The truth is we are now living in an on-demand world. Need a ride? Order an Uber. Hungry but don’t have any food in the house? Use GrubHub. Anything we want, we can have it almost instantly.
These types of services have been made possible by rapid advancements in technology over the past decade. We rely on our mobile phones now more than ever before, and probably more than you would have ever imagined.
We’ve come a long way from the days of being stuck in a back room watching surveillance video on a fuzzy little monitor. The combination of cost-effectiveness, increased network bandwidth, as well as updated codecs and compression technology have made it possible to view HD video from anywhere in the world on mobile devices.
“Infrastructure has changed. I think it is in part because of other industries. For example, with the consumption of online content like Netflix and HBO, that on-demand feeling has sort of rippled into video surveillance as well, where people have the expectations that they should be able to take out their phone and see full HD video from anywhere at any time,” says Arcules CEO Andreas Pettersson.
The feature-rich apps behind mobile video have created a new tool for security integrators to offer their customers. “More and more ‘software client’ features continue to be added to mobile apps, including the ability to call up and search recorded videos, receipt of push notifications with the ability to immediately access the cameras and video, fingertip dewarping of fisheye cameras, and dynamic search capabilities of recorded video,” says Digital Watchdog Director of Marketing Mark Espenschied.
These numerous features can benefit homeowners, business owners and managers, as well as law enforcement. Let’s take a look at how mobile video has become a game-changer, as well as how it can be most effectively utilized.
Keeping Family Close
Mobile video can help bring peace of mind to busy homeowners. One area that has seen explosive growth over the past few years is the video doorbell market. Whether it’s to keep an eye on delivered packages or avoid suspicious individuals, homeowners want to know who is at the door before they open it.
A video doorbell is also a great way to hook potential customers that do not yet own any security equipment, as it can open the door to adding additional cameras, or even a whole smart security platform.
The combination of cameras and push alerts can also help parents keep an eye on children. “It’s always great to know that your family is safe. Did they come home safely? Did your son or daughter come off the bus and walk into the home and were they with anyone? It’s those comforting elements, to sit there and say ‘Okay, I know who is where they need to be and what time,” explains Alice DeBiasio, vice president and general manager at Resideo.
There is an increasing number of mobile-friendly solutions entering the marketplace aimed at residential customers. Resideo’s MotionView portfolio features wireless, battery-powered smart cameras with features such as night vision and pet-friendly smart detection.
Available in both indoor and outdoor models, these cameras send a 10-second video clip to the user when motion is detected. They also utilize passive infrared technology to avoid false detections, such as branches moving in the wind.
Many consumers now also expect there to be a social component to their video apps, giving them the ability to share their video footage. For example, Vivint and Ring have apps that let users crowdsource video caught by their home security cameras. This type of feature is becoming more prevalent in mobile video apps.
“I’ve seen over the last maybe year or two, consumers want to share this footage on social media. If your pet did something funny, can you share it and show when it chews up a pillow, or if your kids steal ice cream out the fridge? We’re seeing consumers interact with these devices and share more,” DeBiasio says.
Giving Extra Eyes to Law Enforcement
Being able to share video can also be useful for law enforcement. Police can obtain information in real-time with mobile video, whether being shared by a resident or being sent from a central station.
Traditionally, when police officers arrive to the scene of an alarm call, they are blind to what is going on inside of a building until they enter it — which can end up being a dangerous scenario. However, real-time video verification can give responding officers a view of what exactly is going on.
“We’ve taken video from a forensic tool, into a real-time life-safety/life-protection tool by being able to push out video so everyone can see it,” says Bill Hobbs, senior director of sales, 3xLOGIC.
Recently, a customer of 3xLOGIC sister company Sonitrol installed the company’s TotalGuard small business solution, which includes audio and video verification, 24/7 monitoring, and a live-view through the Sonitrol mobile app. The same night the system was installed, an intruder broke into the shop.
By the time the intruder was in the shop, the local police department was on its way. The entire time, the central station operator was actively talking to the responding officers, telling them exactly what the suspect was doing inside the building. When the officers asked if they could get an image of inside the shop, the central station was able to push video to the responding officer’s mobile device. This capability can also be beneficial for incidents on school campuses.
“During Columbine, a horrible situation, there were cameras, but there was no way to access the cameras from the outside. Today, in that same situation, the PD rolls up and immediately sees all the cameras that are available to them and can make a decision right away … One of the factors that makes that possible is that they can pull video up from a mobile device on location and see what they are getting into,” says Hobbs.
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