Bosch Launches An IoT App Store To Bring AI Surveillance To The Mass Market
The video analytics market sits as a fast-growing segment within the equally-fast-growing video surveillance market: with the former expected to reach $9 billion within the latter’s $62 billion by 2023. Now Bosch, one of the industry’s leading players, thinks it’s rife for a shake-up.
Gone are the days of aging CCTV cameras rusting on poles, piping feeds to control rooms where no-one is watching or to data warehouse systems ‘just in case’ something happens. Nowadays, pixel-counts have been joined on camera spec sheets by intelligent analysis and automation; in the three-way space race that is Cloud, IoT and AI, video surveillance and analytics tick all the boxes. And with more of a focus now than ever before on computer vision techniques, driven by sectors as diverse as automated vehicles and the Internet of Battlefield Things, and by next-gen edge-AI chips and GPUs, innovation shows no signs of slowing.
Analytics Comes Of Age
Until a few years ago, anything more than fairly rudimentary video motion detection was confined to video management systems or cloud SaaS applications. But IP surveillance cameras have become ever smarter and better connected, and this has powered a major increase in their edge capabilities. Initially, the choice of intrusion detection or perimeter defense or facial recognition or people counting was limited to the manufacturer’s own on-device offerings, but it soon became apparent that the real value was in opening the platforms to independent software developers. With consumer spending on Apple and Google’s app stores generating $71 billion in 2018, it is hardly surprising that networked camera manufacturers have been itching to get in on the third-party ‘App Culture’ launched by Steve Jobs in that simple blog post in 2007.
The Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), Hikvision Embedded Open Platform (HEOP) and Dahua Open Platform (DHOP) have enabled third-party software developers to create or adapt analytics to run directly on the IP cameras supplied by the world’s leading manufacturers. But the challenge has been that if you have a clever application, you need to adapt it to various platforms in order to reach a broad market.
Cue Bosch and their newly minted SAST (Security and Safety Things) “fully owned but independent” start-up, which has launched with the intention of “creating a global industry standard… developing an open operating system… building an app store.” Now in its early stages, the plan is that SAST will hit the market this year and deliver a “revolutionary open IoT platform for security cameras… unleashing a new generation of AI-based security apps.”
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