Seattle inventor Mike Grabham says the inspiration for his new creation came from serious perspiration.
Thieves recently helped themselves to a large package after it was delivered to his porch. They got away with a shipment of warm coats Grabham and his wife intended to give to homeless men and women.
''I was, like, there's got to be a way to protect a box on your porch,” Grabham said. “It can't be that hard."
Grabham became one of the countless local victims taken by what seems to be an army of bold package thieves -- or as Grabham calls them, Porch Pirates. He noticed many aren't deterred by surveillance cameras.
“I know I can't stop them,” he said, "but can I scare them?"
Grabham’s brainstorm produced the Package Guard. From a distance, it looks like a Frisbee with a label on the top which reads: “PLACE PACKAGE HERE.”
When the delivery driver places the package on the Package Guard, the device – which uses Wi-Fi -- sends the recipient a text. The recipient can then arm the Package Guard remotely.
“The deterrent is the sound."
Then, if the package or the Package Guard itself is moved, a very loud alarm – similar to a car alarm-- sounds and the device sends another text to the owner informing them of the theft and gives them the option of disarming the device.
“The minute that alarm goes off, they're not going to be walking back to the car,” Grabham said. “They're going to run to the car and most likely they're going to drop the package. They'll definitely drop the package if it's big!"
Grabham started a Kickstarter campaign for the device to be mass produced and sold in tethe retail range of $50 to $70.
“I know there’s a market for this,” he said. "In time, the (Package Guards) might be permanently attached to the porch. This is about figuring out how to take care of your stuff.”
Grabham has applied for a U.S. patent for the device and hopes it can be mass produced by late summer.