Video technology will reshape our lives

CEO of Stage systems.

Today we say a picture is worth a thousand words; tomorrow we will say that a video is worth a thousand photos.

New work, new technology

But I never would have said that when I joined Milestone in 2020. For me, CCTV, as I called it back then, was something used by security guards or the police. As I learned more about my new job, I realized how much video technology is changing the way we live here and now. My new colleagues had so many stories about cities being less polluted, saving lives and bringing classrooms to life. One story that stuck with me is how video technology helps compulsive gamblers.

In Australia, some casinos use video technology to help compulsive gamblers stay out of the casino. By law, all Australian casinos must offer customers the option to “self-exclude” if their gambling has become a problem. The self-exclusion process requires the customer to agree to a minimum blackout period and have their photo taken.

Video technology with facial recognition monitors the entrance to the casino and identifies any self-excluded customers who attempt to enter. When the system identifies a client who is self-excluding, staff explain why they cannot enter and escort them off the site. These casinos use video to fulfill their responsibility to society to reduce problem gambling, as well as to comply with the law.

I remember thinking if he can do stuff like that, I can’t wait to get to work with this technology.

CCTV is more than crime prevention

Because we use it extensively in the security industry, many people associate CCTV solely with crime prevention. We continue to use video technology for this, but the technology has evolved far beyond cameras that watch out for wrongdoers. Today, it’s the core technology in many applications that go beyond security and crime prevention. I think it’s important to distinguish between the pure focus on safety/security and all the added benefits that society can derive from video technology.

Reshape our lives

This is the first article in a new series of articles about how video technology is reshaping our lives. Each article in the series will describe several different ways video technology is making society a better place to live. Additionally, I will address the important areas of caution that are naturally associated with the use of video technology. To introduce the series, I have chosen a few stories that caught my eye when I discovered this amazing technology.

Saving lives of elderly citizens

With an aging population in many countries, video technology is playing an active role in ensuring the well-being of older people. Falls are a major cause of concern in residential facilities where many seniors live. Video technology provides a non-invasive means of proactively supporting citizens and quickly alerting staff to resident falls. If someone falls due to a stroke or heart attack, the minutes saved by allowing staff to respond quickly can save lives.

Making cities better places to live

Cities are using video technology combined with artificial intelligence (AI) to learn traffic patterns and make real-time adjustments to traffic lights and signage to avoid queues of slow-moving vehicles. By combining video analysis of traffic patterns with data from air quality sensors, we can actively help minimize pollution hotspots that form from slow-moving or stationary vehicles during peak hours.

Being “there” in the classroom

Video technology provides students with an immersive experience that captures and holds their attention. Being “there,” immersed in an experience, increases students’ engagement in learning and helps them retain information. Video technology can also help students discover concepts beyond their current experience and apprehensions, such as going on a mission to Pluto.

Video technology should serve humanity, not the other way around

These stories show some of the ways video technology is reshaping our lives. However, technology, in general, is under the control of society today. The younger generation has gone through a period with social media where they shared everything. Now that they’re young adults, they probably think that wasn’t a good idea. To embrace video as a life-enhancing technology, people must stay in control. Video technology should serve humanity, not the other way around.

Guidelines for getting started

Future generations will demand transparency from technology companies. They need to be confident that they can make conscious choices about how they allow video technology to reshape their lives and how businesses use and store their video data. Here are my guidelines for getting started:

• Apply video technology in relevant ways and help solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

• Respect human rights and privacy.

• Build people’s trust by being responsible for how you use video technology and its consequences.

As we journey into a future in which video technology could be part of everyday life, there will be many more promising possibilities. To capitalize on these opportunities, for current and future generations, we need to implement this incredible technology in the right way, in a responsible way.


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