Source: The Arizona Republic
IntelaSight, a start-up company that creates and operates security surveillance systems for business customers, is only two years old and has just 15 employees. But Mesa officials hope it will become an engine of future economic expansion in their city.
David Ly’s cameras never go on vacation, never fall asleep and never take bribes.
They stare unobtrusively at a yard full of expensive recreational vehicles, looking like fancy streetlights.
The cameras see all with a 360-degree panoramic view. They are linked by the Internet to monitors watched by employees at Ly’s brainchild, Mesa-based IntelaSight, who can see in real time what’s happening at any given moment.
The innovative service can warn a startled intruder through a speaker to leave private property, call the Mesa police, even send police dispatchers an e-mail with a link so they can watch, too.
“At this point in time, we’re true innovators,” said Ly, 30, the company’s president. “We’re innovating this convergence of physical security and information technology.”
The application of Internet technology is so new that it has a short track record. Ly attributes just one arrest to IntelaSight.
Mesa police seemed unfamiliar with the service, but like the possibilities. Sgt. Chuck Trapani, a police spokesman, said the technology has a great deal of potential for investigating crime and protecting officers. Trapani said 987 commercial burglaries were reported in Mesa in the past six months, from May 27 to Dec. 27.
“Any technology that can capture a crime being committed is a plus,” he said. “That’s a great tool. We could give responding officers a play-by-play.”
Joe Farnsworth, president of Sunland Mini Storage and RV in east Mesa, is a believer, after IntelaSight helped police nab a would-be burglar in May.
“We had a rash of break-ins. That’s why I checked into it,” Farnsworth said. “We solved it. I can go on the Internet and look if I want to. It’s been very effective for us.”
Each morning, Farnsworth receives an e-mail report from IntelaSight detailing what happened at his property the night before. It includes pictures of cars and people coming and going.
He said the system gives him peace of mind and another selling point to attract customers, with some storing million-dollar motor homes at his facility.
Conventional closed-circuit security systems can only record crimes, and many times they are ineffective because they aren’t loaded with tapes or have poor visual quality, Ly said.
But IntelaSight offers crisp digital images. Most importantly, it allows authorities to intervene and stop crime, he said.
“After the fact, there’s only so much you can do,” Ly said. “The value of IntelaSight is we’re there proactively.”
Ly’s cameras have captured amusing images of criminals running away immediately when an “intervention specialist” orders him to leave. Other times, the intruder has tried to attack the camera.
“Deterrence is what makes the difference,” he said.
Ly, a native of San Jose, Calif., formed his company two years ago with Michael Religioso, his chief technology officer. The two engineers had been laid off in the Silicon Valley dot-com crash.
Ly had been transferred to Mesa by Ricochet, a maker of high-speed wireless modems that went out of business. His company has about 15 employees and is based at Mesa’s Bank of America building.
Ly and Religioso spent 2½ years in research and development, working out the kinks before they started selling subscriptions in January.
IntelaSight customers are in Arizona, California and Texas. They include the International Gem Show, Day’s Inn and Sleep Inn in Tucson and the Palo Alto Airport in northern California, where the cameras guard expensive planes and help instructors evaluate takeoffs and landings.
“It’s really quite easy and a no-brainer,” said Josh Smith, general manager of the West Valley Flying Club in Palo Alto. “It’s a low-cost way to provide aircraft security.”
IntelaSight system protects about 100 planes worth millions of dollars, with most planes also featuring avionics worth about $150,000, he said. The FAA has insisted on improved security since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the planes are vulnerable because they are stored outside.
“You can either pay someone to drive around or you can pay for a computer to scan the area,” Smith said.
With the company still in a formative stage, Ly said he is selling the concept of applying Internet technology to security. He said he has no real competitors, who combine the Internet applications with human monitoring.
IntelaSight has not turned a profit, but expects to do so within two years.Besides signing up more subscribers, the company plans ambitious initiatives in 2006. They include contracting with a Chandler company to expand wireless applications. That would allow someone on vacation in Hawaii to check out his or her home or office.
IntelaSight is online at www.intelasight.com
Luz A. Berg
Chief Operating Officer & CMO
Phone: 480 307-8700
Fax: 480 962-1251