Securing your house with a Commodore 64
Making sure all doors and windows are locked and the alarm system is armed is the everyday ritual we all go through when we leave our house to go to work.
Today’s alarm systems come in many flavors and operate on several principals, like using built-in sensors on the windows to determine the open/close state, infrared beams to detect trespassers and much more.
Only downside is, these things don’t come cheap today, and they were neither cheap in the past. So enter the “Sensorland” sonar device that was showcased at the Las Vegas CES in 1985.
This device could be hooked up to a Commodore 64 and with the accompanying software, distances to windows, doors etc. could be measured. Whenever the distance changed (ie. a window or door was opened) the C64 could sound an alarm. Pretty neat and all this for just $99. OK, you had to keep your C64 running and whilst in operation, your breadbox couldn’t be used for anything else, but still, if it was a cheap alarm system you were after, this was a nice solution, and one that integrated nicely with the widely available C64.
Oh, I’d almost forget to mention that you could also play music with this system. By interrupting the “sonarbeam” at specified intervals, you could have the C64 play different notes and you’d be performing your own Jean Michel Jarre Laser harp act at the comfort of your own home.
So an alarm system and musical instrument all-in-one… you got to love those 80s gadgets!