Editorial: Embrace Mobile

Oct. 3, 2013
Accept it and use it to your advantage, or be left behind

It is always interesting to roam around the show floor at September’s ASIS International conference, looking for cool technologies and breakthrough products. It was my 11th ASIS, and I have learned that in most years (the good ones), you can pick up on a theme — a thread of sorts that unites a good majority of the new product launches.

The theme of this ASIS was surely the manufacturers’ embrace of mobile technology. The trend was mostly applicable to video and access control — but it got to the point where I was thinking that I would turn the next corner and find a fence in a backpack or something just as unexpected.

With just about every show-goer attached to his or her smartphone, tablet or other mobile device (even smart watches, which someone showed me) as they moved from booth to booth, it becomes clear how important and impactful the mobile revolution has been on the technology industry. Mobile knows no market boundary — it applies as much to commercial security as it does to residential. And in both cases, if you, as a security dealer or integrator do not embrace this shift and offer your customers access to these innovations, those customers will find someone else who can.

That means knowing your apps — so many vendors introduced mobile apps for their products, it was hard to keep it all straight. Quantum Secure’s Director of Corporate Marketing Rochelle Thompson, for example, told me that the company is working on 10 different apps for launch in 2014. “We are so attached to our devices,” she said. “It’s gotten so crazy that we have to remind each other to actually put the phone down and talk.”

Trying to keep up with the latest and greatest security apps as they are released? SD&I and SecurityInfoWatch.com are well-informed when it comes to the industry’s top apps. Be sure to visit our online buyers guide at www.securityinfowatch.com/directory and check out the “apps for mobile devices” section on the left side menu.

IQinVision has taken app development a step further. According to Director of Marketing Wendi Burke, the company has developed two new apps for Google Glass — that funky Star Trek-age thingy that you wear on your head like a clear eye patch. Talk about jumping the gun — the device isn’t even commercially available yet! Still, the company sees value in being ahead of the curve, and in fact has targeted the apps at security installers.

Once Google Glass is released — likely in the middle of 2014 — security installers will be able to use the app for the device as a hands-free way to help focus cameras during the installation process. That means no lugging a laptop computer up a ladder with you to focus cameras, as long as you can get used to wearing the space-age monocle. When a camera is plugged in, it will automatically pop up in Google Glass and the installer will be able to look at a counter on the screen, which will tell them how close they are to having the camera focused properly. The higher the number on the counter, the closer it is to being in focus.

While I thankfully never did run into anyone with a portable fence in a backpack, I wouldn’t put it past many of the progressive vendors in our industry. Just remember to keep yourself innovative and relevant by staying on top of new apps as they come into the marketplace, and be sure to tell your customers about them too!