New technology gives you bird's eye view

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 at 1:00am

Imagine yourself eating dinner in a downtown restaurant in the late evening when your cell phone rings. There is no one on the other end. Instead, it is your business's remote camera calling to let you know that someone is in your office. Instantly pictures of a person appear on the phone's screen.

It's OK, your employee is dropping off some paperwork. But it could have been someone who broke into your office to steal your laptop. In a case like that, you could notify the police and give them an exact description of the thief or instantly e-mail them a copy of the picture.

The remote camera system that offers this in-color picture technology for home or office is made by a new Nashville company called Smartvue Corp.

"Our simple to use system offers quick installation with the most advanced technology available in a number of disciplines," said Martin Renkis, founder and chief executive of Smartvue. "Our market is the global visual management industry that is broader than the current surveillance and security industry."

The motion-activated system, which allows up to 10 cameras, is comprised of a wireless video recorder and one or more wireless cameras. When an image through a video signal is received by a camera it is forwarded to the recorder, which then sends the signal to any network (including cell phones systems) or personal computers. It has the ability to process scenes with both dark and bright areas much like the human eye

State of the art technology, allowing live or recorded videos, is used including video compression, extreme range wireless communication, ultra-wide dynamic range imaging and advanced security technologies. Smartvue holds three patents and has 13 more filed.

In its first national distributor agreement, Smartvue's system is to become available to new homeowners through Home Director Inc. in the first quarter of 2005. The publicly traded company, headquartered in San Francisco, has a number of distribution partners including Sears.

"There is nothing like it in the wireless market," said Tom Wilky, vice president of marketing for Home Director. "When we took it to the big builders trade show in Las Vegas in November, the builders showed a lot of excitement when they saw it work."

Home Director plans to sell it as part of its home security program that the company believes is very economically priced, according to Wilky.

Smartvue expects sales to reach $30 million by the end of 2005 and $102 million by the close of 2006.

Filed under: City Business