Britannia.com Time Capsule
Take a journey back in time to the Panorama Archives....
Panorama Archives: 2000
New High Tech Internet Enable Security System
By Kofi Akumanyi
LookC Pro, developed by Applied Technologies Manufacturing Limited,
in Tyne and Wear, north-east England, is described as the world's
first Internet enabled security system, capable of helping to recover stolen property and find vehicles that have broken down in isolated locations.
The remarkable aspect of this system is that existing technology is
used with the firm's own proprietary software and hardware to achieve
a considerable reduction in the overall operating cost compared with
similar products. The system is hosted in an ordinary personal
computer using the LookC Pro hardware linked to standard, low-cost
closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and security sensors such as
passive infrared (PIR) detectors, door and window contacts and
When a sensor is triggered by an intruder attempting to break into a
wired-up house, for instance, the LookC system performs seven
automatic responses. First, the tele-paging and web uploading
functions that are pre-selected by the user are activated.
The tele-paging function calls the user's mobile phone and tells him
or her the address and exactly where the break-in has occurred, which
LookC camera is recording the event and whether it has activated the
alarm bells. Using the website address provided by the mobile phone
and an account password, the owner can then look at the recorded
video of the event which has been downloaded to a server on the
Internet. Better still, the recorded event can be replayed many
times, frame by frame or a live view of the scene of the crime can be
Designed for a wide range of uses the software allows for a 24-hour
schedule and will switch itself on and off automatically. Since all
the recorded events are saved on a remote server the chances of
corrupting or accidental erasure of vital information is minimal.
Accessing the data is simple. The user selects a day in a calendar
and the day's event list by camera, by time or general playback and
LookC does the rest.
The freeze-frame mode enables hard copy to be printed or a JPEG image
file to be e-mailed to the police or friends. The system is not
limited to anti-burglary monitoring only. It can be programmed to
monitor children or a nanny. The LookC Pro system has been installed
by car manufacturer Rolls-Royce.
Another innovative system developed by a British inventor Christopher
Collins aims to reduce the noise made by car alarms that go off with
irritating persistence either because of an attempted break-in or
After research showed that in most cases the owners were not within
earshot when the alarms were triggered, Mr Collins designed the
device the size of a television remote control which is programmed
with the owners mobile telephone number. When the alarm sounds, the
device rings the owner's number and reads a recorded warning alerting
him either to turn it off immediately or return to the vehicle to
A spokesman for the RAC, one of the UK's leading roadside assistance
organisations said: ``We are in favour of all technology that could help
reduce car crime by making alarms more reliable. People using systems
such as this would also have to realise that they could end up
getting to their vehicles a lot quicker and so disturb potentially
dangerous thieves in the act.''
Another roadside rescue company - the AA - launched a key fob
location system as an accessory to its Trackstar, a service for
locating the whereabouts of a stolen vehicle fitted with the tracking
device. With the new accessory, the positioning equipment will be
activated when the owner presses a button on the fob which then
automatically transmit the car's location via an in-built terminal to
an operator enabling him to talk to the owner through a microphone
installed in the car's stereo system.
The AA is also working on another service called URHere which will
locate a member through a new mobile phone technology instead of a
satellite by calculating how far the mobile phone is from the nearest
three of the network's antennas.
Applied Technologies Manufacturing Limited
The Old Chapel, Winlaton
Mill, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom, NE21 6RT
Telephone: +191 414 5929
Back to the 2000 Archive
Copyright ©2000 Britannia.com, LLC Questions? Comments!