IBM and Contact Light to work on smart city software solutions
Contact Light, a subsidiary of Australian digital transit-media firm XTD, has entered a partnership with software giant IBM to develop and roll out solutions for smart cities.
The agreement will see IBM combine its cloud technology suite and software-as-a-service offerings with the Aussie company’s smart city expertise.
Contact Light develops digital solutions to address unique opportunities for governments, city planners and large enterprise organisations to better understand how people interact with their evolving urban environments.
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Contact Light CEO Mike Boyd said: “IBM is committed to creating smarter cities. For example, earlier this month IBM and Apple announced a major partnership focusing on machine learning via the IBM Watson platform, which will provide continuous learning capabilities for apps such as Embark.”
Embark is a mobile app that connects commuters with real-time public transport information and covers more than 1,200 cities worldwide.
Anthone Withers, IBM’s Head of SaaS, A/NZ, added: “Our agreement with Contact Light is an example of how IBM is restructuring its partner engagement model and focusing on solutions which provide artificial intelligence, cloud, blockchain and security delivered as a service.
“I see great opportunity in the ability to measure, communicate and commercially transact with people using transit environments via their mobile devices.”
XTD’s acquisition of Contact Light, incidentally, is still subject to shareholder approval.
EDGEMATRIX and NTT DOCOMO deliver AI at the edge
Leading Japanese telecommunications firm NTT DOCOMO, together with startup EDGEMATRIX, is harnessing the power of 5G to support artificial intelligence-enabled video, real-time analytics and, ultimately, the next step in the evolution of the modern smart city.
Founded under the roof of Silicon Valley tech firm Cloudian, EDGEMATRIX has grown into a cutting edge startup based in Japan. NTT DOCOMO has been a shareholder in the company since 2019, having spent the past two years jointly developing and commercialising EDGEMATRIX's revolutionary edge-AI platform using high-speed, high-capacity, low-latency 5G technology. NTT DOCOMO, together with EDGEMATRIX, launched a world-first edge AI platform for intelligent video analytics, enabling high resolution, high security, and real-time video using AI.
Courtesy of EDGEMATRIX
The platform simplifies, manages and oversees the implementation and integration of AI at the edge, which captures, analyses and stores video close to where it is captured in industrial and retail settings, "on location at factories, buildings and other outdoor and indoor locations." The solution is also used in social infrastructure such as roads, railroads, and long-term care facilities for safety monitoring and anomaly detection.
Using Edge AI Box, a compact indoor and outdoor device equipped with a GPU for deep learning-based AI and a communication module (WiFi/LTE/5G) together with various interfaces such as camera connection, it becomes possible to process video streaming from surveillance cameras on-site (at the edge) and in real-time. EDGEMATRIX's Edge AI Boxes can be installed across a site and then monitored using the company's platform. The platform maps the locations of multiple Edge AI Box devices installed on site, monitors their operational status and enables the devices to be controlled remotely.
EDGEMATRIX's customers can use the platform to pruchase additional AI applications from a rapidly-expanding ecosystem which allow them to implement the right solution for the right situation. This simplifies the implementation and upgrade of edge AI for processing and storing video data captured with video cameras at customer premises either outdoor or indoor. Using "Edge View" feature, it is also possible to simultaneously display on the browser a large number of AI-processed real-time videos from the field.
Partnerships like this are key to NTT DOCOMO’s efforts to integrate 5G technologies into the modern enterprise.
Zaif Siddiqi, Executive Director and Global Head of NTT DOCOMO’s 5G & IoT Business Department, comments: “When you're approaching digital transformation, there's more to it than just leveraging cutting edge technologies into new customer experiences.” Unless the needs of the customer, and the underlying market forces at play, can be truly understood, “5G doesn’t mean anything,” he explains, adding that in order to find the right contexts for deployment, “Selection of the right partners is extremely important to delivering on the potential value of 5G.”