Strange Home Security Devices…
That Might Actually Work

There are thousands of home security products available. Many of these products are fairly straightforward, like home security systems or motion activated lights. Fortunately for fans of the unusual, a host of companies and entrepreneurs are marketing weird or uncommon devices intended to make your home safe.

To be fair, some of these products are deceptively clever and might add an extra level of security. However, a good number of the items showcased here are just plain weird and reveal general misunderstandings about home security. Most of these products are fairly low cost and, combined with traditional home security measures, should be harmless novelty products that entertain friends.

FakeTV Burglar Deterrent

Timed lights are a common security feature but the FakeTV Burglar Deterrent is something else entirely. A clever little gadget, the FakeTV emits a light that is intended to mimic the glow from televisions. The company behind FakeTV, the Hydreon Corporation, claims the product is superior to other timed, internal security lights because the glow from the simulated television is “alive” thus giving the impression that someone is home watching television.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCqSZRu-Kcg

The Hydreon Corporation doesn’t offer hard statistics to support its claim that the FakeTV works as an effective burglar deterrant but the idea is simple and cool. Unfortunately, the device maybe a hard sale to many customers. When I showed co-workers this nifty little device, their first question was, “Why don’t I just leave the TV on when I leave?” The company does have answers for such obvious questions but the FakeTV might eventually fall victim to the common sense security craze.

SmokeCloak

Holy jalapenos, Batman! The one entry on this list I might consider installing in my own home, the SmokeCloak is the top of the line product in the emerging field of “security fog”. In case you’re wondering, security fog is exactly what it sounds like, just check out the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HpXBGY9ax0

There are a lot of words that can describe the SmokeCloak. Unique. Innovative. Foggy. However you describe this device to your friends, one word that will definitely be used is “effective”. The SmokeCloak operates on a clever premise: burglars can’t rob what they can’t see. The smoke is odorless and non-toxic so the device doesn’t run afoul of any booby trapping laws. As more homeowners employ common sense solutions to their security needs, the SmokeCloak might be one of the few innovative security devices with real staying power.

The Mosquito Ultrasonic Projector

Not many home security devices are in danger of being classified by the U.S. government but ultrasonic projectors might soon be unavailable for this very reason. First used in the United Kingdom, The Mosquito was designed to prevent teenagers from loitering near shops and other public spaces. Current versions of The Mosquito have two settings: one for individuals under the age of 25 and another that can be heard by everyone.

For a quick sample of the annoying noise emitted by The Mosquito, click here… if you dare.

The device hasn’t been without a certain amount of controversy. When used publically, critics say The Mosquito violates the human rights of teenagers and other young people. Despite controversy, businesses and homeowners have been lining up since 2006 to purchase The Mosquito. The manufacturer, Compound Security Systems, also offers ultrasonic projectors specifically designed for use in the home. In most countries, it is legal to install and operate an ultrasonic projector for home security purposes.

Meet Tango Home Security Audio

Based on a simple premise, Meet Tango Home Security audio gives nosy neighbors and aspiring burglars the impression that your home is occupied by an annoying, barking dog. “Meet Tango” was created using a real dog named Tango that passed away a few years ago but still lives on through “his fearsome bark and growl”. A quick audio clip of the CD is included here

BluEarth Arts, the company that makes “Meet Tango”, sells the product in CD and MP3 formats. Since most commercially available CD or MP3 players come with random or loop functions, “Meet Tango” can be played for as long as needed. While a barking dog might not be the most effective deterrent available for home security, “Meet Tango” is a simple solution within the reach of every homeowner’s budget.

TeleSpy

Disguised like a normal landline telephone, TeleSpy is basically a low rent alarm system with a few extra features. This gadget works similarly to a monitored alarm system in that it can be programmed to call a specific number when an intruder activates the device. Unlike traditional monitored alarm systems, however, TeleSpy calls a number controlled by the owner and activates an internal microphone which allows users to eavesdrop on any intruders in the home. If the user confirms an unauthorized intruder, they can then contact the proper authorities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Pa7qx2s1Vw

The TeleSpy has a number of obvious drawbacks. For the device to be effective, intruders have to unwittingly activate the TeleSpy and make noise within a certain range of the internal mic. Much of the TeleSpy’s capabilities can be found with certain monitored alarm systems but the low cost might make it an option for some.