Explorer Surveillance

The Control Room of Jurassic Park has a basic video/audio feed to the Tour Explorers that a controller (or, in this case, John Hammond) can use to talk to the tour participants.  He is able to switch to different cameras using the number keys on the keyboard attached to the monitor. The cameras themselves appear to be fixed in place.

JurassicPark_FordSurveillance01

We never see the cameras themselves in the Explorers, but we do see Malcolm tap on one of the cameras during the tour while Hammond is watching it’s feed, so they are visible to the riders.

Hammond occasionally speaks through his audio link, and can hear a constant audio feed from the Explorers. He has some kind of mute button (he says a couple disparaging comments that the other characters don’t appear to hear), but the feed from the Explorers is real-time. It isn’t obvious how he switches between the different Explorers’ audio feeds, or whether he hears both Explorers simultaneously.

Deadly-stupid limitations

Each Explorer can hold a limited number of passengers, but it’s clear that Hammond wanted larger groups of people on a single tour together. Whether this was because of monetary concerns and wanting to pack more tours on the same rail, or because he didn’t want large families to be left out is less clear. Jurassic Park doesn’t have any trouble handling two Explorers.

What it does struggle with is the clear delineation between who is in Explorer 1, and who is in Explorer 2. Despite the audio and video feeds going back and forth between the Explorers and the control center, the passengers have no way to talk to someone in the other Explorers.

This leads directly to Malcolm’s injury and Gennaro’s death at the T-Rex pen.

On a good tour, these same systems would allow one Explorers to talk to the other. If someone saw a dinosaur, but the other Explorers didn’t, the first group could point it out.

Give the tour guide context

It isn’t clear either what the day-to-day job of the tour guide would be. Hammond clearly enjoys talking about his park, but the pre-recorded voice seems to be giving most of the “tour” information to the passengers.

JurassicPark_FordSurveillance02

What might be more useful is giving the tour guide access to the monitoring maps and exterior cameras so that he/she can answer questions that can’t be easily answered by pre-recorded systems: “Hey, what’s that triceratops doing to that other triceratops?”

If the tour guide sees a dinosaur that the passengers don’t, or if the dinosaur is doing something odd that the passengers are wondering about, it would be a great point for the tour guide to jump in and add more context. More exterior camera views would improve their ability to do that job.

Privacy

Theme parks are notorious for their lack of privacy. Hammond has a chance to challenge that expectation here with his focus on high-end tours. Although it doesn’t look possible now, the cameras don’t need to be on constantly, and could at least have a clear indication of when someone was watching. Maybe a ringlight around the lens?

Additionally, the Explorers could give the passengers a way to turn off the video and audio feeds. This imposes a security risk, but would give the tours a more primeval and isolated feel. It might not be as bluntly educational, but the improvement in atmosphere might make up for it.

Expectations

Overall, this system acts exactly like someone would expect a basic security and surveillance system to act.  It has basic controls, always-on CCTV, and the ability for the control room to control what’s happening. The improvements mentioned above could upgrade this system from a basic monitor into a valuable addition to the Jurassic Park experience.

One thought on “Explorer Surveillance

  1. I suspect that this system is more for security monitoring then tour guides, Hammond is just taking advantage of this system to keep in the loop, since their opinions are crucial to the opening of his park.

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