So would you like to play "Spot the CCTV Camera?". Eagle eyed visitors may recognise the profusion of street furniture, surrounding a single heritage dome camera keeping watch over part  of Londons' prestigious Oxford Street shopping area.

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Doktor Jon's exclusive review of IFSEC 2008
- DJ picks out his choice of 10 interesting exhibitors that were well worth a visit -

This year IFSEC is to be warmly congratulated on celebrating it's 35th Anniversary, although in all honesty Doktor Jon has completely lost count of just how many times he's visited this must see event, over the years.

Having survived the rigours of the first day, and a total of six exhibition halls containing even more CCTV gear than the Information Commissioner could ever cope with in his wildest nightmares, Doktor Jon decided to take a few snatched moments, to highlight some of the more interesting and unusual products being shown this year.

So where do we begin? ... well IP Video, MegaPixel cameras, DVR's and Video Analytics would probably provide a fairly obvious starting point, but I'm going to leave these aside for the moment, until I've completed my next visit on Wednesday. In the meantime, if you're looking to find some of the shows hidden secrets, why not read on ....

FLIR Systems are a world leader in the development of Thermal Imaging cameras, and in a very interesting presentation made by their Business Development Manager Alexander Thornton-Margetts (pictured left), he demonstrated a range of products on their stand. As a global supplier, the company has moved from simply providing affordable imagers for everyday security and safety applications, through to developing a total solution approach for more demanding situations; such as long range border control using gas cooled high sensitivity devices, that can readily locate and identify targets typically up to almost ten miles away.

The imaging systems can easily be enhanced using a range of add on facilities, including automatic target tracking and video analytics capabilities, offering hi-tech solutions using top end thermal imaging and conventional video based, laser rangefinder equipped units.

In the week that the 'Sex and the City' movie was premiered in London's West End, you could be forgiven for thinking that it isn't just coincidence that a funky new range of designer cameras were providing a refreshing and attractive alternative to most conventional video surveillance offerings. Dallmeier Electronic UK's 'designer' cameras aren't just a pretty face, with impressive performance being demonstrated right across the range, including their latest "Panther" Ultra Wide Dynamic PTZ dome which incorporates Cam_inpix technology.

As if to reinforce the message that you can build systems with style, the powerful new VMC-1 "Eagle" modular desktop control centre (see photo right) has also been launched at the show.

For any seasoned show visitor, it's very unusual to spot a product that is significantly different from others on the market, and even rarer to catch a glimpse of something which is quite unique. Tucked away at one end of the show, Eric Le Beguet (see photo left) was representing his company Tietronix Optics, which was showing the "Eclipse 2" anti dazzle device. Designed for security, defence and process monitoring applications, the unit can be fitted to any standard 'C' or 'CS' mount camera, and using a clever combination of both optics and electronics, it effectively obscures any intense light source visible in the image.

Although designed by a french astronaut and used by NASA in space, the potential for this down to earth device will undoubtedly take off, with the latest version in development.

For anyone thinking of junking their analogue CCTV and replacing it with some shiny new IP Video gear, the thought of ripping out all the existing co-ax and replacing it with new network cabling, can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, Veracity are offering a neat solution, in the form of their Highwire™ "ethernet over co-ax" products. Director of Technical Projects Kingsley Greenman (pictured right) explained that using these affordable converters , IP Video cameras can be run over typically 250 metres of RG 59B/U, with the Highwire Quad™ supporting four MegaPixel or standard IP cameras over a single co-ax.

Veracity also offer a unique range of feature rich, "Driveproof™" solid state compact flash based Digital Video Recorders, that offer up to 25fps using JPEG 2000 recorded direct to a removable CF card.

CCTV Photo - Bosch Video surveillance systems protect visitors to the Oktoberfest 2006 event in Germany - photo copyright Bosch Security Systems

I said I wasn't going to mention Video Analytics just yet, but having followed my nose to the Videotec stand, it wasn't just the aroma of an enormous Parmiggiano cheese that attracted my attention, but also the prospect of seeing their newly launched "ALBERT" video content analysis unit. As the company moves into developing cutting edge electronic devices, this new model is rather unusual, not least because as a single video channel device it allows various levels of event and behavioural analysis, but also given it's thoroughly intelligent design, it also allows individual units to communicate and co-operate with each other.

As it's intended primarily for use with outdoor PTZ units such as their "ULISSE" remote positioning system, the ALBERT is not only self learning, but can also signal other units to respond to alarms, and initiate automatic and co-ordinated responses from multiple camera units in nearby locations.

Click Here for part two of Doktor Jon's IFSEC 2008 Review

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