#167: Smartalarm

Everyone who has neighbours knows the annoyance that car and burglar alarms cause. Whether they ever cause annoyance to any kind of thieves is highly debatable, but they certainly never inspire me to call the police (since they are usually triggered by cats or rain). This is true even if they wake me at 2am and continue to ring until the batteries discharge (or the sun burns out -whichever seems to take longer).

Today’s invention is a simple remedy for we sleep deprived.


If people must fork out for alarms that are more expensive than the property they pretend to protect, I propose a small modification.

When you buy an alarm system, it should be equipped with a fixed limit on how long it will ring when activated (maybe 3 minutes, max). At the end of this period it would stop ringing and issue a verbal message which the owner could prerecord ( a little like an urgent form of answerphone message). This could be simply “Someone is interfering with Bill’s car” or “Call Hometown 236 1357” or even, for Texans “You are being observed through the sights of my Smith & Wesson…now git”.

Alarms might be made as personal and polyphonic as ringtones so that neighbours could decide whether to call police, based on how friendly the owner of a particular siren is.

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