ASIS before the show: Flir sheds light on night

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10/12/2010

Martha's photo is still on this blog, but this is Tess Nacelewicz, the new associate editor of Security Systems News. We'll be updating the photo next week. In the meantime, I hadn't been on the job for more than ten days before heading off to my very first security show and last night I went to my first pre-show event.

You’ve seen the images of what soldiers see when they wear night vision goggles. Suddenly, figures and buildings usually hidden by the pitch black of the night are as visible as they are in the day, although in kind of an eerie green glow.

Now imagine if you could see things at night the way you do in the day, in color and without the weird green glow. That’s what I did last night in Dallas, when Flir – a thermal-imaging company based in Portland, Ore. that specializes in finding commercial applications for military technology –demonstrated its new Color Night Vision cameras at the Las Colinas Country Club.

It was the night before today’s start of the ASIS 2010 conference in Dallas and I and some other security industry writers were getting a sneak preview of what Flir had in store for the show.

We stood on a balcony overlooking the golf course. On the balcony were some cameras, including a standard security camera and a Color Night Vision camera, hooked up to video screens.

It was dark so we couldn’t see much as we looked out over the golf course. The standard camera reflected the dark situation – its screen was black.

But then we looked at the screen of the Color Night Vision camera. It revealed the golf course almost as if it were still afternoon. We could see the green of the grass, the purple flowers on a bush  – and two Flir employees standing on the course about 100 yards away.

The standard security camera hadn’t given us a clue those guys were there. For all we could tell from its black screen of information, the golf course was empty.

Imagine the security implications: a person or car couldn’t sneak up on your property in the dark because the of Color Night Vision camera would reveal them in living color.

Or, as Bill Klink, VP of Security and Surveillance for Flir, puts it: “We solve challenging imaging situations.”

I’ll be interested to see the reaction Flir gets at the show when it demonstrates its Color Night Vision camera and also a new high-resolution thermal imaging camera to others.