In 2008, Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens shopping center opened on a vast site of approximately 70,000 square meters on the former site of Hankyu Nishinomiya Stadium in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture. An "AI Security System Asilla" has been introduced on a trial basis to some (50) of the surveillance cameras installed inside and outside the building, and operational tests are underway.
For this interview, we spoke with Mr. Naoki Maeda, Deputy General Manager of the Leasing Business Department in the Leasing Business Division at Hankyu Hanshin Real Estate Corporation, and Mr. Hiroshi Kimura, President and Representative Director of Hankyu Hanshin High Security Service Co.
(From right to left)
Hankyu Hanshin Real Estate, Inc.
Deputy General Manager, Leasing Business Department, Leasing Business Division
Mr. Naoki Maeda
Hankyu Hanshin High Security Services, Inc.
Mr. Hiroshi Kimura
Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens attracts many customers from a relatively wide area, primarily the Hanshin and Hokusetsu regions. As a large-scale commercial facility catering to a diverse clientele, we prioritize the "safety and security" of our customers. Our security responsibilities encompass various tasks, including attending to sudden customer illnesses, managing the parking lot, and responding to emergencies such as earthquakes and fires. In all these cases, we recognize the paramount importance of swift initial responses. While security guards patrol the premises, we have believed since the facility's opening that an automated alarm system, triggered by AI or other means based on surveillance camera footage from our disaster prevention center, would greatly facilitate smoother incident management and operation.
To assess the actual capabilities of the AI security system, "Asilla" has been installed on 50 of the most critical surveillance cameras at Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens for a trial period, conducting a verification experiment.
Prior to the trial introduction of " Asilla", we had conducted a demonstration test of an AI security system from another overseas company, but there were problems with the AI learning period and the results of the demonstration test were not satisfactory. When we were looking for an alternative, we came across " Asilla" and learned about the concept of skeletal authentication, which we had never heard of before, the many patents it has acquired, the numerous domestic and international awards it has received, and the fact that it is also collaborating with overseas companies. Thinking that this was a promising technology, we contacted Mr. Kimura, president of Asilla, and began exchanging information with him.
After that, we selected Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens from among several candidate properties and started with a demonstration test using a small number of cameras.
Looking at the actual images, I have a sense that "we are detecting what we should be detecting." We have come across some unforeseen situations, such as children misbehaving or workers moving around late at night. However, with the system upgrade, we now feel that it has reached a certain level of performance and is ready for practical use. This accomplishment is largely attributed to the optimization of the viewing angle for each surveillance camera. The company has been highly responsive to the on-site security guards' requests, which has been tremendously beneficial.
As is true of Japan as a whole, the labor shortage in the field, especially for security guards, continues to be extremely high, and there is a strong sense of urgency in securing human resources for the future. In this case, facility security at large commercial facilities such as Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens and at the disaster prevention center of a large office complex requires extremely high skills to deal with customers and to handle emergencies.
Looking at the actual images, I feel that "we are detecting what we should be detecting." We have encountered unexpected situations, such as children misbehaving or workers moving late at night. However, after upgrading the system, we now believe that it has reached a certain level of performance and is ready for practical use. This is mainly due to optimizing the viewing angle of each individual surveillance camera. The company has been highly responsive to the requests of the on-site security guards, which has been immensely helpful.
At Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens, we would like to introduce " Asilla" to all of the surveillance cameras (about 300 cameras) at the earliest possible time, so that we can capture security incidents. If we want AI to make judgments on its own that humans would consider abnormal by looking at the monitors of surveillance cameras, adjustments are still necessary. We also plan to optimize the placement and number of cameras as additional work, based on our understanding of the angle of view and pixel range that can be detected. There is often a conflict between picking up dangerous acts and abnormal situations more accurately down to the smallest detail and reducing the number of false positives, but we believe that with Asilla's advanced tuning technology, in addition to improving the performance of the AI security system, we will be able to set the optimal threshold (balance).
At present, we have not yet conducted a demonstration test in an office building, but we expect that more practical detection will become possible.
We believe that utilizing skeletal recognition to locate a "specific person" from multiple surveillance camera images would greatly benefit tasks such as searching for lost children. Additionally, it would be beneficial to incorporate facial recognition functionality to determine the current location even from a handheld photo.
Furthermore, if there were a feature similar to a fire detector that could identify smoke and flames from surveillance camera images and alert about abnormalities in addition to human activity, it would allow for immediate video confirmation of the site's condition, further supporting the initial response of security personnel.
We are also exploring the possibility of introducing security robots. In the future, we envision AI analysis of surveillance cameras mounted on mobile security robots to be capable of detecting abnormalities in the same way as fixed cameras.
Lastly, when it comes to human interactions, it is often easy to discern whether a child is playfully joking or engaged in a fight with a mere glance. This ability stems from perceiving a combination of facial expressions, tone of voice, and surrounding circumstances. We eagerly anticipate a future where "Asilla" can achieve such levels of understanding and capability.
Company name: Hankyu Hanshin Real Estate, Inc.
Location: Hankyu Terminal Building, 1-1-4 Shibata, Kita-ku, Osaka City
Representative: Ryuichi Morotomi (*1)
Established: February 1947
Business activities: Leasing of offices and commercial facilities, real estate development, area management, real estate funds, sales of condominiums, detached houses and residential land, brokerage, renovation, rental management, land utilization, etc.
Official website: https://www.hhp.co.jp/
(*1) Moro and Takashi are old characters.