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Sony, Nikon and Foxconn form alliance to build security camera ecosystem

Sony, Nikon and Foxconn form alliance to build security camera ecosystem
In order to build up a better security camera ecosystem, startup Scenera, camera maker Nikon, image sensor manufacturer Sony, OEM companies Wistron and Foxconn have formed a new initiative called the Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem (NICE) Alliance.

Security cameras are important in our daily lives, which can be found in stores, campuses, airports and individual homes. According to data from analyst firm IHS Markit, tens of millions security cameras are already installed in North America.

However, some cameras could be extremely smart while others aren’t helpful at all. Users even often see problems like wrong activity alerts, hard-to-browse video streams and an overload information. For security cameras makers that don’t own resources like Amazon or Google, it’s not easy for them to provide further and stable features without asking users to pay a great fee.

And the NICE Alliance aims to change the current state. By late 2018, the alliance plans to makes security cameras to connect to any image-handling service and create a unified user experience for home security cameras.

Just like Android ecosystem is able to deliver similar user experience from devices made by various manufacturers. Security cameras should also achieve the same, where camera makers, app developers and service providers work together.

NICE Alliance, first, would like to strengthen AI-based cloud analytics for home security cameras. The devices gather a huge amount of data, however, most manufacturers don’t have the infrastructure services to process the information and find out what’s truly valuable for end-users.

The Alliance wants to capture all data and store and analyze in the cloud, and build up a standard between camera and cloud analytics platforms. In practice, a window breaking detected by the camera should be able to identify whether it’s caused by an baseball from the neighbor as an accident, or by an unknown person as an emergency break-in.

In order to deliver more accurate alerts, videos will be captured from multiple cameras, organizing clips according to subject matter rather than timeline or object detection. In other words, event-driven summaries will be more valuable than every small activity triggers an alert to users.

Other promises from the alliance include support for variety of camera technologies, including conventional or infrared imagery, audio, and directional data about subjects captured by video, and security measures to protect cameras and footage and updates to ensure camera software vulnerabilities can be patched.

The five companies are currently working on the NICE Specification, which will be unveiled in Q3 2018. NICE-compliant products are expected to be in the market in the second half of 2019.

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