Putting Faith in Video Analytics
Millions of people visit the Vatican’s public areas every year. Its library and museum collections, which belong to the extra territorial part of the State of the Vatican City, are of the highest cultural significance; buildings, such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, house some of the world’s most famous art, including works by Bernini, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raphael. With such a large base of visitors, as well as the cultural significance of the site, the Vatican needed to implement a reliable security system.
Intelligent video appliances, monitored by a command center, are being used to detect intruders along a 37-mile perimeter of sensitive areas, entry and exit gates and the wall surrounding the Vatican. The Vatican is currently in the process of implementing additional units; the project required extensive initial observation to see if the solution was a good fit for the site.
The first unit was installed in 2005 following a year of intensive testing, which demonstrated the system’s stability and reliability. Since then, the video analytics solution has proven itself an effective deterrent against intruders and has optimized the daily tasks of those responsible for surveillance.
Systems integrator Picksec International Group understands the value and sensitivity of the location. “As one of the world’s most important sites, the Vatican presented unique challenges,” said Boaz Harpaz, CEO of Picksec. “The security system had to be extremely reliable 24/7 in very crowded surroundings and under varying weather conditions. It also had to be capable of automatically adjusting to frequent changes in public access schedules while ensuring a low incidence of false alarms. Last but not least, it needed to be easy to install and maintain.”
Additional ioimage units are currently being installed. These units, which are composed of IP cameras with built-in self-sustained video analytics and video encoders using autonomous pan tilt zoom tracking, will be managed by the Corpo della Gendarmeria the Vatican’s security and police force. Led by Inspector General Domenico Giani, the Corpo della Gendarmeria will monitor the site from its control room.