Burglar sensors set to become a new tool for Kiwis

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1 NEWS

A Kiwi start-up company is vowing to stop burglars in their tracks with new technology it hopes to have commercially available by next year.

Wireless Guard has just been named as one of 10 new companies being mentored by Vodafone to take their ideas to the world.

Wireless Guard has been named as one of 10 hot new companies being mentored by Vodafone to take their ideas to the world.
Source: 1 NEWS

Two Canterbury University mechatronics graduates, Taylor Howatson and Anthony Lefebvre-Allen, put all their study to good use, designing a small sensor for doors and windows.

The sensors can alert a homeowner on their smartphone if they've left their house unlocked or if someone tries to get in, the catalyst coming when Mr Howatson's student flat was burgled.

"There's a huge amount of emotional, not trauma, but emotional feelings that you go through when you're burgled," he told ONE News.

"Forty per cent of burglaries in New Zealand are enabled through unlocked doors and windows," he said.

The sensor designers had to convince a Vodafone panel that their idea deserved its support, and their idea was selected in the top 10 out of 170 applicants for Vodafone's accelerator programme Xone.

"I think the potential's huge. I think every home in New Zealand would want to be connected, and I think everyone who has a home wants to  prevent burglaries," said Matt Williams of Vodafone.

The Wireless Guard designers have earned a mentoring package worth $150,000 and access to Vodafone's $50,000 innovation lab, that has just gone up in Christchurch, to test their product out.

"There's no reason why New Zealand startups can't be the next Microsoft, the next Google, and so we're looking to help them do that," Mr Williams said.

The designers certainly seem ready for the challenge, with Mr Lefebvre-Allen saying the ultimate goal is to see their device in every house.

They hope to have the sensors on shop shelves next year.

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