Intelligent lights make up wireless network used for entertainment and safety

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) - They are being used for entertainment and safety. but some critics say this is nothing more than the watchful eye of big brother keeping track of your every moment.

This high tech system called ‘Intellistreets' is being made right here in Farmington Hills.

"In each lighting fixture or each lighting pole, there is processor very much like an iPhone. And it takes inputs and outputs and talks back and forth. And the poles actually talk to each other," said Ron Harwood.

Inventor Ron Harwood unveiled the intelligent light in a ribbon cutting ceremony. With funding help from the Department of Energy, Harwood's Farmington Hills company, Illuminating Concepts, started designing the wireless communication system after the horrors of September 11th and Hurricane Katrina.

"It became really obvious to myself, and my staff that we could do something that would make people more informed, make them safer," said Harwood.

LED video screens and cameras add to the wireless infrastructure that is remotely controlled.

It can provide entertainment, save energy, make announcements, and even counts people for police.

When you step come into view of the street light, there is a camera that spots you, and the person on the other side sees you by white specs on a black screen. The camera senses that somebody is there, and if wants, it can even take your picture.

The system is also capable of recording conversations making critics cry invasion of privacy.

"This is not a system with spook technology. It's much more transparent. It can just talk to you and say, don't fall over Niagara Falls," said Harwood.

Basic light starts at $3,000 dollars. By Spring of next year there is a good chance you could see them pop up in your city.

The first of these light poles sit on 10 mile Road just East of Orchard Lake Road. Harwood already has orders from cities across Metro Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh and he's working with Homeland Security. 

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