This Startup Aims to Warn You About Spying Drones

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For all its good, sometimes advances in technology can create new forms of paranoia. Take drones for example. They can be used for taking selfies ("dronies") or walking the dog, or perhaps someday to deliver goods to-door-door. On the flip side, they can and have been used by the military to spy on and attack people.

For those who fear being targeted by anyone -- military, private organization or civilian -- with a drone, there's one startup that wants to ease your anxieties. Enter: Domestic Drone Countermeasures (DDC). The group has a Kickstarter page where it describes the threat drones pose and the solution the company has developed.

"Drones are becoming more capable all the time and this is why it's alarming," the Oregon-based startup says. "They fly with payloads like still cameras, video cameras, infrared detectors, thermal detectors, among other things, and they are already being used for surveillance.

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"In the past year," the company continues, "we developed hardware that can detect drones and have filed patents to safeguard our technology."

The anti-drone system consists of three boxes: a primary command and control module and two detection sensor nodes. Basically, these boxes use a simple Wi-Fi connection to create a mesh grid network that can detect drones flying nearby. When a drone is detected, the system can either sound an alarm or send a notification to a mobile device.

For a look at how it works, here's a video:

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The command and control module can communicate with nodes up to 200 feet away, the company says. The nodes can usually detect drones within 50 feet in all directions. So, the more nodes that are installed in an area, the larger the detection grid becomes. 

The DDC's anti-drone system is not equipped to counter military drones, which "fly too high and are too sophisticated," the company says. "Our intent is to keep your privacy safe from your neighbors and people you may not know who are flying small drones near your home or office. The Personal Drone Detection Systems are intended to counter small, personal drones with cameras and other sensors that are not being regulated."

The DDC's Kickstarter page is aiming to raise $8,500 over the next 21 days. So far, backers have pledged only about $1,400. DDC says it aims to start shipping the system by May 2015.

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Edition: July 2017

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