As physical stores look to push the boundaries of retail design, demand for non-intrusive security systems at the store entrance/exit is growing. Checkpoint Systems, a supplier of source to shopper solutions for the global retail industry, has responded with the launch of an underfloor RFID antenna, UF-1. Delivering the same market-leading quality as Checkpoint’s more traditional EAS antennas, but using unique, patented RFID reader technology, the UF-1 system offers a large read range, wi...
SecurAmerica, a leading U.S. man-guarding security company has announced the purchase of ERMC, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, SecurAmerica, headed by the legendary entrepreneur Frank Argenbright, will continue its relentless focus on growth. With this expansion of infrastructure, the combined business will operate in over 650 locations, employ more than 8,000 security officers, and have annual revenues of over $300 million. SecurAmerica will now be the fi...
Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analogue video surveillance solutions, will showcase its Wisenet P series multi-sensor/multidirectional cameras at ASIS 2017 (booth 3523). Available in 8 and 20 megapixel, these high performance multi-sensor/multi-directional cameras feature four imaging sensors that can be independently positioned to provide a wide surveillance area on spaces of specific interest making them ideal for an array of mainstream applications in parking lots, shoppi...
Hanwha Techwin America, a provider of global security solutions, is building on its commitment to deliver the industry’s highest-performance video solutions with the introduction of its new Wisenet P series multi-sensor/multi-directional cameras. Available in 8 and 20 megapixel, these cameras offer unmatched performance. They are ideal for applications such as parking lots, shopping mall entrances, lobbies, station concourses and airports. "Our multi-sensor cameras have the ability to pro...
Allied Universal, a facility services company, and the largest security force in North America, marks its one-year anniversary after forming a year ago via the merger of AlliedBarton Security Services and Universal Services of America. "Thank you to all of our employees and clients for their continued support and commitment that contributed to a phenomenal first year as our new company!" said Steve Jones, Allied Universal CEO. "I look forward to our continued success in the security and service...
Part 1 in our Intercoms in Security Series Lambert-St. Louis International Airport uses Code Blue intercoms Organisations are demanding a new level of interoperability among mission-critical security systems. Intelligible audio, the ability to hear, be heard and be understood, is critical to communication, which is essential to the core security processes within an organisation, as well as to emergency situations. Intelligible audio provides a platform to optimise various...
Among the 20-odd demos in the NVIDIA booth at ISC West were the latest robotic guards and security drones At ISC West 2017, NVIDIA’s technology for creating AI cities was just about everywhere at the U.S.’s largest security show. Among the 20-odd demos in the NVIDIA booth were the latest robotic guards and security drones. Future of AI cities There was object recognition software so accurate that it can personalise retail experiences or speed up law enforcement investigative work and there were capabilities that identify cars and pedestrians to keep traffic moving. AI (artificial intelligence) cities will be smarter, safer and more secure by deploying these technologies everywhere: on subways and streets, malls and government buildings, parks and traffic circles. NVIDIA partners ISC West The common thread these technologies share: They all use NVIDIA’s edge-to-cloud GPU computing platform. Here’s a peek at what more than a dozen of NVIDIA’s partners were showcasing inside their booths at ISC West: Aeryon – Unmanned aerial systems for public safety Aqueti – 100-megapixel super camera for wide-area surveillance Avigilon – Deep learning AI video search technology BriefCam – Fast video review and search Dahua – Pedestrian and vehicle detection and feature recognition Hikvision – Pedestrian and car detection and recognition Milestone – GPU-accelerated video management software MotionDSP – Video evidence enhancement and redaction Motionloft – Real-time pedestrian activity tracking Netradyne – Vision-based driver recognition RAD – Autonomous robot for public safety Sensetime – Face, object and attribute recognition VIMOC – Real-time, AI-enabled building automation Also at the show, NVIDIA held a hands-on workshop on “Creating Intelligent Physical Security Products Using AI and Deep Learning” on April 4th. Attendees learned how to use deep learning to create new intelligent video analytics applications for safety and security in AI cities. Throughout the show, NVIDIA experts, partners and industry leaders such as Avigilon, BriefCam and Milestone hosted theatre sessions in NVIDIA’s booth.
The COLDSTORE solution allows direct recording from the cameras, cutting down on additional hardware Veracity, a provider of innovative, intelligent solutions that solve real-world IP video challenges in transmission, storage, and display, announced its attendance at the BETT Show for the first time. COLDSTORE storage solution The BETT Show takes place between 25-28 January at the London ExCeL Arena, and is the largest show of its sector in Europe. By partnering with Kingsfield Computer Products on stand G372, and Kent CCTV & Data on stand E370, Veracity will show visitors from schools, colleges, and further education that choosing to use higher definition cameras to record in much greater detail is now perfectly possible using their award-winning surveillance storage product COLDSTORE. Depending on the environment and the use of open-platform cameras, it is also possible to reduce the systems’ overall total cost of ownership by recording direct to COLDSTORE from the cameras, cutting out the additional hardware, VMS licence and energy costs of network video recorders. Unique recording design “No longer need you worry about reducing the recorded resolution from your cameras to conserve hard disk space” “No longer need you worry about reducing the recorded resolution from your cameras to conserve hard disk space,” says Alastair McLeod, Group CEO of Veracity, “Or recording in high definition for short periods only. Retail malls are already realising the benefits of being able to record continuously in high definition, enabling them to retrospectively interrogate CCTV footage in greater detail than previously possible. COLDSTORE’s unique recording design, using only two hard disk drives at a time in a mirrored overlapping pair sequence, extends the life of those disks considerably and reduces system energy consumption by around 90% compared to similar-sized RAID systems.” POINTSOURCE Wireless solution Veracity’s transmission products will also be available for visitors to see, including the industry-benchmark HIGHWIRE family of products, enabling the latest IP cameras to be installed over legacy coax networks without re-cabling and with the associated business disruption. Also of interest will be POINTSOURCE Wireless, which enables installers to locally view IP cameras on a smartphone during installation.
Intersec 2017 to host a record international coverage of exhibitors for security, safety, and fire protection solutions European exhibitors are making their presence felt at a trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection, with the UK, Germany, Italy, and France leading the way in boosting exports to the buoyant Middle East market. Intersec 2017 will feature more than 1,200 exhibitors from 52 countries when it opens from 22-24 January at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with 85 per cent (56,000) of exhibition space occupied by international companies. Record international coverage The record international coverage is spearheaded by a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in exhibitors from Germany and the UK, as 82 German companies (64 pavilion and 18 standalone exhibitors) line-up alongside 143 British companies (86 pavilion and 57 standalone exhibitors). With 51 exhibitors (30 pavilion and 20 standalone), Italy will again have a dominant presence at the 19th edition of Intersec, while a French Pavilion will debut among nine returning pavilions from Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the USA. All will take aim at a Middle East commercial security and fire safety systems market that’s estimated to be worth a combined US$9.4 billion in 2017, according to analysts Frost & Sullivan. Security global trends “The strong international participation at Intersec underlines the enormous potential in the Middle East as an increasingly sophisticated destination for quality safety, security and fire protection products and services,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Intersec. “With security and safety high on everyone’s priority lists, Intersec 2017 will lay the platform for the latest global trends and developments, connecting leading international players with regional buyers.” "The Middle East is a greatmarket for UK exporters as the region appreciates innovativeand quality products which isat the core of Britishmanufacturing and services" The UK pavilion will feature the biggest names in the business across several of Intersec’s key sections, including Commercial Security (46 companies), Fire & Rescue (23 companies), Homeland Security & Policing (six companies), and Safety & Health (10 companies). Exhibiting security solutions provider Exhibitors headlining at the British Security Industry Association (BSIA)-backed pavilion include 360 Vision, Cortech, Norbain, Texcom, VCA, and Winsted. Standalone exhibitors include Tyco, the world’s 7th largest security solutions provider, and Bristol Uniforms, a leading global provider of emergency services protective clothing. Daren Wood, the BSIA’s Membership and Export Services Manager, said, “It’s testament to the continued importance Intersec plays in the international event calendar, that the UK Pavilions have built on the success of 2016, attracting even more exhibitors in 2017.” “The Middle East is a great market for UK exporters as the region appreciates innovative and quality products which is at the core of British manufacturing and services.” Inaugural French Pavilion Meanwhile, a 30-strong exhibitor line-up next year represents the largest ever participation at Intersec from France, including 10 in the inaugural French Pavilion. These include CNPP, Evolis, POK, Profoam, R-Pons, Spynel, STid, and Trackforce, a Software as a Service company specialising in web-based and mobile application platforms for real-time operational management of security services. Guirchaume Abitbol, President and CEO of Trackforce, said the company is currently working with one of the largest Middle East security companies to implement its solution in local malls and airports. “As an international company, growing at a great pace, we’re excited to release our products into the Middle East,” said Abitbol. “We’ll be showcasing our two main security operations management products at Intersec 2017 – a desktop software and a mobile app. We’ve been established in South Africa for the past two years and are just beginning to establish ourselves in the Middle East.” R-Pons will also demonstrate its unique capabilities as one of France’s leading manufacturers of firefighting equipment, including fire brigade equipment, hose reels, monitors and couplings. Intersec 2017 is expected toattract more 31,000 visitorsfrom 128 countries, as theyseek the latest solutionsacross seven show sectionsof Commercial Security Sébastien Chartier, Export Manager of R-Pons, said, “R-Pons will exhibit for the second time at Intersec, and our goal is to extend our export activity to the Middle East countries. The products we’ll show are specially adapted to petro-chemical plants.” “Our international recognition in the industrial, oil & gas, chemical, and fire brigade markets make us a key actor of the fire-fighting sector, and we’re convinced our range of high technology firefighting products will attract the attention and interest of visitors at Intersec 2017.” Innovations at USA Pavilion Also in the fire & rescue section in the USA Pavilion is Weflo Valve, which will display its UL / FM waterflow detectors, supervisory and pressure switches, along with new nozzle configurations for fire hydrants. Patrick Gray, Director of Market Development at Weflo Valve, said, “Approximately 25 per cent of our sales are to the Middle East, and we expect overall sales growth over the next 10 years, as customers in the region become more aware of our product lines.” Elsewhere, NVT Phybridge, a Canadian manufacturer of long reach Ethernet switches intended to aid customers extend their IP network simply and cost effectively, will present clients effective solutions to enable easy migration to IP security solutions. Steven Fair, Executive Vice President of NVT Phybridge said, “We’re expanding our sales in the Middle East and see this market as a big part of our growth strategy. We’re introducing new technology that will be able to deliver even more value to the building of new facilities looking to extend Ethernet to longer distances with PoE.” Commercial security sections Intersec 2017 is expected to attract more 31,000 visitors from 128 countries, as they seek the latest solutions across seven show sections of Commercial Security, Fire & Rescue, Safety & Health, Homeland Security & Policing, Perimeter & Physical Security, Information Security, and Smart Home & Building Automation. The annual showcase will feature a three-day conference programme; the Intersec Fire Safety Conference on 22 January; the Critical Infrastructure Security Conference, from 23-24 January; and the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) Forum, on 24 January. Intersec 2017 is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and officially supported by Dubai Police, the Dubai Civil Defence, and Dubai Police Academy. Save
Kevin Soulages, Assistant Director at Arizona Mills Mall, has a security/law enforcement background Arizona-based Kevin Soulages, a mall security professional for Allied Universal - a leading facility services company and the largest security force in North America with over 150,000 employees - recently received the “coveted” Simon Properties Tom Cernock Award for outstanding performance on the job. Valued member of the Arizona Mill Security team An Allied Universal employee since 2012, Soulages recently became Assistant Director at Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe. “Kevin is a valued member of the Arizona Mill’s Security team and receiving this coveted award only confirms that fact,” said Mark Lo Schiavo, Allied Universal Account Manager. “Kevin is an exemplary officer and continuously goes above and beyond the call of duty. He is reliable, hardworking, and knowledgeable in his craft. He is always ready to extend a helping hand to his fellow officers, mall tenants, mall management and our customers,” said Lo Schiavo. About Kevin Soulages Soulages has a security/law enforcement background that dates back to 1993 and he continues to perfect his knowledge and skills and he shares what he has learned with both his peers and subordinates. He previously worked at Phoenix Premium Outlets. The award is named after the late Tom Cernock, former Vice President of Corporate Security for the Simon Property Group, which contracts with Allied Universal for security. Cernock was a leader and pioneer in the area of security. Save
National Security Officer Appreciation Week was established in 2015 to recognize security officers' many contributions to our daily lives Allied Universal, a facility services company and the largest security force in North America, to honour all security officers with the second annual National Security Officer Appreciation Week from September 18 – 24, 2016. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 1 million security officers employed in the United States. "The great work of security officers can easily be taken for granted as, in today's society, a security presence has become the expectation," says Steve Jones, CEO, Allied Universal. "This special week presents an incredible opportunity to say thank you and recognise security officers' efforts to maintain safe and secure environments. When you see a security officer at your shopping mall, hospital, university, office, residential complex, please consider extending a thank you to them for their service." National Security Officer Appreciation Week National Security Officer Appreciation Week was established in 2015 to recognise security officers' many contributions to our daily lives. This includes contract and in-house security professionals across all industries. The appreciation week is also an opportunity to profile the many roles security officers fill; debunk misconceptions and stereotypes; and raise awareness of the career opportunities that exist within the security services industry. "As the security industry continues to grow, it becomes even more critical to recognise this expanding population," added Jones. "With one out of every 141 employed Americans serving as security officers, it is important to acknowledge their professionalism." Save
The Security Institute has issued a call for vigilance to those responsible for premises in the UK Andrew Nicholls, Deputy Chairman of The Security Institute, the UK's principal professional body for senior security personnel today extended the organisation's sympathies to all those suffering loss and injury as a result of the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida but also issued a call for vigilance to those responsible for premises in the UK. "This incident is another shocking example of violence targeted without conscience or remorse. In Britain we have past experience of attacks on bars and nightclubs, including the gay community being specifically attacked in London in 1999. These type of venues are sometimes described as 'soft targets' because they are places of recreation with a degree of unrestricted access." Contingency plans to respond to terrorist attacks Nicholls went on "The Security Institute encourages those responsible for the management of any premises, to develop contingency plans so as to be able respond in the event of a terrorist attack. The National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) have made available a range of advice to help organisations with this task. No-one wants to live in a fortress but all necessary steps should be taken to ensure that if the worst happens venues can take necessary steps to protect their customers and staff. Having an emergency plan to deal with a terrorist incident should be as commonplace as fire procedures. As the largest professional membership body in the UK the Security Institute has a wide membership with extensive reach and will assist wherever possible." Read more on the Orlando attack here
Rasilient Systems, Inc., the pioneer in video surveillance systems purposely architected for IP video recording, has been chosen to provide video surveillance storage solutions for Global Village Dubai, billed as the “world’s largest” tourism, leisure, shopping and entertainment project. Now entering its 21st season, Global Village Dubai is the Middle East’s first family multicultural festival park. The attraction entertains more than 5.3 million guests each season and has more than $2.2 billion AED in business transactions ($599 million American dollars). From November through April each year, Global Village Dubai visitors enjoy a shopping experience in more than 30 pavilions, 120-plus kiosks and two dozen restaurants and cafes throughout the season’s 159 days of operation. Video surveillance storage solutions “With more than five million visitors each year, Global Village Dubai required a solution that delivered high quality video recording and reliability,” said Sean Chang, CEO of Rasilient Systems. “At Rasilient, we are honored to have been chosen to provide a very important element of the overall security solution at Global Village Dubai. We designed our purpose-built video surveillance storage solutions for projects just like this.” “Our successful partnership with Rasilient means that we understand individual market demands, ensuring that we exceed expectations,” said Dr Mohammad Alketbi CEO of Forceis. When it comes to security solutions, we believe that quality counts. A 24/7 system availability can only be achieved through a robust and dynamic solution" “When it comes to security solutions, we believe that quality counts. A 24/7 system availability can only be achieved through a robust and dynamic solution.” Physical security integration services Rasilient partnered with Forceis Integrated Security Systems, a system integrator, to provide state-of-art security operation for Global Village Dubai. Forceis is an innovative forward-thinking organisation that provides expertise around physical security integration services in the United Arab Emirates. The video surveillance cameras at Global Village Dubai are managed by Milestone’s XProtect Corporate Video Management Software (VMS). Rasilient is a Milestone Systems Certified Solution Partner and together the companies have partnered in a number of successful video surveillance deployments, particularly in the growing Middle East region. “Global Village is pleased with the products and services Forceis Integrated Security Systems Offers. We have been extremely satisfied with the support provided by the technical staff and the professionalism throughout the company,” said Mansoor Salem, Senior Security Manager of Global Village. “The stability and resiliency of the Rasilient solution is impressive. System uptime is crucial to our business and we’ve had zero outages since we installed Rasilient. We are confident in our ability to rapidly scale our IT infrastructure no matter what size of customer now walks through the door.” ApplianceStor VMS storage servers The video surveillance storage solution used at Global Village Dubai includes six Rasilient ApplianceStor 74 Rack high performance VMS storage servers The video surveillance storage solution used at Global Village Dubai includes six Rasilient ApplianceStor 74 Rack high performance VMS storage servers that provide 100TB of storage. Rasilient’s ApplianceStor 74 Rack mount integrates VMS and storage into a simple-to-use, high performance video surveillance server solution. This eliminates the cost of a separate VMS server, significantly reducing cabling as well as the challenges of integrating VMS, OS, commodity server and storage. Proactive monitoring technology With Rasilient’s video surveillance storage solutions, every single camera frame is processed and recorded – what’s referred to as No Frame Drop – which is essential with the variety of security scenarios at Global Village Dubai that might call for video retrieval, said Chang. The ApplianceStor 74 is engineered to monitor its own “health” and operations to ensure that the system doesn’t fail when it’s most needed. This Proactive technology monitors the health of every disc drive in the system to enable cloning right before an actual drive failure. Global Village Dubai joins the list of the many projects Rasilient has completed in the UAE and surrounding areas over the last few years including the Zero 6 Mall that opened in April in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Rasilient Systems, Inc., the pioneer in video surveillance systems purposely architected for IP video recording, has been chosen to provide video surveillance server and storage solutions for Zero 6 Mall, the impressive new-generation shopping destination that opened in April this year in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Zero 6 is a 16,000 square-metre complex that offers a diverse selection of dining, retail and entertainment attractions. Strategically located in Al Juraina, in close proximity to prominent city landmarks like University City and Sharjah International Airport, Zero 6 celebrates Sharjah’s evolving lifestyle community experience. Security integration software “Security is always the top concern in designing and developing a popular tourist and resident destination like Zero 6 Mall. Rasilient is honored to have been chosen to help secure this impressive and unique facility,” said Sean Chang, CEO of Rasilient Systems. Rasilient worked with UAE-based system integrator Exceed Communications, LLC, on the Zero 6 Mall project. Exceed Communications is a leading provider of IT infrastructure and security system needs including network design, installation and management and video surveillance and IPTV systems. Video surveillance at Zero 6 is managed by SeeTec Video Management Software (VMS). An OnSSI Company, SeeTec is one of the leading solution providers for video surveillance in Europe. Unmatched data integrity “Video surveillance storage is critical for security point of view and we are fortunate to have the services of Rasilient Systems, which is a trusted name for unmatched data integrity and storage reliability,” said Issa Ataya, Managing Director, Alef Group. We are confident that Rasilient Systems will provide the most innovative and state-of-the-art technology for Zero 6 Mall" “Zero 6 Mall is a one-stop destination in Sharjah that appeals more to a new generation as it’s a premier lifestyle-oriented place. We are confident that Rasilient Systems will provide the most innovative and state-of-the-art technology for Zero 6 Mall,” Ataya said. Video management software Rasilient provided video surveillance storage for Zero 6 that offers unmatched data integrity, storage reliability and scalability to address future growth. Rasilient’s purpose-built technologies lower CAPEX and OPEX by extending product life expectancy and enabling scheduled maintenance instead of reactive maintenance as systems age. The video surveillance system in place at the mall provides petabytes of storage using Rasilient’s fully redundant ApplianceStor AS85R Server and PS5000 Rackmount IP Storage. Rasilient’s ApplianceStor AS85R is a modular server system which packs four high performance server modules in a single 2U rack mount platform providing unmatched performance and density. Each module can be used to integrate VMS, failover, archive, administration and access control servers in a single high density 2U system. The AS85R significantly reduces cost over a separate VMS server, reduces cabling and the ordeal of integrating VMS, OS, commodity server and storage. Because the AS85R is ideally suited for use in conjunction with Rasilient’s PS5000 Rackmount IP storage, the Zero 6 project also utilises the PS5000. Rasilient’s PS5000 Rackmount IP storage provides a simple-to-use, high performance, and large capacity video surveillance solution Large surveillance installations Rasilient’s PS5000 Rackmount IP storage provides a simple-to-use, high performance, and large capacity video surveillance solution. The purpose-built storage array is optimised for high performance megapixel and large video surveillance installations – both key characteristics of the video solution used at the Zero 6 Mall. Rasilient's patented advanced video caching technology – VAN, FlowThrough, StreamAlign – enables no recording gaps and data locking and increases read/write performance. This allows the capability of using both high resolution megapixel cameras and heavy camera loads. With Rasilient’s video surveillance storage solutions, every single camera frame is processed and recorded – which is essential for the variety of mall security scenarios that might call for video retrieval. The Rasilient system is also engineered to monitor its own “health” and operations to ensure that the system doesn’t fail when it’s most needed. This Proactive technology monitors the health of every disc drive in the system to enable cloning right before an actual drive failure. Reliable video surveillance solutions Zero 6 Mall is just one of many projects Rasilient has completed in the UAE and surrounding areas over the last few years, said Chang. “With the successful implementation of quality and reliable video surveillance solutions for projects like Zero 6, Rasilient continues its growth in the very important Middle East market,” he added.
The Mall of Switzerland, located in Ebikon in Lucerne Canton, has a total floor space of 65,000 square meters. It is the second largest shopping centre of Switzerland. Visitors to this ultramodern building complex can take advantage of about 90 stores, 18 restaurants, a multiplex cinema with 12 auditoriums, a large indoor playground and multiple exercise facilities. The Mall of Switzerland is expected to receive up to five million visitors a year. This poses considerable challenges for building security, for which it is relying on Bosch’s experience and expertise. “These days, trends and customer needs change faster than ever before. Buildings have to be able to adapt easily – although this of course also poses new challenges, for instance with regard to security,” explains Jan Wengeler, who manages the mall. “But with Bosch as our partner, we know that we can handle whatever comes up.” Enhanced guest safety For the Mall of Switzerland, Bosch’s building experts implemented a tailored security solution for controlling access to restricted areas. At its core is the MATRIX access control system, which features a combination of electronic cylinders and door fittings plus readers, terminals, controllers and software. A management system with a customised user interface visualises the states of more than 100 doors to let staff very quickly and easily monitor and control them. This significantly enhances the safety and security of guests and personnel, also in complex situations with large crowds. The operators are now facing the future with confidence, since additional parts of the Mall of Switzerland can be quickly and flexibly integrated in the overall system as required.
Checkpoint pioneered RF technology’s use in the retail industry and is now ushering in a new era through the introduction of a brand new electronics platform that is resetting the boundaries of what is achievable, both in terms of antenna design and functionality. Simon Edgar, Senior Director EAS Systems & Software at Checkpoint Systems, gives some information about the thought process behind the new NEO system. 1. Checkpoint is noted as inventing the first Radio Frequency-based Electronic Article Surveillance system, what would you say has been the main driver for you to re-think the whole Radio Frequency design? “Checkpoint has a long reputation of delivering quality RF hardware and labels. We have maintained our position as the market leader as we’re always looking for ways to improve the solutions we offer. That said, there are only so many antenna designs and innovations that you can come up with, while working from the same blue print. With the rapid rate of change retailers are having to adapt to, it made sense that our solutions were able to cope with these changes, particularly the increasing demand for connectivity between multiple new technologies and sensors. That’s when we started to think outside of the box, about redefining the antenna design – so that this valuable piece of hardware is fit for the rigours of today’s retail environment.” 2. How did you set about creating NEO? “Discussions about a new electronics platform started a couple of years ago. As technology changes, the options to adapt our electronics platform also open up, so we started to re-think the traditional RF loop concept. Bricks and mortar stores are striving to be more technologically advanced and connected in everything they do, in order to bring new customers through the doors and maximise their sales.As technology changes, the options to adapt our electronics platform also open up, so we started to re-think the traditional RF loop concept" So it made sense to apply the same philosophy to our antenna portfolio. We’re extremely proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time. It demonstrates that we’re at the forefront of retail technology and not many vendors can have a market ready product available within just eight months.” 3. How many people have been involved in its development? “The project was split in two, with an electronics development team and an antenna design team. All together the project has involved Checkpoint employees from around the globe, including 20 engineers, 10 technical designers and the entire senior management team of Checkpoint. This doesn’t include marketing, sales and our customers – who have been involved throughout the process. It has been a true team effort and we have combined the wealth of retail experience and technical know-how within our business to create something really special.” 4. Acousto-Magnetic (AM) technology has presented some benefits to retailers over Radio Frequency, including wider aisles. Why have you continued to invest in RF? “We believe that RF technology has more benefits than Acousto-Magnetic, including cost, detection and energy usage. It has always been our preferred option for antenna, labels and source tagging – where we protect manufactured goods straight out of the factory. The latter often involves a wide selection of differing tag sizes and formats, and when we started to investigate new ways to lay out the electronics, previous performance boundaries related to tag size started to melt away. We soon realised that the NEO platform would enable us to incorporate new connected technology, while early test results showed the detection rates in the new electronics configuration was outstanding, enabling retailers to achieve the same distance between antennas that AM technology provides.” 5. You are using NEO to develop sensors for different vertical markets, why is it important that different stores have different types of antenna? “When shopping on the high street or in malls, you usually spend a few hours browsing. Stores spend a lot of time to make their displays appealing and ensuring entrances are as open as possible to entice people in. As such there has been increasing demand for antenna designs that are minimalistic and deliver a clear eye line to the displays, rather than customers’ not being able to see past the point of entry/exit security systems. In contrast, grocery or DIY stores tend to have more frequent footfall, often with trolleys. Designs for these environments need to be sturdy enough to take a few knocks and last a good few years under these harsher conditions. Thanks to the NEO electronics platform, the scope for varied designs has opened up dramatically, so over the next 12 months expect to see some exciting design concepts that can be utilised across the retail industry.” 6. Do you see the adoption of RFID speeding up across Europe, and is that why being able to upgrade to RFID is important? “RFID has been talked about for a while and many retailers are now beginning to adopt this technology. We are also seeing the emergence of Bluetooth and NFC, while some retailers are experimenting with other wireless technology, Chatbots, VR, AR and AI. The customer journey is more complex and a diverse range of solutions are being created that help stores communicate with customers and improve the shopper experience.Over the next 12 months expect to see some exciting design concepts that can be utilised across the retail industry" So really, it’s not just about upgrading to RFID anymore, it’s about all round connectivity. By offering a wide range of ‘intelligent’ options, our NEO electronics present retailers with the ability to upgrade at any time; we are expanding retailer options beyond what has ever been possible with entry/exit systems.” 7. Connectivity is a key USP of NEO; how are retailers looking to connect their stores and what are the common challenges? “As we just touched on, connectivity is playing an ever increasingly important role in the retail industry. Different technologies can be combined to provide wider information and hugely valuable, actionable data for retailers. NEO will become an active contributor to this data flow and will provide many different insights that will help a retail store run more effectively, not only in reducing losses, but improving customer engagement.” 8. 75% of retailers globally say their major investments in the next decade will be in in-store tech. Why is it important retailers introduce new technologies, like NEO, into their stores now? “Recent studies have shown that bricks and mortar stores are still an important part of the customer journey. In fact, a large percentage of shoppers still want to visit stores despite the ease of shopping online. But however they choose to shop, their expectations remain similar – they want to easily find what they are looking for, they expect instant customer service, and, perhaps most importantly, they want an easy checkout. This is where technology, like NEO, becomes a key part of a physical store’s modern day infrastructure. Delivering actionable, real time data to staff in-store, can significantly improve the consumer experience, keeping customers loyal and the store relevant in this new landscape.”
Since opening in October 2014, Andamar Lifestyle Center struggled to contain strong Veracruz winds, which consistently left its swinging doors open and exposed the facility to heat, humidity, and sea breezes. In turn, this allowed the shopping centre’s air conditioning to escape, resulting in a second challenge: higher electricity expenses. Retail door access challenges Andamar Lifestyle Center is home to over 100 different stores spread throughout the nearly 2 million square feet of retail, restaurant, and lesiure space. Taking the mall’s estimated 5.3 million annual visitors into account, and the fact that 40% of them are entering through the main entrance, the air infiltration and loss situation became unsustainable. As a result, Rosa María Bueno, director of Andamar, began looking for solutions. “At first, we tried to find a way to solve the problem without getting rid of the manual doors that were already installed. So, we had about one guard at every door to make sure the doors were closed or to hold them shut against the wind. The reality is that we weren’t going to solve the problem that way,” Bueno explained. Visual design and ocean views Two important factors the centre needed to consider were the location and use of each door. In addition to its main guest entrances, Andamar has entryways to its terraces and ocean views, which are primarily used by waiters in transit – making easy access a must. “Because we’re beside the ocean, many people go outside to enjoy the air, take photos, and eat; as a result, waiters go in and out with their hands full of food, huge trays, etc. We needed to find the right entryway that wouldn’t make this process any more difficult,” Bueno said. Andamar Lifestyle Center is home to over 100 different stores spread throughout the nearly 2 million square feet Andamar also had to consider its original architects’ opinions. “The architects who designed the centre were very worried that the new doors would change its visual design and obstruct the ocean views, two important points that were taken into account from the beginning. After a detailed search, we found the ideal solution with Boon Edam,” the director said. Boon Edam revolving door solution In total, the shopping centre installed eight Boon Edam doors: three Crystal TQ automatic revolving doors, three Crystal TQ manual revolving doors, and two Crystal BoonAssist semi-automatic revolving doors. With the help of AVANCE Inteligente, a local door installation company, each door was installed with the specific entryway’s purpose and location in mind. Bueno affirmed that, in addition to receiving a customised analysis, the shopping centre experienced nonstop assistance and dedication from Boon Edam support staff during the project’s duration. This led to the right solutions, and gave the client complete confidence in the quality and adaptability of Boon Edam’s team. “We’re very happy with the solution from all angles. It meets its functional and aesthetic purposes, it contributes to our positive image, and the doors have allowed for the flow of visitors to achieve a good rhythm,” Bueno concluded.
Multitone Electronics plc, a specialist in the design, manufacture and implementation of integrated communication systems, announces that its Mall Call communications system has been chosen by Canary Wharf Group for its retail facilities. Security communication management tool Peter Lomax, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Multitone, commented, “We are delighted that Canary Wharf Group has chosen to use Multitone’s Mall Call solution to manage communications with retail tenants. With over 490 Mall Call Units being installed, more than 300 stores, banks, services and restaurants over five malls will be covered. Mall Call is designed as a dedicated communications tool and is perfect for a busy and extensive large-scale site, from sending service alerts to tackling crime and managing major events.” The flexibility, reliability and security of Mall Call is perfectly suited to the needs of a large retail management team. Peter continued: “The scope of communications requirements at Canary Wharf is vast, from everyday planning messages (such as opening times or maintenance), to dealing with shoplifters or even potentially an emergency and evacuation. Mall Call enables the estate management team to instantly communicate with the security teams and retail tenants when required.” Multitone i-Message platform Lee England at Canary Wharf Shopping also commented, “The Mall Call solution was ideal for our communication needs. The system has scope far beyond that which we are utilising initially and we look forward to the benefits of a long-term partnership with Multitone.” Mall Call uses a robustand seamless touchscreen interface, which can beutilised on any suitable smart device including a smart watch Based upon Multitone’s powerful i-Message platform, Mall Call is designed to provide high levels of communications availability to all relevant teams, with a tailored interface for the bespoke requirements of the specific applications and organisation using it. Mall Call uses a robust and seamless touchscreen interface, which can be utilised on any suitable smart device including a smart watch. The whole system will be hosted on a secure fixed and wireless system at Canary Wharf for full control of communications. Multi-content facility for regular admin updates From a user’s point of view, communications centre around the Mall Call Units, which are tamper-proof, fixed tablet-style devices that fully utilise the multi-content facility of the system and will be installed with each retailer. Along with text information and audible alerts, Mall Call also allows for the sharing of graphics or photo images and documents. This could be used for regular admin updates from the facilities team, warnings on known suspects to identify criminal individuals or to find a lost child or missing person, for example. Peter Lomax concluded, “With Phase One of the project underway, we are working closely with the team at Canary Wharf Group to investigate potential ways of expanding the project in the future. For example, Mall Call can be utilised over multiple sites, which offers further scope for expansion should it be required moving forward.”