Hartland Company Develops Security and Surveillance Devices

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:39 pm

Until last year, the West Chicago Police Department was looking for a new technological solution for the cameras in its squad cars. Before the advent of digital video recording (DVR), squad cars had VHS tapes to record events involving police officers. The VHS tapes were a hassle to search through for a specific event recorded. They were bulky to store, had a limited amount of space available for recording and required a supervisor to insert or remove the tapes, said Mike Uplegger, commander for the West Chicago Police.

"We were looking for new technology that was true digital, able to record to a computer in a squad car, with the capability of downloading wirelessly to a computer in our police station," Uplegger said.

The West Chicago Police Department decided to implement Recon, an integrated system of security and surveillance devices developed and manufactured by Eye Digital, the security device division of Hartland-based Eye Communication Specialists Inc.

Eye Communication Specialists (Eye Com) offers document management services. Eye Com launched its Eye Digital division about five years ago to focus on security devices after its Eye Com Computers division showed success, said Lee Fenzl, general manager of Eye Com.

Eye Com also develops and manufactures high- and low-volume banking equipment, including technology for check encoders and teller stations.

The Recon product line offered by Eye Digital was recently launched to cater to law enforcement organizations. Eye Digital spent about two-and-a-half years developing the products and is now in the process of marketing and manufacturing the Recon line.

The integrated combination of mobile and stationary security and surveillance devices enables organizations to have maximum surveillance with less management and hassle.

Eye Digital’s clients include casinos, grocery stores, park districts and law enforcement agencies, Fenzl said. Eye Digital hopes to break into markets other than law enforcement with its Recon products, including trucking companies, bus companies, college campuses, airports and train stations.

The Recon system offers products including the SkyCam, the Recon mobile DVR and the Wireless Outdoor Bridge.

The SkyCam is a full-color, full-motion digital video camera that offers a remote function, can record 30 frames per second, magnify a frame up to 22 times and features a three-mile viewable radius. 

The Mobile DVR is a camera that is implemented inside of a vehicle. The Mobile DVR can output files to a CD, DVD, television or VHS tape.

Both the SkyCam and the Mobile DVR can store images up to 30 days and can be set to an alarm system so that when the light bar on top of a squad car goes off, the Mobile DVR begins recording. SkyCams can be set to a motion sensor-type alarm system.

Microphones can be added to the SkyCam and the Mobile DVR for a complete audio and visual recording.

The Wireless Outdoor Bridge allows for automatic video download from the mobile DVR and the SkyCam to a command center. The wireless capability also enables users to control and view the SkyCam camera and the Mobile DVR from the command center.

In a law enforcement scenario, the SkyCam, Mobile DVR and Wireless Outdoor Bridge can work together in such a way that if the SkyCam is on a light pole at an intersection where there was a traffic accident, an officer driving a squad car to the accident can view the scene from the car on the Mobile DVR by communicating with the SkyCam, Fenzl said.

All of the technologies within the Recon system can be sold separately and work individually or as an integrated system. Because the products are digital, they have a higher picture quality that can aid in a court case or during a possible break in.

Fenzl declined to disclose the price of the Recon system.

Eye Digital developed a proprietary software application for the Recon system so that the footage cannot be tampered with.

"The idea is to integrate the products," said Milos Rakidzich, a sales representative for Eye Com. "The Skycam cameras can be aimed in any direction and can record special clips. They can also be viewed by a police car (if implemented by a police department) with a remote and can communicate."

The West Chicago Police Department began implementing Recon into squad cars about one year ago. The department is currently working on making a wireless connection in the police station so that the cameras in the squad cars automatically download to the command center once the car comes into the signal of the Wireless Outdoor Bridge.

The police department plans to implement SkyCams on light poles in certain areas of West Chicago to integrate Recon, Uplegger said.

The City of West Chicago recently approved the funding to implement a Recon camera system for security at the Metra train station there, Uplegger said.

Elizabeth Geldermann is a reporter for Small Business Times. Send technology news to her at elizabeth.geldermann@biztimes.com or by calling her at (414) 277-8181, ext. 121. Technology news can also be sent to: Elizabeth Geldermann, Small Business Times, 1123 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202.


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