Meet Kevin, a Smart Speaker Designed to Deter Burglars
While Kevin in Home Alone was left behind when his family went on vacation, he cleverly came up with ways to thwart the bad guys.
Kevin, the smart speaker from Mitipi, makes the process easier with sound and light simulations to make it seem like someone is home. Here’s a closer look behind Kevin’s development and how this speaker can be used to protect homes.
Why a Smart Speaker for Home Security?
The makers of Mitipi created the Kevin Smart Speaker based on the hypothesis that burglars fear being confronted, not security cameras. According to a survey conducted by KGW8 of 86 former burglars, these are several factors that can turn them around: a dog, a vehicle parked in the driveway, t.v. or radio sounds, and a visible security camera. This data helps give Kevin some extra weight.
The front of this smart speaker is similar to others with a fabric covering. On the back, however, the design is more unique. The speaker has plastic backing with LED lights arranged in different locations. The lights’ structuring is what helps to produce unique animations and shadowing, making it appear that someone is walking around in a house.
Leaving Home? Kevin’s on Guard
When you’re ready to leave home, Kevin will go on guard. You can see Kevin in action below with this video by Mitipi:
Setup is a Cinch
When setting up Kevin, you should first choose a room where you’d want to have simulation. Choosing a room that’s more prominent to people on the street like your living room, dining room, or a bedroom would be good. Simply plug Kevin into the wall, and you can use the buttons on the speaker for control or the Mitipi smartphone app. You can also remotely control Kevin while you’re away.
With the app, you’ll be able to make selections to enhance your sound and light simulations based on your home (Ex. – Do you live in the city, a suburb, or the country?). You’ll also be able to tell Kevin what you have in your household (Ex. – Do you own a dog? Do you have a vacuum cleaner?). From there, Kevin will determine the loudness and variety of sounds to be played throughout the day.
One additional feature you’ll probably like about the Kevin Smart Speaker is that it doesn’t come with a microphone or camera that can record your conversations or video. With an Alexa smart speaker, you have to adjust your privacy settings to disable recording. Additionally, your commands are encrypted with Mitipi’s mobile app for your protection.
Kevin + Alexa
Did you know Kevin plays well with Alexa? Yep – if you own an Alexa-enabled device, you can download the Kevin Presence Simulation Skill and get access to lots of unique simulations such as kitchen sounds, instrument playing, talking, and more. You can activate Kevin by saying, “Hi Alexa, activate Kevin” or “Hi Alexa, tell Kevin to protect.”
Where to Find Kevin
Currently, Kevin is only sold on Mitipi’s website for 199 CHF (Swiss Francs). If you live in the U.S. and want to purchase this device, you may have to contact Mitipi for details.
Kevin has received a lot of press recognition from websites like Forbes, CNET, Digital Trends, BBC, and others. This device is certainly part of an innovative wave of home security solutions. If you’re looking for a full home security system instead, feel free to check out our recommendations.