A Forward Pass

SISCO's FAST-PASS system uses Canon network video cameras to improve lobby control

"The needs of lobby control for general population entry are becoming paramount," said Anthony Zagami, president of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Security Identification Systems Corp. "In the event of an emergency, if you need to evacuate the building, it would be very difficult to determine who was still in the building from a log book."

For both security and emergency purposes, there is a very basic need to identify people that are inside a building. For years, log books have been a standard for recording visitors, but because of issues with legibility and credibility, they are not always reliable.

SISCO has a solution to this problem with their FAST-PASS technology. FAST-PASS is a cylindrical tube that sits unobtrusively on countertops and has the capability to capture both the facial image of every visitor and their driver license. The key component that enables the FAST-PASS system to perform this function is Canon's PTZ network video solutions cameras, which can instantly adjust to quickly capture the video image of all visitors to hospitals, schools, building sites and other secure locations. And because humans come in all shapes, sizes and heights, PTZ capabilities of the Canon camera are invaluable because they instantly adjust to whatever position is necessary to take clear, high-quality facial images of visitors, regardless of how tall or short they may be.

For both security and emergency purposes, there is a very basic need to identify people that are inside a building. For years, log books have been a standard for recording visitors, but because of issues with legibility and credibility, they are not always reliable.

The camera then goes vertical, pointing straight up and instantly re-focusing to capture an image of the visitor's driver license, passport or travel document, which is placed on a glass window atop the cylinder. These two images are then combined to create an ID badge for the visitor, all in under 20 seconds. Such speed is crucial when handling credentials for hundreds or thousands of people every day.

Finding the Right Camera
"A fixed-position camera is a lot more awkward to use because you have to physically position the camera by hand, and you're not getting the quality that a Canon captures," Zagami said. "This camera's versatility allows us to focus, zoom and position the camera with the touch of a button or the move of a mouse. This allows us to get the best photograph possible in a situation where clarity can be critical."

Canon's control interface for its NVS PTZ cameras has made it easy for SISCO to integrate the camera into its FAST-PASS system. SISCO designed FAST-PASS with ease of use as a key imperative. Operators with no previous camera training can control the position of the Canon NVS camera inside the FAST-PASS system effortlessly with a keyboard or a mouse. Zagami is pleased by the Canon cameras' compatibility with the FAST-PASS software.

"The operating convenience has been a huge benefit. You're looking at the screen, and you're moving the camera with the keyboard or mouse for the pan, tilt and zoom, and whatever else you want to do to control the camera. It's that simple," Zagami said.

By using FAST-PASS to keep more detailed and sophisticated records of visitors, SISCO has helped to reduce the number of false or suspicious entrants to its clients' buildings.

"It eliminates a lot of people that would enter fraudulently because they know their photograph is being taken and their driver license or travel document is being tested," Zagami said.

After the camera takes the image of the visitor's driver license or travel document, the operator can then perform a background check to prevent entry if necessary. This is used by SISCO customers in the Florida school system, for example, where the newly enacted Jessica Lunsford Act mandates that all school visitors and contract employees must be checked against an offenders list before being allowed on campus. FAST-PASS helps to keep Florida's children safe by checking the visitor's photograph and identification against those of registered offenders.

Other Applications
SISCO also has kiosk-based versions of FAST-PASS that enable self-enrollment of return visitors to a secure area. A visitor whose information was previously entered into the system can simply swipe their driver license or travel document again, and the system prints out a pass that the visitor picks up at the security desk.

One kiosk-based version of FAST-PASS is known as A-PASS and it is used on cruise ships for fast and easy tracking of passengers as they board and de-board the vessel. This serves to prevent people from fraudulently boarding a ship, and provides a means of making sure that nobody gets left behind when a port visit is concluded.

Whether integrated into its desktop or kiosk-based security systems, the reliability of the Canon cameras is an essential part of the success of SISCO's technologies.

"We've used hundreds of these cameras, and we haven't had many, if any, field failures at all," Zagami said. "They've been super."

Based on the field success of FAST-PASS domestically, SISCO plans to launch efforts to market the product internationally. SISCO also is looking to bring FAST-PASS into event management such as concerts and auto races.


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