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How the technology used in Connected Conservation can work for your digital business

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Lawrence van Deusen | Group Networking Practice Director: Wired and Wireless

Lawrence van Deusen | Group Networking Practice Director: Wired and Wireless

How the transformative technology used in Connected Conservation can work for your digital business

We live in such exciting times! Passionate as I am about technology and its many uses, I’m still struck almost every day by how the digital era is truly an age of infinite possibility — thanks to technology. Particularly inspiring are programmes that use transformative technology to make a real difference to our people and planet, such as our very own Connected Conservation story.  But can that same technology make a difference in digital business? Let’s explore:

Protecting the rhino by tracking people

Connected Conservation is revolutionary in more ways than one. To protect rhinos effectively we’re confronting the real source of the problem: people. Technology made it possible to track the movement of people as they enter and exit the game reserve, intercept poachers before they do harm, and leave rhinos to do what rhinos do best: roam freely. No collars. No darting. No invasive tracking of the animal. And best of all, no cruel and stressful dehorning.

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To protect rhinos effectively, the real source of the problem should be confronted: people. http://bit.ly/1WGTXhI  #connectedconservation 

Eyes, ears, and instant response

The essence of the technology used in Connected Conservation is connected, intelligent surveillance and rapid response. This is the equivalent of having eyes and ears everywhere across a large, security sensitive area, and the data analysis to interpret the information instantly and despatch a rapid response. (Read more about the specific technology used in the Connected Conservation infographic.)

The outcomes of Connected Conservation aside, it’s important to know that similar technology can just as easily be applied to digital business. We live in a world that’s becoming hyperconnected by what we now call the Internet of Things. It’s no longer just humans, but also devices and machines themselves that can communicate via a network, learn from each other, exchange data, and develop and enhance their capabilities. This has massive implications for all types of organisations today.

Making the world safer

Imagine simply substituting a game reserve with another large area in need of surveillance and protection. This could be anything from a sports arena to an amusement park, where large volumes of human traffic have to be directed to flow in efficient and safe ways. Technology such as surveillance cameras and alarm systems connected to automatic gate controls can help monitor and direct the flow. This can be particularly effective in emergency situations, including rapid evacuations due to fire or following acts of terrorism. Here, connected surveillance and response technology can help to make the world safer … and maybe even save lives in the process.

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Connected cameras, alarm systems, and automatic gate control can safeguard large areas like amusement parks

Rush hour redemption

On a larger scale, surveillance and monitoring technology can also make the world a bit more pleasant to live in. That is, particularly in large cities known for their population density and traffic jams such as New York City. Here, tracking technologies used for tolling systems can play a dual role: not only to register vehicles crossing toll gates, but also to search for and book parking – all connected to a centralised, automatic billing system. Another application is measuring and monitoring traffic density and flow, using big data analysis. Could gridlocked rush hour traffic be a thing of the past if we left traffic control up to advanced algorithms, data analytics, and automation, instead of manual processes?

Information gained in this way may also prove valuable in many other urban disciplines such as city planning, civil engineering, and – once again – emergency response. Imagine if fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles all had the same, real-time view of traffic patterns and volumes, to help determine the best and fastest route to the scene. Applications like Google Maps have already moved in this direction. But now imagine if the traffic control system itself, consisting of connected traffic lights and boom gates, could be remotely and centrally manipulated to benefit that response convoy.

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Surveillance technologies can make traffic in large cities easier to monitor and control

Improving large-scale industry

Another area in which intelligent surveillance and response systems can make a real difference is in large industrial enterprises, such as mineral mining, oil and gas exploration, or large-scale manufacturing. The measurement and monitoring of the performance and yield of massive rigs and/or machinery – and even entire supply chains – have become increasingly digital through monitoring sensors integrated into advanced ERP systems. Yet, there’s still room for improvement. Adding visual communication technologies such as mounted video cameras and drones, connected to video-capable handheld devices for off-site engineers, experts, and response personnel, will increase emergency response times and accuracy. Even machine-to-machine solutions are possible here, so that surveillance drones can automatically be deployed the moment the ERP system detects an anomaly in the data it receives from sensors.

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Video technologies connected to handheld devices can increase emergency response times on oil and gas rigs

The overall effect of this isn’t very different from that achieved on a smaller scale with Connected Conservation. A central control room needs the right information at the right time to help make split-second decisions and despatch an appropriate response before a potential problem spirals into a crisis.

As seen in all of these examples, the essence of the Internet of Things is ever-increasing visibility, connectedness, and integration. Digital technology is giving us the eyes, ears, and instant data analysis to achieve greater and more ambitious things than ever before. We’re even protecting more rhinos for future generations! Ultimately, technology helps us make this world a better place to live in … and that’s an exciting thing to see.

Go to dimensiondata.com to learn more about how technology can accelerate your digital business.