Smart safety in Smart cities

Safety is essential part in almost any smart city ‘toolbox’. Safety, or should we talk about ‘smart safety’, can be comprehended as physical and psychological. When considering solutions for improving safety, the situation is ideal, when the solution can enhance both, physical and psychological safety. For example, ‘to feel safe’ is one of the basic human basic needs, which is clearly psychological. Physical safety, in turn, could be understood as a consequence of actions, which detect, prevent, or reduce the impact of accidents, crimes and even citizens’ abrupt health failures.

Video surveillance has been part of the authorities’ toolbox in cities for decades. The earliest solutions go as far back as into 1940’s. Since then and especially during the past decades, technology has evolved vastly. Different video content analytics algorithms have been gradually introduced into business since the mid-80’s and some of the video content analytics applications have become more or less de facto in enhancing video surveillance solutions.

Today, situational awareness, also an old concept dating back to early 80’s, has reincarnated into different verticals and it is one of the core elements of the smart safety solutions. Interestingly enough, the reincarnation of the ‘situational awareness’ coincides very well with the launch of 5G standardization, back in 2015.  Top that with the recent developments with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – also another brick in the smart city technology landscape – it could be said that today authorities and safety operators have ‘state-of-the-art’ toolbox in their hands to enhance smart safety.

It is important to acknowledge that with proper smart safety applications, the benefits reach the whole food-chain, from citizens to smart city operators and authorities. It is uttermost important, that citizens safety is in the foreground. However, at the same time, e.g. operators can achieve significant cost savings due to resource optimization. At the end of the day, the cost savings have direct and indirect positive economic and ecological impact.

In LuxTurrim5G+, a true ‘state-of-the-art’ smart city project, Teleste has been one of the key players in the development of ‘smart safety’ applications, together with Nokia. Connected Zone® is an innovative concept, which allows end users to trigger alarms and call for help when in endangering situations. In the LuxTurrim5G+ ecosystem the concept has been taken into the Smart Pole context and a final verification & validation phase is now ongoing. In addition, we have been investigating utilization of several different Video Content Analytics applications, which could bring added value into the ‘Smart City’ use cases.

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Dr. Jani Väre

I’m heading innovation activities in Teleste. Passion for innovations and the eternal search for the 'next big thing' keeps me going. See my LinkedIn.