23 Sep 21

Cup holders in your car will be next generation security feature

Even petty thieves can prompt innovations. After becoming a victim of several car break-ins, entrepreneur David Moeller made up his mind to invent an unprecedented automotive safety feature - cup holders as security guards. 

For Moeller, being unable to stop thieves from breaking into his car highlighted a clear gap in car security. After several years of brainstorming, his company, Keep Technologies debuted virtually at the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in 2020. 

When explaining his research and development process to TechCrunch, Moeller stated that he tried to find a reason to not go forward with developing this technology. But he couldn't. For months, Moeller conducted market research and surveyed customers before developing his prototype. In time, he concluded that the security gap he found was worth spending time developing a solution for. Keep Technologies today has five utility patents and applications for another 16 while receiving $4 million from several investors. 

The revolutionary cup holder 

The device that embodies 21 patents is called "The Knight" and is placed into the cup holder through an OBD port connection. The Knight has a camera with a 180-degree view, cellular bandwidth, passive infrared (PIR) and microwave sensors to detect motion in and outside of the vehicle. The device can only be installed and uninstalled by the user.  

The Knight can record a visual of the person breaking into the car, send data to the cloud and notify the car owner via their mobile device. Additionally, a monitoring device (also developed by Keep Technologies) views the video and notifies the police in case of theft. 

The technology enables the vehicle owner or driver to lock the car instantly if it detects a potential break-in. It does this via Bluetooth or a mobile app. 

Surprisingly, The Knight is armed with other features to shake off the thieves in a possible break-in attempt. If someone starts looking into the car, the device flashes an LED light and emits a chirping noise. The deterrent mode goes on until the possible intruder goes away. The next level includes emitting a 120 decibel sound (equal to 100 crying babies) if someone tries to open the door. In this shockwave moment, the fisheye lens captures everything and transmits the visuals. 

Keep Technologies plans to release The Knight to the US market with a $299 price tag and $50 for an annual subscription. For clients who demand professional monitoring, the monthly subscription will be $30. 

Chess themed security gear for cars 

Keep Technologies has developed other products to meet different customer demands. The Pawn, for instance, is the cheaper version of the Knight without a camera. Also, mounted on the windshield, the Rook provides 360 degrees of visibility. 

Moeller and his team plan to release more safety products for cars, including a guard for catalytic converters and a car-seat monitoring sensor. Specialized in car safety tools, Keep Technology may become a leader in technologies that will one day protect any part of a car. 

Image courtesy of Keep Technologies.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen