The Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem (NICE) Alliance was established to launch a new ecosystem of next generation smart cameras. NICE features an easy-to-use model for smart cameras. With the advancement of technology in today’s life, NICE brings consumers a positive and easier user experience for smart cameras. The founding members consist of Foxconn, Nikon, Scenera, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Wistron.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is NICE Alliance?
NICE creates a positive and easy user experience firstly focused on security and IP cameras. It is very important for NICE to pursue the best usability. NICE’s “user-focus and simple” solution allows for mass adoption of security cameras in today’s consumer market. NICE’s founding members are developing a technology to sort and classify video obtained from multiple cameras, thus organizing clips via subject matter as opposed to time stamps or often faulty object detections. It also has the capability to divide video files into easy-to-manage clips, with multiple notifications for similar events (i.e. a person walking into different rooms of the house) are aggregated and delivered as one notification. NICE founding members also understand that the solution can’t come from just one company. NICE is an open platform that allows developers to create apps and services to enhance the features of NICE. With a growing number of compatible devices to services and third-party app, NICE aims to revitalize the market of the security camera by lowering the entry barriers for camera manufacturers as well as service and third-party app developers.
As many security cameras are designed to be placed in the home where privacy is key, NICE was designed with a “security first” architecture.
What are the key features of NICE?
- Ability to present filtered key summary of captured videos(SceneMarks) instead of a continuous stream of video
- Simple mobile phone interface that anyone can adopt and use
- Advanced security measures to access cameras and encrypt captured images and data from the source
- NICE cloud-based APIs and middleware enables collaboration with 3rd party apps and services
- NICE optimizes the capturing and processing of images and video information based on the applications used
How are NICE cameras different from conventional cameras?
NICE-compatible cameras can capture scene-based images or video streams containing an abundance of specific information that conventional cameras can’t. Such information includes RGB and IR image frames, audio, and metadata. This information can be used for directional motion, face and object detection, and other AI-based analytics application. NICE also enables capturing of image data contextual to the application for optimized processing.
What are NICE’s target applications?
The initial target applications for NICE compatible cameras are:
- Surveillance, security,and IP cameras
- Cameras in IoT devices
What are the benefits of the NICE ecosystem?
- Simple focused architecture for ease of use
- Security at the source device
- Advanced security, data privacy and cloud-ready AI analytics
- Extends market opportunities with scene-based cameras and cloud-based solutions
- Time-to-market advantage with the NICE feature set
- Increased addressable market and reduced complexity through standardized networks of surveillance cameras, cloud interface and data format
- Recurring revenue opportunities for all ecosystem members
Who can join NICE?
Membership is open to all companies and interest groups in the ecosystem who would like to participate in contributing and adopting the NICE Specification.
What key differentiators does theNICE specification provide to revolutionize conventional security and IP cameras?
Consumers desire easy-to-use security cameras. In today’s market of diverse products, consumers are given an overload of information and instructions that people often don’t have the time to learn, resulting in incorrect usage of products and/or the inability to take advantage of all the capabilities. Imagine activating your motion detecting IP camera with a single on-switch, then receiving real-time notifications on your phone for every movement detection. NICE applies machine learning and AI and object/event detection to effectively utilize the data received on such IP cameras without unnecessary and meaningless notifications.
Why were these specific five companies chosen to form the NICE Alliance?
NICE aims to define and create a multi-disciplinary ecosystem for cameras, spanning a multitude of capabilities from sensor module control to data generation, which can be accessed by cloud apps and services. The five companies that have formed the NICE alliance each contribute unique and diversified technical aspects for a successful ecosystem standard, and with their respective distinguished industry expertise and market leadership, a new standard specification can be established for emerging smart camera products and applications.
What is the future roadmap for NICE?
The founding members of the NICE alliance foresee the first step of the NICE specification being the enhancement of security and IP cameras to be better utilized with evolving AI-based analytics in the cloud. Successfully reaching this milestone will enable 3rd party applications and services for smart camera markets. The NICE alliance will then further develop and implement advanced features learned from interaction among users, sensor/camera makers, and apps and service developers. Building a constructive supply chain around the NICE alliance will help define future NICE specifications for diversified imaging solutions markets.
When was the alliance contract concluded?
Dec 27th, 2017
Are there plans for members to increase beyond the five companies?
The current situation is not yet determined; however, we are open to respond to companies that wish to participate.
When was the consideration of the alliance started?
Approximately at the end of 2016.
What is Zero Image Video Surveillance?
The greatest limitation on the deployment of video cameras is not going to be technology but concerns about privacy. 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. Now we can create 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. Camera sensors have the power to do this, but until now there was no way to effectively tell them what to do and how.
For example, in a home you could upload the faces of family members and frequent guests and then ignore all images where those faces were present. 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. The key is building a system based on vision which does not transmit images beyond its eyes, unless specifically instructed to do so. Today’s home cameras from Google, Amazon and others transmit all their images to their supplier under control of their respective privacy policies. We think consumers will opt to change when given the choice.
NICE creates the framework for device and software certification, and the layered architecture enables even more privacy firewalls. We look forward to the ecosystem building on this to simultaneous give us more and more valuable services while increasing privacy.