World-class service, sublime surroundings, and luxury within reach are all things you will find at Davenport Hotels in downtown Spokane, Washington. The four-hotel collection runs the gamut from classic to contemporary, full-size to boutique, and historic to modern. Guests can enjoy luxurious spa, wedding, and business facilities, as well as some of the best dining in the city.

Davenport History

Opened in June 2015, the new 716 room Davenport Grand Hotel offers a unique alternative for travellers who seek a reprieve from the traditional, uninspiring hotel environment. The Davenport Grand provides a lifestyle hotel experience in a highly social atmosphere rich in cutting-edge design, energy, and comfort.The management team knew from the start that an analog surveillance system would not be sufficient

Crafted to appeal to both business and leisure travellers, the Davenport Grand combines the dynamic qualities of urban living with best-in-industry services and amenities in a unique setting. The new Davenport Grand embraces the glorious past of the Davenport Hotel with a bold, modern spirit and joins the historic Davenport Hotel, Davenport Tower, and Davenport Lusso family.

Move From Analog To IP

Davenport Hotels had relied on an analog video surveillance system for the existing hotel facilities and structures. For the new Davenport Grand Hotel, hotel management wanted to ensure the safety and security of its guests, employees, and visitors while helping to prevent theft and other loss.

It was also important to be able to capture images of the vehicles that come and go from the public garage used by hotel guests. This would enable the hotel to better deal with potential vehicle damage claims, which is a common issue in the hospitality industry.

Each of the Davenport Grand’s planned camera applications would require highly detailed video, and the management team knew from the start that an analog surveillance system would not be sufficient.

“We have other hotels that have analog cameras installed, so getting a more current system with clarity was a priority. We decided we're not going to invest in an older system,” said Kevin Miller, Corporate Director of Security for the Davenport Collection of Properties. Instead, an IP megapixel surveillance camera solution would be required.

Leveraging Megapixel Technology

Hotel management had a system design in mind, which Kevin Jetton, A-TEC’s President, was able to refine based on what he saw after touring the facility Working with Spokane-based security firm A-TEC, the hotel narrowed its potential choices down to three camera vendors, each of which submitted a bid for the video surveillance system project. After evaluating all of the products included in the bids, the hotel chose IP megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision, primarily based on image quality. Exacq was chosen as the video management software.

“If we’re going to build a new surveillance system, we need to make sure that if we have an incident, we can actually see who was involved,” said Miller. “We wanted an innately high-quality, flexible solution, and we got it with Arecont Vision.”

A-TEC Software Solution

Hotel management had a system design in mind, which Kevin Jetton, A-TEC’s President, was able to refine based on what he saw after touring the facility. According to Jetton, the changes were largely based on the ability to cut the hotel’s costs without sacrificing camera coverage.

“We pride ourselves on determining what the areas of concern are, how we are going to address them, and what cameras will do the best job,” Jetton said. “We realised we could incorporate SurroundVideo Omni and other Arecont Vision megapixel cameras to lower the camera count and increase overall views.”

Before moving forward with the modified design, A-TEC set up a software solution in conjunction with demo cameras provided by Arecont Vision. These were used for test shots to provide to hotel management the types of views they would be able to get with the cameras Jetton recommended.

“Once we were able to get it all set up and show them what they were going to get with the reduced camera counts and increased camera views, they were definitely on board,” Jetton said. “I knew what solution needed to be proposed. My partnership with Arecont Vision is unprecedented, and I knew that presenting the Davenport with this solution was going to be a success because we were all working together.”

The Arecont Vision cameras have allowed the Davenport Grand to take a more proactive and preventative approach to security
Arecont Vision SurroundVideo Ombi user-configurable omni-directional multi-sensor megapixel cameras were used in the installation, such as in the Grand Bar.

Arecont Vision Camera Families

The overall installation included nearly 70 Arecont Vision cameras, all of which were deployed to suit the individual areas in which they were to be used. The installed cameras are from several Arecont Vision families.

  • SurroundVideo® Omni user-configurable omni-directional multi-sensor megapixel cameras 
  • SurroundVideo® 180° panoramic multi-sensor megapixel cameras
  • MicroDome® ultra-low profile megapixel dome cameras
  • MegaBall® megapixel dome camerasA-TEC remained in close contact with Kevin Miller and hotel management to ensure that they knew the details of the project’s progress and to demonstrate the evolving system as cameras were deployed
  • MegaDome® 2 megapixel dome cameras with remote focus/zoom

Throughout the installation, A-TEC remained in close contact with Kevin Miller and hotel management to ensure that they knew the details of the project’s progress and to demonstrate the evolving system as cameras were deployed. Stuart Wells of A-TEC led the onsite installation and integration of the system, working with the Davenport team.

“A-TEC did test shots for us before the hotel was even finished so we could see the exact depth, range, and view that we were going to get with each camera,” Miller said.

Megapixel Solution Benefits

Davenport Hotels had a number of safety and security goals for its new surveillance system in the Davenport Grand. Hotel management wanted to ensure that the cameras wouldn’t be the first thing guests noticed. With their high quality and their sleek, unobtrusive design, the Arecont Vision cameras have met those needs.

“We certainly didn't want to give people the feeling that they're being watched throughout the hotel,” Miller said. “We really like how the low profile of the cameras and the multi-sensor capabilities enabled us to use just one camera opposed to four separate ones.”

Shortly after the installation was completed, Jetton conducted a test to see just how unobtrusive the surveillance system was.

Proactive And Preventative Approach To Security

The Arecont Vision cameras have allowed the Davenport Grand to take a more proactive and preventative approach to security“I took two visitors with me to do a walk-through of the hotel when the installation was first completed and I challenged them to find the cameras. On many different occasions they didn’t even notice that they were in the camera views,” he said. “People are there to relax and enjoy their time away; they don’t want to feel like they are being watched by cameras.”

The Arecont Vision cameras have allowed the Davenport Grand to take a more proactive and preventative approach to security, something that would have been missing from an analog surveillance system. “We can see activity and hopefully stop and report behavior to prevent things from happening,” Miller said.

In terms of return on investment, the ability to avoid claims for which the hotel is not responsible has been a major benefit of the new system in the Davenport Grand. This has been particularly the case with the vehicle valet service.

“With the valet service, customers will come in and claim that marks on their vehicle weren’t there when they arrived, and quite honestly, they may believe that’s true. With the Arecont Vision cameras, we’re able to look at the video and say with confidence whether the mark was there when he or she arrived at the hotel,” Miller said.

Preventing Theft

The cameras have also helped with a number of instances of items disappearing from the exterior of the hotel. In one example, the Davenport Grand was able to provide the local police department with video which led to the items being returned and the thieves apprehended.

In addition to the Davenport Grand’s potential cost reduction from a lower camera count, savings were realised in other areas as a result of the new surveillance system which is monitored on the premises.

“What’s really nice is we can actually view the cameras from several different locations in real-time or in playback,” Miller said. “These cameras help reduce our on-floor manpower and increase our effectiveness because there can be one person on the floor and another person who is watching the cameras, who can cover 10 times more area than one person can on foot.”

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Security Technology And AI: A Powerful Duo In The Fight Against COVID-19
Security Technology And AI: A Powerful Duo In The Fight Against COVID-19

A person infected with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infects an average of 2.5 other people within five days. You do not need to be a mathematician to realize that early detection of infected people is key to successful pandemic containment. The aim of effective containment strategies is therefore not so much to reduce the number of absolute cases as it is to extend the time frame within which they occur. Without effective containment measures, the virus spreads rapidly and is beyond the capacity of the health care system. However, if infection rates can be minimized through early detection and rapid, targeted identification of further infections, cases will continue to occur over a longer period of time and remain within the capacity of the health care system. Identifying, testing and results For example, the goal of many countries is to carry out as many Corona tests as possible to quickly identify infected people. It is then necessary to identify and reach potentially-infected people and isolate them in quarantine. This is a tried and tested procedure. But this method also costs valuable time in the fight against the virus and has many unknowns. The determination of a concrete test result alone sometimes takes up to 48 hours due to limited laboratory capacity. Added to this is the imprecise and slow procedure for determining contact persons. Or do you still remember exactly who and where you shook hands with in the last ten days - and could you provide information on this? Security technology to the rescue When it comes to the time factor, security technology can be a great help. Thermal imaging cameras and temperature sensors, for example, can help to detect a person with elevated body temperatures. Fever can also be one of the symptoms in those infected with the Coronavirus. At neuralgic points such as airports and train stations, or at entrances to hospitals, thermal imaging cameras can quickly reveal which people have fever. Presumably infected people can be easily separated and asked about other symptoms. Physical security technology can make a great contribution here. Dr. Frank Gillert, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Wildau, Germany states, however, as one of the leading scientists for logistics-centric security research, he demands "rapid innovation in dealing with situations like COVID-19 should be a priority". He sees enormous potential in the possibilities of IT and artificial intelligence; "We should use the disruptive changes that are currently taking place and that are challenging global orders to strengthen the significance in IT infrastructure development and also in security technology development.“ The goal in a global crisis And he is right: In global crises such as the Corona pandemic, security-related deficits become apparent and space is created for technical innovations. The goal of governments and companies is to restore security and save human lives as quickly as possible. The German data analytics powerhouse G2K, for example, has developed a Corona Detection & Containment System (CDCS) that is ready for immediate use in record time. Detection takes place in combination with AI-supported data analysis to specifically identify virus hotspots and distribution routes, as well as to identify other potentially infected persons. When developing the system, the focus was on two questions: How do I detect a suspected infected person in crowded environments and even more importantly, how do I quickly and comprehensively determine the person's contacts and previous whereabouts, and find correlations and patterns in this information? The data experts of the Berlin-based company found the answer in the combination of physical security technology and their existing data analytics platform. The G2K system The system is based on G2K's scalable IoT platform "Situational Awareness Builder" (SAB), which is already in use in several projects worldwide and sets standards in process automation and process optimization, including security management. As soon as a person with fever is detected by the system, he or she can be immediately screened to avoid contact with other people and thus prevent possible new infections, i.e. to interrupt the chain of infection. For this purpose, stationary thermal imaging cameras or smartphones equipped with a temperature sensor accessory can be used. The potentially infected person must now be registered and referred to a doctor or hospital for further specific diagnostic measures. The entire process is covered by a mobile G2K application. A combination of security and medicine The platform can bring together available hospital capacity, infection reports, movement and contact profiles and provide an excellent picture of the source of infection. Thus, medically necessary isolations can be implemented quickly. At the same time, infected patients can use the app to document their recovery and become actively involved. All this data is centrally managed and analysed, using deep learning methods. This provides crisis managers with a single monitoring, control and resource management tool that enables immediate action to be taken to combat the spread of the virus and gives officials full transparency on the status of the pandemic. Karsten Neugebauer, founder and CEO of the company behind the solution, explains his commitment as follows "A few weeks ago we too were faced with increasing difficulties due to the Corona crisis. As we have a strong presence in Europe in particular, we had to struggle with postponed project starts and limited resources". But instead of burying their heads in the sand, G2K's dedicated team decided to declare war on the virus." "In our entrepreneurial duty, we, therefore, decided to use our available technology and equip it to fight COVID-19. Our team has been working day and night over the last few weeks to expand our software platform to enable us to contain the pandemic quickly and effectively. Politicians must now immediately push ahead with the unbureaucratic implementation of prevention and control measures such as our CDCS to ensure the stability of our public systems," demands Karsten Neugebauer. The pandemic continues As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads from continent to continent, researchers around the world are working to develop antidotes to the virus. As long as this has not been found, the spread of the virus must be slowed down internationally. Only by this can system-relevant infrastructure be held consistently. Combining modern physical security technology with platform technology and artificial intelligence provides an excellent possibility to slow down the current and for sure, future pandemics.

Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits
Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits

News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence.  Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns  The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time  One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place. 

Axis Expects Body-Worn Camera System to Expand the Technology Use Cases
Axis Expects Body-Worn Camera System to Expand the Technology Use Cases

Axis Communications has introduced a body-worn camera solution, which the company says represents a natural extension of their corporate vision, business strategy and core competence. The new body-worn cameras and other elements of the system will provide Axis new opportunities to grow by tapping into existing and new customers. The fast-growing body-worn camera market is an attractive one, and Axis sees opportunities to extend the use of body-worn cameras beyond the current core market of police and corrections officers. Private security applications for the technology include healthcare, education, banking, public venues, retail, logistics, transportation and places of worship. The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind, says Martin Gren, Founder and Director of New Projects at Axis. “We try to make it fit with existing customers.” Deploying and using the system The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind Gren says the system is easy to deploy and use. The Axis W100 camera provides 1080p images, wide dynamic range (WDR) and has dual microphones, operating 12 hours on a single charge. GPS/GNSS global satellite navigation provides location, and a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer offer additional data beyond the video image. For example, sensors might be triggered in some situations to initiate recording.  One-bay (Axis W700) or eight-bay (Axis W701) docking stations enable high-speed supervised data offloading and battery charging, and a system controller (Axis W800) provides a central point for integration and management. Use of Zipstream compression technology saves on bandwidth and storage. Video cannot be accessed in the field, but only when a camera has been docked. There are many layers of security, and encryption protects all data used in the system from being accessed by outside agents. The USB interface cannot be connected to an ordinary computer but only to the docking station. Open standards Open standards ensure easy integration with video management systems and/or evidence management systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. At the time of release, the Axis body-worn camera system is already integrated with Milestone XProtect, Genetec Security Center, and Axis Camera Station VMSs. It is also integrated with the Genetec Clearance cloud-based evidence management system. An application programming interface (API) will facilitate additional integrations over time.  The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels of distributors, systems integrators and resellers. The camera is part of the Axis “ecosystem,” which includes the company’s familiar network cameras as well as recent additions such as access control, network audio systems (including loud speakers), intercom door stations, a radar detector and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “The more things you integrate, the more value you add to customers,” said Gren. The new body-worn camera systems are core products for Axis; they are not made by another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and merely sold under the Axis label. “When we decided to do body-worn cameras, OEMing was not an option,” said Gren. “Instead we took some experienced Axis engineers and a bunch of new ones to develop this product line to ensure the same Axis quality and compatibility.” Introducing the new product The body-worn camera system was unveiled remotely in a press conference webinar; the original plan was to introduce the new product at ISC West, which was canceled to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to announcing the new product, the Axis executives provided commentary and insight into the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “The security industry is a close-knit community that is connected in more ways than one,” said Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Vice President of the Americas. “We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision to address such challenges.” We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision" “There is some disruption in the Axis supply chain, but we have a broad partner-based supply chain when it comes to our sub-suppliers, our seven global CLCs (Configuration and Logistics Centers) and the distributors who keep inventory for integrators,” said Nilsson in the March 18th press call. “There is some stress on some components, but things are working relatively well under the circumstances. We are monitoring it on a day-to-day basis, but so far we have been able to hold things up very well.” Gren offered a comment on the possible use of thermal cameras (which Axis makes) to measure body temperature during the COVID-19 crisis: “When we designed our thermal cameras, that was a common question,” he said. “But in general, it is difficult to use a thermal camera to get an accurate reading. We have one model – the Q2901 – that is a temperature-accurate thermal camera, and if you look straight into the camera, it is accurate to around 1° F. However, there are more efficient ways to [measure temperature]. In general, it’s not a business application I would recommend.”