The solution was developed for Westfield by Australian system developers BlueGlue along with their technology partner Morse Australia. It is based on Morse Watchmans’ KeyWatcher key control and management system integrated with the NoWAIT fingerprint recognition system.
Initial proof of concept trials were undertaken at four Westfield Shopping Centres in the Sydney area, and their success has led to a roll-out across the company’s national portfolio.
The biometric security system integrates with existing KeyWatcher systems and was also designed for interoperability with other systems. It issues keys to pre-authorised individuals and utilises touchscreen technology for issuing safety messaging to staff.
Under the new system, known as the Contractor and Visitor Validation System, personnel are enrolled through fingerprint identification and a one-time registration allows access at any site. It allows for real-time monitoring of access to the back-of-house and other operational areas.
An identification wristband and high-quality photo ID is also issued and removes the need for contractors and consultants to have to sign in and wait for a key to be issued.
Alan Jones, director for BlueGlue, said key control and management is “an essential element” in securing aspects of large retail properties, such as those under the Westfield banner.
He added: “The integrated solution we devised for Westfield puts together Morse Watchman’s state-of-the-art key control with biometric technology and real time, centralised remote monitoring for an optimised system to enhance the security of back-of-house and operational areas.
One Westfield risk manager stated: “With the system, we can have a high level of confidence that only inducted and authorised personnel are working onsite.
“We can know who’s using our keys in real time. This has huge implications for safety and security, and with many people needing to enter authorised areas in one centre alone, the system will revolutionise how our centres are accessed once the national roll-out is complete.”