Mesh Without Wires

March 26, 2010

Day 2 ISC West 2010 Impressions

Filed under: Physical Security,Technology,Wireless — kseniacoffman @ 4:56 am
Tags: , , ,

Again, a great day at ISC West – the show continues to be very busy, and the booth team was stretched at times in their ability to handle all the traffic. Not knowing what to expect, we had a rather lean team on the show floor. But we managed.

I was able to walk the floor a bit, and visited some of the distributors’ and partners’ booths. The overall sentiment was that it was busier than last year. (By the way, “Video Surveillance Pavilion,” where one of our distributors was, is a scam to get people to take up booths at the back of the show floor. Most of the show is ‘video surveillance,’ so no reason to be stuck there.) On this note, we picked the same booth for next year, so barring any booth re-ordering we’ll even be at the same booth number – 24083.

Interesting tidbits from Day 2 meetings:

  • Discussion with a telecom analyst who was just at CTIA, and now’s headed over to ISC West for vertical insights. According to the analyst, “once you do video [over wireless], everything else [data, VoIP] is a piece of cake.” However, doing high-capacity wireless infrastructure for video surveillance only, for example in transportation, can be very expensive, and “other applications, such as Wi-Fi for passengers, or streaming ad messages can remove part of the cost.” The “everything else after video is a piece of cake” message rang true to me – the problem with wireless is that many vendors are trying to shape their offerings into a “video solution” while their gear was built from the ground up to support Wi-Fi data, with a completely different set of requirements for latency, jitter, QoS, and ability to handle multicast traffic. But it’s encouraging that after 15 min of conversation the analyst was able to see how we are different.
  • Got together with our integrator to touch base (and meet in person for the first time) after we’ve worked together to publicize their public safety deployment using Firetide gear. Interesting factoid: a local transit authority priced out a fiber deployment along the right of way (trackside infrastructure): $8 mil. To provide similar connectivity with Firetide’s linear mesh: 1/10th of that. Based on the wireless estimate, the authority is applying for grant funding. Moral of the story: it’ll be much easier to get a grant when you use wireless mesh as your backbone.
  • Introductory meeting with a potential partner – they reached out to us to set it up, so I was intrigued about what they were looking for. I knew they had a wireless component as part of their offering, since at least one of their wireless installs was featured in the press (i.e. it helps to read security media). After I gave a 3-slide spiel on Firetide as an intro, the first comment from them was: “We hear that wireless mesh has problems with video.” “Aha!” I said, “You must be talking about Wi-Fi mesh, or mesh access points.” (This is the topic I covered in an earlier post, so I’ll just link to it here: The Many Interpretations of Wireless Mesh.) It will be interesting to see how this discussion progresses.

Overall, ISC West is delivering a great mix of steady booth traffic and productive meetings with our customers, solution partners, distributors, press and analysts. Has the ‘death of the tradeshow’ been exaggerated?

Also see:

Are Security Trade Shows Still Relevant? – ‘Coming-up-to-ISC-West’ guest post

Day 1 ISC West 2010 Impressions: booth traffic, new product, IMS Research briefing, ISC East

Day 3 ISC West 2010 Impressions and Recap: security network design, missed tweetup, & how shows save you money

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