Old iPhones can become new wave of school security - WNEM TV 5

Old iPhones can become new wave of school security

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When David Moss graduated from Miami high school in 2000, he says he had one goal.

"I really wanted to start a company," he says.

So after college, he launched a Silicon Valley company called the People Power Company. His co-founder was the inspiration for the software they would develop.

"His mother's house actually got broken into twice," Moss explained.

He says crime got them thinking.

"Your old phones have much more capability in them then even some of the best security cameras and wi-fi cameras on the market."

And when it comes to security, Moss now has an app for that. Only available on the iPhone right now, he created the "Presence" app and brought it back to his alma mater.

"This is the first school in the nation to recognize this advancement in technology," Moss said.

Using old, donated iPhones or iPads no one wants, Moss's free app turns those devices into surveillance cameras.

"Now we get a live picture, a live video of what's going on in that hallway," Moss explained as he pulled up a live picture on his iPad of a hallway inside Lee Kornegay Intermediate School.

"When I turn on motion detection, that means that I will be alerted immediately, or the principal will get alerted automatically, when something happens."

The app allows Kornegay Principal Curtis Patching to watch the halls even when students think he's not.

"I can always pull them side later and say, 'I saw what you did, don't do it again,'" Patching said.

But Miami School District Superintendent Sherry Dorathy says the power of "Presence" allows administrators to watch even after school hours.

"We will be able to watch if there is any destruction to our facilities," Dorathy explained.

And since the app is free and the cameras are donated, "It has saved us a lot money that we just don't have," Dorathy added.

Moss says the app is not only useful in watching over schools, it can be used to watch your home when you're not there. Just go to the app store on your iPhone and download it for free. And don't worry if you have a Droid. Moss says it will be available in the Google Play store later this year.

If you have an old iPhone or iPad that you would like to donate to the Miami Unified School District, just give them a call at 928-425-3271.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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