Video technology solutions from Dallmeier help ensure an undisturbed shopping and leisure experience at Plus City in Pasching near Linz
"E2K2 – please take me to the nearest ice cream café." At the moment, this type of exchange is still carried out via a display rather than by voice control, but the speaker is still directed to the correct shop by a small robot called "E2K2". The technologies of the future have already begun to establish themselves at Plus City in Pasching near Linz. Security technology must also keep pace with this progress, and has undergone an important upgrade in recent months: The leisure city has been equipped with the very latest Dallmeier camera systems. So E2K2 is not the only companion dedicated to the safety and comfort of visitors to this deluxe temple to shopping in Upper Austria.
The shopping experience through the ages: From shopping centre to leisure city
The Plus City shopping centre is changing with the times and intends to be more than just a shopping centre for its visitors. The concept "From shopping centre to leisure city" has been well received, and so in the last few years Plus City has evolved from straightforward shopping centre into a deluxe temple to shopping and leisure city.
The combination of unusual architecture and recreational variety has turned the centre into a major public attraction. Besides the expansion to include over 200 shops, Plus City offers an immense range of leisure activities: from Pirates Land for children, a Skybeach, evening events and even the IMAX cinema and 4DX with the largest screen in Austria. Another surefire eyecatcher is the largest glass dome in a shopping centre anywhere in the world, guaranteeing a light-filled, friendly atmosphere.
Upgrading the security equipment – from analogue to IP
Plus City owes its state of permanent evolution to the passion for innovation and futuristic ideas for transformation of Plus City manager Ernst Kirchmayr. And his passion is not limited to just the area of visitor experience, it applies equally to the security equipment. It is important to him that the public is able to enjoy an untroubled, safe leisure experience. With the expansion of the shopping centre and the increasing numbers of visitors, it follows that the security element should also be raised to the latest standard. As a long-standing customer of Dallmeier and its Austrian sales partner G4S Security Systems GmbH, the facility has relied on video equipment from the Regensburg-based manufacturer since 2005 (in those days it was still analogue), and has expanded and upgraded its system progressively over the years, consisting in its latest manifestation of a networked IP video security system with over 200 cameras.
"The downward compatibility and flexibility of the Dallmeier solutions is ideal for us", explains Michael Pechmann, "we can extend and modernise the system in any direction, at whatever time suits us."
Designing the security equipment solution
"Video technology is a permanent element of the work we do every day to guarantee the safety of the visitors." explains Michael Pechmann, Plus City's security and technology manager. It is very important to monitor high traffic centres such as the escalators in the shopping centre, the cinema entrance, the large courts and building entrances in order to avoid accidents. Cameras have also been installed not only to monitor the car parks, but also in the Plus City tram station, which was built by Plus City for the express purpose of making access easier and more environmentally friendly. And particular attention has even been paid to the safety of the smallest visitors, children play in the Pirate Land children's playground under the "watchful eye" of several cameras.
Architectonic marvels pose challenges for lighting
The largest glass dome in Austria is undoubtedly an architectonic masterpiece, but at the same time it places exceptional demands on the camera and sensor equipment, because the high light incidence causes reflections in glass dividing surfaces and reflective floor tiles. These light patterns are pretty to look at, but the uneven lighting conditions they create must be rendered consistent by the camera sensors.
With the special sensor and encoder technology and outstanding low-light properties of Dallmeier cameras, the operators still receive images with optimum contrast, clarity and highest resolution. In all, about 200 cameras are deployed; depending on their purpose, these include box cameras, dome cameras, and since this year Panomera® as well.
Palmenplatz and Markusplatz: fewer cameras, not more
The names of two attractive courts and rest areas lend a southern charm to the interior of Plus City: Palmenplatz and Markusplatz (Palme Square and St Mark's Square). To keep these two areas safe, this year for the first time Dallmeier multifocal sensor technology will be used. With the Panomera®, the wide area around these courts can be monitored in uniform resolution and consistent depth of field, and with no blind spots, so just a few Panomera® systems are sufficient for a job which previously required many megapixel cameras.
What you plan is what you get!
In order to determine which were the right camera models and locations, the planning experts in the 3D engineering team recreated the entire project plan with a 3D model. Camera viewing angle, location, range, with the 3D model everything can be planned down to the smallest detail so that there are no surprises when the project is implemented afterwards. On the contrary, 3D planning ensures the highest possible planning reliability: All of the components have been preconfigured as the total solution in Dallmeier's purpose-built "Factory Acceptance Test" (FAT) Centre and finally subjected to comprehensive testing. In this way, it can be guaranteed that the entire system is 100% functional and there is nothing to hinder problem-free implementation and immediate commissioning on site.
SmartFinder and mobile app in daily business
From the user's point of view, the Dallmeier DMVC mobile app and Dallmeier SmartFinder are the most important features used by the Pechmann brothers in their day-to-day business. "With the SmartFinder, a system which searches intelligently for motion in the image, we can look for incidents in the video recordings very rapidly", explains Michael Pechmann.
And live access via Mobile Device while he is between locations is also essential for him. A problem can be detected and verified quickly and easily with a corresponding alert to his smartphone in case of urgency. The smartphone can then be used to ensure an equally quick and efficient response. That is imperative to ensure the smooth running of the shopping centre.
Tug-of-war between data protection and data security
No attempts are made to conceal the video surveillance effort. On the contrary, an open communication policy and transparency regarding the entire subject is extremely important for the operators, which in turn engenders a positive feeling among customers. Because on the precarious subject of data protection, open, candid behaviour is imperative. The corresponding data protection and data security modules which Dallmeier offers in the context of the EU GDPR also inspire the necessary confidence that the subject of video surveillance will be handled professionally and sensitively. Michael Pechmann's comment on the subject: "We are completely candid about the topic. Our visitors appreciate that, and we don't have to hide anything. In fact, visitors can view our control room."
Plus City has been a loyal customer of Dallmeier for decades now. Ernst Kirchmayr, Plus City Manager, declares: "We don't want anything that is not Dallmeier. Not only because we think the products themselves are good. In addition to all that, the quality of our cooperation with the manufacturer and the on-site partner is immensely important. Fast, uncomplicated support from Dallmeier and G4S at all stages of the process make all the difference for us."
This is also confirmed by Herbert Zachhuber of G4S: "Dallmeier delivers first-class products. Only a short orientation period is needed, the 3D project planning and pre-installation in the FAT Center help to shorten both configuration and installation times significantly. All systems are operational quickly, within the planned timeframe, and ensure a smooth workflow immediately."