Dallmeier set to record `hole in one´
Organisers of a ‘hole in one’ golf competition are using a completely new surveillance concept: a mobile CCTV system mounted on golf buggies to validate competitors’ attempts at achieving a ‘hole in one’. German CCTV/IP specialist Dallmeier provided the technology.
Modern video security technology is being increasingly used on golf courses, too. Besides the traditional applications such as perimeter protection or the surveillance of sensitive areas like shops, cashpoints, and parking spaces amongst others, a different field is receiving growing attention: the recording of golf games in order to validate prize claims.
Many golf tournaments offer high rewards with goods as well as cash prizes. Understandably, tournament officials want to be able to conclusively reproduce a player’s claim to the prize. Dallmeier provides a completely new approach for this application: mobile surveillance systems on golf buggies, which offer an ideal angle for every course.
How it all started...
Shaun Martinson from Prizedrive Europe (PDE), a company specializing in the organization of `hole in one´ tournaments, devised a competition in which players buy a ticket on the golf course and then attempt to get a `hole in one´. A successful drive would be rewarded with a valuable prize. The prizes would be insured in case anybody should win, therefore the players claim would have to be clearly verifiable.
Shaun Martinson approached engineers at CCTV/IP specialist Dallmeier, who created a professional video solution to support the competition. First, a golf buggy, equipped with a telescopic mast of up to five meters, was fitted with four cameras. The buggy carries a mobile Dallmeier recorder (M-DMS 4) which, because of its small size, can easily be stored in a lockable steel box sitting on the passenger seat. A compact LCD monitor for easy configuration of the PTZ cameras, a power supply unit as well as a GPS transmission unit and a wireless network complete the equipment.
Subsequently, a card reader was connected to the M-DMS 4. In order to take part, the player first needs to buy a ticket. Once a valid ticket is inserted into the card reader, the M-DMS 4 starts recording, saving a picture showing the player and an overlay of the ticket data.
Good to know: Dallmeier Network Interface - DNI
The open and flexible architecture of Dallmeier systems proved particularly useful with the integration of the card reader because it generally allows for the easy and straightforward connection of third-party systems. For the connection of different external devices or systems such as card readers for example, Dallmeier developed the DNI (Dallmeier Network Interface), which serves as a data interface and transmits data to as well as from an external device. The DNI can be used for any system after the manufacturer’s protocol has been adjusted.
For the very first time, the card reader used for the golf games was connected to a digital recorder via the DNI and now simplifies the search for relevant image sequences because the only search criteria is the ticket number.
Deployment in Portugal
The mobile surveillance concept of the golf buggies was first used during a `hole in one´ tournament in Portugal – to the organizer’s utmost satisfaction.
The buggy was positioned halfway down the fairway so that its cameras could see the complete hole from tee to green. Using the latest wireless technology the ticket machine on the tee was linked with the buggy on the fairway and with the on-site server in the clubhouse.
A full audit trail covering tickets issued and swiped (including invalid tickets) was provided by the onsite server in the clubhouse, which also had the capacity to produce daily log reports. All data is available remotely over a standard Internet connection. Game adjudicators based in the UK view the images remotely over the Internet in order to validate a competitor’s prize claim.
Video coverage was provided of the tee, equipment cabinet, fairway and green by three high-resolution colour/mono cameras and one high-resolution monochrome camera. The three colour/mono cameras provide seven days’ recording of all ‘hole in one’ competition shots. The system records for a predetermined time unless a credit is received within the time where the recording period will start again. The monochrome camera was positioned to view the equipment cabinet and record whenever motion detection was identified around the cabinet. A magnetic contact is also fitted to the cabinet doors to activate an alarm to the ticketing system when opened.
Organizers and adjudicators alike were enthralled by the technology. So much that Shaun Martinson has meanwhile taken out a patent for a corresponding concept.
Mobile golf buggies on tour
In the meantime the mobile surveillance system on golf buggies has found such widespread approval that Prizedrive Europe is already providing it all across the UK. However, important golf tournaments are not the only area of application, many companies rent the unique buggies to capture on video a day on the golf course together with guests or during a company trip, thus making it an unforgettable event. The success story continuous as the first enquiries from abroad have already arrived.
Richard Howe, Technical Manager for Dallmeier electronic UK Ltd, believes there are many other applications for this type of small, maneuverable mobile CCTV unit:
”There are numerous other applications where our solution can prove to be cost-effective and flexible. Outdoor public events in particular are a nightmare to provide surveillance cover for. The small mobile Dallmeier recorders (M-DMS 4) together with a GPS transmission unit and wireless network eliminate all the health and safety problems and costs associated with hardwiring a large public event. Furthermore, the small buggies take up much less room than a conventional OB van. This can prove invaluable at entrances and in car parks or in the middle of large crowds.”
Other temporary applications include Incident Support for the emergency services and temporary installations for highways repairs.