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Kickstart this package-guarding gadget that scares off thieves

by Jacob Kleinman | March 27, 2016March 27, 2016 4:00 pm PST

Online retailers like Amazon have made it easier than ever to get whatever you want delivered straight to your home, but what good is all that convenience if some jerk steals the package right off your front porch? That’s exactly what happened to Mike Grabham, inspiring him to create a clever new gadget called the Package Guard.

Now you can order one for yourself on Kickstarter, where Grabham hopes to raise $45,000 to turn his prototype into a finished product.

The Package Guard is basically just a big internet-connected scale. It sits on your front porch, or wherever your packages get delivered. Once a box is placed on the scale, you’ll get a notification. If someone tries to remove the package, a loud alarm turns on to scare them away. Once you get home, you can temporarily turn the Package Guard off from your phone.

Setup is simple, requiring a Wi-Fi connection to work. There’s no app to install, just tell Package Guard your email or phone number to receive notifications. The device runs on four AA batteries that should last nine months before it’s time to swap them out.

Package Guard can even handle multiple boxes at once. The built-in sensors will know if the total weight changes and sound the alarm, and it’s capable of holding up to 400 pounds without any issues. It’s also calibrated not to go off if a cat walks over the sensor, so you won’t end up bothering your neighbors unless someone’s actually trying to steal from you.

Of course, it’s possible a more brazen thief might not be scared off by loud noises alone. The company says it’s working on adding integration with connected security cameras, which could turn on automatically when the alarm is tripped. In the meantime, at least you’ll know as soon as your package arrives so you can run home to grab it, or ask a neighbor to hold onto the box for you.

Package Guard is available for as little as $50 on Kickstarter (down from a planned $80 market price). It should be ready to ship in October though the company is still waiting on FCC approval. Still, Grabham has experience developing technology products. He also says he already has a working prototype, so it shouldn’t be too tough for him to get the Package Guard finished in time.

Kickstarter

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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