Open Security & Safety Alliance membership doubles; open platform initiatives surge forward

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

SAN RAMON, Calif.—In the Fall of 2018, five companies — Bosch Building Technologies, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone Systems, Pelco by Schneider Electric and VIVOTEK, Inc. — came together for the good of the open platform community, becoming founding companies of the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), or simply, “the Alliance.” Since that time, 15 inventive international players have joined the organization, producing 50 percent growth with initiatives in full swing, which include “publishing first concepts for new standards and common frameworks from when we can all work from,” Johan Jubbega, president of OSSA told SSN. 

The Alliance is a non-profit corporation founded to bring together like-minded organizations to create a common, standardized platform accessible to all security and safety solutions. In just their first six months, the Alliance has already created a common Technology Stack specification, catering to product and services innovation to reduce market fragmentation and friction, but there are more works in progress. “We are defining a common and vendor-agnostic operation system that together with the Technology Stack will fuel the development of value-added solutions for customers and end users,” Jubbega said, adding that they are also developing a “description of a common market approach to data security and privacy.” First prototype cameras based on Technology Stack were shown at ISC West 2019 by OSSA members. 

He explained that “each initiative rolls back up into OSSA’s larger-picture charge: to drive innovation forward and add real value for customers using IoT-based security and safety products.” The key, according to Jubbega, is starting from a common business model across products to ensure they interoperate seamlessly. Once that is accomplished, innovation will emerge and product manufacturers, service providers and integrators can add value through innovation and differentiation. 

The Alliance is quickly attracting more players — device manufacturers, software developers and system integrators, distributors and system on a chip (SoC) companies—to which Jubbega attributes this appeal to no longer working in silos, but instead “innovating together in this new IoT world.”
“Alliance members have the opportunity to weigh in and help steer the direction of the entire market moving forward,” he said. “As technology evolves, the world becomes smaller and more connected and, for areas like security, safety, building automation and business intelligence solutions, there’s an opportunity to step outside of individual companies and help raise the entire market to new levels for everyone’s benefit. Organizations and individuals interested in bringing about good, necessary change and creating large windows of opportunity for themselves and their customers are joining OSSA to make this a reality.”

Member-driven groups support OSSA’s three core committees — Strategy Committee, Technical Committee and Marketing Committee — and are known as workgroups that are “tasked with specific initiatives to drive toward and hit milestones,” said Jubbega. Alliance activity is divided among expert members, who are responsible for the following:

  • "Meet" (members dial in from all over the world) on an ongoing weekly or bi-weekly basis to discuss work and report on monthly progress;
  • Meet in-person every quarter for face-to-face meetings; 
  • Attend an all-committee, in-person meeting twice a year, the next of which is slated for September 2019 in the U.S.; and
  • Meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to work and report on monthly progress.  

Prevalent in these meetings is the discussion of AI and machine learning, and how leveraging these technologies is a game-changer for the security industry. “This is an exciting time as the security industry invests in and applies AI and machine learning to existing camera applications; and, at the moment, these are very important topics which are on the agenda of the committees to discuss how to implement into OSSA deliverables,” Jubbega explained. 

Looking into the future of AI and machine learning for security applications, Jubbega predicted new developments in security applications will impact and bring other consumer tech categories into the security space. Once applications can seamlessly interact with “camera hardware and software, using a common platform approach, we’ll see a whole new world not yet imagined for the security and safety space.” One specific example in the security industry is facial recognition. Jubbega explained that this software leverages AI and can be applied to a variety of instances: finding and identifying missing or wanted persons; locating objects or people in crowded venues; tracking VIPs in certain settings; enhancing customer experiences; and more. He believes future applications such as these will run on central servers or in the cloud as well as find their way to cameras based on commonly agreed upon standards, specifications and ecosystem. 

“We all must start from a level playing field that welcomes everyone so the entire market can connect, elevate and prosper as users embrace the features and functionality we put forth around their security and safety systems, and move with us—the innovators—as we dream into new areas of usefulness,” concluded Jubbega.