Seen Safety was founded by two industrial designers with a mission to prevent mistaken-for-game hunting accidents, and has now expanded into advanced detection technology to prevent workers being struck by mobile plant. Seen’s specialty technology area is using infrared lasers to detect reflective tape on high visibility day-night safety gear.
Seen’s designers are dedicated to developing high quality, user-friendly products which provide a meaningful safety benefit without getting in the way of productivity, or requiring people to change their behaviour to receive a safety benefit.
Seen customers are industry-leading companies from a variety of sectors who share our zero-harm vision, and realise that extra layers of safety are needed to prevent inevitable mistakes becoming life-changing accidents.
Originally named Hunter Safety Lab (and subsequently re-named Seen Safety Limited in 2018) the company first developed the award-winning and globally unique IRIS hunter detection system to prevent mistaken-for-game hunting accidents. Being hunters themselves, the two founders understood the problem, and had seen first-hand the fear, heartache, and grief hunting accidents cause. This motivated them to design and develop a compact battery powered laser sensor to warn a shooter if they target their hunting partner (most victims are shot by their mate). The patented IRIS (Infrared Retroreflector Identification System) technology used in this application is used in Seen’s industrial sensors today.
Although the IRIS hunting sensor is a fantastic product and won the supreme product design award at the 2014 New Zealand Best Design awards, hunters were unable to overcome the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality, and so the company needed to look elsewhere for commercial applications.
As a first step, they began work with Waratah NZ (a subsidiary of John Deere) to develop a safety product for the forestry industry. This sensor, called a Head Orientation Sensor (HOS) is used on mechanical tree harvester heads. It warns the operator when the chainsaw bar is pointed towards the cab as a mitigation against the danger of chain-shot. This product won the 2017 New Zealand Workplace Safety Award for Best Use of Technology. Unfortunately a regulation change in Canada requiring even thicker bullet-proof glass in harvester cabs meant John Deere shelved the project at beta stage.
The silver lining was that Seen learned how to design wide-angle sensors suitable for heavy industrial applications, and this set them in good stead for the development of the IRIS 860 sensor for mobile plant. The Seen team are proud to have developed this simple, practical, and affordable tool which will save lives and prevent workplace accidents right around the world.
Supreme Winner “Best Product” for IRIS hunter safety system. 2014 New Zealand Best Design Awards.
Winner “Special Judges Commendation”. IRIS hunter safety system. 2014 Safeguard New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety awards
Winner “Best use of innovative design or technology” for Waratah Head Orientation Sensor. 2017 Safeguard New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards
CEO / co-Founder
Michael has a first-class honors degree in Industrial Design from Massey University, and a New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (NZCE). Prior to founding Hunter Safety Lab / Seen, Michael spent eight years as Lead Interaction Designer for the award-winning Wellington web design and development agency Springload. Michael has a lifetime interest in outdoor related pursuits including rock climbing, hunting, and mountain biking.
Chief Design Officer / co-Founder
Prior to Hunter Safety Lab / Seen, David worked as an industrial designer for Phil&Teds developing nursery and juvenile products. His product The Nest, won a number of industry innovation awards and featured on the Today Show and Martha Stewart Show. David completed a BA in Philosophy at Victoria University before joining the army as a combat engineer troop commander. David subsequently completed a degree in industrial design from Wellington Polytechnic/Victoria University. David’s interests include design, hunting, climbing, white water kayaking and mountain biking.
Head of Engineering
Simon is an electronics engineer specialising in laser sensor and measurement systems. He was one of the founding engineers at Surveylab (Ike GPS) from 2006 – 2012, before he left to work as a consultant for a wide variety of clients including Hunter Safety Lab and Ike GPS. IkeGPS is probably the only other significant full time optical/electronics designer/manufacturer working in a similar field to Seen Safety in NZ. Simon’s skill and resourcefulness help create production-ready, affordable, and reliable products aimed at the global market. He was the lead engineer for Hunter Safety Lab’s flagship IRIS hunter safety product, the Waratah HOS sensor, and now Seen’s IRIS 60/8 sensor.
New Zealand Sales Manager
Hamish brings a wealth of sales and business development experience to Seen, including many years building B2B relationships for NZ companies here and offshore. Career highlights include roles with Apple NZ, Learning Media, Superstructure, GNS Science, Fleetwise, Formway, Metalform, Shoe Clinic, and Aptelisense.
Mike is currently an Executive Director at Craigs Investment Partners and represents Craigs on several related boards and funds. Prior to this Mike worked with ABN AMRO, Brierley Investments and Ernst & Young. Mike is an investor and director in the glass services, indoor plant hire and social media monitoring industries. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, INFINZ, AngelHQ and an Authorised Financial Advisor. He holds a BCom, LLB. Mike brings strong commercial and investment experience to the Seen board.
Dr Andrew Dunn
Dr Andrew Dunn (MNZM, ED) is a family physician, convenor of Professional Conduct Committees , deputy chairman of Medic Alert (NZ), Board member of Medicus. He recently retired from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) after 20 years’ service. Roles included Health Advisor for all NZDF deployed missions , Director of Army health , Chairperson of the Five Nations Medical Intelligence Committee (2005), New Zealand’s representative on the Five Nations Health Interoperability Committee ( 2002 -2012) and commander on the NZ Combat Hospital in East Timor ( 2000). He holds a post graduate diploma in Aviation Medicine with an interest in the interface between humans and machines.
Bron is the founder and CEO of a highly successful digital design agency in New Zealand. She has built her company, Springload, up to a 65 strong team across both New Zealand and Australia. Over the last 15 years she has worked with many high profile clients including a number of large banks in both NZ and Australia, the NZ Red Cross, multiple local and central Government agencies, international arts festivals, and many highly successful medium to large corporations across NZ. Her strength is in future thinking, and digital strategy. She is a disruptor and an innovator, and brings a huge wealth of digital thinking and behavioural science to her clients’ businesses as well as her own.
Dr Jo Major
General Partner, InSite Partners, LLC and Director of Source Photonics. Dr Major brings over 20 years of experience as a research scientist, senior engineer, product development director, senior vice president, general manager, CEO, and chairman, in the laser, optics and electronics industry in the US and other countries.
Seen is grateful to the following for their support and assistance:
IMPORTANT. Seen IRIS 860 sensors can provide additional information to the operator but are not intended to provide active safety functions or control the machine. Seen sensors do not replace the need for proper operator training and best practice safe operating procedure. The operator must always look to check the way is clear before moving the vehicle. Detection can never be guaranteed.