Smarter Technology: Crooks No Longer Two Steps Ahead of Security Teams

July 11, 2010 | Coverage

Smarter Technology

With a higher level of searchable surveillance solutions, a tech company is helping retailers and hospitality customers react more swiftly to incidents—and often thwart suspects before they have a chance to commit a crime.

For decades, security cameras were all about documenting criminal acts on video as they unfolded. But a security camera that can actually red-flag a crime before it happens? Now that's progress.

Thanks to advancements in surveillance solutions, retailers like Redner's Warehouse Markets are doing just that.

With 38 warehouse markets and 13 Quick Shoppe convenience stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, Redner's often needs to stay on top of organized crime teams that target its locations for shoplifting. In deploying searchable surveillance solutions from San Francisco-based 3VR, Redner's security teams can now use facial-search capabilities to find on video, tag known members of these crime teams as they walk into a store, and immediately alert staff to the potential for trouble. If a crime is committed—say, one that involves a suspect fleeing out a store door—3VR's technology allows staff to search the video for specific movement patterns. This avoids the traditional time-consuming process of scouring through endless video to pinpoint one short sequence of action. Today, Redner's security teams have reduced the time spent searching through video by more than 50 percent, which allows them to more swiftly respond to incidents and submit evidence to police.

"3VR has the most advanced system we've seen," says Cory Deily, director of security and loss prevention for Redner's. "The combination of all the functions—facial-recognition video quality and the types of video searches conducted—has proven to be very powerful for us."

Other 3VR customers are experiencing similar success: The 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston—the largest hotel in the city—has reduced video-search time of incidents from hours to seconds. It combines facial recognition, license-plate data and advanced motion analytics to get a step ahead of suspicious individuals who are known to frequent hotels in which they aren't guests and don't have legitimate business to conduct there. And Hilton is tapping into the technology to improve its customer service by identifying and analyzing guests' peak traffic flow times to make better staffing decisions. It can also input facial, color, directional and object-search functions to track down luggage if it gets lost.

"In a hotel as large as ours, it's hard to locate a person, let alone a suitcase," says John Alan Moore, director of security and life safety for the hotel. "3VR helps us find the needle in the haystack. The solution is immensely valuable from a security standpoint, and it has also empowered us to take hotel customer service to the next level."

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