Talkaphone’s Integration Featured In SDM Magazine
Talkaphone’s Integration Featured In SDM Magazine

Talkaphone’s Integration Featured In SDM Magazine

Nov 29, 2001 | Post by Talkaphone

Parking is often an important part of a security installation, but not always the first thing that comes to mind when you think about cutting-edge technology or innovative ideas. However, parking lots and garages can and do present some unique challenges to the integrator.

Technology for parking security runs the gamut from parking arms and bollards to cameras, long-range readers and emergency call stations, to name just a few. Parking lots and garages can be manned or unmanned, 24-hour or not, high, medium or low security. What they have in common is that they present risks to employees, visitors and property and often are magnets for crimes of opportunity, theft, or worse. Visitors and employees can feel the most unsafe in parking lots or garages, because they are large spaces with few people around.

Current trends in parking access rely more and more on automated systems, whether it is pay-on-foot stations that use credit cards, unmanned parking gates, or long-range RFID that opens the gate from a distance. These trends save money in labor. However, other technologies also are needed to provide the security and safety elements. Video cameras and emergency call stations are increasingly popular items in parking lots and garages.

SDM spoke with integrators about their most recent or upcoming parking-related installations. Across the board, they all include a combination of automated convenience and safety measures that reflect these trends. Some are completely unmanned applications, while others employ a combination of manned and new technology.

Unmanned Applications

“Most of my clients are large healthcare and industrial facilities and we do a lot of parking control for the healthcare industry,” says Kelle Shanks, account manager in the Convergint Dallas office. “In healthcare it is about security for their personnel and visitors. There are a lot of women who work in healthcare, and safety is a big concern.”

At Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas, a large expansion meant expanding an existing parking structure, a project that involved integrating video with emergency call stations from Talkaphone, based in Niles, Ill.

“What is unique about these intercoms is they are two-way communication tied into the video system,” Shanks says. “If someone hits the intercom, the camera in closest proximity will target that station so the central station has a visual of what is going on.”

Another trend the integrator is seeing is long-range RFID for vehicles, which is another technology Cook incorporated, says Steve Payne, senior integrated systems estimator for Convergint. “People want technology in their vehicle without having a secondary tag. Plus, garages are more often a combination of revenue and personnel parking so we are having to interface with the revenue side of the equipment, as well as bringing it into the card access.”

Cook Children’s was one of these situations, Shanks adds. “In a hospital setting there is so much moving and changing going on that you need to be able to take the parking from an employee to just patient parking. It needs to be designed to change from one to the other.”

Even though this was new construction, there was very careful coordination and planning. “There is not much room for error in a parking garage because of its static nature,” Shanks says. And in this case, there was an added challenge of a helipad on top of the parking structure that involved integrating the elevator controls with the Lenel access control system.

“That was a challenge on the card access side because the public use the elevators, but in the case of a medical helicopter landing, those elevators needed to be commandeered so the elevator could only be used for authorized personnel,” Payne describes.

Technology Trends Integrators Are Noticing

Whether it is a Delta Scientific barricade paired with long-range RFID at a CarMax dealer to track vehicles automatically or a Talkaphone emergency stanchion doing double duty as a mass notification device at a hospital parking lot, integrators and end users are finding more and more ways of incorporating the latest technology into their parking security applications.

Kelle Shanks with Convergint Technologies, agrees. “With RFID or long-range readers, people don’t have to actually pull out a card and stop. That is one trend we see. Another is mass notification. We were just awarded a contract at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center that uses intercom/video but wanted to do to more. They are paying money for the stanchions, so they decided they might as well make them proactive as well as reactive and use them for mass communications.”

This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of the SDM magazine, by Karyn Hodgson. Full article can be found at