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By Rooks
Battery powered, solar recharged, laser diode creating a barrier around common entryways into your house / doors / windows or even to protect the immediate area around your home (yard). The purpose is that if the laser barrier is broken by a trespasser, photos will be taken of the area where the laser was broken (say five pictures with one second delay) for each laser break. Infrared lasers will allow it to be invisible to the naked eye. The device should automatically delete pictures that are older than a variable amount of days. The days should be determined by the owner during the setup.

Basically if your yard was protected, you would have a laser crossing your yard near your house. The camera is digital and mounted on the house facing the laser barrier and is equipped with a flash. Since it is digital, it will save pictures on a standard flash ram or memory stick (whatever). The flash RAM should not be located with the camera but rather it should be in some other central and safe location. The flash is intended to notify the trespasser that their picture has been taken and to possibly alert neighbors and you and your family of possible danger. Cameras can be fixed to the inside of windows to protect from the elements and allow easy battery change out (like a fire detector).

The purpose is to both scare away trespassers and to identify them for the police. I write this in response to the overwhelming danger to our children from sexual predators. The lasers on the windows could also sound an alarm. This product should be a stand alone set that ANYONE could buy at Wal-Mart or similar discount store.

It may also identify the dog that poops in the yard in the middle of the night.

Reward: I would be rewarded if it was made and people were safer.
User avatar
By Steve
What's the advantage of this idea over a simple surveillance cam which you can already buy at Wal-mart (or order over the internet)? :-?
By Rooks
What's the advantage of this idea over a simple surveillance cam which you can already buy at Wal-mart (or order over the internet)?

Well first, a video surveillance would not create a noticeable "flash" effect. A flash in the face telling the burglar he has been caught is definitely not what the thief is looking for when attempting a burglary. I am going to stretch it a bit and say it might even scare them away.

Second, a camera can be very small and concealable so as to avoid immediate detection. I can spot a "Wal-Mart" surveillance camera from a hundred paces and thereby avoid it or just disable it.

Video cameras that provide a live feed need you to be there to see the trespasser on a CRT. Cameras that record need to save their recordings on multimedia (likely VHS) which has a very limited capacity. A camera can store just the pictures you need, saving a lot of space and then save them on RAM sticks to provide easy computer access and transfer.

The form of image acquisition is really not the point. A video camera would work if that was what you felt you wanted but it is the barrier protection and subsequent surveillance activation that is important. Why record or take pictures of an empty yard?

For the record if it was my family I was making an attempt to protect for possible assailants I would not choose a passive surveillance. I would want the perpetrator to know he was now being watched without necessarily using blaring alarms or directly calling the police for what could be a false alarm. By sending the compact photos to the police station with a silent alarm you could not only let them know there was an issue but to show them what is triggering the alarm (I.E. a dog in the back yard).

I appreciate your question and I will attempt to better explain my ideas in the future.

User avatar
By Steve
Your explanation is appreciated just as much! ;-D

A couple of thoughts...

First of all, to my knowledge many cameras are visible on purpose (to scare burglars away - just like you said). Basically it's the same approach as with your "flash to get noticed" concept (which on the other hand would also enable the burglar to identify the camera and destroy it). If you still prefer a smaller camera, you can go for one of the spy cams available all over the internet these days.

Putting your home in a "laser cage" and connecting the whole system to a police station would also make it really expensive. And I also suspect that your neighbors would hate you for all the flashing going on (leaves, birds, and yes, that pooping dog, too :-b ) so in case of a real emergency they'd likely think it's another false alarm.

I was wondering though if it's possible to simply hook a cam onto one of those (fairly inexpensive?) motion detection light systems that welcome you as you approach your front door. :-?
By Rooks
Hmmm, the lasers would have to be in parallel with two beams per protected area. If the beams are three inches apart then it would take a three inch wide object to set both beams off simultaneously. This would prevent false alarms by objects less than three inches in thickness (leaves, most birds and such). Put it high enough to avoid most dogs and you should reduce your false alarms significantly.

Cost... cost is always the problem. Having a setup in your yard that activates an alarm that then sends pictures to the police is elaborate and not for those who can't afford high priced items. However the base system with just a camera and a couple of rechargeable lasers should be fairly cost effective.

As far as the flash affecting the neighbors and annoying them, I believe a flash can be directed to eliminate it from hitting your neighbor’s house/yard/window etc... This should reduce it to near the level of annoyance experienced by motion detection lights on the side of people’s houses.

The reason I am staying away from motion detection is because of the volume of false alarms they produce. Their sensitivity is something to be desired and their life span is shorter. Their exact detection point is sub-par.

If you are hard pressed to have it hooked to a camera, by all means hook it to a camera. Just remember you are trying to get a good look at someone and only good cameras have high quality recording and that means more money. There is no reason it could not be sold in kits ranging in cost and functionality.

You could also let a motion detector and the lasers work in parallel. If they both don't switch then there is no image acquisition. Reducing further the false alarms but increasing the price.

By krzyafrcn
For a low budget system that works in a similar manner, a lot of webcams can be configured to work as motion detectors. They quantify the amount of change in the images between frames and when a set value is reached they take a picture. I had a friend who used a system like this at college to tell when his nosy roommate was using his computer.

It's cheap, since the webcam acts as both the camera and motion sensor, and it's relitively easy to program. You wouldn't get a flash but you could make your speakers play an alarm sound. You could connect multiple speakers around the house to a common audio out cable on your computer and run as many webcams as you have USB ports. You might want a dedicated computer for this but compared to the cost of all those laser sensors, it's still pretty cheap.

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