Scare Off Burglars with FakeTV?

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Oct 02, 2012

What if a gadget that cost the same as one's month alarm monitoring charge could scare off burglars? That's the claim of a new product called FakeTV - a device whose entire aim is to cast a glow mimicking a television. While it's brutally simplistic, is it a genius innovation or a mindless gimmick?

FakeTV's Modus Operandi

The device does one job: it is a special lamp designed to cast a glow that looks like it is coming from a television. From the outside of a house, the light makes it appear that someone is inside, dutifully watching late night TV even if the house is otherwise dark and unoccupied.

The logic leveraged by the device is that a potential burglar will avoid breaking into an occupied house and will simply move on to an easier mark given the appearance the homeowner is present. A FakeTV device is shown in the picture below:

Unit Features

Key features include:

  • Desk/Shelf Mounted: The small 7"x5"x3" size of the device makes it suitable for placement on bookshelves.
  • AC Powered: FakeTV plugs into a standard 120VAC wall outlet.
  • Day/Night Sensor: The unit 'programming' is limited to turn on when dark, and turning off when day breaks. An included timer can be alternatively used during dusk or dawn hours when light conditions are dynamic.
  • More than a Timer LampThe company's website states "Like real television programming, FakeTV is constantly shifting among more and less dynamic periods, more vivid and more monochromatic, and brighter and darker scenes. FakeTV is completely unpredictable, and it never repeats."

Watch the company's promotional video below:

FakeTV Pros

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Inexpensive: Perhaps the greatest benefit of FakeTV is it's cheap cost. A single unit costs $35, which is approximately the same price as a single month's alarm monitoring cost for a traditional intrusion alarm system.

Simple: FakeTV requires no configuration or integration for use. A user plugs it into power and does nothing more to make it ready for use.

FakeTV Cons

Redundant: A simple rebuttal with equal effect might simply be to leave a TV on during nighttime hours. According to EnergyStar's website, the estimated electricity cost of running a 40" LCD TV for 8-12 hours nightly for a whole year costs about $20. Given that most households already own a television, the cheaper alternative is to simply leave the TV powered up when not at home.

Prevention, not Detection: Unlike intrusion alarm systems, FakeTV does nothing to alarm or report an intrusion attempt; it simply intends to discourage it from taking place. While it seems unlikely that burglars would be so brazen to target an occupied house, some reports suggest up to 28% of burglaries happen while the home is occupied. 

A common security strategy is to 'layer' defenses so that no one system is entirely responsible to keep a facility secure. In the case of FakeTV, it's greatest expected value is when used in conjunction with a 'traditional' intrusion alarm system.

2 reports cite this report:

Amazon Enters Home Security Services on Apr 26, 2018
Move over ADT? It is certainly what investors have feared for ADT, especially since Amazon acquired Ring. [Update: We spoke with Amazon and have...
The Security System in a Bulb: BeON on May 08, 2015
One of the hottest ideas in home security is a lightbulb. Well, BeON is not just any bulb. It claims the intelligence to trick burglars into...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Intrusion

ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
Barnes Buchanan 2019: Despite 'Strange Narrative' Great Time To Be In Security on Feb 11, 2019
A "strange narrative" is being spun, said Michael Barnes at the 2019 Barnes Buchanan Conference. However, despite that narrative, it is a "great...
No Genetec Major Releases In Over A Year on Feb 06, 2019
Annual VMS licenses are a controversial practice in the video surveillance industry, with many questioning their need or value. However, enterprise...
Designing Access Control Guide on Jan 30, 2019
Designing an access control solution requires decisions on 8 fundamental questions. This in-depth guide helps you understand the options and...
Genetec Favorability Report 2019 on Jan 25, 2019
Genetec's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2017, with 2019 results showing solid, but...
Bosch Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 23, 2019
Bosch's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2017, with 2019 results showing strong net...
CES 2019 Show Report on Jan 10, 2019
IPVM was at CES 2019 for the second year (see our CES 2018 Show Final Report) and is reporting on announcements and interesting news from the show...
Worst Products Tested In Past Year on Jan 09, 2019
IPVM has done over 100 tests in the past year. But which products performed the worst? Which ones should users be most aware of? In this report,...
European Startup Ajax Profile - They "Stand Against Evil" on Jan 03, 2019
European intrusion detection startup Ajax Systems proclaims: How are they standing against evil? And what are the differentiators and potential...
Combating Vaping Epidemic - Halo Smart Sensor Profile on Dec 21, 2018
Youth vaping has become an epidemic, according to the US Surgeon General, while the market leader, Juul, just received a $12.8 billion investment...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
Sales Cuts At Rasilient on Feb 19, 2019
Over the past 2 years, video surveillance storage specialist Rasilient has expanded its workforce significantly, aiming to build its own branded...
Exacq Raises VMS Software Pricing Twice in Less Than a Year on Feb 18, 2019
Most VMSes regularly release new features, but rarely increase their prices. For the 3rd time in 4 years, and 2nd time in 8 months, since being...
Axis IR Multi Imager Camera Tested (P3717-PLE) on Feb 18, 2019
Axis has released their first IR multi imager, the P3717-PLE, a repositionable model listing 360° IR illumination and flexible positioning,...
Ubiquiti Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 18, 2019
Ubiquiti has quietly grown into a $1+ billion annual revenue company, with offerings across wireless, wireline network and video surveillance (see...
Casino Surveillance Pro Interview: James Lathrop on Feb 15, 2019
James Lathrop has been working in casinos for almost 25 years. During that time, he says he has held "just about every job you can do in the...
Hikvision 2018 Revenue Tops $7 Billion USD But Growth Slows To Low on Feb 15, 2019
Hikvision's annual revenue topped $7 billion for the first time in 2018, although growth slowed sharply. In this post, we analyze the latest...
Hanwha Smaller Multi Imager Tested (PNM-9000VQ) on Feb 14, 2019
Hanwha's first repositionable multi imager PNM-9081VQ tested well, but was huge, over 12" wide and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Now, they have...
ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
Hikvision Chairman Praises United Front on Feb 14, 2019
Hikvision’s controlling shareholder held a meeting last month praising the United Front, a Communist Party organization known for its secretive...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact