Scenera sets the new standard for distributed AI over 5G powered by Microsoft Azure

This article was published on Microsoft Customer Stories on May 27th 2022

Early on, Scenera recognized that the greatest limitation on the deployment of video cameras is rooted not in technology issues, but privacy concerns. In the same way, the majority of perspectives on IoT have been focused on devices and the related technology, but not necessarily the supporting ecosystem that makes a system truly viable in the long-term.

Scenera is a co-founder of the Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem (NICE) Alliance. The NICE Alliance is committed to establishing global protocols for manufacturers worldwide to align their service and enhance product development.

Founding members of the alliance include industry leading electronics manufacturers and brands such as Nikon and Sony Semiconductor Solutions in Japan, along with Wistron and Foxconn in Taiwan. Image solution providers like these can utilize the evolving protocols ready for the evolution from color-rich images to rich scene information that enables new and powerful capabilities. 

At the intersection of AI, IoT, 5G and cloud, Scenera provides end-to-end orchestration from cloud to edge, enabling maximum possible use for edge processing for cost, efficiency and privacy.

Microsoft Azure Cloud was selected in 2020 to ensure that the IoT data for all partner companies is manageable, searchable, secure, and private within the scalable platform provided by Scenera.

Scenera Microsoft Azure

New classes of applications and innovative standards for smart camera markets

Scenera aims to overcome the difficulties in achieving a system where no personal data is exposed, otherwise known as Zero Image Video Surveillance. To realize those goals, other necessary features include curation of Scene-based Event Capture, analysis of Structured & Organized Data, and processing with Distributed AI. 

Dr. William J. Raduchel, Scenera Strategic Advisor says, “Our goal is to achieve Zero Image Video Surveillance, recognizing that the creation of these systems fully exploits the power of vision while protecting privacy by keeping the images within the camera and controlling which events are signaled by the sensor. NICE makes that possible by enabling camera sensors to effectively tell them what to do and how. People have legitimate privacy concerns when they see cameras, and we already have many laws mandating disclosure and forbidding use in some circumstances. NICE changes the game.”

NICE simplifies the process for partner companies and enables them to focus on differentiation and development of their own suites of applications for intelligent cameras and intelligent cloud services. The collaboration with Microsoft as a development partner for NICE Cloud Services incorporates Azure Media Services, Azure Storage, Azure KeyVault, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure IoT Edge, along with many other Azure services.

In recalling the considerations for pursuing development, David Lee, Scenera CEO & Co-Founder says, “The reason we started to solve this five years ago is because there was so much focus on the IoT device itself, which nowadays, is highly powered and highly capable. However, we did not really think that building directly into the hardware was the most optimal decision.”

Scenera CEO

At the same time, Microsoft and other similar platforms were all creating powerful cloud technology. However, some companies only operate in closed systems, which locks in consumers. One of the key points is that consumers locked into the end-user license agreements don’t necessarily have access to whatever information is collected, whether listened to or viewed. 

Therefore, the ideal scenario is for consumers to be able to protect their data while also maximizing their choice of their devices and analytics.”

Since the start of its initiative, Scenera has been working with several Japanese companies, including Nikon and Sony Semiconductor Solutions, as a part of the NICE Alliance. In 2019, the need for a cloud service partnership became more apparent. Through a fortuitous introduction, directors from Scenera, Sony and Nikon visited and discussed development with executives at the headquarters of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. A key individual in those discussions was involved with agile marketing as a corporate VP. He liked the story behind Scenera’s vision and that was a large part of securing a collaboration agreement with Microsoft in 2020.

Realizing edge processing with minimized costs and maximized efficiency and privacy

The end goal of the NICE Alliance is to allow participating member corporations to access cloud-to-edge operation, enabling the maximum possible leverage with edge processing and minimized costs while optimizing efficiency and privacy. Scenera provides the core solution for that intersection of AI, IoT and Cloud, with the infrastructure provided on a global scale by Microsoft Azure.

As a real-world case, faces of staff and frequent guests in an office can be uploaded while all other images are simultaneously ignored when those particular facial images are present. In terms of practical application, David says, “You could then use video surveillance to look for all anomalies without having to worry about any loss of privacy. Public cameras could look for specific faces under court order, but ignore everyone else. The opportunities are endless.”

Partners adopting the standards provided by the alliance can build their own software and devices around solid protocols, and ensure their solutions are connected to the cloud. 

A robust cloud infrastructure such as Azure Cloud Services was therefore essential. As explained by David, “Hosting the necessary resources on the cloud is so much better. As we couldn’t find any other resources available, we decided to solve this problem ourselves and our search led to the partnership with Microsoft.”

One of the first client partners Scenera engaged with was S&I Corp., the company that services building and facility management for LG Electronics Group in Korea. Scenera partnered with S&I to implement its AI-based surveillance system as a smart solution for over 150 buildings including factories, retail stories and other facilities. 

Microsoft and the lead team at Scenera worked together on this project extensively during the first half of 2020. The initial launch was introduced at one of the LGE facilities by the second half of 2020, and the progress in that development allowed its commercial launch in May 2021 at several additional buildings owned by LGE. Given their satisfaction with the roll-out, LGE now plans for further incorporation of the platform for their affiliated facilities throughout inside the group.

Hyungjun Son, Team Leader / INFRA Development team, S&I Corp. says, “Implementing and managing a cloud-based Al surveillance service can be very costly and time consuming. With Scenera’s Platform as a Service technology, we were able to customize our edge-to-cloud Al analytic workflow, employing various 3rd party Al models. This service enabled us to recognize the events of our interests and monitor analytic performance to improve and add new Al models. Supported by Microsoft Azure infrastructure and managed by Scenera and TnM, this system helps manage our business more cost efficiently.”

Creating a solid footprint to establish NICE Alliance’s presence among adopters and consumers, both Scenera and Microsoft are planning for additional projects including a proof-of-concept system for customer sites in Los Angeles.

One of the benefits of the Scenera solution is to enable the customer to customize the analytics for each camera and to reuse the camera for multiple different types of analytics.

Secure cloud-based service platform with global-standard key vault and encryption keys

While there were other platforms connecting cameras to the cloud, all were closed ecosystems. This meant that Scenera’s partner companies were left without any practical solutions for their own cloud solutions.

Another significant issue for partner companies was the issue of trust, whether dealing with other businesses and enterprises, or with consumers as end-users. In simple terms, there are several elements where trust – privacy and security – must be ensured as data is transferred from point-to-point. This starts with the camera, or IoT device, that generates or sends the data, along with a user at some point that wants access to that information. Next is the cloud service providing storage and processing, including AI. Finally, there are the related applications needed to handle the final data according to specific user-defined requirements.

Andrew Wajs, Scenera CTO & Co-Founder says, “We came up with a scheme to bind all these related support elements together but needed a very secure cloud-based service with corresponding security features including a key vault and encryption keys. Microsoft’s Azure Key Vault was ideal as it is already trusted and recognized globally by many in the industry. Based on that service, we were able to combine all these elements together.”

The NICE Alliance provides the necessary protocol to separate device, data, and application securities, enabling each to be managed independently while also ensuring maximized security. It was on this basis that Scenera convinced their customer base to trust the platform with their data, device, user accounts, and cloud applications. The initial background discussions with partners in the alliance distilled some of these key challenges. 

“We were collaborating with companies like Nikon and Sony Semiconductor Solutions. These companies are building numerous interesting and innovative products, but their eye was on advanced sensors. In the case of Sony, they have AI sensors which are not only sensing images but running AI right on the sensor.

As part of the integration process, they tried to connect their devices to the cloud, to realize that it was not an easy or straightforward process to decide which right cloud resources to use. It’s just not that simple,” says David.

Scenera has been able to rely on the research teams at Microsoft while exploring numerous use cases with Azure Cloud. The offloading of processing between each transfer stage is something where significant customization is required to match the needs of both smaller and enterprise-scale partners in the alliance.

The Microsoft Azure Key Vault is complementary to NICE security, as it further enables secure cloud processing and management. In addition, the Azure Key Vault is fully certified in accordance with several international security standards. This elevates the NICE ecosystem to a truly global level, while maintaining security and adhering to established industry security practices.

David explained, “Although you have a standard system running, there are needs for new ways of implementing things. For example, take the recognition of an event at an on-premises location with so many subsequent events happening at the hardware level that the device cannot handle the processing. We enable “curation” from multiple cameras by configuring each data stream with custom AI models for every IOT’s unique role in gathering and detect the right events.

Scenera can efficiently move the processing workflow on-premises, essentially offloading processing to the larger capacity of a next-level server where additional computing can also be applied. 

We have found the Microsoft team highly engaged in figuring out if we can move an application, or certain types of analytic processing, from one location to the other without losing any integrity. We are now able to successfully demonstrate to members of the alliance and our client partners that we can fully adjust downstream and upstream processing at all levels.

Scenera PaaS

Leveraging benefits of edge computing for sustainability and public safety

Scenera is a smaller company but with the support of Microsoft in early 2022, they have joined another open-source project from Europe for CAMARA – The Telco Global API Alliance. The expectation is that this will lead to further opportunities for Scenera in a new market with an expanding range of international partners.

This style of expansion through alliance building is one that comes from previous experience with HDMI by Scenera’s leadership team. David says, “Our introduction and promotion of HDMI followed an untraditional path where we approached key content creators and Hollywood Studios that wanted to distribute digitally to provide the best entertainment experience. We embraced this direction instead of going a traditional path with TV manufacturers. Our next step was to approach large retailers and those respective distribution channels to discuss the potential for increased sales with the features from this new standard. This momentum is what encouraged hardware manufacturers to adopt the standards which we now see in so many devices including automobiles.”

Scenera has added an additional category to its objectives aligned with public safety, which is a concern for individuals, communities, and nations worldwide. One example is prevention or mitigation of natural disasters such as wildfires. 

David commented, “The system we envision to handle this will be driven by consumer and public demand, which will push adoption by municipalities. There are numerous difficulties to overcome including putting AI capabilities in reach at a reasonable price, with the right type of applications that can run on advanced networks like 5G.

Overcoming emerging obstacles like this is one of the real motivations for the NICE Alliance where our partner companies and development partners like Microsoft can create incredibly compelling technology that consumers and end-users really want to use. 

Azure IoT Edge by Microsoft is a toolkit that can enable the streamlined connections of such smart devices to the Microsoft Cloud. Thousands of devices are already registered for Azure IoT Edge that can also take advantage of our platform and standardized protocols.”

Another emerging category of potential client partners are energy utility companies. In numerous regions in the US, notably California, wildfires have become a significant issue with billions in damages over the years. This is a use case where cameras in public spaces such as mountains forests, ports, and power stations can be unified with an early-detection system to detect smoke or fires across a large area.

While these emerging opportunities align in many ways with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there are also accompanying privacy concerns that must be addressed. David summarized, “Scenera is very interested in contributing to better health, public safety, and the environment. We are aiming to continue in this area through our collaboration with Microsoft. At the same time, the 5G companies are also important as they will play a great role in fast-tracking event notifications and device communication.”

Scenera’s teams are located globally in India, Europe, Korea, Japan, and the US. With Azure Cloud, operations can be optimized to balance the local processing of small edge computing devices, which are on site connected to cameras and other inexpensive “always on” bridge devices, to seamlessly connect to the cloud with Azure Stack Edge.

Where the introduction of HDMI allowed consumers to enjoy a better experience through wired connections, Scenera and the NICE Alliance are aiming to realize a wireless future enabled through the air with the power of cloud computing and 5G.

Our goal is to achieve Zero Image Video Surveillance, which is realized by creation of systems that fully exploit the power of vision but protect privacy by keeping the images within the camera and controlling which events are signaled by the sensor. 

Dr. William J. Raduchel: Strategic Advisor
Scenera, Inc.

Hosting the necessary resources on the cloud is so much better. As we couldn’t find any other resources available, we decided to solve this problem by ourselves, and our search led to the partnership with Microsoft. 

David Lee: CEO & Co-Founder
Scenera, Inc.

We came up with a scheme to bind all these related support elements together but needed a very secure cloud-based service with corresponding security features including a key vault and encryption keys. Microsoft’s Azure Key Vault was ideal as it is already trusted and recognized globally by many in the industry. So based on that service, we were able to combine all these elements together. Our goal is to achieve Zero Image Video Surveillance, which is realized by creation of systems that fully exploit the power of vision but protect privacy by keeping the images within the camera and controlling which events are signaled by the sensor. 

Andrew Wajs: CTO & Co-Founder
Scenera, Inc.

Hosting the necessary resources on the cloud is so much better. As we couldn’t find any other resources available, we decided to solve this problem by ourselves, and our search led to the partnership with Microsoft. 

David Lee: CEO & Co-Founder
Scenera, Inc.

Implementing and managing a cloud-based Al surveillance service can be very costly and time consuming. With Scenera’s Platform as a Service technology, we were able to customize our edge-to-cloud Al analytic workflow, employing various 3rd party Al models. This service enabled us to recognize the events of our interests and monitor analytic performance to improve and add new Al models. Supported by Microsoft Azure infrastructure and managed by Scenera and TnM, this system helps manage our business more cost efficiently.We came up with a scheme to bind all these related support elements together but needed a very secure cloud-based service with corresponding security features including a key vault and encryption keys. Microsoft’s Azure Key Vault was ideal as it is already trusted and recognized globally by many in the industry. So based on that service, we were able to combine all these elements together. Our goal is to achieve Zero Image Video Surveillance, which is realized by creation of systems that fully exploit the power of vision but protect privacy by keeping the images within the camera and controlling which events are signaled by the sensor. 

Mr. Hyungjun Son: Team Leader / INFRA Development team
S&I Corp.

Linux Foundation Announces New Project “CAMARA – The Telco Global API Alliance” with Global Industry Ecosystem

Open source project to address industry API interoperability leveragingGSMA OPGrequirements and Linux Foundation’s Developer Ecosystem

SAN FRANCISCO and BARCELONA, Feb. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Mobile World Congress 2022 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and the GSMA, a global organization unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change, today announced a new, open source project: “CAMARA – The Telco Global API Alliance”. The global partnership will address challenges in porting and reproducing API services across heterogenous operator and cloud architectures.

CAMARA logo
CAMARA logo

CAMARA will help customer and developer ecosystems by developing an open, global, and accessible API solution with access to operator capabilities, in whatever networks customers are in, allowing applications to run consistently between telco networks and different countries. In addition, CAMARA offers new opportunities for collaboration between network and cloud companies (including telcos, ISVs, device manufacturers, etc.) to address challenges of porting and reproducing API services across heterogeneous operator architectures. This prevents fragmentation of telco and cloud developers and enables faster, more versatile advancement of global portability and broad industry adoption of new features and capabilities.  

A close collaboration has been set up between the CAMARA project and the GSMA’s Operator Platform initiative that is defining a federated platform solution for exposing operator network capabilities to external applications. This collaboration will ensure that developers relying on the CAMARA project’s API solution and abstraction will facilitate users across operator networks.

“We are thrilled to enter into this next chapter of collaboration with the GSMA,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “By harnessing existing open source communities within CNCF, LF Networking, LF Edge and aligning to GSMA’s OPG industry requirements, we are poised to address current challenges in API accessibility.”

“The Operator Platform initiative welcomes new members to join more than 40 leading operators, and 35 ecosystem partners, already working together on requirements and APIs. This type of collaboration with CAMARA is essential in accelerating scale to meet today’s integration demands,” said Henry Calvert, head of Networks, GSMA. “We are very pleased to be working with Linux Foundation, and our membership, on developing reliability and resilience in APIs, and simplifying challenges for our developer communities.”

Learn more about CAMARA during MWC Barcelona in keynote session of: https://www.mwcbarcelona.com/agenda/session/cloud-edge-a-new-approach-to-innovation

More details about “CAMARA – The Telco Global API Alliance”, are also available via GitHub: https://github.com/camaraproject.

CAMARA is supported by leading industry organizations, including: AT&T, Capgemini, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, GSMA, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Kandy, KDDI, Microsoft, MobiledgeX, Nokia, Orange, NGMN, Scenera, T-Mobile US, TIM, Telefonica, TELUS, the Linux Foundation and Vodafone.

More details about the GSMA’s Operator Platform initiative (and its closely related Telco Edge Cloud activity), are also at https://www.gsma.com/operatorplatform.

About GSMA 
The GSMA is a global organization unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change. Our vision is to unlock the full power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. Representing mobile operators and organizations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA delivers for its members across three broad pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services and Solutions, and Outreach. This activity includes advancing policy, tackling today’s biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that make mobile work, and providing the world’s largest platform to convene the mobile ecosystem at the MWC and M360 series of events. We invite you to find out more at gsma.com.

About the Linux Foundation 
Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 2,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit linuxfoundation.org

Media Contacts 
Jill Lovato 
The Linux Foundation
jlovato@linuxfoundation.org

Nick Miles 
GSMA 
nmiles@gsma.com

SOURCE The Linux Foundation

NICE Alliance Provides Total Solutions to Accelerate Expansion of Ecosystem With Launch of Platform as a Service (PaaS) Powered by Microsoft Azure

NICE Alliance provides the total solutions to bring advanced value to the Ecosystem. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The Industry Leading Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem (NICE) Alliance, formed by leading manufacturers and brands Foxconn, Nikon, Scenera, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Wistron, will begin providing a collection of total solutions offerings to bring advanced value to its NICE services in next-generation smart cameras and IoT devices through Video/IoT data and AI technology.

Overview of NICE Total Solutions:

NICE PaaS: Cloud Platform as a Service to identify and realize NICE functionalities
NICE Demo Kit: Reference camera which runs on NICE ecosystem
NICE SDK: Software Development Kit for NICE compliant devices and applications
NICE LA/AS: License Authority/Account Service system to manage security and privacy of IoT devices and related data
NICE ATC: Authorized Test Center

Simultaneously and in partnership with Microsoft, NICE will also release its V1.1 Specification (www.nicealliance.org/specs), enhancing total AI-based security and surveillance services.

“We are thrilled to announce new adopters with the release of NICE total solutions. We believe that the combination of Sony’s sensor technology and the NICE Ecosystem will allow those who join as NICE members to provide innovative services more easily and efficiently to the world.” said Eita Yanagisawa, Senior General Manager of Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation and Executive Officer of NICE Licensing LLC.

NICE PaaS adopters are increasing:

In August 2021, S&I Corp., a total building solution provider and space management expert for LG Group with unrivaled level of technology and business expertise, has released “atxpert (‘at’+’expert’) AI ViewerTM,” a new AI building security management system based on Microsoft Azure. TnM Tech provided NICE Compliant Ghost-I AI edge computing bridge managed by Scenera’s NICE PaaS.

TMF Earth Co. Ltd and Welsoc Inc. joined NICE Alliance as adopters.

“I believe Privacy and Data security capabilities in NICE PaaS is one of the best in the world. TMF Earth will expand our H.265 AI camera systems using NICE all over the world” said Hiroshi Saito, President of TMF Earth Co. Ltd.

“In 5 years, we are planning to install Wi-Fi networks & surveillance cameras in more than 300 cities and towns in Japan. NICE PaaS is the best solution for Base-stations management and Video-data Security.” said Hiroshi Numamoto, President of Welsoc. Inc.

“Scenera’s objective is to offer a managed PaaS for customers with IoT’s with streaming video data connected to the cloud via 5G network. Among many challenges in such system, Scenera focuses on orchestrating distributed AI between the edge and the cloud while maintaining customer’s data privacy. The key features of Scenera NICE PaaS use the tools and methodologies developed from the above-mentioned projects. Scenera’s managed PaaS relies on Azure infrastructure and help its customers to maximize the edge AI computing capabilities.” said David Lee, CEO of Scenera inc.

Acceleration of Time-to-Market and Quality Improvement:

Utilizing the solutions allows NICE members to expedite the time-to-market and improve the product quality.

“Privacy and security are our major concern, only NICE certified devices are granted the access to NICE LA/AS. A concept device (NICE POC, a NICE certified device) has been developed to demonstrate how the security is managed within NICE Ecosystem. A unique key is implanted to the device which allows it to connect to NICE LA/AS. Once the device is granted the access, the video and audio will transfer the data in the format specified by NICE Specification, SceneMark and SceneData. With this device, the users can fully explore NICE ecosystem.” said Vincent Chiang, VP of Foxconn which provides NICE Demo Kit.

“As a contributor and an Authorized Test Center of NICE, Allion Labs (Allion) will offer comprehensive smart camera testing and help build a stronger NICE ecosystem. In addition to NICE programs, Allion is also accredited to certify over 30 industry standard logos, including USB, HDMI, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, to satisfy diverse needs of manufacturers in the electronics industry. Allion believes that our extended test capabilities and debugging consulting service can become a solid support for the technical development of intelligent cameras.” said Hideaki Nakayama, President & Representative Director of Allion Japan Inc.

NICE Alliance continues to develop and enhance the ecosystem, which will be open for all companies and interest groups who would like to participate as NICE members.

About NICE Alliance

Industry leading electronics manufacturers and brands Foxconn, Nikon, Scenera, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Wistron formed the NICE Alliance, an innovative ecosystem standard for smart camera and AIoT 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/application.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACTS

NICE Contact Office
info@nicealliance.org

Regional Promoter Contact
USA: Lydia You lydia@scenera.net
Greater China: Willis P.H. Huang willis.ph.huang@polightech.com
Japan: Yayoi Hayakawa Yayoi.Hayakawa@sony.com

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