Best and Worst - ASIS 2013

By: IPVM Team, Published on Sep 29, 2013

ASIS is done.

Below is a 38 minute video tour of the entire show floor. You can jump around to see the sights and sounds. Some booth walk bys occur at:

  • Pelco 1:30
  • OnSSI 3:00, Genetec 3:30
  • Milestone 4:48
  • ACTi 6:00
  • Panasonic 7:30
  • Avigilon 9:24
  • Axis 14:40
  • Ubiquiti 22:26
  • Exacq 27:09

You can download the whole 38 minute video (200Mb).

What Manufacturers Had to Say

Smaller budgets likely means less organizations can send people to a trade show just to window shop. This year’s show had lower foot traffic, but generated higher quality leads, according to manufacturers we surveyed after the show.

On the positive side: 

  • “Although it seemed as though attendance was down, the quality of attendees was up, as was the knowledge level of those we spoke with."
  • “Whatever traffic there was tended to be focused quality customers looking for something specific as opposed to just looking around.”
  • “Only thing good about it was some large end users in attendance."

On the negative side:

  • "ASIS is going down... Low traffic. ISC West is clearly 'the show'."
  • "Weak traffic, terrible layout, no effort by ASIS to drive show traffic throughout show floor."
  • "The amount of large empty spaces.. that must be a sign of terrible booth sales? It really felt like swiss cheese on the show floor with the amount of open spaces."
  • "Worst trend for vendors - declining size/attendance of the show. ASIS should 'park' themselves in LV making it easier for vendors who could then leave their major booths there for the two important shows every year."
  • "End of September in our opinion is a poor time of year to have a show since it is the fiscal year end for government and many large corporations. A lot of our clients and even some vendor employees stated they could not get away because of this."

Interestingly, one respondent said the lack of crowds was the best thing about the show. And people were generally happy to see a reduced presence from companies pushing analytics, calling them the “used car salesmen of our industry.”

The worst part of the show was clearly the lack of innovative solutions:

  • “VMS's doing nothing innovative.”
  • “Lack of breakthrough products.”
  • “Everyone is offering cloud solutions but few vendors have a clear cloud implementation message. Low resolution redundant video storage is not the answer.”
  • “The last day of the show yielded very little benefit, with few potential customers in attendance. ASIS should consider a two day event for future shows."


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The keynote speech from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak left many of the ~400 attendees scratching their heads.

Watch for yourself and see how long you can last without losing interest:

Evidently, very few can even last a minute. Here are our video viewing stats - the worst performing video we have ever run:

While the draw of hearing Woz speak seemed to generate a lot of buzz, people were generally unimpressed once the buzz wore off. His speaker fee starts at around $50,000. So that is $100+ per person to hear someone give a generic speech with almost no focus on security. 

Buddy, Can You Share a Booth?

An increasing trend is definitely manufacturers sharing booths. More than just highlighting partners, it is a good deal for both sides. The larger manufacturer essentially sub-let out portions of their booths to smaller companies. The larger party draws more people to their booth plus money to defray costs. The smaller companies get a much better spot on the show floor (instead of a small tabletop at the back), avoid the ignominy of not showing (or having a tiny booth), all for less than they would pay for an individual booth. For example, both DVTel and Matrix Systems [link no longer available] thanked their respective hosts.

Axis Access Control

Axis had a door demo to show its new access control solution and a chance to win a camera for people who sat through the presentation. 

The move into access control by Axis and Milestone was the most talked about new trend at the show.

The Most Interesting New Camera Shown

The most interesting new camera we saw was the Arecont Omni. A press release announced the Omni [link no longer available], but at the booth the company said it was still in development. Here is a photo of one without its dome:


Note: Arecont says they will be cleaning up the wire layout when it is released.

Here are some of the possible configurations:

The 180 and 360 options are not terribly novel since Arecont has existing 180 and 360 models. However, the value is in the flexibility to optimize coverage for different needs, including interchangeable lenses for telephoto scenarios and re-arranging imager positionings to avoid areas of low interest / focus on key points of interest.

For those applications with multiple cameras on a pole, this is a very strong alternative, as the cost will be far lower.

Unfortunately, it is not scheduled for release until 2014.

The H.265 Exhibit

We only found one company exhibiting surveillance products using H.265 - Aventura.

The two cameras at the top of the display are using H.265. The image below is 3MP/20fps/1mbps.  

Rival manufacturers mainly dismissed the company, because of its less well known brand, skepticism of the implementation and lack of 3rd party support. However, if Aventura can deliver on this, and they say they are shipping very soon, they will have the last laugh, as interest in H.265 is very high, as shown by our traffic stats over the last 6 months.

Best Manufacturer Stunt

People like to be electrocuted, just watch:

A possible runner up to the deadliest tradeshow booth is the live electric fence from Gallagher. The fence is 8,000 volts DC and every other line is electrified. But they say this demo version pulses "so it doesn't freeze you to the fence." At some prisons where they have installed, every line is electrified and sometimes it pulses ... and sometimes it doesn't.

Feel free manufacturers to use this at the next show but make sure your insurance covers it.

Kicked Out Again By Avigilon

In what looks to be a new tradition, we were kicked away from Avigilon's booth for the offense of taking a picture with an ASIS approved camera credential:

Paying for ISC West

The next big North America show is ISC West 2014 next April.

Reed Exhibitions, who puts on ISC West, has a detailed floor plan with current availability and pricing posted. In this 2 minute video, we give you a tour of the floor and the costs. Spolier - it's going to cost a small fortune:

Wednesday Recap

Here is a recap of the Wednesday's events. 

The show floor seemed more dense to me than yesterday, however, several sizeable manufacturers said booth traffic was down for them compared to Tuesday.

I visited Cognitec to see what numbers they were getting as people walked by their booth. By 1 p.m. yesterday they had captured faces of 2,237 people. By 2 p.m. today that was down ~10% from Tuesday.

Avigilon is marketing their new catch up LightCatcher cameras with a pin the tail on the donkey exhibit:

The point being that the camera can capture color differences of the various donkeys in low light. Unfortunately, not only is this a catch up to competitors, their existing H3 cameras performed terribly in our color fidelity shootout. Here's what a 'regular' Avigilon camera delivered in a parking lot scene:

On the other hand, Avigilon's own show recap was excellent, showing that manufacturers can beat trade magazines. In fairness, the trade mag editors are too busy right now getting all the free meals and entertainment they can handle.

Pelco says it has been doing camera color customizations for years, but only thought to market the service in the last year. A whole section of their both was dedicate to displaying custom mounts, paint jobs and custom enclosures. Custom paint adds about 10% to the cost of the camera, according to George Blackwell, director of marketing.


See our camera painting guide for what you need to know when considering painting cameras. 

Want to shoot people while shooting video of them? Check out Guardian 8 who is showing the Pro V2. The Pro V2 is its "layered defense low impact de-escalation risk management tool" that combines a camera, a video recorder, a strobe light, a loud siren, pepper spray and Bluetooth push-to-talk into one device. 

And it has a laser sight. One unit costs $279. 

Accolades participant Crimshield did not win an ASIS accolade, but does win our award for creepiest representation of a solution.

We had our first Google Glass sighting of the show near the Milestone booth.

IQinVision is experimenting with Google Glass, looking at the potential for it to be an install tool or mobile client. It is an interesting technology stunt but if Google Glass does become useful, it ultimately will not be an advantage for any specific camera manufacturer though Milestone's Silicon Valley team must have been excited about this.

Also found: the third fake Stanley Cup of the show. Is this a Chicago thing? To be fair, it was paired up with a set of snowshoes and the booth was handing out samples of maple syrup in front of a banner that said "Distinctly Canadian." 

ASIS 2013 Tuesday Show Review 

The first day of ASIS exhibits are done. 

Compared to ISC West, foot traffic seems to be much less, according to many exhibitors. Some were optimistic for bigger numbers tomorrow, but generally trade show traffic decreases as the days go by as many people are already starting to leave. It would be easier to feign big numbers with less wide open empty spaces:

Cognitec had some interesting stats as part of its facial recognition demo. They were collecting images of every person who walked through the aisle past their booth in either direction to count how many people came by and how many times they came by. Their visitor count at 1 p.m. was 2237.

According to Cognitec' stats visitors were overwhelmingly in the 41-60 age group.

One unexpected demo was from Laser Shot, Inc., a company that makes firearms simulators. They had a small arsenal of laser weapons with a demo aimed at showing the system's ease of use. The attendee below was one of the first to try the simulator Tuesday morning. 

Exacq's signage already has its new branding. Exacq, "From Tyco Security Products." 

And Tyco went all out with its "palette of inspired security solutions" campaign by hiring a painter to use his palette to paint a Tyco inspired mural.

The booths that were packed were generally ones that had booze. Once Milestone and March Networks had bars going there's no doubt they sucked up a lot of the floor traffic.

If you're in the market for a police trike, this $3,590 model has a top speed of 16mph, can last 25 miles at 12mph and the battery is removable so you can keep a spare handy. It can also fold up to fit in a closet. 


Last, but not least, Diebold, one of the main sponsors of the show, whose ads are all over the escalators, also have a photo op with a fake Stanley Cup and a real NHL cheerleader. There was never a line, but there was still a steady flow of people wanting their pictures taken.

Monday Recap

We are reporting from Chicago where ASIS seminars are underway and exhibits will start tomorrow. After last year's poor show and ISC West's strong one, what will happen? Here is what we are hearing:

Woz is hot. He may not have much (or anything) to do with security, but a lot of people were talking about and buying tickets to hear him speak.

It will be interesting to see if there are any questions for Woz or if he addresses the two security holes in Apple's latest iPhone  discovered in the past week.

On the more serious side, one of the most active sessions today was on the timely topic of active shooters with over 50 attendees:

But the show floor appears less promising with a lot of empty space:

And more empty space and surprisingly wide lanes.

Take a look at this video overviewing the exhibit hall - lots of empty space amongst traditional manufacturers:

Tyco is here in full force and it's not double - it's Tyco products and Tyco integration (aka old ADT):

And they have two booths - the one on the far left is for products, and the one of the right is for the integrator, separated by Stanely:

And speaking of Tyco, here's how they are pitching their acquisition of Exacq:

'Palette of inspired security solutions' That's bad but not as bad as comparing their dealers to drug users [link no longer available] or calling them IP warriors [link no longer available]. Tyco's copywriters are as outstanding as their executives.

And guard companies are represented:

Panasonic has an ad but a cryptic one. Either they have no innovation or are too shy to show it:

The food and drink in exchange for booth traffic continues. Viscount is giving $20 food vouchers to anyone who comes by (after providing your contact information first) and Kaba has vouchers for free bags of coffee if you come "find out what's brewing." They call it Kaba Java ...


And GBO, failed providers of 'infinity' depth of field lenses are now marketing super low light HD cameras [link no longer available] at twice the going rate:

Alas, the Best Buy kiosk has suffered the Blue Screen of Death.

Quick, someone run over to the Microsoft booth.

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