Intersec 2018 concludes in Dubai with AI and robotics taking centre-stage with new technologies changing security, safety and fire protection landscape.
The latest trends in artificial intelligence and robotics in policing societies, along with major projects fuelling growth in the Middle East commercial security landscape, were among many talking points, as Intersec concluded its 20th edition in Dubai yesterday (23 January).
The world’s leading trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection featured 1,337 exhibitors from 59 countries, while 29,532 visitors from 129 countries stopped by the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Sharing centre-stage were dozens of product launches, while live demonstrations of fire protection equipment and drones used across a wide range of applications kept thousands of buyers and industry professionals entertained and informed.
The Dubai Police is one of Intersec’s long-standing Government Partners, along with the Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Police Academy, the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), and for the first time in 2018, the Dubai Municipality.
This year from its exhibition stand, the Dubai Police had a strong focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smarter technologies to keep residents, visitors, and communities safe. It also showcased Robocop prototypes and new smart services that are already in place in its fully automated smart police station, which recently opened in September 2017.
Brig. Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, Dubai Police’s Director General of Artificial Intelligence, gave an overview of the Government body’s vision toward using AI and robots in policing and protection.
“The Dubai Police has a target to be the smartest police force in the world, and we’ve been working on a new strategy based on AI that will ultimately increase the happiness of our residents and build Dubai to be the safest city in the world,” said Al Razooqi.
“We plan to use AI to help us not only reduce crimes, but increase our ability to predict potential crimes before they happen, along with reducing traffic accidents. We’ve introduced a crime prediction system as well as accident prediction system that can study the behaviours of drivers.
“With UAE car manufacturers, we’ll install sensors to study the behaviour of drivers and see how we can teach them the best way to drive. Vehicles will instruct police where they should cover based on data we have, and perhaps where there is crime.”
Al Razooqi said Dubai Police plans to open another eight Smart Police Stations in 2018, and while AI and robots will in the future take over more routine daily jobs, that won’t mean less ‘human’ manpower: “There have been rumours that due to AI and robotics at Dubai Police, that there will be less police officers but this is not true,” he added. “We’re going to create more advanced positions, where they can provide a better service to keep our residents and visitors happy and safe.”
Among the new features at the 20th edition of Intersec was an indoor Drone Zone, along with two dedicated conferences on Drones and Artificial Intelligence. Greg Agvent, Senior Director for CNN Aerial Imaging and Reporting, spoke at the Intersec Drones Conference about the potential uses for drones in information gathering.
Agvent said that drones can be effective to not only deliver new perspective of journalism and reporting, but can also be important tools for data capture that can have much wider implications: “We’re still at the very beginning of acknowledging what drones can do,” said Agvent. “Right now, almost exclusively, we’re working with video, but what about thermal imaging and forward looking infrared, and what context and understanding can this add to a story?
“If we we’re covering search and rescue operations, what other sensors can we input? If we’re doing a story on drought, can we put a hygrometer on a drone and create data that supports the video story? There’re all sorts of opportunities for sensors to add new layers and context.”
Agvent said that Middle East Broadcasters wishing to utilise drones need to engage with their respective civil authorities and manufactures, adding: “That’s what’s so important about events like Intersec.
“It brings people together, where professionals from a wide range of sectors can gather to understand about the latest technologies, regulations, and industry-best practice in an area that is on a high-growth trajectory. We can’t do this alone. Operators, regulators and manufacturers aren’t going to solve the equations by themselves.”
Organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Intersec spans seven show sections of Commercial Security, Fire & Rescue, Safety & Health, Homeland Security & Policing, Information & Cyber Security, Smart Home & Building Automation, and Physical & Perimeter Security.
With 83 percent international exhibitor participation, Intersec’s global footprint was underlined by 15 country pavilions from Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, USA, and for the first time in 2018, Russia. UAE participation was also high, growing six percent year-on-year, with 223 exhibitors covering 10,500sqm of exhibition space.
Visitors too were happy with the show. Fahad Al Qahtani is Operations Manager at ILT Total Access Control, which specialises in automation and access control systems: “Intersec makes it a lot easier for us to see all relevant suppliers and manufacturers in one place at one time. We’ve seen a lot of interesting products at the show this year.”
Waleed Al-Mansour, Executive Manager for Security & Safety Corp in Saudi Arabia, was at Intersec 2018 to gain information about the latest firefighting and security alarm systems, along with CCTV products.
“Intersec is a great opportunity to know what the latest updates in the security, safety, and firefighting business. It’s a great chance for us to enhance our knowledge in the field, and we’re very happy with what we found this year. Every year it adds more to my knowledge in the development of systems relating to security, fire protection, and CCTV. Things are moving so fast and we have to keep updated.”
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Intersec 2018 has further cemented its position as the world’s premier trade platform of its kind for the security, safety, and fire protection industries.
“We’ve had participation from the majority of the world’s foremost safety and security brands and attracted a wide representation of global experts and key influencers to our safety and security forums. Twenty years is a landmark for both Intersec and the region’s standing as a major global security market.
“We intend to continue to build on our success and look forward to far greater developments and achievements in the future while working together with the authorities and the active support of the government.”
Intersec is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The 21st edition of Intersec will take place from 20-22 January 2019.