Mesh Without Wires

October 19, 2010

ASIS 2010 Recap, Part 2: New Products, Many Meetings

ASIS 2010ASIS show is a great venue to meet users of your technology, and hear first hand about their challenges, projects and feedback. Our booth traffic was equally split between integrators and end users. The integrated video solution (Firetide IVS-100) always draws attention. Our point-to-point MIMO bridges were well received; new 802.11n dual-radio access points were on display as well. Here’s an action shot from the booth:

ASIS 2010 Firetide booth

ASIS 2010 Firetide booth (click to enlarge)

New Firetide products

At ASIS, we announced new functionality on our HotPort 7000 mesh, to deliver a single-platform infrastructure mesh for a variety of fixed and mobile applications. For example, customers can use 900 MHz links for non-line-of-sight communications and line-of-sight (2.4, 4.9 and 5 GHz) MIMO mesh for highest-capacity backhaul, then add mobility later on. In fact, about 95% of Firetide projects involve an infrastructure mobility application, if not today, then in the near future.

  • Transportation networks for real-time video, voice and data: Firetide Mobility Controller is an all-inclusive, high-capacity solution for advanced wireless infrastructure mobility. With the mobility controller functionality, Ethernet-enabled devices such as IP video cameras, Wi-Fi access points, RFID readers, and laptops can maintain network connectivity while traveling at high speeds across multiple Firetide mesh networks. Large-scale projects for Seoul Subway and Mumbai Metro are already being deployed with Firetide mobility technology for mobile, real-time video.
  • Non-line-of-sight mesh for utility and Smart Grid networks: HotPort 7000-900 infrastructure mesh operates in a 900 MHz spectrum to enable high bandwidth applications in challenging environments. It addresses the need for non-line-of-sight applications in Firetide’s core public safety, transportation and industrial markets as well as utilities. Municipal and private utilities have communications and physical security requirements that are often challenging to address. Interconnecting multiple sites at wire-like speeds is a daunting proposition for many, when fiber or leased lines are too costly or impractical.

“Our business is exclusively with utility customers who face challenging conditions in their projects, including remote facilities, vegetation, obstructions, and limited mounting and power options. Most of our Firetide projects include a combination of 900 MHz links for non-line-of-sight or partially obstructed locations and line-of-sight links at 5 GHz or 4.9 GHz, all the way to MIMO links for high-capacity backhaul at 100 Mbps throughput. With the range of capabilities that Firetide delivers, we can provide a solution that meets our customers’ needs, rather than having to limit network coverage or throughput due to environmental conditions. A single HotPort 7000 platform also simplifies specification, design and deployment.” Ken VandeVeer, sales manager at Sage Designs Inc.

Many meeting

The show was filled with meetings.  We even managed to swing a press breakfast (obviously, not on a scale of the big guys, but nonetheless.)

We met, as we typically do, with IMS Research; it was a pleasure to meet Niall Jenkins who authored the report “The Americas Market for Wireless Infrastructure Used in Video Surveillance – 2010 Edition.” (For more information on the report’s findings, see: Firetide Lands at #1 Spot in Video Mesh in the Americas). I asked Niall if there was interest in the wireless report, i.e. if it was worth their while having produced it. He said it definitely was: there was a lot of uptake on the report. We also discussed the integrator training dilemma – security integrators often expect free training, while wireless manufacturers prefer to charge for it, leaning towards an IT model. Firetide charges for its 3 day certification training, but the attendees receive a 10-node mesh management software license, which retails for roughly what the training investment is. We do offer free online training (1-hr interactive course), so people just wanting an introduction can take that.

In other notable meetings, we had a good chat with an editor of an IT reseller magazine, their first-time visiting the show. The editor shared with us that their reseller channel is moving into the physical security space, and the editorial coverage needs to reflect that.

In general, talk of IT and security channel and project convergence has come up quite a few times at the show. The move to IP was also evidenced by Axis Communications taking one of the top three sponsorship spots, which was typically occupied, I’m told, by an analog camera vendor. Way to go, network video!

Is technology the future of security?

On a final note: I was not going to be negative towards ASIS or the conference, since its great venue for us… But, here goes: those who attended the Awards Luncheon, did you notice the ASIS chairman’s curious comment: “Today, there’s too much technology in security, and not enough attention to the human element.” With the trade show floor filled with all kinds of technology, security guards being replaced with video surveillance cameras, etc, ASIS needs to embrace technology – it’s only a matter of time when security will be all about technology.

For more posts from ASIS in Dallas, see:

By: Ksenia Coffman – Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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