Stop stealing my sh*t

As humans, we arm ourselves to prevent the worst. New high-tech innovations are only making it easier to protect possessions against theft. Caitlin Salter takes a look at some of the most creative solutions on the market. 

Swinging backpack

Say 'no thank you' to pick-pocketing with an innovative backpack designed to swing around into a front pack with a pull of a cord. The Wolffepack rucksack looks like an ordinary backpack, but a bungee-like cord system with a release mechanism can swing the rear-carrying pouch to the front.

The backpack was designed with busy commutes or crowded spaces in mind. Carrying a backpack on your front is not only space-effective, it should keep the pick-pockets at bay too.

Smart Wallet

Sometimes, it’s just really comforting to receive communications from your wallet. The SmartWallit Pro is revolutionary device to help you keep tabs on your wallet’s whereabouts and activity.

The thin, card-shaped device connects to smartphones through Bluetooth and informs users of their wallet’s location and even when it was used. Perfect for hunting down wallet thieves.

Lunch theft

For those looking prevent perhaps the cruelest theft of all, lunch theft, there’s a simple answer already on the market. Design company the., came up with the solution to disguise a sandwich with tinted green patches to make it look like mould is growing on both sides.

The reusable sandwich bags could be the least violent way to deter office thieves.

The lock that fights back     

The infuriation of returning to your bike to find nothing more than your now-broken bike lock could soon be a thing of the past. Lock manufacturers have to be smarter than ever to come up with fool proof answers to the age-old problem, especially as thieves are increasingly using smart gadgets too.        

Entrepreneur Daniel Idzkowski, from San Francisco, was so fed up with his bicycle being stolen he helped invent the SkunkLock. The glorified bike lock works as the name suggests, by producing such a putrid gas a thief would vomit uncontrollably if tampering with the lock.

The noxious chemicals are confined within a secure hollow chamber throughout the lock, and would only be exposed if the chamber was cut. The SkunkLock is no “smart lock” and can’t be hacked in any way.

The U-shaped lock is not yet on the market, but a crowdfunding campaign exceeded its target – raising nearly $40,000. The designers hope the produce will be available in June 2017. The price is set to be an affordable US$40 (NZ$55).

Seat-turn-lock

A New York-based company have taken the drag of carrying around a lock, out of bike safety. The SeatyLock is a bike seat that also functions as a one-metre-long bike lock made of steel links.

The product can be used on most existing bike frames and attaches to most common bicycle seat columns using a universal adapter. Originally funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, the SeatyLock is now available online.

Theft deterrent

For a more electronic solution, the Skylock Smart Lock is a keyless lock which opens through a connected app on your smartphone. Friends can be invited to join your network, making lending your bike easier than ever.

The built-in accelerometer detects shaking or tremors in the bike and notifies users via text that it is being tampered with. It can also notify a user’s trusted network if it senses a collision.

Steal it back

Bike security isn’t just about preventing bikes from being stolen, there are high-tech solutions to getting them back as well. BikeHawk GPS Trackers are three integrated GPS-enabled bike components that notify users through an app when bikes are on the move.

Another installment of the Internet of Things, the trackers work through highly discreet seat post, rear light and top-cap inserts. The parts are crammed with technology that can constantly update users on the location and movement of the bike.

Lights, camera, action!

It’s not just bicycles that are the target of thieves. Protecting homes is a top priority for most New Zealanders. There are endless options when it comes to high-tech gadgets and security systems to keep homes safe in the night.

Keep an eye on things around the property with 1080p video surveillance camera in a light bulb. The Snap, by smart lighting company Sengled, combines an IP camera with an energy-efficient LED lamp.

Footage from the light, which fits into a standard lamp base and connects to WIFI, can be viewed on the camera’s video in the app or recorded scenes can be retrieved from the cloud.

Keyless locks

Smartphones are quickly becoming the keys to everything, including home security. The August Smart Lock turns smartphones into virtual keys via Bluetooth while keeping the existing exterior door hardware exactly the same.

The lock works with most deadbolts and can be installed inside existing doors in minutes.

Friendly faces

Smart security options can learn to recognise familiar faces or alert users when it detects a stranger. Netatmo’s Welcome features a 1080p Full HD camera with a 130 degree viewing arc and an infrared sensor to operate at night.

The camera connects to smartphones and sends messages when motion is detected and lists faces seen. Users can be alerted of unknown faces and potential burglars within seconds.