2013-03-21

Co.Exist

Hide Your House From Drones With This Tech That Makes You Impossible To Record

In a world where everyone has a drone and might want to check up on you, this drone blinding system will alert you if someone is spying from the sky and make you invisible.

Tim Faucett is no stranger to unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV, or drone) technology: his company APlus Mobile makes mobile computer units that manage robots and UAVs for clients like the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin. But when he looks to the future, he sees a world where it’s not just the military and government piloting UAVS, but you and me.

"There are going to be private drones, there’s going to be commercial drones," he told me on the phone. Indeed, the FAA estimates that there could be tens of thousands of unmanned aircrafts circling overhead by the end of this decade. "Everybody’s going to have access to a drone. And people are going to have good intentions with them, and people are going to have bad intentions with them."

Faucett prefers to arm himself against the ones with "bad intentions," and sees a business opening. A few weeks ago, his startup Domestic Drone Countermeasures filed its first of what he said would be nine patents for a system that will detect and disable drones before they have the chance to film their targets.

Because the technology is so new, Faucett’s conversations about it are shrouded in secrecy, including what it looks like, what the tech entails, or how it really works. He referred to a system that includes software and sensors that will be able to identify nearby UAVs based on their electromagnetic signature, alert the owner of the system, and then—the coup de grâce—the system will somehow "neutralize the drone’s capability to see you with its camera."

According to Faucett, "We don’t interfere with the drones navigation in any way. We don’t jam anything. We don’t intercept anything … This is non-combative. That’s really important." Faucett says that as word has gotten out about his company on the Internet, people have falsely described his services like some sort of militia weaponry. "We’ve taken great pains to design systems that aren’t going to get shut down or be outlawed or become illegal. … We’ve taken the combat elements out so [the former military technology] can’t be viewed as unlawful."

He says his system won’t even harm the camera. "The camera just won’t be able to look at you," he says. "Actually, at some point, we can show the operator at the other end a little movie or something," he adds, with a laugh. So try to spy on your neighbor with your new UAV and you might end up watching the "Single Ladies" video.

Faucett says his team of three full-time engineers and several part-time staffers should be able to bring the system to market in a matter of months. It’ll be scalable to suit the needs of someone who just wants their home protected—the 21st century version of a home security system—to larger property owners or institutional clients.

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8 Comments

  • Guest


    to everyone who wants to know what I am doing, I think we need a drone so we can see you fuck your wife in the ass, or even if you wipe your ass. Lot's to know about folks I recon, everyone wants to look up every ones else's ass. What are you trying to hide? None of yo damn bidness, bitch! How come you aren't willing for me to know about you, the things you want to know about me?

  • Bryan Conn

    American capitalism used to be that you design solutions to problems.  Now we design the problems too.  This guy made his first fortune making UAVs ubiquitous.  Now he's going to make another fortune to solve the problems created by ubiquitous UAVs.  Anyone else see a problem with this? 

  • Design Network North

    Good - if everyone started to deploy these then whole cities could become inaccessible to drone activity. As for the comments around the 'if you have nothing to hide argument' , it won't be long before criminals deploy drones to survey and log potential opportunities. There was a recent case in the UK where criminals used Google Earth images to determine which church rooftops had lead flashing on so that they could steal it - imagine what could become possible with hi res drones? open windows, record your keystrokes at an ATM or door entry pad, determine if a house is unoccupied with IR sensors and so on.

  • Onemorechris

    We live in odd times. Now that we can do anything (and right now we usually do do it) its becoming more important to think about why you would want to do it. The film industry is a good comparison to this: with effects and a bit of cash, you can do anything you can imagine. Many throw all of that on at screen, but it turns out subtly and narrative are still the things that make the better films, rather than massive 3D space ships. 

    I guess Street View and Google Earth are a little like drones already, albeit with a huge time delay.

  • gbacoder

    I like it. But by blotting yourself out are you not drawing attention that something is hidden? rather like homes with valuables request to blot themselves from googlearth - only to find this makes them stand out to criminals. What are they trying to hide? 

  • Onemorechris

    Thats what I was thinking. If I can find out all the places you allow me to look, all thats left is exactly where you are. I guess they have thought of this :)

  • Teddy Burriss

    Imagine, all I used to worry about was peeping toms and getting my front yard TP'd. Now I have to implement systems to protect me from UAVs (lol). As an individual with nothing to hide I find this laughable. As a business minded person, I fear misuse of UAVs in our society and see the value in appropriately designed & implemented protection systems.