Weaved, Kii and Astak announced a partnership to deliver miniMole, a new IP camera platform with a wholesale distribution model, open API-based SDK, Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities and an online developer portal.
The companies said the partnership combines three players in the IoT space. Weaved is a pioneer in IoT connectivity services, Astak is a player in the consumer and industrial connected cameras space and Kii is a cloud-based mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) provider that powers IoT applications.
"Weaved has a mission to drive the industry towards interconnected devices," said Ryo Koyama, CEO of Weaved, in a statement. "With the hyper-growth in the smart camera market, the miniMole platform is built to enable device manufacturers and service providers to offer compelling solutions for businesses and consumers, while leveraging the skills of developers to create powerful apps on an open API platform."
The three companies’ combination of hardware, software and cloud services offers a complete solution for device manufacturers and service providers to increase up sell revenue by adding IP camera functionality to their products. Third-party app developers will have access to an open platform to create value-added, connected camera apps. This includes functionality such as cloud DVR services with event timelines, advanced audio or motion detection triggers, alarm filters, analytics, and integration with other third party apps. Additionally, the platform has device discovery, user authentication, secured peer-to-peer and relay connections over the Internet, and low-latency live streaming video and audio services.
According to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup, once a device or app is enabled with Weaved, all a user needs to do is register it with their email address to make it available to them from any mobile device or Web browser. After the product is available through Weaved, a user simply clicks on the unique URL link for the product to take advantage of the interconnectivity. Things like smart tablets, surveillance cameras, and even many household appliances may be "internet ready," but they are usually built to different standards according to each manufacturer—yet another problem to solve, Weaved says. While solutions do exist to allow such devices to communicate with one another, they are almost always beyond the technical ability of most users to implement. That's where Weaved comes in.
Simon Wang, vice president of marketing and sales for Astak, said Astak welcomes the opportunity to partner with Weaved and Kii to offer the miniMole IP camera "as the first consumer- and business-connected camera with an open API and developer portal."
Moreover, "Just as we saw third parties, like Instagram and SnapChat, create compelling new user experiences by leveraging the smartphones' underlying camera hardware and open camera APIs, we expect to see some amazing new applications emerge for miniMole," Wang said. "These new capabilities and features will take advantage of our camera hardware and cloud services from Weaved."
The connected IP cameras market is expected to exceed 20 million units in 2014 for professional security and surveillance, as well as consumer home, pet, child and elder monitoring. In addition, there are multiple camera market segments showing impressive growth such as action cams, consumer 360-degree view cameras, doorbell cams, car dashboard cams, battery powered cameras and even wearable cameras. Many cameras today are offered with bundled cloud services for event-triggered recording, live viewing, and camera control over the Internet via a mobile device app. Kii and Weaved are members of AllSeen Alliance, an open source consortium whose mission is to drive the adoption of Internet of Things.
"There is an incredible opportunity for device manufacturers and service providers to offer smart security solutions for consumers and businesses, whether as a new offering or for up selling to legacy security products," said Masanari Arai, CEO of Kii, in a statement. "The trifecta of Weaved, Kii and Astak is helping them utilize this opportunity with a powerful solution that brings together hardware, software and cloud services."
Kii’s end-to-end cloud platform is optimized for IoT, the company said. More developers are moving toward cloud backend services. A cloud mobile backend cuts hundreds of hours of server programming as well as database setup and management from developers' app development timeline. That means more time to focus on building an outstanding user experience and less time to market, with fewer investments in infrastructure and human capital.
Indeed, Kii's MBaaS enables developers to embed cloud services in their apps. App developers use a cloud backend to manage users and data, but also to understand user behavior, engagement and retention, for cross-and-multi platform apps and for monetization. Their MBaaS also reduces hundreds of hours of server programming into a snap-in client SDK that can be up and running in developers' apps in minutes, Kii officials said.
The open miniMole platform has entered beta and early adopters are invited to join the program. Beta developers will receive miniMole hardware and have access to the beta SDK and open APIs to access the Weaved cloud services. The developer portal will feature a tool chain, code base, and documentation. After the beta program completes, a special SDK promotional price will be available to developers, the companies said.