Home Alone-inspired gadget created to drive away burglars

One of the most curious gadgets presented in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a gadget created by Swiss company Mitipi. It’s essentially a smart speaker with some anti-burglar capabilities. What makes it particularly interesting is that it was inspired by the 1990 movie Home Alone whose lead character is a boy named Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin).

The travails of Home Alone’s hero Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is said to be the inspiration for the gadget. Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Mitipi

In its Kickstarter page, Kevin is marketed as a “virtual roommate.” The promotional copy asserts, “Burglars fear confrontation, not cameras! Kevin is the first IoT device to simulate the presence of people in a room by emitting light, shadow effects, and sound, meaning burglars will think someone’s home, and won’t want to break in for fear of being caught.”

Mitipi the goes on to explain how Kevin works:

Kevin is built to be extremely easy and convenient to use. Place the device in an exposed room of your home – for example the kitchen, living room or corridor. Plug it in, set it up and you’re good to go. It’s our pledge that the setup takes just five minutes (or less). Kevin can now be controlled via the buttons on the box, or through the companion app (also remotely).

To produce variable simulations of presence in the home, Kevin uses a smart logic that considers multiple factors such as location, language, weather, home type, and much more. And because you deserve to be well represented while you are away, that’s why you can tailor your Kevin to your preferences.”

Clayton Moore sums it up in his Digital Trends article: “Kevin is primarily designed to make it look like someone is at home, so burglars don’t break in — a digital solution to Kevin McCallister’s predicament in Home Alone, if you will.”

Kevin is priced at $150 for early bird buyers. That’s not exactly cheap, but it’s already a bargain compared to what you could lose to burglars, right?

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