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A Tale of Safe Cities

B. S. Teh, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Seagate Technology | April 15, 2016
Will the Internet of Things (IoT) and video surveillance be the key to ensuring public safety in Asia?

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Many governments and city leaders in Asia are turning to technology to help enforce and expand public safety infrastructure. The most common ask is for a consolidated IT platform that will combine public safety information from different types and sources obtained through sensors and video surveillance, as well as solutions that will empower multi-agency collaboration. 

While most cities around the world are still in the planning stage for such a system, several cities such as New Taipei City have made the jump and invested to get ahead of the curve. In fact, the city's local police department worked with various local agencies to integrate various systems to develop an integrated platform - it is designed to run expert databases, geographic information, mobile police devices, traffic enforcement information, police hotline, video surveillance, smart image recognition, reconnaissance and forensic systems on a single platform. The system collects, analyses, and presents all security information in a unified view to increase the speed of response of the police.

There are two key trends that are spurring this boom of interest surrounding the integration of technology into a city's public safety infrastructure - the Internet of Things (IoT) and video surveillance.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the center of the smart cities movement in Asia, paving the way with advances in data collection and data storage technology. In fact, Seagate's market research team found that the IoT is expected to generate more than 20 zettabytes, or 20 trillion gigabytes, of data by 2025.

Video surveillance growth in Asia continues to be fueled amidst mounting security concerns and increasing foreign and domestic threats.  Every day, more public sector organizations and private businesses are migrating to high-definition digital video solutions and more active cameras.

It is expected that by 2020, the video surveillance storage market will be worth a total of USD$18.28 billion and advances like body worn cameras and traffic cameras will continue to fuel investments within the video surveillance industry. Countries such as the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom have put in place laws dictating that surveillance videos related to public places must be kept for more than six months. . As the number of cameras in Asia increases, such regulations will likely become more commonplace in the region and organisations will have to retain more video data for a longer time.

Watching the watchers

With the technological advances also come several prevalent issues that are counterproductive to the progress that IoT and video surveillance have been making.

One of the biggest challenges and greatest worries that governments around the region have when it comes to these new technologies is in keeping all that data secure. According to security specialists, 2016 will be the year that sees a massive increase in cyber espionage and attacks orchestrated not only by groups, but also by nation states. IoT, despite its effectiveness in improving communications and analytics, offers up a ready platform for cybercrime with an exponential number of devices that cybercriminals can potentially infiltrate.


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