Industry tech giants Sony, Nikon, Foxconn, Scenera, and Wistron have entered into a partnership. Creating a new alliance that is now known as the Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem Alliance; otherwise known as the NICE alliance.
The alliance was formed, Evil Genius-esque nomenclature notwithstanding, with the goal of creating an ecosystem that could effectively give smart cameras Android-like compatibility through new standards and a shared cloud infrastructure.
“If you look at the camera today, all the software is custom-made by the company — it’s really difficult to mix cameras together,” David Lee, CEO of Scenera said about the alliance. “Having a common ground, just like Android for Google, that’s the kind of ecosystem we want to build.”
To summarise; the NICE alliance could serve to provide many big changes to the industry. The first is a shared AI infrastructure of all smart cameras on the cloud. This would enable smart cameras to access third-party apps that aren’t necessarily created or designed by the camera’s manufacturer.
The second point would be a greater inclusion of third-party developers who could potentially develop software that further enhances a smart camera’s functionality over time.
With both the first and second point in mind, this could also mean that users would also be able build security systems with a variety of different camera brands; allowing users to record, store, and access video that were made using the same app.
Thirdly, the formation of the alliance could also lead to a push for forward compatibility for smart cameras. This means that, like a smartphone, a smart camera’s usefulness can be extended through software updates.
The idea put forward by the alliance is sound, but what it doesn’t address is the cost-effectiveness of the idea, and the initial cost of the hardware itself, should and when this idea follow through. On that note, Lee said that he expects the first NICE alliance product to hit the market by the first half of 2019.