Innovation That Matters

Smart speaker

New smart speaker simulates presence at home

Property & Construction

A new smart speaker is designed to deter burglars by making it sound as though the house is occupied

People concerned about safeguarding their home against burglary might get an alarm and a camera, or leave the lights on and TV running when they are out. Now, Swiss startup Mitipi has developed another option in the form of a smart speaker designed to deter burglaries by making it appear as though someone is home.

The device named Kevin must be located near a location a burglar is likely to check, such as near the front door or a window. Once activated, Kevin turns on lights and plays sounds that suit the time of day and the environment. For example, it may play shower noises in the morning or the sounds of dinner cooking in the evening. It can also be adjusted to play louder or quieter sounds, depending on the type of area in which users live, and will be able to project shadows. The device use multiple LEDs pointing in different direction to simulate movement. It also comes with an app that allows users to customize the scenarios it runs through. Mitipi plans on having several weeks of content available, so potential burglars will not hear the exact same sounds repeated.

Mitipi will shortly be launching Kevin on Kickstarter, and expects the device to be available for between USD 200 and 250. Kevin joins other security-oriented technology, such as autonomous mobile surveillance units and earphone technology that can stop smartphone data breaches. Will smart speakers like Kevin be able to significantly reduce the risk of burglary, or are people better off with an alarm?



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