Security expo features 'Kassam-proof' windows

James Bond's Q would have felt at home at the 21st annual Israel Homeland Security and Defense Exposition in Tel Aviv.

kassam damage 224 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
kassam damage 224 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Acquisitions officers and consultants roamed the stands at the 21st annual Israel Homeland Security and Defense Exposition in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, while dancers in scanty costume vied for attention with buttoned-down salesman providing technologically advanced security solutions. James Bond's Q would have felt at home at some of the booths, with the aptly-named SpyShop displaying miniature cameras hidden in ties, eyeglass frames and the ever-classic camera pen. "C4I" (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) was the catch phrase of the day, as the aisles of the main room at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds were lined with communications, computer security and surveillance equipment. Although some displayed power tools for heavy rescue, international-orange responder identification vests, and scent-eliminating pants for elite forces, telecommunications technology carried the day. Vigilant Technology - an Israeli company - was exhibiting for the first time at the fair, but said they had worked extensively in European markets. They offered a "smart" closed-circuit system that can track routes taken by perpetrators and can be "taught" to identify objects, such as backpacks or sunglasses, and then track their bearers. The cameras could be taught, for instance, to focus only on people both wearing sunglasses and carrying a bag, while ignoring sunglass-wearers without packages. It could also identify certain motions, including placing a suspicious package by a railroad track. Although many of the Israeli companies' buyers are from overseas, the influence of the domestic market could be seen at the ARPAL Defender booth, where a 40 mm. thick window was pasted with a large label describing it as "Kassam proof." A saleswoman eagerly told all around that although the glass would not withstand a direct hit, it could survive the blast impact of a strike four meters away, and would stop shrapnel. Israel is home to approximately 450 companies dealing with homeland-security technology. Such companies are responsible for an estimated $3 billion in exports, making it one of the country's largest trade sectors - and the international community is watching. A panel of experts all affiliated with America's homeland security planning reiterated throughout an hours-long discussion that the Israeli market was among the world's most dynamic - and that the country's technological and real-world know-how is much sought after. Of the $178b. anticipated to be spent globally for homeland security-related research and development, approximately half is expected to come from the United States.