Business & Marketing
Choosing the right technology for sporting venues
By Steve Bocking
Sporting venues face a different set of security challenges than a typical commercial or industrial building. Similar to busy shopping malls and mass transit stations, they have an extremely high volume of people that pass through their doors. However, people are often more rowdy than in a subway station, as they are there to cheer on their favorite team or watch their favorite band. Thus, the security staff not only has to worry about potential serious threats, but they also have to worry about fans getting out of hand individually or sometimes as a group.
By Steve Bocking
Some of the latest security technology such as megapixel cameras, mapping and Smartphone integration can potentially make the job of securing such facilities easier.
For all the hype around megapixel, I think sporting venues are one of the indoor applications where megapixel cameras can truly bring a lot of benefit. The main area to watch over such as the auditorium or arena is often huge with very high ceilings. A megapixel camera can allow for more coverage and the ability to gather more image details from a distance. Choosing to use megapixel cameras could also help to reduce the amount of cameras required in comparison to using analog cameras, thus potentially saving on cost. Some video management systems (VMS) and megapixel cameras have features to simultaneously view the same camera in different zoomed formats, essentially creating multiple cameras out of one.
Even though you can do digital zooms, I do not think megapixel cameras can fully replace a classic PTZ camera. And, in order to be more efficient when using a PTZ, there is advanced floor mapping software available. This type of mapping software can graphically display the position and field of view of the PTZ camera, even as the operator moves it around. Another feature within the mapping software is to have a PTZ preset called up based on which part of the mapping image is selected. Some advanced mapping software can even offer the ability to punch in a section and seat number of a stadium and have the closest PTZ cameras automatically zoom in on the requested spot.
This type of mapping technology is not only useful with PTZs, but can help manage fixed cameras, intrusion panels and access control systems/devices. Dynamic mapping technology can have an area of the map change color or flash if there is an alarm that goes off. For example, if someone tries to go out an emergency exit, the map could change color and the camera pop up in the live monitor. To go one step further, some VMS suppliers offer integration to Smartphones, so alarms can be forwarded to a security guard in the field.
By taking advantage of the latest features in electronic security such as maps, megapixel cameras and Smartphones, sporting venues can give their security staff the extra tools they need to be as productive as possible in such a challenging and fast-paced environment.