IP video and intelligent security system at Chicago's Navy Pier

IBM partners with Axis and Genetec for world's first intelligent networked video system for public safety


ARMONK, N.Y., June 10 -- IBM has announced the creation of one of the world's most advanced, integrated network video monitoring systems 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.

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 state-of-the-art 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 8 million guests per year.

"We consider this to be one of the finest security command centers of its kind in the country," said Juan Ochoa, Chief Executive Officer of MPEA., "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 center.

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 center, the complete monitoring environment is also accessible by the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), the City's 911 and incident management center - 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 threats.

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