The snowy peaks of Riserva Bianca have become the first Smart Mountain, where the ski mecca of Limone Piemonte is the first Smart City of its kind with wireless video to the top.
It’s common these days to hear about a smart city, but not everyone knows that in Italy there is also a smart mountain. It is found in the town of Limone Piemonte, with its popular ski destination called Riserva Bianca, located just south of Turin – home of the 2006 Winter Olympics. It spans 50 miles of slopes that rise 3,400-6,700 feet above sea level.
A new video project here stemmed from an innovative idea of the local system integrator Tecno World Group. As a technology partner of Lift SpA (the company that manages ski lifts), Tecno World proposed the construction of an avant-garde solution for Riserva Bianca, which could also serve as a pilot installation for other ski resorts.
The collaboration between Tecno World and Lift dates back to 2006, starting with the installation of about 37 miles of optical fiber and a dozen cameras, which were originally used as webcams for tourism purposes only.
Today Riserva Bianca boasts a much more complex system.
- 62 upstream and 40 downstream IP cameras from Axis, operated by Lift staff and shared with the communal administration of Limone Piemonte
- Wireless radio relay stations for areas not covered by the fiber network
- Environmental sensors, WiFi hot spots and alarms
- Everything is integrated into a single, open platform based on XProtect® video management software (VMS) by Milestone Systems.
The cameras installed in the municipal area and the high-altitude cameras now fulfill a double requirement: to promote the resort and to ensure the safety of the facilities and skiers. The system also provides maximum compliance with current legislation on data privacy.
Two to three cameras have been installed on each of the 17 ski lifts, and they operate continuously during the ski resort’s open hours. System operators can view the video in real time via a dual monitor installed at the base and at the top. A central control room in the center of Limone Piemonte provides access via optical fiber to all the cameras.
An initial goal of the project - promoting the territory - has not been overlooked. By using the streaming module from Milestone, the system has gone from simple webcams with static images to a real-time, exciting view of what is happening on the slopes. The WiFi hot-spots made available to tourists and visitors also fall within the scope of ensuring high quality services.
The entire system is constantly monitored in a central control room in the center of Limone Piemonte and managed by the local police force, who can control video footage, environmental sensors and network systems (radio transmitters, switches, UPS, etc.).
Nothing has been left to chance. The power switches of the cameras and sensors inserted inside some of the ski lift poles have been equipped with alarms. In case of break-in by unauthorized personnel, they immediately alert the central control room in a pop-up display on Milestone.
Tecno World created a plug-in that integrates a proprietary dashboard in XProtect that constantly monitors not only any tampering with the electrical panels but also the proper load of the network nodes - all while focusing on saving energy. In the event of a power failure, batteries give the system 15 minutes of autonomy before going into lockdown. Once the power is back on, the staff can restart the system from the same dashboard integrated on the Milestone platform.
As required by the Italian Data Protection Authority, camera recordings of the commune may be kept for seven days. Since the ski resort is managed by a private company, their images must be overwritten after 24 hours.
See the stunning video about Limone Piemonte’s Smart Mountain on YouTube:
Limone Piemonte is a municipality in the Italian region of Piedmont, located about 100 km south of Turin. This is where you will find the famous ski resort Riserva Blanca.
- Trails cover 80 km and an elevation of 1,009 meters (over 3,000 feet).
- The ski resort offers 17 lifts for the sweeping slopes.
- Heavy snowfall in this region of the Alps is making this area known for off-piste pleasures.
- Beyond the stunning sports in winter, summer brings magnificent hiking and biking on the mountain ridges for views that are stupendous.
- Historic buildings and gourmet cuisine with Italy’s fine wines tap more discoveries to be had.