Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball to See Interactive Video Will Be Huge

The desire to know something about our future has great appeal. At some point, most of us have wondered how things will progress and turn out in the years ahead. What I have discovered is you can’t accurately predict the future of any person or event; you can only plan your direction and hope for the best. However, there are some ways to gain insight into your future.

A self-assessment can give you an in-depth look at who you are. It can help you discover and understand your personality type, make you aware of what’s important to you, and define your values, interests, aptitudes, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. These telltale signs will help predict your future.

Corporate enterprises and small businesses are no different in their desire to understand and predict their future. In many ways, it is more important than ever for companies to do a business assessment in the same manner as above. Do one for your business — don’t delay. The decisions and actions you take today will help determine if you reach your company’s future growth and financial goals.

Now I am not claiming to be Nostradamus or Miss Cleo, but there is one technologically innovative service I predict will be the one of the greatest industry milestones since the invention of the digital dialer in control panels. That revolutionary service, my friends, is interactive remote video monitoring — with an emphasis on interactive. (For the complete story on this market, see Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine’s cover story, “Video Monitoring: A Market for Those With Vision,” on page 36.)

Let’s take a quick look back at our history. With the advent of the digital dialer years ago, the industry took a huge leap forward in the ability to remotely monitor millions of homes and businesses for burglary, fire, panic, hold-up and medical alarms. This provided instantaneous signals to the central station (CS) for immediate dispatch to police and fire departments, thus preventing millions of dollars in property damage and immeasurably saving human lives throughout the years.

Since that time, we’ve witnessed many technological product advancements, especially in CCTV and access control system integration capabilities. However, none of these individual evolutionary advancements by themselves will have the same overall impact to the general public as interactive remote video monitoring.

Let me explain. Most existing CCTV systems are passive in that they record activity without human intervention, serving as good visual deterrents. Therefore, no matter how great the equipment is, the recorded video would typically only be used for evidence in a future criminal trial. Interactive video takes our industry’s greatest product achievements one big step further.

Consider this scenario: A convenience store clerk gets a chill-down-his-spine feeling that something just isn’t right about two individuals who just entered the store. He pushes a button under the counter that sends a signal to your monitoring center. Cameras and microphones are quickly activated that allow your CS staff to see, hear and talk to the location in real-time! A possible crime, maybe a deadly one, has now been prevented.

The interactive video applications are endless! For example, it can be used to augment existing guard forces by providing virtual guard tours, security escort services on corporate and school campuses, or outdoor surveillance protection with CCTV motion sensing. Imagine being able to turn on every available camera in and around an unmanned facility or residence when an alarm signal is sent to the CS, thus preventing false police dispatches — and all in real-time, streaming video!

Interactive remote video monitoring is a very sellable service! It provides what potential customers need and want by saving them time and money when compared to other methods of achieving the same goals. The best part is not only will we be able to detect and report crime, but also truly prevent it. That’s why I predict interactive video monitoring will place our industry’s reputation on a higher pedestal than ever before.

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