Pro 1 plans to expand I-View to include hosted video

CEO Don Young sees service eventually migrating to residential space
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ROMEOVILLE, Ill., and LAS VEGAS—Protection 1 officially introduced I-View Now, its new cloud-based video verification service, a few weeks ago at ASIS. But Pro 1’s Don Young is so convinced that it’s going to be a winner, he’s planning to expand the offer to include hosted video by the end of the year.

“We didn’t offer video service prior to this year,” Young, Protection 1 CIO, told Security Systems News. “The fact that we’re [offering video] in a unique way with I-View makes it a game changer in my book.”

Pro 1 test-drove the system with some national account customers “to gauge their appetite,” Young said. He considers it ideal for national account customers and small and medium-sized businesses, but Protection 1 sees it migrating into the residential space eventually.

The idea was hatched at a CSAA convention in Venice, Italy last year when Young met Larry Folsom, president of I-View Now. Folsom is also owner of Las Vegas-based American Video and Security and a former partner in A-1 Security.

The integration allows video clips from several seconds before an alarm and several seconds after it to be viewed by central station operators. Those clips can also be delivered to end users’ mobile devices.

The video verification system is fully integrated with Protection 1’s e-Suite Web portal. The video clips are stored in the cloud at I-View Now's provider site and are accessible through Pro 1’s e-Suite.

Young and Folsom stressed the importance of central station operators being able to tell law enforcement that they have a video clip showing what caused the alarm and that there’s a crime in progress. With that assurance, law enforcement responds to an alarm on average “in two minutes or less, compared to an average of 20 minutes for non-verified alarms,” Young said.

Folsom said that he used “off-the-shelf stuff and put it into a common interface,” which means that neither the central station operator nor the end user needs to be “a CSI expert.” The systems works with many different kinds of video technology, he said.

Young and Folsom both believe that video verification for alarms will eventually be mandated. Folsom said there is interest from law enforcement, specifically the FBI, in developing apps to integrate this kind of technology into officers’ mobile devices. Young said there is keen interest from some national insurance players in offering discounts to customers who use this kind of technology.

Protection 1 is in the process of training its commercial sales force on the technology.

What about Young’s plans to expand the service to offer hosted video?

It’s well under way, he said: “We’re very close to rolling out our actual storage solution … it’ll be an alternative to local NVR or DVRs,” he said. “By this time next month we’ll be able to use our portal for more than just playback [of video clips].”

Young expects the hosted video offering to be available in early 2013. Video will be stored in the cloud. The plan is to have end users temporarily store video on a simple hard drive and then to stream the video to the cloud after-hours, when there is ample bandwidth for transmission. I-View Now will monitor the health of the surveillance systems. If problems are detected, the central station can notify the end user, Folsom explained.

Customers “will not have to have a robust, multiple-function DVR, just an inexpensive hard drive … and they’ll have far more robust access [to the video] from our Web portal … and they’ll have high-quality video. How do you lose?” Young said.