By Per Björkdahl, chairman, ONVIF Steering Comittee
As 2020 nears its end, our world continues to be an unsettled place. The ways in which we normally go about our business and personal lives continue to change, and we continue to find ways to adjust to new restrictions and policies and procedures to keep our fellow global citizens safe.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of the worst crises we’ve yet faced in our lifetimes, many of the other challenges we continue to face to keep our cities safe are not new. The recent spate of attacks in Europe, political protests around the world, empty office buildings and idle city streets are reminders that we need a cohesive picture of public safety, traffic and environmental conditions of our cities.
The technology that enables us to assemble this information relies heavily on the ability to integrate different technologies offering specialty functions into a complementary management platform – license plate recognition or traffic cameras to monitor vehicle speed and pedestrian activity at intersections, air quality sensors, fill-level sensors on municipal trash bins, or gunshot detection analytics. Standards that dictate how all of this data is communicated are key to driving our smart cities forward, so municipalities can choose the right technology for their specific application.
At ONVIF, we are proud to have a few tools to aid in smart city initiatives. Our recently introduced Release Candidate for Profile M standardizes the communication of metadata and event handling of analytics for smart applications. This furthers the freedom of choice for end users by decoupling software and hardware and enabling the mixing and matching of video analytics and hardware from different providers for a more open system approach. Profile M also enables seamless integration between IP cameras or analytics applications with IoT systems, another critical component of the smart city infrastructure.
For public safety and law enforcement teams, our Export File Format enables incident response or forensic teams to view recorded video of an event much more quickly by providing a common file format and video player. This ensures that these teams can access the video files regardless of the proprietary methods from different manufacturers to export recorded video, saving valuable time when formulating an incident response plan.
As we head into 2021, there will no doubt be new challenges that await us in our cities. By continuing to build on the interoperability of our existing platforms with innovative approaches and solutions, I am confident that we will be able to meet whatever obstacles might come our way.
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