The South Australian capital of Adelaide will become a laboratory for internet of things, with elevators that talk to each other, video recognition of masked criminals and more.
Prof Ali Babar, who is leading a coalition of government, business and academia to turn Adelaide into a trial site for Smart City innovations that could be rolled out across the rest of Australia and around the world.
His goal is to identify ways in which emerging digital technologies can improve how a city functions, whether traffic congestion, reducing carbon emissions or personal safety.
Besides the internet of things, Prof Babar is also studying biometric readers that allow paramedics to obtain the medical records of an incapacitated patient via a fingerprint scan, or video recognition techniques capable of identifying suspects of a crime even if they are wearing a mask.
Initiated eight months ago, the project has key players that include the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Department of State Development, Adelaide City Council and companies including Ernst and Young, Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Fuji, Xerox and NEC.
NEC says biometrics – combined with access control and video monitoring systems – will ensure Smart Cities are able to rapidly respond to safety incidents when required.
Prof Babar concedes that Smart City technologies present “severe privacy concerns” and society would need to come up with a mechanism to address them, and says the Australian centre for Smart Cities is investigating privacy awareness as part of its brief.