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CityMIND 6.5 Test Project Completes in Singapore

Real Time Communications Featured Article
CityMIND 6.5 Test Project Completes in Singapore

June 04, 2014

By Steve Anderson
Contributing RealTimeCommunications Writer

It all starts with machine to machine communications (M2M). Once it became clear that machines could communicate back and forth on several topics, like current location and current status, the idea started to catch on and slowly expand. Soon the Internet of Things came into play, as several machines communicated back and forth. This yielded smart home systems, and then smart city systems, and one of the biggest such projects recently completed a new test project. It’s CityMIND 6.5, and while it sounds like something out of bad science fiction, it’s quite plainly science fact, taking advantage of new real time communications technology to make a city that’s safer and runs smoother as well.

A coalition of companies, including AGT International, Hitachi Asia and O’Connor’s, got together to announce the completion of CityMIND 6.5’s test project. CityMIND offers several powerful tools to put to use in cities, ranging from tools designed to spot places where traffic can get hairy—which in turn may suggest the need for things like improved traffic light placement or the establishing of clear alternate routes—to even tracking when trash bins start to get full and, in turn, need emptying. Plus, it can offer regular updates in real time, which means that the information provided is as recent as possible, and thus as immediately actionable as possible.

Each part of the coalition had a hand in the development of CityMIND, starting with AGT’s analytical platform to make data sharing smoother, as well as to make for more reliable information received. O’Connor’s, meanwhile, stepped in with systems integration tools and expertise, particularly in safety and security fields. Hitachi rounded out the coalition with video analytics tools, including facial image processing, a system that’s been both hailed as incredibly useful and feared as shockingly intrusive of late.

Singapore was regarded as a good location to test the CityMIND system, as in recent years the city has seen a lot of growth in a comparatively small area. Thus, the ability to track things related to health and safety, as well as issues of population density like traffic, become particularly prized as such a city runs on some very tight margins. A matter of seconds can mean the difference between disaster and normal operations, so a system that relies on real-time information like CityMIND does should not only provide excellent results, but also a good reason to keep such a system on hand. Additionally, in Singapore’s case, much of the necessary infrastructure to give CityMIND the information it needs—sensors, cameras and the like—was already in place, making it a great place to see just how the CityMIND system would work in practice.

While some might find the CityMIND system too intrusive to be much use—not only are there huge amounts of cameras, but there are also sensors, facial-recognition mechanisms, connections to public databases and license plate readers—others might like the idea of a city that’s tuned to the degree of an expensive timepiece, with all its systems running so complementary to the others that said systems are accurate to the last detail and the last second. It’s certainly interesting to see what it’s done in Singapore so far, and just how valuable real time communications can be in terms of getting that kind of information in and processed to be put to work.

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