The retail sector in Ireland has seen strong consumer expenditure in the last few years.  In addition to providing growth opportunities for national brands, global retailers including Harvey Nichols, H&M Hennes, La Senza, Footlocker and Jessop's have entered the Irish market.

The traditional centres of Irish towns are often unable to accommodate the growing need for both commercial and residential property that this boom has spawned.  As a result, new satellite shopping centres are springing up in key locations around the country.

Ballincollig New Town Centre in County Cork is one such development.  10,000 square metres, with 34 retail units, it opened in October 2005 and currently welcomes 50,000 visitors per week, a number that will rise as the population of Ballincollig itself is predicted to double in the next three years.

The challenge

O'Flynn Construction, the developer of Ballincollig New Town, recognized that the shopping centre would face stiff competition from similar offerings being built around Cork.  It therefore approached digital media network specialist, Radiant Ireland to design and implement a visual feature in the centre's focal point, the Winter Garden Café.

The objective was to engage visitors with eye-catching and informative displays.  In providing a pleasing environment, the developers aimed to differentiate the centre from others in the region, and encourage shoppers to spend more time there.

The solution

After recommending a digital signage solution, Radiant installed Ireland's first suspended video wall using Margay rear projection cubes from digital display provider Clarity Visual Systems.  As the area had shop fronts on all sides, any display had to be above store eye line and large enough to engage an audience.  The nine units are mounted a three by three configuration that results in a 3.8M diagonal display, 3.3 x 1.9 metres in size, four metres above floor level, and tilted at a 15 degree angle.  Margay cubes are ‘zero mullion' - they display their picture to the edge of the screen so there are no frames between units - and the overall effect is a ‘Big TV'.

When selecting the type of display technology, the environment and use need to be taken into account.  For example, the Margay screens provide a good quality image in daylight, essential for a shopping centre.  They are also wide screen and high-resolution, so the picture quality does not degrade as shoppers move in relation to the unit.

Darach Kelly, Managing Director of Radiant Ireland states:  "Ballincollig Shopping Centre represents the new face of retail in Ireland.  As such it was essential that we installed state-of-the-art technology that would engage the audience yet be robust enough for this environment.  Clarity Visual's Margay screens ticked all the boxes."

Screen content at Ballincollig, which is managed remotely, is a mixture of entertainment, public information, centre branding, third party advertising, and continuous news feed in the form of a ticker display.  Live events, such as sports matches, are also broadcast as appropriate from terrestrial or satellite television.

Adding value

In order to meet stringent health and safety standards, Radiant commissioned a specially constructed steel frame on which to suspend the screen, which weighs around 800 kilograms.  The built-in electric hoist system allows the wall to be easily lowered for access.

The solution also makes use of Clarity Visual's WallNet monitoring system that remotely controls and diagnoses the working status of the screens.  For example, should any maintenance or repairs be required, even to the extent of a replacement bulb being needed, an engineer is immediately alerted by SMS in order that any downtime is kept to a minimum.

Engaging the customer

Jim O'Leary, Shopping Centre Manager at Ballincollig, concludes:  "Our ‘Big TV' makes Ballincollig much more than a shopping centre and truly differentiates us from the competition.  In providing a variety of entertainment and information we have developed an additional communication channel with which to engage and expand our customer base."

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

In case you missed it

How Does Audio Enhance Security System Performance?
How Does Audio Enhance Security System Performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

What Are The Mainstream Uses For Thermal Cameras?
What Are The Mainstream Uses For Thermal Cameras?

The high cost of thermal imaging cameras historically made their use more likely in specialized law enforcement and military applications. However, lower pricing of thermal imaging technologies has opened up a new and expanding market for thermal cameras in the mainstream. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new opportunities for thermal cameras in mainstream physical security?

Identiv Unveils Cloud Access Control and Frictionless Mobile Solution
Identiv Unveils Cloud Access Control and Frictionless Mobile Solution

Even though ISC West 2020 was canceled, many of the product introductions planned for the trade show still happened. For example, physical security and secure identification company Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is a cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution. It is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. Smart mobile physical access control solution Identiv’s MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. We caught up with Jason Spielfogel, Identiv’s Director of Product Management, to discuss the new products and other topics. Q: How is Identiv positioned in the market as a whole? What philosophy drives your product offerings? What vertical markets do you target? Every customer needs every one of these components Spielfogel: Identiv provides a total solution. Our platforms provide access control hardware and software, video surveillance and analytics, door access readers, and ID credentials, both cards and mobile, for a variety of vertical markets: Federal government, state, local and education government agencies (SLED), healthcare, schools, banks/financial services, retail, airports and transportation, and infrastructure. Every customer needs every one of these components in every physical security deployment, and we ensure that all parts are working together at all times, even as technology continues to evolve. With that said, our philosophy is very customer-centric, and we position ourselves as a trusted partner. Our products and technology platform always strive to reflect and anticipate the environment our customers are facing, both in terms of technical requirements and functional capabilities. Q: How does the MobilisID system eliminate "friction?" Spielfogel: Identiv’s MobilisID eliminates the “friction” of access control by forgiving the user from presenting a physical credential to the reader. A simple wave of their hand over the MobilisID reader establishes a connection, and the reader reads their mobile device’s credential from the MobilisID app.  No badge or access card to read, and no contact with the reader, makes this a frictionless access control experience. Administrative friction is also eliminated because there is no physical credential to issue or withdraw; it’s all done via the MobilisID Manager. Q: Discuss the advantages of Bluetooth over competing technologies. Bluetooth offers a blend of reliability and specificity Spielfogel: There are two primary competing technologies: WiFi and Near Field Communication (NFC). The problem with WiFi is that it’s not location-specific. In other words, the WiFi router can’t tell which door the user is near. NFC has the opposite problem in that it’s impossible to get credential reads unless the phone is presented within an inch or two of the reader. Bluetooth offers a blend of reliability and specificity to create frictionless access. Q: "Touchless" has always been a big selling point. Doesn't the coronavirus improve the outlook for these systems even more? Spielfogel: The coronavirus certainly highlights the value of frictionless access. But the vast majority of access systems today use proximity which was already touchless. But for systems using touchpads or contact-based credentialing, certainly frictionless is offering some alternatives that would help keep employees and visitors safer in the current climate. Q: How else might the current pandemic change the security market forever (i.e., more teleworking?) Spielfogel: Permanent changes are not likely, but it does force security directors to rethink how their employees interact physically with systems for both physical and logical access. As a result, we might see accelerated adoption of some emerging technologies, such as greater use of mobile logical access solutions, as well as frictionless physical access control. We’ve already seen an uptick in our smart card reader and token line and our Thursby enterprise and personal mobility offering during the coronavirus pandemic. Q: There are a lot of cloud systems in the access control space. How is your Cirrus cloud product different? Velocity already has all those features Spielfogel: Cirrus is different from many others in that it’s built on one of the most mature, feature-rich, secure physical access solutions available today – Hirsch hardware and Velocity Software. While many competitors are scrambling to add features to their relatively new ACaaS platforms, Velocity already has all those features. While they are building up their encryption capabilities and cybersecurity testing, we’ve already been doing that for two decades. We certainly have some more development ahead of us for Cirrus, but most of it is just surfacing features we already have into the Cirrus interface. Q: How do you guide customers as their needs change? Spielfogel: Whether users want solutions that are on-prem, in the cloud, or anything in between, Identiv’s full architecture ensures that customers can adopt and migrate to new solutions as they see fit. No two customers are alike, so providing the flexibility to gradually update or change systems is a real differentiator. Our competitors either want customers to jump all at once to the cloud or push to keep everything on-prem/legacy. CSOs and CISOs live in a different world: They've got it all to deal with.  We're there with them across all of it, because that's the true reality.