In the absence of the year’s biggest tradeshow it’s tougher than usual to get a sense of the best of the latest solutions and the trends that will shape 2022.

What security products and solutions did we like most in 2021? Plenty – some hardware, some software, some deftly targeted towards COVID-19 management and other solutions looking after old challenges in new ways.

We liked Alarm.com’s touchless doorbell – this solution detects a person approaching the front door using video analytics and rings the bell inside the house and sends a mobile alert to the home owner while recording the event. 2-way audio allows homeowners to see and speak with visitors through the doorbell’s live HD video and 2-way audio. The vertical angle of view is a mighty 150-degrees and resolution is Full HD.

Optex Redscan Pro Long-Range LiDAR sensor can accurately detect intruders to a range of 50 x 100 metres, without any gaps or the detection reliability fading with range. Thanks to the rectangular detection pattern, there are no unnecessary overlaps. REDSCAN PRO also features intelligent multiple zones logic.

HealthSafe SecurePass with TGA approved thermal detection – SecurePass is a staff, visitor and contractor management technology which protects people and businesses along with saving lives and is designed to support operational procedures like health and safety, security, risk management, governance, facility management and more. Adding TGA-approved thermal only makes performance more comprehensive.

Selectlok iLOQ NFC smart phone-based battery-free locking solution – using NFC technology in a ground-breaking way iLOQ allows a smartphone not only be the key to access but also the power source for the lock you are opening, eliminating the need for any maintenance, batteries or wires. When you think of all the multifarious locks on a big site, all the keys to manage, all the batteries to change if you go wireless, iLOQ is very neat, indeed.

Nirovision’s Face Recognition solution empowers CCTV and access control solutions large and small with high levels of authentication, while delivering layers of reporting that deliver iron clad court admissibility. Particularly valuable is its ability to create instant contact tracing reports locally or remotely. And integration with access control solutions, as well as with VMS systems, gives end users significantly enhanced entry management and reporting capabilities that are especially valuable in low touch environments and unstaffed reception areas.

Hikvision’s EXIR 4G 2MP solar bullet is an integrated solution camera solution with a battery pack that allows the unit to operate for 7 days if the 20Ah lithium battery is fully charged by the 40W photovoltaic panel. You drive the unit via the Hik-Connect app, which we found very easy to use. Our test was conducted on a remote rural property in the presence of 2 bars of 4G, dropping at times to 1 bar and occasional network loss, yet we found the camera very functional and very easy to manage.

Axis Q6315-LE PTZ is a high-end, outdoor-ready HDTV 1080p PTZ camera, with quick-zoom and laser focus that combines every neat trick Axis has learned when it comes to PTZ surveillance in an extremely compact package. There’s a ½-inch sensor supported by a very strong 31x optical zoom.

The Q6315 features laser focus for precise focus day and night and easier tracking of fast-moving objects, and Axis Speed Dry functionality for clear images in rainy weather. It also features IR illumination and day/night functionality for surveillance in pitch darkness.

The camera features orientation aid and autotracking 2, with click and track functionality. There’s also privacy masking with mosaic. Furthermore, the TPM module ensures secure storage of all cryptographic keys and certificates. It’s a very nice piece of kit from Axis – ideal for serious applications.

Alarm.com has released what it calls ‘Ambient Insights for alarm response’, a solution that delivers contextual information to monitoring stations in the event of an alarm based on what the system senses is occurring around a property. The idea is that operators can use this real-time data to prioritize alarms, as well as alerting police or emergency services faster, while false alarms are reduced.

Contextual data is also provided by Alarm.com’s visual verification service and alarm response portal. Ambient Insights for alarm response uses Alarm.com’s Insights Engine, a proprietary machine-learning capability that identifies patterns and insights in the growing set of data generated by devices and sensors in a connected property.

This is a key development from Alarm.com – it’s great to see machine learning beginning to work its way into the alarms sector where it will assist monitoring centres, slash false alarms and raise customer security and safety levels.

Gallagher SMB cloud access control and alarm solution. This a robust and capable access control solution from one of ANZ’s best electronic security manufacturers. Designed to simplify the security operations of small to medium businesses, the Gallagher SMB solution is a cloud-based security platform that provides business owners with the freedom to manage their security from anywhere, with an easy-to-use mobile app. Its intelligent functionality enables users to arm and disarm alarms, lock and unlock doors, and manage incidents across multiple sites, all from their smartphone. Customers can choose to self-monitor their site, or opt for third-party monitoring.

AXIS A4020-E Reader features IP65, NEMA 4X, and IK07 ratings, and features a mullion-mount design, making this flexible reader fit perfectly in narrow spaces and door frame installations. It’s ideal for use in harsh environments both indoors and outdoors, offers tamper detection, and built-in cybersecurity features to help prevent unauthorized access and safeguard the system. Designed to meet specific system requirements, this smart reader supports most types of smart RFID card standards with 13.56MHz credential technologies. Furthermore, it supports Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) and Secure Channel Protocol (SCP) enabling secure communications and connections.

Honeywell Building Technologies Type 1A Central Supervisory System (CSS) designed to meet Type 1A security requirements of the Australian government and its agencies. The platform was reviewed and approved by the Security Construction and Equipment Committee (SCEC), which is endorsed by the Australian government for the protection of official information and assets. Honeywell CSS offers state-of-the-art cybersecurity protection and near real-time threat prevention while enabling a highly flexible, configurable and easily expandable intruder detection and management solution to serve critical high security needs.

SALTO’s Neoxx padlock series offers an additional level of security to control doors like gates or storage areas, with security enhanced by removing the mechanical key and adding mobile app operation and contactless smart keycard managed by an advanced web-based access control technology platform.

Robust and durable, this electronic padlock features IP68 water resistance and dust protection for harsh environments and extreme climates. Power comes from 4 x LR1 batteries and there’s low battery status monitoring of battery levels. Neoxx features a suite of SALTO applications and is fully compatible with the rest of the SALTO smart electronic hardware locking platform.

Designed by a security installer for security installers, the new ATMOD quick connect EOL resistor pack from Jack Fuse eliminates common termination faults and cuts security installation costs. ATMOD combines a robust pre-made EOL resistor network with secure push-in connectors. EOL circuit installation becomes as simple as stripping the alarm cable and pushing it securely into the ATMOD connectors, in just a fraction of the time normally taken to build traditional resistor circuits.

Hanwha’s Wisenet PNO-A9081R AI, IR, 4K day/night bullet camera is a rugged surveillance solution with an excellent specification list that synthesises pretty much everything the respected Korean manufacturer knows about CCTV (and video analytics) into a single package.

Hanwha’s Wisenet PNO-A9081R AI, IR 4K Bullet features 4K resolution, 0.05 lux minimum illumination in low light, or 0 lux with IR activated, offers H.264, H.265 or WiseStream compression options, IP66/IP67, IK10 and NEMA4X ratings against water dust and vandalism, has a 4.5-10mm (2.2x) motorized varifocal lens with quick zoom, a 30-metre IR range, an adjustable sunshade and plenty more. What’s most impressive about this camera is the way it manages IVA in the real world – months later, we still refer to those screen grabs.

FLIR Elara DX is a multispectral PTZ camera designed to provide 24-hour situational awareness in rugged environments. This IP66, IK10-rated camera combines a DX thermal sensor with 640 x 480 resolutions with a 12-degree fixed lens (36mm focal length) and a 4K sensor supported by a 31x optical zoom and 200 metres of IR.

The result is a camera purpose-built for larger sites and tougher applications. We could go into agonising depth when it comes to specifications, but in short, this is simply an excellent surveillance camera – the optical side is brilliant, and the thermal side gives you performance you never thought you needed out to 1000 metres or more.

AXIS Q3819-PVE panoramic day/night camera featuring 14MP resolution and a 180-degree angle of view, has four 1/2.5-inch sensors, a combined resolution of 8192 x 1728 at 30ips, and features Axis Forensic WDR and minimum illumination numbers of 0.02 lux in colour. This is a robust unit – the casing is rated IP66/IP67 and NEMA 4X against water and dust, and IK10-rated for impact-resistance.

The cast aluminium body has a polycarbonate hard coated clear dome with a dehumidifying membrane and the camera has an operating range of -40 to 65C. Regardless of the specs, what hits you is the camera’s massive angle of view. It really reaches from one end of the street to the other through 180 degrees. It’s stupendous, and seamless, and you need a video wall to really appreciate what it offers. And while angle of view is strong, depth of field is right behind it.

You’d expect DoF to be strong when you’ve got 4 camera heads, each offering reasonably high resolution, but I’m still surprised by the fine detail of its performance. The night work with the camera in sub 2-lux is also brilliant.

OPTEX QX Infinity series is a family of compact outdoor PIR and dual-technology sensors providing 12m detection area and a view of up to 120-degrees in width, with mounting heights of up to 2.7m. New quad technology features a pyro element that has been redefined by OPTEX and supports a greater performance with a double layered detection in a compact design. The QXI series features improved Super Multi-Dimensional Analysis (SMDA) logic and Double Conductive Shielding for more reliable sensing capabilities and greater tolerance against light and RFI.

AXIS Camera Station which unifies video surveillance and access control via AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry and adds access management to the company’s highly polished video management software. When it comes to live monitoring, video-verification through AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry allows operators to check that the individual entering matches the credentials.

In addition, for less busy entrances or out of normal working hours, it’s possible to trigger video, alerts, and actions when, for instance, a visitor is approaching, a door has failed to close properly, or access has been denied. Instant alarms can be created for when a door is open for too long or forced open, and specific events can also be used to trigger other actions such as playing audio messages or recording video.

Bosch Dinion IP 3000i Turret IR is a very compact turret camera with a choice of 2.3 or 2.8mm F1.6 aperture fixed lenses and strong resolution of 3072 x 1728 pixels for a total of sensor area of 5.3MP. It offers 120dB WDR, low light performance of 0.1 lux in colour and 0.02 lux in monochrome, H.264 and H.265 compression, 15 metre IR and all Bosch’s clever firmware functionalities. The camera is compact at 129 x 65mm, and lightweight at 576g, but for all its small size the camera surprised us right from the start with its sure-footed performance in horrible lighting conditions that moved between deep shadow and glaring backlight. Low light work was solid, too.

Panasonic’s iPro bullet camera didn’t shock us with its optical performance. Instead, it did good work across a range of conditions and blew us away with its human and vehicle AI. The depth of field achieved in sub 2 lux at the lens was a big surprise. In a very real way, the iPro bullet gave us a sense of what was possible for IVA on the street. It picked up people I could barely see and categorised them accurately. The camera’s AI engine doesn’t always get a person instantly but as they move through the scene it will find them and in some cases, it tracks pedestrians from under the lens out to about 40 metres in full dark, which I wasn’t expecting. It’s fine performance.

LiLin’s Z2R8052EX25 25x zoom bullet camera features IK10 vandal and IP67 weather and dust resistance, 5MP resolution, super low light performance, H.264 and H.265 compression, IVA and 100dB of HDR. But what defines this package is its monster focal length – from 5.3 to 130mm – supported by infrared range of up to 100m. In our street application, Lilin’s 25x long end blows the competition completely away.

The Z2R8052EX25 25x bullet is an excellent surveillance camera from an experienced manufacturer. Its performance is solid, day or night, and it’s fabulous once you start zooming in. From around 8mm, quality steps up markedly, and deeper into the zoom range things really start to hop. The camera’s extraordinary long-range performance in colour in sub-4 lux is not what I was expecting. It’s exceptional and deserves a mention among the best of this year’s bunch.

Tiandy TC-C34UP 4MP bullet camera is an excellent and affordable surveillance tool that suits many applications. The camera is well made, and the image is well made, too. There are also some clever AI functions that would enhance operational performance in the hands of creative techs. It does well in failing light with fast moving objects. We’d recommend this camera for applications, internal and external, where you need identification out to 15-20 metres and recognition to 25-30.

GK Solutions’ Lokies Keyless Padlock is accessed through an app using a smartphone that supports an unlimited number of users. The lock requires no key and allows remote access, restricted access by person, by date and time or by location, real-time location monitoring, real-time tamper alert and a full audit trail. It allows for the identification and management of multiple users with different levels of access authorisation.

Very neat, the Lokies lock uses GPS/GLONASS, cellular technology, as well as its own Bluetooth connectivity, to provide unprecedented useability for a range of situations. Through GPS/GLONASS, Lokies provides real-time location tracking and access can be limited to a specific location (geo-fencing).

Sub-2 lux at the lens in colour…

Pelco’s IME338-1IRS is a 3MP Sarix-enhanced indoor IR dome with a motorised 2.8-8mm lens, WDR of up to 130dB, IK10 ratings against impact, 40 metres of IR, H.264 and H.265 compression options, integral gyro stabilisation, 3D noise filtering and enhanced tone mapping.

On test this Sarix camera showed excellent lens performance, great colour rendition – even in fading light – and a particular strength in variable light, to the point we’d judge this Pelco dome to offer one of the most natural and balanced images we’ve seen in the last couple of years.

Finally, Bosch Flexidome multi 7000i NDM-7703-A is a multisensor fixed dome camera combining 4 highly adjustable 5MP imagers in a single housing and supported by a single IP address. This robust IP66-rated multi-sensor camera is designed to be simple to install, easy to commission and very flexible in the field.

Camera performance is a balance of high resolution and low light performance, with camera tuning tending towards the elimination of motion blur. Performance with fast moving plates in failing light was much better than I was expecting, as was the camera’s ability to ignore very strong backlight and deliver court admissible face recognition at ranges greater than 15 metres.

This year’s group is heavy on cameras – that’s because we couldn’t get out as much as we’d have liked. Regardless, product development showed a distinct trend towards operational IVA and AI in electronic security solutions of all kinds – this trend is even clearer when you look at the mergers and acquisitions activity across the security market.

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