With the recent big splash made by the introduction of the iPad it appears the world is embarking on a new era of mobile communications with seemingly unlimited possibilities in terms of graphics, functionality and applications. I believe this is going to have an enormous impact on our lifestyles and businesses, similar to that of cell phones/smart phones, laptops and iPods. In the business world, the speed of its adoption and application will vary a great deal depending on the inherent nature of a given industry, as well as the devices' price point.
In the security world, I already foresee two general but very significant uses in which display tablet-type devices such as the iPad could alter the landscape. The first is using these devices in myriad ways in the field, from salespeople making vivid presentations, to system designers and project managers demonstrating specific products/systems on-screen or reviewing CAD diagrams and more, to technicians accessing visual troubleshooting techniques, etc. while on service calls. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
The second major use would be reselling the tablets to end users, or at least software apps to those who already have the devices, to enable them to view live and recorded video, access databases, and remotely control or administrate their security solutions in just about every conceivable way. Some of this is already available via iPhones/smart phones, and of course via desktops and laptops, but tablets' larger screens and QWERTY keyboards (even if they are virtual) considerably expand the appeal and market potential. Every security manager/director, first responder, guard, etc., not to mention millions of homeowners/consumers, may end up having, using and relying on these devices for security-related applications.
One provider that is already looking to capitalize on this trend is Sunnyvale, Calif.-based mobiDEOS. Its MobileCamViewer software app allows users to view and control fixed or pan/tilt/zoom cameras by receiving live video streaming on their iPads. "Users no longer need to be in front of their computer to view webcams, IP or security cameras. This not only increases response time but gives users a feeling of comfort and control, that was never before available," reads the company's recent press release.
mobiDEOS' MobileCamViewer service starts at $4.99/month for two cameras, $9.99 to support one DVR and can be expanded to support an unlimited number of DVRs and cameras, according to the supplier. The app is said to support all webcams, IP cameras from manufacturers such as Axis, Canon, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba, and digital recording solutions from companies like Dedicated Micros, UTC/GE, Iveda Solutions, JVC, Milestone, Nuvico, Optelecom-NKF, OnSSI, Pelco and Vivotek. In addition to iPads, MobileCamViewer supports other mobile devices including the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm, Samsung and Motorola.
My advice to installing systems integrators and security dealers is to seriously investigate this emerging phenomenon and potential opportunity. Keep a close watch on how it is unfolding because you do not want to be late to the party while competitors capitalize on how this technology can make their business run more efficiently and generate more revenue and "stickiness" with clientele.
As always, thanks for reading ...
SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION
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