New technology can even detect kids swiping food from the refrigerator.

Ella Obreja bought a Morepork to protect her dog and two cats.

Confused? It's pretty simple: security watchdog, pet spy, baby monitor – the Morepork system is many things to many people.

"One of the main reasons we got Morepork is so we could make sure our dog and two cats were safe and happy during the day," laughs early adopter Obreja. "It is always so reassuring to see what they are doing; they spend most of their time sleeping to be honest!"

Morepork is a self-install system which uses cameras and sensors to send alerts to a homeowner's phone or tablet, allowing them to see inside or outside their home.

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Introduced to the New Zealand market in 2015, the DIY security system features cameras and sensors, connected via an app to a compatible smartphone. Activation of sensors attached to doors or windows can activate a notification on the app, so you can check in to see what's happening at your house via the cameras.

Obreja has always had home alarms but found the initial installation process for a traditional alarm somewhat arduous: "It took the alarm guy all day to install the system, he was drilling holes everywhere and it was a total nightmare," she says.

Many homeowners with conventional alarm systems are notified by their monitoring company if an alarm is triggered – even if it has been triggered by a pet. The owner then has to get home or arrange for someone else to go inside and turn off the alarm.

Obreja was delighted at how easy Morepork was to install: "The instructions were super-simple. It only took half an hour."

As she runs a business on the North Shore, home security has always been paramount. With Morepork she is able to have a video camera in the lounge and a static camera in the hallway that looks onto the back door.

"I can log in anytime and see what's happening at home," she says.

She intends to buy an outside camera as well and admits to being pretty hooked on the technology.

"It's quite addictive," she says. "I keep getting extra bits of kit."

Catherine Lockett heads Morepork and agrees the system appeals to people "who like technology."

"People just want to keep checking what's going on in their house while they're away," she says.

She says they recently added Morepork Video to their services – a pared-down video monitoring plan.

Seeing what is going on at home can lead to some amusing outcomes. Lockett recently saw her son eating food he wasn't meant to from the fridge.

"It's funny because he tried to deny eating it but I told him, 'I saw it happen!'"

People could also use Morepork as a baby monitor; they can see if the little ones are asleep without opening the creaky door.

Lockett says the response to Morepork has been very positive.

"There's a consistent theme; people love to be able to check out what is happening at home – the home is communicating with them in a real way."

With Morepork you can keep an eye on your home from your smartphone. There are range of plans and products, detailed here: https://www.morepork.nz/