MOTOTRBO Powers Shop Watch Scheme for £40 Million Antonine Centre

Wow. The brand new radio earpiece is magnificent. I mean it is just so stunning and so sophisticated. I pity individuals who grew up without the radio earpiece.

Antonine Centre Chooses Customisable, Dependable, Next-Generation Communications with Increased Coverage and Enhanced Voice Clarity

The Antonine Centre in Cumbernauld, which opened in 2007 has 42 shops in 350,000 square feet of retail space and 3,000 parking spaces and is one of Scotland’s newest retail and leisure complexes. Part of an urban regeneration initiative, Antonine has been hailed by councillors as signalling the rebirth of the town Centre and has led to the creation of more than 600 jobs. Retail analyst CACI estimates that the creation of the new mall will increase spend in Cumbernauld town centre by as much as 84%.

Deterring Retail Theft with Instant, Secure, Discreet Communications

The Antonine Centre needed a reliable communications system to enable members of its shop watch scheme to alert each other and the Mall Security Officer to the presence of known criminals or troublemakers. Shopalert was created to help protect retailers against the rising cost of shoplifting by enabling stores to work together to tackle criminals.

The Antonine Centre was already using Motorola Professional Series analogue radios to streamline some of its routine, day-to-day activities. Cleaning operatives, security personnel and the managerial team were using Motorola Professional Series radios to keep in touch with colleagues throughout the 75-hour trading week.

The Centre now wanted to extend its use of two-way radio to build a system that could provide the most effective deterrent against groups of well-equipped, fast-moving thieves.

MOTOTRBO Offers Better Value for Money with Improved Coverage, Greater Operational Flexibility and Backwards Compatibility with Analogue
Digital two-way radio was chosen to provide a secure, discreet communication system with no risk of transmissions being compromised by eavesdroppers. The Centre’s local Motorola Authorised Dealer demonstrated how MOTOTRBO digital radios could provide greater coverage and improved audio clarity than analogue and enable users to make both one-to-one and group calls. The increased battery power would extend battery life by up to 40%, enabling the radios to be used throughout the entire 11-hour trading day without recharging.

The radios were pre-programmed to users’ needs by the Centre’s Motorola Authorized Dealer, which ensured a rapid set-up and seamless go-live. User training took only 20 minutes thanks to the cellular look and feel of the handsets. MOTOTRBO handsets cost around 10% more than analgoue, but their higher specification and wider feature set meant they could meet Antonine’s needs more effectively and offer better long-term value.

Shopalert was an immediate success, with 10 of the larger outlets, including Next, River Island, Woolworth’s, Dunnes Stores, TK Maxx, Dorothy Perkins and Birthdays, joining immediately. Each

shop has a MOTOTRBO DP 3400 hand portable that is used by managers or door security staff to alert all other scheme members and the Mall Security Officer simultaneously to troublemakers. Around 70% of all calls made are broadcast to all users but retailers can also request a one-to-one call with the Mall Security Officer if they want to discuss an incident discreetly, without alerting all users. Pushing the blue button

on the side of the radio sends a pre-determined text message to the security officer asking for a private call. The on-duty security controller carries a MOTOTRBO DP 3600, which has an alphanumeric display enabling the controller to identify the caller instantly.

Around 30% of transmissions are one-to-one and caller identification is a particularly useful feature for the Antonine Centre. Knowing who is calling

enables security staff to respond more rapidly to any situation that arises. They can also take advantage of MOTOTRBO’s interoperability between analogue and digital to ask the CCTV controller using the Motorola Professional Series radios to train cameras on any particular store or alert the police immediately if required

If an emergency situation arises, users can press the orange button located on top of the MOTOTRBO radios. This transmits their identity to the controller and all other radios which emit an audible signal to alert users. The radios can also be deactivated remotely by the controller to protect against theft and misuse. If a lost radio is subsequently found, it can be revived over the air by the controller.

Around 40 calls each day are made by the mall security officer and three or four by each Shopalert member. Most transmissions last only 10-20 seconds but some longer calls last for up to one minute. MOTOTRBO’s high-quality audio transmission virtually eliminates background noise and ensures that there are no black spots across the entire complex. Speech clarity is excellent, there are no scrambled messages, and all communications are transmitted loud and clear. The ability to transmit messages securely, knowing that there is no risk of them being intercepted, is a major advantage over analogue and of considerable benefit in the fight against crime.

The wider range of digital reduces hardware purchasing and operating costs by eliminating the need for a base station to provide coverage across the entire shopping area and its three outlying car parks. MOTOTRBO’s broad feature set means that new functionality can be added incrementally as the shopwatch scheme’s needs expand, making it a scalable, future-proofed, cost-effective solution.

Shoplifting Cut as 30% Join Shopalert Immediately and a Further 20% of Retailers Set to Join when all Outlets are Fully Operational

Shopalert has been very successful in deterring theft at the Antonine Centre where notices announcing the crime prevention initiatives in place have been displayed in every participating shop. Since going live with the MOTOTRBO radios very few instances of attempted shoplifting have been reported. The scheme is currently live in 30% of the stores that are already open, a figure that is set to increase to 50% when all outlets are fully operational. Most non-participants are either very small stores or shops that provide a service rather than sell goods, such as

hairdressers, where the risk of theft is not a significant problem.

Digital transmission prevents the risk of professional shoplifters with frequency scanners being able to eavesdrop on calls. The improved speech clarity

of digital over analogue means that messages get through first time, even against the constant

background noise of a busy mall. MOTOTRBO’s ability to enable callers to make one-to-one as well as group calls ensures that users who are not part of a call remain undisturbed.

MOTOTRBO’s interoperability between analogue and digital means that the Shopalert radios could be programmed to operate with the Motorola analogue hand portables used by cleaning staff, security

and Centre managers. MOTOTRBO will ease user migration from analogue to digital in the longer term.

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Bone Conduction 101: How it Works, What it is and Does it Hurt?

headset. earphonesYou might be safe in the knowledge that I bring the very best earpiece posts, several of them are my own some of which are curated by me, if i choose to use someone elses articles it’s because it is appropriate to my readership, so feel confident you are reading the very best from my industry.

Music is a huge part of everyday life and it has been for almost as long as Humans have been on this planet. I often point to the discovery of a 40,000-year-old flute dating back to the ice age as evidence for this, but truly, all the evidence you need is all around you, every day. We remember ballads and songs long after the people who first composed them have died and rotted away (a thought which I find curiously comforting) and the music industry, love it or hate it, is always a big business.

However, while the ice age musicians likely lived in a world of stark brutality, frozen, featureless wastelands and harsh, ‘kill or be killed’ inter-cave politics, they never had to contend with road works, delivery lorries, screaming babies or drunken rabble-rousers on their way to a stag night. Lucky buggers.

Today’s listener has to deal with all that and more, which can make listening to your music not only difficult, but also dangerous.

Now, however, modern science has stumbled across a way in which you can still listen to your favourite tunes, even when you’re wearing earplugs (no, I’ve not been sniffing discarded paint cans again). Its called bone conduction technology and no, despite the slightly odd name, it really doesn’t hurt…

According to recent studies, exposure to any noise over 100 decibels wears away a membrane known as the myelin sheath and leaves your inner ear susceptible to problems like tinnitus and temporary deafness, which can be the beginning of even more serious problems. Bone conduction technology has been designed to bypass the most sensitive portions of your ear and reduce the risk of inner-ear damage.

How? Well, in order to understand that, we need to first understand how our ears actually work. (HERE COMES THE SCIENCE-Y BIT) Basically, sound travels though the air, these sound waves are intercepted by several structures in the ear and are eventually translated and transmitted into our brains (if it helps, think of it like the encoding/decoding of digital information, such as that which guides the movements of a wireless mouse).

The sound waves first encounter a piece of cartilage (yes, the same stuff that a shark’s skeleton is made of), which helps to focus the sound, this is called a pinna (but you can call it your outer ear without looking too silly).

After that, the sound waves pass into your middle ear, this is filled with air and also contains both your auditory canal and your eardrum (my little brother burst his when he was little and nearly burst mine crying about it). The eardrum vibrates, passing the sound through to the ossicles, which are three small bones (that are actually pretty vital to your sense of balance, I’m told). These tiny bones transmit the sound to the cochlea, which is a fluid-filled structure that ‘encodes’ the signals for our brain to ‘decode’.

Bone conduction technology vibrates the bones of your skull, sending the sound directly to the cochlea and bypassing the rest of the ear completely. The nerve impulses transmitted to your brain are exactly the same, but the sensitive mechanism of the ear doesn’t have to deal with the hassle of, to quote Anchorman’s Brick Tamland “LOUD NOISES!”

This method appears to be completely safe; in fact, the famously deaf composer Beethoven employed a rudimentary version of this method in order to compose his most famous works. He attached a rod between his piano and his head and, as such, was able to hear the music he was playing.

So there you go, rather than exposing your delicate ears to louder and louder volumes, just to drown out the background noise, you can instead stick your earpugs in and play your music at the proper volume. Make no bones about it (groan!)