Intelligent video will fast-track smart cities of the future

The concept of smart cities is no longer a stranger to many. To improve the quality of life for millions of people throughout the world, many nations have already started using smart technology to address city-wide issues, including inefficiencies in transportation and energy.

One solution, in particular, has emerged as a guardian of cities, keeping its residents safe, secure, and away from danger – video technology.

From traffic cameras that analyse historical traffic patterns to smart lampposts that understand crowd behaviour, video technology has been used over the years to enhance public safety and promote situational awareness. It has also advanced over time, becoming more intelligent, and its applications have expanded beyond security.

Today, video technology is being used across diverse industries such as education, hospitality, and smart cities.

A gateway to the future

Today, intelligent video technology is able to collect massive amounts of data in the form of moving images and sound. Paired with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), video is also capable of analysing the data collected and providing users with insights beyond the capabilities of legacy, rule-based analytics systems.

We’ll soon see video adopt new technologies to scale its capabilities and chart new ways of living for our society, proving its usefulness across a range of sectors.

  • Enhancing critical care for patients in the healthcare industry – Intelligent video technology has been used as a diagnostics and drug-monitoring tool to enhance critical care for patients while minimising the workload for healthcare professionals.

    Outside of hospitals, intelligent video technology has been used in elderly care to ensure the safety and security of seniors living alone. The technology is equipped with fall and scream detection that alerts medical personnel whenever an elderly person requires immediate assistance.
  • Improved security monitoring capabilities – Advancements in AI have also made it possible for video technology to expand its breadth of capabilities. By analysing audio and images with AI, video technology can recognise humans, vehicles, objects, and events.

    Video technology can also recognise behavioural patterns and body language, alerting users of any abnormal activity. This is especially useful in identifying suspicious individuals in a crowded centre by using data from integrated records of prior misdemeanours.
  • Providing insights for improved customer engagement – When combined, video management software (VMS) and AI can improve customer engagement, elevating overall customer experience in sectors such as retail.

    For example, VMS software can analyse a customer’s age, gender, and emotion by using deep learning algorithms. With this information, retailers can recommend the areas of greatest interest for each customer based on past data of similar customer profiles.
  • Seamless and convenient automated identification – Contactless facial recognition technology will also become commonplace in the future across industries. In the aviation industry, for instance, airports have already rolled out facial recognition systems to verify the identities of passengers.

    The contactless nature of such technologies is critical in managing crowds and populated areas, ensuring hygienic transactions without cross-contamination and managing the efficiency of new arrivals given the resumption of travel.

Using video technology responsibly for humanity

Looking ahead to 2023, there needs to be greater emphasis on the responsible use of intelligent video technology. Companies need to reflect and reassess their purpose; where do their commitments lie – in accelerating the growth of smart cities at the expense of humankind, or in balancing growth alongside our responsibility for the greater good?

Organisations need to recognise that their responsibility towards society comes first. In other words, people first. Organisations have an obligation to use technology to serve the greater good of humankind, and not purely as a means to generate profit.

Simple steps such as encouraging employees and partners to adopt best practices in the responsible use of technology could make a difference in influencing the rest of the industry to follow suit, and create a basis for the responsible use of video technology to flourish.

Other possible steps include:

  • Creating a responsible innovation program to apply responsible technology principles to product development.
  • Training your sales organisation and business partners on responsible technology principles.
  • Incorporating responsible technology principles in the due-diligence process for business transactions.

As we journey into a future in which video technology could be a part of everyday life, there will be many more promising possibilities. To realise the benefit of those possibilities, for current and future generations, we must implement this great technology the right way – responsibly.