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Point is a security system for the Airbnb set

Just call it the Obi-Wan of security systems: Point senses disturbances in the force your home, using microphones and air and temperature sensors.

As we said recently, smart microphones are becoming more prevalent, but while something like the Cocoon security system is designed solely to detect intruders, Point has something different in mind. While its microphones can detect the sound of a window breaking, founder Nils Mattisson had something else in mind with Point: detecting the movements of the strangers you invite into your home, without creeping them out.

No one wants to step into their Airbnb rental with the feeling someone is watching, 1984 style. Point does its duty without cameras, but it does turn homes into a bit of a nanny state. The palm-sized device is meant to give homeowners piece of mind, but it will tattle on you — and turn an ominous yellow, as a warning (or “friendly reminder,” as it’s called in their copy) — if you’re smoking or being loud enough to wake the neighbors. (The designers claim the device doesn’t record or transmit sound to its owner, so they won’t know what you’re saying, only how loudly you’re saying it.) And don’t even think of dismantling it for a quick cigarette break: Point knows when it’s being tampered with.

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There are features that might be attractive even to those who don’t rent out their homes. The wireless, Wi-Fi-enabled system tracks humidity levels and can alert users if their smoke detectors or other alarms are going off. Perhaps its top selling point is that it’s relatively “set it and forget it.” While users can customize what they want Point to detect (maybe you don’t care if visitors are using your home as a cigar bar), it requires no maintenance beyond changing the batteries once a year.

All this falls under the umbrella of what the Point team calls “soft security,” meaning it monitors without cameras or “intrusive sensors.” The device, which is looking for funding on Kickstarter, should be available for beta testing early next year. With the early bird pricing, one Point costs $69.

So if you’re Airbnb-ing it in the near future and see a little, white smoke-detector-looking-thing flashing yellow, keep it down, will you?