Reading between the lines and looking beyond the fancy display……
IFSEC, is always a bit of an adventure. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s around the corner in the world of CCTV and catch up with people that I regretfully may not have spoken to since the previous show! (I am very bad at keeping in contact).
My impression this year was that most of the big players seemed to have toned down their stands and structures. The various sizes of stand or display mirrors that experienced out in premises, and also in the video material that passes through my hands. Let me explain…..
One manufacturer now has a huge market presence. There is probably not a day that goes by without their file and format passing through the door. It is also a rare occurrence to have to visit a premises with one of their DVR’s. I put this down to a very clean and easy user interface. Their exports may not be great, the format not perfect, but then we can’t have everything! Their presence was huge!
Next we have the other big players. It was these that seemed a little muted this year. It really was evident that the current economic climate has hit a few of these. The issues that they all face can be seen on the high street. Where once, a premises may have had one of their DVR’s, they are being slowly replaced, and not by another product from that manufacturer. They are being beaten by one big fish…….. and being nibbled to death by lots of little ones.
Who are the small fish – the
hundreds thousands of DVR’s made by small companies in China and Korea.
The huge installations requiring integrators and consultants will continue, but they are being strongly fought over and the client wants to ensure the best value for money. In continuing to chase the big projects involving face recognition and smart analytics, they are handing over the High street, small businesses and residential homes to the big fish and all the nibblers.
This is also seen in the video evidence being examined. Five years ago, a common player and format crossed my path on a regular basis. It was never a great DVR and the export format was a complete pain, but it was very common. I now only see perhaps one or two a month. The companies presence this year was nearly non existent.
Compare this with the likes of iCatch, whose format I examined recently.
Ok, they are still one of the little fish – but they are getting bigger.
Moving away from the comparison between size of booth and products out in the wild, it was still sad to see some of the display / selling tactics employed. Everything from ANPR, facial recognition, lighting, and HD recording was being presented in completely ridiculous situations. The best had to be the ANPR tests involving toy cars going around a track with cameras 12″ away from a little car that had a number plate stuck to the front that was the entire width of the vehicle!!
I managed to fit in the Gathering Video Evidence talk by Jon Laws from TAVCOM Training. It was very good and he drew a large crowd. Let’s see if some of the Manufacturers take note – If they do, great! To make it easier for them, why don’t they try this next year when IFSEC hits London…..
On your stand, or booth, or complete superstructure, have an area with just a standard Windows based PC. Show people that your DVR’s can easily produce an Evidential Export – whether it’s 10mins, 10hours or the whole lot! Prove that it can be played back without installing new software or codecs. Show that the quality and format is suitable for an investigation and finally, that it can be presented in court. That’s what EEPIP is all about. If you can do this – you will not be eaten alive by the big fish or slowly nibbled to death by the little fish.
Finally, have a tub of disks loaded with your playback software , documentation and a test clip that can assist investigators in dealing with your video. This will then show prospective clients that you are serious about the Camera to Court approach and that you are doing something about it.
A few other pics…