U.S. News

Eye in The Sky (Or Anywhere You Need It)

Linda R. Sittenfeld, Senior Producer

Want to monitor the security cameras at headquarters while you're having dinner at home? Want to keep an eye on the kids while you're at your desk? Now you can.

Richard Soloway, chairman and chief executive of Napco, explains his new service, i-See Video.

What is i-See Video?
It's very unique. There is nothing like it in the marketplace. You sign up with a security company and for a small additional fee, you get access with a code to the live video. You can look at live security video wherever you are, even on your BlackBerry or cellphone.

So for example, the kids come home from school and you can watch them and see what they are doing. Or if you have elderly parents, you can keep an eye on them. This is for anytime you want to be in two places at once.

At Napco (i-See Video's parent company), we have 30 cameras and I can see them all from anywhere outside the office.

I-See Video also sends video clips for specific events. Let's say the alarm rings and you've programmed it to alert you when the alarm rings. It sends you a clip, and you can see who opened the door. Maybe your kid set it off by mistake. Or your cat. Or maybe it's a burglar.

Plus, it records everything.

Is there a danger in someone else seeing this video, maybe seeing into your home?
No, you have total control. No one else can look at the video.

How much does it cost?
The i-See Video service starts at $10 per month. But this is a new business model for us. For the first time, we make recurring revenue on security systems.

Tell us about the business model.
35 million customers currently have security equipment. Napco makes money by providing high-tech burglary and fire alarm equipment to distributors and dealers, many of whom have thousands of accounts. 'Til recently, it's been a one time thing. We do business with the alarm companies, and then it's over for us.

Now the distributors and dealers, who on the average provide burglary and fire alarm subscription services for $30 a month, charge an extra $10-$20 a month for Napco's i-See Video technology. We share that revenue with the alarm companies. It should be a fast growing business.

How's i-See Video doing so far?
We introduced about 5 months ago, and just reintroduced it in a faster, higher pixel format. Now you can see a cash register and see serial numbers on bills from 20 feet away. We already have more than 2000 customers using it.

Were you funded by your parent company, Napco, or did you get independent funding?
We are a separately funded operation within Napco.

i-See Video just won Product of the Year at the International Security Conference for most innovative best product