Look who's watching now: central adds video

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

LACEY, Wash. - Achieving a goal conceived several months ago, Alarm Center Inc. launched the first generation of its video monitoring services in December.

The company now offers a product for installation branded MemoCam, an inexpensive, discreet camera for residential and commercial applications. The device, from Video Domain Technologies, comes with a removable multimedia card that is used to store and transfer images to Windows-based devices.

The opportunity for additional business is there for the company, considering the size and scope of its business. Founded in 1972, Alarm Center monitors 35,000 accounts with 115 dealers in its network. About 95 percent of its business is in the Northwest.

MemoCam is activated by picking up motion in a room and comes with a card reader.

Essentially, explained company President Doug Beaulieu, MemoCam operates similarly to a DVR, and users can retrieve information at will.

The company decided to move forward with video monitoring due to an interest from their dealers and the growing demand for the service from law enforcement officials.

“We’ve been kicking this around since last summer, in 2004,” said Beaulieu. “What we have decided as the first point of entry is video verification.”

As traditional CCTV migrates to IP-based functions, a number of new applications will be available to both the residential and commercial customer. One of the more talked about remote video applications is the virtual guard tour.

Whereas some customers might elect for remote video services for cost and convenience purposes, in some jurisdictions police will not respond to an alarm call unless someone has verified that there is actually reason for dispatch.

Beaulieu said he may increase his partnership with Video Domain, a provider of visual evidence recording and video alarm verification products, to include distribution.