3 Key Takeaways from ISC West 2023 

With the conclusion of last week’s 2023 ISC West Event in Las Vegas, Nevada, comes an exciting glimpse into the trends and technologies critical to the security industry’s innovation and enhancement. The ISC West Event was well attended this year, with thousands of security and public safety professionals gathering to share their knowledge and learn about up-and-coming concepts in the security world.  

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the hot topic this year. The evolution of AI may have finally reached a level of reliability and accuracy that can significantly impact how we view security and the practical application of AI and its effect on the day-to-day operations of security teams. 

While we can’t touch on every noteworthy bit of ISC West, there are a few takeaways that have our attention. Any mention of specific manufacturers is used to illustrate the trends and new technologies emerging as tools and elements of physical security systems.

Artificial Intelligence 

The use of AI is growing in the realm of video surveillance, specifically as used to aid in identifying or classifying subjects captured in the video, be it live or recorded surveillance video. There are two main ways that AI is being used: Some AI software is installed in the camera itself, while other systems utilize AI software through the VSS (video surveillance system). Both can scan vast amounts of data incredibly fast to identify potential threats or filter out non-threatening activities to reduce false danger warnings.  

One product shown at the Expo uses a chipset to provide AI at the camera to provide both object classification and attribute extraction. This means it has not only the ability to identify if an object is a person versus a vehicle or an animal, but it can also distinguish attributes like hair or clothing color. Should an incident be filmed by the camera, the AI can easily pick up on identifying details of the individuals involved, drastically cutting down initial research time and making a big difference in investigations. This ability to scan data and make reliable identifications can benefit a variety of scenarios, such as identification of suspicious individuals at large events, theft prevention, or even to detect deception in international travel scenarios. 

The use of drones with AI capabilities also continues to grow. These drones help respond to events in lieu of, or in addition to, security/guard services. A popular use of these drones has been seen in large campus environments. Alarm sensors can be placed on any perimeter point; then, drones can be synced with the campus security system to automatically launch to the activated alarm(s), providing audio/video footage to the Security Operations Center. This helps quickly identify and mitigate false alarm responses, which is very beneficial to multi-acre sites that may not have a large on-site security staff. Drones can also fly overhead to reach alarm sites much faster than staff members to give them vital information about the situation while they are still en route and keep them aware of its location via GPS. 

Access Control Technology 

At the Alcatraz AI booth, they showcased their “Rock” facial biometric reader. This innovative product can be connected via Weigand or an Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) to an access control system that manages who can enter a building. This offers an additional layer of protection by providing dual-factor authentication or replacing a tandem card reader altogether. This facial biometric reader can also be deployed at secure doorways within a facility to allow frictionless entry of approved personnel as they move through the building to various security levels. 

HID recently launched a new format for their mobile credentials. While Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) credentials have been available for some time, they are now introducing a mobile credential that can live in the Wallet app of an iPhone. This new credential utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) instead of BLE. While this requires more work on the front end, such as setting up agreements between the client and HID and between the client and Apple, the benefit may be worthwhile. NFC offers a more convenient way to access credentials as they automatically appear on an iPhone lock screen via Wallet when near the access point rather than finding credentials through a security system app.  

Security Management Systems 

There was also a big push from Security Management System (SMS) providers to have all aspects of security systems integrated and unified into a single Graphical User Interface (GUI). While this is not a new conversation or concept, it has come up consistently in recent years, highlighting the importance of maintaining all security information in an easy-to-use GUI that provides operators with all the security-related information that they require for their duties without having to switch back and forth between systems and a complete view of the security environment in a real-time basis. This is not only a convenience but ensures that all security information is consistent, easy to update, and reduces opportunities for human error across multiple systems.  


The products and systems at ISC West this year bring great hope that the industry is heading towards more streamlined, accurate, and convenient methods of managing public safety. With the continuing advancements in the accuracy and reliability of AI, we’re seeing some significant applications of this technology that are sure to reach beyond current uses in video surveillance and drone monitoring. The overall trend at ISC West 2023 showed developing technology that marries with public culture to provide convenience and peace of mind while maintaining a high level of asset protection. 

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