Cellular telephones, BlackBerries™, iPhones and PDAs are no longer just that—they’ve morphed into messaging devices and mobility is the driving force.
Video surveillance has gone mobile as well, giving the integrator, reseller or end-user the ability to receive and view live images via these messaging devices. That’s the application or software side of the market. Look for tons of growth there—according to a study published by The Nielsen Co. and commissioned by Tellabs, consumers intend to dramatically increase their use of mobile data services over the next two years with mobile Internet, mobile management systems (MMS) and software/applications (downloads) leading the charge.
I got my first glimpse of mobile video surveillance at a recent conference where I met Sri Palasamudram, chief executive officer of mobiDEOS Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif. He showed me his “ASPs,” the application service provider software called the Mobile IPCamViewer. It streams video live to cellular telephones.
Palasamudram said the service delivers video from DVR’s, NVRs, cameras, Web cams and more. “It’s software based so it fits with the existing infrastructure the users already have. The MobileIPCamViewer also offers access of cameras to multiple users simultaneously. Users can gain instant access to view and even PTZ control of cameras via cell phones. The application is custom built to the operating system of the mobile device and works on over 90 percent of phones, whereas browser-based systems only work on a fraction of available phones,” he said.
There are other products on the market but the integrator has to check if they are Software as a Service (SaaS) or browser based. Other current offerings include MISTonDemand (MoD) and Mobil Connect from MIST Innovations Inc., as well as iPhone-based iRa C3 from Lextech Labs and products from FG Engineering and Xanboo.
Mobile and Transit Solutions
There’s a twist to the hot mobile market—and that’s surveillance for transportation applications, such as buses, taxis, trains and other mass transit and fleet operations. This market comes from the hardware side and involves installing cameras in operational vehicles and streaming the video or recording it on or offsite.
Oldee Taxi Instruments Corp., Long Island City, N.Y., is retrofitting security cameras in cabs to meet requirements by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission requiring surveillance in vehicles. Al Gallego of Oldee Taxi Instruments Corp., is deploying the FareView™ Mobile Surveillance System from Honeywell. He is one of several companies certified by the commission to deploy cameras in taxis. In 2007 the commission approved the use of In-Vehicle Camera Systems (IVCS) by medallion taxi cabs in lieu of bullet-resistant partitions. Honeywell’s FareView product was one of several approved by the commission, the largest and most active taxi and limousine regulatory body in the U.S.
“It’s an evidence tool, but the crime rate in taxis has definitely dropped since the deployment of the cameras,” Gallego said. “Images can be downloaded to police for evidence and positive identification. The privacy issue was one of the biggest concerns in getting the commission to approve cameras, but no one can get the recorded video but authorized users and there are signs alerting passengers to the use of the video,” he said. Gallego said he expects to install thousands of the cameras in the coming years.
Here’s a short list of companies offering products specfically designed for applications in mobile and transit surveillance: