Approximately half of the world’s population currently lives in cities. Thriving urban areas like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are among the most coveted places to call home, thanks to their energy, culture, and innovation. However, as appealing as these metropolises are, they’re far from perfect. Very real public safety problems exist, and if cities fail to adequately address them, they have the potential to deter new businesses and fresh talent from moving in.
To lower crime rates and prevent illegal activity from driving residents away, many politicians and city organizations are attempting to harness the power of the Internet of Things to combat criminals – and with good reason. In addition to improving the way police recognize and then respond to crime, Internet of Things solutions can also stop illegal activity from happening in the first place.
For example, IoT can help cities meet their public safety goals by offering the following features:
- Real-time monitoring. Using microphones, videos, sensors, and other connected devices strategically placed throughout the city, police can readily identify when and where crime is occurring, so that they can successfully track down perpetrators.
- Improved decision-making. A comprehensive Internet of Things solution can break down data silos to share valuable insights, so that cities can make informed decisions about public safety. For example, IoT can combine massive quantities of relevant data from multiple sources and analyze it in real-time, allowing cities to quickly take action to keep citizens safe.
- Real-time analytics. Internet of Things solutions also allow cities to take advantage of real-time analytics, which can help them to understand and resolve public safety issues right away – before residents are affected. For example, predictive policing uses a blend of sensors and connected devices to identify potential areas or events of crime before they occur.
To fully take advantage of all of the benefits the Internet of Things promises to deliver for public safety initiatives, cities need to adopt a horizontal platform to serve as the foundation for their solution. Doing so is the best way to ensure that they can innovate in a secure and effective way, and achieve their primary goal of keeping people safe.