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OSSA to push OS, app store for cameras

OSSA to push OS, app store for cameras
Top security companies, including Bosch, Pelco, Milestone, Hanwha Techwin and VIVOTEK, have founded the Open Security and Safety Alliance whose mission is to develop an OS upon which apps can be downloaded to enhance cameras.
Needless to say, today’s cameras have become more advanced thanks to better chips and processing power. This provides a good opportunity for cameras’ functionality to be expanded via apps that can be downloaded directly to the device. Having a common, standardized operating system that enables users to do this, then, becomes key.
That was one of the reasons behind the establishment of the Open Security and Safety Alliance (OSSA), whose founding members are Bosch, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone, Pelco and VIVOTEK. “The main purpose of OSSA is to bring together companies in the security and safety industries which understand the need to innovate and drive the solutions which customers need and want,” said Hartmut Schaper, CEO of SAST, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bosch; and Phil Doyle, President of OSSA. “Such solutions include being able to customize functionality of their devices (initially cameras) through the download of applications and services, but also agreeing on, and following, a more standardized approach to some of the big challenges we see today such as cybersecurity and personal privacy.”

Industry-specific OS

A key to this is the development of an industry-specific operating system that allows downloads of apps to cameras and access of cameras to various solutions or services that the users are looking for. SAST is tasked with developing the OS which Schaper and Doyle said will stand out from competitors. “The OS is based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) but is evolved and hardened by SAST to meet the needs of our market. We believe this OS will be very attractive to application developers inside and outside the industry due to standardized APIs that allow apps to be developed independently of a specific camera type, and it also offers a number of benefits for remote update and management which haven’t been possible previously,” they said.
According to them, the apps can be accessed from an app store and downloaded directly to the device based on the user’s real-time needs, without having to replace the actual device which is often the case today. “SAST is working closely with a number of app developers today to identify what the ‘killer apps’ will likely be in the future, but initially we’d expect there to be many of the current type of analytics solutions we know of already, for instance license plate recognition, object or person identification/counting and so on,” Schaper and Doyle said. “Applications can either be downloaded directly onto a specific device or deployed to multiple devices through management solutions either from SAST or from other providers for which SAST will provide the necessary interfaces.”
SAST will make its revenue from the sales of the apps. The company maintains that OSSA is a close collaborator with SAST and is not necessarily a Bosch/SAST-led effort.
“No single company owns the alliance and it is genuinely open in terms of membership. As members join, they have the opportunity to become part of the work groups which set the direction the alliance will head and contribute towards the specifications that will be published that we believe are key in driving our industry forward,” Schaper and Doyle said. “SAST is a start-up which is fully owned by Bosch today. Over time, SAST will look for other companies in addition to Bosch to invest and jointly own SAST.”
Whether this new OS will succeed and become the de facto standard in security remains to be seen, but Schaper and Doyle have nevertheless expressed confidence. “We believe there will be those that use the OS and those that don’t. Those that do will contribute to, and benefit from, the constantly-evolving solutions that we envisage. As the number of connected devices, innovative new applications and customized services increases, so this direction will become more and more attractive. We expect this to become the way that customers will ask their technology providers to go in the future,” they said.

Product Adopted:
Surveillance Cameras
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