Hottest security trend in the palm of your hand

Mobile devices top the list at a CSAA-sponsored webinar
Monday, August 6, 2012

VIENNA, Va.—It should come as no surprise to anyone in the industry who owns a smartphone or tablet: That mother lode of technology you constantly find glued to your hand is the hottest trend in security.

That was the verdict delivered by Steve Surfaro, strategic channel manager at Axis Communications, during a July 18 webinar titled “Top 10 Transformative Technologies in Physical and Cyber Security.” The session was sponsored by the Central Station Alarm Association and moderated by Stephanie Morgan, director of education and training for the CSAA.

Surfaro told the online audience that video mobility is playing a big role in the growing market for mobile devices. Image-quality requirements decrease with screen size, meaning lower bandwidth and lower frame rates are needed for viewing. That has opened doors to new uses and new possibilities for revenue.

“You can have multiple screens on a tablet, and it can be used from a forensics standpoint for playing back information,” he said. “What we’re going to see more and more of is apps that are used both for a video camera as well as for a mobile platform.”

Advances in technology are also fueling growth in mobile PERS, with wearable devices becoming a lifestyle accessory. Health-related responses also can be initiated by smartphone, applications can provide information about location and vital signs, and network video in the cloud can offer better diagnoses.

The mobile health market offers a wide range of growth opportunities for alarm companies and central stations, Surfaro said, but he also sounded a warning about MPERS.

“This is actually very dangerous for a lot of folks in the industry who rely on a mobile platform as the initiating device, [because it] could run out battery-wise,” he said. “Any device that does not have a sustainable battery is not a real source of emergency initiation. This is something we’re going to be working on with the [CSAA] Standards Committee and educating the industry.”

Surfaro said the expansion in mobile solutions will include near field communications and financial transactions. NFC-enabled mobile devices are increasingly being used for access control and credentialing, while apps like Google Wallet allow users to store credit cards and loyalty cards on their smartphones or tablets.

“Mobile devices provide simple accessibility,” Surfaro said. “As these financial instruments are put more and more in the cloud, the devices to access them will proliferate. … This is going to allow you, as the [company] owner/operator, to be able to deploy security apps more and to sell more security devices.”


As smartphone use continues to rise, security companies  introduce tools that can protect what’s important  by easily accessing their day-to-day security information, giving them more convenient access, control and insight into their security systems from the same device that powers many other aspects of their lives.

The mobile scene is so popular these days that it is no surprise that apps like ADT Pulse and others are springing up everywhere. If you want to make it in the security world, it's time to push the user experience with mobile apps.

We need to get along with modern technology. It is now a need.