Now the only question was: How would I test the FakeTV? I could just turn it on, go club-hopping for a few hours, then return to see if I'd been burglarized. But thanks to my ferocious guard dog, I've never been burglarized in the first place.
I decided to put FakeTV in my office, which happens to have thin, white plastic blinds that work perfectly as a diffuser for FakeTV's LEDs. Then I stood in the street for a while to watch.
For the most part, it looked pretty much like a TV was on in the room. Sometimes the "image" looked too monochromatic - usually too uniformly blue - but most of the time it looked uncannily like someone was watching TV in there.
When I went right up to the window and looked hard at the light, the ruse became obvious; I could see the bright LEDs through the blinds. But I seriously doubt any burglar would come so close. They'd move on to the next house. Maybe they'd even steal that damned minibike.
Still, what did my reaction count for? I've never broken into a house. I've never contemplated breaking into a house. I've never even broken a law, outside of occasional speeding and once smoking a cigar in an elevator. However, I do have a friend who, in his misspent youth, ran afoul of the law on many occasions. So when he came by for a beer, I asked him to look at my office window and tell me what was going on inside. "Did you get a new TV?" he asked.
Whether you use the FakeTV to make burglars think you're home, or whether you buy several to make your neighbors think you have a flat-panel TV in every room of the house, or whether you buy one to light up one of those tacky silver Christmas trees, it works.
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