American firm looking at JamaicaEye

Talks underway to add smart camera technology to street lights

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, September 28, 2019

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SALT LAKE CITY, United States — An American firm is offering to introduce technology to Jamaica which it believes could provide a big boost for the Ministry of National Security's JamaicaEye programme.

The Austin, Texas-based Greenstar Products has had some preliminary discussions with local authorities and its president and COO Tom Wright says it wants to partner with Jamaica and Jamaicans with a range of products including security cameras.

JamaicaEye is part of an islandwide network of camera surveillance systems designed to increase the safety of all citizens.

The programme is designed to use cameras to monitor public spaces across the island and assist the authorities in responding to disaster, acts of criminality or accident and Wright is convinced his company could take the surveillance system to another level.

According Wright, Greenstar can provide Jamaica with light-emitting diode (LED) street lights with HD quality camera which could provide safety and security for a wide variety of applications including parking lots, industrial facilities, schools, and public areas.

“We bring excitement to the table for Jamaica. We are not boring with traditional street lights. We have integrated cameras, smart cameras, in the lights for the safety and security of the citizens,” Wright told the Jamaica Observer during the Solar Power International (SPI) Conference and Expo this week at the Salt Palace Convention Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“We have a wide array of luminaries that can be appropriately sized for applications. What we find is that sometimes there is a one-size-fits-all approach for a community and some communities require more lights while some need less, and if you can tailor your approach you can maintain the financial performance of the project in a much better fashion,” added Wright.

He noted that his company was unsuccessful in its bid to lead the change of the Jamaica Public Service Company's high pressure sodium (HPS) street light fixtures to LED lights but still believes Greenstar has much to offer with the security cameras.

Wright said the Greenstar cameras would allow the authorities to narrow searches and ask questions and get answers in real time.

“So if someone was to go to your JamaicaEye website to see if parking was available in front of a particular building, they would see in real time and they would have the data over history to understand the trends. All the parking is available at this time, there is no parking at this time and that could be used for traffic patterns or people movement as well,” said Wright.

He added: “Or the Government could commercialise non-personal data. So as a cruise ship arrives, the authorities could check how many people go this way, or how many people go that way. With this type of system you just have to ask the question to get the answer.”

Wright noted that Greenstar offers a system for policing with hot spot cameras which store about six days of data. These allow the police to stay within 30 metres of the camera and use a tablet or a smartphone to get the recorded information once they have the password for that camera.

“The reason this is important is because if you have a ring of cameras around the island all of that video would have to go to a central storage location and there is a tremendous expense to do that,” he explained.

“And if I was to ask you, how much of that video would you use, you would probably give me a number that is relatively small, that means that the vast majority of that video is wasted. So the money to transfer it is wasted,” said Wright.

“In our system we are thinking of value. We are recording at point of location, so if there was an accident your police know the intersection, when they come they look up and they see a camera so they just ask for the password for that camera and get the video,” added Wright.

The Greenstar president noted that the system does not do facial or licence plate recognition because of privacy concerns, but these could be added if requested by Jamaica.


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