Local firm develops remote visitor-logging system for condos

The automated security technology at Glendale Park condominium.
PHOTO: The New Paper

When a visitor's car rolls up to Glendale Park condominium in Hillview, what greets the driver is a speaker carrying the voice of a security guard located in a remote command centre in Ubi, nearly 20km away.

Meanwhile, the vehicle's licence plate number is recorded and the driver's face is captured on a surveillance camera.

After verifying the particulars of the visitor with a resident, a gantry lifts and the driver is allowed into the private residence.

Developed by local security firm Focus Security and its sister company Asiatact over five years, the remote visitor-logging system is currently in place at four condominiums here.

The technology comes as the industry is being urged to move away from a reliance on manpower, to a system that integrates manpower and technology.

The security industry, which has more than 35,500 active resident security officers, is facing increasing manpower costs after the Manpower Ministry rolled out the Progressive Wage Model for security officers this year.

The basic pay for security officers is set to increase by around $300 by 2021, with an annual increment of at least 3 per cent in the three years after 2021.

Focus Security decided to develop technological security solutions to reduce its firm's reliance on manpower, said its director William Chang.

"Basically we are cutting down on all the manual logging and paperwork that security officers need to do. This reduces duplication and also allows our security officers to focus on more important job scopes like patrolling and responding to incidents," said Mr Chang.

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With a reduced headcount of security officers, Mr Chang estimates that this translates to savings of 5 per cent to 10 per cent for its clients.

The company did not disclose how much it invested but said it received a Capability Development Grant from Spring Singapore, now known as Enterprise Singapore. The grant covers up to 75 per cent of the cost of the project.

Discussions are being held with other security agencies that are interested to adopt the technology at other condominiums, added Mr Chang.

Executive secretary of the Union of Security Employees, Mr Steve Tan, said relying on security manpower is impractical for condominiums due to rising costs and shortage of manpower.

This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.