Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa might be useful for controlling your smart home, but what are they going to do if someone starts sniffing around your house, eyeing up your new TV? Probably sit there like a couple of chumps. However Swiss startup Mitipi has come up with a smart speaker that will try to ward off potential intruders - and it’s fittingly named after Home Alone’s Kevin McCallister.
The Kevin smart speaker produces lights and sounds to make it appear that people are home. There’s an accompanying app where you can choose from a selection of “scenarios”, like an action movie playing on TV, or people working out (which makes a lot of strange and not-wholly-convincing huffing sounds, but should do the job).
You can mix up different scenarios to make your home sound a little more authentic, and apparently telling the app what type of house you have - urban, suburban etc - will also tweak the acoustics to fool even the best-tuned criminal ears.
Alternatively you can tell the speaker to use random scenarios and it will consider factors like the weather and time of day to create a playlist of deceptive sounds. We got to see it in action, and it's impressively loud and bright for something the size of thick book, so it should have no problem filling a large space with sound.
All of this can be controlled remotely with the app, so you can turn it on/off or change up the sounds when away from the home. Sadly it can’t yet connect to other smart home devices, as we reckon there could be some interesting ways to use Kevin with smart cameras and other smart home security devices.
And unfortunately it doesn’t live up to its movie-starring namesake when it comes to fighting back against intruders. No falling irons. No tarantulas. No paint-pot pendulums. It’s health and safety gone mad.
Mitibi is aiming to reach $50,000 in funding on Kickstarter, with a goal to ship in Q4 of this year. The speaker is live on the site right now with an early bird price of $149 (and keep the change, ya filthy animal).