Bird’s-eye view

David Ly, CEO and founder of video surveillance provider Iveda, agrees that DOT resistance to cloud storage will melt away. He says that the future of video surveillance is in the cloud rather than with box-based systems involving cables, chops, hard drives or even VHS tapes. “Too many companies and DOTs believe they can just invest in hardware and a few tech guys, and pray that magic happens along the way – but it’s inefficient,” Ly says.

“The cloud has evolved in support of IT and the same is true of video surveillance. If you can have all the research and development done for you, and systems built for you, it makes your life as an end user easier. The old box systems are not scalable, whereas we can pull together video streams from thousands of cameras in multiple locations into a single command-and control center. It is imminent that all video will be in the cloud.”

Iveda’s largest contract is with New Taipei City, in Taiwan, through its subsidiary MEGAsys. New Taipei City’s SafeCiti surveillance system comprises more than 13,500 cameras integrated into one centrally managed platform. The system has benefits for police forces, but also for remote surveillance of traffic. “They use it to monitor the flow of traffic in real time,” explains Ly. “After distress calls, they are able to instantly share live video data with first responders. Putting the data in the cloud makes it easier to archive and review.” Ly claims that cloud-based video surveillance could be of great value for DOTs in the USA, but the concept faces an uphill battle for acceptance. “Some people cry intrusion of privacy if you point a camera at the moon – in case people see them smooching in the reflection,” he says. “But video surveillance is not about intrusion of privacy; it’s about responding efficiently if a car hits a pole. You need to make quick decisions about how many fire trucks to send.” The second major concern for DOTs, he says, is security in the cloud. “But the cloud is flexible now and DOTs need to realize they are not sending their data to ‘kingdom come’. There are now private, public or hybrid systems. A DOT can define its own cloud – where it exists, its size, and whether or not to build security walls.”

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