Local industry experts from i-PRO expand on questions around the market, particularly focusing on why open platforms are important.
Why are open platforms becoming a preferred choice for businesses and organisations?
We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications. However, it doesn’t mean the hardware is not important anymore – actually, it’s more important than ever. Working with poor picture quality or if the hardware is not reliable, and works 24/7, software cannot run or deliver the outcome it has been designed for. As hardware specialists i-PRO is focusing on what they do best – building long-lasting, open network cameras, which are capable of capturing the highest quality images that are required for the latest AI applications, while software developers can concentrate on bringing specialist applications to the market. Same as for smartphones, AI applications will proliferate based on market demand and succeed or fail, based on the value that they deliver.
The development of AI-driven cameras will continue to open opportunities in both traditional security and new areas of business. The combination of good quality images and the ability to analyse data at the edge of the network using Deep Learning capabilities allows the cameras to be used in many new areas, from the automation of processes in industry to keeping shelves stocked in supermarkets and even monitoring the health and safety of shoppers in stores during these pandemic times.
A critical factor for businesses to succeed with this open approach will be to attract the best software developers to work together with in order to build specialist applications for the AI cameras, and get the best value out of them. We have the open hardware platform with the most sophisticated AI-driven cameras. We must now continue to attract software developer partners that want to create applications for the equivalent of our app store – if we extend the iPhone example.
Businesses and organisations are in need for systems that are personalized to their specific need but most importantly they need systems that can adapt to our ever changing world. Open platforms, like the i-PRO open platform, are built with an open and documented API and SDK tools that allow you to personalize the system.
What are the main advantages of taking an open platform approach?
These types of intelligent camera applications are also the basis for automation and introduction of Industry 4.0, in which processes are automated, monitored and controlled by AI-driven systems.
They can be used as intelligent sensors to replicate often repetitive and boring tasks – reducing costs and freeing up the time of the workforce for more rewarding activities. One example of this can be applications like remote monitoring, where the camera acts as a visual verification of the alarm sent, or component application where the camera acts as a sensor inside of a whole machinery delivering the edge analytics.
i-PRO is in a great position because our AI offering is the strongest in the market. Industry specialists tell us that our AI capabilities are ahead of our competitors. In addition, we have built an open AI hardware platform. This means that we focus on where we are strong – on the development of high quality and reliable AI-driven cameras – allowing software developers to bring their own ideas and easily develop their own specific applications to run on our cameras.
And lastly, we are building these capabilities into our cameras at no extra cost to the customer. By the end of 2022, we will have over 100 different AI camera models in the mid-market range and above, without raising prices. We understand that some businesses may not yet be ready to implement AI but they can invest in i-PRO cameras today that are AI-capable and future-proofed – at no extra cost. At i-PRO, we plan to hold our competitive pricing while continuing to add value to our line-up.
In this rapidly evolving security world it’s better to take an open platform approach. Multiple applications can live on one platform, you can also optimize one database and share platform services. It’s impossible for a developer to create an application that can do everything for all end users and industry needs. That means organizations must empower themselves with the ability to add the essential tools that will allow them to continuously improve their security systems.
How important is it to be able to integrate video surveillance with other technology platforms?
I believe we are so much stronger, if we collaborate together with partners – it’s somehow the same as a relationship, but on business level. Again, you can refer to the iPhone and the success their had with their business model.
Our aim at i-PRO is very easy: to make our partners life easier. And that works with thinking on their behalf, making it easy for them to use our hardware and easily add it into their already existing systems.
So far, we’ve already finished integration with the market-leading VMS providers Milestone and Genetec into our AI plug-in called i-PRO Active Guard, a software enabling cost efficient integration of AI into existing CCTV infrastructure for simplified intuitive management based on edge analytics. The AI-based plug-in can turn video management systems (VMS) into powerful search engines capable of real-time searches or deep forensic analysis. This gives the biggest share of the surveillance market access to intuitive and easy end-to-end management of their AI-based meta data, and seamless integration into their existing CCTV infrastructure saving valuable money.
Furthermore, we are already fully integrated with different third-party technology partners giving the market easy access to various applications tailored specifically to their needs. A.I.Tech is one example, with various apps for different verticals, but also Vaxtor, a well-known leading provider in automated license plate recognition software. At i-PRO being able to integrate to other platform or systems completely unlock the development possibilities, there is no more obstacle to the creation of new features for us and for our partners.
It’s i-PRO’s mission to collaborate with the strongest third-party software developers, using our open hardware camera system, to deliver the most powerful AI applications across every industry sector putting our customer-focused business model in action.