|Temasek Polytechnic graduate Luke Lim developed a sticker sensor that can detect cracks in surfaces like glass doors or window screens. Called Shatter Alert, his innovation is patent-pending.|
Sticker sensor detects cracks in glass doors, windows: Imagine a sticker that can detect cracks in surfaces like glass doors or window screens. Mr Luke Lim, 25, has designed just that, after three years of toying with the concept and testing different materials. The idea started as a project with a course mate when he was in his final year at Temasek Polytechnic (TP), reading computer engineering.
"We wanted to create a sensor that would activate only when the window is broken. Existing alarm and sensory systems are reactive to other sounds like thunder," said Mr Lim, who graduated from TP in 2012. "But we couldn't commercialise it at that point because the technology was too expensive and we had to find a way to bring the cost down."
After graduating, Mr Lim, with the help of his lecturer Kok Boon Kiong and guidance from TP's entrepreneurship centre, developed a prototype that has been on the market since September last year.
It is available through Glass Security, a company Mr Lim set up with a co-founder, who is graduating from university this year.
Mr Kok, a senior lecturer in infocomm and network engineering, said Mr Lim worked hard on his project, even during his national service. "He would burn his weekends coming to TP to find me, continue working on the product and doing research. There's a lot of trial and error and using different methods, and he learnt a lot. He has the belief and passion in his idea, and so I supported him," he said.
In 2013, Mr Lim was awarded a seed grant of $50,000 from Spring Singapore for his patent-pending technology, now known as Shatter Alert. "Based on the touchscreen technology of smartphones, we made the film thinner and more flexible, so that it's possible for it to be attached to surfaces," he said.
The transparent sticker sensor can be stuck on surfaces of any material such as plastic, glass or concrete. It costs about $300 to be installed on two car windows, along with an alarm system. Mr Lim said that he has finalised talks with a Malaysian distributor to supply the product there and is also exploring the market in India. The technology can potentially be used in support structures such as bridges and buildings, he added.
Top Ten Alarm Sensors On The Market Right Now: Glass Break Sensors Review - Why Buy a Glass Break Sensor? A burglary in the night or while you're away from home can cost you valuable items as well as your sense of security. One way to protect your home is to install a glass break sensor that alerts you when a window is broken in your home, allowing entry without your knowledge. These window sensors include the Honeywell FG-730 Glassbreak Detector, Bosch DS1108i Glassbreak Detector and ELK-6040 Two-Way Wireless Glass Break Sensor.
There are several basic types of glass sensors. These types of window alarms come in hard-wired or wireless models and are available as surface mounts or audio discriminators. Surface-mount sensors work by detecting a shock to the glass panels of a window, which is good for windows that don't open, such as decorative side panes alongside a front door.
Audio discriminators work by triggering an alarm when a noise occurs that is on the same decibel level as the sound of breaking glass. This type can be a better option in large rooms with multiple windows. Audio discriminators are normally mounted on a wall or ceiling and can be used to protect windows in an entire room, patio doors and other types of operational windows. Others are designed to work with a transceiver to provide protection for the room.
Glass Break Sensors: What to Look For. Window alarms come in different types to protect stationary and opening windows. Learn about the differences to choose the right one.
There are two main ways in which a sensor can detect a broken window: via ultra thin strands of wire or by monitoring the typical audio frequencies that accompany the sound of breaking glass. Those in the first category tend to require extensive wiring and costly glass, whereas those in the second category are much simpler to install, and you don't need to place them on the window. The downside to sound-based glass break detectors is their propensity for false alarms, although discrimination algorithms can ignore some similar types of sound.
Vibration detection window sensors work by monitoring windows for vibration. When a window is struck by an object, it vibrates before shattering, which sends an alert to the alarm system. These systems are particularly useful for non-opening windows, but they can be set off by natural events, such as birds flying into the window or hail and high winds. Sensitivity settings may allow you to adjust the level of vibration that sets off the alarm.
Power sources can be either hard-wired or battery operated. Hard-wired sources are vulnerable during power outages and can be disabled by cutting power to the home, but the power source doesn't need to be swapped out every few years. Battery-operated models don't have this vulnerability, but they do require a battery to run, and these batteries can run out. Some systems combine the two in the event of power outages.
Ease of Installation
Not all window alarms are easy to install. You can choose stick-on sensors, sensors that are wired to the window and operated by battery, or hard-wired sensors that require professional installation. Anything that requires hard installation usually takes longer to set up and may require regular servicing.
Some alarms are not equipped with an automatic reset. In alarms with automatic reset, the alarm sounds for less than one minute and then the device resets itself. While this can be a useful option, some homeowners prefer the option of resetting the alarm themselves.