Opening up NVIDIA’s effort to put deep learning to work creating safer, smarter cities, the Metropolis Software Partner Programme, brings together a dozen software partners.

The programme offers a curated list of applications that makes it easy for systems integrators and hardware vendors to build new products.

Together, NVIDIA and its software partners seek to take advantage of the more than one billion video cameras that will live in our cities by the year 2020 to solve a dizzying array of problems.

Traffic management in cities

Possibilities include video-based automated real-time control of traffic signals to ease traffic congestion. Cameras mounted on traffic lights can help drivers find parking spaces. Cameras can even be used to better target preventative maintenance for roads and bridges. Metropolis enables all of it.

NVIDIA’s latest announcement follows the debut of the Metropolis edge-to-cloud platform in May with a rich set of hardware and SDKs. To make it into the Metropolis Software Partner Programme, partners must have production-ready and field-proven solutions.

NVIDIA’s latest list of solutions and applications:

  • Briefcam: State-of-the-art video synopsis solution for quick video review and search, real-time alerting and quantitative video insights.
  • Deepvision AI: Brands, logos and products identification to perform analytics and provide personalised content to retail customers.
  • Herta Security: Cutting-edge facial recognition solutions for law enforcement in crowded public places.
  • Icetana : Self-learning intelligent analytics to detect anomalies in real-time from surveillance videos and quickly alerts operators.
  • Ironyun: Next-generation AI video sear­ch using a natural language interface.
  • Omni AI: Self-learning system for anomaly detection on video, SCADA, cyber, image and analytics data in real time.
  • OpenALPR: Automatic license plate recognition software for smart cities, law enforcement and corporations.
  • Sensen Networks: Real-time parking and speed enforcement solutions for cities. Applications for casinos such as table game and customer analytics.
  • Sensetime: State-of-the-art facial recognition solution for public safety, retail and access control.
  • VisionLabs: Cross-platform facial recognition solution for controlled (biometric authentication and identity assurance) and uncontrolled (retail, smart cities and public safety) scenarios at scale.
  • Vocord : Real-time biometric facial recognition software with high very high accuracy.
  • Xjera: Solution for people and vehicle counting for enterprise and commercial applications offering high-accuracy, high-levels of customisation and robust security.

Putting deep learning to work promises to help first responders react to emergencies more quickly, and deliver more personalised experiences to shoppers. All this can be done with anonymised video that maintains privacy, while still being able to extract useful metadata. 

The result: safer, more efficient, cities for all of us.

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Can microchip implants replace plastic cards in modern access control?
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A futuristic alternative to plastic cards for access control and other applications is being considered by some corporate users in Sweden and the United Kingdom. The idea involves using a microchip device implanted into a user’s hand. About the size of a grain of rice and provided by Swedish company Biohax, the tiny device employs passive near field communication (NFC) to interface with a user’s digital environment. Access control is just one application for the device, which can be deployed in lieu of a smart card in numerous uses. Biohax says more than 4,000 individuals have implanted the device. Using the device for corporate employees Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the deviceCurrently Biohax is having dialogue with curious corporate customers about using the device for their employees. “It’s a dialogue, not Big Brother planning to chip every employee they have,” says Jowan Österlund, CEO at Biohax. Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the device. Data capture form to appear here! “Proof of concept” demonstrations have been conducted at several companies, including Tui, a travel company in Sweden that uses the device for access management, ID management, printing, gym access and self-checkout in the cafeteria. Biohax is also having dialogue with some big companies in the United Kingdom, including legal and financial firms. Österlund aims to have a full working system in place in the next year or so. A Swedish rail company accepts the implanted chip in lieu of a paper train ticket. They accept existing implants but are not offering to implant the chips. Österlund says his company currently has no plans to enter the U.S. market. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive Access control credential The device is inserted/injected below the skin between the index finger and the thumb. The circuitry has a 10-year lifespan. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive. The only risk is the possibility of infection, which is true anytime the skin is pierced, and the risk is mitigated by employing health professionals to inject the chip. Use of the device as an access control credential or any other function is offered as a voluntary option; any requirement by an employer to inject the device would be illegal, says Österlund. It’s a convenient choice that is made “based on a well-informed decision by the customer.” Aversion to needles, for example, would make some users squeamish to implant the device. More education of users helps to allay any concerns: Some 10% of employees typically would agree quickly to the system, but a larger group of 50% to 60% are likely to agree over time as they get more comfortable with the idea and understand the convenience, says Österlund. Protection of information The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rightsIn terms of privacy concerns, information contained on the device is in physical form and is protected. The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. There is no battery. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rights. With use of the device being discussed in the United Kingdom, there has been some backlash. For example, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has said: “Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers.” A big misconception is that the chip is a tracking device, says Österlund. It isn’t. “We love people to get informed,” says Österlund. “If they’re scared or apprehensive, they can just read up. It’s not used to control you – it’s used to give you control.”