Glasgow focuses on super-smart cameras to monitor threats

Mon, 2013-04-29 18:59 -- Jesse Berst

Video surveillance is certainly nothing new, especially in the UK. But now Glasgow is considering the installation of next-generation "super intelligent" cameras. These units will be able to recognize threats on their own. We'll be watching this one with great interest. Since Glasgow got its funding via a smart city grant, perhaps the rest of us can learn from its pioneering efforts. - Jesse Berst


The city of Glasgow, Scotland plans to install over 400 "super intelligent" CCTV surveillance cameras for  anti-terrorism and suicide prevention purposes. It is one of many projects the city is planning and was made possible by a $39.7 million (USD) from the UK government.

The smart cameras are capable of alerting authorities if they spot bags left unattended or someone climbs a bridge parapet, according to a BBC news story.

The project also includes construction of a new operations hub in the city. Camera operators will be located in the hub along with specialists from TRAFFCOM, the group in charge of city traffic lights and cameras, who now work in different locations.

The cameras will replace the existing network. Other ideas under consideration include mobile phone technology that will allow resident s to identify the quietest route to the city center or hospitals with the shortest waiting times.

"Winning this funding was a major coup for Glasgow. Now we're putting the teams and infrastructure in place to realize the potential of a hugely ambitious and far-reaching program which will permeate all sectors of city life," said City council head Gordon Matheson. "This flagship program may be in its infancy but, once complete, we hope it will provide a blueprint for other cities to follow.

The grant was awarded by the Technology Strategy Board, an organization established in 2007 to support and encourage technology-enabled innovation.