FakeTV uses optics and LEDs to keep burglars away

July 31, 2009--A new burglar deterrent device from Opto-Electronic Design (Eden Prairie, MN), FakeTV, uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and optics to produce the same sort of light your television does, and consumes only about 1% of the power of an operating television. The idea is that when a burglar sees the light from an operating television shining through the curtains, he probably thinks that somebody is home and should move on to an easier mark.

Jul 31st, 2009

July 31, 2009--A new burglar deterrent device from Opto-Electronic Design (Eden Prairie, MN), FakeTV, uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and optics to produce the same sort of light your television does, and consumes only about 1% of the power of an operating television. The idea is that when a burglar sees the light from an operating television shining through the curtains, he probably thinks that somebody is home and should move on to an easier mark.

FakeTV was invented by author, engineer, and inventor Blaine Readler. One evening when Blaine was leaving the house, he turned the television on to keep the burglars at bay. It occurred to him that all the would-be thief would see was the light the television cast through the curtains and that most of the energy that went into making the picture was wasted. Blaine worked with the optics-experts at Opto-Electronic Design to measure exactly what sort of light real television programming produces. Romantic comedies, for example, are brighter but more static than action-adventure dramas. News programs tend to be monochromatic, and animated features are colorful and dynamic. Commercials explode with color and intensity changes.

Blaine and the team programmed a computer to control super-bright LED's emitting through an optical faceplate to produce exactly the sort of light produced by all of these genres. FakeTV, the product that resulted from all of this effort, is about the size of coffee cup and costs under $40. A built-in light sensor and timer turns FakeTV on at dusk to run for either four or seven hours with low power consumption. Most important, viewed from outside the home, FakeTV is essentially indistinguishable from the real thing.

Now all that's needed is fake sound for the effect to be complete!

For more information, go to www.faketv.com.

--Posted by Gail Overton, gailo@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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