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How is the IoT making cities safer?

From predictive crime applications to police monitoring, public safety IoT is driving governmental innovation

The internet of things is already offering benefits for private companies across the globe, but the adoption of these technologies by government institutions and agencies is also going through a rapid growth phase. The use of public safety IoT tools is one of the key implementations being adopted by governments at all levels.

Many solutions are already helping government agencies to improve the way they develop public safety strategies. A clear example of this is a solution developed by Hitachi Data Systems. The solution is designed to enable organizations to improve public safety by tapping into the IoT. Hitachi Data Systems said it has designed hybrid cloud systems that allow public safety officials to implement and use predictive crime analytics and video management systems to strengthen efforts to combat crime.

The suite, which combines data integration, management and visualization, is a predictive crime analytics tool that draws from social media, the Internet and other data feeds – including from past crime videos – to make accurate crime predictions.

Another example of how IoT can help agencies improve public safety is through the law enforcement field. Startup Yardarm Technologies said it has developed a smart gun equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, wireless GSM connectivity and Bluetooth to monitor and record data every time it is discharged. The smart gun includes sensor and location features meant to keep track of the gun’s position and exact timing when shots were fired. Other guns are being equipped with biometric fingerprint sensors or radio-frequency identification chips paired with smart bracelets to ensure the gun can only be fired by the officer to whom it was assigned.

Some companies are also developing tools for police departments including real-time gunshot monitoring. SST said it has developed the ShotSpotter system, which recognizes when gunshots are fired in public areas to help police identify where the gun was fired. This system uses connected microphones installed throughout a city, town or college campus and is said to be capable of covering up to 10-square-miles. The connected system measures the range of sounds then sends the data to a police department’s computer, which measures the time it took for the sound to reach the microphone to estimate the location of the gun.

Chinese vendor Huawei has been involved in the development of IoT-based solutions for smart and safe cities. Huawei is using IoT to provide solutions for governments to improve public services such as crime-fighting.

The Huawei solution enables authorities to integrate a diverse range of information modules and communication methods across departments and regions. Authorities can combine their own video surveillance networks with other public and private security systems, as well as vehicle mounted and portable eLTE solutions, to keep a watch for incidents of theft, civic disturbance and unauthorized access.

Huawei has recently launched the C-C4ISR Collaborative Public Safety Solution, which will be key for digital transformation of the public safety industry, the Asian vendor said. Using IoT, Big Data, mobile broadband, and Software-Defined Networking (SDN), as well as cloud-pipe-device synergy, the solution will drive efficient collaboration among governmental agencies as well as between governmental agencies and citizens.

C-C4ISR includes C-Command & Control, C-Communication, C-Cloud, cross-agent C-Intelligence based on Big Data, service-oriented C-Surveillance, and C-Reconnaissance leveraging numerous access technologies of various types of devices, such as IoT and drones.

The vendor also announced a new Crisis and Disaster Management Solution, which integrates many modules, such as intelligent surveillance, Big Data, IoT platform, critical communications, and converged command, to support the prevention, preparation, detection, warning, handling and rescue, and summary components of crisis and disaster management.

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