Turning Smartphones into Surveillance Cameras

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 14, 2012

An emerging surveillance trend is mobile apps allowing cameras embedded in smartphones to be used for surveillance, integrated, viewed and recorded by a VMS system. DVTel was first to announce this functionality, as part of the Version 6.2 release of its Latitude VMS platform, and Milestone followed a few days later with an announcement at their 2012 partner meeting. In this note , we will look at these two announcements and their potential applications in the industry.

DVTel Mobile Camera App

DVTel's new mobile application, not to be confused with their current DVTel app, allows the camera of Android mobile devices (phones and tablets) to be viewed and recorded by Latitude. Both apps may run on the same device, however. Currently, only Android is supported. Future plans may include iPhone support, but as this is currently in limited release, DVTel was unable to comment.

Video from the Android device may only be initiated by the mobile user, not by a Latitude operator, preventing potential privacy issues with video being activated when the mobile user is not expecting. Video may be transmitted via Wi-Fi, as well as 3G/4G, depending on what is available. Stream size and resolution are configurable, as well, to adjust for differing bandwidth of wireless connections. Both MJPEG and H.264 streams are supported.

Mobile devices added via the app will require a camera connection license ($250-300 per camera). The mobile camera app is available now, though in limited release. Latitude users considering this feature should contact DVTel for questions of availability. For information regarding the app, as well as general information on the 6.2 release, users may see DVTel's full news item.

Milestone XProtect Mobile

At its February 2012 partner symposium, Milestone announced that a future release of its XProtect Mobile iPhone/Android application will include this functionality, as well, which they have labeled "Video Push". This function is projected to be available in Q3 2012. Milestone has a track record of pushing back release dates, however, so actual availability may be later. Users may see our overview of their announcements for more detail.

The video below from Milestone overviews their approach:

Applications 

While many users will have no need for streaming video from their mobile device, those with mobile guard forces may find this extremely appealing. For example, a guard on a tour of a site's perimeter may use the app to send video of incidents as they occur, or of damage to the perimeter fence, so conditions may be recorded. Gaming is another likely vertical for this application. The mobile app will allow staff on the floor of the casino to observe tables unobtrusively, in real-time, allowing security staff more or better angles to determine if cheating is taking place.

Impact

We see this as being a moderate, but soon to be frequently cited, innovation in surveillance. A combination of factors are creating this: (1) A number of manufacturers are rushing to release this feature, ensuring manufacturer market push and (2) the feature is 'sexy', enabling a use case that previously was not feasible within a traditional surveillance environment.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Most Recent Industry Reports

July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jun 22, 2018
  This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals. Register now. Lots of network training exists...
Installation Hardware for Video Surveillance - Indoor Fasteners on Jun 22, 2018
As part of our Installation for Video Surveillance series, in this note, we cover drywall anchors. A key part of installing security hardware is...
Hikvision ColorVu Integrated Visible Light Cameras Examined on Jun 22, 2018
When it comes to low light, infrared light has become the defacto standard in surveillance. But IR is limited to monochrome images, making colors...
'Secure Channel' OSDP Access Control Examined on Jun 21, 2018
Despite claiming to be better than Wiegand, OSDP's initial releases did not address the lack of encryption between reader and controller, leaving...
Most Wanted Improvements In Manufacturer Technical Support (Statistics) on Jun 21, 2018
5 key areas of improvement and 1 clear wanted support feature were voiced by 140+ integrator responses to: What improvement in manufacturer...
GDPR / ICO Complaint Filed Against IFSEC Show Facial Recognition on Jun 20, 2018
IPVM has filed a complaint against IFSEC’s parent company UBM based on our concern that the conference violates core GDPR principles on...
IFSEC 2018 Final Show Report on Jun 20, 2018
IPVM attended the IFSEC show for the first time this year. The Chinese took over the show, centered on Hikvision, flanked by Dahua, Huawei and a...
Mobotix Releases 'Move' Into 21st Century on Jun 20, 2018
For years, Mobotix stood resolutely against, well, every other manufacturer, selling it as a virtue: MOBOTIX equipment is designed with no...
Cybersecurity Startup VDOO Disclosing 10 Manufacturer Vulnerabilities Starting With Axis And Foscam on Jun 20, 2018
Cybersecurity startup VDOO has uncovered significant vulnerabilities in Axis cameras along with many others not yet disclosed. In this report, we...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact