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Shadow Puppet Automatic Lights

Computer controlled way to update the tired old method of simply having timed lights
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(+9, -2)
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Automatic lights (usually on a timer) are old hat. People have been using these to try and "fool" potential robbers into thinking someone is home (or awake) when they are not for many years.

A great improvement for them would be the addition of:

1.) Computer control--not only of the timing, but also a complex program to turn different lights on and off at different times every day in no predictable sequence. This part of the idea is very baked, I know, but I'm documenting it because it is far from a standard feature on these lights and is absolutely necessary to implement the second item...

2.) Special ceiling mounted lights, with masking elements, which face the window and periodically and strategically project moving shadows simulating the occupants of the house onto closed curtains. The most important element is that they don't show the figures too often, or predictably, and that the figures don't simply appear, but seem to move in and away from the window.

Very low volume conversation sounds, or simulations of someone watching TV, would help the illusion as well.

spaceman_spiff, Jan 23 2002

Close - fake TV http://gizmodo.com/...re-not-easy-targets
[coprocephalous, Jul 18 2008]

[link]






       Excuse me Mr. Spaceman Sir, What you are referring to is called a "Random Number of Shadows Generator"
thumbwax, Jan 23 2002
  

       Hmmm. But it wouldn't really be random ideally. If it was TOTALLY random the movements (and the times they appear) wouldn't seem like real people. It can't be too regular either--otherwise someone watching the house over several days would figure it out--but it has to follow certain rules.
spaceman_spiff, Jan 23 2002
  

       The house should watch your behavior while you're home & develop a model of how you turn the lights on & off, change channels and volume on the TV, etc etc. Mumble mumble Bayes mumble.   

       The advantage to this system is that the house should eventually predict and meet your every switch-enabled need.
hello_c, Jan 29 2002
  

       I have already seen "Smart Timers" that try to come up with seemingly natural lighting arrangements. But in your case, varying the position of the shadow puppets makes this illusion much more convincing. Do you prefer butter or margarine spread? I suggest that the radio or TV be adjusted to a volume high enough that someone strolling past the house can hear a hint of it. 60% of burglaries occur during the daytime, when potential witnesses are at work.
polartomato, Jun 14 2002
  

       Perhaps the figures could be dancing to "The Continental".
meowhous, Jan 04 2003
  

       You could just go with the Home Alone approach as well. You need a train track with an electric train, lots of cardboard cut outs of people, rope, pulleys, Mccully Culkin, and some music to play.
Jerk, Jul 17 2008
  

       The TV is a good idea. Just hooking a timer to the TV alone, instead of a lamp, would probably be more effective.
phundug, Jul 18 2008
  
      
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