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​Spark New Zealand enters smart living market

Spark New Zealand has launched Morepork, its first security solution, as the company enters into the smart living market.

Spark New Zealand has announced its entry into the smart living market with the beta launch of its latest product, Morepork.

Designed to allow customers to control and monitor their homes remotely from their smartphones, Morepork is the latest product and the first security solution from Spark Ventures, Spark New Zealand's innovation and incubator business unit.

Spark Ventures CEO Rod Snodgrass told ZDNet that the potential in the security market may not be endless, but there is more room to grow than in traditional home security.

"Our objective is really to deliver smarter, safer, healthier homes, but in a future proof way around technology. In fact, it's taking us in a much different direction of how home security has been; it was a model that was constrained by technology. Whereas now we're looking at models that are consumer centric, self installed, controlled by the mobile phone; it's about being there when you're not there and giving the control you need, and freedom you want," he said.

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(Image: Nicola Topping/Spark New Zealand)

Morepork is the latest from Spark Ventures, following the launch of internet TV service Lightbox and big data service Qrious.

Snodgrass said the decision to expand the company's digital services unit was part of an overall goal the company had when it set up Spark Ventures.

"We've got a clear objective to not be just a utility based network operator or telco. We want to move much beyond that. We want to think of ourselves as a digital services platform over time. Clearly with mobile at our core, we also have data and video," he said.

As part of establishing its entry in smart living, the company has appointed Gemma Croombs to the position of general manager smart living. She will be responsible for bringing to market smart home technologies, including Morepork.

Formerly known as Telecom New Zealand, the company was rebranded Spark New Zealand mid-last year to reflect the changes in the telco market.

"We now do much more than provide a copper line telephone service and we no longer own the fixed line network," said managing director Simon Moutter at the time. "We're into a whole raft of new technologies...business cloud services, data centres, Internet TV, whatever new is around the corner. The Telecom brand simply didn't reflect this new world."