There are a handful of amazing things that set San Francisco apart from other global cities. Notably, there is the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown, the Twin Peaks overlooking the city skyline, San Francisco Bay, and The Moscone Centre.

Just how does a convention centre fit into the list of places to see in beautiful San Francisco? It is the largest convention and exhibition complex in San Francisco, California. It includes three main halls spread out across three blocks and 87 acres in the prime South of Market neighborhood. The convention centre originally opened in 1981 and has gone through several renovations. It is currently upgrading its security system to reflect a modern, state-of-the-art security solution.

Securing SMG/Moscone Centre

Security at the SMG/Moscone Centre is handled similar to the security at a Tier 1 airport. However, clients who use the facility are required to provide their own inside security. When the doors of the convention Centre are open to the public, it plays host to people who want to come in and look around.

Our new security system will provide analytics, and the ability to look at the images in real time"

We are responsible for facility security inside and on the perimeter outside. This is considered a soft target, so we do everything possible to harden the security,” said Damion Ellis, Director of Security at the SMG/Moscone Centre.

Damion adds, “The time is right for us to take out the old security system, including the old analog camera system. Our new security system will provide analytics, and the ability to look at the images in real time.

IP cameras installed for wide surveillance

Like any major metropolitan area, the San Francisco metropolitan region has its own issues that have to be dealt with that aren’t pleasant. This includes keeping track of the homeless population and what they are doing.

Damion Ellis further said, “We are able to place the new IP cameras in places where the homeless population congregates on the outside, in dark corners of the facility.

CompleteView VMS video platform

The Moscone Centre complex consists of three main halls. Moscone South is located to the south of Howard Street and is three-storey tall. It opened in 2017, replacing the original Moscone Centre building that opened in 1981.

A Keith Haring sculpture stands outside the hall at the corner of 5th and Howard streets. Moscone North is located to the north of Howard Street, and Moscone West is a three-level exhibition hall located across 4th Street from Moscone North.

Integration with ProWatch access control platform

One of the most compelling reasons Moscone deployed CompleteView video platform was the integration with Honeywell’s ProWatch access control platform, as well as newly designed multi-sensor cameras,” said Salient’s Regional Sales Manager in the Bay Area, Cindy Doyle.

Cindy adds, “The ease of use and intuitive software allowed the guard staff to use maps in the system to identify where triggered events took place for guard dispatch.

Monitoring door alarms

Prowatch access control platform is currently being used to monitor door alarms throughout the property

Prowatch access control platform is currently being used to monitor door alarms throughout the property and triggering video call-up and/or alarm video event when there is a forced or held open door.

In order to keep track of outside foot traffic and provide interior and exterior security, an analytics option was foremost on everyone’s mind, and integrator Microbiz Security Co., dove in with an initial site survey to determine the best course of action. Microbiz has partnered with the SMG/Moscone Centre for several years.

Video analytics solution

Our goal was to take a look at what it would take to secure the facility, but to do it properly,” said Todd Chritton, President of Microbiz Security.

The integrator had some suggestions in terms of offering better security coverage in some areas,” said Marco Escobar, Vice President of Operations at Microbiz Security, adding “What they knew was three buildings needed to update from its current 2002 technology, and upgrade to 2018 technology. It also was beneficial to the integrator having worked on site for several years and also having worked with Ellis during his tenure with the Hilton Hotel chain.

Multi-sensor and multi-megapixel IP cameras 

Marco Escober further stated, “We’ve been a long-time vendor at the convention centre, and we offer a pride of installation as well as using the best of the best security solutions. We began by updating current cameras to Arecont Vision multi-sensor and multi-megapixel IP cameras and Salient Systems’ CompleteView VMS, Dellintegrated server with RAID6 configuration and CompleteView Enterprise software."

He adds, "The VMS is a fully open architecture, enabling convention center security staff to seamlessly leverage existing technology investments and minimise disruption.

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Access control systems: Ethernet vs proprietary bus network cabling
Access control systems: Ethernet vs proprietary bus network cabling

When designing a security system for a site, the question of how it should be interconnected is often one of the first you need to answer. Should you choose a system that has its own proprietary bus network, which might require twisted pair cabling, or perhaps one based on an ethernet backbone? Both types of network have their advantages and disadvantages as discussed below. Ethernet connectivity Some security systems are based on a number of modules, and each module is connected to its own ethernet connection. One big advantage of a system like this is that, in many cases, it can be much more convenient, allowing the installer to utilise existing network cabling and other infrastructure, rather than needing to install new cabling. On the other hand, if a security system relies entirely on networking infrastructure controlled by others, typically the IT department, then the stability and reliability of the security system is dependent on that network being available when your system needs it. The stability and reliability of the security system is dependent on that network being available Another potential disadvantage is that certain areas of the premises may not be equipped with a nearby network outlet, and if the network in question is not managed by you, it might be necessary to request the IT department add an outlet for you to use. Proprietary bus connectivity A system with its own proprietary bus network can also have advantages. Perhaps the first and most important difference is that, because the network cabling is installed specifically for the security system, the designer has the luxury of being able to decide exactly where the wiring should be placed and terminated. Another advantage is that the cabling would only be used by the security system, so the installation company can be sure the network will always be available, and there would be very little chance part of it could be accidentally unplugged. Another potential advantage is that some systems are able to run bus cabling of distances well over 1,000 metres, whereas individual ethernet connections are typically limited to 100 metres or less. Another consideration, which applies particularly to intruder and holdup alarm systems, is that communications between elements of the security system should not be prevented by other factors, such as a power failure. Obviously, if a part of such a network is formed by ethernet infrastructure, such as network switches and/or media converters, then that infrastructure needs to be battery backed, and the power supply must be monitored. In some cases, the equipment must be able to withstand a power failure of 24 or even 60 hours. Such long standby times are unusual in IT infrastructure, but are quite common in the case of security systems. The equipment must be able to withstand a power failure of 24 or even 60 hours How this all fits together When selecting a system, it is usually most helpful to have a flexible system that can support a number of different deployment options. This is especially true if the system in question can support a combination of different interconnection types. For example, a single system that can contain a variety of interconnections can then be deployed in a very wide variety of systems where existing infrastructure may be used to aid in the design and deployment: Fibre connections – Many modern sites are pre-cabled with existing fibre connections which can be used to form a dedicated interconnection between system components which can be of the order of kilometres apart. Ethernet connectivity – With the increasing ubiquity of networking within premises, some elements of a security system can be deployed using the existing infrastructure. Repeater - For very large or densely packed systems, a device that can be used as a form of “repeater” can be extremely useful to permit very long interconnect cabling distances. Systems can be formed by utilising a fusion of all of the above connectivity methods Some security systems can be set up to enable multiple discrete access control modules to be deployed, connected to an existing ethernet network, and treated as a single ‘system’ by the management software, while retaining full offline functionality in the event the network becomes unavailable. Further, some systems can be formed by utilising a fusion of all of the above connectivity methods. In practice, of course some applications would suit a deployment that relied solely on ethernet connectivity. Some other applications, especially systems or parts of systems that are part of an intruder and/or holdup alarm system, would better suit a deployment using a dedicated proprietary bus network, and other systems would suit a combination of these communications options. Selecting a system that can be deployed in a variety of ways can be enormously helpful in providing the flexibility projects might demand.

Functionality beyond security: The advent of open platform cameras
Functionality beyond security: The advent of open platform cameras

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Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places
Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places

With the pandemic still in full swing and no certainty as to when exactly it will come to an end, the world has been battling anxiety for months now. And with each day, circumstances change quickly and almost make it impossible to predict what will happen next, how events will unfold, and what actions to take in light of a new situation. But one thing is certain: the world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way. In this situation, what is possible to control is how the world will continue reopening – and specifically, how to ensure the safest possible reopening that will ensure the return of some degree of normalcy to people’s lives and business operations, while also managing the risk of COVID’s spread in the most efficient way. 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To this extent, the object detection and identification abilities of smart cameras can further reinforce this requirement and ensure that the absence of protective equipment doesn’t go unnoticed.  Essentially, these cameras can easily identify if an individual has coverage at any given point of time or not, notifying the local authorities about any risks immediately and helping them maintain necessary safety measures without having to interrupt their workflow or worry about missing a visitor without a mask. Detecting high temperature One of the key (and the most widespread) symptoms of COVID-19 is a high fever - a certain indicator of whether an individual may have been infected with the virus or not. 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