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ASIS Notebook: Smart Cities Begin With Security Systems

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Vendors see security as key component of "smart city" plans. Also, Raytheon's Clear View, megapixel on the march, and more.

Among the most notable of patterns at 2010 ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits two weeks ago in was the emphasis on public sector applications both in exhibitor booth demos and in press interviews.

Not so surprising since security purchasing has remained strong from federal to local government levels, and despite budget constraints, it's an area that cities and states are still regularly funding. Firetide, OnSSI and systems integrator Bearcom, for example, hosted a tour of the Dallas Police Department's operations center that's supported by the mesh wireless video surveillance network of some 150 cameras covering parts of downtown. 

But beyond the tours and demos, more vendors say they see urban security as a critical element of "smart city" initiatives that are gaining attention worldwide. These plans, spearheaded by major computing and networking companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems, envision large but flexible IT infrastructures supporting intelligent traffic systems, smart energy grids and seamless connectivity with IP-enabled consumer platforms, such a smartphones and tablet PCs. Security, nonetheless, is the initial application that opens the door to a large-scale smart city project, executives at Cisco, Firetide and March Networks all said.

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