Sask. techies win rural crime innovation challenge with pitch for app – Saskatchewan

Tech experts are collaborating with the Saskatchewan government to put out an app that can warn people when something is amiss with their assets — and allow them to track their property when it’s stolen. 

On Monday, the provincial government announced the successful applicants for the Rural Crime Innovation Challenge, organized by Innovation Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Justice.

The winners proposed a technology that would allow people to keep an eye on their belongings while away from home.

Jeff Shirley, owner and principal consultant of Rivercity Technology Services Limited, said the technology would not only track the belongings but could tell when they are being moved or tampered with and immediately alert the appropriate people.

He and William Topping, the founder of Brand X Technologies, won the the Rural Crime Innovation Challenge. 

They are developing an an app that works with a GPS device to alert property owners about strange and unusual activity on their property. 

“You can put it on the back door of a cabin. You can put it on a trailer. You can put it on a Ski-Doo, a quad, a tractor, anything in the country,” Shirley said.

The response to the rural crime innovation challenge ‘speaks to the opportunity that exists to use technology to help solve everyday challenges in our province,’ said Steven Bonk, the minister responsible for innovation. ( Tyler Pidlubny/CBC)

Residents will be able to log and categorize the event. Law enforcement officers will then be notified if an activity is deemed suspicious and the GPS technology will allow the piece of property to be tracked. 

People would need to have at least one bar of service on their phones for it to work. However, if someone has downloaded the app they can use it manually to log suspicious events. 

“You can go out and say my cows are gone, or my bees got stolen, and you can flag it and log it and that will go into the database still and it won’t cost you anything.”

Jeff Shirley said the The Rural Crime Innovation Challenge allowed him and his new partner to ‘synergize as two small Saskatchewan tech companies into one that’s hopefully going to bring a very powerful solution to rural Saskatchewan.’ (Karin Larsen/CBC)

The project is a good example of Saskatchewan ideas, said Steven Bonk, the minister responsible for innovation. 

Bonk said the technology will help ​law enforcement officers fight illegal activity occurring…

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