Needing to replace a 20-year-old analogue video system, Cosmo Music Vice President and COO Rudi Brouwers, started researching modern video management software (VMS). Initially he intended to purchase IP cameras and a basic VMS with the ability to record and playback. But Brouwers soon learned of the vast capabilities of modern systems. He turned his focus to finding one that went beyond basic video management to offer business intelligence. In particular, he was interested in face recognition, which would enable Cosmo Music to identify suspicious customers to prevent shoplifting. Working with integrator Northern Alarm Protection Ltd. (NAP), Brouwers looked at a number of different systems, and ultimately decided on Axis cameras and Senstar’s Symphony VMS with its Face Recognition analytic.
Cosmo Music was established in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada in 1968. Its current 56,000 sq ft store opened in 2008, making it the largest music instrument store in North America. It is also home to the Cosmopolitan Music Hall venue.
“I was sold on Symphony when I got to actually use it,” said Brouwers. “It floored me how easy it is to work, how straightforward it is. It is so user friendly it is unbelievable.”
Brouwers likes several of Symphony’s core features, including:
• the ability to save video for up to six months (he had been hoping for 90 days)
• customisation options (for example, recording only when motion is detected)
• ability to bookmark video
• the mobile app, which lets users connect to Symphony via a smartphone or tablet to view and playback video, control pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, manage I/O devices, receive alarm notifications, and more.
Before implementing Senstar’s Face Recognition video analytic, when a suspicious customer was identified through video surveillance, Brouwers would screen capture an image, email it to staff, and ask them to keep an eye out for that person. With Senstar’s Face Recognition video analytic, Brouwers can flag suspicious customers in Symphony. When that person enters the store again, Brouwers is automatically notified.
Brouwers tested the analytic thoroughly and was amazed by its capabilities. “One of our staff had a full beard one day and it was shaved off the next day and the system still picked him up,” said Mr. Brouwers. “That’s what sold me on it.” Symphony and the Face Recognition analytic, deployed on Senstar’s R-Series network video recorder (NVR) hardware, have been running at Cosmo Music since April 2018 and Brouwers couldn’t be happier.
“It’s everything I dreamed of and more,” he said. From an integrator perspective, NAP, who had significant VMS experience but never used Symphony, thinks the product is a great option for business intelligence applications. “Symphony is the right fit for any application that requires enhanced security such as analytics. It’s superior to many other systems out there,” said NAP President and CEO Dave Koziel. “From a ‘deliver what is promised’ standpoint, it’s 12 out of 10 on the scale.”