Asiaˇs top products featured prominently from exhibitors at SecuTech Expo 2008. From walking the floor, trends toward high resolution and integration were evident from the products on display.
Asia's biggest security show boasted the best in manufacturing. From components like lenses and chips to complete products and solutions, high definition was the catchphrase on the SecuTech 2008 show floor. Coupled with IP and management software, integration is poised for mainstream adoption. With Asia supplying products to the world, the future of security equipment has never looked so promising.
Megapixel and More
Capturing crisp images from the get-go was evident from the wealth of megapixel lenses on display. Offerings from Tamron, Avenir and Space boasted day/night visibility and varifocal length. Avenir's lens also included auto iris, which it claimed was a first for a megapixel lens. For cameras, megapixel technology generated plenty of buzz as well. CNB Technology displayed a hybrid, 2-megapixel camera with dual streaming and triple codec support for M-JPEG, MPEG-4 and H.264. ¨Everybody is talking about H.264, which is a good encoding mechanism, but no one talks about H.264 decoding which requires a lot of computing power,〃 said Charles Kim, International Sales and Marketing Manager for CNB technology
Having true H.264 compression was key selling point for Nadatel. Its H.264 IP box, dome and PTZ cameras boast low image sizes of two kilobytes per second, said Martin Woo, Sales Manager.
Mintron launched a 1.3 megapixel network camera, using an unusual progressive scan CCD from Sony with wide dynamic range, according to Victor Sun, General Manager's Special Assistant. The camera also supports three codecs (M-JPEG, MPEG-4, H.264), at 30 frames per second (NTSC) in real time.
Another camera using CCD image sensors was the A-Linking day/night network camera, which also used Sony's 1.3 megapixel CCD. High resolution was part of Vivotek's 1.3 megapixel network camera, using CCD image sensors and supporting simultaneous dual codec compression for M-JPEG and MPEG-4. For JNS, its hyper dynamic range camera included a 1/3-inch double scan CCD. While Vivotek and JNS did not state whether they used Sony's 1.3 megapixel CCD for their cameras, high definition was certainly a focus of this year's show.
Three Brain Technology also opted for CCDs in its cameras for increased low-light sensitivity. "We have IP speed domes and IP IR cameras. Our special product is the dual CCD day/night camera," said Young Lee, CMO. "The two CCDs are switched, by a s tepping motor, based on light conditions; the B/W CCD has extremely high sensitivity as there is no IR cut filter and no color coating." Camdeor also promoted its IP IR H.264 camera.
Transmission for all those high definition images were part of Stretch's display. "The nex t generation of H.264 (AVC) is H.264 SVC. SVC-encoded streams inherently contain a layered structure with different resolutions and frame rates," said Mark Oliver, Director of Product Marketing for Stretch. "By selecting the appropriate layers to decode, system bandwidth problems and resolution constraints are resolved. Other advantages include flexible storage/content management and removal of expensive transcoding."
With better components enabling improved image per formance in cameras, high definition images were front and center at SecuTech.
Storing high resolution images in smaller formats were a key theme for recording equipment. Argus displayed a DVR with video compression in H.264 playback for 16 channels in full D1 resolution simultaneously. "We are the only one in the world who can do this," said John Wayne, Sales and Marketing Manager.
Rigorous testing made some DVRs stand out from the rest. "We test our H.264 DVRs with US$20 cameras, and our image quality is usually much better than what our competitors can offer. That's true H.264," said James Park, Director of Indigo Security. "We are also the first in the world to have H.264-ready mobile DVRs."
Mobile surveillance in high resolution was seen in KND Technology's compact, 4-channel, mobile DVR with an 8-inch LCD and H.264 compression.
Ultracker Technology featured a four-channel stand-alone H.264 DVR with 1280 by 1024 pixel output, while is four times the resolution of most DVRs at 420 pixels. Another stand-alone H.264 DVR from Kingwave Technology uses a proprietary ASIC and allows for remote monitoring through Internet Explorer.
Finally, Dedicated Micros' Taiwan distributor Fine showed off DM's DVR, capable of receiving full megapixel inputs from 16 cameras. The powerful processing capability of the recorder made it stand out on the show floor.
Several display vendors, including Matrixvixion Technology, Neotech Photoelectric and Taiwan Video System, exhibited high resolution surveillance screens compatible with H.264 video inputs.
The Taiwan Video System displays integrated alarm signals and DVD inputs. A model with an onboard CPU even perform video analytics, such as face detection, intrusion detection and people counting, said Eric Chen, Associate Vice President of Security Products.
Wonwoo's new CCTV tester improves on the company's first model, with a larger screen in a more portable format, said Kenneth Jang, Product Planning and Marketing Manager for Wonwoo Engineering.
Management software for governing security systems is a growing trend in Asia, integrating surveillance, access control and intrusion alarms. This is no longer proprietary software for a single vendor's DVR, but open systems capable of integrating third-party products. Vpon and Fine both offered management solutions featuring distributed architecture, with video signals going to one server and all other signals like alarms going to another one, to prevent either server from being overloaded. This allows more equipment to be added for a scalable solution.
Managing purely surveillance with access control was seen in solutions from GeoVision, Win4Net and Pinetron. As access control is tied to time and attendance, identity management and auditing, surveillance completes these solutions for maximum effectiveness.
Video management software for surveillance systems is also becoming less proprietary. Instek Digital is a pure video management solution that is not tied to hardware, meaning it must integrate third-party products. Nuuo's video management software is similarly vendor-agnostic. Finally, Softwell offers a Linux-based video management system embedded on hardware for integration into any product. Integration has become commonplace in Asia, which will translate into mass production worldwide. Video Analytics
More Asian surveillance providers are putting out video content analytics, instead of hardware. Huper Lab's analytics can be embedded on hardware, making edge devices an affordable reality.
Video smoke detection, one of the hottest trends in analytics, was the main focus of GKB CCTV. Another trend in analytics is license plate recognition, which Chiper can effectively perform for two lanes of traffic. These practical intelligent video solutions look to be standard for the future.
Products are becoming increasingly multifunctional as separate security systems work more closely together. Rosslare Security Products offered a video integrated networked access control, featuring a video chipset with embedded Linux OS and a Web server, said Jimmy Ng, Technical Support Engineer. Its network DVR supports 500 GB of storage through a USB or externally through Ethernet.
Heart displayed its integrated access control system with customizable parts, flexible enough for different user needs. Another integrated solution was from Peitan, as its environment monitoring system(EMS) man-machine controller supports voice, alarms and DVR integration.
In surveillance, remote monitoring showed increased integration. 3H Picaso's DVR can send event notifications by e-mail or to cell phones with images of alarmed event s attached, said Andy Bang, Overseas Sales Manager.
Another 3-G remote monitoring solution from iCanTek allows users to cal l a networ k camera from their mobile phones for a real-time update, without having to set up an IP address, said Oscar Yoon, General Sales Manager and Overseas Sales Team.
Automated tracking made a splash at the show as well, combining surveillance and search functions. Video Security displayed a 360-degree IP auto tracking IR speed dome. For tracking across multiple cameras, Brotex's solution can keep a target in overlapping focus for 16 cameras, so surveillance personnel never lose sight of a target.
Tying surveillance with sensors in mobile applications was among the integrated offerings at the show. D-TEG Security displayed its mobile DVR for cars or buses, integrated with G-force sensors to detect impact or acceleration, along with GPS (Global Positioning System), said Michael Hahn, Marketing Manager Its simple interface was developed with Toshiba, which D-TEG makes OEM products for.
As integration requires uninterrupted transmission, some vendors had solutions for those needs . AES displayed its long-range mesh transmission for alarms and non-video sensors using radio, with Internet for backup. As radio is not as easily affected by disruptions like GSM, the AES solution is reliable for receiving alerts, said Mark Brandstein, Chief Operating Officer.
IP is now a standard feature of new products, which accelerates analyst predictions of widespread IP adoption in the next decade. As mass manufactured Asian products incorporate IP, it is only a matter of time before IP becomes a worldwide phenomenon, rather than a regional trend.
Koukaam engineers its software at its Czech Republic headquarters, while manufacturing cameras and NVRs in Taiwan. "There are few, if any, companies who can design a single NVR to accommodate 16 network cameras at once; we are one of them," said Petr Musil, Technical Department for Kouk aam. "For network security reasons, each NVR has a unique firmware key for future upgrades."
Other IP products have gone wireless for added convenience. Tranwo Technology makes digital wireless surveillance products intended to be plug-and-play for homes or small offices, said Eva Chang, Account Manager for Sales.
Even door phones have entered the IP world, with AmRoad and Pintek displaying their networked door phones. With more effective communication between devices, real-time responses to security events become more of a reality.
Off the Beaten Path
Among the products on display were unique ones that were difficult to place in any particular category.
Among them was a palm and fingerprint reader from Jantek Electronics , which was also waterproof and dustproof, said Angel Chen, Marketing Assistant. It utilizes Fujitsu's PalmSecure module and supports up to 10,000 users, being one of the few vascular biometric products at the show.
Another interesting device on the floor was the Transverse portable surveillance camera, sporting an LCD screen and storage on an SD or MMC card. It bears an uncanny resemblance to a digital camera, blurring the line between professional equipment and consumer electronics.
AVerMedia had a one-of-a-kind surveillance solution at its booth a wireless DVR capable of receiving inputs from four wireless cameras. Another unique product on the floor was KT&C's miniature cameras for the commercial market, designed for uses from undetected surveillance to dentistry, said Teddy Cho of the International Sales & Marketing Department.
Judging from this year's products, security hardware requires high resolution, with megapixel and H.264 generating plenty of buzz. Utilizing these sharp images more effectively emerge in management software and the growing area of video content analytics. Networking is no longer optional, as it is becoming standard for al l new equipment, from surveillance to access control. Finally, integrating clear images with other systems blurs the lines between security systems, as they come together for more completed converged solution. With As ia moving beyond pure hardware production to world-class solutions, SecuTech Expo 2008 showcased the region's rapid advancement.