from the December 2008 issue

Israeli company to secure Vatican

Herzliya-based intelligent video appliances company ioimage has been selected to secure sensitive areas of the Pope's state. The contract includes the placement of smart cameras along a 60-kilometer (37.3 mile) perimeter of sensitive areas, including entry and exit gates and the wall surrounding the Vatican.

Sources in the security market estimate the deal to be valued at some $4-$5 million. ioimage Director Roni Kaz said, "The Vatican has the highest security demands. We got the contract after an examination that lasted three years." The first cameras were installed in the Vatican in 2005 as a preliminary test. The system developed by ioimage uses smart security cameras or a box that is connected to cameras and enhances their abilities. Each camera in the system covers a range of up to 150 meters (164 yards) and can be viewed from any computer that is connected to the internet. "A regular camera documents what's going on," Kaz explained, "Our cameras have settings that spot suspicious behavior, such as an attempt to infiltrate an off-limits area, the placing of a suspicious package, or even loitering." ioimage employs some 70 workers in Israel and in the United States and has a market share of 37% of the global smart security camera market. Thanks to real-time surveillance, a site that is secured with this system can cut back on the number of security guards needed.

Nonetheless, the Vatican's security guards have grown to become one of the site's attraction, due to their colorful uniforms, so it is unlikely that Israeli security cameras will replace them completely.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report December 2008

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