Safety and security have always been a major concern for homeowners in Malaysia. According to an external report by Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), petty crimes like snatch theft and break-ins are on the rise.
Residential break-ins do occur and are becoming more frequent in single family homes; these break-ins generally do not result in confrontations or injuries to the occupants. While uncommon, some burglars have entered when occupants were home, tied the residents up, and threatened them with weapons.osac.gov
With that concern in mind, a local app called MyTaman is on a mission to secure neighbourhoods in times of trouble with the help of technology
Derived from the Malay word “taman”, which means neighbourhood, the app was founded by Benjamin Lim, who had the idea when one of his neighbours wanted to install an alarm security system
Benjamin realised how ineffective alarm systems were, considering that they only could alarm neighbours in close proximity. He also wondered how a neighbourhood could utilise the guards more effectively. Before long, Benjamin and his friend Eric started brainstorming to come out with the idea of MyTaman. The first prototype was tested in Benjamin's neighbourhood.
So instead of relying on alarm systems, the MyTaman app features a Guard button where users can press every time they are in distress. The button will alert the guards and three Trusted Taman Neighbours (TTN) from the same neighbourhood.
The user's house number will be shown in an LED Screen at the guardhouse while a loud siren goes off. TTNs are three neighbours which the user can assign for extra safety and accountability whenever an incident happens.
Users in distress can expect help in no time because of the precise location notified by MyTaman to the guards and TTNs
To prove the system’s efficiency, team shared a recent event where a person saw someone within the compound trying to open the door. The person pressed the guard button and the guards received the notification from House 34, and they quickly came through to rectify the situation at hand.vulcanpost.com
Aside from that, users can track incoming visitors through the app's Visitor feature
This feature informs the guards on names, estimated date and time of arrival of visitors. Details will also be printed on a printer which is located in the guardhouse. This can help them keep a better track of all the traffic that’s flowing in and out of the neighbourhood.
While the app is free to use, users who are interested in implementing this system in the neighbourhood would have to purchase MyTaman's hardware that includes a siren, 3G modem and printer which will be installed in the guardhouse
A one-time installation fee is required for all hardware. After that, users are required to pay an annual subscription fee, a 1-year 3G Data Plan, and for any on-site maintenance services.
Although the app was launched late last year, it already has 3 registered neighbourhoods under its belt with about 300 users
While they’re currently focusing on the security aspect of things, Benjamin also highlighted that the team will be introducing an e-payment system that will allow residents to sort out bills and payments electronically. He claimed that this would be the next big thing in the team’s road map.vulcanpost.com