Now .... I can see you

SSN Staff  - 
Saturday, June 1, 2002

These days, it seems that remote video technology is the talk of the town. Though we all know it's been out on the market for a number of years, it's beginning to gain wider acceptance in the industry for its recurring revenue value the dealers hold so dear and, of course, the opportunity to provide customers with products they demand.

But the acceptance isn't just limited to the cash it puts in the dealer's pocket or that techno-geek customers want this service. Now, more than ever, such systems are becoming easier to use. The quality of video is getting better and the ability to view live video over the Internet is becoming a widely accepted practice.

Though such systems are more prevalent today in the commercial market, it's expected to hit the mainstream -- and that, I mean, is the residential market.

What working parent wouldn't want to be able to go on- line from the office and check in at home to see that their teenage kids have arrived safely home from school or that they're doing their homework?

Companies like WebEyeAlert are making such systems simple, with inexpensive software that can be used with any existing camera and can appeal to the average homeowner. Then there are those like Digital-Parts that are tapping into the larger market, with a hardware system geared more towards commercial establishments.

As a parent, it's reassuring to be able to check in on your little ones to see how they are doing. One big plus with the daycare that my seven-month old son attends is that it has a web camera that enables parents to log onto a password protected website and view images of the infant room anytime of the day.

Mind you the system is not the most sophisticated. It's a self installed system, I believe, and some days the image stalls, the link is broken or when the web camera has fallen off its perch, the picture is a little off kilter.

Still, it provides me with a sense of security to be able to log on anytime during the day and to see what my son is doing. And even though the image is not the best, I can often see exactly what he is up to.

Some of you may be saying that being able to check in on your family is going a little too far with remote video. But is it really?

If it provides parents with the feeling of security, isn't that the point of this industry?

It seems that the market is wide open here -- remote video is here, now and it's gaining acceptance. Now, wouldn't you like to put a few extra bucks in your pocket?