Ultimate security

Looking for new ways to protect your home, car, business and life? Here you go...

Read time 4min 30sec

Okay, so crime is on the rise and things are being hacked, nicked and cracked on an almost daily basis. It would be depressing if it wasn't for the inventive minds that scatter the globe, finding ways of subverting the criminal and protecting the people.

1. Anti-car jamming genius

This technology can pick up your electrocardiographic signal, which is as individual as your fingerprint and your eye.

You're in a rush, desperate to get the shopping done or the meeting over with, so much so that when you hit the remote to lock your car, you don't realise your signal has been blocked and your car isn't locked. Now your vehicle is vulnerable while you remain blithely unaware of the fact that you're probably taking an Uber home later. Fortunately, a Johannesburg-based company called Sanji has released the ZX JamAlert, a remote jamming warning system that uses its proprietary technology to detect interference and warn the driver with a loud signal. According to Sanji, there were over 143 000 cases of remote jamming in 2014 alone, making this a very good investment indeed.

2. A step in the right direction

Cyclists are everywhere in South Africa and there are numerous sad stories about high-end bikes with the latest kit being nicked while the cyclist has a bite to eat or sleeps at a camp site. To combat cycle crime, a French company called Connected Cycle has launched a smart bike pedal that is capable of tracking a bike's exact location. It's a hugely useful tool that is also unobtrusive enough so that it's unlikely the average thief will realise that their every move is being tracked and traced. In addition to the security features, the pedal provides the user with _ tness information and generates its own electricity, so no battery pack required. It can only be removed by the user's special key, comes in a variety of colours and is ready for pre-order.

3. Turn it on

Think security systems are obvious? Cameras and keypads just waiting for a criminal to find and destroy? Think again. At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) this year, a company called Sengled whipped out, or should we say turned on, a 1 080p surveillance light bulb called the Sengled Snap. Blending wireless connectivity with an LED light and a camera, this is one security solution that may actually just be good enough to allow the use of the word 'innovative'.

4. It's all in the DNA

Applied DNA Sciences, along with SmokeCloak A/S, has created the extraordinary - security smoke with a DNA twist. The solution uses plant-based DNA markers that tag the skin and clothing of perpetrators caught in a blast of smoke that is released when they break into a facility. These markers are individually tailored to each client so any criminal is instantly recognised through forensic analysis and linked to a specific crime scene. The tags absolutely prove that the person they have marked is the same one who broke in. The DNA markers will also be found on the stolen items, making it far easier for law enforcement to catch the bad guys.

5. Mine, mine, mine

Are you fed up with the fact that every time you take a trip on a plane, there's a security lottery for your luggage? Will precious items be stolen? Will it be lost and end up two continents away? Well, Smart Unit, the first anti-theft luggage tracker in the world, is here to solve your travel security problems. This electronic tag sits inside your suitcases and talks to your smart devices through an app. The patented software allows the tag to communicate its location effortlessly, so you can get off the plane and track your luggage's movements. The technology is clever enough to turn itself off when the plane takes off and turn itself on when the plane lands. There is even Watch Mode, which will alert you if someone tries to force your suitcase open. The only downside is not knowing what to do with that information when you're stuck on a plane and whoever has your luggage is on a runway somewhere.

6. I love security

The last security gizmo that deserves a mention is the Nymi Band, a device that determines the unique print of your heart and uses this as an additional layer of security alongside your password. This technology can pick up your electrocardiographic signal, which is, apparently, as individual as your fingerprint and your eye, and it can use this as an extra factor of authentication. It looks like a fitness band, comes in a variety of colours and will make your computer a lot harder to get into than most. While still not available for mass production, there is an SDK set with sample applications for developers to download and use to create inventive solutions.

This article was first published in the [March 2016] edition of ITWeb Brainstorm magazine. To read more, go to the Brainstorm website.

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