Cloud-based city security brings drones and Google Glass into the surveillance fold

The next generation of city-wide surveillance is set to include Google Glass and drone technology alongside traditional products such as security cameras, all controlled through a real-time cloud-based system.

The Italian-designed system, known as eSurv, features a video analytics system that can identify potential threats, triggering instant alerts to nearby enforcement officers.

The cloud-based system collects surveillance data from security cameras, drones, Google Glass worn by surveillance operatives and any other security sensors located around a city that are hooked up to the system.

When potential hazards are identified the system sends out alerts to operatives in the form of SMS messages, emails and push notifications on smartphones or tablets, meaning they can quickly respond.

Operatives wearing Google Glass do not just act as cameras themselves: they can also view footage and notifications sent through from other locations.

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eSurv saw its international launch at this week’s IFSEC International exhibition in London, where the company partnered with Italian drone manufacturers Ital Dron.

The company’s stand drew considerable attention from exhibition attendees, suggesting that its system could quickly adopted in some areas.

The system will work with any brand of drone – or any brand of surveillance equipment for that matter – but has worked with Ital Dron to demonstrate the possibilities.

If the system identifies a possible target, it can control connected drones to maintain visual monitoring until ground operatives reach the scene.

However, the use of drones is limited by legislation: not all countries have made it legal to use drones in this way, although the number where this is accepted is likely to rise.

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eSurv also has capabilities to aid investigations beyond initial target identification.

The system can provide video analysis to help with ongoing investigations, and also makes use of metadata to help with video research. This means finding relevant video footage for other investigations becomes quicker and easier than with previous systems.

In addition to city surveillance, the technology can also be used in a number of other industries where high security is paramount.

The company provides tailored solutions for the finance, retail, healthcare and transportation industries, all of which have unique security needs.

Systems have already been used in high-end fashion chains, where the technology is used to centralise security management across branches, as well as in data centres, banks and a number of Italian cities.

In addition to security, the system can be used for traffic monitoring and search and rescue operations, both of which benefit from quick, agile management of multiple monitoring sources.


Body image 1 courtesy of Google.


Technology, meet fashion: How retail is making tech its own

As a part of London Technology Week, yesterday’s FashTech event brought together forerunners in the emerging fashion technology field to share their latest innovations.

Steve Semenzato, vice president of business development at fashion technology firm and Fashtech sponsor Cortexica, discussed how fashion technology is “all about the social element of how people are communicating today.”

The fashion industry could greatly benefit from rapidly advancing technology that helps to connect consumers and retailers through innovative designs and more personalised shopping experiences.

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Semenzato illustrated his statement with a demonstration of Cortexica’s new fashion image recognition service, FindSimilar.

Retailers can connect to FindSimilar to make their inventory searchable to its users.

Customers are able to find desired items in just a few clicks through the FindSimilar app, without knowing the item’s brand or other details. Simply take a photo of the garment you want to find and FindSimilar will search its database for similar styles, if not the exact same piece of clothing.

FindSimilar users can almost instantly locate pieces they had no information about only seconds before.

Another app called Knomi helps personalise the shopping experience by using Bluetooth technology to automatically check you in when you enter your favourite stores. Sales associates are notified and are able to see your profile, including your clothing sizes, when you last entered the shop, and the most recent items you bought there.

With this information, stores can tailor their services to you and help find items that suit your tastes.

Knomi also allows its users to chat with their favourite sales associates through the app, asking questions and receiving fashion advice.

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Additionally, users can follow their favourite brands to stay up-to-date on special events, new products, where to find merchandise and exclusive deals.

These apps make shopping easier by providing new platforms for communication between the shops and brands that create the latest trends and the people who want to wear them.

Semenzato emphasised the fashion technology industry as a community, placing the FindSimilar app within the context of wearable technology and sensory computing. The technology provided by these apps allows you to “advance your understanding of what’s around you, by using that image to facilitate the search” or by notifying stores of your preferences, furthering the dialogue between buyers and sellers.

Other FashTech innovations included 3D body imaging and sizing from Bodi.Me, smart jewellery from Kovert and digital knitwear inspired by brain scans from Brooke Roberts.

The next Fashtech event will be held in San Francisco on June 26.