The ever-changing social dynamics of the modern day world pose opportunities as well as challenges to the safety and security of its citizens.
Calamities, natural and artificial, are on the rise, and under-prepared cities are not only affecting the resurgence, but are also having ripple effect on future investments. The ever-growing Traffic needs to be managed efficiently, else in spite of its large investment, the transport infrastructure is not going to result into economic consequences originally forecasted. Disruptions, be it of electricity, water, telecommunications or food supplies, need to be managed in a cohesive manner among agencies, else the down times are going to be ill-affordable. Finally, Crimes, petty or large, are not just affecting the well-being of the citizens, but globalization is taking them to a level from where cities are not able to recover for a long time.
Unless there is a bi-directional government and citizens interaction model, a city cannot become safe and secure; It is imperative that technology is leveraged to provide cutting-edge solutions to citizens for effective safety, security and governance.
C4i framework for cities
A city’s resilience cannot be better explained than a C4i framework. Technology has metamorphosed C4i from a Security framework to a Governance framework. The city’s Control Room cannot any longer be just a Security Room, but has to be evolve into an Operations Room with reduced reaction time.
Command: The city’s Operation Room should have an integrated view of cameras, traffic, emergency resources, rescue vehicles, incidents and events. Critical supplies such as electricity, water, telecommunications and food should be easily accessible and tracked real-time.
Control: The Control function from the Operations Room should not be a mere wireless radio activity, but should evolve into deployment control and response management procedure. The Operations team should have complete visibility and control into the detection and resolution of an event.
Collaboration: Critical supplies to emergency resources such as Police, Ambulance, Traffic and Fire, the response value chain should be collaborative, in its true sense. These resources should be available with just a simple click, or a touch.
For effective traffic management, traffic challans should be issued based on owner’s past history, vehicle authentication and kind of violation.
Citizens should be an active part of any city administration. With latest cellular technologies, the Operations Room can have multiple eyes and ears through video, audio, image and text inputs from citizens, real-time.
Communication: The Operations team should have the complete disposal of telephony, mobiles, wireless radio and PA devices. The resource vehicles should be tracked real-time for location, speed and coverage.
Intelligence: Video technologies these days are quite advanced that a camera is no longer a static video recording device but is as an intelligent image processing device, thanks to sophisticated backend software.
But that is only one part of the intelligence story. Imagine a citizen clicking an image of a gathering crowd and it reaches the Operations Room with live feed from the nearest street camera. Now imagine the crowd gathering phenomenon being triangulated against social media by analysing SMSes, Facebook and Twitter feeds. That is the kind of intelligence that is needed to bring about proactive actions for today’s dynamic society.
Build today for a better tomorrow
Unless disparate systems and disjoint agencies are brought together through an Operative Platform, city administrations cannot achieve a comprehensive C4i. Unless this transformation is brought in today, we cannot expect a better tomorrow. A visualization that enables us to act proactively is the need of our cities. Situational awareness is not just for businesses, it is required for our cities too!
A few decades back, we could not have imagined a car driving by itself. But today, it is becoming reality. You can probably commute to work in your car even as you have breakfast, play trivia or catch up on your favourite blogs. Technology is making this possible. Technology has taken a great leap to ease human intervention by providing artificial intelligence.
Video Analytics is one such concept that is emerging from concept to reality. Since its inception as a simple image processing tool in 1960 to being able to produce 3D images out of video, video analytics has grown at a very fast pace in the last five decades. Over the last few years, it has transformed itself into providing real-time intelligence to security, facility and business teams. Video has ceased being just a passive post-mortem tool for incident analysis. Video is starting to become predictive.
Take a shopping mall for example. The mall operator can use cameras to identify customer flow pattern to discriminately price the stores. The security team can blacklist people based on their previous records. The shop owners can use visual intelligence to get insights into sales conversion ratio, to profile customers through facial recognition, to identify traffic patterns to decide on product placement, to reduce waiting times by managing the queues real-time, to improve marketing effectiveness through promotion tracking, and to forecast trends – a technology-enabled way to achieve customer delight while keeping an eye on operational efficiency.
The world of video technology is evolving rapidly. It is not going to be far before we see robots moving around the streets processing videos, databases, directions and workflow. Video Analytics will slowly, but surely provide an intelligent view of things around us.
Keeping track of what is going on around you is of utmost importance in this dynamic business environment. Situational awareness involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity, in order to understand how information, events, and one’s own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future.
Businesses are naturally prone to challenges that not only need immediate attention but also proactive decision making. When real-time monitoring is required and response decisions must be made immediately, you need a system that provides “situational awareness”. Situational awareness has been recognized as a critical, yet often elusive, foundation for successful decision-making across a broad range of complex and dynamic systems, including aviation, ship navigation, hospitality, healthcare, industrial production, emergency response and military operations.
For instance, pilots use systems that are designed to support situational awareness, a system that can inform them well in advance of an impending danger so they can act proactively. A production unit will need proactive intelligence on the market requirements, lest it should stock its unsold inventory. A customer outlet should have information about the visiting crowd to avoid untoward circumstances. A speaker better know his audience, else be almost sure of a hostile response.
The aim of efficient situational awareness is to keep the operator tightly coupled to the dynamics of the environment. The desire for “actionable information” is a cry for “situational awareness”. You would rather want to be in a state of “Relaxed Awareness” and be pulled into the states of “Focused Awareness” and “High Alert” when needed, rather than be in a “Tuned Out” state that can force you into “Comatose” mode during times of emergencies.
Ever wondered why a bull allows a bird to perch on its back? The bull and the bird enjoy a beautiful symbiotic relation. If we are the bull, technology is our bird! Only technology can provide us a visualization that will empower us with the situational awareness we need for proactive actions.
Dear customers, partners, consultants and well-wishers, thank you for being part of the 2020 ecosystem. You are part of the esteemed group of people whose well-being is our well-being.
This new year, let us resolve to stop incidents at our facilities. This new year, let us resolve to have complete control of our facility systems. This new year, let us resolve to minimize our business losses.
Let us build a common operative picture from our data sources. Let us build the analytics required for our business operations. Let us command, control, collaborate and communicate, with intelligence.
2020 Imaging is committed to bringing you the situational awareness you need for proactive actions – be it for security management, facility integration or enterprise intelligence.
Wish you all a wonderful “situationally aware” new year.
In the ever changing social dynamics of the modern day world, incidents sometimes become unavoidable, revenue losses sometimes become acceptable, and customer satisfaction sometimes remains unattainable. More often than not, these are due to either lack of data or incorrect analysis of available data, or even due to improper action on analysed data. Given more than half of data that exists in the world is video, visual intelligence perhaps holds the key to unconquered territories of our businesses. Yet the irony is that there are hardly any data visualization or business intelligence applications today, focused on video.
WE NEED TO BE SITUATIONALLY AWARE WITH CONTEXT-SENSITIVE DATA
The technology world is going touch, why should your data visualization platform not? Data visualization and interaction need to be intuitive with simple smartphone-like user interfaces. Open architectures should enable seamless integration of data sources, from security systems to facility and process systems. Only a common operative picture with context-sensitive information can take situational awareness to the next level, the level that will demand attention, interest and impactfulness.
WE NEED TO BE PROACTIVE BY MANAGING OUR ALERTS REAL-TIME
You cannot make your business secure, intelligent and mobile without having the right ways to manage your facility, business and consumer alerts. Only visual information can provide the alerts and intelligence that regular digital information cannot!
Hospitality customers should be able to profile customers through visual inputs from cameras, real time. A banking customer should be able to analyse queuing pattern, a retail store should be able to study the traffic pattern, and an industrial production unit should be able to visually monitor the O&M practices, all real time. City management should be able to achieve surveillance, emergency assistance, traffic and response management, all from a single window.
I3OP IS THE BRIDGE TO ACTION FROM DATA AND INFORMATION
In the annals of the data visualization history, we have reached an inflection point. Connecting and managing different data sources over a video-enabled platform means a new dimension to the phenomenon of Internet of Things. Real-time management of alerts means a new degree of freedom to Big Data Analytics. The technology world is going to be disrupted, one more time. And the key to that disruption is an Intuitive, Intelligent, Integrated Operative Platform (I3OP) that can tell us – what is happening!
A decade ago, it was hard to believe that we would be answering phone calls on our mobiles with a touch. In fact usage of mobile phone itself was a privilege then and the phenomenon of touch was rather left to the imaginations of science fiction movie sequences.
Today, from kiosks to kitchen, from tablets to ticketing, from virtual display to virtual reality, from a 10 m giant touch screen to a 10 mm touch watch, touch has transformed technology innovations and user experiences. There cannot be a substitute to the most natural way of human response to visual stimulus, can there be? Thanks to touch, language barriers, software complexities, manuals – they all seem to be things of the past. From QWERTY keyboards to virtual keyboards, from mouse clicks to finger touches, from content management to content experience – touch has transformed our technology interactions.
Videos and images are immediately associated with the Security industry and it becomes easy to explain touch for a security application. For example, we already have biometric devices for access control. Using joysticks to control PTZ cameras are becoming archaic. Imagine being able to respond to a situation as fast as you would be able to respond to a phone call. Imagine being able to open, move and resize window panes through multi-touch gestures on your command centre. Imagine being able to click on a map and open a camera than navigate a tree-based folder hierarchy system. Imagine being able to drop a suspect video on to a security officer’s handheld like how you would do on your Windows PC. Imagine a traffic cop being able to deploy ambulance at an accident site through a simple touch, most likely even without being in the scene.
Even better days are fast approaching. A store manager will soon access his retail traffic pattern on his touch phone. A hotel manager will soon identify the entry of his premium customer with a simple touch on a computer screen. An operations head would soon keep track of his production unit’s O&M practices by simply dragging and dropping videos, images and parameters.
This is just the beginning. Touch is, and will continue to transform our lives and technology will make it happen. No wonder, the touch market is doubling every few years, and touch-based applications, even faster!
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