Among the many products made available for law enforcement, one can connect them all with a single truth: they need to work. The law enforcement industry holds practicality high, yet as practical as they are, significant time, effort and thought went into the design of each and every item.
You could call it the invisible necessity. One where the balance between practicality and innovative design must hit just the right note. One award competition looks to give product design its due attention. Wouldn’t you know it, an ALPR and radar system recently received this recognition.
The Germany-based Red Dot Award self-proclaims itself as one of the “world’s largest design competitions.” The 50+-year-old award dates back to 1955. Run annually, the awards are broken into three disciplines: Product Design, Communication Design and Design Concept. Winning products were announced in April this year. Of 6,300 entries from 59 different countries, Ekin Box Spotter received an award in the Product Design program. Each product entry was assessed on its innovation, functionality, formal quality, ergonomics and durability. The Red Dot Award: Product Design was broken down into 48 categories ranging from consumer electronics, commercial vehicles, watches and robotics to vehicle accessories. Ekin Box Spotter was awarded under the 33rd category: Industrial Equipment, Machinery and Automation.
In their press announcement, Akif Ekin, president of Ekin, is quoted, “While police technology isn’t always known for its beautiful design, we have made it a priority to change that stigma and develop products like the Ekin Box Spotter that redefine functional design and innovation.”
Ekin Box Spotter
At its core, Ekin Box Spotter combines automatic license plate recognition and RADAR-based speed enforcement technologies in one system. Reportedly, it is able to detect over 100 vehicles simultaneously, over six lanes of traffic—including approaching and departing vehicles—with a 65-foot range.
Officers are able to utilize commonly available wireless communications like LTE, 3G or Wi-Fi, making it easy for agencies to download data and compare surveillance footage from devices across the city. If the device is readily accessible and your department prefers hard wire connectivity, officers can also export data via a USB or ethernet cable. Red Eagle, an OS system also available through Ekin, helps control the data and view date, time, location, lane, speed and plate information. Red Eagle OS central management software integrated with the entire line of the company’s safe city solutions and has been designed to make it as easy and possible to streamline communication between all systems.
- Rating: IP65
- Temperature Range: -13 to 140 F
- Fixed or portable mounting options
- Battery Life: Dependent on size. When fixed, Box Spotter is hardwired into the power source.
“Ekin Box Spotter has been awarded with Red Dot thanks to its compact design,” says Orkunt Yozgat, director of business development and marketing at Ekin. It’s this compact mobile nature to allows law enforcement to be able to move the device to different areas—one feature that could help a tight budget. For example, move the device from its pole watching an intersection for red light violations to a tripod for monitoring a construction zone for speeders.
While price isn’t exactly part of the categories a product design competition considers, it seems budget is of a high priority for Ekin.
In a “one size does not fit all” mindset, per say, Ekin’s entire line of safe city solutions can be customized to best suit a police department’s specific needs, making it easy for a police department to find a solution that is within its budget, says Yozgat.
Ekin Box Spotter, as well as the rest of Ekin’s line of safe city solutions, became available in the U.S. January 2018.
Ekin was founded in 1998. As stated in a press release, “The company’s state-of-the-art products enable law enforcement and private corporations to more efficiently and effectively protect the public. An integrated operating system that centrally manages all of Ekin’s products, Ekin Red Eagle (OS) features automatic facial and license plate recognition, speed and parking violation detection and smart intersection and system control software. With a focus on mobile, versatile security technology, Ekin’s easily implementable security systems are available for cities, airports, shopping centers, universities and arenas around the world. Known for its sleek design and innovative approach to security, Ekin has received a number of prestigious awards for their work in the safe city field like German Design, CES Innovation Award, A Design and Golden Bridge, European Business Awards ‘One to Watch’ and the prestigious Red Dot.”