A few years ago, Derek Blumke booked a less-than-ideal room for a last-minute trip. When he arrived, he saw that the door had been kicked down, “Cops style” and the shoddy repairs made the six-foot-tall, 190-pound Air Force veteran feel extremely unsafe and wonder how someone without his stature and training would feel.
“I was angry,” he told Digital Trends. “Feeling like you don’t have control of your environment or your own well-being or safety is something that no one should have to feel.”
Blumke went in search of a solution and wound up inventing one: the TripSafe, a portable security system you can fit in your suitcase. “Seventeen percent of homeowners have a security system, probably less than 0.01 percent of travelers have any type of solution,” says Blumke.
The device consists of two wedges you can slide under your the door of your hotel room or Airbnb doors and a docking station. You plug in the base and open the app, which records your location and lets you enter your room number if you’re staying at a hotel.
The wedges have accelerometers, that can detect if someone’s trying to force the door. In that event, the dock’s alarm will sound, and you’ll get a notification on your phone. If it’s just your drunk BFF stumbling in for the night, you can silence the alarm. If something more sinister is happening, TripSafe will call you and help coordinate action, whether it’s alerting the front desk or the police. You’ll only get that service if you sign up for the subscription, otherwise you and your designated contacts will simply get an alert that someone’s trying to break in or the motion-activated camera has picked up activity.
The entire thing weighs less than a pound and is six inches tall. The wedges fit into the base, but they jut out a bit, so it’s definitely not as slim as a smartphone. Still, Blumke did demonstrate that it fits into the pocket of his khakis (though he said he can’t make it work with his skinny jeans). The base has a fair amount of tech, including a 1080p camera, motion detector, microphone for detecting glass breaking, smoke detector, and speakers. While it has a plug, it can also run on a battery and can even recharge your phone. “Everyone I talk to has got another idea on how to use it,” says Blumke. He’s heard from parents who want to get a TripSafe for their college student.
Early birds can snag the system for $99 on Indiegogo. The team expects to ship the TripSafe in February 2017. As with all crowdfunding campaigns, it’s backer beware.
Updated 6/16/2016: Updated to indicate Derek Blumke is an Air Force veteran.