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Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter And Magnus Ekerot On Smart Technology, "AIot", And Plans For 2021
Q&A: Bosch Video Systems & Solutions' Michael Seiter And Magnus Ekerot On Smart Technology, "AIot", And Plans For 2021

Q: Mr. Seiter, Mr. Ekerot, you both joined Bosch Building Technologies’ business unit Video Systems & Solutions as Senior Vice Presidents in March 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic was just beginning. How did your business unit get through 2020? Magnus Ekerot: The crisis was also felt at Bosch. At the same time, demand has risen for solutions that keep businesses open and protect people's health. We offer corresponding video solutions that can make a significant contribution to containing the pandemic.  Michael Seiter: Overall, we managed the past year well despite the challenges and have been growing again since the third quarter compared to 2019. We see good opportunities for further growth in 2021. Q: Has the Corona crisis again accelerated the development of smart technologies in the security technology market, and does the security market in contrast to most industries benefit from the crisis more than it suffers? Michael Seiter: The Corona crisis has definitely demonstrated that the future lies in data-driven solutions. Thanks to our product development strategy already being based on this, we at Bosch were very quickly able to develop new products for the ‘New Normal’ and to expand existing products accordingly. To give one or two examples: in cooperation with Philips, we very quickly developed a people counting solution for retail operations – smart Philips displays in conjunction with smart cameras from Bosch that provide protection for staff and customers. The In-Store Analytics software solution was also implemented with additional features. Shop owners can now make decisions based on customer movement data such as “Where do we position products to avoid queues or crowds?” HTD involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature  The latest highlight is the Bosch Human Skin Temperature Detection solution, in short HTD. This involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature at control points in offices, factory floors, or airports. The benefits of previously existing solutions on the market are sometimes called into question. Competitors are often unable to deliver what they promise because, for example, the measured temperature of the skin does not correspond to the core temperature of the person, or fluctuates, due to environmental influences. Therefore, we developed a software-based solution that, in compliance with GDPR, first allows people with potentially elevated body temperatures to be filtered out, and in a second step, allows medical personnel to perform a more targeted fever measurement. Q: You see a lot of potential for the video security industry in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. What specific opportunities do you mean, and how are you leveraging these technologies at Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: Bosch has committed itself fully to an “AIoT” – AI meets IoT – strategy. The development of AI algorithms and software, in general, is at Bosch significantly driven in the security space.  By AIoT, we specifically mean the networking of physical products and the deployment of artificial intelligence. With AI we aim to enable clients to understand events at an ever-deeper level and predict them in the future – the keyword being predictive – so that they can act proactively. This is particularly important for health and safety. An example is the Intelligent Insights solution where the user can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area. Q: From your point of view do you have an advantage over other suppliers when it comes to AI-based products in the video arena? Michael Seiter: The analysis and utilization of video data have long been front and center with us. Since 2016 we’ve been following the strategy of offering AI applications in the form of integrated intelligent video analytics as a standard in our network cameras. Data such as color, object size, object speed, and direction are all measured. Simply put, you can say this is seeing and understanding – which is the principle behind smart security cameras. Today it’s much more a question of intelligent, data-based solutions than collecting high-quality pictures and storing them for the record. Bosch has been investing heavily in AI for years, from which we can benefit greatly in our area. In the first quarter, for example, we will launch a vehicle detector based on deep learning that is already running on our cameras. This will create significant added value for our customers in the area of intelligent traffic control. Q: Mr. Ekerot, what advantages do customers have in AI-based video security from Bosch? Magnus Ekerot: A key advantage is strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms A key advantage is our strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms. Take the example of Camera Trainer, a machine learning software that can be directly uploaded to Bosch network cameras. The camera is thus trained up on recognizing objects and situations – tailored to the specific needs of our customers. If the camera detects the defined scenario, it performs a predefined action in real-time – for example, a count or an alarm. The latest example is our new camera platform Inteox. As a completely open camera platform, Inteox combines Bosch's intelligent video analytics with an open operating system. This allows programmers to develop specific software applications - or apps - for various application purposes. These can then be loaded onto cameras – the same principle as an app store for smartphones. To sum up, Bosch AI applications support customer-specific needs related to data analysis while enabling totally new applications within and beyond the video security market. Q: Can you name a specific current project where Bosch has deployed an AI-based solution? Magnus Ekerot: A current ground-breaking project using our smart cameras is being implemented as a pilot in the USA. Smart Ohio enables users to configure more intelligent traffic flows and thus ensure mobility, safety, and the efficient use of roads today and tomorrow. The new vehicle detector mentioned by Mr. Seiter also plays a central role here. Our overall goal is to provide connected smart sensor solutions for public and private transportation agencies to enable them to operate their roads safely and efficiently. The Intelligent Insights can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area Q: Mr. Seiter, you have been involved with the topic of mobility for some time. What experience from your previous job in the automotive business of Bosch might help you when it comes to further develop the video portfolio of Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: There's a lot to tell. First of all, the development of core algorithms for video-based solutions, whether for autonomous driving, for vehicle interior monitoring, or for our Bosch Building Technologies video systems, all come together at Bosch's Hildesheim location. This gives us considerable synergies and allows us to bring R&D results to market faster and more flexibly. Essentially, assisted driving systems use AI algorithms that process ever-increasing volumes of video data. Attempts are being made to imitate the human being and enable the vehicle to understand better the surrounding environment with its ‘eyes’. This predictive capability is especially critical with autonomous driving. For example, key questions include: “How should the car respond and what could potentially happen next?” “What kind of environment does it find itself in?” etc. There are many activities in this area at Bosch that in my new role in security we can also strongly benefit from. I am now bringing a lot of this experience and existing R&D achievements to Bosch Video Systems & Solutions, which also results in further synergies with our mobility division: At Stuttgart Airport, autonomous driving is already being implemented together with Mercedes-Benz and the parking garage operator Apcoa as part of the "Automated Valet Parking" project, or AVP for short, in which intelligent video systems from Bosch Building Technologies are making a significant contribution. Mr. Ekerot, you have a lot of experience in the video security area. Where do you position Bosch Building Technologies now in this market and what specific goals are you pursuing? Magnus Ekerot: Our clients are looking for reliable partners and products. We are a strong brand; you can rely on Bosch products. Bosch is a thought leader in video and a pioneer in AI applications in this field since 2016. Data security is everything to us: Our products conform to the EU’s GDPR regulations. Beyond that, we have an extensive camera portfolio that complies with the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for video security devices. This enables our portfolio to be deployed for example within US government buildings. We are planning to conclude more software maintenance agreements with our clients in 2021. These deliver investment and future security for our customers and include for example a ‘patch guarantee’ along with regular updates with new functionalities. This is the first step in a comprehensive plan to access new revenue channels for us and our partners delivering the best technology and excellent service to the end-user! Overall, many new products will be launched this year and this trend will intensify. Our goal is to establish new product families that follow a simple principle: “The development and delivery of disruptive, predictive video solutions that every user can trust because of the underlying sustainable forward-thinking mindset.” It’s been much discussed of late that Bosch is one of the very first companies globally that operates on a CO2-neutral basis. How does sustainability impact your business? Magnus Ekerot: IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection Our IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection. For example, our cameras are sustainable in that they remain up-to-date through software updates and needn’t be constantly exchanged for new ones. Our systems demonstrate sustainability also operationally as they can be managed remotely. System integrators don’t need to be physically present, thus avoiding unnecessary travel with its accompanying emissions. All in all, Bosch Building Technologies develops ways to accompany and support our clients in reaching their climate goals via new technologies. This can be done, for example, through improved energy efficiency, the total cost of ownership models, organizing and simplifying the supply chain, and helping our customers meet their social responsibilities. The Power of Bosch helps us here to leverage company-wide research to be two steps ahead, a shade faster, when it comes to new technologies and initiatives that our and future generations will benefit from. I should also say that I am personally very proud to work for a company that set an ambitious climate goal for itself and achieved it! Can you already share a preview of your technology innovations in 2021? Michael Seiter: We see great market potential for our cameras that use artificial intelligence and can be updated flexibly throughout their lifecycles. I have already mentioned the deep learning-based vehicle detector in our cameras. More such solutions – also for other applications where object and person recognition are important – will follow in the course of the year. And the best part is: with AI, the more data we collect and the more intelligently we use it, the better the solutions become and the more added value they bring to the customer. This will revolutionize our industry! Another example is our cloud-based solutions, for example for alarm monitoring. Here, we can now also integrate third-party cameras and, building on this, offer and jointly develop our intelligent software-based solutions. This gives our customers more opportunities to take advantage of the opportunities created by AI. The trend towards integration of the various security technologies seems to be driven mostly by the rapid progress in software development. Does this affect full-range suppliers such as Bosch and what specific plans for fully integrated security solutions do you have for the future? Michael Seiter: Naturally, this suits us as a full-scope supplier. Bosch solutions are deployed in many cross-domain client projects. We have experts for the different domains under one roof and a strong brand with the same quality promise for all areas. Nevertheless, it is always also about specific domain excellence. Only when you master all different areas and have profound and proven expertise in each of them you can succeed in integrated cross-domain projects. The respective business units craft their future strategies and innovation roadmaps with this in mind – as we do in the field of Video Systems & Solutions. Our business unit offers fully integrated Bosch video solutions that can be extended and operated on open systems. This is why we drive open platforms such as Inteox, to offer customers from a wide range of industries the right solutions. Our Bosch Integration Partner Program that we launched in 2012 is also heading in this direction – every product can be integrated into multiple other systems and VMS solutions. In summary: At Bosch, we are both a one-stop-shop, but also an open-system, meaning we offer customers maximum flexibility in their choice of products and services.

Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?
Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?

If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organizations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points, and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient, and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realizing the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organizations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.

Access Control and Door Entry Management: How Technology is Driving Change
Access Control and Door Entry Management: How Technology is Driving Change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centers, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or apartment. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behavior which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to program new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via mail to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organization we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist program to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behavior growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioral insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

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SK Inc. C&C And BriteLab Sign Partnership Agreement To Collaborate On Joint Development Of US Global Manufacturing High-Tech Business
SK Inc. C&C And BriteLab Sign Partnership Agreement To Collaborate On Joint Development Of US Global Manufacturing High-Tech Business

SK Inc. C&C, a part of SK Group in South Korea, and BriteLab in Silicon Valley have announced the signing of a partnership agreement, to collaborate in joint development for the global manufacturing business in the U.S. market. BriteLab, Inc., located in San Jose, CA, is the renowned semiconductor AMHS company in the United States of America. Highlights of the joint effort include: Collaboration between BriteLab's AMHS (Automated Material Handling System) and SK Inc. C&C's Smart Manufacturing platform and solutions. Development of new digital business, such as AI-based component quality inspection, with high demand from BriteLab's current customers. Cooperation to apply manufacturing specialized Vertical Solutions of SK Inc. C&C, such as ‘iFactory Smart Vision’. Co-development of manufacturing high-tech business for the U.S. based CM/CE customers. SK Inc. C&C – BriteLab partnership Seong Ha Park, CEO of SK Inc. C&C announced that the company has signed a partnership agreement with BriteLab Seong Ha Park, CEO of SK Inc. C&C announced that the company has signed a partnership agreement with BriteLab, which has specialty in the Automated Material Handling Systems in the U.S. for global manufacturing hi-tech joint development. Current customers for BriteLab's AMHS install bases include Texas Instruments (TI), NXP Semiconductors, ON Semiconductor, Global Foundry, STMicroelectronics, TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), SSMC, and UMC. BriteLab currently has 24 global 200mm and 300mm foundry customers. Smart manufacturing platforms and solutions The agreement between SK Inc. C&C and BriteLab is to promote the expansion of manufacturing high-tech business, based on Britelab's AMHS platform. By combining SK Inc. C&C's multiple manufacturing software solutions, the joint partnership is set to offer best-of-breed smart manufacturing platforms and solutions, which will be successfully implemented in the manufacturing industry. BriteLab's AMHS offers Overhead Hoist Transport (OHT) system, utilizing the robotic systems in the high-tech factory that use sophisticated robots from the ceiling and the floor of production lines. The robots are autonomous vehicles managed and controlled by software, to support fast and accurate automation in the production of high-tech materials, in the factories. Joint Working Group (JWG) Under this agreement, the two companies have established a Joint Working Group (JWG) that utilizes BriteLab's AMHS commercialization of manufacturing high-tech solutions that meet the customer demands. SK Inc. C&C's ‘iFactory Smart’, which has proven excellence in the South Korean precision manufacturing industry, will now be offered to customers in the U.S. through Britelab. “We are excited to be working with SK Inc. C&C especially its AI-based quality management solution using 'vision' systems,” said Steven Kwak, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BriteLab. SmartVision, AI package solution SmartVision is an artificial Intelligence package solution, developed by SK Inc. C&C SmartVision is an artificial Intelligence package solution, developed by SK Inc. C&C and has the ability to read the smallest unit pixel of the screen and quickly train the A.I. modules to read the information in real time. It is highly utilized in the ESG (Environment·Social·Governance) field, such as quality control (QA) work that removes defects in parts and finished products throughout the production process, as well as application in the water quality management. Camera feed and data analysis By collecting images created through cameras or CCTV and analyzing the data, SmartVision can quickly perform a highly accurate inspection tasks that previously required operators to use expensive, separate quality equipment, which can lead to poor inspection, product identification, and dimension measurements. The two companies are also exploring manufacturing high-tech businesses for BriteLab's current customer install base, outside of the semiconductor business, as BriteLab provides Contract Manufacturing (CM) and Contract Engineering (CE) service in the U.S. Robotics and production automation platforms BriteLab provides robotics and production automation platforms in autonomous vehicles and robots, factory automation robots, data center monitoring robots, smart machines, and autonomous drones. With BriteLab's CM and CE business and in conjunction with SK Inc. C&C solutions, the companies plan to offer a digital platform-based manufacturing high-tech digital service, in connection with its customers with the signing of the partnership agreement. Creating manufacturing high-tech business “By combining BritetLab's AMHS-based manufacturing logistics capabilities and SK Inc. C&C's manufacturing automation capabilities, we look forward to creating a manufacturing high-tech business that will lead customers' digital innovation. As a result, we will actively engage in marketing to our global customers as well as here in the U.S.,” said BriteLab’s CEO, Steven Kwak. “With our partnership with BriteLab, we look forward to expanding the global business together for the manufacturing vertical solutions business and will introduce customer-friendly digital services to meet the needs of BriteLab's manufacturing customers in the U.S.,” said Young Dae Kim, Director of Digital New Business Development at SK Inc. C&C.

The Connectivity Standards Alliance Announces Matter, The Secure Connectivity Standard For The Future Of The Smart Home
The Connectivity Standards Alliance Announces Matter, The Secure Connectivity Standard For The Future Of The Smart Home

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), announces Matter – the interoperable, secure connectivity standard for the future of the smart home. The proliferation of connected objects continues to change the way one lives, works and plays. From homes to offices, factories to hospitals, connected objects enable one to experience the environments in cohesive, interactive ways. Yet, for too long, disconnected platforms and disparate development paths have caused confusion for consumers and complicated processes for developers and innovators. Promoting new standard Smart objects should be reliable, secure, and work together – this is the shared vision behind Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), now known as the new standard, Matter. Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google, SmartThings, and the Connectivity Standards Alliance came together in 2019 to develop and promote this new standard, joined by fellow Alliance board member companies IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, Somfy and Wulian. Matter is the unified IP-based connectivity protocol built on proven technologies Now, there are more than 180 Member organizations of all sizes, across a range of business categories, and over 1,700 Member individuals participating in bringing the Matter specification, reference implementations, testing tools, and certification programs to life. Matter is the unified IP-based connectivity protocol built on proven technologies, helping connect and build reliable, secure IoT ecosystems. Truly connected world This new technology and royalty-free connectivity standard enable communications among a wide range of smart devices. Matter is also a seal of approval, assuring that any object built on this standard is reliable by nature, secure by design, and compatible at scale. “We create marks of trust, and Matter is an important milestone for users in our long history of delivering unifying, secure, reliable and trustworthy standards for the IoT,” said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance. “I’m very excited to unveil Matter as a foundational element in delivering a truly connected world.” Matter makes it easier for device manufacturers to build devices, and to ensure they are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit with Siri, Google’s Assistant, SmartThings, and others.” Simplifying connected experiences The first specification release of the Matter protocol will run on existing networking technologies such as Ethernet (802.3), Wi-Fi (802.11), and Thread (802.15.4) and for ease of commissioning, Bluetooth Low Energy. Other key attributes include: Simplicity – Easy to purchase and use. Simplifying connected experiences. Interoperability – Devices from multiple brands work natively together. Providing greater compatibility. Reliability – Consistent and responsive local connectivity. Security – Maintaining secure connections. Robust and streamlined for developers and users. Flexibility – Matter makes it easy for users to set up and control their devices with multiple ecosystems simultaneously. Simple setup code Retailers get reduced complexity in-store to create a more simplified purchasing experience Breakthrough connectivity is built on Matter, providing greater benefit and value for developers, and those who live or work in a smart home or business. Consumers get an increased choice, compatibility, and more control of their experience. Developers get lower development and operational cost via a single SKU and more time for innovation. Retailers get reduced complexity in-store to create a more simplified purchasing experience, leading to fewer returns for compatibility issues. With Matter, consumers and businesses can choose the brands they want in their smart home or commercial building and be confident they will work seamlessly. Homeowners, and especially those living in a smart home with multiple devices like smart locks, thermostats, or smart speakers, can easily add new devices with a Matter mark using a simple setup code to connect their home as one. Single-Vendor stacks Businesses, particularly those that rely on connectivity, can count on one network to keep their operations running smoothly. Key for developers is that Matter isn’t only a specification – it also offers an open-source reference implementation in parallel. This drives tangible benefits for developers including: faster time to market, reduced reliance on single-vendor stacks, improved quality since they can access multiple use cases to test against, and increased security with full transparency into the community’s ability to identify and commit patches. Products with the Matter mark connect securely with more devices, more reliably than ever Products with the Matter mark connect securely with more devices, more reliably than ever. The Matter mark will serve as a seal of approval, taking the guesswork out of the purchasing process and allowing businesses and consumers alike to choose from a wider array of brands to create secure and connected homes and buildings. Promise of convergence The new symbol and wordmark of Matter tell its story of connectivity. The name was selected for its foundational nature. Matter is a building block for life, and now also for the IoT. The three arrow forms meeting in the Matter symbol communicate the brand promise of convergence and connectivity in its most distilled visual form. Its geometric construction and triangular nature express security and utility. The badge on the product and packaging, with the Matter symbol and wordmark, notes that a product is Matter certified. The two-color visual identity has been simplified to represent Day and Night with gradients evocative of dynamic connections between products. The new Matter brandmark was developed in partnership with Interbrand, one of the brand consultancies. Connected home technologies With Matter, smart home devices built on technologies like Wi-Fi will be more interoperable" “Today, millions of customers around the world rely on Alexa as their favorite way to control more than 140,000 Alexa-compatible smart home products, and we are committed to continuing to make smart home connections easier for customers,” said David Shearer, Vice President, Amazon Smart Home. “With Matter, smart home devices built on technologies like Wi-Fi will be more interoperable, making them simpler for manufacturers to develop and certify, and delivering more value for customers.” “As we focus on delivering the best connected experiences to our customers, Matter represents an important step forward in the global effort to make connected home technologies easier to use and more secure, with a high degree of interoperability. We’ve been honored to work with our industry peers on Matter from the beginning and are excited to be part of its role in shaping the future of IoT,” said Jim Kitchen, Vice President Product, Connected Home, and IoT Devices, Comcast. Multi-Brand interoperability “Matter will be a leap forward in interoperability. It also demonstrates the power of the collaborative and open-source process within the Alliance that embraces the full IoT value chain and yields results. We are convinced that Matter is a great opportunity, therefore Legrand supports the project since the beginning notably by involving engineers and by participating in test events,” said Bruno Vulcano, R&D Manager at Legrand and Chair of the Board at the Connectivity Standards Alliance. We are convinced that Matter is a great opportunity, therefore Legrand supports the project" “Signify, the world leader in lighting and a long-term leader in the Alliance, is excited to be a driving force in the creation and adoption of Matter. We believe this multi-brand interoperability in the smart home will catalyze the benefit and value of smart lighting worldwide via both Philips Hue and WiZ smart lighting,” said George Yianni, Head of Technology Philips Hue, on behalf of Signify. Developing revolutionary protocol “We believe that a universal standard in connectivity is critical for the industry and Matter is the key that will fully unlock the connected home for consumers. We are proud to lend our historical expertise in IoT and be part of the pioneering team to develop this revolutionary protocol,” said Samantha Osborne, Vice President of Marketing and Business Operations at SmartThings. “Over the past year we’ve doubled down on our technology to enhance our ecosystem to not only welcome future Matter products, but to ensure that they work seamlessly with the thousands of products already within our ecosystem.” Providing diverse options Tuya is dedicated to providing diverse options to power our IoT developer ecosystem" “As an open IoT development platform provider, Tuya is dedicated to providing diverse options to power our IoT developer ecosystem. Matter is important to us and our developers because it enables even easier interoperability between brands and simplifies connections between people and our connected objects. When we can securely and easily connect everything, the possibilities of what we can do with those connections are limitless,” said Alex Yang, Co-Founder and COO, Tuya Smart. In early May, the feature-complete base specification was approved by the Matter Working Group. Reaching this milestone gives Members a definition of the major features to build out the open-source implementation and test the specification. Tracking first devices With this, the project is currently on track to see first devices through certification in late 2021, depending on manufacturer go-to-market plans. Devices targeted for launch include lighting and electrical (e.g., light bulbs, luminaires, controls, plugs, outlets), HVAC controls (e.g., thermostats, AC units), access controls (e.g., door locks, garage doors), safety and security (e.g., sensors, detectors, security systems), window coverings/shades, TVs, access points, bridges, and others. Members poised to be early adopters of Matter include: Amazon, ASSA ABLOY, Comcast, Espressif Systems, Eve Systems, Google, Grundfos Holding A/S, Huawei, Infineon Technologies, LEEDARSON, Legrand, Nanoleaf, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, Qorvo, Resideo, Schlage, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, SmartThings, Somfy, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Tuya Smart, ubisys, Wulian, and Zumtobel Group. Companies interested in accessing the specification and building devices with Matter can join the Connectivity Standards Alliance.

Ajax Systems Announces The Acquisition Of Concepter Design And Product Development Studio’s Team
Ajax Systems Announces The Acquisition Of Concepter Design And Product Development Studio’s Team

Ajax Systems, a smart security systems developer, has acquired the engineering team of Concepter, a design and product development studio. The Concepter developers will become members of various R&D teams at Ajax Systems and will work on new devices. "We’ve added the Concepter developers to the Ajax Systems team to boost our growth and engineering capabilities. The Concepter specialists have plenty of experience in handling complex custom projects. We’re excited that they will continue creating cool products with us. Our global goal is to find talent and create a new engineering elite in the country. We want to double our R&D by the end of the year”, states Aleksandr Konotopskyi, CEO at Ajax Systems. Engineering capabilities The Concepter team is one of the best in Ukraine and is very complimentary of Ajax Systems" The company is actively seeking such engineering teams. The Ajax technology stack includes Embedded C, Python, RTOS, Java, Kotlin, Swift, Objective C, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments. “The Concepter team is one of the best in Ukraine at building the hardware and is very complimentary of Ajax Systems. I’m sure that the engineering capabilities of Ajax Systems will be greatly enhanced by the Concepter. As for me, I plan to focus on investments at SMRK in the future. The Concepter brand will continue to exist, but it will be handled by a different team”, says Vlad Tislenko, CEO at Concepter. Consults product startups Recently, Ajax Systems announced the opening of a new R&D office in Vinnytsia. The company’s other two R&D offices are located in Kharkiv and Kyiv. Concepter is a Ukrainian studio that creates its own gadgets and also promotes and consults product startups. Concepter has over 20 products in its portfolio, including the world-famous Nect, iBlazr 2, Nuka, and iGlam. Also, the studio has won the prestigious international awards Red Dot Design Award, Best of CES, etc.

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