The ASIS international 2012 conference started off this morning with a glance back at the past and optimism for the future as conference goers soak up the latest innovations from industry power players.

The Philadelphia show made large display of the city's past, especially as the opening ceremony was peppered with appearances by mummers, jazz musicians, a choir, a Revolutionary War-era militia and "Ben Franklin." But it also made reference to the 132 countries that are members of ASIS International, as well as Philadelphia's own solutions to security problems, including a perpetuation of graffiti around the city some 20 years ago, which was resolved with the creation of the Mural Arts Program.

But while the City of Brotherly Love's history is a good foundation, the theme of this year's conference is "Driving Security's Future."

Today's highlights from the show floor include the buzz about cloud security, how end user partnerships are affecting product development and when security meets science fiction.

Cloud Reading

When I walked the show floor today, I met with a lot of vendors who are really working on educating show-goers about the cloud, even though they are in the constant process of changing it to fit end users' ongoing needs.

According to Herve Fages, senior vice president of global product marketing for Schneider Electric, "Cloud means a lot, yet nothing -- this is the problem in explaining it."

However, several other companies, such as Honeywell, are working to create cloud solutions that have multiple applications, such as for business optimization for loss prevention.

Partnering for Success

Speaking of Honeywell, an independent end user committee has a small table in their booth. Rudy Wolter, Director of Security and Investigative Services for Citigroup, Inc in North America, is one of the leaders of the group, which is here at ASIS to recruit additional end users to their cause. This partnership -- independent of but not adversarial with Honeywell -- gives end use a voice in product development.

"It used to be you'd get a product and plug it in and just hope it doesn't start smoking," Wolter says, laughing. "Now, we can take recommendations from our security practitioners, our officers, and go to Honeywell and tell them exactly what these workers want to make their jobs easier, more efficient."

Formed of a head committee and 14 vertical sectors, this end user group encourages "logistical thinking out-of-the-box," Wolter says. The key, he says, is the continual communication between the two groups -- Honeywell listens to the recommendations and helps to revise and update products to match those requests.

Partnerships are a very popular topic today at ASIS, especially at Samsung and IQinVision.

Sci-Fi Security

I started out the day with a quick press conference from Avigilon, where I was introduced to the "Minority Report"-inspired motion detection video management system "Avigilon's Control Center (ACC) 5.0." The system selects and moves video feeds via audio commands, but integration with the motion sensing technology found in the XBox Kinect allows the video's monitor to select, scroll through and zoom into video by simply gesturing through the air in front of a sensor.

Feel free to compare the two technologies (or Hollywood technology, for the 2002 "Minority Report") in the following videos. Let us know what you think in the comments section! Is this something you would use?

Avigilon's Control Center

"Minority Report" Video Wall