IFSEC 2011: Post-show review

The show floor has continued to shrink year-on-year and representation from a number of market players has either disappeared or declined dramatically.
By Gary Wong, Senior Analyst, Video Surveillance and VCA, IMS Research May 24, 2011

IMS research: excellence in market intelligneceHaving spent a few days at the IFSEC show in Birmingham last week, I made two key observations:

The Atmosphere:

Whilst the first day of the show was relatively dismal with attendance notably down on previous years, traffic on the show floor did appear to improve by the second day. From a video surveillance perspective, the show floor has continued to shrink year-on-year and representation from a number of market players has either disappeared or declined dramatically. I suspect that the unstable economic climate in EMEA and the increasing number and frequency of regional/local tradeshows has impacted IFSEC’s visitor and exhibitor numbers. Hopefully once the economic situation across EMEA stabilises, IFSEC will return to its pre-recession heyday.

The Technology:

The technology trends and products on show were generally the same as those shown at the recent ISC West show, with PSIM (albeit with greater European representation from CNL, Entelec, Securiton and Winguard) and HD transmission over coax being the major technologies being pushed at the show, alongside the omnipresent network video. 360 degree/panoramic security cameras also enjoyed an increased presence at IFSEC, with Dallmeier’s Panomera products winning the “IFSEC CCTV camera equipment of the year category”. These kinds of cameras cropped up all over the show floor in various guises, such as multi-sensor arrays, fish-eye lenses and hardware/software dewarping products. Whilst panoramic cameras are definitely not a new trend (companies such as Mobotix and Arecont Vision have had products on the market for a number of years), it seems that an increasing number of manufacturers are adding these cameras to their product portfolios. The current market for 360 degree/panoramic cameras is relatively small and it will be interesting to see how this technology push by manufacturers will be received by end-users. Whilst there are some compelling applications for these cameras, such as hotel lobbies and office reception areas, the panoramic field-of-view may not be to every security officer’s liking. An intuitive user interface will be essential for success in this developing part of the video surveillance market.