Safe and relaxed

March 2011 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Entertainment and Hospitality (Industry)

IP cameras made the grade in Frankfurt.

In a recent study on solutions in video surveillance technology, Frost & Sullivan looks at the role of high-resolution systems in modern day public safety situations in general and on the hospitality sector in particular.

According to Frost & Sullivan, hotels are not designed with a high level of security in mind. They are built to accommodate the travelling public, and high-end resorts and facilities around the world have typically focused on comfort rather than safety. At the same time, as diplomatic embassies and missions around the world have gradually become armed fortresses, and as airports and other transport hubs have deployed state-of-the-art security measures, terrorists are looking for alternative targets. Hotels have become one of the softer options.

Following the recent attacks in Mumbai, Frost and Sullivan is of the opinion that a growing number of corporations with significant numbers of travelling executives are demanding evidence of higher levels of security from international hotel chains. With security features becoming as important to frequent travellers as comfort features, hotel chains are increasingly considering them as marketing tools in the battle to attract customers.

Using high-resolution digital cameras equipped with hemispheric technology, a traditional event recording physical security system can be transformed into a real-time security application, enabling the seamless and discreet live tracking of images from command and control centres. Counter-terrorism teams can access these images directly from different cameras on an individually addressable basis, and they can be streamed to mobile response units via portable devices like PDAs, so that the security teams know exactly where the intruders are and where they are going.

Security in practice

This technology also supports many other key day-to-day applications that are essential to hotel security officers, such as access control, perimeter protection and employee tagging, all of which can significantly enhance guest and staff security and smoothly integrate with various identity verification procedures throughout the hotel. Frost & Sullivan recognises that in this context, Mobotix has a well-established record of success in the hospitality sector. In the middle of the hectic Frankfurt banking district lies the Le Méridien ParkHotel Frankfurt. A reliable security system, which remains discreetly in the background, is indispensable for making guests feel at ease in the three-hundred-room building.

When Le Méridien recently decided to update its video surveillance system, the task fell to chief engineer Zlatko Hizman, responsible for building services at the hotel. After investigating the market in detail, Hizman recommended an IP camera system from Mobotix to hotel management. Previously, 21 analogue cameras were in use, yet several factors hastened the replacement of this antiquated solution: the maintenance required, the low resolution of the cameras, the large memory requirement and the complex evaluation procedure for recordings, to name but a few. Hizman believed the time was right for the introduction of an IP-based alternative, capable of fulfilling both immediate and future requirements.

Significant cost savings

A special feature of Mobotix cameras is their low power consumption of just 3 Watts. Thanks to the extremely wide operating temperature range of -30°C to +60°C, there is no need for the camera case to be heated, cooled or ventilated, even in difficult environmental conditions. Given that up to 12 conventional cameras are required to record the same variety of detail as one Mobotix IP camera, the potential for making savings becomes even more obvious.

Last but not least, the power feed via the Ethernet cable (Power over Ethernet) for up to 20 cameras from one network power rack provides significantly more performance than using individual power supplies. Compared with conventional solutions offering a comparable resolution, a system such as the one used at Le Méridien ParkHotel Frankfurt delivers savings of several thousand Euros over its lifetime, while making a contribution towards the environment.

Reliable and future-compatible

As chief engineer, Hizman explained: “The network-based video surveillance and recording solution from Mobotix is much more user-friendly and offers significantly better live and stored image quality than conventional analogue alternatives. We also expect a significantly higher degree of reliability and therefore lower maintenance costs. The fact that the software in the cameras and the MxControlCenter can be updated free of charge at any time also ensures the value of our investment in the future”.


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