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Exclusive: Welcome to the future of Smart Cities

Smart Cities

Experts from Axis Communications, Milestone Systems and BriefCam discuss how the companies are cooperating in the Smart City sector.

The continued partnership between Axis Communications, Milestone Systems and BriefCam is aiming to turn Smart Cities from tomorrow’s pipedream into today’s reality.

International Security Journal caught up with Khaled KamrAldawla, BDM – Smart Cities, Axis Communications Middle East, Marc Sanders, Sales Director – Gulf States BriefCam and Haider Muhammad, Community Manager, MEA and Turkey at Milestone Systems to find out exactly what this new proposition is offering.

How can Smart Cities make people’s lives more convenient and more secure?

KK: A Smart City is all about connecting devices, data and people to improve efficiency and working smarter. Combining industry-leading expertise and experience with scalable, innovative camera and IoT solutions, Axis makes cities more ‘livable’ by improving efficiency for public safety, urban mobility and environmental monitoring. The world’s cities are the beating heart of the society, where commerce and culture meet and an ever-increasing proportion of the population lives. Day and night, in all weather conditions, together these solutions improve efficiency and enhance livability in urban centres.

Around the world, town councils, municipal authorities and governments are working on projects to make their cities smarter places to live in. While there are many slightly different definitions of the ‘Smart City’, the main idea behind it is to use digital technologies to improve the quality of living for its inhabitants, reduce environmental impact and make everyday services run more smoothly.

MS: Major cities around the globe are looking at ways that technology can impact our way of life in urban areas. From city planning and transportation to security organisations, cities are preparing for the tech-enabled future to offer residents, visitors and local businesses enhanced public safety, opportunities for economic growth and improved quality of life. BriefCam is the leading Video Content Analytics platform that enables both private and public sectors to deliver safe, secure and sustainable cities by reducing the crime rate, optimising pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow, monitoring these trends over time and enabling proactive response with real-time alerting.

HM: A Smart City is not just about digital transformation converting the conventional analogue infrastructure to digital systems or restructuring city operations, it is about using technology and available data coming from different sensors and digital systems to make better decisions that can deliver efficiency in the way we live today and improve the quality of life. The scope of a Smart City is vast but by having vision and responsible use of technology, you can help make a Smart City and safer city.

What role does each company play in this partnership between Axis Communications, Milestone Systems and BriefCam?

KK: When you invest in a video surveillance system, you invest in much more than hardware and software. This is where the partnership between Axis, Milestone and BriefCam brings in a strong solution as well as added benefits. Axis brings the market leadership in providing different sensors such as video, audio and radar. BriefCam brings strong video analytics for rapid video review and search, real-time alerting and quantitative video insights and Milestone provides the Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS), which brings all these elements together to create a reliable, scalable and advanced video surveillance system in a perfect combination to create a solution that keeps people and property safe today and tomorrow.

MS: Cities can accelerate their digital transformation by leveraging existing investments in a whole new way. Taking advantage of the video surveillance systems deployed throughout these metropolitan areas, Smart Cities are unlocking the treasure trove of value in their video systems. In providing innovative and comprehensive video analytics, the BriefCam platform complements investments in the video management system, surveillance cameras and other video surveillance infrastructure, making video data searchable, actionable and quantifiable.

Why is this joint proposition so unique?

KK: One of the main benefits of this partnership is the vast amount of experience that Axis, Milestone and BriefCam brings to the table. By combining this vast amount of experience, the partnership offers solutions that are seamlessly integrated with native integration.

The combined market leading technology used in this partnership will also allow you to focus on the operational side of your Smart City, this will help you to start identifying trends such as traffic flow, how the city operates during the rainy season and even to understand other challenges such as environmental noise in residential areas, where and when peak traffic occurs in which areas of the city and even things like illegally parked vehicles.

MS: The unified experience makes the proposition unique and valuable. BriefCam is embedded within the XProtect client and is seamlessly available for fast investigation by the operator. Real-time alerts automatically appear in XProtect’s Alarms screen and quantitative dashboards can be pre-configured for daily monitoring and trend spotting.

HM: Milestone open platform plays a key part in keeping Smart Cities safe. The number and type of devices and the type of data they provide grows every day. How we make use of that data to drive automation and provide insights and analytics is key. This unique proposition provides all three crucial streams that are required for a Smart City. The open platform paves the way for digital transformation and data aggregation from smart optical sensors and IOT data and advanced video analytics provides actionable insights to this data to make smart and informed decisions.

What advantages can be gained from open platform integration?

KK: Solutions is the key word. We have seen a trend for more solutions rather than closed stand-alone products.

Axis products are based on open platforms – we are extremely proud of that – and we ensure that we offer end-to-end solutions or integrated products within solutions. The UAE and the Middle East are leading regions when it comes to accepting and implementing new technologies and we are confident that this demand will only continue to grow.

With Axis solutions you can be sure to get an open and flexible platform that can be integrated into existing analogue equipment and CCTV installations step by step – as they’re needed. Axis’ open system also allows you to add functionality later – from encoders and cameras to proactive security measures and video intelligence. We can also guarantee that all our products are compatible with future innovations so that you can rest be assured that you are making a sound short and long-term investment for your business.

The AXIS Camera Application Platform (ACAP) is an open application platform that enables members of the Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) Program to develop applications that can be downloaded and installed on Axis network cameras and video encoders.

Are there any planned product rollouts that you can tell us about?

KK: We have launched our first body worn camera solution designed for use by law enforcement and private security. The solution – including the robust camera, docking station and system controller – has been designed on an open system architecture, which will allow for integration with a broad range of video management systems (VMS) and evidence management systems (EMS), making the solution the world’s most flexible and enhancing existing software investments.

The benefits of body worn cameras in capturing evidence, deterring criminal behaviour and in the training of officers and security personnel are well-understood in the law enforcement sector and increasingly recognised in the private security industry. As both a pioneer and leader in video surveillance technology, with more than 30 years of experience in developing solutions for almost every imaginable scenario, the move by Axis to create a body worn solution is a logical one.

HM: Milestone Systems launches three product releases a year to deliver on its promise to develop unique innovations that will meet future market demands. The next Milestone XProtect release is just around the corner. This will be the third product release of 2020 which focuses on responsible use of technology, cybersecurity features and updates, improved licensing workflow and new, innovative functionalities and features to our product line-up to address market needs and requirements.

www.axis.com

www.milestonesys.com

www.briefcam.com

This article was published in the November 2020 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital copy here