The Allure of Video

Monday, December 1, 2008

Part of security is secrecy. The reason people love those James Bond movies (and Quantum of Solace looks awesome, by the way), is because all that technology seems so cool and otherworldly. The security industry and the government historically did a good job of keeping capabilities close to the vest.

We don’t want the bad guys knowing what we can do because then they’ll figure out a way to defeat our capabilities. I get that.

So, what do we do now that security is on iTunes? You’ve seen the frontpage story about the iTunes App Store offering applications for the iPhone, but go actually look at the pages for those applications: The general public is downloading the March Networks app and just trying to figure out how to make use of it on their own.

Of course, the app won’t work unless they’ve also got March Networks’ whole package of video management software, but it’s clear that people are hungry for the capabilities that the security industry has to offer, as much for their value as playthings as for their security value.

People love video. They love taking video, sending videos to their friends, putting themselves on video and posting it to YouTube. They love checking in on their kitchens and their children’s day care centers, and looking at the traffic from the traffic-cam before they leave for work.

Security integrators need to get the message out there that you guys do video, and you do it better than anyone else. Cernium’s new Archerfish product, for example, brings portable video analytics to the residential and small business marketplace. “This stuff isn’t for James Bond,” Cernium’s saying, “this stuff is for you. It’s for everyone.”

Yes, the video systems you install are about security and peace of mind for the customer, but don’t forget to sell the fact that they can do really cool stuff.

Difficult economic times or no, American consumers are famous for their capacity to shrug off pessimism in their urge to have the next new gadget. The iPhone, with all of its video capabilities, just passed the RAZR as the best-selling portable media device in the world. People want to use their cool new toy. You can give them a new way to use it.

So, are you advertising where iPhone users go, telling them about the brand-new potential of video in the home and at their businesses? Or are you still throwing up images of scary burglars?