When most people see CCTV cameras, the first thing they think of is security, but with the right tools in the hands of the right people, there’s so much more that can be done.
Good project management means good communication. Getting the necessary information to the right people at the right time. The old saying goes “a picture is a thousand words” – so why not use them? With tools like Whatsapp and Email, it’s now so easy to snap a picture and send it – and that includes from your CCTV system.
Modern tools like Evercam have these sharing facilities built in that you won’t find on a security-oriented camera system as they tend to be targeted at locking down information.
We’ve all been at a site meeting where time is spent arguing about the state of various tasks or the sequence in which something was done. Now, when everyone has access to the same pictures on their phone, the conversation can move on quicker.
There’s one tool we’re particularly proud of, and that’s “Snapmail”. This is simply a timed email that goes to a selected group with a high-resolution picture of the site at that moment in time. For many people, that’s all they need – a weekly update of where things have got to, delivered to their inbox on a regular basis. We’ve found this to be particularly useful for the people who spend more time off-site such as senior management, developers, investors and also sub-contractors who just want to be kept in the loop as to how progress is coming along. It’s also been used as a marketing tool to keep future customers informed as to progress.
In the last few years, CCTV footage has gone from grainy, blurred images you might see on CrimeStoppers to cinema quality 4k footage indistinguishable from a professional photographers’ camera.
This has opened up new uses for these cameras as they’re perfectly designed for the rough, outdoor environment of building sites, especially for long projects that might stretch over several years.
The first job they can do is time-lapse photography. Even with a regular 4k camera, many of them have features to upload images at a regular interval – after all, that’s all a time-lapse is. Or, you can go one better and use software such as Evercam’s which makes it easy to produce beautiful videos with logos, splash pages, music and annotations.
Timelapse not only tells the whole story of the concert of activity on a building site, but it does it in social media friendly way so that people share the story. Nothing says “we deliver on promises” better than a video of you doing just that.
As most high profile projects now also have BIM models, it’s possible to create high-quality renderings to include in the videos for an extra touch.
It’s not all about time-lapse though, there are many ways to chop & transition images to give regular updates in an enticing engaging way … sometimes just a little-animated gif in an email is enough.
With so many people, often from different companies, having to work together, the potential for disagreements is high … and they can get expensive, fast!
When there’s a bird’s eye camera that has captured the full video of the event, a lot of potentially expensive disagreements simply never happen. How many loads were actually delivered or taken away? We’ve got the video.
This also comes in handy when managing your relationships with people off-site, a local neighbour who is convinced that the late night noises came from building activity, now it’s quick and easy to provide indisputable proof that it didn’t come from your site.
With the time that’s in it and all this talk of recording, we better mention GDPR. The rules are pretty simple. You need a good reason to record whatever you are recording (have I given you enough?) you need to tell people what you’re doing (a sign at the entrance is enough) and you need to let them know how to contact you.
Here’s our sign that covers all three of those requirements:
If you’d like to find out more about cameras or to get a quote for your site, contact Vinnie Quinn on 087 9871869 for a free site visit.