Automated detection solutions provider FutureSentry recently announced that it has teamed up with Mi5 Security, a New Zealand-based manufacturer of wireless videos cameras, to develop a solar-powered surveillance solution for perimeter security applications. The joint solution will feature Mi5’s wireless Redeye camera, which will be combined with FutureSentry’s First Responder technology that identifies and tracks intruders.
According to FutureSentry President and CEO Rolland Trayte, the company started to develop a relationship with Mi5 about a year ago. Although Mi5 found success selling its Redeye camera in the New Zealand and Australia markets, predominantly for purposes such as monitoring water levels, Trayte said most of their applications were not in security.
“The difficulty with a fixed camera, obviously, is that it sees roughly 40 or 45 degrees and that’s all it sees. You would need a lot them to cover the 360-degrees that the FutureSentry First Responder does,” Trayte explained. “And that was really the beauty of the partnership. Mi5 said look, ‘we’ve got a nice technology that draws very little power and can be used to monitor remote things where there’s no infrastructure, but the problem is we can’t cover 360-degrees of the world around us and it’s potentially not feasible for us to be able to put enough units in to cover that.’”
Trayte says this partnership will open the Australia and New Zealand markets up to FutureSentry’s products and will likewise provide Mi5 with an opportunity to showcase their solutions to a new customer base.
In addition, Trayte believes that this jointly developed solution will play well in markets that FutureSentry has had previous success in such as oil and gas applications, as well as other critical infrastructure projects.
“We think that although we will market to what we believe are the sweet spots… I think the market is going to teach us where the real sweet spots are in terms of where this is best suited,” he said. “Customers come up to us all the time and say, ‘gee, wouldn’t be cool if?’ These kinds of wireless security solutions are going to be seeing more and more use for things that maybe they weren’t originally conceived for.”
Not only will this solution be used where it’s not economically or environmentally feasible to have humans monitoring an area, but it will also be deployed where power requirements are a concern. “We developed the FutureSentry First Responder unit, as well as our solar-powered sensors, to draw very, very low power and that’s why it’s a perfect marriage with Mi5 and their Redeye camera because that draws very, very low power as well,” Trayte said. “The unit will have sufficient battery power to power it for a week without recharging and probably longer. The tests that we’ve done have shown that either unit will run on about eight hours of sunlight and it will run for close to a month.”
Trayte said that solar-powered solutions have given the security industry an opportunity not only to “go green” and be eco-friendly, but to also cut down significantly on infrastructure costs.
“It greatly increases the application of electronic technology to be able to go into areas and be environmental friendly, not have to dig and trench and pull wire and plant poles. A lot of the projects that we’re getting involved with, particularly in the oil and gas markets, are such that they’re really trying to tread lightly these days and the use of solar and other environmentally friendly solutions are consistent with what American corporations are asking for and the sensitivity that they have for the environment,” he said.
The jointly developed solution is currently undergoing beta testing is expected to be officially launched next year at ISC West. “Frankly, there’s nothing like either one of these products on the marketplace at all,” Trayte said.