Easily Install This Laser Tripwire to Automatically Hide Work Distractions When Your Boss Walks By

There are lots of free apps and widgets for Windows and MacOS that can quickly hide a work distraction (like YouTube or Facebook) from your boss or co-workers, but they assume you’re always paying close attention to who’s walking by your desk. The Daytripper does that all for you, using a laser tripwire that automatically hides contraband apps or websites whenever it’s triggered.

Photo: dekuNukem (Tindie)
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There are two simple components to the Daytripper: the transmitter which uses the STMicroelectronics VL53L0X laser time of flight sensor to detect movement, and the receiver which plugs into a computer’s USB port and automatically triggers a keyboard shortcut (like minimize all open windows) or any other custom script when triggered by a wireless signal from the transmitter.

It’s not a completely foolproof system. The time of flight sensor only has a range of about four feet, so while it will easily span a door frame, it might have trouble in larger spaces like a large hallway, so you’ll want to make sure to position it strategically. It’s also limited to a five Hz scan rate which could possibly allow someone to slip past your defenses if they’re moving fast enough. Those caveats aside, for $60 (or add six bucks more if you want to skip the soldering and have it arrive pre-assembled) the kit could very well save your butt at work if you’re the type who doesn’t actually want to.

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