On Wednesday I attended the Midwich Technology Exposed event at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, UK. Midwich is a well-known distributor of AV and IT equipment, but in recent years it has begun to move into the security equipment market as well.
Mark Thomas, the Director of Midwich Security, believes there is strong crossover potential between AV and IT technicians and security installers. Amongst the dozens of AV and IT suppliers at the event were the security manufacturers that Midwich has signed up, including Aten, Bosch Security, Canon, Dexon Systems, GJD, Loxit Products, Neovo, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, TDSi and Y3K.
Neovo demonstrated its control room grade monitors, suitable for 24/7 performance, featuring hardened NeoV Optical Glass designed to protect the screen from incidental damage in high-activity areas.The monitors also feature anti-burn-in technology to protect screens which display static images over long time periods and a built-in image enhancer and its Smart Omni Viewer which supports picture-in-picture (PIP) and PIP swap.
Aten were demonstrating the VM1600 modular video matrix switch, which it claims provides the fastest video switching available. As product specialist Laura Hood explained to me, it enables you to simultaneously control up to 16 video sources and 16 displays through interchangeable digital visual interface (DVI) and high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) boards, a push-button panel, online user interface and an IR remote control.
I also spoke to Sarah Phillips at TDSi about the convergence of the AV/IT and security markets. She said there was a high level of knowledge about access control products in the AV/IT market and the main concern of installers was understanding the IP capabilities of the products. TDSi has a broad range of IP access control products and also offers IP CCTV solutions including cameras and a VMS system which integrate seamlessly with the access control range.
Midwich has a strong security offering and employs around nine product specialists to work with installers to win business, help design systems and provide training. Carl Hayesmore, Technical Sales Manager at Midwich Security, took me through the impressive range of Midwich products and demonstrated a working system that integrated many of these products into one platform.
In addition to a range of cameras, display solutions and recorders, he also showed me the Herta Security biometric face detection system. The system was set up and running on a camera aimed at the entrance to the exhibition, continually scanning the faces against a database of “suspects” – Midwich staff who had been enrolled on the system. Whenever it spotted one of these people, it would flash up an alert.
But further than that, it was also compiling demographic information on the visitors to the show, namely gender, age and race, and displaying it in real time in a window on the monitor wall – very useful data to collect if you are a retailer.
A fascinating morning – well worth the visit.