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Retail : All-seeing system keeps watch on Gizmondo’s flagship store
Gizmondo’s first store, opened recently in the smart surroundings of London’s Regent Street, is packed with technology – including a high-tech security solution. “I didn’t want any area to be vulnerable,” says IT Consultant for Gizmondo Simon Allaway. “I wanted every angle and every potential security problem to be addressed.”
Such an emphasis on security was perhaps not surprising given that the Gizmondo units have a security system at their heart. The Gizmondo device features a panic button that triggers a message to 10 mobile phones and immediate GPS tracking of the device. The technology was used in the company’s first product, called Childtracker.
Packed with technology
The requirements were quite different from a normal shop. “The amount of technology here is staggering,” says Tony Howell, Managing Director of installer Nolt Ltd. The space is packed with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D screens as well as many of the Gizmondo units, and so security had to be effective as well as fitting in with the high-tech image.
Fitting out had to be done in an extremely short time of less than four weeks.. “We ended up doing our work at night,” says Mr Howell. This was the easiest time, because of the amount of cabling that had to be put in. “The service I’ve received from Norbain has been fantastic,” he adds. “The technical support has been very good and the prices have been very competitive indeed.”
Mr Allaway has been very impressed. “I couldn’t have asked for more from Nolt. I was dealing with so many contractors but with Nolt they delivered their brief without any problems. I’ve had no teething problems with the security.”
The system has been designed to be effective while blending in. The system covers all areas of the shop, including the till area. A screen behind the counter enables staff to monitor those in the shop, though there is also a security guard providing discrete surveillance
The CCTV is split into two systems. There are about 30 CCTV cameras, mainly domes from the Vista VFD range of high resolution colour fixed domes (VFD-4V9CSe
Three other cameras form part of the retail solution, specifically designed to observe the cash area. Mr Howell welcomed the support from Norbain particularly in choosing the right focal lengths for the cameras above the till. “I wanted to be sure to get everything in the shot,” he says.
Footage from these cameras is recorded onto a Dedicated Micros retail solution digital recorder (DS2A6RSCD-320GB). There is an interface between the till and the till printer, with a small server networked into the shop’s network. “Every time a member of staff zaps a product the system shows what the product was,” explains Mr Allaway. This is then tallied against stock levels. The till receipt information is added to the recording from the camera.
The system is set to keep recordings for about six days. “The important thing on the cameras above the tills was to ensure that the image resolution was good enough to see exactly what was going on,” says Mr Allaway. Each image is about 30KB that enables them to be read clearly.
Dedicated Micros digital recorders (DS2A16CD-600GB) are also used for recording the output of the other cameras. “We chose a Dedicated Micros system both for its reliability and also because it would interface with the retail solution,” says Mr Howell.
Two 16-channel recorders were needed for the general cameras that provide complete coverage of the store, server room and stock room. Mr Allaway can connect remotely to any camera and record its data, archiving a copy on CD if necessary via the IP addresses set up for both recorders. “We have had one incident where the security system proved itself already. A laptop was stolen by an opportunist – he was caught and dealt with by police.”
Nolt Ltd, based in London is both a security installer and a design studio, offering to help customers find the right solution when the aesthetics of a project are of particular concern. Its installation service covers CCTV, access control and automated products such as gates and barriers, with clients in commercial, educational and domestic markets. Engineers in the company have more than 20 years’ experience and the company makes a policy of embracing the latest technology as it becomes available.
VVRDF4V9D/N x 1 – Vista vandal resistant high resolution day/night domes
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V28RC x 1 – Silent Witness housing for vandal resistant dome
QLAV1 x 1 – Silent Witness vari-focal lens
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