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article imageMeet Kevin — The virtual roommate that will scare off burglars

By Karen Graham     Jan 31, 2018 in Technology
Burglars can be bold at times, but even they don't want to encounter an angry homeowner. That's the premise behind Kevin, a virtual roommate launched by Swiss home security startup Mitipi.
Kevin gets his name from Macaulay Culkin's robber-repelling character in the Home Alone films. And much like the movie-Kevin, the electronic Kevin has some ingenious tricks to keep would-be burglars away.
While home security competitors push the boundaries towards developing the most advanced home surveillance systems possible and at great cost to consumers, Kevin takes a different approach - Prevention is always the better answer.
Yesterday mitipi launched the world's first virtual roommate, Kevin, on Kickstarter. They've reached their goal of $50,000 in less than 19 hours with early bird units completely selling out in the first 24 hours, according to the company. Early buyers picked up Kevin for around $125.00, with the company planning to ship in December 2018 if all goes to plan.
What is Kevin?
Well, Kevin lives in a box, or to be more precise, Kevin exists within the mitipi box hardware, which allows him to emit light, shadow effects, and sound. With its wi-fi connected speaker, Kevin can simulate an actual person in the home. Through smart control capabilities, Kevin will simulate a person moving around the house doing day-to-day tasks.
Technical Specifications for Kevin
Technical Specifications for Kevin
Kevin is able to do these simulations using an algorithm that takes into consideration the time of day, region, language, weather, home type and much more. This eliminates the need for home security cameras or sensors says the company. All that's needed is power and a Smartphone.
A consumer can tailor Kevin to their own preferences and it only takes about five minutes to set up. In other words, you would want Kevin to know if you live alone or have a family, including children, or a pet or even play an instrument. Kevin will take all this into consideration in ensuring the presence created matches your lifestyle.
Kevin fits in anywhere in the house  including the living room.
Kevin fits in anywhere in the house, including the living room.
Using Kevin's onboard illumination sensor, warm white light, and fully adjustable RGB light, Kevin can sense when it's time to brighten up the place, and can even recreate the appearance of light from a television flickering against a wall. Kevin has a 5-watt speaker it uses to replicate household noises. You can either control Kevin with an app on your Smartphone or better yet, use the controls on the device.
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