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Good Morning America isn’t very impressed with you

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

People have been sending this story from Good Morning America, about a guy who watched his home get burglarized on his iPhone, all around the Internets. And, I guess, if you’re not in the industry it does seem kind of cool.

Wowzer! You can watch video on your iPhone?!?

Considering I can uStream with my iPhone and people can watch whatever I’m doing live on their computers and there’s face-to-face now, etc., I’m not sure why this is so impressive, but there’s a good human interest story, what with the pumping gas aspect and the great story of the robbers trying to throw the brick through the window.

But what should be actually worrisome for the industry is how casually the security industry is completely ignored on the second page once the GMA technology expert person is called in.

Becky Worley walks you through the steps of setting up this iCam app, then finishes with:

The program lets you stream video and audio from up to four computer webcams at the same.

The downside to this system is that it uses computer webcams, which makes it difficult to use the computer for other purposes.

How many people are rocking four computers in their house? Maybe lots nowadays, but I’d say that’s a pretty significant downside. In our house, you’d get a great visual of the bookcase in front of where my computer is, but you could rob 95 percent of my house blind without the webcam noticing anything. I suppose you could reposition it as you leave the house… Still, not exactly overly practical.

I think there’s something that GMA is not telling us about the “elaborate” security system that this guy is using to monitor his home.

But Becky does offer us another option:

Another option, which will free up all of the computers in your home, is the Dropcam Wi-Fi security camera.

For about $200 and a $10 monthly fee, all you need is Wi-Fi to monitor your house from anywhere in the world, using your computer or mobile device.

Motions trigger alerts, which are sent to you via text or e-mail. Then you can watch the video from your phone. The interface is dead simple and takes only five minutes to setup.

How about, oh, I don’t know, Total Connect? Or any of a dozen other residential video solutions that are now available via iPhone app? Nope, not a mention. It’s taken as OBVIOUS that you would just set this up yourself and monitor it yourself. There’s no hint that you’d maybe want a security company involved.

Do I think that most people would currently choose the DIY route over monitored security systems? No. But I do think that this idea is creeping ever steadily into the mainstream, and the fact that an event like this garners so much publicity, but so little attention for the security industry, which has been offering this capability for years, should be seriously concerning.

When the mainstream thinks about security, they think about ADT and Broadview (still) and scary white men in black hoodies that trip your alarm so that charming young men can call your house. But if you want to monitor your home with video on your iPhone. Oh, just buy a web cam for that.