There was concern in the industry about the turnout at ISC West this year. Major security companies like Hanwha Techwin decided not to attend the show due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. I decided to check it out and was both surprised and pleased with the attendance, at least on the first day. This event was my first in-person industry event since the pandemic and it was great to walk the show floor, check out the latest in security innovations and make new connections. 

As a major event for security and public safety professionals, ISC West 2021 promised to showcase new products and technologies in this market segment. And it did just that. After a brief two days at the show, it’s clear that there is a huge market for AI hardware, especially as it relates to integrating the technology in cameras. From autonomous drones, to facial recognition security solutions to biometric access control and body-worn security systems – there’s no shortage of applications for AI and machine learning models.

Here are a few highlights. 

AI-based Analytics

Companies are taking different approaches to applying AI-based video analytics for security. For example, Honeywell performs simple analytics in the camera, while complex models are run in the cloud, using the network video recorder (NVR) only for storage and communications. Verkada stores videos in its cameras instead of NVRs. Some models can store up to a year’s worth of video. Video analytics is performed either by the camera SOC (Ambarella) or by the more expensive AWS powered cloud.

Axis Communications, another major player in the market, displayed new versions of its PTZ and fixed cameras while also showcasing a new product category: body-worn cameras. AI-based analytics is performed in the camera and visualized with its Video Management Software (VMS) or using software from Milestone, a partner company. Both companies are owned by Canon.

Genetec, an enterprise VMS leader, demonstrated a proprietary high speed automatic license plate reader (ALPR) that can read multiple license plates. It also develops NVRs/servers, showing several rack-mounted versions supporting thousands of camera feeds.

I also visited the booths of Vicon, a company that only performs analytics in the camera for privacy and data security reasons, and Ironyun, who showcased its analytics platform Vaidio, which runs on a rugged on-premise server and is marketed as an appliance.

Autonomous Drones

The event also featured companies addressing the security concerns from drones in restricted areas like airports and other important sites. A notable example, Fortem, develops AI-based radar technology to detect an offending drone, and then dispatches a large drone to pursue and capture the culprit with a tethered net and bring it back to base. 

Skydio also showed off its new Nvidia-based commercial autonomous drone with multi-4K cameras targeting security and surveillance applications., a start-up from Israel, demonstrated an AI-based low-light enhancement technology to prolong the usable flight time for drones.  

AI-based Facial Recognition

Last but not least, several companies showcased AI-based face recognition technology for access control and security. Suprema introduced a self-contained tablet sized panel with a camera, while SAFR showed a system that is integrated into an AXIS camera. Additionally, Alcatraz AI, a Bay Area startup in Mythic’s own Redwood City, demonstrated its biometric and tailgating access control system that uses face authentication. CyberLink showed off FaceMe, a system based on the Jetson Xavier NX platform that supports multiple cameras and is optimized for IoT / AIoT edge devices and application scenarios.

My feet were tired at the end of each day I was at the show. It was encouraging to witness first-hand the excitement and energy of the show floor, possibly from attendees and exhibitors feeling liberated from Covid restrictions, a feeling of normalcy. I, along with the Mythic team, have a few more in-person events planned for the rest of the year – we’ll be sure to recap those events and share our findings on social. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @MythicInc to stay connected.

C. H. Chee, Senior Director, Business Development and Product Marketing

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