Epilepsy Foundation - SAMi

Help the Epilepsy Foundation put an innovative movement monitor in the hands of those who need it.
Charles Anderson
Email Verified
Landover, Maryland
United States
6 Team Members

"Champions of Innovation and New Therapies”

We'd like to thank the following Epilepsy Foundation Affiliates for proudly supporting SAMi.  We hope you will click on the links below learn about their good work and support them as well!

Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago

Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and Columbus

Epilepsy Foundation Central & South Texas

Epilepsy Foundation Louisiana

Epilepsy Foundation Colorado

Epilepsy Foundation Kentuckiana

Epilepsy Foundation of Western and Central Pennsylvania

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan

Epilepsy Foundation of Missouri and Kansas 

Epilepsy Foundation of Idaho

Epilepsy Foundation  Arizona 

Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York

Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana
“We are happy to support the Epilepsy Foundation’s SAMi Indiegogo campaign.  SAMi not only helps families care for their loved ones through the monitoring/alarming feature, the documentation feature of recordings can also help people with epilepsy and their families communicate with doctors to tailor treatment.  Epilepsy Foundation Louisiana is committed to supporting products like SAMi to help families impacted by seizures.” - Allison DeBattista, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation Louisiana
“Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago is proud to support creative innovations that protect people who suffer from epilepsy and provide reassurance and comfort to their families and support providers.” - Kurt W. Florian, Jr., President & CEO, Epilepsy Foundation Greater Chicago
"Research is critically important and we need far more, but it has less meaning if it doesn't eventually benefit those who need it. We want to be a bridge of hope to fast-track research advances to individuals with epilepsy who can benefit. It's about bringing advances to the frontlines where people live -- from lab to life."  - Susan Pietsch-Escueta, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles
“Fear is one of the most crippling emotions for parents of children with epilepsy.  SAMi is a tool that helps provide peace of mind for parents of children with epilepsy.  Enjoying a peaceful nights rest is priceless…” - Sindi J. Rosales, Chief Executive Officer, Epilepsy Foundation Central & South Texas

the people all over the world who have a loved one with a seizure disorder.

What problem are we solving?

There are over 37,000 children diagnosed with RS (Recurring Seizures) every year with an estimated total of 50,000,000 people with RS worldwide. Many caregivers either do not know when seizures occur during the night or they lose a lot of sleep trying to stay awake in case a seizure occurs.

SAMi™ is a sleep activity monitor for caregivers who need to know when unusual movements occur during the night.

What does SAMi do?

  • Sounds an alarm when unusual movement occurs
  • Enables caregivers to sleep with confidence
  • Records and organizes live video and audio

How SAMi is different from other monitors

  • Detects movement and records video in complete darkness
  • Works well with all motion, not just rhythmic movement
  • Sends live audio and video to your Apple iPhone or iPod Touch for remote monitoring
  • Analyzes the live video and sounds an alarm when unusual events occur
  • Saves and organizes the audio and video recordings
  • Enables you to quickly review the recordings, then save and share the important ones

What we have accomplished so far

  • The SAMi app is available as a free download from iTunes.
  • Our website www.samialert.com  supports online sales and has a blog for news and updates.
  • We have marketing materials in English and French and are working on additional translations.
  • We have delivered more than 70 SAMi systems all over the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

With your tax deductible donations, reaching our fundraising goal of $90,000 will allow us to do the following:

  • Get an improved SAMi 3 camera out to families that need it
  • Add more features that are tailored to the RS (Recurring Seizures) community while keeping it simple to install and use
  • Ramp up production and keep costs low
  • Create manuals, installation instructions, and an instructional video
  • Deliver cameras to the Epilepsy Foundation, its affiliates, and other charitable organizations

You can donate by picking a perk at the right.  This will require a credit card. You will receive an email that certifies that you have made this donation as a charitable contribution which you can use when you file your taxes.

If you simply want to donate without a perk (thanks!) choose the big magenta "Contribute Now" button in the upper right.

Here are the instructions for purchasing one or more camera(s) for donation to a charitable foundation. First, please make a donation to purchase one of our camera perks, then simply email us at campaign@samialert.com.  In your email let us know how many camera(s) are for donation and include your suggestion for which charity should receive them.

Shipping to the US is included.  If you are overseas, please add $50.  You can easily do this by selecting the perk, then change the donation amount.  If you forget, click on the "Contribute Now" button in the upper right and contribute another $50. We will connect your contributions prior to shipping and give you credit.

If you would like to donate by check, please send it to:

Epilepsy Foundation
8301 Professional Place
Suite 200
Landover, MD 20785
Attn: Donor Services

Important: Include a note indicating that the donation is for the "Indiegogo SAMi Campaign".

We know that not everyone can donate to our cause, but if you believe in what we are doing please use the "Share" tools at the top of this page and pass our message along.  Your facebook/twitter/google+/email shares can help us make a difference!

Caring for someone with epilepsy can be extremely challenging. If we can help in one significant way, we want to give parents and caregivers a better night of sleep. This leads directly to better care and quality of life for all concerned.

We created SAMi to serve the very personal need to monitor our son while he slept. We had no idea our son was having seizures at night until one time when we were traveling with him.  While sharing a hotel room we discovered that he was having seizures in his sleep. We needed to know more.  We needed to know when he needed us.

We made the first version of our movement detector in 2009. The prototype used an existing network security camera which ran on a dedicated laptop computer. Over the next few years we increased the reliability by calibrating the movement detection algorithm. Charles and I quickly became dependent on the prototype; over time we reduced the false "positives" and eliminated the false "negatives."  Finally, a decent night's sleep!  We knew that we would be alerted when our son needed us.

We realized that this system would also be helpful to others, but dedicating a computer is not practical for most people.  In early 2011 we focused our efforts on building a second generation iOS-based camera which became SAMi. Later that year the Epilepsy Therapy Project announced their first annual Shark Tank Competition. The Epilepsy Therapy Project (now a part of the Epilepsy Foundation) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people living with recurring seizures. We entered the competition and in February 2012 presented our invention to the judges and an appreciative audience. 

SAMi was awarded first prize

We quickly put the prize money to good use to accelerate the development and production of the SAMi 2 camera. Within six months we produced the first SAMi 2 units for our 10 beta customers.  We now have customers throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia and are looking forward to growing our business and reaching people throughout the world.

SAMi 3 Camera


  • 310,000 Pixel 1/4" CMOS lens.
  • 60°(H) 45°(V) viewing angle.
  • 640x480 resolution.

Built-in microphone:

  • Noise reducing

Night Vision:

  • 30 invisible infrared LEDs with viewing distance of 10m.

Network Connections:

  • Ethernet and Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b/g/n).

Wi-Fi Security:

  • WEP (64/128 bit), WPA-PSK (AES/TKIP), WPA2-PSK (AES/TKIP).


  • 100-240V AC.
  • 3m cord with UK/US/EU attachments.

Power Consumption:

  • 3.75W.


  • 150g.


  • 85mm x 85mm x 30mm.


  • 4GB SD card storage.

What is in the box:

  • Camera
  • Operates in complete darkness
  • Monitor stand
  • Can be placed on a flat surface or attached to the ceiling or wall.
  • 3m power supply
  • With UK/US/EU attachments.
  • 1m network (Ethernet) cable
  • Used to setup the camera.

What is SAMi?
SAMi is an intelligent, configurable, video based nighttime movement detection system. Through the use of specialized software and an infrared camera, a parent or caregiver is alerted on their IOS device to unusual movement in the monitored location. Events are recorded and archived for further use.

I can't afford SAMi.
If your need is immediate and you need assistance purchasing SAMi, visit our resources page at www.samialert.com/resources for a list of organizations we work with, many of which will be receiving cameras from this campaign. 

Is SAMi a medical device?  Can I get insurance to pay for SAMi?

SAMi is not a medical device.  You should check with your insurance provider for assistance in purchasing. 

"SAMi is a nocturnal movement monitor and will detect all types of movement regardless of the movement’s origin.  HiPass Design LLC. does not guarantee the effectiveness of SAMi for any particular application and use of SAMi is solely at your own risk.  SAMi has not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or any other government agency for any purpose.  SAMi is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or cure of any disease or other conditions.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. "

Can I turn the motion monitoring on and off with an automated schedule?

How do I turn the alarm off temporarily?
You may touch the alarm indicator in the upper right corner of the live view screen. It will turn back on automatically if the scheduler is set up.

How long can you run SAMi on your IOS device using battery?
We see run times of roughly 4 hours on a full charge. SAMi can be configured to alert you when the battery is running low.

What is the lock function for?
The lock function dims the screen and secures the SAMi buttons in their current state. This reduces the chance of changing settings in SAMi while handling the IOS device or carrying it in your pocket. While locked the app is still monitoring and will vibrate in addition to playing an alarm sound when triggered

What do you recommend for Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi performance is important so we recommend using a high quality router. The camera supports IEEE802.11b/g. Most IOS devices now support 5 GHz Wi-Fi and we strongly recommend you use an router that supports this as well. All Apple brand routers work well.

Can I take this with me when we travel?
Yes, but you will normally need to bring a Wi-Fi router as well as the SAMi camera.  Usually it is not possible to connect your camera to a hotel's Wi-Fi. The complete kit includes the Wi-Fi router and is easily relocated.

What is the log?
SAMi records a log that includes information about usage. This does not include video or audio, it simply logs technical information about the motion detection and faults. If you have technical problems we may request that you send us this log.  You can clear the log from the help page.  Note that clearing the log does not delete any of your recordings.

What format are the recordings?
The files are recorded in MP4 format; most modern computers can play them.

How do I save recordings on my computer or email them?
You can get the recordings off the device by following these steps.

  1. Connect the IOS device to iTunes.
  2. Select the device as if you were going to sync it under devices on the left.
  3. Select Apps at the top.
  4. Scroll down to “file sharing” which is below the list of apps.
  5. Select SAMi under file sharing (you may need to scroll through the apps).
  6. You will see the list of recordings on the right. The file names include the date and time the recording was made in the form: Year-Month-Day_Hour-Minute-second_Duration. Recordings that end in “_A” were made when the alarm sounded.  Note that the displayed time next to the name will be different and is less accurate. You can either drag the recording to where you want it to go, or choose “save to…”.

Can I use this to record myself?
Yes. With the alarm muted you can record your sleep for review the next day. These recorded videos may also be useful for purposes of medical consultation. In addition, with the alarm on  SAMi can alert you after unusual activity so you can take action if necessary (for example take medication).

Can I use this during the day?
Yes, however all movement is being analyzed, making the possibility of “false positives” much more likely.

What is the difference between motion threshold and alarm threshold?
The motion threshold determines how much motion is significant. The alarm threshold sets the amount of time for significant motion before the alert is activated. These come with a default setting that can be adjusted.

How should I adjust the motion and alarm thresholds?

The best way to set the thresholds is through a bit of simulation.  You might want to position yourself in the bed with the iPod and watch yourself. Stay very still, then simulate the motion.  You will see the green meter move with the motion. There is a pointer to the side of the meter that indicates the setting of the motion threshold. When you are still, the green meter should be below this. When you simulate the motion, it should be above the pointer. If not, move the motion threshold lower. Best is to do this with the same amount of light as there will be in the room at night. To set the alarm threshold, choose how long the motion needs to continue before the alarm sounds. We found 20 seconds was a good tradeoff between false alarms and missing events.  If you set it shorter, expect more false alarms.  Note that these controls do not affect recordings. Recordings are made whenever there is motion, even slight short motion.

Can I trigger an alarm from just sound?
No, the alarm is based on motion. Audio alarm features are planned.

Does the app work in the background?
No. However, the camera will continue to make recordings and these will transfer to your IOS device once you start SAMi again.

How do I set the clock?
SAMi uses the IOS device clock. Set it through “IOS settings/General/Date & Time”.

What does the motion button do?
When the motion button is pressed the live display highlights motion in red and shows the selected border in green. This is useful for testing the sensitivity of the motion detection and for sizing the border and positioning the camera.

What if I receive a text message or call while I am using the app?
The SAMi application will be suspended while you answer a call. At the end of a call, SAMi will resume. Notifications appear briefly, and will will not interrupt SAMi unless you leave the application to read  or respond to a text message. Note that the camera will continue to make recordings even when the SAMi app is not running. These will transfer to your IOS device once you start SAMi again.

How much time can I record?
Recordings consume 1-4MB of flash memory per minute depending on the amount of motion. On an active night you may see as much as 30 minutes of recordings. With a dedicated 8GB iPod you should be able to keep close to a month’s worth of activity before you would need to start deleting recordings. Note that you can always transfer your recordings to a computer for permanent storage.

How is this different from a baby monitor?
SAMi uses proprietary algorithms to filter out the usual motion and noise that would be reported through a conventional monitor. Fine tuning of the alarm sensitivity will greatly reduce and perhaps eliminate false alerts without compromising the goal of zero missed important movement events. Fewer false alarms equals better sleep!  Sami also has a selective recording capability not found in baby monitors.

Is Wi-Fi required?
The IOS device requires WI-FI but the camera may use either WI-FI or wired Ethernet.

Can I use my own network camera?
No. The SAMi application has been optimized for use with the SAMi camera.

How far away from the camera can my IOS device be?
This is limited only by your WI-FI connection. The typical range using a single Wi-Fi router is around 50 feet (15 meters) indoors. More routers will increase the range. There are also inexpensive Wi-Fi range extenders.  

Do I have to be connected to the internet?
No, unless you want to send us diagnostic information. For this feature you will need to be connected to the internet and you will have to set up an email account on your IOS device.

What is the alarm sound?

Navy Surface Ship General Alarm AN/SIA-114B

We used a Navy Surface ship General Alarm sound, AN/SIA-114B to be precise.  Very effective!

Can I monitor over the internet?
No. The application does not send images or messages across the internet.

Is there an Android version?
No. This may be considered for a future release.

Can I use the app without a network camera?
Yes, you may use the front or back camera on the IOS device but you will not be able to make recordings and the IOS cameras will not work in the dark. This is mostly useful for trying out the app and demonstrations.

Can I make recordings when I am not using the alarm?
Yes, recordings are made even when the alarm is disabled. However, if the alarm is enabled recordings that are made near when the alarm is triggered are marked in red. This helps identify the interesting recordings.

Does the movement have to be rhythmic?

How much movement is required to trigger an alarm or recording?
There is a control for setting the sensitivity of the alarm. It comes with a default setting, but can be adjusted to pick up movements as minor as foot or finger wags.

What are the red lights on the front? Can I turn them off?
The lights are infrared illuminators. This enables a good quality image, even in complete darkness. You cannot turn them off.

Can SAMi detect seizures?
SAMi is a nocturnal movement monitor and not a medical device. It will detect all types of movement regardless of the movement’s origin.

What are the benefits of SAMi?
SAMi offers you the security of having a system in place to dependably alert you only when necessary.  This system is configured to your situation, not a “one size fits all” product.  It provides high quality, accurate recordings that are time/date/duration stamped for purpose of documentation, review/evaluation, and communication with your specialist.

What do I need to make SAMi work?
You will need to have an iPhone or iPod (IOS device).
You will need the free SAMi application from the iTunes store.
You will need the SAMi infrared camera.
You will need WI-FI.

What do I need to run SAMi?
The latest list of supported models is here.

Is there a recommended IOS device?
All the supported devices work well. However, we have found it is really nice if you can dedicate a device to be a monitor. That way you can leave it always running. There is a scheduling feature that automatically turns the monitoring off during the day and back on at night at customized times set by the user. You can find discounted iPods from Apple here.

Cynthia Anderson

President, HiPass Design LLC

Cynthia is the co-founder and President of HiPass Design LLC. She has a background in installing, supporting, and selling business software systems for the manufacturing sector.  Cynthia is also the principal medical advocate for her son James.

Charles Anderson

Charles is the technical lead on project SAMi.  Charles has 35 years of experience in hardware and software engineering and a proven track record in building and leading engineering teams.

Christopher Faranetta

Vice President, New Business Development for HyperV Technologies Corp. Chris is an aerospace and clean energy technology entrepreneur who volunteers his crowdfunding experience to this effort.

Frank Vernon

Frank is a senior software engineer with 20+ years R&D experience in a wide variety of languages and programming paradigms on a diverse set of platforms. Frank is a former Apple employee and has authored several commercially available iOS applications.

Dr. Charles H. Anderson (Ph.D.)

Charlie is a physicist and co-author of “Neural Engineering: Computation, Representation, and Dynamics in Neurobiological Systems.” He recently retired from the Washington University School of Medicine, where he was Research Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  Charlie is contributing his expertise in image signal processing.

Dr. Edward Maa (MD)

Dr. Maa is Chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health.  He is involved with clinical trials involving the antiepileptic drug development pipeline, but has specific interests in novel therapies including bumetanide and other diuretics, as well as cannabidiol and other phytocompounds used in the treatment of epilepsy. He is currently investigating the use of acupuncture for the treatment of non-epileptic seizures, and has had a long standing interest in the effects of high altitude on patients with epilepsy as well as new onset seizures in travelers to high altitude environments.

Ronya Robinson

Ronya is a senior information designer with 40+ years of experience in designing, writing, and editing technical documentation for software applications.

Matt Anderson

Matt is a student at Northeastern University currently living in Dublin, Ireland working toward his International Business degree in finance.  Matt is our international marketing manager and is contributing his considerable expertise in social media.

James Anderson

James got his tattoo symbolizing courage shortly after having surgery at the Cleveland Clinic for his epilepsy.  We've happily retired his SAMi, he's been seizure free since.  James is currently a student at Colorado State University working towards his degree in watershed science.

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raised by 169 people in 2 months
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This campaign ended on July 11, 2014
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Select a Perk
  • $100USD
    "Featured Supporter"

    You get our thanks, featured supporter credit in the SAMi app, and we will keep you informed of our progress with SAMi 3 development.

    3 claimed
  • $399USD
    "Get One"

    You are among the first to receive one of the pilot production SAMi 3 cameras! You also get camera progress reports and supporter credit in the SAMi app. For delivery outside the U.S. please add $50 to your donation amount.

    12 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
  • $399USD
    "Give One"

    Donate a SAMi Camera to the Epilepsy Foundation or the charity of your choice. You also get camera progress reports and featured supporter credit in the SAMi app. For delivery outside the U.S. please add $50 to your donation amount.

    11 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
  • $10,000USD
    “SAMi 3 Setup”

    Includes everything in the "Premium Kit" plus Charles Anderson will personally deliver and set up your SAMi camera. Additional travel expenses for international installation. Want to attend the launch party?? Yes of course! You also get regular updates on our progress and featured supporter credit in the app.

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
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