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Mobile Monitoring

Unique solution brings remote monitoring to your hand

Internet-enabled products and services are now gaining wider acceptance and delivering better results than before. Remote monitoring services are no exception. Companies like mobiDEOS, producer of MobileIPCamViewer, are taking a unique approach to remote monitoring by making it plug-and-play and enabling it to work on existing Web-enabled infrastructure and equipment. MobileIPCamViewer offers remote monitoring of security cameras’ views over typical cell phones such as Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and LG.

Watching and controlling surveillance cameras via cell phones is a progressive idea, but executing such a process can be met with several difficulties, taking into consideration the number of variables involved. Wireless networks that users connect to -- 3G, EDGE and GPRS -- can range in speed. The number of users on a cell phone tower in a particular geographic area may reduce the available bandwidth. The type of cell phone device a person carries, whether new or old, can come with varying processing chips and memory. The interaction between cell phones and carrier networks and gateways can become interrupted. The compression used to deliver video from the server to a cell phone typically depends on the cell phone device and carrier network. And the data connection and firewall settings from the camera to Internet can vary. MobiDEOS has been working on these issues for more than four years.

Seamless Solutions
Able to work with existing and new equipment and handsets, the MobileIPCamViewer tackles these issues by varying the stream, compression and frame rate, depending on certain variables, to support viewing on a wide range of handsets. The solution also is able to enhance ease of use by running a small application on the cell phone and connecting to security cameras via the Internet, allowing the user to access security cameras within seconds.

MobileIPCamViewer is working with camera, DVR, NVR and video server manufacturers to provide customized agnostic solutions for customers. Already integrated with manufacturers such as Axis, Dedicated Micros and Milestone, the solution also is distributed through cell phone carriers such as AT&T, Spint/Nextel, Verizon/Alltel and Orange.

Today, cell phones can stream good-quality images -- from 3 to 8 fps -- from a security cameras live to a cell phone. In order to get the best results from the product, ensure your IP cameras, video servers, NVRs and DVRs are compatible. Employ a static IP address or URL that is served by a DDNS service, so the server knows where the camera is in the network. Obtain a decent connection from the camera to the network -- like DSL or higher. Use a cell phone that complies with the product’s requirements.

Versatile Applications
The Mobile IPcamViewer solution is able to provide value for many industries. In industries such as retail, alarms can be verified remotely by the owner, manager or security personnel by viewing the camera live on their cell phone from wherever they are at whatever time they please. As a consequence, store employees will know that their productivity is being watched, reducing shrinkage and enhancing efficiency.

Amcomm Wireless is a Verizon Wireless reseller that has 15 retail stores along the East Coast. Amcomm’s Sony cameras monitor the stores. Brent Murry, branch manager, is typically busy and on the road most times.

“MobileIPCamViewer lets us watch the store anytime on our Blackberries, through which we can see what is going on in the store and how we can act to make the store operations more efficient and effective,” Murry said. 

Caletti Jungsten Construction Inc., based out of Mill Valley, Calif., is a construction company that primarily manages custom homes and remodeling projects in the Northern California area that range up to $8 million.

Justin Drenner, site superintendent for Caletti Jungsten Construction, manages one or more jobsites miles away from his primary office. Due to his schedule, Drenner is often on the road, and use of the MobileIPCamViewer on his Blackberry Curve provides him the opportunity to monitor activity, including an important function of the cameras at the jobsite: security.

“[MobileIPCamViewer] allows me to be more productive and react to situations in a timely and expeditious manner,” Drenner said.

Advanced Home Security
Besides commercial uses, remote monitoring can also be employed for residential applications. Systems like MobileIPCamViewer allow added security and peace of mind for residents.

“We use MobileIPCamViewer to monitor our main house,” said Tanya, of Thornton, Colo. “We have six Panasonic model cameras inside and outside. With these cameras, we can verify delivery personnel and vendors we allow access to our house while we are away.”

Tanya’s security cameras are a part of an entire automation system. If the cameras are triggered by motion under certain conditions, she receives an e-mail through her Blackberry, alerting her to the situation. 

“Using MobileIPCamViewer software, we can then view the camera to determine the situation,” she said.  

The future of remote monitoring is here. Forward-thinking products and services are now available. Even everyday cell phones have the capacity to do much more than previously thought, and technologies that can bring added security to an already-existing personal device are at the cutting edge.

This article originally appeared in the September 2008 issue of Security Today.

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