If the product planning for your firm doesn't include leveraging mobile and tablet technologies for security, then I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you're missing the boat. Not missing the "proverbial" boat. I'm talking about the real boat. It's sailing on a tide of mobile devices. I received this market research data in advance of the announcement by Apple of a new iPad version. Here's what they are predicting for the tablet market:
"Ovum expects the market for tablet and other mobile internet devices to exceed 235 million units by 2016."
That count of 235 million units is such a widespread technology adoption that if you don't start to think about your strategy for taking advantage of those tablets, you're going to be left in the dust. Here are some ideas for tablet usage in our industry:
- Guards will use the tablet for in-the-field incident reporting and even suspect/victim/witness interviews.
- Alarm companies will use the tablet as the alarm system keypad of tomorrow. Some are doing it today with apps, and I've already seen quality mounts to allow you to slap a tablet on the wall just like you would have with a regular keypad.
- Video surveillance companies are developing apps and client software to run on these tablets because you shouldn't only be able to watch your camera system when you are down in the basement security office.
- Tablets are beautiful for metrics and reporting dashboards. So more than just watch video, you'll see companies develop apps that allow you to instantly review your firm's risk metrics.
- Even in the iPad 2, the 3G model (not the wifi model) had GPS technology. That positioning technology will be leveraged by the security industry to obtain reporting on where patrol officers and service technicians are located in real-time and will be linked with mapping solutions on these device to help run security businesses better.
- Magazines like SD&I and STE (our sister publications) will release digital editions with exclusive content for security practioners exclusively via the iPad. (Well, OK, that's already happening, and our March iPad issues are due out soon!)
Those are a few of my ideas for leveraging tablets in the security industry, but I don't have a monopoly on ideas for tablets. Tell me what you dream that tablets could do for the security industry.