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Event Review: Intersec 2018

Intersec 2018 edition saw big names and even bigger discussions at its 20th edition.

Intersec, the world’s leading trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection, ran from 21-23 January 2018, with its double digit annual growth over the last 20 years mirrored by the rapid transformation of the Middle East market.

Intersec was held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who opened the 20th anniversary edition.

Held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Intersec 2018 featured 1,337 exhibitors from 59 countries. The three-day event spanned 60,000sqm of exhibition space across 13 halls, and featured 19 of the world’s top 20 commercial security solutions providers. Compared to the 61 exhibitors at the inaugural show in 1999, it’s clear that Intersec has developed into a global force.

At the show’s official press conference held mid-January, analysts Frost & Sullivan (F&S), revealed that in 1998, the Middle East’s homeland and commercial security market combined was worth just $52.4mn. Since then, the market has grown at an impressive CAGR of 33%, and is currently worth $12.2bn, while by 2022, it is predicted to touch $25.3bn.

The steep rise in the regional market is matched by the trade visitor count to Intersec, which in 2018, rose over 32,000 from 129 countries, compared to just 3,100 in 1999. They were treated to latest innovations and solutions across the seven show sections of commercial security, fire and rescue, safety and health, homeland security and policing, information and cyber security, smart home and building automation, and physical and perimeter security.

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Intersec’s organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, highlighted new additions to the 20th annual showcase, spearheaded by a new indoor Drone Zone and Drone Pavilion. He said: “New features in 2018 included an indoor Drone Zone, where the Dubai Police and Dubai Civil Defence are among those delivering live demonstrations of their latest drones and UAVs in action.”

The event also saw forums held on drones and artificial intelligence, where 25 government representatives from the USA, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, including regional regulators, lead the 70-strong speaking panel throughout the three-day program.

Pauwels added: “Intersec 2018 also saw the return of regular popular highlights such as the Safety Design in Buildings Pavilion, Smart Home Pavilion, as well as an Outdoor Demonstration Zone of the latest fire rescue applications.  The exhibition floor itself saw more than 5,000 brands, and dozens of global product launches from the world’s leading solutions providers.”

The UAE was the second largest exhibitor country at Intersec 2018, with 223 exhibitors covering 10,500sqm of exhibition space, a 6% increase over the previous year. Founding Sponsor NAFFCO was one of the headline UAE companies, and one of the key exhibitors in 2018 that participated at the inaugural Intersec in 1999. From a 12sqm stand 20 years ago, NAFFCO covered 1,700sqm at the Dubai World Trade Centre, from where it showcased its vast range of UAE-made firefighting equipment, protection systems, trucks and vehicles.

Meanwhile, Intersec’s vast international reach was graced by 15 country pavilions from Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, USA, and for the first time in 2018, Russia.

Tetsuo Okawa, senior sales and marketing manager, Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa, highlighted Panasonic’s key solutions at the event, which included the new H.265 compatible outdoor PTZ camera, featuring high-quality Full HD WV-X6531NS video resolution with outstanding low light sensitivity of 0.015lx. The heavy-salt damage-resistant camera is a new addition to Panasonic’s i-PRO Extreme X-series PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras.

Okawa commented: “Due to the growing trend in the camera market, it is getting difficult to differentiate between Chinese manufacturers and others. Panasonic Middle East is focusing on bringing the Japanese brand quality to the region, and aims to provide the best solutions according to the environment of the market we’re in.

“Our niche market focus is on industry complexes, and seaside areas such as ports or oilfields or logistics arenas, where we aim to provide a high-grade product for such tough environments.”

Tetsuo Okawa

Okawa mentions that the regional demand for security and surveillance solutions has been healthy, but there has been a rise in competition as well, especially with the evolution of technology.

“In simple terms, high-resolution cameras are now the norm,” remarked Okawa. “But we have the advantage of having an entire division dedicated to consumer and prosumer cameras. This allows us to offer the best video solutions, with original technologies such as stabilisers, ClearSight Dome coating (which prevents rain drops and dust from collecting on the dome surface), and high-quality camera sensors, setting us apart from the competitors.

Okawa believes that the clients too have become more informed and are aware of the growing need for better solutions. He added: “The security business is growing, and customers are not just thinking about security. They are also looking at integration of solutions—for instance, gate operations with cameras. These new solutions are in demand, and we are combining our technology with video management systems to bring a total package to the end user.”

Stephen Jones, EMEA surveillance manager at Seagate, shone light on the HDD storage company’s surveillance storage technologies, and spoke about the SkyHawk, SkyHawk AI, and Exos X12 products and solutions from its partners Hikvision and Dahua.

Jones commented: “Surveillance is a strength and key market for us. We see two distinct sections within the surveillance market: a box market, dominated by Chinese manufacturers, and we see the systems market, which is made up of IP, high-end technology, systems integration, open platform ecosystem partners, and so forth.

Stephen Jones

“We have our traditional surveillance brand SkyHawk, and now the latest SkyHawk AI, plus the Exos enterprise range, because we understand that in the Middle East, a lot of systems applications use enterprise storage technology.”

The SkyHawk is optimised for DVRs and NVRs, tuned for 24×7 workloads in capacities up to 10 TB, while the SkyHawk AI is specifically designed for deep-learning and artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance applications. Typical technology such as advanced video analytics, facial recognition, and other intelligent tech embedded within the camera or servers, can benefit from the latter.

Jones added: “The key trend everybody is talking about in 2018 is AI. Since the tech is still in its infancy, we’re not fully sure of what the demand is going to be like. There is certainly going to be an explosion in data growth in the next few years, and the importance of data is going rise. For instance, a surveillance camera in a retail store could be enabled to detect the exact number of consumers coming in or be designed to heat map and run in software analytics for various parts of the store, and that’s where AI is really going to benefit us.”

Other ‘originals’ in 2018 included Pelco by Schneider Electric, Teleste, Corodex, Dafoos Fire Protection, Siemens, Zener Electronics, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), Technoalarm, Kidde Fire Protection, Kidde International, and Vicon Industries.

Pauwels further commented: “Intersec aims to be at the centre of it all, presenting an important platform to network, create and strengthen partnerships, share information, and keep up to date with the latest innovations driving the regional and global security, safety, and fire protection industries.”

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