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Hitachi Visualization Suite: The smart city just got smarter

Hitachi is a completely scalable system for gathering, integrating, and transforming various data inputs into actionable information

At IACP this year I watched a demo of Hitachi Visualization Suite, a completely scalable system for gathering, integrating, and transforming various data inputs into actionable information. This is a means for creating a visual interface for a Smart City.

A Smart City interface can take seemingly unrelated data from disparate systems and sensors and turn it into timely actionable intelligence. Hitachi Visualization Suite is generally less expensive because it is thin layered and cloud based.

Just so we are clear: The Hitachi Visualization Suite puts all the meaningful data onto a single screen. It’s intuitive (meaning I could immediately understand it), and the learning curve for maneuvering around the screen is not steep.

Governmental and private organizations collect data all the time. There are LPR systems, traffic system cameras, smart sensors, geocoding services, weather alerts, map layers, investigation and CAD data, and automated video surveillance inputs throughout most cities in the United States. With all of this intelligence input, we have to consider what technology can’t do. Video surveillance operators can’t see everything at once. Data managers are always reluctant to share data for various reasons, including privacy considerations, and firewall restrictions. There has to be a way to integrate the data and make it meaningful.

As law enforcement officers, we want this data. It captures stuff we can’t process for evidence and packages it for testimony.

Hitachi has a better solution, and it will allow even the smallest city to integrate their data. In CTO Darrin Lipscomb’s own words, “Big companies sell closed ecosystems.” That is, they use a single product solution, like wired cameras, that only integrate with the proprietary product, and use different input product for a different solution. Because the ecosystems are closed, data sharing and scalability is highly unlikely.

Hitachi Visualization Suite uses EDGE technology for data feed, including for their video cameras. If all of the input data is unwired, expanding the sensor capabilities is easier. For example, private businesses can voluntarily deputize their security cameras, improving the data picture. Hitachi has the HVP Gateway, a small form factor cloud device, for integrating edge capture and recording of private devices.

By unifying the data, Hitachi Visualization Suite can create analysis of areas, like crime mapping, CAD events, weather, and even social media analytics by frequency/location/language and calculate threat levels of a region. Insert asset tracking and questions like “Where is the most strategic area to place a fire station?” can be answered.

The key to Smart City management is to automate the workflow. Hitachi has crime prediction analytics and live face matching (LFM) for video surveillance.

Let me be the first one to tell you, this stuff is generally completed. Hitachi made it simpler, and presumably cheaper.

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Online Teaching and Learning. Lindsey has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. His articles on firearms tactics have appeared in print for over a decade. Lindsey enjoys competing in shooting sports, running, and cycling events.