Surveillance Services Firm Sees Farms as Growth Market – The Business Journal


Source: The Business Journal – Phoenix

Mesa-based security surveillance firm IntelaSight has entered into a partnership with one of the nations largest agricultural monitoring firms, adding real time surveillanceto farming communities in the Western U.S.


The recent deal with Crop Monitoring Services, a subsidiaryof California based Polywest Converting, will use IntelaSight’s latest camera technology on farms throughout California and eventually the other 10 states CMS serves. The company is adding surveillance to its current bio-monitoring offerings, such as soil moisture and air temperature.


“The people who talk to us about our crop-monitoring systems have made it clear to us for a long time that they have issues involving security,” said Chris Perkinson, a partner in CMS.


Terms still are being negotiated, Perkinson said. The partnership is the first with a major agricultural firm, said IntelaSight President David Ly.


Since starting the company in 2003, IntelaSight has worked with private and public customers in Arizona and California, including the city of Mesa Parks and Recreation Department, the Department of Homeland Security and Farnsworth Realty & Management.


Adding agricultural surveillance is vital to the company’s future, Ly said.


“The application is, you have a self sustaining camera unit that now can be placed out in the fields where normally your telecommunications company cannot reach, your power companies don’t have lines to,” he said. “You can now monitor how healthy your assets are immediately when it would have taken you half an hour to get to.”


The new camera combines solar power with wireless technology to give 24-hour surveillance at the farms. The digital network cameras have three-day battery capacity and accept WiFi, cellular and satellite signals.


“There are no geographical boundaries to where we can extend our monitoring services,” Ly said.


The cameras are equipped with software to recognize suspicious activities and automatically notify a specialist at the home office in Mesa with a message and real time video.


With the live video on the screen, the monitor can both alert the perpetrator that he or she is being recorded and notify law enforcement dispatchers of the activity.


“I don’t think it was up a month and we caught somebody causing criminal damage at one of our buildings here,” said Robert Ingulli, town of Florence police chief.


When Mesa Parks and Recreation officials were faced with $20,000 in vandalism damages at Shepard Aquatic Complex during a two month period, they first thought to hire a security guard for 24-hour services.


After weighing the costs, they instead turned to IntelaSight for a pilot program. With just one camera, they caught two people trespassing and saved the center from further damage.


“The cost of using the camera was like 90 percent less,” said Darla Armfield, Mesa recreation department supervisor. “We love it so far.”


The key to the IntelaSight’s service is the technology. One employee can oversee hundreds of cameras between a few computer screens.


Ly said he expects to venture further into the agricultural market and, with the new self. sustaining digital camera, expects to move into other markets that may be off the electrical grid.


The Downtown Mesa Association suggested, the city implement the IntelaSight surveillance system in the square mile merchant district. The businesses themselves would pay for the services, costing the city nothing.


IntelaSight equipment already is in use at the East Valley Tribune building in downtown Mesa.


Ty Young


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