Articles by Dilip Verma
Most cities have at very least a plan and in most cases an existing program to make themselves safe cities. Increasingly, cities around the world are transitioning to become smart cities: urban areas where security solutions work in unison with other systems, extending the benefits of technology beyond security and into other city operations. Whilst this transformation has yet to become a widespread the next crucial transition—from smart city to cognitive city—is already appearing on the horizon. Three years ago, the United Nations reported that 54% of the world’s population lived in cities and projected that by 2050 it would reach 66%. There are many reasons for this: cities tend to provide more opportunities for jobs and education, as well as greater access to amenities such as public transportation, sports, and cultural events. These factors result in growth which consequently places a strain on existing public services, infrastructure and resources. Not to mention keeping the city’s residents safe by preventing crime from growing with—or even outpacing—the population.Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, it alone isn’t sufficient Smart city solutions for public safety This basic need for public safety is one of the biggest forces driving the adoption of smart city solutions: approaches which seek to solve urban challenges through technological means. The thinking behind these initiatives is that with enough Internet connectivity and real-time data, surely environmental, social, economic, and public health issues should become more manageable. If technology can transform entire industries, why can’t it also make power grids more resilient, transportation systems efficient and municipal water supplies more sustainable? Surely, more data can only lead to better outcomes, right? To quote the American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” In this context, you’d think the answer would be ‘just add more technology’, right? Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. Truly smart cities are savvy cities including how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs Using data and software with connected sensors There are types of problems which connected sensors, data and software can provide straightforward and effective solutions. For example, network-connected traffic cameras which can relay real-time traffic conditions to both city managers and the public at large, data which morning commuters can then access from a mobile app and adjust their route accordingly. There are types of problems which connected sensors, data and software can provide straightforward and effective solutions Smart electricity meters provide another example, whereby monitoring and reporting energy usage in real-time, enables residents to get instant feedback on how their lifestyle choices impact their energy consumption and monthly bill. Utilities can also benefit from such data, as it could highlight specific times and areas of high demand, as well as identify sections of the distribution network that are under heavy strain. Creating actionable intelligence Both examples highlight the clear need to collect the relevant data first, and thus explain why smart city initiatives have focused on the widespread collection of data (especially video) through the deployment of large numbers of monitoring and recording devices, such as surveillance cameras and ANPR. Some of those initiatives, however, like red light cameras or computerised flight passenger screening systems, have amounted to little more than ‘security theatre’, which might waste limited resources and further delay the smart city transition due to over-hyped solutions and unrealistic projected return on investment. In other words, technology doesn’t necessarily result in more safety. But does this mean we are also more likely to quickly find what we need? Cities need solutions that help find what you need (e.g. a missing child or a suspect) and convert the ‘too much information’ into ‘actionable intelligence’. This new era of surveillance technologies can also assist law enforcement in maintaining public order and safety. The thought is the more areas we observe, the longer we observe them, and the more surveillance data we store and index, the more likely we are to be in possession of the information we need. Even in smart cities, dialogue, public input, careful analysis, and consensus are still more critical than any technology Looking beyond technology for smart surveillance There is one major caveat to smart city solutions. The data tends to flow in one direction from what are ultimately surveillance devices to government officials, leading to tensions between personal privacy and government goals of safety and higher efficiency. Without a clear understanding and buy-in from all stakeholders (especially the citizens, law enforcement, and city management), those tensions will only escalate as wireless broadband connectivity becomes cheaper and faster, sensor and processing technologies get even more miniaturised and affordable, and big data tools like cloud resources and storage technology grow even more robust as they catalogue more and more digital breadcrumbs of our physical lives. Here’s the takeaway. Even in smart cities, dialogue, public input, careful analysis, and consensus are still more critical than any technology. This is because city residents are not only consumers of public services and amenities, but also citizens with legal rights.
Qognify, the trusted advisor and technology solution provider for physical security and enterprise incident management, has announced that it will share its expertise of how metropolitan areas can make the shift from being safe and smart to fully cognitive cities, at the 5th National Summit on 100 Smart Cities India 2019. Qognify is the Presenting Partner of the Summit which takes place August 22, 2019 at The LaLiT in New Dehli. Safe & Smart City Solution Qognify, with its Safe & Smart City Solution, is one of the leaders in safe and smart cities in India. It is currently involved in more than 20 safe and smart city projects throughout the country that include high profile award-winning projects such as: Navi Mumbai - Qognify is used to monitor all critical points within the city including public transportation, schools, heavily traveled traffic junctions, city entrances and exits, open-air markets and utility infrastructure. Nanded City has an integrated command, control and communication center (C-Cube) that is powered by Qognify’s Safe City solution that includes Qognify’s Situator, video management and analytics solutions. Kohlapur is using Qognify’s video management and analytics to assist law enforcement and city management in coping with the influx of increased tourism. Regional VP, India at Qognify, Dilip Verma, will present at the Summit and he comments: “Many cities have taken steps to become safe cities, whilst a smaller but growing number are breaking ground as truly smart cities. At the Summit, we will use our experience, working on some of the most innovative projects in India and around the world, to look to the horizon, where we envisage urban environments becoming truly cognitive.” Safe, smart and cognitive cities Cognitive cities are much better positioned to thrive in the face of significant challenges" Verma makes the distinction between safe, smart and cognitive cities: “A safe city aims to ensure the safety and security of its residents, whilst smart initiatives go further, improving the operations of city. Cognitive cities take things to the next level by keeping citizens engaged and contributing to the gathering of the relevant data. The insights from which can be used not only to improve security, safety and city operations, but also the lives of residents.” He adds: “Cognitive cities are much better positioned to thrive in the face of significant challenges such as clean water scarcity, climate change, and providing functional and efficient mass transportation at mega-city scales. It is an ambitious goal that not only holds the promise of being more resilient, but at the same time promotes civic participation, sense of community and the health and wellbeing of citizens.” 5th National Summit on 100 Smart Cities India 2019 The 5th National Summit on 100 Smart Cities India 2019 will bring together global thought leaders to focus on aspects of a smart city including urban development, surveillance, power, energy, transport, technology, smart building, smart grid, smart health, network and communication technology.
Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2018. Looking back at the top articles of the year provides a decent summary of how our industry evolved this year, and even offers clues to where we’re headed in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2018 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. U.S. President Signs Government Ban on Hikvision and Dahua Video Surveillance The ban on government uses, which takes effect ‘not later than one year after … enactment,’ applies not only to future uses of Dahua and Hikvision equipment but also to legacy installations. The bill calls for an assessment of the current presence of the banned technologies and development of a ‘phase-out plan’ to eliminate the equipment from government uses. 2. Motorola Makes a Splash with Avigilon Video Surveillance Acquisition Early clues point to Motorola positioning Avigilon as part of a broader solution, especially in the municipal/safe cities market. The company says the acquisition will enable more safe cities projects and more public-private partnerships between local communities and law enforcement. Motorola sees Avigilon as ‘a natural extension to global public safety and U.S. federal and military’ applications, according to the company. 3. Impact of Data-Driven Smart Cities on Video Surveillance One of the major areas of technology that is going to shift how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). One benefit will be the ability to use video surveillance to analyse data on large crowds at sporting events The IoT already accounts for swaths of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes increasingly critical. Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency 4. CES 2018: Security Technologies Influencing the Consumer Electronics Market Familiar players at security shows also have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For example, Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency. Many consumer technologies on display offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for security. Are Panasonic’s 4K OLEDs with HDR10+ format or Sony’s A8F OLED televisions a preview of the future of security control room monitors? 5. SIA Predicts Top Physical Security Trends for 2018 Traditional security providers will focus more on deepening the customer experience and enhancing convenience and service. The rise of IoT also places an emphasis on cybersecurity, and security dealers will react by seeking manufacturers and technology partners with cyber-hardened network-connected devices. 6. High-Speed Visitor Screening Systems Will Improve Soft Target Security The system is more expensive than a metal detector, but about a third the cost of familiar airport body scanners. Labor reduction (because of faster throughput) can help offset the system costs, but “it’s difficult to quantify the improvement in the visitor experience,” says Mike Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology. 7. How to Prevent ATM Jackpotting with Physical and Cyber Security A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and, in the last several months, the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve- how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest 8. Why We Need to Look Beyond Technology for Smart City Security Solutions Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. 9. How New Video Surveillance Technology Boosts Airport Security and Operations Employing airport security solutions is a complex situation with myriad government, state and local rules and regulations that need to be addressed while ensuring the comfort needs of passengers. Airport security is further challenged with improving and increasing operational efficiencies, as budgets are always an issue. As an example, security and operational data must be easily shared with other airport departments and local agencies such as police, customs, emergency response and airport operations to drive a more proactive approach across the organisation. 10. The Evolution of Facial Recognition from Body-Cams to Video Surveillance The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve.