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How OSSA plans to foster industry collaboration

How OSSA plans to foster industry collaboration
The Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA) plans to develop an Android-like platform that will enable different camera vendors to work together.
In the internet of things (IoT) age, an explosive amount of data is being collected. The security industry wants to tap into the opportunities that this data can bring. One approach is to establish a frictionless environment via standards that every company can work with. OSSA was formed for this purpose. One of the association's objectives is to create a common operating system (OS) to allow different camera vendors to cooperate. From the security industry's standpoint, the advantage of using a common OS is that when all cameras use the same platform, end-users will be able to run programs or apps on different devices, similar to smartphones.

The potential of leveraging data

Standardization has long been a topic of interest in the security industry. Asked why OSSA is talking about it at this point, Johan Jubbega, President of OSSA, said the emergence of IoT was the catalyst. IoT is changing "the role of security devices," Jubbega said. While the increasing ubiquity of sensors has created data-rich environments, this data is "underutilized." Although big data offers many analytics opportunities and brings high hopes for AI, we have "only scratched the surface," Jubbega noted. By taking full advantage of the data on hand, we can expect new opportunities. Cameras nowadays are turning smarter with the help of various apps. Retail outlets are using surveillance cameras not only to protect people and property, but also to gain business intelligence.

There are apps to measure the flow and amount of footfall, as well as to spot certain customer behaviors. A systems integrator (SI) expressed a desire to have an app just for two months during the Christmas shopping season, Jubbega noted. A common platform will stimulate more app developers becoming interested in this market, hence stimulating further innovation.

Collaboration in the industry

A common framework will also foster collaboration. At the moment, most companies work in silos and "the innovation is only as strong as individual companies," Jubbega said. Closer ties between companies could also enhance cybersecurity. As part of this, OSSA has formed a cybersecurity working group.

Digital marketplace for SIs

Another objective of OSSA is the promotion of the creation of an app marketplace, including a mechanism for SIs to share their experiences of apps and offer feedback. OSSA's membership comprises device manufacturers, SIs , app developers and distributors. While at this early stage device manufacturers make up the bulk of its membership, OSSA would like to see more SIs on board, given they are the end-users of the marketplace's offerings.“[SIs] is where the rubber hits the road," Jubbega pointed out.
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