The Philippines is slowly developing into a digitally-enabled economy. Together with better urban planning, digital solutions that improve city monitoring makes for a safer and better connected country. Huawei is doing its share in providing such digital solutions, among many other products and services it offers.
I was invited to tour Huawei’s new Customer Solution Integration and Innovation Experience Center (CSIC) in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). The BGC CSIC is the 4th center in this region of the world, after Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Occupying an entire floor, the Huawei CSIC showcases several of its innovative solutions, including Safe City Solutions. Designed as an ICT innovation hub and center of excellence, the CSIC features training rooms, home and corporate showrooms, and working models of city safety solutions and business models.
THE HOME ZONE
The Home Zone showroom area showed us what a connected and multi-use entertainment system could look like. Fiber optics connections are growing in Metro Manila. This development makes possible the inclusion of more features into smart TVs.
The showroom used its connection to Sichuan China Telecom to demo different applications that you could access on one large TV screen – TV, games, music, education, shopping, videoconferencing, and more.
At one point in the demo, we also connected remotely to someone in China – an example of possible videoconferencing from the comfort of your home. This is a preview of what mobile work can be like when cities are fully connected.
SAFE CITY SOLUTION ZONE
This area of the CSIC was the most fun and interesting for me because we saw real city solutions that would be very useful not just in Metro Manila but in large metro cities nationwide.
Here are some components of the Safe City Solution.
Convergent Command Center
This envisions an emergency command center similar to that of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) where there is a centralized center that can accept calls from a 911 and know where, on a digital map, the caller is making the call from. According to Huawei, the solution that they are using is already fourth generation technology.
Just imagine if all law enforcers, vehicles (e.g. ambulances, fire trucks, police cars), rescue personnel, and emergency medical teams were connected and had wifi capability. A command center like one at the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) could easily monitor their locations and coordinate assistance.
Does your company need to secure certain areas within your building? Huawei has a solution that allows you to designate certain areas as “alert zones”. You can define which zones need to become alert zones (like during non-office hours). Anyone who is spotted by the camera penetrating the boundaries of the alert zone triggers an alarm.
BGC is already using this Huawei safe city solution to monitor its streets. When you get the chance to walk around BGC (don’t do this while driving!), try to notice the closed-circuit TVs (CCTVs) that look like the camera below. These cameras monitor pedestrians and car movements. They are meant to keep people safe.
This street camera is also no mean thing! Huawei showed us how powerful it was by zooming in on a church several kilometers away. I could not see the church with my own naked eye but the camera was able to zoom in.
BGC street cameras can now actually catch license plates of speeding vehicles from afar or zoom in to an incident on the streets in case of incidents!
The Global Connectivity Index, a research done by Huawei to measure different countries in terms of their transformation to a digital economy from a traditional economy, shows that the Philippines is categorized as a Starter country, ranking 38 out of 50 countries covered. This is a challenge for the Philippines to improve that ranking. With a formal Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), there is hope that the Philippines will become more connected digitally, with solutions that can improve local and national governance as well as faster response during disasters and emergencies. These Huawei solutions that we were shown during the tour may just be some of the answers to our country’s needs.