The concept behind this Security App was to make an ultra-simple CCTV app. Rather than compete with the hundreds of other CCTV apps in the App Store, This App was designed to do one thing great: View you store or shops CCTV seemly.

Tablets, smartphones and mobile apps that can be used on these devices are increasingly the technology of choice for business and personal use, including the physical security industry.

demand for apps is high, even though the implementation is still relatively low. Integrators can lose a job if the products they offer don’t have a related app, and asking for an app has become second nature. In response, companies are developing apps to complement the products they sell, making the systems, whether for surveillance, access control or home security, more interactive and the information provided by them more immediately useful.

One major progression is that apps are no longer being developed as replacements for the overall functionality of the desktop system. An app isn’t meant to be a substitute for a complete access control or video surveillance system. Rather, it’s designed to tackle unique applications that can enhance the overall system, taking advantage of the technology provided by the smartphone or tablet format. Using a phone for monitoring is very different than sitting at a bank of monitors, so the application should reflect that difference.

With that in mind, what the industry is seeing in the surveillance arena is a demand for apps that can allow security officers to view live video from any camera within the system, or recorded video from an NVR or DVR. Via a mobile app, the security officer can view recorded video from any location, managing the playback by selecting the date and time they want to evaluate

Increasingly, police departments are requiring verification of certain events, such as the triggering of a home or business alarm, before they respond. The police department in San Jose, Calif., for example, instituted such a policy in January 2012, requiring a verified audio, video or eyewitness account of a crime that was occurring or had occurred. Through a mobile app, homeowners can view their residence and business owners their corporate address, and verify that the alarm isn’t a false one. If needed, the video could be shared with the police.

The video that can be viewed live or recorded via an app is helping to increase general productivity and profitability when applied to non-security situations. A business owner, for instance, can call up a live feed to check on the status of inventory, or determine if additional employees are needed to service customers.

However, with increased reliance on video comes the issue of managing bandwidth. The advent of 3G and 4G networks has made it easier to view the video on a mobile device. Nevertheless, the fastest growing trend in security — high-resolution, megapixel cameras — requires more bandwidth than a typical mobile network can support. Mobile app users need to think about ways to manage bandwidth, such as deploying additional hardware that allow them to dynamically reduce the resolution or change the frame rate of a video stream to get the video across the mobile network.

Fortunately, companies are continuing to refine their physical security products to meet the demands of the mobile device end user. Issues such as bandwidth management will be addressed as the camera or encoder is designed, rather than creating a product and then expecting the user to adapt to its limitations.