Spark has officially begun offering its new smart home security product, Morepork, exclusively to customers on one of the telco’s broadband plans.
Designed to allow Kiwis to keep an eye on their homes remotely from their smartphones, details of Morepork had been kept under wraps since Spark confirmed in June that it would be the first New Zealand telco to enter the ‘smart living’ market following a beta launch of Morepork.
As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, Morepork monitors homes with sensors and cameras connected to the cloud and sends alerts to customer’s smartphones if it picks up any changes in the house, like movement or windows and doors opening.
Furthermore, customers can ‘peek in’ at any time via the Morepork app to see live stream video, arm and disarm the alarm remotely, check whether doors and windows are closed and if the teenagers got home from school safely.
Spark Ventures GM of Smart Living, Gemma Croombs says Morepork’s an alternative to traditional security and alarm systems.
“It’s the type of disruptive new innovation that will re-shape the home security market,” she says.
“Morepork’s the first of a range of smart, useful products we’re developing at Spark to make life easier for our customers. When it comes to the smart home, customers want awesome tech that’s simple to set up.
“So we’ve taken premium hardware components and designed Morepork so that it’s easily self-installed and users choose where cameras and sensors are positioned to suit their home and the things they want to look after.
“We’ve also designed Morepork so that it’s easy to take with you if you move house or flat.”
Croombs says customers who sign-up for a Morepork will get the Security Starter Kit with premium hardware - a control panel, three door and window sensors, an image sensor and a video camera.
Customers can also buy extra sensors, cameras and a smoke alarm to add to their Morepork.
The sensors connect to the control panel, which is effectively the ‘brains’ of Morepork - it uses the Spark mobile network to keep customers updated about what’s happening at home, while the video camera does the same thing through the customer’s WiFi network.
Spark Home, Mobile and Business CEO Jason Paris says the security of the system and protection of users’ data has been paramount in developing Morepork.
“We’re working with Alarm.com in the US, which has a strong data security record and over 2.3 million end users globally, for Morepork’s software platform,” Paris says.
“We wanted a platform that also allowed us to choose the best hardware to suit the needs of our customers now, like the video camera, sensors and smoke alarm and to add on more great functions over time.”
Paris says that with Morepork, customers control who has access to their Morepork, and to personal data.
“The control is put in the hands of the customer and they can set it up how they want to,” he adds. “They can also allow people they trust - family, flatmates or neighbours - to receive alerts.”
Spark says consumers using Morepork need to protect their login details just as they would a banking PIN number.
Paris says Spark’s moving into ‘smart living’ with a great security product first, because that’s how most consumers start building their smart home.
“Spark naturally sits at the heart of the smart home because we have the mobile technology and the network to connect consumers to the things they love,” he adds.
“More than 70 percent of our customers now own a smartphone and this is estimated to grow to around 80-90 percent within a few years.
“If you look at the way New Zealanders are using their mobile phone now it is really the remote for their life.
"A smart home security system that you control through your mobile phone is a natural extension of that.”