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Brivo: Three Guesses on What Rising Tablet Shipment Means for Physical Security Solutions
By John Szczygiel 2010/12/24

Gartner says worldwide media tablet sales are on pace to reach 19 million units in 2010 with 60 percent of those sales in North America. They predict 181-percent growth for 2011 to more than 54 million units. Gartner goes on to say that cellular/Wi-Fi tablets will grow from 55 percent of sales this year to 80 percent of sales by 2014. Gartner says worldwide media tablet sales are on pace to reach 19 million units in 2010 with 60 percent of those sales in North America. They predict 181-percent growth for 2011 to more than 54 million units. Gartner goes on to say that cellular/Wi-Fi tablets will grow from 55 percent of sales this year to 80 percent of sales by 2014.

So what does the rise of the network-enabled tablet mean for physical security providers, users, and integrators? Here are three best guesses.

Guess1: For security system manufacturers

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.

Guess2: For end users

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

If you thought application compatibility issues with various operating systems and browser versions were a challenge to manage, wait until customer expects 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 networking and IT security know-how. Many smart integrators will view this as another opportunity to underline the “value-add” in value-added reseller.

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