Duo tattles on thieves by texting you
If you've got something that needs protecting, there are a number of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi-connected portable theft alarms that you can buy. The folks at Simtek don't think those communications systems are reliable enough, however, which is why they developed the cellular-enabled Duo.
To use Duo, you just turn it on and stick it in a dark space that you want to guard, such as a gun cabinet or a jewellery box. As long as things stay dark and still, nothing happens. If someone tries accessing that space, though, Duo's light sensor and/or its passive infrared motion sensor will detect the intrusion.
Within 15 seconds, the device will then send a text alert to the user's iOS or Android smartphone, no matter where it's located (as long as there's cellular coverage). According to its makers, Duo's global cellular modem should work in over 200 countries. Additionally, because it doesn't use an accelerometer to detect movement, Duo won't trigger an alarm if the space that it's in simply gets bumped.
Power is provided by an integrated lithium-ion battery, which should reportedly be good for up to one year of use per charge. Low battery levels are displayed on the device itself, and in the app.
Duo is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, where a pledge of US$139 is required to get one – that includes a 2-month free data plan. Assuming it reaches production, it should ship in October. The planned retail price is $199.