Cities across the globe are beginning to seriously look into how they can implement ‘smart city’ systems to better safeguard their citizens, while others have already started adopting such tech on a large-scale.
‘Smart systems’ use sensors and cameras to monitor and analyse the movements of people, only raising the alarm when they perceive a threat.
Rooftops in over 90 cities (mostly in the United States) have been equipped with audio sensors in an effort to wind-back gun violence as part of the Shotspotter system.
These systems pick up city sounds all around them and have the ability to identify the sound of gunfire. Once gunfire registers, the system alerts the police seconds later, sending-off a recording of the shooting accompanied with exact details of where it occurred.
"Law enforcement [would be able] to get there perhaps 1 minute, 2 minutes sooner and be able to mitigate the downstream consequences of ongoing engagement of an active shooter,” said Ralph Clark, CEO & President of Shotspotter.
Software technology firms such as GE have begun coming-up with systems which are able to follow people’s movements even when they’re in a vehicle, or on a rooftop by integrating sensors with ‘smart’ data analysis.
Yes and you guessed why… privacy!
Critics such as Gemma Galdon Clavell, a technology consultant, argue such systems amount to mass surveillance and believe such technology should only be introduced with the knowledge and support of the public, as it will have a direct impact upon their privacy.