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Smart city expectations of the security industry

Smart city expectations of the security industry
As safety and security are primary goals of smart cities, the security industry definitely stands to gain from any such initiative. In the Middle East, the story is no different. Interestingly Dubai is not the only city in the region with ambitions to set up an intelligent infrastructure. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has a Vision 2030 which includes similar plans.

Sive Hu, Marcom Director for MENA at Hikvision Digital Technology said that there are emerging demands in the market, typically in traffic sector and smart city projects, such as the requirements for traffic flow detection, traffic violation detection, and traffic signal control, etc.

“Especially in KSA, under the Saudi 2030 vision initiative there is a great investment in the traffic sector,” Hu said. “Meanwhile, facial recognition is also a trending topic nowadays, here in UAE, in Dubai International Airport, the facial recognition technology has been equipped at smart gates in order to improve the check-in procedure efficiency. In general, we are excited to see great demands coming out from different smart city initiatives.”

Solutions in demand

In the Middle East, as with many other regions, one of the major drivers of demand has been regulatory mandates. The government is becoming stricter and stricter about private and public entities having the right security devices in place. Now with the smart cities plan in place, these
Mark Horton
Founder and Director
The Plena Group
requirements are also seeing a boost, with more intelligent devices being considered as the need of the hour.

Mark Horton, Founder and Director of The Plena Group pointed out that there has been much interest in the region in smart cities for more than fifteen years and this has driven demand for big data processing and the means to gather it.

“Legislative requirements for video surveillance continue to grow across the region, coupled with the latest generation video analytics means we are seeing an increased number of cameras being deployed,” Horton said. “Smart perimeter management and fully converged solutions are at the heart of these solutions together with high capacity servers to process the data. Furthermore, ever-increasingly complex security operation centers provide situational awareness to ensure a fast and appropriate response to an incident.”

Internet of things and AI

Of course, smart city initiatives wouldn’t be complete without the connected Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to go with it. Mustafa Masri,
Mustafa Masri
Principal Security Consultant
DSP Consultants
Principal Security Consultant at DSP Consultants indicated that the role of artificial intelligence is also something that’s expected to grow more in importance.

“Smart City plans have had a major impact on cybersecurity especially with the growing needs of IoT technologies and its related sensors and components which are connected to the internet,” Masri said. “Also, AI-based cameras and VMS technologies are in constant growth based on their capabilities to enhance cameras detection, reduce nuisance alarms and shorten analysis time.”

AI has continued to dominate the conversation this year, according to Ettiene Van Der Watt, Business Development Director, Axis Communications Middle East & Africa. The company has invested in utilizing the many advantages of AI in IP Surveillance and have many products & solutions in the pipeline.

“We provide facial recognition solutions through integration with our ecosystem partners and are also working on several other applications to support the growing demand of smart & safe city projects,” Van Der Watt “An example of how we can use facial recognition within public safety include features detection of wanted, VIP identification, access control, forensic analysis, identity control.” 

Deep learning technology is also becoming popular, especially with its role in improving traffic flow, for example, with the automation of speed restrictions, according to Jamil Al Asfar, Senior Sales Manager at IDIS Middle East and Africa. By learning from traffic patterns, and by analyzing events that lead to congestion, highway agencies and local authorities can take a more proactive approach to traffic management. 

IDIS offers a deep learning analytics solution that has instant metadata filtering. This lets users search by class, color, and number and it allows searching within a defined area of interest. For instance, it could quickly search for and find two people last seen dressed in black riding yellow motorcycles.  Control room operators and/or law enforcement agencies who might in the past have spent days trawling through footage from hundreds of cameras can now use metadata filtering to identify suspects from multiple streams, often in minutes.


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