Package thievery has only increased in recent years as more people shop online for large-scale gifts. Unfortunately, sometimes there's not much you can do about it if you don't have an outside camera and alarm system watching your home, and sometimes even that isn't enough. Apple engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober decided to go the extra mile recently to stop rampant package thieving at his house, building a complex glitter bomb and stink bomb trap hidden in the box of Apple's HomePod.
In a new video, Rober explains a bit of the early development of the trap, which took six months, multiple design iterations, and help from his friend Sean Hodgins to help build the smaller pieces of electronics inside the so-called "revenge package." Hodgins posted an in-depth video about building the glitter bomb as well, which you can check out here.
The brain of the trap is a custom printed circuit board with an accelerometer, which checks to see if it's left a set geofenced area of Rober's house when it's been moved. If it has, four included Android smartphones wake up and start recording using their wide-angle lenses, allowing Rober to capture every angle of the package thief's reaction when the top of the HomePod box is removed.
Someone stole a package from me. Police wouldn’t do anything about it so I spent the last 6 months engineering up some vigilante justice. Revenge is a dish best served fabulously. Vid link- https://t.co/9OjD6ETdbZ pic.twitter.com/u4o0doWglr — Mark Rober (@MarkRober) December 18, 2018
Rober even placed a reference to the film Home Alone directly on the package's shipping label, but it goes unnoticed by every thief in the video. Eventually, the engineer shares a collection of reaction shots from the glitter bomb's cameras, and once it begins working for him on multiple occasions, he passes it on to his friends who have also had online packages stolen from their porches. In every case recorded, the thieves eventually ditch the package without realizing there are four smartphones in it, and Rober is able to recover it.
You can check out more of Rober's science and design-themed videos on his YouTube channel.