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A global approach to security and safety

A new open platform is set to transform the way security and safety firms operate


April 15, 2020  


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By Pieter van de Looveren

In early 2020, the security industry will have access to a new, game-changing IoT platform that will transform the way we all do business within and outside the security and safety space. A common digital marketplace is being primed to launch during ISC West 2020, and it is part of the overall vision driven by the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA).

In fall 2018, OSSA formed with the mission to gather market players to collaborate on an open industry ecosystem to move us all forward with a united global approach to addressing common challenges within security and safety. Experts from around the world contributed, and through OSSA, dozens of companies together put plans into motion to create a framework to spur innovation for customers.

This vision is anchored by the OSSA’s first Technology Stack and idea to establish one common IoT infrastructure including a digital marketplace to bundle supply and demand for new innovations. The Technology Stack outlines the use of a common, vendor-agnostic Operating System (OS) for video security devices and defines standard application programming interfaces (APIs).

Over the past 18 months, OSSA member companies worked alongside each other to steer the industry to a platform business approach. Two fundamental objectives have already been realized and are expected to significantly improve the security and surveillance marketplace:

The first common Technology Stack Specification for video security devices was completed in Q4 2019. It includes a common vendor-agnostic OS based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) hardened for video security devices. The Stack also includes standardized APIs helping app developers to make software solutions that can easily be installed and executed on camera devices based on OSSA’s Technology Stack, as well as specifications to guarantee the right levels of performance. Now app developers can write a single software application suitable for cameras from different brands and origins, fully leveraging OSSA’s Technology Stack. The Stack also ensures full device compatibility with the common IoT infrastructure substantially reducing friction related to the purchase, licensing, installation and maintenance of apps as well as device management.

An orchestrated ecosystem for enhanced trust, innovation and opportunity: Following ISC West 2020, the OSSA-driven digital marketplace will go live, and video security device manufacturers will introduce the first commercial versions of products leveraging OSSA’s Technology Stack. This marketplace, developed by OSSA member company Security and Safety Things GmbH, offers a venue for third-party developers to create innovative apps that can then be downloaded to and executed on video security cameras based on OSSA’s Technology Stack. It gives integrators the ability to easily add functionality to their video security cameras by installing apps (the first ones are already developed and available). This new online community brings unprecedented collaboration, opportunity and harmony to the security and safety arena, all for the betterment of the end customers.

Paving more pathways to value

As the Alliance progresses into its second year, ongoing initiatives and expectations on the horizon will continue to unlock new value for industry stakeholders and customers. Looking further into 2020, we expect:

  • Additional OSSA members will launch devices based on the common Technology Stacks set forth by the Alliance;
  • The digital marketplace will thrive as participants engage with the platform and mine benefits such as downloading brand-independent available apps onto security cameras to increase functionality and cater to specific customer needs;
  • To continue to grow the OSSA ecosystem of member companies;
  • To produce and drive the adoption of new standards and specifications for products, software and solutions; and
  • To introduce an OSSA trademark that provides the industry with a quality seal regarding data security, privacy and customization.

This is an exciting time for security and surveillance professionals as the industry pivots together into a new direction based on connected technologies and new possibilities afforded by the IoT evolution. It’s also an important time for companies to recognize the need to work together and utilize a common foundation from which everyone can springboard into new areas of intelligence and prosperity. Open ecosystems are a core pillar in this roadmap that is shaping the future of the security and safety systems space.

Pieter van de Looveren is the marketing committee chair for the Open Security & Safety Alliance.

This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of BIoT Canada.


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