New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine June 2020 free digital issue




Latest Tech Boosts to Security and Convenience

Corona, Queens

Security and Convenience

Rosie (left) and Astro of "The Jetsons" fame.

Nov. 19, 2018

This is not something out of the animated 1960s TV sitcom, “The Jetsons.” This is something that’s actually happening today: a security robot named Rosie, equipped with cameras facing in four directions, is roaming the grounds of the massive Lefrak City compound in Corona, Queens, the New York Times reports. Though the Jetson family dog, Astro, is not part of this security upgrade, it is nonetheless one of the splashier technological advances that have been raising levels of security and convenience in residential buildings across the city.

In co-op and condominium buildings, for instance, property management firms have been increasingly installing camera systems with 360-degree vision (like Rosie’s) that can provide data analytics, according to Dino Iuliano, chief revenue officer at Planned Companies, a concierge, security, maintenance, and janitorial services firm. 

These systems send video footage to electronic encoders at security monitoring centers – either in the apartment building or at an off-site location. Encoders analyze and break down the video into data, and send alerts and responses when something is deemed out of the norm. For example, if a package has been left unattended in an area where it shouldn’t be, the system will signal the security firm to alert building staff

“We’re at the point where security in some high-end buildings is starting to resemble systems in casinos and airports,” Iuliano says.

As for convenience, a growing number of co-op and condo boards are adopting intercom systems triggered by cellphones. Firms like Doorport and ButterflyMX have been marketing smart-access systems that require new hardware at the building’s front door – but no new hardware or wiring inside individual apartments. Instead, tenants can use their phones as video intercoms to let guests and deliveries into the building. 

Ben Taylor, chief executive of Doorport, says the company is testing a new product that would allow co-op and condo boards to upgrade their existing intercom systems – without changing the current infrastructure by the front door. After an app is downloaded to a cellphone, Doorport’s proprietary software would allow tenants to create and send access codes to guests for temporary access to the building. Taylor, in an understatement says, “I believe easy access is gaining popularity as an amenity.”

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