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Cellphone app to secure the home

A Technopark-based company has introduced a cellphone-based security service for neighbourhoods. The pilot programme is running in a locality in the State capital.



The 'In an Emergency' service has field staff with vehicles.

Tired of keeping an eye out for burglars at night? Ever felt that your house is being staked out for a theft? What will you do in case of an emergency at home? Does the prospect of leaving for a week-long family tour leave you on edge?

Electronic anti-theft systems are available off the shelf, but most brands are either undependable or unaffordable. Many families are forced to fall back on unreliable security services or relatives to keep a watch on the house when they are away. Not something that will ensure peace of mind while on holiday.

A Technopark-based company claims to have come up with a technology solution to the problem. The company is testing a security service that uses wireless and mobile-phone technologies, coupled with a core team of trained personnel, to offer security and medical emergency support round the clock.

Named ‘In an Emergency' (INE), the pilot project is being implemented in the Kowdiar area in the State capital. “As many as 50 families have already subscribed to our service and there are hundreds of inquiries,” says Manohar, senior manager, Rain Concert Technologies.

The INE software developed by the company can be installed in any Java-enabled mobile phone. A single press of the number 2 key on the phone will alert people around the subscriber and let security personnel rush to the spot within five minutes. Subscribers can opt for a wireless switch instead of the mobile phone.

The system, being implemented by Rain Concert in association with Eram Scientific Solutions, is equipped with provisions to contact security officers, neighbours, relatives or friends by sending alerts to preset numbers on mobile phones.

It can also be configured to send alerts to the nearest hospital or police station.

“We are in talks with the government to bring police stations and hospitals also into the loop,” Mr. Manohar said.

The solution offers a 24/7 tracking system for roads, colonies and streets, and on-the-spot assistance by trained personnel.

Hi-tech gadgets, such as night vision cameras and motion sensors, can be employed for round-the-clock surveillance in houses and colonies.

Remote monitoring techniques can be used to detect intrusions into a house when the occupants are away.



The 'In an Emergency' service has field staff with vehicles.

INE security officials are deployed on two-wheelers to be available on the spot within five minutes of receiving an alert.

They are equipped with modern GPS- and GPRS-enabled phones. The location of the security personnel can be tracked with the help of satellite signals.

Customers can seek information on security guards using mobile phones or through web portals. The security men are trained in martial arts and in handling medical equipment. They are also trained in soft skills.

Mr. Manohar said security officers would visit the customers every month to collect feedback on the service. “The availability of security officers in emergency situations is the major attraction of the scheme. The officers will carry basic equipment to check blood sugar and blood pressure levels of the family members during the monthly visit. They can also be contacted for medical emergencies,” Mr. Manohar said. INE is offering a safety-cum-insurance package for subscribers.

Users can log in to the INE web portal by providing the given name and password. They can add contact names and numbers of as many as 15 friends, relatives or neighbours to be alerted in case of an emergency. The portal is equipped with a satellite-enabled facility to track security officers on duty.

Each neighbourhood coming under the INE scheme will be provided with a local alert unit comprising a GPRS device and an alarm system installed in it.

The unit will sound the alarm to alert neighbours in case of an emergency or if INE security guards come under attack.

The entire INE system is coordinated with the help of a server-cum-call-centre working 24/7. The server contains database files and logs all the customer data. It also tracks and logs the mobile device provided to security men in real time.

The registration fee for the service is fixed at Rs.500 and the monthly fee is Rs.100. Other services such as using remote controlled equipment for surveillance will cost more.

FRAT support

The Federation of Residents' Associations, Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT), has extended support to popularise the system. “The success of the project depends on how fast and how well the service responds to a burglary attempt or medical emergency,” says G. Raveendran Nair, general secretary, FRAT. “Very often, law-enforcement agencies arrive well after the perpetrators of a crime leave the scene. The concept has to be promoted if it can provide speedy assistance to citizens in distress.”

V.P. Sivakumar, a retired KSEB employee who has subscribed to the service, says, “It is a good concept, one that needs to be encouraged especially in a social situation where most houses have senior citizens who need support to handle an emergency situation.”

A resident of Ambala Nagar, Mr. Sivakumar feels that the rates charged by the service provider are reasonable and affordable for most families.

For information on INE, dial 94470 60700 or e-mail: manava30@gmail.com

T. NANDAKUMAR

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