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What's trending in 2013?

What's trending in 2013?
Secutech International 2013, one of the largest trade shows in the security world, successfully concluded on April 26. Here are some of the key findings from the show floor interviews.

Secutech International 2013, one of the largest trade shows in the security world, successfully concluded on April 26. Here are some of the key findings from the show floor interviews.

1. IP Rocks
IP-based video surveillance products accounted for the majority of items displayed at the exhibition, while HD-SDI products remained a minority. Of the 23 video surveillance manufacturers sampled, 16 companies featured IP products at the show, including Dynacolor, Dahua Technology, Itx, Mobotix and others. Hikvision Digital Technology and four other companies were promoting analog cameras, while Hi Sharp and Win4net were the only companies highlighting HD-SDI products. Most manufacturers are still promoting IP cameras, due to a smaller demand for HD-SDI cameras, and few related products and accessories, said Ray Chan, Director of Sales for APAC, Infinova. HD-SDI also requires larger storage, and the required frame rate is still playing catch-up, Chan continued. A technician from Fuho Technology echoed the sentiment, stating while HD-SDI products offer better image quality than analog cameras, market demand has remained low because of the lack of supporting appliances and hardware compared to analog or IP systems. Some manufacturers are trying to compensate this by promoting new HD-SDI cabling products, such as Win4net's Clebo HD-SDI PoC solution that can extend HD-SDI data transmission for more than 2 kilometers.

2. Light Sensitivity
The majority of low-light network cameras displayed at the show came with 1.3-megapixel resolution; only a few were 3-megapixel models. Shany's SNC-WD2131MSA and Yoko Technology's RYK-IPBX010 featured 1.3-megapixel low-light cameras, while Zavio's D7320 was a 3-megapixel camera. The limitations of network bandwidth and market demand are driving the sales of 1.3-megapixel low-light cameras, said Steven Mao, PM for Digital Surveillance Product Planning, Yoko Technology. Two trends in WDR network cameras were also observed, with some manufacturers such as Brickcom using software to enhance images and others, including Zavio, developing their own WDR sensors.

3. High and Low
Of the analog cameras displayed, a large number were of 700 TVLs and above. For instance, Hikvision's Picadis Exir Camera and Pishion's BRX-99P84WR were 720-TVL cameras, while Fuho's Vacron-P was a 1,000-TVL camera. The cameras target cost-conscious consumers that want better image quality close to IP cameras, but at a much lower price point, said Ian Ma, Overseas Technical Support Engineer, Hikvision. The cameras offer better images than traditional analog, and ideal for clients who are reluctant to say goodbye to their coaxial cables.

4. Easy to Install
Four- to 8-channel NVRs for SMB and home applications are mostly designed with easy setup procedures that are user-friendly. Whether its Nuuo's 8-channel NVR, that enables setup to be completed in six minutes with a click of a mouse, or Dynacolor's 4-channel NVR that automatically detects the company's cameras, the idea is to make installation hassle-free. Manufacturers are trying to make their products appealing and adoptable to the average home owner or shop keeper, who may not be tech-savvy or have the resources to hire IT specialists. Another interesting find was iCatch's latest NVR that enables consumers to use QR scanners to connect their IP cameras to the NVR.

5. Scalability Reincarnated
Installer-friendly products were not easy to miss. For example, Etherwan's ED3638 PoE switch can transmit data and electricity up to 1.8 kilometers, said Alvin Hsu, PM; Planet's BSP-300 solar-power switch is particularly suited for integrators struggling with outdoor cabling. Brickcom's FocusEasy makes life easier for installers, by beeping loudly when the camera is correctly focused; it is aimed at the hotel industry or large-scale projects that require many installations, said Anchi Chen, Marketing Administrator. All these products are designed with convenience in mind, by saving installers or system integrators valuable resources. These products are also ideal for large-scale projects and applications.

6. Value Adds
More camera and NVR manufacturers are teaming up with VCA companies to increase the added value of their products. To target the retail sector, Nuuo teamed up with Vit to add on people-counting features onto its NVR, while VIVOTEK has been cooperating with Cognimatics to add on similar people-counting features onto its IP cameras. Other common VCA features include people counting, item removal detection, and virtual fences that are targeted for retail market applications.

7. Mobility
From remotely monitoring video surveillance cameras to opening doors via NFC technology, mobile applications are increasingly prevalent. The popularity of smartphones and tablets is pushing this trend in the security sector. The majority of NVR manufacturers, such as iCatch and Nuuo, have matching mobile apps to enable remote monitoring, while newer access control systems from WFE Technology allow smartphones to open doors using NFC. Nearly all NFC access control systems are RFID-based at the show, with the exception of Hundure Technology that has promoted a Bluetooth NFC reader.

8. Hot Access
Access control manufacturers such as Pongee and WFE were promoting multicredential readers with four to five credentials targeting the banking or hotel sector. End users can choose which credentials they want to use. According to Johnson Wu, PM of Waferlock at WFE, markets that require high security, such as the banking sector, are more likely to use a combination of credentials or utilize all credentials offered.

9. Gaze Downward
Manufacturers are aiming for the mid- to low-end market with hopes of tapping into retail, home, hotel and banking applications. This was reflected with the promotion of affordable retail solutions with fewer functions, but easy installation, such as VIVOTEK's Counter Cam, a small 180-degree panoramic camera with very basic functions. Even Flir, which had traditionally manufactured high-end thermal imaging cameras, was promoting its first commercial camera, the VT602, at the show (which still costs US$190,000).

10. Emerging Opportunities
Most video surveillance manufacturers agreed that sales are particularly well in emerging markets. Dali Technology and Merit  LILIN both responded sales were particularly well in Middle East, while NVR manufacturer Qnap noted sales were particularly well in Central and South America.

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