Advertisement
Tech by VICE

This Laser Tripwire Automatically Minimizes Your Tabs When Someone Walks By

The tiny device sweeps all your porn searches, workplace gaming and general time thievery under the rug when someone passes by your desk.

by Samantha Cole
Sep 10 2019, 4:00pm

The Daytripper receiver and transmitter. Image via dekuNukem on Tindie

I work in an open office. I also view a lot of very "not safe for work" things for, ironically, my job. So I bought a privacy screen for my office laptop that darkens my monitor when it's viewed at an angle; it seemed like the most polite thing to do for my deskmates who don't want to be distracted by Dragon Boob Z in their periphery while they're trying to focus.

Even with the screen protector, there are times when I wish I could be faster on the draw as an unsuspecting colleague approaches my desk, like while reviewing some of the more climactic scenes of Stormy Daniels' Chatroom, or scrolling through particularly sticky slime girl forums.

The “DayTripper,” a laser tripwire developed by a coder who goes by dekuNukem is what I need.

The small, simple setup consists of a transmitter that's attached to your desk, doorway, or wherever you want to detect passers-by, and a receiver that's plugged into your computer. When the transmitter detects movement, the receiver triggers all screens to minimize—the same function as the Windows + M key shortcut.

“Do you always slack off on your computer and worry about getting busted?,” dekuNukem wrote. “Not anymore because Daytripper is here to save the day!”

It detects motion within four feet—well within range of someone trying to crane their neck and read my messages in the blueberry kink chat rooms.

According to dekuNukem's Github repository for the device, it's compatible with any system that has a USB port and a keyboard, including Linux and MacOS. It's also programmable for other shortcut functions, like locking or shutting off the computer.

"I was wasting time on Reddit, and it just suddenly came to me just how many teenagers are trying to hide whatever unspeakable things they are viewing in their bedrooms from their nosy parents and siblings," dekuNukem told Motherboard. "It was just too great an idea to ignore. Novel concept, practical, great commercialisation potential, I’m amazed nobody did it before."

Past projects by dekuNukem include a Raspberry Pi-based device that uses facial recognition to track how many hours you spend sitting at your desk, and a reverse-engineered Nintendo Switch.

The tripwire is available on Tindie for $59.99 as a completely assembled plug-and-play device, or as a kit with all the pieces you can assemble yourself.

The early reviews on Daytripper are great, though dekuNukem notes, “I am not responsible for the consequences of using this device. Use it at your own risk.”

This post was updated at 3:05 p.m. on 9/10/19 with comment from dekuNukem.