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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 utilisation of video data have long been front and centre 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 colour, 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 recognising 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, organising 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 revolutionise 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.

Bosch introduces MIC inteox 7100i camera based on the Inteox open camera platform
Bosch introduces MIC inteox 7100i camera based on the Inteox open camera platform

Bosch introduces the first cameras based on its Inteox open camera platform starting with the MIC inteox 7100i. The new MIC inteox cameras share the same distinctive characteristics as the rest of the MIC camera family, such as robust housing and high-quality imaging, and support predictive solutions with machine learning, neural network-based video analytics, and third-party software apps for customised applications. These Inteox cameras can be classified as ‘Driven by OSSA.’ This distinction signifies that the cameras follow the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA) Technology Stack for video security devices, ensuring seamless connectivity with the Security & Safety Things (S&ST) application store. Developing software apps The cameras also allow for the easy creation of customised software apps that can be deployed on the Inteox cameras afterward. Market players can mix and match apps from the S&ST Application Store or develop software apps to create a novel solution. In addition, Bosch introduces two Inteox development kits containing either a bullet camera or mini-dome camera to complement MIC inteox cameras in pilot installations and support further app development. MIC inteox 7100i cameras support predictive solutions with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) MIC inteox 7100i cameras support predictive solutions with built-in artificial intelligence (AI). It includes Intelligent Video Analytics, Camera Trainer based on machine learning, and video analytics based on deep neural networks (DNN). These built-in AI capabilities enable Inteox cameras to understand what they see and add sense and structure to captured video data with metadata. Building predictive solutions This process is an important first step in converting video data into actionable insights and building predictive solutions, helping users anticipate unforeseen events and prevent them from happening. For example, in city surveillance applications, the MIC inteox 7100i cameras can detect abnormalities in behaviours, provide density data, and alert traffic operators with insights they can act on to prevent unwanted situations. By adding third-party software apps to Inteox cameras, integrators can easily customise security systems, enabling them to go beyond their basic functionality. In turn, app developers can leverage the camera's metadata, neural network-based video analytics, and machine learning to introduce innovative software to the market. The MIC inteox 7100i object classification (OC) models are made specifically for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) applications. Powered by the edge computation capabilities of the Inteox platform, the introductory OC models present a novelty in the field of AI. Various traffic applications Possible disturbances caused by vehicle headlights or shadows are ignored They offer a Traffic Detector, an additional Video Analytics feature based on DNN that helps distinguish and classify automobiles in congested scenes with precise detail. Possible disturbances caused by vehicle headlights or shadows are ignored, uncovering new ways to improve mobility, safety, and efficient use of roadways. The actionable insights delivered by the cameras’ Traffic Detector help detect the presence and volume of vehicles to intelligently control traffic lights to keep traffic flowing when monitoring intersections. These insights can also enhance Automatic Incident Detection (AID) solutions to improve the safety of people and vehicles in tunnels and on highways. Future OC models planned for June 2021 will expand upon these DNN-based features offering greater granularity of data when generating actionable insights for various traffic applications. Optical image stabilisation MIC inteox cameras range from a 4K enhanced model featuring optical image stabilisation to a 1080p model in a base or enhanced version featuring Bosch’s starlight technology that can capture colour images down to a level of 0.0069 lux as standard. The 4K model's optically-stabilised images maintain pin-sharp pictures even when the camera is subject to severe vibration, such as on bridges. With the optional illuminator, the 4K model covers a distance of 300m (984 ft.) The 1080p models feature 30x zoom and a frame rate of 60 frames per second. When light levels drop to zero, the optional illuminator ensures the greatest level of detail over a distance of up to 550m (1,804 ft.). Enhanced versions for both 4K and 1080p models also include an in-window defroster to improve visibility and onboard storage capabilities. Meeting marine requirements The MIC inteox 7100i features rugged housing with superior metallurgy and finish to protect against corrosion Combined with robust housing, the cameras provide the high-quality details required by applications such as city surveillance, traffic monitoring, and perimeter security. Like all MIC cameras, the MIC inteox 7100i features rugged housing with superior metallurgy and finish to protect against corrosion, including salt-water, to meet marine requirements. Engineered to endure nearly everything from high winds, rain, fog, and dust, MIC cameras can withstand 100% humidity, temperatures from -40°C to +65°C (-40°F to +149°F), extreme vibrations, and high impacts (IK10). Slow-moving targets What’s more, a new drive train enables them to track slow-moving targets as smoothly as possible. The cameras are guaranteed never to lose their homing position, returning to a preset position over their entire lifetime, even when exposed to extreme vibration or brute force. Early adopters can take advantage of Bosch Inteox development kits to complement the MIC inteox 7100i cameras in pilot installations. The kits contain either a Bosch fixed bullet (Dinion) or mini-dome (Flexidome) outdoor camera that will run on the S&ST operating system. Both kits support the testing and development of an overall system solution based on apps already available through the application store and self-developed apps.

Bosch installs intrusion alarms at UNESCO World Heritage Site in China
Bosch installs intrusion alarms at UNESCO World Heritage Site in China

Bosch Building Technologies has installed an intrusion alarm system at the UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuangdi in the city of Xi'an, China. Several hundred TriTech motion detectors are deployed to protect the 16,300-square-foot museum against theft and damage. These detectors prevent costly and time-consuming false alarms under challenging environmental conditions while providing detection reliability of real alarms. Because of the highly efficient intrusion detection system, the museum can dispense entirely with physical protective barriers such as glass walls, allowing visitors to directly experience their clay heroes. “The cooperation with Bosch is an excellent showcase of modern high-tech protection of historic buildings. Bosch intrusion alarm systems help to upgrade the security level of these unique historic sites,” says Ren Xuxin, Project Manager of Xi’an Terracotta Warriors and Horses Pit Security Upgrade Project. Intelligent alarms protect millennia-old warriors As wall detectors, the TriTech motion detectors protect the pits where the terracotta warriors are located. Because these pits collect large amounts of dust that could cause false alarms, the intelligent sensor data fusion algorithm in each of the rugged detectors checks potential alarms with a PIR sensor and microwave Doppler radar for a consistent result. The area to be protected is thereby also secured from above by ceiling-mounted TriTech motion detectors. These detectors are located 4.8 metres above the museum floor, yet operate accurately and reliably. They thus exceed the range of standard ceiling detectors by more than two metres. The TriTech motion detectors provide round-the-clock protection for the museum In the event of a security breach, the Bosch G-Series system controller sends an alert, including the location of the triggered detector, in less than two seconds to the security team in the control room, which uses live images from a video system to verify the alarm. Round-the-clock protection In most cases, tourists trigger an alarm when they cross a threshold to retrieve their cameras or smartphones that have accidentally fallen into the pit. In doing so, there is a risk of damage to the terracotta warriors, but even if real criminals should ever get into the act, the system is ready. The TriTech motion detectors provide round-the-clock protection for the museum. Due to their discreet design, the detectors are unobtrusive and thus do not interfere with the museum experience. In accordance with the museum operator's list of requirements, the intrusion detection system protects not only the museum, including the perimeter, as well as the visitor areas of the mausoleum but additionally the cultural treasures currently stored in the unmanned warehouse.