The 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The 2014 Asian Games in South Korea. These events are spread across the world stage, so what do they have in common? First is the obvious need for heightened security. In such large public events, security threats and operational situations can evolve fast and have negative, even catastrophic consequences. So the time between understanding that something bad is happening and responding to that “something bad” needs to be condensed.
This can be achieved through:
Automatic sensing tools that smartly alert to evolving situations
Better collaboration between command center and field personnel
First, let’s consider an example from the operational side – the challenge of transporting throngs of fans to a large sporting event. Understanding, in real time, how many passengers are accumulating at various transportation hubs, and how fast they’re piling up, might dictate adjustments to original plans and trigger a pre-planned directive to put more trains or buses in service so fans can get to sporting venues on time.
Automatic sensing (via video analytics) can play a role in this early awareness. For example, video analytics makes it possible to accurately detect crowd levels in real time, either by using algorithms to systematically count the number of people entering and/or exiting a location (a station or rail platform, for example) or by measuring “the occupancy level” (the percentage of occupancy capacity filled in a given location). If there’s an overcrowding condition, the transit command center can be immediately alerted.
Automatic sensing plays a critical role in security and safety as well. When tens of thousands of people congregate for a high profile event, there’s a huge potential for risk. Command centers can eliminate “”blind spots” that can impede their awareness of threats by consolidating alerts from various automatic detection systems. For example, this could include intrusion detection for securing sterile areas, un-attended vehicle detection for clearing access routes and emergency evacuation routes, and even fire or life safety systems.
Another way to improve early awareness and response times for security and operational events is to ensure the tightest possible collaboration between command centers and field personnel. New mobility tools do exactly that. In addition to traditional means of communicating (voice), command center operators can share video, images and task lists bi-directionally with field personnel. Operators can also leverage real-time tracking of mobile field assets to identify the closest available personnel to respond to an incident, leading to a faster, more effective response.
When deployed in the right manner, security technology really can be a game changer.