Connected safety: coming to a city near you6 Minute read
By 2030, there will be 5 billion people living in cities around the world. This surge in urban population will require better infrastructure, mobility and an increased need for safety.
Governments large and small are looking at technology, such as big data and artificial intelligence, for ideas to meet this coming demand, according to a report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Data-Smart City Solutions. They’re asking questions such as how can governments be most efficient with limited resources? How can they improve safety, and quality of life?
These questions are often raised when it comes to video. Use of security video differs by country, city and state. In North America, there are law enforcement agencies that have used video for years to help keep residents safe. There are also cities that are relative newcomers, now implementing pilot programs to test the use of body worn cameras by police officers. In many communities, debates are taking place regarding how and when to use of video in the business of governing.
Panasonic is deeply engaged in developing connected solutions to address community safety in the 21st century – to support the policies developed by lawmakers. We provide security and video surveillance systems designed to integrate with our mobile, communication and evidence management platforms. That’s important because when you’re leveraging disruptive technologies, such as new forms of mobile content, cloud storage and the challenges brought on by the Internet of Things (IoT), there’s a need to integrate these technologies into a unified, simple and secure technology ecosystem to help agencies meet the needs of their communities.
Here’s a look at promising technology developments in public safety and security that are solving problems today in ways that may impact communities and agencies in the future.
Automatic evidence in Connecticut
Body-worn cameras are becoming integral in the evidence management tool kit for law enforcement agencies across the globe. Those wondering when the technology will have widespread adoption need look no farther than Connecticut, where it is now state law.
As part of a recently passed Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force, the state received federal funding to purchase these cameras for Connecticut State Police. State troopers are receiving body cameras starting this summer, and their use is governed by the new law that stipulates recording will be activated by smart triggers, such as when an officer opens his door.
To help law enforcement agencies like those in Connecticut manage the massive volumes of data created by body and dashboard cams and city surveillance systems, Panasonic has developed Unified Digital Evidence, a software technology to collect, manage and protect digital evidence. The new software solution offers a platform to gather and store digital evidence from the Arbitrator™ In-Car and Body-Worn camera platforms, as well as other sources, including fixed surveillance and a variety of digital media devices, increasing transparency and the flow of information, enabling a connected safety ecosystem.
Livestream citizen patrol in Newark, NJ
Demand for professional video surveillance cameras has been growing quickly and is forecast to continue, according to IHS Markit. Less than 10 million cameras were shipped globally in 2006, and more than 130 million will be shipped in 2018, according to IHS data. In Newark, NJ, law enforcement leaders are embracing video technology as a public safety tool – to connect the community to crime determent.
The “Citizen Virtual Patrol” is a digital policing program launched to allow community members to virtually patrol their neighborhoods and to assist police in deterring criminal activity. Residents with a computer or tablet and Wi-Fi can tap into the program’s live-streaming network of 62 Panasonic cameras installed across the city, and are encouraged to call 911 if they see suspicious activity so officers can be dispatched to the camera’s location. “This invaluable technology puts a real-time crime reporting tool in the hands of every concerned community member,” Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said in April. “It corroborates their story, helps us make an arrest, or possibly prevents something from taking place before it actually happens.”
Facial recognition in Tokyo
Some 6,700 miles away, Japan’s Immigration Bureau has chosen a high-tech security gate to streamline departures and arrivals at one of world’s busiest airports. Introduced in 2017 Tokyo International (Haneda) Airport, the Facial Recognition gate uses deep machine learning and advanced software designed to detect fraud and to prevent unauthorized entry – and alert authorities in real time.
The Japanese agency adopted this technology to move people through immigration more efficiently. Developed by Panasonic, which has worked on facial recognition technologies for 30 years, the security solution can identify individuals even if they aren’t looking at the camera head-on, or are wearing a mask or sunglasses.
The system compares photographic data of the traveler's face from the IC chip embedded in the person's passport with a photo taken at the facial recognition gate to verify his or her identity, making it an appealing alternative to fingerprint recognition, which requires people to register biometric data in advance.
Such technology, combined with robust unified evidence management programs and sophisticated camera systems, promises to revolutionize security at stadiums, in hospitals, on college campuses, and at other high traffic venues where public safety is a priority now – and in the future.