IVCi Covers Battery Park City with an AV Integrated Security Blanket
By Nina Parker
Spanning 92 acres on the lower west side of Manhattan, Battery Park City is a unique urban mix of commercial real estate, residential dwellings, retail stores, and public parks. It is home to cultural institutions like the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Tribeca Film Festival, numerous upscale hotels, the World Financial Center and the New York Mercantile Exchange. It is also one of the top ten terrorist targets in New York City.
The tragic attacks on 9/11 affected most Americans, but perhaps no other part of the country experienced the horrific events of that day as intimately as those closest to ground zero in Battery Park City. As the area that is occupied by 20,000 residents and 40,000 professionals morphed into a chaotic danger zone, communication between emergency personnel practically came to a standstill, since radio systems collapsed due to the sudden onslaught of demand.
Battery Park City's vulnerability to attack, and the inability of its security team to disseminate information effectively on 9/11, brought to light the need for a centralized security system that would be reliable in the event of an emergency. Battery Park City Authority, a New York State public benefit corporation, initiated a disaster management project to help keep Battery Park City secure.
The Vice President of Safety and Site Management worked with Derive Technologies, an IT business solutions provider, to locate a company with extensive audio visual and security system integration experience. Industry expert IVCi was selected to design and install a customized AV solution that would be a key component of this project.
Prior to 9/11, Battery Park City Authority used a legacy security system which consisted of analog phones and closed circuit cameras connected to television monitors. This system relied heavily on the use of radio to call in events as they unfolded, and there was no ability to view more than one location on a monitor at a time.
The Vice President of Safety and Site Management needed a system that would help his team "see live action and identify where the impediments to movement are located." He described the need to find any obstacles so that his team could send people in a different direction if, for example, there was a protest blocking traffic, or a robbery was in progress. Under such circumstances, the Vice President of Safety and Site Management needed to be able to allocate resources effectively, and divert people to a different route. He needed reliable, first hand information about the security status of multiple Battery Park City locations.
IVCi's project management team worked with the Vice President of Safety and Site Management to design an audio visual solution that would give his team the ability to monitor up to 12 sites at once on three plasmas located at security headquarters. The feed from Battery Park City Authority's cameras was connected via Internet Protocol (IP) to desk top and lap top computers so that each site on the network could be accessed from anywhere simply by typing in an IP address. The user then has the option to view the feed from a personal computer, or from the three large plasmas located at the central security location.
Activity at the various sites can be viewed in real-time with a picture-in-picture layout. By dividing each plasma into quads with each quad showing one site, the user can see up to four locations on one monitor. The layout can be controlled from security headquarters with a plasma overlay, so that the user can simply touch the monitor and arrange it according to preference.
The security system itself is complex, so the GUI control system that is used to interface with the technology had to be easy to use, especially in a crisis scenario. IVCi designed a customized Crestron GUI control system that is intuitive and user friendly, so that in an emergency operation of the system would not present any difficulty. "We made the control system easy to use because we did not want the security team to have to battle the control system while they where battling a potential disaster," IVCi Senior Vice President of Audio Visual Integrated Services Tim Hennen said.
The Vice President of Safety and Site Management said he is pleased with his new system. "IVCi gave us the ability to have a state-of-the-art security system, which is an integral part of our disaster management project," he said. "The IVCi technicians and project management team were fantastic; they were patient, and they provided the necessary training and support. The professionalism IVCi demonstrated is a very good indicator of the overall work of the firm."
The Vice President of Safety and Site Management added that the project is rapidly becoming the cornerstone for lower Manhattan's security initiative. "By bringing all of these resources together, IVCi has helped us make our dream a reality. They have been an integral part of this fabric, this security blanket that we have put on Battery Park City."
IVCi, LLC (www.ivci.com | audiovisual.ivci.com) is a leading integrator of managed enterprise collaboration solutions, including HD video conferencing, telepresence, audio visual and managed conference services. From our headquarters in Long Island, New York, and branch offices throughout the country, IVCi makes conferencing and audio visual solutions easy to use, easy to manage, and easy to afford.
About Derive Technologies
Derive Technologies devises and delivers innovative and strategic business solutions along side of the world's leading technology manufacturers including HP, Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Cisco, Panasonic and more. Since 1986, the company has been known for sustaining long-term, trusted relationships with clients in the corporate and public sectors, with practices in the Financial Services, Healthcare, Advertising/Media, Legal, Government and Education, Retail, Transportation and numerous other vertical industries.
Derive is dedicated to designing, deploying, managing, virtualizing, as well as providing ongoing support for technology infrastructures which enable enterprises of all sizes and budgets to be more productive and to achieve dramatic business growth. The company is privately-held and headquartered in New York City. Please visit Derive Technologies' new web site at: www.derivetech.com.
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