In Brief

Kevin is a safety-oriented speaker that uses light and sound to make it seem like someone is always home

There is already a plethora of smart speakers flooding the market, but one of the more unique speakers showcased at this year’s CES in Las Vegas was Kevin by the Swiss company Mitipi, which has an interesting feature to help deter burglars from entering a home or apartment when no one is home.

Kevin works to discourage potential thieves from entering a vacant residence by utilizing light and sound to make it seem as though there is activity going on. Pulses of light are sent out via embedded LEDs on the back of the device to simulate movement in a natural way, while different sounds are played depending on the time of the day. There might be shower sounds played early in the morning or cooking sounds later in the evening.

These sounds can also be customized depending on where the person lives, with the speaker playing sounds louder for those who live in cities versus users who live in rural areas. Furthermore, the makers of the speaker say it comes with “weeks” worth of audio content so that a potential burglar shouldn’t ever hear the same exact sounds being repeated. By placing the speaker near the entrance of the home, a window or somewhere a burglar would likely look, the company claims it wants to make home burglaries a thing of the past.

“For victims [of burglaries], the biggest issue is that burglars [invade] their privacy. Burglars want to access valuables, such as cash or jewelry as fast as possible. They do not want risk any confrontation with residents,” said Julian Stylianou, Mitipi CEO, in an interview. “Confrontation leads to an unpredictable outcome. That is why we came with the idea of a virtual roommate who protects your home while you are not at home.”

While there are many home security devices on the market, none seem to blend security and entertainment purposes in the way that Kevin does. Mitipi says that though camera-based security systems are becoming increasingly popular, they are only reactive, rather than proactively trying to prevent potential home invasions. The company says Kevin will be hitting Kickstarter within the next couple of weeks, with an expected price of between $200 and $250.

Mitipi

There is already a plethora of smart speakers flooding the market, but one of the more unique speakers showcased at this year’s CES in Las Vegas was Kevin by the Swiss company Mitipi, which has an interesting feature to help deter burglars from entering a home or apartment when no one is home.

Kevin works to discourage potential thieves from entering a vacant residence by utilizing light and sound to make it seem as though there is activity going on. Pulses of light are sent out via embedded LEDs on the back of the device to simulate movement in a natural way, while different sounds are played depending on the time of the day. There might be shower sounds played early in the morning or cooking sounds later in the evening.