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Big market, big targets for intruder detection device

Roger Winslade has a four wheel drive adventure park in Auckland, but he’s created a second business out of a wireless security system designed to protect property in remote areas.

The Scorpion 1000 system has a sensor that uses electromagnetic and magnetic field detection, triggering an alert to the customer via satellite and the company’s servers when metal in intruder’s vehicles or weapons is detected. It can be buried underground or attached to machinery and equipment, where it detects intruder using seismic (vibration) detection.

The alert is sent via text and email, with a map and GPS coordinates showing where the intruder was detected. Winslade had the brainwave about two years ago when he couldn’t find a security device that worked without cellphone coverage, a common issue in remote areas and formed the company, Specialist Surveillance Services.

“We were frustrated with the lack of anything out there to catch people in remote locations stealing stock or anything like that,” says Winslade. “These don’t require cellphone coverage or anything like a conventional device needs. It’s underground and can’t be seen.”

The device also functions without an external power supply. Winslade and his fellow shareholders Nick Lawson and Barry Page are targeting farmers, orchardists, the forestry industry and conservationists with the system.

They’re offering the unit for lease for $10 per day long term, because each costs about $5000 to produce. Winslade hopes to get 1000 into the market.

“Forestry crews lose thousands of dollars a day in [stolen] fuel and damage to machinery and stolen gear. I know a lot of orchardists have had crops stolen,” he says. “We’ve spoken to Federated Farmers because millions of dollars of animals are stolen each year. DoC [the Department of Conservation] is having problems with gates being pulled out and trout fisheries in Rotorua and Taupo are being poached.”

The Scorpion 1000 could also be used by contractors, councils, vineyard owners and anyone who’s experienced issues with theft or illegal access to their property, the company says. 

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Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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