While high-end video surveillance solutions are typically reserved for large-scale government or commercial applications, one luxury condominium complex in the heart of Dallas is using the same level of security to protect its residents. The 13-story high rise, which sits on one of the most prestigious pieces of real estate in the city, contains 24 units that range in price from the mid- to high-seven figures. However, living in such an exclusive community doesn’t mean that its residents are shielded from the normal, everyday security threats to which other citizens are exposed. Last year, less than a mile from the facility, a woman was followed into her parking garage and gunned down. The crime startled residents and spurred the condo’s board to upgrade its existing surveillance infrastructure.
Although the facility and its security staff were not novices in running a surveillance program, they knew the current tools were simply not robust enough to address the modern security challenges. The condo’s Board of Directors turned to Accu-Tech, a nationwide distributor of security products, which recommended the property development company install a range of high-definition cameras from Hanwha Techwin and a video management and license plate recognition (LPR) software from Arteco. With the additional cameras that were installed, the complex now has approximately 70 cameras, including both high-definition IP and license plate recognition models.
One of the most important criteria for the project, according to the condo’s security director, was that operators would be able to have crisp, clean playback of video and use analytics to set up virtual trip wires within the frame of the cameras to automatically trigger video recording when motion was detected. The managers also wanted to have the ability to keep track of vehicles entering and exiting the property to not only improve security but to eventually be able to create a database that would recognize residents’ cars and have gates automatically open upon their arrival. Fortunately, the Arteco Next video event management software and Arteco LPR application were able to meet and exceed these expectations on all of these fronts.
Following the implementation of the new high-definition cameras and the Arteco software, the level of video is significantly higher. The combination of high-resolutions images with ease of playback and control provided by Arteco Next has made the process of searching and reviewing footage much less onerous. While the security team tested a variety of video management systems, none of them measured up to the rich feature set and user-intuitiveness offered by Arteco Next.
“One of the great things about Arteco is you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use it,” the security director said. “We’ve used different types of VMS software before — everything from professional-grade systems down to something you would pick up at a big-box store — every one of them is different and they’re much tougher to use.”
Beyond ease of use, the functionality offered by Arteco Next, particularly its video analytics suite, is helping provide a level of protection that simply isn’t found in most high-end residences across the country today. Using the Arteco VEMS and LPR software, the security staff is able to set up a tripwire algorithm at the property’s vehicle entry and exit to view who’s coming onto the grounds.
“We have configured a ‘violation box’ with the Arteco Next software where, when a car passes by, it sets up an event log so that the only thing operators have to do is click on when that event took place and it will automatically play a 15-second clip that shows us when the car entered, what plate it had, and who was in it. The software also has a simple search window. All you have to do is put in the criteria and it pulls up exactly what you’re looking for,” said the security leader.
Accu-Tech and Arteco’s dedication to fine-tuning the system to the facility’s particular needs also impressed the condo’s security director. Overall, the on-site support and service they provided was unparalleled.
“If we wanted a program written or some extra materials provided to us, they could do it,” he said. “Arteco had people right here on site. I could say, ‘Hey, I’m having problems with this part of the camera, it’s a little too dark over here, what can I do?’ and they would take care of it.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge beyond procuring the necessary components for the system, according to the property’s security director, was simply gaining the technical expertise necessary to be able to use the Arteco Next software to its full advantage. However, the simplicity of the software itself combined with the service provided by Arteco’s support staff made becoming familiar with the platform a breeze. “They already have a great, easy-to-use system, so they just gave me the keys and helped lead me where I needed to go,” he said.
From beginning to end, the project took about a month to complete, however, the high-end high rise is likely still not done when it comes to enhancing its video surveillance system. According to the security director, the board of the high rise residence is “ecstatic” about the system and plans are already in the works to add more cameras to it in the future.