NOTE: As of February 2013, PolicePad and FireTab are now PublicEye®.

In a contest promoted by The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) and AT&T for the 2013 ACT4apps Award, Zco Corporation’s Gary Mueller answered these questions about mobile application development.

1. How did you get started in app development? What’s your background?

After being in the software development industry for over 35 years, I got involved with the development of PolicePad and FireTab. I recognized a need for public safety officials to have a cost effective tool that promotes safety in the field. The idea was being pioneered by experts in the industry, and I wanted to be a part of creating a tool that supported communities and departments.

I made the move in 2012 to become Zco’s Vice President of Business Development, after being a client of theirs for several years. Before Zco Corporation, I was the Executive Director at Luminus Systems, a multi-strategy investment company. Luminus is involved in many sectors including manufacturing, resources, healthcare and IT services and solutions. In 2006, I became the CEO of a Luminus Systems investment called DEXSAR, Inc. I spent over 5 years at DEXSAR developing internet services to provide managed file transfer and data loss protection.

Zco Corporation has been developing custom software for over 20 years. The company has been at the forefront of mobile development since the early 2000s and has come to focus attention on multi-platform app development. We specialize in iPhone, iPad and Android smartphone development but offer services for all major mobile platforms.

2. Why did you choose to create the kind of apps you’re creating (health, games, education, etc.)?

As a custom mobile app developer, Zco does not concentrate on a particular genre. We are open to all clients’ ideas and work closely with them to create exactly what they envisioned at the start. To compete in the mobile application market, it’s important to remain open-minded and versatile about potential applications and their uses. Previously, Zco has developed mobile games, augmented reality apps, education apps, business apps and more.

More recently, Zco has developed PolicePad and FireTab for iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones. These public safety tools for law enforcement and firefighters are aimed at increasing efficiency and communication between officers in the field and their respective headquarters. PolicePad includes features for 911 calls, exact incident locations, sex offenders and vehicle checks, whereas FireTab includes mappings for fire hydrants and HazMat. Both tools offer live video streaming, group messaging and roll call and are individually customizable for every department.

3. What are some of the obstacles you face as a developer that you wish you could change? Are there resources you would recommend?

As with any project, there is a constant desire to improve upon the original result. Generating consistent and relevant updates is a vital part of the development process. I am consistently working with public safety departments to improve and perfect PolicePad and FireTab.

I also attended a meeting with ACT at the White House in May 2012 to discuss the app economy. The growth of the app economy depends on the allotted bandwidth from the government. The meeting served as a resource for ideas concerning app security and growth through incentives and an entrepreneurial spirit. More information on the story is available here.

4. Some of the latest technology is exhibited at CES. What would you like to see as the best new technology at CES 2022?

Mobile devices have already overtaken desktop computers as the most used mediums to access information. I would like to see more integration between mobile devices and other technology. Once this happens, new opportunities for apps related to TVs, vehicles and other electronics will further expand the app development market.

5. What do you, or app developers generally, need most in order to have continued success?

App developers depend on smartphone carriers and the power of their respective networks. ACT has been a large part in negotiating government bandwidth regulations to create a level playing field for developers. They believe that a growing app economy depends on a greater spectrum to meet the demand for connectivity. The success of app developers largely depends upon the economic stability of the entrepreneurial sector and the government’s support for mobile technologies.

In addition to the political aspect, staying open-minded promotes growth. The biggest determinant in the success of an app developer: we must not only incorporate emerging technology in our work, but embrace these innovations and brainstorm an even better future.

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