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New York gets smarter, one tech trial at a time

Matt Hamblen | Jan. 10, 2017
Wi-Fi kiosks, smart park benches and sensors that detect gunshots are just a few of the technologies the Big Apple has on tap.

Three sensors are used to triangulate a gunshot sound and report the location of the gunshot, within 27 yards, to the nearest police precinct in about one minute. (For more on how the technology works, see Cool cop tech: 5 new technologies helping police fight crime.)

After a year-long test over 15 square miles in the Bronx and Brooklyn, police found that 73% of the shots detected by ShotSpotter had not been reported by citizens, sometimes, perhaps, because they didn't recognize the noise as a gunshot. Police found the initial test effective in helping them respond to crimes faster; the technology has been expanded to 24 square miles, including in upper Manhattan.

What the future holds . . .

New York City has many other smart initiatives in the test phase -- including technologies to more efficiently use water, dispose of trash, protect the air and make it easier to find and use city services.

For now, city officials only laugh when asked whether New York will allow flying, driverless cars over Manhattan skyscrapers. But stay tuned: At the rate at which New York is adopting smart city technology, flying cars might yet be on the docket and in the air.


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