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Microsoft's Michael Korgan to keynote Cloud+

Korgan to discuss how physical security integrators, end users and manufacturers can profit from cloud

FOSTER CITY, Calif.—Michael Korgan, Microsoft National Security Officer, will be the keynote speaker at Cloud+, the first ever physical security conference dedicated to cloud-based security technology, conference organizers announced today. Cloud+ will take place here in Silicon Valley, Dec. 7-8.

Home automation should be smart, but simple


YARMOUTH, Maine—Home automation experts have heard the message loud and clear: simplify, simplify, simplify.

IoT ripe for monitoring

It’s not a threat but an opportunity, ESX panelists say

BALTIMORE—Consumers with home automation systems most trust security companies to monitor them, according to “Monetizing the IoT” panelists at ESX 2015. That’s a fact that the industry needs to embrace for future success, they said.

Honeywell fired up about latest tech

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The other day I sat in on Honeywell’s virtual press conference on its latest industry trends in commercial life safety systems. The company had a nice lineup of their pros on hand to discuss their work and what they'll be highlighting at next week's NFPA World Safety Conference and Expo. 

Brian Carlson, manager of strategic marketing, Gamewell-FCI, said the S3 Series fire alarm system for small- and medium-sized buildings allays users’ fears about “pressing the wrong button” and thus eases stress and confusion during an emergency.

As the industry’s only small, addressable panel with a color touch-screen, “everything that needs to be pressed is highlighted. It gives people confidence,” Carlson said. Building owners especially like the custom function and shortcut function keys, he added.

Susan Adam, NOTIFIER’s marketing director, talked about how SWIFT—Smart Wireless Integrated Fire Technology—is helping dealers win jobs at construction sites and renovation projects because of its easy installation and removability when the job is finished. Sites and even separate building areas under construction or renovation still need to be protected, she emphasized, “and SWIFT can differentiate dealers.” SWIFT recently was installed at two large temporary buildings at the World Ski Championships in Vail, Colo., and at a 100-year-old mansion in Massachusetts that was being renovated.

On the Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight, side of things, marketing director Richard Conner discussed the company’s growth with low-frequency alarms, especially for children, young adults and the hearing-impaired. I spoke with Conner about this at ISC West, but learned a little more this time around about the alarms’ use in college dormitories, motels, hotels, assisted living facilities and the like. Studies have shown that the low-frequency signal is most effective in waking up children and young adults, he said during the press conference, and are more effective than bed- and pillow-shakers.

Christa Poss, senior manager of product marketing, System Sensor, said the latest addition to the FAAST smoke detector product portfolio, FAAST XS, targets smaller areas, up to 5,000 square feet. Those areas include elevator shafts, cable ducts and boiler rooms. FAAST XS offers “extension communication and connectivity options all without the need for new hardware,” Poss said. FAAST is now available in three varieties to protect from 5,000 square feet to up to 28,800 square feet.

Charles Simek, industrial, product and technology specialist, Honeywell Industrial Safety, gave an overview of Honeywell’s optical flame detection analytics’ success, and Gene Pecora, business leader, industrial fire, Honeywell Fire Safety, discussed areas where Honeywell is getting into new areas or expanding its capabilities.

“Incidents occur in the petrochem industry all the time,” Pecora said, to the tune of $20b a year. It’s not uncommon in process locations to have small incidents that don’t make the news as the big events do, but those incidents need accurate and reliable equipment just the same, he said.

He said Honeywell’s new HS-81 is a unique, “all-in-one-solution” for smoke, flame, gas and extinguishing that meets global certifications.

ESX honors I-View Now integration

Larry Folsom discusses the integration, TechVision Challenge

HENDERSON, Nev.—I-View Now’s recent integration with Honeywell Total Connect, recently announced as an ESX 2015 Innovation Award winner, will be the monitoring contender in the first TechVision Challenge at this year’s show.

Got design in mind?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You’ve heard the old real estate sales mantra: “Location, location, location.” For many in the residential security industry today, the new mantra is “Design, design, design.” 

At ISC West this year I met with a long list of security pros, from manufacturers to dealers to providers, most of whom proclaimed that on top of tech advancements their equipment was made “to look good.” 

They’re right. Their designs are looking good.

Panels, switches, sensors and more are sleek with a European-design feel. They will be less than obtrusive when mounted on a wall. No more huge black or brown boxes in the front foyer—these blend in. 

The equipment, mostly white and thin, reminded me of the first, very early, iBook I owned. So pretty and neat, small and clean. That was a number of years ago, and my iBook eventually met its demise, but I still remember it fondly, mostly for how it looked in comparison to other bulky laptops of the day. 

“This is the year of industrial design,” Avi Rosenthal, board member of the Z-Wave Alliance and VP of security and control for Nortek, told me early on at the Las Vegas show.  His comments resonated as I visited other booths after that. 

For homeowners, form is equally as important as function for all products, he and others said.

“It’s the ‘wife-acceptance’ factor. She’s the one who decorates, so the devices must look cool on the wall,” Rosenthal said.

Who wants something big, dark and ugly hitched to the wall just inside their front door? Not me. Neither did former ADT exec Christopher Carney when deciding on the look of his new Abode home resi system.

The pursuit of aesthecially pleasing design extended into the ISC West booths themselves this year. Honeywell, for example, had all of its products—from fire to resi—on interactive display in one big, nicely appointed space—think of an Apple store. 

Nortek had a new, interactive booth, too, with each of its sister companies representing myriad slick-looking products. 

How big a deal is this whole aesthetics thing to you and your companies? Are you feeling the need to adapt to the latest trends in home décor? Are you hearing this from your customers? 

If your products are less than pretty, you might want to consider how good design might add to your bottom line.

Daily dispatches from ISC West

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On Monday I’m headed out to ISC West. I’ll have my boots—well, actually, my sandals because it is Vegas, after all—on the ground Tuesday through Friday.

I’ll be adding to this blog post each day, keeping you updated with the news I find and the people I talk to on the show floor. So check back here often. You may just read something you’ll want to check out on your own while you’re there.

One of the best things about ISC West is the opportunity it gives me to meet with our readers. It’s helpful to know why they read Security Systems News, learn more about their work and what they’re seeing as industry trends on the frontlines. Please stop by our Meet the Editors event from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday and say hello. It’s informal, just a chance for the editorial staff to say hello and in many cases put faces to the names we’ve interviewed and talked to so often on the phone. The event will be held at the SSN Media Stage, right near the main entrance to the show floor.

My schedule is pretty full, but if you can’t make it to Meet the Editors and would like the chance to say hello in person, shoot an email to and I’ll work hard to make it happen.

Tuesday I’ll be attending the DMP Owners Forum and then, that evening, the Women in Security Council’s 2015 Women of the Year Awards and Networking Reception.

Wednesday, after the aforementioned meet-and-greet, I’ll be hitting the show floor, interviewing and visiting with, among others, Honeywell, 2Gig, Qolsys, Interlogix and Icontrol. 

Bright and very early Thursday I’ll be participating in the Mission 500 5K/2K with SSN’s Security Sys-tahs team. I’ll be doing the 2K walk. (Maybe the 5K race next year?) Then it’s back to the media stage where from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I’ll be conducting interviews on camera with four key players in the industry. Want to know who? You'll have to come and watch live! The videos will be posted later on the SSN website, but we do have comfy audience chairs if you need an informative break. After that, it'll be back to the show floor for meetings that include those with, Guardian Protection and Genetec, before returning to the SSN stage for the Mission 500 5K/2K awards ceremony.

I have a few other appointments set up for Friday and hope to spend some time meandering through the exhibits and booths on my own.

I’ll be tweeting throughout the week, and you should, too! You could win a prestigious plaque from Security Systems News for being the Top Twitterer on our Twitter Wall. Use #ISCW15. Read more about our Twitter Wall and contest here.

My colleagues, Martha Entwistle and Spencer Ives will be providing their daily news from ISC West as well. Be sure to check out their blogs, too.

Meanwhile, have a great show and I hope to see you there!

Emergency communications systems not mainstream—yet

Regulations and social media may quicken ECS buy-in

YARMOUTH, Maine—Providers and integrators of emergency communication systems (ECS) face a number of challenges when trying to establish or grow markets: It’s not cheap to expand a fire alarm system into an ECS. Private companies are not required by law to have multi-faceted ECS or mass notification systems (MNS). And it’s difficult to get excited about a security system designed for worst-case scenarios that nobody really wants to think about.

The biggest and the newest at ISC West

IDIS, a newcomer to ISC West, has one of the ten largest booths at the show

LAS VEGAS—At the 2015 ISC West show, exhibitors put a lot of thought into their booths—rather literally with Hikvision’s “Thought Theater”—and some companies, like IDIS, are using big booths at ISC West to introduce themselves to the industry.

Honeywell releases multilingual demo apps for home security systems


YARMOUTH, Maine—Honeywell has released two multilingual demo apps for its LYNX Touch 5200 and 7000 home security systems. Dealers and integrators can now transition between English, Spanish and French languages within the same app, depending on a customer’s language preference, to demonstrate system capabilities.