Having had a significant stint doing technical writing at Genetec—who develop security software for such places as Starbucks, the New York Giants Stadium, and the most heavily trafficked airport in the World at Dubai—I guess it comes as no surprise that I landed a couple of job interviews at this other security software firm in Montreal called Fortem.
Of course even my brief time there allowed me access to their software so while I will not disclose the specifics of what I learnt to the public, but I can tell you my educated impression of what Fortem brings to the table that is different from other traditional physical security software firms like Genetec or Herzliya-based Verint and that is two prong:
Physical security information management (PSIM): From what I researched and understand, PSIM is really what total information awareness, that clichéd and somewhat scary term, actually aspires to be in reality, and going into the future. Whereas security software and hardware from different vendors, along with all of the data that is generated, was hitherto integrated only to a limited extent, the ideology and strategy of PSIM, that is, its ideal, is to integrate all of this and really let the software, in a quasi-machine intelligence manner, aid and abet in emergency situations. It seems that Omnipresence 3D is not only gunning for PSIM status, but together with the next point, to shoot past many other rivals.
This second differentiator, and it is a clincher, is that Omnipresence 3D at its core is a true 3D — Video mash-up. Christian Forte, Fortem’s founder, did develop and sell technology incorporated into Google Earth, so no wonder that Fortem’s key product, is, as its name ‘Omnipresence 3D’ strongly suggests: camera surveillance grafted onto a video-game like/Google Earth hybrid.
* Fortem formerly called Feeling Software
Omnipresence 3D looks more vividly realized than Minority Report and what a lot of Sci-Fi has not even attempted until perhaps very recently.
I am not sure whether clusters of successful physical security software firms exist in many other cities — and interestingly our mother tongue is not even the global language…WE ARE FRENCH! — but with the continued apparent success of Genetec — with big contracts like Starbucks, which does not secure just one coffeee shop, but all of them, eventually federated into one system — and now Fortem:
I think it not an indecent disclosure to mention their clients include top global up-and-coming-heavy-hitters like the city-state of Singapore and Canada’s very own oil Emirate of a city—Calgary.
Montreal is evidently killing it in security software — fécilitations.
Note: While I grant good physical security software is a good and necessarily innovation now, to jive with the slant of a lot of my other writing on this website, and in general with how I feel, I suggest that: our commensurate laws, democratic system, as well as the technical capabilities of the average citizenry, must deal in some way with how powerful our tools are becoming.
Said simply: those who control this type of software must be held, and always be held, accountable for how they wield it. Lest we really go “Bentham-style” and live forever more in a total world panopticon.