A Massey University engineer hopes the commercialisation of his innovative device-free security system – with the help of a PreSeed investment – will benefit New Zealand workplaces and vulnerable Kiwis.

School of Engineering and Advanced Technology senior lecturer Dr Faraz Hasan designed a system that uses existing WiFi networks and inexpensive transmitters to detect the presence of an intruder and hopes, if made widely available, the system could benefit a wide range of New Zealanders.

“There can be several potential applications of the technology. For example, it can be developed to automatically detect that something undesired has happened to an elderly person without requiring him or her to call for help.”

Dr Hasan recently applied for – and received – a $59,000 PreSeed investment to commercialise the system and make it available to the public. The funding, which is sourced from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment under the PreSeed Accelerator Fund and matched by Massey Ventures Ltd, will used to acquire hardware tools such as transmitters, receivers and processors and the development of an algorithm to passively monitor an indoor area.

Massey Ventures, a fully owned subsidiary of Massey University, has $1.8 million of PreSeed funding available during the next three years for the commercialisation of novel inventions developed by University staff and students, that solve a large market need, with upto $250,000 available for any single project.

Dr Hasan decided to apply for a PreSeed investment as it enabled him to take his invention from the lab to the marketplace while allowing Massey to secure any resulting intellectual property. “Some other funding streams offer a lot of money; however in return they take ownership of the intellectual property.”

Massey Ventures chief executive Mark Cleaver says money will be allocated to projects and technologies that have the potential for commercialisation. "The fund acts as a helping hand until a start-up company is established or a license deal is negotiated."

Massey staff who have ideas with commercial potential should contact Marcella Gleeson.