Following a successful trial, Olsztyn, Poland is the first city in the world to use blockchain to assist their emergency services, thanks to SmartKey, the blockchain connection platform. The SmartKey team has successfully connected an Ethereum smart contract to a Teltonika smart key device and app which will enable fire, ambulance and police teams to enter any part of the closed district or any secure building within the city safely and securely, without having to track down a keyholder or wait...
With system designers having so many options when it comes to specifying the most appropriate cameras to monitor large areas, Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe, provides an overview of the merits of some of the most suitable camera formats. PTZ cameras PTZ cameras have traditionally been used for city and wide area surveillance applications such as airports, car parks, shopping centres, sports stadia and warehouses, with operators able to track the movemen...
SAFR from RealNetworks, Inc. has announced a global partnership with German tech company G2K Group GmbH to revolutionise real-time video analytics. SAFR features including face recognition, mask detection, person detection, and demographic analysis have been integrated into Parsifal, a robust AI platform providing actionable video analytics for verticals such as retail, transportation, smart cities, and sports and entertainment. Contactless temperature scanning SAFR’s mask detection and...
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a renowned provider of cyber security solutions globally, has released its cyber security predictions for 2021; detailing the key security challenges that organisations will face over the next year. Check Point states that the effects of the changes introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be a key focus for organisations’ IT and security teams. 81% of enterprises have adopted mass remote working for their employees, with 74% plannin...
Eagle Eye Networks, a pioneer in cloud video security, publishes their latest whitepaper ‘Smart Cities: Cloud Video for Connected, Secure Cities.’ A valuable resource for city leaders looking to build a smart infrastructure, the paper delves into applications, public use, key technology requirements, and smart city engineering and architecture. “Recent successes have shown that cloud-based solutions are indispensable elements of smart city infrastructure, which includes both p...
New research has found that nearly half (49%) of urban design professionals believe that the recent rise of pedestrianisation in city and town centres is making public spaces more vulnerable to attack. The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on urban economies, with local authorities left in the novel position of needing to find ways to encourage people back into city centres. Temporary pedestrianisation of key locations has suddenly become commonplace as a result, offering an eff...
During the global COVID-19 pandemic spread, businesses have completely shifted their practices with curbside pick-up and drive-thru becoming increasingly essential. Even with the slow opening of brick and mortar retail shops and in-restaurant dining, curbside pick-up and drive-thru remains favourable among consumers and will continue to be as the pandemic rages on. Contactless payment According to Hal Lawton, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tractor Supply Company, “Consumers will likely stick to shopping habits picked up during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic well into the future.” Lawton emphasises that things like contactless payment and curbside pick-up will be important and that his business model has shifted to favour these new consumer habits. As shops have started to open up, The New York Times reported that retail sales have rebounded in May 2020. Small shops have seen success with steady sales through curbside pick-up only. Smart city technology The New York Times also stated that stand-alone retailers and other open-air retail spaces (as opposed to enclosed shopping malls) are seeing favourable results as people are shifting to the new norms of shopping and the curbside pick-up model. LocoMobi World’s mission is to move the world forward with the latest smart city technology LocoMobi World’s mission is to move the world forward with the latest smart city technology and the recently released Arrival Alarm helps businesses introduce or improve their curbside pick-up or drive-thru system. Arrival Alarm, powered by LPR Express, notifies establishments in real-time when customers arrive on-site, vastly speeding up the pick-up process. Arrival Alarm by LPR Express Arrival Alarm eliminates long lines and frustrated customers and instead, streamlines the order & pick-up process, thereby helping save time and money. Customers are asked to input their licence plate number when ordering online or through a business’s mobile app. When they arrive for pick-up, LPR cameras scan their licence plates and the establishment is notified instantly of their arrival. LPR Express’s multi-step scanning process uses advanced artificial intelligence to ensure extreme accuracy. Specially built recognition cameras with AI exposure control guarantees the best image possible for the licence plate recognition and multiple licence plate scans further increases accuracy. Customers no longer have to phone in or scroll through their email inbox when they arrive, thus creating a truly frictionless experience for all parties involved.
With LocoMobi World’s WorldStream Dispatch on-site, on-demand parking management system, there is no longer a need for expensive on-site personnel. LocoMobi World provides coverage only when required through automated on-demand requests, manual on-demand requests or scheduled patrols. Using the WorldStream Cloud Portal, owners, property managers, and concierges can view the status of a request in real-time and track the location of activity on the system map. Tailored flexibility The system has unprecedented flexibility and can be tailored for commercial ungated and gated parking lots as well as condominium parking facilities using a variety of LocoMobi’s proprietary equipment such as LPR Express, BriskPark pay stations, PassagePass payment system, Spot Informant, and BriskPark SmartDoor controller. Issues such as expired parking time, unauthorised vehicles, malfunctioning equipment, suspicious activity, and vandalism can all be monitored and dispatched by this system. Additional services LocoMobi World also can provide scheduled patrols or safe walks should tenants or customers request this. Although many paid systems have kiosks where you enter the plate, it has no way of knowing if the person actually entered the plate or left when expired without having to check all cars on site. WorldStream dispatch eliminates this issue with LPR controls. Using artificial intelligence, images of unwanted people, bikers, skateboarders and cars are discovered and matched with plates. Benefits of WorldStream Dispatch system The benefits of using the WorldStream Dispatch system are substantial. Owners can save money on permanent security staff and insurance costs, respond to real-world issues with increased security only as needed, and owners receive real-time updates and full audit reports resulting in a seamless, cohesive operation. Initially, LocoMobi World will have 14 floater security vehicles that are ready to respond. Saving time and money “By combining parking and security requirements into one operating system, LocoMobi World can streamline operations and save owners and managers time and money,” said Grant Furlane, LocoMobi World’s CEO. “WorldStream Dispatch is a seamless, automated system that provides real-time peace of mind for commercial and condominium parking owners.”
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has stated that the decision by the City Council of Portland, Oregon, to ban facial recognition technology use by businesses in places of public accommodation, starting January 2021 and to prohibit all city government use of facial recognition technologies are shortsighted decisions that do not consider effective and beneficial applications of facial recognition. Ban on facial recognition tech use The Portland ordinance prohibiting private entities’ use of facial recognition technologies affects any business providing goods, services or other accommodations to the public and will impact businesses’ ability to protect workers, customers, facilities and property, since it effectively targets business use of security systems. “Turning back the clock on technological advancement through a complete ban on private-sector use of technology that clearly keeps our fellow citizens safe is not a rational answer during this period of social unrest in Portland,” stated Security Industry Association (SIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Don Erickson. Educating masses on facial recognition technology It is hardly a model approach to policymaking that any government should adopt" He adds, “It is hardly a model approach to policymaking that any government should adopt. Let’s act together now to thoughtfully educate the public about the legal and effective use of facial recognition technology, while at the same time, being mindful of legitimate questions raised about the impact of this technology on all stakeholders, including communities of colour.” Don further stated, “We continue to invite local leaders across the country to work with us to develop more sensible approaches to the use of facial recognition.” SIA’s Senior Director of Government Relations, Jake Parker, provided his testimony at the Portland City Council hearing on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2020, in opposition to these widespread prohibitions on the use of facial recognition technology. National Institute of Standards and Technology research paper As part of the council’s discussion, Portland City Councilwoman, Jo Ann Hardesty stated prior to the vote that the council would revisit the ban when there is technology that is not racially biased and is tested by independent third parties. SIA notes that such technology is available in the current scenario, and in July, SIA authored and submitted a letter to Portland’s Mayor and City Council, which noted the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s research paper that documented that high-performing algorithms perform equally well across different demographics. The letter stated, “The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the world’s renowned and foremost authority on this technology, found last year that the highest performing technologies had ‘undetectable’ differences across demographic groups, with accuracy rates well above 99% and undetectable false positive differences across demographics, even when tested against galleries of up to 12 million images.” Lawful, ethical and nondiscriminatory use of facial recognition SIA believes all technology products, including facial recognition, must only be used for lawful purposes SIA believes all technology products, including facial recognition, must only be used for purposes that are lawful, ethical and nondiscriminatory, and recently released and committed to a series of principles to be used in the development and deployment of facial recognition, ensuring the technology is used in a transparent and nondiscriminatory way that implements privacy protections and human oversight into its use. SIA welcomes working with cities and government on future facial recognition ordinances and policies to ensure decisions are based upon facts and a complete understanding of current technologies and that such policies consider widespread public support for the benefits of this technology. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels, creating open industry standards that enable integration, advancing industry professionalism through education and training, opening global market opportunities and collaborating with other like-minded organisations.
LocoMobi World announced its newest Cloud-Based Smart City cloud system, WorldStream. The ability to manage and track vehicles, objects, events, and setting integrated events, coupled with reports, allows multiple buildings, cars, and people to be linked and create a Smart City World. Functions and integrations The cloud portal provides thousands of access levels to transportation and building services through interactive devices. Integrations can be with new infrastructure and legacy systems as well. Integration can be done via device applications or at the cloud level. Anyone interacting with the system will have direct links to payment, reservations, security, and all the merchants and services in the community or city. The system is frictionless and very safe. Seamless experience “Our goal is to provide a seamless experience to the world,” says CEO Grant Furlane. “We have set up many partnerships and continue to launch a very exciting platform that is proven and with many great references. The system can be full of in-house automation, or we can offer management services.” Applications for integration WorldStream uses restful APIs for seamless integration. A powerful analytical engine provides powerful reporting, real-time access anywhere, anytime, and maintains system health checks, diagnostics and self-healing.
Restrictions that came in to force in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continue to effect international travel to Vietnam. Logistical uncertainty has therefore hampered planning for the diverse international contingent of both events, with less than two months remaining before the trade fairs were scheduled to open. Events moved to 2021 “As a responsible trade fair organiser, we hold a commitment to our participants that extends beyond the fairground to also include safe and practical travel to the venue,” explained Mr Stephan Buurma, Member of the Board of Management, Messe Frankfurt Group. “Given that this cannot be guaranteed, we have decided that deferring both events to 2021 is the logical course of action. Supporting government authorities, associations and industry players have shown great enthusiasm for both trade fairs to return stronger in 2021, when exhibitors will have more time to plan their travel arrangements, and the business circumstances will be more stable.” Sharing a common focus on technological innovations related to Industry 4.0, the IoT, and automation, Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City and Secutech Vietnam provide a gateway for both local and international suppliers to establish themselves in Vietnam. Sector events for the Vietnamese market At its previous edition, Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City welcomed 359 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, as well as over 8,900 trade visitors from the automotive service industry. The fair has been gaining influence in the region since it was established in 2017 thanks to its extensive coverage of motorcycles, the commercial and passenger vehicle segments as well as automotive manufacturing and automation. The 2021 fair will take place from 30 June - 1 July at the Saigon Convention and Exhibition Centre. Likewise, Secutech Vietnam, and its Fire & Safety event supported by the local fire authority, has been flourishing since its first edition in 2008, regularly achieving year on year growth in both exhibitor (2019: 380) and visitor figures (2019: 14,239). Shining a spotlight on IoT based security and smart building solutions, as well as fire safety equipment, the platform benefits from close ties with government departments and industry associations, helping it to attract a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Vietnam Fire Department, the next edition will feature an expanded array of fire safety seminars and demonstrations. Further details to be announced in the later weeks.
Videonetics announces that it has joined the Qualcomm® Smart Cities Accelerator Program to provide their AI and Deep Learning powered Unified Video Computing Platform™ (UVCP) to diverse industries such as smart cities, aviation, enterprise and manufacturing to name a few. To exhibit their features and functionalities, Videonetics will be implementing their end-to-end video management system and AI enabled video analytics in conjunction with Qualcomm Technologies enabled smart cameras for use at Qualcomm Technologies’ San Diego Morehouse campus. Delivering greater efficiencies As part of the Qualcomm® Advantage Network, the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program is designed to connect cities, municipalities, government agencies, and enterprises with an ecosystem of providers to help deliver greater efficiencies, cost savings, safety, and sustainability. With proven expertise in commercially deployed solutions, it provides members with end-to-end smart city solutions, which are essential for the transformation of city infrastructure. The Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program includes Qualcomm Technologies’ portfolio of IoT solutions with advancements in mobile connectivity, edge computing and AI capabilities to address a diverse range of smart city needs and provides priority access of co-marketing opportunities to its member companies. Unified video computing platform Videonetics has secured more than 140 cities, 80+ airports, and 100+ large enterprises across many geographies Videonetics will leverage participation in the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program to deploy advanced technologies across cities, municipalities, industries, aviation, mass transportation, education, and healthcare for a well-connected infrastructure. Acclaimed as a market pioneer, Videonetics has secured more than 140 cities, 80+ airports, and 100+ large enterprises across many geographies. Powered by its patented and awarded AI and Deep Learning framework, Videonetics Unified Video Computing Platform encompasses Intelligent VMS, Video Analytics, Intelligent Traffic Management System, Facial Recognition, Video Computing Platform as a Service (VCPaaS™) and Video Command Control Centre. Intelligent network connectivity “We are excited to have Videonetics join the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program and share their solutions as their participation and expertise in AI and Deep Learning. Both companies working together, with Qualcomm’s experience in wireless and AI, will facilitate an end-to-end solution for a variety of applications across multiple verticals and industries,” said Sanjeet Pandit, Senior Director, Business Development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Avinash Trivedi, VP - Business Development, Videonetics expressed, “We are excited to join the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program. Our platform has been field-proven in providing end-to-end solutions from edge devices to cloud hosted services, globally. As a member of the program, I am assured that Qualcomm Technologies’ remarkable intelligent network connectivity, combined with Videonetics’s state-of-the-art solutions will cater to growing demand for truly unified solutions in different verticals.”
Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. According to estimates from the UN, this number is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. As urban areas become more densely populated, the ability of law enforcement to uphold law and order becomes ever more critical to public security. It’s a challenge that must be constantly reviewed, and issues addressed where needed. One such area is the detection, identification and interception of physical threats, which has traditionally included guns, knives and explosives. Over the last six months, however, this has now evolved into the detection and identification of new, invisible microbiological threats, such as COVID-19. A new approach to physical security Since reports began on COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the virus has spread to over 188 countries, killing over 790,000 people. When this is set against the unrelenting backdrop of rising terrorist threats, a new approach to today’s physical security is needed to create safer public and private spaces. Globally, tensions are running high. An international health crisis, political tumult and unstable economic environments are creating the potential for a perfect storm for extreme behaviour. Now, more than ever, governments must coordinate with healthcare, security services, and technology providers to pool the expertise needed to deploy innovative detection platforms to address these growing threats. In smart cities, in particular, technology will play a crucial role in addressing both physical and biological/viral threats in order to keep their citizens safe. Technology will play a crucial role in addressing both physical and biological/viral threats Collaborating to advance security systems in smart cities To date, we’ve seen an increase in the number of smart city programmes around the globe; cities that are beginning to deploy innovative technologies for the management and ease of life services. Global spending on smart city initiatives has now reached a total of nearly $124 billion this year alone, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest Worldwide Smart Cities Spending Guide. However, the growth of urban populations is impacting overall infrastructure and resources and many towns and cities are struggling to keep pace. According to research from Deloitte, just 16% of cities can self-fund required infrastructure projects. As a result, cities are enlisting the support of private partners and governments to advance their smart city agendas. Public-private collaboration is a lifeline for developing effective security systems in smart cities. Decision-makers must coordinate and collaborate with security experts and operators to arm themselves with a comprehensive understanding of how to best implement and integrate innovative, agile, data-driven security systems. They need to work together, with a clear strategy in place, to respond to these growing threats, while improving public safety. Using smart technology for public security and safety The challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimise security solutions. Demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic Computer vision technology is one such solution that incorporates AI and machine learning into existing video monitoring security (VMS) systems. This computer vision technology enables the detection of visible weapons, such as guns or knives, helping to identify potential threats before an attack occurs. After identifying the weapon, the AI-driven security system can immediately alert onsite security, in real-time, to the location and nature of the incident or potential attack. This allows security and first responders to intervene, possibly before a weapon is drawn and/or used. AI-driven software has also demonstrated great potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of viral or infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact. By using AI-powered video analytic software with a common ‘off the shelf’ thermal video camera, this new security solution can become a remote video health safety screening tool for the identification of elevated body temperature, as well as face mask and social distancing detection for compliance. Now, with the power of real-time AI software, integrated with current VMS systems, threat objects held by an assailant, whether visible or not, can be identified for immediate security response. This can be done in an effective, unobtrusive way that does not interrupt people’s day-to-day routine, as has been the case with other larger or more overt security solutions; including queueing for physical temperature checks or walking through a metal or millimetre wave detector. While individuals and communities are willing to accept some inconvenience as a result of this new normal, privacy and civil liberties must be maintained, until a potential threat is detected. The future of smart cities in a post-COVID world Look ahead to the future of public security We look ahead to the future of public security in a world where physical and microbiological threats are continually evolving. It is only by adopting a new approach to threat detection that such a wide spectrum of the active assailant attacks can be mitigated. Today’s communities are working this into their smart, connected and safe city models. With AI-driven technology that optimises the efficiency and safety of city operations and public services, its citizens will not only stay connected but will also stay safe. Governments must coordinate with security services, as well as technology providers, to pool the expertise needed to best implement and integrate these innovative technologies for the public good. They need to work collaboratively to ensure smart city projects include solutions to address physical security technologies that addresses theft, civic disturbance, terrorist activities and infectious disease. This, in turn, will make these cities not only smarter, but safer as well.
With the pandemic still in full swing and no certainty as to when exactly it will come to an end, the world has been battling anxiety for months now. And with each day, circumstances change quickly and almost make it impossible to predict what will happen next, how events will unfold, and what actions to take in light of a new situation. But one thing is certain: the world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way. In this situation, what is possible to control is how the world will continue reopening – and specifically, how to ensure the safest possible reopening that will ensure the return of some degree of normalcy to people’s lives and business operations, while also managing the risk of COVID’s spread in the most efficient way. Our highly digitised, technologically advanced world This is when the power of technology comes to rescue the day: what truly sets the global crisis we face today apart from other calamities that humanity has encountered over year is the fact that it has developed in a highly digitised, technologically advanced world where each day brings about innovations with a sole purpose to make daily life and operations easier and more streamlined. And among these, the star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence. The world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way While AI has many avenues of introducing efficiency and fast problem-solving, there is one specific application that will further fuel the reopening of the world and successfully keep the spread of the virus abate. This “collaborative security” application includes a synthesis of smart video analytics, facial recognition, object identification/detection, and thermal cameras that can support the reopening of businesses globally when installed within those facilities frequented by customers. With such a level of sophistication that can ensure uninterrupted monitoring and analysis of large public spaces, these AI technologies can ideally operate best as cloud solutions to ensure a collaborative network with maximum scalability and widespread implementation. As these technologies increase in ubiquity and find their way into daily operations of businesses globally, the cost of the smart solutions will decrease proportionally to the growth of their reach. There are some highly specific ways to create this collaborative network of interconnected safety tools in the current climate. Here are some applications that have been successful to date and will increase in usability in the foreseeable future, creating “smart cities” working together towards a safer, more secure world. Maintaining social distancing practices The most important step everyone around the world has taken to contribute to the effort of slowing the spread of the virus has been social distancing. A six-foot-distance has become a new social norm that has quickly been adopted globally and become a habit to people who are naturally used to being close to others and socialising without giving distance a second thought. The star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence So, it is natural that such distancing measures take time to get accustomed to – and it is also natural that individuals may forget about them from time to time. To help maintain the six-foot distance between people at all times and give them slight nudges to keep the rule top of their minds, AI video technology can be trained to estimate the distance between individuals in public and commercial areas and identify the cases in which people get too close to each other. By notifying local merchants or authorities about such cases, the system can help ensure the safety of everyone in the area at all times while positively reinforcing the public to gradually get more accustomed to maintaining the distance and thus helping stop the spread of the virus. Detecting the virus through facial recognition Perhaps the straightforward application of such high-level technology is using video surveillance to identify persons of interest who have tested positive for the virus. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity, making it possible to identify individuals whose records show they have antibodies from those who can be potential carriers of the virus. After the initial differentiation and identification, the system can then notify the employers and employees of the facility about the results of the conducted analysis and the pursuant results, allowing them to be more vigilant and take action where necessary to ensure a safe experience for everyone. PPE reinforcement Wearing a mask or some sort of face coverage in public spaces and especially within facilities (such as stores, for instance) has been - and will continue to be - a requirement for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for people to continue with their day-to-day lives and businesses to resume regular operations. To this extent, the object detection and identification abilities of smart cameras can further reinforce this requirement and ensure that the absence of protective equipment doesn’t go unnoticed. Essentially, these cameras can easily identify if an individual has coverage at any given point of time or not, notifying the local authorities about any risks immediately and helping them maintain necessary safety measures without having to interrupt their workflow or worry about missing a visitor without a mask. Detecting high temperature One of the key (and the most widespread) symptoms of COVID-19 is a high fever - a certain indicator of whether an individual may have been infected with the virus or not. While identifying fever with a regular human eye is nearly impossible, AI can do so at a fraction of time by quickly scanning body temperatures of any incoming individuals and determine whether it’s above CDC’s recommended temperature of 100.4F in order to determine the risk factor and notify the local authorities to take action. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity This technology is a good tactic to objectively assess potential risks that come with elevated temperatures - and sometimes, the people themselves might not realise they might (unconsciously) be carriers of the virus and thus endanger the safety of others in their vicinity. The technology is yet another step towards ensuring a safer reopening of the global economy and a more streamlined way of getting back on track while minimising the risk of spreading the virus further. It’s not all about the theory We have tested the described approaches in our own R&D campus in Europe. The latest release of the IREX cloud enables remote fever detection and monitoring of social isolation and mask policies with AI. We have integrated thermal cameras to detect people with elevated temperature and CCTV cameras for identification and notifying those who potentially ill. In case of any health threat, the venue manager gets an instant message with a picture and exact location. These preventive steps helped our employees return to the office months earlier than it's happening in other countries. Moreover, personnel coming back to the office by their own wish as now they feel a virus-free environment in the campus - even safer than in their own homes. Now we are launching a pilot project for a well-known pharmacy chain in Florida, USA. With the help of a Computer Vision platform, staff will be able to divide customer traffic into those with normal body temperature and those who come in with elevated temperatures, as well as effectively monitor social distance norms. The goal of our potential client is to maximise the safety of customers in the post-pandemic period. Also, IREX is already deployed across hundreds of locations in the UK and will add health monitoring capability soon.
The new CCTV system installed by WLS at Vauxhall City Farm, is according to its Chief Executive, Monica Tyler, being used to its full potential to ensure that the 50,000 visitors who visit the farm every year, are able to safely enjoy all its facilities. “Our previous CCTV was well past its ‘use-by’ date. Although it was still working, it lacked the functionality we needed to ensure around the clock security of our animals and property, as well as ensuring compliance with our health & safety procedures,” said Monica. Central urban farms “The new CCTV system, generously donated and installed by WLS, has transformed our working lives by providing us with peace of mind in knowing we can monitor every area of the farm, including our recently opened eco-garden, without any blind spots.” “The quality of the images captured by the Dahua cameras enable us to see close up detail of any activity or incident, whilst I and other colleagues are able to use an app running on our mobile phones to remotely keep an eye on the farm when it is closed and if there is an alarm event.” Located within earshot of Big Ben, Vauxhall City Farm is one of the oldest and most central urban farms in London. Local and wider communities The farm was established in 1976 when a group of architects began working on a vacant plot of land The farm was established in 1976 when a group of architects began working on a vacant plot of land and made it available to local residents for them to grow vegetables and care for livestock. From those humble beginnings, the farm has continually grown and is now the home for over 100 animals, a riding centre and a cafe, and with the enthusiastic support of a large team of volunteers, conducts dozens of education and youth projects. As a registered charity, the farm’s main objectives are to enhance the health, well-being and life chances of children and disadvantaged people, as well as create enjoyment and recreational opportunities for those from our local and wider communities. Intruder detection systems WLS’s connection with Vauxhall City Farm spans over 15 years, during which it has installed and maintained the farm’s fire and intruder detection systems, as well as the now superseded CCTV system. Alison Ewen, the wife of WLS’s managing director, also has a close bond with the farm. Having been a volunteer for over 20 years, Alison has been appointed a trustee specialising in Riding for the Disabled activities. “As a company which has enjoyed considerable success installing a great number of electronic security solutions across London, we believe we have a corporate responsibility to give something back to the community,” said Jeremy Ewen. “We have welcomed the opportunity to do so by supporting a charity which we have such high regard for, in respect of the support, education and enjoyment it gives to so many people.”
Genetec Inc., a globally renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced that City Council District E in New Orleans has taken an innovative approach to address illegal dumping using Security Centre, the unified security platform from Genetec. Countering illegal dumping menace Illegal dumping is a problem in most cities around the world, but enforcing laws to prevent it can be quite difficult and resource-intensive. To catch culprits in the act, law enforcement and other city staff have to physically watch known sites and wait to spot illegal dumping activity. Most city officials know that's an impossible task, as officers can't be everywhere all the time, and offenders take full advantage of that reality. New Orleans’ RTCC and Sanitation Department has begun installing a network of cameras at known dumping sites In response, New Orleans City Council District E Councilwoman, Cyndi Nguyen, has taken a hands-on approach tackling illegal dumping head-on as a part of a larger push toward revitalising the community she serves. Nguyen’s team, working in partnership with New Orleans’ Real Time Crime Centre (RTCC) and Sanitation Department has begun installing a network of cameras at known dumping sites. All cameras are portable so they can be moved to new dumping hotspots as needed. Genetec security technology platform deployed “This security technology from Genetec certainly helps re-enforce the message I’m putting out there, that we can and will enforce illegal dumping offenses in District E. We also have this great partnership with the Sanitation Department, our local Police Department, and the RTCC, and that’s extending out into our community as well,” said New Orleans City Councilwoman, Cyndi Nguyen. She adds, “I am working hard to get more residents and businesses involved in supporting these initiatives, because keeping our city safe and clean is a shared responsibility.” Real Time Crime Centre (RTCC) The Real Time Crime Centre (RTCC) already uses Security Centre to manage its citywide public safety improvement initiatives. To help monitor illegal dumping activities, the Crime Centre’s IT department also set up an event-to-action rule in the Security Centre platform to processes motion detection in a defined zone of the camera’s field of view. As soon as motion is detected, the security system bookmarks it and notifies IT staff As soon as motion is detected, the security system bookmarks it and notifies IT staff so that they can evaluate the situation and determine if collection of the debris is warranted. The system also takes a snapshot of the video and emails it to designated personnel on the team, so as to enable them to identify and investigate any potential dumping perpetrators, and take appropriate action. Crime detection with video evidence In an example of a recent case, this event-to-action led to the arrest of a repeat offender who had previously been convicted and sentenced for dumping 14,000 tires. All snapshots and video evidence were securely shared with the New Orleans Police Department so as to enable them to quickly identify the perpetrator, apprehend him and complete their investigation. “Without this technology, finding these offenders comes down to chance or it could take a police officer hours and hours of investigative work. Instead, it took us minutes to set up the event-to-action in Security Centre, and just about two days from the time we were notified about this offender to the time we were able to apprehend him,” said Bill Wood, IT Supervisor at New Orleans’ Real Time Crime Centre (RTCC). Bill adds, “We love working with the Genetec Security Centre security platform. It’s very user friendly and helps us cut down that investigation time exponentially.”
Traffic continues to grow in every major city. But how do people beat congestion in these restricted urban spaces? In China’s ancient-walled city of Xi’an, they’re adopting an intelligent traffic management system based on Hikvision technology - and boosting traffic flow while reducing journey time. The Chinese city of Xi'an, known as Chang'an in ancient times, was the centre of ancient oriental civilisation. Thirteen dynasties spanning Chinese history have chosen Xi'an as their capital. Today, Xi'an is not simply a part of history: it’s a high-tech hub, renowned across China for its scientific research and education, manufacturing, technology, and transportation. In spite of being a modern hub, Xi’an still retains its ‘checkerboard’ layout from the Tang Dynasty, complete with its border of tall and ancient walls. Urban Traffic Administration Nevertheless, while economic growth has enabled the city to develop, the walls place great restrictions on the city’s daily movement - especially to its burgeoning traffic. Vehicles can only enter and exit through the city gates, but with some three million vehicles in the city, the limited number of entrances was beginning to cause serious congestion. What’s more, there are also many ancient ruins in the city, which were further limiting the development of the urban area. Managing a growing city while protecting its history presented a serious challenge to Xi’an Plus, as of 2018, the city was home to over 10 million people, while the number of construction projects was steadily increasing. Managing a growing city while protecting its history presented a serious challenge to Xi’an. So, to address this, Xi’an Urban Traffic Administration turned to Hikvision and its intelligent cameras. Traffic sensing system “Xi’an’s city walls make it impossible to increase the size of the urban area. So, it was only through technology that we could allow the modern city to grow and develop,” says Lihu Ma, the Project Manager from Hikvision. “A core part of the Hikvision solution involves our AI-powered video technology.” The Xi'an traffic police worked with experts from Hikvision, as well as urban planning experts, internet service providers and other technology companies, to design and implement an intelligent traffic management system. The construction of this system fully utilises Hikvision's core advantages in urban transportation intelligence, employing AI-powered video to create a powerful traffic sensing system. Physical urban transportation network The latest sonar monitoring equipment is being used to detect illegal use of car horns in banned areas “Effectively, we are building a bridge between an intelligent digital world and the physical urban transportation network in Xi’an,” explains Lihu. The intelligent traffic management system analyses comprehensive and detailed data about the movement of traffic through the urban Xi’an area, and uses the insight gathered to make the flow of traffic more smoothly in three key ways. Comprehensive road traffic violation monitoring Xi'an traffic police have installed Hikvision’s Checkpoint Capture Cameras and Intersection Violation Capture Units as part of a monitoring system that can detect illegal vehicle behaviour at intersections. These full view ultra-high zoom cameras record vehicles making illegal maneuvers - such as running red lights, making banned turns and illegal lane changes - in real time. What’s more, the latest sonar monitoring equipment is being used to detect illegal use of car horns in banned areas. Intelligent mobile applications Visual integrated command and dispatching platform Using real-time video streams from Hikvision Traffic Flow Capture Cameras, a number of road condition perception technologies, plus intelligent mobile applications, Xi'an traffic police has created a visual command and control centre, coupled with an intelligent police dispatch system. All data is aggregated and dynamically displayed on a large screen in the command and control centre. In the event of a traffic incident, the system generates dispatch recommendations intelligently, according to the location and distribution of traffic police officers throughout the city. Those closest to an incident receive an automated message to their mobile terminals, enabling them to arrive at the scene quickly. Intelligent traffic management system The Xi’an traffic management team also employs congestion management practices More importantly, the intelligent traffic management system uses advanced machine learning capabilities to gain insight into typical congestion patterns, in order to actively identify potential traffic events before they happen. By analysing large volumes of road condition data and information from Hikvision’s intelligent video cameras, the system can predict which intersections are most prone to congestion and when, enabling traffic police to put evasive measures in place before serious issues arise. Improved vehicle flow capacity with intelligent signal control The Xi’an traffic management team also employs congestion management practices to ease the flow of traffic, largely through the optimisation of signal timing. Using Hikvision intelligent video cameras coupled with augmented reality (AR) technology, the intelligent traffic management system analyses traffic flow data and dynamically alters the timing of signal lights accordingly. Adjusting signal timing It will monitor traffic flow, queue length and average driving speed in all directions of intersections in real-time, automatically adjusting signal timing to optimise the flow of vehicles. The Xi'an traffic management system has now been trained with a wealth of traffic data, including Hikvision video, enabling it to build multiple intelligent algorithms for managing congestion in the city. Driver behaviour is improving, and drivers are becoming more compliant with the rules of the road First of all, map-based congestion reports suggest that Xi'an's congestion rankings have improved significantly. In fact, compared with the test results of pilot roads before the system went live, intelligent signal control alone has increased the throughput of traffic by 10%, while the average vehicle journey time is reduced by about 12%. What’s more, driver behaviour is improving, and drivers are becoming more compliant with the rules of the road. Traffic incident warning function Traffic law enforcement data reveals that traffic offences are generally decreasing, with traffic violations dropping by some 30% in one short-term observation. Additionally, thanks to the proactive traffic incident warning function, the incident detection rate has also increased by more than 30% compared to the traditional model. With the continuous optimisation of the system algorithm, plus ongoing installation of monitoring equipment, the accuracy of this identification will only improve. In the process of urbanisation, tackling congestion is not only about improving the flow of the transportation network: it’s also basic governance for building a smart city.
SL Green Realty Corp., one of Manhattan's largest office landlord, has appointed Sharry to be a technology partner for the One Vanderbilt project scheduled to be opened in September 2020 in midtown Manhattan. Smart, integrated building systems Sharry is a pioneer in the newly emerging market of PropTech (property & technology). The company supplies an ecosystem of smart and integrated functions for premium commercial office buildings and customers in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Recently, Sharry, the PropTech company, announced a new touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings. One Vanderbilt Sharry was appointed by SL Green Realty to be a technology partner for One Vanderbilt in New York" A sky-line defining skyscraper tower, One Vanderbilt will be the epitome of the 21st century workplace space. Developed by SL Green Corp., the 1,401-foot-tall (427 m) commercial office building will be the 5th tallest building in the U.S. TD Bank is signed on as the anchor tenant of the 1.7-million-square-foot property, which is due to open in September of 2020. All users and tenants will be equipped with smart and mobile products delivered by Sharry. “Sharry was appointed by SL Green Realty to be a technology partner for One Vanderbilt in New York,” confirms Michal Cerovsky, Chief Operations Officer (COO) and a Co-Founder of Sharry. The company is headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, EU. Digital solutions for a safer work environment "One Vanderbilt is already an architectural icon in New York, but its completion will open a new era in which digital solutions will provide a healthier and safer work environment," adds Vladimír Mašinský, Head of Business Development at Sharry, who also manages Sharry's partnership with SL Green Realty. Anchoring the modernisation of East Midtown region of New York City, One Vanderbilt will provide tenants with an impressive slate of amenities unrivaled in history of real estate in NYC, including a 30,000-square-foot tenant-only amenity floor with large format meeting spaces, club-style lounge and an extraordinary outdoor terrace. Direct connection to transit network Immediately adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, the building will create direct connections to the surrounding transit network. The building will also include an 11,000-square-foot high-design restaurant from world-renowned chef, Daniel Boulud. SL Green’s unprecedented US$ 220 million private investment to improve Grand Central’s public transit infrastructure has already begun to materialise. Tenants include a star roster of top-tier financial, banking and legal firms that have committed to One Vanderbilt. Integrating individual services and technological systems There are many innovations by Sharry that improve the commercial office building experience “It's a major milestone for Sharry to be a partner of the One Vanderbilt project, a prominent part of the New York City skyline, less than four years after the company was founded. At the same time, it tells us that we were correct in taking the more demanding approach, integrating individual services and technological systems available in buildings into a single platform,” said Josef Šachta, CEO and Co-Founder of Sharry. There are many innovations by Sharry that improve the commercial office building experience. The company brings in a new set of smart features integrated to the building, such as mobile access that allows workers to open doors or turnstiles, just with their smartphones. If the workers drive, a smart camera link recognises their licence plate and opens the gates. Smart parking management Parking management ensures maximal utilisation of parking spots. All users can take advantage of a tenant engagement platform for sharing important building-related news, chatting with other users, or booking shared amenities. Visitors to buildings where software from Sharry is installed can also expect the utmost in convenience. "A guest will receive a meeting invitation with a QR code. They can reserve a parking space, and the system will then automatically let in upon arrival thanks to smart cameras. The guests will then report to the reception using the QR code, just like check-in at airports. The host who invited the guest will then be notified that their visitor is already in the lobby," said Product Manager, Ondřej Langr, in describing another example of the multi-level integration offered by Sharry. Touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings Recently, the company has announced a touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings Recently, the company has announced a touch-free elevator system for COVID-safe buildings as its latest innovation. This anti-coronavirus feature enabling users to control elevators from their mobile phones or smart watches will be presented during Q3/2020 in the Sharry Workplace product line as part of a revolutionary mobile access system. Along with One Vanderbilt, Sharry is completing the implementation of its smart tools ecosystem in several other office buildings on the East coast of the USA. Thanks to these projects, it is firmly placed among the top players in the PropTech segment and especially in NYC, which last year ranked first on the Tech Cities index, which is compiled by the Savills consulting company. “We always wanted our software to be in the best buildings in every city to which we expanded. And New York was our dream destination. I am very proud of our entire team that we can work together here on the iconic building One Vanderbilt will soon be,” adds Josef Šachta.
viisights, the developer of innovative behavioural understanding systems for real-time video intelligence based on AI, announced that it has deployed a smart city traffic monitoring system in the city of Ashdod, leveraging the NVIDIA Metropolis intelligent video analytics framework. “This project signifies how smart cities like Ashdod increase safety, mobility and quality of life by state-of-the-art traffic monitoring driven by computer vision-based on AI,” said Asaf Birenzvieg, co-founder and CEO of viisights. “viisights traffic monitoring capabilities are based on our revolutionary video understanding technology that helps in analysing hundreds to thousands of real-time traffic video streams and alerting on complex traffic situations, including accidents, hazards and predicting and managing traffic congestion. We see this project as an example of how a city can be really smart and as a validation of the growing demand for our behavioural understanding solutions.” Intersection blocked Using NVIDIA GPUs and the DeepStream SDK within NVIDIA Metropolis, viisights’ innovative traffic monitoring system provides highly scalable and cost-effective solutions for real-time analysis of thousands of video streams. viisights video intelligence system deployed in Ashdod provides real-time advanced behavioural understanding of traffic actions and events in live video streams by monitoring intersections, crossroads, roads and streets. This enables municipalities to quickly address events of interest such as accidents, disturbances to traffic (for example, vehicles stopping in a junction or on a sidewalk), road hazards (for example, people getting in and out of vehicles in dangerous areas) and monitor traffic flows and report on various statistics. viisights technology protects public privacy by only analysing general behaviour patterns of individuals, groups, vehicles and traffic-flows. It does not identify faces or licence plates. Car collision information This cutting-edge, first-of-its-kind technology from viisights assists municipalities to secure traffic flow, prevent blockage and attend to road hazards, while also enhancing their essential role in securing the life and safety of inhabitants; first responders can arrive faster at scenes of life-threatening situations, minimise injuries, and attend to dangers in traffic and more. “We are extremely proud to be at the forefront of smart city technology by being the first city in Israel to define and use this behaviour recognition technology for the benefit of Ashdod citizens,” said Gamliel Edri, technologies & CCTV control room department manager for the city of Ashdod Municipality. “The viisights’ system strengthens our ability to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and even save lives. We look forward to broadening our successful collaboration with viisights to other parts of the city.”
The Smart Cities Mission is an innovative initiative by the Government of India to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people. It aims to achieve this by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens. A hundred cities across the country were shortlisted by the government, which were to be promoted as ‘Smart Cities’. Based on an all-India competition, Bhopal was selected in the first round of 20 smart cities, to transform the city into a leading destination for smart, connected and eco-friendly communities focused on education, research, entrepreneurship and tourism. End-to-end video surveillance system Known as the ‘City of Lakes’, Bhopal is a historic city with a population of over 2.5 million. With the expanded planning area of 463 square kilometres, Bhopal is among the 16 largest cities in India. In view of its growing population, the city leaders wanted to upgrade the security of its residents, migrants and visitors, by ensuring diligent monitoring across the city. Also, Bhopal faced chaotic traffic flows and repeated violations, causing traffic jams, accidents and fatalities. Also, Bhopal faced chaotic traffic flows and repeated violations, causing traffic jams, accidents and fatalities This not only made everyday life uncomfortable but also increased transport time with a negative effect on economic activity. The stakeholders wanted to implement an end-to-end video surveillance system to support law enforcement, to build a secure environment for citizens, and to also ensure road safety across the city. Regional vehicle database After rigorous evaluation, a panel of city leaders, stakeholders and industry leaders selected Videonetics for this project. Videonetics designed a solution based on its AI & DL powered Unified Video Computing Platform (UVCP) encompassing Intelligent VMS, Intelligent Video Analytics and Intelligent Traffic Management System. 24x7 city-wide surveillance: Today, over 350 IP cameras are deployed in Bhopal, covering major entry and exit points from the city, places of strategic importance, locations of public gatherings, traffic junctions and business districts etc. Operators are quickly responding to any incident from petty theft to more serious offenses. To monitor urban operations round-the-clock, Intelligent VMS provides continuous viewing and recordings of these cameras, in a user-friendly interface. Specifically, the authorities can also detect overcrowding, unattended baggage, break-in prediction, counting people and traffic violations in a single interface. Round-the-clock traffic monitoring: Today, the city has an Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) suite covering 23 junctions across the city. The suite encompasses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), Red Light Violation Detection (RLVD), Over-speeding Detection, No Helmet Detection and Triple Riding detection. In addition to intersections, the ANPR solution has been integrated with IP cameras at entry-exit points in tourist spots and other places, helping law enforcement to identify non-standardised/ duplicate licence plates, blacklisted and stolen vehicles, and much more. Automated violation prosecution management: The ITMS solution not only enables monitoring of the traffic situation 24x7, but also records traffic violations in real time. Videonetics Integrated e-Challan Management Software (ICMS) has been integrated with regional vehicle database to generate e-challan along with incident evidence and violator’s address – all in a transparent manner and with the audit trail of all transactions with evidence. With the help of ICMS, traffic personnel can easily maintain record of all payments, both received and pending. Centralised city view: Combining Intelligent VMS and ITMS into the unified interface empowers city management officials and traffic police to view real-time alerts, manage them, and respond to them swiftly, from the Integrated Command & Control Centre (ICCC). Consolidated monitoring and reporting The Bhopal Smart City project has proven to be a great success and has become an exemplary model for other cities. Today, operators have become more efficient and make better decisions by having consolidated monitoring and reporting in the single interface. From helping law enforcement authorities in apprehending vandals to addressing instances of theft, physical confrontations and street crimes, now authorities have critical video evidence available to aid in the investigation of crimes and other incidents. Also, with citizens becoming more sensitised to traffic rules and beginning to follow them, violations have come down rapidly. Manage chaotic traffic conditions Thanks to Videonetics team for their constant support and untiring efforts for making this project successful" The traffic data of each junction now provides insights to the administration, which is helping to manage chaotic traffic conditions and create situational awareness at the levels of local and central authorities. “As challans were dispatched to the residence address, people had to pay, and it was quite strict,” says Nitin Dave, Media Manager, Bhopal Smart City. “Now people are more aware about traffic rules, leading to a reduction in the number of e-challans.” “We are proud to be associated with Bhopal Smart City project. Videonetics unified solution is not only monitoring the entire city but also helped in reducing road fatalities. Now law enforcement is further equipped to make decisions faster and respond towards any incidents or threat. Thanks to Videonetics team for their constant support and untiring efforts for making this project successful. The implementation of this solution has made the city smarter as well as safer for the citizens”, expressed Mr. Neeraj Kushwaha, Founder and Director at Technosys. Key results areas Increased security with 24x7 monitoring of city area More alert and ready operators, from traffic control to citizen security Reduction in traffic rule violations by 80% and improved traffic discipline among people Drastic reduction in incidents involving stolen vehicles, duplicate license plates etc. Minimisation of human intervention and elimination of biases in decision making The open and modular architecture of the solution not only allows the city to continue adding more applications to make its traffic management more robust, but also integrate with the city surveillance system in a single unified interface, to address overall security concerns with a holistic approach. Awards and recognitions The Bhopal Smart City has received various awards from the government and industry bodies: Project Awards: The Innovative Idea Award for Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) by India Smart Cities Awards The Urban Mobility Award for Security Integration & Intelligent Traffic Management System Best Smart City of the Year by Smart Cities Conclave CSR Smart Cities Leadership Award for Security Integration in Traffic Management (No Helmet Detection) Technology Awards: SECONA Innovation of the Year 2018 for ‘No Helmet Detection System’ Finest India Skills & Talent Award (FIST) Best Innovation in Security 2018 for ‘No Helmet Detection System’ NASSCOM Technology Excellence Award 2019 Rising Star in AI & DL for ‘No Helmet & Triple Riding Detection System’
Round table discussion
The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analysed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the physical security challenges of smart cities?