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Security & Safety Things: An ecosystem for security cameras supported by open source

How Security & Safety Things uses open-source software to bring a fragmented security camera market closer together.

Problem

The market for security cameras is a puzzle with many pieces. With a host of brands offering so many and such diverse cameras, application developers struggle with this fragmentation. They have to invest significant time and effort to get their applications running across a variety of different products.

Solution

Security & Safety Things aims to bring camera manufacturers, application developers, systems integrators and end-users together on a single open IoT platform. The company draws on open-source software for its Device Management Portal. It features two-open source frameworks called Eclipse Ditto and Eclipse Hono, the former for digital twins and the latter for device connectivity. The platform thus enables integrators to configure camera apps and access information about the camera connection status and the like.

Benefit

Having opted for open-source software, Security & Safety Things is not locked in to a particular cloud provider. Instead, the company can tap the knowledge and resources of a global community of professionals to develop the platform, while ensuring its security, quality, and the long-term availability of its functionality.

"We are aiming to be a vendor-agnostic platform so going open source was only natural to us – it ensures transparency and trust."
Tetyana Dzyuba VP Product & Engineering Cloud at Security & Safety Things

A shared ecosystem for security cameras

In a very fragmented market for security cameras, Security & Safety Things aims to bring camera manufacturers, application developers, system integrators and end-users together on one central and open IoT platform. To create a level playing field across various camera brands and form factors, Security & Safety Things offers a free and open Camera OS, a development environment for app developers, a device management portal, and an application store for integrators and end users.

“Application developers normally have to invest significant time and effort to make their applications run across various cameras from different brands. This puts the breaks on innovation and limits the choices available for end-customers considerably”, explains Tetyana Dzyuba, VP of Product & Engineering Cloud at Security & Safety Things. “With our platform, we want to accelerate the speed of innovation in the field of security cameras and respective applications.”

A digital twin solution based on open source

System integrators are an important part of this ecosystem. The Security & Safety Things Device Management Portal provides all the tools they need to remotely manage security cameras that run the provided Camera OS, for instance, to monitor the cameras’ health stats or install and update apps.

“For the Device Management Portal, we were looking for a cloud-based digital twin solution to securely and quickly transfer information to the cloud,” says Dzyuba. “The solution had to be easily integrated into our codebase and infrastructure.” Openness was a key consideration: “We did not want to be locked in to one specific cloud provider. Therefore, we were drawn towards an open source solution.”

The company went with Eclipse Ditto, an open-source project developed as part of the Eclipse IoT Working Group. “With this digital twin solution, integrators are able to configure the state of the cameras. They can install and uninstall camera applications or gain information on the camera connection status,” Dzyuba explains.

With the benefit of an open-source solution, Security & Safety Things can tap the knowledge and resources of a global community of professionals, while also ensuring the security and quality of the portal. “Going with an open source solution guarantees long-term availability of the provided functionality, as any interested party can compile and host the solution by itself,” says Dzyuba. “We are aiming to be a vendor-agnostic platform, so going open source was only natural to us – it ensures transparency and trust.”

The Bosch IoT Suite is based on open source

The Bosch IoT Suite – the Bosch Group’s core software platform for IoT solutions – draws on open-source projects as the basis for many of its cloud services. Eclipse Ditto, for example, powers Bosch IoT Things, the digital twin service of the Bosch IoT Suite. Bosch IoT Hub provides flexible and secure device connectivity based on Eclipse Hono.

Our open source approach 

A growing platform

Security & Safety Things launched its platform in March 2020. Various camera manufacturers have since launched or announced supported devices. The Application Store features more than 60 applications from over 30 video analytics development companies, with many more to come.

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