INVISIBLE ink spray to identify intruders and remotely activated video cameras that live stream to mobile phones are the latest tools in the battle against home burglaries.
DNA Detective has been developed by South Australian company DNA Security Solutions and uses a highly specific spray machine to mark home invaders with an invisible dye that is revealed under UV light.
The DNA marking technology is made up of 99.9 per cent purified water, a vegetable-based fluorescent dye and a unique synthetic DNA code – all of which are completely harmless. The solution called Signatag stains the clothes and skins of unwanted visitors for up to six weeks, allowing police to forensically place criminals at the scene of a crime.
The spray machine can be activated automatically through an alarm system or manually by smartphone to spray burglars as the leave the premises. It works in tandem with a wireless camera system, which is used to identify an intruder and see what they steal.
An alert is sent to a homeowner’s phone when the alarm is activated and they are able to remotely control the cameras using Wi-Fi.
Once a suspect is apprehended, police can shine a UV light to highlight the spray residue and then use a swab to match the Signatag to a specific home.
The idea for DNA Detective came from the success of its predecessor DNA Guardian, which was used in convenience stores around Australia to spray and later identify robbers.
The Adelaide-based company is making minor modifications to the product, which it plans to launch in the United States early next year.
FBI statistics show there were about 1.73 million home burglaries in the United States in 2014 – one every 18 seconds.
Managing Director Tania Jolley said DNA Detective would not only help police effectively identify thieves but also work as a deterrent.
“There is an enormous amount of flexibility we can offer with this level of control. You’d much rather want to see what is going on as opposed to getting a call from your security company telling you there is someone in your house,” she said.
“This way you get a photo sent to your phone where you can swap between cameras and identify the person to figure out if it is in fact a robbery taking place or it’s just one of your kids.
“It’s miles away from where people are at the moment but that is where they want to be.”
The DNA Guardian spray machine (Left) uses invisible ink to mark robbers.
The security package is completely wireless and easy to install.
The spray machine can be placed near the front door with multiple cameras set up at various points, which can cover almost 80 per cent of the inside of the house.
The SMART cameras can be manually controlled and are accessed using a mobile phone app.
Users can swivel the cameras by swiping left or right on their screens and track any movement. This could also be effective in capturing a picture of an intruder’s face.
This allows users to shorten the time taken to notify authorities of a break-in as well as provide police with footage of the robbery.
Jolley said the products would be available for purchase within the next six months.
“The Guardian was a highly intelligent product that gave businesses a 98 per cent chance of not having to deal with these issues,” she said.
“For our US based strategy what we want to do is leverage off the brand we built here for our Guardian product.”
There are almost 1000 Guardian systems in use with financing packages that start from AUD $30 per week.
Jolley said DNA Detective would use a similar finance model, which is about the same price as monitored alarm systems.