Smartphone security network catches thieves


Free security app helps catch thief in New Zealand

A free smartphone app that turns the user’s smartphone into a camera and motion detector has helped catch a robber in New Zealand.

Salient Eye’s free Android security alarm system transforms cameras on old mobile devices into motion-sensitive alarms with immediate notification. Salient Eye uses the phone’s camera to sense motion, sounding an optional alarm when a break-in occurs, and immediately forwarding pictures via email and SMS. Users can even put smartphones throughout their houses to create an instant security network for free.

New Zealander Melissa Rodrigues’ three year old son claimed he heard an intruder. The first time she didn’t believe him. The second time, he showed her the proof; footprints in the mud. The third time the intruder appeared, Melissa and her husband caught him using the free app, Salient Eye, which allowed her to transform an old smartphone into a camera and motion detector.

“The support this app gave us was absolutely fantastic,” said Rodrigues. “It meant we didn’t have to put ourselves in harm’s way to look for him, and with the email alert we were on the phone to the police in literally seconds!”

Haggai Meltzer, founder and CEO, Salient Eye, created the app after he’d been robbed. “I had a drawer full of old smartphones. They were too old for the thief to take an interest, but not too old for me to figure out a better way to use them,” he said.

The only hardware required is an old phone or tablet, with security only two clicks away. Requiring no registration nor payment, app setup is not technical; it’s all icon-based for simplicity.

Once the Salient Eye app “saw” the New Zealand intruder, Rodrigues was immediately notified with an email alert. She called the police, and a manhunt of five police cars and a dog tried to track him down. The dog actually lost his scent, but the picture from the Salient Eye app provided enough details that the man could easily be identified. He was a neighbour living a few houses away. He was on a spree and confessed to everything, not only stealing tools from the Rodrigues family but also stealing from other neighbours.

Rodrigues found Salient Eye online. “Having no money to be able to buy a ‘proper’ system, I stumbled across the app, which allowed me to have a free, immediately available security setup. The app literally helped our whole community,” she said.

Salient Eye is available for free download at Google play. Salient Eye works on any Android system, as far back as 2.2 (2010) and sends notifications to any device. An iOS version will be available soon.


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