A recent article in Offshore-Technology revealed that British Petroleum (BP) bought a majority interest in a fiber optic innovation company called Fotech.
Why would anyone care about BP buying Fotech?
Because Fotech “uses artificial intelligence and edge computing in its products, covering areas such as surveillance, transport management, cable monitoring and rail management.”
Roughly translated, they use fiber optic cables to surveil vehicles, people, pipe lines, public transit, etc.
Fotech’s “products” page reveals how they plan to turn smart cities into real-rime listening devices using “Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS).”
Distributed Acoustic Technology converts thousands of kilometers of optical fibers already in place in our cities into millions of acoustic and vibration sensors. DAS converts cables into a network of state-of-the-art sensors. This allows cities to send and receive information with the benefit of providing anonymity to its citizens, but also to monitor city infrastructure continuously – in real-time and on a much more detailed level.
Two years ago, Fotech and Dr Robert Ferguson revealed how the city of Calgary could use DAS to track vehicles and people.
“We have installed what’s called a distributed acoustic sensing system along the entire route of the autonomous vehicle and we’ve repurposed an oilfield instrument…We can track, with high precision, the location of not only the autonomous vehicle but anything else that’s moving around close to the autonomous vehicle” Ferguson said.
Fotech’s “Smart City Solutions” boasts that they can use DAS to “recognize and detect the acoustic and seismic signatures of footsteps, vehicles, trams and trains.”
Read more: BP To Turn Smart Cities Into 24/7 Real-Time Listening Devices Using Fiber Optic Cables
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