Audio should play a central role in smart city planning.

Adding audio to your public safety video initiatives

When most people think of security tools, they likely think of cameras. And while it’s true that these devices play an important role, their efficacy can be greatly enhanced by including modern audio capabilities. Today’s cameras, often used in conjunction with intelligent video analytics, can detect conditions like loitering, unusual crowd behaviour, or a secure perimeter being breached. But once detected, they still require a first responder be deployed and there is an inherent latency until the responder arrives on location to mitigate the situation. Unfortunately, this often leaves plenty of time for a criminal act to be completed and the guilty party to leave the scene.

Implementing audio can change this. Rather than limiting the functionality of a system to detection and reaction, adding network audio to the overall solution allows an automated audio warning to be triggered by the camera – or a centralised operator can broadcast a live warning directly. In many cases, this sort of active intervention is enough to deter unwanted behaviour.

Modern sound detection can dramatically reduce response times

The ability to detect security incidents in real time is incredibly valuable. Regulators have estimated that reducing the average emergency response time by just one minute could save over 10,000 lives each year in the United States alone, and cities continue to search for ways to improve efficiency in this area.

Modern audio solutions can recognise specific pre-designated sounds of interest such as gunshots, breaking glass, and verbal aggression, raising automatic alerts to the appropriate authorities that a response action plan should be initiated. In this way, sound detection enables public safety agencies to see something, say something, and do something; a comprehensive approach that can truly move metrics and improve a city’s image as a safe place to live, work, learn, and play.

Perhaps best of all, these types of audio analytics are relatively light applications. This allows them to run as a software function directly on many intelligent IoT endpoints with audio capabilities. This means there is no need to transmit intelligible voice data, so there is no infringement on personal privacy.

Public services announcements save time – and lives

From hurricanes to public health and wellness issues, cities can be affected by all manner of potential emergencies. And when disaster strikes, keeping citizens as informed as possible so they can remain safe and secure is essential. Public announcement systems can broadcast messages in advance of a natural disaster, letting citizens know how best to protect themselves. With network audio, there is an elasticity to the functionality of the system: messages can be city-wide or targeted to a specific affected area.

Read the full article  written by Kevin Taylor, Segment Development Manager, Smart Cities at Axis Communications.

MAtchUP supports the urban solution for safe parking and recharging electric scooters

MAtchUp sponsors the “Special UPV Challenge” mentoring price that was awarded to the members of the VeLOCK student collective last November in the seventh edition of the ‘UPV Challenge Ideas’. The winning idea presents parking and recharge service for personal mobility devices such as electric scooters.

This entrepreneurial initiative by VeLOCK offers different app-based services. Specifically, VeLOCK co-founder Jorge Sesma states that, apart from these services, they also provide “information on the location and availability of these parking spaces, as well the battery level and other vehicle status notifications”. Sesma clarifies that the idea is currently in an initial stage and that they expect the prototype to be ready for the summer. 

Practitioners from Las Naves Kveloce I+D+iFent EstudiETRA I+DWITRAC and the Institute for Telecommunications and Multimedia Applications (iTEAM) from the Polytechnic University of Valencia will mentor the winners.

Más información  aquí 

Understanding the Differences: M2M vs. IoT

Two of the technologies that you’ll often hear about when discussing device networking are M2M (machine-to-machine) and IoT (Internet of Things). 

In this article, the author (source define M2M and IoT, as well as examine the major ways in which the two are different. Once we understand the differences between the two, we’ll be able to identify which one can better serve our business applications. 

What Is M2M?

M2M, or machine-to-machine, is the foundation of the sophisticated device connectivity that we enjoy today. An M2M connection is a point-to-point connection between two network devices that allows them to transmit information via public networking technologies such as Ethernet and cellular networks. 

Sensor telemetry is one of the original uses of M2M communication. For decades, businesses have used M2M to remotely monitor factors like temperature, energy consumption, moisture, pressure and more through sensors. 

ATMs offer another great example of M2M technology. The ATM’s internal computer is constantly communicating with a host processor that routes transactions to the appropriate banks and accounts. The banks then send back approval codes through the host processor, allowing transactions to be completed. 

What makes this an example of M2M technology is that the entire transaction happens remotely and without any need for a human operator on the bank’s side. Machines communicate smoothly, efficiently and automatically, allowing transactions to be authorized in seconds. M2M technology has a decades-long track record of improving the world’s ability to communicate and execute transactions effectively across long distances and in real time. 

What Is IoT? 

IoT, or the Internet of Things, is an evolution of M2M that increases the things that device connectivity can achieve at both a consumer and an enterprise level. IoT takes the basic concepts of M2M and expands them outward by creating large “cloud” networks of devices that communicate with one another through cloud networking platforms. The technologies used by IoT devices allow users to create fast, flexible, high-performance networks that connect a wide variety of devices. 

Examples of IoT devices are all around us today. Smart home voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home are some of the most high-profile examples, along with the huge array of smart home devices that they connect to. But you’ll also find IoT devices used in enterprise applications for purposes such as monitoring cargo temperatures, tracking shipments and evaluating employee performance. Any network of devices that’s connected to the Internet and uses a cloud platform to communicate can be considered part of the IoT. 

So, why is it that IoT applications are practically synonymous with cloud computing? The reason is that cloud architecture provides much of the infrastructure, platforms and software that IoT devices use to operate scalable and reliable networks. While IoT can function outside of the cloud, it’s the cloud that makes it useful to businesses and consumers. 

M2M vs. IoT: Main Differences

First, it’s important to know that IoT is itself a subset of M2M technology. IoT involves communication between machines without human input, making it by definition a form of M2M communication. However, IoT expands the power and potential of M2M technology in new ways. 

The biggest difference between M2M and IoT is that an M2M system uses point-to-point communication. An IoT system, meanwhile, typically situates its devices within a global cloud network that allows larger-scale integration and more sophisticated applications. 

Scalability is another key difference between M2M and IoT. IoT is designed to be highly scalable since devices can often be added to a network and integrated into existing systems with minimal hassle. M2M networks can also be more labor-intensive to set up and maintain, since new point-to-point connections must be created for each device. (Think of the effort it takes to install a new ATM as opposed to adding a new smart device to your home’s network.)  

The term “IoT” also typically refers to wireless devices, while M2M may or may not involve wireless communication. The wireless nature of most IoT devices can be both a blessing and a curse, requiring less maintenance of technologies such as Ethernet networks but shifting the burden to WiFi networks, which can be less reliable and have problems of their own. 

M2M vs. IoT: Making the Choice

Is M2M or IoT technology the preferable option for your application? The answer to the latter depends on what you need from your device communications technology. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to device networking. Pick the option that makes the most sense for your business. 

M2M technology may be a better choice if:

  • Your application requires point-to-point communication between machines
  • Your application has a limited set of specific machine communication needs that need to be executed quickly and reliably
  • Your application needs to be operational whether or not a WiFi connection is available
  • Rapid scalability is not a primary concern for your network
  • Your device network needs to be isolated for security reasons

On the other hand, IoT may be the best option if:

  • Your application requires real-time syncing of many different devices throughout a networking cloud
  • Your devices have access to a fast and reliable WiFi connection
  • Devices on your network need the ability to communicate with multiple other devices simultaneously
  • Your application requires smooth and easy scalability for large numbers of devices and users
  • Your application requires the ability to make its data and devices compatible with multiple standards

M2M and IoT are both key technologies for today’s business and consumer markets. As these technologies continue to develop, they’ll create new opportunities for those who understand them and can leverage each technology’s strengths effectively.