Smart camera alliance from Sony and Nikon could lead to better security for all

When you think of security cameras, you’ll probably think about keeping people out rather than letting them in, but that's not the case with NICE (the Network of Intelligent Camera Ecosystem Alliance).

Formed by Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation, camera manufacturer Nikon, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, communication technology provider Wistron, and intelligent image solution provider Scenera, NICE wants to create a unified ecosystem for security cameras.

This alliance aims to bring together what is currently a disparate industry, allowing individual businesses to benefit from advancements by all members of the alliance.

All in this together

What this would ultimately boil down to is a better security camera for the end user, through sharing of developments in cloud storage, artificial intelligence, software updates, and the introduction of greater compatibility between different systems. 

So you could have a Nest Cam IQ in one room, a Hive View in another, and both would be able to upload their content onto the same cloud network, allowing you to view them in the same place. 

Speaking to Digital Trends, David Lee – CEO of Scenera – who is spearheading this campaign, said that he wants security cameras to have a base platform like Android for smartphones:

“If you look at the camera today, all the software is custom-made by the company — it’s really difficult to mix cameras together,” Lee said. “Having a common ground, just like Android for Google, that’s the kind of ecosystem we want to build.”

The industry-leading Nest Cam IQ

The industry-leading Nest Cam IQ

It’s interesting that Lee mentions Google as it does seem like the project will succeed or fail based on the uptake by the current leaders in the smart security camera market, and Google is definitely one of those with its Nest camera range. 

Given that the Nest Cam IQ’s main selling point is its advanced smarts, it’s difficult to imagine Google happily handing over its advances to join the alliance. Add to that the fact that many security camera companies benefit from hefty subscription charges that they'd lose if the cloud service was unified, and the proposition looks unlikely.

The alliance is still very much in the early stages, but plans to have specification standards finished by the end of 2018, so we could see NICE products by 2019.

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.