Exclusive: Data-driven resolutions for industry evolution


Share this content


The security and safety industry has been fragmented for far too long. To better collaborate, we need to remove certain barriers and close the gaps in our value chains. To do so, we need to be operating in an open ecosystem. Yes, opening up can be tough. Pulling up deep roots in proprietary work is difficult. However, looking out at other data-driven industries already under transformation, it’s clear that next-level success in IoT solutions hinges on a common and collaborative approach for our market.

Through the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), device manufacturers, software developers, system-on-a-chip (SOC) companies, system integrators and app developers have been steadily working alongside one another to lay the groundwork for this open, data-driven ecosystem. We all agree – the next couple of years will be crucial for our transformation. Data-driven technologies are ready and out there. We need to find a collaborative way to disseminate it into viable, innovative business opportunities.

The road is paved

Heavy lifting has been done by dedicated members within the Alliance since the organisation formed in 2018. What’s already developed and released to the market is a Technology Stack and a corresponding, hardware-agnostic operating system (OS) for video sensing devices, accompanied by the first three OSSA technology Specifications (see here).

This unique combination allows for third-party analytics applications to run on different brands of video-sensing devices, such as cameras, following the common OSSA Technology Stack.

In addition, OSSA member company Azena created the industry’s biggest online App Store where these third-party analytics applications can be purchased and downloaded. Analogous to the smart phone industry, users can now pick and choose from 100+ apps – which often involve sophisticated AI algorithms – to download to their devices depending on project-specific analytics requirements. Use cases range from object and license plate recognition to active shooter and intrusion detection with new options being added by the industry regularly.

The devices that are designed to run these apps are known as “Driven by OSSA” as they are based on specifications that were developed within OSSA for this type of product to become technically viable. To date, there are more than 15 video-sensing devices that carry the “Driven by OSSA” seal.

New ideas take flight – 2022 resolutions

Looking out into 2022, OSSA members are focused on achieving several resolutions to further evolve our security and safety landscape, most of which are tied to further facilitating the arising data flows from devices and applications. First, we’re working on a model that allows for next-level dissemination of technology – where systems don’t just communicate about ‘things’ but evolve to also describe relationships between those ‘things.’ For example, analytics provide the ability to detect a gun. But now we’re working with leaders and innovators across the industry value chain to draw connections between what’s seen and what’s sensed (i.e., person with a gun, is weapon in or out of holster, is situation alarming or low risk/unharmful). This type of Knowledge Integration Interface (or Data API) allows for uniform consumption and the production of tremendously useful data across video-sensing devices and the broader IoT.

Alliance work groups are also focused this year on creating a test-methodology based on conformance specification that serves as input for a future hardware certification model. This certification and testing effort will guide compatibility of the OSSA standards to ensure basic hardware uniformity and quality across Alliance work.

And, our experts are looking beyond security to a horizon where much more is possible. OSSA members plan to extend our open approach to adjacent areas of interest across security, safety and the broader IoT universe – involving and tapping into other domains so that next-level solutions such as Digital Twins (i.e., the real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process) can be facilitated in the future.

Join the journey

The road ahead is full of possibilities and now is the time to get involved and build the connections that will steer you and your business in new directions. Simply participate in an OSSA work group or committee and shift gears to get more involved if/when you choose. We encourage anyone interested in helping shape the security and safety space to join us now – in early 2022 – to continue mapping out our future together. Meet us at ISC West 2022 or IFSEC 2022.

By Johan Jubbega, President of the Open Security & Safety Alliance and Troels Munck, Data API Work Group Chair at the Open Security & Safety Alliance.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox