Luxury and Security Meet
Choosing the proper video management system is a thoughtful choice
- By Mary Wilbur
- Sep 01, 2013
An icon on Chicago’s skyline, The Langham, a luxury hotel, is only
minutes from the commercial Loop district and within walking
distance to the leisure amenities of Grant Park and the famed
Magnificent Mile, the city’s premium retail and dining hub. The
Langham occupies the first 13 floors of a 52-story skyscraper designed
by celebrated architect Mies van der Rohe, residing in what was once the
IBM building on Wabash Ave. The hotel is committed to keeping its residents
safe and secure within its walls, where there are 268 luxurious guest rooms and 48
spacious suites. As one of only five, 5 diamond hotels in the city, the owners from
Hong Kong wanted to make sure that it remained a luxury hotel destination, even
after substantial refurbishment was completed.
Scott Superfine, senior project manager at M&R Electronics, a certified Salient
integrator in the Chicagoland area, won the subcontracting portion of the refurbishment
from the prime contractor to upgrade low-voltage systems, voice data
and life safety.
The entire installation of video surveillance and low-voltage equipment had
to be flawless as the building was declared a Chicago Landmark in 2008 and was
entered into the National Register of Historic Places. Plus, the owners of The
Langham, Chicago wanted to continue the traditions, values and legendary service
established by The Langham of London in 1865.
“We placed 180 Axis cameras in the facility, using Salient Systems’ Complete-
View VMS software,” Superfine said. “We see CompleteView VMS as the perfect
marriage of high-quality, video surveillance equipment. We see these cameras as
fairly seamless, and the entire install was an incredibility flawless integration.”
The end user also chose to deploy CompleteView throughout the hotel where
management is able to monitor floors LL2 through 13 in its own command center,
outfitted with two, 55-inch monitors and two, 22-inch monitors. In addition, the
command center is equipped with Salient’s Alarm Client, giving operators the advantage
of monitoring and recording through the use of an event-based system.
“We’re excited The Langham Hotel has been able to enhance their security
monitoring operations with CompleteView’s powerful, alarm-based, monitoring
features,” said Brian Carle, director of product strategy at Salient Systems. “Using CV SpotLight and Alarm Client, security system
operators can focus on the potentially-relevant,
event-based video. When designated alarms occur,
CompleteView can pop up video on single or multiple
displays and play an audio alert assuring attention is
focused on the event.”
Superfine said the event-based, notification system
allows for 2x2 tiles (4 images) on the monitor to
view the most recent activity from selected cameras.
AlarmClient picks up the images and plays them in
sequence from the first four cameras that are recording,
until it has played all the sequences.
“It certainly draws the attention of the operator,”
Superfine said. “An operator will pull up an event in
real time, which is an extension of motion recording
Repurposing is scheduled and event-based, where
motion recording will reuse the real-time view and
save it for a record, all while allowing the operator to
see what is going on in actual time. It comes in handy
to allow an operator to see first-hand anything that
causes an alarm, notifying them that something is
outside the norm.
The hotel offers its guests numerous niceties including
world-class culinary experiences, a wellness and
fitness experience, and elegant venues for enchanting
events. The Langham, Chicago is an ideal location for
large functions, innovative business events and intimate
meetings, all within 15,000 square feet of private
event spaces, comprising 12 function rooms. Guests
are assured specialized service and state-of-the-art
audiovisual equipment, which also must be secured.
Because of this, security at the hotel is taken seriously,
and the marriage of VMS and cameras were vital to
the overall success of the refurbishment.
“CompleteView provides a rich integration with
Axis cameras that allows users to take advantage of
many of the camera’s advanced feature sets,” Carle
said. “Capabilities such as on-camera motion detection,
input events, light control as well as edge-based
storage can be utilized with CompleteView, providing
flexibility in a number of deployment scenarios.”
The legacy of the hotel is one of sophistication and
elegance, where promises of any event or celebration
will be remembered for years to come. All of these opportunities
for guests are equal to the sophistication
of the security equipment deployed inside the hotel.
“To stand out, hotels must differentiate themselves
with high levels of service, and security is an important
piece of that,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager,
Axis Communications Inc. “The Langham’s decision
to install an IP-based surveillance system demonstrates
the value in a fully-digital solution. By leveraging both
encoder and IP-camera technology,
the hotel is able to provide its guests
and staff with a priceless amenity:
This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Security Today.