An app helps residents watch for “most wanted” criminals, police in two countries are finding innovative uses for social media, and how a laser helps police catch drunk drivers. Click for details on these and more smart ideas that are making cities safer.
Public safety and security
In its ongoing quest to become the world's top smart city, Dubai is inviting ideas to make it smarter faster. To make it more interesting, the winning startup will get $30,000 in free publicity.
Philadelphia has fewer officers patrolling the streets, yet crime is down and the number of murders has fallen to the lowest rate in nearly 50 years. The police commissioner credits the city’s smart policing strategies. Read more ways cities are using technology to improve public safety.
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland have developed a sensing skin they say could eventually serve as an early warning system for buildings and bridges. Click for the details.
A Chicago man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for a pair of robberies at a transit stop. He’s in prison because police used facial recognition technology to identify him. Use of the technology is growing rapidly, as are the capabilities of the systems.
Compared to the rest of the world, Americans are not great walkers. Especially when it comes to walking to work. But a recent report indicates that, in cities like Boston and San Francisco, a good number of people have started using their feet for work transportation. Safer streets appear to be a reason.
A cloud-based service that gathers and filters the latest information about severe weather, road closures, health threats, electricity outages and even cyber attacks is now available to help city and regional governments better share emergency data. Swan Island Networks and Microsoft CityNext teamed up to provide the solution. Get the details.
New York City kicked off its fifth Big Apps competition this week with Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraging the tech community to develop ways to reduce traffic fatalities. Get details and watch the mayor's video plea.
IBM and the University of Victoria are developing a system to monitor and predict the behavior or earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters off the British Columbia coast. They expect the information to benefit public safety agencies, public transportation, tourism and other industries.
When the Public Technology Institute surveyed local government public safety and IT officials to rank their top technology priorities, "just keeping up" with technology changes, personnel changes and workload topped the rankings. Click to see what else made the top 10 list.