- Tech company Ekin today launched Ekin Spotter, a compact device that provides city officials and law enforcement with data and analysis on traffic trends, city safety and air quality.
- Once affixed to a sidewalk, the Ekin Spotter can be customized to use the following features/collect the following data:
- Ekin says the data collected by Ekin Spotter can also be displayed on digital billboards to offer the public a look at real-time information about their surroundings.
While the device is newly released, and therefore has not yet been tested in cities, it offers a promising way for city governments to streamline data collection and analyze data in a more holistic manner. Ekin claims the Ekin Spotter is the first of its kind to satisfy all of the needs of smart city data collection, and if proven successful, this type of device could change how other smart city tech vendors build data collection products.
However, by putting all of its data collection eggs in one basket, a city runs some interesting risks, most notably in cybersecurity. If a hacker were to tap into a device like the Ekin Spotter, the majority of a city's data collection — including sensitive information like facial recognition data, license plate recognition data and surveillance camera footage — would be at risk of theft or being wiped-out. Ekin says its AI-equipped system and proprietary Red Eagle (OS) can evaluate the health of the Spotter and send operators notifications if the system is at-risk, though as evidenced in other cybersecurity cases, not all OS systems are bulletproof.
Despite associated risks, Ekin is working to set itself apart from other smart tech providers. With a 20-year track record, the company has had ample time to establish itself in the smart city realm and polish its systems, and this latest announcement indicates that the company will continue to evolve with the industry.