Kingdom.

Indonesia Overview

In Indonesia, several bomb attacks and threats to foreign embassies and tourist sites in various cities have underscored the need for heightened security. To prevent future attacks, the government of Indonesia has had plans to form a special counterterrorist agency, as an expansion of the current counterterrorist unit managed by the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Security and Political Affairs. This agency will have branches in cities throughout the country, requiring all kinds of security equipment.

According to the U.S. Commercial Service, the demand for security and safety equipment in Indonesia will continue to increase as more trade centers, malls and apartments are built in the next few years.

At least 16 new trade centers and 44 apartment complexes were completed in 2006. Such facilities need security equipment and systems for access control systems, card systems, intrusion alarms, door entry systems, video surveillance systems, smoke detectors, fire alarms, anti-shoplifting devices and parking lot management systems.

Siemens Buildings Technologies (SBT) first started doing business in Indonesia in 1998, with fire and building management, and SBT Indonesia entered into security in 2004, said Jeffry Tondang, Product Manager. "As project-based integration is quite limited, with only a handful of existing customers," Tondang continued, "the CEO of SBT Global has shifted the company's focus from solutions to products in order to meet growth targets." As a result, Tondang was asked by the headquarters to conduct a field survey to find out the exact size of the Indonesian security market.

He visited 120 distributors and used the questions and formulae (for example: turnover, number of employees, product stocks, etc.) from the headquarters to get the following market data: video surveillance $16 million, access control $7 million and intrusion $3 million (products only, at distributor price; with 60-percent confidence level).

According to Tondang, annual market growth is about 8 to 15 percent, and the local security market is highly polarizedpeople either choose high-end brands or price-competitive products.

Market Drivers & New Projects

In January 2005, the government of Indonesia offered 91 infrastructure projects worth $22.5 billion in five priority sectors, including transportation, gas pipelines, electric power, telecommunications, and water supply and resources. For airport projects, the government proposed development of the New Medan Airport ($250 million), the Soekarno- Hatta Extension Terminal ($178 million), a Cargo Processing Facility at Soekarno- Hatta Airport ($48 million), the Makassar Airport Extension ($94 million) and a new Lombok Airport ($139 million).

The government also plans to build a new railway from the city of Jakarta (Manggarai) to the Soekarno-Hatta Airport. The project, called Airport Railink, will require a $156 million in investment.

For marine transport, the government plans to develop the Bojanegara Port ($212 million), the East Ancol Jakarta Port ($714 million) and the Balikpapan Port ($72 million).

Growing verticals, said Vincentius Liong, Head of Product Development Division at Gunnebo Indonesia, are oil and gas (Pertamina, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Caltex, Chevron, Premier, Total, Vico, Unocal, Hess Conoco Philips and Kondur Petroleum), banking (for example: Bank of Central Asia with over 500 branches), mining (Aneka Tambang, Freeport and Newmont), telecommunications (three locals) and pharmaceutical companies (easy access to raw material in rainforests).

Ari Viryananda, System Support for Galva Technovision (sole distributor of Sony in Indonesia), seconded these while adding that government projects such as power plants and city surveillance are also picking up. Sui Sen, National Sales Manager of Jessilindo Pratama, identified high-rise buildings, supermarkets, city surveillance and transportation as important areas to watch, and commercial buildings and factories were brought up by Felix Kristianto, Team Leader of Systems Development Department at TOA Sound & Communications.

Major Players

Major players in video surveillance, said Eddy Tandyen, Product Manager for SBT Indonesia, are Bosch, Honeywell (made in Thailand) and Panasonic. Many of the interviewees suggested that most installations are still analog because there is virtually no IP infrastructure in Indonesia, except for the government's wireless programs.

"Honeywell and HID are strong in access control," Tandyen continued. "For intrusion, Tyco (ADT and DSC) and Siemens (AlarmCom) dominate the market." Major distributors identified by him are Gunungsari Widitama (sole distributor of Panasonic), Axindo Humapordana (Honeywell cameras and access products) and Intisar Primula (access control).

Lester Chua, President Director of CISCO MAS, thinks that major CCTV brands include Panasonic, Samsung Techwin, Ganz, NCS, Advert and SAE, while Kristianto threw in other Japanese and Taiwanese names such as SANYO, SHARP, Sony, AVTech, AVerMedia and Hi-Sharp into the mix.

"Gunnebo is the largest distributor and system integrator in Indonesia, with 25 branch offices on various islands," boasted Liong of Gunnebo, who identified Siemens, SECOM and G4 Securicor as the company's direct competitors. He thinks major CCTV brands are Pelco, CNB, ACTi and CBC; major access control system providers are Verex, TAC/Andover Controls and Gunnebo/Ritzenthaler; major reader brands are HID, Bioscrypt, Suprema and KEICO Hightech.

Fast and Furious: Southeast Asia Going Strong

Fast and Furious: Southeast Asia Going Strong

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 7/24/2007 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hard hit by the global recession and regional financial crisis from 2001 to 2003 and the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, Southeast Asia has fully recovered since and has become one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

Acouple of months ago, A&S had the pleasure to meet and speak with a number of major players in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to find out what has been moving the electronic security industry in Southeast Asia. This report is a summary of our findings.

Market Overview

Southeast Asia (SEA) refers to the 11 countries situated south of China, east of India and north of Australia, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam. When combined with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, they generated a sales recordfor surveillance productsof US$1.6 billion in 2006, based on the estimate by Steven Tan, General Manager of Security Electronics Division at Chemcoa fairly active regional distributor of high-end electronic security products. In terms of security market, all of these SEA nations have been growing quite rapidly in recent years, with the exception of East Timor given its socio-political unrest. And this market expansion phenomenon was confirmed by Bosch: "Aside from China and India, ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as a cluster is one of the most promising areaswith the highest growth ratefor us worldwide," said Doris Grammer, Vice President of Asia Pacific for Bosch Security Systems.

Take Vietnam for example. The count ry, according to the U.S. Commercial Service, had an estimated market sizefor safety and security equipmentof $90 million in 2006, with its annual GDP growth surpassing 8 percent for the past couple of years. "With many Taiwanese and Korean companies setting up their factories inVietnam, the country's security market has experienced 7x growth over the last two years," said Daniel Lim, Business Leader for South East Asia at Honeywell Security. Primary sales of safety and security equipment have occurred in the Vietnamese construction market, where development of transport (roads and bridges), power (thermal and hydro), oil and gas (plants and pipelines), environment (water drainage) and buildings (hotels and commercial sites) has outpaced other types of development projects. Competition in these sectors is intense, though, as major suppliers include those from Japan, England, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Taiwan.

Others like Indonesia and the Philippinesaccording to another U.S. Commercial Service reportthat were in a more or less financially lackadaisical state have also bounced back, growing at triple digits every two years with respect to use of security and safety paraphernalia.

In Indonesia, several bomb attacks and threats to foreign embassies and tourist sites in various cities have underscored the need for heightened security. To prevent future attacks, the government of Indonesia has had plans to form a special counterterrorist agency, as an expansion of the current counterterrorist unit managed by the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Security and Political Affairs. This agency will have branches in cities throughout the country, requiring all kinds of security equipment.

The total value of imported products- -from Japan, China, Germany, France, South Korea and Taiwanin security and safety equipment rose remarkably in recent years; in 2006, the value climbed to approximately $300 million, an annual increase of more than 100percent based on the estimate by the U.S. Commercial Service. The demand for security and safety equipment in Indonesia will continue to increase as more trade centers, malls and apartments are built in the next few years. At least 16 new trade centers and 44 apartment complexes were completed in 2006. Such facilities need security equipment and systems for access control systems, card systems, intrusion alarms, door entry systems, video surveillance systems, smoke detectors, fire alarms, anti-shoplifting devices and parking lot management systems.

Although the Philippine market has become more price-conscious in recent years, demand for safety and security products is expected to surge due to the growing need to protect commercial and industrial establishments, residential communities, sensitive infrastructure and personal properties. New security-related technologies and solutions continue to be introduced to the local market asthere is growing interest in their varied and specialized applications. Meanwhile, the Philippine government's current campaign against terrorism and criminality has stressed the importance of such security provisions. Industry estimates peg the safety and security market to be between $35 to $50 million, and industry players project a 10- to 15-percent annual increase in sales of safety and security products over the next few years.

Zoom in on Singapore

With merely a population of 4.55 million and a land mass of 682.7 square kilometers, Singapore had experienced, in 2006, an astonishing GDP growth rate of 7.4 percent unproportionate to its rather limited natural resources. With respect to security electronics, most studies and interviewees pointed out that Singapore has reached a certain point of maturity and saturation, so it was difficult to pinpoint an exact market size figure. Recent security projects have all been upgrade and refurbishment ones, with an estimated annual value of $70 to $80 million. There are, however, a few new construction projects on the way, with a total infrastructure cost in billions.

Market Drivers & New Projects

The most exciting security projects are, of course, the two integrated resorts where there willbe - -when completed in 2009 and 2010, respectively- - purpose - builtcasinos , theme parks,apartment complexes and commercial establishments to boost tourism. The first was awarded in May 2006 to Las Vegas' Sands Corporation; the $3.6-billion casino resort is expected to be operating by July 2009. Analysts said the Marina Bay project would be the world's most expensive casino resort, situated on 51 acres of waterfront property opposite downtown Singapore that city planners are turning into a new central business district. Sands will receive a 30-year concession to operate the casino, which translates to approximately $3.4 billion a year in revenue.

The second resort, which is valued at $3.4 billion and scheduled to open in 2010 on a site of 121 acres on Sentosa Island, will be built and operated by Malaysian Genting International (with Universal Studios as a non-equity partner). The government evaluated various proposals based on tourism appeal, architectural design, level of investment and strength of bidding consortia and partners, and chose Genting for its plan to help attract 17 million visitors a year by 2015. This plan is also central to the government's $12-billion redevelopment project of Sentosa, which is connected to Singapore by a 710-meter, to-be-expanded highway.

According to Lim of Honeywell, banking, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, high-tech semiconductor foundries and high-profile military sites are othe r booming market segments. Based on the record of the Association of Banks in Singapore, there are, at present, 111 commercial banks (5 local full banks, 24 foreign full banks, 35 foreign wholesale banks and 47 foreign offshore banks), 49 merchant banks and 45 banks with representative offices on this small island. Maintenance and upgrade (to IP-enabled systems) contracts alone account for a significant portion of this nation's security business.

The expansion plans of ExxonMobil, Shell and other chemical and energy plants on Jurong Island are also vied over by many international system integrators. When asked about Singapore's role as a "Biopolis" in Asia, Co-Chairman of the Economic Development Board Philip Yeo commented: "The breadth and depth of the biomedical sciences manufacturing activities is testimony of Singapore's track record in high value-added manufacturing, technology leadership and intellectual property protection. It also underscores our ability to effectively support the supply of pharmaceutical products to global markets through good infrastructure, excellent manpower capabilities and efficient logistics." With a number of world-class research institutes busy setting up divisions and labs on this island nation, it is anyone's guess as to how much security, especially access control, is worth in this rapidly growing vertical.

Currently in Singapore, public agencies have begun to implement biometric technology into their systems. However, the market is far from saturated. Government institutions across Singapore stress the need for increased security and look to biometric technology to replace or complement their security procedures. Some agencies, such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, have even identified DNA comparison as the future of biometric security in Singapore. The Singapore government is also considering new measures requiring people using government e-services to log in by scanning their fingerprints or swiping a smart card, as government agencies tighten up computer security amid growing concerns over identity theft. With the endorsement of government agencies and local organizations and the increasing integration of biometric applications into devices, Singapore's biometric market looks set to continue its growth. 

Major Players

Local manufacturers seem to focus only on access control products, and the notable ones are ADC Technologies, ASIS Technologies and Elid. Video surveillance products are imported from Taiwan, China, Korea, the U.S. and a few European states. Despite its size, Singapore has well over 1,000 active security distributors and system integrators. International big names such as Bosch, Tyco Fire & Security, Chubb (UTC Fire & Security), Stanley Works, Securitas, Johnson Controls, Siemens Building Technologies, etc. are no exception. Guard services provided by G4S and CISCO are well received in Singapore and by its neighbors.

Malaysia, Truly Asia

Though Malaysia has not experienced the terrorist attacks that have plagued neighboring Indonesia, nor the ethnic unrest that is occurring across their border in southern Thailand, the country's location along the Malacca Strait and in the South China Sea exposes it to several potential threats, as evidenced by pirate activity and the 2000 kidnappings off of Eastern Malaysia's coast by Philippine terrorists.Cmbined with Malaysians' increasing desire to install security systems in their homes and offices, the outlook of the safety and security industry in Malaysia remains resilient.

Recuperating from its political disquiet almost two years ago, the Badawi administration is finally injecting funds back into infrastructural projects, of which security is a vital elementconsidering Malaysia's sensitive religious makeup and geographical stronghold. It was estimated, by Chemco's Tan and Prisma Bytes' CEO Shaji N.M., that the 2007 security market for Malaysia is between $200 and $250 million.

Market Drivers & New Projects

Similar to Singapore's, the Malaysian government has also been promoting tourism (hence the section title), and part of this initiative involves city surveillance. "The nationwide project was supposed to be done two years ago, but the money wasn't there," explained Tan. "When all 13 states are fit for city surveillance in the next four to five years, there will be over 2,600 Vicon IP cameras that link directly to Kuala Lumpur's police headquarters." In the capital city alone, more than 1,300 street junctions will be watched by Bosch IP cameras in three years' time.

"Transportation (including airports and seaports), oil and gas, and Islamic banking are also growing very fast," commented Alex Ng, Executive Director of Viewtech & Communication. The market size for airport and seaport security equipment in Malaysia in 2006 was about $25 million. According to industry sources, the demand high-value electronics export industry.

Malaysia's two largest ports, Port Klang and Port Tanjung Pelapas, began participating in the U.S. Container Security Initiative (CSI) in 2004. Under the program, the U.S. government has made some direct donations of equipment, training, and infrastructure needs to the Malaysian government under the CSI Megaports project. Other areas of airport/seaport security equipment include computerized access control systems, high-tech perimeter control systems (including those employing infrared technologies), smart cards, CCTV systems, multi-zone door frame metal detectors, baggage reconciliation systems, advanced explosive and radiation detection scanners, and biometrics-based integrated passenger profiling systems.

The $515-million, dual-use storm water management and road tunnel, or "SMART Tunnel," is a storm drainage and road structure in Kuala Lumpur; the main objective of this tunnel is to solve the problem of flash floods in Kuala Lumpur and also to reduce traffic jams along Jalan Sungai Besi and Lok Yew flyover at Pudu during rush hours. "Videotec casings were specified for this project because cameras need to be completely waterproof, for a prolonged period of time," explained Ng. Other large-scale transportation projects , said Paul Mun , Sales Director of Viewtech & Communication, are taking place on Penang Island where a new, 13.5-kilometer bridge and a mass rapid for airport and seaport security equipment between 2005 and 2009 is estimated at $120 million. U.S. companies presently dominate the market for this sub-sector. Checked baggage and carry-on luggage x-ray equipment and passenger metal detectors will be the largest categories of airport security equipment for airport security upgrade projects in Malaysia over the next few years. Cargo x-ray systems will also be of increasing interest, given the continuing expansion of Malaysia's transit system with 52 stations are being constructed.

Malaysia is also the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is an inter-governmental body with 57 member states and a permanent delegation to the United Nations. Given this unique status, a lot of Malaysian system integrators were specified in the infrastructural and security projects for the Doha Asian Games last year, said Shaji of Prisma Bytes. Investment influx in the form of "Islamic Banking"a term coined by the Wall Street Journalis now easily palpable in this Islamic nation and is, in turn, triggering growth in the security business. Combined with upgrade projects for commercial and office buildings, the demand for burglar and fire alarm systems, electronic lock systems, card access systems, CCTVs and intercoms will continue to expand for sure.

The residential sector, suggested Mun, is on the rise as well, especially for the south of Malaysia where it borders with Singapore. The outlook of the household sector is very promising, with more people beginning to understand and appreciate the need to install home security systems. Burglar and fire alarms, lock systems, safes and electronic gates are common features in high-end homes. In middle-income households, the demand for burglar alarms and electronic gates is increasing . There have been a number of incidents of mugging and rape in parking lots of large building complexes recently. The Housing and Local Government Minister recently gave a directive that commercial buildings and public places with parking lots install CCTVs. This directive will lead to fruitful opportunities as many building owners still have not installed CCTVs at their premises for security control.

Major Players

There is no local CCTV production, and active access control players are Elid and Castle. "Video surveillance products in Malaysia rely heavily on quality imports from China, Taiwan and Korea," said Danny Lim, Senior Product Manager of Surveillance System Division at FTEC Networks. Both Ng and Lim think Taiwanese products still have the upper hand in terms of price and performance. Major security distributors and system integrators named by industry sources are Sapura, ADT (Tyco), GeeLong, SensorLink, Johnson Controls and Prisma Bytes; strong, pure system integrators include Pernec Group, Honeywell and Armour Built.

New Thai Spice

In response to both global and domestic requirements for greater public security, the Thai government is increasing its investment in safety and security equipment, particularly at airports and seaports. In addition to international requirements for stricter security measures specifically at ports, the ongoing unrest in the three southern provinces of Thailand has prompted the government to increase its investment in stricter safety and security measures and more advanced technological abilities to ensure greater public safety. Meanwhile, the unrest calls for operators of high-threat areas like shopping centers to increase security measures and technology to provide safety for their premises, employees and customers. In addition, the demand for personal and private property security has also risen as a result of the high-end residential property boom and the increasing purchasing power of consumers in this specific segment.

Thailand is a market of growing demand for secur i ty devices and technology. According to David Viccars, Managing Director of Chubb Thailand (a company of UTC Fire & Security), the 2007 electronic security market for Thailand is projected to be $150 million, while guarding services are valued at $40 million. 

Market Drivers & New Projects

Both the Thai government and private sector are expected to increase their safety and security spending to ensure greater capability to cope with growing security uncertainties resulting from both domestic and global issues. To comply with international safety requirements and its own domestic needs for greater public safety, the Thai government is expected to invest in additional security devices and better technology at airports and seaports. 

According to Johnny Trivitayakhun, Managing Director of Semple Cochrane (As i a ) , t h e n ew S u v a r n a b h umi International Airport has over 1,500 network cameras installed. "There are 22 royal palaces throughout the country, and each of them is adjacent to an airport. These airports have a very high demand for security as well," said Trivitayakhun. The U.S. Commercial Service also suggests that improvement work scheduled for four other international airports, 25 provincial airports and quite a number of military airports presents sizable opportunities for security equipment.

In addition, the Laem Chabang Port in Thailand needs to comply with the U.S. CSI program by implementing tightened security measures for cargo handling. The port authority has already invested $34 million in security measures and services. Other smaller ports such as Map Ta Phut Port, Songkhla Deep Seaport, Nongkhai River Port, and Nakhonsawan River Port are also potential customers.

The endless stream of terrorist activities in southern Thailand has prompted the government to beef up city surveillance. Approximately 9,000 IP cameras will be installed in this region and be connected directly to Bangkok, and more counterterrorist efforts will be made in other major cities and tourist attractions.

The retail sector is another major market for security electronics. The U.K. chain Tesco is by far the largest and most aggressive foreign retailer, said Viccars. "They have expanded hugely in the last few years with some 100 'mega malls' and some 250 smaller convenience stores nationwide." Carrefour (France) is also in Thailand, but on a more gradual growth curve focusing mainly on Bangkok with 22 stores. "Macro (the Netherlands) was the first foreign retail chain in Thailand but only has about 20 stores," Viccars continued. The Thai-owned Central Group, including Tops, has a range of malls and is the largest retailer in Thailand; the group also owns hotels and has a large property portfolio and other interests. The Thai-owned Mall Group operates a mix of high-end mega malls like the Emporium and Paragon and the more traditional Thai malls. "Jusco from Japan is also here, with about 15 stores; 7/11 is here with over 3,000 stores," recounted Viccars. All these mega malls plus super condominiums and mixed developments warrant limitless possibilities for vendors of CCTVs, access control and electronic article tracking systems, said Somphop Poshakrishna, Deputy Managing Director of Chubb Thailand. Commercial property and residential high rises are major users of safety and security equipment. Industry sources estimate that the sector represents approximately 50 percent of the demand for security equipment and services.

Major Players

There is no known local production of security electronics. Major distributors, as suggested by Trivitayakhun of Semple Cochrane and Chubb's Viccars, include Pacific Technology Distribution, Security Communication Center, Seaworld Supply & Trading, Digitalcom, AES Group, AK Engineer and SGD International. Security system integrators include Tyco, Chubb, Semple Cochrane and Secom; service providers for guarding are still very much in demand and include Chubb, Gunnebo, Leeco and Kingdom.

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