After entrepreneur Gene Wang’s mother’s home was burglarized twice in one year, he began to think about cost-effective ways to set up a home security system in one’s home. His work led him to develop an app called Presence, which allows homeowners to turn their old iPhones, iPods, and iPads into security cameras.
Wang realized how many people replaced their Apple devices each year, and how many old Apple devices were simply lying around people’s homes. Many people keep their old Apple devices, because throwing them away seems wasteful, and selling them may lead to personal data being compromised. “What we’re doing is breathing new life into these old devices,” Wang said in an interview with CNET.
For Presence to work, the old Apple devices must be able to connect to Wi-fi. To set up the home security system, the homeowner must download the app onto both his or her current old Apple devices. The current device will serve as the monitor and the old device will serve as the camera. The homeowner should position the camera in an area that he or she would like to keep an eye on, such as the front door or garage. He or she can then watch the camera feed in real time on the other device.
In addition to allowing homeowners to monitor the video feed in real time, Presence features two-way video and audio, which allows the viewer to check in with people who are present in the home or business. The app is also equipped with a motion sensor and will send users a video clip if it detects movement within the home.
Wang has reported that so far, Presence has been used to stop a robbery of a warehouse. A school district in Arizona has also voted to use Presence to set up surveillance within its schools, and is asking local residents to donate old Apple devices.