Interview: Chris Williams, Managing Director of Wavestore

Chris Williams smallChris Williams is Managing Director of Wavestore, a UK manufacturer of Video Management Software (VMS). The company has recently been presented with two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the UK’s most prestigious business awards, which recognise the global lead the company is taking in providing innovative video solutions.


Chris, most of our readers will be familiar with video surveillance or what is more commonly know as CCTV systems. What does VMS add to the effectiveness of these systems?

Major events take place in large venues where it is likely that there are video surveillance systems with high camera counts. VMS puts operators firmly in control of these large video surveillance systems by allowing any combination of camera types and images to be displayed on a control room screen and recorded at the same time. These can include high megapixel and ultra-high definition 4K cameras, as well as 360° fisheye, thermal imaging and what may be early generation legacy analogue cameras.

Equally important, a well designed VMS provides a platform that makes integration between disparate third-party technologies simple. These include solutions from leading camera, access control, recording and sensor providers as well as developers of video analytics software, making it possible for users to effortlessly operate, monitor, control and manage a best-in-breed total security solution from a single screen.


Wavestore Screenshot

Facial Recognition

The ability for VMS to support facial recognition software deserves a special mention as it can be a very powerful tool to rapidly identify specific individuals and to help track  their movements. When analysing what may have been thousands of hours of pre-recorded video, facial recognition offers the possibility of matching images against what could be a large database of would be trouble makers.

When linked to an access control system or some other method of controlling access to a stadium, facial recognition, working in harmony with a video surveillance system via a VMS, can provide a highly effective and fast method of visually verifying the identity of an ID/access control card holder and/or flagging someone who may be on a watch list who has attempted to enter a controlled area.

VMS can also unlock a host of business intelligence and operational benefits and enable the deployment of technology such as intelligent video analytics, whilst augmenting often ‘dumb’ systems with video to create a much more powerful and effective total security solution. By doing so, it can enable users to achieve maximum return on investment from their security solution by unlocking its full potential.


Can you give some examples of where VMS integrated with video analytics, can deliver benefits to those involved in major events?

Most public events are, of course, licensed to take place subject to a number of health & safety and security conditions, including the maximum number of people who are allowed to attend. In these situations, video analytics in the form of people counting software, can provide a highly effective method of ensuring that these numbers are not exceeded.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) has obvious benefits to those involved in traffic management and parking enforcement, as well as verifying that a driver/vehicle is authorised to enter a restricted area.


Is it viable for these types of sophisticated systems to be deployed on a temporary basis for short term major events?

We have recently been successful in winning a contract to provide a permanent security solution with facial recognition functionality and very high resolution cameras to give  authorities control over entrances into a stadium and provide them with excellent situational awareness.

The solution has the ability to pro-actively alert staff to persons of interest, provide advanced live surveillance and also acts as a powerful tool for post-event interrogation. In addition to this we have provided a mobile element where cameras and analytics are able to be moved around the site to meet the needs of specific events. Utilising a video surveillance solution in this way, working in harmony with a wide range of other systems and technologies, makes for a total solution that offers enhanced return on investment and flexibility in use.

However, we are also able to accommodate purely temporary solutions. Wavestore successfully provided an enterprise level video management solution for South East Asia Games 2015, whichfeatured 36 sports and 402 events.

Conceived 28 years ago as a means to help forge strong regional cooperation, understanding and unity within the South East Asian community, the Games once again returned to Singapore who were also the hosts in 1973, 1983 and 1993.

During the 11 days of the Games, live images from over 500 cameras installed at sporting arenas located throughout Singapore, were transmitted to a central control room where they were recorded and stored onto an enterprise level Wavestore VMS solution. Singapore Police operators were able to use Wavestore’s leading review suite to search and instantaneously retrieve recorded video of any incidents and display them alongside live images of any activity occurring within the arenas and surrounding areas.

Wavestore’s VMS sat at the very heart of the total video surveillance system and we worked closely with the local installation company to ensure that Singapore Police and the Games’ organisers were able to take full advantage of the innovative and technically advanced features of the Wavestore VMS, in order to create a safe environment for everyone who attended or participated in the Games.


Additional information