University Of Miami Makes Move To Centralized, IP Video Surveillance

IQinVision recently announced the University of Miami, Florida, has installed over 350 IQinVision megapixel cameras throughout its main campus in order to create a safer environment for students, staff and visitors. The University of Miami is a private research university with more than 15,000 students.

The university had maintained video surveillance for a number of years, but as Jose Ruano, executive director of IT Security, explained, “Our challenge was that a university is very de-centralized. We had so many legacy analog systems, and we were looking to bring it all together into a unified system that we could manage in a centralized manner.”

Campus police are responsible for monitoring video and investigating any incidents, but as Ruano pointed out this was made very difficult by the many disparate systems.

In order to integrate all the different video systems into a single unified system, Ruano and colleague Steve Weatherly, senior security engineer, knew the university needed to upgrade to IP.

“It was much more economical to upgrade our cameras and run them over the IP network than laying coax,” Weatherly said.

Both Weatherly and Ruano conducted extensive research and identified companies they wanted to visit at the ISC West security tradeshow.

“When I first saw a demo of an IQeye megapixel camera, I was blown away at the quality of compared to analog,” Weatherly said. “Ever since then it’s been IQinVision.”

In addition to selecting IQeye cameras, University of Miami also chose OnSSI video management software for their upgraded security system.

The university actually has over 400 cameras installed, with approximately 90 percent of them IQeye HD megapixel cameras. IQeye cameras are installed wherever image quality is critical for identification purposes -- parking lots and areas that typically have a high density of students.

The university police also conducted an analysis to identify high crime areas. Cameras were then installed to address pressing needs at the locations identified in the study.

As legacy analog cameras fail, plans call for replacing them with more IQeye cameras. 

Ruano and Weatherly are also testing standard definition IQeye cameras and they report that they are impressed with the “very good quality.”

For the University of Miami’s megapixel cameras, image quality is the critical selling point. As Ruano pointed out, “You often see for those typical convenience store robberies that the camera gets an image, but you can’t see who the bad guy is. We’ve had several instances in which the police get a screen shot or a video clip from 20, 30, even 40 feet away and you can see the face -- you can ID that person.”

The OnSSI video management software allows campus police to view images from all the IQeye and other cameras, while each school or separate department views only the cameras installed in their buildings or area.

“We see our video surveillance as an important, valuable deterrent tool,” Ruano said. “Some see Miami as a high-crime city, so the fact that we have a video surveillance system of this size and high quality is very important for our student’s parents -- they need to be assured that the university has made a major investment in the security infrastructure to provide a safer environment for their children.”

Weatherly, Ruano, and other university staff are continuing to explore ways to assist law enforcement to more effectively perform their critical work. Improvements under study include police viewing video from squad cars and monitoring video on iPads or other mobile devices while patrolling on foot. 

In addition to much improved video image quality, Weatherly commented how those who walk the campus also seem to appreciate IQinVision’s design prowess.

“Staff and faculty notice the IQeye camera’s sleek design, which is not intimidating, yet it has a great picture and it blends very well with the environment,” he said “It’s aesthetically appealing. They’ve seen these cameras and they feel protected.”

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