Smart cities whose foundations are laid on the ground of technology is the talk of the town. However, there are a rising number of criminal activities and due to this companies need to constantly innovate to deliver products that are futuristic. In an interview with DataQuest, Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director – India and SAARC, Axis Communications, talks about how video surveillance and analytics play an active role in controlling criminal activities, the technology deployed in smart cities and the benefits of the use of such technologies
Role of Security and Surveillance in Decrease Crime Rates in the City
Security and surveillance are an integral part of all societies. With the government’s smart city projects gaining momentum, there is a dire need of new age IP Video integrated end to end solutions to deliver high business value. Axis has been working closely with different cities in India. Its surveillance solutions have been deployed across the city of Bhavnagar, Kolhapur, Junagadh and Nanded. The solutions have been extremely effective for traffic management in the city, identifying criminals and crowd management in pilgrims or tourist places. It has helped law enforcement authorities to real-time tracking of crimes and has enabled better governance and civic administration.
The recent community CCTV Nenu Saitham project in Hyderabad City Command has been proactive in adopting a one-of-its kind smart surveillance implementation. This will track, monitor and analyse the video feed for detecting criminal activities, traffic violations and road conditions real time. The Government after seeing a drop in the overall crime rate post implementation of CCTV have decided to invest 15 lakh cameras across the state in the next three years.
The Importance of Video Analytics in Today’s Day and Age
Video surveillance systems produce massive amounts of video. Due to lack of time or resources most of this video never gets watched or reviewed. As a result, security incidents get missed and suspicious behaviour is not detected in time to prevent unfortunate incidents. These challenges have played a large part in the development of video analytics.
Video analytics are software applications that automatically generate descriptions of what is happening in the video, which can be used to track persons, cars and other objects detected in the video stream, as well as their appearance and movements. This information can then be used as the basis on which to perform actions, e.g. to notify security personnel, or to record the incident. Video analytics offer many benefits, such as:
- Cost savings - less video sent over the network reduces the network load and storage requirements.
- Time savings - monitoring and searches in recorded video become easier, allowing operators to manage more cameras.
- Greater efficiency - automatically monitoring video for security incidents helps prevent crime, rather than simply reacting after the event.
- Creation of business value - integrating video data into other systems, such as headcounts from entrance cameras in retail stores, means the surveillance system can contribute insights and new solutions for other business functions.
- Since no dedicated servers are required for video analytics, infrastructure cost is reduced. This is so because no separate system is used along with Axis’ surveillance system. Hence, the analytics feed can be used to trigger IP audio to make important notifications in different scenarios like Retail or critical infrastructure.
Security Concerns in the Country and How Axis Helps their Customers
From congestion and stopped vehicles to serious accidents and extreme weather, everyday traffic management is the biggest challenge. Criminal Activities and traffic violation are also part of everyday traffic management.
Another challenge is the evolution of smart transportation. The biggest threat of entering a smart transportation era is increased level of cyber threat. Expansion of digital architectures creates more areas of vulnerabilities since it is an interconnected system and could suffer from cyber-attacks, if not properly secured. This could affect the public safety services, disrupt data records and shake the confidence of citizens.
The blurring boundaries between private and public companies could only accentuate the risks of attacks, which may affect smart cities at large. Due to the partnerships there is a greater possibility that the private companies may try to embezzle or misuse some of the public-sector information as they gain access to them. In India, another threat that the smart transportation sector faces are that of National highway security. Since there are many cross-city road travels, road safety should extend beyond the limitations of the smart ‘city’. Surveillance installations on the highways between cities is a national priority in India securing states on the borders.
Axis offer smart network video solutions addressing all these challenges making the city management seamless. Some of the technologies offered by Axis include:
Lightfinder – Axis Lightfinder technology can give more life-like colors in low-light conditions and helps reducing the noise reduction as compared with any surveillance camera on the market.
Thermal Imaging - capture images based solely on the heat radiating from people and objects; they’re even unaffected by darkness or poor visibility. They also support intelligent analytics which analyze detected incidents, automatically dismiss non-threatening ones, and immediately notify security of critical situations.
Zipstream - Axis Zipstream technology preserves all the important forensic detail you need, while lowering bandwidth and storage requirements by an average of 50% or more. Unlike most compression technology, Zipstream doesn’t just limit bitrate. Instead, three kinds of intelligent algorithms ensure that relevant forensic information is identified, recorded and sent in full resolution and at full frame rate.
The Reality of Smart Cities
What makes a city smart? The first step to become smart city is by becoming safe city first. The Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission with an estimated budget of Rs 2.09 lakh crores focus on infrastructure showcases the government’s vision to promote intelligent solutions. The project is aimed at taking existing areas and applying ‘smart’ thinking to improve them, through retrofitting and redevelopment. These smart city projects will lead to an improved quality of life for citizens, especially in the rural areas. Surveillance is one of the most relevant and important pieces of the smart city’s ecosystem in India.
We successfully have completed smart city implementations across 6 cities – Hyderabad, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Kolhapur, Nanded and Aurangabad. Each city has different requirements and through the support of our channel partners, we have implemented our solutions. For example, in Bhavnagar, we installed IP66-rated cameras as they needed a traffic monitoring system. In Kolhapur, all the tourist attractions and city entry/exit points had to be monitored, for which we deployed 165 network cameras at 65 locations.
The Hyderabad Smart City project is an example of community participation towards building a safer and secured smart city. We have 1,500 camera installations across the city to track, monitor and analyze the video feed for detecting criminal activities, traffic violations, and road conditions. We want to increase awareness amongst the other State governments to implement high-quality cameras that are robust, durable and capable of producing footages of forensic standards.