CEO of Framework Systems.
Today we say that a picture is worth a thousand words; tomorrow we will say that a video is worth a thousand photos.
New job, new technology
But I would never say that when I joined Milestone in 2020. For me, video surveillance, as I called it at the time, was something used by security or law enforcement. As I learned more about my new job, I realized how video technology is changing the way we live here and now. My new classmates had so many stories about cities with less pollution, saving people’s lives and bringing classrooms to life. One story that stuck with me was how video technology is helping compulsive gamblers.
In Australia, some casinos use video technology to help compulsive gamblers stay out of the casino. By law, all Australian casinos must provide an option for customers to “self-exclude” if gambling becomes an issue. The self-exclusion process requires the customer to agree to a minimum ban period and take a photograph.
Video technology with facial recognition monitors the entrance to the casino and identifies self-excluded customers trying to enter. When the system identifies a self-excluded customer, the team explains why they can’t come in and escort them off-site. These casinos are using video to fulfill their responsibility to society to reduce gambling problems as well as comply with the law.
I remember thinking that if he can do stuff like that, I can’t wait to start working with this technology.
Video surveillance is more than crime prevention
As we use it extensively in the security industry, many people connect video surveillance with just crime prevention. We continue to use video technology for this, but the technology has evolved far beyond cameras that watch the bad guys. Today, it is the core technology in many applications that go beyond security and crime prevention. I think it’s important to distinguish between the pure safety/security focus and all the additional benefits that society can get from video technology.
reshaping our lives
This is the first article in a new series of articles about how video technology is reshaping our lives. Each article in the series will describe several different ways that video technology is making society a better place for people to live. In addition, I will address the important areas of caution that are naturally associated with the use of video technology. To present the series, I chose a few stories that caught my eye when I was learning about this amazing technology.
Saving Lives of Senior Citizens
With an aging population in many countries, video technology is playing an active role in ensuring the well-being of the elderly. Falls are a major cause of concern in residential facilities where many elderly people live. Video technology provides a non-invasive way to proactively support citizens and quickly alert staff if residents fall. If someone falls from a stroke or heart attack, the minutes saved by allowing staff to react quickly can save lives.
Making cities better places to live
Cities use video technology combined with artificial intelligence (AI) to learn traffic patterns and make real-time adjustments to traffic signs and signage to avoid queues of slow vehicles. By combining video analysis of traffic patterns with data from air quality sensors, we can actively support the minimization of smog hot spots that build up from slow or stalled vehicles during rush hour.
Being “there” in the classroom
Video technology is giving students an immersive experience that holds and holds their attention. Being “there”, immersed in an experience increases students’ involvement in learning and helps them retain information. Video technology can also help students learn about concepts that are beyond their current experiences and apprehensions, such as going on a mission to Pluto.
Video technology should serve humanity, not the other way around
These stories show some of the ways video technology is reshaping our lives. However, technology in general is under societal scrutiny today. The younger generation went through a period with social media during which they shared everything. Now, as they become young adults, most probably think it wasn’t a good idea. To embrace video as a life-enhancing technology, people must be in control. Video technology must serve humanity, not the other way around.
Guidelines to get started
Future generations will demand transparency from technology companies. They must be confident they can make informed choices about how and in what ways they allow video technology to reshape their lives and how companies use and store their video data. Here are my guidelines to get started:
• Apply video technology relevantly and help solve humanity’s most pressing problems.
• Respect human rights and personal privacy.
• Instill trust in people by being responsible for how you use video technology and its consequences.
As we move towards a future where video technology can be part of everyday life, there will be many other promising possibilities. To realize the benefit of these possibilities, for current and future generations, we must implement this amazing technology the right way – responsibly.
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