Sapana Maheria's Blog

How smart cities of tomorrow are gearing up for increased challenges of safety? NEC showcases capabilities in 2017 Innovation Fair at Singapore.

27 Jan 2017 | by Sapana Maheria
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As urban populations continue to swell, safety of the public is more important than ever to the balance and growth of a city. Large and mid-sized cities are increasingly investing in technology-driven public safety initiatives as part of their efforts to create inclusive, safe, and sustainable communities. The concept of Safer Cities ranges from crime detection and prevention to mitigating the risk of disasters, be it from a natural event or mass gathering.

Investments in the public safety domain continue to be a top priority for many municipal governments, even in this era of budget constraints and austerity measures. In building safer smart cities, municipal leaders are leveraging technological solutions in the field of law enforcement, emergency response, and courts and corrections. At present, many of these departments, even in the most developed nations, use outdated systems and protocols that are cumbersome, inefficient, segregated, and potentially pose security risks. To overcome these technology gaps, ICT providers are continually seeking ways to increase interoperability between agencies and improving public safety outcomes with connected systems that integrate disparate data sources and streamline service delivery.

Safer Cities has been an integral part of NEC's vision for the global Smart Cities since long. Ensuring that citizens feel safe is a multi-dimensional task, requiring governments to take a long-term, holistic approach. Against this backdrop, NEC has identified three key challenges cities potentially face – effective border control, law enforcement, and disaster readiness – in their quest towards improving social value and safety of citizens. NEC’s smart city solutions are at the forefront of driving transformation in public safety service delivery.

The recent NEC 2017 Innovation Fair in Singapore offered a glimpse into the company’s long-term vision and strategy, showcasing technology solutions leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) in building the safer cities of tomorrow. The event was graced by the Japanese Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Kenji Shinoda, who shared NEC’s journey in Singapore, from starting out as a technology agent driving the first satellite center in Singapore to automating the immigration control services at the Changi airport.

Under the company’s new motto, “Orchestrating a brighter world”, NEC continues to expand its presence and capabilities in the Asia-Pacific and globally. The event also showcased the NEC Vision 2017 for Social Value Creation, for which Safer Cities and Public Services were among the key themes, focusing on building safer and secure cities by:

  1. Enabling cities to confront the threats targeting both cyber as well as physical worlds. As IoT adoption increases, the barriers between the cyber and real worlds are likely to diminish making the world even more susceptible to attacks.
  2. Offering advanced security AI- and IoT-enabled solutions for both cyber and physical worlds leveraging NEC’s strong capabilities in biometrics, AI driven image analysis and IoT-based system abnormality detection technologies.
  3. Creating enhanced social value and convenience through collaborations between key stakeholders including government bodies (e.g., municipal authorities, traffic police, and customs), educational institutions, and private companies.

The event also highlighted its line-up of AI solutions under the “NEC the WISE” branding, including industry-specific products leveraging facial recognition and biometrics capabilities reflecting the company’s efforts in addressing the ever-changing demands of customers.

The Smart City movement continues to gain momentum, presenting technology providers with significant opportunities to showcase innovation while forging strong partnerships in creating a safer, more sustainable future for all. Organizations looking to target this market will need to align their go-to-market strategy, by focusing on developing partnerships with other vendors from the value chain in offering end-to-end solutions to build safer, smarter cities of tomorrow.