Simplicity key to complex surveillance

July 2012 Surveillance

With the complexity of surveillance demands in modern times, simplicity is still key to sophisticated solutions. It was precisely the simplicity of the solution that earned JIST the Mobotix award for the Installation of the Year: 2012, for the surveillance solution provided at Western Cape’s Tyger Valley Shopping Centre.

There are significant challenges facing shopping centre management as they strive to tackle myriad security issues daily.

JIST’s Michael Gelderbloem says, “Key to our decentralised surveillance solution that helps secure Tyger Valley Shopping Centre, is simplicity. One of the busiest malls in the Western Cape, security has a lot of ground to cover, every minute of every day, all year long. By consolidating the entire system into a flexible, easy to operate modular system, mall management, with its intrinsic hands-on approach can have fewer eyes on key areas, but they will see so much more.”

Johan Mouton, GM of Tyger Valley Shopping Centre, says, “In terms of our strict guidelines for an holistic system, from entry to exit, JIST conceptualised a solution that provides critical security components in the software and hardware that are managed by a single user with a single log-on. While the solution is highly sophisticated and complex, the simplicity of application and use is a key advantage for us.”

There is generally a temptation to have too many, rather than too few cameras. The result does not always provide the most effective solution. JIST was able to resolve a number of issues at Tyger Valley:

* Too many cameras meant costly maintenance and risk of downtime.

* Critical areas were not covered.

* Poor image quality from outdated camera technology.

* Storage of footage was costly, and download speed slow.

* Accurate reporting was not available.

* Insufficient control at access points to parking entrances and exits.

* The mall was not able to provide the level of security required.

Gelderbloem continues, “While the issues facing mall management appeared to be relatively complex, the solution had to be kept simple in its application. A complete audit of the precise requirements revealed that, with the malls intricate architecture, a number of blind spots were apparent. Our focus was simplicity, but we still had to provide an holistic solution that covered the entire mall’s interior and exterior. Surveillance technology had to be installed to ensure long-term success of the system. The software had to be developed locally to meet local challenges and, critically, the software interface had to integrate with every possible hardware needed, now and in future.”

JIST’s security solution centred on surveillance technology and locally developed software:

* Fewer cameras reduced maintenance costs and risks of downtime.

* A fibre network offers a more reliable transfer of data.

* Advanced network lifespan.

* Modular and scalable system adaptable for future upgrades.

* Custom-developed software, in line with client demands, with reliable interface and simplicity of use.

* Software allows management to monitor user activity.

* Software updates are free.

“Mobotix was able to match our requirements for a decentralised system,” says Gelderbloem. “Each camera’s software is Linux based and offered a stable platform. It integrates with our software which is also Linux based. On top of this, Mobotix was able to offer significant additional benefits. The open-source platform used by Mobotix is certainly setting the trend in surveillance technology. It has proven to be cost effective, modular, functional, uncomplicated and extremely versatile, exactly what was needed at Tyger Valley.”

The locally developed software, tailored to suit the specific demands of Tyger Valley, is crucial to the installation and offers significant advantages for centre management:

* The software can be accessed via a Web interface providing management with flexible control over the entire system.

* Mobotix software uses the HTTP format and the API is provided by Mobotix.

* Software provides a single doorway to the cameras.

* The floor-plan layout serves as an easy interface navigation facility.

* The software includes several administrative facilities, a significant advantage for centre management.

* The software interfaces with the camera’s Web server push technology while the database interfaces with MySQL for the floor plan, camera and camera viewer and usage information.

“With reliable performance and strong interface, Mobotix and JIST’s software solution integrated seamlessly,” concludes Gelderbloem. “The entire project is being implemented in stages in line with the completion of the centre’s structural upgrades.

For more information contact JIST, +27 (0)21 905 5903, [email protected]

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