Axis, Genetec, IBM team up for intelligent networked video system at Chicago’s Navy Pier

Network cameras from IBM business partner Axis Communications (www.axis.com), as well as the Omnicast advanced IP-based video recording and monitoring system from Genetec (www.genetec.com), have assisted IBM’s (www.ibm.com) creation of an integrated networked video monitoring system for Chicago’s Navy Pier tourist and business complex.

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Compiled by Steve Smith

Network cameras from IBM business partner Axis Communications (www.axis.com), as well as the Omnicast advanced IP-based video recording and monitoring system from Genetec (www.genetec.com), have assisted IBM’s (www.ibm.com) creation of an integrated networked video monitoring system for Chicago’s Navy Pier tourist and business complex.

The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to protect the top-visited leisure and tourist destination in the Midwest, annually welcoming more than 8 million visitors. Navy Pier also hosts business meetings and trade shows, and has an annual economic impact of $1 billion.

It opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, and now is home to more than 50 acres of parks, gardens, restaurants, shops, sightseeing/dining cruises, and exhibition facilities–all under the ownership and operation of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). The three-company installation increases video security capabilities throughout Navy Pier, and integrates new and existing safety resources to safeguard people and property.

“We consider this to be one of the finest security command centers of its kind in the country,” says Juan Ochoa, MPEA’s chief executive officer.

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Chicago’s Navy Pier 50-acre tourist and exhibition complex requires a state-of-the-art IP surveillance network incorporating integrated solutions from Axis, Genetec, and IBM.
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The installation features Axis high-resolution cameras with far- and wide-range viewing capabilities that add situational awareness throughout the Pier and operational assistance during an incident. In addition, Genetec’s Omnicast IP video surveillance system provides seamless management of digital video, audio and data across the IP network. Its failover and redundancy features are designed to ensure uninterrupted access to all live and archived data at all times, while multicasting and multistreaming capa-bilities are designed to help manage bandwidth requirements.

Omnicast’s Federation also allows multiple independent systems to be managed as though they were one. Linking the system with the one installed at Chicago’s OEMC (Office of Emergency Management and Communications), says Stephan Kaiser, director of U.S. sales for Genetec, “ensures advanced monitoring and management, as well as coordinated response.”

The first phase of the project integrates cameras, alarms, sensors, audio and analytics to protect the Pier’s visitors. The camera coverage extends visibility along the perimeter of the Pier and its entrance and departure points. Strategically placed emergency call buttons are integrated with the video system and, when activated, will stream video and audio content to the Pier’s new command center.

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Genetec’s Omnicast IP-based video recording and monitoring system, key to the Navy Pier installation, is scalable as surveillance requirements grow and is designed to seamlessly manage digital video, audio and data across an IP network.
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IBM’s Smart Surveillance Solution (SSS) technology, developed by IBM Research, allows video analytics to monitor the waterway and alert security personnel when unauthorized boats approach restricted areas. In addition to local monitoring from the Pier’s command center, the complete monitoring environment is also accessible by the city’s OEMC, its 911 and incident management center (where IBM has already deployed an advanced city-wide intelligent security systems), and by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) Marine Unit–the city’s first responders for water-related incidents.

Video will stream continuously for live viewing by security professionals, and will also be recorded and archived for post-event review and analysis.

Upon completion of the second phase of the project, IBM says Navy Pier “will boast the greatest lakefront security coverage in the world.” The design includes the use of high-end laser infrared cameras with long range capabilities, which will extend coverage around such landmark venues as McCormick Place, Soldier Field, and throughout waterways and walkways that include miles of beaches and harbors.

As with the first phase, the companies say coverage will be viewable at the OEMC and CPD Marine Units, addressing security threats in real time.


Short runs...

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