Three Guesses on What the Rise of the Tablet Means for Physical Security Solutions
Gartner says worldwide media tablet sales are on pace to reach 19 million units in 2010 with 60% of those sales in North America. They predict 181% growth for 2011 to more than 54 million units. Gartner goes on to say that cellular/Wi-Fi tablets will grow from 55% of sales this year to 80% of sales by 2014.
Source: Gartner October 2010
So what does the rise of the network-enabled tablet mean for physical security providers, users, and integrators? Here are my three best guesses.
Guess #1 – For security system manufacturers……thin is in.
Most tablets contain limited computing power to operate traditional thick client applications. At best you can have a small purpose-built application that allows you to access information and capabilities stored elsewhere. Manufacturers will be driven to create tablet applications and/or use standard browsers to provide access to their back-end platforms. This will help to drive the adoption of common standards and speed up the eradication of proprietary thick client security applications.
Guess #2 – For end-users….. fixed posts go mobile.
Once security system users are freed from their desks by tablets, the viability of a fixed-post guard operation will be diminished for many customers. Rather than posting Security Officer Sam to the console room in front of a bank of monitors, it’s likely that Sam will be roaming the campus with an iPad under his arm and a smart phone on his hip. It’s debatable if we will even need the traditional fixed-post security operations center for anything but the largest and most sensitive facilities.
Guess #3 – For security integrators….a little more gray hair.
If you thought application compatibility issues with various operating systems and browser versions were a challenge to manage, wait until your customer expects your security application to run on four different tablets over their Wi-Fi or cellular network. Integrators will have to master yet another platform for security applications in an environment that requires advanced networking and IT security know-how. I’m sure many smart integrators will view this as another opportunity to underline the “value-add” in Value-Added Reseller.
Those are my three best guesses on how the rise of the tablet will impact physical security applications. One thing is not a guess, the tablets are here and reproducing like rabbits. Here at Brivo it seems like each day I see a new person toting their tablet to meetings… are you ready for the rise of the tablet?
- John Szczygiel