Digital innovation: the Sunshine Coast is where it is ‘app'
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TWO local companies are adding sparks to an endlessly exploding firework of digital innovation bursting right over the Sunshine Coast.
Former professional tennis player turned entrepreneur Mark Kratzmann spent three months and tens of thousands of dollars developing a safety app for use on Android and Apple mobile phones.
As a dad to a nine-year-old girl, he was deeply moved by the alleged abduction and murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher last September.
"It was horrible...that struck a chord with me," he said.
"I watched the CCTV footage and I saw that she had a mobile in her hand and she wasn't far from home. I just thought if someone could have got there within a few minutes of her being in trouble then maybe she might have had a chance.
"That's where I came up with a GPS location emergency switch on your phone.
"Then I thought 'why can't the phone have CCTV coverage itself?'. So a team (of app developers in Melbourne) figured out how to activate the phone camera so it uploads video and audio every five seconds to our server.
"People can press a button which immediately notifies numerous people by SMS, continually sending the user location on a GPS map.
"We send an SMS that allows people in the person's (pre-determined) safety list to access the server, and they can view or hear what's going on. The police can access that vision later if they need to."
The app, safety4u24-7, costs $2.99 and already a few thousand have sold to customers in Australia, the UK, US, Netherlands, Europe, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Mr Kratzmann said the app could be used by women and children for personal security, as well as for hikers and anyone in a medical emergency.
"We want as many people to have it, but hopefully not use it," he said.
"I want it to save someone's life. Even if it saves one person it will have been well worth it.
"I want to let offenders know that this is not so easy, they are not going to get away with crimes like these.
"I've got a daughter, I want her to be safe in the future."
Mr Kratzmann appeared on Weekend Sunrise on Saturday. TV presenter Andrew O'Keefe was keen to publicise the app, given that a percentage of sales will go towards the White Ribbon Foundation, of which he is chair.
Mr Kratzmann is also keen to donate a portion of sales to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
He is in discussions with Telstra and Optus to partially fund, via sponsorship, a major upgrade to the app which will allow it to be activated with a rigorous shake of the phone.
"So you don't have to press anything, you just have to shake the phone hard for a few seconds.
"But there are different levels of shake. "We are just nutting out how that should work, so it's good for the user but also that it doesn't set off false alarms if it bumps in someone's handbag."
Camelon's app hits global marketplace
Meanwhile, Coast technology company Camelon IT is set to raise its profile in the lucrative North American market after securing an exclusive agreement with a US telecommunications specialist to sell a Camelon-developed app.
Managing director Myles McNamara welcomed the multimillion-dollar deal with BluIP, calling it a landmark opportunity for his company to maximise its exposure.
"BluIP is one of the leaders in the cloud computing environment in the US and to have a company with such credentials hand-pick our app for their business technology market is exciting," Mr McNamara said.
"This is a great show of confidence by one of America's leading telecommunications companies and it is also a perfect catalyst for driving the Camelon IT team towards greater innovation and performance in the future."
The app, called Camelon Presence, integrates with Microsoft Lync and allows colleagues to see if you are on the phone and lets you place calls directly from your desktop, without having to touch a telephone handset.
It is the first fully functional application of its kind, and is generating a lot of excitement within the Cloud Communication industry.
In Australia, Camelon Presence integrates with Telstra's TIPT Platform and Microsoft Lync to increase the functionality of the cloud solution.
Additional applications include Camelon Callboard, Camelon Corporate Directory and Camelon Bulk Tools. All of these applications have been developed to bridge the gap between telephony and IT systems.
"With technology advancing at such a rapid rate, it's good to know we not only keep pace, but that with our suite of products including this particular app we can also be leading the way," he said.
BluIP is based in Las Vegas with offices in Los Angeles and Chicago. It creates, develops and implements leading-edge cloud communications.
Mr McNamara said despite the obvious differences in company size and scale, both BluIP and Camelon share a commitment to innovation, professionalism and excellent customer service.