ASIS showcases new partnerships, technology

Thursday, November 1, 2007

LAS VEGAS--As visitors crowded into the Las Vegas Convention Center here for the opening of this year's ASIS International conference, they were greeted with the sounds of bagpipes as IP access control manufacturer Viscount held a "wake" for the control panel, which featured a procession through the red-carpeted aisles. There was even a coffin. And arm-bands with blinking Viscount lights. And booze.
The display was fitting for a trade show that featured a number of manufacturers trumpeting new technology and partnerships that would leave the old security system paradigms in the dust.
Siemens trumpeted its new manufacturing powers, following its Vistascape acquisition, with the launch of its Siveillance line of intelligent video products, led by Site IQ, a wide-area video surveillance product, and products specifically designed for tunnel and baggage applications.
"We have three disciplines here at Siemens," said Jens Wegmann, president and global division head of security systems at Siemens Building Technologies, based in Zug, Switzerland, "comfort, fire, and security. We want to combine the three disciplines into the building market, take the strengths out of SBT in total and establish security and solutions as a clear business addressing customer needs for different vertical markets ... We're focusing on vertical markets like ports, commercial buildings, sports venues, infrastructure--in all of these cases video technology plays a key role and that was a reason why we decided to acquire Vistascape. We merged that with our own capabilities in SBT, and added on top what was available at Siemens corporate research."
And while video was a huge topic of discussion throughout the show, so was identity management, the subject of a collaboration between HID Global and biometric device maker Privaris. HID Global announced at the show the availability of "virtual credentials" through its idBank System, which enables the delivery of HID Proximity, HID Indala Proximity, CASI Proximity, and HID iClass security credential formats to unique forms of radio-frequency-technology enabled tokens. Privaris' plusID biometric keyfobs are the first form factor to take advantage of the new system.
Essentially, RFID-enabled tokens can now perform in the same way that a card can, eliminating the need for a card. This means customers looking to switch over to Privaris' method of keeping biometics in the pocket, as part of keyfob that authenticates the biometric on the device instead of on the wall, will not have to rip out already-installed readers that work with a card system.
John Petze, president and chief executive officer at Privaris, called this a "big deal ... They see value in this approach to biometrics."
In other biometrics news, Bioscrypt released the first FIPS 201-approved biometrics reader with both contact and contactless reading. This, combined with an announcement that the company has integrated with Lenel's OnGuard system so that it comes standard as part of the Lenel package, made for an active show for Bioscrypt. With one software package, Lenel and Bioscrypt now offer a solution to the door-to-desktop conundrum. Dealers can now offer customers a one-piece solution that won't allow users to log on to a desktop computer without first walking in the front door.