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April 19, 2021


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Smart cities

Top 5 ways AI and data are powering the smart cities of the future

We hear from Seagate Technology and its distribution partner, Fortus, on how AI is powering the smart cities of the future, as well as providing an explanation of the challenges involved in data storage.

The world we live in is becoming more and more urbanised by the year. According to a 2009 study by the United Nations, 1.3 million people move into cities every week, and by 2040, 65% of the world’s population will be living in cities. The growing pains felt by these urban centers can be seen across several indicators, from rising crimes rates to increased traffic. With more dense populations and a need to maintain a higher quality of life, cities are looking to leverage advancement in technologies to make themselves safer and more efficient.

IoT-SmartBuildingEnvironments-20Smart cities have positioned themselves as the answer to our urban woes, doing so by collecting information from a variety of sensors to manage assets and resources more efficiently than ever before. One of the largest focuses for smart cities is reducing crime, securing public spaces and safeguarding residents from threats. At the centre of it all is data, which is continuously being gathered, analysed and utilised to better address the issues large cities face.

While data powers all aspects of smart city operations, its significance is especially seen in security and surveillance projects. With the advent of HD and 4K video quality, cameras are collecting more data than ever before. According to research firm IHS Markit (now Omdia), the global city surveillance market surpassed $3billion in 2017 and is forecasted to grow at an average annual rate of 14.6% from 2016-2021. This demand has been fueled by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) applications for surveillance and security devices.

Here are a few examples of how smart surveillance and IoT devices are influencing smart cities based on insights from the McKinsey Global Institute 2018 report, Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future.

  • Security – Body-worn cameras, advanced surveillance cameras with analytics, gunshot detectors and home security systems are some of the notable devices being deployed across smart cities to enhance security operations. These sensors enable real-time crime mapping and predictive policing, which can help to reduce assault, robbery, and burglary incidents by 30-40%, according to the McKinsey report.
  • Healthcare – IoT devices are being utilised to provide remote patient monitoring, providing real-time alerts to staff who can take actions before the situation escalates to a crisis, helping to lower mortality rates.
  • Mobility – Intelligent street lights are optimising routes based on traffic patterns. As a result, roads are made safer, commutes are shortened, and emergency response times are reduced by as much as 20 to 35% as stated by the McKinsey report.
  • Energy – Smart metres allow for more frequent readings and home energy consumption tracking, providing families with information that can be used to make lifestyle adjustments to lower utility bills.
  • Economic Development, Housing and Community Engagement – Platforms are becoming available to the public providing helpful information, such as roadblocks to steer away from and disturbances to be aware of, and inviting incident reporting, such as vandalism. The result is enhanced safety and community engagement.

While significant improvements are being made to everyday life functions, all of this data collection has created a substantial demand for more storage. Surveillance video quality paired with lengthier storage lifecycles, is placing a large workload on the data storage devices behind the sensors. Simply put, smart city solutions are only as good as the data that they store, analyse and deliver in a timely manner.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that reliability is key when it comes to our city surveillance data storage devices. Without reliable video storage, surveillance systems can experience lapses in footage or lose video altogether, hampering crime investigations and data analysis for deep learning purposes.

Fortunately, there are new solutions emerging in the marketplace that optimise video storage capacity, reliability and performance. A prime example is Seagate Technology’s SkyHawk™ surveillance drives.

Unlike typical data storage solutions, Seagate SkyHawk surveillance drives are tuned for 24/7 workloads, and feature ImagePerfect firmware helping to minimise dropped frames to enable smooth, clear video streaming.

All in all, video storage solutions are the heartbeat of smart city surveillance applications, enabling recordings, data retention, predictive analytics, and real-time alerts. As the unsung hero of city surveillance and AI applications, data – the recording, storage, deep learning and delivery of critical information – is powering tomorrow’s smart cities.

Fortus: Choosing the right distribution partner

When looking for advice and access to the latest industry advancements in CCTV storage systems, it helps to work with the right distributor. This is where Fortus is best placed as your distributor of choice.

We are the largest B2B security and fire distributor within the UK.  With our supplier offering, branch network, CCTV expertise combined with RE:SURE’s best in breed monitoring solution, our end-to-end offering is a first within the security market.

And as an authorised distributor of Hikvision products we have access to the very latest cameras and NVRs.  In addition, we work closely with Seagate Technology and supply their industry leading hard drives, with SkyHawk as standard.

In addition, one of our key differentiators is that we put an emphasis on being ‘people orientated’ and strive to recruit the right people. Our company experts have complete knowledge of our product lines and can recommend a complete smart storage system; leaving security professionals and installers free to do what they do best.

In addition to the above, if any customers are still wondering how they can benefit, it is worth mentioning that we are proud to offer our installer partners the following:

  • Dedicated Project Support via pricing and on-site commissioning/training
  • Sole UK & IRE distributor of Hisense commercial displays
  • Three Year Advance Replacement on many Hikvision products
  • Video pre-configuration support
  • Access to the Hikvision HCSA & HSCP Training academy
  • Discounts on demonstration equipment
  • Loan products for your own testing and customer meetings
  • Meeting/technical demonstration assistance
  • Offers on the promotion of alarm and CCTV Monitoring as a service to enable our loyal customers an ability to increase their Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).

Want to know more about Seagate’s solutions and how its distributor partner, Fortus, can support you? Contact them, here!

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