It is an exciting time at German intelligent video company MOBOTIX, which has launched a next-generation platform that builds on their legacy of video at the edge while opening up the system to third-party partners that can build even more capabilities.

MOBOTIX unveiled the new M7 platform and M73 camera at the MOBOTIX Global Partner Conference in Mainz, Germany, in October. MOBOTIX M7 is a powerful, decentralised and secure modular IoT-video system based on deep learning modules. The feedback has been “overwhelming,” says MOBOTIX CEO Thomas Lausten. The new technology will also be featured in the United States at the 2020 MOBOTIX Partner Summit in Hollywood, Fla., in January.

A different video surveillance 

"What you see is a different way of doing video surveillance,” says Lausten. “Our focus on the edge is the difference between us and other companies.”

The new MOBOTIX 7 open solution provides an “edge platform” that can be used for a variety of applications, which are provided as “apps” that leverage the platform’s hardware for specific uses, from object detection to face detection to people counting. The new M75 high-end camera incorporates the new platform.

The MOBOTIX application programming interface (API) makes it possible for hundreds more apps to be developed over time

Currently there are 19 apps available to empower various applications, and availability of the MOBOTIX application programming interface (API) makes it possible for hundreds more apps to be developed over time. If a MOBOTIX partner creates a new app for a specific project, “now he can use it not just for one project but can put it in the app store and sell it all over the world,” says MOBOTIX CTO Hartmut Sprave.

Field Programmable Gate Array

The new MOBOTIX platform uses Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) integrated circuits that provide flexibility and versatility to be adapted to a variety of needs, from deep learning, to higher resolution, or to use with a variety of sensors, such as color, black-and-white or night vision cameras, temperature sensors or microphones. “We can literally include any sensor requested by the market,” says Lausten.  

The new camera can also be used for age analysis, crowd management or traffic analysis. It can even be used for fire or biohazard detection, incorporating thermal sensors and deep learning.

MOBOTIX have added to their legacy of video with a next generation platform

Partnerships

MOBOTIX developed its new platform in conjunction with Konica Minolta, which owns a majority share of the German manufacturer. The combined knowledge of the two companies created the new platform, with most of the engineering done in Germany. Konica Minolta provided an object detection algorithm, for example, and deep learning capabilities that are being used with the cameras. The two companies are also developing the business together. “They are rolling out our technology on their website throughout the world,” says Lausten. “We are basically part of a global development organisation.”

MOBOTIX developed its new platform in conjunction with Konica Minolta

The new platform is also completely compatible with legacy MOBOTIX systems: “We have added what we need to what we have,” says Lausten.

Cybersecurity is a top priority for MOBOTIX. “With our camera, everything is under our control, every single line of code, and we do all the penetration testing and everything is safe,” says Sprave. In fact, MOBOTIX won the French "Trophée de la Sécurité 2019" Gold Award in the cybersecurity category for the MOBOTIX Cactus Concept, which refers to the fact that all the modules in the MOBOTIX system have “digital thorns” that protect them from unauthorized access. End-to-end encryption is used with no blind spots.  

Driven by cybersecurity

Stronger cybersecurity and a focus on edge devices makes MOBOTIX inherently more cybersecure than a system of networked low-cost cameras, each of which could present a possible cyber-vulnerability.

Stronger cybersecurity and a focus on edge devices makes MOBOTIX inherently more cybersecure

The flexibility of the MOBOTIX platform expands its utility beyond security to include broader business functions. For example, the same camera that can detect criminals with face recognition can track where people are moving in a retail store, and even analyse age or demographics of customers to track buying patterns.

“Cameras are required to think and process at the edge, and that is where we see a lot of focus going, driven by cybersecurity,” Lausten says.

Lausten sees opportunity for even faster growth in the U.S. market, where they already have 30 or 40 partners. In the near term, there will be large opportunities provided by the U.S. trend toward “Chinese skepticism,” and cybersecurity concerns that have plagued the lower-cost Chinese imports. MOBOTIX products are proudly “Made in Germany.”

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