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IBM delivers video monitoring for Chicago Navy Pier

IBM has created an advanced integrated network video monitoring system for Chicago's Navy Pier. The project increases video security capabilities at Navy Pier and integrates new and existing safety resources to safeguard people and property.

June 11, 2009  By Staff

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority —
owner and operator of Navy Pier — IBM designed, built and implemented
the project, which utilizes new high-resolution cameras with far- and
wide- range viewing capabilities to add situational awareness
throughout the Pier and operational assistance during an incident. At
the heart of the solution is a network of cameras from IBM business
partner Axis Communications, and advanced Internet Protocol (IP)-based
video recording and monitoring system called, Omnicast from business
partner Genetec. The project is a result of a Port Grant from the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security to protect the Navy Pier complex, the
top-visited leisure and tourist destination in the Midwest, which hosts
more than eight million guests per year.

"We consider this to be one of the finest security command centres of
its kind in the country," said Juan Ochoa, Chief Executive Officer of
MPEA., in a statement. "IBM’s video monitoring system allows us to
better serve and protect a facility that is both a vital economic
engine for the City of Chicago and a beloved family destination."
The first phase of the project integrates cameras, alarms, sensors,
audio and analytics to protect the Pier’s visitors. The camera coverage
extends visibility along the perimeter of the Pier and its entrance and
departure points. Strategically placed emergency call buttons are
integrated with the video system and when activated will stream video
and audio content to the Pier’s new command centre.

IBM’s Smart Surveillance Solution (SSS) technology developed by IBM
Research allows video analytics to monitor the waterway and alert
security personnel when unauthorized boats approach restricted areas.
In addition to local monitoring from the Pier’s command centre, the
complete monitoring environment is also accessible by the Chicago
Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), the City’s
911 and incident management centre — where IBM has already deployed one
of the world’s most advanced city-wide intelligent security systems —
and by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) Marine Unit, the City’s
first responders for water-related incidents. The video will stream
continuously for live viewing by security professionals and will also
be recorded and archived for post-event review and analysis.

Upon completion of the second phase of the project, Navy Pier will
boast the greatest lakefront security coverage in the world. The design
includes the use of high-end laser infrared with long range
capabilities. The new cameras will extend coverage around landmark
venues such as McCormick Place, one of the country’s premier convention
centers and Soldier Field, the City’s historic football stadium, and
through waterways and walkways, including miles of beaches and harbors.
As with the first phase, coverage will be viewable at the OEMC and CPD
Marine Units ensuring an integrated approach to tackling real-time


"Chicago is one of the first and most ambitious adopters of the smart
city concept. As evidenced by this most recent project with Navy Pier,
the City of Chicago is committed to infusing intelligence into its
systems, processes and infrastructure to provide better quality of life
for citizens and visitors," said Roger Rehayem, principal of emerging
technologies for IBM Global Technology Services, in a statement. "IBM
is proud of its continued partnership with the City of Chicago, as the
City once again sets the standard for homeland security."

"We are proud to be part of this important project," said Fredrik
Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications Inc., in a statement.
"Partners like IBM appreciate our deep experience and broad product
range as well as the high image and product quality of our network

"Partnering with IBM and Axis to offer Navy Pier one of the world’s
most cutting-edge intelligent solutions has a very positive
experience," said Stephan Kaiser, Director of Sales, USA at Genetec, in
a statement. "We’re glad to see the Navy Pier leverage Omnicast’s
unique capabilities, including Federation, to link this new system with
the system installed at Chicago’s OEMC – this ensures advanced
monitoring and management as well as coordinated response."

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