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Car Alarms

more effective means for attention
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Most people find car alarms offensive and actually tend to go AWAY from the noise. If, however, you could create a chip to produce different sounds that would ATTRACT people, then the device would actually work. I've checked, and it is possible to do this. The technology is there. You can program the device to simulate a women's voice to scream rape, program the sound of a yelping, hurt dog, or any number of sounds that would impell the public to intervene. Then alarms would do what they are supposed to do/ draw attention and concern of the general public. There are so many other manufactured sounds that would work.
Bradw, Jul 02 2000


       I like the "whimpering dog" idea... people tend to steer clear of other people in trouble -- fear of the police, or being sued, etc. But most folks would drop everything to help an injured animal.   

       An elephant trumpeting might be another effective sound...   

       As for the sound of a woman screaming -- I think I would soon hate city life if alarms started going off with that in the middle of the night.
danrue, Jul 02 2000

       The reason that car alarms are ignored, is not the sound itself (specifically formulated to attract attention) but because they continually go off for no good reason.   

       People now do not associate a car alarm noise with a car being stolen, instead they register annoyance that someone has allowed an object in their possession to make an antisocial sound.   

       If car alarms made noises like whimpering dogs, the ultimate Pavlovian response would be to ignore whimpering dogs - an unwanted result, especially from the point of view of animal rights organisations.   

       I suggest that car alarms would be more effective if the sound emitted from the owner rather than from the car. A radio transmission from the troubled vehicle(perhaps via the telephone cell system?) could cause the key fob to emit a piercing noise. Aswell as having the advantage of alerting owners out of earshot of their car (presumably the major cause of long lasting alarms) this solution would also ensure that those whose car alarms went off while they were in, say, a crowded restaurant, attended to their responsibility with commensurate speed.
Lemon, Jul 03 2000

       I think if I heard trumpeting elephants going off in the parking lot across from my apartment, I might indeed lose what's left of my sanity.   

       However, the game Deer Avenger has some good alternatives:   

       "Free beer! Who wants a cold one?" "Help! I'm naked, and I have a pizza!" "Viagra! Get yer Viagra!"   

       and so on....   

       Seriously, though, most good home security companies have an automatic dialer that contacts the security company when it goes off. With the advent of GPS, what about a system where the car sends an alarm and also alerts a response team based on a GPS signal. With text-to-speech technology, it could even send a voice message to the police or security company stating the exact location of the vehicle.   

       Three possible setbacks: you'd probably pay a monthly fee, you'd need to shop around to find a company with good enough coverage to give a fast enough response, and you'd need a sophisticated enough alarm system to minimize false alarms- which would become VERY costly with such a plan.
BigThor, Aug 05 2000

       I had an idea similar to BigThors, using a dedicated cell phone, in response to having my tools stolen from my truck. perusing the police reports convinced me that this was very common. A market definitly exists for an alarm that alerts the owner of an attempted break in, and then the police to remove the body of the perp.
Scott_D, Aug 05 2000

       Hate to spoil your day, but in New Zealand the Automobile Association I believe is trialing just such an alarm using GPS and a cellphone. I remember a news item on it. Also there are alarms available that transmit to your alarm remote, but the range isn't that good.
Alcin, Aug 13 2000

       I remember seeing this thing on TV about an alarm that shoots flames. I like that
AfroAssault, Sep 14 2000

       Not actually an alarm...In South Africa, carjacking is such a problem that they have actually attached flamethrowers underneath the doors to keep people from doing it. It's not napalm, apparently it's a gas flame.   

       CNN had a video of it, but I can't find it now...Maybe our resident search engine ninja can...Six foot flames shooting out from under the doors and up the sides, 'And it doesn't harm the finish!' Was really cool...
StarChaser, Sep 15 2000

       I believe that careful car theives (the 'steal to order' variety, rather than joyriders) have got round the GPS device by parking the stolen car on a backstreet for a week or so, to check whether the old bill turns up.   

       As for the `scream rape' alarm, I heard somewhere that women under attack were advised to shout FIRE rather than RAPE, as the latter was likely to deter potential assistance.
Mickey the Fish, Sep 15 2000

       Dude all you gotta do Is go to a custom boddy shop, remove the steering wheel, and get one of those sterring wheels with a cotter pin in the center of it. When you park your car at night take the steering wheel off. Also you can put a toggle switch under the drivers seat, hook it up to your tail lights and another one to your head lights, then just turn them off at night. Lets see some prik steel the car then. After this your car will never be touched. Im a fat guy who sitts on my butt and My cars always parked outside( a 1996 cutlass supream LS) and it has never gotton more than ten feet out of the parking space because they cant turn it. Once a thief tried using a philips screw driver but it bent to shit and and he couldn't turn it so he was screwed.   

       -- TUBBY, Jun 24, 2002
Tubby, Jun 25 2002

       The problem with a security service to check out the car is again that a lot of car alarms are just mishaps why not have a car alarm send out a signal to a security company and they take a satalite photo of your car using GPS they can locate it, then send the photo back to the security company or even to your cell phone, if it is not normal, they contact the local police....just a thought
Half-Life, Sep 03 2002

       People ignore car alarms because most of them aren't really being stolen.   

       That's why the fantastic ideas of having red smoke come out of the stolen DRIVING car, or having your mobile phone ring and warning YOU, work.
pashute, Oct 01 2002

       I'm sorry Brad feels that calling attention to someone breaking into his precious car is as important as trying to stop a rape. Brad, it's a car. Get over it.
Worldgineer, May 14 2003


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