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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 
New street lights that include “Homeland Security” applications including speaker systems, motion sensors and video surveillance are now being rolled out with the aid of government funding.

The Intellistreets system comprises of a wireless digital infrastructure that allows street lights to be controlled remotely by means of a ubiquitous wi-fi link and a miniature computer housed inside each street light, allowing for “security, energy management, data harvesting and digital media,” according to the Illuminating Concepts website.

According to the company’s You Tube video of the concept, the primary capabilities of the devices include “energy conservation, homeland security, public safety, traffic control, advertising, video surveillance.”

In terms of Homeland Security applications, each of the light poles contains a speaker system that can be used to broadcast emergency alerts, as well as a display that transmits “security levels” (presumably a similar system to the DHS’ much maligned color-coded terror alert designation), in addition to showing instructions by way of its LED video screen. The lights also include proximity sensors that can record both pedestrian and road traffic. The video display and speaker system will also be used to transmit Minority Report-style advertising, as well as Amber Alerts and other “civic announcements”.

With the aid of grant money from the federal government, the company is about to launch the first concept installation of the system in the city of Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Using street lights as surveillance tools has already been advanced by several European countries. In 2007, leaked documents out of the UK Home Office revealed that British authorities were working on proposals to fit lamp posts with CCTV cameras that would X-ray scan passers-by and “undress them” in order to “trap terror suspects”. Dutch police also announced last year that they are developing a mobile scanner that will “see through people’s clothing and look for concealed weapons”.

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