Use of video from Axis cameras supports safe urban planning in bustling Roppongi
Smart streetlights measure people flows while deterring crime
“The biggest advantage is that we are now able to objectively see in numerical terms the attributes and the numbers of visitors that we had until now perceived only in sensory terms. It has also proved to be a persuasive set of data on which to base coordination with urban planning and traffic authorities, and those involved in construction work.” Chairman of the Roppongi Shopping Street Association.
Among the bustling crowds of the cosmopolitan and fashionable Roppongi shopping district, traders were seeking effective methods to attract customers and increase sales with the objective of extending the revitalization of the area while improving safety further. They had come to the conclusion that they wished to use video analysis technology to visualize visitors to the district, but this gave rise to privacy problems. A lawyer with experience in this area provided an introduction to NEC Corporation (NEC), from which they sought advice on technology and privacy issues. This resulted in the decision to update streetlights and security cameras to simultaneously accomplish the two objectives of analyzing data in order to generate activity on the streets, and maintaining safety and security. This in turn required a completely new concept appropriate to the sophisticated nature of the Roppongi area.
One of the solutions born to fulfill these requirements was the concept of the smart streetlight. Installing smart streetlights that bring together multiple functions such as LED lighting, communications equipment, cameras, speakers, and signage, allows image analysis technology to be applied while deterring crime and counting people. The image analysis technology used is FieldAnalyst from NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd. which automatically detects faces and individuals, and infers characteristics such as age and sex. AXIS Q3518-LVE Network Camera offers a multi-view streaming function that enables one camera to view two different viewing areas, with wide-angle images being used for crime prevention applications, with extracts maintaining sufficient resolution for use in image analysis. The project was implemented with full respect for privacy, based on trials conducted with NEC.
Using image technology on video obtained from the cameras enabled the movement direction and attributes of visitors (sex, age), as well as the number of visitors, to be analyzed in real time, 24 hours a day.