Market focus: Retail security

A roundup of recent security applications and installations

The Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minn., has deployed the Pivot3 Serverless Computing array for video storage as part of a major upgrade. One of the largest malls in the world, Mall of America has more than four miles of storefronts, 13,000 employees, and hosts nearly 40 million visitors each year. The Serverless Computing Array running on Genetec Omnicast video management system software helped to improve the quality, speed and reliability of the surveillance system, which covers 4.2 million square feet of enclosed space - including a seven-acre indoor amusement park and a 1.2 million gallon aquarium.

"We have been working on a plan to double the size of this mall, and the combined storage and server solution provides us with the flexibility and the scalability needed to expand more efficiently," says Chris Lake-Smith, director of IT at Mall of America.

Systems integrator VTI Security recommended the platform, which uses 40 percent less power than a separate Fiber Channel (FC) SAN and server combination. The specification called for 15 days of storage at 24 frames per second and 4-CIF resolution (704 x 576), so the mall's IT department selected six of the supplier's CloudBank appliances, fitting 72 TB of storage capacity and six embedded servers into less than two feet of rack space.


T3 Motion Inc. has partnered with Target, one of the world's largest retailers, for nationwide deployment of T3 Series personal mobility vehicles at more than 100 Target stores. Target's Asset Protection team members will leverage these vehicles to help provide safe and secure parking lots at their stores throughout the U.S.

The all-electric T3 Series vehicles are produce zero gas emissions and are solely designed for professional security and public safety applications. The dynamic relationship between Target and T3 Motion also includes mutual strategic sponsorships of the National "Safe City" Foundation, which creates partnerships among law enforcement, business and community organizations to proactively reduce crime.

Reaching speeds up to 25 mph and designed with the input of law enforcement and security industry professionals, the T3 Series features a zero-degree turning radius and compact design - perfect for maneuvering through crowds and tight spaces. The vehicles include an integrated LED lighting system, and two rechargeable, lightweight batteries can be easily swapped out while in use for continual deployment.

West Edmonton Mall

The West Edmonton Mall (WEM), in Alberta, Canada, has selected and installed Synergis from Genetec for a major access control system upgrade. With the completion of the initial phase of the upgrade, security staff use the system to protect more 70 doors, with plans to continue expanding the system in the near future.

Prior to the installation, WEM had two disparate access control solutions in place which required several different access control cards, creating an administrative nightmare and taking up valuable resources in both the security and human resource (HR) departments. With the help of Contava, an Alberta-based security reseller and integrator, the upgrade provided WEM with the tools to be more efficient and expeditious in response to critical situations.

"The Active Directory integration in Synergis has taken a lot of the day-to-day administration work away from HR personnel who no longer have to wait for Security to issue or activate a badge," says Joseph Schuldhaus, VP of Information Technology at Triple Five Group of Companies, the owner and manager of West Edmonton Mall and Mall of America.

With Omnicast, the supplier's video surveillance solution, already managing more than 800 cameras at various Triple Five Group owned and managed properties, the integration of the two solutions has been another key benefit. In real-time, dispatch can see video of a door being opened along with the credentials of the employee who is accessing the door. The solutions have also enabled WEM to build and successfully implement an innovative application for remote door release.