NICE Specification Announces Foray into Cloud Platform Service for IoTs and IP Cameras

Global Security Lab Riscure Audits NICE’s One-Stop Device Security and Data Protection

PALO ALTO, CA (February 3rd, 2020) – NICE Alliance today released its 1.0.1 version of specifications, including key updates to expand support for non-image data produced by IoTs and support for containerized deployments of NICE applications for all types of edge devices, allowing availability of many existing IoT devices within the NICE ecosystem.

The current security practice for IoT devices is limited to a controlled encryption focus between a given IoT device and the Cloud. IoT devices, and specifically integrating image sensors, generate very sensitive video image data stored and processed in the cloud and on mobile devices. Existing solutions do not address who and what can access and process sensitive data once it has reached the cloud. Typical implementations require complex manual password management to enable multiple applications, and disabling the application requires the resetting of multiple passwords to avoid unauthorized access to devices and the data generated by devices.

Coming to the table with a practical solution, the NICE ecosystem separates device, data and application securities, enabling each to be managed independently. For example, when a user enables an application to interact with the device, the application does not have access to the user’s account or device identity and passwords. The duration of the application’s access can be time-limited without requiring the user to update their passwords. The same approach can be applied when accessing a user’s data – an application can provide time-limited access to a given subset of data without requiring the user to change their personal or device passwords. NICE implements these security provisions using online cloud license authority to (i) bind the device with unique ID and security keys at manufacturing, (ii) secure the device to a particular user when it is being registered to the user and (iii) specify user permission for each application instance maintained by NICE License Authority.

“Riscure performed an independent security review of the NICE Alliance specifications, version 1.0.1. The goal was to provide objective feedback, and recommendations regarding the security measures defined by the specification, in accordance to their predefined threat model. We believe the actions taken by NICE Alliance positively contributes to a more trustworthy ecosystem for network cameras and IoT devices” said Mr. Maarten Bron, Managing Director of Riscure, Inc.

The audit conducted by the Riscure focused on three main components of the specification:

  1. Device access management to control the device and receive data
  2. Data management within the cloud, including several stages of analytics
  3. Data privacy authority, particularly for personal and private images

The foundation for the secure operation of NICE is the safe handling of keys that are used to encrypt data and control access to IoT data and devices. Microsoft Azure Key Vault is complementary to NICE security and its secure cloud process and management. Azure Key Vault is fully certified in accordance to several international security standards, elevating the NICE ecosystem to a massive scale, while maintaining security and adhering to established industry security practices.

“NICE Alliance is pleased to have qualified a security audit from industry partner Riscure and further collaborate with Microsoft to bring a world-class security and data protection system for IoT Video Intelligence Solution globally.”  said David D. Lee, CEO of Scenera, which plays an integral role in spearheading the key innovations in NICE Alliance.

Matt Fleckenstein, Senior Director for Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp. said, “Microsoft is pleased to be supporting NICE achieve the highest levels of security for keys supervision in the cloud in a scalable and cost-effective manner. The success of IoT deployments ultimately relies on the security of device and data being generated and Microsoft is committed to enabling its customers the highest levels of security and data protection.”

NICE Alliance continues to develop its infrastructure and establish guidelines for the ecosystem, which will be open for all companies and interest groups who would like to participate in contributing and adopting the specifications. NICE Specification V1.0.1 can be found here: www.nicealliance.org/specs.

About NICE Alliance
Industry leading consumer electronics manufacturers and brands Foxconn, Nikon, Scenera, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Wistron formed the NICE Alliance, an innovative ecosystem standard for smart camera and IoT markets, to provide an open data sharing platform based on image data and AI to enhance the synergistic effect of multi-brand, multi-camera and multi-service/apps. NICE Alliance believes that its specification will enable entire new classes of IoT applications including those where private media never leave the sensor, providing enhanced privacy and security.

About Riscure
Founded in 2001, Riscure is a leading global advisor on the security of connected and IoT devices, as well as a recognized vendor of advanced security tools and security training. Riscure helps customers around the world to build robust hardware and software solutions and to speed up the process of secure development and certification. Riscure serves Semiconductor, Mobile and Electronic Payment, Automotive and Premium Content industries as well as Government sector. Riscure is headquartered in Delft, The Netherlands with offices in San Francisco, USA, and Shanghai, China. Follow Riscure on Twitter @Riscure and LinkedIn.

About Scenera
Scenera is forging a new standard data platform for the IP cameras and IoT devices for efficient way to manage and analyze the data. The visionary founders see the paradigm shift from simple streaming data to rich scene information that enables new and powerful analytical capabilities. Standard compliant devices generate abundant scene-based information for surveillance and monitoring applications for business and consumer users.  Scenera’s goal is to align key industry players with the same vision to create an interoperable ecosystem that will bring a new generation of the smart edge devices. For more information, please visit www.scenera.net.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

US:
Lydia You | Scenera, Inc.
lydia@scenera.net

Japan:
Kiyohisa Ota (太田清久) | Scenera, Inc.
kiyohisa.ota@scenera.net

NICE Alliance’s Cloud Services to be Powered by Microsoft Azure

Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem (NICE) Alliance publishes V1.0 specification for manufacturing adopters and application developers and chooses Microsoft Azure for the implementation of its cloud services

PALO ALTO, CA, May 23, 2019NICE Alliance has chosen Microsoft Azure to build NICE Cloud Services that will be offered to NICE adopters, 3rd party application and service developers, and end-users. The implementation of NICE Cloud Services will incorporatMicrosoft’s Azure Media Services, Azure Storage, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure IoT, and many other Azure services.

“Microsoft is widely recognized as one of the most important and largest cloud providers in the world,” said David Lee, CEO of Scenera, Inc. “Azure will provide a robust platform for the development of NICE Cloud Services, which is crucial to enable the accelerated adoption of NICE compliance cameras and 3rd party apps and services to integrate IP cameras and IoT devices, aiming to transform the smart camera market.”

By building NICE Cloud Services on the Azure platform, NICE will be able to simplify the development and adaptation of a real-time distributed AI ecosystem consisting of intelligent cameras and intelligent cloud services. “Microsoft is pleased that the NICE Alliance has selected the Azure platform as the basis for realizing the NICE vision of offering real-time video analytics solutions”, said Jason Hogg, Principal PM Manager of Microsoft Azure. “NICE specifications are looking to tackle challenging concepts associated with digital cameras and the intelligent edge, with a view to simplifying application development and big data analytics associated with a live video data pipeline in multiple industries.  Azure Media Services provides the ideal platform for NICE to build an implementation of that pipeline.”

Industry leading consumer electronics manufacturers and brands Foxconn, Nikon, Scenera, Sony Semiconductor Solutions, and Wistron formed the NICE Alliance, an innovative ecosystem standard for smart camera markets, to provide an open data sharing platform based on video/image and AI to enhance the synergistic effect of multi-brand, multi-camera and multi-service/apps. NICE Alliance believes that its specification will enable entirely new classes of video applications including those where private media never leave the sensor, providing enhanced privacy and security.

NICE Alliance continues to develop its infrastructure and establish guidelines for the ecosystem, which will be open for all companies and interest groups who would like to participate in contributing and adopting the specifications. NICE Specification V1.0 can be found here: www.nicealliance.org/specs.

ABOUT SCENERA

Scenera is forging a new standard for the surveillance and IP camera market with imaging solution providers. The visionary founders see the paradigm shift from color-rich images to rich scene information that enables new and powerful capabilities. Standard compliant smart cameras generate abundant image information for surveillance applications such as object recognition and detection, location tracking, etc. Scenera’s goal is to align key industry players with the same vision to create an interoperable ecosystem that will bring a new generation of the smart camera. Scenera is a licensed and administrative agent of the NICE alliance. For more information, please visit www.scenera.net.

MEDIA CONTACTS

US:

Lydia You | Scenera, Inc.

lydia@scenera.net

Japan:

Kiyohisa Ota (太田) | Scenera, Inc.

kiyohisa_ota@scenera.net

New Industry Alliance ‘NICE’ Launched for Next Generation Smart Ecosystem

Newly formed Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem (NICE) Alliance aligns leading suppliers to create an innovative ecosystem standard for smart camera markets

PALO ALTO, CA, March 5, 2018 – Leading consumer electronics manufacturers and brands Foxconn, Nikon, Scenera, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Wistron today announced their collaboration formally launching a new ecosystem that will help bring the next generation of smart cameras to market. The five companies come together in alliance with their respective distinguished industry expertise and market leadership to establish a new standard specification for emerging smart camera products and applications. In today’s consumer world, the demand for network cameras, Internet of Things (IoT) and personal and home assistance cameras continues to increase. While massive amounts of data are recorded with these types of smart cameras, their systems require more infrastructures to process images for online access of artificial intelligence-based video analytic services.

The increase of camera capabilities including higher resolution image capture and real-time notifications poses a significant need for additional bandwidth and storage. In addition, seamless interoperability using these cameras with the new infrastructure at reasonable cost is anticipated by consumers. Proposing a positive solution to the table, NICE defines well-structured layers and links for image capture processing, allowing users to access clips of key highlights from multiple cameras.

The NICE Alliance will publish a specification for cameras that can capture scene-based images or video streams containing an abundance of specific information, such as image frames, audio, and metadata. Subsequently, the data captured can be properly scene marked, indexed, made thumbnail-searchable, and securely stored in the cloud, ready for instantaneous analytic solutions.

The NICE Specification defines a new standard way for camera devices to communicate with each other and establish an effective solution, enabling a new class of utility services for consumers and creating new opportunities and business models for emerging applications.

NICE is designed for forward compatibility—for both hardware and software— providing the future smart camera market with vast flexibility and adaptability that is valuable for camera manufacturers, cloud service providers, and third-party app developers, allowing all parties to fully integrate vertically and interoperate horizontally.

Enabling enhanced development for mass-compatible devices to services and third-party, NICE aims to revitalize the market of the smart camera by lowering the entry barriers for camera manufacturers as well as service and third-party app developers.

“Scenera is privileged to lead the NICE alliance and partner with these industry power players who recognize our innovations in smart camera design,” said David Lee, CEO of Scenera, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup company. “The diverse and unique expertise that all of the founding companies bring to the table are integral in the success of the NICE alliance as it leads the next generation of the smart camera business.”

“Nikon contributes not only to imaging products such as digital cameras, but also to the improvement of photographic culture all over the world by providing of online services for sharing images shot,” said Takami Tsuchida, Sector Manager of Marketing Sector, Imaging Business Unit. “We believe there is great potential to create a new business model with a robust cloud-based network solution based on NICE, specifically for a society that is advancing to become smarter in the future.”

“We are excited to join the NICE Alliance as a promoter and work with this group of leaders in the ecosystem,” said HY Chou, GM of Foxconn Group. “NICE creates a new, innovative model for camera manufacturing and control. One of the key features in the NICE specification is the creation of new abstraction layers, enabling a new way to control image capture. This technology allows mass-produced sensor modules to be used in a variety of application devices.”

“We believe NICE will provide the end-to-end open platform that enables innovative intelligent services by harmonizing multiple smart cameras and cloud resources,” said Satoshi Yoshihara, Senior General Manager, Sensing Solutions Business Division of Sony Semiconductor Solutions.  “We envision that everyone can enjoy smarter features more quickly and easily leveraging cutting-edge camera and sensing technologies.”

“With the NICE cloud application program interface (API), we will be able to reduce the complexity of collected data and increase the addressable market for the connected camera ecosystem, such as the smart phone industry. Consumers will benefit from cloud-ready artificial intelligence analytics on their cameras guaranteeing advanced security and data privacy,” said Donald Hwang, CTO of Wistron.

Representatives from all five founding promoters are now working closely to develop an infrastructure and establish the guidelines for the NICE Specifications. With operations in the U.S. and Japan, the NICE Alliance will be open for all companies and interest groups in the ecosystem who would like to participate in contributing and adopting the specifications. The Alliance will soon unveil the development of the NICE Specifications and additional details on how to become a member.

ABOUT FOXCONN

Guided by a belief that the electronics products would be an integral part of everyday life in every office and in every home, Terry Gou founded Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Ltd, the anchor company of Hon Hai / Foxconn Technology Group in 1974 with US$7,500, a devotion in integrating expertise for mechanical and electrical parts and an uncommon concept to provide the lowest “total cost” solution to increase the affordability of electronics products for all mankind. Today, Hon Hai / Foxconn Technology Group is the most dependable partner for joint-design, joint-development, manufacturing, assembly and after-sales services to global Computer, Communication and Consumer-electronics (“3C”) leaders. Aided by its legendary green manufacturing execution, uncompromising customer devotion and its award-winning proprietary business model, eCMMS, Hon Hai has been the most trusted name in contract manufacturing services (including CEM, EMS, ODM and CMMS) in the world.

ABOUT NIKON

Nikon has been a pioneer in optical technology markets worldwide since its inception in 1917.  Today, we offer a wide range of products utilizing advanced technologies, from consumer products such as digital cameras, camera-related products and binoculars to industrial precision equipment including FPD and Semiconductor Lithography Systems, microscopes and measuring instruments. In the future, we will take advantage of Nikon’s core competencies for launching new products and also proposing solutions. In addition, we focus on the development of the healthcare business field.

ABOUT SCENERA

Scenera is forging a new standard for the surveillance and IP camera market with imaging solution providers. The visionary founders see the paradigm shift from color-rich images to rich scene information that enables new and powerful capabilities. Standard compliant smart cameras generate abundant image information for surveillance applications such as object recognition and detection, location tracking, etc. Scenera’s goal is to align key industry players with the same vision to create an interoperable ecosystem that will bring a new generation of the smart camera. For more information, please visit www.scenera.net.

ABOUT SONY SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS

Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation is the global leader in image sensors. We strive to provide advanced imaging technologies that bring greater convenience and joy to people’s lives. In addition, we also work to develop and bring to market new kinds of sensing technologies with the aim of offering various solutions that will take the visual and recognition capabilities of both human and machines to greater heights. For more information, please visit: www.sony-semicon.co.jp/index_en.html

ABOUT WISTRON

Wistron Corporation is a Fortune Global 500 company and a Technology Service Provider supplying ICT (information and communication technology) products, services and systems to our global customers. We are devoted to increasing the value of our services through developing innovative solutions in the areas of green recycling, cloud and display vertical integration. For more information, please visit: www.wistron.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Lydia You (Scenera, Inc. U.S.) | Charlie Mitsuhashi (Scenera, Inc. Japan)

lydia@scenera.net | charlie@scenera.net

NICE Alliance Announces Key Specifications to Bring the Next Generation of Smart Cameras to Market

Industry Leading Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem (NICE) Alliance unveils its V0.9 specification and features for public review in advance of the final version

PALO ALTO, CA, March 26, 2019 – Last year, leading consumer electronics manufacturers and brands Foxconn, Nikon, Scenera, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Wistron collaborated to formally create an innovative ecosystem standard for smart camera markets with the aim to provide an open data sharing platform based on video/image and AI to enhance the synergistic effect of multi-brand, multi-camera, and multi-service/app. Since the consortium’s inception, Allion, Augentix, Mobilicom and TnM Tech have joined NICE alliance as contributors. After a year of collaboration and joint development, NICE Alliance today releases the first public review of specifications and detailed features on its blueprint and technology, with a goal to publish a finalized version for formal adoption by the second half of 2019.

Founded on a vision to propel and advance real-time video image analytics to bring forth the next era of smart cameras to the consumer and enterprise markets, NICE Alliance aligns with leading manufacturers and suppliers including sensor makers, camera modules and cloud system solutions to drive adoption across the industry.

Currently, the management of Artificial intelligence (AI) processing has been limited within cloud-based data centers, which require a heavy computing capacity and intensive training of deep learning models. Providing a solution to the issues surrounding security, data privacy, bandwidth, latency requirements and cost constraints, NICE has identified the need to develop decentralized architectures, enabling AI processing to be performed on such edge devices including cameras and on advanced image sensors. This new process ultimately creates a distribution of AI capabilities for efficient and formal sharing on the cloud, the camera or IoT devices and image sensors.

With the massive increase of high-resolution camera products in the market, the amount of generated raw video data has become too large for practical streaming. With the difficulty to predict the nature of video images and manage the huge volumes of video data (which only carry a small amount of relevant video information), existing standard compression technology has yet to address this problem. NICE’s edge AI capabilities provides a tangible solution and increases efficiency by sorting images on the edge, ensuring that only relevant video information is sent to the cloud.

While the need for balancing between the edge and the cloud is clear, building this needed distributed AI network requires the industry to address the challenge of sharing AI tasks between the edge and the cloud. One of the main reasons for the NICE Alliance formation is to create a standard defining a pipeline and data architecture that provides an ideal solution for efficient decentralization of AI computing.

Designed to drive adoption of its ecosystem, NICE Alliance is publishing a specification that can capture scene-based images or video streams containing an abundance of specific information, such as image frames, audio, and metadata, in cameras. The NICE Specification defines a new standard way for camera devices, cloud services and apps to communicate with each other and establish an effective solution, enabling a new class of utility services for consumers and creating new opportunities and business models for emerging applications.

Key features of NICE include:

  • Secured Camera and Application Management – NICE Cameras connect directly to the cloud server for secure automatic configuration. A simple app enables users to link the camera to their accounts using centralized security server that manages encryption keys and password credentials on behalf of the user.
  • Scene-based Application Interface – Application developers can easily determine the capabilities of cameras including their analytical capabilities for vision processing. Scene-base image capture means that an app developer can set a SceneMode to configure a data stream describing events that occur in the camera’s field of view, including relevant video clips, metadata generated locally by processed analytics and auxiliary data such as audio and other environmental senses. Multicamera curation further sorts the data from multiple cameras. This removes the need for applications to handle raw video directly and reduces the cost of processing and storing multiple video streams.
  • Layered Camera Interface – NICE enables to reduce the complexity of integration for camera makers. The layered interface enables the camera to expose advanced image capture and image processing capabilities to applications. Video analytic algorithms can be performed at different layers enabling optimized image capture using sensor’s or camera’s capabilities. This results in image capture and locally processed video stream data that is optimized for the cloud-based video analytics AI algorithms to work much more efficiently.
  • Distributed AI Management – NICE allows applications to distribute Artificial Intelligence algorithms to where they can perform best for real-time analytics. Analytical algorithms can be executed in sensors or camera or in the cloud to enable managing multiple streams of video images for a fast and accurate analysis. This resembles the human vision system where simple reflex actions are processed in the spinal cord for fast response, while the brain handles complex processing.

Seamlessly integrating the standardization of advanced IP cameras in surveillance and IoT markets with cloud-based machine-learning and AI applications require participation from broad ecosystem players including sensor makers to big data AI solution providers. “NICE will incorporate challenging concepts of distributed computing and layered virtualization into streaming video data pipeline to meet broad acceptance by end-users in multiple industries”, said David Lee CEO of Scenera. “NICE promoters are focused on importing powerful concepts used in other computing devices, such as smartphones, into imaging devices, with its unique data processing and advanced end-user demand for emerging and future products. NICE will redefine how imaging devices can enrich end-user experience, while creating new business opportunities for all ecosystem players from sensor makers to cloud solution providers.”

NICE manufacturing adopters expect availability and longevity of third-party applications and services for different classes of cameras, focusing on innovating camera features and improving performance. “We look forward to the final release of the NICE specification. We are excited for NICE’s innovative capabilities to bring a new trend to the intelligent data-rich camera industry and extend the business scope to highly in demand cloud applications,” said Shengwei Yang, Vice President of Production and Solution at Dahua, a leading global smart camera maker.

NICE manufacturing adopters expect interoperability of NICE compliant products, offering an authorized test center (ATC), crucial for ease of use for consumers, third-party applications and service developers. “We are excited for NICE’s innovative capabilities to bring a new trend to the intelligent data-rich camera industry and extend the business scope to highly in-demand cloud applications,” said Mr. Nakayama, President of Allion Japan, a leading testing and consulting service company, whole AIoT ecosystem provider and one of NICE Alliance’s key contributors. “We look forward to the final release of the NICE specification and providing HW/SW and Interoperability testing for manufacturing adopters and application developers.”

AI-based video analytics is rapidly advancing and improving in the cloud. Many industry experts agree that one of the major features of the NICE specs, not covered in any other industry standardization efforts, is the ability to distribute AI computing across sensors, cameras and in the cloud by defining a new layered control, ultimately utilizing virtualization between layers. This key attribute allows cloud apps and services to more effectively capture appropriate images from sensors and further analyze data in the camera at a very low latency, satisfying end-user demands cost effectively.

NICE Alliance continues to develop its infrastructure and establish guidelines for the ecosystem, which will be open for all companies and interest groups who would like to participate in contributing and adopting the specifications. NICE’s current V0.9 specification can be found here: www.nicealliance.org/specs, and V1.0 specification is expected to be released in mid Q2-2019.

 

ABOUT SCENERA

Scenera is forging a new standard for the surveillance and IP camera market with imaging solution providers. The visionary founders see the paradigm shift from color-rich images to rich scene information that enables new and powerful capabilities. Standard compliant smart cameras generate abundant image information for surveillance applications such as object recognition and detection, location tracking, etc. Scenera’s goal is to align key industry players with the same vision to create an interoperable ecosystem that will bring a new generation of the smart camera. Scenera is a licensed and administrative agent of the NICE alliance.

For more information, please visit www.scenera.net.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

US:

Lydia You | Scenera, Inc.

lydia@scenera.net

 

Japan:

Kiyohisa Ota (太田清久) | Scenera, Inc.

kiyohisa_ota@scenera.net